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12 Europe - All Fitness Cruise Reviews

We had previously cruised on Oceana and loved it. We chose Britannia as we could only travel in August and we liked the ports of call in the med. We had a balcony cabin on deck 12 midship. The cabin was modern and equipped with all ... Read More
We had previously cruised on Oceana and loved it. We chose Britannia as we could only travel in August and we liked the ports of call in the med. We had a balcony cabin on deck 12 midship. The cabin was modern and equipped with all we needed. Our cabin steward was very polite although he didn’t clean as I thought he should have, eg he never hoovered once in 14 days. Food was excellent in all restaurants. We had a dining experience in the Epicurean which was outstanding. We found all staff polite and welcoming. There was a packed itinerary of activities all day. In my opinion cruising is value for money. The gym wasn’t the best. There was lots of cardio equipment but the free weights area was somewhat lacking. There was one lat machine with only one side working. The main pool on Lido deck was very busy and noisy but the adult on section on the deck above was peaceful. The air conditioning inside the ship was set to quite cold so I’d advise a cardigan or sweater in doors if you are sensitive to the cold. Disembarkation was organised, we were able to find our luggage without any problems Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Very poor entertainment, had a 10yr old with us that hated kids club (couldn’t blame her) same stuff on every night. The spa on the ship was appalling, still kicking myself for not walking out. Bar closed at midnight, nowhere else except ... Read More
Very poor entertainment, had a 10yr old with us that hated kids club (couldn’t blame her) same stuff on every night. The spa on the ship was appalling, still kicking myself for not walking out. Bar closed at midnight, nowhere else except room service to get a drink. Staff entertainment didn’t show up on numerous occasions. Was a complete waste of money, hated every moment of being on the ship. Luckily we managed to see some amazing places. Great thing was the room, always clean and tidy. Although they never topped up the mini bar. Found out towards the end that you had to ask and sign for anything after the first night. Plus only complimentary water on the first night! Just constantly felt like there was nothing to do, was definitely aimed at the older crowd. If you want to know how to get rid of fluid retention this is your ship *yawn* Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We picked the Danube because we had never been to Vienna or Budapest and liked the idea of sailing on the river. We picked the 'active' cruise and this was the right decision for us. We love bike tours of cities and this cruise ... Read More
We picked the Danube because we had never been to Vienna or Budapest and liked the idea of sailing on the river. We picked the 'active' cruise and this was the right decision for us. We love bike tours of cities and this cruise included four bike tours. We loved the wine with all the meals on board and the food was very good. It's also great to meet most of the passengers and crew by the end of the cruise. We even tried the hot tub on board. Despite the low water level on the river, and the fact that we couldn't reach Budapest by river, Avalon handled the situation professionally and efficiently. Service was very good and entertainment was fun! Well done! Intercontinental in Budapest was very comfortable, central and great views. Not sure will will be able to go back to massive ocean cruises ever again! We will be back. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I fancied a short cruise with some formal nights included, so this 8 night cruise ticked that box! As I stay on the ship the ships life, crew, staff, food, gym, restaurants and entertainment are important to me..and I was not ... Read More
I fancied a short cruise with some formal nights included, so this 8 night cruise ticked that box! As I stay on the ship the ships life, crew, staff, food, gym, restaurants and entertainment are important to me..and I was not disappointed. All were brilliant for me so my rating is 15 out of 10! The older ship has a lot of character for me, views of the seascape almost everywhere.. The cabin was fine with the welcome addition of a fridge.. The TV has been upgraded since i was last on board much better.. Room service was very good too.. Absolutely loved dining in the Thistle restaurant.. Entertainment suited me and followed on from second sitting in the restaurant.. A general spread of various activities, not my bag though..this was a "spa break" for me..so enjoyed the gym and sauna most mornings.. I found the service excellent..:-) I stay on board so cannot comment on the shore excursions.. I will book on Braemar again soon..the small ship really suits my condition...embarkation and disembarkation were a breeze! Enjoy :-) BFN "Grumpy!..." Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
i am just back from Carnival Horizon ship. this is my fourth cruise with Carnival and the ship is amazing. the atmosphere was so happy and cool, the service all over the ship was fantastic, food was great in the buffet as well as in ... Read More
i am just back from Carnival Horizon ship. this is my fourth cruise with Carnival and the ship is amazing. the atmosphere was so happy and cool, the service all over the ship was fantastic, food was great in the buffet as well as in the beautiful dining room. also recommnded to eat at Bonsai, we had a great time there and definitely go to the pig & anchor pub which offers 4 kinds of homemade draft beers. the rooms are large and bright, the casino was big and very active and fun was all over including the shows and the comdian which i highly recommend to go at least one night. the hamburgers are big wow!! the ice cream is unforgettable ... i didn't sail with kids but i saw so many features that they will love! skyride, waterslides, video games, IMAX and many more. well done to Carnival! it's definitely best value for money !!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
