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First, a shout out to the excellent staff of NCL Dawn: Rowena, Edgar, Rocky, Romel, Loey, Maria, Sarath, Darpan, Ros h ith, Win, Ray and all the other staff who remain unnamed because I didn’t get all their names. They work so hard for months before getting any time off. One crew member’s baby was born the last day at sea and was leaving to return home when we got to port. Yay! He gets to go home. Boo he missed the birth. That made me so sad. We are five sisters. This was our fourth cruise on NCL. We usually do a trip every two years but at the time we booked last year’s cruise this one came available at a great price so we broke our two year plan to do a back to back. So glad we did! We are all Platinum level cruisers and we got the ultimate dining package, on board service charges paid for two (which we shared equally) and on board credits when we booked the cruise. One platinum perk is a box of Godiva chocolates. One box per cabin. Try splitting four chocolates between five women. I’m still sporting a bruise (joke). Embarkation in Boston was easy. I had to return the rental car so dropped off two sisters and all our luggage at the terminal. Coordinated with another sister to pick me up at the car rental building. Another sister was taking the train into town and meeting us on the ship. Please note. The car rental center is huge. I mean REALLY HUGE. Designate a pickup spot in advance. It was freezing cold and we had a hard time finding each other. Check in was EASY. When we got to the counter we breezed through the line because of our suite status. We rushed the process so we could get to Cagney’s for lunch. Excellent choice and the best way to start our vacation. Disembarkation at NOLA was a mob scene. Lines upon lines and then you find out you’ve been standing in the wrong line for a taxi. The only way to bypass the taxi line is to hire a porter. Taxis are a flat rate $8 per person to downtown hotels. $40 for us to go less than 2 miles. Absolutely ridiculous. Our room was an SJ Suite. One room, one bathroom, a wall of windows (dirty on the outside) and no balcony (boo). Five women. One bathroom. Painful at times, but we made it work. Evenings were cramped with the sofa bed out, the Murphy bed down (mine - and very comfortable and I woke up every day to a bedside view of the sunrise) and a roll-away bed, along with the king sized bed. The ONLY way it worked for us to be incredibly diligent about putting our things away. Lots of drawer space but, be warned, the drawers are only half the size of a normal drawer. My only negative feedback about the room would be the windows - dirty, but hard to wash between cruises I guess - and the excessive creaking during high seas, which we got a lot of during this trip but there is not much they can do about that. There were only noises from above us randomly through out the day. We were below the Bimini Bar. We had the ultimate dining package of 14 days of specialty dining. WAY TOO MUCH DINING! Even on a fourteen day cruise we would have been happy with just three. We felt obligated to pick a different restaurant almost every night - and it was way too much food. It was overkill. On the bright side, we got to see familiar staff and got to order our favorites multiple times. Los Lobos and Cagney’s were, by far, our favorites. Los Lobos is hidden in back of the Garden Cafe and is seemingly unknown by most (except the staff - many of whom were there when their shifts ended). If you’re thinking “oh, Mexican. Done that” you are wrong. It was incredible. Fresh table side made guacamole and everything we ordered was over the top with flavor. Try the cactus salad and clear out your sinuses. The staff were all highly attentive and knew the menu inside and out. Cagney’s is Cagney’s - what more can I say? Excellent steak, attentive staff. If we hadn’t had the ultimate dining package I would have eaten at Bamboo all the time. Very clean, light fare. The Venetian is acoustically jarring. Very loud. The food was okay. My order was wrong from the appetizer to the dessert. The art. Oh. My. God. How much did they pay someone to violate the art… I won’t spoil it. You will have to see for your self. Nickel and diming: We were upset about the recent change to bringing beverages on board. You can’t. You can’t bring on bottled water. If you want bottled water then you must pay through the nose. $50 for 18 one-liter bottles of water is beyond highway robbery. *I just checked my credit card and we were also charged an 18% service charge on top of the $49.99 charge for $10 worth of bottled water. This makes me really unhappy. This is beyond captive audience gouging. Also, because of the dining package perks, lobster is no longer on the specialty restaurant menus. It is now only available in Aqua and Venetian at an