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18 Italy First-Time Cruisers Cruise Reviews

I travelled around Italy , for my 60th birthday on 12th of October 2015, on the Majesty cruise ship, with 4 friends, what a birthday holiday I had, its my first crusie & hopefully not my last.1 complaint & its not the captains ... Read More
I travelled around Italy , for my 60th birthday on 12th of October 2015, on the Majesty cruise ship, with 4 friends, what a birthday holiday I had, its my first crusie & hopefully not my last.1 complaint & its not the captains fault , the weather it was not on our side am afraid. Other than that we had a fanfastic time, nothing was to much trouble all staff was so friendly , our cabin crew who I must give a mention was Tatiani & Esti, was just lovey girls , I woke up on my birthday to find a lovely message on our door asking me to have a lovely birthday & balloons were on my door, it made me feel so special.we had our evening meals in the restaurant with all staff very friendly , they always made us feel welcome & asked us how our day was, food was excellent , many nights the waiters would sing &get everyone singing along .The shows on a evenings are a must all dance troupe were fabulous singers & dancers & got everyone involved with singing & clapping.. My birthday night was in the bistro which we paid £19.99 pp , the food was lovely & staff just a lovely, at the end of my meal a waiter came with a birthday cake & another waiter played a guitar & had everyone sing happy birthday to me..one very happy lady. We didn't like being bombard with photographer, s all the time & it cost a fortune to buy them although we did get some as I want to have them as a momentum. Sadly the weather wasn't on our side & saw very little sun, Venice was just wonderfull & hope to go back. Ive read a review from someone whos been on the same cruise ( same time as us) & mentioned that there was loud music & could be heard in the cabin I can honestly say we never heard a thing.. Hats off to all the crew for making our holiday a very happy one.. keep up the good work & hope to see you all soon... Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We have just returned from our 2 week cruise first week was Adriatic Charms and second Italian Job this was our first cruise unfortunately our weather was not on our side sea was rough and couldnt sleep eat or relax due to ship rocking ... Read More
We have just returned from our 2 week cruise first week was Adriatic Charms and second Italian Job this was our first cruise unfortunately our weather was not on our side sea was rough and couldnt sleep eat or relax due to ship rocking ,not good if you dont like water like me I was terrified some people it didnt bother them ,on saying that staff were fantastic waiters Matt Ricky,Alilibo,and Marlon they couldnt do enough for us they even sang to us on the night of our blessing at sea and made cards for us ,we would also like to mention Lorna who did all the arranging for our blessing she was fantastic and lovely she made our time very special,also our cabin stewards Jessica and Charlie,our cabin was an outside plus on 6th floor would recommend plenty of room .we were very disappointed with our port stop in Duress it was horrible smelly dirty beach covered in rubbish felt like a war zone went right back on board ship why Thomsons made this a stop will never no not ready for tourism never will be .during calls to port you had to stand about in que s all the time got fed up with it .entertainment was ok nothing great ,plenty of good food you wont be hungry,excursions were expensive ,I am sorry to say wont cruise again due to rough seas not for me and my hubby,but cannot fault ship and staff for any of that,its just a personal thing. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
The Viking Star is beautifully and comfortably appointed w/ a gracious, accommodating staff. My husband and I have traveled extensively and this is our first ocean cruise experience. We have two suggestions: #1 The city ... Read More
The Viking Star is beautifully and comfortably appointed w/ a gracious, accommodating staff. My husband and I have traveled extensively and this is our first ocean cruise experience. We have two suggestions: #1 The city included tours: No guide achieved the standards we believe Viking aspires to attain. Guides were well tutored, learned, and tried to please; BUT it is a studied fact that anyone speaking longer than 15 min. w/out a break looses his/her audience. Yes, the cities are bursting with treasures of all kinds, but have the guides select the most important, elaborate on that, then have a break in the dialogue so that us travelers can see, saturate, and remember. Our tour guides spoke endlessly. #2 Pompeii: My husband and I had the privilege of seeing the Dallas Museum of Art Pompeii Exhibit in 1979 and also the Pompeii exhibit in San Francisco several years later. The exhibitions reveal how Pompeii vanished beneath volcanic ash and recreates the catastrophic eruption results and freezes life in time. Issues of "Smithsonian" and "National Geographic" magazines, and even the recent issue of "Traveler" present Pompeii's natural disaster. BUT our tour gave us only a small portion of this. We saw almost no recreation of Mt. Vesuvius eruption except a dog in a glass case, excavated pots, and the town's proximity to the volcano. Yes, we could walk some of the streets and see the building foundations. Where are the lovely frescoes that are shown in noteworthy magazines; where is the recreation of the event that we see both in magazines and in museum exhibits??? Is it in Naples??? This most definitely SHOULD be included!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
I have just returned from this cruise with my parents and 2 younger brothers and just wanted to write a review to describe how absolutely brilliant it was!!! I read a lot of negative reviews before going and it worried me a lot as my whole ... Read More
