552 Southampton Repositioning Cruise Reviews

Who could not get excited about being one of the first to sail a brand new ship?  The smell of the new carpets and furniture and how everything shined and glimmered was just perfect and it was a pleasure to sail her. However her maiden ... Read More
Who could not get excited about being one of the first to sail a brand new ship?  The smell of the new carpets and furniture and how everything shined and glimmered was just perfect and it was a pleasure to sail her. However her maiden voyage was not plain sailing and we were stuck in Southampton due to bad weather in the Atlantic, thus missing the port of Lisbon and overnight stay.   Yes this was very disappointing but when you saw the forecast you could understand why the captain chose to delay departure.. why take a brand new ship through a huge storm!? The ship itself is simply beautiful.  As soon as you board you are greeted by the stunning Galleria and it took us the whole first day to walk around and discover the ship.   Although I know its big it was bigger than expected  The ship was kept spotless throughout the cruise and it the design throughout is stunning.  From the signature crystal staircase to the impressive Galleria with the LED roof and the lovely pool deck, everything is beautiful.    Food and Drink - Expectations were low as MSC does not get a good rap for food, however the MDR food was well above par.   Food in the Buffet restaurant was also very good.   We found the speciality restaurants a little overpriced and also you could not use your drinks package in any of them (unless you are on premium deluxe package) so adding drinks to the cost would mean around €50-€60 per head which is not worth it given the MDR was very good anyway.   Bars were all very nice.  We loved the British Pub which was very authentic and also the Sky Lounge which was the most relaxing bar on the ship with the best service.   Entertainment seemed always be shoved in the Grandiosa lounge and never anywhere else.   Drinks package was a bit confusing..  so we took the easy package which allows you to have any drink up to €6 value..  easy right?  Wrong..  So in the British Bar you can have a pint of Heineken for €6 but if you want a pint of Heineken Lite for €6 you can't because this is one of many exceptions.   OK so if I want a drink that's €6.50 (like most are) then I just pay the difference, right?  Wrong, you pay the full amount! Fancy a tea in L'Atelier Bistrot lounge, watching the world go by on the Galleria..  this will cost you, even though the very same tea is available for FREE in the buffet area or the same coffee included in your drinks package..  MSC just don't do easy!  Facilities - It was a shame this is a winter cruise as the facilities outside are fantastic.   Thankfully we had great weather when we were in off the coast of Portugal and the ships outside space came alive.  The rope walk is fantastic!!  Very scary at first and a lot harder than I thought but once I conquered it I did it again and again.. and the views are breathtaking!   The aquapark is also really good fun with 3 slides which would wow both adults and kids.   The indoor facilities such as bowling and the virtual race car all acquire an extra fee and a large one at that.   If you want to do them all you need to pay well over €100pp.  Bowling for a family of four is over €60 for one hour with show hire!!    Keeping a family happy on this ship will cost you! In the safari pool there are fusball and ping pong tables which are free however you need to go to the other side of the ship to ask for the equipment..  like a lot of things on MSC this did not make sense! Entertainment - This is a mix of amazing, good and VERY bad.Firstly the amazing -  We went to the Cirque de Soleil show 'Eccentrics' and loved it.   My only complaint is it was too short, under an hour.   However well worth it. All the theatre shows were very good but short (35 mins), from an amazing pianist to the general shows put on by the dancers and singers.    Theatre is a little small though so on busy cruises make sure you book.  (easy to do on the screens around the ship) Now the bad - the entertainment crew were AWFUL!!   They all congregate in the Grandiosa lounge and either shout and dance like drug fuelled teenagers or drag you up to dance and then instantly look uncomfortable and uninterested.  The whole thing was just cringy and uncomfortable to watch.   Activities during the day were either dance classes, which were actually done quite well by two dance teachers, or games put on by the awful entertainment crew.   Quizzes were terrible with the crew (around 10 of them)  screaming down a mic and yelling and dancing at any given moment.  They actually turned an art quiz into a rave!!  This was cruise number 16 for me and by far the worst, most immature and unprofessional entertainment crew experienced.    Cabins  - We were originally in a cabin on the 8th deck with obstructed view.   The view itself was not an issue and its compensated by bigger balconies, however we were above the British pub and my parents were above the TV studio bar and sadly there is NO sound insulation so the music thumos through til 1am.   AVOID these at all cost!!!    Another negative about the cabins (all cabins) is the lack of sotrage.   Cabins seem slightly smaller than the most ships and the storage is tiny!   12 hangers for 2 people on a 7 night cruise!!!   Pack some from home if you don't want to double up.  Beds are very comfy though.  Lastly I cannot write a review without mentioning ZOE, the in room virtual assistant!   MSC, what a huge waste of money!!   Unless they use it to listen in on you I cannot see why they thought this was a good idea.. it was so pathetically bad it was entertaining.   The only thing ZOE can say is ask customer relations or turn on the info on your tv!!    So overall, and despite the delay, we had a fantastic cruise on a beautiful ship.  I loved the ship but am not a fan of MSC.. if this ship was Celebrity or even RCCL it would be the best.  Our sailing was just over 2000 passengers so my experience was quite unique.  I don't think it would be the same at full capacity and I fear it would be awful when full.   Even with 2000 it felt busy at certain times.  Due to lack of entertainment I would say this is more a summer ship than winter ship but that all depends on what you want out of the cruise.    Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
First time cruising with MSC and we were left with mixed feelings. The ship could not really be faulted, being the first voyage from Southampton to Barcelona the ship and everything on board was brand new! Our cabin was well appointed and ... Read More
First time cruising with MSC and we were left with mixed feelings. The ship could not really be faulted, being the first voyage from Southampton to Barcelona the ship and everything on board was brand new! Our cabin was well appointed and modern with many USB ports and universal power outlets, which you would expect from a new ship. We found the entertainment to be interesting, some nights the shows were good and others not so good. As there are many different nationalities on on board it seemed difficult for them to lay on something to everyone taste. As the majority of the cruise was at sea some days we just wanted to do something simple like watch a movie. Other lines like Princess do movies under the stars played on the sea screens. We were shocked that the sea screen on board was not once used to show Movies, TV, or anything other than a picture of a palm tree in the Caribbean, which for a sailing with 4 sea days in the middle of November was depressing to look at to say the least. It was little things like this that seemed odd and could have greatly improved our experience. The cruise we embarked on was due to be a 5 night voyage from Southampton on 13th November to Barcelona, making just one overnight stop at Lisbon. Due to bad weather on the Iberian Peninsula in Bay of Biscay meant that the ship had to stay in port until Friday 15th at the earliest until the weather passed. This was obviously out of the control of MSC and a decision taken in the interest of safety which we could understand. However, it did mean that our one and only stop (Lisbon) would be missed and we then sailed straight to Barcelona arriving one day later than planned on Tuesday 19th. This meant as we booked our cruise and flights separately, we would have to make the flight changes with BA ourselves. BA charged us the full penalty to change flights to new dates, which