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193 Europe - Western Mediterranean Cruises for the Disabled Cruise Reviews

Oh how standards fall in just 12 months. We were cruising on Marella Discovery this time last year and absolutely loved it. This ship either has a staffing problem or they have reduced standards. I must point out however that the adapted ... Read More
Oh how standards fall in just 12 months. We were cruising on Marella Discovery this time last year and absolutely loved it. This ship either has a staffing problem or they have reduced standards. I must point out however that the adapted room we had on deck 5 was superb and with a thorough and friendly steward. My grumble is mainly with the food, the buffet was frequently not replenished, esp the salad section, i like to eat around 1.30 - 2 pm and was very hit and miss after the lunchtime rush, my partner is disabled and the assigned tables were all at one end, usually as near to the food counters as possible for ease. Latitude 53 was passable, going off the very well written gushing menu you would expect something special but was actually everyday food with the odd exception, maybe they want you to pay extra for a special meal in one of the paid restaurants. I thought the theatre shows were very good though the Squid is nowhere near big enough when the entertainment is on and the lowest chairs Ive seen, donate them to a primary school ! No problems with the itinerary, loved Madeira. So an average cruise with good and bad points, we continued our holiday in Costa Adeje which we enjoyed esp the food, which was much better than Marella Explorer. I think I will avoid this ship in future and hope its not a trend on the whole fleet, there are several cruise lines in the same price range. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Well....where to begin? So many occasions where my father was unable to access facilities due to being disabled that our cruise was just ruined and tui have been useless in replying to our issues. Firstly, we booked in store and the staff ... Read More
Well....where to begin? So many occasions where my father was unable to access facilities due to being disabled that our cruise was just ruined and tui have been useless in replying to our issues. Firstly, we booked in store and the staff failed to give my father an accessible aircraft seat even though he was booked as disabled. Highly embarrassing for him, being manhandled into a seat by pulling on his trousers! Also being able to get out of his seat to use the toilet. We landed to find none of the coaches were wheelchair friendly and apparently we should have booked a taxi (tui never told us this!). Got to ship and rooms were all mixed up and ours reeked of spoilt milk which the staff tried to fix with a heater. They eventually gave us a new room late that night. Due to the room mix up, our little girl had no muster band for 5 days but thankfully there were no emergencies. Moving around the ship was a complete nightmare as the lifts, restaurants and accessible room all had a raised entrance with no ramps so my mother and father were unable to leave their room or access toilets etc without me or my husband taking them as my mother could not lift the wheelchair over the step. We were told Monaco would be inaccessible for my father but all other ports would be fine in his wheelchair....nope! Buses again had no disabled ramps and we had to pay extra money for taxis etc. We also phoned to request assistance for my mother and father at Palma airport and were refused this for my mother as they said my father was booked as disabled so she would be escorted with him....turned out they made my disabled mother push my father's wheelchair which left her in real pain. I've since contacted tui customer relations (Nicola) who has given a 'goodwill gesture' of £500 of the £7,000 paid and failed to reply to any of the points raised. We have also contacted the CEO and head of cruises and received a phone call from Nicola full of apologies but not addressing anything and telling us to contact a law firm if we wish to escalate this. Worst cruiseline and customer care ever. Please do not book if you have a passenger in a manual wheelchair. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
1. Nickel And Dimed: I felt like everything was extra money after I paid for my cruise. - The app to message people around the ship was $10. - Most of the restaurants you had to pay for ($40-$50/person) - The best entertainment ... Read More
1. Nickel And Dimed: I felt like everything was extra money after I paid for my cruise. - The app to message people around the ship was $10. - Most of the restaurants you had to pay for ($40-$50/person) - The best entertainment you had to pay for. - All drinks except water you had to pay for. (other ships I have sailed with let you get a soda or lemonade or something similar with your dinner.) 2. Daily Disembarking - it was difficult to know what time we could begin disembarking each day. We knew when we arrived at the port, but not when we could disembark. And each day it was in a different location on the ship. It would have been helpful to have listed that on the daily newsletter, in the app, and with signs throughout the ship. 3. Laundry - I really wish they had washing machines we could use on the ship! That is a big deal for me when I choose who to sail with. I did find out that we could do a bulk laundry service near the end of our time on board (which I was NOT able to learn through ANY of the NCL information, I learned about it through Cruise Critic). I did use the service while sailing, and it was a good service. We sailed Wednesday to Wednesday. We had to put the laundry out by Friday morning and it was returned Sunday/Monday (2 of our cabins received it Monday, 3 of our cabins received it on Monday.) The bulk service is a discount from their high prices - everything you can fit in the bag for $20. The bag is just smaller than a regular pillowcase, but it is a flat paper bag. I used a suggestion I found on Cruise critic, where I brought with me a large garbage sack, put all of my clothes in it and then slid the plastic bag into the paper bag. It helped because I was able to close the garbage sack with the draw string and then I didn't have to close the paper bag. It was slick! The laundry came back folded in a small basket waiting for us in our room. 4. The App was NOT worth the $10! All it did was allow us to text one another. They didn't use it to push information to us! This app could have let us know about disembarking times and locations, when we need to be back on the ship, it could have showed me my excursion details and my dinner reservation locations and times. But it didn't. It wasn't interactive at all. If you have a large group and need to communicate, then I guess it's worth paying for, but other than letting you text, there is a static map of the ship and that's about it. 5. Dining - MAKE RESERVATIONS EVEN FOR THE MAIN DINING ROOMS! The main dining rooms get really busy, so if you want to eat at a certain time, make sure you make reservations for your party well in advance, otherwise you will wait in a huge line for a table to open up! I really didn't like the "Free Style" dining. On other cruises with set dining times, the waiters got to know our table, our habits, our drinks, our favorite appetizers, etc.. and had things ready and waiting when we arrived. With Free Style cruising, each dining experience had different waiters, so we didn't get the personal attention I've received on ALL of my other cruises! Additionally, since we were a party of 9, had I not known that I needed reservations, dinner would have been a nightmare! 6. Stateroom Layouts. I stayed in 8149. We were lucky we had odd numbered state rooms because that side of the ship was able to view most of the port coast lines! My party stayed in cabins 8149, 8155, 8157, 8159, 8161. The layouts for 8149, 8157, and 8161 were all the same. The toilets were next to the bed and the couch was on the far side of the room next to the balcony. The walkway was so tight that two people couldn't pass the bed without one of them either getting onto the bed or walking to the other end of the room. The layouts for 8155 and 8159 had the bed at the far end of the room and the wider space to move up front in front of the couch and by the bathrooms. It's a MUCH better layout!! The bathrooms don't have a door. The toilet and shower area are frost covered glass enclosed on either side of the door into the cabin. So if someone knocks on the door and you answer it while someone is using the toilet or showering, then there isn't much privacy. This area is separated from the main living area by a curtain. The sink was in front of my bed, so when I used the facilities during the night, it woke up others sleeping in the room. I've stayed in interior cabins before with more room! This "suite" was smaller than other rooms I've stayed in! (minus the balcony of course.) 7. Embarkation and Disembarkation were SUPER smooth. It was one of the easiest I've done (I've sailed 7 times.) Overall the ship was nice, the staff was wonderful, and the food was terrific. But I think I'd rather not sail with NCL again. If I did, the price would have to be a steal to get me to go through the headaches again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
