64 Barcelona Senior Cruise Reviews

I am a Platinum member of RCCL's Crown and Anchor Society, and this was our second Transatlantic. In the past we were quite satisfied with the hospitality given to passenger on the Royal Caribbean ships we have sailed on. This trip ... Read More
I am a Platinum member of RCCL's Crown and Anchor Society, and this was our second Transatlantic. In the past we were quite satisfied with the hospitality given to passenger on the Royal Caribbean ships we have sailed on. This trip left a lot to be desired. I read the review that another passenger left on our cruise, and I find he was quite accurate. He spent a lot of time on the food, and I concur. The food was mediocre, at best, and I was really surprised, when it was announced two days out, that the ship had run out of raw eggs. This was the day after we were in Nassau. I would think, they should have restocked when they were in port. Not only were Eggs sold out, but they ran out of bananas and Berries on day 10. The other reviewer mentioned a shrimp soup. I also was surprised by this when I ordered it, and saw the lack of shrimp. We had a surf and turf night, and a lobster night. The Surf part of Surf and turf was 1/2 of a small lobster tail. It also was served in shell, and was hard to retrieve the meat, which was overcooked. The cooks could also learn something about seasoning. There were a number of passengers from Louisiana on board, since the ship was slated to terminate in New Orleans. Several times on the lunch menu Jambalaya was featured. I was sitting in the restaurant with a couple from New Orleans. I told them not to expect much, and that's what they got. No heat at all! One of the problems we encountered was the state of the room. To be frank, it was dirty, and showed signs of extreme wear. This ship needs a renovation badly. the room was a little larger than many of the balcony staterooms, and on the hump, which is about the best you can get, and not have a suite. so I was disappointed when we saw cigarette burns on the carpet, and had lumpy mattresses. Shortly after boarding, we sent out some our clothes for cleaning. The clothes were delivered the next day. About halfway through they offered a special deal. Laundry was done for $25 all you can get. Unfortunately it took two days instead of one. To top that off, they lost our laundry. Our cabin steward had to bring three bags of unmarked laundry, and helped us find it. Which brings me to entertainment. Many of our table mates had sailed on the Navigator before. They commented on the shows which were pedestrian at best. In some cases they had seen the same shows two or three times. the cruise director made the point in one of his pre show comments, that he had been in the same show in 2003. Ten years is a long time to have the same show. Now I know why the shows seemed dated. I also have criticism with the activities, or lack thereof. The Art auctions no longer are with Park West. RCCL now runs the auction themselves, and they are not as varied than the Park West auctions. It also seemed that there were less poolside activities, then we've seen in the past. One standout was Vito, who ran the Bingo games. He is also a marine biologist, and also had a series of enrichment programs which were educational and well attended. Finally kudos to the wait staff, and cabin stewards, who worked hard and were very professional. I was impressed. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
Total disappointment. We read reviews for this cruise and were aware that rating for this ship is not too great, only fair. But this was the first Mediterranean cruise of the year and we took the risk. First and foremost I want to ... Read More
Total disappointment. We read reviews for this cruise and were aware that rating for this ship is not too great, only fair. But this was the first Mediterranean cruise of the year and we took the risk. First and foremost I want to outline the pros: Our stateroom attendant was great! Room was always perfectly cleaned, bedding was always sparkling clean and every evening we got those adorable towel pets which were the highlight of my evening entertainment. Dining room food was acceptable. Adequate portions. Head waiter came to the table every day for a chat. We had lobster dishes 2 formal nights and crab legs 1 night. Crab legs were pretty good and we asked we will have it again. Were told there is no plan to serve crab legs again, but if we ask for it, he will prepare it for us on request. And we got crab legs again, as promised. What made dinner extra special are the people at our table. We asked to be sited at table for 6 and had delightful company, lot's of laughs. I have to say special thanks to the desert chefs. That was the best desert we ever had on the cruise. Every night different, very delicious pastries of top quality. And special chocolate night was magnificent. Great variety! Lunch menu in the buffet was very good. Salads, very good selection of meets prepared differently. Great idea was to have different oriental variety every day. Pizza was fantastic all day long. Ice creams with different toppings. Specialty restaurant we only visited twice. First time we really enjoyed the food and the service. Yuri, our waitress was a delight. She was friendly and allot of fun. Food was ok. Sushi were not really good and they served 4 very thin slices and you could not get seconds. Second night my husband ordered Vietnamese lamb but meet was very tough and he got a replacement dish. However, the chocolate filled fortune cookie was something awesome! From entertainers want to mention Jenny and the HALcats. Jenny is a great singer and has wonderful personality. That is where pros of this cruise end. Cons: This cruise was designed for people over 85. Even thought there were allot of older folks we know people of all ages like to have fun. Shows were extremely boring. Low quality entertainers. Ship performers(singers and dancers) only performed couple of times in production numbers which again lacked quality. Since HALcats were the only band and performed in the shows as well as wit Jenny, dancing was nonexistent as the band was busy with the shows every night. So Jenny performed perhaps 2-3 times during entire cruise. There was another sort of jazz band that were suppose to play from 5:30PM to 6:30PM the dance favorites/ballroom type songs. Whoever planned the timeslot for this band forgot that first dinner sitting starts at 5:45PM and can go on well until 8PM. Since we are passionate ballroom fans we skipped dinner one evening to catch some dancing. That was terrible!!!! They mostly played foxtrot and took several 5 minute breaks(which lasted up to 20 minutes) every 15 minutes. In other words really bad for those of us who can still move. DJ Mario was allot of fun during some of the game shows. But his disco was at 11PM when most people are in bed considering that every shore excursion would start between 8 and 9 AM. One night we decided to stay up and go to the Latin night. All he played was Merengue, after half and hour we gave up. Game shows were a joke. Deal or no deal....1 person calls the rest are sitting doing nothing for an hour, what is the point? 