43 Athens (Piraeus) Group and Theme Cruise Reviews

Dining service has slipped, evening entertainment in lounge is not very entertaining for a late night crowd. Butler service, Rommel and his assistant Vipen, were exceptional. No binoculars in room and no lectures on board ship prior to ... Read More
Dining service has slipped, evening entertainment in lounge is not very entertaining for a late night crowd. Butler service, Rommel and his assistant Vipen, were exceptional. No binoculars in room and no lectures on board ship prior to ports. Also not much communication regarding visa help for next cruise to Oman. I personally asked the chief accountant to keep me updated with what became a difficult process. He NEVER communicated until the visa was completed. The ship IT guy tried to help me switch the online application but he could not figure out how to shrink my passport photo tonfit the application. They got it done but it was very stressful and it took four working days after they told me it was usually done in one to three. Would not have been an issue if the. Communication would have been there. Great restaurants to select from and food was very good. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Hi All, My trip Aug 27th from Athens on the Crystal 7 Day Idyllic Aegean Cruise was beyond what I expected. With only 476 cabins this makes for a nice intimate group with no line ups. The extra pluses like all inclusive drinks, free ... Read More
Hi All, My trip Aug 27th from Athens on the Crystal 7 Day Idyllic Aegean Cruise was beyond what I expected. With only 476 cabins this makes for a nice intimate group with no line ups. The extra pluses like all inclusive drinks, free tours and no tipping quickly made this my top favorite cruise of all time. The guests themselves were 40-75 age group comprised mostly of Canadians and Europeans. No language barrier at all as the staff for the most part are fluent in 5 languages. Very few children which does not exclude families but there is not a huge children's program and the sheer amount of walking and exploring would be difficult for kids or seniors with mobilty issues. Having said that the ship herself does accommodate physically challenged passengers. The food was superb with a la carte and buffet style options. We had a pre reserved table every night and we loved getting to know the staff. The food was international style with a North American flair and every meal was different and presented in the most elegant way. They do offer upgraded menu items like Lobster and select wines but we didn't feel the need to upgrade. I can not say enough about the hard working and friendly staff. By day 2 they knew us by name and we were always greeted in a friendly way. The cabins were spotlessly cleaned and had all the special touches you would find on any other larger cruise ship. Towel service, turn down service, cute towel animals and chocolate on the pillows. Our cabin was a large picture window which was lovely arriving in each port. I would have upgraded to balcony except there were none to book last minute. The best thing about this cruise is that it actually overnights in many of the Greek ports which give guests a chance to experience day and nightlife without having to rush to get back on ship. It was great to be able to explore these destinations on our own. The tours were amazing and very informative, especially Turkey which was a wonderful surprise as we were slightly nervous about going there. At no time did we ever feel any port or locals were dangerous. Of course there were lots of vendors selling their wares and for the most part they were ready to bargain and the clothing, jewelry and trinkets were truly authentic. I would not travel in August again just due to the thousands and thousands of tourists in each port every day plus the heat which was in excess of 38C every day. I would highly recommend this cruise to any of our valued customers and do recommend a few pre/post nights to unwind before the cruise. I will be telling anyone who is willing to listen how fantastic this experience was. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I have sailed a lot, probably close to100 cruises. On Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, I have spent over 360 days. But I was so impressed with everything about this voyage, I’m not sure I ever will go back to any other line; I think I have ... Read More
I have sailed a lot, probably close to100 cruises. On Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, I have spent over 360 days. But I was so impressed with everything about this voyage, I’m not sure I ever will go back to any other line; I think I have found my new home on the seas. embarkation and disembarkation both went very smoothly, a benefit of sailing with only 900 other passengers. This was not only the first and last day of the cruise but also for every port we visited. We were in Suite 4000, a ES1 category. Before sailing, I looked at the diagram for the owner’s suite on deck 7. I wondered if I would have wanted or needed everything provided in that cabin. Once we boarded and were settled in our suite, I was perfectly happy and would not have wanted to move upstairs. Heck, even the lowest standard cabins on Vining Ocean are better than many higher-level cabins on other cruise lines. I have often been a Grills passenger on Cunard. The Queen’s Grill on QM2 is considered by some to be the best restaurant at sea. Although Wiking does not offer dishes prepared table side, the quality and presentation and variety is equal to the food on other ships. Open dining was a delight and we never had a wait, It was nice to have the alternative dining restaurants and not have to pay extra. The rotating menu at the Chef’s Table was a deal. We ate there five nights during the month we were on board. Wine (which was not bad) and beer (which I don’t drink) were free during meals and I never paid for non-alcoholic beverages and coffee away from the restaurants. I consider it a benefit not to have a casino on the ships, photographers always wanting to take your picture, and on the shops on board lining the hallways as they apply their wares. I loved not having announcements every hour. The lecturers were very good and well-versed to discuss their topics, especially the port talks. Evening stage shows were above-average and well attended, but not the glitzy performances produced on larger ships. At least one excursion is free in every port. I participated in some of those and they were fine. The optional, paid excursions were well run and educational. Good variety of options. The gym is good, plenty of machines. Never crowded. A great spa and - since the line is Norwegian - great sauna, jacuzzi, ice water buckets AND a snow grotto. Imagine a snowball fight in the Suez Canal, I can’t say enough to complement the Viking professionals who made this such an enjoyable adventure. I liked it so much that I already have booked a one month journey next summer. I am sold on Viking! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We travelled with Road Scholar, about 20 of us. We had our own guides separate from the what was provided to the other passengers on the ship. Pros - Nice size ship, under 300. Easy on/off. Restaurants not modded. - Very nice ... Read More
