733 Barcelona Senior Cruise Reviews

Found a deal on the transatlantic cruise and boarded in Barcelona. Boarding was easy and quick. Our suitcases were at the door before we were! Due to approaching we weather we skipped Gibraltar and Madeira and went to Santa Cruz de ... Read More
Found a deal on the transatlantic cruise and boarded in Barcelona. Boarding was easy and quick. Our suitcases were at the door before we were! Due to approaching we weather we skipped Gibraltar and Madeira and went to Santa Cruz de Tenerife instead - a worthwhile visit. We got credit for the skipped port charges. Kudos to Captain Antonio for outrunning the storm, we had a a couple of days of rolling seas but overall it was as smooth crossing. The food was fabulous (as usual) and the speciality restaurants did not disappoint. The wines offered were all very good except for the whites which were to heavy on Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. But when asked, there was always an alternative. Despite this being a transatlantic cruise the entertainment was the best we had ever had on Azamara. The shore excursion in Tenerife was wonderful as was the behind the scenes tour on the ship. The White Night was also fabulous. The service overall was slightly below par, probably due to new staff not quite embracing the Azamara spirit. There were a few familiar faces to welcome us back. Trivia is a big thing and one of the hosts was not up to par as he could not pronounce words properly. That led to some angry outbursts. The senior staff is all great, visible and accessible. Looking forward to going back next March. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We booked this cruise a second time because of the solid value offered, and the generally friendly and active passengers we experienced last year. Numerous people remembered us this time as we went about activities and dining, and all were ... Read More
We booked this cruise a second time because of the solid value offered, and the generally friendly and active passengers we experienced last year. Numerous people remembered us this time as we went about activities and dining, and all were repeat passengers for multiple past cruises. The big values for us were the Burn the Floor dancers that performed in the Manhattan dining room, Epic theatre, and ballroom dance classes. Amazingly fast and complicated moves appeared effortless except for the heat they generated. Many other talent balanced out the performances, including more comedians than last year. Standout hospitality from Roderick in keeping our cabin in perfect shape, even though our schedule was a bit erratic, and from all the food servers in the Shanghai and Manhattan rooms were really appreciated. Wallfredo managed our wine selections with insight and attention, and we have only good memories of many Manhattan dinners. We were laughing one night about what a comparable dinner, Broadway show, late night disco, and hotel in New York would have required; compared to just strolling around the ship for a few minutes and saying thanks for the experience. That’s value. Counterpoints were the smokey casino right in the middle of the ship and the three amenities floors that NCL has not safely ventilated to protect their employees and non-smoking passengers like me. That’s a prime reason for choosing other ships. Secondly, although you can find some healthy foods, they’re re mixed in with hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, sweets and ice cream. Some deserts were labeled “No Sugar Added” but does that mean they are loaded with sugar-alcohols or toxic artificial sweeteners instead. More informative labeling or online ingredient lists would be greatly appreciated. Finally, the entertainment staff needs to expand their playlists to eliminate obnoxious repeats of over-played classics like “Hotel California.” Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I returned to Norwegian for my second cruise in 10 years because as solo traveller I wanted to experience the solo studios and I also wanted to do a trans-Atlantic. Like before, the Norwegian experience is hit and miss. But on this ... Read More
I returned to Norwegian for my second cruise in 10 years because as solo traveller I wanted to experience the solo studios and I also wanted to do a trans-Atlantic. Like before, the Norwegian experience is hit and miss. But on this cruise two things were exceptional: the solo studio experience and the onboard entertainment. I never expected the solo traveller program to be so brilliantly organized, I never expected to make good friends, I never expected to never eat alone! NCL had a brilliant young Filipino named Ters Tesoro (or Terry) who held daily meetings in the solo lounge with solo travellers. The lounge is a great concept as the single studios are so small. You can hang out there, drink good coffee or nibble cookies or croissants (supplied daily) and chill with fellow cruisers. Several dozen attended the late afternoon daily meetings, when Ters would offer those who felt sociable a chance to have dinner together, avoiding the queues, or a show where seats were put aside for us. We could meet for all meals, and soon several small groups befriended each other and would do stuff together. It was huge fun and completely unexpected. Entertainment was also first rate: Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Burn the Floor were excellent and with pianists, comedians, hypnotist, Beatles tribute band, and a wild Icelandic singer/violinist all available, evenings rocked on the Epic. Now for the bad stuff: I love to deck walk, and the narrow jogging track on one side of one deck is a joke. I so missed the Princess's promenade decks! I tried to walk on Deck 15 but was told no. The food was mainly poor to terrible. It was almost impossible to get warm, let alone hot, food in Taste, one of the main dining rooms. I don't blame the servers, it was a systematic failure from Kitchen to Table. You know things are bad when the plates are cold to the touch. And that was 90% of the time. Meals took forever: sometimes two hours to complete breakfast. I have cruised more than a dozen times, and this was by far the worst dining room experience. The other "complimentary" dining room, Manhattan, was a little better. The 24-hour pub always managed to provide piping hot food, but the wait at lunchtime was often very long. I was surprised when I first entered my studio room at 3 pm on sailing day to find it was not made up and clothing from the previous occupant was still hanging in the closets. He had apparently moved to another room for the TransAtlantic but no-one had removed his clothes. Weird. The other really annoying thing about NCL is the constant pressure to put money down on your next cruise. A phone message. Messages on the TV. Almost daily notes or letters encouraging you to put money down. The worst (and most disgusting) tactic was to send you a copy of your bill to date (showing your charges) to make the point that a future cruise deposit would waive these charges. Well I had prepaid grats and grats on the drink package, so my bill should have shown zero, not the $500 or so in charges the invoice said I had run up. I saw several people take these fake invoices to guest services who said it was nothing to do with them and had come from the NextCruise people. Shameful. I enjoyed my cruise overall but feel the experience was hugely enhanced by the solo program which allowed me to put up with the negatives. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I gave "Very Good" for this cruise because the price was awesome: 1450$ for 13 day transatlantic cruise in balcony room. Ship and cabin: + unique ship design, everyone is looking on it + nice stylish rooms + nice ... Read More
I gave "Very Good" for this cruise because the price was awesome: 1450$ for 13 day transatlantic cruise in balcony room. Ship and cabin: + unique ship design, everyone is looking on it + nice stylish rooms + nice location of buffet: great view in front of the ship + even if ship was full, there are was always free place near the pool - separate wc and bath (and the fact that wc is designed like a shower corner is terrible) - some furniture was broken, nothing special, very minor - shower was broken (water leaking) and this was not fixed during whole cruise Dining; + Super testy asian restaurant and noodle bar. And it is for free, without additional payments. +/- main dining restaurant was good, but nothing special. Food was pretty the same day by day - buffet food was of limited variety and of intermediate quality (comparing to italian Costa, where you get salami, spanish jamon, variaty of expensive cheese etc): burgers, pizza, chip cheese, fruits are of limited variety Service: + friendly personnel + 2 time per day cleaning of rooms Activities: + different activities across all day: live music, comedians, funny shows in atrium, theater. All was good enough to not be bored in 13 day cruise Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Been on of of MSC ships before back in 2012. We had a great time there This nov cruise from Barcelona it was not was we expected. The ship is very nice we have no complains about the design at all. But very little games or quiz. Missed ... Read More
