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Reviews of the Week by Tokyo Mom, jrljel, EricaLovesCats, Rutman & sunluva7!

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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!


Regatta Wonderful cruise for our 25th anniversary by Tokyo Mom

We chose the Regatta's Istanbul to Rome cruise because of the ports visited, smaller ship and the month we were available to travel. Embarkation: This could not have been easier. We were dropped off at the dock and within 15 minutes had handed over our luggage, gone through security, filled out a two question form (basically stating that we arrived in Turkey healthy), got in line to provide a credit card number and have our pictures taken, passed through passport control and onto the ship and in the Terrace cafe. Our room: Because this was our 25th anniversary cruise we splurged on a PH suite. We were in room 8058 -- port side -- I believe 3 rooms from the back. The room was very spacious -- lots of storage and tastefully decorated -- all blues, whites and dark wood. Another reason I chose a PH was, I admit, I wanted the bigger bathroom -- with an actual tub/shower. And I am happy to say, that for me, it was well worth it. I enjoyed the space to shower and even take a couple baths with the lovely Bvalgari bath salts left every day. Continue reading... Wonderful cruise for our 25th anniversary



Allure of the Seas Allure Category by Category July 2012 by jrljel

I thought I'd write this review slightly different from other reviews as I will highlight different topics and my thoughts on those topics. There's a lot out there already about Allure, so this time I will simply just point out the good and not so good. Background I was traveling with a group of 16 as their tour leader, all good friends. I was to have had a friend travel with me, but her mother took a very bad turn for the worse the day before we left, and with her mother at age 95, she had to cancel. I completely understood that decision as I would have made the same one, but I was worried about traveling alone with a group of middle aged couples and a few single friends. In the end, we all ended up doing much of the same things, so I really had nothing to worry about and only had to endure a few breakfasts by myself. Whew! Embarkation Royal really shines in this department. Every cruise line should learn from them, hands down. The only issue we had was that we had booked a pre-stay at the Hyatt Pier 66 and our transfer bus didn't get to our hotel until nearly noon when we were told to be in the lobby by 11 AM AND it was an incredible hassle to even find anyone who knew anything about that transfers. Continue reading... Allure Category by Category July 2012



Carnival Splendor Carnival Splendor Review July 22 - 29, 2012 by EricaLovesCats

Background: Two 30 year olds (husband and wife) from Anchorage, Alaska. First time taking a vacation without our 2 year old (missed her like crazy). This is also a good review to read if you are on the short side. I am 4'11 and was concerned with a few of the activities we had planned, but all turned out well. Day 1 Boarding: We took Super Shuttle from our hotel (La Quinta LAX) to the port. It was $50 for both of us...I guess that would be cheaper than a taxi but if I am sharing with others all going the same direction then I think it should be a tad cheaper. But I digress. We got there about 1045. In my opinion the porters and general organization was A LOT better here than it was in Miami (we have cruised 3 times from there). Boarded around 1145. Enjoyed lunch on Lido and just walked around. Did the spa tour so we could go ahead and get a couple's week pass to their Thassotherpy (sp?) pool and heat rooms. We heard they only gave out so many so we wanted to make sure we got one. We also booked a couple of appointments for facials and massages. We don't normally "splurge" on stuff like that, but like I said it was our first time alone together in 2 years and we thought we'd go all out. Did muster drill, walked around more, got in our room (our first balcony, we always did interior before), yada yada. We had Any Time Dining (which I loved). Did not do the show, I usually think those first night shows are boring. Continue reading...Carnival Splendor Review July 22 - 29, 2012



Celebrity Silhouette The Silhouette Makes All Others Pale In Comparison by Rutman

It is probably important for you to know my family and I are seasoned cruisers. Over the past 15 years we've sailed a total of 24 times on Celebrity, Holland America, Cunard, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, NCL, and MSC. This was our first sailing on a Solstice Class Celebrity ship and our 8th cruise with Celebrity. We picked this cruise largely because of the ship and the stops in Croatia and Montenegro. Celebrity has become our favorite cruise line because of the food quality, but admittedly the last few cruises we did on competitors ships because the itinerary was more important. Overview The Celebrity Silhouette is an outstanding ship with an extraordinarily well-trained and pleasant crew, fantastic specialty dining, quiet state rooms, innovative entertainment, and excellent maintenance. It has everything and more as to what you would expect from an upscale cruise line with no significant weaknesses. Cruising on the Silhouette was such an outstanding experience that it will make sailing on any other ship except another Solstice Class Celebrity ship or the Queen Mary II difficult. You might say the Silhouette has ruined us! Continue reading... The Silhouette Makes All Others Pale In Comparison



Ocean Princess Ireland & Scotland on the Tiny Ocean Princess by sunluva7

This was our 6th cruise, the 4th on Princess, our first time cruising in the British Isles and our first time on a small ship (just 680 passengers). We traveled with our adult daughter in a balcony cabin on deck 7, mid-ship. We have only sailed the eastern/western Caribbean and Bermuda, and were looking forward with excited anticipation to a British Isles cruise. We flew into Heathrow and stayed in Canterbury for one night pre-cruise. Flight, Transfer & Precruise We took a direct overnight flight from Boston to London Heathrow's on Virgin Atlantic and arrived in Terminal 3 the following morning ahead of schedule by about 20 minutes. Anticipating a long queue at Immigration, imagine our surprise when the room was nearly empty, and the wait was mercifully short and quick - a mere 15 minutes! So much for all the stories about 3-hour lines and delays at the airport during the Olympics. Weather on Arrival: The woman who checked us through immigration said it has been the worst summer for weather in London and around the UK - rainy and cool. We were very lucky, as our first day in the UK was mild - around 70, with just a few showers and a lot of sun - what a blessing! Continue reading... Ireland & Scotland on the Tiny Ocean Princess


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