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

This was our first cruise. We wanted to see Norway without frenetic travelling. It suited a couple who like the quieter things in life. It didn’t fail to please. Lectures and points of interest calls made for an interesting trip ... Read More
This was our first cruise. We wanted to see Norway without frenetic travelling. It suited a couple who like the quieter things in life. It didn’t fail to please. Lectures and points of interest calls made for an interesting trip aboard a ship with helpful, friendly staff. Accommodation was in clean, adequate cabins and there was plenty of really delicious food. The itinerary was amazing. The Norwegian coast is truly beautiful. The northbound trip allowed daytime trips to Trondheim, Tromsø and the North Cape, while an extra day spent in Bergen allowed us to take in the sights there too. All longer stops can be enjoyed as excursions or as we did, using local sources or just a map! Hurtigruten operate a well-oiled machine. Clear information was forwarded prior to the trip. Transfers were included, including the optional extra day in Bergen. It allowed us to take a truly relaxing break. The polar outside cabin pretty well always faced shore, northbound, though in fjords, cabin side did not matter. The ship offered a fairly smooth trip. The highlights - late night sail into the Trollfjord, the breathtaking North Cape and a glimpse of the northern lights. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Pacific Princess is the smallest of the Princess fleet, with a capacity of only 670 passengers. When I booked, all the suites were sold out, so I booked a mini-suite, which was later upgraded to Club Class. Right after I paid the fare, we ... Read More
Pacific Princess is the smallest of the Princess fleet, with a capacity of only 670 passengers. When I booked, all the suites were sold out, so I booked a mini-suite, which was later upgraded to Club Class. Right after I paid the fare, we were upsold a forward suite (#7005, Marquesas Suite). I'm always aft, but I love those suite perks, so I jumped on it. This was the largest suite I've ever seen and had a bath and a half, with a wall of closet space, along with all the usual suite perks like that sumptuous Sabatini breakfast. Interestingly enough even though she is very tiny, Pacific Princess never felt crowded, but because she is so small, it was easier for my elderly mother to get around. The food and staff on this ship are amazing, and the maitre d' came by our table at every meal to make sure everything was going well. Chef Giuseppe was the brains behind the original Chefs Table Experience years ago, and we were thrilled to experience Chef's Table with him. This was a great cruise with a great itinerary that we would absolutely do again, no questions asked! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Sailed from Rosyth, local for Edinburgh Short cruise, just right for a first cruise, staff all charming and nothing was too much trouble. Food was great, ship was very clean, entertainment excellent.. Shore excursions were informative. ... Read More
Sailed from Rosyth, local for Edinburgh Short cruise, just right for a first cruise, staff all charming and nothing was too much trouble. Food was great, ship was very clean, entertainment excellent.. Shore excursions were informative. Sadly weather not great, a bit cold and grey, but the sun appeared at times. Strongly recommend dining in the 'grill' at least once. 6* dining experience. If I went on another cruise I would have an outside cabin, at least one with a porthole. The interior cabins can be a little disorientating (telling night from day). The ship was very clean, the gangway staff were very helpful when the ship could not get into the port. They helped with my wheelchair and were always smiling. The library was a bonus, as I forgot a book and the chocolate and coffee shop was delicious.The shop staff were very helpful. We met some lovely people and being a small world, we met a couple who knew my daughter's in laws and were from the same village! Amazing. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We went on recommendation from a friend. The cruise is designed for the older person and not really suited for families, certainly not for teenagers. The ship is smaller than a traditional cruise ship but this leads to a more ... Read More
We went on recommendation from a friend. The cruise is designed for the older person and not really suited for families, certainly not for teenagers. The ship is smaller than a traditional cruise ship but this leads to a more personal and friendly atmosphere aboard the ship. There is no traditional entertainment, however the lectures and gatherings are brilliant, entertaining and informative. The ship is also a working ship calling at 34 ports, sometimes at night which can lead to some noise as cargo, cars and passengers may be embarked/ disembarked. Our cabin was on deck 5 on the starboard (right hand) side, which was ideal as all loading/ unloading was on the port (left) side so any noise did not disturb us. The ship had a well fitted exercise room, which we used, male and female saunas, and outdoor hot tubs. The restaurant was superb, with excellent choice of breakfast and lunch buffet and set, mainly traditional meals for dinner. Breakfast and lunch are sit anywhere whilst dinner is set times and tables. There were 6 sittings for dinner ranging from 6pm to 8.30pm, I would advise that you request early or late dinning when making a booking. However we were allocated an 8pm sitting which was far too late for my digestion but when asked for a change we were reallocated a 6.30pm slot sharing a table of 6 with charming company. We did get to see the northern lights on 3 nights although this is obviously dependant on climatic conditions. The excursions off ship that we did were great and well worth what on the face of it looks to be a lot of money. The pick was getting off the ship in the dark early evening and snowmobiling over the mountains, stopping to possibly seeing the northern lights and then continuing to pick up the ship in the next port. Alcoholic drinks on board are very expensive, however at most ports where you could get off the ship for a few hours there were bars or supermarkets where alcoholic drinks could be obtained. Although supposedly not permitted we had no problems taking some on board. In Norway you are allowed 1 litre of spirits and 3 litres of wine duty free, and as you pass through the duty free shops at the airport on the way in you can pick up some supplies to get you started. Overall a brilliant trip which was more an adventure than a holiday, with lots of downtime to relax and chill out and admire the passing scenery from the observation lounge. We are going back in the summer to see how it all looks in the midnight sun Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Just returned from a 11 day Northern Lights voyage along the Norwegian coast to Kirkenes and back to Bergen - and it was mind blowing. I've returned relaxed, pampered and looking to book another cruise - with Hurtigurten. Never ... Read More
