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90 Europe - British Isles & Western Cruises for the Disabled Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because we needed an extra day towards our Princess loyalty program status. We were very happy in the main with the whole experience. The cabin could have been a little cleaner, the carpet needed a good vacuum as ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we needed an extra day towards our Princess loyalty program status. We were very happy in the main with the whole experience. The cabin could have been a little cleaner, the carpet needed a good vacuum as there were many bits on it and the bedside tables had liquid marks, soon got rid of wth a wet flannel. We wanted to change our allotted table because my wife is in a wheelchair but the staff were not at all helpful so we had to stay with the allotted one. The food quality was very good however the variety at the Waterside Buffet was not as varied as on Princess. Metropolis, the nightclub was excellent, good atmosphere and service. We liked the island servery, better design than the bar in Skywalkers on the Princess Grand class ships. Overall a very good albeit short experience, we would certainly sail with P&O again.R Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Ventura Cruise N703 to Amsterdam and Brugge. Wednesday 15th to Sunday 19th February 2017. Day 1 - Wednesday 15th February 2017 With a 'priority boarding' time slot of 1230, we aimed to arrive at the Mayflower Cruise ... Read More
Ventura Cruise N703 to Amsterdam and Brugge. Wednesday 15th to Sunday 19th February 2017. Day 1 - Wednesday 15th February 2017 With a 'priority boarding' time slot of 1230, we aimed to arrive at the Mayflower Cruise Terminal at 1115, this being the earliest advertised time for car drop off with CPS. Having had a hassle free drive down to Southampton, in spite of the rainy weather, we arrived at 1110. Much to our surprise, we were struck by the fact that a lot of passengers were still disembarking. The traffic Marshall told us that there was a delay with disembarkation due to the "luggage having been loaded on the wrong side of the ship". On the basis that luggage probably spans the entire width of the ship, we doubted the validity of that explanation, but we agreed to drive off and return 30 minutes later. As we turned the corner, another marshal beckoned us into a holding lane on the dockside railway tracks, so we duly obliged! After around 10 minutes we were called forward to the unloading lanes where we vacated the car with our luggage. Due to the delayed disembarkation, we then had to stand and wait around 15 minutes for the CPS staff to 'check in' the car and then a further 15 minutes until the porters arrived as they were having their coffee break. No complaints though as we were conscious that we were very early and we were still inside the terminal by 1145. We were ushered straight to the front of the priority boarding line but then had a 5 minute or so wait there until called. Again, no problem - we were now in holiday mode! Check in complete, we proceeded to the priority boarders 'lounge' (a roped off corner of the general waiting area) where we enjoyed a very welcome cup of tea and a delicious millionaires shortbread. As disembarkation had been delayed, we relaxed thinking that the usual 1230 embarkation would be later than usual. Much to our surprise, at 1210 we were told that we could now board! Whizzing around the perimeter of the main lounge, we were through security in around 2 minutes and on board by 1215. Most impressive. Although we had an invite to the priority boarders reception in one of the main dining rooms, as creatures of habit we headed straight to the Waterside buffet for one of the delicious P&O curries. Embarkation is the one and only time we use the buffet as we are there ready for when it opens. I have followed too many of my fellow male species out of the loos over the years who have failed to wash their hands and then head directly into the buffet, in addition to countless folk of all ages and sexes who have a habit of licking food spills off their fingers and then continuing to handle the serving tongs. Over 8 previous cruises we have managed to avoid Norovirus (even when there have been outbreaks on board) and I am convinced that this is due to our avoiding the buffet other than on day one when we are first in! Come to think of it, they didn't have the usual staff manning the entrances forcibly squirting hand gel. Sadly, there was no normal curry on offer, just a biryani which was very dry and almost all rice. We had enough food to quell the 'post travelling hunger pangs', by which time our friends had texted to say that they were in the priority boarders restaurant. As we were carrying a small amount of hand luggage and were wearing coats, we diverted via our cabin (A752 Peninsular Suite, classed as a Penthouse). First impressions of the suite were good. The furnishings are quite dated and (in the case of TV's) sub-standard compared to Britannia, but we knew that would be the case. There was plenty of space, with a dining area, large lounge, adequate bedroom area, good bathroom facilities and a large balcony. The only negative was the tiny wardrobe area which would be adequate for up to 7 nights, a crush for 14 nights and impossible for anything longer. The design (difficult to describe) was poor and access very difficult as 50% of the (limited) hanging space is hidden behind shelving. The biggest positive, as we would discover, was that we didn't hear a sound from any other passengers throughout the 4 days, other than the dragging around of deckchairs above on a couple of occasions (the first time at 0630 on the first morning which, given the time and weather, we figured was the staff moving them in order to clean the decks). Noise and vibration from the stern thrusters was enough to wake the dead, but this is short lived and serves as an alarm clock to alert you to port arrivals, so no complaints about that. Strangely, vibration in the public areas at the rear of the ship (Epicurean, Beach House etc) was quite noticeable when the ship was moving, but was not evident in our suite. Very odd. An added benefit was that, although the suite had a standard width door, the wheelchair (a narrow version) just about squeezed through without having to be dismantled. Next stop Saffron restaurant for the priority boarders reception. This was better than the one we had on Britannia last summer. Although still very limited, there was a wider selection of food (still snacks rather than meals) and the freebie sparkling wine, whilst definitely not Champagne, was at least palatable, unlike the stuff served on Britannia which we couldn't drink as it was so vile. Drinks service was very good, but wouldn't be representative of what we would experience throughout the rest of the cruise. Back to the suite to unpack before the safety drill. Our butler (Dinesh) introduced himself. Nice chap but we don't really use them other than for the delivery of the very poor canapés (other than the lovely chocolate covered strawberries on formal night) and next day menus (which didn't materialise on this cruise). The cabin stewards do all the real work. As we reached the lifts, life jackets in hand, there was an announcement that the drill was going to be delayed by 30 minutes as some coach passengers hadn't arrived. We decided to go to our assembly lounge (The Tamarind Club) anyway to ensure that we had a seat. A very officious crew member (who looked like a gym instructor) was wandering around checking the assembly letter on people's life jackets and being very insistent that they moved to the correct assembly point if they were in the wrong place. Quite right. Although the drill is essential, I love it when they end, as it's the one and only thing that you have no option but to attend and our time is our own thereafter. Back to the suite just in time to watch our departure (over an hour late) from the balcony and to relax prior to the evening activities. Around 7pm, whilst travelling around the Isle of Wight, we had a very unexpected surprise which would be one of the two highlights of the cruise. We suddenly became aware of a very loud noise from outside and ventured out on to the balcony. Had it not been for a lunch we had with P&O's overall Head of Security a year or so ago (following a ship visit), we would have been convinced that the ship was being subject to a terrorist attack. Thankfully, as he had told us that this happened from time to time, we instantly realised that we were witnessing a SBS (Special Boat Service, the Naval equivalent of the SAS) exercise. There were 5 or 6 ribs (rigid hull, inflatable sides), each containing around ten SBS operatives, all dressed in dark clothing, taking it in turns, two boats at a time, to roar right up to the stern of the ship (through the wake). They must have been touching the ship as they disappeared under the balcony and couldn't be seen at all. After a short time, they would roar off to the side (they sounded as though they had very powerful engines) and immediately two more would roar in from behind across the wake to take their place. All very dramatic and quite a sight and sound and, of the several thousand people on board, there were probably less than a dozen of us who witnessed it or were even aware of it having happened. We were going to dine in the Beach House, but a last minute change of plans resulted in us dining in Sindhu. Although curry is my favourite food, I can take or leave Sindhu, but this was a lovely meal to start the holiday and service was very good (unlike the other Select dining restaurants, as we would discover later in the cruise). We finished in time for the 1030pm show which, unusually for a first night, was a full scale Headliners production. I am told it was quite good but I only saw the first 5 minutes and was woken intermittently by the clapping. Time for bed. Day 2 - Thursday 16th February After a good nights sleep (other than being woken at 0630, which was really 0530 as the clocks had changed) by deck chairs being dragged around overhead, we headed to The Epicurean for the Suite passengers breakfast. On Britannia, this is an absolutely superb experience with very good (albeit limited) food and exemplary service. Frankly, it's a major reason we book a Suite as it's a lovely way to start the day. Sadly, on Ventura, this is a poor replica. Having placed our order as tea and toast arrived, we proceeded to wait 50 minutes with no sign of our order materialising. When I eventually called a waiter over to ask what was happening, panic seemed to set in and our hot food arrived quite quickly, the previous parts of the order (cereal etc) having been missed altogether. Food quality and presentation wasn't quite as good the standard on Britannia. The usual delicious fruit smoothies were all completely flavourless, until the last morning. Very strange. All in all, very disappointing