was understandable. MSC Cruises made it clear in an email sent the night before we were due to board, that all expenses incurred to change flights or hotels ect. would be reimbursed following proof of receipts being sent to their customer helpline email. I was advised on board by guest services that if I sent this across on boarding day (13th Nov) this would be refunded by the end of the cruise (19th Nov). However, at the time of writing this (13 Jan 2020) I am still awaiting a reimbursement for my expenses; £200 total. I first received an automatic reply saying that it may take up to 28 days to receive a response, so me being patient and calm I waited the 28 days from the point of sending the email and ........... did not receive a response. I gave them the grace of a week before calling to enquire of the status and they said that there was large backlog they were working through due to the high volumes of guests that were affected. Although, I found this odd as the ship did not take on a full load at Southampton. Anyway, after numerous calls and emails I kept being fobbed of with the lines "We have your claim and we are in the process of arranging it with the most sacred OPERATIONS TEAM, who strangely enough your not allowed to talk too, lucky for them because writing this on 13th January 2020 and not having my money back, I do have a lot to say to them and the way they treat customers. I would like to add that throughout the whole cruise and after the cruise I have been calm, patient and courteous in inquiring and making my claim, however this has got me no where and i'm starting to think that only the passengers who shout, kick up a fuss and come across as rude to guest services and call center staff get there money back. This is sad and is not right. I can honestly say that even though our cruise itinerary was massively impacted, we did enjoy the ship and ships crew. However, I have been left with a bad taste in my mouth with how I have been treated and fobbed off. I have been left £200 out of pocket over Christmas and lied to about how long the process should take. I can honestly say that MSC would not be on my list of cruise lines to cruise with in the future and I will stick to the legacy lines like, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean who have been far better in customer service in the past. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I saw this cruise on TV Cruise 1st channel and booked for the transatlantic voyage to the Caribbean. The fact that it was due to visit Islands that I had previously been to in my teens when I was a young seafarer sailing on cargo ships, ... Read More
I saw this cruise on TV Cruise 1st channel and booked for the transatlantic voyage to the Caribbean. The fact that it was due to visit Islands that I had previously been to in my teens when I was a young seafarer sailing on cargo ships, before everything went in containers, it was to be a nostalgic voyage as well as my first cruise. Needless to say myself and travel partner arrived at Manchester coach station on the 5th Nov 2019 and found we were the only ones there waiting for a coach to Southampton. We where both extremely worried as no place was open to phone and find out what had happened. Maybe you will call us stupid but I don't use emails very much and that is the reason for us showing up on the wrong day. Cruise 1st had sent one email to tell me about the cancellation and rescheduling of the itinerary. I was asked if I wished to cancel and I would have but my travel buddy was all set to go on holiday and travel across the ocean for the 1st time so I couldn't say no. I don't believe the weather and passenger comfort had anything to do with the changes as when we did eventually sail from Southampton the weather was very bad and lots of passengers including my partner were seasick. The ship rarely went above 18/19 knots so could have gone faster and had enough time to visit the missing islands. Also having to pay for internet access , soft drinks and (special) coffee in a drinks package and even bottled water from the cabin steward is a bit much. It's not as though this Cruise Line is struggling. I was given some paltry compensation but it never made up for missing out on visiting 4 Caribbean Islands. I did have a lot more to say about this ship and the company who run it but as I am the only other person who seems to have reviewed this bad experience maybe it is best to just forget it and promise myself to never bother with Royal Caribbean and their very old ship again. Just another thing ! I always expected to be served lobster at some time whilst on a cruise. If it was served I definitely missed it or maybe it was meant to be served on the day about 1000 people on board had sea sickness . So much for passenger comfort. I really do have to say a really big THANK YOU to the service staff especially the cabin stewards who work so hard to clean and make up so many cabins each day and to all the staff I had personal interactions with Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This cruise was cut to 11 days due to bad weather on previous cruise. RCI did offer a price reduction - pro rata - or a full refund to be used towards a future cruise. Apparently full cash refunds were offered, but we did not know this at ... Read More
This cruise was cut to 11 days due to bad weather on previous cruise. RCI did offer a price reduction - pro rata - or a full refund to be used towards a future cruise. Apparently full cash refunds were offered, but we did not know this at the time. Anyway we decided to go despite the change which meant we only visited one Caribbean Island instead of four. Summary: barding was excellent and on time. Our stateroom was not well presented, dust visible, and locker doors not properly secured. Disappointing start. We chose My Time dining and we were not disappointed. The food quality was good and the staff were excellent. Casual dining in the windjammer was more than adequate. We felt there was not a great deal of daytime activity, other than quizzes and hard sell presentations at the spa The evening entertainment was average. There were no lecture sessions to attend. All in all a big disappointment and would make us think twice about using RCI in the future. One final point; we did not receive a cruise review form so could not give our views. After many requests we go a very brief form which was a waste of time. We wanted more than anything to rate the excellence of the staff - but the rest left much to be desired. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this cruise for the unusual itinerary and the ship. We had been on the Queen Elizabeth for the entire maiden World Cruise in 2011 , and were curious to discover the changes that had taken place in the recent refit , and to see ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the unusual itinerary and the ship. We had been on the Queen Elizabeth for the entire maiden World Cruise in 2011 , and were curious to discover the changes that had taken place in the recent refit , and to see whether Cunards high standards were being maintained. We were not disappointed. We flew Avianca Business Class from Fort Lauderdale via Bogota to London and it was a huge disappointment in service and cuisine . We stayed overnight at the hotel in Southampton used by Cunard , the Double Tree by Hilton. It is located in a suburb and there is nowhere to go or walk from the hotel. Our waiter at dinner advised that of the 12 wines on the list, only 4 were available . As for service , there was none. He then told us that we were the first people that he had ever served. That was unnecessary as he obviously had never been given any training. A breakfast buffet is set up in a ante room to the kitchen where the staff would normally keep extra dishes and tablecloths , etc. it was a poor buffet and we could not imagine why Cunard would ever use this place for guests to stay who were embarking on a long expensive cruise Cruise. Even worse is that Head Office is here , so there is no excuse to ever recommend such a place to Cunarders. The charge for the terrible buffet breakfast was removed on checkout. As for changes , most are for the better , since the recent refit. They are, in our opinion, as follows: dinner is now available in the pub, large 42 inch TV screens in the cabin, much better TV programming, 8 music channels including a very good classical channel, a liquor store with lots of samples, beautiful flower arrangements and orchids in profusion, free shuttle buses between the dock and downtown