30 Barbados First-Time Cruisers Cruise Reviews

I decided to write this to hep advise all you new cruisers out there what to expect, now I have returned I am somewhat angry at the one sided and downright inaccurate reviews from some of the more seasoned cruisers who repeatedly compare ... Read More
I decided to write this to hep advise all you new cruisers out there what to expect, now I have returned I am somewhat angry at the one sided and downright inaccurate reviews from some of the more seasoned cruisers who repeatedly compare this ship to other ships and even companies. This trip was very special as it was mine and my husbands Honeymoon, I'm going to start straight off and say overall we absolutely LOVED this ship and we have officially caught the cruising bug and can't wait to book our next one with P and O whom we found are the best value for money. So firstly the overall look of this ship is fantastic the size is breathtaking, the decor we actually liked, many other people have said they found it too plain and/or dark, I can see P&O were aiming for a modern and contemporary look, the darker side of the decor gives the ship a real luxurious touch, we had a Balcony room which was clean, light and had a very comfortble bed, the bathroom was a little small but the shower screen and free toiletries were a nice touch, we personally found the balcony absolutely fine size wise and spent numerous occaions sitting on there enjoying the view. We decided to make the most of this trip and pretty much ate everywhere except for the Beach Hut. Our definite favourite restaurant was the Epicurean we tried their evening food and their afternoon tea and loved both, it is the definition of fine dining (in our opinion), their evening food is of michelin standard they had an amazing smoked pate which was bought under a glass dome filled with smoke and a creme brulee which they caramelize in front of you with a blow torch, the afternoon tea started by having a spray in front of your face which had a slightly sweet aroma and apparently activated your tastebuds followed by a sumptous selection including savoury salmon macaroons, eton mess in a small kilner jar were you add strawberry sauce from a provided pipette and stunning scones with an amazing selection of teas to try, I loved the nutty chocolate blend, my husband preferred the peppermint, it has candles, white linen table cloths classical music playing and dedicated silver service staff who really pull out all the stops to make this the place to try if you only do one extra restaurant. We had freedom dining and dined at the Penninsular, again this place had fantastic food, excellent hard working waiters and a wonderful upmarket atmosphere, we also tried Sindhu which had the best indian food we ever tasted again this is a select dining option so will cost extra but again is definitely worth the cost. Our 2 favourite bars were Brodies which is pretty much designed to be a local pub with a selection of bottled beers from various regions in the uk as well as cocktails and liquers it put on numerous quiz's, games, live music and karoake throughout the day and evening to make it the epicentre of bars ideally suited to a more british style of socialising. Our other favourite places were the Glass House which is predominately a wine bar with an amazing selection of wines, we were also fortunate enough to get the opportunity to do their wine tasting which was very informative and fun and also try their wine and meal tasting course which again was an absolute treat and we fully recommend you try it. Our other favourite place was the Crows Nest bar which is at the front of the ship and a fantastic place to sit when the ship is leaving a port and watching the ever changing views. My main disappointment was actually with the Oasis Spa which for me I'm very disappointed to admit was nothing short of a rip off, the services in themselves were fine but their attempts to extract more money out of me left a bitter taste, firstly I gave myself an extra treat by booking a pedicure whilst on board, I originally asked for a standard pedicure which stated on the price list was £30, the receptionist said I could upgrade to a fire and ice pedicure which included a hot stone leg massage and cooling leg gel treatment for another £5, I agreed to this, after I had the treatment I was then told it was now £47 plus a 10% service charge, I was not happy about this as I was clearly told it would be £35 and no mention was given of the service charge, they also tried to sell me a tube of this cooling gel for £35 (over priced deep freeze gel). They also mixed up the booking for a couple's massage that we had booked and pre paid for before our trip, again they charged us another service charge on top and tried to sell us a £35 bottle of massage oil, the hydrotherapy suite consisting of different types of sauna, steam, shows and heated beds was lovely and wonderfully relaxing but again awfully pricey at £25 to use for 1 day. I've been in 5 star hotels where this part is free to use or well over half the price of what they charged. Overall all the staff on board are hard working, friendly and dedicated to their work, the entertainment we found fairly mixed, some of it we tried and enjoyed other aspects we didn't even fancy doing at all and avoided completely however this is no doubt a subjective issue and I saw many people getting into the swing of anything they could so its a case of each to their own and if it isn't for you either you get yourself a sunbed, I would say on this subject don't bother trying to get near the pool it fills up very quickly unless you get their pretty early my advice is to look further away on upper decks where their is still adequate space available but still don't leave it too late, reserving has been an issue but the staff are becoming aware of this and have started removing belongings on sunbeds that have been reserved if they are left too long and tying a note to the sunbed so the person can come pick it up when they return. The other thing I would recommend is what we did which is to simply grab your favourite or current book and get yourself down to the atrium area where you will find lots of seats, sofa's and chairs, you can have a drink if you want, plenty of tea, coffee and alcoholic options they also have amazing sweet treats in the Market Cafe which I highly recomend you try or you can pass on this and simply enjoy the ambience, the views and simply relax. To finish overall this is a brilliant ship and I hopefully will return there at some point in the future. My last piece of advice is if you are new is that whilst this is a wonderful ship it isn't without its faults but overlook or avoid the bad and focus on what is so great about this place and you won't go wrong our biggest annoyance on this trip was the sheer volume of complainers notably from the seasoned cruisers who clearly think its their right to use the staff as verbal punch bags and in a number of cases get as much credit and/or free stuff that they can based on said complaints. I saw one woman loudly tell her rather bemused husband that she had complained about the Horizon Buffet restaurant (again used regularly, plenty of choice throughout the day, no complaints) not having instant hot chocolate available to have with her evening meal, he pointed out to her that this seemed a strange choice of drink to have a meal with and she informed him she had complained as a matter of principle rather than it being a specific issue, another woman I overheard bragging that she had complained about the temperature of the headliners theatre being too cold (and had clearly never thought of using a cardigan/jacket or jumper to solve this issue) in an attempt to get some spending credit. This is something that really annoys me as I go on Holiday to enjoy myself not complain and find things wrong. Enjoy all the wonderful things this ship has to offer and you will have an amazing time, we did and we can't wait to go on a cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We brought the cruise forward, for family reasons, as it was planned for my retirement (end March) wife's 60th (early May) to be taken around end April. Very apprehensive, having read many reviews. Firstly the ship was beautiful, big ... Read More
We brought the cruise forward, for family reasons, as it was planned for my retirement (end March) wife's 60th (early May) to be taken around end April. Very apprehensive, having read many reviews. Firstly the ship was beautiful, big and well finished throughout all decks and bars/restaurants etc.Service was very good, never once did we experience any delays to attentiveness. Many aspects truly wonderful, Food, Entertainment facilities, its sheer size . Our inside cabin adequate, all the staff were helpful, you could talk with them share their lifestyle from home to here. We spent every port day out and about seeing what we could in the time we had. So many mentioned the stairs in mid ships, yes bad mistake for those who need midships stairs. Atrium, well more like a shopping centre, no central sparkle, except for the Chandelier!. Needs to have more of a focal point to entertain people, rather that it being a sit off area. Slightly holiday campish theme, sing alongs etc not our taste, towels/deck chairs, same old same old. We enjoyed eating well, Sindhu, superb. Nice wines, a good local beer, with real ale options in Brodies. Meridian suited us fine, food was excellent. All in all a relaxed, enjoyable experience. However, would not go again. Lacked a party atmosphere in the evenings, an explosion for all to let their hair down. Perhaps it wasn't meant to be on this ship, too relaxed a voyage, and too many 'long time cruisers' moaning that things weren't up to their standard or went to bed at 11. Really enjoyed the ports of calls, made the most of every day. Fabulous beaches, interesting people along the way. Sharing taxis, talking about each others lives and homes. Beautiful islands, worth a holiday there on there own. Day trips/excursions onshore, did all bar one without P&O, found their pricing very expensive compared to what we paid onshore with the Taxi/Mini bus lads. Don't be afraid to do your own thing, its exciting. We are a young/old couple who ain't giving up our youthfulness just yet. Next time RCI or Carnival. thanks for the experience P&O, you tried very hard but it was dull in so many areas. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
This was our first cruise and first time to the Careibran. As other reviews state the Celebration is a little faded, but saying that it was lovely to be on a 'proper ship' and the fact that it was small meant that it was very ... Read More
This was our first cruise and first time to the Careibran. As other reviews state the Celebration is a little faded, but saying that it was lovely to be on a 'proper ship' and the fact that it was small meant that it was very friendly. All the staff were extremely efficient and friendly. The journey from Birmingham to Barbados was completely stress-free and seamless. No queues at the airport as your baggage is taken off you at a separate desk and you dont see it again until its in cabin cabin. The cabin itself on 3/4 deck had two single beds and although it was well-equipped and had tea/coffee making facilities the beds were not very comfortable. If I was going again I would pay the extra to have a deluxe cabin. Food on the whole very good. Always plenty of choice in the Lido which was self-service for breakfast and lunch. We had evening meals in thr Meridian as it was nice to dress up and have waiter service but, be warned, food in here was sometImes a bit hit and miss. Still for 4 courses there wasn't really anything to complain about. Entertainment in the Broadway very good and there was always something going on during the day if you stayed on board but also there were plenty of sundecks around if you wanted to get away from it all. There was also always alternative entermainment in The Horizon, Liberties where you could dance and Hemmingways. Loved the coffee shop too. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Saying goodbye to your luggage at Birmingham is the start to our holiday as you wont see them again until you enter your cabin on the "Celebration" in beautiful Barbados. As first time cruisers we chose this particular trip as ... Read More
