noname111

noname111
Captain

Joined: 03/23/2015
23
Cruises
15
Reviews
74
Helpful Votes

About noname111

Experienced international travelers who love cruising. My husband and I are now in semi-retirement so we hunt for a good value but even more important, a super experience. We enjoy a lively and thoughtful discussion but do not appreciate judgmental responses or personal attacks. The best outcome of sites like Cruiseline is that more and more individuals become more knowledgeable and discerning consumers who take up cruising as a wonderful vacation habit. Happy Sails to everyone! Teri and Dave



Following

noname111's Tips

Regal Princess Regal Princess - If you want to get into the Sanctuary, go directly there when you board or you will lose out. Space was booked for almost the entire first week of our voyage. I was able to get a couple days in when the ship was in port. Fortunately, I was able to book the 2nd wk ahead of time.
Cobh (Cork), Ireland - The port is nice but we headed to Kinsale. Found an awesome fish and chips place named Dino's. Right on the harbor. Staff were lovely. Once they figure out we were from out of town, everyone stopped by to chat a while. Great food as well.
Livorno (Florence & Pisa), Italy - We visited the Cinque Terra (Five Lands) which includes Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. We had a blast visiting each village. I think our favorite was Riomaggiore where we had a fabulous lunch and Monterosso - best choice-hazelnut gelato - EVER!
Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy - The port is not immediately in Rome so plan on taking a bus or taxi into the city. People drive like fiends, so if you haven't been here before, get ready for some interesting adventures. With so much history to choose from we went with The Vatican and The Coliseum including on-your-own time.
New Orleans - NOLA is a mixed bag. Plusses, you have amazing history, stellar architecture, the Garden District, French Quarter, Cafe du Monde and Cemeteries. If you are a foodie, it's hard to find another city with more to offer. Minuses, remain vigilant of your belongings and where you are strolling around.
Halifax, Nova Scotia - Nova Scotia is a great city to explore. If you enjoy more of a nature tour, head east or north. The Tidal Bore and the Bay of Funny in general is a natural wonder. Cape Breton deserves its own vacation to truly soak in its beauty. There is a casino in Halifax proper, we were not impressed.
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island - Charlottetown, as well as the rest of PEI, is lovely. Just remember to slow your pace down to leisurely and your experience will be so much better. Locals are unfailingly polite and pleasant, return the favor.
Oranjestad, Aruba - Be prepared for hot and windy (not breezy.... windy). Be sure you have sunscreen on and bottled water to keep you hydrated. You don't realize how quickly you can become dehydrated here.
Barcelona, Spain - Lots to see in this beautiful city. If architecture is your thing, you cannot skip the The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família. Take a guided or narrated tour (headset) to understand everything you are looking at. It is a once-in-a-lifetime destination.
Naples, Italy - So much to do in all the Italian ports. While in Naples, we toured Pompeii. It was both amazing and sobering to think what happened there. Highly recommend an excursion to Pompeii. You will not regret it.
Bridgetown, Barbados - We love Barbados. The climate is not as hot, dry, and windy as is Aruba. Can't go wrong with a catamaran adventure.
San Juan, Puerto Rico - We love old town. A historical bus tour will give you the background associated with PR. The fort is wonderful to take in as well. Sunday is not a great day to dock as many places are closed. Also check for local holidays - shops and bars may be closed as well.
Cozumel, Mexico - We enjoyed snorkeling at the Palancar Reef many years ago. Since then, a few hurricanes have wreaked havoc with the eco-system. Be sure to do some research before booking snorkeling excursions. If shopping is your thing, you can't beat the main shopping area across from the water shuttle.
St. George's, Bermuda - St. Geo is a lovely walk-around port. Small shops, decent eateries. The Carriage House was wonderful for dinner (overnight in port). Keep in mind that this is at the less commercial end of the island. If you are looking for a lot of action, take a bus to Hamilton.
Cape Liberty (Bayonne), New Jersey - This is an industrial port area. If looking for something to do, cross the river and head into NYC. Otherwise, your choices are limited.
