Third Mate

Hometown: Orangevale, California
Joined: 11/22/2013
Helpful Votes

About Christinelisa

Dave and I love to travel. It has always been a passion for us, even before we retired. (Well, I am semi-retired.) Dave was in the computer business as a systems analyst and I am a special education teacher and part time want-to-be chef. We live 45 minutes from Napa in the Sacramento area of Northern California. We love sailing (having had two sailboats at the same time- East Coast and West Coast) and we enjoy going to new places. We are fairly new to cruising as we have traveled mostly in our own boats, or chartered boats. We love adventure and laughter, we are into bike riding, outdoor sports, good food and wine, and meeting new people around the world. We make new friends wherever we go, whether it is in Paris, Morocco, Italy, or at home.



Christinelisa's Past Cruises

Allure of the Seas

September 2017 - 7 Night Eastern Caribbean (Ft. Lauderdale Roundtrip) Cruise on Allure of the Seas


April 2015 - 21 Night Panama Canal Westbound (Ft. Lauderdale To Seattle) Cruise on Westerdam

Exceeded my expectations

I have never cruised with Holland America before as it was not really "on my radar."  I am loyal to Princess.  Because of the itinerary that fit my schedule and points of interest, we decided upon a short 4 night cruise from San Diego to Vancouver.  I left the hubby at home and went on a girl's trip with 2 friends.  It was great.  The ship was smaller than I am used to, but this brought a sense of privacy and quiet that was refreshing.  The Westerdam is a beautiful, dark colored elegant ship loaded with art and sculptures.  We were pleased with our large staterooms.  We chose the aft center that had a very large balcony for us 3 ladies to enjoy together for coffee and happy hour.  The service was wonderful, the shows very good.  (I am a singer and I was impressed with all of the vocalists, especially the BB King blues singers... WOW).  The best surprise was the food.  It was excellent.  The quality far exceeded any other cruise line.  I am a good cook, and a real foodie.  On other lines, it is always hit or miss for me.  I am telling you, our food on the Westerdam was restaurant quality.  The selection in the Lido buffet was incredible.  The hamburger/hot dog grill was as good as my favorite hamburger restaurant at home.  I do not know how they do it.  The pastries and bread were as good as a specialty bakery.  We travel quite a bit, especially in Europe, and the food was as good as anywhere we have been! Now- on the downside... I thought the guests were VERY casually dressed all the time, definitely OLDER and VERY QUIET! Zzzzzzzzz. I like at least one formal night and there wasn't one and "smart casual" means smart casual, not tennis shoes and t shirts in the dining room!  There was no real night life onboard. The ship showed a little wear and tear, chairs that didn't recline, and frayed carpets. With that being "said"  I look forward to coming back to another Holland cruise with my husband.  I know he will love it too.

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Ruby Princess

April 2014 - 14 Night Western Europe Passage (Ft. Lauderdale To London) Cruise on Ruby Princess

First long cruise... did not disappoint!

My husband and I sailed on the Ruby Princess for our first long cruise which was a transatlantic repositioning cruise.  The ports of call were appealing to us- Bermuda, Lisbon Portugal, Bilbao Spain, LeHavre (Normandy) France, and Southampton (London).  The Ruby is a beautiful ship, in impecable condition and the staff was friendly and attentive.  We were pleased with the amount of activities and entertainment during the whole duration of the cruise.  Our stateroom was a standard room with a balcony.  While on the small side, it was comfortable and adequate with plenty of storage.  It is very functional in its design.  We are tall people, and the shower was very small, but it did the job.  The bed was fine, although I did ask for a pillow top from our steward, as it was a little hard for me.  This addition made it great (some people ask for two, I've been told.)  The linens were fine.  The pillows, however, drove me nuts... they were SO lumpy!  In spite of this, we slept very well, which is important, right?  Our room was across from the laundry room and we were nervous about this, but it was fine...  we would never have known.  We enjoyed the balcony; for us it was worth the extra cost.  The passengers were definitely an older group.  I am in my 50's and felt like the teenager.  QuIet, quiet, quiet... almost too quiet for me.... and I am by no means a big partier.  But given this or bedlam, I would settle for an older, quiet crowd.  My husband and I are non professional performers (singers and musical theater) and we found the evening shows to be good.  They were creative and entertaining (and short- usually about 30 minutes in length.)  The lead singers were just okay... not bad, but I thought they would have been better.  Now for the food...  I am a total foodie and cook so I am critical.  All is all, I would say that the variety is great, the presentation is great, the effort is great.  It is incredibly difficult to cook in such large quantities and I think they did a good job.  For me, some of it was rather bland and not of the best quality, but much of it was excellent.  For my tastes, kind of hit or miss.  Some items were terrific, some flavorless.  It all looked great, but I found myself trying lots of items, not eating some, and wanting more of others.  We chose "Anytime" dining which worked well for us.  We found 1 1/2 -2 hours in the dining room every night was just too long for us... so about half the time we had dinner in the buffet upstairs.  It suited our casualness and I liked this because I could sample lots to see which items I found to my liking.  The array of foods is amazing.  I had read about the buffet station crowding, but we never expereienced this.  Perhaps it was because it was a transatlantic crossing and people were older and mellower, and maybe more going tot he dining room instead of buffets??  Don't miss seeing the pastry displays-- they are incredible.  (They look better than they taste, but they are gorgeous.)  I also enjoyed the culinary demonstration and galley tour.  We enjoyed two nights in the specialty restaurant (25.00 per person extra) and they were very good and to us, worth it.)  Embarkation/disembarkation were all quick, organized, and easy.  We would definitely recommend the Ruby, and this type of cruise, and will most likely go again on a transatlantic cruise.  This is our first time on Princess, and we really enjoyed it.

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Christinelisa's Tips

Westerdam Westerdam - We had open seating but it required a reservation. Once we decided upon our daily activities, we called for a reservation for the time we wanted. It worked out well and we were able to request the same table/waiter each night which was accommodated.
Bilbao, Spain - Fantastic place, start to finish. Free shuttle to town and back.
Ruby Princess Ruby Princess - On sea days, afternoon tea is a lovely way to spend the afternoon.

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received a helpful vote on their Westerdam cruise review - Exceeded my expectations

received a helpful vote on their Ruby Princess cruise review - First long cruise... did not disappoint!

received a helpful vote on their Westerdam cruise review - Exceeded my expectations

received a helpful vote on their Ruby Princess cruise review - First long cruise... did not disappoint!

received a helpful vote on their Westerdam cruise review - Exceeded my expectations

checked in for the roll call for Sep 17, 2017 cruise on Allure of the Seas!

received a helpful vote on their Westerdam cruise review - Exceeded my expectations

received a helpful vote on their Westerdam cruise review - Exceeded my expectations

received a helpful vote on their Westerdam cruise review - Exceeded my expectations

reviewed their Panama Canal, Central America cruise on Westerdam and gave it 5 stars!