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52 Dubai to Trans-Ocean Cruise Reviews

We recently completed an 18-day voyage from Dubai to Athens on the Seabourn Encore. This was our 6th Seabourn cruise; all previous ones were on the Quest and Odyssey. Having read many comments about the size of the Encore (many people ... Read More
We recently completed an 18-day voyage from Dubai to Athens on the Seabourn Encore. This was our 6th Seabourn cruise; all previous ones were on the Quest and Odyssey. Having read many comments about the size of the Encore (many people calling them “megaships” which we found amusing having sailed on ships carrying 3500 passengers vs. 600) we were interested to see how she compared to the smaller ships. We were very pleased with our experience. We sailed in a Wintergarden Suite which we have done on the smaller ships. There were a couple of minor glitches upon boarding (things not in the suite which should have been). These were quickly remedied and from that point on we had no other issues. The WG suite on the Encore is superior to the ones on the smaller ships in our opinion. The bathroom is greatly improved particularly with a much-improved shower. On the smaller ships it’s a circular one open on one side and we always had problems with water running everywhere. The one on Encore is larger and completely enclosed. The furniture is more comfortable as well. We loved the larger Observation Bar, also with more comfortable seating. The Thomas Keller Grill is a great space and the Colonnade is greatly improved with more seating outside and improved serving space. Seabourn Square was also larger and we enjoyed the space. There have been comments about the crowds on the larger ship. We never experienced that. We were always able to get a seat. In the restaurant we never had to wait for a table and we always choose a table for two. Service was always prompt with no delays between courses. We had two reservations at the TK Grill but we were able to walk in on two other evenings. At the Observation Bar we were always promptly served and after the first couple of nights the server knew what our choice of beverage was. We don’t go to shows so I can’t comment on them. The entertainment in the Observation Bar and the pianist in the TK Grill were very good. There were several lecturers on board and we enjoyed them very much. This was a cruise with many sea days and there were plenty of activities available, including art classes, bridge, photography and cooking demonstrations. We took several Seabourn excursions and enjoyed them. We did an overnight trip in Israel and thought it was very good despite the heat. In conclusion, we loved our cruise on the Seabourn Encore. We are booked on her sister the Ovation for our next cruise and look forward to that one. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Looked inviting good price and places we had not been before To start with the best parts throughly enjoyed the cruise ship,and decor outstanding,crew,staff excellent food very good and overall 6/10 1/ But as we arrived on the ... Read More
Looked inviting good price and places we had not been before To start with the best parts throughly enjoyed the cruise ship,and decor outstanding,crew,staff excellent food very good and overall 6/10 1/ But as we arrived on the morning at 9 am and had a taxi to the ship for 9.30 and then discovered we couldn’t board until 8pm what nonsense then they gave us lottery tickets to board in order which would have taken for ever eventually it was a free for all and boarded 4 pm however didn’t do the safety drill that night and a day later they informed us of the drill time and was away on a trip so never did it contrary to Sea going Legislation 2/ At dinner time was then informed of the need to buy water at the dinner table which is a No No when you could bathe in it up in the Buffett. 3/ the cleanness in the upstairs dining area is compromised by hundreds of people filling up unclean water bottles and flasks because of the no water policy in the dining room it’s a disaster waiting to happen. 4/ I have the need to use the disabled toilet but 70% of them did not work or the doors were turned off 5/ on the night of the Buffett only one ordinary toilet was working with all those hundreds of people on that deck 3 times I waited outside the locked sit down toilet only to find they had been locked due to blockages 6/ we were charged €20 a day service charge which we were told could not be removed but none of the crew gets any of this amount it goes directly as profits and decided this wasn’t fair so gave payments to persons accordingly 7/ we had our passports confiscated on day one and didn’t have them until the morning we left the ship in Kula Lampur,we should have been given them the night before and signed a release form so we wouldn’t have to worry about missing our flight 8/ None of the discounts available on board were accounted for in the inroom TV screens and when I was told about the 25% discount on a bottle of Prosecco which wasn’t on my bill you said it did not apply to this particular cruise what a con and you still owe me €3.25 for this discount 9/ At the theatre shows which were fabulous to get a good seat you had to be there 20 minutes early and were then subjected to continuous advertising which after a while became intolerable 10/ No English on any of the TV channels but plenty of other languages available 11/ Chaos when we docked on deck One/Two because of amateur persons performing the landing exercise 12/ would have like a Italian Pizza on deck 13 but every time we went there it was just dry Foccacia bread with no sauce or taste. 13/ And sadly always felt like a second class citizen over the Chinese persons on board 14/ And most of all it was a disaster for Costa Cruises in public relations as hundreds of people I spoke to would never book with Costa Cruises again Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Firstly I know this ship has just gone in for a six week refurbishment. That being said having cruised with Royal many times ( Diamond Plus) I found myself constantly defending their policy’s but I can’t defend the indefensible. When ... Read More
Firstly I know this ship has just gone in for a six week refurbishment. That being said having cruised with Royal many times ( Diamond Plus) I found myself constantly defending their policy’s but I can’t defend the indefensible. When will they stop this nickel and dime policy, over priced tours ,menus unchanged in years,shows that boarder on children’s party level. I take no pleasure in saying that. The ship was clean but looked tired ,we had work men on board during the cruise dismantling venues a very poor impression given to first time cruisers. The ice show repeated at least nine times during our 28 night voyage,trivia’s repeated three to four times. The staff on the whole work very hard and polite. The ship is in dry dock and needs this overhaul. We had a inside cabin on deck 6 in was fine clean ,quiet and everything worked well. We mostly dined in the dining room at night the service was good and the food of a good quality. Dining room lunch was our favourite meal of the day good choice. The entertainment was in my opinion poor as I have said some shows children’s party level but we did enjoy a Beatles tribute and violin player . We took two tours from the ship in Phuket and in Cochin both were fine and weren’t expensive.We then took a private tour to Petra in Jordan which worked out at just over half the price of the ships tour and featured more sights. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We boarded the ship in Dubai, to Barcelona, having originally booked to stay on her to Miami, until a change of dry dock was made. Prior to boarding, we stayed a few days in Dubai, & had such a lovely experience in our hotel, that ... Read More
We boarded the ship in Dubai, to Barcelona, having originally booked to stay on her to Miami, until a change of dry dock was made. Prior to boarding, we stayed a few days in Dubai, & had such a lovely experience in our hotel, that at we wondered if the ship would be a disappointment. How wrong could we be ! The ship was in good condition, especially when she was going in for a massive refurb at the end of the cruise. Of course there was some rust, but anyone who sailed on the final cruise of the Legend of the seas, will know what a bad condition looks like.... The crew were absolutely wonderful, always smiling, helpful, interactive & generally a pleasure to be with. We had a balcony room on deck 8, which was well maintained by Richard. The SRA in the section beside ours, Tito, was also a lovely chap, and we chatted with him at least twice daily. All crew we encountered were super, but at this juncture, we shall name a few who stood out... Himanju & Ying Ying, dining servers on deck 3. Carina, Next Cruise staff, who we hope to meet again soon on the Indie. Achmad & his Chinese colleague, housekeeping staff, who checked sea passes on entry to the evening event on deck 14. Both Concierges, Grecia & Tao. Rikardo, the lead barman & his colleagues, in the Diamond Lounge. Darmie M, supervisor, and all her crew on the pool deck. She was very good at checking the reserved chair area at the pool, to ensure only Gold card holders were present. We wish her well with the birth of her baby. The breakfast crew in Chop's Grille, the greeter, Jonn, Valeriano & Joenel, servers, were a joy to meet in the mornings. After the first morning, they knew exactly what we would like & when it was quiet, our food was served quickly. Fresh OJ, berries & yoghurt were served almost immediately & the cooked food my husband ordered was hot and cooked to perfection. Jing Jiang, wait staff in the WJ, was a lovely girl, a friend of Ying Ying, who interacted with us daily at lunchtime & we sometimes saw her in the evening if she was on duty in the MTD restaurant. Aaron, GSM, with whom we had a very good conversation. HD & CD were both very attentive & visible on a regular basis. Douglas R, Beverage Manager was very attentive & we appreciated his kind gestures ! If we have omitted anyone, apologies, but be assured that all crew we met were exceptional. The only ones who could have been a bit more upbeat...the Loyalty Ambassadors, but reckon they were tired, & fed up with trivial complaints from scores of passengers. As Pinnacle members, we enjoyed some additional perks, but the fact that there were no robes available when we embarked was a bit annoying. We eventually got one robe towards the end of the cruise after speaking with YinTao, Suite Concierge...many bows to him !! The executive chef Andy Bouchard was a joy to speak with, & he runs a good team. We found the food, on the whole, to be good, with an odd exception, but that can happen anywhere. There was nothing about which we could complain on a regular basis. When I asked for meat to be medium rare, that's exactly how I got it. There was only one occasion when the steak I ordered was too gristley, but I declined an alternative as I was too full. When you consider the number of people the chefs have to cater for, order their ingredients prior to sailing, not have the opportunity to nip out to a supplier if some ingredients are not up to scratch when preparing the menu, then they deserve full kudos for their efforts. When we heard some people complaining about the food, we did wonder what they prepared and ate at home. Judging by some of the plates we saw, not exactly nutritious choices. We even heard one couple complain that there was nothing except deep fried food on offer.....The only deep fried food my husband ever ate, was the occasional French fry, the rest was well balanced & healthy. The one consistent gripe we have, which is fleet wide....smoking, especially in the casino, which permeated through the bars close by. The smoking area on deck was also objectionable. Smoke travels & doesn't remain in one spot. Some ships have small areas on deck assigned to smokers, not the entire length of the deck. Really wish the ships had a small enclosed area where smokers could congregate, inhale each others smoke & leave the rest off us to enjoy fresh air, without obvious pollution. Passive smoking is as injurious to health as active smoking. The crew in the casino are subjected to smoke on a daily basis,& that is not good for them. The transit through the Suez Canal went very smoothly. Captain Arild was good at informing us what was happening & he too seemed very personable, although we didn't see him as visible as some Captains. We didn't bother attending many of the shows, but the Ice show was good, especially with Ricky giving an after show performance !!! The only other show we attended... Beatles Celebration. They were very good, & much appreciated by all the audience. We have seen/ heard them several times, & they are consistently good, so we hope we have the opportunity of seeing them again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
If anyone had told us that we would be returning to Dubai less than 6 months from our last embarkation from that port, I would have thought them crazy. But then we received a Seabourn brochure this winter that had an itinerary with ... Read More
If anyone had told us that we would be returning to Dubai less than 6 months from our last embarkation from that port, I would have thought them crazy. But then we received a Seabourn brochure this winter that had an itinerary with pricing that we could not pass up. This was the chance to try out a true “luxury” line. Even though we already had a deposit on a cruise for 2019 that would include the Suez Canal and bucket list destination Petra, travel on Seabourn’s Encore would be in a larger cabin with more amenities. So, this April, we found ourselves back in the UAE. We took advantage of Seabourn’s air as the price, after applying their air credit, was better than what we could get on our own. We made our own hotel arrangements and stayed at the JW Marriott on Abu Baker Al Siddique Road, near the metro. This time we added an extra day for a visit to the Emirate of Sharjah and also made it to Burj Khalifa and the Jumeriah Mosque in Dubai before boarding Encore on April 22. Check-in went quickly and we proceeded to lunch in the Colonnade as our cabin was not quite ready. Our first surprise was that the buffet was self serve – a definite change from any of the lines we had recently been on and the second was an oddly placed structural column in front of the hot food area. These were small matters that were soon forgotten as the announcement was made that the cabins were ready. Our guarantee cabin was on Deck 7 which is the perfect deck for quick access to Seabourn Square, which is the hub of activity for the ship. We were immediately impressed with the granite bath with its double sink, tub and separate shower, comfort height toilet with soft close lid and ample storage. The makeup vanity in the hall is perfect for hair care. It was topped with a sprig of fresh orchid and the name card of our stewardess, Patience, who appeared shortly after we arrived to introduce herself and offer a selection of designer soaps. She did an excellent job keeping our suite spotless for 19 days. There were so many great things about the cabin that it’s almost hard to remember all of them: plenty of storage space (including the walk in closet with double row for hanging and the chest of drawers), curtains that were functional and not just decorative so you could actually separate the sleeping and living areas, a full size couch, a glass table large enough to be set for proper en suite dining, the stocked bar. Ah, the bar. Seabourn totally won me over with the ice bucket kept inside the mini fridge so there are always plump ice cubes available. Two bottles of our preferred liquor were provided along with set-ups and once the beer preference was established, the fridge was always fully stocked. While there were no USB charging ports, there were plenty of 110/220 outlets for all of our needs. The spacious veranda was an enjoyable spot to indulge in caviar and shrimp cocktails brought by room service The evening turn down service usually included a little surprise (NO towel animals thank you) along with the next day’s Herald, Dining Guide and obligatory chocolates, although in Seabourn’s case they are designed in collaboration with Thomas Keller and Armando Manni! On different evenings there were eye shades, a Seabourn book mark, Holy items from Jerusalem and a cute paper boat with our ship id picture set on an opened page of the World Atlas provided to each stateroom. Seabourn delights with small details. We felt the food was probably the best we’ve had at sea though there were a few disappointments with dishes not being hot enough or over done but usually things were easily corrected. We missed having a pasta station where the dish is cooked to specific requests but perhaps that would have been accommodated had we asked. The largest dining venue, the Restaurant is located mid ship and offers 4 or 5 different entrees daily in addition to the “always available” and includes vegetarian options for most courses. Dinner tends to be a drawn out affair but the time goes quickly when there is such good conversation. We accepted invitations to two hosted dinners and thoroughly enjoyed the evenings. The Grill by Thomas Keller is by reservation only and features several courses that are prepared or finished tableside. The Colonnade is popular for breakfast and lunch with several items cooked to order, though many items appear every day and there are not many desert options. Themed menus with table service are usually the norm for evening in the Colonnade. Dining on The Patio by the pool is available for lunch and dinner with a limited selection, with one evening being very good and another being less than marvelous. Sushi is a delightful small venue, both with the menu and service. Specialty coffees and small snacks are available from the baristas in Seabourn Square for a good number of hours and a proper tea is served at Tea Time in the Observation Bar. One of Seabourn’s specialties is the bread sticks and they make them by the thousands every day – so good! In case you don’t get enough to eat at a meal, there is freshly made gelato available on the patio or at Seabourn Square for much of the day. There are not many loungers around the main pool but there are hot tubs and a small pool on the rear of Deck five and another hot tube on the front of Deck 7 that provide more space for sun lovers. The bar servers attended to these areas bringing ice water and special request drinks. There are also loungers on the front of Deck 12 with no shade but it offered an excellent vantage for viewing the Suez Canal. There are also stations set up with amenities such as sun tan lotion, eyeglass wipes and bug repellent (for the Suez transit) Announcements are kept to a bare minimum so it’s helpful to keep the daily Herald handy to sort out the day's events. There were plenty of things to stay busy on our nine sea days including “Conversations” with four brilliant guest lecturers, dance lessons, two art classes per day, bridge lessons and much more. A galley tour was offered and was so popular that those on the waiting list were treated on the second tour with champagne and lead by Head Chef Giuseppe himself. If you are a fan of art auctions or bingo, Seabourn is not the line for you because you won’t find them on board. About one third of the guests were from the US, followed by Australians, Canadians and then a wide mix of travelers from Europe which made for fun teams for daily trivia. We went to slightly less than half of the evening shows which were all quite good and the Seabourn singers and dancers were excellent. Our ports included Sir Bani Yas (Abu Dhabi), Doha, Muscat, Salalah, Aqaba, Ashdod, Haifa, Santorini, and disembarked in Piraeus. We booked the Desert Island Game Drive on Sir Bani Yas through Seabourn as it is a private island with