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108 Athens (Piraeus) to Europe - Western Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

This was our first cruise. We chose this because we were told it was a 'luxury" cruise. A 10 day cruise of Mediterranean: Greece, Italy, and a bit of France. First of all Staff: A large number of the staff does not speak English ... Read More
This was our first cruise. We chose this because we were told it was a 'luxury" cruise. A 10 day cruise of Mediterranean: Greece, Italy, and a bit of France. First of all Staff: A large number of the staff does not speak English well, we were really shocked by that. And while most are very nice, the restaurant director was a surprisingly rude (his manager was VERY nice), and a couple dealers in the casino were very rude. Food as a whole was mediocre, especially the variety. The Steak restaurant wasn't bad, and the Compass Rose was pretty good, and the buffet on the last night was good. We didn't go to two of our ports due to weather. No really fun fitness classes (spin class one day). I mean, come on! I feel like they cater to the elderly, and while there were a significant amount of folks over the age of 65 onboard, they still need to cater to others under that as well. Don't even get me started on the entertainment. For $25K we expected way more. I honestly can't imagine anyone on the cruise being that impressed to be honest. They should be ashamed of themselves for charging that much, with such mediocrity. Should have done Seabourne Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
May daughter (30) and I (50) took this cruise to celebrate our milestone birthdays. This was my 20th Princess and probably my 40th cruise overall. It was my daughters 2nd Princess, and perhaps 10th cruise overall. ... Read More
May daughter (30) and I (50) took this cruise to celebrate our milestone birthdays. This was my 20th Princess and probably my 40th cruise overall. It was my daughters 2nd Princess, and perhaps 10th cruise overall. Embarkation/Disembarkation and transport was well done, easy and quick. Cabin/Ship - This ship, like all Princess ships has a similar design in decks and cabins. We had a mini suite. The furnishings were fine, some updates to the décor would be nice. The bed in the cabins had been changed to a new Princess brand. We found the beds to be spectacularly comfortable. Bars/Service - The serving staff was fantastic. We really enjoyed the wine bar, and found ourselves migrating there most nights pre and post dinner. Thank you to Ryan and Sydney. Ports - We could not get off the ship in Santorini or in Montenegro. We enjoyed Naples and Sicily and did our own thing on the end points of Athens and Barcelona. The itinerary was Athens to Barcelona, and a good way to see more by extending on ends. My daughter took a Princess tour in Sicily, and found it enjoyable, even if a bit pricey. Food and Dining - This experience was detrimental to our overall enjoyment of the cruise. The concerns and issues we had on dining were across all venues in the ship, with the exception of the Crown Grill. We spend 3 nights purchasing dinner there, due to the poor presentation, flavor and choices in the other venues. Here is more detail (which we provided in writing directly to the Chef de Cuisine, and in person to him when he visited the Crown Grill on the later evenings. The Chef asked me what specifically was the problem, and I provided him the following. He walked away mid conversation, my daughter and I had already detailed these items in a specific written complaint to him, to which he said he had not received. (The complaint was provided to the front desk folks addressed to the "Chef de Cuisine". 1. Bread/Rolls - Hard, not in a crusty good way, but as if they had been reheated several times or were older baked items from earlier in the day or prior days. 2. Butter - appeared to be mixed with oil or margarine (if they do this normally, this was to a degree to make it tasteless 3. Plating temperature was cold. Hot meals were lukewarm at best. 4. Soups tasted like salty water, and were not hot. (This is usually an area of good flavor on cruises) 5. Fish was advertised as one type of sea bass, however, when we received the meal it had a very dirty flavor to it. The fish appeared to be either a different type (like Tilapia perhaps), or was cleaned very poorly, or perhaps old. 6. Fried items were undercooked and not edible. 7. Salad items, any fresh items were wilted. The salads appeared like those that you purchase in bags and leave in the refrigerator too long. They were not only wilted but particularly slimy and not edible. (This was true throughout the venues including Crown Grill) 8. Beef (outside the Crown Grill) did not seem to be the cuts advertised nor the quality expected 9. Buffet (venue) was dark, very crowded, and it didn't seem like there were any themes to the offerings. Curry right next to Beef Stew, Asian next to Baked Potatoes. 10. Grill - those folks work hard, ordered the Ernesto burger on deck, confused people because you need to pay and wait for that, but it was good. Fries were nicely cooked on deck as well. What was equally disappointing was the reaction we received when we gave this feedback. The waiter after we expressed the food challenges at Sabattini's called over the head water, who chastised us for not complaining harder. There was no offer to comp, or come back tomorrow and we'll amaze you, or even an apology for the experience. Essentially he very clearly said had we complained louder they would have replaced, and proceeded to chastise the waiter in front of us. Additionally, when we had the opportunity to advise the Chef de Cuisine, to which I did similar to the items above, as well as in writing he walked away mid sentence. My gut says that there was something fishy about the sourcing of the food on this cruise. It was of such poor quality that I wondered whether someone was skimming the till on that item. OR, it was just such a hot summer in Europe that the food was impacted...I thought this until my next cruise a week later on Princess (another ship). I would like to say that the Head Waiter at the Crown Grill was very amazing, we'd expressed our concerns with him about the other venues, and he did his best to find us seats at the crown grill for our last 3 remaining nights. Now interestingly, when I parted with my daughter, I boarded the Sapphire princess shortly after this cruise. This was also a Mediterranean cruise. The food on the Sapphire was 100 percent better, even though it was the same ports at times. Sapphire was just as consistent as the other 20 Princess cruises I've been on, without any of the aforementioned problems. That said, I still like Princess, although I will choose another line such as Cunard, P & O or outside the Carnival Family for any large special occasions. I would strongly recommend Princess looks into the purchasing records for this particular itinerary and/or staff to see if there was something "fishy" with the food sourcing. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We went on our 1st cruise with Princess on our honeymoon and wanted to renew our vows on our 30 th Anniversary with Princess again. The service we experienced the 1st time was the deciding factor to use princess the second time around. Our ... Read More
We went on our 1st cruise with Princess on our honeymoon and wanted to renew our vows on our 30 th Anniversary with Princess again. The service we experienced the 1st time was the deciding factor to use princess the second time around. Our best friends accompanied us. We arrived in Greece two days before we sailed and got to see the sites of Athens. When we arrived at the port we found it was very easy to check in and board the ship. Once on board we were able to go to room very quickly and get settled. We then got word that Francesca wanted to meet with us to go over the itinerary of our vow renewal. On the day we renewed We started off with a couples massage in the spa. It was pretty relaxing and set the mood for the entire day. The ceremony itself with nothing short of spectacular. The chapel was decorated accordingly and corsage and bouquet were supplied by the ship. It was part of the package I know it was but you still say i we started off with a couples massage in the spa. It was pretty relaxing and set the mood for the entire day. The ceremony itself with nothing short of spectacular. The chapel was decorated accordingly and corsage and bouquet were supplied by the ship. After the ceremony that was performed by Captain Lawes we had a photographer and a videographer follow us for our camera shoot. The captain even allowed us to go onto the bridge where we got some great shots and video. The ENTIRE experience is one I will never forget. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We enjoyed the new beds/bedding added to the Crown Princess recently and benefitted from a spring refurbishment to the ship. The itinerary and port excursions were excellent (though the Mediterranean in July/August is incredibly warm). Our ... Read More