1 show was sort of fun "majority rules" where all the players were involved. Is it so hard to find more games where all attendants would participate? There was no on-deck entertainment at all. Deck area could not accommodate all the guests and it was impossible to find free lounge chair next to the pool. At this time I should mention that dining room was terribly understaffed and waiter service that cruises are so famous for was not there. But there were plenty of waiters bugging every 5 minutes offering a drink from a poolside bar, dance floor bar, theater bar and so on. However wants a drink will get a drink, but no matter how many people will bug me to buy a drink I will not since I don't drink alcohol. So few less bar waiters and few more dining room waiters would have been great. Getting a table at the buffet dining room was a challenge, especially for breakfast. Getting food at the buffet was a challenge...First few days all the food were being served which created 30 minutes lines. 72 hours later they opened some stations for self service but meat and oriental section was still served and there was always long lines. So it was impossible to plan any activities around lunch time as we never new how long we might have to stay in line. I don't understand what was achieved by having food served. Poor employees don't get any rest at all, they work 12 hours shifts 10 months straight. And guests have to stay in line indefinitely to get the food. Port of calls were not too exciting and shore excursions were not the best quality. For example our guide in Pisa was terrible, we got no useful information at all, the headphones were terrible quality and most of the time all we heard was noise. In Luca we had wonderful guide. I have to say that unfortunately cruising is not what it used to be. Would I ever cruise with HA? Not unless they fix all the problems. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
Again, very 'smooth' boarding and, disembarking! We enjoyed "The Jade" (but, it was not quite as impressive as "The Dawn"). On the other hand, we did feel that the food was 'superior' - compliments ... Read More
Again, very 'smooth' boarding and, disembarking! We enjoyed "The Jade" (but, it was not quite as impressive as "The Dawn"). On the other hand, we did feel that the food was 'superior' - compliments to The Chef and kitchen staff! Never did we feel 'a need' to pay for the supplementary restaurants. We used the Asian restaurant once, because we love that food, but no way was it 'exceptional'. If I remember rightly, the 'aft' restaurant on Deck 7 was called "The Grand Pacific Restaurant". The 'left-hand side of the menu changed daily; the right-hand side was static. Often, we were "spoilt for choice"! We did use the Garden Cafe when the restaurants were not open, (whilst in port). I do have to say, the "Indian buffet food" was superb. Husband & I were booked into aft cabin 11150 - a mini-suite. Yes! It cost us more, but, was more spacious than the 'mid-cabins' we have booked on previous cruises and, we loved the 'aft' view. BUT! One very big drawback! - We were immediately below the "Great Outdoors Cafe" and, when their last clients had 'retired', the crew began to 'restore order' and possibly even 'clean' the deck. This occurred around 02:30 hours, with them 'dragging' the tables and chairs into position, BUT, ACROSS OUR 'CEILING'! Totally unacceptable noise! After several days of suffering 'interrupted' sleep, I did phone down to Customer Services, at 02:30. Consequently, for our last two nights, the problem was 'adressed'. I received a message to 'speak to Customer Services' and did so. Not satisfactory! (When on the Norwegian Sun - the walking/runnng deck was 'roped off' until 08:00 (if I remember rightly) to avoid the 'pounding feet' affecting the cabins immediately below). - This time, I was told that 'the remedy' WOULD NOT become 'ship's policy'! I know for 'fact' that one other family complained during this cruise. I really cannot believe that previous passengers have silently accepted this 'state of affairs'. Norwegian Jade! - you do have to address this problem! Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
Cabin steward was a gem. Attentive, smiling, efficient and helpful. Remainder of staff seemed indifferent to everyone. Ship well laid out and never felt crowded with the exception of the main theater which is very undersized for the ... Read More
Cabin steward was a gem. Attentive, smiling, efficient and helpful. Remainder of staff seemed indifferent to everyone. Ship well laid out and never felt crowded with the exception of the main theater which is very undersized for the capacity of the ship. If you wanted to see the one big production show on the one night it was performed you had to arrive an hour and a half early or you wouldn't get a seat for the 8:30 show. Since the 10:30 show was too late for us, because we were traveling with our 3 year old granddaughter, I don't have first hand knowledge of seat availability for that one, but was told by fellow passengers that it was packed early as well. The food was mediocre at best. Lido Buffet was a step up from school lunch but a couple of steps below Old Country Buffet. We tried the Northern Lights dining room on 3 separate nights but gave up because it was taking over 2 1/2 hours to get a 3 course dinner and the food wasn't much better than the buffet. I get annoyed when it takes almost an hour between clearing our plates and getting dessert. Actually, I believe the buffet was fresher and hotter. The lobster and "jumbo tiger shrimp" was laughable. The smallest lobster tail I've ever seen, 3 bites max, and the "jumbo" shrimp were about the size of my little finger. Not to mention that neither had any flavor at all. So, if you want a cruise where you can sit back, read a book and not gain any weight then the Magic may be for you. Just don't expect too much and you won't be disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
My wife & I had sailed with Carnival once before (on the Pride) & were looking forward to our 12 day Mediterranean cruise. It turned out to be the voyage from hell. Over 3750 guests on board and 90% of them impatient & rude. ... Read More
My wife & I had sailed with Carnival once before (on the Pride) & were looking forward to our 12 day Mediterranean cruise. It turned out to be the voyage from hell. Over 3750 guests on board and 90% of them impatient & rude. Tours off boat were disorganised, over priced chaos and after the 3rd one we gave up trying. The food in the main was very ordinary. The sit down dining servings were small, predominately just warm and boring. The Lido deck "hot" (& I use the word hot loosely!) was disgusting. The only thing you could get hot for breakfast was freshly cooked omelette or fried eggs and for lunch, wok fried Asian meals. Bacon was either fried to a crisp (American style) or raw and cold English bacon. Toast was lukewarm & soggy. If you're American, you'd be satisfied with the burger, hot dog, burrito etc fare. The pool deck was minimally supervised and although it was supposed to be not allowed, people would come down at 5 or 6 in the morning and reserve pool lounges. The ship pool crew never policed this and with over 3700 people on board, trying to swim in 2 bath tub sized pools was just too hard an exercise. The pushing & shoving for meals, tours etc is endless. The cruise also allows disabled and very old people and whilst they have a right to cruise, they cause long delays on tours and everyone has to compensate for a minority few. We booked a12th deck cabin & that gave us 24hr access to the Cloud 9 Spa facilities but it could be bought and for the number of times you use it