Second Mate

Joined: 06/11/2015
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travelbug2015's Past Cruises

Carnival Fascination

July 2017 - Carnival Fascination to Caribbean - Southern

Great family cruise!

Great family cruise with daughter & her family. They booked all sorts of adventure tours, water sports, boating, zip lining, but we are the grandparents and are seniors so we didn't join them. We all did our own thing during day & met up for dinner in Main Dining Room. Had some portraits made by Carnival & purchased several that turned out well.

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August 2016 - Veendam to Canada, New England, New York

Enjoyed This Cruise

Only had one sea day & stopped at 5 ports. Great shore excursions with knowledgeable tour guides.  Very historical places that were interesting and scenic. Easy & fast embarkation and disembarkation.  Smaller ship - easier to get around.  Not so many people - mostly adults.  Food in dining room was great. Would recommend to friends, especially retirees.

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Crown Princess

May 2015 - Crown Princess to Alaska - Inside Passage

First Cruise on Princess

My husband & I have cruised with Costa (Mediterranean & Baltic Seas), Thompson (Red Sea Egypt & Jordan), Carnival (Bahamas) & Royal Caribbean (Caribbean fm San Juan PR). Princess was highly recommended for Alaskan cruise. Boarding was pretty smooth. Pros:  Our balcony stateroom was larger than the balcony stateroom we had on Royal Caribbean.  Cabin Steward was spot on in cleaning, refreshing room.  We prepaid gratuities. Cruise highlight was day spent in Glacier Bay. Captain rotated the ship at north end so all passengers could get close-up view from their stateroom. Loved classical music played on ship TV channel between narration by Park Rangers.  Room service was excellent.  Buffet was usual but we ate in dining room each night and service, selection, presentation & portions were superb.  Way more than a small woman like myself could eat.  Desserts were outstanding.  Ship had nice tee shirts 2 for $20 (we bought 4) & costume rings 2 for $34.99 (bought 4). We took shore excursions at each port & enjoyed them very much.  Tour bus drivers were very knowledgeable and explained sights in a clear distinct voice. One complaint about tour in Skagway to Klondike (White) Pass.  Driver took us to Pass but did not stop & did not let us know he was not going to stop.  I was busy putting on my coat to get out of bus & missed getting a photo.  He instead came back to the Welcome to Alaska sign & stopped there.  All drivers were willing to take a photo of me & my husband together & we tipped them.  Musical entertainment in Crown Theater was good.  Loved Derrick the comedian.  His act was family friendly, PG & super funny.  Liked the Chef'’s demonstration & tour of massive kitchen. Cons: Cruise appeared to be too focused on shopping - onboard & in port.  Passengers receive coupon books with tickets for raffles but must go to each store to get them punched before entering.  We didn’t do it. We went to a presentation in theater that included a raffle but it was actually just a marketing presentation that lasted too long.  The ship has an employee who led this session.  His job is to push sales of jewelry & other items. Passengers received coupons for free bracelet & a free charm in each port to get passengers into jewelry stores.  Free jewelry is very low quality - not worth the effort.  Mass confusion first morning passengers disembarked for tours. Maybe because our cruise was only 2nd of season.  Didn’t always know which deck to disembark from but always found it even though it was different from day before.  Overall, it was a great cruise & I would recommend Princess to others.  Big Smile