We enjoyed the new beds/bedding added to the Crown Princess recently and benefitted from a spring refurbishment to the ship. The itinerary and port excursions were excellent (though the Mediterranean in July/August is incredibly warm). Our steward was wonderful. Spa services continue to be over-priced and there is no beverage package that actually makes sense but we enjoyed Princess once more on this second cruise and would continue to look at the company for future trips. In short: mini-suites continue to work for our family of three (one teen), the new beds are great, the teen club is a hit with our son, and we still love the International Cafe more than the other regular food options. This time we did endeavor to do laundry at sea - rather frustrating with people ignoring basic conventions of removing laundry from washing machines when done. Token machines for laundry were on our floor - handy, but not on every floor - a pain. We were in D603 - nice location for our needs. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
First time cruiser chose Crown Princess for the itinerary - Athens to Barcelona July 7-14. First, the good: Our state room was fantastic. I spent a year reading reviews on cruise critic to lower my expectations, so I was just ... Read More
First time cruiser chose Crown Princess for the itinerary - Athens to Barcelona July 7-14. First, the good: Our state room was fantastic. I spent a year reading reviews on cruise critic to lower my expectations, so I was just stunned by how beautiful and comfortable the state room was (Balcony, R-230), efficiently designed, with great lighting, visibility, and ventilation. It was love at first sight. I had been expecting sewage smells and bad grout and broken beds. Everything was fantastic. The service is amazing. A thousand crew members provide "Disney" levels of service. They compete with each other to be first to refill our drinks. They are knowledgeable and friendly. Crowds are minimized. I hate crowds and lines, so I was thrilled that Princess has engineered processes that minimize the impact of having so many people in such a small space. Any time a line might form, they hand out numbers and give you a comfortable place to sit in a lounge, with a drink, and when you are called, you just go -- no lines. We had any time dining, and we never waited for a table. There was never any kind of line at Horizon Buffet, and we could always get a window seat. Unless an event had just let out, we never had to wait for an elevator, and even then we could easily go to a different elevator bank or spend a few minutes on the promenade deck. The food was excellent. My traveling companions disagree -- they concur with the majority on Cruise Critic who describe the food as "nothing special" -- but I don't know what their gripe is. The Horizon Buffet is extensive, it is open non-stop from 6am-11pm, and the view from the dining area is to die for. My colleagues wanted eggs benedict every day, instead or rotating between eggs florentine, eggs benedict, and fried eggs. My colleagues wanted more cut fruit instead of whole fruit. The bagels should have been next to the lox. But there was eggs, and bacon, and blueberry blintzes. There was every kind of danish. It was a great spread. But if the Horizon Buffet was good, the Dining Halls were better. Impeccable service and a terrific menu. Half of the menu stayed the same, and half changed daily, so you could stick with shrimp cocktail and grilled salmon, or go exploring. All three dining halls are identical, except for the wall paintings. The quality of the food was uneven -- I prefer my pot roast with more gravy, and the ribeye wasn't the best cut. Relying on the server's recommendations is a good strategy if you are torn. If the Dining Halls are better, then Sabatini's and Crown Grill are best. The food is the best that can be summoned on a cruise ship, which is far beyond my requirements. What you are really paying for, though, is space and quiet. The Dining Hall is busy and noisy; the specialty dining venues are quiet, with far-apart tables. My colleagues didn't like it; they found the ambiance pretentious and fake. Additional Delights Don't bother with the Deck 16 running track; instead is is just 2.8 laps to a mile around the Promenade deck, and the views from the stern and the bow never get old. The Piazza is a great place to relax and get a drink. We really liked the International Cafe, with gelato, dessert cakes, sandwiches, and drinks. The X-Trio was first rate, and we always welcomed a chance to hear them play popular standards on a violin, guitar, and accordion. They made the Piazza magical. What a delight to be able to do laundry on board. There ought to be more than two washer/dryer combos per deck, and you ought to be able to buy laundry soap without visting guest services, but we made it work. Our cabin steward Larry was magnificent, our stateroom was constantly refreshed. The Princess Patter did a good job alerting us to what was going on on the ship. Part 1 Summary So: A gorgeous ship, a comfortable state room, a first-rate itinerary, delicious and abundant food, beautiful views, what's not to love? The Bad Because of all these wonderful things, I was broken-hearted to leave the Crown Princess, and I wish I were still aboard. However, there were some bad things, too, and they were bad enough that I will try a few other cruise lines before I return to Princess. The Endless Ripoffs You are literally pounded with ads for overpriced Jewelry, Watches, Perfumes, Photography, and Spa Services. For the Spa, they give you a $50-off coupon for services that are overpriced by more than $50. For the others, there are daily specials, raffles, super-sales, hard-sells, etc. It's tawdry. The Mother of All Ripoffs -- The Champagne Fine Art Auction The Casino and the Fine Art Gallery use up a LOT of space on the ship, so even if you ignore them, you are still ripped off by loss of space that could be used for something else. But we attended the Champagne Fine Art Auction to try to understand what it could possibly be, and we we aghast. It was the most despicable collection of psychological techniques for high-pressure sales that I have ever seen in my life. We found a nice Kinkade Disney "Beauty and the Beast" piece that we knew for a fact could be had at the Disney store for $500 ($450 online from Kinkade, it turns out, in the largest, highest quality, most select version), and The Fine Arts Gallery offered it to us for the "rock bottom" price of $7,020. I won't go into all the details about all the scams and psychological tricks, but suffice it to say that Princess should be protecting its passengers from this kind of scam, not perpetrating it. This is unforgivable, and it colored for us the entire rest of the trip, because we knew that Princess would be willing to prey upon its captive passengers in the worst conceivable way. Bloomberg did an expose on Park West's Art Auctions at Sea a couple years ago, titled, "Prepare to Be Seasick." Read it. Mediocre Excursions Princess sold dozens of excursion at each port, which means dozens of tour guides. One of those tour guides will be the worst of all, and you have a chance of getting assigned to that guide. This is a structural problem -- finding 24 great tour guides is really difficult. But if you book an independent tour, like Viator, they aren't running as many buses, so they can afford to be more picky and in fact they do better quality control. Every Viator I have ever taken has been better than every Princess excursion I took. Princess was paid to do better, but in fact did worse. I'll try much harder to book independent tours in the future. Ultimate Drink Disaster The one Princess Scam Machine that you cannot possibly avoid is the Beverage System. Costco included an Ultimate Beverage Package in our tour, so we thought we had avoided any friction around that, but we were so, so, so wrong. First, even if you have a package, you still have to show your card so they can manually write down your account information every single time you get any kind of drink. So that's annoying. And the rules around that are one drink at a time, so you won't be ordering a Diet Coke for your partner who is off at the restroom. Unless they are there to order their own drink and show their own card, they'll have to wait. The delay and friction around the dinner table as everybody gets carded for every drink at every meal distracts from whatever moment you are trying to have. Second, the Ultimate Lie is that you can have 15 glasses of wine per day, but you can't have even one