202 Barcelona Senior Cruise Reviews

This is the 2nd cruise we sailed with Celebrity, we were impressed with Eclipse last year and decide to join another cruise with Celebrity. This is a slightly smaller and older ship than the Eclipse, but we still had a lot of fun in this 9 ... Read More
This is the 2nd cruise we sailed with Celebrity, we were impressed with Eclipse last year and decide to join another cruise with Celebrity. This is a slightly smaller and older ship than the Eclipse, but we still had a lot of fun in this 9 nights cruise trip. First of all, we love the shows at night, the performances, singer and dancers did a fantastic jobs, we caught the show every evenings and make sure we don't miss it. The onboard activities were Okay, a lot of them are the same as what we played last year, so it is a bit lack of surprise for us, but the games are still fun to watch. We still had a great time. We did not go to the specialty dinning, so we stayed at St-Marco Dinning room for your dinner. They updated the menu everyday with plenty of choices. We tried a lot of different food everyday and they had Lobster Tail and Scallops which are my favorite! We also had our breakfast and sometimes lunch and snacks at OceanCafe, honestly the food are getting a bit boring. They did change their Chef Specials everyday, but other than that, the other food in the buffet was very similar everyday. With a cruise of 9 nights, you may get bored. My wife went to their morning sketch a couple of times early in the morning, but other dance or yoga class has to pay, so we skipped that. The gym was clean and the machines were fairly new. They have a basketball court, which is often forgotten by a lot of guests. I spent a good 45 minutes there while at the sea. The basketball are a bit old and some of time are not pumped. Service was great, there were officers teaching us to use the new App on Board, which is very useful to see the daily activities and communicate with your cruise mates and family on board. Most of the staff are very friendly and had smile with them at all time. However, my steward's job was really bad. First, she never come greet us or come talk to us during the 9 nights of the cruise. Second, she always forgot stuff in our room. For example, we had no agenda for a couple day, toiletries not refilled, no clean towels. Dirty cups are not taking away, etc. It was horrible, and we decide to talk to the guest relation after 1 week. They sent a steward supervisor to talk to us and apologized, and they gave us a follow call the days after to make sure our room and supplies are Okay. I would say that it could be just a bad individual who didn't properly do her job and not Celebrity's standard. Overall, the ship is clean and easy to navigate. We like Celebrity and have great experience at the ship, but we like to see Celebrity creating more new activities, providing more and different foods in OceanCafe daily, so it keep their guest impressed with this Premium Cruiseline. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Review Norwegian Epic Western Med Cruise September 22, 2019 This cruise originated and returned to Barcelona. I am platinum on Norwegian and Princess and have been on westbound Trans-Atlantic cruises on the Epic. Because this ... Read More
Review Norwegian Epic Western Med Cruise September 22, 2019 This cruise originated and returned to Barcelona. I am platinum on Norwegian and Princess and have been on westbound Trans-Atlantic cruises on the Epic. Because this cruise was less than 80% full embarkation was a breeze. We had a starboard balcony on Deck 11. Our cabin steward is a young lady from China. We had a problem which was only partially resolved. The shower enclosure had a depression in the center, and with the drain on the perimeter higher than the low point of the shower floor, there is water accumulated in the floor of the shower enclosure. That meant one's feet is always in dirty water. We called attention to this problem and various people worked on the problem, including the Customer Relations Manager. Towards the end of the cruise he offered us use of a mini-suite portside on Deck 10. Instead we requested some internet minutes and each got 100 minutes. I started the Cruise Critics Meet and Greet on this cruise. Only 10 of us showed up. Eleven officers showed up. See attached photo. We enjoyed the food on this cruise with one exception. As platinum we got free meals in Moderno and Le Bistro. Both were great. I had brought on board five bottles of wine purchased in Barcelona. They were great. In the Manhattan Room one night we had a table next to the stage and enjoyed the music. I am disappointed there was never prime rib on the menu. The one bad experience with dining was at Shanghai, the Asian fusion place. It was simply awful. The best show on this cruise was Burn the Floor, the dance show. Inexplicably the same show was presented twice in a seven night cruise. There was a show of a violinist and his flamingo dancer wife. There was not enough there for a 40-minute show. To borrow a comment from a previous Epic cruise, "I have seen better in the Paris Metro." There was six ports of call on this cruise. We did not do any NCL excursions so the remarks here are included for completeness. In Naples we went with italytours.eu for a day tour along the Amalfi Coast. We had a driver, who did his best to also be a tour guide. Our first stop was the town of Positano where houses are built on cliffs. We had a longer shop in Sorrento where we had lunch. Before going back to the ship we drove through some of Naples which I do not consider pretty. For Rome we took the train from Civitavecchia. The drop off point of the free bus from the ship to the entrance of the port has changed so it is now a two kilometer walk to the train station, instead of 8 minutes. We rode the train all the way to Rome Termini. We had tickets for the Borghese Gallery. I have been to most of the top museums in the world and the Borghese held my attention for two hours! Back in Civitavecchia we took the two-euro bus to the entrance of the port. In Livorno we booked a tour to Florence and Pisa. We took the five-euro bus to the center of Livorno where we met the tour. We boarded double-decker buses for the ride to Florence. We stopped in a restaurant where we had a small snack and a bit of wine. We had free time in Florence. I had been to Florence before so we admired the doors to the Baptistry of the Duomo but skipped the long line to enter the basilica. We walked to City Hall. We walked to Ponte Vecchia where my wife admired the jewelry on display. I, a diabetic, risked my life and had a gelato with my wife. We had a lengthy stop in Pisa but the free tickets to enter the basilica were gone. The tour bus delivered us directly to the ship. In Cannes we walked into town, past the Palais des Festivals and admired the designer stores along Promenade de la Pantiero and rue d'Antibes. The biggest shopping center was deserted. We walked back to the ship. We skipped Palma de Mallorca. As platinum Latitudes members we had priority disembarkation and we had afternoon flights so disembarkation was a breeze too. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We picked this Oceania cruise because of its itinerary, in particular Al Hambra, Canary Islands and Tangiers (among others). We were lucky to score stateroom 6004 (port side very near the sharp end), which whilst having no balcony, had ... Read More
We picked this Oceania cruise because of its itinerary, in particular Al Hambra, Canary Islands and Tangiers (among others). We were lucky to score stateroom 6004 (port side very near the sharp end), which whilst having no balcony, had instead added interior space, making for a larger cabin. We appreciated the extra space as we were travelling for 2 months and had lots of luggage. Sirena has recently been totally refurbished and while the walls of cabins and bathrooms are not easily moved, the somewhat tiny bathroom had been fitted with glass doors (previously curtains we are told) and swung both out and inwards into the shower to give that extra room for towelling down. Clever! The ship's layout is remarkably like the much bigger Marina, but has about half the guest capacity at 680; despite the smaller ship, public areas and dining were remarkably roomy. Specialty dining is well catered for by Tuscan Grill and Red Ginger and we feel the Grand dining room is equally up to the gastronomic task. Service everywhere was excellent and friendly. We were allocated two specialty restaurants in our fare, but we found it was easy to ask to be waitlisted and did score at least four specialty dinners (we always ask to share, which is a great way to meet people). A big plus is the access to self-service laundry facilities (remember, 2 months holiday requires regular access!) and even better, there is now no charge! Great! Great entertainment on the trip; Flamenco dancing, Chris Ritchie impersonating various "Crooners" and a cabaret evening by the ship's crew with our cruise director in the front row doing the Village People routine. Very enjoyable! The itinerary of ports and excursions was a great choice -we picked the Cathedrals and Canaries" cruise just for the destinations we would be visiting-. We did not use any ship shore excursions as we had prior bookings with friends in three destinations and did our own thing in the remainder. All in all a great cruise! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because of itinerary and the flight included package. Loved the stops. The ship was great except for food. I am not a fish or seafood eater so I found limited choices for me in the dining room. I am a fussy eater so I ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of itinerary and the flight included package. Loved the stops. The ship was great except for food. I am not a fish or seafood eater so I found limited choices for me in the dining room. I am a fussy eater so I thought just me but after sitting with others in dining room, they too, were disappointed. There were very few kids on this cruise so pools were good but I would guess they could get crowded with little ones at other times. I didn’t see a kids pool. The shows were nothing to crow about. The casino was dead, no competitions etc. I did enjoy the entertainment team. They were great. The game shows were also good. I also find the buffet to be small and again heavy on fish.our room was quiet and clean so no complaints there.enbarksion and disembark both great. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We did the Norwegian Epic cruise out of Barcelona, Spain on July 14 - July 21, 2019. To be honest, I was very apprehensive about the cruise after reading so many negative reviews on cruise critic BUT it was WONDERFUL!!! In fact, I joined ... Read More
