Cruise Ratings
Sail Date: September 2019
Embarkation was great, we were on the ship 5 minutes after entering the terminal. The refurbished part of the ship is great, it’s a shame they didn’t update the staterooms. Ours was quite shabby with stained and faded sofas, old net ... Read More
Embarkation was great, we were on the ship 5 minutes after entering the terminal. The refurbished part of the ship is great, it’s a shame they didn’t update the staterooms. Ours was quite shabby with stained and faded sofas, old net curtains which didn’t meet in the middle and filthy curtain liners. Come on RCI. Our cabin was kept clean though, so no problems there, it just felt grubby because it was tatty. The food in Windjammers and the MDR was very good, plenty of choice. We had the lovely Amit and Heman (Table 755) looking after us, who were so lovely, friendly and helpful. We had My Time dining and had the same table and time every night. The shows in the theatre were very good, but the last couple of nights they changed the time to 7pm or 9pm, which was no good with our dinner time, so missed 2 shows. Grease was ok, but they had a few hiccups. Both the ice shows were great. I don’t think the groups/bands were as good this year, but that’s just my personal opinion. Bar service was generally good, but they could do with more staff in Boleros, as most days there was only one serving and if they had to go and get more bottles it was left unmanned. Quite a bit of queuing most of the time. Katerina, the waitress was brilliant there, friendly and smiling. All the ports of call were great, as was getting on and off the ship each time. We had the usual kids running around and playing in the lifts, but that’s down to the parents who obviously didn’t care. I was a bit worried after reading previous reviews about getting a seat anywhere, but we always managed to find a seat in Windjammers and a sun lounger every day. The bars were quite busy and if we couldn’t get a seat in one we always found one in another (except the Schooner bar, which was always rammed). I do wish everyone would wash their hands in the restaurants, as every day we saw people just walking straight in and we have to go and use the tongs they have used. Instead of the lovely singing waiters singing to wash your hands as you go in, they should be making people do it who walk straight by. Great cruise, lovely ports of call, glorious weather and no real complaints, only the tatty stateroom. Cannot wait until the next cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2019
Background We have cruised 15+ times on various lines and usually go for the itinerary. We’ve always wanted to do Norway and this cruise popped up on Vacations To Go and away we were. We did book it rather late, probably a couple ... Read More
Background We have cruised 15+ times on various lines and usually go for the itinerary. We’ve always wanted to do Norway and this cruise popped up on Vacations To Go and away we were. We did book it rather late, probably a couple months prior. We had gone on Celebrity once before so we knew we had a good cruise line with a great itinerary. Little did we know just how great both would be. Traveling to the Port We flew two days earlier from the States so we would arrive a day early to get a night’s rest before embarkation. We used Celebrity for booking the flights, primarily American Airlines since we collect their miles, but the major flight over, from Philadelphia to Heathrow, was British Airways which was quite good. Upon our arrival at Heathrow, Passport Control was quite simple and we collected our luggage, albeit waiting a while for it, and met our driver just outside of baggage collection. We had arranged for a car from Smith’s for Airports and he was great. Hotel Since I’ve been collecting points at Best Western, we had decided to see if our points would pay off and booked the Best Western at Chillworth Manor. We thought that, in worst case, we’d have a bed and a shower and off we would go to embarkation. Were we pleasantly surprised! The hotel is, indeed, a former Manor. Not Downton Abbey, but quite nice and interesting. The grounds were lovely to walk about and we had a wonderful stay. The staff was excellent. We had dinner in the restaurant (highly recommend) and the breakfast, in the restaurant, was probably the best “free” breakfast we had ever had. Room was nice and comfy and we were very happy we selected the Manor. Embarkation We left the hotel via a hotel-arranged taxi at 10:00 AM and arrived less than thirty minutes later. We went through check-in quite quickly and easily and had a seat in the waiting lounge for no more than 5-6 minutes before our “number” was called to board. All-in-all, a great embarkation experience all around!! Stateroom Our stateroom was a balcony, 9109, quite far forward (about 5 rooms back from the front, but we found it to be great and quiet. There was a bit of a walk to the elevators, but that’s okay with us! Our cabin steward kept the room exceptionally neat and we had not a complaint. My wife has a CPAP machine and, having arranged it ahead of time, we had a gallon of distilled water and, much to our surprise, an extension cord awaiting us in the room. The room also had a water heater and we had tea out on our deck most days. As far as standard ship balcony rooms go, this was a good one. The Ship We had been on the Equinox and knew the general layout of the Silhouette. I have to admit that, when we found out after booking that she would be in drydock soon after our trip, I was a bit concerned that we were going on an “old” ship. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, many of us on board commented to each other that we didn’t really know why it was even being refurbished! It was a beautiful ship from stem to stern. Getting around the ship was easy. There were three decks of inside “evening” areas, including dining, shops, lounges, etc. Deck 5 had an outdoor walking area but did not entirely circumvent the ship, which is disappointing but appears to be the way with these ships nowadays. I long for the “Promenade deck” of old! The pool area got some use though this was a cooler itinerary. The indoor solarium pool was more the place to be if swimming is what you looked for. Given the itinerary, we didn’t even pack bathing suits! Dining We usually opt for freestyle dining as Norwegian calls it but, having booked so late, we were forced to have 6:00PM dining. It was okay but we would prefer not to eat that early again. Our wait staff was excellent and we had two other couples, one from the UK and one from Israel, at our table and we became fast friends. Food selection was very good as was the food itself. Specialty Dining We availed ourselves to one of the 3-night specialty packages and, though we probably wouldn’t do the package again, we were not disappointed with the experience. I think we’d stay in the MDR and just take one arbitrary night to do a specialty restaurant, if at all. Our first experience was the Lawn Club Grille, an “outside” venue – though it was fairly enclosed with the plastic walls. This is the place for steaks as they cook them right there on the grille and they were fantastic! Second experience was the Tuscan Grille. Here’s a tip – if you ever do the Norwegian Fjords itinerary, and you plan on eating here at all during the cruise, do so on the day you sail away from Flam. The restaurant is the aft-most one can be with large viewing windows and sailing away down the fjord is just magnificent. This is an Italian steakhouse and, once again, the food and staff were excellent. Our last experience, our last dinner on this cruise, was at Qsine. The “Les Petits Chefs’ experience is a once-in-a-lifetime thing that must be experienced. The table top animation is just tremendous, but that doesn’t take away from the great food and excellent service they provide. If you only do one specialty restaurant, make this one your choice. Activities There are activities every day and we admittedly did not participate much. The few we did – Question of the Day, Riddle of the Day, Movie/TV music themes – were fun and well-done and we probably did ourselves a disservice not participating more but there are only so many hours in a day. Suffice it to say that if Activities are your thing, there are plenty and seem to be well done. Entertainment We went to every one of the 7 theater shows and we were very impressed with all. The production team did three shows, all of them spectacular. The aerialists and acrobats were outstanding, as were the singers and dancers. One show was a local UK singer/pianist who did a very good job, especially on the piano. Another night was a comedian who was quite good and funny. The Flyboys were on board and they are a quartet of singers who transform “modern” songs into swing era style. The Overtures, the best 60’s band in the world according to Elton John, performed one night to rousing ovations and applause and did a quick set the last night in the Foyer area. The live music throughout the ship was top-notch. Two bands, once of which played a lot of 60s – 80s rock and roll, a solo guitarist/vocalist, a string duo (violin and cello) doing modern tunes with strings, were all great. We went to one of the “game shows”, Liars Club or some such thing, which was hilarious and I’m certain other shows were equally well done. On the final day, Captain George gave a talk about the ship and navigation and had a lengthy Q&A which was all very interesting. Ports The itinerary consisted of four fabulous ports. We used Celebrity for all tour excursions. We arrived in Bergen, Norway, at noon. Our tour was a little later and was