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5 Dover to Europe - Western Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

We're just off the Oceania Marina's Tastes of Europe cruise, that ended in Rome yesterday, August 26,2011. The impressions are all fresh in our minds. Overall it was a satisfying experience but far from the original ... Read More
We're just off the Oceania Marina's Tastes of Europe cruise, that ended in Rome yesterday, August 26,2011. The impressions are all fresh in our minds. Overall it was a satisfying experience but far from the original expectations built up by the heavy advertisements in press and via internet. The passengers have the opportunity to fill in a feedback document, that we decided against submitting but it does serve as a good template for organising the comments below. We had a Penthouse cabin provided with butler services. The accommodations were satisfactory along with the Stateroom maintenance. Too bad that the cabins are rather poorly built with squeaky doors and hissing sound from the wind outside, that the maintenance crew tried to prevent but didn't succeed entirely. The bathroom facilities were adequate and the towel service was prompt and unobtrusive. The services provided were rather poor. To start with, most of the service desks, the travel desk, the reception etc would not answer directly and one should have expected to be called back in order to register the specific requests. After being denied service for a number of times (related to trip planning, concierge service and another time a special request for room service), we asked to speak to the cruise director. The request did not even generate a call from the director. Instead of it we had our complaints acknowledged by the respective service staff ?!. While we had access to the Executive Concierge service, it was almost impossible to get to the sole person who was supposed to provide them. The line up could take literally over ½ hour at any time of the day. The concierge was only available during limited intervals of the day (about 8 hours). Generally the reception and destination staff and management were 'lost at sea' looking for excuses rather than trying to do their job well. Totally uninformed about the locations we docked at, not ready to resolve any issues on the spot without going for 'approval' (this refers to mistakes in the billing) The cruise staff was rather efficient but annoyingly eager to acknowledge the passengers at all times. This created an impression of artificial courtesy. The same comment goes for the Red Ginger and Toscana restaurant staff. One values one's privacy during the dining experience and a non intrusive, while attentive staff. It does get really annoying being asked 8 times during dinner if everything is all right ! The culinary experience was of a high quality. The specialty restaurants were well appointed (we actually dined twice, at each of them) with a wide choice of on each restaurant menu. The Far Eastern, Red Ginger restaurant was somehow disappointing, by trying to please all tastes but not able to concentrate on any of the far eastern cuisine well. It wasn't either a Chinese or a Japanese or a Thai restaurant, but had a dish from each cuisine . La Reserve's food was of a good standard but the wine pairings were mostly off (their excuse was that the Wine Spectator picked up the pairings ??!! ). The Grand Dining Room was OK.,. The butler service proved worth its price after the first day when our calls were not returned for lengthy periods of time. We had a 'friendly talk' with the butler after which he got 'religion' and probably started servicing us ahead of other passengers. The entertainment was of a very poor quality except for Bruce Parker who did a good job singing the tunes and getting the audience involved. The shore excursions were a real disaster ! The group sizes varied from 40-50 people, the guides were impossible to be heard unless one was at a foot distance away and the tour content was extremely poor. We ended up going of 3 of these but heard the same comments from other passengers who went on other ones. We ended up actually renting a car in three locations, namely in Saint-jean-de-luz, Cadiz and Livorno. The prices charged for the shore excursions were a total rip-off. Overall not a bad experience but it won't bring us back to the Oceania again. Lots of regrets to lose the good food experience (thanks to Jaques Pepin ?...who was on the cruise himself and I caught him ordering at lease 3 times hot dogs for lunch !!!) Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
We enjoy cruising Europe because of the convenience and would say that while we had a good vacation, Carnival wouldn't be at the top of my list again if price and itinerary are equal to another line (ie Celebrity or Princess). Service ... Read More
