pinguina

pinguina

Second Mate
Joined 06/2019

7

Cruises

4

Reviews

33

Helpful Votes

Upcoming cruises

Past cruises

Caribbean Princess

September 2019 - 10 Night Classic Canada & New England (New York To Quebec City) Cruise on Caribbean Princess

First Princess experience mostly positive

Caribbean Princess seemed like a well-run and well-kept ship. Even with our itinerary change due to Hurricane Dorian, things went smoothly and efficiently. The lackluster food was my only real issue, but even then, there were plenty of decent options.

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Norwegian Escape

September 2018 - 7 Night Bermuda (New York Roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Escape

Was not thrilled with NCL customer care

Our one and only original port of call in Bermuda was canceled due to Hurricane Florence. The itinerary was swapped for a Florida/Bahamas trip. My friends and I were disappointed but willing to accept the change as we understand it’s part of cruising. Then, our call at Nassau was also canceled. At that point, I thought maybe NCL would shoot us even a small OBC, but they didn’t. The overall impression we got was “eh, too bad.” A large part of the issue was a lack of communication and honesty. Based on the forecasts before the trip even began, it seemed the stop at Nassau was unlikely from the start. Guests could have been advised of that fact. That information would have allowed us to properly plan. For example, we could have purchased souvenirs and not waited to shop at Nassau, or we may have chosen to be more active on the other port days. This was my third NCL cruise, and it left somewhat of a bad taste in my mouth. That being said, we girls did have fun because we always do. 😝

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Celebrity Millennium

September 2017 - 7 Night Alaska Hubbard Glacier (Vancouver Roundtrip) Cruise on Celebrity Millennium

Wowed by Alaska, unsure about Celebrity

Enjoyable overall. Alaska is beautiful. I wasn’t fully sold on Celebrity with this cruise, but I’d try them again.

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Norwegian Gem

April 2015 - 8 Night Bahamas & Florida (New York Roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Gem

Great time on the Gem

This was my mom’s first cruise. Took her as a birthday present and splurged on the Haven. Very much enjoyed the experience. It’s truly like you are on a different ship. Feels super exclusive as there are so few Haven cabins on this particular ship. This itinerary was just so-so for me. Great Stirrup Cay was the best port, and IDK if it should even count as a real port of call since it’s NCL’s island!

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Norwegian Breakaway

October 2013 - 7 Night Bermuda (New York roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Breakaway

Norwegian Gem

Norwegian Gem

Sail date: April 24, 2015

Great time on the Gem

This was my mom’s first cruise. Took her as a birthday present and splurged on the Haven. Very much enjoyed the experience. It’s truly like you are on a different ship. Feels super exclusive as there are so few Haven cabins on this particular ship. This itinerary was just so-so for me. Great Stirrup Cay was the best port, and IDK if it should even count as a real port of call since it’s NCL’s island!

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Norwegian Escape

Norwegian Escape

Sail date: September 09, 2018

Was not thrilled with NCL customer care

Our one and only original port of call in Bermuda was canceled due to Hurricane Florence. The itinerary was swapped for a Florida/Bahamas trip. My friends and I were disappointed but willing to accept the change as we understand it’s part of cruising. Then, our call at Nassau was also canceled. At that point, I thought maybe NCL would shoot us even a small OBC, but they didn’t. The overall impression we got was “eh, too bad.” A large part of the issue was a lack of communication and honesty. Based on the forecasts before the trip even began, it seemed the stop at Nassau was unlikely from the start. Guests could have been advised of that fact. That information would have allowed us to properly plan. For example, we could have purchased souvenirs and not waited to shop at Nassau, or we may have chosen to be more active on the other port days. This was my third NCL cruise, and it left somewhat of a bad taste in my mouth. That being said, we girls did have fun because we always do. 😝

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Caribbean Princess

Caribbean Princess

Sail date: September 04, 2019

First Princess experience mostly positive

Caribbean Princess seemed like a well-run and well-kept ship. Even with our itinerary change due to Hurricane Dorian, things went smoothly and efficiently. The lackluster food was my only real issue, but even then, there were plenty of decent options.

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Cruise tips

Port Canaveral, Florida

We didn’t do any excursions here. We rented a car to visit family in Orlando. There is nothing to do at the port itself. Waiting for a rental car shuttle was a little chaotic. There weren’t really any designated pickup spots. The area around the port is pretty industrial and not at all scenic.

Nassau, Bahamas

Our visit was a few years ago at this point, but we thought Nassau was fine. We took a cab to Atlantis to visit the aquarium since it was a rainy day. Afterward, we walked around Nassau a little. Had some conch fritters, looked at shops. Yes, people tried to approach us, but most weren’t overly aggressive. IDK if I’d care to return here again though. Once seemed like enough.

