fgentzel

fgentzel
Second Mate

Joined: 06/07/2015
3
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3
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14
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fgentzel's Past Cruises

Celebrity Silhouette

July 2016 - Celebrity Silhouette to Europe - Western Europe

To maximize your experience, do your homework

Due to the nature of this cruise, i.e. seeing 7 countries in 13 days, you must do planning ahead of time so as to maximize your time ashore. Also, I noticed the ship's excursions were not that encompassing, and were expensive. In this part of the world, consider Paddywagon, Scottish Terrier Tours, and BusyBus as excellent alternatives and for more scope than the boat can offer. Ship is very comfortable, but I did miss the center atrium - the heart of a boat. Crew was exceptionally nice, and the food was the best I had in 14 cruises. Keep your fingers crossed for good weather, as these regions can be wet and overcast. But you will see lots, in a short amount of time.

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Liberty of the Seas

October 2015 - Liberty of the Seas to Canada, New England, New York

Nice intro to New England and the Maritimes

Leaving and arriving from Bayonne NJ, makes things super convenient for those living in the area. The boat was a truly 5 star, and the entertainment and food on this voyage were really 6 stars. Cruise director Dru was the ultimate professional and comedian. Ports of call were all great, well maybe Saint John, NB. was a little behind the times, but perhaps the rain didn't help matters. And so far as the reversing falls are concerned, there are more exciting ways to watch the amazing tides come and go. All in all, I'd highly recommend this cruise - especially during the second week in October to take in the beautiful foliage colors.

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Explorer of the Seas

May 2015 - Explorer of the Seas to Europe - Northern Europe

Just Right, a nice blend

This cruise is 'just right' in that you get the cosmopolitan flavor of Rotterdam and Stavanger, and also get to see four very dfferent fjord regions of Norway. The sail-away from Southampton is interesting as you can clearly see the Spinnaker Tower of Portsmouth, and castles on the mainland and Isle of Wight. I'd recommend the excursion to The Hague & Delft Factory the next day, as you will still see lots of Rotterdam en route. If you'd like, due to the docking local, you can easily walk to Rotterdam or take the little shuttle bus. Next stop at Olden is wonderful if you take the Lake Loen cruise. Being there in late May allows you to hear the thundering of the avalanches that will cascade off of the snow capped mountains. Tons of photo ops. In the p.m., take an hour stroll to the tiny village and two cozy churches. Next stop is Flam, and of course the train to the mountain top. Early June is not too late for SNOW! Crazy cool to partake in a mini blizzard, then as the train rolls down to Voss you are back to verdant valleys. The planned luncheon is great, and the town quite walkable. The scenic bus trip back to the boat will leave you breathless at the incredibly steep switchbacks, and wonderful waterfalls. Next stop at Alesund has a very enjoyable and historic downtown, and the view atop Mt. Aksla is incredible. The Viking village which concludes one such excursion is kind of funky. You'll see lots of local families there, and see many of the old homes and sailing vessels from previous lives. Final port of Stavanger is a pretty big commercial city with the opportunity to take in a sailing to Lysefjord. The boat turns around at Pulpit Rock and you see the Billy Goats perched on the steep rock cliffs before you make the waffle stop. Don't worry about sitting inside the cabin, there's lots of roaming room outside also when the photo op appears. The usual cruise ship ups and downs on the Explorer of the Seas; crowded Windjammer café, and delightful one act 'lite' entertainment shows at night that are 50 minutes long. Above average cheer of the crew, they are always happy! Worst two things on the boat, elevators that need to be re-programmed and slot machines that are older and quite hungry. As rated, this is a 4.5 star ship that has had better days but is still quite trendy. For the price and itinerary you can't beat this cruise.

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fgentzel's Tips

Liberty of the Seas Liberty of the Seas - Despite the notes above, I'd recommend this cruise and this boat. Of our 11 cruises taken, I like this boat the best.
Alesund, Norway - Mid size town, explore the city and overlook. Skip the Viking Museum.
Flaam, Norway - Yup, do the train. Right side is probably better; some windows open or slide for good pix.
Olden, Norway - Do take the lake Loen cruise. Pray for still waters then the reflections of the mountains are truly divine!
Stavanger, Norway - The high powered boat whisks you to the Lysefjord, then of course more waffles in a tent. It is a good trip though.
Explorer of the Seas Explorer of the Seas - I think for the slight upcharges, the dinner meals are truly like fine restaurants.

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received a helpful vote on their Celebrity Silhouette cruise review - To maximize your experience, do your homework

received a helpful vote on their Celebrity Silhouette cruise review - To maximize your experience, do your homework

received a helpful vote on their Celebrity Silhouette cruise review - To maximize your experience, do your homework

received a helpful vote on their Celebrity Silhouette cruise review - To maximize your experience, do your homework

received a helpful vote on their Celebrity Silhouette cruise review - To maximize your experience, do your homework

received a helpful vote on their Celebrity Silhouette cruise review - To maximize your experience, do your homework

received a helpful vote on their Celebrity Silhouette cruise review - To maximize your experience, do your homework

shared a quick tip for Celebrity Silhouette"Stay with the basic beverage package, it is just fine. No need to upgrade."

reviewed their Europe - Western Europe cruise on Celebrity Silhouette and gave it 5 stars!

added Jul 13, 2016 cruise on Celebrity Silhouette to their profile.