you could save a fortune & book a lower deck level. Lift waiting time at peak times is unbelievable & you end up doing a lot of stair work. Time in some ports is minimal & given the cost, the crush to get off & on & the time you lose waiting that someone who won't play by the rules, & believe me there's always at least 1 pair or family, you just give up trying. Our room steward, Clemente from India, was outstanding & did his utmost to help us enjoy ourselves. His team of cabin stewards also deserve a good rap. The Casino Manager Troy K. was also a great bloke & did his best to help us Poker players make the best of a terrible location. Texas Holdem by the way is only available by playing computer tables 2 of the them seating 10, & they're beside the smoking allowed poker (slot) machines in the publicly announced Non Smoking Casino! The casino bar & cashier's desk closes at 2am, even when you're having a "Fun Day at Sea".you can continue to play poker & slots, but there's no staff. The "Red Lion" Pub is an oasis of escape, as is the "Piano Bar". There's 2 other restaurants on board where you can pay but neither rate a mention. The ship's shops, open when at sea, are set up to narrow the passageways to the dining room and encourage impulse shopping. It just makes getting to dinner a chore because people will just get consider others. Not lastly, on board Internet costs, like everything else are astronomical & it's a slow server gee, I wonder why that is? If you really want to cruise, consider a smaller guest size line & avoid the "K-Mart" standard money raking line like the plague!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
I have just returned from the Carnival Magic Western Med tour and to say I am bitterly disappointed is an understatement. I have travelled with Carnival Cruiselines twice before, both times whilst on holiday in America. I found the cruises ... Read More
I have just returned from the Carnival Magic Western Med tour and to say I am bitterly disappointed is an understatement. I have travelled with Carnival Cruiselines twice before, both times whilst on holiday in America. I found the cruises to be great fun the entertainment good and the food was good quality. That was probably about 7 years ago. I feel the standards on Carnival have dropped considerably. This particular cruise is obviously aimed at Americans who want to see several countries in Europe whilst staying in a floating hotel. Myself and my husband are English. We had a cove balcony stateroom which was fine, quite spacious really and I would not fault the accommodation or indeed the ship, but the food (although plentiful on the buffets) was fairly bland and tasteless. We had opted for the formal dining option, but our waiter's understanding of English was pretty limited and the service was poor. Our food was never hot and the quality disappointing. Most of the vegetables were either pureed or undercooked! The buffet on offer at breakfast and lunch was quite good and varied and so we tended to make lunch our main meal of the day if we were not out visiting the various ports of call. As I mentioned previously, this trip is aimed at American visitors who had made long Trans-Atlantic journeys to join the ship in Barcelona, they then were out on exceptionally long shore excursions (sometimes up to 10 hours!) to make sure that they visited as many European destinations whilst on the cruise. Most of the bars close at about 12.00 a.m. with the exception of Vibe nightclub and the Casino bar which closes at around 1.00 a.m. (apparently according the Cruise Director because the American guests had complained if they were awoken after long shore excursions or had gone to bed early because their coaches were leaving the ship at 7.30 a.m. the next morning for a trip). The entertainment was very lacklustre, indeed there was no show at all on the first evening of the cruise because most of the Americans had gone to bed early and on the second night, in the 'Showtime Theatre' the Cruise Director picked 4 members of the audience and gave them each two handbells and they then over the course of the next 30 minutes or so learnt and then performed a song. One other evening's entertainment was on a similar theme - this time recruiting passengers onto the stage and humiliating them by requiring them to pass a spoon tied onto a piece of string through their clothes - what fun.....not! We did have a 'magic' show one night and a 'multi instrument' playing lady another(supposedly a 'favourite' with the British Royal Family) who did a Glen Miller themed act - really cutting edge! Hardly the high end entertainment we had expected from Carnival's promotional advertising. Throughout the week there were 'shows' consisting of karaoke auditions to recruit guests to perform in the 'Living Legends' final night show as 'Elvis Presley' ' Frank Sinatra' 'Tina Turner' etc etc. We felt that there was an over emphasis on audience participation shows and also total lack of consideration for European guests who were not jet-lagged and were looking for a more relaxed cruise and indeed more professional entertainment. The high points for us during the cruise were spent in the Spotlight Lounge which was also known as Punchliners Club when there were late night (10.30 & 11.30) Adult comedians. The Cruise Director was constantly 'plugging' the various expensive shore excursions and in the theatre and this was even repeated on the cabin television channel. I will not be travelling with Carnival Cruises again and would strongly suggest that this particular European Cruise is only ever marketed to Americans, who will all want early nights because of the gruelling shore excursions.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
We have been on 6 other cruises and this was by far the most disappointing. The ship was dirty, the staff was generally unfriendly, the entertainment - other than the piano bar - was terrible, and in general it was a dead ship. There were ... Read More
We have been on 6 other cruises and this was by far the most disappointing. The ship was dirty, the staff was generally unfriendly, the entertainment - other than the piano bar - was terrible, and in general it was a dead ship. There were few activities that really got people involved. That might be because of the many ports of call and only 3 sea days but it was less than expected. The ports of call, however, were great and we got to see a tremendous amount of history. We made all our own off ship arrangements and if the ship sponsored excursions were anything like the balance of the cruise, we're glad we did. We had anytime dining and the service was terrible - several nights could not get water refills, additional bread, or even hot coffee. The servers may have just had too many tables as several nights the head waiter had to get involved with various parts of the dining room to get people served. Like most cruises, they love to nickle and dime you but this was the first time I've experienced the bars using premium liquor in drinks without asking if you wanted a call name. When questioned, the response was typically "we were sure you wanted the best." It appears the bartenders have realized that if they can increase the cost of a drink without asking you, their automatic 18% tip is higher. Can be pretty significant over a 12 day cruise. When we got back to Barcelona the fun really began. Somehow they managed to not get our luggage from the ship to the pier before we had to leave for the airport - 1 1/2 hours after disembarking. They lied to us and said that our luggage would be brought to us at the airport. Of course the airlines said that could not happen. We finally got our luggage 10 days later and one of the bags was damaged. After jumping through a lot of hoops to even get them to consider the claim, they finally offered about 75% of replacement value for the 1 bag damaged with no consideration that this was part of a matched set and we were unable to find a replacement in the same color. Their customer service people were much more concerned about saving a few dollars in the baggage claim area than doing anything to satisfy the customer. This is certainly my last Royal Caribbean cruise. My previous 2 cruises with them were very good but something has definitely changed in the past few years and I'm not willing to give them another chance based solely on the way they handled our luggage claim. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
