95 Barcelona Senior Cruise Reviews

The Grandiosa is certainly an impressive ship - the LED roof is amazing - but, but, but.. The tall silver bar stools on Deck 6 are terribly uncomfortable and I kept sliding off. The first time I sat on the normal size silver chair it ... Read More
The Grandiosa is certainly an impressive ship - the LED roof is amazing - but, but, but.. The tall silver bar stools on Deck 6 are terribly uncomfortable and I kept sliding off. The first time I sat on the normal size silver chair it nearly fell over. The same goes for the chairs in the French buffet - they're terribly uncomfortable. The 'easy' drinks package is essentially useless. We quickly upgraded to the Premium. Our meals in the speciality restaurants were disappointing, except for the Japanese. When we ate at the French buffet my husband's roast chicken was raw in the middle and had to be replaced. When we went to Butcher's Cut, my steak was rare bordering on blue instead of medium rare. We used the buffet for breakfast. We had no trouble getting a table except for disembarkation day. But why do they make it so hard to avoid carbs and sugar? If you have to avoid the fruit, the breads, the pastries, pasta, potato and rice, then there's little left to choose from. And breakfast hardly changed. By the time I got home I was craving vegetables. The disinfectant gel dispensers at the entry to the buffet and occasionally seen elsewhere were not working properly - the sensor was not detecting that people were putting their hands in to get the gel. And hygiene was NOT being enforced. What's the point of having gel, or all those washing stations, if nobody has to actually use them? And when they were used the staff did not tidy them up - whether it be by wiping up water spills or getting rid of carelessly discarded paper. Il Campo Restaurant was nice enough. I just wish it was open for breakfast and/or lunch as well. Cirque de Soleil was a bit meh. Dinner selection was limited, and wasn't all that good, to be honest. The show itself was less than an hour, and you couldn't have wine from your drinks package, not even premium. You had to choose from a limited selection of wines - bottle only, not by the glass. The LED ceiling is certainly impressive... but... every so often it displayed a montage of guest photographs taken from their Instagram accounts. On our last night during our dinner at the Japanese restaurant we noticed that one of the photos chosen, when featured, was cropped and blown up to show just the ladies' breast area. Giant boobies on the ceiling would have been great for the gentlemen, I'm sure, but as an older lady trying to eat her dinner it really wasn't appreciated. Somebody please talk to whoever manages that montage about more appropriate picture selection. When you leave, you walk through the arcade to the sound of "Time to Say Goodbye" (the song used for the Olympics years ago, and the LED roof displays videos of lots of the ship staff waving goodbye. It was quite touching, in a way. Our luggage group was "pink" but that color was nowhere to be found on the TV screens at all the carousels. We had to find a staff member - a challenge on its own - to find out where our luggage was. It turned out pink had been lumped in with "fuchsia". We had quite a wait for our taxi. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Was excited to be on a brand new ship that was part of the Royal Princess group. Had a good itinerary and was happy with my past cruises on the Royal and over 20 past Princess cruises. We have had a total of 40+ cruises on various lines. ... Read More
Was excited to be on a brand new ship that was part of the Royal Princess group. Had a good itinerary and was happy with my past cruises on the Royal and over 20 past Princess cruises. We have had a total of 40+ cruises on various lines. The Medallion system is a lot of hype about nothing. I never had a problem carrying a cruise card in my pocket and presenting it for a purchase. I can't imagine how many millions of dollars Princess invested in it's hardware, software and implementation. This however was the least of my dissatisfaction. First, the removal of the crooners lounge was a mistake. This was always the 'go to' place between shows and activities, along with being a primary destination when there were some of the better 'interactive' entertainers. I'm sure that past Princess cruisers know who I am talking about. The Rock Opera show was hyped as spectacular. The passengers on this cruise were mostly seniors. Most of the ones I spoke with felt the same as I did-that it was a waste of some good singers and dancers. It just is not our music. The individual entertainment was ok. There was a great pianist ,some decent singers, and a decent comedian. Princess's foray into a late night show was a disaster. I love an adult show but this was not funny or entertaining at all. People in the back were lucky as they could escape without being conspicuous. The food is another story. We ate in the dining room 4 nights out of the 14 nights. We have always felt the Princess was the only line where the buffet was better than the dining room. On this cruise, the buffet was pretty good and the dining room was awful. My friends shared this feeling also. They did have 1 lobster tail night in 14 nights. Other cruise line have 1 per week. All the better choices formerly on the dining room menus have been moved into specialty restaurants. The highlight of the cruise for me was the band called Static. They came aboard on the 4th night and livened up the atrium. The ship was clean, the staff was friendly and polite, and the rooms were well designed with lots of drawer space. Embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth. We are 'elite' category and receive extra benefits but it is time to consider other brands. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Itinerary was very good Barcelona to Dubai via Suez Canal. 19 days so plenty of time to check out most things. Embarkation at Barcelona was a nightmare. Three hours to board & no organisation in terminal what-so-ever. Cabin very ... Read More
Itinerary was very good Barcelona to Dubai via Suez Canal. 19 days so plenty of time to check out most things. Embarkation at Barcelona was a nightmare. Three hours to board & no organisation in terminal what-so-ever. Cabin very good. Dining in restaurant & buffet very good. No complaints about the food at all. Entertainment was poor, especially for a 19 day cruise. Same trio or quartet in two of the bars every night. In the Sky Bar it was the same trio every night, singing the same songs every night!!!! I would class a lot of the entertainment as self creating. Watching people dancing or watching people learning to dance. Theatre shows were of mixed quality. Cirque Du Soleil was very good. We went to the 2 different shows they put on. The large screen by the pool showed, for example Duke Ellington in concert, they were all very old videos! We went on 3 excursions from the ship. Two were very good, but one was an absolute nightmare. On this one, at Muscat, the guide was a disgrace! 1) Didn´t know how many people should have been on the tour, so put everyone´s name in his table & then we had a roll call after every stop. Should have known the expected number & then do a headcount! Started off the excursion by asking if everyone was there !! 2) 2.5 hours late getting back to ship, so we went from 9:30 - 16:30. He gave us a bottle of water to keep us going, nothing to eat. Held up by waiting for non-existent people. 3) People at back of coach could not hear him, as we set off from ship. He turned the volume up, but that didn´t help, so he switched the whole thing off & we never heard another word from him on the coach all day. I went to MSC Excursions to let them know what a disaster the excursion had been & took time to write everything down. I wanted them to know so that they did not employ this guy again, as I didn´t want anyone else to waste their money. The lady on the desk did not seem interested, and told me to go to reception to ask for a refund. I told her that I was not doing this to get money back, but for the reason I explained above. Only when I said I wasn´t after a refund did she show any interest. I have not had any response from MSC Excursions. Overall, enjoyed the cruise, but some things need improvement. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
12 Day Mediterranean cruise on the Epic, Barcelona RT. My main criticism of this cruise was the Epic as a cruise ship. Having a friend who sailed on the Epic's maiden voyage and she giving it a less than sterling review I can now ... Read More
12 Day Mediterranean cruise on the Epic, Barcelona RT. My main criticism of this cruise was the Epic as a cruise ship. Having a friend who sailed on the Epic's maiden voyage and she giving it a less than sterling review I can now understand why. This ship would be ideal for children, teens, and adults who enjoy all the water features on this ship except all that equipment came came at the expense of pool size. They could be could be filled with two teacups. in less than five minutes. On a transatlantic or cooler climes on the planet the top deck is mostly useless. The other group who would enjoy this ship are the confirmed gamblers who love a very large, very smelly casino located almost mid-ship. To traverse the ship on deck six one has to wend your way through the people, noise, and smell of the casino to access the aft elevators. Elevators... only two banks of elevators,, one fore and one aft. Always long waits and once inside very dark, a muggers paradise :) . Cute little Christmas tree lights on the ceiling of the elevators and trying to see the floor buttons is impossible because they are not lit. Public spaces are always crowded, with over 4000 persons on board what can you expect? The only public outside promenade deck is only on one side of the ship and the lifeboats are hung outside blocking all views of the ocean. All the public spaces, with the exception of the Garden Cafe (most window tables "hogged" by certain groups of people) have NO outside views. It is like the entire ship is an inside cabin with NO cross ventilation, ocean views or a chance to breathe fresh air. The "atrium" with its two story screen and low ceiling is LOUD beyond belief. All music on this ship is ear splitting in the venues and even the theatre... LOUD DOES NOT MAKE MUSIC BETTER~! Food was the biggest disappointment I have ever experienced aboard a NCL ship (I just became a Longitude Platinum member