I have just returned from this cruise with my parents and 2 younger brothers and just wanted to write a review to describe how absolutely brilliant it was!!! I read a lot of negative reviews before going and it worried me a lot as my whole family were so excited and this was our first cruise. Corfu is a lovely place and the flight there/check in to the cruise was all very smooth and pleasant. Our bags were waiting for us at our cabin doors and our cabin, an outside plus on deck 3, was a lovely room. I'd definitely recommend getting a plus cabin as the regular ones are quite small (my dad and brother had this) but they are still workable. Deck 3 was nice and quiet and out the way but still just a short lift ride to all the bars/restaurants. The food and drinks were absolutely amazing all week and we couldn't stop eating and drinking! We've had some bad experiences with all inclusives in the past but this was far superior. For breakfast we used the buffets and egg/pancake station and the buffet again for lunch which was all fresh and very tasty. We dined in both of the waiter service restaurants on an evening and the food and waiters were excellent, the little show in the seven seas that the waiters perform is worth a watch!! The cocktails are all really nice as is this lager. We had the drinks package and found this good value for how much we drank! My youngest brother went to the kids club everyday 3-4.30 and 7-9 which gave us a nice break and he absolutely loved it, they kept the kids thoroughly entertained. Aside from this he played constantly in the pool which was very safe and there was lots of children to play with. All the staff are so lovely and friendly, the cleaners are so attentive and see to the rooms twice a day. Everyone was always smiley and friendly! The entertainment team are brilliant and keep you entertained all day long with quizzes, games, shows ect. The only 1 complaint we could make, as minor as it is, was selfish people claiming sun beds and going offshore!!! This was very annoying, sometimes we watched sun beds left unattended for up to 4 hours!!! But this happens in every single resort and we still managed to get a seat near the pool everyday! We didn't do any of the excursions off shore, we had a walk around some places but we enjoyed the boat too much and didn't want to leave, this was more of a relaxing holiday for us. As for cruising, this was an amazing first cruise and we could all barely fault it!!! We will definitely be returning. Majority of the negative reviews are people used to a more formal affair which we wouldn't have enjoyed!! So take no notice and go with an open mind because this is an amazing holiday :) Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Hi everyone I would just like to give everyone a heads up on the drinks package and also the excursions. We sailed on the 3rd of July on the Italian Flavors cruise there were alot of flaws, alot of this blame goes to our travel agent. ... Read More
Hi everyone I would just like to give everyone a heads up on the drinks package and also the excursions. We sailed on the 3rd of July on the Italian Flavors cruise there were alot of flaws, alot of this blame goes to our travel agent. First of all we were told we would get a room with a window with no obstructed view we also requested a double bed none of this met as there was a big orange life boat on the window with only a small view of the sea and also the room was tiny with 2 single beds so already off to a bad start. We sat for a few minutes then went off to find a bar as we were dieing for a Jack Daniels, we went to the top deck to get a drink poolside, we looked at the bar menu and couldn't believe our eyes (I have included photos of the full Bar Menu which is the same in every lounge/bar) We paid £200 each for the drinks package and were told that EVERYTHING was included Water, Cans of cola, All branded spirits So we were very dissapointed when we learned you had to pay for a bottle of water, Cans of juice even cranberry juice and all cocktails including cranberry juice and what hurt most of all the Jack Daniels! As the holiday went on though we had tried almost every drink on the package and some that weren't as you can get them at a discounted price. The drinks are nice some of my favourites are the Mojito, Mambo, Cafe Frappe and Tequila Bum Bum which is a shot. You also get a Cocktail of the day which is free if your on the drinks package and it usually included one which you would normally need to pay extra for so thats good. We added up all out receipts when we were home and were glad to find we would have spent £540 if we didn't have the drinks package. Overall it is worth it but just a bit of a shock to learn alot of it was extra! Now to the excursions, We asked our travel agent if we would need to pay for them she said 'Just some of them, Yes' but before we went we did do some research and picked which ones we would be doing it cost us £525 in total for 2 people to do - Blue Grotto in Malta, Erice in Trapani, Rome, Pompeii and Godfather tour in Messina which were all brilliant and I would recommend them but also be warned there is ALOT of walking and I mean for hours. The actual cruise ship is OK and worth it for £1500 for us both including drinks, its a little dated and when you get used to it it is quite small but there are lots of lounges and bars to choose from and the entertainment is ok. there are a few restaurants 2 of them are self service and the food is honestly not great we would sometimes wait to 11 oclock at night because that's when they do burgers and hotdogs. They sometimes have themed nights like Indian but the currys are rank and the lamb is like rubber. They were trying to pass of tatty scones as nan bread! and the black pudding is inedible. If you want to go and get some more posher food from the menu restaurants you do have to sit with strangers usually 6 to a table which I personally find awkward the food is decent though. Its mostly Philippines, Polish and Russians who work on the boat they are all really great though and couldn't do enough for you, You never need to go to the bar they just serve you all night at your table and your never sitting without a drink. A couple of other things - * I