Itrvlfar

Itrvlfar

Cruise Director
Dunedin, FL
Joined 05/2016

54

Cruises

15

Reviews

195

Helpful Votes

Avid cruisers with more than 100 cruises under my belt...been cruising since I was 10 years old and stopped counting when I hit 100 cruises

Upcoming cruises

Past cruises

Mariner of the Seas

April 2020 - 3 Night Bahamas & Perfect Day (Port Canaveral Roundtrip) - Closed Cruise on Mariner of the Seas

Seabourn Encore

February 2020 - 16 Night Wellness In Australia & New Zealand (Auckland To Sydney) Cruise on Seabourn Encore

Trip of a Lifetime with high marks all around

We loved everything about this cruise and Seabourn Encore is now at the top of our favorite cruise ship list. The crew onboard was fantastic we met a lot of great travelers onboard some of which have become great friends. We only wished that we had more time in a couple of ports, but other than that, everything was exceptional. The coronavirus was just starting to spread to the US and Europe while we were on the cruise and we were hoping at the end of our cruise we would be quarantined on board as we weren't ready to get off the ship even after 16 days onboard. This was the longest cruise we have done and thought it might too long for us, but because there was so much to do in the ports and the onboard/at sea days were so fun (thanks to the new friends we made), we could have easily stayed on for another 7-14 days. Sadly they made us get off the ship! The memories made on this vacation are ones that I will truly cherish. The new friends made, the stories shared and the overall experience of this trip is beyond words. We were so glad that we opted to cruise on a smaller ship like Encore as the personalized service and more intimate experience was exactly what we had hoped for with this vacation. This was truly a trip of a lifetime for us and I highly recommend to anyone that will stand still long enough to hear about it. My husband and I both agreed that we could easily live in New Zealand or Australia and it would be hard to decide between the two given the opportunity.

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Brilliance of the Seas

January 2020 - 4 Night Western Caribbean (Tampa Roundtrip) Cruise on Brilliance of the Seas

Great ship and even better crew!

We LOVE LOVE LOVE the Brillance of the Seas and this was our 4th or 5th sailing on the ship. The ship is clean, beautifully appointed, lots of great lounges and areas sit and enjoy. The centrum on the ship seems to always have something going on and a great place to hang out. Our sailing was full but there was never a crowd (except by the pool) in any of the public lounges. My only complaint about the ship is the casino - half is smoking and half is non-smoking, but since you can't control where the smoke goes, it's essentially all smoking and you have to walk through it to get to the pub and theater unless you go up/down a deck to get to the front of the ship. Overall we love this ship and have booked another cruise for next year on the same ship and in the same cabin. If you are looking for a great ship, crew and food, you won't be disappointed on Brilliance of the Seas!

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Regal Princess

November 2019 - 7 Night Eastern Caribbean (Ft. Lauderdale Roundtrip) Cruise on Regal Princess

Exceptional cruise in all aspects

Loved everything about the Regal Princess! It’s been 12 years since sailing with Princess and looking forward to booking another one soon. All aspects of the ship were spot on from the crew and staff to food and service to entertainment. Our cabin was lovely and the best room steward I’ve ever had. Super impressed with Princess!!

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MSC Meraviglia

November 2019 - 3 Night Bahamas (Miami Roundtrip) Cruise on MSC Meraviglia

Lots of room for improvement

Very disappointed in the overall experience. The food and service were horrible and the clientele onboard were unruly and incredibly rude and ship staff did nothing about it. We spoke to about a dozen or more crew who were all looking to leave MSC and go to Royal Caribbean as they said they were treated badly onboard. It was VERY apparent throughout the ship the staff and crew were not happy. We are ready to get off the ship the first day and so happy it was only a 3 night cruise, which was 2 days too many.

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Norwegian Encore

November 2019 - Great Stirrup Cay Round Trip Cruise on Norwegian Encore

Beautiful ship and fantastic experience

Loved, loved,loved the ship and overall experience! The variety of venues, dining and things to do truly had something for everyone. The ship is beautifully appointed and easy to get around. We loved it so much that we are booking another cruise on the ship!!

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Celebrity Reflection

May 2019 - 8 Night Norwegian Fjords (Dublin Roundtrip) Cruise on Celebrity Reflection

Exceptional cruise in all aspects - one of our best yet!

Overall this was a vacation we won't soon forget - beautiful scenery, warm and attentive service, and outstanding food. We loved everything about this cruise and would book it again in a heartbeat. The Norwegian Fjords are very similar to Alaska as far as scenery but also very different and so glad that we have been lucky enough to experience and compare both destinations. Of all the cruise lines and ships that we have sailed on (over 100) I have to say this is one of my favorites

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Norwegian Joy

April 2019 - Norwegian Joy Inagural Cruise on Norwegian Joy

Beautifully done, large ship with lots of options

This is beautifully recently renovated for the US market ship with lots of things to do for all ages. The virtual reality area had lots of games and things to do as well as an F1 simulator. The food was excellent across all venues and service was warm and with a smile albeit a little slow in certain venues while they worked out the new ship kinks. The Observation Lounge is a great place in Alaska to view wildlife and scenery and lots of seating along with Starbucks and a bar. This is a large ship and while it can be a challenge to find people as there is no central area that people stroll through, each of the venues is very well done and uniquely themed. One tip if you are in a hallway of cabins, the fish in the carpeting always swim toward the front of the ship, so if you aren't sure which way you are going, just look down and see which way the fish are swimming.

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Brilliance of the Seas

January 2019 - 4 Night Western Caribbean (Tampa Roundtrip) Cruise on Brilliance of the Seas

Beautiful ship, easy to get around and a great weekend getaway

Love this ship and it's a great weekend getaway from Tampa! The ship is clean and comfortable and easy to get around. The cabins are nicely appointed and plenty of storage - good use of space. We love this ship and have been on it several times and have 2 future cruises booked on it as well. On the 4-night weekend sailings, there are two at seas days which are as relaxing or active as you want them to be and lots of onboard activities. There are also several quiet areas as well. The kids' areas are in the back of the ship, so you really don't see/hear the kids unless you are near their area. Royal does a great job on this ship of creating spaces for the kids to utilize and not interfere with adults. My only complaint about this ship and all Royal ships is the casino allows smoking. While there is a small part of the casino that is non-smoking, you have to walk through the smoking area to get to it (defeats the purpose) and frankly the smoke doesn't know it has a boundary and is hard to get away from even in the non-smoking part. Also, to get from the Schooner Bar or aft part of the ship to the front (theatre or pub) you have to go through the smoke filled casino. All casinos on ships should be non-smoking (IMHO)...Celebrity has done this very effectively. If you are flying into Tampa for this cruise, it's easy to get from the airport to the cruise terminal using the cruise line transfer, taxi or Uber/Lyft. If you are driving to the port, parking is directly across from the ship in a large parking garage.

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Celebrity Infinity

November 2018 - 4 Night Bahamas (Ft. Lauderdale Roundtrip) Cruise on Celebrity Infinity

Ship in need of update and overall just average all the way around

The ship is in desperate needs of refurbishment and is scheduled for 2020, but not sure she can hang on that long. There are some public areas that are very nice and modering feeling (Martini Bar, Rendevous Lounge) and then there are other public areas that are worn and beaten up like the Oceanview Grill (Lido). The food and service are hit and miss. The quality of the food is very good...lots of variety across all the restaurants and buffets. There was a carving station or two every day in the Oceanview Cafe (buffet) for lunch and 3-4 carving stations at dinner time. In the restaurants, the service was hit and miss, but the quality of the food was very good albeit VERY small portions. Everyone in our group ended up ordering 3 or 4 things off the menu most of the time or having to reorder as some dishes were just a whisper of food rather than an actual portion. We upgraded to Sky Suite but didn't get all the amenities that were included with this class. We will be writing to Celebrity directly to let them know. The drinks package is definitely worth it, but the staff throughout the ship is constantly trying to get you to upgrade the package or buy specialty dining package or something...felt a little like a flea market at times with the crew trying to sell you stuff. The air conditioning is very inconsistent throughout the ship and cabins. Our cabin was ridiculously warm most of the time even after calling several times. I think there are major issues with the AC on this ship. Overall this is a nice weekend away but the ship doesn't live up to the same standards as other Celebrity ships. Compared to other cruise lines 4-5 night cruise product, this one is still the best one out there (IMHO) and the ship will be fantastic after the huge renovation happening in 2020.

