Cruise Ratings
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 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
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Booked the Queens Grill = £9.000 so quite expensive. Was expecting a real quality experience but very quickly realised it was not all it was made up to be. So, arrived in Southampton and entered a chaotic cattle shed where I was shunted ... Read More
Booked the Queens Grill = £9.000 so quite expensive. Was expecting a real quality experience but very quickly realised it was not all it was made up to be. So, arrived in Southampton and entered a chaotic cattle shed where I was shunted to the priority line. Walked on the ship to be told “the lift is over their, like “get on with it”. Walked around aimlessly for a bit and really found my cabin (943) by chance. Cabin was clean, bathroom tiles were dirty. A welcome was conspicuous by its absence. Food in the Queens Grill was like clockwork .. boring and on numerous times Luke warm. I never got the Gala Nights. Put on a DJ to eat dinner, nothing else, I expected the captain to sit with us or a gala ball for the Queens Grill ... nothing. What was very surprising is that during the entire trip not once did any management come to us to say “welcome” or “how it the trip” .. there was no discerning quality, they just wanted your money. So where was “packing and unpacking, or a morning pot of tea” .. didn’t exist. The evening canapés delivered to the room were simply low grade pate or other stodge. Cut my leg badly on the edge of a chair on the deck and asked a crew member to get me a plaster, he just walked away. The whole experience felt like a Chanel Ferry crossing .. once you leave the ship in New York you are on your own. There is NO assistance to locate your baggage or assistance with carrying. We are elderly and really struggled through the immigration hall and border controls to the chaotic outside with NO assistance to find a taxi .. total chaos. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Pricing for this crossing was less than one way business class airfare, so we decided to come back to the USA in style after crusing over to Dublin on a Celebrity Cruise ship. What a GREAT choice! We will definitely choose this method ... Read More
Pricing for this crossing was less than one way business class airfare, so we decided to come back to the USA in style after crusing over to Dublin on a Celebrity Cruise ship. What a GREAT choice! We will definitely choose this method of travel again. Loved the food, the service and the ship. I tend to sea sickness and we were on deck 11, very high up. With 30 foot waves, this is the smoothest sailing ship I have been on. No rocking and rolling, just like a baby's cradle at night. You can do as much or as little as you want on this sailing. Entertainment is OK, but the lectures are very interesting. Warning, everyone likes them and afternoon tea, so get in line early, there is a lot of "waiting in line" for activities. But who cares, it is much better than a flight home from Europe and getting jet lag. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Because I'm a cruisey and it is the newest ship. The Retreat lounge was ok and I liked the idea that food was once again served in this lounge. I never made it to the Captain's Club. Our group, all in suites, liked to finish ... Read More
Because I'm a cruisey and it is the newest ship. The Retreat lounge was ok and I liked the idea that food was once again served in this lounge. I never made it to the Captain's Club. Our group, all in suites, liked to finish the evening at the Martini Bar - that's really so neat. The bar every so often is allowed to "mix martinis" showing their talents - every hour, I think. They were very tasty and the living room concept was comfortable. We went to the workout room and was impressed with all of the equipment and never had to wait for a machine. The hallways were a little cold at times but happily able to completely regulate room temperature with a digital unit. Raw on 5 was my favorite dining experience because the fillet Mignon was just to die for. We loved Le Petit Chef and would do it again - the Primecut (I think was the name - the steak house) served lamb, veal and wonderful cuts of aged fillet. Our friends brought Caymus and we were able to serve that to dine. All in all it was a great trip, my only comment is that the ship is new, staff has to grow to understand the steps of serving in this new configuration. They'll get there - they always do. This was our 41st cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Overall loved the ship!. Is it my favourite Celebrity ship?: Probably BUT they do need to deal with some of the fixable points below (most of which have already been mentioned by other people. We will be back (and soon!) Celebrity Edge ... Read More
Overall loved the ship!. Is it my favourite Celebrity ship?: Probably BUT they do need to deal with some of the fixable points below (most of which have already been mentioned by other people. We will be back (and soon!) Celebrity Edge pros and cons Pros Good use of public space. Everything seems spacious. Ocean view not frantic and lots of table space even on notorious busy days like Embarkation and long port days return. Good use of every inch. Guest relations, future cruise etc all very open plan. No desk between you and staff Love all the hidden places that you only discover after a few days. Love the Eden space. All the different levels Staff very attentive and friendly. Food standards seem higher than other celebrity ships in all areas. Love the panini etc at Eden for lunch. Like the split 4 main dining rooms. Never seems to look really mobbed. Always got a seat at times we wanted. Hosts very helpful. Cafe del bacio much bigger area now and is good place to chill at any time. Lots of sun lounger space and seems to have lots of shaded areas (apart from maybe the top deck). Fabulous massive pool. Never is full because of the space. Magic carpet quite nice for few drinks but (see later for cons). Good viewing area if in port. All the stair areas, lobbies etc much more space. More lifts than normal and bigger. Love the running ,walking track. So much more interesting than normal circuit idea as goes all over ship and over more than one deck. Love the theatre. Great shape and the IT is well used as part of the show. Shows were very professional. Jacuzzis much bigger and better placed. Eden restaurant very interesting experience. Fabulous food CONS Magic carpet looks hideous. Seems pretty useless unless in warmer and calmer ports as the windproofing is non existent. First three days of our cruise wasn’t really used at all. Cabanas which are supposed to give seclusion and views out to sea useless as everyone walks right past them all day AND magic carpet is 95% of the day right across from them so view obstructed! I never once saw them used in 10 days. Found the garden area nice but mostly unusable again due to lack of wind or shade protection. Unless in port and in very warm climates not really used apart from for films during the day. Don’t like the total ‘class’ split now. Suites guests are now totally cut off from normal passengers during the day and for meals. Miss the panoramic lounge viewing at the front which is now suite guests only. Even though Celebrity are obviously wanting to attract younger clientele, they (like most other lines) insist on the same music Mix of 50s and 60s. Ie beetles, Elvis etc. Some more modern please although ive now heard that the music was changed to older stuff because of complaints ! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We took a repositioning transatlantic cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Southampton on Celebrity’s Silhouette, then took Cunard’s QM II back to the States. Taking longer trips is one of the perks of being retired! Retired or not ... Read More
We took a repositioning transatlantic cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Southampton on Celebrity’s Silhouette, then took Cunard’s QM II back to the States. Taking longer trips is one of the perks of being retired! Retired or not though, I don’t appreciate Cunard’s ineptitude at getting passengers on and off the ship; a basic and routine task. As Platinum members we had a special line for embarkation. We waited until noon to get on, but I could hear the same announcements that I’ve heard on each of the 6 times I’ve been on Cunard about how something "unexpectedly" went wrong which was causing the long delay. I had boarded, had lunch, came off again, walked to the Southampton shopping mall, came back at 4 pm for a 4:30 all aboard, and the area was still jam packed with passengers waiting to board. Cunard really needs to stop making excuses and get this simple job done right, every time. Of the 43 cruises we’ve been on with various cruise lines, I’ve never been on a cruise that I didn’t absolutely love. This cruise was no exception. We had a great time. My taste is contemporary, so QM2’s old ship décor charm was somewhat lost on me. We were in a “sheltered balcony cabin” # 5023. Sheltered means the outside of balcony wall is not glass, but metal (although oddly, I couldn’t get a magnet to stick to it). Often we take the extra savings provided with an inside cabin since we really only sleep and shower in the cabin. However, we “splurged” this time since I do like the ceiling-to-floor, wall-to-wall daylight. The cabin was inconveniently away at the front and normally we pick a more strategically located cabin when we pick inside. Turned out we spent more time in the cabin than planned as the ship was very cold and we often dashed back to the cabin where we had the heat cranked up. On Celebrity Silhouette the towels were old and thin, so we felt like royalty with Cunard’s plush soft thick towels. The food was good, but not as good as Celebrity’s. For instance, my husband is a meat-and-potato guy so he’s so easy to please. At lunch first day he looked for his usual ham and cheese sandwich only to be told it was way at the other end of the cafeteria. When he got there they directed him back to where he’d started. Now, uncharacteristically frustrated, he went back and demanded his simple request. They told him he couldn’t get it today, but each day he could order one for the following day! On ANY of the 43 cruises we’ve been on, there’s a deli-like sandwich bar where you can have any sandwich of your choice for lunch. From there, as far as food was concerned, it was just all downhill for him. As for me, I missed my daily salad for lunch. Sure, there were salad offerings, but just not as many items to include in it as I’m used to (never grape tomatoes) and certainly there were never fresh berries of any kind, at any time. I’m a chocaholic and on one formal night, the cafeteria had 1” chocolate Cunard-logo logs with flavors inside to die for. I’d go on the cruise again and again just for those little chocolates! Cruising transatlantic is different from Caribbean cruises in that Cunard emphasizes dressing up. On the 7-day Atlantic crossing there are three formal nights, but actually every night is pretty much a formal affair (although the food doesn’t always reflect it). There are more guest lectures and I enjoyed the short plays as slightly different entertainment. There are more guest “competitions” (golf, hoops etc.) than other ships; Zumba is free and there’s a variety of ballroom dance classes as well as line dancing. Cunard ships have a large ballroom which is unique, and even more unique is that it is actually used at night for ballroom dancing, complete with a half-dozen men who are paid to ask single women to dance. The ballroom of course has many other uses during in day time. Celebrity arrived in Southampton one day, and the next day we sailed back to the States. We've been to London several times and we'd both spent our first 20 years in Scotland so we weren't interested in visiting there. Celebrity arrived at 5:30 am and we took the 8 am ferry to the Isle of Wight where we visited Osborne House (Queen Victoria's vacation home and where she eventually died) and Carisbrooke Castle where Charles the first was imprisoned before being beheaded. Pretty island and worth the trip. Fish and chips on the ferry on the return journey just hit the spot. We spent the night at the Holiday Inn on Herbert walker Ave (highly recommend it) which is just outside the gate of the port where we docked so we walked straight there and next morning we walked to the nearby Titanic sites and around the Walls of old Southampton. We still had time to shop at the shopping mall right down town and Cunard's ship was also within walking distance. So we had two days and one night before sailing home. A trip I would have like to have taken would be to Highclere (Downtown Abbey) but they have limited opening days. With the ship arriving at 5:30 am you could take a train to London and enjoy the day there, but of course you would want to spend the night somewhere. With our Celebrity ship we could have taken a back-to-back to Norway (kicked myself when I realized this too late) and since Cunard's QM2 leaves Southampton (alternatively New York) every 2 weeks, we could have taken a later cruise back to the States. Oh well, maybe another time. Yes, I’d say when I take another transatlantic cruise from (or back to the States) in Europe I’d travel to Southampton to take this ship back to the States rather than fly. The 2 week cruise on Celebrity was great, changing the clock only every other day. On Cunard it was almost every day (shorter cruise) but far better than changing the clock 5 hours in one shot when flying. Flying is tough enough. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Inaugural cruise promised so much and delivered so little. Here are just some of the issues: * Wardrobe doors. Very cheap sliding doors that constantly jam! * Wardrobe depth too shallow to hang clothes unless hung diagonally. * ... Read More