MSC FANTASIA - March/April 2011This was our 13th cruise ~ unlucky for some!!CHECK IN: We went on this 11 night cruise with two friends and both my husband and friend use a walking stick and need extra help when travelling. We boarded ... Read More
MSC FANTASIA - March/April 2011This was our 13th cruise ~ unlucky for some!!CHECK IN: We went on this 11 night cruise with two friends and both my husband and friend use a walking stick and need extra help when travelling. We boarded the ship in Barcelona and experienced a chaotic check in. As we had once previously cruised with MSC we were entitled to priority check in but this never happened. As soon as the check in desks opened everyone surged forward and we had to join the queue like everyone else. The crew did nothing to help and, in fact, a couple of them didn't seem to have a clue what was going on.SHIP: The ship is big and beautiful. No expense has been spared on the decor, it is truly stunning. Everywhere is spotless, there are always crew around, cleaning and polishing everything in sight. The majority of staff were attentive and helpful. Staff on reception and accounts need a special mention as they always had a smile and nothing was too much trouble. There are lots of different lounges to choose from and the entertainment in the lounges was good, something for everyone.There are public toilets throughout the ship but there were no proper signs evident and you had to hunt them out. Nearly every one we visited, both ladies and gents, had one or more washbasins out of order. The toilets were always spotless but occasionally ran out of paper, only to be expected I suppose with the volume of people using them.The ship was very crowded even though it was not full. Sea days were the worst, not a sun bed or chair to be had around or near the pool unless you were up at the crack of dawn. There were some available on the upper deck but it was too cold to sit there. The only time it was nice and peaceful was when the majority of people had gone ashore and, even then, you had to be up on deck to secure a sun bed in the sunshine. The pool deck is quite a bit smaller than some other ships with a lot fewer sun beds as the rear is taken up with tables and chairs and these areas do not get the sun.If you are expecting courtesy and respect from fellow passengers forget it as the passengers were mainly European and barged into lifts when you were trying to get out, pushed, shoved in the queues. One of our party was kicked by a child and, another time, he had his foot run over by an invalid trolley which caused severe bruising and swelling. The passengers concerned never even apologised. On one occasion there was nearly a punch up in the lift when a man who was last in refused to get out when the sign came up to say it was overloaded. He did move eventually after strong words with another man, luckily we couldn't understand what they were saying!!!On day 6 I was walking across the deck and fell heavily injuring my knee, back and toes. This was caused by one of the plastic palm trees at the edge of the pool which squirted water from the top, usually back into the pool, being caught by the wind and the water had been blown across the deck making it lethal. Of course, within a minute crew came to mop it up and put a cordon around it. A lovely waitress immediately brought me ice for my knee. I went to the Infirmary where I was given an injection for the pain, pain killing tablets and ointment for my back. The doctor was very nice and said "NO CHARGE" Luckily I only sustained bruising and no lasting damage but please be aware of wet decks especially if you are elderly.CABINS: The cabins are good. It was not the biggest one we have ever had, that was on MSC Lirica, but very close. There was a flat screen interactive television, mini bar, dressing table, large double or twin beds with bedside cabinets. On the balcony two wicker chairs and table. In the bathroom, white bath robes, lovely large fluffy towels, tissues and soap in dispenser. The shower is a good size with shampoo and shower gel in containers on the wall.The cabin was kept very clean by an obliging Steward.The sheets and pillowcases were not changed regularly as have been on other ships - sometimes the pillowcases would be changed, on another day the sheets but not the pillowcases, seemed very strange to me.Ordering Continental breakfast in the cabin is a fiasco. The first morning everything worked fine. Thereafter nothing was right, mainly the timing. You have to select a time slot i.e. 8.15-8.30 or 9.00-9.15. It NEVER arrived within the right time slot. One morning it didn't arrive at all and when I rang up to complain was asked what time I had put the request on the door. Upon telling the guy at the other end he said, "are you sure?" ~ yes, I do know what time I put it out!!! He told me I should put it out about 8.00 p.m. the previous night whereas on the form it clearly states PUT OUT UP TO 2.00 a.m. If that was not bad enough, we never got what we asked for. Butter would be missing, some days no jam, on others one or two of the requested breads would be missing.FOOD AND DRINK: As we had cruised before with MSC we had a loyalty card and were entitled to a few "perks" one of which was dinner in the French restaurant. When we got on board we were told this was not available and we could only have dinner in Tex Mex instead. We did take advantage of this and our friends ordered steak which looked lovely but was very tough. I ordered cactus pads for a starter as I like to try everything but was very disappointed, they tasted of nothing. We were supposed to have a fruit basket in the cabin on arrival which actually arrived Friday night, 6 days after boarding. The loyalty card wasn't worth the plastic it was printed on to be honest.The buffet restaurant is not really worth a mention. The only really good items there for lunch were the meats carved in front of you. Sometimes the fries were OK and hot, other times they had been there a while and were lukewarm. Compared with other ships we have been on it was all very unimaginative.There were two dining rooms and we were allocated a table in Cerchio D'Oro [Golden Circle]. I would describe the food more as pub grub than fine dining. We are not fussy eaters and I have to say that some of the courses were delicious but there were a good number that were not. Potatoes always seemed to be the same even though given different names. The