Windsorsmom

Windsorsmom
Second Mate

Joined: 03/02/2013
5
Cruises
5
Reviews
24
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Windsorsmom's Past Cruises

Ruby Princess

September 2014 - Ruby Princess to Transatlantic

Great Experience

This is a unique itinerary.  The weather gods were pretty kind to us. Bergen was delightful. We walked the town and took the Funicular - a must! Lerwick was another fun destination. There was much discussion about THE vote which was happening on September 18. As we cruised the northern route in the fall, we caught the Aurora  Borealis one night which was a treat. We rented a car in Akureryri to visit the falls and the lake. The bad weather day kept us from going into Isafjodur so we ended up docking in Reykjavik the night before we were scheduled. Our day in Reykjavik was spent on a tour which took us to the geysers but also showed us the funky architecture of the city. Some whales treated us to a show one afternoon as we were at sea. I loved St. John's, Newfoundland. The locals gave us such a warm welcome. We took a boat trip to see the last of the puffins. On the way out of the harbor, other boats and cars tooted their horns to bid us farewell.  Even New York had a beautiful day for us when we arrived and the Stature of Liberty could be seen off the deck. We found the shows were really pretty good.  The food was just what we expected from Princess.  We would have enjoyed some up to date info about the volcanoes that were erupting. 

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Ryndam

May 2014 - Ryndam to Europe - Northern Europe

A Lot Different Than Bigger Ships

We have been used to sailing on Princess and Royal Caribbean.  The first thing you notice is that you don't get your daily workout walking from one end of the ship to the other.  There is only one dining room.  The hours for the Lido buffet are much more limited than the bigger ships.  The coffee bar closes at 10pm which is sort of a bummer.  The shows were excellant.  We liked the DVD player in the room.  It was also nice to have a launderette on the boat.  I was also surprised to see that the other people were mostly in their 60s.  I thought they would be much older. It rained much of the week but we still got to see some great Norwegian sites.

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Grand Princess

January 2014 - Grand Princess to Hawaii

Great Experience with 6 Year Old

We brought our 6 year old granddaughter and it was a terrific trip.  Most days at sea, she spent some time at the Pelican's Club for her age group.  She loved all the arts and crafts projects as well as the time with her peers.  While in Hawaii, we went whale watching which required a bit more patience than she has.  We rented a car on two islands to do some volcano exploring and that was fun.  The trip to the summit of Haleakala looks totally different going up than coming down.  At Volcano National Park on the Big Island, we did all the requirements for her Junior Ranger Badge which was a most memorable time for her. (The ranger had her take an oath and then annouced her new status over the PA.) She loved the Movies Under the Stars experience which we enjoyed a couple of times.  Dance shows were also fun for her.  We found that the comediens were a bit too adult for her.  She enjoyed the pool and spa with Grandpa. Her fussy eating was a bit of an issue but soon we realized it was not a battle worth fighting.  The kitchen was most accommodating for her requests.  If you are considering a similar adventure with a grandchild, please make sure that the kiddo gets enough sleep every night. There might be a few afternoons that are best spent as quiet time.We brought lots of coloring books and a couple of new stuffed buddies to keep her company.