Saying goodbye to your luggage at Birmingham is the start to our holiday as you wont see them again until you enter your cabin on the "Celebration" in beautiful Barbados. As first time cruisers we chose this particular trip as being a smaller boat it can get into ports and islands restricted to the larger boats, it worked perfectly for us. The ship is older than others but very stable and looks like a boat unlike the larger liners that resemble large blocks of flats, we loved the quirkiness of it and the size (still large enough to get lost".) Our cabin was ideal for us as we were rarely there, choosing to be on the islands or in the bars/on deck outside etc. The cabins are cleaned morning and afternoon and the beds turned down in the evening, the attention to detail is excellent and "Munir" worked very hard to ensure everything was spotless at all times. The entertainment took me a few days to get into it, but then I really enjoyed it and we went to all but two of the nights in the Broadway showroom, the "Cameron Classics" being an absolute highlight from the team. The shows run at 8.30pm and 10.30 pm for the later performance, after that it's on to "Liberties" for even more fun late into the night with "Protege" (What a fantastic band) great musicians,very tight and such a professional sound. Although I wish they wouldn't pretend to do requests, we saw the many times and they just play what's on their list all the time and the request songs never change from week one to two or night to night. The Cruise Director is "Paul Evans" and he is excellent, always informative and enthusiastic without being over the top, he makes you feel part of the ship and you always know what's going on at all times. You have two choices for food, the "Meridian" and the "Lido" the latter being the casual restaurant. Both provide really good food with the "Meridian" being the service restaurant, we never waited long and the wine flows well thanks to "Semina" the head Sommelier, if you are on the all inclusive package the house red is very,very good! The bars are really "Hemingways" on level 5 and "Horizons" at the pointy end on level 9, both are comfortable but difficult getting a seat. Get "Hector" to serve you in "Hemingways" he is excellent and attentive and get's to you as soon as he can after he had acknowledged you are there. There are other outside bars but we rarely used these but service is ok outside and you have to catch the waiters eye, the inside and outside "Lido" serves food all day and evening and has a nice choice and after few too many drinks late at night you will always get a meal. We spent New years eve at sea and the atmosphere and party was fantastic, champagne was served all round and the dancing went on into the early hours. There were a few sore heads in the morning. Our recommendation would be to get off the ship at every opportunity, see the islands, do the excursions and mix with the locals they are amazingly friendly. If you do the island tours you will pay a lot less by going private, walk onto the dock and negotiate with the local taxis. We did two excursions with Thomsons, "The Jet skiing on Currascoa"" and "The Rum Runner" on Grenada both great value and an amazing experience but the tours are expensive compared to local rates. For us it was all about the islands and we were not disappointed, beautiful does not come close to describing the atmosphere,the people,the lifestyle and the scenery. You will miss them when you get back to the UK. Cruising is a fantastic and comfortable way to see the world, we would recommend going all inclusive as you just relax and have what you want when you want. Would we go again? A resounding yes! We're already planning the next one for this Xmas coming 2016. Were things perfect? Of course not, but then what is, they were ideal for us as we saw it as a floating hotel with the goal being to see islands that many people never get the chance to see. Thankyou Thomson for helping us do so in a lovely old boat with a lovely crew and a warm and helpful atmosphere, we will miss you guys and will see you again as soon as we can. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was our first long cruise having taken mini cruises before. The ship is impressive but staff appeared miserable and demotivated. We loved dressing up, the for in The Peninsular freedom dining was fantastic. We did pay to eat at ... Read More
This was our first long cruise having taken mini cruises before. The ship is impressive but staff appeared miserable and demotivated. We loved dressing up, the for in The Peninsular freedom dining was fantastic. We did pay to eat at both Sindhu and Limelight, "Morcambe & Wise" were superb both but food was disappointing. We had booked before arriving on board but no tables were reserved, we did complain and Kenneth offered us a return visit to Sindhu and at that time food was excellent. Our cabin was huge and located mid ship on C deck accessible only by lift. Standards slipped with guests not adhering to the dress code. Guests also reserved sun beds for hours at a time leaving many guests disappointed. We would have use The Retreat had we known about it at the start of the cruise only 5 spaces allocated on the day. Overall a fantastic cruise,madam in the Crows Nest kept us entertained as did Lauren the female part of the singin duo. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was the first cruise for my partner and I, (if you discount Brittany Ferries to Northern Spain!) The Thomson flight from Gatwick was excellent and we were amazed that the transfer coach met us at the aircraft steps for the journey ... Read More
This was the first cruise for my partner and I, (if you discount Brittany Ferries to Northern Spain!) The Thomson flight from Gatwick was excellent and we were amazed that the transfer coach met us at the aircraft steps for the journey to the ship. The embarkation procedure took about 25 mins then up to our cabin B 404. This was a superior balcony cabin, not a bad size but a bit smaller in reality than the brochure indicated. Our cabin steward Rasheed did a good job keeping things clean and tidy. We had opted for club dining in the Oriental Restaurant and were very pleased with the quality and choice of food. Our two waiters, Alex and Daryl were fantastic guys and nothing was too much trouble. We only used the Horizon Buffet for a light lunch as it reminded us of Butlins !!. We tried the Sindhu and Epicurean so called select dining experience, wish we had not bothered, although both were beautiful and the service attentive we were both very disappointed. Maybe it was the menu available those evenings, but I found the Sindhu food bland, uninspiring and overcooked. In the Epicurean I chose Wild Boar as a main course , a dish I have enjoyed many times in Spain and Portugal. The Epicurean example was quite frankly Rubbish :- Tough and Totally Overcooked. I wondered if the poor beast had walked all the way from Hampshire!. I was also not the only punter who complained about the dish that night. We enjoyed the entertainment in the Headliners Theatre most nights, The 4 Tunes act being the most memorable. Some previous reviews complained the theatre was too small for the ship's headcount, but we arrived 20 minutes early most nights and always got a good seat. Obviously the Pool areas are never going to be big enough to accommodate 3000 plus passengers on "at sea " days but were OK when we skipped a couple of shore excursion mornings. The main complaint was people reserving sunbeds at 7.00 with towels etc and not turning up till much later, but that happens with selfish Brits on beach holidays too !!! The organised trips we took, Aruba, St Kitts and Grenada were fine if a little pricey, the other times we went ashore we did our own thing. The disembarkation went quite smoothly at the allotted time, pleasantly surprised when all the cases left outside the cabin Friday night arrived at Gatwick ! In summary, would do another Cruise, YES most definitely and have already put a deposit down for the next one. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
My partner and I (both in our late 60s) flew from Manchester to Barbados with Thomas Cook on 21st November, 2015, to board P&O Britannia for a fortnight cruising around the Caribbean islands. The flight was delayed by about an hour, ... Read More
My partner and I (both in our late 60s) flew from Manchester to Barbados with Thomas Cook on 21st November, 2015, to board P&O Britannia for a fortnight cruising around the Caribbean islands. The flight was delayed by about an hour, but when we got to Barbados we were quickly transferred on to a local bus for the 45-minute journey to the port. The local buses are not up to European standards, and are cramped with no luggage space so we had to sit with our flight bags on our laps, but it was a fairly short journey, so not too much of a problem. We then queued for a short time in a large hangar-type structure to go through security checks before being allowed on to the ship. It was relatively painless, and once on board we quickly found our cabin (E623) on Deck 10, where the cabin steward Sada introduced himself, and made us feel welcome. Ours was a balcony cabin, and although it was not large, what space there was had been used carefully to provide adequate storage. However, we are both slim, and I do not know how some of the larger passengers we saw would cope with the shower room, which had just enough room between the washbasin and toilet to open the shower door. Unfortunately our luggage did not arrive before we wanted to eat, and we had to go to dinner in the clothes we had travelled in. We had our first meal in the Horizon buffet restaurant, which was pleasant and a considerable improvement on the buffet restaurants on Celebrity Eclipse and Celebrity Constellation, which are the only other ships we have cruised on. Subsequently, we only had breakfast and light snacks during the day in the Horizon. Waiters were sometimes a little slow to clear tables, but generally were very good. The food assistants were very helpful, and quick to replenish dishes so there was never an occasion when we had to wait for food. A special mention must be made to Mickey who went out of his way to find us some salad when it was not on the menu (we realised afterwards that salad is not served with the afternoon snacks but is always available for lunch or evening meals). The food choice in the Horizon is extensive, and my only complaints were that the scrambled eggs at breakfast contained too much salt, and the salad pots served at afternoon snacks all had either onions or spicy seasoning in them, neither of which I eat. We did find the location of food a bit puzzling at times, and labelling of dishes should be improved, including a translation/explanation of unfamiliar foreign dishes. Hygiene is a constant headache for cruise ships and there are hand washing facilities at the entrance to the Horizon, as well as hand sanitiser stations, and on our last day there was a member of the catering team stationed at the wash basin to remind customers to wash their hands, which led us to think there might have been a problem, as this was the only time we saw that. However, some of the assistants would not hand over trays until they had witnessed you sanitise your hands, which I thought an excellent idea. We had opted for freedom dining, and had evening meals in either the Meridian or Peninsular restaurants. Both serve the same extensive menu, and they are both excellent with nothing to choose between them, although we tended to favour the Meridian. Service is first class, and the reception teams are super efficient at getting you to a table with minimal delays, even on formal nights when they can be very busy. The food is superb, and the hot dishes are served hot, not lukewarm as we have sometimes experienced even in good quality hotels in European countries. We were looking forward to seeing the ship because it had been launched with considerable fanfare earlier this year, and were mostly favourably impressed. The décor is a bit drab in places, and art works are unremarkable (bordering on cheap and cheerful), but the lounge areas are very pleasant, and comfortable places to relax. Several passengers commented on the atrium being underwhelming, and it is true that the staircase (which is obviously a focal point) could have been made much more attractive by a different use of colour (it is brown), but the furniture is very attractive and is also very comfortable. I particularly liked the fact that there is no music or other entertainment here, but other passengers felt this was a detriment. One of our complaints about the Celebrity Eclipse was that there always seemed to be a band of some sort playing in the atrium, and because it is an open space which goes upwards through the ship, the sound carries and it is almost impossible to escape the noise. I would settle on a compromise of soft piano music to satisfy those who need some form of