vegetables were nearly always disgusting, overcooked and tasteless. One evening the carrots were brown in the middle. The soups were usually good and hot which is more than can be said for the main courses which were certainly not as hot as they should have been. The salads were a joke, for example the feta, lettuce, cucumber, tomato, olives and onion salad consisted of lots of lettuce, two tiny pieces of cucumber, a few onion rings, two small pieces of tomato probably 1/8th of a very small tomato, if that, 1 olive and two of the tiniest cubes of Feta I have ever seen, our friend got three pieces, lucky him!On many evenings I had the cheese after the meal. The cheese consisted of three pieces of plastic cheese, a scant teaspoonful of marmalade and a few grapes. There were no biscuits available and if you wanted anything you had to make do with bread which is offered at the start of the meal - a slice of bread, bread roll or a grissini stick, we ended up buying water biscuits from the shop and taking them to dinner. One night my grapes were disgusting, brown and split and only fit for the bin. I did complain to the waiter and, in spite of him telling us to tell him if anything was ever amiss he didn't like it. We felt that in order to cut costs the chefs were using the cheapest foods available. We didn't have many prawns and when we did they were totally tasteless.We had elected to go All Inclusive which, on reflection, was a good move as we wouldn't have been able afford to drink, most cocktails are €6.70, 4 cl whiskey is €5.30, premium brands €6.50. 33cl beer varies between €3.90 and €5.20, Corona and Budweiser are €4.50. Wine by the glass either €3.20 or €3.60 depending on quality, soft drinks including coke, Fanta etc €2.70 coffee varies between €1.50 and €1.90 for a cafe latte or capuccino but don't expect very large cups, they are what we would call medium. On the AI you can only have a bottle of wine in the restaurant and only glasses of wine in the bars where you do get a choice of a number of different wines. The quality of restaurant wine on AI was not good and there was no choice only one white and one red, if you don't like it, tough. You cannot get any other drinks in the restaurant unless you pay extra. This is not a dressy ship, why bother to take tuxedos when people are wearing jeans and caps on formal nights!!!!! We couldn't see why they bothered to have a formal night at all. On most other ships formal nights have been special with a parade at the end of the meal of the waiters carrying lighted Baked Alaska around the restaurant. There was nothing like that on Fantasia. On every other ship we have cruised on our serviettes were folded in various shapes every night. The waiters used to take pride in this and enjoy the comments from the passengers but only on Gala evenings on Fantasia were they folded in the shape of a fan. Two nights before the end of our cruise the bar we frequented ran out of Merlot and they had not been supplied any even though it had been requested. The ship had been moored up in Rome for the whole day!!!!ODDS AND ENDS: I did not use the internet. I think a charge of 10 euros for half an hour is extortionate. The management showed no concern for the passengers. They only wanted the money. Everyone normally gives their credit card for the service charges as well as other charges on board. We opted out of the 6 euros a day per person charge and instead gave tips to those of the crew who had given us good service including some of the cleaners as we have done on previous cruises. If you are going to opt out you have to fill in a form at the start of the cruise and the charges are taken off at the end. They make it as difficult as possible for you to do this but we were persistent. They also take a contribution from your credit card for charity which we were happy to pay but would like to have been consulted first.CONCLUSION: I have never written such a bad review as this before. There were some good points about the holiday but we would never choose to go on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
Because I don't want to struggle with luggage or porters, and because my cruises are typically portions of longer trips, I travel light and carry my own bags on and off a ship. I never carry a suit or even a jacket and tie, let alone ... Read More
Because I don't want to struggle with luggage or porters, and because my cruises are typically portions of longer trips, I travel light and carry my own bags on and off a ship. I never carry a suit or even a jacket and tie, let alone a tuxedo. I therefore appreciate Holland America's policy of serving in the cafeteria lobster or whatever else is served in the dining room on formal nights, so that people like me don't have to settle for an inferior meal. Norwegian Cruise Line's "free-style cruising" is even better for me: passengers need never dress up if they don't want to, and they may eat when they wish in any of the main dining rooms, no assigned times or tables, and I've found Norwegian's accommodations and food to be just as good as on Holland America and provided in a less formal atmosphere that I enjoy more. Not so with Royal Caribbean International, which is why my November 2010 trans-Atlantic cruise on its Voyager of the Seas was my first and last cruise on that line. Although I had paid, like every other passenger, for the lobster served in the dining room on a formal night, I had to settle for a distinctly inferior meal in the cafeteria because I chose not to dress up, which made me feel cheated. (A waiter told me that lobster was not served in the cafeteria because it is expensive and people would eat too much of it.) I am mostly a non-meat eater, and in the cafeteria on formal nights the chicken breasts were dried out and fish was not always available. One night a seafood paella was the only non-meat dish available, but it contained calamari, which I do not eat. Mashed potato was usually the best steam-table item available, but one night when I had to eat in the cafeteria it was so salty that I could not eat it. The quality of the food in the dining room on non-formal nights varied: it was not unusual for one or more persons at my table of eight to reject the entree that they had ordered (a substitute was always cheerfully provided). The emphasis seemed to be on presentation: grilled shrimp were beautiful and skilfully removed from their shells by the expert waiter, but they had the taste and consistency of cardboard. Eggs Benedict were not worth going to the dining room for: overcooked and loaded with salt. Breakfasts in the cafeteria were entirely adequate--and the made-to-order omelets were excellent--but the ship ran out of peanut butter, raisin bran, and bananas, staples in my diet. Desserts in both the dining room and cafeteria were excellent, the best food items that the ship provided. Seating in the dining rooms was at an early 5:30 or a late 8:30 p.m. Passengers could utilize the ship's "my time" option to dine at other times, but that required payment in advance of the full gratuities recommended for the cruise. These were "gratuities" in name only, as they were not voluntarily given or dependent upon service received, but required for "my time" dining. All passengers were urged every day to pay their full "gratuities" in advance. The Voyager's library was unattended and had no reference materials, not even a dictionary or atlas, and no non-fiction books, only