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Adventure of the Seas

November 2013 - Adventure of the Seas to Transatlantic

Trans Atlantic on Royal Caribbean

This was our second trans Atlantic cruise.  The first one was on Princess.  The price was better on this one. The check in was very smooth.  The cabin on Royal Caribbean was larger than Princess. Our cabin steward was great.  The food was fine - a little boring after the first week but the service was good.  I loved the rustic rye bread served in the Windjammer every day at lunch. What was really lacking was entertainment.  The nightly shows on RC were okay. The daytime really dragged.  The only movies they had were second rate flicks which were several years old and could be seen in 5 languages. (I suspect that was the criteria so they could be broadcast on the various language channels.) The television tranmitted through a Polish channel and featured BBC replays.  After the first two days, no news channels were available.  The activities during the day centered around selling either spa treatments or jewelry from the stores. There was only one version of the ice show which was presented 5 or 6 times.  They didn't even have usual starchy fillers like an ice carving presentation or a cooking event. We ordered and paid for milk shakes from the Ben and Jerry counter and it was made with too little ice cream (because the ice cream was too cold) and warm milk resulting in a blah lukewarm beverage. Even the milk shake at Johnny Rocket which was made correctly was served in the smallest tumbler they had - Coke came in larger glasses.   So while this is a good deal, be prepared to keep yourself amused.  Load up the kindle or bring a sweater or two to knit.  

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Golden Princess

February 2013 - Golden Princess to Hawaii

A Wonderful Break From The Cold Weather

This is the first time we've escaped winter with a cruise. From the boarding to disembarkation, Princess took very good care of us. Our cabin was very efficient. I especially appreciated lots of hangers and plenty of drawer space. The small refrigerator is another nice feature. Fresh fruit in the room was nice for a light snack. We enjoyed the dining options. We had breakfast most mornings on the Horizon deck. While at sea, we took advantage of an English pub lunch which added some variety to our normal menus. We selected Anytime Dining. Even though we never made a reservation our wait time was less than 10 minutes. Food was presented well and quite tasty. Most of the shows were entertaining. We saw Lincoln and Argo as well as the Oscars. The folks who were in the sing and dance shows were terrific. The Hawaiian couple gave us insights into their culture as they entertained us. Princess offered a wide variety of shore excursions. Unfortunately Mother Nature did not cooperate when we were in Oahu so we were not able to go on the Arizona. This is a perfect cruise for those who want an escape. The two of us were able to catch up on our reading and unwind. If you really want to be entertained 24/7 you might want to consider other cruises. We are experienced cruisers (this was our 20th one - third with Princess). We're already looking at Princess' options for next year.

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Windsorsmom's Tips

Ruby Princess Ruby Princess - Because there were so many Elite and Platinum members on board, laundry service took 72 hours instead of the usual 24. Since my husband's suit was not pressed, we missed the first formal night. If you are going to be in a similar situation, pay the extra for one day service or press items yourself
Oslo, Norway - There is a lot to see without a tour. Go to the tourist info in town for ideas.
Ryndam Ryndam - Be aware of meal time hours especially if you are off the ship and plan to come back for a mid afternoon lunch. We tend to like some quiet time in the room so DVD's were great. They have a pretty large selection on the selection on the ship for free but we brought our own.
San Juan, Puerto Rico - We stayed near the university. There was a restaurant called the Hippopotamus that was a VERY nice Spanish establishment. Order the sangria and the paella is worth the 45 minutes it takes to cook. Outstanding.
San Pedro (Los Angeles), California - Getting from the airport to the ship via taxi cost us $70. Think about getting shuttle service from the cruise line for $24 per person.
Golden Princess Golden Princess - The internet service was slow - keep that in mind if you purchase time. Turn all cellular data off on your cell phone or you might get an outrageous roaming charge without touching your phone.

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received a helpful vote on their Grand Princess cruise review - Great Experience with 6 Year Old

received a helpful vote on their Grand Princess cruise review - Great Experience with 6 Year Old

received a helpful vote on their Grand Princess cruise review - Great Experience with 6 Year Old

received a helpful vote on their Grand Princess cruise review - Great Experience with 6 Year Old

received a helpful vote on their Grand Princess cruise review - Great Experience with 6 Year Old

received a helpful vote on their Grand Princess cruise review - Great Experience with 6 Year Old

received a helpful vote on their Grand Princess cruise review - Great Experience with 6 Year Old

received a helpful vote on their Grand Princess cruise review - Great Experience with 6 Year Old

received a helpful vote on their Grand Princess cruise review - Great Experience with 6 Year Old

received a helpful vote on their Grand Princess cruise review - Great Experience with 6 Year Old