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9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Be careful when going into ports with Royal Caribbean they try and charge you for shuttle service. Ours was $9 per person to go to the edge of city centre. When we got off the ship, the local taxis charge 2.50 euros. The bar prices are ... Read More
Be careful when going into ports with Royal Caribbean they try and charge you for shuttle service. Ours was $9 per person to go to the edge of city centre. When we got off the ship, the local taxis charge 2.50 euros. The bar prices are also so high and sometimes the packages are not worth it. Also Do you research on the ports before you go. 3 of our ports were rubbish, nothing to do and just a normal town, might as well of stopped at home. Also one of the days the entire island was closed. Nothing was open. Yet they still try and push for an excursion to visit the old town where the main shopping centre is open, but the shops inside it weren’t. The entertainment team singers. (Chris & Vanessa) were superb, the best I’ve ever heard on any stage. WOW. The dancers were a little messy, but redeemed by the ballroom couple. The headliner guest acts were awful. The Frankie valli tribute sounded like Orville the Duck. He was also very weak and on occasion out of tune. The take that tribute were not bad. But let down badley by the guy playing Gary Barlow. He was not good. Cringe worthy. The food in the windjammer was excellent. The cabin steward was also excellent. The cruise director (Graeme) was so funny, made the cruise. Just wished he would walk around the ship more. The TV and stations needs looking at. Need to offer more choice. Also some areas around the ship are very cold. I would suggest for everyone to take a cardigan or ask the ship to make it less cold. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise after a good cruise on the old Thompson Spirit. We have cruised a few times with many cruise lines and saw this trip in a local agent .not a cheapo late deal so planed out 9 months in advance. My wife was real looking ... Read More
We chose this cruise after a good cruise on the old Thompson Spirit. We have cruised a few times with many cruise lines and saw this trip in a local agent .not a cheapo late deal so planed out 9 months in advance. My wife was real looking forward to trip. Perfect start great to leave luggage at Gatwick and see it next in our cabin. I do have limited mobility so arranged an adapted cabin which turned out good ; Sorry down hill from here on THIS ship and MOST of staff are not aware or interested in the disable / less mobile customer. The ship has NO disable seating in restaurants or bars and you are on your own with getting help from staff to get seated . the stock reply seems " we are busy ", " try another restaurant " ; Try another time. The theater is not a lot better . Yes there are a few disable seats but so poorly signed again it is free for all, so do not expect to get one unless you get to show about 45 minuets early. We did eventual get the welfare dept to put out some signs in the Cafeteria just 8 seats which considering the amount of wheel chairs/ scooters ect on board was no where enough . To cap it all I was told by a manager in the Theater he could not ask people to move from disable seats and I should walk down the stairs to front . The shows in all are ok not up to a professional standard more a good local theater group. The excursion ok but again not good for less mobile , we invested in a special light weight wheelchair so I could enjoy the trips but nearly all the trips state on the day that no wheel chairs or buggy's can be accommodated so yes got on the trips but did not see much of the sights except from the transport windows . Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Read so many negative comments about the boat. Don't believe everything you read. Crew and staff 10/10 could not fault anyone Food 10/10 there was always something you could choose from. There was plenty of other ... Read More
Read so many negative comments about the boat. Don't believe everything you read. Crew and staff 10/10 could not fault anyone Food 10/10 there was always something you could choose from. There was plenty of other restaurants you could easily have eaten in but we chose to eat in the minstrel restaurant or the lido buffet. Ship and decor 9)10 Yes it's old but such a lovely boat kept spotless clean and in good order. Entertainment . Broadway Theatre So professionally put together.The shows easily compared to any London stage show. Transfer excellent with no problems. Always giving excellent advise prior to landing. My one and only quibble would be. There's no espresso coffee available unless you wanted to pay a small charge. Which was still cheaper than Costa. Overall my wife and myself really enjoyed the cruise. In no way were we disappointed with anything. I can only reiterate. Don't believe anything negative until you have cruised on the Marella Dream Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Pick up from airport was hassle free, once we put our luggage on the bus we did not touch them again as they were delivered to our cabin. Our cabin number 1020 was fab lovely big cabin and lovely and clean. Our cabin steward Bagus was ... Read More
Pick up from airport was hassle free, once we put our luggage on the bus we did not touch them again as they were delivered to our cabin. Our cabin number 1020 was fab lovely big cabin and lovely and clean. Our cabin steward Bagus was amazing he kept the place spotless. There a numerous bars on board all with very good entertainment the cruise director Taylor and his team did a fabulous job in ensuring that everyone has a good time. If I had to pick something it would be that the Broadway shows could be better. Bars staff are amazing and work extremely hard, staff that should out forme were Jodie and Roland in the Wave bar. Food was ok the sirens was by far the best place to eat, the worst was the Orion I expected better for a waiter served restaurant. We had steak one day and I asked for it medium rare only to be told it comes one way, having heard my parents rave about to food in this restaurant I was expecting better. The chocolate extravaganza was not like it used to be in fact it was very poor. If I had to make a recommendation it would be to open the Sirens in the evening and allow guest to access one of the 3 Alcarte restaurants free of charge during their stay. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
For context, we are Princess people and have also cruised with P and O and NCL. Chose this cruise due to itinerary, date and regional flight. Knew it would not be as special as Princess and so it turned out but was very enjoyable and ... Read More
For context, we are Princess people and have also cruised with P and O and NCL. Chose this cruise due to itinerary, date and regional flight. Knew it would not be as special as Princess and so it turned out but was very enjoyable and decent value for money. The flights, transfers and embarkation/disembarkation arrangements were excellent. Things that were better: size of cabin and bathroom, drinks prices, included tips. Things that were worse: bar service was a bit offhand, slow and they did not know how to serve certain drinks; food in the main restaurant was nothing special (we did try Kora La, the Asian restaurant which was very good); felt crowded on the day at sea. The worst comparison however was the "entertainment" - the theatre shows had excellent dancing but terrible singing and the two bands playing in the lounges were just dire and far far too loud. A grand piano sat untouched in Tides while the pianist was stuck in a closed room and the "party band" could be heard above him! The quizzes were badly presented and indeed all the entertainment staff seemed too young and far from interested. Two really bad things that I will be taking up with the company - I have never been as ripped off as paying £15 for the use of the safe and far more importantly the safety briefing commenced 2 minutes after we boarded while people were still finding their cabins and no effort was made to ensure everyone attended; worth mentioning that the medical questonnaires were dumped in a heap on a table and not counted or presumably checked. We also greatly missed the central atrium as there was literally nowhere quiet to chat in the evenings. In summary, a decent week away but not one I would consider suitable for any kind of "big trip"/special occasion. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
We have been on 20+ cruises with the TUI group but not on this ship. We used the Thomson shop to book as my husband needed a welfare taxi (this is free and very helpful of TUI). The shop staff know ... Read More
We have been on 20+ cruises with the TUI group but not on this ship. We used the Thomson shop to book as my husband needed a welfare taxi (this is free and very helpful of TUI). The shop staff know our needs and they spent hours on the phone trying to book us a cabin with shower but NO bath. Seems their call centre is in South Africa and staff were unhelpful and rude. Eventually managed (we thought to book one). £45 to secure. Flight was good, taxi waiting and check in went smoothly but gangway really steep. We cannot fault the crew who had to carry my husband up and down but this put us off disembarking in most ports. As usual all staff were lovely and our thanks go Lara from reception who managed to change our cabin on the third day, Amy, bar manager who reserved us VIP seats in the Broadway lounge. Also Clemente who assisted and brought us drinks and Leroy Brown who seemed to sort us in which ever restaurant we ate in. It was a hassle going around the ship. Lifts were small and we sometimes waited 20 mins for a wheelchair space and door ramps were too steep for little me. But lovely fellow guests often helped. Especial thanks to Janet and John for their kindness and friendship. Food was mostly good although there seem to have been some cut backs, Drinks were excellent with named brands. Even though we had to down grade our cabin both were comfortable and we slept well, We enjoyed the show team and the comedian. Best we have seen. I had a "Botox" hair conditioner and wash and blow dry that was expertly done for £42. We only got off in Medeira and took a taxi to the main street, We had a drink in a bar and I left my husband there while I shopped. We also got off in Lanzarote and went along the prom,. Excursions were out because my husband cannot get on a coach. Officers were friendly on this ship and often around as was the Captain. Disembarkation was fine but after boarding in Tenerife we were told the windscreen was cracked and plane grounded. Taken to a lovely hotel but problems getting back to airport and grounded, then diverted so we ended up in Liverpool. Nightmare journey back on an old bus. We eventually rebelled and left at Manchester airport hotel. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Before you go thinking we have just returned from the best Cruise Ship in the World, think again. Those of us who leave reviews have either had a bad experience or had a great time and in reading this remember that out of a thousand ... Read More
