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973 Barcelona to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

Mediterranean Cruise on Vision of the Seas September 2019 This is my review of our most recent cruise. It was our twenty- ninth cruise, and our first in Europe. We prefaced the Barcelona departure with two pre-cruise days in ... Read More
Mediterranean Cruise on Vision of the Seas September 2019 This is my review of our most recent cruise. It was our twenty- ninth cruise, and our first in Europe. We prefaced the Barcelona departure with two pre-cruise days in London. Approximately half of our cruises have been on Royal Caribbean, however, we have cruised with Norwegian, Disney, Princess, Celebrity, and Carnival as well. This booking was made a year in advance, and all cruise amenities and/or add ons were prepaid prior to boarding. This is significant and worth noting. All European cruises that leave from a European port are subject to a 21% VAT Tax from the European Union. This means everything from drinks to souvenirs, to excursions and any packages such as Internet, Dining, or Beverage that are purchased onboard. So, to save, pre- buy these items prior to boarding. Our flight arrangements and transfers were all booked via the cruise line through their Choice Air connection. The rates were competitive and we were kept informed of all changes that occurred prior to departure. In reference to changes, there was one pre boarding change made to our itinerary. The port of Malta was changed to a stop in Crete instead. Also during the cruise, the port of Mykonos was cancelled due to high winds and a second day in Athens was substituted. Our eight- and one-half hour flight to London was on British Airways and was uneventful. Taking place in the middle of a British Airways pilot strike we were worried about this leg of the trip, but it went smoothly. Service was adequate, seats in Premium Economy were not particularly comfortable, and the food was mediocre. We stayed at the Heathrow Hilton T4 which is connected to Terminal Four by covered walkway. There is also an Underground Tube station at the terminal. The hotel was nice and food and service was very good. Taking the tube into London using our pre-purchased "Visitor Oyster" cards was easy, however, on both occasions that we used the tube to return to Heathrow from downtown London the cars were overcrowded to the point of absurdity. There are no words that adequately describe the amount of mass humanity that can jam into a London subway car. Very unpleasant, but unavoidable. We managed to see a surprising amount of the iconic London landmarks, and even took a Thames River cruise from Westminster to Greenwich during our one- and one-half days in London. The high point of our London visit was the tour of Buckingham Palace. We had been very lucky to obtain these hard to get tickets in the months prior to our departure. It was an amazing visit and the gardens were beautiful. In the course of our London visit we walked just under sixteen miles. Our flight from Heathrow to Barcelona to catch our ship departed at 6:15am and required that we take a taxi from Terminal Four to Terminal Three. It was arranged by the Hotel Concierge and went smoothly at a cost of Eighteen British Pounds. This flight was also on British Airways and went smoothly. The Barcelona Airport proved to be a miserable place, and getting through Customs took almost as long as the flight from London. A prime example of inefficiency this place has inadequate signage, rude people, and absolutely nothing to recommend it to anyone. The transfer from the airport to the cruise terminal was slow and not without minor issues, but was accomplished after a short wait. Due to the number of ships in port the Vision of the Seas had been relegated to an industrial dock far from the cruise terminal. The bus from the Airport took us to the terminal for check in which went quickly, and a second bus then took us to the ship for boarding. Again, not very efficient but it did get the job done. Upon boarding Vision of the Seas which we had sailed on previously we made our way to the Windjammer Buffet for lunch. Finding a seat was easy and the food was good. The food at the Windjammer proved to be very good during the entire cruise. Service in the Windjammer was very poor during the first couple of days, but did improve as the cruise went on. Our cabin, an inside stateroom on Deck 7 forward was ready by 1pm and we found it to be in good order and more than adequate. Our Cabin Steward, Alexander provided exemplary service during this twelve-day cruise. One caveat, our cabin 7513 was directly over the Theater where live performances take place and from time to time could be a bit noisy. The ship does show some age, but for the most part it seems in good condition with ample seating in and around the Atrium. The cleaning of tables around the seating areas was for the most part non-existent. Very poor job of housekeeping in this area. As far as the running of the ship, it did seem that it was being operated efficiently. It arrives and departs on time, and the Captain keeps passengers well informed. The ship also seems to ride very well, and is for the most part very comfortable. Entertainment in the Atrium was pretty standard with small combos, and piano players making regular appearances. We did not sample the main theater, or the main dining room on this trip. We ate exclusively at the Windjammer and were never disappointed. It seemed that the main dining room was not attracting as many people as in the past, and the Casino also rarely seemed crowded, although we didn't really check it out during prime hours. The shops were the usual basic Royal Caribbean fare, and the Photo Gallery still prints pictures bucking the recent trend of going all digital. Our first stop was Cannes, France. Cannes is a tender port, so you must take a tender boat to and from the ship. We did not have a shore excursion and simply went ashore and walked along the waterfront and among the shops and street side restaurants. It is a very pretty little place, and did not seem too difficult o get around. Of course, we had to buy the usual souvenirs that tourists love so much. We stayed ashore long enough to get a feel for the place and appreciate its beauty. Crowds were not bad, and overall it was a pleasant experience. Our second stop was Livorno, Italy which is the port nearest to Florence and Pisa. We had an excursion to Florence that include the Piazza Santa Croce dominated by the Basilica of Santa Croce which is the burial site of Michelangelo, Machiavelli, and Galileo among others. We also visited the Galleria dell'Accademia to see the renown statue of David by Michelangelo. We also saw the Duomo, and many other historic sites as we walked through Florence. This was a walking tour, and it included lunch. Overall a beautiful place and a worthwhile visit. Be aware, this tour required that we walk over five miles over uneven and often slippery cobblestones and roadways. Also be aware that like all popular locations the crowds will be ever present, and often daunting. A sea of humanity all jostling for position and trying to keep up with and in sight of their tour guides. When multiple ships are in port the crowds number in the multiple thousands. One member of our tour became confused about our time of departure and missed our return bus. Fortunately, she was able to get help from shop owners who got a taxi which she took back to the port on her own. This error cost her two hundred Euros, and she just made it back to the ship in the nick of time. Beware. Our next port was Civitavecchia, Italy which is the port town serving Rome. Our excursion to Rome included visits to the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain and the Vatican. The Colosseum is amazing and awe inspiring, however, it is also crowded beyond belief. Ours was a special small group tour and we got to go inside and up to the second level for good viewing, but there like so many of these places the overwhelming amount of people make enjoying the sites problematic. Walking to the Trevi Fountain was a beautiful walk with many photo opportunities along the way. But again, at the fountain it is almost impossible to get to the site because of the crowds. We had a very good Pizza near the Fountain and then headed to the Vatican. The Vatican is always crowded. We went through the Vatican Museum, The Sistine Chapel, and Saint Peters Basilica. All were beautiful, and all were packed with people. A member of our group got caught attempting to take a photo in the Sistine Chapel and our entire group was removed as a result. We had been warned. But overall the Vatican was well worth the visit and putting up with crowds and their antics. After these stops, we had two sea days to rest. Believe me they were welcomed. The ship being a bit smaller than many did not seem overcrowded and moving around was very easy. Our next stop was the Port of Piraeus, Greece. This is the port that serves Athens. We booked two excursions, one for each of our two days at this port. On our first day we went to the Acropolis and Cape Sounion. The Acropolis is absolutely unbelievable. It is well worth the walk and climb to see. However, be aware that the walk and the climb are both significant. If you have any mobility issues or breathing issues, do not attempt it. The crowds here were among the worst of the trip. Old stairs with no handrails, uneven stone walkways, and slippery marble all must be contended with. It is, however, worth the effort if you can make it. After a provided lunch buffet at Hotel InterContinental Athenaeum which was very good, we made our way down the coast to Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon. Beautiful place, with high winds, slippery walkways and a vertical climb. Our second day in Athens found us on a basic downtown sightseeing excursion that included an extended shopping time in the Plaka Shopping District in old Athens below the Acropolis opposite Hadrian's Arch. The shopping was good and the area is picturesque and lively. The next stop was Santorini, Greece. First, it is as beautiful as the pictures that we have all seen. The one main problem it has is accessibility. You must tender to the dock to catch your excursion and the only way back is down a 600-stair stairway shared with Donkeys or a hopelessly overcrowded cable car system. our excursion took us to the amazing ruins of Akrotiri where you can walk among an active archeological dig and see the civilization that has been recovered. We also toured the island and Oia we had lunch at a small pizzeria overlooking the caldera that forms Santorini's bay. It was just a breathtaking setting and pretty good pizza to boot. The last stop was the capital of Fira. Catching the cable car back down to the dockside was a nightmare. You stand in line in the sun for one to one and one half hours to reach the ticket window. The