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Reviews of the Week by gardenbug22 lexmiller grandpaiscruising Pirate Rosie & Doc P!

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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!


Jewel of the Seas A Good cruise by gardenbug22

My other cruises were on a more casual line and only had one port vs. having 4 ports in 7 days, so this was a change for me. I also wasn't sure what to expect as this cruise had formal assigned seating at dinner.... along with formal dress dinners 2 nights. I wasn't sure that I would like having to dress for dinner or like sitting with the same people every night. OMG...what if we didn't like them? Or they us? Day one.. My cousin and I were at the pier at 12 and on the ship within 5 minutes. The check in was quick and easy. We arrived on board and were told to go to the Windjammer for lunch as our rooms were not ready yet. So off we went with our carry-on luggage. ( our other bags were not expected to be delivered until 8 pm!) We took turns holding our table and watching each other's luggage while the other got food and drinks at the buffet. I was glad not to be a single traveler or this would have been difficult with the luggage. The variety of food as well, the layout of the buffet tables was great. There were no bottlenecks, which was nice given most passengers were all trying to eat at the same time. We ate breakfast in the Windjammer each morning and our lunches there too. One morning we were greeted by a guitar playing singing dining room greeter. It was a very nice touch. There was a point when the buffet got a little tired toward the end of the cruise, and one day one of the heating tables was not working well so the food was a bit cold. However, overall we were not unhappy with the food. Continue reading... Fabulous Freedom!



Celebrity Solstice Celebrity & the Mediterranean, a winning combination by lexmiller

We loved our family Mediterranean cruise on the Equinox in August 2011 so much, that we did it again this year! This time, a 12 night cruise out of Barcelona on the Solstice, with an overnight in Venice. There are five of us - my husband and I and our three technically adult children, ages 22, 20 and 18. Our daughter has a physical disability, cerebral palsy, and although getting around Europe with a walker or wheelchair is not the easiest thing to do, the staff of Celebrity make the journey very easy. The Solstice Class of ships in particular, are extremely handicapped accessible. Her stateroom this cruise, and last summer on the Equinox, was expertly outfitted with mobility/usage aids, including an automatic door opener - all she had to do was insert her SeaPass card and the cabin door automatically opened - super convenient and promoted her independence. All public doors, including the public bathrooms, on the Solstice Class ships open automatically or have a button to push - NO heavy doors to pull open, none. The Millennium Class ships, however, cannot make that same claim - most of the public doors do not open automatically, none of the bathroom doors do, and some of the doors which go out onto the outside decks are not only extraordinarily heavy, but are quite narrow. This is important information, I believe, if you are traveling with an assistive mobility device - the Solstice Class ships are definitely fully accessible, in our experience, but not so the Millennium Class. Continue reading... Celebrity & the Mediterranean, a winning combination



Caribbean Princess Birthday Cruise by grandpaiscruising

This was our 24th Princess Cruise, our fourth Canada-New England Cruise. I have elite status with Princess and booked a BB balcony cabin last March. I drove from Cleveland to Plainfield New Jersey and stayed overnight at the Best Western just off exit 5 off I-287. In the morning we made to 45 minute trip from the motel to Red Hook and parked the car near the pier. We then checked two bags in at the curb at the pier with the red cap. Embarkation: I showed them my elite card, and was was directed to the elite/suite desk right away. After a half hour in the elite/suite lounge we were on the ship first. Cabins: The cabin R322 (cat. BB) was attractively decorated and good sized for the price. The balcony, while good size and offers good privacy. The bath room was nice and we enjoyed the bath and shower. Cabin service was efficient and unobtrusive. I got a free mini bar set up. Took advantage for the free laundry for elite members on one occasion. I also enjoyed the canapes on my wife's birthday. The 10% discount in the shops was used more than once. Continue reading... Birthday Cruise



Pride of America Wonderful way to see Hawaii by PirateRosie

As we were the beneficiaries of so many wonderful tips from the CC boards we wanted to share our review of the NCL POA here and give everyone our experience and insights during the trip. But I will apologize in advance for how long this will be. Before we give you thoughts and reviews we should let you know that we are active adults who enjoy travelling as well as our budget permits. We chose NCL POA because we felt it was the most efficient and cost effective way to have a taste of the most of the Hawaiian Islands. We stayed in Oahu 3 nights prior to the cruise. We were lucky to have stayed on the North shore of Oahu at a B&B. Waikiki is not for us. Using recommendations from CC we used Thrifty Car Rental in all islands. However, we did not know that Thrifty is not directly on site at the airport in Honolulu. Not a huge deal but since we had travelled direct from the NY/NJ area 11.50 hours on a flight, it just added to the length. That being said we were thrilled with Thrifty on all the other Islands. Continue reading... Wonderful way to see Hawaii



Wind Surf Beautiful islands, beautiful ship by Doc P

Overall, the Islands of Italy cruise on the Wind Surf can count as a true travel experience highlight. The ship, the itinerary, the food and most of all, the service are excellent. Reminder, the WindStar experience is not for those who need climbing walls, ice rinks, big shows and large casinos, although there is nothing wrong with those large cruise ships. With that in mind, I will try to provide an overall picture of our truly excellent cruise on the Wind Surf in October, 2012 to the Italian (and one French) islands. Pre-cruise: WindStar Cruises offers pre-cruise hotels and in some cities they are excellent choices. In Rome, we thought it was overpriced and booked our own hotel. With WindStar, however, they meet you at the airport and transfer you back and forth from the ship. Even with the additional costs of transfers added, we found a less inexpensive approach by going to a travel agent and showing her what they offered and she was able to beat the price. One advantage of the WindStar pre-cruise package is that they take very good care of you and you have to do no follow up like re-confirming or guessing what time you will leave the ship. It may well be worth the difference in plain comfort and security. Also, check out the final excursion which may take you to Rome so you can avoid that transfer. Continue reading... Beautiful islands, beautiful ship


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