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319 Caribbean - Southern First-Time Cruisers Cruise Reviews

The staff were excellent, really loved the staff in the gastro bar and the sunset bar. The buffet was great as was the MDR. The cabin boy was excellent and deserved his big tip, well done Jamie. We had a balcony cabin on deck 6, which was ... Read More
The staff were excellent, really loved the staff in the gastro bar and the sunset bar. The buffet was great as was the MDR. The cabin boy was excellent and deserved his big tip, well done Jamie. We had a balcony cabin on deck 6, which was really good. The casino is a joke, was looking forward to a game of poker but a buy of, $200-$500 was way too high. The tournament were Russian roulette, $60 for 4000 chips with 10 minute blinds. I read on the Internet that celebrity were against pool bed reserving, not on this ship. Some folks lay on the starboard side and had beds reserved on the port side for afternoon. Also people left their towels on the beds when they had finished sunbathing. We saw a couple of shows in the theater and they were both really enjoyable. Don't know if cruising is for us though. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Many friends who are frequent cruisers recommended Royal Caribbean for our active family. My husband and I traveled with our four boys, ages 21 to 15 to Puerto Rico to board the ship. We spent the first 2 nights in San Juan enjoying the ... Read More
Many friends who are frequent cruisers recommended Royal Caribbean for our active family. My husband and I traveled with our four boys, ages 21 to 15 to Puerto Rico to board the ship. We spent the first 2 nights in San Juan enjoying the beach, restaurants, and Old San Juan beforehand. Discovered the delicious Puerto Rican food, Mofango, which goes great with Mojitos! La Concha by Renaissance is a terrific hotel which offers a good AAA discount. We boarded the ship and liked our 3 cabins of 8370 (balcony), 8371 and 8373 (inside cabins for the boys). Gloria was our lovely housekeeper who we enjoyed visiting with daily. She took great care of us, and made towel animals for us every night. Having a balcony is wonderful and we all enjoyed it. You can order free continental breakfast every morning, or even just coffee to enjoy, before heading up to Windjammer for breakfast. The kids were fine with their inside cabins (saved us some money). We requested extra keys from Guest Services so we could get into each other's cabins, which came in handy. It was also good to have the lanyards to wear, to keep the keys handy around our necks. Ask Guest Services to punch a hole in the key to easily hang on the lanyard, for easy access. The 6 of us enjoyed a variety of activities, sometimes together, and sometimes exploring on our own. Then we'd regroup at lunch or dinner and share. We chose not to buy the wifi package, because it's expensive. I'm really glad we left our phones in the cabins, as it was nice to interact with our kids, without someone always looking at their phone! Just like old times, right? We'd leave an itinerary on the outside of the door for each other, with 4 or 5 places and times, so we could find each other if interested. Our 15 and 17 year olds went to Optics the first night (teen club) and met some really cool kids. They linked up with these kids almost every night and had a blast. Sometimes they'd get together at Optics and participate in the organized activities, but they preferred just meeting up and having fun with their new friends outside of the teen group area. They're both really glad they were brave and went the first night. Our busy family chose My Time Dining, which worked out well. We had Table 217 three of the nights, with the same two waiters who were excellent. We'd call each day to reserve that table. Yet we also ate at Windjammer one night when the boys didn't want to dress up, and we went to Giovanni's one night, which I highly recommend. The food was outstanding at all 3 restaurants. We brought in 6 bottles of wine when we embarked on the ship, which is allowed (2 bot allowed per cabin). Then we brought one bottle to dinner each night and paid the $15 corkage fee. Great way to enjoy excellent wine each night without paying a fortune. Our favorite activities included Quest and the Love/Marriage Game. I haven't laughed so hard in years! If you haven't been, GO! They're each only offered one time on the cruise, at night, so look for each ahead of time. We didn't buy the drinks package since none of us are big drinkers, and we were with our boys. Look for specials, like Mimosas in the casino for $1 each at certain times. For 3 of our 4 ports, we rented trucks, 4 x 4's, and scooters. We loved this, and with 6 in our family, it worked out to be very reasonable compared with expensive excursions. We then had our own wheels to explore on our own schedule. It's an island, and easy to get around. Just do a little homework ahead of time for sights you want to see. We love to snorkel, and brought our own gear. So we knew of 3 or 4 places we wanted to see on each island. Bonaire has the best snorkeling, especially on the west side of the island. 1000 Steps was our favorite, along with the Salt Pier. So much to see underwater, and extremely accessible from the beach. We rented trucks for $100/day from Bonaire RentaCar, and highly recommend the husband and wife team. They locked up our passports and valuables, at our request, so we didn't have to worry about them while snorkeling. On Curacao, we didn't rent our own transportation and instead caught a taxi to Caracas Beach to snorkel at the Sunken Tugboat. The cab driver didn't know exactly where the Tugboat was, but when we got close, we stopped and asked a scuba group, and they knew right where to go. The snorkeling was excellent! Lots of fish, and the boys thought it was cool to dive around a sunken boat. Then we caught the taxi to Mombo Beach, and we snorkeled out of the popular swimming area to the other side of the breakwater. Spotted a giant sting ray, and lots of fish. Be sure to snorkel under the pier to the right side of the swimming area; lots of fish there too. We then caught the taxi back to the ship, but before boarding, we walked across the Queen Emma Bridge. Very cool, and didn't take long at all. It's about a 10 minute walk from the ship. Aruba was an awesome island where we rented two 4x4's, and one side-by-side that holds 5 people. We rented from Luis, the owner of RoadRunner ATV, who we highly recommend. We give Luis a 10!!! He keeps his equipment in great shape, and we drove the whole island. He gave us a map with lots of recommended stops. Be sure to bring a phone with wifi to downloap the app for directions. We used it a few times. The best snorkeling was early on in our day, just north of the ship on a gorgeous beach. The best 4-wheeling was on the east side of the island. The boys especially had a blast driving! Be sure to ask about the new natural pool, which isn't as crowded and touristy as the Natural Pool. The Baby Bridge is worth seeing, but the Natural Bridge is a tourist trap. In addition, the Natural Bridge caved in a long time ago!! Driving to the Natural Pool was a rugged adventure! Loved it. But it does cost about $10/person to enter the National Park. Baby Beach at the south end was beautiful, but probably not worth the long drive. It's very calm, almost like babies could just wade in the water, which is probably where the name originates. Our last port was St. Martin, which we all loved. Here our family rented 3 scooters and two 4x4's from Solid ATV. The owner keeps his machines clean and in great shape. He's located about a 10 minute walk from the ship. He gave us a map and great directions. We loved Orient Beach on the french side. Half the beach is a nude beach, clothes optional. Our boys ventured over there on their own, and when they returned, my husband and I took a stroll. They weren't crazy about it, but my husband and I enjoyed it, especially going for a swim in the teal/turquouise water, sans swimsuits! We visited the famous Maho Beach, or Airport Beach, famous for the close proximity of planes overhead. We didn't know that the day before, a woman had actually been killed due to jet blast! This is highly unusual, but be careful if you visit. I went for a swim and watched the planes land overhead. We hated to leave these beautiful islands. I think this was my favorite vacation ever!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
This was our first cruise so it is difficult to make a comparison,however we were not dissapointed it was every thing we expected and we had a wonderful holiday. We boarded the Celebrity Eclipse on the 19 March in Miami boarding was ... Read More
This was our first cruise so it is difficult to make a comparison,however we were not dissapointed it was every thing we expected and we had a wonderful holiday. We boarded the Celebrity Eclipse on the 19 March in Miami boarding was quick and efficient, we didn't have to wait long to be allowed in our cabin, we had a balcony state room which was spacious clean and comfortable our cabin attendant John was very pleasant and helpful and saw to all our needs. The restaurants and staff were all very efficient polite and helpful, the choice of food in the ocean view restaurant was wonderful we ate here at breakfast and lunch time,in the evening we ate in the moonlight sonato where Willy our waiter and Vincent his assistant did their job to perfection. Entertainment was exceptional Eddy Jones the entertainments manager was so versatile and always had time to talk, Jane Curry was an exceptional entertainer as was the group of resident dancers,acrobats and singers. Trips organised from the boat were well organised and we found them to be very informative. Over all we enjoyed our first cruise, we now need to save to do another one which will probably on a Celebrity cruise ship as we have nothing negative to say about our experience Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Very enjoyable first cruise, having read some poor reviews we were pleasantly surprised. The whole experience was well organised and painless with all the ships staff keen to offer help if needed. Only one or two children on board so the ... Read More
Very enjoyable first cruise, having read some poor reviews we were pleasantly surprised. The whole experience was well organised and painless with all the ships staff keen to offer help if needed. Only one or two children on board so the ship was quiet and no annoyed parents. Some reviewers have complained about ill dressed people drinking beer at all hours, yes people did drink(what a surprise on all inclusive) I saw no bad behaviour at all. Yes there are people wearing casual gear or very little around the pool but in the evening most people made an effort.The formal evening was called dress to impress and certainly in the 47 restaurant everybody did. I cannot compare the entertainment with other ships but we saw a show on the first evening, loved it and went back most other nights. All the entertainment staff mixed with guests and helped to create a friendly atmosphere on board. We reserve special praise for the serving staff who worked hard but always had time for a chat, look out for Mary in the atrium area. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
On board the Carnival FunShip Fascination is like living with “Aladdin's Lamp” First time on a cruise which has been postponed for many years, for many reasons. Then this "oh, never on Carnival" comments we ... Read More