up charge. Cagney’s had the best baked stuffed lobster that I ordered last year and was looking forward to ordering again. That was a disappointment. We had a Cruise Critic gathering in Aqua - lovely and highly attended. Alain and his staff gave small presentations and then it was over - the folks who organized it went to so much effort to make a nice gathering and people dispersed almost as soon as the hotel staff were done. I managed to chat with a few Cruise Critic people (Arzeena, RJ, BedfordMom, GrampaPaul) but there were many I missed. The home town gift exchange was rescheduled to the next day and that was more intimate - and really fun. I walked away with a jug of New Hampshire maple syrup (very happy!) that almost got confiscated at airport security due to a check in snafu. I checked the bag that DIDN’T have all the liquids which made the bag going through TSA screening get stopped and searched. I then had to get out of the TSA line, go back to the check in desk, get my bag recalled, pick it up in baggage, swap it at the check in desk and go through security AGAIN. I was sweating bullets. I refused to give up my maple syrup! The suite perk of having Cagney’s for breakfast and lunch was much appreciated. It’s such a civilized way to start the day - IF you have time. Within days, staff knew I needed lactose free milk with my coffee (I called NCL before the cruise to make the request). Darpan, the manager, was very attentive and I especially appreciated him every morning personally walking a distinguished elderly woman to her table. That was a heartwarming thing to see - they would walk arm in arm. That, to me, exemplified first class service and compassion. Another suite perk is free movies that you can order directly from your tv. We discovered this a couple of days in to the cruise and then watched a new movie almost every night for the rest of the cruise. It became a running joke of who would get to pick out that night’s movie - and teasing the sister who picked out Swiss Army Man. Then again, Keanu (which I loved) went over like a lead balloon with the rest of them so I’m not judging anyone’s movie choices. Another platinum perk is a free laundry bag.... and yay! They changed the paper laundry bags for nylon. No more ripping bags as you try to maximize your laundry order. At least that perk wasn’t one per cabin. We shared the laundry and managed to do four loads (bags) of anything that was okay to be super hot washed (i.e. underwear), which was really nice because somehow I miscounted and did not pack enough underwear. Regarding the restaurants - most of the sauces have alcohol in them. If you are Muslim, Mormon or a recovering alcoholic then you will need to ask specific questions each time you go for dinner. Also, EVERY SINGLE SAUCE at Le Bistro uses alcohol. With 24 hour advance notice they will prepare a dish for you without alcohol, but (in my humble opinion) that is a pain in the butt and it reflects poorly on NCL that there aren’t more alcohol free options. Also, for those who are keeping Kosher or Halal, Moderno wait staff (Gauchos?) would offer chicken covered in bacon touching the non-bacon wrapped chicken. A special request for chicken NOT touched by bacon had to be made. Again, NCL needs to be more sensitive to a multicultural client base. We dressed up for Halloween again. People remembered us from last year and then, for the rest of the cruise and even in New Orleans walking around, people recognized us as The Jellyfish. That was really, really fun and the Halloween party was better organized this year. We won Most Creative and a bottle of wine. If you got pictures of us, please drop me a note. I’d love to see them. Post cruise we stayed in NOLA overnight at The Drury on Poydras Street. It was clean and comfortable and our suite comfortably fit all of us at a reasonable price… plus they offered free drinks and snacks at 5:30pm (that turned into our dinner) and complimentary breakfast. It wasn’t Cagney’s, but it was hearty and there was coffee. No complaints. We walked for miles in NOLA - to the point of exhaustion, but managed to find a really cool artist and his wife at the French Market - Forks & Spoons Jewelry and we all got amazing bracelets made of antique flatware. Also, a local resident recommended The Blind Pelican for lunch - which had the best fried green tomatoes I’ve ever had. Reasonably priced and huge portions. It was off the beaten path on Charles Street but well worth the cab ride. We then took the trolly back to our hotel. I heart those trollies! I could spend all day taking pictures of them and of all the amazing architecture. Ports: Puerto Rico we got day passes at the Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino. Day pass included a $20 food voucher (had to be used all at one time). The voucher almost covered a nice lunch - just