for the supposed top tier restaurant. Sea day activities are usually very limited for the under 70's, unless you are in to health and beauty, low level exercise or sport. As none of these appeal, the best we could find was a talk on LS Lowry which, to be fair, was quite interesting. I managed four laps of the promenade deck before lunch, something that you cannot do on Britannia. We ventured into the main dining room for lunch but, with breakfast having arrived so late and our one and only afternoon tea looming, we just had a light meal. We rarely elect to share a table but did so on this occasion with another couple, a mother and daughter and a retired gentleman who was either travelling or dining alone. I broke the awkward silence a minute or so after we had all ordered and it turned out that the couple and the mother and daughter all came from Southampton, so we had something in common as we lived there for a while over 20 years ago. Next the husband of the Southampton couple raised the subject of how much they had paid (£399, which I presume was each). I never understand why people do this. Either you hack other people off or ruin your own holiday by finding out that you paid more than they did. Sure enough, the mother and daughter had paid £349. All failed to mention which category of cabin they had, but from the prices they were clearly both inside cabins. We opted out of this part of the conversation, not just because we had paid a lot more, but because we would have had to explain that there are around 25 categories of cabin and the reason we had paid a lot more was because we were in a top tier suite. Sometimes, diplomacy is the best approach! The solo traveller didn't say a word (he didn't want to talk at all, even when I tried to engage him in conversation - all I managed to establish was where he was from) and I was unclear why he wished to dine on a shared table. After lunch we headed to the Arena Theatre where we watched the film 'Sully' about the emergency landing of a passenger jet on the Hudson River in New York. As it is a true story (which we could recall) we enjoyed the film, in spite of the poor picture quality (slightly out of focus or insufficient picture quality to be blown up to that size). What is it with some people who feel that's it's acceptable to enter 10 minutes after the film has started and expect half a row to stand up (blocking the screen for all those behind) as they progress to the centre, illuminating their route (and dazzling everyone in the process) with the intense light on their mobile phones? Perhaps they are in the same category as those who insist on bringing the noisiest possible food (crisps or wrapped sweets) into theatres. Sadly, there were no windows nearby for me to throw them overboard. I shall watch the film again at home when it comes on TV, in glorious high definition and without the presence of these thoughtless idiots! As the film ended, we had to hot-foot it to The Epicurean again, this time for the Eric Lanlard afternoon tea. On this occasion, food quality and service was on a par with Britannia and it was a most enjoyable experience. Although this evening was a Gala Black Tie Dinner, there was no Captains Welcome Aboard Reception. Clearly 4 day cruises don't warrant giving passengers a free drink. As with other shortcomings that we noticed on this cruise (our 9th with P&O but our first short cruise), we felt that this was a mistake. Most passengers were first time cruisers and things like that help to get them 'hooked' on the whole cruise experience. The lack of this reception resulted in the evening not feeling quite as 'special' as it usually does. We dined in the main dining room (after a wait of one hour for a table for four) and the food quality (Marco Pierre White menu) and service were good, other than cheese which seems to be served reluctantly these days (when we first cruised with P&O all passengers were offered cheese after desert. Now they seem to think it is instead of a desert and if you want both it's a bit of an effort for them). In another break with what we are used to on formal nights, there was no Headliners production show, just a 'famous' soul singer who was so famous we had never heard of him, a comedian (there's only so many cruising gags you can laugh at in one lifetime) and Gareth Oliver, a ventriloquist from Britains Got Talent. As this seemed like an entertainment line up from the 1970's, none appealed so we headed to Metropolis for an after dinner drink, listening to Shades Duo. We would have preferred a Crows Nest bar but Ventura and Azura lack one in favour of the gym, which is daft. Drinks service was poor. The waiter was disinterested and unhelpful. The female singer of Shades Duo has a very nice voice but her repertoire was sadly cut short as an obnoxious and very drunk man who, although probably in his 30's was on holiday with his grandparents, started verbally having a go at her. Clearly distressed she left the venue and shortly afterwards a P&O security officer arrived. We didn't stay to see how it all ended, but he surprisingly wasn't offloaded the next day. Sadly, this wouldn't be the last example of appalling passenger behaviour we would witness. Day 3 - Friday 17th February After another good nights sleep, we woke to the bow thrusters as we manoeuvred on to the berth in Amsterdam. Although we have bad memories of Amsterdam, having been pick-pocketed there over 20 years ago, we were pleased to find that our berth was an easy 20 minute walk to Dam Square, even with the wheelchair. We ventured off the ship after a leisurely breakfast (service was better but the smoothies remained flavourless) but, being the morning, the more unsavoury elements were not yet on the streets so we had a good wander around, including the canals and notorious Red Light district, in complete safety. The weather was looking quite threatening so we headed back to the ship for a late lunch in The Glass House. Sadly, yet again, service was poor. Waiters weren't at all attentive and had to be called over after an unacceptably long wait to order. Our main courses were very good but the desert, a sundae that was meant to have blondies and cake pieces in it was served as 100% ice cream and had little resemblance to the desert advertised. We then visited the On-board Costa (Tazzine) for a hot chocolate. This was nothing like the version you get on land and looked and tasted like drinking chocolate powder in hot water with a splash of milk. Vile. We found a Rolling Stones double CD in the library which we thoroughly enjoyed listening to on the Bose sound system provided in our suite as we relaxed during the late afternoon. The sail away from Amsterdam, although in darkness, was fascinating as there were lots of multi-story office and residential blocks all illuminated, where you could see hundreds of people in meetings, cooking in their kitchens, eating their meals etc. It reminded me of the Alfred Hitchcock film 'Rear Window'. Dinner that evening was in The Epicurean which, although a bit short of the overall experience on Britannia, was still very good. Unfortunately, as with the main dining room, cheese was an inconvenience to the waiting staff. The show was 'Don't Blame it on the Boogie', which we have seen countless times so didn't bother with. Day 4 - Saturday 18th February We awoke to a real pea-super in Zeebrugge (which we now know is pronounced sea-brooge and not Zee-brugga as us brits call it), so much so that you could barely see the end of the mooring ropes! We had pre-arranged a cab transfer to and from Brugge (€50 each way) with Martin's Taxis, so, after breakfast, we disembarked and waited 10 minutes for the free port provided shuttle to the dock gates (one had pulled away as we were walking down the ramp) where 'Lou with the white hair in the air' (as she had called herself) was waiting for us. After the SBS excitement the first evening, this journey was to be the 2nd surprise highlight. Lou was wall-to-wall entertainment and really made the trip one to remember. Her political incorrectness made Joan Rivers look like Mother Theresa. We didn't stop laughing all the way to Brugge and the return journey was equally entertaining. Any of her one liners repeated on here would be sure to offend somebody or other, so I shall refrain! Brugge was fantastic. We couldn't do the boat trip as wheelchair access wasn't possible, but we had a good walk around the historic city. By luck, there was a Salvador Dali exhibition in Market Square, which we enjoyed prior to wandering around the shopping areas. Realising that the horse and cart trips would be on 'step free' terrain, we walked around some of that route prior to returning to a street full of chocolatiers where we had earlier spotted a shop / cafe advertising hot chocolate. Comprising hot frothy milk with a large chunk of Belgian chocolate moulded on to the tea spoon which slowly melted to make the drink, these were the best hot chocolate drinks we had ever tasted and were a thousand times better than the foul version we had been sold in Tazzine the day before. After a thoroughly enjoyable few hours 'Lou with the white hair in the air' transferred us back to the ship, delivering yet more memorable lines that have amused us ever since. As a word of warning, there is a flat fare of €50 per vehicle each way from Zeebrugge to Brugge, regardless of the number of passengers, and you pay on the day, even if you have pre-booked (as we had). There was a group of passengers at the dock gates who had pre-paid €240 and the cab hadn't showed. They were understandably getting very anxious as a condition of booking was that if they didn't show up they would be charged anyway. The fact that the cab hadn't showed would make it difficult for them to prove that they had indeed turned up. Even more worrying, our cab driver hadn't heard of the firm, but she did later say (on the return run) that she had found their website which looked legitimate. Lunch again in The Glass House. Service was slightly better (although still not attentive) and the quality of food was good. Another restful few hours in our suite prior to the uneventful sail away which, from this port is sobering as it's where the Herald of Free Enterprise capsized in 1987 with the tragic loss of 193 lives in the most terrifying circumstances. The only thing of interest was the 30 or 40 gulls which swooped around the aft of the ship for over 30 minutes, presumably in anticipation of food scraps being tossed to them. Our last dinner on board was in The Beach House. Once again, the comparison against the version on Britannia wasn't a favourable one. Although on both ships this is a cordoned off area of the buffet, on Britannia it is a smaller, more intimate affair that has the feel of a proper restaurant. On Ventura it still feels like a section of the buffet. The lean ribs which I had thoroughly enjoyed on Britannia were very fatty here. Service was again patchy with the wine waiter making a real fuss about