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This review isn't so much about the ship. More about the way Royal Caribbean went about showing how little they care about their British customers. We found out a few days before leaving that this trip was going to be cut short by ... Read More
This review isn't so much about the ship. More about the way Royal Caribbean went about showing how little they care about their British customers. We found out a few days before leaving that this trip was going to be cut short by 3 days, supposedly because of bad weather. A strange excuse because when you book a cruise, you are told that these ships are so large that they can handle any weather situation. That coupled with the fact that I am aware the Explorer has had rudder problems in the past, made most of us suspicious that the weather was really to blame for the itinerary change. However , having decided to the the cruise anyway despite Royals poor compensation package ( only $16 per person port fees refunded for replacing four ports with one - who are they kidding ? ) we expected that they would perhaps go the extra bit and put on a good cruise for us. Sadly not !. Considering this was an 11 night trip with only one stop, they could have done much better to keep us entertained on the many sea days The entertainment was very poor. Perhaps this was because the headliner acts that were meant to be on board didn't actually turn up due to the change of ports. Suffice to say that apart from the Beatles tribute band, the rest of the headliners were grim. More suited to a Butlins holiday camp As for the on board entertainment team, this was the worst I have ever came across. The cruise director , Mike ( even after 11 days cruising I still don't know his surname ) didn't interact with passengers at all. He even stood behind the podium during the love and marriage show he hosted. Clearly not a people person. For a ship full of Brits, why didn't they choose a more suitable cruise director such as Hello Clo, Joff Eaton or Luke Arrowsmith. Compared to them, this guy was a disgrace. His activities manager wasn't much better. The majority of activities were trivia. OK if it is hosted by someone who can talk english or someone who is remotely interested. When we questioned the guys lack of motivation or interest during the Battle of the sexes quiz, his reply was that he didn't care what we thought as his contract was up at the end of the cruise. And as many of their quiz questions were so way out, it completely took the fun out of it. We saw people winning a quiz with as little as 6 correct out of 20. As for night time entertainment, can someone please tell Royal that a ship full of people mostly over 50 aren't really interested in a Rock Britannia street party at 10:45pm. We had a promenade room. When I looked out and saw only a handful of people standing watching below, I felt quite embarrassed for the staff having to jump about in costumes to 1970's rock tunes, especially the old Italian guy who clearly was extremely uncomfortable and out of place. Two days before reaching Miami, the casino took away the European Roulette table. When I asked why he said they were getting ready for the US market. I replied that it was two days before we reached Miami and asked why they couldn't wait & remove it then. His response was this " You don't complain when we pick up your luggage from your stateroom ". I responded that I wasn't complaining. I was merely asking a simple question but didn't expect such a stupid & condescending answer. Needless to say I didn't go back to the casino. So to summarise, I don't believe Royal covered themselves in glory on this one and have now probably lost a great deal of UK customers. However when you see the reduction in the number of cruises leaving from the UK next year and going forward, I don't think they really care. not exactly in summary, Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I saw this cruise on TV Cruise 1st channel and booked for the transatlantic voyage to the Caribbean. The fact that it was due to visit Islands that I had previously been to in my teens when I was a young seafarer sailing on cargo ships, ... Read More
I saw this cruise on TV Cruise 1st channel and booked for the transatlantic voyage to the Caribbean. The fact that it was due to visit Islands that I had previously been to in my teens when I was a young seafarer sailing on cargo ships, before everything went in containers, it was to be a nostalgic voyage as well as my first cruise. Needless to say myself and travel partner arrived at Manchester coach station on the 5th Nov 2019 and found we were the only ones there waiting for a coach to Southampton. We where both extremely worried as no place was open to phone and find out what had happened. Maybe you will call us stupid but I don't use emails very much and that is the reason for us showing up on the wrong day. Cruise 1st had sent one email to tell me about the cancellation and rescheduling of the itinerary. I was asked if I wished to cancel and I would have but my travel buddy was all set to go on holiday and travel across the ocean for the 1st time so I couldn't say no. I don't believe the weather and passenger comfort had anything to do with the changes as when we did eventually sail from Southampton the weather was very bad and lots of passengers including my partner were seasick. The ship rarely went above 18/19 knots so could have gone faster and had enough time to visit the missing islands. Also having to pay for internet access , soft drinks and (special) coffee in a drinks package and even bottled water from the cabin steward is a bit much. It's not as though this Cruise Line is struggling. I was given some paltry compensation but it never made up for missing out on visiting 4 Caribbean Islands. I did have a lot more to say about this ship and the company who run it but as I am the only other person who seems to have reviewed this bad experience maybe it is best to just forget it and promise myself to never bother with Royal Caribbean and their very old ship again. Just another thing ! I always expected to be served lobster at some time whilst on a cruise. If it was served I definitely missed it or maybe it was meant to be served on the day about 1000 people on board had sea sickness . So much for passenger comfort. I really do have to say a really big THANK YOU to the service staff especially the cabin stewards who work so hard to clean and make up so many cabins each day and to all the staff I had personal interactions with Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This cruise was cut to 11 days due to bad weather on previous cruise. RCI did offer a price reduction - pro rata - or a full refund to be used towards a future cruise. Apparently full cash refunds were offered, but we did not know this at ... Read More