We did the Norwegian Epic cruise out of Barcelona, Spain on July 14 - July 21, 2019. To be honest, I was very apprehensive about the cruise after reading so many negative reviews on cruise critic BUT it was WONDERFUL!!! In fact, I joined cruise critics roll call and was able to gain a lot of insight from other travelers on what to do and things that others had learned. We are avid cruisers and Disney is one of our favorite cruise lines but we decided to do Norwegian because of the price. I will attempt to give an overview. We boarded in Barcelona. We took a cab from the airport to the port. It was a fixed price of 36 or 39 euros. Check in was so smooth and fast! I did the on-line check in prior to us leaving and it was one of the fastest check-ins that I have experienced. The ship was very well maintained. I did not see dirty or stained areas. We were on floor 8 in a balcony cabin. I did not care for the lay out of the room but we only got ready and slept in the room. There were 3 of us in our cabin. I did not like the frosted shower-like doors for the toilet area but we lived with it. Once again, we just got ready and slept in the room. The dining was amazing. We had 3 free specialty dinings (for the first 2 of us) and we paid for my daughter. We ate at La Cucina, Le Bistro, and Cagney's. The food and service was superb. This was our first time to ever do any extra charge restaurants because I think you already have so much on a cruise, but since it was free, we tried it. I will say we loved it!! You felt so special, at ease and relaxed and knew you had one-on-one service. BUT, there free dining is also amazing. There is such a variety of foods. The buffet had a different them each night. (Mexican, Mediterranean, Grilled, Italian and I don't remember the others.) Also, there was a person making fresh, made to order crepes at the buffet. That may have been all nights but I used it Tuesday - Thursday for sure. Everyone in the dining rooms and dining areas were very attentive. The dining rooms and buffet areas were beautiful. They all had windows where you could look out and view the water. The front dining room at The Garden Cafe buffet was beautiful and all windows. LOVELY VIEWS!! The food reminded me of when we first started cruising 20+ years ago and that was what you looked forward to. I cannot give an honest opinion of the activities because we were off the ship each day in port and by the time we came back, got ready, and ate, we were ready to crash for the night. We did go to Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, but left. I knew it would have drag queens but there were too many other things that I felt were inappropriate and were not for me nor my family. We did see a comedian and he was funny but they really needed to use a larger venue because we were packed into one of the areas and there was standing room only. We missed Burn the Floor and we choose not to do Cirque Dreams because we did not want to pay for a show. We saw the Beatles Mania show and it was enjoyable. Our cabin steward was very nice and always checking on us. He checked with us each day to see if everything was OK and if there was anything that we needed. I did want extra blankets and when we got back to the room, they were on our bed. Everyone on the ship, from guest services to the gift shops, seemed pleasant and friendly. I know some people asked about laundry and ironing of clothes. They have a laundry service on the boat but of course it is high. On Wednesday, there was a flyer in the room that advertised that you could fill a bag with clothes and they would be washed and returned to you by Friday. The cost was $19.95. We did fill a bag with our underclothes and tshirts and they were washed and back in the room by Friday evening--all for $19.95 You do have to write the special or promotion on the bag of laundry in order to receive it. I will try to give a run down of what we did each day. We did not book any excursions through Norwegian. We used outside tour companies that were less expensive and fewer people. I gave them a poor on shore excursions because of the prices. I learned this a few years ago when we did a cruise around the Greek Isles. Day 1, we embarked on Sunday in Barcelona and Day 2, Monday was a day at sea. Thank goodness for that!! We were exhausted after our flight from the US. We slept in and just roamed around a little on Monday. Every other day, you are at a port. The day of rest helped us--- I don't know if I could have gotten on in Civitavecchia and then had to do ports with no rest, if I could have made it! Day 3 - Tuesday was Naples Italy. We used Italy Tours and booked Pompeii, Sorrento, and the Amalfi Coast. There were 14 people in our van and it was wonderful. Our driver met us at the port, we loaded into the van and started our tour. We got back to Naples about 1 1/2 hours before we had to be on board, so there was time to go into Naples if you wanted. Day 4 - Civitavecchia (Rome)--We did not book a tour because we visited Rome for several days in 2016 so we did our own thing. We got off the ship and there were many people at the port where you could book tours or take a bus to Rome. We got on one of the Smart Tours buses and once the bus was full, they brought you to Rome. You were dropped off at a point near the Vatican and then they gave you a time to be back and the bus picked you back up at the same spot and brought you back to Civitavecchia to board the ship. The cost was 23 or 25 euros per person and you had to pay cash. They did not accept credit cards. When we got on the bus, it was almost full so we only had to sit about 15 minutes before leaving. From what I heard, some people sat on the bus almost 1 hour waiting for others to get off the ship and board. You may want to keep that in mind. Italy Tours had some small group tours for Rome but since we had spent several days here a few years ago, we just walked and revisited some of our favorite things and took our own tour. :) We stayed far away from the Vatican that day because it was Wednesday and the Pope was doing mass so it was VERY CROWDED. Make sure to get gelato. This will help cool you off and Rome gelato is so very good. Day 5 - Livorno - We did a small group tour with Italy Tours. There were 7 of us in our group plus the driver. We did the tour called the Best of Florence and Pisa. Our driver met us at the small port (it was very easy to find him) and we went to Pisa first and then to Florence. We got to Pisa by 8:15 and the first group allowed to climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa is not until 9:00 so we were able to get our tickets and be in the first group to climb the tower. Walking and viewing the grounds was great! It was a highlight for us to be able to climb to the top of the tower. After doing this, I would suggest being in the beginning groups. The lines get longer as the day goes on and it gets HOTTER!! Also, you could not bring any bags in the tower. You had to lock purses and backpacks up in a secure area before climbing the tower. We then went to Florence and met up with a guide and were put with some other group for this guide. Florence was beautiful and even with the other group, we were still only 15 and our guide. Our tour company offered to add the skip the line tickets, which we purchased, and went to the academia to see the original David. The additional group of people that we joined up with in Florence did have an elderly lady who had trouble walking and keeping up and those persons eventually left the tour and said they would go on their own. Florence is an amazing city--the bridge with the shops on it is just amazing. Day 6 - Cannes - We did not do a tour with an outside company (but if you start early enough, you should be able to). You have to tender into Cannes. Make sure to book your tender early and don't waste 1/2 day on the ship waiting to catch a tender to get off. Once in Cannes, we went to Monaco. You can take a train from Cannes to Monaco and it is about a 50 minute ride. If you decide to do this on your own, here are a few tips that we learned the hard way! :) To get to the train station, once you walk out of the port area and get to the main road, take a right. When you get to the Cannes tourism office (it is a big mirrored building on the right), take a left onto the street that is across from the tourism office. You will walk several blocks down that road and then you will see the train/bus station. If in doubt, ASK. Once inside, DO NOT try to use the kiosk to buy your own tickets. Go in the station and go to the ticket office to the left (it is inside more glass doors and it has a working AC). Once inside, pull a number ticket and wait for your number to come up and then ask the agent to help you buy a ticket to Monaco. It was 36 euros for all 3 of us. BEFORE you board the train to Monaco/Nice, make sure you find the yellow VALIDATION machine and validate your ticket. I think you get in major trouble if you do not validate your ticket before boarding. If you don't see a machine, ask someone where to validate the ticket and they will show you. Take the train to Monaco and then follow the signs (brown, historical) to the palace. There are lots of things to see and quaint little shops near that area. We did not go to the casino but that is also available. When you are ready to leave Monaco, you can get off the train in Nice on the way back to Cannes and do some wandering there. We did not do this because we lost time trying to find the train station and getting the wrong kind of ticket and having to switch out. If you have plenty of time, others say this is wonderful to do. We spent all of our time looking around Monaco and then we were having to sprint to make it back to the ship!! Day 7 - Palma De Mallorca - To be honest, when we booked this trip, I had never even heard of this place. I was thinking in my mind that we would probably be so tired from our other tours and adventures, we could just stay on the ship. DON'T STAY ON THE SHIP!!! This place is beautiful. It is the largest island in all of Spain. Once again, we did not book any tour. There are shuttle buses that take you from the port to the town center. BOOK YOUR SHUTTLE RIDE BEFORE SATURDAY MORNING. The shuttle ride from the ship to town is $15 per person. Book your shuttle Thursday night or Friday. If not, you will spend a long time in line on Saturday morning to buy a shuttle ticket. For those who do book their shuttle ticket prior to Saturday morning--when you get off the ship and you see a LONG line of people that look like they are waiting to get on a shuttle, do not go to the end of the line and get in line. These are the people who are waiting to purchase their shuttle ride. Let someone know that you already purchased your shuttle ticket, and they will tell you to go straight to the shuttle bus. Meaning, you will by-pass this long line of people who did not pre-purchase. Once you ride the shuttle, it will bring you into town near the church. There is a hop-on hop off bus tour you can buy here that will bring you around the entire island. I think the HOHO bus tour was 18 euros per person. This island has many sights to see and some amazing shopping. It is beautiful and I think it would be a great place to visit on a future vacation. Once again, this was an AMAZING CRUISE, with amazing food and ports of call. For all of those who are concerned because of the negative reviews, my advice would be to ignore them and go expecting a great time and have an awesome vacation. We loved it and will definitely be trying more Norwegian cruises. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Now is a good time to write my overall cruise review. We have 4 sea days and two port days left before we get off in Singapore. The cruise has gone blindingly fast. Let's start this in the usual way: THE GOOD The itinerary ... Read More
