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Reviews of the week by jshape, Dave_P, annef68, DC2B5+ & rkaratsu!

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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 Tote Bag -- we hope they enjoy it!


Riviera Riviera - Lisbon to Rome - Great Cruise but not Outstanding by jshape

We are just back from the 10-day Oceania "Iberian Odyssey" cruise on Riviera that departed from Lisbon on September 12 and ended in Rome on September 24. The weather was great with only one day of rain and temperatures being very comfortable.

We went on this cruise with two other couples of the same age (66). This was our eighth cruise -- having been on Azamara, Royal Caribbean, Costa, Renaissance, Oceania, and NCL before. None of us are overly picky but all appreciate nice touches and good, not overly attentive, service. We had a butler once and thought it was 'a bit much.' Food is important but it's not the end-all/be-all for us. It's more about the variety of ports being visited and doing different things without having to pack and repack or deal with transportation over a week or so. After being on both an Azamara and Oceania cruise previously, we opted to do Oceania again. And, the idea of a new ship -- the Riviera -- seemed like a good idea. And, we wanted to see most of the places Riviera was going. Continue reading... Riviera - Lisbon to Rome - Great Cruise but not Outstanding



Westerdam And Now for Something Completely Different by Dave_P

We booked this cruise ten days before departure as a spur of the moment decision. I retired in February and we did back to back cruises on the Dawn Princess around New Zealand and then around Australia. We started cruising in 2003 with a two day coastal cruise on the Dawn Princess from Vancouver to San Francisco and absolutely loved it. By the time we decided to do an Alaskan cruise, the Princess cruises out of both Seattle and Vancouver, BC were completely sold out. Fortunately, our TA was able to book a guaranteed verandah stateroom on the Westerdam. Five days before sail away, our TA called and told us Holland American would upgrade us to a Superior Verandah Suite for a little more than the per day cost of the original fare. So amazingly, we ended up with a SY category Verandah Suite on the port side of deck 6. Continue reading... And Now for Something Completely Different



Disney Dream Disney Dream Sept. 30 to Oct. 4 by annef68

My DH and I just returned from a 4 night cruise on the Disney Dream. I was a little skeptical about this cruise as we are in our 40s/50s with no children and my DH is not as big on Disney as I am. Disney was offering a pretty good discount to FL residents my brother and his DW and 2 children were going so we decided to give them a try and I am glad we did. This was our 8th cruise and was the best by far. Disney really out does themselves. We arrived at Pt. Canaveral around 1:15pm and got checked right in. We even got an upgrade and were able to get connecting cabins. We got right on the ship. Total time was probably about 25 mins and that was with changing things around with the upgrade. Easiest and fastest check in we have experienced. We had cabins 9626 and 9628 which is aft. Great rooms, fantastic size and lots of storage! These were the biggest rooms we have ever had. Loved the split bathrooms and roomy showers. Continue reading... Disney Dream Sept. 30 to Oct. 4



Allure of the Seas 5x Cruiser, 1st time w/ Royal Caribbean by DC2B5+

My husband and I have had 5 wonderful cruises with Carnival and thought lets give the biggest baddest cruise ship a try!! Royal Caribbean definitely did not disappoint, Allure of the Seas was nothing but AMAZING! However, we feel Carnival is the biggest bang for your buck and will stick with carnival cruises! But let me tell you about Allure of the Seas! First off it's freaking HUGE!!! Every time we got off it still shocked me! It sailed flawlessly, no feeling the boat rocking, so no need to worry about sea sickness here. Our waiter did tell us that the Western route, due to the wind patterns, made hardly any waves compared to the Eastern route. So maybe if you're doing the Eastern you might feel the waves if it got kinda rocky? Speaking of the different routes I would HIGHLY suggest choosing the Eastern route, to Nassau, St. Thomas and St. Maarten, even if you've already been to these islands. We choose the Allure because we've never been to Haiti or Jamaica but you're not missing much, the other islands are much much better. Continue reading... 5x Cruiser, 1st time w/ Royal Caribbean



Silver Whisper Review of Silver Whisper - September 2012 by rkaratsu

My wife and I just returned from the Whisper on a cruise to the Baltics states and while things are still relatively fresh in my mind, I thought I would write a bit about our most recent Silversea experience. (Previous to this, we had been on the Shadow and the Spirit, most recently about two years ago. We have also accumulated over 100 days at sea on other assorted mainstream cruise lines.) Anyway, here are some general impressions: SERVICE We thought the service was not only good but in many cases exemplary. Our butler Arlyn was terrific. Upon meeting, she did indeed offer to unpack for us (declined), make restaurant reservations and even hunted down Diet Pepsi for me. She also delivered room service on the mornings we ordered it (on four different occasions, she was always within 10 minutes of our requested time.) The wait staff in the MDR were also good (by the second day, the head waiter knew that we preferred to sit at a table for two, and always sat us in the section where one waiter we particularly liked was working) and the bar staff knew our drink preferences by the second day (as well as the fact that my wife liked to have a plate of pimento stuffed olives with her drink. No idea where she picked up this odd craving but whenever she wanted olives, she got them!) And at the end of the cruise, I asked in the shop if I could buy the Bvlgari products. They did not sell but called up the spa, which they thought might possibly sell. They didn't either but then contacted our butler and lo and behold, on departure, we were given an entire set of the Bvlgari toiletries complements of the head of housekeeping. I thought this was really nice. Continue reading... Review of Silver Whisper - September 2012


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