not many options. The drive is not terribly exciting except for seeing hundreds of Arabian Oryx which have been brought back from near extinction thanks to the Oryx Conservation Group. This island was also the site of Seabourn’s signature caviar in the surf and fabulous barbeque with all of the supplies being brought from the ship. Our Roll Call was very quiet compared to other lines but we were we were able to form private tours for Oman and Israel. We used private vans hired by Seabourn for Jerusalem and Galilee for customized tours that included Bethlehem in Palestine which was a sobering experience. We were comfortable doing Doha on our own and took cabs to the souk and the Museum of Islamic Art. We booked a private guide for just the two of us in Aqaba so we could make the most of our time visiting Petra and Wadi Rum. We had the thrill of being picked up by private yacht at the tender point in Thira and spent 5 hours cruising the caldera and enjoyed lunch overlooking Thirassia. After a silent disembarkation, our seamless transfer in Piraeus was handled by Seabourn with plenty of time to make our 1:30 flight to Newark via Zurich. We appreciated the attention to detail and concern for passenger comfort from the entire crew starting with Captain David Bathgate and his senior staff, cruise director Ross Roberts and assistant director Ashley Edwards, Guest Relations staff (who have the patience of saints) the hospitality team, stewardesses, seamen. The Captain was very friendly and visible, starting from when we first met him on a tender, to participating with trivia questions and judging the boat building contest. He was even present to wish us farewell on our last trip down the gangway, along with Ross, Ashley and the staff from Sushi. Ross is arguably the best cruise director we’ve had the pleasure to sail with and added much to making this a memorable journey. We really enjoyed our fellow passengers, the crew and not have to think about whether or not anything we wanted was “extra” as virtually everything is included in the fare. Hopefully there will be another Seabourn cruise in our near future. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted to go to Petra and the Dead Sea. However, from the minute we were picked up from the airport in Dubai, things went horribly wrong. We were a family of six adults. This was our 13 th cruise with ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to go to Petra and the Dead Sea. However, from the minute we were picked up from the airport in Dubai, things went horribly wrong. We were a family of six adults. This was our 13 th cruise with RC and will definitely be our last. We were supposed to have special needs assistance as arranged by Royal specialist services as I have mobility problems and my husband was recovering from a broken ankle 7 weeks previous. We were promised wheelchair assistance at the airport and pier, but as soon as we became under the jurisdiction of RC the assistance disappeared. There was no wheelchair assistance at the hotel where we were booked in for breakfast and when we got to the pier we did as instructed, found an RC person, asked about wheelchair assistance and were told we had to wait for two hours, outside sitting on a concrete floor in the midday sun with temperatures in excess of 40degrees. Family members went off and found two wheelchairs, not belonging to RC and took us into immigration and we were not allowed to go any further because they were not RC wheelchairs. Eventually 2 RC personnel came after a lot of hassling, took us on board, dumped us in the Windjammer and took away the wheelchairs so we could not access our stateroom. We were told that we would have to stay where we were wait until the ship sailed as they did not have enough wheelchairs. Again family members went off searching for staff to resolve the situation and after making a fuss which we really did not want to do, we eventually got a wheelchair and the family ferried us to our stateroom which was scruffy with paint on the carpet and the balcony was a disgrace, they had to come and clean it before we could go out on it. The automatic doors to some of the toilets did not work so unless someone was with you, you could not get in or out of the toilets. We are Diamond plus but it meant nothing. We asked for bath robes and were told there were none available. At each port the ship started discarding furniture and metal into skips lined up along the quayside as the ship was going to Cadiz for a refit and many crew members were finishing their contracts in Barcelona so they didn't' really care. Many were of Eastern origin and had difficulty understanding what we wanted or needed. The officers and guest relations were mostly absolute rubbish and guest relations were rude. We were so disappointed as we have recommended RC to friends and family but never again. I could write a lot more but am too disgusted. All they wanted was our money. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Cruised from Dubai to Southampton from the 19th.April-10th. May ----had a sheltered stateroom -4021-which our steward , Dayle , kept immaculate , there wasn't anything that was too much trouble for him even supplying us with fresh ... Read More
Cruised from Dubai to Southampton from the 19th.April-10th. May ----had a sheltered stateroom -4021-which our steward , Dayle , kept immaculate , there wasn't anything that was too much trouble for him even supplying us with fresh milk daily rather than using sachets of milk. The Stateroom was very good with plenty on storage and where we were situated was very quite , no noise from anywhere and the sheltered balcony at first being a concern was in the end great, I would recommend . We had late seating in the Britannia restaurant . The food was excellent every evening and plentiful [ I cant understand when I see reviews saying the food is not good ,I'm sure people don't eat better at home !! ] also we had lunch some days in the Britannia and it was equally as good . The Kings Court was also very good with plenty of choice and variety . There was one very bad thing that I picked up on , the so called baked ham offered as a carvery was a vacuum packed ham that had been baked of not a baked gammon as one would expect from Cunard , I'm speaking as one that worked in the meat and food industry all my working life. All other areas for food such as the Carinthia Lounge and the Chefs Galley also very good . The Boardwalk Café a complete waste of space as was the whole area of the deck around the café with no shelter and at times the temp. was in the 40's where we were. Evening entertainment was very good on the whole ,as where most insight lectures and afternoon concerts . One thing that did concern was on the last two evenings on board we where told that the ships resident dance and vocal entertainers couldn't perform because the stage lift didn't work and couldn't be fixed---well the rumour was this wasn't the case and the dancers were under rehearsed and the second rumour was employment issues with the staff ???------I personally believe that there wasn't a problem with the stage ?? . Service I found throughout the ship was excellent although some staff could smile a little more especially security staff.----My main concern with the QM2 is the layout of the ship , one does compare and the layout seems odd when comparing with both the Queen Victoria and the Queen Elizabeth , the pool areas have no shade not many tables around and don't seem as part of the main ship--I hope that makes sense , I'm not a ship builder so maybe it's because the QM2 is a liner and not a cruise ship.---Still had a fantastic time , enjoyed every day. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This was our 5th Cunard cruise and second on QM2. The cruise was 3 weeks from Dubai to Southampton transiting the Suez Canal which we had never done before, this and visitng Petra was the main reason we booked with Cunard as our travel ... Read More
This was our 5th Cunard cruise and second on QM2. The cruise was 3 weeks from Dubai to Southampton transiting the Suez Canal which we had never done before, this and visitng Petra was the main reason we booked with Cunard as our travel agent had a pre cruise offering of a South Africa trip 3 days 2 nights travelling on Rovos Rail from Petoria to Capetown and 2 nights in Cape Town before flying to Dubai for 2 nights so this was the main reason we booked with Cunard. There were just over 350 passengers doing the whole world cruise and we were told that's half the number there usually is, the remaining passengers like us were doing segments. Embarkation in Dubai was well organised and fairly quick, we were on board by 12:30pm and we made our way to the Kings Court for lunch which at that time was very busy but we did get a seat. Our cabin was available by 1pm, we got one suitcase quite quick and unpacked but the other didn't arrive until just before the boat drill however we managed to unpack in time for dinner. We were first seating in the Brittania Restuarant at 18:00, a bit early but the later sitting was too late for us. We had asked for a table for 2 which we got however these tables are so close together they are tables for 4, our table was 350 was not in a good position in the restaurant and I wouldn't recommend it. Food is always subjective and in my opinion the restaurant food was neither great or bad just mediocre , it was always presented well and was piping hot however not very inspiring. The waiters were always very busy but they were attentive and helpful. The food in the Kings Court was good, plenty of selection at breakfast and lunch, we had dinner a couple of times and we were surprised at the selection and the good quality of food available in the evening, it was very popular with guests who wanted casual dining. We had dinner in the Verandah Restaurant which was a nice change but not worth the $49 each to dine there, only 2 other tables were booked when we were in, I wonder why! There was