having to go to a bar to get the bottle of wine that we ordered - which was on the wine list for the Beach House! Sadly, the evening was somewhat spoiled by a party of 6 (3 couples, all middle aged to retired) where one of the ladies was being ridiculously loud and obnoxious. Whether it was drink, ignorance, lack of etiquette or, as I suspect, a combination of all three, this revolting creature could not be ignored, even from a distance, so we all retired early leaving the poor staff to contend with her. Day 5 - Sunday 19th February Unusually, we berthed in Southampton Mayflower Terminal the 'wrong' way around, with the stern facing the outward route and the starboard side against the berth. No idea why this was. After our final breakfast in The Epicurean, we proceeded to The Exchange for the assisted disembarkation, where an assistance helper disembarked us immediately although, to be fair, there was virtually no queue for regular passengers by this time so we gained no real time advantage this time. Suitcases were found in a minute or so and we were in the car 5 minutes later. As is always the case when cars are parked at this terminal, the vehicle was absolutely covered in a heavy dust from the adjacent grain loading facility. In conclusion, although service levels were below those we have come to expect from P&O, this was still an enjoyable cruise and very relaxing. Out of several thousand passengers, less than a handful were worthy of being thrown overboard for poor behaviour and these were all adults. All the children were very well behaved and never a nuisance. Hopefully, these negatives were mostly attributable to it being a short cruise where the lower price encourages a more, shall we say, 'diverse' profile of passenger and the staff aren't out to impress, as passengers are on board for such a short period. Time will tell. Ventura is showing her age, but is still a nice ship, it's major failing being the absence of a Crows Nest. However, Britannia is a better product (even without a promenade deck), as far as the large ships go. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Our trip was a fantastic experience from start to finish.Our stateroom was a wow when we opened the door .Kingsize bed etc amazing.Our steward Gamma was very efficient and polite.The night dining experience was amazing our waiters omah and ... Read More
Our trip was a fantastic experience from start to finish.Our stateroom was a wow when we opened the door .Kingsize bed etc amazing.Our steward Gamma was very efficient and polite.The night dining experience was amazing our waiters omah and bing bing were excellent very efficient and the food was lovely to.The ship Navigator of the seas was huge and very nice.The entertainment overall was good a show every night and a ice skating show twice a week witch were all very good.The group on in the stardust bar were excellent.We had quizzes in the afternoon and evening every day in various venues.Went in the swimming pools and the whirlpools more than once the whirlpools water was really hot could have stayed in for hours and you could watch and listen on the big outside screen it was massive,Boarding and departing were very well organised they were done deck by deck great idea.Docking and leaving the port were so smooth did not feel anything,Cannot wait to go again.My wife had dialysis on board which went very smoothly organised by head nurse Dillis and her two nurses very friendly and good at there job.Overall 10 out of 10. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
The reason I chose this cruise was partly because we are both first timers to cruising and the entertainment was our favourite bands and artistes from the 1960's. My mother is not a fan of the water and has only travelled on ferries ... Read More
The reason I chose this cruise was partly because we are both first timers to cruising and the entertainment was our favourite bands and artistes from the 1960's. My mother is not a fan of the water and has only travelled on ferries and hovercrafts previously and sometimes the journeys have been very rough. On cruise ships of this size however you would not even know you were moving. Everything about the ship was luxurious and the customer service second to none. Food and drink was plentiful and we took advantage of the Spa by way of facials and manicures. Our deluxe ocean view state room with veranda was luxurious. Hygiene and security were top priorities and everyone was made to feel special regardless of the accommodation they occupied. This ship was first class all the way, with casinos, shops, bars, eating experiences to suit all tastes, entertainment and various shore excursions. There was something to do 24 hours a day if you wished or you could just sit back and relax. Staff were always on hand to assist and nothing was too much trouble. Real grass for boules or golf, 24 hour library and a Card/Games room. To anyone unsure about cruises do not hesitate book it now. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Recently cruised from Rosyth to France, Sapin and Portugal. I found the whole thing to be the best holiday I ever had. ALL the staff greeted you with a genuine smile unlike some airline staff who put on a "painted" smile. More ... Read More
Recently cruised from Rosyth to France, Sapin and Portugal. I found the whole thing to be the best holiday I ever had. ALL the staff greeted you with a genuine smile unlike some airline staff who put on a "painted" smile. More importantly you were called by your name so you felt more of a person rather than just being a number. Houskeeping staff attended to the cabin twice a day and the waiting staff were efficient and could not do enough for you. The entertainment was top class and there was plenty organised activities throughout the day. Yes, the Black Watch may be an older ship compared to the mammoth ships sailing today, but this just added to the friendliness amongst the crew and passengers. I have booked with the Black Watch for 2018 and intend to do so for as long as I can. Long may the Black Watch continue to sail the seas from Rosyth! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Not for us, the ship is large and holds over 4000 people and at times you know this, it has many different nationals, Germans being the dominant guests. The ship is very clean and well presented and the cabins are spacious , we had a ... Read More
Not for us, the ship is large and holds over 4000 people and at times you know this, it has many different nationals, Germans being the dominant guests. The ship is very clean and well presented and the cabins are spacious , we had a balcony which was nice. Food is plentiful in the self service section, but not always very hot, but it can be difficult to find a seat. We only went to the main restaurant once which was ok but being the only two people on an eight person table a bit strange. Service was slow and the food choice limited compared to other cruise lines. Entertainment was geared towards the Italian market so not really our thing , but that is personal taste. Everything is payment in addition, drinks, cinema, and any other activity. The excursions are ok and as normal expensive. However the shuttle service when provided was expensive and NO DISABLED GUEST transport available. This is not a cruise for the Disabled , although the cabins that are adapted are good, the other facility's are poor , limited assistance and no trips or transport for the disabled provided. Most British guests we spoke with would not use MSC again and in particular the disabled guests. However it is a much more relaxed dress code which some people prefer. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Went on the trip as a birthday gift from my parents, they love cruises but it didn't really suit me. I enjoyed the evenings in the casino, meals in the waiter staffed restaurants and the shows. Maxine Mazunda was brilliant as Dusty ... Read More
Went on the trip as a birthday gift from my parents, they love cruises but it didn't really suit me. I enjoyed the evenings in the casino, meals in the waiter staffed restaurants and the shows. Maxine Mazunda was brilliant as Dusty Springfield and she does Adele. I struggled with the day times as the weather wasn't great so I got bored. The day time entertainment was more for older people, dance lessons, crafts, bingo. I ended up eating too much to pass the time. The food was good, plenty of shops to look around. Service was a bit up and down depending on the waiter. The casino guys were brilliant, really good fun. The rooms were well kept, mine was quite small but big enough for me. I had a large port hole and good view. I didn't try the spa as seemed v expensive but there were offers throughout the week if you hold off long enough. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Where do I start. The boarding process was ok and the first thing we did was upgrade the drinks packages from select package. We went up to Windjammer (Canteen) and was walking around a few times looking for a table we finally got a ... Read More
Where do I start. The boarding process was ok and the first thing we did was upgrade the drinks packages from select package. We went up to Windjammer (Canteen) and was walking around a few times looking for a table we finally got a table and went up to get food and it was plastic plates no trays either, but plastic plates it was like being back at school. The cabin was ready around 1330 and it was clean and just what we expected the cabin to be so no complaints there. The evenings we had booked My Time dining and the waiters we had were fantastic if it wasn't for the Sapphire Restaurant and staff in there my rating above would be one star, the sapphire itself would be 5 starts and the only thing the ship had organized. The Windjammer (Canteen) every day was packed out and always hunting for a table the food in there was ok but it was no way big enough to cope with the amount of passengers on board. Even wheelchair users struggled with there Carer and Partner to find places to sit, just no organization whatsoever. However there was 5 other Restaurants on board which incurred extra costs. It was lucky the Sapphire was a place to eat in the evening for a proper 3 course meal or I don't know what we would have done for food. The entertainment was great in the theatre but when it finished you had no where to go due to everywhere being packed out and no seats available. The star lounge is no way big enough for entertainment and the main promenade for events is an absolute joke trying to get through and holding entertainment there is a health and safety issue if anything was to go wrong. The sunbeds are old and tatty but if your a premium customer you get new sunbeds and a private section. It felt like we are a just a number but if you have money you are looked after. Not even passengers with disabilities get looked after like the rich passengers do, it is so wrong. The bar staff and drink waiters are