We travelled with Road Scholar, about 20 of us. We had our own guides separate from the what was provided to the other passengers on the ship. Pros - Nice size ship, under 300. Easy on/off. Restaurants not modded. - Very nice crew - Lovely outside deck for meals (there was also a restaurant inside, see below) - Food quality good - Good value - Spa services good Cons - Ship needs renovation. Rooms looks like my dorm room from the 1970s -- without the posters. Desperate need of soundproofing: sitting in bed at night each night, I could hear two people in the next room recounting their day like they were in my room. Spa facilities a bit low end for the prices, though the practitioners were good - At least on my level, there was frequently a septic smell in the hallways - The staff is very friendly, but any special request is met with a blank face and sometimes panic. I don't know what the training is that they get, but it must be about discouraging special requests. There was also the battle to get a refill on a cup of coffee each morning. - The shore excursions were rushed. For Road Scholar shore excursions, we went on our own, but we pretty much tracked with the ship. I don't know if this was required. We moved so quickly through sites that there was no time to sit and appreciate what we were seeing -- or to stop by the museum shop to pick up a book. It's not because we were sailing. We'd often sit in port for hours after, meaning endless rows of souvenirs shops. - The food was dull and repetitive. You would never know we were in the Mediterranean. For some reason, there was an "Asian Buffet Night". I assume most clients of this line want familiar food and that's fine, but I wanted an English type menu, I'd have gone to England. - We went along with the ship on two of their excursions that were really disappointing. First, Murano Island, which was solely a buying trip. We were discouraged from exploring the island outside the factory that we were brought to. The guide said "there's nothing see" which I knew wasn't true because I'd been before on my own. The guide also discouraged us from checking other shops/studios on the island. When I exited the shop to just look at the scenery, I was encouraged by the guide to go back in and do more shopping. What a scam! Second, the Scuola Grande di San Rocco. We went at night. The site takes about 15 minutes to go through. The paintings are all copies. There was a reception for us, consisting of sparkling wine and little quiche cups things (we were ready for dinner by then). It took up the whole evening. Total waste of time given all the pleasures Venice has to offer. Groups of passengers started going back to the ship earlier than planned because there was so little to see at the site -- and the ship, which was going to have dinner for us, said we had to wait until 10p. This is when the mask of geniality dropped and instead out came hostility. There's no flexibility or improvisation, which is what really makes good service. In summary: Road Scholar elevated my experience on the tour, but the ship is run-down and I wouldn't take a trip with them again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this cruise because we were faithful customers of the (much missed) Swan Hellenic ship Minerva...this seemed like the best match. In many ways it was just what we were looking for... - right size of ship- easy to get around and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were faithful customers of the (much missed) Swan Hellenic ship Minerva...this seemed like the best match. In many ways it was just what we were looking for... - right size of ship- easy to get around and didn’t feel too busy or crowded - everything very clean and tidy - comfy bed - some interesting fellow passengers - efficiently run excursions - pleasant pool area - no dining restrictions -choose your time, place and dining companions - friendly waiting staff and charming room steward - really good on board lecturers- this was a highlight - all knowledgeable and entertaining However... - lacking the special touches which made Minerva great...no invitation to visit the bridge, no live music with afternoon tea, no opera ensemble, no special dinners at the start and end, no invitation to dine with the captain (who was virtually invisible), no towel sculptures by the pool(!), no crew demonstration (cooking/wine/flowers etc)m no on deck barbecues - overpriced spa - pointless ‘shopping’ trip to Murano - lectures out of synch with port visits..some took place after the trip! On one occasion, a scheduled lecture disappeared and then reappeared (after the visit) but wasn’t advertised so most of us missed it...given the very high quality of the lectures, this was disappointing - very limited library space and book stock - inadequate for the number of passengers - there were a number of ‘groups’ on board for whom activities were arranged - bridge players, single travellers, Australians/New Zealanders, Road Scholars, choir members...if, like us, you weren’t part of any of these groups, you could feel excluded - we did...and it made meeting people more difficult as these groups tended to stick together - the biggest negative was the evening entertainment which was hugely disappointing...we initially thought the quality of the musicians was not very good until we heard a jazz session by two of the musicians...the classical double bass player and the pop pianist -brilliant -so maybe they were all otherwise playing music they didn’t like! Unfortunately the majority of the entertainment (6 nights out of 10) was provided by the cruise director...he was a charming and helpful presence around the ship -always cheerful no matter what but...we went to his first performance (ABBA I think) and realised it wasn’t for us which meant lots of dull evenings. I can’t comment on his talent or otherwise as we didn’t return but, however good he might have been, this type of entertainment seems a strange fit on a cruise focusing on Greek and Roman sites with accompanying erudite lectures...opera, classical, more lectures would be good...I guess this may be a minority opinion but it’s strongly felt We’ll consider another Aegean Odyssey again next year (if the itineraries are right) but will also look around for other options - mainly because of the entertainment issues Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was our second Viking Star cruise, first the Inagural year Venice to Istanbul. We arrived in Athens three days early an toured on our own. Once we boarded the Star, we felt we had arrived home. The most welcoming part was several of ... Read More
This was our second Viking Star cruise, first the Inagural year Venice to Istanbul. We arrived in Athens three days early an toured on our own. Once we boarded the Star, we felt we had arrived home. The most welcoming part was several of the bartenders remembered us from two years prior. When you are addressed as Mr. Lang and welcome back, that was it, this was going to be a great trip. Tours— Highly recommend Mykonos by 4X4 vechicle trip, Nazareth & Sea of Galilee Shore Excursion, and last and most memorable From Naples The Vistas & Villages of the Amalfi Coast Shore Excursion. The last one stops in Sorento shipping and Delightful 3 Star restaurant lunch. The road trip along the coast were as advertised most scenic, I finally got the Amalfi Coast off my bucket list after 3 prior visits. Food— My favorite Restaurant is Manfredi’s, memorable fine dining, Chef’s Table was disappointing both trips, the Restaurant is better. My breakfast and late night treat was Mamsen’s in the Explorer Lounge on Deck 7. Interesting note the Executive Chef David McDonald is the only cruise chef I have ever seen throughout the ship we’re food is served- “inspecting the troops”, so to speak, everyday. He has the time to talk to guests- a mark of a true professional. Future bookings and discounts were not available on this cruise because of the official reservations agents departure, a letter was given to some Explorer Members to use this code. I missed the window due to health issues, but will try now on an Amazon Cruise in December 2019. The staff in all corners of the ship were very professional, I believe this is due in part to the original crew who set and maintain a high standard for all new members. All in all Viking out got it right, I hope this experience is transferred the new Ocean ships coming on line. Last — This is not a family cruise for younger folks, I believe as it was modeled this way. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This was our first cruise and a retirement dream trip. We chose Viking because of their high ratings and the fact that most everything was included. About 5 days into a 14 day cruise my husband became very ill along with several others. ... Read More