alternative dining set in an area of the Kings Court and this had 5 different menus which changed every week there was American, Asian, Mexican, Italian and Indian, we ate there on one occasion and the food was very nice, there was an additional charge of $19.50 each for the privilege. Alcohol and mixers/soft drinks in the bars were very expensive especially when there is an 18% service charge on top, you also have to buy water, yoj an get it by the glass from a dispenser in the Kings Court, water is complimentary on a number of cruise lines and hotels bit not on Cunard. We purchased good wine ashore to drink in the restaurant and paid the corkage fee of $20 which was more cost effective. Service in the main was good and the majority of staff were friendly and helpful however there were some staff who were quite sullen and gave the impression that they didn't want to be there, this isn't White Star Service, in addition there was no interaction with the officers and passengers, we only saw the Captain on two occasions during the 3 weeks on board, at the welcome on board party and the loyalty club party. There are free laundries for passengers to use on each deck, there were always queues of people trying to get a machine, there were 4 each washing machines and dryers and they were constantly busy, this is not a nice place to be as people get quite annoyed and I witnessed a few arguments e.g the same passenger using 2 washing machines a 2 driers this tends to frustrate people. We had booked trips through Cunard to Petra, Herculaneum and Rome, although expensive they were good, well organised trips with excellent guides so felt they were good value for money. The celebrity speakers, Antony Horovitz, Sally Gunnell, a retired customs officer and forensic scientist which unfortunately I don't remember their names were all interesting The theatre company was okay and we enjoyed most of the guest entertainment especially the Barricade Boys, Mike Doyle and Kev Orkian Disembarking in Southampton was quick and easy. Would we travel with Cunard again, possibly if the price was right but there are other cruise lines out there who offer a superior service and are much better value for money. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
By far the worst cruise we have been on.Dubai to Yokohama Have done over 20 .cruises Cabin never cleaned properly.The frill round the bed was all ripped and hanging off.The settee was broken and to be taken away and repaired.This ... Read More
By far the worst cruise we have been on.Dubai to Yokohama Have done over 20 .cruises Cabin never cleaned properly.The frill round the bed was all ripped and hanging off.The settee was broken and to be taken away and repaired.This was before the cruise started The balcony door frame collapsed and had to be repaired on 4 occasions. The last it took 3 days to fix.Had to stuff towels in the gaps to stop the wind coming in. Had to go to reception and request some body in authority come back with us to our cabin and see for them self's how serious our balcony door had become.Eventually the house keeper came.On seeing the door she couldn't believe we had been living like this for 3 days. Took some very good photograths Totally unacceptable to expect guest to have to put up with this. Food in the buffet in the evening was slop.What was left over from lunch was made in to curry or some kind casserole I'm being kind calling it that. Never known beef so tough couldn't even cut it with a knife. Even charged for tea or coffee in the dining rooms Reception over run with complaints Just shows what type of company they are wrote them a letter not even had the courtesy to reply. Entertainment rubbish. Hygiene throughout the ship was hopeless. No point having lifeboat drill because the way the very rude guests barged and shoved there way around the ship it would be free for all. They don't believe in queing straight to the front at all cost. Would not recommend this outfit to my my worst energy. Going ashore when the ship docked was a complete joke can you imagine 3000 people trying to get off at once No organisation at all. Would love somebody from MSC to read this review but alas they won't. Never Never again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
The review made earlier on the exact cruise is spot on, its as if the person has taken the words out of my mouth. We chose the cruise because of a once in a lifetime ports of call. Believe me it was once in a lifetime...…….the ship ... Read More
The review made earlier on the exact cruise is spot on, its as if the person has taken the words out of my mouth. We chose the cruise because of a once in a lifetime ports of call. Believe me it was once in a lifetime...…….the ship itself was lovely and clean, the food was atrocious, cold or tepid, we never saw any chefs using a thermometer to test the so called hot food. A complaint was made to the Matr'e De several times about the food, he was more interested in charming the ladies. The entertainment was non existent. One of the ports (Singapore) there were lots of students types getting on the ship to work, that evening we ordered a tonic water, it must of taken 20 minutes in the end we had to ask another waiter. Since returning I have sent recorded delivery 4 x A4 typed complaint to MSC (2 months ago) I sent 9 copies to each individual person Chief Exec, Managing Directors, Customer Service, Managers and also Cruise 1st who we booked the Cruise with plus 5 more complaint letters to Cruise 1st as they sold us a package to visit various ports (which 2 of them we didnt visit) because the Ships Captain said we couldnt dock as the weather was too bad. I couldn't for one minute write all the complaints we had during the 28 days at sea as it would take me weeks to do. I haven't written a review on here as Ive been waiting on a reply from MSC from my original complaint letters, my follow up emails (4) and several phone calls to their complaint dept, once I was held on the phone for 1 hour 15mins and 47 secs without a reply. Apparently, because of the nature of the complaint its taking longer to investigate (my backside). The ports, well in my time cruising I have never experienced anything like it, docking in a container yard, disgusting, their were workers urinating behind the container, having to get on a bus to take us through the yards for our own safety to get to a taxi rank. We got a taxi from the dock to Kula Lumpa an hour and half taxi ride to get there. We did visit so beautiful places. If and I say If, we do get any compensations for this horrendous cruise, are they going to reimburse the money we spent on taxis etc. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Embarking in Dubai took about 10 minutes to get out of the taxi and onto the ship. Destination Japan and the languages announced on board has gone from 6 to 8 and now include Japanese and Chinese (not a problem for me) The ship is lovely ... Read More
Embarking in Dubai took about 10 minutes to get out of the taxi and onto the ship. Destination Japan and the languages announced on board has gone from 6 to 8 and now include Japanese and Chinese (not a problem for me) The ship is lovely with lots of bars and quiet areas to sit. I enjoyed the food and found it better then a Royal Caribbean cruise I did recently, I liked the main dining room as they can be so flexible, we were having up to 4 serves of some meals (chilli mussels) they were so delicious. They cooked us a special curry meal and pasta meal that was not on the menu and also delicious. There was a good variety of food in the buffet and easy to find seating most of the time. The all inclusive drinks package was $29 a day and a bargain and well used, I did not like the Pepsi light they used in the cocktails. The cabin was roomy. The wifi package was excellent value $160 for 10GB, I used about 8GB over the 29 days. and always got good reception. The nightly shows in the theatre were good but I really enjoyed listening to the different music and performers in the many different bars. I don't normally do daytime activities but did the world quiz and a wine tasting session, there were activities available most of the day. I don't like that they dont use the big screen near the pool, I did see two videos on there, Elvis and Led Zepplin which was good, but I love to sit back by the pool watching the big screen with a cocktail and cruising along, especially on sea days. I would not say this was a fantastic cruise, because of bad weather the port in Vietnam was changed at the last moment, we were unable to get off the Ship in Shanghai and we were half a day late getting into Yokohama, we were also delayed about 4 hours getting off ship in Hong Kong. Because of the change of itinerary MSC have compensated us all with 100 euro credit and 50% off next cruise. I booked 5 excursions but only did 3, all these I spent a long time on the bus :( . I purchased a spa package but was not keen on the small Jacuzzi in small room and the massage that was included I did not have time to do in the small time frame they allowed. The laundry package was good to have. I did most of the ports before and been on the ship before and the cancelled and delayed ports made 29 days a bit tedious, no fault of the company, because of this I would rate this cruise 3 out of 5,,,, but 99% of the staff gave 110%, they made a 3 star cruise 4 star. best bar staff ever... Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Recent cruise april 2018 from dubai to yokohama saw the reception desk overrun each day with complaints. Poor food adolescent daytime activities.poor nightime shows.bad tv.pool accident resulting in death took medical staff far too long to ... Read More