Diet Sprite. Fountain soft drinks are included, but their fountain choices are limited, and canned soft drinks are not included. That means not only do they charge me $1.73 for each Diet Sprite, but I have to go through an apology ritual with the server who tries to sell me on a sugared spite and apologizes five times for having to charge me $2.30, but consoles me that I get 25% off the $2.30 (hence $1.73) for having bought the Ultimate Lie Package. I had to go through this every single day for every single Diet Sprite at every single meal. We all know that they get Diet Sprite for 25-cents a can, probably less than they pay for the wine and mixed drinks they are retailing for $9 each, so charging for canned soft drinks is a major ripoff and a major inconvenience. HORRIBLE Enrichment The port o'call lectures were boring beyond words -- you could bond with other passengers over this -- I literally fell asleep. The activities were insipid or insulting -- Paper Flower Making, Napkin Folding, Speed Painting. We tried some of these. No kids summer camp can compete with the stupid here. HORRIBLE Entertainment I loved the X-Trio, and the musical lounge acts were maybe so-so. The "I was Mufasa" guy in the Crown Theater was talented, and his show was tolerable. The ambient music in the ship was poor -- too much whiny Millennial Indy music for the mostly over-fifty crowd, and four times at least we had to hear "Sailing Away," so call it unimaginative. But the two Stage Shows were a disaster. Don't blame the singers, dancers, and musicians -- they were first rate talent, who signed up to do Disney-style musical reviews, but the producer and director of these shows -- and let the blame flow like a river all the way to the Entertainment Director and the Cruise Director -- ought to be fired so fast and so hard that they never experienced anything like it. The problem with the Soul Motown show was that they chose some of the worst tunes to fill the time. This happens when a director is bored of the standard tunes and wants to entertain themselves more than the entertain the audience. It was okay, but it would have been a better show if they had done platinum hits of any decade, or show tunes, or the Great American Songbook, or anything. The problem with Blame It On The Boogie, is, first, that Disco is not worth reviving. Second, the Disco Era was about more than just having sex, but this show simply staged a 40-minute on-stage orgy, which was so UN-family friendly that at one point the actors caricatured the sleaziest possible men and started sexually assaulting the women on stage. That nobody at Princess thought this was inappropriate -- or at least thought they could do better, that there were SOME standards for stage entertainment on Princess at all -- boggles the mind. It was a tough way to finish the cruise and left a bad taste in our mouths. Princess obviously slashes its entertainment budget compared to other cruise lines, but what I witnessed wasn't just low-budget. It was poor judgment and bad taste. SUMMARY So Princess has a great ship, a great crew, great service, great food, and you can have a great time. I will try to find a cruise line that isn't so aggressively, furiously intent on scamming its passengers at every turn. If there is no such line, I might return to Princess, and if I do, I will just do everything in my power to ignore the Shopping, Spa, Casino, Art, and Entertainment, and I am sure I will have a nice time. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I chose this cruise for the itinerary. It was a 7 night Mediterranean cruise beginning in Athens Greece ending in Barcelona, Spain. We were a group of 4 adults. However, we were overwhelmed by the outstanding service on the ship. We ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the itinerary. It was a 7 night Mediterranean cruise beginning in Athens Greece ending in Barcelona, Spain. We were a group of 4 adults. However, we were overwhelmed by the outstanding service on the ship. We booked our first mini suite club class cabin and received some extra perks. We were able to embark without delay but it seemed like the regular lines were moving quickly and smoothly. Upon arrival in our cabin, we were greeted with a glass of champagne from our cabin steward. The cabin also included a small bottle of white and red wine for our cabin. The best part of the cruise was the excellent service in the dining room. Our servers were kind, knowledgeable and very pleasant. Their recommendations were always on point. They even gave us advice on the areas we visited. We booked all of our tours privately so I have no knowledge of the excursions. Princess should be very proud of their staff. After the cruise we extended our stay in Barcelona for two nights. On the morning of our departure, a representative from Princess came to the hotel to make sure we got our transfer. (This was 2 1/2 days after our cruise ended) Also at the airport, we were met by two Princess representatives who escorted us to our check-in area. I've been on many cruises and this was a first. I would highly recommend this ship and look forward to another Princess cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Had a great time on prior Silver Muse of Eastern Mediterranean, Rome to Venice and wanted to experience the Western portion, Athens to Barcelona. The excursions were well thought out, had excellent guides and were well rated as to ... Read More
Had a great time on prior Silver Muse of Eastern Mediterranean, Rome to Venice and wanted to experience the Western portion, Athens to Barcelona. The excursions were well thought out, had excellent guides and were well rated as to difficulty. All needs were supplied by and excellent staff. Traveling as a couple, we met many others who became friends. Entertainment was varied and professional. Food was outstanding. The small numbers contribute to a more personal experience. Definitely more focused on mature adults, although the children that we saw and interacted with appeared to have a good time.The scope of their trips can appeal to all interests. We are looking forward to our next cruise, to the Antarctica and also have scheduled other future trips with Silver Sea. Will hopefully see no negative impact with their association with the Royal Caribbean Line. This is our favorite cruise line and we will continue to travel with them in the future. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We wanted to try the small boat experience. Wind in the sails etc.Freedom. What happened was unexpected and not very good. Worse parts first I think - which may take a while. The sails only went up when the boat was becalmed and ... Read More
We wanted to try the small boat experience. Wind in the sails etc.Freedom. What happened was unexpected and not very good. Worse parts first I think - which may take a while. The sails only went up when the boat was becalmed and not moving. Then only for short periods to take photos.So travel was by engine - noisy and smelly. We missed one important port due to weather conditions. Larger boats didn't have this problem. The substitute port was of no interest to us. Little to see, no maps or information. No excursions organised or even ideas on what to do or see. There was no time or research or plan. We were just dumped. No internet access to research ourselves. Lack of professionalism and unfriendly staff. It was obvious that no one really cared if we had a pleasant voyage. The staff were terrible in some cases. There was a lack of language proficiency. German was the main language. English and French and other speakers were badly treated. There was a large group of German travel agents onboard and all efforts were made to make them happy. The staff ignored the rest of us. There was no "sail away" from ports with music and sails. On departure from Athens it was pitch black on deck. Very crowded and no one could see or knew what was happening. I think I could vaguely hear the famous Vangelis music but although I walked around the deck it didn't get any louder. Staff were only there to sell champagne. The dining room was too cramped and full. Staff canteen feeling. Staff didn't engage with passengers, We sat with a delightful French couple one night and tried to find other french speakers for them. Asked the Maitre D' but he didn't bother to even think about it. Summed up the voyage I've saved the worst for last. Embarkation was easy but we were told to wait on deck for the safety talk. I'm guessing that the cabins weren't ready and they wanted to "manage" us there. Waited and waited. Sickly cheap drink offered. Eventually gave up and found our cabin. No map or introduction to the boat or schedule was given to us on day 1. Staff were here and there but no talking or engaging with passengers. They were mainly Filipino with poor english. Returned