cruisellama

cruisellama

First Mate
ALLEN
Joined 03/2018

16

Cruises

10

Reviews

26

Helpful Votes

We cruise for the experience: Food, relaxation (Spa), and ports. It's great when the hotel moves and you only have to unpack once.

Upcoming Cruises

Past Cruises

Celebrity Summit

November 2018 - 7 Night Southern Caribbean (San Juan Roundtrip) Cruise on Celebrity Summit

All around great vacation

We really enjoyed this ship and itinerary. Summit is an older ship, BUT the crew and resulting service was top notch. You can see the cosmetic wear in many areas, but everything was clean, the food first rate, and service the tops. The Capt and his team are very visible to guests and go out of their way to answer questions and provide tips. We participated in the Cellar Master Chef's Table and enjoyed an incredible 5 course meal with wine pairings. Orlando the executive chef and the drink and beverage manager Mario hosted the event. Small intimate dinner with about 8 guests - superb in every way. Ship goes into upgrade in Jan 2019 - we'll return to some future date.

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Symphony of the Seas

July 2018 - 7 Night Western Mediterranean (Barcelona Roundtrip) Cruise on Symphony of the Seas

Not a ship - its a floating resort!

Symphony is a great floating resort (more than a cruise ship)! Beautifully designed and constructed ship, but the overall experience is becoming less "inclusive". Lots of add-ons required to buy-into inclusiveness. We cruise for an "all inclusive" experience. RCL is inching to more al la carte experience, which is what you can get on a "land" vacation. The day is past where there is exquisite cuisine and service in the main dining room, the better meals and service are in the specialty restaurants. And even those have common presentations that are on parity with on-shore restaurants. If the experience offered an "all inclusive" high end experience - then I would rate a 10. We've booked Jr. Suites (now Sea Class) on our 3 cruises, but the perks that go with that level are very low when comparing to Celebrity or your competition. Sea Class isn't considered a full suite, so Country Kitchen is restricted to dinner (and you have to knock on the door for access), Although authorized dinner reservations, you can't get in the door without meekly knocking. As the doors are all electronically controlled, access could be enabled during authorized dining periods. Carousel was broken for the entire cruise. Some hand washing stations were inoperable in Windjammer and Solarium Bistro. Food is average except for the special restaurants. Service definitely better in specialty restaurants.

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Celebrity Equinox

March 2018 - 7 Night Western Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip) Cruise on Celebrity Equinox

Great Celebrity Cruise

Great ship and crew - booked another one next year

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Liberty of the Seas

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

Wonderful ship - solid Caribbean itinerary

Very enjoyable cruise. Had a Jr Suite which has a lot of storage. Great room steward kept everything stocked. Enjoyed breakfast on the balcony. Itinerary has a lot of "port shopping" pushes. But its all fun. Thought the entertainment and dining all well balanced. It was enjoyable and relaxing. WIll do this again in a year or so. Gotta watch disembarkation with "duty free" items (liquor, or tobacco products). The port has a tax station as you exit the terminal to pay the local tax. If caught - big fines. Never seen this at a US port. The tax kills any saving you may have thought you had.

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Celebrity Reflection

November 2016 - 7 Night Western Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip) Cruise on Celebrity Reflection

Oasis of the Seas

November 2013 - 7 Night Eastern Caribbean (Ft. Lauderdale Roundtrip) Cruise on Oasis of the Seas

Carnival Glory

October 2012 - 6 Night Bahamas (Norfolk roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Glory

Celebrity Infinity

July 2009 - 7 Night Alaska Hubbard Glacier (Seattle roundtrip) Cruise on Celebrity Infinity

Oosterdam

June 2008 - 7 Night Alaskan Explorer via Hubbard Glacier (Seattle roundtrip) Cruise on Oosterdam

Pride of America

July 2004 - 7 Night Hawaii (Honolulu roundtrip) Cruise on Pride of America

Costa Mediterranea

November 2003 - 7 Night Eastern Caribbean (Ft. Lauderdale roundtrip) Cruise on Costa Mediterranea

Nice Thanksgiving Cruise - Interesting Take on Turkey

Overall a good cruise. MDR did a great job entertaining. Hosted a toga party on the last night and formal nights were fairly respected by the passengers. Food quality was fairly high - Mediterranean flare. Superb cruise director.

