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  1. BACKGROUND We took our first cruise 21 years ago and fairly quickly became addicted. We have now taken over 40, until a few years ago mostly on the mainstream lines Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Princess with a sprinkle of one-offs on others. Looking for something a little more special we sailed on Azamara for the first time in 2013 and have now cruised with them 5 times. We loved those trips but the prices for the future have risen so much we were wondering if another line might suit us. In August last year we saw the new Saga ship advertised and the advance pricing for this cruise was excellent, given that it would be a balcony cabin with lots included. At 67 and 74 we decided that we were now of an age to hopefully feel comfortable on Saga. We do still fly long haul quite a lot as our family all live abroad but we’re aware that we may be less inclined to want to do so as we get older, so thought it would be worth finding out if Saga would suit us in future. WHY A BLOG? I have been active on Cruise Critic for many years and read many ‘Live From’ blogs on various lines. I’ve learnt a lot from other posters and really enjoyed ‘travelling vicariously’ with cruisers who were willing to share their experiences live and answer questions whilst still onboard. Whilst I wasn’t blessed with the talent to write in a humorous style (as many others have been) I hope that for those following along it will be interesting, particularly as Saga has only recently had its own section on CC and the number of posters has been fairly limited. In the past we have enjoyed the International feel of other lines and it will be very different to have such a British experience. I’ll be bound to compare the ship, food and service with Azamara but am going with an open mind. We have cruised to Norway three times before and will not be visiting any new ports this time. As the weather is unpredictable we haven’t booked any tours in advance but have ideas of what to do. For us, cruising in Norway is mostly about the beautiful views in the fjords.......assuming you can see them. LESS THAN 24 HOURS TO GO. We’re looking forward to being picked up by shared transfer tomorrow morning, due at 11.05. I’ll have free WiFi onboard and 4G in the two cities so hope to be able to post at least once a day. Fellow Azamara fans P&M have also booked this cruise and we’ll meet up with them onboard tomorrow. Do let me know if you are ‘Following Along’ by putting those words in a reply. Also, feel free to ask questions during the week and I’ll do my best to answer them. 😀 Cinnamon.
  2. This thread is exclusively for those wishing to post questions and updates on when rate windows will open only. Information posted elsewhere will be dropped here. Likewise - posts that are not specifically on this topic will be deleted from this thread. Thanks Mike ***Note - There were posts for Jet Blue and South West on this board - however in setting this up I lost them. Please feel free to re-post your information here. I will stick this thread to the top once it gets started. *** This thread will drop posts over 90 days old.
  3. B cabins were sold out when I made my reservation for a November cruise, so I went for BX #129. Final payment is due shortly and I'm thinking that if there is any a time when cabins might free up it would be at final payment. As in people who are thinking about a cruise and hold a place, may cancel more frequently then. Asked TA to take a look at that time. I've read that aft B cabins are noisy. Any thing forward to avoid just in case there's something available? Nancy
  4. Our very first time on Norwegian! We are two (likely former!) Royal Caribbean guys. 8 cruises with RC and while we enjoyed each trip on them, we needed a change. Everything was starting the feel and look the same on RC, if that makes any sense. We took a 2 year hiatus from cruising and did land trips. We had been hearing so many great things about Norwegian from family and friends that when we decided a cruise was in order for this year, we booked the 9/1 sailing out of NYC on Escape .. a 7 day to Bermuda. Yes .. hurricane season. I'm not doing this as a full trip report .. just gonna jump around randomly and mention our thoughts and experiences .. with a few pix thrown in. We were booked in Cabin 10112 .. Deck 10 port side .. .WAY forward .. like 4 cabins from the front. I knew it would mean more motion if the seas got rocky once we hit the hurricane (which i was sure we would), but the worst part