58 Barcelona Gay & Lesbian Cruise Reviews

We boarded in Barcelona Spain with ports of call in Gibraltar, Sete, Nice, Florence and Corsica for a 9 day cruise. The ship could use a refresh, but everything was clean and well cared for. We had a Royal Suite which was phenomenal. I ... Read More
We boarded in Barcelona Spain with ports of call in Gibraltar, Sete, Nice, Florence and Corsica for a 9 day cruise. The ship could use a refresh, but everything was clean and well cared for. We had a Royal Suite which was phenomenal. I think we only saw our room attendant, Natasha, twice during the whole cruise, but the cabin was always spotless. Our butler, Ellie, was the best! He couldn't do enough even though I don't think we asked much. He came every morning with cappuccino and mimosas. Even thought we only had 2 sea days, we did enjoy the large balcony and private hot tub. The bed was comfortable. We had 1 minor maintenance issue which was very quickly rectified. The service thought the cruise was outstanding. We did find the food to be not as good as on previous cruises, particularly in Luminae. Not that it was bad, just not excellent. We ordered off the main dining menu most evenings because there simply wasn't much of interest on the Luminae menu. Luckily, you can still do this on the M class ships. You can't on the new Edge class! We had one mediocre meal in Tuscan and one good one. Our dinner in Quisine was great. I would note that while we generally don't dine in the buffett, we did have lunch once and the selection was very good as was the food. We didn't go to a lot of shows because we were so busy, but the few we did go to were pretty good. We are sailing on the Summit in February which has already been refit. We are looking forward to seeing the improvements. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I have done one cruise before with Disney and travelled with 3 friends, one couple who cruise often on Explorer of the Seas, and one complete newbie. Embarkation was a breeze, although our email we received days before said to show up ... Read More
I have done one cruise before with Disney and travelled with 3 friends, one couple who cruise often on Explorer of the Seas, and one complete newbie. Embarkation was a breeze, although our email we received days before said to show up between 14:30 - 15:30. We left our AirBnB in Barcelona at maybe 10:15, and were at the port shortly after. We snuck in with our friends who were in a junior suite although we were only in a CP View cabin and were given group one and told it would be a 45 minute wait or so for boarding to commence. But we were happy to have group 1. However maybe 10 minutes later they started calling group 1. By the time we made it to the elevator to the gangway they were already saying group 1-25!!! So really fast boarding. I am a complete newbie to the Oasis Class, but I did get a feeling the cruise wasn't by any means sold out though. Which would make sense at the end of the Summer season like this. The ship was impressive and lived up to the hype of the Oasis class. One thing I had read online and also that my friends who cruise on other ships also noticed along with myself is that the ship really is very interior focused, and even the few spaces on the main decks that do have windows/portholes for some reason have frosted or vinyl'd over glass. You could easily go a day on this ship and maybe only see the water once or twice. Even though the ship was two weeks away from a major dry dock and her amplification, she was in pretty good condition. Only a few niggles with the lifts sometimes not responding to button pushes. We did a few finger wipes in nooks and crannies in public areas and every-time were impressed with the cleanliness. Our cabin was fine for the two of us, although other than speaking with our steward(ess) about having our beds separated the first night, we did not really interact with her again. Dining was average in the main dining room if I am honest. It wasn't to Disney standards, and my Carbonara one night was particularly congealed which was disappointing. The wait team in the MDR were brilliant though. We also did Izumi which was great. And 150 Central Park, where the food was good, but the atmosphere and staff were a little lacking. Entertainment wise the main shows were great. Cats was a great production, but I do not understand why RCI thought this would be a good fit for the casual audience of a cruise ship. Many people left before the show even made it to the end of act 1, and even less came back. The Ice show was also great. Come fly with me made zero sense, but the cast were great. One night we ended up really enjoying which we hadn't expected to was the 70's party night in the Promenade. It just clicked and the place really came alive and everyone seemed to have a great time. Overall the service could be a bit lacking and maybe this is because the crew knew it was the end of the season and they have one more cruise after ours then a long dry dock. But that is really no excuse, in particular every time I used the Solarium Bar, I was served by the same server who seemed very unfriendly and uninterested. Shore excursions we did just one official RCI one which was Aix on your own, so it was really a commentated coach ride in and then we did our own thing (in the pouring rain sadly). Majorca was a great stop, although quick. but for me Cinque Terre at La Spezia was a highlight, stunning scenery and a great walk between two of the towns. Naples was foul, we took a train to Pompeii, but if I did another cruise that stopped in Naples, I would stay on the ship. Overall it was a good introduction to RCI, and great to be able to brag at having done one of the largest ships in the world, and the first of the famous Oasis class. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Hi there, we are Jorge (40) & Stian (42) (a.K.a the arctic husbands) from Norway, this will be our 20th cruise; second with Azamara. This is the first leg of a B2B2B. This first week we had a Club Ocean Suite stateroom. We booked ... Read More
Hi there, we are Jorge (40) & Stian (42) (a.K.a the arctic husbands) from Norway, this will be our 20th cruise; second with Azamara. This is the first leg of a B2B2B. This first week we had a Club Ocean Suite stateroom. We booked these cruises to celebrate our 10th years marriage anniversary and because after meny RCCL and Celebrity we wanted to experience Azamara again and the ports of call in the meditterannean where the big Ships cannot go PRE-CRUISE: Barcelona... One night stay in the Eurostar’s Grand Marina, next to the port where Azamara starts... so the check out, walk to the ship was a decisive factor... we have been several times in Barcelona and sightseeing was not something we needed this time around. The Hotel is OK, nice but dated rooms, a reception staff that smiles but doesn’t do their job, the best of the stay is the small restaurant offering a Gourmet dinner experience and this was a highlight of the trip... the food and the wine pairings were PERFECT... do we recommend this hotel... yes for a stay next to the port. EMBARKATION: very easy... just five minutes and then we were on board. SHIP: Pursuit is a beautiful ship. The newest of their kind... elegant, sophisticated and the color palette makes you feel happy. CABIN: for this first leg of the back to back we upgraded (at last minute) to a Club continental suite, we got 8039, perfect location and the only suite I have ever said OMG WAO when opening the door... the colours, the decoration, the style and the light. No noise problems, at least for us. SUITE CLASS PERKS: Internett: 235 minutes per guest, which is OK but slowly but after all you´re on holiday and IT works for reading emails if you ned it. Butler service: our butler Roy has been outstanding, amazing level of service when we have requested our breakfast in the suite, our tea service in the afternoon. I will post a picture of the letter in the stateroom with all of the suite perks you can get DINING: This week we just have ate dinner in Aqualina or Prime C, given that is included in the suite perks. Once we had dinner in the buffet (before the Azamazing evening) and once with the White party buffet that was AMAZING. Aqualina and Prime C quality of food and service has been really on point. Room service: we had breakfast in the rom almost everyday and it was very very very nice to have the extra space the suite provides and the balcony breakfast when it was not so cold in the early hours. BARS: For this first week we decided to buy the ultimate drinking package and it worked well for us this week. We got to try most of the included wines when having dinner, and some of the premium drinks we enjoy when on a cruise. For the second week, we decided not to buy it so we can compare the experience.... Our favorite place for drinks so far is The Den... it is just a very nice place, with some piano music on the evenings and the best bartenders and waiters. ENTERTAINMENT: This week we attended all the Signature Singers shows (3 shows) and they were good. These guys can sing and dance and keep you entertained for the 45 minutes signing along. We loved the intimacy of the cabaret lounge shows, if you´re expecting but productions shows, this is not the case and it works for Azamara. Azamazing Evening in Marseilles, Palais du Pharo. Was very entertaining, a kind of cabaret show with very french music, dancers and two great vocalists. White Evening party: we are not party people so we didn´t stay long after the White Evening Buffett ended but the party looked nice and people was enjoying themselves. All the staff makes a great effort for this event and you should not miss it. SERVICE: In general the service level around the ship is very good. Of course there are some that are just good and there are some people that just go above and beyond. SHORE EXCURSIONS & Ports of call: * Port Vendres: small, charming village, we just walked around and then found a hiking path that takes you to the other small town Collioure (or something like it). The Wall in the green areas around the Coast line is just very very very nice and easy with some amazing views. Breathtaking * Sanary Sur Mer: Beautiful town, the marina, the restaurants and cafes, it was very beautiful. We just walked around and enjoyed perplekse watching here and there. * Marseille: a vibrant city, we walked around, did some shopping and visited the Cathedral. It was great to be docked just in the center of town (or very very close) * St. Tropez: we took and organized excursion from