Inaugural cruise promised so much and delivered so little. Here are just some of the issues: * Wardrobe doors. Very cheap sliding doors that constantly jam! * Wardrobe depth too shallow to hang clothes unless hung diagonally. * Costantly creaking cabin, banging within walls and creaking balcony door frame. * Limited food options without paying upto €30+++pp in specialist restaurants. * Very poor customer service . * Few lounges apart from those reserved for Yatch Club. * Zoe completely useless, cannot answer any on board of off board questions. Bluetooth will pair to be device but it's bluetooth is too slow to be of any use. * No cabin extras such as toiletries,  not even pencil. * They should have spent more on a decent cabin structures rather than Bling in the public areas. * Untested and or unfriendly technology Zoe etc, tv, interactive screens on deck. No English entertainment channels. * 6 March glasses smashed and bottles fell off shelfs. Chairs slid across the buffet restaurant. In my opinion this ship was close to its limits that night. * TOP ENTERTAINMENT! Hand shadows was the gala night entertainment!!!!! The main restaurant staff were brilliant despite the small portions they had to serve up to guests. I have taken 20 previous cruises across 6 now 7 cruise lines, and MSC has been by far the worst in terms of entertainment, food, facilities, and staff. The Captain did not address the guests once despite abandoning one of the ports of call (La Caruna ) Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Took easiest and most comfortable way to meet Oceania Nautica in Cape Town. Excellent port calls. Better than flying. 5* Art Deco furnishings. 3* service. Staff does not smile and does not greet guests unless guest talks first. Service ... Read More
Took easiest and most comfortable way to meet Oceania Nautica in Cape Town. Excellent port calls. Better than flying. 5* Art Deco furnishings. 3* service. Staff does not smile and does not greet guests unless guest talks first. Service seemed to be a burden on crew. Our cabin steward was the exception. Smaller than Phone booth size showers drove many to use showers in the fitness center. Balcony ok for two. Glass and rails were cleaned twice. Entertainment and lecture series outstanding. Am now on Oceania Nautica where food quality and presentation are far superior. The Brits seemed to like and praise the food but we could not. Stewards pushed guests aside with service carts in the buffet line. They had no other path to transport clean or used tableware. Paper napkins in the buffet at night are not in step with the smart dress code requested. Maybe the Queen is intended as transportation rather than cruising. It does that well at 22+ knots. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This was our first Fred. Olsen experience, a repositioning cruise from Southampton to Barbados ending just before Christmas. Perhaps it was for that reason that the ship was only 2/3 full. We had picked just the right time to get caught up ... Read More
This was our first Fred. Olsen experience, a repositioning cruise from Southampton to Barbados ending just before Christmas. Perhaps it was for that reason that the ship was only 2/3 full. We had picked just the right time to get caught up in the Gatwick drone chaos - but we anticipate. Read on for The Case of the Disgruntled Bridegroom. The deck plans for Braemar show no facilities for children or teens. This was rather a plus point as we are both in our early 70s and like a quiet life, but it was a bit startling to discover within a very few hours that the ship was essentially a floating old folks' home. We were well on the youthful end of the spectrum. Interestingly, there was a surprising number of singles. Embarkation was totally painless: 20 minutes after arriving, both we and the cases were in the cabin. This was pretty basic (hand wash dispenser, 2-in-1 in the shower is as much as you get in the bathroom) and at the lower end of the range for space, but clean and perfectly adequate. The food was excellent. We've cruised with half a dozen other lines and this was the best we've ever had. It's fixed time dining only in the Thistle and Grampian restaurants, there is also the Palms buffet which we used infrequently. The service from the staff was as attentive and efficient as we've had anywhere - there was the occasional misunderstanding but you can get that with any line. Another first-class aspect was the ship's song-and-dance team - only 4 singers and 4 dancers, but they had people on their feet applauding with a Queen-themed evening. We took 3 ship's tours and they were a bit of a curate's egg: the basic coach tour of Lisbon was just not particularly interesting; at St Maarten, Someone Had Blundered - it took us an hour to get the mile to a beach bar because the water-taxi we were promised didn't start till noon on Sunday; on the other hand, the St Kitts Scenic Railway was a great experience. Having given the basic facts, let's turn to the overall experience, and it seemed to us that Fred. Olsen inhabit a faintly surreal alternative universe that gave a unique flavour to the cruise: - we found tea-making facilities in the cabin - but they live in the wardrobe; - the cabin TV information system was a delight. When we boarded (Monday) it was showing the activity programme for last Thursday; the ship locator shows either the entire world, a patch of blue about 20 miles across or (apparently) a line of buoys in the Amazon or River Plate. Ship's time and TV time are not always the same thing. - dining in Thistle when the ship is manoeuvring in port is an experience not to be missed: the engines thunder, everything shakes, the glass and cutlery chink and rattle. Shut your eyes and pretend you're Jim Lovell taking off in Apollo 13. - if you want to change table or sitting, they will CHARGE YOU (if you're Anchor class, viz. you've got a cheap deal). - whatever you do, watch the video on how to put disembarkation labels on your cases BEFORE trying to do it yourself. I could go on. The fact remains, we had a thoroughly enjoyable cruise: the weather and seas were good, there were plenty of sunbeds, I put on 6lb ... With disembarkation, they rose to the occasion. Half the guests were due to fly back to Gatwick, but couldn't because the outcoming flight was cancelled thanks to drones. We were given reallocated cabins for an extra night on board. The empty cabin we were allocated had wedding bells and a Do Not Disturb sign ready for the arriving couple. The trouble was, they were already in residence when we tried to get in ... Someone Else Had Blundered. They got us away effectively 24 hours late, and I think they handled it as well as anyone could reasonably expect. Not an enjoyable experience but not their fault. One last point about the flight back: apparently Fred. Olsen charter a Thomas Cook Airbus. As one can, I went on the TC website and paid for extra legroom seats. Apparently they take no notice of this because the boarding passes we were given were for quite different, standard, seats. However, all's well that ends well: we raised this with the cabin staff and they put us in 2 spare Premium seats. Had the flight been full, though ... worth thinking about. A good trip. Would we go again? Definitely. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Was due to sale to Boston/New York/Florida but with big seas in the North Atlantic the captain decided to change the itinerary(twice).There was a lot of people who decided not to travel,it was mentioned 1000 and i would just like to thank ... Read More
Was due to sale to Boston/New York/Florida but with big seas in the North Atlantic the captain decided to change the itinerary(twice).There was a lot of people who decided not to travel,it was mentioned 1000 and i would just like to thank them all.The latest itinerary took us from Southampton to The canaries and on to the Bahamas and Florida with flat seas and clear sky’s 75/80 degrees for the six days at sea across the Atlantic.With only 2200 guests there was no need to change nationality to get a bed and all the bars and restaurants were easy to use.The food was fantastic and the level of service throughout the cruise was superb and on top of clear sky’s,flat seas,stunning food and fantastic service we received £250.00 from cruise 1st,$310.00 dollars on board spend and 25% off our next cruise and missed spending a fortune in Boston and New York.The staff in all departments were properly the best I’ve encountered with a special mention to Sweden and Benjamin our two excellent waiters where nothing was to much trouble.So i would just like to say what a fantastic cruise and thank you to all the people that cancelled which made it such a great crossing. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Oh, Mr Porter, what shall I do? I wanted to go to Boston and New York and they've taken me on to the Canary Isles....OK, it doesn't rhyme or fit the tune, but it sums up what happened to us on our first experience of cruising. ... Read More
Oh, Mr Porter, what shall I do? I wanted to go to Boston and New York and they've taken me on to the Canary Isles....OK, it doesn't rhyme or fit the tune, but it sums up what happened to us on our first experience of cruising. My wife and I decided two years ago to blow our savings on a cruise down the Eastern Seabord of the USA. Royal Caribbean International were advertising a 13 night cruise leaving from Southampton in early November, calling at Boston, New York, Port Canaveral and Miami - all places we had never visited, but would very much like to see. We took a deep breath and booked, then waited as the months crawled by, getting excited at the prospect of the Big Adventure ahead. Two weeks before departure, I went in to hospital and we had to miss the sailing. Insurance paid for most of the financial loss, so when an identical cruise was advertised last February, we decided to tempt fate and book up again. This time we were both fit and well as the day of departure arrived. Unfortunately, as it turned out, the ship wasn't in quite such great shape. Newspapers carried the story of a catastrophic failure of one of the stabilsers which caused hull damage and resulted in the cruise before ours being curtailed for emergency repairs. Then came the storm warnings. Late on the Friday before Monday's sailing our travel agents contacted us to say that because of adverse weather conditions in the Atlantic, the ship would not be calling into Boston, New York or Port Canaveral, but instead would spend time in Belgium and French ports before taking a southerly route to Miami. With someone else booked to move into our house the next day to dog-sit, and goodness knows how much already spent on return air-travel, overnight stays and car-hire, we felt we had no choice but to continue with the cruise, even though we had zero interest in spending time in Bruges or LeHavre. (No offence, Belgium and France, but we have visited you lots of times before.) Our disappointment was utter, and there was little excitement left when we went on board The Navigator for our first cruising experience. Things appeared to look up when, just before sailing, the Captain came on the Tannoy to say that - reponding again to weather changes - we would now be sailing direct to the Canary Isles, then crossing the Atlantic to the Bahamas for a day's water sports and sunbathing on a tropical island before going to Port Canaveral. (Back on the list). Nine happy days at sea allowed us to work up an appetite for the day of snorkling and coral reef exploration we were promised on Coco Cay, the RCI's private island paradise in the Bahamas. Crossing the Bay of Biscay was pretty choppy as the broken stabiliser was still not working, but the seas soon calmed down to a light swell. The crew were magnificent, the onboard entertainment excellent, and because so many people had cancelled at the last minute, we virtually had a waiter each. Life on board was relaxing and fun-packed, and our spirits rose. Sure, we had missed meeting our old friends in New York, and we never got to see Boston, but the sun was shining, the southern breezes were balmy, and there was that delicious day of water sports in the Bahamas to look forward to. The Day arrived, and the whole ship's complement lined up to disembark, larded in sun cream and already dressed in swimming gear. Announcement over the Tannoy: "Because of the swell, tenders are not prepared to put out from the island. We will not now be spending the day on Coco Cay but will divert to Freeport for a few hours on Grand Bahama." More dashed hopes. More cancelled excursions. But still, there was a guided tour of the Everglades at Port Canaveral to look forward to tomorrow, wasn't there? Well, no, actually, becuase later that day, after a rather uninteresting few hours on the quayside at Freeport, we had the message that all guided tours booked for the next day were off because of "immigration difficulties." So far, of the four excursions we had booked, none had or would now take place. As a last ditch effort to have some fun somewhere, we booked a shuttle ride to Magic Kingdom. Been there before, and it costs an arm and a leg, but, hey, we're on holiday. The ship docked in Port Canaveral. The shuttle bus made it to the Magic Kingdom. We had five hours in the park - just time for two rides and a ten-minute show - then back to the ship. Or so we thought. The coach broke down on the way back. We waited forty minutes in a gas station for a replacement bus, and ended up back at the ship seconds before it sailed, missing half of our last meal on board because we were so late back, and having to wear the same clothes we had worn for a sweaty day in the seething Disney park. Short of actually sinking mid-Atlantic, it is difficult to see how anything else could have gone wrong on this voyage. We have never cruised before - is our experience typical? Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We had a really bad storm in the Atlantic that necessitated changing the itinerary we ended up with 10 sea days where 9 of these days it was impossible to go on deck. There was not enough to do No Bridge Director leaving at least 60+ ... Read More