On board the Carnival FunShip Fascination is like living with “Aladdin's Lamp” First time on a cruise which has been postponed for many years, for many reasons. Then this "oh, never on Carnival" comments we heard/read from many, put a stop to our wishes to experience a cruise to the destinations we would love to go to. If you're impatient, or bored of reading long reports you can move to the next one, because this is long!!! Although we are beach people, we do many of the "cultural" and exhausting sightseeing vacations too, or sometimes the two together. But, a cruise! 10 years ago was a straight “no”, then it was a “maybe”, for the last 3-4 years “yes, but can we really do it”?… Let me tell you: it's a fact that we're all getting old, and we all want our peace and quiet when vacationing, but, as much as I am not sociable, no more parties etc in my life, I thought I'd rather be on a party cruise than being on a cruise there is only elegant and quiet dining with high profile businessmen & women! And, this is what we heard about Carnival, only the partiers go on this one!! Finally with my vacation period from work (Henry works for himself, so no concerns with his schedule), we only had one option to the destinations we wanted to visit and that was on Carnival Fascination. Reading cruisecritic.com and many other websites, I was expecting a little boat, with lots of noise, a small room, terrible food, terrible staff, terrible service, and only drunk customers around... Well … It was about 3 weeks before the departure date I was able to get my schedule at work for June, and plan/book the trip. Arranging and organizing everything around it, we arrived at our lovely hotel in Barbados about 5 days in advance ... Yes you can call it a "Vacation before vacation". This was not our first time visit to our little heaven Coconut Court Beach Hotel, and returning somewhere we knew, felt awesome (check my report about this place from several years ago on tripadvisor.com, but now it is even better than the last time). But the real worry on our minds was if in 7 days, were we going to find ourselves getting bored on the cruise, or really enjoying it!... We were at the Barbados port right at 11am on the embarkation day, with some other passengers who were staying at Coconut Court as well. The first observation: the employees at the port, who were lovely, fun & helpful, directed us to a shuttle bus between the port and the ship. When we stepped on the ship we were in awe! My first reaction getting out of the elevator was "OMG... This is like visiting a classic Las Vegas hotel". ... So, it was a love at first sight for me! Yup, I love classic Vegas ...new too...but, you know what I mean. That feel of a well established business is always cool ☺ Then we waited for our official check in, when we got our keys in our hands with tons of info, we got kind of nervous... Are we now really trapped in here? By the way, there were many employees everywhere wearing a red t-shirt, with large text on them “JUST ASK”. This was a really nice arrangement and comforting welcome. While heading towards our room, we bumped into many other employees on duty, and all were smiling, working and welcoming us. And the second we opened our room door... Haaaaaa... Shock, a pleasant shock. The size of the room, the balcony, the view from our balcony, and the way our room was prepared. Let me provide this info before we go on: if one finds these rooms small, and complains about them, one should never travel to Japan (my favorite, my #1 destination). The room & bathroom size together is 3 times bigger than any room in Shinjuku (except Hilton & Westin etc with CAD350+ price tags per night). The cleanliness of the room was better than many hotels anywhere in the world including Canada. I travel for work, and stay at different hotels frequently, so I have a slight idea of hotel room cleanliness. Right after our arrival we met our room steward Tri ... He and his team took care of us for the whole 7 days. Because of him specifically, I used the headline I used. Aladdin's Lamp! Every time we walked into or out of our room, Tri showed up to make sure we were ok. If we needed anything, he was available all the time. Every night when we returned back to our room, he had already turned our bed with a magical towel ornament on it!!!! It was different every night, which put a big smile on our faces. After the first impression of all this, we attended an orientation & mandatory safety briefing. We even won a St. Kitts zip-lining voucher but at our age we are not into it, and also we had other plans there (the details are below). So, we showed up at the shore excursion desk to ask an employee if we could exchange the voucher for anything else that was available, at any of the other destinations. Well, the one and only disappointment was this lady, who just shrugged her shoulders, and took the voucher folded up, possibly for recycling. However, her shrugging shoulders behavior has been recovered by ALL THE OTHER Carnival employees that were on the ship. So I will not belabor this point. I, of course, left a little note with the customer service desk suggesting they look into these situations, as the girl at the excursion desk didn’t seem to care, and didn’t attempt to do anything (not even an apology!). We’re not sure if my note was the reason or not, but on day 2 there was a (1 week early) birthday card for Henry with some wonderful gift vouchers. A spa gift card for USD50, another gift card for a bottle of wine (value USD25), and a voucher to be used towards a photo! So, no matter how this happened, this was an elegant way to engage the customers by the Carnival management. Bravo! Because we are very early risers (6-7am even with the time difference – for us it’s 3-4am), we had our breakfast at the buffet except 3 mornings... Also many of the mornings we were either the first to leave the ship, or within the first 5-6 people as per security.... OK, back to the breakfast! The buffet breakfast is for everyone... If you can't find a breakfast item you like or you can’t eat at this buffet, you must carry your own food. Fruits, eggs, omelette made to order, cereals, yogurts, sausages, bacon, pastries, cheese, toast, French-toast, pancakes and many more ... They are all available. The dining room breakfast was with selected items, which were amazing. I also like my coffee in a porcelain mug, and this was available only at the dining room. They are not available at the buffet. Only plastic (reusable kind) cups... But the reasoning behind is understandable. Pretty much each day we left the ship at around 8 am and returned back at around 230-330 pm. Either we ate our lunch at the shore, or we had a snack on board. Then we hit the “million dollar” view gym! The gym/spa area was so attractive we basically wanted to go to the gym. I know, I know! Magical stuff happens on board Our dinner was "your time" dinner, which we loved. We didn’t have to sit with other people at all. It was at the dining room called Sensation. The staff at Sensation worked also at the buffet with different uniforms. So, I have to say the head-waiters/head-waitress, Elias, William, Ayu are rockstars ... We enjoyed their service immensely. Also, Hendra, Richy, Milagres, Ireneo, I Made and many others who work there every single night are fantastic people, fantastic characters, fantastic workers who knew us by name and gave the best service that can be given to the customers. Although, when we were seated in their section, each one of them introduced themselves and their team for the night, Ayu really stood out with her conversation opening introduction. “Hello, good evening! Welcome, my name is Ayu, I’m from Indonesia, and I’ll be serving you tonight with my colleagues … (and she says the names of her team mates)”. After this kind of a welcome, only one thing happens, your heart warms up … and after the first time she welcomes people (for example us) “Hello Idil, hello Henry, welcome back … how was your day today?”. I have never had such an experience in my whole life. I’m 50 and travelled almost around the world. And, the little music/dance break during the dinner is a fantastic idea. So, the music starts and the whole service team stops what they’re doing and starts singing and dancing (all synchronized!). Sometimes they dance with the customers too. What fun every night! Great choice of music too. Service is one thing that we see and judge … but I cannot NOT mention the kitchen folks... the food quality (taste & presentation), the menu choices... Oh my god … It’s 20 out of 10!!! There is an everyday menu filled with fantastic appetizers, main courses (and there is a choice for vegetarians too), then the second page menu changes every day. Again everyday there would be a choice of a vegetarian meal. I am not vegetarian but I read the menu everyday very, very carefully! For sure you will find something that will tickle your fancy, or something you were always curious about would be showing up, and you’d try! Your taste buds will have a major feast! In the end, whoever prepared that menu did one fine job. I'd say the person who suggested and made the final decision to keep the warm melting chocolate cake on the everyday dessert menu should be the President of the Food and Beverage department (perhaps s/he has already been promoted!). It's just out of this world! Almost every night after midnight, I heard my name being called at the buffet area while Henry was having his “before bed” ice-cream treat at the 24-hour self-serve machines... It was always Ayu finishing her shift at the buffet clean up. It is such a casual environment, but, there is always that knowledge & professionalism. I simply loved the style, mentality and the customer approach of this company, and Ayu for being so personable. It is a pure vacation & pure relaxation! Having said all this, hats off to the trainers who train these people all the same: respectful, knowledgeable, very professional, yet very friendly and genuine. Who are the direct & indirect supervisors and managers of these frontline workers? They have to be commended as well. Obviously, there are some people behind the scenes who are doing their jobs just perfectly! Congratulations! And now the Cruise Directors... Always available, always fun, always laughing, mingling with the passengers (customers). So, good looking Felipe is funny, confident (rightfully so!), knows what he is doing (aka Mr. Woohoo!!!), and very comfortable on the stage. I honestly don’t know what other responsibilities he would have, but I’m sure he is good at what he is doing. The assistant Cruise Director... “Kris with a K” is a very special, solid guy with a great smile. Oh my god, he is so charming, he has such a positive disposition (how? I need tips!). He is fun, he FOR SURE is one of the BEST dancers out there (along with the headwaiter William) and his name tag "Kris with a K" is more than brilliant. And, yes, his charm made me spend “a lot of” money at the bingo games he held. I never thought I'd like bingo this much, and we simply can’t wait to be on one of his future cruises. All these guys have their own personalities that reflect to their jobs & positions to make them perfect at what they are doing. My compliments to the hiring department to hand pick these wonderful people. Way to go! So, overall, those who rated this cruise line poorly must have seen something we haven’t. But for us, if/when we are booking our next cruise, Carnival will get the first choice, and if “Kris with a K”, Ayu, William, Tri etc are there, I’ll be on board before anyone. Food - more than excellent +++++++ and at the Sensation dining room, our waiting time was usually 15 to 55 seconds to get in. Very fast, very efficient service! Drinks (to the Carnival food and beverage department - please do not read this part of the report!) - As we were waiting for our check-in on day 1, we were offered the alcohol drink package. For us, it was not a necessary purchase, as we wouldn’t drink more than 1 to 2 glasses of wine or beer at any time and to be honest, unless you’re a heavy drinker, the bar prices are very affordable and/or they were not any different than any bar/pub (if not cheaper) for a drink or two every night. Also, we were advised that we were allowed to bring a bottle of wine or champagne on board if we wanted. We took 2 bottles of wine, and we couldn’t even finish it all! Bogart’s coffee shop was one of the most affordable coffee shops I’ve seen lately (only comparing to Europe/Asia/N. America/Australia) … and the desserts they sell there ….drooooooollll …. Service - more than excellent +++++++ Staff - more than excellent +++++++ Outstanding … Note: Can you believe Tri thanked us coming to his home, and giving him the opportunity to serve us! Yes, I can imagine living on the ship for 6-7 months at a time makes it their home … but thanking us for the visit made me almost cry! Carnival Fascination - for us it was a perfect size floating hotel as this was our first cruise, we felt extremely comfortable navigating around. And, during this vacation, we simply couldn’t sleep as we were so excited all week, we simply didn’t want to waste our time sleeping! It’s one of those things in life. Also, we were not forced to purchase anything on board (as some people commented on that). We were given the information, opportunity, but never felt the high stress sales tactics etc (which would have irritated me)… that was a perfect customer service. The sea day - I thought we'd be bored out of our skulls, but the day went so fast (even though we woke up at 7!). They kept us busy all day long, they really should have had 2 sea days not just one! On board entertainment - I can’t comment much or compare to anything, as this was our first cruise, but we had a fantastic/fun time. There was almost no time to get bored while on board. Production shows, comedy clubs, music, BINGO and if you don’t like any of that stuff, there is the gym/casino/bar/romantic hang out deck “Serenity” etc. And, “Kris with a K” popped out from every corner & made everything even more fun! (I told you Fascination is the Aladdin’s Lamp!)