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157 Bahamas Holiday Cruise Reviews

What an amazing time we had on the Carnival Splendor (Dec 19 - Dec 27, 2013). I would certainly recommend this ship, its cruise itinerary and time of cruise departure (Christmas) for families. My husband and I traveled with our two ... Read More
What an amazing time we had on the Carnival Splendor (Dec 19 - Dec 27, 2013). I would certainly recommend this ship, its cruise itinerary and time of cruise departure (Christmas) for families. My husband and I traveled with our two daughters, (ages 11 and 15) and still had pockets of time to spend together alone. Our eldest enjoyed the C02 lounge and met a network of other teens from around the country. She continues to correspond with those she met. By the end of the cruise my youngest was hanging with friends from Circle C. There were over 1200 children on the ship! My husband and I spent time nightly at The Comedy Club, Dance Club and Piano Bar. The excursions were great too!! We had a beautiful tour of The Banana Lagoon (â„… Island Cruises, Cape Canaveral Florida), then on to Atlantis (Nassau Bahamas â„… Carnival Cruise Lines) and finally Snorkeled (Freeport The Bahamas, â„… Pat & Diane Excursions). While the weather was warm on the way down it was cold on the way home. This did not dampen our spirits (and it was raining outside too!). I would not linger on the lines on The Lido Deck, instead enjoy a dining experience in the Black or Gold Pearl Dining Rooms. We loved our wait staff and the food is delicious, the service is lively and accommodating. Thank you Igor! We miss you. Igor even cut up my daughters steak!!! We ate each meal in a dining room. Our dinner was scheduled for 6p and we made that nightly. It was a time to return as a family as my eldest remained with her CO2 friends. However, I would recommend that you take dinner with out a time scheduled, this way you can return to the ship leisurely, when at a port and still eat in the dining room. We raced a bit when we were in Nassau. The pizza is as amazing as everyone says (Lido Deck). We did not eat in The Pinacle but we did experience a wine/food pairing and that was really fun (The Pinacle). We enjoyed eating brunch and breakfast in The Gold Pearl with other passengers. We dined, listened to music, laughed and lingered in the lobby with passengers from Queens, NY, Pennsylvania, Syracuse, Maine, California and Kentucky -- and everyone we met was friendly, engaging and we might have lingered a bit longer than normal because we enjoyed our conversations so much. Our room was cleaned beautifully each night, new towels appeared when we needed them and guest services was friendly and helpful. We did purchase Faster To The Fun, which I also recommend so that you can use a personal phone number to contact guest services and use the same line as Diamond and Platinum guests at the front desk. FTF also gets you on board the ship and to your stateroom earlier than most other guests. Please consider renting or purchasing in advance walkie talkies as the ship is a bit big in the beginning. However, once you understand how to navigate through either the Main Deck or 5th floor you will not mind and will have fun. I promise. Great trip. Hope you experience the same. Can't wait for our next cruise with Carnival.. :-) Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Sail date: Dec. 23, 2013 Cabin 8126, Junior Suite Good: Our cabin – so quiet and spacious. Great storage Leroy - stateroom attendant – really worked hard to fix problems he did not create. WOW attitude! Erhan and Naceur – our ... Read More
Sail date: Dec. 23, 2013 Cabin 8126, Junior Suite Good: Our cabin – so quiet and spacious. Great storage Leroy - stateroom attendant – really worked hard to fix problems he did not create. WOW attitude! Erhan and Naceur – our waiter and assistant each night Cabanette on Coco Cay - AMAZING Food in the dining room Stage and Screen show Clips of shows we missed the night before on TV Very smooth embarkation Snorkeling on Coco Cay Wonderful holiday decorations Apology from Guest Services Bad: Gifts and Gear items not delivered Shore Excursions desk not open when we boarded When Shore Ex desk was open – only one person working it for about 45 minutes. Line did not move. Different prices quoted in email from Crown and Anchor for Cabana than what was available at Shore Ex desk No account on TV…had to go to Guest Services to see account. Had to go to Guest Services seven or eight times to resolve Gifts and Gear. Tried to change drink package to go down one level from what I purchased and was then charged for an extra drink package! Gifts and Gear assorted fruit and cheese basket to be delivered the first day turned into a basket of fruit and a plate of only brie on the second to last night. Not enough soda machines…. had to wait 10 – 12 minutes in between fill ups. That is not exactly “unlimited”. Windjammer floor wet and no one seemed to care when a guest fell due to the wet floor. Had to stand in line every night to get into the dining room. Wanted to book the next cruise on the morning of departure…no one was working the office. They just left some fliers out. Overall: We had a great time but I am not sure I would go on EOTS unless I had an amazing deal. Ready to book with Royal Caribbean – but on a different ship. This four night cruise was to see if my husband likes cruising. A year and a half ago I did a seven night cruise on Freedom of the Seas with a girlfriend. And my husband wanted to give it a try so we picked this quick, four night cruise over Christmas. We stayed at the Marriott in Cocoa Beach and had a room with a bit of an ocean view- but enough for me to see our ship come in at 6 a.m. We arrived at Port Canaveral a little before 11 a.m. and we had a short wait to get onboard. Once onboard, I went straight to the Guest Services desk to reserve a Cabana or Cabanette and to change our drink package. I originally booked two Classic Packages – all the beer, wine, soda you want so my recovering alcoholic husband could have all the NA beer he wanted. The rule at the time of booking was that each cabin member over the age of 21 had to buy the same package. All I wanted was soda, but I bought the $207.00 package to follow the rule…so $414.00 for the two of us to not have a drop of alcohol. I was very pleased to find out that the package rule changed and I called RCCL the day before my cruise to change it. They said I had to go to Guest Services. Back to the line in Guest Services….once I reached the counter they told me the guys selling the packages had to make the change. I asked about the cabana and was told I had to go to Shore Excursions…which was not open yet. I was very surprised that the Shore Excursion desk was not open as soon as they started to allow passengers onboard. I went to the beverage guys and they changed my Seapass sticker and made me sign something that said I was changing the package. I asked where my refund would show up and the guy said Guest Services would tell me that later that night. I asked for the back copy of what I signed and he said I could not have it!! I repeated to make sure I heard it right that I could not have a written copy of what I signed and that he had no idea where my refund would show up. I went off to the spa to make a hair appointment because you cannot make that type of spa appointment online. That was not a problem. I went to the Park Café but it was not open yet. We went to the Windjammer and I left my husband there to go to the Shore Excursion desk. The line was long and I was in it for 40 minutes because only one person was working the desk. Eventually, a second person showed up and had a shopping bag with a Santa hat in it for the guy working hard at the counter trying to handle the huge line. The price for the cabana was higher than was quoted to me in an email from Crown and Anchor and the two person cabana for $120.00 from the same email did not exist. I booked the $50.00 cabanette – one of the best decisions I made for this cruise. I then made a reservation for a table by a window for the dining room. My husband was very irritated that the first hour of the cruise involved me running around following directions from RCCL that were not correct and he had to eat lunch alone. Not a good start. We got into our stateroom – a junior suite 8126 and it was really nice. Our stateroom attendant came in right away and introduced himself. Leroy was a difference maker for my husband and he was so much better than the stateroom attendant I had on the Freedom. The room was very nice with lots of storage. I could not find a Room Service menu (it was in the desk drawer), but I was very pleased with the room. Over the cruise, we heard short rumbles a couple of times a day, but no noise other than that from the pool deck. We were really pleased with how quiet the room was and how attentive Leroy was. I was a little bit surprised that the fruit and cheese basket I ordered, brownies for my husband that I ordered and the chocolate strawberries that I ordered were not there. On the Freedom, all of the items ordered from Gifts and Gear were in the stateroom right from the start. The ship started to leave and it was rough once we got out of the channel. My husband had on the patch and then we added the Seabands. I wore the Seabands as well. I never had a problem on the Freedom, but I was sick to my stomach by the time we went to dinner. Our waiter was Erhan from Turkey and we enjoyed him very much. He worked like a synchronized swimmer with Naceur from Tunisia. At each meal I watched waiters with their assistants and they looked irritated with each other. These two moved quickly, with a quick smile and a joke to make sure everything was perfect. Once my husband realized that he could order something else if he did not like something, he really enjoyed the dining experience. The maître’d was moving all around and even helped to bus tables. He spoke to us several times. I never recall a maitre’d picking up dishes! We went back to our cabin to unpack and to try and deal with the motion of the ship. We skipped the shows that night. The next day at Coco Cay was worth the whole cruise. We got up early and we were the first ones at the cabanettes. This is a private beach area with two chairs, a shade thing, floating mat, two huge bottles of water in ice, a fruit plate and later on – a bar was set up. There was one attendant and she (nicely) chased off anyone who did not have a reservation. This was all for $50.00 and SO worth it. Everyone in the cabanette area was quiet – no kids. It was SO peaceful. My husband was the only one snorkeling and all the fish followed him around. He said it was a truly remarkable experience to be the only one in the water. Nassau was icky…and mainly closed since we arrived on Christmas day. We did walk over to the Queen’s Staircase. The guide at the start was very good. My husband went up and one of the vendors at the top tried to take his money from his hand and when he quickly put it back in his pocket – the woman put her hand in his pocket and followed him when he ran away from her. Creepy. Geoffrey was running trivia that same day and no one showed up for it. He was really nice and answered every question we had about the ship and then played trivia with my husband. He could have packed it up and gone on a break…but he basically entertained the two of us for an hour! Another WOW attitude! Day at Sea was nice – hubbie won me many a pen at trivia! Getting off the ship was easy – but we were disappointed that the office onboard the ship for future cruises was not open that morning. We had about four hours to kill onboard that morning and would have liked to have spoken with someone. In summation, the crew was SO much better than the crew on the Freedom. The Freedom OTS should have training given to them by the Enchantment OTS. The Guest Services, Shore Excursions and Gifts and Gear took up a lot of my time when one visit to Guest Services should have resolved everything. I am ready to cruise again!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Ok, so this was my families 2nd cruise (2nd with Carnival). We stayed on the same class of ship of our first one. We sailed over Christmas with my Aunt, Uncle, 2 cousins, Grandparents, Mom, and Dad. In total, that makes 9. On this cruise, ... Read More
Ok, so this was my families 2nd cruise (2nd with Carnival). We stayed on the same class of ship of our first one. We sailed over Christmas with my Aunt, Uncle, 2 cousins, Grandparents, Mom, and Dad. In total, that makes 9. On this cruise, we went to Freeport and Nassau, going on excursions in each port. Our embarkation went smooth as ever! We somehow got moved up to the front of the line (probably because we were a group of 9). Once we passed baggage and the metal detectors, we had to wait only 15 minutes before we boarded the ship! I am kind of sad that we had such a good experience, because nothing will compare to how easy the embarkation was. Second order of business is the food. The food was amazing in the Ecstasy Dining Room. The food in the Lido deck restaurant was amazing as well. The lines were long, but the food was hot and delicious. Next, the cabin my family had was an ocean view room, M214. For 3 people, it was highly spacious and luxurious. Finally, our service was phenomenal! Our cabin steward Putu (i hope i spelled that right) knew all of our names before we left Port Canaveral. He did a fantastic job making towel animals and I always looked forward to seeing which one it would be that night. Lastly, our dining staff consisted of Jeffery, Ivelyn, and Marianna who all took great care of us and catered to our every will. One night, we ordered like 14 total appetizers (for the whole group not just us 3) and they didn't hesitate to bring it to us. All in all, I couldn't have asked for a better Christmas vacation! Sincerely~ TheCruiseDirector Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We took three vehicles to get eleven people to the ship. My wife and myself made this everyone's Christmas present. Going on the cruise with us was my oldest son, wife and three year daughter. In the next cabin was my other so , girl ... Read More
