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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We traveled on the Crown Princess British Aisles Cruise mainly due to it's itinerary. It was our introduction to the British Aisles and my wife and I traveled with our next door neighbors. Let me preface this review in stating that we ... Read More
We traveled on the Crown Princess British Aisles Cruise mainly due to it's itinerary. It was our introduction to the British Aisles and my wife and I traveled with our next door neighbors. Let me preface this review in stating that we are Royal Caribbean regulars and are making most of our comparisons based on that. We arrived two days earlier at Heathrow and our United flight arrived 1/2 hour early around 9 pm, I was worried that our 'Shared Arrival Transfer London Airport to Hotel' booked via Trip-Advisor wouldn't be there but he was (they keep on-top of arrival info, so make sure your Flight info is updated before you fly). Even though it was a shared transport we were his only fare arriving at 9:30 pm and with little traffic at that time we checked in to the Park Plaza Victoria (which is a great hotel near Buckingham Palace) by 10:30pm. We planned to try to cram in as many highlights of London in one day as we could but realistically settled on doing the Tower of London at 9 am (it took 2-hours minimum), Westminster Abbey at noon and The Staterooms at Buckingham Palace. We purchased a Oyster card for Tube travel and began at 9 am opening at the Tower (by the time we were leaving lines to see the crown Jewels were over a hour wait so make a bee-line there first) make sure you purchase your tickets from: https://www.hrp.org.uk/tower-of-london/#gs.zywwgy before you arrive otherwise the lines for tickets will take some time. Of the three we thought the Abbey was the highlight. We pre-purchased reserved seats (reserved for an extra 3-pounds each) for 10 am on National Express bus from Victoria Coach station (.6 minute walk from the Park Plaza Victoria) to Southampton Coach Station for $13.50 each one way. Note that as we were getting on our bus the Princess Bus Transportation was loading right next to us. When we arrived in Southampton at noon we immediately got a taxi to the cruise ship for 8 pounds. Embarkation using the Medallions was quick and we were on board by 1:30pm. This is a port intensive cruise with only two at sea days so we chose anytime dining because of the late sale-away times. We didn't want to be tied to a set dinner time. With the ship off a refresh dry dock in 2018 I was surprised by the state of disrepair we noticed around the ship. Vinyl applique sheets peeling off elevator surfaces, numerous dents on hallway walls, Tile baseboards held in place by caulk in numerous public bathrooms, two drawer fronts came off when opening in our stateroom. All small items but they all add up to create a sense that quality workmanship & maintenance are not a high priority Didn’t think much of the common areas in the ship, it had a closed in small feel with very few views of the ocean. The main Piazza area was only three stories high and had very little room to watch entertainment. Typical shops jewelry, watches, overpriced souvenirs, lacking any sundries shopping that you might have forgotten to pack. Photo services lacked any creativity, probably due to lack of any open spaces to take them. Entertainment was hit or miss, enjoyed the comedians, magician (card tricks), band that played every night, Thought the stage shows were lacking, they don’t come close to the quality found on Royal Caribbean ships, we watched for the first 10-15 minutes and gave up. Food in the main dining room was good nothing outstanding. Many of the meals were very small portioned, my cocoa pork loin while probably the best tasting dish on the cruise was five bite sized pieces. Shrimp cocktail has the smallest shrimp I’ve ever seen, formal night lobster tails were small and dry. Every night we’d get recommendations of 1-2 dishes to avoid from wait staff , that’s never happened before (clue get rid of dishes that don’t work). Wait staff for the most part were amazing in all venues. The Horizon Court buffet was also good, nothing outstanding, hard to find seats during breakfast especially on sea days. Over easy eggs on the egg station were either over hard or often cold, scrambled eggs had an odd taste leaving the only way to get a good egg dish was thru the omelet station. Free coffee only available in dining rooms were brewed weak. No free coffee or tea at the International Café (free coffee and always available on Royal Caribbean ships similar venues). International café had a great selection of salads snacks, pressed sandwiches, breakfast sandwiches, pastries, cookies, deserts and a Gelato station charging 3-scoops for $3.50. Best Pizza I’ve had on a cruise, Salta Dog Grille, on Lido Deck poolside, burgers and dogs were good, offered signature Ernesto Burger for $5 or the Ernesto w/Beer for $8 (no brainer since a bottle of beer was $6.75). We booked the Princess transfer to Heathrow which was the lest expensive and most worry free way of departing. We disembarked at 9:15 am buss departed the port at 10:15 and arrived at Heathrow at 11:30am for a 3:30pm flight. Our travel companions had a 1:30pm flight and disembarked the ship at 6:15am. Overall my main reason for booking this cruise was for the ports. While I was hoping for more (we all do), what I received was a decent cruise on a aging ship. Princess needs to pull a page from Royal Caribbean’s playbook and treat every ship like it’s our best ship, staying on top of maintenance, providing the best in entertainment, amaze us with great food venues. If Royal had offered the same itinerary, I would have cruise with them hands down. Again I was hoping for more, I wanted to be wowed, I could have been a convert to Princess. Maybe all princess ships aren’t the same but I don’t want to waste another vacation hoping for more. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This was a fantastic vacation. We picked this cruise because of the itinerary. We visited all of the countries in the United Kingdom and finished in Bergen, Norway. We always felt so comfortable on board and welcomed by the Viking ... Read More