Now is a good time to write my overall cruise review. We have 4 sea days and two port days left before we get off in Singapore. The cruise has gone blindingly fast. Let's start this in the usual way: THE GOOD The itinerary for this trip has been a cultural smorgasbord. From Spain through Italy and Greece, through Jordan and the middle east to Dubai and the Arab rich. Oman to see more rich Arabs then India to see hoards of people and the chaos of Mumbai. Cochin was more laid back and less crowded but still had the chaotic flavor of how they do things in India. Malaysia and Singapore complete the banquet with South East Asia cultures of two distinct sub flavors. This has been a great banquet and the ship is aptly named as the Spectrum of the Seas. The ship itself is a marvel. Being brand new it was fun to participate in the maiden voyage. Lots of swag handed out by the various departments, some of it even useful like the drinking mugs. Throughout the ship, they have invested in interesting art and some spectacular lighting. Technology is heavily used, for the most part, quite successfully. The journey is smooth and quiet and the ship purrs along at some 21 knots without breaking a sweat. For a ship this size, I am amazed at how small the wake is. On deck, there are many deck chairs. Not so many that provide a shady seat for everyone but lots of them anyway. There are still many people who ignore the “No Saving” rule and leave their possessions on the seat while they take an hour for lunch. The ship's propaganda says that the deck staff will remove your possessions after 30 min. of no occupancy. Never saw it happen. But is was not really a problem. Nowhere on the ship are you pressured to buy drinks. Bars are plentiful as are the bar waiters. They even have mobile bars that patrol the upper sundecks. The ship can sleep almost 5000 passengers if you put more than 2 people in all of the rooms designed for that. We had some 3700 on the first leg I think. Even with all of that, the ship does not seem crowded. The embarkation and disembarkation went very well at all ports. In fact, surprisingly well. To get that many people off the ship and onto the 50 or so tour buses waiting for them seemed to go smoothly from our perspective. The quality and variety of the entertainment was great. We enjoyed every show and some of them were exceptional. There are many “out there” activities available to do. Things like the climbing wall, the surfing wave, the North Star crane that lifted you up 100 feet and out over the side of the ship to get a unique view of the ship, the I Fly sky diving tube that allowed you to be a skydiver no more than 4 feet off of the ground, the Seaplex where you could play pickle ball, soccer, basket ball, do laser tag, and ride bumper cars. We especially liked the bumper cars. They also had something called the sky pad where you hooked bungy cords to yourself and bounced on a trampoline, all the time wearing virtual reality goggles. There was table tennis, fencing, and many forms of dancing available to learn. They had 3 different lecturers onboard, one to talk about our destinations, one to talk about the internet for fun and profit, and one to talk about crime and psychology things. So, all in all, never a dull moment. Both our inside and our balcony cabin were extremely well laid out. Maybe the best we have ever experienced. There seems to be a massive cleaning staff on board and they did their job very well both inside and out. And all of the staff were very friendly and very obliging. Many of them went out of their way to deal with your question or problem. The food has been great and easily available. The Windjammer, (the Lido deck on other cruises), was a very well laid out set of food islands where the variety seemed endless. A bit hectic during the prime meal times but easily manageable if you watched where you were going with your plateful of food. The Main Dining room was great and we had some terrific serving staff. There were several other places around the ship where you could get some snack food should you feel the need. The chocolate chip cookies were especially appreciated. The use of technology on board was good. The elevators seemed to perform flawlessly and, for the most part, had very tolerable wait times. Interactive displays at various points around the ship helped you get around. You had access, for free, to a phone app that let you do several things like find out what was on for entertainment, check out the times for various activities, learn what food outlets were available at that very moment in case you were hungry, you could reserve a spot at particular activities and events so there was no line up problem, you could bring up a map of the ship deck by deck to find out where you were and where you really needed to be, you can load up your calendar so you know what you are supposed to do at any given time, and you could check on your account amount right up to the minute to find out how big the sticker shock would be. To do all of this, you were allowed free access to the ship's WIFI but were limited to just this app. Things I would like to see added to this app are: Text messages between passengers, location of passengers so it would actually give you a path to where you wanted to go like the interactive displays do, a way to leave messages for appropriate ship staff, and maybe even order drinks to be delivered to wherever you are. All in all, this ship is great. THE BAD It's difficult to be totally objective here because of my culture, previous experiences and general expectations. Others may see things differently. That being said, here is what I would put in the “Bad” category. The Bionic bar where two robot arms mix and serve you a variety of drinks chosen from a tablet at your table. Interesting once, technically amazing, but boring and avoided in the future. I like talking to the bar and wait staff. I don't really need my drinking automated. While there are many deck chairs on the sundeck, they are too close together and also roped together at the back so that you can't move them around or out of the way. This is a nuisance. Even though I was able to un rope a few occasionally, they were tied together the next day. If we had super high winds and/or rough seas, I would understand this but such was not the case. Maybe they will untie them or mean to untie them in the future but so far, it hasn't happened. Of all things, we found the seats in the theater uncomfortable. Maybe it was us and our butt shapes and the seats we chose but by the end of the performance, I had butt ache. There seems to be 8 specialty restaurants on this ship. That, in itself is not necessarily a bad thing. However, it costs significant coin to eat there. In my expectations, I get the finest food and the finest treatment in the Main Dining room. I don't like to feel that the really good stuff is available elsewhere. For a fee. I realize this is a trend in the industry but the prices for that on this cruise are out of line. Speaking of costs, the drink prices on board seem very high. Yes, there is a drink of the day but there are no happy hours. Yes you can buy a drink package but you would have to drink like a fish to make it pay. For 30 days. And both stateroom members. For us, this would have added some $3900 CDN to the price of the cruise. No thanks. The cruise line brags about the fastest Internet at sea. It may be, but it is expensive. I get it that some people feel they must be totally connected and able to stream movies for their entire trip. The cost of doing that for 30 days would approach $1000 CDN. What I need and probably others need is 10 minutes of access every 3 or 4 days. This is not available. It should be. It is on other ships. Even if they charged an a la carte rate of $10 per hour, that would work fine for us. Again speaking of costs, rumour has it that many of the activities we have now at no charge will carry a fee when the ship reaches Shanghai. For example, I heard, with no validation, that they are going to charge $60 for a ride on the North Star. It simply isn't worth it. I suppose the price will find its own level depending upon the market it is in. Before I move on , I need to set the cultural stage a bit. This ship is designed for the Asian market. It is different than the market I am used to, that being mainly Western. So what I find bad, perhaps is because it is culturally a problem for me. In the Asian market, gambling far exceeds the drinking urge. In fact, the bar staff will be reduced by 50% when the ship goes “Full Asian” when it hits its base in Shanghai. The Casino is extra large and will have a “Golden Room” for the high rollers. The reason for the high priced shops on board will become more apparent as the ship gears up for the “Crazy Rich Asians”. Now, you cannot buy basic toiletries like toothpaste but you can buy Asian cough medicine for $111 USD. So I get it. I get it that the first language on board will be Chinese. I get it that all the signs on board are in English and Chinese. I get it that there are a lot more Asian food offerings. I get it that the entertainment will cater to the Asian market rather than to the Western. All this is well and good and I commend it. However, without getting too specific, there are two areas of what seems to be Asian culture that the ship might want to address by additional signage. One is spitting. The lovely and well used communal washbasins outside of Windjammer are not spittoons and spitting off of your balcony is unfriendly at best. And toilets in the public ladies room are to be sat on, not squatted on where you can't aim properly. Perhaps I over step. Apologies, I don't mean to offend. And finally, THE UGLY There are only two things that I think qualify for my “ugly” designation. Neither of them are the fault of the ship and its staff. Rather, these are Royal Caribbean policies determined by Head Office. The first is what we experienced as back to back cruisers. In the Main Dining room, we had a table of 6 people with whom we had bonded and become friends with. So to with the great wait staff. At change over to the second leg, they assigned us all to different tables. New people, new wait staff. This was done by head office at the last minute. We protested as did many others caught in the same situation. But head office had determined that they needed to accommodate those getting on in Dubai at the dis-accommodation of those already on board. To head office, we are just names. Need a table for 10? Take the table for 6 and the one for 4 and combine them; shove those people somewhere else. Our protests resulted in at least being re united with our new friends but we learned from the dining room staff that this was a common occurrence with head office and that they had told them repeatedly about it to no avail. It happens every trip and the dining room staff has to scramble to address the problems it creates. The staff were very apologetic and we received a bottle of wine and 6 lobster tails by way of showing this. (Normally, you have to pay for the lobster dinner.) The second ugly item is more critical to us. As a matter of fact, it is a deal breaker. This issue alone will discourage me from travelling Royal Caribbean again. It is this. RC has started classifying passengers and has created at least 3 different “statuses”. Now I am in favour of all the loyalty benefits that I can get. If I travel a lot with one cruise line, I like to get rewarded in return for my loyalty. I like getting the perks that are available. Things like drink and meal packages, internet access, free laundry, free drinks in my stateroom, perhaps priority boarding or a cabin upgrade. All these are great. And none of them take away from what the rest of the passengers are getting. RC sees it differently. They have created significant prime areas of the ship which are for the exclusive use of the few. We can't go there. They have created special reserved seating in the best seats in the theaters. We can't sit there. They have special deck space, pools, lounges and dining rooms where the privileged can hang out away from the rest of us. I do not know what percentage of the ship has been taken away but it is significant. Why would someone want to join a ship of 4000 passengers so that they can be alone with 200? This is a backward step in cruising in my opinion. And I know there will be those who totally disagree with me. As is your right and privilege. I sincerely hope you enjoy all of your future cruises on Royal Caribbean. I will likely be on another cruise line. I remember my early days in cruising when everybody was made to feel like they were first class passengers. Now, we can't help but feel we are somehow less valued. Maybe this retrograde step will permeate throughout the industry. I hope not. Did I still enjoy this cruise? Of course. Did I let this dividing of passengers get to me? I tried not to but perhaps failed a little. But if it signifies a trend, then I want to speak out. We all saw how things turned out on the Titanic. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Firstly this was our first cruise so we have nothing to completely judge against, however the things I will talk about was our experience. On arrival onto the ship we we’re badgered by staff wanting us to sign up to a drinks package ... Read More
