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81 Southampton to Cruise to Nowhere Cruise Reviews

This cruise was a first for us. We found the embarkation to be very easy. We were greeted and dealt with by a succession of friendly and efficient staff. The scale of the ship is slightly overwhelming initially. There are plenty of great ... Read More
This cruise was a first for us. We found the embarkation to be very easy. We were greeted and dealt with by a succession of friendly and efficient staff. The scale of the ship is slightly overwhelming initially. There are plenty of great design details to help you find your way about. Interactive screens, a large guest service area and models of the ship detailing what's on each deck. We liked our stateroom and balcony. Not too far from one of the sets of lifts which is a bonus, also positioned towards the bow of the ship on deck 8 so very quiet. We especially liked the complimentary Solarus bistro at the bow of the ship.it would be best to book but maybe you can just turn up as we did. Excellent waiter service sitting undercover in the evening sunshine. Food offered was Mediterranean, a combination of buffet and additional menu options for the main course. All the food was absolutely delicious and served by friendly helpful waiters. We had booked to see a show and were sorry to have to rush such an excellent meal. There is of course a huge range of activities for the young and young at heart. For the 60 plus traveller, ourselves included, it was harder to find some piece and quiet in the sunshine. That said there is an extensive range of sun decks and very comfortable sun beds. Plenty going on surfing, zip line, big children's water play area which looked great fun.it would take all day to cover everything. We also looked in on the teens indoor area. Just so much on offer. Port of call was Cherbourg. Very easy getting off ship with electronic card called a Sea Pass. ( This was waiting at the door of our Stateroom for us on arrival. )Complimentary shuttle bus to town centre. Plenty to do after dark, exploring the ship. Comedy show a bit mixed. Production of Grease excellent. All staff very keen to help with any query. Big range of snack food on offer at Sorrento and mini bites to name 2 we tried. Just a tip it may take a while to get your suitcase delivered so bring swimsuit in your hand luggage if sun bathing is a priority that way no sunshine or time exploring wasted ! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Having perused the reviews before we left, I was a bit unsure as to whether my best mate had made the right choice for this one......How wrong I was!!!! A fantastic ship, with the staff being more than helpful, even when I had an ... Read More
Having perused the reviews before we left, I was a bit unsure as to whether my best mate had made the right choice for this one......How wrong I was!!!! A fantastic ship, with the staff being more than helpful, even when I had an accident and ended up in a wheelchair for the weekend! The food and service for the whole duration, was second to none, and the prices were more than reasonable. Our check in was swift and slick, and nothing was too much trouble for our cabin steward. I stayed in a balcony room (5th deck, I think) and it was immaculate from start to finish. Didn't go ashore in Bruges, as I've been there before. Still, plenty to do on board. Disembarkation was smooth, and the food was excellent! It shows that the ship has undergone a major refurb since 2013, and I wouldn't hesitate to go again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Sailed on the Norwegian Escape for my partner's mother's Birthday (one night cruise from Southampton). Firstly - the ship was beautiful with fantastic restaurants, good food from what we experienced, good facilities, nice clean ... Read More
Sailed on the Norwegian Escape for my partner's mother's Birthday (one night cruise from Southampton). Firstly - the ship was beautiful with fantastic restaurants, good food from what we experienced, good facilities, nice clean staterooms and overall great potential. However, on this occasion we were extremely disappointed by the NCL customer service, complete lack of organization and very poor communication between staff and towards customers. The first example of this concerns evening dining - we were told early in the day there would be no need to book a table at the complementary restaurants as we would not have a problem getting a place. However, when we arrived for dinner that evening we were met with an hour long queue, with no staff seeming to know what was going on or willing to offer an explanation or any help or assistance. Eventually we were turned away along with many customers who HAD booked tables (having been given the opposite advice to our party). The customers at the back of the queue were not kept updated or informed of the situation and continued to queue long after those at the front had been told there would be no spaces for over an hour. This situation was the same for all complementary restaurants and we ended up paying to eat at one of the fine dining restaurants. On this occasion - after a great deal of complaining - NCL did the right thing and refunded us for this meal, but there were many customers who were not so lucky and this did not detract from the stress and time taken out of our one night on board the ship. The second issue concerned lost property - An hour or so after leaving the ship my partner and I realised we had left both our passports and my purse in the safe in our cabin. A very stupid mistake on our part but one which NCL dealt with extremely poorly. I called the Southampton office straight away and was told they'd call me back promptly and would do everything they could to reunite me with my belongings. They did not call me back. I called again later that day and again they failed to call me back. The next day, having been told everything would be done to track down the belongings, I was simply told I would have to send an email describing my belongings as they had all the lost property in boxes which had not been checked yet. Over the next few weeks I had to call again and again and explain the situation over and over again, each time I was told they had not checked the lost property yet and would call me back with information and each time they did not. It was about 4 weeks later that I was finally informed that my passports were in an office in London and about a month after my cruise I got them back. My purse, which had been with the passports in the safe in cabin had somehow 'gone missing' and could not be returned. No effort was made to look further into this by NCL. Overall, a cruise with fantastic potential ruined by NCL's incompetence. Would not recommend. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
My husband and I were invited by our travel agent to spend a night aboard the Norwegian Escape on a taster cruise. It was for one night only. Embarkation was fine. The balcony cabin, in our opinion was badly laid out. There was a ... Read More
My husband and I were invited by our travel agent to spend a night aboard the Norwegian Escape on a taster cruise. It was for one night only. Embarkation was fine. The balcony cabin, in our opinion was badly laid out. There was a tiny bedside table on each side of the bed, so small it was a waste of time. The wardrobe was alongside the bed, making it difficult to put clothes in and out. My husband was pleased to see there was a coffee maker, buy alas no coffee! We did enquire about the coffee but was told the coffee makers were not in use at this time, however, we could use it to make a cup of tea (if we wanted to walk upstairs to get T bags that is)!! After unpacking we decided to have a drink and then explore. The first two bars didn't have any pino grigio, even though it was on their menu. The same with the draft beer. The drinks on this ship were very expensive. The most expensive we have ever found on any ship and we sail generally with P & O, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. To give you an idea, two medium glasses of red wine cost us £20!! We then went to book a table for dinner and was told we couldn't book a table, just turn up!! We attended the show, Million Dollar quartet, which my husband enjoyed and then decided to have a drink before dinner. The bars were mayhem! No waiter service (at least at the bars we attended)! We eventually got a drink and decided to go for dinner. The queues were incredible. I am on holiday, I don't queue. We ended up in our finery, along with a lot of other people, in the main buffet. The food was fine but not exactly the ambiance we had hoped for. We then had a stroll around the shops and couldn't face fighting our way to get another drink so went back to our stateroom, to be greeted by loud music coming from one of the venues just below our stateroom. Yes, NCL have put an entertainment venue in amongst the staterooms, well, good luck with that NCL. We are so grateful for our travel agent inviting us to try this ship. It has made us determine never to cruise with NCL again. If you like queuing, very expensive drinks and noisy staterooms, this ship is for you. We will not be returning. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We went on one of the 24 hour taster cruises, with two friends. Embarkation was somewhat disorganised, but not too slow. Our cabin, a junior suite, was ready on arrival. It appeared to be identical in size to our friends balcony cabin, ... Read More