… you see him running up the stairs, then you turn around and he is in the elevator waiving … you turn around again, he is at the Atrium Bar area chit chatting with people or dancing! The one of a kind majestic itinerary by Carnival – Boarding in Barbados > always amazing, always magical (Coconut Court is the place for us to stay, Barbados Blue is the company to go for a snorkeling/scuba diving tour to swim with the turtles!) St. Lucia > such a pretty place … such a lush, green island! We didn’t have any plans other than going to Vigie Beach right by the airport (we love airports). It was a quiet airport, but the setting while swimming and sunbathing was fantastic. When we first got off the ship we were stopped by many cab drivers quoting USD15-20 to go to the Vigie Beach. But one guy asked me “lady, how much do you want to pay?”, I asked back “how long does it take to get to there?” the answer was “5 minutes”, I added “then USD5 it is!” … He looked at me, he told me we were the first getting off the ship, so it would be ok for him to take us for USD5!... Then as we were approaching the beach he asked if we wanted to see the city and a beautiful view from the highest point and perhaps we would take some pictures. So, back and forth, we agreed for USD20, and that also had to include a pick up from the airport beach. Overall, he gave us about 1,5-2 hour touring, on the way he showed us the school he attended to obtain a certificate to be able to drive the tourists around. Then he stopped at different areas in St. Lucia to have us take pictures, look around, and look at the breathtaking views of the island! When we got back to the city centre we picked up his girlfriend in the market area (she was going to some kind of school enrolment process). Then we got dropped off at the Vigie beach. We were not sure if he was going to come back and pick us up, as we paid him the whole amount, but he did show up to pick us up to take us to the city centre where we had to have our Piton Beers and I had to do a little shopping! By the way, while we were at Vigie beach, we walked to the airport terminal building. Facilities are spotless And, the terminal is just so cute ☺ If you’re there, go see it! Driver Winston’s contact info: Winston’s Taxi Service / Cell: (1-758) 486-0397 or (1-758) 284-2187 (no email contact on his card) St. Kitts > The only place we thought we’d make an arrangement to get around. First of all, do not believe every negative comment you read. But, obviously we did believe what we read, that’s why we booked a cab to take us around. And, I believe everything is for a good reason as we met with this fantastic lady, Rose, who we found reading comments about her on tripadvisor.com You will see many people mentioning little monkeys thrown at you and get asked USD20 for it and you get in trouble if you don’t pay them etc etc … It’s not true! There are many people holding the monkeys (unfortunately some monkeys are even dressed up!), if you want, you can go get your photo taken with them, and pay the fee/tip. Personally, I would rather see the animals at their own habitat, and on the way to the beach we saw tons of them running in and around the bushes by the side of the road. They are everywhere, they are every size! Anyway … Our pick up was at 930 at the port, we the early risers, couldn’t sit on the ship, so we decided we’d go out early to look/walk around the port and see if Rose was there a little earlier than 930, so we could get going. As we were walking out, I saw and recognized Rose with her husband (it was a little after 8 am!). It was great … we were able to start our day early. Rose took us to the famous Cockleshell Beach via fantastic wilderness stopping every now and then to take pictures, and we got to listen to her telling us all the story about the area (although she is from the UK, she’s been living there very happily for the last 33 years!). We ended up staying at the Reggae Beach Bar area, which again was poorly rated by many online, but for us they were amazing, courteous, friendly and welcoming … we were one of the first ones at the beach … it was incredible! So peaceful, so lovely. Later they put the music on but nothing disturbing! And, at around 1130 we got a very quick rain (3-4 minutes) then the guys from the bar came out to flatten the sand! I also treated myself to a nice beach-view massage by Shona. She was good, really good ☺ Then we were picked up at 130 pm by Rose who took us back to the port area stopping again at the most magical spots to take some pictures. And, of course after the beach time, it was the shopping and looking around time … The local vendors at the shopping stalls were really nice, but I felt like they were not in a great financial situation. I purchased a handmade all natural soap made by the vendor herself (I should have bought all the supply she had, but I didn’t! Another reason to go back). After I paid her, she made a very sensitive & kind comment “this is me who is making these, one by one, not your usual made in China product, thank you for supporting us” … I’m glad I was able to help a little! Rose’s contact info: http://roseandjimstaxi.com/ You can send them an e-mail via their website and you will not regret you did! St. Maartin > This one destination has been on our list for a long time which we were not able to get to. Actually this was Henry’s one reason to choose this cruise (remember, I said we love airports!). We took the cab from the port as Henry had to visit Maho Beach asap and add more airplane photos onto his photo collection :D No cab bargaining was possible as all the prices were listed on a board at the taxi stand. But, the famous Maho beach got so crowded after 1130-1200 noon, it made us literally gag … the heat, the noise from the people, the crowd at the Sunset Beach Bar area where we rented chairs and an umbrella (the nice guy there provided 3 umbrellas which was great, but also he charged a whooping USD17 for 2 chairs and an umbrella … rip off? Yup … clearly… but we were at his mercy as there was no shade around). It was nice and quiet between 830 and 1130, it was disgusting after that and we left just after 1pm. Would I ever go back to Maho Beach? Absolutely NO… would I go back to St, Maartin? Absolutely YES … the beaches in the town are out of this world. The colour of the sea, the sand, and long and large beaches … Also, with our luck, I think it was the hottest day during that 7 day cruise. By the way, we took the water taxi from the city to the port, which was nice and pleasant. I wish it was a little longer journey though. San Juan > The one and only destination I’ve never thought I’d go! What a mistake! A wonderful place. I should say, a wonderful place, filled with wonderful people. It was one of those things, you disembark, and don’t know what to expect (especially going through the US customs there and it’s not a fast process). We planned to take a cab to the beach called Escambron. But then when we were quoted the fares we were quoted, we gave up on cabs, and looked for a public transport. We met a couple out of the blue on the street from Florida visiting San Juan (they had been there for the last 6-7 days) and told us that there are two routes for two different trams which are free and they run every 15 mins or so. We decided we would take the tram first to find out the lay of the land. Later we hopped on the other one with a different route, as this was really fun way to go around the old city and the historical points of interest. On one of those tram rides there was a couple from our cruise ship, who wanted to go to the beach as well… so sharing a cab with them to the beach which made it more affordable, less than USD4 per person. We took a cab from the Sheraton Hotel, and we asked the cab driver to come and pick us up at 130 pm as we wanted to walk around the old town. However, the couple from our ship no-showed for the return journey from the beach. Either they left earlier, or they decided to stay longer. Never saw them on the ship after that … Back to our journey…. As it was the Father’s day, the beach was packed with families … and apparently almost everything was closed (good that I didn’t have to do shopping for anything particular!). Although it was crowded, and the music was going on from each family’s shed, it was not disturbing at all. Huge beach … enough room for everyone. When Henry decided to go buy some food, a nearby family kindly offered us sandwiches and bbq chicken which of course we declined. But I thought that was the nicest offer ever at a beach! Really nice, really human, really kind … And the “helado” guy! Go find him, he rings a bell, so there is no way not to see where he is! He sells 3 kinds of gelatos. I asked him how much it was, and he told me “una copa” (one cup) 2 dollares … so my thinking, ok one cup per flavor. And, took 6 dollars to pay, as we thought we’d try all three … well … my mistake … He said as long as it’s in the same cup, it’s 2 bucks. Was it my Spanish that failed, or I’ve never purchased such a cheap gelato here in Vancouver, I don’t know ☺ And, I must add, it was delicious. (flavours: rainbow, coconut, and passion fruit) Our cab driver came to pick us up right on time … but we waited for the British couple for a while. Since the driver had to go for a dinner party, he wanted to leave. We had no choice but leave after waiting for about 15 mins … then we asked him to leave us at one of the highest points in old San Juan, so we could walk down to the bottom and see around before we go to the ship. Our walk was amazing! The architecture reminded us very much of old Havana (where we stayed for a week last year) but way cleaner and very well taken care of. The people are similar, happy looking, talkative but more in English than in Spanish (I was hoping to practice my Spanish, but it was almost impossible). We found a little hidden bar in the end of a dark alley and had some punchy mojitos and tasty empanadas. Café El Punto with live music either in an air-conditioned seating area or patio seating. And, we continued walking from one street to another seeing many historical buildings, churches etc … At the end of this little sampling of