Azamara and loved every minute; we visited Gassin and Ramatuelle and the Bertaud Bellieu wineyard for wine tasting. The guide we had has to be the most amazing guy we ever had AS a guide. We actually think we got a lecture on wine making, all about the process and the technology and traditional methods. The wine was so good we bought three bottles to take with us to the ship and enjoy in the stateroom. Also the small towns Gassins and Ramatuelle were beautiful and we got to learn about the history of the places. In Ramatuelle we enjoyed some free time that we used eating cheese and hams with a cold bottle of Rose wine from a local wine yard. It was an amazing day. The port of St. Tropez by itself, was not as expected, it was crowded and just a marina with amazing yachts, the best was the local artists selling their paintings around the marina. Beautiful paints and interesting people. * Cannes: we have been in Cannes several times so we decided to go for the Excursion of the ship to Grasse with a perfume factory visit and to St. Paul de Vence. And again we got a great guide, the visit to the perfume factory: Fragonard; this was very enriching and we could resist and bought two new Eau de Colognes with shower gels... Then we visited St. Paul de Vence and OMG this small hilltop village is just amazing, it breathes art from everywhere. The local artist and small galleries in the very narrow streets, the views from the wall of the town, the small restaurants... once again we learned about the local history with our guide and in the free time we just walked around and decided to have a very French lunch, we found a little place where they make sandwiches, so we bought a baguette with local produced cheese and ham, and sat on the wall and had our small French sandwich picnic there... just beautiful. * Monaco: Last minute changes out of Azamara control, The port authorities closed the port in Monaco so we got diverted to Nice... for the last night and day of this first cruise. We will explore a little bit of Nice today. NEXT CRUISE OFFICE: So far they have made a good job and we booked a cruise for 2021, Western Africa sailing from Cape Town to Lisboa. The benefits of booking on board make sense for us coming from the Nordic market. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Firstly this was our first cruise so we have nothing to completely judge against, however the things I will talk about was our experience. On arrival onto the ship we we’re badgered by staff wanting us to sign up to a drinks package ... Read More
Firstly this was our first cruise so we have nothing to completely judge against, however the things I will talk about was our experience. On arrival onto the ship we we’re badgered by staff wanting us to sign up to a drinks package which we had already sorted pre arrival. This also didn’t stop for a couple of days. ( by all means assist customers but make staff be seen but have customers approach staff ) We also were constantly bugged by the staff photographers constantly asking if we wanted our picture taken and even after a polite no they then pleaded ‘it will only take a few minutes ‘ whilst following us. My polite no’s were beginning to wear very thin towards the end. To add insult to injury the one time we gave in, we were then automatically charged £34.99 to our card before even seeing them. From the reception they told me it was down to me to say I didn’t want them to have the charge removed. So I was glad to keep an eye on my account on my tv in my cabin. Otherwise it would have been a shock on leaving. ( may be better for customers to say yes before charging). Each place we docked at we were badgered if we wanted taxi or sight seeing bus. All were stupid prices and you can do so much better sourcing your own public transport at great prices.... it got tiresome as they wouldn’t take no as an answer. I feel msc security/ dock security should monitor this and actively reduce this annoyance. Now the ship is an absolute beautiful design. Really took our breath away. The mid ship sky screen shows and displays were very good. The shows onboard were very very good and thoughly entertaining. And at 30 mins I feel it was too short but understand with time restrictions for the program it has to be that way. I had no issues with my premium drinks package and recommend this is purchased. The staff were all very friendly and pleasant and had no bad experiences in the dining room with food or waiting staff. The cabin ( we had a balcony) was a nice size and I would say it was a slightly smaller than the average Travelodge room but pretty much the same layout. Tv channels were slightly limited ( but who comes on holiday to watch tv ). The safe is quite tiny and we couldn’t put our iPads in it. But it was simple to use. The Bed was very comfortable with two pillows. Balcony size ok. Mini bar idea not so good. .... it is not covered on the drinks package. I think to enjoy the balcony it would be good to use from mini bar to save having to go to the bar for purchasing drinks to carry back. Most drinks in there can be from the bar anyway. ( just saves borrowing and restocking ourselves the next day early). The spa is amazing and well worth the visit. Spent most days in there for a couple of hours recovering from our days walking. However on the sea day it got very busy. Maybe it would be good if msc only allowed the package deal only people to access on sea days and offer no day pass. ( could earn more money for them and balance the numbers out for spa visitors). With the numerous relaxation areas jacuzzis and steam/ sauna rooms and ice room. Not forgetting the emotional showers there are plenty of places to relax and rest. Never gambled before and the casino was an awesome experience. Staff very friendly and when it was quiet we asked how to use tables and all was explained very well. There are serious gamblers there, and people like us who had fun with between 10-30 Euros per visit. We actually visited most nights and actually walked away with more Euro’s than we started with. The water slides were fun to use, and the pools were relaxing. And the external hot tubs on the deck were very nice also. Anyone in two minds about first time cruising, I think the ship will give you the experience that will help decide if it’s for you. And as for us......... we will stick with msc and look out for more locations this ship will visit and try out the other ships in the fleet. We have been converted to a life of cruising for sure. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We´re a gay couple from Norway (early 40´s)and this was our 19th cruise overall but FIRST transatlantic... we tried Harmony some years ago and loved it and wanted to try the Symphony + TA. We started booking a Central Park view cabin and ... Read More
We´re a gay couple from Norway (early 40´s)and this was our 19th cruise overall but FIRST transatlantic... we tried Harmony some years ago and loved it and wanted to try the Symphony + TA. We started booking a Central Park view cabin and upgraded to a Junior Suite and then to a Grand Suite. It was a good a deal, so we went for it. PRE-CRUISE: One night in Barcelona, stayed in the Acta Mimic Hotel, close to the port, good for a one night sleep. EMBARKATION: Fastest embarkation ever. we did the online thing, uploaded pictures and at the port they just scanned our sailing passes and Boom... om board in less than five. SHIP: Symphony is just Amazing... the amount of art pieces around is just incredible. Layout is perfect, that you dodn't feel the crowd around. Loved the ship overall. CABIN: we ended up upgrading ourselves to a Grand Suite slowly slowly, cabin 7254; just Amazing... loved the layout. Incredible amounts of storage space. Bathrom size perfect. Location was just perfection... close to elevators, close the the entertainment decks. SUITE CLASS PERKS: Grand Suite Cabin gives you Sky Suite Class perks: Concierge Service, All Day Access to Coastal Kitchen with reservations, Specialty Bottled Water (upon arrival), Complimentary VOOM, Priority Boarding and Departure, Priority Dining Reservations, Reserved Seating Area in Select Entertainment Venues, Suite Lounge Access (complimentary hors d’oeuvres and cocktails each evening), Access to Suite Sun Deck, Spa Bathrobes for Use Onboard, Luxury Pillow Top Mattress, Luxury Bathroom Amenities by L’Occitane. The concierge (Rahul) was amazing and fixed everything we needed in a very efficient way, the first day we just brought him a plan we wanted for our dining reservations (specialty and Coastal kitchen) and he took care of that in just few hours. The suite lounge is really a place to enjoy and relax, in our sailing there were a lot of Pinnacles (around 250) and therefore it was always crowded during the day and it kinf of annoyed us, but whatever that was not going to disturb our holiday. The only thing we missed in this suite class is having a buttler or kind of an upgraded Stateroom attendant but we managed well. Suite Sun deck with a bar and jacuzzi: perfection. DINING: • Coastal kitchen: As part of the Suite perks, we had access to CK as our main restaurant. In general we loved CK, the dinner menu changes everyday (at least for the first seven days), breakfast and lunch menus didnt change daily but t it was great we loved every single meal. The staff made its best to make us feel welcome and at home. • Windjammer: Very good and varied selection for lunch (when we were there), good quality and tastes, also good service from the waiters. • 150 Central Park: This was our choice for the first night and it was a train wreck, dinner for the two of us took around 2,5 hours and we waited almost an hour between started and main without having contact with the waiter at all, like if we were forgotten... then the waiter shows up and gives up a excuse aboput some problems in the kitchen and asked us to wait a little bit more... we did, the food came and the steaks were raw, even if Iasked a medium -raw it was still cold inside... whatever we decided to not make a problem of it, eated some of it and hqad dessert and that was it. • Chops Grille: It was good, good steaks, good service but nothing to brag about. being this the most "signature" restaurant from RCCL, they should do better. • Jamies's Italian: One of our favorites, so good at every level that we visited it twice during the cruise. The menu, the quality of the food and the service were some of the best during all the cruise. • Hooked: one of the new kids in town of the RCCL restaurants... perfection at every level... The food, service, the design of the restaurant... Just do yourself a favor if you liek seafood and eat there. • Wonderland: Incredible dinner, good service and amazing entertainment now with a mad hatter going around interacting with the tables while you enjoy dinner. • Solarium Bistro: loved the concept and easy delicious buffet dinner. • Johnny Rockets: easy going dinner but it was slowly with an almost empty restaurant. • Playmaker's (for dining): BEST BURGERS EVER. period. • El Loco Fresh: if you like (or love) Mexican food just go there, easy lunch and delicous and fresh and and and and.... Guacamole... burritos... Carnitas... BARS: as said, we bought the premium drinking package and we found it is still worth it. In general we found the service around all bars to be good with no long waiting. Best bar for us as the English pub... ENTERTAINMENT: NO SPOILERS: just go and enjoy and the shows... everything... Symphony entertainment team does a great job overall and the shows are some of the best productions we have ever seen on a ship SERVICE: I would say the service all around the ship was great. SHORE EXCURSIONS DESK: we didn´t use this so will not comment on that. CRUISE NEXT OFFICE: they did their job and we booked two future cruises with very good deals and promos DEPARTURE: VERY CAOTHIC PERIOD, the shuffle to the airport was kind of crazy and not organized at all. CONCLUSSION: we would definitely and easily sail again in the Symphony but not in Suite Class, it was great, and we loved it but comparing with other suite programs (Celebrity and NCL) you get less for your money... Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
So a group of 7 girls decided to go on a cruise for one of our friends 40th birthday, only 2/7 people has done a cruise before so it’s an amazing idea on something different to do. We boarded at Barcelona, everything went very smooth, ... Read More
So a group of 7 girls decided to go on a cruise for one of our friends 40th birthday, only 2/7 people has done a cruise before so it’s an amazing idea on something different to do. We boarded at Barcelona, everything went very smooth, the check in staff were helpful and informative, so sat at the bar waiting to be called. After looking at the info the check in desks give we head into our room, collect the cards and walk out. We then go to reception get a drink, go for an explore, then head to the top deck. That’s when it goes slightly downhill, no one knows what to do next, we didn’t know about the entertainment information or the timetable as we were so excited to go exploring we seemed to miss the little pigeonhole right next to the door, I finally understood on the last night. Not Costas fault but it’s not explained very well once onboard the ship. Also being a group on girls on a birthday weekend I think there was a few more drinks flowing than normal. At 6.30 there was a safety demonstration which lasted about 20 odd minutes, then off to dinner for 9.15pm, that was a definite eye opener so very busy, the waiter we had wasn’t at all friendly (although we later found out they can work up to 8 months and that’s without a day off), even I don’t think I could plaster a smile on my face everyday. While dining in the main buffet Michael Jackson started blaring on the loud speaker, then up out of no where all the waiters start jumping about dancing. That was amazing as it comes out of nowhere!! Food was good, although the menu can get confusing as the waiter never did explain that you can order anything and everything if you choose. We all dance the night away and that was a great first night. Next morning with a slight hangovers and an early morning wake up call as someone managed to get locked out of their room and went off with another friend in another cabin, we all shower and up we get for a buffet breakfast. I can see from the choice of breakfast that they do try to cater for different nationalities but the breakfast isn’t great to be honest. I try some pancakes and bacon and that’s it. The coffee also isn’t great as unlike the bars where they have a machine and a milk frother they don’t have in the buffet, so water or orange juice is the way forward, also they don’t have a toaster, and the bread is rock solid. You could kill a bird with it. Off we go to marseille, hmmm next time I won’t bother as there’s not overly a lot to do there, walked around, saw some buildings, forced an alcoholic drink down our neck and back on the boat. lunch at the buffer, again it wasn’t too great, rock hard bread again, some warm focaccia, pasta, and a big lump of beef with potatoes, not great if you’re a vegetarian (I’m not, but 2 of our friends are). Go to dinner at 9.15pm, this time the waiters dance to some latin songs, ver well done again. Then another repeat of the night before, more drinks and dance the night away). The 3rd morning head off to the buffet again, this time no pacncakes, I don’t eat eggs so not a lot to choose from, I grabbed 2 pieces of French bread with cinnamon and some pineapple, that will do. We get off at Savona, 1 MASSIVE tip, other than supermarkets everything else shuts at 1.30 and opens back up at 4.30, unfortunately we have to be back on the ship by 4.30 so we spent an hour walking in a group of 7, with different people trying to find a restaurant just so we can get a pizza, it didn’t go down too well but got there in the end. Back on the ship, more drinks, a lot more passengers so the bar on deck 9 was a complete nightmare, then off we go again. Down to shower, off to the 9.15pm dinner, waited until 10pm to ask the waiter what time will the dancing be on tonight, he tells us there won’t be any, shame, so we all thanked him, 3 went off to bed, 4 of us decided to pop off to the casino. Within half hour our 50€ was spent and off to the bar we go. A few more drinks down our necks an the conversation turned to the bar staff. When we took 5 minutes out of our busy lives to see the amount they work, the stuff they have to put up with, and the hours they work on a daily basis, I’m so grateful for my life. The amount of time they’re away from home, they don’t see their families for months and months at a time. While we go on holiday they’re there at our beck and call when we want a drink or service. So thank you Henry and Danny for that night. So last morning just before we go to Barcelona, we set our alarms to make the restaurant breakfast. I do wish I’d gone there before but to be there by 9 is a bit of a deal breaker, unfortunately again we had a not so friendly waiter and had to be called about 3 times before he would come over to serve, at least it was nice. Back to the room to get our stuff as we had to be out by 10. We decided to go back to deck 9, as we started off from there a few more Prosecco to finish up the holiday, and off we go to the shops, pay our bill at the desk and get ready to leave. As they bleep mine and my roommates cats and unfamiliar buzz goes off, we’re not allowed to leave but everyone else disembarked, so back off to the desk to sort the cards out. Cards done and out we go. The 2 of us are last to pick up our luggage go through everything and my friend realizes she’s had some money stolen from her case. Do not leave any money in your case. There’s signs around saying the same so I don’t know what was going through her mind at that time when she left the case outside the door the night before. You HAVE to leave your cases outside of the room the night before for them to collect it. They advise to leave the cases the night before by 12 midnight and no later than 1am, but I witnessed them not coming until 3.30 am. Do not leave anything valuable at all. There’s always people workers and non workers wandering the hallways so could have been anyone. I also had stuff taken but luckily not money. Anyway other than the little hiccup at the end it all went well. I also missed the last day lunch as I was too busy booking my next cruise onboard. This time as a family, so hopefully the next one will be a little less partying and a little less hangovers. On the last note, be aware that if you suffer from rocking on land, It’s been 48 hours and I still don’t feel great and I’m still rocking and swaying. Maybe I was a little hasty in booking the next one but I’m sure I’ll be over it then. Read Less
Sail Date October 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
This was my first cruise and my partner's fourth cruise, but first on Norwegian. I had expectations of a crowded buffet with flavor similar to that of Golden Coral. I was pleasantly surprised to find the food at the buffet (Garden ... Read More
This was my first cruise and my partner's fourth cruise, but first on Norwegian. I had expectations of a crowded buffet with flavor similar to that of Golden Coral. I was pleasantly surprised to find the food at the buffet (Garden Cafe) as well as their main dining rooms (Taste and Manhattan Room) were excellent. Each day their food choices were new, everything was fresh and had great flavor. The entertainment on board was excellent. The cruise director was awesome and fostered an environment of fun and relaxation. The room was clean, well laid out and well decorated. The fitness center had so much equipment and the view was amazing! The shows on board were excellent, they offered a circus, a musical, a comedy magic show, a ballroom dance performance, dueling pianos and many many more live options. The itinerary included, Naples, Rome, Pisa, Cannes and Palma Majorca and Barcelona as well as one sea day. Honestly, the sea day was one of my favorite days because we had so much fun on board the ship. The only areas were I would offer some ideas to improve are: 1) a bigger pool. The Epic has three water slides which were really fun, but the pools on board a smaller. 2) I wish there had been clearer instructions on how far the ports were from the train stations and transportation if guests were not participating in excursions. I give Norwegian's staff 5/5 stars, the food 5/5, and the entertainment 5/5. Really excellent trip. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Having experienced a Viking river cruise 2 years ago, we thought we would try an ocean cruise. We arrived at the departure city 10 days in advance to explore and enjoy - then went to the ship. Vueling Airlines (normally I would not name ... Read More
