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111 Europe - Western Mediterranean Holiday Cruise Reviews

We are experienced cruisers, but have never cruised with Cunard in the past. We got a great balcony deal and went for it, risking the Bay of Biscay in December! The ship is magnificent, a bit like a country house, which fitted the time of ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers, but have never cruised with Cunard in the past. We got a great balcony deal and went for it, risking the Bay of Biscay in December! The ship is magnificent, a bit like a country house, which fitted the time of year with all the ships Christmas decorations in place. There are lots of comfortable lounge areas on board, from which to watch the world go by on sea days. The onboard lectures were excellent and the food the best we have ever had, even though the menu is written in 'flowery' language.  Afternoon tea is an experience not to be missed in the Queens ballroom, remember to skip lunch! The cabins are spacious with much bigger balconies than we have had on other ships such as Ventura. The entertainment was first class. Drinks and tips expensive. Just adjust or even cancel the tips and give what you think is appropriate. The on board talks were interesting and well presented. Our top two cruise lines are now Celebrity and Cunard. Bye the way, Biscay was kind to us, the ship pitched a little, but nothing to worry about. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We embarked for a ten nights cruise on the Cunard ship Queen Victoria sailing from Southampton on Sunday 7th December to the Western Mediterranean. It had been tastefully decorated “dressed” for Christmas with lights and trees, but ... Read More
We embarked for a ten nights cruise on the Cunard ship Queen Victoria sailing from Southampton on Sunday 7th December to the Western Mediterranean. It had been tastefully decorated “dressed” for Christmas with lights and trees, but overall it could be described as having a restrained feel, the public rooms having wood panels as in an Edwardian Gentleman's Club. There was a showcase of Cunard memorabilia to be studied, and a Harrods store on board. The restaurant offered traditional English cuisine with French descriptions and the ship was comfortable and stable. "She's built for the North Atlantic in winter says the Officer of the Watch, the Bay of Biscay will no more than rattle the afternoon teacups in the Queens Room". Even so, some passengers suffered from seasickness. We experienced a problem in that another passenger had deposited valuables and other items in our cabin "Stateroom". Wanting to know just how this had happened we were told by Cunard that the incident was being investigated. After complaining, they arranged another cabin for us; made an apology, presented us with a bouquet of roses, and an offer of dinner in the Veranda Restaurant. Later in the cruise we received a written apology as approved by Carnival, but the problem had distressed us and disturbed the first three days of our cruise. This cruise provided us with a comfortable rather than relaxing ten nights, but not with the ambience, cuisine, and sparkle of MSC the Italian Line with whom we have previously sailed..   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
I am sure some of the views on these forums, reflect what some might have thought a cruise today would be the same as in the 1950's!!! Today the ships are on a huge scale, and the clientele far removed from that era. The flights to ... Read More
I am sure some of the views on these forums, reflect what some might have thought a cruise today would be the same as in the 1950's!!! Today the ships are on a huge scale, and the clientele far removed from that era. The flights to Venice and from Genoa were on time, and the P&O team at each end were superb, baggage checked in and then the next one sees it - it is in the cabin. Cabin steward was good, polite, although we kept it tidy so all he had to do was re-arrange / new towels etc. There were two beach towels in the cabin, and more available in the ' spa ' changing room - which would answer a previous complaint in a review- that persom did not look far enough. We dined in the Cinnamon Restaurant, and thought the choice and standard high.We did try the White Room, and yes £25 cover charge, was it worth it, YES for a one off experience, as we were able to dine outside, the ambiece was superb, and a few foodie extras thrown in too, service was brilliant, the food was exceptional, really enyoyed it, we lingered and whay not. The ship is big and it took the week to find one's way around, the ' observation deck ' at the front front on Lido deck was not listed in the leaflet, found it by chance - and a great viewing area. The Theatre is very good, on two deck levels, ( far better than on the Oceana- just a minor point ) we went to the two ' Headliner shows' good singers, and how they change the costumes so many times in seconds is beyond me !!! well done. The '' 4 Tunes '' four guys singing in harmony were outstanding, again we managed their two shows. Ports of call - Kotor by tender- and a trip up the mountain, the 25 bends are NOT for the faint hearted. Rome - we did the Tuscania village trip, beautiful countryside, a very relaxing morning, good wine too at the olive grove farm, and olive oil to purchase too. Corfu & Corsica - suggest just go on foot around the towns, the walk up to the old fort in Corfu, and lunch there was a highlight. P&O do offer very good value for money, the prices on board are in £'s and in my opinion the drinks prices are very reasonable, this is my 2nd P&O cruise. My suggestion - avoid the buffet restaurants, just people not knowing where they are going or what they want- food quality fine though. We did NOT enjoy a might in the Beach House resaurant- menu disappointing. We chose freedon dining- which is ideal, and usually had a table for two, but no problemd sharing as we did from time to time. Afternoon tea in the Saffron was of a high standard. We did use the ' adults ' only oasis pool - although as slightly out of school holidays few children on the ship. The sun loungers are close together and there IS the towel on the sunbed syndrome, which P&O DO need to address. Would I use P&O again - certainly yes, would like to try the Britannia when she comes on stream.   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
Itinerary: - Treasures of the Mediterranean/Highlights of the Mediterranean. (Back to Back). Embarkation:- Well organised. Long walk at Palma airport to baggage claim. Then long walk to coaches. Plenty of Reps to show the way. Check in ... Read More
Itinerary: - Treasures of the Mediterranean/Highlights of the Mediterranean. (Back to Back). Embarkation:- Well organised. Long walk at Palma airport to baggage claim. Then long walk to coaches. Plenty of Reps to show the way. Check in and registration procedure well organised. You're asked if you want a safe then. Saves you going to Reception on the ship when you board. Sail away party: - Strum Jam and the entertainment team gave us a great send off Ship:- We thought the bars and entertainment all being on the one deck, 8, wasn't good. If you sat near the doors in say the Argo Lounge wanting a bit of peace and quiet you are bombarded with the entertainment from the adjacent lounge. Listening to Luke in the Delo competing with the sound blasting out of the disco next door isn't conducive to a relaxing evening. Sorry Thomson but Deck 8 is like "Sauchiehall Street on a Saturday night." It just doesn't work. Listening to Baros in the Argo Lounge with the entertainment from the Medussa one side and the sound of the towel driers in the nearby toilets is, again, not what we would call a relaxing time. Never went near the pools or Jacuzzis. Not our idea of healthy fun. Cabin:- Decent size. Not enough drawer space for 2 weeks. Bedside drawers hard to open. In fact all the drawers were showing their age. Wasn't enough hangers in the wardrobe. A simple request to one of the Stewards for 10 more was all it took. They appeared within 10 minutes. Our Steward, Sri, introduced herself. Cases hadn't arrived so we went for lunch. When we returned they were in the cabin. Later the first evening 10 more hangers appeared. Clean and in very good condition. Bigger than our cabin on the Spirit. Bit of vibration, just like being back on the Spirit. For all first time cruisers, remember that the walls between the cabins are thin. So if you have a loud voice or a "big gob" next door will hear every word and that includes "rumpy pumpy". Outside Plus cabins could benefit from the removal of the single seat and putting more drawers in its place. We spoke to a family who had booked a Suite on deck 7, and obviously paid a lot of money for the experience. They were extremely disappointed. The noise from the adjacent air conditioning plant was apparently horrendous. They confirmed other occupants of adjacent suites all experienced the same noise. Not good. Be warned. Towel Sculptures: - Not every night. Some couples we spoke to didn't get any. Would appear to be inconsistent service which seems strange when they are trying to sell you books on towel sculptures. If you don't get one the book means nothing. We mentioned it to Craig, the Thomson Manager on board and the next day we had 2. Staff: - being on for 2 weeks the staff get to know you personally. Special mentions go to Bar waitresses Evangeline, Monika and Tin Tin for making us feel like friends. Also Rachel from the Casino who persuaded us to try the Casino Lottery quite a few times. Bathroom:- Clean and tidy. Not "well worn" as reported in a lot of other reviews. Apart from a small section of sealant in the corner of the bath it was all in good condition. One issue was the position of the toilet in relation to the bath. If you have long legs you have to sit "side saddle". Gala Night - Captain's table courtesy of our "Blessing at Sea". Great night, Blessing at Sea: - Won't spoil it for anyone thinking of booking one except to say that it was a brilliant day that we had when we were in Palamos. Joanne, the Social Hostess, was brilliant making sure everything was "just right" Captain Roy carried out his duties like the consummate professional he is. Lots of photographs and a video was shot, all optional. Day at Sea: - Towels on sunbeds still prevalent. Complained to Cruise Director. He had announced it over the tannoy earlier but still the "inconsiderate many" thought they still had the right to ignore the rules. "Numpties". Brahms said he would inform the bar managers to police it. My Wife was ready to throw towels over the side. You've got to police it better Thomson or come up with a fairer system for those who just want an hour in the sun instead of pandering to the "beached wales" who think they have the God given right to monopolize the beds. Staff:- Once again Thomson cruise staff excelled although not as friendly as the Spirit. Food: - Basic but good. Gala Night was better. Restaurants: - Orion:- Good for breakfast, lunch and dinner if you don't want the queuing you do in the Lido and Sirens. Lido: - Apart from the first afternoon and the few midnight snacks we never used it. The layout is all wrong. Sirens: - Good layout. Would recommend for your buffet style lunches. Argo Lounge: - Afternoon tea with canapEs between 3.30 and 5.00pm is nice. You can get scones and canapEs in Sirens as well but Argo was quieter and more..British. Never tried "Steak under the Stars". Tried "The Grill" one evening. They section off a corner of Sirens and turn it into a nice place to eat. We tried the "Asian Fusion" menu..really good. Noro- Virus - Never heard a mention of it during our 2 weeks on board. I don't think I witnessed anyone not using the "Sanitisers". People were even using them as they left the restaurants. Good old Hot Water and