Cruise Director

Hometown: Coram, N.Y.
Joined: 02/25/2014
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About CrusinTim

Our first cruise was aboard the Carnival Celebration for our honeymoon back in 1990. Since then we have sailed 12 times on various lines. We've been to the Eastern Caribbean, Western Caribbean, Bermuda and to the U.K. on a Trans-Atlantic.



CrusinTim's Past Cruises

Oasis of the Seas

May 2016 - Oasis of the Seas to Caribbean - Western

Oasis is truly a cruise marvel.

This was our 12th cruise and 3rd with RCCL. We arrived at Port Everglades at about 1:30pm and were in our cabin by 2:10pm. Wheelchair assist at Pier 18 was simple and flawless. Use Park Cafe on deck 8 when you board for food as Windjammer is a mad scene! Balcony cabin we had on deck 12 was average size yet shower is small. I kept knocking the shampoo dispenser in the shower off. And no, I'm not a big guy!! Cabin steward introduced himself within 5 minutes of us being in the cabin and did a great job of cleaning, doing towel animals (my wife loves those) and keeping us supplied with ice the entire week. Labadee, I had the Dragons Tail Coaster booked but they failed to instruct on where to have the waiver signed so I missed my scheduled time. All the ticket stated was "Please Sign Waiver" and I saw no option to sign waiver for this ride on the RCCL website pre-cruise. There were no signs at the ride directing you where to go for the waiver or anyone instructing you where to go prior to the ride. I literally had one foot in the cart for the ride when the worker told me I had to have the waiver signed first. Wondering why they don't have it AT the ride? Guest Services onboard completely agreed especially after I told them the worker at the ride said I would have to go to the back of the line after I had the waiver signed and refunded me the $25 for the ride without hesitation. I stood in line in the heat for 35 minutes the first time and wasn't going to the back of the line for another wait. Also, at Labadee, if you venture beyond Adrenaline Beach to the area where the shops are, be prepared to be hounded by locals selling their junkware. This is the first place I have ever been to where the local merchants won't take "No Thanks" as an answer and actually follow you insisting you visit their shop. Falmouth was a good port yet we only went to Margaritaville right at the port for food, drinks and the free WiFi. If you go there, WiFi signal is better outside the restaurant as opposed to inside. Cozumel is our favorite stop. This was our 5th time here. The last 4 we have gone to Paradise Beach. Great family beach and very inexpensive. The crew on the Oasis are great. Always friendly, cleaning the ship and try hard to make your cruise excellent. There are many repeat cruisers on the Oasis I have found. Has to be a reason for that!! Windjammer (buffet) was barely ok. Breakfast consisted of mostly raw bacon, turkey and pork sausage that were overloaded with pepper. It's an ok place to get some food to get your day started. We also did Giovanni's & Chops. Giovanni's was great but make sure to bring some Tums or Previcid to avoid heartburn as the sauce seems to be very acidic. Chops, I was not impressed at all. Ordered the N.Y. Strip steak and although cooked correctly, was tough. Don't see how the ship actually ran out of butter for the last day!! My favorite bar onboard was the Pool bar on deck 15. Service and crew there called me by name after my first visit. The show "Frozen in time" was awesome and is a no-miss show as was "Oasis of Dreams". Headliners was a fail with some guy that appeared on "American Idol" 10 years ago and now works the Vegas strip. We left about 20 minutes into the show. We had assigned seating in the MDR in the Silk dining room and service was great with a beverage attendant ALWAYS with us. After he learned our beverage likes, he had them waiting for us each evening when we arrived. Disembarkation was a bit slow but were told it was due to Customs. Oasis of the Seas is without a doubt the most interesting ship I have sailed so far and plan to return to.  Smoking is permitted on "most" open decks on the portside but primarily on deck 15, mid-ship near the Pool bar. Smoking is also allowed in half of the Casino.