This was a fantastic vacation. We picked this cruise because of the itinerary. We visited all of the countries in the United Kingdom and finished in Bergen, Norway. We always felt so comfortable on board and welcomed by the Viking Staff. This was the longest cruise we have ever undertaken and we were more than pleased. Heather Clancy, the Cruise Director, and her crew were fantastic. They entertained us with at different show every night. Elvis even made an appearance on board. The Viking Band was great. Dancing under the stars provided a great memory. The Restaurants provide excellent food and service. The specialty restaurants are not to be missed. Wine and Beer were provided at all lunch and dinners at no charge. I would highly recommend the purchase of Silver Drink package (Upgrade). The Buffet is one the best I have experienced. Viking provided excellent exclusions at every port, at no charge. Shuttles were also provided at most ports, free of charge. At Edinburgh, because of windy weather conditions, the ship could not tender the passengers to Edinburgh. The Captain and crew decided to dock further upstream. The crew jumped through hoops to provide transportation (free) into the heart of the city. Other cruise lines, in port, just anchored and the passengers lost the opportunity to visit Edinburgh. All in all we had a great time and thank the Viking Crew and staff for a great vacation. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We are Elite Members with Princess and this was our 2nd cruise around the BI. Our previous cruise of the BI was 5 years ago. We have also sailed multiple times with Holland America, Norwegian and Carnival. Let me give you a comprehensive ... Read More
We are Elite Members with Princess and this was our 2nd cruise around the BI. Our previous cruise of the BI was 5 years ago. We have also sailed multiple times with Holland America, Norwegian and Carnival. Let me give you a comprehensive review of our experience. Embarkation/Disembarkation: Both went smoothly. We purchased EZ Air, took a transfer from Heathrow to Southampton and were in our cabin by 11:30 am. However, unless you're at sea for a couple of days and you can rest up, I'd recommend staying overnight in London for a night or two; otherwise you miss the first day or so while catching up on sleep, because the sea/ocean air will make you relax anyway. Cabins: We upgraded this cruise and have stayed mostly in balcony and mini-suite cabins. They appear to be larger than other cruise line cabins. I agree with some comments they could do with a face lift, but beds are comfy and otherwise ok.If you are not used to Princess cabins, they have US outlets and it's a good idea to bring an outlet strip. Dining: My favorite place for breakfast is Horizon Court because of variety and quality. My husband likes Int'l Cafe because that's where they have the best coffee. Lunch is good in HC, too. Dinner we had in MDR. Agree, some of the choices are not the best - and too much beef, but we always found something on the menu we liked. I tried the Regional choices many days. Chocolate Journey desserts were yummy. Didn't try the specialty restaurants this time. Room service was good and quick, but menu needs an update. Activities & Entertainment: Kevin Tugwell was CD. He's ok, as are his staff, but the multiple (sometimes back-to-back) evening trivia and game shows became soooooo annoying and frustrating because that was often the only so-called entertainment that evening. The worst was when they attempted some amateur dramatics - we walked out. The cruise staff shouldn't be your entertainment in the Explorers Lounge. We did enjoy Voice of the Ocean/Karaoke - great talent on this cruise. Princess Orchestra is fantastic. Guest entertainers we liked were Michael Harrison (ventriloquist) - had the audience in stitches; George Casey and Ricky Jay (comedians); Jasson Allen (singer) and Johan Andersoon (singer). Ella also did a great job of Irish singing one evening in Princess Theater. Princess Singers and Dancers were ok. Liked the first two shows, had seen Encore before and walked out of Magic To Do - so boring. The local Folklore Dancers and Singers were mediocre - have seen and heard much better. XCite was a new band that boarded our ship and played most evenings in the Piazza - really enjoyed them. Because of cooler weather, didn't see any MUTS movies, nor were there any deck parties. Couple of piazza/balloon efforts. They had a few Zumba classes (free), but at odd times of the day. Service & Staff: We found the staff to be mostly friendly and helpful. They had a few issues with TVs on this cruise, partly because of the introduction of the Medallion. Both were competing for the internet, but they had an expert board the ship in Dublin and the issues seemed to improve after that. Medallion Class: This was new to the ship and there were a few hiccups, but generally it was quite well accepted. We've used it on other ships and it's fine when it's operating smoothly. Other Passengers: Typically, majority of passengers were from the US, Canada, Australia/New Zealand, and the UK/Ireland. We also had a tour of passengers from Mexico City. However, all communications are in English, so you really need to have someone fluent in English in your party; otherwise you'll miss a lot. Not sure how many people really read the daily Princess Patter, as the Captain got quite annoyed with the bad behavior of a few passengers. Ports & Tours: The selection of ports was great. At 2-3 ports, reps from the local Tourist Office were available in the Piazza to answer questions and provide maps/directions. I did a couple of self-directed tours on this trip. For example, in Cobh (pronounced Cove), I visited St. Colman's Cathedral. It was on a steep hill, but well worth the visit. Absolutely gorgeous and a couple of our passengers had written in the Visitors Book that they had emigrated to the US from Cobh over 