my wife and myself have just returned from a dream holiday on marella discovery 2 as my title says a dream of a life time the ship was very clean our cabin steward alicia was a star there was nothing she wouldn't do to make your ... Read More
my wife and myself have just returned from a dream holiday on marella discovery 2 as my title says a dream of a life time the ship was very clean our cabin steward alicia was a star there was nothing she wouldn't do to make your trip great the food was out of this world and so many dining places to eat at and so many shows to see over the week the services were brilliant by all the staff on board ship we will definitely be travelling with marella cruising again they do cater for the disable people and the shore excursions were places that we would not normally had thought of visiting the easy pisa tour we both enjoyed and i always wanted to go to monaco the waiters bar staff and the cabin stewards couldn't do enough for you very polite and friendly there is not much more that i can say but to thank marella cruise for a great holiday Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Embarkation was an experience departing from Cannes, nearest airport Nice cost 60e taxi to get to the port. Then you are put through security checks lots of times off the ship, no seating (I am registered disabled), no shelter from the ... Read More
Embarkation was an experience departing from Cannes, nearest airport Nice cost 60e taxi to get to the port. Then you are put through security checks lots of times off the ship, no seating (I am registered disabled), no shelter from the sun, the temp was 33c the day we travelled. Then unceremoniously put onto a tender to embark. The ship looked really great. We have sailed with MSC 7 times before and have never been disappointed Yes I have sailed before: RCI, Cunard, NCL etc...So I can say that I am more excited by the design and styling of the MSC fleet. Than any other cruise line we have sailed. Every direction you look, you will see vibrant colour and sweeping curves with very intelligently use of coloured lighting to enhance your visual pleasures. The staircases are bejewelled with glass crystals to all the treads. The design of the performance stages in the concierge areas, are servicing the evening with live soothing music from a pianist or a full band. We arrived in our room (invalid) and as expected it was sumptuous, I was well pleased. It had a well fitted bathroom to service my needs. The food as always is superb with loads of variety of all different cultures. I did not use any speciality restaurants, but we did frequent the main dining room for breakfast, lunch and dinner, we did do 'tiffin' in mid afternoon for coffee and cake in the buffet! We were never disappointed by the super service we received, we had coffee delivered every morning to the room 0715hrs, they also gave us a warm croissant with it. We never go on the excursions as we have to travel differently so we generally go independently. All the ports in the med are super to visit, there is always something for everyone! Barcelona, Rome, Genoa Cannes....does it come any better? Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Previously sailed on the Epic twice, this was the third time but never again. The standard of the Haven facilities have seriously deteriorated, whilst the cabins areof a very high standard, the facilities and added luxury have ... Read More
Previously sailed on the Epic twice, this was the third time but never again. The standard of the Haven facilities have seriously deteriorated, whilst the cabins areof a very high standard, the facilities and added luxury have demised. On previous sailings the Haven had certain parts of the ship that accommodated smokers One being in the posh bar where you could have a relaxing drink and a cigarette the other being on the top deck. When we went to the posh bar we where told that this facility had been stopped and you were not allowed to smoke in either areas. We actually booked this cruise because it had smoking facilities and would not have Paid £6000+ to be told that if we wanted to smoke we had to leave the Haven and go Into the main part of the ship to smoke. The main part of the ship had two smoking areas One on deck 15 and one in the 02 bar. On asking why the facility had been stopped In the Haven areas none of the management could give as to why. So we advise any one who enjoyed a cigarette on their cruise do not go to the expense of booking the Haven save £3000 and go in the normal part of the ship NCL NEED TO STATE THAT ON THE EPIC HAVEN THERE ARE NO SMOKING IN THE HAVEN The food in the Haven was very mundane, the same menu every night so we went to the other restaurants on board. The night we had steak in the Haven restaurant my husband couldn’t eat his on complaining he was told it must have been the supplier and did offer an additional meal We only ate once for breakfast, because most mornings the breakfast was only served Until 9am, we like to stay out at night on holiday and think breakfast should be offered until 10am at least, again in the main part of the ship you could have breakfast till 11.30 So once again your better off not booking the expensive Haven. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Positive reviews of this ship helped me make the right decision. I was travelling with a disabled mum, so knew this ship would be good for her too. The cabin was 3104 - accessible and was great for mum’s wheelchair and scooter. The ... Read More
Positive reviews of this ship helped me make the right decision. I was travelling with a disabled mum, so knew this ship would be good for her too. The cabin was 3104 - accessible and was great for mum’s wheelchair and scooter. The steward was lovely and kept the cabin clean and tidy for us. The staff are amazing! Annoy do enough to help you. The main areas we enjoyed were the upper deck of the pool - deck 14 - still in the sun, but away from the kids in the pool. The solarium was lovely too, just a shame it’s inside. We spent lots of time in the Passport Bar as this was closest to our cabin, and when entertainment was in the Grand Foyer you could enjoy it. The MDR was lovely, we chose our times and sat upstairs - cannot fault the food or the staff... in fact I preferred the steak in the MDR to to Tuscan Grille. I had a mixology class which was great fun. I also had a lovely facial... but BE WARNED.... I booked the cheapest one - which was still an arm and a leg... and she changed it without telling me, then when she said the bill total it was way more than I had planned. She said the facial I chose wasn’t right for my skin type, but as she didn’t want me about this I refused to pay the extra and she agreed to this.... they do add tip on - even though I had prepaid tips. The casino was great fun as were the quizzes and games shows. And the shows themselves were good - just one duff one out of two weeks. Sue the Cruise Director was great too! We did our own private tours of Rome and Tuscany - £500 for up to six people... better value than the boat excursions. We did the hop on off bus in Barcelona and Marseille. The shuttle cost was steep in one of the ports €20 each, but other shuttles were cheaper. It was great to get mum into the cities! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We were a group of four - a 50+ couple travelling with our 14 year old son and my 80+ mother (with limited mobility). We selected two, back to back 7 day cruises making a figure 8 from Palma de Mallorca around Portugal, Spain, Italy and ... Read More