We enjoy cruising Europe because of the convenience and would say that while we had a good vacation, Carnival wouldn't be at the top of my list again if price and itinerary are equal to another line (ie Celebrity or Princess). Service was good, food quality, okay. THE UPSIDE: Ship was exceptionally clean pretty much everywhere, although tables on the Lido deck frequently were unwiped before they were used again. Overall, not a big deal. Staff was courteous and helpful, but no one called me by name on this ship, which has not been my experience on other lines. We enjoyed our dining room servers and our room steward was very accommodating of our needs. Being surprised with a new towel animal friend on your bed was a delightful way to end the day. The main pool and sitting area with the retractable awning was excellent and one of the best features of the design of the ship. Gave people a nice place to sit out in the evening and the morning that wasn't cold or windy. Loved watching movies on the big screen at night, but wished they had much more current offerings and lighter variety . . . who wants to see "Saving Private Ryan" when you're trying to relax on vacation? Also enjoyed the saltwater pool on this deck that was much preferable to the usual chlorine. The outside room we had on the 1st floor midship was quiet and spacious and was easy enough to get to the other areas of the ship. Bed was a little too hard for us, but many people commented it was the best they had ever slept on while on a cruise ship. Plenty of storage space for all of our stuff. They had not added the Friends of Dorothy meetings (for LGBT cruisers) to the activities schedule, but did so after I requested it. (And the cruise director sent me a bottle of champagne!) My partner and I both had massages from the spa, they were okay, but definitely not standout - not practitioners I would go see again at home, but fine for the reduced price we paid for them ($1/minute) on a port day. My experience has been that it is pretty rare to find anyone who does great deep tissue work on a cruise ship, but if you don't get a lot of massage, their people are probably fine. The equipment in their fitness room was really nice and the staff was helpful if you had questions. On the elliptical machine I used you could control your ipod or watch your own personal tv if you brought your own headphones. Shows and entertainment were okay, even a little better than what I have come to expect from a cruise ship. Nothing outstanding, but at least they were entertaining for a captive audience (though not something good enough that I would pay money to see it at home, and certainly not deserving of the standing ovations they generally received). THE DOWNSIDE: Apart from the Lido deck awning, and our room itself, the layout and design of the ship is the worst I have ever been on. Many reviews have mentioned about the hideous dEcor in the public spaces, so I will just say I will definitely agree on that note. The other thing is that for whatever reason they put one of the dining rooms in the middle of the ship and so one frequently got stuck at dead ends that you would have to go up or down a floor or two to walk around. The unintuitive layout was definitely annoying, but in terms of the big picture, it's not as though either of these ruined our trip or anything. Food was okay not great. Enjoyed lunch much more than dinner. A few highlights included the option of Indian food and Mongolian barbeque at lunch, Caesar salad in the dining room for dinner was great - this was the only lettuce on the whole ship that tasted somewhat okay. Food in the dining room was about what I was expecting, looked much more beautiful than it tasted, but then again, I couldn't even begin to fathom what it takes to feed 3,000 people in only 2 seatings. Not that this is an excuse, and there were a few standout courses here or there, but by in large, they don't serve excellent food on this ship. I would give it about a fair rating. It wasn't bad by any means (I have had far worse on NCL), but it definitely wasn't great either. Meat was frequently overcooked and my biggest issue was really with the taste of the vegetables. They tasted about as fresh as cardboard and probably had the equivalent nutrients to boot. Clearly they were not purchased from sources along the route, but were shipped for the cheapest price from some far away place (and it showed in how they tasted). Alternative dinner options were awfully slim, but at least they had some. Singing and dancing at dinner by the waiters was disruptive, not relaxing or entertaining every night in the dining room. If it happened only once or twice, this would have been okay, but for us, the singing and loud music always seemed to start in the middle of our meal, during which time, all the servers were busy "entertaining" instead of doing their job. One of several reasons enough for us to pick another line in the future if the itinerary and price are the same. If you just want a quiet relaxing dinner, this isn't the cruise line for you. Be warned that moderate to severe engine vibrations can be felt in the rear portion of the Golden Pearl restaurant at the aft of the ship (the forward part of the restaurant is better). I'm not usually someone who has any level of seasickness, and for some reason this even had me not feeling right. Fortunately, when we realized this on the first night, they were able to move us to the Black Pearl for dinner that was so much better. I will give Carnival props for making the switch completely painless, they even had someone walk us to the other dining room. While I will say I haven't actually been in the aft staterooms, based on the amount of vibration that could still be felt on level 3 in the Golden Pearl dining room, my instinct would be to highly suggest that you avoid getting a stateroom on levels 1-2 in the aft of the ship - at least I would expect that the vibrations wouldn't be what I would wish for on my vacation. (We had good luck with our stateroom midship on level 1.) For a so-called "fun ship," the variety of activities, particularly at sea, were sorely lacking. This was also one of the big reasons why I