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Reviews of the Week by CruisinMaterial, dshefter, LarryFitz, kimlovesfl & lakegirl16!

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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 Star 14 Starry Days w Panama Canal Transit Lengthy Review by CruisinMaterial

About Me: A review is only good if you can understand the perspective it is being seen from. I’m a 32 year old male who cruised with his 60 something year old mother. This was my twenty-eighth cruise overall with more than half of them being on Norwegian Cruise Line. I’ve cruised on other cruise lines including the Princess whose ship Island Princess is doing a similar Panama Canal itinerary this season. I sailed on the Coral Princess (Island’s older sister) on a 10 day Caribbean partial Canal transit in 2003. I’ve also sailed on Celebrity (4x), Royal Caribbean and once on Carnival (and never again on Carnival). Pre-Cruise Stay: Crowne Plaza San Pedro After being awake for 24 hours and a long series of flights and connections, this hotel couldn’t have been more welcoming and inviting. The front desk guy gave us a room overlooking the port but on a feather free floor. When I woke up finally in the morning I was so excited to look out the window and see the ship. The hotel offers complimentary shuttle service to the pier which isn’t that far away. To get to this hotel from LAX airport I used the Prime-Time Shuttle (red shuttles) and I wouldn’t recommend using them. We waited for close to an hour for a shuttle to arrive, when en route to the location of the first drop off the driver got lost while using a GPS! Stay away from Prime Time shuttle. A long day of travel was made much worse by taking a scenic tour of Los Angeles that I didn’t want. Continue reading... A great cruise... even with the flying.



Carnival Valor Awesome Cruise Aboard Carnival Valor by dshefter

My wife, 10-year-old daughter and I sailed on the Carnival Valor out of San Juan on Jan. 19. This was my 10th cruise overall (my wife’s ninth and daughter’s third) and third on Carnival, but second on the line in the last 13 months. We sailed on the Dream in December of 2012 out of Port Canaveral to Cozumel, Belize City, Roatan and Costa Maya. I had read a lot of views before we left – some very positive and some negative – but we found the Valor to be a fantastic vessel with a warm and friendly crew. From my research and talking with members of the crew, the Valor is ranked No. 2 in customer service within the Carnival fleet and I now understand why. We had ZERO complaints about the crew or service. My daughter was in tears when we left the ship on Jan. 26. She absolutely loved the crew and made friends with the wait staff and folks in the shops, especially the jewelry shop. Continue reading... Awesome Cruise Aboard Carnival Valor



Paul Gauguin Excellent first trip to Tahiti and Cook Islands. by LarryFitz

For 2 people the cost was $11,054 + $715 trip insurance, including r/t air from LAX. Our cruise was only about 75% filled. All older adults, almost all couples, and no children. Overall, I have no hesitation recommending this trip and the PG experience, and we plan to cruise with PG again. 1. Itinerary. Excellent with so many islands visited. 2. Value is excellent. Considering the length of trip, included airfare, outstanding pre- and post-cruise (i.e., time spent between Papeete airport and ship) service, amazing ship staff and service, great food, etc.-- the cost is quite reasonable. Trying to arrange an a-la-carte air + resort, 2 island, 11-day vacation to Tahiti would cost more, I believe. 3. Ship size and capacity is ideal and offers a better chance to meet fellow passengers. Everything on the ship seems only a few steps away. Continue reading... Excellent first trip to Tahiti and Cook Islands.



Constellation A perfect choice for our first cruise by kimlovesfl

This was our first cruise, and this ship could not have suited us more, so happy with our choice of ship. Embarkation was faster, easier, and smoother than I ever anticipated it would be, even if Port Everglades feels like a warehouse. It took us about 10 minutes from the time the hotel shuttle dropped us off to the time we walked on board the ship, where we were greeted with glasses of champagne and mimosas. There was a general fun, party-ish atmosphere in the main lobby. We arrived about 1:15, and our rooms were ready in less than 30 minutes. The Sailaway Sizzle was one of my favorite things of the whole cruise-the ship blew its horn at an apartment building by the port, and the residents waved, yelled, waved flags, and blew air horns in return. A DJ played music and the house dancers performed. The room was fine. I have nothing to compare it to, other than a hotel room, but I thought it was well-appointed, and slightly larger than I expected. It had loads of storage, like every little nook and cranny was used for storage. The shower was good, and the bed had a nice memory-foam mattress, real comfy. Continue reading... A perfect choice for our first cruise



Crown Princess Crown Princess 1/25/14 - Another wonderful cruise!!! by lakegirl16

First to my cruise critic friends from the Roll Call, sorry we missed the Meet & Greet. I always have good intentions but then the day gets away from me. Hope everyone had a wonderful cruise!!! Pre Cruise Hotel We flew down the day before and stayed at the Comfort Suites on Federal Highway. The hotel was clean and adequate for a pre or post cruise stay. The location isn’t as good on those on 17th but close enough you can walk to the restaurants and shops on 17th. There is a CVS right next door. We used the hotel transportation from the airport and didn’t have much of a wait considering the number of incoming guests. We used the shuttle service they contract to the port on Saturday. We were on the 10:30 shuttle and were at the port by 11:00. Continue reading... Crown Princess 1/25/14 - Another wonderful cruise!!!


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