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Cruise Ratings
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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
This was my first cruise and I was delighted with all the delicious and varied food, the spectacular shows, the service, the members of both service to the booths and entertainment were always helpful and friendly I really do not have any ... Read More
This was my first cruise and I was delighted with all the delicious and varied food, the spectacular shows, the service, the members of both service to the booths and entertainment were always helpful and friendly I really do not have any complaints. The ship is amazing and all its beautiful locations. I was lucky to be served by Gopal and Dominic every night at the Main Dining and they were the best waiters in the world and the best I have ever had in my life they were very kind, funny and very helpful, if I have the opportunity to take another Cruise would choose the same and of course Gopal and Dominic too. Thanks to you, we spent one of the best holidays of our lives with my family, with my eyes closed I really recommend rhapsody of the seas. I really liked that at every entrance of every restaurant, bar, theater there was disinfectant soap, what a great idea. Keep doing and amazing service and incredibles shows Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We are just back from a 7 night cruise around the Greek Islands onboard Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas. All in all, it was a very pleasant cruise but there were definetly one or two things that could have been improved upon. ... Read More
We are just back from a 7 night cruise around the Greek Islands onboard Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas. All in all, it was a very pleasant cruise but there were definetly one or two things that could have been improved upon. We embarked in Venice and stayed the night beforehand in the Hilton Garden Inn Venice Mestre. This was very reasonably priced and in a perfectly fine location for getting from the airport and then to the port. There was a bus stop at the entrance to the hotel. Here we boarded a bus and it dropped us off at Piazzale Roma. From here we got the People Mover to the cruise port. All in all, this cost us just 3 Euros pp (1.50 for the bus and 1.50 for the People Mover.) Embarkation was very smooth. From our arrival at the luggage drop off point until stepping onto the ship, the whole process took less than 20 minutes. The luggage handlers/check-in staff/security staff were all friendly ad we found this to be the easiest embarkation we’ve had for any cruise so far. Venice is a BEAUTIFUL city to sail out of. Make sure you are outside for this. The sun had set by the time sail-out came, but Venice is still lovely to look at in the evening. The first port of call was Kotor in Montenegro. The sail-in was spectacular. Would happily return to view this sail-in again! Everywhere you looked, seemed like it could be a postcard picture! We spent the afternoon just meandering through the streets in Kotor. Up next was Corfu. We had a very short stop here, however. We arrived around 8am and all aboard was at 1.30pm. We decided to book the Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour. On leaving the harbour terminal, it was just a short walk to the bus. In all honesty, there wasn’t an awful lot to this bus tour. We got off in the Old Town and spent some time perusing the shops and having a snack in a café. We then boarded another bus and returned to the ship. Next up for us was Piraeus, which is the port of Athens. We booked a sightseeing tour through Royal Caribbean. We rarely book with the ship but this excursion was a steal of £35. Too book independently wasn’t that much cheaper. This tour showed us the various sights in the city, and provided us the opportunity to stop for photos and browse some shops. All in all, it was a very enjoyable day on shore. The penultimate port of call was Mykonos. This is a real beautiful island. It was an extremely windy day which made coming in by tender VERY bumpy. There were some lovely shops, bars and cafés to peruse, and of course visit the windmills. They really are lovely to look at. Our final port of call was Argostoli in Kefalonia. This was the port of call I was least looking forward to beforehand. We did not spend long on land here. We browsed some shops but then returned to the ship fairly quickly. The weather wasn’t great this day – it was a lot cooler and rain showers. So on to the ship – Rhapsody of the Seas was on the whole a pleasant ship. The crew were tremendous. We had the best stateroom attendant that we have ever had. Our inside room was spacious enough for the two of us and there was plenty of storage. The Centrum was spectacular to look at and was seven decks high I believed. It was a nice place to gather for entertainment in the evening. The adult only Solarium was a really nice space. There was always plenty of seat/loungers available and the pool was reasonably quiet throughout. The food we received in the Edelweiss MDR was good-very