would look at other lines before sailing Carnival again. They did the usual trivia, art auctions, bingo, etc, but didn't really offer any alternative or enrichment classes/lectures that are certainly appropriate for a European itinerary and offered by other lines. No port talks/history lessons (apart from those trying to sell you their shore excursions), language lessons (they certainly have enough people on the ship to teach these), or other special interest talks, or craft activities to keep things interesting on the days at sea. If you take this boat and have days at sea, make sure you plan accordingly. The daily capers itinerary was also really weak. There wasn't any port info with maps or anything as we had experienced elsewhere. The language tips were either completely lacking or pretty weak. Apparently Carnival doesn't really care to help you out if you want to enjoy the ports on your own instead of buying their overpriced tours. Be forewarned to arrive with your own info/guidebook/itineraries in mind for the ports you are visiting if you aren't going to take Carnival's tours. OVERALL EVALUATION: Truth be told, the ship doesn't make for a great vacation, YOU DO. Personally, I would choose this boat for price and itinerary only, not for the amenities, service, or food on the ship. To us, the ports are more important than the ship itself, and this trip was not any different. Cruising is one of the most relaxing and affordable ways to travel in Europe in our opinion. As far as this ship goes, if you're not traveling on a super sunny itinerary, the covered Lido deck and pool area are a big plus and gives a nice place to be which have the feeling of being outside but away from wind and rain. I imagine this would be especially nice if you can only afford an inside room. The other best features were the spaciousness of the rooms and the overall cleanliness of everything. You probably won't be overwhelmed by the quality of the food or entertainment, but for us, we come to Europe to see Europe . . . and the rest, well, the rest made for a perfectly acceptable vacation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2008
This was our 9th cruise aboard a Carnival Cruise Ship. Seeing as it was an inaugural cruise from Dover and we live about 45 mins away it was ideal. The Ship was a magnificent site when coming down the hill to the harbor. We missed the ... Read More
This was our 9th cruise aboard a Carnival Cruise Ship. Seeing as it was an inaugural cruise from Dover and we live about 45 mins away it was ideal. The Ship was a magnificent site when coming down the hill to the harbor. We missed the christening by Myleene Klass and because of this our rebooked parking was taken up by the media, we were sent of to nearby parking and ferried back to the Ship. The embarkation went very smoothly as we had pre-registered on-line and had our fun pass. We found our cabin which I must say is very spacious. We were on the Carnival Freedom last summer in the Med and had a balcony cabin and this compare equally, there was 3 wardrobes, plenty of drawer space and a flat screened TV on the wall. The only difference we found with Carnival Freedom was that the dome over the swimming pool made it very claustrophobic, but seeing as this is built with Europe in mind the dome did not open on the 3 days we were on board, the weather was cold and raining. The decoration of the Ship was very Mickey Mouse, take for instance in the Gold Pearl Dining Room the ceilings had what looked like fried eggs running around the whole of the dinning area, and what seemed like large trumpets with balls coming out of them in the swimming pool area. The first night we had our dinner in the Buffet, this was very good almost everything you could image to eat. We went for a stir fry which we helped ourselves to ingredients and then had them stir fried. The only complaint was that the coffee in the machine was awful, and the hot chocolate machines were always out of order, seeing as this is a 'new' Ship this might just be teething troubles. We went to the Gold Pearl Restaurant for our main meal on the following evening and met up with our table companions, the starter was very nice, but the main course on all four of us came up cold, we all had something different. It was not as if the area was packed with people there was about 6 tables occupied, this was replaced but the veggies was still cold, we ended up at the buffet for the last night, better food choice. Activities. We did not have enough time to join in the activities as we sailed at 7 pm and next morning we arrived in Amsterdam and did not leave until 10 pm so it only left one day. The shows are Jazzy and Blues, on their smaller ships we have seen much better shows. On the last day we got up early and by 6.30 am the announcement came over the pa system that we could disembark the Ship, as we were allowed to take our own luggage off with us, which I must say is a blessing, no hold ups whatsoever. it was a joy to get into our car and drive out of the port and not have to have a 9 hour flight ahead of us. We have tried different cruise companies as we have cruised about 18 times but I must admit we always come back to Carnival. I think the Ships are getting too big and impersonal. My ideal size is Victory/Elation. Read Less
Sail Date July 2008
We were on the Poesia's inaugural cruise (April 6th - 19th; London (Dover) to Venice. I was interested to see the member reviews here as well as the comments on this board. Most of the complaints seem to be about the food while the ... Read More