Soap is the best prevention for Noro Virus. Toilets - All public toilets were spotless the time we were on board. They have hourly inspections. Lots of "Closed for Cleaning" signs throughout the day. Photographs - No Thomson presentation folders, like when we were on the Spirit, when you purchase your "treasured memories". Disappointing. Blessing At Sea - Not really "at sea", more "in the port on the water." Absolutely brilliant day. Captain's table for the Gala Night. Brilliant evening. Captain Roy was a great host. VIP seats for the show afterwards. Shows: - Apart from the little blond guy the girls were stronger singers than the boys. Once again the Can Can which finished the "Dance, Dance, Dance Show" left you breathless just watching. Catch the Crew Show on Thursday night. Really good entertainment. Once again Thomson entertainment was up to its usual high standard. The guys and girls don't half work their socks off. Brams, the Cruise Director and.............. his Assistant, were excellent as well. We saw Strum Jam in the Horizons Bar on the Spirit a couple of years ago and they were excellent in that intimate setting. In our opinion they don't do themselves any favours in the venues on the Dream. The Sirens Pool and the Medussa Lounge resembled Butlins, at times. . Shame really. Luke, the piano player in the Delo Bar was very good. The couple in the Ocean Bar were good. The classical brothers in the Argo Lounge were pretty good. Orion Restaurant: - On the first night of the 2nd week we complained to the Maitre De regarding shorts and t shirts being allowed into the restaurant. He said it was to do with some passenger's luggage being late. He assured us that it would improve. Night after the Gala Night T shirts, jeans and cropped shorts were still being allowed in. Look if you can't make an effort then don't bother turning up.. Following nights were graced by guys wearing "cropped shorts" and tee shirts. It should be enforced One night on our 2nd week I found something in the Madras Lamb Curry that shouldn't have been there. Called the Maitre De over and within 10 minutes the main Sous Chef was at our table extremely apologetic. Next day on our return to our cabin we had a complimentary plate of Petit Fours with a note from the Chef....... nice touch, totally unexpected. Ports:- Trapani - you can do the Cable Car up to Erice on your own. You can get a local bus, the cable car and a free pastry from a little shop which is quite hard to find but delicious if you do, all for 18 Euros each. Tickets available when you walk through the small terminal building. Sorrento: - we did Herculaneum, which if you have seen Pompeii, is worth a visit just for the contrasting fates that befell those poor people. Cittavechia: - we did the Coleseum trip which got us fast tracked into both the Coleseum and the Forum. Lot of walking involved but recommended. Calvi: - We weren't there that long. Nice walk up to the Citadel. Here we saw our first rain of the Cruise. After we left port the weather worsened to the point where we went through a Force 11 "violent storm" overnight. Never heard a ship creak and groan so much. Next day Captain Roy explained that the Bay of Lyon was renowned for its weather. Palamos: - the beach is within walking distance and a swim in the sea was a relaxing change. Had to be back on board early for our Blessing. Palma:- Waved goodbye to everyone leaving as we prepared ourselves for our 2nd week. Walked off the ship and jumped on the number 1 bus, destined for the Airport, which took us along to the Cathedral. 1.50 each way. Easy, cheap day. Ajaccio: - pleasant town to do your own thing but remember to set your watches forward on the day at sea as one passenger was late and the ship sailed without him. We watched his poor wife /partner getting off with an overnight bag to wait for him as we sailed away. Found out later that he assumed the wrong departure time. He had to fly to Milan then Cittavechia to rejoin the ship at lunchtime the next day. Cittavechia: - Didn't go to Rome this week. Went into Cittavechia. Nice shops and beach area within a short walk from the Shuttle Bus drop off point. Livorno: - did the all-day Florence and Pisa trip. Tiring but saw a lot. Toulon: - a recommended "on your own" trip is the local bus up to the cable car up the mountain. Get your tickets from the Tourist Office near the port.. 6 Euros each return. Great value and great views. Barcelona: - Got on the Metro outside the port and went to Park Guell. 9.8 Euros for 10 journeys. Get one ticket and use it for 5 journeys for the 2 of you. Got Metro back to Cataluyna, walked back down Las Rambles with a bit of Tapas on the way. Easy to do on your own. Departure: - Typical Thomson well organized departure. Can't fault it. Had a really good time. The A.I. worked out extremely well in our favour. (Would have been between £1600 and £1700 without it). First time cruisers will not be disappointed. Thomsons know how to give you a great time. Would we come on the Dream again....... we don't think so. The layout of the ship doesn't do it for us, sorry Thomson. Previous cruisers we spoke to all agreed with us. Our next cruise will be with our old friend, the Spirit (subject to itinerary) or we're thinking of trying one of the other lines, possibly P&O. Sorry Dream, maybe our expectations were too high, but we were expecting something better from the "flagship" of the company.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
We were first introduced to cruising back in 2002 by my dad who would only ever sail with P&O and we last sailed with them on Aurora in 2006. Since then we have cruised with both Royal Caribbean and Celebrity and I always told the ... Read More
We were first introduced to cruising back in 2002 by my dad who would only ever sail with P&O and we last sailed with them on Aurora in 2006. Since then we have cruised with both Royal Caribbean and Celebrity and I always told the passengers on those cruises that P&O were still the best. So this year we chose to return to P&O on the Ventura, what a shock we got!!.Standards in all areas have fallen dramatically especially the food. Food selection for both breakfast and lunch in the Waterside was very limited and the service area chaotic.This was the first ever cruise my wife lost weight instead of putting it on!! No wonder P&O seem to get bad press for Norovirus the lack of hand hygiene regime was the worst I ever experienced and when I challenged the head waiter why no member of staff was giving out hand gel as on other ships he said that he had been cut back so much on staff he could no longer provide that service. The other big let down was the poor organisation of getting off the ship by tender at Cannes. It was so slow we gave up and this was the only port we really wanted to visit. There are also no live port talks, again another cutback. Entertainment was generally good but as another reviewer stated the noise level was so high we some nights had to leave the theatre to escape the screeching of some of the performers. If P&O continue their policy of discounting and reducing standards I am sure many of their loyal old customers will desert them. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
We celebrated New Year on Royal before and did not like it at all. So before booking this cruise we thought twice, read allot of reviews and decided to give it another chance. Let me tell you, it was GREAT! I have 1 thing to complain ... Read More
We celebrated New Year on Royal before and did not like it at all. So before booking this cruise we thought twice, read allot of reviews and decided to give it another chance. Let me tell you, it was GREAT! I have 1 thing to complain about- embarkation in Barcelona. There was line of few hundred people and 1 royal rep checking people in. My husband went complaining and finally after over an hour in line more employees showed up and it went somewhat faster. We boarded in December 24th. Ship was very well decorated. Atrium is pretty small and cozy. Dance floor could have been larger to accommodate all the guests. We got to meet our captain...very impressive as she is the first female captain in the history of cruising. Our families are far away and we don't always get to get together for holidays. But on the ship we felt like we were surrounded by family. Christmas dinner was great, party was allot of fun. We were caroling with the crew members. 3 different bands were always playing at different ship areas, so we always had a choice of music. Pianists and guitarist were entertaining at bars. There was always some activities going on...but we preferred to relax in a Jacuzzi or on the deck by the pool. Unfortunately it was pretty cool some days and unlike Holland American, Royal has no blankets at poolside. It would have been really nice to cuddle up in a blanket and relax on the fresh air. Food, I have to say that this is the first ship where my husband did not complain about the food! I noticed smaller portions in the main dining room, which is good...for those of us who does not want to over eat. And for those of us who want more, they can always order another dish. Meets were always very tender, in fact I was wondering how they get that roast beef so tender. I can never do it at home. Menu had great variety of appetizers, main dishes and deserts. We even had very small lobster tails on 1 of the formal nights. Looked more like large shrimp than lobster. Buffets were also pretty nice. Good choice of hot dishes, salads and deserts. Food is actually gotten simpler and more homemade, but quality is very good. Breakfast however kills me every time. Everything is too greasy and fatty: bacon, sausages, eggs... french toast tasted like fried bread, waffles was always dried out on edges..oatmeal like glue....and pretty bad coffee. Same thing every day for 2 weeks really gotten to me. Our waters were very nice and service in the dining room was superb. We did not try any of the specialty restaurants this time...felt there was no need. Head water stopped by our table every evening and we always had nice conversation for few minutes. She always smiled and thanked us for liking the food and service. Our room attendant, Happy (that is his name), was delightful. We hardly ever saw him, but everything was very clean and tidy in our room. He also managed to give us few special things, which was very nice. Almost every night we had new towel pet waiting for us on our bed. We found out that he used to work on Holland American before, where they make towel pets every night. On New Year eve there were several parties. Atrium was packed with passengers from top to bottom and we felt we were on Time Square at midnight. Champagne was flowing and Ken, our cruise director lead the countdown. It was so exciting! At midnight hundreds of balloons drooped from the sealing and people popped them all creating the sound of fireworks. For those who wanted to party all night disco and bars were open. We had a blast. Shows were little boring. Production cast was very good, incredible singers and dancers and it would have been lovely to see something more professional done with that great talent Guest entertainers, however, were pretty bad and theater remained empty for most evenings, sure indicator that it's time to change the acts. I think it would be good to look in to some more interesting choices. I will not be mentioning port of calls this cruise cause we already visited most of them before and for us it was only to relax and not be alone for the holidays. All thought my husband still managed to find couple of excursions to take. And as always ship offered excursions are overpriced, start way too early, take hours away from sightseeing to go to the pearl, glass, rugs and cameo factories. The only advantage is that they are available at the last minute without advanced planning. We always prefer private tours. I know I am being super picky, but to sum it up it was great experience overall. I think the rest of the Royal fleet should learn from Serenade and bump up their rating accordingly. I want to thank everyone on Serenade for a wonderful experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