We took three vehicles to get eleven people to the ship. My wife and myself made this everyone's Christmas present. Going on the cruise with us was my oldest son, wife and three year daughter. In the next cabin was my other so , girl friend and five year old daughter and the last cabin had my mother in-law, her grand daughter and great granddaughter age thirteen. They all had inside cabins. My wife and myself had a suite. We ate at chops one night and took everybody to guava is table one night. All the other nights we all ate in the main dining room. The food and service were good in the main dining room. Taking care of this family was a challenge for servers as many have picky taste. The specialty restaurants were excellent in both quality and service. All of the kids used the kids programs and everyone was happy with the activities and the way coucileors worked with the kids. Activities for everyone else seemed lacking on this ship. My wife and myself are almost diamond and this is the smallest ship we have been on in years after doing Oasis and Allure the last two years. Entertainment was average at best. We expected this with the smaller ship. Stateroom was always clean, but never saw room steward except on the last two days. I had to write him notes as to what we needed or wanted. Getting on and off the ship was easy. Overall the trip was enjoyable and enjoyed being around the little ones. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
The good and the bad: I did enjoy the entertainment, especially the Tango show and lessons, the Karaoke, the dance parties, etc. but the dining experience ruined it for me. This was my 4th cruise, but my 1st from Baltimore. I am vegan and ... Read More
The good and the bad: I did enjoy the entertainment, especially the Tango show and lessons, the Karaoke, the dance parties, etc. but the dining experience ruined it for me. This was my 4th cruise, but my 1st from Baltimore. I am vegan and gluten free because I am allergic to dairy and gluten, but I have never had any issue. I usually just alert the staff and they make things I can have. This time I did alert the staff, and spoke with them at length daily, but it was hit or miss and mostly badly miss. Either I got nothing or I was given dishes that I was told were vegan and gluten free and either I realized they were not, or my body told me they were not later. I was sick to my stomach the last two days, from the reaction I have to dairy. To give some examples, the day before thanksgiving I told the staff what I wanted to eat. On Thanksgiving day, the only vegan and gluten free appetizer specially made was given to another guest. When my entrée arrived, I was told they could not make the appetizer I requested (something already on the menu, minus the cream). They should have told me this upfront, as they discussed making it more than 24 hours before. The entrée was fake chicken, which I specifically and repeatedly told them that I could not eat because it contains gluten. I requested the same thing but with tofu and not fake meat. I sent it back. They brought it out again, minus the fake chicken, still no tofu. At this point I decided to quit trying to actually have a thanksgiving dinner, and have dessert instead. But at dessert time, they again said they did not have the dessert I requested, strawberries, although they were present on the menu and other guests’ plates. At no point any day did they ever offer me something else when claiming they didn’t have something. So for thanksgiving dinner I had salad and a banana, and my meal and holiday experience were ruined. For the next day, I again requested tofu and mushrooms. What I got was some cold vegetable sludge with literally two mushrooms and a few tiny cubes of tofu. I asked for more mushrooms and tofu, again they said they had none. For dessert they gave me raw, cold, uncooked, unsweetened canned pumpkin in a dish. Obviously you don’t eat uncooked food from a can, not to mention that it was disgusting. They did give me soup that they said was vegan and gluten free, but I am sure it was not based on how I felt later and that it was indistinguishable from the non vegan version the other guests were eating. The chef did make me things special at times and they were great. I believe the issue was with the wait staff. In order to actually get anything I could eat, I had to wait an hour or more and ask multiple waiters repeatedly. This was embarrassing in front of all of the rest of my party. They would all be done eating and I would still be begging for something. The wait staff also outright lied to me about not having things like cinnamon, strawberries, mushrooms, tofu, etc which magically reappeared later or in other places. I don’t think they bothered to ask for it or speak to the chef half of the time. Other people placed special orders, and they were actually given them, and in a timely manner, so that was not the issue. I don’t think the staff had a clear understanding what vegan or gluten free meant. Part of it is actually that many are not native English speakers, and some come from countries without a large number of vegetarians. I also don’t think they realize that food allergies can make people sick or kill them. They were acting like it’s just an annoyance and not a serious problem. When they tell someone something doesn’t contain dairy and they can eat it, they need to make sure because there are serious problems when it isn’t correct. When I finally complained to guest services, I was told I should have came to them sooner. I went to waiters, head waiters, chefs, etc. Why do I have to spent the time complaining while my party is out dancing? It’s a simple fix, but my feeling was they did not want to do anything. It should have been right from the beginning. The boat was much smaller than the one I went on last year (from NJ), and had a lot less features like no ice skating rink, no minigolf, etc. Our stateroom attendant was great. Guest Services overall was very good. Entertainment was great (music and music theater especially). I was not happy that the ship did not stop in Key West. I was looking forward to Key West the most, as it was the only city I had not been to. Royal Caribbean previously did this, when they canceled stops in Martinique and Guadeloupe on another trip I went on. In that case, at least they replaced the stops with other stops. Here they didn’t and three days on the boat at sea was too much. I live right down the road from the Baltimore terminal but after this experience I wouldn’t want to do it again. At least not with this ship. My advice for people considering purchasing is to go to NY/NJ for a better experience. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Just got back from the inaugural 8-day cruise on the Quantum of the Seas from Bayonne (a.k.a. Cape Liberty) to Florida and the Bahamas. Quick review: Beautiful ship but still very buggy. Technology and some procedures need lots of ... Read More
Just got back from the inaugural 8-day cruise on the Quantum of the Seas from Bayonne (a.k.a. Cape Liberty) to Florida and the Bahamas. Quick review: Beautiful ship but still very buggy. Technology and some procedures need lots of improvement. Although the "bugs" raised the annoyance level, the ship and the cruise were a lot of fun. I'd go again once the kinks are worked out. Now for the gory details: Cons (be sure to read the Pros, too): We were in a "Superior Stateroom with balcony." Although nicely appointed with a big flat screen TV, it was cramped, especially when the sofa-bed was pulled out. An extra 6 to 12 inches of width would have made a big difference. Royal IQ app barely worked. Could not reliably review schedules or make reservations, which is critical with the "dynamic dinning" on this ship. Was never able to track my luggage. I really didn't care about tracking it, as it showed up when and where expected, but this "smart" feature fell flat on it's face. Royal IQ chat/phone add on feature barely worked. This is a really cool feature that should be a "WoW." You can use an Apple or Android phone to call or chat with anyone else while on the ship's WiFi. But it didn't work. Further, Royal Caribbean plans to charge for this feature! It was free on this cruise due to it not working, but I'm amazed that they'd choose to turn this "WoW' feature into a money grab. We didn't have hot water in our cabin for the 1st day of the cruise. The electronic order system used in the dining rooms crashed often. Wait staff is still learning how to use them. As a result, dinner took at least 1 1/2 hours. Dynamic dining means you never get the same wait staff. The system is supposed to allow wait staff to record preferences from one night to the next, but that never worked for us. The worst part is you don't get to make a human connection with the wait staff. Northstar was shutdown for a repair work a couple of days. Northstar wasn't cleared for operation in Port Canaveral. Northstar "ticketing" system needs work... Ripcord reservations weren't linked into Royal IQ or any other ship systems. Some elevators were frequently out-of-order. This was surprising on a brand new ship. Some water fountains were out-of-order! No open deck area with "dark sky" for star gazing. The bow of the ship is off limits to passengers. Now for the good stuff! Pros: Mama Mia was amazing! It was as good as a touring Broadway show should be! Truly a first to have the full length show on a ship, complete with live orchestra. Two 70 is an amazing space at any time of the day or night. Designed to be the ship's "living room," it met that promise. Starwater and the Robot Shows in Two 70 were really fun. Great singing, dancing and robots in Starwater. It's a must see for all passengers. The rest of the shows were great fun. The food was great. I went to Chop and Azumi, both of where were excellent add-ons. The main dining rooms have good food, however the menus get a bit "tired" after two visits. Windjammer had the typical cruise buffet food. RipCord by iFly was a hoot. The whole family did it. Flow Rider. 'Nuf said. Northstar offered amazing views of the ship while cursing. I only wish it had worked more in port so I could have seen more interesting views. The solarium at the front of the ship is a great place for grown ups to relax. You can rest in a hot tub while enjoying the view over the bow, relax on a lounge chair or curl up in one of the many wicker "pods" scattered throughout. Lots of deck chairs and different places to hang out. I don't know if it was due to the cool weather on this cruise or simply the amount of available space, but there was no fighting over deck chairs. There was always a place to hang. Watching the Macy's parade while lounging in the pool was great fun!   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Second time on this ship, 9 years apart, this time with kids. A different experience. The Explorer is still one of favorite ships, although she is by no means the smallest, she still offers the best of both worlds- the feeling of being at ... Read More
Second time on this ship, 9 years apart, this time with kids. A different experience. The Explorer is still one of favorite ships, although she is by no means the smallest, she still offers the best of both worlds- the feeling of being at sea with a range of activities available. Nice mix of passenger ages. Embrakation was a nightmare- rumor that porters were on a slow down and certainly appeared to be true. The luggage was waiting outside while they sat around doing nothing. Our family lugged our own luggage and were glad we did- others we talked to received theirs very late. Unfortunately this also caused debarkation to be a nightmare as nobody seemed to trust personnel to move their luggage getting off the ship. Rather than motivating me to support their union, it made me hope the RCI will look into other options in the future once their contract is up. Onwards to the ship. We still love Explorer of the seas and her crew. We would have preferred a band that regularly played ballroom dance music.... but the musicians were talented. Service was very good overall, staff friendly. Michelle the ice skater (dark hair) was very sweet to my daughter and Yin (cleaned restrooms) was sweet as well. Best show is the ice skating program, hands down. This ship is a great value for 6 yo plus crowd. Daughter loved ice skating and rock wall. Lacked options for children under 3 years- if paying full fare (and it was more expensive to book 1 room than 2 separate), I would expect more entertainment for the younger crowd... at least a nursery. The explorer is in good repair and still has a respectable amount of entertainment options if you are at least six years old. Do not worry about reviews saying she is in poor repair... the worst is faded life boats but to me that in no way impacts the experience. The explorer may be a nice compromise between a mega ship and a bare basics cruise ship. The only question mark was when our entire party was moved to a table in the corner to make room for a larger family on the second night, the families sat at three separate tables that didn't communicate even after being placed adjacent. After asking for our table back, we were given it on the third night- but on the second it was very awkward to be asked after the family had already taken our table. The family could have swapped their best table with us to achieve the same effect- so I believe it was more an issue of not liking the original assigned table. Had we been seated there the first night it wouldn't have mattered to us, but seemed rude to be moved into the corner. Our tablemates from a different family were also confused by the table swap. It seemed like a poor way to handle the situation- honestly wonder if the family took it upon themselves to move verses the staff making that decision. When we were moved back we didn't get our old waiters, so very confusing overall. While I liked all of the waiters this was a bit of negative aspect. For thanksgiving they decorated the promenade and slowly Christmas decorations took over. It was a nice way to celebrate the holiday versus the traditional expectations. Although we love Holland (2 star cruisers), this trip was enough to make us reconsider them as our primary line. For reference- experienced cruisers have sailed with RCI, Holland, NCL, and carnival. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
My wife and I recently sailed for 8 nights over Thanksgiving on Grandeur of the Seas out of Baltimore. This was our second time on the Grandeur as we really like the convenience of the port in Baltimore as we can drive in less than 2 hours ... Read More
My wife and I recently sailed for 8 nights over Thanksgiving on Grandeur of the Seas out of Baltimore. This was our second time on the Grandeur as we really like the convenience of the port in Baltimore as we can drive in less than 2 hours with no airfare. The ship has been refurbished since our last time on and it is very nice. The service was excellent. As a matter of fact, our room steward was the best we've ever had in 20+ cruises with multiple cruise lines. We picked the itinerary for the Key West port and unfortunately, due to weather we were unable to get in there. The entertainment was good, but we would have liked it if there were more choices. We weren't impressed with the Windjammer Café (buffet). However, the Park Café was very nice. We were disappointed that the times of operation of the eating venues was limited also. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