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Disney Magic

July 1998 - 4 Night Bahamas Maiden Voyage Cruise on Disney Magic

Cruise Tips

Celebrity Summit

Celebrity Summit

Early morning bloody mary's available at the sunset bar deck 10 aft.

Celebrity Summit

Celebrity Summit

Good spa deals are available on port days. You'll find it empty and you can find $100 off a lot of treatments

Celebrity Summit

Celebrity Summit

Movies on deck 12 aft in the evening. Comfortable couches available

Celebrity Summit

Celebrity Summit

There are 2 US style outlets near the desk and 2 circular 220V European outlets on the opposite side. While you cannot have a power strip or other multiport adapter, you can use the Euro- US converter plug to pick up 2 more outlets for charging phones or other devices.

Celebrity Equinox

Celebrity Equinox

Go to the Martini bar - bartenders are performing artists

Celebrity Summit

Celebrity Summit

Aqua Class room showers include additional horizontal shower sprays in addition to the standard overhead.

Celebrity Summit

Celebrity Summit

Chef's table is not advertised. If interested, contact the maitre d at any of the dining rooms to get on the list. Dinner starts with drinks in at the Cellar Master lounge with dinner in the private Tuscan dining room. You'll also get a tour of the galleys during peak dinner hours.

Celebrity Summit

Celebrity Summit

If you get a classic or premium drink package, use it to do wine pairings for different dinner courses. Don't forget about using it for premium coffees, sodas, and health drinks at the Spa cafe.

Celebrity Summit

Celebrity Summit

You can get great Spa deals on port days. Saw some massages discounted $100.

Celebrity Summit

Celebrity Summit

If you're going on a beach excursion, take the earliest ride. Caribbean beaches get pretty hot and crowded by noon. Beat the crowd.

Celebrity Summit

Celebrity Summit

If you want a bloody mary in the morning, Sunset bar is the place to go. Its the first bar open. Its adjacent to the Ocean View cafe and the tables in that area are the last to fill up.

Celebrity Summit

Celebrity Summit

If you just purchase the classic beverage package - it will not include the Martini bar as the drinks exceed $12. So if you have the classic as a perk - upgrade to premium for $13/day - gets you the daily martini.

Celebrity Summit

Celebrity Summit

If you have a premium drink package and you wish to enjoy wine, ask for the premium wine list. They won't volunteer it.

Celebrity Summit

Celebrity Summit

If you sail Aqua Class, book deck 11. Its a small private cabin area with an aft staircase which gets you to the Sunset Bar if you go down, and up takes you to the Terrace where the movie screen is. Qsine as well as Rendezvous Lounge is also on that deck. Use the aft elevator to move up/down.

Basseterre, St. Kitts

We walked Basseterre and its a typical Caribbean tourist collector. Found the vendors and excursion salespeople very aggressive and intrusive. We like going into the historical areas and viewing the buildings/parks.

Castries, St. Lucia

Did a Segway beach tour. Five hour excursion, but only about 1 1/2h Segway (approx 2 miles of beach and forest area with some historical military sites. Sites were spectacular, great photo ops. After Segway, took us on a local community tour - both high end and common residential areas. Finally stopped a the St. Lucia Yacht club for a beach stop. Had a restaurant with common US bar food. Beach was way too crowded. Would been happy to just Segway and go back to ship.

Bridgetown, Barbados

Thought this was a pretty nice port. No pushy vendors or taxi drivers. We explored Bridgetown. They've been spared major hurricanes for 60 years so everything is in pretty good shape. Laid back .

San Juan, Puerto Rico

City and island recovering well. We found island hotels very nice with beautiful views. Old Town remains our favorite. Toured the old city and historical parks/forts. Friendly helpful residents pointed us to the right restaurants.