no way near enough on board so waiting times for drinks can be a while. The Ice Skating was another disaster it was open 1700-1900 lucky we was early in the queue again no organization we walked through to the rink and got stopped to fill out Health and Safety forms fair enough no complaints but why not issue the forms before hand and filled in before hand instead of just before going on the ice. My daughter was skating for about 10 minutes and an announcement came over 10 minutes left, then 5 minutes. I feel sorry for the people behind me who filled out the forms because they would have only got 10 to 15 ice skating. When we were walking out the queue was huge and I shouldn't think they all managed to get to Ice Skate. It should be forms filled out already and a ticket with a time say 1700 1730 1800 and 1830 sessions not a queue and wait and fill in the forms just before going on the ice. The Ice Skating shows was ticket and times, the show was fantastic and is a must to see. The crazy golf (putting green) was very busy and that again no organization just a box with the balls and putters in to help yourself. Children were playing in the lifts constantly. The nicest bar on the ship was on the 14th deck cosmopolitan bar and it was quiet but children had to be out by 10pm so that was no good for us. The other thing when we went to Bilbao and Guijon it was 10 Euros each return for a coach into town so 3 of us 30 euros and 60 euros over 2 days so we stayed on the ship them days. Le havre was 4 Euros each return for the bus which was more like it but the queue for the bus was so long we walked 25 minutes into town as it was quicker then waiting for a bus. The Navigator is no way big enough to cater for the amount of passengers it holds and even my Daughter said everything was busy and wouldn't do Royal Caribbean again and she is 13 years old. The last day leaving the ship was hassle free and it felt like they couldn't wait to get us off the ship as it was so easy. We went to Mcdonalds near the port on the last day for Breakfast because I couldn't be doing with Windjammer (Canteen) on the last day, and that was the best breakfast we had all week in Mcdonalds on the way home. This was my 5th Cruise and my first and last time using Royal Caribbean and won't ever be using them again and certainly won't be recommending them. So glad I didn't book next years Transatlantic Reposition Cruise on the same ship, or I would have just lost my deposit and cancelled the holiday. I will now look elsewhere for a Reposition Cruise for my next Cruise holiday as that's what we like the idea of doing. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We chose this cruise as the ship was smaller than some and we had cruised before on Oriana and we enjoyed it very much last time. However this time the food was very poor, service in the restaurant was 3rd rate and most of the staff ... Read More
We chose this cruise as the ship was smaller than some and we had cruised before on Oriana and we enjoyed it very much last time. However this time the food was very poor, service in the restaurant was 3rd rate and most of the staff around the ship we very amateur. We sat at the same table each night and had the same staff. They were very bad at bringing quickly the correct food which was always cold. For one meal the waiter actually threw the starter on plate. At another meal the soup bowl came with the soup dripping down the sides. The bar staff were very sullen and made it an effort to serve us. However the staff in Al Fresco were wonderful. We had most of our breakfast and lunches there. Although the choice of food was limited, we always managed to eat well. All the staff were excellent even remembering the porridge for my husband each morning. Robert the Head Waiter was wonderful. The comfort around the lounges was very dull. Not one lounge or bar had outside windows that you could see through. The only place with windows was the Crows Nest which is far from cosy. It long overdue to have a refit. Our cabin wash basin was a disgrace and the beds were not as comfortable as ships beds usually are. We don't think we will travel again on P and O if this is the quality of the food and service. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We have always been interested in the discovery element of cruising offered by Swan Hellenic; we liked the idea of a ''country house' atmosphere and we were keen on the itinerary. The thought of being in a small ship with ... Read More
We have always been interested in the discovery element of cruising offered by Swan Hellenic; we liked the idea of a ''country house' atmosphere and we were keen on the itinerary. The thought of being in a small ship with fewer passengers that was able to visit small ports and bays was attractive. The ship was fine if a bit dated. The food was adequate without being star quality. The staff were by and large friendly and helpful to the very elderly passengers who made up 90% of those sailing. We knew that the average age but we had no idea that because the shop sailed to and from Portsmouth, it attracted an even more elderly lot. Don't get me wrong, most passengers were charming and 'up for it' but if one were a disco hound, this is not the ship for you. There was one huge gaffe where the company had failed to gauge the tides properly so that when we arrived the ship's master decided that he could not operate the tenders within the time available and so tours were cancelled. That was pretty shoddy planning, in my view. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Review Our cabin was On the Lido deck no L 248,an inside cabin, it was the last assessible cabin available when we booked. The cabin I must say was very comfortable, a good size, where the wheelchair could be used. Our cabin steward, ... Read More
Review Our cabin was On the Lido deck no L 248,an inside cabin, it was the last assessible cabin available when we booked. The cabin I must say was very comfortable, a good size, where the wheelchair could be used. Our cabin steward, Agnelo, from India was a gem. Being on Deck 15 was very convenient, as the Buffet Restaurants, pools, sail-away parties were all on deck 15 The theatre, The Playhouse was huge and had a designated area for wheelchair users on level 7 but the great disappointment was that the view of the stage was very restricted because of a long bar which really spoilt the view ( wonder if it serves any purpose ) the place for wheelchairs in the Theatre "Playhouse" on deck six were really good. We had to get there about half an hour before the shows started because the theatre gets packed and there are a number of people who stand throughout the shows!! The shows were very enjoyable and we made it a point to go every evening. We enjoyed the 'Headliners" and Ben Makisi's voice was super. We had opted for Anytime Dining so had dinner at the Meridian. Good food excellent service. The Buffet Breakfasts were overcrowded on port days. The served breakfast at the Penninsular Restaurant were always good. First port was Belfast and we opted for the P & O tour to the Giant Causeway. Left by coach just after 9am and returned by 3:30. The coach stored the wheelchair in the hold. My husband was able to climb up into the coach with a little assistance. At the Causeway Visitors Centre we took the wheelchair to the shuttle bus that goes down to the Causeway stones, this bus was wheelchair friendly and had a ramp so my husband stayed in the wheelchair. At the Causeway where the bus dropped us he could get a good view of the stones too. Had coffee and sandwiches at the Visitors centre cafe which was overcrowded. It was an enjoyable day with beautiful views. The ship crew were very helpful with the disembarkation and embarkation each day. Our next port of call was Stornaway. It was a tender port. We were told by the crew that the tender ride was long and the waves made the crossing difficult. As we did not get bookings for the P&O excursion that we wanted to go for he opted to rest that day. All the executions to the ports get taken up quickly so it is essential to book the trips at least three months before departure. We booked The Golden Circle tour with P&O in Reykjavik. This was the top excursion on my list and I am so happy to have done it. The weather was quite nice and we walked from the coach to the amazing continental divide. The view point was easy for the wheelchair to get to but it was not suitable to go down to the actual ridge. Next onto the Golden Falls. This was great to do even in the wheelchair and we had super views of the grand falls. We then went to see the geyser that erupted twice while we were watching. The steaming earth was a good site. We then went to see into the mouth of a volcano, Pesi too came and we had a good view. Returned to the ship for a good dinner and skipped the night entertainment and headed to bed. We got up early to go for breakfast and enjoy the gorgeous views as we entered the tiny town of Isafjorour. It was very beautiful. We had booked a tour, which drove us through some beautiful country side, enclosed by snow capped mountains. We had coffee and pastries at a small pretty cafe, visited a church, heard Icelandic Music and went to lovely little garden. After a lovely trip we were caught in a light shower while waiting to return to the ship. On Monday 27th June we were in Akureyi, a beautiful little town of North Iceland. Our tour with P&O started as a gorgeous bright sunny day. We visited the wonderful Gooafoss waterfall, a good view from the Coach so did not have to take the wheelchair out. Next we visited Lake Myvatn and a crater. We had a coffee and cake stop at a little cafe. We have been amazed that even the tiny places had wheelchair Assessable toilets!!! These places have a population of only 30,000 people, spread over vast areas. Next we visited the Lava fields with the lava castles at Dimmubergir, this was not assessable by wheelchair but had a good enough view from the coach and our last stop were the thermal fields with boiling hot gurgling purple and yellow cauldrons. Then the rains started as we headed back..... Luckily it stopped when we were to embark the ship. Great dinner and entertainment before we headed to bed. Two restful days at sea but not much to do. Roamed around the ship. Eat drink and be merry! Tomorrow another port. Lerwick..... Lerwick was a tender port. A bright sunny day and that too in Northern Scotland!! Got ashore and took a taxi ( cost us £45/- per hour for a van for 6 persons) for a three hour ride on the most beautiful costal route to Sumburgh Head. Every view took our breath away. Then at the end we saw such lovely puffins, most were nesting in burrows near the coast and we had super sightings. Next we went to a beach to watch seals. They were all sunbathing. It was a wonderful excursion. Next port was Kirkwall. Booked an excursion to Orkney Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