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Eurodam

September 2018 - 7 Night Alaskan Explorer With Glacier Bay (Seattle Roundtrip) Cruise on Eurodam

Overall nice trip, but ship/line definitely cater to an older demographic

Let me start by saying that we loved Alaska!! We really enjoyed being on a smaller ship as everything seems more accessible and fast/easy to get to, but there are some trade-offs with smaller ships. Foremost amongst the differences, was no place in the evening to hang out and enjoy live music as a lounge/background music environment. BB Kings offered live music every night, but unless you got there early, it was standing room only. The dance floor in this venue is very small and it's realy more of a concert than anything else. The crows nest was very nice and quiet, but no live music and wasn't really geared up for the evening - the lighting was bright and harsh and service was spotty when seated/relaxing. Also, there is no disco or evening dance/party venue. Other HAL ships have a disco, but on Eurodam the same space is now the Gallery Bar off the casino. Very nice place and we really enjoyed the Galley Bar and spent a lot of time there as the service was great (thanks to Joey) but again, there was no music or craic as the Irish say. If you are looking for dancing, this is not the ship to be on. The Lincoln Center Stage concerts were nice and the musicians were very talented, but a lot of the senior citizens fell asleep and started snoring. The area where Lincoln Center Stage was, is set up like a concert in the middle of a lounge and feels very much like it was an afterthought to better utilize the space.

Stateroom - we had a balcony cabin on deck four port side forward. The plus to the balcony cabins on deck 4 forward are they are a bit larger than other decks, by about 1.5' - 2' in depth. The downside is that from the railing down its steel rather than glass which makes it hard to sit on the balcony and see the water as you can only see in the distance above the railing.

The bedding in the room is horrendous - the pillows were awful as was the mattress itself. My husband and I had a very hard time sleeping every night and not once did we wake up in the morning refreshed and ready to go. In full disclosure, I normally sleep like a baby on a ship and we stayed at the Marriott by Seattle airport the night before our cruise and their pillows/bedding were amazing and the best night sleep we had the entire trip.

There is always the debate of port vs starboard in Alaska and which is preferred. My parents were starboard and we were port and to be honest, I don't think there was a discernable difference between the two on this particular ship and sailing. Wildlife moves, so you never know which side they are going to be on and as for general scenery, both sides were equally beautiful. In Glacier Bay, the ship rotates, so if you aren't in front of the glacier at first, you will be in a while.

Food and Service - two very important aspects of any cruise. We were left feeling "meh" about this part of the cruise. The dining room menu for dinner is pretty pedestrian most of the time - meat, fish, pasta. Nothing that blew our socks off or left us wanting more. The dining room for breakfast and lunch was pretty basic, so we went to the Lido each day. The lido had a nice variety of things, especially at lunchtime. Nice salad bar which I enjoyed every day. The hot menu selections seemed pretty good and there was always something at the carving stations. There were also two specialty sections - Mexican on one side and Indian/Pan-Asian on the other. My husband really enjoyed most of the curries that were offered and I was thankful there was sushi, albeit very limited selection.

We were traveling with my parents and a few of their friends and they all loved the food! They are pretty simple eaters and the basics suit them just fine. My husband and I are more adventurous and look for things that we can't make at home. While we were never left hungry, at times we struggled with the menu. There was only one dining room item (fish and shrimp taco) that was truly superb that I couldn't stop talking about it and even mentioned to the chef on the way out of the dining room.

We did eat in the Pinnacle Grill one evening (the only time we could get in) and while it was nice, was nowhere near the experience I have had previously. We felt like we were rushed through every course - the entire meal only took 45 mins, when in the past, dining there has been an experience. The sommelier, Joseph, was horrible!! He rushed over when we were just being seated and threw an iPad at us to make our selection and then left...didn't come back until just before our main course was being delivered. We asked our waiter for him 3 times and nothing. Finally, my husband got up to get us wine from the Pinnacle Bar just across the way. Joseph finally showed up then and was a condescending a-hole and insulted us for having the drinks package. We actually left the Pinnacle dinner feeling like we had wasted the money and completely underwhelmed by the overall experience.

We purchased our shore excursions through the ShipMate app and loved the whale watching in Juneau - we were on a much smaller vessel than what is sold through the ship. As a result of being on a smaller boat (18 pax) we were able to get closer, longer viewing times and found a large pod of Orca's that the larger boats couldn't get to. In Sitka, there is a free bus that takes you right into town and lots of shopping and a few bars/restaurants. There are also a few shops right at the pier for anyone who doesn't want to take the free shuttle to downtown. In Victoria, there is a paid shuttle to downtown that is $13 pp roundtrip BUT a cab is only $10 flat rate per car. There were 6 of us, so we just grabbed a mini-van cab and saved $68 total. Victoria was a beautiful town that is very walkable - lots of shopping, bars, and restaurants. Ketchikan we only had a few hours in the morning in port, which was not nearly enough time. Great city, very walkable right from the ship and lots to see an do as far as excursions. The itin for this ship could easily trim time off of Juneau (there until 10 pm) and add that time to Ketchikan to make it more balanced.

Overall, Alaska is AMAZING!! We saw tons of wildlife - bears, whales, sea otters, eagles, etc. Ship life on Eurodam is pretty sedate and slow paced. I think HAL is trying to attract a bit younger crowd by adding BB Kings but it's still a senior audience that enjoys the 50's and 60's music. I was glad we selected the Eurodam versus the other choices (Princess or NCL) but the onboard pace and offerings, as well as food, is really geared toward seniors aged 60 and up.

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Harmony of the Seas

June 2018 - 7 Night Western Caribbean (Ft. Lauderdale Roundtrip) Cruise on Harmony of the Seas

Large ship = large everything else

The ship is beautiful...very large, but beautiful. The food and service was excellent and we were very impressed with the selection/variety of food around the ship during the day as well as for dinner. Late nigh options, not so much as only pizza and small snack type sandwiches (pre-made) were the only things available late at night or you can order via room service for a fee. You need to make arrangements prior to boarding for all your evening entertainment and shows. If you don't have reservations ahead of time, then you need to wait in line until just before the start of the show to see if there are extra seats available. You can also use the Royal IQ app while onboard to book dining and activities that are available. If you are use to sailing on smaller ships, be warned this ship is very large and with that comes lots of people and lines for things. The Windjammer at breakfast and lunch was a complete and utter madhouse so many days we went to the dining room where they offered the options to order off the menu as well as a nice buffet option with nice selections and salad bar. There was no nightclub on this ship which seems very strange for ship this large. There was a multi-use room, The Attic, which was used as a night club but the atmosphere was all wrong and the lighting was not really set up for this purpose. With most ships you find the public areas, especially entertainment venues cooler and many times needed a sweater...that was NOT the case on this ship. It was actually hard to find places that were cool/cold as there are so many doors that open to the outside that it was hard to find a place to cool off. Even the cabins on the coldest settings were not all that cold. The cabins are nicely appointed and the rooms alternate bed by the balcony doors or sofa by the balcony doors. I think this was done specifically to cut down on the transfer of noise from room to room. We were traveling with several cabins of family, all of us in a row and never heard any noise while in the cabin. The balconies offer dividers/privacy but part can be opened up (if you want) so that we could all talk and enjoy the outside area together. This was also super helpful when/if you got locked out of your cabin, you could go in one room and then use the balcony to access another room. All the cabins do offer hair dryers, but if you have a lot of hair then it can take a long time using the small hair dryer provided. Also if you are picky about your hair dryer, bring your own as the one provided is pretty gut less. There is only one electrical outlet by the bed, so if you have medical devices or phones to charge, be sure to ask for an extension cord or multi-plug. You can bring your own, but be sure to put in your checked luggage, not your carry on. Overall the ship is great for families and multi-generational groups as there is truly something for everyone. As a avid cruiser, I have to say this large of a ship is not really my cup of tea, but I was glad I experienced as it reaffirmed my need to be on a smaller or mid-size ship.

