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jjsparkles

2nd timers back from the Sunrise - Trip Report

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On 7/16/2019 at 9:35 PM, MamallamaAndDaddy said:

Nice Review. Thanks for posting it.

 

Thanks for reading along :classic_smile:

On 7/16/2019 at 9:41 PM, bunnyette said:

I hope you feel better. Sometimes our bodies are so exhausted that sea sickness can take a hold much easier!  Make sure you get lots of rest.

 

Thank you. After the second day I felt much better. I took the tablets every night for the rest of the cruise, just in case :classic_wink:

51 minutes ago, fyree39 said:

Really enjoying these installments! Mark must have been so excited and happy to have you all there with him. 

 

Thank you, I think he liked it as much as we did :classic_biggrin:

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Lovely review featuring lovely passengers.  The food looks excellent but frankly we have rarely had a bad meal aboard any ship, on any cruise line, sitting down or waiting in queues.  I must wholeheartedly agree that Sea Day brunch is brilliant and really the only meal I can convince my dining-room-phobic family to partake of. They simply do not have an interest in changing into a clean shirt and sitting around patiently waiting for elegantly uniformed waiters to bring the next course. 

 

Inside cabins are viewed as sub-par by many, but I can easily go either way. I like the light if I have a window or balcony, and I like the dark if I don't!  In particular I have found insides to be cooler and quieter and fabulous for sleeping, which is mostly what we do in them anyway.  Your rooms look very comfortable and serviceable. Having the family spread out in two is, to me, a more cost effective luxury than all crowding into one with a window or balcony. All the space and that second bathroom!

 

As others have mentioned, attitude is directly related to the quality of an experience.  You were all clearly thrilled to be on this journey together and appreciating every moment. It is a delight to sail along with you.

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7 hours ago, KmomChicago said:

Lovely review featuring lovely passengers.  The food looks excellent but frankly we have rarely had a bad meal aboard any ship, on any cruise line, sitting down or waiting in queues.  I must wholeheartedly agree that Sea Day brunch is brilliant and really the only meal I can convince my dining-room-phobic family to partake of. They simply do not have an interest in changing into a clean shirt and sitting around patiently waiting for elegantly uniformed waiters to bring the next course. 

 

Inside cabins are viewed as sub-par by many, but I can easily go either way. I like the light if I have a window or balcony, and I like the dark if I don't!  In particular I have found insides to be cooler and quieter and fabulous for sleeping, which is mostly what we do in them anyway.  Your rooms look very comfortable and serviceable. Having the family spread out in two is, to me, a more cost effective luxury than all crowding into one with a window or balcony. All the space and that second bathroom!

 

As others have mentioned, attitude is directly related to the quality of an experience.  You were all clearly thrilled to be on this journey together and appreciating every moment. It is a delight to sail along with you.

 

Thank you, glad you're enjoying reading along. We loved having two cabins and the inside really didn't bother me at all. I think we may have gone mad all being in the one room for 8 days :classic_laugh:

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Posted (edited)

Sunday 30 June

 

Checking our photos for today I have almost none and I’m drawing a bit of a blank as to what we actually did during the day. I think we must have had a lazy morning because we did the Sea day Brunch again, which was delicious. 

 

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Abbey fancied trying the chicken nuggets from the kids menu and said they were good.

 

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It was elegant night tonight, so Abbey and I went to the laundry at some point to iron a few things

 

According to our Carnival invoice we also grabbed a drink from the Java Blue Café and, this I do remember, we went to Bingo again. And no, we didn’t win but always have a laugh doing this. I’m sure we played cards at some point too.

 

Dinner was early again, around 5:30pm as we wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to get seats for tonight’s show in the Liquid Lounge, Vintage Pop.

 

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Full up, we make our way to the Liquid Lounge for the show. 

 

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We had fun with the playlist cast and their props.

 

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The band play in this show, with the exception of Mark and the singers who do an acoustic night in the Red Frog Pub. Their first set wasn't until later so Mark was able to watch with us. 

 

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The show was fantastic, we really enjoyed it. I think I went back to our cabin for a quick change as my feet were really sore for some reason.

 

Mark didn't start until later tonight so we went to the comedy club for the 8:30 showing. It's like the Crystal Maze trying to find this place.....anyway, we finally got there and the comedian was good. The venue however was so hot and very overcrowded. I forgot to mention we'd tried to see something the night before but it was just too busy. 

 

Then we made our way to the Red Frog Pub.

 

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Mark getting ready for the acoustic sets

 

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The vocalists are fabulous, as is the guitarist :classic_wink:

 

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Later they were joined by a couple of the playlist cast for a few songs. They were fabulous too.

 

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We'd had another great night. Lewis having a wee go as they were packing up

 

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Then we were off to bed. Would tomorrow really be our last full day on the ship :classic_ohmy:

 

 

 

Edited by jjsparkles

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Monday 1 July

 

So, if you thought yesterday for detail was bad, then today’s details are really sketchy….I don’t even have photos of dinner!

 

I know that I packed both our rooms up today which took a bit of time. I don’t think we had any breakfast.

 

We met up with Mark on deck 10 and had some BBQ from the Pig & Anchor. Not much of a line and the food is always piping hot and delicious.

 

We played cards at the Alchemy bar. The tables here are really good for playing cards.

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Then we moved over to the Red Frog Pub and took some fun pics

 

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At around 3:30 we headed to the Sunshine for Afternoon Tea. The Sunshine was almost empty and there were only a handful of tables occupied when we got there.

 

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 It was really lovely and I adored the coconut tea that I tried.

 

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We left here and made our way back to our cabins for a bit of a rest. Mark had been taking us through all the crew shortcuts throughout the cruise which was very handy at times. 