The Continental hotel on Las Ramblas was clean and very early European. The much advertised free buffet was very disappointing and we avoided it. 6/10 for the view and location. Embarkation on the Serenade was very smooth, however we ... Read More
The Continental hotel on Las Ramblas was clean and very early European. The much advertised free buffet was very disappointing and we avoided it. 6/10 for the view and location. Embarkation on the Serenade was very smooth, however we were greeted, not by a welcoming party but a lady shooing us into a line of "my time diners" insisting we should immediately book our dinner for that night!! Not "welcome aboard, here is a glass of champagne, and have a lovely trip with us". Not welcome aboard, lunch is being served and your cabins will be ready at whatever time". After booking for what we understood was my time, my choice dining, we were met by another employee selling special offers!!!!We felt at a disadvantage and unsure where to go or what to do next. Our cabin was a highlight of the trip and we received the usual high standards we are accustomed to on a cruise. The dining room was very nice and the crew were attentive, the menu was disappointing as there were only 3 courses, not much choice and at our first meal we were offered steak at an extra cost!!. Another diner was demanding and the staff were very patient. Deciding immediately to stick with the buffet restaurant we headed there for lunch the next day. The experience was better as we could choose from a wider range of food, the staff here were exactly as expected, smiling, welcoming and always available to offer help. We continued to eat there every day for every meal. The food was just average and we were not impressed as on previous cruises on Cunard and Princess or Celebrity. The Park restaurant was small with limited range of food and hit and miss opening hours for the salad area. This is not a substitute for midnight buffets on the Cunard line. Mizumi the Japanese restaurant at extra cost was not worth the extra charges, although very busy. We really enjoyed the outdoor cinema, although we only watched it in passing due to the weather. The customer services: First encounter was to find out how I could receive my free glasses for the cocktails I had purchased, they said the bar were out of glasses and they would send them to our room. They did not come until I requested for a third time and we were on our last day. Second encounter was I called and asked for information, but when I was not clear with the answer I went to the desk and requested further information, expecting a patient reply I was surprised at the Gentleman's exasperated outburst that he had already spoken to me on the phone. Neither problems were huge but I dread to think how they would have handled a bigger issue. The ports were great and we made our own excursions for the first time on a cruise. WE seriously encourage people to research and try this alternative as it is much cheaper and not so daunting as you may think. Hop on hop off busses are truly fantastic for getting a feel of an area and you can get off at any place of interest or stay on and see the whole route all together. The little extra charges were very annoying, charge for delivering food to the room, charge for movies on TV, etc., The departure was very smooth. Overall the cruise was acceptable and a fair example of cruising. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Joining the cruise couldn't have been simpler. Parked in Southampton using Parkatmyhouse website. Cost was only £51 for seventeen days! Check-in procedure was speedily accomplished. Cabin was ready and well prepared and spotless. ... Read More
Joining the cruise couldn't have been simpler. Parked in Southampton using Parkatmyhouse website. Cost was only £51 for seventeen days! Check-in procedure was speedily accomplished. Cabin was ready and well prepared and spotless. We wondered about how the Oriana would appear as we had seen it described as having 'faded glory', but there was no sign of this after the refit it had just completed. Looked like much of the paintwork was new and many of the carpets looked the same. We dined in The Peninsular Restaurant and couldn't fault the choice of food or the attention the the waiters. There were always some things suitable on the main menu for fish eating vegetarians, but every evening the Head waiter would bring round the special vegetarian menu to see if anything was required from that. We didn't find the activities very interesting to us. The lectures in particular were not on interesting subjects, for example there were several about Concorde. Some of the entertainment was good. The Headliners company twice did a fun pantomime for adults, once with standing room only left. They also did some very professional dance shows, although the tribute to Freddie Mercury could not do him any justice. We only went on one shore excursion (in Gibraltar) and we thought it was worthwhile, in that we learnt quite a lot about the place.We went ashore at every pot we called at and did our own thing. We had a superb taxi/guide in Lisbon(Lisbon Taxis) which cost no more that the ships excursion would have, and took us to Sintra, Cascais and then the Gulbenkian museum in Lisbon. We tried to do too much in Rome, and learnt a lesson about cruising thereby.All in all we enjoyed our first experience of cruising. We could not fault P&O or the Oriana. The organisation was superb, almost mind-boggling. The atmosphere aboard ship, the food and cabin exceeded our expectations We are not hooked on cruising but will probably do it again sometime. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
We went on the holiday (Dec 24-31) cruise on the Oasis with my 3 boys (18-23yo) and my parents in their 80's. It was wonderful. The best part was the crew. Everyone we passed in the hall or anyone we had contact with had a smile ... Read More
We went on the holiday (Dec 24-31) cruise on the Oasis with my 3 boys (18-23yo) and my parents in their 80's. It was wonderful. The best part was the crew. Everyone we passed in the hall or anyone we had contact with had a smile on their face. They made eye contact, said hello and asked how they could help. What wonderful training RCI has for their staff! The ship is big and we had 6200 passengers on board but honestly we never really felt crowded. There are so many venues to hang out and people do so many different things that there are no crowds. Even the check in at the terminal was incredibly efficient. (btw, we got on at 11am. Don't believe the 2pm arrival time. You can start your vacation 3 hours earlier!). The only time we had an issue with crowds was waiting for an elevator at dinner. That took quite some time but I can think of no other time we felt overwhelmed with people. Again, the staff was great. My dad was having trouble walking around so we asked for a wheelchair. With no questions asked, we received one from Guest Relations. When it didn't work well, one of the cabin attendants noticed (not our attendant) and called on his walkie talkie and another one was sent to the room. The dining room food and service was wonderful. We ate there every night. Our waiter was great and entertained us with card tricks on a few nights. Amazing staff! The nice thing about the Oasis is all of the other restaurants available. My parents really liked going to the Park Cafe and just hanging out in the Central Park Area. It was very relaxing. A couple nights they had a violin and piano duo playing. It was very classy. In Labadee we went on the wave runners (our third time). It was great. The instructor/leader was really funny and made it lots of fun. A really fast ride! The shows were all top notch: Hairspray, Come Fly with Me, the Ice show and the comedy show. The Headliner was "The Nelsons" which I didn't think was quite up to the standards of the other shows. Half of the show was just video montages of their father, Ricky Nelson. All in all, a wonderful ship. Brand New. Tons to do. Great food and shows. Most of all, a wonderful, caring crew!! We would go again without question. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
I don't understand the reviews some people have put about this cruise, 20 December - 5 January. My mum and I had a great time, we joined in with all the quizzes, of which we won several. The food whether it was breakfast, lunch, ... Read More
I don't understand the reviews some people have put about this cruise, 20 December - 5 January. My mum and I had a great time, we joined in with all the quizzes, of which we won several. The food whether it was breakfast, lunch, dinner or afternoon tea could be faulted. I have seen complaints about miserable and sullen staff but as my mum and I treat people with respect and friendliness, perhaps this is why we have not had others treat us badly. So many of the people on this cruise were downright rude, raising their voices to speak to waiters as though they were idiots or couldn't understand English. We enjoyed all the shows, the dancing was excellent. The panto was corny and cheesy but so what, it was a bit of fun! We enjoyed our excursions, including doing our own thing in the Canaries. The highlight was Madeira, we did the toboggan ride and then the fireworks at midnight were fantastic. 31 December is mum's birthday, so an excellent memory to have. I don't know if we are just easy to lease, but we had a fantastic holiday. Apart from a couple of small niggles which weren't worth mentioning, we enjoyed it 100%. These "professional moaners" are determined to spoil it for everyone else and yet they book to go on a cruise again and again. If they complain about the food I would like to know what they eat when they are at h pome! Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
We flew from Manchester to Savona via Amsterdam then had a 2+ hour drive by coach to join the Costa Serena and although the journey was tiring, the flights were good and luggage was booked straight through so no hassles. As soon as we ... Read More
We flew from Manchester to Savona via Amsterdam then had a 2+ hour drive by coach to join the Costa Serena and although the journey was tiring, the flights were good and luggage was booked straight through so no hassles. As soon as we stepped on board we thought it was all worthwhile. The ship is about four years old and very smart. We found our cabin quickly and our luggage arrived not many minutes later. No tea/coffee making facilities but free room service for breakfast. Cabin kept immaculate and very comfortable and equipped with safe/hairdryer. Bathroom as you would expect. Only one bar of soap and shampoo in dispenser on the wall but not a problem. We had expected to be in the minority as English speakers on an Italian ship and that was certainly the case but we had no problems with the French, Italians, Germans and Spanish on board. Staff all spoke fluently in loads of languages - felt rather ashamed of my lack of language skills. Ate in the Vesta restaurant and serving staff were all pleasant and helpful. Food was on the whole excellent - yes it was Italian but what do you expect on an Italian ship. The buffet for breakfast and lunch had fresh pasta, pizza, a grill with chicken, burgers, fish etc plus the general buffet with salads, cold meats, casseroles, more fish etc etc. The problem was knowing which to choose and when to stop! We had purchased the drinks package before sailing that gave us free glasses of beer, wine or soft drinks in the buffet at lunch or main dining room at night and cost about £160 but we had no problem getting as many drinks as we wanted and without the additional 15% tax on everything so felt this worked out well for us. There are loads of decks on which to catch the sun as well as by the main pool or the quiet pool (not always as quiet as I would have liked!) Other comments have been made about children being allowed in the jacuzzis and this was the case for us also. However, we usually just hid away on one of the upper decks with our books and enjoyed the November sunshine. We will certainly look out for Costa cruises in the future as we enjoyed the mix of nationalities rather than being totally British. I would recommend that you look for one of the newer ships as we saw the Costa Allegra in one port and it looked a bit old and weary but don't be put off Costa by the adverse reviews - go with an open mind and enjoy meeting new friends of all nationalities! Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
