13 Harwich Family Cruise Reviews

Cabin , spacious, newly refurbed and very pleasant except for when at sea . Very loud intermittent banging, rattling noise. I have cruised several times and accept that when at sea there is always a certain degree of noise from engines, ... Read More
Cabin , spacious, newly refurbed and very pleasant except for when at sea . Very loud intermittent banging, rattling noise. I have cruised several times and accept that when at sea there is always a certain degree of noise from engines, machinery, air con but this was exceptional and unacceptable. Some service especially in the dining rooms was spa radio and at times chaotic. In the Observatory on Sunday Lunchtime, there were three waiters, one setting out tables for Afternoon tea yet some people waited for service and then walked out after being ignored. You have to ask for tea and coffee instead of waiters approaching tables . A value for money cruise but it shows on the quality of food . Avoid cabin 3106 very noisy Would I use FreD Olsen again ? Only if no one else was offering the same itinerary and I would upgrade cabins , but that would negate the advantage of being value for money. A more expensive cabin still means you would still have the Medicare food and sporadic service Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
"Sorry that area is closed" is a refrain we heard on a daily basis in one or more areas. 1. Royal Crown Lounge is for Diamond only. 2. Colony Club is closed for private event. 3. Open dining area behind Windjammer is ... Read More
"Sorry that area is closed" is a refrain we heard on a daily basis in one or more areas. 1. Royal Crown Lounge is for Diamond only. 2. Colony Club is closed for private event. 3. Open dining area behind Windjammer is closed for private event (and was not open even when there were no private events). Availability of seating to eat meals at certain times was a problem. 4. Hot tub is closed for maintenance in Solarium. (Only one on ship) I feel we should know before booking that we will not have access to all public areas of the ship. At times we spent 30 minutes looking for a place where 6 people could sit and socialize. Lack of public spaces is the reason we have avoided the 6,000 passenger mega Oasis class ships. Beverage selections were restricted as we often heard "We are out of that wine selection" and we missed the "drink of the day" (staff didn't know what we were talking about) like we enjoyed on the Serenade four weeks earlier. We found prices to also be more expensive on the Brilliance as compared to the Serenade. It took 3 days for our group of six to get seated with another group of 3 couples (all nice people) but question why this was such a problem in the first place. We had cross-referenced our cruise reservation numbers well in advance and were told it had been handled. On a positive note; the staff overall was excellent with many of them being exceptional. Our wait staff did a good job in spite of the fact they had too many people to serve (2 tables of 12). We enjoyed Rita's Cantina (Vinko was great behind the bar) but often overwhelmed by the volume of demand at times. Our room steward was very good and attended us well. The entertainment was top notch and the cruise director (HelloClo) was one of the best we have ever had. For these reasons, the average overall score came out to a 3 out of 5 instead of a lower score. Kitchen was fair but certainly not exceptional. Experience in Chops Grille also could have been better based on past experiences on other RCCL ships (Steaks ordered medium were served well done for 3 of 6 people in our group). The waiter said they could cook us new steaks, but we had already waited and didn't want to wait to eat after the others were already finished. We received great service at the Rbar in the Centrum. Craig (asst. Waiter forward of Windjammer on deck 11) was friendly and attentive as we spent a lot of time in this area. Bar service in the Solarium was poor with the exception of Park Cafe (again staff was excellent) . Unfortunately; the Solarium bar seemed to be never open all the times we passed through the area. Early morning coffee outside the Windjammer was often empty and no coffee mugs. I learned to inspect empty coffee mugs before using as at least on 3 occasions when I found them to be dirty. I guess I need to read the ship reviews before booking in the future. I doubt I will be returning to the Brilliance anytime soon. Overall, I think the ship is a bit tired and needs a restoration. I expected more based on my past experience with RCCL. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We aren't people who spend time in a hotel room, so basic rooms that are adequate are fine. Adequate being the operative word. The room consists of a large bed with two overhead beds. Yes the bunk beds are above the adults head so you ... Read More
