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!

Celebrity Silhouette Terrific crossing by russg140
OK. There are enough reviews about the food, entertainment, staff, etc. that I don't need to say anything other than the aforementioned "departments" are totally subjective; what one person may find wonderful another may find boring. Having said that this review will go over some of the basic questions you may have about selecting Celebrity Cruises (and the Solstice Class ship). First a little about us: gay couple in our late 40's. We cruise for good food and drink, relaxation, good service and tasteful atmosphere. We don't do the shows, activities, art auctions and casino. Cabin: Inside, outside, balcony or suite? How much space do you want and what level of services do you require? We were in a Sky Suite which is a very large room, 1 1/2 size balcony, large bathroom and plenty of storage. Concierge and Aqua class? Are you going to use the services. It seems to us that the "perks" don't seem to justify the additional cost, but some travelers enjoy these cabins. It depends on your budget. Continue reading... Terrific crossing

Norwegian Jewel Thanksgiving on the Jewel by Noodle77
The Travelers: Two 30-something single ladies. It was my first real cruise (other than a budget, 4-day deal in high school) and her second (previously cruised on RCCL). The cruise was booked through my friend's timeshare company -- we wanted to cruise out of NY or Baltimore, and had to cruise Thanksgiving week, so there were only a couple options. The main objective of our trip was rest and relaxation! The Room: We were in Balcony Stateroom #10086. It was a great location...near the mid-ship elevators and stairs, and either up or down just a couple decks to almost everything important to us (food, alcohol, spa and gym, pool deck, theater, etc.) Unfortunately we had smokers in the cabin next door, and also somewhere else around us, and rarely found it enjoyable to spend any amount of time on the balcony. The cabin was a little tight, but there was a ton of storage and it was more than adequate for a week. Our cabin steward was okay, but not great -- we stopped getting towel animals on the third day, we never got ice, and didn't even get turn down service a couple nights. Continue reading... Thanksgiving on the Jewel

Oasis of the Seas Wonderful Cruise by TnomadX
I have had an opportunity to sail on Oasis twice. The first sailing was in March during Spring Break, and I didn't enjoy that cruise so much. It wasn't what I expected after being on a previous cruise with Royal Caribbean. This time around, I had a great time. The embarkation process was extremely smooth. I expected to have to wait to get to get on the ship because I knew there were lots of people on this cruise. I got on the ship in less than 15 minutes. I couldn't believe it. Once on the ship, I was able to go to my stateroom immediately and get comfortable. My bags arrived to my stateroom within an hour of me boarding the ship, so I was able to get things unpacked quickly and put away. Then I was off to enjoy myself. As soon as I left my stateroom, I went around the ship to see if I could still find my way around, and to see if there was anything new. Everything looked the exact same with the exception of the huge Christmas Tree on the 5th level. It was beautiful. Everyone that I met on day one were very nice and courteous. Continue reading... Wonderful Cruise

Golden Princess Wonderful Family Vacation to Alaska by manydogs
Having sailed on other lines previously, this was our first time on a Princess ship. There has been so much hype about Princess, I actually forced myself to be very neutral about this cruise line, lest I be disappointed (and I'm glad I did). My first impressions weren't that good when I was trying to navigate the Princess site to register. I have to say that they have one of the most user-unfriendly sites around, but several calls to customer service soon had us set. We boarded the ship in Seattle ... all fourteen of us. Ten adults and four boys ages 6 - 10. Thankfully, we arrived in Seattle the day before so we were all rested and refreshed so the slow crowd on the gangway didn't ruffle any feathers. Embarkation was rather painless and we were soon in our cabins, ready to head out and explore the ship. All in all, the ship was well appointed and fairly easy to navigate. The only "downer" was with the quad cabins. Prior to sailing, I couldn't find any information as to the bunk layout and our T.A. assured me that there was no problem with having a queen bed below and the two bunks above .... wrong!! The bunks, when lowered from the ceiling, are positioned such that the upper bunks cannot be accessed unless there is a four, single bed configuration (I did take photos if anyone is interested). That said, we all had balconies and we had the attendant open the balconies so that the children could easily maneuver between three of the rooms ... which they loved. Continue reading... Wonderful Family Vacation to Alaska

Carnival Magic Bahamas Dec 9, 2012 Carnival Magic w/ Toddlers by buz_lightyear
Summary: We had a great time, would love to do it every year. Weather was perfect. We think Carnival is an excellent value and loved this itinerary. Our kids were lobbying to stay on the boat at the end, lol. We spent about $4,000 total for an eight day vacation with a couple of other activities between DFW and Galveston. Family Info: Married couple in our 30's with three toddlers that drove down from DFW area. We didn't take car seats onboard. Galveston Port Experience: Toddlers + long lines + too many bags = Horrible Experience. Getting from the parking lot to onboard the ship took so long we went from thinking "we'll be there with plenty of time to spare" to "OMG we barely had enough time"! On the way back, my wife stood in line forever to get a porter with a cart. I took the three kids to the blue canopy bus stop and got a 'no luggage' ride back to our car without waiting for too long, strapped the kids in, gave them snacks and a drink, and made my way back to her and the luggage sitting on the curb (pay attention to the flag color above your pick-up location). Be sure to use the restroom just before you go to the port and just before you get off the boat. Continue reading... Bahamas Dec 9, 2012 Carnival Magic w/ Toddlers

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