simply a panorama tour of Bergen and the surrounding hills. Our guide was excellent and the tour was good. Also at Bergen is the ability to take a funicular up the hillside for views of the city. We did not do so but others on board did and report that it was great. Our second stop was at Alesund, Norway. Two things of note: If you go do Alesund and don’t do the Path of the Trolls tour, you have not been to Norway! And, though I know lots of cruise critics eschew ship tours, I heartily recommend you do the ship tour for this one or be prepared to fly yourself out to the next port. This is a LONG tour and is subject to so many possibilities of delays. Anyhow, the tour is excellent. You get to go well into the interior of Norway with its tremendous views. The third stop is the reason for taking a cruise to Norway, this cruise into and out of Flam. This town of only 400 is nestled at the end of an arm of Norway’s longest fjord. The cruise in and out is spectacular, with waterfalls almost within reach of the ship. We took the Flam railway up to the end, climbing up through the mountains with outstanding views of the Flam River valley and the various waterfalls. Flam is also a great town to walk about and get some souvenirs. The final stop was Stavanger which is a pretty good sized city at the southern end of Norway. From the ship, we took the cruise of the Lysefjord fjord. This was a great trip, despite the only real serious rain of the whole cruise. We had views of the great waterfalls and the famous Pulpit Rock. An interesting stop for waffles and coffee was also made and much appreciated. Disembarkation We elected to have our luggage taken off the ship and meeting it on shore, though a leisurely walk-off is also available. Getting off the ship was a breeze. We found our luggage quickly as that is well-organized. Customs was nothing since we had nothing to declare. We, again, had a ride organized with Smith’s for Airports and he collected us on time and had us to Heathrow with time to spare. Summary All in all, this was one of the best cruises we have ever taken. Admittedly, much of that credit goes to the itinerary, but the ship, staff, service, food and everything about the Silhouette was top-notch. Well done, Celebrity! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Our August/September Golden Anniversary Cruise was on P & O’s Ventura, a ship on which we have travelled before, in fact it was on our first cruise just 2 years ago. We chose the itinerary primarily because the date of our ... Read More
Our August/September Golden Anniversary Cruise was on P & O’s Ventura, a ship on which we have travelled before, in fact it was on our first cruise just 2 years ago. We chose the itinerary primarily because the date of our anniversary was mid-cruise and the week-long itinerary included the island where we had our honeymoon back in September 1969, Guernsey, where we could relive all the fond memories of our time there. We had very high hopes since we love Ventura and I had pre-booked a meal in the Epicurean , the ship’s specialist fine-dining restaurant, on the night of our anniversary. That meal was spectacular and the staff were amazing. Apart from being delicious, the food was so imaginative – how about fried custard on your dessert? It was a really lovely surprise, believe me. So, Ventura scores very highly in terms of food and service including the excellent support my wife has for her special dietary needs, and our super cabin steward, Morris. Unfortunately, it was not the cruise we had hoped for in respect of the shore experiences. The first disappointment was to be told, in advance, that we would not be berthing in Amsterdam but at the distant port of Ijmuiden and that a bus shuttle service would be provided. At the time I received the notification I guess I wasn’t too concerned because I hadn’t visited Amsterdam before and didn’t know what impact those arrangements would have on our time there. We were given the usual ‘operational reasons’ excuse. Because details were not divulged, everyone, and I mean everyone, I spoke with believed it was down to the tax imposed on cruise ship passengers. I wonder how much money was spent on the shuttle services and how passenger experiences were thereby enhanced. Come on P & O! Amsterdam is a fascinating city for loads of reasons. It is just the sort of destination that really benefits cruise visitors when they are able to pop on and off of their ship at will. Sadly, a bus shuttle that took between 40 minutes and over an hour in each direction killed that opportunity. Equally, long delays waiting, in blazing sunshine (well at least we had that!), for return shuttles that got stuck in heavy traffic was not the most pleasant experience other than for sun worshippers! This problem must have been known of in advance and precautions taken to alleviate the misery. This was particularly an issue on our first day when we had booked an evening canal excursion that meant we had to ‘shuttle’ back to the ship in order to pick up the excursion bus to travel back in again, thus cutting our time in Amsterdam on our own severely. The actual excursion was great and you can imagine that we really dug into the cheese and wine provided, especially the wine. However, the real disappointment came when we arrived at Guernsey. I queued early to get a reasonable tender time and was given two spaces on the first tender departure. We were thrilled to have such a long time ashore to relive all those wonderful memories. The thrill was quickly stifled when the captain announced that the winds were too severe to operate the tenders although he would ‘hang around’ for half an hour because the forecast was that the winds would reduce. No such luck because, after 30 minutes had elapsed, we were told that it was too dangerous to operate the tenders. We were both so upset, my wife in particular. I am well aware that safety of passengers is paramount and I cannot take issue with P & O over the decision. What I find hard to take is that, having spoken to so many passengers both on and off the ship at the time and since returning home who have suffered the same experience, I don’t understand why either the destination is not removed from itineraries if it is so dangerous or that the largest possible ‘health warning’ of the likelihood of ‘failure’ is prominently published in all the appropriate literature, including glossy brochures. A Golden Wedding comes only once and is so special. Our celebration left a real curate’s egg of memories from the joy of Epicurean to the real sadness of missing out on re-visiting our honeymoon island. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
MSc Preziosa Safety- Hygiene unfortunately lower than on NCL although there are hand wash machines available they are not always obvious on entrance to ship after excursions. No washy washy ladies at restaurants here! Lots of ... Read More
MSc Preziosa Safety- Hygiene unfortunately lower than on NCL although there are hand wash machines available they are not always obvious on entrance to ship after excursions. No washy washy ladies at restaurants here! Lots of passengers seemed to not wash their hands. Having said that we didn’t suffer with tummy problems. Safety Drill- very loud but people spoke over it. I guess that’s the issue with having so many languages onboard. We also found this an issue at the captains cocktail party where he was talking and people chatted to each other making it impossible to hear what he and the senior officers were saying. It seemed quite rude of passengers to do this. Southampton Face to Face Customs-We were all required to do this by UK government. We didn’t go at our ‘ever so early for us on a sea day’ time slot but wandered in when we chose to. After all it is meant to be a holiday not boot camp! Food-The food is generally warm or even cold at buffet breakfast- I didn’t have one hot fried egg while there. A shame they don’t have an egg station where you get it made while you wait. Restaurant/buffet- we were allocated second sitting and we prefer to eat early so only went once. Also, we are a bit picky with food as I don’t eat much meat and husband no fish. On the first night there were no options we would chose so we went to the buffet where we could pick what we liked in the quantity we liked at a time convenient with us. The pizza was delicious and I was particularly stuck with the fantastical crisp charcoal ‘black’ pizza. At lunch we went to the restaurant when we could and enjoyed the offerings especially the ‘made in front of you’ pasta served to your liking. Butchers Cut-Service was good to start with but we waited a long time for our ‘bill’ at the end and card back. Obviously, very meat orientated and a special menu to choose from if getting it as part of Black loyalty ‘free speciality restaurant’ perk. You get one started, a main with 1 side and a dessert. We weren’t hugely impressed with it as the three sides I ordered were not hot, just warm. I think we would have enjoyed it more if it had been an Italian restaurant, which apparently there was one before. In an Italian ship, it seems they are missing a trick here-one of the reasons we chose MSC is because we enjoy the authentic tasting Italian dishes. I wonder who will be the first ship to have a vegetarian restaurant onboard Entertainment- The UK guest comedian/impressionist Andrew Flemming was great fun. He happened to single me out and made quite a lot of jokes with my name in them throughout the gig! I loved it! It was anything but easy for him though as a lot of Italians there didn’t seem to show less engagement. He definitely appealed to the UK audience though and I don’t see why others wouldn’t enjoy his Frank Sinatra and Elvis impression. The second show when he did Impressions of Cliff Richard and David Bowie making up alternative words to their songs was just excellent and hilarious. I hope to see him on future cruises. Well done to MSC for thinking of the UK audience. I think they got the right kind of entertainment and a Dutch couple onboard told us they loved the British sense of humour and enjoyed the show. Other shows we saw was the Italian night which was not to be missed if you enjoy traditional Italian songs most people know. They were performed well and it was a good show. There is an issue with timings though as most people don’t get served in Ian restaurant in time to make it to shows. This means the late comers dwindle in throughout the show which rather upsets the flow of the evening. Maybe the timings need tweaking? The only way to ensure you get to a show is to dine in the buffet as you have control on how quickly you are served! There was a good piano concert in the afternoon on a sea day. Just half an hour but a relaxing one listening to a hugely talented maestro. Most evenings we went to see Roberto perform. he is a fantastic vocalist and guitarist with a repertoire from classical operatic numbers, to progressive rock to ballads. We loved it and he is staying on the ship an extra three months so if you are going before end Nov -you are in for a treat! 