Copentravelcom

Copentravelcom

Cruise Director
USA/EU
Joined 04/2018

20

Cruises

7

Reviews

53

Helpful Votes

The Expat Children's Author, wife, professor, and momager. I love travel, languages, and life! I started cruising young and single and now my cruising has evolved with my family.

Upcoming Cruises

Past Cruises

MSC Grandiosa

December 2019 - 8 days on MSC Grandiosa

MSC Grandiosa

December 2019 - 7 Night Western Mediterranean (Barcelona Roundtrip) Cruise on MSC Grandiosa

MSC Meraviglia

July 2019 - 8 days on MSC Meraviglia

MSC Meraviglia

July 2019 - 14 Night Northern Europe (Copenhagen Roundtrip) Cruise on MSC Meraviglia

MSC Poesia

April 2019 - 5 days on MSC Poesia

MSC Poesia

April 2019 - 15 Night Northern Europe (Copenhagen Roundtrip) Cruise on MSC Poesia

Cute and quaint ship. Most of the staff were friendly. Clean ship for its age. Very easy to navigate. The spa was not as aggressive as my previous MSC experience. Even when walking into the spa area, I was never asked for a service. This shocked me. A few staff members had no idea about the voyagers club status levels. I was told the only difference is the color of your hard. I tried to keep a straight face, hope I succeeded. It was obvious they were new to the cruise industry as every line has differences in status levels.

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Symphony of the Seas

December 2018 - 7 Night Eastern Caribbean Holiday (Miami Roundtrip) Cruise on Symphony of the Seas

MSC Lirica

July 2018 - 7 Night Eastern Mediterranean (Venice Roundtrip) Cruise on MSC Lirica

A bit underwhelming but a relaxing vacation nonetheless

This was my first MSC cruise experience. It was ok. It was affordable and family friendly so no major complaints. I will just state the comparisons I noticed (and remember) to my other cruises in this summary. One difference is the cruise card activation stations, that's new to me and they were smaller than I had imagined or perhaps seen on a video clip. Another difference is there is only one beverage service at main dining and no coffee to eat with dessert (after dinner). When I asked for a second drink, it was with a bit of pushback but I persisted. I did not purchase a beverage package since I'm a travel agent and took advantage of a promotion for included beverages as a promotion. A waitress at one of their bars told us if they didn't want to get us another drink, get their name and let them know. Overall, the staff just seems new. They don't seem to know much about cruising. The ones I asked stated they had about 2 more months on their 10-month contract and I would think after 8 months, they would get the hang of it. The dining staff had a clear head waiter and assistant but the assistant wasn't prioritizing our drinks and helping the main waiter with our food; it was more brown-nosing. For example, on RCCL I am use to my table being manicured throughout dinner. I took a photo of my un-manicured table (see below). This happened once at a lunch dining. One of the elevators mid-ship did not go on the 8th floor, my floor. So we would ride up to 9 and walk down to 8 but this was only a few times so not a huge deal. The spray park would close with windy weather, but I had to seek out the lifeguards under the tarp of the hot tubs to ask why. They never walked around or paid very close attention to guests in the water/pool area. Their lounge chairs are awesome as you can fold them over your face so as not to get sun in your eyes. This was quite a lovely feature! The baby club had posted times with a side note that times could change at any time. When it did cancel, they didn't update the door, we just waited outside 20 minutes and realized they weren't going to be showing up. The baby club was only 1 hour and with the registration only 1 employee, you maybe got 40 minutes before you needed to head back for pick up. They have a pager they give to parents and they page you if the child isn't adjusting or they need you to come back so that is a nice feature. The kids under age 12 receive an identifying bracelet via barcode at embarkation; another nice feature. Some of the staff also had pagers, like our housekeeper, Luc. He was great, but once he found out I spoke his native language, his English got worse; how convenient. :) The Internet is not unlimited like RCCL. And if you don't buy more BEFORE it runs out, the price quadruples so buy it before it ends. Guest services told me to buy it once it ends, big mistake and lesson learned. The spa was quite pushy. My mom took advantage of a massage and a hairdo on day 2 and by day 3 or 4 they were offering discounts on spa services. Now, I understand why they were so pushy. Hold off and get a deal if you're interested in the spa. It's very European, the food, the people so go with it. There is a presence of prepubescent girls topless and topless tanning. This doesn't bother me, but it may some so be aware. Although storage was fully adequate for us, we learned of additional storage in the room (shelves behind the mirror over the desk, including the safe). It was on an angle, don't know why we didn't think to look behind the mirror. There was also a shelf above the mini-bar that my toddler discovered about day 4 or 5. It was on her level, so she used it. I did have an issue with the photo shop. They have a no return policy unless a defect. I had a defect and they said that they would just reprint. So it's actually a no return policy. What makes me comment on this is that when I pointed it out to the manager, he became clearly upset with me and threw the reprint pictures at me in front of my daughter and elderly mom. Guest services had no interest in my complaint either. But this incident involved 2 employees (photo manager and senior guest service rep, both of Italy), so I won't let it deter my entire viewpoint of MSC. As far as the status match on the voyager program, it's great but I didn't notice any special treatment and most of the staff didn't know what it was really. I was a Silver member on this cruise and I met up with a Black member with his family and there was really no difference, maybe aside from embarkation. I just expected it to be a bit different. But I will try a different class of ship by MSC before I make a decision on the brand. My next MSC ships are Poesia then Meraviglia and Grandiosa. After 4 MSCs, I will know if I can continue cruising with them but so far so good!

