davidlap

davidlap

Second Mate
Chelmsford
Joined 10/2016

10

Cruises

5

Reviews

62

Helpful Votes

I love cruising because my day job is filled with managing issues, making decisions and making sure things get done and when cruising I don't have to worry about these things. My biggest decisions on cruises seem to be what do I want to eat or drink...

Upcoming cruises

Past cruises

Grandeur of the Seas

March 2020 - 12 Night Southern Caribbean (Baltimore Roundtrip) Cruise on Grandeur of the Seas

Grandeur of the Seas

January 2019 - 9 Night Southeast Coast & Bahamas (Baltimore Roundtrip) Cruise on Grandeur of the Seas

Relaxing cruise to kick off the new year

This was our longest cruise as we typically go for just a week. We really enjoyed the extra two days as it made the trip even more relaxing. We will be trying a 12 day cruise on Grandeur next year and really look forward to it. The longer cruises are less port intensive which give you more ship time which is what we wanted. If rest & relaxation are your goal then I recommend this itinerary and ship. The smaller ship and staff also have a more intimate, family feel to it which we also liked.

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Symphony of the Seas

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

We took a cruise on Symphony in August in the Mediterranean out of Barcelona. The ship still had the feel you might experience from a new car. There was no wear & tear look like you might find on an older ship such as the Oasis of the Seas. The Mediterranean itinerary was very port intensive with only one sea day so it was a bit exhausting trying to see all there was on the ship and go on several excursions. The vibe on the ship was interesting in that the Mediterranean itineraries were like a warm-up or a dress rehearsal prior to Symphony changing to Caribbean cruises out of Miami. Many of the crew members were not going to remain on Symphony. Seeing all the press associated with the ship arriving in Miami and the new terminal reinforces this vibe. Since we had recently cruised on the Oasis it was interesting to compare all the differences as the ships are 10 years apart. Symphony has many new features, restaurants and venues yet we were very comfortable navigating the ship since the layout of the Boardwalk, Central Park, Promenade are identical. I am interested in seeing Oasis again once it completes it’s next refurbishment which is rumored to be scheduled for some time in 2019. If you have cruised a lot in the Caribbean but have not been on an Oasis class ship then I encourage you cruise on Symphony as you could limit your excursions and simply enjoy more time on the ship.

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Oasis of the Seas

October 2017 - 7 Night Western Caribbean (Port Canaveral Roundtrip) Cruise on Oasis of the Seas

Incredible ship! We remained on the ship while in port since we had been to them before. This gave us more time to explore and enjoy the ship. Even so, we felt we just barely got to see it all.

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Vision of the Seas

October 2016 - Greek Isles Cruise Cruise on Vision of the Seas

Independence of the Seas

January 2016 - 5 Night Western Caribbean (Ft. Lauderdale Roundtrip) Cruise on Independence of the Seas

Liberty of the Seas

February 2011 - 8 Night Eastern Caribbean (Miami roundtrip) Cruise on Liberty of the Seas

Wonderful 1st Time Cruise

Posting this review several years after cruise but feel that review is still relevant. This was our first cruise and we have now been on 5 cruises with Royal Caribbean. We have been on smaller and larger ships relative to the Liberty of the Seas. In retrospect I think the Liberty or any Freedom class ship is an excellent choice for first time cruisers. The ship is big with lots of venues/options for both children and adults yet it is not overwhelming in the way an Oasis class ship might be. Since the Freedom class ships are a bit older you will typically find better deals than on the newest & biggest ships such as the Symphony. We traveled with our teenager children along with several other couples and similar aged children. This was the first cruise for all of us and we enjoyed it immensely. The ship has something to offer for everyone and the staff genuinely seemed eager to ensure we were all enjoying ourselves. A perfect example was in the main dining room. On our first night the staff had setup our table so we could sit as one large group. We opted to sit with adults toward one end and children at the other. The kids and adults each formed their own conversations/interactions so suggested that they could separate the tables into two. This turned out to be wonderful as the staff went out of their way to treat the “kids table” in a unique and fun way by playing puzzle games with them and bringing them special treats (not on the menu) such a plates of cookies. They enjoyed the feeling of independence being at their own table and the adults got to have some time with each other so everyone was happy.

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Oasis of the Seas

Oasis of the Seas

Sail date: October 08, 2017

Incredible ship! We remained on the ship while in port since we had been to them before. This gave us more time to explore and enjoy the ship. Even so, we felt we just barely got to see it all.

Read full review

Grandeur of the Seas

Grandeur of the Seas

Sail date: January 03, 2019

Relaxing cruise to kick off the new year

This was our longest cruise as we typically go for just a week. We really enjoyed the extra two days as it made the trip even more relaxing. We will be trying a 12 day cruise on Grandeur next year and really look forward to it. The longer cruises are less port intensive which give you more ship time which is what we wanted. If rest & relaxation are your goal then I recommend this itinerary and ship. The smaller ship and staff also have a more intimate, family feel to it which we also liked.