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Celebrity Silhouette

January 2017 - 3 Night Bahamas (Ft. Lauderdale Roundtrip) Cruise on Celebrity Silhouette

For a larger ship, it was beautiful and would love to sail on her longer

Over all, the Silhouette is a beautiful ship and we would love to sail on her for a 7nt or longer cruise in the future.  We were in a balcony stateroom (cabin 9233), which was spacious and nice, but not nearly enough drawer or storage space, although the closet was larger than expected.  The cabin location was fantastic as it was mid-ship with a nice sized balcony and very close to the elevators.  Our cabin was also adjoining with 9235 (my parents cabin) but the adjoining portion was a the front doors with larger doors outside in the alcove that could be closed to create an easy pass through and the balcony separator was opened so we have one large space to hang out at sail away or just for cocktails before dinner.  The bathroom was large (for a cruise ship) and the shower was walk-in size and nicely oversized by cruise ship standards.  Also, there was no icky shower curtain but rather sliding doors to enclose the shower.  The bed, however, was one of the worst I've ever slept on and the pillows were meager in size and just plain as uncomfortable.  Our room steward was very nice but unfortunately there wasn't much he could do about the bed.  Some of the concierge and higher staterooms offer pillow menus and now I know why that is so important.

 

The sailing we were on was only 3nt, so the clientele was NOT our peer group.   Putting that aside, the cruise was very nice and we learned where and where not to go for quiet space.  The food overall was good and the selection in the Ocean side Cafe was pretty extensive but it was over crowded and hard to get a table the couple of times we tried and there were lots of kids running around like crazed animals.  There is a great selection of alternative dining venues all of which looked amazing, but need to be pre-booked as early as possible.  We tried every day to get into several of them and they were all booked prior to even boarding the ship.  I think it was because of being such a short cruise that made it even harder.  We did get into the Lawn Grill for lunch one day and the burgers were fantastic as was the service and it was also a nice quiet area of the ship and worth every penny of the $15 cover charge.

 

The drink packages and the drinks themselves are incredibly over priced.  4 drinks at the bar were over $50!  Outrageous!!  I've been on more than 125 cruises and consider Celebrity's pricing vs. quantity of the drink to be on par with what I would expect at a Four Seasons or Ritz Carlton, NOT on a Celebrity cruise.  Wine is allowed to be carried on, one bottle per person, so if you have more in your group sailing, you can bring one for each person in the cabin.  Handy we had my parents with us so we were able to bring on 4 bottles.  You can also bring wine back to your cabin from the ports of call, however spirits and beer are taken at security and delivered to your cabin the last night of the cruise.

 

We found the Elite benefits from Celebrity to be very nice, even for a short cruise.  If you sail regularly on Royal Caribbean, you’re past passenger status transfers over to Celebrity as well.  There is a nice cocktail reception from 5-7 pm in a private area of a lounge.  Canapés were served and you could order any drinks you wanted off the menu including wine, beer and spirits.  If you are looking for a nice atmosphere and a couple of complimentary drinks, don’t miss this event.   Also for Elite guests, we had 90 mins of FREE wi-fi onboard which we didn’t use all of the minutes as the service was VERY slow but then again were bobbing around in the middle of the Ocean, so I didn’t expect lightning fast speeds. 

 

Overall we would sail on this ship again but for a longer sailing.  The shorter sailings (like with other cruise lines) bring out a less mature and sophisticated crowd on board - looked more like a Carnival crowd than a Celebrity crowd.  The ship is beautiful, easy to get around and very comfortable with lots of great spaces to listen to music and relax or have a drink and talk.  I would say this cruise would be best suited for those 35 - 70 (and a young at heart 70) who like a more sophisticated atmosphere but not the price tag of the luxury lines.  Of all the mass market cruise lines, Celebrity is hands down the best all around cruise line.

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Crystal Serenity

October 2016 - 9 Night Autumn In The Maritimes (New York To Quebec) Cruise on Crystal Serenity

The new Gold Standard for Cruising and truly spoiled onboard

We have cruised a lot...and by a lot, I mean more than 200 times and mostly on the Big 7 cruise lines in a variety of cabins from balcony to suites.  We are in our mid-40’s and look forward each year to a special trip that we splurge on.  Prior to this cruise our favorite overall experiences were Oceania and Windstar.  We have now set the Gold Standard to which all future cruises will be compared to.  We LOVED our experience on Crystal and from the moment we stepped into the terminal at NYC all the way through to getting to our cabin, there were smiling faces welcoming us and escorting us to each step. 

 

This was our Anniversary cruise so we selected the Penthouse category on Deck 10 complete with a butler.  Our butler, Damien, greeted us within minutes of arriving to our cabin to show us the features of the cabin, pour us drinks and find out our preferences and expectations for the cruise.  He was warm, welcoming and we looked forward each day to his afternoon canapés and cocktails.  He along with cabin stewardesses, were absolutely fantastic.

 

Our cabin was well appointed and VERY comfortable!  We had a nice size couch and chair where you could look out to the oversized balcony...with actual real patio furniture that was comfortable to lounge in and soak up the views.  The room has two twin bed or they push together to make a large queen size and was one of the most comfortable beds and pillows I've ever experienced on cruise or land.  Nice comfy bathrobes and changing robes were included in the large walk-in closet.  The bathroom was complete with his/her sinks, full size shower and separate jacuzzi tub.  A really cool feature was the speaker in the bathroom pipped in whatever TV show/movie sound from the TV right into the bathroom.

 

The food and service across the ship and at every venue was top notch!  Always warm smiles and attentive service.  The food selection was various and each dish was fantastic.  Prego the Italian restaurant and Silk Road Sushi (by Nobu) are the two most sought after specialty restaurants and require advance reservations.  The main dining room exceeded our expectations with our waiters, Nikola and Alen being the highlight.  There were 4-6 options for every course from appetizer, soup, salad, entrée and dessert.  The breakfast and lunch buffets in the Lido were as extensive as they were varied.  All the food venues across the ship were truly exceptional, of the highest quality and tremendous options…not to mention outstanding taste!  We were truly impressed by the food and service on this cruise and life after the cruise has become very disappointing.  Our first dinner home we looked at each other and lamented as to how much we missed Nikola and Alen…and the amazing meals.

 

There was a variety of shows, lectures and events throughout the day on the ship.  Most impressive was the computer lab with an extensive offering of classes during the cruise.  The library was well stocked with books and movies, which could be taken to your cabin for viewing.  Also, there is a movie theatre onboard that shows a variety of movies and also used for lectures and other events.