 

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It was Latin Nights tonight in the Liquid Lounge. Mark plays guitar at the beginning of this show, then has to change for his set in the Red Frog Pub. We didn’t have dinner in the Sunshine tonight as we’d noticed it could take quite a while to get through dinner and Mark had to be ready early for the show. So we all said we’d grab something later with him between shows.

 

We went back to the cabin for a bit and then John feeling hungry ordered a pizza and fries from room service.

 

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He still maintains that the room service pizza is much better than getting it upstairs....I wonder if it just tastes better because it's been delivered,  :classic_laugh: Lewis couldn’t wait until later either and he went upstairs for a burger.

 

We went to the Liquid Lounge around 7pm to get seats downstairs to the left of the stage so we could get some photos and video of Mark. I also wanted to sit near the exit as we weren’t going to stay for the full show, instead we were going to go back out and meet Mark.  We had a nice wee chat with Chris, the cruise director, and he was instantly full Scottish when speaking to us :classic_biggrin:

 

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We had fun laughing at Mark's outfit

 

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After Mark had finished his bit, we headed upstairs to meet him. I felt a bit bad leaving the show, but we wanted to spend as much time with Mark as we could, which is why we chose seats near the exit. The cast sounded fantastic as we were leaving. Upstairs we found some nice seats at the Alchemy bar.

 

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Abbey went off to grab a sandwich from the Deli.  Mark said that the sound hadn’t worked properly for the guitar in the show. I hadn’t noticed a problem but we said we’d go to the second showing at 9:30 to record again. I stood up and said I was going to the Java Blue for coffee and the lovely couple sitting behind us gave me their coffee card as they weren't going to use it again today and it was nearly finished. That was so nice of them.

 

When I got my frappe the server gave me a straw that I just knew as too big for the cup. It wasn't the same as the ones I'd had the entire cruise. Anyway, I took a sip as I was walking out the shop and I got a huge spill all the way down the front of my white top.....every time I moved the straw a huge amount of the drink spilled out and all over me. I went back to the room and having packed everything up debated dragging stuff out of the suitcase. Instead, I decided to rinse the top through as as it was really light and just dry it off with my hairdryer. It actually worked very well and you'd never have known there was coffee all over it 5 minutes earlier :classic_laugh:

 

On my way back I went to the shop and got some dark Bermudan rum as a present for my mum as I knew she’d love it. I also noticed by checking my account on the hub that I’d been charged $40 for playing bingo today – which we hadn’t done. It was showing under Abbey’s folio number. I went to guest services and they said they’d credit it back. I assume someone either mis-read or mis-typed a room number. Once this was done, I cashed out the rest of my account.

 

Back up to the pub we watched the band for a bit before Mark had to head off to get changed for the second show of Latin Nights.

 

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This time we just hid up the back at the bar so we would make a quick exit

 

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Back at the pub, we settled down for the night to watch the last few sets of the cruise. I couldn’t believe how quickly the time had gone and that we were leaving tomorrow.

 

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Lewis is also a keen musician and plays drums and guitar really well. Mark had mentioned to him earlier in the cruise that he would try and get him to play with the band at some point. He called him up during the last set and he played Superstition on drums. He was fantastic and absolutely loved it.

 

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He got a massive round of applause and did amazingly well, no rehearsal or anything. Another musician in the family :classic_biggrin:

 

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We’d had a fantastic last night and finished it off by going upstairs with Mark and some of the band for pizza. I noticed that later on the hot chocolate machines were never working so I had a cup of tea and some cookies instead. We had a nice chat and then we said our goodbyes to the rest of the band and headed off to bed.

 

I was sad it was all over :classic_sad:

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Tuesday 2 July

After a good night’s sleep, we were up and organised by around 7:15. The announcements were letting us know that the ship was still waiting to clear customs and not to go to deck 3 until called. Around 7:30ish deck 3 was called, followed by deck 1 and then us, on deck 2. We managed our 3 cases fine up just one flight of stairs and navigated our way to the exit with ease. It wasn’t congested so hopefully everyone was doing as they were told and waiting until their deck was called. We said goodbye to Chris as we left and I told him to look after my boy :classic_love:

 

By 8:15 we were outside waiting for Mark. We weren’t sure exactly where he would come out and we waited in some shade, on the ground level at West 50th St across the road from the taxi rank. About 20 minutes later Mark was off too and actually came through the exit we were waiting at. It seemed to be where all the large lorries were going in and out of the port terminal. The kids went off in search of Starbucks for some breakfast and for Mark to catch some wifi. John and I got a taxi to our hotel and dropped our bags off before walking back down 7th Avenue to meet the kids.

 

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We grabbed a drink and pastry with them in Starbucks and then headed out to enjoy our day. I checked my emails and Frederick from the car service had sent an email that he’d pick us up for the airport run tomorrow.

 

Mark’s ‘thing’ he had wanted to do was visit the Rockefeller Centre and do Top of the Rock. I’d purchased tickets beforehand and chosen a time slot of between 11:00 – 11:30. Off we went towards TOTR and happened to find ourselves at the Brill Building. Mark couldn’t believe it and almost passed out on the spot :classic_ohmy: Honestly, I didn’t know anything about it but Mark was ecstatic.

 

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Soon we were at the Rockefeller Centre. 

 

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We visited inside first and spent some time in the NBC shop. (Real life update....Mark did the NBC studio tour yesterday when he was back in NY with some of his friends. They had a fantastic time 👍)

 

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We got a few bits in here including a new deck of cards, as we’d played the other ones so much :classic_laugh:. Then it was time to do our tour. As we got into the lift, the assistant noticed that Lewis was wearing a France football top and said to him that a footballer would be in the Adidas shop on 5th Avenue at 1pm today. Mark said we’d maybe go and try to catch a glimpse.