Great Stirrup Cay (Cruise Line Private Island), Bahamas

I didn’t expect to enjoy my day here as much as I did as I’m not a huge beach person, but it was quite a lovely day. Did the wildlife cruise excursion and thought it was great. The local guide and crew were fun and knowledgeable. The critters they dove for and brought aboard were cool to see up close. The island itself was clean and pretty. Enjoyed the various beaches and areas. The only negative was the lunch buffet was very chaotic. The buffet facility is relatively small and there was a lot of congestion and crowding. NCL needs to diversify the lunch options a bit so everyone doesn’t have to cram into the same place.

Norwegian Gem

Norwegian Gem

Do the Haven if you can!

Cruise Hubbard Glacier

It was rainy but we could still see the glacier pretty well. The captain brought us in quite close and we had great views from our balcony. Amazing experience.

Icy Strait Point (Hoonah), Alaska

My mother and I took the forest tram tour with a wonderful local guide. He was a knowledgeable older gentleman. He gave us a lot of interesting information about his community, their history, and the land. It was touching the way he welcomed us all as guests. The tour was relaxing and pleasant.

Ketchikan, Alaska

We took a boat tour of the fjords. Nice scenery, even some eagle sightings. The old volcanic pipe rock formations were cool to see. We didn’t have enough time afterward to enjoy the shops in port as the captain wanted to leave early to avoid poor weather. He kept blowing the horn prematurely and scaring the snot out of everyone. We thought we were going to be left behind, but it was still well before all-aboard time!

Juneau, Alaska

Did a Mendenhall glacier, whale watch, and salmon lunch tour. We saw several whales. Good excursion, with some time left to grab delicious king crab and chowder back in Juneau.

Celebrity Millennium

Celebrity Millennium

Snag an aft corner family veranda if you can - humongous balcony with 270-degree views!

Norwegian Escape

Norwegian Escape

The Haven is the way to go if you want to relax without crowds and lines.

Saint John, New Brunswick

There’s not much to see in the immediate port area. My family went on the “St Martin and Sea Caves” excursion. This included stops at the reversing rapids, the sea caves/restaurant near St Martin, St Martin village, and the local market in Saint John. It was enjoyable overall, although it felt somewhat rushed at times. Narration from the local guide was informative. The stop at the small local market at the end of the tour was a complete waste in my opinion as many of the stalls were closed the day we visited (Sunday). Would happily have eliminated it in favor of a little more time at the caves or somewhere else. The tour began with a quick stop at the reversing rapids. Unfortunately, there’s a large factory across the river from the viewing area, so it’s really not that scenic unless you make an effort to look away from the huge smokestacks. The tour also ended with a second stop at the rapids so that we could see the reversal in the flow due to the massive tides in the Bay of Fundy. It’s cool to see but not a must-do in my opinion. Based on my experience, I would not book a tour that is solely focused on the reversing rapids. Not much to see. Especially don’t do a tour or stop here if you can’t stay long enough or make two stops to see the reversing flow. Next up was a drive to the sea caves near St Martin. There are some nice views along the way, but there’s a lot of just plain highways and unscenic road as well. Hurricane Dorian had just passed through the area the day before our visit, so there were many trees down along the side of the road and in people’s yards. The power was out for most of the area. When we arrived at the sea caves, the first order of business was a chowder lunch (included in the cost of the excursion). Despite the power being out, the restaurant staff did their best to accommodate our group. The chowder was good, but the seating was cramped. They had our group at long communal tables, which were positioned very close together with one end next to a wall. That made it essentially impossible to get up until the rest of the tables did. It was an issue because of the limited time we had after lunch to explore the beach and caves. The restaurant is right on the beach, but the room we were in had little to no view. When we made it outside, the beach and caves were splendid. You’re not really meant to go into the caves. But if you have enough time and the tide is right, you can hike up close to them. Waterproof shoes are recommended if you want to walk on the beach. Keep in mind that it’s rocky, so not a good idea for those with mobility issues. You still have great views if you don’t go directly onto the beach. St Martin village was the next stop. It’s tiny but scenic, with two covered bridges and a cute little dock. The ice cream from the shop at the dock was tasty. There was not much to do other than take a few photos and browse one or two shops. The tour wrapped up with the aforementioned stop at the market and a final look at the rapids.

Sydney, Nova Scotia

Not a lot to see in the immediate port area, although there is a nice park next to the pier. My family did not do a Princess excursion. We booked a semiprivate van tour with Cabot Discovery Tours, which I highly recommend. Our tour was a drive along parts of the scenic Cabot Trail. The views were very beautiful, and we were lucky to have fabulous sunny weather. The trail is somewhat far from the port, but it was worth the trip in my opinion. Being in a small group made it easy for us to make multiple photo stops, including at some places a large bus wouldn’t be able to get to. The pace was much more comfortable and relaxed than the Princess excursions we went on during the cruise. We were able to enjoy a good, almost leisurely lunch at a local restaurant with a nice view of the water. Again, I highly recommend Cabot Discovery Tours based on our experience.

