370 Barcelona First-Time Cruisers Cruise Reviews

We traveled with another couple and planned our own private tours. For me, this was perfect as we had a one on one relationship with our driver\guide and those were wonderful! Not knowing what a cruise would be like, I am over the moon ... Read More
We traveled with another couple and planned our own private tours. For me, this was perfect as we had a one on one relationship with our driver\guide and those were wonderful! Not knowing what a cruise would be like, I am over the moon in love with them. Not only did I feel like the entire ship's staff LOVE ME, but they love their jobs. The rooms were great, everything I needed and the attendants go our of their way for you. Having the chance to have a fantastic meal every morning with ANYTHING you can image right there was a HUGE plus. Each afternoon, a program for the next day is left on your bed so you can plan things on the ship and know ahead of time. There is not ONE bad thing to say only praises for this ship and the crew! We scheduled our own daily excursions and we gave the wrong time! NO PROBLEM!!!! The attendant at the desk called the company and assisted us in getting the time changed. Words cannot say how much we appreciate EVERYONE and EVERYTHING they did for us! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Although I have nothing to compare it to, I thought the cruise was perfect! We went with a couple who were experienced cruisers and they were pleased as well. I'll break it down in sections: 1)Food- sophisticated and elegant ... Read More
Although I have nothing to compare it to, I thought the cruise was perfect! We went with a couple who were experienced cruisers and they were pleased as well. I'll break it down in sections: 1)Food- sophisticated and elegant choices. Each night we had dinner in the main dining room with the exception of one night at the Pinnacle Grill/Selle de Mere. The service was extraordinary and top shelf. The sommeliers were very educated and helped select the right wine for the courses chosen and for our price range. We especially liked a reasonable Chilean red (Loma Linda?) we had dine at will and never waited more than 5 minutes for a table. The portions are elegant and continental so are generally modest. If you can't decide what to order, then order 2! I'm laughing out loud when people on cc whine about portions being too small (e.g. only 2 scallops in an appetizer) ...then order a second one! The husbands enjoyed the rack of lamb so much one night, the head waiter asked if they wanted another and they said YES, thinking another rib would come, no ...another entire entree of ribs came for each of them! Lido Buffet was tasty and generally quite busy. Enjoyed the Asian stations for lunch and breakfast. The made to order pasta station was perfect with scallops and pesto and fresh grated Romano cheese sautéed. We had nachos at the natcho/taco station and they were delicious. We would fill up a plate for our happy hour party and sail away on our balcony each night with nachos and yummy appetizers with cocktails. Selle de Mere is a seafood restaurant pop up which comes up one night in the Pinnacle Grill. The dishes were superb and the service extraordinary. We eat 4 star in the DC area and this easily compares. Room Service-We had room service every day for happy hour and about 5 breakfasts when they had excursions. They were quickly delivered (happy hour) or exactly delivered at the prescribed breakfast time. My only suggestion was the eggs Benedict muffins could have been toasted longer as they appeared a bit underdone. The fruit smoothie was so good, I had it three different mornings! The husband enjoyed his steak and eggs and said it was a first grade New York strip and not scrap. Cabin 8140 is the best on the ship. Our balcony hosted a sail away happy hour each night.. it was hard. Service and quality was top notch. You could tell some Indonesian maintenance folks couldn't speak English, yet would still smile and say good morning when you saw them. We chose this cruise for the itinerary-just wonderful Entertainment. It can be said that blame on whether you enjoy something goes both ways. Choosing correctly whatever requires self awareness and honesty. It you think winding the night away at the disco beyond 2am is da bomb, then maybe this isn't the cruise for you. There was dancing in the BB king lounge every night well after 11. The band focused on music and hits from the 60s-70s-80s. This is a key clue! We found the classical musicians talented and dedicated. The local talent which came aboard was very good in the main ballroom. The cooking classes appeared well attended every time I walked by --to the casino. Didn't make any money in the casino but did win a nice tee shirt. The entertainers in the dueling piano forum were fun and entertaining. Great movies and documentaries in the On Demand system. The HAL corporation messed up and decided to devote millions to upgrading the crows nest and create a high tech explorations cafe. Really neat concept but really placed in the wrong place!!! Why not use the wasted space on the 1st deck where the art galleries are? If they are so focused on revenues, then have a bar and tapas concept in the crows nest and sell sell,sell! Medical clinic-came down with a cold and visited the clinic. Professional and well run. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
First time cruise for our 25th anniversary and we chose the Epic after researching a few different ships. This one had a 2 night stay in the Montblanc hotel in Barcelona. Booking in - This took about 45 min from arrival at the cruise ... Read More
First time cruise for our 25th anniversary and we chose the Epic after researching a few different ships. This one had a 2 night stay in the Montblanc hotel in Barcelona. Booking in - This took about 45 min from arrival at the cruise port. Remember your Credit card (a debit card comes with a £300 deposit). You will be issued with your cruise card here which is used for drinks, entertainment, bookings and any purchases. Stateroom - We had an inside stateroom. They are not big but well designed and come with plenty of storage. Shower gel and shampoo supplied. The bed was large and comfy and we really had no complaints with the room. The website explains the size so it shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. Food - We ate mostly in the huge Garden Bar buffet restaurant on the top deck. It catered for every taste, food was plentiful and fresh. It has some great views over the front of the ship and was nice eating there when the ship was leaving port.There are plenty of other restaurants on the ship, We also recommend the TASTE one. It has table service and a great menu to choose from. Sheehans bar was also well used for lunch time snacks from their grill. Entertainment - This was outstanding. A wide range of acts to suit all tastes. We managed to see most of them during our weeks stay. I recommend Burn the Floor, Graffiti Artists and The Epic Beatles. Howl at the Moon was good however its 4 hours and got a bit monotinous after a while, the Italian signer let them down a bit as well but they are still worth a visit. Drink - We had the ultimate beverage package. The choice of drinks were excellent and top quality. All cocktails were freshly made and well presented. My only complaint were the number of bar staff at the busy bars. Sheehans sometimes had only 2 barpersons and when they're making cocktails it slows things down. All bars have waiter service which is a quicker was of getting served. Pool area - Deck 15 is where the pools and slides are. This was a huge are with 3 small pools, 8 hot tubs, 2 slides and a whirlpool. Even when this was busy there were always sunbeds available and we enjoyed a couple of days up there.Large bar and plenty of food available also. Ports - Didn't enjoy Naples as its a bit of a dump. There's almost to much to do in Rome to do it properly in the time you have.Its also a 2 hour trip from the boat if doing it yourself. Cannes was stunning and well worth the trip. Remember to book your tender early also try the train tour situated at the port. Staff - cant fault the staff at all. Always smiling and helpful. They clearly work hard and long shifts. Downsides - Even with all the drink available you still have to buy a decent coffee (the machine coffee at each bar is awful) this should be included in your package.The bars need more staff especially at busy times.The excursions are way over priced, its worth booking these yourself through Cruise excursions.WiFi is non existent unless you are willing to pay 29 dollars per day for it, even the Iconcierge wasn't working for a number of passengers. Be prepared to leave the ship at about 0630 on your leaving day. Tips - if any of the shows show that they are fully booked its worth turning up for the standby, we never attended 1 show which was totally full. Catch up with WiFi at a cafe in each port. Overall it was a great ship, huge, we would def go back again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