This cruise was cut to 11 days due to bad weather on previous cruise. RCI did offer a price reduction - pro rata - or a full refund to be used towards a future cruise. Apparently full cash refunds were offered, but we did not know this at the time. Anyway we decided to go despite the change which meant we only visited one Caribbean Island instead of four. Summary: barding was excellent and on time. Our stateroom was not well presented, dust visible, and locker doors not properly secured. Disappointing start. We chose My Time dining and we were not disappointed. The food quality was good and the staff were excellent. Casual dining in the windjammer was more than adequate. We felt there was not a great deal of daytime activity, other than quizzes and hard sell presentations at the spa The evening entertainment was average. There were no lecture sessions to attend. All in all a big disappointment and would make us think twice about using RCI in the future. One final point; we did not receive a cruise review form so could not give our views. After many requests we go a very brief form which was a waste of time. We wanted more than anything to rate the excellence of the staff - but the rest left much to be desired. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this cruise because of transatlantic Miami destination with four stops in Caribbean islands. One week before departure we were informed that the cruise would depart 3 days later than planned because of storm weather at its ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of transatlantic Miami destination with four stops in Caribbean islands. One week before departure we were informed that the cruise would depart 3 days later than planned because of storm weather at its position then. Three of the island stops were thus canceled. We had the opportunity to cancel and be reimbursed of change our travel plans to Southampton from Barcelona (nears airport to our home). We were also informed that our cabin would not be a "guaranteed junior suite" but a balcony cabin at same price. Several phone calls resulted in our obtaining what we paid for with written reservation : a junior suite 7692 We were not reimbursed for cancelations of two prepaid hotel reservations , one night in Barcelona (before flight to Gatwick) and one in Southampton. This added extra unexpected expenses. The ship was in excellent condition and cleanliness. The restaurant gave excellent service and a wide choice on the menu. One minus there : price of wines + gratuities !!!! Entertainment on the long seaways was not entirely to our taste. But we give high marks to the ice-dance show, the Beatles imitators and the magician/pickpocket. Passengers were 95% Senior Brits. Disembarkation was extraordinarily well organised. And fast !! Within one hour after waiting in dining room, we were in line at the airport for car-rental. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Having only traveled in the past by air, automobile, or train, it was high time I tried a cruise, and a transatlantic cruise to me, seemed most adventurous. Seven days alone, afloat on the temperamental Atlantic, inside a large ship ... Read More
Having only traveled in the past by air, automobile, or train, it was high time I tried a cruise, and a transatlantic cruise to me, seemed most adventurous. Seven days alone, afloat on the temperamental Atlantic, inside a large ship filled with strangers, filled me with mild anticipation and intrepid fearfulness of what lay ahead on my crossing. Was I to perhaps be cut off from the outside world completely, and at the mercy of mother-nature and her sudden outbursts? Was I to go overboard on some stormy night? Was the ship sturdy enough to endure the perilous high seas, and was the Queen Mary II as majestic and elegant as all the legends had told? I embarked at Southampton on November 3, 2019, and there were no lines or delays. It was a very simple affair and within 10 minutes I found my way to my stateroom which was on deck 4. I had an inside room with no views or balcony. The room was clean, tidy, and smelled good. The bathroom was small but sufficient and again, clean and smelled like it had been just been serviced. I put away my clothes and had a look around the room. The television was already on and tuned to the information channel explaining to me that later that day I would have to attend an emergency drill along with all the passengers and crew. This was a matter of great importance and mandatory. However, that was not until around 5 pm which gave me a couple of hours to explore the ship. I took my Daily Programme with me, which was provided to me every day and left outside my room in a small mail slot. It contained a detailed explanation of each day’s events, details of special events, and the opening closing times of the bars and lounges. I went down to the lobby and was wowed; the lobby was magnificent and elegant. The lighting and colors were well placed and very pleasant and the ambiance was much becoming of such a legendary ship which surpassed her grandeur. There are many places to eat on the QM2. I mainly frequented the buffet which was open most of the time day and evening and also late at night. The food was good for a buffet and if traveling alone it was more than sufficient to meet my basic appetite and dietary needs. Of course if one wished to dress up in a jacket or suite then the stateroom assigned dinning at the Britannia Restaurant was always there if you felt the need to dress formally and take part in the quintessence of fine dining on the QM2. Really though, I never felt like a lower class passenger because I did not like to dress formally. I knew the rules and abided by the ones that suited my whims. I found that attending formal afternoon tea at 3:30 pm everyday satisfied my desire to be a part of the upper crust (or in this case, scones). If you can’t stomach being asked 25 times in 15 minutes by numerous waiters if you wanted more tea or would like more cucumber sandwiches, then this would not be for you. However, each time I went to tea, I met a different solo passenger who I would pressgang and join for afternoon tea. I really enjoyed meeting many unique people with so many stories. I met an established author, a dancer, and an elderly old couple on their 20th cruise to name a few. In the evenings I would frequent the pub and then go to a show or movie. There was so much to do all the time that the days passed too quickly. Next time I go on the QM2 I will spend more time reading or relaxing as I always felt the need to attend the RADA workshop, or a lecture, or the planetarium, or the Royal Court Theatre, or the solo traveler’s coffee meet-up, or go to the internet lounge and connect to the outside world. There was also the night club which was usually quite sparsely packed. It was a fun place to mingle with like minded fellow passengers and it was definitely not a place to hook up. Most solo passengers were attached or married and were just there to let loose a little, have a few drinks and pretend they were 25 once again (without all the drama). The future of the QM2 cruises will more than likely change a little bit with the times, and a new younger crowd will eventually meld into the aging culture of the aristocratic idioms of a traditional crossing. I imagine that with more health conscious activities, a better gym, a faster internet, a more hip and younger crowd will slowly change the old stuffiness that still prevails somewhat. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I thoroughly enjoyed that old stuffiness; and that is why it will not entirely die out! It will change slowly and perhaps morph into something that appeals to the younger generation who don’t necessarily want to go on a Carnival Cruise and who may want something that has some class, allure, elegance and sophistication, not found elsewhere, especially on a cruise ship. To take cruise alone definitely does feel a little daunting at times. The reputation of the Cunard business model can seem a little off-putting and stuck in its ways. But I never really felt alone on the ship. I ended up feeling at one with my entire fellow passengers and crew. After all, we all had a combined experience and had survived the transatlantic crossing, all on board the beautiful Queen Mary 2. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My wife is mobility impaired and usually uses a wheelchair and so a lot of this report relates to the accessibility aspect of our two way Atlantic crossing on the QM2. We checked in about one hour early and that did not cause a problem. ... Read More
My wife is mobility impaired and usually uses a wheelchair and so a lot of this report relates to the accessibility aspect of our two way Atlantic crossing on the QM2. We checked in about one hour early and that did not cause a problem. Embarkation at Southampton was easy and efficient although the postcode given on our e-tickets seemed to refer to a park in the middle of Southampton rather than the port. We had pre-booked parking and from arrival in our car to getting into our state room took about 40 minutes, the longest queue being security. We were directed to a special check-in area to one side of the terminal with low desks suitable for those in a wheelchair. Getting from quayside into the ship involves a lift and a bridge similar to that in airports with quite a few difficult to negotiate ramps. Staff (at both ends) on the way out seemed to have been instructed not to help those in a wheelchair manage the ramps and it was annoying to have to struggle to get the chair over the ramps with someone in uniform standing watching from a few feet away. Our cabin (6108 – not an accessible cabin) was larger than we had imagined. There were 50 coat hangers in the wardrobe plus a place we could hang those clothes we had brought on our own coat hangers. The shower / bathroom had a reasonably low step into it and the shower stool we had requested was already in the shower. We brought with us a couple of suction cup hand rails to affix to the shower walls (purchased on-line for under £10) and these worked very well. Generally the room was in good order although the carpet needed a steam clean. Our empty suitcases fitted under the bed although very deep suitcases would not and fellow passengers with these reported that storing them in their cabin was a bit annoying. We stored our folding wheelchair (and our walker) out of the way adjacent to the window – it is an “18 inch” wheelchair and thus too wide to go through the cabin door. We did have the opportunity to see an accessible cabin on the same deck and this had a wide door, a wet room and a lot of floor space although a porthole window (we had a sheltered balcony). We will try to get one of these next time because of the extra space. Our cabin steward lent us a very large rubber floor / door wedge to hold the cabin door open whilst we negotiated entering and leaving– we will bring our own on any future voyages. Our cabin was very quiet and we scarcely noticed the pounding of the runners on Deck Seven above. We did note during our 3 am corridor walks that cabins in the 6170 area seemed to have more background engine noise. We also could hear the TV of our neighbours if they had the sound turned up a bit. We used the free launderette on a few occasions, getting there just after 0730 is the key to a straightforward and hassle free wash ! There are numerous lifts throughout the ship (A and D are larger than B and C and there are also quite a number of smaller lifts that you have to use to go from Deck 3 to Deck 3 Lower. Most of the ship is disability accessible although some of the doors need holding open and there is one area on the very top to which a wheelchair cannot get. Food was as described in other reviews. We ate breakfast in our cabin most mornings and it arrived promptly within our chosen time slot - perhaps not always as hot as that at Kings Court but very acceptable. Kings Court food was good in a cafeteria sense (although with a disappointing limited veggie choice, too many dishes being nearly veggie but not totally) and that within the Britannia restaurant was very variable – never good, usually acceptable and occasionally terrible. I (a veggie) left my offering from the main menu one day because it was inedible (over boiled noodles and heat lamp dried vegetables and was then offered the special veggie menu from which one chooses 24 hours in advance. Although restricted in choice (7 offerings for 14 days), its quality was superior to anything else on offer. The crew were always willing to offer help with carrying trays, opening doors or patiently standing to one side as we progressed down corridors (unlike some of our impatient fellow passengers who behaved in an insensitive and / or disability blind manner). We learnt where the best (marked) spots in the presentation venues were for wheelchairs. You should note that these places in Illuminations are very good but some of those in the Royal Court on the upper level can very poor with a restricted line of sight. It was disappointing that some of our able bodied fellow passengers were unable to read the signs indicating certain seats were reserved for those with mobility issues. Generally the lectures and events were very good (we particularly enjoyed the Bridge Classes) and there was far too much on offer for us to be able to go to all we were interested in. We went to one evening show and were impressed with the enthusiasm and energy of the dance group. WIFI was slow and alcohol very expensive (as reported elsewhere - a G&T cost $11). Whilst the tap water was safe to drink, it tasted fairly awful, bottled water was expensive. We disembarked in Brooklyn for a few hours, the ship arrived on time at 0600 and disembarkation started around 0730. It took us 40 minutes to get from our cabin to outside of the terminal (note that there are few facilities within the terminal and no WIFI – it is really a large shed used for arrivals and departures and other things). We travelled in November and the sea was a little bumpy on the way out and smooth as a mill pond on the way back –the QM2 is sufficiently large to be able to ignore anything but the roughest seas. The five-hour time difference was dealt with by putting the clocks back an hour on five nights at 2 am westbound and forward at noon on five days eastbound. Before arrival in Southampton a note appeared in our State Room saying that we had been registered for wheelchair assistance on arrival – I am not sure if we did something to initiate this but it was very welcome and solved my worry about managing the wheelchair and our luggage out to curb side – it took only 15 minutes from being collected in the QM2 to leaving the car park. Overall I would say that staff and most of our fellow passengers did practically everything they could to minimise the challenges of caring for a companion in a wheelchair, often without being asked. In summary, we enjoyed our two way Atlantic crossing and would happily (and intend to) join the QM2 again. One just has to accept the very few negative aspects and enjoy the many positive ones. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We booked two weeks on the Queen Mary transatlantic as a “ get away from it all” luxury holiday. A few months after booking Cunard told us the Cheltenham Literary Festival would be on board on the return transatlantic trip - thought no ... Read More
We booked two weeks on the Queen Mary transatlantic as a “ get away from it all” luxury holiday. A few months after booking Cunard told us the Cheltenham Literary Festival would be on board on the return transatlantic trip - thought no more about it First week out to New York excellent - weather dreadful - but it is November in the Atlantic. However, food and service excellent, a range of interesting speakers that included a former Concorde Pilot, Colin Jackson famous athletic champion and an astronomer. Lots of variety and while the afternoon film selection was hit or miss, the fellow passengers great fun. Lunch in New York then boarded for the return week - what a difference in the passengers. Most were there for the literary festival - and I am sure they had a great time. Wearing their special lanyards, They were loud, rude and borderline openly racist. If you were not part of their festival they did t want to know. All the nice areas the previous week became like Surrey Golf Clubs with loud baying and shouting everywhere - including standing in the corridors late at night continuing their parties. Our table companions had to ring security about the noise late at night I know Cunard can’t do anything about the passengers - but there was nothing for those not involved with the literary festival to do. We went to one talk that sounded interesting to find everyone seated 20 minutes before start so ended up at back unable to see the supporting slides. The film selection was “ classic” - but Annie Hall 3 times in one day - really ???? We went to see The English Patient and almost fell asleep during the 20 minute literary introduction before hand Table companions who did attend some of the talks described them as hours of their life they will never get back The queues for booksigning stretched well into the lift / common areas - and if you dared ask them to move they were really rude - this from people who were carrying 10 to 12 books to get signed - almost felt sorry for the writers ! The lack of alternative entertainment for a full week at sea was not good - the planiterium was used for talks - and the trivia quizzes taken over by arrogant people who took it far too searioysly - first time ever marked wrong for spelling and paper returned with “ could do better” Fortunately Cunard have announced the dates for next years literary festival - if you are a normal cruiser - Do Not Go ! The quality of food remains excellent - along with the alternative dining options. We took the drinks package which was good value as it included coffees and fruit juices along with alcohol- it was the only thing that got us through the second week ! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We took this trip as part of our anniversary celebrations and it didn’t disappoint. Embarkation at Southampton was extremely smooth with the time taken from train station to cabin just over half an hour. Our first meal in the buffet ... Read More
We took this trip as part of our anniversary celebrations and it didn’t disappoint. Embarkation at Southampton was extremely smooth with the time taken from train station to cabin just over half an hour. Our first meal in the buffet restaurant was OK although getting a table was more difficult than usual as its the only facility open on embarkation day. We had been recommended the Britannia Club level by friends and this proved to be a very wise choice as the dining area was intimate and we could dine whenever we wanted. All the staff were extremely good and the level of service exemplary. We ate in the Britannia Club most of the time although we did try the Pub as well. The food in both was good rather than exceptional and probably not quite up to the anticipated 5 star standard. Speaking to other passengers who were frequent travellers on this ship there has been a slight decline in standard over the years. We thoroughly enjoyed many of the presentations on varied subjects as well. The nature of the trip and the entrance into New York harbour at dawn made up for any slight deficiencies. All in all a great trip on a good ship well worth doing. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Transatlantic in November, from Southampton to NY and back. Return leg coincided with Literature Festival at sea, which made the ship much busier and removed many of the more usual enhancement events including the Planetarium. Mostly a ... Read More
Transatlantic in November, from Southampton to NY and back. Return leg coincided with Literature Festival at sea, which made the ship much busier and removed many of the more usual enhancement events including the Planetarium. Mostly a good experience - food, entertainment, service, ship, stateroom, embarkation, library, bars, afternoon tea etc all of a very high standard. Staff almost always friendly and helpful. Very comfy beds. Some niggles - drinks choice is good but expensive, then add 15% service. Gratuities per person per day added over and above (but you can ask on board to remove them). Spa pleasant but expensive and could do with a refresh decoratively in the main pool area. Queen`s room dancing on some nights marred by a frankly rotten male lead singer in the otherwise good band. Dress code is enforced, so take your jacket/tie/tux. Food and service in main restaurant (Britannia) is excellent - tried upgrading once but did not feel it was necessary. Gale force winds will make the ship rock a bit - but usually copes well with the swell. Had a great trip, and highly recommend the ship if you like sea days, a bit of formality, and don`t mind paying a little extra for drinks. Would definitely sail on QM2 again, in preference to the other 7 mainstream cruise lines that we have tried. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
To sail Cunard was always my dream and after 12 cruises on other lines we decided to book for our 40th Anniversary. There were 6 in our party, ages 63 to 81 years in inside and balcony cabins. The ship was beautiful. The cabins well ... Read More