recommend taking your card as everything is charged to your onboard account they don't deal with cash. You need to put a £400 deposit down for things like excursions, Room service, Drinks ect. * The pools are tiny you could probably fit about 12 people in them * Everytime you go to use toilet there will probably be someone in cleaning it I don't know why but they clean the toilet every 10 minutes and usually lock the door while there doing it * If its your first time on a cruise like myself don't underestimate sea sickness and get some tablets straight away I could feel the boat moving about 70% of the time * If your going on Italian Flavours Sicily is much nicer than Italy and so are the people. watch your time on the tours if your having something to eat because the waiters can be very slow. The shopping is also garbage. * On the drinks menu the drinks marked with * are the ones you pay extra for and the price next to that is the price you pay if you don't have the package. Thanks for reading my review I have tried to be as honest as possible and include as much as I can think of. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
I booked this cruise with Thomson Cruises from June 5th - June 12th 2015 and thoroughly enjoyed it. The ship was immaculate and infection control was in place at the toilet areas by using anti-bacterial gel provided. Hand gel was ... Read More
I booked this cruise with Thomson Cruises from June 5th - June 12th 2015 and thoroughly enjoyed it. The ship was immaculate and infection control was in place at the toilet areas by using anti-bacterial gel provided. Hand gel was compulsory before entering restaurants and administered by ship staff. The food was fantastic and in abundance from morning to night. The cabin was adequate and cleaned frequently throughout the day. Sleep quality was good and the bed comfortable. The ship staff were efficient, polite and very friendly. Entertainment was very good and enjoyable, but you had to be early before the shows, to get a seat. The cruise itinerary of ports of call were excellent and plenty of time was allowed to go ashore sight-seeing. The cruise itself was very smooth and not once did I find the ship sway or move suddenly. In fact, I did not feel the ship docking whilst still in bed early morning. The only thing I found was that no cash was taken on-board at the bars and I had to open an account in sterling linked to my bank card. Not a problem but I had taken euros in cash and a cashpassport card loaded with euros. However, I was able to spend the euros on shore and what I did not spend, transferred them back again to my bank account to cover the bill on board ship. You could open a cash account in euros which was converted into sterling and a cash account in sterling by placing a deposit of £200.00 which you would have to top-up if spending over £200.00. So it was far easier to open an account by bank card and then you were billed in three separate payments throughout the cruise. To sum up, an excellent experience and cruise. Highly recommended !! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
The whole cruise was fantastic..this despite not being able to go to dubrovnic which disappointed everyone...the cabin...d703..was smallish but lovely..the staff are really polite and brilliant..the food we found to be exceptional..as was ... Read More
The whole cruise was fantastic..this despite not being able to go to dubrovnic which disappointed everyone...the cabin...d703..was smallish but lovely..the staff are really polite and brilliant..the food we found to be exceptional..as was the many and varied entertainment...paul and micheala are brilliant...the theatre troupe were also brilliant particularly grant who should be acting in way bigger productions or films but all tge singers and dancers were of a really high calibre.....i thought i may be bored i was way wrong...the whole thing is great..id go every year if i could..ports also were anazing as was our tour of pompei...ive run out of expletives but if ur reading this wondering whether to go like i was...go..its amazing Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We went from Venice to Barcelona. The ship was just beautiful. Even though it holds 900 passengers we will still seeing and meeting people on the last days. There are so many places to sit and relax on the ship it never seemed crowded. ... Read More
We went from Venice to Barcelona. The ship was just beautiful. Even though it holds 900 passengers we will still seeing and meeting people on the last days. There are so many places to sit and relax on the ship it never seemed crowded. We observed that everything was very well orchestrated behind the scenes. For example in the Word Cafe where the buffet was, and this was certainly not a typical buffet in any manner. Only small amounts of food were placed out at a time but a adequate selection to ensure it was hot and fresh, but it was under the constant careful eye of senior staff so food was always available. Also you never went without your table being clean or cleared. Senior Staff had a nice discreet manner with staff to ensure everything was taken care of and passengers were not bothered. Suchi chef was great and the head Chef was always there to explain how food was prepared and to greet you. We ate in The Restaurant, Chefs Table and Manfreddies as well. We found the Restaurant was a bit slow and only ate there when we wanted to take more time for dining. We went on both the included and extra paid for excursions all were excellent. The included excursions were very adequate and many passengers only opted for those. We did some of the paid ones to get us more into the country side and because we wanted to see more. Like the Vatican, Florence, Pompeii. Viking had top notch local tour guides ready for each tour, they all had at least 15 years experience. Each tour had some free time included so you could do what you wanted as well. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
My sister, mum and myself went on P and O cruise ( Oceana) first time for me and their third cruise although first with (P and O). From the moment we landed the staff were friendly and polite and from the moment we got on the plane at ... Read More