music, but hope P&O stick with the present arrangement. We did notice that some of the wall coverings are already scuffed and marked, and several of the lift buttons on the landings have come off and have not been replaced, making the ship look older than it is. In the Horizon restaurant, some of the seating is cloth and some is vinyl, and the cloth seating is quite badly marked in places. It will not be long before the ship needs a refit. Probably the most important fact is that the beds are very comfortable, but this has to be tempered by saying that we rarely got a full night’s sleep. On port days the docking process causes the ship to vibrate and this shook us awake at about 6.30am, and at about 8.00am the tannoy announcements about disembarkation make sure there is no chance of a lie-in. There are four formal nights on this two-week cruise, and these were very well observed. The first formal night also combines the Captain’s welcoming address in the atrium. Captain Pembridge is a great communicator, unlike some ship’s captains who can appear stand offish, and his enthusiasm for his ship comes across. His welcome set the tone for the cruise It was wonderful to see everyone gathered together in their formal clothes, and the dress standard on formal nights was generally maintained, although the casual dress code is largely flouted, with shorts often being worn by men instead of the slacks/jeans specified. I felt that the wearing of swimsuits by both sexes in the buffet restaurant, and in lounge areas or within the corridors and lifts was inappropriate, and an effort should be made to enforce a reasonable dress code inside the ship, including the wearing of some form of footwear - we saw people in all areas of the ship in bare feet. Our evenings were generally spent in the Crystal Room, where we enjoyed listening to James Murrum’s excellent band playing dance music, before going to the quiz in the Marlowe suite, so cannot comment on the entertainment in the theatre. The Britannia dance teachers – Michael Johnson and Sallyrose Beardall – perform a showdance which is spectacular, but Michael needs to take lessons in compering, as there are only so many times he can tell his audience that they came third in the Showdance championships in Blackpool this year, and how gorgeous his partner is! I attended a couple of their dance classes, and they were very good fun, but he needs to be aware that some of his banter might offend minority groups. On one occasion we went to the Limelight Club to see the comedian, Jeff Stevenson, who we had enjoyed on a previous cruise, but this venue is totally inappropriate, as it is not suited to large numbers, and a rail which runs round the inner section obstructs the view, and seems to serve no purpose. There is a similar rail in the Crystal Room which is also obstructive and detracts from enjoyment of the band and the dancing. We also tried Brodie’s bar once for a quiz, but found it dark and gloomy so did not go again. The cruise itinerary sounded interesting and I was looking forward to idyllic palm fringed beaches of white sand, lapped by a turquoise sea. Sadly, the reality is nothing like a Bounty advertisement. We did pass some beaches which lived up to the dream, but the ones we were taken to were tacky, overcrowded, and fringed by bars and fast food outlets. Perhaps our mistake was in relying on local taxi drivers for island tours, rather than using the Britannia tours, though I think the experience would probably have been similar, but very much more expensive. We were never on a beach for more than an hour or so because the beach was usually just one part of a tour itinerary, so did not bother with sunbeds. However, on St Maarten we used local buses instead of taxis because we wanted to go to Marigot and Maho Beach (to see the planes landing and taking off almost on the beach) and it is easy to go by bus. Marigot is a quiet and elegant place with a very French feel, very different from Philippsburg, but at Maho beach, the one and only time we hired a sunbed, we were charged $10 each for the use of a sunbed, although we were only there for an hour. Unless you want to buy jewellery, perfume or alcohol, the ports we visited had very little to recommend them. Without exception they are congested with traffic, because the roads are simply not designed to cope with the volume of traffic created by tourism, and the air pollution is very bad. The interior roads vary in quality, the worst being on Grenada, which were badly potholed, and very narrow and hilly, leading to a very uncomfortable, and fairly scary experience, in parts like being on a rollercoaster ride with switchback hills and hairpin bends. Isla Magarita should simply be removed from the itinerary. It is the only port where we were tendered off the ship which I assumed was because the port is not deep enough to cope with a ship of Britannia’s size. Since returning and reading about Isla Margarita on Wikipedia, I now think it may have something to do with fear of piracy, which apparently is common there. P&O issued serious warnings about safety on the island, and their tour buses apparently had armed guards on board, not without reason because there have been several tourists held hostage and/or killed there in recent years. Passengers who went on tours said they enjoyed the nature reserve, but the docking area is nothing more than a strip of stalls selling souvenirs, and a beach lined by dead trees. Disembarkation was very well organised, and the flight home actually landed early because of strong tail winds. The only minor grumble I have about the flight is that all the Gordon’s gin had been sold before the sales trolley reached me! In conclusion I would go on Britannia again, but not on this cruise Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
After reading all of the bad reviews about the Azura, we left for the holiday feeling very nervous. However, being first-time cruisers we had nothing to compare it with and found everything to be just great. The food was lovely, waiters ... Read More
After reading all of the bad reviews about the Azura, we left for the holiday feeling very nervous. However, being first-time cruisers we had nothing to compare it with and found everything to be just great. The food was lovely, waiters in the restaurants were very friendly and professional as were the stewards and rest of the staff. We found that if you speak to them, they will speak to you. Entertainment was good, although some of it was not our cup of tea, we always found things to do and enjoyed all of the sea days .The islands were fantastic. Only booked one excursion through P&O. It was much cheaper to use the local transport and it suited us better because we could get off the ship at a time to suit us and pick up an independent tour or a taxi to the beach. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Was a bit worried after reading a lot of the bad reviews on here and never been on a cruise before. However need not of worried had a fantastic holiday and this ship was amazing. Had a balcony canit which was great always cleaned to a ... Read More
Was a bit worried after reading a lot of the bad reviews on here and never been on a cruise before. However need not of worried had a fantastic holiday and this ship was amazing. Had a balcony canit which was great always cleaned to a very high standard. Yes the balcony is a little small but who cares. Food was excellent especially sindhu. Great shows in the theatre and never had any issues finding a seat. We were at the back of the ship and never had any issues with the lifts. Enjoyed all ports of call especially grand cayman and at marteen. Done some fantastic trips including the dunns river falls in Jamaica. Travelled with my partner who has been on other p&o ships and he also could not fault the Brittania. Please go with an open mind and ignore all of the negative reveiws. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
In the early stages of our cruise, we had a significant change of port time ashore in both Stornoway and Torshavn. The full day in each of Stornoway and Torshavn was reduced to just half a day and that was done without any on-board ... Read More
In the early stages of our cruise, we had a significant change of port time ashore in both Stornoway and Torshavn. The full day in each of Stornoway and Torshavn was reduced to just half a day and that was done without any on-board communication or more importantly, any explanation being offered. Whilst we understand that CMV need to get paying tour guests ashore quickly when at anchor (Stornoway), we think that the maximum number of tenders should be deployed in the early stages, until all passengers who want to go ashore are landed - then the number of tenders can be dropped back later on. We lost over an hour of our reduced time in Stornoway (seeing only 2 of 4 tenders in operation and that from a distant anchorage) and then we were asked back early too, which frankly rankled and made us feel "2nd Class". The lack of awareness and communication on-board by the cruise management team exacerbated the frustration felt widely on board. On a bridge visit, the Captain confirmed that he had not altered the port times in both Stornoway and Torshavn for any on-board operational or weather reasons. We lost confidence and our sense of relaxation early in the cruise about the rest of the itinerary being the one that was sold to us. It took time before that sense of being on a carefree holiday returned. Fantastic front line staff; excellent, courteous and friendly service. We liked the smaller ship and the friendly atmosphere on board and the itinerary proposed and sold to us. Conditions allowing MV Azores to get into Heimaey in the Westman Islands and docking in the tiny port, was the highlight of the cruise for us and an impressive bit of pilotage and ship handling, to squeeze in and come out again (unusually stern first all the way). I have posted a link below to the photos for the day at Heimaey: https://plus.google.com/photos/109375469948758953851/albums/6159112519882751617 The "middle management" on board was, regrettably, not of the standard set by the front line staff. We had to enquire and chase up several times, the Arctic Circle "crossing the line" certificates. In the end, we had to take a certificate out of a cardboard box and fill it in ourselves on the last day of the cruise! The Arctic Circle crossing was never announced or made anything of - a missed opportunity. The food standard was generally very high and we certainly ate our fill! A small matter of running out of butter and orange juice before the cruise ended, but we survived! The organisation of the hot and cold drinks together in the Lotus Grill needs re-engineering, as the existing poor layout caused constant "traffic jams", especially at breakfast on arrival days. We found 7 days of port arrivals in a row, pretty tiring. We would have paid more for a cruise where the ship stayed two days at both Akureyri (Capital of the North of Iceland) and Reykjavik (the actual capital). There is so much to do in both places, that one day wasn't enough and it would have been nice to have two days where a return to the ship had no pressure of missing a sailing time! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
My wife and I have just returned from our two week Caribbean cruise on the Celebration. This was our first cruise so we didn't really know what to expect. We paid a lot of money for a deluxe cabin on deck 9, all inclusive with the ... Read More