in every port, and wonderful folkloric shows in every port prior to departure. A magnificent fireworks display took place in Southampton just prior to our departure. Our stewardess Margot was Austrian and quite simply the best we have ever encountered. Everything we needed appeared without asking.We never returned to our room to find it not made up. Not once did she ever knock on our door. She provided us with the utmost in privacy throughout our voyage. All bath towels provided to us were very white and fluffy. There were 22 sommeliers aboard .Ours in Britannia Club was Paul. His recommendations were always spot on. We sat at two different tables for 2 and all of the waiters were polite . We were always referred to by name by all Dining Room staff. The maitre dhotel graciously took special orders. I had a different salad created for me every day at lunch. The food was much more British than on the World Cruise, but of course 95 per cent of the passengers on the first segment to Capetown were British. The cuisine however is neither creative nor innovative. There is not much dining anticipation.There were however a plethora of birds served on the way south to Capetown but not afterwards to the Australians. There were 2 formal nights per week. The Verandah is now nothing but a not very good , over priced steak house and was mostly empty. There were 3 lectures on each sea day . However the most amazing part was the variety and scope of the live musical entertainment. We saw Top Hat 4 times . There was an 8 piece dance band in the ballroom, with male and female vocalists, a 7 piece band for shows, 2 cocktail pianists, a classical trio, a harpist, a Dixie land jazz band, a guitarist in the pub ,and a classical pianist and violinist. There was quite a bit of rust on the exterior and paint was constantly flaking off the sides and ended up on our balcony. As part of the casino was removed to make room for a new section of single cabins , many slot machines have been moved out into the lobby and elevator area outside of the pub which in our opinion detracts from the elegant on board experience. The interior of the ship, carpets ,walls furnishings etc.look the same or better than they did on the Maiden voyage. All crew members were very polite, smiling , always gracious and accommodating. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
ENTERTAINMENT-my 11th NCL cruise and still can say the sound techs still don’t know what they are doing in their field. Choir of Men are very talented. The sound tech had no ability to mix the background vocals- they couldn’t be heard. ... Read More
ENTERTAINMENT-my 11th NCL cruise and still can say the sound techs still don’t know what they are doing in their field. Choir of Men are very talented. The sound tech had no ability to mix the background vocals- they couldn’t be heard. During his stage performance, the hypnotist more than once gave them directions on turning the volume of his microphone up. Christopher Caress, hypnotist was most informative with his craft. In his 2nd session, Chris has to ask, more than once to turn down the volume of his microphone. How can these techs not hear the feedback from his microphone? Kinky Boots-the poor audio techs simply destroyed the quality of the show. MAGICIAN-was entertaining and somewhat goofy. FOOD- Speciality restaurants were delicious, attentive staff and decor stunning. Onda by Scarpetta is a huge improvement over La Cucina, the food was perfect in all ways. However, bring back the Caesar Salad to the menu. The buffet was incredibly bland and cold, no matter the meal. COCO- $13 milkshake was way too watery and rich, should have been $5- no one in the place. CASINO- no one was at the table games. Never saw anyone cashing out their winning chips. Thermal Suite Spa- very crowded and noisy. Spoke with spa manger regarding the lack of “Quiet Zone” signs that are usually posted. Left the spa area multiple times due to the loud talking and/or no seats. The thermo-pool temperature was not warm enough, in fact freezing cold. Silas, the cruise director is delightful, engaging, personable and friendly. GUEST SERVICES-were better listeners and helpful. Assigning crew members who don’t have a full understanding of the English, makes no sense. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Basically used as transport from the UK to the Caribbean, we had time to take this trip as part of our itinerary to reach home. Southampton check in -very quick and efficient the only flaw was NCL’s oversight in prebooking information ... Read More
Basically used as transport from the UK to the Caribbean, we had time to take this trip as part of our itinerary to reach home. Southampton check in -very quick and efficient the only flaw was NCL’s oversight in prebooking information in failing to advise that documentary proof of ESTA is required. Ship-We had anticipated some shortcomings as this voyage was essentially a shake down , however it was interesting to see how the latest cruise ships have evolved with a lightly built, full bowed hull outfitted with low maintenance Internal modular units obviously designed for a refurbishment a few years down the road. Despite its huge size the vessel reacted like a much smaller one encountering some poor but not particularly rough sea states, surprising that it is classed for “winter North Atlantic” service. The internal ambience is very understated and the internal decorators have done an outstanding job in both layout and decor. Cabin-Mini suite on deck thirteen, was a little on the narrow side and the balcony, unused due to the weather, extremely small. A large amount of storage, more electrical points would be useful(US standard only). The king bed was comfortable and located inboard of the seating area, apparently the sofa converts to a double bed, it would be adequate only for small children. Bathroom was large with excellent shower, but poor quality toiletries. Restaurants-complimentary, were somewhat limited as Taste, Savor and the Manhattan Room have exactly the same menu which changes little from day to day. The Garden Cafe cafeteria was generally a better choice, being large, beautifully laid out and with an good selection, the carvery and Indian sections were the high spots. -specialty, Ocean Blue(seafood), very disappointing , Food Republic basically sushi with a rather annoying tablet menu, a little better, Le Bistro, worth a visit for a change, Cagneys, by far the best and really the only one worth paying for unless the very reasonable Free at Sea package had been purchased. Bars, although cumulatively quite large in number only the Observation deck had a lounge quality with adequate seating. Again the Free at Sea package is almost essential even for moderate drinkers as the per drink prices are high, a plus point is that only the excess cost is charged over the base prices for premium drinks. Wi Fi-worked well but the very reasonably priced unlimited use add on is essential as the basic 250minutes was consumed by an apparently arbitrary log in and out algorithm. Service-Generally good(vessel only 50%occupied), but could improve particularly in table clearing and cabin areas. Entertainment-Two free professional level productions but not continuously available meant that tickets were scarce. Smaller general acts very similar to other cruise lines. Excessive emphasis on trivia and TV type game shows indicate a Bingo rather than Bridge orientation. Outside facilities, did not use due to weather-vessel is geared to tropical cruises. Value-exceptional,even including Free at Sea and extra Wi Fi costs Disembarkation -An utter shambles, not the fault of NCL, or indeed the immigration officers who struggled to cope with 2000+ passengers using outdated technology and without the self clearance machines used at US airports. They were fortunate, as were we, that the crew were not permitted to disembark.Customs clearance on the following day was much easier as the officers basically just watched passengers collect luggage and leave. High spot-The sea approach to New York under the Verrazano Bridge , past the Statue of Liberty and up the Hudson to the terminal berth was stunning and could have been more so had the ships entertainers been used to provide NY music during the transit. Fellow passengers-mix of American , British, Canadian and some others. Many hugely overweight and large numbers of mobility scooters, walkers and wheel chairs, generally in 50 to 70 age group and preponderance of return NCL guests. Overview-A relative bargain on a new ship , perhaps a half star lower than Holland America or Celebrity but quite enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