We were on the Poesia's inaugural cruise (April 6th - 19th; London (Dover) to Venice. I was interested to see the member reviews here as well as the comments on this board. Most of the complaints seem to be about the food while the ship itself got generally high marks. I'm writing this primarily as a ship review, but I will briefly go through the ports (I loved them all): • London - We spend two and half days here before the cruise. It's a beautiful city with so much to see in the way of history and architecture. We particularly enjoyed the British Museum. Excellent mass transit system. • Cork/Cobh Ireland - Scenic, friendly, nothing specific I'd describe as a must-see. If I did it again, I think I'd spend more time in Cobh (where the ship docks) and less in Cork. • Lisbon - I loved it. I would definitely like to go back. Friendly and helpful people. Beautiful stone and tile work everywhere. We enjoyed the Castle and the Jeronimos Monastery. • Barcelona - Attractive city. Nice parks. You have to see the Sagrada Familia. • Rome - I wouldn't know where to start. I think the must-sees in Rome are known by all. St. Peter's Basilica was amazing. • Naples - Naples, at least in the midst of its current garbage crisis, was not pleasant. I'm sure there are things to do and see there, but our experience was limited to walking through the city to the train station where we caught the Circumvesuvius line to Pompeii (wonderful) and then on to Sorrento (gorgeous, one of my favorites). • Messina, Sicily - Our time here was also limited to walking to the train station where we caught a train to Taormina. Unfortunately we didn't have much time there and found out only too late that we had gone to the waterfront when the main town was high on the hill above. • Dubrovnik - A lovely city. The main attraction is the Old City, but the whole area is beautiful. I want to get back there someday for a longer visit. • Venice - A place everyone has to visit at least once. We stayed 2+ days there and really enjoyed it. Just roam the streets and take it all in. Piazza San Marcos is a must see. Get a Water Bus pass for the duration you're going to be in port - it's a fun and easy way to get around. Aside from the main island, I would also recommend going out to Murano (glass!) and Lido. We saw all these ports on our own. We gave up on ship-offered excursions after about our second cruise having found them to be overpriced and over-restrictive. While we made significant use of public transportation (which, compared to Seattle, is outstanding everywhere we went, with the possible exception of Dubrovnik), mostly we saw these ports on foot. I would recommend that method to anyone with the energy to do it as the best way to get a real feel for a city when you are only there for a short time. It also helps work off all of those cruise calories. Now, back to the ship ... We've been on about a dozen cruises over the last 20 years, about half on Princess and the remainder on Sitmar, HAL, RCL, and now MSC. In my opinion MSC falls at the bottom of those lines in terms of the things important to me, but I wouldn't go so far as to say I'd never sail with them again (though I felt that way at times during the cruise and heard that view from many other passengers). I thought the food was OK. There were high and low points. The pasta courses were good, the main dishes often not, etc. It was definitely NOT 5-star cuisine, but it was still good. As with the ship as a whole, I'd rate it at the bottom of the lines I've been on, but not by a lot. Some things I didn't like: • The casual dining (buffet) was not even close to 24 hours and was closed entirely at dinner. That wasn't a huge deal for us on this trip, but it would have been on if we had brought the kids. We have friends that, on cruises, eat exclusively in the casual dining when dining room attire is other than casual because their idea of a vacation is never having to dress up. • It was very difficult to get ice water (that is tap water as opposed to purchasing bottled water) in the formal restaurant or the buffet. • There was no self-service water/tea/coffee anywhere and no free service except during buffet hours. • Free room service - available and extensive on the other ships we've sailed on - was nearly absent (limited to very bare-bones breakfast). Some things I did like: • The wait staff was polite and friendly • Lunch in the dining room featured a full six-course menu (appetizer, soup, salad, pasta, entrEe, and dessert) and was often better than dinner. • The buffets were of generally good quality though the desserts were unimpressive. For the most part I did NOT like the ship itself. Issues: • Very few of the public areas (library, card room, lounges, ...) even had a view of the outside. • The decorating was sometimes nice but sometimes jarringly unpleasant. The disco, for example, was about the ugliest room I've ever seen. Obviously this is a matter of taste and only my opinion. • I'm fairly sensitive to smoke which made many of the public areas unusable for me. For example, I completely steered clear of the casino. Also, since smoking in the cabins is merely "discouraged" I think you can be certain that all cabins will have been "smoking" cabins at some point within the first several cruises. That wasn't a problem for us since the ship was brand new. • Some of the public areas that I generally use on ships were sub par. For example, the library was only open for a couple of hours, twice