Firstly this was our first cruise so we have nothing to completely judge against, however the things I will talk about was our experience. On arrival onto the ship we we’re badgered by staff wanting us to sign up to a drinks package which we had already sorted pre arrival. This also didn’t stop for a couple of days. ( by all means assist customers but make staff be seen but have customers approach staff ) We also were constantly bugged by the staff photographers constantly asking if we wanted our picture taken and even after a polite no they then pleaded ‘it will only take a few minutes ‘ whilst following us. My polite no’s were beginning to wear very thin towards the end. To add insult to injury the one time we gave in, we were then automatically charged £34.99 to our card before even seeing them. From the reception they told me it was down to me to say I didn’t want them to have the charge removed. So I was glad to keep an eye on my account on my tv in my cabin. Otherwise it would have been a shock on leaving. ( may be better for customers to say yes before charging). Each place we docked at we were badgered if we wanted taxi or sight seeing bus. All were stupid prices and you can do so much better sourcing your own public transport at great prices.... it got tiresome as they wouldn’t take no as an answer. I feel msc security/ dock security should monitor this and actively reduce this annoyance. Now the ship is an absolute beautiful design. Really took our breath away. The mid ship sky screen shows and displays were very good. The shows onboard were very very good and thoughly entertaining. And at 30 mins I feel it was too short but understand with time restrictions for the program it has to be that way. I had no issues with my premium drinks package and recommend this is purchased. The staff were all very friendly and pleasant and had no bad experiences in the dining room with food or waiting staff. The cabin ( we had a balcony) was a nice size and I would say it was a slightly smaller than the average Travelodge room but pretty much the same layout. Tv channels were slightly limited ( but who comes on holiday to watch tv ). The safe is quite tiny and we couldn’t put our iPads in it. But it was simple to use. The Bed was very comfortable with two pillows. Balcony size ok. Mini bar idea not so good. .... it is not covered on the drinks package. I think to enjoy the balcony it would be good to use from mini bar to save having to go to the bar for purchasing drinks to carry back. Most drinks in there can be from the bar anyway. ( just saves borrowing and restocking ourselves the next day early). The spa is amazing and well worth the visit. Spent most days in there for a couple of hours recovering from our days walking. However on the sea day it got very busy. Maybe it would be good if msc only allowed the package deal only people to access on sea days and offer no day pass. ( could earn more money for them and balance the numbers out for spa visitors). With the numerous relaxation areas jacuzzis and steam/ sauna rooms and ice room. Not forgetting the emotional showers there are plenty of places to relax and rest. Never gambled before and the casino was an awesome experience. Staff very friendly and when it was quiet we asked how to use tables and all was explained very well. There are serious gamblers there, and people like us who had fun with between 10-30 Euros per visit. We actually visited most nights and actually walked away with more Euro’s than we started with. The water slides were fun to use, and the pools were relaxing. And the external hot tubs on the deck were very nice also. Anyone in two minds about first time cruising, I think the ship will give you the experience that will help decide if it’s for you. And as for us......... we will stick with msc and look out for more locations this ship will visit and try out the other ships in the fleet. We have been converted to a life of cruising for sure. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This is our first time to go on the cruise and wasn’t disappointed. Other people commented the ship is too old but as for me, I think it is the upkeep is excellent. We stayed in Deck 4, room 4316, outside cabin. Cabin: good size ... Read More
This is our first time to go on the cruise and wasn’t disappointed. Other people commented the ship is too old but as for me, I think it is the upkeep is excellent. We stayed in Deck 4, room 4316, outside cabin. Cabin: good size for 2 people, cleaning services everyday Food: at the buffet, the food was a typical normal buffet but a lot of varieties. Ice cream was too soft because it wasn’t cold. Not sure why the ship serve that way. So I stick with soft ice cream Fine dinning: Le Bistro and Cagney’s were good. Italian was disappointed. It looks like Italian restaurant was new to the ship. The food is cold when it served. Not good. NCL needs to improve on this, still a lot of work to do on this restaurant. But the wine was really good and I am not a drinker. This is my first time to taste it and it was really good Entertaining: Elements show was very nice. It was the last show on the trip. This is a must to see. The trip had varieties of entertainment for everyone. I like the dance competition, and couple dance classes. Library: love this place, so comfy and quiet for reading when we are at sea Excursion: we had 5 but Morocco trip was disappointed. I think we bought Imperial Rabat something, we just saw outside the mosque. Not fun and not recommended Staff: no complaints..they all were excellent. Very attentive, friendly and always have smile on their face. It sure made my day awesome and first experience in cruising is outstanding. I think this ship was gear toward senior which I didn’t know. They were very nice to us and very funny. And they all were such a happy couple. I will try different NCL on our next trip. I gave 4 Stars , I cannot give 4.5 Stars, because disappointed on the Italian restaurant. Embarkment and disembarkment processes were exceptional. It was so organized and smooth. I was so impressed. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
The Ship was amazing, we were well impressed with the Shows, the food was lovely and a good choice but it was never more than lukewarm which was a shame, the staff work so hard and are so friendly. We bought one of the middle drinks ... Read More
The Ship was amazing, we were well impressed with the Shows, the food was lovely and a good choice but it was never more than lukewarm which was a shame, the staff work so hard and are so friendly. We bought one of the middle drinks packages it and proved to be a godsend as the drinks were expensive. We did find it hard work getting back on the Ship after a trip. I also slipped up on deck 10 near the Lido Buffet and had to see the hospital doctor who's bill was €352.00 of which €100 was for a BANDAGE which is a bit extreme by any standards, really thought I would at least be able to use my EHIC as it was an accident onboard , this then spoilt my holiday as I had badly damaged my knee so was in a wheelchair for the 4 days out of 7 and unable to take the wheelchair on shore. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this cruise due to the price and itinerary even though we usually travel on other lines. I had read mixed reviews here but decided, since we booked, we were going to have a great time and we did. The ship is older and shows a ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to the price and itinerary even though we usually travel on other lines. I had read mixed reviews here but decided, since we booked, we were going to have a great time and we did. The ship is older and shows a few signs of wear and tear but it is very clean and well decorated. We liked the Asian decor and the lovely ship memorabilia in the galaxy lounge. If you went down a circular stairway there you could even see the bridge and the officers at work. We were impressed we were always able to get an elevator and the ship was easy to get around. The staff was excellent and very friendly. We felt right at home with the staff and the promptness was bang on. We had a beverage package included which was one of the many advantages of the 5 at sea promotion they offer. The package also included 4 specialty dining options. The food was good, in general, Some great dishes and some just ok. The menu offering were such that you could always find something you wanted to eat. The Bisto, Steakhouse, and Italian restaurants were very good. The entertainment was varied and very well done. We saw the production shows and listened to music every night in the various lounges. Not impressed with the shops that seemed to be stocked with watches and more watches. We would have liked more educational offerings since we are not gamblers or into the spa or bingo. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this cruise to experience one of the new Viking ocean ships. We have taken four Viking river cruises. We are experienced cruisers and wanted to compare Viking with Regent, one of our favorite lines. We rate the two very close. We ... Read More
We chose this cruise to experience one of the new Viking ocean ships. We have taken four Viking river cruises. We are experienced cruisers and wanted to compare Viking with Regent, one of our favorite lines. We rate the two very close. We like the light woods and Nordic decor of the Viking Sky. The restaurants are better on the Regent Explorer as is the food quality. We also like the all inclusive Regent, which covers cocktails, tips, and business class air. The entertainment was good, but the big shows were repeated in the second week. We had not realized that this series of voyages were in 7 day segments, so many passengers left the ship in Rome, and new ones boarded for the continuation to Barcelona. Cruising in the winter always carries the risk of weather problems, and indeed we lost St. Tropez before sailing and Sicily during the cruise. The shore excursions were good with the exception of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. It was extremely crowded - an hour outside, then another hour in the museum before we were packed into the Chapel with hardly room to move- just shuffle along and try not to lose your balance or lose sight of your guide. Never mind trying to look up at the ceiling for more than a few seconds. I think Viking should work with someone to improve this tour. As is it is not worth the cost. Another small complaint with the dining room is it was difficult to get seated with other people. The lectures were mixed - the retired colonel lectures on the WW2 were very good, but the rest were unimpressive or of no interest. I might consider sailing with Viking Cruises again if the itinerary is good. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We want to a cruise before we did a river cruise hoping to see a White Christmas. We love this ship it is a small one. We had a cabin on Level 9 in the middle of the ship. Dining in Cagney's twice the food here is excellent and the ... Read More
We want to a cruise before we did a river cruise hoping to see a White Christmas. We love this ship it is a small one. We had a cabin on Level 9 in the middle of the ship. Dining in Cagney's twice the food here is excellent and the French one was okay too. The Buffet was excellent also. Entertainment was also good. Ports were good, did all Private tours which we arrange with others which we arrange on Ships roll call page which was a lot cheaper then the ship and all 3 tours we only had 6 and 1 tour we had 12. Staff on board were good. Had some washing on special day and that was also good. The ports that we called into were excellent. My husband did the private tour to Casablanca and said it was very good and only 15 on this tour. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We wanted to try Viking. Their food was very good. But we both agreed that Oceania's food is better. The cabin was comfortable. We had great cabin attendants. Always there to help. The mini bar was always stocked, extra towels ... Read More