line moves painfully slow and snakes through a shopping area. As you near the stairs into the cable car house people sneak out of the shops and begin to cut the line. This happens continually and everyone is aware and grumbling but no one does anything about it. This can and does lead to unpleasant encounters between those who dutifully stood in line and those interlopers who think nothing of cheating their fellow passengers. Later this was the number one complaint made by passengers on our ship about their visit to Santorini. Our last stop was the Greek island of Crete. There is not a lot to see, but it is a very pretty place with an interesting history. The story of the Battle of Crete during WWII alone is worth noting. We saw the remains of an Ancient Roman wall and an Ottoman fortress. Crete also is home to the only deep-water Mediterranean port used by the U.S. Navy. A pleasant stop, and a pleasant place. Our next two sea days brought us back to Barcelona. Disembarkation was smooth with only a slight problem in finding the correct transfer bus to that terrible Barcelona Airport. It seems that in Spain when Person A directs you somewhere, then Person B at that location will not have the slightest idea as to why you were sent there. Our flight home was with Delta Airlines and went smoothly and without incident. A few items of note. First, money. We did bring small amounts of British Pounds, and European Euros, and we did use them with no problem. However, our credit cards with chips were used without any trouble as well. We were never asked for a Pin#. We simply used the card and then were required to sign, hence the term, "chip and sign." Second, restrooms in Europe are another story. They are not plentiful. They often charge you to use them so always have some Euro coins handy for the attendant, and they are often not clean, or have no toilet seat. Some see this as "old world charm”. I don't. Third, if you are used to having ice in your beverage don't go to Europe. Again, "old world charm." Fourth, crowds. As I have pointed out in many parts of this review crowds in Europe are ever present, unyielding, often rude, and always overwhelming. Fifth, theft. You will be warned about pick-pockets everywhere you go in Europe. Take these warnings seriously. A fellow cruise passenger had her wallet lifted from a zippered compartment in her backpack while waiting in that Santorini cable car line, and she never felt a thing. Take precautions, and consider how you carry your valuables. And finally, sixth, filth. European cities are often dirty and smelly with garbage piled along the street and graffiti covering literally every surface in sight. One gets the impression that if you stand too long in one spot you run the risk of being "tagged" by some young Michelangelo "wanna be". In conclusion I am glad we made this trip and what we saw was absolutely worth the effort, but I don't need to see it again anytime soon. Also be aware that according to my wife's Fit bit we walked 65 miles during this trip. Be prepared. If you are interested, we did VLOG this trip. You may find our videos on YouTube. Simply search for our YouTube site, "Cruise Views and other Stuff." Please subscribe if you like the videos. Thanks. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
While we're relatively experienced cruisers (over 200 days on Silversea, 50 on Seabourn) this was only our second Regent trip. On the previous one, Seven Seas Navigator, we loved the relative informality and the quality of the ... Read More
While we're relatively experienced cruisers (over 200 days on Silversea, 50 on Seabourn) this was only our second Regent trip. On the previous one, Seven Seas Navigator, we loved the relative informality and the quality of the F&B, but were not too impressed by the ship, so were looking forward to experiencing the Seven Seas Voyager. Overall, this trip warranted a "Good" rating, and we generally enjoyed it. Embarkation was efficient and timely. The Cabin (Veranda on Deck 7 Midships) met our expectations for the category, although the veranda itself would have benefited from a good clean and repaint.The shore excursions were generally very good, the organisation of disembarkation for the excursions was excellent, and the quality of food and wines was also good to very good. Unfortunately, though, this trip was let down by staff attitude. This was not universal by any means, but too often we encountered a patronising attitude, which at times made us feel that we were being a nuisance. This was exemplified on our only visit to the Compass Rose, where the attitude of both the waiter (think plates being placed quite forcefully on the table, rolling eyes) and the wine waiter (who tried hard to convince us that a standard Valpolicella was the same as a Valpolicella Ripasso) were so poor that we did not return, choosing instead to dine at the alternative venues. Having said that, the staff in Chartreuse and Prime 7 - where we managed to dine several times - were very good indeed, as were Setti Mare. The Pool Grill staff were acceptable, but lacked the finesse expected on a Regent cruise. There also seemed to be frequent problems with the coffee machines at the Coffee Corner, which led to queues at the service counter. We were also very disappointed to find, on four separate days, that we'd been supplied with bath towels which were worn into holes and/or frayed. After the fourth occurrence, I mentioned this to the Reception staff, and in fairness it did not happen again. The point, however, is that with a company such as Regent which claims "luxury" status, it should not have happened at all. The "acid test" is whether we would take another Regent cruise, and the answer is yes, we would, given the right itinerary. However, there were unfortunately too many small negatives to make Regent our first choice. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Well what a very poor cruise. Regent has gone from elegance to budget. Staff are sloppy. Spill a drink and just walk off. Order a cocktail and end up with anything but what was ordered. Staff seem to not understand English when it suits ... Read More
Well what a very poor cruise. Regent has gone from elegance to budget. Staff are sloppy. Spill a drink and just walk off. Order a cocktail and end up with anything but what was ordered. Staff seem to not understand English when it suits them. Entertainment zero. Towels thread bare. Even holes in bath towels and mats. Could not believe it. Dress code really? Baseball caps in main dinning room. Shorts worn everywhere after 6pm. Excursions started at breakfast time and not back till afternoon so no breakfast or lunch. Saves them a fortune. I really thought it was a bad dream. Paid a fortune and received zero for the money. Officers had family aboard and staff seem to eat in public areas. Nice to line up for a coffee after staff are served. Unbelievable. Regent are on the way out and the sooner the better. Keep well away. Complimentary wine very poor and seems to be a push to buy the premium range. Prime 7 lobster raw. Chatreuse appalling. Bar staff couldn’t make a decent martini and didn’t care less anyway. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Chose this because cruise on explorer last year was great. Sadly this was a waste of money and took until day six to sort all issues out. Aft cabin ( 675) intolerable because of vibration. Bought this specifically for balcony size. ... Read More
Chose this because cruise on explorer last year was great. Sadly this was a waste of money and took until day six to sort all issues out. Aft cabin ( 675) intolerable because of vibration. Bought this specifically for balcony size. Moved to ( downgraded) veranda suite ( 754) Filthy balcony with caulking between teak boards stripping out and staining carpet, clothes shoes. After carpenters tried to fix ( apparently they already knew about this) we had to move again to 817 veranda suite which was OK. Offered $1000 pp towards next cruise ( not refund!!) Special diet ( coeliac) organisation awful. Food generally very very average . La veranda by time back from shore excursions bereft of any decent food. Compass Rose closed at least twice for lunch. Dried up scrapings on offer and empty dishes failing to be replenished. Chaotic end of dining service restaurant with sudden changing to get ready for dinner while still diningWines poor quality ( unless of course you pay the extra) Staff almost invisible. Chartreuse noisy chaotic and more like a cafe. Prime 7 average. Even had an offer from cruise director who was having lunch next to using La Veranda to take my dirty plates from my table when the waiter failed to clear up! Drinks, when could find someone to order, frequently failed to be delivered. This was particularly evident at pool and in La Veranda Three staff worth mentioning plus the Butler who were all excellent. Simone, the Maitre D in La Veranda tried very hard to redeem situation and personally was the best service ever.. Janina, the Exec Concierge responded quickly but did not follow up on first occasion. She was practically helpful . Allisone in La Veranda tried hard to organise dietary requirements. Guest lecturer awful. Went on one occasion and he was ill prepared, unfocussed and side commentaries were made assuming that all his audience were Americans. Shore tours were mostly excellent but started at 0800. After talking with fellow travellers on this ship it was evident that even the most faithful RSS clients were exasperated. I am awaiting the company's comments on the whole experience but I am not going to hold my breath! Conclusion is simple. Don't go on this ship unless you are willing to pay a lot of money for a poor service food and perhaps accommodation Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Husband, son and I have been cruising for over 25 years. Ages are 63, 56 and 23. It is our favorite vacation thing to do. Started on Carnival (actually met my husband on the old Celebration) and moved on up from there. About eight ... Read More