This was our 11th cruise with RCI. We cruise out of Bayonne every Thanksgiving, this time it happened to be on Quantum. We are Diamond Plus with RCI and travel with two other families in suites. The only benefit from booking a suite this ... Read More
This was our 11th cruise with RCI. We cruise out of Bayonne every Thanksgiving, this time it happened to be on Quantum. We are Diamond Plus with RCI and travel with two other families in suites. The only benefit from booking a suite this trip was the Coastal Kitchen, it was a great restaurant and the staff was amazing. The Concierge Lounge was a nice area, but the placement of the lounge was abysmal. I feel bad for the folks with rooms on deck 12 who had to put up with all the traffic in those hallways! The service in the lounge was awful. It was standing room only most nights, and we'd be there for an hour and a bartender would be by once during that time. What a waste of a benefit. The areas that impressed us most were: - The forward solarium - this area was quite useful for adults, the pools geared to seating and relaxing regardless of the outside weather. It was a beautiful space with the full view in front of the ship. - Use of Coastal Kitchen for suite guests - we very much enjoyed using this space, especially for breakfast. Getting to know a small group of the crew throughout the cruise was an experience we're used to and one we enjoy. - The captain greeting guests in the Coastal Kitchen in the mornings. - We loved the bumper cars and rode them several times throughout the week. There are several areas that I believe require immediate attention and are items that caused a significant negative impact on our vacation. 1. Inability of staff to respond with anything other than "no.” Several times throughout the cruise, we asked if small things could be done (like being able to order a drink at the bionic bar) and the only response was "no". In most cases, we were not willing to accept this answer and had to go through several layers of escalation to get a reasonable resolution. We spoke with Margaret who is taking the HR responsibilities on Quantum. She understood our concerns and believes the “no” responses are the result of the staff not having been trained on what options they have other than to respond with “no.” This training should be done before a Customer revenue generating cruise, as it certainly negatively affected the people in our party across the board. 2. Lack of crowd access control to venues • Prior to the Suite & Pinnacle event in the Music Hall, there was a Bingo event and a dance routine. The hall wasn't cleared prior to the Suite & Pinnacle event and upon entering we weren't asked to show our invitations. As a result many more guests attended that event who were not invited. There was a complete lack of controls in place to validate attendance and control the flow of people in an orderly manner. • Prior to events in 270 where reservations are required, people are in that space and able to freely enter. An inordinate amount of time was spent validating who had reservations. • The line for the North Star was very poorly managed. On some days (when it was working), the line stretched around the front end of the ship on deck 15. This took up a significant part of the jogging track and resulted in joggers having to run across the loungers. There's a high likelihood of someone getting hurt because of this. It also seemed to take an inordinately long time to start passing out the tickets. It was obvious that there were enough people in line that would warrant tickets, so there was no reason to delay handing them out for 30-45 minutes. 3. Validation of systems It became apparent that the customer-facing systems hadn't been properly validated before this cruise. While we did expect that not everything would be working correctly, the widespread failures of these systems was not acceptable. Examples of these failure include: • Keycard access to Concierge Lounge - We were unable to access the CL with either our sea pass cards or our wow bands. What we eventually learned was that, in the system, the CL was only open to D+ and Pinnacle members and, even though we were in a suite, since we were only Diamond at the time, we couldn't access the lounge. • Photo area - While there were many aspects of the new system we enjoyed, as soon as there was any significant demand on the system (last two days of the cruise), it effectively shut down. It took over an hour to find and select our picture because the system was constantly refreshing. Once we had ordered the disc, there were multiple delays in having the disc ready. We finally got it 15 minutes before we departed the ship and that was only because I refused to accept a final "no". The system had been disabled to the point where one person was manually creating all of the discs and there were several people who were told that they would not have their discs before their scheduled departure times. • Bionic Bar - We were never able to use our sea pass cards or wow bands to order drinks at the bar. We were not recognized as guests by the system. It took us until the seventh day of the cruise, eight separate "no" answers, and an escalation from the Concierge to the Hotel Director to figure out a way around the system by using an "administrative" card for access (which is what we had requested at the beginning). 4. Lack of Service in the Restaurants • As a party of eight for dinner, we dined twice in the American Icon and the Grande, once in Chic, once in Jamie’s Italian, once in Chops and once in Coastal Kitchen. In general, the service once seated in each restaurant was quite slow. The exceptions to this were the Coastal Kitchen and Jamie’s Italian. Unlike the dining experiences in a main dining room where tables are serviced with a waiter and assistant waiter, we were primarily serviced by one waiter and often we had no drinks/empty glasses, long waits between ordering and food delivery (timing is a factor when you are diabetic). A telling factor is that if American Icon, Chic, Grande and Chops Grille were on land and not aboard the ship, we would not dine at any of those restaurants. We've dined at Chops Grille every time the ship has one, and the fillets we were served this time were not up to standard. Five in our party agreed that the fillets were not good this time around. 5. At departure, the Concierge should ensure that guest luggage is ready prior to escorting the guest party off the ship. Mario escorted suite guests off the ship and as we entered the building off the ship, the staff announced "tags 1-5, only tags 1-5." So we could not go back onto the ship, and as there was not a waiting area, we stood in the hallway for 43 minutes until our luggage tag number (20) was called. Another family of suite guests affected with us were all over 80 years old and as there was no seating area, this became a huge issue for them. It is likely that the Concierge was not aware of the luggage tag numbers issued to his guests. Whatever the cause, it was not acceptable. \ 6. Inaugural Cruise Mementos/SWAG Prior to boarding Quantum of the Seas, a member of our group had been in contact with the Royal Caribbean Customer Support line to find out if any of the mementos issued during the trans-Atlantic or the shorter test runs would also be issued during the Inaugural. She was told that all of the mementos were a surprise and assured us that we would be Wowed because this was Quantum of the Seas and the crew and staff have been working overtime to impress all of our guests. So what we found out was that everyone essentially was getting different mementos and the communication from the housekeeping staff was non-existent. No one knew what would be issued if anything, and thus some families got items that others did not, and it was awkward. So in thinking about this, did we really want Quantum or Royal Caribbean memorabilia? We were amped up to be on Quantum and at that point were trying to find something to be happy about. Now I wonder why people would want them, why guests would be proud to use their Quantum USB drives, their North Star lanyards or USB chargers, their Quantum hats or backpacks. We didn’t receive any of these items like other our suite guests. Very poor coordination RCCL, this could have been good PR and Wow moments but it actually detracted even more from our experience. I did however buy a Quantum polo shirt. I wore it yesterday and several people stopped me to ask about Quantum and if I’d been on board her already. Can you guess what we talked about?   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
I cruised NCL Breakaway last July and again on 11/2014. THe first went to Bermuda and this one went to the Bahamas. I must say I was totally impressed with the changes made to the menu and entertainment this time around. We were thinking ... Read More
I cruised NCL Breakaway last July and again on 11/2014. THe first went to Bermuda and this one went to the Bahamas. I must say I was totally impressed with the changes made to the menu and entertainment this time around. We were thinking about purchasing more dinners at the specialty restaurant but only did 1 at Cagney's as we enjoyed the dinners at the Manhattan Dining room. Cagney's was amazing. Overall, we were most impressed with the wait staff- each one we dealt with weather for breakfast lunch or dinner including the host/hostess were absolutely wonderful. We wound up requesting the same wait staff for our dinners as the service she provided was second to none. She had us hooked when we went to her the 2nd night and she knew our names and our drink preferences, always very polite, courteous, and on top of her game. SHe definitely made us feel like royalty and Im sure she did same with all the passengers she took care of. The one thing I noticed they havent improved on is their custumer service staff. THey are not the most friendly nor do they really seem to know how to treat their passengers with excellent care-ensuring their issues are being resolved. I felt that way last year as well.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
This was a family vacation with 8 of us so I realize we are not all going to be happy all the time. I have cruised NCL and RCL the others have never cruised. Embarkation was easy, quick and accommodating, I recommend a passport, do not ... Read More
This was a family vacation with 8 of us so I realize we are not all going to be happy all the time. I have cruised NCL and RCL the others have never cruised. Embarkation was easy, quick and accommodating, I recommend a passport, do not bring your birth certificate if you do not have to in the end on debarkation it just caused problems. To anyone who is considering the "Liquor Program" each person in the cabin over 21 MUST pay for the program even if they do not drink. I understand why they do this but it is a bad set up if one of you is not a drinker. I had cruised some time ago and was very disappointed there are no more midnight buffets. Dining room was highly disappointing, meals were better at the buffet and the wait staff even told us on 2 nights to be prepared for bad service because they were short handed. Food was mediocre at best. Thanksgiving was horrible. I know it is an American holiday but when 90% of your cruisers are American, a slice of turkey on a plate is NOT acceptable. The "entertainment" by the wait staff used to be all sorts of action but now they stand and sing to you, ok still pleasant. There is little to do in the evenings for tweens/teens that do not want to participate in the kids clubs. This cruise line needs to try and get staff to know about other areas of the ship. If you asked staff about locations of events or food and drink if it was not there area they were of little to no help. The spa people kept telling us were had to pay to use the Serenity area, finally day 5 we realized they were wrong and we could use this area. Bartenders were in short supply and fairly rude. Seemed the line was just not prepared, understaffed, public restrooms were not clean and some in disrepair. We signed up for snorkeling in Key West, the weather was so bad, people were ill and the people running the excursion cancelled the other ones for that day and the next, we should have gotten a refund. Key West if you have never been is BEAUTIFUL and I would have been good just staying there. The cruise line never docked in Freeport due to weather, that was disappointing, Nassau is almost not worth getting off the boat for unless you go to Atlantis or just want to spend money at the shops. Over all we were together as a family and enjoyed ourselves, would we go on this line again no, this ship, no cruise again, yes, with teens, no. Our cabin was interior and it was plenty of room of the little time we were really in the cabin. The room steward was terrific he was on top of everything and super nice. The movies at night were nice. Track and gym very nice, laundry expensive, my teens insisted on washing their favorite items; irons are at a premium on dress night so use them early.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
I booked this cruise to start a family tradition. My grand daughter (17 months old) had never been on a cruise. I thought departing from New York City would be a good option instead of flying to a port for embarkation. If your looking for ... Read More
