15 Dubai Cruises for the Disabled Cruise Reviews

I chose to go on the Dubai to Valletta cruise onboard MV Oceana because having cruised so much I wanted new ports, the ports were restrictive for powerchair and Wheelchair users but still a good time. The ship is probably the worst in ... Read More
I chose to go on the Dubai to Valletta cruise onboard MV Oceana because having cruised so much I wanted new ports, the ports were restrictive for powerchair and Wheelchair users but still a good time. The ship is probably the worst in P&O,s fleet as it has poor access to open decks and some of the disabled toilets are difficult to open and some toilet seats don’t stay up but temper this disappointment with a friendly staff and first class food. My own cabin B312 had two broken lights, one faulty one and the bedside lights were erratic at best, service in the dining room was slow though this did improve. I just wish the ships accessibility had been addressed at her last refit, the captain and crew are a gem and need a better fitted resource. The theatre has an area at the back for wheelchairs and scooters but latecomers to the theatre consistently crowd you and spoil the experience, time the entertainment staff did something about it and I also had concerns over safety due to it ( is it a fire safety breach) Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We cruised recently on the Queen Mary 2 from Dubai to Hong Kong Queen Mary 2 is a transatlantic ocean liner. She is the largest ocean liner ever built, having served as the flagship of the Cunard Line since succeeding the Queen ... Read More
We cruised recently on the Queen Mary 2 from Dubai to Hong Kong Queen Mary 2 is a transatlantic ocean liner. She is the largest ocean liner ever built, having served as the flagship of the Cunard Line since succeeding the Queen Elizabeth 2 in 2004. As of 2019, Queen Mary 2 is the only passenger ship operating as an ocean liner. A key point is that the Queen Mary as a liner travels the trans-Atlantic route for the majority of the year, Southampton to New York, but also does an annual World voyage as a cruise ship. Our cruise was part of that annual voyage from Southampton to Japan and back. The public areas are very opulent and there are many inside options for activities and eating areas. However, being a liner there are not many outside eating areas, and the poolside seating is limited and in the evening non-existent. As we travelled through tropical countries it would have been good to be able to savour the balmy evenings on sea days and after leaving port. We particularly enjoyed the Planetarium sessions and the guest lecture series. Craft sessions, Zumba, chair aerobics and line dancing were also available on the frequent sea days. We were in a cabin on deck 5 and found the décor and fittings tired; with the carpet needing a good clean and the cracked tiles in the bathroom replaced. It is obvious that the British class system is very alive and well on QM2. There were several deck areas and restaurants on the ship that were out of bounds for the majority of the passengers. Areas that didn’t seem to have much patronage despite covering significant areas of the ship. The entertainment changes frequently with speakers, comedians and other entertainers either joining or leaving the ship at many ports. The entertainment from Dubai to Singapore was excellent, but from then on it was mediocre for some reason. The size and draught of the QM2 meant that may times we couldn’t dock at the cruise ship terminal and ended up at a working port. These ports were often a distance from the nearest town. For instance Doha, we docked about a 50 minute drive from the town, similarly in Chan May which was about 45 minutes from the town. Because these were working ports, we needed to shuttle to the port gate to meet our tour, designated taxis were sometimes allowed on the port but charged to get to the gate. Several of these ports seemed to be maiden visits and much was made of the ceremonies that took place. But as a passenger, it used up valuable shore time travelling to the nearest point of interest and they were unattractive, messy places. The major disappointment with Cunard and QM2 is that they will not tender wheelchair passengers. We have tendered safely many times with other cruise lines, but with Cunard wheelchair passengers have to step over a 45cm gap unassisted to be able to tender. I observed a lift to the tender platform and there are wheelchair accessible ramps into the tender, and a space where wheelchairs could be parked. But wheelchair passengers are discriminated against and denied going ashore at tender ports. My observations were that many of the elderly walking passengers were more unsteady on their feet and more likely to fall while transferring. Whereas, a wheelchair passenger is safe in their wheelchair and can be easily wheeled onto the tender. Subsequently we will never travel with Cunard again. There were no shore excursions that could be undertaken with a wheelchair. The only offering was a vehicle at a huge cost in several of the ports where we could follow a tour and maybe gain access to the attraction. Therefore, we organised our own shore excursions but trying to get times of arrival and departure at all the ports proved to be a mission. I achieved it finally only by contacting Cunard via their Facebook page. But finding out which part of the port, which berth or gate proved impossible. Thankfully the tour guides we employed were able to use their initiative and local knowledge to find us. But in many cases they were not allowed onto the ports. So where we had organised a wheelchair accessible taxi we had to carry my husband into a taxi to get to the port gate and then lift him out of the taxi. Not a pleasant experience for everyone, in high temperatures and humidity. Finally in Singapore, one wheelchair accessible taxi was provided in the rotation to transport wheelchair passengers to the Marina district. On the way back to the ship we were thankfully provided with a wheelchair accessible bus and loaded in three wheelchairs for the trip back to the ship. In summary I think QM2 should stick to trans-Atlantic crossings and leave cruises to designated cruise ships that are designed for cruising. If you are in a wheelchair definitely don’t cruise with Cunard. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We booked this cruise several months ago at a Cruise Event in a local hotel. The MSC rep managed to get us a fantastic deal on a Yacht Club Cabin so we booked it there and then. We have cruised several times on other lines, but the ... Read More