70s, 80s & 90s night was great fun and had many folk dancing in the reception area....surely there’s a better venue for this? Having said that, it was such fun to go up and down the glass elevators busting some moves! A lot of folk did this while people took pictures and videos to share back home! There is another couple who sing on the ship and we recognised them from MSC Magnifica. They used to do the fun bits during the show on Magnifica with a really fun Bongi, Bongi song. On this ship they do ABBA evening which again commanded crowds and people dancing in the aisles of a small venue. Yet another couple sing in the atrium reception area and possibly they have been told to ‘go gentle’ but some of the gutsy songs they sing are not don’t justice by these two as they are not giving them thrust. It appears they are young and nervous and could do with some coaching to get them singing more confidently and stronger. I liked their choice of songs though so we listened to them too. Spa- there are four comfy loungers and four heated ones and seven basic plastic upright chairs. The latter are handy for people to sit on and scowl at the others who are hogging the more comfortable loungers! There is a couple of saunas and steam rooms. We had a day’s free spa entry when we bought a massage and also a free hour for having Black status loyalty membership. We chose to use the first on a day when Ship was collecting new passengers from Hamburg and it was less busy, as we had hoped. We had a couples massage and it were excellent and booked a second when immediately prompted (actually while we were coming around from the first!) It was discounted the first time and further discounted for the second. These were worth it for us as we both needed them with our various aches and pains and felt hugely relaxed afterwards. One unfortunate issue is, there are a lot of spa workers outside the spa (trying to attract people in). On our arrival, although we politely said hello, a few laughed just after we walked past them. This isn’t the first time we experienced this on a MSC ship and it may just be an unfortunate coincidence but this really shouldn’t happen as we were left feeling we had been a butt of a joke shared in another language. I hope we were wrong but it may be a good idea to train staff to not do this whatever they were finding amusing. Fellow Passengers- We met some delightful guests onboard but there were also rude complaining ones. After complaining about the ‘useless staff’ a man turned to me and said he was never sailing with MSC again. I felt like answering, “that’s good- it makes me more likely to book again!” I was astounded by people’s urgent need for mid afternoon cakes. It seemed that unless they were served immediately, they went into ‘moaning mode’. People expected the staff to know what they wanted without telling them! It is as well to remember manners and the fact the staff work 12 hour days and do not have days off. I felt embarrassed and appalled by the behaviour of some passengers to staff. Conclusion-If you have a tendency to find fault and complain, perhaps it would be best for you to spend double on a more expensive cruise. If you want a budget cruise with opportunity to meet other nationalities then this could be the ship for you. I think on the whole the good outweighed the bad for us and we would return as we came home feeling relaxed and had some happy memories of our week onboard the Preziosa. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We’ve done numerous cruises mostly with other companies, this was our 4th with MSC. We realise it was still school holidays but feel there should have been an adult only area to relax on sea days, and not the Top Sail area which is an ... Read More
We’ve done numerous cruises mostly with other companies, this was our 4th with MSC. We realise it was still school holidays but feel there should have been an adult only area to relax on sea days, and not the Top Sail area which is an extra cost. We found the food in the buffet lukewarm most of the time as was the water for teas etc. We only ate in the dining area one night as it took nearly thirty minutes to get any service, so opted for the buffet. Whilst we always found something to eat, the temperature of the food was lukewarm and there never seemed to be enough staff to clear the tables and when they were cleared, piles of left over food were visible everywhere, most unappetising. Lots of mess on the floor left for long periods of time. Guests continued to fill their own water bottles at the water dispensers even though there were signs to the contrary and staff did nothing to prevent this, surely this is a concern when viruses and germs can spread. A lot of our fellow passengers felt the need to avoid the handgel at the entrance and then proceeded to barge you out of the way to get their food. There was also the usual hogging of sun loungers for hours on end with no sign of the occupants and no staff to remove the towels. On embarkation, it took nearly 2 hours to get through due to reduced security staff and only a handful of staff checking your documents and handing out your cruise card. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We have cruised 3 times with Royal Caribbean and decided we shall not ever travel again in their ships. Grubby worn and extremely lacking of any luxury fixtures or fittings. The chairs in the Stsr Lounge were extremely worn torn and shabby ... Read More
We have cruised 3 times with Royal Caribbean and decided we shall not ever travel again in their ships. Grubby worn and extremely lacking of any luxury fixtures or fittings. The chairs in the Stsr Lounge were extremely worn torn and shabby and some of the rest rooms left a lot to be desired..,. Broken door handles and fixtures missing....if you miss dinner and attempt to eat in the Winjammer it closed st 9pm do we were left to eat pizza at the small cafe on the promenade which was heaving with very loud teenagers. Great trip for families but some parents are oblivious to the antics of their offspring and we witnessed a good fight between some youngsters who were throwing ice cream at each other covering walls and floors on deck 11....bar staff were excellent as were the casino staff but the lack of quality isnd detail of cabins was very disappointing. we Are planning a cruise next spring and shall definitely be joining Celebrity again....maybe a little more expensive but extremely superior quality.... regards. Lynda Guy Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this itinerary primarily for the itinerary. We were in a mini-suite on the 9th deck - the Dolphin deck. This was a "Medallion" cruise which uses a small electronic device similar to a keyless car key for all ... Read More
We chose this itinerary primarily for the itinerary. We were in a mini-suite on the 9th deck - the Dolphin deck. This was a "Medallion" cruise which uses a small electronic device similar to a keyless car key for all transactions including opening the door of your cabin as you approach - nice if you're carrying something. Embarkation was a little tedious because our pre-ordered medallions did not arrive before we left and were not available to the second day of our cruise. Cabin was a little care-worn but not offensive - like staying in a Holiday Inn Express vs a 4 star hotel. The bed was comfortable enough although visible concavity on both sides reflective of prolonged use. Bath was adequate with motel level toiletries. Shower - tub combo was essentially a shower as the drain could not be closed - not an issue for us. Closet space was adequate. Electrical outlets were few in number reflecting the age of this ship. The trick is to use the outlets for one of the two TV's in this suite. Our cabin steward was superb in keeping our room clean. Any-time dining requires a strategy to keep from waiting - make a reservation if you want dining for two! On balance food in main dining was good - sometimes excellent but with some misses. No problem changing your order if you didn't care for the dish. Using the buffet particularly for breakfast also requires a strategy which a peak times makes finding a table problematic. Find your table first and then get your