We went on one of the 24 hour taster cruises, with two friends. Embarkation was somewhat disorganised, but not too slow. Our cabin, a junior suite, was ready on arrival. It appeared to be identical in size to our friends balcony cabin, but with an improved bathroom. The balcony cabin had a shower cubicle, the junior suite had a shower occupying the side of the bathroom with room for two (if desired!). Similarly the balcony cabin had a single basin, the junior suite a double basin trough. Soap and shower gel was available from dispensers, there were no amenities such as cotton wool, buds etc nor fluffy dressing gowns. The room was equipped with a coffee machine, one tea bag, sugar and no coffee. On enquiry we were told that coffee pods were not being provided for the one night cruises. We had only one shower towel between the two of us. I rang down for an extra one and was told that one would be sent but two hours later it had not. I rang again and it then came quickly. But ringing for help was not easy as the operator did not answer the phone, on several occasions, for a considerable time. We did not have a shower mat, assumed these were not provided, but later found out that our friends had one. They also had the conventional decorative towel on the bed which we did not, but we were not too fussed about that. The bed was large and comfortable, but there was no real suite amenities. The only furnishing difference from the balcony cabin was a bench - type settee instead of a chair. There is not a lot of storage space for a longer cruise. This is an enormous ship, though not an attractive one externally as it has the appearance of an office block on water. Internally the colours are muted and restrained and the better for it. The general internal appearance is pleasing. Facilities are many and varied, including high level 'assault course' type wire walking, plank walking. Facilities for children included excellent-looking water slides and a crèche. Not all of the facilities were working. We enjoyed the crazy golf but this would have been better if there had been more than 4 balls available - in total. We used 2 for our party of 4 and gave the other 2 to another party. There were lots of clubs available but others could not play for lack of balls. It seemed as though many of the balls had been broken under pressure of the clubs, as there were broken balls around including in the target shoots. We asked a member of staff but were told there were none more on board. Similarly we would have loved to play ten pin bowling, and did see some others doing so, but for most of the time this was out of order with technicians seemingly unable to fix the machine. Quite a number of the other machines also were out of order, which seemed surprising for a ship less than a week into service. Norwegian need to do something about their public address system. Announcements were largely inaudible over the general hubbub, despite us trying to hear them. The only person who could be heard clearly was the captain, when telling us of the importance of attending the muster station drill. He did not otherwise speak. However the other announcements during the drill returned to the inaudible standard. The drill was worryingly lax. Passengers seemed to have no idea where to go and were arriving throughout the demonstration, and being sent to other stations. Lifebelts were not given out and we were supposed to watch one being put on, but the place at which it was being put on was obscured by other passengers so we could see nothing. No attempt appeared to be made to check that all passengers attended. The self service Garden restaurant served food of a reasonable standard. No attempt was made to invite passengers to use the hand cleaning dispensers, and most did not. As a striking apparent design flaw, the aft lifts (elevators for American readers) emerge in the middle of the Garden restaurant, so passengers wishing to use these for the remainder of the attractions of that deck walk straight through the serving and eating areas. Not clever. The plates in this restaurant are plastic, reminiscent of picnics. Mid-way through the afternoon we looked on the information screens throughout the ship and found that the 10.00 p.m. performance of the theatre show was full and there were only 170 seats left for the 7.00 p.m., so we booked that. The theatre appears nowhere near big enough for the number of passengers. Tip: book early. We were required to be in our seats 10 minutes before the performance started, reasonably enough, i.e. 6.50. This ruled out a served dinner beforehand. But the result was that when the theatre emptied at 8.30 we, together with all the others attending, all attempted to access the freestyle dining in the main restaurants. They were full, including by those passengers intending to attend the 10.00 o'clock performance, and could not cope leading to lengthy queues, then passengers turned away for an hour or so. Some further consideration needs to be given to the show times. The show, Million Dollar Quartet, was outstanding, probably the best we have seen on any ship. It appeared to be a bought-in production, and we cannot speak as to the in house team. Regrettably the comedy club was not open during this cruise. Dinner was a mixed experience. Two of our party had meat options which were considered very good. There was no fish option except lobster/other shellfish. The two non-carnivores therefore had a filled pasta dish, the only vegetarian option. This was appalling, insufficiently cooked, hard, tasteless, cold. They asked to see the maître d'. This took 10 or more minutes and when he came he was offhand, not very apologetic. One particular gripe was the mark-ups on the wine. Cruisers expect a service charge on drinks (in this case a steep 18%). But Norwegian also added VAT and duty, apparently justifying this by a note on menus in minute type that in certain ports local taxes were added (we had the meal at sea but never mind). The result was to increase the menu price by around 50% in total. Breakfast was very slow. 1 hour 10 minutes from entering the restaurant until our hot courses came. A grapefruit was cut in half but not segmented. Difficult to eat an unsegmented grapefruit, especially when the only spoon provided is a soup spoon! We asked for marmalade for the toast but this never came. Overall, Norwegian have spent a fortune on this ship and there is the potential for some excellent facilities for those who like them. But there is a low staff to passenger ratio and it shows. The passenger-facing staff were friendly and doing their best but rushed off their feet and in many cases insufficiently trained. Things may well improve when the staff have worked together on this ship for longer. There was an unpleasant apparent fear of their middle-managers who could be seen berating staff but not lending a hand to show an example when things were busy. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We only spent a night on board the Escape and didn't see all of it, however, the bits that we did see were awesome! Firstly, the rooms. Size wise, they similar to those on MSC, Princess and Royal Caribbean. The shower was the ... Read More
We only spent a night on board the Escape and didn't see all of it, however, the bits that we did see were awesome! Firstly, the rooms. Size wise, they similar to those on MSC, Princess and Royal Caribbean. The shower was the largest that I've had on a ship, with it being equivalent to a proper shower cubicle at home. In the suites (which our friends had) the shower was a rectangle that ran the width of the bathroom, so pretty big. Colours are nice and have the usual amenities. For those who would use a travel cot, there is plenty of space alongside the wardrobe. We were a family of three, so we had a drop down bed; all pretty standard. The facilities on this ship are what makes it such a fantastic ship for families. The high ropes were great fun. There was a queue for this activity, but as you just get stopped on and then get on your way, there is no waiting around. The queue time was less than 5 minutes, even though the queue seemed pretty big. The course is well done; you can often choose a "solid path" or a woolly rope path, whichever you feel most comfortable with. The guys that work on there are great; I had a wobble at the zip wire across the ship, but the staff made me feel better and encouraged me to carry on. A word of advice; the course goes right around the front of the ship and the exit is where you start. I didn't realise that I had to go all the way back to the beginning until I had been on the course about 25 mins. Had I have realised, I would have turned back earlier. The walk through weather feature was in a really cool 'room' at the front of the ship, it had a real party atmosphere and is well worth a visit. The arcade room is fab. A must do is the paceman air hockey. At certain points in the game, 20 pucks invade the table and you have to go crazy trying to pot them. Other fun games included bowling on deck 7, pool, basketball etc. The food on the Escape was excellent, with many options of eateries and cuisines. We went to the show and ate in O'Sheehans Irish bar: nachos and fajitas. Good food for a quick eat. We needed to get our little girl to bed. Our friended ate in the complimentary Manhattan restaurant. They had lobster and steak, both of which were excellent. Everyone that we spoke to said the same. The show 'the Million Dollar Quartet' is really worth seeing. Our 4 year old sat through 90 minutes, foot tapping away and the finale got everyone, including ourselves up on their feet dancing. It was, by far, the best show we have seen at sea. Even my husband, who would always much rather sit in the sports bar of a ship really enjoyed it. The water park was worth stripping to swim wear on a cold October day! The slide with the inflatable tubes was great. It has jazzy lights inside so it's a bit different. The yellow slide is quite serene. Both were suitable for small children. The two thrill rides were closed, which was disappointing because they too looked fab. The children's water park had enough to keep younger children busy and the red slide was a lot more surprising than it looked! The pools were actually quite warm. Warm water was being pumped into the pools, so up near the wall waterfall it was actually like a warm shower. My little one laid down in this area and stayed there for quite some time. Bars- there are lots! Our favourite was the Brew House on deck 8. It's got a really cool vibe and we had some fun in the photo booth. Hubby really enjoyed choosing from tens of draught beers. We had a look around the kids club. It was enormous, with play stations, huge bean bags and plenty of space to let off steam. The staff were cheery and helpful. Despite being on the ship only a small time, we had a great experience and can't wait to sail on the Escape again. Though there isn't marble everywhere or diamond staircases, this ship certainly has the wow factor because of the entrainment, food and activities. Can't wait for our NCL cruise next year. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was my tenth cruise and the only one I've ever done for one night. I usually do Princess or Royal Caribbean so was keen to try Norwegian. Just did the one night inaugural sailing from Southampton. Only its second night of ... Read More
This was my tenth cruise and the only one I've ever done for one night. I usually do Princess or Royal Caribbean so was keen to try Norwegian. Just did the one night inaugural sailing from Southampton. Only its second night of paying customers at sea. This review is therefore mainly my opinion on the layout and decor as opposed to the service etc which only cruisers experiencing a longer period aboard can really comment. First glance the ship.is big and nice to look at but nothing particularly spectacular. Boarding is on deck 5 which has nothing much on it so first impressions are of a very long voting corridor. No grand atrium entrance as is the norm. The decor in the ship is very modern and dark brown. Think boutique hotel meets Ikea. The interior is quite dark and not particularly open. There's not much height variation as you walk through the ship and I felt claustrophobic and I don't normally feel that on a ship. The atrium is very basic and not at the central hub as in so many ships. It is small and lack lustre and has fruit machines around the top level. Really? What were they thinking of? The lifts are enclosed and there's no nice look out when you leave them. It's all very dull and dreary I feel. The promenade deck is very lacking too. It's covered mostly with lifeboats so there's no nice walk to have around the ship nor any seats to sit on. The show was excellent. A 50's musical play featuring 'Jerry Lee Lewis' and gang who were amazing musicians but not the usual singing and dancing revue I was perhaps hankering after. It did last over an hour and a glad which I thought was good. The meal in the restaurant was excellent quality however the tables were so close together and the noise horrendous. The casino was more of a walk through and looked a bit like a nice working men's club rather than a cruise ship. The buffet was again quite penned in a d dark and claustrophobic compared to what I'm used to. Was like being in a department store cafeteria rather than a cruise ship. The food was okay at the buffet but not especially good. The room was very nice with all amenities including hairdryer, safe, LCD tv etc. The bed was amazingly comfy. The bathroom was fab with loads of room and a proper nice big shower cubicle. The top deck of the ship was really good with two nice pools, big waterslides and a really cool overhead ropes course which all our party enjoyed. A bit like Go Ape but smaller. The outside disco sail away was good with excellent sound system and deejay. All in all I wouldn't really want to spend any more time on this ship. I much prefer a bit of bling and the refinement and great customer service that you get on Princess and the fab entertainment on Royal Caribbean. It might suit some people but not for.me. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We had a one night taster before this new ship NCL Escape went on its maiden voyage to Miami. On first sight the ship was enormous but quite ugly. Embarkation of 3400 passengers was a bit chaotic but I have seen much worse. Bear in mind ... Read More
We had a one night taster before this new ship NCL Escape went on its maiden voyage to Miami. On first sight the ship was enormous but quite ugly. Embarkation of 3400 passengers was a bit chaotic but I have seen much worse. Bear in mind that the following day she was sailing full with 4500 passengers !! We went to our cabin and where pleasantly surprised. The design and splendour of the cabins was what we would expect from a good quality cruise ship. I am afraid that's were the good points ended. For our tastes the ship was too big. You never felt like you belonged. There where 20 restaurants' and I couldn't count how many bars. The sun deck area was very uninviting and the public areas below deck very uninspiring. The coffee lounge was far from intimate and relaxing, but more like the corner of a working mans club. Whilst the cabins where well appointed, the rest of the décor around the ship seemed rather cheap and understated. The atrium had no wow factor and everywhere just seemed crowded with people. Once the evening arrived, things got worse. No room in any of the bars,. We could not see a show because apparently you have to book and they where full. I have never known this before on a cruise ship. I suppose it was the consequence of a very small theatre on a very large ship with thousands of passengers. The chaos at the main free dining room was also a result of the amount of passengers. (goodness knows how they will cope when full) Food should have stopped being served at 9.30 but they where still trying to find empty tables for passengers well after 10.00. The food was uninspiring and not up to the standard we have become accustomed to on other cruise lines. The buffet was a pleasant experience for breakfast and seemed to cope adequately with the numbers. All in all not the greatest of experiences. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We have just returned from a family taster on the new escape. We were by in large impressed with the ship,but it had teething problems. The life boat drill was a shambles I appreciate that it has to be done but to wait for everyone to turn ... Read More
We have just returned from a family taster on the new escape. We were by in large impressed with the ship,but it had teething problems. The life boat drill was a shambles I appreciate that it has to be done but to wait for everyone to turn up well past it's start time was ridiculous, the majority of us turned up and signed in when told but there were passengers just strolling in well after, a waste of half an hour especially when you are only on board for less than 24 hours. We have previously sailed in the Epic so the Escape had a lot to live up to and in some cases it didn't. The drinks were very expensive as was the al a carte menus. We were fortunate enough to have booked a dining time at the Manhatten Room because they were queuing to get in. Not all that impressed with the menu and way too much garlic butter on the steak. We were disappointed that there was no childrens menu in the restaurants, our 10 year old son had to eat an adult meal which was too much for him and only one thing tat he liked on the menu. All the bars were good and served a nice prosecco. Our stateroom was lovely although we didn't like being woken up by an announcement in the middle of the night about a code bravo. The beds in the stateroom were extremely comfortable. Breakfast was a free for all with passengers bringing their suitcases in the garden cafe and all trying to find a table. We thought the staff were friendly and pleasant. All in all we had a good time but had we not have cruised before it might have put us off, but because we had such an amazing time on the epic we will be cruising again. We won't ,however, be doing a taster again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We went on this one day taster cruise to compare the experience of NCL with Celebrity and Princess cruises. The first mistake that NCL make is forcing you wait nearly 2 hours to board the ship. Once we managed to get on the ship we ... Read More