We booked this cruise several months ago at a Cruise Event in a local hotel. The MSC rep managed to get us a fantastic deal on a Yacht Club Cabin so we booked it there and then. We have cruised several times on other lines, but the Yacht Club was amazing. We had a seperate check-in area. When we had completed the paperwork our butler Nadia personally escorted us to the ship which had a seperate gangway for the YC - however, my wife is in a wheelchair and there were a few steps onto the gangway so Nadia to us to where the lugguage was being loaded on via a ramp - she stopped the loading and escorted us up the ramp, through the bowels of the ship and back to the public area. The cabin was amazing but the YC service was unbelievable. They even printed out a full copy of our UK newspaper and it arrived as a bound copy every morning. The YC facilities are brilliant with a seperate cocktail lounge, deck and pools and restaturant. On the first evening, Nadia met us in the YC reception and escorted us through the ship to the private YC restaurant. Every night the sommelier would see what food we had ordered and then recommend a suitable wine - all inclusive of course. As YC guests we could get drinks in any venue on the ship. One nice touch was when we were sunbathing, waiters would come round with trays of ice-creams ! Overall the cruise was very good and we got off in most ports and used the 'hop-on' buses to see the sights - we never imagined the size of some of the cities. The entertainment was very good and tailored to the international mix of passangers- so lots of dancers, magicians etc. When we finally had to disembark it was 3.00am as we had an early flight back. Nadia was there to escort us off the ship, collect our luguage and see us on to the accessible shuttle. We cannot speak to highly of this cruise - only problem is that my wife will want to have the yacht club experience every time ! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We boarded the Silver Spirit in Dubai and sailed over to the Seychelles - lovely itinerary with some nice sea days as well. Getting onboard the ship was easy and very fast and just no Q's at all. The ship looked lovely and the ... Read More
We boarded the Silver Spirit in Dubai and sailed over to the Seychelles - lovely itinerary with some nice sea days as well. Getting onboard the ship was easy and very fast and just no Q's at all. The ship looked lovely and the staff were amazing. We ate in most restuarants my favourite been the main dining room and Hot rocks which is up on the pool deck - gorgeous when you are in port to dine up here. The suite was gorgeous lots of space and very nice furnished with a great dressing room area for your clothes and shoes so it keeps your suite tidy. The butler and room attendant looked after us very well and kept our bar and toiletries stocked up. I would bring the butler home if I could. The beauty of Silversea after the lovely ships, staff and food is the size of the ships you sail right into the ports and some destinations you actually over night in which is lovely to do. However if you don't over night they seem to spend a lot longer in port than other cruise ships and the fact you sail right into the port with out getting on the tender boats is a big plus. We did some of the ships excursions which were excellent in Cochin we went on the River Boat and in the Maldives we did the beach visit to a resort - for such a wonderful destination we really needed more time. In Mumbai we took the private car trip with guide which we enjoyed as we could determine how long we were going to stop. Guests onboard are a mix so you find you are not dominated by any nation and a real nice European feel onboard the ship. Entertainment - there is a show each evening and the performs sing extremely well - we liked sitting in the bar and listening to the piano player or the Jazz bar was just excellent. Also enjoy going up to the DJ and sitting on the terrace listening to the music after dinner. Totally recommend for people who like the nicer things in life and enjoy real quality. Not much activities for children so you don't find children onboard really. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We booked an excursion to Paphos in Cyprus. The description of the tour which appealed to us was 1. Taken to Paphos and have three hours free time to explore independently or 2. Visit the Villa and see the mosaics and the tombs of the ... Read More
We booked an excursion to Paphos in Cyprus. The description of the tour which appealed to us was 1. Taken to Paphos and have three hours free time to explore independently or 2. Visit the Villa and see the mosaics and the tombs of the kings and lastly 3. Take a stroll along the harbour. However, we were given no choices at all! We were dropped off at the harbour and left there. There was only a few restaurant and tacky gift shops. I was in a wheelchair and on 24/7 oxygen. We tried to find some shops but it was a long trek and we only found a very small mall and went back to the harbour and waited there for a coach to return. We put in an official complaint at this persons desk when we returned and received 10% refund which was an absolute joke we had wasted our money and our day in Cyprus. The literature is completely misleading and if we had known what was in store we still could of taken the free shuttle bus or gone to Limassol where apparently the guests had a fantastic time which made us even more fed up ..... I keep trying to get in touch with the excursions specialist team as we was advised to do once we got back to UK but I have had no luck getting through so needed to vent my feelings somewhere. As for the cleanliness of the newly refurbished Kings Court, we found it dirty, especially the walls next to the tables, the skirting, the windows. Infact, a lot of the communal areas needed TLC. They were cleaned but the staff were very lethargic and did everything at a snail's pace and didn't seem to take any pride in the fact that they were on a Cunard ship, although they cleaned they didn't clean the edges or the corners. This is where germs lie ......... Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
My wife suffers from M.S. so we were a wee bit apprehensive as to how a cruise ship would suit anyone with a disability. Thomson were fantastic as we were provided with an adapted cabin with a wet room etc, with no extra charge. As 1st ... Read More
My wife suffers from M.S. so we were a wee bit apprehensive as to how a cruise ship would suit anyone with a disability. Thomson were fantastic as we were provided with an adapted cabin with a wet room etc, with no extra charge. As 1st time cruisers, we were very impressed with how easy it was for wheelchair users to get around the ship. The only gripe was that there was only 1 disabled toilet on board which was mostly used by able bodied folk who were too lazy to use the normal toilets!!!! Ok, getting that of my chest, the cruise itself was brilliant. the ship is a bit dated,but the service provided by "every" member of staff was 5 star. Cabin cleaned twice a day, food in all of the restaurants of a high quality. Entertainment was varied and mostly very good. To summarize, I would highly recommend the Thomson Celebration as it's not too formal and it certainly good value for money. The friendliness and the service of the crew made our 1st experience on a cruise ship a very memorable one. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
I chose this cruise as it was on offer at the travel agents,also Friends had been with Royal Caribbean before & recommended it! I read reviews before I went & was a bit concerned about the negative comments but I think they must ... Read More