Just returned from a 11 day Northern Lights voyage along the Norwegian coast to Kirkenes and back to Bergen - and it was mind blowing. I've returned relaxed, pampered and looking to book another cruise - with Hurtigurten. Never will I grace Royal Caribbean, or Princess again No casinos, no spas, no entertainment crews - it was education, relaxing and no hard sell. Cabins were basic, clean and well thought out, Bathrooms small and efficient. Staff were incredibly professional and charming Its a working ship, and the dress code was refreshingly casual..no dressing up for dinner. We loved every minute of it and the food was amazing. Fresh, locally sourced, not a french fry, burger, hot dog, pizza or hot dog in site. Excursions were expensive, but worth every penny - and no more expensive than the private ones which you can arrange independently Yes, alcohol is expensive, but this is Norway, and the prices on the ship were cheaper than the mid range hotels in Bergen. Embarkment and disembarkation were incredibly fast - we were in our hotel in less than an hour of leaving our deck - straight into a taxi. Tips - bring a kettle if you don't buy the premium package - learn how to use your camera for photographing the northern lights ( we had 6 nights of this spectacular) - bring a pair of slippers, good books, knitting/craft/watercolours - something to do when you are sailing along do at least 3 expeditions ( we did dog sledging, the ice hotel and the marble mines. All were incredible) Ignore the moaning minnie reviews. There are hundreds of thousand of people who have done this voyage. final words, don't hesitate book it! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Highly rated on other review sites. Looked unusual and good value at around £100 a day. (2018 prices). Turned out better than expected. All flights and transfers were included. Where else could you stop 66 times in 12 days? The ... Read More
Highly rated on other review sites. Looked unusual and good value at around £100 a day. (2018 prices). Turned out better than expected. All flights and transfers were included. Where else could you stop 66 times in 12 days? The Hutingruten is a working ferry so this allowed us to get a real flavour of Norwegian coastal activities. Several major stops were over 3 hours and since Norwegian towns are not too large it was possible to see all major points on interest by just wandering around. Thanks to some forethought, maps were provided at major stopping points. Extensive organised trips were available and those who went on them gave glowing reports. No problem with the language as all the crew speak English. This ship carried special crew members called an Expedition Team who lead some of the more adventurous trips. Extremely attractive , very knowledgable, and competent in at least 4 languages between them. Lectures, information films and expedition briefings were held throughout the trip - even the Captain explaining the aids to navigation through the many islands (23,000) along the coast. The dress code is very casual, no dressing up at all although you might change for dinner if you would like. No pressure! No caberet (thank goodness) - bring your cards, play games, read books, or talk with other people on the trip. Ladies or gents - bring your knitting or crochet or contribute to the ship's blanket, by making granny squares. Or just sit and admire the ever changing view. Try this trip if food is your thing as much of it is loaded on board freshly every day and reflects the local cuisine in the main evening meal. Buffet breakfast and lunch cater for a wide range of tastes and as much as you can eat. Every meal has been superb. The service cannot be faulted. Most people go teetotal for the trip as alcohol in Norway costs twice as much as in the UK. Mobile phones work without any extra charge; internet access is available on various reasonably priced packages. We saw the Northern Lights! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
It is not often that you decide to go away with your elderly mother so you need to choose the right method of doing so. A cruise from Southampton is the obvious choice although selecting an itinerary and a cruise line is the challenge. ... Read More
It is not often that you decide to go away with your elderly mother so you need to choose the right method of doing so. A cruise from Southampton is the obvious choice although selecting an itinerary and a cruise line is the challenge. I have cruised in the past with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity, which have always been great. Last year my wife and I went with P&O which we thought was awful. That left me a little nervous of my selection of another English cruise company. Thankfully my fears were not to be compounded. I have never sailed with such fantastic staff before. Every single member of the team was happy, pleased to see you and went out of their way to say hello. The fact that they weren't reliant on gratuities seems to relax them. There is no big push trying to flog cocktails, trips or anything else and this makes for a great atmosphere. The food is not as good as you find on the US ships but is way better than that offered by P&O. Snack Shack is brill for mid afternoon arrivals after a day's touring; the two main restaurants are pretty good - the starters and desserts are better than the main courses; the buffet isn't bad at all (apartb from the soggy sausages at breakfast) and the two pay restaurants look lovely although we didn't go as my Mum didn't fancy. The standard all inclusive package offers almost every drink you could ever want. Bottled beers, as well as draught, is a big surpise. Premium is for those who are, perhaps, more discerning with their wine or for those who think that Lavazza coffee is worth an extra £7 or so per day. I, personally, didn't bother and wouldn't do so. The ship's entertainment crew are second to none. In all reality they are too good to be on a cruise ship. Six magnificent singers, who can all dance too. Add in extra talented dancers and the evening shows shouldn't be missed. The cruise director, however, minces around the ship like an anorexic Freddie Mercury and he can get annoying. Talking of which you must see one of the singers, Seb Mercury, perform his Queen tribute - his Barcelona duet with another of the singers, Freya Hawkins is the best you will ever see on a ship. The comedian, Anthony Scott, was awful and I think they knew it. Can't see him being booked again in a hurry. Because of my Mum's walking difficulties we had an Accessible Cabin. It was an incredible, huge space with a bathroom/wet room as big as some cabins. It was always spotless. Some nicer toiletries wouldn't go amiss. Our European Experience itinerary was good in places and poor in others. It felt slightly experimental on Marella's part and they didn't do well with the tours. Quite a few fellow passengers complained, particularly about Bruges. Talking of which there were no tours to Bruges suitable for wheelchair users whatsoever and that was a real shame as my Mum was really looking forward to going there. We visited Blankenberg, the local town instead, under or own steam, but it wasn't the same. Bremerhaven was surprisingly nice and Amsterdam was fab. Le Havre is about as exciting as a day out in Tilbury. Cherbourg makes up for it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We have done about 10 cruises altogether with Royal Caribbean, P & O and Thomson. This particular one seemed to be interesting, we choose first by Ports of Call then by cruise ship. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We have done about 10 cruises altogether with Royal Caribbean, P & O and Thomson. This particular one seemed to be interesting, we choose first by Ports of Call then by cruise ship. Firstly I should say we were blessed with super weather everywhere except Dublin. The three Tender ports were easily accessed and Prince Charles was in one place and Princess Anne in another! Some thought this a plus, others not! The evening food offering in the main restaurant was we thought the best we have experienced on any cruise. Good choice on each course, served promptly by pleasant staff. The quick meal option was like all the others we've had, bit crowded...(and not a chip in sight) .breakfast in main restaurant was not all that well organised... We found evening shows in the main, wonderful entertainment..Some folk seem to expect "exactly to their taste" every evening....That's never going to happen. The only poor performer was the Tenor...the Magician was brilliant, he is also Entertainment Manager...best we've experienced... In the Atrium 3x nightly were a wonderful musical duo pianist and violinist, their performances were superb. The cabin on Deck 10 was large and kept clean. Bit dated I suppose as was the bathroom. But shower was easy to adjust and large enough. My critical comments relate not to the ship but to the cruiseline. We understood we had booked 1st Sitting. We had this in writing. It transpired that dining room has space for 700+ & CMV had told 850 or so they had 1st Sitting so the poor Restaurant Manager was dealing with VERY irate passengers for at least 2 or 3 nights. It was said no sittings were guaranteed! That is totally unacceptable, some folk were diabetic and needed their food and why should they have to eat upstairs. We accepted it, as the irritation could have spoiled things, and as a result on 2nd sitting shared a table with a delightful Swedish couple with whom we got on the with especially well and plan to keep in touch with. But CMV should definitely address this thorny and totally unnecessary issue. The other matter of contention is the thorny one of gratuities ..there is absolutely no reason on earth why these cannot be incorporated into the cruise fare. To adjust the £7 per person per day you go to Reception once you've received interim account, collect a form, and say what you are happy to pay per day which we did. Folk had come from Russia, Sweden, New Zealand, America, and Croatia that we know about to do this cruise which was an interesting fact too .. Finally then a wonderful holiday friendly people lovely ports and the strange thing is far more folk of our acquaintance have asked about it with interest than they ever have about the ones on 'posher ' ships and more exotic locations.... Ps Some folk can moan about ANYTHING - one lady was outraged that her egg was too soft one morning, and another rather nice couple were "very disappointed " there was no choir on board as there had been on their last ship Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We choose this cruise for the excellent itinerary, quality of Princess food, cabins and amenities. I would rate this cruise excellent in all these categories. The passenger logistics in handling the movement of passengers on or off ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the excellent itinerary, quality of Princess food, cabins and amenities. I would rate this cruise excellent in all these categories. The passenger logistics in handling the movement of passengers on or off the ship and other required on-board activities, such as customs, were so bad that my wife and I will be very hesitant about taking any future Princess Cruise. At Guernsey the line-up for the return tender took over 2.5 hours while the one at South Queensferry was at least 1.5 hours (this probably caused by all shore excursion tour buses arriving at the same time shortly before the advertised time for the last tender). Given that many of the passengers were seniors, Princess should be much more considerate of their difficulties in standing in queues (at times in the sun) for such extended periods. Other than those dealing with passenger logistics, all crew members were extremely helpful and obviously very concerned about passenger satisfaction. It is a pity that all of this was overshadowed by the lack of passenger concern / satisfaction demonstrated by those managing passenger logistics. Maybe this comes with such a large ship - seasoned Princess passengers seemed to know to arrive at the designate meeting area at least 45 minutes ahead of the designated time to presumably be at the head of the queue. On that basis their total wait time may have been 30 minutes shorter than that endured by those that arrived at the designated location only 15 minutes early. The key question for my wife and I is: do the slightly superior cabin, food and ship amenities adequately compensate for the terrible passenger logistics or should we go back to Holland America where we have had excellent cruises with nominally lessor cabins and food. Most likely the itinerary will be the deciding factor. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This was my first Princess cruise, and it will not be my last. I liked the itinerary and decided to branch out and try a new cruise line. Certainly not disappointed.The cruise was fabulous, the staff and crew were great. The food was ... Read More
This was my first Princess cruise, and it will not be my last. I liked the itinerary and decided to branch out and try a new cruise line. Certainly not disappointed.The cruise was fabulous, the staff and crew were great. The food was delicious, better than some other cruise lines. Wheelchair embarkation and disembarkation was well organized and done with ease. The bar to be at is Piazza Bar, deck 5. A fast paced bar, but well run bar. Always friendly and eager to serve. The Dining staff were terrific. My cabin attendant was outstanding. There were many choices of entertainment, all great. The spectacular shows were spectacular. The only downside, the veranda cabin was the smallest I have ever had. But, dealable. I would certainly go on this ship again. The decor and cleanliness of the ship was superior. Loved the ease of traveling from Southampton, used the ship's transfers. They were well organized and on the look out for their clients throughout the airport. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Travelling: Two disabled seniors and their adult daughter; from Montreal, Canada. All experienced cruisers, primarily loyal to the Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Azamara group. Itinerary: Norwegian Cruise Lines' Jade 14 night ... Read More