a couple of dollars short because of taxes. I was expecting exorbitant prices but was pleasantly surprised. The surf was incredibly high - and it was difficult to the point of scary trying to get past the breakers. Got knocked on my butt and, at one point, was holding my bathing suit bottoms with one hand and my top with the other while trying to get my head above water because the breakers were trying to strip me naked from all directions. Bonaire: day passes at the Plaza Beach Resort. Lovely but it was really, really hot and the water was almost the same temperature! The surf was again very high. Last year the snorkeling was superior, this year almost non-existent because visibility was so low. There was a lunch buffet included with our day passes. I believe that a rogue mussel that tasted "funky" going down is what caused projectile vomiting later in the evening after a dinner at Cagney's. I highly doubt it was Cagney's because my sister and I ordered the same items off the menu and she had no problems. Curaçao: Day passes at the Avila Hotel (old Governor's Mansion). This is the place for sea glass. Seriously. I collected 2 pounds of it and barely dented the supply. Plus, as an added bonus, this is where I burned my butt because I was hunting in the water for hours. Loved every minute of it. The surf was up, but the resort has two large protected lagoons so swimming was very pleasant and the lagoon to the left had the sea glass and lots of good snorkeling. Aruba: TDH (too damn hot). Got off the ship. Looked around. Sweated too much. Returned to the ship. No regrets. I did get a Coke and downed it in seconds before getting back on board. Best. Coke. Ever. Jamaica: Didn't get off the ship. I personally had a bad experience last year and had made the decision long ago not to get off there. The rest of the sisters made the same decision. No regrets. Grand Cayman: Highlight of the trip. We went with @stingraysailing with Captain Chip. Eco conscious outfitter. Very environmentally caring. The surf was crazy high so it was not as spectacular as last year yet still incredible. We were the first boat of the day to get to the sandbar so the stingrays were super happy (i.e. aggressive) to see us. The current tried to sweep me away as I was taking pictures and crew mate Chris had to haul me back. That was intense. Also, I was underwater without a snorkel when a stingray decided to land on my head. THAT was a panic - but how incredibly awesome would my obituary have been if it said "killed by a stingray?" I mean, I'm no Steve Irwin, but.... Cozumel: Cheaper than getting day passes we booked 2 rooms just for the day that included unlimited food and drinks. Lovely resort with a nice pool set up and waterslide. Surf was, yet again, way up. Visibility was super low. We shopped in town first and then headed to the resort. Had a decent lunch and lots of drinks. The cerviche was really, really yummy. One sister and I did a little more shopping before returning to the ship and then I found out that an older passenger was robbed on one of the side streets. That was disturbing and could have easily been any one of us. Take care. Regarding entertainment - I didn't go to any of the shows (I'm not a show person and had seen Elements last year) except the staff talent show - which was WOW. Who knew our assistant cruise director could sing opera? And, last but not least, a couple of things to remember for next time, besides bringing more underwear and remembering to check the correct bag at the airport: * Activity cards. I read about these on the daily activity sheets but didn’t pay any attention until the last day, when I attending the knitting group in the wine bar and another knitter mentioned it. Every activity attended would be a check off by staff on your activity card which then could be redeemed for prizes. Bummer. I hope they have it on my next cruise. * Don’t bring a lot of shoes. I wore my sneakers ONCE and my high heel sandals NEVER. I lived in my Teva sandals (even wore them as water shoes at the beaches) and ballet flats. * Bring more sunblock (I went through an entire huge tube) and next time remember sunburn cream. I got a sunburn on my butt (!) because my bathing suit bottom rode up above the applied sunblock. Not fun. Seriously. * Cozumel has the best prices for souvenirs but be careful. A fellow passenger was robbed when she wandered down a side street. * Bring more than one bathing suit. Especially when we had three ports in a row, my one bathing suit was never dry and I had forgotten how much I dislike putting on a damp bathing suit. * Have a trip mascot and have a blast. I brought a Lego penguin and had so much fun taking pictures. You can find his adventure on instagram by searching for pound tripmascot. Pictures of The Jellyfish etc can be found by searching for pound sistertrip16.

