Second Mate
Joined 01/2016






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Past Cruises

MSC Divina

July 2016 - 7 Night Eastern Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip) Cruise on MSC Divina

Trying but not there yet.

Overall, for a first time cruiser, I think you will enjoy it. I liked it because I simply love cruising and I make the very best of my sea days, my balcony, and my vacation time. MSC is new to year round Caribbean trips from Miami and as they get better I think they will be a fierce competitor. Right now, I think they cater more to Europeans as I felt speaking English that I was in the minority. If you are thinking of taking a cruise with MSC, try it, have a different mindset, and relax. My children sailed for FREE which was a major selling point for me as well as the itinerary locations. Since I have cruised 4 other cruise lines, my expectations are different. However, if I am given the right price, my children sail for free, and they make improvements in the food, service, and entertainment, I will definitely sail will MSC again.

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Norwegian Getaway

July 2016 - 7 Night Western Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Getaway

Love the Getaway

I like Carnival, my wife likes Royal Caribbean, but we both LOVE Norwegian. The food, the service, the cabin, the entertainment, and Costa Maya was simply beautiful. I have only 2 complaints about Norwegian. One is strictly Norwegian and the other is Cruise Industry specific. The Ilusionarium (Magic Show) should have been complimentary. If the cruise industry continues to nickel and dime costumers, cruising may lose it's value(although I still prefer cruising over destination vacations).  The second, choose a balcony cabin on the port side or well away from the Waterfront Bar so as to avoid inhaling second hand smoke 12 cabins above the designated smoking area.  There were about 12 to 15 cabins on deck 9, 10, and 11 that the wind would blows the second hand smoke our way.  However, I think this is a cruise industry issue regarding smoking. Personally, I have been on 15+ cruises and the smoking side has very little passengers while the non-smoking side has to search for space which tells me there are far more non-smokers than smokers.  The Cruise Industry needs to react as such.  Anyway, this review is about the Norwegian Getaway, I will cruise the Getaway and Norwegian again. Does that tell you anything? The waterfront (deck 8) is the perfect covered area all around the ship that allows ocean breezes and ocean views on sea days. This is the perfect place to read, sleep or do absolutely nothing if you don't want to take in the sun.  The open deck is perfect for sun bathers but there is a major problem with towel/chair saving of chairs. The saving of chairs happens on other cruise lines as well but this ship seemed to have a greater problem with this. I love to cruise, I loved this ship, and I love Norwegian Freestyle.

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Carnival Liberty

June 2016 - 5 Night Western Caribbean (Galveston Roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Liberty

Good short getaway

I want to be helpful to those who have not cruised and have cruised before. This was the perfect, last minute, quick get away for my wife and me for our anniversary without the kids. This was our second time on the Carnival Liberty as we took it out of Florida.  I am little biased because I like Carnival; my wife likes another cruise line. We had an inside cabin on the Rivera (deck 1). The Carnival Liberty is part of the Conquest Class of ships (Conquest, Glory, Valor, and Freedom) are all sister ships. It does not have all the bells and whistles of the newer Carnival ships, but it will do for this itinerary.  It has a twister slide, an ample pool size where adults and children play, and Jacuzzi's as well as a separate pool and 2 Jacuzzi's (for adults only) in the back of the ship. It has plenty of open space for sun bathers. It has quiet areas for those who don't wish to take in a lot of sun for reading, relaxing, sleeping or whatever you wish (Serenity Deck) for adults only.  If you want the same thing with an ocean view and ocean breeze, try (Deck 3) on both sides of the ship (most people don't know about it). The only thing, one side is for smoking and the other side is for non smokers and the non-smoking side fills quickly after the 3rd day because everyone has found this little hide away. It is great for taking family pictures at Sunset as well as all day relaxing on sea days. I love the jogging trail at the top, rear of the ship. It is nothing like jogging/walking/exercising and watching the sunrises and sunsets with ocean breezes. It just takes me away. (I am ready to go again just thinking about it.) The ship has a megatron screen that shows at least one movie per night under the stars.  My wife and I are movie buffs and we look forward to watching the "Dive in Movies" as they call it; they have list of the movies/times they will show each night in the daily FunTimes; arrive at least 30 minutes prior as the good seats fill up quickly.  I always look forward to the shows on every cruise, but since this was a 5 day; they did not have a magic show.  The comedy shows were great. The food was good.

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Cruise Tips

Cozumel, Mexico

Cozumel is Cozumel. Almost every ship from Galveston sails here. I have been there; done that. However, I never tire of the gorgeous teal waters that are excellent for viewing, photos, snorkeling and underwater adventures. Although bargain shopping is good, the locals do not haggle as much as they used to simply because they do not have to. If you don't buy it, the next 3,600 passengers will buy it tomorrow. My advice: find something you like, if it is not the price you want to pay, skip it and walk away. They will either change the price or not.

Progreso (Merida), Mexico

Do not bother. The only thing I liked was the pier and I only liked it for the photo pictures I took of the water in the background. The pier is long and desolate. There is nothing much to see as we took a tour and although informative, I was not very impressed. Somehow, the money generated from port charges does not seem to filter to the people. I am thankful to help some with my tourism dollars, but I don't see much many re-invested into the town.

Vision of the Seas

Vision of the Seas

This ship is best for adults as there is not much for children to do outside of the Kid's program: Adventure Ocean. Royal Caribbean should consider adding another ship to accommodate 5 day itineraries for families with children considering nearly 1.5 million cruisers come through Galveston per year. Overall, the Cruise Industry should consider mandating children 12 to 17 either are in a supervised program on-board or with their adult-aged guardian. No one would consider allowing their children to run around freely and unsupervised in a school setting of just 800 people and 100 adults, this would be crazy. Why would parents allow their under-aged children to walk around freely in a floating resort of over 2,700 strangers? I suspect nothing will change until several children fall victim to a tragic incident before policies change. This ship should also invest in more nightly entertainment such as more comedy shows for families and adults. More shows that do not involve the passenger guests performing or perhaps a magic show.

MSC Divina

MSC Divina

Since they don't spend much time in port, book your excursions through the cruise line so they will wait for you if you are late; or know exactly what you want to do off the ship so you can return before the ship leaves

Galveston, Texas

it is close to home and we like a quick get away. Arrive at your appointment time to avoid holding areas

Norwegian Getaway

Norwegian Getaway

Arrive a the port at least 1.5-2hrs ahead of sailing. We got there just under the wire(3:10pm), but I would not want to be get there at that hour again although there were people that arrived after us as well and they got on also. Get out, explore, and enjoy the ship.

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