Husband, son and I have been cruising for over 25 years. Ages are 63, 56 and 23. It is our favorite vacation thing to do. Started on Carnival (actually met my husband on the old Celebration) and moved on up from there. About eight years ago, we tried Celebrity and that was that. It became our favorite cruise line. So other than the occasional inexpensive three or four day trip to the Bahamas on Carnival or Royal Caribbean (we live in FL, so it's easy for us to just jump on), we stick to Celebrity. But this year, we decided to step up to one of the luxury lines and went with Regent Voyager Barcelona to Athens. We are going on Celebrity Edge this winter and considered it for this cruise, but when we added on the business air that came included with Regent, the prices were pretty much the same. So I'll just cut to the conclusion and if you want details, keep reading further. Regent is just lovely and we had a nice time, but it's back to Celebrity for us, unless we got some sort of insane deal on Regent. Very soon, Regent is going to have to figure out how to cater to a younger, more dynamic, well-heeled passenger, as their very elderly passenger base is not going to be around much longer. So here's our breakdown: Room- Regent wins. We were in 867, which is a Penthouse Suite B. It is very comparable to a Sky Suite on Celebrity, which is what we usually book. We loved it. Big walk in closet. Curtain that separates living room from bedroom at night (helpful if you have a third passenger, as we did). Bathroom had separate shower and bath. Great towels and toiletries. Tip: If you do have a passenger sleeping on the pull out couch, ask for a mattress reinforcer. Made a big difference. As others have noted, the balcony furniture is a little too big for the space. Food- For the MDR, Regent wins going away. Really good food. For pool grille, best hamburgers goes to Celebrity, ambiance goes to Regent. Buffet food was a tie, although Regent had less of a cattle call feel. Specialty restaurants food were a tie. In factoring cost effectiveness, we have to pay for specialty restaurants on Celebrity, but they are included with Regent. Regent does enforce the no jeans dress code in the dining room in the evening, which is pretty silly in this day and age. A man in a nice fitting pair of dark wash jeans with a collared shirt is a much better look than some of the stuff that we saw that technically fits the dress code. Drinks-Regent. However, we pretty much only drink wine and champagne, with an occasional martini or cosmo thrown in. The daily wines were perfectly acceptable and flowed freely. We did not feel pressure to buy more expensive bottles. All the bartenders we met were pleasant. No ubiquitous surly Jamaican bartender at the pool bar. And none of that annoying standing in line and having to produce your card. You ask for a drink, you get it. Lovely. Casino- Celebrity. At least on our sailing, the casino was dead, dead, dead. There were many times we were the only people in there. We are gamblers so we usually get offered significant discounts on future cruises after the pit boss sees our level of play. Regent offered us $1000 off any future sailings. Whoopee. Clientele- Regent. Everyone was super friendly and well traveled. Of course, this was a much smaller ship size. There is a significant 80+ clientele. The bulk of them were impressively active and friendly, but the experience and amenities they are looking for were quite different from ours. (Clientele can vary wildly sailing to sailing and I might be a little bitter about our last two on Celebrity. They were spring break cruises and Costco travel had sold the bulk of the reservations to a certain demographic that I won't specify.) Officer Visibility-Regent. I have never seen and met so many officers and been on a first name basis with them. Very impressive. Entertainment- For in house talent, Regent. For specialty acts, Celebrity. Pool- Chairs and amenities, Regent. Music, Celebrity. The piped in music at the Voyager pool was just excruciating. One more instrumental round of "The Girl from Impanema" anyone? Come on. They call it yacht rock for a reason. Please play it. Or reggae, mellow rock, current pop. Anything but what they played. Again, the elderly clientele seemed to like it. Shore excursions - tie. Shore excursions on both are such a crap shoot, whether you pay for them or they are included. We are reaching the point where we just want to book from outside companies. Internet-Celebrity. Regents was HORRIBLE. And we paid $100 for the upgrade! A deal breaker for us. My husband still has to work when he's on vacation and my son, well, he's 23. We gotta have decent internet. Service- ever so slight edge to Regent. We have had outstanding butlers and we have had indifferent butlers. There just doesn't seem to be any set standard on either ship. So our Regent butler was one of the indifferent ones. But everyone else was really good. Laundry-Regent. There is a passenger laundry room on every floor. While it's not particularly high end to do your own laundry on a cruise, it's certainly better than paying those insanely high fees. Cost-Celebrity. Except for the Edge, which is on a par with Regent. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary (Greek isles). We travelled as a family of four with two children aged 10 and 7. We stayed in the Royal Suite a truly beautiful room. We were concerned having read some of the reviews about the ship ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary (Greek isles). We travelled as a family of four with two children aged 10 and 7. We stayed in the Royal Suite a truly beautiful room. We were concerned having read some of the reviews about the ship but can honestly say this is one of the best cruises we have done. Yes the ship is older and smaller and shows some signs of wear and tear in places but what she lacks in size she delivers in personal service and atmosphere. We have done all the other class of ships in the RCI fleet. Vision is much smaller than the larger ships and therefore doesn’t have the amenities of ice rinks, flow rider, bumper cars etc. However her staff are all happy and being smaller you get a much more personal service. Our children were not disappointed having less activities . They loved the rock climbing wall and the swimming pool was never too overcrowded even though this was peak summer holiday cruise. They never visited adventure ocean as we were so busy doing other things. Vision has ample bars and the service at all was exceptional. We ate in chops, Giovanni’s and main dining and all were brilliant. The food was outstanding as was the service. There was plenty of activities held across the ship for all ages and the entertainment in the centrum was fab. Particular mention to Steve cruise director and Marcus from the entertainment team who were super. The ships theatre performance was a little disappointing compared to other ships but there was always something else going on in the centrum that it didn’t create a problem. Concierge lounge was exceptional. Jorge, the concierge was very good as was his bartender jay who made our trip so memorable. We could always get a seat in concierge and the views from the top were lovely. We visited Barcelona, Cannes, Rome, Pisa, Athens, Mykonos, Santorini and Malta. We loved all the ports and took shore excursions with RCI at Athens, Mykonos and Malta. All were well organised and delivered well. I would not hesitate to return to Vision. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was our 8th cruise on Royal Caribbean and as Diamond members we are really familiar with the way these ships work, both from the mahussive Oasis to the dinky Grandeur and Vision. What's always made the experience for us though ... Read More
This was our 8th cruise on Royal Caribbean and as Diamond members we are really familiar with the way these ships work, both from the mahussive Oasis to the dinky Grandeur and Vision. What's always made the experience for us though has been the service for guests staying in suites - it's the reason we prefer RCL. However Vision was frankly disappointing. There is a generally relaxed feel to the service, which is great sometimes but when you need something fixing or staff to go the extra mile, this relaxed attitude really grates. Getting a sunbed on deck on a sea day is impossible due to people reserving the beds and staff doing nothing to enforce the 30 min rule; getting waiter service on deck unless you are literally sat in front of the bar was impossible; navigating the many roped off areas in Windjammers became tiresome. Jorge in the concierge lounge was friendly enough, and Jay the waiter was very entertaining, but unless you were staying in the Royal Suite (who we saw got amazing service), us lowly Owners Suite guests had to pretty much ask for everything and were disappointed most of the time. I wont go into the details, but when you are used to the legendary concierge service of Rahul (previous Freedom & Grandeur cruises), Vision wasn't anywhere near the same standard. In the end we tried the Diamond Lounge and whilst a little cramped, the service was much better. We've never removed all the gratuities before, but we did for this cruise as right across the ship the service was lacklustre, apart from our suite attendant who was amazing and we tipped in cash. Fair play to RCL though, my feedback was taken pretty seriously and they called me to discuss it so fingers crossed things improve. Lovely ship, great cruise, average service (at best). Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this cruise based on the itinerary. My husband had never been to the Mediterranean and I thought a cruise would be a great introduction. We stayed in Barcelona for 4 days prior to the cruise to acclimatize. Beautiful city. ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on the itinerary. My husband had never been to the Mediterranean and I thought a cruise would be a great introduction. We stayed in Barcelona for 4 days prior to the cruise to acclimatize. Beautiful city. We were not disappointed. Embarkation was too easy. We used the app and were prioritized. Took one minute to get through to the duty free. Our bags were placed on the scanner, and since we only took hand luggage for a 12 day cruise (still overpacked), we were on our way. Grabbed two bottles of wine at Duty Free and were in the Solarium 5 minutes later bypassing all photo ops. Once we ensconced ourselves on chairs, we realized that no one checked our bags on board. No one asked about wine or anything. I took this as an opportunity and returned to the Duty Free no questions asked to purchase more wine. This was at noon. No one checked for wine/ booze until we saw tables being set up after we got to our cabin. Not sure how many times people could have returned to the Duty Free before having wine confiscated! Our cabin was the smallest cabin available on deck 4. Perfect for us, only there to sleep and shower, and literally steps from the Centrum for live entertainment daily. Did get tired of the salsa/ Latin music by about the third day, but everything else was great. Had my time dining. Used the app and booked 8:00 seating on the first day and then booked every night for the same time. Had the same server and window table for 2 nightly. Each meal was excellent as was the service. Entertainment was a little weak on the cruise for our tastes, but we volunteer at our local theatre and are spoiled by concerts and dancers there. Played trivia daily. Won several times! New for us was the option of entering our name into a raffle for a prize at the end of the cruise instead of little prizes. It worked!!! WE ACTUALLY WON THE RAFFLE! We were shocked when a basket of RCCL goodies were delivered to our cabin. Shared the wealth with our trivia teammates who were equally thrilled. Would we do it again, YES! Perhaps we would research a little more about the ship as there were times we just read on deck instead of participating. We are used to larger ships, but VISION is still high quality for the price. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