a day - even when at sea, was very small, and had no exterior windows. • There was not enough pool/pool deck space for a ship this size. Further, they closed the pool and hot tubs at 8:00 pm. • The workout room was small for a ship this size. • The beautiful art collections that are a feature of so many ships were mostly replaced by mirrors and flat-screen TVs (promoting the ship). Everything else ... Good • The ship was new and the condition of everything was pristine. • The service staff was friendly certainly tried to be helpful. • Embarkation and disembarkation were handled well. • The music in the central atrium, particularly the classical string trio/piano, was very pleasant. The music in the lounges was generally good as well. • They were less strict than other ships about bringing your own alcohol aboard. I was even told by other passengers that they allowed passengers to buy liquor in the duty-free shop and take it back to their cabin. • The Captain's welcome aboard and farewell cocktail parties were well done. Not so good • While it's happening on all lines (except perhaps the super-premiums), MSC has taken nickel and dimeing you to new heights. For example, there is a charge (about $24, if I remember right) for a one-time use of the sauna/steam room - I've never had to pay for that before. Personally, I'd rather pay a bit more for the cruise, up front, and have the vacation itself be more all-inclusive. • The drinks, at least for an American, were very expensive. When converted from Euros to dollars, a beer or a well drink was around $9-10. • The cabins were smaller than we've seen on other ships. In general it wasn't too bad, but the storage space for clothes was MUCH less than I've seen on other ships. We had to leave a portion of our clothes in the suitcases under the bed because they just wouldn't fit. • There was often a language barrier when trying to deal with the staff - not surprising on a ship that caters to so many different nationalities, but still an issue. It was, in fact, impossible to ask anything directly of our cabin steward. We had to make requests to the main desk. • The on-board activities were, BY FAR, the sparsest of any ship I've ever been on. That made at-sea days - often my favorite - rather dull. The activities they did have were often available for only very short hours. • No deck chairs on promenade (a favorite place of mine to sit and read). • It was necessary to check out pool towels and other items (e.g. putter and ball for the putting area) on your cruise card and then wait in line to return them. They frequently reiterated the point that you would be charged for anything not returned, that there were cameras in all the shops, etc. Conveying the unmistakable message: WE DON"T TRUST YOU. The so-so: • The shows I saw were of mixed quality. In my experience, that's always the case. We had late seating and the shows followed so we tended to skip them when we were going to be in port early the next day. The number of different languages on the ship led, I'm sure, to a different mix of performers. Comedy, for example, would be difficult if you had to deliver the punch line in 5 languages. • The cruise staff and officers were polite, but certainly not friendly. • They handled the multitude of languages well, but hearing all of the announcements in 5 languages gets tiring after a while. In summary, I'd sail with MSC again, but only if it was either a very good price and/or an itinerary I really wanted and couldn't find elsewhere. Beware of choosing them based on any relatively small price advantage, because you will probably end up spending more on the ship for the same experience. Read Less
Sail Date January 2008
The reason I'm writing this review is that there is only one other review presently for this ship, and it is so positive, I can only think they went on a different Norwegian Jewel to the one my family went on! Don't take me ... Read More
The reason I'm writing this review is that there is only one other review presently for this ship, and it is so positive, I can only think they went on a different Norwegian Jewel to the one my family went on! Don't take me wrong, there were very strong positive points about the ship itself; however, the way it was run, and the fellow passengers that had been attracted to this cruise, due to incredibly reduced prices for booking last minute, rather spoiled it for my little family. We ourselves had a very nice time on the Jewel on its' Maiden"ish" Voyage, but truly only because we did our usual thing of spending a lot of time on our own balcony during the day, and going to areas such as the Atrium/Promenade Deck where few passengers were attracted. Unlike some British travellers, we go into a holiday determined to have a good time, whatever the circumstances. Let's face it, we came away from last year's holiday saying we'd had a good time, having been stuck in our villa for a total of 5 days with 2 hurricanes going by! Truthfully, there were numerous faults with the facilities (for us). I know others we spoke to felt the same, so I don't feel I'm whinging or making comments that are consistent across all NCL ships. 1) Getting food at anywhere other than the Garden Cafe was a nightmare from about day 3 onwards. All of the prime times got booked up (for the whole cruise booked ahead), leaving dining times of 5:30pm or 10pm in some restaurants; others were consistently fully booked. Luckily we caught on to this early enough and booked at T'Sars for the whole cruise, which is basically the only place we ate other than a couple of nights in Mama's Kitchen. 