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BruinSteve

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Everything posted by BruinSteve

  1. Having been on over 25 cruises and counting, never an easy question...but, if I had to pick: 1) 13 night Mediterranean on Celebrity Millennium: Venice - Dubrovnik - Corfu - Santorini - Athens - Naples - Rome - Livorno - Villefranche - Barcelona 2) 14 night Mediterranean on Oceania Nautica: Barcelona - Tunisia - MAlta - Crete - Alexandria, Egypt - Port Said, Egypt - Ashdod, Israel - Haifa, Israel - Cyprus - Kusadasi - Istanbul 3) 14 night Northern Europe on Celebrity Constellation: Dover - Le Havre - Cork - Dublin - Belfast - Glasgow - Geiranger, Norway - Olden, Norway - Bergen, Norway - Copenhagen - Dover Wish list: 1) Asia--Beiling to Bangkok or Singapore with Land and River Cruise pre-cruise 2) Circle South America with Machu Pichu pre-cruise 3) MORE MEDITERRANEAN...
  2. I have cruised on several 100,000+ gross ton ships: 110,000 gross ton Carnival Liberty 116,000 gross ton Sapphire Princess 138,000 gross ton RCI Mariner of the Seas 160,000 gross ton RCI Liberty of the Seas I have three more coming up-- Starting with a return visit to the Mariner of the Seas, then... 122,000 gross ton Celebrity Eclipse 220,000 gross ton RCI Allure of the Seas... Obviously, I would do it again... But, here is the kicker: I would NOT go on the Carnival Liberty or Sapphire Princess again... Carnival Liberty was the most overcrowded and poorly designed ship I have ever cruised on... Sapphire Princess just behind that (well, a ways behind) It is NOT only a matter of the size of the ship, but more the number of passengers compared to the size of the ship...Some large ships are spacious and well designed and do not feel crowded at all...You need to really look at the space-to-passenger ratios first...then, it is a matter of ship design and layout... The Royal Caribbean ships, though large, are quite comfortable... Celebrity's 91,000 gross ton M-class ships, which I've sailed on several times, are absolutely the roomiest large ships out there...I expect the Eclipse to have the same spacious and comfortable feel...
  3. Chris, We cruise it all the time...Did it on the Vision of the Seas in March 2008, on the Sapphire Princess over New Years 2009...and we're going again January 3, 2010 on the Mariner of the Seas... We live in Southern California and get all the news on what goes on in Mexico...and I know all of the areas well enough (I've been all over Mexico dozens of times)...I am not worried in the least...In all three of these ports, all of the tourist areas and typical tourist activities are very safe... Even outside of drug cartel issues, there are always all sorts of common sense considerations in any port...Don't stray off on your own outside the tourist areas, don't look to buy illegal drugs or deal with seemingly unsavory characters...No one is messing with the tourists. These three towns owe a lot of their economy to tourism...They love tourists... And, they are great port stops... Cabo San Lucas is a beautiful mostly new town set against a mountain/desert backdrop...They've got some incredible rock formations, water sports and nice shopping. Mazatlan is a major commercial and fishing port city but has some nice beaches, some interesting nearby colonial mountain towns, fun shopping and lots of activities. Puerto Vallarta is a subtropical colonial fishing village with beautiful architecture, cobblestone streets and set against a lush green backdrop... Just go and enjoy...
  4. Yeah, that's different...I was questioning it since Port Canaveral is a frequent embarkation/debarkation port...I've rarely seen it as just a port stop...It's really not that exciting a port stop...it's just a US town...I guess some would get off to see the Space Center...but that is not worth 12 hours... So, you may find a lot of people staying on... Typically, in every port, some people leave early and stay in port a long time...a lot of others will leave in the morning, see whatever they want to see, then get back to the ship early...and others will not get off the ship at all... The schedule of activities onboard is usually pared down a bit from what you'd find on an "At sea" day, but there will be a number of things scheduled...Most ships nowadays, won't open the main dining room for lunch if they're in port (they used to) so lunch will likely be buffet only...In some ports, some people will leave to tour in the morning, return to the ship for lunch, then venture out again in the afternoon... There is no schedule except the posted time for when you MUST be back to the ship (usually a half an hour before sailing... Also, note that some ports you will be "docked", others "tendered"...Docked means you just walk off the ship, tendered means they anchor off the coast and suttle you in by smaller boats (called "tenders"--which double as lifeboats)...These sometime entail lines or priority tickets to go out or come back...
  5. Leigh Ann, Is that the END of your cruise? While in ports DURING the cruise you don't have to get off at all, at the END of your cruise, unfortunately, we all have to get off... But, when they say the ship docks at 7:00 am, don't even plan on being off that early... First, they have to clear customs and deal with paperwork...and they want to try to move everyone off in an orderly fashion so they can coordinate luggage handling and not just have a rush to the gangway... Here is what generally happens on all ships: They will assign you colored luggage tags and give you an approximate departure time by priority--people with early flights out first, then those on organized shore excursions through the cruise line, repeat customers with priority disembarkation, etc. They will ask you to leave all of your luggage that needs to be "handled" outside your door by around 10:00 pm the night before (keep a small carry-on with a change for the morining)... In the morning, they will have a time like 8:00 when they will ask you to vacate your room--so the cabin steward can start getting it ready for the next cruise...Then go have a nice last breakfast and await your departure time...Everyone should be off the ship by around 9:30, give or take a few minutes... Hope that helps... Bruin Steve
  6. Venice, Italy... Coolest "Sailaway" you'll ever see... ...not to mention great food...
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