twangster

twangster
Captain

Joined: 07/15/2016
20
Cruises
7
Reviews
59
Helpful Votes
432

About twangster


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Destinations: Caribbean


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twangster's Past Cruises

Allure of the Seas

May 2017 - Allure of the Seas to Caribbean - Western

Loved Allure OTS

Great cruise, had a fantastic time.  Enjoyed every minute.  It would be hard to find something to complain about.  Sorento's pizza is so hot I could barely hold onto the plate.  There - the worst experience was hot food!    Friendly and helpful crew everywhere.  

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Oasis of the Seas

October 2016 - Oasis of the Seas to Caribbean - Western

Won't be our last Oasis class cruise

Cruised on Oct. 8, 2016 as Hurricane Matthew moved North past Ft. Lauderdale.  RC delayed departure to give folks time to deal with flight delays which had the added benefit of a beautiful sunset departure.  

 

First time on Oasis and RC.  Loved the ship and found it very easy to get around.  Food was mediocre, even fruit seemed to lack flavor, but it was okay.  Next time we will get a specialty dining package and just factor that cost into the mix when comparing with other options. 

 

Since we were in a suite we had access to Coastal Kitchen which was great. 

 

Need another cruise on Oasis to see some of the parades and other activities we missed, there is so much going on it is hard to cover the ship in one cruise.  Shows were great, loved them all.

 

We loved Central Park, especially at night.  Great place for an evening cocktail or glass of wine.  What a beautiful ship. 

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Carnival Magic

October 2015 - Carnival Magic to Caribbean - Western

Another great Carnival cruise

Having done the Dream and the Breeze I had an idea what to expect on the Magic and she didn't disappoint.  This was a scuba diving trip for us with dives in 3 ports.  Diving and cruising is a great mix, get to dive different islands and come back to the ship for all the ship offers.  Some dive resorts have great diving but not so good dining or accommodations.  Usually the diving makes up for it but when cruising you get the best of both. 

 

Interior spa cabin on deck 11, cabin 11239.  Have done interior before and loved having access to the spa through the private entrance.  Dive buddy is a teenager who loved the dark cabin (not an early riser). 

  

Found Galveston not so great as a fly in to cruise port as the airports are far from the port.

 

Overall another great Carnival experience. 

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Carnival Breeze

July 2015 - Carnival Breeze to Caribbean - Eastern

Awesome way to reintroduce my kids to cruising

Took my kids on a Disney cruise many years ago but they were small enough not to remember it now they have grown up. It was time to take them on another cruise and I selected the Breeze.  With my son over 21 we both bought the Cheers beverage package.  

 

Before Vista launched Breeze was Carnival's newest ship.  Having been on the Dream I sort of knew what to expect on this class of ship and the Breeze didn't disappoint.  Guy's Burgers was a bit hit with my kids and we ate there many times.  My daughter enjoyed the '3D' thrill theater although I found it in need of some repairs - broken seat, glasses falling apart, etc, but we used the pass to visit it many times and saw each short film.  

 

The Breeze breaks free of the traditional coral colored room theme and it is a welcome change.  Our spa balcony cabin on deck 11 had convenient access to the spa with a separate entrance with spiral staircase.  The spa was a great way to ease away the day and put me into a relaxing mood before bed.  

 

My kids have different tastes and I was able to spend time with each of them always finding something to do.  Our only excursion booked through Carnival was the Bob Marley tour and we all loved it.   

 

While not quite a mega ship the Breeze is very large but we never 'felt' the crowds.  I like the wrap around promenade deck that goes around the ship entirely outside.  A great way to walk off some of that food.  Many Carnival ships have forward public decks and this is one of the things I really like about Carnival ships.  Again the Breeze doesn't disappoint with several forward decks at different levels.

 

The Breeze was the perfect way to re-introduce them to cruising and my son is anxious to go again, especially if I'm paying Happy

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Carnival Imagination

May 2015 - Carnival Imagination to Mexico

Smaller ship, but very enjoyable

B2B on the Imagination.  Great crew and I love on these smaller ships a closer relationship with the crew.  Excellent service and food.  They surprised with a bottle of champagne in my cabin for doing the B2B. 

