103 Barcelona Group and Theme Cruise Reviews

Ports of call where the reason I selected the ship. I didn't explore Barcelona as much as I would have liked due to jet lag. I didn't know that I could have selected the port to start my cruise. Had I known this, I would have ... Read More
Ports of call where the reason I selected the ship. I didn't explore Barcelona as much as I would have liked due to jet lag. I didn't know that I could have selected the port to start my cruise. Had I known this, I would have started in Rome to have extra time there. This should be advertised better. The epic ship was ok. Since it was November, it was too cold for the pool. Norwegian should make the pools heated in colder weather. I upgraded my cabin to have more space. I viewed 2 shows (Burn the Floor and Priscilla)...both were amazing! I traveled with a group of 30 people, including children. The kids thought the cruise was designed for older people instead of a younger audience. The customer service desk with the worst part of the experience. The employees gave out incorrect information on multiple occassions. This took so much time out that we could have spent doing other things. I requested an iron and never received it. I always would have liked to wash my own clothes on the ship but was unable to do so. I still haven't decided if I would book another cruise with Norwegian. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
PART ONE - Horrendous Our holiday got off to a terrible start. I had booked to go away with my mother and a few of her [elderly] friends. We booked early and chose our cabins so that we were all together and conveniently located to the ... Read More
PART ONE - Horrendous Our holiday got off to a terrible start. I had booked to go away with my mother and a few of her [elderly] friends. We booked early and chose our cabins so that we were all together and conveniently located to the facilities we planned to enjoy. However, a few weeks before we were due to travel, one of our cabins was pulled and we were told we were going to be placed 3 floors higher and at the opposite end of the ship. This was a big problem for us as we had all planned to convene on each others balconies to enjoy afternoon teas and coffee; also, to enjoy pre-dinner drinks. I complained to customer services who did their best to get our original cabin back but to no avail. Their 'allocation team' would not budge and neither would they locate our friends near to our new cabin. We were all gutted, as separating the group prevented us from popping in and out of each others cabins and enjoying the usual camaraderie. As a compromise, they managed to find us another cabin on the same floor but still this was a trek and left us isolated. To make up for it, we were given 50 euros onboard credit and Prosecco on arrival and although this did little to make things better, it was a gesture we appreciated. That was, until we boarded the ship and discovered our newly-allocated cabin 9084. For anyone allocated this cabin, please note that even though it is classed as a Bella Balcony cabin, IT HAS NO VIEW WHATSOEVER UNLESS YOU ARE STANDING UP!!! When sat on the chairs provided all you can see is solid white metal. All the saving up to pay extra for a balcony on which we could relax and enjoy the views out to sea, was therefore wasted. The disappointment and upset was beyond words. It was bad enough being parted from our friends but to be denied the benefits of our balcony too was just the final straw. We demanded a proper balcony cabin or to be refunded the cost. Unfortunately, this was not something the cruise staff could sort out as - any claim would have to be handled by UK admin staff - and there was no other cabins available to move us to! All we could do was wait to see if anyone with a balcony cabin failed to show up at the next port and we could then have theirs. As suggested, we waited. We had embarked on a Sunday afternoon and waited until Monday evening to see if there was any change. Still nothing but we were told to check again another 24 hours later, after the next lot of passengers embarked. We did so but by this time, and having lived out of our suitcase for 2 days, we had given up hope. At this point, we all felt our holiday had been ruined. It had put a complete dampener on it, especially as my mum was so upset she had burst into tears and said she just wanted to go home. She was totally unsettled and could not bear having to rummage in her case every time she wanted something. We therefore decided to unpack and resigned ourselves to the isolation and having no balcony/view. Ironically, we then received a telephone call in our cabin from reception. They had found us a cabin - not near to our friends, but it had a glass fronted balcony so at least we had a view! Of course, we then had to repack everything in order to move and it was a real pain, but considered worth it as we still had a number of days left. It took us a while but eventually we got settled and our holiday finally began!!! PART TWO - fantastic With only one or two exceptions, the staff on this ship simply could not do enough. They worked extremely hard to ensure passengers had a good time and the atmosphere onboard was a party one. Our waiter was exceptional and nothing was too much trouble. We did not see much of the cabin steward but our room was always neat and tidy when we returned. As for the food, it was much better than the last MSC cruise we went on. The menu choices were varied and appetising and portion sizes were also reasonable. The buffet restaurants (Inca and Maya) were always far too busy to be an enjoyable experience so we chose to eat breakfast and lunch in the restaurant or ice-cream parlour instead. However, the choices there were very limited and in the ice-cream parlour/coffee shop we had to pay for our drinks but still it was the best option for us. To prevent the main buffets from being so busy it would have been better jf the coffee shop and Il Cappuccino lounge offered a greater selection of sandwiches or snacks - together with free tea/coffee/water (as in the main dining areas.) This would have evened things out so that certain areas were less crowded at any one time. In relation to the excursions offered by MSC, these were not so good. I realise that they rely on outside companies to provide the service and they merely act as agent. Nevertheless, they need to take on board the feedback and get some of these companies to change how they do things. There were a LOT of complaints and the exclusion staff had to take the flak. We did the Casablanca/Rabat tour and had looked forward to it more than all the others we took but it was a terrible tour and a complete waste of a day's holiday. Our tour guide was rude, disinterested, ill-informed and was incentivised only by taking us to venues where it was clear he earned a commission. On a 10 hour tour, he refused to let us stop for a coffee break (apart from the 1 hour lunch stop) and when a number of us asked about visiting a bazaar/souk, he said there was no time and took us instead to what can only be described as a 'junk souvenir shop' in a back street. The next such stop was at an argan oil factory in Rabat where we all had to sit through a boring presentation lasting about half an hour. We were all then