78 Barcelona Spring Break Cruise Reviews

This is our second Viking ocean cruise and we have already booked our third! The ship is luxuriously appointed with comfortable seating everywhere. There is a choice of dining venues from the informal World Cafe to the Chef's ... Read More
This is our second Viking ocean cruise and we have already booked our third! The ship is luxuriously appointed with comfortable seating everywhere. There is a choice of dining venues from the informal World Cafe to the Chef's Table. Food is outstanding at each and every venue. The onboard "enrichment" (lectures, talks, films etc.) were all most interesting and enjoyable, with some outstandingly good speakers. The expeditions were also excellent, well planned and interesting. They even provide a 'shuttle bus' service for passengers wishing to arrange their own excursions. The exercise and spa facilities are just the best ever. The sauna, steam room, snow cabin, swimming pools and other installations are But the thing that really makes Viking the BEST is the staff. Every member of the ship's crew and staff wants to make their guests as happy and comfortable as possible. Any small problems that may arise are dealt with promptly and courteously. Viking are not the cheapest, but they are undoubtedly the best value for money. I'm counting the weeks until our next Viking cruise! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Good and Bads: Good: *Ship looks very nice and clean, staffs were friendly *Able to book shows easily, shows are great but some acts are repeated. *Pools and hot tubes are not very crowed especially the kids area. ... Read More
Good and Bads: Good: *Ship looks very nice and clean, staffs were friendly *Able to book shows easily, shows are great but some acts are repeated. *Pools and hot tubes are not very crowed especially the kids area. *Kid's water park is great. Bads: *Buffet is terrible and your only choice if you don't want to sit and wait for your food. Breakfast is nice with the usual everyday (same stuff daily). Bacon, eggs, pastry, fruit, milk, tea, coffee, and juice. Juice is only available for breakfast (should be all day long). Youtube information is not correct. Coffee is diner style, water down and tasteless. *Main dinning food is also not very good. Most of the dishes are just like buffet food. You have to pay for plain water. The only thing good is you can have ice cream for desert. If you have time and wait to be serve, it's okay. For my children, they just want to eat the ice cream and go swimming. *Food is terrible unless you pay for it by going to a paying restaurant or paying for coffee. Free stuff which is included with your stay is below par compare to other ships. They are so cheap that only half a slice of cheese is on a cheese burger. Pizza is good, but full of dough like Papa Johns but with virtually no meat of cheese. Kiwi fruit are small and sour. What's the point of having things that no body will eat. They cut the watermelon and leave it in the fridge and won't put it out until late night with there are less people. Cheap food, no shrimp or steak. Everyday is chicken that's well done and dry. Same food everyday, burger, pizza, fries, pasta, and hot dog that looks like it cost them 10 cents to make. *Children program are terrible too. They advertise many things to do like Lego and video games. However, it's all on a schedule. One hour of Lego, if you miss it, you have to wait for the next Lego time. It's more of babysitting than fun. Don't pay for it, save the money and just buy a set of Lego for them. *Water slide, table tennis, and hockey table are run terribly. You have to ask the staff for everything. There is no sign of what to do and where to go. To do the water slide, you have to sign a wavier at the paying center. To get the ball for the hockey table you have to get it from the water slide registration center. We ask the staff and they either don't know or can't communicate well. *Communication is not done well. Elegant night were not promoted well. You have to read the daily news and states elegant photo with the crew staff. No photo taken at dining room. I guess they knew the food is not that good. Overall, it's a below par ship experience. Many youtuber stated that buffet is terrible and it is with the same cheap food everyday. They don't want to make it good, otherwise the restaurant will be empty. Expect to pay for good food or eat like your in a US public school. Entertainment and children's free Aqua Park is very good. Everything else not so. Definitely won't pick MSC again unless it's hundreds of dollar cheaper. Use the hundreds to buy better food and drink. Maybe the MSC Yacht Club is worth it. Front and top of ship are limited to the Yacht club. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
-For my parents´ wedding anniversary we decided to sail on the Bellisima. After a night spent in Barcelona, visiting the Sagrada Familia, we took a taxi to the cruise terminal, which was quite far away from the city center (and the Sants ... Read More
-For my parents´ wedding anniversary we decided to sail on the Bellisima. After a night spent in Barcelona, visiting the Sagrada Familia, we took a taxi to the cruise terminal, which was quite far away from the city center (and the Sants Train Station). Embarkation was quite smooth and easy. Check-in was really fast, and doing it in the phone App is not really necessary. After 10 minutes of waiting, we could enter our cabin, guided by one of the butlers. -The ship itself is stunning. The Bellisima Promenade is absolutley fantastic. The stores are quite expensive, but worth looking at them, especially the Chocolaterie, with stunning chocolate sulpture. Eventhough a couple of days are needed to adapt yourself to your new home, the MSC for me App and the many screens displayed throughout the ship help a lot. -The Marketplace buffet was quite good. For breakfast there is a huge variety of Continental, English, Mediterranean, or even Oriental breakfast. There is free coffee, infusions and water at all times and free juice at breakfast. Our courtesy restaurant was Posidonia. The waiter was quite slow, and most days we took from 19:45 to 21:30, and we could not go to the 21:15 show. On one hand, the entries and main courses were Ok, not very tasty in most cases. But on the other hand, the desserts were extremely tasty and well made. -The animation crew, especially Borja Vila and Sebastiano Avola, did a fantastic job to organise the thematic parties every night and the rest of activities onboard. Everything was very well organised you could definitly feel a special ambient thanks to them. Live music was excellent too, not just for dancing but to listen to while looking at other things. The band `` Nearly a Band ´´, who plays every night before and after the thematic party, had two singers worth listening to. -The shows were the most special part of the cruise. Everyday, a diferent show performed for three times. All of the singers were spectacualr, especially Lindiwe Bugane, who had an amazing voice, pretty much like Jeniffer Hudson. The generes of the spectacles were very variated, anywhere from Opera, or Rock, to Shadow Puppets. -The WiFi service was quite expensive, so I took it as a chance to disconnect. Be sure to put your phone on airplane mode unless you want exra fees charged from your mobile company. The SPA and Massage services were also very expensive and not worth it. Room service was quite efficient and useful. Cirque de Soleil was totalyy worth the price and It´s a must for those who want to experience such a priviledged way of art. The pools and jacuzzis were climatised and confortable, but a bit overcrowded. Dance classes were very easy and the dance teachers were very nice. Gym was free, very good and equiped, and not very crowded. -The shuttle buses are very expensive, and you can get a shuttle bus and a tour for the same price, if booked with another company. Same with excursions. - Our children made friends in the Teen Club. Attention for them is provided throughout the day; but I must say they charge for many things such as the F1 simulator or the arcade. They also had a Kids menu in the Courtesy Restaurant which was quite an advantage for ``difficult´´ kids when it comes to eating. -I would go again and again. Everything was really special. When put together, everything made a truly unique experience, and I have no doubt that this has been one of the best experiences in my life. Thanks to all the crew for making it so special. MSC stands for its name and without doubt I can affirm that after sailing in the Bellisima. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruise ship because of the ports mostly. We were most interested in sightseeing, but got more than we expected. We used cruise shuttles and Hop-off/Hop-on busses arranged by the cruise, for reasonable price. We did not use ... Read More