We wanted to try Viking. Their food was very good. But we both agreed that Oceania's food is better. The cabin was comfortable. We had great cabin attendants. Always there to help. The mini bar was always stocked, extra towels if needed. The mustard drill was fast and very good. The ship was clean and the most comfortable ship that we have ever been on after more than twenty some cruises. Not crowded at all. There was always a comfortable place to sit and relax. Check in was fast and very easy. The staff was right there to help with any question. It felt like a very safe ship as well. The free excursions were nice. We had been to these places before, but not the very same locations. The ship is really the perfect size for us. Although, I have to admit that we like the small ships too. Like Sea Dream. I would definitely take another cruise on Viking. We haven't yet been on a River Cruise and would also like to try one of those soon. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This was our first cruise to South America. Crossing the Equator to the southern hemisphere is a unique experience. The 16 night itinerary from Barcelona to Buenos Aires included several ports of call we’ve never visited, and the cost ... Read More
This was our first cruise to South America. Crossing the Equator to the southern hemisphere is a unique experience. The 16 night itinerary from Barcelona to Buenos Aires included several ports of call we’ve never visited, and the cost was reasonable. We’ve sailed on the Eclipse several times, and were not concerned with getting bored on many days at sea. We arrived in Barcelona after a 2 night stay in Lisbon. We used the convenient Aerobus from the airport to Placa Catalunya and walked from there to Hotel Andante. We met cruisemates from the roll call for a pre-cruise dinner and afterwards still managed to squeeze a visit to the Picasso Museum on a free evening. Next morning we had a 10 minute walk to board the T3 Port Shuttle (€3 each) for the short ride to Terminal “C”. We arrived around noon, hoping to attend the Concierge lunch in the Dining room. However, the embarkation process was a total disaster with long lines and short on processing staff. The “priority line” for Concierge Class took us 2 hours, moving at a snails’ pace because it was merged with all the other passengers at the finish line. So we missed the Concierge lunch, and it’s the first time our luggage arrived at our cabin before us. Not a promising start, topped by an automated phone message in our cabin from the Concierge welcoming us aboard and trusting we experienced smooth embarkation. Since there were so many Spanish-speaking guests, all announcements were also made in Spanish and Portuguese. Our cruise director Alejandro from Argentina also repeated every phrase in Spanish, but he is such a fun guy that we didn’t mind at all. Most of the crew members were eager to please. Cabin: Our C2 Concierge balcony cabin #1062 was well insulated from noise in adjoining cabins. Bed by the bath, and no inside cabins across the corridor. Meals: We had pre-booked Select Dining at 6:45pm. Sometimes we would share a table and other times it was just us two. Our waiter Jorge and assistant Emilio did a flawless and well synchronized job. Since we are Elite members, we were able to enjoy our “happy hour” drinks in the main dining room before 7:00 pm along with our dinner. The Oceanview Café was offering good variety with daily international food themes, but they still have no onion rings and the tasty oatmeal cookies have been discontinued. We dined in Qzine Le Petit Chef for the first time, and were not impressed. We liked the old concept better. We asked twice about a “coffee card” at the Café Al Baccio on the first day and were told they were not being offered. We were told to buy the non-alcoholic beverage package. On the last day we met people who said they bought the coffee cards and enjoyed using them. Celebrity needs to ensure the staff is properly advised on these offers, and they should be better publicized. Entertainment and activities: There were a number of pretty decent headliner entertainers, but none stood out as exceptional. The production shows were also average, a repeat of our Eclipse cruise in the Baltic earlier this year. The aerialists performers and the Tango duo Victor and Denisa who presented tango and gaucho shows were both informative and entertaining. The speakers (Beyond The Podium) were excellent. MickeyLive’s talks about the ports and navigation, Ian Wright about the early years of British superstars and Beth, on the history of South American countries. Shopping was pretty lame, with a narrow range of products and overabundance of watches. Captain’s Club Elite benefits were nice and we enjoyed having two hostesses, Elizabeth and Melissa. Tuscan Grill breakfast was overcrowded so the overflow was directed to Qzine. But the one issue I have is the internet benefit. What ‘s the logic of getting the same number of internet minutes (90) whether you are on a 7 night or a 16 nights cruise? The dynamic Alejandro the Cruise Director kept things rolling along with his quirky snipes at the Argentine way of life, the best looking people and best soccer players. We reconnected with old friends, met new ones, and enjoyed our six nights post cruise in Buenos Aires. Disembarkation was well organized due to advance passport clearance by immigration authorities. Taxi rates outside the terminal are overpriced. We walked to the end of the line, ignoring the approaches of the drivers. Prices kept dropping from $20, $15 as we kept walking away, finally agreed on $10 to our hotel. In summary, this was a very enjoyable Transatlantic sailing with pleasant weather and calm seas. The ports were interesting and the service highly accommodating. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We were concerned about the likely service, food etc - having read many poor reviews and bad comments. But our experience was almost nothing but everything was fine. We were very content. The ship's customers were much more heavily ... Read More
We were concerned about the likely service, food etc - having read many poor reviews and bad comments. But our experience was almost nothing but everything was fine. We were very content. The ship's customers were much more heavily Asian and of course there were plenty of Italians. Their nature is not to 'stand back' and wait patiently in line, unlike the Brits or Americans they certainly don't say 'after you' - so that was noticeable. The ship was immaculate and is quite stunning, good lifts, restaurants, bars, our steak in 'Butcher's Cuts' was one of the best we have ever tasted! Restaurant food was good, not five or six star, but good. The Panorama restaurant was very smart and very good indeed (and spacious) the Marketplace Buffet could be crowded and rather noisy (but no worse than Celebrity, RCL or NCL) and we always found a table without difficulty. The evening entertainment was overall very good, the Cirque du Soleil very good. Lively and good fun. The ship went to Marseille, Genova, Palmermo (had to miss Malta because of a storm) but then Palma de Mallorca. Our only adverse comment is that there are no staff positioned so that all that enter a restaurant have to use anti-bacterial gel hand cleaner. There is therefore a risk, we suggest that needs to be changed. Finally, the big question: would we book with MSC again : Answer: Definitely. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose this cruise because we haven’t been to the Canary Is., and were looking forward to visiting. As explained earlier, we still haven’t visited them.. The Captain Did the right thing by avoiding the 70ft waves that hit Tenerife. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we haven’t been to the Canary Is., and were looking forward to visiting. As explained earlier, we still haven’t visited them.. The Captain Did the right thing by avoiding the 70ft waves that hit Tenerife. The Company did the wrong thing by not crediting our accounts or offering some compensation for the missed ports and fuel savings. it was also wrong to not totally reimburse passengers for the price of booked tours. Embarkation and disembarkation were handled efficiently. We will not let Oceania book our airfare again. this was their second chance. this time we travelled for 21 hours joining the ship in Barcelona from Phoenix. we actually enjoyed the 8 sea days with no schedules to keep or ABC tours to take. did a bus tour on our own in Malaga, a very lovely town. entertainment on board was to our liking. Yes, the production company is young. But, unlike some, the singers can indeed dance, and the dancers also can sing. a few flat notes here and there. If you want Broadway caliber, those BIG ships or Broadway are the Place for you. all on board staff, except one front desk guy seems to be happy doing their jobs and were very kind. We did meet two women who enjoyed soaking In their tubs. Most of us wish the showers had taken the place of those tubs which just took up valuable space. How small? well, If you dropped your soap you had to open the door to be able to bend down and retrieve it. Hubby says this is the best food at sea, Regent is right there in the running too.we enjoyed all the specialty restaurants. Food at Jacques, as you may guess, is very rich. the main dining room offers a fine selection each meal as well as the waves grill and the big buffet. the special brunch buffet featured all the ice carvings and specialty desserts, and beautiful fruit and.vegie displays. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose the cruise because it had a good itinerary. We weren’t disappointed. While there were occasional blips in the dining service the staff was very accommodating and working to do their best. We didn’t feel that the upselling ... Read More
We chose the cruise because it had a good itinerary. We weren’t disappointed. While there were occasional blips in the dining service the staff was very accommodating and working to do their best. We didn’t feel that the upselling of merchandise was too prevalent but there was a big push to get you to book the specialty restaurants. We enjoyed the ‘anytime dining’ because we were able to meet people from all over the world. We mainly did shore excursions that were not through Celebrity as the Celebrity groups were much too large.. It would be nice to have cheaper laundry or self serve laundry like on Royal Princess. The cost for laundry was incredibly high. Wifi is also a huge expense. It would be great to see cruise companies work on reducing this. We had a great time and have already booked another cruise on Celebrity in Southeast Asia. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Found a deal on the transatlantic cruise and boarded in Barcelona. Boarding was easy and quick. Our suitcases were at the door before we were! Due to approaching we weather we skipped Gibraltar and Madeira and went to Santa Cruz de ... Read More