First of all it was my first cruise, so I cannot compare it to other cruises. We were on the ship just the two of us - me and my wife and it was our honeymoon. The embarkation went smoothly and despite there were a lot of people, we ... Read More
First of all it was my first cruise, so I cannot compare it to other cruises. We were on the ship just the two of us - me and my wife and it was our honeymoon. The embarkation went smoothly and despite there were a lot of people, we didn't wait for too long. Don't bother to bring an iron, we did and so did other guys but it's forbidden due to fire hazard. So they'll see it on the X-ray and they will ask you to give ti to them, they'll give it back to you at the end of the cruise. If you were on a cruise before you can skip to the next paragraph. After we got on the ship they gave us a SeaPASS and that's the only thing you really need on the ship: no money, credit card or ID is no longer required. The SeePass is a card witch is the key to your room, you use it also to leave and go back to the ship and it's connected to your account and your credit card (if you want that of course). I guess it's a standard thing on all cruises, but it makes your life much easier. Anyway, I think I'm getting too much into details but my point is that everything is well organized and done well so don't have to think about anything else but having a good time. The ship is very nice, there are a lot of entertainments: climbing wall, ice skating, surf simulator, mini golf and so on. Our cabin was good too, for me the design was a little bit old fashion, I would prefer more modern look, but that just me. The bed was very comfortable and the best thing was the balcony - I think it was worthy the extra cost. The staff was very friendly and polite and willing to help you with anything and the overall service was among the best I've seen. The food in the main dining room at dinner was excellent - everything was delicious and there was great variety to choose from and i went for a different meal every night. The breakfast could be more diverse and the launch was good too. The entertainment program at the theater was very nice too - there was different events every night including shows made by the Royal Caribbean themselves as well as "guest stars" (a magician from Spain - some very nice tricks, acrobats from Ukraine - one of the best performances on the ship, and a comedy guy from Britain - he was really funny). The Royal Caribbean singers and dancers were very good (especially the singers, very high level of skills i think) although that Broadway kind of shows are not really my think. The ice show in the Studio B (the ice theater) was just awesome, definitely need to see it. They were skating and dancing and making acrobatic tricks at the same time, 5 boys and 5 girls and it was just brilliant. Enough with the ship already, lets let me tell you something about the ports and shore excursions. First of all we took 3 all day long excursions and went on shore at all possible ports so at the end we were exhausted. Our daily schedule was basically: get up at 6 in the morning, go to breakfast, then take an excursion /excursions that last all day start at around 7-7.30 a.m.) then go back to the ship at 6 p.m., take a shower, go to dinner, go to the theater and then at 10 p.m. go to bed. So I i said maybe not the best thing to do because we were exhausted (we walked about 10 to 16 000 steps daily), although we saw a lot of things and we don't regret it. But my advice is to take it more slowly. I think the price for the excursions is higher than it should be, but at least you can be sure that you don't miss the ship. About the ports: Barcelona - a very beautiful city with a lot places to visit, we staid there for 2 days after the cruise, if you have the time to explore it just go for it, it's definitely worthy. We were there on your own, no excursions, the subway system is very well done and you can go pretty much anywhere. Marseilles - we didn't took excursion here, there was a shuttle bus witch leaves you near the Cathedral but you have to pay for it 23 usd per person for a round trip (too much i think). The city itself is ok but nothing too interesting to see here. I mean it's not a bad place but if you compare it to the other ports i think you can spend an hour or two tops or even skip it entirely (remember don't do the same mistake we did, take it slowly). Villefranche - the port located on the Côte d'Azur region on the French Riviera a.k.a millionaires, glamour and luxe all around . We took the Monaco(including Monte Carlo)-Eze-Nice all day excursion. First stop Monte Carlo, you go by foot to the famous casino and you have about 45 min free time. Then you go to Eze, a very small authentic mountain french village. The place is nice and charming, narrow streets, stone homes and beautiful landscape views, but nothing too crazy. Then you go to Nice and it looks like very similar to Monaco - everything looks good and expensive and most probably is. La Specia - we took the all day Pisa and Florence excursion (exploration on your own with a smart device). First you go to Pisa (about 1,5h driving time) - you have about 45 min to take pictures with the leaning tower. You've seen it many times on pictures but to see it with your own eyes is really something. There is no time to go to top of the tower, but i don't know if i want to do it anyway. Next you go to Florence (about 1 hour driving time) and maybe you can skip this part - don't get me wrong it's a nice old town with several things to see, much nicer than Marseilles for example, but again if you wan't to have some time on the ship or just to relax it's not a 100% must see (unlike the leaning tower). About the "exploration on your own with a smart device" - they give you a Samsung phone with gps map, internet and short audio guide. Unfortunately the battery of my phone died just as we entered Florence. You still have tourist guide in the bus that explains you a lot of things, but when you stop you are on your own (some folks from the other bus told me that their guide was walking with them and told them many things about the place even if she didn't have to). It took us more then 2 hours to drive back to the ship. Civitavecchia - I've been to Rome before and we decided that we'll go on our own, something that I don't recommend - it turned out to be a little nightmare. First mistake we made was that we didn't go too early because we wanted to get some sleep. We left the ship at about 9.30 - there was a shuttle bus that takes you just outside the port (this time for free). From there we got on another small bus for 2 euro each that took us to the railway station. The left us near to a door with "tickets to Rome" sign on it. Turns out later that it is a separate private ticket office that sell you the ticket to Rome for 6 euro each (the regular price is 5) and is trying to sell you another ticket for the Hop on Hop off buses in the city(we didn't get those, i told the subway will be faster way to go around and probably is. Anyway as they were tying to sell us the HOHO tickets we missed our train to Rome (by just 2 min damn it) and we had to wait for 45 more minutes for the next one. Remember that you have to "validate" your tickets before you get to the train (there is a machine that you put your tickets inside). It took us about 45min to get to Rome - San Pietro station and went straight to Vatican city (it was about 11.30 a.m.). We skipped the whole to get to the Basilica (a know, not a good thing to do but we really didn't have any time). I'm not a religions man but the Basilica (the entrance to St. Peter is free btw) is worth seeing its enormous and beautiful. Then we waited on a separate line to get to the top (the Cupola). We paid 8 euros each for the lift (the other choice is the stairs for 6 euro, but believe me you don't need that - there are plenty of stair left to go to the top after you get off the elevator). Finally, after many stairs and tiny claustrophobic corridors we were there and a was very very upset. I was in Rome 9 years ago and I went to the top of St. Peter and I remember the beautiful panoramic view and the perfect place to take photos, but not anymore - now there are metal bars all over the place, it's like a huge birdcage and you are inside, so the view is ruined and the selfies are not possible any more. Huge disappointment. There is no point to go to the top of the Basilica anymore. Next we went to the Coliseum. Thankfully I got the tickets online in advance, so we got in very quickly. One of the symbols of Rome you definitely need to see this. We didn't go to the Roman Forum next to it because one we didn't have the time and two it is pointless without a guide to tell you all about the thing you see there. (The same goes for the Vatican museum). After that we went to Trevi Fontain and that was our last stop. It was 4 p.m. and we decided to go back (and thank God because otherwise we would have missed the ship), although the Pantheon and Piazza Navona are very close to Di Trevi, but the clock was ticking and we were very tired - we didn't stop even for a second, we were running for the trains and we ate like 