 

Our tickets worked fine and soon we were having our photo taken on the girder. We watched the videos at the beginning then enjoyed the views which were spectacular. It was so nice to see everything during the day after having seen it at night from the Empire State Building. I really felt so lucky that we were here and all enjoying it together.

 

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Can you see a whale tail in this one?

 

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And the official snaps

 

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We left here now feeling hungry and not wanting to waste time, went into Bill’s Burgers located inside the centre. We asked the hostess if there would be a long wait time and she assured us she’d have us served quickly. The food was delicious and true to her word, we did get served quickly. I’d definitely recommend eating here.

 

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Next on our list was to see Grand Central Station. On the way we stopped by the Adidas store but it was already very busy and we couldn’t get near whoever it was in there. Mark was getting pushed for time, having to be back on the ship by 2:30 so we literally went inside Grand Central Station, took a photo and left again. It looked absolutely beautiful and I’d love to come back here one day to wander around the shops and maybe have lunch.

 

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All too soon we were back in Times Square and it was time to say goodbye to Mark.

 

I know he’s having a fantastic time, works with such lovely people and sees so many places he’d never do at home, but I still miss him and find it so hard to say goodbye :classic_sad: Anyway, after a tearful farewell, we pulled ourselves together and had a think about what else we’d like to do before going home tomorrow.

 

We were all very tired – I’ve no idea why the cruise made me so sleepy all the time – and I thought going to a show might be a nice idea. We debated joining the queue for the ticket booth but it was already looking very long. We’d noticed the Waitress girls around Times Square and I’d heard it was a good show. The theatre was just along 47th St so instead of joining the massive queue for the ticket booth, we walked to the theatre and were pleased to get some good seats for tonight’s performance. Lewis wanted another look around the Guitar Centre so we nipped in there and he bought a new guitar strap.

 

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Feeling tired, we hailed a cab on 7th Avenue and went back to our hotel to check-in and get some rest. 

Nobody was hungry later so we agreed not to bother with dinner and left the hotel to grab a taxi to take us to the theatre at around 6:15. Outside was packed but we were soon inside.

 

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Lewis was a bit gloomy after saying goodbye to Mark and commented that he had no idea what this show was even about and that he would probably end up going for a sleep……well fast forward 10 minutes and he was laughing his head off. He loved seeing the band play on stage too. We all really enjoyed the show and it was just the pick me up we had needed.

 

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Times Square was absolutely packed when we headed out. We intended to grab a taxi but actually could not get near the road for the sheer amount of people.
 

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We walked further down the street and finally managed to hail a cab and get back to the hotel. Everyone wanted something to eat now, but not in the mood for a restaurant we ended up with McDonalds and taking it back to our hotel room. I sorted the cases out to check their weight for the flight home tomorrow and then we all settled down for the night.

Edited by jjsparkles

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Posted (edited)

Wednesday 3 July

 

We had a longer sleep this morning and checked out around 11am, leaving our bags with the concierge. Again, we just opted for Mcdonald's breakfast. I know it’s very boring but actually the lattes are nice and we all liked something on the breakfast menu.

 

Our plan today was to visit the Met. Mark had mentioned that there was a guitar/instrument exhibition there until October and Lewis was desperate to go. Opting for easiness, we hailed a cab on 6th Avenue and were soon on our way uptown to the Met. As we went up Madison Avenue the scenery changed and soon we could see the Carlyle Hotel. We’d all watched the documentary about the Carlyle Hotel on the ship, so it was nice to see it in real life.

 

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Once inside the Met, I tried to use the ticket kiosks but they weren’t working so we joined the queue. I’m glad we did because the agent offered a student discount for Abbey and Lewis if we could prove they were in education. Abbey had an email from her college and I had an email from Lewis’ school so we got the discounted priced. It was still a pricey visit, costing $74. The exhibition was called Play it Loud and Lewis was in heaven……

 

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Lewis said that Eric Clapton's guitar is in here, which is why it wasn't in the Guitar Centre. So Lewis got to do this 'thing' in the end too..... 

 

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Lewis was so happy, he just loved it in here. Mark has it on his list of things to do too. It would have been fantastic if they'd have been able to do it together.

 

Also in the Met was the Camp: Notes on Fashion exhibition that Abbey wanted to see.  Some of the outfits were amazing.

 

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They both got some bits from the shop and I really liked a book ‘The Gilded age of New York’ It was really big and heavy though so I didn’t buy it. I’ve since looked it up on Amazon and it’s available so I’ll order it instead.

 

We’d been told when we bought the tickets earlier that they were valid for 3 days and included a couple of other places. As we left I felt that it was such a waste that they wouldn’t get used. I noticed 3 young ladies about to join the queue and offered them our tickets. They were a bit stunned at first as I think they maybe thought I was trying to sell them something, but eventually they understood and thanked us. I hope they worked for them and they didn’t need to show anything else, I gave them the receipt too so fingers crossed they got to enjoy the museum :classic_smile:

 

There were taxis queued up outside the Met and we were soon on our way back to the hotel. Our concierge had suggested being there for 2:30 in time for our 3pm pick up. We had plenty of time and waited with our bags in the hotel lobby. We had packed change of shoes/warmer clothes for the flight as it had been freezing on the way here, so we used the hotel toilets to get changed and waited on Frederick. He emailed me to say he was running a wee bit late but soon enough he was there and we were on our way.