Before you go thinking we have just returned from the best Cruise Ship in the World, think again. Those of us who leave reviews have either had a bad experience or had a great time and in reading this remember that out of a thousand plus passengers per week only a handful of reviews are ever left. This assumes that most had a satisfactory holiday. My wife and I are in our sixties and fit and healthy; this is either are fourth or fifth cruise with Thompsons/TUI not quite sure. We have travelled with Royal Caribbean, MSC, NCL and Saga over recent years. Some passengers, rather unfairly, likened The Marella Dream to a ‘Ferry’. At fifty five thousand tonnes it is a lot smaller than its modern counterparts but it was built as a cruise ship and remains a cruise ship so any comparison hold no water. When comparing cruises an impartial observer may well find that TUI will be lacking in many areas. The ships across the range are leased/bought from Companies who have off-loaded old stock in favour of newer bigger ships and can be perceived as ‘outdated’ compared with modern facilities – but do not let that influence you. For us TUI has something money cannot buy, an ambience and friendliness and a quality of service that are quintessentially English and this is why it appeals to us so much and why you should take reviews (perhaps including this one) with a degree of skepticism. The ship was built in 1985/1986 and although it has gone through a number of refurbs it’s thirty plus years does show. That said our inside cabin was more than adequate, very clean, plenty of wardrobe space, and on deck six was very quiet. We understand the toilet vacuum system has caused problems but we did not experience this and the shower was always hot so no issues for us. We did not go on any of the excursions, but they were reasonably priced compared with our previous experiences with other cruise lines. No problems with the food always hot and caters for the English palate which we like. Dined in the main restaurant most nights great service and good food. We opted for the all-inclusive package, which we felt was value for money. TUI always put a lot of work into their entertainment programme and this was reflected in the presentation of the shows although some of the vocals was not that strong. We have grandchildren and although we have taken them on the TUI Discovery a couple of years ago most of the fleet are not in our view appropriate for children, there is not enough for them to do, this is also true of very young children where the cabins are simply not adequate enough to look after their needs properly. This ship is for geared more towards couples/singles. We have also noticed that many complaints relate to the inadequate facilities for those with mobility issues. Whilst clearly there are disabled facilities, this ship was built over thirty years ago when the needs of the disabled would not have been a priority and whilst TUI appear to do their best, to change steel girders and half inch plate steel is not an option so if you are needing disabled facilities think whether this ship is right for you. Joining the ship was fine. Our return flight was late afternoon and we were pleasantly surprised to find that we were timed to leave the ship early afternoon and our ship card remained fully active. This contrasts with our experience with other cruise lines, who want you off the ship regardless of when your plane leaves and we have experienced waits of several hours at the airport as a result. There were a few minor issues for us. A charge for use of a safe is out dated and there was sometimes long waits for waiters when ordering drinks and we hope that with the general move by cruise lines into ‘all inclusive’, that waiter service is not drastically cut or removed as we found in our experience on the Norwegian Epic last year where getting a drink became a scrum at the bar due to a significant reduction in waiting staff. We also found it rather strange that there was a charge for coffee in the Coffee Lounge when a ten second walk to the bar allowed you to get exactly the same for no payment. In conclusion if you are looking for a reasonably priced cruise, where there is always someone to chat with, good food which does not cater for every nationality in the world, reasonably priced drinks, friendly staff, good entertainment and an essentially English atmosphere then you will enjoy the experience. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We had been on this ship 2 or maybe 3 yrs ago and we were really looking forward to this trip as we had such a good cruise last time. Unfortunately we were soon to notice the change on the second day. We went to the Lido for a buffet ... Read More
We had been on this ship 2 or maybe 3 yrs ago and we were really looking forward to this trip as we had such a good cruise last time. Unfortunately we were soon to notice the change on the second day. We went to the Lido for a buffet breakfast and as I have had this situation once before on another ship we were made to be served by glove wearing staff and had to try to make them give us what we wanted. I did not get across what I needed and we were not allowed to point so I had to report to Leroy Brown about the service on more than one occasion during the week. Later that day I had a bad feeling of nausea and in after a couple of hrs I was vomiting. As we had to report any sickness my husband called to let reception know. A pleasant man names Dragon came to our cabin with an injection for the sickness and 2 Imodium pills but I had not got the runs so I did not take them. He then told us that we would have to be quarantined for 24 hrs. Room service sent our food. My husband was okay as he could eat as he wanted but I had to have quarantine food which consisted of poached chicken and veg. If I am never to speak again it had to be seen to believe. It looked liked rubber and the water poured out when squeezed it was UNEDIBLE as was all the rest of my food.We were let out at 3pm on the third day.We had a lovely meal at the Mistral restaurant which we paid for. My husband had a few tummy rumbles but managed to keep smiling. We ad a bit more bother with the service in the Lido so we stuck with the Orion, whose food was to say the most. We had to put up with all of this on top of having no luggage for all but 9 hrs of our holiday. That was not as far as I know not anything that Thomson did wrong but as it is ongoing it would be unfair to go into that. All I will say that I will never go on another Marella cruise unless they can guarantee a bug free holiday. Just as an ending clip all the hot tubs Sauna and other pools were covered and out of action it was a complete disgrace the ship should have been closed for business. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
If you are in wheelchair DO NOT book a cruise on this ship! When we booked direct with Thomson we were told that there were no wheelchair cabins left but that the Deluxe Outside cabins had plenty of room for a wheelchair so we made our ... Read More
If you are in wheelchair DO NOT book a cruise on this ship! When we booked direct with Thomson we were told that there were no wheelchair cabins left but that the Deluxe Outside cabins had plenty of room for a wheelchair so we made our booking in one of these cabins. They arranged wheelchair assist through the airports and taxi with wheelchair ramp to the port. When we had completed all the paperwork we made our way to the gangway to find that there was no ramp onto the ship and that the only access was up a steep flight of steps which my wife had great difficulties climbing - it then took 4 crew members to 'man-handle' her electric wheelchair on board. We made our way to our cabin 9013 to find that the cabin door was too narrow to get the wheelchair through ! We immediately went to reception where we were told that all the cabin doors were the same width apart from the 4 disabled cabins which were all full! An interesting point was that we only saw another 2 wheelchairs throughout the cruise so 2 of the disabled cabins must have been occupied by non-wheelchair users!! Because of the gangplank being steps rather than a ramp we only managed to get off the ship once in Funchal which was because they used the local port's facilities which was a ramp. Disembarcation from the ship was agin via the steps and again the crew had to 'man-handle' the wheelchair off the ship. We had discussions with another wheelchair passanger who was paralyzed from the waist down and she had had to be physically lifted on and off the ship whilst sat in her chair! Furthermore at the one port where she had been 'lifted off', the shuttle transport was a conventional coach with no wheelchair access so they had to use a taxi. The only good points of the cruise were the very helpful staff and the entertainment team who were very good. The food was good but it was odd that if you wanted a steak it was only available with a £ 9.95 supplement. Also having upgraded to the premium drinks package there were only a choice of 2 rose wines - to get a bottle of Mateus Rose was at an additional cost of £15 Overall the ship felt very old and tired! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We were looking for a cruise around X'mas time and the New Year, so the cmv Magellan to Madeira Cape Verdes Canary Iles seemed OK. We embarked in Amsterdam and soon found out that the average age of the passengers was about 80.Lots ... Read More