Found a deal on the transatlantic cruise and boarded in Barcelona. Boarding was easy and quick. Our suitcases were at the door before we were! Due to approaching we weather we skipped Gibraltar and Madeira and went to Santa Cruz de Tenerife instead - a worthwhile visit. We got credit for the skipped port charges. Kudos to Captain Antonio for outrunning the storm, we had a a couple of days of rolling seas but overall it was as smooth crossing. The food was fabulous (as usual) and the speciality restaurants did not disappoint. The wines offered were all very good except for the whites which were to heavy on Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. But when asked, there was always an alternative. Despite this being a transatlantic cruise the entertainment was the best we had ever had on Azamara. The shore excursion in Tenerife was wonderful as was the behind the scenes tour on the ship. The White Night was also fabulous. The service overall was slightly below par, probably due to new staff not quite embracing the Azamara spirit. There were a few familiar faces to welcome us back. Trivia is a big thing and one of the hosts was not up to par as he could not pronounce words properly. That led to some angry outbursts. The senior staff is all great, visible and accessible. Looking forward to going back next March. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We booked this cruise a second time because of the solid value offered, and the generally friendly and active passengers we experienced last year. Numerous people remembered us this time as we went about activities and dining, and all were ... Read More
We booked this cruise a second time because of the solid value offered, and the generally friendly and active passengers we experienced last year. Numerous people remembered us this time as we went about activities and dining, and all were repeat passengers for multiple past cruises. The big values for us were the Burn the Floor dancers that performed in the Manhattan dining room, Epic theatre, and ballroom dance classes. Amazingly fast and complicated moves appeared effortless except for the heat they generated. Many other talent balanced out the performances, including more comedians than last year. Standout hospitality from Roderick in keeping our cabin in perfect shape, even though our schedule was a bit erratic, and from all the food servers in the Shanghai and Manhattan rooms were really appreciated. Wallfredo managed our wine selections with insight and attention, and we have only good memories of many Manhattan dinners. We were laughing one night about what a comparable dinner, Broadway show, late night disco, and hotel in New York would have required; compared to just strolling around the ship for a few minutes and saying thanks for the experience. That’s value. Counterpoints were the smokey casino right in the middle of the ship and the three amenities floors that NCL has not safely ventilated to protect their employees and non-smoking passengers like me. That’s a prime reason for choosing other ships. Secondly, although you can find some healthy foods, they’re re mixed in with hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, sweets and ice cream. Some deserts were labeled “No Sugar Added” but does that mean they are loaded with sugar-alcohols or toxic artificial sweeteners instead. More informative labeling or online ingredient lists would be greatly appreciated. Finally, the entertainment staff needs to expand their playlists to eliminate obnoxious repeats of over-played classics like “Hotel California.” Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I gave "Very Good" for this cruise because the price was awesome: 1450$ for 13 day transatlantic cruise in balcony room. Ship and cabin: + unique ship design, everyone is looking on it + nice stylish rooms + nice ... Read More
I gave "Very Good" for this cruise because the price was awesome: 1450$ for 13 day transatlantic cruise in balcony room. Ship and cabin: + unique ship design, everyone is looking on it + nice stylish rooms + nice location of buffet: great view in front of the ship + even if ship was full, there are was always free place near the pool - separate wc and bath (and the fact that wc is designed like a shower corner is terrible) - some furniture was broken, nothing special, very minor - shower was broken (water leaking) and this was not fixed during whole cruise Dining; + Super testy asian restaurant and noodle bar. And it is for free, without additional payments. +/- main dining restaurant was good, but nothing special. Food was pretty the same day by day - buffet food was of limited variety and of intermediate quality (comparing to italian Costa, where you get salami, spanish jamon, variaty of expensive cheese etc): burgers, pizza, chip cheese, fruits are of limited variety Service: + friendly personnel + 2 time per day cleaning of rooms Activities: + different activities across all day: live music, comedians, funny shows in atrium, theater. All was good enough to not be bored in 13 day cruise Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
So a group of 7 girls decided to go on a cruise for one of our friends 40th birthday, only 2/7 people has done a cruise before so it’s an amazing idea on something different to do. We boarded at Barcelona, everything went very smooth, ... Read More
So a group of 7 girls decided to go on a cruise for one of our friends 40th birthday, only 2/7 people has done a cruise before so it’s an amazing idea on something different to do. We boarded at Barcelona, everything went very smooth, the check in staff were helpful and informative, so sat at the bar waiting to be called. After looking at the info the check in desks give we head into our room, collect the cards and walk out. We then go to reception get a drink, go for an explore, then head to the top deck. That’s when it goes slightly downhill, no one knows what to do next, we didn’t know about the entertainment information or the timetable as we were so excited to go exploring we seemed to miss the little pigeonhole right next to the door, I finally understood on the last night. Not Costas fault but it’s not explained very well once onboard the ship. Also being a group on girls on a birthday weekend I think there was a few more drinks flowing than normal. At 6.30 there was a safety demonstration which lasted about 20 odd minutes, then off to dinner for 9.15pm, that was a definite eye opener so very busy, the waiter we had wasn’t at all friendly (although we later found out they can work up to 8 months and that’s without a day off), even I don’t think I could plaster a smile on my face everyday. While dining in the main buffet Michael Jackson started blaring on the loud speaker, then up out of no where all the waiters start jumping about dancing. That was amazing as it comes out of nowhere!! Food was good, although the menu can get confusing as the waiter never did explain that you can order anything and everything if you choose. We all dance the night away and that was a great first night. Next morning with a slight hangovers and an early morning wake up call as someone managed to get locked out of their room and went off with another friend in another cabin, we all shower and up we get for a buffet breakfast. I can see from the choice of breakfast that they do try to cater for different nationalities but the breakfast isn’t great to be honest. I try some pancakes and bacon and that’s it. The coffee also isn’t great as unlike the bars where they have a machine and a milk frother they don’t have in the buffet, so water or orange juice is the way forward, also they don’t have a toaster, and the bread is rock solid. You could kill a bird with it. Off we go to marseille, hmmm next time I won’t bother as there’s not overly a lot to do there, walked around, saw some buildings, forced an alcoholic drink down our neck and back on the boat. lunch at the buffer, again it wasn’t too great, rock hard bread again, some warm focaccia, pasta, and a big lump of beef with potatoes, not great if you’re a vegetarian (I’m not, but 2 of our friends are). Go to dinner at 9.15pm, this time the waiters dance to some latin songs, ver well done again. Then another repeat of the night before, more drinks and dance the night away). The 3rd morning head off to the buffet again, this time no pacncakes, I don’t eat eggs so not a lot to choose from, I grabbed 2 pieces of French bread with cinnamon and some pineapple, that will do. We get off at Savona, 1 MASSIVE tip, other than supermarkets everything else shuts at 1.30 and opens back up at 4.30, unfortunately we have to be back on the ship by 4.30 so we spent an hour walking in a group of 7, with different people trying to find a restaurant just so we can get a pizza, it didn’t go down too well but got there in the end. Back on the ship, more drinks, a lot more passengers so the bar on deck 9 was a complete nightmare, then off we go again. Down to shower, off to the 9.15pm dinner, waited until 10pm to ask the waiter what time will the dancing be on tonight, he tells us there won’t be any, shame, so we all thanked him, 3 went off to bed, 4 of us decided to pop off to the casino. Within half hour our 50€ was spent and off to the bar we go. A few more drinks down our necks an the conversation turned to the bar staff. When we took 5 minutes out of our busy lives to see the amount they work, the stuff they have to put up with, and the hours they work on a daily basis, I’m so grateful for my life. The amount of time they’re away from home, they don’t see their families for months and months at a time. While we go on holiday they’re there at our beck and call when we want a drink or service. So thank you Henry and Danny for that night. So last morning just before we go to Barcelona, we set our alarms to make the restaurant breakfast. I do wish I’d gone there before but to be there by 9 is a bit of a deal breaker, unfortunately again we had a not so friendly waiter and had to be called about 3 times before he would come over to serve, at least it was nice. Back to the room to get our stuff as we had to be out by 10. We decided to go back to deck 9, as we started off from there a few more Prosecco to finish up the holiday, and off we go to the shops, pay our bill at the desk and get ready to leave. As they bleep mine and my roommates cats and unfamiliar buzz goes off, we’re not allowed to leave but everyone else disembarked, so back off to the desk to sort the cards out. Cards done and out we go. The 2 of us are last to pick up our luggage go through everything and my friend realizes she’s had some money stolen from her case. Do not leave any money in your case. There’s signs around saying the same so I don’t know what was going through her mind at that time when she left the case outside the door the night before. You HAVE to leave your cases outside of the room the night before for them to collect it. They advise to leave the cases the night before by 12 midnight and no later than 1am, but I witnessed them not coming until 3.30 am. Do not leave anything valuable at all. There’s always people workers and non workers wandering the hallways so could have been anyone. I also had stuff taken but luckily not money. Anyway other than the little hiccup at the end it all went well. I also missed the last day lunch as I was too busy booking my next cruise onboard. This time as a family, so hopefully the next one will be a little less partying and a little less hangovers. On the last note, be aware that if you suffer from rocking on land, It’s been 48 hours and I still don’t feel great and I’m still rocking and swaying. Maybe I was a little hasty in booking the next one but I’m sure I’ll be over it then. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We booked this cruise because we were very pleased with prior cruise and seeing the Western Mediterranean had always been a dream. The service and food on the ship was excellent, definitely 10 out of 10. The food was excellent in all ... Read More