 

Because he had been running late, he’d not filled up on fuel as he wanted to make sure he’d get us to the airport on time. Our flight wasn’t until 7:45 ( I am always very early for flights….you just never know what might happen…..) Anyway, he visibly relaxed when he knew how much time we had and we had a nice chat as we drove along. During the way out of New York we noticed the traffic getting heavier and heavier. Eventually Frederick said that there must have been some kind of incident as it never takes this long to get out of the city. I checked Twitter and sure enough there had been an accident with a large truck which had overturned near the Lincoln Tunnel. Unfortunately there had been some casualties as I understand the truck had landed on bus with passengers in it. I hope everyone was ok.

 

All traffic was being diverted away from the tunnel, towards us, to use the Holland tunnel instead. That, coupled with the fact that it was 3 July and loads of folks would be leaving for the holiday weekend, meant that the traffic was nose to tail. Poor Frederick said he wasn’t worried about us catching the flight, he knew once through the tunnel we’d be at the airport in no time. But he was a tad concerned about the fuel….Anyway, with some clever driving through some other streets we managed to get through the tunnel and to the nearest fuel station. Frederick couldn’t apologise enough and said we were the only passengers ever to be in the car when he was getting fuel to the airport. It was of no importance to us at all and we were just happy to get to the airport. The trip had taken us over two hours instead of the 30-40 minutes we’d estimated.

 

Into the airport we went, used the United automated machines for our luggage tags and off we went through security. Some more very dour looking people working in here…..it must be exhausting to be so grumpy all the time…..

 

Hungry now we grabbed some food at a stand called Wanderlust, which was right beside the gate for our flight. The service was quick, food was delicious and it was just what we’d needed.

 

Then it was time for our flight which left on time, and was fine. We didn’t have the extra legroom this time, but actually it was ok. I didn’t notice a huge problem except for the girl sitting beside me who insisted on crossing her foot over her leg and take up either my space or the guy beside her. Sharp elbows come in very handy in these situations :classic_laugh:

 

We landed in Glasgow at 7:15am our time (2:15am cruise/NY time) and drove the short journey home. It was all over…..

 

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Edited by jjsparkles

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Final Thoughts

 

I’ve got so many things I want to comment on, I’m going to put it into sections :classic_wink:

 

New York

I’ve got such mixed feelings about New York. It was amazing to be there. Just wonderful to see all the tourist sights and all the buzz that goes on. I can’t actually believe we’ve been there. If we went again we’d definitely stay a bit further out, or use the subway rather than taxis. We already knew that before we went but the short amount of time we had there, coupled with being exhausted meant that we chose the easiest way to do things at the time. Whilst I loved aspects of it like Central Park, the main tourist attractions, theatre etc the biggest thing that put me off were the people working in the shops. I just don’t understand why rudeness is worn like a badge of honour. I get the whole New York thing, but really I thought manners were universal. I’m not looking to have a conversation or even see a smile, but honestly, please and thank you should be an automatic response.  I brushed it off but it did annoy me. I’m not from a small, rural area – I work in Glasgow. We don’t suffer fools gladly, but we are polite. The rudeness of the security agent when we were leaving Newark airport was in a class of its own. If my children behaved like that towards anyone, I would be mortified.

 

New York really also reminded me of Glasgow, obviously on a much larger scale. Glasgow is also built on a grid like system and has been used in a few films set in New York in the past. And if you look up whilst in Glasgow City Centre there are some really beautiful buildings 👍

 

The Sunrise

So, there have been so many opinions about this ship and maybe I’m not the right person to give my views because we’re not ‘cruisers’. Having only ever been on the Conquest I can only compare it to that. Here goes:

 

The rooms:

We had two rooms (not connecting) on deck 2, starboard, 2219 &2215. Both interior rooms. Plenty of space, storage (no drawers though), fridge, hairdryer, electrical outlets. I loved that there is a European socket here. It’s not the same as UK but I took a European adaptor which means we had a higher voltage to charge our phones and I could use my Dyson hairdryer which does not work on the US plug sockets. I really noticed a difference in charge times using the EU socket compared to the USB or US socket.

The beds were big, comfortable and plenty of pillows. Lots of storage under the bed for big suitcases. The air con worked wonderfully well for us, sometimes being too cold. The fridge was great too. We left our stuff in there for a full overnight and the next day the drinks were really cold. We didn’t need to leave the cabinet door open. The TV's were good. I liked the shipcam views to see what the weather was like and the movie selection was good too. Although, this did change throughout the cruise. The kids were in our room one day and noticed we had a different selection of films to them. The next day they had them too. Then on the second last day some disappeared. Not sure what that was about. Bathroom was almost identical to the Conquest. In fact I can’t think of a single difference. Shower worked well, towels a good size and lots of areas to store stuff.

The only time I missed having a balcony was in the morning when I woke before everyone else. It seems too much effort to get up and organised to up onto the deck for some sun for the short time I’d be there, but I’d definitely have sat on the balcony if I’d had one.

 

The location on deck 2 was fine too. Last time we’d been on 10 and loved being near the food/drinks etc. This time we seemed better placed for the restaurant, deck 5 where Mark played, the Liquid Lounge etc. Also for getting off on port days and the all important de-bark at the end of the cruise. No issues at all.

 

Our room steward, Ryan, was fantastic. Always smiling, happy to help and chatty every day. Really was lovely.

 

Laundrette:

Located on our deck, I used this to iron clothes and also do a load of laundry one day. Worked really well, no issues.

 

Food:

Sunshine dining room. Lovely restaurant, friendly waiters, good food. We didn’t notice anything served cold. Some evenings the menu was a bit bland, but I think that’s just personal taste. On one evening service took ages but others it was ok. My only complaint was how cold it was. We all got dressed up and then ended up with cardigans/hoodies over our clothes because it was so cold. I’m not sure I’d be happy with Your Time dining if I had to go up to deck 5 to queue for a reservation first, then all the way back down to deck 3/4.  Reserving on the hub is definitely the way to go with this. We were very lucky with Mark that we didn’t need to do either, but we had used the hub on the first night and got a table quickly.