on this cruise) with the exception of TASTE, LA CUCINA, and CAGNEY'S . At this point I must add that I will not be reviewing staterooms because we had decided to try an inside cabin and one of the big ships on this cruise.... NCL assigned us a Disability cabin and other than the "all in one" shower/toilet wet room and the Barbie sized sink in the main room, it was about 50% larger than the standard inside cabin and afforded more storage space. Now NCL tv is another gripe... knowing NCL wants to up sale you a movie pkg. The only news station was BBC... world's most boring and uninformative news outlet. The movies they did show were geared to the mindless sci-fi genre or the equally slow minded teen aged girls. My travel partner was a Latitude Platinum member and received two specialty dinners each. When we booked we were afforded two "Free at Sea" upgrades and as usual we chose the Beverage pkg. and two upgraded dining opportunities. Thus, making four specialty dinners for the 12 day voyage. We were informed we would only be eligible for the two upgrade dinners because we chose the 30 min. wifi option. We have NEVER used wifi on any cruise and as a Platinum member he was automatically issued 30 min. wifi. Guest services rudely informed us we would have to use the two Platinum vouchers for the dinners and they had no control what the Reservations Agents promise and what the Guest Services were obligated to provide. Also stating they are two different departments.....and that was that. Disappointed with NCL customer service. Two things in closing: Our room Steward was AMAZING. Waiters, service personnel were outstanding and if anything there was NOT enough help in some areas for the NCL service we had become used to. The other thing is just how ugly and cumbersome this ship appears. With the elimination of a wonderful comfortable quiet observation area in order to expand the Haven category thus giving the appearance of the profile of The Elephant Man. I could say more but in closing I admit I am JADED~! because of the layout and comfort of a smaller ship, i.e., THE JADE (4 cruises on this Noble Lady two of which were TA)~! Being an older cruiser, celebrated my 75th birthday on the last night of this cruise, I will be sticking with smaller NCL ships without the hordes of people~! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We wanted to see Mykonos, Athens and Santorini and have cruised with Celebrity on a number of occasions. Overall it was a decent itinerary with 8 x ports and 4 x days at sea. Good staff and some really good U K based performing acts in ... Read More
We wanted to see Mykonos, Athens and Santorini and have cruised with Celebrity on a number of occasions. Overall it was a decent itinerary with 8 x ports and 4 x days at sea. Good staff and some really good U K based performing acts in the theatre. Food overall was good but the main dining room menu is getting a bit stale and as such we ate in self service restaurant on a few occasions which was a nice change. We found it disappointing that we could not even try a Martini, using our drinks package, you needed premium, in the Martini Bar. In general the wines that we tried at night did not match the quality from previous Celebrity cruises. We booked three shore excursions through Celebrity and two through Cruising excursions, which on the whole were far better value than Celebrity. Although the ship was okay it is definitely looking very tired and in urgent need of a refit. We also enjoyed coffee at Al Bachio and the occasional confectionary on a daily basis. It was also nice to be sitting somewhere and one of the onboard entertainers would set up and start playing. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I have only been on one other cruise, that was Carnival, so that is the only comparison I have. First, the good thing... The entertainment was great. The people in the show do a wonderful job. Most of the staff are nice enough. The ... Read More
I have only been on one other cruise, that was Carnival, so that is the only comparison I have. First, the good thing... The entertainment was great. The people in the show do a wonderful job. Most of the staff are nice enough. The ship is clean and beautiful. There are many nice pools and hot tubs, so they were not crowded (yet they close them all down early which is irritating). The bed was comfortable and the room quiet. The food in the buffet was just okay (deserts were good), better than Carnival, but the food in the dining room was much worse than carnival. And now I move on to the bad things... Eating in the dining room on Carnival was a great experience we looked forward to every night, but on MSC it felt like a punishment. Usually the food was not good and the waiters also made us feel uncomfortable and unwanted. They do not have "anytime dining" like other ships, you have to pick 6 PM, 8 PM or 10 PM. They kick you out after an hour or so to get ready for the next crowd. They are always rushing around in a hurry yet take forever to bring the food. We waited an hour for our first course one time, then had 15 minutes to eat the rest and get out. It is loud and there is constant banging from the dumbwaiter bringing down food. We asked to be switched to a different time and got a better waiter and location after the switch. I cannot believe they charge you for water in the dining room! Water was free on Carnival. Which is my next complaint, they are constantly after more money. They pester you all the time to buy the drink and food packages. The drink package would have cost $700 for the two of us ($40 a day). If you're drinking $700 in alcohol in one week you have a problem. We spent $80 on drinks, that's it. The food package would have cost around $260 for 3 meals for the two of us. That's seems high for mediocre food. The worst experience by far were the excursions! DO NOT book a tour. Have them bus you and walk around on your own. The tour company they use in Italy is a nightmare! We were not given all the things promised in Pisa and Rome. In Rome they lost an elderly man and left him there. Don't know if he ever made it back to the ship. I did not listen to the tour guides speak, they are hard to understand. Our English speaking guide hardly said anything anyway. The guides have deals with shops to take you there so you will buy things, like the "Pearl Factory" they said we needed a ticket to get into. It was a jewelry store! Nothing more, and it is free to go in. They wasted my time with this stuff. I felt very ripped off over the excursions. The internet was poor, and we had a router right outside our room. The zip-line cost $12 a person and is boring. It should be free! The constant up-selling is just a nightmare. We have decided not to go on MSC again because of these issues. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I thought the itinerary was varied and interesting with a few places we had previously visited and a few we had not. Noticed a decline in service especially in Terrace Cafe plus only one fresh vegetable served almost everyday, broccoli, ... Read More
I thought the itinerary was varied and interesting with a few places we had previously visited and a few we had not. Noticed a decline in service especially in Terrace Cafe plus only one fresh vegetable served almost everyday, broccoli, cauliflower, zuchinni mixed vegetables! Almost as many supervisors in shirt and tie as server/helpers but doing very little to help! The dinner selections in the Grand Dining Room seemed of lesser quality than on prior cruises on the same ship or the Regatta. The entertainment overall seemed improved, but predominantly from the UK whereas the majority of passengers are still from the USA. Also, the afternoon Tea seemed to have fewer food choices. Both the Cruise Director and his partner and Assistant Cruise Director were both from the UK and little too flamboyant for our tastes. There were several tender ports. It seemed little attention was given to those who might not do well with stairs going down to the tender deck. Some tender operations seemed in need of a little more training in tender operation. Finally, I must say this Captain may do a good job, but was not particularly cordial to customers even dining at an adjoining table! The ABSOLUTE worst part of this cruise was the disembarkation on the final day! It was totally disorganized, no calling by color and number to disembark. a total stampede with no sign of any ship officers to thank the passengers! It was a horrible mess at too small a terminal facility for this ship too! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We like to compare Cruise compagnies. Barcelona we like. Embarkation in Barcelona was bad organised , 30 full Sun no shadow because they used only 1 Controller so ther were 4 other unused. The evening programs were great.(Shows) ... Read More
We like to compare Cruise compagnies. Barcelona we like. Embarkation in Barcelona was bad organised , 30 full Sun no shadow because they used only 1 Controller so ther were 4 other unused. The evening programs were great.(Shows) The Entry hygiene (Restaurants) was outstanding The Selfservice : eating was mayby good for USA citizen certainly not for us Belgian. Soup : not warm , less taste. Lot of salad bar and Veggie Dessert: a lot but less Taste The Koffie : was awfull except Lavaza in restaurants Lot of Sausages not real specialities. Even in Specialitiy restaurants : general rate 6/10 Drinks: midrange lowest category Fruits were enough Organisation on Schip must be good because there were absolut no queues at Service desks Personnel is very helpfull and kind Shore excursions we did on our own We did use already other cruise companies like HAL, Prncess,MSC, Costa,Regent Our points for NCL Spirit 5.5/10 Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We wanted to try the cruise ship and visit Rome. We were disappointed that we had to walk so far to get on the buses for the excursions. The excursions were ok, but not nearly as good as the river boats were. In fact, I can only remember ... Read More
