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Member Reviews of the Week by SurfTurf, danaruns, andr3a, psstap1 & jethag!

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Every Thursday, we'll randomly select five cruise reviews to feature here! Plus, we'll send each member a Cruise Critic logo item. This week: Cruise Critic Insulated Sportsbag-- we hope they enjoy it!


Rhapsody of the Seas Bucket list - check! by SurfTurf

An Alaskan Cruise was on my "bucket list" and I had a certain price in mind with a sail date being in May/June when the majority of schools (K-12) would still be in session -- very intentional to avoid parents who decide to let the ship's crew watch their children rather than be responsible parents. RCI had the right price (outside cabin) with the right timeframe, and the right amount of days (7 nights), with roundtrip to/from Seattle. I booked directly through RCCL. There were 3 in our party -- I had a cabin to myself and additional family (2) had an adjoining cabin. Continue reading... Bucket list - check!



Diamond Princess Diamond Princess, Alaska Inside Passage, May 19-26, 2012 by danaruns

EMBARKATION This cruise was out of Vancouver, which is a great city with a beautiful port. Canada Place is wonderful, modern and scenic. There were three cruise ships in port the day our cruise began, and embarkation was a mess. Princess provided transfers from the airport by bus. But the terminal was so crowded with passengers, the buses could not approach. Instead, they stopped the buses in a "holding area" about 1/2 mile from the ship. Our bus was packed full, and on a warm day it had no air conditioning. So the bus was hot sitting there, as we waited permission to approach the terminal. People were overheated and complaining. My partner and I got out of the bus (against the advice of the driver) and walked to the ship. Despite the distance and getting lost on the way, we beat our bus to the terminal. Continue reading... Diamond Princess, Alaska Inside Passage, May 19-26, 2012



Carnival Magic Carnival Magic 5/20-5/27 by andr3a

Sat. May 19th Galveston, TX* We arrived in Galveston around 5pm and got into our rooms at the Springhill inn and suites right off the highway. I would highly recommend staying here, the rooms are very nicely decorated, large, clean with separate sleeping and sitting areas, a fridge/sink/cabinets/microwave and a great continental breakfast. They have an indoor pool and hot tub, and all the other standard amenities. Very comfy memory foam beds and swiveling TVs. After settling in we hit the strand, did some drive by site seeing of the classic architecture and awesome statues and then had dinner at "Gumbo Bar" which was surprisingly delicious, with huge portions for a great price, outdoor patio seating, and awesome garlic bread! We had the "little daddy" portion gumbo bowls. The drive from Dallas to Galveston is about 6 hours, so after dinner we all headed back to the rooms and decided to try and get a good night's sleep. Continue reading... Carnival Magic 5/20-5/27



Norwegian Jade Pretty Good by psstap1

We arrived in Venice a couple of days early to enjoy the sights before our cruise. We stayed at a Hilton Garden Inn in Mestre. The hotel turned out to be just what we needed as it was reasonably priced and there was a bus stop right outside. The bus basically goes directly to the main station (pla. roma) in Venice where you are able to take the public water bus anywhere you want to go. We bought a 2 day pass for 20 euros each that covered our trips to and from the hotel and all through the canals. The hotel is fairly new and the staff friendly and helpful. The embarkation process went very well. I think we were on the ship 45 minutes after leaving the hotel. Continue reading... Pretty Good



Maasdam Three-generation Girls' Cruise by jethag

Because our vacation time was limited, the Canada/New England cruise worked well, eliminating the need to travel a long distance (e.g. Europe) to start the cruise. Our meeting point a day before sailing was the Sofitel in Montreal, a 15 minute cab ride to the port. Embarkation: We arrived at the port about 12:30 p.m. for a 5 p.m. sailing. I had checked in online, although I am not sure how much time that saved during the in-person process. One minor matter was that despite including my nieces (who were in a separate stateroom) on my charge account, there was no record of it. Other than that, embarkation was a breeze. Staterooms: My mother and I had a deluxe verandah suite which was very spacious with a huge balcony, large bathroom, and separate dressing room. Although the Maasdam has been nicely refurbished, some telltale signs of age remain, such as a broken sliding door on our closet (we called to have it fixed four different times during the week) and an old whirlpool bathtub which did not look inviting to sit in. My nieces were in a verandah suite, a slightly lower category than the deluxe but half the size (although they had a nice balcony). The oceanview rooms appeared to have more inside space than my nieces' stateroom, so if you don't need a balcony, an oceanview might be the way to go. We like a balcony, even in a temperate climate. Continue reading... Three-generation Girls' Cruise



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