We aren't people who spend time in a hotel room, so basic rooms that are adequate are fine. Adequate being the operative word. The room consists of a large bed with two overhead beds. Yes the bunk beds are above the adults head so you are unable to sit up. The above bed is not able to sleep an adult and our 10 year old child is unable to sit in bed without banging his head. If you want to watch telly this is impossible as the settee sits 2 and then there is a single chair. You can't watch from the beds as the ladder is in the way. In the main dining room, the food that is actually presented to you is well presented and tasty. However we have experienced waits of 30 minutes even when booked. The other restaurants are all pay except the Windjammer, this is help yourself. This particularly reminds us of a school canteen, although some of the food is nice. There is a nice sandwich/panini place. Be careful when ordering the all inclusive drinks package. The wine and beer package is just what it says and no spirits are allowed. Freshly squeezed orange juice, latte, etc are all an extra charge. The inside pool is over 16 only accept between 16:00 & 18:00. The service is very hit and miss, with a few going out their way & others seem grumpy. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
INTRODUCTION We are a couple in our 40's and this was our tenth cruise. We have cruised on Celebrity, Disney, NCL and Carnival before and this was our second time with RCCL. Our previous cruise a couple of years ago was great and ... Read More
INTRODUCTION We are a couple in our 40's and this was our tenth cruise. We have cruised on Celebrity, Disney, NCL and Carnival before and this was our second time with RCCL. Our previous cruise a couple of years ago was great and we were very satisfied. This is the reason we choose RCCL again this year. Unfortunately this time we could see that RCCL has cut some corners to save money and it shows. But we still had a good experience so I would still recommend RCCL but read this review to know what to expect. We choose this cruise mostly based on the itinerary that was offered. This cruise was a 12 night cruise with 4 days at sea. The cruise left and return to Harwich (UK) and ports included Copenhagen (Denmark), Tallin (Estonia), St.Petersburg (Russia), Helsinki (Finland), Stockholm (Sweden) and Skagen (Denmark). Initially this cruise was sold with Visby (Sweden) as the last port, but it was later replaced by Skagen which is too bad because Skagen is not an interesting destination at all. THE GOOD: This is a nice ship that is well designed so you are able to find your way around in no time. It is spacious and it never feels crowded in the public areas. The "Centrum" area is an open space in the middle of the ship that goes from deck 4 to deck 11 and it is great because when there is a show or a performance on deck 4 you can gather around this place on almost every deck and enjoy the music and the view. The stateroom is nice and very functional so it feels bigger than similar staterooms on other ships. In fact, this stateroom is bigger than many other "family-room" we book with other cruise company. They made really good use of the space. Everything was very clean and the service was meeting our expectations. The evening shows were good and we enjoyed them. There was a good mix of singing, dancing, comedy, tribute, etc… The only exception that I could think of was the magician which was really lame. The ports of call were the main reason we choose that cruise and they were all great to the exception of Skagen. We never expected any delay to get off the ship in the morning. In fact, sometime we were even able to get off the ship earlier than the time printed on the daily journal. We never had to tender either which is good. The ports were all very interesting but my advice would be to book your excursions off-ship because they are a lot cheaper for the same experience. The pool area was a nice place to relax. We never had any problem to find a chair on this ship. The staff seemed to apply the "no hog chair" policy and most of the passenger did not reserve a chair if they were not there. There is good soft ice cream in the Windjammer restaurant, and you can always find some good refreshment in the "Park Café". They frequently have "Strawberry" and "Mango" no-sugar added water which is very refreshing, one of the best options when you are thirsty. In the morning there is an omelette bar which offers the best choice. About the main dining room (Reflections), we were a group of 15 so we had two big tables. The service was very good at one of the table, but average at the other table. At the good table, after the first night the waiter would bring us our usual drinks as soon as we sat. He was very attentive and always had a great smile to offer. However at the other table the service was slow and we never saw a smile on our waiter's face. And the assistant waiter was borderline rude. I also noticed that they are not too strict on casual nights and you won't have any problem getting in wearing something nice and clean, even if it is not long pants. The sports area is great. You have a nice climbing wall, a very well maintained miniature golf and a "basketball/volleyball" court that are fun to use. There is also a running track if you are in the mood. Registration, embarquation and disembarquation went smoothly and rapidly. THE BAD: The food was really disappointing. The food in the Windjammer buffet at lunch and dinner did not offer much variety and the taste was just average. It was not bad, but it was not very good either. Most of the time there is a "burger/hot