To sail Cunard was always my dream and after 12 cruises on other lines we decided to book for our 40th Anniversary. There were 6 in our party, ages 63 to 81 years in inside and balcony cabins. The ship was beautiful. The cabins well equipped and our cabin stewards could not have been better. The lecture series was very interesting and informative. But we were very disappointed in the food served in the Britannia Dining room and the Kings Court. In the Dining room the food was frequently over sauced, or dried out! It was poorly prepared and bland. I had a corn chowder where the husk was still attached to the corn kernels. The food of Kings Court was repetitive and uninspired. While there were many service attendants in Kings Court, getting them to pick up dirty dishes was a task! We did expect better from a “premium “ cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Having completed inaugural cruises on Breakaway, Getaway,Escape and Bliss. The latest new ship Encore was booked when first released. This was my 18th NCL Cruise (around 30th Cruise overall) and 6th trans-Atlantic crossing. ... Read More
Having completed inaugural cruises on Breakaway, Getaway,Escape and Bliss. The latest new ship Encore was booked when first released. This was my 18th NCL Cruise (around 30th Cruise overall) and 6th trans-Atlantic crossing. Embarkation at Southampton was incredibly swift as per the norm, was onboard by 11:30AM with first drink ready, Having sailed on the Bliss in 2018 there was no need to do “the tour” as the overall layout of the ship is the same but with a few venue changes. So what’s gone? Biggest loser is Spice H2O, the nice bar and open deck aft. Now replaced with a laser tag course. Upper Sun Deck. Gone, the nice quiet bar/area/hot tub on the upper deck next to Vibe has gone and is now part of the Vibe pay area. What’s new? New restaurant Onada replaces la cucina. The American diner takes the flamingo/ margaritavile dining on the upper deck. A new smoking lounge (enclosed) on the Waterfront. And that’s it really. The cabins and public lounges are very similar. Moving onto the ents. The two headline acts are very good Choir of Man being the star for me, although kinky boots was good, albeit a slow starter. Outside of the theatre is where NCL does suffer versus other lines, the Beatles and a rock band shared cavern club, a country singer in the smokehouse and pianist Jim Badger in the Brewhouse each night. Where any deck parties will be held is to be seen now there is no Spice H2O! The social comedy club just doesn’t feel right as a “bliss type” nightclub. If given a choice of ships on same itinerary I’d pick Escape and then Bliss over Encore which seemed to lack anything “show stopping”. The gimmick race track is just that and the Galaxy pavilion VR pay rides nothing you couldn’t see in the average ent complex on land. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this cruise because we were excited to be on the first sailing of a brand new ship! The entertainment was great! We especially enjoy music and were not disappointed. We loved WT Greer, the piano player/singer, Rock and more with ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were excited to be on the first sailing of a brand new ship! The entertainment was great! We especially enjoy music and were not disappointed. We loved WT Greer, the piano player/singer, Rock and more with Guns and Rojas, an Acoustic set with Camille Rae in the Q Texas Smokehouse, Pop and Rock music with the Duo Phil and Keysha, Calypso/R&B with Temperature Band and the Liverpool Beatles. These performers could be seen in several venues instead of just one spot each night, which gives a different feel for each performance. They could be seen in the Observation Lounge, The Atrium, Sugarcane and the Cavern Club. In The District was Music and Humor with Jim Badger(hilarious!). The headline entertainers were impressive as well. We saw Vox Fortura (music), Joseph Reohm (Magic), Kinky Boots (Musical),and our favorite The Choir of Man! I enjoyed the musical numbers of Kinky Boots but otherwise it felt at least as long as it was, at an hour and 45 minutes. The Choir of Man brings you into the story from the get go by inviting the audience on stage for a beer! The musicians and singers were all excellent at making you feel the emotion, exuberance and humor of the story. Go straight to make reservations when you board and board early! Although it's free, they ran out of reservations by early afternoon on embarkation day. One night in the Observation Lounge, WT Greer invited individual singers from both Kinky Boots and The Choir of Man to join him at the piano. He also invited a very talented guest to play his piano! A very memorable night for music! Happy Hour Prohibition the Musical was a cute musical production in The Social Club, but I do not recommend it. We paid nearly $40pp, I guess because of the intimate venue, but it was not worth it. They include 5 drinks(nearly everyone has a drink pkg) that were all awful. From the watery Moscow Mule to the final glass of what tasted like straight Sweet and Sour mix, they were all bad. No bar available to order a drink, so bring one with you as back up if you go! They should come up with a single signature drink for the show and charge half as much! Comedy club onboard was good, but we went less than we expected because the musicians onboard were Great! Food onboard was all very good to great. We ate in complimentary dining -Taste/Savor/The Manhattan- favorites: Italian Wedding Soup, Pasta Carbonara and the Yogurt parfait. The Local Bar & Grill, favorites: Pasta Bolognese and Chicken Salad Sandwich. Garden Café(Buffet) favorites: Snow Crab legs, Shrimp Tikka and Savory Chicken and Waffles. We also ate in Specialty Restaurants- Onda, favorite Short Rib Ravioli. Cagney's favorite: all the sides and the Salmon. I am not a steak eater, but the other guests seemed to be evenly split between loving the steak at Cagney's and Onda's. Ocean Blue favorites the Gumbo and the Fresh Fish Branzino w/White Wine Lemon Butter. Q Texas Smokehouse favorites: Loaded Fries w/Pulled Pork, Grilled Salmon and the Smoked Peach Margarita! Lots of great items to order a la carte in Q and make a lighter meal of it! The bartenders all over the ship were amazing and during the not so crazy busy times, could really put on a show and make great drinks! Our cabin, a midship mini suite was very comfortable and the shower was amazing with a rainhead shower and SIX directional massaging sprayer heads! Plenty of storage in the bathroom drawers and good space in the room. No drawers but shelves,hanging space and vanity space. Room attendant was great! The ship has lots of places to sit, hang out and make new friends. Take some time just to see the artwork around the ship. My favorite art area to walk was deck 8 near Sugarcane Mojito Bar. This was our first Transatlantic cruise and the weather was not ideal. Rough seas and rain resulted in outside areas being closed most of the cruise. We felt like the ship