Been on of of MSC ships before back in 2012. We had a great time there This nov cruise from Barcelona it was not was we expected. The ship is very nice we have no complains about the design at all. But very little games or quiz. Missed that a lot! We went to one show,,but it was to loud for us,,its not the ships fault. The food was not good att all. Mostly ate in the buffet, once in the main dining room. We were thinking of do the specially restaurant but found it to price. The cabin was nice..the bathroom a bit small. Ports..well we hade been to all the ports before, but liked it. Mostly we did our own tour. At Malta we joined an organize tour,,guided through the old town in Malta and also the world heritage Hagar aim Also several of the staff was very unpolite. We ended up not paying the tips, because they didn deserve it!! I had no problems not being charge Just went to the guy who worked with it. Apparently he said he understood me!! So before this cruise I hade already book an other in jan 12 from Miami with MSC Seaside. I try not to feel negativ, but.. Cruise several times with RCC and Norweigen, planning to go back there again Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We flew in on the 29th, Celebrity arranged ride from airport to ship. We arrived at ship just before noon. Boarding process was easy and went smoothly. Everything from start to finish was excellent. Even the weather operated. Cabin etc. ... Read More
We flew in on the 29th, Celebrity arranged ride from airport to ship. We arrived at ship just before noon. Boarding process was easy and went smoothly. Everything from start to finish was excellent. Even the weather operated. Cabin etc. I'll comment below. The bottom line is we totally enjoyed ourselves. The Crew lead by Captain Leo made us feel like family and they wanted us to be part of theirs. It was an excellent experience. Entertainment was top notch. Some people say the ship is dated. We did not find it that way. Yes it is older but it is well looked after. We used Select Dining and it really worked for us. Depending on what excursion we were on the did not have to rush for a specific time to eat. We did not try the specialty dining but were told it was excellent. Café (coffee stop) was very good and relaxing at the end of the day. The Buffet had a wide variety of food and was good. The lounges were good and the drinks excellent. On this ship there is always something going on and if you wish you are more than welcome to join in. As I said this one was one of the best we have been on and Celebrity should be commended for the excellent staff and Captain Leo. He was everywhere ensuring all had a great cruise. IT WAS A GREAT CRUISE. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We had a two day pre Barcelona with this cruise. Embarkation a little slow long lines celebrity need to fix this. Sailed on a different line and Everything done by computer from your passport to your boarding picture and credit card. The ... Read More
We had a two day pre Barcelona with this cruise. Embarkation a little slow long lines celebrity need to fix this. Sailed on a different line and Everything done by computer from your passport to your boarding picture and credit card. The ship was very nice and clean the cabins were also neat and clean. Entertainment was just ok for me nothing special. Activities were plentiful and fun. Service was excellent. We had first dining time and felt a little rushed but the food was excellent so were our servers. We use outside excursions that we like better than the ones the ship provides. We met many wonderful new people and enjoyed this cruise immensely one of the best cruises next to the river cruises we did last year. Great itinerary would have loved a another seaday maybe next time we will take a transition cruise back home to Florida. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise because we have sailed with Celebrity and 3 other companies and Celebrity was the best. One company we had a suite, Celebrity we had level 6 and this time level 3 and enjoyed our cruise experience at a 10/10 . Here’s ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we have sailed with Celebrity and 3 other companies and Celebrity was the best. One company we had a suite, Celebrity we had level 6 and this time level 3 and enjoyed our cruise experience at a 10/10 . Here’s why. 1. Incredible helpful staff at all levels. Nothing too much to help with. 2. Super Captain Leo’s is the most incredible mix of professionalism, fun, humour and kindness making his presence obvious. His officers are the same. At Level 3 cruisers we were treated like a million dollar customers. 3. the Shiws, guest entertainers incredible. The Production cast (oct 29 2018. What an incredible cast of talent. 4. The Cruise Director Angentina you did well. He is a master of brilliance and energy. 5. Food omg at every level from Oceanview to the incredible service and cuisine st the speciality dining 6. Cabin. We stayed level 3. Wow it was better than what we have received on level 9 with some cruise companies. We were very happy. 7. Gym. What an incredible place. Great staff 8. Theatre. The only thing better were the Shiows. An incredible mix world star standArd performers. We have attended all levels of entertainment in land so feel equipped to appraise. 9. Rest rooms. Cleaned to perfection. 10. Go on a back behind the scenes tour. An incredible look at how much hard work goes on. And a good look that systems and cleanly is throughout. And a massive call out to the waiters and bar staff. You all were so professional and fun Congratulations to everyone on Eclipse 29/10/2018 Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
So a group of 7 girls decided to go on a cruise for one of our friends 40th birthday, only 2/7 people has done a cruise before so it’s an amazing idea on something different to do. We boarded at Barcelona, everything went very smooth, ... Read More
So a group of 7 girls decided to go on a cruise for one of our friends 40th birthday, only 2/7 people has done a cruise before so it’s an amazing idea on something different to do. We boarded at Barcelona, everything went very smooth, the check in staff were helpful and informative, so sat at the bar waiting to be called. After looking at the info the check in desks give we head into our room, collect the cards and walk out. We then go to reception get a drink, go for an explore, then head to the top deck. That’s when it goes slightly downhill, no one knows what to do next, we didn’t know about the entertainment information or the timetable as we were so excited to go exploring we seemed to miss the little pigeonhole right next to the door, I finally understood on the last night. Not Costas fault but it’s not explained very well once onboard the ship. Also being a group on girls on a birthday weekend I think there was a few more drinks flowing than normal. At 6.30 there was a safety demonstration which lasted about 20 odd minutes, then off to dinner for 9.15pm, that was a definite eye opener so very busy, the waiter we had wasn’t at all friendly (although we later found out they can work up to 8 months and that’s without a day off), even I don’t think I could plaster a smile on my face everyday. While dining in the main buffet Michael Jackson started blaring on the loud speaker, then up out of no where all the waiters start jumping about dancing. That was amazing as it comes out of nowhere!! Food was good, although the menu can get confusing as the waiter never did explain that you can order anything and everything if you choose. We all dance the night away and that was a great first night. Next morning with a slight hangovers and an early morning wake up call as someone managed to get locked out of their room and went off with another friend in another cabin, we all shower and up we get for a buffet breakfast. I can see from the choice of breakfast that they do try to cater for different nationalities but the breakfast isn’t great to be honest. I try some pancakes and bacon and that’s it. The coffee also isn’t great as unlike the bars where they have a machine and a milk frother they don’t have in the buffet, so water or orange juice is the way forward, also they don’t have a toaster, and the bread is rock solid. You could kill a bird with it. Off we go to marseille, hmmm next time I won’t bother as there’s not overly a lot to do there, walked around, saw some buildings, forced an alcoholic drink down our neck and back on the boat. lunch at the buffer, again it wasn’t too great, rock hard bread again, some warm focaccia, pasta, and a big lump of beef with potatoes, not great if you’re a vegetarian (I’m not, but 2 of our friends are). Go to dinner at 9.15pm, this time the waiters dance to some latin songs, ver well done again. Then another repeat of the night before, more drinks and dance the night away). The 3rd morning head off to the buffet again, this time no pacncakes, I don’t eat eggs so not a lot to choose from, I grabbed 2 pieces of French bread with cinnamon and some pineapple, that will do. We get off at Savona, 1 MASSIVE tip, other than supermarkets everything else shuts at 1.30 and opens back up at 4.30, unfortunately we have to be back on the ship by 4.30 so we spent an hour walking in a group of 7, with different people trying to find a restaurant just so we can get a pizza, it didn’t go down too well but got there in the end. Back on the ship, more drinks, a lot more passengers so the bar on deck 9 was a complete nightmare, then off we go again. Down to shower, off to the 9.15pm dinner, waited until 