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About Cruzfrek

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    Cool Cruiser

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    New Jersey
  1. There is a free train that goes around the Dockyard on a loop and stops at several stores etc. One of the stops is Snorkel Park Beach which is relatively inexpensive, and close enough to the ship if you need to return quickly. We like it because it is close to the ship and doesn't require a long walk up or down a hill. Outside SPB was a small splash park that would probably be perfect for a 2-year-old.
  2. Hello! I am planning on cruising the Gem with my family in March 2016. I am the researcher of the group :) My dad has inquired about a behind the scenes tour. I did a search and only found information from 2012/2013. With that being said, does anyone have more recent information...more specifically 1. Is there still a behind the scenes tour offered? 2. What is the current cost (I realize it could change between now and then) 3. Do you think someone who is claustrophobic would be able to enjoy the tour? 4. About how long is the tour? 5. Is there something similar yet not quite as elaborate offered for free? I haven't been on NCL in a long time. On some of the other lines I've sailed recently, they offer a tour which is maybe 30-45 minutes long with the cruise director and the Head Chef and maybe a few officers...generally for free once a cruise on a sea day. Thanks for your help!!
  3. Just back from the 8/17/14 sailing to Bermuda. I have been on several cruises but this was my first time on Celebrity. Let my start by saying the crew, captain and other guests were great. I had an amazing time and really enjoyed sailing on Celebrity. I did NOT like the way we were treated in regards to the Muster Drill. When we arrived at our assigned location A4, we were held at the door with about 9 other people (11 total) while other people were granted access. We were the taken to a different station without ANY explanation other than to follow "Krazy" which is what it said on the guys name tag. We were then dropped off in the new area with no direction. No one would explain what was going on. We were told to go stand in the center of the stage in what we would later find out was Rendezvous. The whole experience did not sit well with me...actually I was really upset about the whole thing...i know it is mostly a formality but I still take it seriously. We went to Guest Relations and the representative there said it was part of a drill they do every so often. She offered to set up a meeting with a safety officer who could better explain the situation to us. The next day I met with Tassos the safety officer. He said it was not a drill but that THEY DID NOT HAVE ENOUGH ROOM FOR ALL THE ASSIGNED GUESTS in the A4 Muster station. :mad::confused::mad: WHAT?!? He went on to say that they did not know how many people would be in all the cabins assigned to A4 until they had the drill. (Don't they have to turn in the ship's manifest prior to the sailing?) He assured me there would be no problems and that if we had to evacuate the ship someone from the crew would come and personally take us to our muster station (which sounds ridiculous to me...that someone has to unnecessarily risk their life to come get me when I may not even be in my cabin). He then said that maybe I should try to get to the muster drill earlier next time. We were 15 minutes early. We were not the last nor were we even close to the last people to arrive. Has something like this ever happened to you? Is this something common on Celebrity?
  4. been escorted to a different muster station than the one you were assigned to?
  5. Our formal nights were both of the first sea days...meaning the first full sea day and then the first sea day after the ports. Sorry if that was confusing. Also, most people dressed for the first one and not so much for the second.
  6. In our room which as 1210 we had 2 twin beds and a couch that converted in to a bed. I think they just put sheets on it and you are good to go. We didn't need a 3rd bed and so we usedthe space to air out wet bathing suits. It was not that comfortable. But in other pictures I have seen this made up as a bed. Hope this helps!
  7. I would say it was for a good 15 minutes. It is loud and the first time you hear it it was startling but we barely noticed it after that.
