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Sail Date: December 2017
We did not expect to have the great vacation that we had on this experience. I would definitely recommend this cruise for other families. Some of the thing we enjoyed on this cruise was, that the boat always had some type of activity for ... Read More
We did not expect to have the great vacation that we had on this experience. I would definitely recommend this cruise for other families. Some of the thing we enjoyed on this cruise was, that the boat always had some type of activity for the kids and adults to enjoy. They made me and my family feel as if we were at home. They we very respectful, encouraging to try new things, always very attentive to me and my family. Also Everyone that work on the ship enjoyed and loved what they did. One of the most important things was the amount of sanitary stations that you would find around the ship this showed that they cared about the germs that were around. Another thing we enjoyed was the organization that they had when you would exit the ship to go onto and island. Lastly I would definitely recommend this cruise for other families to enjoy as much as we did. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
Departing from Baltimore was excellent! We anticipated a wonderful, joyful Christmas cruise. In actuality, the decorations and activities were minimal and low budget. The entertainment was generally passable, but it was nothing special. ... Read More
Departing from Baltimore was excellent! We anticipated a wonderful, joyful Christmas cruise. In actuality, the decorations and activities were minimal and low budget. The entertainment was generally passable, but it was nothing special. Not enough activities for children/teens. Overall the ship experience was disappointing. The islands and excursions were generally good. We loved exploring the islands, and meeting locals who were all very friendly. The Royal Caribbean staff was courteous and generally seemed to care about doing a good job; particularly the dining staff. Unfortunately, we cannot recommend this ship because of poor maintenance, lack of activities, and overall pushiness of crew members trying to sell us dinners, art, spa treatments, etc. There was a sewage leak on our deck early in the trip and as a result, the entire deck smelled like sewage for the rest of the 7 days. Overall, we enjoyed being together on a cruise with our family, but Grandeur of the Seas is not up to par. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
To enjoy a special Christmas and New Years holiday vacation in which I treated my sons and their wives (40 ish adults) I booked this cruise expecting an enjoyable 10 days. I Have been on over 40 cruises to date and previous ones without ... Read More
To enjoy a special Christmas and New Years holiday vacation in which I treated my sons and their wives (40 ish adults) I booked this cruise expecting an enjoyable 10 days. I Have been on over 40 cruises to date and previous ones without the whole family that were outstandingly good, this one was a sad disappointment in so many ways, outstandingly bad. TERRIBLE - food, service, attitude. VERY, VERY short buffet hours yet, 20 minutes before afternoon closing buffet ran out of french fries and hot dogs, and the cook REFUSED TO COOK ANY MORE THAT DAY! At three different meals in the buffet, diet Coke was unavailable because they were out of syrup or was not mixing right, the other fountain in the buffet also was not able to provide diet coke either, no one seemed to be concerned about getting machine fixed. - - We were charged for drinks that were supposed to be included as one of our DIAMOND STATUS drinks between 5pm and 830pm, had to go to the service desk twice to get account corrected. - - In one of the ports, St Martins I believe, the ship blew away from the dock during boarding, fortunately no one was injured but it took 20-30 minutes to get the ship tied up properly and the gangways functional again. - - the bottom of the pool is in absolutely terrible condition, mirrors in the cabin bathrooms are black along the bottoms and sides because of damage or age, wiring on deck five atrium speaker was haphazardly attached to glass and mirrors for 3-4 feet with pieces of black electrical tape - - The dancers in the production shows were good, but the singers and the song selections were poor. - - The orchestra was performing well but sounded poor because the sound-man/sound mixer person hasn't a clue or has a tin ear (get him some training or get someone else) - - the pool attendants were not enforcing the time limit rule on unattended deck chairs, so it was impossible to get one for ourselves - - the teenagers on board were not made to follow the curfew and were out running around all hours disturbing others - - these are the major issues I can recall, but it appears to me it is a top down problem on this ship, or maybe corporate down problem. I do not plan, even though I have diamond status and get some good perks, to ever cruise on Royal Carib. again. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
My adult niece and I both live in Maryland so sailing from Baltimore eliminated a long drive or a flight. We drove in the morning of cruise, arriving around 11:30am. Dropping of luggage, parking car and entering cruise terminal took all of ... Read More
My adult niece and I both live in Maryland so sailing from Baltimore eliminated a long drive or a flight. We drove in the morning of cruise, arriving around 11:30am. Dropping of luggage, parking car and entering cruise terminal took all of 10 minutes. There was no wait to reach the security screener other than guests in front of us had to dig for their set sail and passports. Once inside we completed our health forms and were directed to the suite line. We were in a Junior Suite and I am diamond plus, niece is platinum. No wait to reach an agent and on the ship by 12:05. Using the lower gangway puts you on the ship on deck 1. We elected to take the steps to deck 4 to the R bar to wait for staterooms to be ready. Settled down to enjoy the ship and have our welcome aboard cocktails, Cosmo for me and white wine for niece. Shortly after 1pm we made our way to deck 8 and our lovely stateroom. Dropped our backpacks and headed to windjammer for a little something to hold us til 5:30 fixed seating. Not very busy at that time but very few clean tables. Then back to stateroom to see if luggage had arrived. Out of 6 bags 3 were there! Wandered the ship until 3ish then headed to cabin to get our coats for muster drill at 3:15pm. Fortunately we were on the sunny side of the ship and it was almost hot standing there. Lesson learned, don't arrive on time, that is 3:15pm. We stood there until 3:40pm before the announcements and instructions were made. Fortunately it was over at 3:45pm. Made our way to deck 10 for sail away. By this time the sun was going down and it was getting cold. When we hadn't pulled away from the pier by 4:30 we gave up and went to our cabin. I had hoped to watch us go under the Key Bridge but our 5:30 dining time came before we sailed. We had a great time and booked the same cruise for next year. Biggest issue I had was our next door neighbors, the cabin just forward of ours, was smoking on the veranda. Called guest services the first night to complain. I was told to stick my head around the divider and determine if they were in fact the smokers! I advised that was not my responsibility to confront other guests. Went to bed determined to track down the Hotel Director in the morning. On our first sea day I opened the veranda door to enjoy the view and was met by cigarette smoke. Called the front desk to complain and with in 5 minutes two security officers were knocking on our door. They went out on our balcony and stuck their heads arounds and saw the people smoking! Officer advised the guests she would be right over to speak with them. She advise us the matter would be resolved and I would not have to call again. Taken care of! Thank you RCI. Dining - We had 5:30 fixed seating and loved it. Always finished in time if we wanted to see the early show. Dinner in the MDR was hit or miss. We found it best to order 2 entrees. I loved Izumi, ate there once, niece loved Giovanni's - ate there twice, Chops was good - had one meal there. Most of our breakfasts were in the MDR, love being served and the food was hot. Lunch was in the WJ, found the MDR lunch menu to be very limited. Issue in WJ was finding a clean table. Only once during the entire cruise did a staff person ask if we wanted a coffee or water refill in the WJ. Entertainment - Did not go to production shows. The headliner entertainers were good to great. Surprisingly loved the 'unexpected boys' and the adult comedian. Rosario Strings and the piano entertainer in the Schooner Bar were my favorites. I loved quiet evenings in the Viking Crown Lounge. Service - The crew were wonderful. Always a smile, Merry Christmas or Happy New Year. Ports and Shore Excursions - Loved Antigua and St Maarten, they about my favorite stops. Used ship excursions for St Thomas and Antigua for beach trips. Kids - We had just over 500 children onboard and I was surprised how little I saw or heard any. It wasn't until the last day we ran into the 'packs of tweens'. Wonderful holiday cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
good value for the dollar we got two holidays in one trip. The dining was our only issue, the waiter was not very friendly or sociable just stuck to his job and staff was under sized as our waiter's helper had 4 tables to handle ... Read More
good value for the dollar we got two holidays in one trip. The dining was our only issue, the waiter was not very friendly or sociable just stuck to his job and staff was under sized as our waiter's helper had 4 tables to handle when they normally have two . My request on first dining seating for raw sugar was quickly shot down as our waiter said they were out of that kind and should be getting some tomorrow so i was like ok. Next evening at dinner same story so i questioned why the windjammer has tons of raw sugar, he had no explanation and walk away at that time i said to my wife" I am tired of this crap" and I was going to customer service to complain,when out of nowhere the helper brings the sugar and never had a issue with sugar the rest of cruise. Now the food from start to finish of cruise was always lukewarm and is unacceptable,I said something to head waiter but that was useless, one night I ordered the meatballs and they were raw inside, head waiter got me new order and same thing raw inside,so he got me 3rd order except this time had more gravy on top, when cut open raw again he said they all are like that, to dip in gravy you will never see the color, then walked away. I could not believe what he said, after all the warnings about eating undercooked food. Ship overall is in average shape and could use some updating, showers are too small and the shower curtain stuck to you like glue. Toilets wont flush at times seems like maintenance is fixing them all the time. Shore excursions where costly, certain taxis were costly when doing your own thing, we did group tours which were reasonable from 15 to 40 a person.The galley tour n brunch was well worth the 20 bucks,fillet mignon was on the menu all you can eat, highly recommend.Staff was friendly and very helpful.Shows were very good .Overall I have been on this ship 3 times and this was the worst for food quality and dinner service. The park cafe is the pits,they have no wraps, no turkey, no made to order sandwiches unless it was a panini,the burgers,fries,hot dogs,pizza was always cold. Younger kids constantly ran around the ship some were pressing the elevator buttons some just causing noise. I would do cruise again as this was the first time for some issues that we did not experience on prior cruises with this ship. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We travelled with three couples who are all good friends. We were booked in Aqua class and there were various comments among us regarding the value. We absolutely loved Blu, the diningroom designated to be used by Aqua cabin ... Read More