60 years ago. In Liverpool, it was pouring down, but I dressed warmly and visited the two cathedrals there. While at the Catholic cathedral, I witnessed a christening. Most people had the sense to take the Hop On Hop Off buses, but I walked all the way. The Easy Loch Tour was a bit disappointing. It was a bus ride around the lakes and mountains. We did stop at Luss by Loch Lomond and saw a bride. In general, I think it's time to change up some of the tours offered and they are expensive, but guarantee you won't miss the ship - that is, unless you miss the deadline to get back to your bus. That happened on two of my tours. We had to leave without one couple and on the other one we waited longer than we should and the tour guide was really annoyed with them. More people are going for independent tours, but I noticed a lot of people were very late embarking the ship at Invergordon and they were on independent, not ship's tours. The Captain also made it clear in Edinburgh that we wouldn't wait for any late comers. Weather/What to Wear: Even for end of July/early August, the weather was a little cool. It was best to wear 3 layers - Tshirt, thin sweater or sweatshirt and a jacket - during the day. Evenings, they request passengers wear "smart casual" clothes and 2-3 evenings we had formal wear. Unfortunately, some people don't/won't understand the meaning of smart. We enjoyed this cruise overall, but maybe we have an advantage because we have sailed so many times with Princess, we know what to expect and how to get around any issues that arise. We did complete the survey after the end of the cruise and we know the corporate staff at Princess read Cruise Critics. I try to be honest, but fair. We've booked our next cruise on Princess. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Have had some wonderful times on Oriana (we still have fabulous memories of the 5 week cruise we did in 2011&the cruise sailing around Cape Horn in 2004) &wanted to have a final cruise before she sadly is off to a new venture . ... Read More
Have had some wonderful times on Oriana (we still have fabulous memories of the 5 week cruise we did in 2011&the cruise sailing around Cape Horn in 2004) &wanted to have a final cruise before she sadly is off to a new venture . We were not disappointed, had a great 3 nights, (shame it wasn’t longer )with superb food ,fantastic entertainment &very efficient happy staff. It was great to see so many ex crew on board as passengers what a feat of organising.Well Done Steve . The entertainment was excellent .the boundless energy of the Headliners Theatre Company is a credit to them .&the live musicians did not disappoint . We were blessed with fine weather for our stop in Guernsey,(which is a bonus as the stop there is always weather dependent ) A huge thankyou to the in seen behind the scenes crew who work equally as hard to ensure a great time is had by all . Sad to see Oriana go Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We always sail with NCL. We enjoy their ships and services. We usually get the drink package, dinner package for free, and on our next cruise we are getting the drink package, dinner package, free WIFI (100min.) and 50$ off ever shore ... Read More
We always sail with NCL. We enjoy their ships and services. We usually get the drink package, dinner package for free, and on our next cruise we are getting the drink package, dinner package, free WIFI (100min.) and 50$ off ever shore excursion. We are very comfortable and we know what to expect. We are also the type of people that go out on our own and walk most ports. We drove to Southampton, UK from Germany. Very easy to park and find cruise port. We like that most of the cruises we have gone on with NCL do not have a lot of young children. We are a mid 50, couple who travel together and like to party. The Spirit is NCL smallest and holdest ship. It is going in for refit in Feb 2020. They were always working on the ship to keep it well maintained in the common areas. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Always wanted to do a British Isles cruise and the itinerary and dates worked well for us. We arrived one day early to Southampton and stayed at the Harbour Hotel and Spa--which I highly recommend. We did exploring around Southampton ... Read More
Always wanted to do a British Isles cruise and the itinerary and dates worked well for us. We arrived one day early to Southampton and stayed at the Harbour Hotel and Spa--which I highly recommend. We did exploring around Southampton which was fun--turns out Southampton is nicer and more up-to-date than what I had imagined! Embarkation went great--got right on and bought my coffee card. I do wish Princess would find an alternative to the current method of keeping track--key card/medallion. I preferred the physical punch card. Our stateroom was C743--great balcony, really enjoyed it. Anytime dining went well, did have to wait a few times but it really wasn't a very long wait. Did make us appreciate Traditional Dining a little more in that you seem to have the more experienced servers there. There were several times when the hostess from Anytime Dining would walk us to Boticelli Dining room and we got to experience the service there. Overall the service onboard was good. We enjoyed the ports and our excursions but were not at all happy with how pricey they were. Seems like Princess has started to increase their rates and are definitely playing the game that hotels and airlines are playing--increasing the prices as time goes on. Disembarkation went great. We would go to this area again on our own and would only do this cruise again once we've gotten many more cruises under our belt. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
While on a majestic fjords cruise and leaving Amsterdam we hit a foreign object on a initial inspection and short delay we had the all clear to carry on but never got to Norway, around half way the boat developed a mechanical vault so had ... Read More