This was our first cruise and a retirement dream trip. We chose Viking because of their high ratings and the fact that most everything was included. About 5 days into a 14 day cruise my husband became very ill along with several others. At least 2 ( that we know of) were taken off the ship,and hospitalized in the closest locations. My husband was cleared to travel home but it took about a week for him to fully recover. Two days after we got home, we got an email that went to all passengers that Legionnaires Disease was identified on this ship. No one personally called us after we made 5 visits to the ship doctor. We still never heard anything more from Viking. Be aware of this situation. My thought would be that we would have at least been given some credit toward another cruise and that a representative would have followed up on my husband's condition. I understand that they could face legal issues but, because of our situation, I would not recommend Viking to anyone. If you go, be aware of all medical situations and have a plan with your family if Viking leaves you in a foreign hospital. I have kept all medical papers and am in the process of,dealing with insurance companies. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We participated on a tour with Gate 1 Travel embarking on a 4 nights cruise in the Aegean Sea leaving from Athens Our ship was the Celestyal Olympia we had an unlimited drink package , you cannot order 2 drinks unless you have 2 ... Read More
We participated on a tour with Gate 1 Travel embarking on a 4 nights cruise in the Aegean Sea leaving from Athens Our ship was the Celestyal Olympia we had an unlimited drink package , you cannot order 2 drinks unless you have 2 cards. this includes water and sodas The do not spray your hands with sanitizer before meals or when you re-enter the ships like most. To disembark, the process is fairly fast , but you better have your card out to keep up the pace as there is only 1 line on and off ship. Excursions were good, but they could have picked up the pace a bit. lots of walking, too slow for some. We were at Mykonos and Santorini both at sunset, definitely wish we had more time on Santorini. Overall , I enjoyed the cruise, and the islands visited. I would just want a larger cabin. Married couple or 2 single women Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
3 couples travelling together, Friends who have never cruised before chose this cruise, asked us to join them. They were not impressed. Very disappointing. Embarking/Disembarking was a smooth efficient process, Everything else was a ... Read More
3 couples travelling together, Friends who have never cruised before chose this cruise, asked us to join them. They were not impressed. Very disappointing. Embarking/Disembarking was a smooth efficient process, Everything else was a struggle. - We purchased a Gold refreshment package because we like our Wines. It turned out that all wines served were Greek wines, of very low quality ) and we only found 1 available that was a premium wine that the 6 of us enjoyed. This premium wine was on the menu at ever bar on board, but it was only available at one bar. So we spent our entire cruise arguing with servers telling them there was stock at the one bar and the servers need to go get it. -When you buy the all inclusive drink package, Greek Draft Beer is offered, all others are additional cost. All the servers wander around the ship picking up empty glasses, no one during the entire cruise asked us if we would like a drink, when we stopped a server and asked her for drinks, she told us to go to the bar. So we spent the entire cruise fetching our own drinks, waiting in line at the bars that were usually under staffed. One morning we asked the bartender for a Mimosa, he tried to give us Low quality sparkling wine, We had to insist on a premium quality sparkling wine with orange juice. She wanted to argue with us that it was an additional cost, We stated we had the gold package and the other bartender argues with her in front of us that she is to go get the premium wine. The final result was that they gave us the premium sparkling wine with cheap orange drink out of a Tetra package, not orange juice. Because we did not have formal wear on captains night they would not allow us into the only dining area serving dinner until after the Captains dinner party, We ate at 9:30 p.m. If you sleep in , you do not get breakfast. Breakfast in the Dining Room ends at 9:00 a.m. There is breakfast at the aft dining area but the food was cold ,stale and no longer looked appetizing and it closed at 9:30 a.m. We went on a shore excursion in Santorini, It took an hour to get to our destination, 40 minutes back to the ship , 1 hour in town. ( Imagine 40 buses trying to get into a small tourist area that only had one lane in most of the town). There is a card on every dining room table offering premium Steak or Seafood for an additional fee, Don't fall for it. not worth the additional cost. Poor communication between the ships staff and the passengers. Everyone we talked to agreed with us that if you have ever done an American Cruise ship, you will be disappointed with Celestyal. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We booked this cruise as we wanted to see as much of the islands as possible in just a few days. This is exactly that happened and rather successfully, as now we wish, we had stayed longer. I' ll state first the negatives: long queues ... Read More
We booked this cruise as we wanted to see as much of the islands as possible in just a few days. This is exactly that happened and rather successfully, as now we wish, we had stayed longer. I' ll state first the negatives: long queues on first embarkation and on each disembarkation, which means much wasted time. The ship offer in the price just one excursion on Ephesus (but the guide was not very fluent on the language). The ship management does not explain what is included in the price as far as drinks is concerned and they don't give directions about shore activities. They could have more activities for children and teens. The positives: when asked the crew give useful information and are very helpful and gentle. Their proportion to the clients is amazing, they are everywhere, eager to serve. The buffet food is average, but in the dining room on deck four it is excellent, especially when served a la carte. Prepare to gain some weight. The best of all is Mohamed from Alexandria, the head – waiter, who helped us with gluten allergies and to whom we are grateful and hope to meet again in another cruise. All in all, in this cruise, you see a lot in just 4 days. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I belong to the Pentagon SKI club which has been on several Azamara cruises.They are in a class of their own.The low key sophistication creates an ambiance which I feel was responsible that the first words to my daughter upon returning to ... Read More
I belong to the Pentagon SKI club which has been on several Azamara cruises.They are in a class of their own.The low key sophistication creates an ambiance which I feel was responsible that the first words to my daughter upon returning to Wash. DC were:this was the best trip ever, despite the fact that one in our group passed away during a visit to Chania.The memorial Service on Deck 10 with the officers participating was a memorable event that made us feel at home on the Quest. Thank you.The background and ship information were very good and the port and shore excursions were exquisite.Both, the embarkation and disembarkation were painless.During the WHITE NIGHT celebration I loved the Parade of the Crew which not only brought out the international nature of the crew but also created a feeling of community between crew and passengers.That evening was a creative masterpiece.I recommend you to any one who will listen. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
It was my 10 princess cruise and I’m very disappointed with princess. I did 7 nights Greek isles cruise from Athens. I’ve been on Royal and Regal Princess before and it was much better than Majestic. I understand that ship is going to ... Read More