An inaugural cruise is used to get the kinks worked out. Let's remember that the ship was just delivered from the shipbuilder to NCL only days before the transatlantic crossing. So, we couldn't be expected to find everything ... Read More
An inaugural cruise is used to get the kinks worked out. Let's remember that the ship was just delivered from the shipbuilder to NCL only days before the transatlantic crossing. So, we couldn't be expected to find everything flowing as if the ship had been in service for months. Yes, there were issues with the spa's thermal pool being cooler than normal on that first day at sea. And, it had to be drained when we hit rough seas to prevent water damage to the spa. (The motion sickness bags placed around the ship should have been a clue.) But, it was not something that went uncorrected when it was reopened. I will agree with another reviewer that "quiet" rules were not followed in the spa at all times. One group of people in the hot tub were particularly loud at times. One review item I cannot agree with was the Garden Cafe. It had probably the best food I have ever seen in any cafe aboard the major cruise lines. In the last 13 cruises, I can count on one hand the number of times we have eaten dinner at the ship's cafe. We have always eaten dinner in the main dining room. But, we enjoyed the Garden Cafe's dining fare so much, we ate dinner there nearly every evening. A first for us. So, yes. The ship did have a few things they needed to get up-to-speed. But, that is normal for any new ship just entering service. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Our first inaugural cruise. We would definately do another. The shows were all excellent. The entertainment in the Observation Lounge should have lasted longer into the evening. Ending at 10pm was to early. The ships 3 piece band should ... Read More
Our first inaugural cruise. We would definately do another. The shows were all excellent. The entertainment in the Observation Lounge should have lasted longer into the evening. Ending at 10pm was to early. The ships 3 piece band should have played there. They were wonderful and needed a bigger room to play in. Overall the Lounge was underutilized! The activities in the atrium were fun but when the ship is full there is not enough room for those who want to attend. Food in all of the restaurants was delicious. Service in the Manhattan room was excellent. We did miss having a band play during dinner. Onda was nice but we miss LaCuccina. The Italian decor was what made it a unique experience. The same can be said for Cagneys and Le Bistro. A lack of color and style is disappointing. We look forward to the improvements on the Leonard class ships. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Cruise number 10, our third transatlantic crossing, and also our third cruise on Norwegian. The Encore was beautiful! We had an aft facing balcony stateroom which was adequately spacious, very comfortable bed, decent storage and good size ... Read More
Cruise number 10, our third transatlantic crossing, and also our third cruise on Norwegian. The Encore was beautiful! We had an aft facing balcony stateroom which was adequately spacious, very comfortable bed, decent storage and good size bathroom. The weather wasn’t the greatest so the outside activities open were minimal. However, the Observation Lounge on deck 15 more than made up for it! We spent a few hours there every day. It was beautifully appointed, plenty of comfortable sitting areas, lots of good snacks available throughout the day, bar service, and a 180 degree view. The main dining room and menus were very good. We also ate at Los Lobos Mexican restaurant which was excellent, and Q Texas barbecue restaurant which was also good. We never had to wait for a seat but the ship wasn’t full so it’s hard to judge what a full passenger load would feel like. The staff were very good throughout the ship. We would make the trip again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this cruise because we were excited to be on the first sailing of a brand new ship! The entertainment was great! We especially enjoy music and were not disappointed. We loved WT Greer, the piano player/singer, Rock and more with ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were excited to be on the first sailing of a brand new ship! The entertainment was great! We especially enjoy music and were not disappointed. We loved WT Greer, the piano player/singer, Rock and more with Guns and Rojas, an Acoustic set with Camille Rae in the Q Texas Smokehouse, Pop and Rock music with the Duo Phil and Keysha, Calypso/R&B with Temperature Band and the Liverpool Beatles. These performers could be seen in several venues instead of just one spot each night, which gives a different feel for each performance. They could be seen in the Observation Lounge, The Atrium, Sugarcane and the Cavern Club. In The District was Music and Humor with Jim Badger(hilarious!). The headline entertainers were impressive as well. We saw Vox Fortura (music), Joseph Reohm (Magic), Kinky Boots (Musical),and our favorite The Choir of Man! I enjoyed the musical numbers of Kinky Boots but otherwise it felt at least as long as it was, at an hour and 45 minutes. The Choir of Man brings you into the story from the get go by inviting the audience on stage for a beer! The musicians and singers were all excellent at making you feel the emotion, exuberance and humor of the story. Go straight to make reservations when you board and board early! Although it's free, they ran out of reservations by early afternoon on embarkation day. One night in the Observation Lounge, WT Greer invited individual singers from both Kinky Boots and The Choir of Man to join him at the piano. He also invited a very talented guest to play his piano! A very memorable night for music! Happy Hour Prohibition the Musical was a cute musical production in The Social Club, but I do not recommend it. We paid nearly $40pp, I guess because of the intimate venue, but it was not worth it. They include 5 drinks(nearly everyone has a drink pkg) that were all awful. From the watery Moscow Mule to the final glass of what tasted like straight Sweet and Sour mix, they were all bad. No bar available to order a drink, so bring one with you as back up if you go! They should come up with a single signature drink for the show and charge half as much! Comedy club onboard was good, but we went less than we expected because the musicians onboard were Great! Food onboard was all very good to great. We ate in complimentary dining -Taste/Savor/The Manhattan- favorites: Italian Wedding Soup, Pasta Carbonara and the Yogurt parfait. The Local Bar & Grill, favorites: Pasta Bolognese and Chicken Salad Sandwich. Garden Café(Buffet) favorites: Snow Crab legs, Shrimp Tikka and Savory Chicken and Waffles. We also ate in Specialty Restaurants- Onda, favorite Short Rib Ravioli. Cagney's favorite: all the sides and the Salmon. I am not a steak eater, but the other guests seemed to be evenly split between loving the steak at Cagney's and Onda's. Ocean Blue favorites the Gumbo and the Fresh Fish Branzino w/White Wine Lemon Butter. Q Texas Smokehouse favorites: Loaded Fries w/Pulled Pork, Grilled Salmon and the Smoked Peach Margarita! Lots of great items to order a la carte in Q and make a lighter meal of it! The bartenders all over the ship were amazing and during the not so crazy busy times, could really put on a show and make great drinks! Our cabin, a midship mini suite was very comfortable and the shower was amazing with a rainhead shower and SIX directional massaging sprayer heads! Plenty of storage in the bathroom drawers and good space in the room. No drawers but shelves,hanging space and vanity space. Room attendant was great! The ship has lots of places to sit, hang out and make new friends. Take some time just to see the artwork around the ship. My favorite art area to walk was deck 8 near Sugarcane Mojito Bar. This was our first Transatlantic cruise and the weather was not ideal. Rough seas and rain resulted in outside areas being closed most of the cruise. We felt like the ship handled the rough seas well. Thank goodness for all that amazing indoor entertainment! When weather cleared up for a couple of days were able to experience The Speedway racecars. We had a blast! Be sure to make reservations and allow plenty of time, an hour and a half at least. They move guests through in an orderly fashion, but it takes time to go