Travelling: Two disabled seniors and their adult daughter; from Montreal, Canada. All experienced cruisers, primarily loyal to the Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Azamara group. Itinerary: Norwegian Cruise Lines' Jade 14 night Northern Europe. Southampton, U.K. At Sea Bergen, Norway Ålesund, Norway Lerwick, Shetland Islands (Scotland), U.K. At Sea Reykjavik, Iceland Reykjavik, Iceland Akureyri, Iceland At Sea Kirkwall, Orkney Islands (Scotland), U.K. Invergordon, (Scotland), U.K. Edinburgh, (Scotland), U.K. At Sea Southampton, U.K. Embarkation / Disembarkation: City Cruise Terminal, Southampton The greeters were extremely professional, welcoming and helpful. They provided assistance for my disabled mother and assigned us a "special-assistance" minder to guide us through the check-in process. Porters were readily available for our luggage and were really pleasant. I have to say that I was very impressed with the friendliness and enthusiasm of all of the Terminal and NCL staff who provided service. Problems occurring often give the opportunity to demonstrate excellent customer service and three particular issues were evidence of NCL's quality. There was a slight bug with the computer system during check-in, there were profuse apologies and every effort was made to get the problem resolved quickly. Secondly, there was a mechanical issue with my mother's rented mobility scooter during embarkation and we had to transfer her back to her wheelchair. The land-based staff provided assistance to bring the scooter on board for us. Thirdly, one bag had lost its identification tag and was stored in the pursers office. All I had to do was identify it and it was swiftly delivered to our stateroom. Disembarkation was also very smooth and organised with many porters on hand to help. Signage, Daily Activity Guide, PA announcements communication and Muster Drill Navigation on the Jade was extremely easy. The use of the "forward facing" window fish stickers and on the carpet pattern along with the clear diagrams near the stairwells and elevator areas were really genius. The Freestyle Daily newsletter was clear and well-designed. My suggestion about it would be to provide the advertising inserts separately and in only one kit per stateroom. There was a bit too much paper wasted on the coupons and sales materials as these were distributed per person. During the cruise, I found the frequency of announcements to be reasonable and only emergency information was piped directly into the private areas. The volume of announcements to the adjacent stateroom hallways was muted enough to be heard in the cabin but was in no way disruptive. One type of announcement was not made which I think would be an improvement: At some of the ports of call, there was entertainment by locals. If there had been some mention of this to go on deck and see the little kids doing their folk-dancing and sending us off, I wouldn't have missed it! The announcements could also be heard on the "View from the bridge" television channel which was useful for announcements concerning tendering. There was a secondary informative channel with our current navigational position, time of day, current and forecast weather. I have the suggestion to add this time and temperature information in a crawl on the "View from the bridge" channel. In an inside cabin, we use this channel to know how warmly to dress for the conditions outside. Additionally, we can make sure that our watches are correctly set when we wake up in a new time-zone. The muster drill instructions were clear and we observed several crew-drills while we were berthed in port. This made us feel very safe. Accommodation: Accessible Family Inside cabin 10153. This room provided ample storage space for the belongings of three passengers, a collapsible wheelchair and a mobility scooter. The closet was accessible for a person seated in a wheelchair and the rack could move up or down as needed. As the third person in the cabin, I opted not to actually pull out the convertible queen-sized sofa-bed in order to conserve floor-space. I was very comfortable and simply put sheets and a silk sleeping bag on the couch and used the pillows and blankets provided. The room's flat-screen TV was mounted on an adjustable arm so that it could be angled in such a way that the occupants could see it from bed and the person on the couch could see its reflection in the mirror on the wall. Clever design! The bathroom's size was typical for an accessible cabin and had some of the extra features such as an adjustable mirror and safety handles. The zero-entry shower drains did a terrific job keeping the floor dry which was initially a great concern. One additional improvement could be extra hooks for towels and clothing. The room-steward tended to forget that the handles were for the purpose of supporting the weight of a disabled person. We would always find towels hanging on these which made them unstable for my mom to support herself. It was hard to find a place to hang up our used face-cloths and towels for re-use because though there appeared to be many towel racks, these were not good places to put wet towels. My mom commented that the door was not wide enough to easily make the turn into the cabin from the hallway using her scooter and that because there was no automatic door opener, she needed help to get in by herself. Luckily, there was always a friendly room-steward to assist. I found that the lighting in the room was very dim and maybe my mom was particularly demanding but it seemed that every time I got comfortable, she would need me to turn on or turn off a light that she could not control easily from her bed. In an eventual technology upgrade, voice-controlled smart lights or perhaps a hand-held remote with dimmable bulbs would be my suggestion. Dining We were blown away! Your chefs, food selection and service wildly exceeded our expectations and this in the main dining rooms Alizar and Grand Pacific. The hostesses and Maîtres d'hôtel (Especially Maria and Dušan) were very accommodating to my mom's needs as she always preferred a table near the entrance so that she didn't accidentally mow anyone down with her scooter. Dušan had the special talent of maintaining a perfect poker-face while being extremely funny and sarcastic. This really made it fun for me who was sometimes frustrated by my demanding mom. To anyone watching, he appeared perfectly professional but he was quietly acknowledging his awareness that my mom was being unreasonable. I really hope that any management reading this will understand how grateful I was! For myself, I was particularly impressed with the international menu options featuring things that were spicier, more exotic and less well-known to North-American palates. Breakfast options were varied every day and servers were always happy to do their best getting special requests like "bacon extra-crispy" or substitutions right. Server Yuli slipped me some Sambal Olek from her personal stash because the only hot sauce condiment was Tabasco. That was some terrific customer service! The buffet was not my favourite place to dine as I prefer the quiet of restaurant-style meals but when ship was in port or during off-peak hours, I really enjoyed the vegetarian and Asian selections which featured lots of delicious Indian, Chinese and Indonesian offerings. During our cruise we tried Jasmine Chinese restaurant one