We travelled with three couples who are all good friends. We were booked in Aqua class and there were various comments among us regarding the value. We absolutely loved Blu, the diningroom designated to be used by Aqua cabin passengers. The room is smaller than the main dining room, service top notch and I think the food is prepared in a different kitchen. We generally had breakfast there as well, fresh orange juice, yum..and Nice and quiet. I used the Persian Gardens almost daily, nice heated beds, steam and sauna looking out over the ocean, and the other perk is the shower in our cabin that had jets of water for the body and overhead. We did have lunch in the buffet. Because Blu was so good, we did not feel like we needed go to any of the private, extra charge dining rooms. Our friends, on the other hand, did not see the value. They said they are not foodies, don't care where they eat as "food is food" and there is plenty everywhere. They used the Persian Garden only once. And the third couple loved Blu and never used the Persian Garden. So, everyone is different. The ship itself was kept very clean. We were in the casino a few evenings and it was quite busy. The shows were hit and miss. The entertainment we enjoyed were In the Skydeck at 10 p.m. Almost nightly. Live Music, a bit of a show by the dancers, and the guests joining in, or just watching. The gym is large and very busy in the morning. More equipment available later. New Years Eve was magical, dancing and singing out on the deck with at least 1200 people on a warm Caribbean night under the stars. The band played for all age groups. Only minor issues were: Disembarkation was very, very slow getting through customs. I think it was because it was New Year's Day and they were short staffed. Chairs on the deck at the pool was a challenge ...people 'saved' seats by putting down towels and books, then left,..and lots of times those spots were vacant for hours. Not a great system. All in all, we complained that we had nothing to complain about. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We had a wonderful vacation on the 11 Journey cruise from NYC to Miami over Thanksgiving. It was just myself (43 year old mom) and three sons (15, 13 and 10 yr). This was our third Carnival family vacation, but I have sailed on a dozen ... Read More
We had a wonderful vacation on the 11 Journey cruise from NYC to Miami over Thanksgiving. It was just myself (43 year old mom) and three sons (15, 13 and 10 yr). This was our third Carnival family vacation, but I have sailed on a dozen cruises on multiple lines. We had an Ocean Suite and it worked for us. The room had plenty of storage and was well arranged to make the most of the space. The bathroom was also very spacious. We didn't hear any noise (room 7353) and this was a great location. We never used the elevators. I only wish the room would have been a little cooler. I got hot a lot while sleeping and it couldn't be turned down and further. We had early dining and I thought food was very good. Not every meal was a hit, but certainly not bad and some things we excellent. We had excellent waiters and servers who worked very hard. Drink service was slow so I usually grabbed a drink before coming in the dining room. The Steakhouse was amazing!!! Food was outstanding. I was a little disappointed in the service. I had to ask for a second glass of wine (not on Cheers program) and for water to be refilled. Other than that, it was the best meal of the trip. We ate lunch at the Italian restaurant. It was good. We liked Guys Burgers and Blue Iguana. Lido deck was good for breakfast and lunch. I was surprised at how easy it was to find seats and how there weren't a lot of lines. Pizza had the longest lines so I only got it once. It isn't my favorite. We enjoyed room service a few times for snacks and lunch. The new Pig and Anchor was also good. There are so many places to eat that even in 11 days we didn't get to try them all. The salads in the serenity area were wonderful but the line is very slow. I would have had that more often if it didn't take so much time. Variety of options was outstanding! Yes the two main show lounges were horribly designed with moving chairs and obstructed views. Hopefully this will eventually be corrected or at the very least not repeated on any future ships. We didn't try the Imax or the Thrill theater. We loved the Skyride and Ropes courses. So much fun! We never had trouble finding chairs around the pool. Sometimes we had to go up a few levels but I preferred that anyway. The sports zone was awesome. Best mini golf on any of the ships I have been on and we enjoyed playing shuffle board, ping pong and the other games. Nicely done! The areas to sit outside were more then plentiful. Something for everyone. Casino. I didn't spend any time here. Too smoky to make it enjoyable so I spent my money elsewhere. I was surprised at how much I loved the Atrium. I didn't think I would like the LCD centerpiece but it was really cool. They could use some better shops. These were basic and boring. The live music was also amazing in the Atrium. They had a violinist playing popular music. Even my kids wanted to stop and hear them play night after night. And they had real steel drums at the pool. Yay!!! Keep that up. Shows I thought were a little lacking. The one production of Flick was amazing but didn't really care to see a lot of the others. The comedians were good. I don't mind rated R shows but it did seem like a lot of the humor was not very funny compared to my past Carnival trips. The outside movies were great. I found the crew to be very friendly and had no complaints on the service. I did hear some passengers complaining about the most ridiculous stuff. I think the reason why most ships don't get higher marks is because there are a lot of experienced cruisers on these ships. I heard conversations like "I like the booths in the dining room on such a such ship better" and I liked the décor better on "such and such" etc. They have so much experience that they will always have had a better experience somewhere else but not all the best experience on any one ship. Just my opinion. Many repeat cruisers on this ship and it had only launched 6 months ago! My kids were in each of the different age kid centers and loved it. They didn't always stay in the center, but would meet up with kids and then go play in the arcade or get food etc. Try to encourage your kids to visit it on the first day so they can make friends. My kids only want to cruise now because they get to meet people as opposed to going to a resort and being stuck with mom at night. :) I did not do the cheers program and think it was the right call for me. I did really enjoy the Alchemy bar. It was so fun to sit there and watch them make drinks and light things on fire. You could just give them a suggestion and they would make something up for you. I would say I want something light and not very fruity. Voila, a drink would be concocted. I did learn to bring a drink into the comedy shows because bar service was spotty. They only had 2 waiters working and depending upon where you were in the lounge they may not have gotten over to you. Grand Turk - We enjoyed Jack's Shack and Margaritaville. Bonaire - We loved the SeaCow excursion. We had all snorkeled before but we really enjoyed this trip. Aruba - I booked Jolly Pirate on my own and the kids and I had a blast! Snorkeling was only so but my kids loved the rope swing. St. Martin - We were here on Thanksgiving with 7 ships. I booked Robinson Boat Tours and we had a 6 hour 14 person speedboat that took us to both sides of the island including lunch, snorkeling stops and Moho Beach. It was the best excursion we have EVER taken. Highly recommend and they were great when Carnival changed our itinerary two days before and then changed it back the day before our sailing. Dismemberment was a breeze. We had the best vacation. Yes there are things we could find to complain about but why bother. We were on vacation. Great memories made! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2015
This was my 3rd cruise on Princess, and the first on Emerald. I understand that the ship just came out of dry dock, but I couldn't really figure out what had been updated other than the Effy jewelry boutique that took up a large ... Read More