We had a really bad storm in the Atlantic that necessitated changing the itinerary we ended up with 10 sea days where 9 of these days it was impossible to go on deck. There was not enough to do No Bridge Director leaving at least 60+ guests very disappointed also very few quizzes 1 music and the daily progressive and the odd trivia certainly not enough for a full ship stuck inside for 10 days. I have been on 7 Transatlantic crossings (2 with Celebrity Eclipse) and there has always been a Director for duplicate bridge. Sue the cruise Director told us Celebrity don’t do it any more. Most other cruise lines with 3 or more consecutive days at sea always have a bridge director who teaches and organizes Duplicate Bridge. A watercolour artist was advertised but never materialized. Really feel Celebrity have gone down hill since they did away with formal nights the evening chic does not work the dress is very casual for those who like to dress up. They have certainly cut back, no news papers anymore, no port maps and so much of the entertainment entails paying extra these days. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We always enjoy TransAtlantic cruises. This was our 5th trip. We enjoy the many "At Sea" days, sitting in the Solarium ( due to weather ) and reading books, or talking with other guests in the Hot Tubs! First of all, kudos to ... Read More
We always enjoy TransAtlantic cruises. This was our 5th trip. We enjoy the many "At Sea" days, sitting in the Solarium ( due to weather ) and reading books, or talking with other guests in the Hot Tubs! First of all, kudos to Sue Denning, the wickedly wonderful Cruise Director! Very talented Brit, who made every night enjoyable with her wit and talent. Embarkation and debarkation were fine ( as usual ). On the ship in minutes. Off ship later in the day, which we are fine with as we always stay one extra day to avoid the crowds at Ft. Lauderdale Airport. Our room was typical of the balcony rooms we have had before. Rootesh, our stateroom attendant, truly cared about making sure our cabin was refreshed early every day and evening. Not much time spent on balcony on TransAtlantics in the winter months, but still enjoy the view. The captain did a great job of directing the ship away from Hurricane Oscar, which had parked off the UK coast. Taking us further south, we skipped the larger waves and storms ( although we still had 16 ft swells, which we never have had before on TA cruises). Due to repositioning due to storm, we had to cancel Nassau ( not a big deal for us). Entertainment was fair at best. We are constant cruisers, so we have seen all of the production shows several times. There were a few outstanding acts during the sea days, but wasn't great most nights. Food in dining room was fine each night. We crack up how the portions get smaller and smaller ( although if you want more, you can still have it ).Vishal, our sever, made sure we were happy everynight. Buffet food quality continues to get worse and worse on each cruise we take. Due to so many Brits on the ship, we were treated to many more UK dishes, including lots of curries. This was great. Just sad that the QUALITY of food continues to be cut on every cruise we go on ( thanks, corporate accountants!!) We are Captain's Club Elite Plus, so enjoy the free drinks each night, great coffees at Cafe Al Bacio, internet and laundry perks. We will continue to support Celebrity cruises and look forward to our upcoming cruise on the new EDGE. Ports: Boston is always good ( a bit cold this time of year ) Great food, interesting history...don't miss North Boston with the best Italian food and pastries around. An overnight in NYC was the highlight of the cruise. We enjoyed so much in the city, including great meals, shopping and sightseeing. We have been to Bermuda a few times, so other than waliking around King's Wharf, we found nothing special. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Before the cruise, I had read a number of reviews here and elsewhere. Seemed that most people enjoy their experience and I say that I did enjoy the cruise when the following wasn't brought into the picture: 1. Food Quality - not ... Read More
Before the cruise, I had read a number of reviews here and elsewhere. Seemed that most people enjoy their experience and I say that I did enjoy the cruise when the following wasn't brought into the picture: 1. Food Quality - not what I was expecting at all - the food was not bad, but at the same time not great. Some examples: Turkey used in the club sandwich is pressed and processed so was the turkey used in the main dining room. Soups were ladened with salt as was most items served in the main dining room. Shrimp cocktail was served a couple of times on nasty old lettuce (see photo). 2. Waiting for dinner is similar to walking through Time Square - if you enjoy being accosted by hawkers you will love Celebrity and the way they push you to go to a specialty restaurant - Non-stop!! As a side note - the main dining room often seemed like a chaotic mess - service standards at lunch and around 8:30 pm was mediocre at best with the staff seemly perplexed that they had people to serve. 3. Begging for 10's on your survey makes me less interested in giving you a 10! I understand staff and company alike need feedback to improve, but begging for higher scores is hardly the way to go about it. That said our dining and room staff did fantastic work! 4. Guest Relations - this staff group could use a basic course in customer service. They lacked any care for their guests, which I would assume is their primary function. Even basic requests seemed too difficult to handle and too complicated for them to take the time to resolve. I have been on lesser lines that seemed to do a better job with the overall experience. Granted I did enjoy the stateroom and the ports of call - I just hope that Celebrity will stop the hard sell of extras and future cruises and the constant begging for good survey scores. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We are Elite Captain's Club members but we felt that there was little recognition given on this cruise. Our "priority embarkation" was no faster than the normal embarkation. We tried the Elite "coffee club" ... Read More
We are Elite Captain's Club members but we felt that there was little recognition given on this cruise. Our "priority embarkation" was no faster than the normal embarkation. We tried the Elite "coffee club" breakfast twice enticed by the offer of quality coffee but found harried staff, poor service, crowded venues, and poor coffee. The recognition event was pretty uninspired - does Celebrity think that a glass or two of wine makes this a wow event? We found the standard of the Main Dining Room menu has gone down. We ended up going to Murano and Tuscan Grille 6 times - rather expensive but great service and food. We were disappointed that the old Qsine had beed replaced by Le Petit Chef. The new format does not make up for a very unimaginative fixed menu. We were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the lecturers. We were particularly inspired by Jim Kennedy. The entertainment was fairly good. We loved the acrobats, the guest violinist, the band, and the male vocalists. We note that there was a problem with the Sabbath service. For some reason, the company policy is NOT to include this event on the daily calendar whilst other meetings such as the friends of Dorothy and Bill W are! The only reference to the service was on a community notice board. Unfortunately on this cruise the meeting place was changed causing problems for those who wished to attend. Finally we were disappointed that there was no organised bridge on the cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
15 DAY TRANS-ATLANTIC This cruise was advertised as “Boston, Broadway and Bermuda” which caught my eye immediately. This year DH and I were celebrating our 50th Anniversary and we wanted to do something unique for us. Never having ... Read More
15 DAY TRANS-ATLANTIC This cruise was advertised as “Boston, Broadway and Bermuda” which caught my eye immediately. This year DH and I were celebrating our 50th Anniversary and we wanted to do something unique for us. Never having been to London, NYC, or Bermuda, it was an opportunity to check these places off of our bucket list. Family issues held us back from booking early. When we finally called our trusty TA Donna in early July, we were concerned about where our cabin would be located. Thinking about booking a 2A, she was able to get us a one category upgrade for being Select members as well as a discount. Somehow we ended up with a 1-A, cabin 7264 on the hump with a larger balcony, my dream come true. We decided to fly into London 2 days early so we would see the sights. United had a direct flight from Chicago to London and Donna was able to use Custom Air through Celebrity for a great price. We upgraded to Economy Plus for more leg room and a roomier seat. The plane was configured 2-3-2 and Donna reserved 2 seats with a window. Donna felt that leaving at 10 PM would make it easier to sleep on the plane. Arriving around 11 AM, she felt we might be able to check into our room earlier. Booking late also impacted our departure flight from Fort Lauderdale with all the reasonable prices/times sold out. It didn’t help that we were arriving back in the USA on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Booking through Priceline, (more on that later) I found a hotel and a rental car that wouldn’t break the bank for an additional day. Researching Cruise Critic’s London board, I discovered the National Express Bus that would take us from Heathrow to the Victoria Coach Station for 5 GBP/pp. Booking online for 2 nights at the Grosvenor Hotel, it was a mere 0.3 miles from the bus station. Taking the coach/bus would also work for our trip to Southampton to board the ship. This was the best option for us and each bus trip was direct. Our son and his wife wanted to treat us to a private car from airport to hotel. I knew this would cost >100 GBP and just couldn’t justify the cost when we could take the bus for such a bargain price. They surprised us with something else. Online discovery of the London Day Pass which gives you access to all major attractions and several minor ones. Being optimistic, I purchased 2 passes for 2 days, thinking back to previous trips with a girlfriend, where we hit the ground running when we arrived. Going to London in November, we expected smaller crowds, especially since Hurricane Oscar was creating unpleasant weather at the time. Preparing for this trip, I created a binder to hold all our travel documents, an idea I found on Cruise Critic. There was no need to book a tour for Boston. Our daughter and her family live in Cambridge and the plan was to spend the day with them and utilize their washer and dryer. We chose a private tour in NYC to visit the 9/11 Memorial, museum and the Freedom Tower. Joining our Roll Call, we connected with Tony and Jennie who had booked a private tour in Bermuda. After 15 cruises, we are converts to private tours versus the more expensive and crowded ship’s tours. Packing for this trip was a dilemma as we needed clothing for cool weather as well as warm. Having packed his suitcase, DH decided to go shopping 2 hours before our ride to the airport. His choices were fine; skinny jeans, shirt and new shoes. All of which he decided to wear for the trip. I had suggested that we both wear compression hose to help prevent our legs from swelling on the long flight. Checking in for our flight, we discovered our seats had been changed. After much discussion with the gate agents and our TA, we find that the aircraft has been changed and we are now in the middle of an aisle, three across in an exit row. Lots of leg room but horribly uncomfortable for an 8 hour trip. By the time