I booked this cruise to start a family tradition. My grand daughter (17 months old) had never been on a cruise. I thought departing from New York City would be a good option instead of flying to a port for embarkation. If your looking for a generic experience or have not cruise prior, this is the cruise for you. The embarkation was fairly quick and efficient. The Cabin Steward was friendly and attentive. The cabins are narrow as well as the hallways. Navigating these halls can be challenging especially with a stroller or wheelchair when the linen carts take up the hallways. Free style dining is a nice concept but don't expect the food to be warm or fresh. Food hoarding seem to be a past time of many travelers. The days at sea were too cold to enjoy the outside areas or pool. Some Excursions were over price and not worth the time. Great Stirrup Cay is nicely laid out with little shade. One has to pay for a Cabana, covered chaise or sit at a picnic table under the pavilion. There are water activities and a giant inflated slide for an additional cost. The Spa is a quiet respite with lounge chairs, saunas, whirlpool and hot tile chaise. There are a variety Spa services but be prepared to be pressured to purchase additional services or items. Splash Academy has programs for children age three or older. The Guppy Program (3 yrs. and younger) exists in name only. Their is a separate room with a few toys. Gift shops had the range of over priced jewelry or low end cruise nick knacks. The there is a variety of restaurants with table side service but the portions are small and the food may be over cooked. In general the ship is large with a variety of activities with audience participation. The price of the cruise is basic with many add-ons such as for sodas, wines and liquors packages or enrichment activities. Be prepared for a time-share experience of being asked to purchase items. If you see Spa staff outside of the Spa area, run!! You will be approached to purchase even more services. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Disney Dream cruise was the best experience right from the start. Here is a detailed view: Checkin Process online prior to arrival at port - very simple and straight forward with all options clearly defined. Checkin process at port - ... Read More
Disney Dream cruise was the best experience right from the start. Here is a detailed view: Checkin Process online prior to arrival at port - very simple and straight forward with all options clearly defined. Checkin process at port - well organized and efficient. For little kids, get the electronic band immediately post checkin before 3pm. Boarding - Welcome team announces your family and you feel good as the crew and ambience make you feel that you are entering magical world. This is the just the beginning. Day 1 - Save up your energy and sign up for lot of kids activities. There is ton of stuff for teenagers too. For adults there are good socializing options. Day 2-4, it is filled with fun activities. Suggestions: 1. Don't need special cameras, let Disney crew take as many pictures as they can. Don't feel shy. It is worth it. In the end you can buy the cd and prints for a reasonable price around $300+ for unlimited pictures. 2. Pick your food selection of your choice based on dietary interests. You can always order food on the menu for free. 3. Pick a deck level 6-9 as they are the best, to avoid motion sickness. Room at the middle section is best. Stateroom with Verandah is worth the price. 4. Keep your valuables in room safe. 5. Take Airborne or similar to boost immune system. Use the wipes they give everywhere to stay healthy. 6. Tip your Head Server, Server and Assistant along with your host/hostess. They work 14 long hard hours to make your trip worthwhile. 7. Take Snorkle and swimming gear with you. If you can take swim jackets is worth it. Otherwise, they quickly add up in costing. 8. In Nassau, take the trip to see using the taxi first and then come back to ship for lunch and then go back for some more walking around downtown which is near port. All walkable distance of less than 5 min. You can pay everything in USD, and items are priced reasonably. Stores perpendicular to Main Street have better price on same product. Be mindful of pickpockets and folks swiping stuff. Otherwise very safe place. 9. In Castaway Cay, it is Disney property and most items are free except Snorkle gear and swimming gear etc. 10. As everything is charged to room and charge card on file. Be mindful, of what is free and what costs. Best of all it is crew and team work that make it memorable. There is plenty of food, soft drinks and ice creams for free always. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Where do I begin. Our first experiance with the Sky was truely one to remember. We normaly sail in a Balcony (BA class mid ship) but on this cruise the cruising gods were smilling down on us and three days before we sailed we were bumped ... Read More
Where do I begin. Our first experiance with the Sky was truely one to remember. We normaly sail in a Balcony (BA class mid ship) but on this cruise the cruising gods were smilling down on us and three days before we sailed we were bumped up to the Owners Suite! Thats right we went from the balcony cabin of 202 sqft. to 835 sqft. cabin, private balcony w/hot tub, free alcohol, treats from the staff every evening a butler & concierge service. SPOILED!! You could tell the ship was a little old and needed a little mait. here and there but the staff was friendly and attentive the entertainment was very good for a smaller ship and of course the food was as always with Norwiegian fantastic. We have taken four cruise's with Norwiegian in the past five years these guys know how its done! They have certainly won my buisness as a matter of fact we are already booked on the madian voyage of the new Norwegian Escape in November.....Cant wait!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
I booked this cruise on opening day of reservations a year and a half ago and could not wait to experience the WOW ship. I am a Diamond cruiser with RC and had such high hopes.  Just got off the Christmas cruise to the Bahamas and I have ... Read More
I booked this cruise on opening day of reservations a year and a half ago and could not wait to experience the WOW ship. I am a Diamond cruiser with RC and had such high hopes.  Just got off the Christmas cruise to the Bahamas and I have never written a review before on any cruise but could not hold back my disgust and disappointment and would like to share my experience so that maybe someone else my not feel the same disappointment. Dynamic Dinning was an absolute bust. I made the dinner reservations online months ago after my final payment was made, and none of my reservations were honored. On day 1 I had reservations for Silk at 645PM and arrived at 630PM to find a long line of guest that all had reservations as well and no seating available. After waiting in line for 1 hour I walked to the front of the line to ask the host if there was a reason that we were all still standing in line. I was informed there was no more availability for that evening and they were very sorry but perhaps my party of eight may enjoy the buffet for that night since all of the restaurants were full and they could not honor the reservation that were made online. RESERVATIONS what a joke. So I thought to get smart and confirm reservation for all of the other 6 nights only to find out that all of the restaurants were now booked for the rest of the cruise. I offered my print out of reservations made online and asked how this could be possible and was informed that "the system could not recognize reservations made on line". I informed them I am a Diamond cruiser and the rest of my party were all Diamond Plus and then was given the option of coming each night at 530 PM to the restaurants that we booked and they would accommodate our part of 8. I took this as an olive branch and we showed up each evening only to find all of the other people they told the same thing as well and waited in line each night for seating. The food was NOTHING like any RC cruise I have ever taken before. Food was tasteless and service was very poor. One night in the Grand we waited 1 hour for appetizers and another hour after the appetizer for the main meal only to have our plates taken right out from under the fork without having finished so "we could start to enjoy our very special dessert". We were never offered a cup of coffee with dessert (any of the 7 nights) because "others were waiting for a table". MAYBE if we did not wait 2 hours for the main dish- tables would move quicker or if they had an assistant waiter things may run smoother. The buffet was no better. The round serving dishes were often empty. Any other RC ship I have been on replaced the empty serving trays as soon as they were empty. One morning for breakfast I walked the entire buffet and could not find a station that was stocked with clean plates and silverware-all were EMPTY. I asked a server in the buffet station if plates were coming and was rudely and sarcastically told "please be patient" so I patiently waited 10 minutes for a bowel and proceeded to the oatmeal (the 1 thing I enjoy each day for breakfast) to find that it was EMPTY and that I would need to be PATIENT or "COME BACK LATER" This was not a WOW.  I will give props to the fresh baked cookies they were very tasty but that was the best food to be found on Quantum. One last comment for the buffet, I asked a staff member for a cup of coffee as she walked past my table and she pointed to the drink area to get it myself and just walked away. All other RC ships always had people walking around to fill water and coffee. This is a true buffet of get it yourself. Don't expect any service here. Forget reservations for the show as well. I booked them all in advance online but once again nobody at the door checking so it was a free for all each night. No section for Diamond seating(if there was any it was over run and nobody checking) but there was always a little extra standing room only-not a WOW. I will give credit to the bartender at the open air pool he was the only staff member I saw with a smile and greeted each guest with that same smile every time I went there. I felt the ship was very under staffed and nobody providing the service I have enjoyed in the past. Why work for a tip when it is now guaranteed. Guest services had rude and ignorant staff when I went to complain. The ship was beautiful and the bionic bar (small and packed) was something to see. The solarium pool was also beautiful but full of young children splashing and yelling in the hot tubs even though this was to be for 18 and up (once again nobody checking). I actually left the solarium and went to the middle covered pool for a little quite time and found the seating there to be comfortable and quiet to read a book. The diamond lounge was also nice but I could not enjoy it or my complementary drinks because I was standing in line for dinner each night and did not get out until after 8PM so no enjoying the 3 complementary drinks at the bar either. RC is planning to change over all of the ships to Dynamic Dinning and I do not see this as a good thing. I like having the same waiter that knows what I like to drink each night with an assistant waiter and a cup of coffee with dessert and not having to stand in line for 1 hour for a table. I like the perks of loyalty like the diamond lounge and reserved seating for diamond members for shows and my coffee refilled at the table in the buffet. If this is the future of RC I may have to "Get out There" and pledge my loyalty else where and I do not think I will be alone. RC has given up on service for the I fly. The only thing I see flying are the loyal frequent cruisers.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Just off the 12th December 2014 sailing of Quantum of the Seas and WOW. This is the first time I have sailed RCCL solo previously sailing with a friend on Freedom and Allure. This was my 16th cruise with my favourite company being NCL, I ... Read More
Just off the 12th December 2014 sailing of Quantum of the Seas and WOW. This is the first time I have sailed RCCL solo previously sailing with a friend on Freedom and Allure. This was my 16th cruise with my favourite company being NCL, I have also sailed Celebrity, Carnival, Star and MSC. So lets start with embarkation. Other than the traffic jam getting from the port entrance to drop off everything was fast. Straight out off the car a baggage porter approached me, tagged my bags with tracker labels and gave me my tags to attach to my docs. Easy. Then once in the terminal you could see plenty of staff around with the portable check in tablets but all had a line of about 6 people so I went straight through security and lined at a desk. Within 10 minutes I was checked in and on the ship. WARNING:- if you like the ship photo they take when boarding it is in the check in hall, watch out for it as they don't have one after this point. First stop after glimpsing at the Esplanade was the Windjammer. Very nice set up with different sections like Celebrity and whilst lots of people around it did not feel crowded. Food was plentiful and lots of choice. Next stop the Star bar and bought the Premium drinks package. Wish I had bought it back in the UK online as the exchange rate RCCL was using online would have saved me around £20. Lesson learnt. Now the package stated cocktails and drinks $10 and under but most of the cocktails on any bar menu where $12. These where included. Daily specials and the usual cocktails do not appear on the menus in any bars. Seemed to be new style cocktails to me. None of the usual Mudslides, Blue Hawaiians, Miami Vice, Lava Flows, BBC's etc. They could and did make all these for me apart from the Mudslide as no Ice cream mix on the ship. Boo Hoo. Next stop was The North Star as I noticed it operating whilst still in port. I was in it and up in the air within 2 minutes and loved the view. In port it does not go over the side of the ship but the experience was still the same. Now lets talk about trying to get on the North Star a second time. Reading the daily planner and the Morning show on TV is a must to get the most outta this ship. Every day they will list an area and time where you must line up to get a ticket for a time to go up in the North Star for the day stated. On day 2 it was for that day, later lines where for the following day. Now they would only allow 500 people to sign up per day and the line took ages. Once at the front of the line you cannot pick a time, you are allocated a time. So if you are at the front you get 9am, if at the back you get 5pm. iFLY. Wow. Once onboard the ship head straight here to make a reservation. Warning, the staff are nice but stressed. The area which they have been allocated for check in's, reservations, waivers etc is too small and crowded. If you ask any RCCL staff they will tell you the iFLY is free for as many goes as you like. If you ask the iFLY staff they will only book you in once as they want everyone to have a go and there is only just enough time slots. Not sure why the iFLY operates limited hours but maybe this will change. Room:- I had a Solo Ocean view studio with balcony. Very nice. Room is small but larger than my bedroom at home. The bed was comfy and it was a proper double bed with no split in the middle. Enough storage to hang a suit and about 10 shirts. Plenty of draw space above the bed. Nice USB chargers. Huge bathroom and massive balcony. Esplanade:- Lots of fancy shops which I did not care for. Usual logo shop and duty free shop, nice. Café good. Michaels Bar good