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Caribbean Princess

April 2015 - Caribbean Princess to Transatlantic

A Very Good 14 Day Cruise (With Some Bumps)

The Cons: Ship is showing her age a bit but is scheduled for drydock in 2016. Ship ran out of cabin blankets after passing south of Bermuda, Really? On a T/A cruise in April/May? And it was cold the closer we got to the U.K. Although not under the control of Princess, embarkation in Port Everglades was a disaster. My wife had to board via wheelchair and the port works on the "Honor System" to board wheelchair passengers. No number system or sign-up sheet. Waited 1 hour before being able to board. Buffet onboard was hit or miss (yet was more miss). If you pre-pay gratuities, they will show as an OBC (Credit) to your cabin where $11.50 will be deducted per day from that credit. Make sure to factor this into your budget. Mattresses in cabins need replacement. We needed to order foam egg crates to put on top of the mattress. Slots in Casino VERY loose, I won $1155 in one day on the penny slots and many others were hitting as well. Not enough seats in Princess Theater to allow passengers to see shows unless you got there 1 hour prior. We missed many of the shows because we had early seating in the dining room and those with late seating would always fill the seats before we could get there.

The Pro's: Ship was always being cleaned and maintained. The ship handled the Atlantic very well with hardly any movement in 7-14 foot seas. We had arranged seating in the Palms dining room and the meals were pretty darn good and presented well. Service and crew in general always smiling and pleasant. Cabin (R611) was basic size. There was a major price drop 2 months prior to sailing and Princess honored the change and upgraded us from an outside, obstructed view cabin to a balcony. Not many lines will do that after final payment is made.

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Brilliance of the Seas

November 2013 - Brilliance of the Seas to Caribbean - Western

Brilliance on the Brilliance....

This was our second cruise aboard a Royal Caribbean vessel and our 10th overall. Having sailed previously on lines such as Carnival, Princess, Norwegian and Celebrity, we were expecting a "WOW" from RCCL that we really didn't feel we had gotten from our Jewel of the Seas cruise earlier in May of this year. We did get the "WOW" this time.     PARKING: Since we are lucky enough to live within 30 minutes drive to the port, we parked our car at a lot about 1 mile from the port and saved about 50%. The problem we had was that there were only two shuttle vans running and there were two ships in port this day. A Carnival ship was late disembarking it's passengers which really slowed down the transfer process from the lot to the Port. We waited about one hour with other sailing passengers before we were able to get on a shuttle to the Port.            EMBARKATION: After so many cruises, I had always thought that the earlier you get to the port, the faster you board the ship. I am beginning to believe that everyone else has the same idea. When we arrived at the port of Tampa at about 12pm, the line was long yet moved very quickly as there were many check-in personnel so it took about 45 minutes before we actually were able to board. My point, get there when you can as long it is 90 minutes prior to sailing or you'll be waving goodbye to the rest of us. PLEASE remember to have all of your necessary documents at the ready when you arrive at the port for check-in. Most of the delays were caused by passengers that forgot to fill something out or couldn't remember which credit card they used when doing the online check-in process.     The BRILLIANCE: The ship had undergone a multi-million dollar refurbishment a few months earlier and added upgrades and enhancements to the ship which were very noticeable. I just couldn't understand why it didn't seem much emphasis was put into upgrading the cabin deco. The shower stall is very small and the curtain seemed to be as old as the ship itself. If you dropped the soap in the shower, you actually had to step out of the shower to pick it up. The shower curtain did nothing to prevent water from soaking the bathroom floor. Also, the other lines I have sailed with offer a basic amenities basket that has hand soap, lotion, shampoo etc. RCCL does not so make sure to bring your own. The cabin was always kept clean and stocked. We chose a balcony cabin as we usually do and I would recommend it.  The ship sails very smooth and we didn't come across anyone that seemed to be experiencing motion (sea) sickness.     DINING: We opted for "My Time Dining" which worked for us, but really don't understand why if it's "My Time", why RCCL wants you to designate a time you plan to be wanting to eat! The good thing about MTD is that because we picked a time for each day, we never had to wait to be seated. Those that didn't pick a time prior to sailing, did have a wait if they showed up at the busy times in the diningroom. The Windjammer buffet was excellent! Food was always hot, tasty and was always being rotated with fresh items. We were told Hotel Manager that the Brilliance's Windjammer buffet was number one for the previous 3 months on that class of ship. And it showed. Cabin (room) service was always ontime and the food hot and tasty.     ENTERTAINMENT / SHOWS: Were not big show goers when cruising so I can't comment on the theater shows BUT, if you sail the Brilliance, be sure to see ALL the shows they do in the Centrum. The airel acts from 13 decks up are amazing!! Just try to get there early (at least one hour prior) if you want to view the show from the main deck or you'll have to view the show from any one of the decks above that look down into the Centrum. Shows and times are indicated in your in cabin information letter you receive daily.     ITINERARY: We visited Key West, Isla Roatan, Cozumel and Grand Cayman. All ports were good but Key West is starting to bore me. Just too "touristy" but great for bar hopping if that's your thing. Loved the other three!!     DISEMBARKATION: Disembarkation day is never a happy day on a cruise. RCCL did well in disembarking all the passengers in a timely manner. We were off the ship at 7:30am.