It was my 10 princess cruise and I’m very disappointed with princess. I did 7 nights Greek isles cruise from Athens. I’ve been on Royal and Regal Princess before and it was much better than Majestic. I understand that ship is going to Asia and will be oriented towards Asian market, but it still sails in Europe for 8 -9 weeks and should be adjusted towards regular clients and standards. The décor of the ship is very dark and calm, some of the staff has difficulty communicating with passengers. The food was below average, except specialty restaurants where food was very good, especially in Harmony restaurant. The breakfast was the same in the buffet every day. The Alfredo pizza place was the best choice for lunch. International café was pretty good. The same labyrinth mazes in marketplace buffet that everybody complaint about on Regal and Royal was the same on Majestic. You could not find your way in our out of the buffet. But the worth was entertainment. It was only 1 production show on the last night, comedians were not that great, and singers were ok.Cruise director was the worth I’ve ever seen on the cruise ships. He was trying to talk as least as possible and had minimum interactions with the passengers. The embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth. The ports were great, but we only docked in 1 port out of 5 ports we visited and tendered in the other, which was a hassle for a lot of people and waste of time to get to the port and came back. The service was ok on the ship, not enough crew and not enough experienced crew to interact with the passengers. Make sure you check your final statement at the end of the cruise, because there were many mistakes made on almost everybody’s account. The ports were very nice, we had excursions in every port and they were ok, depending on the guide. We had balcony room and it was very nice, but the balcony was tiny. The room was decent size so is the the bathroom. Overall it was decent cruise for somebody who does not know what a great cruise should be. Princess cruise line used to have higher standards and better quality of cruises than Majestic princess. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
The "Classical Greece" cruise was an ideal way to see the highlights of the Greek Islands and the mainland. Apart from the well-known highlights such as Santorini and Mykonos, the cruise also took us to gems such as Monemvasia ... Read More
The "Classical Greece" cruise was an ideal way to see the highlights of the Greek Islands and the mainland. Apart from the well-known highlights such as Santorini and Mykonos, the cruise also took us to gems such as Monemvasia and Nafplio on the mainland, and less visited places such as Kythira. The service on the ship was always excellent and the food generally delicious. The cabins were also well-equipped. As it was a smaller ship, there were no more than 50 people travelling and therefore an ideal way to meet other passengers. One of the highlights was the 'Greek night' where we had Cretan dancers come on board and they were terrific. The excursions to the ancient sites such as Delos and Knossos were also a highlight and the guides were always excellent. I would highly recommend this cruise to anyone who is interested in experiencing both the beauty and classical history of Greece. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We preferred the Viking river cruises but decided to try this one because it included Dobovnic, my husband's roots. It felt like we were on the river boat and included all the amenities we have come to expect. The ship was beautiful ... Read More
We preferred the Viking river cruises but decided to try this one because it included Dobovnic, my husband's roots. It felt like we were on the river boat and included all the amenities we have come to expect. The ship was beautiful and never felt crowded like other cruise companies. The service was perfect and the young lady who cared for us and our stateroom treated us like family, paying special attention to my elderly husbands wants and needs. Shore excursions were educational and interesting as we had never been to that part of the world. The meals were exquisite and special including a surprise celebration from the staff to celebrate our 39th wedding anniversary. The stateroom was comfortable and spacious and well appointed with very comfortable furniture. We really enjoyed the spa with its massages and saunas. The disembarkation went very smoothly, not the usual cattle call and luggage hunt that occurs on other ocean going boats. We can't wait for our next Viking experience. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
I wanted to see the final race of the f1 season in Abu Dhabi via the Suez canal.Just a couple of things off my bucket list. First night was at a hotel in Athens,because of the bombs in Turkey,so far so good,it seems like I am being ... Read More
I wanted to see the final race of the f1 season in Abu Dhabi via the Suez canal.Just a couple of things off my bucket list. First night was at a hotel in Athens,because of the bombs in Turkey,so far so good,it seems like I am being looked after.taxi outside with my name being held up,I felt a tad important,taxi driver was very polite spoke good English and dropped me at the hotel front door,very impressed and well pleased. After traveling all day a bit of food was called for,now it started to go wrong,1 waiter/barman, tables not cleared and ! choice of food ( cold ) 79 euros for a couple of cold salads. room good, but breakfast not very inspiring,hot food ,but it was cold,never mind soon be on the boat. Taxi on time,( the taxis were provided by my booking co,not Celebrity ) got to port,embarkation was a bit of a queue,but got through eventually. And I am on board,looks good,glass of champers as I board.had to wait to see the cabin (understandable) Had a cup of tea and waited to get called to cabin. Nice cabin,clean if a bit tired,but it is a bit old now, bottles of water and minibar filled. No kettle but it only became a problem when I realised I had to walk the length of the boat for a cup of tea,not good if you like a hot drink to retire with. So I thought I would get a bite to eat,not having much breakfast,so off I go to find the buffet,then the first big problem appeared and continued through the voyage,the food was all lukewarm,now I like for that if it is supposed to be hot is hot not cool,and i had to queue as well. Ok so off we go,boat quiet,stable,loads of information of things to do,it looks good.Evening meal in the restaurant was excellent,once you got used to celebrity trying to sell you posh dinners at silly money,at specialist restaurants on the way into the dining room. Good nights sleep,bed was very comfy and off to breakfast,queue queue and queue again,lukewarm food,no English bacon most of the time,On the two weeks,I had nowhere to sit a couple of times.Don't be late for meals,they shut on time and choices dwindle towards the cut off time. The entertainment consisted mainly of selling things,clothes/perfumes/watches,you name it,they made a venue for it.There was a couple of good shows in the two weeks but if you want to be entertained it's a bit weak.Mr and Mrs and the passengers singing,nice if you are in it or know someone in it,but if not it's poor.The captain gave a couple of good daytime talks as did a racing driver whose name I forget.( sorry ) But this were 1 hour talks in the morning. Watch out for the prices,at 1 of the watch sales,the prices were the same as my local high st ( in England ) so things are not the bargain they seem. Quizes in the rendezvous bar good but again no waiters I barman in a room full of people ?? really not good,and it was the same all through the trip. Suez good, one of the bucket list done then we cleared the canal,into open waters,and the announcement came all outside lights off all curtains closed in case of PIRATES,now I would not have got on the boat after reading about pirates in the press,so for 5 days,not a happy bunny,yes they put guards on,but even though,it was a downer on the trip. Cleared the waters,all good,and landed at Muscat,on a friday which is a holy day it was closed,a waste of a day. Got to Abu Dhabi got my 2 day tickets,at 4pm we landed now that is not a lot of good if you want to watch the f1 that you have bought tickets for,then you have to clear customs,now the practice has bin and gone,too late for that,but the qualifying starts at 5.Celebrity decided at the last minute to put a shuttle bus on,at the last minute only $30 .00 a head. The people in the posh cabins get to get through customs first,and first call on the shuttle bus,made me feel poor that did. But still decided to go for it,cleared passport control,ran ( as best I can at my age ) grabbed another couple going to the race ,and dived in a cab( there were dozens )The cab dropped us at the gate we needed,and charged us $21.00 for the four of us .Celibrity rip off again. Got there to see end of p3 but I still got to see p2 and qualifying. To sum up,it is just not as good as it could be,I was on a Thomson cruise earlier in the year and it was miles better,for food and entertainment.More drink stations,and kettles in the cabins. You get charged a flat rat per day for the tips at the end of the trip,it's supposed to go to the staff,but it is all or nothing you can't pay a percentage of it,if you get bad service from one member of staff.The staff were all good,especially the dining room,but in the buffet they only spoke and got helpful on the last 2 days ( prob for the tips ) Would I go on a cruise again,definitely,would I go Celebrity never again !! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Exceptional choice of ports serving regions of magnificent history and diverse cultures. Our second Viking experience coming after the Budapest to Amsterdam river cruise which was stunning. Fearing (only slightly) this would just have to ... Read More