My wife and I have just returned from our two week Caribbean cruise on the Celebration. This was our first cruise so we didn't really know what to expect. We paid a lot of money for a deluxe cabin on deck 9, all inclusive with the drinks package, etc, but we never really felt we got value for money. The ship is rather dated now and the decor a little run down, despite having been revamped recently. The food and drink were plentiful but at the same time rather plain. The staff were friendly and very helpful. We visited some great places and went on some great tours and enjoyed meeting new people and experiencing the whole cruise thing. People we met on board who have been cruising with Thomson for 15 years said that each year they had noticed a little erosion of standards, as Thomson try to appeal to the package holiday crowd. Most of the people we met were pleasant but there were a couple of large groups who were loud, raucous and didn't seem to care much about how they were affecting those around them. Usually to be found in the bars, the men were shaven headed with pot-bellies and lots of tattoos (sometimes on their necks and faces) while their wives looked like bulldogs chewing wasps while managing to hold a fag in their mouths. They would shout across to each other during shows in the Hollywood Show Lounge and run around shouting in the Meridian Restaurant while we were trying to have a nice meal. The only places I did not see them was at the Captain's Gala Reception (would have meant dressing up) or in the Browsers Corner - the ship's library - books presumably being to them what kryptonite is to Superman. Being on an all inclusive package I was not happy at having to pay for bottled water; despite the brochure saying that wifi is available in public areas (it is) it didn't say that this had to be paid for - and very expensive it was too for those that really needed to use it. These things we expect as standard these days. Most of us waited until we docked and would find a cafe with free wifi or hoped we would berth alongside one of the Costa ships which were flooded with free wifi which reached our cabin. Also there is a new coffee shop on deck 5 which for some reason is not included in the all inclusive package. All in all a nice introduction to cruising, but if we ever decide to do another one it will be with P & O or Cunard. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Just arrived home from our first cruise. 1-14th March. We stayed on the Ventura. Being first timers we really didn't know what to expect. We flew from Gatwick to Barbados on Thomson Dreamliner and were very impressed with the amount ... Read More
Just arrived home from our first cruise. 1-14th March. We stayed on the Ventura. Being first timers we really didn't know what to expect. We flew from Gatwick to Barbados on Thomson Dreamliner and were very impressed with the amount of legroom. I assume long haul flights always have personal tv's for entertainment? On arrival in the port in Barbados we were amazed by the cheerfulness of the security staff and those dealing with our ID cards, I asked the guy dealing with mine if I should smile for my photo and he said "Oh yes SMILE, it's good to smile"!. I fully agree with the continuous use of anti bacterial hand gel used before you step on board and in all the dining rooms, such a pity many people ignore it. I wish airlines would use it too! We found our way (eventually) to our cabin (C422) and were very pleasantly surprised with our large balcony whilst below us had half the size and the ones above were even smaller, their cabins were probably much bigger but we had ample space so were very happy!! The rooms are kept immaculately clean by the stewards, mostly boys who do an amazing job and work extremely hard 7 days a week, rooms are serviced twice a day and it's a lovely gesture to find little squares of chocolate on your bed at night. Towels are changed each day and personal flannels are replaced morning and night. Tea, coffee, biscuits etc replenished twice daily. We had a set table in the Bay Tree Restaurant. The menu wasn't particularly amazing but it was better not to have too much to choose from and the food was beautifully presented and very filling. Wine was very reasonably priced as was most of the drinks on board. The waiters were extremely efficient and very pleasant and I cannot fault the service in any way. Entertainment wasn't really to our taste but this is not a criticism. We read a review about sunbeds but although there wasn't supposed to be a shortage, on days at sea we couldn't find two together and it was very much 'sardines in a can', this part of the cruise we didn't like, also there were no sunshades with the sunbeds. We booked a trip for each island we stopped at as we didn't want to just wander aimlessly, each trip also gave us free time to look around the shops in the ports. It was really good to arrive in a different place (nearly) every day. Regarding tipping, we opted out of the compulsory tip charge because we wanted to know EXACTLY where our money was going. Ask at reception for a form if you wish to opt out. We always tip generously, but like to tip those we choose to tip. Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
Well what can I say this was our first Cruise and what a cruise it was . From the start it was great we were taken to our Cabin 5066 and there met a young man called Hansdoto whom said he was to take care of our needs and clean the room ... Read More
Well what can I say this was our first Cruise and what a cruise it was . From the start it was great we were taken to our Cabin 5066 and there met a young man called Hansdoto whom said he was to take care of our needs and clean the room and anything else we need while on board the ship.we took a look around the ship after we had done our safety drill,it looked like the food was plentiful and very nice there were many different areas where you could eat and we ate in all of them to see the difference ,the food was very nicely laid out and served by happy smiling staff nothing was to much trouble for them . The entertainment was brilliant all over the ship something different every time ,(Thomson is known for being the best for that )everything on board was nice and clean and yes some-thing's are still being updated but everything takes time but overall it was fine .We did have a couple of hours when you could smell something nasty some stupid person put a sanitary towel down the toilet (they have bags for that)but that was sorted out within a couple of hours .most people on board were great fun to be with but you had a few that were there I thought just to complain about anything they could .We had AI for the drinks which worked out well for us but some people moaned about they couldn't get some drinks on it (speckeld hen )but that was in the agreement so they should have read it before coming on the cruise ,you could get lots of different drinks for free ,you paid maybe a couple of pounds for the other drinks extra if you wanted them . The few Excursions that we went on were great ,in Aruba we did our own thing and got on a bright yellow bus with no windows in and music playing and a tour guide called Tito ,he was brilliant taking us around the island and telling us all about the history and what they have or don't have but like a lot of these island there is a lot of poverty and as you drive around you cat help but notice it ,most of the people rely on the tourist for there money. We also went on some of the Thomson trips we went to places like St Kitts on the scenic railway train we had rum punch for free ,another day we got a boat across to Virgin Gorda island where we went into some caves to get to a beautiful little beach on the other side ,we also had a day on the beautifull small island called Crusoe (59 on this trip) the tour guides also had lunch for us made by the locals ,you could walk out for ages up to your waist and see all the fish swimming next to you it was so magical would love to have stayed for a few days on there .Another of our trips was to see the beautiful waterfalls (Trafalgar falls)and get to swim in the Emerald pool at the bottom of the rain forest.Another trip was to see Harrison Caves in Barbados and to go to one of their beautiful beaches called Carlisle were we swam with the Turtles under water .there was lots more that we had seen and done but I could be here all day telling you about them ,it's better if you see them yourselves. This was a holiday of a lifetime and a belated honeymoon for my Husband and myself and I am glad we did it and not be put off by any of the negative reviews we had read on here. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
We have just returned from our first ever cruise, a two week tour of the Caribbean aboard the Thomson Dream. The ship is one of the old school and looking her age in places. As we have never been in anything bigger than a cross channel ... Read More
We have just returned from our first ever cruise, a two week tour of the Caribbean aboard the Thomson Dream. The ship is one of the old school and looking her age in places. As we have never been in anything bigger than a cross channel ferry we have nothing to compare it with so can only write as we saw it. Pre-cruise. I had a call shortly before we booked the cruise from Thompson regarding an e-mail I sent asking about drinks packages and visas and it was a nice surprise to get a phone call to answer my questions. I thought that was a good start. However, that was the end of that phase of good fortune. I sent an e-mail to them asking about a double bed in cabin 6102, which I paid £39 to reserve, but they never replied. I had to call them after five days for an acknowledgment of my payment of the balance. They called me while we were on holiday in the Algarve about upgrading our cabin and I asked them to call back the Tuesday after we got back but they never did. I sent more e-mails but still no reply. I had a call from their customer service asking if I had received the e- ticket. The young man apologised for the no reply to my e-mails and told me we would have to collect our own bags from Bridgetown airport. This was contrary to what I had read on Cruise Critic and told him so. Flights We flew from Gatwick on Sunday January 13th and as per the Cruise Critic forum our bags were security sealed and were not seen by us again until we got to our cabin on the Dream. That was nice. We opted for Premium Economy with the promise of more room and a better service. I chose seats in Row 9 not realising that those seats have no windows. The seats in front of us had two windows. Good design! Had the designer ever been in a plane? We got a drink as soon as we sat down on each flight and soon after take off another drink with those dreaded Pretzels, which I hate. On asking for something else I was told the rest were chargeable. I declined. The food wasn't too bad and there was plenty of drink if you so wished. All the seats had the table built into the armrest and had not been cleaned for a long time. The cabin stewards were very good humoured and did a good job. We got off the plane at Barbados and straight on to a bus and in forty minutes we were at the ship. Getting through the system was pretty quick and we were soon on our way to cabin 6102, an inside cabin. I had chosen this as I wanted to see what it was like without any view of the outside world. As it turned out we spent very little time in there apart from sleeping very well every night. The use of hand sanitisers was very welcome all over the ship as some people still manage to use the toilets without washing their hands and it pays to be careful. Cabin Our cabin was the width of two single beds pushed together with a bedside table on each side. There was a small two seater settee and a table, a dressing table with stool, a double wardrobe with space at the side behind the door and a bathroom with a small shower, washbasin and toilet. Overall it was comfortable but in spite of the Premium refit the bathroom hadn't been touched. It had been well used. There was always lots of hot water but the shower had individual controls so had to be set each time you turned it on. There was a kettle and two cups with various sachets of tea and Nescafe coffee. We had to pay £25 for the safe for two weeks. Food On our first night we opted to dine in the Orion restaurant and were in there at 1830. There wasn't that much of a choice on the menu but we managed. The service was very slow, even though the restaurant wasn't full, and we managed three courses by 1950. We were not impressed with the food quality. Not a good start. We were due to have our evacuation drill at 2000 so off to our cabin. That went without a hitch. We eat in the Lido buffet for the remainder of the cruise with the odd meal in the Sirens. We did have one breakfast in the Orion but again the service was very slow and getting more coffee, tea and toast proved futile so we went to the Lido for drinks and toast. The waiters in the Orion seemed to be very different to those in the Lido, always without a smile. We did check the menu in the Orion on a regular basis but there never seemed to be anything that appealed to us. The Grill had the same problem.. The fish that they served seemed to be all the same just having a different name. They have a habit of putting a particular dish on the menu, such as Cajun Blackened fish, but there was not a hint of Cajun to be seen or tasted and it wasn't blackened. We were once given Squash and told it was Sweet Potato. The salads sometimes left much to be desired and Tuna only appeared twice and in very small quantities. The desserts were also very limited with practically the same one every day. In the Lido the hot dessert was always the same sponge but with a different filling. There was also a distinct lack