good. The service was brilliant. Our waiter was attentive and remembered so many details about us throughout the week. There was always plenty of empty tables and chairs and in the Windjammer Buffet. Some not so positive notes: The Windjammer Buffet…oh dear oh dear…the food wasn’t good here. There wasn’t much in terms of variety and the food was often cold and lacked flavour. The layout of the buffet is also problematic. It sort of in a spiral in the middle of the space. This made the area around the food very cramped and crowded at times. The décor was also a bit out of date. Something circa 1985 I think! The centrum, whilst spectacular to look at, could become very crowded at night. There was limited seating and limited space to seat. If you are going to something in the Centrum, get there early. The theatre, whilst very comfortable and spacious for a ship this size, was very out of fashion. It needs a makeover fast. The adult-only Solarium also suffers from a logistical flaw. The Park Café is located within the Solarium. This means that children are able to walk through the Solarium to get to the Park Café. They can also sit within the Solarium as they eat. Again, not the best layout here from Royal Caribbean! All in all, it was a really great cruise and we really enjoyed it. The itinerary was exciting for us – we had never been to any of these places. I would happily return to Kotor and Mykonos again. The ship was ok, but had a few issues, as I’ve listed above. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We were looking for an itinerary that sails from Venice so this was a perfect fit. While exploring the options we found the only cabin available was aft facing balcony and we grabbed it. We reached venice two days before the sailing ... Read More
We were looking for an itinerary that sails from Venice so this was a perfect fit. While exploring the options we found the only cabin available was aft facing balcony and we grabbed it. We reached venice two days before the sailing shaken with the news of floods in venice. We reached during high tide and were advised at the ticket booth to take alilaguna water taxi to reach San Mark Square. San Mark square was flooded (the water was just below knee length) and our hotel was just behind the square. We had to buy disposable rain shoes (10 euros each) and hire a porter (for 30 euros) for the laguage. We we were all settled by evening. Water had receded and venice was more beautiful. We had a stroll on the square and the waterfront. Had an amazing seafood pizza at Leoncini. Next morning we had walking tour of venice, Basilica de san marco and Doge's Palace. Afternoon there was gondola ride. Evening we took a one and half hour ride on vaporetto line 2. It covered grand canal even better than gondola and also gave us a glimpse of the harbour. Next morning we arrived at venice harbour. The check in process was smooth and quick. Cabin/ stateroom: We were in aft facing balcony room no. 7656. It was spacious stateroom with huge balcony. The attendant Daisy was helpful. Dining: Windjammer cafe the buffet restaurant had variety of food. However, we felt that they close it very early (around 10 pm) and start winding up much before that. Fine Dining Edelweiss Fine Dining restaurant had good Indian menu and the captain Paras served us well. Embarkation was smooth and hustle free. On-board activities were ok. They showed some good movies on the big screen every evening but it was too cold to sit outside. We took the shore excursions from Royal caribbean. We loved Melissani (Argostoli) and Lipa (Montenegro) Caves. Many activities and restaurants were closed due to off season. Disembarkation was very smooth and we got off at our convenient time. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this cruise line because of the itinerary and that is the only reason, three days in Israel. Three cabins, two generations of cruisers. We have been on lots of cruises, never on Celebrity and never again! Let me start with ... Read More
We chose this cruise line because of the itinerary and that is the only reason, three days in Israel. Three cabins, two generations of cruisers. We have been on lots of cruises, never on Celebrity and never again! Let me start with the positive: big upgraded rooms (we paid for this!) nice staff. Now the negative: we paid to upgrade my parents, we show up at entry, there is no cabin for them and no one seems concerned. I pitched a fit and they found one. They charge for spin and Zumba and yoga classes, a first in my experience. No free Internet --in fact Internet charge was close to $500. Many rooms off limits thruout the cruise for private functions. Unless you drink tap water, coffee (lukewarm) or tea, you pay for ANYTHING you drink. You pay for specialty restaurants. You pay for gelato! Food in dining room and café was unbelievably tasteless even desserts!! Even croissants! No real fridge in rooms.No bottled water.Certain room service items were extra. Ship dirty and smelly Entertainment and activities scant.Forget TV movies and channels, very limited and mostly UK game shows!! Hard sell on everything, in fact, most "activites" were sale shows. 