breakfast. The ports of call and the size of the ship places you either at anchorage or some distance from the named destination - not unusual for any large ship. In Guernsey, the water taxi on return to the ship required a 40 MINUTE wait - UNACCEPTABLE! In Dublin the dock was at an industrial area with no foot traffic allowed and no taxis available. The only option for getting to town was to use the ship shuttle at $16 a person additional unless you were on a ship-sponsored excursion. Based on our prior cruising experience, we did private hires and guides at most ports which were competitive with or even cheaper than ship excursions. We are not prone toward attending the ship-sponsored events including art auctions or clothing sales and the pressure to do so was minimal. Evening entertainment in theater required 30 minute prior arrival time to gain a seat for a 45 minute show so skipped a few but those attended were good. As far as food quality goes, breakfast buffet offered lots of choices including several healthy alternative including remarkably good fresh fruit. Lunch rarely taken onboard while in port. Dining room menu was varied with good options. Preparation and taste had wide variability but wait staff were happy to exchange the course if you desired. Wait staff mostly attentive but clearly rushed. Most all of the negatives were related to having to move 3000 people around efficiently and comfortably - successful some of the time but tedious at other times. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We had previously cruised on Oceana and loved it. We chose Britannia as we could only travel in August and we liked the ports of call in the med. We had a balcony cabin on deck 12 midship. The cabin was modern and equipped with all ... Read More
We had previously cruised on Oceana and loved it. We chose Britannia as we could only travel in August and we liked the ports of call in the med. We had a balcony cabin on deck 12 midship. The cabin was modern and equipped with all we needed. Our cabin steward was very polite although he didn’t clean as I thought he should have, eg he never hoovered once in 14 days. Food was excellent in all restaurants. We had a dining experience in the Epicurean which was outstanding. We found all staff polite and welcoming. There was a packed itinerary of activities all day. In my opinion cruising is value for money. The gym wasn’t the best. There was lots of cardio equipment but the free weights area was somewhat lacking. There was one lat machine with only one side working. The main pool on Lido deck was very busy and noisy but the adult on section on the deck above was peaceful. The air conditioning inside the ship was set to quite cold so I’d advise a cardigan or sweater in doors if you are sensitive to the cold. Disembarkation was organised, we were able to find our luggage without any problems Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
2019 Oceania Cruise Line - Celtic Kingdoms (MNA190804) on the Marina Dates: August 4, 2019 through August 17, 2019 Ports of call: Embark at Southampton UK Edinburgh(Newhaven) Scotland Invergordon Scotland ... Read More
2019 Oceania Cruise Line - Celtic Kingdoms (MNA190804) on the Marina Dates: August 4, 2019 through August 17, 2019 Ports of call: Embark at Southampton UK Edinburgh(Newhaven) Scotland Invergordon Scotland Glasgow(Greenock) Scotland - Missed(did not dock due to weather conditions) Dublin Ireland Cork(Cobh) Ireland Portland UK Disembark at Southampton UK This was our second cruise and first time with Oceania Cruise Line. We opted for a PH Suite (11035) and a trip that left us at the same port from where we started to allow us to extend the vacation in London UK. We chose an upgraded beverage package which we probably will not do in the future unless there are a lot of days at sea. The location of our suite was very convenient, near the executive lounge. It was spacious, nicely appointed and quiet. The staff in all areas of the ship were a standout. The passengers were a bit more mature here than on the Norwegian Cruise Line, though one could still find beverage glasses left in inappropriate places. The cruise line is known for the dining and wine experience. The main Grand Dining room was exceptional in ambiance, cuisine and staff. In my opinion, it out performed two of the specialty venues - Jacques and The Polo Grill. Jacques and The Polo Grill were not particularly special meals or service. However, both Toscana and Red Ginger were outstanding. We returned to Red Ginger for a second evening meal. Meeting and enjoying the company of other passengers was much easier on the Marina than the Norwegian Dawn. The two wine tasting/lectures were every informative and enjoyable. Mary Ann and I both enjoyed the services at the Canyon Ranch. We took one cruise sponsored excursion in Dublin Ireland. Frankly, the River Cruise DUB-006 OS was a disappointment. The tour guide banter during the boat ride on the Liffey was fun but there was no time for any questions and answers. The excursion continued on a cramped bus that sat in horrible Dublin traffic along all the streets that paralleled and bridges that crossed the river. We fared far better on our own in both Dublin and Cork. Both cities are very conducive to walking and the shopping is great fun. Our time spent in Scotland with Highlander Tours (Andrew McAlindon) was by far the absolute acme of the trip in Edinburgh and Invergordon. We were not able to dock in Glasgow(Greenock) Scotland due to severe weather. We have posted a review of Highlander Tours on the TripAdvisor site. The Hotel Rubens at the Palace is a very nice place with nicely appointed rooms and baths. The location in London is convenient but the lobby is cramped. The staff is solicitous and the Curry Room has excellent Indian food. We managed to see "Hamilton" at the Victoria Palace Theatre in London - a real serendipitous treat. We lightened our wallets when we shopped and ate at Harrods but it was lots of fun. I purchased the quintessential long trench coat at Burberry on Brompton Road - very nice staff and a great all-weather coat. The flights on British Airlines were typical long distance air travel - forgettable if you are lucky. We were bumped from Premium Economy to Business on the return trip from Heathrow, but had to wait 45-minutes on the tarmac at Logan in Boston for a terminal slot to become available. The food is a bit better in Business class but I am not fond of the seating arrangement. We were not able to be seated together. C'est la vie. We have used Patty Dyer as our AAA Northeast Travel Consultant on other occasions and she provides stellar service. I have posted reviews on Goggle Maps for many of the places we visited during the trip. In all, this was a wonderful vacation trip, full of joy and lasting memories. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
I’ll keep this short as I find I stop reading if people write to much. In bullet point fashion. Embarkation: great Cabin steward: absolutely marvellous and they always are. Ship: a bit tired looking, could do with new carpets ... Read More
I’ll keep this short as I find I stop reading if people write to much. In bullet point fashion. Embarkation: great Cabin steward: absolutely marvellous and they always are. Ship: a bit tired looking, could do with new carpets and paint etc. Staff: reception: awful. If a smile is all your after, that’s all you will get. They really are dreadful. Waiting staff: at breakfast they are miserable and slow even though we were all extremely polite and patient. The evening the attitude is slightly better. Other guests: Rude, arrogant and miserable. Honestly why come on holiday if your going to be like that. I’ve found this to be true on Victoria as well. I think this contributes to the mood of the staff. Food: very good. Kids club: great Pools: dirty (all of them) I went in with my son wearing goggles and wished I hadn’t! Perhaps I’ve gone on too much but really I don’t expect anything to change and if Your only interest is to tell people you’ve been on Cunard you’ll probably continue to put up with it. Holland America beats them hands down (I’m English btw). Enough droning as I’ve definitely gone on too long. Happy cruising Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this cruise as it was sailing to a number of tick box locations. The embarkation process was amongst the easiest of all, after 8 previous cruises, we are big fans of cruise embarkation, this was excellent. We made our way to our ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was sailing to a number of tick box locations. The embarkation process was amongst the easiest of all, after 8 previous cruises, we are big fans of cruise embarkation, this was excellent. We made our way to our cabin 7204 - Ocean view, very clean and as we took our own phone chargers it didn’t matter that the only part of the cabin that didn’t work was the hub socket. We have now had cabins at the stern previously and chose a front facing cabin. Our first two week cruise, we took clothes to fit this, however we believe the wardrobe wasn’t big enough, perhaps during the next refit this could be addressed without losing too much. After checking out and being pleased with our cabin, as is our normal practice we look at the restaurant and where we were to spend our evening meal. We had informed Royal Caribbean of our request for early dining and a table for two. As far as we were concerned this was agreed however on reaching our table we were to be sat at a table for eight. Speaking to the chap with the laptop, we were told, “we decide table seating, not Royal Caribbean “, as we were an early