Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community


  • Content Count

  • Joined

About pghsteelerfan

  • Rank
    3,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
  • Interests
    Travel/cruising, photography
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

Recent Profile Visitors

1,033 profile views
  1. I was thinking your cruise was to be in April. I know how you were really looking forward to sailing on Oasis and I was looking forward to your review. We'd love to try Oasis one day and that would be the one to experience for the ship, but some decent ports would definitely be appreciated. So happy to hear your business is still doing well. Isn't Sakari's birthday in April, usually around the time you cruise? Please wish her Happy Birthday and I hope she can find a way to enjoy it. Social distancing can put a damper on things. My niece just celebrated her birthday yesterday but she really wished she could have seen her friends, but did make it a point to state that it's "OK because 17 is a boring number anyways". If Carnival cancelled for the rest of the year, wouldn't be surprised at this point. The more I hear about this, the more it sounds like this could go on for quite some time. Carnival offered their ships to be used as temporary floating hospitals last week for non Covid19 cases to free up hospitals for those with it. So that could be a reason that they'd cancel for the rest of the year. https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/coronavirus-carnival-offers-cruise-ships-temporary-hospital Hoping that this will be over sooner than later and hope you all stay safe.
  2. It has been over a month since I've been on CC and know you had the Oasis cruise coming up, but forgot when it actually was. Usually I'm on here and would have been doing research for what to do in the ports we're supposed to visit, but I haven't been. Seeing that some ports were denying cruise ships due to fears of Covid19 and now that it's here with the social distancing now in place, the question is will we cruise or will it be cancelled? I know RCCL has cancelled cruises up to mid-May now and I think I heard another cruise line also cancelled, but we're still waiting on the official word from Carnival. Carnival was supposed to give an update sometime today, but now they are saying that update won't be until Monday. We're scheduled to sail May 9, but the way things are going, I'm pretty sure that our cruise will also be cancelled. Bummer! At this point I won't be upset if they do cancel. It's definitely not worth the risk and I know we all need to do our part to help flatten that curve. And IF we sailed, there's that possibility that we'd be on an 8 day cruise to nowhere and you and I are on the same page with ports vs. sea days. I just don't know if I could really enjoy that. If Carnival cancels, we will get a refund so not like we'd be out of the $$$. Our little problem is the airfare, which we booked this past January to get to FFL for the cruise. We will be able to cancel but would have to use that $$$ for a flight before next January. If we can't get a refund for the flight, my hubby and I are considering a cruise out of LA on Panorama to the Mexican Riviera in the late fall of this year. We've done that itinerary once before, in Jan. 2000, and all I had was the film camera and you know I also love getting pics. It was very pretty there and I'd definitely love a redo. IF we can get refund on the airline tickets or credit for a flight to San Juan (still booked on Fascination out of San Juan in Oct. 2021), we'd rather do that since my husband works at the headquarter office of a large hotel chain. Due to Covid19, just like a lot of other business, they are hurting because of all of this. We're fortunate that he got a reduced work week vs. being furloughed for 60 - 90 days. I was so sorry get on here today and see the update with the not so good news on your foot/ankle. That really bites, but a least now you know WHY. Hope this will get resolved for you soon so you can get that behind you and back on the right path. Been also thinking of you guys since I know your husband has his business and I know that all businesses are hurting right now. Other than your foot, I hope all is well with all of you.
  3. I just finished reading your review and pictures and really enjoyed it! We actually have friends whom we met through cruising on Glory right now on the Journey cruise. I believe they boarded the day you got off. We've been to New Orleans, twice, for a week land vacation. The most recent was in 2018, so I enjoyed seeing your pics since I recognized a lot of the places. I can't believe it's been almost 2 years for us though, seems like only a few months ago. Glory is an old friend of ours (sailed on her in 2010) and I really enjoyed your pictures. Starfish Island has changed! We were there in 2006 on a Carnival excursion when it was called "Bannister Island". Some of the buildings look the same but there has been a lot added. And the pre-dawn pictures you got of New Orleans are the best I've seen in a review! Wow!!! Hope you're planning to enlarge and display some of those, especially the sunrise with the bridge - that one is just spectacular! I should be over on the ports of call section right now for our upcoming cruise on Magic in May, but I always enjoy picture reviews here. The largest ships we've been on now are the Conquest class (Glory, Valor, Liberty x2) and the two before that were smaller (Miracle & Festivale, which was our first in 1992), so I'm not sure what I'm going to think of a larger ship but definitely looking forward to it. The couple who are currently on Glory will be on Magic with us in May. I would just love to take a cruise out of New Orleans one of these days. Thank you for sharing!