My sister, mum and myself went on P and O cruise ( Oceana) first time for me and their third cruise although first with (P and O). From the moment we landed the staff were friendly and polite and from the moment we got on the plane at Gatwick airport and handed over our cases we didn't have to worry about them till we landed in our rooms. I can honestly say it was the best holiday i had in a long time, I loved everything about it from the 5 star dining to the buffet dinners and the afternoon tea. I loved the entertainment. First night we took part in a fun quiz, to the theatre shows which were so well done and entertaining, The comedian was hilarious and the band were also very good. I also came away with a beautiful photo to remind me of my holiday and got to go on a gondola in Venice which ended the week of nicely. There wasn't one thing i didn't like about this holiday as everyone was so professional and nice from the staff to the passengers. Our room was inside cabin which suited us just fine, I know now having done one that i would love to do another one in the future with my husband and four boys. Well done p and O for giving me a holiday i will never forget. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Cruised for the first time as a 25th Anniversary present to ourselves, and other than minor (really, really minor) issues, the cruise was great. We live in Orlando, and drove in to port the morning of the cruise, arrived early - and < ... Read More
Cruised for the first time as a 25th Anniversary present to ourselves, and other than minor (really, really minor) issues, the cruise was great. We live in Orlando, and drove in to port the morning of the cruise, arrived early - and < 30 minutes after stepping from the car we had embarkation mimosas in hand and were looking at the booths on deck 3. We'd been advised that cross-selling was more prevalent than it used to be, and it did seem that every corner had someone offering a dinner package, a drink package, a spa package, etc, etc; learning to say 'no' came very quickly. We did purchase a dinner package (one dinner at the Tuscan restaurant, 2 at Ocean liners), and we had no complaints or issues at either restaurant, EXCEPT that the MDR food was *almost* as good and no additional cost. Based on the food quality in the MDR, i'd have a hard time justifying the cost for the dinner package on a future cruise. Almost everyone we spoke with told us how 'brave' we were to make a Trans-Atlantic cruise as our first cruise ever - and we still marvel at that thinking. We had no time for boredom, always something going on; a show, a class, an auction, a drawing, meals...all great fun. Of all things, Bingo was disappointing. I'd be fine only playing 3 games a session if packages were, say, $20/person. But the packages were $40/60/80, and that's a bit pricey to play three games and leave - so that was a one and done experience. We were *slightly* disappointed in the karaoke songs options (lots of older music, which is fine considering the typical clients, some newer music) in that there were few musicals included (as in one - 'My Fair Lady' was the only one I find - no Phantom, no Cats, no Wicked, no other big name, recognizable musicals included; just seemed like an odd omission). The ship ported in Madeira, Gibraltar, and Alicante before disembarking in Civitavecchia. We took none of the ship excursions, and so cannot comment on their quality - but can say the pricing seemed high. In Madeira we walked the town and had a great time, especially after 8 days at sea 8-). In Gibraltar we accepted a cab tour from a gentleman standing at the taxi stand, and once a group was gathered (maybe a 15 minute wait), we took off and definitely got our monies worth. He was informative, funny, knew his material and was easily understood. In Alicante I had arranged a Vow Renewal ceremony through a local company, and we met at Castillo de Santa Barbara - beautiful site and all went very smoothly. DO NOT look for cabs at the Castillo though, they don't seem to wait around there at all; expect to take the elevator from the Castillo to the beach and find one there, although it's a short walk to port shuttle from that point. The entertainment was hit or miss, mostly hit for us. Jayne Curry was fantastic, and the highlight of the individual entertainers as far as we were concerned. The juggler/comedian Steve Carte was standard fare, without anything truly distinguishing his work from other juggler/comedians we'd seen busking in parks for many years now. The stand-up comedian lost us and we walked out when he presented a series of jokes (better performed and notably available on DVD and the internet) from Jeff Foxworthy and Bill Engvall. Comedians stealing material is nothing new, but not such high visibility jokes and scenarios. Gemma Louise Doyle joined the ship in Madeira when Jayne left, and we lost in that trade; Gemma's singing is mostly pleasant, but she has little stage presence and no connection to the audience whatsoever. If we'd not been sitting in the 2nd row we'd have left. The Stars of the Constellation preformed several shows as well, and several were VERY good (iHollywood and the new show Elyria), most were decent and (we felt) only one failed to live up to expectations. It was the fourth night at sea (can't remember the name or theme of the show) but the cast seemed tired or bored, and it showed in the performance - very rote with no energy. Later performances were much, much better 8-). Perhaps the timechanges affected them? Our room itself (inside cabin 9018) was fine; small as expected, but plenty for two people not spending hours awake in the room. Hallway noise was non-existent, and we never heard anything from other passenger cabins. It IS next to a steward pantry, which apparently has metal stairs in it - you can hear the occasional steps being taken. It's also beneath the spa, and seemed to have drains from the spa area passing the walls, so you had the occasional water feature sounds coming from the walls. We found it relaxing (although it probably encouraged the odd nighttime bathroom trip or two), but I'm sure there are pickier travellers for whom these sounds might be disturbing. Service was great, the crew friendly, the weather was all but perfect for the entire trip. We couldn't believe we were finally on a cruise, and now look to make it a habit. A BIG recommendation: when the ship is heading to a new area (not back to the embarkation port), DO have language classes for the end point of the cruise! Celebrity put on ONE one hour Italian class right at the end of the trip, and all the conversation we heard though this not only should be standard fare, it should have started day one and continued right through the cruise! Just a marvelous idea. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