we were settled, DH informed me that he had blisters on his heels and the compression hose had slid down to his ankles and he couldn’t pull them up due to the skinny jeans. Needless to say, he did not sleep at all and I managed a few hours only because of meds. Thursday~November 1 Arriving in London almost an hour early, we spent an hour in line to clear Customs. We walked aimlessly trying to find our luggage after asking different “helpers” before someone finally steered us correctly. Following the signs, it was quite the scavenger hunt to find the bus station. Walking right up to the ticket counter, the lady took my printout, slapped a little sticker on it, signed it and directed us to the correct door for our bus. Doing a quick turnaround, the seats were still warm when we boarded for our 40 minute ride to London. Leaving Victoria Coach Station, I took a wrong turn on Buckingham Palace Road and we walked a few blocks before I asked someone for directions. (We don’t have smart phones.) Finally arriving at the Grosvenor, we had haul our heavy suitcases up the stairs to get in the front door. But that is the only complaint we have about this property. The lobby is opulent and I swear, perfumed. We were informed at check in that our room had been upgraded from a twin to a deluxe double. Explaining that I had ordered the twins because the double bed was too small and we had a King at home. The desk clerk was very sweet and said she would look into it but we wouldn’t have a room for about an hour. It was now about 2 PM and DH really wanted to get off his feet so we headed into the restaurant for some refreshment. Even after a few cups of coffee DH was dead on his feet by the time 3 PM rolled around. Back to the desk where we were given a room number, a key card and informed that our luggage was already in our room. Walking into the room we were delighted to find that we had been upgraded to a deluxe King. Also in the room was a bowl of fruit, a bottle of sparkling wine and a small plate with some small cakes and strawberries. Written on the plate in chocolate was “50th Anniversary”. We had no idea where this had come from. It wasn’t until we were home that our daughter-in-law told us that she had arranged this lovely surprise for us. The room was very nice with a small built-in coffee bar and an electric kettle on the desk. The bed was quite comfortable as we promptly discovered. It didn’t take much for us to fall asleep for 3 hours. Awake around 7 PM, DH did not want to walk around outside so we made some tea and coffee and partook of the fruit and cake. Watched some very bad English TV shows and some mediocre American shows and we asleep again by 10 PM. Friday~November 2 Once we were up and showered we decided to try the hotel’s breakfast buffet. The choices were fine and quality pretty good. We had noticed the day before that the two major HOHO bus lines stopped just outside the front door. The London Day pass included one day of either one. Weather was sunny after about a week of rain from Hurricane Oscar. We walked out the front door and stood by the bus stop sign. A big red two decker bus arrived and we were able to get some seats. Unfortunately for us, everyone else was out and about enjoying the nice weather. We spent more time stuck in traffic than moving from place to place. Not sure what we wanted to see, I took most of my photos through the bus window. Every place the bus stopped was overrun with crowds. Finally we decided to exit at Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament which was the one place the London Day Pass didn’t include. Big Ben was enclosed in scaffolding. Headed over to the Abbey and got into the easily block long line which snaked about the grounds. It was after 2 PM and it closed at 4:30. Deciding that this was a waste of our time, we left the Abbey and got back on the bus to try our luck at the Tower of London. More crowds but we were able to go right to the entrance and our passes were scanned for entrance. Missed the beginning of the last yeoman warder tour but we did join one for a short time. I wanted to see the Crown Jewels and it was again a very long line. DH was very unhappy about this but I got in line anyway. Surprisingly, it moved faster than we anticipated and even DH was glad we were able to see these amazing jewels. There was still quite a few people inside so visited the other buildings as well. It was dusk/rush hour as we made our way back to the bus line. Debated getting off at the London Eye for the hour ride but in the end decided dinner was next. Both of us were still feeling the effects of our jet lag and almost missed our stop at the hotel. Tried to get into the Bag O’ Nails pub but it and every other place were jammed on a Friday night. After a little souvenir shopping, we ended up back at the hotel restaurant where we had beer and fish and chips. Our bus reservation was for 10 AM so it was early to bed. Saturday~November 3~Embarkation Our wake up call was at 7 AM so we could grab some breakfast and gather our belongings. I wanted to be out of the hotel by 9:15 for our short walk back to the Victoria Coach Station. DH was in much better shape for walking with different shoes. Remembering how I had to present my printed ticket at the desk at the airport, I headed to the ticket window. There I encountered a line of 25 people ahead of me and only 2 agents. I didn’t get to the window until 10:01 where the agent screamed at me for showing her the reservation and that the coach had already left. Running back to where I had left DH, we went to the exit door to find a group waiting. I asked about the bus to Southampton and was told they were all waiting. It turned out the bus had been oversold. The company was bringing up a second bus and driver which happened in a few minutes. Once again, an unexpected problem was resolved. We boarded the bus for the 2 hour 10 minute trip to Southampton and the port. Off the bus after a pleasant trip and those of us who had not scheduled an Uber lined up at the taxi stand. After about 15 minutes, the taxis started arriving in groups and we had no issue with the 5 minute drive to the ship which cost 5 GBP and 6 (?) pence except the taxi driver informed us that the cruise was cancelled! WHAT? He explained that due to Hurricane Oscar that Bermuda was cancelled. Seeing as the ship was there and everyone was entering, we assumed something was wrong with his info. Dropped our labeled bags with the attendants who did not require a tip and were very pleasant. Rather bewildered, we joined the long line to go through security. Chatting with another couple we had met in the taxi line, they informed us that everyone (?) had received an email about the change in itinerary. It was Bahamas that was cancelled as they added a sea day to skirt the rough seas. Once again we missed out due to the lack of a smart phone. Unfortunately, that meant that all our plans were going to be a day later. Another problem to sort out. Rooms were ready and DH and I made our way to deck 7 and our cabin on the hump where we could revel in our large balcony for the time being. Left the hand luggage and went up to the buffet for our first meal of the cruise. DH was new to the Silhouette where I had sailed on her in the Caribbean 4 years ago. He was very impressed with station-style layout although it took us a few days to figure out where everything was located. Bags arrived quickly and we set about making 7264 our home for the next 15 days. There was an electric kettle on the desk with the makings for coffee and tea. The Hideaway was a few steps from our door and the coffee station in there was so welcome every morning. DH isn’t fond of instant coffee so every morning I threw on some clothes and fetched him a cup of the real thing. Milk and cream were placed there at 7AM but by the time we woke up, I was lucky to score some milk. There was small cups of flavored artificial creamers Safety drill was at 4 PM where we assembled in the dining room and watched a “James Bond” type video. It was rather entertaining and you didn’t hear a lot of chatting while it was running. Once we were underway, DH and I went down to deck 5 to check in with maitre’d about our Select dinner time. She was very rude and insisted that there was no reservation for us. When I reiterated that I had made a reservation online, she became more insistent and if possible, even ruder. DH and I walked away flabbergasted. Wandering around the ship while getting our bearings, we encountered dining/bar staff everywhere trying to sell us specialty dining and drink packages. Unfortunately, they were relentless for most of the cruise. I think they finally stopped when we hit Bermuda. I’m sure there is some kind of incentive for the staff but this was not the elegant Celebrity we remembered. Back in 2014, my mother and I had taken a 7 day Western Caribbean cruise on Silhouette and I have to say the ship looked just as good now as it did back then. Bistro on 5 was now Sushi on 5. At no time did I ever see anyone in either place. Cafe Al Bacio was always hopping and the seating there always full. Qsine still had the name but was now Le Petit Chef. Tuscan and Murano remained the same. I wanted to show hubby the Sky Observation Lounge on Deck 15-forward. Remembering this space as a very elegant bar with entertainment, I thought he would really enjoy it. We scored some loungers in the front to enjoy a drink. It was here that he surprised me by telling me he had purchased a dining package before we left. Going through our TA Donna, she found that X was offering a 2 dinner, one lunch package for $200. Naturally, I was thrilled and was looking forward to trying the specialty restaurants. Soon enough it was time to visit the MDR on Deck 5 at our reserved time. We went to the other side to avoid the rude person and found a delightful woman who confirmed our daily dining reservation. For the most part, we had the same table and waiters for the entire trip. Noticed that either the plates were bigger or the portions were smaller than remembered. But since we always order several courses we never went away hungry. The cuisine has most definitely declined since Michel Roux and Celebrity ended their partnership but it was still better than Princess or Royal Caribbean. DH has not been on Celebrity since 2006 and he missed the presentation of the wonderful desserts at the end of the meal. I felt the desserts in the buffet were more interesting and delectable the those in the MDR. Most of the time I skipped dessert or only took a bite or two as I felt they were very bland and disappointing. I missed the wonderful soufflés offered on Princess. Entertainment was, for the most part, pretty good for a cruise ship. Cruise Director Sue Denning was very visible, chatty and a very comfortable presence on the stage and personality plus. The late show was at 9 PM and was well attended. That night was a “taste” with Al Ducharme (comedian) and Juliette Primrose (violinist). He was hilarious and she was very talented but her stage movements were rather odd. She had a front slit dress and her jumping around perhaps showed more skin than she planned. After the show, we made our first of many daily visits to the casino and all those who frequented it. By the time we went to bed, the ship was at sea and our “rock and roll” cruise had begun. Sunday~November 4~At Sea Before we left Southampton, there was an announcement that all veranda furniture would be “removed”. Don’t know about the other rooms, but our table and chairs were folded up and left in a corner. We did have a larger than average balcony so it was possible to do this. We still had access and did walk out and take a look at the sea and weather. The ship was actively rolling from side to side and everyone was walking like drunken sailors. I had brought along Dramamine but we never needed it. Certainly never put us off our feed! The fact that the outside doors were locked the first few days certainly limited the activities you would normally expect on a cruise. The outside pools were drained but the Solarium pool had water but a net over it. Later in the cruise that pool was splashing all over. Taking the Centrum glass elevators up to the Oceanview Cafe every day for a late breakfast gave us a birds-eye view of the Hideaway, Game Room and Library to see every chair filled with (mostly) snoozing passengers. DH and I perused the library (I had a Kindle) and came up with a book someone had left and did not belong to the ship. He was happy that he could take his time with it and it made it all the way to Fort Lauderdale with us. We were certainly disappointed by the lack of variety of daytime activities. For the first 7 sea days, we went to one movie, one Bingo, two lectures. The supposed CLA (Celebrity Life Activities) were laughable and did not attract many people. We went though areas where Trivia was being played but it was like a funeral. Mostly it was “activities” that involved vendors selling jewelry, perfume, liquor and “Art”. We spent more time in the casino than any other cruise. At least it was more lively in there. It helped that I was winning on Blackjack even though DH was losing on the slots. DH was able to watch some football games so he was happy most of the day. The ship temperature was on the cool side. One item I brought that got the most wear was my