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travelbug2015's Tips

Basseterre, St. Kitts - We took 4 hour bus tour that was great. Driver Nigel was very knowledgeable & could be easily heard & understood. St Kitts seemed to be more modern with a progressive government. Lots of government buildings. Beautiful scenery too.
Philipsburg, St. Maarten - We toured St Maarten 3 yrs ago on another cruise so we just shopped at very pretty terminal area. Shops were nice and more were under construction. Got tees for $5!
Castries, St. Lucia - We toured St. Lucia 3 yrs ago so we just walked around this time. Taxi drivers harassed us in terminal. We walked to city market but it was hot inside the tents. Vendors very pushy. But one vendor was nice & advised us to stay with group because there was high crime in city.
Bridgetown, Barbados - We toured Barbados 3 yrs ago on another cruise so this time we just visited the terminal shops.
San Juan, Puerto Rico - Terminal was large and nice. We took a tour of San Juan 3 yrs ago on another cruise so we did not tour it this year.
Boston, Massachusetts - Sunny day. We bought the transfer to airport with scenic tour on the way. Had low expectations but was pleasantly surprised. For about 2.5 hrs we drove all over downtown area, Stopped to see USS Constitution & learn history. Then stopped for a 20-min potty/photo break at the fancy Fairmont Hotel in Copley Square. Then went across bridge to Cambridge where MIT is located. Guide John was fantastic. Constantly told us the history of each building or site. Great tour.
Bar Harbor, Maine - Sunny day. Must be tendered in small boats from ship to dock. Can walk into lovely town easily from dock. Tons of shops, restaurants. A real tourist town. We took tour to Acadia National Park. It was mostly just a bus ride on the 27 mile loop in Park but we did make one stop on Cadillac Mountain that had great views.
Halifax, Nova Scotia - Sunny day. Lots of Vendors in Port Terminal Bldg. Bought souvenirs there. Go to Info Desk in Pier 22 & get a free map. Clerk showed us easy walking path along Harbor Walk.15 min walk to Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. Give yourself at least 2 hours for museum. We had to cut it short because we had to get back to meet tour. Our tour went to Fairview Lawn Cemetery, Public Gardens and The Citadel. Florence was great guide & tour was well worth cost.
Sydney, Nova Scotia - We took tour to Baddeck on Cape Breton to visit Alexander Graham Bell Museum and Historic Site. It was raining but great day for 45 min bus ride to Baddeck & 2-3 hours in museum & 45 min ride back to Sydney. Bell's life story is fascinating. Learned so much.
Montreal, Quebec - Rainy day for us. Port was under renovation so we had to board at temporary site which was congested & took a long time. Cab driver said that next year when port is moved back to Old Town, that passengers usually arrive early morning & explore the area until time to board.
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island - Sunny day. We took horse-drawn carriage ride & it was a lot of fun. Easy walk from dock into quaint small town. We enjoyed walking around it. Port Terminal had lots of vendors. Good place to buy souvenirs.
Quebec City, Quebec - Was windy & chilly. UNESCO tour was great. Tour guide Roger was very good. After tour, we walked into town & did some shopping. Easy walk from dock.
Veendam Veendam - Ship serves tea & snacks in Dining room each afternoon. Very nice. We used ship's nice gym several times. We celebrated an anniversary & waiters brought a small cake & sang to us. Ask about this service. Vendors in terminals will give small discount if you show ship card.
Seattle, Washington - Sunny days departing & returning & great view of Mt. Ranier. Had transports to apt & bus driver narrated scenery.
Cruise Glacier Bay - Highlight of cruise. Words cannot describe - must see for yourself.
Ketchikan, Alaska - Farthest south but was chilliest. Take a thick coat & umbrella because it's a damp town.
Crown Princess Crown Princess - If going to Glacier Bay, have breakfast in room & view glaciers from comfort of your own balcony. Park Rangers board the ship & provide narration that can be heard on TV Channel 45. Beautiful classical music plays between narrations & assists in communing with nature at this pristine spot.

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received a helpful vote on their Carnival Fascination cruise review - Great family cruise!

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Fascination cruise review - Great family cruise!

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Fascination cruise review - Great family cruise!

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Fascination cruise review - Great family cruise!

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Fascination cruise review - Great family cruise!

shared a quick tip for Carnival Fascination"Bring a power strip. There is only one outlet."

added Jul 9, 2017 cruise on Carnival Fascination to their profile.

reviewed their Caribbean - Southern cruise on Carnival Fascination and gave it 3.8 stars!

received a helpful vote on their Crown Princess cruise review - First Cruise on Princess

received a helpful vote on their Veendam cruise review - Enjoyed This Cruise