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About smileycruiser2007

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  1. smileycruiser2007

    New Dress Code

    If you have been on a Carnival cruise, you will see men wearing only swim trunks or women wearing only a bathing suit in the Lido at lunch. Not a good look in a dining area for anyone. That made me lose my appetite, YMMV.
  2. smileycruiser2007

    Voyage of Midnight Sun-North Cape Explorer Question

    Many thanks to everyone who responded! Please know that you have made my mother very happy to know that she can enjoy this cruise. I will show her Ann's review, and your encouraging comments. It's great to know that another mother-daughter pair of similar age is doing the Midnight Sun itinerary, and also that the North Cape Explorer will make her equally happy. For those going on either itinerary, have a terrific time!!
  3. First, I would like to thank all the Cruise Critic posters for the comments, information, blogs, and reviews you’ve shared for others to enjoy and to learn from. My mother and I are thinking of taking the Voyage of the Midnight Sun (Ryndam) or North Cape Explorer (Prinsendam) itineraries in summer 2015. If you have taken either of these itineraries on any ship, we’d appreciate your comments about whether or not we could enjoy lots of scenery (once in the fjords) without leaving the ship. My 86 year old mother is in good health except for arthritis in her ankles. She is fine walking inside, but walking on rough surfaces like cobblestones, etc. can be very painful and tiring for her. She would be really happy watching the scenery from the ship while sailing or in port. That is the only entertainment she wants! She is a 4-Star Mariner, and has sailed on both these ships years ago, so she’ll feel right at home. It’s fine that these are older ships and showing some wear –so are we! We are hoping that once in the fjords, we could enjoy the views like you can when cruising Alaska’s Inside Passage, or the approach to Stockholm. If we are wrong about this, which is pretty much the entire reason for going, we’d better make a different choice. Thanks in advance for your comments, Alison
  4. smileycruiser2007

    12 day Sea of Cortez advice

    I did the 10-day Sea of Cortez, and just loved the whole experience. Loreto is a charming place to stop, and also on a snorkel-dive trip we saw sea lions, flying rays, and blue-footed boobies. The mountains so close to the sea..One of my favorite cruises ever, on the Ryndam, and have been on Statendam too. Did not go to Copper Canyon myself. Some people really liked it, and some thought it was way too much effort for the time there. :)
  5. smileycruiser2007

    Dinner Service Time on Hebridean Princess?

    Thank you, "knothead usc" for the info. That isn't much of an adjustment, especially with the afternoon tea. We have been to Scotland before, but never in such comfort and not on a cruise. It really does seem very special. :)
  6. The Hebridean Princess seems like a wonderful experience. The reviews are all so detailed and positive. We are considering a trip, and are curious as to what time dinner is served. Americans typically like to have dinner at 6:30 (we do, anyway), and Europeans prefer a later time. We can adapt, we are just discovering what personal adjustments we should be expecting. Adaptation is a very reasonable tradeoff for not having constant announcements for art auctions, shopping-spa-casino-bingo promotions, etc.
  7. smileycruiser2007

    When HAL sailed to 6 Mexican ports

    I absolutely loved this cruise and enjoyed every port, some more than others. Loreto, La Paz, and PV were lots of fun. I felt completely safe in every port just walking around, riding the local bus, etc. including Mazatlan. Going to Mazatlan and Topolobampo does involve considerable distance, and if the new practice is to go slow to reduce fuel cost, that would be one explanation why this delightful cruise is no longer offered. Echoing the sentiments of other posters, murders (sometimes several) in the city of Washington DC and surroundings are daily occurrences. I'm certain the same applies to LA, one port for this Mexican itinerary. There are some places in Mexico and Central America known for violence, but none of the ports on this itinerary falls into that category. I believe there has been a tourist fatality in Mazatlan. While this is very disturbing and sad, we have to remember that quite a few tourists from all over have been murdered in Miami, and no one shut down tourism there. I would jump at the chance to visit the Sea of Cortez ports again. I have missed "accessible Mexico".
  8. smileycruiser2007

    Medical Evacuation at Half Moon Cay

    I wish the crewmember the very best. My father was evacuated from HMC during a storm and there is no question that HAL trains it crewmembers to spot problems and react quickly. The on-board medical staff was superb, and sent a HAL nurse with my father. They were all wonderful and saved my father's life.
  9. smileycruiser2007