We wanted to try the cruise ship and visit Rome. We were disappointed that we had to walk so far to get on the buses for the excursions. The excursions were ok, but not nearly as good as the river boats were. In fact, I can only remember a couple, so I guess they weren't too memorable. We stayed in Rome for a couple of days and were really disappointed in the Viking employees who were in charge. On other river cruises where we had pre/post cruise experiences, we were given opportunities for walking tours and also help in going to local tourist sights. We had to do everything on our own, and would have truly appreciated more help in this area. Needless to say, we are doubtful as to whether we will go on another cruise ship adventure. We truly love Viking, but will probably stick with the river cruises. In fact, we have one booked for March (our 5th Viking trip.. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted a holiday over the New Year period and so we stayed in Barcelona for 4 nights prior to joining the cruise. As we had previously cruised on a number of occasions with NCL we were directed to the NCL ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted a holiday over the New Year period and so we stayed in Barcelona for 4 nights prior to joining the cruise. As we had previously cruised on a number of occasions with NCL we were directed to the NCL Previous Cruise Embarkation Line - unfortunately, as there were not many checkin desks available for this line people who were first time cruisers and were behind us in the queue joined the ship before we did. Our first impressions of the ship were that it was a little dated, but quite clean and that the staff appeared friendly although there was no name card for our cabin attendant which I always find quite helpful. ( One did appear on the day before we left the ship) The overall standard of the evening shows was quite good but I felt that the day time programmes could have been better and more varied. On one evening the Cruise Director was very critical of guests who left before the show had finished indicating that it was disrespectful to the entertainers and could be dangerous especially on the following evening when all of the gangways would be used. Unfortunately, when he made this statement many guests had already left. One thing that he failed to mention was that a number of guests put their glasses in the gangways and these were then broken by people leaving the theatre and not seeing them. The other aspect that I felt had not been fully assessed was the provision of a line of "disabled seating and tables" at the front of the fixed seating because these seats are higher than the fixed seating making viewing difficult in the first few rows of fixed seating, not fixed together or to the floor creating a hazard in the event of an emergency evacuation together with tables that were free standing and many with glasses. This together with the fact that some guests also had their mobility scooters with them and many with carers that were clearly not disabled. There are disabled bays available in parts of the theatre but these did not appear to be used. When the stage is fully extended for some shows there is a vast reduction in the width of the front escape route and together with the fact that putting the disabled between the stage where open flames and pyrotechnics are used and able bodied persons is in my view asking for trouble. Note. The location of the Stardust Theatre on this ship is different to many others in that it is located at the stern end of the ship rather than the bow and this means that the majority of guests enter at the front by the stage rather than the rear and it is well known fact that in an emergency people tend to leave the building by the way that they enter and obviously putting unsecured disabled seats and chairs in this position could cause a serious evacuation problem. We only tried the Windows and Garden Main Dining Rooms and did not find them to be very notable so tended to dine in Raffles Court where we could see the food before we ordered - some days it was quite good but other days the choice was quite poor. The selection of desserts tended to be be very poor and did not change much over the cruise. We thought that the shops and goods available were very poor and quite expensive even compared with prices in the UK. The selection of everyday items was also very limited. As we had previously been to most of the destinations we only went on one excursion and that was to Casablanca and again we were a little disappointed with this as for part of the tour we were taken to a local pharmacist who wanted to sell us pills, potions and remedies that we were not really interested in. We do like the Freestyle Dining offered by NCL but being so disappointed with this cruise will probably not cruise with them again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the mild weather in the Canary Islands and Spain. Morocco was a determining factor which proved to be a bust! Very dangerous destination that should be eliminated from the cruise itinerary. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the mild weather in the Canary Islands and Spain. Morocco was a determining factor which proved to be a bust! Very dangerous destination that should be eliminated from the cruise itinerary. Would have preferred an additional cruise day instead. The majority of cruisers were senior citizens and the activities were geared more towards what they would be interested in doing. My husband and I are in our 50's and still enjoy having a fun time with numerous activities and dancing. There were some families with children and others in our age range but not many. Overall I found the cruise to be boring. The food was sub par, boring with tasteless boring menu selections and the specialty restaurants offered the same items as the complementary restaurants and wanted to charge a nominal price per item which was ridiculous! The breakfast was horrible with the same boring food selections and we found ourselves getting off the ship just to eat decent food. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise because the time and cost was right for us and the ports visited appealed to us. The time spent in each port seemed reasonable also. We are American and we did know the experience would be different for us on an ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the time and cost was right for us and the ports visited appealed to us. The time spent in each port seemed reasonable also. We are American and we did know the experience would be different for us on an Italian ship...previously all our cruises have been on Carnival. (The first day as soon as we got on the ship and went to the buffet, a couple sat down next to us at the table, but as soon as we said "hello" they got up and moved...obviously they didn't want to sit next to Americans!) The employee, Michaela, who "took care" of the English-speakers was very nice and helpful, having a separate meeting with us and offering her help when we needed it. If you are English-speaking be aware that announcements will be made on Costa ships in various languages, taking up a lot of time. The cabin was comparable to Carnival cabins, as the designer of the Carnival and Costa ships is the same. However, our cabin was showing wear with the front of a drawer falling off among other things. The cabin steward was efficient and nice. One thing I found disappointing is that Costa assigns you a cabin, no choice of your own! On Carnival we always choose the cabin we want. We ended up with a cabin at the aft of the ship. It wasn't a bad location except in rough waters, which we had only once. Food in the dining room was beautifully presented but not always tasty. Main entrees sometimes seemed odd, even though I am a fairly adventurous eater. One of our waiters was really screwy, laughing at who knows what...our American table-mates and us? Food at the buffet was always the same and plentiful, tasty for the most part. Costa offers drink packages and it seemed to us beforehand on the website that in order to have water at meals you'd need to order a water package, and we ordered one for me. I wish we hadn't as I could have had natural water at meals anyway. The package stated that you'd have this water to carry with you, however, the water is in liter bottles that I did not want to carry with me, especially on excursions. Plus, the waiters NEVER understood that I was to get this water (my choice of sparkling or natural) during the whole cruise, even though it was printed on the back of my Costa card and even after several phone calls in which the customer service person said they would speak to the waiters about it! They admitted the employees needed more training! My husband had the beer package and had the same trouble. His Costa card too had "water" printed on the back of it so it was a reoccurring problem as well. Fact is, you could get wine or beer anywhere without a package and the cost seemed to be the same. I would not recommend purchasing drink packages. The worst part of the cruise was the trouble we had with excursions. The one I was looking forward to the most was cancelled. This was the "Gourmet" excursion with wine-tasting and truffles out of Savona, Italy. First they said it was cancelled due to not enough English-speakers signing up for it, but when I inquired about going on a non-English-speaking excursion to that location they said they were not going there at all! We substituted an excursion to Genoa. As it turned out, I had obviously eaten something in the dining room the night before we reached Savona that didn't agree with me and I just could not risk being away from a bathroom on a bus for an hour to go to Genoa the next morning. I took medicine on my own and knew I'd get over it in time and didn't need a doctor. When we called to cancel that excursion they said we could not cancel it unless I went to the doctor, for a fee of 50 euros, and got a note saying I was not well enough to go on the excursion. We said, soooo you can cancel an excursion on us but we cannot cancel one on you! Right? They said right! If I'd spent the money for the doctor and he said I was okay, which he likely would have done since I had no fever, we would have spent the extra 50 euros and still paid for the excursion. As it was, we paid for an excursion we didn't take. Then, after our excursion in Pisa my husband started having back and hip pain and knew he was not going to be able to walk for the 2.5 hours on the excursion we'd booked for Rome the next day. We decided we'd be better off doing the "Rome on our own" tour and tried to change it the night before Rome but the excursion office was closed. We called early the next morning and they said we could change the excursion at the departure point but still had to pay for the original one. So, we did that out of necessity. Rome turned out to be cold and rainy. That was not Costa's fault of course, but almost all the people on our bus returned to the point we were to