We booked this cruise because we were very pleased with prior cruise and seeing the Western Mediterranean had always been a dream. The service and food on the ship was excellent, definitely 10 out of 10. The food was excellent in all locations and wait staff in the dining room, the buffet, and the restaurants was friendly, knowledgeable, courteous, and accommodating. Clients had an option of eating only with your party or joining others and there was never a wait. Our cabin "minder" was also excellent. The entertainment was good, though we didn't really take advantage of many options. We were very disappointed in the shore excursions, as were many people that we found complaining about them on the excursions and at meals. As one person said, "the treatment of the ship is rated at the top, but the excursions are rated at the bottom" The problems included a guide in Aix en Provence who spoke for over an hour on the bus in a monotone nonstop about the ancient history of the area; when walking around she had no microphone, looked ahead kept walking and talking; Another guide in Florence who pushed specific restaurant and tour, neither of which was not actually prepared for us. The worst however was the Roman guide, Massimino, who was rude, ignored someone who became ill, and ignored requests from clients. When bringing our concerns at the Shore Excursion desk onboard, received very poor response. I advise going on Cruise Critic or TripAdvisor to find other shore excursions. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
CROWN PRINCESS October 2-13th, 2018 Barcelona to Rome I am an Elite cruiser, and this is my 12th voyage on Princess, 1st time on Crown Princess. Crown Princess was launched in 2006, with a considerable refit in 2017. Overall solid ... Read More
CROWN PRINCESS October 2-13th, 2018 Barcelona to Rome I am an Elite cruiser, and this is my 12th voyage on Princess, 1st time on Crown Princess. Crown Princess was launched in 2006, with a considerable refit in 2017. Overall solid business class condition, the food and entertainment consistent and good standard. Firm and favorable recommendation to anyone wanting a good quality, big ship cruise experience. A very important tip for cruisers is found out when your ship of choice had its last refit. New ships no issue, but if the ship is over 5 years old, well worth considering this when weighing up choices, Travel industry is getting better at providing this information, but overall improvement is required My critique, is based on my many cruises and any criticism is aimed only at seeking improvement Embarkation Ship boarded at Barcelona. Large que on arrival, but with my wife’s left knee requiring management, she was wheel chaired aboard, prompt, quick and efficient service.. The ship in general The Crown Princess is a large ship, 116,000 tons Some people aboard found the size of the ship a little overwhelming and they thought a smaller ship would be more to their liking. We can understand that but we like the larger ships with more people and facilities and choices on board. Although there were approximately 3500 passengers on board, it did not feel crowded. So many choices, which is the great delight of cruising, one does as little or as much to do as you like. Some passengers take that for granted, mumbles here and there, but we value the great choices available! Used the Gym fitness machines each day, great to see Princess along with a number of other companies do not drown you out with music in the Gym, silence is golden! Good on Princess for this decision, if you want to listen to music, you can do so with your own devices. Some of the equipment e.g. Rower showing signs of wear, and more exercise bicycles would enhance the product available. Pools and spa facilities as you expect, available, and nice, off peak the time to go, pools can be cluttered during the day Princess cruises add a USD 12.50 a day per person amount to your bill and that covers your tipping for the total cruise. This is done so that people employed on the ship who are not in direct contact with the ship can also receive something. If you don’t like this idea you can arrange with the Pursers office to have the amount reduced if you wish, and envelopes for tips are available. We were impressed with Sky Walkers nightclub and daytime lounge, which is situated at the back of the ship 16 floors up. At night time it is a disco after 10.0 pm and during the daytime is a restful area for reading and just watching the sea. The chairs in sky walkers are extremely comfortable. During the daytime you can always get a seat there for reading or quiet time The other bars and public seating areas of the Crown Princess were excellent, roomy and stylish. Spot entertainment e.g. pianist, violin trio etc. were visible and pleasant. Listening to these spot artists, can make a cruise very pleasant. The shopping available on the ship is the normal 5 retail stores, with a nice range of goods. Watch and clothing sales abounded, and the 3 hour clearance scrambles, always available. Another variety style shop would be useful, not really convinced, about diamond and jeweller shops, obviously enough people are buying product to keep open. The Internet café is roomy and the library pleasant . Both are needed, and the balance between books and computers is important. Princess has done away with the on ship news sheets for USA, Britain, and Aussie etc. This is short sighted, many commenting on the lack of daily international news. Yes it might be available on the web, but the web at sea is costly, and soaks up time, hopefully these sorts of publications will return, when the world realizes technology is just another tool, and many people like something to hold and reflect on in their own time. Floor shows in the evening, and specifically the Princess Theatre Dance Company and singers were excellent. They did 4 presentations, equal to Broadway show standard, and the standard of these productions continue to improve and creativity very much in vogue. Excellent recording stars on each night, somewhere, standard excellent. Overall the formal and stage entertainment was of good quality, all part of your travel package Solid range of late release movies shown on upper deck, available in room, or at advertised locations. Good work here Princess, my wife watched more than a few while reclining in the cabin. The more movies the better, it’s an ageless form of entertainment A number of presentations or lectures on this cruise, none of which jumped out as great, but if the topic were interesting, the public speaking g quality was sound. Formal history or lectures by a guest presenter are always a feature of Princess Cruises. This time the presenters style and topics not my cup of tea, but any type of presentation adds substance to cruise experience. Excellent range of cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, excellent range of choices every day, including the usual bingo, table tennis, bridge games. Art shows were very visual. Great walking deck, and a daily stroll or 2 around the decks is a beneficial exercise and enjoyable. 3 times around the circuit equals a mile, and we try to build this activity into the daily routine, keeps some of the likely weight gain down. Soft freeze cone ice-cream available at no cost throughout the day, a nice treat. The weather conditions throughout were very good and no rough days at all, so the luck ran our way. However motion sickness can be an issue, and any cruise if you are susceptible, prepare in advance. Dining Traditional 1st or second sitting evening dining room sitting versus anytime dining are great options. We prefer anytime dining, and there were 2 choices plus the 24 hour buffet, plus the 24 hour International Café, and the open deck grill and Pizza bar options. We dined most days buffet breakfast in the Horizon, often had lunch in the traditional dining room (not available in the evening for anytime diners) and then at night, in one of the 2 anytime restaurants. Menu in each is the same as traditional dining restaurant, but we liked the change of waiters, décor and loved being able to eat anytime in the evening between 5.30pm and 10pm. If you had not booked, there was sometimes a small wait, but no great problem. Two specialist restaurants are available. The Crown Grill (steak) restaurant with $29 surcharge per person, I enjoyed compliments of Princess. Nice table, service and American Steak style, my steak was enormous. It had style and better than I anticipated. The real issue is a specialist restaurant at $60 per couple good vale. In my view no, plenty of choice for free elsewhere. The International Café was a real bonus. Great informal, pick your choice, from a salad to a cake, great alternative to the full meal service which abounds on the ship. The buffet at Horizon Court was good value, everything seemed fresh, lots of choice and we thought the food tasted fine. Open most hours was great. Service was good, and their breakfast buffet top class. You read some sharp comments about the cruise buffets; I think they offer excellent value, wide choice and sound presentation. You must be a very fussy eater, if you complain about sub-standard Princess cruise buffets. A nice touch each afternoon was the English High tea served by waiters in white gloves 3.30-4.30pm, in one of the main dining rooms. Made you feel special! Room Service Available 24 hours at no charge, limited menu but pleasant. Our cabin We had an obstructed view ocean stateroom on the 8th level. Pleasant, and while view was substantially obstructed, it was nice to have a peep out. We made the decision not to have a balcony cabin, on cost differential and because we are familiar with most of the Ports we visited, it was the right decision for us. The design of the cabin made good use of large mirrors to enhance the feeling of light and maximize space. The open space wardrobes without doors provided plenty of hanging and excellent storage space for our requirements. . Our main cases fitted side by side quite comfortably. Bedside lights have dimmer switches. Soaps and towels were changed twice a day. Bathroom shower was pressure excellent. Air conditioning was excellent. There is a safe in every room and our cabin had a fridge. Outside your door on the side is a paper holder with your cabin number on it so that the any newsletters or other information can be left for you. The Television was relatively small, but functional. No noise transference issues on this trip, you need luck with who are your neighbors’, this time quiet. If you wish to drink bottled wines in your cabin Princess seem to have no problems with you purchasing wines or champagne and bringing them on board at embarkation (Small print says 2 bottles). You can take these wines into the dining room but you will be charged an USD15.00 corkage fee if you take them into the dining rooms They charge for spring water in your cabin so we always take a water bottle with us and go up to Horizon Court and fill the bottle up with fresh water from there. PORTS OF CALL Big ships often mean you are located long distances from City. Ships are coy re detail on Port facilities, and access to City location. They want you to utilize on each occasion the formal ship tours, which are well organized, but costly. Independent travelers are tolerated, but they limit information as a means of keeping the formal tour numbers up. The internet is surprisingly limited re detailed information on Ports of Call (often very dated too), and guide books like Lonely Plant, virtually ignore it. Mykonos was missed due to wind shear meaning we could not berth, and there were a number of tender ports due to the ship size, which on this occasion started badly, but after an initial shambolic tender, things improved. Santorini and Kotor are mind- blowing ports, and Toulon was pettier than expected, the cruise into harbor pleasant. My thought is any tender Port; the scheduled stay should have at least one hour extension, due to que congestion Disembarkation Getting off the ship at Rome was excellent. We took a Princess Bus to airport at a pre booked price which I thought was dear, but compared to the $180USpp charge on board, a sound choice .Compared to the high price, and poor transport service options that we experienced in Hong Kong on our last trip, this disembarkation was a breeze Ports 1 Barcelona 2 Toulon 3 Florence & Pisa (Livorno) tender 4 At Sea 5 Olympia (Katakolon):Bad tender 6 Mykonos Town, Mykonos: Could not berth or anchor due to wind 7 Thira, Santorini-tender 8 At Sea 9 Kotor 10 At Sea 11 Naples 12 Rome (Civitavecchia) Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We booked this cruise a year ago (Back in May 2017 when we did Alaska). We had a sea view cabin 8045 on the eight floor that was ample and well setup. The room was keep very clean. The Vision of the Seas crew save me from giving this ... Read More