time. My parents liked it but honestly, the presentation and texture of the food seemed dull to me. The cubed chicken was so uniformly cut up that it looked factory pre-processed and tasted of freezer-burn. Emelinda, our server was excellent as was all of the staff. She even showed us some pictures of her country and how beautiful it was. She was very nice to speak with so overall, I enjoyed the experience at that restaurant. We also went to Cagney's steakhouse for one steak dinner. Yes, the grade of meat used was discernibly superior to that used in the main dining and buffet and the price was a good value for comparable specialty restaurants on other ships but to me, the service and presentation at all the restaurants was so high quality that there was no real difference dining at Cagney's vs. dining in a main dining room. I also thought that the dark lighting and thinly-shear-curtained view of the jogging track was comical. Just put some blackout curtains and spare us the spandex bottoms careening past, please. Full points for the concept of O'Sheehan's Pub! This was the place where I always felt comfortable. Waking up jet-lagged in the middle of the night, I could go there to get a snack. Passing by gorgeous scenery on a cold and windy day, I could take my binoculars to look out the huge windows without mussing my hair or getting a runny nose. Again, the quality of the service and the food choices were excellent. I also liked being able to hear the entertainment in the main atrium without being right in the middle of the crowd. I liked the location on deck 8 being accessible from both the mid-ship and aft elevators. This made it really accessible for my mom too. Getting down to the wheelchair-friendly deck 6 Grand Pacific entrance was always a tiny inconvenience because only one elevator car among 4 stopped at that level. Ports of Call The itinerary was well balanced between at-sea and port days. Having the overnight at Reykjavik really gave excellent opportunity to visit many of the far-flung attractions that Iceland has to offer. It's always difficult to anticipate the requirements of differently-abled travelers especially when dealing with ports of call in countries with varying sensitivity to the needs of those with mobility issues. I think that the "Special Needs at Sea" team still has a way to go with analysing the difficulties that people might have. We received communications that disembarkation assistance would be possible but we had trouble getting assistance, we often had trouble making our way out without using stairs and using the gangways. Taxi stands described as "a short walk away" in Invergordon were too far for my dad to push my mom in a wheelchair. Wouldn't it be possible to have a taxi dispatcher with a walkie-talkie call for a cab to come to the bus-loading area for those in need? This is in no way a critical comment to the way that NCL handled the majority of special needs issues, just an idea. I really feel that the NCL staff were always helpful and sympathetic in this regard and as cruisers with limitations, we should understand that not all ports of call will be easy to access. As a matter of fact, I really would like to commend the "Special Needs at Sea" team for helping us with the scooter problems that were in no way their fault but they stepped up so that my mom could fully enjoy her cruise. Onboard Activities, Services and Entertainment Personally, I rarely attend the organised activities on board. I am usually travelling solo and don't care much for loud music, flashy stage-shows or napkin-folding lessons. However, for completeness in this review, I'll make mention of what I can. Trivia sessions were held daily mornings and afternoons. It was mandatory that I attend as part of the arrangement I made with my parents in exchange for my passage fare! These were fun and I have to say that my mom really connected with Sheree who had only just recently joined the Jade and I would like to make a special mention of "Nacho"'s talent making for a hilarious half-hour every time he hosted. I enjoyed the set-up of the fitness studio but only participated in one class. I probably would have used it more had I been alone. The changing area only had one toilet and one shower which would be enough for the gym users but there was no changing area for the pool which I could not understand at all. On this itinerary, there were precious few folks using the pool so it was never a problem but it definitely have made a difference for my comfort on a Caribbean cruise. The card room and library looked nice but I never used them. I was a little annoyed when people took up space in the buffet playing cards so maybe the card room needs a bit more publicity to make people aware of it. The spa sales people and drink servers were not overly pushy. They would politely ask if I needed something but would not be aggressive after a "no, thank you." I actually enjoyed talking to them when they weren't busy and the exceptional scenery on the voyage often brought them on deck to see exactly what I was looking at so we had lots to talk about. I'm really not much of a drinker and I couldn't justify the expense of the alcohol on board. I might have ordered three drinks and a cup of ginger tea the whole trip and was pretty disappointed with my $13 Irish Coffee which was served in a tiny goblet rather than the tankard I expected. I attended one comedy show in the gorgeous Spinnaker Lounge. It was exactly the sort of cruise ship comedy that one would expect and that's all I need to say about that but everyone else seemed to like it so I'm the odd man out. None of the live music made my ears bleed and I actually enjoyed the piano music that was broadcast between entertainers. It was played at a volume that was never too intrusive. Around the pool, admittedly, the music was too loud at certain times of day and at those times, you would not find me there because of it. Due to my special interests in snorkelling and wildlife observation there were no NCL shore excursions that really fit my profile. I was very kindly helped by the shore excursion team to try to get on a whale-watching tour waiting list but ultimately, could not participate because it was complete. Pre-cruise, I did find that the shore excursions were a little too expensive for me so I didn't pre-book. I was able to find shore excursions directly from the providers in Norway, Scotland and Iceland that suited me and were in my price-range so I took the risk. It would have been interesting to have a naturalist on board to describe a little bit about the geological formations, sea-birds, midnight sun phenomenon or give other talks of a scientific or historic nature. However, that's just me...maybe most people really like bingo more. Places to hide Not many reviews feature this helpful information but for those of us less social cruisers, it's good stuff to know! Outside on Deck 13 starboard side, forward. This was a favourite hidey-hole for observation. There is a wind-screen that cuts off a good deal of wind, a sloping ramp that provides a bit of back support when sitting and slats in the plexiglass for photography or binoculars. There is not too much action here near the door leading