26 such events in ONE DAY. Port lectures were very poor and unreliable, mostly telling you where to shop at their "preferred: shops. It took us three hours to get a rerplacement bathroom light. Towels and sheets are very old and paper thin. Tap water is vile yellowish. Prized for trivia contests were pathetic...sunglass paper cover, small USB stick...?deck of cards Charged $50 for one small sack of laundry. The experience was laughably bad. Avoid at all costs. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Firstly about the cruise line: This was the first time we used this cruise line and had high expectations considering our experience with HAL (Holland America Line) 2 years ago. So like last time we did not book direct but through an ... Read More
Firstly about the cruise line: This was the first time we used this cruise line and had high expectations considering our experience with HAL (Holland America Line) 2 years ago. So like last time we did not book direct but through an travel agent in a packaged tour/cruise deal. With the package it was 2 cruises back to back and thankfully we could retain the same cabin for both cruises. So travelling as a middle-aged but very active couple seeking to explore the Mediterranean for the first time. So like other cruise lines, we got email notification from NCL that we could log on and personalise our experience. Their system is easy to use and worked well. They also have an on-board app called ‘I Concierge’ which is linked to your account and uses the ship’s Wi-Fi system (for free) but you create your log on via your name and birthdate. It does work extremely well and allows you to look at your account and book experiences (packages such as spa, specialty dining etc.) but the system has a flaw which we heard from a couple of passengers whose birthday is 29th February (leap day) as the system does not recognise this date (poor programming from the designers of the app) so they could not create their log on and had to use the manual system of bookings and print outs of their accounts, a little disappointing for those technically inclined. When you board the ship you are issued with a cruise card that is linked to your account, identifies you as a passenger and unlocks your cabin door. Good security system and works very well. Equally the disembarkation worked wonderfully (we chose the walk off option which gave us more time and flexibility to be packed and off by 9am deadline). Also the day at port for the changeover between the 2 cruises was very well managed and stress free. As part of our package we were offered the choice of 2 of the 5 ‘Free at Sea’ deals. We chose the shore excursion credit and the unlimited beverage package (UBP). Bear In mind that all passengers travelling together in the same cabin have to have the same choices, which is understandable and prevents sharing of benefits. Here is how they worked; the UBP is linked to your cruise card and allows you unlimited number of alcoholic beverages to the value of USD$15 per glass, so this covers quite a few beers, wines, spirits and cocktails (with the average cost of a beer being USD$8 and wines USD$10, it is an effective package and well worth considering depending on how much you drink); shore credit is a little more tricky. So with shore credit, firstly it is applied as a USD$50 credit to your on board account and is given at the completion of your booked shore excursion at each port. Here’s the thing, it is only applied to cabin account once per port irrespective if more than one excursion is booked and if you are overnighting in a port it will not apply to a second day’s excursion booked if you had done an excursion the previous day. So one credit per port only (however it does change on other cruises where you spend multiple days in a port but you have to check that out with them prior to booking to see if that exception applies). If you book your excursions after you board, the USD$50 credits will be deducted from your tours on you onboard account so in effect you get a discount for your excursions. However, if you book online or by phone prior to booking, these credits will be applied not to the tours but your overall on-board account for your other purchases so if you don’t spend extra you will lose that credit as it will not come off the total bill, to get the value, you will need to spend the equivalent amount in specialty dining, internet, drinks, spa etc whilst on board. They will not refund any unused portion of the credit at the end of the cruise. This is something you need to be fully aware of if you choose this package. Having said that, we waited to book until we boarded and were not disadvantaged in any way, managed to get on every excursion we had requested. Pre-Cruise stay: We stayed in Rome for 2 nights as part of our package and had a wonderful time exploring the city and some of the big iconic sites. We opted to stay in the centre of the city which gave us great access to all the city has to offer and public transport should we need it (which we really didn't as we could walk