While on a majestic fjords cruise and leaving Amsterdam we hit a foreign object on a initial inspection and short delay we had the all clear to carry on but never got to Norway, around half way the boat developed a mechanical vault so had to turn back. The cruise was eventually terminated and we went back to Amsterdam. We still enjoyed a full program of entertainment and everything else on board. They announced that we would be going back to tilbury by ferry They had already given us £25 each and a free bar fo one night but then told us we would get a full refund + free cruise of same duration anytime in the next 2 years or if we wanted a longer one they will deduct the value of this cruise We only lost one day of the whole trip it’s good to hear of a company doing the right thing with out having to spend hours complaining. Nice one CMV Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
The itinerary was excellent. Love that cruise ships going out of Dublin. The required need to use shuttle buses from makeshift passenger terminal was awkward. Much better at disembarktion. The staff friendly and very helpful. Food and ... Read More
The itinerary was excellent. Love that cruise ships going out of Dublin. The required need to use shuttle buses from makeshift passenger terminal was awkward. Much better at disembarktion. The staff friendly and very helpful. Food and overall service excellent. Staff did great job having cabins ready when guests boarded. Embarking and Disembarking was very smooth most of the time. Enjoyed Celebrity organized tours. The Destination Concierge was exceptional. Future Cruise staff very attentive and well informed. Felt the overall decor was a big miss. Art work, mostly dull or black and white very weird subject matter or abstract. Many chairs in public areas too low . Had a balcony room with 2 sharing...very small and sad inadequate storage. Had to keep climbing onto bed to access the over the bed storage bins. Inconvenient and dangerous. The Captain made appearances at events but otherwise was not very visible. The senior staff was out and about but were not particularly approachable. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Arcadia is an Adult only ship which suits me. Took my mum and a friend and we shared an inside cabin which was larger than many inside ones. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly, very little queuing. This was our 1st time on ... Read More
Arcadia is an Adult only ship which suits me. Took my mum and a friend and we shared an inside cabin which was larger than many inside ones. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly, very little queuing. This was our 1st time on Arcadia and I was very pleasantly surprised. She is a lovely mid sized ship and easy to navigate round. I was worried initially after reading some of the reviews but I can honestly say that this was the nicest ship I have sailed on with P&O. We had no problems which affected us. If I wanted to be really picky, then some of the lifts were out of use and some of the ladies toilets were also out of order, but there were plenty others around the ship to use. The food was plentiful and tastefully served in the Meridian restaurant, our waiters were very good and attentive. Arcadia has a wonderful 3 tier theatre with comfortable seating and the Headliners entertainment team were the best I have seen on any P&O ship yet. We have another cruise booked on this ship in December and can't wait. Oh and also went through the Bay of Biscay which I always dread and for the 1st time EVER, never felt any movement and didn't have to wear my sea bands. One very happy passenger! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
I am the third passenger of cabin 618. At first I wanted to watch the Northern Lights but I wasn't that keen on travelling by boat(!) . Nevertheless I have to admit that I will never regret my choice. Everybody on board was nice ... Read More
I am the third passenger of cabin 618. At first I wanted to watch the Northern Lights but I wasn't that keen on travelling by boat(!) . Nevertheless I have to admit that I will never regret my choice. Everybody on board was nice and welcoming and helpful. The boat was clean and comfortable. The food was delicious and abundant and the waitresses and waitors always ready to help us. There were a lot of different excursions to please anybody, the entertainment and the activities on board were diverse and good as well. There was no fly in the ointment since the weather was sunny all over the journey except on the first day and the last day! I personnally had a problem when I set foot on board and the captain and the clercs at the reception did all their best to help me and I thank them for their compassion and their effective help to find me a solution which would suit me( and my dream!) I had always wanted to see the Northern Lights and I'm glad I had been able to make my dream come true. For sure I will recommend this cruise ( I've already started doing it!) To finish I'd like to add a few words about our French guide Anne Guillaud . She happened to be very competent and effective and humane. She answered all our questions and she gave us very instructive lectures every day and she also helped me personnally beautifully when I needed it. She IS an experienced guide who knows Norway, its cullture and its history . Thank you for reading me .M.B Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This really was a very good cruise certainly for this time of the year getting away to a bit of warmer weather , the staff laid on lots of entertainment with singing carols and everyone joined in ,also many other things were going on ... Read More