We were looking for a cruise around X'mas time and the New Year, so the cmv Magellan to Madeira Cape Verdes Canary Iles seemed OK. We embarked in Amsterdam and soon found out that the average age of the passengers was about 80.Lots of wheel chairs, electric scoot mobiles with beep sound signals etc. The cabin was OK and the steward was exellent. Only the airco smell in the cabin was like a smokers room that lasted for 22 days. The ship is old and very unstable it rolls fiercely in waves of only 3- 4 m. Lots of old passengers fell of stairs and in cabins. The hospital and the Servian female doctor was very busy with all the coughing guests. The pneumonia germs were spread throughout the ship by the apparently not well filtered or sanitary cleaned airco air. Twice a rescue helicopter had to collect sick passengers. The kitchen chef was Indian as well as most of the cooks. The soup was every day the same only a different name and colour. At breakfast the bacon was dried out because it was baked in the middle of the night. The entertainment girls and boys came from the former East block . The quality was below the standard one would like to experience on a X'mas cruise. The excursions were acceptable except for the waiting time for diasbled passengers that were coming while they could hardly walk up a stair. The final bill showed a creditcard charge of GBP 141 for payment of an amount of GBP 1690 , a small charge for paying by credit card we would accept but this is robbery. In short we do not recommend this ship or cruise line.Our experience with the HAL is much better. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
In the past we have had 12 previous cruise experiences and the 3 with Thomsons before this cruise. And it was 10 years since our last cruise. .Change of Literary was a Disappointment and the reason being the re-branding of the ship from ... Read More
In the past we have had 12 previous cruise experiences and the 3 with Thomsons before this cruise. And it was 10 years since our last cruise. .Change of Literary was a Disappointment and the reason being the re-branding of the ship from Tui to Merella was not in my option a valid reason to change our destinations. Just a warning after contacting TUI before the cruise they informed us that a cruise company can change the itinerary for any reason they wish, not just safety reasons. They did compensate all passages £40 to their on board credit. We on the 6th deck on a balcony suite, happy with the refurbish. Communal areas very well presented Food very good at all locations Staff very helpful Negatives The sunbed situation is a disaster, there are plenty of sunbeds but no were to place them. There is sadly a growing reputation by the British cruisers for sun bed and chair saving. After getting back on board after the days at port we were met by a covering of blue towels on empty beds and chairs. There was a 45 minute towel removal policy but its not enforced. I AM ALLRIGHT JACK CULTURE Get it sorted Merella- Would I go with Merella again-no But we really enjoyed the cruise and fall more positives than negatives Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
On an average we have been going on two cruises with Thompson, but this was the first and last time on Majesty. 'Welfare cabin' so called was very small with nowhere to store wheelchair or cases. In the wet room the tiles ... Read More
On an average we have been going on two cruises with Thompson, but this was the first and last time on Majesty. 'Welfare cabin' so called was very small with nowhere to store wheelchair or cases. In the wet room the tiles badly needed replacing, the shower head was no bigger than a rose on garden watering can,absolutely nowhere to put toiletries, and a plug that did not fit plug hole. Buffet restaurant walkways unsuitable for wheelchair and no designated disabled tables thus it was difficult to find a place for our meal. Theatre had two designated places but partially blocked view due to large pillars This ship let down the name of Thompson There were a number of disabled toilets around the ship which again were very tired. The man on duty at the reception desk was rude and unhelpful.certainly not an asset In my view this ship decidedly DISABLED UNFRIENDLY Read Less
Sail Date: October 2016
We were a little apprehensive as this was our first cruise and because my dad is paraplegic we were unsure how we would manage. From parking the car to getting on board was easier than an airport and the inside of the ship from our ... Read More
We were a little apprehensive as this was our first cruise and because my dad is paraplegic we were unsure how we would manage. From parking the car to getting on board was easier than an airport and the inside of the ship from our cabin to all communal areas were lovely and spotless clean. We were really looked after by our stateroom attendants Ayi and in accessible room nothing going was too much for Jack. We loved romeo & Juliet restaurant as Maria, Misael and Juan Carlos treated us with such kindness always smiling great service and even found time to talk to us when they were busy they really made our 1st cruise so special We present paid our drinks package and found it easy to get served at most bars and enjoyed the waiter service in the theatre. Our favourite act on stage was Gareth Oliver(not being biased cause he's a Yorkshire man at all) Both ice skating shows were brilliant too. Would we all go again? Without hesitation The ship all the staff........ WOW Read Less
Sail Date: October 2016
We have sailed many times with celebrity and this was the 6th cruise on eclipse. The disappointment was that the Bistro on 5 has been replaced with Sushi on 5 This is a limited taste restaurant and was empty most days . Also the very ... Read More
We have sailed many times with celebrity and this was the 6th cruise on eclipse. The disappointment was that the Bistro on 5 has been replaced with Sushi on 5 This is a limited taste restaurant and was empty most days . Also the very generous celebrity have given away so many drink packages that include speciality teas and coffees, that the Re was no chance of getting a seat in cafe baccio. This cruise there were small notices asking for people to drink up and go and not play cards in Baccio. Never needed that before. I would rather that the coffees were paid for and they still gave the brunch, petite fours and the old 4 courses at dinner. I was wondering if they were trying to attract business from the likes of P and O as so many people we spoke to had cop,e to try it out. Then they complained that it t was not as good as P & O expensive wines and no union jacks. Come in celebrity you are a higher level than that , either pout up the price or stop the give always. The food was as usual fantastic, most entertainment was good. Accommodation excellent and service wonderful. These are things that celebrity has always been good at. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Celebrity Eclipse Cruise from Southampton to Azores, Madeira, Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Lisbon {13 nights} This was my first proper cruise. I went on the SS Uganda in 1976 with school so I don’t count that! Went in a party of 6, all ... Read More
Celebrity Eclipse Cruise from Southampton to Azores, Madeira, Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Lisbon {13 nights} This was my first proper cruise. I went on the SS Uganda in 1976 with school so I don’t count that! Went in a party of 6, all adults aged from mid-40’s to 53, from Southampton 17/09/2016. This could be quite long as I’m writing it for all first timers. I had no idea what to expect, so here goes: ARRIVAL - Arrived at Southampton approx. 11.00am, our boarding time slot was 3.00pm. This was not a problem as we just went through the process as normal. Cars drive right up to the drop off area for luggage & passengers. All luggage taken by porters and transferred to ship; you don’t see it again until you get to your cabin. I was the one numpty that left the passports in the luggage! Not a problem. Porter fetched case and took it back down when passports retrieved. I then dropped car off at the collection point literally across the road {I had arranged a drop off/collect at the port by wepark4u on the web. I would recommend this}. Very smooth and efficient system. BOARDING - We then went through the boarding process, into a large reception area where we were processed; details input onto computer, photo taken and boarding card issued {this is like a credit card that contains all security info/photograph/drinks package etc.}. The cards gets you into your cabin and any purchases on board are charged to it. You need it to get off and on the ship. This process took about 5 minutes. It was then off to the ship and board. This is when you first meet the ship’s crew, a quick scan of your card and you’re on! This ship is yours to experience. We obviously went to the bar and sampled our drinks package. At approx. 1.15pm the rooms were ready. CABIN - We had an outside room {called a Stateroom} with a fairly large window – deck 3 room 3140. It was certainly large enough for us. On entry there was a fair sized bathroom to the left: loo, sink and shower with enough storage space for our toiletries. In the cabin there was a ‘leather’ settee on left wall with a small table in front, a large flat screen TV opposite. Below was a ‘top’ area with 5 drawers below. Not massive drawers but sufficient for us. Hairdryer in the drawer. Queen size bed with overhead storage. There was a large enough electronic safe – you input your own code for the duration, and a small fridge/mini bar. You are charged for use of mini bar {well we would have been on our package}. There was a large enough double wardrobe with approx. 20 hangers in for 2 people. We had a dedicated attendant {Andrew} who looked after all of our needs – nothing was too much trouble. The room was cleaned/tidied several times a day and bed turned down at night. I would recommend an outside cabin like ours as the large window gave plenty of natural light into the cabin and made it feel large. It was also good to sit and watch the sea go by. We saw numerous dolphins and whales. I peeped into a few inside cabins and they appear to be the same size/layout but obviously no natural light. I appreciate budget plays a part in cabin choice. The only down I can think of is that the air con is on ALL of the time {we certainly never sussed out how to turn it off} and created a bit of dry eyes and throat syndrome. It can be turned up or down according to weather. TIP: take a plug converter as the plugs are either European or US. We also took an extension so we could plug more than one thing in at a time. SHIP – MASSIVE!!!! 