SisterTrip16

Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by IslandGirl247

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
First, a shout out to the excellent staff of NCL Dawn: Rowena, Edgar, Rocky, Romel, Loey, Maria, Sarath, Darpan, Ros h ith, Win, Ray and all the other staff who remain unnamed because I didn’t get all their names. They work so hard for months before getting any time off. One crew member’s baby was born the last day at sea and was leaving to return home when we got to port. Yay! He gets to go home. Boo he missed the birth. That made me so sad.

We are five sisters. This was our fourth cruise on NCL. We usually do a trip every two years but at the time we booked last year’s cruise this one came available at a great price so we broke our two year plan to do a back to back. So glad we did!

We are all Platinum level cruisers and we got the ultimate dining package, on board service charges paid for two (which we shared equally) and on board credits when we booked the cruise.

One platinum perk is a box of Godiva chocolates. One box per cabin. Try splitting four chocolates between five women. I’m still sporting a bruise (joke).

Embarkation in Boston was easy. I had to return the rental car so dropped off two sisters and all our luggage at the terminal. Coordinated with another sister to pick me up at the car rental building. Another sister was taking the train into town and meeting us on the ship. Please note. The car rental center is huge. I mean REALLY HUGE. Designate a pickup spot in advance. It was freezing cold and we had a hard time finding each other. Check in was EASY. When we got to the counter we breezed through the line because of our suite status. We rushed the process so we could get to Cagney’s for lunch. Excellent choice and the best way to start our vacation.

Disembarkation at NOLA was a mob scene. Lines upon lines and then you find out you’ve been standing in the wrong line for a taxi. The only way to bypass the taxi line is to hire a porter. Taxis are a flat rate $8 per person to downtown hotels. $40 for us to go less than 2 miles. Absolutely ridiculous.

Our room was an SJ Suite. One room, one bathroom, a wall of windows (dirty on the outside) and no balcony (boo). Five women. One bathroom. Painful at times, but we made it work. Evenings were cramped with the sofa bed out, the Murphy bed down (mine - and very comfortable and I woke up every day to a bedside view of the sunrise) and a roll-away bed, along with the king sized bed. The ONLY way it worked for us to be incredibly diligent about putting our things away. Lots of drawer space but, be warned, the drawers are only half the size of a normal drawer. My only negative feedback about the room would be the windows - dirty, but hard to wash between cruises I guess - and the excessive creaking during high seas, which we got a lot of during this trip but there is not much they can do about that. There were only noises from above us randomly through out the day. We were below the Bimini Bar.

We had the ultimate dining package of 14 days of specialty dining. WAY TOO MUCH DINING! Even on a fourteen day cruise we would have been happy with just three. We felt obligated to pick a different restaurant almost every night - and it was way too much food. It was overkill. On the bright side, we got to see familiar staff and got to order our favorites multiple times.

Los Lobos and Cagney’s were, by far, our favorites. Los Lobos is hidden in back of the Garden Cafe and is seemingly unknown by most (except the staff - many of whom were there when their shifts ended). If you’re thinking “oh, Mexican. Done that” you are wrong. It was incredible. Fresh table side made guacamole and everything we ordered was over the top with flavor. Try the cactus salad and clear out your sinuses. The staff were all highly attentive and knew the menu inside and out. Cagney’s is Cagney’s - what more can I say? Excellent steak, attentive staff.

If we hadn’t had the ultimate dining package I would have eaten at Bamboo all the time. Very clean, light fare. The Venetian is acoustically jarring. Very loud. The food was okay. My order was wrong from the appetizer to the dessert. The art. Oh. My. God. How much did they pay someone to violate the art… I won’t spoil it. You will have to see for your self.

Nickel and diming: We were upset about the recent change to bringing beverages on board. You can’t. You can’t bring on bottled water. If you want bottled water then you must pay through the nose. $50 for 18 one-liter bottles of water is beyond highway robbery. *I just checked my credit card and we were also charged an 18% service charge on top of the $49.99 charge for $10 worth of bottled water. This makes me really unhappy. This is beyond captive audience gouging.