We went on this one day taster cruise to compare the experience of NCL with Celebrity and Princess cruises. The first mistake that NCL make is forcing you wait nearly 2 hours to board the ship. Once we managed to get on the ship we immediately made our way to our Cabin which was sold to us as a Midship Cabin whereas in reality is at the rear. The cabin, in comparison with the same class of cabin on Celebrity, was extremely small although it had a very nice balcony. The pleasant bathroom has body wash, shampoo and hand wash dispensers exactly like those that you get in the budget hotels such as Premier Inn. We then went up to the 16th deck to get some lunch. Although the types of cuisine provided were very basic the food was quite good but unfortunately there are not enough tables and chairs so you have to walk around and around, with your food getting cold, until you find some. If you want a quiet relaxing "pre dinner" drink where you can meet fellow cruiser then this ship is not for you as it does not have anywhere to sit and relax. NCL have mixed a Bar area with the area that is used for quizzes, bingo and karaoke at the same time The service in the " freestyle" restaurant " Savour" was very slow and all of the courses were served either " Luke warm " or cold. The Buzz boy servicing our table had no idea what to do so the waiter had to clear away the plates. There is also a charge for a "post" dinner coffee which cannot be taken at your table. The " Free " entertainment was very good but you must remember to book otherwise you will not be allowed into the very small theatre and don't expect to be able to get a drink whilst you watch the show as it more like a cinema than a theatre. If you forget to book the free show then NCL will charge you up to $50 per person to see any of the other shows. I think that you should you NCL a wide berth unless you like cruising with a Premier Inns set up. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
well, we thoroughly enjoyed trying out a brand new ship! we couldnt fault anything.we had booked manhattan dining for 6.30 and got in straight away,had 3 staff serving our table all pleasant cheerful and polite Veal course was ... Read More
well, we thoroughly enjoyed trying out a brand new ship! we couldnt fault anything.we had booked manhattan dining for 6.30 and got in straight away,had 3 staff serving our table all pleasant cheerful and polite Veal course was delicious.saw the million dollar quartet at 10pm.got in straight away and it was excellent ! went to 5 o clock somewhere after the show and such a fun atmosphere there.. thought the pool/ropes/slides area amazing .We wished we had booked the 2nd taster for the 28th..checked out everywhere else on the ship and had a late night snack at 2am in osheehans,,fast service and great snacks..we would recommend the ship for sure Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
There were 7 people in our group, all of whom have cruised many times before. This was our first time with NCL and if this is any indication of their standards - never again! Having arrived we took a number and after about an hour were ... Read More
There were 7 people in our group, all of whom have cruised many times before. This was our first time with NCL and if this is any indication of their standards - never again! Having arrived we took a number and after about an hour were called to check in. We then had to sit down again (or stand as there were no seats available) and wait another hour to be called to board. Service on board was very slow and the drinks were very expensive (2 rum and cokes $21.50 plus 18% tax). Waited half an hour to be seated in the main restaurant and 2 hours later (having only eaten starter and a main course, both of poor quality) we left. At no time did we see a wine waiter. After dinner we went to the District Brewhouse where the live pianist was very good; unfortunately all the best seats were taken up by crew members who seemed to treat it as their own private club. Overall we have left with the opinion that NCL is very expensive (all restaurants except the main restaurants carry a surcharge or are a la carte), the service is slow and standards are not as high as other cruise lines we have experienced. The only good thing about this taster cruise was the Million Dollar Quartet show which was excellent! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Spent one night on the ship as a celebration to end of year of challenges taken on to raise money for a local children's charity , well this was spoilt by the whole experience . Firstly on Arrival at room , which was not even made up ... Read More
Spent one night on the ship as a celebration to end of year of challenges taken on to raise money for a local children's charity , well this was spoilt by the whole experience . Firstly on Arrival at room , which was not even made up , told by housekeeping on this cruise no coffee in cabin , tea bags but no kettle . Can live with that . First meal , well food was cold , staff rude not attentive at all , when received bill was horrified to find they had added an 18 percent gratuity , well the Services was not worth , your find this is standard company policy . Evening meal in the Manhattan ,we booked this 6 plus weeks ago , 8.30 sitting , we were still waiting at 9, to be told we still need to make up the table , the queues were out the door , people standing in the lobby it was like a crowd at a football match . Once seated we were given one menu between 8 of us , eventually more were handed out , we ordered our meals including dessert told this was to save time !!! Starters arrived , not up to much really , after some 45 mins our dirty plates were still on the table no one had been near us to even offer drinks or water . We had to call a manager over to ask what was happening , she showed no interest at all and thought by giving us a bottle of wine would make it right . Meals arrived , all cold , parsnips with steak which was like rubber , menu said chips , chicken so dry could not chew it . Crisps served with chicken and gravy , that did it called manager again (Corrine) , she said she would be back in 5 mins never came back . So we left with no dinner and ended up with a bar snack . We decided to make the most of our time , well had missed all the entertainment and no on board night club , everything shut at 1 ,on speaking to guest relation , was told its not a proper cruise , well we paid. Proper over rated price for what can only describe as butlins on water . I would not recommend this ship or company to anybody , could go on for ever Jusy don't bother wasting your money Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Well this was our first time sailing with NCL...so it was great to sail on a brand new ship!The Escape is a great sized ship with plenty to do and see. The Top deck was great with the slides and pools along with a huge ropes course and of ... Read More
Well this was our first time sailing with NCL...so it was great to sail on a brand new ship!The Escape is a great sized ship with plenty to do and see. The Top deck was great with the slides and pools along with a huge ropes course and of course crazy golf. My 11yr old loved this, along with ten pin bowling and basketball games, etc. The public areas are great and we thoroughly enjoyed having a good look around. We loved the area around the O'Sheehan's bar, there was a real buzz here. We also really enjoyed the atmosphere in the District Brew house on an evening, the photo booth here went down well with my family members. The three complimentary restaurants were beautifully decorated, along with a lot of the ships décor. The staterooms were of a good size with great sized bathrooms. We stayed in a balcony room one night and an inside cabin the other night (as booked separately) and found them a perfect size. The balcony room came with tea and coffee facilities, but apparently there was no coffee available on the ship, so one teabag had to do! Hopefully this will be sorted out on the next leg of the ships journey. The balcony itself was actually bigger than I thought. We were able to have a look around the Haven suites which were absolutely fantastic! We watched one show, The Million Dollar Quartet, the singing was great but I found the show quite long, my other family members enjoyed it though, it comes down to personal taste though so my recommendation would be to check it out for yourself. Food wise, my favourite meal was at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville's one lunchtime, both the food and service were great, fantastic Keylime pie! We tried the Manhattan restaurant one evening, this was very busy and therefore there was no personal service from the staff. There was a good ambience however. Freestyle dining is great in principal but there were so many queues around the popular eating times, and getting out of the restaurant was a challenge! Personally I would like to see more 'Classic' dishes on the menu, I didn't find the starters or deserts on the menu very interesting. I chose herb encrusted chicken for a main which came with half a tomato and a small spoon of mashed potato, no other vegetables, so a little bland. I didn't enjoy the desert. Yet again this is just my personal opinion. The Garden café was okay for breakfast but not so much for an evening meal, I found the food quite cold. O'Sheehan's served some great snacks, the apple and cinnamon pie was very nice indeed! We didn't have a main meal here, will try that next time. The drinks onboard, as on any ship are very expensive, it would be well worth choosing an alcohol package if you are onboard for longer than a couple of days. The Sail away party on the top deck ( 28th Oct) was great, a fantastic atmosphere! So overall, the ship itself was fantastic, the activities were great, the cabins were great and the general atmosphere was great! BUT my main gripe has to be the severe lack of happy smiley faces with the staff, bearing in mind this is only a couple of days into the ship's inaugural cruises. I was quite shocked actually, normally on a cruise ship staff smile at you and say hello but I simply didn't feel that on this ship, (apart from Margaritaville's) Not sure why? I do love these taster cruises though, a family member was able to experience her first cruise and loved the ship, so it was perfect that it left from Southampton, looking forward to the next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
