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Reviews of the Week by gkwan99, CruiseGuy95, Shakalakalaka, cdymom1907 & bycoastal!

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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 Gem NCL Gem - relaxing and enjoyable vacation by gkwan99

This was our third cruise in the last 13 years for the three of us (DW and DS10). Our last cruise was the Disney Dream on the Concierge Floor two years ago. Our only other cruise was the RCCL Enchantment of the Seas in 2001 in a regular window room. All I can tell you about is what we encountered so it is possible and probable others on the same cruise may have encountered different things. We all felt this was our best cruise to date. We all had an absolutely wonderful time. Everything was not perfect, but there was nothing that impacted our enjoyment of the time on board the Gem. Most of the negatives are me being really picky (we are not normally picky and do not have sky high expectations either). Anyways here goes: EMBARKATION We started on a 5am flight on Friday and got to LGA at around 200pm. We dropped our stuff off at our hotel (Ink48) and walked to the Intrepid Museum which was about 2 blocks away. Spent about 1.5 hours there (it was a very hot day) and went back to hotel to cool off. Went to dinner at Uncle Jack's Steakhouse (delicious with amazing service but $$$$). Went back to hotel and hung out for a while and went to bed. Continue reading... NCL Gem - relaxing and enjoyable vacation



Disney Wonder Disney Delivers Again by CruiseGuy95

This was our second cruise with Disney and we enjoyed this trip as much as the last. The Wonder was clean and well maintained, the staff was friendly and courteous and food ranged from very good to excellent and, of course, Alaska presents an unforgettable experience. EMBARKATION As repeat Disney cruisers the process goes a bit quicker since there's a dedicated line for 'Castaway Club' members so we were on board by 12:00 p.m. Even for those who were taking their first cruise with Disney the process was apparently fairly painless. STATEROOMS By 1:30 staterooms were available and luggage arrived within an hour. We opted for a stateroom on Deck 7 to ensure an unobstructed view in anticipation of sailing the inside passage (deck 8 is considered more desirable and the rooms are larger but deck 9 partially extends above your verandah). If you've ever sailed on any of DCL's four ships the layout will look and feel familiar. Split bathrooms, plenty of storage and enough space for a family of four. When booking ANY cruise it's important to do a little research before selecting a stateroom. Is your room above or below a public area like a theater, restaurant or pool? Near elevators? Too near or too far removed from areas most desirable to you? A simple Google search will often provide detailed information on every deck and often the very room you've been assigned or intend to stay in (there are reviews to be found on this site as well). Continue reading... Disney Delivers Again



Bahamas Celebration Aint nobody got time for dat! WAS SO FUN! :) by Shakalakalaka

I was skeptical, but we ended up having a great time! SKIP TO THE BOTTOM FOR SPECIFIC TIPS REGARDING YOUR CRUISE ON BAHAMA CELELBRATION. The phone rang. Thats where it all began. A cheerful voice buzzed in our ear ..."Complete a brief telephone survey and we will reward you with a free 3 day cruise to the Bahama's." I normally avoid things like this, knowing its usually scammy, but this time, I turned on speaker phone and my husband and I listened. Once we completed the survey, we were redirected to a sales agent. She talked our ear off about the Bahama's Celebration cruise ship and how fun and wonderful it was. She said that if we "paid today", we could have the whole 3 day 2 night trip for two all for $60 per person. She said it was transferrable, and we could use it ANY TIME. She then tried to upgrade us at an additional cost to an overnight hotel stay in the Bahama's and trip to Orlando upon return. We said NO NO NO and then her boss got on the phone and tried to give us an even BETTER deal. We said no no no. (YOU HAVE TO BE FIRM!!!) Finaly, they just gave us what we origionaly wanted. The short cruise. The ship sails out of Palm Beach Florida, and we were headed down there this summer to see family anyways, so worst comes to worst, we would just have to give it to family to use. Anyway, we bought.... AND we added another passenger--my Dad, for and additional $120. Continue reading... Aint nobody got time for dat! WAS SO FUN! :)



Carnival Triumph 5 Day Progreso and Cozumel by cdymom1907

Just back from a 5 day cruise on the Triumph. We had a great time. It was my 4th cruise but 1st cruise with Carnival. The others were with Royal Caribbean. There were many things that were very similar. There were some things I liked better with Carnival...some with RCI. I would happily cruise with either of them again. Embarkation was fairly easy. The line to register was not that long when we got there, but it was pretty slow. There seemed to be a lot of empty stations. There was a comfortable place to wait for our group to be called. They were running a little late due to an FBI investigation, but it was minimal. The good part were the rooms were ready when we got on. The cabin was nice. Big balcony with 3 chairs. We had side by side rooms with our kids. I asked for the doors of the balcony to be unlocked. Our steward, Lido, took care of it right away. Lido did a great job of taking care of us. He was very friendly and did everything quickly. I do wish the cabins had nightstands. I use a CPAP machine so I had to move the coffee table over to accommodate it. Fortunately, I thought to bring an extension cord because there were no outlets by the bed either. Continue reading... 5 Day Progreso and Cozumel



Sapphire Princess Relaxing Vacation for Family by bycoastal

We have always wanted to take an Alaskan cruise and upon finding a good deal online, our group of six (ages 24-67) booked our three inside cabins less than three weeks before embarkation through Costco. We were assigned three rooms that happened to be handicapped rooms. Two of the rooms (E717 and E714) were very spacious with sitting areas complete of a second TV, minibar, and a sofa. I read somewhere that people have described this layout as an "inside mini suite". The third room (E706) was smaller, without the sitting area, but still bigger than other inside cabins. All three rooms were very close to the elevators and the dining rooms. It was easy getting to all areas of the ship since the Emerald deck (deck #8) goes the entire length of the ship so we could easily walk to the very front or the very aft of the ship then take the elevators or stairs up to wherever we want to go. Overall very comparable to Carnival -- except the towel animals were missing :D. FOOD: It seems that on port days the offerings for sit-down dinners were better than other days. We had surf & turf one day with king crab legs as appetizers, and lobsters and escargot on another day. For breakfast, the buffet usually has all the selections offered by the sit-down breakfast. But for dinner, the dining rooms had better offerings than the buffet. We especially liked the shrimps, very good quality every time. We also visited Alfredo's Pizzeria -- very good thin-crust pizzas indeed. At the pool area in the afternoons, we'd happened upon reindeer chili (so-so), fish & shrimp kebab (loved it!), sandwiches, etc. The bratwurst station near the pool was pretty good too, but I don't think I enjoyed any of their chowders offered anywhere, in the dining room, at the buffet or at the afternoon stations. We brought six bottles of wines with us but we ended up only drinking three. After eating so much alcohol seemed like extra calories we didn't need to consume. We did order occasional beers with our pizzas though :). Continue reading... Relaxing Vacation for Family


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