 

If there is one constructive feedback to offer, it’s that the wifi is very slow!  There is an hour per day complimentary per person but unless you have a lot of patience or time to spend connecting and for pages to load, you will likely not use all of the time allotted and give up in frustration.  Being working professionals (not retired) we needed to check email during our trip, which was quite cumbersome but given the long port days, it was pretty easy to use wifi in the port.  My suggestion would be to give up on being connected and go spend time eating, drinking and enjoying all the ship has to offer!

 

Crystal is an all-inclusive experience from food to drinks and everything in between.  You would not need to spend another dollar while on onboard except for the obvious/expected things such as shore excursions, casino, spa and onboard shopping.  Tipping is included in the cruise fare but we felt the service was so exceptional that we opted to give our waiters and room butler a little extra at the end of the cruise. 

We can’t wait to book our next Crystal cruise as we were truly spoiled!  Acclimating back to real life after this cruise is very hard and this will be a trip that we will talk about for months and years to come!

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Monarch

December 2015 - December 28, 2015 Cruise on Monarch

Insignia

November 2014 - 10 Night Mayan Mystique (Miami Roundtrip) Cruise on Insignia

Brilliance of the Seas

January 2014 - 4 Night Western Caribbean (Tampa Roundtrip) Cruise on Brilliance of the Seas

Jewel of the Seas

April 2012 - 4 Night Western Caribbean (Tampa roundtrip) Cruise on Jewel of the Seas

Carnival Paradise

January 2012 - 4 Night Western Caribbean (Tampa roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Paradise

Pride of America

May 2011 - 7 Night Hawaii (Honolulu roundtrip) Cruise on Pride of America

Carnival Inspiration

May 2010 - 4 Night Western Caribbean (Tampa roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Inspiration

Celebrity Century

April 2008 - 5 Night Western Caribbean (Miami roundtrip) Cruise on Celebrity Century

Norwegian Gem

October 2007 - 7 Night Western Mediterranean (Barcelona roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Gem

Norwegian Pearl

December 2006 - 4 Night Western Caribbean (Miami roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Pearl

Carnival Sensation

August 2006 - 3 Night Bahamas (Port Canaveral roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Sensation

Costa Concordia (RETIRED) 548

July 2006 - 9 Night Inaugural Cruise (Rome roundtrip) Cruise on Costa Concordia

Freedom of the Seas

June 2006 - 7 Night Western Caribbean (Miami roundtrip) Cruise on Freedom of the Seas

Celebrity Century

March 2006 - 9 Night Eastern Caribbean (Ft. Lauderdale roundtrip) Cruise on Celebrity Century

Veendam

February 2006 - 7 Night Western Caribbean (Tampa roundtrip) Cruise on Veendam

Carnival Inspiration

December 2005 - 4 Night Western Caribbean (Tampa roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Inspiration

Carnival Fantasy

May 2005 - 3 Night Bahamas (Port Canaveral roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Fantasy

Carnival Inspiration

December 2004 - 4 Night Western Caribbean (Tampa roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Inspiration

Carnival Miracle

November 2004 - 2 Night Cruise to Nowhere (Tampa roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Miracle

Carnival Sensation

November 2003 - 4 Night Western Caribbean (Tampa roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Sensation

Wind Surf

March 2003 - 7 Night Southern Caribbean (Barbados to St. Thomas) Cruise on Wind Surf

Carnival Conquest

November 2002 - 4 Night Western Caribbean (New Orleans roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Conquest

Carnival Fantasy

August 2002 - 3 Night Bahamas (Port Canaveral roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Fantasy

Carnival Sensation

October 2001 - 7 Night Western Caribbean (Tampa roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Sensation

Jubilee (RETIRED) 20041

August 2001 - August 30, 2001 Cruise on Jubilee (RETIRED)

Carnival Fantasy

July 2001 - 4 Night Bahamas (Port Canaveral roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Fantasy

Carnival Spirit

April 2001 - April 27, 2001 Cruise on Carnival Spirit

Celebrity Mercury

March 2001 - 7 Night Eastern Caribbean (Ft. Lauderdale roundtrip) Cruise on Celebrity Mercury

Voyager of the Seas

December 1999 - December 12, 1999 Cruise on Voyager of the Seas

Legend of the Seas

October 1999 - October 22, 1999 Cruise on Legend of the Seas

Sovereign of the Seas (RETIRED) 20000

September 1999 - September 03, 1999 Cruise on Sovereign of the Seas (RETIRED)

Vision of the Seas

June 1999 - June 06, 1999 Cruise on Vision of the Seas

Celebrity Century

December 1998 - December 22, 1998 Cruise on Celebrity Century

Rhapsody of the Seas

September 1998 - September 19, 1998 Cruise on Rhapsody of the Seas

Sovereign of the Seas (RETIRED) 20000

September 1998 - September 04, 1998 Cruise on Sovereign of the Seas (RETIRED)

Empress of the Seas

August 1998 - August 20, 1998 Cruise on Empress of the Seas

Norwegian Encore

Norwegian Encore

Sail date: November 17, 2019

Beautiful ship and fantastic experience

Loved, loved,loved the ship and overall experience! The variety of venues, dining and things to do truly had something for everyone. The ship is beautifully appointed and easy to get around. We loved it so much that we are booking another cruise on the ship!!

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Crystal Serenity

Crystal Serenity

Sail date: October 09, 2016

The new Gold Standard for Cruising and truly spoiled onboard

We have cruised a lot...and by a lot, I mean more than 200 times and mostly on the Big 7 cruise lines in a variety of cabins from balcony to suites.  We are in our mid-40’s and look forward each year to a special trip that we splurge on.  Prior to this cruise our favorite overall experiences were Oceania and Windstar.  We have now set the Gold Standard to which all future cruises will be compared to.  We LOVED our experience on Crystal and from the moment we stepped into the terminal at NYC all the way through to getting to our cabin, there were smiling faces welcoming us and escorting us to each step. 

 

This was our Anniversary cruise so we selected the Penthouse category on Deck 10 complete with a butler.  Our butler, Damien, greeted us within minutes of arriving to our cabin to show us the features of the cabin, pour us drinks and find out our preferences and expectations for the cruise.  He was warm, welcoming and we looked forward each day to his afternoon canapés and cocktails.  He along with cabin stewardesses, were absolutely fantastic.

 

Our cabin was well appointed and VERY comfortable!  We had a nice size couch and chair where you could look out to the oversized balcony...with actual real patio furniture that was comfortable to lounge in and soak up the views.  The room has two twin bed or they push together to make a large queen size and was one of the most comfortable beds and pillows I've ever experienced on cruise or land.  Nice comfy bathrobes and changing robes were included in the large walk-in closet.  The bathroom was complete with his/her sinks, full size shower and separate jacuzzi tub.  A really cool feature was the speaker in the bathroom pipped in whatever TV show/movie sound from the TV right into the bathroom.

 

The food and service across the ship and at every venue was top notch!  Always warm smiles and attentive service.  The food selection was various and each dish was fantastic.  Prego the Italian restaurant and Silk Road Sushi (by Nobu) are the two most sought after specialty restaurants and require advance reservations.  The main dining room exceeded our expectations with our waiters, Nikola and Alen being the highlight.  There were 4-6 options for every course from appetizer, soup, salad, entrée and dessert.  The breakfast and lunch buffets in the Lido were as extensive as they were varied.  All the food venues across the ship were truly exceptional, of the highest quality and tremendous options…not to mention outstanding taste!  We were truly impressed by the food and service on this cruise and life after the cruise has become very disappointing.  Our first dinner home we looked at each other and lamented as to how much we missed Nikola and Alen…and the amazing meals.

 

There was a variety of shows, lectures and events throughout the day on the ship.  Most impressive was the computer lab with an extensive offering of classes during the cruise.  The library was well stocked with books and movies, which could be taken to your cabin for viewing.  Also, there is a movie theatre onboard that shows a variety of movies and also used for lectures and other events.