We chose this cruise ship because of the ports mostly. We were most interested in sightseeing, but got more than we expected. We used cruise shuttles and Hop-off/Hop-on busses arranged by the cruise, for reasonable price. We did not use any excursions, explored on our own and found it to be very efficient. On the ship, the entertainment was outstanding. We planned to book a Cirque du Soleil but the free Broadway shows were so nice that we attended those instead (different one each night). The dancers and singers are talented to say the least. There kids camp was good, our girls (5 and 7) got to love it by the third time we dropped them off, it took some time for them to get used to kids speaking different languages. The pool area was beautiful, outdoor pool was heated but the weather was too cold for us. We used indoor pool and Jacuzzis (well kept and orderly, never overcrowded). The casino was quite small, always too close to the smoking area in my opinion, but overall we were happy we didn't get to gamble and loose money. There were some photographers, we took pictures and booked a digital package, which was a deal in my opinion. We booked 2 rooms: a balcony and an inside room. Both rooms were not very roomy, but everything well organized. The service to the balcony room was noticeable better (never missed a thing, courteous, pleasant) than to the inside cabin (pool towels were removed and not replaced on several occasions) for some reason. There were no towel animals, but the beds were made several times per day, always clean and tidy. The program was delivered every evening. We checked our account every evening and were never charged for anything we didn't authorize. The ship was beautiful, as expected, also very clean and well-organized. I was happy with the service provided by all the staff in dining rooms and bars. We ate at our assigned restaurant once, found it to be quite slow and continued to use the buffet instead. The buffet had a wide variety of dishes, tasty and appealing. We were given coupons for drinks, but overall the prices were reasonable as well. Getting on and off the ship was a breeze! Overall, we would cruise with MSC again, especially on Meraviglia. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Firstly this was our first cruise so we have nothing to completely judge against, however the things I will talk about was our experience. On arrival onto the ship we we’re badgered by staff wanting us to sign up to a drinks package ... Read More
Firstly this was our first cruise so we have nothing to completely judge against, however the things I will talk about was our experience. On arrival onto the ship we we’re badgered by staff wanting us to sign up to a drinks package which we had already sorted pre arrival. This also didn’t stop for a couple of days. ( by all means assist customers but make staff be seen but have customers approach staff ) We also were constantly bugged by the staff photographers constantly asking if we wanted our picture taken and even after a polite no they then pleaded ‘it will only take a few minutes ‘ whilst following us. My polite no’s were beginning to wear very thin towards the end. To add insult to injury the one time we gave in, we were then automatically charged £34.99 to our card before even seeing them. From the reception they told me it was down to me to say I didn’t want them to have the charge removed. So I was glad to keep an eye on my account on my tv in my cabin. Otherwise it would have been a shock on leaving. ( may be better for customers to say yes before charging). Each place we docked at we were badgered if we wanted taxi or sight seeing bus. All were stupid prices and you can do so much better sourcing your own public transport at great prices.... it got tiresome as they wouldn’t take no as an answer. I feel msc security/ dock security should monitor this and actively reduce this annoyance. Now the ship is an absolute beautiful design. Really took our breath away. The mid ship sky screen shows and displays were very good. The shows onboard were very very good and thoughly entertaining. And at 30 mins I feel it was too short but understand with time restrictions for the program it has to be that way. I had no issues with my premium drinks package and recommend this is purchased. The staff were all very friendly and pleasant and had no bad experiences in the dining room with food or waiting staff. The cabin ( we had a balcony) was a nice size and I would say it was a slightly smaller than the average Travelodge room but pretty much the same layout. Tv channels were slightly limited ( but who comes on holiday to watch tv ). The safe is quite tiny and we couldn’t put our iPads in it. But it was simple to use. The Bed was very comfortable with two pillows. Balcony size ok. Mini bar idea not so good. .... it is not covered on the drinks package. I think to enjoy the balcony it would be good to use from mini bar to save having to go to the bar for purchasing drinks to carry back. Most drinks in there can be from the bar anyway. ( just saves borrowing and restocking ourselves the next day early). The spa is amazing and well worth the visit. Spent most days in there for a couple of hours recovering from our days walking. However on the sea day it got very busy. Maybe it would be good if msc only allowed the package deal only people to access on sea days and offer no day pass. ( could earn more money for them and balance the numbers out for spa visitors). With the numerous relaxation areas jacuzzis and steam/ sauna rooms and ice room. Not forgetting the emotional showers there are plenty of places to relax and rest. Never gambled before and the casino was an awesome experience. Staff very friendly and when it was quiet we asked how to use tables and all was explained very well. There are serious gamblers there, and people like us who had fun with between 10-30 Euros per visit. We actually visited most nights and actually walked away with more Euro’s than we started with. The water slides were fun to use, and the pools were relaxing. And the external hot tubs on the deck were very nice also. Anyone in two minds about first time cruising, I think the ship will give you the experience that will help decide if it’s for you. And as for us......... we will stick with msc and look out for more locations this ship will visit and try out the other ships in the fleet. We have been converted to a life of cruising for sure. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
The ship and room overall are very nice but the interactive computer Zoe was a complete joke and never gave info. Let's start with the staff everyone we met was nice but that is expected the problem was not one person was exceptional ... Read More
The ship and room overall are very nice but the interactive computer Zoe was a complete joke and never gave info. Let's start with the staff everyone we met was nice but that is expected the problem was not one person was exceptional or memorable they were all marginal at best with their service skills. The food and menus were also marginal with a very limited menu in the main dining room it seemed like they were trying to drive you into their pay restaurants it was very disappointing. The best food of the ship was probably breakfast and that was decent as for lunch we passed because besides the pizza which was good there was nothing worth going for and what they consider a salad bar is a complete disgrace and good luck finding salad dressing. I will give them props for the pizza, mozzarella and some breads other than that eat off the boat for lunch. The entertainment was strange with the exception of the Rock n roll show which was very good other than that we walked out on everything. They had a 70s show in the promenade the first night and had entertainers dressed like the Village people, while playing YMCA the guys were simulating sexual moves with other men with families around so we left. The destinations were all good except Merseille which is and odd choice given all the great places in southern France. We had two tours through the ship which were very nice Pompii and Mount Etna/Taormina which I recommend. The Front desk and Photography staffs are not well informed so plan on extra time dealing with these people. Our room was very nice but we were not aware that our Balcony room had a partially obstructed view till we boarded which did not make us happy but the size of our deck was twice that of everyone else's so we dealt with it. Also be advised that MSC charges for everything onboard, what you take for granted on other cruise ship is charged for on MSC whcih my daughter says stands for Mucho service charges. We still had a good time on the cruise but be advised this is not RCCl which is our favorite. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose our cruise to Canary Islands through Wingbuddy Travel, on line, with free air fare,beverage package & gratuities. Everything went as promised, we didn’t have to pay anything extra! The NCL Spirit is a well run ship, our ... Read More
