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8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
I was so looking forward to my first Christmas Cruise - but 16 nights later I was glad to disembark- disappointed is an understatement - the entertainment was dreadful - and the entertainment team - all five of them - had little experience ... Read More
I was so looking forward to my first Christmas Cruise - but 16 nights later I was glad to disembark- disappointed is an understatement - the entertainment was dreadful - and the entertainment team - all five of them - had little experience - they were geared for entertaining children - not passengers of a mature age - and calling for Santa on Christmas Eve to come out of the funnel went down like a ton of bricks - perhaps Christmas Carols might have been more appropriate- so we waited with baited breath to see what had been planned for Christmas Day apart from a five course dinner - in a word -.nothing - the Horiszon was the same as the previous day with the exception of a film - BFG at 2pm which we went to to pass the afternoon - boredom was setttimg in fast - I was quizzed out but the end of the trip - wasn't into line dancing - didn't want to learn bridge - and wondered occasionally if passengers were asleep or dead - The evening entertainment left a lot to be desired apart from a coup,e of acts - and News Years Eve - was thrown together at the last moment - three or four venues all doing different things - the captain managed to prevent the usual countdown to midnight in the Harlequin- 8 bells eithervside of midnight and that was it - bit of a damp squid - and the dancing re started - The food was excellent as was the service in the dining room and our cabin - but P& O may have a a large fan base but they want to pull their socks up and not take us for granted - change the entertainment and entertainers - don't treat elderly passengers as if we are all on our last legs - Yes I am aware I will have people telling me to stop moanimg etc - but we spent a lot of money for a Christmas Cruise expecting something really special - Apart from the tan - I wish I had stayed at home Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
This was our first experience, as sixty-somethings, of cruising and, overall, we were not disappointed. The Queen Elizabeth may lack the exterior grace of its earlier namesake (the 1938 version), but offers sumptuous, comfortable ... Read More
This was our first experience, as sixty-somethings, of cruising and, overall, we were not disappointed. The Queen Elizabeth may lack the exterior grace of its earlier namesake (the 1938 version), but offers sumptuous, comfortable surroundings and plenty of options for entertainment. We paid the 'Cunard Fare' for our cruise which gave us the option of free valet parking at Southampton. This was handled brilliantly. We arrived at the port, unloaded our luggage and then left the keys with the parking staff. Check-in was smooth and within 45 minutes of arrival were were in our cabin with all luggage waiting for us and our cabin steward on hand to advise us of all the necessary information on our cabin and facilities. We had a BE Category outside cabin on Deck 7 with balcony and were pleased with the location just behind and down one deck from the ship's bridge. Being near to bow of the ship the pitching was more noticeable but it was much quieter than cabins and entertainment areas near the stern where there was a little vibration (although not uncomfortably so). We ate on the early sitting in the Britannia restaurant Deck 3 area and meals were of a very high quality. Wines were, however, expensive for the quality offered. We elected to take the 'Captain's Choice', providing a bottle of what turned out to be rather mediocre wines each evening. This was $495, not terribly good value for money in our opinion, however, the experience of being served and topped up regularly by the sommelier partly compensated for this. Waiter service by Mohammad and Miguel was friendly and efficient, if a little rushed at times. I think we'd possibly take the later sitting in future. Cabin service by our steward James was excellent. It has to be said that, at times, the ship felt a little like a floating care home. That's not in any way a criticism, just an observation - we met some delightful people of all ages. Just something to bear in mind when booking a festive cruise. Our friend who used to work in the travel industry has told us since that Christmas cruises do tend to have a lot of elderly folk shipped off on cruises by relatives during the festive season! Overall a thoroughly enjoyable experience. I can't say this holiday has us now hooked on cruising, but a Baltic or Norwegian Fjord cruise is something we'd consider in the future and, if possible, on the QE which we liked very much. That's just our personal preference - we're more solitary beings and being on board with around 2,000 other people was not something we are used to. Having said that, it was good to talk to other folk and there are still plenty of places on the ship where some privacy can be found. I spent most mornings at sea in the Commodore Club on Deck 10 reading and sipping hot chocolate while my other half was at his water-colour art classes. Shore excursions were quite good, We did three (Madeira, La Palma and a trip from La Coruna to Santiago de Compostela). For two 6 foot + chaps the coaches were incredibly cramped and uncomfortable. At $50 plus per person they were pretty expensive and the tour guides were satisfactory but not brilliant. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
I just read 2 conflicting reviews on this cruise and I appreciate a review is only someones opinion so here is another one! In January 2015 we cruised with NCL Getaway (Southampton to New York) and going from their newest ship to the ... Read More
I just read 2 conflicting reviews on this cruise and I appreciate a review is only someones opinion so here is another one! In January 2015 we cruised with NCL Getaway (Southampton to New York) and going from their newest ship to the oldest in their fleet, I will not lie we were a little apprehensive but we went with an open mind and took into account the ships age the cost of cruise. Embarkation, was straight forward Service, we only encountered friendly and polite service Cabin, is of age but had everything and more of what you require and of good size, clean, comfortable and well kept, (please update the hairdryer) Public sitting areas did have some signs of age but were clean comfortable and well kept. The other public areas stairways/corridors were very clean, well kept and looked new in places. Dining in Windows we did not require to wait any evening the meals were good with a wide range each evening, some evenings the service could be a little slow but lets be honest who is in a hurry, you are on vacation and I will add the servers were nothing but polite and helpful. Entertainment left a little to be desired (be honest more than a little) the last two evening shows were their best. (we were spoiled as on the inaugural Getaway sailing the entertainment was outstanding) Shore excursions I will make this short, miss out Casablanca and the rest were fine. Spa, This ship has had a number of refits over the years, I can understand they have not managed a pool within the spa area, but this day and age they should have managed a unisex spa area,as they have on their other ships. Value-for-Money, again I will keep short 'excellent'   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2014
We have just returned from our Christmas Cruise on Queen Victoria to Madeira and the Canary Islands. We travelled to Southampton the day before and stayed at the Meon Valley Marriott Hotel. This included a nights stay and car parking for ... Read More