Also, because of the dining package perks, lobster is no longer on the specialty restaurant menus. It is now only available in Aqua and Venetian at an up charge. Cagney’s had the best baked stuffed lobster that I ordered last year and was looking forward to ordering again. That was a disappointment.

We had a Cruise Critic gathering in Aqua - lovely and highly attended. Alain and his staff gave small presentations and then it was over - the folks who organized it went to so much effort to make a nice gathering and people dispersed almost as soon as the hotel staff were done. I managed to chat with a few Cruise Critic people (Arzeena, RJ, BedfordMom, GrampaPaul) but there were many I missed. The home town gift exchange was rescheduled to the next day and that was more intimate - and really fun. I walked away with a jug of New Hampshire maple syrup (very happy!) that almost got confiscated at airport security due to a check in snafu. I checked the bag that DIDN’T have all the liquids which made the bag going through TSA screening get stopped and searched. I then had to get out of the TSA line, go back to the check in desk, get my bag recalled, pick it up in baggage, swap it at the check in desk and go through security AGAIN. I was sweating bullets. I refused to give up my maple syrup!

The suite perk of having Cagney’s for breakfast and lunch was much appreciated. It’s such a civilized way to start the day - IF you have time. Within days, staff knew I needed lactose free milk with my coffee (I called NCL before the cruise to make the request). Darpan, the manager, was very attentive and I especially appreciated him every morning personally walking a distinguished elderly woman to her table. That was a heartwarming thing to see - they would walk arm in arm. That, to me, exemplified first class service and compassion.

Another suite perk is free movies that you can order directly from your tv. We discovered this a couple of days in to the cruise and then watched a new movie almost every night for the rest of the cruise. It became a running joke of who would get to pick out that night’s movie - and teasing the sister who picked out Swiss Army Man. Then again, Keanu (which I loved) went over like a lead balloon with the rest of them so I’m not judging anyone’s movie choices.

Another platinum perk is a free laundry bag.... and yay! They changed the paper laundry bags for nylon. No more ripping bags as you try to maximize your laundry order. At least that perk wasn’t one per cabin. We shared the laundry and managed to do four loads (bags) of anything that was okay to be super hot washed (i.e. underwear), which was really nice because somehow I miscounted and did not pack enough underwear.

Regarding the restaurants - most of the sauces have alcohol in them. If you are Muslim, Mormon or a recovering alcoholic then you will need to ask specific questions each time you go for dinner. Also, EVERY SINGLE SAUCE at Le Bistro uses alcohol. With 24 hour advance notice they will prepare a dish for you without alcohol, but (in my humble opinion) that is a pain in the butt and it reflects poorly on NCL that there aren’t more alcohol free options.

Also, for those who are keeping Kosher or Halal, Moderno wait staff (Gauchos?) would offer chicken covered in bacon touching the non-bacon wrapped chicken. A special request for chicken NOT touched by bacon had to be made. Again, NCL needs to be more sensitive to a multicultural client base.

We dressed up for Halloween again. People remembered us from last year and then, for the rest of the cruise and even in New Orleans walking around, people recognized us as The Jellyfish. That was really, really fun and the Halloween party was better organized this year. We won Most Creative and a bottle of wine. If you got pictures of us, please drop me a note. I’d love to see them.

Post cruise we stayed in NOLA overnight at The Drury on Poydras Street. It was clean and comfortable and our suite comfortably fit all of us at a reasonable price… plus they offered free drinks and snacks at 5:30pm (that turned into our dinner) and complimentary breakfast. It wasn’t Cagney’s, but it was hearty and there was coffee. No complaints.

We walked for miles in NOLA - to the point of exhaustion, but managed to find a really cool artist and his wife at the French Market - Forks & Spoons Jewelry and we all got amazing bracelets made of antique flatware. Also, a local resident recommended The Blind Pelican for lunch - which had the best fried green tomatoes I’ve ever had. Reasonably priced and huge portions. It was off the beaten path on Charles Street but well worth the cab ride. We then took the trolly back to our hotel. I heart those trollies! I could spend all day taking pictures of them and of all the amazing architecture.