handed a basket to purchase their products and take them to the till. Needless to say, there were very few takers and most people on the tour were furious - especially as we had been denied any free time to explore either Casablanca or Rabat again due to 'lack of time. When we reported back to reception the next day we were met by many others queuing there for the same reason and some were on other buses also part of the same trip. It was a disaster and I felt sorry for MSC as it was really down to the tour operator. Where MSC did excel was the entertainment. All our party are avid cruisers and we agreed unanimously that this ship offered the best entertainment we have ever had. The theatre shows were second to none and were astoundingly good - standing ovations nearly every night. The shows varied from musical performances, serious style opera, comedy, circus style acrobatics (within theatrical setting), to drama and plain fun evenings. The variety and standard of performance was absolutely incredible and I'm worried we are seriously spoilt for the future! Whoever the theatre production company is they deserve recognition and commendation for first-class entertainment. So, all in all, a bad experience at the outset only turned round by the attitude and professionalism of Paula from customer services and the staff on board. They saved our holiday from complete disaster, meaning we lost only part and not the whole of it. I had already booked another cruise with MSC (2021) and had planned to cancel but they turned this fiasco around so I've given them a reprieve. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The ship itself was outstanding, with great amenities. The Gym/ Spa area was outstanding, especially the "Thermal Spa" area. The restaurants were all outstanding and catered to different needs and tastes. An unexpected ... Read More
The ship itself was outstanding, with great amenities. The Gym/ Spa area was outstanding, especially the "Thermal Spa" area. The restaurants were all outstanding and catered to different needs and tastes. An unexpected surprise was the planetarium theatre where we saw a couple of shows about the universe and the aurora. The "common" areas provided space for quiet relaxation and opportunities for your choice of musical interludes. The entertainment selection was excellent, with many different types of music... classical (piano and strings), acoustic guitar, musical themed concerts, rock band. The individual cabins were just right in terms of space and amenities... and the heated floor in the bathroom was a nice touch. Being a smaller ocean cruise ship, all cabins had outside windows and balconies, which made the travelling more interesting. The Viking staff were all excellent! From the Captain to the cabin stewards, everyone had a smile on their face, catered to your every need and made you feel welcome. Awesome photo opportunities! We have already booked the next Viking Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was my first Mediterranean Cruise, but not my first experience with NCL. I found the Epic to be quite a glorious ship. Plenty of activities on board the ship to keep you busy if you chose to do so as well as plenty of quite spaces. ... Read More
This was my first Mediterranean Cruise, but not my first experience with NCL. I found the Epic to be quite a glorious ship. Plenty of activities on board the ship to keep you busy if you chose to do so as well as plenty of quite spaces. There was a variety of food, my choice for breakfast/lunch was the Garden Buffett, the food was always hot and good. My favorite restaurant was the the night we saw the Cirque Dream Epicurean(cover charge applies) the food and entertainment superb. O’Sheehan’s is a must for the fish&chip and Burgers. The Taste and Manhattan restaurants has great ambiance. I recommend as many shore excursions as possible, they are well organized and provide a good overview of each country Visited. I didn’t visit Rome because I had been there before, But do recommend Sorrento and Naples, Monaco and the View from Eze and Palma in death. Enjoy the Epic, Entertainment, and especially the views from the shore excursions. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise for the great itinerary and I would highly recommend most of these ports to anybody. Second time cruising but the first was only a 3 day cruise and that was long ago. GOOD: 1. We loved most of these ports as ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the great itinerary and I would highly recommend most of these ports to anybody. Second time cruising but the first was only a 3 day cruise and that was long ago. GOOD: 1. We loved most of these ports as they offered a little bit something different in each one, they all had incredible beauty and history. 2. We had an ocean view cabin which was a decent size, very comfortable bed, excellent service in the twice daily room cleaning. Much better than I thought a cruise cabin would be. 3. We really loved the starting port of Barcelona and would highly recommend that people get there a few days prior to the cruise to fully enjoy this lovely city. I wish we had a few more days here. 4. Most of our excursions were very good. We booked a couple with Norwegian and a couple with Costco. We booked: Florence & Wine tasting at a castle, Historic Kotor & Budva, Game Of Thrones Tour in Dubrovnik, Oia wine tasting tour in Santorini port. The Oia tour was OK but really loved the other 3 tours. 5. Embarking and disembarking went fairly smooth at the start and finish. NOT SO GOOD: 1. There seemed to some issues with the Tendering type of ports. Not sure if this a problem with all cruises or just this particular cruise. It seemed to take a long time to get off and back in some of the ports. 2. The food and service seemed to be hit or miss on the Pearl. The people we were with were experienced in cruising and thought the dinner offerings were not as good as other cruises they had been on. 3. The entertainment was a bit hit or miss as well. We enjoyed most of the acts. 4. As a few people have mentioned, the pool seems to run like some Mexican resorts in that some people come very early and place items on chairs and then leave for several hours. Mostly stayed away from the pools due to empty seats being used this way. RESULT: We loved the itinerary and picked this cruise mainly for that reason so I enjoyed this cruise but am not sure that I would pick NCL again or even opt for cruising again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I booked this cruise to be part of the Weight Watcher (WW) Mediterranean Cruise in July. My friend had never been to Europe so we thought this would be a great experience to see several different ports in Spain, France, and Italy and get ... Read More
