Cruise Director

Joined: 05/14/2015
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About glthrailkill


glthrailkill's Past Cruises

Ruby Princess

January 2018 - Ruby Princess to Mexico

Below Par

We have been platinum with Princess for some time. "Perks" are significantly less on Princess than on NCL, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and even Princess (which really is generous). After this experience, we have decided to eliminate Princess from future cruises.

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Norwegian Dawn

January 2017 - Norwegian Dawn to Caribbean - Western

Backward Progress on NCL Dawn

"Improved" policies on NCL include disallowing carry on of sodas and water and charging $7.50 per day for Pepsi products only, charging a $139/person spa fee for many features that used to be included, taking an elegant dining room and having someone with zero artistic taste paint stripes, circles, etc. across formerly elegant prints, and finally replacing an indoor pool with additional high dollar cabins to further facilitate the separation of "classes" rather than supporting the wonderful process of allowing folks to just be people in community.


The staff, everyone we encountered, was wonderful, helpful, smiling, kind, etc. etc. as anyone could have imagined and hoped for.  Our room steward was one of the best we have had in 64 cruises, a waiter in Venetian Dining Room was so great we made sure we got him again.  The ship was clean, most things worked well, the entertainment was good and GREAT, the food was excellent, and the overall experience of the ship and staff were all one could hope for.


A couple of the "ports" were particularly disappointing. We travel at least a week a month and have for 25 years. One of the great experiences is getting to meet people where and how they live.  Two stops were basically cruise line owned island shopping centers and had nothing to do with the actual countries of Belize or Honduras. 


Overall, what's to gripe about when you get to spend a week on a ship with zero responsibility and being waited on.  We will continue to cruise but will consider other lines a bit more favorably than NCL in the future.

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Norwegian Jewel

October 2016 - Norwegian Jewel to Mexico

Not quite up to par

Really ticked when arrived at ship and told it was no longer "legal" to bring canned soft drinks aboard - had taxi go out of way so we could purchase.  Zero notification from NCL, but we are only Platinum.  Purser's Desk personnel were less than helpful on the two occasions we had to interact with them.  While the wait staff were all very friendly, the service in regular and the two specialty restaurants we used was slow.  Regular dining rooms the food was nothing to get excited about. Room steward and other wait staff were fantastic.  Spa staff were very nice as well.  Overall, we were really disappointed in NCL and almost wish we did not have two more cruises booked with them.  There were two really great shows and the captain was an incredibly humble and delightful man.

Gary Thrailkill, NCL #224535085

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Norwegian Jewel

November 2015 - Norwegian Jewel to Mexico

Good value for the money

Good basic cruise, great weather, etc.  Room steward was excellent.  The ship staff from officers to cleaning people were all pleasant and welcoming.  The entertainment by ship's performers and a couple from Russia were outstanding - some of the very best we have experienced on a ship. Food was generally very good - fairly typical cruising fare.  Our first meal in Tzar's restaurant was cold and inedible, but the rest of the meals there were great.  Ate in two of the specialty restaurants and they were excellent.  We are platinum or diamond with five cruise lines, and have concluded that "bang for the buck" NCL is probably the best.  We will concentrate on NCL for future cruises.

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Carnival Liberty

May 2015 - Carnival Liberty to Caribbean - Southern

Wow, this seems as bad as flying!

Since our last Carnival cruise in January of this year, definite evidence of this ship line trying to compete with the cutbacks we are all experiencing now when we fly.  We had to request ice in our stateroom rather than it being provided twice a day, the pillow chocolates have disappeared, reservations totally ignored our request for a dining time, and of the three options, relegated us to the one we would have picked third.  The balcony outside our cabin, 1101, was dirty when we got on board and experienced no improvement during the week.  Had we gone out barefooted, we would have gotten grit between our toes!

Partner and I, who are both Platinum with Carnival, took my two sisters on their first cruise, so they were not expecting anything.  The table we were assigned was in a corner of the dining room with a service area between the table and the main room so that all the shows were completely blocked.

Mail was mistakenly delivered to our stateroom - right room, wrong name.  I took it to guest services.  They quickly corrected the error and delivered the same item to us again.  They had a couple of other opportunities to be helpful, but alas....

BUT our stateroom steward, Jefferson, and his assistant, Ika, were two of the best we have ever had in 52 cruises on six different cruise lines.  Our dining staff, Brian and Omar and cannot remember lead's name, were phenomenal.

And, cruising is still one of the best bargains out there for overall ease in a vacation.  We are booked again in June/July, 14 days, and for a week, Jan. '16.

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glthrailkill's Tips

Norwegian Dawn Norwegian Dawn - Verify validity of named ports. If you want sun and sea and sand, it probably does no matter. If you want to meet people from other cultures in their own environment, probably need to explore other options.
Norwegian Jewel Norwegian Jewel - Particularly like the layout of the upcharge spa. On the new larger ships like the Breakaway, etc. common guests do not even have access to a dressing room without paying the extra fee for the spa. The Jewel series all have a really nice option. Of course, they are all being moved overseas.
Norwegian Jewel Norwegian Jewel - DO NOT do the free cruise drawing! It was scheduled for 3:30 p.m. They (cruise staff) continued to sell tickets and bingo cards until after 4:00 then announced that the drawing would not occur until after the first two games of bingo - which were dragged by assistant cruise director. Drawing at 5
Castries, St. Lucia - Still wish "good" were an option. If you want to see the island, good. If you want to shop, it's all the same.
Bridgetown, Barbados - Same as above, I fear tourists are not always sensitive to the indigent population who are mostly limited financially on this island.
San Juan, Puerto Rico - Wish you had a "good" option. We have always liked San Juan. Lots of history, neat shopping, and nice people.
Carnival Liberty Carnival Liberty - We do take sodas and water on board, $4+ for a can of Coke is a bit much, but typical of all lines. The support staff in the spa were great. Often so cold on board that a light jacket felt really good. Nothing unpleasant per se.

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reviewed their Mexico cruise on Ruby Princess and gave it 3.6 stars!

added Jan 13, 2018 cruise on Ruby Princess to their profile.

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Liberty cruise review - Wow, this seems as bad as flying!

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Jewel cruise review - Good value for the money

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Spirit cruise review - NCL is Slipping

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Liberty cruise review - Wow, this seems as bad as flying!

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Jewel cruise review - Good value for the money

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Spirit cruise review - NCL is Slipping

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Liberty cruise review - Wow, this seems as bad as flying!

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Dawn cruise review - Backward Progress on NCL Dawn