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Reviews of the Week by CharlottesMama, GolfingWarrior, dhernan81, Elisgirl, chevytrkr

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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!


Disney Wonder First cruise ever and we are hooked by CharlottesMama

This was the first cruise for all three of us (husband, 7-year-old daughter and myself). This was a birthday gift to our daughter for her 7th birthday, and it was the best birthday present ever - for all of us! Disney is generally out of our price range (and we live in MN, so also pretty hard to get to a port), but the "Farewell to Galveston port" prices were reasonable, and we were able to drove pretty easily from MN to TX. We knew the Wonder was one of Disney's older ships, but also one of the smaller ones - and we liked that idea. I had joined a Facebook group prior to cruising with others going on our cruise, and that was so great - I could get to know people, anticipate the trip, get tons of tips from seasoned cruisers, etc. Once we were on the cruise, we did a meet and greet and that was a fun way to get to know people from the Facebook group in person. It also helps because our daughter is an only child and I met some parents that had kids her age and was able to introduce her to their kids (and my husband) at the start of the cruise. Continue reading... First cruise ever and we are hooked



Norwegian Breakaway Excellent Breakaway Experience - 3/2/14 sailing by GolfingWarrior

This was our 3rd NCL cruise; we've also sailed on Carnival and Princess. We took advantage of cruise offer from a casino through the CAS (Casino At Sea) program, the Breakaway was one of the choices so we decided it was a great way to try out NCL's newest mega ship. It also gave us an opportunity for a pre-cruise visit to New York City, definitely one of the highlights of the vacation! We based our expectations mostly on our previous experience on NCL (which were all excellent). The CC reviews were mixed, surprised with the amount of negative reviews for an NCL ship so we valued them more for factual content than for the opinions. EMBARKATION: Our hotel was in the vicinity of 47th and Broadway and used a car service to the port. Arrived around 11:30, checked our bags curbside with the porters and headed to the check-in area. We were directed to the CAS line for check-in, no waiting, given a CAS card number for boarding and sent to a CAS guest waiting area. After a short wait, we were allowed to board, on the ship from the time we arrived in less than an hour. We didn't notice long lines or any issues anywhere in the boarding area during our short stay. Continue reading... Excellent Breakaway Experience - 3/2/14 sailing



Freedom of the Seas Cruising Family with kids, First time RCCL by dhernan81

We are a family of 4, with 2 sons, one 14 and the other 5. We have cruise before, this was our 5th cruise as a family. We have sailed Carnival, Princess and NCL, never RCCL, for this was our first. Day 1: Drove into Port Canaveral and used Radisson Park and cruise, it was very close to the port and we did not wait long to load up and head off, 10 mins max. I would highly recommend using this lot if you drive in to Port Canaveral. The embarkation process was fast when it came to the luggage and security check in, the ship check in was long and exhausting, especially for a 5 yr old. Wear comfortable shoes. or check in earlier or later. We checked in around 12. Once we got on board we headed to the Promenade for lunch pizza and light sandwiches, which was recommended from previous reviews and cruise blogs because the Windjammer can get hectic on the first day. We sailed away on the Helipad, also recommended by the blogs except I think word got out about it because it was crowded. So I recommend the helipad with reservation. We spend the day exploring the ship. Continue reading... Cruising Family with kids, First time RCCL



Celebrity Reflection Reflection Reflections by Elisgirl

Immediate gratification. I had previously experienced three other cruises (a new Princess ship in 1992, Carnival in 1992, and Royal Caribbean in 2007...the Royal Caribbean being my favorite) and was excited but honestly a little jaded about this trip. I was not a newbie, not easily impressed. Wrong. The Celebrity Reflection blew every expectation I had about cruising out of the water. You need to also know that I live in a world of luxury: Beverly Hills. I have been in the finest establishments with impeccable service and lifestyle, and unbelievable un-real beauty. regularly attend five-star events and go to the best shows, with world-class shopping right in my backyard. Continue reading... Reflection Reflections



Grand Princess California Coastal by chevytrkr

Embarkation, 15 March, 2014: Embarkation was very easy. After going through the routine activities of check-in and security, we were directed to a holding area to await our group number being called. The wait was relatively brief compared to other embarkations that I have experienced. The only con that I have for the embarkation from San Francisco was the lack of refreshments and drinks. Other waiting areas I have visited had vending machines for snacks or drinks (water or sodas). The only liquid refreshment that I found was a thermos of cold water. Other passengers were also commenting on the absence of refreshments in the waiting area. Continue reading... California Coastal


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