We chose our cruise to Canary Islands through Wingbuddy Travel, on line, with free air fare,beverage package & gratuities. Everything went as promised, we didn’t have to pay anything extra! The NCL Spirit is a well run ship, our cabin with balcony was clean & Henry, our room Stewart, was friendly & pleasant. He kept our cabin neat & clean and looked after every detail. Complimentary dining at Windows & The Garden was excellent, fine dining, and we never had any problem in getting a table for our group of six people. We did make reservation for the evening dinner, & found we didn’t need one for breakfast/lunch. We only dined at the buffet once or twice, which was also good, but we found the Windows/Garden less crowded & food was served . The buffet is open most anytime. We never ate at any of the specialty restaurants. There was a floor show every evening, no charge, which consisted of professional dancers, singing groups, classical violinist & even a magician. Great entertainment!!. The crew were all very polite, cheerful and always provided prompt friendly service. I would sail with NCL again!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We where so excited to join this ship with it being advertised as beauty at sea, looking at it certainly was !! The interiors where so beautiful, but our cruise was let down so much by the quality of the food, the buffet food was always ... Read More
We where so excited to join this ship with it being advertised as beauty at sea, looking at it certainly was !! The interiors where so beautiful, but our cruise was let down so much by the quality of the food, the buffet food was always warm and the meats where always full of fat, we complained a few times about this but nothing was ever done , I even spoke to the head Chef and asked for a food temperature prod to test the food , this was declined. MSC is like a hop on hop off taxi service so people are getting on and off at every port, with this happening the speakers are going off all the time welcoming new guests so if you ever want a afternoon / early evening rest / nap forget it. MSC have a Alexa type system In the rooms and it didn’t understand anything we asked it just telling is to ask a member of the crew, this was a big fail. MSC ME app for the phone is great it allows you to book and cancel things live from your phone. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise as it was one of a very few to walmer climes, without a long haul flight. We began our cruise on Feb 3rd from Barcelona,( we were on the same ship 13 months previously). We bid for an upgraded cabin but were ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was one of a very few to walmer climes, without a long haul flight. We began our cruise on Feb 3rd from Barcelona,( we were on the same ship 13 months previously). We bid for an upgraded cabin but were unsuccessful, we were alocated an inside 8509 forward, the cabin itself was ok, BUT we were opposite the tannoy, with early morning announcements which always woke us up, so most days we felt very tired.The shuddering when we came alongside a port was also disturbing even earlier! I suggest if you are a medium to light sleeper don't chose this cabin! ( our friends were luckier having been alocated 9th deck AFT) We had dinner in the windows/ garden restaurants most evenings, most were ok, but poultry dishes were very very dry and overcooked. The Shogun restaurant was very good, considering there was no extra charge to dine there. The staff were pleasant, but didn't have any finess, and many of the entertainment staffs English was quite poor, so in the daily trivia quizzes there pronounceation was very poor and hard to comprehend. I will add that the whole trip was good value! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
So a group of 7 girls decided to go on a cruise for one of our friends 40th birthday, only 2/7 people has done a cruise before so it’s an amazing idea on something different to do. We boarded at Barcelona, everything went very smooth, ... Read More
So a group of 7 girls decided to go on a cruise for one of our friends 40th birthday, only 2/7 people has done a cruise before so it’s an amazing idea on something different to do. We boarded at Barcelona, everything went very smooth, the check in staff were helpful and informative, so sat at the bar waiting to be called. After looking at the info the check in desks give we head into our room, collect the cards and walk out. We then go to reception get a drink, go for an explore, then head to the top deck. That’s when it goes slightly downhill, no one knows what to do next, we didn’t know about the entertainment information or the timetable as we were so excited to go exploring we seemed to miss the little pigeonhole right next to the door, I finally understood on the last night. Not Costas fault but it’s not explained very well once onboard the ship. Also being a group on girls on a birthday weekend I think there was a few more drinks flowing than normal. At 6.30 there was a safety demonstration which lasted about 20 odd minutes, then off to dinner for 9.15pm, that was a definite eye opener so very busy, the waiter we had wasn’t at all friendly (although we later found out they can work up to 8 months and that’s without a day off), even I don’t think I could plaster a smile on my face everyday. While dining in the main buffet Michael Jackson started blaring on the loud speaker, then up out of no where all the waiters start jumping about dancing. That was amazing as it comes out of nowhere!! Food was good, although the menu can get confusing as the waiter never did explain that you can order anything and everything if you choose. We all dance the night away and that was a great first night. Next morning with a slight hangovers and an early morning wake up call as someone managed to get locked out of their room and went off with another friend in another cabin, we all shower and up we get for a buffet breakfast. I can see from the choice of breakfast that they do try to cater for different nationalities but the breakfast isn’t great to be honest. I try some pancakes and bacon and that’s it. The coffee also isn’t great as unlike the bars where they have a machine and a milk frother they don’t have in the buffet, so water or orange juice is the way forward, also they don’t have a toaster, and the bread is rock solid. You could kill a bird with it. Off we go to marseille, hmmm next time I won’t bother as there’s not overly a lot to do there, walked around, saw some buildings, forced an alcoholic drink down our neck and back on the boat. lunch at the buffer, again it wasn’t too great, rock hard bread again, some warm focaccia, pasta, and a big lump of beef with potatoes, not great if you’re a vegetarian (I’m not, but 2 of our friends are). Go to dinner at 9.15pm, this time the waiters dance to some latin songs, ver well done again. Then another repeat of the night before, more drinks and dance the night away). The 3rd morning head off to the buffet again, this time no pacncakes, I don’t eat eggs so not a lot to choose from, I grabbed 2 pieces of French bread with cinnamon and some pineapple, that will do. We get off at Savona, 1 MASSIVE tip, other than supermarkets everything else shuts at 1.30 and opens back up at 4.30, unfortunately we have to be back on the ship by 4.30 so we spent an hour walking in a group of 7, with different people trying to find a restaurant just so we can get a pizza, it didn’t go down too well but got there in the end. Back on the ship, more drinks, a lot more passengers so the bar on deck 9 was a complete nightmare, then off we go again. Down to shower, off to the 9.15pm dinner, waited until 10pm to ask the waiter what time will the dancing be on tonight, he tells us there won’t be any, shame, so we all thanked him, 3 went off to bed, 4 of us decided to pop off to the casino. Within half hour our 50€ was spent and off to the bar we go. A few more drinks down our necks an the conversation turned to the bar staff. When we took 5 minutes