We have just returned from our Christmas Cruise on Queen Victoria to Madeira and the Canary Islands. We travelled to Southampton the day before and stayed at the Meon Valley Marriott Hotel. This included a nights stay and car parking for the duration of the cruise, transfer to and from the ship and the cost was £70 per person. A lovely Hotel and golf complex. The first day at sea was very rocky across the bay of biscay and 3 out of 4 of us were very unwell. We did get some bands and sea sickness pills from reception which thankfully helped. The ship is very elegant and especially so at Christmas. Food in the Britannia restaurant was good and we used it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Service on Cunard is very good and much better than a lot of other ships. The first 3 days were at sea until we arrived in Madeira. This is a lovely island that we had been to before and really enjoy. We did our own thing here and it was easy to get a taxi. Our driver charged $20 each and took the 4 of us to Monte Gardens which is well worth a visit (very hilly) we spent an hour and a half there and then the taxi took us to the ride in the basket down 2k of steep hilly roads.It was great and at the bottom we purchased a photo taken halfway down for just 10 euros. We were met again by our taxi and taken on a lovely ride to the other side of the island to a new viewing point where you stand on glass very high above the cliffs. Then on to a lovely fishing village where Winston Churchill stayed and did a lot of his paintings. We returned to the ship after about 5 hours. This was a great way to see a lot more of the island and far less expensive than the ships tours. Tenerife was the next port and we did do the ships tour to Loro Parque. Again we had been there before but enjoy it each time especially the penquins and sea life shows. La Palma is a very small island and here we did our own thing and just wandered around the town and sea front which are only a few minutes walk from the ship. Lanzarote was to be the next port of call however, according to the captain the wind was too strong to get us into port safely although 2 other ships had beaten us to it. So another day at sea. La Coruna in Spain was the last port of call. Here we did a ships tour to Santiago de Compostillo. About an hour in the coach to this very old Spanish City that is a pilgrimage site 3rd only to Jerusalem and Lourdes. Very rough again across that wretched bay but the bands and pills did there job! The entertainment on the ship was very good. The Singers and dancers in the theatre were brilliant and I would go as far as to say the best we have ever seen on a ship. The Opera Boys were wonderful and 3 girls from west end shows were great. There was always something to do during the days at sea and 2 of us did the Watercolour Art classes which although not very good at it I really enjoyed and went to five 2 hour classes. Patricia was a great teacher. The evenings in the Queens room were a little disappointing as they had an American singer who sang dreary jazz type songs and we found it boring but that was just our opinion. It is wonderful to have a full size dance floor on a ship. Don't dance but love to watch. Now for the gripes - The price of photos was the highest we've ever seen. $34.99 for formal evening photos and $24.99 for all the others. Didn't buy any. The most annoying thing of all was the lectures about Concorde had been really great and we had seen 3 of them. We were looking forward to the last one which should have been on the last sea day and was to be about the crash and the reasons behind taking it out of service. It wasn't shown! No explanation and despite several enquiries including to the entertainment manager who looked suprised when we asked (surely she is in charge) I told her it was like reading a book and finding the last chapter ripped out. Most annoying. It was a good "voyage" as Cunard prefer to call it but 7 days at sea out of 12 rather too many. We met some lovely people and enjoyed our Christmas break. Lastly, on arriving at Southampton we should have disembarked in groups according to your luggage label colour and ours was 9am. However, there was an announcement that there was a 20 minute delay and that was actually an hour with no explanation whatsoever. People were getting very twitchy with taxis booked etc and would have understood the situation had been explained. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
Thomson Majesty – (Old Smokey) Sailed on the Majesty from 19th to 26th December - Canary Islands. We joined the ship in Tenerife but unfortunately several hundred other passengers arrived at the same time as flights all came in ... Read More
Thomson Majesty – (Old Smokey) Sailed on the Majesty from 19th to 26th December - Canary Islands. We joined the ship in Tenerife but unfortunately several hundred other passengers arrived at the same time as flights all came in together, so we had a long wait to be processed before embarking on the ship, complimentary refreshments were offered to those waiting in line. First impressions of the ship was not a wow, but it seemed clean although dated and in need of upgrade. We paid extra for an outside cabin on Deck 8 and it was the smallest cabin we have every been in, even the toilet and shower area was extremely small, with no bathroom cabinet or shelves for toiletries. Wardrobe space was sparse with no space for shoes. No fridge. The room however was clean and housekeeping could not be faulted, other than she folded our wet towels and placed them back on the shelf when we had left them hanging up to dry off. When we first started cruising with Thomson the safe deposit box in the cabin was free, however it now costs £15 per week. Self service buffet on Deck 10 was disappointing, little choice of food, salads pre plated in cereal bowls and “hot” food was usually luke warm. Breakfast was the best meal of the day with the egg station offering fresh omlettes, waffles and pancakes, however this was suspended during the week due to norovirus outbreak. We attended one gala, formal evening and were disappointed with the meal as it appeared to have been pre-plated and then reheated. Nothing really special about the meal other than passengers made the effort and dressed up. Waiters seemed to be rushing us through and we had to ask for coffee after waiting quite a while after our meal. Entertainment was typical Thomson, and I say that as someone who enjoys the entertainment on Thomson cruises, however the standard on the Majesty was not as good as we have experienced on Celebration or Spirit. The entertainment team on the Majesty were not as approachable and friendly as we have experienced on other Thomson ships. Sun loungers were marked with black soot from the ships funnels and this marked clothing if you did not notice or did not wipe the sun loungers before sitting on them. There always seemed to be really dark smoke spewing out of the funnels. The general ambience of the Majesty was poor and only saved by the fellow passengers who were friendly and always up for a chat. If this had been my first cruise I would have been very disappointed and would have been put off cruising. Would we sail on Thomson Majesty again, no, but we would sail with Thomson again on the Celebration or Spirit. We would also be open to trying The Dream at some time in the future. Thomson Cruises offer value for money, are British based in their clientelle, food choice and entertainment and they do not charge daily gratuities so we would recommend Thomson Cruises for those who do not want to share the ship with 3,000 other passengers and listen to announcements in 3 different languages before paying daily gratuties and 15% service charge on every drink you buy. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
It was my first time cruising with family, son, daughter-in-law, granddaughter 16 and grandson 10. Having cruises previously with different cruise lines, it was my first time with MSC and they did not disappoint. From the moment the music ... Read More
It was my first time cruising with family, son, daughter-in-law, granddaughter 16 and grandson 10. Having cruises previously with different cruise lines, it was my first time with MSC and they did not disappoint. From the moment the music started in Bar Duomo each night, I was danced off my feet by the wonderful entertainment team. Can't wait to get back on board!!! The ship was beautifully decorated for Christmas with Festive music playing in the background. The staff without exception, were wonderful and friendly. I didn't see a sad or lonely face at any time. Embarkation was very smooth and we were on board within 10 minutes. Bags were delivered within the hour. My cabin was a balcony cabin which was really adequate for only 1 person, and the balcony was on the small size. There was plenty of storage space and my bag slipped under the bed quite easily. The bathroom was small but everything worked and I had plenty of hot water at all hours, with good pressure in the shower. I was glad to see that I had a shower enclosure instead of the dreaded curtain! The bed was just as comfortable as my own, with pristine white linen and the whole place was clinically clean. There were plenty of sun beds on the upper decks and in the adult areas. The only fault that I found was in the Marco Polo dining room. The food let the ship down! It was beautifully presented by wonderful waiters, but left a lot to be desired. However, in the buffet there was plenty variety and I was never hungry. I purchased the drinks package and gave that a good rattling!!! However, I did come off the ship 3lbs lighter. My teenage granddaughter joined the teens club and made some nice friends, with whom she had a blast, and the grandson was like a little gentleman, strolling around, using his card!!! At night the entertainment was varied and good, with a few different little bands playing in different bars and venues. We didn't take any of the shore excursions as we had holidayed on each of the islands, but did get off in Funchal which was magical, and went to Church on Christmas day in La Palma. Disembarkation was in turmoil, I got separated from the others, with the result that they were waiting on the pier for over an hour, while I hunted throughout the ship for them. Eventually a phone call or two by one of those lovely young Italian gentlemen and all was sorted!! All in all, it was a fabulous cruise and I can't wait to get on board again! A Beautiful ship with a wonderful crews. Thank you all. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