handled the rough seas well. Thank goodness for all that amazing indoor entertainment! When weather cleared up for a couple of days were able to experience The Speedway racecars. We had a blast! Be sure to make reservations and allow plenty of time, an hour and a half at least. They move guests through in an orderly fashion, but it takes time to go through the line with security/safety videos, getting your gear, futher instructions and then your on your way! Please let another driver pass! My husband got stuck behind a slower driver who wouldn't let him pass. He still had a great time though! If you enjoy trivia, strike up a group for the Progressive Trivia. They meet once each morning and it was Very popular! Great prize baskets for the winning team members(not us!) Another activity I enjoyed was the Wine and Chocolate Seminar. I would definitely try another of the seminars they offered in the Wine Bar! They do sell out! Lots of other activities: a variety of language classes, lectures, trivia, movies, crafts, games and more! We purchased Spa Passes for the Mandara Spa. Some guest complained because the Thalassotherapy Pool has to be closed several times because the rough seas made it unsafe. However we still enjoyed the heated beds, the Sauna, the Snow Room and the Salt Room. They also have a Hot Tub but guests turned that into very loud social hours. We did suggest they make it a No Talking Zone. The voices echo across the spa making for a less than tranquil atmosphere and it causes guests to stay in too long. The spa staff will ask them to quiet down if you ask but we hate to have to do that. I do think the Spa staff should routinely move towels off the Heated Loungers to prevent guests saving them for friends or themselves. There are plenty of cushioned loungers they can allow for saving if they must. The Observation Lounge is an amazing view and a great place to hang before dinner, but speaking of saving loungers... the Observation Lounge is like the new pool deck with the lounge chair hogs. The staff should remove items from these lounges as they go through cleaning. If you've been there long enough to have to go to the bathroom, it's time to give someone else a chance! I found the chairs with ottomans to be more comfortable than the loungers, but people save those as well. We did move some items once after confirming with other guests those items had been there an hour. Those guests showed up another half hour later but didn't say anything to us. The one negative area for us was Guest/Financial Services. We had a ridiculous time applying a $100 gift card to our account. We set up a credit card for our onboard account but they couldn't seem to get things straight and kept sending a letter saying we needed to put more cash on our account. After four visits, over three days, working with five different staff, the problem was corrected. The attitude was it must be your fault. After repeating myself to the last staff member 2X and my husband repeating it again, he finally looked and saw that it had been their error and corrected it. Ugh! Time for a drink and some good music! We ended our cruise with the Views of the Big Apple ending at the Airport tour and both our driver and guide were excellent. Although it's a bus tour, we also got out at the World Trade Center, saw the memorials and had a walking tour there. It was quite a bit of walking for some elderly guests. We also had a quick stop at Battery Park with the Statue of Liberty in the distance. It was a perfect ending for an almost perfect cruise! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Overall all these CC reviews are fair and accurate. Being an Inaugural cruise with roughly 50% occupancy our experience most likely will not be the norm on a full boat in season. Still all of pros & con assessments noted in the prior ... Read More
Overall all these CC reviews are fair and accurate. Being an Inaugural cruise with roughly 50% occupancy our experience most likely will not be the norm on a full boat in season. Still all of pros & con assessments noted in the prior reviews can be expected. We read Cruise Critic Reviews as part of our decision making process. Keeping this in mind these are our views and suggested considerations...The Encore is indeed a beautiful ship, attractive, easy on the eye, stunning in many areas, exciting and comfortable. The Observation Lounge is a wow....As veteran cruisers we confidently believe the food and the restaurants on this ship are among the best at sea, even the Garden Café self serve/buffet. The Waterfront on deck eight is a perfect setting for dining, cocktails, lounging and strolling...The entertainment on board was very, very enjoyable. The Choir of Men and Kinky Boots were impressive and a highlight. If someone is not entertained by the variety of options offered on the Encore then it is suggested the blindfold and ear muffs be removed. One significant consideration in selecting Encore for a cruise vacation is the upper decks limited outdoor space for the pool, sunning, lounging and cocktailing. Shockingly limited! However, space can be traded for dollars in The Haven and The Vibe Beach Club. Certainly many younger cruisers will find the deck consuming laser tag and race track unique and real memorable pleasures, also traded for extra dollars...Other Encore considerations, ones we experienced on the Getaway and Breakaway transatlantic cruises, is Specialty Restaurant and Headline Entertainment reservations. Reservations should be made as soon as boarding or online when offered. In the theatre, even with reservations, arrive early for good seating. Have a drink while watching late arrivals scramble for seats...Choice seating in the Observation Lounge is elusive as is lounging couch & chair seating on the Waterfront deck . The large volume of passengers on these mega ships makes flexibility, desirability and a leisure pace difficult to obtain without planning. The highlight of our Encore cruise was the sail into New York City Harbor. The impressive skyline, the Statue of Liberty, the ship horn tag-match with NCL's passing Escape, the fire boat inaugural water cascade, fellow passengers singing 'New York, New York'. All while standing on the bow of a brand new ship in reasonable November weather with a colorful sunset at our backs. Not bad. A truly memorable experience! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Our first inaugural cruise. We would definately do another. The shows were all excellent. The entertainment in the Observation Lounge should have lasted longer into the evening. Ending at 10pm was to early. The ships 3 piece band should ... Read More