We booked this cruise a year ago (Back in May 2017 when we did Alaska). We had a sea view cabin 8045 on the eight floor that was ample and well setup. The room was keep very clean. The Vision of the Seas crew save me from giving this cruise a lower rating, they were fantastic and was hard to say bye, bye to them. The Ship is old, and unfortunately on seas days, you cannot get near the swimming pool. Lots of sun chairs hogs. too many kid running around with no supervision from parents or crew. Food very average. drinks vary so much from day to day, do not why? but it never happen to us on other RC ships? One highlight, was the Captain welcome Champagne, where to our surprise the Captain sung a full song!! Well done! I still like RC, but I will do more research on my next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Mediterranean Cruise Vacation ex Barcelona on MSC Fantasia. We have previously sailed with Celebrity, RCL, and Norwegian in The Caribbean, Alaska and on the Pacific coast, and this was our first European cruise and first with MSC. We ... Read More
Mediterranean Cruise Vacation ex Barcelona on MSC Fantasia. We have previously sailed with Celebrity, RCL, and Norwegian in The Caribbean, Alaska and on the Pacific coast, and this was our first European cruise and first with MSC. We are a married couple from Chicago who traveled with two single friends and we had adjoining cabins. We chose the Yacht Club package due to the all-inclusive feel, the price and the itinerary. This was a port-intensive trip with just two mornings at sea. One thing new to us was the idea of people embarking and disembarking at different ports throughout the cruise: on almost every cruise I can think we’ve been, we’ve had a complete passenger turnover on Day 1 of the cruise: not on MSC. Embarkation/ Boarding: Very smooth operation. Yacht Club personnel came to meet us (they must have seen the luggage tags) We were offered canapes and beverages while waiting for check-in. We were escorted in on the same line as everyone else, bypassing them as the butler led us on. No later than 20 minutes after boarding, we had our key cards and were given a tour of the Yacht Club enclave by our butler Germain who also thoroughly explained the workings of items in the cabin. The safety drill was an entire joke; no one was paying attention, least of all the Italians on board. The Cabin: 15001 is a large square room with an oversize balcony. The cabin was always perfectly maintained for the duration of the cruise, The TV screen was way too small for a cabin this size and was so far away from the bed that you could hardly enjoy anything on screen. We first always had to call for ice but after three evenings they got it and the ice bucket was always full when we got back. Europeans don’t use ice nearly as much as Americans; even our drinks had just a couple cubes compared to at home. Our friends next door had a regular size cabin; 15001 is really a nice cabin with extra space if that’s important to you. We had a large walk-in closet which had a lighting system operated by foot movement, so if you were in there not moving around you’d be left in the dark until you moved again! A bit disconcerting I suppose! We found it funny…. The bedding and bed linens/pillows were all amazingly comfortable and of a very high quality. A wide selection of toiletries was provided in the bathroom which had a bathtub/shower combination The Dining: Meals at L’Etoile were good but not stand-out exceptional. We had dinner there every evening, a few lunches, and just one breakfast which was slow but good. Service was attentive but not overbearing. We appreciated having this option as the regular ship buffet was always crowded and loud with people not keeping in lines. We ate there just once to try the pizza which was excellent. As a Yacht Club member you get to enjoy complimentary gelato throughout the ship, health bar shakes at tbe spa and chocolate cocktails at the Venchi bar on 6. On “Elegant” night (MSC doesn’t have “Formal”), we saw only two tuxedoes in Yacht Club, and most people dressed in smart “business casual” attire. Many men wore blazers and khakis, few even wore ties. I have no experience of what it was like in the main dining room but no one seemed to bother much about keeping to any kind of dress code. One nice thing about the Yacht Club was the personalized attention we received at all times on The One Pool deck and at the Top Sail Lounge, including Afternoon Tea service. The Entertainment: the Italian Operatic evening was enjoyable as was the French evening, but the others were just bad-mix combos of ballroom dancing, skipping-rope and street-dancing routines and I have seen better High School productions in theater. Elsewhere on the ship we had a pianist every evening at the Yacht Club Top Sail Lounge., and there were various bands and musical entertainments elsewhere that we heard about but didn’t experience. One thing I noticed on MSC is that there are many more smoking sections in some of their indoor spaces than seem to be the case of the American cruises we’ve been on. The casino, the indoor lounges all allowed smoking (sections of the lounges were non-smoking but the smell of Febreze next morning—it is used liberally to get rid of cigarette smoke stink--was quite nauseating). Personally, I would prefer a non-smoking cruise option and will look for that on our next cruise vacation. The Spa: Yacht Club guests have access to the sauna and steam room areas at all times; there is a special elevator that takes Yacht Club guests directly into the area. Otherwise you have to enter the spa through the main doors on floor 14 which is like being attacked by mosquitoes, so aggressive are the spa staff at selling options and offers. A word to the wise: I tipped my service provider at the spa generously but realized after seeing my receipt that a 20% service charge is automatically added, so you do not need to tip unless you think your therapist deserves more than that. My therapist was exceptionally good at her job, professional and obviously well-trained. The ship in general: Very clean and well appointed. Shore excursions: Poor offerings from MSC so we did our own thing. Ajaccio: we walked off the ship and explored this French town on our own. Visited Napoleon’s birthplace and an art gallery and artisanal craft store. Typical French south-coast town. Nothing much to note except the main street closest to the harbor is exceptionally touristy and you have to go up the hill to the next level or two to get the real French town feeling. Rome: picked up a rental car in port of Civitavecchia (near train station: took shuttle from ship to port entrance and port entrance to station about 4 Euro round trip) and drove to Odaleschi Castle on the shores of Lake Bracciano. Lovely day, The castle is home to an Italian Princess Orsini, and is famous for its celebrity weddings, such as Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. I can see why… views are stunning. On the drive back we stopped at an Etruscan Necropolis and overall had a great day and were back on ship in time for a very late lunch at L’Etoile. La Spezia: took the public ferry from the port to Monterosso. We’ve been to the Cinque Terre before, and have actually hiked the trail, from Vernazza to Manarola but this time around were happy to see it from the water and to see Monterosso which is a lovely village. Took the train back and walked to the ship. We stopped at the hotel we had stayed at two years’ ago and the receptionist recognized us! It was amazing! Another exceptional and memorable day. So enjoyable! Geooa: took a walking tour of the old town with a local guide organized on get your guide dot com. This was a great tour and included entrance to the Palazzo Rosso which is memorable for its rooftop views in addition to its art collection. Also we were back on the ship in time for lunch and then had the afternoon which some of us explored on our own and others used the ship as a vacation destination! Cannes. Tendered here. Took a tour to Monaco and Eze with Viator dot com. Also highly recommend this company. Bring your passport: you can get a free souvenir passport stamp in the Monaco Tourist Office in Monte Carlo (opposite the Casino but uphill at other end of the garden). It’s a nice and colorful souvenir. Unlike most things in Monaco, it’s free. Saw the Changing of the Guard at the Grimaldi Palace, visited the small nearby Cathedral where Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier, and visited their crypt. Vita Brevis. Enjoyed delicious ice-cream. The views of Antibes and Cap Ferrat from Eze are truly memorable. Eze is a lovely hillside village and is home to both the Fragonard perfumery and the Chevre D’Or. Walt Disney once visited here and it is obvious it inspired some of his work. We were lucky to get there early before the hordes of tour busses, and climbed to the sculpture garden at the summit for some of the best photos of our trip. Palma de Mallorca: MSC charging 14 Euro for a round trip bus transfer for what I consider a nice walk. Save money if the weather is not too hot and do it yourself. It’s less than a mile each way. We ended up taking the bus due to a travel companion’s foot problem and explored the Cathedral and Old Palma downtown. The ship was late in port this evening but we were back in time for dinner and wanted to enjoy our final evening on board. Excursions: we really saved a lot by going independently and lots of these ports are worth exploration; we had heard poor reports about value of ship excursions but no complaints at all about get your guide dot com or viator dot com, botb of which offered exceptional value and well-organized tours. MSC overall: Yes we really enjoyed this cruise but if we were not in Yacht Club we felt the ship had a crowded feel and a loud ambience. Once we entered the Yacht Club enclave everything became very quiet and peaceful and we loved spending time either on our balcony, in the Top Sail Lounge, or on the One Pool Deck. Nice touches included live piano music every evening, the free mini-bar in the suite and the daily newspaper that arrived with the morning coffee. I would choose MSC again but only in the Yacht Club. The wait staff and bartenders remembered our drinks, the concierge was exceptionally helpful and we were well looked-after. Packages: I pre-paid and saved 40% on the basic or standard internet package which lasted for the duration of the cruise. I also pre-paid for one of two massages that I had. We did not bother with photograph packages as we take enough on our phones! Our travel agent provided us a $250 shipboard credit per cabin which we applied towards things like laundry and spa services. Overall this was an excellent vacation and very relaxing. Disembark: we were first off the ship and our luggage was waiting, as was our driver; we had arranged a private full day tour of Barcelona and Montserrat and our luggage was stored securely on vehicle while we did this tour. It was an excellent introduction to our next four days in Barcelona before returning home. Photos: where to begin; they are all on my Google drive and it will take all winter to go through them! otherwise I'd upload a few here but cannot seem to be able to link to Google photos? Read Less
Sail Date September 2018

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