San Juan, Puerto Rico - We really enjoy Old Town. Walking around the fort is especially nice. Be mindful, if you are in port on Sunday or a holiday, services are very limited and lots of places are closed.
Explorer of the Seas Explorer of the Seas - The Explorer Lounge is a nice place to get away to a quiet spot for reading or checking the Internet.
San Pedro (Los Angeles), California - There is plenty to do in the LA area before or after your cruise but the immediate cruise port area is a major industrial port so plan to head to LA or Long Beach for some fun.
Island Princess Island Princess - The concept of Anytime Dining is great, but execution needs some fine-tuning. Make a reservation for a set dining time once you get on the ship. Yep, that flies in the face of "anytime" dining but if you dine at a popular time, not having a reserved table leaves you sitting with a beeper waiting.
Fuerte Amador, Panama - The smaller transports for excursions are cramped and just a smidge bigger than a mini-bus. Beware before you book. Also keep in mind that this is a tender port and often quite windy which whips up the water a bit. The tender ride is a choppy adventure and getting on/off the tender can be intimidating for the less physically abled.
Puerto Chiapas (Tapachula), Mexico - There is literally a pool and a visitor center right off the pier. The center features a few vendor shops but it is difficult to figure out if goods were local made. The pool features a bar and was crowded the entire time we were docked. Otherwise, there is NOTHING in the immediate port area. Book an excursion if you want to actually see something. Also, this port was extremely smoky. Can't actually say why but air quality was poor, especially in the morning hours. If you have a breathing condition, this is not the port to do a lot of physical activity unless you book an excursion outside of the immediate port area.
San Pedro (Los Angeles), California - Our second poor experience getting through this port process. We were in-transit passengers and they still managed to mess it up. My disabled husband finally got out of his wheelchair and hobbled back on board. This port needs serious help.
Puntarenas, Costa Rica - Had to skip Puntarenas due to poor weather and port closure. Went to Cabo San Lucas instead.
Cartagena, Colombia - The horse-drawn carriage tour books up early so book ahead of time or you will be out of luck. Also, book a tour through Princess. There were many warnings about wandering around public areas in Colombia.
Panama Canal Transit - Book a balcony cabin for this cruise. On deck 10 forward, at the very bow, there is a door on the port side. It is not labeled but it leads to an open bow area which is great for viewing during the canal traverse.
Island Princess Island Princess - The concept of Anytime Dining is great, but execution needs some fine-tuning. Make a reservation for a set dining time once you get on the ship. Yep, that flies in the face of "anytime" dining but if you dine at a popular time, not having a reserved table leaves you sitting with a beeper waiting.
Crown Princess Crown Princess - MDR fixed seat dining at 5:15pm will not leave you sufficient time to get to the 7:30pm show. Select Anytime Dining option unless you don't mind going to the late show.
Crown Princess Crown Princess - Toward the front of the Explorers Lounge (Promenade deck) is a smaller alcove of a few banquet seats and tables. It's a great spot to take your coffee in the morning as their is a window view.
Crown Princess Crown Princess - Consider the dining at your own time flexible option if getting to the shows is important to you. MDR 5:15pm set schedule dining makes it near impossible to get to the 7:30 show.
Geiranger, Norway - The dock in Geiranger unfolds and comes out to the ship. If you are into if you are a gearhead and mechanical stuff or even if you aren't, this is so interesting to observe so get out of your cabin and watch the docking procedure.
Geiranger, Norway - Get up early and watch the approach to Geiranger. It is simply stunning scenery.
Geiranger, Norway - The dock in Geiranger unfolds and comes out to the ship. If you are into if you are a gearhead and mechanical stuff or even if you aren't, this is so interesting to observe so get out of your cabin and watch the docking procedure.
Geiranger, Norway - Get up early and watch the approach to Geiranger. It is simply stunning scenery.
Serenade of the Seas Serenade of the Seas - For a quiet spot during the day, head to the Safari Club. Sometimes booked for private events or art auctions, otherwise it is dormant until the evening. It's got lovely window view that runs across the entire stern of the ship.