meet the bus early because we were all miserable due to the weather, and the bus did not pull up until the exact minute we were to leave. It does seem like the bus could have gotten there a little ahead of time as there was space to park the bus and the weather was so awful! Most of the tour guides were okay. The one in Pisa was excellent! The one in Palma de Mallorca spoke so fast that we couldn't understand her even if it was in English! All in all, the Costa excursions were disappointing for us, although Pisa was excellent and we had a wonderful time on our own in Aix-en-Provence, which was an excursion out of Marseilles. This cruise had people embarking and disembarking at each port, which was also different. This meant that there was a safety session each day for those just getting on the ship, and that there were extra announcements and "noise" each day. We did not take an excursion in Barcelona as we got on and off there. We spent 4 extra days in Barcelona at the end of the cruise and that was a very pleasant part of our trip. Glad we did that. Barcelona is an interesting and very friendly city! Actually, the very best part of our cruise was time spent with the English-speaking couples we met. With so few of us we developed a sort of camaraderie among us and that was fun! Thank goodness for them as I must say that some of the other people on the cruise (not all by any means) were actually rude and pushy, not something we were used to on a cruise. In conclusion, we will not take a cruise on an Italian ship again, and don't recommend it for Americans. My total rating of 3 stars is generous. My husband would rate it a 2. 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
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
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
This was our first Cruise with Azamara. Unfortunately our expectations were not met. We knew that the “Quest” was an older ship but did expect that the service, food etc. would compensate for that. The cabin - as for the ship ... Read More
This was our first Cruise with Azamara. Unfortunately our expectations were not met. We knew that the “Quest” was an older ship but did expect that the service, food etc. would compensate for that. The cabin - as for the ship itself - really needs a refurbishment. Especially the bathrooms, carpets etc. The cabin size is on the small side, which we knew though. The bathroom is very small and the including shower very tiny.. The service on embarkation day was really bad. We found our cabin to be without bathrobes, slippers, fresh flowers and some of the ameneties in the bathroom were missing. Dirty mirrows in the cabin and messages regarding on board credits to former cruisers had not been removed from the desk. On top of that we received one of our suitcases broken during the embarkation process.. Not really an issue but when it is said that you are to expect a high service then these things are not good enough. The first night we went to the main dining room where we found the service and the food to be very poor. The staff did it’s utmost but being very few persons to serve many guests that meant that we had to ask for water, wine when we wanted a fill up. We had bought the Ultimate beverage package due to a wider selection of wines and sparkling waters. However we had to sit waiting a long time (more than 10-15 minutes) for i.e. a Perrier as the staff had to go a long way to get hold of it. Furthermore we were told in the main dining room (and later) in Angelina and Prime C that portwine (Fonseca) was not included even though we had it in writing. Not comfortable to have to discuss this. We have never experienced such a bad service on our prior 6 cruises(Celebrity and Norwegian). To summit itnup: GOOD: Very nicely decorated “Windows Cafe” - the most stylish we have seen on the ships we have been cruising on. The food in the windows cafe was delicious although the selection was quite limited. The service and the food from “In room dining” - the best we have ever experienced. Being on a small ship means the possibility to get to places that bigger ships cannot go to. The itinerary was really nice - Menorca, Corsico and Elba being our favorites BAD: The service (compared to what was to be expected on a ship that should be luxury). The need of the staterooms, bathrooms, carpets i.e. to be refurbishment. The team spirit between the staff did not seem to be the best. We had a waiter in one of the speciality restaurant that - in our opinion - did not match the job. We was really trying but he seemed to be placed wrong. I.e. his comment when we ordered lobster was a “wow” so to say he was too smart for the job and needed som training how to “behave towards guests”. The food in the Main Dining room was poor - cold and lacked in taste. On “White Night” there were no possibilities to dine outside or sit in a bar if you did not want to attend the “White Night”. The intertainment was so bad. Really missed the productions shows on prior Cruises. Value for money - not worth paying the double price compared to Celebrity. In the future we will choose Celebrity Aqua Class instead. It is important to mention that we are not the only ones who were dissapointed. We spoke to various people on board - first timers on Azamara Quest as well as people who have cruised on Quest before. There was in particular one person who had been on Quest earlier this Year in the Carribean and he could not believe that he was on the same ship this time - so different was it. We do believe that the staff did it’s utmost to give us the service that was to be expected BUT even if they do what is in their power they cannot compensate for CUTS in general made from the persons/managements in charge. We think that Azamara should be profiling themselves as a Cruise Company that can go to small places where big ships cannot go and don’t profile them as being a luxury Line. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We had previous experience with a 15 day river cruise in 2014 from Budapest to Amsterdam. Wanted to see if the Ocean going cruise would be as great. Had researched many cruise lines and the single most item why we choose Viking was the ... Read More
We had previous experience with a 15 day river cruise in 2014 from Budapest to Amsterdam. Wanted to see if the Ocean going cruise would be as great. Had researched many cruise lines and the single most item why we choose Viking was the previous river cruise and the fact this Viking ship did not carry as many passengers as the other cruise lines. We were looking forward to seeing many different countries in Europe. We loved the ship it was almost exactly what we expected. The staff is very simple superb, friendly and helpful at all times. Execution of all aspect of this voyage were flawless and logical. All shore excursion and returns were executed with logical sequence and always pleasant. When we made our reservation we informed my brother who also signed up for this cruise the very next day. My wife also informed her best friend in Arizona who did sign up as well. My brother and his son were able to get the cabin next to us, and my wife's girlfriend and her son got the cabin directly above us. Unfortunately the cabin was not pleasant nor conducive to good nights of sleep. The very first day we noticed that we were unable to turn the HV/AC blower off and there was a constant droning noise at 40db coming from the vent. After several phone calls to staff they were unable to resolve this issue. By the 3rd day I had a very sore throat, and at best we slept maybe 3.5 to 4 hours a night. On the 4th day a ships engineer came out to try and solve the problem. He finally figured out that our cabin environmental controls were tied to the ships hallway HV/AC and could not be shut off. The engineer solution was to bring about a 6' piece of insulation to close the vent and try to mitigate the droning noise. It helped in reducing the constant air movement somewhat but the noise at night was still very intrusive and lack of sleep was still a problem. I have pictures of this "fix" but I don't see were in this review I can attach them. We were offered a cabin on deck five but we declined. We had friends and relatives traveling with us and the move would diminish our experience even more. When we made the reservation we asked to be close together in our cabin choices, and to be on the same Buses in some of our shore excursions. In conclusion I would say that this particular cabin should never have been sold to a customer on this ship. I don't know if anyone has ever lodge a complaint about this problem cabin, but in my opinion the cabin should be converted to some thing the staff can use or maybe another laundry for the convenience of travelers on the 7th deck. I hope you can understand that we are now somewhat reluctant to plan another voyage on one of your otherwise very modern and beautiful kept ships for fear of having to put up with another insolvable problem that could ruin what was otherwise a very exiting and wonderful voyage. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Based upon other reviews, I would not have selected this cruise but as it was a family affair booked from points halfway around the world, it was done. Let me first say there were many positives about this cruise - our typical social ... Read More