through the line with security/safety videos, getting your gear, futher instructions and then your on your way! Please let another driver pass! My husband got stuck behind a slower driver who wouldn't let him pass. He still had a great time though! If you enjoy trivia, strike up a group for the Progressive Trivia. They meet once each morning and it was Very popular! Great prize baskets for the winning team members(not us!) Another activity I enjoyed was the Wine and Chocolate Seminar. I would definitely try another of the seminars they offered in the Wine Bar! They do sell out! Lots of other activities: a variety of language classes, lectures, trivia, movies, crafts, games and more! We purchased Spa Passes for the Mandara Spa. Some guest complained because the Thalassotherapy Pool has to be closed several times because the rough seas made it unsafe. However we still enjoyed the heated beds, the Sauna, the Snow Room and the Salt Room. They also have a Hot Tub but guests turned that into very loud social hours. We did suggest they make it a No Talking Zone. The voices echo across the spa making for a less than tranquil atmosphere and it causes guests to stay in too long. The spa staff will ask them to quiet down if you ask but we hate to have to do that. I do think the Spa staff should routinely move towels off the Heated Loungers to prevent guests saving them for friends or themselves. There are plenty of cushioned loungers they can allow for saving if they must. The Observation Lounge is an amazing view and a great place to hang before dinner, but speaking of saving loungers... the Observation Lounge is like the new pool deck with the lounge chair hogs. The staff should remove items from these lounges as they go through cleaning. If you've been there long enough to have to go to the bathroom, it's time to give someone else a chance! I found the chairs with ottomans to be more comfortable than the loungers, but people save those as well. We did move some items once after confirming with other guests those items had been there an hour. Those guests showed up another half hour later but didn't say anything to us. The one negative area for us was Guest/Financial Services. We had a ridiculous time applying a $100 gift card to our account. We set up a credit card for our onboard account but they couldn't seem to get things straight and kept sending a letter saying we needed to put more cash on our account. After four visits, over three days, working with five different staff, the problem was corrected. The attitude was it must be your fault. After repeating myself to the last staff member 2X and my husband repeating it again, he finally looked and saw that it had been their error and corrected it. Ugh! Time for a drink and some good music! We ended our cruise with the Views of the Big Apple ending at the Airport tour and both our driver and guide were excellent. Although it's a bus tour, we also got out at the World Trade Center, saw the memorials and had a walking tour there. It was quite a bit of walking for some elderly guests. We also had a quick stop at Battery Park with the Statue of Liberty in the distance. It was a perfect ending for an almost perfect cruise! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Overall all these CC reviews are fair and accurate. Being an Inaugural cruise with roughly 50% occupancy our experience most likely will not be the norm on a full boat in season. Still all of pros & con assessments noted in the prior ... Read More
Overall all these CC reviews are fair and accurate. Being an Inaugural cruise with roughly 50% occupancy our experience most likely will not be the norm on a full boat in season. Still all of pros & con assessments noted in the prior reviews can be expected. We read Cruise Critic Reviews as part of our decision making process. Keeping this in mind these are our views and suggested considerations...The Encore is indeed a beautiful ship, attractive, easy on the eye, stunning in many areas, exciting and comfortable. The Observation Lounge is a wow....As veteran cruisers we confidently believe the food and the restaurants on this ship are among the best at sea, even the Garden Café self serve/buffet. The Waterfront on deck eight is a perfect setting for dining, cocktails, lounging and strolling...The entertainment on board was very, very enjoyable. The Choir of Men and Kinky Boots were impressive and a highlight. If someone is not entertained by the variety of options offered on the Encore then it is suggested the blindfold and ear muffs be removed. One significant consideration in selecting Encore for a cruise vacation is the upper decks limited outdoor space for the pool, sunning, lounging and cocktailing. Shockingly limited! However, space can be traded for dollars in The Haven and The Vibe Beach Club. Certainly many younger cruisers will find the deck consuming laser tag and race track unique and real memorable pleasures, also traded for extra dollars...Other Encore considerations, ones we experienced on the Getaway and Breakaway transatlantic cruises, is Specialty Restaurant and Headline Entertainment reservations. Reservations should be made as soon as boarding or online when offered. In the theatre, even with reservations, arrive early for good seating. Have a drink while watching late arrivals scramble for seats...Choice seating in the Observation Lounge is elusive as is lounging couch & chair seating on the Waterfront deck . The large volume of passengers on these mega ships makes flexibility, desirability and a leisure pace difficult to obtain without planning. The highlight of our Encore cruise was the sail into New York City Harbor. The impressive skyline, the Statue of Liberty, the ship horn tag-match with NCL's passing Escape, the fire boat inaugural water cascade, fellow passengers singing 'New York, New York'. All while standing on the bow of a brand new ship in reasonable November weather with a colorful sunset at our backs. Not bad. A truly memorable experience! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I love transatlantic cruises, and I’ve only been on Royal Caribbean for these, but this inaugural cruise from Southampton allowed me to enjoy two things I love: cruise and visit London! Rough seas kept the upper/ pool decks closed ... Read More
I love transatlantic cruises, and I’ve only been on Royal Caribbean for these, but this inaugural cruise from Southampton allowed me to enjoy two things I love: cruise and visit London! Rough seas kept the upper/ pool decks closed for all but one day, But the events and activities were plentiful. The Haven area was the best experience I have ever had on a cruise! The staff was phenomenal in taking care of things. No issues encountered (which was a stark departure from my inaugural cruise on the MSC Seaside a couple of years ago). Freestyle dining was incredible! Never stood in a queue for any meal, including the buffet. It was such an enjoyable experience to ge able to show up and get a table. Made it easier to plan activities and shows that we wanted to see. Norwegian has upped the ante with this ship. I will be booking more cruises on this class of ship. The Haven is the way to go!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary, which did not disappoint, especially both Petra in Aqaba and Herculaneum in Naples were amazing. Sad to say the Sapphire Princess did ,the food served up was at best ordinary and at worst ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary, which did not disappoint, especially both Petra in Aqaba and Herculaneum in Naples were amazing. Sad to say the Sapphire Princess did ,the food served up was at best ordinary and at worst downright bad, bad veggies, rotton fruit. Menu repeated over and over with no regional menus associated with our port calls. Drinks were overpriced. The shows were mixed some very good others not. You had to be there 1/2 early to get in to some of the entertainment venues which were too small to accomodate the 3000. passengers on board. The lectures offered were too few , Bridge was not offered by the ship and was organised by one of the passengers and this was a godsend to many of us on the many sea days. The library was very poorly stocked. We had to pay exorbitant fees for shuttles that were in the past complimentary when the port was a distance away from the nearest town.We only had one chair provided in the cabin and had to ask for another which was provided .On a positive note, the staff in the main, were both cheerful and helpful . Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Excellent choice of ports. Princess has good value and consistent and organized product. Food is excellent but occasionally disappoints. Good coffee still seems to be a weakness although café bar at extra charge is a nice touch. Value ... Read More