long sweater. We were so cold hubby actually went “shopping” for a sweatshirt which he didn’t find. You would look stupid walking around with a coat on so we made do with what we had packed. Adam Heppenstall, a magician, was the entertainer that night and although he started out slow, he finished well. Interestingly, we would often see the Captain at the late show and he was a good egg when the comedians made jokes at his expense. Getting to know the usual Blackjack players made for much cross-table conversation and it enhanced the experience. The Bridge Staff had altered the route so we were actually going South to avoid the dregs of Hurricane Oscar but the ship still had mucho motion. I didn’t sleep well the first two nights because I felt like I was falling out of bed. Setting our clocks back just gave us another hour of sleep as well as gradually resetting our body clocks to Eastern Standard Time. Monday~November 5~At Sea Heading up to the buffet for late breakfast, DH & I were commenting how much better we enjoyed this arrangement from when breakfast shut down @ 10 AM and you were lucky to get some scrambled eggs. This way there is still everything offered and we could linger over our coffee and sweets. Everything shut down from 11:30-12:00 to prepare for lunch. More than once we were leaving when the lunch crowd was arriving. This was the day of our Cruise Critic gathering and there was more than 100 of us there. One lady spoke as to our Bermuda tours for those who had booked with Ricky’s Island tours. She had contacted him and he was ready for us on the alternate day. I was anxious to find Jennie Ortiz, whose group we had joined. As it happened, she was talking to the first lady and we were happy to connect. She had also contacted Tony and we were confirmed for a day later with a private van for our group of 8. That took one worry off my mind. The Customer service desk gave everyone a free phone call and I left a message for my daughter in Boston, but there was no way to find out if she received it. DH and I decided that we would have to purchase the smallest Wi-Fi package to contact our daughter and our NYC tour provider. I could not believe that people would pay up to $600 to have 2 devices online for the entire cruise. What ever happened to unplugging and enjoying the peace and quiet? One hour of continuous computer use cost me $68! Luckily for me, our daughter was able to respond immediately to my frantic email. There was no impediment for us to arrive on Sunday instead of Saturday. I then tried to change our New York tour but was unable to do so even after several attempts. Another email to DD with all the info as well as the phone number requesting her help. With that, my hour was up and I had no way to know if everything was successful. DD and I had arranged for me to call her at 8 AM when we arrived in Boston. At least I had my flip phone. This vacation certainly had its share of anxiety producing events! There were activities listed in the daily paper, but none that interested us. We decided to explore more of the ship and ended up in the Spa where I was able to schedule a massage for later in the day. Canyon Ranch now runs the Spa rather than Steiner. I didn’t notice any difference in the prices. The Casino was offering free well drinks to all active players but we honestly didn’t even register this until a few days later. It was the first Smart Chic night and I broke out one of the nicer outfits I had packed. Hubby did not bring a sport coat or tie. He wore a dress shirt and nice slacks and looked good. He certainly liked this new dress code. We were starting to become familiar with our waiter and especially Dejan, the sommelier who was 6’5” tall. He recommended a wine that we enjoyed so we purchased a bottle for dinner every other day. There was an Officers Soiree in the Centrum that evening scheduled at 7:45. Since we were at dinner, we did miss this meet and greet. At the late show, Sue Denning spoke to the schedule of shows every evening. Since the ship’s movement was still quite active, she was postponing the production shows as a safety issue for the dancers and aerialists. Elyse Branch was the vocalist and she was very good. We always enjoy the ship’s “orchestra” as one of the best at sea. Finished up the evening at the Blackjack table where I was able to finally convince DH to give up on the slots and join me. We always previously enjoyed playing 3 card poker when on a cruise. But, the minimum bets were $10 each making for $30/game. Needless to say, that table was empty 99% of the time. How short-sighted the big-shots are! DH was happy to watch Monday Night Football on the satellite feed. Tuesday~November 6~At Sea At last there is sunshine and the seas are calmer. The doors are unlocked and people are walking the decks for exercise even with the very brisk wind. We decided we had to get out of the room and do something. I suggested taking our books to the Solarium and relaxing on the loungers. There was a Captain’s Club “Celebration Party” that afternoon, but we knew it would be very crowded so we opted out. There was going to be a Select+ party later in the cruise and we would attend that. Having eaten a late breakfast, we had no need for lunch but DH fondly remembered Celebrity’s afternoon tea. Thereafter, afternoon tea became part of every day. Seeing as dinner was at 6:30, we had to pace ourselves. It became a standing joke whenever we got on the elevator with other guests. “Is it time to eat again?” That night’s performer was Al Ducharme who was very funny. But 45 minutes is too long for a comedian. You could tell he was straining for the laughs toward the end. Sue Denning came back on to remind us that tomorrow was another sea day. We re-joined our friends in the Casino where we both made some money and finished the evening on a high note. Wednesday~November 7~At Sea We were invited to a Backstage tour but it was at 10:30 AM and we missed it because we were at breakfast. Maybe next time we will schedule our time better. There was a Clearance Sale for all the leftover Baltic merchandise and it was a mob scene. We attended the matinee performance of Juliet Primrose which we enjoyed immensely. She played some popular music, talked more about her career and limited her on-stage gymnastics. Bingo was on the schedule so we decided to try it once and of course did not win. It also conflicted with afternoon tea. The sea was still bouncy and the entertainment was being rescheduled. That night was “A Taste of Broadway” featuring the production cast members. Well, the guys were quite good, especially the one from Chicago ( A little home town pride there) but the girls were all trying to out-sing each other. Those sopranos were so screechy that it was a good thing we were in the middle of the ocean and no dogs could hear them. I actually shut off my hearing aid to limit the feedback. At least the guys could harmonize with each other. Finished the evening as usual, in the Casino. Thursday~November 8~At Sea If this is getting repetitive, guess how we felt. We found the ping-pong table on deck 15 once and couldn’t find it again later. The highlight of the day was the movie in the theater which was “Solo”, the last Star Wars movie. We had missed this at home so really enjoyed it. Afternoon tea and a nap before dinner completed our day’s activities. Dinner was becoming the mainstay of our days. We did not have a drink package as neither of us drinks that much alcohol to make it worth our while. At least the show that night was very good. Raegar was a boy/girl rock/country duo who put on an energetic performance and gained a standing ovation. We never saw any of the performers around the ship but what was there for them to do? Obviously they were all as trapped as we were. None of the pools were open and it was too cool to sit outside but for a few hearty souls with their cozy lap robes. There were lots of for-fee activities as well as “seminars” for the shops. And there was always the Casino and free drinks. By now, they were no longer limiting us to the well liquor especially our Blackjack group who were regulars during the day as well as evening. I am only good for one drink and another lady and I opted for a Pina Colada. I think over the whole cruise I maybe had 5 drinks in the casino. Friday~November 9~At Sea We went to a presentation of Bermuda Highlights which was actually interesting even though it was a thinly veiled sales presentation for shore excursions. The number of people these “activities” drew was a real testament to the level of boredom that was present throughout. A tour of deck 4 to read the menus on the specialty restaurants ended with us making our first reservation of our dinner/lunch package at Tuscan for the next day. Using the Internet, we had both seen the presentation of the Le Petite Chef now in the Qsine spot and were not enchanted. Tuscan lunch offered large gourmet hamburgers and Murano did not do lunch. Still too cold and windy to try The Porch or The Lawn Club Grill, we elected to postpone that meal until the end of the trip when the weather would be nicer. The day was sunny with calmer seas and walking was more in a straight line than wall to wall. I noticed people sitting outside the buffet on the back of the ship and hustled back to find DH to inform him we could actually sit outside. We found a couple of couches against the back wall of the buffet that blocked the wind. Some cozy blankets, two cups of coffee, our books and we were in cruise heaven! I actually dozed off for an hour as it was so refreshing to be outdoors. I did not keep track of each meal as I thought it was a bit too OCD, even for me. Suffice it to say, I only sent back two items. One was some fish and the other some pork dish. It was replaced without any problem by our waiter, Rodolpho with something else which was perfectly good. One thing we discovered was that each restaurant has it’s own galley so your food gets to you much faster and hotter. The food is definitely not as good as when we first started cruising with them 25 years ago but you can say that about the entire industry. Sue Denning had scheduled the first production show “Cosmopolitan” for tonight. It was quite entertaining w/singers, dancers and aerialists performing. Following that show was the Liar’s Club featuring Sue, her assistant and one of the officers. It was hilarious. They really did a good job in making us laugh. I was surprised that with all these sea days that there was no passenger talent show or the Love and Marriage game. Saturday~November 10~At Sea Today would have been our stop in Boston on the original schedule. At least it was sunny but quite cold. We did step out onto our veranda every day for some fresh air but definitely did not linger that day. There was a Remembrance and Memorial day presentation in the Theater @ 10:45 AM. Throughout the trip, we had seen several British ladies sporting small artificial poppies in remembrance of the 100 year anniversary of the end of WW I. DH did not want to attend this. Several people told me it was done very well and was quite moving. We had been moving our clocks back gradually over the course of the crossing and were now on Eastern Standard Time. Raegar had a matinee performance which was very well attended and well received. DH is not one for group activities so we were really hard up for something to do. We observed some of the CLA activities but he would not participate. This was our night for our dinner at Tuscan. We each ordered a salad and DH had soup also. I was craving the filet with a small pasta side dish. To my surprise, DH only ordered pasta for his entree. He didn’t want to get too stuffed but didn’t know to order the pasta as an entree. He finished up my pasta and the rest of my steak. It was delicious and I would have eaten there again. The evening’s entertainment was Mark O’Malley who was from the UK and put on a terrific show. He received a well-earned standing ovation. We were to bed early as we wanted to be off the ship as soon as possible. Sunday~November 11~Boston This was the only time we ordered room service breakfast and I was dressed and ready at 8 AM. Called our daughter and she confirmed that she was able to change our NYC tour without any problem. The ship was docked and we had to wait for our number-27 to be called for Customs. By the time #12 rolled around, we were shocked at how slow the process was proceeding. There was a confusing announcement about “everyone else” following a request for UK citizens. I called the front desk and was informed that all Americans should proceed to the Sky Lounge for Customs. A long line moved rapidly as the officers barely glanced at our passports and welcomed us home. We ran back to the cabin and grabbed our coats as our DD was already on her way. Only a 10 minute wait in the terminal building for our ride to arrive on a very chilly but sunny Boston Sunday. DH was happy to watch football with our SIL while I did laundry and DD made us a lovely dinner. Having a fun day with our granddaughter was a bonus. She loved the jacket from London and couldn’t wait to wear it to school. Too soon it was time to head back to the ship with clean clothes and shirts on hangers. Skipping dinner and the show for football completed the evening for hubby. Later on, I did slip up to the buffet for a light salad