Sorry about the length of this but we have a lot to say! It was clear from the start that the ship has medical problems - and not brought on in Istanbul by the current passengers as was suggested. Gel being dispensed everywhere, all food ... Read More
Sorry about the length of this but we have a lot to say! It was clear from the start that the ship has medical problems - and not brought on in Istanbul by the current passengers as was suggested. Gel being dispensed everywhere, all food and drink being served, continual hand washing instructions,no library books, cushions glasses ice buckets info folder all gradually disappearing from the cabins, etc. In spite of this many passengers and crew came down with the virus throughout the cruise - people did throw up pretty much everywhere - pool, busses, dining room, lifts, but the crew worked very hard continually cleaning and clearing up so the ship did stay clean.I did wonder about the instructions that if you got it you had to make your way through the whole ship to the medical centre on deck 1 - surely they should have stayed in their cabins and been visited by the doctor? We didn't get it (noro) but it felt like the sword of Damocles was hanging over us all the time. A couple of points - The hard working but "brassy" CD Sue Denning gave a daily briefing, but it was really the same every day, "Thank you and keep washing your hands". She continually said that she would tell us the truth, but the one thing wouldn't tell us was how many people were affected. We understood that it was 400 - 500 people. Also I wonder how much the crew are involved in spreading problems. I saw one of the panini servers wearing plastic gloves pick up a handful of crisps, put them in his mouth and then go on serving, cutting and spreading the bread. I immediately reported this to a manager but don't know what action was taken. To be fair I also saw an idiot passenger use the restroom and then go out without washing his hands! Ok, on to the rest. If you take trips in Israel my advice is to arrange your own. If you take ship tours it may say "shopping time" but you won't get it at the many interesting little shops you will walking by, no, you'll get it at the end in a very large isolated store where the tour guide gets 35% of everything you buy (and it's not cheap!)- get the picture? This happened on all 3 trips for us and we didn't like it - so no tip for the guide, they get quite enough!! Finally the best for us was the variety and quality of the music / entertainment. This was the best we have ever experienced on a cruise. There was music happening all over the ship including - The ships Song and Dance company - It was the last 2 weeks of their service and they were great. The shows were fantastic. Ship's Orchestra - they were excellent performing and backing other acts. Jefferson Ang - Guitar and singing in the coffee bar. 545 Express - acapella group and very good. Arabesque Trio - 2 violins and piano. Lovely classical music in one of the lounges. Great Ideas Party Band - fantastic atmosphere every night. To see the boy and girl singer both perform footloose (?) was really amazing. Pity they didn't have a CD to sell - I would have bought it! Perry Grant - singing and piano. Very entertaining, but I couldn't face seeing the same performance and comedy every night although quite a few did! The visiting entertainers - were all good but the absolute highlight for us was SAMANTHA JAY. What a talented lady this girl is. She plays the oboe, violin, saxophone and piano in a wonderful fast moving show with popular and classical music. She also seems a genuine and modest person - a real star! If you get the chance go and see her. So we did enjoy the cruise in spite of everything and hope that the deep clean (again)in Barcelona where they made everyone leave the ship (including back to back passengers)will do the trick. I think they are worried about not being allowed to dock in USA. I somehow doubt it will be enough though. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
We have decided to go on a cruise for our first time. We checked the internet and found this very interesting deal. We embarked in Savona and observed that the ship was half empty, which was great for us. Generally the check in process was ... Read More
We have decided to go on a cruise for our first time. We checked the internet and found this very interesting deal. We embarked in Savona and observed that the ship was half empty, which was great for us. Generally the check in process was very smooth, the luggage was delivered promptly to our cabin which was quite comfortable, or at least better than what we expected. Or route had its first destination in Malaga, which is a nice town. We have decided not to waste the money on Marbella and our neighbors confirmed how right we were... We had only a few hours so we just relaxed in the old town, had a glass of wine and some delicious tapas. As a general rule I would say to be cautious in selecting the tours offered on board. They are quite expensive and some are really not worth the while. The second destination was Funchal, Madeira. Lovely! Then Teneriffa; we missed La Laguna and Teide but got ourselves at least some good deals on clothes as the VAT is very low in Teneriffa. Casablanca, is a nightmare, Marrakesh, as well... got a new carpet now :-) Then Barcelona, Wonderful; Marseille, very good as well but spending a day in Marseille on a Sunday is not quite smart as all shops are closed. Now to the Ship again: We are swiss and hence speak a lot of languages, English, french, german and italian are no problem. So we understood what the others were saying and the information the others got. It was quite upsetting that the information in the various languages is quite selective, to put it diplomatically. The majority was italian, which has its charm, given the fact that the German were like bees all over the place. The food in the restaurant was quite good given the vast amount of food that needs to be prepared every day. Our wait staff and room attendants were mainly, indonesian, philippinos, indian or peruvian and they were excellent! That needs to be said and they are a real credit to costa. Without them, I would never travel with them again. The reason is the management. I have never seen such arrogant staff in my life. I am a hotelier and I am very sensitive with these things. I have complained on the spot, asked to see the hotel Manager (which I haven't seen during the entire cruise except on a picture), the executive chef was smoking on the guest floors with his buddy the main Maitre D' etc. the list goes on and on. They would not greet, not smile, not leave the floor when guests are passing. They were generally walking with their chin above their nose. I have written a long list of "recommendations" as I am not a complainer per se. I just try to give feed back. Unfortunately, I have never received a feedback. I have even tracked down the corporate Quality improvement man who hasn't replied either. Anyway, I would recommend the tour and the company again but with keeping in mind that the management is very, very poor. I just consider ourselves very lucky as we have always good staff around us, fantastic table-mates at dinner, whom have become friends and interesting destinations discovered while returning back to work very relaxed :-) Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
From a little background, my wife and I have cruised 22 times, and this being the first on Royal Caribbean. Most have been on Princess, Celebrity and Carnival. We selected this cruise because my granddaughters wanted a change from Carnival ... Read More
From a little background, my wife and I have cruised 22 times, and this being the first on Royal Caribbean. Most have been on Princess, Celebrity and Carnival. We selected this cruise because my granddaughters wanted a change from Carnival or NCL and with the Mariner we had hopes this would be an upgrade from the others. We drove down the day of the cruise from Dallas, our group of 13 people in 3 separate cars and parked at EZ Cruise Parking. We collected our bag and were off to check-in. the initial process went smoothly, and being the one who was paying for everything, tried to put 3 cabins on one credit card and THOUGHT all was fine, but more on that later. We arrived around noon, and after check-in we were told it would be 1:30-2:00 before we would be allowed to board. Ok, that's fine so let's see if we can find a place to sit. We ended up finding one seat for my 85 year old mother, next to someone who was saving seats for his family. He probably did the same thing in the pool area because 30 minutes later we couldn't see anyone who even recognized him. We were directed to the other side of the terminal since it was getting rather crowded, and was told "I will personally come and get you and assist you on boarding". When our group was called we proceeded to the other side of the terminal again, and met people who were 2 groups ahead of us, so everyone seemed to merge into one and eventually got on board around 2:15. Headed up to Windjammer until the rooms were ready. Got down to the room, and met our cabin attendant I wanted the door between the 2 cabins opened so we could play cards with mom and sis and was told he would ask the Captain if it was doable. After day 2, and it still wasn't done, we went to the front desk and asked and was told they would take care of it. On day 3, we asked again and the cabin attendant told us it probably wouldn't be done because they were rusted shut. Really? He didn't know we are relatively seasoned travelers so I asked the front again and was told due to safety reasons they wouldn't be opened. I can say this is the first cruise where we weren't able to do this, and it was a little disappointing but no real big deal. Day 2 at breakfast I wanted some Egg Beaters, but was told they were out of them but could do egg whites instead. Again, really? This theme continued that afternoon at the Wig and Gavel where my wife wanted a Harvey's Bristol Creme that she ordered off a tattered and torn menu and guess what they didn't have that either so we left. For dinner, we had the early seating and ordered the premium wine package for our 3 wine drinkers. That was the easy part.... EVERY night when we ordered wine it took forever to get it served. The tables next to ours got theirs relatively quickly but we wailed 15-20 minutes extra for our guy to get his act together and serve ours. On the last night we ordered our last bottle, and 15 minutes later the waiter came to take our order and I said, "not until we get our wine, and it came pretty quickly after that. Worse than that was at a table right behind ours, there was a Veteran who wore his dress blues at the first formal night. Being a vet myself, I ordered him a bottle of wine and asked my waiter to take of it. No