BOTU

BOTU
Third Mate

Joined: 09/03/2015
2
Cruises
3
Reviews
7
Helpful Votes

About BOTU



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BOTU's Past Cruises

Caribbean Princess

October 2017 - Caribbean Princess to Panama Canal, Central America

Best cruise experience ever

For the most part, the crew was great. Despite cruising on birthdays and on our anniversary in the past, this was the FIRST TIME our anniversary was acknowledged and in a big way. Beside oversized card and balloons on our cabin door, we got gift certificates to the spa, the shops and for photo shoot. And an incredible dessert. Overwhelming!

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Carnival Triumph

November 2015 - Carnival Triumph to Caribbean - Eastern

Amazing deal for extended cruise time

If you have the extra vacation days, this is a great cruise. Many ports to visit, plus days of relaxation, for an unbelievably low price. And it's Carnival, so you get great food, entertainment (not just the regular shows, but the comedy clubs at late night are off the hook) and the friendliest crew. We have cruised on several lines and I have to say, no other cruise line offers so much, with such great crew, no matter the ship. The only complaint I have is the casino smoking, mid ship, you would have to go up or down decks and cross over and go up or down again to move from one end to the other on the same floor. There are so many activities, they overlap, so you have to pick one fun activity over another. 

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Carnival Dream

August 2015 - Carnival Dream to Caribbean - Western

Carnival Dream Surprises Good and Bad

Carnival Dream exceed our expectations for the cuisine,which does not enjoy a great reputation, but it should. Entertainment was really good. Loved the comedy shows, but some shows were missed because we were at dinner. Service was great all around....except for the tour desk. 

Since we booked this cruise based on the destinations and tours offered, we were extremely disappointed we were not permitted to book either Mayan tour in Belize because I have a mobility issue. I was willing to sign a disclaimer that I would not be walking around the actual sites, but could enjoy the rest of the tour. But I was treated as if my disability was mental, not physical. I know my limitations and I resented the tour desk staff's taking the decision out of my hands. I would have booked from a tour company at shore, but because of the distance and the possibility we could miss the ship leaving port, we did not go anywhere in Belize. 

I realize this was only one day out of the entire cruise, but it has colored my opinion of our cruise. I don't know when or if we will ever return to Belize, so as far as I am concerned, this was a huge missed opportunity for us. I was not only disappointed, but I felt disrespected. And it will affect my future cruise choices with Carnival. 

 

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BOTU's Tips

Princess Cays (Cruise Line Private Island) - The tenders could not accomodate a scooter or a wheelchair, and the ship also did not offer loaner wheelchairs, despite having a stash of them on-board. But as I said they couldn't go on a tender, even folded up. Tenders not designed with space for them as I found on other ships/
Panama Canal (Cruise Into Canal) - Did a lake boat tour. Long ride to catch the boat, surprised we got lunch (was advertised as snack only). Very overpriced, but interesting. Not much time to do anything else. Also port came with serious warnings.
Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Florida - The only positive I can say is Southwest flies into Ft. Lauderdale, not Miami, and I have family in the greater Ft. Lauderdale area so I was able to have a brief visit with them.
Caribbean Princess Caribbean Princess - Go to the port and shopping talks. Extremely useful and valuable information.
Puerto Limon, Costa Rica - Went on rainforest gondola tour. Lots of walking, even though advertised as easy. Gondola part was short. I thought it would be much longer. Interesting history of this site, however. Also very overpriced. No chance to 'shop' at port.
Cartagena, Colombia - Did the shopping trip only...not a ship tour, but a tour arranged by the ship's shopping advisor. It was much cheaper than any other tour, and the guide gave us a running commentary of the history and pointed out special sites. The only thing we missed was actual tours of churches, and a vista view from a hill. But not much time in port.
Galveston, Texas - No time to explore, and no side tours/excursions are offered. But very efficient and organized to get picked up.
Philipsburg, St. Maarten - Ferry ride to town is a fun and inexpensive self tour, even if you are not shopping. But there are plenty of stores for port shopping, too.
Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (Private Island) - Local vendors only take cash, but one store is run by Carnival, so you can use your ship card to pay for stuff (same stuff as on the ship, and same price).
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas - Go in town to buy liquor, port stores limited in choice. The port shopping area is not very old, but has not been kept up, looks run down.
San Juan, Puerto Rico - Just our embarkation port, but we came in the night before. Had great lunch at ElCameron, recommended by our cab driver. It was not a tourist trap, but a place local business people frequented. Huge servings, very low prices and really yummy local cusine. Tables were constantly filled.
St. John's, Antigua - Local tour company not to be trusted. Quoted one price from 'dispatcher', another by the driver. We passed, fearing we would be held up on the far side of the island for even more money to get back to the ship on time. But port shopping area has expanded, and is nicely maintained.
Carnival Triumph Carnival Triumph - Bring your own dijon mustard, only yellow mustard available. Pack a bit less, you can do laundry on-board yourself, or for a minimal fee, have the crew do it for you.
New Orleans, Louisiana - Arrive a few days ahead of cruise, or plan to stay a few days after. This city is not to be missed. It was great, and we will return to NOLA again.
Mahogany Bay, Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras - We took the bus tour around the island....Top Ten, but many were just drive-bys, or shopping stops. Only 3 real stops...iguana farm, cameo 'factory' and visit to original tribe, although story seemed mixed up, referred to Africa, but thought it was an original Caribe Indian tribe. Performers were bored, not a true village or family. Not what I expected.
Carnival Dream Carnival Dream - Go to the talks about port shopping to get all the coupons available. Skip the specialty restaurants or upcharges from the regular menu. Special choices show up on the daily menu. If I paid extra , I would be upset seeing them available for no extra charge. Be patient.

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received a helpful vote on their Carnival Dream cruise review - Carnival Dream Surprises Good and Bad

received a helpful vote on their Caribbean Princess cruise review - Best cruise experience ever

received a helpful vote on their Caribbean Princess cruise review - Best cruise experience ever

shared a quick tip for Caribbean Princess"Go to the port and shopping talks. Extremely useful and valuable information. "

added Oct 31, 2017 cruise on Caribbean Princess to their profile.

reviewed their Panama Canal, Central America cruise on Caribbean Princess and gave it 3.7 stars!

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Triumph cruise review - Amazing deal for extended cruise time

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Triumph cruise review - Amazing deal for extended cruise time

shared a quick tip for Carnival Triumph"Bring your own dijon mustard, only yellow mustard available. Pack a bit less, you can do laundry on-board yourself, or for a minimal fee, have the crew do it for you. "

reviewed their Caribbean - Eastern cruise on Carnival Triumph and gave it 4 stars!