Cruise Director

Hometown: San Antonio
Joined: 09/20/2013
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About arleneconverse

Cruise Addict with 17 cruises under my belt and still counting!



arleneconverse's Upcoming Cruises

arleneconverse's Past Cruises

Adventure of the Seas

June 2018 - 7 Night Canada & New England (Cape Liberty Roundtrip) Cruise on Adventure of the Seas

Wonderful itinerary!

This was my 19th cruise and it was fantastic. Only thing was the weather was 43 degrees which was unusual for that particular time of the year. With warmer weather we could have done more but regardless, it was a fantastic itinerary and journey.

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Celebrity Equinox

April 2017 - 11 Night Ultimate Caribbean (Ft. Lauderdale Roundtrip) Cruise on Celebrity Equinox

Celebrity Equinox April 2017

Port Everglades Security 7225 7225 7225 7225

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Just off the Celebrity Equinox for our 11 day Ultimate Caribbean Cruise.  Before I write my review, it's important to know that we had a wonderful time.  When we booked on Celebrity, we had not sailed Celebrity since 2004 but had sailed with them on 6 sailing up to that point.  We have been on Royal Caribbean since 2004.  What we remembered was the white glove WOW factor of Celebrity Cruise Lines so when we saw this itinerary, we booked it.  Much to our surprise, the WOW Factor and white glove is no longer as obvious as it once was.  That is fine as Royal Caribbean is an excellent cruise line and does not have the white glove treatment either.  With the one exception, Celebrity is more expensive so the expectations were that for that price, we would be upgrading to a higher level of service, etc.  Sadly, that was not he case.  Now we had a wonderful time but it was equivalent to Royal Caribbean and not an upgrade.  So before you chose to spend the extra money over the pricing of Royal Caribbean, make sure the following issues are not important to you.   1.) First thing we noticed is that on the port days the ship is approximately 90% shut down.  If your not getting off, you will struggle finding something to do.  Of course the pool and the pool bars are open as is the Oceanview Cafe but the pool and pool bars are outside so if you want something to do inside the ship, forget it.  All inside bars are closed!  We were not used to that and had a difficult time with the total "shutdown" of all things onboard. Oceanview is fine and has a bar but it's not a comfy place to sit, have a cocktail and visit.  2.)  Staffing was slim at most of the bars when open inside.  3.) Cocktails were small and we had to ask them to fill up the glass more than half full.  They changed the Classic package prior to boarding so what we thought was included was no longer included and got charged.  4.) You have to monitor your onboard account from your cabin.  There was several times we had issues.  Easily resolved but historically, we never have had issues with that.  5.)  The cabin that I was in had drapes that were awkward but more importantly, they were torn and rotting from the extreme heat.  They need to be replaced.  6.) The beds need upgrading or swtiched out.  I had trouble getting comfy and getting sleep.  7.) The balcony has the glass railing that has a rubber gasket to seal it.  The rubber gasket was falling off the railing and needed to be repaired.   8.)  Tables in the cabin and on the balcony are worn and need to be replaced or refinished or upgraded.  It's time!  9.) The beautiful bowl sinks in the bathroom are gorgeous and not practical at all.  We all found them awkward to use yet beautiful to look at. 10.)  The cabin designs are nice but huge cut backs in storage and counter top space in the cabin.  The closets are small and tight to use because they are by the bed.  Two people would be hard pressed to fit their clothes in that closet for a 11 day cruise.  11.)  The ship screamed of cost cutting measures which I understand but wasn't expecting given their reputation and cost over and above Royal Caribbean.  12,)  Specialty Restaurants are ok but not sure worth the money as the dining room was wonderful.  13.)  If your going to see Costa Rica ...DON'T!  That is a pathetic port of call.  Filthy and zero to do there unless you want to zip line or see animals   Not sure why they go there but I don't recommend getting off the boat unless your a zip liner.   NOW THE GOOD NEWS:  1.) The staff was wonderful.  Everyone was sweet, accommodating and as nice as they could be.  Our room attendants were the best we ever had.  Our waiter in the dining room was wonderful.  2.) We received the Class Beverage Pkg and $500 onboard credit for this cruise so our out of pocket expenses was close to nothing. Wonderful!  3.) Guest Relations and Shore Excursion Staff is wonderful.  Very accommodating and willing to work with us on any issue we had if it was within their ability to do so, and all our requests were addressed.  4.) Cartegena is outstanding.  Clean, nice people and very successful large city.  Great 2 day agenda and it's highly recommended as the primary port to visit.  5.)  Disembarkation and Embarkation was smooth and very comfy.  6.) HIGHLY RECOMMEND THE LUGGAGE VALET SERVICE IS YOUR QUALIFY.  IT IS WELL WORTH THE MONEY EVEN IF IT WAS DOUBLE THE PRICE!!!!   IN SUMMARY:  We booked two more cruises on Royal Caribbean for 2018 and 2019 and the Future Cruise Staff was very nice.  Got home to find we had one missing reservation for our group that caused some issues but I think we found the problem and can get it fixed if they still want to go.  Booking a future cruise group onboard is apparently challenging.  But we had a wonderful cruise on Celebrity just will reconsider before we spend the extra money moving forward.  If Celebrity is going to cut back on the WOW Factor but keep pricing high, we can get that same level of service on Royal Caribbean for less.  Constructive criticism is all and not major complaints, just observations on changes in the past 10+ years.  