Based upon other reviews, I would not have selected this cruise but as it was a family affair booked from points halfway around the world, it was done. Let me first say there were many positives about this cruise - our typical social interaction with the servers at bar areas was generally most excellent, our cabin steward provided us with a tidy stateroom with fresh towels at all times, the wait staff in the Red Velvet dining area was good, though understaffed for our evening table of 13. We were very impressed with the cleanliness of the ship as a whole. That waned a bit as the cruise went on, especially after the arrival of passengers (and flies!?!) from Genoa. The main dining was generally bland. There were no excellent proclamations about any of the main courses although I will say a few of the desserts were quite tasty. I think we all expected more from the Italian meals that were served but none were outstanding. We saw one show - the dancing and choreography was very basic but the costumes were quite nice as well as two good singers with one of them being exceptional. It speaks quite a bit that nobody was interested in seeing another show. We were given the run around on a couple of occasions as the where to go, especially trying to go ashore in Cannes via the lifeboats/ferries. We stood in line to get tickets, told to be in the theater at 1140, arrived early and was then told we were late, the tickets didn't matter and it was 1st come, 1st serve to go ashore. We scurried back to the other end of the ship, saw the horrendous line waiting to go ashore and eventually didn't leave until ~1300. It appeared badly mismanaged as if it was everyone's first day on the job. Disembarking on our last day was nearly as bad, so I won't rehash it - going ashore at the other ports was relatively pain free. Several members of our group took shore excursions. All felt they were ripped off, from the exorbitant prices to not being delivered what was promised. Let me reiterate there were many positives about this ship and I would like to name every crew member that provided us with joy and service but unfortunately we did not keep a tally. There were a few crew members that were disinterested but by and large, they were positive interactions throughout. As a whole, I cannot rate this cruise/cruise line favorably with the cruises we have been on with Royal Caribbean other than they don't annoyingly push their products like RCCL seems to do. Take note, RCCL. I would do this again only if, as before, we did not have a choice. Our favorite ports were La Spezia and Palma, with the least enjoyable being Genoa by far. We also liked Barcelona (mainly because we spent a couple days there beforehand), Ajaccio and Civitavecchia. We did not go to Rome, as there is too much time pressure. Forgive my scattered approach to this review, we were up nearly 24 hours and I am feeling a bit tired since coming back to home sweet home! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We had cruised with Carnival and Princess before and this year went upscale to a Viking Med. Ocean Cruise with our brother and wife as travel partners. The positives: 1) Food was excellent, 2) Less crowds with smaller passenger loads. ... Read More
We had cruised with Carnival and Princess before and this year went upscale to a Viking Med. Ocean Cruise with our brother and wife as travel partners. The positives: 1) Food was excellent, 2) Less crowds with smaller passenger loads. The negatives: 1) Simple requests required escalation to management. We had a plumbing problem with the shower, special requests for honor bar drinks, that took several calls, finally to the customer service manager to resolve. 3) Our deck four laundry was broken more than it was working and the response to get it fixed was poor. 4) Some shore excursions, especially the one to Pisa was poorly managed for toilet breaks...in this case no breaks until the end of the bus ride and tour during our short free time. 5) The Spa was hard to get appointments for a simple pedicure (again requiring elevation to mgt) and this costly pedicure's quality was sub par for the $69 price tag. 6) The ship cancelled one of two days in Barcelona (a big disappointment) and getting reservations at times desired for fine dining and shore excursions was onerous, even though we reserved early. 7) Lastly, Viking seeks manual input surveys for feedback but in a short cruise with no sea days there was virtually no way to get these forms back in...they truly need an online survey system and allow customers up to a month to provide input...subsequently they probably do not get an adequate sample size. In summary, Viking costs quite a bit more than the traditional big carriers and for that cost we had many reasonable expectations that were not met.... while we enjoyed this cruise could and should have been better managed. Perhaps they are still in a learning curve with ocean cruises, an off shoot of their river cruises that they are known for. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This ship and its crew are very good, but the cost of a drinks package is appalling as is their WiFi package. The shore excursions were also very expensive. An 18% service charge on top of a service charge made at time of booking is ... Read More
This ship and its crew are very good, but the cost of a drinks package is appalling as is their WiFi package. The shore excursions were also very expensive. An 18% service charge on top of a service charge made at time of booking is unacceptable. A glass of wine costs $11.80. I can buy the same wine at home for less and I get a whole bottle. The WiFi was appalling the cost exorbitant. The food was sometimes cold and overcooked especially fish. The opposite applies to the vegetables. Have your dentures checked before embarkation. Also get used to broccoli and carrots every night. ( Aquarius restaurant.) Will never go with Royal Caribbean again. The outdoor cinema was a joke, could not hear the sound. Leaving Venice was an embarrassment with an out of tune band blasting over the beautiful Venetian skyline. Really quite an amateurish attemt at so called theme music. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Travelling to the UK. Our taxi turned up early and we got to the airport in good time. Checked in early and the plane was on time. Got to the Bloc hotel in Gatwick all in good time. I know this is how things should be but I usually get ... Read More
Travelling to the UK. Our taxi turned up early and we got to the airport in good time. Checked in early and the plane was on time. Got to the Bloc hotel in Gatwick all in good time. I know this is how things should be but I usually get delayed somewhere! We ate in the Giraffe restaurant. What I ordered was different to what I got to eat! No point saying anything as the staff are to busy to care and their English is not very good in the first place or they would not have messed up my order! Did not have a very good night's sleep but this was not the hotels fault. Day 1 - Getting on the ship. Checked out early and made our way to the north terminal. Easy jet flight was on time. Got to Barcelona where the weather was not very good. We cancelled our transfer to the port with From2travel as last time I used them they were beyond useless! I cannot emphasise how terrible this company is. You need to avoid them at all costs. Check out trip advisor and see for yourself. We then booked Welcome Pickups who had a 5 star rating on trip advisor. The day before we flew to Barcelona they cancelled on us! Bang goes their 5 star rating from us! We got our money back and they emailed and phoned to let us know so they communicated well but if they can't transport us then that's a waste of time. Gave up with transport companies! When we got to the airport we got a taxi. We had to wait 5 minutes so that's fine. The taxi transfer from the airport to the port costs a fixed 39 Euros with the government approved/certificated AMB taxis. We got to the port really quickly. View of Barcelona When we got there we then had to wait ages to get our suitcases delivered to the 4 handlers. 4500 passengers and 4 luggage handlers. Makes perfect sense!!! Barcelona has never been like this in the past. To be fair if people had their Carnival luggage tags on their suitcases everything would be much faster and smother. It's not a surprise you have to do this! The luggage handlers should have not helped these people in my opinion. The rest of us had tags so we should have been helped first. The check-in through the new HELIX terminal was quite quick. The slowest I have had here to be fair but it still did not take long. I found this terminal very disorientating as you you seem to do is to walk between seats which are arranged at angles and while it does not sound like an issue when you see what I mean  you will understand. Once on Carnival Horizon you do not get the wow factor. The atrium is small and boring. We went straight to our room as being platinum we are allowed to. This was our first ocean view room. I usually always get a balcony. The room is big and a typical Carnival room which I have no problem with. It seemed bigger then previous rooms. It is certainly a perfect size for 2 people. The 1 issue I do have with the room is the view. It is obstructed and as far as I can see there is no mention of that on Carnival's web site. Why is it obstructed when there are no lifeboats down here? Simple, the window washing machine has been living outside the window all cruise. I cannot stand at the window to see out. The only way to see out is to either sit on the bed or bend down. You can see the sea easily but nothing higher. This also means the sun can't shine in. How come our window is so dirty? The window washing machine outside stateroom 1460 We did the muster drill in the aft restaurant. Lots of people did not turn up as usual so the rest of us who did listen and turned up had to wait. I think if people do not turn up within a certain amount of time they should be thrown off the ship with NO refund. People would soon learn to turn up on time. Some of these stupid people were hiding on their balconies where they could be clearly seen from the bridge wings as Mick Pack the Cruise Director told us on the PA system he could see them! Costa Concordia was not long ago and people seem to have forgotten that disaster. Things can and do go wrong on modern ships whether they are man made issues or not. A few mins of lifeboat drill could save your life! Our luggage turned up eventually. Yes it should have been quick due to being platinum but can't see how that works when our luggage is put on the same luggage trolley as everyone else's. This was not an issue as I expected this so we made sure we had all we needed with us in ruck sacks. We went to dinner and I am always apprehensive about the table we get. We had been told earlier we have a table for 2. Great, just what we wanted. Got to the MDR and the table for 2 was 3 inches away from another table for 2 and 3 inches away from a table of 6. Really we were on a table for 10! Doesn't not matter how you cut it this is NOT a table for 2. The tables each side can hear your conversation and you can hear there's. As you are not physically on the same table it feels weird. I absolutely hated it. We have not been back to the MDR since the first night. We have just eaten on lido which disappoints me. The food in the MDR, Guy's, Seafood Shack and Lido never seems to be hot. It is  only marginally warm. Cucina del Capitano is the exception, for lunch anyway. All the tables for 2 in the MDR are like this. It might not bother some people but it bothers us. From the reflections restaurant you have a nice view of the bottom of the lifeboats out of the side Windows of the