As we'd enjoyed the 2 previous Breakaway inaugural cruises, it seemed only right to sample Escape to see if the Plus added much to the already excellent concept. Embarkation was very chaotic , badly organised and confusing, with ... Read More
As we'd enjoyed the 2 previous Breakaway inaugural cruises, it seemed only right to sample Escape to see if the Plus added much to the already excellent concept. Embarkation was very chaotic , badly organised and confusing, with even the Haven guest moved from one area to another. We are gold members , but the priority boarding seemed to have been abandoned in favour of a numbered card denoting arrival time at terminal! Eventually we embarked, and had to tote our hand luggage until cabins were released. We decided to lunch early, and made our way to the busy Garden Cafe, enjoying simple soups and salad. A poor design feature on this ship is placement of tea and coffee stations, alongside main entrance, with milk away from the hot drinks.Since no saucers or mugs were in evidence,it is inevitable that scalds will occur, ...and did! We made our way to our deck 13 cabin and were delighted by its comfort, generous size and large full tub bathroom. The big disadvantage of a forward facing cabin is the long walk to the central lifts. We later met up with a friend in the hospitable, comfortable O'Sheehans pub, where tea was served,and staff were pleasant. All the staff on board were so very pleasant ,many from the West Indies ,softly spoken and ever smiling We walked along the Boardwalk, noting the changes in restaurants, all sure to be huge successes once Escape reaches her home port of Miami. Although damp and chilly, we just had to see the new Aqua park , simply fantastic slides and facilities , and the scarily high rope walks. This class of ship has some of the best facilities for keeping children and teens active and safe we have seen on any ship. All activities are properly tested , supervised, and participants trained beforehand. Mandatory drill occurred before we sailed, and we were astounded by the number of guests who ignored attending, even though all guest services were suspended. We dined in one of the 3 main dining rooms, Savor , with good food, good service , and very pleasant atmosphere. After some wine, we made our way to the main showroom to enjoy MillionDollarQuartet. It was probably the best ship show we have ever see. We were assured at the start that the musicians were" not faking it" .. It was wonderful , live music from very talented, charismatic musicians , all making you believe you were really watching the legendary musicians. Particularly enjoyable were the talent,the stage presence , and sheer charm of the young man playing Jerry Lee Lewis.. A phenomenal musician! The cast member playing Elvis's girlfriend was a joy to watch, she was stunning, and seemed almost to have an inbuilt motor! Later, we found the bed to be exceptionally comfortable, the lack of movement great, and in the morning the lack of docking vibration a great surprise . Breakfast in the garden cafe was excellent, with good choices, a busy omelette station , the one downside being the lack of tables at a busy time. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We have cruised with P&O, Princess, Cunard and Royal Caribbean so thought we'd try NCL so took a one night taster on the Escape. Well that's exactly what we'd have liked to have done ESCAPE! Standards are shockingly low. ... Read More
We have cruised with P&O, Princess, Cunard and Royal Caribbean so thought we'd try NCL so took a one night taster on the Escape. Well that's exactly what we'd have liked to have done ESCAPE! Standards are shockingly low. Service is non existent and staff are not interested in hearing your complaints! The only positive was the rooms are beautiful and the thermal spa amazing. Everything else was well below average. You have to Book dinner and shows on touch screens and although we booked dinner for 9:15pm when we arrived at the Manhattan there must have been over a hundred people queuing to get in. When I explained to the waitress that we had booked our table she was rude and told us to just get in the que!!!! Whilst stood in the que she was taking people who HADNT booked tables through to eat!! I approached her again to be told it would be another hour and half before we could eat!!!! When we finally sat down it took 3 hours to serve a 3 course meal and the food was average at best. I didn't eat my main as it was truly disgusting and come midnight still had no dinner!!! The wine waiter was so rude we refused to buy any in the end. Went to reception to remove the tips and complain to be told NOT to write the reason we were refusing to pay tips on the form!!!! The receptionist wasn't interested in the fact we'd had such a shocking dining/ service experience and told us to just ring head office. He didn't even apologise!!! Furious and hungry we went to bed. Upon trying to disembark there was absolute chaos (same goes for embarkation) and there was a woman with a young son in a wheelchair trying to get through the chaos of bodies to get her son off the ship. When she approached a staff member I heard her being told "we don't offer special service to disabled passengers"!!!!!! We were disgusted!! On the point of disabled passengers there are only 2 sets of lifts, both of which you had to wait at least half an hour to get in and disabled passengers seemed to wait forever. There was of course a private lift for "Haven" passengers but they wouldn't even let the disabled passengers use that!!! And to top it off the cheeky Devils still took the tips off our cards so filling out forms was pointless. If you want rubbish food, rubbish service and you love to que then this is the ship for you. If however you have more discerning tastes then avoid this bargain bucket cruise line! What worried me most was the utter lack of organisation in EVERY area of the cruise. I would not want to be on that ship with those staff in an emergency situation!!! I know this is a long rant but this is our FIRST AND LAST ever cruise with NCL!!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We tried this just to see what a cruise proper would be like but we have to say that we wont be rushing to book one anytime in the near future - certainly on a ship of this size!! Perhaps a smaller liner may suit us. Anyway, the ... Read More
We tried this just to see what a cruise proper would be like but we have to say that we wont be rushing to book one anytime in the near future - certainly on a ship of this size!! Perhaps a smaller liner may suit us. Anyway, the embarkation procedure was fine, took quite a bit of time but you have to wait at an airport don't you?? Our cabin was lovely and the double bed in it was soon separated for us by the steward (we are two ladies) - only two teabags in the room though - could have done with at least a couple more. Unfortunately we were woken twice in the night. The first time by a young girl walking in the cabin, chatting on a mobile and turning all the lights on - she soon left after she realised her mistake but we are still curious how she got in at all??? The second intrusion was a annoy announcement advising that "bravo drill" had been cancelled!! This announcement was made we believe three times at about 3 in the morning - probably someone pressed a wrong button somewhere. We were not impressed. We had a lovely meal in Taste BUT our biggest mistake and one which we feel is tantamount to being criminal, was that we ordered two glasses of red wine. At the end of the meal, the invoice was handed to us and it was for £33.46 - we could not believe it - £16.73 for one small glass??? Absolutely outrageous - how can this possibly be justified? Apart from this, we were handed, on disembarkation, an invoice in the sum of £60.46 being the heavily overpriced glasses of wine together with two service charges of £27.00. I'm sure someone will say "its in the small print" but it shouldn't be, it should be in very large print. Finally we managed to go to the Theatre to see The Million Dollar Quartet - excellent show but we only got there by chance. We tried to book the 7.00 p.m. show on the onboard reservation screens, only to be advised that there were no seats left!!! We took the chance after our meal just to have a look at the theatre, only to find there were plenty of seats available so had we not bothered and taken the touchscreen as being gospel, we would have missed it. What is wrong with the touch screen bookings? All staff we encountered were very helpful and polite but some found it difficult to understand what we were saying (English) and had to get another staff member to help. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
50th Wedding Anniversary.Only time we could get family and a couple of friends all together. Booked months ago, booked table for 12 for 2030. Confirmed by e Mail. Only Manhatten dining room would accept a party this size. No ... Read More
50th Wedding Anniversary.Only time we could get family and a couple of friends all together. Booked months ago, booked table for 12 for 2030. Confirmed by e Mail. Only Manhatten dining room would accept a party this size. No children's menu, despite assurances that there would be, no table, food inedible,service non existent. Finally left hungry after 2 hours wait. Drinks expensive, staff that could speak English, unhelpful. Cabin absolutely fine, show, Million Dollar Quartet, absolutely brilliant. We have sailed on a couple of occasions with NCL, no problems at all, enjoyed the cruises, so we know this is not typical. So,so let down. NCL this should be your flagship, not your Titanic. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We have just returned from a 3-day ‘taster cruise’ on the brand new Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas! If you’ve seen any of the advertising, the word ‘WOW’ features heavily. We can honestly report that it is an apt description ... Read More