10pm to ask the waiter what time will the dancing be on tonight, he tells us there won’t be any, shame, so we all thanked him, 3 went off to bed, 4 of us decided to pop off to the casino. Within half hour our 50€ was spent and off to the bar we go. A few more drinks down our necks an the conversation turned to the bar staff. When we took 5 minutes out of our busy lives to see the amount they work, the stuff they have to put up with, and the hours they work on a daily basis, I’m so grateful for my life. The amount of time they’re away from home, they don’t see their families for months and months at a time. While we go on holiday they’re there at our beck and call when we want a drink or service. So thank you Henry and Danny for that night. So last morning just before we go to Barcelona, we set our alarms to make the restaurant breakfast. I do wish I’d gone there before but to be there by 9 is a bit of a deal breaker, unfortunately again we had a not so friendly waiter and had to be called about 3 times before he would come over to serve, at least it was nice. Back to the room to get our stuff as we had to be out by 10. We decided to go back to deck 9, as we started off from there a few more Prosecco to finish up the holiday, and off we go to the shops, pay our bill at the desk and get ready to leave. As they bleep mine and my roommates cats and unfamiliar buzz goes off, we’re not allowed to leave but everyone else disembarked, so back off to the desk to sort the cards out. Cards done and out we go. The 2 of us are last to pick up our luggage go through everything and my friend realizes she’s had some money stolen from her case. Do not leave any money in your case. There’s signs around saying the same so I don’t know what was going through her mind at that time when she left the case outside the door the night before. You HAVE to leave your cases outside of the room the night before for them to collect it. They advise to leave the cases the night before by 12 midnight and no later than 1am, but I witnessed them not coming until 3.30 am. Do not leave anything valuable at all. There’s always people workers and non workers wandering the hallways so could have been anyone. I also had stuff taken but luckily not money. Anyway other than the little hiccup at the end it all went well. I also missed the last day lunch as I was too busy booking my next cruise onboard. This time as a family, so hopefully the next one will be a little less partying and a little less hangovers. On the last note, be aware that if you suffer from rocking on land, It’s been 48 hours and I still don’t feel great and I’m still rocking and swaying. Maybe I was a little hasty in booking the next one but I’m sure I’ll be over it then. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was our first Ocean Cruise on Viking. We have absolutely no complaints - everything went per plan and exceeded our expectations. We went on a few of the Viking excursions but chose to purchase private excursions for Barcelona, ... Read More
This was our first Ocean Cruise on Viking. We have absolutely no complaints - everything went per plan and exceeded our expectations. We went on a few of the Viking excursions but chose to purchase private excursions for Barcelona, Florence, Rome and Venice. Due to stormy weather, our captain chose to bypass Naples so we had an additional day at sea. We only had one day (Monte Carlo) where we had to use the tender boats to shore. Our cabin was excellent but didn't have enough storage space. In the future, we would probably upgrade from the Deluxe Veranda to the Penthouse Veranda. We got most of the Viking excursions that we wanted but by upgrading I'm sure we would have been able to get them all. It was very easy to schedule additional reservations at Manfredi's while on board. I would recommend to everyone to pack light since the Viking ships have free laundry facilities and also provide inexpensive overnight laundry services. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This is our 5th RCL cruise, we have travelled on Allure, Oasis and a smaller boat. The big ships are so fun, with so many options of things to do for everyone. We were on expedited check in which took literally the time to walk to the ... Read More
This is our 5th RCL cruise, we have travelled on Allure, Oasis and a smaller boat. The big ships are so fun, with so many options of things to do for everyone. We were on expedited check in which took literally the time to walk to the boat. We did not have to wait at all. The first day on all ships I always find busy, there are so many people walking around confused, trying to find their way etc etc. You just have to know that when you arrive that there may be a few people in the way. We didn't find at any time that it was over crowded or too busy. We always could find a table at the buffet, there was always tons of food choices and it all for the most part was fresh and warm. We didn't eat too much at the sit down formal dinners only because we enjoyed more time in the hot tub that always seemed to make us late for dinner. The windjammer is always good for many choices. For sure it does get repetitive after a 10 day cruise but that would be the same for any resort or cruise. The shows are great, Hairspray definitely the top. I enjoyed the aquatheater shows more on the allure and oasis than the symphony but that doesn't take anything away from the performance. Flight was a bit confusing and not at the top of my choices. The stand up comedian never disappoints and really enjoyed the two shows he hosted. We take part in a lot of the activities. The flowrider is awesome and so fun. The waterslides which are an addition on this ship are actually quite well done. I thought they would be slow kid waterslide but definitely not. Bit freaky but fun for sure!! There are always a ton of options. If you are bored on this ship you are boring....there is always something going on. Lastly the service was awesome. Erwin our stateroom attendant was so awesome and really ensures we were taken care of. The staff on the ship always had smiles on and were so kind. Gain I dont agree with peoples comments in other reviews about the staff. They must be walking around with a frown. It would be super tough to do a cruise in general with a baby or young children. Unless you can afford a large suite. For two people a balcony stateroom is quite spacious. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was our first cruise and we thoroughly enjoyed it. I cannot understand why people on here say they experienced an unfriendly atmosphere and complain about the food/cleanliness and the staff. We experienced exactly the opposite. The ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we thoroughly enjoyed it. I cannot understand why people on here say they experienced an unfriendly atmosphere and complain about the food/cleanliness and the staff. We experienced exactly the opposite. The staff were excellent and very friendly. The cabins were very clean and cabin staff so approacheable. Everywhere was impeccably clean and luxurious looking. There was a wide variety of food to suit all palettes and each food section was clearly labelled with type of food etc and even a large vegetarian section. The younger entertainments staff in their red tops were fantastic at getting people to join in and learn salsa steps and more on the Panoramic deck and in the Haven lounge. 'Feel the Magic in the Air' was the record which seemed to get everyone dancing and singing. The evening entertainment was a bit lacking with the duo (very enjoyable) and a solo singer taking it in turns to perform all evening. However, again the younger dance and excercise staff put on excellent evening shows a couple of times during the week. There were an abundance of sunbeds (and we did not see any collapse as has been claimed on this site). The decks were always clean and tidy as well as the pools and Jacuzzis. Our evening dining room Silver Dolphin was very good and our waiter was so polite, helpful and friendly. We did opt for the Special Restaurants package where you have 3 restaurants to eat at. The Asian Market was excellent (Lamb chops) but have to say that was the only one of the 3 we would recommend and we would not include this package in the future . As our travel agent told us that drinks were only supplied at breakfast, we also opted for the drinks package (362€ for the two of us) yet our Agent was wrong as drinks were available at breakfast, lunch and tea etc available up until 5am so we are quite annoyed with the Agent as we are not big alcohol drinkers. Beer etc., was very reasonably priced along with tea and coffee, so we probably only used a quarter to a half of our drink package. The ship itself was fabulous but we were not impressed with the ports as you have to either pay for an excursion or use a taxi to get into the towns (expensive). Messina in Sicily was the only port where you could disembark and you are in the busy area, lovely place. Embarking and disembarking in Barcelona was excellently dealt with. We would also like to thank the Captain who provided an unbelievably smooth cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose the cruise for the destinations which we had not been to previously. The embarkation in Valencia was a fiasco and no assistance when entering the ship from Costa staff. Beautiful ship, we had a classic inside cabin which was fine. ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the destinations which we had not been to previously. The embarkation in Valencia was a fiasco and no assistance when entering the ship from Costa staff. Beautiful ship, we had a classic inside cabin which was fine. We did notice that the carpet wasn’t too clean but other than that okay. Went to buffet to get a bite to eat and drink!!! No way, it is only open for short periods of time. Luggage did not arrive in time for us to change for dinner so forced to go back to buffet when it had opened. Wish we had not as food was very unappetising and was the same repeated every day for the whole cruise. Breakfast was a case of a free for all... never any clean bowls or cutlery not to mention a clean table. We gave up some days and went ashore to eat. Dining room okay but not a lot of choice and very rude waiter. Had to pay extra if you wanted a pizza or burger, the two most inexpensive foods!!! Entertainment was just okay and the general service on the ship is poor. All the destinations were good, we did not use ships excursions as they are too expensive. Was very surprised to find that Costa have now made the service charge (tips) 10 euros each per day mandatory. When I questioned this at Reception I was told by a very officious man that I had signed for terms and conditions and so must pay them. I would not mind if the service was good, but it is not so 200 euros for bad service!!! This just cannot be right. We have cruised now for 15 years sometimes twice a year and never have had such a negative feeling about a cruise. Apart from the destinations and the ship is beautiful there was nothing else to praise. It is said that it is relatively easy to get new business but very hard to keep it. Costa don’t seem to realise this, they certainly lost us. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We booked this cruise because we were very pleased with prior cruise and seeing the Western Mediterranean had always been a dream. The service and food on the ship was excellent, definitely 10 out of 10. The food was excellent in all ... Read More
We booked this cruise because we were very pleased with prior cruise and seeing the Western Mediterranean had always been a dream. The service and food on the ship was excellent, definitely 10 out of 10. The food was excellent in all locations and wait staff in the dining room, the buffet, and the restaurants was friendly, knowledgeable, courteous, and accommodating. Clients had an option of eating only with your party or joining others and there was never a wait. Our cabin "minder" was also excellent. The entertainment was good, though we didn't really take advantage of many options. We were very disappointed in the shore excursions, as were many people that we found complaining about them on the excursions and at meals. As one person said, "the treatment of the ship is rated at the top, but the excursions are rated at the bottom" The problems included a guide in Aix en Provence who spoke for over an hour on the bus in a monotone nonstop about the ancient history of the area; when walking around she had no microphone, looked ahead kept walking and talking; Another guide in Florence who pushed specific restaurant and tour, neither of which was not actually prepared for us. The worst however was the Roman guide, Massimino, who was rude, ignored someone who became ill, and ignored requests from clients. When bringing our concerns at the Shore Excursion desk onboard, received very poor response. I advise going on Cruise Critic or TripAdvisor to find other shore excursions. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
The food is uninspired. With a small number of offerings at the Horizon Buffet that changed only slightly from day to day. Food from venue to venue tasted pretty much the same. Except for one dinner at the Crab Shack. That was ... Read More
The food is uninspired. With a small number of offerings at the Horizon Buffet that changed only slightly from day to day. Food from venue to venue tasted pretty much the same. Except for one dinner at the Crab Shack. That was marvelous. And one dinner at Sabatini's. Sabatini's was excellent with superb attention and care from the waiter. The Salty Dog... pass on that. The worst hamburger at sea. Ditto with the pizza. And the coffee? You could see through it most days. Sat down on a chair in Michelangelos dining room, the first night, which immediately broke. The ship overall, leans to the opulent. But the ship feels cramped, and closed in. To gain access to the outer decks was often a chicane of elevators, hallways and stairs. More so, than any other ship we have cruised on. The staff, mostly, appeared robotic. Not that there weren't clear exceptions to this. Our cabin Steward was superb with an engaging personality. A couple of specialty dining occasions offered excellent table service. One in particular at Sabatini's was the epitome of professional, and attentive waiting. We also received timely assistance from one of the officers and plenty of help with the bags on and off the boat.. Music in the atrium was too loud and encouraged us to avoid that section of the ship. Forget about the internet. IMPOSSIBLY slow. Click...wait 10 seconds, Click....wait 10 more seconds. AND EXPENSIVE. Strangely, a few days after our great experience with a waiter in Sabatini's, I found that waiter in regular Princess blue and khaki, busing tables at the pool. The shore excursions were nothing to rave about. Mostly, just ok. But, one excursion at Kotor completely fell apart. The excursion guide lost control of the tour. Leaving two tourists behind at the end of the first half of the tour. Half the tourists went ahead of the guide, while others were at public washrooms, after the guide took us to a public washroom that was closed, and she had to backtrack to another washroom that we had past on our way. She didn't appear to know the history of the port that well. Eventually, we bailed and went back to the bus to await the return of the tourists. Princess deserves credit for offering credit for a significant portion of this tour. The tour to the statue of David in Florence went off as planned and access to the museum was reasonably quick. In spite of it all, we made it a great time. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
CROWN PRINCESS October 2-13th, 2018 Barcelona to Rome I am an Elite cruiser, and this is my 12th voyage on Princess, 1st time on Crown Princess. Crown Princess was launched in 2006, with a considerable refit in 2017. Overall solid ... Read More
CROWN PRINCESS October 2-13th, 2018 Barcelona to Rome I am an Elite cruiser, and this is my 12th voyage on Princess, 1st time on Crown Princess. Crown Princess was launched in 2006, with a considerable refit in 2017. Overall solid business class condition, the food and entertainment consistent and good standard. Firm and favorable recommendation to anyone wanting a good quality, big ship cruise experience. A very important tip for cruisers is found out when your ship of choice had its last refit. New ships no issue, but if the ship is over 5 years old, well worth considering this when weighing up choices, Travel industry is getting better at providing this information, but overall improvement is required My critique, is based on my many cruises and any criticism is aimed only at seeking improvement Embarkation Ship boarded at Barcelona. Large que on arrival, but with my wife’s left knee requiring management, she was wheel chaired aboard, prompt, quick and efficient service.. The ship in general The Crown Princess is a large ship, 116,000 tons Some people aboard found the size of the ship a little overwhelming and they thought a smaller ship would be more to their liking. We can understand that but we like the larger ships with more people and facilities and choices on board. Although there were approximately 3500 passengers on board, it did not feel crowded. So many choices, which is the great delight of cruising, one does as little or as much to do as you like. Some passengers take that for granted, mumbles here and there, but we value the great choices available! Used the Gym fitness machines each day, great to see Princess along with a number of other companies do not drown you out with music in the Gym, silence is golden! Good on Princess for this decision, if you want to listen to music, you can do so with your own devices. Some of the equipment e.g. Rower showing signs of wear, and more exercise bicycles would enhance the product available. Pools and spa facilities as you expect, available, and nice, off peak the time to go, pools can be cluttered during the day Princess cruises add a USD 12.50 a day per person amount to your bill and that covers your tipping for the total cruise. This is done so that people employed on the ship who are not in direct contact with the ship can also receive something. If you don’t like this idea you can arrange with the Pursers office to have the amount reduced if you wish, and envelopes for tips are available. We were impressed with Sky Walkers nightclub and daytime lounge, which is situated at the back of the ship 16 floors up. At night time it is a disco after 10.0 pm and during the daytime is a restful area for reading and just watching the sea. The chairs in sky walkers are extremely comfortable. During the daytime you can always get a seat there for reading or quiet time The other bars and public seating