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OneNewTexan

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About OneNewTexan

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Texas
  • Interests
    Trains and Ships
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Europe

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  1. For this NCL Epic cruise out of San Juan next January, what would be the main theater show times for the early show and the late show? An earlier poster said the late production shows are around 9:30pm, but what is the time for the early show? Are these early and late show starting times the same across the entire NCL fleet? Or do the show times vary from ship to ship? Thanks.
  2. What are the best times to schedule specialty dining reservations so as to avoid missing the shows in the main theater? We are booked for the Epic next January out of San Juan. Last time we took NCL we missed half of the production shows because our reserved dinner reservations conflicted with the show times.
  3. OneNewTexan

    CDF Horizon - Great Cruise!

    Two weeks ago we returned from a 7-night trip on the CDF Horizon out of St. Maarten. The cruise was much better than we expected. The biggest surprise was the outstanding quality of the production shows in the main theatre. Unlike most cruise lines that fill many of the evening entertainment slots with comedians, jugglers, piano players, etc., CDF schedules an elaborate production show with singers and dancers every night of the cruise. The dancers were from Brazil and were absolutely outstanding. Although the ship is about 25 years old and does show its age, it was well maintained and clean throughout. The food at dinner in the main dining rooms was very good. The buffets at lunch and breakfast are more limited and geared to the French passengers as expected. The basic fare includes basic cocktails and wine so we saved a lot of money from not purchasing drinks throughout the cruise. The ports we stopped at were great and with only one sea day, the cruise seemed much longer due to the five enroute port visits. I highly recommend CDF and we look forward toward our next cruise on this line. Note for US Citizens ---- you need a Venezuelan Visa in order to take this cruise as it stops at the island of Margarita which is part of Venezuela. Be warned, no visa and you won't be allowed to board the ship. We were two of only four Americans we encountered on this trip ---- likely due to the Visa restriction. All crew members speak English so no problem for English-only speaking passengers.
  4. We have booked the CDF Horizon out of St. Maarten for January 2016. We are looking for advice about whether we can book cruise line shore excursions in advance or should wait until onboard to book. Our travel agent mentioned that the excursions listed on the CDF website may not represent what is actually available when the cruise sails. Don't know if that is true or not. Any advice on this issue? We don't speak or read French so navigating the French-only CDF website is quite difficult for us. As all US Citizens must obtain a Venezuelan Visa before boarding the ship (or you will be denied boarding) and which is a pain in the neck to obtain, we are likely to be the only or a couple of the few Americans on the ship.
  5. We will be taking the CDF Horizon in January of 2016 for the 7-night cruise out of St. Maarten. We were wondering if it was necessary to obtain a Visa for the short 7 hour port visit to Margarita Island in Venezuela? Any advice regarding US Citizens exiting and reboarding the ship in Venezuela for this short port visit would be most helpful. Thanks.
  6. We will be taking the CDF Horizon in January of 2016 for the 7-night cruise out of St. Maarten. We were wondering if it was necessary to obtain a Visa for the short 7 hour port visit to Margarita Island in Venezuela? Any advice regarding US Citizens exiting and reboarding the ship in Venezuela for this short port visit would be most helpful. Thanks.
  7. OneNewTexan

    Wow Wow wow

    After taking the MSC Spendida a few years ago in the Mediterranean out of Genoa, we swore that we would never set foot on an MSC ship again. The food was awful, the shows short and poor, unfriendly crew, and the prices high. Attracted by the bargain prices for a 7-night cruise and the promise that the Divina was modified to cater to American tastes and expectations, we decided to give MSC a try again. We embarked on the Divina on August 30th in Miami and just returned last week. Well --- the Divina is unlike any other MSC ship. There is a full production show every night, the food is of good quality and tailored to American tastes, the pricing is in US Dollars and reasonable, and the crews are friendly with smiles. My wife says it was her best cruise ever and the production shows far exceed any of the other shows we have seen on our previous 16 cruises. We enjoyed dining in the Galaxy Specialty Restaurant which she raves about. I am now an MSC Divina fan and have booked another trip on the Divina for late 2015 in the Caribbean and Central America. I'll never take MSC in Europe due to the poor food quality that seems to cater to foreign tastes, but highly recommend the Divina in the Caribbean. Give it a try and the discounted prices are great for the balance of the winter 2014/15 season.
  8. OneNewTexan

