Regatta Cruise Review by CTLeeA: Beware of Trojan Horses, They Will Disappoint You
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Beware of Trojan Horses, They Will Disappoint You
I could have just copied a review of this ship I found elsewhere...it was written in Nov., 2011 but just about everything that reviewer said I found applicable to our cruise to Bermuda. So when we're asked for comments at the end of the cruise, what's the point? Nothing changed from Nov., 2011.
Embarkation was easy peasy...Onboard at 11 or so and then a three hour lunch waiting for our veranda cabin to be be ready...
The lunch in the Terrace buffett was fine...good selection, everything prepared well. The cabin was small but comfortable...the ship's easy to find one's way around. Dinner's in the grand Dinning Room were...interesting...our first night, my wife ordered a NY stripe steak...inedible...sooo much gristle...the server never asked how it was...in fact during the cruise, we only had one server who seemed to care if we enjoyed our dinner..thank you, Jorge, from Portugal. The second night, three of us sat in a row..we each ordered soup...we each took one sip More and it tasted like pure salt. One would think the server might ask why three of us left our soup...he didn't. Most of the meals in the Grand Dining Room were excellent...but, really, now...just two slices of beef tenderloin and just 4 thimble sized portions of grilled tuna? By contrast, all the meals in Toscana and the Polo Grill were excellent with excellent service...
Port tours offered by the ship: one hour carriage tour in Charleston=$125. Same tour bought on our own=$23.50. Ship transfer to the airport=$69. Taxi to the airport, for BOTH of us=$28 including tip. You get the idea.
My big issues:
We missed the private island stop because of rough seas...OK, I get that..it happens a lot.
We missed the St. George stop..strong winds, BUT, the same conditions existed three years ago on our Azamara and Azamara then provided us shuttle service from Hamilton to St. George. I asked onboard if O was going to do that...I was informed they were not.
The ship arrived about 3.5 hours late at our next port, Norfolk, VA. We then got in line, as we were told to do, to clear immigration. We stood in line 1.5 hrs. The ship could have called us by deck, or alpha, but didn't. The cruise director blamed immigration for the hold up and suggested maybe they reduced the number of agents in order to boost their overtime pay. I found that comment to be quite insulting. She seemed to ignore the fact that we arrived 3.5 late and work schedules are established in advance...but then, blaming the gov't for everything is fashionable.
Instead of an overnight in Charleston, as advertised, the ship stayed overnight in Norfolk...that was underwhelming. Without exception, the vast majority of us wanted to stay in Charleston instead...I wonder if the docking fees are less in Norfolk than Bermuda...jus' sayin'.
We missed the overnight stay in Charleston. This was a big deal for many, many of us. Passengers had relatives and friends coming in from elsewhere to overnight with...I spoke with a crew member who had a friend driving in from Alabama on April 28 to meet her. We didn't arrive until April 29. We missed a tour we had bought independently for April 28. The ship blamed the weather for missing the overnight in Charleston, which made little sense to us.
We also arrived 3 hours and 35 minutes late at the next port..Port Canaveral. We intended to rent a car and drive west to visit a friend...again...we had to cancel...the car rental place's shuttle didn't run that late.
Entertainment: We loved the four singer/dancers..they rocked, they rolled, they sang their hearts out. We also like Greg Moreland, Magic/Comedy.... he was awesome with his tricks and had a very gentle, sweet humor about him...in addition, he offered free magic classes so we learned some tricks...we felt we paid about $6500 to learn a few few tricks and that was magic in itself. We didn't care for Tom Drake, Comedian. I don't like humor which ridicules employees who work for the gov't or Walmart, or any other employer...I find them mean spirited. We left his show early but learned he later said he is married to our cruise director. That I did find funny.
There were not too many activities to do onboard during sea days...I read about 800 pages during the cruise..a new record for me.
Would I sail with O again? Probably not. The past reviews from 2011 I referred to make it clear that the line plays it loose with the itinerary...We had cruised about 30 times and never, ever had as many port deviations and changes to the intineray as we did this cruise. Less
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Port and Shore Excursions
As stated elsewhere, O's decision to cancel our overnight here really ruined our plans...We've been to Charleston many times before and never tire of it...sooo much to see, do....We were able to reschedule our carriage tour because we arrived a day late...Wonderful one hour tour thru the historic district...highly recommend. We had booked a harbor boat which we also were not able to take since we arrived a day late. The ship conc. tried to call them 5 times to request they allow us to reschedule of provide a refund...They didn't answer the phone nor did they respond to his email. They deny having received calls they didn't answer and they deny having received his email..so I guess I'm out that money.
Since we waited in the immigration line for 1.5 hrs after arriving 3.5 hrs late, the first day was shot. I wanted to tour the museum next to us but it closed at 5 and I got thru immigration 5 minutes after it closed. The second day, we walked thruout the historical district and I toured the USS Wisconsin battleship which is docked right next to us. The town is very tourist friendly..very clean, easy to move about...