later for the safety talk. Disorganised mess. There are simply not enough European speakers there to manage the amount of passengers. Not enough space to do this properly. If that wasn't bad enough we had to sit while a staff member went through a long rambling talk in German, English and French. Went on and on. We can only hope that her German was good as the rest wasn't. All the briefings on deck were like this. Long, long waits. Long, long mangled talks that were often unintelligible. We wasted so much room waiting and enduring these. When we were on deck there was no where to sit and enjoy the feeling of the sea air. All seats were taken early and aggressively defended and were too few for the number of passengers. We had to stand or stroll but that was hard given the number of people packed into such a small space. The public rooms had very small windows and missed the sea experience. We didn't dock in ports. Apart from Athens all were done by tender or even zodiac. Now for the good bits. We found prices for drinks very reasonable. There was a great cheap laundry service. Food was plentiful. It was easy to move around the boat even for those with slight mobility problems. Not suitable for wheelchair users but there were plenty of elderly and/ or walking stick users. We did like our small but very comfortable cabin and the whole boat was very clean. Being on a small boat could be pleasant but there were far too many people for that to happen here. The overcrowding made the staff too stressed to do a good job and the passengers unhappy. It was not a happy voyage. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We choose Princess cruises as we had a previous cruise still in our minds, the Diamond Princes sailing out of Sydney heading to Perth April last year and everyone of our party had a great time, we have cruised fourteen times prior and on ... Read More
We choose Princess cruises as we had a previous cruise still in our minds, the Diamond Princes sailing out of Sydney heading to Perth April last year and everyone of our party had a great time, we have cruised fourteen times prior and on many different cruise lines, NCL, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Thomson, P&O, Celebrity and MSC although our very first cruise back in 2005, the Coral Princess Vancouver to Anchorage and probably the best cruise ever until this recent cruise and certainly the cruise that started our passion for cruises. We wanted to try different ships and cruise companies to compare. We were looking for a seven day Mediterranean cruise and found the Royal Princess sailing Athens to Barcelona, not only were the destinations inviting but the ship just three years old and one of the largest in the fleet but still only 3,000 passengers. As always the weather does have an impact however, the destinations were all sunshine and the ship was fabulous, food plenty in the Horizon buffet as expected and a great variation, quality second to none. We did not dine at any of the theme type restaurants as the main dining room 'Symphony' had good choices and great staff, why would we try elsewhere. We did anytime dining which allowed us to opt for early or late shows depending on the day we'd had, there were four in our party but six before end of the week. Entertainment, from vocalists to illusionist on the big stage, the ships own on-board dancers and singers and not forgetting the everyday fabulous band The Sound, then pianist, classical and contemporary, quartet's and solo guitarist although not all my cup of tea but plenty of passengers disputing that with me, probably each to their own and overall a fantastic collection of musicians and performers. Excursions, on this trip we had more than one tender, the little boat to get to shore as the port cannot berth a large ship, this adds to the experience. Most ports we did our own thing although on two occasions we booked the ships tours and both were well organised and enjoyable. Recommendations, Princess well done, we will be back very soon. Complaints, its difficult to complain after such a great cruise but if pushed I would say the staff around the pool area, especially mornings were not as attentive as other staff around the ship, often looking but not seeing you, on many occasions we had to chase down staff to get served. Overall experience 9.5/10 Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
My husband and I did a cruise from Athens to Barcelona. We had the best vacation ever and loved almost everything about our experience on the ship. We thought the food was very good. We loved our room with the balcony! The shows were ... Read More
My husband and I did a cruise from Athens to Barcelona. We had the best vacation ever and loved almost everything about our experience on the ship. We thought the food was very good. We loved our room with the balcony! The shows were all very good. The only complaint we had was our experience at the pool. We were very disappointed that they showed movies at the pool during the day. Movies under the stars sounded appealing, but we didn't understand why anyone would want to watch a movie while sitting by the pool on a beautiful sunny day! The movies were very loud and, in my opinion, took away from the pool experience. The waiters at the pool were also not very friendly and would only get you a drink if you flagged them down. There was an adult-only pool, but it was very hard to find a chair there. Our first at-sea day was a gorgeous, sunny day, and as soon as we sat in our chair by the pool they started to play the movie "Boss Baby." There were only about 8-10 kids at the pool at the time. My husband was so frustrated he had to leave the pool area until the movie was over. We still had a fabulous time and would highly recommend the ship! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This was our first vacation on cruise . We were super excited as it was 3 days island hopping trip . We arrived in Athens 2 days before and explored the beautiful city.Awesome food and awesome people. Then comes the day of embarkation . ... Read More
This was our first vacation on cruise . We were super excited as it was 3 days island hopping trip . We arrived in Athens 2 days before and explored the beautiful city.Awesome food and awesome people. Then comes the day of embarkation . Entire embarkation process was streamlined . Me and my husband were quite impressed by the staff and service. From embarkation team to restaurant team (food & bar waiter/waitress ). House keeping staff to staffs at the reception. All welcomed us with great smile and helping attitude. Amazing Service made this holiday super amazing. Our kid was not eating anything. Mr Roy, manager of one of the restaurants at ship helped us by arranging freshly prepared food of his choice. Happy kid can be icing on the cake on great family vacation. From the day I am back . My friends and family are mesmerized by seeing my trip pics and wants to try cruise for their next holiday plan.I can recommend them Celestyal Olympia as it was fabulous experience. Definitely I cannot compare it with another cruise as it was my very first cruise vacation .Definitely big YES for many more such vacations. I can vouch you wont be disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Viking is an excellent cruise line, this was our second cruise on Viking and we have the highest praise for the facilities and the staff. On each cruise they demonstrated their personal interest in our well being. We made all ... Read More
Viking is an excellent cruise line, this was our second cruise on Viking and we have the highest praise for the facilities and the staff. On each cruise they demonstrated their personal interest in our well being. We made all arrangements through Viking lines including air travel. Explored Athens for four days before the cruise. Hotel was Hilton Athens and facilities and food were excellent. Planned tours were informative and excellent choices. Ship facilities were excellent and food was excellent with many options. Room was excellent and well maintained by staff during the cruise. We participated in many of the port tours during the cruise. All of these were informative and well run with plenty of time for each activity. We would go again on other Viking cruises. One prior cruise was on the river cruise ships and this one was on the ocean cruise ship. I recommend Viking without hesitation. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
My sister, brother and I live in three different corners of the USA, so it made a marvelous early Thanksgiving vacation to meet for the Ancient Cities and Holy Lands cruise November 6-20. Viking does everything with great style and ... Read More