 

Sea Day Brunch – served in Sunshine: Great menu, lovely food. Massive thumbs up from us 

 

Afternoon Tea – served in Sunshine between 3-4pm. Nice, relaxing bite to eat. Loved the coconut tea.

 

The Steakhouse;

Really good food, lovely atmosphere and perfect service. It seemed to take ages though and we were all tired by the end. I think it might have taken about 2 hours or so.

 

Pig & Anchor:

Lovely, lovely food here. So tasty. We loved it. We like to eat inside and upstairs on deck 10 the seating area is supposed to be for the Italian restaurant. One side gets made up with table cloths and they slowly work their way around meaning that eventually the seating is all for the Italian restaurant. Overall this limits the actual seating available.

 

Deli: nice sandwiches, but long lines. I noticed however that this seems to be because everyone wants to custom make their sandwich instead of taking one of the options on the menu. This means that the staff need to stop and make a brand new sandwich from scratch…..I know we all just want what we want, but it does ultimately delay everything for everybody else….

 

Guys burgers: really nice, didn’t wait long in a queue – good service

 

Room Service: Arrived within time frame agreed, or earlier each time. Didn’t mind paying a few $$$ for the convenience of having a lazy day. John swears the pizza is better here than upstairs

 

Java Blue Café: Really lovely latte’s and frappes in here. Happy to pay for them and enjoyed every single one. But….they don’t have enough staff. Usually only 1 staff member working. They really need at least 2, if not more. It’s very popular. I had no idea about the loyalty card until near the end of the cruise. The server noticed I didn’t have one and looked back at my past history on my folio and I ended up with 2 free drinks. Make sure you ask for one on day one if you intend to be in there a lot.

 

Lido buffet:

OK, here is where I have an issue, and it’s a shame because the food here is actually good, especially the breakfast. A good amount of choice, plenty of staff replenishing but a total lack of design and organisation just put me off completely. The lines are so long. Why do we all need to line up if we just want a slice of toast? Why not have separate stations with different categories of food? So if you want bacon, eggs, hot items etc its in one area. Then the pastries, toast etc could be in another. Cereal, fruit etc in another. Then everyone can nip in and out to get what they want. No, you need to stand in a queue of 20 odd people for a bit of toast until the 3 people at the beginning of queue get their custom made omelette. Now, I know there are other omelette stations, at the lucky bowl for example. But they also have them at the end of the buffet line, which is in the middle of the two lines, causing chaos.

Another thing they can fix easily is the clearing of the tables. Lots of staff around trying to clear up plates so there’s an empty table waiting for you. But they are just too busy. I get that we’re on holiday, and want to be waited on hand and foot, but the Lido in my opinion is a more relaxed area. Why not provide trays and racks located in a central area? I don’t have a problem with putting my used dishes on a tray and stacking it on a rack. Everything would turn around much, much quicker if you could do this.

 

Public areas:

 

The décor of the ship is so much nicer than the Conquest, much more up to date and not at all garish.

 

We spent a lot of time at the Red Frog Pub. We like board games, playing cards, trivia etc and this area is perfect for it. Loved the seats here and across the hall at the Alchemy bar section. This was our hang out, day and night. The Hip Stars and the Have Mercy Horns are wonderful. Such a talented bunch of musicians. Please, please go and see them if you’re going to be on the ship. They’re not billed as ‘entertainment’ on the fun times, you’ll find them in the music section.

 

Casino

We walked through here daily to get from the red frog to the java blue, shops, etc. We are non-smokers. I didn’t find this any smokier than the Conquest last year. In fact I think it was actually a bit less. John complains about smoke a lot…..but he never mentioned it.

 

Liquid Lounge

Thought this was ok, nicely decorated. I didn’t really like the chairs in the middle, but I know they like to move these around for performances and stuff, but I preferred to be seated on the sides.

 

Entertainment

We watched Soulbound, Vintage Pop and the start of Latin Nights. Vintage Pop was my favourite but they were all really well done. The performers work so hard and they are all so talented. Of course, the place you want to be is the Red Frog Pub, lol….. We played along with the trivia games in the pub which were fun. Chris, the cruise director was nice. His accent completely changed as soon as he spoke to us, lol. He’s from a town not far from where we live.

 

Comedy Club

Bring your compass, map, knapsack and be prepared for an expedition that may take as long as the cruise you’re on…..what a ridiculous place to put an entertainment venue. It was like an episode of the Crystal Maze trying to get in there. In one door and then when it finishes you’re asked to exit through another. We only went once. The comedian was good, but the escapade trying to get there put me off bothering again. And it was toasty hot in there.

 

Outside spaces

We’re really not into lying on sunbeds by the pool so most of this was lost on us. I’ve heard people mention that the pools are small. I don’t recall them being any bigger on the Conquest and think this is what you’re going to get on this class of ship. We had a look around the decks and didn’t find anywhere I’d particularly want to hang out. The quieter sections seems to be right at the back, on deck 10 above the pool there. We sat there for a bit one day, and I went up to read my book one afternoon with my frappe. It was relaxing, but a windy day and I soon realised there were no bins around to put my empty cup in. I noticed this a lot around the ship. Why are there no bins anywhere? Very odd……

 

Smell

I’m only mentioning this because so many people have brought it up. We did notice a wee bit of a smell sometimes in the stairwell between decks. SOMETIMES. Just a WEE bit. I haven’t mentioned this at all throughout the review because it did not affect our holiday in any way whatsoever. You’d smell it for a second and then it was gone. Not an issue. If I’d have smelled it when eating or if it was in my room then it would have been be an issue. Otherwise, nothing to bother about at all.

