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209 Orlando (Port Canaveral) to Caribbean - Western Cruise Reviews

I'm sure it was the tension on the window you heard the tap tap all day and night as long as the ship moved. We put pillows and comforters to try and muffle the sound. The comedy club is way to small. the main theater is way to ... Read More
I'm sure it was the tension on the window you heard the tap tap all day and night as long as the ship moved. We put pillows and comforters to try and muffle the sound. The comedy club is way to small. the main theater is way to small. Not that the shows were any good that they put on. It was a joke of a cruise if you have cruised before then you know the difference. I've been cruising since 1992 my husband and I take 2-3 cruises a year. We have traveler on other lines but settle on carnival as our main one due to the excellent service we used to received. This last one has us completely turned off. When we got back on Monday the 26th of December, we both agreed to cancel the reservations we had for our March cruise. which by the way they charged me $500 to do. Their example of Christmas was a 6 ft tree in the A-trim pressed against the elevators. I have been on ships where the tree reached almost to the top of the A-trim. The food was bad to say the least. We brought our daughter on the cruise this year two days on the ship she was throwing up and sick to her stomach for 3 days me and my husband just eat salads. When we played in the casino which was one the few things to do on this ship, one of the worst cruise directors yet. Shows were far below the usual standard of carnival. Any way I was at the roulette table and one of the players asked the guy spinning the wheel don't you feel bad about taking our money, he reply was I have to be here until 5. What a joke! My daughter went down to pay on her card and they discounted her from our card and shut her down. Good old customer service. This was an 8 day cruise on day 6 my husband got sick and passed it on to me by day 8. Now I'm waiting for the doctor to come back with the blood work. I forgot about our Embarkation it should have set off an alarm that this was going to be a bad cruise. They pulled my husband aside and told him he had to wait to be hand scan, we waited 30 minutes and no one come over we finally had my husband take off his belt and show and go back through our self's What a night mare. Never again will I sail with carnival, nor will I ever remand it again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
I wanted to LOVE this cruise for so many reasons, and we did.... with the exception of the staff who were GRUMPY the entire time we were there for our "Happy Vacation!" Positive- *Check-in was a breeze *Ship is perfect ... Read More
I wanted to LOVE this cruise for so many reasons, and we did.... with the exception of the staff who were GRUMPY the entire time we were there for our "Happy Vacation!" Positive- *Check-in was a breeze *Ship is perfect for families- The Family Balcony room had great storage for a family of 4. *The slides, entertainment and Splash Academy were all fantastic. -Dueling piano Bars were Great! Negative- The STAFF! I barely saw a smile throughout the whole ship for any days that we were there! *Super long lines at the pool bar, with unfriendly bartenders. *If you were not standing in a certain "station" at the bar, they would not serve you, even if they weren't helping someone. *In 7 days, only two people actually asked us if we wanted a drink. (Not smiling) *The food was "okay." *Our room attendant barely said hello *I would say "good morning" without a response from team members! *It wasn't a surprise to walk by someone and not be greeted. 6 nights of dinners, and we only had ONE outstanding waiter. That was Alfredo at Taste! Additionally, the ONLY friendly bartender I found was Aarron V! He was the only one I saw smiling the whole week and would go back to his line because I knew he would happily take care of us. No one else would. I honestly feel that Aaron and Alfredo should be placed on better staff, because the rest of the team is bringing them down. At the end of the day, this could be an absolute AMAZING ship if they started with a brand new staff. If they had the same team as Royal Caribbean, we would go on this ship over and over and over, but unfortunately, I don't ever want to spend 7 days of my vacation with a whole bunch of grumpy people again! This would be a great place for families, if your truly don't care about the service- but if you do, I'd choose far, far, far away from Epic! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Having never sailed on the Epic before I was quite a bit worried reading all the November reviews that seemed overall negative. I can let you know we were very impressed! This is a bit of a departure from the freestyle cruising with NCL ... Read More
Having never sailed on the Epic before I was quite a bit worried reading all the November reviews that seemed overall negative. I can let you know we were very impressed! This is a bit of a departure from the freestyle cruising with NCL that we are used to. You do need to make some reservations or risk being disappointed when you don't get into the show or have the seat location that you want. Thankfully my wife booked what we wanted to see in advance and prepaid everything. This was also different from in the past and we will prepay everything in the future. It eliminates the small surcharges that always seem to add up during the cruise and put a damper on things. This time we walked off the cruise with only the following expenses: dinner, cruise next deposit, some gift shop purchases, and a bottle of wine that we enjoyed. We stayed in a balcony cabin on the 13th deck, mid ship. With so much to do we barely stayed out there. This is quite different from previous cruises where we congregate on the balcony for hours a day, reading, relaxing, and viewing the passing water... With so much going on the Epic we always found something to do. One of my favorite things is to be served breakfast in the main dining room as we recap the previous days activities and plan our current day. This never happened because the food in the buffet was so delicious. I have never wanted to go to the buffet more so than on this cruise. We also indulged in Cagney's (worth EVERY penny of the $60 we paid) one night, Shanghai, and once in The Manhattan Room, otherwise you could find us at the buffet. We have been to all the ports before and chose to do some different excursions. More sight seeing than activity as in the past. This was a fun departure from the norm and lead to a relaxing experience. We did swim with the stingrays in Cozumel and of course snorkeled all day before laying out on the beach at Great Stirup Cay. I'm not sure why there seems to be a rash of negative reviews. You do have to do a little more planning, there are a lot more people on board which means you have to arrive early, and when the weather is not ideal outside the inside activities become slammed! Other than that we were still able to do everything we wanted to do this cruise. Yes the elevators are crowded and sometimes you have to wait one or two cycles to find an empty one. We both are able to take the stairs so that is what we did when we could. Not always ideal but sometimes just walking up or down a flight of stairs can improve your chances of getting in the elevator. Large groups should be prepared to be split up though and meet at their location. Service was excellence. We did notice a lot more of the officers (I assume as they were in the white coats) not as friendly as in the past. Our room staff (Putu) was amazing and while we are not high maintenance, he knew our names and we always had a short chat as we passed each other. At first I didn't think I would like the big ship, then as the excitement built and I was reading Cruise Critic I saw the negative reviews and this began to confirm my initial impression. Not one to let the situation dictate my enjoyment level, I hit the bar on the first day and made the cruise what I wanted it to be. Not only did I enjoy the larger crowds, they made everything else more enjoyable. Howl and the Moon would have been a bore had it not been for the 100 plus that filled it and sang along each night. I have been on many other cruises that have 20-30 people in the bar after dinner and within an hour there are only 5. So yes the crowds were not always ideal, but they increased the excitement of the events. We enjoyed this cruise and ship so much that we have already booked our next sailing on the same ship. Knowing what we now know will only make the next time easier! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Expectation were high for this cruise line because from what I had heard, it was the best. This was a last minute cruise before Christmas so cabin was a small inside cabin(128 sq ft) but doable. It had a very small shower. Every ... Read More
Expectation were high for this cruise line because from what I had heard, it was the best. This was a last minute cruise before Christmas so cabin was a small inside cabin(128 sq ft) but doable. It had a very small shower. Every veritcle surface in this cabin need to be cleaned. GROSS. My biggest complaint about this cruise was the food. We tried several locations to eat and found the same problem no matter where we ate, THE FOOD WAS NOT HOT. In some cases it was stone cold. I for the life of me do not understand this. We did ask a couple of times for food to be remade with no improvement. The made desserts were TERRIBLE so we ate fruit (which most of it was not ripe). This ship is HUGE, almost too big with lots of people. Our cruise has a crazy amount of kids. I don't mind kids I just wish the parents were better parents. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
My sister and I cruised on the Norwegian Epic on Dec. 17-23, 2016 leaving out of Port Canaveral. The ship was beautiful and so big. Th Epic was the biggest ship in port. We visited three ports (Great Stirrup Cay, Georgetown, Grand ... Read More
My sister and I cruised on the Norwegian Epic on Dec. 17-23, 2016 leaving out of Port Canaveral. The ship was beautiful and so big. Th Epic was the biggest ship in port. We visited three ports (Great Stirrup Cay, Georgetown, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, Mexico. Had a great time in all three ports. The cabin was very nice. We had a mini suite and was very surprised by the amount of storage space in the cabin. We liked the bathroom setup. One of us could shower while the other was brushing their teeth, etc. It did not bother us that the bathroom was in the "room. The beds were a little hard but still comfortable. The only issue we had with the bed was there was no room to separate the bed into 2 twin beds. The food on the ship was very good. There are two main dining rooms,The Taste and The Manhattan room. Both served the same menus. The menu was limited and if you wanted something else like steak and lobster there was an up charge for this. I did not like paying extra for certain dishes on the menu. I felt like this was a way to "nickel and dime" your customers. We've already paid for the cruise so shouldn't have to pay extra for certain foods. I've cruised on Carnival and Celebrity lines and never had to pay extra for steak and lobster. Perhaps Norwegian should rethink this. The Garden Cafe was also very nice and the food was also very good. The garden cafe is very huge and we had no problem finding a place to sit and eat even though the ship seemed to be full to capacity. There is also several other areas to eat included in your cruise fare such as O'Shehans which is a bar type restaurant that served soups, wings and sandwiches. The food here was also very good. Lots of entertainment on this ship. Only draw back was that we had to make reservations to see shows if the show was free or not. By the time we figured this out all shows were booked so we didn't see any show as the venues are quite small and only hold a limited amount of people. Service on the ship was very good. The wait staff in all of the eating areas were very friendly and engaged in conversation with their patrons. By far the Norwegian line was the best cruise line we've cruised on. While there were children on board, there was not a whole lot of children running around which made the experience very enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
My family had stayed on the Disney Wonder a few years back and my mom and sister loved the experience, the little attention to detail only Disney can do to make the trip magical. After 6 years we booked to go on the Disney Fantasy because ... Read More
My family had stayed on the Disney Wonder a few years back and my mom and sister loved the experience, the little attention to detail only Disney can do to make the trip magical. After 6 years we booked to go on the Disney Fantasy because of the warm weather in the Caribbean, being able to visit the Disney private Island of Castaway Cay and try out the Aquaduck! The price was very expensive and as much as I tried to convince on going on one of the big boats on the RCL it was Disney or nothing for my mother and sister. The embarkation was a bit hectic has someone had fallen ill in the cruise before us at Castaway Cay and caused the boat to arrive 3 hrs late. It caused a ruckus with no shuttles going to the port. We arrived an hr later than expected but Disney made up for the delay with making the process as speedy as could be. We got bonus lanyards because we were castaway members (previous guests) The buffet area at cabanas had a wide selection of food and made us feel a lot better. The 3 different dining areas were beautiful (my personal favourite was the animators palette due to the cool interactions and images shown on the walls. Unfortunately we didn't get to speak to Crush on the first time dining there because I had booked for us to eat at Remy's. The experience was like nothing else.. I wouldn't do it every day but it was nice to dress up and be treated like VIPs. Every dish had plate covers and we had about 3-4 servers serving us at any given time. About 8 courses or so and the chef would come out to see how we were doing. Fantastic treat for my parents. My husband and I really enjoyed going on the aquaducks and experiencing the beautiful lounges on offer. I really thought Sky line was very romantic. I'm not Disney obsessed as a lot of the other cruisers are but I was happy to see my favourite characters Pluto and Donald around and taking pictures with them. It was my husband's first cruise and he really enjoyed the food. I laughed when he asked if we were going to Cabanas for evening meals since he didn't know anything about the nice plated dinners cruises usually provide. What really excited him was we got to watch Rogue one Star Wars premier on the boat at 12:01am on the 16th December onwards. It was pretty cool to watch it as it opens across the country. I enjoyed watching Dr. Strange and Moana on the boat too. Something that no other cruise line can boast to do since Disney owns Marvel and a lot of other entertainment companies. I liked the live Disney cast