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Reviews of the Week by retiretwo, LGAretired, DarinPike12, Reinette & lvparrothead!

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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. We hope they enjoy it!


Zuiderdam Very Pleasantly Surprised! by retiretwo

We sail mostly on HAL and had noticed a decline in some services the last few cruises. That was NOT so this time! We found nothing of any consequence to complain about. After a night's stay at the Springhill Suites in Dania Beach ( where we always pickup our cruise wine at BJs ), we got on the 11:00 free hotel shuttle to the port. We went straight upstairs and quickly checked in since we had pre-registered on line. We got our boarding number and sat. This was a good time to meet some of our new 11 day friends! We were called and on board to our cabin by 12:25. We usually book a port side, mid ship, SS cabin. This was in very good shape with obviously new drapes and the carpeting looked new. Our cabin steward( Jeni ) was there soon to introduce himself and see if we needed anything. We just said to keep us supplied with ice every day and all would be fine ( and there was always plenty of ice)! Continue reading... Very Pleasantly Surprised!



River Empress Another memorable Uniworld cruise by LGAretired

Summary: If you want to take the Tulips and Windmills cruise to see the tulips (our trip started April 12, 2013 from Antwerp to Amsterdam), understand that you are guaranteed to see windmills but all bets are off regarding viewing fields of tulips. No one can control the weather which we learned changes daily and no one can control the tulip season which apparently varies year to year. This year we were too early. You are guaranteed to see them indoors at the Kuekenhof Gardens so do not let the weather give you pause. On all other counts the cruise was a delight. The port stops focused on walking through charming villages, viewing the unique architecture of the region, the continuing efforts to keep the water out, the famous Belgian and Dutch art, and of course the flowers. You also had ample time to sample the food favorites of each region - beer, chocolate, mussels, French fries, and waffles in Belgium and their counterparts in the Netherlands. This is peak time for river cruises in this area and there were always multiple river ships in each of the ports we visited. See below for more on ports. TIP: Don't miss the French Fries from Frituur Number 1 and chocolate from Chocolate Line in Antwerp. The French Fries with mayo were fabulous. Wasabi chocolate not bad either! Continue reading... Another memorable Uniworld cruise



Norwegian Sun Nice ship, great staff, wonderful vacation by DarinPike12

We just completed our 11-day Southern Caribbean cruise aboard the Sun and the family had a wonderful time. We liked being on a somewhat smaller ship compared to the 4,000 passenger ships we'd been on before. It made it easier to get around, which was important for me as I need the help of a cane to stay vertical. The biggest negative was the size of our stateroom. We reserved a "guaranteed" picture window room and ended up in an odd little mid-floor with rooms that were even smaller than the others. There was literally no floor space after the couch was unfolded for my daughter's bed. I had to crawl over both beds to get to the bathroom. Also, if my daughter was much older she wouldn't have fit in the fold-out. The room isn't suitable for three passengers and kids older than 10 would pose sleeping issues. Continue reading... Nice ship, great staff, wonderful vacation



Carnival Magic FUN FUN FUN by Reinette

I have wanted to take a cruise for a long time so when Christmas rolled around last year, I asked my husband that instead of gifts would it would be OK to give each other a cruise for and he agreed. Now that the cruise is over, I have to say that this was the best present either one of use could imagine. From the moment we arrived at the port until we drove away we were treated with courtesy and respect by all parties and had nothing but FUN FUN FUN for 7 days. I had not done any type of research beforehand and so my rationale for choosing the Carnival Magic was simple: we chose Carnival because we wanted to leave from Galveston, which is driving distance and the Magic because it was a 7-day cruise to interesting ports. I booked just before the Triumph incident but I wasn't too concerned. Things happen in life and you just have to deal with them. After I booked, I spent a lot of time on CC. I joined the roll call and read everything that provided tips on cruising. By the time we left, I was well prepared. Continue reading... FUN FUN FUN



Norwegian Dawn Amazing Vacation by lvparrothead

My mom (71) and I (49) sailed from Tampa, FL on Norwegian Dawn on April 14-21, 2013. She lives near Tampa and drove to the port. I stayed at the Holiday Inn Express Rocky Point and I highly recommend it. I got a free shuttle from the airport to the hotel and a shuttle to the port the next day for $10.00. I had dinner on Saturday night at the Bahama Breeze which is right next door. It was crazy busy and crowded and a very long wait for tables. The food is great and it is on an inlet with a boat dock and nice view. They have fun tropical drinks too and it seemed many cruisers were there the night before. Embarkation was easy for us. We got in line at the terminal around 12:00 and we were on the ship and had checked out our stateroom (9610) by 1:00. I was very impressed with the size of the cabin, bathroom, closet storage, hooks in bathroom, everything was just right. Plenty of room. Room service arrived right away with for some reason, three of the bottles of wine I had ordered. Luckily I had a copy of my order and showed it to him and he went off to find the rest. We headed up to the Bimini Bar and got cheeseburgers and a bucket of beer. Took the bucket back to the room and our luggage was ready. We relaxed and unpacked and the rest of the wine arrived. Around 4:00 we left a note for the room steward to please empty the fridge and leave some ice for us Continue reading... Amazing Vacation


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