areas of the Crown Princess were excellent, roomy and stylish. Spot entertainment e.g. pianist, violin trio etc. were visible and pleasant. Listening to these spot artists, can make a cruise very pleasant. The shopping available on the ship is the normal 5 retail stores, with a nice range of goods. Watch and clothing sales abounded, and the 3 hour clearance scrambles, always available. Another variety style shop would be useful, not really convinced, about diamond and jeweller shops, obviously enough people are buying product to keep open. The Internet café is roomy and the library pleasant . Both are needed, and the balance between books and computers is important. Princess has done away with the on ship news sheets for USA, Britain, and Aussie etc. This is short sighted, many commenting on the lack of daily international news. Yes it might be available on the web, but the web at sea is costly, and soaks up time, hopefully these sorts of publications will return, when the world realizes technology is just another tool, and many people like something to hold and reflect on in their own time. Floor shows in the evening, and specifically the Princess Theatre Dance Company and singers were excellent. They did 4 presentations, equal to Broadway show standard, and the standard of these productions continue to improve and creativity very much in vogue. Excellent recording stars on each night, somewhere, standard excellent. Overall the formal and stage entertainment was of good quality, all part of your travel package Solid range of late release movies shown on upper deck, available in room, or at advertised locations. Good work here Princess, my wife watched more than a few while reclining in the cabin. The more movies the better, it’s an ageless form of entertainment A number of presentations or lectures on this cruise, none of which jumped out as great, but if the topic were interesting, the public speaking g quality was sound. Formal history or lectures by a guest presenter are always a feature of Princess Cruises. This time the presenters style and topics not my cup of tea, but any type of presentation adds substance to cruise experience. Excellent range of cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, excellent range of choices every day, including the usual bingo, table tennis, bridge games. Art shows were very visual. Great walking deck, and a daily stroll or 2 around the decks is a beneficial exercise and enjoyable. 3 times around the circuit equals a mile, and we try to build this activity into the daily routine, keeps some of the likely weight gain down. Soft freeze cone ice-cream available at no cost throughout the day, a nice treat. The weather conditions throughout were very good and no rough days at all, so the luck ran our way. However motion sickness can be an issue, and any cruise if you are susceptible, prepare in advance. Dining Traditional 1st or second sitting evening dining room sitting versus anytime dining are great options. We prefer anytime dining, and there were 2 choices plus the 24 hour buffet, plus the 24 hour International Café, and the open deck grill and Pizza bar options. We dined most days buffet breakfast in the Horizon, often had lunch in the traditional dining room (not available in the evening for anytime diners) and then at night, in one of the 2 anytime restaurants. Menu in each is the same as traditional dining restaurant, but we liked the change of waiters, décor and loved being able to eat anytime in the evening between 5.30pm and 10pm. If you had not booked, there was sometimes a small wait, but no great problem. Two specialist restaurants are available. The Crown Grill (steak) restaurant with $29 surcharge per person, I enjoyed compliments of Princess. Nice table, service and American Steak style, my steak was enormous. It had style and better than I anticipated. The real issue is a specialist restaurant at $60 per couple good vale. In my view no, plenty of choice for free elsewhere. The International Café was a real bonus. Great informal, pick your choice, from a salad to a cake, great alternative to the full meal service which abounds on the ship. The buffet at Horizon Court was good value, everything seemed fresh, lots of choice and we thought the food tasted fine. Open most hours was great. Service was good, and their breakfast buffet top class. You read some sharp comments about the cruise buffets; I think they offer excellent value, wide choice and sound presentation. You must be a very fussy eater, if you complain about sub-standard Princess cruise buffets. A nice touch each afternoon was the English High tea served by waiters in white gloves 3.30-4.30pm, in one of the main dining rooms. Made you feel special! Room Service Available 24 hours at no charge, limited menu but pleasant. Our cabin We had an obstructed view ocean stateroom on the 8th level. Pleasant, and while view was substantially obstructed, it was nice to have a peep out. We made the decision not to have a balcony cabin, on cost differential and because we are familiar with most of the Ports we visited, it was the right decision for us. The design of the cabin made good use of large mirrors to enhance the feeling of light and maximize space. The open space wardrobes without doors provided plenty of hanging and excellent storage space for our requirements. . Our main cases fitted side by side quite comfortably. Bedside lights have dimmer switches. Soaps and towels were changed twice a day. Bathroom shower was pressure excellent. Air conditioning was excellent. There is a safe in every room and our cabin had a fridge. Outside your door on the side is a paper holder with your cabin number on it so that the any newsletters or other information can be left for you. The Television was relatively small, but functional. No noise transference issues on this trip, you need luck with who are your neighbors’, this time quiet. If you wish to drink bottled wines in your cabin Princess seem to have no problems with you purchasing wines or champagne and bringing them on board at embarkation (Small print says 2 bottles). You can take these wines into the dining room but you will be charged an USD15.00 corkage fee if you take them into the dining rooms They charge for spring water in your cabin so we always take a water bottle with us and go up to Horizon Court and fill the bottle up with fresh water from there. PORTS OF CALL Big ships often mean you are located long distances from City. Ships are coy re detail on Port facilities, and access to City location. They want you to utilize on each occasion the formal ship tours, which are well organized, but costly. Independent travelers are tolerated, but they limit information as a means of keeping the formal tour numbers up. The internet is surprisingly limited re detailed information on Ports of Call (often very dated too), and guide books like Lonely Plant, virtually ignore it. Mykonos was missed due to wind shear meaning we could not berth, and there were a number of tender ports due to the ship size, which on this occasion started badly, but after an initial shambolic tender, things improved. Santorini and Kotor are mind- blowing ports, and Toulon was pettier than expected, the cruise into harbor pleasant. My thought is any tender Port; the scheduled stay should have at least one hour extension, due to que congestion Disembarkation Getting off the ship at Rome was excellent. We took a Princess Bus to airport at a pre booked price which I thought was dear, but compared to the $180USpp charge on board, a sound choice .Compared to the high price, and poor transport service options that we experienced in Hong Kong on our last trip, this disembarkation was a breeze Ports 1 Barcelona 2 Toulon 3 Florence & Pisa (Livorno) tender 4 At Sea 5 Olympia (Katakolon):Bad tender 6 Mykonos Town, Mykonos: Could not berth or anchor due to wind 7 Thira, Santorini-tender 8 At Sea 9 Kotor 10 At Sea 11 Naples 12 Rome (Civitavecchia) Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We booked this cruise a year ago (Back in May 2017 when we did Alaska). We had a sea view cabin 8045 on the eight floor that was ample and well setup. The room was keep very clean. The Vision of the Seas crew save me from giving this ... Read More
We booked this cruise a year ago (Back in May 2017 when we did Alaska). We had a sea view cabin 8045 on the eight floor that was ample and well setup. The room was keep very clean. The Vision of the Seas crew save me from giving this cruise a lower rating, they were fantastic and was hard to say bye, bye to them. The Ship is old, and unfortunately on seas days, you cannot get near the swimming pool. Lots of sun chairs hogs. too many kid running around with no supervision from parents or crew. Food very average. drinks vary so much from day to day, do not why? but it never happen to us on other RC ships? One highlight, was the Captain welcome Champagne, where to our surprise the Captain sung a full song!! Well done! I still like RC, but I will do more research on my next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We chose Celebrity as our estate agent led us to believe it was a luxury cruise company, but I wouldn't have said so from our experience recently on the Celebrity Eclipse. I travelled with my 82 year old mother for her birthday to ... Read More