  8. Last 2 Sea Days How did we end up at the tail end of our cruise so fast?!? In grand Turn they changed comedians. I failed to mention that we went to one of the Adult comedy shows….it was ok…but I have seen better. I forget her name but I think it was Sheila or something like that. We also went to see one of the new guys. He was in my opinion more offensive to people than funny. He pretty much said mean things about everyone. I am not easily offended; I just did not find him funny. I also forgot to mention the Quest (which I thought was a Royal Thing since we did it last year on Oasis). It was just as fun/funny as I remembered. People go crazy for plastic ships on a stick. We also saw a different side to Malcolm at this event. Good times. Splendor is one of the ships that has a murder mystery. We went to the opening event for it. It seemed overwhelming and like it would require a lot of effort. A 10 year old ended up winning so it couldn’t have been that bad but I will say the initial story was entertaining. I did not realize the activity went on for a few days. I also thought it was going to be something you actually participated in while in the spectacular theater. This was not the case. Basically they give you a back-story and you have to get clues from the activity staff. Specialty Drinks- There were always people waiting for fancy coffee and milk shakes. I am not a coffee drinker but I did have a milkshake and it was very good. My friend had a cappuccino and a latte and said they were both very good. Piano Bar and Hailey- We went to the mostly empty piano bar once or twice. Hailey did ask for requests, none of the 4 people there had any so she just did her own thing. Her arrangement was odd. Not my cup of tea. It wasn’t bad per say…just different. Casino- we played the quarter game where you drop in a quarter and hope to knock some out. It was fun even if we didn’t win. There was some kid that sat there not playing. I thought it was odd the first time I saw him. The second time, he was there again…and it dawned on me what he was doing. He was waiting for the ships movement to knock quarters down. Genius!! Someone did win $10,000 on a slot machine while we were there. Art Auction- This is something to do on a boring sea day. I like to see the artwork and get in on the mystery bids. We did not stay for the whole thing. They had a large turn out and did not have enough seats. Kids on board- I know they were there…I just don’t really recall seeing them. That is not entirely true. They seemed to congregate by the arcade just past the casino. They were loud but not obnoxious. We saw some shenanigans…and found it to be harmless and comical. There was one group of 3 or 4 young teens that danced and played in one of the glass elevators for a few hours. They did not get out of control that we saw. There were also a few girls that stood by the buttons and operated the elevator for a bit. All harmless. One time we got in an elevator that a group of kids came rushing out of…it seemed they pushed all the buttons!! Know what happened?!? Nothing. The elevator cleared them before moving to the next floor. The weather was almost perfect. It rained for maybe 20 minutes in St. Thomas and on the last sea day, they ended up closing the retractable top. This pretty much sums up my review. If you have any questions that I can answer, I will be happy to. I faithfully read all the reviews on here (thanks everyone!!) before the cruise and agree with most of what was said. On this particular sailing, I did not feel like the lines were super long. I did not find the people to be hogging chairs either. We made it out to the pool by about 9 am most mornings and had no problem finding 2 chairs together. The food in the dining room was always the right temperature. Some nights we did not care for the foods being offered but that was not because of Carnival that was us. Malcolm grew on us ad the rest of the staff was great.
  9. Day 3 San Juan You could tell by day 3 people were ready to get off the ship. Our cabin was almost all the way forward. If the times for the ports had been different, this cabin would have sucked. Since we did not arrive until 3, the anchor sounds did not bother us. At 11pm we were still awake and so it also did not bother us. We did not book an excursion with the ship. We did not really have any plans fir this port and were prepared to wing it. Let me add tight here…the traffic there is NO JOKE. When we got off the ship there were people offering to take you on a tour for $10 per person. The tour was supposed to be about 90 minutes. We decided this was a good way to see some of the city and not have to negotiate the traffic. Our tour guy told us to call him Kunta Kinte. He was interesting and told us several stories that you have to take with a grain of salt. We saw forts and shops and all sorts of things. Without getting political, it seems they have an obsession with President Obama. We stopped for a photo op with an Obama statue and saw no less than 3 people with Obama masks on. He dropped us off by some shops (ship approved) and right by a little market. This tour was worth the $10…I would not recommend it if you are looking for a very accurate historical tour. It was fun and we got to see some highlights. With that said, we made our way back to the ship. One of our biggest fears was getting left at port! There is a CVS there if you are missing any of the comforts of home. They have some items you can’t get here but they also have the brands you know and love. We wanted to go on the Flamenco Dancer tour but it was not available to our ship. It seems there were more than one in port and they got first dibs. This was disappointing but…it leaves something to do next time! Day 4 Saint Thomas If you do not have an excursion booked from Carnival you have to walk a slight distance to get to the taxi area. This is also where you can find some shops if you do not want to venture out into the city. We took an open tour bus to Magens Bay. In my opinion, it was over rated. Last year we went to Emerald Bay and it had a much bigger beach and offered the same amenities. We brought our own snorkel gear as well as an inflatable noodle. We picked them up on clearance and since they are flat, they went right in the suitcase. These were great. They blew up and deflated quickly. I want to mention here that the water gets really deep really fast. If you are not a strong swimmer, pay attention to this. There was also a strong current when we were there. They do have lifeguards which is nice. We saw some fish and once we were thoroughly wrinkled, got out and went back towards the port. There is a nice changing facility there. The water in the sink was odd…it was very bubbly. I believe it cost $8-10 to get there and $4 to get on the beach. It cost $8-10 to go back also. The shops have all kinds of things and the prices aren’t crazy good or bad. The sky ride is closed. Our taxi driver said it may be closed for up to 2 more years for repairs and that he hoped they completed them. We stayed later than normal for us in port and had a good time. Grand Turk There is not much to be said about this port that hasn’t been said a million times. Beware the beach is very rocky and there are no lifeguards. Also, the water got very deep fairly close to the shore. On the day we were there, there was a lot of sea weed. The shops there are very touristy. The space shop was pretty cool. We ended up at Margaritaville. The pool is nice, the service is slow and everyone from the ship is there. It didn’t seem over crowded but it was not my favorite place. I am not a “sun worshiper” and had had enough by this point. There was another ship leaving as we arrived. The ships went back and forth with their whistles, which was fun. The ship gives you a coupon for a free tote t Del Sol if you spend $10 which is super easy there. We did not leave the cruise ship area so I cannot comment on that.