We chose to spend our Christmas on msc Armonia, and we had a wonderful week. First let me point out the not so good aspects: the transfer and flight we had from Rome was very bad: time, transfer and flight itself with Meridiana from Rome ... Read More
We chose to spend our Christmas on msc Armonia, and we had a wonderful week. First let me point out the not so good aspects: the transfer and flight we had from Rome was very bad: time, transfer and flight itself with Meridiana from Rome were extremely unconfortable and ill planned. Also, the entertainment was below the average we have come to love on our cruises: of the evening shows, only the spanish dancers were superb. Apart from that, the cruise was perfect: great service at dinner (thanks Mohammed), our cabin was kept perfectly clean at all times, the ship facilities were always a pleasure to use: I particularly enjoyed the gym and the spa, both with a wonderful sea view. The itinerary is great, and we loved the night stop in Madeira, with plenty of time to visit the beautiful island both during the day and at night. I really cannot understand people complaining about the food and service: we beleive both are far better than NCL and Carnival, which we tried before. Every single crew member was friendly and helpful (by the way many many thanks to Giusy at the reception, if you read this, you were great!) The ship never felt crowded, and even if it's true that sometimes we felt some movement while at sea, we never found it terribly disturbing.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
This is our 5th xmas/new year cruise with Thomson and I am afraid to say probably our last! The staff have changed from being happy/chatty to dull and miserable looking. I am not saying they do not work hard, as most do, but a smile now ... Read More
This is our 5th xmas/new year cruise with Thomson and I am afraid to say probably our last! The staff have changed from being happy/chatty to dull and miserable looking. I am not saying they do not work hard, as most do, but a smile now and then would make all the difference. We found the service to be very poor this year, the entertainment program was repeated exactly for both weeks, except the comedian changed. We enjoyed the food and service in the 4 seasons, however found the service in the 7 seas lacking. The self service option was removed after 2 or 3 days and crew did not know what they were doing most of the time and queuing became the norm. We have only every cruised with Thomson (12+) and up until now loved the product, I have two cruises booked already for next year and unless things improve on the next one, they will be our last! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
We were on the Christmas Cruise to the Canary Islands, we paid the Cunard Fare so we had a very nice cabin with balcony, The food was very good except for Christmas Day we were expecting something a bit special but were disappointed. the ... Read More
We were on the Christmas Cruise to the Canary Islands, we paid the Cunard Fare so we had a very nice cabin with balcony, The food was very good except for Christmas Day we were expecting something a bit special but were disappointed. the entertainment was very poor, in fact, some of it was an insult to our intelligence I have seen better entertainment at children,s parties. Santa visited the ballroom in the afternoon and then nothing , not even a little party for the children, just photographs. The staff were excellent in the dining room and the Lido and the cabin staff. The Entertainment needs shaking up a bit it was very poorly organised especially during the day. We booked a tour before we went on the cruise , it was in la Coruna, what a rip off. it cost us 75 dollars for two, it was an easy walking trip, The tour was for two and a quarter hours and we were stopped for one and a quarter, we went through the empty fish market to a lighthouse which was up a hill we couldn't climb, then on to a café for coffee and cake for 45 mins then 15 mins it took to return to the ship.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
We were so disappointed in our cruise with Thomson at Christmas 2014 around the Canary Islands. We have cruised many times with Thomsons, last Christmas was great on the Celebration, but this year was a shambles. We were on the Majesty a ... Read More
We were so disappointed in our cruise with Thomson at Christmas 2014 around the Canary Islands. We have cruised many times with Thomsons, last Christmas was great on the Celebration, but this year was a shambles. We were on the Majesty a year last February when 5 crew members were killed, (so we know the ship) as you can imagine this was very upseting for us at the time. However I can only sing the praises of Thomson in dealing with us as passengers then. Our evacuation of the ship was done with military procedure, representatives from our home area were flown over to the ship to aid us to understand what was to happen. This was a very thoughtful endeavour to reassure the passengers. This is Thomsons at its best and the one we know and love. Unfortunately this year it felt as if someone had lifted the ship up, shook it, dropped it, and it all fell back wrong. There was so many things we were not happy with we do not know where to start. We will try to list what was not right about this cruise??? * our flight.. not that impressed with Thomson planes and the new way of having to print off our own boarding passes. This leads to having to pay for seat that suit us. * we landed in Gran Canaria at 5pm did not leave the airport until 7pm ( we had left home at 8am) when we got on board no one seemed to know where our 'boat drill' was to be held, we were sent every where only to be told not here. this was not good after a long delay at the airport of 2 hours waiting for our laggage to be recovered ( Thomson plane) * £15 per week for the safe, not good *then a bit of food on deck 10 not good, too tiered to complain. *the cabins were small and tired, the towels were old grey and threadbare * weather bad to start ( not Thomsons fault) got better latter in the week. * there were plenty of sunbeds available if you were prepared to help yourself and find a sunny spot on deck. usually the sunbeds are waiting for you but on the Majesty they are stacked high and not easy to get at, and we are 68 and 66 years old and arthritic. * there was no shuttle service available and for somewhere like Funchal its a long walk into the centre and we both suffer from arthritise. * because the facilitis are old, the cleanliness was hard to maintain There was a bout of Norovirus on board a lot went down with it. The public toilets were old with broken waste pipes. There was no sanitiser available either inside or outside the toilets different to other ships we have been on. * the food was poor not much choice and not hot, Christmas Gala Dinner was not much better did not feel special. *the cabins were small and tired. The towels were grey and grubby. and the room smelled odd. * the cruise was a total waste of money, and being Christmas it was not cheap. *the staff lacked interest, and on occasions, quite rude. We asked the head waiter, in one of the restraunts one night, if we could have a table for two, we thought he was quite rude telling us, why don't we sit with others and make friends. We have family and freinds a plenty at home, this particular night, we just wanted some peice and quiet with some quality time together. How dare he dictate to us what we should do and make us think we were being awkward. * there did not seem to be any organisation or management. One hand does not know what the other one is doing half the time. * we were in cabin 3045 and the cabin staff were very good concidering what they had to work with, our dog has better towels, but the staff kept changing them. * entertainment was average. However the MOULIN ROUGE was very good but the Beatles were terrible. The comedian was good but we are elderly not suitable for the younger passengers. * I could go on with this list, but the Majesty has had enough of my time. best thing to do with this ship is to scrap it. * we are suppose to go on a Thomson cruise again to the Caribbean in April 2015, and however we have only put a small deposit down so far, and before we part with more money, we require a satisfactory answer to this complaint. Yours Truly Mr & Mrs I Watkin   Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
We sailed on the "Balmoral" on 21 December. The "meet and greet" parking at Southampton was very courteous and efficient. Although the City cruise terminal was being renovated the temporary departure lounge was ... Read More