Exceptional choice of ports serving regions of magnificent history and diverse cultures. Our second Viking experience coming after the Budapest to Amsterdam river cruise which was stunning. Fearing (only slightly) this would just have to be at least a little of a letdown, only because the river cruise was so perfect, we were not disappointed. First class all the way. The Viking Sea is the perfect size for this open water experience. Would recommend in a heartbeat! The staff who greeted us at the airport were highly visible, spoke perfect English and were so friendly and helpful. The same is true of the Viking crew who met us at the embarkation terminal and ushered us aboard ship. Our baggage arrived at our cabin door promptly. Our cabin steward immediately greeted us, carried our bags in and explained all cabin features and nuances. Throughout the entire cruise Jay (I think his name was) served us as though we were royalty. The food and service was top notch. Finally our Captain was utterly professional, and made him accessible and allowed us tours of the engine control room and bridge. FIVE STARS Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
For our 40th wedding anniversary, my wife and decided to take a Mediterranean cruise. I chose Viking because of the reviews. We couldn't have been more pleased with the choice. All the personnel I encountered in the planning stages ... Read More
For our 40th wedding anniversary, my wife and decided to take a Mediterranean cruise. I chose Viking because of the reviews. We couldn't have been more pleased with the choice. All the personnel I encountered in the planning stages were superb. When we arrived in Athens, we were met by Viking porters and were treated very well. Embarkation was smooth and without any issues. The ship was fairly new at the time. I believe it had been in service for just a few months. It was well maintained and looked new. When we arrived at our suite, I realized I made a mistake. The suite was designated as ADA. My wife and I do not need an ADA room. When I asked about being moved to a regular suite, we were moved within an hour to a different suite. The suite was great! King size bed, living area, balcony, a large bathroom with heated floors and a heated towel rack. What more could you ask for? The cabin stewards were excellent. Room service was great! All entertainment we attended was great. A board ship there were a few specialty restaurants (included in cruise fare) where we ate dinner a few times. Service and food was good. We chose to eat most of our meals at the buffet... which was awesome. Every shore excursion we took was great! We visited Athens, Mykonos (Greece), Rhodes, Cyprus, Israel (2 ports), Heraklion (Greece), Naples and Rome. I would have liked to have more time in the Holy Land, but we had been there before. Because we extended our cruise in the final port, we were required to get our own transportation to the B&B. I would highly recommend this cruise, the excursions, and Viking Cruise Line. Note: There were NO kids on board. The cruise is geared towards adults. I would not recommend taking kids on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We had a fantastic trip. It's a 49 passenger ship and we had only 15 aboard. The food and service were exceptional. It was a very friendly, casual atmosphere. The cruise director and guide were terrific. The ship is beautiful, ... Read More
We had a fantastic trip. It's a 49 passenger ship and we had only 15 aboard. The food and service were exceptional. It was a very friendly, casual atmosphere. The cruise director and guide were terrific. The ship is beautiful, comfortable and well maintained. We had some problems with rough seas but the captain did a great job of finding alternative ports. My only issue would be the size of the cabin. It was very small, but it is a small ship and we spent very little time in the cabin. We took the Antiquity to Byzantium cruise which I highly recommend. The cruise was focused on history and included visits to Delphi, Olympia and others. The guide had an in depth knowledge of all historical aspects both actual and mythological. Our trip was at the end of the tour season and most of the sites visited were almost empty. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Oceania always provide good services, food and entertainment. The only disappointments were the cancellation of Istanbul and Cairo within the lists of Port of Call. Those cities were the reasons for the initial booking of this cruise. ... Read More
Oceania always provide good services, food and entertainment. The only disappointments were the cancellation of Istanbul and Cairo within the lists of Port of Call. Those cities were the reasons for the initial booking of this cruise. Some travelers mentioned receiving shipboard credit after complaining to Oceania (which would need confirmation). If that was true and correct, Oceania should have done across the board for all passengers. During the passage of the Suez Canal/Red Sea, the ship was attacked by flies. The crew had to do extra duties every night to fumigate the Terrace Cafe and other public areas. Oceania is very concerned of the safety of the passengers especially when sailing through the potentially high-risk areas. The captain advised all blinds or curtains would need to be pulled together after dark to avoid the attractions of the privates and the open decks were closed for public access. Closing the deck after dark caused some inconvenience because some passengers such as myself would normally have their exercise walks after the big dinners. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
The most surprising part about our outside cabin was the large window. The cabin was specious with two single beds that could be made into a double.The water in the shower was always hot. The cabin attendant was excellent - friendly and ... Read More
The most surprising part about our outside cabin was the large window. The cabin was specious with two single beds that could be made into a double.The water in the shower was always hot. The cabin attendant was excellent - friendly and efficient. The food was excellent! It was delicious with many choices of main meals, vegetables and salads.My husband is celiac and the staff was aware of his dietary restrictions and could easily accommodate his needs, even bringing him his own meals. When a mishap happened with a glass of wine, I was immediately presented with another glass and a bottle of champagne! The tours were well organized, especially the ones to Ephesus (Turkey) and Crete. We arrived a bit late at Mykonos and Santorini, as it was almost sundown. Initially I was reluctant to go on a cruise due to the huge size of the ships but this one was just right with about 800 passengers. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We've been cruising mostly Carnival the last 17 years. I feel we get the most bang for our buck and the treatment we get is awesome. We recently sailed with another couple (from the Czech Republic) on the new Vista through the ... Read More