2) The Buffet Restaurant was in terrible condition. Bits of food everywhere, tables not being cleaned, food ground into the floor, etc. In addition, compared to Carnival, we found this food quite "School Dinner" like, with dry burgers, grotty sausages, and burned pizzas. 3) NCL did something rather foolish. Having been unable to fill the boat just one month before the cruise, they opened it up to the British at bargain rates, including children for free! Unfortunately, that attracted a type of person on to the ship that I wouldn't normally share a bus with! I've been on a number of cruises out of Miami, where Carnival have opened it up to very poor people from Southern Florida. However, I can't say I've ever met an American who is at all disrespectful, and certainly nobody as scummy as some of the people on board the Jewel. By the way, I'm British myself, and am completely ashamed of some of the antics I witnessed onboard, such as one 10 year-old child who was walking down the corridor wiping the chocolate cake from his feet into the carpet, creating a chocolate mark several metres long, laughing as he went! How the chocolate cake got there in the first place I didn't want to know! Basically, out of 500 children onboard, 100 were signed up to Kid's Club (including our daughter), the other 400 being allowed to run riot round the ship, day and night! 4) The staff in T'Sars were very badly trained. The food wait times were ridiculous, very few of the waiters spoke sufficient English, the food was often not very hot, the wrong drinks were usually delivered, etc. 5) The Garden Cafe is extremely badly laid out, so that you pick up your food and then have to walk miles for a clean table. This gets worse of course when you've inevitably forgotten something or can't carry everything at once. 6) The state of Deck 12 (created because of point 3) made it unusable, with teenagers hogging the pools and Jacuzzis, not to mention the fact that there was food squashed into the deck, and drinks spilled everywhere. Disgusting! 7) Most of the stops were very good, but Almeria was horrendous. My advice is if you're doing a cruise there, don't bother getting off the ship! The place stank and the roads were stacked high with rubbish (unto 3m high - I'm not kidding!). One of the crew I spoke to said that his little group were attacked verbally by locals, and people were later in the streets smashing bottles, kicking passing cars, and generally acting drunk and disorderly. 8) Ice cream machines – These broke down after about 3 days, and were replaced by a member of staff serving scooped ice cream. This was fine in some ways, but they did not run it as regularly as they would have with the machines. We often found it to be unavailable, such as before 1pm and after about 5pm! 9) Splashdown Kids Club – Despite only a fifth of children being signed up, this was too busy really. My wife works in childcare, and she feels that if kids are shouting and all excitable 100% of the time, she's failed. Kids in big groups need to be kept calm, and that certainly wasn’t the case at all. Amy had nightmares regularly during the cruise due to simply being over excited, and it got so noisy that she refused to go a few days, as she just wanted some peace and quiet! 10) Employee relations – During my cruise, I witnessed about 10 tellings off of employees by senior managers. I do not expect to have this sort of thing going on around me during a so called luxury cruise. Managers should take employees off to offices or quiet areas in order to do this sort of thing. Anyhow, it ended up we felt, with employee relations becoming very bad, and staff were quite obviously working to rule. And yes, I had to agree with them. 11) Disembarkation – We booked a long while ago at a high price, for a balcony room. However, that seemed to make very little difference to the disembarkation process, and we were actually the last colour to leave the ship. People who have booked onward travel with NCL get preferential treatment, closely followed by people flying out, even if that flight isn’t that same day! The next to leave bizarrely were decks 4 & 5 who had been the troublesome crowd throughout the cruise, and were then able to join the queue for the buses ahead of all of us people who had paid 3 times as much for our cruises. 12) Dover – If you can avoid a cruise in and out of Dover, do so. There were over 400 people waiting for buses to get to the car park, and they were only managing 2 buses per hour (they claimed every 15 minutes, but I only witnessed two go by during our walk). We were at the back of the queue, so we walked 2 miles with all of our luggage, having been unable to get a taxi also! However, on reaching the car park an hour later, the car park was still jam packed of us Jewel cruisers, and I suspect some people would have waited another 2 hours beyond that! So in conclusion, were these problems the fault of NCL or the people onboard? I guess it was NCL that invited them onboard by reducing last minute prices ridiculously, and then did very little to encourage these people to supervise their children, nor did they do much to tidy up after them. Also, I think the whole Freestyle cruising attracts a type of British person onboard (irrespective of price), who would not normally go on a cruise at all. Would I sail with NCL again? No chance! Read Less
Sail Date August 2005

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