Recent cruise april 2018 from dubai to yokohama saw the reception desk overrun each day with complaints. Poor food adolescent daytime activities.poor nightime shows.bad tv.pool accident resulting in death took medical staff far too long to attend. Untrained staff. Food in nightime dining hours old. Same 3 films rerun on deck. Bad experience. Never again...stay away from australia..not reccomended..give msc a wide berth. This is an honest review and is backed up by the majority of people onboard. Arrogant staff with an air of superiority made any complaints pointless. This was a cruise of all bling and nosubstance.head of food needs to be replaced as does entertainer director. Entertainment would'nt win talent quest in outer outback towns in oz. Occupational health and safety on board shocking..this boat should not be allowed to sail in australian waters. Poor food bad entertainment.bad tv. Information arrives late.pay for water you must be kidding...never ever again...msc messy!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
DUBAI TO YOKOHAMA MSC SPLENDIDA CRUISE SUMMARY AND COMMENTS We recently went on the above cruise during the month of April 2018. I would like to make a few comments about what we found good and what we found not so good on the cruise. ... Read More
DUBAI TO YOKOHAMA MSC SPLENDIDA CRUISE SUMMARY AND COMMENTS We recently went on the above cruise during the month of April 2018. I would like to make a few comments about what we found good and what we found not so good on the cruise. As this was our fourth cruise with MSC we are in a position to compare and comment on what we found. Hopefully my comments will be of some assistance to MSC in organizing future similar cruises. LIKES FOOD The food and service in both the buffet and the restaurants was excellent.There was always a good variety of choice to suit all tastes. Wait staff were always very accommodating and pleasant. ACOMMODATION Our cabin (balcony) was very comfortable and clean. The cabin attendant was friendly and willing to assist whenever necessary. SHIP LAYOUT Easy to navigate from one venue to another even though the lifts were generally very crowded due to the large number of very old or disabled passengers on board. DISLIKES EMBARK AND DISEMBARK Apart from our initial embarking at Dubai (which was efficient and smooth), embarking and disembarking was usually a nightmare. Partly due to the very large number of passengers who wanted to leave or join the ship at any one time, a major problem was the crew who often did not know what to do or what procedure to follow. This led to confusion, long waits and irate passengers making all sorts of threats. IMMIGRATION There were some situations where there appeared to be a conflict of protocol in handling passports and immigration between the ship and the immigration offices at two of the ports. Singapore was bad as there were hold ups in processing passengers which led to arguments between passengers and port staff. On couple was particularly obnoxious and after assaulting of of the staff, was refused entry to the ship to continue their cruise. Hong Kong presented another set of problems with passport control and as a result, we and a large number of passengers lost a whole day waiting for immigration officials to check passports which had already been checked the previous day. Obviously these types of problems should not cause passengers to lose part of their holiday through no fault of their own. It is the ship’s responsibility to make these processes as smooth and trouble free as possible. VISAS We were told, on booking, that we needed visas for entry into Sri Lanka, Vietnam and China. We dutifully applied for the visas as requested and paid the appropriate fees ($320 each in our case) only to find that as we were only transit passengers at the time, we did not require visas. Another expense we did not need. This appears to be gross incompetence on the part of MSC in not being aware of the visa requirements for transit passengers. TOURS We only took a few tours as our experiences with tours in the past were not good.Those we took this time were fair but once again the logistics of moving passengers on and off the ship were terrible, resulting in delays which caused two of our excursions to be cut short. Re-boarding the ship in Singapore was terrible and we waited to pass through customs for more than two hours. This led to many outraged passengers who pushed in lines in order to get to the front of the lines despite the port staff and crew members calling for patience. Our experience in Hong Kong was worse. We went ashore the first day and took a tour to Macau. On re-boarding, we went through customs using our Ship’s card as there were no port officials to check our passports. This angered the port authorities to the extent of their demanding a face-to-face passport check which occurred at 2.30pm on the following day, thus precluding a visit to Hong Kong. Our tour of Tokyo was cut short due to delays in exiting the ship and our luggage being dumped in the car park instead of on it’s allocated space within the terminal. It took us 45 minutes to find our luggage and this resulted in out tour having to be cut short. The tour guide had a very poor grasp of English and made the tour almost useless as we could not understand what was being said. STAFF We found that the majority of staff at the reception desk had very poor language skills and appeared confused as how to answer our questions; when questions were answered we found that we received conflicting answers from different staff members. There were inconsistencies in their responses to the same question. Reception and excursion staff appeared unhappy and were not always willing to help. Our travelling companion went for 12 days without television in her cabin due to a fault. Pool attendants were bored and when one passenger had a heart attack and died at the pool’s edge the staff did not appear to have adequate training in resuscitation. There was no defibrillator handy and it was 30 minutes before medical staff arrived on the scene to assist. ENTERTAINMENT Very poor and amateur performances in the theatre.(unlike that which we found on previous MSC cruises). Singers and bands were terrible in the various bars even to the extent of becoming annoying and causing us to look for other venues to find some peace. Poolside activities were boring and very amateur and appeared to cater for members of a nursing home rather than for the general population. IN CONCLUSION We booked our cruise more than 12 months before sailing and were unable to book the cabins that we wanted as the oceanview bookings were “full”. As a result, we booked a balcony cabin and out friend had to settle for an inside cabin which she found terrible. To add insult to injury there were people aboard who booked only a few months before the cruise and were able to book any cabin they wished. They also had included accommodation and drinks packages in he price of the ticket. We had to pay extra for everything. This appears to discriminate between which country you came from. Overall the cruise was very disappointing and appeared to cater for a particular type of passenger. All in all. Our experience was not good and despite MSC offering 50% discount on our next cruise in compensation for the problems we experienced, it is cold comfort having spent a significant amount of money on this “once only” cruise and it is extremely unlikely that we will ever travel with MSC again. I hope that my comments will be noted in the hope that others will not have the same experience as we did. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
This was a sixteen day cruise that started in Dubai and ended in Singapore. We choose this cruise not for the itinerary but the experience of sailing on the Seabourne Encore. The ship exceeded our expectations it has a very well designed ... Read More
This was a sixteen day cruise that started in Dubai and ended in Singapore. We choose this cruise not for the itinerary but the experience of sailing on the Seabourne Encore. The ship exceeded our expectations it has a very well designed lay out and feels much bigger than it is. The crew was friendly, attentive and very professional. The restaurants (4) had varied menus and rank among the best we have had on any cruise. The entertainment was of high caliber and varied, also we had no trouble getting sitting for the shows. One design flaw is they have some structural supports that blocks some seats in the showroom. They had 4 different speakers that sailed on most of cruise and they gave really interesting talks on all the sea days. The ports in the middle east were interesting but not really worth going back to. The Indian ports on the other hand starting with Mumbai has lots history but it has bad air pollution and horrendous traffic which impacts touring. Mangalore is really an industrial seaport and has very little to offer. Cochin our last Indian stop is one of the best places in India for a visit lots of history and interesting things to see and buy. Colombo was very interesting and scenic and I would go back. Singapore I have been to before and is one of the worlds great cities, my daughter and family also live there so that was another reason we picked this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We boarded the ship in Dubai. We had a mini-suite on the 11th floor (Baja Deck) and it was spacious and very comfortable. We had anytime dining and the food in the main dining room was average at best. We ate at Harmony specialty ... Read More