Having experienced a Viking river cruise 2 years ago, we thought we would try an ocean cruise. We arrived at the departure city 10 days in advance to explore and enjoy - then went to the ship. Vueling Airlines (normally I would not name an airline - but this organization deserves to be mentioned) lost one of our bags and the folks at Viking went the extra distance (literally - from Monte Carlo to Nice) to recover the bag even though they were NOT part of the problem. Customer service was perseverant and excellent! Following the official christening a week prior, we were the first passengers to experience this brand new ship - and what a treat it was! These folks know what it costs to offer a 5 star trip and do not nickel and dime you along the way. Viking does not do anything on the 'cheap'. They truly make it a 5 star experience. Just prior to arrival, we were informed by e-mail that we had a complimentary upgrade to a Penthouse Veranda Stateroom (possibly because we had sailed with Viking in the past). Cabins are very comfortable and spacious with lots of storage within. Little things like a heated bathroom floor are abundant and well thought out. The cabin attendants are quick, thorough and very well trained. The ship graciously provides you with a list of the room's contents...and relative value should you decide to tuck something in your suitcase upon departure. You are free to bring whatever alcoholic beverages with you - unlike the other lines that depend on the 'booze packages' to top up their tills! Every palate is taken into account - from gourmet to buffet - the menus are fresh, innovative, varied and absolutely delicious. Evening menus featuring local cuisine, appropriate wines and attentive table service is spot on! For some reason, my wife and I expected an upper end IKEA atmosphere - instead, we got Neiman Marcus (on steroids). Each of Vikings ocean ships have their own unique venue within. In this case, it is an astrological domed theatre featuring well produced movies on space and the arctic experience. An intimate gathering with comfortable seating and about 6 projectors to generate a state of the art presentation. It is kept fairly cold so may want to bring a jacket - or the cashmere blanket from your stateroom! Every member of the staff from the Captain to the maintenance man looks you straight in the eye and says hello - and asks (sincerely) how your day is going. If a member of the staff is not working up to expectation - they seem to disappear for a day - then surface a day later with a broad smile, attitude adjustment and increased efficiency. They do not treat the passengers with an underlying distain that many cruise line staff seem to purvey. When asked "What's it like to work for Viking?" without fail, they are very complimentary about the personnel management policies, hours of work, perks and staff accommodation. The majority of the guides hired for the on-shore excursions are, educated, entertaining, enthusiastic, and experienced. Accents can be a bit of a challenge from time to time but Viking expects a report card at then end of the tour ensuring that the guide performed up to Viking expectations. Unfortunately the shipboard WiFi can be a little flakey if you are using your own laptop of cell phone. There is a bank of 6 hardwired computers on the main deck along with a printer should you happen to need one. In summation, we expected great - and got an 'over the top' experience. Viking deserves the accolades it receives from the various travel organizations. Would we spend this much again for a cruise? If it is with Viking, the answer is yes! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
i am just back from Carnival Horizon ship. this is my fourth cruise with Carnival and the ship is amazing. the atmosphere was so happy and cool, the service all over the ship was fantastic, food was great in the buffet as well as in ... Read More
i am just back from Carnival Horizon ship. this is my fourth cruise with Carnival and the ship is amazing. the atmosphere was so happy and cool, the service all over the ship was fantastic, food was great in the buffet as well as in the beautiful dining room. also recommnded to eat at Bonsai, we had a great time there and definitely go to the pig & anchor pub which offers 4 kinds of homemade draft beers. the rooms are large and bright, the casino was big and very active and fun was all over including the shows and the comdian which i highly recommend to go at least one night. the hamburgers are big wow!! the ice cream is unforgettable ... i didn't sail with kids but i saw so many features that they will love! skyride, waterslides, video games, IMAX and many more. well done to Carnival! it's definitely best value for money !!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This was our first ever cruise, a 7 night round-trip from Barcelona. The cruise director and the crew seemed to have renamed the ship "The Beautiful Symphony of the Seas" and wow, were they right in that description! Upon ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise, a 7 night round-trip from Barcelona. The cruise director and the crew seemed to have renamed the ship "The Beautiful Symphony of the Seas" and wow, were they right in that description! Upon boarding we were quite overwhelmed by the sight of the Royal Promenade, the lights, the atmosphere and happily accepted glasses of bubbly from a nearby waiter. Winding back a few minutes, check-in at Barcelona was less than smooth. Having checked-in online, submitting our photos and credit card details it was a bit weird to have to do all that again at the desk but that's a minor gripe. Our stateroom became available at 1pm and our bags followed not long afterwards. We were very impressed with it, spotless and pristine, as you'd expect from a new ship. Ample storage, comfortable large bed and a lovely balcony, it was a perfect base for our travels. The soundproofing was good, we barely heard anyone else either through the walls or door. Our corridor was near a busy kitchen but you could only tell when outside the room. Food was generally good. We used the Windjammer buffet a few of times for breakfast or lunch, a cheery welcome strongly encouraging guests to wash their hands before eating, good to see. The choice and quality was good and we had no concerns over the time the food was around. Each station was well staffed and the crew seemed to be on top of keeping things hot and stored correctly. We were a little taken aback by the behaviour of fellow guests, seeing people have their tables taken by others whilst at the buffet was a little inappropriate. Others seemed to take far more than they ever intended to eat but I guess that's probably a common occurrence on cruises. We tried the main dining room for the first two nights, having chosen My Time Dining we were on deck 4. Unfortunately on both occasions we were sat right at the back of the area in a small wing adjacent to the kitchen, so noise from there and constant traffic of servers affected the ambiance negatively. The food was a little disappointing. I am vegetarian but was happy with the look of the menu - 2 or 3 starters and 1 or 2 mains each evening. I had read about a veggie Indian dish being available and I ordered that which as delicious. The second day I chose a pasta dish which was simply awful. Stodgy, over-cooked and contained eight (!) whole garlic cloves. The server in the main dining room, remembered serving me a vegetarian curry the night before but still recommended a meat dish from the menu for me! No big deal but the vibe, service and food quality persuaded us to look at other options for the rest of the week. We tried the Solarium Bistro for evening meal which was very nice. A smallish buffet venue but with good staff serving drinks. The choice was varied and the quality was good. One drawback was most food was portioned into small dishes making plating up and transporting food tricky! Great views at the front of the ship from deck 15 as the sun set. On day 3 we thought we should try some of the specialty offerings for dinner. Not having booked any packages asked if they were still available. Certainly was the reply, $88 for 3 nights, which I thought was pretty good value. 150 Central Park was a beautifully-styled room and the food was pretty good. Service a little inattentive but generally a good experience. Jamie's Italian I love. We have quite a few of them in the UK and we've found that they've really gone downhill in the last 18 months or so but I thought hey, I'm sure Jamie will have trained the crew of this new ship well! And I was right, everything was excellent, the bruschetta, the garlic bread, the pasta, the fish. A really memorable experience with a buzzing atmosphere, loved it. Hooked was our third on our last night, primarily for my wife who loves seafood. She had crab cake, chowder and whole lobster! I'd asked about veggie ahead of the meal and they said they'd make anything for me so (spot a theme...) I asked for some pasta! And it looked remarkably like the one they were making at the pasta station in the Solarium Bistro... but it tasted good and that's all that matters really. Our server, Richard, was the sweetest thing, friendly, helpful and ordering appropriate sides without asking. The ship itself was fabulous. Very well thought out and designed. I'm sure there were thousands of guests but it rarely felt like it. We watched the theatre show Hairspray and were very impressed with the production. The bars were varied and decorated wonderfully. We particularly enjoyed the Schooner Bar with the resident pianist Paul O'Shea playing most evenings into the small hours. He was a real highlight, talented, amusing and gently amenable, even when a fellow guest seemed to request Bohemian Rhapsody every night... Other bars we liked were Dazzles, with an enjoyable live band, On Air for the odd chuckle at the Karaoke and the Bionic Bar for a fun evening kick-off with a robot delivered cocktail. The Rising Tide Bar moving between decks 5 and 8 was a cool place to soak up the view of the promenade and rise up to see the stars. The itinerary was packed, every day bar day 6 was a port day but we found ourselves rushing back to enjoy the ship more often than not having travelled well throughout Europe many times previously. So exciting and this trip will certainly change our holiday habits in future, a fabulous break and one we can't wait to do again. Very impressed with RCCL and the ship, we recommend it wholeheartedly and we will return. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We spent 4 days in Barcelona before joining the ship. Enjoyed the city tremendously. We wanted to do a Transatlantic cruise and I loved the cruising and the long days at sea. Fabulous time meeting new folks and would absolutely do the ... Read More