novels. Unobstructed views of the screen in the poorly-designed movie theater were available only to those who sat in the front row, sat in aisle seats and leaned out, or sat on the floor in the aisle. The most outstanding feature of the much-touted ice show was that it was on a ship. My single-occupancy cabin was fine, but service only so-so. Access to the window was blocked by a large bed, and it took three requests to get it changed. Ditto for having the minibar emptied. The minibar would not keep water cold and the ship only provides ice water by the glass from room service, for which a tip is expected. A bucket of ice was left in my cabin most days, but the lid lacked a handle, requiring me to use my fingernails to remove it, and it was not replaced until I left a note about it. I removed the duvet from my bed each night, only to have the attendant replace it, until I left a note asking that he not do that. I tried unsuccessfully to hide the useless, purely decorative scarf placed on my bed each day. The last straw for me was right-wing Fox News as the only "news" available on the ship's TV after the fourth day of the cruise. The ship plainly could have provided CNN or CNN International if it had wanted to do so. This led me to conclude that Royal Caribbean caters to political conservatives, which leaves me out. This conclusion was reinforced by the fact that, though not personally important to me, both Holland America and Norwegian list LGBT get-togethers on their daily calendars, but Royal Caribbean does not. Most frustrating for me was the fact that because the cruise was an event for an RV organization that I belong to, I made my booking through their travel agent, instead of directly with the cruise line, and the travel agent then refused to sell me a transfer from the ship's pier in Galveston, Texas, to Houston's International Airport because I had not purchased a flight from Houston on arrival day but was going there to pick up a rental car, and Royal Caribbean insisted that they could not sell me a transfer because I had to go through my travel agent! The agent said that I could buy a transfer on the ship without the flight requirement, but Royal Caribbean told me that such a purchase might not be available on the ship, so I should buy it in advance, which I could not do! I had to find, for myself, on the Internet, a shuttle service from Galveston to Houston. Were my not having purchased air tickets and the fact that the cost of the shuttle was lower than that of Royal Caribbean's transfer the reason why neither the travel agent or Royal Caribbean told me about it? (I discovered on the shuttle bus that I was not the only passenger who had experienced this conundrum.) Additionally, Royal Caribbean does "nickle and dime" passengers: so-called soft-serve ice cream was free, but regular ice cream had to be purchased at premium prices; regular hamburgers were free in the cafeteria, but supposedly deluxe ones had to be purchased in the ship's extra-cost "diner." Wine that costs $6.00 per bottle cost $8.00 per glass in the dining room. A 15% "gratuity" was added automatically to the purchase of soft or alcoholic beverages, and passengers were encouraged to add an "additional gratuity for excellent service." As on Norwegian (less so on Holland America), the constant exhortations to buy and spend were very annoying. (A recent program on The Travel Channel revealed that cruise ships rely on on-board sales and charges to make their profit.) Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
(Review by SueBee0 and husband, ldome) Have you ever savored the vision and taste of a delicacy, like a special dessert, only to take a bite and find out the cook accidentally used a rotten egg in the recipe? That is the memory I will ... Read More
(Review by SueBee0 and husband, ldome) Have you ever savored the vision and taste of a delicacy, like a special dessert, only to take a bite and find out the cook accidentally used a rotten egg in the recipe? That is the memory I will always have of this, my 5th cruise on Celebrity. Oh yes, the cruise looked fantastic, nice renovated ship, wonderful itinerary, favorable discounted price, friendly staff, but the "rotten egg" taste of how the senior officers and executive management handled the cancellation of this cruise after only 28 hours borders on an exercise in "how not to win friends and negatively influence people". After the notice of cancellation due to damaged rudders, I was able to contact my travel agent for help, and his initial reaction was that this event was 100% the responsibility of Celebrity, and he advised to sit tight until they offered their help. I soon learned that no help was coming. The senior officers of the ship disappeared and were not seen again, no updates, etc. and only the lower level staff, like dancers, and retail clerks were left to handle the irate passengers. Their mantra was "have patience" and everything will work out. But you could tell they were marching to the orders of the Miami headquarters executives and attorneys, to offload the guests at minimal cost. Then get the ship to Marseille as quickly as possible, so the rudders can be repaired and no more money will be lost by not having to cancel the next trans-Atlantic cruise scheduled to leave Barcelona to Miami on Oct. 25th. They refused to assist in changing airline reservations if you didn't purchase your air through Celebrity. The only "option" offered was to be put on a bus for 10 hours back to Barcelona, and to pay for one night in a hotel, but we needed 9 nights to use our existing return reservation on Oct. 25th. You would think that they could at least given guests a list of hotels with phone numbers that they recommend in Barcelona, and use their corporate discount to obtain favorable room rates. Although Celebrity said they would pay the $250p/p change fee for our tickets, they initially said they would not pay for the increase in airfare charge of $736p/p/. Also, since Continental Airlines was sold out of seats on Sat.-Mon., we still had to pay for two extra nights in a hotel and meals, until we could take our return flight on Tues., and Celebrity said they were not responsible for these costs. They didn't even offer one free drink at any of their bars on board, and did not provide for water on the bus ride-the driver was selling water for 1 Euro a bottle! The person on the dock at Nice who was supposed to know what hotel they had made a reservation at for you, had 10 pages of staterooms numbers, but also was writing in the margins names of people like me who had no reservations. We boarded the bus thinking we would be staying at some hotel near the airport (supposedly they said for convenience of getting your return flight) but then we were dropped off at the Melia ME Hotel, about 2 miles east of central Barcelona, and about 20 miles west of the airport. The real disappointment came with the meager 25% future cruise discount, not based on the price of the future cruise, but on the deeply discounted price that most guests paid for this cruise. So, a voucher for about $250 was sent out, but for a cruise next year that matches the itinerary of this cruise (except for one port replacing Split, Croatia), the price in 2011 is over $2000p/p. They apparently had no "disaster recovery plan" on how to help passengers get back home, and being dumped in France, where labor strikes were blocking the ports and the trains were not running, was not my idea of "exceeding my cruising expectations". Since this event, the Carnival Splendor suffered an engine room fire that disabled the ship and the cruise had to be cancelled. The President and CEO of Carnival publicly apologized and said they would do everything possible to assist their guests, including full refunds for cruise and air, and a FREE future cruise up to the amount that was paid for this cruise. He even met the ship as it was towed back into San Diego harbor to welcome the passengers back. Now that far exceeds what Celebrity did for us. These are things you need to consider the next time you choose a cruise line to trust with your time and money, I know I will. Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