out of our busy lives to see the amount they work, the stuff they have to put up with, and the hours they work on a daily basis, I’m so grateful for my life. The amount of time they’re away from home, they don’t see their families for months and months at a time. While we go on holiday they’re there at our beck and call when we want a drink or service. So thank you Henry and Danny for that night. So last morning just before we go to Barcelona, we set our alarms to make the restaurant breakfast. I do wish I’d gone there before but to be there by 9 is a bit of a deal breaker, unfortunately again we had a not so friendly waiter and had to be called about 3 times before he would come over to serve, at least it was nice. Back to the room to get our stuff as we had to be out by 10. We decided to go back to deck 9, as we started off from there a few more Prosecco to finish up the holiday, and off we go to the shops, pay our bill at the desk and get ready to leave. As they bleep mine and my roommates cats and unfamiliar buzz goes off, we’re not allowed to leave but everyone else disembarked, so back off to the desk to sort the cards out. Cards done and out we go. The 2 of us are last to pick up our luggage go through everything and my friend realizes she’s had some money stolen from her case. Do not leave any money in your case. There’s signs around saying the same so I don’t know what was going through her mind at that time when she left the case outside the door the night before. You HAVE to leave your cases outside of the room the night before for them to collect it. They advise to leave the cases the night before by 12 midnight and no later than 1am, but I witnessed them not coming until 3.30 am. Do not leave anything valuable at all. There’s always people workers and non workers wandering the hallways so could have been anyone. I also had stuff taken but luckily not money. Anyway other than the little hiccup at the end it all went well. I also missed the last day lunch as I was too busy booking my next cruise onboard. This time as a family, so hopefully the next one will be a little less partying and a little less hangovers. On the last note, be aware that if you suffer from rocking on land, It’s been 48 hours and I still don’t feel great and I’m still rocking and swaying. Maybe I was a little hasty in booking the next one but I’m sure I’ll be over it then. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
The first cruise of my life and it had to be Symphony of the Seas! We embarked from Barcelona and explored the city through the city tour, hop in and hop off bus. Recommend doing an online checkin and tagging your bags beforehand ... Read More
The first cruise of my life and it had to be Symphony of the Seas! We embarked from Barcelona and explored the city through the city tour, hop in and hop off bus. Recommend doing an online checkin and tagging your bags beforehand with the tags provided. Also online checkin would give you the option to select your checkin time. Select a early time slot so that you get time to explore the ship before everyone comes in. The checkin was hassle free. There was no queue but the person checking us in took a little time as we were a group and she added our credit card details to someone else's booking. We noticed that and brought it to her attention. A slight hiccup there. You get a card on checkin which is one you need to keep with you all the time. The card is your keep and identification for everything you do on the ship. Including the free drinks. You enter through the pomenarde in this ship. It is lined with restaurants, cafes and bars. The ship is massive and very well designed. We took the large balcony statesroom. The rooms are very well designed with ample storage and the space under the bed to keep your bags. The balcony was huge and gave an openness to the room. DINING: - You can always select the 'my time' dining which reserves your dining slot on the designated dining room. - You also have dinner options at solarium cafe and wind jammer. - Solarium is beautiful with the sun streaming in from the glass ceiling. Best for lunch and breakafast. - Wind Jammer has a great spread with something for everyone. So perfect as a eating option for a large group. PS: Buying the all drinks package is a good thing as it includes water bottles as well, which are not provided in the room otherwise. Also everytime you buy a drink you dont have to think and pay about it. ENTERTAINMENT & ACTIVITIES: - Do not miss the activities in Studio B including the teen party and the laser fight. - The Aqua Theatre show is must see. Will leave you in awe. - If you are a theatre lover, they have few musicals too. - The water slides are great but you will find a queue to get in. - The abyss is great fun.. 10 secs slide down several floors on a sack. - The bars in pomenarde have some latin live music nights which are filled with dancing and some really foot tapping numbers. - Attic, the club, plays some groovy numbers and is the perfect place to call it a day. - The robotic bar is an interesting experience. - They also have the air drop of several balloons in pomenarde which is more like a get together night. SERVICE: - It is the great service of the staff that makes Symphony of the Seas such a great experience. - Our room attender Nigel was very helpful and friendly. - The staff at the dining room is very attentive and friendly. They make your dining experience wonderful. Soccro and his team were fabulous. - Oomadevi at the guest service helped us a lot in getting a late checkout and went beyond her duty to make sure we had a memorable checkout. The staff is from all over the world and each one makes sure you have all that you need and more. Its a good idea to take the wi-fi pack. All the excursion details are available at the Guest Services. Symphony of the Seas is an experience is something you cannot forget. Kudos to the team Royal Carribean on doing a good job.. these guys know what they are doing and doing it well. I can't wait to go again :) Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
The disappointment started with the embarkation. The process did not go smoothly at all. I have an injured left leg and should not walk for far lengths. The airport provided a wheelchair and the cruiseline said they would provide a ... Read More
The disappointment started with the embarkation. The process did not go smoothly at all. I have an injured left leg and should not walk for far lengths. The airport provided a wheelchair and the cruiseline said they would provide a wheelchair as well. When I got there, there was not chair for me. The women say my orthotic boot and gave me Priority Boarding. The issue it, there was absolutely no crown control. There was ONE line for priority boarding which included both handicap and VIP guests. All the guests, not jus the VIP guests packed all of the lines, and people were even pushing me to get on the boat. I left and told them that I can not get in line and I was told that cannot control what their guests do!!! Get ready to be RUN OVER by wild Europeans on the Fantasia. Do not purchase their excursions. They say that people speak English but in reality, the accents are so thick that you will no understand them anyways. Deborah in Rome spoke very poor English and during the whole tour in Rome the microphones did not work at all. We could never hear her. We took 3 excursions- Rome, Pisa, and Monaco. In all 3, you have very limited time to actually STOP and enjoy a site, or take a picture, or enter a small shoppe. They are so concerned with you being back by 3pm, even if the boat doesnt leave until 5:30pm!!! Its better to take a taxi or do a local tour. MSC excursions are not worth it. Also, only ONE local destination offered free shuttle buses into the city center, I think it was La Spezia, but should be all cities. With dinning, they are far too strict. You have to be seated by 7pm and if you are not you can loose your place in dinning and have to eat at the buffet. The buffet is NOT wheelchair friendly. I was only using a wheelchair temporarily, not permanently, but still, no staff offered to help me. The cruise itself is not very wheelchair friendly, which made me feel very bad for people who are actually permanently disabled. For example, there is no wheelchair only elevators. There were actually not enough elevators. There are also no automatic doors throughout the entire ship so you have to rely on other people to help you through the doors. Also, the counters in the dinning room are far too high for anyone in a wheelchair to take a plate, see the food, and serve themselves. My husband had to help me every day, because the staff never assisted. Once, a kind waitor assisted me when he saw me limping with coffee. Definitely the worst part of our trip and what ruined our whole trip was when our cabin was flooded with water when a pipe burst at 2am. I woke up to water in our room in the middle of the night and had a panic attack. They later told us that we were LUCKY they had an extra room available for us to sleep in that night. They even wanted us to go back to the soiled room the next day. Our items were soiled with dirty pipe water and many of our items were not cleaned for when we were scheduled to disembark 2 days later. They refused to return our money for the price of our cabin for those 2 nights and refused to provide any compensation for our shoes or even let me fill our a complaint form. We have been trying to contact customer service for the pipe even specifcially but no one has returned our contacts. All in all, this cruise line is NOT wheelchair friendly, has no automatic doors or dinning assitance, and did not own up to their responsiblity for our cabin and items. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Very impressed with all the embarking and disembarking procedure - very efficient and speedy. In spite of the huge number of passengers quiet spots could be found such as the library which has a very big collection of new books that can ... Read More
Very impressed with all the embarking and disembarking procedure - very efficient and speedy. In spite of the huge number of passengers quiet spots could be found such as the library which has a very big collection of new books that can be borrowed. The shows - water, ice, musicals were of a high level. As a vegetarian, it was easy for me to find a good variety of meals in the 7 complimentary restaurants. The staff throughout the ship were always there when needed and always pleasant, helpful and smiling. We used the main dining room and had our own waiter who served us over and above the expected. We would have liked an 8 day cruise so that there could be 2 days aboard to enjoy the large number of on board events and attractions that we never had time for. We used one ship excursion that was very good - the Drach Caves. Our other excursions we did through local companies that were somewhat cheaper with smaller numbers of participants. We didn't have children with us but we saw the children having a great time with all the attractions for the children. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
There were a few hidden cost that disappointed us, we booked direct with Princess paid the deposit and when we paid the final installment we were informed that there was a credit card surcharge and in the fine print it did say that, we ... Read More
There were a few hidden cost that disappointed us, we booked direct with Princess paid the deposit and when we paid the final installment we were informed that there was a credit card surcharge and in the fine print it did say that, we were informed that there was a gratuity surcharge of 15% but receiving the final bill it was 15% per person so our surcharge was 30%. Most staff deserved a gratuity payment especially our cabin attendant and the dining staff, but there were some staff members that did not. The photographer quoted us $25.00 for some portraits which in the end was $250.00 as the $25.00 applied for each photo. When we ended the voyage in Rome we picked up the bags in a big terminal and then had to find the shuttle bus, we ended up in the taxi row and after a few questions were guided to the shuttle bus line. Not much help here from Princess. A shuttle from the ship to the local rail station could be a good idea in the future. Prior to the cruise we received documents that indicated we would board at Terminal D in Barcelona and an email received the day before the cruise did not even mention our ship, when we arrived at the port our ship was not at terminal D. Information from Princess was below standard but the cruise itself was very good. We will try another cruise line for our next holiday. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We had been to Europe before and wanted to see something/places we’d missed. This was a great way to do a lot of things in a short time with no packing/unpacking or transportation. We spent a few days in Barcelona pre-cruise. This ... Read More
We had been to Europe before and wanted to see something/places we’d missed. This was a great way to do a lot of things in a short time with no packing/unpacking or transportation. We spent a few days in Barcelona pre-cruise. This served two purposes: it allowed us to catch up on jet-lag (from US) and we had time to visit Barcelona. This was onw of our favorite places! We toured the Sagrada Familia (get tickets ahead of time!) with a guide. She was wonderful and we wouldn’t have understood or experienced it as well without her. We made reservations at Casa Mila for dinner (Gaudi’ designed this residential complex) Dinner included a tour of the complex which was fantastic! He was a genius. It also included a rooftop light show that was spectacular. Cost: $59 pp including dinner. Embarkation was quite simply the easiest, quickest we’d ever experienced! From taxi to walking on the ship: 12 minutes! Royal has this down! Our embarkation time was noon but we arrived at 11:00 a.m. Uncrowded and painless. Cabins open at 1:00, so we went to cafe on deck 8 and had roast beef sandwiches and good salads. Our cabin was booked as a GTY(guarantee) for an ocean view category 6N or above. We always book balconies but would be off the ship every day but one so didn't care on this one. We knew we may not get a room assignment until embarkation. But about 3 days before we left home we received a call from them stating there were no more ocean views available. I wasn’t happy, but they offered a virtual balcony with a refund of one person’s fare! Now virtual balconies are kind of “hoky” . I said I wasn’t sure I would do that even with a refund so they then offered two hundred fifty dollars on board credit along with the refund. I asked if this refund would be in the form of future cruise credit and no it would be a refund on your credit card! I accepted and glad we did. A virtual balcony has a huge window-like screen with a live feed of what’s going on outside. Worth it for a certain price. Our 2nd night we booked Wonderland for dinner. It was unique and delicious. I loved it, my husband thought it was just okay. The presentation was unlike anything we’d ever experienced and definitely worth the up charge. It appears at first as if the servings are small, but there are so many you get a lot of food and will leave full. We booked excursions both on our own and through cruise line. Palma de Mallorca: guys toured Drach Caves and girls toured Cathedral (lovely grounds, beautiful church) and shopped. We stopped at a little outdoor cafe for coffee and listened to an outdoor band...Very pretty island. Marseilles was a tour on our own...We rode the petit train to the Cathedral. The views are spectacular from there. Our next stop was LaSpezia. We decided to forgo Florence as our friends had been there before and it was quite a way from the port. Will go there one day! We opted for a tour of: Rapallo, Santa Margherita and Portofino. It included two boat rides and each place was quaint and quite beautiful. We had a guide and some time to explore on our own too. Next stop: Rome. We love Rome and decided our best course od action was Rome In Limo. This was we could see what we wanted and skip the things we’d done before! Rome In Limo was wonderful. We’d read all the great reviews and now understand why people go with them. We had Max as a tour guide/driver. He was knowledgeable, polite, knew his way around and spoke English very clearly. He showed us things we might have missed on a larger tour. We had a Mercedes minivanfor the 4 of us. So comfortable. He recommended a great place for lunch. Osteria dei Pontefici....great service and food. 20 Euro included wine, appetizers, main course and dessert. We saw Pantheon, Villa Borghese, Trevi Fountain, and the secret tunnel/path from the Vatican the pope used. He had us back in plenty of time. We will use them again! Our last stop was Naples. We booked a tour with cruise line and visited Capri, Sorrento, and Pompeii. Capri was my favorite place we visited! We rode the Funicular up to the top with spectacular views. We walked to some gardens with views that are postcard beautiful. Didn’t want to leave. Sorrento was nice. We had lunch there and not enough time! Lastly we visited Pompeii. What a fantastic tour. Very interesting to see how people lived so very long ago and how well planned their community was! We very much needed the last day to rest. Glad it was an at sea day! This ship is marvelous and we will go on it again for the Caribbean and just enjoy being on the ship!(we’ve been to most ports) our cabin was fine for the Europe trip. Cabi. Steward was Rosli and he did a great job. Attentive and friendly. Service all over the ship was very good. Smiles, helpful, friendly employees. We are in our 60’s and didn’t do some of the things offered (rock climbing, ice skating, laser tag,) but some of us (not me) enjoyed the slides, zip lines and jog track! It was a trip of a lifetime. Loved every minute. If you can, do it!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This cruise itinerary covered an island a day. The twin hurricanes of 2017 put paid to that sadly and meant more duplication of visits. Still one island is much like another. You go for the sun. For me inclusion of Guadalupe and At Lucia ... Read More
