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Reviews of the Week by RubyT, Water709, teacher5usa, jarand & niteowl1!

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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!


Norwegian Sun Whittier to Vancouver in 7 days in July by RubyT

This was our first trip to Alaska, and our second Norwegian cruise. We sailed with our daughter and her boyfriend, first time cruisers who usually travel very frugally, frequently camping or staying in hostels, so we weren't sure how they would like the relative luxury of a cruise ship. We needn't have worried. We had a great time on the Sun. It's a smaller ship and older (you can tell by the truly miniscule showers, which is really the only bad thing I can say about the accomodations. It's less glitzy than other ships we have sailed on, but lovely and comfortable and clean. The staff was truly outstanding. Lucille Seno, the Group Coordinator, set up our Meet & Greet at rather short notice (our roll call was rather lackluster until the very end) and arranged for us to meet many crew members. She also set up a galley tour which was truly eye-opening for many of us. Sherryn Lacson, the hostess at Seven Seas, remembered our names from the very first evening, no matter when we came in during the cruise, and remembered where we liked to sit. We were in a aft balcony cabin which was very comfortable (except for the aforementioned tiny shower, and an unusual type of hairdryer that was oddly placed), and Benson Fallon our steward was very helpful and attentive to everything we needed or desired. Continue reading... Whittier to Vancouver in 7 days in July



Celebrity Summit Anniversary Cruise by Water709

We decided to sail on Celebrity Summit after our cruise on RCI Grandeur was canceled due to the fire. We only had about three weeks to find another cruise during the same time frame that all five of us could go, and Summit fit the bill. I booked a Sky Suite for my husband and myself, and our 20 year old daughter to share. I booked an inside cabin for my 24 yr old son and his girlfriend. We were planning to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. EMBARKATION: Embarkation was a breeze. It is a two hour drive to Cape Liberty from our home in suburban Philadelphia. We got to the dock around 10 a.m. and checked our bags with friendly baggage handlers. There was a separate line for guests staying in suites. I was a little worried about checking in separately from my son and his girlfriend but as it turned out, they boarded almost right after we did because it was early and there was no line. Because of this separate checking in though we were unable to get a photo of all five of us boarding. Wish we could have done that somehow. I asked but was not allowed to go through regular checkout because we had a suite. At the time of embarkation we also booked our reservation at the Normandy restaurant for our anniversary night; this was complimentary with our Suite reservation. Continue reading... Anniversary Cruise



Viking Odin Cruising form Budapest to Amsterdam on the Viking Odin by teacher5usa

My friend and I planned and anticipated our trip on the Viking Odin for more than a year. We even booked an extra two days at the beginning in Budapest and stayed the Hilton in the Castle District. The Hotel was magnificent and the young people working for Viking, who were situated in the lobby, were extremely helpful. They recommended a museum "Hospital in the Rocks" which was fascinating. In addition, I asked for goulash and violins, and we were sent to a marvelous restaurant within walking distance of the hotel. Breakfasts were included and were delicious. Our view was like the Viking commercial...there was the Hungarian Parliament right out our window. We boarded the Odin on July 3. Our room was excellent; more comfortable than I had imagined. The staff was very pleasant and helpful. Tours were planned for each port. Being a teacher I sometimes felt as if I was on a daily field trip. We passed in our cabin keys and were assigned a group. With our "quiet boxes" around our necks we followed our guides through the ports on city tours. Continue reading... Cruising form Budapest to Amsterdam on the Viking Odin



Diamond Princess The Diamond Didn't Disappoint by jarand

We are in our mid-50's and have cruised before. We like longer cruises but enjoy variety. So we booked two cruises, first Anchorage-Vancouver on the Diamond Princess, then one night in Vancouver, then back to Anchorage on the Holland Zaandam. We chose the Zaandam last primarily because we wanted to end in Seward instead of Whittier. Before leaving, we purchased a Northern Lights coupon book. Toursavers is very similar. I highly recommend checking them out. We saved hundreds. In our short time in Anchorage we enjoyed watching the sea planes from the patio of the "Fancy Moose" (at the Millennium hotel). We really liked the Alaskan Native Heritage Center (coupon). We stayed at the Alaskan Frontier Gardens B&B which was good. Renting a car at the airport was a snap. We used Anchorage Tours and Transfers to travel from Anchorage to Whittier. With the NL coupon it was a great deal, and our driver was a teacher at the University of Alaska. She was adept at managing a group and could make complicated information both interesting and understandable. We enjoyed her as much as any tour guide we've had! Embarkation in Whittier was quick and easy. Continue reading... The Diamond Didn't Disappoint



Norwegian Jade Happy Family on the Jade by niteowl1

We embarked on the Jade in Venice on June 22. We had flown into Venice 2 days earlier and took a cab from our hotel (Hilton Garden Inn in Mestre). We were 5 adults and a baby with a ton of luggage (entire vacation was 3 weeks with luggage to match) and it was a little difficult to get all the luggage to the embarkation area, and it was very hot, but helpful staff alleviated some of the early confusion. I enjoyed seeing the large sign as we walked into the embarkation area: Relax - You Are On Vacation! Good reminder.... Since we were in a suite we had the priority embarkation so we were brought to a separate area after getting our cruise cards, and then brought up to the concierge area. I, my husband, and adult son were in a 2 bedroom suite, and my married son, his wife and 1 year old baby were in the connecting mini-suite. Since they were with us they were allowed to join us for the priority embarkation and debarkation which made things much easier. The suite was wonderful - it was the first time, in over 40 years of traveling, that we had enough room for all our toiletries and clothes. And since we are inveterate overpackers and it was a 3 week trip, that's saying a lot. Loved the bathroom with it's multi-head shower. We had wanted a Haven suite but none were available at the time of booking, which turned out to be a blessing. If we had all squeezed into the suite, (which was the original plan, since it is supposed to sleep 6) it would have been a disaster. So the family suite with connecting mini-suite was just perfect. My younger son (age 27) was perfectly happy in the small bedroom, and the young family had their privacy in the connecting room. We were located on the port side very near the front of the ship, but seas were very calm, so movement wasn't a factor. And I didn't hear any noise whatsoever from the gym which was the floor above us. Continue reading... Happy Family on the Jade


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