was the lonnnnnnnng walk. Everything is far away from this area of the ship .. the elevators, the bars, the stairwells .. everything. Next time i'll definitely be sure we do a mid-ship or a cabin more toward the rear, as it seems like most everything is back that way. Thought it was weird .. we never once saw our cabin steward. Everything got done .. and the cabin was spotless each day .. but it was odd not to have met the cabin steward even once. Dinner first night was at O'Sheehans. Sorry, but this place SUCKS! My hub insisted we try it twice more during the week for lunch and it was awful. The service was so bad .. apps forgotten about .. or brought out well after the main course The first night, they had a Prime Rib special. It was the worst, nastiest leftover roast (probably from days before) ... even the baked potatoes they served were old and reheated. You can always tell when beef or potatoes are re-heats ... and this measly, gristly portion was shoe leather. Ditsy servers, crowded and everyone around us unhappy with what they were getting.. after 2 more misses there, I said "thats enough". It sucked. Even the wings were horrible and how do you mess up wings ?? But thankfully all the other food venues we tried were the complete opposite. Dinner at Moderno, the Brasilian churrascaria the next night. impressed, but not wow-ed Loved the salad bar and the variety of the meats they came around slicing up for you. But the chicken was kinda dry and way over-garlicked and it seemed to take a while for the Filipino gaucho boys (which we kinda got a chuckle out of) to make the rounds. One of them got a little testy when i asked if he had a more medium portion of the rare beef roast .. i heard a definite sigh .. LOL. Maybe we were just not really int he mood that night. Just be hungry enough when you come here .. its not a light meal! La Cucina also great .. service was terrific .. pasta dishes incredible (the pizza was kinda "Meh" and arrived cool), but the server, the wine, the view .. it was tough not to enjoy the experience. Bayamo was probably my favorite of the 3 specialty restaurants. Hub got the Shrimp Cocktail (4-enormous- fresh delicious shrimps) and I got the crabcake. Absolutely delicious. We both got the Lobster Tail and Filet. They make it clear (in the nicest way possible, of course) that if you're using a meal package you can get a max of four courses ... including dessert. Which is still plenty. The dessert I had that night was a chocolate mousse cake topped w/ganache and salted popcorn. Don't miss it if you go! We were also very pleasantly surprised the nights we ate in the main dining rooms. Savor and Taste. We couldnt get into the Manhattan Room the night we wanted to because of a private function, but we loved the service and meals in Savor and Taste. This is where NCL really kills RCCL... the MDR food. RC has become very mediocre the past several years in the MDR ... harried, frazzled, overworked servers ... repetitious menus, lukewarm food .. of not great quality. And the high pressure from the servers for good reviews .. that was REAL strong the last 2 or 3 times we were on RC. NCL's dining room teams couldn't have been better. So friendly, couldn't do enough to make their guests happy .. and the food was so good that we wouldn't probably bother with the specialty restaurants next time. We asked the server teams in these 2 free dining rooms for the comment cards they turn in so we could fill them out for them. These women were that good. TingTing Li, Sheila and Minerva .. amazing service! Even the buffet up on Deck 16 was a huge improvement over the RC Windjammer. Quality was amazing and we never had a problem finding a table. The best kept secret, however was that Margaritaville serves breakfast free! I'd never pay the $15 cover charge they want for a stupid burger at other times of day .. but the breakfast buffet in there is fantastic. Almost all the options of the main buffet (ncluding THE best French Toast i've ever had .. anywhere .. buttery, custardy, crispy.. it was amazing!!).. sausages, hash browns, fruits, pastries, cereals, breakfast sandwiches .. and best of all .. cooked to order eggs and omelets! Hardly anyone seemed to know about this spot for breakfast, but we ate here literally every AM. Highly recommend it .. quiet, amazing food and a beautiful view. I started a little drama on here a few weeks back before the cruise asking in another topic what the smuggling climate (Rum Runner flasks) was like on NCL and if bringing your own wine on board (the usual 2 bottles) was