supper. The entertainment that evening was a production show “Pearl” which we did not attend. There was also a Veteran/Remembrance Day gathering in the theater @ 8 PM which was done very well with full attendance. Leaving home on 10/31, I wasn’t aware of any ceremonies at home in observance of this 100th Anniversary of the end of WW I. It was obvious in London that they were gearing up for something significant. There was nary a dry eye at the end of the ceremony. Monday~November 12~New York City An announcement from the Captain informed us when we would be approaching NY harbor for our best views of Lady Liberty. DH & I went up to deck 16 and we quickly took turns running back to the cabin for jackets so we wouldn’t lose our spot by the rail. As we approached the Verazzano Narrows bridge, the Captain came back on the loudspeaker to reassure us that we would clear the bottom of the bridge by several meters. Needless to say, we were all looking up as we sailed under and the ship’s horn gave a long salute while all the passengers cheered. Several members of the crew were allowed a few moments off to come out on deck for the viewing. It was my first time to see the Statue of Liberty. DH had seen it when he arrived in the USA as an 8 year old immigrant arriving from Germany. He had to admit it was just as thrilling the second time. I was able to take several photos as we were moving slowly. Docking at Pier 88 was another experience. Two tug boats pushed the ship center and aft, acting as a fulcrum to turn this enormous ship in a small space. By 3:30 PM, we were docked next door to an exhibit of the USS Intrepid, a retired aircraft carrier. Celebrity offered an evening tour of NYC with a visit to the top of the Empire State Building. I tried to find a private tour for this but DH was not interested but there was 4 bus loads of passengers who did and had very positive things to say about it. The dining room was rather empty this evening but the one show @ 10:15 was well attended. Ace Guillen was a rocker who combined comedy with his music for a great show that earned him a standing ovation. We actually got to bed before midnight since we had to meet our tour guide @ 9:30 AM. Tuesday~November 13~New York City Having to set a wake-up call was a unique experience on this cruise! Weather was cold, rainy and very windy. Assured by ship staff that the taxi line was just across the street, we got off the ship by 8:45. There was a shelter for a taxi stand where you could wait for a yellow taxi to come by. But we were so worried about arriving on time, we opted to take a private car and paid $75 for the ride! He did inform us before we left and I wanted to jump out but DH just said to stay. We did arrive at St. Paul’s Chapel at 9:15 to be the first of the group. After a few minutes, the rest of the group started trickling in with our guide arriving a few minutes later. With all the information available on 9/11, we were surprised by how much we learned that day. The guide spoke as to her experiences that day making it personal. I was surprised to realize that St. Paul’s was just across the street from the devastation and survived unscathed. We walked the entire site taking in the new structures and their functions. The two pools with the names of all the victims was incredibly moving. Seeing white roses by some names, we learned that one gentleman’s job was to place them on each person’s birthday. White for civilians, red for first responders and blue for servicemen. This is done every day with no day off. Our guide stated that there have been 60+ more victims identified through DNA and their names will be added soon. We had purchased the whole package of tour, museum and Freedom Tower observation deck so after our 90 minute walking tour we entered the museum. I hate to say it, but our first stop was the snack bar for some hot chocolate to warm up. The museum is organized very well taking you through the day as it happened. There is also a short film describing how the new building went up. A large room with photos of every person who perished that day is heartrending. The families chose the pictures they wanted displayed and some were quite surprising. Several brides and grooms are seen and one of a little girl is surprising. Obviously, this is how her family wanted her remembered. Our tickets for the observation deck were timed, so we walked across the street to the Freedom Tower. There was no worry about crowds that day. Lucky for us, the fog and rain had cleared so we had phenomenal views all around. We could even see our ship at the dock. After several circuits, DH spotted the Captain of our ship taking in the view. By now, we were all walked out and ready to go “home”. Back on ground level we found a busy cross street and a yellow taxi which delivered us in a timely manner back to Pier 88 for the bargain price of $25. After entering the terminal building and going through Security which involved showing our room keys, there stood uniformed waiters with trays holding glasses of hot broth. What a nice welcome back onboard. Dropping off our wet coats and umbrella in the cabin, we headed up to the buffet to find the lunch service winding down. Some hot soup and a slice of pizza sure hit the spot. Returning to our cabin for a short rest, we found that we were on the right side of the ship to watch our departure. The city looked beautiful at night as did Lady Liberty as we sailed closer this time. We had a fine dinner and played a little Blackjack until show time. Unique3 was the entertainment that evening. Three lovely ladies with terrific voices put on a another very good show. There was a Karaoke Party in the Quasar Lounge that night. We didn’t last too long after the show after that long and busy day. Hard to believe, but we were actually looking forward to the sea day tomorrow as we headed toward Bermuda. Wednesday~November 14~At Sea We slept in even later barely making late breakfast before it closed at 11:30. Lingering over coffee, we watched in amazement as people were standing with their plates at the ready for the barriers to come down. I took some great photos of the food placement at some of the stations before they were ravaged by the hungry. It was Edible Art. We agreed that Celebrity’s buffet was the best we had ever seen. The Casino was offering $5 bets and free drinks on sea days so that’s where we headed. Lots of CLA activities like: Hole in One Golf, Xbox Sports, Soccer Shootout, Table Tennis and Adult Coloring. None of these were very well attended as we passed by the locales. That evening was the Select and Above Senior Officers Cocktail Party and the second Smart Chic night. If I thought we were doing well to arrive right at 6:30, I was sadly mistaken. We were able to greet the Captain as we entered and thanked him for the pleasant cruise. The Sky Observation Bar was packed by the time we arrived and we were shuttled into an attached conference room. There we made the acquaintance of a lovely lady and her service dog. We had seen them with the lady’s husband every evening as they arrived in the dining room so it was nice to talk to them. Unfortunately, the captain made his welcome speech in the other room so we heard nothing. Now we know to arrive early for a better seat. The evening’s show featured John Bressler who was a great entertainer and multi-talented guy. He was well deserving of the standing ovation that he received. There was a CLA activity in Celebrity Central @ 10:30 which was a murder mystery. By the line we saw as we exited the theater, it was very well attended. There was also Karaoke in the Quasar Lounge. I should mention that the Quasar had a robot bartender. We never thought to go in there just to see it in operation. Thursday~November 15~King’s Wharf, Bermuda The plan was for our tour group to meet on Deck 3 at 9:30 but we arrived @ 9:15 to find Jennie trying to contact everyone. Apparently Ricky had the bus loaded and was waiting for us to leave. The four of us walked out on the dock to find that Ricky had sent the bus off without us. While waiting for the other two couples to arrive, Jennie firmly reminded Ricky that our reservation was for a private bus just for our group. Since he didn’t have another bus, Ricky arranged for one of his friends to take us on his bus. Unfortunately, I can’t remember his name but he did a give us a great tour for 6 hours. We did see the entire island and learned quite a bit of history as well as the architecture and politics. It was a cloudy, windy but dry day. Our guide spoke of the drought and water shortage which was causing problems for Bermuda. I expected our guide to speak with a British accent but he spoke like an American. The nearest land is North Carolina! Back on Silhouette, we headed to afternoon tea for a snack to hold us until dinner. Originally we were supposed to be docked in Bermuda until noon the next day but now departure was scheduled for 6 AM. This was the night we ate at Murano for the second dinner in our package. The cuisine is a combo nouvelle/French. The chef’s choice for amuse boche was “seared” tuna. Not a fan of raw fish, I told the waiter I would not eat it. So he brings me asparagus with balsamic vinegar and a piece of raw duck breast. Well, the asparagus was good. I will eat rare beef but at least it’s cooked! We both chose the lobster which was delicious but very rich. Don’t remember dessert but DH says we had it. Frankly, I still remember every course of our meal in Summit’s Normandie restaurant 25 years ago. Murano left me underwhelmed. I would never pay $65/pp to eat here. We live in the greater Chicago area and frequently dine in the city so it’s not like we have no appreciation for fine dining, but Murano was just a disappointment. Unfortunately, we both woke up in the middle of the night with a stomach ache, undoubtedly due to the rich food. Celebrity Showtime featured Darren Dowler who is a one man variety show. A full house gave him a well-deserved standing ovation. There was a Full Moon Party poolside that night at 10 PM. Something else we didn’t attend. Friday~November 16~Departing Bermuda, Sea Day. Finally, some nice weather! Our balcony furniture is unfolded and placed for sitting. Honestly don’t remember much about this day besides we were out on deck and relaxing. Evening entertainment was Johnny Loquasto, a comedian. We came to the conclusion that 45 minutes is too long for a comedian. None of them has that much material to sustain a performance that long. Credit to the audience for no one walking out. Saturday~November 17~Sea Day The closer we got to Florida, naturally the nicer the weather. The pools were open and people were out on the deck in the sunshine. There was a bocce ball tournament up on the Lawn, passengers vs the officers. Skipping breakfast in favor of lunch, we decided that this day would be a good one to use our last meal in our dining package at The Porch. Since both of us like seafood, we felt this would be a good ending to our trip. There was only one other couple in there and yet, our service was terrible. The waiter took our order and brought our soup. The seafood “tower” was great, but certainly not what I expected in presentation. Almost an hour later, a waitress brought our entrees. Unfortunately, no one remembered our salads. The entrees were whisked away and salads soon appeared. Fresh entrees were served later. The food was very good and this was a place we would repeat. It was only the weather that kept us from exploring the Lawn Club Grill. We decided that next time we had a dining package that this would be our choice, rather than Murano. The evening show was the last production show, Life which we quite enjoyed. Of course, we had to finish up at the Blackjack table and say goodbye to all the players. Cashing out our black chips, we brought home most of what we brought with us. DH thought this was the best way to end a trip. Sunday~November 18~Fort Lauderdale Since we had no flight, we were off the ship later, but still around 9 AM. Passing through Customs was a breeze for me as I have a Global Entry card. DH went through the line but still was only 5 minutes behind me. I was rather flabbergasted by the number of people milling around trying to get rides. We were able to get to the taxi line and there were police officers making sure everything progressed in some semblance of order. I had the address of the car rental company which I shared with our driver but just took off for the airport. Arriving there and not seeing the company we had to backtrack to what was a rather shabby industrial park. DH was asking me, “where did you find this place?” On Priceline. Dragged our luggage into the “lobby” to the counter and presented our reservation. The rep just asked us for proof of the fight we had arrived on and the one we were leaving on. DH said no flight, we’re off a ship. Too bad, the guy said, we won’t give you a car! Fine print said no flight, no car. At least they had a shuttle back to the airport where we went to Budget and were able to rent a car. Now armed with a sketchy map we were going to try to find the hotel. No Smart Phone, no GPS. Packing for this trip, I was planning to bring my GPS and DH was adamant that we would not need it. Found the correct road but could not find a Ramada Inn. I called and the manager told me to use my phone and hung up. DH stopped at a 7/11 for directions and we finally arrived to find a large amount of people checking out, explaining the manager’s abrupt termination of our call. We drove around the building and it appeared to be in very poor repair. DH did not want to check in and it was too early anyway, so we took off to find a place for lunch. Calling later to see if we could cancel but it was two days too late. With much trepidation, we headed back to check it. Actually the lobby was quite nice with free computer use and a small restaurant area which we found out the next day to offer free breakfast. The facility was part of the Wyndam group and it was apparent that the rooms were clean and refurbished. The bed was very comfortable and the bathroom with plenty of fresh towels. We stayed overnight and spent the next day exploring Fort Lauderdale in our rented car before we dropped it off at the airport. Our flight was at 10 PM on Jet Blue which was a very nice airline. If they didn’t charge $25/per bag, we might try them again. Arriving at O’Hare at 1 AM, we contacted our prearranged taxi and were home by 2 AM. Having finally completed our long trip, we came to the conclusion that one TA was enough, but we would definitely return to London. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This was a last minute booking. Oceana is perhaps smaller than her sister ships but she is friendly & her crew seek to look after the passengers. I have to say having read a few of the preceeding reviews I really do wonder just people ... Read More