We spent 4 days in Barcelona before joining the ship. Enjoyed the city tremendously. We wanted to do a Transatlantic cruise and I loved the cruising and the long days at sea. Fabulous time meeting new folks and would absolutely do the TA cruise again. Malaga was amazing! Although the Azores wasn't on the original itinerary, I really enjoyed the stop there. We planned nothing until we got to ports and really found some great activities and had some new adventures. There were over 4000 people on this cruise and I think the crew did their very best to accommodate everyone however, the food was often cold and it was very crowded in the dining areas, so if your food was hot when you got it by the time you found a seat to sit at your food was cold. The track is on Deck 7. Only on one side of the ship. It was crowded, small, smelly and hot. I was on the Norwegian Sun this summer and the track went around the entire deck of the ship, it was cold, rainy and windy on the Alaskan cruise and walking around that track was preferable to this one. The Debarkation was awful. We were in line to leave at 7:30 and didn't leave the ship until 9am. We were sent to start a new line and waited there for over an hour - I have never seen such a clusterf*ck like this before. I also asked for some water and got a deer in the headlights look. Finally persuaded someone to get a cup for me. They were serving coffee but it was as if it was too much trouble to get water!! Apparently, once the magic time to get off the ship comes, the customer service is gone. I saw people from our ship still commenting hours after they were suppose to get off. Many of our friends missed their planes. The entertainment and shows were wonderful. I was amazed at the number of things to do on this ship and was never bored. If people were bored on this ship they were not looking for things to do. However, they need to change the way people sign up for events. We were often told things were sold out but when we got there to go standby there was always room. Way to many people sign up for things and then don't show up. Change the system to fix it. The IConcierge app needs some work but it was great to have. My friends and I use the messaging part and love being able to find our family and friends anytime we were looking for them. Only had trouble with one bartender he usually worked the Atrium bar and if he had his favorite customers there who were tipping cash to get his attention he couldn’t see you! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Having sailed most of my other cruses from Southampton it was refreshing and a great add to sail from Barcelona although flights here can be a little bit of a pain from Manchester! I will never fly in a Ryan Air Plane again! ... Read More
Having sailed most of my other cruses from Southampton it was refreshing and a great add to sail from Barcelona although flights here can be a little bit of a pain from Manchester! I will never fly in a Ryan Air Plane again! Travelling with my partner and friends we have a fantastic time on and off the ship. Staff are wonderful and work hard at getting this done for you most of the time. Unless you are complaining about the internet service then they first make you feel it is your issue then the satellite they switched to but took 24 hours and a lot of complaining to get them to admit they had technical issues and were working on it and we did receive a 2 day refund as we had paid for the full 14 days! The entertainment and services were fantastic. The food in the Windjammer was the worst I have ever experienced. A total Lack of Good Asian Food in Jade. The English Sausage left me laughing most mornings. The food on the rest of the ship was however of a very good standard. The airport Transfer at the end of the cruise was like dropping into Hell itself kept waiting an hour while the lone driver loaded the luggage with no aircon at all the 12 min journey was just hell! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
My brother badly needed a vacation. He chose the cruise line and excellent itinerary. Concerns: Compared with their CELEBRITY Line ships (Reflection/Summit/Equinox), small things like no cabin toiletries (shampoo dispenser & mini ... Read More
My brother badly needed a vacation. He chose the cruise line and excellent itinerary. Concerns: Compared with their CELEBRITY Line ships (Reflection/Summit/Equinox), small things like no cabin toiletries (shampoo dispenser & mini soaps however); tracking use of pool towels with SeaPass ($25 if not logged in for a return), and limited hours on some of the food venues were disappointments with RCCI. Also it seemed as though the "perks" we enjoy on Celeb and Holland American did not exist here. Also service at the pools was more limited, with fewer assigned employees. --Even specialty restaurants had many same items as main dining room, and charged extra for lobster and other items above & beyond extra fees! Pluses: SERVICE FOR THE CABIN, BARS AND MINISTREL DINING ROOM was exceptional. Shawn and Arturo were memorable! THE HELIPORT was always available on our strolls (unlike other ships where as VIPs we got access for sail-away receptions on the heliports). The mini-movie theater is a nice discovery--better than the jumbotron theater screen for movies around the pool in the evenings. SPECIAL SOUPS AND STEWS in huge hollow bread bowls in the King and Crown Bar are a great find (as was the $5 beer special and 2 for 1 marguerite specials in Rita's section of the cafeteria made nice discoveries friends had not found until alerted. SUM: A good time; unusual entertainment and cruise director & assistant with limitless energy & enthusiasm. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
When we want a vacation that leaves us with a smile on our faces and a desire for more, and when we want to be treated with great devotion - we sail with the Royal Caribbean. Our experience on the Freedom ship proved that our choice was ... Read More
When we want a vacation that leaves us with a smile on our faces and a desire for more, and when we want to be treated with great devotion - we sail with the Royal Caribbean. Our experience on the Freedom ship proved that our choice was perfect. The cells are comfortable and tidy, the dining rooms have plenty of food that anyone can find what he likes. The crew of the ship, including chamberlains, waiters, serving in bars, and the entertainment staff, were wonderful and did everything possible to make this cruise a dream. The pools and jacuzzi are very cozy, and there is one Jacuzzi pool open all night. The rescuers are very careful to look at the bathers all the time to check their safety, water is distributed everywhere and there is strict sterilization and cleanliness, so that all of us will return safely. We are confident that we will return to another voyage. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Highly recommended to take this cruise and make a great memory. You can get there whatever you need for your vacation, you get the chance to visit different cities. You can see super organised people and process everywhere. Good service ... Read More
Highly recommended to take this cruise and make a great memory. You can get there whatever you need for your vacation, you get the chance to visit different cities. You can see super organised people and process everywhere. Good service and respect is the major factors which can highlight this brand. Take the chance and enjoy your time in a luxury cruise. Cabin are very large like a hotel room. The food special meat type was really nice and you can do any kind of sports on the cruise. The timing of arrival in city is very nice just right after breakfast, you can leave and explore the area. The staff are super friendly and you can notice a professional supervision on main dining room which makes the service very good. The drinks is being charged which is a drawback of the cruise as well as poor internet service which is kind of high price as drawbacks. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We went on this cruise because my mother hadn't been on holiday for over 20 years as she is disabled and finds it hard to find holidays to suit her and the ship catered for disabled people so she asked if we wanted to accompany her, ... Read More
We went on this cruise because my mother hadn't been on holiday for over 20 years as she is disabled and finds it hard to find holidays to suit her and the ship catered for disabled people so she asked if we wanted to accompany her, we wouldn't of picked a cruise ourselves as i have never been good on boats,but we of course went to assist her so that she could enjoy a holiday. We were very surprised how amazing it was the staterooms were a decent size mind you we had deluxe balcony ocean views and the balconys were big the views were outstanding.The whole ship was beautifully decorated a bit old style but kept very clean.The food was extremely good and plenty of soft drinks and hot beverages, but you have to be careful as even though we had supposedly paid for all inclusive food and certain alcohol it appeared that we paid for quite a bit including wine in the main dining room.We should have had some sort of meeting when we arrived so that we knew which places on the ship supplied the free drink ,there are no kettles in your staterooms as it is a fire hazard so you have to go to one of the dining rooms to get your tea, you can have room service and the continental breakfast is free but in the small print you get charged a fee for the room service added to your card you carry with you every where, there are a lot of hidden charges including bottles of water. The entertainment was very good always different things to see and do day and night.Just to say don't bother taking your tuxedo suit or long dresses we were told we had to wear formal evening wear tuxedo for men and dresses for women so we bought the outfits at quite a bit of expense we wouldn't normally wear that attire but made an effort and were very annoyed to see that the men mainly just wore smart shirts with and without ties, and women wore some lovely dresses but not over the top just smarts don't worry about the formal notice. The trips were amazing but not very disabled friendly streets the worst being florence were we had to lift my mothers scooter up all the high kerbs and hardly any ramps any where it is medieval not suitable for disabled! The trips apart from that were great the staff are very helpful and overall we had great first cruise we will defiantly think of going on another ones you can see so many more places in one hit. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This was our second sailing on the Equinox, the first was our honeymoon in 2010 and this was also my 61st cruise.. Celebrity certainly is a notch above most other lines, from the welcome aboard champagne to the décor and the smiles of ... Read More