problem he said, but it was never done. Not cool. The next night I asked him what he liked, and ordered it from my guy and hand carried it over to him myself. This didn't seem to please anyone but me and him but I was surprised by the lack of consideration from my wait staff. Thinking they were overworked, I asked him how many tables we had, and it was 3. Not sure how this compares with the others, but I guarantee it wouldn't happen this way on Princess. Overall, I rank the wait staff as the worst we have ever had, although the food was pretty good. Mom enjoyed the adults only pool once she finally found a lounger. She was sitting in the shade and found someone getting up who was in the sun, and there was a 40 year old who basically pushed her aside to get to that seat. I went up to him and said, really, and he said he got there first so it's too bad for her. Not much you can do about that now can you? I also signed up for the Internet Service and it was actually faster that what I have been used to, although the sign-in process is confusing, especially for those who had their own notebook and there is no ship-wide WiFi. About a third of the computers didn't work which seemed a little high for me, but there was never a wait. The front desk personnel was pretty good, and on day 3 I wanted to see how much we were spending and found charges from one cabin that showed up on another account. They told me that was impossible unless room keys were shared, which didn't happen so I spend an hour getting that straight which they weren't too happy with. The entertainment was OK, but the ice show outstanding. Got pretty bored with the piano melodies, jazz, and strings. The Beatles preview as also very good. Trivia was well attended and for once there was no bickering on what the answers should have been so that was a huge plus. There were 800 kids on this cruise but overall it wasn't too bad and our granddaughters found friends and we hardly saw them. Our shore excursions were done outside the ship and the absolute best was zip-lining in Roatan.I will say my mom and wife did to the River and Mayan Ruins through the ship in Belize which they really enjoyed. The tender process was horrible, but I don't think that is has anything to do with RCL but the fact it Belize and nobody has a great tender service here. Finally, disembarkation was a nightmare. We opted for the self check out and carried our bag. The front desk said deck one, but the instructions said deck 4, starting at 7:30. We tool an elevator down to deck 4 at 7:00 and stood there until close to 8:20 when a RCL rep said go back through the Casino and it should be quicker. Took us 2 1/2 hours total, and I know they blame Customs for this, but frankly once we got that far, it was not a bad process. They started calling for the colors to disembark, even when were all stuck by the elevator banks which added to the frustration. Our daughter had a 9:45 time, and it wasn't even resolved then. Overall, we picked this cruise for a number of reasons, but paying a premium because it is Royal Caribbean doesn't fly with me. There were far too many cases where the staff was either over worked, under trained, or simply didn't care. Even my granddaughters said they would rather sail NCL or Carnival again. It will be a long time before we consider them again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
We just came back home last night after sailing last week on Costa Concordia. Our family was two kids age 15 and 10, my wife, my mom who flew all the way from Israel and of course my mother in law. We all had a great time together on the ... Read More
We just came back home last night after sailing last week on Costa Concordia. Our family was two kids age 15 and 10, my wife, my mom who flew all the way from Israel and of course my mother in law. We all had a great time together on the ship and visiting ports of Savona, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Malta and Palermo. The first stop in Savona we went to Monaco. The trip to Monaco was purchased on the ship. We had a good ride on the big bus and perfect opportunity to see the place. The next day in Barcelona was a little short. We used a shuttle bus to get from the port to the city and spent that short time walking on the main street and then took the underground train ride to the Sagrada Church. I wish we could spend more time in Barcelona to explore this beautiful city. The third day we had a lot of fun on Palma de Mallorca. It is very beautiful place to visit. We bought a double Decker tickets and were able to stop and get on the bus during the day. It gave us so much opportunity to see the entire city and all the highlights. Trip to Malta and Palermo was also a very interesting experience. I would rank our ports of destinations and places that we visited 10 out of 10. Now more about the ship. The Concordia ship is huge. We had an inside cabin on the first floor. I could not see the end of the corridor. The room was great and clean. Jose, who was a cabin Stewart, took a great care of our room. The towels were always replaced, twice, three times a day. We had breakfast in the buffet and dinners in the Rome restaurant. The breakfast was fine as usual. The self serve brewed coffee in buffet area was awful. Nobody liked it. But there is always a choice to purchase a cup of coffee at the bar area. One thing that I wanted to say is that we had a great service for the Gluten free product. One of my child require gluten free menu and it was always cruise high priority to make sure we get the right food for my kid. There was always a Gluten free menu for the dinner and a couple of times we ordered a takeout gluten free lunch that was very well packed with sandwiches, vegetables, fruits and cookies. I never had a problem to bring a bottle of vine on the ship during our ports visits. Every time when we were visiting ports I was buying a bottle of local wines and we had that during our dinners in Roma restaurant. We never got charge any fees for drinking our wine during the entire time. We did not like the pictures service. It is much overpriced and there was not much price and package flexibility to purchase. The last time when we were on Holland America we had a package for 200 USD. It allowed us to get all the pictures that were taken during the cruise and we had a lot of them. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
just back from 18 smashing days on the independence of the seas sailing the western med. this is our 2nd time aboard,the first being 2008 when she was new.i just wonder if she,s already getting a bit tired and needs a tonic. embarkation ... Read More
just back from 18 smashing days on the independence of the seas sailing the western med. this is our 2nd time aboard,the first being 2008 when she was new.i just wonder if she,s already getting a bit tired and needs a tonic. embarkation .as always with RC,was first class. on board by 11.30 and taking refreshments in the windjammer.as we had been on her before no need to chase around looking for things.in the cabin by about 1.30 and unpacked by 4pm.ready to cruise.i thought the lifeboat drill was very matter of fact and certainly not up to standard.no instructions ,in fact i,m not sure the crew knew what to do. the food.overall, was very good.well cooked and to my liking. i especially liked the variety of soups on offer each day.plenty of dishes in the windjammer and first class service in the king Lear restaurant when we used it. the waiters always very attentive and very helpful.(i got my prawn cocktail even when not on the menu) our cabin was a mistake for us. we thought the weather would be unkind so booked an inside ,atrium view,cabin,when i would have preferred a balcony.(our fault certainly)we had fantastic weather most of the time considering the time of year. although our cabin steward ,ANAND,DID A GREAT JOB. WELL DONE THAT MAN. the entertainment lacked style as far as the visitors were concerned.the highlight for us was BERNIE FLINT.he had us rolling about laughing.the rc. dancers and singers were excellent and the best band of all was "ROCK THE BOAT) they were on last time we were there and we we not disappointed. i also rated the ships orchestra,very very good,especially the john barry medley. jonny rockets.as usual was a whole lot of fun. joff eaton and his side kick ,robbie, did an excellent job of keeping us up to speed. and the bar staff,especially MARIE in the dog and patridge really made us welcome at each visit.the entertainer in the dog.robbie mcnay,was also very good. we had issues it this bar one night when an outright snob thought he was going to treat the staff like they were dirt on his shoes,i was not going to put up with this and put myself and that of my wife in fear of being turfed off the boat for sticking up for the staff,as it happens we never saw him again after i asked him very kindly to use another bar(or even another ship).why [people like that need to travel with the likes of us commoners i will never understand. so.i haven't said too much against the old girl overall but feel as a last thought that maybe she has lost a bit of the glamour we encountered on our first trip in 2008.i think next time ,we will probably try something a little smaller but still with royal caribbean.they know how to look after us and we are delighted. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
We just arrived home from a seven night Western Mediterranean (literally hours ago)and I just could not wait to submit this review before somebody books another cruise with RCI (or at least on Liberty of the Seas). Let me first say ... Read More
We just arrived home from a seven night Western Mediterranean (literally hours ago)and I just could not wait to submit this review before somebody books another cruise with RCI (or at least on Liberty of the Seas). Let me first say that we are not "high maintenance" people and by no means are members of high society. We have sailed on three previous cruises with RCI, all of which were good with the most recent in April 2010. We sailed on Princess earlier this year(please forgive me if I sound like a sale's rep from Princess but I assure you I have no affiliation with any cruise line, I'm just an ordinary working class guy). Where to begin... If part of your decision to take a cruise is based on all the hype about the food, this is NOT the cruise I would take. The food was poor to average with one good meal enjoyed the entire week. You won't starve but when you pay good money with expectations of fantastic food (as experienced by us on previous cruises) you expect the cruise line to deliver. I mean come on, fried minute steak, watered down apple/orange juice (oh and than they try to sell you real orange juice at breakfast as you enter the dining room). The dishes were often greasy (yes dirty). Back to the food...same thing day in day out, I would compare it to your typical pig trough buffet you would find in the continental US or here in Canada. The deserts looked nice but were nothing more than cheap cakes, and custard type dishes etc. Yes there was the odd decent thing thrown in to keep the customers remotely happy. If you think for a minute that I am one of those people that can never be pleased well maybe you will believe that crew. I approached a couple on this topic, one being one of the Windjammer managers (presumably as he was overseeing things and was in a slick uniform). He acknowledged the shortcomings and said there was a menu change and that RCI is working on it. (how about you work on it before we spend several thousand dollars on a vacation). Another crew member(a former Princess employee) acknowledged the same. This brings me to Princess. Perhaps we were just lucky on the one and only Princess cruise we took but the food was many many times better than on RCI. There were different themes in the buffet each night with a quality and selection far better than RCI. Entertainment: Ice show, excellent. Up In the Air, excellent. Magic show on last night, we were embarassed for the guy. PLEASE TRY ANOTHER LINE!If I could add just one last thing. It was very apparent that the moral was lacking in this crew. It was very apparent that they did not want to be there and that they were worn out. I can't say I blame them as their jobs are very difficult if not slave labour and I'm sure RCI pays them very little as they depend of the passengers to give them what equates to a reasonable salary. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