I booked this cruise to be part of the Weight Watcher (WW) Mediterranean Cruise in July. My friend had never been to Europe so we thought this would be a great experience to see several different ports in Spain, France, and Italy and get to meet WW members from around the world. I have been on several different cruise lines over the past 6 years including: Norwegian, Holland America, and Oceania and the MSC cruise was a huge step down in the areas of Dining and Service. The ship is brand new, launched in 2018, and it's beautiful. It has 20 decks and holds up to 5,200 passengers. It's a floating apartment building, complete with their own app that was used to book theater showings, maps of the different decks, and a daily schedule for events. There were abundant activities for families like 3 pools, a water park, and even a zip line on top. There are several restaurants and a buffet. The theater holds almost a thousand guests per performance and there are three 30-35 minute performances each night. The dining experience was our greatest disappointment. The food that WW had specially prepared for us, was bland and boring. We decided to eat at the ship buffet and it was basic cafeteria food, with a heavy emphasis on pork and fish. The food was fresh, but not exciting at all. I was amazed at how many little extras were not included: such as ice cream and iced tea. The shows were the best part of the cruise and we went to every one of them. Nice scenery, interesting themes, colorful costumes, great singers and acrobatic acts. No stand up comedy, thank goodness. Entertainment in the lounges was fine too. Service was poor. On-boarding was confused at best. We were in a special group and they didn't really seem to know about it when we arrived. We got through the process and our luggage was delivered in a timely fashion. We NEVER met our steward. We never received ice, although we had an ice bucket, and the turn down-service didn't include the little chocolates and fun towel animals found on every other cruise line. Information desk staff were rather curt with people and seemed stressed most of the time. Long lines were found at the different service areas, such as Excursions and Front Desk Assistance. You were pretty much on your own to figure things out on the ship. If you asked a question, you were often referred to their app. Disembarkation was a terrible mess, the ship was late docking and everyone was asked to leave their rooms anyway and we were kept in lounges waiting to leave for almost two hours. We stood in line for almost an hour after we docked before we could leave the ship. By that time people were upset and getting impatient with very little staff helping to ease the situation. We booked tours for almost all of them through the ship. One of our tours was cancelled and no one let us know until the evening before. I happened to see were weren't booked on their app and went to inquire about it. I was told there wasn't enough interest so it was cancelled and thankfully found a different tour that still had space. Ports were as expected. They were ok to good. The half day tours were hurried with no time for shopping or really getting off the bus, except to take a few hasty photos. The day excursions to Florence and Rome were better. We had knowledgeable tour guides and were able to see as much as possible given the time constraints. The prices were average compared to other ships. I usually book my own excursions through Viator and you get more value for your money. I love to cruise, but I would not book with MSC again. They have a lovely ship, but the Service was not good and the Dining experience was just average. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
1. Room 8040 was terrible we keep hearing super loud thumping sounds from somewhere, my four year old who always sleeps like a baby woke up so many times and said it’s just too noisy 2. Food service was terrible, they ask you how you ... Read More
1. Room 8040 was terrible we keep hearing super loud thumping sounds from somewhere, my four year old who always sleeps like a baby woke up so many times and said it’s just too noisy 2. Food service was terrible, they ask you how you want the meat cooked but it’s never cooked to our preference and most things are cold when they reach us. We weren’t very happy that there were many times when we were hungry but there wasn’t any food available to us other than soggy fries and pizza that tasted like plastic. The dining rotations were so bad by day 3 we wanted to skip it and just go to the buffet but only to realize there is no dinner buffet! Desserts were unbearable! Breakfast buffet was so 1980’s. No gluten free options and it’s just a bunch of flour and sugary foods but are not even considered real food. We could choose either cheap waffle pancake or donut, with lots of sugary dressings, or we go for boxed cereal that aren’t even real food but synthesized. The butter wasn't even real butter it was margarine! People who care about their bodies and health and watch what they eat don’t eat these packaged processed foods. My daughters are gluten/corn/soy sensitive, they ended up having no appetite for breakfast. I am not sure about you but from where I live everyone is aware that eating like that causes obesity and diabetes. But I don’t mind eating that stuff if it’s good but it wasn’t even good! 3. Most of us were so seasick we couldn’t really enjoy it, and I have never been seasick at all on any cruise ship, not to mention one time I was on a cruise when I was in between first and second trimester. But this time I felt so sick I was lying down one time for 36 hours straight and one of the kids threw up right in the middle of the show that’s how bad the ship was moving and swaying. 4. The Club House was terrible, they just hand my 4&6 year olds iPads! For the money we pay we would think the people there would have been giving them some more interesting things to do but our kids come back and say they are bored because they just get an iPad which my 4 year old never got any instruction and isn’t even fluent in English, so she had no idea what she was doing and was utterly bored! 5. The UK customs clearance was unbelievable, we were in line for almost two hours only to have to give up because we didn’t want to miss the Lion King premier and then had to go back in the line again after the movie! That’s just really poor coordination, we wasted so much time and it’s quite obvious that people were pissed too. They even asked us if we had any intentions to work in the UK! As if anyone would pay 17000 USD just to sneak in and find illegal work? 6. Laundry was so frustrating when half of the machines would always be broken at any time! So the functional machines were scarce and people ended up having to bite or fight each other to use them. It just reminded me of my college dorms! And people were taking my stuff out of dryer even before I got the message from Disney Cruise app! I had semi dry clothing lying all over when I got there a few minutes before my dryer time is up! 7. When we got to Dover, the shuttle bus to Dover train station actually cost 10 USD per person including our small children, that’s 40 USD in total while local taxi which we ended up taking only costs 10 pounds! 8. For all the coffee at our dining rotations, it actually costs money! For a coffee to go with the dessert after our meal, it costs 2-3 dollars I think that’s just too obvious Disney is trying to charge for whatever they could. We paid 17000 USD for 7 days and we couldn’t get a coffee to go with our dessert? 9. The Disney Cruise wasn’t even very Disney, I thought it would give us the feeling when we walk into Disney Orlando but it was nowhere near. Other than the shows and occasional characters posing for photographs (which again costs money), nothing was Disney! No Disney Music, no Disney decor, no Disney colors, not even the famous Disney parade....which we actually had even at non Disney Cruise Ship one time, the Oasis. For 17000 USD I think we definitely have many other options. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I chose this cruise based on the itinerary. We chose to embark from Barcelona because it was much closer to the port and I prefer starting my cruise on a weekend day. The embarkation was very easy and stress free. We were on the ship in ... Read More