15 decks tall. Longer that the height of the Eiffel Tower. 11,500 square feet of sail {that’s the side of the ship to the wind}. Front bow thrusters. 2 Rear azipods instead of propellers make for a quiet and smooth cruise – I learnt all this from the Captain’s talk in the theatre! Lifts fore and aft. Sky observation lounge at the front with a cracking view and a good bar. Good for relaxing. Quizzes and events held here. One pool in the solarium {adults only}. Beds can’t be reserved here. Anything longer than 30 minutes and staff remove towels etc. Two outside pools. Beds can be reserved here. If we wasn’t up by 8.00am the best beds were already taken. I used the running track here most mornings so I reserved all of our beds no problem. It’s also nice to sit and watch the sun come up. It can obviously get windy here. Towels and blankets are available on the pool decks – use as many as you need/want. The Mast grill is here and another bar. To the rear is a large lawned area with a bar. You can relax, play bowls, small putting green, sun bathe etc. There is a library and games room on deck 9 and 10 {I think} with a large central atrium and another 8 lifts. There is a 1500 seater theatre on deck 4. They do 2 shows a night. The ship has its own cast and they do majority of the shows – all very good and entertaining. They also have guest artists and we had a couple of comedians too. There are numerous shops {most of them expensive – 249 dollars for a shirt – IN THE SALE!!}. Anything purchased here is charged to your card. You can check your account details via the TV in your cabin – keep an eye on them. We were charged twice for drinks we hadn’t had; Guest Services took the charge off no problem. There was also several art auctions in the Sky lounge. Dress most of the time was casual – shorts, vest and flip flops, although the restaurants have restrictions. The clientele was primarily old; apparently Celebrity is well known for the older age group. We had no idea when booking it and to be honest it didn’t make a jot of difference. It’s a massive ship so explore and enjoy. BARS - Numerous bars on various decks. All our drinks were included {you have to show your card} and they were ‘proper’ brands such as Famous Grouse, Absolut vodka etc. All good quality stuff. Spirit measures are larger than UK as it is classed as a US ship. The measures are MINIMUM…they often pour a lot more, so get to know the bar staff!! There is a casino on board {closed whilst in ports} and plenty of one arm bandits. I managed to win over a 100 dollars on my last night – well chuffed. You need cash for the casino, it isn’t charged to your card. I used sterling, dollars and euros. RESTAURANTS – There is the Ocean View by the pool area. You can have breakfast, lunch or tea here. This is informal – shorts and vests are allowed for example. It’s very much mass catering and not always easy to find a table – for 6 anyway. There are various food stations serving different types of food from around the world. Have as much as you want. All of the staff are exceptionally helpful and go the extra mile for you. The food is of a very good standard. We had our evening meal in the Moonlight Sonata restaurant – two sittings, either 6.30pm or 8.30pm. We had the 8.30 sitting. {This worked well. It allowed us to make the most of a long day by the pool and visit Café Bachio for a coffee and treat AND have time to chill before getting ready}. We were normally finished by about 10.00pm which meant time to get to the theatre for a show. There were several specialist restaurants that you paid for so we didn’t use them. We had 3 formal nights; we all got dressed in best bib and tuckers, ladies dressed in long dresses etc. On other nights it was ‘informal chic’ – basically smart jeans/chinos and a collared and sleeved shirt, ladies looking smart in similar fashion. The food and service in the Moonlight Sonata was EXCELLENT. Everything was 5 star plus. You can have as much as you like. I had 2 crème brulees most nights! You get your own dedicated table staff and the service is above and beyond. The quality of the wine and port is excellent. PORTS OF CALL – We didn’t take any of the cruise advertised tours – we intended to do our own thing or nothing – so I can’t comment on them. AZORES: didn’t get long here. We walked around the main town, took in the scenery and the bars. Very nice and very Portuguese. Weather excellent. MADEIRA: {Funchal} very interesting. We took our own open top bus tour {15 Euros pp}, lasted about an hour – very interesting. I would recommend this, you get to see quite a bit. The main town is beautiful. We took the cable car up to the top. Views were beautiful over most of the island. There is a café here – with 2 extremes of weather. Cold up there and HOT by the coast. Weather excellent. TENERIFE & GRAN CANARIA: If you’ve been before you know what to expect. Purpose built for tourism, not really my cup of tea. When you get off at Gran Canaria turn left out of the port and head towards a tall green glass building – you can’t miss it! Continue past this and you’ll find a lovely beach so take your kit. We were not told about this by the cruise staff – probably because the cruise was trying to sell a 45 dollar trip to another beach. Large shopping centre opposite the docks if all else fails. Weather excellent. LISBON: EXCELLENT! Had 2 days here. Beautiful 17th/18th century city, stunning architecture. Plenty of narrow streets and alleys. Plenty to see and do. Built on several large hills so a lot of walking is UP…followed by quite a bit of down. Not suitable for people with mobility problems in my opinion. We took an open top bus tour for 20 Euros each. The stop is directly opposite the entrance/exit to the port, which is about a 2 minute walk when you disembark. More informative than interesting. There were plenty of tuk tuks touting for business. This seemed a good way to see the sites as they can get down the smaller streets – we didn’t use these though. We found a bar called Wine Bar do Castelo {I’ll do a separate review for that} which offered free samples! This city is beautiful and I intend to go back for a longer break. Weather excellent. Overall my opinion of this cruise is excellent; excellent ship, staff, facilities, service and experience. We’re already looking at 2018 {we’ve got Cephalonia next year}. Read Less
27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Having cruised before with RCI I was so looking forward to this cruise as it was only a short flight to Southhampton and the short journey to port. I was looking forward to the good service I received before. Not going into everything as ... Read More
Having cruised before with RCI I was so looking forward to this cruise as it was only a short flight to Southhampton and the short journey to port. I was looking forward to the good service I received before. Not going into everything as I am making a formal complaint to them in writing. I am a disabled person but discovered on board that their definition of this only related to those In wheelchairs and motor scooters. I did not receive the service I was used to on their others ships. In fact I felt they were very short staffed and a lot of the time in was organised chaos. In the Windjammer tables not cleared for a very long time and I'm not talking one or two tables here, staff in short supply. Making announcements for people to vacate their tables to make room for others when tables not cleared total joke. Our room attendant was brilliant as were the staff that served us in the Sapphire Dining room but apart from this I'm truly unhappy. Feel really sorry for those people who were unable to get off on Maderia due the 'hours' it took to organise disembarkation. Ship was not clear until 4 pm too late for people as due back by 6.30 pm. Shore excursions were good once you got to your coach and RCI staff no longer in charge. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
I have been cruising for the last 20 years on P&O and other lines (last cruise on Oceana in December), this cruise was picked out by my daughter as it was a strictly come dancing theme along with James Marting cooking school. We ... Read More
I have been cruising for the last 20 years on P&O and other lines (last cruise on Oceana in December), this cruise was picked out by my daughter as it was a strictly come dancing theme along with James Marting cooking school. We consisted of a group of 6. Embarkation was a breeze with all staff members vey helpfull , first impressions of ship smart and modern. Cabin was an adapted cabin on deck 11 situated at the very rear of the ship room was clean and large enough for easy use of wheelchair. TV larger screen and had good selection of programs. Steward Salvio up to the usal very high standard of P&O nothing too much trouble and always with a smile and a joke. Only gripe was when service trolley was being used impossible to pass without having to call out for someone to move it further up the corridor so I could get acces to the lifts, this was about 3 times a day every day for the 13 nights. We had late setting in the Orientel table 29 our waiters "Negi" & Noel both great guys along with cabin steward made the holiday. Food was an improvement on last cruise nearly back to the silver service standard of old. Used beach restaurant for two meals and glass house for 3 lunches both very good and supplement charge worth it. Food pool side from the grill was disappointing with burgers , hotdogs prepackaged and left on hot rack in greased paper , pizzas the same made and left to stand. Both Azura and Oceana much better. Take away sandwich bar very good equal to M&S. Overall I would give an 9/10. Layout of ship similar to Azura/Ventura with deck 7 being main thoroughfare. Many people complaining anout lifts but no real problem sometimes a bit of a wait but what do you expect when idiots who want to go down decide to take the up lift because its empty, therefore adding to the problem. Cooking school was great probably better when James wasn't there as it was £55 cheaper and staff just as good if not better. Went 3 times 1 with James. So you may be asking why I only rated 2/5 well that is down to cleanliness of toilets, and back of the ship on decks 17 & 18 , a beautiful location with lovely sofas but spoiled by dirty cushions to sit on , these were either stained with who knows what and or with black soot , bar man when there told us to remove them and sit on the hard plastic sofas not really the answer on a new ship. Now the real reason for my score of 2 was the lack of any interaction with any member of staff (excluding waiters, stewards, cleaner, bar staff) the entertainment team were non existent apart from when they were screaming down the microphone during quizzes and karaoke, why so loud ? Or flocking round the come dancing team like star struck kids. 2 met and greet events ended in a free for all. The sail away was the same old routine that I saw 20 years ago nothing new except a few face lifts and hair dye ( and I don't mean the passenger). And has for any sport related activities these just did not seam to part of the ships entertainment brief . When I asked about the FA Cup final I was told " nobody likes football on this ship " , Not all of us were there for just the sequins. There were not any balls for the sports court and told " you should have brought your own with you" is there anyone who has taken a football or basketball on a cruise before?. Most of these points were being shared by quite a few people I met in various locations great ship but let badly down by any sort of leadership from the top down perhaps the captain wasn't brave enough to walk round and ask passengers what they thought or there again he may have heard the demented screaming from the entertainment team before. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We went Platinum this trip on NCL and no wonder with the incredible assistance they provided to me with my leg in a boot cast. I broke my ankle a few weeks before the trip. So I called my personal Cruise Consultant, who immediately stepped ... Read More
We went Platinum this trip on NCL and no wonder with the incredible assistance they provided to me with my leg in a boot cast. I broke my ankle a few weeks before the trip. So I called my personal Cruise Consultant, who immediately stepped up with a change of aft balcony to a handicapped aft balcony with no additional fee for the change. Then, she got me in touch with Special Needs At Sea for a motorized scooter which was delivered and retrieved from my stateroom. NCL arranged curbside wheelchair on/off assistance. So I was in business. What I especially appreciated were all the handicapped facilities from bathrooms to specially reserved easily accessible seats in the restaurants and showrooms. The buffet staff always assisted me and were very kind. The staff in Moderno were the very best. The stateroom attendant was also kind, leaving me ice each evening and morning to ice my ankle. The stateroom was fabulous with easily accessible bathroom and fold down seat in the shower. I can not imagine better treatment. The entertainment on NCL is always great but on the Epic there is so much to choose and to do. We did the Cirque Dreams and several shows. The pre-scheduling is a great idea with such a large contingent of passengers. I could not do some of the shore excursions but they were limited by the vendor buses which either could or could not transport the scooter. The pier in Tangiers was too long and without a tram, so I did not attempt that port. Instead I went to the Salon and had a wonderful day getting the works for my hair. Natalie was a treasure. I passed the whole afternoon there. We really needed this vacation after a long and difficult year. Thanks to NCL we more than got a great vacay. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
SHIP ITSELF Very large with lots of small capacity areas No soaring atrium like the smaller ships but mainly 1 storey with a few areas with open ceiling to next level so more of a hotel feel than traditional cruise ship The ... Read More
SHIP ITSELF Very large with lots of small capacity areas No soaring atrium like the smaller ships but mainly 1 storey with a few areas with open ceiling to next level so more of a hotel feel than traditional cruise ship The weather wasn’t consistently good enough to use the outside areas but when sun was out pool deck very busy .The waterpark area takes away from pool space but if you wanted a quiet area to sunbathe deck 18 was a good place Novelty ideas such as the Ice Bar never seemed to be too busy-not present at all on the newest ship The Escape so perhaps the novelty value is just that It took me a while for the light to dawn that starboard corridors had blue and beige carpets and blue lighting on the stairs and lifts whereas portside had orange and beige! There are no patterns of fish swimming in direction of travel which is a great idea on other NCL ships to give clue whether you are going forward or aft and if you head the wrong way they are long corridors Our muster station was the Casino which is a terrible idea I’m used to muster drills being done in restaurants etc but the Casino with its machines blocking view of crew members trying to demonstrate safety procedures and everyone squashed into a narrow hall would be dreadful in case of a real emergency BARS There are plenty of bars to choose from! The Ultimate Beverage Package [UBP] has been offered as a free perk for a long time mainly for ocean view and above so seemed many people had this-it was still being offered for $79 per day plus 18% gratuity and less publicised the wine and beer package at $10 per day less. Also available wine packages and soda packages For the first time we found getting served at the bars or waiting for a circulating bar waiter to take our order to be hit or miss-certainly not up to usual NCL standards. They seemed to be overwhelmed at busy times and even at quieter times the waiters seemed more interested in collecting dirty glasses than checking who was looking to order a drink-usually they do both with a smile and some quick conversation. RESTAURANTS We ate mainly at O Sheehans or the garden cafe for convenience and to be able to eat when we felt hungry. We only ate once in Manhattan restaurant for lunch to meet up with cruise roll callers which was fine Lots of people had the dining package as a perk so speciality restaurants busy and difficult to get a reservation at peak times We only eat in speciality restaurants if have a voucher-in this case we each had a platinum latitudes meal for Le Bistro .In the past this could also be used in Moderno or La Cucina but the only alternative now is La Cucina We preferred Le Bistro to La Cucina both for speed of service and ambience ENTERTAINMENT There is plenty going on day and night to appeal to all tastes We found our favourite band the Starlights-a rockn roll band playing in the Cavern Club most nights Duo Luna a guitarist and female vocalist were appearing in the atrium or Shakers bar and Paulo a guitarist/vocalist playing in Maltings We went to Howl at the Moon a couple of times and found them entertaining but not as good as previous performers we have seen onboard the larger NCL Ships Priscilla queen of the Desert was the signature theatre performance and was hilarious However there are numerous written and spoken warnings that the show is not suitable for children or the easily offended but the audience still had a high percentage of young children! It was school Easter holidays in the UK so expected a lot of children on board I didn’t notice too many during the day as avoided pool deck and the kids clubs were popular However late at night there were a lot of children running wild around the bar areas whilst their parents were nowhere to be seen or oblivious to their little darlings getting underfoot STATEROOMS We were in 12185 a large balcony. Due to the external shape of the ship this meant a triangular shape added to the regular balcony which meant could accommodate at least 1 lounger as well as the standard 2 chairs and table. The set up of the room was with couch next to balcony which did give easy access to the balcony The controversial bathroom set up was a non issue for us-we have been married 30 years! However I spoke to someone who was on the inaugural Epic trip about 6 years ago and said the frosting on the doors was a lot more transparent then! THERMAL SPA I pre purchased a cruise length pass for $179 a $20 reduction than if bought on board Epics Mandara Spa and Salon is supposed to be the largest spa at sea A unique feature of Epics Thermal spa is the open area at the aft with 6 padded loungers and 2 couches which give wonderful views and great to enjoy in good weather Inside the communal area are several heated tile loungers although 3 of them had signs on saying cold bed-ie needing maintenance Plenty of padded loungers and chairs,sauna and steam room with windows to open sea The therapy pool with hot tubs and pressure jets was always popular Inside the single sex area is another steam room and sauna with windows to sea which was hardly ever used so a good quiet area As you hand your keycard over at spa reception they give you a wristband with an allocated locker. The staff then store your room card in a file folder corresponding to that number which means it is efficient to return your room card at the end of the session That works fine until someone uses a random locker and “yours” is in use. Unfortunately the staff are inconsistent with dealing with this, some will give you a different free locker, others will suggest you use any free locker but don’t note which further compounds the problem and still others will open that locker and move the stuff to another one and lock it without informing the original occupant! I treated myself to a series of hot stone massages under the 10,20,30 offer whereby you get progressive discounts Still very expensive but I had plenty of OBC! EXCURSIONS We did private tours in 3 ports and can highly recommend Bruno from tripgrancanaria John Reid from Tenerifeprivatetours And Jeff from Hit the Road Madeira Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
We have just returned from this cruise and hope that any one with mobility problems will find this review helpful. We were a group of 4, both husbands have Parkinsons, one uses a rollator(walking frame on wheels) and the other is ... Read More