This was my 3rd cruise on Princess, and the first on Emerald. I understand that the ship just came out of dry dock, but I couldn't really figure out what had been updated other than the Effy jewelry boutique that took up a large amount of the shopping area. I'm not sure why Princess cruises made the decision to give so much real estate to such an expensive jewelry store. The pieces are terribly overpriced for mass produced jewelry in my opinion and they were pushing it hard. I'm not sure if this jewelry line meets the demographics of the Princess customer base, but time will tell. Embarkation was a breeze- and my daughter and I were on the ship in less than 10 minutes. The Muster drill was rather disorganized and took much longer than previous cruises. When I embarked on the ship I immediately called for reservations and was informed that Sabatini's Italian restaurant no longer existed. It has been replaced with the restaurant called "share" which comes with a $39 per person cover charge. Needless to say my husband and I did not eat at "share" but we did dine at the Crowne grill and were not disappointed. We did not have hot water for the first two days, and learned from other passengers that this was a problem for them as well. Air-conditioning did not run cold but this was ok with us as we tend not to like air-conditioning anyway. But for some people it was a real problem. I didn't let this ruin my cruise so I just took cool showers quickly and spent most of my time outside. We were upgraded from an ocean view to a premium balcony room which was nice but honestly I wouldn't of paid the extra money for it. The balcony was almost as big as the room and we didn't use it as much as I had expected. The ride down was very rocky and there were gale force winds according to the captain. At one point the pools had to be drained and closed because they became unsafe due to the movement of the water in the pools. I was up in the sanctuary area for most of the sea days and the noise from the wind was extremely loud but again I didn't mind- it's a cruise after all and you can expect wind and other kinds of noise. One issue with the sanctuary area is that you can hear some of the loud talkers down at the Lotus spa pool. They really should have a better way to soundproof this since you're paying $40 a day for the sanctuary area. In the main pools there were quite a few kids that were rough housing unsupervised which was a nuisance. Also, pools were pretty deep starting at about 5'3" which made it difficult for the young ones to swim around. There was no dedicated kids pool which would have been a good idea given the amount of children on board. This could've also mitigated the problem with some of the kids jumping and creating mayhem at the same time that adults and other kids wanted to swim. This resulted in most folks hanging onto the edges or trying to swing while avoiding the constant jumping in and pushing of the unsupervised kids. I actually saw some concerning behavior from the kids on the pool deck and became worried about safety and the deck attendance would not do anything. There was a group of kids that was really loud and splashing during the movie at night and one passenger got angry and yelled at them to be quiet. I'm a parent myself, and I really like kids but this just got really out of hand and affected other peoples enjoyment. My seven-year-old enjoyed the pelicans kids club. In her words- I really enjoyed the kids club. Because we got to go inside and ride bikes and do all these fun stuff. Had a pajama party which is really fun and we we got to do all these fun crafts and play with the Wii, which was where we we have a remote and we dance with that. We also got to do these fun crafts like making Masks and making bracelets and there was also a jungle gym which is pretty fun and you have to take your shoes off to go in , and before you go in the kids club you have to wash Your hands. The buffet food was unremarkable. There is decent salad at every meal. I agree with some other recent posters that the service in the dining room was excruciatingly slow. One night it took us three hours to have dinner. Staff were not particularly attentive and did not refill drinks in a timely manner. Most of the food arrived cold or lukewarm at best. This was one of the main reasons that my husband and I went to the crown grill for three of the nights. Since this is a Christmas cruise we had expected a special meal on Christmas evening. In fact this was touted as one of the features of the Christmas cruise. We were disappointed that there was really nothing special although there was some bland turkey and cranberry sauce but not the extravagant buffet or dining room event that we had expected. Santa made an appearance and gave our presents to the kids which was a bonus, and my daughter seem to have a great time with that. I still have the coffee shop at the international café, the pastries were outstanding. Entertainment was lackluster, but pretty standard in mainstream for this cruise line. We were in bed most nights by 10:30 PM so I can't speak for the late-night entertainment or the clubs. With all that said, I still like Princess and have two more cruises booked with them. A cruise is a cruise and it's what you make of it and I like cruising princess. I do think they need to make some improvements as I mentioned. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
Embarkation was to be in 10 minutes from pier to room. No Way rooms not ready until 1pm. Door locked so you could not go to room. Now to the windjammer which was quit nice and food selection great. Homemade cookies baked fresh daily from ... Read More
Embarkation was to be in 10 minutes from pier to room. No Way rooms not ready until 1pm. Door locked so you could not go to room. Now to the windjammer which was quit nice and food selection great. Homemade cookies baked fresh daily from 11 to 9. A great new tradition. At 1 we tried to get to room but were told not until 2PM. We finally got to the room 11252 which is a balcony room which had adequate storage, new bathroom with larger shower. Nicely done. There were wrist band to use instead of the cards. Neither band worked so we relied on the cards for the 11 nights. We were able at 2 wks out to obtain dining and show reservations with help of C&A. The thing with the dining was the even without a reservation you could go up to the dining room entrance and share a table and get seated right away. We ate at the American Icon and the food was very poor as the service at dinner time. We ate at this restaurant for Breakfast and lunch and was great food and service. Do not know what dinner was so bad. Chic was one of our favorite place for dinner. We had 3 meals here, but the trouble the menus remain identical. So same old each night. Silk was good for 2 nights. The food was good, but again it was the same menu for the 2 nights. They really tried to get us to buy drinks. The Grande was for 2 night for which a jacket is required (formal). The menu was nice and had lobster, good meal and service. Coastal Kitchen was a special allowance for us for 2 nights. This was the best meal choices and service on board. It is a restaurant designated for Pinnacle and Suite guests. They service breakfast, lunch and dinner there. We only had dinner at this location due to being only Diamond Plus. Chops was a paid for dining option which we did go on 1 night. We always go to Chops on ships for ding and this restaurant was not a disappointment. We loved the food and service. There were 6 other pay for dining which we did not use. Michael Pub, Devinely Decadence, Wonderland, Izumi Japanese, Jamies Italian, and Chef Table. Cafe 270 was the place we ate most breakfast and lunch. It is like the Park Cafe on other ships. It was always crowded. Windjammer food was same as on most ships but they had an addition of a bakery at the entrance of restaurant and they made fresh breads and homemade cookies. This was a wonderful addition to the cruise menu. Fresh and warm cookies wonderful and busy at most times. The entertainment was OK. RCCL paid for a Bionic Bar which looked large in most ads but in reality was quite small. Only say if used 2 times. The bars had a great selection to choose from and music good at most. The 270 theater had the windows which turn into pictures and the entertainment was about medium. The comedian John David was tremendous. The other entertainers were about average, not special. The daily activities were just normal as other ships, nothing spectacular. Shops on boards were all upscale and i mean upscale. They did the normal sales on watches almost every days and then a t shirt sale. They were all done in a small area in front of the shops and this made walking through a problem due to crowds. Stateroom entertainment was CNN, HLN, TMC and then RCCL channels. The computerized daily planner did not work in the room due to computer issues. We are Diamond Plus with many cruises under our travels, but on this ship there were 1300 plus loyal travelers on board. This made is hard to go to the evening 5 TO 8:30 cocktail hours in Diamond or Concierge lounges. There was only standing room most nights and service was hard to get. We heard on board that RCCL will be taking away our benefit to go to the concierge lounge as a Diamond Plus. They plan to make the concierge for Pinnacle and Suites Guests. How sad that we can go on 50 cruises with them but they want us to be lower than a person who may take 1 cruise book a suite and get that benefit. We spend lots of bucks on RCCL but they do not appreciate it. One good benefit they gave was 3 drinks at any bar during cocktail hours for Diamond Plus which was a nice touch. This should be implemented for other ships. Embarkation was a nightmare it was to be 8:30 and we got off at 10:30, the problem was customs and the baggage handlers, our bags were being delivered as we got there. A mess. We have booked the Anthem for Oct, 15 and cancelled when we came home. Ship beautiful and that is about it.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
The staff on Adventures of the Seas was outstanding! This ship was nice and clean at all times. My husband and I have a few (small) gripes, things that we liked better on other cruise lines: 1. not enough (free) counter service food/meal ... Read More
The staff on Adventures of the Seas was outstanding! This ship was nice and clean at all times. My husband and I have a few (small) gripes, things that we liked better on other cruise lines: 1. not enough (free) counter service food/meal options, which leads to long lines and congestion at the Windjammer buffet. A counter service at the pool area would be idea, a grill with pizza/burgers/salads. Another food issue, was the lack of a room service menu and the quality of that food. However, our meals in the main dining room were absolutely delicious! 2. Mid ship elevators were very slow, more than expected during peak times and non peak times. 3. The jogging track wraps around the 12th deck and intertwines sunbathers on lounge chairs, and there are frequently people strolling around and looking at the scenery, and they don't move for the joggers. The track is not very well labeled and as a jogger you feel as if you are "in the way". A better location would be around the sport deck. 4. The big daily "sale" that happens on the promenade cause major congestion for those guest just walking through not wanting to shop. Suggestion would be to maybe spread their "station" out longer instead of wider to provide room on either side for guests needing to get through. 5. The ice skating show was wonderful, so much talent and fun to watch! The times for open ice skate were limited so we were unable to try out this activity. 6. The "don't stop the rock" show left us disappointed. 7. On a typical evening after dinner, around 8-8:30pm, it seemed as if there was a lack of (free) activities. If you wanted to sit in the pub and pay for beer, or go to the skybar and pay for drinks, those were options. Only 2 nights were there some sort of activity (love & marriage show and a less than desirable comedy routine put on the same time as another game show activity so you couldn't attend both). 8. The food at Johnny Rockets was terrible! The burgers lacked toppings and were overcooked. The French fries served to us were cold and tasted as if they were sitting for a long time, the waiter never replaced them. Very disappointing. 9. Returning from a day at port, other ships on the dock had a "welcome back" party for their guests, playing music and giving them small cups of water. Very nice! Wish RCI would do this. Hopefully you have read through all my comments. This ship is beautiful and clean and you will have a nice time. All staff we had contact with were absolutely outstanding! Even though it looks like I'm full of complaints here, I'm not. It was a nice ship and a fantastic vacation, we just prefer other ships. Thank you! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2014