sitting, he advised us to eat at 2000, when a two seat table would have been arranged. At 2000, we returned to the restaurant and were dealt with by embarrassed staff, who could not do enough for us. We ended our meal with the promise that our table for the next meal was a two seater table at 1800. This was confirmed with a note posted to our cabin. The following night we went to our nominated table at our nominated time and unfortunately another couple were sat having ordered their meal. Further embarrassment all around amongst the staff, eventually we had to be in the restaurant at 1745, we could then eat at the same table (for two) for the remainder of the cruise. On our return home I contacted Royal Caribbean to inform them and received the following reply “We have received your correspondence regarding the table issue. We apologize that it did not work out as you said it has in the past. When you request a table for two that is exactly what it is a request its not a guaranty”. (It would be impolite to alter the spelling) the evenings entertainment on day one was a make shift performance to introduce everyone to the guests, day two the entertainment on the first sea day was a Beatles tribute band, excellent they were to, standing ovation The entertainment was a series of guest artists appearing nightly, including Mick Miller, who was quite funny in the 70’s, 40 years later, not so! Visiting male singer, female singer, a juggler, a hypnotist, a magician all of whom were simple fare passing the time until the next days visit. The scenery of a Baltic cruise is exceptional unfortunately 50% is during the night, but it must be said the ports and shore excursions were second to none, however all when booked on the ship were very expensive due in main to the rubbish exchange rate between the dollar and the pound. We needed to book the shore excursion in St Petersburg to enable a visa to be covered for the trip. Otherwise normally we do not book onboard excursions, these were very expensive, what we did though was book the hop on, hop off buses for $18 each. Visiting Oslo, Copenhagen, Tallin, St Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm, Skagen, Stavanger, all superb places to visit, though the majority were not suitable for wheelchair users as explained in the ships daily post, still ignored however, particularly on the cobbles of St Petersburg, it was painful to watch the struggles of pushing or being pushed on the treacherous paths. The entertainment team (not singers or dancers) tried very hard to make the cruise enjoyable with lots of quizzes, these were in the main very difficult. They ran the bingo, very expensive at $56 for two pages of four and two dabbers. The session we attended was a very long session for one house which was $500. We think there were four singers in the entertainment team, they were brilliant but only put on four shows in the fortnight we were on our cruise, the team of dancers were equally talented but also only gave the four shows. Further entertainment was provided by the Wild boys, again brilliant and also another comedian who was up to date and funny Speaking to other passengers who had sailed with Royal Caribbean they agreed the ship was the worst they had been on, it was our first Royal Caribbean cruise and yes it will most probably our last. A shame, a very good crew, a very funny Cruise Director but the first weeks food was bland, the second weeks food was better. All in all if this was our first cruise we would not be upset, but after nine cruises, it was no where near the best one. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Been 6 times now and this was up there with the rest of them. SHIP Been on the larger ones but Aurora is my favourite. Very attractive ship with lovely wide Promenade Deck and tiered aft. RESTAURANTS Medina and Horizon ... Read More
Been 6 times now and this was up there with the rest of them. SHIP Been on the larger ones but Aurora is my favourite. Very attractive ship with lovely wide Promenade Deck and tiered aft. RESTAURANTS Medina and Horizon restaurants were excellent as always. Great selection of food and always fresh and hot. Everyone smiled and welcomed guests in and out. Where we had to wait for a table for two in the Meridian the wait was only 25 minutes max. Just enough time to pop to Andersons bar to enjoy a pint. We also paid £15 each to see the galley where they make and prepare all the dishes and it was a real eye-opener. Spotless and everyone working to a Trojan standard. Told there is only one Soup Chef and one Potato Chef, etc. This is partly so if there are any complaints the Galley Manager knows who to talk with and also where they are only cooking these items day-in-day-out they always come out perfect. If you do this make sure you have a very early breakfast or none as the visit starts at 10.30am and they serve large trays of canapes along with Champagne. SERVICE Five star throughout. Many staff who you made eye contact with would say 'Good Morning/Afternoon' as they passed you in the corridor. This included the lowest-ranked staff all the way up to the officers. Ask for anything and you will get it. SHOWS The Headliners Theatre Company performers were outstanding as were the comedians and guest singers. The show choreography was also really good. ISSUES Just a couple. Room Service used to be free. It still is for breakfast but other things are chargeable now. The mattress was only 5 years old but was one with springs that had had their day. Woke up the first couple of mornings with bad backs but reception sorted it. When booking it is also not made clear that you CANNOT do Freedom Dining unless you are a Select booking or you are very lucky. We assumed Select booking meant you could choose which fixed dining time you could have, ie 6.30 or 8.30. We assumed that Freedom Dining was for everyone - but beware it isn't. The dining Manager showed us a list of over 150 people who were trying to change to Freedom Dining. Maybe some of these also made this mistake. Due to personal health reasons we did manage to get this changed and greatly thank P&O for this. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary paying full price at the start of the year, first time ever cruising so expected to be wowed! Our room is clean and comfortable and we have no complaints there. The main ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary paying full price at the start of the year, first time ever cruising so expected to be wowed! Our room is clean and comfortable and we have no complaints there. The main pool area is in my mind ‘Benidorm on Sea’ loud, packed like sardines next to each other and with children dominating the very small pool. People reserving beds. We have resulted in either sitting in a chair on the back deck or lying uncomfortably on the grass. I did make a complaint about this but I did not receive any further correspondence. Food is excellent, large choice offered with choice of self service and formal dining. However all meals are warm only not hot as they should be. Some fellow passengers do not make an effort to dress for dinner which is disappointing and not as expected on a higher calibre of cruising company. Frustrating to know that some passengers have paid half the price we have during sale periods and that children are free. Evening entertainment is good in the main stage area however late evening disco/band for over 25’s is non existent apart from a silent disco, great fun but finishes way too early. First day on board we joined a guided tour of the ship to be told the Silhouette is having a full refurb at the end of the year. It does look tired in some areas. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise as we have sailed with celebrity twice before on different ships and were very satisfied with them. As it was our wedding anniversary we upgraded to a corner sky suite with a larger balcony (Was the best thing about ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we have sailed with celebrity twice before on different ships and were very satisfied with them. As it was our wedding anniversary we upgraded to a corner sky suite with a larger balcony (Was the best thing about the cruise). Overall it was a disappointing experience due to the high amount of passengers and cramped deck space. It seemed like there wasn't enough capacity in the bars and restaurants to cope. The evening entertainment was also in the main poor with a rush to get seated for the big shows and very little in the way of waiter service. The lawned areas of the deck in my opinion are also a wasted space useful only for more revenue for celebrity to charge extra for alcoves. As this was our anniversary we were told that we would receive a meal in one of the specialty restaurants but this did not happen and flowers and champagne bought for us by a friend only arrived when we were going to bed. We didn't even get a window seat in Luminae that night. The last time we cruised with celebrity was my wife's 50th birthday and was treated to the captain's table and an expensive bottle of champagne. Excursions were good and well organised. Overall it wasn't a bad cruise but for the money I would expect a lot better. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
My cabin was 9210 which was an aft suite. In this letter I will be detailing my experience onboard your vessel. Just a little background this was our sixth cruise with your company and have had a wonderful time previously. We have ... Read More