allowed. Well, you'd think I kicked a sick kitten down a flight of stairs with some of the responses I got on here! I got told off by everyone! Listen .. I just like to have a little extra in the room for a cocktail without having to go to a bar. We did get the standard bar package and it was great. There are bars i swear every 20 feet on this ship! We never waited once all week .. even on the sea days. These are some hard working bartenders. Basic package even covered Grey Goose . so for us, no need for any package higher than what we got. Decided against the Rum Runner flask (because I couldn't find it the morning we were leaving!) … but took 2 bottles of wine with me instead .. in my carry-on .. fully intending and willing to pay the $15 per bottle "corkage" charge. We got dropped off … and apparently at the curb, I had put my carry on down too hard .. because as we had just gotten in the line for security inside the pier .. I smelled wine. I looked down and saw red wine pouring down my leg, onto my new white sneakers … so I ran outside so as not to destroy their carpet … and discovered both bottles had cracked and dumped their contents into my carry on! Everything in that duffel was swimming in red wine. Cruise documents soaked and dyed purple … my Kindle destroyed. So I dumped the entire duffelbag .. broken bottles and all right into the trash outside at the curb. I'll bet if you go there today, you'll still see a wine stain right there in the pavement! I actually never saw where they nab you and make you pay the corkage fee .. but by then I was still steaming over the mess I made, so I prob. just didn't notice. I had that stale nasty wine smell stuck in my nose all afternoon from that point on and I'm sure anyone who came near me thought i was a damn win-o! Got on board by 11:30 and started exploring. This is a huge ship, but very easy to learn. Our cabins were ready at about 1:30 and luggage was delivered by 6:00. No complaints there. We were told to go immediately to Headliners Comedy club to score spots in The Vibe (a more private deck area), but it was already sold out. Loved the Spice H20 area at the back on Deck 17. Hub found it because its one of the places he was allowed to smoke, but its such a cool tranquil (no kids or loud music) atmosphere back there. But the best feature of Spice H20 was the Water Grotto! A wind-y cave structure with gentle waterfalls and mist coming down from overhead .. u can splash around in there or sit on the sides on the "rocks". Loved this place .. perfect place to cool off without going to the madness of the pool area. Bermuda was blazing, blazing, nasty hot. We got off at 9AM on that first day and it already had to be 90. Love the island and love that big groovy pink catamaran ferry NCL runs for free over to St George's a few times a day from right next to the ship. Its a very nice 45 minute ride over to the other side of the island. Here's a tip: get on the pink ferry and go right upstairs. The lower boarding deck is crammed with small coach airplane seats .. hundreds of them squashed in down there like 25 abreast ... about as comfortable and tight as a Spirit Airlines plane! But ... upstairs is a very comfy "first class" cabin. No charge, you just have to know to come up here. Huge 2x2x2 first class sized seats and a fraction of the people .. definitely head upstairs! We even saw a couple "make use of" one of the bathrooms up there (if you know what i mean) .. they were a little obvious about it too ... Euwwwww! Lol We did the Clearwater Beach shore excursion package (kinda rip off at $125 each) but was still a nice day overall. Clearwater beach is OK .. very rocky, though. Cool thing is its right at the end of the runway so if yo;re an aviation geek like me, its fun seeing the planes coming in directly across from you (though not quite as close as Maho Beach in St. Maarten). This package included a little lunch and some VERRRRY tasty rum swizzles .. and not just one either .. the guys serving just kept pouring! This beach and he one next to it (Turtle Bay i think) were ok but a little dirty and the chickens running around and actual turtles IN the water with you kinda wigged me out a little bit (as a city boy). Horseshoe Bay Beach is still my favorite on Bermuda and next time we'd just take the bus or a taxi there ourselves for a day. That place is perfection. One thing I noticed coming up each day on our Room Charges were $15+$15 Service Charges. I thought I had pre-paid the tips, but this being our first booking on NCL, maybe I goofed. But be aware .. thats another $210 