of tropical fruit. I expected to see at least papaya on the menu and bananas appeared only twice and they were not very good quality. Contrary to what I read online the coffee was drinkable. As a coffee drinker I always bring my own but didn't use it at all. There was an abundance of free water available in both the Lido and Sirens and on occasions the staff would help you to fill bottles and other containers when needed. Drinks We were asked for £219 per week each for a drinks package but would have trouble drinking that much. There was no cider for our first week and the extras you had to pay for certain drinks on the AI seemed silly. There was a limited amount of alcohol in each of their cocktails and this was made worse by piling on the ice. I asked for a can of coke and was given a freezing cold can and a pint glass full to the top with ice. Talking about watering down drinks. Entertainment The entertainment was very good, especially in the Broadway Show Lounge. However, the same people have to do everything, including all their own costume changes as there are no backstage crew to help, so apart from a comedian once a week there is the same cast doing a wonderful job to keep the customers happy. And they work around the ship during the day as well. Well done! There was a group called Top Men who played in various areas and were very good at reproducing various styles of music. There were several other artists but they didn't appeal to us. Each evening there was a quiz show in the Medusa Lounge and they were usually entertaining. Excursions We chose to take six Thomson excursions during our fourteen day cruise and found them to be a mixed bag. They are well overpriced, using local travel firms or taxis is much cheaper, and unfortunately they often take you to places that are of little interest and spend a very short time somewhere you would rather spend more time. Public areas The lounges are very comfortable and range from busy with music to very quiet for reading. The windows in the Medusa and Argo lounges were filthy, so much so that I couldn't take a photograph through them. There was the usual problems in finding somewhere to relax on deck made more difficult by smoking being allowed on the Starboard (right) side of the ship outside. Some people still broke the rules and smoked wherever they wanted to. Conclusion Cruise Critic provided most of the answers I needed for this trip so thanks to all those people who replied to my messages. It was an expensive holiday, on par with many land based tours we have done, but the food wasn't as good as a four star hotel and sometimes the service was lacking. On speaking to other passengers who are regular cruisers they were not impressed with the food or entertainment and I have come to the conclusion that it is an individual thing as to whether you like the Dream or not. We were happy with it but would like to try another cruise line to compare it with. Overall it was a pleasant experience and one I would gladly go through again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
Left the snow behind for the Latin Gems Caribbean cruise in the Dream. Brilliant check in at Manchester - cases sealed and cabin numbers attached - we next saw them outside our cabin. In reverse, cases left outside cabin, next day asked ... Read More
Left the snow behind for the Latin Gems Caribbean cruise in the Dream. Brilliant check in at Manchester - cases sealed and cabin numbers attached - we next saw them outside our cabin. In reverse, cases left outside cabin, next day asked to identify them in specified area and next saw them in our hotel. Flawless service. Our outside plus cabin very roomy with more than enough hanging/drawer space. There was a settee and ample room to store cases. Noticed decor had changed from last year and now a flat screen TV. Charge for safety deposit as in a lot of hotels - not exorbitant. Our cabin kept immaculate by our pleasant hardworking steward. Towels changed each day. The cleanliness throughout the ship was excellent. There is ongoing maintenance, for example varnishing of ship's rails, but it did not interfere with us. Staff were doing their utmost to avoid an outbreak of nora virus, even to the extent that "buffet" food was being served by staff -- no problem, you could have as little or as much as you wished. If there was an outbreak it would have been totally down to clients -- yet again we saw people leave the loos without washing their hands and they did not use the antiseptic hand wash outside each restaurant and loo -- can't understand their mentality. Library/games room excellent -- if you like doing jigsaws you don't be disappointed and lots of books to choose from should you wish. Many activities we did not take part in but, with trips, time was limited. Duty Free cheaper on board than airport and they had two extra discount days. Downside was the crowded beds round the two small pools, with people putting towels down and not using the beds. No brollies, but it is a ship-- that said you could always sit on ordinary chairs under cover in the shade. We did trips each day, so not really a problem and this would certainly not put us off another cruise on the Dream. The Dream is an old ship and has the promenade deck which we found ideal, not sure we would like to have gone on one of the larger ships we saw in port, quite liked the configuration of the Dream. All the staff extremely friendly, helpful and cheerful despite their long working hours. We tried the Lido on the first evening as we wanted a quick meal before retiring early after the long flight. Did not enjoy the canteen atmosphere and seeing people eating off trays. After that we took breakfast and evening meals in the Orion, as we prefer the water service, good food with a varied choice, although vegetarians could have a problem. Once again friendly, helpful staff. We took lunch in the Sirens as this seemed to have a better atmosphere than the Lido. Disappointed with the quality of the drinks, having sampled Rum Punch throughout the world would have to say I think the rum walked past the glass without stopping! Tried several types of drinks and they too were found wanting. Twelve drinks on the Dream and you would still pass a breath test. Enjoyed the shows and the entertainment team gave their all. Nice that they have two separate shows so you can choose early or late. Excellent seating in the theatre. This year Captain Roy did a session regaling us with tales of his long and varied career, very interesting indeed. Great shame he is retiring and we hope he makes his trip on the narrowboat and also makes it to Vancouver. Once again Thomson oversold their trips -- they should be more truthful about the content. We went to see a feature in Aruba which had collapsed some eight years ago! Luckily we booked Thomson for the Jeep tour in St. Margarita as we were held up returning to the ship by protesters blocking the road -- we were late back but the ship waits for Thomson tours, had we booked locally I dread to think what the outcome would have been. Overall an excellent cruise experience, a friendly ship, bit old-fashioned but having seen the much bigger modern ones in port, we were glad we were on the Dream which looks like a ship rather than the others which look like hotels on water. Not snobbish at all and a good way to see more of the world. May try the Med next. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
We absolutely loved the ship - having sailed on big ones before. The atmosphere is very en famille, no silly entertainment or slot machines and you get to places the other big ships cannot get to. Sail Away is totally fabulous with all ... Read More
We absolutely loved the ship - having sailed on big ones before. The atmosphere is very en famille, no silly entertainment or slot machines and you get to places the other big ships cannot get to. Sail Away is totally fabulous with all those sails unfolding and Captain Sergey is a star, he really loves to use the sails as much as possible, for turning the ship or to sail shorter distances. And he talks to people, explains patiently - very much appreciated. The problem sometimes is the wind - if you are going North and the wind comes from there you cannot sail but they do what they can and it worked for us. We had a cat 2 cabin midships right down which was good in terms of stability - but the waves kept banging against it so it was a bit noisy when there was water action. Which there is a lot of - you DO notice that you are on a ship, it moves all the time and even if you do not get seasick which we did not it is unusual if you are not a sailor. There were lots of those on boards who just laughed at our worries. Having said that it really was not too bad but when the ship sails from and to Barbados you notice that you are out at sea and not under land any more. Cabin is small but well appointed but I would not like one of the others which have two sqm less. Already with this you have to be very organised if you are sharing a cabin. Food was the only downside - really not in line with expectations and partially re-heated potatoes, same salad every day, meat overdone and the bbq on the beach which is a good idea in theory turned out to be lukewarm overcooked stuff in reality. Not nice. And they use far too much butter. The ship is not really appropriate for persons with handicaps - lots of stairs and getting from the ship to a tenderboat is not easy especially when there are waves. Having said that we had a blind person on board who we all admired greatly - he did not miss a single trip - and the staff went out of their way to help. Also there were some elderly people who also made it. Great excursions, lots of beach and snorkeling - we enjoyed it, would come again - but get some seasickness plasters instead of just having tablets after the fact! And please note - this ship is also not good for kids either. There is nothing for them and with all the cables going around and open spaces it would be downright dangerous. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
We picked the Carnival Victory based on the great itinerary it provides, calling at 6 different ports on a 7 day cruise of the Caribbean. We boarded the ship in Barbados which was great as only around 100 passengers get to board the ship ... Read More
We picked the Carnival Victory based on the great itinerary it provides, calling at 6 different ports on a 7 day cruise of the Caribbean. We boarded the ship in Barbados which was great as only around 100 passengers get to board the ship there. So it was a lot more calmer than boarding in San Juan were the rest of the 2700 passengers do. Boarding the cruise for the 1st time was a breeze, we dropped our cases at the port and they were taken over to the ship for us. Upon boarding we were offered a complimentary rum punch and checked in swiftly by friendly and helpful crew members. We then went for a look around the ship and had some lunch at the buffet. There was a huge variety of people on the ship from young couples and family's to older couples and single sex groups. We checked into our stateroom which was nice and spacious with a balcony. The staterooms are very well kept and have plenty of storage space. The bathrooms are a good size with a good shower and lots of storage space also. The room had a king size bed and a separate settee seating area. We later went down to attend the welcome meeting and safety briefing which only took 30 mins and was informative. We had anytime dining which meant we could dine at anytime in the evening. The food in the restaurant was a lot better than we had expected offering a different menu each evening with a good selection of starters, mains and desserts. We tried breakfast in both the buffet and the restaurant but mostly ate in the restaurant as the buffet was a bit chaotic at times and the food was not as nice as in the restaurant with waiter service. At lunchtime the buffet was the only option and sometimes the lines were quite long but there were different sections to the buffet and also a pizza place which had great tasting pizza. The quality of the lunch buffet was average but had plenty of choice from salads to fast food to a great selection of desserts. Iced Tea and lemonade were only cold drinks included all other drinks were paid from bar. Hot drinks included are tea, coffee and hot chocolate. The prices of the drinks were not really over inflated, paying around the same price as at an upmarket bar. There is a drinks package available but you would need to consume quite a bit to make it worthwhile purchasing. The entertainment on the ship was good, there was always a different show on in the evenings including magic show, Broadway style show and variety shows. They had something for all ages and interests going on all the time like quizzes, bingo, comedy shows, different bars and lounges. There is a casino, mini golf, several pools and jacuzzis,water slide, plenty of sunbeds, jogging track, shops and nightclub. Our personal favourite was the comedy shows they had 2 different comedians doing different shows over the 7 days all very funny. Getting on and off the ship was easy each day and they give you some good information about the ports. We took a few different shore excursions from Carnival and they were all very good and well organised. The ship itself is a little outdated in some areas but all very well kept and clean. Our stateroom was also kept very clean each day by our very helpful and friendly stateroom steward. They provide a twice daily room service and put a towel animal in your room each evening which was always a nice touch on coming back to the room in the evening. The crew are all really helpful and friendly and provide a great service in each and every area of the ship. Overall we really enjoyed our first cruise on the Carnival Victory, it's a great ship with a great itinerary and a great crew. I would recommend to anyone.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