We sailed on the "Balmoral" on 21 December. The "meet and greet" parking at Southampton was very courteous and efficient. Although the City cruise terminal was being renovated the temporary departure lounge was satisfactory. Boarding was very swift (aided greatly bt membership of the "Oceans Gold" club). The ship looked in good condition as it had only come out of dry-dock two days earlier. We has accommodation on Deck 6 (main deck) which was fine. There was sufficient storage space and the air-condioning was effective. The picture window added to the overall aspect of the cabin. Overall it was in good condition. We were fortunate enough to have calm seas throughtout the whole cruise save on the final day when it was a little choppy. The weather was good which is not always the case in these climes in mid-Winter. The ship was beautifully decorated for Christmas and the "gingerbread town" was a triumph. We selected the Spey restaurant for dinner and the food and service was up to Fred. Olsen's usual standard. We took other meals in the various other restaurants and the standard of food was equally good. The Chinese and Asian speciality nights were particularly enjoyable. The staff and crew on board Fred. Olsen's ships are a key selling point and on this cruise it was no exception. We had port calls in Lisbon, Funchal, Santa Cruz (Tenerife), Las Palmas (Gran Canaria), Arricife (Lanzarote) and Gibraltar. All had their good points but the boat trip in Lisbon and afternoon tea at the gorgeous Reid's Hotel in Madeira were perhaps the best. Christmas Eve was was celebrated with a cabaret show, carol singing and a Holy Communion service at midnight. Christmas Day was also well celebrated althought afternoon was a bit lacking in entertainment and a little flat. Dinner that night was traditional and excellent. New Year's Eve was most enjoyable with an excellent dinner (including haggis and a "wee dram") and a deck party. Although the fireworks in Gibraltar were ok they didn't compare with Madeira. Also it was rather chilly. I don't think this is the ideal port for a New Year call. Although this was a pretty good cruise I do have a few gripes, 1. The ship was just out of dry-dock but there was a great deal of maintenance and painting going on which was, at time intrusive. When the reception was asked why this was necessary we were told that the ship had to be in good condition for the upcoming "long cruise". This is quite unacceptable. 2. The "Balmoral" orchestra plays at every possible occasion eg cocktail parties, receptions and "shows". The volume is so hight that normal conversation is virtually impossible. Thsi is an on-going problem which FOCL really should investigate. 3. As the weather was pretty good it was a pity that the swimming pool on deck 7 was so often closed. 4. The lecture weren't very good with the exception of those concerning millionaires. I would describe most as "minority interest talks. They was certainly not up to the normal standard.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
In Summary - Overall not good value for money. Not the Festive Cruise we had expected. New year's day fireworks in harbour at Tenerife out of sight from our berth. Details Embarkation - Reasonable with wheel chair assistance. Heard ... Read More
In Summary - Overall not good value for money. Not the Festive Cruise we had expected. New year's day fireworks in harbour at Tenerife out of sight from our berth. Details Embarkation - Reasonable with wheel chair assistance. Heard of long delays for passengers arriving earlier also requiring assistance. First impressions - As expected but little extra effort put into festive decorations. Dining - First sitting in Brittania Restaurant. Fixed dining on table for six. My wife and I like to mix with other people so chose a six table. This has its downside as we discovered. For three of the first five nights our companion diners did not appear so we were lone diners on a table set for six. It seems our companion diners preferred later dining and obviously have no responsibility to us. On the sixth night we did move to another six table nearby who had suffered the same fate and were also joined by another couple who moved from the later sitting. I cannot blame Cunard for the whims of fellow diners but the system is flawed. On Princess and Celebrity you are allocated early or late dining and then led to a table size of your choice on entering the restaurant. The waiters ensure minimum delay by filling tables efficiently. Fortunately our dining companions for the rest of the voyage were great. The food was at best acceptable for most nights and mainly consisted of basic fodder dressed up with fancy wording on the menu. On several nights there were 3 Vegetarian meals out of the six on offer. There were some good offerings such as Lobster, scallops and a Chateau Briande but seen together on one night only never to appear again. Is this penny pinching or what? Entertainment - Very Poor. This is our opinion but seemed to be the concensus of most passengers we spoke with. The comedian (one night only) was declared as very good by most. Other one night acts such as a female singer, a male singer, pianist, flautist and the acrobats(Power of Two) met with mixed reviews but none would be considered as a top line act. As for ship's company entertainment this was exceptionally poor. Three of their four singers were really poor and the dancers mediocre at best. The entertainment around the ship was just as poor with three piano players(come singers) offering some noise. The harpist and violin quartet provide acceptable background music. However it was the theatre entertainment that was the most dissapointing. Activities - barely passable but we did not partake in all of them. Table Tennis much the same as other cruises with minimal crew involvement. Knitting circle had no dedicated facilitator. The Bridge tuition and organised "Duplicate Bridge" sessions were exceptionally well run and much enjoyed by all participants. Quiz sessions mainly held in the Golden Lion were OK and well attended. The Golden Lion pub had a good ambiance but the beer(Bitter) served on tap was much too cold. At least one bitter should have been served on tap at cellar temperature. I drank bottled London Pride which had been left out of the fridge as a best alternative. In Summary - Overall not good value for money. Not the Festive Cruise we had expected. New year's day fireworks in harbour at Tenerife out of sight from our berth. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2014
Having cruised with Thomson before on both Destiny and Celebration we were looking forward to a fantastic Christmas cruise on Thomson Majesty. This was the first time we had been away from home at Christmas and following our experience it ... Read More
Having cruised with Thomson before on both Destiny and Celebration we were looking forward to a fantastic Christmas cruise on Thomson Majesty. This was the first time we had been away from home at Christmas and following our experience it will also be the last. We logged our complaints prior to disembarking on 26th December 2014, and followed this up with an email on our return. I am so glad I did, because what we complained about is repeated in many reviews I have since read. In fact when I read the reviews and showed my Mother with whom I traveled, you would have thought my complaints had been taken from the reviews. Just to confirm our complaints in brief, ship very tired and not very clean. On arrival in our cabin there was a very strong smell of sewage/dirty drains throughout the cabin which we reported. Food choice was very poor, never had a meal that was hot always only luke warm [food hygiene/safety issue]. Remember this was a Christmas cruise and at afternoon tea they were serving peanut butter sandwiches! biscuits that all looked different but all tasted the same. Christmas dinner in the restaurant was also very poor again only luke warm, service was very slow and didn't get out until 2245 so missed the 1st 15 mins of show in the theatre. There was an outbreak of what they said was Norovirus, but wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't due to the food! This outbreak caused absolute chaos, staff didn't seem to have a clue what they were doing and caused long delays in the buffet areas. There were always shortages of milk and cups at meal times. With the exception of the Entertainment staff who all worked very hard to put on excellent shows, most other staff were quite rude. We forgot to mention in our complaints about the towels, but agree with others that they were mostly threadbare and grey not white [our dog has better towels]! Jacuzzi had dirty brown coloured water in them, when empty it looked like rust in the bottom. We were asked to provide an email address so that Thomson could contact us a few days after our return to get our feedback, we are still waiting. The places we visited and the weather was good. The ship was a big let down and would advise anyone thinking of going on Thomson Majesty to think again! I could go on and on but would just be repeating what most others have already written. Surely we cant all be wrong? Read Less
Sail Date: March 2014
This was our first cruise with NCL, but it will not be our last. To sum it up in a few words it was excellent. We showed up for embarkation at 11:45 and the line up was less than 15 minutes. We had our photo taken and then found out that ... Read More