My cabin was 9210 which was an aft suite. In this letter I will be detailing my experience onboard your vessel. Just a little background this was our sixth cruise with your company and have had a wonderful time previously. We have cruised on the Getaway, Escape, Jade and Pearl. This was a honeymoon cruise for us and we had invited 2 other couples to cruise with us neither have even been on an NCL cruise before. Upon boarding the ship with great enthusiasm and excitement as we have been planning this trip for well over a year. The ship was delayed departing as it had a mechanical issue and did not depart till 1:30 AM the next morning. That is when things turned sour. In order for the ship to make up time it was cruising at a 22-24 knots according to the information screen. This caused our suite to vibrate uncontrollably with glassware clanging, draws opening and the safe door banging it was like traveling on the New York City subway. Everything started rattling, draws sliding open, safe door clanging, and bathroom items falling into the sink and to the floor. Please note in the pictures provided the vibration is so severe, the bathroom tiles had cracked and vibrated loose leaving it uneven. Monday July 22 upon us going to breakfast we spoke to the Concierge about being up all night and her response was she was going to look into it. Well the day progressed as the speed stayed consistence and at 5PM we went to guest services to speak with the manager, unfortunately the guest services rep had to be asked 4 times before my husband finally said that he was not happy and that he would start yelling if his request was not attended to. Finally, the front end manager came out along with the Concierge. Upon speaking with The supervisor we found out that the vibration problem was a known issue. She had said that vibration tests were done in our Suite and that the vibration occurred around 19 knots. She said that she would send an email to the Miami offices informing them of the issue. The immediate solution was to give us a room on deck 6 closer to the front of the ship with a window. So, on nights that the ship was going over 19 knots I was supposed to pack a bag and sleep in another cabin. We found this extremely inconvenient and ridiculous. We then asked for a schedule of cruising speed so we would have knowledge of sleeping arrangements. Well it was supplied but not exactly accurate we learned after the second sleepless night to add 5-10 knots per numbers supplied. By the third day after falling asleep on the bus rides for our excursions (yes paying a lot and missing a lot) I decided to set up an appointment with the Front-End Manager. Again, we found out that he was also aware of the vibration problem on the ship. By this time, I cannot understand how your company would still take $10,000 for a cabin with known issues and think it is OK. This is stealing money from your customers. So, we paid for a suite that could not be used when the ship was moving, and was offered a cabin with a window. Also, I do not understand why the concierge that did not utter a word to us after the first day. Not any staff member offered us any assistance to transition from one cabin to another as we slept in the other cabin for 6 nights. You would have thought that knowing the problem the staff would have been more accommodating and helpful to try to smooth over all of our discomfort. We then thought upon spending the night in Dublin we could stay in our cabin, the captain said that to prepare for dry dock in January they were going to be weighing the ship at night. The cruise director added that they were doing water testing. Well with the staff knowing the issues of our cabin you would think that someone would have suggested us to sleep in our other cabin. Well let me tell you what they did. The crew filled the ballast with water after moving the ship away from the dock. From 1:00am to 5:30am the crew was revving the engines up and down causing our suite to vibrate violently. I tried calling guest service but that was worthless as no one answered the phone. I find it comical how the entire ship knew the issue with the aft cabins but could not care about the guests occupying them. Later that day we had an appointment with management to hear the response from NCL corporate. They read us the response from corporate and My wife was in tears. After spending over $10,000 for the cruise it was like a slap in the face not only were we sleep deprived, falling asleep on buses to and from excursion locations and totally frustrated as not only did we have 2 other couples traveling with us this was my HONEYMOON that is being totally ruined. I felt that I was not considered a valued guest as with this cruise I was going to be a platinum member which does show the loyalty I had with your company. On top of the vibration issues, I was looking forward to a bath at night before bed. The tub had disgusting mold growing around it, and the staff had to step in and out of the tub to pull shade up or down. We had spent over 10,000 dollars for this cruise for a cabin we picked over a year ago, so we could entertain our friends with cocktails and cheese plates (which were ordered in advance). The vibration and noise did not allow any of this. I am not sure if you or a company representative have seen the condition of this ship but it should have been dry docked long ago. The bathroom tiles are cracked and have uneven surfaces as you could not walk barefoot to the toilet. The furniture was stained and looked dirty. The staff was very passive and inattentive. We heard the same issues from our neighbors, it was like the staff did not want to speak with us for fear of hearing more complaints. The service was not up to par with any other cruises we had taken with your company. Where the ship’s staff and corporate offices had knowledge of all the issues long before we had boarded, especially where vibration testing that had been done, these cabins should have never been sold or occupied. To take a customer’s money in advance and knowingly sell a room that does not allow for quiet enjoyment is stealing the customers money. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Overall I struggle with rating average or poor. We have cruised before with NCL and changed from Princess to NCL for our cruise around the British Islands as they had less ports with tenders and the service has previously been excellent. ... Read More
Overall I struggle with rating average or poor. We have cruised before with NCL and changed from Princess to NCL for our cruise around the British Islands as they had less ports with tenders and the service has previously been excellent. Once again, the embarkation and disembarkation were smooth. The ship departed almost 12 hours late with no communication whatsoever. We were finally able to piece together from other passengers that NCL came very close to cancelling the cruise and sending us all back to London. After denying that this delay would not impact our shore excursions, they had to make another announcement owning up to the truth. The staff at the shore excursion desk were doing what they could given the circumstances. Clearer communication from the cruise director would have saved a lot of heartache and waiting in lines. We saw very few happy employees on board the ship in every department. They were putting forward minimal effort. Food on the buffet was not hot; boring; and, tasteless. Service in the sit down restaurants was less than acceptable. Finally with the help of an assistant Matri D, we were able to find a very fun and helpful server who we requested the rest of the cruise. The ship needs a lot of work and is scheduled for upgrading soon. It needs it. Not up to NCL standards at all, and may I add NCL has basically average standards. Thankfully, the lounge acts and shows were very good and the ports of call did not disappoint. We had purchased Cruise Next on our previous cruise with NCL so we are stuck taking one more cruise with NCL. It was hard not to look at the people discussing Cruise Next options and recommend "don't do it". We will be seeking another cruise line. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This was the first Princess cruise we'd sailed that offered the new Medallion class experience; had seen on other reviews that people loved it so were looking forward to it. Essentially, the medallion is a version of the Disney ... Read More