we were intending to visit Spain this month and when this last minute fly cruise to Spain and Portugal came up we jumped at it. I was a little nervous as Fred. Olsen has a bit of a fuddy duddy image and some reviewers have been positively ... Read More
we were intending to visit Spain this month and when this last minute fly cruise to Spain and Portugal came up we jumped at it. I was a little nervous as Fred. Olsen has a bit of a fuddy duddy image and some reviewers have been positively unkind about the older cruisers it attracts. Its true the clientele are mostly middle aged to senior but they were the sprightly kind, who scrub up well and a pleasant, active bunch. There were some smart people on board. After my experience on Brittania last year the complete absence of children was welcome. There wasn't anyone who was too elderly and/or infirm to enjoy the cruise on the ship. We had dreadful weather and were unable to visit 2 of the scheduled ports which was unfortunate but not Fred. Olsens' fault. The Captain explained the situation very clearly during the first Cocktail Party and the ship handled the rough seas well. Boudicca is a smallish ship and its very easy to orientate yourself. It is not glamorous but is extremely comfortable, pleasant and well kept. Cleanliness is an absolute priority and the anti-norovirus procedures are stringent - they do everything they possibly can to prevent an outbreak. The food was outstanding, we had some delicious meals, roast duck, filet mignon, steak bernaise, dover sole and some excellent puddings, including crepe suzette and creme brulee. Drink prices are about the same as in a good pub or restaurant on shore and hairdressing, beauty treatments etc are not expensive. I enjoyed the 2 cocktail parties - the Captain was very entertaining in his dry way and we all felt he was a consummate professional. The ship was pleasantly warm inside. The swimming pool and jacuzzis on deck are kept well heated and people were using them even in the chillier weather. The gym is well equipped with great views as it is right at the top. There were talks, crafting, bridge and dancing lessons to keep you occupied. The dance hosts were very pleasant, mostly a bit older and genuinely interested in helping anyone who wanted to learn a dance or improve their skills. I thought the live music onboard was good and the shows were excellent, songs from the current musicals in London etc. and well known, lively favourites. There is a late night buffet and dance scene later on for those interested - didn't experience it but saw the ice sculptures etc. being wheeled up on the last night. We really enjoyed our holiday and are Fred. Olsen converts. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
I think fo the most part my dissapointment came from the fact that i merely expected more. Although the food wasn't bad, it certainly didn't compare to the other ships that I've sailed upon. We had a few decent meals and ... Read More
I think fo the most part my dissapointment came from the fact that i merely expected more. Although the food wasn't bad, it certainly didn't compare to the other ships that I've sailed upon. We had a few decent meals and some were so terrible we ended up making sandwiches at the buffet. The entertainment and activities were lacking so we found ourselves quite bored by day three. The staff, with the exception to our room steward were quite " stand-offish". After construction noises at 8 am, they told us it was standard procedure and didn't seem to care that it was bothersome to us. Our cabin was acceptable, although I think the pricing was high due to its small size. Both embarkation and disembarkation were standard in comparison to other ships. My wife , being a lady I guess; thought the environment and décor to be quite bland and unappealing - certainly lacking glamour. To sum it up, I think many other cruise lines supersede the quality of this one Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
I did not take this cruise to london and went west from budapest to amsterdam. it all started in budapest. i arrived one day early, just in case the luggage didn't appear on my british air flight from miami arriving on september ... Read More
I did not take this cruise to london and went west from budapest to amsterdam. it all started in budapest. i arrived one day early, just in case the luggage didn't appear on my british air flight from miami arriving on september 25. It gave me time to meet a friend who took me on a walking tour and we had the greatest sweet and coffee on this little side street. I stayed at the marriott hotel and had a view of a lifetime...facing the bridge and every famous building in budapest! the next day the meeting locale was at the intercontinental hotel, also on the river that separates buda from pest. i believe that the only negative of the entire trip, looking back at this point.. Was on the first day with avalon and took place at the get-together meeting at the intercontinental. the luggage was checked in and when i asked the agent in charge a question about the embarkation she said: "i can't answer your question...i am just here to check you in." she provided no happy "hello and welcome to avalon". This was quite disappointing as was the room where we met. there weren't enough tables and seats and no one met us from avalon. oh