    Changing Cruising Habits

    Between the annoyances of flying, the increasing petty crime in many areas visited by ships, and the distances to travel by bus to see the tourist sights enjoyed by too many people at a time, inspiration for a cruise has been pretty low. CowPrincess and SailSevenSeas captured my feelings perfectly. I am lucky to have had such wonderful past experiences on HAL, and will always remember the excitement of being able to walk off the ship into such delights as Helsinki, Oslo, Copenhagen, and Stockholm. I do miss the lovely and friendly Indonesian and Filipino crew, would like to support them by cruising.
  10. smileycruiser2007

    Ever Tried Carnival???

    I've been on 2 7-day Carnival cruises and had a great time on both. The first one was over Thanksgiving to Panama, Costa Rica, and Cozumel and there were lots of multigenerational families on board. Children were so excited about Camp Carnival. Although the library was small, there were quite a few interesting books to read. Loved the 24-hour ice cream. The cabins were almost as nice as HAL and service was very similar. They promised fun and I had fun. I do prefer HAL, but sometimes the Carnival itinerary is more achievable. The second trip was when school was in session, and I only saw a couple of children. There were no issues of children running down the passageways as some did on the previous trip. This was a trip to Boston and Canada and it was lots of fun. Both ships had the incredibly noisy Jumbrotron that I just hated. I haven;t been on HAL since that was added. I really like the Promenade deck on HAL and miss it on those ships where you can only go outside on the top deck. Bottom line is that Carnival offers a good experience that is different than HAL (not as casual) but it is an enjoyable one.
  11. recycle the timbers to make trays for the Lido
  12. smileycruiser2007

    Tri Rail from Miami to West Palm Beach

    I've used Tri-rail to get from FLL to WPB and it was a great deal for $5. However, the trains run only every 2 hours on a weekend. At WPB, you have to use a pedestrian overpass to get from Tri-rail to the bus that takes you to the airport (free with metro rail ticket). There were a number of families with pre-teen children that had one large bag per person on this train and they managed very well. Doing this with large baggage and stroller-age children would be a real pain. If you do this on a weekday, the train will have lots of commuters on board so you wouldn't want tons of luggage. It is a good service and really gives you options to save on airfare.
  13. Terigo, Please encourage your business partner to get involved with the roll call and the meet and greet on board. That is a great way to get started with meeting others, and then follow that up with activities. I've been on 3 cruises by myself, and have enjoyed them every bit as much as those when I have company. If your friend looks at the CC boards he will see that lots of people sail solo (some even prefer it) and they have a great time--and have returned for many more solo trips. The more activities he does the more fun he will have. A large table including the 3 of you and more will help too. I hope all 3 of you have a great time! Smileycruiser
  14. smileycruiser2007

    Why the big knock on CCL?

    I've been on a number of HAL cruises and one Celebrity Cruise. I went on my first Carnival cruise on Carnival Freedom in November 2009. It was different from HAL, but it was a very fun experience. It was kind of crowded, but by reading the CC boards I learned how I could have a great time anyway. The other passengers were nice, and there were lots of ports to enjoy. I agree with those who disliked the Lido buffet area--it was confusing and a real nightmare during lunch hours. But there were other places that offered a very tasty lunch, so it was not a big issue. Cabin was great--it was a 1A, but it really was great-and service also was great. I had such a good time that I'm trying the Glory for Canada 7 day this September.
  15. smileycruiser2007

    Why do people post this > UNHAPPY: Carnival = Walmart

    I went on my first Carnival Cruise in Nov 2009 and had such a great time that I have since booked 2 more Carnival cruises. I have been on Holland America many times and Celebrity once, and I've really enjoyed those cruises too. Flyfan, early in the thread, said it was a different experience, and they do their business model very well-- I completely agree with Flyfan. I had a great cabin, enjoyed the service and the meals and other passengers. Some of the group activities like golf putting you may find too crowded to enjoy, but that is surely true on other lines with large ships. One reason I had such a good time is that I read the CC boards ahead of time and there were many helpful suggestions for getting the most of the experience.