I chose this cruise as it was on offer at the travel agents,also Friends had been with Royal Caribbean before & recommended it! I read reviews before I went & was a bit concerned about the negative comments but I think they must have been on a different ship! We went on the Dubai,khasab, Muscat, Abu-dhabi,to Dubai trip (7 nights) every thing was well organised from being met at the Airport to boarding the ship. throughout the trip all the crew were friendly ,helpful & couldn't help enough, we had an inside cabin without a window which was very comfortable but I would choose to have a view next time,(some ships have a virtual window) the ship was clean & well maintained although a cabin near us did have a burst pipe! There was plenty of choice of food during the day (serve yourself buffet) & in the evening,we chose my time dining so we were able to go for evening meal when we pleased & found there was only a short wait to be seated, the main restaurant staff were excellent & the food was top quality. you can eat in the buffet if you prefer, there was 2 formal nights which was nice to dress up a bit! On the whole the entertainment was good or you can use any of the bars for a drink. we didn't go on any of the excursions as we thought they were a bit expensive & some who did go were a bit disappointed. would we chose Royal Caribbean again? yes! one tip is if your using a credit card make sure that you let your bank know your cruise route as these are American ships anything purchased on board shows up as a transaction in Miami, so my card was blocked as I was in Miami at 10am & Dubai 1hr later! the Customer services team allowed me to use their phone to contact my bank & resolve this without charge, Vision of the seas is not the biggest or newest of the fleet but we thoroughly enjoyed it! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Have been on a few Thomson cruises which we have enjoyed, this was the first time on the Celebration. We had a disabled room , cabin 100, which was a double, we had ordered a twin, so the steward brought us a very low put me up bed which ... Read More
Have been on a few Thomson cruises which we have enjoyed, this was the first time on the Celebration. We had a disabled room , cabin 100, which was a double, we had ordered a twin, so the steward brought us a very low put me up bed which neither of could use so in the end shared the double, the disabled wet room was very good. We enjoyed the food in the Meridian most evenings meeting some lovely people to chat to, however the Lido buffet resembled a factory canteen with not much main course choice. The food in the Lido on formal night was very poor, surely the menu should be the same in both restaurants whether you want to dress up or not.. The entertainment was ok, nowhere near as good as the Dream last Summer, the show team were often out of tune and appeared to struggle. Enjoyed Dubai and Abu Dhabi, not keen on the other stops, Muscat was a no no with many people we spoke to. So all in all, it was ok, could have been better. The staff, as on all Thomsons ships were brilliant but as someone else said, its time this vibrating old ship got replaced. I believe the Discovery is wonderful, so the sooner they get the other Discoveries, the better. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Cities of Gold Thomson Celebration 10/01/17 to 18/01/17 We had our best ever transit through Gatwick with Cathy in wheelchair and Dariusdave limping alongside. Our only disappointment was that we would not be flying a “Dreamliner” ... Read More
Cities of Gold Thomson Celebration 10/01/17 to 18/01/17 We had our best ever transit through Gatwick with Cathy in wheelchair and Dariusdave limping alongside. Our only disappointment was that we would not be flying a “Dreamliner” to Dubai. Seats in the old Boeing felt cramped but night flight uneventful. Transit through Dubai was good, a decent pusher looked after Cathy and eventually our two cases appeared. We were helped to our coach and Dariusdave enjoyed our journey from airport to Cruise terminal and Celebration. This would be our third Celebration cruise, pre-boarding procedures were smoothly accomplished. We were greeted as old friends as we boarded and escorted to our “accessibility cabin” 103. Well Celebration is an ageing French lady with all the idiosyncrasies and temperaments one might expect. We selected this cruise as a first trip to The Gulf hoping the sun would help our arthritic joints. Cabin 103 Our cheerful cabin boy guided us to cabin 103 and despite a few sharp turns and narrow corridors we encountered our first Celebration idiosyncrasy, the cabin door was too narrow for Cathy’s chariot. So our response was simple, for the remainder of the cruise, Cathy would stand open the door Dariusdave would fold the wheelchair then enter. Cabin 103 was fascinating. The bathroom door was wide enough to allow the wheelchair to enter. But to create a decent wet room the floor had been raised hence there was a steep “ramp” from bedroom to bathroom. Fortunately Cathy could walk up and down this ramp. Otherwise the bathroom was good possessing many grab rails, a loo that vacuum flushed, a fine basin and a shower with a seat and again plenty of grab rails. All worked well. Our bed was comfortable, had room underneath for our cases. There was plenty of wardrobe space with quality hangers. There were chests of drawers a writing desk and flat screen television, kettle with tea and coffee making facility. Dariusdave found a 13 square pin plug for his sleep apnoea machine. We managed to move around and store Cathy’s chariot. Yes there was a safe and we paid knowing our insurance would cover its contents cameras, I-pad, passports, phones etc. As Celebration returners we were used to the vibration particularly in port where Dariusdave has previously mentioned that the rubber mountings for the generators had perished years ago. Food Glorious Food Times have changed aboard Celebration since our previous visit. A humorous Spanish waiter was stationed near the lifts with poster, table and tickets flogging a meal deal. Celebration was, for a fee, offering Hot Stone Steaks (on deck back of Lido Restaurant), Curry House (Kora La) and a Fine dine at Mistral’s. Well Dariusdave is succour for bargain dines so we bought the package. Except for the last breakfast and our three dinner packages we wined, dined and breakfasted at The Meridian Restaurant. Seasoned third world travellers we enjoyed every meal. We had plenty of choices and compared to Thomson’s Spirit the service was always “Ship shape and Bristol fashion”. Rather like “Are You Being Served” the crew’s rank was reflected in their uniform, but we were delighted the way a pair of young Officers (one male, one female) always welcomed us and prepared a table where Cathy could sit with dignity. Celebration’s Meridian Restaurant crew worked as a team, there was a spirit of helping guests creating a relaxed atmosphere conducive to friendly conversation. Evenings we regularly dined with a Lancastrian couple retired publicans who had a cricketing son and a Yorkshire couple. The Yorkshire couple proud of their arranged marriage one Sikh, one Hindu, the retired teacher knew our daughter’s school. Diversity amongst pensioners was one of many enjoyable aspects to this cruise. Entertainment It has to be said we really missed Maris & Thomas Intense singing on deck 9 Horizons Bar and before Captain’s Welcome evening speech. We always loved Maris & Thomas who were friendly, professional singers who entertained bantering with their adoring audience. Regret Thomson need to send out the talent scouts as replacements on Cities of Gold Cruise were like watching a coarse rugby team when used to being entertained a Premiership team. However our dining friends kept inviting us to join them in the Broadway Show Lounge. Now Dariusdave a regular to London’s Westend (Mowtown my birthday treat in April) has been a tad critical of shows on previous cruises. Cities of Gold Jan 2017 was a great improvement, Cathy loved these shows even when watching from her chariot which sometimes offered a restricted view. Yes we were entertained so let’s say a big thank you to the Show Squad. Trips We came to see The Cities Of Gold, we had booked “panoramic” trips for every port. Yet again Dariusdave’s theory that cruise ships attract first class guides was confirmed. Every trip was a delight frequently with bonus items. 