This really was a very good cruise certainly for this time of the year getting away to a bit of warmer weather , the staff laid on lots of entertainment with singing carols and everyone joined in ,also many other things were going on throughout the day , cocktails go down very well on the cruise also plenty of waiters serving drinks throughout the day and evening to save us getting up to get a drink at the bar,I am not sure where CMV get so many friendly staff but the staff really did make the cruise such a pleasure , nothing was to much trouble also looking at a closer issue the ship was spotlessly clean , on a couple of down sides we missed Gibraltar due to an issue with the propeller which got sorted in the Canaries the other was Maderia which had choppy waters for the tender boats going to shore , this made some not to well but maybe they should of stayed on the ship , i really wanted to see Maderia and as i don`t get sea sick it wasn`t a problem , the only main problem was docking the tenders coming back the swell was up a bit more and did cause an issue trying to get back but saying that I think all got back onboard to watch the fireworks which were fantastic , would i do this cruise again at Christmas , `Of Course ` , it is a great ship with great staff . Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The ship was lovely especially the dining restaurant, which is set out so nice with partitions so you are in a secluded small section rather than open to the whole restaurant, what an absolutely brilliant idea, food was very nice and with ... Read More
The ship was lovely especially the dining restaurant, which is set out so nice with partitions so you are in a secluded small section rather than open to the whole restaurant, what an absolutely brilliant idea, food was very nice and with plenty of choices. The staff were friendly and nothing was to much trouble. Getting on and off ship was very organised. The only down side was the entertainment was a little hit and miss, Christmas show was very poor but other shows very good. The venues got very busy and we failed sometimes to get a seat. I would choose the ship again purely on the lovely dining experience. After sailing on Costa ship last May which was a really bad experience in every way I promised myself I would never ever cruise again, this one was already booked which I did not want to do but has restored my faith in cruising. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose the cruise for the Christmas Markets in Europe. The Balmoral crew had made a splendid effort to make the ship festive. Lovely decorations throughout.There were beautifully made gingerbread houses in some spots on the ship. A ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the Christmas Markets in Europe. The Balmoral crew had made a splendid effort to make the ship festive. Lovely decorations throughout.There were beautifully made gingerbread houses in some spots on the ship. A lovely festive dinner and very good entertainers and speakers. Enjoyed the orchestra, piano player, string quartet and guitarist, talks and quizzes. Formal nights with lovely food but good food throughout the trip. Lots of work goes on to make a voyage successful, but the crew including those we don't see are very discreet. Because of being December with unpredictable weather and fog the itinerary had to be altered but as we had been to Germany and Denmark on another Fred Olsen cruise we had been fortunate to see the Rivers and Kiel Canal in good weather ad daylight. Others may have been disappointed, but it is winter. The Christmas markets were amazing. The Tivoli Gardens at Christmas with 'snow' looked wonderful. The shopping streets in Copenhagen were full of people and lights. A lovely experience. Hamburg had a Father Christmas flying overhead on zip wires at the Christmas market. There were sprinkles of snow. Bremen is a lovely town, our third visit. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Joined Indy in Southampton for 3 day taster cruise. Having cruised twice this year with Msc thought will try RC. Told drinks package can be bought onboard. They had sold 200 drinks packages then decided to not sell anymore. Arrived on. ... Read More
Joined Indy in Southampton for 3 day taster cruise. Having cruised twice this year with Msc thought will try RC. Told drinks package can be bought onboard. They had sold 200 drinks packages then decided to not sell anymore. Arrived on. Lots of complaints about this. It’s like Disney. You queue for everything. It’s as if this ship was over capicity.. it was mayhem. Good ok. Entertainment good. Anchour bar was good but the bar stank of sewage. But it was a good bar. Offered late checkout. Went to book it day before they said they had pulled it too and refunded the fee. It’s as if they where winging it. Rooms good space but tired. Had balcony. If you want to wait 10 minutes on a lift not know if things are happening after booking and be walking and walked upon go on this cruise. A glorified booze cruise. We where with our best friends another couple we made most of it and enjoyed it but more because of our friends who are seasoned cruisers. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
I choose this cruise to try a different cruise company, we normally use P&O. The appearance of the ship was very nice inside and out, but we found it lacked activities. The weather wasn't the best which closed alot of the upper ... Read More
I choose this cruise to try a different cruise company, we normally use P&O. The appearance of the ship was very nice inside and out, but we found it lacked activities. The weather wasn't the best which closed alot of the upper deck activities, a pool and a couple of the hot tubes were closed for maintenance, we went below then found a bar closed for a private function. This made all other areas much fuller than they might have been. The standard of food at breakfast was poor, we struggled to find water that was hot enough to make a coffee. The evening meal and service was excellent, the waiter got to know us very quickly and made every evenings dinning experience a pleasure, probably the highlight of the cruise. The evening entertainment was okay but you had to be in early to get a seat, unfortunately a few technical issues kept letting things down. Generally the crew couldn't do enough for you, unfortunately it was the ship that let them and us down. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
I wanted to cruise the Mediterranean thru the Gibralter strait. Sapphire Princess is a wonderful ship, one of the Grand class- which we have liked the most of the many ships we have been on. this class is set up with most of the ... Read More