Embarkation - OK, long line but moved along well, no issues. Ship - I understand it is due a refresh, you can see some areas need it BUT not a problem. Food - good food buffet choice was good, restaurant, small portions but good. Went to ... Read More
Embarkation - OK, long line but moved along well, no issues. Ship - I understand it is due a refresh, you can see some areas need it BUT not a problem. Food - good food buffet choice was good, restaurant, small portions but good. Went to Portifino steak was great. Cafe in promenade starbucks coffee great, snack food choice great especially late at night, get the cupcakes. Jonny Rockets was a bit of a waste of space - top deck never seen it busy at all, if they relocated it to promenade then more people would use it I think. Crew - all good, very friendly and welcoming. Ports of call - Labadee could be better, did not like dogs roaming about, but good to get off ship for the day. Other ports at ABC islands very good. Entertainment - all good. Disembarkation - was terrible, took a long time and we were self assist. Line to disembark was into the casino where you are allowed to smoke - we do not smoke!!!!   Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
My wife and I are frequent cruisers (19), with 13 on Princess and the others spread between Royal Carribean (1), Carnival (2) and Celebrity (3). We started with Princess on the Golden and to be fair, that class of ship remains my ... Read More
My wife and I are frequent cruisers (19), with 13 on Princess and the others spread between Royal Carribean (1), Carnival (2) and Celebrity (3). We started with Princess on the Golden and to be fair, that class of ship remains my favourite, although lately we prefer Celebrity. I won't talk about the ports as they are common to all lines. Specific Positives about Princess in general: (1)Food is very good ( a notch below Celebrity but above Carnival). (2)Love that they have multiple entertainment theaters (Vista Lounge in the rear and Princess Theater in the front, plus piano bars so you can usually find something you like). (3)Service/Staff is excellent (notwithstanding they have eliminated many positions - no longer have wine stewards in the dining room and you have to go to the bar to get a drink when on deck). Specific Negatives about Princess in general: (1)For a cruise line that pioneered anytime dining, anytime diners are now almost second class citizens. They have always had three dining rooms however previously one was reserved for set seating and the other two for anytime diners. This was our second cruise with Princess this year and on both cruises one dining room was specifically set aside for set seating, however one of the remaining two was reserved for set seating until 8:00pm, leaving only one dining room for anytime diners wanting to eat before 8:00pm. As both these cruises left from Florida, most anytime diners wanted to eat between 6:00 and 7:00 leading to long lines and wait times. I know many Europeans like to eat later so it may work there but not on cruises from North America. (2) I know many people love the Movies Under The Stars, and I would have no problem if it was only under the stars, but during the day the sound system is so loud that if you want to relax and read a book in peace and quiet you are almost obligated to pay the money for the Sanctuary (was that the plan?). Specific Negatives about the Royal Princess: (1), (2), and (3) - Balcony size! It is ridiculously small. We had a mini suite and were constantly tripping over either chair legs or each other's legs trying to manoeuver around the balcony to sit down. Forget trying to entertain guests on the balconies. (4) WARNING - do not book a balcony cabin at the rear sides of the ship. The glass walkways on Lido deck that hang out over the side at the back of the ship allow people to easily observe the balconies (no privacy) and for balcony rooms on the upper decks, walkers can look right into the cabin. (5) The proximity of the redesigned Wheelhouse Bar to the Crown Grill, without a full wall between, and both open to people walking by, eliminates the sanctuary feeling of the old Wheelhouse Bars and the romanticism of the specialty restaurant. Specific Positives about the Royal Princess: Can't really come up with any specific to the ship as basically I think Princess "missed the boat" so to speak, on this design. But I'm prejudiced, as I stated earlier I prefer the Golden/Grand class. Embarkation/Disembarkation- My wife and I breezed through both although we are Platinum so we had Preferred Embarkation, and we have GOES for returning so we had a priority line for customs - NOTE - there are no signs or other indications that a GOES priority line exists, you have to ask. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
Having cruised twice before in the Med with Thomson and having enjoyed my experience thoroughly as a special treat I decided to book a surprise cruise to the carribean for my wife's 50th Birthday. We booked a week prior to travel and ... Read More
Having cruised twice before in the Med with Thomson and having enjoyed my experience thoroughly as a special treat I decided to book a surprise cruise to the carribean for my wife's 50th Birthday. We booked a week prior to travel and flew out from Manchester T1 early on the 6/12/2014. The chartered flights with Thomas Cook airlines went very smoothly, good quality food and service and the fact that this was chartered by P&O which meant we loaded the cases in Manchester and then didn't touch them again until they arrived at our cabin door on the ship made the flying experience really great. We arrived in Barbados to gorgeous warm sunshine and where then off loaded by P&O directly onto the transfer coach and taken directly to the port, no hassle with customs etc. on arrival at the ship we then went through a short process to take our photographs, present our credit card and be issued with our boarding cards. Again this was very swift and professional. The ship as an awesome site, biggest that we have been on. The cabin allocation again was swift but we did encounter a problem in the cabin with the set out of sleeping arrangements, we had requested a double room but where allocated a twin and unfortunately this couldn't be changed to a double due to the configuration of the lamps attached to the bedside tables, this was the main weak area of the service we received as INfeltvthat P&O didn't do enough to rectify the fault.. The facilities on board are great, choice of 4 swimming pools, plenty of sun beds, great waiter service, brilliant gym, sauna, spa and plenty of places where you could escape and relax. Food on board was good, plenty of choice and most of it served 24/7. We also used the Beech House for a small surcharge which was good, the MarconPierre and Athol Cuutcher restaraunts also seemed nice. We had early dining in the Bay Tree restaraunt at 6:30 which we found too early. Service again was outstanding but portions where a little small. Evening entertainment was good, we did the theatre after dinner then onto an internal bar such as Havanah, Tamarind or Metropolis and finish off the night with a few drinks on deck. The Headliners theatre company who performed in the theatre are a must to see, as is a comedian by the name of John Martin. Beer pric scare not bad but be aware that some of the bars do not serve draft beer, only from cans or bottles. We did feel that entertainment on board overall wasn't as good in some areas as on the Thomson ships. We where also a little disappointed by the formal evenings which didn't seem to be a celebration of a special event unlike the Thomson ships. The ship overall is neat and tidy, consistently cleaned, quite spacious and modern. The ports we visited on our Itinerary where good although some are up and coming ports which do need further development, the nicest places where St Maarten, Tortola, Curaçao, Bonaire and of course Barbados. I do still struggle to understand why the ships sail so early ( 5pm ) from some ports when the next port is only a short distance, we would have loved to stay ashore at places like St Marrten and Curaçao to get a taste of the nightlife. Same withnthe 2 days at sea on the return journey to Barbados, we could've called at one more stop on the way. All of the islands accept the US dollar but be aware that a couple of places have their own dollar so some change could be given in this currency which can only be spent on that Island. In Barbados also most prices are quoted in Barbados dollars to which there are 2 to every US dollar, make sure you ask when buying something or quoting a price for a taxi. You also need to try the flying fish in Barbados, yummy. The people in the Carribean can't do enough for you, very friendly and eager to help. Taxis are positioned at each port as well as numerous tours etc which are priced reasonably, the Beaches are stunning, the water is just as you imagine in a brochure and the climate is a steady 27 to 28 day and night, the humidity takes a bit of getting used too as does the 4 hour time difference.. Overall our first experience with P&O was good although we did feel that it could have been better, we do love the Carribean and will re visit. We would recommend P&O cruises to others and will be cruising again with them   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
I will start on a positive as we have cruised on the Eclipse four times now. As usual the staff really made the cruise as they are so gracious, interesting and hepful. Also the cleaniness of the whole ship was good. The ports were as good ... Read More