12th Jan Manama Bahrain what should have been a quick photo stop turned into a guided tour of the Al Fatah Grand Mosque. Men were invited to wear a Dash, our Lady Guide dressed in Hajib was informative mentioning at least 12 times ”our creator God” and readily responded to questions. Dariusdave at the end of the tour sought explanations regarding Mary the Mother of Jesus. Our Guide detailed what Dariusdave had heard at Sultan Ahmet (Blue Mosque) Istanbul, that Mary is the most important lady on earth, more important than the guides mother or daughter that Mary is mentioned more often in The Koran than the four Gospels. Dariusdave was first given Chapter 19 from The Koran “Maryam” and later an English translation for The Koran. Our guide and other official helpers at “The Book Table” kept repeating that there were no charges in this or any other Mosque. As an Ecumenical Anglican I wish our Senior Clergy Deans and Bishops could learn from these sincere folk when imposing charges to visit or pray in English Cathedrals. Dariusdave was worried when rumour suggested that the Khasab trip would require tenders. Would Cathy be able to go ashore? Questions were put to the Thomson trip team located by The Coffee Port. Delighted to be assured that if Cathy could descend a few steps Thomson crew were proficient and experienced at transferring mobility challenged passengers to tenders. Yes they succeeded with dignity. Interesting while we were waiting Captain Krzysztof was “prowling around” very hands on making sure that all was well and safe. We felt the Khasab trip was exceptional, possibly the best. Our Egyptian Guide was most informative. We enjoyed his tales about the “smugglers” how most days 30-50 speedboats equipped with large Yamaha outboard engines speed across The Straits of Hormuz from Iran bringing livestock and Saffron, returning with electronics (flat screen t.v’s, computers, Marlborough and heaven forbid Johnnie Walker). So much for United Nations or E.U. sanctions from our coach we saw the smugglers fleet leaving Khasab a most impressive flotilla. We were amused with our Abu Dhabi trip; we passed through a “duty free” area with free Wi-Fi. It seemed most the crew were here communicating with their families and perhaps taking advantage of the posters offering free money transfers to Philippines. The highlight of this trip should have been The Gold Souk; Dariusdave was under pressure to purchase a Sapphire treat for Cathy to commemorate 45 years marriage. No luck, our Yorkshire friends (call a spade a spade) suggested on our return there was nothing they would want to be seen wearing in England. Conclusions We kept mentioning to crew how much we were looking forward to re-joining Celebration in August to cruise from Newcastle to St Petersburg. Cities Of Gold was a wonderful much enjoyed cruise, most aspects were sheer delight. Sad to report Celebration this grand old French lady is doomed; the TUI accountants had already decided not to return to Cities Of Gold winter 2018. But even worse have decide like a Dr Beeching in the steam era, to take this popular much loved lady out of service. Steam train Tornado puffed through Swindon bound for Cardiff St David’s day 2017. Every bridge, every safe photo position and station platforms were crowded with old steam train enthusiasts. The same people who would happily ignore a frayed carpet or worn joinery item so they could celebrate an old fashioned little liner Celebration cruise with friendly fellow passengers and cheerful crew. Footnote I treasure an official photo dated 16. 01. 2017 Abu Dhabi UAE Thomson Celebration. It shows Dariusdave pushing Cathy in her chariot both of us smiling happy as can be alongside Celebration. Sunday 22 January we retired to bed together, sadly The Grim Reaper called before sunrise Monday 23 January our 45 year marriage unexpectedly ended no more cruises or holidays. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We chose this to be our introduction to cruising. Being disabled we booked an accessible suite and were not Dissapointed, the stateroom was superb with the balcony having a ramp to get in and out, a full wet room shower and everything was ... Read More
We chose this to be our introduction to cruising. Being disabled we booked an accessible suite and were not Dissapointed, the stateroom was superb with the balcony having a ramp to get in and out, a full wet room shower and everything was lower to suit wheelchair users. Access was great with the larger door having an auto opener fitted. The food was, without a doubt, a high point. The specialist dining was worth every penny, but no way would anybody feel shortchanged with the standard package, it was all plentiful and the selections available would suit any palette. The entertainment was plentiful and would suit the vast majority. Most of the crew were like walking ship maps and seemed to know what, when, and where for everything and as helpful as you could wish. Plenty of time was given over to excursions and city visits including plenty of time in Dubai prior to departure. I was at first a little concerned about embarkation and disembarkation but need not have worried, getting on and off went as smooth as could be and help was there at all points. Luggage was never an issue and was where it needed to be when it was needed. Just as an aside, the bars were great. The only problem now is where and with who next? Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
The good things about this ship: Room is of good size with plenty of sorage space. We were lucky to choose a balcony at the very back of the ship with enough space for a table, 3 sitting chairs and two lounge chairs. The Chops Grill ... Read More
The good things about this ship: Room is of good size with plenty of sorage space. We were lucky to choose a balcony at the very back of the ship with enough space for a table, 3 sitting chairs and two lounge chairs. The Chops Grill on this ship was my best dining venue on all my cruiselines and I've taken mostly more upscale than This one. Should I end up on another RCCL voyage And it's at par to this one I will spend most of my meals there. Excursions (Persian Golf cruise) were great and affordable. The ship is retiring in a few weeks! And now for the not so good news. Oftentimes we could smell the sewage on most of the starboard side of the ship. Fortunately our area was spared, but for most people it definitely was a nuisance. Our toilet system broke down on every single day, although we never used anything but tissue paper as what was asked. They came twice in the week to the entire mechanism but it work for maybe an hour ans would break up again. We ended up using the public toilets most of the time. Aside from Chops Grill, food is very dissapointing, but then, I am accustomed to better cruiselines. Level of service in restaurants vary a lot, this is especially true in the Windjammer Cafe where you do not have an assigned waiter. This is the first time in all my cruises that I was not able to get a table for 2. Those are very rare so don't even hope for it. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We had never travelled with Royal Caribbean before and were very excited as we were visiting places we had never thought we would ever visit and had heard great reviews about Royal Caribbean as we have family members that have been ... Read More