This cruise itinerary covered an island a day. The twin hurricanes of 2017 put paid to that sadly and meant more duplication of visits. Still one island is much like another. You go for the sun. For me inclusion of Guadalupe and At Lucia were the highlights, the best by far and we've seen many. The ship is a beauty. Glitz galore. Great staff and good if not great food. Many other lines go for presentation and other MSC ships - Armonia for instance - do. Fantasia is good food presented more as you would at home. Both main restaurants are very good. Unfortunately the TexMex is uninspiring. Bars offer a good range of decor and entertainment. Drinks package is great value even for the normal drinker! But it needs more outside and preferably non smoking seated bar area Shows were good especially the Queen tribute. Cabin good standard sufficient hanging space etc. Transfers efficient and we'll managed. So overall a good cruise and good value. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We had to fly to Barcelona to go on this cruise. We flew out the night before and stayed in a great hotel. We were picked up by the coach on the morning of departure. I was not impressed with the cruise terminal, we had to take our own ... Read More
We had to fly to Barcelona to go on this cruise. We flew out the night before and stayed in a great hotel. We were picked up by the coach on the morning of departure. I was not impressed with the cruise terminal, we had to take our own suitcases over the porters. The cruise terminal was not big enough for everyone and we were very cramped waiting to get on, but luckily we only had to wait about 15 minutes. When we got on i have to admit "wow". We have been on Ovation before, but this had up that. We had champagne as a welcome drink. The cabins were ready about 2pm, which was a really good size. The cabin steward came to introduce himself and was very pleasant. I liked it that the mini bar was empty, so we could use it for our own things. We found out we were on a table of 6 for dinner, where we do like to be on a table to 2. The matre'de did say he could see what he could do and the next day we got a card to say our had been moved and we had out table of 2. The food was very good, excited the french onion soup was on there. The only thing we did not like is having to order your pudding at the beginning as i often decide what i want depending how full i feel. We ate a lot at lunch time in the Park Cafe as you could make up your own salad. Did try Johnny Rockets, but only the once as there is a cover charge; if the cover charge was a bit less, would have gone more; as i think they could reduce it, as never appeared to be that busy in there. The Windjammer was good, even at breakfast we found a seat. The entertainment i can say was the best on any cruise i have been on. We saw something different every night; Hairspray (full 90 minute show), 2 different ice skating shows, 2 different aqua shows, comedian (even though not that good); a night at the movies. The hardest part was booking them and deciding what night to do what, to make sure you see it all. I was very brave and did the Zip Line, was great. Husband went on the Abyss slide. I liked that it had 3 pools, even on sea days i could have a swim in peace. The staff on-board were very happy and service was great. We did not book this one for the Ports of Call, but we just went off and did our own thing when they were easy accessible. I loved this cruise the only thing that i did not enjoy was getting to it and getting off it, i felt very much that we were treated by a herd of cattle, especially getting off. Our time to get off was 6.45am, as we our flight was 10.40am. We had to put our suitcases in the back of a truck, then we ended up sitting on a hot coach for 40 minutes before we even headed for the airport. The we had to queue for half an hour to check in at the airport. We had to go through 2 passport controls and the security were so strict, loads of people were been turned back to go through again, due to them not been happy. I do not enjoy sitting in a flying tin can for even the short flight of 1 hour 50 minutes. Unless i go VIP i will not be flying again, so used to going from Southampton, where the luggage is taken off you as soon as you pull up, you walk through the terminal, check in and on the ship. I really hope the rumours are true that the next new Royal Carribean is coming to Southampton. Overall thoughts on actual cruise - wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
i am just back from Carnival Horizon ship. this is my fourth cruise with Carnival and the ship is amazing. the atmosphere was so happy and cool, the service all over the ship was fantastic, food was great in the buffet as well as in ... Read More
i am just back from Carnival Horizon ship. this is my fourth cruise with Carnival and the ship is amazing. the atmosphere was so happy and cool, the service all over the ship was fantastic, food was great in the buffet as well as in the beautiful dining room. also recommnded to eat at Bonsai, we had a great time there and definitely go to the pig & anchor pub which offers 4 kinds of homemade draft beers. the rooms are large and bright, the casino was big and very active and fun was all over including the shows and the comdian which i highly recommend to go at least one night. the hamburgers are big wow!! the ice cream is unforgettable ... i didn't sail with kids but i saw so many features that they will love! skyride, waterslides, video games, IMAX and many more. well done to Carnival! it's definitely best value for money !!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
suitable for children new cruise ship. taken several carnival cruises before. staff bend over backwards to be helpful mike the cruise director was entertainment on his own!! a great asset to carnival. fun squad always cheerful and ... Read More
suitable for children new cruise ship. taken several carnival cruises before. staff bend over backwards to be helpful mike the cruise director was entertainment on his own!! a great asset to carnival. fun squad always cheerful and hard working. restaurant staff were very helpful and caring for our vegetarian grand daughter. the waiter Goran and assistant Nemanaja and Gabor were great. extra bath and sink in family harbor rooms are very useful our group of 2 adults and 2 grand children. we dont mind paying $5 pp for the IMAX cinema and our grand children loved choosing sweets and candy in cherry on top. the children looked forward every evening to the photographers attention and posing in the very many backdrops. we bought a photo package in advance of the cruise which was very reasonable. overall we had a great week and look forward to carnival returning to europe in the near future. overall, anything we asked for or wanted was made possible by the ever helpful staff. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Went to find some April sunshine. Good points first: Never found the ship overcrowded even though almost 4000 passengers on board. Plenty of sunbeds and comfortable beds in the cabin. Bad Points: VAT on drinks!!. Who are they paying VAT ... Read More
