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65 Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) Spa Cruise Reviews

I recently sailed on the Oasis of the Seas for the first time. I've been sailing with Carnival for the past ten years because of the price point. However, since Carnival made wholesale changes (Cruise 2.0), I wasn't very happy ... Read More
I recently sailed on the Oasis of the Seas for the first time. I've been sailing with Carnival for the past ten years because of the price point. However, since Carnival made wholesale changes (Cruise 2.0), I wasn't very happy with either the food or the entertainment. Also, it seemed that other cruise lines were way ahead of the game when it came to Ships and what was on them, even though Carnival was coming out with some larger ships. The Oasis of the Seas is a gorgeous ship. The seven different neighborhoods were fun. Central Park was amazing. My stateroom was near Central Park and I enjoyed walking through it to get to the back of the ship and looking at the thousands of plants. Above the park there are balcony staterooms. It hard to believe you're on a ship in the middle of the ocean when you walk through central park. Compared with Carnival, Royal Caribbean has a much more international, more upscale group of guests. With high diving shows, Cirque de Soleil type shows and ice shows, RCCL's entertainment is far superior to Carnival. The food was also superior, but not by that much. RCCL's onboarding process is a breeze. A few days before sailing, I got an automated phone call requesting that I get to the port at 2:45pm, however since I was staying at a hotel and had to check out early, I got to the port at around noon and was on-boarded immediately. On Oasis, you board directly onto the Promenade deck, which is busy with tables set up on each side where the crew sells drink packages, dining packages, etc. There is a Starbucks toward the front of the ship on the Promenade deck, which I really appreciated. My stateroom was ready at 1pm. The My Time dining was a complete disaster and I don't believe they offer it on the Oasis any longer. Although I had reservations, several nights I had to wait quite a while and the maître 'ds were rude for the most part. I was ignored on several occasions while waiting for a table, skipped over so they could seat families and couples. After that, they kept calling out in loud voices that I was a "single". I almost cried I was so embarrassed. Being a single traveler, I was hoping for company during dinner, but for some odd reason, they sat me with other people only on the first night. The rest of the voyage, I was seated alone, even if I was at a table for four. The food was good both in the American Icon dining room and in the buffet on 16. I did not try any of the for fee dining, but I recommend making reservations as all venues were well-attended. Be careful when booking reservations for restaurants that say they are complimentary. Izumi and the Mexican restaurant both say they are free when you book them online, but when I arrived, I was told that they were al la carte and the "free" reservations were so they would know how many people would be there. The prices at Izumi were extravagant. I just don't get the for fee dining on a cruise. Shouldn't the quality of the food be the same across all venues, since you are paying for it? There are plenty of places to get great free food on Oasis, including Central Park, where you can beat the crowds at breakfast and dinner. The Solarium Bistro is free for breakfast and lunch, but has a charge of $20 for dinner. You can also grab a bite for breakfast and lunch at the Wipeout Café. I had breakfast there one morning when the Windjammer was full and the selections were sparse and cold. These venues are less crowded than the Windjammer, however. Personally, I loved the Windjammer. It has great ocean and sports zone views. Any spa is great. However, Carnival has a far superior spa than RCCL. The Thermal Suite on the Oasis is buried deep within the ship on deck 6. It is very dimly lit and small. There are about six heated loungers, two steam rooms and a dry sauna, along with two rain showers. There is a mud bath room and a couple's hot tub. A package for the thermal suite is available for couples which includes a single use of the mud bath and a single use of the hot tub. The area is very small and they only sell thirty spaces for about $99 on the first day of the cruise. Carnival's Thermal suite is huge and faces the ocean. There are many different thermal chambers along with a thalassotherapy pool (a giant mineral hot tub). It's a place you spend all day looking out at the ocean and up at the sky. Otherwise, the gym is great and the rest of the spa is nice. I got sucked in by a very determined aesthetician when I first boarded the ship. She was at a table set up to sell spa services. I went to her for a facial on the second day of the cruise and she was extremely unprofessional, telling me about her love life in detail. When I purchased one of the products she suggested, she kissed me passionately on the mouth. I was so taken aback!! I didn't know what to do, so I did nothing but push her away and act like nothing happened. There was no mistaking that this was something completely inappropriate. I've never experienced such unprofessionalism in all my years of cruising - and I go basically for the spa pampering! It made me so completely uncomfortable. YIKES!! That took a lot from the pleasure of going to the spa. I did not report it because I did not want to be responsible for someone getting fired. Royal Caribbean does not cater to the single traveler at all. Internet was offered for "$10 per day," but only as a double occupancy package. So it wasn't $70 for the entire week, it was $140 even though I was traveling alone. They wouldn't budge on that and suggested I "share it with someone else." Okay, as soon as I meet them in the dining room where I'm kept isolated. Geez. I wasn't the only person traveling alone, but there weren't many of us. Also, as I said, they didn't sit me with anyone in the dining room so I ate alone while reading. I mentioned that the maître Ds were rude, but I can't say enough about the fantastic quality of the service in the dining rooms. The waiters and waitresses were absolutely wonderful. I've never had such excellent service. On Carnival, you could spend two and 1/2 hours in the dining room the service is so slow. On Oasis, the service is fast, thoughtful and friendly. The wait staff was concerned that I was alone and came to talk to me every night. I felt a bit adrift (no pun intended) on the Oasis. There was no central meeting place like on Carnival ships; there are large screens on the Boardwalk, but no movies were shown; no Cruise Director talking to me over the intercom like I was part of a huge vacationing family like on Carnival ships. On RCCL, the single traveler is very much on their own and I really felt it! There were informal singles gatherings, but they were held so late that I never made one. In summary, the Oasis was a beautiful ship and I enjoyed exploring her, the shows were excellent and food were really great, but RCCL really lacks in it's service to single guests and the spa is lacking. The music around the ship wasn't to my taste - it seemed like a ship full of wedding bands. If you're a single cruiser, know that you are completely on your own on RCCL and except for the cabin steward and the people who actually serve the food in the dining rooms, no one cares. Although Carnival is more for "Joe Sixpack," the crew is friendlier and for that matter, so is Joe Sixpack. Not sure I'll be going on another RCCL cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
We sailed out of Fort Lauderdale Fla. We stayed at the Bahia Mar By Hilton, loved it will stay there again in March for our next cruise. Got a shuttle from the hotel to port. We did not have fast to fun and waited a little to get on ship. ... Read More
We sailed out of Fort Lauderdale Fla. We stayed at the Bahia Mar By Hilton, loved it will stay there again in March for our next cruise. Got a shuttle from the hotel to port. We did not have fast to fun and waited a little to get on ship. We were on ship by around 12:30. We went to the buffet and had sandwiches from the Deli, they were really good. There is a very nice girl that works there and makes good deli sandwiches her name is Laelah. By the time we were done eating our room was ready. We were in room 1108. Very nice room, it was next to spa so very quiet. Checked out spa, it is a bit dated but used the sauna's everyday. Our room stewardess Shiela was very nice and did a good job. I really like the layout of the ship as it is not a huge ship and you could find your way around very nicely. Food on board..... We had anytime dinning and it was very nice. We got a wait team the 1st night of Karnita our head waiter and loved them. We asked for them at Breakfast, brunch and every dinner we had in the dinning room. They were the best. All of the meals in the dinning room were great, good choices taste good. We also ate at the steak house one night it was really good, worth the money. The highlight of our cruise was the Chef's table, the chef Biju Jacab was warm and very good at what he does. The meal was wonderful, we would do this again. Nice point was the every time chef saw us he asked how everything was. A must for lunch is Guys, loved it! Entertainment... first I want to say we loved the cruise director Mike, he was always around and very funny! We did not go to any of the production shows. But the comedian was very good. And the band that played in the lobby was so much fun. The lead singer Shelly was great! We went to the adult pool area and it was nice. The casino was nice we used it at night, and sometimes in morning when there was not as much smoke and less people. I would say that I would go on the Conquest again, very nice ship with a great crew. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
We fear that the days of feeling like Royalty while traveling as a verandah-balcony-class passenger are slipping away. The Cruise Industry may be following in the steps of the Airline industry in their effort to economize. Space is tighter ... Read More
We fear that the days of feeling like Royalty while traveling as a verandah-balcony-class passenger are slipping away. The Cruise Industry may be following in the steps of the Airline industry in their effort to economize. Space is tighter and services and amenities are being "redirected" to maintain profitability. As long-time balcony-cabin cruisers our first shock came when we saw the small 4 ft x 10ft balcony in cabin V5084 with just enough room for two of us and a couple of chairs, an ottoman, and tiny 18 inch high table. Balconies on older ships were significantly more spacious. Our Upper Verandah room was just above lifeboats #8 and #6 on Port side. The balcony was private and well protected from rain by a large overhang above, the only intrusion being maintenance crews greasing the lifeboat hoist mechanisms - which they did while docked on days 2 and 6 of our cruise. The cabin was small but adequate with very comfortable bed, and an additional couch and desk area. Bathroom with shower and small tub were fine (incl shampoo & conditioner & soap dispensers), though we wish there had been a night light; instead we kept the bathroom light on with door closed at night since light switches were hard to find in the dark. 2 cozy robes were provided. Closet space was ok but poorly illuminated. Three life-vests occupied the top shelves of the 3 closets --- these would be better stowed in the difficult to open cabinets above the couch. Volume on the small TV was poor while watching movies, even at max setting. Closed-captioning was definitively a help, but did not always work for some reason. Fortunately channel 44 announcements came through loud and clear. The morning sun was quite obvious since the curtains were not room-darkening enough. We faced away from land at Half Moon Cay and in Key West. The next shocker was the coffee - something that was always a treat on Holland in the past. It was downright mediocre and not becoming of the Dutch tradition of a "lekker kopje koffie" (delicious cup of coffee). The Half and Half was thin and milk-like. No doubt the motivation is to economize with cheaper beans and to drive coffee aficionado's to deck 11 Explorations Cafe, which features a Starbucks type coffee-shop that charges extra! Likewise, internet access is available but slow and expensive ($55 for 100 minutes). We had an excellent signal in our room, but just signing on and getting our backlog of messages consumed several minutes each time. Wi-fi calling was impossible on my t-mobile phone since the connection was too slow. The cabin stewards did their best, were pleasant, and were obviously being pushed to their limits: one afternoon my wife accidentally spilled some crackers in front of the couch, and while the room had been turned out nicely for bedtime, we found crumbs still all over the floor. When we asked about this the next day our cabin steward indicated they only had time to vacuum in the mornings. The ships' staff were excellent as always, and seemed to be even friendlier than we remembered in our past travels ... plenty of "good mornings", "how are you", "have a nice day", etc. The TAMARIND restaurant in particular was a truly exceptional experience! For the $20 extra cost you are treated to an extraordinary oriental meal, and my 1-1/2 inch thick wasabi-encrusted filet mignon put any other meat served in Lido or the Rembrandt restaurant to shame - especially the 3/4 inch drab filet they served on Steak & Lobster formal night (Note: we never ate at the Pinnacle Grill, so can't compare). Food quality and selection in general was very good and we never had stomach issues. We do suggest you plan on eating outside of "normal" hours since rush hour gets really busy. The elevators were TERRIFIC!!! Super fast and efficient with lovely waiting areas that were tastefully designed, and with roomy staircases. We loved the outside elevators with their awesome views. Other areas of the ship, in particular the main Lobby & Atrium on decks 1 & 2, seemed small and narrow, though most of the time they were not crowded. The Casino was ok but the older-type 25 cent slot machines we like to play were on the smoking side, and ventilation was inadequate to prevent drifting smoke from becoming unbearable at times. Neither of us felt compelled to attend evening performances in the Queen's lounge, and we missed the ol' days of magicians, comedians, and hypnotists. The shops are excellent, brightly lit with plenty of selection in a wide variety of prices. There was a sidewalk sale one day on Lido but due to maintenance on the the sliding roof mechanism the trapped heat and humidity from the pool and all the passengers present was stifling as we waited in long lines to pay the cashiers. The SPA was fantastic though expensive (as usual). We consider it a treat and don't mind the surcharge, though we did opt for shore days when rates were discounted. The facilities are lovely, and the very capable massage therapists had wonderful attitudes. The nearby Gym has plenty of room and equipment, with nice sea views. Exercisers have plenty of opportunity to walk on Promenade, the observation decks, and play tennis/soccer/basketball etc. on the very nice net-enclosed Sports deck. The Eurodam is equipped with the latest stabilizing equipment, but I doubt those were needed during our cruise since we had such perfect weather throughout our 7 day trip. Cabin V5084 is located exactly midships and therefore already extremely stable. We hardly felt the waves and it was only the soft vibrations of the engines that reminded us we were on a ship. In fact we didn't even experience the after cruise wave sensations that normally stay with us days after a cruise ends. So, while this new ship is technologically more advanced, for us the bottom line feeling was that of a cheapening of the cruising experience. New cruisers may have a completely different opinion, but we can't help make comparisons to our previous trips. The economic reasons are understandable, but nevertheless we will avoid the Eurodam, and its sister the Nieuwe Amsterdam, in our future travels. We hope that the older ships will maintain their stature and dignity long enough for us to enjoy a few more cruises before those too get redesigned to achieve financial efficiencies.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We were on the Nov.16th to 23rd cruise. Wife and I are platinum so we had preferred boarding, which was very easy 1/2 hour at the most, was on and in cabin by 12:30. Muster was 3:00 and very quick and then was sail away. That was very ... Read More