This was our second sailing on the Equinox, the first was our honeymoon in 2010 and this was also my 61st cruise.. Celebrity certainly is a notch above most other lines, from the welcome aboard champagne to the décor and the smiles of MOST staff. Entertainment overall is very good with something for everyone but not necessarily will everyone like everything. The dining room My Time Dining was very efficient if you were strategic about the times you wanted to dine. The hostess always tried to put us in the same vicinity of the same servers, when possible. The food was mediocre, simply put. A fair selection but just mediocre. DO NOT ORDER A STAEK AND EXPECT A RESTAURANT QUALITY STEAK!!! Overall the ship furnishings are starting to show signs of wear and need some to be changed out. NOW the disappointments! Michaels Club has been closed to all except Suite Guests. Even Elite guests cannot use this lounge area. BE PREPARED TO GO PREMIUM!!! While Celebrity is offering classic drink packages almost everything is an upsell. An additional $11.80 per person per day for a decent drink OR you can upgrade by the drink So if you want to sit at the Martini bar and order ANY Martini or wine it's an additional $4.78 per drink. If you want a Chanson Champaign it's an upsell of $2.00. plus 18% grat for a 4 oz pour. NOW if you want to order a non alcoholic ZERO Vitamin water you cannot get it on the classic package and will have to pay $4.50 each. As a comparison I purchase these every week at the local supermarket for $.99 each. RIPOFF!!! The bottom line is that the economical way to do this is to upgrade to premium for $10 plus 18% a day per person or be hit with charges that ultimately will be higher than that doing it individually. It only take 3 to 4 drinks a day to break even with the premium package. Just plan on a couple of hundred more for your cruise. As an Elite I received a "FREE" Gelato. However if you ordered the Gelato as an ice cream sandwich with 2 cookies it wasn't free and the upcharge was $4.95. REALLY!!! The staff overall was very good. Some better than others. There is a more severe language barrier than I have experienced on Celebrity in the past and other lines. Some of the staff has issues making eye contact with guests and you are simply met with a nod of the head and they wait for you to tell them what you would like to order. They hand you the item and walk away. Not good interaction and certainly not what I have experienced on Celebrity in the past. Something is broken here. There is no question that cruise lines that have gone to the "all inclusive" drink package programs have lost touch with the guests because they have pre sold the liquor and other items, so now it's the upsell. They no longer are interested in what is ordered or the level of service because it's already been sold and includes the gratuity. Sea days were very crowded on the open decks. Deck chairs were placed side by side and it was a sea of humanity. Too crowded for an enjoyable day. The solarium pool was nice and quiet but the AC temps were so cold people were laying under blankets and towels. The ports on this sailing were good. Grand Cayman was very quite as were all the ports. GC was quiet because it was a Sunday and most businesses were closed. beaches were uncrowded. We were the only ship in each port we visited. Aruba and Curacaos were great and Bonaire didn't entice us enough to get off the ship. Many guests came back to the ship early and were disappointed with Bonaire. NO FLAMINGOS!. Yes indeed I would sail Celebrity again. Yes I am happy I went and really did enjoy myself, however I didn't come home with the WOW factor that is typical of almost every other cruise I have take, I just booked a 15 day Princess Panama Canal cruise for November. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
My husband and I decided that we wanted to take a cruise this year to celebrate my 50th birthday. We found a small gay group online that had this ship and itinerary and this being our first cruise, we thought it would be better to go with ... Read More
My husband and I decided that we wanted to take a cruise this year to celebrate my 50th birthday. We found a small gay group online that had this ship and itinerary and this being our first cruise, we thought it would be better to go with a group of people that while we did not know, we would be familiar with. We initially were in a mini suite with balcony, but about 45 days before departure, received an email to bid for an upgrade. As this was a big birthday, we decided to bid and bid on 3 rooms, aft penthouse suite, deluxe owner's suite and spa suite. While I won't tell you the amount of the bids, we bid in the lower part of the suggested bid pricing. To our amazement, we got the owner's suite! The final cost was approximately twice what our original cabin cost was. As I am a total nerd, I read this forum and others to find out about Norwegian as well as the ship. I admit at first I was a bit concerned because of quite a bit of negative reviews and feedback about this ship, food, staffing, etc. I will tell you about our experience from the moment we arrived at the docks in Barcelona: Firstly, since we were in the Haven, we went through security along with all of the passengers, but it was quick and did not take much time. We arrived at about 11:45am so there were quite a lot of people embarking. Once we were through security, we presented our confirmation slips and were escorted right to the Haven check-in. I should go back a few days; we were called by the concierge desk at Norwegian as we were headed to the airport. We spoke with a lovely agent who asked us what type of pillows we would like (firm, soft, temp control, down, etc), then asked what type of liquor we would like (we got 3 complimentary bottles of our choosing), as well as what type of snacks we would like when we arrived. Such a pleasant surprise. Once we were checked in (there was no one in front of us), we were escorted to a holding room for less than 5 minutes before we were taken aboard the ship. We were taken to a priority elevator and went right up to the 16th floor. We went into the Epic Lounge for a few moments before then getting a tour of the Haven and all of the amenities, private pool & decks, bars, restaurant, gym, etc. We then had lunch in the Epic Dining Room. We simply presented our room keys and everything was taken care of. Our first meat was quite impressive, as was the service and the room was very elegant. After lunch we were taken to our stateroom. What an impresson! We were in 17004 and it was literally at the top front of the ship with a double balcony on the side. I am uploading photos and will provide a link once done. We met our butler, Maria and cabin steward, Michael and both were pleasant and gracious. As this was our first cruise, I can say we set the bar very high! We had more storage than even we could use (and we packed heavy because we believe in dressing appropriately for dinners out and evening wear). Since there were hardly anyone else on the ship at this point, we explored it with hardly seeing anyone. There are other forums here to see about the shops, pool, etc, so I won't go into much detail. As far as food, we ate most of our meals in the Epic Dining Room. The service and food quality was absolutely top notch and we found it to be the best on the ship. We did eat at Cagney's Steakhouse and had a very good meat there. We also ate at the French bistro and it was just ok. We ate at the Teppenyaki room once also and again, just ok. We found the boat was crowded outside of the Haven, but not too crushing. We did not eat at any buffets (just not our thing), but heard some stories that would not encourage us to try them. We did have a group dinner in the Manhattan Room one night and it was not nearly as good as the Haven, both from a food quality as well as service perspective. We had fun in the Casino and won a slot tourney! We went to Burn the Floor and it was outstanding! Honestly, with the shore excursions and fun we met with new friends we did not have enough time to do everything that was offered! Our concierge had no problem getting us seats in any restaurant or show that we wanted to go to. We also did take advantage of priority embark/disembark on and off the ship. Big plus! Also found that our key card could call an elevator and give us priority to our floor (we opted to wait with others using the elevator as we found once we used our card, the other floors were removed) kinda cool though in a rockstar kinda way. The Haven bartenders on the top deck, Andy & Nelson were awesome! Knew our names day one (as did almost all of the staff) and remembered our drink preferences as soon as we arrived and kept the glasses full the entire time. Also passed out fresh fruit skewers and would spray us with water while laying on the sunbeds. Sweet! The Haven never felt crowded or full at all and contrary to other reviews, children were not a problem and for the most part well behaved the entire time. We had breakfast in our cabin on days with shore excursions (we did these privately, not through the ship) and ordered from the Epic dining room menu (except one day) and it was perfect to eat while getting up early and ready to start the day. We did order pizza one night after the club and that was yummy too. Our butler,Maria was awesome! On the first day she asked us our preferences for mid day and evening appetizers and we requested: fresh brewed iced tea with lemon cheese and sausage fruit M&M's from that day on, we had these (and usually 2-3 other things) waiting for us when we came back to the room. We also had guests over to our room a few nights and Maria brought us additional passed snacks, additional ice, glassware and whatever else we needed. This has compared with some of the best hotels we have stayed in from a service perspective. Also, the room was cleaned spotless twice a day. We tipped Maria, Michael and Andy and Nelson on day one ($40 and $20 each), then another $80 for Maria and Michael and $20 each for Andy and Nelson on the last day. Also $60 for the concierge. The service was flawless. We had a great time overall and the Epic was truly Epic in many ways. Our Haven experience made all the difference and we have already booked a trip on the new Bliss for next year and will only travel Haven from now on. We work hard in our careers and have no problem paying a bit extra for the enhanced service and food. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
