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!

Oosterdam Oosterdam Down Under Adventure by thumbun
Background and Planning: Later this year I turn 50 years old. While previous milestone birthdays did not bother me, for some reason this one does. Luckily, most days I feel like I am in my 20s, and I still possess the strong desire and curiosity to see as much of the world as possible. So what better way to celebrate the half-century mark than to take to the skies and the sea to explore new and exotic locales? My partner is just as adventurous as I am and is the perfect traveling companion. When he turned 50 a few years ago we spent 12 fantastic days and nights sailing around Scandinavia and the Baltic countries. In our 18 years together we have spent a significant amount of time in Europe, and since moving to California eight years ago have traveled extensively in Asia. When we sat down early last year to plan my 50th birthday trip, we decided that we wanted to travel in early 2013 (even though my birthday is in July) and go somewhere in the warm Southern Hemisphere. Our first thought was a cruise around South America's Cape Horn. We also considered doing an adventure cruise from South America to Antarctica. In the end, and after watching The Lord of the Rings for the tenth time, we ended up looking at cruises in and around Australia and New Zealand. Continue reading... Oosterdam Down Under Adventure

Celebrity Eclipse Celebrity Eclipse 14-night Southern Caribbean by David
My wife and I just returned from a 14-night cruise of the southern Caribbean on Celebrity Eclipse. The cruise was a perfect mid-winter respite from the cold and dampness covering most of the U.S. and Canada. The beautiful ship and Celebrity's typical outstanding blend of contemporary design, excellent service, and a lively but refined environment combined to provide an overall wonderful cruise experience. For the record, this was our 34th cruise since the mid-1990s, 6th on Celebrity (having sailed on each Celebrity class of ship since Zenith), and second on the Solstice class. Therein lies the explanation for much of the enjoyment derived from the cruise, as Celebrity's Solstice class ships stand out for me as among the very best ships we've sailed on. Having said that, and having sailed on Eclipse's slightly younger sister Silhouette in December 2011 (see my separate Cruise Critic Member review), many of the comparisons drawn will be between these two extended Caribbean cruises. Continue reading... Celebrity Eclipse 14-night Southern Caribbean

Island Princess Princess - still my favorite by mtab
I always find it interesting reading other reviews of the same sailing and wonder if indeed we took the same cruise. We've cruised almost 20 times on various lines and this was our 5th on Princess. I have to say Princess is my favorite. I'm sure it's not the best but it fits our lifestyle. We're 67 & 70 and like to be active tho not adventuresome. No ziplining here. To begin, Princess always boards at noon. if you want to just walk on, come anytime after 12:30. Boarding is very efficient and unlike some other lines, you are allowed to go to your cabin and drop off any bags you may have brought onboard. I appreciate that. The age group on Princess seems to be 50 and up. There are young people who I suspect are on their honeymoon. There are also children but they are well behaved and you never hear them screaming or running in the halls or throwing tantrums in the dining room. Entertainment is geared to the 60 & up group but I believe anyone can enjoy it. Continue reading... Princess - still my favorite

Oasis of the Seas Open to the Largest on the Seas by sak1975
The choice to embark on the Oasis of the Seas was two-fold. The first was to experience a whole new kind of ship and the largest ship afloat. The second reason was to visit the private port of Labadee, Haiti. More on this port later.
Getting to Port Everglades was extremely easy. It was a fast 15 minute ride from Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood, Fl International Airport. It had been suggested by our travel agent to take a taxi from the airport to the port rather than taking a transfer. However, upon claiming our bags, we spoke with the agents from the ship and they explained the benefits of taking the transfer over the cab. The cab would have been approximately $20 plus meter time for two adults. The transfer was $15 per person. The decision was made in favor of taking the transfer to make it easy financially as the cost was added onto our onboard SeaPass account. Continue reading... Open to the Largest on the Seas

Norwegian Gem Fantastic Family Freestyle Cruise! by davily
We are just home from the most wonderful and relaxing vacation... Our group included myself and my husband (30s), our 4yr old son, and 10 month old daughter. We booked the trip on Tuesday and were on the boat that Saturday. Leaving from NY was very easy for us since we're nearby. The check-in wasn't awful. We arrived at the port around 1:30, check-in started at 1:00. From the time we pulled up to the curb until we boarded the ship was less than an hour. The price was excellent for interior cabins- we ended up with two double occupancy cabins for less money than all of us staying in a four person cabin. The space was laid out nicely. We had plenty of room to store everything. The beds and linens were very comfortable. The room's decor was cute and cruise theme. The bathroom was the typical shower stall and tiny toilet I expected. We're not the type to spend much time in our cabin and the interior cabin was just fine for us. In fact, not having a window made things easier traveling with a baby. There is a tv in the room which showed live news (MSNBC, BBC, Fox), Nickelodeon, classic movies, current tv sitcoms, and the ship's news and updates. Continue reading... Fantastic Family Freestyle Cruise!

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