This was our first cruise and we were naturally a little apprehensive about how we would cope with such a long time on board. Our fears were allayed considerably by the friendliness, courtesy and efficiency of the staff. The ship was ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we were naturally a little apprehensive about how we would cope with such a long time on board. Our fears were allayed considerably by the friendliness, courtesy and efficiency of the staff. The ship was immaculate at all times and the hard work put in by the crew was unobtrusive. The accommodation was most acceptable. The food interesting and tasty as well as being abundant and pleasing to the eye. The quality of the entertainment was outstanding and well orchestrated by the very professional cruise director and his team. It was difficult to make choices about what to participate in from the diverse selection provided. Although embarkation and disembarkation were a little irritating for the long waiting sessions, it is appreciated that a large number of passengers have to be handled and the processes were fairly well handled and organisation evident. All in all, this was a very positive experience and one that we would like to repeat. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
I will cover the good point first. The ship MSC Orchestra was a clean, well maintained ship. That's where the plusses end. The food was appalling, mostly overcooked in the dining rooms. The buffet on the thirteenth deck even ... Read More
I will cover the good point first. The ship MSC Orchestra was a clean, well maintained ship. That's where the plusses end. The food was appalling, mostly overcooked in the dining rooms. The buffet on the thirteenth deck even worse. Breakfast was routinely cold or lukewarm. Lunch was no better. Sandwiches and rolls were left in the self service areas until the bread was curling up and stale. The pre prepared salads served in bowls were terrible, they appeared to be frozen vegetables scattered over lettuce leaves. Staff - Some staff were very good, some arrogant and rude. Health - The ship was ridden with a flu like upper respiratory disease. At least 80 percent of passengers were struck down with this illness and were incapacitated for the entire cruise. The medical staff were inadequate and medicine was virtually non existent with hundreds of passengers having to seek assistance on shore excursions at considerable expense. I am still recovering 5 weeks after leaving the ship. Internet - The internet provided was abysmal and expensive 8 hours cost 69 Euro and rarely worked, you would be lucky to get 15 minutes use out of the 8 hours. The answer to a complaint about the internet re emails, was that it wasn't meant for emails. Service - The service was very disappointing. It did improve in the final few days. Smoking on deck 13 was also a disappointment especially for young children playing and swimming nearby. Deck 7 the deck which was wide and used for walking by many passengers was closed for maintenance for most of the cruise. Summary - I would not recommend this cruise line to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We left the ship in Rome after 36 days on a ship riddled with respiratory illness. The ship itself was well maintained and comfortable. That's where the good news ends. Health - A high percentage of the passengers, like ... Read More
We left the ship in Rome after 36 days on a ship riddled with respiratory illness. The ship itself was well maintained and comfortable. That's where the good news ends. Health - A high percentage of the passengers, like ourselves, succumbed to a highly infectious respiratory illness which lasted for the entire cruise. The medical staff were tantamount to useless. The supply of medicine was virtually non existent, to the extent that hundreds of passengers were forced to obtain appropriate medicines at various ports of call. Passengers were charged 80 Euros per visit to the ship's Doctor plus the cost of inadequate medicine by the ship's medical staff. It appeared no attempt had been made to minimise the risk of continuous infection. Food - The food on board was appalling. The meat, poultry and fish all overcooked. The food in the buffet on deck 13 was almost inedible, I have eaten better food from an army field kitchen. Service - The service in the restaurants was average. There were far too many passengers onboard which resulted in tables being that close together you could not move without disturbing someone. Some of the wait staff, who were mostly Indonesian, were polite and capable, others were rude and arrogant. The service in the bar areas was however generally good, although it was obvious there was insufficient staff to cope with the number of people requiring their services. Internet - The internet service was an extremely expensive disgrace. 69 Euros for 8 hours of which perhaps 30 minutes was usable time. A complaint about the internet being so poor emails could not be sent resulted in the response "It's not for emails" from a member of the ship's Italian staff. Drinks packages - These packages were pre purchased. The packages detailed what types of drinks alcoholic and non alcoholic that formed part of the package. A number of different types of spirits and liqueurs that were part of the package ran out half way through the cruise and were not replaced. An enquiry to a crew member relating to when this would be rectified resulted in a shrug of the shoulders. Needless to say they were not replaced. Smoking - Smoking was permitted on deck 13 despite the presence of young children and people eating food. Summary - The 2015 Gallipoli cruise was a major disappointment. It was a very expensive exercise that did not deliver the promises made. The tours of Gallipoli and the dawn service were however very good. The cruise overall was not value for money, it was advertised as a luxury cruise, it was far from luxury. I would not recommend the MSC cruise line to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