by the end of the week. This may sound dumb, but for next time, is it possible to pre-pay those ahead? Or is it only onboard? By this point, many of us were kinda wondering about this huge slow-moving hurricane that we knew was gonna be crossing our path somehow coming home. There were no announcements at all until that first evening in Bermuda. Captain Pete (or was it Paul?) said that it was definitely changing course and would be a factor for us on the way back. They decided the best thing was for us to leave Bermuda as normal on Friday at 3PM but we would head due west right toward North Carolina .. and then turn north and follow the coast up to NYC .. and follow behind the hurricane. This would mean a 7 hour delay getting into NYC on Sunday 9/8 .. docking at 2PM instead of 7AM. Fine with us! They offered free internet to to everyone and assisted however they could with re-booking flights for anyone who needed it. I got the impression that most of the pax were a local NY/NJ/CT/PA crowd and everyone took it well. Speaking of the WiFi package .. I heard people grumbling that it sucked and had poor connectivity. We felt a bit of motion those last 2 days/nights and the barf bag containers were out .. but it wasn't bad at all. The size of this ship i think helped as far as the seas not feeling so rough. We even had a little drama on the way out. On the first night around 11PM, we heard the racket of a helicopter hovering around outside out balcony! Then the Captain came on and said someone was too ill to remain onboard and as being evacuated back to shore via Coast Guard helicopter. They changed out course to head back toward Jersey shore and they plucked this poor person off the bow and right up into the helicopter. I could only hope that person was unconscious at the time, becaue I can't imagine how scary that would be ... getting dragged by a cable in a basket off a ship .. at night! The bill they will probably receive will be even more terrifying later. Before we knew it, it was over and we were back to reality. Reality being .. disembarkation. This is always a yuge mess regardless of whatever ship you're on. Everybody who was laughing and cocktailing with you .. chatting and being friendly with you, making room for you on and off the elevators, etc. were back to themselves .. ready to stab you and push u down a flight of stairs. This disembarkation was pretty poorly handled. We were in the green group (go and get your tags 2 days before you arrive backhome .. they don't tell you this!) .. but there were yellow and orange and purple tagged people trying to get ahead ... the meek little crew members were no match for some of this NY crowd .. people were swinging and yelling and acting like animals and this was a bad final impression. But kinda typical! My only other gripe: PEPSI products. Gross! Pepsi takes like medicine .. i SO missed my Diet Coke all week .. LOL! Sorry for the random nature of this little travelog I did. Suffice it to say, we absolutely loved the ship. Its beautiful, only 4 years old, smells new even! We will be back on NCL for sure. So impressed with everything (except O'Sheehans!!!).
  5. Hi all, my DH and I will be on the Wind Spirit for the Sept. 26th sailing. We are super excited to experience not only FP for the first time, but Windstar as well. I want to obtain solid confirmation of which night in Bora Bora the private island dinner will occur. My TA asked Windstar and they said it would be the first night. However, from what I could gather on here and various reviews, previous cruisers have said it was on the second night. I'd like to lock this info down as I'm trying to arrange plans for the first day in Bora Bora (which happens to be my DH's actual 50th birthday). I'm looking into a sunset cruise and don't want to miss the private island dinner. Thanks!
  6. Indeed! But it became the foundation upon which urban legends are built that today defines the spirit of the Philadelphia Eagles fans....of which I am one! (But of a far more tame variety).
  7. We are also of the opinion that the "Spirit" class ships are the best size in Carnival's fleet. We sailed her to Hawaii in Dec 2017, loved the crew & layout of the ship. With the drydock in early 2020, she will be even better for our cruise in May 2020. Our Hawaii cruise was 15 days & it was one of my favorite cruises. I am looking forward to our 10 days on her next May. If she was so bad, would people be rebooking her? Enjoy your cruise, no matter what you end up booking. IMO Spirit class are the best, with Dream class coming in 2nd.