We chose Celebrity as our estate agent led us to believe it was a luxury cruise company, but I wouldn't have said so from our experience recently on the Celebrity Eclipse. I travelled with my 82 year old mother for her birthday to various ports across the mediteranian. We chose an Aqua class cabin and should have had priority boarding due to my mother's age and her being registered disabled. However on arrival to embark aboard the ship we were told Aqua class means nothing and were told to stand in an hour long queue in blazing sunshine of 29 degrees centigrade. This took it's toll on my mother and was a poor start to the holiday. Problems such as this continued at some ports throughout and made for a very tiring and painful experience for my mother on occasion. They simply are not bothered about disabled or elderly and you are expected to just get on with it. Unfortunately added to this the majority of passengers were American and barge you out of the way or push you aside, they lack empathy for the elderly or disabled too it seems. And so if you struggle with mobility you may wish to rethink booking with celebrity. Our state rooms were pleasant although the balcony and seats splattered with white paint everywhere. Looked shabby I'm surprised this wasn't noticed, they must have checked after works were completed. The food was of a very high standard and the staff were brilliant. Very friendly and helpful. Our state room attendant Connie was exceptionally helpful to my mum, particularly when our luggage went missing when we embarked. We had to wait 5 hours to find our suitcase was held back for security purposes only to find when scanned there was nothing wrong at all. We needed medical supplies and it was very upsetting for my mum after the struggle to board. The sunset bar is lovely in the evening. Unfortunately we were told to move by an American group so they could take pictures one evening. This seems fairly normal on this ship, English are second class and the staff seem to be used to being spoken to poorly by Americans. We enjoyed the sushi restaurant very much but decided to not attend the bars in the evening after a few nights, had an unpleasant experience eith a drunken male passenger becoming aggressive. Reported it but heard nothing further. The casino is sizable! And the martini bar is fun with its iced bar surface. The staff in the jewellery shops are very pushy. I was approached and explained I wished to browse to see if something caught my eye as I didn't have anything specific in mind. I was then told I must want something to catch my eye and I needed to try something on so that I would want to buy it. I didn't return after that. The shower pressure was an issue some days, often sounded like a tractor! But some nice refinements like a demisting bathroom mirror. Bed was very comfortable and state rooms well organised. Robes were very useful. It did feel like they were constantly trying to extract more money from you wherever possible. As soon as you arrive on the ship, in fact even before we set foot aboard, immediately after checking in whilst still on the quay, staff will stop you and ask if you have a drinks package and push hard yo sell you one if you do not. We had already purchased the classic passage and when I explained this I was told I needed to upgrade to premium because it was much better for me. When I asked why they bothered with other levels of drink package if the premium was the only one worth having they had no answer for me. Classic was ample for our needs, but we were stopped several more times with the hard sell when we stepped aboard. And we had to have customer services cancel charges from our bill twice which were added incorrectly as the drinks were included in our package. Worryingly I had not signed to authorise the charges. So generally keep an eye on yiu r bill daily using the tv in the state room. They are supposed to give you a breakdown the night before disembarking but they didn't for us. The spa is very nice but very expensive. $65 to change the shellac colour of my nails, just an example. The excursions celebrity offer are also very expensive indeed. Wait until you get to the port you will be able to organise much more reasonably. We were charged $25 for one transfer from ship to port and realised a few metres from the ship there was a free bus service. Many passengers saw, remarked, felt this was unreasonable. All in all the staff and food was great, the ship was very nice in parts but lacked lustre and was tired in others. Would I cruise again? Yes, i enjoyed the concept. Would I cruise with celebrity? Sorry, I'm afraid that's unlikely. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Mediterranean Cruise Vacation ex Barcelona on MSC Fantasia. We have previously sailed with Celebrity, RCL, and Norwegian in The Caribbean, Alaska and on the Pacific coast, and this was our first European cruise and first with MSC. We ... Read More
Mediterranean Cruise Vacation ex Barcelona on MSC Fantasia. We have previously sailed with Celebrity, RCL, and Norwegian in The Caribbean, Alaska and on the Pacific coast, and this was our first European cruise and first with MSC. We are a married couple from Chicago who traveled with two single friends and we had adjoining cabins. We chose the Yacht Club package due to the all-inclusive feel, the price and the itinerary. This was a port-intensive trip with just two mornings at sea. One thing new to us was the idea of people embarking and disembarking at different ports throughout the cruise: on almost every cruise I can think we’ve been, we’ve had a complete passenger turnover on Day 1 of the cruise: not on MSC. Embarkation/ Boarding: Very smooth operation. Yacht Club personnel came to meet us (they must have seen the luggage tags) We were offered canapes and beverages while waiting for check-in. We were escorted in on the same line as everyone else, bypassing them as the butler led us on. No later than 20 minutes after boarding, we had our key cards and were given a tour of the Yacht Club enclave by our butler Germain who also thoroughly explained the workings of items in the cabin. The safety drill was an entire joke; no one was paying attention, least of all the Italians on board. The Cabin: 15001 is a large square room with an oversize balcony. The cabin was always perfectly maintained for the duration of the cruise, The TV screen was way too small for a cabin this size and was so far away from the bed that you could hardly enjoy anything on screen. We first always had to call for ice but after three evenings they got it and the ice bucket was always full when we got back. Europeans don’t use ice nearly as much as Americans; even our drinks had just a couple cubes compared to at home. Our friends next door had a regular size cabin; 15001 is really a nice cabin with extra space if that’s important to you. We had a large walk-in closet which had a lighting system operated by foot movement, so if you were in there not moving around you’d be left in the dark until you moved again! A bit disconcerting I suppose! We found it funny…. The bedding and bed linens/pillows were all amazingly comfortable and of a very high quality. A wide selection of toiletries was provided in the bathroom which had a bathtub/shower combination The Dining: Meals at L’Etoile were good but not stand-out exceptional. We had dinner there every evening, a few lunches, and just one breakfast which was slow but good. Service was attentive but not overbearing. We appreciated having this option as the regular ship buffet was always crowded and loud with people not keeping in lines. We ate there just once to try the pizza which was excellent. As a Yacht Club member you get to enjoy complimentary gelato throughout the ship, health bar shakes at tbe spa and chocolate cocktails at the Venchi bar on 6. On “Elegant” night (MSC doesn’t have “Formal”), we saw only two tuxedoes in Yacht Club, and most people dressed in smart “business casual” attire. Many men wore blazers and khakis, few even wore ties. I have no experience of what it was like in the main dining room but no one seemed to bother much about keeping to any kind of dress code. One nice thing about the Yacht Club was the personalized attention we received at all times on The One Pool deck and at the Top Sail Lounge, including Afternoon Tea service. The Entertainment: the Italian Operatic evening was enjoyable as was the French evening, but the others were just bad-mix combos of ballroom dancing, skipping-rope and street-dancing routines and I have seen better High School productions in theater. Elsewhere on the ship we had a pianist every evening at the Yacht Club Top Sail Lounge., and there were various bands and musical entertainments elsewhere that we heard about but didn’t experience. One thing I noticed on MSC is that there are many more smoking sections in some of their indoor spaces than seem to be the case of the American cruises we’ve been on. The casino, the indoor lounges all allowed smoking (sections of the lounges were non-smoking but the smell of Febreze next morning—it is used liberally to get rid of cigarette smoke stink--was quite nauseating). Personally, I would prefer a non-smoking cruise option and will look for that on our next cruise vacation. The Spa: Yacht Club guests have access to the sauna and steam room areas at all times; there is a special elevator that takes Yacht Club guests directly into the area. Otherwise you have to enter the spa through the main doors on floor 14 which is like being attacked by mosquitoes, so