Went to find some April sunshine. Good points first: Never found the ship overcrowded even though almost 4000 passengers on board. Plenty of sunbeds and comfortable beds in the cabin. Bad Points: VAT on drinks!!. Who are they paying VAT too in the middle of the Med??. Excursions are extortionately priced and much easier to make your own way around. Food in main restaurant is mediocre to average at best with not much choice. If you wish to dine in the 555 steakhouse it is an extra $35 per head, if you wish to dine in the Tepanyaki, Asian fusion, Pig roast or any feature restaurant it is another $20 or $25 extra.. If you have a drink brought to your table you have to pay VAT and service charge. Wine in main restaurant advertised for $38 actually cost more than $47 with added VAT and service charge. How many restaurants charge you to bring wine to a table??. Carnival constantly push bingo sales and so called deals in the casino, there are numerous photographers around the main decks pushing you to have photo's taken at silly prices. Main theatre is on 2 levels, DO NOT choose upper level as you will see very little. I have done many cruises and will never use Carnival again. Only choose them if you wish to offload a lot of money!!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We choose to travel on Horizon for many reasons, firstly the sailing dates suited us very nicely and also it was a maiden voyage of Horizon. We came to know many fantastic staff on board during our cruise, Ms. Erbu from Turkey who was ... Read More
We choose to travel on Horizon for many reasons, firstly the sailing dates suited us very nicely and also it was a maiden voyage of Horizon. We came to know many fantastic staff on board during our cruise, Ms. Erbu from Turkey who was very nice, caring and helpful to us, , Ms Melina from Romania, Felix- from Peru, Vicktor from Hungry, David from Peru, Nikolina from Bosnia, Milutia from Bosnia , Frank who kept our rooms clean and tidy, There were many more staff that we had met and they made our our trip a great and memorial one. You had a great cruise director Mike. He made all the shows great and enjoyable for everyone. They was many varieties of food on board, We, both have highly recommended cruising to many of our friends. The shows every night was fabulous. we look forward to our next cruise on Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We choose this ship and voyage for the spring break, after the good price and the new ship and value. Booked early. We are experienced cruisers, took many cruises on different major lines. We read about the different approach of ... Read More
We choose this ship and voyage for the spring break, after the good price and the new ship and value. Booked early. We are experienced cruisers, took many cruises on different major lines. We read about the different approach of European based cruise liners, and monitored the clients' review carefully before the journey. We adjusted our expectations and made sure we board with an open mind. It appeared to be a very valuable move to make sure we enjoy the trip. EMBARKATION / DISEMBARKATION Great, fast, efficient service. We board / disembarked in Barcelona. The fact MSC boards passengers in all ports resulted less new comers in any given port. We checked in at 1 p.m. and was boarded within 20 minutes. Disembarkation was less organized, any one can walk off the ship at will. But the luggage comes out fast (disregard of the number assigned) and it was relatively painless procedure. SHIP The ship is brand new and beautiful, very well maintained and cleaned. The design has modern clean cut flavor, lacking of huge high ceilings, etc. But overall a very modern, super clean ship. CABIN We optioned for the duplex suite, for 2 adult and 2 children. It was an excellent choice. Price wise, the two floor suite stands out for great value, much more affordable than any other major lines' equivalent suite. It features a large private balcony with large jacuzzi, 1 st floor sitting room with sofa bed converted to king, a dinning area easily accommodate 4-6 with very comfortable table and chair, 2nd floor bedroom with king bed. Both floor has plenty of storage with both huge walk in closet. Both floor has separate bath room one with tub and one with shower. The suite comes with Aurea experience - including all unlimited wine / beer / drinks throughout the journey, dine as you wish (not set dinning time) at Panorama restaurant, and complimentary massage for 2 adults at spa. The suite was kept superbly clean, two housekeeping per day. Yes the living room sofa bed was turned back to sofa in the day time, and converted to bed at night, daily. DINNING I dined at both Panorama Restaurant and Wave. The Panorama Restaurant was assigned as part of the Aurea experience. It is well docorated with lots of space, and service apparently is more attentive. We walk in as we wish at any time and never experienced any waits to obtain a table, I also dined in Wave - along with some friends booked on the same trip. The restaurant manager was very nice to re-arrange the table size for us from day 3. It was set time dinning daily - early dinning at 5:30 p.m.. To my observation, the Wave is more crowded, and the service was not as nice but acceptable. Both restaurants offer the same menu. Food quality wise it was not great, but acceptable. Size / portion wise it was ok. Passengers used to US based carriers of offering lobster night / steak, will be disappointed. These were offered and sold as "cost extra" items. Thus no free lobster, no free steaks. Other than that, the food quality / portion / presentation are acceptable, not great, but no bad either. ENTERTAINMENT Due to busy itinerary (we arranged own shore excursion every day), we did not have time to attend the show. From past clients, their feedback ranges from great to nono. Thus I can not give my opinion. Circle O Solei show cost money - since we have seen them in Las Vegas, we did not attend, but the kids who saw them seems to be enjoying. There are plenty of activities - Himalayan high walk rope adventure, water slides, etc., these were free of charge, but one has to line up at the deck below to sign paper and get wrist band to be allowed to line up at the venture. No clear instruction and signs were given so many experienced lots of frustration to begin with. Pool sizes and public Jacuzzi are small and are frequently crowded. Live music played around the ship are nice. We enjoyed them. They were not exceptional great or impressive, but we are happy with what they are. PORTS and SHORE EXCURSIONS This is a port intensive journey. We arranged our own activities in all ports. From the 7 days journey there are only 1 sea day which comes on the last day. It was kind of fully packed. The voyage was officially designed from Genoa - for those who gets on from Genoa they can enjoy three days of port day, followed by a sea day to take a breath, and then another three days of port day activities. But for those embarked from Barcelona, they have to go port days 6 days in a row, before they have a sea day to take a breath - that is the end of the cruise. Thus the itinerary was very intensive. The city / port it docks was a wonderful combination. But was a very tired "vacation" if one wants to see every ports and started their journey in Barcelona - which I believe most of the US passengers do.. Also it seems MSC purposely make those who arranged their own activities (rather than book ship tours) to encounter some last minute surprises. Docking time / shore time was changed almost at every port, in most cases shortened, only at last minute (the night before after dinner), thus many passengers who arranged own activities were scrambled to get hold of their local operator to inform them the most updated timing. In many cases they have to cut short the initial planning. This is new to us - as we have cruised to Europe before on HAL and RCCL, both sticked to their initial docking schedule announced almost months in advance. MSC seemed to in favor of changing their mind at every port. Docking time as changed from 10 a.m. to 8 a.m. last minute, leaving time was changed from 6 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. last minute. It creates lots of confusion and last minute surprises for those who arranged their own pick up / activities. TIPS TO ENJOY THE TRIP 1. Adjust your expectation - for those who have cruised other lines before. For European based lines, don't expect them do the same as US based lines. They have their way of operation. If you can not accept the difference or adjust your expectations, you should avoid this line. 2. Book higher / more expensive modules. For example, pay a little extra to book Aurea Experience (rather than Fantastica etc). The all inclusive drink, the free massage, the complimentary use of SPA and Pool and exclusive sundeck area with pool, makes all the difference, and is cheaper than paying after boarding. 3. Prepay for services you feel necessary to enjoy - for example, I prepaid for a unlimited photo download package for US$59 before the trip, while onboad it sells for 119 Euro. I prepaid a US$59 laundry package (40 items) for a week, and it turned out wonderfully. Overall speaking, it was a great vacation. The family enjoyed the ship and the experiences. We knew it was different from RCCL or HAL or any other lines we have been on, but we adjusted our expectations and never went on to expect them to do the same. As a result, it was a very rewarding trip. We would travel on MSC again, but only at Aurea experience, and probably at higher catagory of cabins for space. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