    Wow Wow wow

    After taking the MSC Spendida a few years ago in the Mediterranean out of Genoa, we swore that we would never set foot on an MSC ship again. The food was awful, the shows short and poor, unfriendly crew, and the prices high. Attracted by the bargain prices for a 7-night cruise and the promise that the Divina was modified to cater to American tastes and expectations, we decided to give MSC a try again. We embarked on the Divina on August 30th in Miami and just returned last week. Well --- the Divina is unlike any other MSC ship. There is a full production show every night, the food is of good quality and tailored to American tastes, the pricing is in US Dollars and reasonable, and the crews are friendly with smiles. My wife says it was her best cruise ever and the production shows far exceed any of the other shows we have seen on our previous 16 cruises. We enjoyed dining in the Galaxy Specialty Restaurant which she raves about. I am now an MSC Divina fan and have booked another trip on the Divina for late 2015 in the Caribbean and Central America. I'll never take MSC in Europe due to the poor food quality that seems to cater to foreign tastes, but highly recommend the Divina in the Caribbean. Give it a try and the discounted prices are great for the balance of the winter 2014/15 season.
  9. Conbination of #2 and #3. Food in the MDR was best on our first Celebrity cruise back in 2007. It went on a steady decline since then and has leveled off at "Good." But still nowhere close to the excellent quality we had on the Century in 2007.
  10. Although we enjoy HAL, we were a bit disappointed with the entertainment on this past week's voyage on the Nieuw Amsterdam and with HAL's cancellation of the cooking class for the voyage. Of the seven night cruise, the main theatre entertainment on three nights were a comedian and on two of those nights it was the very same comedian with just a different set of jokes. For the first time ever in our experience, the formal night had a comedian as the main show instead of one of the big production shows. There was only one large dancing and signing production show on this seven night voyage, with the remaining three nights having the intro show on the first night, a teen-focused drummer show on one night, and a signing only show on one night. We were not impressed with HAL's entertainment line up for this seven night cruise. Regarding the cooking class, HAL makes a big advertizing pitch for the cooking classes in the culinary center. This is the hands-on class, not the cooking demo. Our daughter signed up for the class with a Pinnacle Chef and the class was cancelled later in the cruise because there weren't enough folks signed up. Our daughter and we were really disappointed as she really looked forward to the 2.5 hour class making two dishes from the Pinnacle Grill. HAL should not cancel these classes regardless of the number of folks signed up. I raised the issue of our disappointment to the Cruise Director and he indicated that he would see what he could do to schedule some alternative, but promised to get back to me one way or the other. However, I never heard back from the Cruise Director. Just disappointing and this is not up the the standards I expect from HAL.
  11. Buyer beware. The food stinks on MSC. Probably the worst food at sea for a major cruise line.
  12. OneNewTexan

    Comparisons with MSC

    We have been on 12 cruises, about half Celebrity. We took the MSC Splendida last year due to the ports visited. The ship is nice, but the food is absolutely awful. My wife and I agreed that we would never cruise on MSC again. If you truly like Celebrity and are satisfied with X cuisine, you will not like MSC.
  13. OneNewTexan

    MSC compared to Holland America

    Not so on our cruise on Splendida out of Genoa. The most the MDR waiter would do is bring a small bowl of ice cubes to add to our purchased bottle of water. As for the ice cream, it was the same two flavors every day in the MDR and was of cheap, mediocre quality (the same stuff you would get in an ice cream sandwich purchased from a gas station freezer). If you wanted some good ice cream on MSC, you needed to pay extra in the ice cream shop or be a high paying guest in the Yacht Club.
  14. OneNewTexan

    MSC compared to Holland America

    Not so. Our 7-night MSC cruise on the Splendida was more expensive than what we paid on all of our Celebrity cruises. On a per night basis, we paid more per night on MSC than all of our trips on Celebrity, Carnival, and HAL. MSC is overpriced in Europe for what they deliver.
  15. We have sailed on the Century three times and have a fourth scheduled for May of 2012. It is one of our favorite ships. The Theater seating is really much better than the Solstice class ships because the Century, like the M-Class ships, still has the little oval tables to place a drink on. We actually think the Martini Bar on the Century is the best bar on any of the ships we have been on because of its unique, one-of-a-kind design for Celebrity. It is a classic ship. It also has more closet space in the rooms compared to some of the newer ships. You will enjoy it.
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