aggressive are the spa staff at selling options and offers. A word to the wise: I tipped my service provider at the spa generously but realized after seeing my receipt that a 20% service charge is automatically added, so you do not need to tip unless you think your therapist deserves more than that. My therapist was exceptionally good at her job, professional and obviously well-trained. The ship in general: Very clean and well appointed. Shore excursions: Poor offerings from MSC so we did our own thing. Ajaccio: we walked off the ship and explored this French town on our own. Visited Napoleon’s birthplace and an art gallery and artisanal craft store. Typical French south-coast town. Nothing much to note except the main street closest to the harbor is exceptionally touristy and you have to go up the hill to the next level or two to get the real French town feeling. Rome: picked up a rental car in port of Civitavecchia (near train station: took shuttle from ship to port entrance and port entrance to station about 4 Euro round trip) and drove to Odaleschi Castle on the shores of Lake Bracciano. Lovely day, The castle is home to an Italian Princess Orsini, and is famous for its celebrity weddings, such as Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. I can see why… views are stunning. On the drive back we stopped at an Etruscan Necropolis and overall had a great day and were back on ship in time for a very late lunch at L’Etoile. La Spezia: took the public ferry from the port to Monterosso. We’ve been to the Cinque Terre before, and have actually hiked the trail, from Vernazza to Manarola but this time around were happy to see it from the water and to see Monterosso which is a lovely village. Took the train back and walked to the ship. We stopped at the hotel we had stayed at two years’ ago and the receptionist recognized us! It was amazing! Another exceptional and memorable day. So enjoyable! Geooa: took a walking tour of the old town with a local guide organized on get your guide dot com. This was a great tour and included entrance to the Palazzo Rosso which is memorable for its rooftop views in addition to its art collection. Also we were back on the ship in time for lunch and then had the afternoon which some of us explored on our own and others used the ship as a vacation destination! Cannes. Tendered here. Took a tour to Monaco and Eze with Viator dot com. Also highly recommend this company. Bring your passport: you can get a free souvenir passport stamp in the Monaco Tourist Office in Monte Carlo (opposite the Casino but uphill at other end of the garden). It’s a nice and colorful souvenir. Unlike most things in Monaco, it’s free. Saw the Changing of the Guard at the Grimaldi Palace, visited the small nearby Cathedral where Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier, and visited their crypt. Vita Brevis. Enjoyed delicious ice-cream. The views of Antibes and Cap Ferrat from Eze are truly memorable. Eze is a lovely hillside village and is home to both the Fragonard perfumery and the Chevre D’Or. Walt Disney once visited here and it is obvious it inspired some of his work. We were lucky to get there early before the hordes of tour busses, and climbed to the sculpture garden at the summit for some of the best photos of our trip. Palma de Mallorca: MSC charging 14 Euro for a round trip bus transfer for what I consider a nice walk. Save money if the weather is not too hot and do it yourself. It’s less than a mile each way. We ended up taking the bus due to a travel companion’s foot problem and explored the Cathedral and Old Palma downtown. The ship was late in port this evening but we were back in time for dinner and wanted to enjoy our final evening on board. Excursions: we really saved a lot by going independently and lots of these ports are worth exploration; we had heard poor reports about value of ship excursions but no complaints at all about get your guide dot com or viator dot com, botb of which offered exceptional value and well-organized tours. MSC overall: Yes we really enjoyed this cruise but if we were not in Yacht Club we felt the ship had a crowded feel and a loud ambience. Once we entered the Yacht Club enclave everything became very quiet and peaceful and we loved spending time either on our balcony, in the Top Sail Lounge, or on the One Pool Deck. Nice touches included live piano music every evening, the free mini-bar in the suite and the daily newspaper that arrived with the morning coffee. I would choose MSC again but only in the Yacht Club. The wait staff and bartenders remembered our drinks, the concierge was exceptionally helpful and we were well looked-after. Packages: I pre-paid and saved 40% on the basic or standard internet package which lasted for the duration of the cruise. I also pre-paid for one of two massages that I had. We did not bother with photograph packages as we take enough on our phones! Our travel agent provided us a $250 shipboard credit per cabin which we applied towards things like laundry and spa services. Overall this was an excellent vacation and very relaxing. Disembark: we were first off the ship and our luggage was waiting, as was our driver; we had arranged a private full day tour of Barcelona and Montserrat and our luggage was stored securely on vehicle while we did this tour. It was an excellent introduction to our next four days in Barcelona before returning home. Photos: where to begin; they are all on my Google drive and it will take all winter to go through them! otherwise I'd upload a few here but cannot seem to be able to link to Google photos? Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Norwegian Epic is a very large ship, looks like a block of flats sailing along and on our cruise was full with about 4,000 passengers although there was always adequate space on board and it did not feel crowded. The crew were constantly ... Read More
Norwegian Epic is a very large ship, looks like a block of flats sailing along and on our cruise was full with about 4,000 passengers although there was always adequate space on board and it did not feel crowded. The crew were constantly at work keeping the ship clean. Dining We mainly ate in the Garden Cafe buffet due to my wife's dietary requirements and the range of food was superb and delicious. We also ate at the Cagneys steakhouse and the meal was fantastic although costly about $80. The dining staff were all very helpful and friendly. Entertainment We did not see any of the entertainment as it was all fully booked even at the time we booked the cruise a couple of months before. This is something that needs to be addressed. Shore Excursions Were very expensive but well organised. I did the Sorrento and Pompeii excursion in Naples. Pompeii was extremely hot and very tiring but I am glad I did it. At Livorno we went on the Easy Florence excursion but I cannot tell you much about that as I had an accident and ended up in hospital. We were however accompanied by the tour company manager who stayed with us for the whole day in hospital and got us back to the ship. She was a godsend. In Cannes we did the Grasse and St,. Paul de Vence excursion. Grasse was a visit to a perfume factory interesting but the perfume was very expensive. At St. Paul de Vence we were told it was a 15 minute walk uphill and my wife could not do that so we found a cafe and had a delicious lunch. In Palma we did the scenic Palma and a visit to the pearl factory which was a good tour except that the bus which was operated by TUI had very limited legroom and was extremely uncomfortable. We were dropped off into Palma for a wander around and we caught the shuttle bus back to the ship. This was a much more comfortable coach. To & From the ship We flew from Gatwick to Barcelona on Vueling to catch the ship and the flight was like all modern air transport OK but not a pleasant experience. In Barcelona we were met by taxi and taken to the ship. On the way back we should have had a taxi to the airport but it never turned up, we were fortunate in find a taxi driver who eventually took us. Service Service on board was generally very prompt, friendly and helpful apart from the Finance Desk which considered it a great deal of trouble to issue out euros. Incidentally the currency on board is US dollars and the only ATMs on board are in the casino and only issue dollars. This on a ship sailing wholly within Europe. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
The disappointment started with the embarkation. The process did not go smoothly at all. I have an injured left leg and should not walk for far lengths. The airport provided a wheelchair and the cruiseline said they would provide a ... Read More