First, let me preface this by saying we enjoyed the cruise amid the hiccups. The ports on this cruise were awesome. I always select a room with another room above and below. And I did that when I booked this cruise on another RCI ... Read More
First, let me preface this by saying we enjoyed the cruise amid the hiccups. The ports on this cruise were awesome. I always select a room with another room above and below. And I did that when I booked this cruise on another RCI cruise through Future Cruises. The RCI team member assured me that this was the case for room 3577. However the deck chart is incorrect for this ship and above our room is a bar on the fourth floor and not another room as the chart shows. When anybody moves getting on and off of a chair around the bar we hear the chair scoot across the tile floor and people walking basically from noon until 0100 or 0200 in the morning. I complained at customer service and was told they had no available rooms. So I complained to the Concierge who took copious notes and seamed concern. After finally finding the Loyalty Ambassador at her desk she coordinated with Customer Service and gave us another room (3449). But when I went to get the key I was told that they had already given it to someone else due to bedbugs in their previous room. So because the ship is full I had to wait another day until a couple left due to an emergency and then we were given that room (4549). However when I went to look at the room it was below the casino. We dealt with a Customer Service Supervisor, who was extremely rude. She had an attitude of she really did not care. During my contact with her she stated that she couldn’t give me an upgrade as though that is what she indicated I wanted. I didn’t ask for an upgrade and wanted nothing less than the same category room without the noise! However after finally talking to the Loyalty Ambassador again we were given the key to that room (4549) after her insistence and was allowed to sleep in it that night. However, we could hear the slot machines and people walking and after a couple hours we went back to 3577. Notwithstanding, that besides the noise the room was dirty and there were blood stains on the cabinet in the bathroom. Subsequently, that room was not acceptable. I tried to tell Samantha the night before about the possible noise being under the casino and her attitude was “take it or leave it”. So I talked to the Loyalty Ambassador the next day and we were given another room (3034) to look at and when I looked at it on the chart it was next to a room that was determined to have five people including small children. So that room was not accepted due to possible noise. Finally we decided to just bear with the noise that we are dealing with from the bar and stay in room 3577. It has been a real challenge to get a good nights rest. During the day you cannot stay in the room and read or nap as people are still utilizing the bar and setting in the chairs and moving them. We wore ear plugs and took a sleeping pill which were a little help. I recommended that maintenance put felt pads on the bottoms of the chair legs to mitigate the noise. However that was never done. So unfortunately no good nightrest. During our episode with the noise above our room we felt the only person that really cared about our situation was the Concierge. The Concierge and his staff did an excellent job each night. Just a note that it took two days to finally find the Loyalty Ambassador at her desk during her published hours. We followed some people at her desk one night that were complaining to the Loyalty Ambassador about her not being at her desk during published hours. She had all kinds of excuses instead of understanding the wait for her. Although the Loyalty Ambassador has been nice it appears that she is a novice in her job. For example, as a Diamond Plus we get certain amenities and she did not realize that both my wife and I both get the amenities as Diamond Plus. I had to remind her several times as she kept forgetting. Also, we were given notice for our luncheon with an officer and on the luncheon announcement she gave us and the other party it had the wrong location. We had to determine on our own the correct location. We feel this was the worst Customer Service on any Royal Caribbean cruise we have ever been on. Their attitude and misinformation, not abiding by normal protocol for seeing customers and the Supervisors attitude was uncalled for. On one occasion I was first in line and had to wait more than 10 minutes while they dealt with other customers. That is okay. However, when it was my turn the Spanish-speaking employee allowed a Spanish-speaking person to walk up while I’m standing in front of her and she dealt with that person before she dealt with me. All because he did not speak English. There was no reason that he could not wait in line like the rest of us. However, on other occasions she was always positive and corrected other employees who gave us incorrect transportation information at one port. A major issue is WiFi. The WiFi is extremely slow and keeps dropping you off the net. The IT made some switch adjustments on our devices but it did not help. I purchased WiFi for two devices prior to boarding. Because I purchased WiFi for two devices and I logged in once I came on board I no longer have the ability to utilize the two free days that are allotted to me as a Diamond Plus member. My wife has and can use the two free days that she has as a Diamond Plus member. However, it is not right that because I purchased a WiFi package I no longer have the ability to utilize something that is part of my Diamond Plus package that I earned. RCI is negligent in taking a service that rightfully belongs to me. However, towards the end of the cruise the IT made a plan that allowed me to use one of my allotted days, notwithstanding that I wanted it earlier in the cruise. But I do appreciate them going the extra mile to give us a work around resolution for ONE day, but I still got cheated out of one day. RCI needs to fix the software. A Diamond Plus member gets upgraded bathroom amenities for members with 340 or more cruise points. We have well over 340 points and not once during this cruise did we get this benefit. RCI members that went the extra mile to make our cruise enjoyable were our servers, a Chef who passed on some wonderful tips to my wife, and Manager Guest Services and Manager House Keeping for their concern after them asking about our room situation during our lunch with an Officer. The food was excellent in the MDR. As always we enjoyed the entertainment. We were amazed that we were considered the Top Cruisers on this ship and recognized by the Captain. It was an honor as a Diamond Plus! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We wanted to see Mykonos, Athens and Santorini and have cruised with Celebrity on a number of occasions. Overall it was a decent itinerary with 8 x ports and 4 x days at sea. Good staff and some really good U K based performing acts in ... Read More
We wanted to see Mykonos, Athens and Santorini and have cruised with Celebrity on a number of occasions. Overall it was a decent itinerary with 8 x ports and 4 x days at sea. Good staff and some really good U K based performing acts in the theatre. Food overall was good but the main dining room menu is getting a bit stale and as such we ate in self service restaurant on a few occasions which was a nice change. We found it disappointing that we could not even try a Martini, using our drinks package, you needed premium, in the Martini Bar. In general the wines that we tried at night did not match the quality from previous Celebrity cruises. We booked three shore excursions through Celebrity and two through Cruising excursions, which on the whole were far better value than Celebrity. Although the ship was okay it is definitely looking very tired and in urgent need of a refit. We also enjoyed coffee at Al Bachio and the occasional confectionary on a daily basis. It was also nice to be sitting somewhere and one of the onboard entertainers would set up and start playing. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Our cruise aboard Celebrity Infinity was fabulous. We began with a stay at the Hilton Diagonal Mar in Barcelona. The hotel was flawless and has an incredible pool/beach club and the view from our room was breathtaking. Barcelona is such a ... Read More
Our cruise aboard Celebrity Infinity was fabulous. We began with a stay at the Hilton Diagonal Mar in Barcelona. The hotel was flawless and has an incredible pool/beach club and the view from our room was breathtaking. Barcelona is such a nice city to walk. The embarkation process was easy and uncrowded. We boarded around noon and our stateroom was available around 1:00. Enough time to wander the ship a little bit.... I was a little apprehensive of what the ship's condition would be based on reading some reviews on this site prior to leaving on our trip. There were a number of reviews that described the ship as tired. We found the ship to be very clean in all areas. It is scheduled for dry dock and a major renovation in November 2020. The stateroom was in good condition. All of the furniture and fixtures were clean and in good repair. The public areas appear to have been renovated in recent years and the public area furnishings and décor was up to date and in great condition. The stateroom did lack some things that I assume will be addressed in the November 2020 renovation. in this day and age where everyone travels with a phone and iPad (or laptop) there were not enough power outlets available. We brought a 10 unit charger station and were able to overcome this challenge. There also was NO power outlet in the bathroom. There were three of us in the cabin including our 11-year old son. We were in an Oceanview cabin with a pull out sofa bed for our son. I would not recommend this configuration as it minimized the space when the bed was pilled out. An overhead berth would have been more accommodating. I was pleasantly surprised that every single crew member was friendly and demonstrated excellent hospitality. Without exception! There were plenty of activities to participate in and entertainment to enjoy. The "Fun Factory" for our son was well run and had everything to occupy and entertain an 11-year old. The ports on our itinerary were nice and varied with an emphasis on Greece. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We truly enjoyed our time on the Vision of the Seas for our 12 day Mediterranean sailing. This was our 4th cruise, and first Mediterranean sailing, but definitely something we are considering doing again in the future. Above all else ... Read More