I just loved my cruise, always so many people that are negative, but I had a great time onboard. And the ports on this is just so interesting.. We had booked excursions in almost every port, and they wore great.. the only thing that was a ... Read More
I just loved my cruise, always so many people that are negative, but I had a great time onboard. And the ports on this is just so interesting.. We had booked excursions in almost every port, and they wore great.. the only thing that was a little down, was the queueing to get the sticker, but as soon as you got that, it took no time to get out of the ship and to the waiting bus. The food was good, and I did like the Manhattan room best for dinner, I dont like the atmosphere at Taste. The noodle bare is also very good for a quick bite, and I love the Italian.. the view from there is so nice. I did found th staff to be very nice, just talk to them and be like a normal person, and they will smile and give you super service, ( I always see so many demanding and rude persons, and if you are one you dont deserve good service) Entertainmetn onboard was sooo good, I love Pricilla, and I saw that 3 times, it is way better onboard that on Westend. Burn the floor is amazing as well, the dancers wore fantastic. waites I always got bar service quick and waiters was around always to serve you drinks. This was my second time on the Epic, I like this ship, and I cant wait to go bat on the TA in November. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Ship is GORGEOUS! We were in Explorer Suite 5000 at the very bow of the ship and it was perfect. A small bit of trouble with the AC in the living room, but that is the only complaint. The gentlemen taking care of us were great. Free ... Read More
Ship is GORGEOUS! We were in Explorer Suite 5000 at the very bow of the ship and it was perfect. A small bit of trouble with the AC in the living room, but that is the only complaint. The gentlemen taking care of us were great. Free laundry and pressing a super feature. The staff service was wonderful and very personal, especially the Guest Services manager. Food in the specialty restaurants was wonderful and we were able to go there whenever we wished; main restaurant was about normal for a good ship....nothing special. Included wine in every restaurant was quite good. Guest lecturers were excellent and added much to the port stops. Entertainment was surprisingly good for a ship this size. Decor everywhere was extremely tasteful with subtle touches everywhere....nothing gaudy. Had to cancel one port because of weather, but you always take that chance when cruising. Included excursions were average at best, but the fairly expensive optional excursions were great. I needed a small mobility scooter for excursions and they were most helpful to me. Going one day to Omaha Beach in Normandy in pouring rain, wind and cold (just like it was on D Day), to Giverny and Monet's gardens the next day in the sun was an unbelievable contrast .... one I'll never forget. We have cruised mostly Oceania, Regent and Silversea until now, liking Oceania the best. I can honestly say that Viking Ocean is right up there with Oceania, though quite different. They do need to get the shore staff up to par. They made tons of mistakes ....everyone agreed. But once on board all was great. Embarkation and disembarkation were a breeze. They even let us keep all our luggage with us, then sent someone to get it and us at 9:00 and straight to a cab they had arranged. The whole experience is VERY Scandinavian. We will definitely be back. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This was a cruise with friends and I really enjoyed myself. The cabin was roomy and clean. All the staff were great and helpful. It caters more to Italians than North Americas and British Ship left and arrived at all ports on time. ... Read More
This was a cruise with friends and I really enjoyed myself. The cabin was roomy and clean. All the staff were great and helpful. It caters more to Italians than North Americas and British Ship left and arrived at all ports on time. Didn't pay for any excursions as it was simple to do it yourself. Genova, bus outside 10 euros were tour and hop on and off. Rome bus to train station 2 euros and return trip to Rome 13 euros return. Open top bus in Rome 18 euros. Total 33 euros. Very easy and lots did it this way. Sicilly walked from ship into town centre easy. 15 minute's. Restaurant food was good. However the buffet Bora Bora was very busy and the good luke warm. Smoking is also permitted on one half of the casino. However it drifts to the other side and is very unpleasant to non smoker's. Would I use this cruise company again yes. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Pleased to report the NCL Epic is still my favorite NCL ship. The refurb looks great. This was my fourth Epic TA cruise, sailing in Haven - 16016, a 2 bedroom, 2 bath suite. This was a 13-night trip. I was traveling solo with a ... Read More
Pleased to report the NCL Epic is still my favorite NCL ship. The refurb looks great. This was my fourth Epic TA cruise, sailing in Haven - 16016, a 2 bedroom, 2 bath suite. This was a 13-night trip. I was traveling solo with a roommate, and part of a larger group of friends. Embarcation in Barcelona was a breeze. Disembarcation in Port Canaveral was disorganized and chaotic. Even the port ride\bus pickup area was a crap shoot of disorder. The suite was very comfortable with room to spare. The balcony was compatible to other cabins on the ship - with 2 chairs and a small table. Haven offers a room steward, a room butler, and a concierge. All were pleasant, attentive, and approachable. The Epic Haven excels from the other NCL Haven spaces. Epic offers a large and proper cocktail lounge, a large dining room, a casual snake area and bar, a wonderful gym, sauna and stream room area. There are 2 hot tubes and a pool If you never want to leave Epic Haven, you would be in a good place. On this trip, there were 2 families with 3 children in the Haven. All children were very well behaved and traveling with parents who were on the ball. Kudos to them for a job well done. As a passenger in Haven, the POSH sun deck is also available. Posh offers lounge chairs and tables on 2 decks (18 and 19) with a full bar, I did eat breakfast in the Haven dining room every day, as well as several lunches and a few dinners. The dining room staff was perfectly friendly and attentive. The lounge bartender, Diego, was a pure joy, a mixologist supreme. I did eat Cagney's several times and found the service good but inconsistent. The staff\kitchen could not seem to delivery main entries with the sides. This was a problem whether it was a table of 3 or a large group (22 people). Epic needs to address this. Moderno only once (it never was my favorite), La Cucina, 3 times and loved it each time. Taste for lunch twice, and snaked in the Garden Cafe (which I have always enjoyed). Prisilla, Queen of the Desert show was a great time. The cast and crew pulled it all out. I repeated this show 2 more times. The audience really enjoyed the performances laughing and applauding throughout the show. Barricade Boys featured 4 singers who sing popular songs and was enjoyable. Burn the Floor is a not to miss and is my favorite show on any ship. Epic does have a wonderful spa and gym area (deck 14). We took the bus tour in Tenerife which was fun as we were with our larger group. In San Juan PR we walked around Old San Juan on our own eating lunch in a local restaurant. The weather on the TA was great, not too hot nor too cool. We did have 1 rainy day which allowed us to play Monopoly. NCL Epic, as on many lines, offers a daily Friends of Dorothy cocktail "meeting" which were all very well attended. The meetings started in the Shakers lounge which was too small for the turnout and demand. Due to the overwhelming demand, the ship relocated the meetings to the Bliss lounge. This was very much appreciated. Epic is a great time. I recommend a sail on her. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We decided to book this cruise very well in advance (a year or so) to try the newest and biggest ship even though we are not fans of this size of ships. This was a Family cruise with a party of five, both of us (38 and 39) with around 16 ... Read More
We decided to book this cruise very well in advance (a year or so) to try the newest and biggest ship even though we are not fans of this size of ships. This was a Family cruise with a party of five, both of us (38 and 39) with around 16 cruises; and the in laws (51 and 65) and a teenager boy (17), for them their second cruise. for both of us this was more about the Ship than the ports of call and she did not dissapoint. In general I would say that we were really amazed and surprised by the ship, she is a true beauty in every aspect and also really really big, HUGE i would say. the art around the ship is really cool and give you sometimes the WAO factor, loved the comics style in the toilets around the ship. Embarkation: we did the online check in and uploaded the pictures in advance, once we arrived to the port terminal in less in our allocated time slot and in ten minutes we were on board. we did not get our Sea pass cards in the terminal but were informed they were going to be in the door of our stateroom in a sealed enveloped, this was great in the meantime we could use our SetSail documents to order things on board. it was not a problem. Once inside decided to go to Guest services (the only time there was not a queue during all the week) to buy the WOW bands. they work well but sometimes you still need the Card because you still have to take it out to give it to the waiter, they should implement that the waiters have a mobile device where they can read the band and card; however life is easier when you are spending your days at the pool and can leave the card in the stateroom. Cabin: we had a balcony D8 in deck 6, cabin 6584, perfect location in deck six, close to the elevators/lobby, easy access to the promenade and the spa/gym. this has to be one of the best designed cabins we have ever had, one of the most comfortables and spacious balcony cabins in RCCL, a lot of storage space, very well designed, big balcony, bathroom size