 

Carnival Hub

Download this before you go. It really is good. I used it to check my account balance daily, pick out things from the fun times we were interested in and use the deck plans to find our way around. Really good. We did get the chat facility but we didn’t always get notifications for it which was a bit annoying, otherwise it worked well.

 

Wifi

I pre-purchased the social media wifi package so we could keep in touch with Mark via whatsapp. Abbey used this mostly, but then Lewis and I would take turns now and again. You just log in with the correct folio number and it’ll tell you it will stop working on the other device. We did this back and forth throughout the cruise without any problems. I purchased the wifi package for 24 hours that provided email access etc, on one of the days. I had some stuff happening at home that I needed to check on. It worked really well and cost $16.

 

Drinks

We aren’t drinkers really, so the cheers package was of no interest to us. John and Lewis got the bottomless bubbles and it was definitely worth the money. Abbey and I just bought as we went and didn’t spend too much. I’d love there to be a non-alcoholic package that included the coffee shop drinks. I’d definitely have got that.

 

Staff

I found the staff throughout the ship friendly, polite and happy to help if ever we had a question. No issues whatsoever.

 

We had the most amazing holiday. We loved the cruise and would not hesitate to go back on this ship.  We didn’t like the lido buffet, we smelled a smell SOMETIMES and there was a bit of smoke on the casino. Would any of this stop me going back on the ship? Absolutely not. There have been so many differing opinions about the ship and really the reason for that is that people are just different. We all prioritise and value different things. I’m sure we don’t all live in the same kind of houses, drive the same cars or eat the same food. I’m sure you know at least 1 person who’s said they’d never set foot on a ship or consider a cruise for a holiday. And I’m sure some of the things we spent our time doing on this holiday, you’d never do either. We’re all just different.

 

Anyway, I realise I’m totally biased and a bit blindsided because if Mark had been in an inflatable dingy in the mud somewhere, I’d probably have enjoyed that too :classic_laugh:

 

I don’t post much on this forum, but I read it a lot and have learned so many handy tips for our cruises, and as complete newbies it really helped so much. So thank you to everyone who contributes 👍

 

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Thank you so much for your fantastic review!  I'm so glad you all had a wonderful holiday!  I was anxiously awaiting each installment.  You have a beautiful family.  I'm so glad you were able to spend some quality time with your older son onboard.  He seems to be a wonderful musician, and it looks like your younger son may soon follow in his footsteps. I really appreciate you taking the time to share your family's adventures and the many beautiful photos.  We are headed to Bermuda in September on the Carnival Magic out of Ft. Lauderdale.  I've never sailed out of New York.  I think I'm intimidated to fly in there!  And yes, that New York rudeness is part of my intimidation.  It's often spoken about and often parodied on television shows and in the movies here.  I suppose it can be unnerving, but people say to just ignore it.  If you all ever get a chance to sail out of Texas (Galveston) I think you'd enjoy it.  Everyone's super friendly.  I think it's a Southern thing.  Or maybe just a Texas thing 😉 I don't know how difficult it would be to reach when flying in internationally, though.  Thanks so much again for sharing your adventure with all of us jjsparkles, and I wish you many happy future sailings (and reviews)!

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Thank you for sharing your fantastic vacation with us. We will be sure to say hello to Mark when we see him aboard the Sunrise in September. 😀

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Like everyone else I want to thank you so much for taking the time to share your family vacation pictures and cruise review with us. I think it was completely honest and balanced and we often don't get that kind of appraisal on Cruise Critic, unfortunately. We will be sailing on the Sunrise in January and really appreciate your thoughts. Do you know if your son and his band will be on the Sunrise in January?

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Thank you so much for the great and informative review! Great family!! We are going on Sunrise in October so this info is very useful.

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I thoroughly enjoyed your review!  Loved all the pictures.  You have a beautiful family.  We will be going on the Sunrise the end of August and I will be sure to say hello to Mark, if he's still onboard!  Thank you so much!

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Just want to thank you a "wee" bit, lol. Wonderful review, lovely family, I feel like I know you all and traveled with you. Loved the NY perspective, as we have been there at least 5 times and still have only scratched the surface. ESB and TOTR were great but very busy. Hey, what's funny is Scotland is on my bucket list, with Glasgow of course in the mix. What one thing to I really need to experience there? Thank you once again for this great review!

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On 7/19/2019 at 5:07 PM, jjsparkles said:

Final Thoughts

. . . I’m not sure I’d be happy with Your Time dining if I had to go up to deck 5 to queue for a reservation first, then all the way back down to deck 3/4.  Reserving on the hub is definitely the way to go with this. We were very lucky with Mark that we didn’t need to do either, but we had used the hub on the first night and got a table quickly. . . . .

  

 . . . . It was relaxing, but a windy day and I soon realised there were no bins around to put my empty cup in. I noticed this a lot around the ship. Why are there no bins anywhere? Very odd……

 

 

While I had the Hub app on our Sunrise cruise last month, I didn't use it enough to find out that we could reserve an Anytime Dining table with it.  We did the odd routine of checking in on Deck 5 before heading to the dining room.   But it really wasn't a problem, and we never had to wait in line to check in.  We typically ate early, like around 6:00.  Maybe there was a line later.