This was our first cruise with NCL, but it will not be our last. To sum it up in a few words it was excellent. We showed up for embarkation at 11:45 and the line up was less than 15 minutes. We had our photo taken and then found out that we were surprisingly upgraded to VIP status which was a great way to start the cruise. Yahira the concierge escorted us to the VIP lounge and explained the perks. Then we were taken to Cagney's for lunch and to wait until our cabin was ready, which was prior to 1PM. At Cagney's we met Edrex, a waiter we ran into several times on the trip. He was very pleasant and friendly, we could hear him singing big band tunes when he left the dining room and entered the kitchen. We had a complimentary fruit basket and a bottle of wine in our room from Armando the director of hotel services. Subsequently we received either hors d'oeurves or chocolate covered strawberries each evening. We had 32 CRuise Critic members show up for the M&G on the first sea day and Armando and most of the senior officers were present. They served coffee, juice and had sandwiches and sweets. We ate most meals at Raffles, the buffet and the food was good, but not great. The most difficult part was finding a seat. We had one supper in the garden and the food and service was excellent. We had one supper at Trattoria, a specialty restaurant, and it was excellent. We had passed bt the Blue Lagoon several times, but only tried it for the first time about day 5. We ate there several times after that, as the pub style food was a nice treat after a busy day, without having to fight to find a table in Raffles. Henry's Pub prepared popcorn every afternoon and it became a routine for us to pick up a couple of bags to have when we watched an in room movie. The casino was nice and we visited it a few times. We attended several art lectures, which was a new experience for me. We even ended up winning some free art. The shore excursions were great, the Mosque in Morroco was fascinating. In Tenerife I went to see Mt. Tiede and in the afternoon we walked around Santa Cruz. In Lanzarote we visited Timanfaya national park and this was a amazing as was los Hervideros, where the waves crashing on the rocks was breathtaking. In Malaga we went to Mijas a town set in the side of a mountain. This was my wife's favourite excursion. She did some shopping while I toured the village with the group. The white buildings and narrow streets reminded her of Santorini. They also had Donkey taxis, but we just walked. The views were spectacular. Anne was our housekeeping lady and our room was always well taken care of. My wife loved the towel animals and Anne always greeted us by name and asked about our day. We only went to a couple of shows as we were involved in other activities, but the ones we attended were very good. Though the ship is old it is well maintained and the view of the atrium while descending is stunning. I would like to finish by stating that although we were upgraded to VIP, which was almost embarrassing at times, it was the friendliness of Anne, Edrex and all of the other staff, who were not aware of this status, that made this our best cruise ever. Way to go NCL.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
I know some people thought this cruise was fine and have even re-booked for next year but for the life of me I cannot understand why. I don't go on holiday to pick fault but I have nothing good to say about the Celebration. Our ... Read More
I know some people thought this cruise was fine and have even re-booked for next year but for the life of me I cannot understand why. I don't go on holiday to pick fault but I have nothing good to say about the Celebration. Our problems started way before we even embarked - with the awful customer service we received from the call centres (having booked on line). It took well over half an hour just to make a payment, they then gave us the wrong telephone number to book excurisions and in the end we had to call into one of the Thompson shops where they confirmed that the call centre service was a matter of some concern to customers. However that said we were looking forward to our week's cruise to the Canary Islands and Madiera. The ship is old and no amount of refit is going to change the lack of space and facilities. The food was pretty awful. cold, repeditive and recycled. There was an outbreak of novo virus (we spoke to two ladies who were confined to their cabin for 2 days). The staff for the most part, were friendly although terribly overworked. Service in the bars was slow and on no account would you get value for money if you had paid for the drinks package (we got our included as we had booked early). We had to ask for milk for the complimentary tea/coffee and had to request pool towels which should have been in our cabin and we never got replacement toiletries. Entertainment was abismal ranging from a song and dance group who could neither sing or dance to Butlins style games. We spent one day at sea and the next day was Christmas Day when we docked and everything was closed on shore. It would have been much better if we could have had 2 days in Madiera but I feel everything was cost cutting so it was cheaper to have the ship at sea. They have formal nights (we had 2 although nothing in the booking advised that there was one extra one as it is usually one per week I think) but the great majority of people did not conform to 'black tie' and there were many men very casually dressed so if Thompson aren't going to enforce formal dressing on these occasions I would suggest they drop this as this cruise is pitched , in my opinion, at the low end of the market and I would be hard pressed to give it a 3 star rating. I was going to book the Dream for next Christmas but I am going back to P & O. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2013
Embarkation in Barcelona was swift and smooth, and to avoid crowds we went straight to the windows restaurant for lunch. Food was fine, then to cabin where cases had arrived and then to explore the ship. NCL have a big problem here and ... Read More
Embarkation in Barcelona was swift and smooth, and to avoid crowds we went straight to the windows restaurant for lunch. Food was fine, then to cabin where cases had arrived and then to explore the ship. NCL have a big problem here and that is the temperature of the food ..although it is ok, in the Garden restaurant and the Windows restaurant, it always arrives nearly cold, and every mealtime we had to ask for the food to be re-heated. This is a big problem and really needs to be sorted out. The best food is in the Raffles buffet ,beautiful joints of beef there etc and piping hot.and what is offered in the buffet at lunch time is the same as the menu in the restaurants for the nighttime...so you can see what will be offered and plan your evening meal. After one lukewarm breakfast in Windows we only breakfasted afterwards in the buffet, which was good, hot and a wide choice to suit all tastes. Our highlight of the day was the jam ,fresh cream and scones served in the buffet from about 3 til 4.30...which we never missed.For some reason i really look forward to afternoon teas on board and it would have been nice to have a separate venue for this making it an event, serving light sandwiches and cakes etc. The Blue lagoon is a concept that really works well. ..offering food, tea and coffee 24/7. there is a nice chatty atmosphere here, and although a limited menu, the food here is always nice and hot. Drinks are terrible over-priced on this ship ..we paid over 100 dollars for four bottles of cheap wine, which would cost 12 pounds for the four in any supermarket. I don`t really understand this pricing, and an inclusive drinks package will cost each cabin about 100 dollars per day. halving the price of this package would make sense and make for happier cruisers i think. On the 9 day cruise we had only 1 happy hour offered which is just meanness. ..otherwise tip-top prices plus 15% tax. A happy hour should be available every day in my opinion. A free liquor sampling was offered on deck 5 offering thimble sized tests of drinks. I went up 3 times to get samples for myself and my elderly parents, who had managed to get a seat in the nearby coffee bar.and on the 3rd time was told very rudely by the Romanian server I could not take samples for other people. i explained that my parents were elderly, and did not want to queue up, but was refused service. This was unacceptable, and to be honest I was furious. We had paid over 3,500 pounds for this cruise, and i am sure to expect a few thimbles full of liquor without any extra charge or hassle was not asking for too much. The shows in the theatre really were very very amateurish, the exception being the acrobats who were excellent. Upstairs in the galaxy the band of Philippinos were also very good, and the trio also fine ..but the `cover stories duo` often in the `champagne bar ` were very poor. this girl cannot sing!!! The ports of call were also fine, the highlights being Madeira and Malaga, though i think on a 9 day cruise at least another port could have been added. Our cabin was fine , and our steward excellent. The general atmosphere on the ship was nice with a lot of friendly well -traveled people, but complaints were many and all the same. ..the cold food ..the weak shows .the price of the drinks , and the high price they had paid for the experience. Would i go on this ship again? yes I would but only if I found a very good offer. Would i do another cruise with NCL again?...ii think first, i would look at other cruise-lines for a similar itinerary.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2013