but other than that this area is wasted on me. No fun activities take place here other than mad cruisers buying $10 gifts. Did not see any parties or parades. One lonely Christmas Tree to represent the festive period. Now I am not moaning here just pointing out the facts. The area from the rear elevators to Two70 pointless. Other than Jamies and Vintages and the art gallery nothing until you get to the end and you have Two70 and the café. A lot of open space. Maybe that's good, I'm not sure. Two70. Wow. For the first three days on the ship I thought it was nice how the ship didn't feel too big and difficult to get around. Then on day four I remember Two70 and realised I had not been to that part of the ship yet. The area and café is very nice, especially for breakfast and lunch, less crowded. Entertainment:- Now I love cheesy cruise ship entertainment. Mama Mia WOW. A brilliant show and loved that they had a break in the middle to get a new drink and a quick loo visit. Starwater, WOW. Different and no plot to the performance but the show and visuals are all amazing. The six robot screens really do come to life. Sonic, very good. Loved the drum wall and the Earth Harp. Guest Entertainer #1, the comedian, well cannot judge as I was a little drunk and could see two of him and fell asleep. How rude, I know. I only woke when I heard him picking on someone else who had fallen asleep. Second guest entertainer was brilliant. Proper old fashion cheesy cruise tunes like Motown etc. However. Only five nights of entertainment on an eight night cruise. I was not happy, I am not into Latin music so Bellarious was not for me. Schooner bar, well ever time I went by the piano guy was singing Spanish tunes. Micheal's bar had no entertainment. So nothing for me to do. No sailaway parties or evening parties on the deck under the stars. No glow party, no quest. Nothing. Bionic Bar:- Loved it. Easy to use and hardly used by anyone else. Every time I went past at the start of my evening I would get my first drink of the night (had many thru the day) and loved watching the robots in action. They even remember your past orders for ease in ordering again. Solarium:- With sailing outta NYC in December it was cold so this area got some use from me and it was very nice, Large enough to accommodate all that wanted to use. nice pools and hot tubs and bar. Pool:- Nice large pool area. Usual unsupervised children running around and messing about in the hot tubs but for the four hot days it was easy to get a sunbed by the pool if there by 9am. A lot of chair hogging going on. When I'd arrive at 9am, towels already on many beds and you never saw people until hours later. I did witness the towel boys on three occasions scooping up the towels, good lads. Safety:- Maybe I was only noticing this because of recent news reports of accident in pools but it did amaze me how many adults sat in hot tubs or at the bar not paying much attention to their children running around the edges of the pool who could have easily fell in. Free Dining:- Windjammer - see above. Chic - very nice. Silk - yummy. Grande - worth dressing up for. Amazed how many people I spoke to or overheard complaining how formal Grande was. Not going to pass judgement, I'm rising above it. Menu in each venue stays the same for the entire cruise. Paid Dining:- Chops Grill -always my favourite but this time I paid the extra $20 for a dried aged steak. Never again. Sticking with the Filet Migon and saving $20. Ate here twice, first and last night. Wonderland - such a shame. This place was wasted on me as I ate solo. The staff amazing, the set up amazing, the menu, well, I'm greedy and no indication from the strange descriptions of how much food your gonna get. One course came and it was the size of large grape. I cried, nearly. I came away from here disappointed but it was more to do with the $55 price tag. I would recommend to any solo travellers who wish to experience this place to try and buddy up with some new friends and enjoy as a group. Jamies:- wow, Don't ask why because as I am not sure myself but I am very anti Jamie Oliver. But this came very close to beating Chops as the best restaurant on board. I loved all the courses. Devinly Decadence - I booked this in the UK and had low expectations. Wow. Other than your drink from the bar being served in a plastic glass as they get it from the Solarium bar, the food was amazing. Try and pre book your speciality restaurants online as they had a promotion when I did. I ended up booking 5 meals and got 30% back in OBC. Nice touch. Well that's enough from me and sorry for any spelling mistakes. To sum up, I came away from this sailing feeling I had a nice holiday but a little disappointed. As the week has gone on and people ask me about my trip I get very excited telling my stories and now reflect back on a great cruise. I would say any disappointment came from my expectation of all the fun I've had on past RCCL sailing and a little let down on the entertainment side. I now feel though that RCCL have a ship in their fleet which has the feel of a Celebrity Solstice class ship with a few quirky toys, with great dining options and three amazing production shows. Now knowing this I would easily book and recommend a Quantum class ship but would avoid for my solo outings as a friend on board would help fill in the gaps left by the lack of nightly entertainment. If your booked to go, have a brilliant time. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We were on the Dec 22-27th cruise to Cozumel and Princess Cay. We are experienced cruisers and have travelled on Ruby Princess, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity before. We go on cruises with the mindset that we are going to be flexible and ... Read More
We were on the Dec 22-27th cruise to Cozumel and Princess Cay. We are experienced cruisers and have travelled on Ruby Princess, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity before. We go on cruises with the mindset that we are going to be flexible and have a fun time! I have to admit I was disappointed though within the first 15 minutes of exploring the ship but tried to focus on the positives throughout the trip. We had 2 mini-suites on the 9th floor: D305 and D419. Our group consisted of 2 adults (ages 42 and 43) and 3 teens (13, 16, 17). Pros: Boarding process was a breeze. Very organized. Rooms were clean and the attendants were friendly. Balconies were spacious. Uncovered but worked well for sun-bathing. Nice variety of pools on the ship. Movies Under the Stars was a hit with my family. We especially enjoyed the pizza served on the pool deck, International Cafe, and the Casino. Nice movie selection in the cabin. Princess Cay was clean and offered something for everyone. A fun beach day! Cons: Pool towels were not available on Day 1. Must use beach towels from your cabin. Note: pool towels were older and need a refresh. Some of the furniture in the buffet dining rooms are showing their age and need to be replaced. The food selection at the buffet was odd and not appealing. There was a long line to get food at the buffet on Day 1. Something I have not experience on other ships. Passengers were grumbling. Noted a few young passengers with poor buffet etiquette so we did not return. (Ex: sneezing without covering mouth) The most alarming to us was the brown water (color of cola!) coming out of faucets and shower head intermittently in both cabins starting on Day 2. We were told this was happening on the starboard side of the 9th floor and a plumber would need to work on it. This continued through the end of Day 4. We brushed our teeth with bottle water (provided by us) and went to the pools and hot tubs vs taking a shower with contaminated water. This is an older ship that has doors in some common areas (busy pool/elevator areas) that you need to use your hands to pull/push vs being automatic. I was surprised Princess did not upgrade these doors to touch free to reduce germ transfer among passengers. We tried to ignore the flaws to the best of our ability and have a fun Holiday vacation. Would I cruise on this ship again? No. We much prefer the Celebrity Cruise Line. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
My family have been on several Carnival Cruises; however, this is our first time on Victory. The crew was nice, our cabin guy Wilfred was very attentive. Room service was prompt and courteous. We stayed in cabin 1015, which was a balcony ... Read More
My family have been on several Carnival Cruises; however, this is our first time on Victory. The crew was nice, our cabin guy Wilfred was very attentive. Room service was prompt and courteous. We stayed in cabin 1015, which was a balcony on the top floor. Cabin was snug for 3 people. Our son is 13, and he is 5 ft 2 in. and his legs were longer than the twin bed provided. The ship is false advertising so many things to the point that I cannot list them all. But to name a few: the sushi bar is no longer on the ship, the cabins are very much smaller than they look, and the food was the worst I've ever had on a cruise. The portions are very small, most nights we had to order two dinners. The shrimp cocktails were so wrong...baby flimsy,shrimp. The wait staff was rushed. The bartender in the Atlantic dinning room was sweet and attentive. I ate at the buffet on the Lido deck on my first day and my last morning. My last morning the breakfast buffet was hot with lots of choices. My family and I have been on 4 Disney Cruises and I must say that I cannot see myself on another Carnival cruise. You should pay the extra money and go on Disney. The teenage activities are so very limited. If your children are not into swimming each and every day, they find themselves roaming the ship in little groups trying to find something to do. So, here is the thing that really, really took the fun out of my days...the lines on day one to board, to eat, to get on and off the ship at ports, to debark. The best day was on the private island...which was ruined because they shut down everything at 2pm with the last ferry taking you back to the ship at 3:15. We waited in line for an hour just to board the ferry. Each port was cut shorter and shorter as the days went on. The island of Freeport which has the least amount of things to do, you guested it, is were we docked until 6:30 pm. Other days we were required to return by 4:30. And to make matters worst, we docked in Nassau on day before the big Junkanoo parade, which was on December 26th. We should have been in Nassau for the islands biggest event of the year. I hope this was helpful. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
I am mid 60's, wife late 50's, this was RCL cruise 14 of 63 past cruises. Started 1984 seen plenty of changes so it wasn't just that cruising is changing. This is simply changes that change the whole previous concept. ... Read More
I am mid 60's, wife late 50's, this was RCL cruise 14 of 63 past cruises. Started 1984 seen plenty of changes so it wasn't just that cruising is changing. This is simply changes that change the whole previous concept. Embarkation: Looked like scene from Walking Dead series. You know all those confused bodies walking aimlessly looking for that one still alive person. In this case designated by someone with a table. Security stations no distinct lines so just kind of push your way up to a conveyor belt. We were there 11:00 our " appointment time " though have no idea why they even have those. Was not relevant to anything that I noted. Finally through detector finally find tablet person. Waited for 10 minutes for her to complete people then had to assert that I was indeed the next in line. My pic came up wives did not, oops never mind system down and off the floor she walks. We were lucky though we got the infamous GREEN STAMP. No stamp not checked in. Numerous people hunting the GREEN STAMP since their tablet person could't complete process. The 10 minute touted check in, 45 minutes from luggage drop to up escalator. Sailed from old terminal on Explorer in October was quicker and easier even with buses. You need desks, you need lines, you need procedures Bayonne! Tablet people walking may work for 2 day 1000 pass trip, 4,800 plus pass sailings, not so much. They did have some podiums but again no designated line and confusing signage. Also would okay with 45 minutes from luggage to onboard EXCEPT they are the ones claiming 10 to 15 minute time frame. CABIN - 13620 - Seapass on door other in cabin with WOW bands. Seapasses worked bands needed to be reprogrammed. This is 13th deck superior ocean view with balcony. Cabin itself very well appointed with storage etc. Any card will work in power slot to turn on electricity in cabin. We used a Princess sea pass left it in no problem. NOTE if you pull card when you leave and kill power OUTLETS still live if charging stuff thankfully. NOTE They are not kidding when they say balcony door must be closed or AC goes off, in fact door must actually also be in locked position. Yes you can place it in locked position from outside. It is not locked from entry just locked from movement. The handle has a chip in it which means door must be fully closed and handle rotated or no AC anymore. Cabins in midship area are covered by an overhang which is three times the width of your deck. That overhang is also the steel plated floor for upper outside decks. It is what males the upper pool decks etc so wide. However plan to never get sun and also plan to get up early. They put out deck chairs around 6 am most mornings. You will know by the first bang which sounds like Thor's hammer hitting the steel deck. That will last about 30 minutes. I can almost sleep through anything and usually enjoy ship sounds, this, not so much. You would have thought someone would have considered a little sound proofing material. The deck arrangements are odd in that from my balcony you have a great view into all the foreword and aft balconies as many actually face you. You would have to take a look some pics of the ship to see what I mean. Our Cabin steward Marcia Brown was a highlight of the accommodations providing anything asked promptly and always there with a pleasant good morning etc. You do have to ask, even ice bucket is by request. They actually have a sign in room, ice by request only. If you don't see it ask for it like shampoo etc. GOOD THINGS: staff though obviously overworked always pleasant. TWO70 area and Cafe a highlight, really liked getting paid coffee and complimentary breakfast items there. The shows Mama Mia and Sound Odyssey great. Ripcord by IFly great! Food itself for most part very good, liked buffet food offerings and design, plenty of seating etc. Sadly not much else struck our