 

Regarding the lack of trash bins, I read somewhere that the cruise lines follow strict procedures about how to dispose of the various types of trash - what can be recycled, what can be incinerated, what to do with food garbage, etc.   Trash bins for passenger use would have everything tossed in together, requiring sorting at some point.  It's my understanding it's easier on the crew to allow them to pick up cups, cans, bottles, cans, plates, etc.   So, while it goes against my nature, I leave cups and glasses, even disposable ones, on a table in the nearest public area.  

 

I enjoyed your review, having just been on the Sunrise.  Thank you for taking the time to write it.    I have visited lovely Glasgow on a land vacation, and I will be there again next year on a British Isles cruise.    Checking out excursions for that - leaning towards Stirling Castle.  

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Hello jjsparkles-

    Your review was quite interesting to read and your photos were great!

So fortunate for your family to have this vacation together and have some time to spend with your son who is a musician on the Sunrise !

     As a native of NYC, I must say that you covered a lot of ground in the City in the days you spent there both pre and post cruise. Using the hop -on- hop- off busses was a very good idea to see many of the sights. I was pleased to see that you visited Central Park and the Met Museum. My DH and I have been thinking of going to see the guitar exhibit,but will probably wait until the Fall as the temperatures will be lower than for a trip into the City. We now live about ninety miles away,so visits to our favorite places there are not as frequent as when we lived in the City.

     I was disappointed to read that you came across some rude people during your stay. It certainly did not get off on a good note with the security officer in Newark. I do hope that you came across many New Yorkers who were pleasant and helpful.

Not to excuse anyone’s lack of manners, but sometimes we New Yorkers can be rushed and quick. This may come off as a rude attitude. The City has always had a fast pace to it. So many people are dealing with crowds,traffic and business demands, that their main focus is getting through their day .

     When my DH and I were living in Florida as snow birds for several winters, many times I was asked to slow my speech as the person with whom I was conversing with over the phone or in a shop could not keep up with what I was saying.

While there,I had to adapt to a slower paced life style. Probably a good thing!

     So, I do hope you enjoyed your stay in my hometown and decide to visit again.

Until then, I wish you and your family many good days !

 

 

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On 7/19/2019 at 11:56 PM, Amadawn1 said:

Thank you so much for your fantastic review!  I'm so glad you all had a wonderful holiday!  I was anxiously awaiting each installment.  You have a beautiful family.  I'm so glad you were able to spend some quality time with your older son onboard.  He seems to be a wonderful musician, and it looks like your younger son may soon follow in his footsteps. I really appreciate you taking the time to share your family's adventures and the many beautiful photos.  We are headed to Bermuda in September on the Carnival Magic out of Ft. Lauderdale.  I've never sailed out of New York.  I think I'm intimidated to fly in there!  And yes, that New York rudeness is part of my intimidation.  It's often spoken about and often parodied on television shows and in the movies here.  I suppose it can be unnerving, but people say to just ignore it.  If you all ever get a chance to sail out of Texas (Galveston) I think you'd enjoy it.  Everyone's super friendly.  I think it's a Southern thing.  Or maybe just a Texas thing 😉 I don't know how difficult it would be to reach when flying in internationally, though.  Thanks so much again for sharing your adventure with all of us jjsparkles, and I wish you many happy future sailings (and reviews)!

 

Thank you so much :classic_smile: We weren't intimidated at all in New York and actually I wasn't looking for people being overly friendly, I just expected basic manners :classic_laugh: You never know, we might be in Galveston one day, just depends where Mark ends up next. I hope you have a wonderful cruise. We went out of Ft Lauderdale last year on the Conquest and loved being there. The water taxi was such a nice way to get around 👍

 

 

On 7/20/2019 at 12:10 AM, Jamman54 said:

Thank you for sharing your fantastic vacation with us. We will be sure to say hello to Mark when we see him aboard the Sunrise in September. 😀

 

Thanks for reading along. I'm about to start reading your review and looking forward to it 👍 Hope you have a great time in September, wish we were going back for the Canada cruise, it looks fantastic. :classic_smile:

On 7/20/2019 at 2:03 AM, jonboy9756 said:

Like everyone else I want to thank you so much for taking the time to share your family vacation pictures and cruise review with us. I think it was completely honest and balanced and we often don't get that kind of appraisal on Cruise Critic, unfortunately. We will be sailing on the Sunrise in January and really appreciate your thoughts. Do you know if your son and his band will be on the Sunrise in January?

 

Thanks, glad you enjoyed reading along. I always do a trip report as I love reading them back years later (I have tons of Disneyland Paris tr's as we go there all the time).  Mark gets off the Sunrise in October, so unfortunately he won't be there. Hope you have a great time :classic_smile:

 

On 7/20/2019 at 4:57 AM, slyman17 said:

Thank you so much for the great and informative review! Great family!! We are going on Sunrise in October so this info is very useful.

 

Thanks for reading along, glad you enjoyed. Have a great time on your cruise :classic_smile:

 

On 7/20/2019 at 2:31 PM, WMQueenie said:

I thoroughly enjoyed your review!  Loved all the pictures.  You have a beautiful family.  We will be going on the Sunrise the end of August and I will be sure to say hello to Mark, if he's still onboard!  Thank you so much!

 

Thank you so much :classic_smile: Yes, Mark and the rest of the band will still be there in August. Hope you have a great time 👍

 

On 7/20/2019 at 11:51 PM, chilly1470 said:

Just want to thank you a "wee" bit, lol. Wonderful review, lovely family, I feel like I know you all and traveled with you. Loved the NY perspective, as we have been there at least 5 times and still have only scratched the surface. ESB and TOTR were great but very busy. Hey, what's funny is Scotland is on my bucket list, with Glasgow of course in the mix. What one thing to I really need to experience there? Thank you once again for this great review!