I chose this cruise based on the itinerary. We chose to embark from Barcelona because it was much closer to the port and I prefer starting my cruise on a weekend day. The embarkation was very easy and stress free. We were on the ship in less than 15 minutes. Disembarkation was also easy. Very orderly and quick. The ship was pretty good. Cabin location was ideal for me. It was at the back of the ship but had cabins above and below therefore it was quite. The balcony was covered and offered some privacy unlike the ones directly below. I actually like the odd layout of the bathroom, it made getting ready quite easy for 2 people. I had both the unlimited drink and 4 specialty dining package. The dining was awesome. Cagneys, the Italian, French and the Teppanyaki were very good. Also ate at the Manhattan Room twice for dinner. Taste twice for breakfast and the Garden Cafe several times because it was more convenient for those really early mornings excursions. We also did Cirque Dreams which was a dinner show. It was very good entertainment. There were actually really good entertainment onboard. I enjoyed Burn the Floor. Priscilla was interesting. Overall service was good. Ports were excellent but we missed the last port due to passenger falling overboard. All my excursions were booked independently for size and economic reasons. We had no issues with that at all. We were a group of 26 adults. I would definitely do the itinerary again. Now we are looking at Greece/Croatia or Hawaii. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Poor: 1.) Our room and the total ship, for that matter, is very "tired". We actually traveled on the Infinity in 2004 and don't believe any updates have been made since then (dramatization on my part). The crew we talked ... Read More
Poor: 1.) Our room and the total ship, for that matter, is very "tired". We actually traveled on the Infinity in 2004 and don't believe any updates have been made since then (dramatization on my part). The crew we talked to stated a retro is due in October, but that didn't help us for now. Every passenger we spoke to about the ship stated the same thing, ship needs help. 2.) No Captain's Club for check in on pier. 3.) No Aqua Class check in. 4.) Captain's Club desk onboard only open a couple of hours each day 5.) The onboard stage entertainment was poor. The only opportunity possible for a mix was when a comedian was scheduled and then canceled the day before. The substitution was for the same singer we had the previous evening and, although talented, began getting a bit redundant. The idea of "mixing it up" came with cycling in the Celebrity Entertainers. The small combos performing at the bars, were good, on the other hand. 6.) Due to our special dates, my 70th birthday and wife's 64th, both happening during the cruise, we must say that we probably enjoyed this Celebrity cruise the least of those in the past. 7.) The staff ship wide was probably only 25% sincere. Didn't get a real friendly feeling from the majority of our contacts. Good: 1.) Aqua Class was a cruise saver. Aside from the room condition, everything else was terrific. The Blu Room for Aqua Class meals was wonderful. The help was 100% sincere, starting with the front check in down to the whole room staff. Never had to wait for a table and crew attempted to meet whatever requests we may have had. 2.) The included spa steam rooms were a great plus after using the attached gym. 3.) The gym is laid out well the machines all function correctly. 4.) The two specialty restaurants we visited were both great. We did see that one of the ones we didn't try, was the Sushi restaurant. Every time we walked by, there was nobody present to dine. We think they might want to look into replacing with another type. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
In summary: - mainly cold og luke warm food in most restaurants - totally un-usable internet, and only one user at the time per stateroom - not acceptable in 2019 - Insulting missing invitation to captains coctail . although I ... Read More
In summary: - mainly cold og luke warm food in most restaurants - totally un-usable internet, and only one user at the time per stateroom - not acceptable in 2019 - Insulting missing invitation to captains coctail . although I have sailed with this ship twice before -they have no clue about former guests . a lot of errors in pour group booking, ended up in costing us over 600 USD extra - no will to sort this either from the ship og from the cruise line - arrogant reception crew - totally unsocial captain - Furniture too big for dining room - lest no room for walking in between Ship came from dock, and the cleanliness in the cabins was way below par - also a lot of noncense with the extra drink package that our group were promised - this cruise line are not keeping to their word. We were 44 people in our group - we will not travel with this cruise line again! 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
The Ship was amazing, we were well impressed with the Shows, the food was lovely and a good choice but it was never more than lukewarm which was a shame, the staff work so hard and are so friendly. We bought one of the middle drinks ... Read More
The Ship was amazing, we were well impressed with the Shows, the food was lovely and a good choice but it was never more than lukewarm which was a shame, the staff work so hard and are so friendly. We bought one of the middle drinks packages it and proved to be a godsend as the drinks were expensive. We did find it hard work getting back on the Ship after a trip. I also slipped up on deck 10 near the Lido Buffet and had to see the hospital doctor who's bill was €352.00 of which €100 was for a BANDAGE which is a bit extreme by any standards, really thought I would at least be able to use my EHIC as it was an accident onboard , this then spoilt my holiday as I had badly damaged my knee so was in a wheelchair for the 4 days out of 7 and unable to take the wheelchair on shore. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Went to see the Northern Lights and experience Norway where we had never visited. Due to weather we never saw the Northern Lights...The Norway Coast was spectacular and worth the experience. If I had to do the cruise over again I ... Read More