Since booking a Mini Suite on the Epic a few months ago I have been reading with interest the reviews on this site. How I wondered if we had thrown our money away; the awful cabins with strange bathrooms and no room at the end of the ... Read More
Since booking a Mini Suite on the Epic a few months ago I have been reading with interest the reviews on this site. How I wondered if we had thrown our money away; the awful cabins with strange bathrooms and no room at the end of the bed. The bland food in the Garden Caf. The expensive drinks and the overbearing sales techniques that have blithed the poor reviewers. Even the lack of central multi-storied atrium seemed to have concerned worried travellers. I read all the reviews with increasing woe and so with trepidation we set off the Barcelona on Sunday 2nd October 2011. Perhaps I should explain a little about myself. I am a bloke knocking on 50 and have travelled extensively both with my job and for holidays. You could say that I have certain standards that I dont wish to compromise and my friends would say that I am interesting to be with especially if I dont consider the price and promise to meet the actual offering. Yes I find I will often send food back (albeit I will not agree to a replacement, as the human being is not good at accepting criticism without revenge: I value my health). Embarkation was a breeze. Disembarkation was a breeze (we wheeled our own bags without any issues). We both thought the stateroom was just lovely and the curved lines a great success. Yes the toilet compartment was a little cramped and the acoustics were not great, but this was not so bad and I have stayed in many a hotel with the same issues. We have travelled on the Legend and Navigator before and the sinks on both of these vessels were pretty small, so I have to ponder exactly how large are the guests that have complained? Surely they can get their hands into the sink to wash them; their faces cannot be that big and are they using loofers as toothbrushes? Strangely NCL have provided a wonderful shower that I used twice a day. Sink not an issue. The length of the bed has been mentioned! I am 6 2 and hey presto I fitted a treat. Actually the bed was extremely comfortable. I liked the little reading lights on a stalk and especially liked the interactive TV where I could check my billing. However there could be a better choice of channels as it does appear that NCL would rather you spend a few dollars renting a movie! This point leads me nicely into the often criticised up-selling that can be found on-board. Yep they want to take photographs and make cash; yep they want to sell you expensive drinks and yep they want you to go to the surcharge restaurants. They certainly want you to go on the NCL organised excursions. But they are not in your face and we never got anything other than a polite OK when we said no thank you. Furthermore, the same up-selling is evident on the other mass market cruise lines. The food. What are people complaining about! The Garden Caf and the Great Outdoors. What a great selection. In fact it is such a great selection that I noted that many guests had filled their plates with a rare smorgasbord of dishes that would not normally be seen on the same plate. Such was the choice that these poor guests were so confused and bewildered that they were mixing such items as curry with fish and chips with a smattering of blue cheese salad dressing. I am sure these people are not the ones complaining of bland food! I broke all the man rules and actually ate salad at lunchtimes! Peculiarly I enjoyed it and suffered no ill effects! We decided that we would splash out on some the speciality restaurants. We found that the Italian on the first night was good and enjoyed excellent service. I can understand the comments regarding the food at the Cirque but I have this to say. These guys are trying to hit a happy medium! They have to. There is one starter, one main course and one desert to be served (pretty much at the same time) to a wide audience that ranges in age and culture. I attend Industry and Conference dinners in London at prestige hotels and experience similar. If you are complaining about the food at the Cirque venue then you have missed the real point. This being what is happening 15 in front of you not on the plate that is only 12 inches in front. We also paid extra for Cagneys, Moderno and Teppanyaki and found the surcharge to be reasonable and the service excellent. It is staggering the quality they come up with in the middle of the sea! Taste was reasonable, although the quality of the food was below that which you pay a little extra for. The biggest surprise was the quality of the food in OSheehans as this is included in your ticket. This is American Diner food and was excellent and you can order as much as you like! Entertainment was really very good. The big productions on other cruise ships are goodish and if you like the big theatre feel then you may prefer these. The Epic goes for a more intimate feel. We have seen Cirque de Soleil at the Royal Albert Hall for the past 3 years. Its a big production, or rather the set is a big production but with similar performances as you will witness on the Epic. We choose to sit up-stairs and the way the Spiegel Tent has been set up, everyone has a great view. For me this was better than the big London performances and believe me far cheaper! Blue Man Group was a revelation. Loved them and went standby to see them twice. The Beatle tribute band that was moved from H20 to Fat Cats due to weather were fantastic. Again the venue helps as you really get to see the performers up close. I dont really like the Beatles music, but loved the show as the personalities of band really shone through. This was also true of the Slam Allen Band who we hold entirely responsible for some late nights. I am an avid non smoker who occasionally can smell if the car driver in front is smoking. We didnt spend any real time in the Casino as I cannot gamble. This is not a religious thing I simply loose my money quickly! However if I had have wanted to drop a little cash I would not have done so as this area is quite smoky when busy! Oh well live and let live! We have a good dance at the White Hot Party although we did not spend a lot of time at H2O (too many other bars to enjoy). It defies belief that there are 3 flumes, and we particularly liked the one that you had to use the rings. It was good to shoot around the bowl many times! As you may have gathered there are more activities than time and we didnt get round to going the following: Bliss nightclub; bowling, Spa; Comedy Club and Duelling Pianos, Legends in Concert, Ice Bar; Chinese Restaurant; the Noodle Bar; the Sushi Bar. There are probably a few others that are tucked away. So can we recommend this ship? You may be surprised to learn that no we cannot; well that is if you like going to the same restaurant every night and delight in getting to know the waiter and other table mates! If you like the big Broadway shows! If you like a standard square cabin with little technology! If you like dressing in tuxedos and ball-gowns! If you like a chocolate midnight buffet! If you like a formalised Cruise Director! These are not bad things but if you do then this ship is not for you and it would serve you better to book a traditional cruise. I believe that NCL and their Freestyle Cruise is aimed at a very different demographic. We fall into this demographic and loved it. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
Getting there After a direct flight from JFK we stayed at Petit Palace hotel prior to the cruise. It was centrally located steps off Las Ramblas and quiet. The room we had was called an apartment it was on 2 levels, slept 8 and had a ... Read More
Getting there After a direct flight from JFK we stayed at Petit Palace hotel prior to the cruise. It was centrally located steps off Las Ramblas and quiet. The room we had was called an apartment it was on 2 levels, slept 8 and had a small efficiency kitchen that allowed us to do some light cooking. This was great since the Bouqueria market was just across the street. We also stopped in Carrefours supermarket on Las Ramblas to pick up soda and juice to carry onto the ship. Embarkation was very easy, even though our printed docs were in the checked baggage - somehow since they were called e-docs hubby figured he didnt need the paper :). We checked in separately from the kids and it took each of us about 20 minutes, vs about 5 minutes for those who had their documents. We were on the ship by noon and the rooms were ready at 12:30. Cabins We had a mini-suite and 2 interior rooms on deck 9. The balcony was completely covered and easily fit all 6 of us. The sofa was near the window, which I prefer, as I like to sit and look out the balcony when it is windy. The stateroom had lots of storage and there were no issues with the bathrooms. The balcony room had a larger shower and more counter space, the interior rooms felt very spacious and no one felt crowded. Our rooms were near the aft elevators, but we never heard any elevator or hallway noise. One negative is that the TV options were horrible - MSNBC, CNBC, Nick in 4 languages and one channel that played the sitcoms. Food and Drink We ate at The Manhattan Room, Taste and the Garden Caf. (We have been on NCL before and did not think the extra cost restaurants provided value.) Most of the food was very good to excellent. There were a couple of entrees that were not up to par (lobster tail and a beef dish). Service was excellent when the restaurants werent busy, but spotty during prime time which usually occurred after 8:30 pm when the early shows were done. We ordered room service for port-day breakfast and they were so efficient they arrived early, accompanied by a phone call to let us know they were on their way. We bought a wine package. It is available on embarkation day outside the garden caf and gives a 20% discount if you buy 6 to 8 bottles. Unlike previous cruises, they gave us a chit for that nights wine and delivered the rest to the cabin. We had ordered an NCL setup (brandy) a week before the cruise and were pleasantly surprised when the bottle of wine and vodka that we purchased in Barcelona and were prepared to leave in the naughty room was delivered to the cabin. Entertainment Steve Sorrentino was good but the venue Headliners was horrible and many of the seats had obstructed views. Legends was good. The Blue Man Group was mixed. Some skits were fun others seemed long and drawn out. Cirque Dreams was awesome, especially since there were 11 foot waves and the ship was moving around a lot during the performance. The view from the back seats was obstructed by the low ceiling. There was also music all around the ship at most times of the day. The casino is huge, running half the length of deck 6. You could smell some smoke, but not bad, as you walked through. We are not gamblers but purchased slot play coupons for each room. We had so much fun we wished we had purchased one per person. Pools, etc The deck chairs around the pool seemed to get crowded but there were always chairs available. The pools are a joke, as they are so small, but the water slides make up for