The Great This may take a while. There were so many great things to mention. Disney is great with details. From the "Mickey" shaped face for my daughters ketchup, to the Disney themed menu each night, they really do a great ... Read More
The Great This may take a while. There were so many great things to mention. Disney is great with details. From the "Mickey" shaped face for my daughters ketchup, to the Disney themed menu each night, they really do a great job at providing those little extras in everything they do. The Oceaneer Lab and Club are exceptional. I could barely get my daughter to leave. The staff was friendly and courteous. The actual area was awesome. I wanted to go in in play! I also loved their security features. I never worried about my daughter while she was there. The cabin in clean and large. We actually stayed in a room with just a porthole and never felt like we were missing out or that the room was too tight. It was actually perfect for the three of us. I also LOVED that they had two interpreters for the hearing impaired at every show. We didn't need the services but there was a family there that did. I can tell you- they did an amazing job considering the length of each show. It must have taken a ton of preparation on their part. I am sure they don't receive enough credit so I wanted to mention. Dining in the 3 restaurants was always fun. I loved the Animators Palate. The food was pretty good although it wasn't amazing. The service, however was spectacular and my daughter could always get whatever she wanted even if it wasn't on the menu. The Bad The ports were just okay. We stopped in Newcastle, England (meh), Kirkwall, Scotland (huge disappointment!), Iceland and Norway (which were fab.) I really would recommend that Disney rethink the first two stops. They just weren't that great. Another downside- if you are a first time cruiser with Disney, you don't get on the "special" email about events going on. We overheard someone talking about the character breakfast or we would have never known. We also found out about the princess meet and greet after it was over. Sorry Disney but if I am paying 10k for a vacation, I should have the option to participate in these things. After speaking to numerous cruisers, there is definately a sense that the Castaway Club members are treated better. I get it to an extent, you have to give them perks but when the cruise director walks past your table to focus on those with gold or black lanyards (that they get when boarding), you feel slighted. The Ugly... The spa is a huge letdown. I enjoyed my massage and facial but they are obviously incentivized to sell you on items and they are super pushy. I can't tell you how many times I stated that I did not was facial cream, massage oil, etc. It really was uncomfortable. Overall, I really enjoyed this cruise and will use Disney again. We had a great time and my daughter was in heaven. Well worth the extra money. Just be aware of the downsides. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Boarding was excellent. Great service, staff were amazing. Really great shows and entertainment. Lots to do for children. The only thing I would recommend is a ocean view balcony as not a really nice bar were you can sit and watch the sea ... Read More
Boarding was excellent. Great service, staff were amazing. Really great shows and entertainment. Lots to do for children. The only thing I would recommend is a ocean view balcony as not a really nice bar were you can sit and watch the sea go by. Most things on this ship are internal. The ship was kept very clean. The cabins are really nice with lots of storage, the safe is small. American and European sockets. We eat in the American icon grill every night prebooked late dining, the food was very good and the menu change every night. There was also a set menu that didn't change. The ship was easy to get around with everything being internal you could see where you were from the lifts. You just have to remember boardwalk is deck six back of ship. The gym was fab, lots of machines, the spa area very nice and the solarium lovely with lots and lots of beds and chairs. Loved the rising tide bar was very nice to go up and down while having drinks with friends. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
My husband & I have taken around a dozen cruises with various lines inc. P&O Royal Carribean, CUnard, Celebrity, MSC & Fred. We took this short cruise to determine how we felt about the ship and cruise line before thinking of ... Read More
My husband & I have taken around a dozen cruises with various lines inc. P&O Royal Carribean, CUnard, Celebrity, MSC & Fred. We took this short cruise to determine how we felt about the ship and cruise line before thinking of any longer duration. We fortunately caught the cruise coach from London Victoria to Tilbury - we had no delays and went straight to check-in on arrival at the port, unlike many other passengers, many of whom waited over an hour & a half simply to get into the car park, after having done battle with the M25 traffic. So far, so good. We arrived at our cabin, deck 6, at the rear of the ship - quite large in size - slightly surprised with the twin bed formation - but we got used to it - apparently we were told there are only 10 'Queen' beds on board. However, the beds were comfortable and the pillows, small but reasonable too. However there were no tea-making facilities in cabin which is surprising for a cruise line that prides itself on a traditional British cruise - we need our tea!! Also you need adaptions to use the plugs, again unexpected. The shower curtain however was a real pain! It's about 2 inches too short to reach the floor, so the bathroom floor gets wet and the curtains will insist on sticking to you when trying to shower. Don't get me started on the noise!! I've never heard such a din - not just the usual drone but banging, clanking and high whining vibration especially when starting the approach to a port - so 5am wake-up call was to be expected. Food was good, tasty although portions were not large, but with a potential 5-course menu - it wasn't necessary to go hungry and if you fancied trying an extra of anything our waiter was very happy to oblige. Our Wine steward was also very helpful and pleasant and it was a very nice touch that a complimentary drink was offered on the last night on the Company" -cheers!! There was one formal night, and most dressed appropriately however there were an odd few who only managed to sport a tea-shirt and jeans. One big complaint - I only drink Soya milk, which was available on the Buffet at breakfast but unavailable anywhere else on the ship for a coffee - it was quite a task to actually take a cup of milk from breakfast and ask one of the Baristas to make me a Latte using it. Afternoon tea was fairly standard - buffet style but one day had lovely raisin scones with jam and cream - this was followed the next day by Cheese scones still offered with jam and cream - different.!! Late night snacks were brought round the lounges on the 1st & 3rd night, unfortunately there were not enough to go round on the first evening - or some folks got more than their fair share! Middle night of cruise saw a "Magnifique Buffet" with ice sculptures and carved fruit/vegs - lots of sea-food available, much to my husbands delight. The entertainment team were good, shows were of reasonable standard, especially the ABBA inspired show. But the best was the Cabaret provided each night by members of the Entertainment team. We enjoy dancing - this was not as good on the ship as others we have experienced. The dance floor was on the small side but the main problem was the musical duo couldn't seem to maintain any sort of tempo throughout a song, so what initally appeared to be a rumba or cha-cha would slow down or speed up and then the inevitable key-change so just went on, & on ..... We both experienced some treatments in the Spa and really impressed by both our therapists - very good treatments, really relaxing and reasonably priced. What a shame that the tannoys are not turned off (or at least down) to prevent the sudden announcements fro breaking into the relaxation time. However one of the biggest gripes of the whole expereince was the first Port - Ghent - 8 shuttle buses for everyone who wanted to take themselves independently into Ghent - a 26 min drive away (hour- round-trip). We had been waiting for a shuttle for around 40 minutes when the crowd were told there was an hour delay - so taking the hour round trip into account, we (together with a considerable number of others) gave up and spent the rest of the day on-board. Many people were very unhappy with this situation and the cruise director got quite a bit of stick for this. Next stop at Amsterdam was better - just a 10 minute walk into the centre. We never saw, or even heard the Captain, or indeed any of the Senior Staff, which was unusual. All announcements were made by a the Passenger Director (or something).A large number of the crew were from Ukraine, according to the information in the ships bulletin, who tended to be rather off-hand, with smaller numbers of Indonesian and Filipino waiters who were as attentive as ever. We docked 2 hours late on our return to Tilbury as a result of the adverse weather conditions experienced overnight. We were in quite a storm. However, after nearly a dozen cruises, including across the North Sea, the Baltic, Fjords, Bay of Biscay and a Transaltantic - this was the worst experience I have had, pitching and rolling and in fact, the first time, ever - I succumbed to the sick-bag (sorry) . We were amused to watch the usual window washing whilst in port - this consisted of a hose-pipe fitted with some shower-like attachments being dangled over the side and swung from side to side - ingenious! We met some very nice people and have answered our question - would we go with them again - Sorry - not for us. We like smaller ships but this was not really up to speed in our opinion. Fred do small much better, as do some of the other smaller ships available with other lines. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We chose this cruise because it sailed round the u.k. without stopping which suited our purpose because my wife has severe walking problems. The embarkation was superbly handled, the cabin was large, comfortable and clean, the food on ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it sailed round the u.k. without stopping which suited our purpose because my wife has severe walking problems. The embarkation was superbly handled, the cabin was large, comfortable and clean, the food on board was superb and the staff and crew could not have been more helpful. Unfortunately, our cabin was on the wrong side of the vessel for sightseeing so had to go on deck for all viewing which, due to the somewhat misty weather at some ports was not the greatest for viewing. This, of course, was nothing to Saga's detriment. We had early morning tea delivered to the cabin, and were invited to the captain's table on the second night. The only drawback was disembarkation at Dover which resulted in us having to wait 3-1/2 hours before a chair could be found for my wife, this was all ordered at the time of booking but, unlike embarkation when people arrived in dribs and drabs, everyone was disembarking at the same time in Dover. Having said this we are booking another cruise next year and have asked for the same cabin. must say one final word which is about a crew member named Jemma who could not have been more helpful and was always cheerful and ready to assist when required. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Booked this cruise without hesitation after a princess cruise two years ago which was outstanding. First problem occurred with the lifeboat drill, it took forever , the muster point we were at had very little seating which meant sveral ... Read More