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Carnival Freedom

August 2016 - 7 Night Eastern Caribbean (Galveston Roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Freedom

Liberty of the Seas

February 2016 - 7 Night Western Caribbean (Galveston Roundtrip) Cruise on Liberty of the Seas

Liberty of the Seas - 7nt Western Caribbean

Promenade Deck 5 Cabin 6344 Cabin 6344 Balcony Boleros Bar

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We are back from our cruise on Royal Caribbean's the Liberty of the Seas. There were 9 of us onboard. We had such a great time bonding and including new friendships, some new to the cruising experience. You can not say enough good things about times like this! We had a wonderful time. There are alot of pictures that I was not able to share from onboard due to the internet connection but in time, I will share some of them with all of you.

This was my 17th cruise and my first as a Diamond Member of Royal Caribbean. I was able to find my diamond Crown and Anchor Necklace that I had been wanting for years. And I wore it proudly all week long. It was just meant to be as Royal Caribbean just brought them back after discontinuing them years ago.

Our experience on the Liberty of the Seas was not a smooth as our previous cruises. New crew? Not sure but every single department and system seemed to fail across the board. We were patient with all of them as they were all very sweet and pleasant. It was the Management or possibly just returning from drydock. My Time dining was a fiasco night after night until we took control of the situation and with their help, we managed to smooth things out the last 3 nights. This was our first time to try it and fairly sure we won't do that again. No one was unpleasant, it was just disorganized.

Regarding formal night, it was a complete waste of time.  People showed up in ball caps, sweatsuits, bathing suit cover ups, flip flops, etc.  Why bother having a formal night if people are allowed to come dressed for a outdoor BBQ?  The cruise lines need to decide if their going to have formal night then force people to dress appropriately or ditch the idea all together. They can go to the Windjammer dressed anyway they want.  

Liberty of the Seas refurbishment included alot of kid amenities and lot of kids followed. They were all well behaved and adorable but for us moving forward, we're not doing the kid cruises again and probably not out of Galveston.

There were alot of handicapped on the motorized carts which are wonderful for those that want to cruise. But the cruise lines need to accommodate those carts in a better fashion. One lady had one and allowed her 3 yr old grandson to drive it crashing into the pillars in the Windjammer and running over people with plates of food. No one did anything and she just laughed it off. They certainly own the highway and that can be dangerous. Others were very considerate but it's difficult for them as some of the passengers are not accommodating. Need a new system with these motorized carts and the elevators. These motorized carts are growing in number on each passing cruise. They certainly need to be looked at and a better plan needs to be discussed.

We are all loyal Royal Caribbean cruises and we shared our comments with the cruise line. We will continue to be loyal Royal Caribbean cruises. Just an observation of a ship fresh out of drydock and ill prepared to be at sea. Some of the passengers were outright horrible in their behavior but the staff stayed firm and pleasant. What a job! They did a great job at remaining composed and pleasant. Hats off to the crew for their efforts. Maybe after a few sailings, all the bugs will be worked out. We appreciated all of their efforts and tipped them accordingly. This is not a easy career.

We booked our next cruise on Celebrity Cruise Lines for 11 days in 2017 while onboard. Aruna in NextCruise was wonderful! Hats off to that girl! We had so much fun with her booking this trip. If your onboard the Liberty of the Seas, drop by and book your next cruise with Aruna! You'll get a great price and onboard credit that you will never get once you disembark.

To all my friends who have joined me in my cruise journey, thank you for your friendship and companionship. New friendships have been formed and we're all enjoying seeing the world from our cruise ship balcony with cocktails in hand! Until our next cruise! Rest up ... we're not done yet!

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Navigator of the Seas

January 2015 - 7 Night Western Caribbean (Galveston Roundtrip) Cruise on Navigator of the Seas

Navigator of the Seas

Category E2 Balcony Balcony is on the hump allowing a spectacular view

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Our cruise onboard NOS out of Galveston was spectacular.  We live in San Antonio, there were 9 of us in 5 cabins, same deck, side by side.  The best part of the cruise was the ability to open up alllll the balconies and connect with one another first thing in the morning and at the end of the evening.  It was private and now that you can bring on 2 bottles of wine per stateroom, we popped the corks and enjoyed one another's company.  The ship was delightful, the crew was friendly and the drive was a piece of cake from home.  I highly recommend sailing out of the Port of Galveston.  We stayed pre-cruise at the LaQuinta that was very affordable but the best part was we got the 2 bedroom parlor with a wet bar, microwave, refridgerator and dining table and chair with a window facing Seawall Blvd.  Sleeps 6 people and we couldn't have enjoyed our stay there more.  We were 1.3 miles from the ship.  It was a great trip so I give it 5 stars!   We'll be back! 