We boarded the ship in Dubai. We had a mini-suite on the 11th floor (Baja Deck) and it was spacious and very comfortable. We had anytime dining and the food in the main dining room was average at best. We ate at Harmony specialty restaurant and that was a big mistake. I usually enjoy Chinese food but I didn't like Harmony food at all. While the service was excellent, the food was barely edible. We also ate at the steakhouse (The Grill) and the food there was very good. I had the lamb chops and my husband had the rib eye--both were really good. Since we were never able to get a seat in the showroom, I can't comment on the entertainment. We went 1 hr. before the show but there were no available seats left. Princess needs to deal with that problem because many people were complaining about not being able to see a show for the entire cruise. All of our excursions were from the ship. They were well organized and interesting. The guides spoke fairly good English. Service throughout the cruise was excellent. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and efficient. I'm not sure if I would choose to go on the Majestic again. I enjoyed the cruise but I think other Princess ships are superior. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We chose this cruise to experience the Suez Canal and for that the cruise was very successful. How did I rate the cruise overall - average I suppose? The food was good, especially buffet breakfast and lunch, loved the stir-fry and Thai ... Read More
We chose this cruise to experience the Suez Canal and for that the cruise was very successful. How did I rate the cruise overall - average I suppose? The food was good, especially buffet breakfast and lunch, loved the stir-fry and Thai noodle soup. The Kings Court always felt crowded, unless you dined early or late. The ship must have had over 2500 on board, but apart from the buffet and the rush to find a seat at the theatre, this huge number was managed well. We enjoyed most of the shows, but some of the seats available were only suitable for children with small posteriors!! During our first week, out of Dubai the meat quality provided in the Britannia restaurant was poor, somewhat dry and tough to eat. We had a table of eight and after a couple of days the other six table companions left us to have their dinner in the buffet, they preferred the quality provided in the Kings Court Buffet. So, for two weeks we were left on our own on a large table of 8. After the first week, the meat improved. The service in the restaurant was always to a high standard and Ryan & Jarold looked after us very well. Sunbathing on the deck could be an issue sometimes. Some of the wooden deck chairs on the Promenade Deck could not be adjusted and those that could were often reserved, sometimes for long periods. This was discouraged, but nothing appeared to be done about it. We always abandoned our chair when going to lunch, but we often appeared to be the exception. For three days, the chimney blew out specks of soot, this landed on sunbathers on the top deck and bathers reported staining issues. I reported this to the Pursers office and was told ‘We know’! During the first week, the ship suffered from Norovirus and restrictions for serving food etc. were put in place. This was generally handled very well and the virus restrictions were eventually successfully lifted. My partner was poorly on the last day after catching a tummy bug, given some prescriptions by the medical centre to help us travel home, hopefully avoiding any embarrassing incidents!! We were offered to be escorted off the ship. I thought this would help us get away promptly to catch a taxi to the station - wishful thinking. We were escorted off the ship and at the bottom of the gangplank told 'Have a safe journey home' We then had to find our case, queue for 20 mins for a taxi, all with a wife struggling to get around. So not a good end to the cruise really? So, the cruise overall? We enjoyed our holiday, We have never not enjoyed a cruise before on any ship or cruise line and we have been lucky enough to have enjoyed 28 cruises, including with Princess, Holland America, Cunard, Royal Caribbean , P&O, Tui, Celebrity, but this proved to be perhaps the least enjoyable. A shame, because in many ways Cunard and the crew try very hard to put on a good show. I still believe three classes of passenger is old fashioned, it is restrictive and reduces freedom to go anywhere on the ship, also reduces space available to Britannia class passengers. I suppose Cunard is trying to provide a different experience, their choice of course. Yes we enjoyed our cruise again, but.... Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
In this day and age,they allow smoking on half of the ship outside, many smokers on board, smoke came inside and filled the centrum as well as many other areas like the main dining room. My allergies made me miserable. The other ships ... Read More
In this day and age,they allow smoking on half of the ship outside, many smokers on board, smoke came inside and filled the centrum as well as many other areas like the main dining room. My allergies made me miserable. The other ships that I sailed on only allowed smoking on the rear of the top deck where no other areas would get smoke. To me, the cruise line doesn't care about passengers health. The food was bad. Poor quality and not prepared well. They overcook everything. They cook in cookware without cleaning from the last item prepared. Not much to do. Bad lecturers - one could not be understood and was not well prepared the other was promoting a progressive agenda. I can't believe the ship would schedule this or if they do, give the other side. Evening entertainment was disappointing. I came on board expecting much better. I was very disappointed. This was my first Royal Caribbean cruise and probably the last. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
I've sailed on Vision about 7 or 8 times, and have enjoyed it. I choose this ship mainly for the itinerary, which I thoroughly enjoyed. My April 2017 cruise was my first on Vision since the remodeling, which hurt my experience. ... Read More
I've sailed on Vision about 7 or 8 times, and have enjoyed it. I choose this ship mainly for the itinerary, which I thoroughly enjoyed. My April 2017 cruise was my first on Vision since the remodeling, which hurt my experience. They took away public spaces and stuffed in more cabins, making the public spaces too crowded. (One time, there was a line to get into the Windjammer.) The Cruise Director made things worse, with loud, very intrusive activities. It was difficult to find a quiet space to relax. The Centrum is a terrible entertainment or activity venu, but it was used a lot for this, making it virtually uninhabitable for much of the day and night. This is a classic case of corporate greed, i.e. milking a few more $$ from each cruise, killing the goose that laid the golden eggs. I plan to avoid this ship, unless the itinerary is overwhelming. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We picked this cruise for its amazing itinerary and indeed, it was very interesting. We loved the combination of ports and sea days to relax. Here are all the other positives: great entertainment, convenient ship layout, the condition of ... Read More
We picked this cruise for its amazing itinerary and indeed, it was very interesting. We loved the combination of ports and sea days to relax. Here are all the other positives: great entertainment, convenient ship layout, the condition of the ship and of course, the fact that we had JS helped. At the same time the layout of the storage space was somewhat inconvenient compared to regular balcony on Princess. Our waitress and assistant in MDR was wonderful providing great service. Here are some negatives: our cabin was very dirty when we got in, there was terrible smell, our cabin attendant was nowhere to be found. The air condition was not functioning properly. After a while, the supervisor came by and the issues were taken care of within a day. The food selection and quality was not there, even in the specialty steak house. The Italian and Izumi was very good, both service and food. Also, it appears that all activities were happening in the centrum while a huge lounge remained empty. There were never enough seats in. The centrum and it was difficult to participate in the activities or even watch them. People had to push and shove to get near. Overall it was a good cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We had an inside room. #4459. We knew it would be small BUT the shower was the smallest I have ever had in all my years of sailing with RCL. It was smaller than The Majesty and the Empress!!! Then the bed did not have twin mattresses ... Read More
We had an inside room. #4459. We knew it would be small BUT the shower was the smallest I have ever had in all my years of sailing with RCL. It was smaller than The Majesty and the Empress!!! Then the bed did not have twin mattresses when pulled apart BUT bunk size twin mattress that sagged on the right and my husbands on the left. In other words if they had been together the mattress would have sagged in the middle. There was no refrigerator. So we asked our great room steward Elisabeth to pls. get us one and she did. No shelves in the closet. For a 16 day cruise very little room to put anything.. The worse part was that above us on Deck 5 was the casino bar and the back office of Guest Services. EVERY SINGLE night the noise from about would start around 10PM and last until 2-3AM!!! There was an elephant walking (swear)people dropping boxes, chairs grating across the floor. They said it was the casino bar but not totally. The back office also. It took me 3x to convince Guest Services to try and calm down the noise. After the 3 complaint of me going up to the desk in my PJ's at 1AM saying "you need to do something NOW!" did anything happen. Then security came and knocked on our door at 1:30AM. I said the noise was not from passengers but from the crew!. Anyway it lessened somewhat but not enough that I could sleep. There was only 1 empty Emergency Room on deck 2. But there was only 3 nights left of the cruise so why bother to move. The entertainment was good. Brook Ahern my favorite did 2 performances. I like the way if the entertainment the night before was good, they performed the next night in the centrum so they had 2 shows going almost each night. During the day there was many exercise and dance lessons going on and very well attended. The Centrum was the center for all activities which I though were very good. The food was standard for RCL. Not super good, but not bad either. Sort of in the middle and quite edible. As long as I am not cooking I will almost eat anything or find something else in the Windjammer. The salad bar in the dining room on sea days is Wonderful!! I got one every day we were at sea. Plus I got one for dinner at night also. The crew were wonderful!! The Concierge, MJ, was the best I have ever had in all our sailings. MJ made it a point to shake everyones hand at night when they came in, and to go around and speak to Everyone, NOt just suite and pinnacle people. Which is what usually happens. He was just terrific. Would I sail on this ship again. No. Only because it is old and needs fixing up and bigger showers that can be easily addressed by putting in the sliding rounded plastic doors. Plus refrigeratore and more storage. I will stay away from the "Vision" class of ships. It was a good cruise all in all but gave it a 3 because of all the problems. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Only we can respond very positively Very much enjoyed the cabins very clean taking care of the cabin very frendli Once again we are very thankful Restaurants very attentive waiters just great And again very very clean and well ... Read More