We were on the Nov.16th to 23rd cruise. Wife and I are platinum so we had preferred boarding, which was very easy 1/2 hour at the most, was on and in cabin by 12:30. Muster was 3:00 and very quick and then was sail away. That was very good and the weather for the first 6 days was very good. Rain on the 7th day coming back to Ft Lauderdale. The ship is in my words HUGE and it is a very nice ship. I wanted to go on it because of the newness, and all the talk about the balconys being small I could not see it. They have 41 sq. ft and the Crown Princess only has 40 sq. ft. All the talk about elevators I also didnt have to wait, so saw no problem with them. Over all the ship is a beautiful.I will not go on this one again because of its size, I like the closeness with the crew and this is so big you dont get to see most of the crew as much as I have on other Princess cruises. Entertainment was good, they are not top of the line but not bad at all. The only problem we had was on our dinner in the Crown Grill my wife steak came out so rare she had to send it back. She had ordered medium well and it came out all red inside, the second time was almost as bad so it went back for a third time and still came back rare. We told them forget it and I finished mine and we went on our way. Would not go there again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Just got off the Norwegian Getaway! Sailed with hubby, just the two of us, and left our kids home for the first time in a long time! Embarkation - smooth sailing - we arrived at 11am and had to wait in a holding area for probably 30 mins ... Read More
Just got off the Norwegian Getaway! Sailed with hubby, just the two of us, and left our kids home for the first time in a long time! Embarkation - smooth sailing - we arrived at 11am and had to wait in a holding area for probably 30 mins but there was enough seats and coffee so it was fine. Our rooms were ready at 1pm. Cabin We had a spa balcony - 14104 - it smells great in this area and is 1 deck below the spa itself. The locations was great for us since we spent so much time at the spa. Movement wasn't an issue. Noise - not a problem in general - it was only a little annoying that there was always a lot of crew going in and out of our hallway slamming doors because they have cabins on this end of the ship. Once you are in room, it's pretty quiet. Space - the cabin itself was the smallest balcony cabin we ever had and the smallest balcony we have ever had - it's funny what a difference just a few square feet can make - if w had the kiddos with us it would have been WAY too small and I would have been upset, but with just the two of us, we were fine. Our cabin steward - shashank - was great! Beds and pillows are very comfy - TV was good size, some good free movies was nice. Storage space was fine for 2, but more than that would have been tough. Spa - We booked this cruise mainly because of the spa and entertainment - our spa room included a weeks spa pass which was great! We also did 2 spa treatments while on board. Tips, tricks, positives and negatives: Tip to ncl - Spa itself is kind of hidden from general public - other ships have a nice big opening so others are enticed to enjoy it more! The gym had a good amount of equipment - and looks onto ocean which is nice. The machines have a tv built in - so bring your headphones - and also a ledge for your phone or iPad and a water holding area - perfect. Spa locker rooms are nice - robes and towels are complementary and if you have a spa room you get nice spa flip flops too. The spa features a hot tub, a thalassotherapy pool with many jets and seating areas and bubbles - it is not salt water - the first day it was cold but after much complaining from passengers it was a perfect body temp - nice strong jets and very pretty. There are also several chairs - probably 15 tiled warming chairs and 30 cushy relaxing chairs. A fresh fruit water and tea station are complementary. There is a sanarium - a sauna with some humidity, a dry sauna, a salt room and a steam room, plus showers outside to cool off in. These special rooms were never too busy and very relaxing. The salt room turns on a almost unnoticeable mist of salt every 20 mins and is room temp. The steam room was supposed to have eucalyptus smell but don't think that was working. There are only 2 negatives - there needs to be probably 10 more tiled chairs - they were almost always full and people like to chair hog - but the staff is pretty serious about removing people's towels to clear the chairs if they are not sitting there, so I could usually get one if I wanted to. The other problem is bigger - the pool and hot tub need to be in a separate room - not only are they loud but the people in them talking over all the jets are loud too so if you want to relax in the chairs you can't with all the noise. The design of other spa ships is Better with separate rooms for each area. Spa treatments - tell them you don't want to be sold products and they won't- otherwise they push hard. Our couples massage was excellent and my Thai poultice massage was nice - each day there is a deal - wait to book until each morning to find out what it is -they get a better deal the later in the cruise u get. The spa raffle drawing the first day - don't enter unless u are willing to be present to win at 5pm. Be prepared to sit through sales talks about Spa services and art for 45 mins during drawing. Food We had reserved our restaurants and shows ahead of time, so that was no problem. We ate at pay restaurants every night. Breakfast at the buffet or taste/savor/flamingo - it was the same quality whether u were at the sit down restaurants or the buffet. The buffet beverage selection was good - better than some cruises. The food - not so good, but not much different than any other cruise. I will say that if this ship did not have pay restaurants or we didn't do them, the main dining rooms would have been disappointing, but I think they design it that way so people do the pay restaurants. Moderno - very good salad bar - an antipasto style - all the meats saved were very good but they will rush you if you don't tell them to slow down - if you don't want a meat when they bring it - tell them to come back with it and only have small bites or you will explode! Le bistro - this is right below the casino in an open area so if you aren't far from the door. It smells like smoke. The escargot - super oily - the scallops - lackluster - the duck was good. Cagneys - very good overall Teppenyaki - entertaining and tasty - great Italian la cucina - surprisingly my favorite - great pizza and Osso bucco - best bread on the ship Sushi - they did a great job - the menu lacks choice but if you ask the chef to surprise you with something not on the menu it's always good! Raw bar - delicious ceviche O sheehans - good wings - ice cream not very flavorful Carlos bakery - desserts at restaurants were just as good Coffee - no different than any other cruise ship, but the free coffee was just awful - the pay coffee was good, but only available in one place, so you had to plan ahead. The one problem there was that there was always a Lot of staff waiting in line to get coffee as well - I have never seen that before - they must not have access to good coffee anywhere else either. Noodle bar - very good Service at the pay restaurants was great but at taste and savor not so much There was the lack of a simple salad and sandwich cafe - the salad bar options at the buffet were pathetic. We did not do room service but someone who did all the time said it consistently took 45 mins Entertainment Illusionarium - very good show - cool room it's in - their seating is an issue - they should just assign it based on when you boom because you have to stand in line 45 mins before to get front seats. Also make sure you ask for a forward facing seat - they have tables line up the long way where you have to crane your neck to see - therre are also poles in the way - but again show itself is really good - food is fine - filet mignonette and veggies and shrimp - vegetarian option is eggplant Parmesan Wine lovers musical - entertaining but quite flamboyant - fun show - same food and room as magic show Burn the floor - missed it unfortunately Legally blonde - totally disappointing - I love the movie and the story line was quite different - over the top flamboyant - they were good singers and dancers but the sound in that room was not right - the balance was off - a good view from any seat, though. I was surprised to see this show was carnival quality as opposed to ncl epic quality. Comedy - we saw both comedians - they had the same opening guy - they were all good but the show was too short - seemed only 45 mins with the main comedian ! Howl at the moon - by far the best entertainment on the ship - 3 pianists / singers switched off - one could also play harmonica and one could also play violin and guitar - they were funny and really good musicians and it's amazing how many songs they know! Bring cash to get your songs played! There was always trivia or a game or a movie being played in the atrium, which was good but not quite big enough of a venue. A lot of times the main theatre would have been a better spot for those activities Karaoke - good when they had it but didn't seem to have it much There is arcades and bowling and pool and darts - nice $ time fillers. The ship itself is pretty and lots of nice art - very tasTeful. Deck 8 is nice to sit (away from smoking area) and have a walk or a drink - strangely the running lane was located in deck 16 and was very short and also wet from the pool often. We didn't play shuffleboard or chess or use the game room but they were all there. The shops on board were lackluster unless you wanted to spend a lot of money on jewelry watches or perfume - a strange lack of souvenir shop offerings. The pool - there was not many kids on our cruise but you didn't see those that we're at the adult pool so that was good. Plenty of hot tubs. Adult pool is small on sea days and finding a chair that isn't in the blazing sun is impossible. Use the pool on port days and it's great. The water slides are all fun and not too long a wait The ropes course - which includes zip line and walk the plank was really fun and wasn't as tough as I thought it would be One big problem was on the last day - we wanted to check into our flight 24 hrs before and they we're only going to let us if we paid for Internet! Every other cruise line we have been on has allowed flight check ins fee of charge! Wet put up a stink and they let us go into a back room to check in but how ridiculous is that?! I will have to fight for that each time? Ridiculous! So overall a very relaxing and enjoyable cruise - lots of fun, sun, spa, drink and good food! Problems were minor. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
My wife and I sailed on the Royal Princess for our 1 year anniversary and had the time of our lives. Love this ship. We were lucky to get a cabin upgrade to a large balcony mini-suite. The large balcony was great and big enough to hold 4 ... Read More
My wife and I sailed on the Royal Princess for our 1 year anniversary and had the time of our lives. Love this ship. We were lucky to get a cabin upgrade to a large balcony mini-suite. The large balcony was great and big enough to hold 4 people. Embarkation took about an hour (very fast compared to other ships). The piazza was very impressive with complementary snacks served at the international cafe. The service was excellent - top notch ( special thanks to Ricco from Aloha floor, Luis & Suthep from Allegro, and Natalie & Olenka from Horizon). The food was delicious on all restaurants with lobster and steak dinners on formal nights. The lotus spa was out of this world. We decided to get the $179/person to have access to enclave and relaxation room for the entire 7 day stay. We'll worth the money. Trust me on this one. Also, the gym was well designed with brand new equipment and multiple health and fitness seminars/ classes. The shows at night were great, specially the illusionist show on levitation. One negative thing about the shows on the ship was the British humor was a bit too much for us, but nothing to complain about. The only thing negative about the ship was the photo service ($25 per photo is too excessive). If they could lower each photo to $5, more people would buy it and they wouldn't have to throw all photos to waste. Luckily for us, we brought our own professional camera but still ended buying 3 photos. Other than that, this ship gave us the royal treatment. We hope to cruise again on the Royal Princess. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
Day 1: Embarkation - super easy. Arrived before noon. Security and check in was very easy. No lines then we were there. We learned they did not let anyone on until about 11:15 or so. We walked onto boat with our luggage. We travel pretty ... Read More