ship. Seems like these are obstructed views too. We attempted to go to the welcome abroad show, there was standing room only as the theatre is far too small and the only did one show. Once again like the Carnival Vista not only is the theatre small it has massive poles in the way so many many seats are useless! If you sit upstairs there are glass partitions to stop people falling to the floor below. Aesthetically they look nice but practically they are terrible. They are about 12 inches wide and have a few inch gap in between. The problem with this is you see the top edge and the side edges. You cannot avoid this. This then makes it hard to see through. The theatre is therefore bad. It does have a bar on the 4th floor which is good. The theatre glass which is a distraction Theatre special effects in this one which makes the photo look bad. Went to bed after this. Day 2 - Sea day We have a deluxe oceanview stateroom so there are 2 bathrooms. We both went for a shower and did not have any hot water! We told the stateroom steward who reported it straight away. The engineer apparently came to have a look and later they phoned us to see if it was fixed but as we had not had another shower we didn't know. Turns out we now know that hot water is hit or miss. Don't know if this is a teething problem that still needs fixing. We have a sea day today. As we did not explore the ship properly yesterday we did that this morning. As expected as Carnival Horizon is a Vista class ship she is just about the same as Carnival Vista with a few none important differences (not important to us) We took it easy today. We went to the IMAX cinema to watch Ready Player One which I thought would be bad but ended up being good. The whole IMAX cinema is brilliant. We ate dinner on lido which I have to be honest I would rather not do but I will not go back into the MDR and sit on someone's lap to have dinner. I can't get gluten free meals on lido and do not have starters or desserts. So this is really spoiling the cruise for me. We bought our elegant attire for the cruise but cannot wear it. Pointless bringing it and we could have used the luggage allowance for something else. We went to the show and saw Amor Cubano. If I never see it again that's ok. Sadly due to more Carnival cut backs they have upgraded their shows to something they call 2.0. Apparently this makes them better but in reality it makes them worse. The original shows from 2008 were MUCH better. We went to the comedy show and saw Gordon Southern. He was very funny. I did however have to wait 30 minutes for a drink in the LimeLight lounge (has no bar for us passengers) which I appear to have paid twice for! Beware of the black female server with short hair in the limelight lounge. When I complained to her colleague (she would not come near us) I did not get my drink she got me one but charged me again. I will get my own drinks in the future! I Can't complain as I can't prove I only had 1 drink. Went to bed. Day 3 - livorno (Italy) Still very little hot water for Nikki but my shower was OK! Go figure. We are in Livorno today. We did not book an excursion for the morning due to bank holidays and lack of choice. We went out in the afternoon and went to do a wine tasting and country drive. Spent lots of time stuck in a traffic jam! The wine tasting was good and they had cheese and anti pasti etc. so apart from the traffic jam the excursion was good. Got back to the ship last minute as the guide allowed extra time due to the earlier traffic issues. We went to lido and had dinner. Our stateroom telephone had a message on it but when you press the voice mail button it says something about the voicemail box not found. Oh well! Watched Neil Brodie in the comedy club after getting my own drink from a different bar as the limelight lounge does not have a bar! Another go figure minute! Went to bed. Day 4 - Rome We are going to Rome today. I hate Rome. There are far too many people there and far too many pick pockets and people trying to sell crap! I would have been happy to stay on the ship but Nikki had never been there. Got stuck in a traffic jam! Sure enough we get to Rome and it's disgusting. Graffiti everywhere and dustbins and battered cars. We started the walking section of our tour. This was less of a dustbin but was hot and very busy with people. We stopped at the colosseum for a toilet stop which was always going to go wrong. There was person after person trying to sell crap! Probably every 60 seconds! Thankfully we left Rome and got on the coach to go to a restaurant. We had good food in there and they even catered for my gluten allergy. Got back in the coach and went to the catacombs. This was interesting but only took 35mins. Would have been nice to have been longer. We are not allowed to take photographs or video in here. There was someone of course who did not think the rules applied to him but no one said anything to him! San Sebastian Cattercoombs Got back to the ship in lots of time. No show tonight but Hasbro the game show was on. That was pretty standard. Then there was a comedy show which was good. There was then the Marriage Show which was ok but not a classic this time. Went to bed as we have had a few days of getting up early. Day 5 - Naples Another early start and no hot water again! Got on a coach to go to Sorrento. For a change were got stuck in traffic! Once we got to the wine and cheese tasting farm we had a good feed. Some of the lemons being grown on the farm After this we went into the centre of Sorrento. We only had about 1 hour of spare time. We had lunch in a small cafe/restaurant. The farm feed was a while ago and we would not eat for quite a while. We bought some limoncello before heading back to the coach. We then drove to Pompeii. I have been here many times but Nikki has never been. It was too busy as usual with lots of people everywhere. We were only there for just over 1 hour. That was a real shame as you need many hours to get a good overview. One thing I have learnt is do not do an excursion with 2 different attractions in 1 day as there is not enough time to see everything properly. That is always the problem when cruising. Never enough time in 1 port. Oh well will need to come back again (but would that be with Carnival?). I have never been to Sorrento before but it looks really nice from the whistle stop tour we did. We got back on the ship on time. Looked for some crisps in the terminal as both Nikki and I are craving them. None to be found! No show again tonight! Watched the early comedy show and then as Carnival seemed to want everyone in bed we went to bed at 21.30. Feel like I'm in an old people's home. Nothing to do tonight. Only 1 dive in movie too! Carnival seem to be deciding what we want. Maybe we should have a say! Day 6 - Sea day Got caught up with sleep. We both had hot water! Can only assume it was because other people were not showering at this time of day. We will see how this theory works tomorrow! Went to the MDR for brunch. We asked for a private table. We got a table for 2 BUT this had another table for 2, 3 inches away and that had another table for 2, 3 inches away! Yep Carnival think these are private! No one else joined us except for the furthest away table. This is NOT my photo but its from www.cruisedeckplans.com. You can see the tables in the bottom right hand corner that we had. These look quite spread out compared to what we had. We never got offered any juice. Nikki asked twice for tea but never got it. The service was poor which is normal for brunch. The servers do not get any of your automatically added gratuities for brunch as the night servers do (the same servers waiting on you each night) so they don't care. They do what they have to but that's it. I have a voucher as part of being a platinum guest which has to be used at breakfast, brunch or lunch for a free drink. That's why we went. Nikki's pancakes were not cooked very well. My omelette was so small I had to eat it before it evaporated. I managed to eat my 2 small hash browns and sausages! More cutbacks I assume! 2 people were offered the private table next to us. They declined it lol. We went and sat in the sun, now that it has made an appearance. After a few hours we went to cucina del capitano (the pasta restaurant ) for lunch. This place never disappoints. Good pasta, good service, good atmosphere. Think it's quite funny that Indian chefs are cooking Italian food in an Italian restaurant. Then we went to the thrill theatre to watch level 2 which is 3 movies put together in 5D. It was only 14 mins long but great. We really got thrown about on the rollercoaster on the great wall of China. After this we went on the skyride. It was a long wait but great views hanging off the side of the ship. After that we went to the cherry on top for ice cream. Had another long wait while they make each ice cream combo to order. It was very nice though but probably won't bother again if there is a queue. For some reason there is only 1 person making the ice creams! After that it was time for a comedy show with Anil Desia who was funny but at this time the show was only PG. We waited around for the next show with Mark Palmer who also did a PG show. We went to the theatre to watch the show called Celestrial Strings. We thought it was weird but we seemed to be the odd ones out as they got a standing ovation which I have never seen before so I guess we were wrong. To me it was like top of the pops from the 70s where there were no videos to go with the songs so legs and co. just danced around. This was the same! We went to lido for dinner. Really upset we did not eat in the MDR. Most people seemed dressed up and we should have been too. Went for hot chocolate but the machine just poored hot water! Used the machine the other side and that looked ok until I started to drink it. It was gross so threw it away. I'm really feeling emotional at the moment like I was on Carnival Vista. I want to love these ships but I can't. These 2 ships have no soul. They are too big. Not enough staff (actually working). The staff they have just seem to walk round and not do anything. There seems to be hundreds of officers milling around too not doing anything except entertaining their wives/girl friends. You know the saying, Too many chiefs and not enough indians. Having said that the staff I have spoken too all seem fine and happy, I am not sure that they are working quite as hard as they could be which means others are working harder to pickup the slack. While we were on deck 5 today NO servers came round asking for drinks