performances but they had used the same variety act on this cruise (2 different jugglers) which made it a bit repetitive. They should avoid doing that in future. I liked we had an adults area but the teenager's pool area at the front of the boat was always empty and wasted on them. Might as well let the adults take that part over. We did the mickey mouse detective angeny around the ship. Fun way to spend some time exploring the boat and interact with the cool artwork that comes to life and makes you do tasks to solve mysteries. I wish I had some more time to take the boat tour but unfortunately missed it. Great family trip but once you've done Disney Fantasy it's good to try out other boats. I look forward to try out RCL and Celebrity at some point. Having seen the fireworks performance on the west coast with the Disney wonder, I found this one to be short and less spectacular. They used Captain Jack Sparrow for most of it. Maybe it was because this was my second cruise with Disney but I felt the see ya real soon and other performances lacked enough characters compared to the first time. I like my head waiter Stefanos from Greece a lot but Carlos the assistant waiter was forgetful and not as attentive. these 2 waiters would follow us in to the 3 different dinging rooms for each night so they know your preference and get to chat with them more) Some of the other waiters on the boat that we dealt with during the day was very nice. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
I wanted to show my brother the largest ship and share with him all it had to offer. It was a Christmas present to ourselves. I want to begin by saying beyond the first day and evening havoc, we had a wonderful experience. The "My ... Read More
I wanted to show my brother the largest ship and share with him all it had to offer. It was a Christmas present to ourselves. I want to begin by saying beyond the first day and evening havoc, we had a wonderful experience. The "My time" dining needs to be tweaked terribly. When you book your "my time" dining way ahead on line and think it is going to go "your way"....bookers beware! It is not a happy and catered experience. All my time dining was on the lowest level of the dining room. There are three levels. The lines are long. Even if you have a so called "reservation" for "my time"......it is very disorganized to say the least. My question is why is it not MY TIME when I reserved? Why am I waiting with folks that didn't have a reservation? Why don't I have the same table at the same time? I DO understand things shift each night but once the dining staff knows your cabin number, name, request, time etc.....have a program to map out the dining room prior to our arrival. Oh heck....why am I suggesting this any way to a ship that practices day in and day out for approximately six years how to organize up to 7000 passengers?? Shame on you guys for not having this down pat! Beyond this disappointing and unexpected circumstance that I didn't look forward to each night,as I headed to the dining room (and the first night was a disaster )......my brother and I enjoyed our trip. Land excursions were organized as far keeping folks together and safe and happy. Im suggesting that maybe it could be a bit more informative as far as what will happen play by play. i.e. (you will walk across the port, get on a ferry, cab etc. no food allowed, you will receive a snack, lunch will be served exchange rate etc.) Guest services has an itinerary sheet about your excursion with icons for "lunch served" etc. but many folks don't look (trust me) they were lost or confused. On a better note my hats off to all staff for being so attentive to the passengers..even when rude, difficult, ornery, grumpy or hung over......I commend you. Over all....a wonderful ship and trip. Thank you R.C. You get what you pay for. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
The ship is absolutely beautiful, the staff and service are top notch. But this ship is so large that you need roller skates to get around. For that over 50 crowd that has back or knee problems, do not choose the Oasis. Simply walking ... Read More
The ship is absolutely beautiful, the staff and service are top notch. But this ship is so large that you need roller skates to get around. For that over 50 crowd that has back or knee problems, do not choose the Oasis. Simply walking to your room is a 15 minute journey. There were times that we did not go out of our room again in the evening because we did not want to walk anymore. Getting off on the pier was also a journey. The pier is as long as the ship so the walk into town was long as well. As amazing as it might sound, even though there were over 6,000 people on board it never seemed crowded. I have to give the staff credit for the organizational skills to get us all on and off with no hassle at all. We will definitely stick with Royal Caribbean but will go back to the smaller ships for our next trip. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Just disembarked from the Oasis of the Seas, where we spent the last seven days on our western Caribbean cruise, and I thought I’d get some thoughts down while everything was still fresh (and before the mundane needs of everyday life ... Read More
Just disembarked from the Oasis of the Seas, where we spent the last seven days on our western Caribbean cruise, and I thought I’d get some thoughts down while everything was still fresh (and before the mundane needs of everyday life took over once again). I’ll say from the start that my husband and I have experienced our fair share of cruises, and on a few different lines. (We’d actually been on the Oasis once before, back in 2012, and loved it.) This means there are lots of excursions, restaurants and other cruising experiences that we’ve done in the past…and therefore didn’t need to do again. Which means this review might appear a bit basic and missing-the-action for some. However, if you’re the kind of cruiser who’s into finding the best places to lie down with the greatest amount of maximized contentment, as well as where to eat in a way that’s tasty but doesn’t break the bank, and which shows might be worth your time, and what’s up with the internet option, the fitness center and the spa, then I invite you to read on. Embarkation/Disembarkation/General Tests of Patience I don’t know if it’s the time of year we chose of if the ship gods were with us, but all of the cautionary tales we’d read about long lines and reserved times gone awry were absent for us. We arrived at about 11am on embarkation day, and the process to get on-board was efficient and friendly. The only line was the one to get through security. When we checked in we saw that Royal’s system had misclassified our Crown & Anchor level, and so the first thing we did upon entering the ship was to head to Guest Services (we’d worked hard for that bathrobe and wine discount, after all). We used the “charm over defiance” method in our discussion with the staff, and for any other issues we had with our bills, and found that everyone was happy to help us out. (Granted, they may have been helpful even if we’d been less charming, but we figured these people dealt with enough cranky passengers that a nice smile from us might just make up for one or two snarls from others.) The ship is laid out extremely well, with lots of options as to where to spend your time and money, and despite the behemoth size of the Oasis we never felt crowded in or on a line for long periods of time. Even when we showed up at our My Time Dining dinners earlier than we were expected, they were able to get us