Day 1: Embarkation - super easy. Arrived before noon. Security and check in was very easy. No lines then we were there. We learned they did not let anyone on until about 11:15 or so. We walked onto boat with our luggage. We travel pretty light with carry on luggage. The doors to the rooms were closed because rooms weren't totally ready until 1:00 p.m., but we went through to drop off our luggage and our room was actually ready. We had planned to just leave it outside the door, but our room attendant, Little, had already finished our room and I admit we did surprise him, but he and all the room attendants were very nice. After dropping off our luggage, we decided to explore a little. Food: We purchased the Chef's Table package because we like to try out the various specialty restaurants. There are many specialty restaurants with surcharges and ala carte pricing. We had a chance to eat at a good number of them and we also ate at the Main Dining room and the Windjammer Cafe. We have had great experiences at specialty restaurants on Holland America, which last we checked had a surcharge of $25 pp but the food is superb and I always book a reservation at the Pinnacle Grill on Holland America - the $25 is totally worth it. Main Dining Room: We always choose the 8 o'clock seating because we like more time outside or lounging about and don't like to rush to the 6 p.m. seating. 6 p.m. is early for us and we found that most families with kids tend to choose the 6 o'clock seating. We ate there for breakfast twice (including the last day - disembarkation day). We had dinner there probably 3 or 4 times and we don't miss the lobster night - which is usually the 2nd formal night (I would check with the dining room when making your specialty restaurant reservations). We also had lunch here twice. We really enjoyed the main dining room. Since we booked late, we were put on the 3rd floor in the very back of the dining room, it wasn't the best spot but we had excellent service and also got to sit with a lovely couple from NJ. They were really fun and we enjoyed making friends with them. The wait staff took very good care of us and always brought extra things for us and we could order more than one of each thing if we wanted to. The food was very good in my opinion and for lobster night, the lobster was a good size and fresh. We also liked the steaks here better than at Chops. Lunch was ok, the service is so-so, but not bad. You don't get your dinner waiters, but the food is tasty and you can order off the menu or get the buffet option. Breakfast was pretty good too. Chef's Table: (I think its about $70-75 pp, but I am not sure I paid around $125 for a package of three specialty restaurants - Chef's Table, Chops, and Central Park). This is an intimate dinner in the loft area of the concierge lounge. I think each night there is seating for about 20 people and you sit at this very long table. Its a pretty elaborate tasting menu with wine pairings. The Chef comes and explains each dish and the sommelier describes each wine. This was fabulous. The food was fantastic and the wines were excellent. I think its a great deal. The service was very good of course. And you get a nice gift at the end (I don't want to spoil that surprise for you). We did this for my birthday. They even brought out a birthday cake for me and we made some nice friends at dinner. Chops Grill: (I think its about $35 pp - it was again part of my package) This was our least favorite dining experience overall. The menu was surprising limited and I was also surprised that their best steaks had an additional surcharge on top of the surcharge, which in my opinion was pretty high for a cruise ship. In Chicago, you can get a very good steak meal at some excellent steak houses for close to that pp without alcohol. Wine was not included in the price. So seeing more surcharges was shocking to me. We each ordered the NY strip steak and asked for it to be cooked medium and the steaks were cooked medium well (we honestly had better steak in the MDR and cooked to order). In retrospect, I wish I had said something, but we were really tired of being in this restaurant so I didn't want to make a spectacle of it. The sides were also so-so - I don't even really remember what we had because it was so unmemorable. The atmosphere was ok on the inside. I wish I had asked to sit in the atrium part of the restaurant because it was facing into Central Park, which is beautiful at night. Besides the food being ok, the service was interesting. The server was very nice and attentive, but he really was pushing selling stuff, like wine, and things like cook books and wine aerators. I thought that was weird, annoying, and uncomfortable. I don't know if they were required to do that or maybe they get a bonus, but I don't think they should do that anymore. I feel like it adds insult to injury with the expensive surcharge. We won't eat here in the future, however, some people really love it and have had great experiences. In the end, its an average steak house - but you can judge for yourself. Central Park 150: (I really don't remember this one - I think with our package the Chops Grill ended up being free - so I am guessing about a $40 surcharge). Beautiful restaurant with nice and different decor located in the Central Park part of the ship. Service is excellent and the food again is very high quality - beautiful, unique and delicious. I suspect the menu changes and I can only say overall we enjoyed this restaurant and there were several courses (a tasting menu style of meal). The food was delicious and rich and we felt pretty full at the end. I really liked the understated and attentive service - the server explained each dish, which was helpful and added to the experience. Another kind of Park Cafe here in Central Park - I forget the name, but its another free place to get salads and bistro food - you can also get free water, ice tea, and fruit flavored drinks here. We did not really eat here. Although the food looked good - its small and can get really crowded which turned me off. Wine bar: There is also a lovely wine bar in Central Park which serves tapas ala carte. We heard it was good, but we never had a chance to try it out. Seafood Shack: Ala Carte pricing, but very reasonable. This restaurant was located on the boardwalk several stories below our room and I love seafood and wanted to try it. Decor is like a beach side seafood shack. Nice ambience and service was good as well. We went because I heard that they have King Crab legs. So we went for an afternoon stack. I ordered a 1/2 pound of king crab legs for about $15 - I like them hot. They were delicious and I couldn't believe the price. The other things we liked were the coconut shrimp (something like $3 or 4 for a decent amount of coconut shrimp maybe 6 or so big pieces!). We had a major miss with the calamari though - it could have just been a bad batch. It just did not taste fresh to us, so we told the server who wanted to replace it with whatever we wanted on the menu, but we were not hungry anymore, in any event he brought us shrimp cocktail. The shrimp cocktail was ok - they give you a lot and they were a good size, but again, I feel like they weren't very fresh in the sense that the shrimp should have had a nice crunch to it. The MDR on the contrary had very good pieces of shrimp for their shrimp cocktail. Overall, I would come back here for the crab legs. They do have a lunch party with lots of different seafood, but we decided to pass on it - its a good deal, so you may want to check it out. Johnny Rockets: We had milk shakes and breakfast here. We did not get a chance to eat here because there are just too many choices. But it is a popular place and the surcharge is about $5 or $6 - years ago it was like $2 or 3 I think on other ships. The milk shakes were good and breakfast wasn't bad. They don't charge for breakfast. This is a combination surcharge and ala carte restaurant. Solarium Cafe: They have a surcharge for dinner at night, but we only ate here for lunch once which is free. They offer spa food and light healthy food. Its mostly buffet style and it can get busy during the day. They also have a couple of miso soup options. You pick the bowl with the ingredients already in it and they add the miso. You can also get water, ice tea, and fruit flavored waters for free here. We liked the light fare - its a nice change. Donut Place: I don't know what the actual name of this place is, but they serve free coffee and a nice selection of fresh donuts for free. Mostly the fluffy yeast donuts with glazing - I did not see any cake donuts, but I don't really like cake donuts. They have regular flavors like chocolate and strawberry glazed to exotic like passionfruit and key lime. So many flavors and very good. You can also purchase specialty coffee drinks. This place is located near the entrance of the boardwalk. Ice Cream Parlor: Also on the boardwalk, across from the Donut Place, this is an ala carte dessert place. It looks nice and the ice cream desserts look very good, we just were never hungry enough to stop for a sundae. Maybe next time. Sorrento's Pizza: Free pizza place located in the Promenade. Pizza is good and fresh - pretty standard. They offer cheese, sausage, pepperoni, and one special pizza that changes. They also have a choose your toppings personal pizza that you can order. I think they are open until midnight - not bad for a snack. Park Cafe: Free (except for specialty coffee drinks) and open 24 hours. They serve sandwiches, cookies, brownies, and coffee. You can get water and ice tea here too. Its located next to the guest services. Cupcake Place: A cute cupcake shop next to the Park Cafe. Pretty much small and large cupcakes of all kinds of usual and unusual flavors and decorations. They also have for sail cook books and cupcake themed things. We booked a cupcake decorating class here for about $22 pp. Its an hourlong class and they provide all the materials. We learned how to make a double burger cupcake with fries. Really fun and we got an awesome treat. Did I really learn much? Not sure, because all of the items were prepped ahead of time for us and we basically just put it together, but it gave me some great ideas. We also got a surprise gift at the end! I thought it was a lot of fun and there were a number of parents with their older and teenaged kids at the class (both boys and girls). They limit the size of the class to about 8 people. One beef I had, was that people kept coming in to buy stuff and there was only one employee there and she was instructing us! She said the shop is closed during class, but she had no sign or anything to put in the entryway. They should just have another person working to man the counter. I think having all those people in there taking a class actually draws customers into the shop. Was it worth it? I think so, especially with an older child or teenager, but I think for me once was enough. Windjammer Cafe: This is their buffet. We ate here for breakfast and lunch. I didn't think it was too small for the size of the ship. There are two sections with the same food items, plus I thought they did a good job of crowd control, which I liked a lot. They actually seated people and made sure that there weren't too many people at once at the buffet. We did not wait long to be seated. I am not sure what all the complaints were because they had a nice international selection of food and its buffet food - so not everything is going to be out of the ball park, but I really thought it was tasty and I liked the selection. The service was also good. We liked to eat here when we could. Breakfast was also good with decent selections. There are also some snack places on the pool decks which we never ate at because we just never did, too many choices. Izumi - a Japanese specialty ala carte restaurant on the same level as the Windjammer. Its lovely and has pretty views, but we never had a chance to eat here. I love sushi and am reluctant to try it on a ship when I have it quite often in Chicago, but the prices are very very reasonable for the sushi rolls and pieces. I would have liked to try it, but we just only have so much room in our stomachs. I think you should try it, if you either have never had sushi before or don't get a chance to have it very often. I watched the ship's cooking channel on their tv and they kept showing the chef from Izumi make food and it looked really good. I probably missed some other food opportunities, but I think this pretty much covers everything. Shows: Can I just say WOW! Definitely WOW! Royal Caribbean knows how to put on over the top amazing extravaganzas! We tried not to miss any of the entertainment, including the lounge singers and jazz musicians. Even their standard fair belly flop contests were fun fun. We missed some of the other standard fare, but not the shows. I recommend making reservations ahead of time, but most shows you can still get a seat - they let people in without reservations about 10 minutes before the show. The only exception is the comedy show. It is a much smaller venue - you will not likely get in standby. This show you must make a reservation. Hairspray - this is the broadway musical shown on the Oasis, the Allure is showing Chicago. The lead singer sang and played this part on Broadway for 2 years prior and I could tell. Its a full length Broadway show without any intermission. The talent was top notch, the sets were amazing, and the costumes were above par. We were amazed and entertained. Don't miss it! They only have maybe 2 showings for the entire cruise. A bonus, we saw the star of the show and the actor who plays her mom sing Broadway show tunes at the Viking Crown lounge one evening (see it if you can). Frozen: I think this is what its called is there icecapades show and what a show it is! Amazing! Its in the Studio B ice rink. The stunts, routines, costumes and story line are amazing. These are international Olympic skaters - also not to be missed. I don't want to give too many spoilers. Its not the Disney movie version. Oasis of Dreams - this is their incredible aqua show - again stunning with high dives, water ballet and acrobats ala Cirque du Soleil. Very much like the Vegas show "O" - this aqua stage is definitely state of the art and custom build costing millions. These are olympic and olympic quality gymnasts and divers. We were able to see the show from our balcony as well. Reservations are a must - as this is a popular show and get there early (about 30 min) to get a seat. We just brought our books and read. Only thing is the seats can be somewhat uncomfortable. Headliner - this is a special guest that is brought on for this show. It changes all the time, you probably don't need reservations. Comedy show: Hilarious! There are essentially 4 comedians and they differ, but the ones we saw were hilarious and many are featured on Comedy Central. I definitely recognized the comedians. MUST HAVE RESERVATIONS. The design was to make it feel like you were in an intimate comedy club and it worked for the most part. Parades! They have two parades in the Promenade - really over the top and a lot of fun. Great for the kids. Definitely worth seeing at least once. Various shows and special events - they have a great 70s dance party in the Promenade with singers and dancers all over the place. Lots of fun! There is a glow party in Studio B (they place some flooring over the ice) and its fun, but after awhile it basically becomes a teen party. However, same night they have an adult party in the Solarium with DJ - that was fun too. Night clubs and Bars: RC has so many bars all over, each one different and separately themed. We liked the one in the middle of the promenade that goes up to the Central Park and down again, there is a hidden one in the Central Park which is nice and we liked hanging out at the Boardwalk Bar. They have essentially one night club across from the Comedy Club, the music is good and most nights it is really hopping - the decor is kind of weird though kind of like a spanish dungeon or something. I am not too crazy about the design, but they have some fun and cool special effects and we had fun there. The other place we liked was Dazzles - really beautiful two story club that featured live bands and a lighted dance floor. It overlooked the Boardwalk - when there is a band it is hopping, otherwise it becomes a nice place to read. Pools: Boy this place has a ton of pools! A freshwater pool, saltwater pool, adult pool in Solarium, kids area pools, and hot tubs galore - I think there must have been like 10 hot tubs all over the pool deck. The kid's area was really cool and people really liked to congregate in and around the pools. We liked being in the shade and spent a couple of days at the main pools in the middle. We did not care too much for the Solarium because it became a sauna and was too hot. I think its the design with the enclosed glass which probably acts like a magnifying glass and traps the heat, plus it was consistently over crowded in my opinion with a number of drunk and sloppy adults during the day - evening it was nice and tranquil. The people were so annoying that I preferred the main pools with kids! The kids were for the most part mainly at the kids area and if a kid wandered to the other pools and acted obnoxious someone would ask the kid to act appropriately which worked. Most kids had their parents with them, so we never had kid issues. There were plenty of seats - so we typically were ok finding seats. We liked to go there in the later afternoon when there was less people and the sun wasn't too hot. By 4:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. a lot of people left for their 6 p.m. dinner, which was fine by us. One oddity was that the smoking section was in this small part of the pool deck by the bar and I don't get it, but the same people would spend the whole day there and night too puffing away. This was not a pretty part of the ship either. I just didn't get it, but I guess whatever floats your boat. Activities: Lots of activities for active people. There is a short zip line that went across the top of the Boardwalk, we tried it once and it was fun but short. A good number of people liked the Flowrider, which is the surfing and boogie boarding simulator - they have two of them and its harder than it looks. We did not try it - we thought about an individual class, but decided to pass because the water jets were very powerful. They have a miniature golf course, a carousel, climbing wall, and ice skating rinks. Of course they have a nice basketball court, which was constantly in use and ping pong tables which were also constantly in use. I am sure there are other things I am missing, but this gives you an idea. Oh and shopping - there are a number of stores on the ship and they have their specials like all ships. People seemed to like that a lot. Movies: They show first run movies in the main theater and have 3D capabilities. You won't know what movie is playing until the day of unfortunately and the movies rotate and are never replayed on a single cruise. We saw the last 2/3rds of the latest Thor movie and it was like watching a movie in a theater. Casino: We don't gamble, but I have to say that this was one of the largest casinos I have ever seen at sea. Its not cheap to gamble here, but people seemed to have a lot of fun. Guests: I liked the mixture of guests both young and old. It made the ship very lively and the atmosphere fun. The ship was probably close to capacity and I sometimes felt it, but it didn't bother me - there are many quiet spots, but there was plenty of room. A stroll at night in Central Park was one of my favorite things - its lovely and peaceful. Loyalty Club: Meh they don't have the best perks for loyalty members. Ports of Call: Pretty mediocre for the most part, except for Cozumel, but we were in this for the ship. Day 7 Disembarkation Day. We had breakfast in the Main Dining Room and then had plenty of time before we had to disembark. This was not as smooth as getting on the boat. But this was mainly because of customs. This was not Royal Caribbean's fault. They were very efficient otherwise, but there was a huge back up in Customs. It took us awhile to get off the boat and through customs. We decided to rent a car (Thrifty is the best deal and closest to Port Everglades) and drive to Ft. Lauderdale Beach. If you have more than 3 hours before your flight, its actually cheaper to rent a car to store your luggage than to store it at the airport through a service - airports typically won't take luggage more than 3 hours before your flight, but double check. We then spent the afternoon at the Ft. Lauderdale Beach and rented chairs, an umbrella, and towels from the municipal employees on the beach - my husband bargained with the guy and got this all for $10. We rented the car for about $25, but I have been able to rent it cheaper in the past. Overall Summary: Awesome ship, huge, beautiful, and surprising. We had a fantastic time and booked this cruise for the ship rather than the ports. We were not disappointed. You can't help but have fun and it is very easy to meet people. However, its hard to see them again unless you try or are lucky. We were both lucky and we tried to meet some of the same people on the ship. Great for couples, retirees, families, kids of all ages, I really love this ship. We plan on booking a cruise on the Allure of the Seas in the future.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
Embarkation was very smooth, as we stayed in the Presidential Suite, and had priority boarding.the room was ready when we got on board, and luggage was delivered soon after. We were part of the concierge club, which was a great bonus, as ... Read More
Embarkation was very smooth, as we stayed in the Presidential Suite, and had priority boarding.the room was ready when we got on board, and luggage was delivered soon after. We were part of the concierge club, which was a great bonus, as we had access to exclusive services and evening access to appetizers and beverages. The boat was beautiful, well maintained and the staff were very friendly. The food was delicious in all venues, especially Giovanni's the Italian family style restaurant. We had access to the dining room menu for room service which was great, since traveling with small children. The pools were great, and the h2o zone was awesome for adults and kids, as it had the only heated pool on the ship. The adults only solarium was very relaxing and had the cantilevered hot tub-awesome! The shows were great, had very talented performers and the ice shows were great as well. Our room was 6414 the presidential suite. It has 2 master bedrooms, one slightly larger than the other, both with bathrooms including tubs. Also had 2 regular bedrooms with 2 upper bunks in each and hall bathrooms as well. All rooms were very spacious and comfortable. The living room had plenty of seating and dining table. The balcony was very large with a huge table and several lounge chairs and regular chairs with side tables. There was a bar with sink and sub zero fridge as well as a 6 person hot tub - amazing!!! Our steward Eunice was amazing and our concierge Raj was so helpful. In all, we had a great time with 6 adults and 3 kids in this suite, plenty of room and things to do! Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
Just came back from a birthday cruise with my husband...WHERE to begin....First of all, I am probably one of Princess cruises' biggest fans and "PR" people (cruising not only with Princess but also SITMAR way before cruising ... Read More
Just came back from a birthday cruise with my husband...WHERE to begin....First of all, I am probably one of Princess cruises' biggest fans and "PR" people (cruising not only with Princess but also SITMAR way before cruising was a popular way to vacation) and in all of my travels with this line I have never really felt the need to complain about any ship/service/port, etc. Having said that, here are my thoughts on the Ruby Princess 5 day cruise (I would hope that these complaints would only apply to these shorter cruises and things would be "Princess normal" on the regular sailings). LIKES: 1. Great embarkation procedures -- as an elite passenger we waited to (priority) board in a separate area. The cruise rep made passengers sit in the order in which they came into the room (as opposed to "the mad rush to the door" we recently experienced on the Royal Princess) and we were permitted to board in the order in which we had arrived. Kudos to Princess for finally "getting it right" on this aspect -- hopefully it will trickle down to all the ships' embarkation procedures. Our Princess hostess was fantastic -- friendly, cheerful, entertaining and very professional. Nice way to start a cruise! 2. Delicious food -- the food on every other Princess ship has been very good, but the food on the Ruby was excellent! No matter where/what we ate....it was all delicious! We had anytime dining and were lucky enough to catch the same waiter both nights we ate in the dining room (Mandol and his assistant Victoria) and they made our dining experience pleasurable. We also dined in both Sabatini's and the Crown Grill and enjoyed both meals. 3. Wait staff/bar staff/cabin steward -- The staff on this cruise was outstanding -- some of the friendliest men and women I have ever met on any cruise I've been on! I sailed many times with the Commodore of the Ruby way back when he was a staff captain on Sitmar's Fair Sky (later Sky Princess) and his warm, gentle, friendly personality seems to have had an effect on the staff on his ship. Kudos to all working on board -- they were the best crew I have sailed with in many years! CONS: 1. The Sanctuary -- The Sanctuary is now $30 per day per person. REALLY? (No one told us about the increased cost and while we would have still booked at whatever price, it would have been nice to know in advance what I was paying, especially since we didn't pay that much on the Royal in December.) Also, they charge you on embarkation day (Royal, as well as the other ships on which we booked the Sanctuary for the entire week didn't open until first day out). In my opinion this was a wasted day since most people don't carry their swim gear with them and have to wait for their luggage to be delivered to their cabin (or are out "exploring the ship"). On this particular cruise there were only 20 people who reserved for the entire week; on day 2 when my husband went to the Sanctuary ahead of me he sat down "one seat over" from our seats and the original "owner" of the seat made a huge scene and the crew member chided my husband for not remembering his seat. Again...REALLY??? For what we are being charged and for the small amount of "guests," it would seem to me that SHE (the person who escorted my husband to our seats) should have known exactly where to seat him. Also, we didn't see the Sanctuary manager the entire cruise and the staff was not attentive in the least (no towel to take to the pool; had to chase them down for iced tea/water; no cool towels or mists, no one standing at the reception desk greeting passengers as they came into the Sanctuary). This was really an annoyance to me -- Princess is known for its attentiveness to its passengers, especially in specialty areas such as the Sanctuary, and in my opinion both the "missing in action" manager and his staff need extensive training if they are to stay in this location. The Sanctuary is located on deck up from the Spa and on other cruises the pool near the spa was reserved for Spa and Sanctuary guests only so that the environment was one of relaxation - not so on this cruise; the entire pool area was loud (which carried into the Sanctuary), crowded and, on certain days, filled with older teenagers. Again, I am not a complainer, but I have experienced and expect a certain environment (which I paid for) and was disappointed by what was actually experienced. As I stated earlier, it is my hope that these problems would all be rectified once the Ruby was back on a "normal" sailing schedule. 2. Passengers -- there was a wide variety of passengers on this cruise (still spring break in some parts of the US) and it was extremely obvious that many people were having "one too many" cocktails. I have never seen so many drunken people staggering around the public areas nor have I ever seen the maître d' permit passengers wearing flip flops/shorts/wrinkled tee shirts into the dining room at dinner time, let alone seating in the middle of the dining room clearly intoxicated women. Where has happened to the Princess standards? The same concerns hold for the one "formal" night - and I use that term loosely. I have NEVER seen such a casual formal night -- especially in a specialty restaurant. We dined in Sabatini's on formal night (excellent food, wonderful waiter) but we were quite surprised to see so many people dining in shorts, jeans, etc. (Again, I am hoping that everything reverts to normal after the short sailings have concluded.) 3. Passenger services -- I guess the staff here has never heard of the phrase "the customer/passenger" is always right... We had a problem with the safe in our room. We boarded at 11:15 a.m. and, once I could get someone to answer the phone (3 separate calls, wait times of 2 or 3 minutes before hanging up) I was told that someone would be sent up in "10 minutes" -- we waited 45 minutes and decided to leave for a quick lunch at the buffet (excellent food selections and everything was delicious!). Got back to the room a little after 2:30 and the safe had not been fixed. Called again; no answer. Went to muster drill, came back and called one more time only to be told that they were "busy" and would get to us shortly. Finally an extremely personable officer showed up, made a call to have the prior combination removed, and we were back in business! It took all of five minutes. Not sure what was happening at the front desk but they need to be instructed to answer the phone when it rings. Please do not think I am a "snob" or a "cranky old lady" because of my complaints. I am 57 years old, have sailed on many ships over the course of the past 30 years and I just think that cruising (and the passengers who enjoy the cruise experience) should be awarded the respect it is deserving of. Princess has always had high standards which were well known in the industry and to its loyal passengers. I hope that this is not a precursor of things to come with this line. I personally have always held it "above the rest" in terms of passenger service and it's "classiness" -- I will be highly disappointed if it falls into the same category as Carnival but that is what I felt on this past cruise. Will I cruise on Princess again -- ABSOLUTELY! Will I do a five day (or less) sailing again on Princess -- absolutely NOT. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
Sailed from Port Everglades on the 8th December for my wife's 60th birthday present. We had a Mini Suite R609, many issues and problems we did not expect as a suite passenger. 1st ever time on Princess as a passenger. (1) no water ... Read More
Sailed from Port Everglades on the 8th December for my wife's 60th birthday present. We had a Mini Suite R609, many issues and problems we did not expect as a suite passenger. 1st ever time on Princess as a passenger. (1) no water in the room unless you paid for it everyday, I haven't been on a cruise before where this took place, as a passenger in a suite you expect to be given some perks. This alone would put me off going on this ship again. Felt like I was being nickel and dimed for basic things like water. (2) Power cut out in the room the 1st night and it took 5 calls to passenger services to get anyone to come and look at the problem. (3) toilet block at 5am on the 2nd evening again it took them almost 1 and a half hours to come and look at the problem with people not understanding the English good enough to understand the problem. (4) tap handle broke in the WC within the 1st hour we used the bathroom, again it took 2 days for anyone to do anything about it. (5) 1st night in the anytime dinning was a total shambles, they told us the place was full and we had to go to the other dining room, when we went to that one they had no idea about how to fit us in for anytime dinning, the senior manager of the restaurant then cam to our aid after 10 minutes and seated us. The waiter was like a comedian and just throwing plates down in front of us with no decor or interest at all. I ordered a good bottle do red wine and the waiter split it the 1st time he poured onto the table cloth and left it there to dry in.The food in anytime dinning is terrible, worst I have ever experienced on any cruise line ever. There are major safety issues on this ship, no stairs on certain floors so if there is a fire or evacuation you have to go across the ship to use stairs and nothing was available at the floor we were on , only lifts which you cannot use in emergency situations. (6) the internet is a total joke, I tried to send 1 email and after 2 days it still never sent and cost me over $40.00 in internet costs. Everyone was complaining about the slowness and total non functioning of this internet on this ship, you would think that for the newest ship on the seas this would be sorted. When I spoke to the IT guys they said it's the satellite, being in IT myself this was total rubbish, there is just not enough servers on the sip to do any level of internet activity at all. 100s were complaining and I asked and got a 100% rebate on my account for this shambles of a system. (7) the patio doors in our suite creaked every night making sleeping difficult. Princess needs to really buck up their logistics and customer focus, because as a suite passenger I felt nothing extra. Celebrity and Royal Caribbean blow Royal Princess out of the water as far as passenger detail and quality of food is concerned. Good points are the entertainment was fantastic on this ship. We made our cruise vacation a good time but felt we would never go on anther Princess cruise again. Even passengers who had 21 previous Princess cruises told us the Royal Princess was very very poor in comparison to other Princess ships.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