it. I am not a sun lover and was concerned about finding a place to relax in the shade. It was not a problem. There is a covered area on deck 15 behind the video arcade that had oversized upholstered chairs that was great. It rained one day and we were totally dry in this area. Shore excursions Getting off and on the ship was a breeze at all the ports. For the Italy ports we used a private car and driver from Limo In Rome for the 6 of us. We saw everything on our list and more. It was definitely the way to go. We took the HOHO bus right outside the port gates in Palma. Three of our party also took a behind the scenes tour that is given on sea days. They show you laundry, kitchens, etc and provide you with lots of statistics. It was heaven for the techies in our group. Guest services These people were friendly and efficient. If there was a long line, there was usually a guest services person working the line to answer quick questions. One of our bags somehow didn't make it fomr the cab onto the ship. The Guest services people were very helpful in trying to find it, phoning the cab company and the port agent, although the bag was not found. Overall I was a bit concerned with the size of the ship and its interior focus. It seldom felt crowded and you could always find a quiet corner. I did miss the ability to walk around the outside of the ship but you could walk either side of deck 7 and it was fairly easy to walk the interior length of the ship on the public decks. The crew was outstanding everyone was friendly and offered to assist in anything we needed. There are not as many of the grand public spaces and atriums as other NCL ships, but it is tastefully done and there are a couple of multi deck chandeliers. We would definetly consider another cruise on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
This was our 2nd cruise this year - our first was with Princess in the Caribbean, with a balcony - and we wanted something not too expensive, which is exactly what we got. We originally booked an interior cabin, but having worked out ... Read More
This was our 2nd cruise this year - our first was with Princess in the Caribbean, with a balcony - and we wanted something not too expensive, which is exactly what we got. We originally booked an interior cabin, but having worked out the actual size, decided to upgrade to an outside. We made a good choice, as having seen the size of the interior ones on board, I don't think we'd have been happy. Quite apart from the fact that they're really tiny, there's no natural light, so would have felt extremely claustrophobic. Many people do cruise very happily in interior cabins, but it's not for us - no matter how cheap. There have been several reviews saying that the food on the Costa ships is mainly frozen - even the salads. Well that's rubbish. Quite apart from the fact that lettuce (and there was a lot of lettuce) doesn't freeze, every salad we had was obviously fresh. However, almost every dish is marked as having one or more ingredient from frozen. This seemed particularly true of the seafood, which my husband said he was quite disappointed in. Overall, the food was of a reasonable/good standard, and in fact some (not all) of the main courses were very good - particularly the beef and the soups. One thing though - at breakfast, the toast is dreadful, and they really should take some lessons on poaching eggs - didn't have a decent one all week. The fresh fruit every morning was lovely, as were the pastries. We ate in the main dining room on early sitting. We did try the buffet - but to be honest, I don't go on a cruise to eat off plastic plates in a canteen, and have to say the food there wasn't really to our taste. Nothing wrong with it - in fact the pizzas were the best we've had on a cruise - but you don't get the lovely presentation with buffet food. We did try the Concordia restaurant (20 euros pp extra) on our first night, as we'd been mistakenly allocated 2nd sitting (maitre d' changed this for us from night 2 onwards), and it was very good. However, the vibration from the engines, although it didn't bother me, really annoyed my husband. We asked the staff if it's always like that and they said yes. Also seemed a bit odd that the Concordia restaurant was open to and above the buffet restaurant, so as we were eating our meal, we were serenaded by a crying baby from the buffet below. I've also seen several comments about the announcements being in 5 languages. Yes, it can get a bit annoying, but if you book an Italian ship, what can you expect. We cruised with MSC 2 years ago, and it was exactly the same. If you think about it, they could just do everything in Italian, so in some ways they're offering a better service than English speaking ships. One of the problems with 'budget' cruises, is that they have to make their money somewhere - and a lot is made up from the drinks and drinks packages. On Princess, we paid about $20 for an unlimited soda package (we don't drink much alcohol), but on the Concordia, it was 40 euros plus 15% service for just 20 cans. I got through 40 cans in the week, and my husband refused to pay on principal, so just drank iced table water. The excursions were OK - but again slightly more pricey than the Princess. The organisation was also a little hit-and-miss, but nothing went majorly wrong. On our trip, there were about 3,200 passengers, and it felt very crowded indeed at times - goodness only knows what it would have felt like with a full complement of 3,700. That said, we never struggled to find a sun bed, but it was a little difficult to find somewhere quiet to read sometimes. As far as the shows are concerned, they were very good, considering they had to appeal to a multitude of languages, and varied from a tribute singer to a magic show (which was surprisingly good). However, for us, there was too much time between eating and the shows - 1st dinner sitting was 7.00, but the first show wasn't until 9.45. 2nd sitting was 9.30, and the 2nd show was at 11.30. Would have been much better for us if the 1st show was at 9.00. The English speaking hostess (Angela, a Spanish girl) was fabulous, always trying so hard to please everyone, and very friendly indeed. Overall, for what we paid, we got an excellent cruise. But if you want Princess or HA standards, you won't get that on a Costa. With cruising, you definitely get what you pay for. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
Please read this review, knowing that we all want different things and what I like may not be what everyone else likes, and visa versa. Having cruised with Royal Caribbean last year as a taster, we had high expectations for the NCL ... Read More
Please read this review, knowing that we all want different things and what I like may not be what everyone else likes, and visa versa. Having cruised with Royal Caribbean last year as a taster, we had high expectations for the NCL Epic, 7 day cruise from Barcelona, to Pisa/Rome/Naples/Palma. There is no doubt about it, this ship is huge and lovely to look at. The embarkation and dis-embarkation procedures as usual were flawless. We arrived at 12.30pm, and were in our room unpacking by 2.30pm. We would always get a balcony now as it gives you the best view. We heard the internal cabins were tight and stuffy. However, our room was fine, more storage than most, but the bathroom area design has been over thought, There is a cheap and nasty curtain that separates the toilet area/shower area and the so called sink, which has no use as it's the size of a sauce pan. this really cheapened the room, and if you are a new couple, or friends, get prepared to have no privacy. Balcony was great, bed comfortable, however some of the worst sleeps I've had due to the constant clicking noise coming from curtain area - totally unexplainable. We asked about the drinks package, and most staff were quiet resentful in answering, however we go there in the end, on your 1st meal you order 6-8 bottles to get 20% off, then they put all the tax and whatever on top, and give you splits of paper for each bottle. This ship has face recognition on it for the over priced photo system, why can't they put the wine on my card and track this. After this we proceeded to the Mandarin Spa which was amazing, would recommend this, but wait a few days as all the over priced treatments are reduced by 20% later in the cruise. Staff very helpful though. We decided to check out the Friends of Dorothy (FOD) party for the LGBT gathering, which was at dinner time every night at 7.30pm. No entertainment was organised, you just turned up at 7.30pm. This should be later with some entertainment as live piano. Although we did appreciate the effort. The ship as I said is massive, some amazing cocktail bars, out door bars, and Ice bar which was fun. The entertainment is amazing, we saw the Blue Man Group which was the highlight, and the Cirque Dreams dinner which was one of the better meals. On that note, I should get the all important subject of food out of the way. Be surprised with the food on this ship.The free areas like the Garden Cafe, Taste and Manhattans offer the usual fair. Garden Cafe has a vast amount to choose from, but all very tasteless to us, and rather bland. Deserts all taste more or less the same, but we never went hungry. Taste and Manhattans, what can I say, a true disappointment, both menus don't change much and decor in taste is more a kin to a tex mex place. One night in Manhattans we were walked all around the room to find our 1 table, and the service is not great. It's worth mentioning here, you get what you pay for, and having read the reviews about this being a nickel and dime cruise, the paying speciality restaurants were very good. Wasabi was the best I've ever had, Teppanyaki was good, however the server kept dropping the food, and cirque dreams was pleasant. Obviously the best staff have been reserved for these areas. The evening entertainment is very good, the white party was one of the best nights, and the fabba party was excellent, as well as the bliss lounge which was friendly - although I have no idea why they have a DJ, as all the music seems to be on the same play list, same music most of the time, so quiet what the DJ is remixing on the "decks" pardon the pun - Id don't know. The cruise director at most of these venues was rather irritating and had a certain attitude which I did not like, but I'm sure others may like it. The drinks are the usual price, with tax etc added on top. The music in other areas like the live guitar lady was amazing in the Whiskey Bar, but please can we have an update from Twice as Nice as they were so dated, and that blond haired man on the piano (Danny Fabilow) is what we called him, attitude was not nice. Please read the excursion reviews carefully, the NCL offers the most expensive I have ever seen. Do your own thing, get the shuttle bus at most of the ports, then the train, and head to Florence/Pisa/Rome by train. By the way, we saw the pope, he always comes out on Wednesday about 11am, get off at the St. Pietro station and walk 10 minutes to the Vatican, take your seat and he will appear. Don't do what everyone else does and get off at Rome Termini. Do it the other way round. Trains are cheap and get a timetable off the Internet before you travel as train times are all over the place. We got back early (4pm) most days, however those who left it later had great trouble getting through the queues for the shuttle bus - don't miss your ship on the way back in other words. All in all, we had a great time on the ship, dinners were not formal as RCI, but some liked this some didn't, we liked the informal dining times, and the booking system from your TV was very helpful. I'm not damning the EPIC, as I said we all want different things, it's just end of the day, it's a pricey trip and I don't think you should have to pay over the odds for good food in addition to what you have paid. If they get the free food areas right, then they are onto a winner. Finally, people make this trip and you have to make the effort to meet them, and we did. We met some amazing lovely people and had some great nights. NCL did try and put on some great nights. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