Celebrity Summit

Celebrity Summit

Ask about Cellar Masters Chef's table. Look at Deck 11 (highest cabin deck) Aqua Spa - private area with easy access to movie venue, Sunset Bar, and Qsine

Bridgetown, Barbados

Bridgetown had the best sidewalks of this cruise ports. Didn’t need to dodge potholes. Didn’t experience aggressive vendors. Pretty low key. Quiet visit enjoyed the stop

Castries, St. Lucia

I did a Segway tour. Rode along a beach an through the rain forest with many photo ops. Only rode about 1 hour. Rest of 5 hour excursion included a short tour around residential areas and a beach stop at St Lucia yacht club. Crowded and not very nice unless you’re a spring breaker.

Symphony of the Seas

Symphony of the Seas

Wonderland has a number of very unique cocktails that can be enjoyed as "happy hour specials" at the restaurant bar. You get the happy hour price (little discount) at that time.

Symphony of the Seas

Symphony of the Seas

There is quick access to deck 7 (staterooms) from stairs adjacent to the aquatheater (either side). Avoids going through public areas and elevators.

Celebrity Equinox

Celebrity Equinox

The bartenders at the martini bar are outstanding! They can make you an "original" concoction based upon what flavors you wish to taste. Really talented mixologists.

Oosterdam

Oosterdam

On Alaska glacier cruises, they Holland America has a tradition of serving hot split pea soup on the deck. Its great

Oasis of the Seas

Oasis of the Seas

Chef's table is held in a private dining room that is accessed through a non-descript door in the library.

Symphony of the Seas

Symphony of the Seas

Deck 7 is straight from the bow to stern of the ship. Interesting to go to the front and look aft toward aqua theater. Gives you a sense of how large the ship is.

Symphony of the Seas

Symphony of the Seas

If you're hungry when you board, head to Central Park. The Park Central Cafe is overlooked by many on embarkation day. Good place to have a quiet lunch.

Oasis of the Seas

Oasis of the Seas

Chef's table is a great experience. They have a "secret" dining area through the library.

Liberty of the Seas

Liberty of the Seas

Great ship, the port shopping director was great

Galveston, Texas

Caution - duty free isn't duty free when you get back to this port. The local municipality/port sets up a taxation station to collect duty on liquor and cigarettes. If you get caught big fine for each item.

Naples, Italy

Beautiful city. We toured the Amolfy Coast, Serento, and Pompei - stunning scenery and amazing historical tour.

La Spezia, Italy

Friendly city - easy to get around. Took excursion to Tuscany for wine tasting. Found it more enjoyable than a US winery tour

Symphony of the Seas

Symphony of the Seas

We booked on sea class (Jr. Suite). Room size was great. Large balcony, but had a table too small to dine. Lower class cabins and higher suites had usable tables. Sea Class is is the "red headed step child" room. No real perks except dining in Country Kitchen, BUT you have to knock on the door to get in. They don't enable sea pass access - I found this troublesome especially since all access is controlled electronically and could be made to work during the dinner access period. Carousel was broken the entire cruise.

Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy

Historically a 5+ and most educational, but its tough to get around and really crowded. Not Rome's fault, can't fix the roads without damaging the historical properties.

La Spezia, Italy

RCL offered free shuttle to take you off the peer into edge of town. Nice place to walk and visit locale cafe or stores. Major attractions are 1-2 hours from the port.

Costa Mediterranea

Costa Mediterranea

Upgrade

Nassau, Bahamas

Water taxis are a cheap way to get around $4. You get "free tour" on the way to Paradise island/Atlantis. When you get off the taxi there is a bar (under a bridge) that makes mango coladas. The beach behind Atlantis is free.

Celebrity Equinox

Celebrity Equinox

Bring magnetic clips to hang on the walls of your stateroom to hold the daily activity letter and other papers. It declutters the desk.

Key West, Florida

Loved it, would have liked to stay longer. Great bars and restaurants. A lot of historical things to see.

George Town, Grand Cayman

Have to tender into the port which adds dead time waiting for tenders. About 20 minutes each way. I find the port area to be crowded especially when there are several ships in place. Sidewalks are very narrow so you feel the crowding. Good place to shop for high end jewelry.

Celebrity Equinox

Celebrity Equinox

At prime dining times, sea-pool days, or starting port calls, the aft elevators are the busiest. It can be faster going to the forward elevators to move between decks.

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