We have just returned from a 3-day ‘taster cruise’ on the brand new Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas! If you’ve seen any of the advertising, the word ‘WOW’ features heavily. We can honestly report that it is an apt description of the incredible ship, its features and the service onboard. We had completed the online checkin process at home (including ‘uploading’ a photo) and printed our SetSail Passes before arriving at Southampton. At the dock, someone with a tablet computer completed the process in under 3 minutes and we proceeded to Security, from where we were asked to sit for a few minutes (after being informed the disembarking guests had all gone and the ship would be ready for boarding shortly – this was 10:30am). We boarded at about 10:45 and were immediately handed a glass of ‘bubbly’. We boarded straight into the Royal Esplanade where we first went down to Guest Services to set up our internet account. We are considered Platinum in Royal Caribbean’s loyalty programme due to our frequent sailings on Celebrity, so received a discount on our internet package. It therefore cost us $15.15 for unlimited high speed access for the entire 3-day cruise!! WOW! We used the Royal iQ app to check (and change) our restaurant reservations when we discovered that for this cruise only the four MainDiningRoom options (Silk / Chic / American Icon and Grande) would all be serving exactly the same menu of an evening … although a different version was created for each of the three evenings. Our cabin was lovely, the bed extremely comfortable, the balcony huge (with two chairs, two footstools and a table). The cabin furniture did not include a coffee table – however, we discovered that the dressing table was movable and was designed to be used as a breakfast/dinner table in the cabin. Excellent idea. There is a kettle with ample supplies of tea and biscuits, and on the last day a plate of macaroons magically appeared. The bathroom is quite large with an excellent shower. The toiletries are very pleasant. We soon discovered the lounge at the back of the ship called Two70! It became our favourite place. There is also a café there with excellent breakfast and lunch choices. For dinner, we ate in American Icon (as the menus were identical, we chose not to wait in the Silk queue where we had been booked). The décor is wonderful and the food and service were both excellent. The other two evenings we ate in Wonderland and in Chops Grille – they were both outstanding, but in Wonderland we probably had our best meal ever on a ship. UNIQUE and FABULOUS!! (We have completed about 40 cruises, and our preferred lines are Seabourn and Azamara, so that is saying something.) We were more than a little apprehensive about the size of Anthem of the Seas (considering we prefer 200 – 600 passenger ships), however, the ship handled the number of passengers extremely well. This is partly due to the fact that there are two main shows each evening – one at the front of the ship in the Royal Theater (We Will Rock You which lasts 2 hours and is excellent) and another at the back of the ship in Two70 (Spectra’s Cabaret which is PHENOMENAL!!!). Between those two venues there are three others with live music, as well as numerous other bars and restaurants (and of course, the obligatory casino). Charging onboard is done with your SeaPass card or your WOW bands (rubberised watch-like straps with an embedded chip). These bands can be used anywhere you can use a SeaPass card. There is a FlowRider, the NorthStar aerial adventure, the SeaPlex (which can either be rollerskating, dodgems, a basketball court, a DJ booth or a circus school). Overlooking that are Xbox rooms and table tennis areas. There is a rock climbing wall as well as RipCord where you can experience skydiving while at sea. The Bionic bar is interesting and the selection of eateries incredible. Everywhere there are smiling and helpful crewmembers – all very well trained and beautifully groomed. We were truly WOWED! It was an incredible introduction to Royal Caribbean and we will certainly be back. If you have a chance to experience this – DO! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Anthem of the Seas Review 3nts 3rd – 6th May 2015 Let me start by saying that these are our thoughts & observations – mine, Hub’s & our 18yr old Son ! We parked in Blue Car Park, walked across the road into the Terminal ... Read More
Anthem of the Seas Review 3nts 3rd – 6th May 2015 Let me start by saying that these are our thoughts & observations – mine, Hub’s & our 18yr old Son ! We parked in Blue Car Park, walked across the road into the Terminal and were met by rows of check-in staff in Blue tops all holding tablets and we were checked in, through Security & Onboard all in 10 mins ! First impression ? WOW – Just WOW !!! Met with a glass of Champers & chance to have a wander and a first look along the Royal Esplanade. Very similar to the Royal Promenade, just smaller. As we boarded just after 11am (we were in Group A) we decided to take as many photos & film as much as we could straightaway, so we started at the top on Deck 16 and worked our way down... After lunch the Staterooms were open so we went down to our D2 Superior Balcony #11692 on Deck 11. Found a sealed envelope outside with 1 x Seapass card in, the other 2 x plus our 3 x RFID wowbands were on our bed. Very happy with our stateroom & pleased to see it did have the ‘Double’ Sofabed we had specifically requested for our 6ft 2” Son who does not sleep easily on a single sofabed. Our case arrived, so we unpacked then headed out to explore some more. Had a go on the Bumper Cars in SeaPlex then made our way up to Deck 16 Aft for Sailaway as we wanted to get some good shots and filming of the 3 x Queens that followed us out of Southampton – Victoria, Queen Mary 2 & Elizabeth as well as Fred Olsen’s Balmoral & P&O’s Azura. At 5pm, Hub & Son went to sign in for their iFly appt. Safety briefing etc took about 40 mins, then they arrived suited up in blue overalls with helmet, up at the iFly and had their go first in their big group of about 12 people – they loved it ! After all of the Group had finished the instructor did a Demo of how it should be done – WOW ! We had booked our Dinner & Show reservations pre-cruise and Day 1 we had We Will Rock You at 7pm so we went to have dinner in the Windjammer - lots of choice & a great relaxed atmosphere ! We Will Rock You was Fantastic – NB. Do Not Leave Until the Very End, lots of people left before the wonderful ending... Day 2 – We did the ‘Bruges & Belgian Chocolate’ RCI Tour and very glad we did. Quick half hour coach trip from the Port of Zeebrugge and we then had a walking tour around Bruges (our Guide Frank, retired Teacher, was very good and so funny !) including the Chocolate Museum with a lesson on how to make all types of chocolate plus tastings !! We had about 45 mins Free-time for shopping before returning to Anthem. Tonight it was Dinner in Chic in which both food & service were also very good then down to Two70 to watch Spectre’s Cabaret – I don’t want to spoil this for anyone, so I’m just going to say that it is Unique & Must be seen !!! Day 3 – We caught the Port Shuttle bus out of Le Havre port into the town & ‘The Docks’ a Mall built in the old dock buildings. We have been to Paris before so we were happy to just have a laid back morning and after a pleasant couple of hours shopping, we caught the bus back to Anthem and spent a relaxing afternoon in the Solarium. Tonight we had Dinner in American Icon Grill and again food & service was very good. We saw the Headliner Show in the Royal Theatre tonight with Paul Zerdin – Ventriloquist. We had seen him before on Indy, but he is very good and very funny ! One slight gripe is that there was nothing arranged for 18-21yr olds to meet-up & introduce themselves – in my opinion, this should have happened on Day 1 after the 15-17yrs 411 !!! Obviously they are not allowed in the Teen Club (as we were told by one of the crew outside) so I do wonder how this age group are meant to meet others their same age onboard ? We are hoping that this will be rectified before our 14 nights cruise on Anthem in July... We booked this 3 nighter to a) get us up to Diamond C&A and b) to try out Anthem before our 14 nights around the Med on her with 7 friends, in July... It is our opinion that RCI has taken the very best of their ships and mixed them with the very best of Celebrity ships – then raised the bar considerably - to produce Anthem of the Seas... Anthem is a stunning ship... Every single member of Crew spoke to us as we passed them - before we had chance to speak to them first... N.B... Special Mention to Roxana Oros who we met whilst she was working in the Windjammer on Oasis in April 2010 (and we haven’t seen her since then) but she saw us walking along the Royal Esplanade on Sunday night (3rd May) and she recognised us and hugged us all – now THAT is a proper WOW Moment !!! We purchased the Soda package for myself and Hub (Our Son doesn’t drink soda so is happy with the included juice & water drinks) and we were very impressed with the Freestyle Coke machines, lots of different choice, however you have to carry your cups around with you to use them, so here is a suggestion... Couldn’t the WOW bands be programmed to include drinks packages? Then plastic throwaway cups could be stored near the Machines, where you just swipe your Wow band at the Machine to get a drink ??? Could also save RCI some $$$ by not having to provide the thick tall plastic glasses that they do at the mo ?? As this was only a 3 nighter, we had the ‘Taste of Anthem’ Menu’s in the restaurants which included a couple of choices from each of the Complimentary Restaurants. Although this was not a problem to us, we are looking forward to experiencing the full Dynamic Dining choices in July !! We really, really like Anthem of the Seas and we are looking forward to cruising on her again for 14 nights in July 2015 !!! Well Done RCI, you have produced another Fantastic Ship with Wonderful Crew & Amazing Shows !!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We were very excited when we booked the holiday, it was the first time on a cruise for us and there was soo much hype surrounding the cruise, Anthem of the seas, we couldn't wait to get on-board. However, there were soo many negative ... Read More