We've been cruising mostly Carnival the last 17 years. I feel we get the most bang for our buck and the treatment we get is awesome. We recently sailed with another couple (from the Czech Republic) on the new Vista through the Mediterranean just before she headed to New York. The ship was very nice and met all of our expectations with a couple of exceptions...no glass elevators. My wife and I have always loved the layout of the Carnival ships so they are very easy to navigate. I think this time I expected something different. The "different" was the I-Max theater. Wow, very very nice but they need a much bigger selection of movies. Sci-Fi might be cool movies to see but it's just not us. "Sully" was great to see. The down side of having the I-Max was the loss of the glass elevators which I always thought were really awesome. They need to make the next ship (Horizon) long enough to accomodate both. The buffet was ok...the Seafood Shack was good and the price no big deal but I missed the Indian food and the fish & chips (on the Glory). Sushi is a must! The taste bar and the outdoor BBQ were fabulous! The salad bar on the Serenity deck needs an awning but what a fabulous idea...loved the selection..would've liked it to be self serve but the service was great. The Sky Ride was very cool and the water park was something I can't wait to take our grandkids to. The cabin (inside was adequate as usual). The updated room temperature control was an A++ on my wifes book! She hates being cold in the ship (we're outside mostly anyway) but she was cold in the cabin too much on other ships. We thought the "any time" dining would be great but after 10 days of it we decided assigned dining was better. That way you can get to know your waiter and the people you sit with. We'll probably do the early dining again as we have been on quit a few of the excursions for which late dining is nice.The service was great as usual with the exception of one dining night when the server was slow and oblivious. The items on the menu were sumptuous...I really got hooked on the flat Iron steak in wine sauce Because we were out and about so much in Greece, Italy, France and Spain we were too tired to hit much of the entertainment after dinner...sit in the hot tub and soak out the weariness. The countries we visited were absolutely picturesque with tons of history everywhere you go. All the ports were very nice and getting through them was very easy. The BEST way to get Euros is to take money out directly from your account from back home through an ATM at the country you are in. If you go to a bank you have to show them your passport. The exchange rate is better through the ATM as well.The real disappoinment was for as long as these countries have existed there were some places very filthy with grafiti everywhere.. even where there shouldn't have been. The joke was "it looks like Greek to me!". The open top buses (hop on, hop off) is one of the best ways to see most of the local major sites..about 20 Euros per person for the day.. The train ride to Rome was great and fast (100 mph/165 km).The crouds in Rome were insane. We still managed to see enough to scratch our siteseeing itch. The weather in Greece was very nice but got cooler the further north we went..naturally. By the time we got to Spain it was jackets! We are good with Europe for a long while now..we love the warm Carrabean. Overall, Carnival did a great job! Their service is splendid! Our entertainment director did a great job, unfortunatey she went to another ship. We'll be back on the Vista Dec 3 for a couple weeks. Coming from Michigan I'm looking forward to the warmer weather! ..and hopefully they have a larger selection of movies in the I-Max. I'm hoping Carnival has something going from Hawaii to Australia soon...I'll be on it if they do. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This is my first review so I hope that you enjoy it. First of all, 3 stars does not mean "awful" it just means "pretty average". So don't think I'm hating on Celebrity, as they are actually currently my ... Read More
This is my first review so I hope that you enjoy it. First of all, 3 stars does not mean "awful" it just means "pretty average". So don't think I'm hating on Celebrity, as they are actually currently my favorite line. I just want to be fair and accurate for you. My first experience with Celebrity was years ago, and I keep trying to re-create that experience. Sadly, I have not been able to do so. For the old commercial, just Google "2005 Celebrity Cruise Commercial" and you'll see what I mean. Anyway, here goes: I loved the ship. It's pretty new, and was lovely. Room: My cabin was 2112. The nice thing about this cabin was that it was pretty quiet. I did hear some anchoring nose once I think, but it really wasn't a problem. There is some peeling paint on the "roof" of the veranda that I noticed, not a big deal, but it was there and was noticeable. I traveled Concierge Class. From my experience traveling regular Veranda style, I don't think it's worth the extra money. We never used the robes, the canapés weren't that great (I don't eat pork though, if I did maybe I'd think it was better), and the binoculars in the room were more like opera glasses, so I'll have to think hard about spending the extra money in the future. My next cruise is aqua class, so I'll let you know if I think it's worth the upgrade. One more thing about this room, it was absolutely fabulous if you like to go to the pool. All you have to do is step outside your room and you were practically there. Awesome location! Dining: I like to eat in the dining room, because it's less busy and crazy, but we ate many times at the buffet for lunch and breakfast. The food was good, and there were some healthy choices too. I ate an eggplant, zucchini, and yellow squash combination almost every day for lunch. The dining room was nice too, but actually, the desserts were better in the buffet (weird huh?), so my husband and I skipped dessert in the restaurant several times and headed over to the buffet to get a dessert. We ate at one specialty restaurant: Murado. It is the French restaurant on board, and has a $50 per person entry fee. Most items on the menu are included (except caviar and foi groi >>did I spell that right?) and there is a price fix menu that is an additional $85 per person. We decided to order the lobster and the Chateau Briand for two. Anyway, yes, they will let you order whatever you want, in whatever quantity. I thought they were going to bring ONE order of lobster for my husband and I to split, and then bring the beef, but instead they brought TWO orders of lobster. The cook it at your table, which is pretty fun, so I recommend that for sure. We could not let it go to waste, so of course we ate it, and then we were pretty full. The Chateau Briand came, but it was cooked medium instead of medium rare (I really like a rare steak but got talked out of it. I can't eat a medium steak, it has to be bloody, so we sent it back. I'm not sure why we did that, because we really were too full to eat it, but we did. We did our best to eat the beef, and it was excellent by the way, I do recommend it. After our meal we had the dessert for two, and thought we were finished. No, they bring you chocolates after your dessert. All in all, I do recommend that restaurant. Just make sure that you go on an empty stomach. Entertainment: We only saw Tenors of Rock because the schedule for this ship is 7pm and 9pm. Since we ate at 6pm, the 7pm show was too early and we didn't really want to hang around until 9. Yes, I know it makes me sound old, but that's how it is. I like an 8pm show, which I wasn't able to get on this particular cruise. I was VERY disappointed because of that. Tenors of Rock was AWESOME!!!! If you get a chance to see this group (they were on American Idol, and are opening a Las Vegas show next week) I highly recommend it. I'm so glad that we were able to see them, in the 8th row. We'll probably never be able to afford those seats in Las Vegas for sure. The service was good, not excellent. (Again, I'm comparing this to my first cruise with Celebrity where the waiters wore white gloves...not kidding!) We would be at our table in the middle of a great conversation, and the assistant waiter would interrupt us with something dumb to say, like "enjoy your meal". Was that really necessary? How about waiting until we are done talking, or say, "excuse me" first? The first time I cruised with Celebrity the wait staff was invisible, but they were there if you needed them. They were more like the wait staff at Murado. I guess you have to pay extra now to get "wowed". One good thing about the assistant waiter was that he entertained us at the end of each meal with a magic trick. That was definitely a thumbs up in my view. The ports of call were what you'd expect except of course, Istanbul was canceled. My favorite ports were Rhodes and Kusadasi. Even though I was a little (OK a lot) nervous going to Turkey after the airport bombing, this was hands down where the nicest people were. I will definitely go back to Turkey. Oh, one thing you need to know: If you go on one of these cruises and see the "Game of Thrones" Tours offered on the street (not by Celebrity), be prepared to try to keep up with the guide. Our guide lost half of our 10 person group and we couldn't take any photos for fear of losing her. Again, this was not a Celebrity sanctioned tour, it was one we got on the street. We had a great time! We found out about Cruise Critic on this cruise and I'm sure we will never cruise the same way again! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We wanted to see the Greek islands. We scheduled to leave out of Istanbul but the State Department warning level got too high and Viking was on top of it. They handled all changes to the itinerary very well including resets of the plane ... Read More