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Serenade of the Seas

August 2017 - 7 Night Scandinavia & Russia (Copenhagen Roundtrip) Cruise on Serenade of the Seas

Diverse locations

Nice ship, liked the experience and the ports of call. Only negatives were that they "sternly recommend" (force) you to use the Purell brand hand sanitizer, especially in the dining areas. I have my own, scented brand that isn't as harsh (Purell burns and dries my skin out tremendously) and I had to therefore bring it with me and wave it at them. Washing hands is still the best form of cleanliness.

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Coral

August 2011 - 10 days on Coral

Enchantment of the Seas

December 2004 - 5 Night Western Caribbean with Grand Cayman (Ft. Lauderdale roundtrip) Cruise on Enchantment of the Seas

Convinced me that 7+ night cruises are the way to go!

This ship was a bit more party motivated cruisers. It seemed to me that most of the cruisers lived close and wanted a longer weekend getaway whereas a 7+ night cruise is calming and for more relaxation. It was fun, the RC staff was stellar, things were clean, neat, and tidy but the ambiance was inexplicably different. This was only cruise I have been on less than 7 nights and last, if that makes sense. But if you are a cruiser close to a port that offers 3-5 nights and you want a long weekend, take a 3, 4, or 5 night for a good deal and you will absolutely LOVE it. I live close to a port now but they only offer 7+ nights so I'm spoiled.

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Explorer of the Seas

September 2004 - 7 Night Western Caribbean with Belize (Miami roundtrip) Cruise on Explorer of the Seas

Belize me, it's fantastic!

Royal Caribbean did not disappoint. These ports were amazing, great weather, nice sunshine but it wasn't super humid in September. Avoided any hurricane issues, but we were a bit worried in the start. The staff were great, food totally delicious, and entertainment was a perfect distraction to more eating/snacking.

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Vision of the Seas

September 2003 - 7 Night Alaska Hubbard Glacier (Vancouver roundtrip) Cruise on Vision of the Seas

Best glacier experience

I knew it was called the Alaska Hubbard Glacier cruise, but I had no idea the beauty I would view! The boat was turned starboard side to the Hubbard Glacier, we went out of the deck to view and they were selling this amazing alcoholic warm drink to sip on while watching the glacier. It was there about 20-30 minutes then headed back out to keep on schedule. But it was plenty of time to take some nice pictures and be able to say "Been there, done that." There were other awesome excursions along the cruise week like panning for gold, and helicopter excursion. But the Hubbard glacier was definitely the highlight of my cruise with whales coming out the water during main dining that we could see being by one of the amazing windows on the Vision of the Seas being a close 2nd highlight.

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Carnival Destiny

June 2001 - 7 days on Carnival Destiny

MSC Poesia

MSC Poesia

Sail Date: April 18, 2019

Cute and quaint ship. Most of the staff were friendly. Clean ship for its age. Very easy to navigate. The spa was not as aggressive as my previous MSC experience. Even when walking into the spa area, I was never asked for a service. This shocked me. A few staff members had no idea about the voyagers club status levels. I was told the only difference is the color of your hard. I tried to keep a straight face, hope I succeeded. It was obvious they were new to the cruise industry as every line has differences in status levels.

Read Full Review

Enchantment of the Seas

Enchantment of the Seas

Sail Date: December 11, 2004

Convinced me that 7+ night cruises are the way to go!

This ship was a bit more party motivated cruisers. It seemed to me that most of the cruisers lived close and wanted a longer weekend getaway whereas a 7+ night cruise is calming and for more relaxation. It was fun, the RC staff was stellar, things were clean, neat, and tidy but the ambiance was inexplicably different. This was only cruise I have been on less than 7 nights and last, if that makes sense. But if you are a cruiser close to a port that offers 3-5 nights and you want a long weekend, take a 3, 4, or 5 night for a good deal and you will absolutely LOVE it. I live close to a port now but they only offer 7+ nights so I'm spoiled.