 

:classic_laugh: I suppose I write like I talk :classic_biggrin: Thank you, glad you enjoyed reading along. Glasgow is a really good base for lots of places. You're only an hour by train to Edinburgh if you want to spend a day there, or if you travel west from Glasgow you can be in Loch Lomond in under an hour too. Lots of nice museums in Glasgow, all free with just a donation suggested. Kelvingrove art gallery is lovely as is the museum of transport (lots about ships in here as so many were built in the shipyards on the River Clyde which runs through Glasgow. But my favourite museum is The People's Palace which is on Glasgow Green in the city centre. Hope you have a great time if you ever make it here :classic_smile:

 

On 7/21/2019 at 1:58 PM, Joanne G. said:

While I had the Hub app on our Sunrise cruise last month, I didn't use it enough to find out that we could reserve an Anytime Dining table with it.  We did the odd routine of checking in on Deck 5 before heading to the dining room.   But it really wasn't a problem, and we never had to wait in line to check in.  We typically ate early, like around 6:00.  Maybe there was a line later.

 

Regarding the lack of trash bins, I read somewhere that the cruise lines follow strict procedures about how to dispose of the various types of trash - what can be recycled, what can be incinerated, what to do with food garbage, etc.   Trash bins for passenger use would have everything tossed in together, requiring sorting at some point.  It's my understanding it's easier on the crew to allow them to pick up cups, cans, bottles, cans, plates, etc.   So, while it goes against my nature, I leave cups and glasses, even disposable ones, on a table in the nearest public area.  

 

I enjoyed your review, having just been on the Sunrise.  Thank you for taking the time to write it.    I have visited lovely Glasgow on a land vacation, and I will be there again next year on a British Isles cruise.    Checking out excursions for that - leaning towards Stirling Castle.  

 

Thanks, glad you enjoyed reading along. I think you're right about the re-cycling...I just hate leaving stuff lying around :classic_sad:

Hope you have a lovely time on your next cruise 👍

 

On 7/21/2019 at 6:00 PM, MJSailors said:

Hello jjsparkles-

    Your review was quite interesting to read and your photos were great!

So fortunate for your family to have this vacation together and have some time to spend with your son who is a musician on the Sunrise !

     As a native of NYC, I must say that you covered a lot of ground in the City in the days you spent there both pre and post cruise. Using the hop -on- hop- off busses was a very good idea to see many of the sights. I was pleased to see that you visited Central Park and the Met Museum. My DH and I have been thinking of going to see the guitar exhibit,but will probably wait until the Fall as the temperatures will be lower than for a trip into the City. We now live about ninety miles away,so visits to our favorite places there are not as frequent as when we lived in the City.

     I was disappointed to read that you came across some rude people during your stay. It certainly did not get off on a good note with the security officer in Newark. I do hope that you came across many New Yorkers who were pleasant and helpful.

Not to excuse anyone’s lack of manners, but sometimes we New Yorkers can be rushed and quick. This may come off as a rude attitude. The City has always had a fast pace to it. So many people are dealing with crowds,traffic and business demands, that their main focus is getting through their day .

     When my DH and I were living in Florida as snow birds for several winters, many times I was asked to slow my speech as the person with whom I was conversing with over the phone or in a shop could not keep up with what I was saying.

While there,I had to adapt to a slower paced life style. Probably a good thing!

     So, I do hope you enjoyed your stay in my hometown and decide to visit again.

Until then, I wish you and your family many good days !

 

 

 

Thanks for reading along, glad you enjoyed it 👍 I don't think there are faster speaking people on the planet than the Scots, lol. I've learned to adapt my accent when I'm anywhere other than home to make sure I'm understood. There were lots of lovely people that we met, it seems to only be within shops that the staff were grouchy and downright rude. And they weren't in any rush whatsoever....slow, rude and actually didn't speak at all to us, just a rude stare and literally throwing our shopping at us. The agent in Newark could have got a one woman show on sarcastic glares......of course you don't say anything to them because they're security people...As I said, we just ignored it and it certainly didn't spoil our holiday and we'd definitely visit again. :classic_smile:

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Thanks so much for the great review! I love that your son got to play on stage with his big brother, that's a great memory for them to share! 🙂

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Loving your review first of all!!! The young man with the Carnival name tag I must have missed that you know him because I kept saying man this guy really likes this family lol . With the pizza delivery is that considered a pan pizza is there more than one type of crust?

 

 

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Thank you so much for your wonderful review.  I am glad you enjoyed your vacation.  I will be on the Sunrise in September and your review has given me hope that my friend and I will have a good time.  We are going in with a positive attitude and it sounds like you did, too!  

 

Thanks, again!

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Thank you for taking the time to post this awesome review.  I am so glad you were able to spend time with your oldest son.  You have a beautiful family and I learned a lot about what to do in New York.  Again, thank you.

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Love reading about your family adventures, especially with the dynamic of having your son working aboard! 😀 Thank you for sharing with us!

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I just sat down and read your entire review today.  It's raining and dreary and the last time we cruised was in 2015 & our next isn't until next year, so I'm going through cruise withdrawals and nothing like a good review to help with that.  🙂  I really enjoyed reading and you have some beautiful pictures.  Bermuda looks gorgeous and that's one place we'd love to cruise to one of these days and I'd also love to cruise out of NYC.  I always enjoy reviews where I feel like I'm on the cruise and I felt like I was along on yours.  It's always hard when the cruise ends, but I know it must have been that much harder for you/your family since it wasn't just the ship you were leaving.  😞  Thank you for taking the time to do a review, I really enjoyed it and it was a great way to pass time this afternoon!

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What an awesome review! Thanks so much! Looking forward to sailing in September

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Thank you so much for that great review….Really got me counting the days until our Sunrise cruise😍

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