This was the first Princess cruise we'd sailed that offered the new Medallion class experience; had seen on other reviews that people loved it so were looking forward to it. Essentially, the medallion is a version of the Disney MagicBand and has all of the same functions like opening your cabin door, registering your entrances/exits from the ship, charging expenses, etc.; it also includes operations like being able to order drinks and have them delivered to wherever you are onboard ship, tracking other people in your party onboard ship, playing various games, etc. We were told that eventually it will replace all paper on the ship including the daily Princess Patter newsletter, which lists all shipboard activities. All this sound may sound nice enough, but what we also discovered is that some of the personal information encoded into the medallion doesn't really stay personal; in fact, every waiter and even entertainer with whom we interacted had ready access to our names, cabin numbers, and even birth dates (which, incidentally, is all that's required to access your Medallion Internet account). What a surprise it was to have ship staff we did not even know call us by our names and then show us how our photos and other personal info showed up on their devices when we were within a certain distance of them. Don't know exactly how much information they have access to, but as one waiter put it, "We know everything about you!" Other than this issue of personal data exposure, the cruise went well although the food offerings and quality seemed to have diminished in quality—it wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t up to what we had come to expect from prior Princess cruises. We were disappointed especially in the food court as it was so tiny for such a large ship! And on some mornings, it was so very crowded that getting to food was difficult and time-consuming---it really needs to be larger. Dinner offerings in the main restaurants were usually okay, though I can't say any were fantastic (though I did love that chocolate ice cream!); on the other hand, all the wait staff were always very competent, efficient, professional, and friendly and the kitchen really does take food allergies seriously: Thanks to all the wonderful kitchen and waitstaff! Entertainment was so-so: the duo in the Wheelhouse Bar (Jezzebel) were quite good though I'd suggest that broadening their dance music to include a few traditional types of ballroom dance might be beneficial to their audiences; e.g., a typical old-time waltz, a foxtrot or two, a rumba, cha cha, etc. The party band (The Drop), however... music was actually fine but their volume was painful, and we could never remain in their venues without ear pain so never did get to dance to them. As far as itinerary, there are quite a few ports included (and we could have used more at-sea days to relax!), but each port was of value. We tend to like to visit cities using the "on your own" option and we did this in Cork (Blarney), Dublin, Glasgow, Paris, and also London, sometimes using the cities' hop-on, hop-off bus system to visit museums and other sights. And in each city, I'd recommend the "Big Bus" hop-on, hop-off system over the other companies as Big Bus always seemed to have the most buses and the best schedules; routes were pretty much equivalent.. Prior to the cruise, we arrived in England a day early and stayed at the Heathrow Renaissance Hotel; after the cruise we remained in London another few days and stayed at The Windermere Hotel, near Victoria Station and not far from Buckingham Palace. Both of those places are highly recommended, although they are quite different in that the Renaissance is a huge chain hotel and the Windermere is very small boutique hotel, but both provided excellent service, very friendly and helpful staff, clean rooms, a safe environment, and good food. The Windermere's Pimlico Brasserie was excellent: the chef is a master at cooking dishes to perfection and then serving them in very attractive ways---he's as good at food presentation as preparation. Both were wonderful places to stay. Overall, the cruise was enjoyable and I would recommend it for its diversity of ports and what they all have to offer; I just have great reservations about how our personal information is being used. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
It was a good trip as we got to see parts of Norway landscape and mountains as the ship travel thru the fjords. We visited a few of small villages where we took excursions that gave us some wonderful views of the valley. The only issue ... Read More
It was a good trip as we got to see parts of Norway landscape and mountains as the ship travel thru the fjords. We visited a few of small villages where we took excursions that gave us some wonderful views of the valley. The only issue a I had was the length of stay in Bergen as it was really not enough time to see the city as there were many things to look and see in this wonderful city. The cruise itself was average as the boat did sort of showed it aged but Princess did a good job of renovating it. Dining was fine as the menu selection was close to the local food. The sea was not too rough as most of the time it was smooth sailing. The entertainment was fine but was not too exciting as I would have expected. The comedian Juggler I think was the best of all of the shows. We liked the music playing in the piazza as we sat with out latte and relax. The movies under the stars was good - except it was kindof chilly which is expected. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Tracking passengers with a medallion, not cool at all. You have to have this device on you to get in your room, and do anything else on the ship. Including getting on and off in ports. I work for a company that makes these devices for ... Read More
Tracking passengers with a medallion, not cool at all. You have to have this device on you to get in your room, and do anything else on the ship. Including getting on and off in ports. I work for a company that makes these devices for Amazon I know exactly what they are for. The buffet lines were awkward. The cruise wasn't bad,we have been on many. There were just more things I didn't like than I liked with Princess. The crusie director was almost invisible. Other cruise lines we have been on, they (cruise directors) have been much more involved with guests. Food was good, and they had lots of vegan options for those who eat that way. Entertainment was so so, again we have seen better much on other lines. We met a lot of very nice people on the ship. Almost always fun to talk with and learn from their point of view. Itinerary was very good, It would be a great trip for anyone. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
went to great ports , food was very good in all areas, entertainment was ongoing, ship was in very good condition , many return passengers onboard, diamond club was of a high standard, just the interior rooms are a bit on the small side ... Read More
went to great ports , food was very good in all areas, entertainment was ongoing, ship was in very good condition , many return passengers onboard, diamond club was of a high standard, just the interior rooms are a bit on the small side (but there only to sleep in), anyone complains about this cruise then they should stay at home. the only thing that they should look at is handing out cruise cards to passengers as they embark not leave them at the cabin door (new system) as a few were forgotten by cabin stewards and this caused issues having to chase them up so you could get into room. the ship has been upgraded in some areas and there is a lot of new furniture around the place, as usual the jets in some of the spas were not working , they also cracked down on CHAIR HOGS as many selfish passengers were witnessed by us (early spa people) reserving seats then disappearing for ages (we took pleasure in pointing these out to deck supervisors and having them removed)Ha Ha Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Got a good deal on Black Friday for this 7-day trip to Scandinavia and it didn't disappoint in terms of value. What did disappoint is that the main motorway into Southampton was shut on a weekend when 5 ships were departing. Given the ... Read More
Got a good deal on Black Friday for this 7-day trip to Scandinavia and it didn't disappoint in terms of value. What did disappoint is that the main motorway into Southampton was shut on a weekend when 5 ships were departing. Given the importance of the port to the city, this should be coordinated better, but is probably down to the government-run Highways Authority rather than anyone in the city itself. It took us 4 hrs to travel the 90 miles from Warwick to the terminal, when it should have taken 2 and the ship left 1.5 hrs late. At least lots of others were in the same situation. Having honeymooned on Sapphire 5 years ago we worried it might not be the same this time, but if anything the state of the ship was better - the refurb has been done subtly and cleverly, keeping this ship competitive despite its age. New carpets on corridors, flat screens and excellent on-demand TV made the cabins great but the pool area seemed to have been recently re-tiled too, and all the public areas seemed in tip-top condition. One thing they could change is to switch to digital photo galleries rather than sticking with the old print displays. One of the things we like most about Sapphire is the four (anytime) dining rooms with different themes - they just make it seem like you're in a different restaurant each night even though the menu is the same in all of them. Food was of a good standard, particularly the basket of bread that Princess gives you to start with. Service was OK if a little rushed. We feel that our preference for anytime dining leads to rushing waiters, rather than the attentive ones you get when you do fixed dining who know they are likely to get a tip at the end of the cruise (not just on Princess). That's just a choice I suppose. Service elsewhere was as good as I'd expect from Princess. Ports were good, but disappointed to miss Skagen because of the weather, having had to make 2 attempts to dock in Copenhagen the day before. Safety first I guess, and our insurance will compensate us a little for that. I feel for the traders in the town who will miss a lot of income that day. The only negative on the cruise really was the ridiculous number of announcements, each of which was repeated. Why do cruise lines have to wake you up with an announcement at 7am when the ship docks? If you've booked an excursion you will have set your alarm to get up in time. If you want a lie-in, tough luck. On the day the ship missed Skagen, we were due to dock at 10 am, but when the decision was taken to miss it, an announcement was made at 7am, waking us all up when we weren't even expecting to arrive for another 3 hours - stupid. How would knowing about it 3 hours beforehand have improved our day? Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