fancy. OTHER - Solarium section usually a favorite with us not so much. Thought absolutely a gorgeous area appearance wise it is fully enclosed felt stuffy and had a noise undercurrent that was very odd. The pool falls, low background mood music all made for some kind of ambient low level noise that made it hard to talk or even concentrate to me anyway. The other indoor pool area better and opens to air to some degree. The open pool was great but this for me was because no bands or activities going on. That would certainly be a downside to many I would think. No real problems with tech. Yes the WOW bands both had to be recoded to work, don't like them anyway. Elevators large and running well most times. Some small problems like only one side of buttons worked at times in some, nothing major. Others must have had some levels of problems because Guest Services was very, very busy first couple of days. We went only to get wires WOW band recoded. NOTE if Diamond etc concierge can do it from her terminal. DINING - I won't go way into it certainly being covered. We hate it, no middle ground. From being pretty much forced to eat at some pay restaurants, menus just not large enough in each to make staying solely with complimentary ones. If you do not have reservations made already when come onboard you will have problems if ship is well booked. Non reservation lines LONG! Some wait even with reservations. I found it interesting that in Paid CHOPS if I wanted lobster still even in extra pay it is extra charge $21. If I wanted better aged steak $18. Most of the issues have been well covered. Come on in extra paid restaurant Jamiees Italian ( the best one by the way ) 2.95 for American coffee ( not speciality ) really pay extra each and still you are going to chafe me for the coffee because brewed? In Chops it $8 speciality coffees if not just instant syrup junk coffee? REALLY! Waters over stressed and they will tell you IF no one is around that they hate system. Nobody is happy. We shall see. MAKE reservations online!!! Many evenings no reservations were told come back at 9:30 last seating. We had one day with no reservation wound up eating dinner in the buffet. ENTERTAINMENT: obviously they are doing some great stuff but again I caution you make reservations online. Maybe some of these 2 day early sailings with 1000 people did't have lines. We had 4,800 something on board everything was a line almost. Even with multiple showings the theatre can't hold everyone wanting to see a show. Here's a problem, reservations go in first. SEAT HOLDER BEWARE. So reservation people go in, some people sent one in tell them hold 4 seats. We all now how that works, BUT, new game. 150 people without reservations standing in hallway 45 minutes until opens to all. they enter to claim the 50 unoccupied seats. Seat holder says no those 3 seats are taken they will be right here. Well guess what after waiting 45 minutes in line no one wants to hear you are saving seats. A couple near physical confrontations witnessed personally, a few hot words exchanged. If you have reservations all go at same time or risk a problem. We did not get to see 270 Star whatever show no reservations available though tried early but online didn't allow me to. Since that is a small venue we weren't going to even try to wait on non-reservation line because doubtful would get anywhere near a seat. No matter what a pain make your reservations for food and entrainment online. Most everything spoken for by end of first day I would bet. We will never sail Dynamic Dining ever again. I will go land resorts first!!! Service and uniqueness of main dining waiter relationship etc lost. We like meeting table mates etc. This is just like eating out at home, so why bother getting on something that rocks in bad weather? Bumper cars, cute, after waiting for 45 minutes then getting 9 minute ride would you bother to ever go again? Same with the Star, unique once, after that going to stand on line for an hour to do it again? Robot bar, everyone seemed to agree that was just a wasted space. Roving Bar service near non-existent by the way. Most part plan to bar and get your own. Maybe because many already paid for drink plan why make it easy? ROOM SERVICE: we only do the rolls and coffee so didn't pay for hot items. But complimentary juice, no idea what that was orange fissile water or something nothing like any juice. Even tried carrot juice...still I am not paying $4 for a glass of real juice. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Took the NCL Breakaway on a Xmas cruise with wife and kids. Ship is big and it is nice but that is all it has going for it. We have been on RCL, Holland America, Costa, Carnival and NCL. First lets start with the food if you eat in the ... Read More
Took the NCL Breakaway on a Xmas cruise with wife and kids. Ship is big and it is nice but that is all it has going for it. We have been on RCL, Holland America, Costa, Carnival and NCL. First lets start with the food if you eat in the main dinning ( free ) food to me was not much better then hospital food we heard lots of complaints about this. The pay restaurant's food is better so if you go try them out. I don't think you should have to pay to get a good meal when you are putting out a lot of money in the first place. We could not wait to get off the boat in FL and Nassau to get a good meal. We had problems in the kids arcade with games that where not working and getting charged for them this was a big fight with them so watch out if you play in arcade. Plus games are expensive in arcade $1.50 to $2.00 per game for the kids I think this is a rip off. They messed a bunch of our photo's up also and wanted to charge us to fix them. Everything with them is about the money and that's it, No personal experience and I found a lot of the crew to be rude. Maybe this was because it was the Holidays and they wanted to be home but still if you are paying you expect better. So if you ask me I would not sail NCL go with a better line even if you pay more it will be worth it. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Recently, my boyfriend and me took a Carnival cruise on the Paradise during December 22-27 , 2014 . I was thinking , it's would be a perfect little vacation getaway. Usually we book balcony cabin, but this time we had inside cabin( ... Read More
Recently, my boyfriend and me took a Carnival cruise on the Paradise during December 22-27 , 2014 . I was thinking , it's would be a perfect little vacation getaway. Usually we book balcony cabin, but this time we had inside cabin( booked cabin 2 weeks prior cruising) . Instead my boyfriend got very sick ( we think , from poor air circulation and mold ). We complained for 3 days, that it's very hot in the cabin, only on day 3 did the technician finally unscrewed the air vent, witch was full of mold and solid black in color. In fact, most everyone staying on the empress deck was sick and coughing like my boyfriend. With regard to what is supposed to be the reason we all cruise (the superb food) Carnival Paradise's food was simply awful. Specifically the eggs were not real (seemed to be made from powder), the coffee and tea were not brewed. They both were made from syrup and water and tasted horrible. The juices were not made from juice. They use Vitality which is more like a juice drink full of added sugar. The ship was dirty and proper sanitation procedures were not used. Servers not wearing gloves and taking dirty plates away and serving food right after without cleaning hands or wearing gloves. Needless to say we would not recommend the Carnival brands and will never book with them again. They want to charge full price and provide 2nd class service. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Fascination Christmas cruise 12/24/14 for myself, wife and three daughters. All experienced cruisers. Due to differing work schedules we only had time for a 5-day cruise. We also needed non-stop flights from three different cities. ... Read More
Fascination Christmas cruise 12/24/14 for myself, wife and three daughters. All experienced cruisers. Due to differing work schedules we only had time for a 5-day cruise. We also needed non-stop flights from three different cities. Jacksonville worked out best, so off we went on Fascination. Embarkation. Jaxport is a one-story tin-roof warehouse affair that looks like it was thrown together in about 3 months for $100,000. Extremely no-frills. But from the time we arrived at 11:30, dropped off our luggage with the porters, parked in the fenced-in lot ($75 parking fee for 5 days) and made it through check-in, we were on the ship in less than one hour. With that kind of performance, I couldn’t care less if the facility is made of sticks and a thatched roof! The Ship. Fascination is the forth oldest in the Carnival fleet. We’ve sailed on Fantasy class ships before, so we knew what we were getting. On the plus side, the ship is in great shape for her age. Clean, little sign of wear and we don’t mind the smaller size. The crew was constantly cleaning, polishing and maintaining as always. All that said, this ship is in desperate need of the 2.0 upgrades. Aside from the last dry dock where they glued a bunch of balconies onto the hull, cruising Fascination is a lot like cruising in the 90’s. The décor is noticeably dated. We missed things like Guy’s, Red Frog and Alchemy. The Serenity Deck has no bar and no restrooms. Again, we picked this ship because it best met our needs and knew what we were getting. Fascination heads into dry dock in March 2015 for the 2.0 upgrades and that should make it a much better experience. If they could only do something about that ridiculous design flaw on every Fantasy class where the lifeboats totally block the view from the pool decks . . . Cabin. We had two interior cabins on Deck 6 (Upper.) We stopped buying balconies a few years ago when we realized we never spend any time in the cabin and the dollars could be better spent elsewhere. Typical Carnival cabins. Spacious enough with plenty of storage. Temperature and maintenance both fine. Our cabins were both in a “sideways” configuration where you enter on the long wall rather than the short wall. This is a little bit awkward and the beds didn’t fit quite right, but who cares? Crew. Pleasantly impressed. This crew was among the best we’ve experienced on any Carnival cruise. Universally friendly and attentive. Our cabin steward Oscar introduced himself in the first hour, kept the cabins neat and greeted us in the hallway by name. Our dinner waiter Hugo (late seating; Imagination Dining Room) was also excellent. He knew our names and our likes on the second evening. His two assistants were also pleasant and efficient. The bartender in the Atrium Bar, Andreea, was maybe the overall best Carnival employee we’ve ever enjoyed over the years. Food. Again, pleasantly impressed. We ate breakfast each morning in the Sensation Dining Room. Good service, better food and no lines (the line for omelettes in the Lido Buffet was always 20 people long.) More folks should take advantage of the fancy dining room for breakfast. The Sunday Brunch steak and eggs was the single best meal I had on the ship. We never once sat in the Coconut Grove Lido buffet. Grabbed a snack here and there and ate by the pool or on the Serenity Deck. Dinner ranged from OK to very good. Appetizers always interesting (small portion size, but they’ll bring as many as you want.) Entrees were hit and miss. I had a filet from hell one night, but an excellent Chateaubriand the next. If your waiter offers advice on what to eat and what to avoid, take it. Hugo was always spot on. Drink. All five of us bought the Cheers program. The initial price is a bit of a punch in the gut, but we figured we’d break even at about 6-7 drinks per day. Since we enjoy a drink before dinner, a glass or two of wine with dinner and a cocktail before bed, breaking even is not difficult. Maybe the best thing for us is that Cheers allowed us to try drinks and wines we probably would not have tried otherwise. Don’t like it? No big deal. Wait five minutes and order something else. If you enjoy drinks on your cruise, Cheers is worth the cost. Shows and Such. None of us attended a single show. Hate them. The girls went to one late night comedy show and gave it a C-. The lobby bar entertainer Robbie was talented, but his classic rock repertoire did not fit the venue. One major complaint. We’re finding the increasingly urban hip-hop vibe on the pool deck (DJ Irie, Carnival calls it) not to be to our liking. We all agreed that alone would be enough to seriously consider another cruise line when we next have time for a full 7-day adventure. Cruise Director. I’ve never understood the absorption with cruise directors and couldn’t care less about them, but this guy (Jason “Jase” Apps) was more annoying than usual. Extremely frequent and painfully long announcements. Must be getting one beauty of an incentive on Carnival MasterCard sign-ups because he talked about it all cruise long. Just wished he would jump overboard. Ports. Spent a couple of hours on Half Moon Cay just to get our toes in the ocean. Tendered over, walked the entire length of the beach (about three miles round trip) and tendered back. Did not eat there or use any of the amenities. Our other stop was Nassau (our 6th visit to Nassau at least) but the girls had been only once before. We walked to the Queen’s Steps, then all the way over to Fish Fry for lunch (Goldie’s – excellent,) then to John Wattling’s Distillery. That’s more than 5 miles of walking, but we’re a pretty fit bunch. Never once felt unsafe on Nassau. Keep your wits about you and stay on the port side of the hill and you should be fine. Overall. A good cruise. We’re a tight-knit family and usually have a good time anywhere we go. This cruise was no exception. The time we got to spent together was in and of itself great for us since our family is now geographically spread out a bit. Carnival continues to offer a good value, plenty of home ports and a nice variety of cruise lengths. Without Carnival, a cruise would not have been possible for us this Christmas. That said, as our family grows older we decided we’re going to branch out a bit. My kids loved Carnival as teenagers, but we think other lines may better fit us at this point. We’ll see. But we would recommend this cruise – and Carnival – to anyone.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
I took cruise on the “Quantum of the Seas” from Bayonne, NJ. (Dec 22- Dec 27, 2014). Being a Loyal customer to Royal Caribbean I wanted to love this new Quantum of the Seas Ship that just came out as it was promoted as being hi-tech ... Read More