Ports: Puerto Rico we got day passes at the Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino. Day pass included a $20 food voucher (had to be used all at one time). The voucher almost covered a nice lunch - just a couple of dollars short because of taxes. I was expecting exorbitant prices but was pleasantly surprised. The surf was incredibly high - and it was difficult to the point of scary trying to get past the breakers. Got knocked on my butt and, at one point, was holding my bathing suit bottoms with one hand and my top with the other while trying to get my head above water because the breakers were trying to strip me naked from all directions.

Bonaire: day passes at the Plaza Beach Resort. Lovely but it was really, really hot and the water was almost the same temperature! The surf was again very high. Last year the snorkeling was superior, this year almost non-existent because visibility was so low. There was a lunch buffet included with our day passes. I believe that a rogue mussel that tasted "funky" going down is what caused projectile vomiting later in the evening after a dinner at Cagney's. I highly doubt it was Cagney's because my sister and I ordered the same items off the menu and she had no problems.

Curaçao: Day passes at the Avila Hotel (old Governor's Mansion). This is the place for sea glass. Seriously. I collected 2 pounds of it and barely dented the supply. Plus, as an added bonus, this is where I burned my butt because I was hunting in the water for hours. Loved every minute of it. The surf was up, but the resort has two large protected lagoons so swimming was very pleasant and the lagoon to the left had the sea glass and lots of good snorkeling.

Aruba: TDH (too damn hot). Got off the ship. Looked around. Sweated too much. Returned to the ship. No regrets. I did get a Coke and downed it in seconds before getting back on board. Best. Coke. Ever.

Jamaica: Didn't get off the ship. I personally had a bad experience last year and had made the decision long ago not to get off there. The rest of the sisters made the same decision. No regrets.

Grand Cayman: Highlight of the trip. We went with @stingraysailing with Captain Chip. Eco conscious outfitter. Very environmentally caring. The surf was crazy high so it was not as spectacular as last year yet still incredible. We were the first boat of the day to get to the sandbar so the stingrays were super happy (i.e. aggressive) to see us. The current tried to sweep me away as I was taking pictures and crew mate Chris had to haul me back. That was intense. Also, I was underwater without a snorkel when a stingray decided to land on my head. THAT was a panic - but how incredibly awesome would my obituary have been if it said "killed by a stingray?" I mean, I'm no Steve Irwin, but....

Cozumel: Cheaper than getting day passes we booked 2 rooms just for the day that included unlimited food and drinks. Lovely resort with a nice pool set up and waterslide. Surf was, yet again, way up. Visibility was super low. We shopped in town first and then headed to the resort. Had a decent lunch and lots of drinks. The cerviche was really, really yummy. One sister and I did a little more shopping before returning to the ship and then I found out that an older passenger was robbed on one of the side streets. That was disturbing and could have easily been any one of us. Take care.

Regarding entertainment - I didn't go to any of the shows (I'm not a show person and had seen Elements last year) except the staff talent show - which was WOW. Who knew our assistant cruise director could sing opera?

And, last but not least, a couple of things to remember for next time, besides bringing more underwear and remembering to check the correct bag at the airport:

* Activity cards. I read about these on the daily activity sheets but didn’t pay any attention until the last day, when I attending the knitting group in the wine bar and another knitter mentioned it. Every activity attended would be a check off by staff on your activity card which then could be redeemed for prizes. Bummer. I hope they have it on my next cruise.

* Don’t bring a lot of shoes. I wore my sneakers ONCE and my high heel sandals NEVER. I lived in my Teva sandals (even wore them as water shoes at the beaches) and ballet flats.

* Bring more sunblock (I went through an entire huge tube) and next time remember sunburn cream. I got a sunburn on my butt (!) because my bathing suit bottom rode up above the applied sunblock. Not fun. Seriously.

* Cozumel has the best prices for souvenirs but be careful. A fellow passenger was robbed when she wandered down a side street.

* Bring more than one bathing suit. Especially when we had three ports in a row, my one bathing suit was never dry and I had forgotten how much I dislike putting on a damp bathing suit.