We were very excited when we booked the holiday, it was the first time on a cruise for us and there was soo much hype surrounding the cruise, Anthem of the seas, we couldn't wait to get on-board. However, there were soo many negative reviews on its sister cruise, Quantum of the seas, actually negative reviews on cruises in general that it was surprising. People were complaining on everything form check-in times, luggage arrival to food, service, etc. it was really off-putting especially when we were travelling with a 2yr old. But, thankfully, from he moment we stepped in, until the time we got off the Anthem, it was an experience like no other... It one word, it was Awesome!!! It was soo good that we didn't want to get off the cruise!! Ours was a 3 nighter, so maybe longer duration ships might have issues, but our cruise, everything was as smooth as butter!! (Apart from the British/EU weather) Check-in was super fast, we already did it online so the whole process took like 5 mins. We made it to the cruise terminal in our selected time during the online check-in so as soon as we got there, we went straight through after an immigration check. Once one board, the first feeling was walking up to this huge chandelier and huge hall room decorated with big LCD screens depicting the fall season. It was simply overwhelming!! We were then directed to our staterooms through the many super-fast elevators. At the door of our stateroom, our room key was waiting stored in compartment beside the sign board. They call this the sail pass, which is very important and you should carry this while debarking the ship for shore excursions. The stateroom was spacious, sparkling clean and was maintained at the right temperature. The balcony was spacious and was the best part of the room. We spent hours in there, despite it being freezing cold, wrapped up in blankets. It was just a marvel watching the waves, watching the ship dock and un-dock, seeing it make a 180-degree turn and just lying there listening to the sound of the waves. We soo loved the balcony stateroom. As we were checking our room, we heard and knock and our luggage was waiting for us along with our stateroom attendant. We were a little worried as online reviewers complained that they did not receive their luggage until late night. so once again, RC nailed the whole service of collecting our bags from the car park, to getting them to our doors and then when we disembarked, they were waiting for us in our designated zone. Super Smooth, once again!! We were on deck 12, room 12212 right in the middle of the ship. I really had huge concerns about deck 12 as after looking at the Anthem's design, we found out that there is an over-hang which extends from the 14th floor so the middle part is indented, then there are struts, these long poles extended from the over-hang which are placed right into the balconies! I was worried for this, thinking that it will reduce the space in the balcony and obstruct the view. I couldn't find anything online about this so hopefully this will help other cruisers. The poles do end up in your balcony but the are merged into the side dividers in the balcony. So you hardly notice them and they do not take up any extra space in your balcony. The over-hang does block the sky-view a little when you are standing up near the edge of the balcony, but you hardly notice this whilst sitting down, so you do get a full view. Check the pictures which will give you a better understanding of this: http://i60.tinypic.com/uv7us.jpg http://i60.tinypic.com/334i1ef.jpg http://i61.tinypic.com/mlsduc.jpg Plus, all thro the middle of the ship, when you look directly down from the balcony, you don't see the water, but you see the huge life-boats. The indented design of the ship in the middle was to accommodate these life-boats. These 2 are minor points, but the huge plus is that you are located close to the elevators/stairs and more importantly, it rocks lesser in the middle of the ship, so for all you guys with motion sickness, this is the ideal place. And trust me, this is soo true, when it was very windy, I did check the front and the back of the ship, it felt as if I was on a swing! I never felt motion sick in my life and on day three, it was really rough weather and I felt the ship was stirring my insides over and over in a circular motion. This really did give me a little sick feeling so had to sleep it off! So middle of the ship, very good for people who suffer with motion sickness. Now, back to the stateroom, there is a nice huge comfy bed, a sofa-bed for the little one, ample cupboards every where, so you have enough storage, a digital safe and there is a mini fridge stacked up with snacks and drinks which cost extra if you use them. There is under bed storage as well, this is really good as we could store our huge suitcase and stroller under it. Our stateroom attendant Mailene was simply awesome. She was very friendly, gave us lots of tips/info and every time we used to leave the stateroom and return, she made sure that we felt as if we were walking into our room for the very first time!!! It was that clean, soo much that we felt bad for leaving our stuff around as she even sorted those too! We stopped doing this after the first time :) The washroom has a capsule shower, is nice and spacious and very functional. Coming back to the ship, not sure where to start...everything is soo good, actually Grande is the word!! Since it is new, the ship is sparkling clean, with really a huge staff, looking after each and every section! Every part felt like it was a 7 star hotel. The top decks were excellent, a huge jogging/walking strip that spans the entire ship, then there are outdoor/indoor pools. The main star attraction, the North Star, a London eye shaped capsule that takes 14 at a time and lifts high up in the sky giving you an awesome areal overview of the ship! Note though on shorter cruises, it doesn't move-out 90 degree into the ocean, this one is reserved for the larger ones as the attendant said, it will take more than 30 mins and not sufficient time for all passengers on short cruises. Also note, there was heavy wind when I took the capsule so besides up and down, we also had rocking motion :)) again something to consider for the motion-sick/vertigo sufferers. Then there is the Solarium, an adult only retreat zone. This was really calm and peaceful, you can retreat here quietly with a nice book and a drink... Very relaxing! Then the giant giraffe, our little one loved this and played with it for a long time :) Then there are the flow-rider, virtual flight simulator and rock climbing. Guess on longer cruises all this is plenty of activity to keep guest entertained. On the shows/movie front, there is a royal theater, 3D cinema plus the Two70 which has these huge robotic screen as it transforms from a cafe into entertainment center. Coming to the other main aspect, the food...one word again "Awesome".., it's clean, hygiene, tasty and loads of variety...especially for a short cruise, there was ample choice.. So much that we couldn't find time to eat in all of them. On the first day, we tried Sorrento for a quick bite and the pizza which they served was hot and fresh! In the evening, we reserved for a fine dining experience at the Silk and the food was decent. Next day, we went to the Wind Jammer for breakfast and it was brilliant...lots of choice and the dishes were tasty... It's such a shame, that we pay almost £20 per head at our local garden center and the food is not half good as in the Wind Jammer!!! Really sad when you pay premium price in Britain and its no where nearly as good as on the RC!! For lunch, we went back to the wind jammer and once again there was ample choice and really tasty food. No wonder it was always soo packed with guests! Dinner was at Chic and the ambiance was really posh!! For the third night, we were supposed to go to the Grande, the only restaurant where you need to wear a jacket but the menu at Wind Jammer was soo tempting that we skipped the grande!! We felt that two nights to fine dining was enough and wanted to enjoy the more casual approach at WJ :) Main thing regarding food is, round the clock, you will find someplace open serving food...even in the wee hours...there is still plenty choice to grab a quick bite! So all in all, this was a wonderful trip and we became huge fans of the Anthem and Royal Caribbean that we will surely return and try longer duration!! There is absolutely no negative points which I can think of, it's such a brilliant experience and I think here in UK, we will have to wait for few months as the Ship is heading for America for summer... So all you guys in the US, you will really have a great time!! Here are a few tips for first timers and cruisers