I wanted to cruise the Mediterranean thru the Gibralter strait. Sapphire Princess is a wonderful ship, one of the Grand class- which we have liked the most of the many ships we have been on. this class is set up with most of the entertainmenton deck seven. On Sapphire and Ruby -three beautiful well maintained dance floors. Kudos for bringing us singer Peter Howarth and the band "Atomic" both were awesome. Atomic is the best lounge band ever on a cruise ship. The stage band was excellent too. We did not enjoy the other stage shows - we have seen beatles tribute bands many times before, and unfortunately the ships stage performers were well below par. We are dancers and really appreciate the recorded ballroom music offered. The buffet was good for breakfast, dining room,not. the dining room was good for dinner, the buffet, not Most of the staff were very helpful and pleasant. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
The embarkation process was smooth, arrived and checked in within 30 mins. Our cabin was indoor, c366 and was as expected. Not a huge amount of hanging space/storage but for a short cruise was adequate. It was a port intensive ... Read More
The embarkation process was smooth, arrived and checked in within 30 mins. Our cabin was indoor, c366 and was as expected. Not a huge amount of hanging space/storage but for a short cruise was adequate. It was a port intensive cruise. We visited Gijon, it was meant to be la coruna but due to poor conditions the port was changed. A nice coastal resort worth walking to park and headland opposite old town. Bilbao we didn’t do an excursion we got the shuttle to town. Did an independent walking tour, took the funicular up for views. Took the metro to areeta, walked back via there to ship 3.5 km - nicer than central Bilbao. La Rochelle was lovely. €9 to enter all 3 towers. Loads of eating choices. No need for excursion if forecast is good. Cherbourg we went to mount st Michael. Our guide was rather eccentric and got only an hours free time after excusing ourselves of his company. Journey was 5 hours. Organised ship excursion and the most disappointing Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
I always wanted to cross the Atlantic on a real ocean vessel, which is the QM2. The ship met all of my expectations and then some. We were lucky enough to have the National Symphony onboard who entertained the guests with a wonderful ... Read More
I always wanted to cross the Atlantic on a real ocean vessel, which is the QM2. The ship met all of my expectations and then some. We were lucky enough to have the National Symphony onboard who entertained the guests with a wonderful program that included passengers in the chorale. The paintings of Cunard's ships past and present are all over the walls. History adorns the QM2 (in addition) on the walls. The sailing was completely sold out with folks from many different nations. MY wife and I boarded in Hamburg while most of the passengers boarded in Southhampton, England. The food on the ship is very, very good. We dined in the Britannia dining room with a staff that moves and operates like a fine Swiss clock. The waiters and staff in the dining room are so professional. If you are like me and could care less about ports of call, then take a trans-Atlantic crossing and treat yourself to this majestic, wonderful vessel. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
Just returned from a short Stages cruise on Navigator of The Seas, Found good and bad points on board, I will start with the good. Embarking the ship was easy arriving by taxi we waited a short while, the were passed via security ... Read More
Just returned from a short Stages cruise on Navigator of The Seas, Found good and bad points on board, I will start with the good. Embarking the ship was easy arriving by taxi we waited a short while, the were passed via security check onto check in and on board, only to find no cabins were ready very little seating area, lunch was served in the Windjammer which was excellent but this quickly filled up, and seats here also run short, so it was eat up and back on your feet walking around looking for seats, cabins were opened at 1:30 pm but when we found ours it was still being cleaned, the luggage was also missing, and this never arrived till after 5pm.. Cabins were good but lacked a few home comforts no Shower Gel, Shower Caps, Hair Dryers etc. Crew were very good always a smile and tried hard to please, with exception of customer services, wifi desk , and the excursion desk. The excursion desk were no help , give no information and failed to arrange shuttle busses in port. We were allocated first sitting for dinner but told we there were no reserved tables and it was first come first served! So we dined in the Windjammer. The bars were VERY expensive at $8 a pint! With the result not many used them. Entertainment was first class with big star names like Michael Ball, Collabro, Bobby Dravro and a host more, only problems there were long queues for each show, with seats for some shows reserved for VIPs and shows often over run and clashed. On return to Southampton we were given breakfast and luggage unloaded with great speed as the ship had a very short turn round. One last point my wife was taken ill and we had to visit the medical centre twice , the staff were very good, but for the size of the ship was worried it was under staffed! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This was our families 8th cruise and I don't typically leave reviews but I had seen such poor reviews for this particular ship I felt that I should leave my feedback. We chose the Magnifica mostly because of the itinerary (embark ... Read More