  4. You might have to ask your driver to stop on Timothy Hill. Not all stop there automatically. Shipwreck is just at the bottom along the coast.
  5. Yes, Barbados is still on the itineraries. I think the OP just listed the "new" islands that aren't on the current itinerary. There are a few different itineraries they're trying with Fascination in 2021. We've looking at them and I'm "arm twisting". 🙂 The one I'm interested in goes to St. Thomas; Antigua; Dominica; Grenada; Barbados (till 9pm); sea day.
  6. We've done this itinerary twice, first on Valor in 2013 and again on Liberty in 2015. It is, hands down, our favorite. These islands are very mountainous and scenic to sail in out of. I have a link to my reviews in my signature but I'll copy and paste here for convenience. They are loaded with pictures. There is so much to see/do, and for all interests, on all of the islands on this itinerary. Both times we cruised, we sailed out of San Juan at 10PM instead of 6PM and itinerary was as follows: St. Thomas; sea day; Barbados; St. Lucia; St. Kitts; St. Maarten. So same islands and just a different order. Nice to have the sea day on the end on your cruise. St. Thomas: nice beaches on the island, but also options to get to St. John. We've been to Sapphire Beach both times, beautiful views and pretty decent snorkeling. Loved the Skyride to Paradise Point, excellent views on clear days. We were in St. John on another cruise on Carnival's snorkeling excursion to Trunk Bay. It's beautiful. St. Maarten: many do island tours since there is a lot to see. They have that long, steep zip line (I think it's called the Flying Dutchman), and beautiful beaches. Many like Maho Bay and seeing the planes come in and take off. We were going to to that on our last visit, but the beach had been washed away from recent storms and we wanted the experience on the beach. We did Pinel Island in 2013 and love it there. Nice, peaceful beach day. Recommend a tour that goes there since taxis normally aren't waiting at the ferry in Cul-de-sac that goes back and forth between Pinel Island and the main island. We went to Divi Little Bay on our last visit. St. Kitts is small enough for an island tour and some beach time afterwards. Loved Brimestone Hill Fortress, great views on a clear day. We went to Shipwreck Beach Bar/Grill on South Friar's Bay afterward and enjoyed that. Shipwreck is "rustic", so not for everyone. Views are beautiful and there was black sand. We only got drinks but they were very reasonably priced. On the opposite end of South Friars Bay is Carambolla Beach Club, which has a nicer beach and many prefer it to Shipwreck. We've been to Cockleshell Beach (southern end, half hour away) and enjoyed that - great views. St. Lucia is probably our favorite. Both times we took private tours with Spencer Ambrose. First was the "Jalousie/Sugar Beach Break" and loved it. Jalousie/Sugar beach is the beach between the Pitons and very scenic. There is the upscale resort there, but we had use of the free loungers on the beach on the far side, where the snorkeling is. The resort is on the other side. You can rent loungers there, but they're pricey. I think we were told $50 on our last visit. In 2015 we did Spencer's "Land, Sea, and Beach Adventure" tour to see more of St. Lucia. There are other popular tour groups as well. But I definitely recommend a reputable private tour over one offered through the cruise line. They are generally not as crowded and we've found we get a much better, and more relaxing experience. Most of St. Lucia's hi-lights are all in the Soufriere area, so it's not an island to just get a taxi and go for a tour since that can get pricey. I think Soufriere is about an hour and a half away from Castries. Barbados had beautiful beaches and there are many opportunities to swim with turtles and snorkel shipwrecks along Carlisle Bay, which is a short drive from the cruise terminal. Beaches on the west coast have calm water and white sand, just beautiful. Barbados' east coast is on the Atlantic and water much rougher there, but very scenic, especially the Bathsheba area. There are different tours that will get you over there with some miscellaneous stops and you should even be able to get a cab driver to arrange something. There is another popular reviewer here on Cruise Critic named "mitsugirly", who has done this itinerary on Fascination in 2016 (I can see if I can attach that link as well). If not, just look her up here on CC. All of her ship reviews and port information are in the link in her signature. Her reviews are very detailed and include lots of pictures. Since you obviously found the ports of call section here, I also recommend that for ideas. I've just read through the posts in the past and have gotten so many great ideas I never would have thought of otherwise. Hope this helps and if you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Links to reviews: My Valor review, May 2013: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1917645 My Liberty review, September 2015: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2275573 Mitsugirly's Fascination review, August 2016:
  7. I really enjoyed your review, just finished or just got caught up. Your pictures are beautiful and I love the humor. We've actually spent two different weeks in New Olreans (1996 and again 2018). From your pictures, we still have a LOT to see. So I'm also enjoying your section on New Orleans too. We were on Glory in 2010, so nice seeing a review of an old friend. But the collision - ouch! Glad she continued sailing. Friends will be boarding her tomorrow for a Journey cruise. I haven't been on CC much due to being busy and trying to cut computer time, but we have a cruise coming up in May and booked another one for 2021. I came to CC to research ports since two will be new for us this trip, but can't resist reading reviews. Thank you for taking the time, I really enjoyed it.