This was a last minute booking. Oceana is perhaps smaller than her sister ships but she is friendly & her crew seek to look after the passengers. I have to say having read a few of the preceeding reviews I really do wonder just people expect, the crew are fantastic, the food good to very good and the overall experience excellent. We flew from B’ham having travelled from the SE and waved goodbye to our bags to be reunited with them once onboard. Boarding and checkin was very efficient and we were in our cabin within 30 mins of getting off the coach at Valetta Cruise Port. Our bags were with us within a further 10 mins. Food was good to very good, but always a good choice and the waiting staff attentive and as the cruise went on becoming friends in our adventures. One evening my wife and I were doused in baileys from a passing waiter and the immediate response could not have been better. Accidents happen and the issue is how they are resolved, thank you everyone, you did yourselves proud in this respect. Entertainment was variable but I expect no more, when at home we select what we go and see. We did the same onboard and enjoyed the piano recitals, the sax player, but were less enamoured with the Headliners group who whilst enthusiastic lacked polish in some areas. That said many did enjoy these show and we do not feel that we have been shortchanged due to our preferences. A highlight was the art shop, the display changed regularly and there were some interesting pieces, so much so we now have one hanging at home. Overall, the ambiance is good, we are not great ones for sitting around the pool and listening to the music but there are plenty of other spaces on the upper decks to go and enjoy the sun. Many thanks all, we appreciated all your effort and enjoyed our time with you. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
We are a retired couple who enjoy cruising, so decided to cross the Atlantic to Florida, via the Caribbean, to enjoy some sunshine & heat. Embarking was straightforward, although there seemed to a be lot of people who apparently ... Read More
We are a retired couple who enjoy cruising, so decided to cross the Atlantic to Florida, via the Caribbean, to enjoy some sunshine & heat. Embarking was straightforward, although there seemed to a be lot of people who apparently don't realise that the crew have a hard job getting the ship ready for pax. We actually saw from our hotel room, people arriving, expecting to board the ship at 09.15 ! The ship was very clean & well maintained. The additions will obviously appeal to families, but it was easy to avoid the top area. Being a TA cruise, we didn't expect to see any school aged children, but as usual, we were wrong. Captain Iv runs a very good ship, & the ambiance proved that the crew like him as much as the passengers do ! He is a very affable person, who interacts with people very well. Orlando, F&B Manager on our cruise, was very approachable & we gladly congratulated him, & his team, on the food presentation & quality. Regardless where, or when we ate, the food was consistently good. Our stateroom was maintained very well by Bhisom, who was aware from the start, that we are early risers, so the room was cleaned by the time we returned from breakfast. The first few days proved challenging, weather wise, but the Captain deviated from the usual course, to avoid the main part of the adverse weather, but the conditions were still quite rough. The health lectures were very interesting, conducted by an American Cardiologist, Dr K Sheikh, who was entertaining as well as being very informative. We were delighted that the casino was smoke free for the entire cruise, but smoking is still allowed on one side of deck 11, although we could avoid it, if we remembered ! The food in both Chops Grille & Giovanni's was as usual, excellent, but as I stated earlier, the food was good, regardless where we ate, including Barefoot beach club on Labadee. The only downside.....the vast numbers of Diamond & Diamond Plus members onboard. It meant that the Olive or Twist Lounge was filled to overflowing every evening, long before 5pm when the event commenced. Suites & Pinnacle guests could use the lovely airy Suite lounge, but as there is no bar set up in there, the servers had to prepare drinks either in the pantry, or at the bar in the main lounge. Wine was easy for them to serve, but mixed drinks took a while to get. We think that the C&A society will have to rethink their policy as it's too easy to reach D & DP status. It used to be that D's had an event consisting of wine, beer & Cava, now, those who have 70 points enjoy almost the same as those who have 700 !! Janice, lead bartender in the Crows Nest, Olive or Twist Lounge is delightful. She was always upbeat, friendly & eager to please. She ran an excellent bar, & was constantly aware people were waiting to be served. All crew we encountered were delightful, & those with whom we have cruised before, remembered us....for whatever reason, but we didn't ask !! We like the ID, but like the itineraries of other ships within the fleet, so it will be a while before we are back on her. Our experience on RCCL ships has always been enjoyable, & whenever we hear people complain about food, or the standard of cleanliness onboard, we have to shake our heads & wonder what kind of lifestyle they lead. It's easy to opt for healthy, nutritious food. On our return home, we weigh ourselves, & find that we have not gained weight. It's not because we haven't eaten or drunk anything, but have chosen wisely, exercised, & followed a regime which is sustainable, no matter where we are. Waste of food is abhorrent to us, but many plates we saw being removed from tables had food untouched by the person who had put it there. In a buffet situation, it's easy to opt for small portions, then return if more food is required. Some of the crew come from countries where food is not easy to obtain, so it must be depressing / annoying for them to see such unnecessary waste. Much media advertising coverage is given to plastic waste, but surely food waste should also be highlighted. Here endeth my rant !! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
I want start of by saying I suffer from alot of chronic illness, Fibromyalgia being one so I'm hoping this review will help anyone else who has similar issues! We arrived at the port at 11 and we were on the ship within 20 mins! ... Read More
I want start of by saying I suffer from alot of chronic illness, Fibromyalgia being one so I'm hoping this review will help anyone else who has similar issues! We arrived at the port at 11 and we were on the ship within 20 mins! We were surprised when we first arrived to find we had Ken Jones as our CD as we were supposed to have Tim Connor. Considering Ken had been brought on only a week before at last minute and he didn't know the ship he didn't a brilliant job! The 9 sea days were good but long. This is our 3rd transatlantic but we've never had so many sea days in a row. I made alot of use of the library on the first few days. I love that it is now in a room of its own as it is quieter although so passengers used it as a general place to chat which was annoying. There were a few activities on board, scavenger hunts, napkin folding ect, I've done these on previous cruises so didn't feel the need to attend. We did go to Rock Britannia which was led but our Activities Manager Elizabeth and I really enjoyed that aswell as the 70s night which was also really good (this was led by Ken!) They also did an Olympus Rocks parade and an 80s night but I didn't go to these. Grease was amazing and I highly recommend seeing it, the girl who played Rizzo blew me away! We also saw Once Upon a Time, it's my favourite show on Indy but I must have seen it around 7 times now and it is getting a little stale! Darren Day was another headliner and he was incredible! We saw both his evening show and his matinee! I personally couldn't do any of the sports activities but my family did the rockwall and the trampolines and loved them! We are in the windjammer every night and the food was always lovely, hot and there was so much choice! We tried Johnny Rockets for the first time, the staff were very accommodating and changed my meal when I found the first one too spicy but I don't think it's something I'd go back and try. Fish and Ships was really good, the cod was the best cod I've had in a long time! Our first port was St Marteen, we walked round to the town and had a little look around, it's so amazing how quickly theyve managed to get back on their feet after the hurricane. I took the waterbus back to the ship after a couple of hours as it was getting too hot for me but my family stayed and swam in the sea. Next we went to St Thomas where we booked an excursion so we could get through immigration quicker! Our immigration time was 6:20am, and we were through within an hour! Our excursion was a boat trip into the main town. The boat trip itself was worth the money but I wasn't impressed with the town, I'm guessing if you like diamonds ect it's good but it wasn't our sort of thing. We only spent 2 hours there before getting the boat back. We had a look around the shops at the port and picked up a few suvioners. I then got back on the boat while my family headed to Megan's bay. Next was San Juan. Again we only stayed near the port, we walked up to Marshalls and a little further on we found a street that was full of colourful umbrellas above it, it was gorgeous and totally worth seeing! We again didn't stay long after that, went to a few shops and then headed back. We have done these 3 ports before (some twice!) So we didn't feel the need to spend to much time on land! Our last port was Labadee, which is basically paradise! I've never seen anywhere so beautiful! It's always been on my bucket list to swim in the Caribbean sea and I achieved that here. The water was perfect, just the right temperature! That's pretty much all I did in Labadee, I like to think the salt of the sea helped my joint pains. My Mum who is braver than me did the zip wire and she loved every second of it! A couple more things of the ship, we had an aft balcony cabin on deck 6. It was still roomy with 3 of us and the balcony was huge! Joseph our state room attendant couldn't do enough for us! The escape room is a must, absolutely loved doing that, I love anything that makes me brain think/work. The only small issue we had on board was with the photographers. They lost a few of our photos and then we had a photo taken at the Labadee sign, it was the one photo we all wanted but the only one which was perfectly lined up with the whole sign in ect had someone else in it who wasn't in our party and the photographers couldn't seem to grasp this. Sadly we didn't end up buying any photos because the only one we really wanted was spoilt. The departure process was a mess! They were letting the next cruise on in the same place as we were all queing up to get on coaches ect, the port was rammed! We had a transfer with Royal to our hotel but noone seemed to know where we were meant to go to get this transfer! We asked one member of the Intercruise staff who was at the port, she mumbled something and when we asked her to repeat it she told us she wasn't going to as we must be stupid!! 2 hours we waited at the port being told to go in all different places, all which were wrong! In the end we gave up and ended up paying $70 for a taxi to our hotel in Miami! Overall though we had a fantastic time, we love Royal Caribbean and we love how the staff treat you like family when you are on board! We have decided though we wouldn't do a transatlantic this way again though. It's alot easier to fly out and cruise back than it is to cruise out and fly back! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This is the first time we went T/A and at the price we found it great value. I booked through Cruise 1st and i had not one problem. Embarkation at Southampton was no problem. Busy but only to be expected.The Indy has a wow factor when you ... Read More