dog/pizza" counter but the patties are bring all at the same time in a big plate and they could stay there for a while so they are never really hot, just lukewarm most of the time. About dinner in the main dining room things were not much better. Most of the time the steak was overcook (even when ordered rare) and it was not tender at all. We got a good steak about 2 nights out of 12. The bread was really good and the presentation of the main course was good, but it definitely lacked flavour. A lot of people were talking about the quality of the food and were surprised that it was not better than that. The deserts were ordinary at the exception of the "chocolate sensation" cake that was the best choice most of the nights. Breakfast was a little better in the main dining room if you know the secret!!! The first time I went I was about to leave after reading the menu because everything on it was the same things we could get at the Windjammer. But before leaving I spoke with the head server and told him I was very deceived because there were no "eggs Benedictine" and no smoked salmon on the menu. He then told me that those items were still available, but they just don't put those on the menu and they do not mentioned those either unless you ask for those specifically! Those are the best items you can get for breakfast and RCCL do not advertise them, this is one of place where RCCL decided to cut so now you know! On our previous cruise the Park Café was a nice option. They had smoked salmon and bagels available for breakfast, and in the afternoon they had individual bags of chips. But all that is gone now. They have burrito and egg muffin in the morning but no more smoked salmon and bagels. We could not get any chips either at the beginning of the cruise. However, the chips just appeared around day 6 and they were available up to day 9 then they disappeared. RCCL cut their expenses but I hope they do not expect that we won't notice. Another irritating thing is the short hours you can get ice cream. Ice cream is not so expensive, so if I want an ice cream cone at 10h00AM or after 9h00PM, why can't I get some? I do not understand why they do not put the soft ice cream machine in an area accessible around the clock like they do on other cruise line. If you are looking for a snack after 11h00PM, good luck. You can always use room service but there is an extra charge at night. As for the Cinema, there was limited choice and most movies were at least two years old. About the evening shows, there is not much choice if you are not interested by the main show in the theater. It would be great if they could book a couple of comedian to provide stand-up shows in one of the many location available at night. THE WORST: When we got to the main restaurant the first night we were surprised they assigned us 2 tables of 10 since we specifically asked for 2 tables of 8 when we booked (we were a group of 15). But even worst, they completed the 2 tables by assigning 2 other passengers to each tables. We all speak French except the 2 other passengers at each tables. It was very awkward for us and for them too so we asked if our group could be move to 2 tables of 8. The women in charge spoke French so she told us that she would see what she could do, and then she just turned around and told the other passenger (in English) that she was sorry for the fact they were assigned at a table of a French speaking group but that was because we (the group) never told the cruise line that we were a group and we never requested anything special for our group. I don't know if she thought that we could not understand her, but I made sure to let her know that we did specifically requested 2 tables of 8 when we booked the cruise, and again a couple of weeks before the cruise when we wrote to the cruise line to specifically confirm this. The problem was not us not mentioning or requesting anything, the problem was with the RCCL system (or lack of) that did not followed up our request to the cruise ship responsibles. They finally were able to reassign everyone to more appropriate tables, but the attitude of the woman in charge was rude and not very professional. We bought the "unlimited soda" package and if you plan to do that, be aware that the choice is very very limited. You can have coke, diet-coke, sprite and that's about it, and all of those are fountain soda. There was a couple of bar that had sprite-zero in cans, but most of the time we tried to order it we were answered that they did not have anymore sprite-zero. The fountain soda was on and off, it was flat about 3 times out of 10. The soda package is definitely not worth it. You will be better to drink the orange/apple juice or the no-sugar added strawberry/mango water in Park Café and buy your soft drink individually when you really crave it. At least you would be able to ask for the good stuff (cans). The last thing that is really annoying is the smokers on board. Why do they accommodate so much the smoking crowd? There is a complete side of the outside decks that is reserved for smokers and this is a real annoyance. The number of smoker on that cruise was lower than I noticed on other cruise (I guess this had something to do with the "age factor" of the passenger) but even then, it does not take many smoker to stink up a place. Just walking on the smoking side of the deck to go from one place to another was bothering enough to avoid it at all price. Conclusion: If you choose this cruise for the ports of call you will be very satisfy. You just have to know that you won't be served the best of food, but you won't be starving either! I would definitely consider booking another RCCL cruise if they offer an interesting itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