I will start on a positive as we have cruised on the Eclipse four times now. As usual the staff really made the cruise as they are so gracious, interesting and hepful. Also the cleaniness of the whole ship was good. The ports were as good as usual with no delays despite turning back to Curacao due to a medical emergency. The proceedure on and off the ship was efficient. We feel like many others that the cutbacks on the ship made our experience quite different. We tried for the first time the choice to dine when you wanted to and found the experience better than we anticipated. It avoided the rush to get ready for early dining as the other is too late due to a gasterol illness. There was no wait and we had the joy of meeting different people each evening. Also meant that it avoided sometimes sitting on an empty table. Like many others we did enjoy the food but somehow was not so special as often delays and feeling that the staff were too few. We actually ate in the buffet one night for the first time ever in the evening. Obviously the dress code has dropped very significantly which is a shame. The brunch is no longer in the Sonata and is now in the Ocean View Buffet Restaurant and was a shambles. There was nowhere to sit as full and when you did find a table to share all the dirty plates were still there so had to take to plate station so could set down own food. We loved the food and ice sculptures in the old brunch set up! Please bring it back. Also when asked whether everything was satisfactory we said the new tea bags were terrible as even with two there was no flavour. Three people took our Cabin No. and no-one came back. One gentleman working in Murano Restaurant high up said he would get loose tea and pot to us. We were so grateful but nothing. Would this have happened in days gone by - no never. We went to Sales Office to set up a forward passage but are home now and still heard nothing despite filling in form etc. on chasing it up on ship were told they had a pile to work through. Guess it is not going to materialise now! We probably will not go with Celebrity again despite Elite Status after seven cruises with them as wondering if it is worth the premium.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
This was the December 2nd nine night cruise, Southern Caribbean with stops at Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, and Labadee. Embarkation-We arrived early, around 10. There was a bit of a line, and they started getting us through screening and ... Read More
This was the December 2nd nine night cruise, Southern Caribbean with stops at Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, and Labadee. Embarkation-We arrived early, around 10. There was a bit of a line, and they started getting us through screening and check in a short time later. We were checked in and ready to board by 10:30, and they had us in a waiting area for around 15 minutes, on board before 11. It was a nice change from Port Liberty taking a crosswalk onto the ship at deck 4 rather than a gangplank on deck 1. One good thing about boarding in the first group was getting to windjammer for a bite before the crowd hit. It had the usual buffet fare, hot and tasty. We had an aft corner balcony again, this time 9690 on the port side. The cabin was ready a little after 1, and except for the older tube style TV, everything looked clean and fresh. We hit the pool for a while, then off to the muster drill. It still amazes me how people just want to skip the drill, which just delays the departure and they take the risk of being put off the ship. Anyway, it was quick and painless, and we were ready to sail. We had My Time dining, a little later than we preferred-there were a LOT of older people on this cruise and it seems they all wanted to eat early. As on previous cruises, the food and service was first rate, and our servers were fantastic. We skipped the MDR one night to go to the mystery dinner theater in Portofinos. This had a limited menu, but the food was great. The show itself was a bit cheesy, with acting that reminded me of a high school play-I highly recommend it, loads of fun. We only went to a couple of shows, the juggling comedians and the Love and Marriage show. Again, it was a nice interlude with plenty of laughs. Excursions- Aruba we took the Atlantis submarine ride. It was a little cramped and the seats were a bit low to see comfortably out the portholes, but everyone did have an individual seat and view. Thy spent a lot of time making turns to make sure everyone was able to see things. Pretty good but something I think I'd only do once. Bonaire and Curacao we just took beach excursions and went swimming and snorkeling, great clear water, a perfect temperature to stay in for hours. We signed up for the Castaway at Malfini in Labadee which was cancelled due to not enough people, and we couldn't get another excursion so we walked around a bit and went up to the artisan's market. I'll skip that in the future, the vendors are a bit too aggressive for my liking. We spent the rest of the day either by the pool, or at a party that our roll call group arranged. Debarkation-We were set up with the space center tour and transportation to the Orlando airport, so we were supposed to self debark with the group early. We were a little delayed because of a medical emergency, someone had to be taken off by paramedics. We were able to make up for lost time and didn't miss out on anything on the tour-It's a must see if you have any interest in science and space flight. Leigh and Erky were their usual whacky selves, and have a great interaction with the passengers. It's a shame Erky is leaving RC and Leigh going to another ship. All in all, another great job by Royal on a terrific ship   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
My daughter, her friend, and I took the RCI Southern Caribbean cruise for Christmas. (Dec. 20-27). Our ports of call were St. Thomas, St. Kitts, St. Maarten, Martinique, Barbados. We loved each island, particularly the fact that they all ... Read More
My daughter, her friend, and I took the RCI Southern Caribbean cruise for Christmas. (Dec. 20-27). Our ports of call were St. Thomas, St. Kitts, St. Maarten, Martinique, Barbados. We loved each island, particularly the fact that they all had a distinctly different personality, flavor, and terrain. DD and friend did ziplines and turtle excursions; I stuck to tours and beach excursions. Was not disappointed on any island. Everything was beautiful and we didn't run into any problems with either the RCI excursions or the trips we arranged on our own. (We stuck to grabbing taxis to beaches.) Service on this cruise was much better than on our only other cruise, particularly in the main dining room. The food was kind of average, but if we scoured the menus and tried different things, we could always find something that was very tasty. The Windjammer buffet is pretty dull fare overall, we thought, but it's not bad per se', and we had no problems eating (and eating and eating). Again, some of the food was very ho-hum, but if we "shopped" the buffet carefully before choosing what we wanted, we were able to find tasty food. We especially loved the sandwiches, breads, and salad bar. We went to Chops Grille one night, and it was divine. Our waiters and stateroom attendant were all exceptional. Ryan, our statement attendant, was ever-present. We began to doubt that he ever slept or ate. He was extremely responsive and very friendly. He was very gracious about working around our schedule and communicating to me about when my DD and her friend had last been in the cabin and what they seemed to be up to. (College girls!) The weather was perfect. Sunny and warm every day. The ship was very nice. It's a bit smaller than other ships--about 2,300 people, I think)--and we could make it from front to back very quickly, which was nice. Despite that fact, amenities were all over the place. A bar or restaurant was never far away. The solarium on Jewel is outstanding. The only other RCI ship I've been on is Enchantment of the Seas, and the Jewel's solarium was much, much nicer, with a much more exotic and relaxing vibe. My only complaint, and it's minor, is that the Solarium Cafe did not serve much food--pizza and crescent-roll sized sandwiches were about it. The Solarium Cafe on Enchantment had salad bar and wide variety of sandwiches, desserts, and sides, so I guess I was spoiled. I'm not really on the cruise ships for the shows, so have never been to a show on any ship. I did enjoy the Centrum music and parties, though. Also, my college kids enjoyed the different clubs, bars, and parties; I'm probably just too old to appreciate that kind of thing. I was perfectly content to grab a glass of champagne, and sit and look at the beautiful Christmas decorations, listen to the music, and people watch. I did especially enjoy the disco party in the Centrum because I had flashbacks to high school and college. *sigh* Anyway, a fabulous trip for us overall. Btw, only complaint was the numerous elevators are mysteriously programming so that only two at a time seem to be servicing any one floor, which led to occasional long waits.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
This was our 6th Christmas cruise but 1st on the Royal. We arrived in FLL a day before the cruise and spent the night at Embassy Suites. We took the hotels's shuttle to the port at 11:00am and were on board eating lunch in the dining ... Read More
This was our 6th Christmas cruise but 1st on the Royal. We arrived in FLL a day before the cruise and spent the night at Embassy Suites. We took the hotels's shuttle to the port at 11:00am and were on board eating lunch in the dining room by 12:30pm. We are Elite so embarkation was quick and painless. We were upgraded to a mini on Marina deck. Loved the size of the cabin and the large bathroom. The only minor issue was a noise during the day from the pool deck above when someone was dragging chairs around or walking in heels. We missed the full Promenade deck as we like to walk in the morning and before dinner. There was a walking /jogging track on Deck 17 but it was not protected from the sun and rain. 7 laps around = 1 mile. We did not use the elevators during the cruise so can't comment on those. We had Anytime dining and usually ate between 6:00-6:30pm. We always shared a table and never had to wait. Food was good but sometimes underseasoned for our taste. Loved the Chocolate Journeys desserts on 3 nights. We ate breakfast in the buffet or International Cafe since we like to sleep in and never got ready before 9:00am to eat in the Dining Room. We missed Christmas wreaths on the tables and Christmas Crackers on Christmas day. Those changes made the Christmas dinner that much less special than previous years on the Emerald. We had lunch at Alfredo's 2 times: pizza was OK but the crust was not salted. The 2nd time we tried the pasta dishes and they were very good. We did not take any excursions and in most ports we did not get off the ship. We enjoyed staying on the quiet ship, reading on our balcony and people watching in IC. We went to see the new production shows. Enjoyed all of them but they are short at 30 minutes. We did not see the other guest performers as comedians, mentalists and ventriloquists are not really our preferred entertainment. We did not like the new theater, prefer the one on the Emerald. This one seems like a cold cinema rather than a grand theater. There are no tray tables in the seats so people order drinks and then leave the empty glasses on the floor, which get kicked by people leaving the rows. You could see old lemons, straws and napkins under the seats. We missed having a priest on board to conducts a Midnight Mass. This time there was Catholic service conducted by the DJ and cruise staff on a bare theater stage without even a Christmas tree. We understand that Princess wants to be politically correct but this cruise was advertised as a Christmas cruise so they could make an exception. There also was no Rabbi so there was an annoucement in the Patter asking for a passenger to conduct Hannukah services. All in all it was a great cruise on a lovely ship. Perhaps if we have't cruised at Christmas so may times before, we would not notice all the little cut backs that made this Chrstmas cruise seem a little less festive.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