OK. The balcony has perfect ocean views, the only thing I imagine could be a problem for some people (it was not for us) is that sometimes during the night you could hear a little of music from Boleros that is in deck five. Dining: Harmony provides you with so so many options to eat that would be impossible to try everything in seven days, we did our best and this is the result: - Windjammer Market Place a.k.a the main buffet: One of the best designed buffets in all RCCL, we ate there twice for lunch and the food was better than expected, no problem to find a table for two and service was around to order drinks. I imagine sometimes could be crowded but after all there six thousands passengers and 20 restaurants so the space is not designed to have all guests at the same time. a recommendation would be to be SMART when deciding where to eat and at what time. - The Solarium bistro: also a very nice option for lunch with a small buffet, not crowded at all. kind of a hidden gem. - Main dining room - The Grande: we had my time dining and when to the main restaurant just once for late dinner, food was average, service was average.but again is a question of preferences, the in laws loved it, for us it was OK. - Wonderland: a refreshing and interesting dining concept, we enjoyed the dinner and the surprises of the presentations. Service was great and the food was very good and weird. I would do it again... - 150 Central Park: maybe here we had some big expectations being this the most expensive restaurant on board, we were dissapointed and not because it was bad but because for the price (around 90 USD with wine pairing) you expect more than average. The food was OK but not worthy the price, the wine selection was also OK and the service was more like the main dining room than a specialty one. - Chops Grille: we are kind of fans of Chops in other smaller ships however here it was again a disappointment. Food was average, service was too fast and the design of the restaurant in Harmony makes it very noisy and loud, it was almost impossible to have a conversation because you couldn't´t hear a person through the table. I just can say that Chops in Harmony is not what it used to be some years ago in other ships. Again I would say is a question of personal taste, the in laws loved it.... - Jamie Oliver´s restaurant: Oh Boy where to start.... This was our favourite meal from all the cruise.... everything was on point and the food was extremely good. The service was amazing and the wine suggestions were on point. we just loved every minute of the meal and everything was tasty, yummy and gooooooooooooood. the atmosphere is also very cozy and familiar.... This is a MUST do more than once... - Sabor: we also had one dinner there for three of us and it was so gooooooooooooood and tasty and the service was excellent. The guacamole made table side is delicious... the tacos and quesadillas and small appetisers were enough to feed us in a sharing concept, it´s a must if you like this kind of food. The margaritas we tasted in the bar were also very good. - Park Cafe: this was our favourite place for breakfast, loved this small place. - Sorrentos: good pizzas for a snack during the day - Drinking package: we had our drinking package upgraded due to the changes implemented and for us it was worthy: specialty coffees, fresh juices, smoothies, wines, drinks, beer, and sodas... Entertainment: Spoiler free comments: it´s Amazing..... just book every single show: Grease, Columbus, 1897, The fine line, are a must see.... we missed the second aqua show and the iSkate due to schedule conflicts but again in seven days it´s not possible to experience all. The 90´s party and the celebration parade in the promenade were funny, the silent party was great....Waterslides and abyss.... you just have to try these.... I loved it. Service: in general I would say it was average taking into consideration most of the staff was close to finishing their contracts after the inaugural season. there is always the ones that make your cruise special but all the staff deserves gratitude and being treated good, after all they make our vacations, vacations...... Our stateroom attendant was great Ports of Call / Excursions: we didn´t get out of the ship in one week, do we regret it... NO way.... there is so much to do... and after all is enjoyable to have the pool deck almost empty sometimes to relax ;-P Disembarkation: easy breezy.... Would I sail in the Harmony or another Oasis class ship???.... YESSSSS... without any doubt but in the Caribbean... Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
My wife spotted this deal on one of the major cruise TV shows and the price was good considering it included flights and transfers, but what really swung it was the inclusion of NCL's extremely expensive Ultimate Beverage Package as a ... Read More
My wife spotted this deal on one of the major cruise TV shows and the price was good considering it included flights and transfers, but what really swung it was the inclusion of NCL's extremely expensive Ultimate Beverage Package as a freebie. We ended up as a party of seven, My wife, daughter, daughter - in - law and myself had all cruised with NCL previously. My mother - in - law and her husband had cruised before but not with NCL and my mother was a first time cruiser. Between us we had a range of staterooms from an inside through a solo cabin and up to a couple of balcony cabins. The layout of the cabins took some getting used to with the toilet, the shower and the sink not being closed off in a separate bathroom. It quickly became obvious why NCL had done this as it gave the staterooms a feeling of having more space. As usual the staterooms were kept clean and supplied constantly with coffee etc. My daughter is still mystified as to why NCL do not supply a coffee maker in the Inside staterooms. My wife and I were equally mystified as to why there were no dressing gowns in the balcony staterooms, as they had been supplied last year in our balcony stateroom on The Gem. The solo cabin and facilities that come with it are excellent, and my mother didn't have to far for her morning fix of coffee. Overall everyone was very pleased with the staterooms. The Epic is huge, although in Barcelona it was dwarfed by RCL's Harmony of the Seas which was moored next to us at the pier. Having previously cruised on the Gem (twice) and Fred Olsens Braemar, which has less than 1000 passengers, we were all a bit worried that the Epic might be too big. This was not the case, in the end you could've been on any of NCL's ships just with a few extras, like the Ice Bar and Spice H2O thrown in. Dining as usual on NCL was very good. We only dined once in the Manhattan Restaurant but considering we were a table of seven the whole thing was handled and timed really well and the food was good. My wife and others also dined in Taste which they said was also very good. The main dining option for the rest was the Garden Buffet which has some really great food and so many options. For all the excellence of the dining, it was this that also led to a couple of disappointments, the first was a late night meal at O'Sheehans which was poor and the other was the new practice of charging for certain items in the main complimentary restaurants. I was looking forward to the Surf and Turf until one of our party noted that this would actually cost me around $25, this was the same for another couple of dishes, mostly involving Lobster from Maine. My advice to NCL is to either source your lobster from Europe (on this particular cruise) or don't have the dish on the menu in the complimentary dining options. We were entertained very well. The main show on the cruise was a very professional and very good Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. My mother also took in the Cirque Dreams show which she said was amazing but again let down by poor food, which considering the whole thing came to around $30 is a bit much. The quizzes and general entertainment such as parties was great and well done. The bars on board were as usual very well staffed and run. The itinerary was good, the trouble is if you wanted a full day anywhere it meant getting up extremely early, something I try to avoid when on holiday. As slightly more experienced cruisers we decided to DIY most of the ports as yet again NCL's excursions were extremely pricey. In Naples we went to Pompeii we hired a taxi at the port, this took us to Pompeii, waited 3 hours, visited a very nice Limoncello emporium then gave us a tour around the back streets of Naples for about 30 Euros and we paid 12 Euros entry to Pompeii. For Rome we jumped o the free shuttle to the port gates, the 2 Euros for a bus to Civitavecchia rail station. There we bought a return ticket and a ticket for a Hop on Hop off tourist bus in Rome. We saw everything we wanted for 47 euros each. In Livorno we hired a minibus at the dockside to take us to Pisa and wait a couple of hours. We didn't feel we had time to do Florence although there were drivers prepared to do both Pisa and Florence and wait in both places for 400 euros, which for the seven of us would have been about 58 euros each. Cannes and Marseille were just a couple of hours ashore, although in Marseille we had to catch the NCL shuttle at $15 each return. Embarkation was quick and easy with no distinction made between latitudes members and non members. Disembarkation was different as somebody accidentally took one of our bags and left there own. NCL were brilliant, they tracked down the person and bag at the airport and by the time we arrived on our shuttle our bag was waiting for us. Overall impressions. Well the cruise would have got 5 stars if it wasn't for NCL trying to squeeze more and more money from people. Charging for food in the complimentary restaurants, charging for most room service, the Ultimate Beverage Package does not cover all beverages only those to a value of $15 and there were quite a few drinks that were over that value, OK I got it free but if I'd paid £440 for it I'd have been pretty narked and lastly the cost of the excursions was almost prohibitive. On the plus side the service, stateroom, entertainment and most of the food was excellent, the itinerary is also good but personally I'd maybe cut one stop out and add an extra sea day. Would I go on this cruise again. Yes. Would I sail with NCL again Yes they're my favourite cruise line, but they can stop trying to squeeze money from me. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016

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