This was our third cruise on the radiance class. We have previously sailed on the radiance and the jewel of the seas. I had read here on cc that the brilliance had recently undergone a refurbishing. What i found was storeroom tables that ... Read More
This was our third cruise on the radiance class. We have previously sailed on the radiance and the jewel of the seas. I had read here on cc that the brilliance had recently undergone a refurbishing. What i found was storeroom tables that looked like they had been brought over from other ships, outdated lavatory, missing guardrail in the solarium. So much for refurbish.. The staff at guest services were condescending to many of the asian and latino passengers. The dining room staff were outstanding as were the staff in the shops. (Luv you Pilar, Krista and Maria!!!) The destinations were awesome. The moscow excursion was worth every ruble. Overall, except for the above mentioned problems, it was a great experience. Rccl, you really need to upgrade your customer service team. Perhaps you should take lessons from the liberty, radiance as well as celebrity silhouette. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Our cruising experience is fairly limited and this was our first time with R.C. Our last cruise was with P and O and so we naturally drew comparisons between the two. We had an inside cabin, which we thought was quite spacious and no ... Read More
Our cruising experience is fairly limited and this was our first time with R.C. Our last cruise was with P and O and so we naturally drew comparisons between the two. We had an inside cabin, which we thought was quite spacious and no problem for the 12 nights. We chose the 'my time' dining option which was not particularly successful, in that we were asked to make a reservation, and then when we did still had to wait for a table. So it was neither reserved dining nor 'my time'. The food in the main restaurant was ok, but not as good as the P and O cruise. The windjammer food was ok, but we thought the options were a little limited. The 'premium' Chops grill was a waste of money for us as we thought the food no better than the main dining room. Overall the service in all the restaurants was very good. Great, helpful staff. The price of the drinks was a rip off! Can't see any justification for such high prices, other than making a large profit! We arranged our own excursions which turned out cheaper than the ship trips and we thought were equally good if not better than the reports we heard from other passengers. We thought the entertainment wasn't as polished as other cruises we've been on and a little more amateurish. So overall we prefered to the P and O experience , but still enjoyed the cruise and would use RC again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
I'd like to start with the positive. The hotel staff on board are really amazing: kind, discreet, and friendly. Also, the most excellent Captain Mark made some hard but much appreciated safety decisions regarding missing ports and ... Read More
I'd like to start with the positive. The hotel staff on board are really amazing: kind, discreet, and friendly. Also, the most excellent Captain Mark made some hard but much appreciated safety decisions regarding missing ports and changing port times when we encountered a bad storm. There was not a minute I didn't feel that I was in the hands of a capable, alert crew. The childcare staff (well, two out of three) were friendly, energetic, and flexible. One clearly wanted to go home, and, she rarely smiled. Now the negatives: First, I NEVER would have booked this cruise had I known that the ship has already been sold to P and O. There is obviously no investment whatsoever being put into the upkeep of the boat beyond getting her creaking afloat to the buyer in October. There was rust in many toilets and other areas. You just had to look into every corner. The toilet mysteriously overflowed during the night on three different occasions, none connected in anyway with our usage, nor with flushing. In general, to say the ship shows her age is an understatement. Purposeful segway to the guests now. . .we were told once onboard that the median age on that particular cruise was 68. At many times the public rooms resembled retirement homes. My husband joked that the lines for food at the breakfast buffet were like scenes from The Walking Dead! On three occasions, guests were literally screaming down the cabin hallways at each other, presumably due to hearing issues rather than rudeness! HAL is not for any below 70s demographic. I know we cruised out of school vacation times, but what about other couples and singles without children? They are conspicuously absent. We would have prefered a more mixed social group. Perhaps the key to that is also to choose a 7 day, rather than a longer cruise, one that working adults can more easily make time for. Some lessons learned! The food: The menus were a delight to read. But somehow, the dishes that appeared never quite lived up to the billing. Cunard this is not. However, the dining room staff were wonderfully hospitable. We stayed in the main dining room rather than using the specialty restaurants. First seating for dinner is a bad idea on HAL. It seems that any evening fun happens while the first diners eat. By 9:30 PM , most people had gone to bed. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Background: This is our 7th Cruise. We have tried RC, Carnival & Celebrity. I would hesitate to recommend this particular one for the reasons below. Pros: 1. Schedule: The Schedule while packed is v good. The 2 days in St. Petersburg ... Read More
Background: This is our 7th Cruise. We have tried RC, Carnival & Celebrity. I would hesitate to recommend this particular one for the reasons below. Pros: 1. Schedule: The Schedule while packed is v good. The 2 days in St. Petersburg is great. The other stops were long enough to get a feel for each city. 2. Ship: Newly refurbished (2012), the ship is elegant, spacious and the crew great except for 1 bad apple- see below in cons. 3. Food: the food was adequate in quality, the Indian food however was terrible! 4. Embarkation and Dis-embarkation: It was a breeze and very well planned. Cons: 1. The bad apple: one of the activities manager accused my 7 year old of cheating at the scavenger hunt!! reported it by never heard back. 2. The Indian food was just terrible. All the other RC cruises have had decent Indian food, but this one was quite terrible. 3. cost: the Scandinavian countries are by themselves quite expensive but the cost of the cruise itself was the highest I have ever paid./day. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
To get to Harwich from downtown London we hired a taxi from http://expressairporttransport.co.uk. they provide free quote. (July 2014) 4 adults with one large suitcase each, cost 97 pounds, cheaper than the cruise transfer (100$ us pp). ... Read More
To get to Harwich from downtown London we hired a taxi from http://expressairporttransport.co.uk. they provide free quote. (July 2014) 4 adults with one large suitcase each, cost 97 pounds, cheaper than the cruise transfer (100$ us pp). From the ship to Heathrow it was 125 pounds cruise ship charged 122$ US PP. excellent drivers very polite and reliable. Boarding : went well because we were early … except luggage delivery: checked in at noon got the luggage at 6:00 PM Dining : menu selection is OK , no WOW here even if we don't have much cruise experience, we saw much better with other company cruise the ship looks clean everywhere, cabins to public areas. Talking about public areas, this ship has a design problem, it always looks crowded, no matter where you go. lack of "quiet" places The biggest strengths of this ship are the staff, they managed to do miracles with the tools they are given. The worst experience we had on board, was the disembarkation (day one) in Saint Petersburg. We had booked with a private (cheaper) tour operator. as we were waiting near the gangway to get off the ship, with other passengers, a tour guide came along and plowed through the line with her group, as if we were trash …. no manor no excuse no respect … then the security people left THEM out, making sure none of the "garbage" passengers would escape. They told us it was the company's regulation : Their tours go out first. One passenger in line got very mad … and it came this close to get in a fight with a security guy … when you fight with your "client" you have a serious problem …. I assume you are a valuable customer only if you book (over priced) tour with Mr Royal Caribbean, otherwise you are a second class client …. I have never been so humiliated in my whole life. Service in Windjammer cafe was very variable from "I don't want to see this table needs to be clean" TO may I clean this. Half the employees like to talk (a lot) while the other half does all the work. Evening shows were variable quality from "wannabe" to professionals. 50 / 50.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
There had been an outbreak of gastrointestinal virus on the ship prior to our boarding. Hence our boarding was postponed while the ship was decontaminated in the port of Harwich. I appreciate the antibacterial efforts, I do. And every day ... Read More