well...everything can't be great....maybe they will change this in the future. What made up for this poor beginning was the ship, the cabin, the dining experience, the entertainment, all of the superb service and we had a wonderful cruise director, sylvia, who lived just outside of amsterdam in the netherlands. The designer of the staterooms needs to be congratulated as well...all of the beds faced the sliding glass doors...you could see the sights by opening the curtains and then by opening the door. they provided all of us with a clear view of the countryside from your comfortable bed.. even the soaps and shampoo were superb...occitane... In the restaurant i always sat with the same waiter: pugi...what a super representative for avalon. Not that the other servers weren't great...but, pugi was the best. Have i praised this cruise too much? this is just the beginning. and i should mention that the shore excursions were great because they were geared for everyone. if a traveller had trouble walking, they could take the green gentle walk and even use walking sticks, or maybe the fast walkers would take the red guide for some great exercise as well as seeing the sites. i also was impressed with each guide on the excursions as headphones were supplied to everyone daily. Bottom line: i was never so impressed with a riverboat tour which travelled west from budapest to amsterdam. the avalon vista was spotless. what an experience. But i do have a second suggestion (in addition to the meet and greet at the beginning of the trip)...the gymnasium needs one more piece of machinery now that everyone is so into health and body. the best elliptical machine on the market is manufactured by lifefitness and it would complete the gym since they have all lifefitness machines already. viking does not even offer any exercise equipment or even a small room for exercise. i was told on the phone, when i inquired about an exercise facility: "our clients are older and don't want a fitness center!" i took total offense and hung up the phone. kudos to avalon again. they have the beginnings of a proper facility...now all that is needed is to enhance the exercise equipment experience by adding the elliptical which more and more people are now using. But,i should add that late at night while reading in the reading and lounge area...i had my cup of coffee and two cookies( the greatest fresh cookies). what's two cookies when i used the treadmill for one hour and did all of the walking on the tours. And finally, disembarkation was so perfectly planned, it was just like one of the large ocean liners. Bottom line #2: do i recommend avalon vista?...a definite yes. It's a great value for the money. The excitement you will experience will be happiness and decision you make as you plan your next avalon adventure somewhere else in the world. I am sold on avalon. and i thought that some of the other lines were okay. This is beyond okay...try it...you'll like it! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This was our best cruise ever. We almost cry when we disembark. The ship was new. Food was excellent (went with Costa and MSC before so I can compare the standards). Staff super friendly. Cabins were wonderful. There were no lines ... Read More
This was our best cruise ever. We almost cry when we disembark. The ship was new. Food was excellent (went with Costa and MSC before so I can compare the standards). Staff super friendly. Cabins were wonderful. There were no lines at the buffet. The breakfast was so rich and there was free sunday, pizza, coffee and home-made ice-cream until late hours. My daughter loved the entertainment on the ship (she is 10 years old). Waterslides,bingo, night shows, movies on the top floor with free popcorn, free movies to pick on the cabin TV, free room service (we ordered breakfast every morning in our cabin) etc. The embarkation was smooth and the same was with disembarkation. The most important was that you felt that there was no-one on the ship but you. Not overcrawded like MSC and Costa. If you are planning to cruise the Vista is exceptional. I highly recommend. Can't wait for their new ship (Horizon). Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Looking a cruise and seen this in May and so the price was good we upgraded to a spa room which was well worth it if going to use the spa a lot which we did before dinner.Food was not warm first night but got better as the week went on ,it ... Read More
Looking a cruise and seen this in May and so the price was good we upgraded to a spa room which was well worth it if going to use the spa a lot which we did before dinner.Food was not warm first night but got better as the week went on ,it really is a ship for family but up in serenity its Adults only but hard to find a pod ,staff lifted left towels if left longer than 40 minutes which is fair. Some staff in Red Frog pub had a bit of attitude and ended up having arguments with customers the night I was in we also had Kirk from coronation street doing a couple of songs with the group.Trips like most cruise ships expensive but the shuttle bus from port to town were rip off.Kids will love this ship and adults will enjoy that there kids are having a great time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We just returned from a cruise on Norwegian Jade, back to back Venice Dubrovnik, Croatia • Piraeus (Athens), Greece • Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey • Split, Croatia • Corfu (Kerkyra), Greece • Santorini (Thira), Greece • Mykonos, ... Read More