1 sandwich for 5 min without even sitting. The same train that took us to Rome in just 45 min, took us back to Civitavecchia in 1h 20 min! From the train station we were running to get a taxi - minivan took us straight to the ship (there were other people from our ship too) for 5 euro each and we were there at 6,25 p.m. (the "all on board" time was 6.30). And make no mistake - if you are late the ship will leave, it will not wait for you (it will if you are on a shore excursion).So it was very very extreme day and a I won't advice you to do the same. Naples - First of all the port should be Capri, but I don't know why we were in Naples. Anyway we took the "Pompei and Amafi coast by land and see". I think it was the best day of the trip - both places are a must see. First we went to Pompei (i think it took us about an hour to get there) and we spend nearly 2 hours walking there with the guide. The place is amazing and because of the volcano it is very well preserved for a 2000 years old city. And it is a whole city, not just one building and not just a bunch of rocks on the ground - most of the walls are 2 meters high, so you can really get the idea how people lived back there, how big were the streets, the shops, the houses. I highly recommend going there and a tour guide is mandatory. Next we went to Amalfi - if you haven't heard it just google it, it's really really beautiful. There is this panoramic sea view narrow road and there is a cliff on the one side and parked cars on the other and these crazy Italian bus drivers just squeeze trough - I don't know how they do it. When there are two buses on the road they mirrors are literally just 2 cm away one from another. It took us about 40 min for 16 km. When we got to Amalfi we got like hour of free time, then took a trip by boat and then back to the bus and the ship. That's about it guys, I'm very pleased with the overall cruise experience, maybe some (or even most) of the things are overpriced, but in the end of the day we had really great time. I hope I helped you with this review, maybe i got too much into details and my English is far from perfect, but i did my best. Ciao! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Chose this as our 1st cruise primarily based on the price and itinerary. We loved it. Cabins are comfortable with plenty of storage and I really don't see the fuss over the design The food was good..buffet not our favourite ... Read More
Chose this as our 1st cruise primarily based on the price and itinerary. We loved it. Cabins are comfortable with plenty of storage and I really don't see the fuss over the design The food was good..buffet not our favourite but perfectly acceptable for a quick and convenient meal..both MDRs very pleasant with good food(maybe a little repetitive), good service and a nice atmosphere. Also ate in O'Sheehans with a nice lovely atmosphere and decent American style food. We had the UBP and were spoilt for choice with drinks. Lots of beers to choose from including a few craft ones, a good wine choice and more cocktails than I've even heard of. All the spirits were also branded ones. The pool area is probably the weakest point. The slides are good fun for the kids and there are plenty of hot tubs but the main pool is a bit small and there was a bit of a fight for sun loungers (although no worse than an average Spanish hotel) The entertainment is the best bit. There's always multiple things going on at once so it's easy to find something that suits. Particular credit needs to go to the main shows(I'd say one step below West end\ Broadway) and our favourite 'howl at the moon' duelling pianos. We were on when I suspect it was full and crowds didn't bother us much. There is plenty of quiet places to go both night and day. We managed to do everything we wanted and eat where wanted most of the time with only occasional waits. If I had to guess, maybe it's not the most luxurious of ships(I've nothing to compare it to) but it's definitely one of the most fun Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I wanted to see Italy, and due to costs for a family of 4 , seeing all the different ports , a cruise seemed the less expensive way to travel, allowing us to try out each spot so we could make a return trip for a longer stay in the ... Read More
I wanted to see Italy, and due to costs for a family of 4 , seeing all the different ports , a cruise seemed the less expensive way to travel, allowing us to try out each spot so we could make a return trip for a longer stay in the future. A friend had booked Disney Magic and loved cruising with them prior, so i jumped on board, literally. Alcohol policy: You are now permitted to bring 2 bottles of wine or 6 CANS of beer per adult on the cruise and at each port. This is the way to go. We took our own glass of wine to dinners, and poured our own beers during the day as Alcohol is VERY expensive on any cruise ship, example is they were selling 20 Corona beers with a cooler for $130.00 US. A glass of wine is $13 Can, cappuccinos $4 US. Hint: Take on your own water bottle and refill as you need too, they sell you water for the excursions with a mini cooler for over 40 dollars. CHECKING INN: easy, quick and efficient ROOMS: not having anything to compare the room too as this was my first cruise, it was 200 sq feet, 2 bathrooms, one with a sink and toilet, one with a shower and sink. we had an inside cabin.. room 2068.. DO NOT TAKE THIS ROOM..it is a great clean room, but it is right under the main lobby where all the characters and little ones meet, nightly live music and stays active until 11pm every night. Also we were on top of the hydrolic pistons that are very noisy and go off every 3 mins or so especially when you arrive at port. Sleep was not happening, we did ask for a different room but they were fully booked, after the 4th night i was so tired i could have cried, i went back and some people hadn't reembarked so we given a different room. Thank you Disney FOOD: you will not be hungry. no complaints at all, nothing bad to say , there is something for everyone almost 18 hours a day, plus room service at no cost , only tipping. SERVICE: I have never seen so many happy workers, all smiles and accommodating. My servers for the trip Duante and Noel were AWESOME.. I MEAN THE BEST SERVERS I HAVE EVER HAD. They even cut up my sons chicken from the bone..Its a hard life being on a cruise ship, long hours, time away from family yet these fellas do their jobs with a smile and such happiness and kindness. Thank you. EXCURSIONS: SHIP ONES.. DO NOT DO.....They are way over priced and not what they appear.. you can do all the ports on your own for a 1/4 of the cost. Hint.. don't be the first off the ship, be one of the last ones, the cabs that are left are willing to haggle the price so they don't leave without a fare. and you end up with your own tour guide, we did this for all ports and had no troubles and saved over 3000$ doing it this way. The excursions for a family of 4 range from 500 euro - 1000 euro, and the Euro is 1.60 .. so you are paying up to 1200 $ for one day out, and that does not include any food or entrance fees.. Send me any questions regarding excursions. I would not suggest taking a young one to Pompeii, you can stay for a week and never see the whole town, its hot, little shade ,one restaurant that is very busy and tons of walking on old stone that is slippery and steep. Colosuim and Vatican: def take a cab and pay for a tour guide that offers you front of the line, worth it or you will spend your day in line waiting.. Vatican is 4 hour wait . CRUISE SHIP: Clean clean clean.. they are very aware of germs and you use bacterial wipes before entering any place of food. but for anyone over the age of 7, there is little to do on the ship on sea days, there is an adult pool that is quite small, a Brilliant gym, but anything else is cost. bingo is 50 dollars. other than that they do have a daily agenda , but nothing that would make you jump up and down .. keeping in mind its a Disney cruise, they really are geared to kids, which run around the ship laughing and dressed in super hero costumes and princess dresses all day. movies are run all day on a big screen for the kids, and there are 2 water slides and a teeny tiny kids pool that was packed like sardines, and had to be evacuated once a day for poop clean up. We didn't see any shows, as our dinner seating was 815 , and by the time you have finished its close to 10 pm and i had a teen that couldn't come into any of the pubs or discos, so we didn't go. I was disappointed with Disney charging 6 dollars for a small box of popcorn at the movie theater.. come on Disney, that cost you 50 cents to make, we paid over 9 thousand , you can't give the popcorn to the kids.. that ticked me off, its a money maker, every where you turn, for photos, for bottles water to the alcohol and the disney store, they are making a good coin, so be prepared to have some type of tab when you check out. Personally, i wouldn't do another cruise, was not my thing, to much down time, pool too small, drinks overpriced, excursions are a total rip off.. you pay a lot to take one of these, I did expect more wow and a bigger ship. But if you have princess's and princes who are Disney mad, they would have a blast. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Just back from our first cruise. What a delightful trip. The crew were all smiles and good mornings... Our stateroom attendant was a joy to see , he always called us by our first names, how the heck he remembered I shall never know. The ... Read More
