Third Mate

Hometown: Waukegan
Joined: 11/02/2013
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About LoveCruising55

We love to cruise - it's an inexpensive way to travel and very relaxing - the choice is always ours whether or not to leave the ship. Our dream is to one day cruise with our children and grandchildren



LoveCruising55's Past Cruises

MSC Divina

November 2014 - MSC Divina to Caribbean - Eastern

Wonderful experience on MSC Divina

This was our 6th cruise - the first on MSC and we would DEFINITELY cruise with them again.  The ship is relatively new (2 years), beautifully maintained and beautiful overall.  The staff is friendly, but in some cases has a hard time understanding English. We found the food delicious and the portions were normal sized portions  (not Americanized huge portions).  If you want more, ask for it.  The buffet had different choices everyday and the food was very good but it is very spread out - the pizza is to die for!  The breads were absolutely fantastic!  Entertainment on board was fabulous - the shows were well done, professional and different than most you see on a cruise ship.   The entertainers in the Divina Lounge in the evenings (the Amsterdam trio (violin, cello, piano) were fabulous and the piano player Luis was wonderful as well.  Highly recommend.  There weren't bar staff attacking everytime we sat down.  They would ask if we wanted anything, and if we said no, they would leave us alone.......what a breath of fresh air.    The drinks were reasonably priced.   They did not have silly poolside games everyday (another refreshing change)  but they did have plenty of activities to keep people busy.  Our steward was fabulous - we couldn't have asked for better service.  The overhead announcements were few and far between - and only when necessary - another pleasant change.  They didn't announce every little thing going on - they left some of that up to the passengers.   They weren't trying to sell something everytime you turned around. They had plenty for sale, but announced it in the daily paper and kept it all contained where is wasn't in the main area where passengers are trying to walk.  Disembarkation was a breeze - other lines should take lessons from MSC.

There are a few negatives - the embarkation process is extremely disorganized and wall to wall people pushing to board when it's not time for them yet.  Guest services on embarkation day kept closing down stations while the line was getting longer and longer.  The advertised a piano bar (la luna) but it was actually two karaoke singers with a click track.  Yes, there is a piano, but they never used it.  The jazz bar advertised jazz music that was really reggae.  The "adults only" area was an additional charge of $10.00 per day but that wasn't made known until later.  There was a show we wanted to see that was to start at 4:15, but the group using that lounge ran over by 15 minutes making everything else late.  It seemed the crew (including officers) that were walking around the ship had no desire to communicate with the passengers.  They rarely said anything unless the passengers spoke to them first.  This may be a European thing, but it was bothersome for me.  In some cases, bar staff was hard to find, but I'd rather have it that way than to have them hawking every 10 seconds.

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Explorer of the Seas

October 2013 - Explorer of the Seas to Bermuda

Very relaxing

The ship is beautiful and most of the crew is fabulous. The itinerary was awesome - 2-1/2 days at sea and three days on Bermuda was awesome.  Kudos to RCI for this itinerary.  Our cabin steward was second to none.  He was fabulous!

Having cruised on Carnival and NCL previously, I had expected RCI to be a step above and it just wasn't.  From what I had heard, RCI was worth the extra $$.

The food in the Windjammer was adequate, but with few exceptions, pretty much the same every day.  The food in the dining room was good, but not superb and I found having a section of food you can order in the dining room for an extra charge a bit overdone since they have restaurants on board you pay extra for. Keep the extra charge food there.  Having to pay for fresh squeezed orange juice was a bit much as well, especially since no one said anything about paying for it before you were asked if you wanted it.  Concentrate was included, but fresh squeezed was a charge.  It seemed like everywhere you turned there was something else they want you to pay for, such as at the Cafe Promenade - snacks, light food, coffee, etc, but within the Cafe is Starbucks and Ben and Jerry's, both at a cost.  

I did find, however, if you wanted to have an adult beverage the prices were pretty comparable to being on land.  That was a pleasant surprise

The boarding process leaves something to be desired. No one at the gangway to meet you and give instruction.  The waiting areas for disembarkation was disorganized and lacked seating for many people.  I know they are in the business of making money, but keep the "money making" propositions off to the side - let the passengers that have come on board to relax be able to do that without having someone selling something every time you turn around.  I also found someone yelling "Washy, Washy" everytime we entered the Windjammer to be quite annoying.  Overall, it was probably the most relaxing vacation we've ever had, but I credit the itinerary for that.  RCI.... your ship was gorgeous, but your service was not at all what we expected.

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Carnival Miracle

December 2009 - Carnival Miracle to Caribbean - Southern

Carnival Inspiration

December 2004 - Carnival Inspiration to Caribbean - Western


February 2002 - Norway to Caribbean - Southern

LoveCruising55's Tips

MSC Divina MSC Divina - Be sure to listen to the trio in the Divina lounge - they are fantastic!
MSC Divina MSC Divina - Infinity Pool area - great place to hang out and the Divina Lounge in the evening to listen to Luis and the Amsterdam Trio
Explorer of the Seas Explorer of the Seas - Use the outside deck to walk from end to end - less people and a gorgeous view

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received a helpful vote on their Explorer of the Seas cruise review - Very relaxing

added Basseterre, St. Kitts to their favorites on their profile.

added King's Wharf, Bermuda to their favorites on their profile.

added Feb 12, 2002 cruise on Norway (RETIRED) to their profile.

added Dec 3, 2009 cruise on Carnival Miracle to their profile.

added Dec 8, 2004 cruise on Carnival Inspiration to their profile.

shared a quick tip for MSC Divina"Be sure to listen to the trio in the Divina lounge - they are fantastic!"

shared a quick tip for MSC Divina"Infinity Pool area - great place to hang out and the Divina Lounge in the evening to listen to Luis and the Amsterdam Trio"

reviewed their Caribbean - Eastern cruise on MSC Divina and gave it 4 stars!

checked into November 29, 2014 cruise on MSC Divina roll call and is traveling with 1 other guest. Interested in meeting:- Other couples