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!

Norwegian Gem Still a Gem!! by Rhea58
It's Wave Season....and the Cruisin' is Easy. I decided last year that a perfect birthday gift from me to me is a cruise. Especially since it is so easy to go out of the NYC port. So for the past two years I have sailed solo on NCL's Gem...and boy is she! I offered to chair the Meet & Greet aboard which all ships hold to ensure that their www.cruisecritic.com pax are happy -- after all we are their major audience. This year, Steve Knott, the very affable hotel director, addressed our group. In attendance was the Captain and various other officers. While nibbling refreshments we addressed any questions we had concerning the cruise. This was a 9-dayer to Old San Juan, Phillipsburg, St. Martin, St. Thomas and a new port toyours truly -- Samana in the Dominican Republic. Samana was the only tender port. For those who might complain that there is nothing to do -- they need to seriously peruse the 4-page Freestyle Daily which is chock full of information The list goes from 6:30 am to midnite. All kinds of sports. Continue reading... Still a Gem!!

Celebrity Constellation A break from the snow! by farmfresh
I research every vacation to the extreme..so I was worried after reading so many negative reviews on the Constellation. My DH decided to take my DD and myself on a warm weather getaway over her college break in early March. This is my 6th cruise so I know what I like and dislike about certain ships. Embark was a breeze..after sitting through a lot of traffic to get to the port it was very quick.We unloaded the car and my brother in law left to park in the garage..we waited for him to return and within 10 minutes both families were through and walking on the ship (we arrived at 1 p.m.) Dropped our carry-on bags in our room and went to buffet for a quick snack. We decided to do the sail away from our balcony and open our bottle of sparkling wine that came with concierge class. I love that we don't have to carry our wear the life vest for the muster drill. Continue reading... A break from the snow!

Allure of the Seas ALLURE OF THE SEAS..... IS BIGGER ALWAYS BETTER by Srandaz2
This review may appear lengthy to some -- however it is very informative and worth the read through, if you never been on a cruise or thinking about taking a cruise on an Oasis class cruise ship then this is worth the read through. This is our second cruise with Royal Caribbean our first being on the Jewel of the Seas a Radiance Class Ship, this review will cover the everything from first loading the ship and unloading. It is definitely worth reading. Deck: 14 State Room: 704 Outside Balcony -- Dock Side Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean 7 day Cruise -- Bahamas / St Thomas / St Martin LOADING After learning from our first cruise about boarding ship early -- The four of us decided to head to the port at 10:00am the day of departure in hopes we could avoid unnecessary crowds and late arrivals. Our luggage was promptly unloaded by the porters and we were in the main port building area within 10 minutes. Our transition time through boarding customs was less than 10 minutes and we were on the main loading floor by 10:45am, from there we had a 40 minute wait to board ship -- so all in all we arrived at Port Everglades at 10am - processed our paperwork and on the ship by 11:30am. Excellent service by the porters and agents. Continue reading... ALLURE OF THE SEAS..... IS BIGGER ALWAYS BETTER

Star Princess South America B.A. to Valparaiso by Cape Horn by RorySten
This being our ninth cruise, and our first time in the South Atlantic, Southern, and South Pacific oceans, we were a little worried when we embarked, and our cabin steward told us the previous couple of voyages were unable to make calls at the Falkland Islands or around Cape Horn because of weather. Also, they were implementing high sanitation protocols because there were some cases of Norovirus reported on the previous voyage. Reading some cruise reviews, I can see how lucky we were, because we didn't have any problems they spoke about. Our embarkation in Buenos Aires was a very straightforward, the facilities were excellent, which surprised us since we'd witnessed the decline of the city since our last visit there twenty-three years ago. It took us about an hour and a half from taxi cab drop off to ships gangway. Continue reading... South America B.A. to Valparaiso by Cape Horn

Maasdam Brazil and the Amazon by Riverlake
We are both seasoned cruisers and have been to many shores. Our bucket list included sailing the Amazon and the Maasdam fit the list. Although older and smaller than a lot of newer ships, the size was perfect for this venue. We love the Indonesian crew and an air of calmness greeted us as we came aboard in Rio. The ship had already sailed about 23 days from Ft. Lauderdale so we joined a group already bonded. However, we were made to feel welcome and made new friends easily. Being part of the group was easy and all of us were made to feel that the adventure was still happening. Our Cruise Director, Linda, was wonderful and was every where all of the time. Daniel, our activities director, also did an outstanding job, and pinch hit for the person who wasn't allowed on the ship by Brazilian authorities who was to give us the fauna and flora of the Amazon. Indeed, the antics of the Brazilian "authorities" over the length of the tour was mind boggling and made one wonder if Brazil would or could be ready for the Olympics! Continue reading... Brazil and the Amazon

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