This was our families 8th cruise and I don't typically leave reviews but I had seen such poor reviews for this particular ship I felt that I should leave my feedback. We chose the Magnifica mostly because of the itinerary (embark Southampton, Le Havre, Brugges, Amsterdam, Hamburg) and the long amount of time it stays in port. We are Americans so we flew from NY into London a few days early so we could do all of the typical touristy things before our cruise. On cruise day we had booked in advance a national express bus ride (much cheaper than the train) and arrived at the cruise terminal around 4:00. Embarkation was the smoothest I had ever encountered, we were on the ship in less than 30 minutes. Everything moved very smoothly. Once on board our cabin was ready (hooray!) and our bags were delivered rather quickly after that. We decided to hit the buffet for dinner that evening and was very pleasantly surprised with all of the selection. Was is crowded and somewhat chaotic? Yes, but I've never been to a cruise ship buffet that wasn't. I felt that food was replenished quickly and the dining room staff even helped us to find a table. The remainder of the evenings on board we ate dinner in the more formal dining room. I felt that our server was a little frosty at first but by the end of the trip he really grew on us and he even began to smile and kid around a bit. I did feel that some of the bartenders and other wait staff were a little bit less than enthusiastic about doing their jobs but the majority were very pleasant. Im certainly not going to let a few bad apples ruin my vacation. My ten year old son really enjoyed the kids club, the ladies there did a great job of engaging him and made it fun for the kids. Our stateroom was a nice nice and the pull out couch was very comfortable for our son. The room steward did a good job of keeping up with the room and the balcony. Overall for the money and really good cruise. We didn't see many of the shows but we did enjoy the pools, hot tubs and game room. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
The embarkation was reasonably quick after being kept waiting in our car for 15min by a lack of baggage porters. Once on board lifts were a problem due to one on each floor aft end out of order causing unacceptable wait times. The ... Read More
The embarkation was reasonably quick after being kept waiting in our car for 15min by a lack of baggage porters. Once on board lifts were a problem due to one on each floor aft end out of order causing unacceptable wait times. The cabin c631 was clean and tidy although a little drab colour wise, our steward was friendly and helpful. The Baytree restaurant the food was imo predictable nothing to really get you excited , the waiters were very busy indeed often having to run ! around the restaurant . The waterside deck 16 the food at times could only be classed as canteen quality! Drinks onboard were reasonably priced The pool area was very pleasant was always possible to find a sun bed For three nights at £900 for 2 would we book anther Ventura cruise No This was our 3 Ventura cruise after a a gap of 8 yrs standards have dropped . Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Ninth cruise with Norwegian, and have already booked a 10th! It seems that the majority of comments made about Norwegian - or any cruise ship - is the negativity. Well, I've been a Norwegian cruise off Australia where the ... Read More
Ninth cruise with Norwegian, and have already booked a 10th! It seems that the majority of comments made about Norwegian - or any cruise ship - is the negativity. Well, I've been a Norwegian cruise off Australia where the propulsion system broke and left us being towed back to Melbourne for 4 more days. We missed all the New Zealand ports. But people die and machines do break, and we made the best of it. Norwegian did everything possible to be accommodating, as well as refunding us for the cruise. We've been on 3 cruises with them since, and they're as professional now as they were then. With the Norwegian Jade, it was the Norway, Iceland, and Scotland cruise out of Southampton, England. The idea of a cruise is to be relaxed and see ports and places you've dreamed about. The trip there should be entertaining and with the dining option to eat when you feel the appetite. Excursions, Well, seeing and bathing at the Blue Lagoon in Iceland was a highlight! The Blazing Boots production put on by the Jade cast was entertaining and boot stomping! The violinist from Iceland was unbelievable in her talent and stage presence. No wonder she was a finalist with the European's version of American Idol! A couple of the stage productions were mediocre - but overshadowed by a pair of great aerialists, Blazing Boots, and the final "Elements" cast performance. Unfortunately, the magician broke his nail after the first show and couldn't perform his part for the 2nd show - disappointing the waiting guests, as well as the rest of the production cast who probably wanted to perform the final "Elements" signature show. And lastly,... the crews on these ships deal with a multitude of people. And the majority of the guests are a respectful bunch and excited to be cruising. But there's that 1% who should be offered the opportunity to walk the plank rather than allow them to verbally abuse and disrespect the hard working crew members. I watched a restaurant hostess display patience, professionalism, and a calm demeanor while being verbally attacked by an unruly guest demanding more, and more, and more for over 5 minutes. Management finally stepped in to try and accommodate this guest, to no avail. He even got after the waiter once he was seated. The hostess had tears in her eyes as my wife got up and gave her a hug - complementing her on how she handled the situation. Unfortunately, we heard that the hostess was written up for the incident and told that it should have been handled differently. Differently? That's where the gangplank should come in for this guest,.... After being in management, customer relations, and a business owner, I don't know how she could have handled this person any more professionally than how she did. Perhaps NCL should have more of the management available and instructed to immediately respond to these situations immediately. It's a shame to have other guests in line at the restaurant - leave to go elsewhere rather than stand behind the arguing guest waving his arms and creating an ugly scene. NCL (and all cruise lines) you can try and please everyone, but you never will. Just remember, your employees are your greatest asset. And sometimes you just need to protect these crew members, and protect the rest of the guests from that 1% you choose to chase after - down the plank. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