Our first inaugural cruise. We would definately do another. The shows were all excellent. The entertainment in the Observation Lounge should have lasted longer into the evening. Ending at 10pm was to early. The ships 3 piece band should have played there. They were wonderful and needed a bigger room to play in. Overall the Lounge was underutilized! The activities in the atrium were fun but when the ship is full there is not enough room for those who want to attend. Food in all of the restaurants was delicious. Service in the Manhattan room was excellent. We did miss having a band play during dinner. Onda was nice but we miss LaCuccina. The Italian decor was what made it a unique experience. The same can be said for Cagneys and Le Bistro. A lack of color and style is disappointing. We look forward to the improvements on the Leonard class ships. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
ENTERTAINMENT-my 11th NCL cruise and still can say the sound techs still don’t know what they are doing in their field. Choir of Men are very talented. The sound tech had no ability to mix the background vocals- they couldn’t be heard. ... Read More
ENTERTAINMENT-my 11th NCL cruise and still can say the sound techs still don’t know what they are doing in their field. Choir of Men are very talented. The sound tech had no ability to mix the background vocals- they couldn’t be heard. During his stage performance, the hypnotist more than once gave them directions on turning the volume of his microphone up. Christopher Caress, hypnotist was most informative with his craft. In his 2nd session, Chris has to ask, more than once to turn down the volume of his microphone. How can these techs not hear the feedback from his microphone? Kinky Boots-the poor audio techs simply destroyed the quality of the show. MAGICIAN-was entertaining and somewhat goofy. FOOD- Speciality restaurants were delicious, attentive staff and decor stunning. Onda by Scarpetta is a huge improvement over La Cucina, the food was perfect in all ways. However, bring back the Caesar Salad to the menu. The buffet was incredibly bland and cold, no matter the meal. COCO- $13 milkshake was way too watery and rich, should have been $5- no one in the place. CASINO- no one was at the table games. Never saw anyone cashing out their winning chips. Thermal Suite Spa- very crowded and noisy. Spoke with spa manger regarding the lack of “Quiet Zone” signs that are usually posted. Left the spa area multiple times due to the loud talking and/or no seats. The thermo-pool temperature was not warm enough, in fact freezing cold. Silas, the cruise director is delightful, engaging, personable and friendly. GUEST SERVICES-were better listeners and helpful. Assigning crew members who don’t have a full understanding of the English, makes no sense. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We were on the inaugural voyage which started in Southampton and ended in New York. Although the weather was lousy we still had an enjoyable cruise. We stayed in a balcony cabin with the extended balcony. The room was very nice with ... Read More
We were on the inaugural voyage which started in Southampton and ended in New York. Although the weather was lousy we still had an enjoyable cruise. We stayed in a balcony cabin with the extended balcony. The room was very nice with adequate closet space and storage. The 3 US electric outlets and the 2 UBS ports were very useful. The lights by the side of the bed allowed for focused lighting which came in handy when one of us wanted to sleep and the other wanted to read. Interactive TV was also very useful. We loved the extended balcony. Part of the balcony is covered and the rest is in the sun. It came with 2 lounge chairs, a small table, and a large table which could be used for eating a meal on the balcony. I highly recommend the extended balcony if you can afford the extra cost. Our room steward was very attentive and responsive so we gave him a nice tip at the end of the voyage. The Garden Café was huge. Plenty of food stations and we had no problem finding a table. As with most buffets the food was hit or miss. We ate several breakfasts at the buffet. I loved having my eggs cooked fresh at the omelet station. At lunch and dinner we were happy with the variety of food. We also ate at Taste and Savor which are the complimentary restaurants. The food choices seemed limited and repetitive but we enjoyed our meals and the service was good. We loved Onda by Scarpetta. The food was delicious and the service fantastic. Los Lobos was a bust. We loved Los Lobos on the Bliss and were looking forward to our meal at this restaurant. Unfortunately our waitress was awful and the service was terrible. We were very disappointed in the food. It was bland and lacked flavor. Cagney’s was great. Food was prepared properly and tasted fantastic although the baked potato was very small. Le Bistro was fine. I thought the French Onion Soup lacked flavor but the main courses were cooked to perfection. Q Barbeque was adequate. The food was plentiful and tasted okay. I had a Brownie Sundae at Coco’s. It was a little expensive but it was enormous and tasted great. We had a quick lunch at the Local. Food was good, especially the carrot cake. I did not like most of the artwork around the ship. The large modern art pieces were mostly unappealing and many of the pictures on the walls were rather ordinary. The chandelier looked horrible. We enjoyed both shows. Choir of Man does not have a plot but is a lively energetic romp in a British pub. The songs are great and the singers were fantastic. Kinky Boots was fun. The actors did a great job. Loved that there is a separate area of the casino for smokers. Not a big fan of slot machines being in the main hallway on Deck 7. Most of the bars and lounges were well staffed with very good bartenders. The District Brew House was my favorite. Some of lounges did get a little crowded at night. I liked the Observation Lounge. It was very large and had comfortable seating. I loved going there early in the morning and late at night when it was practically empty and very quiet. We enjoyed going to the art auctions. The gallery staff were very nice and knowledgeable. Chris made the auctions lively and fun. We are not art collectors but we did buy two lower priced items. I was surprised there is still an emphasis on Peter Max. The weather did not allow us to use any of the outdoor facilities. The pool area did look smaller than on the Bliss. The jogging track goes through areas where there are deck chairs which will cause problems for the runners. The water slide looks like it could be fun. Overall we thought the ship was fine but not exceptional. We preferred the Bliss and Escape over the Encore. The cruise was only at 50% capacity so making restaurant and entertainment reservations was not difficult but I can see major problems happening when this ship is at 100% capacity. I suggest you make your reservations before going on the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Well, always wanted to do a transatlantic cruise, why not on a new ship. The embarkation was quick and painless. Since the Encore is pretty much the same as The Bliss and The Joy, it was easy to find everything. Everything was so clean and ... Read More