We had never travelled with Royal Caribbean before and were very excited as we were visiting places we had never thought we would ever visit and had heard great reviews about Royal Caribbean as we have family members that have been travelling with RCI for years and they always gave us great reviews. We are a couple, travelling with a family of three so a total of 5, one member was in a wheelchair. Check in was initially done online so we assumed it would be pretty simple as we were allocated a check in time of 11.00am. We arrived at the terminal in Dubai at 10.45 and can only describe it as chaos. We got out of the taxi and had to wait in 50 degree heat for roughly 40 minutes whilst the disorganised luggage checking in men finally decided to get to us. People were pushing and shoving to get the luggage men to take their luggage which was quite difficult for us when travelling with a disabled person and a 3 year old child. Once our luggage was checked in we headed towards the check in desks to be faced with queues that were moving exceedingly slowly, these also were very disorganised and people were let to the front and rushed through without any explanation, after queuing here for another 90 minutes other cruise members insisted our group went to the front of the queue as we had a disabled person with us. We then checked in again, had to give credit card details and passports even though we had previously done this online. Great we thought, we can finally get on the ship and relax, how wrong we were! We checked in and then faced huge queues and a mob of people all waiting to board the ship. No one advised of what was happening and everyone was complaining to staff, it was about 40 minutes before someone explained that we were not allowed on the ship as not everyone had got off. We then waited a further 40 minutes before the doors opened and the stampede of people ran for the doors. We pointed out to one of the stewards that we were travelling with a disabled person and they should board separately, this seemed to work and we were allowed to board the ship. We went to our room and it was clean and ready, we then decided to go and find the buffet restaurant as we were quite hungry from hanging around all day. The food wasn't great and certainly wasn't hot but we put it down to being the first day and it must be difficult as people were boarding all day. After contacting the customer service desk we were told our luggage would possibly be at our room by 8pm. We had no change of clothes and no swimwear to get changed into. We spent the whole day in our travelling clothes which was very frustrating. The second night on the ship, we decided to eat in the Grande Restaurant and my husband wore a shirt, tie and trousers, he was almost turned away as he wasn't wearing a jacket, luckily the receptionist realised that a shirt and tie is smart and got my husband a spare jacket to wear. The table we were seated at was right next to the kitchen which was very noisy and waiters were constantly walking past. We were not asked if we wanted a drink and when my husband asked for a Jack Daniels and it took 45 minutes to arrive. Well after the main course had been eaten. The starters weren't great, the prawns I had still had the black vein in them and my husbands starter was cold. Both our main courses were cold and lacked taste. The main buffet, windjammer wasn't great, most of the time the food was luke warm and lacked taste. We also noticed the floor in here was never mopped, the edges of all the carpets and close to the serving benches were always grubby with dirt all around them. It was difficult to eat in the dynamic dining no matter what time you tried to eat there. The soft drinks package did not include all soft drinks, it was only drinks from the machine that ran out of anything orange flavoured within the first 6 days of the cruise and this wasn't filled up till around day 18 of the cruise which meant we had to make do with something we didn't really want. If you wanted more than one bottle of water because of the temperature outside, you weren't allowed, you had to go and come back at least 15 minutes later. So hardly unlimited! Cruising around Malaysia was a nightmare, the children from China were left to run riot around the pool. They were throwing the sun loungers in the pool, balls were being thrown everywhere, there was running around the pool and diving, water bombing and the Chinese were even drinking from glasses rather than the safety plastic ones normally supplied. The trips were a joke for someone in a wheelchair yet we were advised by the booking staff that they were suitable, we weren't able to do most of the activities due to difficulty with stairs and were treated with total disrespect in Hong Kong by staff at the highest point in Hong Kong. Throughout the whole cruise we had problems with our wrist bands and the bar staff had to get us to sign a chit rather than scan our bands as they weren't working properly. Internet was quite expensive and was very intermittent, we complained time and time again after having to queue at guest services each time for 45 plus minutes. I couldn't use the bionic bar as my wrist band had the incorrect date of birth so I paid for the full drinks package for 3 nights and had to continually use my husbands band even after queuing up at guest services for 40 minutes, several times. We were told to vacate our room as some work had to be done in there for 4 hours, the chaos was ensuing around the pool so we left there to head to the 270 bar but that was closed due to a private function and the other areas to relax were very cramped. There was constant drilling and construction work being done around the pool which made it very difficult to relax as you could hardly hear the music. When the ship arrives in a port and its a changeover day, there aren't many places to eat after breakfast. The pool bar doesn't open until around 11.30 and the services are greatly reduced. The pool wasn't open till 10.30 either. First two weeks, our room girl was great, she never disturbed us and would always keep an eye out so she could service our room. Unfortunately once the maid was changed to a male after two weeks, the service went very much downhill. Our sheets were hardly changed and I spilt coffee on the quilt cover and this wasn't changed for over a week. The pillow cases had stains on and the room was never serviced before 1pm. We were delayed into shanghai due to fog by 5 hours so when we arrived we were told we could