our table relatively quickly. The Food Hubbie and I are fairly easy-to-please in the food department, and we’re also incredibly light-weighted when it comes to alcohol consumption, so it might not surprise you to hear that we were satisfied with the food…for the most part. We tried two specialty restaurants. The first, Izumi, which was a Teppanyaki-type place, it’s one we hadn’t planned on visiting, but the guys swarming the promenade on the first day talked us into it. (NOTE: we found you can get deals for the specialty restaurants, especially if you make reservations for the first few days of the cruise. Try negotiating, but do it with charm (see above section for more on this technique). Izumi was delicious and fun. The chefs try hard to keep things entertaining, though I will say that the experience relies just as much on the passengers around the table as it does your chef. We had a few cranky-pants people, which didn’t help matters, but it was still worth the money. We also did the Solarium Bistro, which I was excited about because of the healthier vibe. We had made one reservation before we boarded, then let the guy on the promenade sweeten the deal with a second night at a discounted prices. Unfortunately, the food just didn’t pan out. We’d heard that the salad/appetizer and dessert courses were both buffets now, and didn’t mind that at all. But the main entrees were just…bad. Overcooked, and kind of tasteless. They let us each get a half of two entrees to try a variety of things and nothing really came out well. As a result, we cancelled our second reservation. The dining room, on the other hand, was great. We liked the food options and found that the service was attentive and friendly. We’d heard lots of complaints about the food, and while it remained a bit basic in some regards, we also found the food had lots of flavor, and the servers were happy to work with us on a bit of meal-tweaking…or let us try a few different things. The windjammer buffet was…busy, but again, Oasis does a great job with its organization, and those super long lines you see on other ships wasn’t present here. Instead, there are different stations for different groups of items, which helps keep things moving. We often came here for lunch, especially on port days when others were off the ship. For breakfast, we picked up a few things here that we couldn’t get at the Solarium Bistro, then made our way to the Bistro for breakfast. While there are less options at the Bistro, the atmosphere is so much calmer, and it was a nice way to start the day (and not lose each other while one of us foraged for the hard-boiled eggs while the other tried to find the maple syrup). The other places we visited was the Park Café, which offers breakfast and lunch, and which provided some nice options and atmosphere, and Vintages Wine Bar, which is also lovely and quieter. Plus they know their wines…obviously. The Ship, The Room, The Internet As I’ve said, we’ve been on Oasis before and loved it, and, while some cost-cutting measures could be seen or felt, we still loved the options of places to hang out, eat, see things, and do nothing. We especially appreciated the opportunity to walk through Central Park, the Boardwalk, the promenade, and the Casino before and after dinner. There was always action or a show happening somewhere, which meant you could do something, or watch others doing it, at pretty much any time. We spent most of everyday up in the Solarium, where we found both sunny and shaded spots with relative ease throughout the day. There are no hairy-legs contests here, which was the point for us. Also, no kids. Also the point. The loudest things got was when a bunch of Canadians took over the Jacuzzi for a while. But, really, who doesn’t find Canadians charming on some level? Our ocean view balcony cabin was on the tenth deck, and we were pleasantly surprised by how much storage there was for all of our stuff. Our attendant was lovely and friendly. Hubbie and I pre-purchased a full internet plan before boarding, so we were able to get the one-device streaming plan at a discounted rate. It worked fine for us, and we just swapped the internet on our various devices as needed (I tried to use the experience to reduce my internet compulsions, and am happy to say this strategy worked well). Moving between our computer, iPad and phones was not a problem at all…super easy. The signal was great and very fast. So stop worrying. The Activities, Shows, Spa, and Ports We saw several shows while on board, so here’s the rundown. We left Cats at the intermission, but not because the quality of the show was bad. The show itself just bored us, so we probably would’ve done the same thing had we seen it on Broadway. If Mo5aic is performing while you’re on the ship, go see them. Just trust me. We also saw the ice show and the diving show, which were both great. We visited the Casino a lot, hoping for some traditional Texas Hold’em Action, but nobody came to play and the version where you play against the dealer didn’t do it for us. Hubbie had booked me a massage at the spa ahead of time (nice guy, yes?) and it was fine. I nicely warned my massage therapist, just as she started her pitch about the expensive oils she’d used, that I wasn’t buying anything. She said she was glad I told her up front and saved her the time. I visited the Fitness Center each morning to run off the bloat of the day before. The equipment, both cardio and weights, were great. As far as the ports, I can’t be super helpful here, except to say that it seems some of the greatest magic on a ship happens when everyone else gets off of it. We only got off in Cozumel, and that was to visit Paradise Beach, our favorite spot in Mexico and worth the slight hassle of moving our butts down the gangplank. All in All… We met lots of nice people and lots of…complainers. Like everything else, a lot of the experience is about your expectations going in, and your willingness to be flexible around those expectations. One woman I met actually said there wasn’t anything to do on board (what?) and another guy got all kinds of hot and bothered when the server didn’t bring him a second coffee up at the Windjammer on the super-busy final morning. Then again, perhaps this guy was just cranky about leaving the mighty Oasis that day. I could certainly understand. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This was a free cruise that I won a year ago in a slot tournament. We were looking forward to this one because it was just my wife and I. We did not plan on any excursions, we just wanted to kick back and relax. After getting onto the ... Read More
This was a free cruise that I won a year ago in a slot tournament. We were looking forward to this one because it was just my wife and I. We did not plan on any excursions, we just wanted to kick back and relax. After getting onto the ship eating a little bit we found a chair in the pool area and got a couple of drinks and enjoyed it. We booked the shows we wanted early, tried a couple of new dinning restaurant (I couldn't fine a bad one) The one thing I would tell you is that we were unhappy with the Bingo pricing. $64 for a machine that has been paid for over and over again, and they don't have the ball machine anymore, it's computerized !!!!! and you only play THREE games ??? Not a great return on value. I won't be going back to that. That being the only thing. STILL Love cruising on RCCL. Doing again in January 2017, and August and December. Worth the money, to not have to drive and find fun somewhere. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Sailed on the ALLURE last year and wanted another adventure on a great city/ship. While the ship itself was as good and exciting as the ALLURE it seems the OASIS still has some work to do in smoothing out the rough edges. Let's ... Read More