 

Weather closed Long Beach port as we returned so we went to San Diego as an alternate.  Since I was doing a B2B I just stayed on the ship where everyone else had to bus back to Long Beach.  I had the ship to myself for an extended period waiting for the next wave of passengers to bus down from Long Beach.  Plus I got to see San Diego from the water, an added bonus.

 

Catalina port also closed due to weather so I had a B2B with two stops in Ensenada.  Once was enough, but oh well, still had a great time. 

 

While the Fantasy class ships are smaller and don't have all the new features like rope courses or 4D theaters, they are still a great ship. 

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Carnival Imagination

April 2015 - Carnival Imagination to Mexico

Carnival Valor

March 2015 - Carnival Valor to Caribbean - Southern

Carnival Valor

June 2014 - Carnival Valor to Caribbean - Southern

Carnival Miracle

December 2013 - Carnival Miracle to Mexico

Carnival Freedom

October 2013 - Carnival Freedom to Caribbean - Western

Norwegian Majesty

December 2000 - Norwegian Majesty to Caribbean - Bahamas

twangster's Tips

Skagway, Alaska - Interesting port with lots of history. Skagway played a big role in the gold rush of 1898. The White Pass train ride was great. Very informative and super easy departing right at the ship. Don't worry about what side of the train to sit on, it reverses direction coming down so there is no wrong side to sit on, plus once out of town you can use the outdoor viewing platforms. Train offered free bottles of water. Best souvenir prices, much cheaper than Juneau. Ship is an easy 10 minute walk to the downtown area.
Ketchikan, Alaska - Misty Fjords NM boat cruise was very nice. Bit of a haul to get out there but we had incredible weather and it was gorgeous. Back in town walked around a bit including down the Creek Street shops. Some of the same type stores found in other ports line the pier areas but if you walk past those you can find some stores with local arts and carvings.
Juneau, Alaska - The helicopter to the Glacier was awesome but didn't think too much of the town. Red Dog Saloon is overrated and overcrowded. Bar stools so close I was bumping elbows the entire time I tried to enjoy a beer. Most expensive of all ports for the same souvenirs. I had read that and found prices 40% lower in Skagway for the same things. Good port to do an excursion and get out of town.
Hubbard Glacier, Alaska - Sailed very close to the Glacier and could hear and see it calving. Captain did a couple full circles so there was no bad place on the ship to experience it from. Awesome.
Seward (Anchorage), Alaska - Took the train down from Anchorage and walked to the ship. They had free shuttle buses from the train to the ship but I enjoyed the walk after sitting on the train. Saw a humpback whale feeding in the harbor right beside the ship. Easy embarkation, small lines and quickly on board.
Icy Strait Point (Hoonah), Alaska - Touted as an experience closer to true Alaska it's a nice break from the same tshirt and diamond stores found in many Alaskan ports. It is purposely built to accommodate one ship at a time and the local native village that manages the port is keeping the big chain shops out on purpose. We went whale watching and had an incredible time. Next time I'm going to do the zip line :)
Vancouver (Canada Place), British Columbia - Pretty port. Arrived 7:15 am, disembarked at 8:10 am waiting for baggage to be ready. Breezed through Canadian customs. Short walk to the Skytrain, $4 CAD ($3 USD) and an easy ride to the airport. Delta got me onto an earlier flight and I was taking off at 11:20 am despite US Customs at the airport hauling me into secondary due to someone with the same name who is wanted.
Allure of the Seas Allure of the Seas - Most restaurants open at 11:30 AM on boarding day. There are many options beyond the Windjammer marketplace for boarding day food. You should get a boarding day cruise compass when you check in, it lists all the dining options, locations and times they open.
Carnival Imagination Carnival Imagination - There is a small public deck in front of the mini-golf area that is a great place to watch the ship enter or leave ports.
Oasis of the Seas Oasis of the Seas - Suite guests including Junior Suites have access to the Coastal Kitchen for dinner. Make dinner reservations early as prime time reservations book up quickly.
Carnival Magic Carnival Magic - The Taste Bar has free samples from different specialty restaurants at different times throughout the cruise. Drop by early in the cruise and snap a picture of the schedule on your phone.
Galveston, Texas - While convenient for TX residents it is not very close to local airports and logistically challenging as a fly to cruise port. We stayed in a hotel near the airport with a free shuttle. Flew in day before and took the free hotel shuttle back to airport to use the paid cruise line transfer to port.

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