OK, 35 nights cruising for one's first cruise could be problematic! NOT loved the cruising, despised the European cruise staff. Best bits: Our dinner table companions (overwhelmingly the best thing about the cruise) ... Read More
OK, 35 nights cruising for one's first cruise could be problematic! NOT loved the cruising, despised the European cruise staff. Best bits: Our dinner table companions (overwhelmingly the best thing about the cruise) Visiting Gallipoli Nice cabin (balcony on deck 12) - clean, adequate storage, comfy bed, good maid. Tour out of Naples to Sorrento & Amalfi Coast Dinner waiters Days at sea (lots) - peaceful etc. History lecture series - unparalleled I'm told by many (I didn't attend) OK bits: Entertainment. Good variety of Australian artists. Impressive cruise staff performances. Theatre was usually full. Coffee (paid for) once you sorted out how you liked your coffee (inevitable differences between countries). Visiting the various countries/sights. Although, be warned - one day stops make it a brief & stressful race to get off, get somewhere & get back on the ship. NOT leisurely, you don't get to see much or experience the ambience. The rest of it: Food was appalling - not even one-star. All tasted pretty much the same & was out of bain-maries - warm & re-heated tasting. Apart from ordering poached eggs etc or smoked salmon in the dining room at breakfast. Of course you could live off the adequate muesli & fruit selection. But that was not the way the ship was advertised. However I did lose weight (7kg) - not a bad thing but unexpected. Italian staff would smile but were inanimate, disinterested & only helpful if really really pushed (politely). Drinks packages were a joke. They saw us coming - premium allegrissimo alcoholic & non-alcoholic. No way we could come close to getting value for money ($4500). Other reviewers have said it all. Running out of drinks, no service etc etc. We even had the bar staff refuse to serve us an icecream in a cone (at the icecream bar with cones in sight). The wretched respiratory bug - nightmare. Duty of care non-existent. One wonders, was the ship working to a budget? The food was so so bad. Where did all our money go? About $50,000. Yes. Plus the pre-paid gratuities. We worked out every staff member could have received approx. 600 Euro - bet they didn't. I don't regret the cruise - Gallipoli etc - but feel a bit foolish & cheated - captive for 5 weeks with crap food on a beautiful looking, clean & glamorous floating hotel. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We were a group of 4 ladies celebrating our friend's 70'th birthday week on our first cruise. This cruise was brilliant, the ship was clean and well decorated, we had Freedom Dining which was great as we could eat where and when ... Read More
We were a group of 4 ladies celebrating our friend's 70'th birthday week on our first cruise. This cruise was brilliant, the ship was clean and well decorated, we had Freedom Dining which was great as we could eat where and when we wanted, we found the Saffron and Cinnamon restaurants and they were first class and our favourite.  We shared a table some nights and others were on our own, met some lovely people, only had to wait a couple of times when busy but not a problem. The staff in the restaurants and all around the ship were brilliant and very friendly and helpful. they made the holiday for us. They seemed to be mostly from India and were very friendly and work very hard. I hope the tips we all had to pay each day are evenly handed out to them and not taken to be part of their wage. They deserve to be tipped fairly. Everyone on the ship was very friendly and there was no snobbishness and luckily as we went in Sept there were no children, only a couple here and there, otherwise we would not have enjoyed having children running around and making a noise. we wanted an adults only holiday which is what we got. also there was a good age range, it was not full of old people, just a few here and there. We thought we would come home with a huge hill for drinks but were very pleasantly surprised, we had wine with dinner every night and jugs of Pimms during the day, it was very reasonable. The trips we booked were a bit expensive, glad we did them, but next time we would do our own thing as at most of the ports we were very close to the town so could easily have walked or got a taxi in. We would definitely go again and can't wait. Everything was very efficient with good organisation picking us up and taking us to airport, on trips, etc, so no worries there. We had an inside cabin which was adequate as we only slept there and got ready to go out for the day, would prefer a window next time, but definitely an adequate room for the amount of time you spend in there. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
My husband and I were very excited to take our first cruise. We were told the Windstar Star Pride was a new ship and that idea was only furthered by Windstar’s promotions. We did not expect to walk onto the Star Pride and ... Read More