I took cruise on the “Quantum of the Seas” from Bayonne, NJ. (Dec 22- Dec 27, 2014). Being a Loyal customer to Royal Caribbean I wanted to love this new Quantum of the Seas Ship that just came out as it was promoted as being hi-tech and all (this is my 10th cruise with RCCL and being an Emerald member), and I expected a lot of the Personal Quality Service that I had received as on the previous RCCL ships before. I always choose RCCL because of their exceptional personal quality of service, food/dining and shows. To my dismay, this ship really let my entire family down with regards to the dining and service and onboard activities. It is quite disappointing, as we paid a lot for a Holiday cruise and was looking forward to a stress-free enjoyable cruise. This ship really turned us off, that we are considering other cruise lines for the near future and will not recommend anyone for dynamic dining settings on RCCL. It seems to be a lot of Marketing Hype with regards to hi-tech on Quantum, but RCCL needs to remember that their brand name/equity is built on Quality of Service (Customers) which this shipped failed drastically from my point of view. Plus it did not even get close to meeting RCCL’s vision listed which says: “Anchored in Excellence” (We always provide service with a friendly greeting and a smile. We anticipate the needs of our customers. We make all effort to exceed our customers' expectations….) these were my expectations when cruising with RCCL. Below are my comments on this cruise: 1. Online Reservations (Dining/Shows) from home: • As this is required. This was the most stress-full as it took me 2 months to be able to arrange and getting the required dining time and shows. Reservations may show that the time-slot is available but when proceeding thru the screens it was not. This really ought to be corrected. I do understand trying to give flexibility but it really should be a stress-free vacation from the start. I work in a hi-tech industry and quality test engineer professional and see holes in the systems. 2. Port Check-in: • Online check-in is supposed to enhance quick-check-in at the port. There was no communications or signs from up-front with regards to seeking someone in a light blue sweater for check-in. • Several counters are set-up for different issues, but we found that the credit card counter was servicing like check-ins with picture taking etc. We stood in-line for the credit card counter to get the credit card change due to an issue we encounter before the trip and there were only 2 families before us. We were in-line for 40 min. before we were able to get the credit card changed as the first family ahead of us was doing check-ins and more instead of just credit card. 3. Restaurant Reservation/Service: • The dynamic dining on Quantum is one of our worst experiences we have ever had. We have been on previous 9 cruises with RCCL. It failed drastically to meet Quality of personalized service that RCCL is known for. • Dirty dishes were left on table for 20 min or more and not cleared up immediately due to lack of staff • Waitstaff did not show personalized service during the first 4 nights which is basically more than 1/2 of the cruise time due to lack of staffing. • Waitstaff (Lucilo at American Icon Grill during our first time dining there) told us to serve our wine ourselves and when I ordered surf & turf because of a screw up was given a Turkey dinner. Needless to say this is not the service we expect from RCCL. • Day 2: Silk reservation had a delay but staff did not inform line that there has been a delay by how much time. They ran out of certain beers and food on the menu. • Menu offered in these specialty restaurant are really a lower quality food types vs the traditional dining on RCCL ships with the exception of “The Grande” and “Chic”. • Using tablets for ordering takes away personal service interactions with customers. Comment: It was only by the 4th dining night that we started to see improvement in service, but by then it was past half-way in our entire cruise already. 4. Windjammer buffet: • Food selection was more Indian spice geared and quality is lower than other windjammer of other RCCL. • Tables were not cleared as there was lack of staff • Washing of hands prior to entering dining area was not re-enforced. 5. Stateroom: • Being an Emerald Member I expected robes in our room instead of asking for it at arrival • Expected the stateroom to have tissue box instead of asking for it. • Pillows did not smelled like fresh and clean • Stateroom attendant did not even introduce themselves and welcome us on-board. • No announcement inside stateroom • Stateroom much smaller with sofa bed pulled out no room to walk - no living room space. 6. On-board Activities: • iFly (Ripcord) activity - it was said that reservation was to be done the first day or online. This was not really communicated via e-mail or thru the compass Day 1 as I looked. Plus when I did the online check-in early this was not available for making reservation. By day 2 they said that all the reservation slots are booked for the entire cruise already. • There were not enough pool areas. • Whirlpool temperature is only luke-warm 7. OTHER: • Network connection onboard was not great. It was intermittent and there was not always able to tell you how many minutes you have left. • Did not feel like Christmas on board at all this being a Holiday cruise • RFID wristband only used for certain things. • Santa line up for kids receiving a gift at Two70 was a mess. Not well organized. • Elevators took too long, Many out of service and some of the panels didn't work on one side. • A Day at Disney Excursions requires more time. at min 9 hrs. Only 6 hrs. was allotted. • Very morbid attitude no smiles or welcoming feeling. • Balcony has no lights. • Royal IQ Apps is ok 8. SHOWS: • The only piece that I believe RCCL kept up with their brand. EXCELLENT SHOWS! .   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
My Background: Over 30+ cruises - All major lines. Positive about the industry. A bad day on the ship is better than a good day at work. Cruising is the way to travel on a budget! Pre-Cruise: Charleston is a wonderful City to embark ... Read More
My Background: Over 30+ cruises - All major lines. Positive about the industry. A bad day on the ship is better than a good day at work. Cruising is the way to travel on a budget! Pre-Cruise: Charleston is a wonderful City to embark from. Charleston has a wonderful southern flare that can be a vacation all its own. Several wonderful restaurants encompass this beautiful historic city. We really enjoy the Charleston Crab House. Our favorite location is on Jamestown. Carriage rides, souvenirs, ghost walks, and historic sites are great ideas for your stay. If you stay downtown, you will have access to even more things to do. There are several hotels and bed & breakfasts to stay at in town. I highly recommend Vendue Inn. This is an elegant place to stay that is right on the park and battery. If you want to stay at a chain hotel that is relatively close, I recommend the marina view of Marriott's Courtyard Harbor. It's about a 10 minute drive to the port. Embarkation: Charleston is an interesting port. Many of the people that live in town are opposing the ports existence. Even thought the port has been there from the 1600's, they feel threatened by the footprint they believe the ship leaves. Due to current restrictions, they generally allow one ship at a time. The Carnival Fantasy is allowed to be here year round. I am not sure where the local governments stand right now with adding more to this port. Keeping this in mind, the port feels very retrofitted for the task at hand. I have left out of this port previously on the Carnival Victory. I knew what to expect. It has improved some over the past 11 plus years the port has been used for cruise ships. It still has a long way to go to be considered a great embarkation port for this reason. You will be asked to show up after 12:30 noon. While they will allow you to line your cars up outside of the port, you will not be allowed to go in. They will allow you to drop your bags off early, but you can not park. I definitely recommend that you do not show up early. Enjoy the town during this time. If you are parking, they will ask you to pay for the parking up front. The cost for parking was $119.00 if I remember right (7 night). If you have someone in your party that is handicapped, they will not charge you parking. This happened with another couple in our party that needed extra assistance. You will park your car in a covered warehouse. It is actually one of the safer feeling places I have parked. You will need your cruise information during this process of dropping off your luggage and heading to the lot. After you park your car, you will to a quickly moving line that will load you on a bus. The bus will take you directly to the cruise terminal. Once you enter the terminal, you will complete your check-in and get your cruise cards. One thing we noticed is that we were able to get to our rooms right away. Our luggage was delivered quickly since we were considered priority with our Platinum status and mini-suite room selection. The staff at the port was very nice. We were able to get on the ship with ease. Elevators were available. The Ship: The ship is one of the "fun ships" that Carnival has become famous for. The Fantasy is a 70 thousand ton "tion" ship. It is a money ship for Carnival. It has been improved over the years. They have not completed the 2.0 enhancements, nor have they added a steakhouse. The ship is well built, and per the customer service staff, they expect it to go back into dry dock in the future for more upgrades. There are no expectations at this time for the ship to be sold. The common areas are silver, blue, and neon. The old flash of the Carnival's past is evident around the ship. Accents have been made to give it some modern feel. You can see this most on the pool deck and in the staterooms. These areas have been improved over the years. The extra added balconies that you see on some of the other funships, such as Imagination, are not present. The ship is freshly painted. The wear has been covered some which makes the ship feel newer than it is. The dining rooms have the low ceilings that you do not see anymore. Both dining rooms are one story. The theater is flatter than the newer ships which causes more seating to have restricted viewing. If there is a particular show you want to see, be sure to get there about 20-30 minutes early to get a better viewing seat. The pools seem to be maintained and actually the pick-up service seemed to have the ship under close control. This is something that all cruise lines seem to have a challenge with. Very few times did I see plates stacked or drinks just sitting around for a long time. The piano bar, game room, and club rooms are really nice. The only room that could use a little update on decor is the back room where the comedy shows take place. I would like to see it look more like a comedy club basement look. Still, the ship is well maintained and looks good. Staterooms: I can only speak for the V-17 balcony that we had on level 11. The room was very nice for a balcony. The actually balcony matches the width of the standard balconies, but is very narrow in depth. It is only about three feet from the door to the railing. It sits high up above the rest of the ship. The four balconies on either side towards the center of the ship have obstructions due to life boats. V-15,17,19 all had good views with little obstruction at all. A bonus, these rooms have a lot of privacy since they are in their own little area. Very little hall noise! Nothing above or below to distract you. The Grand Suites in the middle of the ship are HUGE! My mother and father and law stayed in those during a previous cruise. The noise is much higher, the view is lower to the water, but the rooms are great! Back to V-17... The flat screen TV's are fine, plenty of storage, great lighting, and decent size showers. As most know, Carnival's rooms are generally bigger than matching categories on other lines. Dining: Dining options are more limited in regards to places to grab a bite, but they seem to be more available to serve throughout the day. Room Service is very fast! Pizza 24/7. Nice deli on the back of the ship in the lido deck. The Lido offers different choices each day. The place is kept up well. I love the seating off the back sides. Wonderful place to eat. There are two TV's in the lido deck that were popular during the college bowl games. The bar service is great unless we are in port. Since many of the staff may have leave, you may have to hunt down a few. I recommend that you tip on-top of the automatic 15% gratuity. 