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Reviews of the Week by jessination, kls10, fmstg182, Ukie57 & phoenix2!

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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!


Carnival Magic Family-friendly New Year's Cruise on the Magic! by jessination

We spent the week of Dec 29, 2013-Jan 5, 2014 on “the beautiful Carnival Magic.” My mom treated my family of five as our Christmas present (Thanks, Mom!). There were seven of us on this trip: my mom, stepdad, myself, my husband and our three boys, ages 9, 6 and 3. It was a fantastic week overall, and a very fun way to ring in 2014!

First, I have to say, we all loved the Magic! The ship itself is laid out very well, with the only floor that you can’t go all the way from front to back is deck 3 because of the galley, oh, and decks 11 and 12 because the Lido deck is three levels high in the middle thanks to the big screen ☺. It’s a very easy ship to find your way around. Most of the action is on decks 3, 4, 5 (restaurants, bars, coffee shop, arcade, shops, bars, photo gallery, shore excursion and guest services desks…) and the Lido deck 10, which has the buffet(s) and the pools and hot tubs. Camp Carnival is on deck 11, and my kids spent a lot of time up there! Deck 12 has the mini golf and on the opposite side is Waterworks (waterslides and water play area). My middle son had a blast playing all the games up on the sports deck – he wanted to play mini golf and foosball anytime we had a spare moment! Continue reading... Family-friendly New Year's Cruise on the Magic!



Disney Wonder Best Family Vacation Ever! by kls10

First off, let me say that we have only been on one cruise before, it was a Carnival cruise back in the day when we were party animals. We hated that cruise, so many kids and families everywhere, swore never to go on a cruise again. Well, once we had a child of our own our attitude changed quickly, we wanted to take him somewhere more than just the beach, but we needed an all inclusive type deal. Let me tell you, the Disney Cruise Line was the way to go. We left from Galveston in a one bedroom suite. We had enough room for my 15 month old's toys, crib, and all that other baby stuff you have to take with you. (Remember, there is no such thing as over packing for a toddler) Every morning we had milk and coffee delivered to our stateroom around 7, then we would go eat breakfast at the buffet. Now, keep in mind that the Disney programs they have are for children 3 and older, however, they have many activity opportunities for younger children. We would always go to an open house every morning, and let him play on all the big kid equipment, then we would head off to the splash zone around 10:00 am. Sometimes they would have organized activities for him to participate in, sometimes they didn't, either way, water shooting up in all directions in a 600 sq. foot area was enough to entertain my child and us while we sat at table right next to the splash zone, and had cold beverages Continue reading... Best Family Vacation Ever!



Explorer of the Seas Another great cruise: 7 nights Bermuda-Explorer of the Seas by fmstg182

After 11 cruises (Carnival-never again, Holland America, and Princess) this being our 4th Royal Caribbean (RCI) cruise I thought I would start reviewing them and help others have a trip of a lifetime. I still prefer RCI over any of the other 4 brands I've been on by far and planning to stick to RCI for future cruises. The value, service, boat features, food and entertainment are second to none for the price you pay you can't get a better time (if you haven't cruised before DO IT!!). The staff works crazy long hours and extremely hard and always with a smile on there faces. They always do there best to make you feel welcomed. Whether it's your room attendant asking how your day is or your wait staff remembering your names and how you like your coffee. If you have complaints about a cruise you really should reevaluate your standards of a vacation. What more can you ask for? Your waited on hand and foot, no need to make your bed, do dishes, cook, clean, no worries in the world but what to eat or drink next while the staff work 12+ hours daily. The hard work does not go unnoticed that's why we always give extra gratuity because even a little bit more goes a long way for them. This is not just the staff you see too. Ok on to the review but first I am going to give my honest opinion and by no means do I have any complaints just tips for improvements and what to expect on the ship/itinerary. Continue reading... Another great cruise: 7 nights Bermuda-Explorer of the Seas



Celebrity Summit Excellence and Relaxation! by Ukie57

This was a first-time cruise for my husband and I, and we were celebrating 35 years of marriage. It had been some time since we had a vacation of this length and distance from home. Pre-cruise we flew into San Juan, PR the Friday before departure and stayed at the San Juan Radisson Hotel. Not an "over the top" luxury hotel, but it certainly satisfied our need in an area where we had never been. It was close to a number of local restaurants, had cab service available to anywhere, and had a roof-top pool that was away from crowds and masses of tourists. The dining room was not quite what we had hoped for as far as food options, but it worked out considering the tremendous rain storm on Friday evening. Saturday afternoon was a $20 cab fare to the port, and a manageable wait to board the ship. A line that moved along quickily to grab our cruise paperwork, passport, and credit card, and we were greeted with champagne as we boarded the ship. Let the adventure begin! Continue reading... Excellence and Relaxation!



AmaPrima Wonderful AMA by phoenix2

We just returned from one of the most enjoyable vacations we have ever taken. It combined an AMA Waterways Danube cruise with a pre-stay in Budapest and a post-stay in Prague (both pre-stays booked on our own). The itinerary was a little exhausting but thoroughly enchanting. More on those stays in a bit but I'll focus on the cruise portion first. To preface the review, we consider ourselves "veteran cruisers" having taken about 15 trips (I've lost count!) with Princess, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, NCL, and Carnival. Itineraries have included both the Caribbean and Mediterranean. We had wanted to take a river cruise for a couple of years but were held back by the cost (both cruise and airfare) and the concern that river cruises were only for seniors (we're in our 50's). Once we decided to take the plunge, I began to research cruises via Cruise Critic and Trip Advisor. It became quickly apparent that river cruise reviews are few and far between. Especially for newer ships. Therefore I was determined to post this review as soon as we returned. Continue reading... Wonderful AMA


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