  8. Hey there! I'm finally taking a CC break and sat down and finished the rest of your review. I have just been so busy with getting the Christmas stuff down and put away and going through and getting rid of stuff we're just storing, so I haven't been on the computer much. But I love your pictures from Cozumel and that was the same beach we were at on our Miracle cruise in March 2006. It was just gorgeous there. We did a jeep/dune buggy, snorkel/beach excursion through Carnival that year and also stopped at that same small Mayan ruin and also the lighthouse. Loved the views from up there and your hubby did great with the pics, almost as if you had taken them. It was almost 6 months after Hurricane Wilma, so all the trees were still pretty stripped of their leaves or very sparse. But the beach itself was just gorgeous! The only other time we were in Cozumel we went to Nachi Cocum and although we loved it, the beach was nothing like the beach at Punta Sur, so it was kind of a let down. I'm thinking of doing something similar but maybe on our own. I don't like feeling "rushed". I really enjoyed this one and so glad you were able to go and even scuba. I had a close call back in January and thought of you immediately. I was out walking our neighborhood after dark (had a lot to get done, so the walk had to wait). It was just getting dark when I left but we have sidewalks. Well down on one dark cul-de-sac, some bonehead left their empty trash cans out (should have been brought in on trash pick up the previous day). Well, it was windy out and the garbage cans blew over with their lids partially blocking the sidewalk. I was walking fast and looking ahead and not down and I tripped and went flying. Luckily just scraped (bloody) knuckles from clutching my phone. The only casualty was my phone, the screen cracked and gradually went dark. $200 to replace the screen on a 5 year old phone - hubby said to just get a new one (upgrade) so that's what we did. It could have been much worse, so I will not be walking after dark anymore. And especially now since Pepe le Pew is back and spraying. Lol!!! Just three more months until our Magic cruise and we just booked one of the alternate itineraries Carnival is trying in 2021 with the Fascination out of San Juan. This one will go to St. Thomas; Antigua; Dominica; Grenada, and Barbados with the sea day at the end. I am already so excited about this one, but that will be the longest we've ever had to wait on a cruise. I did that behind my husband's back ($50 deposit sale), and he was a little ticked at first but he got over it. He knows I wanted to see some of the islands in that area we've never been to. Our friends we got to know through our Valor reviews and met on Liberty (out of San Juan in 2015) will be on both Magic and Fascination. Some others that we met on Liberty will also be on Magic. I am already looking forward to when you do a review of your cruise on Oasis! We'd LOVE to cruise on her some day. Thanks again for taking the time to do another review, I always enjoy them! Holly
  9. You are very welcome. I did enjoy doing it, but it was pretty easy. :) It didn't take that long since I was thinking Monarch or Majesty since I definitely remembered what Monarch looked like (and had picture to confirm). When I looked up interior pics, neither of their atrium areas looked like the one in your pic. Then I saw the Wikipedia page and saw there was another in that class, which is Sovereign of the Seas.
