Second Mate

Hometown: New England
Joined: 04/02/2015
Helpful Votes

About seanoelbee

Great way to meet new people, see great new places and experience top notch entertainment all within walking distance of your "hotel" room. Once you are on board the whole world opens up to you and you get to choose what you do and when you do it. I have been a road warrior for 25+ years and it is my favorite way to vacation.



seanoelbee's Past Cruises

Norwegian Pearl

November 2017 - 9 Night Western Caribbean (New Orleans Roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Pearl

Good Western Caribbean Itinerary

It was ok at best. Out of the six we have been on probably the lowest score. With that having been said we have been on some really GREAT cruises. I would recommend this cruise but it was not the best we have taken and also realize that I am trying to be very honest as people will read this and make decisions based upon what I write. Oh, we booked the inaugural sailing of the Norwegian Bliss from Southampton, England in April 2018 so we are sticking with them. It will be our fourth Norwegian sailing. I trust this was helpful.

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Norwegian Gem

January 2017 - 10 Night Eastern Caribbean (New York Roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Gem

Allure of the Seas

March 2015 - 7 Night Western Caribbean (Ft. Lauderdale Roundtrip) Cruise on Allure of the Seas

Grammy & Bumpa's Fourth Great Cruise Adventure

Overall we had a great cruise. We chose this particular cruise because it was the ship we wanted and the ports that we wanted.  The ship lived up to all of the hype; there was so much to do that even with a detailed plan going in we were not able to do everything.  We saw all of the major shows - prior reservations were highly recommended and we made them before sailing date - which were top notch and they would have cost between $35.00 & $75.00 if seen in commercial venues. We also saw several other shows or events that did not need prior reservations and they too were terrific.

The food on the ship was good and even excellent in some eateries - we ate at two specialty restaurants Giovonni's Table and Samba Grill - Samba grill was excellent and both were reasonably priced for on-board specialty dining. We have cruised with three other cruise lines and thought that each of their food offerings were better - two of the lines were much better.  Also we missed the creative touches that we found on other cruise lines such as extensive fruit carvings and ice sculptures that we enjoyed on Disney and Princess. We thought that Royal's charging for a small box of popcorn and Johnny Rocket's was very off-putting. There was certainly enough complimentary dining of average to good quality to make the cruise enjoyable.  Other cruise lines had burger and pizza bars in the pool areas so that you didn't have to leave your spot and go to get something to each.  I am an avowed "beer snob" drinking only micro-brews and craft beers and the selection was dismal on this ship. They did have Sam Adams and one pub had Red Hook but that was about it, along with Jamaican Red Stripe.

We are not big on carrying around suits and gowns for formal nights when on vacation, so the two formal nights were not enjoyable for us as we had to make alternative dining plans.  We did find out that a nice button down shirt and dress slacks were enough to get by with so that was helpful.  Also though the formal nights were supposed to be on the second and sixth nights they got changed to the second and fifth nights which caused us to do some re-arranging of our plans.

There were plenty of pools and hot-tubs, but the pools were entered and exited via pool ladders which exclude people with disabilities such as knee replacements of back injuries.  The hot tubs were all walk in with stairs and were very large. There was one pool at the bow which had walk down stairs and as an added bonus it was for adults only.  There were a lot of families on this cruise but for the most part the kids were well behaved and respectful.

The ports we visited were just o.k. as we were expecting more.  Their island of Labadee was the best as there were nice beeches for swimming, adequate lounge chairs and sun cabanas available at no charge, excepting the tip for someone to set them up. Jamaica was expensive and a rather small local area to explore, unless you went on an excursion which were very expensive to book on the ship and were not always as advertised. Case in point, $100.00 to Zip Line - great for distance and ride - was supposed to take two hours but only consumed thirty minutes.  We heard other similar stories.  

At Cozumel we did not even get off the ship because Lucy, the professional on-board shopper, said that the immediate area at the port was a "heads down, no-thank-you zone" and you would need to pay a taxi $8.00 each way to get to the main shopping town.  We do not cruise to shop so there was no sense in getting off the ship.  We found out after that her description of the immediate port was inaccurate and only served to get people down to the area where she had pre-arranged "quality" shops.  The same ones that are found in virtually every cruise port including Alaska.

The attitude and helpfulness of the crew was for the most part, commendable; although we did run into a fair number who were, shall we say, "having a bad day".  There were 6,000 plus guests cruising with us in addition to the crew but the ship is so big that you did not realize it.  The ride was incredibly smooth and we thought that we were in a local mall.  

The three open areas, The Promenade, Boardwalk, and Central Park were truly amazing, each had entertainment, shops and eateries.  The Boardwalk had a carousel, a hot dog stand, an ice cream shop - not complimentary - several other pay for dining restaurants and a huge aqua theater. Central park was lush and green with live orchids. There were two Tidal bars that went up and down three floors.