We were a group of four - a 50+ couple travelling with our 14 year old son and my 80+ mother (with limited mobility). We selected two, back to back 7 day cruises making a figure 8 from Palma de Mallorca around Portugal, Spain, Italy and Southern France. We chose the ship and Marella (Tui) because it went where we wanted to go when we were able to go - we haven’t cruised with Marella before. First - some shout outs to the exceptional service from our cabin staff - led by Faiden - who looked after us all with great care throughout our fortnight. We particularly enjoyed the e-bike excursions led by Niko and Ashleigh - they led us through the sights and the beaches of Portimao, Corsica and St Raphael. We also used some of the coach based excursions- which were comfortable and as expected. We appreciated the peace of mind of all inclusive drinks - the upgrade was not necessary- and saw no evidence of it being abused by our fellow passengers. We were keen patrons of the coffee port, where we always enjoyed friendly service from Tamara. We ended up consistently using the Islands buffet for meals, for the pure convenience and because we tended to be earlier to rise and to bed than most, so that we tended to want our meals earlier than the other restaurants opened. We had breakfast a couple of times in the waiter service 47 degrees dining room - and it was a better experience. Islands certainly has a variety of food, but it has to be said that some of it was not very tasty - which is probably an inevitable consequence of the cooking methods required to produce food on that scale. Nonetheless we opted for convenience and there was usually something memorable on our plate each night. We frequently used the gym and adjoining spa/sauna services which were well equipped and set up. We preferred the Glass house indoor pool area which was quieter and cooler than the main pool area. In summary, the cruise delivered the experience we had hoped for with some of the staff making it that little bit better than we had expected. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We sailed on the Oasis of the Seas on 30th June for a 7 night Med cruise, calling at Palma, Marseilles, La Spezia, Rome, and Naples. Boarding was in Barcelona and the ship is so large that it boards over two terminals. We were allocated ... Read More
We sailed on the Oasis of the Seas on 30th June for a 7 night Med cruise, calling at Palma, Marseilles, La Spezia, Rome, and Naples. Boarding was in Barcelona and the ship is so large that it boards over two terminals. We were allocated terminal C and after dropping off our cases we were on board the ship in less than 30 minutes from arriving at the terminal. Upon boarding, we were greeted with a glass of bubbly, which was a nice touch. As we were in an Aqua Suite, we headed up to the suite lounge, which is a calm oasis away from the hustle and bustle of boarding day. In the suite lounge, we were able to book a couple of shore excursions and signed up for a 3-night specialty dining package. One benefit of being in a suite is the use of the suite lounge which is open all day for snacks, drinks and table service in the Coastal Kitchen Restaurant which is incorporated into the lounge. We ate lunch in the Coastal Kitchen, which was delicious and then headed to our Aqua Suite no 14330. This was a very nice suite with a separate lounge and dining room and a bathroom with a full-sized bathtub. The balcony was split and to be honest I would have preferred one of the lower Aqua Suits with a wrap-around balcony. We did have some issues with a leak in our cabin, but the housekeeping and maintenance teams sorted that out very professionally. During the week the temperatures were very high, mainly around 30 degrees so it was quite tiring to walk anywhere off the ship. We stayed on board during the first two ports and enjoyed the ship. There is so much to see and do onboard, one review would not do it justice. Day 3 we took a tour which involved taking a ferry to a very picturesque island, the ferry took around half an hour to cross the bay but the walk from the ship to the ferry took longer, not an excursion for anyone with any walking difficulties. Next day we did an olive tasting tour, this I would highly recommend. A beautiful scenic drive through Tuscany and a visit to a farmhouse once owned by the brother of Napoleon, which today is an olive farm. At the last port of call, Naples, we walked off and not far from the port found a really nice restaurant and ate authentic Napali Pizza, just 4 Euro each for a large pizza. Whilst onboard there is so much entertainment going on, from Aqua SHows, Ice SHows, West End Style Theatre Shows, comedians and musicians as wella s Karaoke for those who like to entertain themselves. There are seven neighborhoods onboard the Oasis but we really liked Central Park and The Boardwalk. There is a vast choice of where to eat on board. You have of course Coastal Kitchen for Suite guests and the Windjammer buffet-style Restaurant, then for snacks, you have the Boardwalk Hot Dog Stand, Sorrentos Pizzaria, The Park Cafe and for Tapas you have Vintages Wine Bar. For dinner, you can choose the main dining room or plump for a specialty restaurant. You can choose from Izumi Japanese, Sabor Mexican, Choppes Grill Steakhouse, Giovanni's Table Italian or our favorite the 150 Central Park Bistro. All of these come with a supplement, but if you purchase a dining package you can get a good discount on the cover charges. I would have to say that the food on this cruise was about the best we have experienced on a cruise ship and the staff and service from every member of staff without exception was fantastic. We had the opportunity to meet the Captain and The Hotel Director and the ship, crew, food, and facilities are a credit to them. We had an awesome cruise holiday and can't wait to get back to what I think is our new favorite ship Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose Edge because it looked very different and exciting. Demarcation was seamless we were in board within 10 minutes of arriving at the port. We booked Concierge class for the little extras, but we're very disappointed to find we ... Read More
We chose Edge because it looked very different and exciting. Demarcation was seamless we were in board within 10 minutes of arriving at the port. We booked Concierge class for the little extras, but we're very disappointed to find we had missed the restaurant lunch on arrival as it finishes at 1.30pm. Our cabin 9007 was very roomy and had some really nice touches, it was an adapted cabin and the,self opening door was a real bonus as on other ships the doors can be quite heavy when you are in a wheelchair trying to get in or out and hold the door. edge is lovely and has plenty of space on deck for everyone. The service of course was second to none, especially Nanette our cabin steward. I think the food is quite repetitive and was disappointed with the breakfast menu in the restaurant which never changes. The entertainment in the theatre was good, we have been in Celebrity before and the entertainment was fab several different acts plus shows, but this cruise was just shows by the resident cast. We also chose this cruise for the itinerary and that didn't disappoint. I would recommend Edge but you need money because most of the nice restaurants are extra. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was our third cruise with Marella we chose this one Explorer 2 because it's a Adult monly ship which appealed to us as last year on the Discovery2 there were children on board and we don't think cruise ships are the best ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Marella we chose this one Explorer 2 because it's a Adult monly ship which appealed to us as last year on the Discovery2 there were children on board and we don't think cruise ships are the best for children. Our time on the ship was very enjoyable especially the Italian resturant which we dined in every night,the entertainment in the broadway show lounge was excellent and worthy of the west end being a disabled pasenger i could not fault the level of service the facilties were excellent and the shows were of west end standard l will be certainly using Marella Crusing again and would recommend any one like me who as a disability to use Marella the Explorer 2 is a fantastic ship and as a number of features like the Squid and Anchor the on board pub which as enntertainment through out the day..the other good thing is the all inclusive which allows you not to worry about what you have to drink. All in all we have had a great holiday and can't wait for next Marella Cruise Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Just back from 28 day cruise on Olsen’s Black Watch. We are in our early 60 s and very active, most on the cruise are in their eighties plus, low mobility and not active. Great for them to get a cruise holiday but frustrating if you want ... Read More