to the Spinnaker lounge. The Chapel on the port side uses this space so there is no symmetry. This is the one and only spot of its kind on the Jade! Outside on Deck 14 forward. This area is labelled Quiet Zone which it is not because of the wind and proximity to the ship's horn but at least there weren't a lot of people there. Bridge Viewing are on Deck 11 port side. Wow! What a concept. A place to safely view the goings-on on the bridge and see what's up ahead. I loved this spot to look for whales without the noise and distraction of the Spinnaker Lounge activities. Middle section of O'Sheehan's Pub. The hostess would seat diners on the port and starboard sides at booths and tables. In the center section were cozy chairs and benches and stools overlooking the atrium. This was a nice area that didn't have tons of traffic. Conclusion The highlight of this trip was being treated so well by the experienced and enthusiastic staff and crew-members from embarkation to disembarkation. There were no mentions of cleanliness in my review because everything was so perfect and consistent that I forgot to even say so! As loyal Royal Caribbean-Celebrity-Azamara cruisers we didn't find any major differences and even preferred some of the new discoveries we made on NCL. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Plenty to do on the Black Watch, throughout the day and plenty excursions to enjoy when in port whether you choose to do it yourself or through one of the organised activities. The ship was very clean considering her age and constant ... Read More
Plenty to do on the Black Watch, throughout the day and plenty excursions to enjoy when in port whether you choose to do it yourself or through one of the organised activities. The ship was very clean considering her age and constant maintenance takes place to ensure this. Our cabin 8005 with balcony was adequate for our week's holiday and it was cleaned and maintained daily by our wonderful young lady who looked after us for that week. Dining was excellent, we requested first sitting and had a table for two, although we were in close proximity of 4 other people whom we struck up good conversation with. The waiters could not do enough to please you, along with bar staff in all the bars. Evening show was well presented and varied with some talented artists. Although there were a high percentage of elderly people on board that did not make the experience less enjoyable, in fact it was nice to see older people enjoying themselves. Trip was so good, we booked for another one next year to the fjords and the port being 5 minutes from our door. Couldn't ask for more. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Late booking secured excellent deal with adjacent balcony cabins and inclusive drinks package for 4 adults. A beautiful Ship in excellent condition. The most visible and charismatic Captain we have ever had on 10 cruises - his ... Read More
Late booking secured excellent deal with adjacent balcony cabins and inclusive drinks package for 4 adults. A beautiful Ship in excellent condition. The most visible and charismatic Captain we have ever had on 10 cruises - his charm and hospitality permeated through all the officers and the entire crew. The fastest embarkation and disembarkation we have ever experienced - superbly organised. Excellent wheel-chair assistance from car to lounge on ship on departure and the reverse on arrival. Excellent clean cabin with attentive room steward and cleaner, Plenty of quiet space around the ship and excellent on-board facilities. Great entertainment and shows. Singers, Dancers, Juggler, Comedian, and other shows - plenty of space in theatre with no queues, Wonderful food well served, huge choice, lovely main dining room. Despite 2800 passengers - it never felt crowded. One small niggle was the Lisbon City Tour by coach organised through Celebrity - a very poor guide, the route was not clearly described and the coach did not stop at the main sights in Lisbon. We should have arranged our own tour by taxi. The city looked wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We felt we needed a quick cruise so we selected Oriana's 7 night trip round Ireland on which some friends were booked. We got a good cabin at a good price with a very generous on board spend allowance. Packing was a problem as Ireland ... Read More
We felt we needed a quick cruise so we selected Oriana's 7 night trip round Ireland on which some friends were booked. We got a good cabin at a good price with a very generous on board spend allowance. Packing was a problem as Ireland is not known for the driest weather but we only experienced a few drops during the entire week. The ports -1 Cobh. Known for being a major emigrant port, the last call of the Titanic and the sinking of Lusitania in 1915 was a delightful little town with good rail links to Cork from right alongside the ship. The museum 'The Queenstown Story' is right in the old station and is really worth a visit for only a few Euro. As it was Sunday when we called, the whole town turned out to see us and it was a really festive call. 2 Dublin. Easy shuttle into the city where we caught a Hop On Hop Off bus ('DoDublin'). The driver/guide was so funny we kept the video running just to record his fabulous humour - informative too! 3 Killibegs (port for Donegal). Quite small but the biggest fishing port in Ireland where we visited a craft exhibition laid on especially for the ship, talked to the local fishermen and tug crews. So friendly and good WiFi and food. 4 Galway. A long tender into port but the town laid on a big trip boat which eased the tender delays. Again, full of live entertainment and very pretty. The captain and crew (and fellow passengers) were all on top form and good sea days at both the beginning and end of the cruise meant that it was well balanced and seemed a lot longer. Thoroughly recommended. Oriana had a refit at the end of last year (2016) which we think had been very well done. All the cabin upholstery had been renewed (although cushions on the bigger cabin settees had not been replaced sadly) and all the seating and decor in all the bars and restaurants looked very well updated. The new carpets caused a few respiratory issues on the Amazon cruise we did in January but they had settled down by the time of this cruise. We felt that P&O had done a focussed refit on the passenger areas and Oriana looked all set for a few more years service. Our Deluxe outside cabin was so similar to our Deluxe balcony cabin from January a deck above that we found ourselves bumping into the window in the morning expecting to find a balcony door behind the curtains! There seemed to be fewer items in the cabin tea tray but our Steward Elton (great guy) was always refreshing it as well as supplying glasses, lemons and ice when we wanted it without any fuss. He was also very happy to empty the fridge on our arrival and to stow its contents under the bed so that we had the fridge available for entertaining.We noted that nearly all room service items (except breakfast) are now chargeable. Didn't worry us but upset some people. We had booked Freedom dining (which we were told was going to be the only form of regular dining on the