Sailed on the ALLURE last year and wanted another adventure on a great city/ship. While the ship itself was as good and exciting as the ALLURE it seems the OASIS still has some work to do in smoothing out the rough edges. Let's go down the list: Getting on and off the ship was well organized and efficient. The Ports were easily reached and entertaining. The excursions were extensive and informative as well as entertaining. The evening entertainment was excellent but maybe CATS could have been condensed a bit more. 2 1/2 hours with only a couple of hit songs is a bit slow. All the other entertainment would be good at one show and poor the next. Except the aqua, aerial and ice shows. They were excellent. I won't comment on the comedians or musicians. Maybe the better ones got gigs on shore for the holidays As big as the ship is I was surprised to see very crowded conditions at several of the events. Like the Art shows, the Trivia contests and a few others. It's not like there weren't other larger venues for the groups. And it's not that the events were that popular, I have seen larger crowds at the Art Shows on Carnival ships. But, my major complaint is in the erratic service and food preparation. Even the coffee tasted wildly different at different locations. The food at all the dining venues was equally inconsistent. One day the beef dishes would be over cooked and the next day rare, The scrambled eggs would be tasty one day and dry the next. Our room steward came and went as if he had no schedule and one day didn't enter the room at all. While all the employees were very friendly and solicitous it seemed they were inexperienced and somewhat lost. All said we will still consider another trip on the ALLURE because it is an experience unlike any of the other cruise ships afloat. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Some dear friends of mine chose this ship and itinerary and invited me and a friend to come along. I have sailed on Royal Caribbean several times but this was my first time on a ship this large. The ship is incredibly beautiful and ... Read More
Some dear friends of mine chose this ship and itinerary and invited me and a friend to come along. I have sailed on Royal Caribbean several times but this was my first time on a ship this large. The ship is incredibly beautiful and we enjoyed our cabin and the ports we visited. The excursions we chose were exactly as described and we had a lot of fun. There were a couple of crew members that were exceptional and we made it known to guest services but otherwise service was lackluster or nonexistent. I acknowledge and appreciate the bottle of Moet champagne and chocolate covered strawberries that were comped because of two instances of rude behaviour by the room service phone operator but overall our entire group of friends were treated as though we were a nuisance. Professional, friendly and helpful seemed to be the exception not the rule and I am talking ship wide most every encounter, every venue and every service line. Crew members were not engaged with guest, did not seem to enjoy their work and were not encouraging guest to have fun. We heard others complaining about the quality of the service and thought it interesting that guest were using the size of the ship and the number of guest as justification for the horrible service. I won't sail on Royal Caribbean again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
My husband and I are fairly experienced cruisers. We have been on 24 cruises, 15 of them on Royal Caribbean. This was our second cruise on Oasis, and we have been on Allure 4 times, so we know the big ships pretty well. Overall, the ... Read More
My husband and I are fairly experienced cruisers. We have been on 24 cruises, 15 of them on Royal Caribbean. This was our second cruise on Oasis, and we have been on Allure 4 times, so we know the big ships pretty well. Overall, the cruise was just OK. With the exception of our RCI sponsored excursion in Jamaica, which was horrible. The ship was clean, our room steward fantastic. But, as other cruisers on Oasis have mentioned, the food in the MDR was mediocre, and everything was served at room temperature. Not good when you enjoy soup! Most of the crew we encountered looked stressed, tired, and downright unhappy, including the entertainment staff. I had an encounter with a woman in Guest Services that was particularly hostile when I asked her a simple question on day 3 about the time frame to carry our luggage off the ship when disembarking. She looked annoyed and barked "It will be in the Cruise Compass". What?? When pressed, she finally told me the hours to carry your own luggage were 6:30 AM to 8:00 AM. How hard was that? Bright spots on the cruise were Sabor (the Mexican restaurant-delicious!), the diving show, Vintages for wine and tapas, and the ice show. Embarkation was a breeze, and debarkation was the fastest we have ever experienced. We were second in line for customs - a first for us! We will probably try either Celebrity (I know-RCI owns them) or a smaller RCI ship next time. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
First time on a VERY large ship, Oasis of the Seas. It is so very cool! There are different neighborhoods to explore all over the ship. Central Park is my favorite, it is just like strolling in a real park. Real trees swaying, live ... Read More
First time on a VERY large ship, Oasis of the Seas. It is so very cool! There are different neighborhoods to explore all over the ship. Central Park is my favorite, it is just like strolling in a real park. Real trees swaying, live chamber music playing in the background there are restaurants to visit, so romantic and peaceful; good place to slow down and just be. There is actually a bar that travels up and down 3 floors! get one on one floor get off on another; or ride round trip! It was also our first time in a balcony room, nice! however, we are spoiled, and will probably go with the ocean view balcony next time. We missed seeing the ocean outside the window. Miniature golf was fun, but need more adult size clubs. Course is fun but a challenge too. Zip line was a hoot to watch! You can watch the riders from the Windjammer if you sit in the right place. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This was our third cruise this year, and we took it solely because we got a good deal. Getting to the port proved to be a chore, because there were four ships all loading at the same terminal side, but once we got into the area, boarding ... Read More