We truly enjoyed our time on the Vision of the Seas for our 12 day Mediterranean sailing. This was our 4th cruise, and first Mediterranean sailing, but definitely something we are considering doing again in the future. Above all else we were most impressed with the staff on this ship. I could sense the comradory between all of them. In the dining areas in particular I loved seeing how the upper level staff quickly, and happily, stepped in to clear tables, refill drinks, and dispense hand sanitizer; it says a lot about the level of team work within the crew. Room: This was our first trip with a non balcony room. We had a picture window, and the room was quite a bit smaller than we are used to. There is a good amount of storage, and many hangers, so all of our clothing fit well. There are not self service laundry service onboard the ship, however they offered wash and dry service for $25 many times throughout the trip which many took advantage of. The ship also could stand to be updated throughout, but overall serves its purpose. Itinerary: We chose this sailing for the ports of call. We sailed from Barcelona, then went to Cannes, Florence/Pisa, Rome, Athens, Mykonos, Santorini, and Valletta. We booked all of our excursions independently of the ship, except for Cannes, which we were not impressed with. Our biggest complaint was the length of time in port in Santorini and Valletta. I know this is because of time restrictions, but as was mentioned by the staff, Santorini was truly the crown jewel of itinerary this for many, and the day in port was less than 8 hours, which made it very difficult, especially with tenders and the long que (over an hour) to get down the lifts to the tenders at the end of the day. It simply didn’t leave enough time to truly take in Oia and Fira. Other than two days we did feel the ports of call were perfect in length and location. Food: I’ll preface this by saying we aren’t particularly picky eaters. We enjoyed all of our meals in the dining room, though some were more our style than others. Even with a dairy free eater and vegetarian in our party we were all able to find something off the menu each night, and it was different each evening as well. The dessert menu is my only complaint, and mainly because of the dairy free restriction, there just weren’t many options, but it’s also something we’ve come to expect in this area. Lunch we highly recommend the dining room. Their lunch menu is arguably better than the dinner menu and the salad and pasta bar are incredible. There is also sit down breakfast, or a breakfast buffet in the dining room, though we ended up in the windjammer most mornings for more options. The breakfast hours were quite limited, and there was no sea Day brunch as we have come to expect from Caribbean cruises. Entertainment: This was our biggest disappointment this trip BUT much of this comes from the fact that we are not the “typical” demographic for this sailing. As 25 year olds we did not have much interest in many of the music shows put on, though we did enjoy a few of the headliner shows. We also did not feel there was much entertainment on sea days- we’ve come to enjoy the group games and activities, and beyond trivia, music, bingo, and some art activities, there weren’t many of these. With such a port intensive- and intense ports (think walking 8 miles a day)- the 10:30pm game shows would be much better served earlier in the evening when more could enjoy them. We did stay up for a few and were unsurprised by the low turnout due to the time and days in port. There was always something going on in the centrum in the evenings and this did a great job of bringing people together and was a truly enjoyable time. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
As I read through several of these reviews, I'm scratching my head, but okay, I'm going to post MY EXPERIENCE as best I can and hope that folks understand that not only am I a person whose character can be selective (not snobby) ... Read More
As I read through several of these reviews, I'm scratching my head, but okay, I'm going to post MY EXPERIENCE as best I can and hope that folks understand that not only am I a person whose character can be selective (not snobby) and want quality for my hard neared dollar. Also, since there is not a lot on this site about this specific line and this specific ship, not trying to deny other people THEIR experience, I have to share because what I have read is far from and light years away from what we experienced. Let me start by saying that this cruise, taken in 2019, was planned since 2012 because I wanted a high-quality cruise experience for my now deceased mom's landmark 80th birthday. Since I didn't want to cruise Viking (thought it would be too stuffy for my mom's likes), MSC became the choice because their itineraries were exactly what I wanted. I lost my mom in 2015 so my BFF (a gay man..trust me, this will matter in the review) and I decided to celebrate our moms' in spirit since he lost his mom also and make this a couple of days prior to the cruise on land/excursion beginning in Barcelona and after the trip on land as we flew to London at the end of the cruise before coming home to the states. Flew into Barcelona from San Francisco (via Delta Airlines) and stayed a couple of days in Barcelona at a nearby Best Western (a friend works there and we received excellent service from them as well). The port city of Barcelona was PERFECT since disembarking from there helped make what could have been much more difficult, much easier. Barcelona is a busy, well-organized port city, that was the case, but it was a great choice on our end. That's where our trip began. Food: We were initially overwhelmed by all of the options for food and drink, which MSC Sinfonia seemed to dominate like an Italian aunt that wanted you to feel at home in her house. The option we purchased including beverages in our cruise package was smart, since this cost can be quite substantial to your cruise, and while we didn't choose the highest level liquor package, we did pick all you can drink coffee/tea/soft drinks/wine and cocktails (selected with quality liquors but not the Hennessey-level booze...didn't buy it because we don't drink all THAT much and can pay for those beverages as an aside). Great food, including a diversity of tastes and flavors, for all meals and snacks of the day, were fantastic. Not all were with an Italian taste but there was plenty of Italian-based tastings and we were very satisfied; because we are Americans, we also appreciated the pizza/pasta/sandwich bars along with the burger/hot dog and fries bar; they have fresh gelato as well as a Vitamin/Smoothie with fresh fruits bar and when you can get avocado and pineapple in a smoothie in the middle of the Mediterranean, I'm there! There was literally enough good healthy food along with the corrupt stuff you don't want your kids to eat, but being on vacation allowed everyone to be happy. While there is a breakfast buffet with enough options culturally to satisfy pretty much every country on the planet. But my travel companion found that if you get to the areas where you'll typically find pizza and burgers at lunch, you can get your omelette/pancakes. I loved to sleep in so I didn't get much of this but it was nice to know it was an option besides the over abundance of bacon and eggs or oatmeal and yogurt (greek yogurt). And that's another thing...they had delicious oatmeal. I was trying to be good with all the food goodies on board and didn't feel like my doctor would kick my bottom when I see him next visit. The coffee barristers and bartenders made our tasty drinks and pretty much to taste for us. I didn't have to ask for my tequila to be a specific one or have my drinks made in any way. Their bartenders know exactly what to do and how to make drinks. For the dinner/fine dining dinner option, we had My Choice dining as part of our package, allowing us to eat at a time of our choice and since we dine on the later side, we mostly sat without anyone else at our table (you're thoughtfully placed with others but it's not weird like putting a single couple or couple with a large family). We became to know the servers and the Dining manager was a professional maitre'd and could have worked at any of the 5 star restaurants we're used to going to in the US. Excisions: The opportunities and options were fantastic. From the choices of the well-thought out excursions, which were fairly priced and surprisingly well-organized to get folks on and off the ship efficiently, allowed us to make choices on how we wanted to live on the ship on our own. We were on a 12-day/11-night Mediterranean cruise, out of Barcelona, with stops in Malta/Corfu/Katalion/Herkalion/Pireaus/Civitavecchia/Genoa/Marseilles and back to Spain. What a GLORIOUS cruise this was. For myself and my friend to cruise for the first time, we were thoroughly overwhelmed. We experienced every opportunity on this ship that adults without children can experience, and we did visually see families enjoying themselves, so even if we can't speak as a family, as two single adults traveling together, we can both cheer for this cruise and this specific excursion. The Ship: There were lots of things to do, both on and off the ship from shows, to televisions everywhere to watch sports and have a beer or cocktail/coffee/tea or soda...public spaces, a casino (and you do get your winnings); of course traveling in early Spring as we did wasn't a guarantee of great weather but we did fortunately have sunny days and it was amazing. We were all able to sit outside and enjoy the wonderful Mediterranean sunshine. Fresh foods every day (fresh fruit for Americans that live in California is a huge deal and for me, as a New Yorker that lives in California now, as I said earlier, this was supposed to be a mom celebration...and baby, I LOVED my Momma....as did my friend. I even had a bout of bronchitis and he a bout with gout, so we visited the ship's doctor and even that experience was top-notch (needed antibiotics and received in an IV drip so I could fly and ended up continuing my trip without even having felt like I was ill). They had a photo studio where you can purchase pictures and capture everything from wedding to family portraits. In fact there was a wedding/reception/honeymoon on board the boat if I can properly recall. Their Staff/Crew: We were treated with wonderfully, energized joy by the MSC crew. It was like a Welcome Party. The preparation to have you get on-board starts with your obtaining a cruise card, which is basically your on-board, ID card, charge card and access card. Makes keeping your valuables safe painless. My plan was to relax and spa since we took advantage of the Aurea Spa package, which allowed us to obtain massages and add-on other purchased pampering. Again, since this was supposed to be a mother-daughter thing, I was looking forward to a facial and other treatments. These are on the pricier