We just returned from a cruise on Norwegian Jade, back to back Venice Dubrovnik, Croatia • Piraeus (Athens), Greece • Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey • Split, Croatia • Corfu (Kerkyra), Greece • Santorini (Thira), Greece • Mykonos, Greece • Katakolon (Olympia), Greece. First of all, these ports were spectacular. We rented an apartment on the Grand Canal in Venice for 9 days, and if you can, enjoy Venice before the cruise. We loved our apartment stay. We boarded the ship for the first 7 days and sailed to Dubrovnik, Croatia. Dubrovnik was lovely and we'd like to go back again someday. The Athens/Acropolis Excursion was fantastic and I would recommend the excursions highly. Kusadasi and the excursion to Ephesus was the highlight of the first week. Highly recommend this adventure! It is one you will never forget, to a biblical site still under active excavation. The transition from week one to week two in Venice was seamless and seamless--no disembarking and re-boarding--very easy. If you wanted to go into Venice and re-board before sailing, that was simple, and if you wanted to stay on board and enjoy the quiet, you could do that, as well. The crew on this ship was wonderful. Nothing negative that I could say about the cruise should reflect badly on the crew or staff; they were professional, helpful and friendly. The second week ports were amazing, as well. We really enjoyed most, the ports where we took shore excursions. Santorini was the highlight port of the week, but Corfu and Mykonos were beautiful, as well. I really think that one of the most amazing ways to enjoy the Greek islands is FROM the sea, so a cruise did not disappoint in that respect at all. We also loved Olympia. Again, we took the Excursion to the ancient Olympic site with a lunch and entertainment at a Greek Taverna following the tour of the Olympic site with viewing of Zeus' and other temples. Well worth taking! I know that some people booked activities via outside tour companies other than NCL's planned excursions...I don't know why when our tour guides were excellent and the activities that the companies planned were really well done. Now let's talk about the ship itself: The Jade is NOT impressive. Our balcony cabin was TINY, and although the furniture was acceptable, it was not great. The bed was comfortable and the balcony was okay for 2. The carpet looked like something out of "Little Mermaid," and I doubt has been replaced since like forever. The bathroom was okay for a dinky stateroom--at least the toilet had a separate door and the shower was good. We managed to find room for all of our things and it all worked out fine, but don't expect luxury because you won't find it here. Our steward was fantastic, and I've cruised a lot, so I know a good, on the ball steward when I have one. We tipped him extra for the weeks because we felt he was worth it. The common areas are really sub standard by today's cruise ship standards...Pink and green decor with feathers went out of style back when Anne Boleyn lost her head. The ship needs some serious upgrading in decor. One dining room, the Alizar, had banquettes badly in need of replacement and showing wear. The other dining room, The Grand Cafe, was much more appealing. Both had outstanding Maitre D's who were friendly and helpful and very willing to seat us at tables of our choosing. The biggest problem with the dining was the food itself. Aside from Prime Rib nights, the food was hit and miss. There was nothing special about the menu or the appetizers or entrees. Overall, I think the chef needs to go away and they need to try again. Sorry to be so blunt, but I'm not really a foodie, and not very particular, but I just thought it was coffee shop level food. At least I lost 5 pounds on the ship--my husband lost 12! You can't say THAT after many cruises. I didn't mention the buffet: I'm not a buffet person--more food doesn't mean good food, and this buffet was just okay. The biggest disappointment was the salad bar--it was really meager and the dressings were poor, unless you like Wishbone in a bottle--and I'm not making that up, there were bottles of Wishbone at the end of the salad bar, along with those tasteless dressings in plastic jugs on the bar. I missed good salads! The buffet did have an area where you could order pasta to order or grilled meats, and THIS was the way to go. The service at the buffet and the adjacent dining area was excellent. Someone was always there to fetch a glass of wine or beer for you or to clear away plates. No complaints with the staff--just the food. I do have to say that seafood night at the buffet was really good! We chose the free beverage package when we booked, and if you are offered this, it is the best value of the freebies. We definitely drank our money's worth in wine and beer alone, and I was VERY pleased with the by-the-glass wine choices. I'm a picky wine drinker girl from California, so I was happy to find quite drinkable wines by the glass as part of the beverage package--much better than on our last Royal Caribbean where I could only find Alice Walker Chard by the glass at the ship's bars! Can you say YUCK! So, at least we appreciated the drinks if not so much for the food. I loved the casino. The Casino Host, Alexandria, and all of the dealers, knew my name after the first night. I thought it was by far the most friendly, fun casino I've ever been in on a ship. I hate to bash the entertainment, but the big showroom entertainment was AWFUL. However, one of the bars had an excellent dance band who played Mo-Town, pop and disco dance music--Twice As Nice was a fun duo who provided a good time in the lounge nightly. Also, the singer by the pool daily was really good and listenable but not intrusive. I wasn't impressed by the Cruise Director, but the Assistant Director was really good. The activities were okay I guess, pretty average for cruises. Overall, I would say, book a mini suite or better, not just a balcony room. It may come with pink and green decor trimmed with feathers, but at least it will be roomy. Book this cruise for the ports--not the food, and take the excursions--they are well worth the cost. You will have a good time but you won't feel you've been bathed in luxury. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Some background before I write this review - we have taken numerous cruises on all levels of ships around the world (small, medium, large, riverboats, etc.) so we have a lot of reference points on what we like and expect as a function of ... Read More