We are first time cruisers. We chose this cruise line more for affordability and the itinerary as we had to take our teenage children with us. Next time we will definitely upgrade our cruise if only paying for 2 adults. There was a ... Read More
We are first time cruisers. We chose this cruise line more for affordability and the itinerary as we had to take our teenage children with us. Next time we will definitely upgrade our cruise if only paying for 2 adults. There was a need for more affluent company. We boarded the ship in Barbados with fellow UK cruisers. Our holiday package included 2/3 days in Barbados, which we recommend before boarding the ship to help adjust to the climate and change of time in the Caribbean. If we had not done this we would have wasted valuable time sleeping on the ship and not enjoying the initial ports of call. We were overwhelmed with the large number of loud Americans on board the ship who clearly had difficulty in controlling their children and themselves. On a few occasions parents would be trying to discipline their children in the hallway when we were trying to lap up the comfort of our staterooms. By the way these rooms are very nice and clean. The Stewards were fantastic! On one occasion our room was freshened up and cleaned 3 times in one day due to us returning early from a port of call visit. Our teenagers can be very untidy. The stewards took this on board and regularly called in on their room and tidied up. Our stewards would make animals out of the brilliant white towels. Eskimos, frogs and bears we had. You really need to book a stateroom with an Ocean View as a MINIMUM. The second floor Grade 6 is good. Waking up to the view of the ocean and watching the approach to the islands is a highlight. We had paid our gratuities in advance of the cruise and felt a bit sad to leave without giving the stewards any tips. We are not sure how they actually receive this but we made a point of telling them what we had done in order not to appear mean. The reception from the Embarkation staff was not exciting. Our officer appeared very tired and lacking energy. After opting to do the 'Behind the Fun Tour' of the ship we learned about the hours the staff work and the very basic conditions they live in on the lower decks of the ship. This would clearly contribute to the tired appearance of some of the staff. The tour of the ship is interesting but at a cost of $55 pp. You learn a lot of what makes your cruise enjoyable. Food preparation, the maritime qualifications of the staff, meet the captain, see the crew's living quarters, where the ship is steered and much more. Our teenage children cannot wait to go back to school and tell their friends. There is no Welcome Aboard Party on the cruise ship for us embarking in Barbados. However there is a big party for the Americans embarking in San Juan. We know this is the main embarkation port but we all pay for the cruise and should all reap the same benefits. ST LUCIA: We had a great day on this very hilly island. We pre- booked a tour from the UK on recommendation. If you have the opportunity to do so for all of the islands it will be time well spent. We felt like royalty. Our driver was waiting for us with our name on display. We had a mini bus to ourselves, the price had been negotiated in advance. Our driver was happy to change the days itinerary within reason as he was going to receive his fixed fee at the end of the day. The Sulphur Springs is a pleasant experience. Try to purchase some of the natural soaps and sulphur. Like with all the islands many of the locals will approach you to purchase their hand made jewelry. If you are interested take time to barter with them and pay the price you want. This island has snakes. We had the opportunity to take pictures with a snake around our necks. Something we would never do in the UK but on this island these men really know their species. ST KITTS: Again our tour was pre arranged on recommendation from the UK. We strongly recommend Island Paradise Tours. Our driver was Rosevelt Taylor. He is fantastic. He is funny and very knowledgeable. He has a good relationship with all the locals which made the tour very interesting by mixing with the natives. This island is beautiful with great scenery and history. The original beach Rosevelt wanted to take us to was a little rough after the left overs from hurricane Issac. This was a shame because we do not recommend the Reggae Beach he had to take us to for lunch. The beach was very nice but the service for lunch was diabolical! We waited over an hour for the meal to arrive. The delay was noticed and we were offered free punches and no service charge as a consolation. ST MAARTEN & ST THOMAS very good for shopping. ST Thomas has some very classic watches at reasonable prices. Ladies you will want to die for the handbags and shoes. SAN JUAN: This port was one of the high lights of the cruise. Is is very clean, the people are very good looking and friendly. We ate at a Caribbean restaurant as there was no caribbean food on the ship even though it was cruising the caribbean. We suggest the Carnival sources one or two caribbean chefs. The ship catered more for the Americans. BARBADOS: Although we disembarked we had a whole day to further explore this beautiful island. The beaches are lovely and clean. The disembarking process did not take long at all. It was well organised which gave us another whole day from 10.00am to explore the island until our late evening flight back to the UK. Be prepared to travel with your suitcases in a taxi if you want to maximise this opportunity without worrying about your suitcases coming off the ship and following you to the plane. We understand that some local hotels will allow you to use their facilities for the day and look after your luggage for a nominal fee. The whole experience of the Carnival ship is more positive than some of the reviews we have read. Use the reviews as a guide but do not rely on them to decide on whether you should book this cruise ship or not. We are really pleased we did not take the reviews we read too seriously before deciding to book with Carnival. It was an affordable cruise for us and we are glad we followed our own instincts and went went with it. If you do not have a large budget and want to experience a cruise in your life time, we would recommend the Carnival as a good starting point. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
Embarkation in Barbados was long winded and we feel a drawn out process. You had to wait far too long to get access to your stateroom. tateroom was very spacious and exceptionally clean. Rio the steward was excellent, excellent, ... Read More
Embarkation in Barbados was long winded and we feel a drawn out process. You had to wait far too long to get access to your stateroom. tateroom was very spacious and exceptionally clean. Rio the steward was excellent, excellent, excellent. Trouble with loudspeaker is that you cannot her announcements in your room. The food onboard was excellent but the buffet restaurant was an eye opener. I don't think I have ever seen people eat so much in all my life, gluttony was the name for the day!!!!!! Carnival do need to train their staff properly though. My husband and myself were given bar credits to use by our sons, you can use these towards a bottle of wine at dinner. Unfortunately the second night we tried to use them foir this the waiter did not know anything about them nor did the Maitre D. Really embarrassing moment so much so that we left the restaurant really upset. Complained to guest services who really weren't interested. Tried again third night with a different waiter .... no problem!!!!! So come on Carnival get your act together please. On the subject of the Maitre D, without wishing to be rude he is grumpy, unpleasant and acknowledges no one!!! The waiters on the whole are excellent , especially Dec. The ship is geared for Americans rather than any British holidaymaker. This is because the ship is loud and well you can gather the rest................. The ports of call were good but you could have done a lot of them yourself without the expense. As I said the loudspeaker system doesn't work in the staterooms so you do not always hear the messages. On disembarking in St Thomas we did not have our passports with us as we were not aware you needed them (you didn't need them in any other port apart from San Juan which is also American) and we tried to reboard but an officious twenty something American official would not let us on and proceeded to be rude, arrogant and totally up herself, in the end I had to say "well are you going to let us off or not?", she let one of us board to get our passports. We then went shopping and went via the other American official further up the port with no problem at all and a really pleasant young man! Whilst on the subject of American ports, San Juan is a nightmare. You are rtold by Carnival that it isn't a problem and you just get off for a while and then you can come back on without having to queue with all the new guests coming onboard - do not believe them this is totally untrue. The queues are unbelievable and even though you are a guest intransit they, the officials do not recognise this and are bolshey and rude. At this port Carnival also check you in differently, I myself wasn't going to be allowed back onboard as some young man didn't know what he was doing and although I had been onboard for 3/4 days already he wasn't doing his job correctly and had to ask for help, along comes a woman who knows what she is doing and states I am a guest intransit and was allowed to reboard. What a complete nightmare!!!!! The drinks are overpriced but the bar staff are brilliant, especially Simona and Hendrich!!!! If you intend to drink onboard buy credits its far cheaper. Regarding dining if you would like to be seated as a couple then firmly state it otherwise you will be placed with rather loud people!!! Also elegant night doesn't always mean elegant night, people wearing t shirts, shorts and polo shirts were allowed in the restaurant despite announcements to the contrary. Although it was our first cruise and we had problems it hasn't put us off cruising, we just wouldn't go with this company again as the English are made to feel in the minority. The company leaves a lot to be desired, lack of information, not being able to purchase bar credits online as they do not recognise our postcodes etc. If Carnival would like more English guests then they need to move up a notch. As we were going through immigration again in Barbados we heard the vast majority of our fellow cruisers were not enamoured with their experiences and were quite vocal about it, indeed one comment was "we will cruise again but onboard one with a little more intellect"!! As I have said it hasn't put us off cruising but would definitely try a company with a little more elegance. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
Bonded luggage: check your cases in at Manchester and the next time you see them is in your cabin! Coach straight from plane to ship, short queue (water available) to get key card and map of ship. Then go out: couldn't believe the ... Read More
