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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Embarkation was great & smooth (vs. disembarkation which was a rotten experience; later). Rio de Janeiro was interesting to see with beaches, Christ the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf. The city is a typical Latin city that is overcrowded ... Read More
Embarkation was great & smooth (vs. disembarkation which was a rotten experience; later). Rio de Janeiro was interesting to see with beaches, Christ the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf. The city is a typical Latin city that is overcrowded and dirty. Spent a lot of time in traffic. Food however was excellent; fast, tasty & uniquely served. The next port was a non+, pretty much a repeat of Rio without the great attraction. Two cities in Uruguay were like the Riviera, clean very safe. Buenos Aires was more of Rio. Walk with the penguins was good but a long drive from port & a lot more walking to the ocean. Great welcome center but the bathrooms at the park were HORRIBLE; 3 of 5 toilets were broken, stalls had no paper and toilets were barely usable with no flush water (TP was on ONE roll outside the stalls). For the money that goes into that park, they need to do a better job! Rode a great train in Ushuaia, a new, replica of a 0*1*1*0 Garratt. The first port in Chile was a nice walk in the Antarctic rain forest, along a river to a great water fall, + a wine tasting at the end. Disembarked in Chile at San Antonio and traveled to Santiago. We had to CLEAR the ship by 0900. There was one gang-way for entrance of new crew and departing passenger. There was no order and no one controlling exiting passenger; it was a group, screwed-up mess (Viet Nam vets have an expression that I cannot use here - like cluster...). Groups were called before there was room to accommodate them for disembarkation. Long walk to buses (& I mean long). We took a shore excursion since our flight did not leave until 950 PM. Drive into Santiago was nice, stopped for snack on the way a cute little restaurant. In the city, typical traffic & inability to stop to & see points of interest. One local craft market that was overpriced and then a fancy mall for lunch (on our own). We at seafood of Abalone, potato salad and greens; delicious! Then on to the airport. WE STOOD for two hours before we could even check in, THOUSANDS of disembarked ship's passengers. This was INEXCUSABLE! I will never depart from Santiago, Chile again!!! Worse than De Gaul in Paris. Overall life on ship was great, great staff, great food & VERY comfortable accommodations. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
First experience of cruising for more than 17 nights. This cruise was. 44 nights with 4 night stay in Sydney. The cruise was great. A few days of rough weather over bay of biscay (as expected). Sea sickness tablets worked a treat, ... Read More
First experience of cruising for more than 17 nights. This cruise was. 44 nights with 4 night stay in Sydney. The cruise was great. A few days of rough weather over bay of biscay (as expected). Sea sickness tablets worked a treat, There were two ports we had to abort because of bad weather: bay of islands and Tonga. This is something you have to expect when cruising which us beyond the control of the captain. Headliner shows always excellent and always generates a full house. Some of the other not always great. Lots of activities during the day to keep you busy during sea days. Spa very expensive. Gym facilities great and free. Food a little disappointing but plenty of it - you won't go hungry! We went on most excursions but a lot of the time you can do your own thing a lot cheaper. Highlights were: Alcatraze, Panama Canal, Pearl Harbour. We enjoyed all the ports on this cruise. Absolutely fab. Best ports San Francisco, Auckland and Sydney. Left luggage - a case on ship which we will collect in April when Arcadia returns to Southampton. We were concerned about the long haul flight for our return journey which turned out great. We flew with Singapore Airlines from Sydney to Singapore and then Singapore to Heathrow. Time just flew. Great current movies on flight, constant drinks and food/meals coming round. Would definitely fly again with them the same journey. 10 out of 10 flight. I think this length of cruise was enough for us but alot of other cruisers were staying on for the full 99 nights. If you are considering this cruise next year I would say go for it. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
Embarkation was an orderly mess. We got to the cruise terminal before 11am, but boarded the ship around 2pm. Boarding was color-coded, and we were surprised that they were calling all the colors except ours -- 10 colors were called ahead ... Read More
Embarkation was an orderly mess. We got to the cruise terminal before 11am, but boarded the ship around 2pm. Boarding was color-coded, and we were surprised that they were calling all the colors except ours -- 10 colors were called ahead of ours, although the terminal had only a few hundred people when we arrived. And Windjammer was full when we went up for lunch, so it probably wasn't FIFO from the terminal. Debarkation was worse. Quantum wasn't sailing out the day we reached port, as they had an event at Royal Theatre with Shanghai government officials that night (so that's why we needed to get to Baoshan quickly, in spite of fog). The right thing for the hotel dept to have done was allow us to leave the rooms when they called our luggage tag numbers, and not force to crowd 4,239 guests in Royal Theatre and 270. They also closed out the food outlets an hour before we reached port, so Deck 5 public spaces were all crowded with nothing to do and standing room only for a lot of people. Upon reaching the terminal, many people who debarked ahead of us were still there. It was just fortunate that we booked our own Shanghai tour and I was able to update our guide constantly with our arrival info, so we were able to meet up at the offsite parking area in good time, in spite of private vehicles not being allowed to park near the terminal due to the Quantum event that night. Dynamic Dining (now Dynamic Dining Choice) is good for people who booked together, such as families and friends. It's just like going to a restaurant with reservations. If travelling alone, traditional dining (or Dynamic Dining Classic, for Quantum Class) would definitely be better. All our reservations were there, so I never experienced the "missing reservations" problem that other people had. It's also so much easier to modify reservations on the Royal IQ app than on the RCCL website. Lesson learned -- dine early to get to the shows that don't need reservations, and be at Royal Theatre 15 minutes