Read Full Review

MSC Lirica

MSC Lirica

Sail Date: July 27, 2018

A bit underwhelming but a relaxing vacation nonetheless

This was my first MSC cruise experience. It was ok. It was affordable and family friendly so no major complaints. I will just state the comparisons I noticed (and remember) to my other cruises in this summary. One difference is the cruise card activation stations, that's new to me and they were smaller than I had imagined or perhaps seen on a video clip. Another difference is there is only one beverage service at main dining and no coffee to eat with dessert (after dinner). When I asked for a second drink, it was with a bit of pushback but I persisted. I did not purchase a beverage package since I'm a travel agent and took advantage of a promotion for included beverages as a promotion. A waitress at one of their bars told us if they didn't want to get us another drink, get their name and let them know. Overall, the staff just seems new. They don't seem to know much about cruising. The ones I asked stated they had about 2 more months on their 10-month contract and I would think after 8 months, they would get the hang of it. The dining staff had a clear head waiter and assistant but the assistant wasn't prioritizing our drinks and helping the main waiter with our food; it was more brown-nosing. For example, on RCCL I am use to my table being manicured throughout dinner. I took a photo of my un-manicured table (see below). This happened once at a lunch dining. One of the elevators mid-ship did not go on the 8th floor, my floor. So we would ride up to 9 and walk down to 8 but this was only a few times so not a huge deal. The spray park would close with windy weather, but I had to seek out the lifeguards under the tarp of the hot tubs to ask why. They never walked around or paid very close attention to guests in the water/pool area. Their lounge chairs are awesome as you can fold them over your face so as not to get sun in your eyes. This was quite a lovely feature! The baby club had posted times with a side note that times could change at any time. When it did cancel, they didn't update the door, we just waited outside 20 minutes and realized they weren't going to be showing up. The baby club was only 1 hour and with the registration only 1 employee, you maybe got 40 minutes before you needed to head back for pick up. They have a pager they give to parents and they page you if the child isn't adjusting or they need you to come back so that is a nice feature. The kids under age 12 receive an identifying bracelet via barcode at embarkation; another nice feature. Some of the staff also had pagers, like our housekeeper, Luc. He was great, but once he found out I spoke his native language, his English got worse; how convenient. :) The Internet is not unlimited like RCCL. And if you don't buy more BEFORE it runs out, the price quadruples so buy it before it ends. Guest services told me to buy it once it ends, big mistake and lesson learned. The spa was quite pushy. My mom took advantage of a massage and a hairdo on day 2 and by day 3 or 4 they were offering discounts on spa services. Now, I understand why they were so pushy. Hold off and get a deal if you're interested in the spa. It's very European, the food, the people so go with it. There is a presence of prepubescent girls topless and topless tanning. This doesn't bother me, but it may some so be aware. Although storage was fully adequate for us, we learned of additional storage in the room (shelves behind the mirror over the desk, including the safe). It was on an angle, don't know why we didn't think to look behind the mirror. There was also a shelf above the mini-bar that my toddler discovered about day 4 or 5. It was on her level, so she used it. I did have an issue with the photo shop. They have a no return policy unless a defect. I had a defect and they said that they would just reprint. So it's actually a no return policy. What makes me comment on this is that when I pointed it out to the manager, he became clearly upset with me and threw the reprint pictures at me in front of my daughter and elderly mom. Guest services had no interest in my complaint either. But this incident involved 2 employees (photo manager and senior guest service rep, both of Italy), so I won't let it deter my entire viewpoint of MSC. As far as the status match on the voyager program, it's great but I didn't notice any special treatment and most of the staff didn't know what it was really. I was a Silver member on this cruise and I met up with a Black member with his family and there was really no difference, maybe aside from embarkation. I just expected it to be a bit different. But I will try a different class of ship by MSC before I make a decision on the brand. My next MSC ships are Poesia then Meraviglia and Grandiosa. After 4 MSCs, I will know if I can continue cruising with them but so far so good!

Read Full Review

Serenade of the Seas

Serenade of the Seas

Sail Date: August 12, 2017

Diverse locations

Nice ship, liked the experience and the ports of call. Only negatives were that they "sternly recommend" (force) you to use the Purell brand hand sanitizer, especially in the dining areas. I have my own, scented brand that isn't as harsh (Purell burns and dries my skin out tremendously) and I had to therefore bring it with me and wave it at them. Washing hands is still the best form of cleanliness.