Goteborg (Gothenburg), Sweden - Much rockier than we expected. West Coast Islands might be better to tour in the summertime. At this time of year, it was dead.
Copenhagen, Denmark - The turnaround to our next cruise got a bit confusing so we ended up staying on board and did not see the city.
Le Havre (Paris), France - If you really want to go to Paris, be prepared for a butt-numbing bus ride in and out of the city.
Portland (Weymouth), England, Uk - We took the Stonehenge tour from here and did not see much of the port area. It looked like a great place to visit (beach area) in the summer though.
Boston, Massachusetts - My hometown. Love the North End for italian food. Lot of historical interest sites.
Serenade of the Seas Serenade of the Seas - When it wasn't being used for private functions, this was a nice, quiet spot was the Safari Club with a great view from the stern.
Celebrity Reflection Celebrity Reflection - If you aren't sure you want to get off the ship while in port, check out the Alcoves. It's so quiet and private, you can veg out all day long. In port pricing is lower as well, making it a great alternative.
Eurodam Eurodam - If you are mobility impaired, please reach out to HAL before booking this (or other same class ship). It was just not laid out properly to accommodate a wheelchair.
Carnival Sunshine Carnival Sunshine - IF you have a sensitivity to smoking, check to be sure the ship is no longer allowing smoking on balconies.
Cozumel, Mexico - Depending upon your expectations, Cozumel will either be a really sweet place or a dump. Just try to keep in mind that you are in Mexico, not DisneyWorld. The center of town, across the Miguel pier has great shops and restaurants. That is where you want to go to poke around and shop local.
Boston, Massachusetts - I live here so of course it is great! That said, for visitors - go to the North End for fabulous Italian food.
Ocho Rios, Jamaica - Celebrity ships dock next to a bauxite processing plant which smells of rotten eggs from time to time. Not much to do in local area so this is a good port for taking a ship excursion.
Ocho Rios, Jamaica - Pier is next to a bauxite processing plant which smells of rotten eggs from time to time. Do not recommend independent wandering around at this port. If you must get off the ship, take an organized excursion.
Norwegian Gem Norwegian Gem - Skip the MDR and take the ultimate dining package. Well worth the extra expense or as a bonus choice.
Ocho Rios, Jamaica - Ocho Rios pier is located next to a boxite processing plant, which smells. The independent walking around experience just off the pier is not the most desirable option either. Highly recommend booking a ship excursion at this location or stay on the ship and relax in an Alcove for the day.
Ocho Rios, Jamaica - Ocho Rios pier sits next to a boxite processing plant and smells. Getting off the ship to walk around is bad option. Take an excursion or stay on board.
Miami, Florida - No rating because we really didn't do much while we were there.
Celebrity Reflection Celebrity Reflection - The Alcoves is a great option for a private deck experience. Each comfortably accommodates 4. Staff are attentive and can get what you want. Awnings for shade if full sun is not desired. Less expensive on port days. The Lawn Club Grill is the best restaurant for relaxed fun w/do-it-yourself options.

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received a helpful vote on their Serenade of the Seas cruise review - The crew make this tired ship great

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Gem cruise review - Last minute decision which turned out nicely

received a helpful vote on their Celebrity Reflection cruise review - Reflecting about the Reflection

received a helpful vote on their Serenade of the Seas cruise review - Lovely cruise but the Serenade is tired and needs a refurb

received a helpful vote on their Explorer of the Seas cruise review - Convenient departure from NJ to warmer climate was just what we wanted

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Dawn cruise review - First attempt at cruising after an otherwise bumpy year

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Gem cruise review - Last minute decision which turned out nicely

received a helpful vote on their Serenade of the Seas cruise review - Lovely cruise but the Serenade is tired and needs a refurb

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Gem cruise review - Last minute decision which turned out nicely

received a helpful vote on their Serenade of the Seas cruise review - Lovely cruise but the Serenade is tired and needs a refurb