On our recent cruise on the MSC splendida, we were disappointed with the poor service provided particularly for English speaking passengers. The only time we saw our cabin steward was when he walked in without knocking. We ran out of loo ... Read More
On our recent cruise on the MSC splendida, we were disappointed with the poor service provided particularly for English speaking passengers. The only time we saw our cabin steward was when he walked in without knocking. We ran out of loo paper three times, as did other guests we spoke to. The internet service, particularly when at sea was a complete rip off. At 12 euro for 60 mins it was expensive but when you spend the first 30 mins just trying to get into the website it is appalling. My cabin key card stopped working twice requiring a visit to the reception desk in a bathrobe. Hardly an apology or explanation given. Staff on excursion desk seriously short on information when ever I had something to ask. No maps of the cities we were calling to were provided as had happened on other cruises. Very few serving staff in lounges as compared with other cruise lines, so we often had to go to the bar ourselves. Having said all that it is a beautiful ship. Boarding was effortless and all trips ashore were well organised. The dining room staff were the exception. they couln't have done more to make our evenings enjoyable. However overall the the experience was not as enjoyable as hoped. The splendida is a 5 star ship with 2-3 star service. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
Firstly I need to admit one thing. We only paid 199 each for a balcony cabin having come upon a real bargain five night cruise on the Internet, sailing from Barcelona, so I shouldn't really grumble about the less positive aspects of ... Read More
Firstly I need to admit one thing. We only paid 199 each for a balcony cabin having come upon a real bargain five night cruise on the Internet, sailing from Barcelona, so I shouldn't really grumble about the less positive aspects of the cruise. We joined the cruise in Barcelona, stopping at Tunis, Valletta, Messina and Rome before heading back to the start port of Genoa. The ship is great - well designed and it has that touch of Italian class you would expect. Likewise the rooms are well laid out. The ship and rooms are kept immaculately clean, almost to the point of obsession, but overall we have nothing negative to say about the ship. Despite what others have said, we found the staff to be friendly and helpful when you needed it and our cabin attendant and table staff in the restaurant always had a smile for us. Excursions - we only went on one to Rome, and this was what you expected. I did think that they were rather expensive, especially as most of the ports were made for independent exploration. Eating - I can't criticise the quality of the food, although as has been previously stated it could have been warmer.One negative is that in the buffet restaurant I could not figure out what the Head waiters did as the approach to finding a table was to walk around until you found one and the distance from some of the food areas was rather long. However tea and coffee was available all day if you wanted it, although it would be good if you could make it it in your room. Also thanks to the family from Wales who we were seated with. Made dinner time a real pleasant experience. Entertainment - The shows put on in the Theater were very good if a little short, so that they could get a game of Bingo in between first and second sitting, and yes it was funny to here each number called in several languages. The entertainment in the bars was highly professional and we particulalrly enjoyed the Jazz Quartet in the Manhattan Lounge, although the performers did seem to be going through the motions and didn't really engage with their audiance I agree with the other reviewer that it was difficult to get used to a smokey environment in some of the bars, and its become easy to forget what it used to be like in the UK before the ban. Drinks - This is the biggest negative. As we are charged 7 Euro each per day for tips, I did think it a bit much to also have a 15% service charge for each drink bought. It makes it rather expensive, although we didn't let it prevent us from enjoying ourselves. I do think a complimentary bottle of water would also be good to be provided with. Disembarkation - this is my one real area of complaint. In general it operated as you would expect. However, asking guests to vacate their rooms by 7.00am is extracting the michael somewhat. Especially as we then didn't actually leave the ship until after 10.00am. That extra hour in bed would have made such a big difference to the journey home. Overall we had a good time and it was interesting to experience a different style of cruising. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
First of all here was no lifejacket or safety muster and when we asked the crew shrugged their shoulders. I thought it was mandatory on board ship. Cabin.. we booked an aft facing balcony stateroom, no problem lots of storage and coat ... Read More
First of all here was no lifejacket or safety muster and when we asked the crew shrugged their shoulders. I thought it was mandatory on board ship. Cabin.. we booked an aft facing balcony stateroom, no problem lots of storage and coat hangers. Although when on the balcony it was noisy, and the ship rocked and rolled even though the sea was calm. Never experienced this on other cruises. Resturants..We felt the resturants were disappointing, Garden Terrace food cold and greasy. Taste and Manhattan ok but very repetitive.One meal in the Manhattan was so bad my husband had to return it and because we could not get any satisfaction from the waitress we called the Maitre ,d who after much deliberation finally allowed us a complimentary bottle of wine but for some reason we couldn,t have it until the next night! Trips.. The trip to Pisa was spoilt by spending 2 and half hours around an Outlet mail, 1 hour around a leather factory and only 1 and half hours around Pisa itself. Enjoyed the Rome and Sorrento trips. The ship is huge which lends itself to being a little souless and deck 15 is a nightmare.. whole deck taken up by the casino which was smoky and the smoke drifted up to the next deck and bar. Other passengers we spoke to seemed as disenchanted as us with the ship and its worth noting the Surcharge of $12 per day each is voluntary but it took 3 visits to the Guest Service to get this removed from our bill and Oh boy there were long faces. The saving grace of this ship is the cabin attendants, waiters and waitresses and bar staff whom we tipped generously. Finally would we sail with NCL again....NO NO Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
First I would like to say it is a great cruise, a perfect way to see several cities in Europe without going broke. I read several reviews before going but there were none that reviewed this specific itinerary. Rome - We arrived two ... Read More
First I would like to say it is a great cruise, a perfect way to see several cities in Europe without going broke. I read several reviews before going but there were none that reviewed this specific itinerary. Rome - We arrived two days before our sail date, that worked great. The typical tour buses are good for seeing the city quickly. My one tip would be to purchase your ticket for the Vatican museum on line, I think you will have to pay a $4 fee but it is worth every penny. When we arrived at the museum the line was about a quarter of a mile long and we got to bypass it!!!!!!!!! We took the train to Civitavecchia, no problems, it took about 45 minutes but other trains can take about one hour and 15 minutes. Once you get out of the train station just go right, you will hit the port after a few hundred yards, no need for a taxi!!!!! When we arrived at the ship there was no line so we walked right on. There were probably 20 people working checking, so they are very efficient. Messina - We took the train from Messina and went to Taormina. Train ride was about an hour, once you get there, there will be a tour bus that will take you to the top to Taormina. DO NOT walk out of the train station and start walking to the town!!!!! If the bus is not there wait for it. The bus ride is about 15-20 minutes up a steep mountain. Once you get there, you will probably only have a few hours. Please BEWARE, I am a seasoned traveler and I asked when the bus went back to the train station. The lady replied 1PM. (The train departed at 1:30 back to Messina) We walked around for about 2 hours, a cute town but just tourist shops and restaurants. We arrived back at the bus stop and come to find out the bus departed at 12:45. We then had to pay a taxi to take us to the train station. That cost, 15 euros. We had to pay otherwise we would of missed the train and thus the ship. When we got back on the train we saw some other people from the cruise and they said the lady gave them incorrect times as well. I was not pleased. If I had to do it over again I would of toured Messina, the extra three hours getting to and back from Taormina could of been better used in Messina. Istanbul was great, get a Rick Steeves Istanbul guide book and you will be fine. The only thing I could recommend is, in the Topkapi palace, skip the harem, not that impressive, and if you are there first thing, head straight for the treasury, it is extremely impressive but the crowds grow and when we were there around 11 it was packed. You had to keep walking past the displays so you really didn't have time to admire each one. Don't bother trying to take photos, security will make you delete them. Kusadasi - A nice Turkish port town. We paid for the tour for Ephesus, afterwords we walked around Kusadasi. We purchased a cute leather coat at Golf Leather, a nice man and not much pressure. Oh, one thing you may want to investigate, clothes. Lots of clothes are manufactured in Turkey, socks, suits, shirts, ect.... My Hugo Boss suit that I just purchased was manufactured in Turkey. I didn't have much time but I did purchase a suit, sort of on a whim. It is pretty nice for $150. I also got two shirts and a tie. Athens- Public transportation was on strike. We got on the city tour bus and rode to the acropolis. The port in Athens is huge, once you exit the terminal go left and about 150 yards the city tour buses will be waiting. I think the cost was 15 euros. As it was raining we didn't spend much time in Athens. Rhodes - Spent most of the day at the beach, water was clear and warm. Walked through old town on the way back to the ship. Crete - Just enjoyed walking around and enjoying the old town. We purchased 8 Evian waters but the water is fine on the ship (or better than what I get out of the tap in Chicago). Free coffee and tea. The coke package is $90. I just got one out of the refrigerator for $2.50, it was cheaper that way ( I only drank 6 or 7 the entire trip). We did go for the dinner wine package of 10 bottle for $320. They had a nice selection and it was worth it. GET ANYTIME DINING !!!!!!!! The ship is nice, the meals are great, the employees are friendly. See the ice show!!!!!!! The only thing I could say is, the employees looked tired, I felt bad for them and one day I told the cabin boy to skip our room to give him a break. This trip was for our honeymoon and I would recommend it !!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2011

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