Excellent choice of ports. Princess has good value and consistent and organized product. Food is excellent but occasionally disappoints. Good coffee still seems to be a weakness although café bar at extra charge is a nice touch. Value added features are pushed and not good value for money especially excursions. You have to be careful as you can quickly find the bill for your holiday much higher than expected. Many days at sea and despite some rough weather this time of year ship was more stable than expected. Gym is a bit crowded and perhaps used more than it was designed for. Exercise seems to be a priority for the demographic on board. Overall experience was very good and I would recommend this particular itinerary. London and Singapore at each end were also worth spending extra time at. Had several changes due to weather and unexpected medical evacuations but handled well. Just a reminder that things don't always go as planned and you have to be tolerant. Also a reminder to be sure you know what is covered on your medical insurance plans including evacuation costs. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We choose this cruise as a family vacation that would take us half way around the world, Southampton to Singapore, in 37 days. We had some good times and some not so good times, and met many new friends, but I can not recommend the ... Read More
We choose this cruise as a family vacation that would take us half way around the world, Southampton to Singapore, in 37 days. We had some good times and some not so good times, and met many new friends, but I can not recommend the Sapphire. The service is good, but the food is not good. You can always find something to eat, but as a rule, the overcooked meats buried in tasteless brown sauce, the cooked to death vegetables, the fried foods too hard to cut with a knife, just did not do Princess proud. The Sapphire is an older ship needing repairs and a new WiFi system. You could spend hours not getting emails. We missed the port for Paris and Normandy, and Sicily without a real apology or credit. And the shore excursion to Petra was a total ripoff. We spent as much time in a non scheduled over priced souvenir shop where the guide probably got a kick back than we did at the treasury in Petra. It took 14 days of complaints, but I finally got a credit on that. It wasn’t all bad, about half the shows were top notch and the cruise staff was fun, but after 20 Princess Cruises, this was probably at the bottom. Last year, when the Royal missed two ports due to a Hurricane, everyone got a 20% credit. On the Sapphire, complaints went no where, even though this storm wasn’t even a hurricane, We’ve missed several ports with several cruise lines over the last three years. I think this is a trend. If there is somewhere you really want to go, take a plane. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Reflection is a great ship. We love S-Class Celebrity ships and this is one of the best. Has the full Sky Lounge instead of part of it cut out for suites. Great commons areas. two issues: seating is starting to get a bit worn and you ... Read More
Reflection is a great ship. We love S-Class Celebrity ships and this is one of the best. Has the full Sky Lounge instead of part of it cut out for suites. Great commons areas. two issues: seating is starting to get a bit worn and you sit very low in many of the chairs at a table. Not enough places for readers and card players. Need more open places so we aren’t taking up places for snacking/coffee such as at El Bacio or taking tables in Oceanview/Dining room. We played during non-dining times, but still had issue sometimes. the decor is getting a bit dated with the red and orange motifs. Ship was clean and well cared for. Dining: we early 6pm dining. 2 person table. excellent location at a window and outstanding service. tables relatively close but not close enough where if you didn’t want to talk to your neighbor, it wasn’t an issue. I’m deaf in one ear so even if I wanted to ‘eavesdrop’ on our neighbors I couldn’t! Dining choices were varied and very good quality. Never an issue for us. We do love trying varying foods but aren’t ‘foodies’. Specialty Dining: we did the 3-dinner package. Ate at Murano’s. Excellent but just too much for us. Tuscan Grill. Great steaks but I’m not a big steak person - would rather try other choices. I cook steaks at home just fine. Grill was fine but not worth it for us. QZine/Petit Chef. Loved it. great and different choices. The ravioli was to die for - not something to have at an average restaurant and this was outstanding. Common Areas: Well maintained. Many areas to try out. Need a bit more for those who will sit for extended times as a group. Service: as we find on Celebrity, outstanding. Met all our needs, not intrusive and didn’t run into the ‘upscale’ we get on other ships. Seemed to have more waitstaff in the common areas then we’d experienced before. Itinerary: we love being on board so a transatlantic is perfect for us. Done 4 prior and will do more. won’t go though all the ports, but lots of At Sea days; NYC; Boston; Bermuda; Nassau is a fantastic mix. Crossing further north than many Celebrity TA’s mean you’ll probably get cooler weather, a bit of rain and a bit higher sea states. But well worth it. Entertainment: Well mixed. Lots of good music. A Live Band! Excellent dancers and high wire workers. Guest entertainers were excellent except for magician who I didn’t like (I love magic). Runaround Kids were a homer run. Podium Speakers: Outstanding. Prosecutor with great stores of big cases; Broadway musicals and he sang many of the songs; Beatles by a photographer who had direct contact with them early in their careers. Movies - history and actors. Fun! then speakers on the ports that were history of the ports, and what the cities were like. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Silhouette is wonderful looks stunning and is very friendly. I had joined the cruise critic roll call before this sailing and had some great fun for about a month beforehand signing up for group activities including a joke the turned ... Read More
Silhouette is wonderful looks stunning and is very friendly. I had joined the cruise critic roll call before this sailing and had some great fun for about a month beforehand signing up for group activities including a joke the turned into the most amazing chocolate swap. Embarkation was brilliant my dad uses a walking stick and we were shown to the assistance line no wait and we were on the ship in no time. We were welcomed aboard with a glass of bubbly. Our first impression was the ship looked wonderful and friendly. Our veranda cabin was spacious and the overhead cupboards very useful. The food and service in the dining room was great however getting into the dining room could be stressful. The fact that it was possible to book dining time in select meant there were empty tables in the dining room and long queues outside. I tried 3 of the specialty restaurants, Qsine twice, Tuscan Grille and Lawn Club Grill all excellent however I much preferred the steak in Tuscan. Qsine is a fun experience. The entertainment was varied the Elton John act being my favourite. I enjoyed the lectures by the former District Attorney. There were 272 cruise critic members signed up for the meet and mingle and Celebrity put on a great welcome. We especially enjoyed our friends of Godiva chocolate swap complete with refreshments provided. Celebrity went over and above in facilitating our members and enabled a great vibe to circulate around the ship. Ports were great and the excursions good value. Would I go again well I booked Reflection for October transatlantic 2020. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Chose this cruise because the dates and destinations fitted, and we quite like the sea days. Took advantage of the coach from Birmingham Airport direct to Southampton, bit chaotic with people pushing in the queue but got us there ... Read More