 

If there is one constructive feedback to offer, it’s that the wifi is very slow!  There is an hour per day complimentary per person but unless you have a lot of patience or time to spend connecting and for pages to load, you will likely not use all of the time allotted and give up in frustration.  Being working professionals (not retired) we needed to check email during our trip, which was quite cumbersome but given the long port days, it was pretty easy to use wifi in the port.  My suggestion would be to give up on being connected and go spend time eating, drinking and enjoying all the ship has to offer!

 

Crystal is an all-inclusive experience from food to drinks and everything in between.  You would not need to spend another dollar while on onboard except for the obvious/expected things such as shore excursions, casino, spa and onboard shopping.  Tipping is included in the cruise fare but we felt the service was so exceptional that we opted to give our waiters and room butler a little extra at the end of the cruise. 

We can’t wait to book our next Crystal cruise as we were truly spoiled!  Acclimating back to real life after this cruise is very hard and this will be a trip that we will talk about for months and years to come!

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Celebrity Reflection

Celebrity Reflection

Sail date: May 26, 2019

Exceptional cruise in all aspects - one of our best yet!

Overall this was a vacation we won't soon forget - beautiful scenery, warm and attentive service, and outstanding food. We loved everything about this cruise and would book it again in a heartbeat. The Norwegian Fjords are very similar to Alaska as far as scenery but also very different and so glad that we have been lucky enough to experience and compare both destinations. Of all the cruise lines and ships that we have sailed on (over 100) I have to say this is one of my favorites

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Norwegian Joy

Norwegian Joy

Sail date: April 26, 2019

Beautifully done, large ship with lots of options

This is beautifully recently renovated for the US market ship with lots of things to do for all ages. The virtual reality area had lots of games and things to do as well as an F1 simulator. The food was excellent across all venues and service was warm and with a smile albeit a little slow in certain venues while they worked out the new ship kinks. The Observation Lounge is a great place in Alaska to view wildlife and scenery and lots of seating along with Starbucks and a bar. This is a large ship and while it can be a challenge to find people as there is no central area that people stroll through, each of the venues is very well done and uniquely themed. One tip if you are in a hallway of cabins, the fish in the carpeting always swim toward the front of the ship, so if you aren't sure which way you are going, just look down and see which way the fish are swimming.

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Eurodam

Eurodam

Sail date: September 01, 2018

Overall nice trip, but ship/line definitely cater to an older demographic

Let me start by saying that we loved Alaska!! We really enjoyed being on a smaller ship as everything seems more accessible and fast/easy to get to, but there are some trade-offs with smaller ships. Foremost amongst the differences, was no place in the evening to hang out and enjoy live music as a lounge/background music environment. BB Kings offered live music every night, but unless you got there early, it was standing room only. The dance floor in this venue is very small and it's realy more of a concert than anything else. The crows nest was very nice and quiet, but no live music and wasn't really geared up for the evening - the lighting was bright and harsh and service was spotty when seated/relaxing. Also, there is no disco or evening dance/party venue. Other HAL ships have a disco, but on Eurodam the same space is now the Gallery Bar off the casino. Very nice place and we really enjoyed the Galley Bar and spent a lot of time there as the service was great (thanks to Joey) but again, there was no music or craic as the Irish say. If you are looking for dancing, this is not the ship to be on. The Lincoln Center Stage concerts were nice and the musicians were very talented, but a lot of the senior citizens fell asleep and started snoring. The area where Lincoln Center Stage was, is set up like a concert in the middle of a lounge and feels very much like it was an afterthought to better utilize the space.

Stateroom - we had a balcony cabin on deck four port side forward. The plus to the balcony cabins on deck 4 forward are they are a bit larger than other decks, by about 1.5' - 2' in depth. The downside is that from the railing down its steel rather than glass which makes it hard to sit on the balcony and see the water as you can only see in the distance above the railing.

The bedding in the room is horrendous - the pillows were awful as was the mattress itself. My husband and I had a very hard time sleeping every night and not once did we wake up in the morning refreshed and ready to go. In full disclosure, I normally sleep like a baby on a ship and we stayed at the Marriott by Seattle airport the night before our cruise and their pillows/bedding were amazing and the best night sleep we had the entire trip.

There is always the debate of port vs starboard in Alaska and which is preferred. My parents were starboard and we were port and to be honest, I don't think there was a discernable difference between the two on this particular ship and sailing. Wildlife moves, so you never know which side they are going to be on and as for general scenery, both sides were equally beautiful. In Glacier Bay, the ship rotates, so if you aren't in front of the glacier at first, you will be in a while.

Food and Service - two very important aspects of any cruise. We were left feeling "meh" about this part of the cruise. The dining room menu for dinner is pretty pedestrian most of the time - meat, fish, pasta. Nothing that blew our socks off or left us wanting more. The dining room for breakfast and lunch was pretty basic, so we went to the Lido each day. The lido had a nice variety of things, especially at lunchtime. Nice salad bar which I enjoyed every day. The hot menu selections seemed pretty good and there was always something at the carving stations. There were also two specialty sections - Mexican on one side and Indian/Pan-Asian on the other. My husband really enjoyed most of the curries that were offered and I was thankful there was sushi, albeit very limited selection.

We were traveling with my parents and a few of their friends and they all loved the food! They are pretty simple eaters and the basics suit them just fine. My husband and I are more adventurous and look for things that we can't make at home. While we were never left hungry, at times we struggled with the menu. There was only one dining room item (fish and shrimp taco) that was truly superb that I couldn't stop talking about it and even mentioned to the chef on the way out of the dining room.

We did eat in the Pinnacle Grill one evening (the only time we could get in) and while it was nice, was nowhere near the experience I have had previously. We felt like we were rushed through every course - the entire meal only took 45 mins, when in the past, dining there has been an experience. The sommelier, Joseph, was horrible!! He rushed over when we were just being seated and threw an iPad at us to make our selection and then left...didn't come back until just before our main course was being delivered. We asked our waiter for him 3 times and nothing. Finally, my husband got up to get us wine from the Pinnacle Bar just across the way. Joseph finally showed up then and was a condescending a-hole and insulted us for having the drinks package. We actually left the Pinnacle dinner feeling like we had wasted the money and completely underwhelmed by the overall experience.

We purchased our shore excursions through the ShipMate app and loved the whale watching in Juneau - we were on a much smaller vessel than what is sold through the ship. As a result of being on a smaller boat (18 pax) we were able to get closer, longer viewing times and found a large pod of Orca's that the larger boats couldn't get to. In Sitka, there is a free bus that takes you right into town and lots of shopping and a few bars/restaurants. There are also a few shops right at the pier for anyone who doesn't want to take the free shuttle to downtown. In Victoria, there is a paid shuttle to downtown that is $13 pp roundtrip BUT a cab is only $10 flat rate per car. There were 6 of us, so we just grabbed a mini-van cab and saved $68 total. Victoria was a beautiful town that is very walkable - lots of shopping, bars, and restaurants. Ketchikan we only had a few hours in the morning in port, which was not nearly enough time. Great city, very walkable right from the ship and lots to see an do as far as excursions. The itin for this ship could easily trim time off of Juneau (there until 10 pm) and add that time to Ketchikan to make it more balanced.

Overall, Alaska is AMAZING!! We saw tons of wildlife - bears, whales, sea otters, eagles, etc. Ship life on Eurodam is pretty sedate and slow paced. I think HAL is trying to attract a bit younger crowd by adding BB Kings but it's still a senior audience that enjoys the 50's and 60's music. I was glad we selected the Eurodam versus the other choices (Princess or NCL) but the onboard pace and offerings, as well as food, is really geared toward seniors aged 60 and up.