Just back from our first cruise. What a delightful trip. The crew were all smiles and good mornings... Our stateroom attendant was a joy to see , he always called us by our first names, how the heck he remembered I shall never know. The weather was a dream as was the whole cruise time. Shore excursions could be a little to long (10 hours) which was far too long for me. The skills at getting everyone disembarked onto the tender boats all within a short time slot was amazing. No one appeared to moan or complain about anything which was refreshing to say the least...Food.. well what can I say. All presented perfectly and so many choices.. We paid for the drinks package and had as much as we wanted . The stateroom with balcony was fab. To lie in bed with curtains open and watch the spray from the waves in the moonlight was mesmerizing. Plenty of room and storage with a fridge to keep the Prosecco chilled .. What a dream holiday and am planning the next. We woke everyday in a different port and views to die for.... am still on cloud 9... Loved every minute Thankyou Freedom of the Seas you certainly spoilt us ....... Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
The ship was amazing. The staff members were terrific. The crown loft suite was fabulous. Grease and Columbus were wonderful. The food was good everywhere (we ate mostly in the Coastal Kitchen, but also tried the Hibachi, Sabors, Johnny ... Read More
The ship was amazing. The staff members were terrific. The crown loft suite was fabulous. Grease and Columbus were wonderful. The food was good everywhere (we ate mostly in the Coastal Kitchen, but also tried the Hibachi, Sabors, Johnny Rockets, and all were great). Water slides were really fun. Highly recommend iSkate show as well. 1887 was good but we had trouble following the plot. Also recommend the comedian. He was very funny. We did our own shore excursions so I can't rate those. We got the beer/wine package which was worth it. I am not sure I would recommend the photo package because there weren't that many photographers around and you can take photos with your phone anyway. Our teenagers loved it and made friends on the ship (two 18-year olds and a 14 year old). Only criticism was the Solarium restaurant. It was hot and the food was not as good as elsewhere in my opinion. We would highly recommend Harmony of the Seas to all! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
This was our first time Cruising and was really looking forward to it but was a bit disappointed to read the first reviews of this ship when it launched back in May BUT we need not have worried because to say this ship is AMAZING is an ... Read More
This was our first time Cruising and was really looking forward to it but was a bit disappointed to read the first reviews of this ship when it launched back in May BUT we need not have worried because to say this ship is AMAZING is an understatement! It is truly exceptional beyond description because you just have to go on it to understand. I personally think the negative reviews must have been given because of the weather as we were on this ship only a mere 3 weeks later and it is 100% finished and operational. The staff on RC are exceptional and must get a big THANK YOU from us because you all made our trip memorable. All staff from stateroom attendant to dining room staff and everyone in between. Ship is spotless (know its new but can only imagine older ships have same standard of cleanliness and hygiene) well designed and to us newcomers would only know you are sailing along by looking out! The food is fabulous and the choice is vast. Spa was so relaxing and again the staff exceptional. The entertainment on board is as good as anywhere. The production of Grease was outstanding. I could go on and on about our week long (way too short) holiday but it would read the same so if you want a holiday of a lifetime go on Harmony of the Seas or any other Royal Caribbean cruise ship and you wont be disappointed. The only negative all week long is that you could easily come off the ship at least 1 stone heavier with all the delicious food....... Take a bow you are a fab company Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Here we go. I will begin with... we are not cruisers. This was our first and last cruise to be sure. I thought it would be a great way to see some of Europe, which it was. The ports were fantastic. I traveled with my daughters.The first ... Read More
Here we go. I will begin with... we are not cruisers. This was our first and last cruise to be sure. I thought it would be a great way to see some of Europe, which it was. The ports were fantastic. I traveled with my daughters.The first few hours were fine. The cabin was very nice, except the bathrooms constantly smelled of urine. I cleaned the bathrooms, but the awful urine stench did not go away. We were in a deluxe ocean view cabin on deck 1. Our steward was very nice, but only went through the motions. Which brings me to the crew. I have never seen more distressed, sad, glum and indifferent holiday staff in my life. It really put a damper on the "fun" aspect of our cruise. Everyone looked tired and over worked. The "officers" that loitered everywhere were arrogant an unapproachable. Dinner was a joke. Twice we were handed clickers to alert us when we would be seated and twice we waited an hour and a half. One night was formal night. The staff claimed the clicker thing was not faulty, but they clearly were as I would have never missed the loud sound and vibrating. After that fiasco, we ate on the Lido Deck and one night at Cucina del Capitan which was just awful. My daughters constantly were harassed so severely by security almost every night. They are both over 18 and were always accused of being "drunk" (they were not). Yet when young, underage guys stumbled about, nothing was done. Clearly this is a very sexist and distressing approach to young women. I would not say this was a "cruise from hell", there were some redeeming moments i.e. the ports of call of course. The water park was fun and the ship itself, very pretty. However, the public areas were dirty and I couldn't believe the stain in the carpets of this new ship. The bulk of the passengers were rude and we did our best to stay in the less populated areas. We made some great friends though. All in all, I am really sorry I feel this way. I am very sad this was the outcome. I had such high hopes for this cruise. I don't want anything from Carnival, as we will never be using that line again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Being our first ever cruise we really didn't know what to expect, but from beginning to end it was very well organised with no disruptions. We had been staying in Barcelona in an apartment before the cruise, we hailed a taxi ... Read More
Being our first ever cruise we really didn't know what to expect, but from beginning to end it was very well organised with no disruptions. We had been staying in Barcelona in an apartment before the cruise, we hailed a taxi outside at 11am and by 11.40am we had checked in, boarded and were enjoying a welcome drink on board. Not knowing exactly what to expect we were approached by a member of the crew and invited to sign up for the specialty restaurants dining packages for 5 dinners for $129 extra. We did, and thoroughly enjoyed every dinner at Tuscan Grill, Murano, Silk Harvest and lunch one day at Bistro on 5. Money well spent I think, we really enjoyed all of it, especially Murano. After enjoying lunch in Oceanview Cafe on level 14, there was an announcement around 1pm to inform us that our staterooms were ready. We were on level 3 with an ocean view room, which suited us fine, as the first night out from Barcelona was a little rough, some passengers higher up were suffering from sea sickness. The saying that "the more you pay, the more you sway" was certainly true! I was surprised at the size and comfort of the bed, it was king size, and very comfy. The room itself was hotel quality, we have stayed in smaller hotel rooms. Special thanks to Irena who took care of our room for the entire 11 days, it was always spotless when we returned. The turn down service each night was great with little chocolates on our pillows. Juliia and Alan looked after us in Silhouette dining room when we ate there if not at a specialty restaurant and the food was always plentiful and excellent, with offerings of extra if wanted. Some of our table took extra lobster one night, it was excellent. The entertainers were great, we often sat in Ensemble Lounge after dinner to listen to Jess and Kenton, they were really great. Jayne Curry was on a couple of nights in Equinox Theatre, she is very talented