There were a few changes in NCL policies on the ship that we were not aware of at the beginning of our trip. The policy on straws was a little bit of an issue. We could have brought our own had we known about the change. Also, the ... Read More
There were a few changes in NCL policies on the ship that we were not aware of at the beginning of our trip. The policy on straws was a little bit of an issue. We could have brought our own had we known about the change. Also, the policy on taking food to your room or ordering at a restaurant and being able to take it back to your room. We were informed it was a health issue, but yet you could get room service. We think the policy was to have you request room service and get charged the fees. Disembarkations were easier this time and not an issue. They had plenty of boats and we also had plenty of time in the port so there wasn't this rush and bottle necking on the ship. The entertainment was great. They had an excellent cast of regulars and The Knights put on a great show. I with they would give the cast a little more of a highlight like in a program or in the daily newsletter. They were excellent. The service was difficult, it seemed to be an issue of language barrier and policies. I asked for a fried egg instead of a scrambled, but instead of just swapping the egg preparation, they wanted me to get the entire dish that had a fried egg. Substitutions were definitely an issue and difficult to convey to the staff. One friend wanted a drink with aviator gin and they kept bringing and a cocktail called the Aviation. The excursions were good, we just didn't like the late notification of the time changes to earlier or the regrouping of the excursions. We skipped out on a couple excursions we had booked in advance, because of this. We had a schedule in mind and then they would change it. Dining was not all that great this time. I remember on the last cruise the food was excellent and there were places we wanted to go back to have a dish or dessert again. This time there was not that experience. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This was our honeymoon cruise we told the cruise line this having been on other cruises I knew what to expect it was my wife's first cruise I told her what to expect however the small touches were missing lots of corners cut simple ... Read More
This was our honeymoon cruise we told the cruise line this having been on other cruises I knew what to expect it was my wife's first cruise I told her what to expect however the small touches were missing lots of corners cut simple things like chocolate on your pillow bed turn down I don't expect these things to me done but on past experiences it has been done and always think it's a lovely little touch.ive always syayed in interior cabins and I knew what to expect but the cabin was very grubby. I did not like the dining experiance we were only offered 6.30 or 8.30 dining didn't get offered my time dining when booked Going to dinner on the first night and being sat with 8 people we didn't know and this would be our table for the next 14 nights we had never been so uncomfortable I do not like eating in front of people I don't know we was on our honeymoon and wanted our own space. We went to customer services and ask them to help us out was told to speak to restaurant manager which we did the following evening we was told he has 3 sheets of paper of people asking for tables for two may be Royal Carribean should look into share dining a bit more a lot of people we spoke to did not like the share table and choose to eat in windjammer which is a shame because fine dining is all about the experiance of a cruise.ship very dusted in public places bar areas broken chairs other passengers who have been on this ship a few times said its the worse it has been lots of corners being cut. We all knew it was going to dry docks in January but it's not a excuse for cleanliness. Staff also seem very sparse but they did work very hard and always very polite and friendly but maybe a bit short staffed Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Embarking in Newcastle wasn’t good we were treated like hearded animals, once on board the staff were so friendly they actually made eye contact which is unusual. The ship was very clean, the seats in the communal areas very comfortable ... Read More
Embarking in Newcastle wasn’t good we were treated like hearded animals, once on board the staff were so friendly they actually made eye contact which is unusual. The ship was very clean, the seats in the communal areas very comfortable and clean. The cabin very clean the shower was compact but practical, the bed a single was comfy sheets very clean. The cabin attendant was absolutely brilliant called shwadi top class.The entertainment being an 80’s cruise was very 80’s pink leg warmers beads big hair amazing music the onboard acts were extremely good. Restaurant food amazing well cooked well plated well served. Restaurant staff very attentive extremely knowledgeable about the food, Damnjan Pelivanovic our head waiter was extremely kind and friendly he took time to speak to us all, we deliberately asked for Damnjan each time, this young man will go far within the company. Amsterdam was our first excursion the place was beautiful the architecture first class Brugge was our second excursion again beautiful buildings beautiful shopping but having to get on busses trains and taxis to get into both city centres were expensive. Disembarking in Southampton was smooth. This cruise was over 18’s. Internet was the only disappointment it was expensive. Out of 10 if give it 9.9. Read Less

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