Our cruise began on the 21st Dec 13 at Southampton, the process of getting onboard was stress free, and took in total around 15 minutes. We pulled up at the ship dropped off the luggage (and my wife) I then drove the car over to the ... Read More
Our cruise began on the 21st Dec 13 at Southampton, the process of getting onboard was stress free, and took in total around 15 minutes. We pulled up at the ship dropped off the luggage (and my wife) I then drove the car over to the parking area where I gave the keys to CPS parking who took the car away to the parking area. Rejoining my wife who was on her mobility scooter. We were immediately told to go to the disabled desk to check in, to be honest there wasn't much of a que anywhere. We were booked in, photos taken and given our sail account cards and then followed the rest of the people to the security area. Again not much of a que. Once onboard we went direct to our cabin 6001, which was a disabled cabin with a balcony. It was at the very front of deck 6 on the stbd side. The cabin was bigger than we expected although quite an odd shape. Loads of drawer and wardrobe space. We didn't actually fill all the drawers up. One good gesture from Cunard was the half bottle of sparkling wine in the ice bucket. Which we drank almost immediately. The bathroom was of a good size with a pull down shower seat. One problem though was the size of the sink in the bathroom, very small kind of like you would add to a corner in your toilet at home (just big enough to get your hands in). Also there was very little space to put your toiletries with no cupboard space at all. There was a uk plug socket along with a European type socket, in the bathroom was a shaver type socket. Although I found that the uk socket was turned upside down, and there was no space really to plug a uk plug into the European adapter. Lunch was being served in the Lido on deck 9 which was quite nice although by the time we found a spare table the food was cold, and we were asked by the ships staff to move the scooter. We didn't mind that. As the cruise went on we found a table first my wife sat there and I went off to get the food and drink. The standard of food from the Lido was generally good, with quite a good variety on offer, the sweets were good also. Copious amounts of tea and coffee (although not very good coffee) and cold orange juice, lemonade and cranberry were always available. Plus a help yourself vanilla and chocolate ice cream. We knew from other cruises that the coffee was not always very good so took a pack of Kenco with us. Dinner in the Britannia was generally good although saying that the ribeye steak we had one night was so tough we couldn't eat it. My wife always found the food to be over salted. I usually put salt on my food but during our cruise I never put any on at all. The fillet steak was very good. We never went to any alternate dining restaurents so I cannot comment on them. When going to dinner in the Britannia it was either informal or formal dress. Informal was trousers, shirt (tie optional) and a jacket (always) The staff do tell you a jacket is required to dine. The formal nights (we had four on our cruise - including Christmas day and new years eve) were good. The waiters like to please and will get you anything you ask for. Again the coffee quality was not very good and my wife asked for a cappacino (sorry for the spelling) and they got her it (which was free of charge). Day time entertainment was in our view not very good at all. if reading a book and falling asleep in the chair is your thing then its good. On our previous cruises with other cruise lines there were usually someone playing a guitar and singing or a dj playing tunes etc. but nothing like this at all on the Victoria. The same in the evening, except for hemispheres where their four piece band played. Elsewhere in the ship there was a harpist, a four piece violin/cello and in the Queens room was a band playing ballroom type music. In the Golden Lion pub there was usually a chap playing the piano which was a bit more lively. They also had quizzes every night which on the whole were quite good. Bar staff and bar waiters were good, especially Quinton in the Golden Lion. One thing to remember though is that they charge you for soda water, as though it were lemonade. We enquired as to how much a jug of pimms would be with diet lemonade instead of the full fat stuff. The normal price is $18 however they would charge you extra for the diet lemonade. Bit of a rip off really. Next time we will purchase an unlimited soda ticket as it would be cheaper in the long run. Christmas day festivities were a bit of a let down, with nothing special being put on. New years eve was a bit better however the festivities centered around the central staircase (over three decks) and unless you got there very early there was not a seat to be found free. we saw the new year in there and wandered off to the Golden Lion pub to listen and join in with the singsong and pianist. Just by the Golden Lion pub is the casino, which is quite small, around four tables and 20 or so one arm bandits. My wife did win $500 on the card machine so it is not all bad. In the theatre there is very limited disabled seating. On deck 2 there is enough room for 2 wheelchairs or scooters on either side of the theatre. There is also very limited seating for the disabled persons escort. There is however power points very near the disabled areas so if your low on power you can plug in, providing you have the relevant adapter for your charger, we had the US and European with us so covered all options. There is also a couple of disabled spaces in the stalls on deck 1 but its a bit of a job getting the wheelchair or scooter in the right position. We usually got to the theatre half an hour prior to the start of the show only to find the spaces already gone. We left our scooter at the back and walked down to the seats (which my wife could fortunately do) if you cannot then you may not be able to see the show. It seemed to us that at the slightest bad weather the outside decks were closed off, which was a shame really. You can always go out onto your balcony (if you have one), although I had to fight with the door to open it, with the strong wind and the inside pressure. On port days we were always in quite early. Queen Victoria always laid on shuttle buses to the local town which was good of them. One thing though is that there is only usually one disabled bus so you may have to wait some considerable time to get on it. Fortunately for us my wife could walk a little so we put the scooter into the bus hold and got onto the bus. On the whole we enjoyed the cruise (as we always do) but were disappointed with the entertainment. It could have and should have been better. I hope my review helps you in your decision to go with Cunard Queen Victoria. For us though it is a one off with Cunard. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2013
we have recently returned from the christmas cruise to the canary`s apart from the rough weather which p&o have no control over the cruise went quite well mainly due to the efforts of the captain Neil Turnbull [who is up there as the ... Read More
we have recently returned from the christmas cruise to the canary`s apart from the rough weather which p&o have no control over the cruise went quite well mainly due to the efforts of the captain Neil Turnbull [who is up there as the best captain we have sailed with [16 with princess and 7 with P&O ] but our main complaint was with the food which was the worst we have had on any cruise!!! also my wife had trouble understanding the bar and waiting staff although we cannot fault them for service. The ship we think is showing signs of her age but needs some updating in some public areas our cabin inside on A deck was comfortable and clean especially the shower/ bathroom the entertainment was what we expect from the on board dancers, comedians very good also colin the Queens pastry chef gave very interesting accounts of his time working for the Queen all in all a pleasant cruise apart from the poor food especially the Christmas dinner Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
This was our third cruise on the Celebration this year and since April we have seen a decline . We did voice our concerns in August but was informed by Thomson Customer Service that they were sorry they did not meet our expectations but ... Read More