Just back from 28 day cruise on Olsen’s Black Watch. We are in our early 60 s and very active, most on the cruise are in their eighties plus, low mobility and not active. Great for them to get a cruise holiday but frustrating if you want plenty of activity. Golf putting, carpet bowls in the corridor, whist, bingo, British singalong dress nights did not appeal. Ship was being constantly worked on so noise all over including windows being replaced on upper decks, toilets not working, information about destinations not great or non existent. The entertainment ranges from amateurish to good, the crew provide a lot of input. It is an old creaky ship which during storms bounced around. Disembarkation was appalling with low mobility people having and causing problems. A double decker bus shuttled people to trains with lower deck for suitcases including zimmer framed etc. and upper deck for passengers. The late arrival and departure of these ‘coaches’ caused many of us to miss our connections. Food is okay, staff ok, gym a bit limited, all areas busy and yapping all the time. All in all a great cruise for those who have low mobility but a snooze fest for others Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
As most of you know I can no longer go ashore but stay on the ship, Costa's team in Genoa & on board, made this cruise special for me, and a great big thanks to all involved in helping me cruise again. Firstly I had a loan of a ... Read More
As most of you know I can no longer go ashore but stay on the ship, Costa's team in Genoa & on board, made this cruise special for me, and a great big thanks to all involved in helping me cruise again. Firstly I had a loan of a wheelchair for the whole cruise, which proved wonderful as I could push myself round ship & to Club Dining room. The cabin (Suite) on deck seven was just the same as most other ships of the fleet, spacious, clean & really nice although we do prefer those aft we did like all the service provided by our Butler, who turned up three nights during the cruise & took me in the chair up to the dining room, certainly a call above their duty. The ship itself was kept beautifully clean as were the cabins, even though we are late risers & often only left the cabin just before lunch. Of our time on board we of course could tour the facilities without crowds, & I must say all seemed excellent and well supported on sea days. There really is plenty to keep you entertained by reading the Diario di Bordo daily you can plan ahead, although to be fair it does take some understanding at first. One down side on this particular cruise the English host was not as friendly as most, we always make a point of contacting them whenever we get the chance, but it seemed she was not willing to chat. The only time we really got to know her was at the Wine Tasting where she talked about herself while the host described the wine. On to the restaurant we ate in the Club Dining Room on deck Eleven lovely surroundings but very limited choices, although I do agree that food waste must be reduced on all cruise lines to stop un-necessary wastage, this went beyond that Taste & Flavour had given way to presentation Lots of plates were returned particularly the beef which seemed to be on the menus nightly, either under or over cooked. But don't be put off with these comments although I am a fussy eater I manage to find some nice every meal, if a plate was returned they always offered you either a better replacement or different dish, Costa now serve the same choices in every restaurant which does reduce waste. Would we cruise on the Favolosa again one of the nicest friendliest ship we have been on. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This is only our fourth cruise and we wanted a cruise that visited interesting places in the Mediterranean and was only a short flight from home. Mornings and evenings were cool but temperatures in the day around the low 20 degrees C and ... Read More
This is only our fourth cruise and we wanted a cruise that visited interesting places in the Mediterranean and was only a short flight from home. Mornings and evenings were cool but temperatures in the day around the low 20 degrees C and we had one rainy morning. We flew from East Midlands to Palma and although check-in was slow arrangements went smoothly until check-in at the cruise terminal where things again were slow. This cruise was the second week since the ship had been refurbished and the quality of furnishings and fittings was exceptional. The lifts were spacious and quick. Without exception all the staff we met were friendly, welcoming and helpful. Eating was a delight with open dining in six restaurants and three a la carte which cost extra. Ten bars, one a pub and a coffee shop completed the arrangements. The talented Explorer 2 Show Team produced a number of top class shows in the Broadway Show Lounge that would rival any produced in the West End. There were lots of activities during the day and in the evenings. Pampering was available at Champney’s Spa a new venture. We visited three Countries, five towns and could either walk in or take an inexpensive shuttle bus to enjoy them. There were lots of excursions to places like Pisa, Florence, Genoa and St Tropez and lots of room for sunbathing. Departing the ship was an ordeal because of poor organisation and we were again held up by Border Control at East Midlands on return. An enjoyable cruise, a top-class ship, fine food and drink and an outstanding crew. And the bonus adults only. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Sailed with husband,daughter and 2 friends. This was our 55th cruise. 6th cruise line, returned from 04/04/2019 sailing on MSC .meraveglia The ship is lovely, staff was wonderful, especially Jonathan, my room steward. ( Balcony ... Read More
Sailed with husband,daughter and 2 friends. This was our 55th cruise. 6th cruise line, returned from 04/04/2019 sailing on MSC .meraveglia The ship is lovely, staff was wonderful, especially Jonathan, my room steward. ( Balcony Stateroom #13150, Aurea experience), was kept perfect at all times. Jonathan was kind, courteous and one of the best I’ve ever had. The room needs more storage. Small closet with too few shelves with only 2 drawers is not sufficient. The spa was amazing and “Cherry’ gave me the best message ever. She was excellent Spa was the best I’ve experienced at sea. Very very busy on sea day. Dining room sat 5 of us at table of 4. Woman who does seating in Panorama dining room was downright rude when we requested a different table. My daughter was placed in the aisle with metal bar in front of her making it difficult to actually sit at the table. No napkin or flat wear unless requested. My daughter, a professional woman, was mortified. As I was for her. Food in dining room, Panorama, was ok..not good. Variety was small...do not even think to order Mahi mahi . The staff is hard working. Courteous. The real problem, which absolutely ruined our cruise was the tour “Rome on your own”. We waited a lifetime to see Rome, and did not. 4 of us are 65+ With health, mobility and vision problems. Don’t let the term “easy’ Fool anyone, disgraceful. There was a marathon the day of our arrival to Rome. The entire city was affected and virtually closed down. The tour company was totally unprepared,causing the ride to last twice as long just to try to find parking. When the bus finally parked, we were at first, led in the wrong direction. Walking up hills and many steps. The tour guides finally realized an error in direction ,so we retraced our steps. We never got to see Rome s sights as we could not walk further than the Spanish steps. The reason for our trip was primarily visiting Rome. I cannot tell you the disappointment. We should have been told we could not get buses or taxis into the center of Rome because of the marathon. We should have been given a choice of cancelling. The guides SHOULD HAVE PREPARED. Till we walked back to bus stop, we had hobbled nearly 5 miles. Causing problems for the remaining trip. I will not go back on the MERAVEGLIA again Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was my 6th cruise, very first with MSC. I have cruised with Carnival and Celebrity. This ship was so disorganized. Every person you asked had a different answer. The rooms were not cleaned well. The food was TERRIBLE. Not fresh. ... Read More
This was my 6th cruise, very first with MSC. I have cruised with Carnival and Celebrity. This ship was so disorganized. Every person you asked had a different answer. The rooms were not cleaned well. The food was TERRIBLE. Not fresh. They sent up wrong breakfasts and one day, no breakfast at all. 3/4 of the staff were rude. The dining room was awful. The first night our table of 4, we each ordered something different, and all 4 dinners were terrible. Never again on this cruise line. I required a wheelchair accessible room. The accessibility was awful. There were no automatic doors. I could not enter or leave our cabin without help. In the cabin, the phone was located across the room, not next to the bed. There was very little help to get me up and down the ramps to get on and off the ship for excursions. There were no onboard activities. Very poor. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We booked this cruise at the Nurnberg Germany Airport when my wife found a Bargain Price...08 to 20 Feb 2019 We normally take time and search for reviews but we did not this time, our mistake. I had recently had my 3rd back surgery and ... Read More