    I would definitely sail the Brilliance again. I am also impressed with how RCCL is doing all it can and spending on maintaining it's older ships. Next cruise, The Enchantment of the Seas in December 2014.

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Jewel of the Seas

May 2013 - Jewel of the Seas to Caribbean - Western

Carnival Dream

April 2010 - Carnival Dream to Caribbean - Western

Carnival Triumph

June 2009 - Carnival Triumph to Caribbean - Western

Carnival Pride

September 2008 - Carnival Pride to Caribbean - Western

Grand Princess

June 2005 - Grand Princess to Caribbean - Western

Carnival Ecstasy

May 2004 - Carnival Ecstasy to Caribbean - Eastern

Norwegian Dream

April 1995 - Norwegian Dream to Bermuda

"Our 2nd cruise to Bermuda"

Celebrity Meridian

October 1992 - Celebrity Meridian to Bermuda

"Our 1st cruise to Bermuda"


May 1990 - Celebration to Caribbean - Eastern

"Our 1st cruise"

CrusinTim's Tips

Cozumel, Mexico - Our favorite port. This was our 5th time in Cozumel and the last 4 went back to Paradise Beach.
Oasis of the Seas Oasis of the Seas - Here's a few personal tips I found. When you board, use Park Cafe on deck 8 for lunch as the Windjammer is overcrowded. For a great sail-away view and for entering ports, go to deck 14 all the way forward where there is an area on top of the bridge that is the width of the ship.
Caribbean Princess Caribbean Princess - Go to deck 15 and walk all the way forward to gain access to the viewing area perched atop the bridge.
Cozumel, Mexico - Go to Paradise Beach. A short 15 minute taxi ride from the pier. DO NOT let the drivers talk you into any other beach (like they tried to do to us) because they are getting a kick back from that beach.

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received a helpful vote on their Caribbean Princess cruise review - A Very Good 14 Day Cruise (With Some Bumps)

received a helpful vote on their Caribbean Princess cruise review - A Very Good 14 Day Cruise (With Some Bumps)

received a helpful vote on their Brilliance of the Seas cruise review - Brilliance on the Brilliance....

followed a discussion, What do you think about four sea days in a row? (or even more???), on the cruiseline forum.

replied to the discussion, What do you think about four sea days in a row? (or even more???) on the cruiseline forum.

followed a discussion, Fall/Winter Itinerary change/ Fraud, on the cruiseline forum.

replied to the discussion, Fall/Winter Itinerary change/ Fraud on the cruiseline forum.

received a helpful vote on their Caribbean Princess cruise review - A Very Good 14 Day Cruise (With Some Bumps)

commented on a Carnival Liberty cruise review. - "Had to "BEG" for ice then when the "CABIN STEWARD" (not Butler)brought it, and was nice enough to fill your cooler, you still complain? What were y..." read more

commented on a Norwegian Sky cruise review. - "Here's hoping your spell check recovers soon...
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