We have just returned from this cruise and hope that any one with mobility problems will find this review helpful. We were a group of 4, both husbands have Parkinsons, one uses a rollator(walking frame on wheels) and the other is wheelchair bound. My husband and I have been on many cruises, usually about 2 per year,but it was the first cruise our friends had ever taken so I wanted to make sure it would be a good experience. I made many enquiries before booking the cruise to ensure that it would be suitable. We had enjoyed a cruise on Jade some years ago, the only problem being the queue for dinner so I was pleased that we were able to make table reservations beforehand to avoid this problem. Buffet service is very difficult for us so I asked if a waiter service restaurant (complimentary) would be available every lunch time, and was told YES. Mobility in the mornings is very limited for people with Parkinsons so it was good that complimentary room service was available for breakfast.The all inclusive arrangement sounded an excellent option and it was a great advantage to be allocated accessible state rooms. So we were all looking forward to a relaxing holiday in comfortably adapted cabins, enjoying fine dining and trying various cocktails in one of the many bars. How different was the reality. 1)Firstly the state rooms; they were well adapted and spacious, but no table to eat on and only 1 chair. How were we ( or anyone with mobility issues ) supposed to eat this complimentary breakfast? We asked our room steward but he looked dubious and, knowing the limited powers of room stewards, I rang Tamara in Guest services and indeed an extra chair and suitable table eventually appeared. But that should be standard in an accessible room. 2)The bars; on the first evening we found seats in The Maltings and enjoyed a cocktail before dinner. But we subsequently realised that was because people were still embarking/unpacking. Apart from that evening we were never able to find 4 seats together, especially negotiating a wheelchair and rollator between the packed seating arrangements. So our friends gave up trying to join us in a bar before or after dinner. My husband and I managed a few times to get seats in Atrium and Bliss, but such a long way from our cabin and certainly not the relaxing quality time with friends. 3)Port Days; -waiter service restaurants were NOT open on Port days, contrary to what we had been told. Twice the comparative calm of a buffet in Moderno was available but mostly we had to face the rugby scrum of the Garden Cafe. Yes there were helpful staff who tried to find us a quiet table, and we eventually discovered that there were waiters to fetch drinks for us, but it was far from the elegant lunch experience we had anticipated. -We decided to stay on board at the first port ( Tunisia)to enjoy a less crowded ship.What we failed to realise was that the ship itself closed down. We found comfortable seats in Shakers only to find that it was closed... as were all the other bars! The only place open was the Garden Cafe and Snacks, what a disappointment! We thought about ordering room service for lunch but that would have incurred charges and, more important, our little table was too small for us all to eat together. -We decided to get off at Lanzarote so checked with Excursion desk the arrangements for accessing the town. We were told that wheelchair accessible shuttle buses would be available for $15 per person. So we got ready to go ashore, found the correct elevators and gangway with great difficulty, and waited for the shuttle. But it was NOT wheel chair accessible .... except that the chair could have been put in the luggage hold if our friend could have climbed onto the bus . But he cannot walk. So we had to get back on board the ship and endure the Garden Cafe again. -We were told the same story at Las Palmas, but again no wheelchair access bus. This time I managed to find a Port official who spoke sufficient English to understand our problem. He was kind enough to call a large taxi who was able to convey us all + chair to town centre. 4) On Deck; again difficult to find seats. We liked the back deck and by accident discovered a disabled lift between decks 15/16/17 BUT it wasn't working. We tried it a few days later and it worked but the cafe/bar was closed. My husband and I tried again when it was open BUT GOT STUCK IN THE LIFT. We were there for 15 mins and were so shaken by the experience we didn't feel like staying there or trying it again. 5) Dinner with Officer; we were all very pleased to receive this invitation and looked forward to discussing life on board from an "insider". We arrived promptly but rather surprised that we all had to wait in a line for quite some time. Our "officer" was in fact a cosmetic consultant from the Spa, a charming lady but not quite what we had expected. The other young couple at our table spoke little/no English so conversation was laboured. The bistro type chairs were very small, hard and uncomfortable. If those are normal chairs for Spiegel Tent I'm glad we didn't book dinner there. So another slightly disappointing evening, BUT the food and service was excellent. 6) Illness; the final blow was falling ill. I contracted a respiratory infection for which I saw the Doctor on March 3 and spent the rest of the cruise feeling very unwell. Luckily my husband was not affected but our friends came down with a stomach upset on March 4 so just kept to their cabin and drank boiled water. 7) Accessibility; -The disabled elevator for decks 15/16/17 didn't work. -There are no instructions to operate the doors in Disabled Restrooms. One evening my husband needed to go to the toilet before the Burn the Floor show and we couldn't get out!We couldn't work out the correct sequence of pressing buttons and panic set in. We eventually got out but weren't allowed to go to the show. We booked for another night but that was the night I was ill so we never managed to see this wonderful show. -The aft lifts did not go to Deck 5 so to access Taste or Atrium we had to go to deck 7 walk the length of the ship to forwd lifts go down to deck 5 and walk all the way back to aft. Then repeat the process to return. -There were no clear instructions on which lifts to use to reach the gangway in Port. This is most frustrating when you are pushing wheelchair/ rollator. -There were designated Disabled seats in Garden Cafe but these were always full In conclusion the ship is badly designed AND land based staff do not give the correct information and/or are insufficiently knowledgeable. The public lounge and bar areas are woefully inadequate to cope with the volume of people. We were so disappointed not to be able to listen to the music in the Cavern, or acts in Headliners but we could never get in. We had to avoid Deck 6 as it presented such a problem to get through the whole area. We felt that as disabled passengers, we were discriminated from participating in much that the ship had to offer and from enjoying the package we had paid for. We had been looking forward to experiencing all the bars and eating areas so publicised in the Ship's information but most were either closed or overcrowded. I have only once before been ill on a cruise and that was when we docked at Istanbul and it could have been something I ate ashore. There were a great many people suffering from illness on this cruise and I am convinced it is due to overcrowding, too many people breathing the same air and spreading infection. BUT it was not all bad! I would like to say that the food and service in Manhatton and Taste were excellent. Our room steward Renato was a gem. The shows we did manage to see were first rate. I have sent this full report to NCL in the hope that they can make some improvements to make the cruise experience less fraught for future disabled passengers. I will let you know if we get any reaction Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2016
We struggled at first with the size of the ship but after a couple of days we had acclimatized to it. When everyone was on the top deck it was crowded. However, the food was excellent, we dined in the Chinese restaurant, ... Read More
We struggled at first with the size of the ship but after a couple of days we had acclimatized to it. When everyone was on the top deck it was crowded. However, the food was excellent, we dined in the Chinese restaurant, O'Sheen's bar and the garden buffet. Tea and coffee available all day up on the top deck. The prawns/shrimps were plentiful and fantastic. For my partner it was the Prime Rib. We have previously cruised twice on the NCL Jade but now the drinks package (excellent) is available we came back to NCL. There was no discrimination between those on the drinks package and those who were paying. We had an adapted cabin so my partner could bring his scooter on board and everything was excellent with the cabin and the staff who were very helpful. There is reserved seating are in the buffet restaurant for those with mobility issues. Overall the staff were excellent, polite, friendly and helpful. The ship is also very clean. There is something for everyone, we didn't go to the shows because we like to go in without booking but that was our choice, later in the cruise there was fewer crowds going in to the shows. For smokers there is an open area on the top deck, a closed room on deck 7 and access to deck seven (unless sea is rough) from several doors. Passengers came from all over the world which we enjoy as we like to meet and chat to other nationalities. You don't have to pay the tips if you feel that you do not want to. We always tip the cabin steward and bar staff whether we have paid the surcharge or not. Overall a very good trip and would recommend, but keep an open mind as we do. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
We arrived at Southampton in pouring rain, and quickly parked in the Blue Badge parking area. embarkation was very efficient and we received assistance to get on board. this was our 23rd cruise and the first on Eclipse. The stateroom ... Read More
We arrived at Southampton in pouring rain, and quickly parked in the Blue Badge parking area. embarkation was very efficient and we received assistance to get on board. this was our 23rd cruise and the first on Eclipse. The stateroom was large and the bathroom had excellent shower with flexible shower head as well as an overhead one.The bathroom had grab rails which enabled easy transfer from toilet to shower. The toilets around the ship however caused us an embarking problem, as all disabled toilets were in ladies or gents with no unisex individual toilets.My friend has short hair and we were told "you cannot take him in here" and the lady tried to block us using toilet , after I explained that Ann was a lady she still tried to prevent her using toilet, this made us reluctant to use any toilets forcing a long walk back to the stateroom every time. The Entertainment was excellent and we always ate in Ocean View Resturant as this was easier for us. We went on one excursion to Loro Park and the front seat of coach was reserved with our cabin number. There were no accesable tours but at some ports there was accessible shuttles. Disembarking was very swift, we were off the ship 30minuites early! Overall an excellent wheelchair friendly ship, despite the attitude of a few of the passengers. Also I must mention that all doors to cabin and around the ship were electric making life much easier. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