The wife and I took the cruise in the Costs Marina basically because it was a small ship and I wanted to try a different cruise line having cruised mostly on Hollandamerica. I had originally tried to get this cruise in November but was ... Read More
The wife and I took the cruise in the Costs Marina basically because it was a small ship and I wanted to try a different cruise line having cruised mostly on Hollandamerica. I had originally tried to get this cruise in November but was told the Marina was going in for a referb, once on board and walking around I could see why. The layout of the room was a bit odd, the beds were in an L shape. one under the porthole and one along the wall with the TV stand in the corner, which made for quite a bit of extra space. There was a nasty cold draft and on locating it it was coming from a space on the wall over the port hole where a piece of molding was missing. I informed the front desk but it was never found, so I rolled up 2 bath towels and stuffed them in the space. The first night when we left Barcelona for Monte Carlo the sea was a bit rough, it sounded like a garbage can or something was rolling around the deck above my cabin. Investigating the next day there was nothing there and I discovered my cabin was one deck lower. The next night the loud noise returned, I went to the front desk to complain and a nice lady from the front desk accompanied me back to my cabin. Standing in the cabin she said, "sir that is the engine". I told her to wait a few seconds and sure enough the clanging returned. She said she would look into it. About 10 min. later the noise stopped. Apparently the dishwasher for the main dinning room was right above my cabin. I asked to be moved to another room but with 700+ passengers the ship was booked full. We left Tunis for the island of Menorca, I could see the island from the cabin porthole when the engines stopped and we just bobbed around on the Mediterranean for over 2 hours with no electricity no shower and no hot breakfast. They finally got the engine going again, previously we cruised at 17 to 19 knots, now we made 6 to 7 knots. We bypassed our last stop to get to Barcelona on time. Costa offered 100 euros a cabin for the inconvenience. The Italian and Spanish passengers were not happy so in a meeting in the showroom with the captain, with a lot of shouting and fist waving and something that sounded in Italian like, "if we don't get 100 euros each we will take over the ship", we got 100 euros each. Overall it was an interesting cruise the food was better than NCL but nowhere near Hollandamerica, the shore excursions were good, the staff helpful and except that I could not get to sleep till 1:30 - 2 am I was fairly happy. BUT I will never again cruise on the Costa Marina. Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
My husband and I were on the Fantasia ship for a short cruise in September. This was our second MSC cruise so we thought we knew what to expect as we had taken one before with 10 family members in the Caribbean two years ago. That cruise ... Read More
My husband and I were on the Fantasia ship for a short cruise in September. This was our second MSC cruise so we thought we knew what to expect as we had taken one before with 10 family members in the Caribbean two years ago. That cruise was not so good but we thought we should give them an other chance. We are seasoned cruisers (20 or more cruises) and thought perhaps the first one was a new area for them and we should try their part of the country before we made up our minds. First, we completely agree with the review by AP23 who was on our cruise too. Never met them which is surprising since there couldn't have been more than 15 American couples on the whole ship. Second, the crew overall was not the friendliest to Americans. They obviously prefer the Italians. I always smiled, thanked whomever, and never complained the whole time when I had so much to complain about. The crew working the breakfast buffet were especially rude. When asking for coffee one day, the gentleman who was serving it, kept telling me to get my own cup from a table. They were pretty much gone around our area and I reported that and he still insisted that I get one elsewhere (while there were some in his cabinet). I searched for 5 minutes all the way to the other side of the dining room and came back with one. Unbelievable. I am fairly spry and in good condition for my age but there were some older people that were never helped with their trays to the table. I helped some myself as I was concerned they would either fall or drop their trays as they were somewhat disabled. The ship is absolutely beautiful and the rooms were great. The gentleman who was the porter for the rooms was good. Probably the only really nice one on the ship. I agreed that it was terrible to have to pay for coffee all the time. I have never been on a ship wherein they didn't provide ice tea and coffee for free during the lunch hour and dinner. I also resented paying the 15 Euros a piece for us to get to the port in the France port. We have paid 5 Euros before on a Princess to do the same distance. That was "highway" robbery. I do have one compliment. The medical office and doctor were extremely friendly and nice. I have a rare disease that decided to exhibit itself during the cruise and the doctor was most helpful and provided the medication I needed. He also made me write down the disease name so he could research it as he had never heard of it. One big complaint on my part is the lack of information provided you for the visited ports. Their paper would have one paragraph on the port (the rest was about what was happening on the ship for that day) Every other ship I have sailed with (which is probably all of the lines) alwlays would provide a map of the city or village visited with information on what to see. We were blind as to where to go and where we were going without a map. I do need to say, we will never ever book a MSC cruise again. We gave it the second chance and it was worse than the first one. I recommend that others think twice before booking a MSC cruise. We all work hard for our money and don't need to be so disappointed and feel badly about a supposedly happy event as cruising. I strongly urge you to listen to AP23 and myself. I don't care what the others are saying. I am always positive and always do the best I can with whatever is presented to me. On MSC it was harder than ever to do so. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
I am a retired Civil Servant, Civil Aviation Authority, and am fairly well travelled. My wife and I live on the Costa Blanca in Playa Flamenca around 60kms South of Alicante. So when a cruise became available that suited our preference for ... Read More