Only we can respond very positively Very much enjoyed the cabins very clean taking care of the cabin very frendli Once again we are very thankful Restaurants very attentive waiters just great And again very very clean and well cared for every consumer The whole crew just great Thank you very much, the company should be proud of such responsible employees Ship well maintained, cleaned all the time. Crew very takes care of the passengers. The pasengers have two pools ,solarium designated walking trail sunbathing areas,then the gymnasium is well equipped for everyone,We with a wife think that in such an equipped ship everyone will take care of themselves.We also need to talk about places like shops, with all passengers needing and excellent service in these stores.It is also hard not to mention the Japanese restaurant, the Italian, the center where most of the events took plac.Thank you very much for organizing tours Stay on a ship filled to the max with various entertainment Thanks Thanks !! Halina i Janusz Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
After reading all the awful reviews of this ship before we left on our cruise, we were worried, but we had a great time. It almost seemed like all those other people were on a completely different ship. Embarkation We did get off ... Read More
After reading all the awful reviews of this ship before we left on our cruise, we were worried, but we had a great time. It almost seemed like all those other people were on a completely different ship. Embarkation We did get off to a little bit of a rocky start. We had signed up for an embarkation city tour of Dubai. We had been to Dubai before but our flight landed first thing in the morning and we wanted something to do before we could board the ship. Just before we left home, I received a bunch of emails suggesting that some change had been made to the tour, but none of the emails was very clear. I think they were just trying to remind us that the tour would only work if our flight arrived before a certain time in the morning, but they already had our flight info, so it wasn’t clear why they sent me so many confusing emails. Anyway, they greeted us and took us to the bus, where we sat for 45 minutes without any explanation. I think they were waiting for more people from other flights, but no one told us that. There were already a bunch of people on the bus, and we could see the hotel they were taking us to from the bus, so it seemed like they could have taken us to the hotel and come back for the rest of the people. Eventually, we got to the hotel, where we were told we could have a nice, relaxing hot breakfast before our tour, but relaxing it wasn’t. We had less than half an hour to wait in line and check in for the cruise, go to another desk to check in for the tour, and have breakfast (it was a nice buffet). We were still trying to gobble down some food when they announced that we needed to get on the bus for the city tour. In the future, they should get people to the hotel faster or adjust the departure time of the tour so it isn’t so hectic. The tour itself was great, with a couple photo stops, a short visit in the bastakiya quarter, and a longer stop near the souks. We thought it was a nice overview for anyone who hasn’t been to Dubai before. We got to the pier around 2:00 and the only thing we had to do was have our pictures taken. Then we were able to get on and the cabin was ready. The bags went straight from the bus to the cabin, arriving around 4:00. Cabin I think cabin selection can be a little tricky on this ship. We had a mini-suite on deck 8. We chose deck 8 because we had heard that cabins on deck 7 got a lot of noise from the theater and bars on deck 6. We knew we would have some noise from the pool deck above us, but it turned out to be more noise than we expected, with lots of heavy footfalls overhead, people dragging chairs around, kids running, etc. It never kept us awake at night, but it did go on intermittently all day and very late into the night. That said, the cabin was otherwise pretty perfect, and there was no noise at all from neighboring cabins. There were two chairs with footstools and a full size couch and coffee table along with the usual desk, bed, and nightstands. By ship standards, the balcony was unusually large – sadly, the chairs on the balcony did not recline. The cabin probably had the most storage space of any cabin we’ve had, and a big bathroom with a tub. Our steward was maybe the best one we’ve ever had. He anticipated our needs and always kept everything just right. It was also nice to have a functioning fridge that wasn’t full of stuff they were trying to sell us. If we stood near our door, we could hear the music from the atrium, but it was never a problem. The crew did not seem to make sure that the atrium doors were closed in the evenings, but the passengers caught on and did it themselves, which helped a lot, but you might want to avoid cabins right on the atrium, because they do put the volume pretty high on the activities in the atrium. We did have to keep the A/C turned up almost as far as it would go to keep the cabin cool enough. There also seems to have been a big cutback in the room service breakfast options – no omelets, no oatmeal – the only hot option was scrambled eggs. One thing that seemed odd was that there didn’t seem to be a TV channel where you could hear the announcements, like on other ships we have been on. It was also really annoying not to have beach towels in the cabin, but RCL still treats its passengers like thieves, requiring them to check out towels and return them at specific times and places or face being charged $25 – ridiculous. Dining We ate most of our meals in the buffet – the selections were good and the food was generally very good and it was hot. The only small problem was with beverages. Sometimes the beverage and ice machines worked and sometimes they didn’t. The crew tried to discourage you from getting your own drinks, steering you to prefilled glasses, but the ice melted and watered them down while they sat there. The staff in the buffet was terrific – they were very quick about clearing dishes and offering to get drink refills, etc. On a couple of mornings, the buffet was mobbed due to the number of early tours. Some people were complaining but I thought they handled it just right. They had everyone queue at the entrance while staff with walkie talkies located a table for you so you didn’t have to fill your plate and then wander around trying to find a place to sit while your food gets cold. The system worked well and the line moved quickly. The Purell ladies at the entrance to the buffet (I didn’t catch their names, but they were from Romania and Trinidad) had the perfect personalities for the job – they were funny and welcoming and didn’t give too much hand cleaner. One thing that was both unusual and disappointing was that when the buffet was closed, there actually closed the doors and there was no access to the tables or the drink machines. There was coffee and water available out by the pool, but I think on all other ships we have been on you could still use the tables to play cards or hang out and you could still access the other beverages. We did not eat in the dining room. The food in the specialty restaurants was fine, but I don’t think they were worth the extra money. The food in Izumi was good, but if you’re not a sushi lover you probably don’t need to go more than once. The service got off to a rocky start when the hostess was on the phone for some time, making us wait even though we had a reservation. She then took us to the table but walked off without giving us the menus. When we finally got the menus from our server, one of them was in Chinese and we couldn’t read it. Overall, good food and it was fun to do once, but I don’t need to do it again. Also, there were small children running around. If they want people to pay extra for food, they should probably make the specialty restaurants adults only. In Chop’s Grille, the service was excellent, although the waiter forgot to ask us if we wanted any drinks. The warm bread starter and the toasted goat cheese salad were excellent, as was the crab and shrimp cake. The steaks were terrific – even the petit filet mignon was plenty big, and very tender. The sauces were good, too. I wasn’t impressed with the side dishes, though. The corn seemed to be frozen – it was tough. What the menu described as tater tots turned out to be just cheese (no potatoes). The asparagus was fine, but ordinary. The molten chocolate cake with banana and coconut ice cream was excellent. Dinner in Giovanni’s started with excellent bread and olive oil. We got the antipasti and scallop appetizers and liked both. I wasn’t impressed with any of the pasta dishes, but the entrees and desserts were excellent. If