We wanted to see the Greek islands. We scheduled to leave out of Istanbul but the State Department warning level got too high and Viking was on top of it. They handled all changes to the itinerary very well including resets of the plane transportation. To compensate for the loss of some Turkish port stops, additional Greek and Adriatic ports were substituted along with the usual excursion/tour at each port. We only opted for an optional tour once (in Athens) as the included tours were excellent and covered much in each port. The Viking Sea is of course one of the new ships with under 1000 customers and therefor none of the stress of the larger ships (need to be someplace doing something at all times). Only the Sanorini tour suffered from an excess of people on other tours spoiling the experience. The accommodations were very good although to combat people like me leaving the slider deck door open all the time the off switch to the air conditioner is tied to it. The food was very well prepared with many choices. All staff was friendly and professional. Over 20 years ago I observed the staff response at a Ritz Carlton to each acknowledgement of them (thank you) to be "my pleasure". Likewise for Viking. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We were looking for a small ship cruise tour in the Greek islands to celebrate my mothers birthday plus my wedding anniversary. We were referred to Variety Cruises by american friends who cruised in Costa Rica with the company two years ... Read More
We were looking for a small ship cruise tour in the Greek islands to celebrate my mothers birthday plus my wedding anniversary. We were referred to Variety Cruises by american friends who cruised in Costa Rica with the company two years ago, so we knew where to look at. The number of our "group" counted almost 35 family members, friends, extended family, so we ended up looking at chartering a whole yacht owned by Variety Cruises, called Harmony G. It instantly seemed like a good fit, a boutique ship with 20 cabins, modern interiors, and great exterior areas including a large sundeck, and a swimming platform. We were proposed a classical greece route, a good combination of famous islands and of some tiny ones too. Crew onboard felt like family after day 2, and all of us enjoyed being treated like royalty, and we often visited the bridge during navigation hours and chatted with the captain and officers. Food was delicious, BBQ lunches and dinners were the highlight of the cruise. All meals were served outdoors as we like, some of us also enjoyed some meals at the indoor dining room which also provided great views of the islands we were docked at every day. I couldnt fault any area of the ship, cabins were spacious and had ample storage space. Would travel on this ship again and again. our home away from home for a whole week! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This is my first review. I am a first time British cruiser, 36 years old professional chap, who was, as I suspect many are, a little bemused by the number of alarmingly poor reviews on this site. It does make me wonder why some people go ... Read More
This is my first review. I am a first time British cruiser, 36 years old professional chap, who was, as I suspect many are, a little bemused by the number of alarmingly poor reviews on this site. It does make me wonder why some people go cruising in the first place if they hate everything. I have just come off Royal Princess for a seven night itinerary in the eastern Med and was not sure what to expect given the poor reviews this ship has had. Nonetheless I went with an open mind and wanted to make my own judgements. The consensus is/was, according to the poorer reviews on here, that the food on Royal Princess is average to middling and not as good as other Princess vessels, the cabins are minute and the balconies so tiny as to not be worth bothering with. The lifts are so poorly placed as to make moving deck to deck a real traumatic nightmare and overall the ship is a huge seventeen deck disappointment. I must say I think all of those things are inaccurate. The food I found to be good throughout and occasionally very, very good indeed depending on what you order. I’ve not been on any other Princess vessels so cannot compare, mind you. The cabins are smaller when you walk in but are absolutely fine size wise and extremely comfortable and well-appointed. Everything is well-designed and I had no issue at all. The balcony was also fine and I do wonder what people are doing on their balconies if not sitting and chilling with a book and some drinks/breakfast to state so categorically that they are unacceptably small. Granted, a game of touch rugby or perhaps a spot of rounders might be a bit difficult I accept but there is most definitely room to swing even a moderately large cat to your heart’s content. The lifts are busy but never over-crowded even on this fully booked 100% occupied sailing and waiting times never exceeded a couple of minutes, even with one of the lifts out of service for maintenance. Respectfully to all concerned, if you cannot handle a couple of minutes wait for a lift at busy times pre or post dinner/tender then perhaps cruising with 4000 other people on a giant cruise ship isn’t for you. Let me first go through the things I found very good or especially impressive by bullet points for clarity. • Royal Princess is a magnificent ship. As mentioned above she was fully booked and 100% occupied for the seven days I was aboard and at no time ever felt busy or crowded. She is a fabulously well-designed vessel, complaints over lifts/stairs notwithstanding. I was hugely impressed the moment I boarded and this only increased as I took the week to explore her. • We encountered some long 5-6m swells on the last sea day inbound to Barcelona and the vessel handled them superbly. There was astonishingly little movement. It was very comfortable and there was no sickness from my fellow passengers that I saw. I’ve worked on ships when I was younger, and 6m metre swells are very much in the “sit down, hold onto something” territory in my past experience even on some big ships, so to feel so little pitching and rolling (even on a beam sea at one point off Corsica) was very impressive. • The food in the Allegro/Concerto was uniformly good – the bread was fresh, the pasta was nicely done, the steak/meats were cooked well and to order, and the sauces seasoned very well. The menu was imaginative and held enough to keep my family and I interested. There were a few dishes that were just good, but a few that were very good indeed and a real highlight. The veal ravioli with cep mushroom sauce and truffle was a delight, for example. I recall also very much enjoying a fresh gnocchi and a hulking great bit of aged New York skirt steak that melted in the mouth. The wines were decent and service save for one night was good and unproblematic. • The Retreat adults-only area was lovely and a real tonic to the occasionally frenetic deck 16 outdoor area. • The cabin and balcony was a lovely and restful place to have a GnT. Probably my