My sister, brother and I live in three different corners of the USA, so it made a marvelous early Thanksgiving vacation to meet for the Ancient Cities and Holy Lands cruise November 6-20. Viking does everything with great style and consideration for their clientele, who tend to be well-traveled genteel English-speaking older people. The Viking Sea was beautifully designed for comfort and pleasure, with areas throughout the ship to relax. The ship was kept very clean and security was excellent day and night. Hand sanitizing stations were plentiful, and hot washcloths were given to passengers returning to the ship. We particularly enjoyed the pools and fitness center, as well as the Explorer's Lounge. The sun deck is a nice place to walk laps to work off some of the delicious calories. We favored the World Cafe, with ever-changing selections, and plenty of choices even for vegetarians. Our cabin left nothing to be desired, no adapters needed to charge electronic gadgets, just our Apple and Android charging cables. The programs were well organized, educational, cultural, and entertaining. The staff courteous and efficient. We particularly enjoyed the excursions in Delphi, Crete, the Palace at Knossos, Caesarea, Tel Aviv/Jaffa, Jerusalem and Bethlehem. The only suggestion I could make for improvement was more attention to troubleshooting glitches that could seriously affect someone in frail health, such as the broken elevator at the Bus station at St. Peter's in Rome, so a person would be forced to climb a steep long flight of stairs. Also the long walk from ship to bus at the end of the trip, hard for an elderly feeble person trying to cope with a cane or walker and carry-on baggage. Perhaps the Visitor Services desk staff could be better informed of such difficulties. Looking forward to the Mediterranean Odyssey Barcelona to Venice cruise next year! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
we choose the Carnival Vista as it is the newest ship in the Carnival fleet and we also wanted to do this cruise from Athens. The service was excellent from the time that we entered the check-in at the port to the time that we collected ... Read More
we choose the Carnival Vista as it is the newest ship in the Carnival fleet and we also wanted to do this cruise from Athens. The service was excellent from the time that we entered the check-in at the port to the time that we collected our luggage in Barcelona. We couldn't have been more pleased with the service, ship and itinerary. Having sailed with Carnival before and other cruise lines, we think that this was probably the best cruise that we have taken (25+). The staff were pleasing and trying to give you exceptional service wherever possible.Food was better than other cruise lines that we have been on so it is a plus for Carnival. I would like to see them continue with the European cruises in the future. we found that the itinerary from Athens was excellent and rewarding with the areas that were included. Our children and grandchildren would have loved to have been on this cruise with us and we are already looking for another Carnival cruise that we can take them on due to the experience that we had with this one. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Great cruise, skipped turkey while other cruise ships continue to go there. We changed planes in Istanbul, felt safe. Theater is substandard. 2 levels instead of three with bad sight lines. Closet space has been reduced to ... Read More
Great cruise, skipped turkey while other cruise ships continue to go there. We changed planes in Istanbul, felt safe. Theater is substandard. 2 levels instead of three with bad sight lines. Closet space has been reduced to accommodate air conditioners. Other than that, a great ship. Food service in main dining room has improved. We had Paul as a our dinner waiter and his service was prompt. We had Christian as our breakfast waiter and his service was also prompt. The Horizon will also probably have a small theater which converts to a dance floor with many chairs on the same level making it difficult to see the performances. I was told Carnival is working on the closet space issue. Jamie was a great cruise director. The food quality seems to have declined. It's good enough in the main dining room, but nothing special. There is good sushi available on board. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Just back from the Athens to Barcelona cruise Oct 2016. Boat is very nice. Great condition as new (even so all of the foyer carpeting had to be replaced during our cruise). Lots of room and rarely felt crowded. Drinks - beer, wine, ... Read More
Just back from the Athens to Barcelona cruise Oct 2016. Boat is very nice. Great condition as new (even so all of the foyer carpeting had to be replaced during our cruise). Lots of room and rarely felt crowded. Drinks - beer, wine, cocktails & pop very expensive. Also got stuck paying 24% VAT tax so Carnival removed drink package option. The Thirsty/Red Frog beer was amazing. Food. Had all dinners in the Reflection (same as Horizon). Special thanks to Frank & Ilyana (sp.?) for their wonderful, attentive service. Amazing looking menus with superb selection but always looked better than it tasted. One of the problems of serving up hundreds of simultaneous meals - becomes a commodity regardless of how you dress it. On Lido deck Guys Burgers offered AMAZING hand-made, delicious burgers with great fixings. Same with the Iguana tacos. Felt like we could have eaten here all week. Mornings we had continental room service. Always great coffee. Toast always served cold. If it can't be delivered hot, suggest they offer up cold, fresh breads instead. Decent fruits, cereal, yogurt otherwise. Outdoor theatre was fun. Blankets were available as was chilly outside. Great sound so don't understand why English speaking movies also needed English sub-titles? Very distracting. Free popcorn was nice idea but terrible quality - served with some sort of edible (barely) oil product. The IMAX & 4D theatre were great - reasonably priced and not crowded (at least when we went). Sky ride also good. On rainy or cool sea days could really use indoor observation lounge (move the spa?). Would sell more alcohol as well. Otherwise stuck with poor side views from inside. Music & entertainment. Great throughout and lots of variety. Latin band, piano bar, shows, combos, all well done. Personally there was way too much "jazzy saxophone elevator" music played throughout the ship which grated on us after awhile. Also, for a cruise that was 90% age 50 +, we really did not like the liquid lounge DJ "music". Saw many people come in, than turn around and high-tail it out. Was playing rap, hip-hop, electronic more suitable for 19 year olds (a handful). When asked about selection or requests was told the music supplied by Carnival was very limited (like no Drive By - Train?). Balcony room @ 9th floor was very nice with larger bathrooms than previous cruises. Elevators. Always slow. Need to press at least 3 sets of buttons as one set does not control all up or down elevators. We got used to using the stairs most of the time. After an excursion, expect to wait 15 mins from 0 to 10. Pools & hot tubs looked nice but we did not use. Something about hundreds of sweaty, unsanitary, people hopping in totally dry (no shower before entering) is a turn off (especially with showers right beside!). Come on people...seriously, in this day & age? Glad to see at least rules enforced regarding the "lounge hogs" who put towels on primo chairs in the morning, then leave for most of the day. Crew allowed 40 mins of this then towels removed and loungers freed up. The Spa. We did not partake so no comment on the quality of service. We found it very expensive and really did not like having to be forced to pass through the "sales gauntlet" of charming young ladies always standing at the entrance to the lido deck promoting this over-priced (obviously profitable) service. Excursions were well organized and good value. Despite the numbers never felt over-crowded. All considered the Vista offers good value in what I would call a commodity cruise. The proviso being that while you are being lulled into a sense of care-free wonderment, they are there to make a profit. This by extracting as much money from you as possible with their many extra-cost services geared to take advantage when your budget defenses are in holiday mode. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This cruise was a new experience for us (never been to Europe) and absolutely wonderful! I am starting to realize just how "ship-based" cruising experiences are opposed to the company that is hosting the sailing (i.e. Royal ... Read More