new ship) and, as we dined with our same friends every night, we were able to arrange the same table at approximately the same time so as to enjoy our rapport with the same waiting team. As usual , it was almost exactly like Club dining but with the flexibility of Freedom dining with the added bonus of getting seated half an hour before the late sitting time in Club that we often opt for. Sadly lobster never made an appearance on either formal night. The quizzes we popular and well managed and the one guest speaker, Carole Phillips talking about her service in the Police was very entertaining and engaging. Headliners were particularly good on this cruise and had the sense to perform their Destination Dance show early on with its spectacular Riverdance final - very apt for Ireland. The classical pianist was very good but was AWOL for his last appearance sadly. We didn't go on any excursions as we were a foursome and could arrange our own schedule at reasonable cost - and there was no shortage of friendly locals to make sense of everywhere we went and to make excellent recommendations. It was almost in our native language! There were 300+ first time cruisers aboard and all the ones we met seemed to be enjoying themselves although the hardening of tender boarding restrictions, while sensible in our opinion, disappointed some of the more physically challenged guests. The only odd issue that we had not come across before was the charging of tax on all shipboard items in the shops. Apparently this is because the cruise was wholly within the EU and therefore everything had to be tax paid. This explains the popularity of ports such as St Peter Port, Guernsey, and Gibraltar whose tax-free status means that a visit there on any cruise apparently allows the cruise to 'leave' the EU for tax purposes. Check it out in the P&O online Advice Centre. Unfortunately Irish prices are rather higher than in the UK - but at least you get extra Club points in Tesco's! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Love this ship, itinerary took us to a couple of new places. The ship was full but never felt crowded. Food was lovely... I put on 4lbs. I had to make a choice every night...and the strawberry sundae was delicious! We had the best cabin ... Read More
Love this ship, itinerary took us to a couple of new places. The ship was full but never felt crowded. Food was lovely... I put on 4lbs. I had to make a choice every night...and the strawberry sundae was delicious! We had the best cabin steward ever, Shiva, he was so efficient and helpful. Mum uses a wheelchair and all the staff went out of their way to help her. The doors to the Prom deck were not electric so quite a challenge to get her out there, although there always seemed to be a helpful person to hold doors open. Leaving the Belvedere and going out onto deck 9 by the Aquarius pool there were 2 sets of doors to go through, one set automatic and the other not... I came home with a few bruises as I struggled to hold a door open and push mum through at the same time. Mum has a food allergy and was given the next days menu each evening. She could choose anything and they would make it specially for her. The new menus had lots of choices, I struggled every night to decide what to eat. The daily roast and grill really suited mum, I feel she ate the best on this cruise than any other. Assisted embarkation and disembarkation worked really well, luggage was outside our cabin when we got to it. We had a lovely cruise and we are looking forward to our next one, back on Arcadia next year. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
This was Our first Cruise, it was everything we were told it was going to be ,excellent,from start to finish, apart from the weather, (and i cant hold P&O responsible for that,) the staff on board were absolutely fantastic both on a ... Read More
This was Our first Cruise, it was everything we were told it was going to be ,excellent,from start to finish, apart from the weather, (and i cant hold P&O responsible for that,) the staff on board were absolutely fantastic both on a personal level,and professional level , the ship herself was neat and clean as was the cabin, the house keeping was outstanding, and all aboard went out of their way to help(my wife is disabled) if i could give a 11/10 i would ,from the captain down to the bottle washer ,everyone went out of their way to help, the food was great and plenty of it (i put on half a stone in a week), ease of access to all decks (using the lifts ) was easy We Highly recommend P&O Cruises, and will definitely travel with them again, With Grateful thanks to all aboard the Magnificent ORIANA, Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
I chose this cruise because of the 3 days in France, I could hire a car and drive up to Dieppe from Le Havre. The coastal road drive was lovely and we had beautiful sunny weather and finished the day with a drive over the bridge to ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the 3 days in France, I could hire a car and drive up to Dieppe from Le Havre. The coastal road drive was lovely and we had beautiful sunny weather and finished the day with a drive over the bridge to Honfleur. Alas our day in Cherbourg wasn't as kind weatherwise and Celebrity took the decision to miss out St Peter Port because of rough seas and poor forecast. So we arrived in Cherbourg a day early and as this Monday was a Holiday day - mostly the shops etc were closed. Some folk returned to the ship complaining about this but it didn't bother us as I knew we would at least find a cafe. We did however lose out private tour to Mont St Michel. We did miss the museum though right by the dock which friend on the ship told us was marvellous; a must for next time. I got ahead of myself so should start at ...... embarkation went as smoothly as usual. The care taken of disabled people at Southampton port cannot be faulted and all credit and grateful thanks to the small army of men who collect you in a chair and whisk you though security (very thorough - thankfully) then through registration etc and then onto the ship where after receiving the flute of sparkly stuff it was off to Cafe al Bacio. After a delicious alcoholic coffee (I had a few of those as I had upgraded to the premium package) we got to our room just after 1pm. It was 2 doors away from last year's room so I knew it suited us well. Room 8191, balcony room with bed by the window. I think our cases were there in the fastest time ever and we had the room organised and clothes unpacked well before Muster drill. Muster drill wasn't quite as smooth as usual - we watched a video which was ok though I didn't see the need for screen after screen in other languages - it could all have been printed on one screen and then some time was spent whilst the staff located a lifejacket to give a physical demo. Anyway it was eventually over and we made our way to the Sunset Bar for the sail away from Southampton. Alas it was a touch cool and windy and quite a few people missed it. I was disappointed to miss a few of the folk who had been posting on the roll call, some had been on other cruises with me and I never managed to see them. I even wonder if "KevininYork" even