* Have a trip mascot and have a blast. I brought a Lego penguin and had so much fun taking pictures. You can find his adventure on instagram by searching for pound tripmascot. Pictures of The Jellyfish etc can be found by searching for pound sistertrip16.
IslandGirl247’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Family Suite
Cabin SJ 12508
Spacious in the daytime. Cramped for five adults when all the beds are done up in the evening, but do-able IF everyone agrees to put their stuff away in all the storage space and stash luggage under the bed. We utilized the king sized bed, the pull out sofa, the Murphy bed and a roll-away bed that we requested in advance. The room was always stocked with coffee, tea, towels and afternoon snacks.
Deck 12 Inside Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Aruba
    TDH (too damn hot). Got off the ship. Looked around. Sweated too much. Returned to the ship. No regrets. I did get a Coke and downed it in seconds before getting back on board. Best. Coke. Ever.
    View All 1,648 Aruba Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Aruba Cruise Port Review
  • Bonaire
    Day passes at the Plaza Beach Resort. Lovely but it was really, really hot and the water was almost the same temperature! The surf was again very high. Last year the snorkeling was superior, this year almost non-existent because visibility was so low. There was a lunch buffet included with our day passes. I believe that a rogue mussel that tasted "funky" going down is what caused projectile vomiting later in the evening after a dinner at Cagney's. I highly doubt it was Cagney's because my sister and I ordered the same items off the menu and she had no problems.
    View All 13,278 Bonaire Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Bonaire Cruise Port Review
  • Boston
    The sisters and I grew up in Boston so our opinion is biased. ;-) Stayed at one sister's house for 2 nights before embarkation. She is a wonderful hostess.
    View All 666 Boston Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Boston Cruise Port Review
  • Beach
    Cheaper than getting day passes we booked 2 rooms at The Cozumeleno just for the day that included unlimited food and drinks. Lovely resort with a nice pool set up and waterslide. Surf was, yet again, way up. Visibility was super low. We shopped in town first and then headed to the resort. Had a decent lunch and lots of drinks. The cerviche was really, really yummy. One sister and I did a little more shopping before returning to the ship and then I found out that an older passenger was robbed on one of the side streets. That was disturbing and could have easily been any one of us. Take care.
    View All 614 Beach Reviews
  • Beach
    Day passes at the Avila Hotel (old Governor's Mansion). This is the place for sea glass. Seriously. I collected 2 pounds of it and barely dented the supply. Plus, as an added bonus, this is where I burned my butt because I was hunting in the water for hours. Loved every minute of it. The surf was up, but the resort has two large protected lagoons so swimming was very pleasant and the lagoon to the left had the sea glass and lots of good snorkeling.
    View All 102 Beach Reviews
  • Stingray Swim
    Highlight of the trip. We went with stingraysailing with Captain Chip. Eco conscious outfitter. Very environmentally caring. The surf was crazy high so it was not as spectacular as last year yet still incredible. We were the first boat of the day to get to the sandbar so the stingrays were super happy (i.e. aggressive) to see us. The current tried to sweep me away as I was taking pictures and crew mate Chris had to haul me back. That was intense. Also, I was underwater without a snorkel when a stingray decided to land on my head. THAT was a panic - but how incredibly awesome would my obituary have been if it said "killed by a stingray?" I mean, I'm no Steve Irwin, but....
    View All 727 Stingray Swim Reviews
  • New Orleans
    Stayed at The Drury on Poydras Street overnight before flying out. Hotel: clean, comfortable and reasonably priced. Food: superb. People: Fascinating. Architecture: yes, please! The weather was lovely, which made walking around all the more pleasant. I think it's impossible to have a bad time in NOLA (barring getting ripped off or something equally unpleasant).
    View All 624 New Orleans Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Beach
    Day pass included a $20 food voucher (had to be used all at one time). The voucher almost covered a nice lunch - just a couple of dollars short because of taxes. I was expecting exorbitant prices but was pleasantly surprised. The surf was incredibly high - and it was difficult to the point of scary trying to get past the breakers. Got knocked on my butt and, at one point, was holding my bathing suit bottoms with one hand and my top with the other while trying to get my head above water because the breakers were trying to strip me naked from all directions.
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