My husband and I were very excited to take our first cruise. We were told the Windstar Star Pride was a new ship and that idea was only furthered by Windstar’s promotions. We did not expect to walk onto the Star Pride and immediately notice from the furnishings and smell that it was NOT new in any way. I remember saying to my husband, “ I think this is a huge mistake.” Apparently the ship was new in 1988 and in dry dock for about 18 days where carpets were replaced and common areas were "refreshed". Our Classic Suite, which we paid an additional 4,000.00 to upgrade to, was in extremely poor shape and run down. We had been told there were floor to ceiling windows yet there were regular sized portholes looking out onto a public deck. Our bathroom consisted of yellow rust stains, tape peeling off from the mirror as well as large ugly patches of caulking. I didn’t ever dare to look at the state of our mattress. Our satellite phone, which was always on the charger, wouldn’t hold a charge and would beep whenever we attempted to use it. When we called for a late night snack we were told that after 10pm only cold food was available. The bath towels were something you would find at a car wash. Above our bed the ceiling panels were not put together correctly and had dark handprints on them from maintenance workers. The furnishings were old and outdated. I put our valuables into the safe and when I went to retrieve them the safe would not open because the batteries had died. We had to call maintenance and wait for them to unlock the safe. Flat screen televisions are advertised and the TV we had in our bedroom was from the 90s. The deck of the ship was extremely weathered and grey. The pool was closed for the first 2 days – and only days- we were on the ship. I had emailed with someone from Windstar before we boarding letting them know I had a gluten intolerance and although she said Windstar caters to all dietary needs and that she put a note in with my name to the ship, I was never offered any gluten free options. We missed lunch one day and what was available for us was a selection of airport lounge style cold dry premade sandwiches. At dinner we were told there were not enough tables to accommodate the guests yet we could be seated at an empty table set for 4 and would likely have another random couple seated with us at some point during our meal or we could wait. We waited only to have them try to seat people at our table and we outright refused. Having to be confrontational when trying to be on a romantic cruise was the last thing we wanted to deal with every night. After speaking with Kristy on the Star Pride we packed our bags and disembarked at our first stop in Sicily. Kristy sincerely apologized for all the issues and gave me contact information for Dustin at Windstar whom she said would be able to come to a solution that would make us happy. We were not allowed to disembark however before paying another $84.00 in bar bills yet our package included all premium drinks. Frustrated, we simply paid the bill so we could get off the ship and try to begin to enjoy our vacation. At this point we had to find last minute - meaning extreme rates - hotels for the remainder of our trip and transportation to each location. All in all, this was a absolute disaster! We will never find ourselves on a cruise again. For over 17,000.00 dollars I had envisioned a floating Four Seasons and this was not the case. I have stayed in rooms at a Holiday Inn that were cleaner and nicer. I expected the food to be better than average and to have a suite that felt clean. The only positive comment I have is for the staff who were very kind and apologetic, letting us know how understaffed the ship was. After speaking with Dustin at Windstar I let him know which suite we were in and was told the CEO of Windstar had stayed in the same suite the week before and had no complaints – shame on him! Dustin honestly felt that Windstar did not promote their ship as being new and said the best he could do was to refund me the amount we paid for the upgrade as well as the bar bill. Feeling that I was not getting any further with Windstar I told them to send me the refund. This is NOT a luxury cruise in any way. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
We are a couple in our sixties and have cruised many times, This was our 2nd cruise with Celebrity. We chose this ship because of the itinerary which included the Adriatic coast. Most people chose this cruise for the same reason. Ship: ... Read More
We are a couple in our sixties and have cruised many times, This was our 2nd cruise with Celebrity. We chose this ship because of the itinerary which included the Adriatic coast. Most people chose this cruise for the same reason. Ship: The ship is gorgeous with impressive public areas. We were pleasantly surprised with our balcony stateroom. The room was quite spacious but the biggest surprise was the bathroom. Usually you can hardly move in this room and the shower is tiny. This bathroom was so big that my husband had plenty of room to shave while I had my shower. The shower was large and you could actually move around in it with no problem. Restaurants: We ate only in the main dining room. The staff was attentive but not the friendliest we have ever had. The meals were good but we have had better meals on other ships. We would have liked more variety in the desserts. But we had a good group at our table and enjoyed the dinner hour. Entertainment: The entertainment was comparable to other cruise ships. We enjoyed the shows and comedians. Ports: This was a port intensive cruise with only 1 day at sea. It would have been nice to have another day at sea to relax. Koper: We went on a tour to Lake Bled with a group formed on cruise critic. Our tour guide was Tina, recommended by Rick Steves Lake Bled is beautiful. The tour guide was very knowledgeable. Ravenna: Toured the mosaics by ourselves and had a more relaxing day. Split, Crotia: Another DIY day touring the palace area. We did buy a ticket for 3 sites. Dubrovnik: Walked the wall which was very scenic. There are lots of stairs. Took the cable car to the top of the mountain for another scenic view. Kotor: Took a private taxi with another couple with a guide recommended on cruise critic, Milo.. We toured the countryside and visited a seaside resort. It was a 1/2 day tour which left us time to walk around the port city. Valletta: Took bus to Mdina and toured Valletta. Catania: Went on a tour, Sicily Limousine, which I arranged on cruise critic. There were 8 of us. The tour was to Taormina and the surrounding area. Everyone loved the tour. The guide was informative and very likeable. Naples: Another tour I arranged for the Amalfi coast for 8 people, AP tours. We went to 4 cities and enjoyed every one. I would definitely recommend this ship and the itinerary.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