We booked this cruise at the Nurnberg Germany Airport when my wife found a Bargain Price...08 to 20 Feb 2019 We normally take time and search for reviews but we did not this time, our mistake. I had recently had my 3rd back surgery and was in a walker when we booked so the travel agent asked for wheel chair assistance. When we Arrived no Wheelchairs. My wife inquired and was told we don't do that... but the lady in Genova pointed me to an elevator. At Check in we were told our cabin keys would be in our cabin. and to use our booking papers to purchase drinks until then. it was 0930, and our cabin would be open around13:30 or 14:00, not being able to walk much without pain we settled at a seat near the ships entry point where we were offered a choice of 9 drink packages. some for with meals only drinks, some for non alcoholic and some for alcohol. Prices start at 19, 29, and 39 Euro's a day per person and all in a cabin must purchase the package. the entry level package were good for draft beers and only a few special drinks up to 6.10. Euros. Bottle beer start at 6.50 and required the 29 Euro Price. Name brand alcohol required the 39 Euro package. Ice cream and coffee and water were not free and required a package. Coffee was free at Breakfast. I only met one couple from Canada who bought an Alcohol Package and One who purchased the non Alcohol Pkg, but got a refund after an argument with ship staff when they did the math. They only drink water, which was 2.90 a bottle. We like to cruise and have spent over a 150 days at sea on 4 previous cruise lines. We like to be served as I have trouble standing for long periods and walking for short distances. to My surprise in the dining room Lunch is also a buffet. only dinner is served. Breakfast is a buffet with some options like pancakes and omelets orderable. About 50% of the time the table was set with a coffee spoon or a butter knife. no standards seemed to exist or no one was checking. Tipping was set at 10 Euros a Day per person and automatically charged to your account, as were a donation to UNICEF. At our first meal we were offered Bread. no butter was on the table and it took a full 20 minutes and an argument with the waiter the head waiter his assistant and the head of the ding room to get it fixed. we were initially told it was company policy not to put butter on the table. After I made a scene we had butter the rest of the cruise on every table. The food was sub standard compared to other cruise lines. I actually lost weight. A steak was never offered on the cruise. Lobster was offered twice at a 22 Euro upcharge. my veal had a large bone and every chance they had they smothered your meal with tomato sauce or bad cheese. We had 3 formal nights but many wore T-shirts.. dress codes were not enforced. A couple at our table wanted coffee with desert, They were given drink tickets as part of their cruise and bought us several drinks. Problem was always the emphasis was always on getting the paperwork done and your account billed and signed before they would get you a drink, or coffee. only on the last day of an 11 day cruise did he get his coffee with his desert after I again made a scene as he ate 2 deserts and everyone was leaving dinner when they finally brought his coffee. The staff did Try to meet our requests but they always seemed worried they might get in trouble for doing what we asked them. Training and customer service were not a priority. The Cruise Director was invisible the entire cruise and her only appearance or function I saw was at the show to introduce the heads of each department. If she fell overboard no impact on the ship would be felt. The staff did speak multiple languages. Entertainment was a bright spot as we enjoyed the entertainment crew who would entertain the audience before each show then dance with guests after. On stage it was also great entertainment, except for 4 opera nights. these were opera singers not productions often only a piano player and a singer. Not my cup of tea. Shore excursions were good except for Rome and Crete. In Rome we had a hop on hop off bus tour. We were dropped a long distance from the nearest bus stop with lots of roads and stairs and turns to navigate, near a kilometer. We were told to find a Burger King to use the bathrooms by our tour guide after an hour and a half bus ride from port to Rome. as soon as we were issued our tickets for the Hop on Hop on Bus the guide disappeared. In Crete the bus stopped for an hour while she took some guests for a long walk in heavy rain to look at some old part of a one horse town on Sunday with nothing open. When we were given free time it was 40 minutes and it took 15 to get to the city center from the bus leaving no time to eat and little time to shop before we had to walk back 15 minutes to the bus. The shops were open in the port town and would have been better time spent than in the little town. This was true for most other tours we took too little free time. Often I had to let my wife go alone as I waited because I had difficulty walking, which is no fault of anyone, but know you will walk long distances and have little free time on excursions. They make a point of taking you to souvenir shops they are affiliated with on these excursions. Our Cabin was clean but aged with broken tiles in the shower. shampoo and body wash was in the dispensers. Bring conditioner. Never was a towel folded in the cabin into an animal shape. My wife wanted two single blankets instead of the larger singe blanket and it was provided. No complaints on the cabin or service. Casino I amassed over 5000 points, you get a free cruise for 2 at 9999. I was offered 30% off my next cruise and 250 Euros casino Play. There were no free drinks offered as on other cruise lines at 1500 points in the casino. I will not be back to use this offer. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I have cruised before, but my wife had not, and she was looking for "an over the top" experience". So I began searching for big ships doing the Mediterranean in November. MSC had a lot of ships and the Meraviglia is one ... Read More
I have cruised before, but my wife had not, and she was looking for "an over the top" experience". So I began searching for big ships doing the Mediterranean in November. MSC had a lot of ships and the Meraviglia is one of the top 10 largest ships afloat, very new, and the video was amazing. The reviews however, were anything but amazing. Like lukewarm and even negative reviews about our favorite restaurants, I have learned that most negative reviews are more about missed/too lofty expectations than reality. The biggest gripes about the Meraviglia seemed to be food and staff. Since the boat is so high tech and wondrously equipped, no one really complained about the ship. Sure enough, even our tablemates as well as others on board echoed the Cruise Critic complaints. They ranged from now having butter and iced tea (both free, readily available) to non English speaking staff who were "unfriendly". If your attitude is "I am the guest and I expect to be served", you will be disappointed. If you engage the staff with your own smile and understand they work 11 hours a day, even my first time cruising wife was amazed at how every waiter and staff person smiled back.....even when they had to say "no" (like when we were late for dinner and the gatekeeping waiter apologized saying he was not allowed to let anyone in past 7:45, so I asked him to ask for his captain, which he did, and of course, the captain, his boss, let us in). MSC offers the lowest prices afloat for the most interesting itineraries and the newest boats.....but unless you are traveling Yacht Club, you just cant expect white glove service--but you can expect politeness and cleanliness and entertainment and "service". And we got all of this and more. Dinner. We only ate at the standard Waves Restaurant. Three sittings, We were the second. The appetizers and desserts were great, the entrees, though varied were not as good and need improvement. Not to worry though because the astonishing buffet, open 20 hours a day, had stupendous selections of excellent food from simple salads, to homemade pizza, Halal and ethnic specialties, rotisserie *the roast veal carved to order was smashing), plus an on board mozzarella factory (you could see it being made) that ensured great caprese salads and more. And they changed the offerings every day! Housekeeping. In a word, perfect. No