This cruise was a new experience for us (never been to Europe) and absolutely wonderful! I am starting to realize just how "ship-based" cruising experiences are opposed to the company that is hosting the sailing (i.e. Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian, etc.). Me and my 62 year old mother went on this cruise, and we were very pleased with most about this cruise and the ship. CUSTOMER SERVICE: We've sailed on both Norwegian Cruise Lines, and Carnival Cruise Lines, and have often said that customer service on Norwegian Cruise Lines is better. This ship had the most proactive and responsive customer service I've ever experienced on a Carnival ship. When we arrived to the cabin, we had the water we'd previously paid for already in our room, and customer service immediately called to ask my mother whether she brought her CPAP machine (for her sleep apnea), and if she would be needing distilled water for it. One reason for the 4/5 rating in this category is that it took several hours after that telephone call, and a couple of calls before we received the water. However, we did appreciate the proactivity. As with most Carnival experiences, there were certain issues throughout the cruise that we had to bring up to customer service, but they were promptly, and politely responded to. The workers here were overall more considerate, kind, and responsive than any other Carnival ship I've been on (Breeze, Splendor, Liberty). FOOD: The food was CONSIDERABLY better than on any other Carnival ship. Even the food on the buffet was more flavorful and better prepared. The foods in the dining rooms were most often superb, and definitely in the specialty restaurants. Typically, Carnival food is mediocre at best. Whichever Chef you have on this ship who is responsible for the food - KEEP HIM. Lots of great restaurants to choose from. Didn't get to try to the Asian or the Italian restaurant on this ship, but heard they were really good from other guests. EXCURSIONS: Carnival offered excursions that we had a good time on, but I think they need some fine tuning. Overall, most of the excursions offered were just way too long, and were like history lessons and school field trips, vs. vacations (particularly in Rhodes, Greece and Valleta, Malta. I"m not really sure how Carnival can rectify this, other than finding tour guides that are more engaging and less talky. Some of this can't be avoided because if you want to spend a day in the country learning about it, there is no other way. The Italy excursion guides seemed to understand this concept. They provided history about the city, but also knew when to shut the heck up and let you relax. I think offering more excursions where you can enjoy certain aspects of the country you are visiting (there is no way you can learn every single thing about each country you visit), would serve them well. Also, spending 8-10 hours a day on an excursion every day is exhausting. We had to end up cancelling two of the excursions just to allow ourselves some rest. More 4 hour excursions (as opposed to 10 hours) should be offered so that people have more free time to do what they want without someone talking at them. Going to these countries, you are going to be walking a lot, so if you are going to be bringing any senior citizens or babies with you with walking issues, maybe you should arrange something to wheel them around in all day. EMBARKATION: Was a breeze! We didn't get there until 4pm on embarkation day. We literally walked right up to the desk and got on the ship. Our luggage was at our room within an hour or two at most. Just awesome. DEBARKATION: Great that we didn't have to go through customs, so we could easily find our suitcases without waiting in line. The directions on how to get to your Carnival Transfer (to the airport or hotel) in Barcelona were absolutely horrible. There was no one to tell you where to go and you had a bunch of people outside packed like sardines trying to figure out where the heck to meet. This was not acceptable because we'd asked a couple of folks on Carnival a few times during the cruise about what we should expect during this process, and they either gave misinformation, or not much to offer. The workers in Barcelona that are outside during this process are pretty useless as it relates to giving information - so beware. CLEANLINESS: Overall, the ship was pretty clean in the common areas. The cruise director stressed washing your hands every five seconds (not a common trait on carnival ships although it is on norwegian ships) because rumor had it that a few people on the cruise were discovered to have Norovirus (like on Day 2 of the cruise). They never announced it, but people put two and two together and many workers on the cruise told a few people what was going on. I'm not sure whether it was the air change, the air circulation in the ship, or what....but a lot of people also had sinus issues. Mom and I both had cold symptoms the entire cruise, but we were basically ok. I know others who also had sinus issues....but this could have been coincidental. They may want to look into the air circulation. ENTERTAINMENT: Due to the intense excursions (only 2 out of 10 sea days), we didn't experience much of the entertainment other than the comedy shows, the club (me not mom) and the casino. But there seemed to be a variety of activities at night and I didn't ever feel bored. I do think they should offer a bit more to do during the day for those that are not getting off the boat. There were times where I was on the ship early and twiddling my thumbs a bit. Lots of activities at night that I didn't even get a chance to participate in because there were only a few hours after the excursions and after you ate dinner, you were so exhausted that you picked ONE activity , and that was it. But there are several movies to choose from (both on TV Demand and each night offered to watch publicly with other guests), virtual simulator and 3D movies (didn't get to try this) with actual popcorn, and a variety of outdoor activities. For the most part, it got to be a bit chilly toward the end of our cruise so the last thing I wanted to do was hang out outside at night. OVERALL SHIP: Great! Pretty, lots to do, and set up pretty great. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Very quiet and smooth sailing. Lovely decor. Paradise 4 kids with the waterpark. The cabin was same as other cruise lines. Variety of food in Carvery was excellent compared to other liners. Just played awefull band stand music from the 50 ... Read More
Very quiet and smooth sailing. Lovely decor. Paradise 4 kids with the waterpark. The cabin was same as other cruise lines. Variety of food in Carvery was excellent compared to other liners. Just played awefull band stand music from the 50 s over and over and over in the restaurant. That drove us and the staff that works there MAD! The main theatre was a total disaster. There were NO seat in there where the stage was not partially blocked by a head in front of you or a pillar. How did the architects get it so wrong? Can they not calculate the correct slopes of the seats? Entertainment compared to the other liners was the worst. Ports and excursions was the same as other ships. Spa and gym was excellent, but we could not affort to do anything, because of our useless Mandela money. Our South-African Rand was 15 x times weaker than the euro! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We chose this cruise for two reasons, firstly it was a new ship and secondly the destinations. Although we had cruised many times and had taken 6 previous trips with Carnival we had never cruised in the Mediterranean and thought it would ... Read More
We chose this cruise for two reasons, firstly it was a new ship and secondly the destinations. Although we had cruised many times and had taken 6 previous trips with Carnival we had never cruised in the Mediterranean and thought it would be nice to visit the noted ports of call. The ship was not a disappointment, very well appointed, well maintained and with a good variety of places and activities to be enjoyed. The décor theme was a bit simple and "plastic" in some areas and navigation of the main activity decks was a bit difficult sometimes, requiring an "up and over" route. The embarkation process at Athens was excellent as we were 60 minutes from our hotel lobby in Athens city centre to being in our cabin. Our cabin, 8 deck balcony, was as expected for a major cruise line, roomy and some new features like the larger screen television with the simpler remote control were good. There were one or two noise issues like the vacuum toilet system from adjacent rooms, poor PA audibility and a terrible vibration from the room panelling when the balcony door was opened in certain wind directions. Our room steward was friendly although we felt there was a lack of attention to detail, like only one drinks glass was provided, the bed sheet had some "washed in " stains that we noticed, so why didn't he? and we were interrupted several times whilst dressing for dinner for the evening room service after informing him of