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

I wish this had been a longer stop. There’s a lot to see and do on PEI, and it’s not possible to do it all in one day. Downtown Charlottetown is reachable on foot from the pier, but it may be a bit far for those with more limited mobility. My family started the day on the “Anne of Green Gables and Island Drive” excursion. I’m a huge Anne and LM Montgomery fan, so I was looking forward to visiting the Green Gables site. Unfortunately, it was a very nasty rainy day, so it was not conducive to really enjoying the visit to the site. I wasn’t able to walk around the grounds at all. We thankfully had enough time to view the Green Gables house itself, but I think it was mostly because we were lucky enough to be the first bus there. It got super crowded very quickly after we arrived, and I’m not sure we’d have been able to see much had we arrived later. So beware. Book the early time slot if you have the option. Try to save some time for the gift shop as they have some unique Anne merch. The island drive portion of the tour was a little forgettable, TBH. Maybe in better weather we’d have been able to see more of the scenery, but it was mostly just normal homes and farms. The guide pointed out when we passed the gravesite of LM Montgomery. We did make a couple of photo stops. One was at the famous red cliffs, and the other was at the port of a small fishing community. The cliffs were great, but the little port was skippable. Overall, I would probably not recommend this excursion for those who are not Anne fans, but I enjoyed it. After our excursion dropped us back at the pier, we took a rainy walk into Charlottetown for lunch at Claddagh Oyster House. This was my favorite meal of the cruise. My husband and I enjoyed delicious PEI mussels and oysters, and my mom had great fish and chips. The shops and Cows Ice Cream shop were nice and fun to browse. Would have liked to see one of the Anne plays, but maybe next time.

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Great port. Did not do an excursion. We walked along the beautiful boardwalk, took a fun duck boat tour, and visited the Maritime Museum. Lunch at The Bicycle Thief was very good. The waterfront area was lovely and very walkable. Beautiful place to just sit and people watch if you like. We did just that for awhile as my mom was resting from all of the walking. Our pier was a bit far down, but it was a lovely sunny day for a walk (after Hurricane Dorian had just passed through). The rest of the city is hilly and can climb rather steeply up from the water, so consider that if you’re planning to walk anywhere inland and away from the boardwalk area. The Halifax Hopper duck boat was a good overview of the city. The tour was just the right length so that we had plenty of time to enjoy other activities. The Maritime Museum is worth a stop for those interested in ships or history. The Titanic exhibit was moving and cool as there are artifacts from the ship. You can also learn about the Halifax Harbor disaster.

Quebec City, Quebec

Did not do an excursion. We walked around the lower city and then took the funicular up to the upper city. We had quiche and cafe au lait for lunch at a sidewalk cafe, gelato on the promenade for a snack, and then dined on onion soup, salmon tartare, and poutine alfresco for dinner. We took full advantage of the ship being in port overnight and did not return until well after dark. Seeing the city lights at night and with fewer crowds was a treat. The city itself is the attraction here. It’s easy to enjoy the European atmosphere and picturesque architecture.

Newport, Rhode Island

I’ve been to Newport before and so did not do any excursions. Walked around town after a short tender ride and had a nice lunch. It’s a very walkable town with plenty to see right off the tender even on your own. Historic Trinity Church and it’s tiny old churchyard right across from tender port are open to the public. Lots of nice shops as well. Would recommend walking part of the cliff walk, although we did not on this trip. Note that it’s not near where the tender port is, nor are the mansions. Unless you have a special interest, I would not do more than one mansion as they can be repetitive. Definitely do a guided tour or at least an audio tour for the best experience.

Boston, Massachusetts

Due to an itinerary change, this became an overnight port call. I have been to Boston many times, so I did not do any excursions. The port itself is in an industrial area, and sights were not nearby or easily accessible on foot. It was the ugliest port area and terminal of the cruise, hands down. But the city has a lot to see and do once you make it out of the port. My family took Lyfts to Chinatown for a dim sum brunch. We then spent the afternoon at the New England Aquarium, which I’ve been to several times but always enjoy. Great rainy day option. We ended our day with a bowl of chowdah at Legal’s across the street from the aquarium. It’s a must do if you’re a chowder lover, and it certainly hit the spot on that chilly day.

Caribbean Princess

Caribbean Princess

If you want to make a reservation for anytime dining, you should call the dining line early on the same day. We did not usually have any issues just showing up on the nights we were too late to reserve.

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