Well what can I say other than DON'T GO ON AN MSC CRUISE. Kids running everywhere all day and most of the night, shouting, yelling and totally out of control. Running around the restaurant whilst the waiters were trying to serve ... Read More
Well what can I say other than DON'T GO ON AN MSC CRUISE. Kids running everywhere all day and most of the night, shouting, yelling and totally out of control. Running around the restaurant whilst the waiters were trying to serve food. Buggies and prams cluttering up the aisles when trying to get food in the buffet. One child even rode his bike into a crowded lift!!! We were woken up at 4am one morning with children running and shouting in the corridor outside our cabin. The passengers were extremely rude and pushed and shoved the whole time and whilst waiting for the lifts which were erratic to say the least, the passengers (mostly Italian) barged to the front and would not let people get out of the lift before they got in. The lifts, the kids pressed every button on every floor so it took us half an hour to get from Deck 5 (Restaurant for dinner) to Deck 12 ( our cabin) every evening. These lifts dominated our cruise experience because this was not a small boat and you had to use them. In most situations you would say that this was a major design fault in this boat but this (perhaps) may not be the case if they were not constantly abused. This was the most stressful holiday my husband and I have ever had. The food was not good either, there was far too much salt used in the cooking and the food was very poorly presented, it reminded us both of school dinners. The food was also nearly always cold by the time it was served. My husband bent his metal fork whilst trying to cut a piece of stale bread when eating Eggs Benedict for breakfast. There was no toast supplied at breakfast and the rolls and bread were stale by the end of the week. The juice drinks machines more often that not where out of order or not switched on. Not good when you want a cold drink. Also the juice when you could get it was watered down and had sugar added to it. Also there were no glasses at the juice machines and we had to use warm teacups to get a drink when the machines were working. There was no fruit that was fresh in the buffet either and mmost of the fruit supplied at breakfast was tinned. The departure from the boat at Majorca and Villefranche was totally disorganised to say the least with the usual pushing and shoving from the Italian families. But the worst situation by far was on the Wednesday 10th July. My husband and I went to the pool on the 13th deck, got our towels and found two sun beds. This was at 9.20, we sat down for a while and put on sun cream, at 9.40 my husband said "I think I'll go for a swim now" so I said "OK I'll join you". We went down to the pool and were only gone for 20 minutes, when we decided to go back I went up the steps first whilst my husband had a shower near the pool, when I got to our sun beds there were other people there arranging their towels and belongings and all our belongings had gone. We went down to the attendants who had given the towels out to find all our property including phones, watches, cameras, shoes and our towels had been thrown into a plastic sack. The attendant started being very rude and aggressive and shouting at us and quoting that in the contract you are only allowed to leave the sun bed for 30 minutes, we had been gone for 20 minutes. I spoke to a Security Guard who was standing nearby but he could not help me, the attendant who I originally spoke to stood there watching me and smirking at the fact that I could not get anywhere with any of them. There were other people leaving their beds for 2 hours and more, also children who had beds who were never on them. We could not get anywhere with this rude and aggressive man so we had to go inside down seven decks to the desk, barefoot and dripping water, me in my bikini and my husband in his trunks because everthing had been taken, we did not even have a towel to dry ourselves with. We spoke to someone at the desk who again, was not very helpful but we demanded a meeting with the manager and this was eventually arranged after two put offs for the evening. We finally met Shameem (sp) who I must say, did handle the situation very well as we were both furious at this unfriendly and discourtesious way of being treated. Shemeem said she would report it back to the management, as they did not want passengers to be unhappy. The trouble was the damage had been done and we had to spend the rest of the day in our cabin as there was nothing else to do and all the sun beds had gone by this time. I am sure that we were targeted because we were English, it would not have been done to an Italian family. There were very few English people on this trip, Im not surprised!! We did however go to some lovely places such as Rome, Majorca, Monaco and Palermo and we also met some very nice Australian people who sat on our table at dinner each evening and who incidentally did not like the cruise either and had said they would never travel with MSC again. They were horrified when they heard what had happened to us at the pool on Wednesday and thought it was a disgusting way to treat people. If they are going to take one set of people's belongings because they have been away from their bed for a short while then they must treat everyone else the same and not target individuals. We will never go on another MSC cruise again and shall make sure that everyone we know hears about this.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013

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