our dining time. Dining was the biggest disappointment of our trip. The food was never bad, just not what we had experienced in the past. Choices were uninteresting and repetitive, presentation was sometimes sloppy, orders were often mixed up, starters were sometimes not worth dirtying the plate for and accompaniments were strange from time to time. Perhaps it is an American thing but serving Mac and Cheese with a piece of beef is odd. With the exception of the 2 formal nights, we dined on formica table tops, a first for us, even in the restaurants of cross channel ferries between UK and France table cloths are the norm. At least 66% of our service team tried to work hard, but language was sometimes a problem for them. We were all Brits at our table, maybe that was the issue. But we felt that our table team were struggling to cope most the time. One topic of critical conversation at our, and many other tables, was the notification at the end of day 1 that a charge of 24% would be added to all on-board purchases. By this time many guests would have signed up for drinks and table wine packages and this was somewhat naughty we felt. The blame was laid at the door of EU requirements since the cancellation of the port in Turkey presumably removed the zero tax rating on exported items. The Lido deck Marketplace buffet was generally unappetising unless one wanted salad or cold cuts. We ate only one burger which, as we chose to have it without cheese, was kind of re-cooked to raise the temperature from cold to less cold. Any of the buffet dining options require vigilance in the face of over enthusiastic table staff. We ate continental breakfast often at the open air taste bar and, despite leaving evidence of occupying the table, all our cutlery, napkins and drinks were cleared away when we went to get our next plate of food. There was a variety of entertainment. The main stage shows were well produced in terms of sets, co-ordination, costumes etc but a lot of the music was less enjoyable. Comedians were usually good entertainment. We formed an opinion that cruising is becoming more and more like airline travel. At one time something a bit special but now just basic unless you pay extra for all the add-ons to improve the experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Our family boarded Royal Princess on the 17th of September and disembarked on the 24th of September - family with teens. The embarkation was great, with Princess providing a smooth process and allowing embarkation earlier than advertised. ... Read More
Our family boarded Royal Princess on the 17th of September and disembarked on the 24th of September - family with teens. The embarkation was great, with Princess providing a smooth process and allowing embarkation earlier than advertised. The ship and the facilities provided were great and perhaps reflects the newness and size of the ship. The staff were friendly and helpful. We had a cabin with balcony and it was great - space was sufficient. Ports and shore Excursions - Princess had great partners and we appreciated the organisation behind it all and the cruise tours were enjoyable. The provision of wash towels and water while waiting for the tenders were a nice touch. Entertainment and activities - lacked excitement and the visual comedian needs to go. The kids did not like it at all and a few started leaving mid show. Dining - with the combination of the partnership with Curtis Stone and David MacDonald (Michelin rated chef), the expreince was a disappointment as the food was very mediocre. Caveat: we did not try the specialty restaurants and its quite possible that Curtis and David's food were only available in these so we did not experience any food to write home about. We've been on a cruise only a year ago with another Cruise company and the food there were extra ordinary so I'm just comparing it to that experience (no speciality restaurant experience there either but the quality was incomparable). Communication before the cruise started - needs improvement. Disembarkation - just like the other cruise liners, Princess was not any different. They wash their hands off as soon as you get off the ship. There were directions as to what to do or what to expect. Princess focused on the embarkation for the next cruise and ignored those that just got off. Would we go again - possibly but won't be rushing into it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This was cruise number 12 for us, did a lot of Royal Caribbean, 2 Celebrity and one NCL…Heard a lot of good of Carnival from friends…So with the brand new ship in EU waters we thought a perfect opportunity to try Carnival. The ship ... Read More
This was cruise number 12 for us, did a lot of Royal Caribbean, 2 Celebrity and one NCL…Heard a lot of good of Carnival from friends…So with the brand new ship in EU waters we thought a perfect opportunity to try Carnival. The ship looks good, but most of the staff and crew (about 75%) had no clue what they were doing. Worst was the dining room staff, the most horrible I have even seen, not one night was there a word of explanation about the menu, delivered food was never correct and luke warm, wine was always delivered late, even had to send it back one night as we got a warm rosé bottle plus strange looks that we dared to ask for a chilled bottle. The anytime dinging staff always took you on a tour around the dining room as they were never able to find your table. Another bad example was the Havana bar, its supposed to open to the entire ship at 5pm…Depending on what bar tender on duty, as they had to work harder if its open. Bar staff overall, lacked the needed spirit to make people smile…They even looked unhappy, the one exception was the Red From Pub, those guys are excellent! Also the entertainer in the pub is excellent, and basically the only place on the ship you will find somewhat of a party atmosphere on the ship at night, so kudos to the entire pub concept. Entertainment…Well the same 10 songs every night, if you can’t stand to hear the 5 year old electric slide song, stay away from the ship, as they play it 10times every day….I can go on about the bad, but the good, Ji Ji’s Asian restaurant, the best Asian food I have ever had in my life. The serenity club, amazing deck chairs and cabanas, the best pool attended possible, Mr Johnny, I would even say he is the best asset of the entire ship….He goes FAR out of his duty to make you happy. Ow to end it , we had engine trouble on the last night, nearly making us miss our early flight, yes engine trouble for a 6 month old ship…Anyhow, this was our first Carnival cruise, and most likely our last, sorry but if this is the service of their newest ship, I am even scared of the rest of the fleet. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
After booking this cruise we monitored all the reviews up to departure and we were not expecting too much due to the number of negative remarks. We can honestly say that all the reviews were unfounded and from start to finish this ... Read More
After booking this cruise we monitored all the reviews up to departure and we were not expecting too much due to the number of negative remarks. We can honestly say that all the reviews were unfounded and from start to finish this cruise was excellent. We are not new cruisers and therefore our expectations were based on previous holidays - the ship was very clean throughout and very well equipped - nothing was too much trouble for the staff and the cruise director (Jaime ) worked extremely hard to ensure all had a great time. Cannot fault the food which was to the excellent standard we have grown to expect - some of the bar staff were a little unattentive but not enough to have a negative effect on the cruise. Cabin staff were excellent as always and Oscar deserves a very worthy mention. Shore excursions were a bit pricey but that was optional and we chose as many others did to go it alone. Extortionate Greek tax + gratuities made our final invoice look very expensive but a visit to customer service got the gratuities removed and allowed us to personally reward those staff who deserved it. Overal this cruise far exceeded our expectations and we would not hesitate to book with Carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Having taken many cruises the vista appeals to us as a new ship with many eating venues, entertainment spots and things to do on board. We travelled as a group of 4, two couples. We embarked in Piraeus after an overnight stay (booked ... Read More