This was our third cruise this year, and we took it solely because we got a good deal. Getting to the port proved to be a chore, because there were four ships all loading at the same terminal side, but once we got into the area, boarding was fairly quick and painless. We were allowed into our cabin immediately (possibly because it took so long to get to the port -- we didn't board until after 2pm.) I appreciated that the muster drill was held in the casino, rather than crowded onto the decks, like we've experienced before. Starting with what we loved, the meals in the Manhattan Dining Room were excellent, accompanied by a jazz quartet that provided subtle, but mood establishing, background music. We had dinner in Taste one evening, didn't like that as much, and in the Noodle Shop, which was pretty good. Otherwise, snacks in the pub on deck 6 (good chicken wings, rest was kinda meh) and the buffet on deck 15 was okay for breakfast and lunch (the breakfast buffet, got very boring as the week wore on, always the same stuff, would have preferred some variety.) The entertainment was great, the best we've experienced at sea. Comedy club was tops, dueling pianos awesome, the shows were top notch (didn't like "Priscilla," it's not to our tastes) and Cirque Dreams and Dinner was an amazing add-on ($50/person for the premium seats, well worth it.) I'm not one for the casino, but it has to be on a par with some Las Vegas establishments -- hundreds of slots machines, and at least a dozen tables. It was kind of annoying that you often had to walk through it to get from place to place, because it's not non-smoking, but there are other ways to get around. The Cavern Club was great and the Epic Beatles were outstanding. Can't say enough for the two shows of theirs that we saw. Martini Bar was a great place to hangout and had great staff. They sponsored our Cruise Critic meet and greet, as well as the slot pull (provided some gifts,) that was very cool. We met great friends at the meet and greet, very happy that we got to do that. Now, the not so good... Stateroom -- terrible, see below Bar staff -- there were a couple bars that were good, but service, in general, was very slow. The bar outside of the Manhattan Room was particularly bad Television -- the "sports pub" had two tvs that pretty much placed soccer 24/7. That's okay with me, but I know that there were those who were disappointed that Monday Night Football, for example, wasn't available on the ship. In the cabin, you had four channels (FoxNews, MSNBC, BBC News and Sports 24/7) in addition to the cruise line info channels and one movie channel (showing random films, it wasn't HBO or something similar.) Atmosphere -- there was definitely an "upsell" feel to the place, that NCL constantly had their hand out for one thing or another, from future cruise deposits to pull tabs to raffle tickets to... Communication -- ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE. This baffles me, because you can't blame it on the ship, which is newly in Port Canaveral -- these are not "shake down" issues. Prior to the cruise, we received no information about what terminal to report to. During the cruise, you are required to make reservations for shows and dinners and stuff, but there is no way to see what you've reserved without going to the customer service desk and having them print it out for you. At Grand Cayman, our excursion brought us back to port with 15 minutes to spare, only to find half the ship, literally, about 2,000 people, ahead of us in like to get on the tender. We waited in the sun for almost an hour to get on and, apart from an NCL officer walking through the queue once (probably trying to figure out how long it was going to take to get everyone on board) and a guy handing out cool towels thirty feet ahead of the tender loading area, no one came to check on the passengers, many of who were older, to hand out water, assure people they'd get on, etc. We were basically ignored. Finally, on disembarkation day, we had, literally, no idea what the process was. No one delivered luggage tags, we'd been given customs forms, but absolutely nothing else about the process. I turned on the tv at 7am to see if there was something about it, and there was a channel with some info, but nothing about what deck to go to if you were going to carry your stuff off (which we had to do, lacking luggage tags.) We wound up asking a fellow passenger at the elevators (get off on deck 7.) On the whole, we will likely give Norwegian another try -- the food and entertainment are powerful enough draws -- but would never go on the Epic again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
First off, I may not be as experienced as some of the other reviewers and I wouldn't consider myself high maintenance. I personally believe each cruise line has positives and negatives and that you can have a good time based on your ... Read More
First off, I may not be as experienced as some of the other reviewers and I wouldn't consider myself high maintenance. I personally believe each cruise line has positives and negatives and that you can have a good time based on your needs on pretty much anyone but one may be more suiting depending on your personality, party size and history. I am a 37 year old single male who loves to travel. My first cruise was in 2011 and this was my forth. All have been in the Caribbean and 7 days. I have sailed on the Carnival Glory, Carnival Victory, Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas, and The Norwegian Epic. I have sailed from Miami, San Juan, and Port Canaveral. Now onto my review. My cruise sailed out of Port Great Stirrup Cay Bahamas, Ocho Rios Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. Port Canaveral is probably the busiest port in the US. There were about 6 different ships that boarded the day we left. Despite the size, I found embarkation to be efficient and I had no issues. In fact, my luggage was even delivered to my room prior to 5pm which was a first in my experience. I had an inside cabin which many may complain about the design. Mainly the toilet being separate from the shower and the sink being separate from both. For me being a solo traveler, It was different but a non issue. Service to the cabins was done well, however this was the first time I was not introduced to the cabin steward. I commend the staff on the ship, great attitude, personality, and service. Especially due to the large capacity of customers which can only lead to even more complaints justifiable and non justifiable. The ship had great activities, a little bit of something for everyone. I enjoyed using the gym, having multiple free and specialty options for dinner, and even a separate "barbershop" for mens grooming services. The cirque dinner theatre show was wonderful and although it had a fee of $47 for premium seating, it was worth it. The clubs, pool parties, bowling, sports bar, howl at the moon and shows like burn the floor, comedy, and a magician provided a nice variety along with the typical art auction and games that you would find on most ships. The all white deck party was a highlight. Although the ship is huge, I chose to use the steps so that I wouldn't have to wait for elevators. Be aware that due to the size of the ship, many activities require reservations. Some can be made online prior to arrival, at the box office, or even on the room tv. I found the food to be good but not great. I didn't dine at the specialty restaurants because there were adequate other options and I was solo and often wanted to eat alone. This ship has solo cabins for others like me that want an affordable trip without needing to have a cabin mate. They also have optional solo guest gatherings in the solo lounge daily. If you like to be active, are mobile, youthful and energetic, I think the Epic could be a good time. Last but not least, the Free at Sea promotion put this cruise over the top for me. I basically only paid gratuities and had a drink package a.k.a. open bar for an entire week. Incredible savings for even a social drinker. I found that I was a little more social than usual thanks to the drink package. Some travelers that prefer smaller ships with more intimate service may not enjoy this . The haven cabins provide a more luxurious experience for those if they care to try it. But for my demographic and preferences, I will definitely do NCL again. I'm already booked for next December. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We chose this cruise because it included 3 ports that we had never visited before. This was our fourth cruise (3rd with Carnival). We were really looking forward to it, but came away somewhat disappointed. The ship was okay, but ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it included 3 ports that we had never visited before. This was our fourth cruise (3rd with Carnival). We were really looking forward to it, but came away somewhat disappointed. The ship was okay, but didn't have any outstanding features. The food at the Lido buffet was mediocre at best. We've had much better on other ships. Cooked items were often just warm to the touch, even at the start of the dining hours. Although I like iced tea, I found the pre-mixed brand served on board to be un-drinkable. I did like the selection of fresh fruit available at each meal. The tables were serviced well, but the ledge along the dining room windows always had a several-days accumulation of crumbs and food scraps. The cabin housekeeping staff was friendly, efficient and unobtrusive. All of the on-board entertainment we experienced was enjoyable and well-done. We usually book our cruises based on the port itinerary rather than the ship, but it's unlikely we would ever book another vacation on the Magic. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Won it from casino. The ship was the absolute worst we were ever on. The food was the same in all dining rooms. The service was slow and inattentive. They never offered to get drinks or see how you were doing in buffet areas. The freestyle ... Read More
Won it from casino. The ship was the absolute worst we were ever on. The food was the same in all dining rooms. The service was slow and inattentive. They never offered to get drinks or see how you were doing in buffet areas. The freestyle dining was not nearly as good as on other cruise lines. The menu was very limited and the service was lacking. Our stateroom was never made up until at lease 2pm. We had the drink package and rarely saw a person to get drinks. Usually had to go to bar to get ourselves. They charged extra for everything. Gym amenities were non existent. This was our 11th cruise and first on Norwegian which we will never go on again. There was limited seating at all shows, you had to book ahead of time to even get in to see a show. Thee were not nearly enough crew to service the guests. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
I should have taken a cue from the long lines we stood in to even get checked in and onto the ship. My 2 daughters and I had a mini balcony suite (with emphasis on mini). It was tiny. I cannot imagine what the interior staterooms ... Read More
I should have taken a cue from the long lines we stood in to even get checked in and onto the ship. My 2 daughters and I had a mini balcony suite (with emphasis on mini). It was tiny. I cannot imagine what the interior staterooms were like. Whomever designed those rooms should be stripped of whatever title they hold. The bathroom is right in the room with only a smoked glass rounded-shaped slider to put into place to use the toilet and another one to use the shower. They are about the size of the facilities in an RV. There is absolutely no privacy since you can certainly see (and hear) the person inside through the glass and see when they stand, sit or whatever. Ours had a curtain, but other people told me they did not even have that. There is barely room to walk in the cabin....tiny, tiny, tiny. This is a huge ship and with the tiny rooms it holds a lot of people, but does not have enough elevators to accommodate them, so expect a long wait time. You cannot even take sealed bottled water on-board unless you have a "written" statement from your doctor. If you want water, you must purchase it on-board for the low price of $7.95 per bottle or $26.95 for HALF a case (that's 6 bottles, mind you). The very first night on-board we asked our cabin steward for coffee packets (there was a coffee maker which made one cup at a time in the room, but no coffee). He informed us that they were out of coffee packs but we could order room service coffee at no charge. When I called, they said room service coffee was $9.95 (after breakfast) and we could only get complimentary coffee in the morning. Next morning I was on hold for 35 minutes and was told it would be 30 to 45 minutes wait and $7.95. We told them it was supposed to be complimentary because we had no coffee in the room. We had to hold again until they could confirm that. Our cabin steward was great and did everything possible to make our stay enjoyable. He was always at our beck and call and was always friendly. The staff on the common areas were not nearly so friendly. I have been on cruises where EVERY staff person ALWAYS spoke. No so on this cruise; most of those "in charge" did not even appear to notice us guests. Another thing, it was my understanding that if you dined in the complementary dining rooms, you could order anything on the menu....not so anymore. The "better" entrees now have a hefty up-charge. And, there are more up-charge restaurants than complementary ones. We bought the 3 meal up-charge package and I must say the three up-charge restaurants we chose (Cagneys, LeBistro, & Moderno Chiaroscuro) were excellent. I am not a prude and go to NY and Atlanta to see Broadway shows. However, the show in their big theater, "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert," was so vulgar and offensive we could not sit through it and got up and left. Why a cruise line would book that kind of show for a cruise (other than gay men) is beyond me. However, the show "Burn the Floor" was exciting and well done by a talented cast. We thoroughly enjoyed it. This was my first cruise with Norwegian and it may very well be my last. If their other ships are like the Epic, I am not interested in sailing with this cruise line again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We chose the cruise for the itinerary as we'd never been to Belize. It is also only an hour from where we live and we looked forward to the short drive. I think my 'booking agent' (husband) said he got a pretty good price on ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the itinerary as we'd never been to Belize. It is also only an hour from where we live and we looked forward to the short drive. I think my 'booking agent' (husband) said he got a pretty good price on a suite. Only the second time we have ever had a suite, the other being a Costa ship. We are Diamond on RCCL and we think their newer ships are beautifully decorated. Sunshine had cheery hallways with large, Florida style wall art. Maybe that is why the hallways always were so noisy - too cheerful and bright. With the suite, came priority checkin which was really nice because there were long lines outside. Our room was also ready for us so we went right up. The room size was generous and we didn't use all of the drawers or closets. We had all ready been warned on 'Shipmates' about the one wall socket, but we had another in the dressing area. The bathroom had a jetted tub/shower. If you don't like stepping over the tub to get to the shower, this isn't for you. There was a rubber mat, however, so it wasn't slippery. I just love the toilet paper that slides onto an "L" shaped holder, so every time you pull off a strip it flies off across the room! The only room amenity, aside from size, was two complimentary liters of water which were too big to carry off ship, so we only used one. There wasn't any conditioner or lotion but there was gel and shampoo in dispensers in the shower. There were also two