San Juan, I think I want to go back there to spend more time ☺ Cab driver Bryan’s contact info: Bryan Jimenez (787) 383-6777 vsjchauffeur@hotmail.com St. Thomas > And, this was the destination I wanted to see the most and my reason to go on this cruise! They saved the best for the last. It’s like a little town in the Mediterranean, be it Italy, or Turkey, or France.. it’s like out of the movies ... the cobblestone old streets with steep hills … and the most beautiful views from those street tops. It’s like the history is bursting out of each and every corner. But as every other destination we have been to, our plan was to go to a beach. We chose the beach that was by the airport (I know! Please don’t think we’re crazy!). As per our cab driver it was called the Emerald Beach!... It was so beautiful, so peaceful it should have been called the Zen Beach. We took the cab again from the port. Apparently, the cab prices are dictated by the government, so no negotiating was possible. And, it was a bit expensive for the drive (USD7 per person), perhaps for a no more than 10 minute ride. He also told us he’s been living there for the last 30+ years, and absolutely loving it. Also, he mentioned there are “only” 32 beaches in St. Thomas, and he doesn’t have one favorite one, as that changes as per his mood of the day. After our beach morning, we took a cab from the beach area to the downtown area where I wanted to stay for at least a month or even forever ☺ In one of the little streets we found a cool place to sit down and have some drinks (Greengos Cantina)… It was nice, good food, refreshing drinks (more expensive than the ship!), and awesome ambiance. This was our very last stop on the itinerary. But we were so pleased with everything on our cruise, I think it was in St. Maartin, we checked online if we could book for another week (also because I had my schedule published for July and I happened to get a great surprise having the first week of July off), but the websites I checked showed this cruise was sold out!... I guess, we’ll have to wait for another vacation period to do this all over again. In my opinion the crew on this cruise won our hearts, the itinerary took us to our dream destinations that we couldn’t have afforded otherwise. Until next time we’ll keep dreaming of what we had … Peace! Ps- I will post pictures/videos on imaginairie.wordpress.com and Henry will post his videos on youtube.com (search for airlinehobby.com DVDs) if you want to see these places and cruise from our point of view … Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
This was our first cruise and the ports were spectacular. Each island (St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and St. Maarten) was filled with plenty of activities and great beaches. Unfortunately, the ship itself was the VERY ... Read More
This was our first cruise and the ports were spectacular. Each island (St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and St. Maarten) was filled with plenty of activities and great beaches. Unfortunately, the ship itself was the VERY disappointing, it is in need up a complete overhaul. The crew and staff were wonderful, always friendly and attentive. However, the ship is an older one that is starting to show its age, including one of the elevators that was out of service the entire duration of the cruise. There was construction occurring on the Lido deck every morning then it would be roped off with caution tape all day close to the main pool. The mini-golf course was so lame, my boys didn't even what to play and they LOVE mini-golf. They were even missing a piece on the oversized chess set on deck- really?! The entertainment on the ship was a bit cheesy. A couple of the comedians were good for the family friendly version early in the evening. The Hasbro Game Show was fun! There was an illusionist who performed more of a dance and stretch show than any illusions. It seemed like he was very new performing. The food was consistently bad, though every now and then you'd get something good. The lox and bagel for breakfast in the dining room was excellent. The food in the main dining room was pitiful, the shrimp cocktail looked like airplane food. Most people go on a cruise and gain weight, I ended up losing 3lbs! We had a suite with a balcony and it was the perfect size for 2 adults and 2 kids, we even had a bathtub! We booked our own excursions directly with Calabaza in Barbados and they were SPECTACULAR!!! In St. Maarten we booked an excursion with Captain Alan's and it was phenomenal!!!! In St. Lucia we booked directly with TreeTops and had an awesome time zip lining! The Club C for 12-14 year olds was great, my son loved it. Eddie was the counselor and did a great job connecting and interacting with the kids! The Camp Carnival for 6-11 year olds wasn't great for a 10 year old boy. He thought it was more for girls and totally lame, so he hung out with us while his brother was in Club C. Thankfully, because of the great ports, the shortcomings of the ship were the trade off. I could not imagine more than one day at sea on this ship. Overall, we still a great vacation because of all the amazing islands we visited. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
This was our first cruise and the ports were spectacular. Each island (St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and St. Maarten) was filled with plenty of activities and great beaches. Unfortunately, the ship itself was the VERY ... Read More
This was our first cruise and the ports were spectacular. Each island (St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and St. Maarten) was filled with plenty of activities and great beaches. Unfortunately, the ship itself was the VERY disappointing, it is in need up a complete overhaul. The crew and staff were wonderful, always friendly and attentive. However, the ship is an older one that is starting to show its age, including one of the elevators that was out of service the entire duration of the cruise. There was construction occurring on the Lido deck every morning then it would be roped off with caution tape all day close to the main pool. The mini-golf course was so lame, my boys didn't even what to play and they LOVE mini-golf. They were even missing a piece on the oversized chess set on deck- really?! The entertainment on the ship was a bit cheesy. A couple of the comedians were good for the family friendly version early in the evening. The Hasbro Game Show was fun! There was an illusionist who performed more of a dance and stretch show than any illusions. It seemed like he was very new performing. The food was consistently bad, though every now and then you'd get something good. The lox and bagel for breakfast in the dining room was excellent. The food in the main dining room was pitiful, the shrimp cocktail looked like airplane food. Most people go on a cruise and gain weight, I ended up losing 3lbs! We had a suite with a balcony and it was the perfect size for 2 adults and 2 kids, we even had a bathtub! We booked our own excursions directly with Calabaza in Barbados and they were SPECTACULAR!!! In St. Maarten we booked an excursion with Captain Alan's and it was phenomenal!!!! In St. Lucia we booked directly with TreeTops and had an awesome time zip lining! The Club C for 12-14 year olds was great, my son loved it. Eddie was the counselor and did a great job connecting and interacting with the kids! The Camp Carnival for 6-11 year olds wasn't great for a 10 year old boy. He thought it was more for girls and totally lame, so he hung out with us while his brother was in Club C. Thankfully, because of the great ports, the shortcomings of the ship were the trade off. I could not imagine more than one day at sea on this ship. Overall, we still a great vacation because of all the amazing islands we visited. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
I am writing this to express my sincere disappointment in my recent cruise on Royal Caribbean Empress of the Sea. My wife and I sailed from June 2nd to June 6th for our one-year anniversary. This was my first time on a cruise ship and ... Read More
I am writing this to express my sincere disappointment in my recent cruise on Royal Caribbean Empress of the Sea. My wife and I sailed from June 2nd to June 6th for our one-year anniversary. This was my first time on a cruise ship and my wife’s second. She was very excited to go on this cruise with me and hyped it up saying it’s an amazing experience. Well I will tell you the trip was far from an amazing experience with my wife apologizing to me constantly throughout our trip. I told her not to worry as long as we are having a good time together it was not her fault for our experience. Needless to say she was very upset hoping this would have been different experience. To make this easier I have listed each day and some of the negative experience we incurred. Day 1 - There was issues with guest getting off the boat from another cruise and therefore we had to wait to get on to the ship in a timely manner. They finally corralled the hundreds of people on to the ship were we walked around to check out the ship and sign up for various event and drink packages. We were told at 1pm we would be able to get into our room and the signs on the door eluded to that. When 1pm came around we were told we could not go in because they have not finished cleaning the rooms. We were able to enter an hour later but told we could only change and had to leave the area. So we headed to the bar. This is where we were faced with under staff and long lines that would be continuous throughout our trip. Dinner on day one was terrible, we both ordered the strip steak and what came out was far from a strip steak (we own a restaurant) and laced with gristle we could not eat. We each had 2 or three small bites of the 8oz steak. The rest of the table shared our same disappointment. Once the casino opened we both wanted to try our luck, however the AC was not working and was very hot and stuffy, we could only stay for a few minutes before leaving to get fresh air. Also we were told the bar would not be open in the casino. Day 2 - We spent this time at Key West leaving the ship at 8am and returning at 6pm. Once again dinner was subpar. Not to mention that people were not wearing “casual” clothing. Many wore gym shorts and jeans. Casino still no air and now were told that they were working on it. All bars were still short staffed and took very long to get a drink. I decided at late night I wanted to take a swim my wife decided to sweat out the casino. It was 11pm and I had read that towels are not available at this time so I called Guest Services to check if the pool was open and if I could use a room towel. He said the pool was open 24 hours and I could use my towel. I got dressed for the pool and headed up only to see the pool was closed. I asked a nearby maintenance man what was going on with the pool and he said it was closed for cleaning. I asked him when it would be open he said 1 hour. I waited and waited finally after 1 hour and a half and still no water I went back to the room. This is just lack of communication and could have been relayed to guest services that the pool would be closed. Day 3 - We decided to just relax by the pool, we got lucky and found a chair that wasn’t already claimed by guest deciding to come at a later time and hold a spot. The pool area filled up quickly because this was our sailing day. My wife went to the bar only to stand in line for 25 minutes to get a beer with only 2 bartenders and no server on the pool deck. The lines continue to get out of hand and there was no way to get a drink even at other bars. My wife waited 35 minutes and finally got called on to order. She ended up buying the cooler with beer so she would not have to wait again. She had a package plan that cost over $250 and still had to pay for beer. We arrived at our dinner that night and dressed to impress because we brought