The disappointment started with the embarkation. The process did not go smoothly at all. I have an injured left leg and should not walk for far lengths. The airport provided a wheelchair and the cruiseline said they would provide a wheelchair as well. When I got there, there was not chair for me. The women say my orthotic boot and gave me Priority Boarding. The issue it, there was absolutely no crown control. There was ONE line for priority boarding which included both handicap and VIP guests. All the guests, not jus the VIP guests packed all of the lines, and people were even pushing me to get on the boat. I left and told them that I can not get in line and I was told that cannot control what their guests do!!! Get ready to be RUN OVER by wild Europeans on the Fantasia. Do not purchase their excursions. They say that people speak English but in reality, the accents are so thick that you will no understand them anyways. Deborah in Rome spoke very poor English and during the whole tour in Rome the microphones did not work at all. We could never hear her. We took 3 excursions- Rome, Pisa, and Monaco. In all 3, you have very limited time to actually STOP and enjoy a site, or take a picture, or enter a small shoppe. They are so concerned with you being back by 3pm, even if the boat doesnt leave until 5:30pm!!! Its better to take a taxi or do a local tour. MSC excursions are not worth it. Also, only ONE local destination offered free shuttle buses into the city center, I think it was La Spezia, but should be all cities. With dinning, they are far too strict. You have to be seated by 7pm and if you are not you can loose your place in dinning and have to eat at the buffet. The buffet is NOT wheelchair friendly. I was only using a wheelchair temporarily, not permanently, but still, no staff offered to help me. The cruise itself is not very wheelchair friendly, which made me feel very bad for people who are actually permanently disabled. For example, there is no wheelchair only elevators. There were actually not enough elevators. There are also no automatic doors throughout the entire ship so you have to rely on other people to help you through the doors. Also, the counters in the dinning room are far too high for anyone in a wheelchair to take a plate, see the food, and serve themselves. My husband had to help me every day, because the staff never assisted. Once, a kind waitor assisted me when he saw me limping with coffee. Definitely the worst part of our trip and what ruined our whole trip was when our cabin was flooded with water when a pipe burst at 2am. I woke up to water in our room in the middle of the night and had a panic attack. They later told us that we were LUCKY they had an extra room available for us to sleep in that night. They even wanted us to go back to the soiled room the next day. Our items were soiled with dirty pipe water and many of our items were not cleaned for when we were scheduled to disembark 2 days later. They refused to return our money for the price of our cabin for those 2 nights and refused to provide any compensation for our shoes or even let me fill our a complaint form. We have been trying to contact customer service for the pipe even specifcially but no one has returned our contacts. All in all, this cruise line is NOT wheelchair friendly, has no automatic doors or dinning assitance, and did not own up to their responsiblity for our cabin and items. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
My wife & I were celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary. We had spent 5 days in Barcelona (fabulous) and before that we came off a 10-days cruise from Athens to Barcelona on Oceania's Riviera (owned by NCL). Up to this point ... Read More
My wife & I were celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary. We had spent 5 days in Barcelona (fabulous) and before that we came off a 10-days cruise from Athens to Barcelona on Oceania's Riviera (owned by NCL). Up to this point everything was wonderful.-just what we anticipated. Then came the NCL cruise on the Epic. We chose this cruise because of its great itinerary. We should have done more research in regards to the demographics of the passengers, all 4,100 of them. It seemed as if more than half were kids, from infants to teens. The noise level at times was unbearable. Parents letting their kids go wild, running & shouting. On the main level, the cruise director & his staff were constantly shouting into a microphone playing games. Out of 18 decks, it was almost impossible to find a quiet, shaded outdoor area to sit and relax. On the other hand, the dining was pretty good in the specialty restaurants but only so-so in the two free main dining restaurants. Buffet breakfasts & lunches were good. Our cabin, a mini-suite, was adequate. Excursions were fine, except for the one they canceled at the last minute. If you're traveling with kids, this is the ship for you. If you're looking for a relaxing cruise, it definitely is NOT. We probably will not cruise on NCL again, maybe on one of the smaller ships. I realize "you get what you pay for" so there's really no comparing NCL with Oceania, Seabourn or Viking (other cruise lines we've sailed), but I'd rather cruise less frequently and truly enjoy it than be frustrated traveling more often. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Orion was immaculate, a new ship and the crew was together just two months prior to our sailing; so in essence, everyone was "new" onboard. In true Viking fashion, everything went very smoothly (for us). We essentially sailed ... Read More
Orion was immaculate, a new ship and the crew was together just two months prior to our sailing; so in essence, everyone was "new" onboard. In true Viking fashion, everything went very smoothly (for us). We essentially sailed what's now called Mediterranean Odyssey (Barcelona to Venice). Our cruise was somehow overbooked, so the ship seemed more crowded than usual, full capacity I'm sure. (We've cruised with Viking several times, both River and Ocean.) Nonetheless, they asked for daily real-time feedbacks and seemed to make adjustments along the way. Overall, the trip was very enjoyable. Unfortunately, just about every port we went to was extremely hot. The walking tours would have been wonderful strolls otherwise. Nevertheless, we saw and learned so much. The trip gave us what we wanted: an overview of the land for future visits. Things that were unexpectedly outstanding: the cruise director and the entertainment. The cruise director was very personable and talented. He also mixed with the crowd. We found the singing/dancing by the four young people at the theater totally amazing. When not performing, they greeted us at the theater doors, and impressed us as ordinary people, all from the UK. When on stage, however, they transformed into professional performers who sang ABBA, Beatles, and Broadway songs. Their choreography was excellent. I was transported back to the 60s/70s. Parts of the Broadway songs even brought tears to my eyes--just wonderful performance. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was an excellent cruise line. One of the outstanding features is that it is really an adults only cruise. I have nothing against children but it's not relaxing when you have to listen to whiny children on a cruise you've ... Read More
This was an excellent cruise line. One of the outstanding features is that it is really an adults only cruise. I have nothing against children but it's not relaxing when you have to listen to whiny children on a cruise you've worked so hard to be able to pay for. Time and place, etc. It was educational as well. Shore excursions offerings were spectacular and educational. The guides provided were excellent and knew their stuff. Another plus with Viking is that they don't try to sell you things while you are on your vacation. Have cruised Royal Caribbean's Alaska Cruise. While that cruise was enjoyable, they were always trying to sell us things like liquor packages, pictures, etc. They did not do this on Viking. Also big plus was the size of the ship. It was smaller and more intimate yet inclusive. Staff was excellent. Meals were very good. So nice to have a veranda in every stateroom. Would highly recommend Viking and will go again in two years on another cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
My sister and I have always wanted to cruise on a smaller ship and see the Mediterranean. We had been on a Viking River Cruise and discovered they had a new fleet of Ocean ships. The Viking Orion ship is beautiful with all of the elegant ... Read More
My sister and I have always wanted to cruise on a smaller ship and see the Mediterranean. We had been on a Viking River Cruise and discovered they had a new fleet of Ocean ships. The Viking Orion ship is beautiful with all of the elegant touched of Nordic style, art, and the space explorer theme was especially wonderful. Our local guides and thoughtful and friendly crew made us feel at home and provided enriching excursions at every port. Food choices were awesome, and the spa exceptional. I loved listening to piano and guitar music in the atrium and viewing art in the changing 3 story display. There were plenty of quiet places to relax and enjoy watching the scenery. We never felt crowded. The resident astronomer set up a powerful telescope on deck for us to view the rings of Saturn and moons of Jupiter, and we also spotted the international space station making its way across the sky. We also enjoyed two 3-d shows in the ship’s planetarium. A special highlight was watching the movie under the stars on the top deck that featured Florence the day before we set off for our post cruise Tuscany adventure. This was truly an adventure of a lifetime and worth every penny. We had to depart the day we arrived in Barcelona, but were able to arrange tickets to tour the Cathedral de Familia on our own, that had to be purchased months ahead of time. It was so beautiful and inspiring, and the first of many beautiful and amazing churches we would see at every port. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018

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