This was a last minute attempt to get some sun and get away from the dreary UK weather. It worked! Norwegian Spirit was the forst ship we ever cruised on and therefore has a special place in our hearts, It did not disappoint and we found ... Read More
This was a last minute attempt to get some sun and get away from the dreary UK weather. It worked! Norwegian Spirit was the forst ship we ever cruised on and therefore has a special place in our hearts, It did not disappoint and we found the special places at the back again where we like to escape. Service was good and everyone was very friendly. We prefer the smaller sized ship as it is more personal. We did not manage to make port in Alicante due to the weather. It was clear from the sea state why this was the case and did not create a significant issue to us;- more time to do ring toss and bean bags! Entertainment is now getting stale. Everything is driven by Elements. The first time we saw it, it was great. The second time was still good but the seventh? Unfortunately, because it is all driven by Elements, the guest entertainers are all the same;- repetitive and increasingly it has now become boring/tedious and I think NCL needs to acknowledge and value its frequent cruisers? Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We took a Canary Island cruise on Norwegian Spirit (NCL Cruise Lines) late February 2018 and want to share our experiences with anyone who is thinking of booking a cruise with this organisation which cares little about its customers but ... Read More
We took a Canary Island cruise on Norwegian Spirit (NCL Cruise Lines) late February 2018 and want to share our experiences with anyone who is thinking of booking a cruise with this organisation which cares little about its customers but does care about making as much money as possible from them. My main headline is that if you wish to be an independent traveller (ie you want to explore the ports of call mainly by yourselves and not on very expensive ship-run excursions) then this Cruise line is definitely not for you. In fact, they actively discourage those options for travel which don’t include them making a profit from it. Now for the pros and cons which relate to our experiences onboard ship compared with all other cruise lines I have sailed with. Overall the majority of customer-facing staff (except for all those behind the Reception Desks - who need replacing or retraining because they were very unhelpful) gave punctual service with a smile with the odd hiccup (amusing in hindsight) and they met my expectations. Also, the food in the main restaurants and buffet areas was generally very good despite it getting a little boring towards the end of the ten day cruise. The nightly entertainment was reasonably good on some days to downright spectacular on others. The daytime and early evening entertainment was puerile and juvenile in nature except for the bands with music and songs and the odd trivia quiz. However, there were a number of things which disappointed us, each by itself trivial in nature but collectively made us decide never again to use this Cruise Line because it fell way below our expectations. The transfer between airport and ship was diabolical. Despite being told by our meeter-and-greeter that there were regular shuttle buses to the ship and the next one was in 15 minutes it was well over an hour of standing around (seats were very limited) before she decided that two people she was waiting for were not going to turn up and only then did we leave the airport. Consequently, when we did arrive at the embarkation desks the queues were long and the scene chaotic because the staff wanted a break for their lunch. We were informed for the first time at the embarkation desk that the ship was not sailing to the Canary Isles as planned but was going around the Western Mediterranean instead because of heavy seas in the Atlantic. Although disappointing for us we fully understood the decision taken and accepted our fate. What was not acceptable is that prior warning was not given because that would have allowed us to do some quick research on each of the new destinations prior to travelling and change our detailed plans. It was very difficult to rearrange our plans on the ship because the Reception Staff (again long queues meant half hour waits) absolutely refused to give out maps, or any other information, on the new ports we were visiting on the basis that “it would breach copyright laws”. This was incorrect since we found out later that one way to get these maps was to pay an extortionate fare for their shuttle bus on which maps were handed out freely. Clearly, this must have been a policy decision by the Cruise Line to encourage people to use their expensive shuttle services or go on their excursions instead. This policy was taken to extremes by not providing free travellers with any information on the free shuttles that were available and once we stepped foot off the ship there were no signs at all of where to go next. “Follow the herd” was the general rule. To combat this we would go up to the top deck each morning and survey the port area and the town looking for distinguishing features (immigration posts, port entries, shuttle bus stops, cathedrals, castles, etc) and then get off the ship. Restaurant availability boards around the ship were inconsistent. The Shogun restaurant was shown daily to be available at most times but on enquiry we found that it was fully booked the day we wanted (and every other day except the very last night, for that matter!). The drinks packages bought on board were extremely expensive as was pay-as-you go drinks. Also, we found out from all-inclusive customers (drink, tax, gratuities all included in the cost of the cruise), who thought that their bar bill would come to zero, were having gratuities and tax (about 20%) added to their invoices at the end of the cruise. The final nail in the Norwegian Spirit coffin came on disembarkation at 0845 on the final day when our flight from the airport (20 minutes away) was at 1800. Despite repeated attempts to get the reception staff on the ship to give us another option from the one of being taken directly to the airport and then having to wait nine hours for our flight they had no answer. We found out much later that day that there was a facility (clearly nothing to do with Norwegian Cruise Lines) within a hundred yards of the luggage pick-up area at the disembarkation point which handled exactly the problem we were facing. That facility enabled the luggage to be locked up while the customers were shuttled to the centre of Barcelona where they spent a few hours sightseeing without the shackles of luggage and then shuttled back to be reunited with their luggage. I can never forgive NCL for its total incompetence in this matter and it simply confirmed that NCL doesn’t really want customers it just wants their money. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
It is a nice ship with friendly staff, great destinations and well secured. Excellent food and great entertainment. The weather was fine and one can hardly feel the movements of the ship because it is so big and smooth. What i was not ... Read More
It is a nice ship with friendly staff, great destinations and well secured. Excellent food and great entertainment. The weather was fine and one can hardly feel the movements of the ship because it is so big and smooth. What i was not waiting was the cabin it was too small to cater for 2 adults and 2 children. On booking we were informed that the Children have a bunk bed but not informed that they are upon our matrimonial bed. Really suffocated especially for those who suffer from claustrophobia. For next time sure i will be more cautious because it is a pity with all that luxury one gets a tiny room. The main dinning area was very good and with very friendly staff. Winjammer also had tasty food and sorrento's always there to serve you for 24 hours. Coffee and hot chocolate was handy all the time. we were allowed to bring two bottles of sealed wine on embarkation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017

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