stay in our room till we disembarked yet we had a rude staff member from room service ring our room and tell us we needed to vacate. Guest services advised this was incorrect, we were then called half an hour later and told to get out of the room by 3pm. We headed to the 270 bar as this was where we were told to go where there were hardly any seats. The bar was shut and there was no where to get food. We left the ship after queuing for 2 hours at 8pm. We then had to queue for another 2 hours for a taxi with thousands of other people all waiting. Whilst on board I got an ear infection from the swimming pool and our whole party got a chest infection as there were so many people on board with chest infections, it was inevitable. Most of the staff with the exception of about 3 were poorly trained, had terrible customer service skills and spoke little English. Speaking to them was a difficult chore we tried to avoid. Once we reported all our concerns once again to customer services we were offered 500 us dollars room credit when we book another cruise!!! Be careful booking this trip as they cannot deliver what they promise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
The LIRICA was ok, I don't think we will cruise with them again though because their service is so inconsistent. We booked a junior suite with a balcony. Good Bits:- - Lots of staff at the airport, made finding the coach easy. - ... Read More
The LIRICA was ok, I don't think we will cruise with them again though because their service is so inconsistent. We booked a junior suite with a balcony. Good Bits:- - Lots of staff at the airport, made finding the coach easy. - Moved quickly through the queue at the terminal for check in. - After the Airport, they took care of the suitcases and got them to the right room. - Designated disabled entrance and security helped onto the ship. - A member of staff pushed the wheel chair user to our room. - There were never any broken down lifts. - the ship was spotlessly clean and the cabin steward was really helpful. - Loads of storage space in the cabin, more than we needed. - Designated disabled sun beds by the pool. - designated disabled tables in the buffet restaurant. - A few nice members of staff who opened doors for us. - Assistance provided for getting off the ship and they took care of the suitcases off the ship and onto the port. - Lots of people from lots of different nationalities on board. - Catered for as many languages as possible. - Easy transfers to coach from ship on Excursions. - Oman Excursions well organised and enjoyable. - Restaurant staff in the sit down restaurant pushed wheel chair user to table most of the time. - Security always helped get on and off ship. - Reasonable choice of duty free shops for a small ship. Bad Bits - No information or welcome from the rep on the coach. - Lifts only big enough for one wheel chair + 3 people and were very slow. - Below decks had high bumps round doors which were difficult with the wheel chair. - Some staff were very miserable and unhelpful, I.e. Trying to order an ice cream Sunday. - If able bodied people used Disabled designated tables in the buffet, no one moved them. - Attitude from Excursion desk that disabled people should either stay on ship, or if they do go off ship, they should not get off the coach, and shouldn't have more than a 4 hour excursion. We think we were told an excursion was sold out when it wasn't because they didn't want a wheel chair user on it. - Disabled sun Beds a long way from the pool. - Lack of information throughout, we were late leaving for two excursions but no one told us why. - expectation that wheel chair user should walk when out on excursions. - Food was mediocre and the buffet bar lacked choice, only catering for Italian tastes. - No Assistance in the buffet bar which meant my husband and I continually ate separately. I pushed him round and got him seated then by the time I got my food he had finished. - Gala night the majority of passengers did not dress up but were not turned away, several wearing jeans. the dress was supposed to be dinner jacket and cocktail dress. casual dress was only meant to be in the buffet. - Only one pillow each in the cabin. - No chocolates on the pillow when the bed was turned down. It was ok, we went with Thomson last cruise we did which was superb, going on Thomson again on our next cruise.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
This was our first cruise with Oceania and shortly after we boarded one of the staff commented that it was pretty brave to choose an unknown cruise line on which to pass the next 65 days. We choose our cruises based on the ports of call ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Oceania and shortly after we boarded one of the staff commented that it was pretty brave to choose an unknown cruise line on which to pass the next 65 days. We choose our cruises based on the ports of call first and then the size of ship. Of course one always has a preference to a known cruise company but our agent was certain we would enjoy what Oceania had to offer on board. Oceania did play around with the itinerary just before final payment was due and we had booked a back to back, so when Myanmar was slashed for "whatever" reason I did do a hmmmm but made the final payment and thought oh well, hopefully they don't slash any more ports. First Kenya, Tanzania and then Myanmar, basic reasons we did choose this cruise. They truly didn't "think about" the ports they put in place of those slashed, so corporate office get someone outside that little office to think about what to replace Myanmar with - not Trincomalee Sri Lanka! Anyhow on to the Nautica and I must say from the get-go the staff was excellent. Possibly one of the best bunch of crew we have had the privilege to sail with. Friendly, helpful always going out of their way to make sure our day was just that much better. From the Captain down each person was a pleasure to interact with. I have not come across a General Manager that was more human, helpful and thoughtful than Dominique a gem of a gentleman. If from here I continued to mention names of people that impressed me it would fill the page. The food fantastic! Imagine every day fresh berries (at least 2 varieties) and fresh tropical fruits like mangos and papayas alongside.. never missing a day. The Grand Dining room was just that, a slow, relaxed dining atmosphere. The 2 speciality restaurants and the management fantastic. The alfresco evening dinners in the Terrace were also a delight. Perhaps the best were the baguettes and French pastries, took me back to small bakeries in rural France, fresh out of the oven. The afternoon tea with the Florentines took me back to my younger days in Europe - thanks for the memories! There was a "situation" with the doctor, hired by Oceania, and eventually it could not be overlooked those in charge of the ship, brought it under control in a gentlemanly way as quick as they possibly could. It did mar the Dubai to Cape Town leg and gave for some worrisome times, I did even call Oceania's head office in Miami to lodge a personal complaint, which I never did hear anything from, another sweep under the corporate carpet. Before we sailed I had read 3 important/interesting things about Oceania. First, there are no activities for any child or even teen