formal wear not knowing it was dress as casual as possible. We decided we would dress up anyway so with my bowtie and her cute dress we decided tonight we will order from the Selection from Chop that cost extra. I was going to order the filet and my wife the filet and lobster. When we ordered we were told that that selection was not available. So why was it listed on my menu. We tried to order another item but again told this was no longer available because they were out. We ordered and once again the food was subpar at best. Dressed up we tried the casino again. Nope AC still not fixed so we decided to just go to bed. Day 4 - Our day at Cococay, This excursion was ok, my wife original thought we were going to the real Bahamas and not a private made up island. However beach and water was what we wanted so we enjoyed ourselves. We paid for the Aqua park and the water slide. But lines on the slide only allowed us down 3 times and the sand at the bottom grinded the skin off our backs. We gave up to not waste the day in a line. The Aqua park was fun until a handful of guest started getting stung by jelly fish so we cut out of there before our time was up. Very long lines at lunch and when we ordered drinks, beer was not cold and we were a little disappointed we could not get frozen drinks. I enjoyed the snorkeling but the bottom of the areas were littered with trash, I personally fished out 14 cups and other trash to bring to the trash can and out of the water. One of the attendants at the jet ski area noticed I was cleaning the water and said “save the waves” and thanked me. I was wondering why they weren’t doing that. I even found a sea pass from January that I handed in when I got on the ship and they were shocked it was still out there. This evening was the best dinner we had had all trip, but when we ordered dessert they were out of Baked Alaska and another one we wanted. So we just asked for cookies, which were rock hard. Someone came up to explain the cooler had went down so that is why we had no dessert. Day 5 - We had booked an excursion doing the bus tour of Miami since we had a full day before needing to get on the plane. We asked and were told that the busses are a get of and get on type of bus tour and that the busses run every 20 minutes. We decided to spend the money on this so we can explore Miami. When we got on the bus there was no tour guide just a earphone telling us what was going on. When we got to a location we wanted to jump off we were told that the next bus would not be for another hour or so. What happened to every 20 minutes. So we stayed on. I will say that the breakfast and lunch buffets food was not good at all and on some days I could not even eat the food. Breakfast eggs were runny, bacon was flimsy and greasy. Lunch the ribs were boiled tasting and the tacos were stale. Overall the experience just wasn’t what I expected and when people asked me how it was I am embarrassed to say it wasn’t that good. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
This was a 1st cruise for us. We are in our 40s and our kids (8 of them) are slowly leaving the house 1 by 1. We have 1 left and she is a senior this year. My DH does not like to travel. He is an introvert. He hates to fly, has a bad ... Read More
This was a 1st cruise for us. We are in our 40s and our kids (8 of them) are slowly leaving the house 1 by 1. We have 1 left and she is a senior this year. My DH does not like to travel. He is an introvert. He hates to fly, has a bad back and driving for extended periods is uncomfortable for him. We went in to get a haircut together in August 2015 and our hairdresser mentioned she and her husband were going on a cruise. After telling us about it, she invited us to come along. My DH said YES! Well, you didn’t have to tell me twice! I’m an extrovert and love to travel! We got her information and looked it up online when we got home. A balcony suite on Deck 8 in the middle. We called Carnival and booked a 7 day cruise from Port Canaveral on the Valor. I am a researcher of things that interest me, so I started looking for cruise information. I talked to my parents, who are avid cruisers (never thought to ask why they never invited us). We purchased Faster to the Fun! This is very much worth the $49 to get priority embarkation, debarkation and on/off the boat faster for shore excusions. Having no idea what to expect, we over packed. Got the sea sickness patch, JIC. We parked in an offsite gated lot from 528 Port Cruise Parking in Canveral & took a shuttle to the port. We boarded the boat and were in our cabin in less than 25 minutes! We did not spend any time in Orlando (we spent 4 years in South FL) and there really wasn't anything we wanted to see/do before leaving on the boat, or heading home. Our cruise was to Cozumel, Honduras, Belize, and Costa Maya. We planned some shore excursions through the boat and a few others through independent groups. We did a dolphin swim in Cozumel (the highest rated of all the ports we were visiting) and it was awesome! We are parrot owners and wanted to see parrots in the wild, so we booked excursions in Belize and Honduras that allowed that. Banana Bank in Belize was amazing (this was not available on the boat)! We did not get to port in Costa Maya as the water was too choppy and unsafe to port so we ended up with an extra sea day. We booked the Steak House for a $35 PP up charge. Not really worth the price in our opinion. The food in the dining room is equally as good and already included. We had 3 couples massages in the spa ... we could LIVE in the spa! We had early dining and saw a few movies on the boat, caught a few shows, played Bingo. Recommend early dining as late dining tends to interfere with the evening shows. We had a great experience and hence caught the cruising fever! We have booked 4 more cruises since then! The staff was excellent! Our cabin steward superb! I think one of the best things about cruising is that you don’t have to do anything. You get up when you want to, go to bed when you want to, eat when you want it. No one cares. You just get to relax. We truly did not want this vacation to end. We wanted to live on the boat! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
My husband and I have just returned from a 2 week Southern Caribbean Cruise with celebrity Eclipse. This was our first cruise and we loved every minute of it. The staff were all very welcoming and couldn't do enough for us. Our Cabin ... Read More
My husband and I have just returned from a 2 week Southern Caribbean Cruise with celebrity Eclipse. This was our first cruise and we loved every minute of it. The staff were all very welcoming and couldn't do enough for us. Our Cabin was kept immaculate with towels and flannels being changed twice a day. The food was to die for, in fact I put on half a stone , there was so much variety you were spoilt for choice. The entertainment team, officers and different members staff often had competitions with guests which was great fun. We went on several trips organized by Celebrity and were not disappointed. We always managed to get a sunbed no matter what time of day. There were some couples who were selfish, and thought it ok to get 4 sunbeds 2 in the sun and 2 in the shade, but when the staff were notified it was quickly dealt with. In our experience there is not one thing I would change we had a fantastic time and are now looking to book for next year. Cruising for us is definitely the way to go. We met some lovely people on our holiday Thank you Celebrity Eclipse and all your wonderful staff for making our cruise just perfect. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
My husband and I like to explore when we vacation so we were hesitant to take a cruise but we decided to try it for our 22nd wedding anniversary and we're so glad we did! (Our hotel stay at Days Inn the night before was horrendous. Do ... Read More
My husband and I like to explore when we vacation so we were hesitant to take a cruise but we decided to try it for our 22nd wedding anniversary and we're so glad we did! (Our hotel stay at Days Inn the night before was horrendous. Do not stay at Days Inn!) Getting on the ship took a little time as we expected but they handed out bottles of water. Once we were on, we got to our room with a balcony and we were pleased with the size and my husband was thrilled with the balcony view and the sound of the ocean. We explored the ship for awhile and spent some time outside enjoying the sail away party. As a first time cruiser, we were a little confused about dinner - we thought we could go anytime - but we were scheduled to eat at 6. My husband really wanted to watch the sunset from our balcony so we were an hour late for dinner. It turned out okay, however, and we enjoyed getting to know our table mates. I am a complete food lover, although not a food snob, so I still enjoy food that others might think is sub par. That being said, I really enjoyed the food at both the main dining room and the windjammer. The service was nice, but others at the table felt that service on other cruises was friendlier and more animated. I for one do not need to be entertained by my servers. My husband does not drink, but I do and I got the drink package. It was well worth it for me because I was never without a drink in my hand! There will always be juice, ice water, tea, lemonade and coffee absolutely free so unless you want to drink cola products, specialty coffee drinks, bottled water and of course alcohol, there is no need to purchase drink packages. We did not try any specialty restaurants but we did enjoy a late night snack of pizza at Sorrento's or cookies at Cafe Promanade. We completely enjoyed the trivia times in the bars, the pools, the various parties, the band, Undercover, ice skating show and the nightly shows were amazing. So much talent in this ship! We ported in Cozumel and Costa Maya. At Cozumel, we took the Chichen Itza excursion which was something I have wanted to to for 12 years. Although there was a 45 minute ferry ride followed by a 2 hour bus ride each way, the one hour we had at Chichen Itza was well worth it. The ruins are absolutely stunning and it's a must see for any history lover. Carlos, our guide was wonderful. You will receive a sandwich, snack, water and coke on the trip. At Costa Maya, we reserved a spot at Yaya Beach Club. This was outstanding! Completely beautiful and relaxing with excellent food, drinks, massages and service. We also spend some time shopping in town. This was a wonderful first time experience for us. Other that wishing there were more hours in the day, I can't think of anything I would change. There were quite a few young high school and college students on spring break, but there was never any rudeness or unruly behavior in my opinion. I can't wait for my next cruise!, Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
I am not going to give a lengthy review of what my experience was like. Instead, I will give the pros and cons as this was my very first cruise Pros: 1. Staff was very friendly (including the bartenders) I will give a list of crew ... Read More