Went to see the Northern Lights and experience Norway where we had never visited. Due to weather we never saw the Northern Lights...The Norway Coast was spectacular and worth the experience. If I had to do the cruise over again I would like to go during the spring or summer - Norway is beautiful but hard to appreciate when it is cold and icy during the winter. That said, it was interesting during the winter and something we will never forget. The Viking Sky was a lovely ship and the attendants were great. We have no complaints with the service provided during the cruise and our room was excellent in design and the attendants were friendly and took care of our needs beyond expectations. Some of the onboard entertainment was excellent...some interesting...some a bit lacking. Some is designed for the academic which was a bit beyond our interest. Overall the only change we would consider is the time frame - winter in the far north was worthy of the experience but during a warmer time of year may have provided better shore experiences. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
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
Overall this was a fantastic trip. All of the ports were awesome with embarkation and disembarkation really smooth with the exception of Naples. Getting back onboard was a chore. The ship itself was awesome. I’ve cruised in the past ... Read More
Overall this was a fantastic trip. All of the ports were awesome with embarkation and disembarkation really smooth with the exception of Naples. Getting back onboard was a chore. The ship itself was awesome. I’ve cruised in the past and I often found myself with nothing to do, or entertainment that wasn’t entirely entertaining. Not the case with the Epic. The shows were fantastic and the dining options were endless. I traveled with a large group and there were plenty of options for us to get together as a group for dinner or a show. The only thing that wasn’t 100% was the quality of the rooms. The ship is a little bit older and the wear and tear was pretty apparent in some places. There were a few spots throughout where it looked like a quick fix was in place, but it was nothing that would have turned me away from sailing on the Epic, or any Norwegian ship in the future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I ve cruised on the EPIC 3 times since it s inaugural and 2 times from Barcelona on the European cruise. I was a little disappointed this past september with the variety of food in the main dining room. Food was just OK..no wow factor as ... Read More
I ve cruised on the EPIC 3 times since it s inaugural and 2 times from Barcelona on the European cruise. I was a little disappointed this past september with the variety of food in the main dining room. Food was just OK..no wow factor as other cruise cies. Also i found that the staff (not all) were not as friendly as usual..did not say hi or good morning. Overall the cruise was just OK...not up to par with other cruises i ve taken with Norwegian cruise line. The shows and entertainment on bord was fine. The embarkation/disembarkation process was great...fast and efficient. Gym was great except that is you don t take a trx course and pay you can t use that room with all the equipment. Whereas on other Norwegian ships it s free..if there is no class you can use the equipment...so that was a little disappointing as i workout even on vacation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We were a group of 65 ranging in ages form 10 months to mid 70's. Most of us from New York, a few from Pittsburgh. Had some first time cruisers with us, this was my 30th! Most of us flew in on British Airways from JFK (but it ... Read More
We were a group of 65 ranging in ages form 10 months to mid 70's. Most of us from New York, a few from Pittsburgh. Had some first time cruisers with us, this was my 30th! Most of us flew in on British Airways from JFK (but it was really American Airlines) non-stop and got a rate of $501. We spent two nights pre-cruise at the Hotel Continental Barcelona. We had several families of 3 and 4 and needed a hotel that could accommodate. Used Europe Connect for all of our transfers within Barcelona. Due to the anniversary of the terrorist attack and the protests going on, we were dumped off about 5 bocks form the hotel and had to walk with all out luggage. Driver had no choice, police had streets closed. One tiny elevator that held about 4 people and 2 pieces of luggage at a time was not great for over 50 people checking in at one time. LOL. Hotel rooms were spacious (even for my family of 4) and showers were awesome. The 24 hour snack buffet, and included beer, wine, soda and juice was a great perk. Lovely little courtyard and the balconies were great. Ours overlooking La Rambla. You need to be buzzed in on your floor and turn in your key to the desk when you go out. There are other hotels and a hostel within the building. Amazing location on La Rambla!!! Right in the middle of everything. Spent two nights. We arranged a full day private tour through Spain Private Tour Guides on 08/18. Went to Park Guell, La SaGrada Familia, took a panoramic bus tour and then ended with a walking tour. It was amazing and our tour guide Fernando was awesome! 08/19 Off to the EPIC, embarkation a breeze. Have sailed the EPIC before, the rooms are kind of quirky. Not a fan of the curved walls or the bathroom set-up but certainly not a deal breaker. Storage was an issue, but there were 4 of us in the room and we packed for 11 days away. Day 1: Boarded the ship by about 11:30, rooms were not ready until about 1:40. Had lunch at the buffet and enjoyed the sun and the pool. Dinner at Taste was great. Day 2: Sea Day. Went to the Cruise Critic Meet and enjoyed the sun. Last relaxing day, as we had each and every moment planned for each port. Dinner at Moderno was lovely! Day 3: Rome. We had a packed day planned. Private tour with skip the line access to The Colosseum, and the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps. Brief stop for pizza and gelato in between. Dinner was at Shanghai. we really enjoyed it!! Day 4: Pompei, Vesuvio, Herculaneum. Another jammed packed day! First stop on our private tour was Pompei. It was brutally hot but amazing. A welcome break was had next at the Cantina del Vesuvio, a lovely wine farm on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius. We had a tour of the winery, sampled grapes, and had an amazing lunch and wine tasting. The staff was friendly and informative! So glad we planned this. Then it was off to Herculaneum for more exploring. It was scorching and the rain showers were welcomed! This was the day of my son's 11th birthday, and 50 of us dined at Teppanyaki to celebrate. Service was fantastic as was the food! Day 5: Naples: Florence/Pisa. Once again we had a private tour and walked our feet off exploring Florence including the Duomo, Piazza delle Signoria, Medici chapesl, Ponte Vecchio, Baptistry & Bell Tower and the Academia to see Michaelangelo's David. Very brief stop for something to eat and then off to Pisa to Piazza dei Miracoli, to see the Leaning Tower, Pisa Cathedral and Baptistry. Dinner was at Cagney's and was fantastic as usual. Day 6: Cannes-Monte Carlo & Monaco. Had a little issue with our private guide here. We were split into two groups as there were 63 of us. The smaller group got to see Monte Carlo, Monaco, the Medieval Village of Eze and a flower market. The larger group only got to see Monaca and Montel Carlo, both beautiful, but disappointing that we did not see all we had planned to. Dinner was at LeBistro and we thoroughly enjoyed it! Day 7: Palma Majorca: Private tour of the Caves of Drach followed by a stop at Porto Cristo fishing village and beach with time for swimming, shopping, a bite to eat. An amazing day! We had dinner at O'Sheehan's. The food was good but everything came at once, appetizers and entrees. Day 8: Debarkation. The elevators were impossible, even at the late 9 AM time. We walked down from 14. Picked up by our bus and dropped at our post cruise hotel for one night. Post Cruise: One night at the Catalonia Diagonal Centro Hotel. Beautiful hotel with huge rooms and a tiny pool on the second floor. 