  8. So, we are booked on the Spirit at Christmas this year on a cruise just before a dry dock. The cruise has been reduced from 12 to 11 days. I was half expecting something like this to happen, and don't have a problem with it. They offered us the choice of them booking us a hotel for the lost night or some OBC to cover it. Also the cruise fare will be pro-rated based on the revised itinerary. Quite fair I thought. Anyway, a few weeks ago my fare was revised and after a bit of messing around due to a rogue charge appearing, I found that our cruise has gone down a total of £45 (£15 each) My original fare per person was £1,465 and is now £1450. I'm sure that even those people with a very basic understanding of maths would agree that this isn't a correct pro-rating of the fare to take account of losing one day in 12. Anyway, I have been chasing up NCL for the past few weeks and finally made some progress in the last couple of days. I spoke to someone this morning who was going to look into it for me and come back. I've just received an email (sent, it seems, as the last thing she did before going on annual leave) saying that the calculation is correct. I have to say that previously I have always had pretty good dealings with NCL's shore based teams (although I read many comments on here that suggest others haven't), so this is quite a new one on me. Any suggestions as to where I go from here? I have copied Vivian Ewart in on a couple of my chasing emails, although I haven't received anything back that is clearly from her team (although they may have been responsible for someone actually replying to my original email). I have emailed by PCC (copying in Vivian) to say that I am not happy with the response I got and left a message on his answerphone. Any other ideas?
  9. Hi Kentchris, well I expect we could debate that for far too long, but I don't have the time to do so and imagine you don't either. However, even a quick check of the Saga website describes their new ships (and specifically those alone, not their other ships) as offering "levels of service you expect in the world’s finest boutique hotels." "With cuisines from all over the world, they are a match for London's best restaurants." and then further distinguishes them separately with the declaration that "All you have to do is choose from the luxury of our new small ships Spirit of Discovery and Spirit of Adventure, or our classic gem Saga Sapphire. That seems to be saying the new ship/s should be quite clearly in the luxury market to me. There is no avoiding that frankly. There is a lot of other promo material from cruise companies espousing similar too. I am more likely to feel there is substance in Tigrou's feeling of falling victim to false advertising than your position of no claims to luxury market cruising. I am sorry you and I differ on this, but we do. I nearly booked a deluxe verandah on the SOD Xmas/new year cruise at a cost (for 2) of £29,000 for the cruise alone. At that cost I would really be expecting a luxury cruise experience, if only because I know I can experience exactly that on some other lines . So, for almost exactly the same amount of time and cost, that is what I am doing this Xmas/new year but on Seabourn, where I am pretty sure I will have a luxurious time, not be asked if I want share any tables, being able to book specialty restaurants online in advance, and be with other travellers I have always felt comfortable with on past cruises. I would just like to point out that I'd much prefer to see everyone who cruises on SOD, or any cruise ship whatsoever, feeling they are having a great time, as yourself and your travelling companions seem to be doing 🙂, rather than find anyone feeling short-changed or somehow mis-sold, with their expectations unmet. Been there, done that (Oceania twice, Silversea once ). Life is much too short to spend time (not to mention hard earned money) on the wrong "fit" of cruise or holiday.
  10. We will be doing the Wind Spirit Twice the Tahiti, so will be in FP for 20 days. Will need to check emails, send texts, and phone calls only in emergency. Trying to decide whether to use Verizon Travel Pass at $10/day, only charged on days used, or whether to get Tahiti WiFi router. The wifi is 78 Euros for unlimited basic, 158 for unlimited starter, and 120 for 10 GB. There is a 5% discount available. Has anyone out there used the Verizon Travel Pass in FP? Understandably, only can use in port. Those that have purchased the Tahiti WiFi, would the 10GB be enough for 20 days, checking emails daily and web use for staying current on news, etc., no streaming, or would we need one of the unlimited packages? Thanks in advance for your help.
  11. I'm looking at a cruise from Tokyo on the Norwegian Spirit. I love the ports! However, I'm looking at the Sailaway inside, but on this ship it states that there is only one room assigned as a Sailaway Inside, specifically #4493? I haven't seen this on any of the other Norwegian ships. I can't find a review of this room, but my instinct says there's probably something wrong with the room if it's the only one. Am I missing something? Has anyone stayed in this room?
  12. JW Blue doesn't have an age statement. The only thing Diageo will tell you about the scotch is that it contains over 20 rare single malts in its blend. There is a rumor floating around that it's youngest spirit is 28 years aged.