I just returned from 7 days aboard the Nieuw Amsterdam. Embarkation from Ft Lauderdale was a breeze. The Holland America crew really know how to keep a line moving. Our 1st port was Grand Turk. Had a pleasurable visit to Jacks Shack on the ... Read More
I just returned from 7 days aboard the Nieuw Amsterdam. Embarkation from Ft Lauderdale was a breeze. The Holland America crew really know how to keep a line moving. Our 1st port was Grand Turk. Had a pleasurable visit to Jacks Shack on the beach and enjoyed the local beer and jerk chicken. Next was San Juan, my fav ! Love that island, so many things to see and do. Visited El Jibarito restaurant for their pasteles (seasonal dish) usually Christmas and Mothers Day, along with their awesome mofongo. In port until 11pm which was very nice. On to St Thomas, we were docked in Crown Bay which is nice. Took the tram to Paradise Point for photos and drinks ! Great place ! The next stop was Half Moon Cay, rented a clamshell for the day and soaked up the warm temperature. Holland America has a magnificent BBQ on the beach and the food and drinks were delicious. I cannot say enough good things about the ship and her crew. They work together like a well oiled machine. We lacked for nothing on our voyage. No hassles, The entertainment was a pleasure, the musicians were easy on the ears and a lot of fun. There are many nooks inside the ship where one can go to enjoy quiet moments, I really enjoyed that. The gym was well equipped to work off all that fabulous food they prepared. It was all very fresh and tasty. I did not have a bad meal. The sushi was superb ! With all that said.....I had a wonderful cruise experience and cannot wait to sail on HAL again !!! I give the Nieuw Amsterdam 5 stars !!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
I recently returned from a 7 night Western Caribbean cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam. We had cabin 8114 and our friends had wheelchair friendly cabin 8116. It was a wonderful cruise! Everything was topnotch...the food, the service, the ... Read More
I recently returned from a 7 night Western Caribbean cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam. We had cabin 8114 and our friends had wheelchair friendly cabin 8116. It was a wonderful cruise! Everything was topnotch...the food, the service, the itinerary and the shore excursions. If you are not heavy wine drinkers, they will keep your bottle for you for the next evening AND will transfer it to another restaurant if perhaps you're trying Pinnacle Grill or Tamarind... Holland America staff were waiting for us with cold bottles of water and cold, wet washcloths on the pier near the ship. What a nice touch after a warm day! One thing I did notice that I didn't like was a big vibration at certain points on the ship. It was particularly obvious in the Tamarind restaurant. We switched tables 3 times and couldn't get away from it there. We were traveling in cabins 8114 and 8116, an accessible cabin. 8114 had better close space, a nice baloney, and a bath tub (no jacuzzi). 8116 had less closet space and was geared for somebody in a wheelchair so a lot of your clothes need to hang in the lower half of the closet. The bathroom was very generous and there was a seat and bars in the shower, but no tub. The balcony on 8116 was at an angle facing the front of the ship which was especially nice when sailing. There is a ramp up/down through the balcony door for a wheelchair in 8116. I have been on other caribbean cruises, but the itinerary, ship and excursions on this one were the best yet!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
My (DH) and I were first time cruisers on the Princess Cruise Line, but sailed on Royal Caribbean twice, Celebrity, Holland America and Carnival (Europe) lines. Our sail date was Dec. 15, 2013, seven day cruise to the Eastern Caribbean on ... Read More
My (DH) and I were first time cruisers on the Princess Cruise Line, but sailed on Royal Caribbean twice, Celebrity, Holland America and Carnival (Europe) lines. Our sail date was Dec. 15, 2013, seven day cruise to the Eastern Caribbean on the Royal Princess. We booked a Mini-Suite through an Internet Travel Agency and selected our Mini-Suite on Deck 11, which is called the Baja Deck and the Mini-Suite was located midship-aft on the portside. I changed from a Mini-Suite starboard midship side due to the fact that all of the midship rooms located by the “Seawalk” have zero privacy. Pre-Cruise We stayed at the Renaissance Hotel in Fort Lauderdale associated with the Marriott chain, but it had no visible signs of the Marriott Brand and our taxi driver was unaware when I asked him to take us to the Marriott Renaissance. We were disappointed with our “deluxe” corner room and the view of a rooftop parking lot. The room was old, shower curtain’s bottom perimeter was filthy and overall the hotel is outdated. The best part about the hotel is its location being directly across from Port Everglades. We walked to Outback for dinner, which is across from the Embassy Suites and prior to dinner we tried to take a free “Trolley/Shuttle” to the Mall, but the driver said that due to a Boat Parade the Trolley/Shuttle could no longer cross the bridge (hmm). The free Trolley/Shuttle is located on the side entrance across the side street from the Renaissance, but the “free” service normally ends at 6pm. Embarkation We signed up for the Renaissance’s Port Van Shuttle to Pier 2, which is where the Royal Princess was docked starboard side and portside facing the water. The shuttle cost $6 per person, which in relation to the distance being across the street is pricey, but due to Pier 2 being full of traffic, a taxi meter would have cost more. The Renaissance’s Shuttle had multiple stops, RC Allure being first because it was the fastest and the Royal Princess being the last because it was the slowest. We arrived around 11:45am and a Princess Port Attendant told me that we could not board with priority, despite having booked a Mini-Suite. We waited in a very long line that was being halted until at least 1pm. Since I took care of our accommodations, my DH was not aware that Mini-Suites had priority. After 20 minutes, I asked another Port Attendant and they apologized and immediately allowed us to surpass the line and board. We finally boarded, dropped off our carry-on bags in our Mini-Suite and ate in the Horizon Court for lunch by 12:30pm. All luggage arrived shortly thereafter and our Muster Station E was in the Live Theater. Mini-Suite Nice size and arrangement of the room. The bathroom had a tub, no metal case around the toilet paper and access to the roll was not a problem. However, we were HIGHLY disappointed with the small size of the balcony, I love sitting on the balcony for breakfast and at night, but the lack of space did not allow for us to sit forward, we could only sit at an angle. Our room was high enough to not have an obstructed view with the lifeboats, but I agree they should be recessed because looking over the rail; no water is seen only orange life and tender boats. My only other complaint about the room is the creaking all night of the walls and ceiling and how thin the walls are as we heard our neighbor in the cabin to our right moaning all night. The Captain was sailing at a very high speed while sailing toward St. Thomas and that night was the worst creaking and kept us up, along with the ship rocking. We had to remove the hangers as they banged together all night. We moved the table from in front of the sofa to have an unobstructed access to our balcony. We would recommend rooms without a sofa, as two chairs and a small table would have been sufficient allowing for expansion of the small balcony. Elevators Horrible, too small and way too slow. The capacity stated 18 people, but barely eight of us fit and if we had a scooter on the elevator, then only four people could fit. Passengers were rude when you crammed your way onto an elevator that finally stopped on your floor and/or finally stopped without bursting at the seams with people. Time Change The shipped moved time forward by one hour Tuesday 2am or as described in the Patter Daily Newsletter as Monday night. I thought it was unnecessary and made me really tired the entire cruise, along with throwing my medication schedule off. Time changed back Friday night (2am Saturday). Crew Drill There is a required biweekly Crew Drill that took place our week on the 4th day (St. Thomas), which started at 9:45am. The Captain announced the morning of for the entire ship and some decks and staterooms were heavily impacted. The sirens/alarms/horns were extremely loud and repetitive. Thank God we had an excursion, but for those who planned to sleep in, so such luck. Please note that the required Crew Drill will take place again during the cruise week after Christmas and every other week then on. Testing Our water was being “tested” and turned a brownish color and was unappealing. When I’m on vacation I would appreciate all test be done the morning of embarkation while the ship is in transition. Ports The weather was GORGEOUS in all ports including Fort Lauderdale. Sunshine, warm to hot and no rain. Part of our first night sailing, a little rain fell and MUTS was emptied. Otherwise, warm and sunny days, which is just what we needed being from the Northeast. Since we had been to all Ports in the past, except Princess Cay, we only booked an Excursion to St. John through the ship. We ran late and did not complete all activities, but a fractional on-board credit was granted upon request. We took a noon tender to Princess Cay and found chaises and dragged them under a palm tree. We took the Port Boat Taxi over to Phillipsburg in St. Martin for an all-day pass of $7 per person and we shopped, connected to wifi and sat at a bar and on the beach. Casino Too small, too much smoke and not generous. There were two non-smoking nights (formal nights), but the smell still lingered and on the right side of the Casino, the entryway is facing a cigar bar. I feel sorry for the workers who have to endure the smell and be exposed to cigarette smoke toxins. I really don’t understand the “Smoking Section” of a Casino or any other place. A Smoking Section still makes the whole Casino fill with smoke. There were only a few smokers, but they ruined the entire Casino with their toxic smoke. There also seemed to be more people in the Casino on non-smoking nights and I had to avoid many slot machines and a roulette table due to their proximity to the “Smoking Section.” Another pain was having to utilize your stateroom card to “Cash-Out” on any slot machine and the constant request from the table dealers to swipe your card prior to playing. I often decline as I was having bad luck whenever they swiped by card. Spa I tried to book a hot stone for multiple days and at the same time, but they were booked. Again, another example of the ship not being able to accommodate the capacity. Dinner/Food We were assigned a table for two as requested, but that was all that was granted. I waited forty-five minutes to speak with “Rouland” the head Maître d' about our request for a table by a window and traditional dining at 6pm, but to no avail. We arrived at 5:30 in the Concerto Dining Room and asked that our request be honored. After a nasty verbal dialogue, we were accommodated with a window, but still no late dining. We were celebrating my birthday during this cruise and I requested a yellow cake, but they brought me chocolate. My DH also had to call about our stateroom door being decorated, which we were told they had no such request (untrue) because I saw the word “birthday” written on the Maître d's dining list and the birthday was clearly noted under My Princess tab on their website. Finally, after we returned from dinner after 8pm, our door was decorated. However, it was Too Late, as the day was over. The Head waiter Peter from Bulgaria rarely spoke and I made a request from our very helpful and kind waitresses Katarina and Zoryana that he speak to us as he spoke to all other guests around us. The food was hit or miss for me, but my DH enjoyed most meals. I don’t eat pork or beef and never had a problem finding other choices on other cruise ships, but on this ship, it was very slim pickings, especially for breakfast in the Horizon Court, which only had turkey sausages one morning, along with many food items being cold (eggs, pancakes…) I caught the waffles being placed hot off the grill. There may have been other venues that served none pork/beef breakfast meats, but I should not have had to search for such a common item, or order a special dietary menu prior to sailing. We usually went directly to the Horizon Court after dinner so that I could find something to eat, which I did and my husband thought the food tasted better than most meals served in the Dining Room. I did enjoy three out of four meals served in the dining room, but I really enjoyed all meals I selected in the Horizon Court. The Court is the best designed on any ship in our opinion. I must highly recommend the hazelnut ice cream on the dining room menu, as it’s the best tasting I’ve ever had in the entire world! The ship’s lido deck only served ice cream for free, but my DH can only eat non-dairy products and enjoys the yogurt served on other cruise lines. We both missed that option and a strawberry flavor. For a charge, there is Gelato, but I’m not a fan. Room service was great for lunch, but they could never bring me COLD milk for breakfast with my cereal, so I stopped ordering breakfast. I thought the pizza on the lido deck was fair, a bit too greasy for me and the fries were good from the grill. Frozen Drinks were not authentic and others drinks were comparable. This is the only cruise where I lost weight after sailing. Entertainment We went to two shows: Colors of the World and the Motown Show, both were good. We had to get to the theater extra early to find a seat and to also find a non-obstructed seat because some rows are not tiered. Latin night was ok and the Club 6 was ok. I loved the Band Steel when they played Caribbean Music by the pools. Pools were small and always full. My DH tried the shooting range and enjoyed the experience. Football was shown on Monday night only on the MUTS screen and not in your stateroom. I enjoyed the free On-Demand movies in our Mini-Suite and having two televisions came in handy. I enjoyed the water fountain dancing music and light show (Bellagio don’t worry), but the deck became flooded during most shows making the floor slippery. My DH and I had to help a lady get up who fell really hard because the deck was so slippery when wet. The Seawalk is in a bad location and should have been placed on a lower deck (closer to the water) in the front or back of the ship, along with being slippery most of the time. We must note that most shows for any event are not timed appropriately to effectively coincide with dining times. Disembarkation We were in the first group, with the ship handling our luggage, to disembark. We were delayed by 35 minutes and knew there would be a delay as our ship was still sailing close to 6am. The Customs’ line took another 40 minutes, but no problems with Customs, taxis or at the airport. Conclusion Would I cruise again with Princess? No. I would reconsider ONLY if Princess COMPLETELY redesigned this flawed and future ships, honor my request in advance of sailing, served more variety of breakfast meats and most importantly, take note from Royal Caribbean’s Oasis Management on how to schedule and manage venues, elevators, dining , embarkation, excursions, balconies, pier drop-off and 3800 plus passengers effectively.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