I am not going to give a lengthy review of what my experience was like. Instead, I will give the pros and cons as this was my very first cruise Pros: 1. Staff was very friendly (including the bartenders) I will give a list of crew members that made our cruise memorable below 2. The entertainment was a lost of fun. Music Trivia and Karaoke in the Schooner bar made our nights fun. 3. Variety of food on the menu in the Main Dining Room. 4. Movies by the pool was a nice touch 5. I thought the ship was well maintained - did not notice anything that needed repairs badly. Cons: 1. Morning room service - Scrambled Eggs are powdered. Go to the MDR for breakfast (the eggs are real there). I had heard that the eggs at Windjammer are powdered too, but that is hearsay as I did not breakfast there. 2. While at port only 2 bars are open until around 2-4pm. The pool bar and Café Promenade. There were times I would have liked to hang out at the Duck and Dog, but it was closed. Just something to think about if you are buying a drink package. 3. Windjammer selection - Okay, I know it is a buffet, but I can only handle so much Carbs. No wonder people gain so much weight on a cruise. All they eat are carbs. 4. Although the MDR had a good variety each night for dinner it was often too salty. 5. All shops are closed while in port. It would be nice if they could leave the General Store open just for basic items that you may want if you stay on board. Crew that were memorable: Keifley - cabin steward (I am sure I misspelled the name - sounds like Keefely or keithly) Risa - Champagne Bar (I am sure I butchered the spelling here as well. Sounds like Reesa) Erica from Merica - One of the entertainment crew members. Always a lot of fun during trivia and karaoke Nai - Entertainment crew - but she is off the ship now and may not be returning Mr, D at the Champagne Bar And, I do not know his name, but he works at the Duck and Dog and was from the Ukraine. He made the best Tom Collins from scratch. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
First was not going to write a review since ship is doing a transatlantic and then dry dock but after looking over some of the last reviews I thought they were unfair and totally misleading. This was our 9 cruise on five different lines ... Read More
First was not going to write a review since ship is doing a transatlantic and then dry dock but after looking over some of the last reviews I thought they were unfair and totally misleading. This was our 9 cruise on five different lines and cruises are a treat and we look forward to them. We are not professional cruisers who looked for minor bad things. Ship had some worn carpet spots nothing major no worse than on our last two trips with carnival and princess. Embrakation was quick arrived at 11:00 on the ship and dropped carry on by 11:30. Did not have a lot of wheel chairs or motorized chairs or at least they were not a problem. Had a large European population so we met many people from Germany, England and the Netherlands. Service was the best of our 9 cruises Hon and Fabian were great stewards (cabin 8019), Carson asst cruise director was great in trivia and bingo. Our servers Nicole in Pinnacle and in the Italian resturants could not be better. never had to wait for table in lido help kept them clean. (There were more than 1 toaster places). Had 2nd seating table 69 great service every nigh with great new table mates. We did trivia very night with a team made up of Londoners, Americans. Tied 3 times and won once, did bingo, and spent 4 nights in BB Kings blues club. ( great band but yes it was loud but there was 6 members in a small room. It was filled every night but last one. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This was my first cruise but I have been to seven all inclusives in the caribbean. I loved it! It's so fun to see a different island each day! The ship didn't impress me the way I thought it would. It was certainly nice but it ... Read More
This was my first cruise but I have been to seven all inclusives in the caribbean. I loved it! It's so fun to see a different island each day! The ship didn't impress me the way I thought it would. It was certainly nice but it didn't wow me. The firsts port was Barbados and getting off the ship proved to be a horrible experience. We had to wait well over 45 minutes to get off the ship and the crew seemed very unorganized. It was extremely annoying how unprepared they seemed. We were in tight quarters and the line was made worse by the fact they were selling water on one side of a narrow opening and giving out towels on the other. We missed our excursion and had to join up with them. The food was very good - I was very impressed. Our waiters were Vincent and Guarencio and we loved those guys! The learned I loved baked potatoes and brought me one every night whether it was on the menu or not. The spa was amazing - my wife and I each had three treatments. I was very excited about the entertainment but was not as impressed as I hoped I'd be. The crew members are pretty talented and the shows they were involved with were very enjoyable. The Newlywed Game was hilarious. There were two brothers from Los Angeles and they were hilarious. There was also a performer named El Gaucho. He was extremely talented but unbelievably boring - we only lasted 15 minutes. The entertainment crew lacked the talent he had but was much, much more entertaining. All in all, I'd go again. The crew was amazing and I'd love to see them again! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
A number of people will tell you that your first cruise should be relatively short...but my wife and I decided to go big with a 14 day journey aboard the Eclipse. We loved every second of it! Rather than gushing about the experience, ... Read More
A number of people will tell you that your first cruise should be relatively short...but my wife and I decided to go big with a 14 day journey aboard the Eclipse. We loved every second of it! Rather than gushing about the experience, here are some useful details: 1) Staterooms: We booked a cabin in the Concierge Class on the stern of the ship (a C1 Stateroom on Deck 10) - concierge class gives you some additional subtle amenities, but it's the location that is key. We will never stay in another location - the view of the ship's wake is mesmerizing, and alone makes it worth the extra money. Additionally, the balconies on the stern are tiered, so you have direct sunshine if you want it (rather than having a shadow from above). 2) Staff on the Ship: They were extraordinary. Everyone from our stateroom attendants, to our dining team in the main dining room, to the bar staff, to everyone we would pass in the corridors - they were extremely friendly and attentive to our every need. 3) The Ship: it was spotless. And for those who worry about getting bored, it never happened to us. There is always something to do. My wife and I like to just relax on vacation, but we found ourselves going to just about every show on the ship...even attended a seminar on Faberge eggs. Also, the gym is very nice and well appointed. 4) Food and Drink: the food in the main dining room was consistently excellent, as was the food in the Oceanview Café and through room service. Bottom line - there are people in the world who love cruises and people who hate them. We loved it, and have already booked our next one aboard Celebrity (the Equinox this time). Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
I think about the time on the Serenade everyday since I have been back. It was one of the best times of my life. I would seriously never consider trying another cruise line for next time as I could only be disappointed. Royal Caribbean ... Read More
I think about the time on the Serenade everyday since I have been back. It was one of the best times of my life. I would seriously never consider trying another cruise line for next time as I could only be disappointed. Royal Caribbean rocks! The food was awesome, I recommend eating at the buffet style windjammer as it is come as you are with extremely flexible hours, and gourmet quality food. Go hang out at the skybar with rum at sunset and a cigar if that is your bag. Sign up for the thermal suite as an add on amenity to have access to the super steam rooms so you can roll the same the next day. Go there in the morning to start your day. I personally did the Jacuzzi to wake up with coffee them a steam and breakfast. What a way to live!!! I felt like a king for ten days. The casinos was cool too although I am not sure they were prepared for our "enthusiasm", not exactly vegas style but whatever it was cool nonetheless. O, and on the last day I did an accupunture treatment and it seriously almost 100% fixed my lower back problems in one treatment for a good 3 months. Just starting to tighten back up now, gotta go on another rc vacation! Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Having read all the January roll calls and reviews of Anthem Of The Seas cruises and the cruise from Hell (January Hurricane cruise), I hoped our cruise would have better. Let me start with Embarkation. I have read many reviews that stated ... Read More
Having read all the January roll calls and reviews of Anthem Of The Seas cruises and the cruise from Hell (January Hurricane cruise), I hoped our cruise would have better. Let me start with Embarkation. I have read many reviews that stated once the passengers entered Bayonne Pier Terminal, they went to the ushers with iPads and in a few minutes were ushered up the escalator to enter the ship. It only took 5 minutes. Not so for us. We entered around 9:30AM and were told to stand behind the people already sitting in blue chairs. There was another full section of people sitting in white chairs. At the back of the huge hall, were about 30 elderly people standing. Not enough seats for all of us. As the streams of the people kept coming in, they gathered in the front. We were not allowed to board the ship. We were told that the computer system was down that tabulated our faces and names as we boarded. With this down, no one could board. After being there an hour and standing, they started to let us board. However the people who just entered the building were in the front and went on the first line. They were calling people by rows from the front. Chaos was starting right away. All the people standing started to move to the right and walk along the wall to where the first row was starting to move from their seats. The people standing, plus the people coming into the building and other people sitting in chairs began to move as well. Suddenly the escalators were not functioning so the line was halted. We later were told that the people leaving the ship from the last cruise experienced problems with the same escalators, so we were asked to leave space between passengers to balance out the weight. Finally we boarded the ship after waiting 2 hours. Many people were still sitting in their chairs waiting to get the word to board. Passengers were unable to go to their cabins so onto the buffet went the 4500. The Marketplace was not as large as I have seen on other ships, so tables were unavailable. With no place to go, people ate and sat. New arrivals were screwed, since space was at a premium. We asked some people sitting on a table for 8 if we could use two of the unused seats, which was great. We could see the utter frustration on the passengers with wheelchairs and walkers searching for a place to sit, many with plates in hand. We decided to go downstairs to our cabin and see if it was ready. The access door to the cabins from the elevator banks was closed. People were sitting on the floor and the steps waiting. I decided to try the door handle and it was not locked, so everyone followed and went to the room. Our room was done and was beautiful. Plenty of closet space, and the balcony was huge. We had no complaints at all. Food has always been a problem for Anthem reading the past reviews. I was really prepared for the worst. I had emailed the Restaurant Department at Royal, since the reservations available were all at 9PM. We cannot eat that late and said so in my emails. They responded an said that we could eat at 5:15 every night and to tell them which restaurant to book. I responded by only selecting Silk once, which was a good thing, since it was really the only restaurant we did not like. We loved the food in The Grande and had the same waitress, Elizabeth, who was a gem. We had early reservations to two shows and she was able to bring us our food, hot and quick and with a smile. Service by the waitstaff was excellent. I do not know where the other reviewers were eating, but I do not think they were on the same ship. Everyone we came in contact with had a smile, and more than happy