I am a retired Civil Servant, Civil Aviation Authority, and am fairly well travelled. My wife and I live on the Costa Blanca in Playa Flamenca around 60kms South of Alicante. So when a cruise became available that suited our preference for the Med was departing from Alicante we went for it. We persuaded a neighbour to take us to the port and point of embarkation very easy. Then we checked in our cases, no probs, but then an interminable walk, which I do have problems with, to passport control, then up two flights of stairs to a walkway, about 200m to the gangway and not covered. So got very hot as it was a sunny day. There was a lift that arrived at the entrance but it was not being used. I have noticed that MSC are not alone in this. Most cruise passengers are getting on a bit and yet are expected to walk long distances from the ships to disembarkation points. In most cases this is avoidable and is just thoughtless. Only at Jerez could you step off the ship and straight onto the tours and transport services. After some form filling we were shown to our cabin arriving in a very hot state. The Cabin was an inside one and had all the usual ammenities so o.k.. It was thouroughly cleaned and maintained throughout. There was a very comprehensive book of shipboard information to study and the usual brochures on the ships attractions and trips ashore. The trips were quite expensive but we decided to go on a couple. Ship's information was by the usual letter to your cabin and very clear as to what was happening. The ship duly sailed and we went to our assigned dining room and table. La Ibiscus Restaurant, the tables were very crowded together and waiters had great trouble getting between us all. Not at all comfortable and it was compounded by the fact that the food was very ordinary. One of the main reasons we go cruising is the quality of the food and this was plainly nowhere near what it should have been, little choice, overcooked and too salty was a common complaint.. I can get a better Menu del Dias in my local Bar/Restaurant for around 10€. so this was a major disappointment. In addition anything outside the menus, water and wine we had to buy at very expensive prices plus a 15 per cent surcharge. Breakfasts could be had in the restaurant, excellen, or in the buffet. Lunch was the same but the Restaurant charged for water whereas it was actually free in the buffet bar. Quality of the food, apart from breakfast, was pretty average to poor. We are fairly lazy cruisers and like to sit on deck and either play cards or read. Most of the passengers were Italian and they proved very noisy and territorial, made the Germans look like amateurs. So quiet it was not but we did enjoy ourselves. We could not fault the Staff and the service they supplied. However there was much discontent about the price policy on board. Basic prices were very high. E.G. 2.50€ for a can of Diet Coke then a 15 per cent surcharge bringing this up to 3.70€. Totally rip off and most were aware of this and complaining. Thus when it came to the usual tipping, 7€ a day, most passengers cancelled out the end of cruise tips. I did not feel this was fair to the staff as we felt that MSC were just being greedy with a captive clientel and in spite of claiming it replaced the tipping option they still tried to charge this. Evening entertainment was to a pretty good standard and played in a very comfortable and well equipped theatre. During the day it was more of a Hi-De-Hi type scene and very active. Shore excursions were the usual mixture. We went ashore on our own in Jerez and used a local Taxi with a very friendly and informative guide. In Lisbon we used a ship's excursion, it was expensive for what it was, mainly a bus ride round a small part of the City and lasted about 3 hours. In Gibralter we went onto the Dolphin trip and it was excellent mainly because we encountered around 200 dolphins so it had to be good. Disembarkation was efficient but again a walk of over 250m was involved. I asked for, and was given the use of a wheelchair so well done MSC but it would be better to eliminate the need for it. On the whole I would not recommend MSC, the headline price is reasonable but the on-board costs make it an expensive experience. The Ship and the staff are great but that 15per cent surcharge on everything and the quality of the food left a bad taste. Never again with this firm. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
We flew from London to Barcelona, stayed at the Barcelona Hotel for a few days so we could sightsee around the city, then we got a taxi to the port from the hotel, the embarkation process was really efficiently handled by all staff and we ... Read More
We flew from London to Barcelona, stayed at the Barcelona Hotel for a few days so we could sightsee around the city, then we got a taxi to the port from the hotel, the embarkation process was really efficiently handled by all staff and we were welcomed on board "Century" in time to enjoy lunch. Our cabin was a good size with a window, plenty of cupboard space the bathroom was a good size too, and the steward kept our cabin tidy and well supplied with ice water. The information broadcast by the Captain, once a day at 12 noon, was mostly inaudible, couldnt hear anything inside our cabin and we never knew where we were heading, the weather details for the day and information about the ship. Our days at sea were boring, very few suitable activities to join, luckily the library had a few books I hadnt read. This ship seems unsuitable for children, they ran all over the ship day and early evening, even though the brochure said they would be supervised at all times by the Childrens Club. Dining in the Island Cafe we had the same menu for the 12 days we were on board. The staff were not very helpful due to the language barrier, but our waiter and assistant waiter in the Grand Restaurant where we had dinner at night were very helpful and friendly. On formal nights in the Grand there was no checking of standard of dress - such a shame when some of us went to a lot of effort to dress well.Alcohol was very expensive on board with the additional charges added. The entertainment was geared for a much younger group of people I believe, with the dancing, partying and theme nights starting at 11.30pm, and the live performances in my opinion, held in the Theatre were of rather poor quality, we have seen far better on other cruises. The highlight of our cruise was calling at the following ports: Ville Franche, Livorno, Civitavecchia, Dubrovnik, Venice, Split, - the scenery, people and cultures were wonderful to experience and left lasting memories with us - unfortunately Salerno could quite happily be bypassed. Our disembarkation started earlier than advertised (7am)we were told to book another night in a hotel as we would miss our plane connection, but as we berthed at 6am we could have connected with our flight from Barcelona. The staff at the disembarkation terminal were excellent, helping to clear the terminal as quickly as possible and ensuring everyone was catered for. Sadly Celebrity has not lived up to their advertising pamphlets/brochures, I consider this Century ship to be only "2" star, very false advertising, and unfortunately we will NEVER sail with that cruise line every again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2010

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