side, but considering their estheticians are the same quality of major spas in international cities, the price point wasn't out of reach or not something worth reviewing. They have a full service hair salon on board as well as treatments from acupuncture to various massage methods. MSC makes sure folks understand that it's not an unlimited financial card because your ability to have fun, responsibility both fiscally and emotionally are always gonna be front of mind. They have all types of shopping and other fun things to do, so even if you're not born rich, they treat you well and with car. We even met a couple from Perth Australia who told us that they've been cruising for years and they love Sinfonia even though MSC has newer ships. They described it as "old-stool' cruising and I understood what they meant. Being American, you can have some Disney-styled cruises (too child-attentive/better for families) or too Viking-esque (potentially too snobby and stuffy even if luxuriously appointed). We wanted to be treated like Viking, with party options that were not too immature). MSC hit the bill OUT OF THE PARK for us. To add to the other points: My friend is a gay man over 50; he was VERY happy and because he also blogs for LGBTQ entertainment, he plans on doing a piece on this experience...which I'm whole-heartedly rooting for because it was more than deserved. Also, I saw lots of disabled people: seniors with canes and wheelchairs in families and couples; a disabled athlete in a wheel chair; a family (it seemed since there were 2 visually impaired people in the group). We saw sign language used and when it came to language barriers, there were none....They have a talented, multi-linguist staff and their tours which were conducted in many cases in multi-languages, were just another impressive action because their folks speak multi-languages. I was impressed. A special shout-out to: Adrian (Dining Services); Shubert (Bar Services); Melray (Buffet Manager); Anthony (Stateroom Attendant), Irina (Spa Services) and all the servers on Sinfonia. You made us never forget you and we WILL BE BACK! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I chose this cruise because it was suggested by our travel agent in the USA. We truly regret not having read the reviews of this cruise ship before our trip. The ship is the oldest of the fleet. Common areas are remodeled but the rooms ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was suggested by our travel agent in the USA. We truly regret not having read the reviews of this cruise ship before our trip. The ship is the oldest of the fleet. Common areas are remodeled but the rooms (at least our inside cabin), were old. The ship is not that big so there are not that many amenities. Theatre performances are average. Variety of music is OK throughout the cruise ship but the worst feature of MSC Sinfonia is the food: they only have one medium size cafeteria on the top level so you have to wait in line to get a table for breakfast. They will sit you with other people and kids you don't know, so expect no privacy. The buffet is awful. Very low quality of food and always overcooked. No egg making station. They only offer sunny side up eggs covered in grease. Cheeses and cold cuts are bulk from the wholesale market (not from Italy, of course), and they offer the same food every day throughout the whole trip. The only option for breakfast is to go downstairs to the main dining restaurant where you can get a separate table for yourself. There you can find also the same buffet (with the same low quality of food), and a la carte menu. I decided to choose my breakfast from the menu but they could only prepare a plain omelette from it. The rest of the items from the menu (like orange juice, yogurt, bread, butter, fruit, etc), were already placed at the buffet so the waiter just kept pointing his finger for me to get up and get my food from there. So then.. I asked the waiter: what is the point of having a printed menu if the same food is offered at the buffet? He only laughed. Dinner at this same restaurant was also a joke. One night they featured "carpaccio" as an appetizer. We ordered that and they brought just a regular, cheap, cold cut with an artificial red color. Funny thing is that we saw the same fake carpaccio the next morning at the breakfast buffet. The Italian risotto was also another huge disappointment. Overcooked. It really looked like a vomit in a small portion. We have been on other cruise ships with way better food quality. Our favorite always is Celebrity Cruises. Perhaps, they should send the MSC chefs on a fam trip on board a Celebrity cruise. They might learn lots of of new dishes and see how they prepare and present the food. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
The itinerary was the reason for choosing this cruise. Having sailed on 3 other Solstice class ships, we wanted to sail on Eclipse and were not disappointed! Celebrity has come through again with stupendous service from check-in through ... Read More
The itinerary was the reason for choosing this cruise. Having sailed on 3 other Solstice class ships, we wanted to sail on Eclipse and were not disappointed! Celebrity has come through again with stupendous service from check-in through disembarkation. This ship was refurbished and it shines. Cleanliness and service is a hallmark. Our cabin was great with an attentive stateroom attendant and our dining experience each night was met with a smiling waiter, assistant waiter and sommelier. We only scheduled one shore excursion with the cruise line due to no other alternative in Zadar, Croatia. All other ports, we scheduled tours through Viator, ItalyTours.EU and Costco. These tours provided a better alternative due to timing, cost, and significantly fewer passengers. Most tours were 8-16 people, much better with logistics. There was never a worry in returning to the port on time. The entertainment seems to improve with each trip. The guest speakers were interesting and provided a good diversion during sea days. The Eclipse orchestra along with the Celebrity singers, dancers, and acrobats were outstanding. Other smaller venues were good as well. The only disappointing venue was the Hollywood Glass Show. Previously under the auspices of Corning, these shows were continual demonstrations of glass creations and ultimately sold for charity. The current show is obviously for revenue. Suggestion: do your homework for shore excursions and book a cruise while onboard, it provides flexibility for future travel and all questions can be answered face to face. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We had back to back, 12 day cruises from Barcelona (October 5 and October 17) - first the western Med. and then the eastern Med. - for a total of 24 days. These were our 11th and 12th cruises since we started cruising in 2010. ... Read More
We had back to back, 12 day cruises from Barcelona (October 5 and October 17) - first the western Med. and then the eastern Med. - for a total of 24 days. These were our 11th and 12th cruises since we started cruising in 2010. We've had 5 total on Celebrity. We selected the cruises based on the ports and that we had sailed the Eclipse for 14 days in the Caribbean earlier in the year with good experience. Embarkation and disembarkation were very quick and smooth - even better than we have experienced in Miami, which is good. We were in Aqua class for both cruises - SR 1625 for the first cruise (a good cabin) except for the sewage problem several cabins down the hall from us (wet hallway floor and awful smell for a few days). We also noted a sewage smell on the third floor at times. We had SR's 1517 and 1537 the second cruise. Both were less than satisfactory. SR 1517 suffered from an extremely loud band playing in the Sky Lounge two floors above every night - unsure how the noise transmits through two floors but we could hear all the instruments and voices until midnight. We asked Guest Relations several times if the volume could be lowered slightly - but the answer was no !? Not sure why Celebrity takes this position; we spoke with others in the Aqua class dining room (Blu) during the first cruise and they indicated the same problem and were finally moved. My suggestion - do not book a room on the port side on deck 11 in front of the forward elevators. We were finally moved to SR 1537 - much quieter location but the AC would emit a high pitched "squealing noise" during the night. Maintenance tried to fix it over a couple days but we finally had them shut it off for the last 5 days of our cruise (fortunately it was cool enough outside to keep the cabin bearable). The cabin stewards did a fine job on both cruises, although some new linens would be useful (towels and wash clothes have lived a full life!) as well as some new mattresses. Blu, the restaurant for Aqua class continues be a highlight for us (breakfast and dinner are offered). The food is good, service is good and we meet a lot of nice people. Much better than the chaos and rudeness of the general passengers that we experience in the Ocean View cafe at lunch (similar to what we experienced on Carnival when we first started cruising). Entertainment was generally good and we like the production shows on ships in general. We enjoyed the Topper, Amade and Euphoria productions although the band instruments and singing in the main theater would improve with a little less volume - the voices tend to be "screechy" and distorted when reaching for higher notes. I spoke to the A/V technician at the end of one show and explained that it was too loud - he responded "yes, I know"....? Some of our fellow passengers in the Aqua dining room indicated that they stopped attending the shows because of this. Celebrity excursions continue to be of limited value - unless needing to travel a longer distance from the port and there is a concern of returning to the ship on time (Pisa/ Florence and Rome, for example). Compared to reputable onsite tour companies, Celebrity charges at least twice as much for their tours and, most frustratingly, the tour guides inevitably detour to their favorite souvenir shops where they seem to have a vested interest in the business. Several of us expressed our concerns of this to the Shore Excursion desk personnel and we received no response. An example was a 7.5 hour excursion to tour Sorrento and Pompeii. We had 60 minutes in Sorrento and 80 minutes in Pompeii. The rest was spent in gift shops and coffee shops (no provision for lunch other than cheese tasting at a farm which just happened to sell cheese and liquor in the gift shop). The excursions experience tended to be a "hot topic" at the pool some afternoons. The more experienced cruisers indicated that Celebrity understands full well what is happening on the excursions. Lastly, on hygiene. The men's restroom outside the Ocean View Cafe was out of hand soap for the first three days of our first cruise. While there was always an attendant in that restroom on our Spring Caribbean cruise - ensuring that everything was in order (soap, hand towels, mopped floors) - I seldom saw anyone on our first cruise. The silverware and coffee cups in the Ocean View Cafe are often dirty with food particles on the forks/ knives. We usually would pick up 3 or 4 sets of silverware before finding a clean set. We mentioned this to one of the managers several different days and received a quick and insincere thanks. This was never the case in Blu or any of the other 3 specialty restaurants we tried - all was very clean and polished. We dined in 3 specialty restaurants during our 24 days: Murano, Le Petit Chef/Qsine and Tuscan Grille. All were delightful with very good food and great service. A missed opportunity would have been to have guest lecturer(s) speak on the ancient cultures and/ or architecture to which we were exposed on either of our two cruises. Some form of enrichment would have been wonderful. There was a 3 or 4 part lecture across several days on the history and demise of Broadway - perhaps this should have been saved for a New England Fall Leaf cruise. In summary, we're taking a break from Celebrity - we may try the new Holland ship or one of the slightly more upscale lines (Oceania or Viking) in the spring. The Eclipse and and overall attention to guest satisfaction has slipped. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