This was our third cruise on the Celebration this year and since April we have seen a decline . We did voice our concerns in August but was informed by Thomson Customer Service that they were sorry they did not meet our expectations but had for the majority ! So we went for our first Christmas & New Year cruise with the hopes and expectations that all would be perfect, not so, how wrong were we. Drinks service on board is really poor a wait of at least 45 mins to get an order in and maybe an other 15 mins to get the drinks. Not by any means the staff's fault , they are just not enough. All our previous cruises with Thompson up to 2013, staff had sections, they had time to talk to you, your drinks were topped up , you didn't spend time you have to be relaxing looking for bar staff !! We bought the drinks package and we have lost out badly, we just could not get served even when going to bar yourself you had to wait ages. The drinks package just keeps adding concessions , and now you have the lovely new coffee shop which replaces Explorers and that is not included in the drinks package, although they did reduce hot drinks for you. This still makes Hemmingways crowded from those who may have sat in explorers now go in here , so there is lack of seats and of course bar service a major struggle as they look after the casino too. If it wasn't for the fantastic casino staff you would never get a drink while playing ! One of the biggest disappointments was we were expecting a WOW factor on arrival, big company , big brand , was expecting big decorations. So not the case, was truly lacking and Horrizons had none at all !No Christmas shows just repeats from what they have done throughout the year, same quizes, same jokes! same play. No build up to Christmas or New Year from Cruise Director Gavin, if a announcement was made by him it was geared around selling something! You were constantly hassled to buy wine packages, wine taster evening's , pictures (of which 1 night they had 5 areas on board they set up to grab you ), We sailed Christmas Eve but docked Christmas Day when all shops were closed ? No fireworks New Years Eve as we were sailing ! They even hassled you to buy champagne for New Year , no offense the price we paid I was expecting it to be free ! No little touches for Christmas, mince pies in cabins? mulled wine ? just a repeated CD playing same Christmas tunes. Even the Cruise News was the same , could it not have come with Christmas Colours ? They did do Santa for little ones. Food was cold, repeated and you could see the servings of certain foods in the Lido was reused on another seating. Food was the same as what was served in August, except Christmas and New Years Day.The Lido is now no longer 24hr dining and closes at 1am, which although I can see opening all the time is silly I do feel it should close when all the entertainment is closed. On New Year Eve it still closed at 1am although people were still on the Lido deck drinking and dancing! We had a feeling there was norovirus on board as they switched to serving us, drinks menu's were taken in. When I asked why drinks menu's were taken in I was informed it was due to passing on any germs, I sort of understood that , but the menu's for drinks and snacks you had to buy in full were still out ? If you got a large straw with a drink the tip of the paper cover was on but if you had a smaller straw it didn't ? This was to stop spread but did not make sense why one and not the other. Everything now on board seams geared around extracting as much money as possible from you. You no longer feel important to Thomson, we made a written complaint and left it with reception, we were not contacted by anyone to say they would look into it or that they had received it! Nothing from the cruise director!. Constant vibration throughout the ship even in dock! Basically we paid for a Christmas cruise and we actually got a very poor normal cruise. Certainly not standards you would expect from Thomson. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
This was the first time we've been on a Cunard ship, I knew all the history, Queen Mary, Elizabeth, QE2, QM2 etc and always wondered what it would be like. We went as a family of nine to have the ultimate Christmas and New Year to ... Read More
This was the first time we've been on a Cunard ship, I knew all the history, Queen Mary, Elizabeth, QE2, QM2 etc and always wondered what it would be like. We went as a family of nine to have the ultimate Christmas and New Year to remember. Ages from two to early 60's. Queen Victoria is a beautiful ship, she looks stunning. The first thing you see inside is the Grand Lobby, that sets the tone for the rest of the ship. We had a ocean view cabin on deck one and we were impressed. The best cabin we've stayed in so far. Queen Victoria is big enough to hold her own, but small enough to feel intimate. Actually it's the first time we've built up relationships with the crew. I love the feeling when you wake up early and it feels like you're the only one on board. Magically feeling. You can feel the history and spirit of the past, but in a modern setting. The Playroom (2-7 year olds) kids club is amazing. The best kids club on the seas. The team transformed our voyage by providing the best care possible for our two year old son, just enough time for us to have a break but able to leave him with confidence. Queen Victoria provided carol singing on Christmas Eve in the Grand Lobby, kids party with presents from Santa in the Queens Room. New Years Eve was very special, amazing atmosphere, the best one ever. Negatives: Some of the older passengers can be rude and at the start of the cruise look down at you because you have kids. But then again we're Cunard's future passengers and the crew made us feel amazing and loved the kids, they made such a fuss of them, they got to know them on first name terms. And by the middle of the cruise the older generations had mellowed out and enjoyed the company of the kids. We were really impressed with Cunard's Queen Victoria, the history oozes out in the right way on an ultra modern ship. We can't wait to get back on board or even try out Queen Mary 2 or Queen Elizabeth.   Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2013
Sailed from Southampton on 21st Dec. for the Canaries. This is the first time we have sailed with P and O,although we have sailed before with their sister company, Princess. Well what can I say, although the ship is in need of updating as ... Read More
Sailed from Southampton on 21st Dec. for the Canaries. This is the first time we have sailed with P and O,although we have sailed before with their sister company, Princess. Well what can I say, although the ship is in need of updating as the decor was a little tired, this did not spoil anything for us at all. We found the staff polite and friendly although sometimes we had to wait for a drink. Our cabin steward Reagan was exceptional, always ready to help and assist us with anything that we asked for. The entertainment on board was good. We used the theatre on most nights as there was always something on that we wished to see. The food was to die for. There were some people on board who were moaning about it but I expect those people usually eat every night at the Ritz. The Captain Neil Turnbull was brilliant, he kept us informed about everything and was often seen about the ship talking to the passengers. What a nice man. The only thing that I didn't like or appreciate where some of the passengers who thought that they were better than anyone else. Sheer snobbery abounds still on P and O and a lot of the older passengers are guilty of this. Some of them are downright rude with no manners (which they usually accuse the youngsters of) To these passengers I would say , this is 2014. Not 1924 the class system on cruises no longer exists. My money is the same colour as yours lose the attitude. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
We are just returning from an excellent cruise to Canary Islands on Norwegian Spirit. Everything was wonderful from Embarkation to disambarkation, all employees on the ship try to please you in anyway they can, the tours we took from the ... Read More
We are just returning from an excellent cruise to Canary Islands on Norwegian Spirit. Everything was wonderful from Embarkation to disambarkation, all employees on the ship try to please you in anyway they can, the tours we took from the ship was excellent for Lanzarote (best of Lanzarote) in the way that we visited a lot of things and it was very nice and the meal on the tour was excellent too, but we took a tour a Casablanca (exclusive Casablanca and Rabat) and it was not worthed to pay extra money to be in a small group in the way that we did not visit everything we were supposed to (the guide was upset with some of the questions he was asked...) )the tour was supposed to last approx. 9 hours...we left at 8h15 and we returned at 15h45 (according to the original schedule we were supposed to be back at around 17h15) and the tour on the big bus with more people took the time to visit everything and more...but I told the facts to the shore excursion personnel and they took care of my complaint right away in the sense they give me some money back...I really appreciate the fact they listen to me and take care of the situation... One other thing we appreciate is that we told at the reception personnel that a suitcase was broken by one of the porters (from the bus to the room) and they took the time to repair that suitcase...it was greatly apprciate... All the meals we took on board was excellent (at RAFFLES for breakfast and lunch except for the days we were on excursions and at WINDOWS for dinner) and the waiters and their help gave a really good service....we usually eat at around 5h30 PM and we had a table right away (no waiti) and by the Windows... Al the shows were excellent and we went to all daily shows (3 shows with dancers and singers, 2 shows of magic, 1 show with 2 excellent acrobatic, 1 Broadway show and more)... They have very good music onboard (ship band, 1 other band with 2 singers and they were excellent, 1 trio, duo, 1 pianist, 1 guitarist)....so they have music for everybody and evry taste with those 6 groups... The embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth and fast....(for the disimbarkation, it took only 30 minutes from the time we left our room on the ship to the finish of checkin at the airport....I never experience a disembarkation, transport to the airport by taxi and chek-in for the plane so fast...we left the ship at around 7h00 in the morning))... Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