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Brilliance of the Seas

Brilliance of the Seas

Sail date: January 16, 2020

Great ship and even better crew!

We LOVE LOVE LOVE the Brillance of the Seas and this was our 4th or 5th sailing on the ship. The ship is clean, beautifully appointed, lots of great lounges and areas sit and enjoy. The centrum on the ship seems to always have something going on and a great place to hang out. Our sailing was full but there was never a crowd (except by the pool) in any of the public lounges. My only complaint about the ship is the casino - half is smoking and half is non-smoking, but since you can't control where the smoke goes, it's essentially all smoking and you have to walk through it to get to the pub and theater unless you go up/down a deck to get to the front of the ship. Overall we love this ship and have booked another cruise for next year on the same ship and in the same cabin. If you are looking for a great ship, crew and food, you won't be disappointed on Brilliance of the Seas!

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Regal Princess

Regal Princess

Sail date: November 24, 2019

Exceptional cruise in all aspects

Loved everything about the Regal Princess! It’s been 12 years since sailing with Princess and looking forward to booking another one soon. All aspects of the ship were spot on from the crew and staff to food and service to entertainment. Our cabin was lovely and the best room steward I’ve ever had. Super impressed with Princess!!

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Brilliance of the Seas

Brilliance of the Seas

Sail date: January 17, 2019

Beautiful ship, easy to get around and a great weekend getaway

Love this ship and it's a great weekend getaway from Tampa! The ship is clean and comfortable and easy to get around. The cabins are nicely appointed and plenty of storage - good use of space. We love this ship and have been on it several times and have 2 future cruises booked on it as well. On the 4-night weekend sailings, there are two at seas days which are as relaxing or active as you want them to be and lots of onboard activities. There are also several quiet areas as well. The kids' areas are in the back of the ship, so you really don't see/hear the kids unless you are near their area. Royal does a great job on this ship of creating spaces for the kids to utilize and not interfere with adults. My only complaint about this ship and all Royal ships is the casino allows smoking. While there is a small part of the casino that is non-smoking, you have to walk through the smoking area to get to it (defeats the purpose) and frankly the smoke doesn't know it has a boundary and is hard to get away from even in the non-smoking part. Also, to get from the Schooner Bar or aft part of the ship to the front (theatre or pub) you have to go through the smoke filled casino. All casinos on ships should be non-smoking (IMHO)...Celebrity has done this very effectively. If you are flying into Tampa for this cruise, it's easy to get from the airport to the cruise terminal using the cruise line transfer, taxi or Uber/Lyft. If you are driving to the port, parking is directly across from the ship in a large parking garage.

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Seabourn Encore

Seabourn Encore

Sail date: February 21, 2020

Trip of a Lifetime with high marks all around

We loved everything about this cruise and Seabourn Encore is now at the top of our favorite cruise ship list. The crew onboard was fantastic we met a lot of great travelers onboard some of which have become great friends. We only wished that we had more time in a couple of ports, but other than that, everything was exceptional. The coronavirus was just starting to spread to the US and Europe while we were on the cruise and we were hoping at the end of our cruise we would be quarantined on board as we weren't ready to get off the ship even after 16 days onboard. This was the longest cruise we have done and thought it might too long for us, but because there was so much to do in the ports and the onboard/at sea days were so fun (thanks to the new friends we made), we could have easily stayed on for another 7-14 days. Sadly they made us get off the ship! The memories made on this vacation are ones that I will truly cherish. The new friends made, the stories shared and the overall experience of this trip is beyond words. We were so glad that we opted to cruise on a smaller ship like Encore as the personalized service and more intimate experience was exactly what we had hoped for with this vacation. This was truly a trip of a lifetime for us and I highly recommend to anyone that will stand still long enough to hear about it. My husband and I both agreed that we could easily live in New Zealand or Australia and it would be hard to decide between the two given the opportunity.

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Celebrity Silhouette

Celebrity Silhouette

Sail date: January 19, 2017

For a larger ship, it was beautiful and would love to sail on her longer

Over all, the Silhouette is a beautiful ship and we would love to sail on her for a 7nt or longer cruise in the future.  We were in a balcony stateroom (cabin 9233), which was spacious and nice, but not nearly enough drawer or storage space, although the closet was larger than expected.  The cabin location was fantastic as it was mid-ship with a nice sized balcony and very close to the elevators.  Our cabin was also adjoining with 9235 (my parents cabin) but the adjoining portion was a the front doors with larger doors outside in the alcove that could be closed to create an easy pass through and the balcony separator was opened so we have one large space to hang out at sail away or just for cocktails before dinner.  The bathroom was large (for a cruise ship) and the shower was walk-in size and nicely oversized by cruise ship standards.  Also, there was no icky shower curtain but rather sliding doors to enclose the shower.  The bed, however, was one of the worst I've ever slept on and the pillows were meager in size and just plain as uncomfortable.  Our room steward was very nice but unfortunately there wasn't much he could do about the bed.  Some of the concierge and higher staterooms offer pillow menus and now I know why that is so important.

 

The sailing we were on was only 3nt, so the clientele was NOT our peer group.   Putting that aside, the cruise was very nice and we learned where and where not to go for quiet space.  The food overall was good and the selection in the Ocean side Cafe was pretty extensive but it was over crowded and hard to get a table the couple of times we tried and there were lots of kids running around like crazed animals.  There is a great selection of alternative dining venues all of which looked amazing, but need to be pre-booked as early as possible.  We tried every day to get into several of them and they were all booked prior to even boarding the ship.  I think it was because of being such a short cruise that made it even harder.  We did get into the Lawn Grill for lunch one day and the burgers were fantastic as was the service and it was also a nice quiet area of the ship and worth every penny of the $15 cover charge.

 

The drink packages and the drinks themselves are incredibly over priced.  4 drinks at the bar were over $50!  Outrageous!!  I've been on more than 125 cruises and consider Celebrity's pricing vs. quantity of the drink to be on par with what I would expect at a Four Seasons or Ritz Carlton, NOT on a Celebrity cruise.  Wine is allowed to be carried on, one bottle per person, so if you have more in your group sailing, you can bring one for each person in the cabin.  Handy we had my parents with us so we were able to bring on 4 bottles.  You can also bring wine back to your cabin from the ports of call, however spirits and beer are taken at security and delivered to your cabin the last night of the cruise.

 

We found the Elite benefits from Celebrity to be very nice, even for a short cruise.  If you sail regularly on Royal Caribbean, you’re past passenger status transfers over to Celebrity as well.  There is a nice cocktail reception from 5-7 pm in a private area of a lounge.  Canapés were served and you could order any drinks you wanted off the menu including wine, beer and spirits.  If you are looking for a nice atmosphere and a couple of complimentary drinks, don’t miss this event.   Also for Elite guests, we had 90 mins of FREE wi-fi onboard which we didn’t use all of the minutes as the service was VERY slow but then again were bobbing around in the middle of the Ocean, so I didn’t expect lightning fast speeds. 

 

Overall we would sail on this ship again but for a longer sailing.  The shorter sailings (like with other cruise lines) bring out a less mature and sophisticated crowd on board - looked more like a Carnival crowd than a Celebrity crowd.  The ship is beautiful, easy to get around and very comfortable with lots of great spaces to listen to music and relax or have a drink and talk.  I would say this cruise would be best suited for those 35 - 70 (and a young at heart 70) who like a more sophisticated atmosphere but not the price tag of the luxury lines.  Of all the mass market cruise lines, Celebrity is hands down the best all around cruise line.