before a show to avoid pillar obstructions. Windjammer after the show if you get hungry. The restaurants were a mixed bag. The only one we paid for was Jamie's for lunch ($15), and it was very much worth it. We usually had excellent food, a good server, and good service times, although it was rare that we got all three in one meal. The menus were changed twice -- menu A on the first 3 nights, menu B on the next 3, and back to menu A with additional Chinese dishes (but without many of the Signatures and Classics) on the last 3. One thing I was happy about was that we were able to get ice cream or sherbet at every restaurant, even when it wasn't on the dessert menu. North Star -- long lines whenever we passed by, so we didn't go. iFly -- did it twice, because fog on the last day made the captain open up a lot of activities. It might have also been possible to fly without reservations on the second to the last full day, as iFly personnel told me to come back on that day, although I didn't. Waverider -- sister says there were times that only two people were using it alternately, but there were always a lot of people when I passed by. Entertainment -- only Starwater was reservable, but I don't think everyone had a chance to watch because 270 was spacious, but had much fewer seats than Royal Theatre. Unlike earlier cruises where the entertainment was posted in the Royal website, we only knew the shows for the day when the Cruise Compass came out, which made it difficult to match reserved dining and going to shows. The Music Hall was a useful venue, but they seemed to have turned it into more casino space now. Guest Services -- laundry dept lost one of my underwear, and cost to replace was a little under $10. Chinese girl at guest services kept on saying that laundry dept couldn't find it anymore, so I would be credited $80. I thought that was impossible, because I was claiming $9+, and wash & fold was only $30, so I thought maybe she was saying $18. The next day, $8 was credited. Please practice your English more. Lesson learned -- have it in writing and signed. Now that I've been spoiled by Quantum, I'm not sure if I'll ever go on another class of ship again. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
Embarkation tips Taxi to New Orleans port was the way to go they have a separate entry for taxi's for quick dropoffs! Norwegian Dawn a nice ship not many bells and whistles compared to todays newer ships. Food ranged from ... Read More
Embarkation tips Taxi to New Orleans port was the way to go they have a separate entry for taxi's for quick dropoffs! Norwegian Dawn a nice ship not many bells and whistles compared to todays newer ships. Food ranged from Decent to Very Good at the main restuarants, Buffet was decent. food is available all day and 24/7. The Bar Staff was well trained and the bartenders knew their stuff. Entertainment was in a word Fantastic "Oh what a night": a las vegas Jersey boys type show was fantastic, Josie and Patti - Neil Diamond show brought down the house, The acrobats were outstanding and showdown was a very good show as well. The other musicians throughout the ship were excellent as well the guy on the piano at gatbys was a very good Frank Sinatra crooner. Our Room 9522 was a balcony small but functional a nice place to get some quiet and watch the ocean! Cruise 12 days had a decidly older crowd so if you wanted a chair around the pool you could easily find it but people are still annoying with their lounger saving and they never show up. Shore excursions: Aruba - Kukoo Kunuku beach transfer is basically a open air bus with music where you go through parts of Aruba visit a small chapel then head to a decent beach white sand very nice. side note Aruba is like the arizona of islands Catus everywhere very dry island. Curacao - Sea Aquaruim and beach by boat - best excusion of the trip the sharks, Sea Lions, Pink Flamingo and Dolphin Shows were excellent and after the beach was a nice quite place with a quiet bar to relax Curacao is my new fav Carribean Island. St. Maarten - Airport beach was worth to at least see once but is very crowded! St. Thomas - Treelime Zipline tour is a excellent thrilling and safe zipline a good time was had by all worth the money! Tips: If you need to do Laundry NCL has a bag of landry special for 25$ at least once a week. Gold Members get a 25% discount on Landry and Platinum Members get a free bag of Laundry. Debarkation Tips in Boston was a breeze pay 5/10 dollars and use a porter you get priority on taxi's plus if you have a lot of luggage it really helps. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2015
Embarkment-a breeze because the times were staggered so no build up. Disembarkment - my 10th cruise, but disembarkment will never be pleasant and smooth it is what it is. cabinc321; plenty of hanging and drawer space for 2 people; ... Read More
Embarkment-a breeze because the times were staggered so no build up. Disembarkment - my 10th cruise, but disembarkment will never be pleasant and smooth it is what it is. cabinc321; plenty of hanging and drawer space for 2 people; suit cases stored under the bed . bathroom is well designed the shower would have been bigger if it had a sliding door instead of a plastic curtain which clings to you thankfully we were of average weight and size otherwise the cabin was very comfortable. As always the steward did a fantastic job we were very impressed. Finding our way around this ship was easy as we have done the diamond before in 2006. Dining; of our 10 cruises we have done 5 princess cruises and we can certainly say the food has improved in all areas and the staff were well drilled they could not be faulted. Enterainment;not so good-some very limited in what they do even the band and dj why geta ballroom and latin dj who does not understand what to play-must blame the cruise director because only a handfull attended because it was not promoted. Movies under the stars was very good,a choice of latest movies which was shown in our cabin the following day Overall a well maintained ship for all ages we did our own tours on land Ps i met many people who withdrew their gratuities why,after all it goes to the crew who bend over backwards to look after us,maybe it should be included in the cruise fare , even if it reduced everyone will contribute ,this is happening on all cruise lines. Although there was a flu virus outbreak on board it did not deter us as we were ultra careful returning to cabin, we always wiped all areas we touched and sprayed with our own antiseptic spray. Ports of call, varied and interesting but very very hot and most times could not wait to get back on board where the crew gave us cold facecloth, nice touch diamond princess Read Less

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