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Reviews of the Week by TahoeSierra, CleveRocks, Surfserene, Alabama Alan & jaes!

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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 Reusable Grocery Tote -- we hope they enjoy it!


Amsterdam Just an average Alaska cruise by TahoeSierra

This was our thirteenth Alaska cruise and our second with Holland America. Our first was on the old Rotterdam. We have also been there on four other lines. This was our second 14 day cruise that took in ports in outside in southeast Alaska. We flew from San Francisco to Seattle on Virgin America, leaving SFO at 8:45 AM and arriving at SEA at 10:45 am. When we arrived at the baggage area, we were greeted by a Holland America representative who said she had been looking for us. She indicated that we should go to the other end of the baggage area where a bus would be ready in a few minutes. We waited there for about 20 minutes and were then on our way. The trip to the ship took about 30 to 40 minutes with commentary from the driver the whole way. When we arrived at the pier, we left our luggage on the bus and were processed though check in immediately. Our cabin was ready and we dropped our bags and went to the main dining room where they had lunch for past passengers. They also had the lido restaurant open for people not using the main dining room. Continue reading... Just an average Alaska cruise



Allure of the Seas Shortened by Tropical Storm Isaac ... great but too short by CleveRocks

My wife and I cruised with our 12 year old son and almost-10 year old daughter. It was the kids' first cruise, and my wife's and my first since 1993. We've done lots of traveling with the eastern USA and Canada with the kids, and my wife and I have also enjoyed the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America. We'd planned to stay Saturday night at Embassy Suites - 17th Street in Fort Lauderdale and then board Allure of the Seas on Sunday morning. DIDN'T HAPPEN THAT WAY. :-( While waiting in the security line at Atlantic City International Airport, I received an automated call from Royal Caribbean informing me that our Sunday sailing was postponed to TUESDAY due to Tropical Storm Isaac. Ugh! We flew to Fort Lauderdale and found ways to keep our kids occupied Saturday afternoon, all day Sunday and all day Monday in a beach town experiencing the outer bands of a tropical storm. I'll spare you all those details as it's unlikely you'll ever be in a similar circumstance. But I can say I can highly recommend the hotel. The accommodations were treat, and he location is great not only because it's across the street from a shopping center and two different supermarkets, but also because of the nearby Sun Trolley that for 50 cents takes you to the beach. Continue reading... Shortened by Tropical Storm Isaac ... great but too short



Carnival Legend Legend indeed!!! by Surfserene

Just off the ship this morning and eager to dispell the negative reviews I've been reading for months leading up to our cruise. I know that everyone perceives life experiences differently, but because of negative reviews that were posted up to the time of our sailing I was beginning to think that perhaps I'd chosen the wrong ship for our first wedding anniversary cruise. In brief, we woke every day with smiles on our faces, went to bed each night pleased with the day's experiences, and came off the ship this morning with nothing but good things to say and share about the ship, the staff and the whole week. That wasn't due to newlywed bliss. I've cruised many times, we are an older couple, and know what we do and don't like. We like, no we LOVE, this ship! We flew down and stayed with friends in St. Petersburg, so no pre-cruise hotel events or parking info to share. Many of the people I'd been chatting with before the cruise on a Cruise Critic Roll Call used Capital Parking. Embarkation was a breeze. Tampa really has it's act together for a smooth boarding process. We were dropped off curbside at 11:30am and on the ship by noon. We were in our room at 1:30 and our bags were delivered by 3pm. Awesome! Continue reading... Legend indeed!!!



Carnival Conquest A great vacation by Alabama Alan

My wife and I booked our first ever cruise for the Carnival Conquest when it was still one of the larger and newer ships in the Carnival fleet. However, Hurricane Katrina came and it was relocated. We cancelled and booked another trip instead. Now several years later, we cruised with the same couple we went with on that first cruise, only this time with our children and we finally got to sail on the Conquest - just before the 2.0 upgrade. This cruise included myself and my wife and our two daughters, aged 14 and 12. We met our friends with their 3 boys and traveled as a group. PRE-CRUISE: We knew we were sailing on the first Saints home game so decided to drive in the day before and take our girls to the French Quarter for a bit of sightseeing. I dropped the family off at an area hotel and parked at the Fulton Street Garage, an easy walk to the hotel. It was a hot afternoon, but we caught a streetcar to the FQ, visited Jackson Square and the cathedral, and had a great lunch. We discovered later that waits for streetcars can be even longer than waits for elevators on the Conquest, so we did more walking than originally intended, but had a great time. Continue reading... A great vacation



Pride of America Excellent! by jaes

First I would like to thank previous reviewers- without your tips my cruise would not be the success it was! getting there - its really far from the East Coast- if i had to do it over again I would take the Hawaiian airlines non stop flight from JFK to Honolulu ( 11 hours) and spend the extra day in Honolulu. flew United from CT to Los Angeles, stayed overnight, the onto Honolulu on Hawaiian airlines Booked Honolulu Airport Shuttle for a driver to come into baggage claim with a sign and take us directly to the ship. Despite having our flight info ( flight arrived 20 min late) there was NO ONE to greet us or even waiting outside - we had to call 3 times and wait over an hour to be picked up and taken to ship- all with out so much as an apology! If you book Norwegian transportation from airport to ship then you get to bypass the long luggage line and proceed directly to check in and board the ship. IF you are a latitudes member then after you finish baggage screening and give up your luggage - look for the latitudes express line extreme left in the check in lounge for express embarkation. Continue reading... Excellent!


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