Read full review

Liberty of the Seas

Liberty of the Seas

Sail date: February 19, 2011

Wonderful 1st Time Cruise

Posting this review several years after cruise but feel that review is still relevant. This was our first cruise and we have now been on 5 cruises with Royal Caribbean. We have been on smaller and larger ships relative to the Liberty of the Seas. In retrospect I think the Liberty or any Freedom class ship is an excellent choice for first time cruisers. The ship is big with lots of venues/options for both children and adults yet it is not overwhelming in the way an Oasis class ship might be. Since the Freedom class ships are a bit older you will typically find better deals than on the newest & biggest ships such as the Symphony. We traveled with our teenager children along with several other couples and similar aged children. This was the first cruise for all of us and we enjoyed it immensely. The ship has something to offer for everyone and the staff genuinely seemed eager to ensure we were all enjoying ourselves. A perfect example was in the main dining room. On our first night the staff had setup our table so we could sit as one large group. We opted to sit with adults toward one end and children at the other. The kids and adults each formed their own conversations/interactions so suggested that they could separate the tables into two. This turned out to be wonderful as the staff went out of their way to treat the “kids table” in a unique and fun way by playing puzzle games with them and bringing them special treats (not on the menu) such a plates of cookies. They enjoyed the feeling of independence being at their own table and the adults got to have some time with each other so everyone was happy.

Read full review

Symphony of the Seas

Symphony of the Seas

Sail date: August 05, 2018

We took a cruise on Symphony in August in the Mediterranean out of Barcelona. The ship still had the feel you might experience from a new car. There was no wear & tear look like you might find on an older ship such as the Oasis of the Seas. The Mediterranean itinerary was very port intensive with only one sea day so it was a bit exhausting trying to see all there was on the ship and go on several excursions. The vibe on the ship was interesting in that the Mediterranean itineraries were like a warm-up or a dress rehearsal prior to Symphony changing to Caribbean cruises out of Miami. Many of the crew members were not going to remain on Symphony. Seeing all the press associated with the ship arriving in Miami and the new terminal reinforces this vibe. Since we had recently cruised on the Oasis it was interesting to compare all the differences as the ships are 10 years apart. Symphony has many new features, restaurants and venues yet we were very comfortable navigating the ship since the layout of the Boardwalk, Central Park, Promenade are identical. I am interested in seeing Oasis again once it completes it’s next refurbishment which is rumored to be scheduled for some time in 2019. If you have cruised a lot in the Caribbean but have not been on an Oasis class ship then I encourage you cruise on Symphony as you could limit your excursions and simply enjoy more time on the ship.

Read full review

Cruise tips

Nassau, Bahamas

Nassau did not have much we were interested in but this allowed us to have extra time on the ship with fewer people on board. We did get off and walk around a bit. There is the expected barrage of locals that will try to make you offers for rides, excursions etc. I did a long run on the island making my way to Atlantis just to check it out. If you have children that like pools/water parks then this place is for you. It is pricey but appeared to be meticulously maintained. You could easily make have a full family vacation there.

Charleston, South Carolina

We primarily walked around the downtown and local market. It has a lot of character and would be happy to visit again.

Cococay (Cruise Line's Private Island)

I should have checked the box "Did not visit this port" as we could not get onto the island due to rough seas. The visit was cancelled only after the planned time for boat tenders to take guest to shore. Given that this will not be an issue in a few short months when the pier under construction is completed, this is only a short lived problem. We did see a few parents with young children that were very disappointed. I give 5 stars here though because the ship staff immediately after the cancellation came up with a whole new Cruise Compass with extra activities for guests.

Baltimore, Maryland

We made a quick visit to Washington DC and had an excellent meal in Baltimore the day prior to embarkation. There is certainly a lot of options for things to do in this area.

Port Canaveral, Florida

We took an air-boat tour here which we enjoyed. I do not think we would ever do an Orlando area theme park excursion from here though because the ship did not arrive until mid-morning and this would put you at the parks after they opened. Given the high prices for theme parks I would want to max our my day there.

Miami, Florida

We took a bus tour of the city. It is impressive how many high end homes & yachts are in the area.

Grandeur of the Seas

Grandeur of the Seas

Given the smaller size of the ship compared to some of Royal Caribbean's big ships like the Oasis be prepared for fewer options. We saw this as a good thing as we wanted a more relaxing cruise.

Oasis of the Seas

Oasis of the Seas

Check out the sun deck. It has great views. It is a bit tricky to find but when you do you will feel like you found a secret place on the ship

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