We went on the Celebration for Christmas and the New Year and after a fantastic time on the Majesty last year we had high expectations for a great time this year. After promoting the ship as a 'Platinum' ship we were expecting ... Read More
We went on the Celebration for Christmas and the New Year and after a fantastic time on the Majesty last year we had high expectations for a great time this year. After promoting the ship as a 'Platinum' ship we were expecting the standards to be high but they were appauling. The food was cold and repetative and in most cased tasteless. We were constantly bombarded by photographers and there were 4 formal evenings instead of two but we were not informed before the cruise. Several people had not packed for the additional evenings. The set dining was a shambles. There was absolutely no reason for everyone to be at the dining room for 8.15pm on Christmas Day or New Year's Eve. Many people were still waiting for a table after 9.30pm. It also put pressure on the waiting and galley staff. What should have been a special New Year's Eve was a bit of a flop. The entertainment staff at the back of the ship with some poppers was not exactly high end entertainment for New Year's Eve. Many people could not understand why Madeira was not on the itinerary with it's world renown firework display. Probably more cut backs by Thomson. The staff tried their best but service was poor in some areas and on one occasion we walked out of the Horizon bar after waiting 30 minutes for a drink. The coffee shop has a charge even if you are on 'all inclusive' and there are cabins instead of the cinema which make the ship busier.There was a serious lack of space when everyone was on board. The food finished at 1pm although you could order room service at an additonal charge yet again. On the second week my husband contracted Noro Virus and we were confined to our cabin for 48 hours. Many passengers and staff contracted the infection causing more problems with staff shortages. Although staff were seen to be wiping tables and mopping floors we never saw them actually rinse the cloths in hot soapy water and the mops were filthy. The ladies' toilets outside the coffee shop and Horizons bar were a disgrace in the evening. When I reported this to the reception I was told house keeping had been informed but 3 hours later nothing had been done to clean them or unblock the toilets. The waitresses in Hemmingways did try their best and the standard of service delivered by Manny and Jasper in the Meridian restaurant saved out holiday. Apollo our cabin steward worked hard and kept our cabin spotless. We have always had fantastic holidays with Thomson Cruises but if this is the future of their 'Platinum' fleet we will not be chosing them in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
My husband and I just returned from our first European trip (from United States). We spent two days in Barcelona before boarding the NCL Spirit. We had a surprising quick check-in process and experiences nothing but superb service and ... Read More
My husband and I just returned from our first European trip (from United States). We spent two days in Barcelona before boarding the NCL Spirit. We had a surprising quick check-in process and experiences nothing but superb service and friendliness of the crew and staff from beginning to end. Our room attendant, Charlie, was fantastic. A wonderful smiling face to see everyday. As other reviews have mentioned, the food was just OK. We had a great food and service at Cagney's, and were happy with that we ordered at Trattoria and as for the complimentary eateries, we found Windows to be the most pleasant. We didn't particularly love the shows as the talent felt like small town community theater, but could tell the performers were really trying to put on a good show. Our first port, Lanzarote, was OK. We just walked around, lacked stores/places to visit outside of excursions. Tenerife was also OK. Unfortunately, this stop was on New Years Day so most of the city was closed. We did take a highlights tour in Casablanca and were extremely disappointed. The whole tour felt like a cattle heard and after we were shuffled through the Mosque, we spent the next 4 hours of the tour wasting time with random stops--- one at a small hotel where we were given a soda, and told we could sit in the lounge for 40 minutes (while 6-8 other tour busses did the same thing). We were dropped at some small store with souvenirs... crammed like sardines with way too many tour busses stopping at the same store. One bathroom for use, no toilet paper. Casablanca was a sad city, very dirty, and the people were not friendly.... very negative experience. We LOVED Málaga. LOVED it. Cannot wait to go back just to visit that city again. Other than the iffy stops, we were overall very happy with our NCL experience. The boat may not have had many bells and whistles and the activities felt a little hit or miss, but the Crew and Staff were phenomenal. There was always SOMETHING to do. Every NCL employee we encountered was upbeat, helpful, and friendly. Will definitely look into future trips with NCL- especially their newer ships.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
This was advertised as a Christmas and New Year Cruise aboard the Marco Polo. We booked this cruise on the basis of our first experience on this ship in September 2012 when we enjoyed the 'Round the Islands Cruise', we could not ... Read More
This was advertised as a Christmas and New Year Cruise aboard the Marco Polo. We booked this cruise on the basis of our first experience on this ship in September 2012 when we enjoyed the 'Round the Islands Cruise', we could not have wished for a more comfortable and enjoyable time with first class service and food. Unfortunately the same cannot be said of this one. Not an enjoyable cruise by any standards. This ship isn't furnished or fitted for very bad weather, furniture is not fixed and in very bad weather, as we experienced, and all furniture in the public areas was flying everywhere, and I do mean flying, and some passengers were seriously injured as well as many minor injuries. In the 'Gym' the majority of the equipment was out of order. Other activities, such as quizzes and other games and activities were good. The service was absolutely disgusting, On our first night, Sunday 22nd December I ordered soup which did not arrive even though I complained. Waiters dress appearance was poor with collars unbuttoned and ties pulled down. long wait to order wine (25 minutes on first night), better after complaining. All food, without exception was poorly presented and just warm with some main courses leaving much to be desired. (Spaghetti in Tomato Sauce was one of the main courses on three occasions, irrespective of what they called it) Service in the 'Captains Club, the main bar, was slow and the waiters appeared not to care less; some were downright rude. When I complained of the service and treatment I was told by one of the management team that 70 percent of the crew was new and had received 5 days training ashore before joining the Marco Polo for this cruise were mostly from Eastern Europe. This was marketed as a 'Christmas and New Year Cruise' No real Christmas celebrations were organised, no Christmas decorations, not even a Happy Christmas banner and virtually no decorations. Not even a decent Christmas dinner in the evening, our table had not been laid and we had to complain that we had not had our main course when they started serving tea and coffee Except for two occasions, the 'Cruise Director' was nowhere to be seen, and when he was seen he was scruffily dressed, not befitting that of a senior representative of Cruise and Maritime Voyages. Our cabin, a Junior Suite, was ok but the furnishings were poor and so was the plumbing. Our Cabin Steward was superb. Entertainment was excellent and very professional. Disembarkation was swift and one of the highlights of the voyage. So many passengers were dissatisfied that a large percentage, including my wife and I, had gratuities removed from our final statement. BAZZER   Read Less

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