exists! We had Select dining and it ran extremely smoothly. We never had to wait, due mainly I feel to the kindness of the young lady on the wait desk who knowing I have such mobility issues saw us seated extremely promptly. The waiting staff in the restaurant are really professional whilst being friendly and helpful. All are extremely good at their jobs and make the dining experience just great. We usually had a table for two but when we wished to dine with friends that was quickly organised too. We had some extremely good meals too starting that first evening with prime rib - just delicious. Alas I only managed the creme brulée once during this cruise - I couldn't keep up with the food! If I had breakfast I found we could bypass lunch and if I ate light breakfast then lunch I could not do dinner justice. There were folk who would add a salad course to the evening dinner and that was fine plus adding little extras to the dessert course and the staff would cheerfully supply it, The Sommeliers kept the wine coming replenishing glasses even before necessary! The Oceanview had the usual plenty of choice. Most days I had a delicious mushroom omelette with some French baguette. I also ate breakfast in the Aqua Spa cafe which is an underused and overlooked, very nice venue. The staff keep the Oceanview clear of used dishes very efficiently and on many occasions the staff helped me with my choices to my table. It is lovely to see that the Celebrity staff maintain their excellent record of customer service and friendliness. So full marks to Celebrity on the catering front. The bars..... well I remember the Martini bar being a little more lively on previous cruises but the service was good and drinks...delicious. With only 2 sea days on this cruise we didn't get to engage too much with onboard activities. Our room was great - we never heard any kind of noise and were right by the elevators. Our room steward was lovely, Bagus, and he kept the room well for us and was unobtrusive. He was also very understanding when after I had managed to spill nearly an entire cup of coffee all over the bed, he had to change the whole bedding ! I felt really guilty about that. I love the Celebrity cabins with the lovely large beds and great shower cubicles and bathrooms. We only went to a couple of shows. We watched Mike Doyle and Steve Womack, both very good at what they do. The vast majority of the audiences enjoyed their acts. The shows were of course introduced by the excellent CD Sue Denning. Her energy rate shows no sign of flagging and again she is a huge influence and personna around the ship. Quite how she remembers previous cruise members I do not know but all credit to her professionalism. I chose this cruise because of the ports. I wish Celebrity did more French ports. We did a lovely cruise a few years ago on the Constellation which had an overnight stop in Le Havre and one in Soulac sur Mer, port for Bordeaux. I would love to see these ports amalgamated into a Southern Spain and France cruise as I am running out of itineraries from S'hamton with Celebrity. We did a ship's excursion to Ghent which was very well run and interesting. The canal boat tour in Ghent was lovely. The other excursion we did was in Cork. I do have to say the information wasn't too accurate for this as it was described as "mild" but in reality the guide announced there was to be a 45 minute walk when we stopped by the University. This was news to many on the coach and we decided it wasn't practicable for me. Another guest returned to the coach after they left so not for him either. I should probably have gone to the desk to have a word with them as it isn't very fair not to let Celebrity answer the criticism. I also felt that particular excursion would have been better visiting an Irish pub for an Irish coffee and not the rather soulless hotel we called at. In Greenock a friend of mine came to collect us. I had enquired could we maybe see to getting her a guest pass as I would have loved to show her the ship but apparently that wasn't possible. However when we did meet her on dockside she told us that people had been getting passes and had been going onboard. I feel Celebrity lost an opportunity there as my friend would definitely be a suite guest were she to chose to travel on a cruise with her partner. She took us to the seaside resort of Larghs and the world famous ice cream parlour Nardini's ....even though so well fed on the Eclipse we couldn't resist treats there. In Liverpool my daughter brought my car and I had arranged to take a couple I had met up with on the roll call on a tour of the city. I have done this before for friends and family and have got the itinerary down to a fine art. We managed to get to every site either before or after other tours so I was quite pleased at that as my Floridian friend got a clear view and time to take her photos. We did a full day of leisurely sightseeing. What was so wonderful about this day was the welcome the port of Liverpool gave the ship!!! We were greeted with a Sergeant Pepper's band whose playing and singing would put many a show to shame - they were brilliant! The Mayor of Liverpool was there ....and apparently came on board as one of the Guest Relations staff told us she had had her picture taken with him! This gave the many Americans on board a tremendous impression of Liverpool! I loved the sail into the city as it gives a different perspective and when it came to the sail away the port even outdid its welcome! The band played.... the dock busied up with spectators to watch the ship leave...... waving and cheering and then..... they had 3 cannons which exploded with blue and white "ticker tape" sending it high into the sky. The dock side staff all had large foam "hands " to use for waving and a fire fighter's tug chugged in and the crew lined the dockside to wave us off and did a can can ! Our captain responded with a series of blasts of the Eclipse's horn and I have to be honest I got quite choked up! The reaction of the ships' passengers was one of sheer delight in the experience and people were talking about it for days. I feel Liverpool had to be a highlight for many people on that cruise! I wish Celebrity had made Liverpool its future home rather than Dublin.... I feel they have lost a march there ! We had lovely greetings and help from the ladies at St Peter Port,Guernsey, all of whom seemed very proud of their island and were keen to promote it. We enjoyed Amsterdam, having been there many times we knew where we wished to wander and it is nice to sail to walking distance of a great city. It was a shame it was a drizzly start to the second day. So a good itinerary but I am now struggling to decide where to go in future if choosing Celebrity. I don't feel like travelling to Dublin to take the ship as S'hampton is easier. It is going to be a problem for me. Leaving the ship on the last day well Celebrity has this down to a fine art. We were helped off the ship and collecting luggage and a taxi to the station was a breeze. Read Less
Sail Date June 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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

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