  10. The Production Shows were not really our thing. We went to the Latin one and left before the end. We did go to Vroom and enjoyed it. The Love and Marriage Show with Malcolm was similar to other cruises. At this point we didn’t have an opinion of Malcolm. We barely saw him. His “woo hoo” was kind of annoying but not a deal breaker. He did grow on us throughout the cruise. We did not see him a whole lot. I am not sure if he is really good at delegating and trusting his team or what. The activities staff were always on time, happy and knew what they were doing. We missed the beginning of the “Gender Battle” the first time but the parts we were there for seemed fun. The Adult Game Show was fun (even if we didn’t get picked). Karaoke- it seemed like Karaoke was a big draw on this ship. After a while though, it was mostly the same people singing over and over. Some were better than others. It did seem like they all had fun. We were the judges one night and it was harder than I thought it would be. The Superstar version was pretty good…people got to sing along with a live band. Karaoke under the stars was good because the words were up on the big screen and people could sing along. It would be easy for me to pass judgment the singers but I myself did not have the guts to get up there so kudos to them. It did seem like this was Kirsty’s only job on the ship. I wonder how that works.
  11. We had “Your Time Dining” and went to dinner around 6 each night. We sat at several different stations. The first night, the wait staff was nice but the people next to us were not. The next night, we moved to a different location. Our team were Gerry, and Antolin. They were great and we enjoyed getting to know them. Last year on the Oasis we had a bad experience with our tablemates. This soured the idea of traditional dining for us. We liked being able to go to dinner whenever we wanted. Most nights there was a line to enter as we were exiting. We never timed it right to see a show and that was my one regret for not being in the traditional dining. I know some people find it cheesy and whatever but I like it. After dinner we went to a show and didn’t like it. We did not go to the Welcome Aboard show. We hit the fun shops to see what they had to offer and called it a night. The next 2 days were spent at sea. We went to breakfast on the Lido every day. There are 2 sections…one in the front and one in the back. The omelets guys and system in general was better in the front. The lines were less in the back. They served the exact same foods. The only “problem” was if you wanted a Danish, it was only served at the end of one line in the front. The lines were not long they were just not well organized. Someone on here shared the tip of putting a clean plate over your omelets and this worked to keep everything warm. We found that we ran in to the same people over and over. We went to a lot of activities put on by the entertainment staff. They were a pretty good group of guys. Robert or Uncle Bob was the new guy only having been on board 3 weeks. It would be interesting to see how he changes with experience. It also seemed like they left him with the less popular or impressive activities. Trivia…there are 2 different types. I was not aware of this. There are a bunch of different topics like sports knowledge, movies, theme songs etc. In these trivia games you are competing for a ship on a stick. The guests keep score and it is all in good fun. (We won a ship on a stick in the tv theme song game!!) Then there is the Super Duper Trivia or something like that. This was with Graham and was a cumulative game with teams that did not change. We did not realize this and joined it on day 3. The people were very nice and let us play but we didn’t go back. Punchliner Brunch-We went to brunch in the afternoon on of the first two sea days. The difference between breakfast time and lunch time (as far as we could tell) was the kind of bread you were served. The people sitting when we walked in had baskets with typical am Danish such as croissants and raspberry Danish. We were served a large basked of popovers. These were cooked to perfection and served piping hot. The people we sat with said the previous day they were only able to get the Danish for breakfast. The Steak house offered a cooking demonstration on the first sea day. This was something I knew about from here. They make 4 different dishes and hand out samples for you. They start with a salad, then mushroom cappuccino, macaroni and cheese with chicken and tiramisu for dessert. We went to the steak house for dinner on the 2nd sea night. They did not have the mushroom cappuccino on the menu. I had the chicken dish and it was very good. The Chef came out to talk to us and asked us which one of us did not like meat. It was a nice touch and we found it humorous. Bottomless Bubbles- We purchased this program because last year on the Oasis it was necessary in our opinion. On the Splendor, there were plenty of places to get an iced tea, water or lemonade. They did not have the tumblers until the afternoon on the second day. I am not sure why but it seemed odd. The crowd in general seemed to be “late” meaning the lines did not get long for breakfast until 10 or later and lunch lines were longest around 2pm.