everywhere easily). NORWEGIAN SPIRT So about the ship, it is the smallest of this cruise line, holding 2000 passengers. It is not the smallest we have seen so consider it mid-sized. The cabins are a tad smaller than the bigger ships but still comfortable. The ship is well maintained, nicely appointed and the staff are extremely helpful. Boarding – efficient and no hassles and extremely well managed. Theatre /Shows – good theatre but the seating is a little tricky as the rows are too close together so trying to sit down with the seat needing to be flipped down can be difficult as the seat rubs on the back of your legs but once you are seated it is comfortable enough. As for the shows, some are fantastic others not quite so. Bars – there are a number of them on-board and all are lovely, lots of seating, good views, ultra clean and have good service from the staff. Different events are hosted in the various bars so quite and noisy times but you can always find something to suit your style. Dining – Specialty restaurants, bars, buffet bistros and main dining options. The buffet bistro is always busy and can like all buffet venues have big queues, just need to pick your moment. The evening meals are theme based and add variety. It is included in your fare so no extra expense. The main dining rooms (Windows and the Garden Room) have the same menus with full sit down service (no lining up). Good menu with delicious food, just lacking in vegetable content which us Aussies are used to and desire. After the first cruise, the menu was repeated so that was a bit of a disappointment. We did not do the specialty restaurants but feedback from fellow passengers that they really enjoyed their meals. Allergies – if you have a food allergy let the waiter know (if you haven’t already), they have allocated a specialist waiter to help you with your orders. Here is how it works; you will be encouraged to pre-order your meal for the next evening so the chefs have a chance to prepare your meal without the offending allergens. That’s fine but it does lock you into a specific restaurant. As I have an unusual allergy it confused them somewhat and I had to explain and sometimes stand my ground about my choices. “But madam, that meal has portions that are not made on-board so we can’t guarantee it is allergen free” and my response “I have decades of experience at working out what foods are likely or unlikely to have that spice, I know this meal option will be safe for me to eat”. This system only works for the restaurants not the buffet or cafés. I much prefer to ask if the meal contains the specific spice than be locked into a pre-ordered meal. Cabins – we had 9182 allocated to us and it was not the best choice. The cabin was aft and directly above the theatre, below the kids club rooms and opposite the hotel storeroom. So a very noisy cabin at times. We heard all the shows, some louder than others….groan. The kids had active play at night and sounded like elephants playing soccer with lots of thumps, bumps, loud sharp bangs, yelling and general boisterous play. This went on late into the night and we had to have a polite word with the staff in that area about it. They agreed to cease the active play at 9:30pm so we considered that fair and reasonable. However, it took quite a bit of discussion and investigation to resolve the noises coming from there between 1 and 2am every night. Worked out it was the cleaners, not sure if they were playing with the equipment while doing their job or just jolly noisy but either way the noise abated and we were given chocolate-coated strawberries and a bottle of red wine as an apology. Nice touch, but we just wanted to have uninterrupted sleep. The situation was handled well by staff but the problem is the lack of insulation in the floor/ceiling space, so ultimately a design flaw. We had heard that others below the pub had even worse noise issues. Apart from the issues above, the cabins are snug but well laid out and comfortable. Storage space needs a little redesign, much prefer shelves than drawers but that is a preference and my side of the bed did not have a shelf. The cabins are well maintained and if you are able to choose your cabin wisely, all should be fine. Shore Excursions: They range in price and quality but mostly very good, it really is port dependant as some ports are just better explored on foot by yourselves. Naturally the big iconic places like Athens, Venice, Santorini, etc are just amazing. Again, I urge you to do your homework about the ports, google them, look at specific forums and use the features that google maps can provided so you get a better understanding of the place and the logistics for self exploration and scheduled excursions. Ports: Some ports were not much to explore and docking a little far out to walk to the city but mostly good ports and easy access. In 2 ports there was an additional cost to shuttle to the city from the ship if you were not on a book excursion. That is a little disappointing but it is what it is. Several ports were simply stunning in terms of visual appeal (hello Venice, Malta for example) and easy free