My wife and I have done several previous cruises with RCL and other operators. Like so many other people, our favourite RCL ship is "Indy" and we were interested to see how Anthem compared. Embarkation and disembarkation at ... Read More
My wife and I have done several previous cruises with RCL and other operators. Like so many other people, our favourite RCL ship is "Indy" and we were interested to see how Anthem compared. Embarkation and disembarkation at Southampton were quick and easy as we have come to expect from RCL so no complaints there. The ship's appearance is lovely. Indeed, it is very elegant in places and everywhere looks new and is kept spotlessly clean. The passenger/space ratio is generally good and we never felt crowded except on the sun decks on fine days and, sometimes, in the popular show venues and some of the bars. Some have complained that the layout is confusing but, really, it's not that much different from more traditional ships in that the spa, fitness, pools and main buffet restaurant are all on the upper decks; shops, bars cafes, Guest Relations and casino on decks 3, 4 and 5 and staterooms on the other decks with most of the complimentary restaurants being towards the stern on decks 3 and 4. The speciality restaurants are scattered around the ship. Signage is good and we never got lost. The crew and staff were invariably friendly and helpful My wife is disabled so uses a mobility scooter and this caused a problem in our stateroom which was a superior balcony on Deck 13. We have had this type of room on RCL ships before and never had a problem storing the scooter, usually parking it next to the sofa. However, our cabin was configured so that the bed was nearest the door with the sofa and dressing table beyond, nearest the balcony. Unfortunately, the gap between the end of the bed and the wall was too narrow to get the scooter through to our 'normal' parking position next to the sofa and the only place we could put it was just inside the door. This made access into and out of of the room quite difficult and was a considerable inconvenience. We spoke to Guest Relations as soon as we discovered the problem and asked if we could have a more suitable room, paying for an upgrade if necessary but we were told that this was not possible because the ship was full, a statement which we took with a pinch of salt. We were told that if another stateroom became available during the cruise we would be moved immediately but, needless to say, that never happened so we just had to live with the situation. Ironically, we later discovered that some staterooms have the reverse configuration i.e, with the sofa nearest the door so if we'd had one of those there wouldn't have been a problem. I guess we were just unlucky. Incidentally, information regarding facilities for the disabled was sparse (unusual with RCL) and catering for disabled passengers on tour buses and shuttles was very limited. Apart from the above, the room and balcony were fine except that the bed was extremely hard and uncomfortable to each of us and no foam mattress toppers were available to soften it as there are on other RCL ships. Also, there was a shortage of hanging space in the wardrobes for long garments (my wife had to leave a large proportion of her dresses in her suitcase). The Dynamic Dining concept was disliked by almost everyone we spoke to (although I myself didn't mind it) and most people much preferred the traditional way of dinner in a Main Restaurant at set times, at the same table and with the same waiters. The four main complimentary restaurants (Chic, the Grande, American Icon and Silk) were laid out and done up very nicely but the food quality was inconsistent, ranging from (sometimes) good to mediocre and occasionally poor. The main complaints were the repetitive menus which, as far as we could tell, never changed throughout the cruise, tough steaks and food being served cold or lukewarm. In our view, the best of them was the Grande but even in there the dress code (formal) was not enforced so was abused by some. We didn't try any of the speciality restaurants because, to us, there wasn't anything on the menu to warrant paying the supplement which, in some cases, was very steep. And in that regard we knew that RCL had abandoned the singing and dancing wait staff in Johnny Rockets because, they say, people didn't like it (really?) but what is left on Anthem is a draughty burger bar on a par with MacDonalds. And RCL have the nerve to charge a supplement for eating there! Similarly, the equivalent of the very popular Dog & Badger pub on Indy is Michael's Genuine American Pub. It's a gloomy place lacking atmosphere and it never seemed to be very busy. And they charge a supplement for things like fish and chips and cottage pie! It didn't seem to make any difference whether or not you made a restaurant reservation because you still had to queue although usually not for more than ten minutes The other casual eateries (Sorrento's, Cafe Promenade, Cafe 270 etc) were fine. In particular, the notorious Windjammer is a vast inprovement on the Indy. It's more spacious, better laid out and has a good selection of dishes of excellent quality. In fact, for the first time ever, we ate there in the evenings as many times as in the more formal restaurants. Getting a table was never a problem except at peak times and we particularly liked eating al fresco on a fine day or evening in the open area overlooking the stern. Magic! We didn't go to many shows but we enjoyed those that we did, particularly the Spectra Cabaret and We Will Rock You. The rest of the entertainment seemed to be on a par with other ships. The shops were the usual boutiques selling overpriced designer clothes, watches and jewellery. The one general shop was quite small and had only a limited stock range. The North Star was good but the much vaunted Bionic Bar is, in our view, a total gimmick. We watched it in action once and never bothered again. Beware of the shuttle in Lisbon! RCL's mooring used to be next to the suspension bridge which is quite a distance from the city centre so using the shuttle bus was essential. However, Anthem docks much further upstream closer to the city centre and we didn't realise how much closer until we had taken the bus which made a slow and tortuous journey through busy streets to cover a distance of about half a mile as the crow flies. But it was the return journey that was a fiasco. For some reason which was never explained, the bus (which was exclusively for Anthem passengers) dropped us at the Celebrity Eclipse which was moored next to us. We were told that another bus would take us to the Anthem but there was no sign of it and, anyway, we didn't relish the hassle of loading/unloading the scooter on and off a second bus. So we made our own way back. We complained about this and, in fairness, RCL refunded our shuttle fares without argument. The moral of this is don't take the shuttle unless the ship docks next to the bridge because it's quicker, easier and cheaper to walk. Drinks are, as usual, expensive, particularly when the ship is in Spanish waters, because by the time the 18% gratuity and Spanish VAT is added a small glass of mediocre wine cost about £8.50. Fortunately, we didn't have to pay for too many drinks because we are Diamond Members which gave us a number of daily free drinks. It also gave us use of the Diamond Lounge which is a very nice relaxing venue. And the pre-dinner nibbles are very good too. RCL boast that Anthem is highly technologically advanced and so it is, too much so in our opinion and some features either didn't work properly or are a retrogade step. For example, on other ships there's an A4 booklet in your room listing all the available tours in order of the itinerary. You decde which ones you want, book them via your TV and the tickets are delivered to your room. Not so on Anthem because there's no booklet and no facility for booking a tour via the TV. You have to go to Guest Relations, sign in at one of the iPad stations, scroll through every tour available throughout the fleet (or so it seemed to me) and print your own tickets all of which is very laborious. It may be that it's possible to do this with RCL's IQ App but I want to get away from my phone when on holiday and, moreover, not everyone has a Smartphone or is IT literate. Also,you can no longer have breakfast in the room by ticking boxes on a card and hanging it outside you door. You now have to do it all via your TV which takes much longer, plus the fact that only items such as cereals and rolls are free. Cooked items are chargeable. And you're supposed to receive a printout of your onboard account on the last night of your cruise. We didn't get one. I'm sorry that this review has gone on for much longer than I intended but I wanted to try to give an objective view of as many aspects as possible. In summary we say, "Nice ship but we're looking forward to Indy coming back." Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
Let me start by saying that everybody is different and to what they want out of a holiday Embarkation was really quick our time to go on board was 1.30th arrived at the port at 1.20 was actually on the beautiful Britannia at 1.33rd not ... Read More