and hilariously funny. We did a few of the shore excursions, we did St Paul de Vence on the first day, Florence on the 2nd, Pompeii and Amalfi Coast, Mykonos, Ephesis in Turkey. The organisation at moving all the people was amazing. With 2800 passengers on board, we always disembarked the ship in no time, on to buses and away. The only thing we didn't like was the pressure of the shopkeepers in Kusadasi, we wanted to buy but the pressure was too much, I had to get out of there. It was the same with the organised tour of Ephesus, it was great, but part of the tour is a visit to a carpet factory back near port where it is more or less compulsory to visit. Our guide told us all we had to visit as it was a part of the tour and we were not to leave. Not knowing, we went along. To begin with it was all okay, very friendly and they put on a display on how silk was woven, then we were ushered upstairs to a large room with seats all around. We watched a woman making a rug, then they closed the doors and we were more or less trapped in there. They displayed many carpets, mats and rugs, always telling us "no pressure", but by the end that couldn't have been further from the truth. They offered us all drinks and a lovely sesame bread, I knew then that the pressure to buy would be escalated. There was approximately 25 or so of us in the room, by the end of the display they had 25 sales people surround us, it was a really uncomfortable experience. I grabbed my wife and we departed, much to the dismay of the carpet people. All in all, it was a very satisfactory cruise, we will be planning another. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Chose this cruise to go with friends...first time cruising and did not know what to expect...everything was wonderful...staff was universally friendly and polite...all English speaking...the ship was highly organized and efficient...dining ... Read More
Chose this cruise to go with friends...first time cruising and did not know what to expect...everything was wonderful...staff was universally friendly and polite...all English speaking...the ship was highly organized and efficient...dining was great, in the buffet and the specialty restaurants as well ...shore excursions offered many good choices...the cabin was modern and clean with a surprising amount of room...plenty of enjoyable entertainment, from magician to game shows to dancing...nice fitness center with plenty of top quality equality (looking out at the Mediterranean Sea while exercising is an added plus)...daily info sheets placed in cabin at night...plenty of towels for cabin use...hot water always available..the ship is huge, but after a day or so becomes more intimate...not too many children on this cruise so that was not an issue, but for those who prefer fewer children, carefully check school vacation schedules...seas were calm and did not even notice I was on a ship... Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
As first time cruisers we were recommended to the Epic by a friend. We didn't know what to expect but can honestly sum the experience up in one word "WOW". The moment we arrived for boarding we were overwhelmed by the ... Read More
As first time cruisers we were recommended to the Epic by a friend. We didn't know what to expect but can honestly sum the experience up in one word "WOW". The moment we arrived for boarding we were overwhelmed by the size of the Epic and the check-in procedure was so well organised that we were soon checking into our cabin. We chose an aft facing balcony on deck 13 which gave us not only brilliant views as we left each port but an excellent first night on the Med watching an amazing sunset with a cheeky wee glass of red As a couple traveling without children we loved the peace & quiet of the Spice H2o bar which is for over 18s. There was a pool & 2 hot tubs and brilliant bar staff who permanently smiled and could not have been nicer All staff on the Epic whether front of house or behind the scenes will smile and say "hi" and you can't help smiling right back. Interesting that staff not only have their names on their badges but their nationalities, which makes for good conversation The food in the buffet was very varied and tasty but in the evening we favoured the Manhattan Dining Room to enjoy a bit of extra luxury being waited on. Only once did we have a 10 minute wait for a table but we were given a pager so we could relax in the bar while waiting The Headliners show was well worth a visit and a very professional magician/ventriloquist had us crying with laughter. Lovely touch that he was at the door saying goodbye to everyone We only chose one excursion into Florence (as we are not early birds) which was well organised and a painless proceedure. The Tenders taking us to shore at Cannes were non stop all day and once again smiling staff everywhere to ensure we were looked after The biggest compliment we can pay to NCL is that we are already looking to book our next cruise with them - only hope that the Epic hasn't set the bar to high for other cruises Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
i did costa fascinosa and other than less availability of vegetarian food, didnt face any problem whatsoever.bothe embarkation and disembarcarion were smooth. the food was good and well presented except for the fact that they ran out of ... Read More
i did costa fascinosa and other than less availability of vegetarian food, didnt face any problem whatsoever.bothe embarkation and disembarcarion were smooth. the food was good and well presented except for the fact that they ran out of foon sometimes. the cabin was well cleaned and made up everyday. the staff was amazing and catered to all our needs. we were provided with indaian food which was delicious. the hygiene and other things onn the cruise were good. though i felt their swimming pool wasnt big enouygh. the every day show were excellent and perfect. the tours were slightly costly. the bars and the restaurants were well eqipped. the staff was amazingly courteoua and was at our disposal all the time. the restaurant staff didnt make us feel foreign even for one moment and went to all lengths to make us comfortable. we were provided with egg less desserts specially on requestg. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This was our first ever cruise. What appealed to us was the mix of days at sea, together with the variety of ports. We also did not want one of the very large ships. Embarkation went very smoothly, getting on around 11.30 in the ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise. What appealed to us was the mix of days at sea, together with the variety of ports. We also did not want one of the very large ships. Embarkation went very smoothly, getting on around 11.30 in the morning. Our cabin (deluxe balcony) was available at 1pm and we quickly unpacked. Plenty of storage space in the cabin. Cases fitted easily under the bed. We had taken two bottles of wine on board and were able to store them in the mini-bar. With no preconceptions we were very impressed by the ship. It was absolutely full but yet did not seem overcrowded. We had chosen My Time Dining and just turned up whenever we felt like it, although it eventually ended up with a drink in the Schooner Bar at around 8pm and then onto the dining room. This way we were not on the same table with the same people for 12 nights. We ate only one breakfast in the Minstrel dining room which was fine and all the other times in the Windjammer – whilst it was very crowded we always managed to find somewhere to sit and the food was fine. I also enjoyed the Park Cafe which was great for a snack in the afternoon. We had not taken a drinks package and don’t drink that much – just a beer before dinner and a bottle of wine at dinner between the two of us. No point taking the drinks package for both of us and a 2 for 1 offer was not available. The wine prices were exorbitant. We attended most of the shows and most were great. The Tango dancers, visual comedy and magician. The only dud was the solo singer. The back street Beatles were just about ok. Internet prices were also exorbitant and we just logged on in port. I did quite a bit of sunbathing and i always found somewhere to lie. Best was on deck 12 away from the noise around the main pool and easy to slip into the solarium for a quick dip to cool off. Ports: Nice – we had spent a week in Nice a few years back so hired a car and went to have lunch with some friends in Provence. Had to take the train service from Villefranche into Nice – poor service and we lost 40 minutes by just missing a train so worth checking timetables. Athens – All we wished to see was the Acropolis. Caught the X80 from just outside the port entrance and this worked very well, although the instructions given as to where to stand to catch the bus were contradictory and had us crossing the road several times! In the end the bus stops at the stops on both sides of the road so it doesn’t matter. You’d think the guy who spends hours in the booth selling the bus tickets would know this. If you are over 65 you get a discount entrance ticket to the Acropolis. Kushadasi – this was the only time we took a ship’s excursion as we thought they were way overpriced. Tour took us to Ephesus which was great, to Sirince which was a waste of time (fruit wine tasting and shopping bizarre and carpet weaving which was great other than the hard sell.) Mykonos – took the sea bus for 2 euros and went to Delos which was interesting. For 10 euros each we had a guide. Salerno – took the train to Pompeii and a local guide. Rome – we had both been there before so just went to the town. Livorno – did not want to do Florence in a day so took the train to Lucca, a walled Tuscan town. Excellent. Royal Carribbean lives up to its reputation for the value initial price coupled with expensive drinks, shore excursions, internet, spa etc and lots of hard sell of shop stuff. If you can show discipline then fine but costs could easily run away and then you may as well go 6 star. Biggest downside was the dress code – guided by the instructions online, I packed a jacket, pants, shoes, shirt and tie for the so called 2 semi –formal nights which did not occur. Enough people had brought a dinner jacket for the two formal nights to make it worthwhile. Dress code for casual nights was way too informal with guests wearing shorts and slops into the main dining room – dumbed down for sure. Lectures: The lecturer was inspiring and very fluent and good. I asked her whether it was being recorded as I would have liked to have watched it again. But it had not been recorded, and one can’t help but wonder whether this was because there’s no money in it for Royal Caribbean! Lastly we met some very nice people with whom we shared several dinners. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We decided to go on a cruise for a family vacation based on our travel agents recommendation. Where we come from, this concept isn't very popular so we didn't know what to expect except what we had read online. We loved it!! ... Read More
We decided to go on a cruise for a family vacation based on our travel agents recommendation. Where we come from, this concept isn't very popular so we didn't know what to expect except what we had read online. We loved it!! Right from the sail away party which was so much fun. The Carnival Vista is a new ship with a lot to do and a lot of walking within the ship. They had a rock show and a musical which i loved. We did the comedy show on most nights. The only area of improvement was the breakfast which got very repetitive. The MDR and the Asian place were the only restaurants we tried and we really enjoyed the food. The staff were really friendly and super accommodating. The embarkation and disembarkation were handled pretty smoothly except one of our bags got lost but the Carnival guys helped us find it after dinner. We didn't use the shore excursions from carnival because we found it expensive. The option of transport into town through the ship was convenient if you wanted to do excursions on your own. We discovered the Serenity Deck too late. It was really nice to laze around on. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This was our first cruise that we had been on, always feeling it was not for us. Anyway on strong recommendation we decided to try a relatively easy cruise with Norwegian Cruise Lines. It was myself and wife who went and....... Wow ! From ... Read More
This was our first cruise that we had been on, always feeling it was not for us. Anyway on strong recommendation we decided to try a relatively easy cruise with Norwegian Cruise Lines. It was myself and wife who went and....... Wow ! From leaving Manchester and then embarking all went smoothly. We were in awe of the size of the ship, and thought with the number of people getting on it would be an age. Not so, embarkation was smooth and at the right pace. on the check in we were given our cabin number which proved to be beautifully appointed, with a sea facing balcony. For the whole of our trip we slept like babies in the very comfortable beds .It was great to watch the sunsets from our balcony, and wake to the ship docking in our next destination. Sailing was smooth and we got used to the movement within 1/2 day. The standard of décor and cleanliness on board was excellent, as was the dining experience in any of the many restaurants we used. Entertainment was varied and of good quality, and with all the other activities available, it was impossible not to be occupied. We actually stayed on board rather than go on land, twice, as we enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere of just sitting around and relaxing. The disembarkation process went well, caught our flight, and were back in Manchester for Lunch ! Will we do it again ? Definitely, just where too next ? Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We had a fantastic time aboard Rhapsody of the Seas!! Embarking from Barcelona, Spain, with ports in Ajaccio, Corsica, Napoli, Sicily (Messina), Valletta, Malta, Montenegro (Kotor), Ravenna and last but not least...Venice!! Everyone ... Read More
We had a fantastic time aboard Rhapsody of the Seas!! Embarking from Barcelona, Spain, with ports in Ajaccio, Corsica, Napoli, Sicily (Messina), Valletta, Malta, Montenegro (Kotor), Ravenna and last but not least...Venice!! Everyone provided us with the utmost convenience and accommodation. This, our first trip out of the United States (and first cruise!) proved to be as much as we envisioned and hoped it would be. Other than the long flight getting to Barcelona (9 hours), it was a vacation I would look forward to taking again and again. Europe is breathtaking. The cruise ship staff were outstanding, gracious, friendly, professional, and top-notch. To our amazement, our cabin was cleaned and tidied up twice a day. The main dining room staff were impeccable as were the bar staff, always friendly and accommodating. The ship experienced some very rough seas our first night but all-in-all the cruise was smooth sailing! Getting to and from different locations on the ship was easy with the touch-screen maps adjacent to each elevator which also listed activities/entertainment for the day, location and mapping - good for us since we got lost..a lot! The shore excursions and getting reservations for these all went very well. The trips we took were fabulous. There was very little waiting getting off and back on the ship. It all went very smoothly. Our only complaint would be not being able to stay longer!! We would definitely recommend cruising Royal Caribbean - Rhapsody of the Seas. Can't wait to go again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
First of all this was our first ever cruise experience and we really had no idea if it was for us or not so have absolutely nothing to compare it to. It was also our very first holiday without the kids so 10 days just the two of us could ... Read More
First of all this was our first ever cruise experience and we really had no idea if it was for us or not so have absolutely nothing to compare it to. It was also our very first holiday without the kids so 10 days just the two of us could have went one of two ways! I'm not writing this from prison so it must have turned out ok! LOL I soon found Cruise Critic and quickly joined the roll call after booking and could not have asked for a better bunch of people to help with the planning of our first cruise. Meet and Greet, as well as cabin crawls, slot pulls and excursions were all organised by a wonderful group of people which we had a great time meeting during our time on the Epic. So Thank you to all who organised it really is much appreciated. The Epic certainly lives up to its name! I can honestly say that this holiday for us was a complete eye opener! It made us realise that cruising is a fantastic way to see as much of the world as possible. Anyway about the ship and cruise itself - I thought the staff onboard were amazing! We were constantly saying that we never passed a member of the staff that did not smile or say hello/how are you today? We never caught his name but washy washy, happy happy man at the entrance to the Buffet certainly put a smile on your face every morning! Everyone was very friendly and pleasant. Our Room Steward Rosalie was lovely, she made amazing towel animals for us every evening and our room was always cleaned to a high standard. I know there are a lot of people who complain about the room shape/size, the bathroom layout etc. But we thought the room was more than adequate space wise for the two of us. Yes the curved wall may be a little strange but we like it and the seperate toilet and shower area did not bother us at all. However I can see how it may be an issue for some. The bed was one of the most comfortable I have ever slept on and always got a good night sleep. We were also very surprised about the amount of storage there was, more than enough for everything we brought and then some. The balcony was of a good size and was nice to go out onto to watch docking. However the only negative was that we had one of the uncovered balconies and I did find this a little off putting as there was little privacy from the decks above. Our room was also directly