access to either just walk off, water shuttle service or shuttle bus. Kids Activities: Although we did have children with us, they seem well catered for and security surrounding their care was very well handled. Kids would love this ship. CRUISE WITH NCL AGAIN? That’s the question. We are not adverse to using them again but they are not our first preference. These cruises are designed to capture the party animal and families and we are not that way inclined. So it would depend on the ports, after all that is what cruising internationally is all about, at least for us. Be aware that the cost of the cruise does not include the shore excursions so you could effectively double the cost depending on your choices. Do your homework before you decide as you don’t have to book through them but it is easier to do so and there is a variety of tours for all budgets. For us, we will be cruising on HAL again later next year as part of another land/cruise tour package so we will make a report on that and a better comparison but we are considering another line altogether for a another trip. More on that if and when it becomes a definite trip. Ocean cruising is totally different from river cruises and you need to be aware of that. So our advice is look at the ports and how long each port stay lasts then compare the ships that do the cruises. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Sailed with my elderly parents and husband. We paid for assistance as my father is in a wheelchair although this was non existent. Service in the bars was extremely slow and staff in certain bars down to 1 bar man. Food was good ... Read More
Sailed with my elderly parents and husband. We paid for assistance as my father is in a wheelchair although this was non existent. Service in the bars was extremely slow and staff in certain bars down to 1 bar man. Food was good can not complain plenty of variety. Ship is looking tired now furniture in the solarium tatty and worn. The ports of call were very good. Beware if you buy any cigarettes on the ship they will let you buy as many as you wish without notifying you of the port of country rules. This i feel is unfair as we only purchased 400 each and then Venice port control took 200 each as you are only allowed 200 each. I know we should have known too but surely RCL could notify guests when purchasing. Entertainment was rubbish most guests were commenting on this who we spoke to during the week just not up to RCL standard. Time to try another cruise line. Avoid 3583 very noisy could not go to bed before 12 as right below centrium Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This was our first time cruising and we wanted a smaller or mid sized ship with a balcony. Discovery 2 fits that bill. My wife and I, both in our 60s, would thoroughly recommend this cruise. Cabin 7006 with balcony was excellent in every ... Read More
This was our first time cruising and we wanted a smaller or mid sized ship with a balcony. Discovery 2 fits that bill. My wife and I, both in our 60s, would thoroughly recommend this cruise. Cabin 7006 with balcony was excellent in every way. In particular it had plenty of power points. One USA, one European and three USBs, one under each wall light.. We ate largely in 47 degrees the main dining room and found both the service and food to be very good. We ate early, rarely after 7:15, when there were no queues, but did notice queues, sometimes long, after 8:00. Upstairs in 47 Degrees Italian was also very good and free. One night we ate in the Steakhouse at £30pp extra. Well worth it, superb food and service. We did note that early booking on day 1 of the cruise is vital as after Monday this restaurant was booked solid and operating a waiting list. We found that there were plenty of lifts and we never waited long at all. There were a fair number of disabled passengers with small buggies but they caused no problem and it would seem that this is a good ship and cruise for disabled people. We took an organised trip at every stop and enjoyed them all, although we felt two of them to be poorly organised by Marella. The guides, without exception, were very good. Dress code throughout is smart casual. Something women find easy and men in my experience find difficult to understand! Same comment also applies back home at my golf club. Dress to impress night, I wore a three piece suit. About 5% wore tuxedo - well done! 20% Jacket and tie, 75% jacket or no jacket and no tie. Some even wore jeans. Didn't bother us, perhaps it's a plus that on this ship you wear what you want, within reason. We would definitely cruise with Marella again and would choose a balcony cabin. We spoke with others and saw the interiors of outside and inside cabins and those who chose them loved them. Staff were universally excellent. We spoke to people from South America, West Indies, Philippines, etc and they were a joy to speak to and to have them serve us. We watched 4 shows in the large theatre where they bring waiter served drinks to your seat. We found the shows to be well put together and the performers did a good job. The theatre was packed for 2 shows a night. Embarkation (we were one hour late from Gatwick) and disembarkation were no problems. You do have to be out of your cabin by 8am on the final day and have packed suitcases in your hallway the previous night. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