Booked this cruise without hesitation after a princess cruise two years ago which was outstanding. First problem occurred with the lifeboat drill, it took forever , the muster point we were at had very little seating which meant sveral people with walking difficulties having to stand for a long time. Prior to the actual drill there were numerous pointless announcements. Thereafter the cruise was OK, but just OK, long wait for everything from drinks to tables to lifts. On a positive note the cabin was great with a very comfortable bed and the ship was very clean. The service was poor a lot of the time, and many of the staff lacked the sort of customer service skills you usually experience on a cruise. Finally the excursions were a massive rip off, 99$ dollars each for a short tour of Guernsey. Will not travel with princess again, it all seemed to be about the money. Drinks package was not worth having as often once the waiters saw your sticker they lost interest and you were left waiting. We had a two hour wait for disembarkation, and drinks were only provided for the elite group. Sorry princess, feel very let down. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We choose this cruise as a mini-break treat for my Partner and myself, having been wheelchair bound after I suffered a broken femur in January. We are cruise addicts anyway and knew that the food, the facilities and general spoiling where ... Read More
We choose this cruise as a mini-break treat for my Partner and myself, having been wheelchair bound after I suffered a broken femur in January. We are cruise addicts anyway and knew that the food, the facilities and general spoiling where just what we needed after our recent difficulties. [ I had been non-loading bearing after my accident and my poor long suffering partner had been my "legs" and full time carer and cook- housekeeper since January. We were both exhausted. ] OMG how right we were. Everything went perfectly, Embarkation at Southampton was swift and caring. Disabled Access Balcony cabin was amazing-[ sorry I can't remember the number but I'm sure they're all as good.] Larger than usual with everything spaced for easy wheelchair access especially the wheel-in bathroom with sitting shower, and the drop down access to the balcony. Breakfast served to us in-room to save the hassle of getting up in time. Mostly my Partner accompanied me but on the occasions when I whizzed about on my own there was always a memeber of staff asking where did I want to go and taking me there if necessary From a general revue viewpoint a slight disappointment for my Partner was that the War Museum on Gurnsey was'nt open when his Tour arrived but another venue was substituted. I'd given him the afternoon off for some him [ and me ] time. Anyone dependant after injury will understand this remark ! We thoroughly recommend this type of holiday and Princess Cruises especially for anyone who is disabled, wheelchair bound and in need of a lot of spoiling. Just because you are disabled there is absoluely no reason to give up on cruising !. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We thought we would give FO a second chance having cruised with them before. We tried an inside cabin for the first time as it was only two nights. We have cruised many times before and know what is normal this time we were ... Read More
We thought we would give FO a second chance having cruised with them before. We tried an inside cabin for the first time as it was only two nights. We have cruised many times before and know what is normal this time we were disappointed mainly with embarkation/disembarkation, the food & food service. We use a disability scooter and normally have no problems getting on and off but the "ramps" were step/ramps and very steep, like they set up on the wrong deck. See photo. Staff helped with the scooter but my mobility impaired wife made herself totally breathless and exhausted and her inhaler was not effective by the time she got to the top, boarding staff were not interested so we went to customer services to advise of the problem for disabled persons, but again staff not interested and just said would put note on our file. The menus were uninspiring and the general restaurant service was organised chaos and totally disjointed. For example one person was serving tea & coffee and then you had wait while you hoped to flag down a separate milk person and then try and find the very rare toast person who appeared to have cold toast only. The breakfasts were very slow and food was cold. Many of the staff (There were exceptions) appeared totally disinterested and had the attitude I have only seen of people working their notice out or with very low morale. One in particular, we will call him Mark was ineffectual in seating people, making them wait unnecessarily while he showed others further down the line tables, the restaurant was virtually empty at the time, a jack of all trades wiping tables, serving drinks & toast and never a hand clean seen. The entertainment was OK and there were also late shows, when you had to be up very early the next day. There seemed very little to do during the day unless you wanted to play cards. Some loved the personal service that the smaller ships appear to provide but you can foster that on the big ships also and there is far more to do, its personal preference but the experience will not be repeated. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We only booked this cruise because we both wanted to see Jersey and Guernsey, unfortunately that didn't happen. We choice to park at tilbury and this was a brilliant service the staff at the car park were very helpful and gave ... Read More
We only booked this cruise because we both wanted to see Jersey and Guernsey, unfortunately that didn't happen. We choice to park at tilbury and this was a brilliant service the staff at the car park were very helpful and gave clear instructions. We noticed there that the other passengers seemed older than us. (We've just turned 60) most people were well over 70+ Embarkation was fast and on the ship we were met by staff and a very nice lady showed us to our cabin. The food was not of the best quality but there was plenty of it. The soups and the bread were very nice. Afternoon tea was very strange Apple crumble and custard and small hard scones with artificial cream and dry cake. We bought the drinks package even though we are not big drinkers, but it was well worth it as the cocktails were very nice and included brand name soft drinks as well. We both enjoyed Amsterdam and Zeebrugge and looked forward to the Channel Islands, but unfortunately the Captain announced that because of the high swell we wouldn't be going and instead were going to Cherbourg and Rouen instead. We and lots of other passengers thought this strange and more likely to do with the age and disabilities of the other passengers.( the weather so calm and sunny) as they would have to use tenders in these ports. We felt let down as we wouldn't have booked a cruise around France, so will never use this company again Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This is a lovely Little boat. At 46,000 tons it is towards the top of the Small category. For a vessel of this size the cabin quality is good (4/5), but it is a little crowded. This was now our 12th cruise and certain factors ... Read More
This is a lovely Little boat. At 46,000 tons it is towards the top of the Small category. For a vessel of this size the cabin quality is good (4/5), but it is a little crowded. This was now our 12th cruise and certain factors disappointed. We prefer ‘Freestyle Dining’ and dislike being stuck on the same table with the same handful of guests every night. We are happy to share a table if necessary, but not for 6 nights in sequence. In consequence we switched our system to tracking down a good lunch meal ashore and skipping the evening dinner. The on-board alternative, the ‘Bistro’ was convenient, but the standard of food offered there was poor. (1/5). The standard of food in the main dining was well below expectation (2/5) and is our one major criticism. Had we tried this more often we might have met a better meal, but were unwilling to take the risk. The vessel has an Engine problem. It behaves like an old car. Very under-powered when ‘push’ is needed. It was extremely noisy when pulling away from the dockside or travelling in a river, probably against the water flow. We complained and the problem did disappear, but at the cost of very low speed running. To take 4 hours from Amsterdam to the river estuary indicated that the engine(s) were running at low power. Any faster and the vibrations would make the cabin furniture rattle. Coastal running over short distances worked well, but it might prove to be too noisy on a long, (Transatlantic ?) run. I await further comments. (If it was a horse I would shoot it.) The passenger mix favours the elderly, supported by the relatively low cost per person. We found the number of ‘wheelies’, Zimmer frames and wheeled walkers, motorised chairs, crutches and walking sticks surprising and soon realised that the Captain would not be able to offer the ‘Ship to Shore’ transfers using the lifeboats as tenders. It would have been extremely dangerous to even try. This was probably why the visits to Jersey and Guernsey were cancelled and replaced by Cherbourg and Rouen. I would congratulate him on this choice. We also wanted to go to the Channel Islands, but realised that it could not be done safely. CMV will have to rethink some of its itineraries or this will often arise Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
The ship is beautiful but I found it to be very unorganized. . Cabin . Service . Lifts . My total bill . Disembarkation My sister and myself took my elderly mum away for a taster Cruise. We paid extra money to travel on ... Read More