This was my 57th Cruise, 10th or 11th with Carnival. I have now been upgraded to Platinum status. It does have a few perks. First at this level you have a specific check in line - this was nice, no wait time. After the quick check in you ... Read More
This was my 57th Cruise, 10th or 11th with Carnival. I have now been upgraded to Platinum status. It does have a few perks. First at this level you have a specific check in line - this was nice, no wait time. After the quick check in you have a Platinum waiting lounge that includes ice water, fruit punch and some cookies.....nothing fancy or deluxe about this. You are also given a "priority" boarding pass, so you are among the very first group of people to board the ship when the time allows. Other perks at this level include a "silver/chrome" pin with the ship name and year- are they going to pay me to advertise their product? A plate with four chocolate covered strawberries, and four chocolate covered cookies, a Carnival carry bag that would hold a few beverage cans in a zippered area and net covered area in the top for a beach towel. The best perk for me was on a 7 night or longer cruise they will do three bags of laundry for you at no cost. Each paper bag held about 2 pairs of slacks, 4 shirts, and some socks and undershorts. You leave the bag on the bed and the cabin steward takes it while cleaning your room, The next day your clothes are returned clean and folded in a new bag - nice! I have sailed the Caribbean so many times the ports are not important to me. The cruise is more about not having to cook, clean, drive, mainly just relaxing. I was traveling with a few friends and joined them on two excursions. The first was a half day trip in St. Thomas to Sapphire Beach. This was great. Along with about 14 guests we met just outside the ship on the pier. We were escorted to an open air vehicle - a heavy duty (Ford F-350) truck with 4 rows of seats that each comfortably held 4 adults. We were about 20 minutes late leaving because one of the passengers was traveling with an electric "scooter" or "hover around". This item would not fit in the passenger area of the vehicle. The driver and two men tried every way to turn and twist this item, take it partially apart and it still would not fit. Finally they placed the item inside the cab of the truck next to the driver. When we finally started the journey someone said, "Oh they said wheelchairs were fine on this excursion" Well, many wheel chairs fold in half for easy transport, but scooters do not. If you are traveling with someone that needs a scooter please do yourself and everyone else a favor and find out if these items will work on your excursion. The ride was about 30 minutes with some wonderful "Kodak" moments along the way to Sapphire Beach. The beach was fantastic, we had many gray lounge chairs set up for our party. About half in the sun and the other half under a huge shade tree, for us that would prefer not to get too much sun. Clean restrooms were available, and water equipment to rent if desired, I think goggles, masks, and fins were included. There was also a bar for purchasing beverages and snacks on the beach as well as a few wait staff walking up and down the beach if you just wanted to stay on your lounge chair and be served. The prices for a bucket of six beers was reasonable, they offered both domestic and imported. The second excursion was at Antigua. Just a few blocks from the ship we boarded the "Mystic II" Catamaran for a full day excursion. Soon after boarding we were offered water, fruit punch, or pineapple punch. After about a 30 minute ride we arrived at the 1st of two stops. A very nice, clean unimproved beach. There were a few local vendors selling jewelery and art work, but no pressure at all to purchase. We stayed there about an hour and then we sailed about another 30 minutes to the next beach. This beach had condos and a hotels, but still very nice. Just after we arrived the crew began grilling lunch on the stern of the Catamaran. In less than an hour we were served a wonderful (LARGE) lobster (or chicken if you prefer) along with a few good side items. We were there about 2.5 hours to enjoy the beach before the slow ride back to the ship. This is when things got interesting.... The booze started to flow, the music got loud, as well as some of the passengers. Champagne, Rum, Vodka, and Yum Yum punch were flowing faster than hot butter on an August afternoon in Miami. If you could ask for it, they gave it to you. Thus in a rather short period of time most to the teenagers got quite "twisted". I wonder where the parents of these children were located? On the final 10 minutes back to the ship at least two of the teenage girls were puking their guts out on the bow of the Catamaran. For sure, a class act! THE GOOD - Ship is very clean, maintained very well, and looks great. Employees were happy, friendly, and nice. The only exception was during the last morning of the cruise the wait staff in the dining room at our table, both had a major attitude, and no we were not there 10 minutes before closing time The Posh Dining Room is very attractive. Never a wait for a table at the Lido buffet even during prime time. Broadway style shows were excellent - these guys give 100% and so does the band. 24 hour pizza was great - nice thin crust. 24 hour ice cream and frozen yogurt in three different locations were excellent. The brunch in the Posh Dining Room is a fine new addition, especially for us who like to sleep in. The hallways in the cabin areas are plenty wide for everyone to pass with ease. The BAD- This ship ALWAYS felt crowded. Long lines for just about everything. Mongolian Grill in the Lido has great food but the wait times are between 30 - 45 minutes - do you really want to wait that long for food especially while on vacation? Very slow service in the MDR on all but one evening, took about 2.5 hours from start to finish...why so long? Punchline comedy in the Aft Lounge on deck 5 was packed 30 minutes before the shows began and no seats available. Why is this not held in the large show lounge for everyone to enjoy?? For New Years Eve we were given a paper hat and a paper noise maker - big wow- let's not bust that budget! I really think each cabin should have been treated to a (cheap) bottle of champagne for the celebration that could have been enjoyed at you dining table, in your cabin, or at the celebration on deck. NO you had to buy your own champagne to celebrate. Considering everyone paid a generous premium to cruise this week, I do not think a bottle of champagne would be asking for too much. Other than the Mongolian Wok the food in the Lido was not nearly as good as other ships I have sailed. The only dessert that was good was a chocolate layer cake. Exact same salad bar every day for the first 1/3 of the buffet line. Food in the MDR was not much better. Lobster was good, but very small the meat was the same size as a roll of quarters. One nite I requested prime rib, I was served some thin-thin-thin piece of meat that was way overcooked lathered in heavy brown gravy....what the hell is that? Also avoid the "always available" Salmon - tiny, dry, wayyyyyy overcooked, with skin. = nasty. I would recommend the Veggie Lasagna, the Chateaubriand, and the NY Strip Steak, they all were excellent. I did not have a problem being a "seasoned" cruiser but during the entire week I could see people did not know where they were going on this ship. It is not user friendly, with decks 3 and 4 having the Chic Dining Room in the middle. You must go up do deck 5 or down to deck 2 to get to the other end of the ship. Conclusion- Would I sail on the Freedom again - absolutely not. Would I sail Carnival again - sure but only on the "Spirit" class of ships that include the Legend, Miracle, Spirit, and Pride - these ships have a user friendly deck plan and best space ratio of all the Carnival ships. Next cruise - 01/26/2014 - HAL Ryndam - 14 nights R/T Tampa   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
First off We have cruised a lot with Royal, we have been on this class before as well. we are curently Diamond members. The positive side of this cruise where ...the ports all nice, St Martin,St Kitts, Puerto Rico,and Labadee. the ships ... Read More
First off We have cruised a lot with Royal, we have been on this class before as well. we are curently Diamond members. The positive side of this cruise where ...the ports all nice, St Martin,St Kitts, Puerto Rico,and Labadee. the ships touch screen info center was a really helpful and neat new addition. St Martin we went to the Sea Trek underwater excursion, Very nice. St Kitts, we went on an open air taxi for a tour of the island, Very nice. P.R. Bacarrdi tour, Really nice! Labadee... my 1st time there and there is not enough time in the day for this stop, Very nice. Problems started at the Pursers Desk, all of the Women there seemed to be in a really bad mood! terrible customer service! My wife used the Wi-Fi perk they have on the ship and could not log off and had trouble with those "Happy People" at the pursers desk trying to log off with no help, until my wife brought her I- Pad to them for them to log it off, Wehn they told her they didin't know how to work the I-Pad. She said "its costing me .75 cents a minute you need to turn it off!" Convienatly they fiqured it out with a few taps on the screen and after my free time was all used up..there goes my internet connection for the week, yes I could purchase more time but if I had any more problems I would have to go to see that Happy bunch all over again..No Thanks. This one really burned me up...I was at a Movie trivia game with my wife...I went to the bar to get a drink...this particular drink, I want very little ice in my glass, I asked the bartender to "kick out some ice" he did but is was still to much I asked him to "kick out some more" he then pour all of the ice out grabbed a single cube of ice dropped it into my glass and poured my drink. I asked him what his problem was but he left (I should of asked for the supervisor, but I was in shock). the bar back that was there got me a glass of ice so that I may fill it up to my specifications, But then that set the mood for the rest of my Vacation. We sat for Dinner right near the Captains table I thought "wow what a treat" we get to finally have dinner with the Captain (sort of) no Captain for the entire cruise! I fiqure he thinks he's to good to sit with the regular folks..to eat.. there where other times during the cruise that I felt like I was bothering some of the crew for a question so I quit asking. will I stop cruising on Royal I dont think so but it does make you think.... maybe they are a little nicer at NCL? will I be back on this class? nope! because of this cruise I will not even think about allure or oasis. they are even bigger!   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
it was my 9th cruise, 7 on NCL, 1 on Celebrity. I came with high expectations to the "world's largest ship". First let me say, the facilities are amazing! The Shows are worldclass, you just cannot beat the entertainment ... Read More
it was my 9th cruise, 7 on NCL, 1 on Celebrity. I came with high expectations to the "world's largest ship". First let me say, the facilities are amazing! The Shows are worldclass, you just cannot beat the entertainment (water show, ice-skating show, musical, artistics, Dreamworks parade). I was a bit disappointed however by the service and coordination. I was traveling with a friend, it was his very first cruise and I kept telling him sooo much about how fantastic it will be. So on embarkation day we toured the ship, we were both VERY impressed by the facilities. A girl from the staff showed us around. My friend told her how impressed he was about the size, cleanlyness and offers the ship has and he was so surprised he cannot feel any movement at all (he was afraid of becoming seasick). The girl just answered "well, thats because we are still in port you idiot!" we were speechless. Gym is WAY smaller than on NCL Epic and the Spa way too small for 6.000 People. Only 3 little steam rooms, no windows to look outside from the Saunas, only 4 heated benches for this big ship... We had late seating 8.30pm. In November it gets dark around 5 in the Caribbean, so another 3.5hrs before Dinner. If I have a snack at 6, I wont be able to enjoy full dinner by 8.30. The first night we checked out the Buffet around 7 pm just to take a look. First of all - it looked like in a company canteen. No decorations, everything clean but not pleasing to the eye, very sterile. No ice scarvings like on Celebrity, no flowers or animals made of Melons, no Flowers...We went on to our dinner just to find out that EVERY item of the daily specials was EXACTLY the same as on the buffet - just in a better presentation. We arrives at 8:25 for Dinner on Deck 4 as printed on our roomkey. Waited 15 Minutes to get in as it was very crowded. At the door the guy said "you are on deck 3". We said the roomkey says deck 4. He just replied "well, we have reseated you, now you are on 3". I asked if he expects me to do another 15 Minutes wait on Deck 3 again (it was their mistake after all). He replied "you may as well go to the buffet"... Our table was party of 4. For 7 consecutive night, the "seasonable vegetable" at Dinner, no matter what we had ordered was Carrots and Broccoli. Our waiter and Bar girl were very friendly and, as I am allergic to garlic, offered me to pick already one day in advance my food for the next day which I highly appreciated! At formal night tha Restaurant Manager came, as every night, to our table, making honeurs, asking if everything is fine. All of a sudden he took my cuttlery starting to cut the salad on my plate and then started FEEDING ME with the salad in front of all of my friends. "Open wide, here we make you feel like at home with Mama" he said. Every conversation stopped, all eyes on my. I never felt so embarassed in all my life in front of friends and strangers. He certainly had a very strange sense of humor! Also the organization was far from perfect. With the late seating, you could hardly make any show as they all started at 10pm, so we had to tell our waiter every night that we need to rush and then have our 5 course meal in a hurry in order to get to our show. One night we wanted to do Karaoke which stared at 11pm. We arrived at 10.45 after Dinner, choose a song and wanted to sign in. "Todays enrollment is closed already" the DJ replied. We asked how can that be as Karaoke will only start in 15 Minutes from now. He said, we have many people who want to join therefore one must register by 10pm. We said, we have late Dinner seating and wont be done before 10.30pm. He said: well, then this is not your lucky cruise... I went to the Reception Desk asking for a customer feedback form. The attendant said, it will be given to you the last night of the cruise. I asked if I could have it now (3rd night) - he just said no! There was also very friendly staff too. We loved the Girl in Park Cafe where we liked to grab breakfast as it was not so crowded as the buffet. Our table waiter was very friendly - however mentioned every day that tips and positive feedbacks on the forms provided are highly appreciated... Resumee: Personally I would always prefer the freestyle of NCL. I liked the staff, organization and food much better there, staff in general much more helpful (even on large ships like the Epic). I liked the free Iphone App on Epic where I always had my bookings, reservations and all the menues for every restaurant always in my hand to choose. On Oasis, we did not have one single Deck Party the whole week. Not one motto Buffet (on NCL we had the midnight chocolate Buffet for example and on Celebrity the big sunday brunch till 2pm). Also besides the Solarium (which is inside) there is no quiet zone. In the afternoon the Band is playing in the middle of all 4 pools, so no escape, no quiet spot to relax or enjoy your own music with headphones without putting the speakers to a max level. I liked the variety of drinks in the softdrink package on Oasis and LOVED the touchscreen refill machines with their endless flavors. However, 4 machines (2 in the promenade, 2 in the buffet restaurant) for 6.000 Passengers is way too little. On Pool days, I dont feel like taking the elevator down to Deck 5 just to grab another coke zero... There is lot of things to improve organization wise. Did we have a good week - yes. The ship and the people we met were great. Would we do RCL again? Possibly, if timing, routing and price is right. If the same price at either NCL or Celebrity, we would certainly go for that again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