  10. Wait...I think it was Sovereign of the Seas you were on. Did an internet search for interior pics of Majesty and Sovereign OTS. The attached pic (copied off internet) is from Sovereign of the Seas. Looks like the atrium is the same as in your picture.
  11. My guess would either be Monarch, Majesty, or Sovereign of the Seas (looked the same from exterior pics), but since you sailed out of Miami in 1992, it was likely either Majesty or Sovereign OTS. I haven't been on any of them but Monarch OTS was docked in San Juan with us when we sailed on Festivale in 1992 (all cruise ships were docked across the harbor from the Old San Juan piers due to Columbus replica ships being at those docks), so Monarch was likely sailing out of San Juan in 1991. Attaching pic of Monarch, which looks very similar on the exterior as Majesty and Sovereign.
  12. When we were in Grand Turk in May 2010, on Carnival, we were allowed to bring them on (we got a couple). But Carnival changed their policy in late 2016 and they no longer allow sea shells back on board their ships unless it was a purchase and you have the receipt. This came from their spokesperson's announcement on his social media page in February 2017. Will attach screen shot of that post. Blurring out the social media logo since I'm not sure if that's allowed. I don't know whether other cruise lines allow shells on board their ships or not. Hopefully someone else can answer that for you.
  13. We went to Sapphire Beach on our own and spent about 4 hours there. When we got off the ship, we just went to where the open air taxi's are. I think they asked where we wanted to go and directed us to one that was taking other passengers to beaches on the eastern end of the island. It was $10.00 per person, each way. We rented loungers there (there were no umbrellas to rent, but plenty of shade from trees). We have our own snorkels/masks that we had with us, but you can rent there. There is bar area where you can get food/beverages but we had our own, so I don't know what they serve or what the prices are. We really liked Sapphire and loved the views over toward St. John. The better snorkeling is over to the right. It was OK, but nothing spectacular. There were others there and more arrived as the day went on, but it never seemed crowded. There are plenty other beach options to do on your own as well, including Coki Beach. I've never been there but have heard the snorkeling is decent, but the downside is that it can get crowded. I'd recommend going early if you choose Coki. When we were ready to leave, we had no problem getting a taxi back to the ship - they were waiting out front when we were ready to leave. We went in the morning and stayed till about 1PM so we'd be back at the port with plenty of time to spare.
  14. Another option, if your interested, would be Spencer Ambrose's "Jalousie/Sugar Beach Break". We've done this and really enjoyed it. It's $90.00 each for adults but thought it was well worth it for all that's included. There is a meeting spot right at the port and for the Jalousie/Sugar Beach Break tour, they take you directly by boat to Jalousie/Sugar Beach, which is the beach between the Pitons. It took about 45 minutes to get there but there were one or two stops along the way to show us some points of interest. Spencer's beach break is usually the first tour group to arrive and have first picks of the free loungers alloted for non guests of the resort. The resort side has some very nice padded loungers, but I believe it's $50 to rent one of those. The scenery is beautiful and if your husband likes snorkeling, there is a great snorkeling spot right in front of where the free loungers are. Lunch is served on the beach and there are also unlimited beverages (bottled water, coke/diet coke, Piton Beer, and rum punch). All of this is included in the cost. On the return trip to the ship, you'll get the "sea tour" with several stops and great photo opportunities at points of interest. If you're concerned about getting in and out of the boat with your knee, they will definitely assist you if you need it. The last time we were there one gentleman had two very bad knees and was very slow getting around. He and his wife were also concerned about him getting in/out of the boat but Spencer's crew helped him out.
  15. We've been to St. Lucia twice and did tours with Spencer Ambrose both times. The first was the "Jalousie/Sugar Beach Break" and the "Land, Sea, and Beach Adventure" the second time. Both times we had lunch at the beach and they had the same things and it's home made and served buffet style. It was VERY good/flavorful, but I don't recall any of it being too spicy. Attaching a picture. I thought it would help to let you know what all is on this plate. I'll start with the BBQ jerk chicken at the center of the plate; rest I'll describe, clockwise from the top: Green banana salad (this is actually very good, reminded me a little of potato salad, but a different but pleasant taste); garden salad; rice; lentils in a sauce (very good); pasta in a sauce; and the grey piece on the top left is Tara Root (also reminded me of a potato).
  • Create New...