West chose this cruise mainly for the itinerary and loved the ports of call. This must have been quite the ship in 1998 when it left Drydock but today it's an older ship that is good but not amazing. We found the stateroom on the ... Read More
West chose this cruise mainly for the itinerary and loved the ports of call. This must have been quite the ship in 1998 when it left Drydock but today it's an older ship that is good but not amazing. We found the stateroom on the starboard bow to be quite roomy for a ship. Even had a 20 inch or so flat screen TV. While everything looked fairly dated the room was in decent shape and beds were okay after we got used to them as they were quite firm. There is very little in the way of in room entertainment as there was no movie channel just news and a kids channel. Occasionally there would be a British show on Sky TV but other than that you have to get out. There were nightly shows in the Masquerade Theater or a movie. Some of the entertainment was excellent but generally it was okay as there wasn't much else to do. Now the food: we dined at the formal dining with My Dining. So we had to book a table every night but didn't have to sit and listen to Americans talk about politics every night so that was a bonus. The food was pretty good in the dining room and they striped to give excellent service. My wife is gluten free so they worked hard to get her meals right. However her gluten free choices were a bit limited because she doesn't eat seafood. I special order the filet mignon, which cost an extra $20US but it was easily the best steak I've ever had! It needed nothing and melted in your mouth. Order it if you like steak! I would have liked more seafood and lobster on the included menu even if just one night but all of the best seafood is a premium price. If you like to drink you may want to consider the drink package as drinks are priced outrageously considering the cost at ports. I had a $14US 5oz glass of table wine, which was the only drink I purchased on the cruise. The way people were ordering up the drinks I could see they must have easily racked up a $1000 dollar bar bill by the end of the cruise if they didn't have the package. Also the premium restaurants prices were fairly outrageous plus they added an extra 18% tip onto their meals as they don't get tipped out of the main gratuity you pay. So, for an extra $100 a night you and your partner could be dining in style! I would like to say for the most part cruising was pleasant during the day. We had excellent weather for the fall but the Mediterranean gets rougher in the fall. Some of the cruising days and nights were fairly rough. We don't get seasick but also don't enjoy the waves pounding the hull all night. So after the cruising days we were happy to get off. I recommend you try to get the best deal on a cruise with this ship and consider abstaining from alcohol except at ports. Finally, the time at ports of call were extremely limited. We found each shore excursion was a nail-biting race to get back before the all on board time sometimes as early as 345. Many places you really only had 5 or 6 hours to explore by the time your excursion got it together to get going. We had several delays where the excursion was an hour or more late cutting into the already limited time. I will say to our tour guides, that they did a good job of getting us back on time, but we booked them all through Expedia and not the outrageously priced shore excursions on board the ship. I'm not sure why the captain left us so little time to see the ports considering that was the main point of the cruise. I suspect the cost of being at Port and the money to be made getting you back on board to buy extremely expensive drinks might have been part of the motive. While it was nice to have a "taste" of each port of call, I wouldn't recommend this as a way to really see any of the ports. At least we now know where we want to come back to. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Well where to start! This ship cruise was my very first ship cruise ever! Enjoyed the statement room my grandmother and I had, was a nice size just for the two of us. Dexter our stateroom attendant was very very nice, did an awesome job ... Read More
Well where to start! This ship cruise was my very first ship cruise ever! Enjoyed the statement room my grandmother and I had, was a nice size just for the two of us. Dexter our stateroom attendant was very very nice, did an awesome job keeping us happy. The entertainment on ship from live shows to yoga, movies in a nice huge theater to live musical bands were non stop. The cruise consisted of a 14 day and many stops from France, Italy, Greece and Malta! Which we took advantage of the many excursions there were to offer and see! The dining especially formal dining our waiter Davor was so awesome we kept coming back just to see his lovely smile! He was very attentive to us since we only sat at a two setting table. I got to try escargot for the first time and had any of the recommendations of the menu Davor had to offer. The manager sorry I can’t remember his name but is from India he was so awesome too, he always took the time to come by to just chat with us as well! Kuddos to both! So overall regardless of knowing this was a smaller ship have already recommended this same cruise with your company! I’m definitely am highly satisfied with the cruise I as well met many different people around the world! I am definitely coming back! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Typically, we cruise whatever line is cheapest. For our honeymoon, we decided to go up-market for our cruise, as well as take a break from the Caribbean. Celebrity Eclipse was unequivocally the best ship we have been on. it seemed our ... Read More
Typically, we cruise whatever line is cheapest. For our honeymoon, we decided to go up-market for our cruise, as well as take a break from the Caribbean. Celebrity Eclipse was unequivocally the best ship we have been on. it seemed our honeymoon status followed us everywhere. From a card, chocolate covered strawberries and champagne from the Captain, to an invitation for sail away on the helipad, to the acknowledgement by wait staff in specialty restaurants, we have never seen a cruise line so well organized and in tune with their guests. Dining was sublime. I would argue the buffet on Eclipse was comparable to the MDR on Carnival. We, for the first time ever, dined at every specialty restaurant, including the Chef's Table. Bar scene was also perfect- upgrading from the Classic to Premium package was well worth the up charge. While our cabin was mostly typical of what you would expect on any other line, it was the small touches that made Celebrity excel; I.e., umbrellas, tote bags, chocolates on the pillow. Our cabin steward, Apollo, would stop working if he heard us coming down the hall, escorting us to our room and opening the door for us.No matter how many times we seemed to unmake the bed for mid-day naps, our room was never not made up. A far cry from what we're used to on Carnival, where service is only once daily. Celebrity's entertainment was by far the best we've seen on any ship. It was a wonderful change of pace to have live music throughout the ship, from the string duo playing during embarkation, to a live combo band accompanying the production shows. It was also wonderful to not have to contend with the typical poolside racket of belly flop contests, hair chest competitions, silly dance offs, etc. Ports and shore excursions were fantastic, and the reason we came on this trip. Captain Leo ensured that bad weather would not ruin our call in Santorini, re-arranging the order of ports to ensure we could visit the island. The ShoreEx staff was extremely organized- no milling around the gangway or on the pier to find our group. Hands down the best cruise. We're ruined and can only cruise Celebrity now. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was our first cruise and celebrity did not disappoint. We travelled Aqua Class which meant we could dine in Blu which we did every night our Hostess Cynthia was amazing as were all the staff and somellier. Our cabin was lovely and ... Read More
This was our first cruise and celebrity did not disappoint. We travelled Aqua Class which meant we could dine in Blu which we did every night our Hostess Cynthia was amazing as were all the staff and somellier. Our cabin was lovely and kept that way by Melvyn we had canapés every day as well. Bar staff were all superb especially Limesh and Vargas they looked after us really wee, I was amazed how they can remember your drinks with so many passengers to serve. The captain and officers were very visible and mingled with passengers every night. When we got off ship for an excursion Captain Leo was always there to wish you a good day, he was exceptional. Entertainment was good but not fantastic maybe we were expecting too much there was a good variety though. Alejandro the cruise director was very good or alej handsome as the captain called him. This certainly won’t be our last cruise with Celebrity you have hooked us. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was our second celebrity cruise and the ship was great. We had excellent service from domestic staff and restaurant staff. The food was all excellent not always enjoyed due to sea sickness and vile weather!! Not the fault of the ship ... Read More