Never knew there was such a group as Cruise Critic even though we have sailed before. My Son found the group and I must say it has made our trip so much more enjoyable. Thank you, Marcia, our fearless leader! It was such fun doing the ... Read More
Never knew there was such a group as Cruise Critic even though we have sailed before. My Son found the group and I must say it has made our trip so much more enjoyable. Thank you, Marcia, our fearless leader! It was such fun doing the Secret Santa. Met so many Canadians too. One of the best thing was when on the ship we met members of the CC while walking along or eating etc and it made us feel that we had a family on board. Although there were four of us, it was ever so nice to be on excursions with fellow Members. We met many lovely people and are going to socialise with a lovely couple who lives in the same City. I must say that we had a great time with our guide, Rey with Ricky Ricardo in Costa Rica. He was simply marvellous, tried so very hard to show us all he could and he remembered our likes too. For example I lamented that it was a pity we couldn't visit an orchard farm, he stopped at a house and asked for a couple of orchid flowers just for me! Nest were Andy & Jorge from Cave Tubing Company in Belize. Andy was charming while Jorge the strong silent type was very knowledgeable especially in the rain forest. Had a great time and thanks for the pics, Susan! Other excursions were interesting but these two stood out with that personal touch.   So, I have finally registered myself with CC and am looking forward to receiving and reading all info from Members. Thanks! X X X Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
This was our fifth cruise with Carnival so we knew what to expect going in. We arrived at the port in Miami around 11am. You had to find someone to take your luggage, so we were a little disappointed on the small number of porters ... Read More
This was our fifth cruise with Carnival so we knew what to expect going in. We arrived at the port in Miami around 11am. You had to find someone to take your luggage, so we were a little disappointed on the small number of porters available for luggage drop off. After finally finding a porter, we went through the basic security checkpoint fairly quickly. Make sure you do not arrive to the cruise port until around noon because we waited a good hour and a half to even board the ship. The ship itself is beautiful, modern, clean, and well laid out. It was definitely a full ship and you could really tell come lunch at the lido marketplace. The options at the lido buffet were pretty limited and we were underwhelmed with the dessert options, but Guy's burger, pizza, and the Blue Iguana Cantina provided great food all cruise long. The shows on board were a little disappointing aside from the Latin Nights show. The singers weren't the best, but the digital screens used frequently were appealing to the eye. The cruise director, Matt, was fantastic and engaging. He was definitely the best cruise director we'd ever had. We liked watching the movies outside on the lido deck big screen, and the popcorn and blankets were a nice touch. The casino was also a hot spot but was of course pretty smoky at times. Red Frog Pub is a great place and we spent some time there as well and enjoyed the love music. Personally I think the musicians that played out in the public areas were far better than the ones that were in the main production shows. The ports we visited were Grand Turk, La Romana, Curaçao, and Aruba. We did not feel safe getting off the boat in La Romana so we just stayed on the ship and essentially had a day at sea with a half empty ship. If you visit La Romana in the future it is probably wise to book an excursion. The other three ports were fantastic and we especially enjoyed beach days in Grand Turk and Aruba. All in all it was a fantastic cruise and we loved our vacation away from the cold in the north. Christmas in the Caribbean was definitely a great experience and we'd definitely consider going on the breeze in the future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2014
This is my 7th cruise and 4th with RCI. This is my first time on the Adventure of the Seas, but my second on a Voyager class. The other RCI I've been on was the Allure. We arrived in San Juan the Friday before embarkation because ... Read More
This is my 7th cruise and 4th with RCI. This is my first time on the Adventure of the Seas, but my second on a Voyager class. The other RCI I've been on was the Allure. We arrived in San Juan the Friday before embarkation because this was our first time in Puerto Rico. We stayed in a condo in Condado, just outside of Old San Juan. On Saturday, we toured Old San Juan's two fort, San Cristobal and El Morro and had dinner close by. In San Juan, RCI's ship dock by the city's smaller airport, SIG, and no in Ols San Juan port. There is really nothing around the port. The best way to get to the port is by taxi and most driver will know where RCI docks. Since we booked a JS, we were allowed to embark any time between 11AM - 7PM. We arrived at the terminal around 1PM and were a lot of people already in line. As we had only three pieces of luggage, we decided to carry on our own bags. The whole embarkation process took about 20-25 minutes, and our JS was ready when we got onboard. Our cabin, 9628 JS, was on the port side close to the rear elevator bank. We were very happy with our cabin and everything worked fine. Please see our separate cabin review. Our cabin steward, Keithly, took care of us very well and we never had a problem with his service or the cleanliness of our cabin. We selected early seating in the MDR for this cruise and we found ourselves seated on table 318, in the Vivaldi dining room on deck 3. This table, a table for 10, was located in the middle of the dining room under the main chandelier by the Captain's table. I thought we would see the Captain once or twice during the cruise, but he did not dine in the dining room during the whole cruise. Our main waiter in the dining room, Syvester, was really good and he got to know us by the third night; no wonder, he has been with RCI for seven years. We dined at the MDR all week for dinner and we were very happy with the quality and quantity of the food. We had one or two dishes we didn't cared for the whole week, but everything else was cooked perfectly to our order and taste. The ship was decked out for the holidays with a huge Christmas tree forward on the Promenade. There was definitely a Christmas feel throughout the ship and even the crew was into the spirit. Since my last two cruises were on the Allure, the level of entertainment was just not the same, and I didn't expect it either. But our cruise director, Mercedes, and her staff did their best. The song and dance shows were more than acceptable, the comedians were funny, Alan Chamo, the Mental Magician, was entertaining. The ice shows were up to par. But most of all, we really had fun with Matt Yee at the Schooner Bar every night from 9:45PM till late with his adult sing along show. There was even a Christmas carol sing along on the Promenade deck on Christmas Eve. Even though the ship was full, we never felt crowded and we found good seats at every show. This cruise was so enjoyable, we decided to rebook for Christmas 2015! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
The Breeze is a nice ship, this is my 16th cruise and 10th on Carnival so I am famaliar. You know what you are getting on Carnival and since we do pay lower prices, you have to expect some differences. Main changes I saw from the 3 cruises ... Read More
The Breeze is a nice ship, this is my 16th cruise and 10th on Carnival so I am famaliar. You know what you are getting on Carnival and since we do pay lower prices, you have to expect some differences. Main changes I saw from the 3 cruises I did last year overall from a Carnival standpoint are: - The cut back on wait staff in dining so it takes much longer. It's not the waiters fault, they can only do so much - Sure portions are smaller but that's good, if you like more, order more, you can order as many as you like - Bartenders at bars, not all that impressed, and cut back there too. We always find a guy, keep tipping and we always have good service! Sean from Philippines was great - Pictures - same but they need to do was RCL does with face recognition where you can order all at once and hire less photographers and more waiters - Matt was cruise director and he was FANTASTIC. Always approachable, fast on his feet and really funny! - Piano bar guy was GREAT! His voice would get raspy towards end of night but he was fun and bartenders there were great - Embark/Debark fast and easy - we were FTTF. Had a 10:15 plane and were sitting waiting at the gate 8:30! (we did self-embark) - Aruba stop was lonely as several stores were closed but it was Xmas (ships should stay at sea on holidays!) - Chair hogs always out, I'm one but I stay with my chair. Have to be up and out by 8AM. They did not remove towels - Only did 2 shows so not too much comment - Comedy was fine - Drank to hearts content but did not buy pass. With 4 port days, we would have overspent. Trust me we drank a lot ($1K) but not enough to cover buying it for 3 even 4 adults. Had a great trip, met great people and hope to keep in touch with them too!   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
Just got back from another fabulous vacation on the Pearl. This was our 2nd NCL cruise, both on the Pearl. We loved her and her crew so much when we went to Alaska 7/14 that we booked her again for the Christmas/New Years cruise. The only ... Read More