above Bliss nightclub. For most nights this did not bother us as we were out late, had a few drinks so fell asleep very quickly but we did notice it on our last evening as we got an early night and the music was still going at 3am and did wake us. But in the grand scheme of things this was not a big issue. The shows and entertainment were outstanding. We pre-booked for Priscilla and Burn the Floor as well as the Cirque Dinner Show. All of these were amazing shows but our favourite had to be the Cirque. We sat on the balcony upstairs and it was a fantastic view of all that was going on below. We were in awe of some of the things that were being done and on a moving ship no less! The meal itself was fantastic and we were not disappointed. We also saw the Men of Motown show and a comedian both were very good. Our favourite entertainment was the Howl at the Moon Duelling Pianos show at Headliners. We only missed one of their shows and these guys really are a talented group! No request appeared to be too difficult for them and they really made a good night great!! Most of our evenings we sat at Maltings Bar listening to Tsurita the live singer. She was lovely and we loved the chilled out atmosphere here. We also were lucky enough to meet Fernando, one of the servers here who made us feel very welcome and got the most out of our free drinks package for us. Recommending various cocktails for us to try! He was so attentive and friendly and really made us feel welcome each time we visited. He even made me a special medicinal drink when I was feeling a little under the weather! We did not eat in the speciality restaurants but the Manhattan and Taste Dining rooms were fantastic! We never had a bad meal in either of these restaurants, nor the Buffet. It was difficult to get a seat in the buffet at times but that was to be expected with a full ship! We also ate at Shanghai Restaurant and also the Noodle Bar, both meals were delicious. O'Sheehans Irish Bar we felt was our least favourite for meals out of all the complimentary dining options but it was typical pub grub food so we weren't expecting 5 star cuisine. Overall the ship was clean, well maintained with great food, drink, staff and service - what more could you ask for really? Can't wait for our next cruise and would have no hesitation in cruising with Norwegian again! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Check in at Barcelona quick and smooth. Stateroom was ready by 12.00 Balcony Stateroom 8012 was narrow meaning that two people could not get dressed at the same time without bumping into each other. Restaurants. Went to Garden ... Read More
Check in at Barcelona quick and smooth. Stateroom was ready by 12.00 Balcony Stateroom 8012 was narrow meaning that two people could not get dressed at the same time without bumping into each other. Restaurants. Went to Garden Café self service for lunch first day as we were a party of 4 difficult to find a table to sit to together. This happened throughout the cruise. Other meals. The Manhattan Room. Good food but not much atmosphere. O'Sheehan's Neighbourhood Bar & Grill. Poor food could not eat the fish and chips as batter inside raw. After complaining the head waiter took my stateroom number and I assumed I would get an apology but nothing happened so not sure why they bothered taking it. Moderno Churrascaria. Had lunch one day ok food, then had breakfast one morning which was cold. Did not go back. Shanghai's Chinese Restaurant. Two very good meals here but despite being on drinks package they charged my account with a can of soda. Taste. Same menu as Manhattan but as it is situated at the bottom of an Atrium we felt as if we were on display to the people above. Courtyard Grill. Good place to go for a snack when the weather is ok. Entertainment. Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Well done. Burn the Floor. Brilliant.Cirque Dreams® & Dinner. Brilliant and excellent food. The Beatles tribute act. Best we have ever seen. magic Comedian very good. Violinist. Very good. Overall the best entertainment on any previous ship. Our main complaint was very little relaxation seating. Very few places to sit quietly to read. Too much space devoted to the casino and photographic area. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Well this was our first cruise (myself & 12yr son) and although probably not our last. Would be cruise with Norwegian again not sure. Embarkation was good, although we were given the health declaration document in Italian instead of ... Read More
Well this was our first cruise (myself & 12yr son) and although probably not our last. Would be cruise with Norwegian again not sure. Embarkation was good, although we were given the health declaration document in Italian instead of English, which was quickly sorted. Once on board we found our cabin to find it was not made up to what it should have been. I had booked twin beds and it was made up as queen. Our stateroom attendant said he would sort it out as soon as he could. As I didn't want to leave credit card for our on board expenses I took cash, which I set up 2 account one for me and one for my son so he would not have to asking me for everything. But something that I was not told about was that although my son had so much money in his account he could continue to spend even if he had no money left. Something that we found out on the last port day. The kids club well that was not good with it being open on sea days for certain times, but on port days was open all day. My son went on a port day after a tour and all the ages were mixed together instead of being in the set age groups. Apparently this is standard on port days, something that we were not told when we signed up. Just a lot of little things that we were not told when we signed up or about the on board accounts or our room not being set up for what it should have been. As for the meals well sometimes in the garden cafe they were cold, dry and under cooked and the variety was sometimes lacking. We took 3 half day ships tours and to be honest they were not that great for the amount of money they cost. The entertainment was ok, we saw a few shows, but you did have to be quick to book or you missed out. The major issue I had was at disembarkation as they had closed off one of the lifts which meant only 3 working each side and with 4500 people trying to get off it was a nightmare. We decided to take our own suitcases off as we were staying in Barcelona that night at the same hotel we had before the cruise. This needs to be improved greatly. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
As first time Cruisers we thought the holiday was brilliant. The weather wasn't too good, and it was -3 on one night, which was unexpected for the Med. We had one rough night n board where I need to ask for sea sickness tablets ... Read More
As first time Cruisers we thought the holiday was brilliant. The weather wasn't too good, and it was -3 on one night, which was unexpected for the Med. We had one rough night n board where I need to ask for sea sickness tablets from Customer service. The food and drinks package was excellent but I was surprised that water and Coffee were not included (except coffee at the breakfast table) the entertainment fabulous, and the staff very attentive. My concerns were limited to 3 matters. The first when I paid for a meal in Le Bistro French Restaurant, the waitress hovered for my main meal plate when I was still eating. I expected to be able to take my time but felt rushed and when I paid $40 for one meal found that unacceptable. the only other concern was the lack of choice at the Karaoke. I understand that a person in Miami downloaded the karaoke selection, but it was very limited. I can understand that British musicians could be limited because of the diversity of the passengers however,it was limited even to the point of American music. There was no Abba; little Billy Joel, no Dean Martin. 4 versions of one obscure song by the Eagles and 2 versions of Sweet Caroline was the sum total of Neil Diamond songs. This is an area which could very easily be improved. Finally, I was concerned when a Drill was undertaken one day in port. A message came over the loud speakers to explain that it was only a staff drill, but the tannoy system isn't relayed into the cabins and we were asleep. We rushed to the muster station 3 decks below the cabin without getting properly dressed to be told that it was a staff drill. Perhaps a mention could be made when these drills are expected on the daily Itinerary. This could have led to some passengers panicking at the least. As an aside, the beds were too short (we are both over 5' 10" and our feet hung over the end of the bed). Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
The ship is first class, everywhere is spotlessly clean, the cabins are kept clean and tidy, the sheets, pillowslips and towels are pure white and changed frequently, as are the rubbish bins. There are various restaurants around the ... Read More