  13. The Miracle was our first Carnival Cruise ship, back in 2007, when she sailed out of New York! We've been other ships since then but always loved the size and easy to manage Spirit Class ships. Since Baltimore is only a short drive away for us, we now sail on the Pride, the Miracle's sister ship. Just got off 9/8, our 7th time on her! I'm sure you'll have a great time.
  14. Will be on Wine Spirit in one wee! Is there anywhere close to dock to purchase wine before we get on theship?
  15. Unfortunately, after abandoning the tradition of having Regent ships named in an adventurous spirit with Splendor, the next ship can only be named Magnificentor. They could even trademark it since it isn't an actual word.
  16. Yes, they provide distilled water free of charge. We have only been on Queen of the Mississippi, American Spirit, and America. There was an outlet beside the bed down low towards the floor on America. I do not recall where the outlet was located on the two other ships/boats. We always carry a short extension cord so that I can also charge my cell at night and have it close to check time and turn off alarm in the morning.
  17. We will TOO! 6/2 on Spirit. I have done a lot of research as we going out a week early B4 getting onto the ship, to explore other parts of Oregon and Washington. Suggestions: Look on You Tube for things to do and tips on what to see in Seattle, also google it as well. We are doing all those things, plus I want to see the troll sculpture under the bridge. We are going to try as many as free things as possible. We booked our excursions through https://alaskashoretours.com . I am sure there are a lot of tour companies, this is the one we went with d/t to high ratings. IF you book more than one excursion, ask for a discount. So, far their communication has been wonderful and the website is very informative and easy to follow. Photography: We were going to take our DSLR camera and 3 lenses, however, on some of the excursions, you can not bring a bag and we will also be near water. Went to Photo & Camera Discussion under the title of Digital Photography & Cruise Technology Board. Found a lot of info to help me. Remember it maybe "wet" and that does not do well on the camera. Have your son start reading the forum. What a great way to get him involved with vacation.
  18. @SpainAlien Suggestion for email; www.mail2web.com. It's way faster than Comcast or Verizon for web-based email! It was suggested by the NCL Internet manager when we were aboard Spirit (talk about coincidence!!) many years ago when I was struggling to connect to my Comcast email via the web. Hope you have a great cruise! Haven't been on Spirit since they moved her to Europe years ago; really liked Spirit when she was based out of NYC many years ago!
  19. We are sailing on the Silver Spirit in February. I am having a hard time finding out exactly where the Spirit will dock in Ho Chi Minh City. All of the details listed just show Ho Chi Minh City, but on other stops they show a different docking location for the port we are visiting. For example, our documents state we will be docking in Laem Chabang for Bangkok. I asked our travel agent and all she could get was Ho Chi Minh City. Anyone know exactly? trying to set up a private excursion. thanks!
  20. For those of us who sailed on and remember the little sisters, Windstar is spending $256 million to stretch (adding 50 new suites) and modernize them. See the following article. https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/19952-windstar-to-stretch-three-ships-in-250-million-refurbishment.html
  21. Thanks for the info on this. I'm on the Spirit in December -- first time on Silversea (or any luxury line), or on a ship this small, or on an Asian cruise (although we travelled between Taiwan, HK, Thailand, and Singapore the same time last year). I always thought my first Asian cruise would be on one of the mega-liners and that a 3+ hour trip from a container port was inevitable, so it's nice to hear that there is a closer port (even if it's not quite downtown). Any chance it's the same in Bangkok, i.e. a middle-ground docking location for the Spirit? I also wanted to ask anyone who sailed to Vietnam in the past year, if Silversea absolutely handles the visa requirement for all passengers on board? I assume it's a non-issue for my group anyway because we're taking their excursions each day (to blow through the OBC); I just don't want to be blindsided when we set sail and find out it was expected we should have gotten them ourselves beforehand!
  22. Yes casino opens the first night,. We have sailed as recently as last month on the Pride (our 5th time) It's one of our favorite ships because it's only about a four hour drive and we love the Spirit class ships! We will sail on the Miracle for the first time this Sunday out of Tampa. I will say that our only con is the smoke in the casino. These spirit class ships have the best serenity areas. Easy layout, too. Just the right size.
