Second Mate
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Joined 12/2015






Helpful Votes

Teacher and traveler.

Past Cruises

Liberty of the Seas

March 2018 - 7 Night Western Caribbean (Galveston Roundtrip) Cruise on Liberty of the Seas

Norwegian Breakaway

July 2017 - 7 Night Bermuda (New York Roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Breakaway

Independence of the Seas

June 2017 - 12 Night Canaries Adventure (Southampton Roundtrip) Cruise on Independence of the Seas

Norwegian Breakaway

March 2017 - 7 Night Bahamas & Florida (New York Roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Breakaway

Celebrity Equinox

July 2016 - 7 Night Greece & Turkey (Athens To Istanbul) Cruise on Celebrity Equinox

Celebrity Equinox

July 2016 - 7 Night Mediterranean (Barcelona To Athens) Cruise on Celebrity Equinox

Celebrity Constellation

March 2016 - 5 Night Western Caribbean (Ft. Lauderdale Roundtrip) Cruise on Celebrity Constellation

Celebrity Eclipse

July 2015 - 14 Night Scandinavia & Russia (Southampton Roundtrip) Cruise on Celebrity Eclipse

Nieuw Amsterdam

August 2014 - 12 Night Mediterranean Tapestry (Barcelona To Venice) Cruise on Nieuw Amsterdam

Norwegian Sky

March 2014 - 4 Night Bahamas (Miami Roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Sky

Norwegian Star

February 2012 - 7 Night Western Caribbean (Tampa roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Star

Cruise Tips

Funchal, Madeira

Had a great day in Funchal! We walked to a cable car station from the ship (about 2-3 km?) and rode it up the mountain. The views up were great! At the top, there are a couple options for botanical gardens. We went to the Monte Palace Tropical Gardens. They were beautiful! (Warning: A lot of climbing stairs and uneven paths) It ended further down the mountain with a complimentary wine tasting, but skipped that and walked back to the top through the shady gardens to get to the wicker toboggans (carreiros do monte) to ride down. The wait was about 30 minutes, but well worth it! Definitely do this! We took a cab down the rest of the way. Everything we did was cash-only, but thankfully we found the one ATM atop the monte.

Marseille (Provence), France

Took an excursion that brought us a couple hours into mainland Provence and it was breathtaking! We stopped at three hillside towns that were each gorgeous. Even the trip on the coach had stunning views of the countryside.

Nassau, Bahamas

If you don't do an excursion, the city itself isn't very spectacular. The same stuff at most is the stands in the straw market, the same watch and jewelry stores up and down the main shopping street... Basically what you find on most of the other islands in the Caribbean.

Great Stirrup Cay (Cruiseline Private Island), Bahamas

It's convenient that you can use your Seapass card for drinks and that the buffet is included (since it's the cruise line's private island), but the tendering process and getting time tickets for tenders (NCL) is annoying. Planning ahead for tenders goes directly against why I love cruising: relaxing and not worrying about the small stuff. But that's just me.

Port Canaveral, Florida

The port isn't near much so you need a cab/Uber, rental, or excursion to get places. There's potentially a lot to do there, but the problem specifically with our stop there on Norwegian was that there wasn't enough time in port to make an excursion to Disney, Universal, or NASA cost effective. In the future I'd just go into Coco Beach again.

Salerno (Naples), Italy

I didn't see the port, but the excursions in this region are amazing. I've done both Pompeii and Herculaneum. Pompeii is massive (and very little shade!), but a must-see. Herculaneum is a much more contained site and they're actually re-building some of the ancient structures there to help you visualize what they would've looked like 2,000 years ago. Both are impressive.

Tenerife, Canary Islands

Santa Cruz de Tenerife is a nice city to walk through. Plenty of parks and plazas to enjoy. García Sanabria Park was my favorite--different flowers and trees, sculptures, fountains...a nice break from the city.

Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands

A great port! World-class beaches, good food, drinks, and shopping all within steps of the port! We spent the day on Playa Las Canteras--a 3 km beach--that's across the very narrow peninsula from the ship's port. Canteras ranged from very calm waters with light-sand and a mixed family-friendly crowd to the north, to a volcanic black sand beach more popular with teens and LGBT further south, and more active waters with surfers at the very southern end. The boardwalk along the beach is filled with tapas bars. The view of the city from the southern point of the beach is worth the 3 km walk.

Lanzarote, Canary Islands

Wished we'd done an excursion to a volcano, but made the most of the day. About a mile walk into town (Arrecife) from the port--all on one sidewalk, so it wasn't complicated. A couple of historic sites on the seafront (an old drawbridge and castle) and some shopping. Some high-end stores, cafes, outlets, and souvenir shops, so there's something for everyone.

Kotor, Montenegro

Kotor is a hidden gem of Mediterranean ports. The sail into (and out of) the Bay of Kotor is gorgeous, and the town itself is charming and historic. Inside the easily-walkable fortifications are many shops and cafes, as well as the 900 year old Cathedral of St. Tryphon. The hike up the Mount of St. John is very worthwhile, as the ruins of the ancient Castle of St. John and the views from the top are spectacular!

Lisbon, Portugal

Beautiful city. We booked a "Hop On, Hop Off" bus which picked us up right at port. I've been on them in other cities with great success, but in Lisbon it seems to be more of a "stay on" tour bus. There were very few stops to actually catch another bus after we hopped off. So we instead walked for several miles, rode a funicular, looked at plazas, at at a café, and enjoyed the city.

Vigo, Spain

Didn't do an excursion. The town was easy to walk around with several shops and cafés to stop in. For the adventurous, the climb to the top of Monte de O Castro (the easily seen green area up the hill from the port) is fun. Rigorous walk with hundreds of steps and inclines, but the ruins and gardens and the top were nice and the panoramic view was beautiful.

Genoa, Italy

Unfortunately we didn't have time to explore Genoa because we did an all-day, highly recommended, excursion to Cinque Terre. We stopped at the of the five towns. Each was beautiful and unique from the others. Plenty of leisure time in the last town to eat, shop, and explore.

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