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Reviews of the Week by vips_va, goddessmama, faith4keep, goneaway & ilpm1234!

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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!


Carnival Legend Disappointed Expectations by vips_va

We've just come off the Carnival Legend where we booked a cruise for our honeymoon because we had heard it would be one of the best ways to relax and be pampered with amazing service for a week. I'm still hopeful a cruise can do all that, but we were very disappointed with our dream vacation. The thing is, while some go cruising for the drinking and social activities (and for that it was probably great), we went for the great food and the relaxation - and got neither. Our number one concern was that the food was cold - especially in the buffets, but also in the dining room. We finally complained, and they made a special effort *most* nights after that to bring out the food hot, which showed it was possible, but even that was a bit hit or miss. We thought we overheard someone else commenting on their food being cold "again," too. The food tasted great when it was hot, but being cold ruined most dishes. Any restaurant (even fast-food ones) knows that serving food at the right temperature is key to quality. There was a fair variety of food, and the "anytime" dining was great, but the buffets were closed a lot, which was very disappointing. You also have an option to eat at a shared table or alone, which was nice. One of the main reasons we wanted to do a cruise was because we kept hearing rave reviews about the food, but the food here most definitely did not meet our expectations. The servers were very good about remembering our preferences, though - kudos to them for that. Continue reading... Disappointed Expectations



Freedom of the Seas Fantastic Honeymoon Cruise! by goddessmama

We sailed on the Freedom of the Seas for our Honeymoon. It was our first cruise and we booked it via our local travel agency. We found the RC Web site and Honeymoon registry to be easy to use and navigate and both were very helpful in our planning. We arrived at MCO about 10 am the day of our sailing and the RC transfer folks (we had pre-purchased transfers)were waiting in baggage claim for us. We were quickly brought to the transfer desk and assigned a number. We waited in a comfortable lounge area for about 20 minutes before our number was called and we boarded a very comfortable bus to Port Canaveral. 45 minutes later we were at the cruise terminal and we were on the ship shortly after noon! The check in process was efficient and everyone most friendly and helpful. We took some time to explore the ship and I had a pina colada in hand 15 minutes after boarding! We had lunch in the Windjammer Cafe and were able to get to our stateroom at about 1:30 pm. We enjoyed the sailaway experience from our balcony with some champagne and cheese and fruit that was gifted to us and waiting in our stateroom on our arrival! We could hear the party on the pool deck and it sounded like tons of fun. Continue reading... Fantastic Honeymoon Cruise!



Norwegian Jade This Cruise Packs a Punch! by faith4keep

Seeing Santorini is on my travel bucket list, and I am incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to do this cruise at the age of 26, with 5 of my close friends. My group ranged in age from 26-31 and our youth put us definitely in the minority of the ship. Most other young cruisers were couples/honeymooners. Getting in to Venice was quite simple for most of us (we all had separate travel plans). I arrived the Friday before around 11pm. I stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn which is on the mainland. I took the public bus ACTV Line 5, which goes from Marco Polo airport to Piazzale Roma, but has a stop right outside of the hotel. At the airport I bought two tickets for 1.60 Euro each, one for Airport > Hotel and then next morning Hotel > P Roma. This was significantly cheaper than a taxi, and the bus was quick and easy. Continue reading... This Cruise Packs a Punch!



Disney Dream Disney Dream - a Great Surprise! by goneaway

After cruising with NCL 7 times previously, including once with our 1 year old, my husband and I decided to give Disney a try since all of the cruise lines (including NCL) now charge for kids under 2. I need to write NCL a thank-you note for starting to charge because we would have never strayed away to try another cruise line. We booked this cruise about 5 days out in a balcony guarantee category. Our son is just starting to get into Mickey and Minnie so we thought this would be a fun trip for the three of us. When I completed the online check-in, we were assigned the 2pm arrival time slot. However, we drove to the port and arrived at noon and had no trouble getting on board. When we arrived at the port, we immediately knew that this cruise was going to be different than our previous NCL cruises. There was a Disney rep at the port entrance who gave us simple directions on what to do. He said that my husband could park the car while I took my son in to check-in. Very nice. NCL advised us on our cruises with them that we all had to be together before starting that process. Check-in was as easy as could be and finished in about 15 minutes. My husband walked up right as I was finishing so he was able to get his photo taken before we boarded. Continue reading... Disney Dream - a Great Surprise!



Carnival Glory Had a Good Time by ilpm1234

We had a group of 6 adults with 3 balcony rooms on the 9/15 sailing out of New York. It was me and my husband, my parents and my grandparents and we all have sailed on Carnival several times in the past. We arrived to the port about 10:00am and they were still unloading guests from the previous cruise so we had to wait about 30-45 minutes to begin check-in. I didn't mind waiting because we arrived early and that was to be expected. The ladies working in the terminal were very rude, but I don't think they were actual Carnival employees so no big deal. Once the process started we made it through security and check-in very quickly and were on the boat in no time. We went straight up to the Lido deck and got a table and ate and relaxed until our rooms were ready around 12:45-1pm. Continue reading... Had a Good Time


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