favourite aspect of cruising and the reason I cannot wait to cruise again. • The staff were a generally good mixed bunch. When they were bad they were still ok (the Russian/Ukrainian waiters and bar staff could do with cracking a smile and saying please or thank you now and again and some of the junior waiting staff in the upscale restaurants might find knowing the food and drinks menu better might be helpful), but when they were good they were absolutely terrific. Ariel and the rest of the guys on the Vines bar on Deck 5 were fabulous. The two charming Mexican ladies who looked after us in the Allegro were also top professionals and nice to deal with. Doooouglas my cabin steward was extremely efficient and personable as well. The cruise director and his very beautiful Australian second-in-command were charming throughout. Everyone was smart, well-turned out, very professional and approachable. • The Horizon buffet was well done generally and had a great choice of food with plenty going on to keep you interested. I had a braised/slow cooked beef in a dark peanut curry sauce with sticky rice one night after a few drinks that will linger long in the memory. Also the beef hash and potatoes for breakfast – really delicious. • The unlimited drinks package was excellent value and a lot of fun to explore. Recommended. The frozen margaritas are worth it on their own. • The TV on demand thing in the cabins is very good when you want an early night or some downtime before dinner. • Movies Under The Stars is a great idea but Watching Andy Murray Win Wimbledon Again Under The Sun With A Glass Of Wine is an even better one. A great way to watch sport, loved it. • One thing I was worried about was that I’d heard of cruising’s reputation for the constant upselling and hassling you to buy stuff or pose for photos or souvenirs etc or hard-selling trips/excursions etc. Whilst there was a little bit of the photo thing on Royal Princess it never felt intrusive and overall I was pleasantly surprised. • The excursions were fine – there was loads to choose from and I didn’t hear any complaints. • All the ports of call were fabulous. Kotor and Santorini especially were just stunning. The things I wasn’t that impressed with and thought could do with sharpening up. • The wifi is incredibly expensive. I want to access my emails not buy a townhouse in Marbella. • We had poor service one of the nights in the Allegro where everything that could go wrong did so in epic, rather Fawlty Towers style. To use the parlance of my home city – “They had a ‘mare”. We complained and after that the restaurant manager came over to apologise and then the head Maitre’D for the ship (charming and hugely impressive Italian chap called Genneroso, a real top pro) came over and couldn’t do enough for us after that. We were incredibly well-looked after, but the first formal night was pretty much a washout sadly. • Whilst the food in the Horizon is decent and very good in parts, why on earth do they insist on serving cheap (not Heinz! Sacrilege!) baked beans almost raw? Who does that? • The entertainment was a massive let-down. The Jersey Boys tribute act was marred by the fact that the singers couldn’t actually sing which is a drawback for someone making their living as a singer. The comedian chap does do a very impressive Tom Jones and Elvis impression. My advice would be to stick to that. The rest of it wasn’t funny and the Freddie Mercury and David Bowie impressions just downright karaoke. He absolutely died on stage the night we went to see him – I was cringing for the bloke, it was toe-curling to watch. Absolute rubbish. What is the point of having such a huge and well equipped theatre if you don’t put acts on that are worth watching? The string quartet in the Piazza was nice in an inoffensive way, the young lady with a guitar who popped up at times on the ship was also good, and the scatty house cover band that played in the Piazza was the decent side of average but beyond that it was poor. I’d heard glowing reports of the glittering entertainment on cruise ships and was shocked and a bit embarrassed at how bad it was in the main theatre on Royal Princess. I can only assume we had a dodgy sailing where (probably) the usual theatre entertainment were all struck down with botulism before sailing and we got unlucky with the stand-ins. A comfort for anyone reading this – I very much doubt the comedian chap or the Jersey Boys act will be invited back so you’re safe there! • The shops are nice but not selling i-Phone lightning / android phone charge wires or plug adapters was a real miss for me. I am an idiot who leaves these things in hotel rooms with boring and expensive monotony and the shop missed out on a lot of captive dollars from me by not selling them. • I only found out Alfredo’s is a zero surcharge restaurant after the cruise had finished. I’d certainly have visited otherwise. Need to make that clearer. • Formal nights. We got dressed up in full dinner jacket etc and felt a bit daft, especially on the second formal night. So many people wandering round in shorts and vest tops or polo shirts and jeans trying to get into the restaurants. What’s the point? Felt like half the ship couldn’t be bothered and weren’t pushed by the crew. Either do it or don’t do it. • Singles at 8 in the Wheelhouse Bar. I went and was the only one there. Either advertise it or drop it. Some suggestions for the company which other cruisers of this vessel may or may not agree with: • It would be great if there were screens in the lifts and in some of the public areas showing a moving map display like we get on the IFE on aircraft. Perhaps even an interactive one? That would be great to have. • A better selection of draft beers would be great. The US is at the vanguard of the world now (controversial!) in craft IPAs and small(er) batch lagers and ales that make my US business trips a real joy, in stark contrast to years gone by. With that in mind and the fact that Princess are an American cruise brand, I’d love to see them make more of their burgeoning craft beer culture. It’s something worth celebrating. • The drinks outlets are a bit samey. Crooners, Vines, Wheelhouse and Bellini’s are all much of a muchness. Royal Princess could do with a sports bar, a glitzy cocktail bar effort (Club 6 doesn’t quite get there I’m afraid) and certainly the Salty Dog gastropub will be a welcome addition at the next refit. The margaritas are super – why not make more of that into something a little more speciality themed? I recognise sports or margarita bars are more Carnival than Princess brand wise but with 4000 people on board and so many F&B outlets I do think there is scope/interest. • The Vista Lounge seems to be a massive space that never had anyone in it every time I stopped by. Could be half the size and be more intimate, and create the room for another bar/pub/sports lounge etc. Overall: Royal Princess is a fabulous ship to make my cruise debut on and on the whole I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was literally one meal service and some entertaining theatre entertainment away from perfection. I take the points of past reviewers but I think there is a tendency to over-criticise and slate for slating’s sake for some and I’m someone who prefers to focus on what I enjoyed instead of what wasn’t so great. Even the most ardent and committed of miseries would, I hope, concede that there is much more to enjoy and love about cruising on Royal Princess than there is that needs work. My whole family enjoyed the cruise very much as I did and it did exactly what we wanted it to – we had a stunning family holiday that we will all remember very fondly for the rest of our lives. They say great cruise ships age well and I suspect Royal Princess’ first big refit (coming soon and apparently to include Salty Dog gastropub and some other tweaks) will iron out some of the parts that need a little bit of work and thin out the complaint reviews for the terminally miserable. I’d happily pay the same again for the same cabin on her tomorrow, without blinking. I’d recommend Princess and Royal Princess to anyone. Just go, enjoy yourself and don’t stress about a very occasional few minutes waiting for a lift. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016

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