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About Rosethorn40

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    West Virgina
  • Interests
    Gardening, history, travel
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Princess, Holland America and Viking River
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
  • If you have a personal or hobby CRUISE or TRAVEL BLOG, include the url here:
  1. Rosethorn40

    Carnival Vista - Not great reviews?

    I was on the Magic in March 2013 (Spa Cabin) and the Vista in December 2016 (Havana Cabana Cabin). I loved both of them, but for slightly different reasons. Magic-I loved the location of our cabin, so convenient to the spa and serenity deck, where we spent so much of our time. It was also the ship where we discovered the Mocha Chocolate Getaway. It was a Western Caribbean itinerary; Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel and we had a blast at all three stops-4x4 in the mountains in Jamaica, swimming with stingrays & dolphins in Grand Cayman, and Xcaret Park in Cozumel. Its one of my favorite Caribbean holidays. Vista-I loved our cabin (A Havana Suite as were celebrating my DH 60th B-Day), loved the Havana area, which was so quiet without a bunch of screaming kids. Loved all the food options; Guys Burgers, Ji-Ji's and Bonsai Sushi were my personal favorites. This was an Eastern Caribbean itinerary, and we never got off the ship as DH was suffering a lot of aches and pains and couldn't do anything that active, so I read a lot, and played a lot a trivia (Won 4 Ships-on-a-Stick). Its a toss up which was better, overall I liked the Magic cruise more, but I loved the Havana area. Either that you chose should be great.
  2. Loved your video. We went on this same cruise (Eurodam) in June 2015. It's my all-time favorite cruise. Thanks for the rush of memories.
  3. Rosethorn40

    Pre River Cruise packages

    As others have said, you are paying for convenience. Both DH and I work full time, and I don't have the time to figure out everything on my own. For our Rhone River cruise last fall, we added the 3 night Paris Extension. It was lovely to walk out of passport control to the waiting Viking reps who bundled us to our waiting taxi. The services of a Viking rep to answer questions/make suggestions, and best of all, the transfer to the train station for the trip to Lyon where everything was taken care of.
  4. I loved the Eurodam! My all-time favorite cruise was a Baltic cruise 3-years ago on the Eurodam, but I've sailed more on Princess. Haven't been on the Regal, but I have been on her sister ship, the Royal. Since we don't travel with kids our experience is a little different, but I do agree with you on many of the items you noted. Keep in mind that the Eurodam carries fewer passengers, and it's smaller than the Regal. Having a pool with a retractable roof is a plus, the older Princess ships have an indoor pool-Don't know why they didn't include an indoor pool on their newer ships, a mistake IMO that they keep on making. Not sure I agree with you that Princess has the better crew. I do agree that the room stewards on Princess are second to none, but overall I give the nod to HAL (But its really close). I like the cabin on the Eurodam better too, but its not a fair comparison. On the Eurodam we had a Signature Suite, and on the Royal a Deluxe Balcony. Yes, the suite was better, but the Deluxe Balcony was nice too. I think Princess' Adult area is nicer than HAL's, and the Sanctuary is THE best place at sea. I also agree that there is "something" about Princess, difficult to put one's finger on it, that makes it special. Glad you enjoyed both of your trips.
  5. Rosethorn40

    What's Next After Royal Class?

    OP, I'm with you. I wish Princess would come up with something really innovated as well. I really enjoy Princess, and will sailing on the Royal in a few days, my first time as Elite, but I wonder if this will be my last Princess cruise, at least for awhile. I do look at what some of the other mass-market lines are adding on their ships, and while I don't see (Or want) Princess to become like NCL, they could take a few clues from them. I like the Al Fresco dining offered on The newer NCL/Carnival ships, and the myriad of choices. I would love to go on Celebrity's newest, Edge, because I love how they are opening up views of the sea (Their vision of the Lido Deck is brilliant), but I hate how their Retreat area is only for suite guests, and the prices for suites are astronomical. At least The Sanctuary is open to anyone willing to pay for it. I am not sure what would get me excited about a new ship, but I'll know it when I see it.
  6. Rosethorn40

    Flying to Europe same day as cruise departure.

    The first time we (Husband and I ) flew to Europe we arrived at Heathrow the same day as the ship sailed from Dover. We had flown non-stop from Dulles (Washington, DC). This was in mid-August. No issues with weather, landed about 7AM, and sat around for a couple of hours waiting on others to arrive so the Princess Transfer bus had enough people for the journey to Dover. 2nd time we flew out of Philadelphia the day before our River Cruise was leaving Budapest. Arrived in Frankfort, had a 5 hour wait between planes before our plane to Budapest. This was in December. No issues with weather. We made our ship in plenty of time. Third time flew out of Dulles to Copenhagen for a Baltic cruise, again flew out the day before, changed planes in Brussels, got to our ship in plenty of time (This was in June). Our four trips to Europe since we have had a city stay of 1-3 days at the beginning of the trip, but we have always arrived when expected. Chances are, you will make your ship, especially if a non-stop. In the (hopefully) unlikely event of a hurricane delaying/cancelling you flight, the advance notice of the storm might be enough for you to make alternative arrangements. Good luck, and I hope your travels go off without any problems.
  7. I suffer from insomnia, and on our cruise on the Summit 2-years ago it was really bad. I found myself waking up around 4:30 every morning. I would get up and quietly slip out of the cabin, so not to wake my sleeping (Like a log) husband, and walk around the decks. The first morning I go up to the Solarium and sure enough, there were several loungers in prime locations with towels on them. I was so sure they must have been left from the evening before, who would get up that early to try to reserve a lounger? Anyway, I removed all the towels (No personal items) and put them in the towel bin, and selected one of the double loungers and read until my husband joined me around 9:00. Later that morning we heard a woman complaining that she had come up at 4 am to put towels on 2 loungers to save them, and someone (That would be me) had removed them. This was at 11 am, and by that time the Solarium was fairly full.
  8. Rosethorn40