We had back to back, 12 day cruises from Barcelona (October 5 and October 17) - first the western Med. and then the eastern Med. - for a total of 24 days. These were our 11th and 12th cruises since we started cruising in 2010. ... Read More
We had back to back, 12 day cruises from Barcelona (October 5 and October 17) - first the western Med. and then the eastern Med. - for a total of 24 days. These were our 11th and 12th cruises since we started cruising in 2010. We've had 5 total on Celebrity. We selected the cruises based on the ports and that we had sailed the Eclipse for 14 days in the Caribbean earlier in the year with good experience. Embarkation and disembarkation were very quick and smooth - even better than we have experienced in Miami, which is good. We were in Aqua class for both cruises - SR 1625 for the first cruise (a good cabin) except for the sewage problem several cabins down the hall from us (wet hallway floor and awful smell for a few days). We also noted a sewage smell on the third floor at times. We had SR's 1517 and 1537 the second cruise. Both were less than satisfactory. SR 1517 suffered from an extremely loud band playing in the Sky Lounge two floors above every night - unsure how the noise transmits through two floors but we could hear all the instruments and voices until midnight. We asked Guest Relations several times if the volume could be lowered slightly - but the answer was no !? Not sure why Celebrity takes this position; we spoke with others in the Aqua class dining room (Blu) during the first cruise and they indicated the same problem and were finally moved. My suggestion - do not book a room on the port side on deck 11 in front of the forward elevators. We were finally moved to SR 1537 - much quieter location but the AC would emit a high pitched "squealing noise" during the night. Maintenance tried to fix it over a couple days but we finally had them shut it off for the last 5 days of our cruise (fortunately it was cool enough outside to keep the cabin bearable). The cabin stewards did a fine job on both cruises, although some new linens would be useful (towels and wash clothes have lived a full life!) as well as some new mattresses. Blu, the restaurant for Aqua class continues be a highlight for us (breakfast and dinner are offered). The food is good, service is good and we meet a lot of nice people. Much better than the chaos and rudeness of the general passengers that we experience in the Ocean View cafe at lunch (similar to what we experienced on Carnival when we first started cruising). Entertainment was generally good and we like the production shows on ships in general. We enjoyed the Topper, Amade and Euphoria productions although the band instruments and singing in the main theater would improve with a little less volume - the voices tend to be "screechy" and distorted when reaching for higher notes. I spoke to the A/V technician at the end of one show and explained that it was too loud - he responded "yes, I know"....? Some of our fellow passengers in the Aqua dining room indicated that they stopped attending the shows because of this. Celebrity excursions continue to be of limited value - unless needing to travel a longer distance from the port and there is a concern of returning to the ship on time (Pisa/ Florence and Rome, for example). Compared to reputable onsite tour companies, Celebrity charges at least twice as much for their tours and, most frustratingly, the tour guides inevitably detour to their favorite souvenir shops where they seem to have a vested interest in the business. Several of us expressed our concerns of this to the Shore Excursion desk personnel and we received no response. An example was a 7.5 hour excursion to tour Sorrento and Pompeii. We had 60 minutes in Sorrento and 80 minutes in Pompeii. The rest was spent in gift shops and coffee shops (no provision for lunch other than cheese tasting at a farm which just happened to sell cheese and liquor in the gift shop). The excursions experience tended to be a "hot topic" at the pool some afternoons. The more experienced cruisers indicated that Celebrity understands full well what is happening on the excursions. Lastly, on hygiene. The men's restroom outside the Ocean View Cafe was out of hand soap for the first three days of our first cruise. While there was always an attendant in that restroom on our Spring Caribbean cruise - ensuring that everything was in order (soap, hand towels, mopped floors) - I seldom saw anyone on our first cruise. The silverware and coffee cups in the Ocean View Cafe are often dirty with food particles on the forks/ knives. We usually would pick up 3 or 4 sets of silverware before finding a clean set. We mentioned this to one of the managers several different days and received a quick and insincere thanks. This was never the case in Blu or any of the other 