There had been an outbreak of gastrointestinal virus on the ship prior to our boarding. Hence our boarding was postponed while the ship was decontaminated in the port of Harwich. I appreciate the antibacterial efforts, I do. And every day entering any dining room, or shopping area, casino, etc., for the entire cruise. there was staff at the entrance dispensing antibacterial liquid which kept everyone healthy. (For the most part, because the captain kept coming on the loud speaker to emphasize hand washing and that folks were still coming to the medical facilities being treated for gastrointestinal virus ... for the entire cruise, so apparently whatever virus was there before we got on, lingered the length of the cruise.) What surprised me, was the ship was, from the moment we boarded, slathered in cloudy smearings of antibacterial for nearly the length of the cruise - mirrors, windows, all the glass, paintings, jewelry cases, elevator doors, everything was covered. And never cleaned off. So by the 5th day of the cruise, everything was covered in cloudy smears and thousands of fingerprints ....... it was off putting, whether the ship was dirty or not, didn't matter - the ship looked dirty. You didn't want to touch anything. Considering the sheer amount of glass on the ship you can imagine how bad it looked. Even on the way to the Windjammer (buffet) dining - someone had written into the smears "wash me" .... it was only the last 2 days of the cruise that someone finally washed the windows. As for the Windjammer (buffet) - the food was high school cafeteria food at best. Lots of carbs. Low quality, low budget offerings. Very disappointed in the quality of the food in the Windjammer. I rated the health club as I did because the mats STUNK ... they were gross. I had signed up for the 4 offered Pilates classes. The mats were gross, and the Pilates class was not Pilates .... I"m not sure what that was. I was charged $14.00 to stretch basically. Having said all the above - the staff is wonderful. Really great people, helpful, friendly, they were great. (not sure who was on the cleaning crew.) Our dining room crew became like family to us over the course of the cruise. My husband and I are both gluten free, and they went above and beyond to accommodate our special request. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
Where do I start - the worst Celebrity cruise ever! Miserable and insufficient staff - abrupt bar staff apart from Romeo (pool bar) and King Richard. Rubbish smelly cabin - needed mattress and pillows changed and stateroom to be cleaned ... Read More
Where do I start - the worst Celebrity cruise ever! Miserable and insufficient staff - abrupt bar staff apart from Romeo (pool bar) and King Richard. Rubbish smelly cabin - needed mattress and pillows changed and stateroom to be cleaned thoroughly before we slept in it. Very apologetic cabin crew who were marvellous from thereon in. Booked late dining and a table for 4 but were allocated a table for 8 with 4 places set and 8 seats - table 100. Lovely waiters Edwin (Peru) and Joel (Mexico). Changed to a 4 place setting on night 4! Pool deck music - the same 40 min loop was played for the entire cruise. If I hear Michael Buble singing "sway" again, I shall cry. We took the Classic Drinks Package but had to upgrade on day 1 as the Oceanview restaurant only had Perroni and that was not included in the package so they wanted to charge full value. This was a joke when ordering wines at dinner. It sometimes took 3 courses to actually attract the ommellier's attention. She was appalling too! Wine tastings and Connoisseurs' Wine Dinner in the SS United States were rubbish -unusually cheap wines, sherry or tawny port at extortionate prices. Belly of pork was more like English riding saddles. Wine expert was a joke - even reciting the fineries of 4 ports in the wrong order - laughable! No duty free store. Casino closed on several nights as in port for stop-overs. Entertainment staff appalling. Swimming pools drained frequently. Cold hot tubs to start with Nd then too hot. Met a couple who had sailed 2 months previously on the Northern Europe cruise and had loved it so much that they re-booked for this cruise - they could not believe the downgrade in service, Staff, food, entertainment - I could go on forever. They even collected the pencils at the quizzes! Bingo was a farce 50+ people at minimum $39 and they played 3 games paying $100 for a line, $150 for 4 corners and $185 for the full house - that was the total payout ! That's probably unlawful! Shuttle buses to every town were expensive - why should you have to pay? Sorry to rant! D   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
The ports of call on our British Isle cruise were nice, some spectacular. The busy schedule left little rest time for rest but that was OK. The crew was uniformly friendly and the cabin was OK. The "king size bed" was, of course, ... Read More
The ports of call on our British Isle cruise were nice, some spectacular. The busy schedule left little rest time for rest but that was OK. The crew was uniformly friendly and the cabin was OK. The "king size bed" was, of course, nothing of the sort but why quibble? Entertainment was first rate. Harwich, the dock, is a sleepy village 2 1/2 hours from London. The only reason to dock there must be low fees. It is in the middle of nowhere and creates a longer sail time. There is also the little matter of transport fees. Unlike the old days, transporting to any place closer than 50 feet is big business. We paid $500 for round trip since Celebrity could not (as promised) leave early enough to ensure our plane connections. (There is also a rail involving two changes of trains and a taxi -all with luggage.) The initial Oceanview Cafe buffet was horrid - obviously leftovers from the previous cruise. Gone are the days of service when waiters brought silverware and drinks. No, the traveler carries plates (no trays! - a new policy) then must get silverware and