to satisfy our needs. The Maitre D, David, was so great as was his assistant. I was impressed that they had inside ping pong tables, so the ball would not be subjected to the wind outside. I loved the bumper cars and The Northstar. I did not see any mention of the Puzzle Room, which was disappointing. I had read that the Puzzle Room was affected by the hurricane. My cabin stewart, Jeffrey, was amazing. He was always there to give us extra blankets and pillows and brought us ice everyday. I did end up with a chronic cough two days before we docked in Bayonne. Prior to that, after the captain announced that our trip would be shortened by two days (due to a storm on its way from the West), Anthem staff were busy to wash walls, railings, elevators, tables, chairs, casino and casino chips, bagging books in the Library, taking pamphlets and advertisements that were in the room, etc. It probably was the cause for my chronic cough. I decided not to go the doctor, for fear of contamination with other passengers suffering with Norovirus. The end result was I suffered with the cough and did not sleep for 2 days. On the morning of departure, at around 2:30 AM, I went out of the room so my wife would not hear my coughing, and went to 4th floor where they had coffee available. Might I say that on every ship prior, the buffet was open late and early in the morning to serve their guests. Not on our ship. They closed at 9PM. Anyway, after getting coffee on the 4th, I went upstairs to the 5th floor to Two70s, where they would be serving early breakfast for those just walking with their bags off the ship to their cars. Once I got upstairs, I walked into Two70s and saw a man in a rebreather mask fumigating the chairs and table and carpets with a thick mist. I left right away to avoid breathing any toxic fumes. They closed the sliding doors after me. At 5:30 we were supposed to go that same room for breakfast. How dumb is that. They did open at 5:45 but my cough got worse. I did not stay to eat and went upstairs to our room instead. Leaving the ship was easy. Once we got to the garage, there were people who took down our names and the last four digits of our credit card, in order to give us the credit for the two days parking. Overall we liked the ship and with our 50% discount given by RCI, we book Anthem for next year. All we did was move to room midships, so save some walking. Whatever part of the ship you are on, get ready to do some walking. We know it is healthy, but the elevator banks are in midships and so are the stairs. Be prepared with comfortable shoes. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
I feel like the ship is not as bad as everyone makes it out to be. We have been on Adventure, Rhapsody, Oasis, and Liberty before Anthem, choosing it as it was the new ship. The ship itself is beautiful. Our stateroom was awesome along ... Read More
I feel like the ship is not as bad as everyone makes it out to be. We have been on Adventure, Rhapsody, Oasis, and Liberty before Anthem, choosing it as it was the new ship. The ship itself is beautiful. Our stateroom was awesome along with our steward. Loved the extra closet space and layout of the room. We enjoyed all the public rooms, Northstar, bumper cars, etc. The theater was the first Royal theater we have encountered where the balcony was not great, it was as if there was not enough pitch, seats on Deck 4 were much better for sightlines than the balcony. We enjoyed We will Rock you, Spectra is a bit just showing off the capabilities of 270 more than a cohesive show, and The Gift was just odd. The staff throughout was extremely friendly and we did not have service issues in the restaurants. As always the crux that Anthem seems to have is the food. We enjoyed not having the menus that we have seen at the other main restaurants on the traditional ships. A quick recap of where we ate: American Icon: Good, out of the 4 probably our favorite Chic: Split Personality-one evening was great but the second was meh Grande: Good-no complaints and same quality as formal night in the mains of the traditionals Silk-Panda express is better which is sad Chops:If this was my first chops experience I would never go again-very chewy meat-everything was Garlicky which I don't remember from previous visits. Jamies Italian: Fantastic-loved the boards and the Pasta was perfect Wonderland: AMAZING (better be for the price though) it was great-do not be scared of the menu and just let the waiter take you through their choices. Solarium Bistro:Baklava was great and the Kefta (which you get from the buffett). The mains were not memorable. Windjammer-only breakfast and lunch but loved the variety and breads. Also loved the hand washing stations which I think was a saving grace on us being able to still use utensils/tongs when there was a noro problem on board In the end I really debated between Very Good and Average and decided to compare it with other Royal cruises I have taken and say average due to the food quality, loved the variety, but quality was off. I am not considering the coming back early as that is out of control and we got a credit, and the norovirus problem was handled well and didn't feel limited (where as a case we had on Princess they shut down the buffet/wouldn't allow you to get drinks, etc). Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Hello, we enjoyed our cruise on Anthem of the Seas. It was a nice escape from a relatively dreary winter where I am from. I am from the mid-west. I work as a tech at a auto-body shop. We drove to new York, but didn’t go into the city ... Read More
Hello, we enjoyed our cruise on Anthem of the Seas. It was a nice escape from a relatively dreary winter where I am from. I am from the mid-west. I work as a tech at a auto-body shop. We drove to new York, but didn’t go into the city before our cruise. We chose Anthem because it is so big and beautiful. It also has lots of options for food and shows and stuff. We don’t have a lot of money so we got a cabin with no windows, which was ok because we spend lots of time at the bar and near the pool anyway. The TV screen that looks like a window is pretty cool. When we got to the ship it was a site to see. We have not been on a cruise before, and it was really big. I was jelous of those people that I could see on their balcony. The ship sailed out of new York and seemed to be on the ocean forever. We went to some beautiful places on our cruise, but we mostly stayed on board to go to the buffet and pool when no one else was around. We got off the ship at Laberee, but not in Puerto Rico. We liked the food. There was lots of it. We liked the shows. The cost of drinks at the bars was a surprise. I thought there would be more included. Because the ship spent a lot of time on the ocean we spent time and money in the casino. We didn’t bring our kids so we don’t know how the kids programs are. There weren’t that many kids on our ship, many kids would be in school. Our ship came back to New York early. We got a refund back for some amount, and a discount that I don’t think we’ll ever be able to use. I’m glad we went on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Very first cruise -- I am not your ordinary "lounge by the pool" type of person. I like to meet people, hear their story and build relationships. I like to go to places not normally visited and seriously dislike large crowds. ... Read More
Very first cruise -- I am not your ordinary "lounge by the pool" type of person. I like to meet people, hear their story and build relationships. I like to go to places not normally visited and seriously dislike large crowds. This is the perfect cruise for doing so. The Diamant is a beautiful sailing vessel - She is maintained exquisitely by her Captain and Engineer (with help from all the crew!) Activities -- not many while aboard -- sunning, watching the sails, listening to music, looking for flying fish on the waves and hoping we catch a fish! A good time for relaxing conversation and being mellow Service: Marlan is simply amazing... I am not used to having someone "memorize" the way I take my coffee, or my preferences for wine. (note -- I am usually the one doing that for bosses and clients!) He "allowed" some of us to closely watch his napkin-folding skills and attempt to copy his artistry... Shore Excursions: Dinghy-service all the way! Sometimes, you get dry landings, sometimes you get wet ones! Snorkeling, beaching, driving tour on Bequia - there was always something to see, and a turtle/fish to stalk. I will always remember King automatically repeating: "Take yer time, Hand on Shoulder, Take yer time!" Not a person got dropped into the drink accidentally because of their care. Cabin: Tiny, yet was able to hold our things -- dress is casual, we are mostly barefoot the entire cruise -- you don't need a lot of space. Comfortable, the A/C kept things fresh. Dining: Lenny was our cook this week -- The portions of food were perfect -- I did not gain a pound on this cruise, but I cleared my plate at every meal as it was delicious! All in all, the care given to each member of this cruise was over and above -- the crew was genuinely happy to have us aboard -- I was sad to leave on disembarkation day! I look forward to a future trip on Diamant! Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
So before I start I want to acknowledge all the other reviews for MSC and the Orchestra and appreciate that everyones expectations and experiences are individual and I will just be representing ours as 6 family members including ... Read More
So before I start I want to acknowledge all the other reviews for MSC and the Orchestra and appreciate that everyones expectations and experiences are individual and I will just be representing ours as 6 family members including Grandparents and an 11 year old. For the past 5 year we had enjoyed a 5 star winter break to Sharm but with this not being an option in 2016 we decided to try a cruise over half term. MSC and the Orchestra provided everything that we were looking for. The ship offers something for all the family and is flexible in terms of dress code, so whilst its lovely to dress up a couple of times for Gala night this wasn't required every night which for us was perfect. Everyone on board works really hard and does their best to ensure all the passengers have a great time. Yes Brtis were definitely in the minority but this didn't bother us and we enjoyed the language exchanges in the lift each day. Food was great, yes the self service is busy at breakfast and lunch but eating outside was a preferable option. We enjoyed the pay for restaurant which was reasonable and they supplied a lovely birthday cake and bottle of bubbles. We thought the food in the sit down option was exceptional. We only had inside cabins and yes they were small but had everything we needed and the delivery of a continental breakfast each morning was lovely. We felt at £500 each for a weeks holiday this cruise was an absolute bargain and fitted in with half term dates visiting some of the most beautiful islands on earth and I have travelled extensively. We are already looking forward to our 2017 cruise to Dubai with MSC. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
I don't usually do reviews but here goes. The Ship itself was great, very well maintained and clean everywhere. Our Cabin maid was fantastic keeping our room clean and tidy at all times. The food was good but not always hot in the ... Read More