goofy doorknob hangers telling staff to clean up the room. Just press a button. Spotless. The Room. We opted for an admidships deck 12 interior cabin because my wife was worried about seasickness. The cabin was huge, with a queen plus bed, great pillows, lighting, etc And the bathroom has the best shower afloat in my experience with infinite hot water! And a blow dryer!. Staff. What a great group of waiters and support staff rom Central America to Ukraine and Africa. Just knocked themselves out to please! It surely helped that we engaged them instead of treating them like servants. Prices: For 5Euros we got any two items delivered free to our room. Drinks were 6Euros. The best ice cream and chocolate (made on the boat) were $1-3Euros. The coffee, water, tea, ice tea, etc. were all free at the buffet. So no complaints about the "extras" The experience: 32 elevators, four pools, an arcade full of shops, sky bars, full size basketball court, full size bowling alleys and a water slide that went OVER the edge of the ship, outstanding singing and dancing "Broadway" type shows and Swarovski glass staircases made onboard life hugely satisfying. The guests. Where were all the seniors? This was the first cruise I have ever been on where there were so many families, disabled people, young honeymooners, babies, kids, etc. from so many different countries. A true multi-cultural experience. Our table mates were from the Dominican Republic (an MD and his wife), honeymooners from Colombia, and a couple from Florida. A great itinerary and all of the above for $1300 for 7 nights? Yup, and we cant wait to go again! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Our reason for booking this Tui cruise was that we booked late and needed a disabled cabin, Tui were the only cruise line that could accommodate this at such short notice. We are not “seasoned” cruisers, this was only our fourth ... Read More
Our reason for booking this Tui cruise was that we booked late and needed a disabled cabin, Tui were the only cruise line that could accommodate this at such short notice. We are not “seasoned” cruisers, this was only our fourth cruise in total and we have only sailed with P&O previously. We were nervous reading the reviews but have to say from the outset that we did enjoy our seven nights on Marella Discovery. I will try to make this review as fair and informative as I can. There are positives in that the ship was very clean, the staff (though mainly young and in lots of cases a bit inexperienced) were polite, friendly and very helpful. Discovery 2 isn’t massively impressive from the outside but the pretty atrium and public rooms on board are comfortably furnished and very welcoming and the vibe in the atrium bar is just lovely. I’m not sure whether this is down to the staff or the clientele but the atmosphere is very pleasant and relaxed. We met some lovely people on this cruise and didn’t find the snobby element you can sometimes encounter elsewhere. I need to say here that level 4 on the ship is the main “entertainment” area accommodating the theatre, a live-lounge (the clue’s in the name), a casino, the very popular atrium bar and the main dining room - BUT THERE ARE NO PUBLIC TOILETS ON THIS LEVEL!! You have to either go up one floor or down one floor to find a loo. Now this is fine if you, like me, are able bodied and can easily manage the double staircases (about 20 steps) to each level but, if you have to wait for a lift, it’s really unacceptable. This wouldn’t only affect the age demographic on this adult only cruise - I wouldn’t like to be travelling with children who, in my experience, nearly always decide they are desperately in need the loo when they sit down to eat. This really is my biggest niggle with Marella Discovery 2. As for eating, we personally used the main dining room, the Italian dining area, the Island buffet and the Snack Shack. The food in all dining rooms varied from perfectly acceptable to fairly good; there was lots of choice and you’d have to be a very fussy eater not to find something you’d like, however, we felt the dining room cuisine was not as good a standard as we have experienced on P&O. The temperature of the food served (on BOTH cruise lines we have travelled with) is never hot enough for British palates - we like hot food to be piping hot and this is something we rarely find in Mediterranean countries. Service in the main dining room can be a bit slow but we felt this could be improved either by better supervision, giving the staff more training or taking on more experienced waiting staff. That being said, the waiters/waitresses were all friendly and helpful. We were a bit worried about the “all inclusive” aspect of the cruise (which was adult only on our trip) and wondered whether people would be drunk by lunchtime. Again, we needn’t have worried, we didn’t see anyone taking undue advantage and going mad with the all inclusive drinks package. As for service of drinks, this was excellent with waiters/waitresses patrolling the pool area most of the day and checking whether you wanted anything from the bar and the same in the lounges in the evening. Drinks were served quickly and measures are European so more generous than in UK. We were asked if we wanted to upgrade to the premier drinks package but this really isn’t necessary and, though I’ve read in other reviews that people were pressured into purchasing the upgrade, we were not and we didn’t see anyone else being given the hard sell either. Our cabin was spacious, clean and comfortable. My only complaint was that drawer space was extremely limited. In an extra large, double cabin we had a wardrobe with plenty of hangers and only three very small drawers (I’m talking about 12” wide) built into a very small dressing table, though there was lots of space for a reasonable sized set of drawers. We do like the formality of P&O cruises (probably because that’s what we’re used to) and I wasn’t sure how we’d go on with a less formal approach. It’s a case of almost anything goes but most people seem to dress smart/casual. I didn’t take any “evening” dresses - I think I’d have felt a bit too “showy” if I had. Several men wore dinner jackets and a few of the ladies did wear evening dresses on the “Dress to Impress” night (equivalent of the Captain’s formal nights on other lines) but, in the main, most guests were smart but less formal. (Some men in lounge suits, some in shirts, ties and smart trousers and others in open neck shirts with smart, casual trousers; ladies in anything from long or short summer dresses, jumpsuits, and smart pants and tops). We didn’t see anyone looking scruffy in the dining rooms in the evening and found the less formal approach very refreshing. The shows we saw (4 in total) were all very professional and your enjoyment of these will really depend on your own taste. The theatre is very comfortable and drinks are not only served there by waiting staff but you can also pick up a drink from the makeshift bar outside each performance in your way in but soft drinks were not available outside the theatre. Poolside entertainment was limited but we didn’t mind that and it may be different in summer months or on family cruises. (To be fair, we only had one sea day and the weather wasn’t conducive to sitting by the pool (November) so we didn’t get to find out whether there’s a bigger range of “entertainment” on sea days). There were quizzes by the pool during the day and you could take part or not, as you wish. On the strength of this experience we have booked to cruise with Tui again later in 2019 - having checked that there are loos close to the main entertainment and restaurant areas first. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I am not sure we would sail with Azamara again. Let me explain a bit about our experience. Embarkation: As someone in a wheelchair, we chose Azamara because they claimed they were accessible. When we arrived? No ramp, stairs. We were ... Read More