Just got back from another fabulous vacation on the Pearl. This was our 2nd NCL cruise, both on the Pearl. We loved her and her crew so much when we went to Alaska 7/14 that we booked her again for the Christmas/New Years cruise. The only complaints I have is perhaps the 2hr debarkation, but even that was more because we weren't in a hurry and waited for the line to die down before trying to get off. Another thing was I smelled something bad(sewer?)at the New Years party at the pool deck, but that came and went depending on how the wind was blowing. I could have moved, but I had a good seat, so not a big deal. Prior to NCL, we mainly(hubby, ds14, ds 11 and me) cruise Disney. We are very simple, laid back people, so freestyle works well for us. We like packing light and not messing with the whole dress up thing. We like going to dinner whenever we want and we don't always want to deal with eating with other people. I like socializing, but I'm not always in the mood to make conversation with people I don't know, at dinner. So that in itself makes NCL a good fit for us. If you enjoy more traditional cruising with formal dinners and tablemates, then NCL may not be the product for you. If other people going casual bothers you, then it's best to choose another cruiseline. Also no lobster, so don't think you will find it in the fee free eating establishments. They have a pasta that's suppose to have lobster in it, but finding the lobster is a game in itself. On Alaska, we had escargot, but i did not see it offered in the MDR this time around. None of that was an issue for us, but I figure this kind of info might help other cruisers decide if NCL is right for them. We did not go to any pay restaurants and ate every night in the MDRs. The menu was fine. Most nights dinner took 1 1/2hrs, but we allot 2hrs before we have to be anywhere. I always looked forward to trying the chef's special. My husband's favorite was the chateaubriand and prime rib. My 14yo had 2 entrees every night and the servers brought him whatever he wanted. My 11yo has multiple food allergies so we pre-ordered his dinner the night before and never had a problem. One evening, they did not find his order and the maitre'd got involved to get the meal done quickly and made sure she herself took the order for the next day. I brought my own desserts from home for him because I knew allergy friendly desserts were extremely limited. I'm not much of a red meat eater, so it was usually the seafood pasta or indian or vegetarian option for me. The fish choices where probably the most blah of the bunch. The buffet was plentiful. I thought the variety was good for both breakfast and lunch. Certainly I wouldn't have this many options at home. I was able to find something good to eat everyday. I found myself doing my daily walk through from the Garden Buffet to the Great outdoors and sometimes to the pool side bbq, just to see what was being served. There were theme nights, including Bavarian, Mexican, Caribbean and USA. Beer was reasonable with the self serve machine @ 30 cents/oz. Since this was a holiday cruise, the atrium was decorated with a large gingerbread display, garland down the stairs/railings and christmas trees. Every restaurant had their own tree and small gingerbread display and a larger one at the Garden Cafe. There was a Christmas show the evening of the 25th. Several sessions of a Christmas sing along led by the crew(24th and 25th), Santa and elves were available Christmas morning(7-9am) to give gifts to the kids and take pictures, but we missed it because we are slow risers. I remember hearing Christmas music in the background in the restaurants and sometimes in the halls. There is no crew led religious service, so if you need that, you'll need to arrange something for yourself. There was a big party New Years eve by the pool. Free champagne was passed out about 15 minutes before the countdown. Many crew members were able to take some time out to celebrate and it was nice to see so many of them socializing. They really seem like a family My boys enjoyed the kids club. No surprise that there were alot of kids on this sailing. His 10-12yo group had to overflow into conference rooms for some activities which made it not as fun as when we were in Alaska. He still made lots of friends and had a great time, always eager to go to the activities. My 14yo had a much better time in Entourage, this time around, compared to our Alaska cruise. The counselors really worked hard to include everyone in the activities, so my shy son spent a good amount of time and met some really nice people. This was a perfect itinerary for us. The weather was perfect, the sailing was smooth and we all stayed healthy. It was the perfect balance of 5 sea days and 5 port days, starting from less developed to more developed islands. I would not change anything. We went to the shows in Stardust every evening. We went to the game shows in Spinnaker almost every night. Made our donation to the Casino. I'm not a mega ship cruiser, so the Pearl is perfect size for us. We love the many public spaces with large ocean views, especially Spinnaker lounge. Pearl does not have some of the bells and whistles like other ships, such as no water slide, no mini golf, water park, ropes course, flow riders and ice skating rink but we still found enough things to do. The rock climbing wall was out of commission, but my kids did not miss it. Others may have been disappointed. Many of the crew had changed since our last cruise, but equally as friendly. Everyone we met was wonderful. Asst hotel manager came around to ask us about our cruise one day when we were sitting at Garden buffet and the next day we received some hand made chocolates in our stateroom from her. What a lovely thing to do. Can't say this would happen again, but it was a nice touch. We loved Bernardo, one of our servers. He always remembered our names and stop to ask how our day was going when he saw us around the ship. My son took a tumble in the kids club and guest services gave us all the bandaids and creams and wipes we needed. Very polite. Of all the things on the ship, we love the crew the most. Maybe we were just lucky, but that's 2 fantastic cruises in a row for us, so I hope to go on the Pearl again. We found the cruise was of good value for the money we spent.   Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
This was our 13th cruise during Xmas/New Years. This year we did Xmas week. We arrived in San Juan on Saturday a day before our departure. I received an email prior saying we needed to arrive no earlier than 1pm. We left the hotel about ... Read More
This was our 13th cruise during Xmas/New Years. This year we did Xmas week. We arrived in San Juan on Saturday a day before our departure. I received an email prior saying we needed to arrive no earlier than 1pm. We left the hotel about 12:15 and arrived at the port. There is a line for Diamond Members to drop their bags. We stood in a long line due to only have 1 machine to put your carry on bags thru. That was a little crazy and they were letting people on. Why send the emails/texts then? We were able to get into line for the Diamond Members and quickly checked in. I liked the fact that they took your picture right when you were checking in than later. We made our way on board and went to the Windjammer for lunch. After lunch we were able to throw our bags into the room and went back to the kiddie pools on 12. The water in the kiddie pools was freezing cold. A few observations that I noted that need to change. If you have a kid not potty trained then they can't use the pools even with swim diapers. You tell me what 3 yr old is not peeing in the adult pools? I think a swim diaper catches everything vs a little kid. The only thing my 20 month old great niece could go in was the shower on deck 12. Seems odd. There is a lot of shade on deck 12 in the back by the kiddie pools. Why not get more in the sun? We got a balcony this time around and it was nice. My sisters complaint is they don't get the room set based on who is staying there. i.e. a double bed was made when twin beds were needed. She had to ask for her bathrobe also. Our bags came quickly. Mine first along with my nephews/wife/babies bags. I quickly unpacked about 3 in the afternoon. The other 6 in our party came a little later about 4. The food was fantastic on the first night. We always joke about the onion tart being on the menu and we were all surprised it was not. The food the first few nights were great. Then by Wednesday it was taking longer to get food out. We know it wasn't our server so it had to be the kitchen. We started to ask for her meal immediately so she didn't fuss. Domingos was our waiter and he gets a double thumbs up. We loved the ports and went to new beaches this trip in Aruba and Curacao. We wish that there were more ships leaving out of San Juan. The weather is better leaving further south than out of Florida. We wish in all public bathrooms there are toilet seat covers available. That would be nice. We booked again for next year but a little unhappy about some of the ports they are picking. i.e. Martinique, Grenada to name a few. We are booked on the Celebrity for next year. I hate the fact they changed the itinerary for 2 days back to back at sea. Hopefully this will change. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
This was a challenging cruise for us because my wife developed a raging cold in the middle of it. In retrospect, it was a very good test of the ship's staff, and how they deal with passengers who are under the weather - but not ... Read More
This was a challenging cruise for us because my wife developed a raging cold in the middle of it. In retrospect, it was a very good test of the ship's staff, and how they deal with passengers who are under the weather - but not contagious. For us, the staff of the Norwegian Pearl passed with flying colors. Elvina, our concierge, (who was always available) helped re-arrange our bookings when needed. The Shore Excursions desk helped change (and then cancel) excursions when it became obvious that my wife couldn't make it. Pablo, our room steward, asked me how my wife was doing every day, and he managed to work around us since we spent much more time in our cabin than usual. Room service brought pitchers of iced tea since she needed lots of fluids. Dr Santana and the medical staff took good care of her and prescribed antibiotics as required. (I have paid a lot of money to take my wife to the ER over the years, but I would much rather go to Deck 4 and have a Norwegian Cruise Lines team help her feel better. It's cheaper, too.) The Pearl team turned what could have been a really terrible vacation into one that was still quite enjoyable, even though we were incapacitated for parts of it. Some Random Thoughts This was an interesting cruise because it covered both Christmas and New Year's Eve. Unlike one earlier cruise over New Year's, when we arrived back in Miami on New Year's. this time, New Year's Day was our last sea day, so we didn't have to celebrate at midnight and then get off the ship first thing in the morning. Christmas was not as emphasized as on some earlier cruises (the music on the TV information channels wasn't all carols or Christmas music, for example) but the ship was still decorated for the holiday, and there were still carols sung in the atrium on Christmas Eve and Christmas. Boarding was as painless as could be hoped. We arrived early to the port, so we were in the second boarding group. The main dining room was open for lunch by the time we boarded, so we ate lunch and waited for the rooms to be ready. By