Having taken many cruises the vista appeals to us as a new ship with many eating venues, entertainment spots and things to do on board. We travelled as a group of 4, two couples. We embarked in Piraeus after an overnight stay (booked separately). The check in process was smooth enough,however they have a strange embarkation process whereby once checked in one must wait for a number to be called then all the people with that number embark at the same time. This caused queues on the gangway. The overall first impression of the ship was very nice. Not the wow factor but definitely "this is nice". As we had had a substantial breakfast we were in no hurry to find food so spent some time finding our way round the ship. It is quite easy actually as if you were to lose direction just head for decks 5 or 10 and you will soon get your bearings. the different deck areas made it appear that one was on different ships. The main pool area is large enough for a couple of hundred people, and, at sea it feels like thousands. It is the main area for entertainment during the day. The tides pool at the back (deck 10) was a small pool with sun beds, tea/coffee station, a pizza bar and sea food shack. To be honest this area is not big enough. If you are lucky enough to have an Havana suite then you get your own outside space until 7pm. Not sure it is worth the extra payment though. Our favourite area was the Serenity area on deck 15. This is adults only, has two whirlpools and sun beds of all shapes and sizes. The ship does have a number of entertainment venues and something for everybody all spotlessly clean. Now for the good bad and the ugly: CABIN We had a cabin on deck 6 forward (starboard) 6245. At first we could fault nothing. The doors onto the balcony are different, gone are the sliding patio doors, to be replaced with heavy single doors. These can and do slam shut so be careful, especially with children. After we had retired on the first night at approx 1am, the whole cabin was vibrating. For some reason known only to Carnival the theatre becomes a nightclub at 10.30pm. This goes on until late! No specified time. If you lay down the whole bed shook and the banging of the bass from the speakers was dreadful. If one had children it would have been worse. this went on every night, and every morning we were at customer services. This also included several phone calls in the middle of the night to ask it to be stopped. To be fair to the ship they did have engineers out in the evening monitoring the noise level, and they agreed it was unacceptable, however no cabins were available to move into. We came off the Vista exhausted, and not in a good way. The main problem with he disco is that it was mainly used by the staff. Carnival allow staff members to use the guest facilities, sometimes to the detriment of the guest experience which is unacceptable. Of course we received platitudes from customer service, offered onboard credit and free wine with a meal, however this is not what we wanted. All we want was to get a good nights sleep. The disco was moved elsewhere on Naples and Rome nights to enable passengers to get some sleep before busy days ashore. DINING One of the main things people always comment about when on a cruise is the food, and how good it is. Not this time. The choice of food was limited and almost the same each day. At lunch time there were plenty of no extra cost places however in the evening this turned into $35 extra plus tax, plus gratuity. In the dining room it was no better. What we did get was ok but luke warm. I like my food hot and cooked. At times it was actually cold. Now to be fair this may just be the British taste as everybody I heard complaining about the temperature of the food were the Brits. In the Lido restaurant the choice was limited. The only decent meal we had on board was at the 555 steak house. Another difference was the lack of tablecloths. the tables were kept bare apart from the 'cruise elegance' night where cloths appeared. ENTERTAINMENT The shows put on by the team were spectacular. The visiting artists were hit and miss. The theatre has a really strange layout and this restricts the view so get in early for the shows. The comedy club had comedians rotating every couple of days. the first two were very good but it went downhill from there. The group were good, but the best place for use was the piano bar. Natalie Carboni is hilarious, she is also a fantastic singer, musician and comic. Every night the bar became packed with staff all jamming and singing together, it was a good atmosphere. SERVICE In 10 days we experienced one waiter who knew what he was doing, unfortunately this was the last night. At other times the dining room staff had no clue what to do. They were clearing plates whilst still eating, even one night taking the plate away half full with food. It was all very rushed. Upstairs in the buffet was no better, although the opposite happened. Plates were not cleared, staff standing around and chatting and ignoring customers. the use of hand sanitisers was not promoted. The ship has strategic hand washing stations and I can count on one had the number of people i saw using them. the Cabin steward was efficient. He changed the towels and made the bed daily with a turndown service at night. the guest relations staff were all polite and well trained. They had to be, this was the busiest area of the ship. Noise food and service being the main players. Most of the bars did not have waiters so queuing was normal. HIDDEN EXTRAS Tax! As we had sailed out of Greece every price shown was to be increased by 24%for tax, then an extra 15 % of the total is added for service. Basically whatever your budget for onboard spends, increase this by 40%. This is just one big rip off. If we had had children with us i would have been really worried about the prices. Another thing we noticed was how many passengers were bringing alcohol onboard without being stopped. Carnival do not bother about these things. Every port was the same. I have tried to give an honest view of this cruise, however the negatives outweighed the positives for us so No i will never cruise with Carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We sailed on the Carnival Magic in 2011 and the ship was marvellous. The service on board was excellent and the crew always very attentive. This time we chose the Vista expecting something even better but how let down were we? The ship ... Read More
We sailed on the Carnival Magic in 2011 and the ship was marvellous. The service on board was excellent and the crew always very attentive. This time we chose the Vista expecting something even better but how let down were we? The ship itself was lovely but after that it went downhill. This was our 13th cruise (usually Princess) and, the most disappointing so far. We thought that it was just us till we spoke to other unhappy passengers who were of the same opinion. The food at best was average, and the variety probably the worst we've had on any cruise line. There seemed to be only baked potato available no mash or boiled. The Your Time Dining system (should be called Their Time Dining) they operated was crazy, it involved queuing on deck 5 for 15 mins to find out where and when you were eating then given a pager which rang after about 20 mins. Only ate once in main restaurant as it wasn’t worth the bother and service wasn’t good with the waiter taking away my partner’s main course plate before I had finished mine and then serving us our desserts while my partner was still eating their main course. The theatre entertainment was mostly pathetic and whoever designed the seating should be either sacked, flogged or made to watch all the shows. There are 6 large pillars which totally or partially obscure the view of at least 100 people in total. I enjoyed the bands Velvet Jibe and Me and My Cousin. Pool side entertainment was nearly non existent. Call me old fashioned but I like to hear a live band rather than 2 DJs playing mp3s on a laptop. A couple of the comedians were very good and a couple were rubbish, and why do they always say things like “here in the USA” and “us Americans”. . . NO. The rest of the world is here as well and they are not in the USA they are on a ship in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. When we boarded there was a note in the room saying that due to 24% VAT they would not be doing the drinks packages. We are used to inflated prices on ships but this was like a mugger charging you TAX. This meant that a $8 beer + VAT cost $9.92 + tip cost $11. Total daylight robbery so just buy it in port, stick it under your arm and march on board like the Americans do. The sky ride was good and no problems getting sunbeds after 1.00. The cruise director Jaime deserves a medal for the energy she puts in trying to drum up some atmosphere. Would we recommend the Carnival Vista? Would we sail on her again? The answer NO and definitely NO Advice to Carnival, take it back to America and keep it there, leave Europe to RCI, NCL, and Thompson who know what they are doing. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016

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