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AmaCerto

AmaCerto

Sail date: December 21, 2015

Amazing experience and fantastic food/service

Going into this cruise, we had no idea what to expect other than what we read in the brochure and online.  Overall we were completely blown away!  The cabins are nicely appointed.  We are were on Cello deck and had a balcony as well as french balcony.  Since it was December, I thought we wouldn't spend much time out there.  We were pleasantly surprised the weather was quite nice and it was great to sit out there in the morning and evening.  The room was nicely appointed with a good size shower, more like what you find in a boutique hotel.  There was plenty of closet and drawer space as well.  The best part and most memorable on-board was the food and service!  The soups were to die for!  Overall the food was fantastic at every meal with lots of local favorites and truly something for everyone!  The staff across all areas of the ship were superior with warm, friendly smiles and greeting us by name.  It always amazes me that they can remember our names.  The ports of call or should I say, stops along the river were interesting and a nice selection of shore excursions are included.  Again, there is truly something for everyone.  We are in our 40's and among the youngest on-board, but there were several families with kids mostly high school and college age.  I would highly recommend AMA Waterways to anyone interested in river cruising.  It's the right balance of luxury without being stuffy.  We can't wait to book our next river cruise on AMA! 

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Harmony of the Seas

Harmony of the Seas

Sail date: June 09, 2018

Large ship = large everything else

The ship is beautiful...very large, but beautiful. The food and service was excellent and we were very impressed with the selection/variety of food around the ship during the day as well as for dinner. Late nigh options, not so much as only pizza and small snack type sandwiches (pre-made) were the only things available late at night or you can order via room service for a fee. You need to make arrangements prior to boarding for all your evening entertainment and shows. If you don't have reservations ahead of time, then you need to wait in line until just before the start of the show to see if there are extra seats available. You can also use the Royal IQ app while onboard to book dining and activities that are available. If you are use to sailing on smaller ships, be warned this ship is very large and with that comes lots of people and lines for things. The Windjammer at breakfast and lunch was a complete and utter madhouse so many days we went to the dining room where they offered the options to order off the menu as well as a nice buffet option with nice selections and salad bar. There was no nightclub on this ship which seems very strange for ship this large. There was a multi-use room, The Attic, which was used as a night club but the atmosphere was all wrong and the lighting was not really set up for this purpose. With most ships you find the public areas, especially entertainment venues cooler and many times needed a sweater...that was NOT the case on this ship. It was actually hard to find places that were cool/cold as there are so many doors that open to the outside that it was hard to find a place to cool off. Even the cabins on the coldest settings were not all that cold. The cabins are nicely appointed and the rooms alternate bed by the balcony doors or sofa by the balcony doors. I think this was done specifically to cut down on the transfer of noise from room to room. We were traveling with several cabins of family, all of us in a row and never heard any noise while in the cabin. The balconies offer dividers/privacy but part can be opened up (if you want) so that we could all talk and enjoy the outside area together. This was also super helpful when/if you got locked out of your cabin, you could go in one room and then use the balcony to access another room. All the cabins do offer hair dryers, but if you have a lot of hair then it can take a long time using the small hair dryer provided. Also if you are picky about your hair dryer, bring your own as the one provided is pretty gut less. There is only one electrical outlet by the bed, so if you have medical devices or phones to charge, be sure to ask for an extension cord or multi-plug. You can bring your own, but be sure to put in your checked luggage, not your carry on. Overall the ship is great for families and multi-generational groups as there is truly something for everyone. As a avid cruiser, I have to say this large of a ship is not really my cup of tea, but I was glad I experienced as it reaffirmed my need to be on a smaller or mid-size ship.

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Celebrity Infinity

Celebrity Infinity

Sail date: November 01, 2018

Ship in need of update and overall just average all the way around

The ship is in desperate needs of refurbishment and is scheduled for 2020, but not sure she can hang on that long. There are some public areas that are very nice and modering feeling (Martini Bar, Rendevous Lounge) and then there are other public areas that are worn and beaten up like the Oceanview Grill (Lido). The food and service are hit and miss. The quality of the food is very good...lots of variety across all the restaurants and buffets. There was a carving station or two every day in the Oceanview Cafe (buffet) for lunch and 3-4 carving stations at dinner time. In the restaurants, the service was hit and miss, but the quality of the food was very good albeit VERY small portions. Everyone in our group ended up ordering 3 or 4 things off the menu most of the time or having to reorder as some dishes were just a whisper of food rather than an actual portion. We upgraded to Sky Suite but didn't get all the amenities that were included with this class. We will be writing to Celebrity directly to let them know. The drinks package is definitely worth it, but the staff throughout the ship is constantly trying to get you to upgrade the package or buy specialty dining package or something...felt a little like a flea market at times with the crew trying to sell you stuff. The air conditioning is very inconsistent throughout the ship and cabins. Our cabin was ridiculously warm most of the time even after calling several times. I think there are major issues with the AC on this ship. Overall this is a nice weekend away but the ship doesn't live up to the same standards as other Celebrity ships. Compared to other cruise lines 4-5 night cruise product, this one is still the best one out there (IMHO) and the ship will be fantastic after the huge renovation happening in 2020.

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MSC Meraviglia

MSC Meraviglia

Sail date: November 21, 2019

Lots of room for improvement

Very disappointed in the overall experience. The food and service were horrible and the clientele onboard were unruly and incredibly rude and ship staff did nothing about it. We spoke to about a dozen or more crew who were all looking to leave MSC and go to Royal Caribbean as they said they were treated badly onboard. It was VERY apparent throughout the ship the staff and crew were not happy. We are ready to get off the ship the first day and so happy it was only a 3 night cruise, which was 2 days too many.

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Cruise tips

Oban (Halfmoon Bay), New Zealand

Oban on Steward Island is a sleepy town on the island. This port is a tender ride to a dock and then a long uphill walk into town or there is a shuttle van that will take you complimentary. There are several shore excursion options that looked neat, but honestly, we were so tired by the time we got to this port we just took it easy and walked around the town and then back to the ship.

Sydney, Australia

LOVE LOVE LOVED Sydney and spend 3 days here post cruise which still wasn't enough to see and do everything this city has to offer. We missed the Fish Market and after seeing friends pictures wished we had time to go. If your cruise starts or ends in this port, be sure to spend at least 3-4 days to see as much as possible. The Hop On/Hop Off bus is a great way to see a lot of the sites and the public train/tram is easy to use as well.

Phillip Island, Australia

Cute island that has some cool stops on a tour; Philip Island is also accessible from Melbourne (2 hr drive) so if your cruise doesn't stop here, you can still see the Fairy Penguins via a shore excursion in the evening.

Akaroa, New Zealand

Great little seaside down that is very walkable. We did a boat cruise to see Hector's Dolphins as well as seals and penguins - saw all of them. Great day on the water and the tour operator had a great capital and naturalist onboard who was very educational as well as entertaining. Loved our day in Akaroa!

Picton, New Zealand

Very cute town that is walkable from the port and has some great shops as well as a couple of grocery stores. We did a wine tour where we visited 6 wineries and had lunch at one of them. If we were to go back, I think I would take the Hop On/Hop Off bus as that goes all over the area and you can spend as much time as you want at favorite spots and some great hidden gems.

Eden, Australia

Not much to do here and not many shore ex options; we took the shuttle bus into the town and walked around but most of the shops and restaurants were closed for the day. This port is known for it's oysters and our tour was canceled as there was a large (Carnival) ship in the day prior and all the passengers ate all the oysters that had been harvested. We did find a little restaurant a short walk from the pier where we had lunch and the oysters they had were terrible compared to the oysters we get in the US. It was still a fun day all things considered.

Tauranga, New Zealand

We rented a car and drove over to Rotorua and spent the day at Skyline Rotorua doing the luge tracks which was great fun. They also have a beautiful restaurant at the top with great views of the lake.