08/27/18 Time to go home. As we had a 10 AM flight and needed to leave the hotel at 7, we would miss breakfast. The concierge asked how many children were in our group and packed a lovely picnic box for each of them so that they would not be hungry and have to wait to eat at the airport, a wonderful touch! Our transfer bus dropped us off at the right terminal, but the farthest distance from our airline. LOL There is a lot of walking within the airport and we were glad we chose the early pick up time! Kids: My boys are 11 and 13. This trip they did not go to the club at all. Their friends that did, enjoyed their time there. The younger one spent a lot of time at the basketball court. They enjoyed the water slides, ping pong, etc. Entertainment: We were booked for Priscilla Queen of the Damned for Friday night but that show was cancelled. We were rescheduled for Thursday night but it interfered with dinner so we did not get to go. We were so exhausted after all of our excursions, we did not get to any other shows. Our friends loved Burn the Floor and Dueling Pianos. Spent some time at the Martini Bar and enjoyed it. We had experienced Cirque and the Ice Bar on several other occasions so we did not indulge this trip but those that did had a ball. Service: Our cabin attendant Chris was great as was all of the staff we encountered. Excellent service throughout the ship. Summary: My gang of 65 had a great cruise on the Epic. The design is not my favorite of the NCL ships but if the itinerary and price were right, would sail her a third time. The itinerary is awesome, and food and service on the ship was great. I am not great at uploading pictures so I apologize for the lack of in this review. Will be happy to answer any questions if I can! See you again soon NCL! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Just a quick breakdown on our 12 night Mediterranean Greek Isles cruise: 1) The Ship was very enjoyable, high marks to the condition on the ship. Smaller ship in the fleet, for this voyage, just the right size. 2) Stayed in cabin ... Read More
Just a quick breakdown on our 12 night Mediterranean Greek Isles cruise: 1) The Ship was very enjoyable, high marks to the condition on the ship. Smaller ship in the fleet, for this voyage, just the right size. 2) Stayed in cabin 8029 (Interior State Room). Just perfect, quiet, great location, just the right size. The cabin was excellent 3) Had a great meal each and every day. Most enjoyable meals were at Izumi's, but overall food was great. The meals were just short of excellent. 4) Entertainment and Activities were just as expected. Sign up for the Triller show, great time. 5) We received 10 star service. I would take this cruise just to be able to be with the crew. 6) Over did it on the shore excursions, slow it down and take it a day at a time. 7) Did not travel with children. Would not recommend them on this ship. 8) I would do the cruise again, just so I could be the ship with the crew. 9) Embarkation was easy, very organized. 10) Enrichment activities were just so so. 11) Entertainment was very good. 12) Fitness was excellent. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
While many in our group had visited most of the ports previously, we all wanted to visit the scheduled ports.We greatly enjoyed out pre-cruise in Madrid. The change of itinerary, costing us a night in Barcelona, was disappointing, though ... Read More
While many in our group had visited most of the ports previously, we all wanted to visit the scheduled ports.We greatly enjoyed out pre-cruise in Madrid. The change of itinerary, costing us a night in Barcelona, was disappointing, though Sète was lovely. The other ports were fantastic and the excursions, both included and optional, were well run and educational. We were a bit disappointed in the wine tasting at Valmagne Abbey (extremely limited amounts of wine to taste and quite discourteous servers), but the tour guides were all excellent and the locations provided great adventures and experiences for all of us. Toilets on all tour buses, regardless of length of tour, would be an improvement. One of the best things about the cruise was having an astronomer in residence; his expertise during star and planet gazing and when the international Space Station passed over the Orion was an amazing experience! We utilized and loved the included areas of the spa, including the cold room. The food and included wine was great and meals were leisurely, well served affairs. Both the spa and meal service are areas where Viking's luxury treatment of guests shines. The on board entertainment was good to adequate and provides Viking with an area in which to improve. We are looking forward to our next cruise with Viking. Our only real complaint stemmed from the flight arrangements going home. Viking needs to find a much better way to do flight arrangements, one that gives Viking far more control and the ability to provide much better customer service for dealing with problems and issues. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
My family, along with 15 others, chose to celebrate anniversaries and birthdays on a new cruise ship....Symphony. We spent a day in Barcelona before boarding the ship, from Taxi to our stateroom 20 minutes. I was so blown away by how ... Read More
My family, along with 15 others, chose to celebrate anniversaries and birthdays on a new cruise ship....Symphony. We spent a day in Barcelona before boarding the ship, from Taxi to our stateroom 20 minutes. I was so blown away by how efficient the embarkment process was for all of us. Highlights: *We chose an inside stateroom, because, we are normally in the room 5 hours a day. Three adults and one large piece of luggage each and we had plenty of space. In May, two of us will share an outside view since there is so much sailing. *Dining main dining room service and food was fabulous! I have to say past poor reviews made me really attentive to quality and taste. We were very pleased. My gluten intolerant daughter was treated like a queen; she preordered her meals for the next night. If she chose to eat outside the dining room she was given Suresh Suyai, the head waiter's business card to get any assistance she needed. Min and Kevin were our table hosts. They were courteous, timely and funny! They recognized our anniversary with a cake and saw that all of our personal needs were taken care of. The head chef also came to the table to make sure we were pleased with our meals. *Gallery Brunch and Tour was more than a tour of massive proportion. My husband and I now truly appreciate the hard work of the kitchen and main dining staff, as well as the room service staff. Everyone should go on this tour and it should be offer at the beginning of the cruise to appreciate the operation of the dining facilities. *Staff: Adson was our server at Chops Grill. He was so pleasant and accommodating we cancelled our plans in the Main Dining room, to eat with him again. When we arrived it was clear he was working somewhere else and appeared within minutes to serve us. We would have preferred that he dined with us. He was took his role seriously, even though, he could be a comedian. His interactions with us sold us on specialty dining. We hope he is on our next cruise! *The ship was incredible! Everyone in our party from 21 years to 55 years loved the bars, casino, pool, dance clubs, spa and ships activities! *Excursions we went on the Palma De Mallorca city tour- the tour guide was very knowledgeable and humorous. Rome express train tour was perfect. It took us to the Vatican City and we were on our own for 6 hours. *Deluxe drink package was easy with the wristband, which should be free, but it's $4.99. I believe we came out ahead compared to purchasing each beverage separately. Before each excursion we would get Red bull and bottled water or coffee. As I stated, I'm anxious to invite my friends on the May 2019 trip out of Miami. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We chose this cruise because of the great itinerary, going to places we have never been and wanted to visit. This cruise offered two locations for embarkation, and we chose Rome. There were several places that we wanted to visit in Rome ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the great itinerary, going to places we have never been and wanted to visit. This cruise offered two locations for embarkation, and we chose Rome. There were several places that we wanted to visit in Rome and this gave us the opportunity to arrive in Rome a few days early and spend some additional time there. The City of Rome is actually quite a drive from the cruise port so using this as one of our ports would not have allowed enough time to see everything that we wanted to. The cruise port here in Civitavecchia had just opened so everything was brand new and the process went very smoothly. There also were not as many people embarking here as in Barcelona. so we were able to avoid the crowds. The ship was a bit different than others that we have been on. but there were no major issues. The toilet was in it's own little closet, as was the shower which was on the other side of the door of the cabin. The sink was in the room. The bed was comfortable for my husband and myself, but could be a problem for a tall person. There was plenty of storage in the cabin but very little walking room. One thing that we missed was a walking deck that went around the outside of the ship.There was a small "track" that went up and down one side of the ship on one deck. The upper deck and a few small pools, hot tubs, waterslide and climbing wall. The Garden Cafe Buffet was our choice for breakfast each morning and the food was excellent. We had a promotion for 3 nights of dining in the specialty restaurants and the food options offered were excellent. The regular dining room did not seem to offer very interesting options. The entertainment on the ship was very good, though several required reservations. This was a very enjoyable trip and I would highly recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I really enjoyed my cruise to the mediterranean. However, I think the ship could add a little more diversity for different cultures. It seem like most of the entertainment was geared toward one particular ethnicity. Overall, the ship is ... Read More
I really enjoyed my cruise to the mediterranean. However, I think the ship could add a little more diversity for different cultures. It seem like most of the entertainment was geared toward one particular ethnicity. Overall, the ship is beautiful and the dining experiences were wonderful. One waitress in particular, Simone in the Taste dining room was superb. I liked dining in there just to be pampered by her. One other thing I didn't like was my cabin steward only filled our ice bucket one time during the entire cruise and only changed the linen twice. He said it was Norwegian's policy that they only change the linen every 3 days so if you are on a 7 day cruise, your linen will only be changed twice. The ship is huge and it is easy to get lost on it. I had a wonderful time cruising Europe. It was indeed an EPIC ship with an epic experience. Look forward to experiencing some of Norwegian's other ships. Thanks for the experience. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
I waited so long to go on cruise in Europe, and finally I made it on the newest ship of Carnival line!! yaay and absolutely i had so much fun. we were three me, husband our baby (2 years old) we all were happy on this ship the crews are ... Read More
I waited so long to go on cruise in Europe, and finally I made it on the newest ship of Carnival line!! yaay and absolutely i had so much fun. we were three me, husband our baby (2 years old) we all were happy on this ship the crews are Amazing they are working very hard all the time to make our experience wonderful. i loved the crew of camp ocean they were very nice to my child and give me chance to had free time with my husband the entertainment was absolutely amazing. and there is thing for every one our room located in family harbor which i love it! the food was good, there were many choices every day (fish- meat- chicken-vegetarian) . it's not the best but most of the time it was was Delicious The most two thing I liked about my cruise were: the ship itself and the ports! basically I have cross many city from my wish list! we visit Rome- Naples- Florence- Pisa-Dubrovnik- Corfu - Barcelona Read Less
Sail Date April 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
My husband and I have always sailed Carnival, and this was one of the few Carnival cruises to port in Europe. Let me start by saying overall I had fun not enough to justify the cost of this vacation and not enough to recommend it to other ... Read More
My husband and I have always sailed Carnival, and this was one of the few Carnival cruises to port in Europe. Let me start by saying overall I had fun not enough to justify the cost of this vacation and not enough to recommend it to other people. I had many friends on the ship who disagreed with my assessment. Here's what I think happened... Carnival doesn't usually sail in the Mediterranean so it probably won't be a problem for most people, but I feel like cruising is not the best way to experience Europe. We stopped in Sardinia, Florence/Pisa, Rome, and Naples (Italy), and Marseille (France), and we sailed from Barcelona, Spain. Most of our stops were not close to our actual destination and required a long bus ride (1-2 hrs) to reach the points of interest... Which left less time to explore and made for longer excursions. We only had one day at sea which was at the beginning of the cruise so all of our really long excursions were back to back. We were so tired by the time we reached our last stop that we actually skipped the expensive excursion we had already paid for. We just couldn't do another full day starting at 5:30 am (that's how early we had to get up to get ready, eat breakfast, and get to the meeting point in time for the excursion to start.) Plus, we were constantly rushing on and off the ship. On the excursions we were running to cram in as much of the sights as