orders. There always was too many drinks servers. Now nothing. I really wish Carnival could go back to as they were 10 years ago. It's frustrating knowing that will not happen and there is nothing I can do to change this. All past cruisers I speak to all agree Carnival have got worse. The whole cruise industry have though so it's not just Carnival im sure. Carnival look like they posted a $3 BILLION profit for 2017. GREED springs to mind. These cutbacks are NOT required! I have shares in carnival so this profit benefited me too. I was on Carnival pride 6 months ago and that was a much better experience. Maybe that's just because she is a smaller ship. Thankfully Carnival is not planning on building anything as huge as Royal Caribbean's hideous of the seas (that I know of) PLEASE Carnival build smaller ships, preferably in Finland like your best ships. Oh well going back to our room as nothing to do. Nothing to watch on TV either. Basically now cutback cruise lines have removed TV channels there is only movies for men and the travel channel to watch. Bring back Gerry Cahill. Things seem to be going downhill since Christine Duffy took over. (may not be her fault but that's how it seems.) Oh well bed time. Dubrovnik tomorrow. Such a beautiful place. Can't wait. Oh the internet seems quite good on here for a ship. Not as good as at home but very usable. Day 7 - Dubrovnik (Croatia) Hot water not good again! I have been here before and loved it. The breakfast on lido seems to work well. Instead of a long food line as previously there are now 4 Islands with the same food on all of them. There are a couple of long counters like before but they are for things like cereal. The omelette station is bigger too. We did a highlights tour of Dubrovnik. We went to Cavtat (pronounced Sav tat) which is really pretty. We did have some rain though which did not last too long. We drove back to Dubrovnik old city and spent a few hours walking around. We had an amazing lunch. OK maybe not amazing as I only had omelette with ham and cheese and French fries. It was the best I have ever had. Nikki keeps saying it's only an omelette it's easy. I suppose she is right but it tasted really good. We did some more walking after lunch. As we did not return with our tour we had to get a shuttle back to the ship. This was a disaster! No signs or staff. We now know there was a woman supposedly arranging the bus queue but to make things easier she dressed in normal clothes with no way to distinguish her from anyone else! Surely she needs a uniform or sign or name tag. Anyway after a long time we got on a bus and got back to the ship. 4 crew members tried to jump the bus queue but seemed to go to the back of the queue but somehow got in front of us and got on an earlier bus! They obviously know the system and is another sign that the crew have no respect for us. I have felt that a few times on here. We are walking piggy banks and job no 1 for the crew is to crack us and get money out! We took lot's of photos from the ship. Then played in the arcade. After a really good dinner of Turkey and chips with cheese we went to the show. It's funny how we miss simple things like chips and crisps! The show was Viva variety by someone called Richard Jones. He was apparently on UK's got talent. He was good. Then we watched 2 comedy shows by Anil and Mark. There last shows for this cruise. Went to bed quite late. Day 8 - Corfu Hot water lottery and I won and Nikki lost. This is my first visit to Corfu. Had an idea what it would be like and well tonight's comedian hit the nail on the head, GET SOME PAINT! We went to Picichu or something to do a fast boat tour of 3 caves. I am sure this would have been very pretty if the sun had been out. Can't blame the Greeks for that. Went back to the ship and had pasta lunch. Took lots of photos of main land Greece, Albania and Corfu. Not too impressed with Corfu. Think a different tour my change my current thoughts on Corfu. I seem to keep tripping on a piece of carpet in the corridor. The floor goes uphill with no warning and as you don't see it you put your foot down as you would normally but the floor is there too early! I'm sure someone will have a proper fall there soon. There is a bad sewage smell on the ship today. Don't know why. Talking of bad smells, deck 4 or the stench deck as I call it is gross! It has the casino where people can keep decreasing their lives by smoking cancer sticks! Thankfully the only reason for us to go to the stench deck is for the comedy club which is far away enough the stench is OK. You can go up to deck 5 and walk across the stench deck and then back down after the stink room if you need to get to the theatre or shop. We had a nice dinner on Lido. Spare ribs, chicken, rice and cheese. I had a dessert too. Cut the cake section of the dessert and ate the rest. Went to the comedy show to see the new comedian. He was OK. The Limelight lounge was totally packed. After that we went to see the show. It was Legs and co. Dancing again. The show was called soulbound. It seemed to be a Halloween theme going on dancing to soul music. It really does not make sense to me. You are seeing one thing but hearing something unrelated. It's like watching dad's army on mute on TV while listening to an EastEnders episode. Other people enjoyed it so I guess I am the weird one! Don't get me wrong, the dancing is good and so are the costumes and the singing. I just wish it all tallied up! Went back to our room and tripped again on the way! Tomorrow we are in Sicily and going to the top of mount Etna. It's going to be about 2 degrees up there. We are going all the way to 10000 feet I.e. the top! Hope to get some good photo's. Going to bed now to keep contemplating why I can't fall in love with this ship. Is it the fact that it is still too new and still has wrinkles? Is it the fact it's in the med and not in the Caribbean? Is it the fact it's like gods waiting room? Is it because I have done this itinerary several times except for Corfu? I still think it's because carnival is light years away from what it used to be. I think that if you did not cruise in the good old days then maybe you will not know any difference? Anyway the ship is rocking a bit as we are going very quickly trying to get to Sicily for 8am. I sleep so well on these ships, the extra rocking always help. Day 9 - Sicily No hot water for Nikki again. My shower seems OK but I suspect that is because I don't have very hot showers. I have been to Sicily before. Last time I stayed on land for 45mins then got back on the ship. Messina is a tip as far as I am concerned. Now I can revise that. Sicily is pretty outside of Messina. We went to mt Etna today and went up to 10,000 feet or 3000 metres i.e. the top. There was still snow up there! I knew it would be cold but did not think there would be snow! Another surprise is the size of the volcano. It's huge. We drove on the coach to 6500 feet and then got a cable car further up. We then got on 4 x 4 buses to take us to the top. Once at the top of where the bus takes us we had to walk the final few hundred feet to the very top. With the wind blowing the temperature must have been well below freezing. We did not stay up there too long. Just long enough to take some pics. We went back down in the cable car and had lunch in a restaurant. Lunch was ok and we had a few minutes to buy souvenirs and take some more pics. We got back on the coach which bought us back to the ship. The drive time is about 2 hours while the Italian guide told us about the history of Sicily in his bad English. We got on the ship at mid ships but soon found there are no stairs! We were on deck 0 and wanted to get to deck 1. We had to wait for maybe 10 minutes for a lift! This new lift system on Carnival Horizon is pants. Bring back the normal/traditional system! The sun is shining as we sail away back to Barcelona. It has been about 24 degrees today all day. Show time soon, then dinner, then I will beat Nikki at air hockey and then the comedy club. Went to see the show called Vintage pop. It was quite good. Still legs and co. But it made more sense this time. What we have learnt AGAIN is that the theatre is a terrible design. You have to turn up 30 mins before a show to get a less bad seat. Turn up after and your standing. Tonight's show included stuff on the main floor. From where we were upstairs you cannot see the main floor! The upstairs seating really needs to be more raked like the older ships as if someone is in front of you then you might have to move left and right to see. Dinner was tempura shrimp and rice with cheese. Very nice. No dessert though as I had second helpings. We went to see Russ Angel in the comedy club. The so called funniest biker in America. He was OK. Some of his humor was lost on us being American based. Funny how the 2 UK comedians were able to work out that they had an international audience and therefore did not do specific country based jokes. The 2 American ones have not worked this out yet. I wonder if they know which part of the world they are in? We played air hockey and I won 2 games and Nikki 1. We are back in our room ready for the last full day tomorrow, a day at sea. Day 10 - sea day and last day We had a lie in today. Had a late breakfast on lido. Got a free coffee (coffee card loyalty) and went to see the Radu Ursu (the Carnival head photographer) talk to learn about taking photos. I have had a DSLR for about  months but there is so much to learn. The photos I have taken on this cruise are some of the worst I have ever taken. RAdu has been taking photographs for Carnival for 20 years so I figure he must know what he is doing! It was interesting but the problem is he was talking to a generic audience with phones for cameras etc. So he obviously could not just talk about DSLR settings. I still learnt something though. I wish this had been put on during the first sea day as my photos during the excursions would have been better. Facebook has a group conversation about the sewage smell on the ship. Glad it's not just us that can smell it. The weather is overcast today as we sail towards Barcelona at 20 knots. Where we are right now Satellite info of our current position Went to the VIFP party. They did not even ask for our invite! I wonder how many non VIFP people also joined in for free drinks?! After that we played in the arcade again. Nikki beat me at air hockey. It must be the alcohol I consumed lol After that we went to dinner. They had a potato and cheese soup that was amazing. I had seconds. Then rice and chicken for mains. We