This is the first time we went T/A and at the price we found it great value. I booked through Cruise 1st and i had not one problem. Embarkation at Southampton was no problem. Busy but only to be expected.The Indy has a wow factor when you board and is a very nice ship. We had an outside cabin on deck 2 cabin 6260 and it was very nice and also very quite.D.D. our cabin stewart was excellent. Food on board was very good in all the restaurants and Chops Grill speciality dining was out of this world. Plenty of food and plenty to drink and the service was excellent.Service throughout this cruise was 10 out of 10. Ship was spotlessly clean. Just a couple of gripes. The ship was pretty could for the first few days. It was cold outside but you could have hung beef in side. When the weather improved it was too busy outside. They actually had too many sunbeds together and it was difficult to walk about. We new the ship would be busy on ship days. The entertainment was the biggest downfall. It was really poor. The headline acts were terrible and also there was no booking system to get in. It was a free for all. The bands playing around the ship were poor. Same songs every night. A good piano player how would be better to play and not sing. The parties on the promenade were good fun but packed. I think the cruise director Ken was to blame as he did not seem to be listening to any of these acts. The ice skating was good. Still a very good cruise and a great experience on a T/A cruise. I would do it again no problem. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Wanted a longer cruise of three weeks. We have enjoyed a number of trans Atlantic cruises so this suited us well. The cruise out was generally calm and the weather fantastic, excellent for the time of year. The ship itself was in ... Read More
Wanted a longer cruise of three weeks. We have enjoyed a number of trans Atlantic cruises so this suited us well. The cruise out was generally calm and the weather fantastic, excellent for the time of year. The ship itself was in generally good condition,albeit showing signs of wear in places. Carpets were almost threadbare in places. The main point of criticism of the ship itself is that there is a distinct lack of sunbathing space. Sun beds are lined up along the available decks with no room between. The rows themselves are also very close to those in front and behind. My wife who has had both knees replaced could not get on these beds except for those on the end of a row, and once or twice we could not get off the deck without asking people to move their bed as all isles were blocked. Staff as is usually the case were excellent, they do seem busier than ever, but this might be me. They still seem to make time to smile while making sure you have what you need. Finally our ongoing gripe with P&O is their dress code, simply it’s not enforced. Increasingly people are going to diner in shorts, and tea shirts are very popular also. Both theoretically against policy. Formal nights are similar. People do not wear jackets and or ties but still dine in the main restaurants. I accept P&O are loath to upset these customers but it does, by its inactivity, seem happy to upset those of us who like the dress codes. Please P&O either enforce or end the dress codes but stop sitting on the fence!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
Main reason was to go along the Suez Canal and then see Petra. We saw and liked the Suez, but Petra had to be cancelled due to the flood there the day before our arrival. Practically nearly all of the other ports we had visited ... Read More
Main reason was to go along the Suez Canal and then see Petra. We saw and liked the Suez, but Petra had to be cancelled due to the flood there the day before our arrival. Practically nearly all of the other ports we had visited before, and this ship and it's itinerary (apart from the Sea or Sun Princess World Cruise) go through the Suez and gave the chance of going to Petra. Had we seen advertised before we booked, various section itineraries of this cruise we would have just taken the Rome to Dubai section, and missed out the problem and cost of the Indian Visa's, plus the trouble the Sapphire Princess had with them when we were about to arrive at Cochin. Fortunately, we had ours on a thumb-drive and were able to have Sapphire Princess customer service reprint them. A lot of people had problems there. The Sapphire Princess also charged excessively for shuttle buses that were probably put on by the ports, for which Princess would probably pay only a pittance. The shows were sub-standard and a lot of passengers were complaining about them and walking out. There was little in the way of activities, and the Cruise Director staff were very loud, would shout or scream even though they were using a microphone. The Cruise Director Manager, Paul, would 'put down' his female staff and it was 'beneath' him to talk to passengers. On the whole, this is the WORST CRUISE we have ever taken with Princess, and it will take a lot of consideration before joining Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
In late October 2018 my wife and I embarked on a 38-day Princess cruise from Southampton to Singapore via the Suez Canal, the choice of cruise was largely influenced by three of the ports of call. Highlight number one was Malta and ... Read More
In late October 2018 my wife and I embarked on a 38-day Princess cruise from Southampton to Singapore via the Suez Canal, the choice of cruise was largely influenced by three of the ports of call. Highlight number one was Malta and Valletta the capital, steeped in history and grand historic buildings this was a truly magnificent location and I would certainly like to return there one day. Highlight number two was the Suez Canal transit, while strictly not a port of call this amazing feat of engineering continually amazed with its everchanging vistas and was so unexpectedly different from what I had envisaged. Alas due to flash flooding and unfortunate death of a dozen lives we were unable to visit Petra in Jordan and the third highlight on our list, but at least we were safe and able to continue with our holiday. Sapphire Princess lived up to the usual excellent Princess standards of food and service, but it was the steam room and sauna that stood out as being properly hot with the facilities designated their own proper area and not out in the public arena, much better than on many other ships. One down side (my hair grows fast) being that I was starting to look scruffy and needing a haircut. I decided I couldn’t wait and would have to check out the salon and see if they do men’s haircuts. No problem and I was soon looking much neater and was pleasantly surprised at the price I was charged. Another great feature we have found on Princess ships is the self-service laundrettes (necessary on cruises of seven or more days) as we like to do our own laundry, maybe this is an Australasian thing? only trust this is a feature that is still being designed for and included on all new ships. Ps I have plenty of photos. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
This cruise had an excellent itinerary for a repositioning cruise and was a good length and price. Embarkation was easy and we were amongst the first on the ship. We sailed the Jade 3 months prior to Norway and many of the crew were ... Read More
This cruise had an excellent itinerary for a repositioning cruise and was a good length and price. Embarkation was easy and we were amongst the first on the ship. We sailed the Jade 3 months prior to Norway and many of the crew were still on the ship and many recognised us which is amazing. The Jade has been recently refurbished and looks good. Like many of these ncl ships movement around the ship can be frustrating as there is a lack of hallways and the average age on these longer cruises is quite old (average on this one was over 65 officially and seemed even older). We had an inside cabin and it was a good size (bigger than we had on the Star). Our attendant was excellent. We had problems with the hot water in the shower which guest relations were useless (as usual) in dealing with. After about a week it improved. The tv system was limited but we spend very little time in the room. Storage was excellent and the bed was comfortable. Dining - the mdr was very slow at breakfast, good at lunchtime and very mixed at night. Food quality was good without being great. The food on the Star earlier in the year was noticeably better. We ate at the Italian twice and it is outstanding, the highlight of the ship. Cagneys was solid but not great, our waiter seemed very rushed and made several mistakes. Sushi - a disaster. Poor food, poor service, poor atmosphere, terrible value as have to pay a supplement and it would have been cheaper to pay a la carte. To their credit they refunded the meal. Entertainment- the CD Richard was excellent, very upbeat and visible. The production shows were the same as we saw last time and the performers were good quality with Blazing boots being the standouts. Guest entertainment was mixed, the Knights were agin good but not as great with the new lineup, the female singing group was average, comedian had a tough time with noisy conditions, the juggler was great especially his workshop, the impersonator was very professional and entertaining. Michelle M did a fantastic cabaret show and main show- so professional and engaging. As usual there was loads of activities which we love doing and the staff were terrific. The musical acts around the ship were plentiful but noticeably more demure than the acts we enjoyed last time (maybe in line with the more mature clientele). Service - overall very upbeat and friendly. The bar tenders were amazing. Restaurant service was friendly but they seemed busy at times. The room attendants in all the corridors were super friendly. Ports - we often cruise more for sea days but this was a great itinerary and the ports were great. Shetland island, Iceland, St Johns Newfoundland, Halifax, Portland Maine, NYC all great places, good weather. As usual NCL makes unloading passengers seems incredibly hard and it was often an hour after arrival until we were debarkimg the ship ... all of course except when we arrived in Miami when it was the first time we were early and suddenly there was no problems with gangways or clearing the ship! We often say if onshore time was our priority we would not use NCL. It was good that they had a destination lecturerer for this cruise and she did a great job. Overall a great time due to weather, ports of call, meeting new friends, the Italian restaurant, the bar staff and onboard activities. Improvements would be debarking in the ports, guest relations, plumbing. Poor was sushi. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and price - which both were excellent. We loved the transatlantic and seeing places we had never been to before. Best itinerary ever and still cannot believe what a wonderful price it was. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and price - which both were excellent. We loved the transatlantic and seeing places we had never been to before. Best itinerary ever and still cannot believe what a wonderful price it was. The embarkation and disembarkation was the best I have ever experienced. Kudo for that. Loved having the beverage package and the people serving the drinks were tremendous and the drinks were the best I have had on a ship. Our cabin was an oceanview with large window and we thought the cabin was a little small (some tight places getting to our bed) but storage space was more than adequate except for the small closet. Our cabin steward was wonderful Loved the entertainers in the bars (especially Nathaniel) - the show "Elements" was the best I have ever seen on any cruise (and I have been on 29 cruises). Now for the negative - the food in the main dining rooms were just not up to par. You could tell they were really trying to cut corners - not much variety and nothing to WOW you like I have seen before. There wasn't the special night where you get lobster or beef wellington and never had escargot. It was cheap food. We did go to the specialty restaurants and they were wonderful. The first two nights we had to wait over an hour before we were served. We got there at 5:30 and were not finished until after 7:30 so missed the shows. The maitre d came over and asked us how things were and we explained to her and from then on we had the BEST service you could ask for. The other thing we noticed was the raise in price for a minimum bet in the casino. It had gone up from $5 to $10 a play. I like to play Roulette but I am not brave enough to place $10 bets. I did notice that I never saw anyone playing Roulette - matter of fact, the Casino was pretty quiet most of the time. The other negative that I would like to mention is that I missed having more lectures to attend. It seemed like most of them were just about the ports we were going to. All in all though, we had a wonderful cruise and loved the itinerary. Read Less

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