Chose this cruise because the dates and destinations fitted, and we quite like the sea days. Took advantage of the coach from Birmingham Airport direct to Southampton, bit chaotic with people pushing in the queue but got us there efficiently and embarkation was excellent. The ship was larger than we normally go for and a bit confusing to get around sometimes. I think that even after 2 weeks people were getting lost. Our cabin, an inside one on deck 10 was fine, seperate area for hanging clothes, enough hangers etc and a comfy bed. We chose set dining in the Oriental Restaurant, we had a good table and enjoyed it. The food was a bit 'samey' though. We were quite interested in the ballroom dance lessons, but so was everyone else. Although the dance teacher was excellent the lessons took place in the atrium-far far too small, so we dropped out. We joined the guest choir, an excellent experience and met some lovely people. Having been on this ship for a long weekend previously I was keen to see how the Manhatten lounge would cope on a longer voyage as it had been inundated by the groups of hen parties on board. As previously, if you didn't get there over an hour before any entertainment you hadn't a prayer of getting a seat. The main theatre was fine, that too got full, especially when the resident 'headliners' were performing. I must say that they were very talented, just not enough of them-they didn't join in any other activities, were seldom seen around the ship and did 4 shows in 2 weeks! the other entertainment ranged from Beatles tribute, excellent Song and dance man, a couple of typical cruise ship singers and a mind reading act from BGT, and a Freddie tribute act that only performed in the Manhattan-so we never got to see him. Generally the drinks service was poor-cutbacks were obvious throughout the ship. Why did I entitle this review 'clash of cultures' ? I shall explain. There was one group who took no notice of the rule not to reserve sun loungers, took no notice of smoking restrictions, and let their kids run riot. I know that is a sweeping generalisation but the same people were in the pool area day after day, the kids were either dive bombing in the pool or frequenting the spa pools, they were in big groups, very loud and, as I say, smoking (or vaping) all around. Unfortunately, and this is my big criticism THERE WAS NO POLICING OF THE SUN LOUNGERS, THE SMOKING/VAPING, OR THE KIDS. Putting signs up just doesn't cut it. I know that they are on holiday too, but the rules are there so that everyone can enjoy themselves. Although the excursions were generally fine I would like to draw your attention to one of the Antigua trips. Party bus to private Red Bus Rum punch beach, private facilities, price included transport with guide, party bus, free drink (plus opportunities to buy food and drink if you wanted) and 3-4 hours on the beach. £45-£50 each. In reality, 14 of us were crammed into an old transit van with no suspension and inefficient AC, a Bob Marley tape and just dumped off at the afore mentioned beach. You then could hire a gazebo & Sun bed (if you were quick enough-short supply). We were told that as they only given a few quid per head from P & O that it no longer included a drink-which were expensive). We had paid £100 per couple for an old van taxi to a beach. I was also appalled that you had free drinks in the casino whilst you gambled. Did we enjoy the cruise?-yes, would we go again? yes. Was it value for money,?yes What could be done to make it a better experience? Police the Sun beds, the smoking, the kids and start looking at a bigger venue for the ballroom lessons-a massively increasing sector. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Chose this cruise foe its for its travel itinery. ship far to big , only onboard awe factor is the main auditorium, spectcular light show and there it ends, MSC health and safety to passengers is lacking. Major incident - Meraviglia ... Read More
Chose this cruise foe its for its travel itinery. ship far to big , only onboard awe factor is the main auditorium, spectcular light show and there it ends, MSC health and safety to passengers is lacking. Major incident - Meraviglia Lounge at lunchtime, entertainment crew decided the days lunchtime entertainment would be kicking a football on the dance floor where guests were sitting , drinking ,reading and chatting, so you expect the inevitable to happen and it did, football smashes into the table where we were sitting, cups, glasses sent flying, my wife hit full on with a glass of red wine, fortunatley the glass hit her shoulder another few inches higher and i dread to think of the outcome, my wife is in total shock covered in wine, hair, face and upper body, immediate panic from the staff trying to console her and trying to clean her up. We proceeded to customer reception and made a formal complaint, i womt go into the dran out procedure but it took four days to get to see and speak with the client relations manager who appologised on behalf of MSC, we asked on several occasions to view the video footage and the staff account of what happened, neither was forthcoming. We took the matter up with head office on our return, after several emails the end result was the offer of £180 credit towards a future cruise which we declined, why would i wish to spend several thousnd pounds on another cruise with MSC in the hope it would be any better, They seemed to simply dismiss the incident as a spilt glasss of wine when the outcome could have been life changing for my wife, i am thankfull this was not the case, Speciality dinning ecxperience - we booked a trio dinning package at a cost of 207 euros The Butchers Cut, The Ocean Quay and the Cirque de soliel dinner show, Just one out of three was up to standard. Butchers Cut - superb Ocean Quey - very poor Dinner show- absolute disaster, two 10 minuete stops for technical problems which ruined the performance, the food served was cold, no offer of a repeat show. Port embarcation - this took ages at all ports, customs at New York took nearly three hours, one passenger collapsed and was taken to hosipital, probably lost the will to live waiting around. There were no enrichment or seminars during the cruise considering the climate and much of the time was inside which also led to a lack of comfertable seating during the day, MSC gave the impression of repositioning on a budget at the expense of full paying passengers, they ran out of certain beverages, wines and soft drinks. Considering the mishaps the cabin was very good and housekeepig superb, the food served throughout the ship was good, our waiters at dinner were fantastic a credit to MSC. It just didn't compare to previouse cruises very dissapointed. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Princess takes great care of suite passenger so we enjoyed breakfast in Sabatini's, club class dining, special room services menu items, priority spa reservations, room service on debarkation day and many other extras. We think the ... Read More
Princess takes great care of suite passenger so we enjoyed breakfast in Sabatini's, club class dining, special room services menu items, priority spa reservations, room service on debarkation day and many other extras. We think the cabin price is worth it. We've never complained about quality of food on our many Princess cruises and this one was no exception. In fact, we thought food on this trip was particulary good. Club Class dining each night had a special tableside dish that was delicious each time. We visited the Crown Grill and Sabatini's for diner twice each during the trip and enjoyed truly exceptional meals and service.The crew we encountered was all top notch--friendly, cheerful, attentive and professional. I would have like to have ticked five stars above but we were very disappointed about having two of six ports cancelled. The culprit was the weather which of course is out of Princess's control but the complaint is how missing these ports was handled. We happened to be on a Princess cruise in the maritime provinces of Canada during Hurricane Sandy that caused several of the eastern seaboard stops to be cancelled. Rather than just bob about until it was clear to sail south, Princess found a couple of places for us to visit while we waited. In the current case, Crown Princess merely changed course and aimed to the next stop after a cursory announcement from the captain. It seemed to us that in the case of cancelling the Azores call, we could have remained at Lisbon to have the advantage of a full weekday ashore or stopping at Madeira. Surely the captain knew before we left Lisbon that Hurricane Lorenzo would keep us from the Azores, so we could have stayed at the dock. If we couldn't, an explanation of why not would have been the courteous thing to do. Likewise, an explanation of why Madeira couldn't be a substitute would have been appreciated, especially since we got close enough to that destination to transfer a medical patient from Crown Princess to a boat sent out from Madeira. We think the passengers deserved more than silence. One other minor gripe. Our coffee card from an earlier cruise was refused as having expired. At sale, the cards are advertised as being good on later cruises for specialty coffees and there's no mention of expiration. Pretty cheap on the part of Princess to declare one has expired. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Elite member of Princess, have always enjoyed our experiences but not this time. First time I have found that I wish we had not gone at all. Embarkation was fine, cabin, while old was good except ONE plug that worked. Dining, found ... Read More