We looked forward to our first Princess cruise, especially as the Royal Princess was christened only 6 months before our departure. The Royal is a beautiful ship. The crew is friendly and, for the most part, when they understand English ... Read More
We looked forward to our first Princess cruise, especially as the Royal Princess was christened only 6 months before our departure. The Royal is a beautiful ship. The crew is friendly and, for the most part, when they understand English they are competent. Crew members go out of their way to be helpful even if what you ask isn't in their job description (as in, when deck personnel couldn't be found, an officer located a stack of towels at the pool). Now for the not-so-good news. The food and entertainment were mediocre at best. The restaurants and buffets offered many choices, but the quality of the food was only average. Entertainment: meh. Food: feh. The drinks, reasonably priced, had minimal alcohol, and the choice of liquors was poor. This brand-new ship has decks that are slippery when wet. Slippery when wet! That means that even if you don't have rain, you'll find a lack of sure footing every day when the decks are washed down. Who builds a ship that embarks in 2014 with slippery deck material?! (We saw a little boy fall--and he wasn't even one of the many elderly on board.) The Sanctuary, an adults-only private sundeck, requires a hefty extra fee. Upgrading to a specialty restaurant also will cost you $25/person to walk in. Whoa, Nelly. You've already paid for the cruise. In truth, the Sanctuary is a bit nicer than the all-adult Retreat, but is it necessary for Princess lines to add an elite, VIP area for those willing to shell out about $100/day more? We could have afforded the Sanctuary, but the principle is offensive and elitist. The Enclave, part of the spa, also has an extra charge. This dark area of the ship is small and can be noisy. You'll find about 8 warm tiled lounges and a small pool, fragranced showers, and sauna and steam rooms. The pool and sauna areas are co-ed. The spa offers the usual: bamboo massages, salt scrubs, etc. Perhaps the best deal is the $99 "20-20-20" offer, in which you choose three 20-minute options. The casino allows smoking. Enough said. So much more to say about our disappointment with the Royal Princess, but let's leave it at this: why would anyone want to spend a week on a ship that has only average food and below-average entertainment? Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
My husband and I just returned from the Thanksgiving cruise on the Royal. It was our fourth cruise on Princess and ninth cruise overall. We’re in our early 30s and traveled with my husband’s dad who is in his 60s. We stayed the night ... Read More
My husband and I just returned from the Thanksgiving cruise on the Royal. It was our fourth cruise on Princess and ninth cruise overall. We’re in our early 30s and traveled with my husband’s dad who is in his 60s. We stayed the night before the cruise at the Hyatt Place. We’ve stayed there three times now and it works great—free breakfast and right next door is a grocery store where we buy soda and wine to bring on board. We all three had the best time on this cruise. I’d read many of the reviews of the ship in advance and was a little worried—but I have to say I really can’t figure out why anyone wouldn’t enjoy this ship. We have another cruise booked next month on the Caribbean Princess, and I’m worried it will be a letdown after being on Royal! There are several improvements from other Princess ships that we loved. The buffet is designed so that a line never forms because there are multiple stations. Drink service in the buffet area is much improved, and we never once had trouble finding a table. Alfredo’s is a wonderful addition. We loved having on-demand movies and TV shows in the state room. I read lots of complaints about the lack of promenade deck, but there is a deck on level 7 (it just doesn’t go all the way around). This deck turned out to be one of my favorite places, because they had nice cushioned chairs there and it was always quiet. A great place to read. The Seawalk is incredible and the fountain shows are very nice—not quite the Bellagio but nice :) And the fountain area is not a waste of space—during the day they place sun loungers there and at night it’s cleared and used for a dance floor or stage. All of the things we’ve enjoyed about Princess in the past were there too—great entertainment and activities, excellent service and food, the International Café, the best pizza at Prego’s, and Movies Under the Stars. There were a few negatives as with any cruise. It’s true that the lack of a central staircase causes the midship elevators to be jammed. My best advice is don’t take those elevators! We never waited more than a minute or two, because we always used the aft or forward ones. It helps to have a forward or aft stateroom. As we anticipated, the stateroom balcony was small but there was still enough room to sit and enjoy a champagne breakfast. With Princess, staterooms are very small—my father-in-law had a deluxe balcony which is the size of a normal room on other cruise lines. If larger staterooms are very important to you, spring for a mini-suite or try Holland America which has bigger rooms. I agree with others that Princess Live is definitely a downgrade from the Explorer’s Lounge. The spa facilities were gorgeous (I bought the week pass to the Enclave) but the spa management had some issues—the electronic locker keys NEVER worked and they were always out of towels and water. If you buy an Enclave pass, go first thing in the morning—I was literally the only one there for the first half hour and no more than five people were ever there the first 90 minutes. The stops on this cruise were great; we’d been to all three before. Try Bernard’s Tours in St. Maarten and the Princess champagne sail and snorkel to St. John in St. Thomas. Both were great fun. I’ve posted some pictures from the cruise at www.goingplaceswithcamille.wordpress.com if you’d like to see them. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
My Husband and I have just come from a Panama Canal Cruise on the Island Princess. What a treat! For a very long time, seeing the Panama Canal has been a dream of mine. However, a 10 day cruise was out of the question until this year. ... Read More
My Husband and I have just come from a Panama Canal Cruise on the Island Princess. What a treat! For a very long time, seeing the Panama Canal has been a dream of mine. However, a 10 day cruise was out of the question until this year. Although we did not travel completely through the Canal, it was enough to get the experience. What also enhanced the experience were the TV shows and presentations on the history of the Panama Canal. those are a must if you want to get the most out of this cruise. I really enjoyed the set up of this cruise. There were two days at sea, several ports, the Canal, another port, sea day, port and a final day at sea. On other cruises, the port days have been back to back without much time to enjoy the ship. The days at sea were just enough and at the right time to relax and enjoy cruising. The choice of ports were also good. Besides the Canal, I especially enjoyed Aruba, Cartagena and Costa Rica. The locals selling wares in Jamaica were a little overpowering. The Island Princess is a mid-sized ship and, since our previous cruise had been on one of Norweigan's larger ships, it took a little while to adjust. However, I can't say enough about the mini suite with a balcony! The cabin was spacious with a full size bathroom including a bathtub, two TVs, plenty of storage room and a great balcony. Some of our favorites about the Island Princess were the breakfast room service, the Lotus Spa and the Movies Under the Stars. It was a true pleasure to have breakfast on the balcony. On the first cruise day we paid to use the Lotus Spa tranquility room for the entire trip. The steam, sauna and eucalyptus rooms were great but the heated tiled loungers were wonderful, especially after a day of sightseeing. At night, Princess turned the chairs in the pool area into movie loungers and showed first rate movies on a very large screen. I loved snuggling up in a warm throw (provided by Princess) sipping a beverage, eating popcorn and watching a good movie with waves splashing in the pool and the cool ocean breeze blowing across my face. The buffet choices and foods were very good. However, I wasn't as impressed with the formal dining arrangements. We had signed up for "anytime dining" because I didn't want to eat early or late. I probably wouldn't do that again on Princess. Because the wait for the dining room was lengthy, we ate most evening meals at the buffet instead of the fine dining room. We did eat in the speciality restaurant, Sabatini's, which was excellent except for the $25 per person cover charge. That combined with a bottle of wine made the cost over $100. All in all, we had a wonderful time with a lot of memories. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
This was our first trip on one of the S-Class ships, but it will not be the last. -Stayed at the Doubletree Gallery One the night before. Really nice place, great room and right across from the Galleria Mall. Arranged transfers with VIP ... Read More
This was our first trip on one of the S-Class ships, but it will not be the last. -Stayed at the Doubletree Gallery One the night before. Really nice place, great room and right across from the Galleria Mall. Arranged transfers with VIP Limo from the airport and to the port. Cars were super clean and spacious w plenty of room for luggage. Not much more than a cab and a lot nicer. -Embarkation was a breeze. It took 20 minutes from when we handed off our luggage till we were on the ship! (Skipped the photo opportunity) We did not fight the crowd in the buffet for lunch, we did stay on deck 5 and went to the Bistro on 5 (A $5 up charge applied) and had a wonderful lunch until the cabin was ready @ 1PM. -Splurged for a Celebrity Suite on Deck 10 and could not have been happier. The room had tons of storage, was laid out nicely, bed was comfy, walk in closet, bathroom was big enough for both of us and the shower was out of bounds!!!! The room was clean and in good shape. Balcony had a padded day lounger, table and 2 chairs with plenty of room to spare. -Dining was great everywhere, you can't go wrong!!! Dined in Murano, Tuscan Grill, Qsine and Bistro on 5. Qsine is NON TRADITIONAL specialty dining and was a pleasant surprise for us. The experience in all of these up charge venues is worth the price. Look for discounts and specials being offered like 20% off and 2 for 1 dining. The MDR (Moonlight Sonata) and Buffet (Ocean View Cafe) were the best we had experienced on any of the previous ships we had sailed -The common areas of the ship were well laid out and visually appealing. We liked the Library on deck 10 and the 3 story real tree spanning from deck 6-9 between the 2 central elevator banks. -Bars were plentiful, but we liked the Ensemble Lounge with comfy chairs and low key entertainment. -Spa and workout facilities easily handled all interested guests. We loved the Persian Garden steam and relaxation area (small up charge and worth every nickle) Did the Hot Rocks and Bamboo massages, both were great but get ready for the array of products they want you to buy at the end! -Entertainment 1)Main Theater was nice but shows were so-so. Headliners were ok but I am glad I did not have to pay extra. 2)Hot Glass Show and Lawn Club are really cool and some of the last things you would expect on a cruise ship. The glass items they make during the show are amazing and there really is about 1/2 acre of grass you can walk and have a picnic on. 3) Guest speakers were good and topics were varied. 4) Small venue entertainment was a pleasant surprise especially the string trio. -Did shore excursions with the Cruise line at all port except Aruba and Curacao (we picked up tours at the end of the pier). The Cruise Line Tours provided nicer transportation but were more expensive. The independent tours still provided air conditioned transport and were much more flexible with requests to stop here and there as opposed to the regimented schedule of the Cruise Line Tour. All provided good value, safe transportation and knowledgeable guides. Disembarkation was very slow due to staffing cuts with the Customs Service. DO NOT book an early flight if you are returning to Ft. Lauderdale while the budget battle is raging. The cruise ship traffic load in the port should be your guide in booking your outbound flights. -Overall Great Cruise!!!! Loved the Itinerary, Loved the Ship and Crew, Thought it was a great value for the price paid Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
This trip was our second time on the Silhouette and we had another great time. Because of my husband's limited mobility, we basically use the ship as our destination. We are creatures of habit and often return time and again to the ... Read More