  12. We went up to the Buffet and it was weird. There were very few people there. The choices for the buffet were minimal and not that exciting. They had fruit salad and other salads plus desserts available too. We opted for the burrito bar. It was fast and tasty. We went up to check out the rotisserie. There was food but the signs indicated it was closed. It was never very crowded and the food never varied up there. We wandered around the Lido deck getting a feel for the lay out. We found the Deli and the Tandoor as well as the Mongolian wok, the grill and the pizza pirate. I will say this about the pizza…it was the best cruise pizza I ever had. I am from NJ and we get good pizza here. It was not the best pizza I ever had but it was good for pizza on a cruise. I will say that while the lines got long at times, they were never so long that we would pass. We used the early boarding to our advantage and wandered all over the ship getting a feel for the lay out. They have these aqua plastic rocking chairs in a few areas. I have never seen them mentioned here…they were the most comfortable chairs ever. I need to find them for home!! After exploring, we went back to the room to unpack. We found there to be ample closet and drawer space. We each had a hanging closet and shared the closet with shelves. We are NOT light packers. If I own it, I pretty much brought it with me. I do not remember having 2 closets in the past. We had an interior room with porthole windows. I felt like the ledge by the windows made the room feel larger. At this point, it was time for the muster drill. This was my 8th cruise and the 8th way to muster. Thanks to the tips here, we hung back and waited until the last minute to join our group so we were not crammed in the back. We waited about 10 minutes before the drill began. Our Muster Leader was Kirsty. She was in charge of Karaoke. We liked her instantly. She made a big deal about staying behind the green line. We jokingly put our toes over the line for a picture and she called us cheeky. (This is while we were standing around waiting NOT while the captain was speaking.) They had our side wait a while for the other side to clear out. We went immediately to the sail away party. We had no problem finding a good spot by the rail on the deck with the funnel. Of course, my camera battery died the second before we went under the bridge. Good thing so many of you have posted pics!! Haha. We had “Your Time Dining” and went to dinner around 6 each night. We sat at several different stations. The first night, the wait staff was nice but the people next to us were not. The next night, we moved to a different location. Our team were Gerry, and Antolin. They were great and we enjoyed getting to know them. Last year on the Oasis we had a bad experience with our tablemates. This soured the idea of traditional dining for us. We liked being able to go to dinner whenever we wanted. Most nights there was a line to enter as we were exiting. We never timed it right to see a show and that was my one regret for not being in the traditional dining. I know some people find it cheesy and whatever but I like it. After dinner we went to a show and didn’t like it. We did not go to the Welcome Aboard show. We hit the fun shops to see what they had to offer and called it a night.
  13. Carnival Splendor Cruise 8-21 to 8-29 We decided to go with a car service rather than getting someone to drive us or parking at the pier because it was the middle of the week and the parking would be for 9 days. We left from Mercer County at 9:30 am and did not hit traffic until we got right by the terminal. We sat for about 30-45 mins waiting to make it to the drop off area. I was not stressed about it because I did not have to drive. The service was $170 each way which included tax tolls and tip so for $340 we did not have to drive, deal with traffic, handle luggage or figure out parking etc. It is $35 a day to park at the Terminal that alone would have cost $315 which does not include gas, tolls and aggravation! We pulled up to the curb and a wonderful porter was there to take our bags, mark them FTTF and send us on our way. I tipped the man while Erin paid for the car. We walked in to the terminal and were given the much coveted Zone 1 Card. We were properly excited to have such a thing. We walked right up to the check in desk where our Zone 1 card was promptly taken away. I started to protest when she gave us the “Priority Boarding” card. We checked in in about 2 minutes (love that online check-in stuff) and were escorted over to the waiting area. They had water and lemonade if you were interested. They made a few announcements, boarded a wedding and poof we were called to board. A few pictures later, we were walking up the ramp and boarding the Splendor for the first time. Now, the décor gets a lot of comment on this board. I did not think it was offensive or too over the top. We found it to be art deco-y and did not mind it at all. We went to our room to trop off our carry-ons and saw that ½ of our bags were there already. Our Steward was Sugara and he was very friendly. We always had clean towels and were greeted with towel animals every night. I think we arrived a little before he was ready for us. We had to ask for a bar of soap for the sink and did not get any goodies in the bowl.
  14. I just got off the Splendor yesterday and they did not have towel animals for sale in the gift shops. They did have the book and the class one day.
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