I am not sure we would sail with Azamara again. Let me explain a bit about our experience. Embarkation: As someone in a wheelchair, we chose Azamara because they claimed they were accessible. When we arrived? No ramp, stairs. We were shown to the embarkation point, which was a stairway up to the ship. When I asked where the ramp was, I was told that it was being used to load the luggage. So, 4 small employees -- probably Filipino, since they made up a huge proportion of the staff -- carried me in my wheelchair up the stairs. This is okay in places like India, where I have no expectations around accessibility, but very surprising on an American-owned ship, docked in Europe. Especially since they have a whole section on their website about accesssibility. Cleanliness: Lipstick on the champagne flutes in our suite. Lipstick on the glasses in the lounge they call the Living Room. When our first glass of wine arrived it was covered in lipstick and fingerprints. I went to the bar to get another glass and the surly bartender proceeded to pour my wine from the dirty glass into a cleaner glass. We left. Suite: Was a nice size and the accessible bathroom was pretty good -- could have used more shelves, and the toilet was surprisingly low for a wheelchair-accessible room. Bed was comfy and the balcony was a good size. Service: very mixed. Staff in the living room were not very competent. They never got the orders right and had to be sent back to get the proper beverages. Staff in the main dining room were good. Staff in the 2 specialty restaurants were very good. So a bit surprised at how the service levels varied. Butler for our suite was outstanding. but the stewards were very junior. The overall look of the ship was nice. The ship is too small for rough weather. There were hurricane-force winds which meant our first two ports were cancelled -- we spent two nights in Civitavecchia. Cannot imagine doing a transatlantic crossing on such a small ship. We ended up going to Nice instead of Monte Carlo, which was actually better for us, since Nice is flat. Palma de Mallorca was fantastic, and we loved going back to Valencia. Our two nights in Livorno meant that we could do a nice visit to Lucca, and spend one beautiful sunny day exploring Livorno. The "Azamazing evening" was quite simply, dreadful entertainment. Food and wines: We are foodies and we enjoy good wine. The food in all the restaurants was okay, but we did not like the fact that the menus in the two specialty restaurants never changed -- so it got boring quickly. The wines included in the fare were the cheapest wines they could get. We do not drink a lot of cocktails or mixed drinks, but the drinks menu skewed heavily to liquor and not wine. The wines on the "for purchase" menu were extremely over-priced, and were mostly American. Inexplicable considering we were in Europe. Corkage fees are only $10, so once we got into some ports, we headed straight to a liquor store to buy good wine to take on board. I think the owners have really cheaped out on entertainment. They had an appalling 3-person trio in one of the lounges. They had a decent pianist in another place, and there was a good jazz quartet at the Saturday brunch. They had one person for the "enrichment" lectures who seemed really out of her depth. And they don't appear to invest in staff training. We would rank this number 3 of the cruises we have done. Cunard 1, Oceania 2, and Azamara a distant 3. I realize the staff are fairly new and not all of them are fully trained, but this is a cruise line who seem to want to compete with Oceania, and they do not. The staff in the Living Room seem to hate their jobs and there was a surprising amount of surly Russian staff who seemed to hate the guests and each other. Inexplicable, since it's a nice looking room. When I filled out their online questionnaire, I told them that I could not figure out who their target market was, but it was clearly not us. Did we hear back from them? Crickets... Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
How can they have a Mo Town Review with no black performers? They put one man in a black afro... In other performances, wonderfully talented singers and dancers were stuck with mediocre material. The Crown Band was great. The Magic ... Read More
How can they have a Mo Town Review with no black performers? They put one man in a black afro... In other performances, wonderfully talented singers and dancers were stuck with mediocre material. The Crown Band was great. The Magic to Do show was fun. We liked Eileen Gray and the 3 Tenors. There was a problem with people saving seats. Princess needed to give out tickets and if people didn't show, open up the empty seats for standby. I would have liked to have known in advance the activities and entertainment, not just the night before so we could plan ahead. A full third of the ship was Chinese with limited English. It would have been nice if Princess had subtitles overhead as the opera often does so they could follow along, especially with the comics. The music in the atrium was wonderful and I caught the tail end of a band on the top deck who sounded great. My nook broke so I went to Princess's library...There were maybe 200 books with a very odd selection to choose from. Princess need to spend some money on enlarging the choices. We did not do any Princess excursions but booked on own for half the price and travelled in Mercedes Mini vans instead of a big bus. We loved the afternoon tea which was so relaxing after a busy day. The tea and food was exceptional. The food in the main dining room was good but not particularly adventurous. The steak was overcooked the night we had it. The vegetables, on the other hand, were exceptional. They were a delight each night. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We have taken more than 20 Celebrity Cuises and chose this itinerary as it sailed from and returned to Southampton for a no fly Cruise as my wife has walking difficulties and did not wish to fly. We had an Accessible Suite which was ... Read More
We have taken more than 20 Celebrity Cuises and chose this itinerary as it sailed from and returned to Southampton for a no fly Cruise as my wife has walking difficulties and did not wish to fly. We had an Accessible Suite which was ok but looking dated in decor but was otherwise finebut the wet room shower leaked water all around the bathroom which we avoided by placing towels s a water break. The main problem was incessant noise from the cafe overhead and overnight disturbing our sleep in the small hours of the morning. Also a strong smell of fried onions and garlic pervaded the corridor outside the cabinand at times was also inside the cabin. The ship is otherwise a modern cruise ship with. good facilitates but in inclement weather there is insufficient comfortable seating . Unfortunately we had several days of poor weather. The seating looks modern but the seat depth does not work well if you are much under 6 foot as your feet might not touch the floor. The quality of the food has deteriorated and many of the steak meals the meet is tastes likeit has been heavily over salted. This was explained " the tougher cuts of meat aremarinated to soften the meat and make it edible". The service in the Luminae Restaurant was excellent We enjoyed the shows but the timings have changed to 7 pm pre dinner and 9 pm post dinner which means a rush to get ready for the early show and then struggling to get a tableat 8 pm and eating late or eating early and rushing to be finished in time for the show. This is the first time that we have questioned whether we will book another Celebrity cruise especially as we were impressed by many aspects of our Cunard Cruise last year admittedlly in a Queens Class Cabin although the entertainment was not as good. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
It was late in the year for us to take a cruise but glad we did, the year before I had been on the Eclipse the sister ship to the Silhouette and enjoyed every minute of that cruise, I have to say myself and the wife decided to take our 15 ... Read More
It was late in the year for us to take a cruise but glad we did, the year before I had been on the Eclipse the sister ship to the Silhouette and enjoyed every minute of that cruise, I have to say myself and the wife decided to take our 15 year old granddaughter on her very first cruise to show her mom and dad its the way to go.the minute we stepped onto the ship we was treated like one of the family, I had chosen deck 3 (3130) stateroom ocean view and found it to be just what I wanted. Our room attendant was a young girl who's name escapes me she was magic to us couldn't do enough for two elderly couple. Just a few steps away was the main foyer the Pastport bar, it didn't take long for the staff to get to know us, a special mention to Rozi Iluminadev, Moris Tavanez, Miza, Irfran, and head barman Sigh. The dinning restraint on deck 4 was a site to see, we was shown to a table think it was 447 Mathew our head waiter made us feel at home straightaway, Ryan, Sommiler Allan, along with a charming bar waiter Veronica looked after us for the whole 13 days.would I go again ,yes I would just for the attention and help they gave. Many thanks all.Bill and Audrey. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
MS Koningsdam - A Review I cruised Koningsdam for 24 days from 10/18/2018 to 11/11/2018. She is about 2 years old and appears to be in very good physical condition and is well maintained. That said, Koningsdam is a mixed bag of good, ... Read More