1$ per order will go a long way. They will remember your name and be there for you more. Remember, all Lido food on all ships have pluses and minuses. You can find something you like. If you do not like the lido deck food, then you may want to eat in the dining room for breakfast or lunch. Breakfast in the dining room is the only way to go - it is the best. Great service and the food tastes even better. Alright folks.... this "anytime dining" is really getting the raw deal. I always recommend eating at a set time each night. Early or late... The anytime dining is a huge line that means you have to wait. You can do that at home. A little secret. If you want a specific time, talk to the Matre'd. See if he/she can set up a time for you and your family that works each night. They can even have the same waiters for you if you want. This way you get a time you want, and you do not have to wait in line. Stick with the set early or late times, and you will not have a problem. If you like something at dinner - brag on it. They love this. If you do not like something - nicely tell them that you did not like it. This helps them out a lot! A steak comes out overcooked, tell them... give them a chance to make it right. The dining room staff take their craft seriously. They work very hard to get these positions. A shout out to Assistant Waiter Puthut and Team Waiter Maryna at table 370. Excellent team. The Matre'd helped us on the first night by getting us a better seat with them. They were magnificent. They really cared about the customer! They went the extra mile! The meals were excellent. Will you like everything? No! Try other things then! Don't just say the food is bad. Tell them what you like and you will be surprised. I am a picky eater, and they did wonderful! I actually like Carnival main dining over RCCL, Disney, and Celebrity. They need a steakhouse like they have on all of the 90k ton ships+. I am sure they are working on that. You can order specialty steaks/lobster for $20.00 currently on the Fantasy. They also need a Guys hamburgers. Entertainment: Carnival has always had a strong schedule for ship entertainment. They currently have a cast of 8 men and women who not only dance, but can ALL sting. They did not have a live orchestra. They are singing the program shows such as "Motown" and "The Brits." I have seen these shows on different stages. The Fantasy staff performs their shows really well. They have some very strong singers! The magician and George Lopez comedy club comedians are always packed and fun! I have seen these comedians before. The adult shows can go over the top some. Just because you can say cuss words does not mean the whole show needs to have them. A few perfectly time cuss words can make the impact that audiences are looking for. RCCL and Carnival have the entertainment part covered. Great piano bars and live music around the ship. Again, not stage band for the productions shows on this ship. Itinerary: Day 1 - Leave out - Safety drill is a little longer than some ships. Some of the groups need to be walked to their assigned life boats. This is due to recent changes and the design of the boat. 20-30 minute process. A little long, but not a big deal. Always much better than wearing the life jackets like we used to about 5+ years ago. Day 2 - Sea Day - go to the Spa - sleep late - hangout on the Serenity deck on the back below the lido. Day 3 - Sea Day - repeat Day 4 - Grand Turk - Yes, they have excursions... but why waste the money. Go to Margaritaville right at the docked port. Have some food and drinks and swim in their huge pool. Have fun with the great DJ there. If you want to swim in the ocean, it is right there at the port. Take a Taxi to the even nicer beach on this very small island. Day 5 - Half Moon Key - Hard to beat when cruise companies have their own private island. Beautiful beach, music, and fun awaits. The food is included. Drinks are not... not part of beverage plan either. You actually pay a round a dollar more for drinks. The food is free though. The only real downside, you have to tender. The use the big boats that lows up to 250, so the process is actually pretty smooth. Great stop as always. You can rent water equipment at the beach. They do have excursions here.... but why? The horseback riding did look pretty cool though. Day 6 - Nassau - Here is where I recommend taking a nice excursion. I also recommend you shopping here. They have added a VAT "Value Added Tax" starting this year. This does not apply to watches and jewelry. The stores may require you to pay a small refund fee for the VAT, but they have ways to negotiate with you on that. Reduce the price by the few dollars it costs. We love Venetian Jewelers on Nassau. Vince, the manager there is always great with us. Hard rock and other restaurants have free wifi. The ship wifi has not received the upgrade yet... it is slow. Go to a restaurant that is not that crowded, and you will have the faster connections. They will give you their password if you are eating or drinking. Atlantis is nice, but very expensive. If you been to Vegas, the resort will be a letdown. The beach is nice, but there are better ones you can see outside of Atlantis. Day 7 - Sea Day - do your thing! Pack Day 8 - Debarkation This is the area of biggest improvement for me. This was so awesome. The self assist platinum folks meet in the Piano Bar. At 7:20 ish. They will pick you up and hold elevators just for you to go down to the proper floor - 3. You will disembark , got through customs, and take your backs to the truck that will load your luggage and take you to the garage where you parked your car. I dreaded this process, but they have it down. Minimum wait. The driver was very friendly. To get out is very easy. I expect that the other folks leaving may experience some of the same. They will not allow you to roll your bags from the ship to your car like we used to. Again, the process went very well for us. In Conclusion: I really enjoyed this relaxing cruise. That is what we wanted. We had set our expectations appropriately which created some pleasant surprise moments. Veterans of cruising that are positive will find this ship to be nice. High expectation folks who have never cruised or have not been on Carnival may not be 100%. New cruisers reactions may differ depending on their expectations and the people they are with. Generally, most will take this vacation to be something very nice. New cruisers - this is an older ship - you will feel some movement that you may not feel on larger ships. Take a non-drowsy Dramamine, patch, or wristband, and you will be fine. It is very light. I heard very little concerns about this from the different first time cruisers we talked with. Don't let seasickness fears ever be an excuse from having fun. If Charleston is your call, then go for it!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This is the first time we have sailed RCCL. This was my 12th cruise and over the past 22 years I have sailed on NCL, Princess and Carnival. The ship is elegantly designed, beautiful and amazing! It never felt crowded to us (wife, 17 yr. ... Read More
This is the first time we have sailed RCCL. This was my 12th cruise and over the past 22 years I have sailed on NCL, Princess and Carnival. The ship is elegantly designed, beautiful and amazing! It never felt crowded to us (wife, 17 yr. old daughter and 14 year old son) and we found the entire ship very easy to navigate. Our fellow cruisers were very friendly and well-dressed. We met lots of friendly people and always got a warm welcome throughout the ship. While we did hear stories of displeasure with the ship’s IT, dynamic dining, etc., overall most were really upbeat during this New Year’s holiday sailing. Boarding – we arrived to the port at 10:15 a.m. and I dropped off our luggage curb side, parked the car, checked in and we were on the ship by 11:30 a.m. Our boarding was delayed because they were only allowing “special” Royal Caribbean’s most elite passenger classes to board first (i.e. Diamond, Crown, Gold). It was very apparent that this ship still has some “new ship” kinks that are being addressed, modified and improved on a daily basis. The very first thing we did after boarding was to schedule our 1-minute complimentary RipCord flying experience. However, it took over one hour for the two families ahead of us to successfully book their reservations with the RipCord attendant because none of their tablets were functioning properly. We were soooo glad that we booked RipCord when we did because by the end of Day 2 they were completely booked solid to the end of the cruise. You should definitely try your best to book RipCord in advance of your cruise – this is definitely a fun “bucket list” activity to do and it is very safe. We were pleasantly surprised that our luggage arrived to our staterooms by 1:00 p.m. Cabins – We had two adjoining large interior virtual balcony rooms (11275 & 11277), which provided ample amounts of storage and lighting options. The virtual balcony was working as designed and provided high definition real time exterior images, including beautiful sunsets. The bathroom is even equipped with an automatic night light when the main bathroom light is turned off. We were also impressed with the clear glass curved shower door and the never ending supply of very hot water to ensure a pleasurable shower experience. We slept very well on the comfortable beds and the large flat screen TV in front of the bed was the icing on the cake. After reading other member reviews, we brought extra credit cards to leave behind in the interior slot near the cabin entrance door so that the air conditioning system in the cabin would remain on when we leave. This enabled the room to maintain the desired temperature instead of waiting a while to cool down the room. Dynamic Dining - After reading many negative Cruise Critic member reviews prior to our cruise, we thought we were not going to have a great Dynamic Dining experience. We happened to have been lucky and we enjoyed it. We did not have any issues with any of the reservations we made before boarding or making new ones after boarding. On the morning of Day 2, passengers were given the opportunity to change their dining room reservations. As such, we changed our reservations for three different nights by simply speaking with a restaurant representative at the entrance to any of the complimentary restaurants. Chic was hands down our favorite of the complimentary restaurants and Jamie’s Italian was definitely worth the $25pp fee for dinner and $15pp fee for their “first come – first served” lunch option. We found the overall quality of the food to be just cruise industry average in the complimentary restaurants and a few of our waiters/waitresses stood out as being more superior and attentive compared to the others (Lenuta in The Grande and Vishaw in Chic). The freshly baked cookies in the Windjammer were out of this world, but overall we found the desserts not to be very appetizing. We preferred to eat most of our lunches in the Two70 lounge, where they serve the “got to have” delicious hot roast beef sandwiches as well as an assortment of salads, sandwiches, wraps, panini’s and desserts. We also found the seating choices, atmosphere and views in the Two70 lounge to be more relaxing and pleasing compared to the other lunch venues. Nightlife – We found an abundance of top notch “live” musicians, bands and DJs on a nightly basis. The Daily Planner provides a long list of music and dancing venues to choose from throughout the day and night, with at least five venues to choose from commencing after 10:00 p.m. and ending “late”. Our favorite band was the calypso band, Hot Spices, which we enjoyed their performances throughout the cruise at pool side, Two70 lounge, Boleros and on the island of Coco Cay. We also enjoyed listening to the U2 Tribute Band – L.A. Vation as well as watching the hilarious show - Love and Marriage Game Show. We spent most nights in either the Music Hall or Two270 dancing the night away. The variety and quality of the music was great. We never went to back to our stateroom before 12:30 a.m. on any night, as we immensely enjoyed the nightlife provided. Shows – Mamma Mia!, Starwater and Sonic Odyssey completely exceeded our expectations and all are MUST SEE performances. Additionally, don’t miss the extreme juggling act, The Passing Zone, as it was extremely funny and entertaining. Comedian Jessica Kirson was so hilariously captivating that I can’t recall when the last time I had laughed so uncontrollably long and hard. We saw Mamma Mia! twice on Broadway and found this production to be just as entertaining. You should note that this is the full 2½-hour Broadway show production. It is the unabridged performance utilizing the identical costumes, sets and music score as the original Broadway version. Starwater is a wonderful blend of technology and live performers. However, it lacks an identifiable theme or purpose other than to WOW you with great singers and musicians performing while suspended in mid-air, acrobatic performers emerging from the ceiling and floors and providing high-tech back drops and unique special effects. We were very fortunate to see William Close (creator/producer/performer) perform on his Earth Harp in Sonic Odyssey, as he informed us that he will be leaving the show in two weeks to work on his Super Bowl appearance and he will be replaced with a comparable performer. The Royal Caribbean singers and dancers were simply incredible! I suggest that you arrive at least 20 minutes prior to all show times, as the good seats always fill up very fast and one designated family member always arrives earlier to save/hold seats for their entire party. New Year’s Eve Celebration - this was “the” New Year’s Eve to always remember and it will be very hard to top it when comparing entertainment options, partying atmosphere, fun and excitement. Passengers were provided with a long list of partying options that included a Family Glow party in the Sea Plex, a Times Square Pool Deck Dance Party with CNN’s global countdown broadcasting LIVE from the Quantum of the Seas with Cathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper, a Reggae Caribbean band playing in Boleros and the big band sounds from the Quantum of the Seas 10-piece orchestra in the Music Hall. There were balloon drops all of the ship and everyone was in a partying mode throughout the early morning hours. Activities - we enjoyed lots of the other activities such as working out in the Vitality Fitness center every day, driving bumper cars, playing air hockey and foosball, taking a ride in North Star, rock climbing, surfing and boogie boarding on the Flowrider and relaxing in the hot tubs. There was always something to do and many activities to choose from. Service - In general, we had hardly any complaints with the personal service from any cruise staff member that we interacted with. Service was friendly and professional; we never encountered a rude or unhelpful person. All were smiling and accommodating. Our stateroom attendant, Mary Joy, was exceptionally pleasant, friendly and was very visible throughout our cruise. The only issue we experienced had to do with the shore excursion contractor at Cape Canaveral, where hundreds of cruise passengers had to wait over 45 minutes just to take a bus back to the ship. This delay caused tempers to flare as several passengers were about to miss their dining and entertainment reservations. The worst part was the lack of communication from the transportation employees in providing the status of the delays and there wasn’t a “supervisor” or responsible person to voice our concerns with at Cape Canaveral; no one seemed to be IN CHARGE. Disembarkation - we opted to participate in the self-assist program, where you leave your luggage in your room on the last night and then walk off the ship with your luggage in tow the next morning without any crew assistance. We finished breakfast at 8:30 a.m. in the Windjammer, went back to the room to pick up our luggage, took the elevator to the 5th floor and just walked off the ship around 9:00 a.m. Once off the ship we flew through customs and headed to the parking to get our car. The process was effortless. The positives definitely far exceeded our negatives on this cruise, as the negatives were just minor hiccups that we quickly got over and accepted. We had an awesome cruise on board a very advanced, state-of-the art, high-tech ship. Overall we had an amazing cruise and would have no hesitations to book on the Quantum Class again.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014

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