The ship is beautiful but I found it to be very unorganized. . Cabin . Service . Lifts . My total bill . Disembarkation My sister and myself took my elderly mum away for a taster Cruise. We paid extra money to travel on the Brittania . When booking this Mini cruise, we explained there were 3 adults. We were told there were bed settees available . When we arrived in the cabin, there were 2 single beds, the other bed was a bunk placed in the roof of the cabin. It was opened up each night by a Steward. The bed obscured the balcony, we had to bend down not to bang our heads to sit on the sofa, make a cuppa and to sit on balcony . My sister banged the back of her neck on this bed. When we booked no one stated to us regarding the beds. My mum is 81, my sister has back trouble and I have had foot surgery. Reception did not help. I struggled up the ladder, we are not youngsters. We had to ring housekeeping 6:45 am to raise the bed out of the way. Service was good in certain areas, our designated restaurant was closed due to disembarkation, we found certain members of the staff rude in the other restaurant. We waited 10 minutes for a table, with an 81 year old lady who couldn't stand for long,baring in mind one half of the restaurant had empty tables but they were trying to keep to one area, this is not exceptable when you have ques people waiting, we sat down and was given cups and our hot drinks order had been given. we were then asked to move tables due to wheel chair person, baring in mind my mum can only walk with help of a trolley. we were happy to do this. we were moved to another table, we waited for service and i had to ask 15 min later if could we have some warm drinks, He informed me that they were busy and other people to serve, the table we were originally on were served and eating their breakfast. Lifts were dreadful, to many people to accommodate, many time we were squashed into the wall of the lift. This is unacceptable for elderly people who are unsteady on their feet. Disable lifts should be available. I had a telephone call from reception at 6:15 in the morning telling me my card had been declined , I told them it must be a mistake. I was told to phone my bank. I had to phone home to my husband to check internet banking to make sure my money was still in the bank, he gave me the number to phone the bank fraud squad who informed me they stopped my card because of my identification card. We went into the casino to put £5 chips into the bandit, all has changed you now have to place your key card in machine. A member of staff told me to put in my DOB make up a pin, I won £5.00, i decided to use it the next day but when i returned my cabin card would not work. my card was stopped because of the activity in the casino. Be aware if you are going to enjoy the facility's, i recommend you notify the bank before you leave. Disembarkation took a while, to get a lift was a nightmare, once down on the correct departure area the Que was a mile long, all in a line doubling back where you started. I think this ship isn't without their teething problems, I had a relaxing time on the Oceania , Britannia is far to big, It may look amazing but I feel i wasn't relaxed as I should have been. I would never take my mum on there again, maybe god willing a smaller ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This is our second time on Anthem prior to our first visit just after its maiden voyage in April. We returned some 2 weeks ago from the new P&O Britannia and all I can say is thank god for Royal Caribbean! It was great to be back on ... Read More
This is our second time on Anthem prior to our first visit just after its maiden voyage in April. We returned some 2 weeks ago from the new P&O Britannia and all I can say is thank god for Royal Caribbean! It was great to be back on Anthem of the Seas again especially this time we were given a FREE soft and alcohol drinks package and £150 onboard spending credit. You can't fault it! Looking at the negative reviews on here I can't help but feel this is way too harsh for such a fantastic ship offering first class entertainment, activities, food and the ship's overall features and worlds first's such as the North Star. People who rate this cruise as 2 stars seriously need to go on Britannia and then they will have real cause for moaning! The second visit on Anthem was equally as impressive despite a few issues we encountered this time of which I will outline shortly. However despite these issues, overall we were very pleased with returning to Anthem and we have booked to return on next year's Ovation of the seas which is the third Quantum class ship to be launched by Royal. We are also looking to book on the new soon to be launched Harmony of the Seas. Embarkation was flawless thanks to Royal's online checkin and guys hanging around with iPads on arrival. Royal immediately has the edge even before you get onboard! Entertainment - Impressive again! We previously saw the fantastic 'We Will Rock You' show in April and loved it. The best entertainment I have seen on a cruise ship which is not surprising as this was the west end cast and production rather than Butlins entertainment we experienced on Britannia. This time we decided to see Spectre's Cabaret and this show was equally as impressive!! The Two270 venue is simply amazing with its projected 270 degree display, animated robotic large screen display's and the whole choreography was simply flawless from beginning to end. Some of the best acrobatics and dancing I have seen! There was also plenty to do throughout the day and adults and kids were making great use of iFly and Flow Rider. This was certainly a ship packed full of entertainment and fun for all ages!! the mood on board was great and everyone was having a great time :-) Ship's Features - The North Star was also something we were unable to do on our first visit to Anthem and despite waiting for over an hour in the queue this time the whole experience on ascending high above the ship was very impressive and again fun!! It would be nice if Royal introduced a booking system for the North Star and I am bemused why this does now show on the RoyalIQ booking app. Other features of the ship were equally impressive. We loved the overall look and feel in general. This ship is made of high quality materials and very careful thought has been given to its interiors. This is a very smart ship indeed! We also loved the ships FREE solarium at the front of the ship which was also quite impressive. What a fantastic environment to chill out in with plenty of pools and hot tubs to use. The solarium bar this time was much more efficient with a good selection of drinks on offer. Other features which were nice to see were the robotic bar; unlimited ultra fast high speed internet for a daily charge; RFID wrist bands instead of having to dig out your sea pass card; the list goes on!! P&O you seriously need to get a grip here and take lessons from Royal on how to WOW your passengers! Food and Dining - Overall the quality of the food was excellent both in the WindJammer cafe and in the two dining restaurants we opted to select - Chic and the American Icon Restaurant. Our reserved timings we quite early on around 6pm to 6:30pm and there was ample availability and room in the restaurants at these times and we just simply walked in. I appreciate some passengers were complaining on having to wait despite them pre-booking and this is something that Royal will seriously need to investigate. Service was also excellent although a little slow at times however we were very pleased with the overall dining experience. Negatives and what needs improving: No cruise experience is perfect and we felt on this occasion we noticed some significant areas are needed for improvement. 1. Breakfast choices and availability of seating - The windjammer cafe for breakfast in peak hours between 9am to 10:15am was simply too chaotic and a nightmare. Completely rammed full of people and hardly any free seating at all. This problem can easily be rectified by extending the opening hours of the main restaurants to 10am as these closed at 9am! Now I can understand on P&O when everyone goes to bed by 9am due to sheer boredom then you are more likely to be up early. However on a Royal ship where people are awake past midnight in the early hours then it is reasonable to assume that people don't want to rush for breakfast by 8am! Simple solution - open the American Icon Grill restaurant later to 10am or even 11am!! 2. The solarium - This needs to be adult only exclusive as often we saw young children especially under the age of 16 using these facilities and sitting in the hot tubs with drinks! When this was questioned on Guest Services I was told these facilities were adult only but it was up to the parents to enforce this policy! Ive never heard of such a pass the buck policy in the past! On Celebrity cruises the adult only solarium is enforced by a pool butler who also checks to see if loungers have been reserved and if so then their contents are removed! So seeing that Celebrity and Royal are the same company then why isn't the same policy enforced on Anthem? This does not make sense! 3. Our cabin - You might be wondering why the rating was very poor? Well you can't fault the cabin's appearance, plush layout and interior; shower was brilliant; TV; cabin steward; cleanliness etc etc However the biggest problem we encountered on this visit to Anthem was its location. DO NOT book on Deck 13 AFT! Our cabin was 13308 and this was located directly one deck beneath the Windjammer cafe and possibly under the kitchen/galley. Other cabins near to us also reported the same problem. We have never ever experienced such a horrendous banging metal noise in all the cruises we have been on. This noise appeared to be amplified through the ships ventilation system funelled into our cablin like a grammar phone!. The noise was soo bad at one point this badly affected our sleep and I had to visit guest services at 4am! The following night and another visit to guest services and we were told that although the windjammer was closed for guests at this time in the night staff were busy preparing food for the next day and nothing could be done due to operational reasons! The noise was definitely crew related - not a problem with the ship itself. 4. Restaurant availability - Prior to boarding Anthem it is highly recommended that you select a time/day you want to dine in a particular restaurant. We tried two weeks prior to our sail date and found very limited availability hence why we had to book certain restaurants and an early booking time. Royal states that 'Dynamic Dining offers freedom and flexibility' Well we found the complete opposite. How can this form of dining offer freedom and flexibility when you can't book a restaurant of your choosing and the time you actually want because fellow passengers have already made their reservations prior to the sail date. My view is that Royal needs to ditch this Dynamic Dining in favour of traditional dining mixed in with the option of guests choosing freedom dining if they wish. Overall closing comments: We were soo glad to be back on Anthem despite the problems we experienced and such a breath of fresh air compared to the stagnant P&O form of cruising. I try to explain to people who are first time cruisers or those who are mostly stuck in the mentality on going with P&O that the difference for us when going with Royal is that you leave the cruise feeling 20 years younger, whilst compare this to P&O where you actually feel more than 20 years older!! Another well enjoyed trip with Royal! We were glad to return to Anthem of the Seas and look forward to future sailings with Royal. We contacted Royal head office to outline our negative points above and we were given compensation as a way of an apology. Thanks Royal! Much appreciated!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