so don't expect to see many, if any, children on board. Second, Oceania is a port intensive cruise line so don't expect too much from the nightly entertainment, truly some of the entertainment sent by corporate office was questionable. Third expect the best beds in the cruise industry. True, true and true! The little touches of no charge on specialty coffees and non-alcoholic drinks and the free speciality restaurants were a nice touch. My only complaint was the lack of port talks. Yes we did get a verbal reading of what each port was like and what there was to see. But it was a "report" not a port talk. Nobody mentioned about the local dishes to try in different countries, or what to expect if we didn't take one of the very, very over priced tours. There are some people like my husband and myself, due to medical reasons, we cannot commit to the tours and then had to research or talk to others in order to glean something about the ports of call (remembering the speed and cost of the Internet we couldn't even search for ideas of what to do) Fortunately again the multi-country staff came to the rescue and gave us some ideas of what to expect. Other cruise lines I have sailed sell their ship tours but still give the independent traveler a lot of information and encouragement to enjoy the strange new countries they are about to see and experience. Many a passenger on this cruise had no idea of the poverty or the difficulties the countries were up against as that wasn't in the "manual". Perhaps some of the passengers would have appreciated things they saw more with a real port talk. On arrival in a port it was often heard, there is nothing to see here so guess we will go into port for a look-see. Even the names of the ports and important sights were so badly mispronounced it was hard to imagine what was being said. With the international crew on board one could have just asked around for correct pronunciations (that is what we did) to educate the passengers properly. With a little more enthusiasm during the port talks the guests would have been humming with delight for all the countries we were privileged visited. Will I cruise with Oceania again, hmm not sure. That is to say it is only the corporate office that is not getting my vote. Pricing of the cruise itself was very high. Pricing of the tours unreal. Spa prices hit the roof and the doctor prices (company quoted) were astronomical. I am writing this in comparison to the many other cruises we have taken. If I base it on my time spent on Nautica with the excellent staff - yes I'd sail with them again! Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
Background This was our 4th Costa cruise out of about 30 in total but this time we took our daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter for their first cruise. It was good to see some of the things we take for granted through the eyes of ... Read More
Background This was our 4th Costa cruise out of about 30 in total but this time we took our daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter for their first cruise. It was good to see some of the things we take for granted through the eyes of first-timers and we were all very pleased with the holiday. The Deliziosa is a nice new ship, rather bright and gaudy in places. We knew what to expect from the food on Costa - excellent pasta and fish, variable quality meat and less than exciting desserts, and it did not disappoint. The buffet weas nothing special but our waiters in the main dining room were excellent, in fact the crew in general were very pleasant and friendly, despite the ongoing problem of multiple languages. Some menu items lose something in the translation (eg slow cooked rib-eye steak = prime rib). Costa may not be the most luxurious of cruise lines but we always admire their ability to cope with the multiple languages, and our family particularly liked the relaxed party atmosphere on board. Embarkation We had already spent a few days in Dubai before the cruise (very nice family apartment in the Dunes Hotel Barsha, near the Mall of the Emirates) and been to Ski Dubai, Aquaventure water park at Atlantis on the Palm, seen the Burj Khalifa and explored several shopping malls and souks. Having booked cruise-only and organised our own flights & hotel 2 of us took all the luggage to the ship by taxi on the first day. Our tickets showed embarkation from 8pm but we had heard from other CC members that we could board from 3pm and this was indeed the case. Arriving back at the port shortly after 3pm we expected a long queue but in fact must have beaten the crowds as we walked straight on board. Cabins were not supposed to be available until 6.30pm but our steward kindly allowed us to leave our hand luggage so that we could explore unencumbered. At 6.30pm we returned to find our Costa cards in the cabin, as usual. The family had the X1 drinks package and got drinks during the afternoon buffet by showing their booking form. As widely reported on CC drinks on Costa are very expensive and at about £10 per day this is an excellent package for anyone who likes a few glasses of wine/beer and was well worth it for them. The only glitch they reported was that some of the staff at the pool bar did not always know whether the buffet was open so whether or not they could get drinks there. So now to the ports of call. A few hours of research really paid off on this cruise, as the maps and information provided by Costa were fairly useless, I would definitely recommend printing out maps from the internet before leaving home if you do not intend to take excursions. Muscat, Oman Immigration cards were given out as we left the ship - the same for all nationalities (2 of our family have Maltese passports and had needed 3 visas each for the UAE, one for each entry, which had been rather a nuisance to organise and cost about 50 pounds per visa). All of the ports on this cruise are large commercial harbours and all provide a free bus to the port gates, but Muscat is the only place where there is anything of interest within walking distance of the drop-off point. It was a pleasant, if hot, walk along the seafront corniche to Muttrah Souk. There are nice gold sunshades by the sea every now and then and the entrance to the Souk is clearly marked on the large gateway (maybe half a mile at most from the drop-off point). There were plenty of taxis available at the port gates offering tours into Muscat itself but we enjoyed just wandering around the Souk for a few hours. The forts at the entrance to Muscat are clearly visible from the ship, as was the huge inscense burner on a nearby hilltop. This is the place to buy Frankincense and perfumes. Fujairah, UAE Having read earlier reviews we had low expectations of Fujairah but in fact quite enjoyed the day. We had considered hiring a car here (and if we visited again probably would as the driving was nowhere near as mad a Dubai and I found several companies that would deliver a car to the port) but this time took the 6 euro Costa shuttle to the Lu Lu hypermarket, quite a pleasant drive and we saw quite a lot of the city - it went along the seafront going and came back a different route via the fort. The hypermarket was large, some things were cheap (granddaughter bought a Blackberry and saved about 60 euros), my only feeling was that the shop should really have