    Disappointed with Princess

    I've only had suites on HAL and Carnival. Carnival's suites have no perks, except priority boarding and two bottles of water :) However, the cost of their suites is much less than Princess. I have priced suites on most of the major lines, and agree that Celebrity & NCL offer more, but you pay a lot more.
  9. Rosethorn40

    Royal Princess Caribbean Cruise 10th March 2018

    To OP, I understand your disappointment and frustration that your recent cruise didn't meet your expectations. I don't know if you have cruised before, either with Princess or another line, but when you pay top dollar (Or Pound, Euro, etc.) you do expect more. About 4-years ago DH and I went on a River Cruise in the US, which was rather expensive, about $1000 per day, and we were not in a suite. Many aspects of the cruise were fine, but the dining experience as a whole left a lot to be desired. The "Fine Dining" was an area that the brochures really touted, and while not a true "foodie" I was expecting more. The service was abysmal, and we had enjoyed much better food in New Orleans in the days leading up to that particular cruise. I will say that the many long time cruisers, not just on Princess, but on the other boards as well, bemoan the decline of the cruise experience. It has a lot to do with an over-supply of ships, and the necessity of keeping prices low to fill ships. We sail on the Royal in less than a week, and I paid less for my balcony cabin (With paid gratuities) then I paid for an inside cabin for the same type of itinerary (10-day Caribbean) in 2009. I am sure that in the last 9-years the cruise line costs have gone up, but my fare hasn't kept up with inflation. I truly hope your next vacation/holiday meets your expectations. For me, the greatest disappointment when a trip falls flat isn't the money, but the time. We American's get so little vacation time (Compared to most other Western countries) that we hate wasting our few precious days. Oh, and the 80% of American's don't have passports is a myth. The number is closer to 46% that do have a valid passport (That's per our State Department). I attached an interesting article that explains the true numbers of American's and traveling. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/william-d-chalmers/the-great-american-passpo_b_1920287.html
  10. Rosethorn40

    2019/2020 Cruises

    It is Celebrity, with one included perk. I went ahead and got the other perks, which included upgrading the drink package to premium for an additional $400 pp (Prepaid gratuities, $150-OBC, unlimited internet, and of course the premium drink package). It did seem like the better deal, plus it includes the Thermal Suit, which my husband just loves.
  11. Rosethorn40

    2019/2020 Cruises

    Thanks for posting. Was reading with interest what would be available in December 2019, as we wanted to do a South Pacific out of Sydney for a milestone anniversary. I am surprised; for about the same price for an Oceanview 8-day on the Ruby, another major line is offering a 9-day (Similar itinerary) in an Aqua Class stateroom, also out of Sydney.
  12. Rosethorn40

    Is Havana room worth the tight space?

    The appeal of the Havana area is that its capacity controlled. When we were on the Vista there were a lot of kids, and the public areas were full. Being able to spend most of my days in the Havana area helped me keep my sanity. The ages of your girls make me think they might not get much out of Havana (Too quiet), and you can always retreat to your Cove Balcony.
  13. Rosethorn40

    Princess vs.....Other cruise lines

    Gotta put my two cents in :D We have sailed Princess the most, but have ventured out to try other lines; Carnival (yes Carnival and it was fine), Holland America (Love it, but its very quiet at night), Celebrity (Liked it very much), NCL (Okay, but probably not the best fit for us), and Royal Caribbean (Again, not really the best fit for us). So I would happily sail Carnival, HAL, and Celebrity, but when I come back to Princess it just feels right. I have been on several Viking River Cruises, so I am dying to give Viking Ocean a try, but the cruise I am most interested in starts at 6 grand pp for a 14-day cruise. That's kind of rich for my blood. I've looked at some of the lines considered a little more upscale, and again not sure if the value is there for me. So while waiting for my winning lotto numbers to materialize I am going to have to stick with the Mass Market Lines. Enjoy trying out other lines to find the best fit for you, and if nothing quite measures up, you can always come back to Princess.
  14. We were on the Royal in 2016, Athens to Rome, and made a stop in Kotor. We did not need our passports to get off/back on the ship. Just our sign and sail card. I've been to Europe 7 times since 2013, and all but one trip on cruise ships and only had to show my passport at the airports and when embarking the ship.
  15. I read your post with interest because while very familiar with Princess (Our first cruise as Elites is next week!) We have only sailed on Celebrity once (On the Summit in 2016). However, for our very special 15th Wedding Anniversary Cruise in December 2019 I have booked the Solstice (South Pacific out of Sydney). The Coral and her sister, The Island, are very different from the rest of the fleet. Their passenger to space ratio is excellent compared to say the Royal or the Regal. I do agree that the Sanctuary is heaven on earth, and I for one am willing to pay extra for my dedicated lounger, and personal space. I thought that some if not all of the Solstice class ships had an area that one could reserve an outdoor seating area that came with a picnic lunch and wait staff? Of course the Solarium is adult only and fee free, and is very lovely (And it has a heated indoor pool, something that many of the newer Princess ships lack). Celebrity's new ship, Edge, will have a nice outdoor area called the Retreat, but its reserved for suite guests only. I much prefer Princess' Sanctuary, open to all willing to pay for it. Happy travels.