Bonded luggage: check your cases in at Manchester and the next time you see them is in your cabin! Coach straight from plane to ship, short queue (water available) to get key card and map of ship. Then go out: couldn't believe the size of Ventura when we first saw her.., wow! - In all the ports I had a great proud 'my ship's bigger than your ship' feeling! Get on board, hunt out your cabin, where there'll be instructions where to eat on the first night -no dress restrictions as they understand you may not get your cases in time. To avoid getting lost in the early days we used the two same decks 7 & 15 to get around and kept to the starboard side, where our cabin was. This helped a lot! TIP: all the lifts face forward. Plus the carpet is a different colour in each section (Forward, Mid and Aft). We found the booze in the bars and restaurants quite reasonable. Booze for your cabin and cigs (inc B&H) very reasonable; purchased at the shop on board. Smoking permitted on Deck 7 starboard side (where the Arena, Ramblas bar, Tamarind Bar and Havana nightclub is); only a few steps away, loads of chairs and you can take your drink, so very easy. Also smoking is starboard side on the open deck 15. I found it hard going with all the stuff to do -- when do you fit in time to sleep?! For all those with anti-social husbands, mine surprisingly loved every minute of it! No-one bothers with the taking time to get to know you thing; everyone just wades straight in, so you instantly have lots of new friends, though, we found it strange that no-one introduced themselves - we asked names when we met again! I did a few laps of deck 7 (outside) at about 7am, as the gym annoyingly didn't open until 8am. Deck 7 makes a nice walk too. Loungers at busy areas do get taken early, but we were happier out of the way on the high decks -do go looking round from one end of the ship to the other to choose your preferred location. We liked the area round the spa pool with Jacuzzi's as it was quieter. Pool towels provided in cabin. One day I got a workout moving my sunbed round as the ship appeared to keep changing direction interfering with my sun! The next day we discovered the cheeky captain, Charlie Carr from Wigan, had gone in the shape of a Xmas tree! You could see this on the map on the telly! I'm very pleased that on the last day we got a 'Cruise Log', summary of the entire trip as I was dying to know how many miles we'd done. Rather than Freedom dining (if you go at a busy time they give you a pager for when a spot becomes available) we decided on the more formal dining and chose 1st sitting 18:30 at the time of booking. NB. 2nd sitting was 20:30 I'd have still been too full for breakfast the next day, plus, we like a drink in the evening! We were in the Bay Tree, which had a slightly more formal feel than the Saffron (though it's the same two sitting affair). You sit with the same folk each night, so it's good to request a large table so that you'll hopefully have some good couples to chat with. We had plenty of time to have the four courses and a bottle of wine.., though if you don't finish the wine they keep it for you for the next day - fat chance of that happening with us! We'd then dash to the opposite end of the ship (5 mins max) to catch the first show 20:30 at the Arena (which is reminiscent of a picture house). This show repeated at 22:30. We ate at East and The White Room on a few occasions (cover charge applies), both were excellent. I used the 'Cruise Overview' in the cabin to plan which nights and rang the restaurants on the first night to make our reservations. We managed to get into The White Room again near the end of the cruise, so it's always worth a call to see what availability they have left. You can take breakfast where you like; we found a lot of folk went to the Bay Tree (waiter service) even though they weren't eating there at night. You're put on a large table, first come basis, so you get to mix with a variety of different couples. We went early. There's quite a selection for breakfast. If you don't get enough - ask for more! TIP: Use room service (mostly free): we used if we were going onshore early for a trip. Order via your telly, food delivered promptly. We took some plastic bags to take leftovers with us/keep in the fridge for when we returned. Or, go for Afternoon tea on deck 15 for sarnies etc from 3pm (very tasty!). Hygiene I noted is paramount and quite sensible when you think about it. Use the hand wash dispensers. There was a good looking young opera type singer Victor Michael in the Arena who was funny and got everyone involved. So I was looking forward to even better acts as we approached Xmas, but unfortunately, for my taste anyway, this didn't happen. I think I was expecting more quality acts, or perhaps they were aimed at the older generation. The acts etc in the Tamarind were the same, so it was then that we began to appreciate the Metropolis Lounge on deck 18; good to sit chatting with a bottle of Veuve Clicquot (very reasonably priced at £37). It was nice to see that the majority of people dressed up for the black tie nights. Show off your outfits at the Captains Welcome evening, where there's complimentary drinks for an hour. Now that was the start of a good night! P&O onshore trips were very expensive, but we did the few you shouldn't miss, which were very good. On some islands, there are dedicated taxi's to take you to the usual spots. They've been doing this for years man, so there's no need to worry. For example, a couple who shared a cab to a beach with us in St. Vincent left his wallet in the taxi with £400 in. We thought we'd never see the driver again! No problem, he was even early! I was desperate to wave a tacky plastic Union Jack flag. These were finally given out at the Sail Away party from St Lucia. After their morning trips, most passengers spent the afternoon on the grass near the ship in the Rum Bar, so we were pretty popped up! I had a fabulous time! We received a couple of upgrades and ended up in an outside cabin P245 on deck 5 forward. These have a large window and although I didn't know it beforehand (first cruise), really appreciated the outside cabin as we could see the waves and I like to wake up early in the morning, so enjoyed the natural light. We didn't close the curtains! It was great to kneel on the bed and look out as we pulled into a new port. Cabin P245 was perfect for us; near to the forward lifts in a large hallway (rather than down a corridor) and next to the gallery. Very quiet. In the first hour aboard, my equilibrium was a little off, but as I didn't have my seasickness pills (we didn't have our cases at that time, so consider keeping them in your hand luggage), I had a couple of Mojito's as I heard mint (and also ginger) are natural seasickness remedies. Didn't suffer again and infact loved the way the gentle movement of the ship the ship lulls you to sleep, very comforting! There's loads of hanging space for all of your posh dresses! Service in all the restaurants and the bars (on deck 7) was excellent. We didn't really frequent deck 6 (where the pub and casino is). We heard a few people moaning about service, but found that as we were polite, we received excellent service. A smile goes a long way! I didn't think we'd use the cabin steward much but on the few occasions we asked for ice or a shoeshine kit etc, Umesh went out of his way to assist, and with the biggest of smiles. Being from Yorkshire, we aren't the most generous natured, but I parted with my tips quite happily! (P&O recommend that for 2 passengers on a 2week cruise its: £42 for the Cabin Steward, and £44 for two waiters). Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
Ship In very good condition everywhere and kept very clean. Only complaint was that layout was not brilliant and we kept ending up in lobbies that were essentially dead ends and had to go up, along and down to get where we wanted to be. ... Read More
Ship In very good condition everywhere and kept very clean. Only complaint was that layout was not brilliant and we kept ending up in lobbies that were essentially dead ends and had to go up, along and down to get where we wanted to be. Shame the Promenade Deck doesn't go all around the ship. As others have said, sun beds were plentiful although reservation was still apparent and no action was taken despite repeated warnings in the ships daily guide - talk tough, act tame. We avoided the front pools area as this tended to be a bit like a crowded beach in Benidiorm and usually had loud music playing - not what we want on holiday. Cabin Had a top grade balcony cabin on Riviera Deck so we could give ourselves the best chance of enjoying our first cruise, and this worked. Midships cabin we had was under Venezia self-service restaurant and we had no noise from above or from adjacent cabins. We did have continuous air-conditioning noise, mainly from corridor outside room, but I have had worse in hotel rooms in hot climates and we did get used to it. Others we spoke to with cabins under the pools and boarded areas complained of noise from the deck above. One night we had a vibration in the room due to use of the hull stabilisers and this was quite unpleasant. Overall, very happy with cabin and balcony. Dining We had freedom dining and thoroughly enjoyed it; meeting mainly nice and interesting people over the two weeks, and having some great laughs. Service was excellent and the food was nice, but possibly a bit disappointing based on what P&O lead you to expect. We didn't sample the speciality restaurants, mainly because we couldn't see a point paying a cover charge when the silver service restaurants were so good. Self service dining was good and I can't see why other reviews have been so critical of it. I do however agree that it was in these dining areas that the less desirable elements of fellow passengers were most apparent - over indulgence, gross waste (eyes bigger than belly), messy eating, inappropriate clothing (sleeveless shirts, base ball caps, bare feet), contamination of servery food with dirty cutlery or returned food items. However, these people were in the minority. It does serve to illustrate a point that others have made, and that we observed, P&O seem to have gone down market and we were surprised how mainly 'bucket & spade brigade', 'Costa' tourists there seemed to be on the cruise - not what we imagined at all, so don't expect an oasis of calm and sophistication!!! Entertainment Apart form a couple of exceptions, we thoroughly enjoyed the Playhouse shows, and we attended nearly all of them. What a fantastic theatre the Playhouse is; 800 seats, all in comfort. The Headliners Theatre Company were fantastic considering the amount of material they had to learn and the frequency of shows. Cabaret acts in Malabar and Manhattan were a bit more variable but did provide reasonable entertainment. Sailaways at the Coral Pool were something we didn't attend, mainly because they seemed to consist of very loud music, much of which seemed to be exactly the same at each event. Glad we didn't have a forward cabin as noise must have been awful. There were a few lectures but I found the programme deficient; there should have been a greater number and variety of presentations for those of us interested in enlightenment as well as entertainment. Retailing Generally good choice (don't worry if you forget to bring some clothes, you can get almost anything on board) and prices not too bad either (although not sure about jewellery and watches). There was no pressure to buy from retailing and the staff we dealt with were very nice. The same can't be said of photography, they kept popping up everywhere and I felt there was too much pressure to have pictures taken. Fair enough it's up to the passenger to decide which, if any they buy, but the whole thing was way over the top (must make pots of money for P&O). We did buy a select few pictures and were happy with quality and cost. Excursions Did two P&O excursions and neither were worth the money -- if you can't be bothered to organise ones yourself and have pots of money, go with P&O as they are the most secure (getting back to the ship!). We preferred the ones we pre-organised independently (most of which included unlimited soft and/or alcoholic drinks) or the ones we picked up on the spot; always cheaper than P&O. Fitness The gym on Azura is fantastic and generally around late morning/mid day, no problem getting on the machines, of which there were a tremendous variety (don't miss the mountain bike trainers). Towels, hand sterilisers and wipes are all provided. We didn't sample the 'pampering' services but by all accounts they were very good (at a price!). However, I did note that much of the spiel at the presentations on fitness and health was not factually accurate and was definitely aimed at selling 'detox' etc treatments to gullible/ignorant (not meant to be derogatory) passengers -- but it's up to them what they spend their money on. Overall Excellent holiday with the only disappointments being the weather (often cloudy and some rain) and the bad flight back to Manchester with Thomas Cook Airlines (never again). Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