Boarding went very well and the disembarking went smoothly although it was lengthy

The worst part of the trip was Fort Lauderdale.  It has changed so much in the last 25 years.  It used to be a nice place to visit and we looked forward to going to conventions in that are.  Now it is overcrowded with terrible and dangerous drivers - that from a Boston driver.  We will look for cruises leaving from Tampa or New York in the future.

Overall a great cruise. If we had not been on Disney, Princess and Norwegian we would have rated the food higher, but again it was plentiful and good.  Each of our cruises have had remarkable memories and the Allure of the Seas will be remembered for its incredible size, stability, entertainment, sheer volume of things to do.


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Norwegian Sky

December 2012 - 4 Night Bahamas (Miami roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Sky

seanoelbee's Tips

Coxen Hole, Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras - We had a beach and snorkel adventure scheduled for this port but the weather caused it to be cancelled. We got off the ship and went to the port just to walk around. It was ok at best. we were looking forward to a beach day but Norwegian is not responsible for the weather.
Santo Tomas De Castilla, Guatemala - 90 minute bus ride to our destination of Mayan Ruins "Quirigua Archaeological Explorer" through quite dirty and poverty laden villages and cities. Our tour guide was good but we could not reconcile the pride she spoke of for the local people with their lack of simple ability to care for even the little they had. there was trash everywhere and buzzards knew where to feed. Once we got to Quirigua it was interesting and again our guide, of Mayan descent, was very good. Travel back was tough. 30 minute stop due to road construction was not fun but we did stop at a "Hibiscus Restaurant" which was a restaurant which our tour guide was familiar with and past friends of the family. We stopped for a pineapple drink and a tour of a pineapple plantation as well as wonderful tropical gardens.
New Orleans, Louisiana - Nice. Do the Hop-on-Hop-off several days if possible. New Orleans Cooking School class for $28.00 was great!!
Cozumel, Mexico - Nice. We did the Chankanaab Beach Party and Snorkel Party. The day we went they were having a motorcycle race in the town so we had to walk a long way when we got to the venue. The water was very rough for snorkeling and although I had done a good amount of snorkeling I ran into trouble as did several others of the group. The Tequila lesson and tasting was top notch as was the Sea Lion show. Don't plan on being able to swim off of the beach as there is a wall and no entry to the water excepting the stairs to th 12 foot drop into the snorkel area.
George Town, Grand Cayman - Nice. We did the "Catamaran & Stingray Adventure". The tour folks were great! Swimming with the stingrays was as much fun as advertised and much more. The tour people were great showing us how to hold them, pet them, feed, them and just enjoy them. The ride out was wonderful the ride back, not so much! It poured, not their fault. It rained so hard that the captain could not navigate back correctly, a compass would have helped? When we got back the lunch was a disappointment. First it was not ready, second we had to wade through water to get to the seating, water that had a bar with electrical outlets in it ( danger, danger). The food was good but hastily served and limited.
Costa Maya (Mahahual), Mexico - Probably our favorite excursion. The port offers a large area of local crafters but we did not go through the market area as we had seen all of the same wares in other places. We did the "Mayan Reality Tour". Another bus ride with another informative guide. We went to a Mayan home and had lunch with them and were able to see how they had assimilated into modern life while still maintaining their ties to their culture. By doing three different Mayan cultural tours we learned a lot about their lives, history, and who they are today. Overall to rate the expense of the tours: we had the package that gave us a $50.00 credit towards each tour in each port and that made it overall worthwhile. I do not think that an extra $50.00 for any of the tours would have been fair, that coming from an old New England Yankee that tries to spend his money wisely
Harvest Caye, Belize - Norwegian's own private Island and only the second year in service. Really nice!! the merchants want to get into your wallet but that is to be expected. Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate!! We did the "Mayan Culture and Medicinal Tour" and we enjoyed it. Again a nice bus ride but this time through areas that citizens had more pride in themselves. The tour was nice but if you do it be sure to bring insect repellent as there are hungry mosquitoes as you walk through the rain forest to learn much about how the Mayans use God's natural remedies.
Coral Princess Coral Princess - Get ready to be pampered. The ice carvings and the fruit carvings were tremendous! Take the tour of the kitchens.
Allure of the Seas Allure of the Seas - All of the elevator lobbies have great interactive mapping and deck plans to get you around easily.

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received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Pearl cruise review - Good Western Caribbean Itinerary

shared a quick tip for Norwegian Pearl"You will enjoy it but do set too high of a standard."

added Nov 10, 2017 cruise on Norwegian Pearl to their profile.

reviewed their Caribbean - Western cruise on Norwegian Pearl and gave it 3.7 stars!

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