went to the comedy club again. Back to our room as we have an early start as they want everyone off  of the ship by 10am and all staterooms empty by 8am. No shows tonight. Day 11 - last day and journey back to Guernsey We were up at 6am. No hot water for showers. I had to put mine on max hot as I don't like very hot showers but even this was not enough. The ship is now going transatlantic to New York. No hot water for 16 days for them! We got off the ship really fast. Well done Carnival. We got a taxi to the airport which costs the mandatory 39 Euros using the city approved AMB taxis (the black and yellow ones). The taxi driver said 69 Euros as we got here but we knew it was only 39. We gave him 39 and he was fine. Just a language issue I assume. Maybe he was trying it on to see if we would give him 69 Euros but it clearly states on the side of the taxi that it is 39. We are now at the airport and it's not even 9am. We can't check in until 10.30 a.m. Not so well done now carnival! There is very minimal seating pre check in, in Barcelona airport and nothing to do. Oh well at least we have free WiFi. Good and bad about Carnival Horizon Good Being new it's very clean Our stateroom is in the aft and the ship is quiet and smooth from here IMAX cinema is brilliant Thrill theatre is brilliant Arcade is good Beds are typical comfortable Carnival beds and I sleep so well in them Theatre has lots of special effects Skyride is great Lido marketplace layout TV screen on lido is very high definition crew are good WiFi actually quite fast Boarding in Barcelona easy and quite fast Air condition in staterooms is good Mike Pack is a good CD Info system on Tv's good Bad New lift system is very slow Decor is boring Deck 4 stinks of cigarettes Theatre is too small and has too many obstructions Quite often get a sewage smell The window washer outside stateroom 1460s window TV channels choice very poor Cramped dining rooms so no proper private tables for 2 No hot water for showers No lifts in the atrium small atrium European itinerary is boring and has FAR too many stops in Italy! Too many crew milling around lack of drinks waiters on the open decks Food is mostly cold. That's the end of my review. I feel its quite negative but thats we saw/found/felt. In hindsight we should probably have gone on Carnival Horizon in the Caribbean and later on in the year then we did. Right now I feel that I never want to go on Carnival Vista, Carnival Horizon or Carnival Panorama (when she is built) again. I'm not sure I want to cruise with Carnival again. We spoke to quite a few people on the ship who said they have been with other cruise lines and they are the same as Carnival so not much point going with them. Carnival seems to be best value for money. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This is the second Mediterranean cruise we have done A previous cruise in 2015 on the Emerald Princess was much more organised than this cruise. Queuing up for shore excursions outside the Princess Theatre was a debacle and should ... Read More
This is the second Mediterranean cruise we have done A previous cruise in 2015 on the Emerald Princess was much more organised than this cruise. Queuing up for shore excursions outside the Princess Theatre was a debacle and should have been managed better. The number of tenders used for some shore excursions were totally insufficient for the number of passengers booked on shore excursions. Never seen such chaos as when over 2,000 passengers were all trying to get back to the ship at Olympia resulting in the ship leaving late and causing further disruption to the next day's shore excursions. Totally mismanaged and unprofessional. We were short-changed on some tours which were cut short and not given full tours that were paid for. Felt some of the entertainment was boring - didn't need to listen to someone playing musical instruments - needed more exciting entertainment. The specialty restaurant covercharge of US$29 per person was outrageous. I believe it should not be any more than US$10. The menu's were disappointing. Some of the dining staff in Michelangelo Restaurant left a lot to be desired. Took ages for food to be delivered to tables, then it was cold. Menu for 21 days at sea was boring. Each restaurant should have its own menu. Tea & coffee and juice should be free no matter where you order it from. The drinks packages are outrageous - anyone in their right mind would not have paid it. Drinks are extremely expensive - passengers have to keep remembering that everything is in US dollars and therefore a lot more expensive than they realise. Hair salon too expensive - two male hairdressers had no idea on how to blow-dry with a round brush. Had to return to cabin & redo it. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
The Viking Star is a fantastic ship. The entertainment is always going on somewhere on the ship. The ship's crew was helpful and pleasant. The food and service in the Specialty Restaurants is outstanding. The biggest issue was the ... Read More
The Viking Star is a fantastic ship. The entertainment is always going on somewhere on the ship. The ship's crew was helpful and pleasant. The food and service in the Specialty Restaurants is outstanding. The biggest issue was the quality of the food and service in eating areas other than the specialty restaurants. One morning for breakfast the The World Cafe the orange juice was watered down with little orange juice flavor. The wait staff spent more time walking around looking than actually serving. I went the entire meal before receiving coffee and undrinkable juice--after repeatedly asking for these things. On another night in Restaurant I ordered the Scallop and Lobster dish and found the scallop totally tasteless with the sauce more resembling dirty dish water than a tasty addition to the shellfish. On a positive note, the menus offered a wide varied choice for every meal--in fact I think the menu choices were so wide it might have contributed to the less than desired quality. I think the overall quality of the food was no better than what I've had on other cruise lines. The overall quality was definitely up to Viking River Cruise standards. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Not to many places to relax and read etc. Unfortunatley the weather was poor, so we missed Maidera altogether, high winds and Casablanca was cancelled into Tangier instead. Cabins were on the small side with the narrowist balcony ... Read More
Not to many places to relax and read etc. Unfortunatley the weather was poor, so we missed Maidera altogether, high winds and Casablanca was cancelled into Tangier instead. Cabins were on the small side with the narrowist balcony ever! Most people it seemed were on a drinks package, so they were getting louder and 'redder' in the face as the days wore on!!! We booked the whole day tour to Grenada, 9hrs, which was excellent, the guide was really good and had a very nice way about him...but be prepared it gets very cold there in winter, as so near the Sierra Nevada mountains. The food was good and plentiful, although no 'lobster' night, so corners had been cut. We were considering doing a transatlantic with them but have changed our minds and will probably go with Celebrity.( plus i've read the cabin set up on the Epic is very wierd with the sink in the cabin, not behind a closed door!) The quizzes were average , often repeating questions we've heard previously, although its a social way of mixing with others. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Our first criteria was the itinerary, in particular, Palermo and Malta. We had previously visited Marseille, Genoa and Civitavecchia ( Rome). Pricing was attractive. I consultated with a travel agent we had used in the past. Her comment ... Read More
Our first criteria was the itinerary, in particular, Palermo and Malta. We had previously visited Marseille, Genoa and Civitavecchia ( Rome). Pricing was attractive. I consultated with a travel agent we had used in the past. Her comment was " Well, MSC does things a little differently", which doesn't necessarily mean better or worse. The cabin classification is more than inside, ocean view etc. They have "experiences" Ours, " Fantasia" meant we were inside, upper deck (11) and came with a voucher for 12 cocktails each. This was a reasonable up charge all things considered. However, we met a family who were told that there was NO water served in the main dining room unless they purchased a bottled water upgrade. I know this is not the case. The ship itself is spectacular, 19 decks, 5700 capacity, only a few months old, well designed. It doesn't disappoint in that regard. Food was an overall disappointment. Not at all to what we have enjoyed on the 3 other lines we have used. The buffet offering were poor, no other way to put it. The"Grill" offered prepackaged hot dogs and burgers "BAD" Entrees and salads were substandard, layout of buffet did not allow free flow of diners. Food was not replenished in a timely manner. Tried breakfast buffet first morning only. Went to main dining room thereafter. Based on the crowds I'd say many others felt the same. Embarkation was fast and smooth. Their app helps out with this. Also they board and exit passengers at all ports when in the Med. This means fewer boarding at at port than a full load at once, BUT, you now have a lot of people learning around every day. Make for a lot of confusion at the buffet. Enrichment such as we have enjoyed elsewhere, e.g. lecture on upcoming ports/ culture are non existent. With the exception of Cirq de Sol, the entertainment was below par. No live music at the main stage show. Canned music only, even for the dance review shows. Actully found live music to be lacking thru out all venues and times, with the excepetion of the main atrium at cocktail time. Our biggest concern was the lack of public hand sanitation procedures at dining areas. There are no "washey washey" people. Yes, I've laughed at hem but they do serve the purpose of encouraging hand sanitation. The buffet had hand washing sinks at the main entrance but not the side entrances. The water usually ran cold, a sign no one used it recently , some times there were no paper towels. No hand sanitizing dispensers at entrances. We resorted to using a napkin to grasp the food tongs when serving ourselves. The main dining room did have liquid stations but were very seldom used. I mentioned this to the Maitre, d. He gave a shrug! Read Less
Sail Date January 2018

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