Read Full Review

Vision of the Seas

Vision of the Seas

Sail Date: September 07, 2003

Best glacier experience

I knew it was called the Alaska Hubbard Glacier cruise, but I had no idea the beauty I would view! The boat was turned starboard side to the Hubbard Glacier, we went out of the deck to view and they were selling this amazing alcoholic warm drink to sip on while watching the glacier. It was there about 20-30 minutes then headed back out to keep on schedule. But it was plenty of time to take some nice pictures and be able to say "Been there, done that." There were other awesome excursions along the cruise week like panning for gold, and helicopter excursion. But the Hubbard glacier was definitely the highlight of my cruise with whales coming out the water during main dining that we could see being by one of the amazing windows on the Vision of the Seas being a close 2nd highlight.

Read Full Review

Enchantment of the Seas

Enchantment of the Seas

Sail Date: December 06, 2004

Switched me to 7+ nights forever

I went on the cruise and it was really fun and exciting as we finished the muster drill and waved farewell to onlookers at shore, the music kicked up and we sailed away. But, the atmosphere of a 5 night versus a 7+ night is totally different. It feels too quick and as if cruisers are there for a very long weekend. The 7 or 10 nights are more relaxing and enjoyable so I felt like this was the turning point when I knew that any cruise less than 7 nights was NOT for me. The ship was beautiful, clean, and all that I would expect.

Read Full Review

Explorer of the Seas

Explorer of the Seas

Sail Date: September 12, 2004

Belize me, it's fantastic!

Royal Caribbean did not disappoint. These ports were amazing, great weather, nice sunshine but it wasn't super humid in September. Avoided any hurricane issues, but we were a bit worried in the start. The staff were great, food totally delicious, and entertainment was a perfect distraction to more eating/snacking.

Read Full Review

Cruise Tips

Goteborg

Really nice city. Historically preserved. Large museum. Convenient shops and mall in city center's transit drop-off area. Open train tour through city. A lengthy transit ride from port to city center and back but not uncomfortable, worth the wait to arrive to city.

Aarhus, Denmark

Historic city, friendly people. No excursion taken. Docked there on a holiday so probably not the best reflection of a typical day but quite nice and calm. Great views!

Warnemunde (Berlin), Germany

Convenient to get train from port. There is a playground at the port while waiting for your embarkation time. On the other sode of the train station, bought a 14€pp buffet breakfast in one of the hotels with no vacancy.

Kiel, Germany

Uneventful, used it as transit in & out. Convenient to get a train from port and there is a playground during the wait to embark. Taxi driver couldn't even recommend a hotel, he said there is nothing around that is close to port. On the other side of the train station, we did find hotels that were already fully booked. We also bought a 14€pp buffet in one of the fully booked hotels.

Bari, Italy

The excursions sent tickets to our room for the shuttle service without our asking. We were going to take it easy on the boat as we didn't see that there was much to the city. We ventured out anyway and it was great. We caught up with a tour agency and they had a train that took us through the city, to 2 important and beautiful churches, met some local tradespeople and saw how some sun-dried pasta was made, and then we were off to play music with a local musician of traditional music to the region. The musician asked for help from the audience, so that was fun. We also went into another store to taste local wine and 3 different types of olive oil, from normal to spicy. I don't recall the third.

Venice, Italy

Too much to see and do. I will continue on my next visit to Venice in about 4 more cruises when I take RCCLs Rhapsody of the Seas in August 2019. The water taxis are just great. I had visited Venice on a spring break in high school and remembered it being wistful....over 20 years later, it still is! The preservation of cities in Europe is astoundingly amazing.

Mykonos, Greece

This was my second trip to Mykonos and still unimpressed. You tender in and there are nothing but shops and restaurants, nothing of particular "Greek" culture like Iraklion (Heraklion) and Corfu. Just a different ambiance than other Greek islands I've visited. I have heard that the nightlife of Mykonos is quite good but our ship left around 8pm and we needed to be back on board by 7 or 7:30.

Corfu, Greece

It's a cool city, learned it is near Albania based on picking up cell towers from Albania not Greece :) It's good to learn something new every day!!

MSC Lirica

MSC Lirica

Bring magnets to have the daily itinerary available to all. I forgot mine this time, so used my packing tape that I had on liquids to post it on the wall -- and it worked!

Cozumel, Mexico

Went scuba diving and took pics underwater. The rubber band snapped or something and the camera went surging to the top! So someone got lovely pics, but not me :)

St. Petersburg, Russian Federation

It is important that cruisers know you have to book an excursion to leave the ship due to Visa/customs control. I knew this but those who didn't know either couldn't purchase one last minute or were forced to purchase one of disinterest. The sooner one knows, the better excursion one may obtain.

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