This trip was our second time on the Silhouette and we had another great time. Because of my husband's limited mobility, we basically use the ship as our destination. We are creatures of habit and often return time and again to the same vacation destination, whether it's a vacation beach home, vacation club destination or a cruise ship. Returning to the Silhouette gave us the feeling of returning home. We are in our mid-50's and live in Northern NJ, and we love to cruise without our now grown kids because it gives us a chance to be by ourselves and reconnect after 20 years of raising, focusing on and vacationing with them, which is the way it should be. We arrived the day before the cruise and checked into the Embassy Suites 17th street with views of Port Everglades. The place was buzzing with people either getting ready to cruise the next day or having just gotten off a cruise that day. The hotel never felt crowded even though we knew the place had to be fully booked. We had a nice meal at the restaurant before turning in for the night. The comfortable room had a balcony with views of the port and the 8 ships waiting for passengers. Between the sunset and the sunrise, and views of planes taking off at the airport, the location was perfect. The next morning, we thought breakfast would be crazy but it wasn't. People about to embark on a cruise tend to eat and get going quickly so finding a table wasn't a problem. Shuttle vs. Taxi to port - We had never done this before, so we asked at the front desk about taxis to the port and we were told to make a reservation for the shuttle since it cost about the same. We were told to get a reservation for the 2pm shuttle but I thought that would be late. Turns out it really doesn't matter when you reserve, because they always find room for you. We were tired of sitting around the room so I called downstairs and was told to come down now. However, even though the lobby was crowded, they have this shuttle thing down to a science and before we knew it the lobby cleared out and we were next. Off to the ship. I think that was around noon and we were on the ship by 1:15. This to me is the most amazingly coordinated effort on the part of the porters and van drivers and taxis, etc. Pull up to Porter, pull out luggage from the back of shuttle, hand to porter who piles it on cart and off we go. It's a bit of a walk to the terminal from where we were dropped off and for many that wouldn't seem like a big thing but for a man with two osteoarthritic knees it was farther than he wanted to walk. Thankfully, we had Aqua Class tickets so we didn't wait much at all on the security check line or the check in line to get our sea passes. Another long walk to the escalators and then to the gangway and then on the ship. Our cabins were ready shortly after we sat down at Cafe Il Bacio so we finished up our snack and headed up to check it out. We booked an accessible AQ because of the rental scooter we needed for my husband. The cabin size worked perfectly . We were able to maneuver very easily. The cabin was big enough for my husband to move the scooter around and do a k turn to face out. The bed is in the middle with a 1/2 couch in the corner by the door. The cabin is 1/2 size bigger than standard with a balcony size again 1/2 size bigger. The furniture on the deck was comfortable but the desk chair and couch were not. Storage is limited to a dresser/closet with no over-the-bed storage. The only real complaint that was a total surprise was that the door didn't lock. That creeped me out a bit but I guess that's for safety reasons. The bathroom is very roomy with a roll in shower. We did what everybody does and threw down some towels to keep leakage onto the floor at a minimum. Overall we were happy with our cabin, great location, some overhead noise in the morning but we were always up anyway. The cabin steward was a little aloof but tried hard to be nice. No towel animals. :( Ship: Beautiful, always clean, smooth sailing, not a bump or complaint. Food: BLU! Need I say more? Awesome. One night we had lobster tail cooked in a way I'd never expect - over a bed of spinach and served with mandarin oranges. Lawn Club Grill - waited until last Sea Day for 50% off offered to AQ and suite guests. We met another couple on the ship and had a lovely lunch. They let us stay and talk well after closing, until 4pm. Wonderful meal. Entertainment: We went to one show, it was very good. We spent most evenings after dinner at the Molecular Bar. Quiet and out of the way but still part of the festivities. I wandered down to the Martini Bar one night while Hubby stayed at the Molecular Bar. Chaos noise and crowds (all having fun but not what I wanted). You must try the Molecular bar, great cocktails using herbs and fresh fruit essences and ingredients. Pool: Here's what I like about this ship, there's something for everyone. Laid back and quiet if you want it or in your face crazy entertainment and activities if you want that. We spent a lot of time at the adult pool. I preferred it to the outdoor loud crazy pool. Hubby opted to sit with me and swim in the outdoor pool. He spent a lot of time there and heard a great Mariachi band on our cruise away from Cozumel. Alcoves - fully booked on last sea day. That's it. The only bad thing that happened was that on the day before disembarkation, our liquor box didn't show up so I called guest relations and to make a long story short, the cabin steward thought we had accused him of stealing it. Never in a million years would we do that, we just wanted to let someone know we hadn't gotten it yet and it was 9:30pm. They ended up finding it and delivering it. Disembarkation - long walk to terminal building left hubby's knees barking so we found a porter to help us through the mobility challenged line. In taxi to the airport in no time, again, these people do this for a living and it shows. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
Impersonal, rude staff and not enough onboard activities! I have been on 10+ cruises, most with carnival and Royal Caribbean, other with a few " no name lines". Normally we cruise with a group and the debate has always been ... Read More
Impersonal, rude staff and not enough onboard activities! I have been on 10+ cruises, most with carnival and Royal Caribbean, other with a few " no name lines". Normally we cruise with a group and the debate has always been which is better, carnival or royal Caribbean. Well if you have ever cruised with either line it is very obvious that they appeal to different crowds so it can be like comparing apples to oranges, really its just a matter of preference. That being said there are certain things that are expected from any cruise and many of those simple things were lacking from my recent cruise with royal Caribbean on the Liberty of the Seas. First of all this is the FIRST and ONLY cruise that I have been on that I had no idea who was cleaning my stateroom. Normally that is one of the highlights, getting to know your stateroom attendant and dining room staff by name and vice verse. They normally greet you by name on a daily basis. Not on the liberty of the seas. Though my room was clean, never once did I know who was doing it. Another FIRST, rude dining room waiter. Normally the staff on board is over the top with niceness, not only was this not the case with most staff in general, but our waiter actually got smart with someone in our party on the last day. Excuse us for asking about out appetizers after most ppl in our party already had their entrees. This coupled with a serious lack of organized onboard activities, left me disappointed with this ship. Overall I enjoyed my vacation because I had an excellent time in Belize but after we try the OASIS next year, its Carnival all the way! Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
The Eighth Wonder of the World -- Princess Cruise Lines! My family recently completed a Christmas cruise from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, December 23-30 2012. The highly professional staff kept the vessel shipshape throughout the journey in a ... Read More
The Eighth Wonder of the World -- Princess Cruise Lines! My family recently completed a Christmas cruise from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, December 23-30 2012. The highly professional staff kept the vessel shipshape throughout the journey in a most proficient and seamless manner. During our seven night stay we were impressed by a clever layout of the stateroom for optimum comfort with ample balconies, tremendous storage, good lighting, and super bathrooms. Our steward took extra care to make surprise towel animals for our youngest child even though the children's' room was not in his section. Our other steward worked perfectly making our three-room separation from our children seem mostly unnoticeable. Both stewards were quite helpful with the various ports regarding distance for shopping, snorkeling and sightseeing. It was so refreshing to see someone take such intense pride in his work. Both stewards were a joy. Facilities for easy self-service laundry including stations for a quick ironing touch-up was much appreciated for the formal nights. The vast gastronomical experience was led expertly by the Executive Chef and Maitre 'dHotel. We ate in the Botticelli Dining Room at the early sitting and had the type of service that harkens back to a more elegant time. Our waiter was especially professional, sophisticated, and expertly helpful at every turn. My children appreciated the opportunity to try escargot, pheasant, and beef wellington just to name a few. Every evening our waiter would offer recommendations that never failed to impress; from presentation, to timing, to taste, all was wonderful. I would also like to express a special acknowledgement for my favorite gathering place. The International Cafe became the spot to start and end each fun filled day on Ruby Princess. The selections of sandwiches, soup, and desserts were unique, enticing, and delectable and all served in a most gracious manner. We discovered the flavor and flair with which the staff maintained this most comfortable European-style respite in the Piazza. The spa and fitness center were well-equipped but a bit solicitous. Classes for yoga and the like fill up fast so get there early. We enjoyed marvelous fish and chips at the Wheelhouse Pub, a gracious afternoon tea in Da Vinci dining room, and an informative wine tasting hosted by the astute sommelier in Michelangelo. The entertainment including a juggler, comedian Glenn Hirsch,illusionist David Catz, and all the singers and dancers especially Ron Goodman as Cruise Director did a superb job. The magical snow show for our ultimate Caribbean Christmas experience was surreal. Captain Tony Yoemans runs a fine ship and you should be very proud of his remarkable staff. We truly did escape completely! Thank you Princess Cruise Lines. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Embarkation: The embarkation was a smooth process through the port in Fort Lauderdale. We were able to meet up with some of the cruise critic group at the Sunset bar. The group was nice and the guitar player very good, unfortunately the ... Read More
Embarkation: The embarkation was a smooth process through the port in Fort Lauderdale. We were able to meet up with some of the cruise critic group at the Sunset bar. The group was nice and the guitar player very good, unfortunately the sunset eclipse drink which sounded so very good wasn't available due to the lack of some of the ingredients at the bar and the mojito wasn't very good. Dinning Room: Moving on to the dining room was a bit disappointing with being seated at a table for four and only the two of us there. The waitress was very nice, but very quite and not informative. The sommelier was not very helpful and stated she was very busy, again with little information, we were told all of the wines are good and no recommendations were offered. The food was 50/50 - the vegetable korma was excellent, but the prime rib was mediocre. Later we found out that they were running short of prime rib so they were cutting it much thinner. After a bit of trouble, we were finally able to get our tabled changed to a larger group which was wonderful. Dinner again was 50/50-the veal chop was excellent but the NY strip was tough as were the crepes for dessert. However the company this evening was wonderful. Throughout the cruise, the steak dishes were hit or miss, sometimes great, sometimes not so good. As the cruise progress, the steak did get better. The rest of the food was wonderful. Even our sommelier seemed to improve and recommended a few good wines, even though she couldn't pronounce some of the names. Our waiter GiGi and assistant waiter Aya were top notch, the best I've experience in my 28 cruises to date. One note: We only ate at the Moonlight Sonata for dinner, no specialty restaurants. Spa: Spa services were very good service for both a facial and massages. As well, the hair salon did a fabulous job. Bar service: Our favorite bar had to be the Molecular Bar. Alex at the Molecular Bar hosted an absolutely wonderful tasting. We went back often to see Alex, he recommended many different drinks and we tried most of them. Entertainment: The entertainment on board was not as good as we have expected from Celebrity. The production shows were excellent, the comedian was good, but some of the other single musical entertainment weren't our cup of tea. Many probably shared this since the theater was relatively empty. However, Patty the Cruise Director had a wonderful voice. In addition, the Hot Glass Show was beyond belief. It was amazing to see glass blowing on the high seas. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
We sailed to the Caribbean on Seabourn Quest December 2012 in a Penthouse Suite (one category above the Seabourn Suite with veranda.) Even though there were numerous positive reviews of the Quest, we still didn't know what to expect; ... Read More
We sailed to the Caribbean on Seabourn Quest December 2012 in a Penthouse Suite (one category above the Seabourn Suite with veranda.) Even though there were numerous positive reviews of the Quest, we still didn't know what to expect; however, within minutes after boarding we sensed that something was different. To start we were escorted to the Colonade for a spectacular lunch with fine wines. After selecting our "made to order" entrees we sampled their vino offerings that were included with our cruise fare: I chose the white and my husband chose the red. Both selections were excellent complements to the first of many outstanding meals. Afterwards we were escorted again, but this time to our wonderful suite that was awaiting our arrival with appetizers, a fully stocked bar and stocked refrigerator and a Bon Voyage bottle of French Champagne. The bathroom had dual sinks, a Jacuzzi tub and a separate glass shower surrounded by shades of brown and beige marble counter-tops. The walk in closet, which was very spacious, had more deluxe hangers than we could possibly use. The PH suite has a 42" tv with docking station for IPOD in the intimate living room area as well as a smaller flat screen tv in the glass enclosed bedroom. Each tv had a plethora of movies-on-demand which were complimentary - no pay-per-view charges at the end of the cruise. (One night we called room service and requested popcorn, which was freshly popped and promptly delivered.) Entertainment varied from night to night, but consistently impressive. In the Observation Lounge a piano player plays your requests while you are having a cocktail and perhaps enjoying your order of caviar with all the garnishes. I ordered it several times and every time it was presented with a smile. Which brings me to Caviar in the Sea.... imagine standing waist deep water in your bathing wear, while the Seabourn staff are also waist deep, but in their Seabourn slacks. They are interacting with their guests, pouring us champagne and preparing caviar with our choice of condiments. It's one of the most memorable moments on the cruise. The Seabourn Square became my husband's home away from home. There he read his daily newspapers, enjoyed his Double Espressos, checked emails, before heading off to the well-equipped gym for some much needed exercise. On Seabourn you will not hear announcements or loud music on deck. There is a tranquility that you won't find anywhere else. There is no bingo, no art auctions, or photographers lurking around to take your picture. Simply stated, Seabourn Quest is subtle luxury, which suits us just fine. We are booked for our second cruise in June - a 20 night Mediterranean cruise, again in a PH suite. This time I will bring enough clothes to fill those hangers. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012

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