I don't usually do reviews but here goes. The Ship itself was great, very well maintained and clean everywhere. Our Cabin maid was fantastic keeping our room clean and tidy at all times. The food was good but not always hot in the main dinning room, which you kind of expect when feeding that many people on that scale! To be honest we preferred the choice of food in the self serve Windjammer dinning area. But if you can book Giovanni's table as this was really special, lovely food and service and hot. Order wine by the glass though if you are on a drinks package as they'll charge for a full bottle. Of the islands we visited Barbados was definitely the highlight. Two days into the cruise I got a text from my bank asking me to contact them urgently about some potential credit card fraud. It took another 2-3 days to get through to them as they kept putting me on hold. Anyway my bank spotted some strange activity on my credit card the day after we left port and this is only place I used my card in the whole Caribbean. I am convinced the criminals are operating at the Port and when I told RC reception I wanted to speak to their Security officer I was very disappointed by their reaction. Basically the wanted nothing to do with and couldn't even be bothered to come and talk to me about what happened. Instead telling me the Port authorities employ the staff who check you in and take your card details even though they are wearing RC shirts! They then advised me via the reception staff to go to the Port Police in San Juan Puerto Rico to report the incident. They had tried making nearly $3000 of transactions on my card in 2 days! So let this be a warning and be careful when giving your details over before getting on the boat. But to be honest I didn't let me card out of sight and they didn't register my security code, which is why my Bank smelt the rat! All in all I thought the cruise was great, but their couldn't give attitude on such an important security breach was not good! Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
We have been on the Liberty 3 times, and have done these Southern ports of call 3 times as well. We did not stay at a hotel the day before, with the ship leaving at 10pm. However do to the SUPERBOWL we left at 11pm so people could watch ... Read More
We have been on the Liberty 3 times, and have done these Southern ports of call 3 times as well. We did not stay at a hotel the day before, with the ship leaving at 10pm. However do to the SUPERBOWL we left at 11pm so people could watch the entire game. However having the safety drill at Midnight, truly was not a highlight!! But we got through it. It's nice being able to get on and off the ship while docked in Puerto Rico prior to shipping out. And checking in, went quick and smooth. And our room was ready, when we got on, and our prepaid case of bottle water was in our stateroom. Our room steward welcomed us and explained he clean our room morning and night. We asked for ice and extra pillows and we never ran out of ice in our room. Service was phenomenal as we have come to know with Carnival. Room service in the mornings were always on time, with our Hot coffee and Melon dish. We always use room service in the mornings, as our wake up call and for coffee to start our day. We had activities booked everyday, so as far as ship activities I can't comment on any. We got back with time to clean up for dinner, after being in the water and sun all day. We seen 1 show after dinner once, that was Ok but that's it, other than that we headed for the rack after dinner for the most part. Were not kids anymore and our day starts early, and the swimming/snorkeling/boating and sun takes it's toll on us, and we loved every minute of it! On St.Thomas we did the Snuba and Coral world, that we booked through Carnival. And had a ball, it was my wife and I with the guide, it was like a private tour! Loved it. Did a little shopping and hoped back on the ship by 4pm. Barbados was next, and we did the Jolly Roger ship wreak snorkel with lunch and drinks, it rain through the whole tour but no one cared! We were swimming anyway, and jumping off the Gang Plank! Now that tour was booked through Carnival as well. Then it was off to St. Lucia where we did a tour for our 3rd. time Not through carnival. But through Cosoltours.com this is and incredible tour!! I could go on about this tour for 4 pages... So check their website and their reviews on TripAdvisor. Their all ACES!! Then it was St. Kitts where we did a snorkel tour that took us to Nevis! We had never been to Nevis, and had always wanted to get there, the tour was booked through Carnival and was called Catamaran Fan-Ta-Sea. Will say while in Nevis, we hunted down the Island drink called the Bee Sting, and the sand was extremely HOT! But no regrets, very nice excursion. Then St. Maarten-St. Martin, for the 3 Island snorkel adventure book through carnival also. What a great tour this was assuming you're into Snorkeling as we are! Cory was our Caption and those twin 300 HP engines sure moved us through the water! We seen sea turtles and Lion fish, then off to a restaurant with views to die for, for lunch and then we ended near the airport at Maho Beach where the planes buzzed us landing, at St. Martin. This was another Great tour, that we would do again. We had only 1 sea day, and we stayed at the Serenity deck for the day. This is a very busy itinerary with 5 islands and we seen 4 others. We ate at the Steak house 1 night and that was super, we both got the surf and turf and truly enjoyed that. We really are not buffet people yet did it twice for breakfast. Do to early tours on the island, but it was fine. Other than that we ate breakfast and diner every night at our sit down restaurant. Now we had cruised carnival in April and then this one in February, and there were some changes, that we were used to that are NO MORE! Minor but worth mentioning. No more chocolates by your pillow at night. And nothing in your bathroom, but bar soap and the 2 liquids in the shower. Table cloths in your dining room are history, only formal night will there be table cloths. And the napkins are not folded nicely on the tables either. And the past guest get together, is history unless your Platinum with carnival! The Maitre'D, No longer comes to any table through out the week, so needless to say he didn't received a envelope from us. Also the Sushi at 5pm. at the Promenade deck is also history! They have a little Tasting bar there now where they serve and hor d'oeuvres, that we used to get at the past guess get together that has stopped for most of the cruisers. All in all we had a great time we go to see islands and there culture, and getting in and under the water and eating there local food! I/We highly recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
We are first time cruisers with 3 young children (ages 10,6 and 2) from Toronto Canada. We took a direct flight to San Juan Puerto Rico (3h 45min) to SJU. The airport displayed signs clearly for us to pick up our baggage and proceed to the ... Read More
We are first time cruisers with 3 young children (ages 10,6 and 2) from Toronto Canada. We took a direct flight to San Juan Puerto Rico (3h 45min) to SJU. The airport displayed signs clearly for us to pick up our baggage and proceed to the taxi stand. San Juan has fixed fares between zones plus $1 for each bag. The private taxi was air conditioned and about 20 minutes from the cruise port. Once at the port, our ship was there, we took some family pictures here and showed all the necessary documentation to board the ship earlier (around 4:30pm even though it didn't sail until 10pm). We dropped off our baggage at entrance to the building for it to be delivered to our staterooms. Once we got our room keys, we went to our rooms. We had booked two adjacent connecting ocean view rooms. They were spacious and perfect for our family. We relaxed in our rooms for a few hours before our luggage came. Overall, the embarkation and disembarkation process was quite smooth. We were able to drop off our luggage and have lunch at the ship and relax in our room. The staff was very helpful and always smiling. We loved the dining room service and meals. Lido restaurant offered a great variety of buffets. All our children loved camp carnival. Our stateroom (oceanview) was spacious and clean. The beds were comfortable. We bought all our excursions at the port and paid a fraction of the price and had a fabulous time. Upon our return to the port, we had booked Hyatt Place in Old San Juan (10 mins away from Old San Juan Port) as we were staying over for an additional night in San Juan. Our ship docked at 7am, we were off the ship with smooth disembarkation around 9am. A small negative was that the hotel did now allow an earlier check-in even though we had requested in months in advance. Lugging the luggage around with 3 children would have been a hassle, so we dropped it off at ALOHA restaurant right in front of the port for a small fee ($6 a bag I think). We then boarded the free trolley from Stop #14 which showed us around San Juan. (If you look up free trolley tour in San Juan, you'll find more information about this). We spent 5 hours in Old San Juan with our children, shopped for souvenirs, had lunch at Pizza Hut and then picked up our luggage and took a cab to the hotel. After napping for a few hours in our hotel room, we took a cab back to San Juan for a walk near the port. We enjoyed the beautiful night views of the port and Carnival Liberty. It was Valentines day so a lot of traffic, people and lots to see. Our children loved that experience. The weather was perfect! It was a memorable vacation for our family! Carnival Liberty had a lot to offer for our family of 5. Our children loved being on the ship and had the time of their life off the ship too. There were great meal choices for everyone. Camp Carnival is a blessing for parents with young children. My husband and I got to spend some quality time with each other while our kids were having fun at the camp. The cabins were comfortable and we all rested well at night. The overall service was excellent. We would love to do this all over again in a heartbeat. The only change I would make/suggest to cruisers with young children is to book a hotel near the port (e.g. Sheraton) if you are planning to stay a couple nights in San Juan before or after your cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
This was my first cruise and it was a fun time! The ship Liberty was clean and staff were very accommodating. The only issue was the stateroom a/c did not cool correctly - about 12 degrees off from the neighboring stateroom; staff brought ... Read More
This was my first cruise and it was a fun time! The ship Liberty was clean and staff were very accommodating. The only issue was the stateroom a/c did not cool correctly - about 12 degrees off from the neighboring stateroom; staff brought a fan for the cabin (at 2:30am) Stateroom was larger than expected (balcony). All areas of the ship were nice. The few undesirables: 1. The mandatory safety information could have been handled in a more effective & efficient manner. The length was too long and with the heat, at least one passenger passed out and hit the floor. She was taken off ship for medical care. NOTE: Please be sure to bring a hand-fan and at least 2 bottles of water with you for each person in your party for this mandatory session. 2. The casino was a smoking area. 3. The photo "booths" took up too much room and there were too many of them. Shore excursions were nice over all. Planning ahead (researching) and booking outside of the offered excursions might provide a better experience for a couple of the islands. You will not want to drive in St. Lucia, so do yourself a favor and book an excursion for that port. The excursion "Faster to the Fun" was an excellent choice for us and getting on and off the ship were uneventful. If you are traveling with older or disabled persons or just want to board early and beat the crowd this is the ticket not to miss. Skip the Cheers package, it's not worth it unless you drink more than 10 alcoholic drinks a day. Make sure to mark any receipts with your signature and any additional tips you wish to give. If you do not mark, additional tips may be applied. I would recommend the cruise and the cruise line to others. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016

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