This was our first cruise and we picked both Princess and this particular itinerary having talked to friends who had years of cruising experience and also wanted to see places we had not been to before. We were keen to find a ship which ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we picked both Princess and this particular itinerary having talked to friends who had years of cruising experience and also wanted to see places we had not been to before. We were keen to find a ship which was neither full of kids or senior citizens and were not disappointed as there was a good spread of ages amongst the passengers. Although there were embarkation problems in Southampton which were not the fault of Princess Cruises (mainly severe road works on the route to the docks and a fire alarm going off in the terminal we were lucky to be one of the first to check in and found things well organised as it only took 15 minutes from parking the car to being in our cabin. We had booked a mini suite and were not disappointed. The cabin was extremely spacious with lots of storage and would suggest that four adults would be able to occupy the cabin without feeling too claustrophobic. The cabin was immaculately clean and we felt that all the fittings were more than acceptable. We note that some people have stated on here that the bathrooms are either poor or "tired" but we would say that whilst looking a bit dated the bathroom was certainly acceptable and again lots of well thought out storage. As for food whilst Horizon Court buffet shows less quality than a high star hotel in Europe there was plenty of choice both at breakfast and lunchtime. We had booked anytime dining and had no difficulty in getting a table for dinner in the three restaurants available to us. The food was generally well cooked and service was good rather than exceptional in the restaurants. The main gripe we had with the menus were that for us they seemed too geared to an American pallet and my wife especially struggled at times to find dishes she liked which limited her choice. With credit the Head Waiter on the first night arranged for smoked salmon to be available for her every evening if wanted. We did one night eat at Sabbatinis and whilst the food was excellent the service was very lacking as the waiters seemed keener to set tables than serve us! The entertainment in the evening was mixed. Some of it was less quality than we assumed it would be however we did enjoy various entertainment most evenings and the Entertainment Director was excellent. As for port visits we did our own thing which we are used to from having travelled round Europe many times. This tended to give us more time at the attractions we wanted to see than the organised tours and at a fraction of the price as the ship's tours were very expensive. To sum up the pros were both the cleanliness of the ship and general standard of service especially our cabin steward for whom nothing was too much trouble and always with a smile. Also considering the number of people on board generally the ship did not feel crowded and usually we found places to sit in the various lounges. The cons were the fact that there is a very heavy selling by Princess at every opportunity and you have to watch out your cruise account as gratuities are added to all drinks. Also we were surprised and felt it was poor of Princess to charge for shuttle buses from port to town when we heard from people that other cruise lines don't. Also to charge for a cocktail on sailway from southampton surprised us. To sum up if you haven't cruised before I would ignore the bad reviews on here but be aware that Princess whilst relaxing does have some warts that come with the fun. Also we have already booked our next Princess cruise but will be older and wiser when we go. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Not to bore my fellow cruisers , imagine : plastic cups , plates and glasses , a daily programme of bingo, quizzes and kids programmes , food you would normally never want to pay good money for and environment where most of the ... Read More
Not to bore my fellow cruisers , imagine : plastic cups , plates and glasses , a daily programme of bingo, quizzes and kids programmes , food you would normally never want to pay good money for and environment where most of the passengers are crowded into a central area to watch their so called" best " entertainment! "Saphire Princess" is your kind of ship . We hoped for refinement , culture and excellence.. what we got was far far from what we hoped.. such a waste of money . Lack of Security presence in public areas was alarming , there was definitely some under age drinking going on and young children seemed to be everywhere on the ship!! Most ships have family zones but parents were doing as they please . We were late arriving at ports , so little time on shore , one port was missed altogether and Princess CHARGE FOR SHUTTLE SERVICE .. Never been charged with any other company.!! Appalling !! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
This was our 3rd cruise on Indy and our first since it was refurbished. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves with very little to complain about. I would say though that I preferred the ship before all the added whistles and bells. The ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise on Indy and our first since it was refurbished. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves with very little to complain about. I would say though that I preferred the ship before all the added whistles and bells. The overall condition of the ship was very good. The food in Windjammer and the MDR was some of the best we have had on any of our cruises and our waiting staff in the restaurant couldn't be faulted. Our balcony cabin was fine although the storage was limited and the wardrobe was badly set out. It was clean and functional. We rarely saw our cabin steward as we had nothing to ask him for as it was all there. We found a sun bed easily every day without resorting to getting up at the crack of dawn and in spite of reading in a recent review that people are charged $10.00 if the towels aren't returned at night this is simply not true. The only time you are charged is at the end of the cruise if the towels aren't returned. We never returned a towel at the end of the day merely changed them without showing our passes. We were served fairly quickly in all the bars we went to and also found a seat at all the shows.. Grease was particularly good and also The Jersey Boys show. The Cruise Director Cubby was just OK. We wish they would change the shows along the Promenade as they have been doing the same thing down Main Street for years now. The shops were a major disappointment on his cruise.. Normally there are carts with different items along Main Street but most nights there was one or none. Overall a great cruise Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Mostly went on this cruise for the wonderful ports we stopped in. Embarkation and leaving the ship were quick and easy. The ship was fine. The average age of the ship was very old (older than i thought and I expected the crowd to be ... Read More
Mostly went on this cruise for the wonderful ports we stopped in. Embarkation and leaving the ship were quick and easy. The ship was fine. The average age of the ship was very old (older than i thought and I expected the crowd to be old). This was fine for us as we are not the type to stay out late partying - but almost nobody showed up to parties or events. The shows were also tailored for the older crowd. The ship was our biggest so we expected entertainment to be awesome - the lead male and female singers were great but there was only one comedian the entire trip and we were unimpressed with the entertainment overall. There is not a ton to do on the ship - basketball and ping pong are outside and the wind makes them almost impossible. If you are not doing trivia, at a bar, or playing bingo, there is alot of time for hot tubs. The adults only section of pool and hot tubs were the biggest I've seen and we loved them - but they did not have access to watch the movie if you are excited about that. There were also a variety of lectures prior to the port stops. Dining was fine - very comparable to other cruise ships and companies. The service, however, was EXCELLENT. The best dining room service we have had in about 6/7 cruises. We did not try any specialty dining for the first time. Ports were great - some very small towns such as Oslo had little to do but were enjoyable. Russia did not disappoint - be sure to book excursions before hand in order to get off the ship. HOWEVER, the cruises sometimes imply or otherwise make it seem as if you can only get off the ship if you have an excursion booked through them directly. This is NOT the case. While the Royal Caribbean cruises had more time (about an hour before and a bit after) in Russia, we completed our full two day tour. I recommend SPB for small groups - the cruise had large buses with up to 45 people. Many places such as the Hermitage and Peterhof are packed and it is very disorganized in the museums so having a small group with SPB of only about 15 made things MUCH easier. Highly recommend the Ice Bar in Helskini - there are several (such as Stockholm) but Helsinki is far superior with a large indoor facility. Love the trip - once in a lifetime. PS there are not a ton of kids on this trip - we loved it. however, if we had kids there was not alot for them to do and not enough kids to get anything done Read Less

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