The British Isles are beautiful! They are the reason for the cruise undoubtedly. Being out and about is the point--not staying on board. The embarkation was the worst. We arrived at Heathrow about 7 a.m. and made it through customs ... Read More
The British Isles are beautiful! They are the reason for the cruise undoubtedly. Being out and about is the point--not staying on board. The embarkation was the worst. We arrived at Heathrow about 7 a.m. and made it through customs and to Southampton with no problem. When we arrived, we were told that due to a norovirus outbreak on the previous cruise boarding would be delayed. We were shipped to a nearby mall with not much information but with a number for return. We stayed there for a while then went outside to see what the lines looked like. Buses were taking the crew back, but we had to wait 5 hours or so. We finally were able to get in line about 2:00 and waited for a bus till 3:00. There were buses of fellow travelers arriving at the mall as we left. Long, long lines of people waiting for their number to come up to get a bus to the terminal. We were in line outside of the port until 3:00. It was warm but not too bad for those of us without disabilities or breathing issues. I felt sorry for those whose health posed as issue. Some were let inside. Also let inside were travelers just arriving by cab. That didn't sit well with those of us standing outside and who had been waiting for several hours to get in. Finally, about 4:00 we made it to the line for check-in. Tempers were short for passengers and workers. There were some visa issues with some passengers and some computer issues. Rather than turning over those passengers with visa problems to someone to handle the issues, we all had to stand in line and just hope it was resolved quickly. Most weren't. I have never seen the pushing to check in that I saw there. Some workers were down right rude. Finally, by 5:30 we were on board. The ship did not leave until 8:30 or so. We all thought that Princess would provide a free drink or a slight credit for all the problems, but that didn't happen. The captain never once seemed happy about the trip any time he talked to us. I know it is his responsibility to keep us all safe, but you could tell he was feeling the responsibility heavily. For 12 days, he just gave us the bad news that there was still some problem on the ship with the virus. There was another sanitization after 5 days. We were kindly asked to wash and sanitize before entering the buffet, but some rude passengers refused leaving the rest of us who complied to wonder if they were spreading germs. The rooms are fairly large which we liked, and there is lots of hanging space in the closets, but there is no drawer space. We just had shelves in the closet. The piazza space in the middle of the ship makes it difficult to get places in a timely manner. You have to go from 5 up to 7 and across or vice versa. TV shows consisted of unlimited old Love Boat reruns an a few movies and Animal Planet and several news channels. The house band, while good, played so loudly over the singers in the shows and in the piazza that it was almost impossible to hear the singer. Music still seemed to be geared for the most part to those over 70. It would be nice to hear some newer pop music in the shows and elsewhere. The stage shows were definitely not so great. There didn't seem to be much to do on board if you didn't go on an excursion. Luckily the cruise was port intensive. The art auctions were fun and well managed. Bingo was just one day. The food was ok in the dining room and buffet. I do like their burgers and pizza. One night there was a pig head on the buffet. That ruined my dinner. Be advised that to do the ports and to get back on ship some days you need to be able to walk a good deal. For many of the ports if you are just going into town, a fair distance of walking is required. And the gang planks had more angle on them than I've seen before. Thank goodness for the Princess staff--they handled those wheel chairs and those with limited mobility beautifully up the gang plank that once or twice had a 45 degree angle. Disembarkation was quick and easy. We shared a shuttle (really a smallish car) back to London. It was inexpensive and fun to hear from two other couples about their view of the trip. The weather was gorgeous; the ports were interesting and beautiful; the fellow passengers were interesting and fun. I just wish the captain had had a better time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Dates of travel July 8-20, 2015 This was a great trip. Everything went according to plan. We flew direct on British Air from Austin, Texas. Staff was very helpful and seats in the bulkhead gave plenty of leg room. When we ... Read More
Dates of travel July 8-20, 2015 This was a great trip. Everything went according to plan. We flew direct on British Air from Austin, Texas. Staff was very helpful and seats in the bulkhead gave plenty of leg room. When we arrived at London Heathrow a driver was waiting with a wheelchair access van to take us to the Royal Princess. Once there staff was very helpful, assisting with luggage, pushing my chair up the ramp while my husband handled the carry on bags. The room was lovely, spacious enough to turn around, bathroom as well. The only complaint was the bars in the bathroom, which I complain about all the time. People in wheelchairs are not long armed, tall acrobats! The bars were difficult because they were too high. Service was wonderful. Stateroom steward friendly, helpful and knowledgeable about the days activities. In the Lido staff always offered to carry a plate. Each evening there was music, dancing and entertainment. Some of the entertainment in the auditoriums was not the best. Disembarkation was easy. Passengers who needed assistance met in one area. A friendly staff person directed us to the proper time to leave. Again, wheelchair transportation waiting to take us to London. We booked the Grosvenor Hotel through Princess. It was fabulous, near most of the sites in the Central city, and easy access to buses and trains. The room was spacious and beautiful. The bathroom spacious and accessible. The only change that would have made it better would be to have breakfast included in the package. We chose this cruise for the ports and were not disappointed. All in all the best trip in a couple of years. We have been on other lines, but felt that Princess was most helpful and we would do it again. We went on one Princess excursion, as there are few and were booked when I started looking. The one we did book to Blarney Castle was very nice, great guide and driver. We were the only two who showed, but the took us on the tour anyway. Some tips. There are special forms to complete for wheelchair access transportation. Be sure to get all the forms, as I learned accidentally a couple of weeks before the cruise that I had not completed forms. Princess accepted the forms at this late date and the transportation arrangements were the best we have ever experienced while booking through other cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
This was our first cruise ever - a 'gift' for our wedding anniversary. We were put in cabin B344, an inner one. Although we personally found the temperature to be a bit warm (as we like to sleep in cool temperatures), most ... Read More
This was our first cruise ever - a 'gift' for our wedding anniversary. We were put in cabin B344, an inner one. Although we personally found the temperature to be a bit warm (as we like to sleep in cool temperatures), most would find the 23C all-round room temp to be very cozy. The cabin was certainly big enough for two of us and the queen bed quite ample. We had 2 nights of gale force 8 winds and slept like babies; the most we knew of it was a gentle rocking of the bed and an announcement by the ship the next morning. My wife walks with a stick and we found crew to be very attentive. She was whisked into the ship almost immediately for embarkation, avoiding any crowds or lines of passengers, and we were set into the buffet room to enjoy lunch while the rest of the ship embarked. The same was true of disembarkation - off the ship before the rest of the passengers and out into a flagged-down taxi before the rest arrived. The buffet rooms were lovely - clean and spacious with tons of tables and waiters everywhere waiting to get you another drink or take away your tray the moment you were finished. No table was too far away from a window to not enjoy the view. The food itself was great - we're not into fine dining, we just eat food - and there was plenty of variety for all tastes and lots of it. Everything from cold cuts and rolls, little nibbles, to several main dishes and sides. The desserts were to die for! And it really was 24-hours a day, though you may find yourself switching from one side of the dining room to the other, depending on the time of day. (Little ones had their own tea time at 4-6pm, so they could go to daycare when adults wanted to enjoy themselves.) There were tons of little areas around the ship where you could sit and have a drink (or 10) and we never had to wait more than a couple of minutes for a waiter to take our order and deliver a delicious cocktail. There were a large number of heated pools and wonderful whirlpools -easy to get in and out of - and these all had bar areas and seating around them as well as counters serving fast foods, ice creams, etc. We had signed for low-impact activities, a couple of tour buses, and they had quite a few to chose from and quite a few grey heads and people with mobility problems on them. Again, first on/first off, lots of attendants helping on and off the bus as well as into/out of attractions. We certainly couldn't fault the customer service if we tried. And the excursions were great as well with knowledgeable tour guides. We were so happy with our experience we signed up for another cruise - a 10-night one, on the same ship - on our second day. We did, however, book a balcony cabin. We would personally recommend an inner cabin if you don't plan on doing much besides sleeping it it, but if you like to get away from the crowd, you may wish at least a cabin with a window. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015

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