Let me start by saying that everybody is different and to what they want out of a holiday Embarkation was really quick our time to go on board was 1.30th arrived at the port at 1.20 was actually on the beautiful Britannia at 1.33rd not bad eh Cabin was very roomy we had an inside midship (B514) plenty of hanging space and wardrobe was big enough. Bathroom very clean and new looking loved having a glass shower door, air con you old turn it up and down we always had ours on cool bit nosiey at night but soon got used to it Food was out of this world so much choice in the horizon (buffet) we had no problems getting seated and there were 5 of us. We had freedom dining out choice of restaurant was The Meridian had the same table and waiters they were really good nothing was to much trouble. Brodies was a favourite of ours went there most evenings for quizzes or just to sit and listen to the live band, The live lounge very crowded did manage to get seated there to didn't have to wait to long for a drink either, Headiners Theatre you do need to get there bout half hour before the show but all the shows and performers were brilliant the lighting in headliners amazing Pool areas were kept very clean at all times plenty of loungers and waiters to serve you . Entertainment team were brilliant always something somewhere to do,one we were so torn as to where to go we ducked into healing rs, live lounge and bodies to watch bits of all lol, the team works very hard to keep holiday makers very happy. We were wowed at the size of the ship, The Atrium was truly amazing was just nice to sit there and watch the world go by We went to The Limelight Club to see Jaki Graham and we weren't disappointed she was brilliant very friendly lady she done a meet and greet after had a photo taking, if you get chance definitely book to see her Disembarktion very organised off within 20 mins in taxi home in 15 mins as we live in Southampton Overall we had the most amazing time but you do hear people moaning bout everything I wouldn't pay all that money to moan and at what! Well done to P and O and all the staff who made our time on board a dream Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
I have just returned from a 13 night voyage on the Anthem Of The Seas and I feel that I must express my views having read so many negative reviews. I don't confess to being what some may call an experienced cruiser but I have ... Read More
I have just returned from a 13 night voyage on the Anthem Of The Seas and I feel that I must express my views having read so many negative reviews. I don't confess to being what some may call an experienced cruiser but I have completed 12+ cruises on different cruise liners including Royal Caribbean, Princess, Cunard, Celebrity and P&O. I have travelled on the same cruise liner on more than one occasion but never the same ship twice. I like to try different cruise liners to see how each of them compare. They each have plus and negative points but it's the overall feeling at the end of the cruise which I base my opinion on. I am neither young or old and I do have a walking disability and therefore I can review different aspects of the ship from a mobility point of view. Lets start with the ship itself. There is no denying the fact that this is a huge ship with over 5,000 passengers and crew. At no time did I feel that the ship was over crowded because there are so many different public areas to visit. Breakfast time at Windjammer's was very busy and patience was required when trying to find a seat but this is no different to any other ship i've been on at peak times. Plus I didn't feel the need 'to eat my monies worth' so most of the time I opted for room service which was delivered on time every time even though some jam or butter was missing on a couple of occasions. EMBARKATION: Embarkation I wasn't overly keen on. Checking in with a rep at the entrance to the terminal on a hand held device with no desk to rest on wasn't personal enough for my liking but having said that all went well and we embarked within our allotted time on time. I have rated embarkation 4 stars. CABIN: Our stateroom had the WOW factor for me. Having tried mini suites and balcony cabins in the past we opted for the large interior stateroom with the virtual balcony which was brilliant. Having realised that we spend very little time sat on a balcony we decided to try the alternative and we were not disappointed. Everything was obviously new (15 previous cruises) so everything worked as it should with no issues. Large TV, bed, sofa, vanity table and chair and of course a large glass shower cubicle. It felt more than a hotel room than a cabin. I had no issues with the stateroom and therefore rated it 5 stars. DINING We tried all the dining options expect the Costal Kitchen (suite guests only). The dining options does away with the traditional 2 sittings and opts for a more smart casual approach. The only dining area which required any type of formal dress was the Grande dining room which required a jacket only. When I say a jacket only that was the only stipulation. I was disappointed to see open neck shirts, jumpers and sandals. The Grande should insist on complete formal dress code for those guests who like to dress up, as it is the only formal type restaurant. I'm not a jacket and tie type person myself but I will do it on a couple of occasions when needs must and I was disappointed with the dress code for the restaurant. I was disappointed with some of the meals, wrong order, chipped plates, missing food, dirty glasses and 1/2 hr wait for a starter was not the best of experiences when compared to other cruise liners. I felt at times there were too many staff serving each table and serving staff not knowing what the other one has or has not done. Don't get me wrong all the dining staff were very pleasant and well mannered but inexperience did show at times. The best dining experience was Chops Grill by far with one experienced waiter. Fantastic food. Some of the restaurants had supplements attached to them so it was a personal choice. Jamies restaurant was the most expensive but my least favourite for food and service. The Windjammer had some excellent self service choices. Insisting guests wash their hands prior to dining was good to see. I gave dining 3 1/2 stars due to my experience but in time i'm sure it will raise to 4 stars after a couple more cruises. ENRICHMENT ACTIVITIES: Unable to comment as I didn't use the Spa treatments. ENTERTAINMENT: We saw the show Spectre Cabaret in Two/70 - excellent performance with a great backdrop. The Gift (Theatre)- very good but I lost the plot (father, son and daughter in a tug boat), We Will Rock you (Theatre)- West End show - Queens musical - brilliant and Soul Boys (Theatre) - fantastic. All the visual effects were sensational especially in the Two/70 area at the back of the boat with the rotating TV screens and huge virtual screens. My favourite was the Rock The Boat rock band who played most nights in the large music hall. They played many songs from different eras to an audience of 17 - 85 year olds. Great live band. There were other smaller bands in a couple of other bars who were also good if you liked that type of music. There were other shows but we opted out due to personal choice. Entertainment scores 5 stars. FITNESS & RECREATION: Superb gym with plenty of machines and free weights. Full size 5 a side / basketball court. Flow rider, indoor sky diving, trapeze training and a climbing wall for the more adventurous. Table tennis / xbox 360 area and even dodgems which was very entertaining and a good laugh with no queues. These were the obvious activities with even more organised activities on the daily planner for the more sedate passengers. Fitness and recreation score a strong 5 stars. PUBLIC ROOMS: Excellent - clean, bright and on the whole spotless. Plenty of seating although at busy times (adverse weather or peak times) you may struggle for good seats but no different to any other ship in my opinion. All areas accessible for wheel chairs / motor scooters. Toilets - spotless with automatic doors for cleanliness / prevent germs from spreading. I rate public rooms a 5 star. SERVICE: First class customer services. All staff senior and junior were very pleasant, chatty and highly visible. I never experienced one bad mannered or disgruntled staff member. My only gripe was with some of the service I experienced in the dining rooms but I honestly believe that was due to lack of experience in that field because most of the serving staff work in both the restaurants and the bar areas. For service I rate 4 star only because of my dining experience. SHORE EXCURSIONS: Will never score high in my books because it's either good or very poor but once again it's no different to any other cruise liner. Some shore excursions are a waste of money because the hype in the brochure rarely lives up to expectations. Sometimes there is nothing to see on so called scenic tours. I suppose it all depends on what you expect from a tour. They were mainly well organised apart from the usual passengers wanting to sit on the front of the coach because "i'm more disabled than you" attitude; pathetic really. This is an area where the cruise liners make their money because they are so expensive for what you get in return but at the end of the day it's your choice whether to go on a shore excursion or not. Shore Excursions score a 3 star. VALUE FOR MONEY: Difficult this one. If the price you pay at the time is all you have to pay then very good value for money but there is always add ons ie. Speciality restaurants, drinks packages, shuttle bus and various other bits and bobs. What I don't like is the way all the cruise liners leave gratuity envelopes in your stateroom to reward individuals for the extra WOW treatment you may have received from them during your cruise. This is all well and good but surely not after you have already paid your gratuities at the time of booking. What will they think of next; the WOW WOW factor envelope. I would much rather not pay gratuities and reward individuals because at the end of the day you never know whether gratuities are used to pay staff their basic wage and therefore save the company even more money. Value for money score 3 1/2 - 4 stars for me. CONCLUSION: What I found irritating on the ship was the number of passengers complaining that it wasn't like the Independence of the Seas. No they are right that is why it is called Anthem of the Seas and is a total different class of ship. The only advantage the Independence has over the Anthem is the Royal Promenade which I must admit is a great feature but other than that the Anthem wins hands down. If you don't like big ships then the Anthem is not for you - simples. If you are expecting a promenade like the Independence then you will be disappointed. I have been on both ships and the Anthem is the winner in my book. It is the best ship I have been on to date and even though I have downgraded several areas of my rating I will still give it an overall 5 star rating. It is one ship I will return to. Read Less

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