MS Koningsdam - A Review I cruised Koningsdam for 24 days from 10/18/2018 to 11/11/2018. She is about 2 years old and appears to be in very good physical condition and is well maintained. That said, Koningsdam is a mixed bag of good, bad and ugly...in this writer's experienced opinion. THE GOOD By all appearances, the ship is being kept very clean. Wear and tear has not yet begun to show too much. Not much rust in sight. The theater (World Stage) is the best in the HAL fleet, and maybe in most fleets. Sight lines are excellent and there is hardly a bad seat in the house. Seating capacity is relatively generous and can fit about a third of the passengers at any one time (close to 800). That said, there were many occasions when the theater was totally filled and people were standing and/or sitting in the aisles (safety hazard?). The hi-tech stage uses a 270 degree computer controlled LCD screen as the backdrop and is the main apparatus of the otherwise sparse set decoration. Lincoln Center Stage is an outstanding plus for HAL. Koningsdam's venue for the very talented quintet is larger than other ships in the fleet and offers comfortable seating. Public seating is excellent and comfortable throughout the ship. The staterooms are a bit smaller on than most of HALs ships, but they are reasonable equipped. Electric and USB plugs are abundant and storage/closet space is good. THE BAD While Koningsdam is new and bright, HAL has done nothing to change the nickel-and-dime operation and product they offer. EVERYTHING they do is designed to get passengers to spend more money. Most of the daily on-board programs offered are for revenue and income production. Venues throughout the ship are too small for the large number of passengers, often filling an hour or more prior to a presentation. The Culinary Arts Center is the showcase venue for America's Test Kitchen, and it is very ill-suited for the purpose...very poor seating and sight angles. They also utilize this room for extra-cost dinning in the evening (much more suitable). The Mariners Program on Koningsdam appears to be treated more as necessary nuisance than as the customer building program it was originally designed to be. There does not appear to be a suitable venue on Koningsdam for a Mariners Reception, so only medallion recipients are invited, no matter how many medallions one has or how many cruise days you've logged. The multi-Star Mariners cocktail party is held in part of the Lido Pool area, while other people are in hot tubs on the other side. It's very clear that HAL management wants to change the demographic of its customers. They are looking for new, free spending blood. Staterooms are noisier than one would expect for a "new" ship. Even in slight seas there is creaking, rattling and banging...especially at night when you are trying to sleep. Fit and finish is not all that it could be. As an example, stateroom have a recessed "frame" for the wall mounted large screen TV. In my stateroom the TV was mounted well out of the center of the frame and lop-sided (one side higher than the other). There is no replay of the excursion or enrichment talks on available on Koningsdam's closed circuit TV system or on stateroom TVs. You can, however, book extra cost dining, spa and excursion options via the interactive TV system. What little "art" there is on the ship is far removed from traditional seafaring art. All is very contemporary and the artwork appears to be photo-shopped pictures. There is NO art in stateroom passageways. Passage fore and aft on public decks 2 and 3 is restricted to one side of the ship, ensuring exposure to every selling station onboard. Traffic flow is poor, especially outside elevator locations where they have planted large modern sculptures (?), creating bottlenecks. The Promenade Deck is quite narrow and there are no deck chairs thereupon. The walking gets very bottlenecked at the stern end of the ship, so if one is walking behind slow walkers or encountering walkers who insist on walking upstream, it slows everyone down. Not important enough to write Congress about...just a mention. THE UGLY Whoever designed the toilets in the staterooms should be fired immediately. One cannot sit "on the throne" straightaway. You have to sit sideways because the glass shower enclosure is in the way, and you can't get your knees to squeeze in...unless you're 2 or 3 years old. Very awkward and uncomfortable. DINING This is a very subjective area and not all tastes are alike. So offering comments about the food and service aboard the Koningsdam is treading on very dangerous ground. That said, HAL has put together a fine group of chefs in what they call the Chef's Counsel, to help Chef Rudy design a dining program for the ship's various venues. They have created offerings that, in their test kitchen, appeal to all the senses. Great food requires great ingredients skillfully assembled by craftsmen who love their work. Unfortunately, the Chef's Counsel is not on board to supervise the final product. HALs logistics program is complex and mainly designed to minimize costs and maximize efficiencies. They do not take advantage of the terrific local products as they cruise from place to place. So freshness of ingredients is sacrificed in favor of program convenience. They claim there are reasons (or excuses) for this, but others seem to be able to take advantage of local fresh product availability. That's all I have to say about this topic. Everyone has to judge for themselves. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We are on Day 3 of our cruise on Sapphire Princess to Portugal and Europe Southern in October 2018. The company tag line is "Come back new". In our very short experience on board, that will not be the case. I feel we have to ... Read More
We are on Day 3 of our cruise on Sapphire Princess to Portugal and Europe Southern in October 2018. The company tag line is "Come back new". In our very short experience on board, that will not be the case. I feel we have to comment - because princess do not listen. As the carer for my disabled wife, we want a rest and minimal stress to relax and enjoy. The Sapphire Princess dies not deliver. Cabin - On arrival room had blocked toilet, too much furniture for wheelchair to access, broken toilet door, broken fridge and beds too high for easy wheelchar to bed transfer. Shower eventually did not work and only tepid water available. Excursions - None of the excursions (even on enquiry to customer services) were suitable for passengers in wheelchair. Where the cruise terminal was a number of kilometers to town, customer services could not guarantee transport (which you have to pay for) was suitable for wheelchairs! Disgraceful when you consider there were at least 50 people on board with wheel chairs/scooters. We have to walk and make our own excursion arrangements. Entertainment - The theatre had spaces for eight wheelchairs at the rear of the hall. During performances you had to curtail your evening meal and get there 60 minutes early to ensure you got one of the very few places where you could sit together. Wheelchairs were three deep and the carer could not sit beside the disabled person by the time the performance started. As well as being stressful, it was a fire and H&S risk as the wheelchairs, and other people standing in the walkways, blocked the rear exits from the theatre. Dining - Part of the enjoyment of a cruise is the luxury of good food prepared and served to you. Breakfast and lunch (lunch only on at sea days) were restricted to a restaurant at the lower rear of the ship. Since our cabin was at an upper level at bow, and due to configuration of deck plans, it took three elevator rides to get there. Not an easy journey, when you have no option but to use elevator, on a busy ship at peak times. Talk about stressful. We soon gave up on breakfast and lunch. Food has been very mixed. The alternative was to go to the cafeteria dining. This meant you had difficulty getting a table, had to collect food for both disabled person and carer - but they did not allow trays. This resulted in the carer having to make numerous trips to queue and get food, then drinks - if you found a suitable accessible table. This must also be a nightmare for parents with children who have similar issues. So much for being on holiday and having a stress free, relaxing vacation. Service has been reasonable - although they seem incapable of making any changes to alleviate things. In summary, accommodation below par; excursions below par; food service below par, ship configuration poor and entertainment not thought through. I cannot see us "Going back new" as a result of this experience. Very poor show Princess cruises. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018

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