robes of nice quality and upgraded design and one tray of cookies. (Very good, I was hoping for more.) We were glad that the draperies were heavy, fully dark and closed ALL the way, to keep our that Caribbean sunshine in the mornings! Our cabin steward, Penny, was delightful. She always remembered our name and she was so upbeat all the time. This is the first trip where we have had a different towel animal every night. Those must take so long to fold and arrange. We were glad to see that Penny had a helper. The other cruises we've done have been cutting back on that and that makes them even more over-worked. Part of the enjoyable experience was the couple at our early dining table. We had fun every evening with them. Again, other lines are doing away with Assigned Dining and we miss that. We joke that we get to see each other 24-7 and we go on cruises to meet people! Someone mentioned 'no coffee' at dinner and we had it every night. Not as good as the Seattle's Best served on other ships. We didn't do any of the entertainment except the comedians. We especially liked Jim Brick and a movie outdoors which is a fun way to see even a bad movie - Independence Day - Resurgence. One other thing we did was splurge on the Unlimited Beverage package. It was fun to try new drinks when price was no object. There were plenty of bars, but we didn't particularly like any of the options. There wasn't a Champagne Bar for an intimate atmosphere. Again, we were looking for some of the options that we have had on other ships. The Norwegian Escape has a beautiful outdoor seating area along one whole deck. It had a bar that opened at noon, and really comfy chairs for reading. It's all personal preference and the more you sail the more you will have to compare to. There is nothing ever really BAD about cruising. Beats cooking at home! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We chose this cruise for the price and itinerary. We booked the forward hallway rooms (6101, 6103, etc) Traveled with several people, children included, and we are all agree there are some things we like and some things we did not. ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the price and itinerary. We booked the forward hallway rooms (6101, 6103, etc) Traveled with several people, children included, and we are all agree there are some things we like and some things we did not. Bottom line we would not cruise Carnival again. Day 1 Port Canaveral - boarding was seamless; allowed on an hour early; directed to pool area where music and cocktails were in full swing. It was announced room would be ready by 1:00. When we went to our rooms around that time, not even close to being ready. Hallway filthy, rooms still dirty from prior guests. Did not receive luggage until after 6:00. While it was nice to get on board early, they clearly were not ready and a little gross. Nonetheless, it is still amazing how they turn the boat over that quickly: food, linens, rooms, etc. so hats off for that. Location of rooms for us we excellent. Quiet, private. Rooms are definately tight but worth it. We book two rooms because we like having two bathrooms with three kids. Inkar was great. Day 1, food was excellent, drinks well liquored. One huge complaint for us is the entire main stairwell reeks of cigarette smoke from casino. You end up having to cut through the casino a lot bec of it's location. Obviously you can avoid but going up or down a floor and around it. Day 2 at Sea - a lot of activities; food again was great; desserts at dinner aren't the greatest. Motown show highly recommend. We had the early seating for dinner. Food was very good. Staff was accommodating with drink pkg. Not everyone in our party had bottomless bubbles or the drink pkg but we were still able to get drinks at dinner or around pool no problem. Day 3 We aren't big on the buffet. Havana omelet station was great; Blue Iguana breakfast burritos awesome. water leak in hallway near elevators started. Giant fans were constantly blowing in hall to dry out carpet. Loud. I think this is the days we did the Mahogany Bag. We rented golf carts outside port and drove to beach. Overall not bad, a little honky tonk with street vendors almost harrassing us literally every 5 minutes. Service was good, cervesa cheap, water clean, kayaks free. our teenagers drove golf carts back to port. About 15 minutes. No driving rules so that was a highlight for them. Day 4 Belize snorkeling tour with private island/beach. I'd give snorkeling a 2/5. Entertainment on the "catamaran" which was not a catamaran at all a 5/5 and Starfish Island a 6/5! Bull E on tender was very entertaining. Snorkeling was in the open ocean, very rough, didn't see much of anything. The crew floated around the group in kayaks so if someone, especially the kids, got winded or wanted to go back on the tender, they were there in seconds to get you on kayak and back on boat. Starfish Island was just clean, quiet, relaxing, there was a starfish farm the kids loved. Of course, ladies braiding hair but no pressure to buy or do anything. Day 5 Costa Maya (this may have been day 4) we booked beach and kayak. Perfect day. Inexpensive. Could take chairlift or walk back to boat if you really wanted to eat onboard. There were a few bars/food on the beach. Water was nice. The kayak was well worth it. Turtle farm on backside of island. Guides were awesome. Free. I would not pay for chairlift, however. The walk to boat is not that long. There is a nice nature path you can take either way or just stay on the main paved road. I thought chair lift was right near the boat when we disembarked. However, you do have to walk at least half way to the beach to board the chairlift (about 10 min). So in my opinion, you may as well just walk another 10 minutes to beach. We weren't the first ones their but if your persistent enough, you can find clam chairs at the shore line. Our guide kept trying to sit us in the middle...ugh Last day in Conzumel we booked our excursion to Xplor. Mixed reviews about this one. Zip lining was great but a ton of walking up hills and stairs. Left Carnival Sunshine on time for about a 10 min walk to ferry. Ferry was at least 30 min to mainlain; then another 30 minutes on a tour bus to park. I've read other reviews who say their tour guide was awesome. Ours not so much. Kind of just direcited from place to place but we lost track of him towards the end of the day and almost missed the tour bus back to ferry! Overall, it's a lot of walking in general, fast paced because you are only there for a certain amount of time, Very clean. Lunch at the park was an open buffet and was absolutely delicious. Guests being allowed to smoke at such a nice, natural environment park, was a minus. The jeep ride that was supposed to be amphibious vehicles never accessed the caves/water. They were blocked off so we were restricted to the trails only. Very disappointing. Would expect a little more direction from guide based on other reviews. DISEMBARKING was easy. However we booked an inexpensive bus shuttle "go port canaveral" for $14.50 one way. We kept our luggage the night before so we can just walk off boat early. Think we had a 12:30 flight. Got curbside around 8:15. But didn't show for at least an hour or so. The woman checking us in was EXTREMELY rude. Once bus arrived, we boarded and arrived no problem at airport. But was fine, clean, no problems, wheels round not square as anticipated! Overall Carnival Sunshine review: food, entertainment was 5/5 Smoking, cleanliness a huge minus for us 1/5 Read Less
Sail Date November 2016

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