paid for the shuttle bus, as there was nothing else in the area. There were several taxi drivers offering 90 minute tours from the hypermarket car park but they only looked like visits to 4 forts, probably not very interesting. We did not see any taxis at the port gates. Abu Dhabi, UAE I had booked a 14 seater minibus over the internet from a company called Majestic Transport from 350 dirhams (about 70 pounds) and through our CC rollcall had made up to 11 people, and then found another 3 on board to join us, so excellent value at 25 dirhams each (about 5 pounds). The free port shuttle here did not drop off at the port gate, as expected, but took us to the Mina Centre, a small shopping mall a couple of miles away. The hop-on-hop-off bus (200 dirhams each) stops here as do some local city buses (I would be tempted to try them if we ever returned). As each shuttle bus arrived it was surrounded by a mob of taxi drivers - the only place on this cruise where we experienced any significant hassle. Unfortunately we were a bit early and our bus was 20 minutes late, finally arriving after a number of phone calls to the company to explain our location, each time assuring us that it was 'right there', while several taxi drivers with smaller vehicles tried to convince us that they were the one we were waiting for - all rather stressful and we were pleased when a bus arrived, the driver assured us he was from Majestic, I showed him the print-out of his boss' s email that we had to give him 350 dirhams at the end of the day and he confirmed that was right. We had absolutely super day, Ahmed, the driver, was most helpful and acted as a guide as well as a driver. First stop was the magnificent Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque, a little like the Taj Mahal in shape, really lovely. Abayas were provided for the ladies. Men were allowed in provided they had long trousers - any with shorts were given a white robe. The mosque is about 30 minutes drive out of the city and closes at midday but we just made it and were so pleased that we did. Next Ahmed suggested a drive past the palaces of the Sheik's various wives and relations, which he pointed out, then a visit to the 7* Emirates Palace Hotel. Sadly they did not let us into the hotel as it is now restricted to groups of 5 or less, but we saw it from the outside. Then we drove a short distance to the Heritage Village, an open air museum of life before oil and a small craft market (all free admission) with a stunning white sand beach. From there we spent a couple of hours at the nearby Marina Mall for lunch and visited the tower for fantastic views of the city. It is really a restaurant but just follow the signs to 'Burj Marina' and ask to go up, it was no problem (and free). Last stop was a few minutes on the public beach on the way back to the ship - how we all wished we had brought our swimming costumes, it was so lovely and we could only paddle ! Sadly, the day ended on a slightly sour note when Ahmed told us his boss had 'made a mistake' about the price and it should have been 350 euros (he later tried dollars) not dirhams. I was really upset as I had shown him the printout before we got on the bus and he agreed it, and we had whipped round for a very nice tip for him as he had been so good. Of course we refused to pay any extra and he did not pursue the matter for very long - I suspect this is something they just try on with tourists, I have read about a similar ploy with taxi drivers, so for anyone else visiting please be careful and always get a quote in writing including the currency. We would have thoroughly recommended his firm to other CC members if it had not been for this. But Abu Dhabi was definitely our favourite port of the cruise. For anyone else visiting you would get a good view of the city (including the Emirates Palace and the beaches) by taking the shuttle bus to the Marina Mall - the heritage village is walkable distance from there too. Bahrain We went with low expectations again, as other reviews had said it was dirty, nothing there etc etc and even my cousin who lived there for 15 years was surprised that cruises call there now. She told us that, being a Friday, the souk would not be open in the morning, so we had a lie in and headed off about 11.30am. The only easy way to get into town is to take the 6 euro shuttle bus as it is a very long way (about half an hour in easy traffic). There is also a free shuttle to the port gate (several miles from the ship) and a few taxis were waiting there but sadly they are known for rip-offs and one couple we spoke to paid 26 euros and still did not get to where they wanted. We were pleasantly surprised to arrive in the centre of Manama just opposite the Bab-al-Bahrain gateway, to find thousands of little shops selling everything you could think of - and copies of every designer label under the sun (handbags about 20-25 euros, 'iphones' about 80-100 but not all features work). Some shops were indeed closed for the day, but about 75% were open in the afternoon, at least, so we had more than enough to keep us busy for a few hours. It was not as clean as Dubai or Abu Dhabi but we did not think it was particularly dirty, just a typical middle eastern souk. Dubai Disembarkation The process is a typical Costa easy-going muddle. No other cruise line lets arrivers mingle with leavers for a couple of days over changeover, but we had this in Hong Kong with Costa and again in Dubai and actually it works fine. There is no proper information, you just come and go from the ship as you please from when it docks on Saturday lunchtime until sometime on Sunday night/Monday morning and when you are ready to go - you just go ! Our family had to leave early on the Sunday morning, our own flight was not until the early hours of Monday morning, so we enjoyed a long walk along Dubai creek and around the gold souk, returned to the ship for a final swim, ate dinner (open seating but still the fixed times of 6.15/8.45pm) then got a taxi to the airport about 11pm. Shows Costa excell in language-free shows. We had 2 juggler/magician/acrobat acts - both excellent, just a shame they were on consecutive nights. Productions shows are not really my 'thing' but the 'Delicious' one was actually very good. The other one was something about shapes, we only saw the first 10 minutes, as that was the only night the show was after 2nd seating dinner and we were tired. The last night was one of the resident pianists, Pietro, doing a solo show and he was absolutely amazing - do not miss him ! Conclusion We loved the cruise - probably our best yet with Costa. It is a shame that so many English travellers are consistently disappointed with Costa, we have always enjoyed the difference, but then we love Italian food, don't drink so don't care about the prices, and I quite enjoy trying to understand the announcements in other languages - if things like that would ruin a cruise for you, please go with another line ! We would not mind repeating the itinerary one day as we focused on enjoying the ship and shopping on this trip and probably missed out on some sightseeing in this interesting area. As for the family, they say they love to cruise again and would be happy to do 2 weeks with Costa next time ! Read Less
Sail Date April 2010

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