the time we had finished, the rooms on our deck were ready, so we went to our room. Bags were delivered promptly, and I think we were unpacked before the lifeboat drill. An interesting note about the lifeboat drill on a longer cruise - the audience is older, and they all know the elevators will be turned off during the drill. There were a lot of early arrivals at the drill, including us. Some of us arrived before the staff. We docked at every port, so getting on and off the ship was easy. Since we were on ship-sponsored excursions, we gathered in the theater before being sent to the gangways. I'm pretty sure the only reason you have to go to the theater is to throttle the elevator traffic to deck four, and to pace the number of people getting off the ship. Disembarkation was relatively smooth, as well. Customs and Immigration went quickly, probably because we had priority disembarkation, so the line wasn't too bad. Get a porter in Miami. They can find shorter lines and they can get cabs for you quickly. We flew out of Fort Lauderdale, so we ended up spending a lot of time at the airport since we couldn't get an earlier flight home. Next time, we'll book an excursion to the airport to absorb some of the extra time. FLL is not the most exciting place to spend an afternoon. On-board, we were in an aft-facing handicap balcony mini-suite. The last time we were aft, we went forward for the sail-away party, but this time, we just stayed on our balcony, and watched Miami disappear into the sunset. (An aft-facing room is a great place to see the port as you're leaving.) Our first two days were sea days. While the Jewel-class ships are not as packed with entertainment options as the larger ships, they feel much cozier to me. Since we had been on the Pearl before (and on the Jewel), it was a bit of a homecoming - I felt like I knew where everything was already. As long as I can find the Java Cafe in the morning, I'm fine. I had an Express Shave in the spa, which is the one pampering ritual I have on-board, mainly to prepare for Christmas photos. My wife had a manicure. Her nails still look good, and I'm getting a scruffy beard, so hers may have been a better investment. St Thomas and St Kitts were islands we had visited before, so we found new excursions. We visited Coral World in St Thomas and took a cooking class (more of a demonstration) in St Kitts. In St Lucia, we went deep sea fishing (not catching.) In Curacao and Aruba, my wife wasn't feeling up to excursions, so we just wandered around town and went back to the ship. The sea days back to Miami were very relaxing. We had the Unlimited Dining Package (UDP), and booked all of our specialty restaurants in advance. The only hiccup was on Christmas Day, when we had reservations in La Cucina, but when we arrived, our reservations had been moved out an hour because they were serving the special Christmas dinner in the specialty restaurant as well to handle overflow from the main dining room. They had called to tell us, but the phone in our cabin was broken - the ringer did not work. (This also explained why I didn't hear our wake-up call. It was fixed promptly.) So, we had the Christmas dinner, rather than waiting for an hour to have Italian food. It was a good dinner - Beef Wellington, which I had not had before. Le Bistro, Cagney's and Moderno all lived up to our usual expectations. When we revisited La Cucina, the Italian food was great - try the Osso Buco. I think the Osso Buco is probably the best dish on the ship. Teppenyaki was fun as always, although I'm convinced they've squeezed more tables into the restaurant. It is the one place you are going to have to interact with other passengers at dinner, so if you're going Freestyle to avoid other people, go elsewhere. We've always had fun. The only issue with the UDP is that if you have free specialty dinners available - from your Latitudes status, for example - there is no way to cash in on them. You can't have additional free dinners if you have the UDP. We didn't really push the issue because we don't drink wine (which was included with our Latitudes free dinner) but it was an interesting revelation. We did cancel our reservations one night and just ordered room service, when my wife didn't feel like going out. The BLT is pretty good. Order two - they're not that big. I think this is the first cruise where we never ate in the main dining room, other than the first day lunch. The UDP will make you skip the dining rooms for the specialty restaurants. O'Sheehans is still being renovated to bring it up to the visual standards on the other ships, but the menu is the standard menu. It is a good place to grab a snack almost any time. They also serve breakfast in the mornings, including a breakfast buffet - which we didn't try. So, if you don't want to go to the buffet for breakfast, you can go here. Service there can be slow at times - they get slammed at fairly predictable intervals (in the morning, after each set of excursions return, when the shows let out) - but it is faster than room service. You can also ask for food to go, which is basically self-serve room service. I miss the Spinnaker Lounge when I'm on a ship that doesn't have one. It's a very nice space that's used for presentations, shows and during a sea day, it's a great place to watch the ocean go by. The Mojito Tasting was a lot of fun. I had attended Scotch tastings and beer tastings on other cruises which tried to give some history, but I think the bar staff has learned people don't pay much attention to the educational portions. This was really just a tasting with some history to start - five different (small) Mojitos. Apple Mojitos are pretty tasty. The margarita tasting was immediately after the Mojito tasting, but I wisely skipped it. (The ship has a Mojito bar by Moderno, but we never made it there.) Capt. Paul and HD Tony were very visible (and friendly) and we seemed to run into Joel, the Cruise Director and Joey, his assistant, constantly. Go to the Q&A sessions. There is usually one for the Hotel side of the house and one for the technical side. You will hear some of the same questions over and over, but you will learn something. In all, this was a very good cruise - and one of the longest we have taken at 11 days. I liked the mix of sea days and port days, although I know that's a function of geography more than planning. Because my wife was under the weather, we didn't get to do everything we had planned, but the staff made sure we enjoyed the time we had on-board. A bad day cruising is still better than a good day at work! Cruise Critic Note We had a Cruise Critic meet & greet which was attended by senior staff and over thirty fellow cruisers. Tony, our Hotel Director, mentioned at that meeting that he wanted to have a follow-up meeting with all the Cruise Critic members on the last sea day before disembarked to make sure there weren't any issues that needed to be addressed. I had not heard of a follow-up meeting before, although someone mentioned they had attended one on another ship. I appreciated his efforts, and he did address (or tried to address) all of the compliments and complaints he received at the follow-up. I think some of the issues could have been raised earlier, but he did take each one seriously, and I appreciated that he asked us to come back and report on any problems we had. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
As a Marriott Rewards Platinum status guy, we always took our vacations to Marriott properties. Well on our last Marriott stay over Spring Break at the Harbor Beach property, we walked to the end of the beach and saw the awesome cruise ... Read More
As a Marriott Rewards Platinum status guy, we always took our vacations to Marriott properties. Well on our last Marriott stay over Spring Break at the Harbor Beach property, we walked to the end of the beach and saw the awesome cruise ships enter and leave the port. It looked exciting and made me curious. Well our Christmas vacation opened up and we booked a pretty last minute 8 day Southern Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Freedom so we would be . We have 3 kids (14,12, and 7) and love beach vacations. We had such a great time that I booked the week after Christmas again on the Carnival Sunshine for 2015. We booked side-by-side balcony rooms on the 8th floor. At first disappointed that they didn't adjoin, but on board, found out that the wall between them swung open. Perfect for keeping the girl mess away from the boy mess with the ability to walk back and forth. The rooms and balcony were what we expected. Appropriately sized for a cruise. I can't tell you how much time I spent on that balcony. The sounds, views, colors, waves, and just feeling humidity again was priceless. We went to Grand Turk, Dominican Republic, Aruba and Curacao. We booked Carnival excursions for Grand Turk (Reef and Rays) and Aruba (Catamaran snorkeling and dinner). In the DR, we booked a private excursion to the Chavron River cruise and somewhat of an adventure day learning about the area, kayaking, and swinging into the river. Of the 4 spots, Grand Turk had the clearest water with Curacao coming in second. Easy to tell with GoPro pics. All of the excursions were well organized and planned out. In Curacao, we hit Cas Abao beach as we need a chill out day. Awesome beach. Public with a Amstel Bright food hut, nice locals and Euros and only a few fellow cruisers. Chairs were $3 and lunch for 5 with beers ran $40. The cab roundtrip for $100 for 5 of us. it was about a 25 minute ride from the ship. As far as the ship time, it honestly was a fun crowd. Again we have kids so are used to craziness and somewhat enjoy it. The pool scene was a blast with the DJ on Sea Days. It was a young crowd so think Spring Break minus the nudity. Kids and parents dancing and participating was awesome to watch and be in. The water slide was fun too and I think my little guy and I played 27 holes of mini golf a day. At night, with kids of differing ages and genders, we had so many options. Movies outside at the pool on the big screen, saw the 80's show, a Magician/comedian, Action comedy show and also the comedy club. Loved them all. It was nice that they were short, like 45 minutes, so you could also have time to hit the game room, swim, whatever. As far as dining on the boat, the Posh Lower dining room was nice and our staff couldn't have been any friendlier. The food options were good. Was it Chicago 5 star? No, but again with kids we just like variety and 4 star will suffice. Breakfast buffett had the usual and was easy to get what you needed quickly. Suprisinly, the coffee was awesome and I'm a Starbucks guy. Lunch we had Tacos at the Cantina or Burgers at Guys. Both of those places were poolside and our go-to's. Awesome pork tacos and even better cheese burgers. I could go on forever how much I liked everything. I even enjoyed the casino and I lost money!! Read Less

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