possible or to keep up with the tour group. I feel like we didn't have nearly enough time to really see anything Europe has to offer, which is A LOT. On the ship we were rushing to make it to some meal before the restaurant closed, or to some show, or to some other activity before they closed. Which brings me to my next point - I can't understand why Carnival had so many things closed so much of the time. It seemed like every time I turned around something that I wanted to do was closed and there didn't seem to be a good reason. On our last day on the ship we found only one of the four whirlpools on the ship was open. We had to wander around for twenty minutes looking for it. We did a lot of that - wandering around the ship looking for something that was open. I purchased the bottomless bubbles (soda) package which means you are supposed to be able to get free unlimited soda any time of day or night. I paid a lot for it. But there are so many catches... for one- you can only get a soda at one of the official bars (does not include the coffee shop or theater), which means yiu have to wait in line, there are no soda fountains. Second, you can only get a soda in a glass, (no cans) and only one at a time. So you can't use your bottomless bubbles to stock your in-room fridge. Last and most frustrating of all, not all of the bars are open at all times and not even the same times from day to day. Which means you have to wander around the ship all day and night searching for a bar that is open, or you need to constantly have your nose in a schedule trying to figure out which bar is open at that time that you happen to be thirsty. Most bars close at 11 or 12 at night and don't open again until 6 or 8 the next morning. If you want a soda between those times you have to go to the casino bar. If you're a non-smoker like me this can be exceedingly frustrating because the casino is a smoking area. You'll have to wade through the clouds of smoke to get a soda. I'm not complaining about the smoking, I'm complaining about the fact that the only bar open is in a smoking area. That's not very inclusive for people who don't smoke, and there doesn't seem to be a good reason for it considering there has to be at least 15 bars on the ship. Another example is the main buffet restaurant. During the day the buffet is almost always open, but only half of it... which makes for bigger crowds and longer lines. Why, Carnival? That's the main eating area, it's the busiest restaurant on the ship... seems like a really bad idea to keep half of it closed all the time. And if you want to eat between 12 and 6 am (hey, I'm on vacation... I'm allowed to eat late) the only restaurant open is the pizza place... Which will probably be packed since it's the only option. Or you can get free soft serve ice cream (If you can find a machine that isn't out). So basically late night entertainment and food is QUITE slim on this ship. Sometimes they have a night club open if you like that kind of thing... But I don't know if they have food. For those people who have babies and children under 2 yrs of age (there are a few of us at least) they do have a babysitting option but there are a lot of catches. It costs extra, of course but it's quite reasonable in my opinion. (6.75 per hour plus 15% gratuity). They only take babies 6 months to 2 yrs old at night from 10pm to 1am, and then in the mornings at different times depending on the day. Most days for us it was 6:30am to 12pm. That's a lot of hours but you have to work around the excursions you planned and the opening hours for all the activities on the ship. I felt like most of what I wanted to do was closed during most of those hours - not all of thise hours, and not everything. I did have a few small windows to take advantage of the baby sitting service but it took careful planning, and a lot of rushing, again. And one of those times was during the time I would have been on an excursion had I not been too tired. So I basically traded an excursion for a little bit of fun on the ship. So just be aware if you have babies. Lastly, the elevators. I don't know what they have done to the elevator system but I didn't meet one person on the ship who wasn't disappointed or angry with it. They have some kind of smart technology or poorly designed algorithm controlling the elevators. In the middle of the ship they have 6 elevators but I could only ever get 2 to work at a time. This meant you had to wait a long time for an elevator and sometimes it would be so full you had to push the button again and wait for the next one, or even the next one after that. I waited for 10 minutes for an elevator more than once on my cruise. Doesn't sound like a long time but when you're standing there doing nothing and you're in a hurry, AND there are 4 other elevators doing nothing at all... It gets frustrating. You can take the stairs but if you're on deck 3 and you want to get to deck 10 - who wants to climb 7 flights of stairs every day? This says nothing about people who don't even have that as an option. (Wheelchairs and strollers?!?) Another complaint I have is the amount of entertainment and food that costs extra now. Is it just me, or has Carnival started charging for a great many more things that used to be included? And it could have been my frustration clouding my judgment, but it seemed like the activities and food options that are included are closed more often than those things you pay extra for. I felt like a lot of the free "entertainment" was a sales pitch in disguise to get you to spend more money. There were faaaaar too many spa demonstrations and not enough live shows on the itinerary. The shopping was quite limited on the ship. A lot of expensive jewelry and watches, and not enough souvnire type shops. I was dissapointed. I really liked carnivals new candy shop, however. That was a fun place to go. I spent a lot of money on souvenirs for my children there. Another thing I really enjoyed was the service. Carnival always employs the hardest working and the friendliest people. I give them 5 stars for service. Also, the ship is always immaculate. There were never a shortage of clean tables to sit at in the main dining area (unless the dining area was straight up full - which didn't happen very often.) I loved the water slides, the sports square, and the skyride. The sky ride is soooo fun. You must try it if you cruise on the horizon or Vista. The sky course looked like a lot of fun too but I never got to try it. (I had a baby with me.) The ship is beautifully decirated as well. I loved my cabin which was just the right size. (A regular balcony room.) I love the addition if the mini fridge in the room. I also really appreciated the new hand washing machines in the main dining area. Those things were so cool and convenient. Overall, I had fun on this ship but it was very expensive and I feel like we could have gotten a much better value for our money if Canival had planned things just a little bit better. For that reason I do not recommend this ship to other people (especially families, people who don't drink or have conservative taste in shows and entertainment, or those with disabilities) and we probably won't sail with Carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018

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