3 specialty restaurants we tried - all was very clean and polished. We dined in 3 specialty restaurants during our 24 days: Murano, Le Petit Chef/Qsine and Tuscan Grille. All were delightful with very good food and great service. A missed opportunity would have been to have guest lecturer(s) speak on the ancient cultures and/ or architecture to which we were exposed on either of our two cruises. Some form of enrichment would have been wonderful. There was a 3 or 4 part lecture across several days on the history and demise of Broadway - perhaps this should have been saved for a New England Fall Leaf cruise. In summary, we're taking a break from Celebrity - we may try the new Holland ship or one of the slightly more upscale lines (Oceania or Viking) in the spring. The Eclipse and and overall attention to guest satisfaction has slipped. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We were quite worried after reading previous reviews , however it turned out to be a very good cruise. Firstly the cons ( not many ) . As so many other reviews have highlighted they need more bar/wait staff in atrium/live room bars between ... Read More
We were quite worried after reading previous reviews , however it turned out to be a very good cruise. Firstly the cons ( not many ) . As so many other reviews have highlighted they need more bar/wait staff in atrium/live room bars between 6-11pm this was the only negative review of service . ( PLEASE LISTEN MARELLA !!!! would have been 5 stars but for this !!!). Also the only other fault was that we felt some of the meat products ie burgers, cooked meats needed to be of a higher standard ( Think microwave burgers ! ). The pros , great flight and super transfer , embarcation all very well organised . The most friendly welcome ever ( previous ncl + celebrity cruise nowhere near as good in this respect). Virtually all the crew including officers very friendly ( one exception a surly barman in atrium bar ).Cabin cleaned very well by paul and charlie , lots of space and a comfortable bed.Food was generally very good and never waited long to be seated. Always managed to find a seat in islands. Something for everyone regards entertainment re dancing , bingo ,quizes , etc ( your never going to please everyone all the time as the ships passengers are a cross section of British society ).Fantastic itinery and some fairly priced excursions ( adriatic ). We thought this would be a one off cruise with marella but will now definatly book again. Go with a smile on your face and enjoy. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We were on the October 11th sailing on Spirit. Ports included Rome (embark), Mykonos, Santorini, Athens, Rhodes, Chania, Malta, Messina, and Naples. This was my 16th NCL cruise. My review will be primarily about tours as this was a ... Read More
We were on the October 11th sailing on Spirit. Ports included Rome (embark), Mykonos, Santorini, Athens, Rhodes, Chania, Malta, Messina, and Naples. This was my 16th NCL cruise. My review will be primarily about tours as this was a port intensive cruise. That said, we found the fairly recently renovated Spirit to be in excellent condition, clean, friendly staff, and had the usual activities. I will say that due to the intensity of port days, we did not see one single show in the Theater so I cannot comment on the entertainment. As for dining, we ate at both MDR’s, Blue Lagoon, Cagneys, LaTrattoria and LeBistro. Specialties were very good and no complaints. The food in the MDRs was not piping hot, and service took forever, sometimes 2 hours for breakfast. This was a diversion for us as usually we find the MDR’s to be very good such that we do not waste money on specialties (we only paid for one specialty and used my two platinum plus vouchers for the other two). Also orders were often messed up. I assumed the slower service may have been intentional so as to cater to Europeans? Also, if you ordered a hot app and a salad, they brought everything up at once but instead of serving the hot app first, they’d serve the salad course which then resulted in your hot app sitting and getting cold at the service station. We also did one night the dinner with an officer for being PlatPlus. We had a lovely dinner with just 6 of us, and the Safety Officer who was from Sicily. Sadly, even that night our dinner orders were messed up but we still had fun. We had a basic Balcony Room on Deck 9. Small but adequate. Ports and Tours: ROME: We chose to fly over 3 days early to tour Rome. We booked transport through our hotel for 55 EUR. At the recommendation of Rick Steves, we stayed at the Hotel Smeraldo. You could not beat this location. We could walk to all of the sites from here including the Colisseum, Vatican City, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Mouth of Truth, Plaza Navarone, etc. We did not use one single cab the entire time in Rom. The first day we did a fantastic nighttime food and wine tour thru the Jewish Ghetto. This allowed us to explore a bit in the morning upon arrival, then nap before going out as we flew over on the red eye. We booked this with www.foodtoursofrome.com