you go to only one specialty restaurant, I would recommend this one, but get a salad or soup and skip the pasta. Shipboard Life There was a good variety of entertainment, including several acts that were quite unique and unlike anything we’ve ever seen before on land or at sea. There were only two production shows, but they were good. We also enjoyed the three lecturers. Roy Short showed movie clips and read from his notes on various movie themes. Sehdev Kumar (a professor from Canada) gave excellent talks on a variety of subjects. Dean Papavassilliou spoke on some of the ports. He could be a little bit difficult to understand, but he was basically reading from his slides so you could follow along. Any slides shown on the main screen in the theater were very difficult to see, but the ship was supposed to get a new projector the day we disembarked, so hopefully the AV issues have since been resolved. They showed some good movies, but they were always too late at night. Even on nights when there didn’t seem to be anything else going on in the theater, they didn’t start the movies until 10:30, which was a shame. Some nights we had a hard time finding anything to do in the evening. If you went to early show, there might be one entertainer playing music somewhere before 10:00 or so, but it was always the same entertainer in the same lounge. We couldn’t figure out why night after night there was a block of 1.5 or 2 hours with no music at all or just the instrumental piano player. Several nights we ended up just going back to our cabin because we couldn’t find anything to do. They’ve done away with the library on this ship, but there are a couple shelves next to the coffee bar that have a few books (many of them were not in English) and some games and the daily puzzle (no newspapers on this ship). I suggest you bring all the reading materials you think you’ll need. The shore excursion and front desk crew that we dealt with were great. This was one of those cruises where they have to repeatedly collect passports and then give them back to you, but they put a desk on every deck and there was never much of a line. In addition to the normal boat drill, there was another passenger drill to explain what the special procedures would be for going through pirate territory (basically, they wanted to keep the ship dark at night, so for three nights the outside decks were closed and balcony drapes needed to be kept closed) and what we should do in case of trouble. There were also extra security on board, just in case, but we had no issues. Muscat, Oman We took the ship’s tour to Nouvelle Nakhl Fort and Resort. We enjoyed the tour. The lunch was very good, with very good service. The fort was interesting and had very nice views of the countryside. It was very hot at the fort, and there are a lot of steps, so you probably don’t want this tour if you have mobility issues. Then we went to the hot springs, where the fish will nibble on your feet. This wasn’t much – basically a stream next to a parking lot. I had expected something more rural, but it was basically in the middle of a town. We were supposed to go to a fishing village next, but the tour description was not accurate and they brought us back to Muscat to the souk instead. At first I wasn’t very happy about that, but it turned out to be a nice experience. We got to the souk right around sundown, when the covered women and the children come out, so it was very good people watching. The souk was also much different from the one in Dubai, with a lot of antiques and architectural pieces (doors, window shutters, etc.), so it was interesting. Aqaba, Jordan The crew favored the ship’s shore excursions over everyone else, so there was a very long line for everyone on private tours and it took a long time to get off the ship. We had an independent tour to Petra and Wadi Rum, which was excellent. We used Jordan Horizons and would use them again, but they were unwilling to group people from the ship, which was sort of a pain. We had to post the tour on CC and come up with a van full of people on our own. That said, it was a very good tour, and we covered a lot more ground than the ship’s tour at a much cheaper price. Suez Canal Excellent. Very interesting day. If you’re going through the canal north-bound, book a balcony cabin on port side – there is a lot more to see on that side of the ship. Ashdod, Israel We booked an independent tour to Jerusalem and the Dead Sea through Guided Tours Israel. We covered a lot of ground with an excellent guide and would not hesitate to use them again. Haifa, Israel We had another independent tour with Guided Tours Israel, which was again excellent. About half the people in our group had trouble getting off the ship because the Israeli authorities in Ashdod had put the wrong dates on their landing cards -- not the ship’s fault. Athens, Greece It was Easter Sunday and almost everything was closed, so we took a ship’s tour called Keep Greek Tradition Alive. They drove us around the city with a couple photo stops and then we went to Zafiro, where we had demonstrations on how they used to make olive oil, grind flour, etc. and cooking demonstrations. The place has amazing views of the city. We had an excellent (and huge!) meal with music, dancers in costumes, plate throwing, etc. The meal was excellent and it was a very nice time. Disembarkation in Venice was easy. We took the ship’s disembarkation tour to Padua on the way to the airport. We got to Padua a little late because the traffic was bad, but it’s a nice place and we had a short walking tour (including the basilica)and then some time on our own. It was a nice way to see a little more before going to the airport. All in all, we had a great time! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Ship is old, but kept up. many sea days with not enough activities going on around the ship, could have had more hands on activities for everyone. Meals were very good service was outstanding both at the buffet and the main dinning room. ... Read More
Ship is old, but kept up. many sea days with not enough activities going on around the ship, could have had more hands on activities for everyone. Meals were very good service was outstanding both at the buffet and the main dinning room. Cabin was very good, well maintained with very good housekeeping. The ports and shore excursions were outstanding, well organized, got everyone off and on in a very timely fashion, The excursions were very good, used very good and informative guides on all of the excursions that we took. The entertainment was good, we enjoyed it. We would do this one again, but would probably look for a newer ship. Both embarkation and disembarkation went very fast and very smoothly, it was well planed and carried out well. Spent extra time at our departure city, when we left the ship. this was probably one of our best cruises that we have taken, mostly because of places that we visited. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
What a wonderful adventure!! From the arrival terminal to final destination in Venice, this was a fantastic cruise. The Vision was in great ship. Have read a lot of negative comments before we left and was pleasantly surprised on how ... Read More
What a wonderful adventure!! From the arrival terminal to final destination in Venice, this was a fantastic cruise. The Vision was in great ship. Have read a lot of negative comments before we left and was pleasantly surprised on how good a shape she was in. The departure terminal in Dubai is one of the best departure experiences we've ever had. From arrival to on-board was maybe 30 minutes. Beautiful facility and lots of agents to speed the process. Our JS cabin was wonderful. Never had a JS before. Well appointed, spacious, well decorated. For 16 days, it was very nice having the extra room. Had an aft corner balcony which on this class ship is absolutely huge. Wraps around the side of the cabin. The service, from cabin steward to dining room, was excellent. Food in the Wind Jammer was disappointing but we seldom eat there. Dining room meals were ok but nothing to write home about. Chops Grill was fantastic. Well worth the extra charge. Giovanni's was pretty good. Did not try the Asian restaurant. Wine list was very disappointing. We had the beverage package and few of the wines by the glass offered on the wine list were available and those that were available were very poor quality. We won't get the beverage package again. Entertainment was outstanding, some of the best we've had on RC. We only took one shore excursion from the ship (Muscat, Oman) and it was ok. We are starting to stear away from ship shore excursions. We booked our own in Jordan, Israel and Greece and they all worked out very well. All in all, a wonderful trip. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
The itinerary is what I want and the price is right. We enjoyed the following ports : Petra, Muscat, Ashdod ( Dead Sea ), Haifa ( Bahai garden ) and the passing of Suez cannel. The food is above average. The service is excellent in the ... Read More
The itinerary is what I want and the price is right. We enjoyed the following ports : Petra, Muscat, Ashdod ( Dead Sea ), Haifa ( Bahai garden ) and the passing of Suez cannel. The food is above average. The service is excellent in the Windjammer. We tried out three rock climbing and the staff are very helpful to encourage us to reach the top. Bartender at the Diamond lounge and the deck 11 lounge are very friendly. My room steward is very hard working and friendly. Too bad he had to leave the ship in Athen due to some visa issues. The land tour to Petra is in the expensive side, we managed to find a private tour only half of the price. However, the Dead Sea tour is very well organize and relaxing even it is called " Dead Sea on your own". The Gym is kind of small and had to wait for most of the machines. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017

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