in general that might help: - Check in online and print off the sail passes, this saves soo much time and makes the whole process quicker - upload pictures of all those who are travelling with you when you complete the online check-in, this will speed up the process even further - setting a credit card on your account is helpful, you can buy stuff directly with the smart band, this sports strap wristband which they provide for you and all your guests, including children - Wind Jammer is the place to go for food, they serve this round the clock, but they do follow timing correctly, so check breakfast, lunch and dinner times and make sure you fit into the correct slot so you can enjoy the food thoroughly! - Drinks and water are expensive if you buy them on board, so I do suggest buying these packages before hand. We got the suvernor Coca-cola cup which costed £6 per day (per person) and this gave access to soda machines which are located at various places on the cruise. You can use that to fill up with water at these thirst stations at Wind Jammer, alternatively, you can drink water from normal tap in your room. - Make reservation before hand if you wish to enjoy fine-dining experience. There are several complimentary restaurants plus a few which you have to pay extra. - Same goes to on-board activity like flow-rider and rip-cord flight. Pre-book them as they are popular and fill up quickly - You need to carry the sail passes (not just the bands) of all your passengers if you wish to disembark the ship and go for shore vacation - There are several photo points where they take pictures for you, you can buy them at the information points on the cruise. You can buy digital prints or order them printed off but make sure you do this before the last night as we thought they would offer online service to purchase these later on, but turns out they do not offer this facility! - Finally, children who are not totally potty trained will not be allowed into the swimming pools. Also, those who are under 1mt will not be allowed in the North Star. I do apologise for the rather long review, but hope you all find this useful! This cruise was definitely one of the best vacations which we took and the quality, level of service and care which Royal Caribbean provided was unbeatable! Thank you RC for providing such an amazing experience!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Embarkation on the Anthem was really quick. Very impressed with the size of the ship. Cabin was lovely and spacious, plenty of cupboard space. We had a balcony which was great. Room attendant was excellent. Food and service was ... Read More
Embarkation on the Anthem was really quick. Very impressed with the size of the ship. Cabin was lovely and spacious, plenty of cupboard space. We had a balcony which was great. Room attendant was excellent. Food and service was excellent. All the entertainment onboard was fantastic. Spectra show, We Will Rock You. Rock the Boat excellent music rock group. Plenty to do onboard Northstar, roller skating, bumper cars etc. Disembarkation was the only problem. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Britannia certainly lives up to her name......Big, Beautiful and British!! From the moment you step on board and are greeted with the huge 'Starburst' chandelier in reception you know you are about to be 'wowed' in all ... Read More
Britannia certainly lives up to her name......Big, Beautiful and British!! From the moment you step on board and are greeted with the huge 'Starburst' chandelier in reception you know you are about to be 'wowed' in all things British. The Atrium consisiting of three floors.At the bottom with the Market Cafe...a fantastic place to enjoy Charlie Turnbull's selection of cheeses and charcutries...and not only that but people watch too!!! who doesn't like doing that!! then up a level to the shops then again up a level to The Glass House for some serious wine tasting. Now lets talk cabins...All cabins are either inside or balcony...granted balcony cabins are very compact indeed on the balcony two chairs a footrest and a table that you would not be able to use all at once. The cabin interiors are more spacious in their design than other ships and the bathrooms whilst being compact offer the largest shower cabinets I have seen and with no curtains in sight!! Entertainment on board is excellent...from ballroom dancing to the traditional P&O Crow's nest room, however, one of the newest advances on Britannia has to be the Limellight Club...a traditional supper club with an act whilst dining, making it an evening to remember. Food...oh Food is typically British and so tasty from the main restaurants to the buffet restaurant it is ALL of a high standard and all those other venues in between...Sindhu, The Oriental, The Market Cafe, Horizon, Java, Room Service it is a gastronomic tour of the world with a British base. Outside there is plenty of space for all to relax and enjoy the various pools and jacuzzi's, whether it from the family areas to the Serenity area and then the retreat for pure indulgence, should anyone want to remain fit on board the Gym is the largest I have seen on any ship. I cannot wait to revisit for a longer cruise. I hope you all enjoy this ship as I have.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We sailed on the 2 night 1 day shakedown cruise prior to Britannia's maiden 14 day cruise leaving Southampton on March 14th 2015. Britannia is a beautiful ship, stunning restaurants, lovely colours throughout the ship, well designed ... Read More
We sailed on the 2 night 1 day shakedown cruise prior to Britannia's maiden 14 day cruise leaving Southampton on March 14th 2015. Britannia is a beautiful ship, stunning restaurants, lovely colours throughout the ship, well designed bar areas and public rooms, a really stunning 3 deck atrium with the starburst flowing down in the centre to all 3 decks. On our first night our party of four dined in the Epicurean Restaurant, the Fine Dining Restaurant on Deck 16. It has a cover charge of GBP28 per person, but, it is well worth the money. The starter, main courses and desserts were to die for, I will not mention any particular dish as all were totally stunningly presented, full of flavour, served at the correct temperature and in large specially shaped glasses, bowls and plates further enhanced our enjoyment. I must mention Olivia, our waitress for the first part of the evening who was brilliant. All of the other waiting staff were as equal however, Olivia had that special touch. Our day at sea was spent at anchor off of the French coast and gave all guests on board a chance to explore the ship, she is beautiful. There are spacious sun decks atop if you wish to take in the suns rays, a fabulous "retreat" at the bow for adults only at a charge. There are several public rooms, bars and longes, not once did we feel there were too many passengers on board. On our last night at sea, we dined in the Peninsular Restaurant for Freedom Dining. We chose the menu recommended by Marco Pierre White, one of 5 speciality Chef's on board P & O cruise liners. Oh my God, we thought we were back dining in the Epicurean Restaurant! A superb gastronomic feast, a compliment to the chef's in the Peninsular galley. Following our fabulous meal, we all went to the Headliners Lounge to watch the 10.30pm show. the theatre was soon full, the show superb, however, I must say, P & O have taken theatre presentations to a higher level with their use of LED projectors, LED lit backgrounds, no live band at all but a wonderful musical sound and visual display with the dancers performing at 100%. As our Queen, Queen Elizabeth the 2nd said at the naming ceremony, "may God bless her and all who sail on her", Britannia not only has waived the rules, she will also rule the waves for years to come. I commend Britannia as a "British" cruise liner to sail on. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Smooth embarkation procedure, luggage awaiting us on arrival at cabin, which was clean and spacious as befits a brand new ship. Pleasant cabin steward. Delayed departure and somewhat confusing boat drill, no roll call , could have easily ... Read More
Smooth embarkation procedure, luggage awaiting us on arrival at cabin, which was clean and spacious as befits a brand new ship. Pleasant cabin steward. Delayed departure and somewhat confusing boat drill, no roll call , could have easily avoided it. Departure party on deck lively but bars completely disorganised waited for 15 minutes for glass of wine, apparently had no glasses. Counted 9 waiters for the forward bar dreadful service many peopole gave up. First meal food good but again waited long time for wine,into main course before it arrived, friendly waiting staff but not organised and little sign of maitre d. The ship is beautiful, the art collection lovely, but why not label each picture ? Introduction by captain very short, as was his final announcement before disembarking, how nice iot would have been to have had a few officers by the gang plank smiling and saying goodbye. In fact at no time signs of officers. will be difficult to build a cxharacter of a ship without commnication, no questionaire on departure presumably we will be sent or emailed one at some juncture. P and O haver been in the cruising game for ever so should have ironed out the little niceties, speak to your customers, make them feel special, appoint a cruise director and do not rely on technology for everything and | hope the rumour that she has already been re registered to Hamilton is just a rumour   Read Less
Sail Date March 2015

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