We ate SO MUCH FOOD on this, well worth the cost. There were 7 different stops on the tour. We had a fried artichoke, gelato, tiramisu, 4 kinds of pastas, espresso, pizza, and meats and salamis. We also had ample wine and an Italian beer at the pizza stop. Day Two we had a private tour of the Vatican booked thru Italy Private Excursions. https://www. italyprivatexcursion.com/ private-walking-tours/vatican- tour-in-depth/. Our guide was Rosie and she was terrific. We saw EVERYTHING and she expertly avoided the crowds. If you are Catholic or just really interested in the Vatican and history, this was an excellent tour. Day Three we booked skip the line tickets for the Colisseum. It got us in, included about a 40 minute tour with history, then you could stay and walk around as long as you like. That evening we used Rome Cabs to get us to the Hotel San Giorgio in Civitavecchia. We had a lovely water facing room that included a free shuttle to the port. I highly recommend this hotel, and there are ample restaurants in walking distance. Rome Cabs arrived on time (early, actually) and the service was fantastic. MYKONOS: We booked a private tour with Delos Guide (another Rick Steves recommendation). It was fantastic, our guide Antonis was top notch and showed us everything. He was also patient with my group of older travelers (4 of our group of 6 are in their 70s). Highly recommend this company and tour. One extra highlight was a stop and tour of the Mykonos Farmers creamery where we tasted the best homemade greek yogurt I have ever had. https://mykonosfarmers.com/en/ George was an absolute delight to visit with and I dream about that yogurt. https://www.delosguide.com/mykonos-past-4hrs/ SANTORINI: We booked a private tour here with Ocean Wave Tours (another Rick Steves recommendation). www.oceanwavetours.com While we saw all of the sights and got great photos, our tour guide Dan was not overly talkative. We are used to drivers narrating and providing history on the ride between locations. Again, he was very patient with my older travelers. ATHENS: We booked a full day private tour with PK Travel (www.pktravelgreece.com) All I can say is WOW. Our guide was Dora, and she was extremely well educated having degrees in history and archaeology. We saw all of the highlights and again everything was perfectly timed to miss crowds. The full day tour includes: The Acropolis [Temple of Parthenon, Propylea, Temple of Athena Nike, Temple of Erechtheion, Cariatides, Herodeon Theater, Theater of Dionysus, Areopagus (Mars Hill)], The Temple of Zeus, The Panathenaic Stadium [Kallimarmaro], The Hill of Lycabettus, The Old Palace, The Tomb of The Unknown Soldier in front of the Parliament & The Changing of The Guards, The Catholic Cathedral, The "Neoclassical Trilogy" [The Academy, The National Library, The First University of Athens], The Plaka for lunch, and finally The Acropolis Museum. Well worth it, and again she was very patient with my group who all made it to the top of the Acropolis! She also was generous with taking photos for us. We highly recommend. RHODES: We booked a private tour with Rhodes Private Tours (www.rhodesprivatetours.com) Our guide was Michael, but Nicholas the owner met us at the port as well to make sure we were well taken care of. Top notch service all around. We saw everything including the Acropolis of Rhodes. Highly recommend. CHANIA: We did not book any tours here and opted for a ship day as we were very burned out. MALTA: We had a tour booked here that did not work out. We used a recommended tour provider who farmed the work out to another guide/company (we knew this ahead and were ok with that). However, we ended up not even getting the tour as it was poorly organized, the assigned guide lied to us, and it was just disastrous. I will refrain from naming the company, however, because she was very apologetic, we corresponded back and forth after the fact, and I am confident she will never use this guide/company again when she cannot cover a tour herself. Everything worked out, we saw many things on our own including St. John’s Co-Cathedral which was a highlight for all of us. MESSINA: We opted to do a two our walking tour booked thru Viator. The Company was Discover Messina Sicily and our guide was Maria who was lovely. She timed everything perfectly such that we had great viewing of the Church in the center at 12noon when the music plays and the statues move. Well worth the price. NAPLES: We did a fantastic tour with Italy Private Tours that took us to Pompeii, Sorrento, and a drive along the Amalfi Coast. https://italytours.eu/book-now/ It was well worth the price and we saw gorgeous vistas on the Amalfi. Pompeii was incredible. Our driver was Luca, and at Pompeii we met up with Sabina who was our private guide for 2 hours. Her knowledge and passion for the history of Pompeii made this tour. I cannot recommend enough. Again, the crowds were expertly avoided and she was patient with my group. Luca was a delight and a funny guy. All in all a wonderful trip, itinerary and experience. Read Less

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