Every Thursday, we'll randomly select five cruise reviews to feature here! Plus, we'll send each member a Cruise Critic logo item. This week: Cruise Critic Insulated Sports Bag-- we hope they enjoy it!

Oasis of the Seas First Time Cruiser Review of Oasis of the Seas & Cruising by hbr777
I hope this review is useful to those who have never cruised before, and who are considering a first time cruise on Oasis. A little background on us: we've (my husband and I) traveled all over Mexico and the Caribbean, and in the last five years we've stayed mostly at all-inclusive resorts, generally adult-only ones in Mexico. So this review will naturally be a comparison of our cruising experiencing compared to a resort vacation. Sorry, can't help it! We are in our late 40's/early 50's and traveled with my sister and her teen daughter. We were all first time cruisers, except for my sister, who had cruised on Carnival back in the early 90's. We originally were going to take a short Carnival cruise to see if we had sea legs. That short, inexpensive cruise morphed into Oasis of the Seas. In addition to simply enjoying a cruise experience, it was a dress rehearsal to see if we had sea legs for a possible Mediterranean cruise next summer. We discovered we had sea legs, but... we won't be taking that cruise. For various reasons. Continue reading... First Time Cruiser Review of Oasis of the Seas & Cruising

Carnival Valor Great Family Vacation by huntm
Carnival Valor Cruise Aug 4, 2012 8 day to St. Thomas, Antigua, Tortola and Nassua Travelors: Husband and wife (34), Son (9), Grandma (53) - Disclaimer: I can be detailed and wordy ? We are all from Texas and usually cruise out of Galveston. This year we(really meaning I) decided to do something different and go out of Miami. We have never been to Miami and I wanted to go somewhere new. Side note: My husband and son had never flown on a plane before, so that definitely added to the anxiety, I mean adventure We left DFW airport on Thursday to fly to Miami. We stayed at the Marriott in Biscayne Bay. The hotel itself was beautiful! We had originally booked our room through Priceline, but we found out we did not have a room with a view. We ended up cancelling that reservation and booked through the Marriott. For $20 more we could have a room overlooking the bay. It was WELL worth the $20!! We were hungry after we checked in and decided to try out the hotel's restaurant, "The Catch". We were rather disappointed. Continue reading... Great Family Vacation

Pride of America Nothing wrong with POA by 7Flags
I spent a few days in Honolulu in 1976 courtesy of the US Air Force and was "stranded" for a little longer stay than was planned. My wife, also stranded, at home with a newborn, has never believed me and for 36 years I have "owed her"! Well earlier this month I delivered. We made the trip with her 86 year old mother who is in great shape, and an 83 year old friend of hers who had been to Hawaii on an NCL inter-island cruise 6 years earlier. We drove down from Nacogdoches 100 miles down to Houston Bush and stayed at a Sleep Inn right there by the airport. They kept our car at no extra charge for the entire time. The shuttle picked us up right after 4 am and delivered us to the terminal. We departed Houston VERY early Thursday morning before the Saturday 8/42012 departure of POA and had uneventful flights thru LAX on United and landed in Honolulu around noon. Even security was a non issue. Continue reading...Nothing wrong with POA

Noordam Wonderful Cruise on MS Noordam by Happy New Cruiser
My wife and I were looking for a wonderful honeymoon experience and we definitely found that on the MS Noordam Roman Empire Cruise. This was the first time cruising for both of us and after only being home a few days we are looking to book our next cruise already. Our trip began with a little hiccup. Our flight into Rome was cancelled due to mechanical failures. This caused us to miss the embarkation of the ship from Civitavecchia. (In case this should happen to anyone reading this, be aware that there is a number posted on Holland America's website but not on the ticket that is available 24/7 for anyone who realizes that they will miss the boat.) After speaking with the people at Holland America they told us to ask the airline to route us to the first stop in Dubrovnik and they would make sure to get us on the boat. Continue reading... Wonderful Cruise on MS Noordam

Sea Princess On the Sea Princess to Alaska in August, 2012 by dkata
Background We are a couple in our early 50's, traveling with our teen daughters, 17 and 15. This was our first cruise. We were celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. We chose this Princess cruise, because we did not want to fly anywhere, and the port of San Francisco was closest to home. Travel to Port The embarkation port was San Francisco, California. The traffic along the Embarcadero took almost an hour to travel the 2 miles from the Bay Bridge to the drop off point curbside in front of Pier 35. If you embark from San Francisco in the future, Leave lots of travel time. The Embarcadero is a traffic nightmare. Continue reading... On the Sea Princess to Alaska in August, 2012

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