drinks - confusion USA. Glass panels block self-serve except at the salad bar where folks squatted, pushed their head through to reach the veggies and dropped hair on the food. The dining room was equally unorganized. Long lines waited for tables yet the young man who greeted the diners also had to search the ship when a table became available THEN lead them back to their table. Meanwhile, a woman at the other entrance never moved. NIght after night this charade was carried out to the chuckles of guests who wondered why in the world they didn't ask one of the waiters standing around to get the guests or lead them to their table. Excursions. Something we avoid since they are wildly overpriced and impersonal. We'd team up with other couples for rides to town or the countryside at 1/3 to 1/2 the cost. For some reason, Celebrity blocks booking excursions four days before sale (that's a new one). I was told it was because the tour group they used did not have enough buses and the tours were sold out. Many reports of folks sent on wild goose chases by employees unfamiliar with the ship. I was sent to three floors (3, 5 and 8) before finding the Internet cafe on 9. There is also the problem of understanding English beyond "I want that." A request for runny yellows in eggs resulted in something crusted on both sides (the poor guy smiled, clueless). The two-tiered policy of service was a disaster. Frequent travelers and "special" guests had reserved rooms that were uniformly empty. And about those "specialty restaurants". There is a reason for the hard sale prior to boarding. Nobody was paying the ridiculous "cover charge" for a "special" dinner. So discounts were offered (increasing daily), crew members pushed them to those waiting for elevators. We were with a couple designated "special" (they had no idea why) but who refused to dine or drink alone. Celebrity should reward frequent travelers with a bottle of wine, reduced costs, a free night at a "special" restaurant. Speaking of empty, Celebrity must expect an army of relapsed AA folks. The bars and lounges were ubiquitous yet empty except during dinner when folks searched for a place to sit while they waited on a table. The casino was likewise empty as has been the case for the past few years. Selling is still the primary goal. Wine packages (250-300% markup), coke packages, spa packages as well as numerous stores with overpriced jewelry and clothes. "Fresh" orange juice can be had for $3/glass (a lonely server never had a single customer that I saw). No rhyme or reason - ice cream and desserts are free but not coffee, water or tapas. The cooking demonstrations were advertisements for the "specialty restaurants". Recommendation: Charge $100-$200/ticket extra and cut out all the packages, constant selling and phony pitches. Give folks water, coffee or a coke (with ice around 20 cents). Reduce or omit internet charges. Celebrity is now hawking Apple products which is fine (I'm an Apple user) but what's next - Walmart or Toyota? New travelers were impressed as were Celebrity-only travelers (although many tired of the constant nickle and diming). But those who have traveled widely on other cruise lines were not impressed. I understand that Celebrity wants to cut costs but they're going about it all wrong. Use personnel for waiters - not manning empty bars and lounges.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
1. We were given no idea how far and EXPENSIVE getting to the ship from London was. $808 for round trip for 4 was offered by the cruise line. We were able to do it for $550 in a private car service. Still one heck of a bunch of money for ... Read More
1. We were given no idea how far and EXPENSIVE getting to the ship from London was. $808 for round trip for 4 was offered by the cruise line. We were able to do it for $550 in a private car service. Still one heck of a bunch of money for transfers.2. Food in the Main dining room was NEVER up to normal Cruise Line standards. You could find something eatable at the buffet on Deck 11 (Windjammer)3. The speciality restaurants were good, albeit, with a very expensive surcharge. ($20-30 per person, or as much as $70 at the Chef's Table)4. Lack of cabin amenities one normally finds on a cruise ship (No Robes, hair conditioner, lotion, fruit basket, etc)5. No on board self-service laundry (first line I've been on without this)6. Elevators hard to catch for anyone who couldn't move extremely fast.7. Main dining was extremely crowded (tables too close together), making service slow and uncomfortable.8. Charges for room service after 12:00 AM9. Not being able to get items on the main dining menu delivered as room service(very limited room service menu)10. Lack of information on ANYTHING the ship did not make money on.(ie, Hop On/ Hop Off buses, etc)11. All ship personnel were very nice and helpful, except for one person (who I named in the on-board review), except in the case of Number 1012. On board Internet service was slow and expensive.13. Charge for Shuttle service, which was never done on other cruise lines.14. No notification about schedule changes, making our departing flight hard to make. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013

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