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Jewel of the Seas

February 2014 - 7 Night Southern Caribbean (San Juan Roundtrip) Cruise on Jewel of the Seas

Jewel of the Seas is a real jewel!

Balcony is the only way to go!

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Our experience onboard the Jewel of the Seas was sweet!  JOS is a smaller ship, more intimate, less crowded and allows for a very laid back experience versus the mega ships.  Depending on your appetite for things to do, if your looking to less activities and more relaxation, this ship is right up your alley.  There is still plenty of things to do but mere size reduces those activities up against the mega ships.  We sailed from San Juan, Puerto Rico to the Southern Caribbean.  The airport experience at San Juan was not a good experience on this trip.  They lost our luggage as we had planned to stay 2 nights pre cruise at the Hotel Plaza De Armas in Old San Juan.  We had to be without our luggage for 24 hours and pick it up ourselves at the airport.  But once onboard the Jewel of the Seas, all was forgotten.  The cruise experience was outstanding.  Again, we had 7 people and 4 cabins onboard this ship.  Three of the balconies opened up to one another as we were side by side.  The other cabin was not close to us.  The Jewel is a sweet cruise and I would return in a heartbeat. 


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Norwegian Epic

October 2011 - 7 Night Western Mediterranean (Barcelona roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Epic

NCL Epic - Barcelona

Cabin 11515 Studio Hallway

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Our cruise out of Barcelona to Italy was our bucket list cruise.  We flew from Texas to Barcelona and stayed in Barcelona for 2 nights pre-cruise. Our first time on NCL Epic and found it to be dramatically different from Royal Caribbean or Celebrity.  If I had one thing to say about the Epic it would be the lack of windows and visibilty to the water.  RCCL and Celebrity ships both have windows everywhere so you can enjoy the sailing experience.  The Epic was not like that at all and I so missed the visual aspect of cruising.  It was a beautiful ship but for this one element.  I stayed in the new Singles Cabins and found them to be very comfortable and well done.  No windows as they are inside cabins but the cost was very affordable for such a expensive trip.  My friends stayed in a balcony across the hall so I could walk across the hall and enjoy their balcony.  The cruise ports of call were priceless a we visited Pompeii, Vatican, Collisium, Pisa and more.  Everyone should visit these places as they are historical and must be seen. The ship was very nice but I missed the windows and that for me will keep me off Epic in the future.  Overall, it was a great trip inside of the lack of visual of the water. 


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Grandeur of the Seas

May 2010 - 5 Night Western Caribbean (Ft. Lauderdale roundtrip) Cruise on Grandeur of the Seas

Adventure of the Seas

December 2008 - 7 Night Deep Southern Caribbean (San Juan roundtrip) Cruise on Adventure of the Seas

Adventure of the Seas

September 2008 - 7 Night Southern Caribbean (San Juan roundtrip) Cruise on Adventure of the Seas

Rhapsody of the Seas

May 2007 - 7 Night Western Caribbean (Galveston roundtrip) Cruise on Rhapsody of the Seas

Celebrity Century

December 2004 - 7 Night Western Caribbean (Ft. Lauderdale roundtrip) Cruise on Celebrity Century

Adventure of the Seas

October 2004 - 7 Night Deep Southern Caribbean (San Juan roundtrip) Cruise on Adventure of the Seas

Celebrity Infinity

February 2002 - 7 Night Southern Caribbean (San Juan roundtrip) Cruise on Celebrity Infinity

Celebrity Millennium

April 2001 - 7 Night Western Caribbean (Ft. Lauderdale roundtrip) Cruise on Celebrity Millennium

Celebrity Century

June 1998 - June 06, 1998 Cruise on Celebrity Century

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was the FIRST member to check in for the roll call for Mar 9, 2019 cruise on Vision of the Seas!

added Mar 9, 2019 cruise on Vision of the Seas to their profile.

received a helpful vote on their Adventure of the Seas cruise review - Wonderful itinerary!

received a helpful vote on their Celebrity Equinox cruise review - Celebrity Equinox April 2017

received a helpful vote on their Adventure of the Seas cruise review - Wonderful itinerary!

received a helpful vote on their Adventure of the Seas cruise review - Wonderful itinerary!

received a helpful vote on their Adventure of the Seas cruise review - Wonderful itinerary!

received a helpful vote on their Adventure of the Seas cruise review - Wonderful itinerary!

received a helpful vote on their Adventure of the Seas cruise review - Wonderful itinerary!

reviewed their Canada, New England, New York cruise on Adventure of the Seas and gave it 5.0 stars!