This was our second celebrity cruise and the ship was great. We had excellent service from domestic staff and restaurant staff. The food was all excellent not always enjoyed due to sea sickness and vile weather!! Not the fault of the ship or the exceptionally friendly and amusing Captain Leo. Sadly 2 things let the holiday, our honeymoon, down. We had poor service from most bars as the staff rarely recognised who was next at the bar often serving males first or those who shouted loudest even if they came after several others. Having paid for premium drinks we were (as on last cruise) disappointed by staff trying to give us prosecco or cava when we asked for champagne and not all bars serve all the drinks advertised. Our pool bar service was rescued by Ricky who kept us some after a few days of asking. Our sommelier at dinner Arnold was knowledgable and very amiable, never disappointing us. My final disappointment,although I don’t know what I expected, was after ticking the ‘it’s our honeymoon ‘ box we received a congratulations card and a whole 4’’ x 1’’ ship shaped fridge magnet!! Wow!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
It was our third holiday with the celebrity. We chose it because of the destination and time of the year. Overall we had a nice time. But still it could be improved by better intertainment. It was good, but too American. Not enough British ... Read More
It was our third holiday with the celebrity. We chose it because of the destination and time of the year. Overall we had a nice time. But still it could be improved by better intertainment. It was good, but too American. Not enough British music. In the dining room food is not consistent. Some days very good and some completely rubbish. Not enough fresh fruit variety. We prebooked select any time dining on line long in advance but we’re moved to second seating dinner without even asking or talking to us, which I thought was very rude. Can’t comment on enrichment activities as I don’t participated in any. The dancing classes were too early in the morning for the sea day and there wasn’t any other activities available. Cabin and the crew were very good. Excursions were not very good as consisted from parts that shouldn’t been put together and for that reason there was to much time just spent on the bus. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We took a celebrity cruise in 2017 and were very disappointed in the ship but we tried them one more time. This time we took the eclipse. It was a totally different experience. I have been on several solstice class ships before and loved ... Read More
We took a celebrity cruise in 2017 and were very disappointed in the ship but we tried them one more time. This time we took the eclipse. It was a totally different experience. I have been on several solstice class ships before and loved them. This one was no different. The ship was beautiful, the staff was was wonderful and super captain Leo saved the day when a storm almost caused us to miss santorini. He even worked with the Greek navy to make room for our ship to dock on a different day and switched our date for Rhodes so we could go to all the ports originally scheduled. Most captains would have just added a sea day instead of going through all that effort. The only disappointment was that the fish in the dining room always seemed to be overlooked. My husband, who likes “well done”seafood said it was always dry. And the chicken in the buffet also seemed dry too. My meals were always wonderful. I have another cruise scheduled on the eclipse and I know it will be fabulous. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We had a great cruise and found no problems with Celebrity Constellation, despite comments we had read about it in earlier reviews. It wasn't tired or in need of a complete refurbishment (although we were advised that is to happen on ... Read More
We had a great cruise and found no problems with Celebrity Constellation, despite comments we had read about it in earlier reviews. It wasn't tired or in need of a complete refurbishment (although we were advised that is to happen on 2020). We arrived late due to weather problems at Barcelona Airport. It meant we were almost last on the ship and didn't receive any Celebrity Welcome Aboard from any staff member and that was disappointing. The Cabin (8133) was Midship and port side. It was excellent and clean and Kevin kept it that way throughout the cruise. Was close to the Library and easy access to the lifts. Breakfast - we tried the Restaurant, OceanView, Solarium and then room service (for both sea days to avoid the crowds). We preferred OceanView. Lunch - we tried Master Grill, restaurant and OceanView. Oceanview was again our favourite even although it was very busy on occasions. Dinner - used two Speciality Restaurants and the main dining room. Tuscan Grille - was good with excellent service from the staff. Qsine - the food was absolutely excellent, although the portions were bigger than we had expected. The service did not add the the dining experience. We had to ask three times for a further glass of wine before we got it. The overall service was not warm or sincere and managed to get the coffee delivered ten minutes before the dessert arrived. Some improvements needed in this area. Main Dining Room - food was wonderful and could not be bettered. Service was inconsistent, cold, disinterested on occasions and yet on other times absolutely fine. Entertainment - we enjoyed it all - we missed Steve Womack which was annoying. Izzy and Moe were simply wonderful and had their own following throughout the cruise. What talent they have. We watched two films/movies on the outdoor deck. Great area to watch films/movies but their choice was awful. We watched McQueen and Ready Player One. Excursions - we enjoyed Mount Etna (except the bus journey and busyness) and Taormina, Sicily. The Walking Tour to Kotor, Montenegro was awful (we paid $88 for 45 mins inside churches) . It visited three churches and that was about it. The Waking Tour to Split was excellent. The Tenders to and from Kotor were entertaining due to the wind and spray. The Ship's Captain helpfully agreed that we could go ashore despite the local authorities saying it was not recommended. Good decision as wasn't all that rough or dangerous. We loved the cruise, the weather was superb, the ship was good with more than enough to do. So much of our disappointments were around the very inconsistent service from the staff. Some excellent and some quite simply dis-interested. Our biggest frustration was having to get a bus from the Post of Venice early in the morning to the airport and getting to the airport before 8.30am for a 12.50pm flight (which was delayed by an hour). Over 4 and a half hours (which ended up being five and a half hours) at the airport for a two and a half hour flight home! Just to get us off the ship early to allow them get it cleaned for the next cruise. We met passengers would arrived at the airport after 10.30pm for a 1.00pm flight. Very frustrating. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We had previously taken an eastern Mediterranean cruise, which was highly enjoyable, and wanted to repeat the experience, this time taking in ports in the eastern end of the Med. We chose this particular cruise based on the time of ... Read More
We had previously taken an eastern Mediterranean cruise, which was highly enjoyable, and wanted to repeat the experience, this time taking in ports in the eastern end of the Med. We chose this particular cruise based on the time of year, and also based on the advertised claim that the Crown Princess (built in 2004-2006) had been 'refurbished' in March of 2018. We found this claim not to be true... the ship was rather tired, worn, and dated. While the public areas still looked good, we were very disappointed in our cabin, which had worn and damaged furniture. It is normally our practice to pick 'new' ships only... and were seduced by the 'refurbished' claim. We were very disappointed. The public areas looked a great deal better; perhaps it was only the public areas which received a makeover. Princess cannot be faulted, however, on service; every staff member, from the cabin steward to the dining room waiters, were outstanding. The dining experience was 'ok'. The service was impeccable, although the dining room food was perhaps not quite up to the level of the service. The food in the Horizon Court on the Lido deck was about what you might expect from a buffet restaurant: a good variety, nothing particularly outstanding, adequate for breakfast and lunch. The one 'premium' restaurant we tried was not worth the $29/pp up-charge. They did a good job in providing gluten-free options for my wife. Princess never misses an opportunity to make a buck, and one could spend a fair amount of money on various separately charged services... as well as all the on-board shopping. We didn't take advantage of any of that. The internet service was separately charged; we paid $69 for 120 minutes.... the speed was understandably slow, which we didn't mind, but the requirement to log in and out of each session using a browser (while the 120 minute clock was running) made it extremely inconvenient, especially for smart phones and things like my Kindle e-reader. One caution: using your cell phone while at sea could be outrageously expensive. My carrier, T-Mobile, provides for 25 cents/minute international roaming rates... but.... It wasn't made clear, in any of the Princess literature, but calls made while at sea are routed through the ship's own cellular service... and billed, to your regular cell phone provider, at $4.95 per minute! I only found out about this when my carrier (T-Mobile) sent me a text message warning me that I had built up over $250 in air time. The embarkation and debarkation at each port, and at the beginning and end of the cruise, were efficiently managed. We took only one excursion, to Gibraltar, which consisted of a bus ride to the cable car, and a ticket for the cable car (return transportation was on our own)... nothing to complain about. The evening entertainment was meager. There was only one 'production' show, called 'Magic To Do', which featured dancing, singing, and a few magic tricks... a lot of effort, not all that good. Other nights included a comedian (awful), and a Celine Dion tribute singer (we didn't go to those shows). The only thing I can compare the evening entertainment to, was a previous cruise on the Holland America line, which featured really superb production shows... but, then again, Holland America is a more 'upscale' cruise line. In general, we enjoyed our cruise, despite being disappointed in the condition of the ship, especially our cabin. The BEST thing about the cruise was the service staff.... in every single case, the staff was truly outstanding, from the cabin steward, to the waiters... it's one thing Princess does extremely well. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018

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