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Reviews of the Week by luvmytigs, TravelSt689, Angiet2, kingpgmr & CPShips

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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!


MV Explorer Amazing trip to Galapagos on M/V Discovery Explorer II by luvmytigs

We returned yesterday from an 8 day trip to Quito Ecuador and The Galapagos booked through General Tours. We flew from Charlotte, NC to Miami to Quito. Something to consider-the trip is all about hiling and snorkeling. If you have trouble walking,climbing up uneven steps and pathways over rocks etc. this is not the trip for you. I am out of shape and had no trouble. My father is in excellent physical condition but struggled with the footing. Also, Ecuador uses the US dollar which is great. There is no effort in trying to figure out prices since everything is tax included and in US dollars. English is widely spoken but try your Spanish--the friendly locals appreciate it. Don't forget that Quito is at 9000 ft-altitude can be rough for some-headaches and dizziness are common. Drink plenty of water (and avoid the street vendors offering cocoa leaves to chew). Continue reading... Amazing trip to Galapagos on M/V Discovery Explorer II



Viking Emerald Imperial Jewels of China with Hong Kong & Guilin Extension by TravelSt689

My wife and I had been interested in China from a social, economic, and tourist perspective for many years, but did not visit due to concerns about the language barrier, governmental issues, and quality of services. We are in our 50s and 60s, and have extensively travelled, but none of our previous travels prepared us for the reality and wonderful experiences of China on our Viking River Cruise. We began our journey in Shanghai, and arrived a few days early to see the city and surrounding areas. The Pu-dong Hilton's concierge arranged a car to retrieve us from the airport, checked us in at our room, and helped with other trips. The Hilton's people provided excellent service, and wonderful food and lodging. Continue reading... Imperial Jewels of China with Hong Kong & Guilin Extension



Azamara Journey My journey on Journey... by Angiet2

Cabin #7078 (Standard Balcony) Loved the location! Yes, it is directly across from the laundry room, but we were never disturbed from door slamming, foot traffic, etc. The comfort & ease of being mid ship and having the convenience of Windows Cafe just 2 decks up, coffee bar, 2 decks down, was great. Embarkation: We did traditional cruise air with ground transfers (not Choice Air), so we did not have any input in our airline arrangements. I will give a big round of applause to Azamara on the arrangement of our flights. We flew from San Diego to JFK to Copenhagen. Of course, flying such a long distance is NEVER fun, but we really feel like the air arrangements were handled well. Delta offered fairly good service in Economy Comfort (well worth the extra fee!) and I would fly with them again internationally, if their prices were lower than KLM or Lufthansa for a similar route. Continue reading...My journey on Journey...



Carnival Valor Great time on the Valor by kingpgmr

Pre-cruise - Friday, 7/6 Miami Just for some background, this was my ninth cruise and my wife's seventh cruise. I have previously cruised on Carnival and Royal Caribbean and have found them to be comparable in quality. I've also cruised on Norwegian Cruise Lines which I found to be slightly lower in quality than Carnival or Royal Caribbean but still enjoyable. This was also our first time cruising with another couple (I'll call them H and C to protect the innocent) who are good friends of ours. We left on Friday, July 6 for the quick flight over to Ft. Lauderdale on American Airlines from DFW. When we booked the flight several months ago, the aircraft was scheduled to be an MD80 with two seats to the left of the aisle and three seats to the right so we had booked two seats just in front of our friends. Unfortunately the aircraft changed to a 737 so the seating was three and three and we were crammed in like sardines. That's par for the course though flying these days. Other than the lack of room the flight was uneventful and fairly good. We made it to Ft. Lauderdale at 2 pm and American didn't lose our luggage so I couldn't complain too much. H doesn't like to fly but survived relatively intact as we only had one brief period of turbulence! Continue reading... Great time on the Valor



Veendam A very nice cruise to Bermuda by CPShips

We are a small family of two adults and one teen and we find cruising a wonderful way to spend a vacation that allows our son freedom (whilst on the ship thanks to the teen center) but also provides for shared experiences on land. This is our third cruise in the last three years and we had a great time. Sadly, the Veendam is not returning to Bermuda next summer. First, New York (Manhattan) Cruise Terminal is adequate once one is inside but access by automobile/taxi is difficult especially when three ships are at dock and one of those ships is rather large. Check in went quickly and painlessly and after a relatively short wait we were on Veendam. The Veendam is an older and smaller ship that is perfectly nice but is showing its age and size. Compared to the Celebrity Solstice and the HAL Nieuw Amsterdam, public space on the ship was tight and dining options were more sparse. The air conditioning seemed to struggle on sunny, hot days. Whilst our stateroom was never overly hot, despite setting the thermostat to its coldest setting and closing the drapes, our room would warm to about 72 Fahrenheit when it was in the afternoon sun. Continue reading... A very nice cruise to Bermuda


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