Elite member of Princess, have always enjoyed our experiences but not this time. First time I have found that I wish we had not gone at all. Embarkation was fine, cabin, while old was good except ONE plug that worked. Dining, found the food in the dining room OK but very little variety and I very much resented that I could not get brewed coffee on my coffee card until I either sent a poor server out to find it as it was not available at the Horizon Court either..Oh well, what you got was not very good anyway. Entertainment-- write that off, two male singers, two female singers, two shows and I believe there was someone who told jokes.....very little variety . That plus there were so many people coughing at times they were hard to hear. Service, lots of service people all who were very good at their jobs BUT especially in the Horizon Court I felt that more effort should have been made to disinfect the chairs, salt and pepper shakers and to keep the food area cleaner and the hand washers filled and to encourage people to use them. Shore Excursion people not nice to deal with, rude at times. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We will have to laugh about this cruise, but want to let others know that a repositioning cruise might not be for everyone. It was unfortunate that we didn't have a better idea about what to expect, and what we want is to let others ... Read More
We will have to laugh about this cruise, but want to let others know that a repositioning cruise might not be for everyone. It was unfortunate that we didn't have a better idea about what to expect, and what we want is to let others know, and perhaps avoid disappointment for them. We left from Southampton on Sept. 22, and sailed to Brugge/Belgium, where we had a great shore excursion. Then on to Isle of Portland, England. We were not able to dock there due to unsafe weather conditions. This is a great cruise for folks who enjoy staying onboard even during the stops at the ports, and just enjoy being on the ocean for many days at a time. My husband and I like a little more variety, and look forward to the shore excursions and learning about the people who live in the different ports.That just put us on the sea too many long days. We would suggest that the end of Sept. is too late to be in those parts. Also an older crowd on this ship. On to Burgundy, France, which was just not a great stop. The winery tour just didn't do it for us. Our next stop was Bilbao, Spain. We did dock, and had plans for a great shore excursion, but when we looked at our actual tickets, it was just too strenuous for us, compared to what we had read in the description. Other excursions were sold out, so, oh well...stuff happens. Now, on to Lisbon, Portugal, and that was a wonderful excursion, and a great day. The Azores Islands were our last scheduled port, and the one that we most looked forward to. Nope! Hurricane Lorenzo was headed there too, so we turned tail and sailed away. The captain made a great decision that time too, so we had 8 more days on the ocean. Ugh...don't take this cruise during hurricane season! Lucky for us, we met some great new friends, and had partners for Rummy 500 every day. Trivia is always fun. Performances at Princess Theatre were just a little too opera-like for our taste. We also had some nice, warm days on the deck in the shade. As you will see from my scoring, we were very happy with the crew, room steward and all of the great wait staff who were right there for us. The food was great, as usual... Some unfortunate events, which started with the fact that we boarded a ship full of sick folks in Southampton. They were carrying over from earlier cruises. Bad chest cold...everyone had the same horrible cough...others had some kind of flu, and had to be quarantined to their cabins. We got sick, yes, as careful as we were, but we got over it in a few days. Even had a couple of unfortunate folks who had to be evacuated from the ship due to illness. Our most huge mistake was not getting a balcony cabin. Our inside cabin was plenty roomy, but we needed fresh air in our cabin! The best item that we brought onboard was a fan! I am posting cabin photos. R515 interior cabin. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This ship is in terrible shape. Carpets are worn and faded, beside being dirty. The elevator doors are all scraped and peeling. Our cabin steward was less than honest. The food was average and the same as all Princess cruises. ... Read More
This ship is in terrible shape. Carpets are worn and faded, beside being dirty. The elevator doors are all scraped and peeling. Our cabin steward was less than honest. The food was average and the same as all Princess cruises. Nothing new. Cruise director staff was very inexperienced. Elevators were under constant repair. The entertainment was actually above average. Wait staff in the dining room were a joke. Assistant waiter did not know if a fish dish was baked or fried. Neither did the waiter. No consistency from day to day. There were ports I have not been to previously were on itinerary. I enjoy repositioning cruises thar take me home to Ft. Lauderdale.`Unfortunately on the second leg of cruise we missed a third of the ports due to weather. No contingency plan for missed ports. Had to stop in Madeira to drop off a patient. We should have stayed a day to make up for missing Portland or that Azores, but did not. Turning the last 8 days of cruise to "sea" days. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This is our 13 Cruise trip and the third with Cunard. We sailed before on QE and QV, but it was our first time on the mighty QM2. The ship was iconic and displayed luxury interior deco in all areas. However, it lacked some of Cunard ... Read More
This is our 13 Cruise trip and the third with Cunard. We sailed before on QE and QV, but it was our first time on the mighty QM2. The ship was iconic and displayed luxury interior deco in all areas. However, it lacked some of Cunard elements and plenty of cosmetic maintenance. We understand that it has been built as a translantic ocean liner, but the entertainment and the activities did not meet our expectations for 8 days full sea sailing. The food was great in term of quality, quantity and dining experience. We can't say exceptional or outstanding tho. Although, the customer service was pleasant by the staff in the public areas and the cabin alike, the senior management did not show positive courtesy or professional attitude. We had an incident on board for which the ship had to divert to Halifax and transfer an ill passenger, so we made it to New York with 5 hours delay. Unfortunately, at Brooklyn Red Hook embarkation on Friday, the customs and passport control process was utterly unorganised and disappointingly slow. It was a major complaint from most passengers and we heard a lot of unprofessional issues. The CPD officers lost a British passport while processing one passenger entry clearance between them, and they initially refused to admit liability, then they asked him to request an emergency travel document from the British consulate after four hours in order to catch up with his flight back to UK on Sunday. Cunard staff did not offer any help or assistance. We have decided to conclude our cruising experience with Cunard for the time being because the cruise line is not making any effort in diversifying their clientele, and providing extra excitements to middle aged passengers and young people. The planetarium, the Gym and the Swimming pools were extremely under used, and a lot of outdoor space was not utilised during this cruise. If you suffer from sea sickness, this is one of the most stable ships we have ever been as far you booked in the middle low floors. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019

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