Wellington, New Zealand

This port was sort of meh for us...it's just a big city (the Capital) and too busy for our liking. We did a shore excursion to see the seals and it was a miserable ride cooped up in the back of a Land Cruiser with 5 other people all fighting for leg and elbow space. By the time we got to the seals (1.5-2 hr ride) there were like 5 of them on the beach. Total waste of time and there were other ports on the cruise were there were seals all over the place and much easier to get to. If you like museums, there are several to choose from as well as beautiful botanical gardens.

Melbourne, Australia

For a large city, it is VERY clean and well laid out. We spend the day with a private tour out to Healesville Animal Sanctuary and then to a few wineries. Love the animal sanctuary and the wineries were all beautiful with great wines. We did wish we had more time to explore the city and it would have been nice to have an overnight at this port or a longer day.

Cruise Milford Sound

We were very lucky to have great weather for our time in Milford Sound. It was early morning through this area but the sun was shining and it was really beautiful scenery.

Port Chalmers (Dunedin), New Zealand

By far our favorite port/stop in New Zealand and wished we had more time or an overnight to explore all that Dunedin offers. We did a tour with Experience Dunedin on a modified 5 person motorcycle and the owner/guide was fantastic and it was a great way to see the city. Downtown Dunedin has lots of ships and stores as well as a couple of breweries we wished we had time to explore. Beautiful city!

Cruise Fjordland National Park

With more than 6 meters of waterfall annually, it was very unusual to have a sunny day in Fjordland National Park. The waterfalls were gorgeous and the glaciers in the backdrop made it feel very much like Alaska or Norway. There is no port here, just cruising although there is a zodiac tour from the ship to explore more of the area.

Auckland, New Zealand

A bustling city that is very walkable. If you are starting or ending your cruise in Auckland spend a couple of days as there is a lot to see and do and great restaurants and beautiful marina area.

Seabourn Encore

Seabourn Encore

Deck 5 balconies are steel bottom with only a small part of class before the railing; deck 6 and higher the full balcony is glass below the railing. In colder climates the shelter provided on deck 5 balconies may be preferred

Cozumel, Mexico

There are lots of shops right at the pier where the ship docks so you don't need to take a taxi to Downtown unless you really want - there are all the same shops right at the pier. We love Nachicocom Beach Club as it's small (100 people max) and all-inclusive.

Tampa, Florida

For those driving to the port, the parking garage is across the street and a quick easy walk to the port. There is valet parking at the terminal and it's only a few dollars more than self-parking. For our 4-night cruise self-parking was $60 and valet was only $80.

Brilliance of the Seas

Brilliance of the Seas

Don't be afraid of choosing an older ship in the fleet! The Brilliance is easy to get around, comfortable public areas, great food and service and one of our favorite ships!

MSC Meraviglia

MSC Meraviglia

Expect everything to be done in 6 languages and have low expectations for food and service.

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

We rented a boat with St Thomas Cycle Boats and has a great time. Lots of shopping at the pier with all the same stories as downtown. Renting a boat and going to any of the close by islands is great fun. Also lots of great snorkeling areas!!

Princess Cays (Cruise Line Private Island)

Very relaxing day but the beach area is pretty small. We rented a cabana and expected it to be larger with a private bathroom and sitting area but only a small table and 4 chairs inside. Super small in total size and some of them poorly located.

Regal Princess

Regal Princess

Download the app and familiarize yourself with all the options in the app. Also make sure you complete all the precruise stuff to expedite boarding using the medallion.

Norwegian Encore

Norwegian Encore

Book specialty dining, shows and activities as early as possible as they fill up quickly!!

Geiranger, Norway

One of our favorite stops that has a very popular hop on/hop off bus to take you to the major highlights and a breathtaking view at the very top, which is the last stop on the bus. We discovered after we purchased the hop on/off tour tickets that they offer Twizy rentals which if you haven't done one, looks like a lot of fun...it's basically an enclosed golf cart that holds 2 people but you sit front/back of each other rather than side by side. They looked like great fun and wished we had seen this option instead.

Olden, Norway

Highly recommend purchasing a shore excursion at this port as there isn't much in the way of "city center" at this port. There are two or three small shops across the street from the ship, but they had all the same things as the stores in previously ports. We heard from a few people on board the glacier excursion was excellent, but did not experience it ourselves and regretted it after hearing about it.

Bergen, Norway

Bergen was the largest of all ports that we visited and the city center is just a short walk away. The fjord cruise was outstanding with spectacular waterfalls and scenery. There are tons of seafood stands to get a bit to eat as you stroll around the marina which the city center is built around.

Dublin, Ireland

Lots of things to do in Dublin and highly recommend a few nights pre and /or post. At least one day is needed just to do the highlights of Dublin and would recommend another one or two for additional exploring time. The city center is very walkable and lots of great pubs and shopping.

Belfast, Northern Ireland

The main draw in Belfast is the Titanic museum and it's very easy to take a cab from the port to the museum for about $7-10 Euros. Be sure to book your tickets ahead of time as they are time slotted and in the mornings all the time slots sell out, so if you wait to purchase tickets at the door you may not have enough time to see everything. Also, be sure to purchase the audio headset as that is a great way to learn about all the artifacts and displays in the museum.

Alesund, Norway

A beautiful port city that is very walkable with lots of great shops.

Celebrity Reflection

Celebrity Reflection

We loved this cruise in all aspects...food, service, cabin. I wouldn't hesitate to book another cruise on this ship!

Norwegian Joy

Norwegian Joy

This is a great ship for families with kids of all ages

Cozumel, Mexico

Lots of shopping options right off the ship at International Pier so you don't have to go downtown to find all your souvenirs, booze, jewelry, etc. There are also several restaurants on the pier like Bubba Gump, Carlos and Charlies, and Margaritaville.

Tampa, Florida

Love port of Tampa...easy embarkation and quick walk from the parking garage over to the ship. Parking is $15 per day and valet is $20 per day.

Brilliance of the Seas

Brilliance of the Seas

Great ship overall and easy layout and size to get around.

Celebrity Infinity

Celebrity Infinity

Do NOT select/accept a handicap accessible stateroom unless you really are handicap otherwise you may end up handicap by the end of the cruise!

MSC Seaside

MSC Seaside

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Eurodam

Eurodam

Nice ship but definitely caters to an older clientele (seniors) when it comes to decor, food and activities

Harmony of the Seas

Harmony of the Seas

Be sure you are ready for a large ship experience - with more than 5,000 people onboard the odds are you will not see the same people twice, but you will have a lot of venues and things to do onboard

Nassau, Bahamas

Nassau is Nassau...when there are several ships in, it's crowded, noisy and lots of hustle and bustle. You can take the $1 bus and get out the Cable Beach pretty easily, but if you plan on going to a resort, make sure you have arranged a day pass unless you are just going to the casino. Resort for a Day offers a lot of different day passes at local hotels and we loved the Warwick which is brand new and all inclusive.

Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Florida

Easy and quick cab ride from the airport to the ship. For those driving parking at the port is only $15 per day and you pay when you leave. There are also less expensive parking options off port with bus service to drop off and pick up. Also the major car rental companies pick up and drop off at the port as well directly to your ship.

Celebrity Silhouette

Celebrity Silhouette

If you enjoy your daily cocktails/wine/beer the drink package is definitely worth considering as drink prices are very high on this ship - 4 drinks was over $50!! Be sure to book your alternative dining reservations as early as possible to ensure the best times and you get in.

AmaCerto

AmaCerto

Make sure you have a french balcony and/or full balcony - it's nice to have the fresh air and quiet space to enjoy the scenery.

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