Transfer to the ship was very interesting going through Barbados, there was a mix of cultures and properties throughout the journey and would have loved to have stayed longer on the island to try out some of the local haunts. Luggage was ... Read More
Transfer to the ship was very interesting going through Barbados, there was a mix of cultures and properties throughout the journey and would have loved to have stayed longer on the island to try out some of the local haunts. Luggage was delayed getting to our cabin, which meant we had to go for our first dinner in the clothes we had been in since 2am that morning. Not a good start but didnt spoil our evening as we could see the staff putting all stops out to get this sorted for the 1800 passengers on board.       Childrens club looked like it was closed when we were enquiring, and a bit daunting for us as we were not sure who to contact as it was our first cruise. However once our son joined and was introduced to the team, they were so friendly and down to earth, he wanted to go there all the time. There was only 14 children on the cruise, most of the children under 5 which was disappointing for our 7 year old, but he enjoyed nevertheless. Our fault really for going out of season.       The service was fantastic in all areas of the ship, the staff always gave a smile and welcome whenever we bumped into them. They couldnt do enough for us. Thanks to our waiters for amazing service and attentiveness, well done.       We were on first sitting for evening dining, which we were not sure of because it was much too early to when we normally dine, so we decided to try the 6.30pm, and too be honest it worked out brilliantly for the varied age groups in our party. The choice of menu was fantastic, with up to 7 courses available. The food was always presented well, and cooked to perfection. For the amount of choice and the amount of diners that had to be served, I take my hat off to all the teams involved.       The plaza on Deck 14 was disappointing at breakfast time, too many people pushing and panicking, not the ships fault, just a lot of greedy and ignorant tourists. In the evenings it had everything there, good choice of food with great salads, main meals and desserts, but the quality of the food on the themed evenings was very disappointing especially the seafood evening.       The sailaway party themes were a little over the top, and a bit tacky, but my parents thoroughly enjoyed, along with a good percentage of guests. There is plenty of space to move away from this if it is not your thing, and I really enjoyed watching the views of the idyllic islands as we sailed away into the sunset, in a little more serence ambience which suited me. The staff and entertainment team worked really hard to try to encourage all types of customers to enjoy themselves. Was disappointed with the Assistant Entertainment Director, who never had a smile on his face, I think I smiled to him more than I got back........I thought he was in entertainment, could have fooled us!       The spa had a good choice of treatments, but found it to be quite expensive. Nevertheless we opted for the top to toe massage and it was fantastic. There was a few exercise classes arranged from 8am to 9am, but as this was to be a relaxing holiday and as I was a younger traveller on the ship, felt we could have had a bit flexibility on class times to suit all, not just the early risers.       Decor on the ship was dated, but everything was clean, tidy and I did not see any major issues as in previous posts. It is definately due for a refurbishment but it wouldnt stop us travelling again on the ship.       All in all we had a great holiday, everything was well organised. Thanks to all on the Oceana who worked exceptionally hard - we appreciated it. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
We had never thought about cruising until we met a couple whilst on holiday in Cuba that had done a couple of cruises and got us thinking. We checked several travel companies for quotes and then went to our usual travel agent to see if ... Read More
We had never thought about cruising until we met a couple whilst on holiday in Cuba that had done a couple of cruises and got us thinking. We checked several travel companies for quotes and then went to our usual travel agent to see if they could match or better one we got off the internet, we wasn't disappointed when they came up with a Caribbean cruise with Princess cruises.We did as most people do check tripadvisor and other forms of reviews and to be honest some of them scared me and i was begining to wonder what we had let ourselves in for, but in hind sight i didn't need to worry.Our holiday started with our flight from Birmingham airport and we soon found out that everyone on our flight was going to be on the cruise aswell.The check in so quick the best we have ever experienced. We got chatting to a lovely couple at the airport that had done several cruises, they were also sitting by us on the plane.The flight was superb, staff very attentive and smiling, we had paid extra for premium upgrade but worth every penny. When we arrived at Barbados everything was done with military precision, from getting off the plane right through to boarding the ship and getting to our cabin and having our cases delivered to it. We have heard that other flights were not so lucky as us. We decided to familiarise ourselves with the ship rather than go back ashore and go round Bridgetown, plus we were not sure of the protocol at this point.The Sea Princess was beautiful, spotlessly clean very much a WOW!We had booked anytime dining and on the first night we went to the Rigalleto restaurant, we were taken to a table for 8 people and were not served until it was full which took a while and caused ourselves and others to miss the important emergency drill as we were told there would be another later but this wasn't true. We used the Horizon Buffet restaurant after this which we found fantastic, the service, choice of dishes etc, on a couple of times we used the Corniche when we fancied Italian.The entertainment was good and Marvin, Kez and the others worked hard to keep everyone entertained and boy did they entertain you, Marvin only had to give one of his looks or poses ( when he saw anyone with a camera) and you were in fits of laughter. The island party night they put on was out of this world with music from the ship's band 'Magnitude', we went to the theatre every night to see a show and was never disappointed especially the show the crew put on, although the DVD didn't sound anything like the actual show did.Our cabin steward was named Elric and he was always smiling and kept our cabin spotless and changed the towels twice a day. At night he always put 2 chocolates and the Princess Patter on the bed after he had turned it back, it's the little touches that mean so much.Most of our trips we did ashore except Jamaica as we were advised by others that had been before to book with the ship and go with them which we did. There were 2 places we didn't like and that was due to the locals pestering us and not taking no for an answer, at which they became a bit intimidating so we went back on board and spent the day on deck and in the pools. Our favourite place was Tortola and the visit to Cane Garden beach, although Tobago, Bonaire and ST Ktts was also lovely, Aruba was very cosmopolitan and very expensive mainly jewellery and designer shops, Grand Caymen was also very nice.The security on boarding and dissembarking the ship and around it at each port was first class. They seemed to take passenger safety very seriously as when we were in port they were always doing some drill or another with the crew and there was always someone painting the exterior of the ship.To sum this review up it was FANTASTIC and something we would definately do again. Our only downside for this review is that we were told that Princess cruises are no longer going from Barbados and that they are mainly going from Fort Lauderdale which we were told IS A NIGHTMARE, so we will not be doing that.One last thing you are given the option to opt out of the daily Gratuities except for hotel/bar bills which we did and just left tips for specific people you can save a fortune doing this and you know the ones that matter get their reward. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
Like many we flew out from East Midlands Airport with apprehension due to the mixed reviews received of the Thomson Dream - how wrong we were. 1st class entertainment every night (Steven Guy and his team deserve all the plaudits. ... Read More
Like many we flew out from East Midlands Airport with apprehension due to the mixed reviews received of the Thomson Dream - how wrong we were. 1st class entertainment every night (Steven Guy and his team deserve all the plaudits. Dancing & Singing in the Broadway Theatre, and late night deck parties which our teenagers thoroughly enjoyed. Food was also excellent, particularly in the Orion where we had a great waiter each night called Kreuger. He often offered 2 helpings per course or extra ice cream etc. Similarly, our housekeeper Mary couldn't be faulted. The mainly Filipino crew were generally very courteous & friendly. The ship itself still needs some work doing on it - listing on the Atlantic coast of Cuba (where time was lost and caused Dominican Republic to be missed) and engine failure a little later when it looked like we may miss Tortola too but this time was recovered. Otherwise, the cabin was fine & spacious, everywhere was very clean and only picked up a sulphur-like smell on 1 evening. Would definitely try another cruise, maybe this time in the Med. The dream has an excellent team which I hope it manages to keep together. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
This was our first cruise. We booked it 5 weeks before we went, as we fancied a change from resort based holidays and wanted to visit more of the Caribbean and get some winter sun. We liked the style and size of the ship - though many ... Read More
This was our first cruise. We booked it 5 weeks before we went, as we fancied a change from resort based holidays and wanted to visit more of the Caribbean and get some winter sun. We liked the style and size of the ship - though many passengers who'd cruised before grumbled to us about the size (is there some kind of competition to see who can moan the most??). We ate on the 1st sitting in Peninsular - nice food and good service, though it wasn't as fancy or tasty as I was expecting. We also ate in Glasshouse and Sindhu (both lovely food). The buffet restaurants were OK, though the cold food they served got a little repatative after a while (curry buffet night was very tasty though). Good waiter service in bars, though I'd avoid the Mojito cocktail as they can't mix them very well, tased like water & some mint and not much else!! We were very dissappointed with the entertainment on board. The main act headliners could dance but their singing left a lot to be desired. Some of the other acts were good (freddie mercury tribute act and Andrea Dickinson) - too much repetition of movies on sea screen though (chicago and sherlock holmes were on 3 - 4 times over the 2 weeks). Not all the photographers were that good at their job, some of ours had bad shadowing and colour. We did 2 shore excursions booked through the ship - trip to Virgin Gorda (nice, but didn't really live up to it's hype) and the Rhum runner in Greneda, which was excellent. Booked independent tours and taxi's to the beaches otherwise. Prices on board are reasonable and there are plenty of sales in the shops to tempt you to part with your cash. Waitress / waiter service for Costa coffee appalling slow though - they need to sort that out. Cabins spacious and well equipped (White Stuff toiletries, which I had to resport to at end of hols) Cabin steward polite & efficient. We would consider going with P&O again, if we fancied another cruise at some point, but would wait for last minute bargains again (we heard of suites going for £799 a week before trip)!! As I say it's hard to judge standards as it was first cruise so didn't know what to expect or what to compmare it to, but had a good time & was tempted to stay on board for the 4 week xmas/new year cruise for only £1,500!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2010

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