  23. With four people I would not do less than a mini-suite on Princess. Other cabins are small without seating. On Carnival Spirit, I would do a cabin oceanview (OV) or better. I have done Alaska twice on Princess in inside cabins, but the first time I was solo, and the second with my sister. I like Princess for the wonderful naturalists onboard. EM
  24. Okay, some final thoughts, just to kind of wrap my head around things.... About the cruise: This was our first time ever to Hawaii (hopefully not the last!) and we both agree this was the BEST introduction we could have asked for. Thanks to the itinerary being overnight on multiple islands, we had so much more time ashore and flexibility in activities than we would have otherwise. The only other way to see all the islands would be to waste time waiting in airports to island-hop--and it really would be such a waste!! I'm very glad we took two days ahead of the cruise--on purpose--to get over the jet lag and be ready to go for the main event (the cruise). Same with the additional night afterwards--we really needed it. That said, this ship is NOT the best introduction for a cruiser new to NCL. It doesn't give off a very good impression compared to their other ships--not as many activities, big shows, etc--but honestly it doesn't HAVE to. I think most people don't do any of that stuff on this cruise anyways--they are too busy being out exploring. All in all, the star of the cruise is not the cruise facilities, shopping, entertainment, dining, etc--it is the destination. Period. I would do this cruise again in a heartbeat. I did notice, however, that NCL has gotten more expensive and includes less and less in their cruise fare--even compared to 2016, when we first cruised with them. We still have two Cruise Next certificates to use up, but after that, we will likely be trying a competitor. About Hawaii: Wow. Truly paradise on earth. Not only is the climate ideal (average high year-round is 85F, average water temp 80F) and the scenery dramatic and gorgeous. Not only are there tons of different and varied outdoor activities. Not only are there so many different climates, ecological niches, flora and fauna. But...the CULTURE. I was surprised by how much Asian influence there was (though I probably shouldn't have been!). The buses in Waikiki,, for example, had both English and Japanese translations on their displays. Restaurant menus have English/Japanese/Chinese/Korean. If you like sushi, ramen, Korean barbecue, Chinese food you will be in HEAVEN here. As previously touched on, Hawaiians are SO NICE. Truly. It is a pleasure to be around them and learn from them. The "Aloha spirit" isn't just a marketing slogan--it is a real thing. No wonder violent crime is almost non-existent. They say that each island has its own personality, and whoever "they" are, they are right! Oahu is the most populated and the most similar to urban/suburban mainland cities. Lots of culture and never-ending activities. The Big Island is more rural and agricultural, with less expensive housing prices and in the shadows of active volcanoes. Kauai is kind of like wilderness except for the coastlines--even more sparsely populated, wild and wonderful. Maui...oh Maui...I think Maui is my love. 🙂 So many different types of geography on the island (mountain, volcanic rock, lush rainforest, dramatic seacliffs) with tremendous beauty and still....so many things to do that we didn't even begin to touch on. However, Maui is also the most expensive... I really finally get why people say Hawaii gets in their blood, or that once they have been, they dream of going back. I considered that people might say those things because they wanted to sound cool, or worldly, or brag about their travels. I was incorrect! Hawaii is far and away the most beautiful place I have ever been--visually and spiritually. I will be dreaming of returning until I do....! What's in store for next time in Hawaii? Hmmm. If we can afford it, I would love to go back for a week on Maui or Kauai. Or both! Explore Oahu's north shore (a big miss this trip). Maybe even....do this cruise again! 🙂 Okay, time for me to end this review....aloha and mahalo for making it this far. 🙂 🙂 🙂
  25. Please add 3 cruises for us. October 5 2019 Carnival Splendor LA to Singapore 24 nights March 14 2020 Carnival Spirit Melbourne to Sydney 2 nights March 24 2020 Carnival Spirit Sydney to Honolulu 18 nights
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