The ship is first class, everywhere is spotlessly clean, the cabins are kept clean and tidy, the sheets, pillowslips and towels are pure white and changed frequently, as are the rubbish bins. There are various restaurants around the ship, the food served is A1 first class and really cannot be faulted, do not expect English cuisine it is mainly Italian based. My only real gripe is, that unless you pay for it, water, tea and coffee is only available twice a day, in the morning at breakfast and again in the afternoon at tea time. On board activities are sparse and not very inspiring throughout the day, although the entertainment team are very congenial and at times quite funny and good for a laugh. The things that put me off the ship are, I thought going on a cruise meant everyone boarded at the departure point and all disembarked at the finish, not so, at every port of call people either left or joined the ship, it is in truth really a luxury ferry! The other problem is that at meal times in the served restaurants, the waiters show you to a table and take no regard as to the nationality of those that they seat or are seated, so it is likely that you will not be able to converse with anyone during the meal because of language difficulties, so instead of it being a pleasant experience it can be quite a drag. For my wife and I the Costa format did not work, and many of the (English) passengers told me it is probably the worst cruise line to travel on and that most other cruise lines are better. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We are not your typical cruisers. Cruising is not on our top list of ways to take a vacation. We are typically independent travelers on land. We were talked into this by our brother and sister in law and decided to go because it is a new ... Read More
We are not your typical cruisers. Cruising is not on our top list of ways to take a vacation. We are typically independent travelers on land. We were talked into this by our brother and sister in law and decided to go because it is a new ship, a relatively small ocean cruise ship, and the focus was on the ports and cities, not hanging out doing stuff on the ship. Ironically, half way through the cruise, we wanted a break from the go, go, go of all the port excursions and just spent a delightful day relaxing on board the ship. We had a deluxe veranda stateroom on the 4th deck. The accommodations were roomier than expected. We had enough drawer space and the layout was very efficient. The bathroom was lovely, super clean, and roomy with plenty of room for 2 weeks worth of clothes. The bed was very comfy and we enjoyed having a nice sitting area, plus the desk and chair, and the outdoor balcony with table and chairs. There were also plenty of electrical outlets for charging phones and computers. Lighting was also good. Internet was pretty reliable--though it sometimes got a little slow. But not enough to be annoying. This was January, but the weather was mild and the crowds were small in all the ports. It was a great time of year to travel. Having a launderette on board on each deck was convenient and they provide the laundry soap. But finding a time when the machines were available was tricky--they were in use most of the time. Only thing is you can't adjust the water temp--we put it on cold for delicates, but the water ran hot anyway. We really enjoyed all the little nooks and crannies to relax in throughout the ship. The Explorer's Lounge was a favorite. The décor was so beautiful all over and everything was designed for comfort, style, and having nice conversations or playing board games or cards , or reading while relaxing with cocktails and snacks. The main theatre was nice for various lectures, shows, and port talks. We enjoyed the special guests they had give educational lectures on art and architecture. We also enjoyed the outdoor facilities--shuffle board, Jacuzzi, infinity pool. Eating outside in winter was great--temps in the high 50s and low 60s with plenty of sun was perfect. We loved afternoon tea in the Wintergarden, although we were gone most days on shore excursions. The gym was also really nice and we used it regularly. We also took advantage of the Spa--very nice. With regard to excursions--we did 13 excursions. We learned that the local excursion guide really makes or breaks the excursion experience. Most were very good, but some were not because guudes had poor command of English language and couldn't understand questions people asked, and repeated the same things a lot because they didn't know what else to say in English. Hard for Viking to tell which are the best--to their credit they ask for formal feedback after every excursion and we know they listen. They actually refunded our money for 1 excursion that we thought had little value (we could have done much better on our own or on the included tour, rather than the optional excursion). The Viking Explorer desk where several staff help you plan excursions or adjust excursions were great. Although we had chosen our excursions beforehand, we did make several adjustments once we got on board. The Port Talks preceding each day's excursion are really useful to understand what to expect. The talks are recorded so if you miss the live version, you can watch the recording in your room at your leisure. Food and restaurants were fabulous. We had several meals at Manfredi's and Chef's Table. We traveled with another couple and were able to coordinate most of our dinners together onboard. It wasn't possible to do that beforehand. We also found The Restaurant menu and food to be great with lots of variety and we enjoyed the focus on local cuisine in each port. There really is something for everyone--they are extremely accommodating for all palates. And you can also take your meals in your room or in one of the less formal areas on deck 7. In terms of entertainment, there were wonderful classical musicians playing every day at cocktail hour and later in the evening. Plus a group of young people who sang and danced and offered a variety of performances in the theatre and on the pool deck. There were also organized trivia games, parlor games, and special guest performers (like opera singers) brought on board in some ports. We were very glad there was no casino onboard. It would have given a different atmosphere that we wouldn't have liked. In conclusion, being nontraditional cruisers, we were really extremely happy on the Viking Star. And we are already considering what our next adventure might be with Viking. We thought the value was terrific with high-quality service all around. We rated the excursions as average because some were fabulous and others not so. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Staff are wonderful, Food superb (lots of choice from Buffet - several different service statons offering different sorts of meals - so wander around first before you decide!! (preferred it to main restaurant as two sittings one is very ... Read More
Staff are wonderful, Food superb (lots of choice from Buffet - several different service statons offering different sorts of meals - so wander around first before you decide!! (preferred it to main restaurant as two sittings one is very early (18:30) and one is very late (21:15)). Gym excellent and Pilates and Yoga also on offer. Security very good. Everyone speaks english though some of the entertainment is in italian. Organisation of every part of your experience from arriving to leaving is first class and trouble free (unless you try to take an iron on board -they will find out and confiscate it!) Recommend you - buy a drinks package. Tea, Coffee, Juice available for breakfast but only water for other meals. If you dont have a package you have to pay. The paid card makes so much more sense (you can check on line what you will get - trust me it is value for money) Recommend you DONT book any excuisons before you board. For example - on your own Palma - local bus outside port (much cheaper than their shuttle), tourist office near Cathedral for maps. Ship says 5 km walk - dont think it was when we walked back along the marina and stoped off for a coffee on the way. Palermo - We took a really kitch train (you get a map) for 10 euros and then retraced the steps to have a better look at things we liked. Savona - Tourist office at Port gate - get a very good map with a tourist route around the town. Valencia - do spend your euros on a trip to the aquarium, absolutely fabulous. most undercover so good plan if rains. WIFI is available but expensive and does not work terribly well with Apple products. However, in port most cafes have free WiFi so just caught up each day over a cup of coffee on land. Anyway you are supposed to be on holiday not checking your emails!!! Quite a lot of things laid on but if you just want to chill is an incredible place to do it. Leaving port to music playing is amazing - we have a short video we took of leaving palma and still smile and cry when we watch it. As you will have gathered we had a wonderful time on this completely over the top boat - she really didnt need the Christmas decorations. We will certainly be using Costa Cruises again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015

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