Some background before I write this review - we have taken numerous cruises on all levels of ships around the world (small, medium, large, riverboats, etc.) so we have a lot of reference points on what we like and expect as a function of the price point and the specifics of what the cruise line advertises and offers as compared to their competitors. Having recently traveled on Viking (river cruise in China which we absolutely loved!), we wanted to try another ship with a small number of passengers. After a thorough search, we decided to give Windstar (and the Star Legend) our business - per their advertisement - "fully refurbished boat, approximately 200 passengers, gourmet food and wine, world class gym, elegant staterooms and unique and memorable shore excursions'. So let's discuss what was accurate and what was off the mark - the pro's - very spacious stateroom, cabin attendant was excellent, on-board entertainment was very enjoyable, Candles dinning was great, majority of crew worked very hard to make the trip memorable, and select staff management (Elena and Bianca) worked very hard to listen to our concerns and to the extent practical within their control make our travels and pleasant as possible, and the people were so much fun to meet. The cons - (1) for a refurbished ship, the interior was in dire need of a fresh paint and varnish (age of the ship was not well hidden), the bathroom was not updated - pealing paint and wall tiles in shower were old and separating), (2) wine - not paired with dinner or the countries visited, wine tastings were poorly planned and executed (rushed so the room could be turned over for dinner, no wait staff to serve additional portions to the customers, and wine selections ran out during dinner, "wine expert" was not organized and could not keep the attention of the customers) - we stopped going after day four, quality of wines served were average to below average at best and had low Wine Spectator ratings, (3) on-board dinning service - very dis-jointed for the first three days - meals were late (i.e. not everyone was served at the same time), side dished were missing or wrong, and if you ordered fish it was guaranteed to arrive overcooked and dry, (4) food quality - got better as the days went by but serving three shrimps on top of rice is not gourmet, (5) bar service - with the exception of a few bar staff, very inconsistent service for mixed drinks - long wait (10 minutes), wrong order, glass half-filled - deferred to wine and beer to avoid the the hassle which was not our preference, (6) broken water system during seal day - no showers or running water - things happen at sea so my issue is not that this happened but how the ship handled the situation - the captain made an announcement at approximately 9 am and mentioned that the water system broke and we would make a stop at Brest for repairs - not apologetic in any form and tried to make a joke about it - not funny for the guests who were stuck on board without a bathroom or shower - in terms of compensation - NONE...we asked them to open the bar and provide free drinks and were denied....the system was repaired and then broke again around 10 pm (no notice from the captain) - I called the front desk and the staffer did not understand why I was mad as he did not get a chance to shower (paying customer versus employee....where is the training...), (7) off-board dinner in Bordeaux - very elegant, classical music, wine in the courtyard and then dinner - only one selection - a meat dish that was served raw to myself and three others at our table - after 15 minutes and sending it back twice I decided not to eat the dried out mass in front of me. Two wines were served of which one was a beautiful 2001 Margaux - we each had one glass and asked for another bottle - they "ran out" even then we observed other tables actively getting additional bottles, (8) world class gym - broken equipment and missing weights - need I say more, (9) excursions - unlike Viking or other high end cruise lines, Windstar only includes two free shore excursions and the guests have to pay for any other trips so desired - the selections were marginal at best with the most notable being a wine tour of a local vineyard in the Medoc region of Bordeaux - expected elegant wines and encountered less than marginal samples - would have expected a higher quality vineyard to be made available. We did email Hans (CEO) a note summarizing our experiences and have not received any reply as of this review - not terribly surprised since he already has our money and from the experiences listed above, apparently does not have a keen focus on customer service. Some final thoughts and impressions - we probably wont use this cruise line again unless Han's contacts us and don't recommend anyone else using them unless you do a full due-diligence on all high end cruise and read the review, the ship management fell flat on attention to details and building/maintaining a strong and consistent team to perform and execute their respective duties flawlessly every time, and if you are going to offer a marginal experience then charge a marginal price so expectations can be tempered with reality. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015

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