Well, always wanted to do a transatlantic cruise, why not on a new ship. The embarkation was quick and painless. Since the Encore is pretty much the same as The Bliss and The Joy, it was easy to find everything. Everything was so clean and fresh. The entertainment was wonderful, enjoyed every show. Love the snow crabs, grilled king crabs, and the giant shrimps at the Garden Buffet. Love Ocean Blue, Food Republic, and Le Bistro. Service was wonderful. The only thing I was very disappointed was the medical bill! I got sick while on the ship, and I seldom get sick even at home. I got a bill that is almost as much as my cruise! The immigration process in NYC was a joke! It took over an hour. Why do they have 2 lines and we are always at the slow line! So stupid!! Overall, the cruise was good, because there weren't teenagers running around. I met a lot of people, they were fun and friendly. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Basically used as transport from the UK to the Caribbean, we had time to take this trip as part of our itinerary to reach home. Southampton check in -very quick and efficient the only flaw was NCL’s oversight in prebooking information ... Read More
Basically used as transport from the UK to the Caribbean, we had time to take this trip as part of our itinerary to reach home. Southampton check in -very quick and efficient the only flaw was NCL’s oversight in prebooking information in failing to advise that documentary proof of ESTA is required. Ship-We had anticipated some shortcomings as this voyage was essentially a shake down , however it was interesting to see how the latest cruise ships have evolved with a lightly built, full bowed hull outfitted with low maintenance Internal modular units obviously designed for a refurbishment a few years down the road. Despite its huge size the vessel reacted like a much smaller one encountering some poor but not particularly rough sea states, surprising that it is classed for “winter North Atlantic” service. The internal ambience is very understated and the internal decorators have done an outstanding job in both layout and decor. Cabin-Mini suite on deck thirteen, was a little on the narrow side and the balcony, unused due to the weather, extremely small. A large amount of storage, more electrical points would be useful(US standard only). The king bed was comfortable and located inboard of the seating area, apparently the sofa converts to a double bed, it would be adequate only for small children. Bathroom was large with excellent shower, but poor quality toiletries. Restaurants-complimentary, were somewhat limited as Taste, Savor and the Manhattan Room have exactly the same menu which changes little from day to day. The Garden Cafe cafeteria was generally a better choice, being large, beautifully laid out and with an good selection, the carvery and Indian sections were the high spots. -specialty, Ocean Blue(seafood), very disappointing , Food Republic basically sushi with a rather annoying tablet menu, a little better, Le Bistro, worth a visit for a change, Cagneys, by far the best and really the only one worth paying for unless the very reasonable Free at Sea package had been purchased. Bars, although cumulatively quite large in number only the Observation deck had a lounge quality with adequate seating. Again the Free at Sea package is almost essential even for moderate drinkers as the per drink prices are high, a plus point is that only the excess cost is charged over the base prices for premium drinks. Wi Fi-worked well but the very reasonably priced unlimited use add on is essential as the basic 250minutes was consumed by an apparently arbitrary log in and out algorithm. Service-Generally good(vessel only 50%occupied), but could improve particularly in table clearing and cabin areas. Entertainment-Two free professional level productions but not continuously available meant that tickets were scarce. Smaller general acts very similar to other cruise lines. Excessive emphasis on trivia and TV type game shows indicate a Bingo rather than Bridge orientation. Outside facilities, did not use due to weather-vessel is geared to tropical cruises. Value-exceptional,even including Free at Sea and extra Wi Fi costs Disembarkation -An utter shambles, not the fault of NCL, or indeed the immigration officers who struggled to cope with 2000+ passengers using outdated technology and without the self clearance machines used at US airports. They were fortunate, as were we, that the crew were not permitted to disembark.Customs clearance on the following day was much easier as the officers basically just watched passengers collect luggage and leave. High spot-The sea approach to New York under the Verrazano Bridge , past the Statue of Liberty and up the Hudson to the terminal berth was stunning and could have been more so had the ships entertainers been used to provide NY music during the transit. Fellow passengers-mix of American , British, Canadian and some others. Many hugely overweight and large numbers of mobility scooters, walkers and wheel chairs, generally in 50 to 70 age group and preponderance of return NCL guests. Overview-A relative bargain on a new ship , perhaps a half star lower than Holland America or Celebrity but quite enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Chose this for the crossing, our first. Booked adjoining mini-suites. Stay away from Deck 9! Rooms are above the clubs and music is crazy loud. Southampton is a great town full of personality and history. Spend a few extra days there. ... Read More
Chose this for the crossing, our first. Booked adjoining mini-suites. Stay away from Deck 9! Rooms are above the clubs and music is crazy loud. Southampton is a great town full of personality and history. Spend a few extra days there. Don’t miss the Titanic part of the SeaCity Museum. Food on board was iffy at best. Bland, tended to be over cooked and frequently saw items from lunch buffet on dining room dinner menu. Overwhelming majority of crew were amazing! Entertainment was hit/miss. A Choir of Man was a great show. Kinky boots had a couple of standout actors, but overall weak performance. Music in all venues, including acts, was entirely too loud; even mics on personnel MCing games, bingo, etc ... most venues too small for planned activities, especially seating in the atrium. Overall good cruise, but certainly not great. Cruise into New York was def the highlight! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Overall NCL Encore seems like a downgrade from it's Breakaway Plus class sisters/predecessors. NCL has removed some outside public deck space in favor of an expanded Vibe Beach Club (requires purchase of a pass, limited availability, ... Read More
Overall NCL Encore seems like a downgrade from it's Breakaway Plus class sisters/predecessors. NCL has removed some outside public deck space in favor of an expanded Vibe Beach Club (requires purchase of a pass, limited availability, adult-only). The lounge chairs in Vibe are not as comfortable or nice as previous iterations of Vibe and have allowed NCL to cram in more people. Parts of Vibe are also not accessible (there is a seating area on the main deck near the cabanas as well as the upper level). NCL has introduced Onda (Italian) and American Diner (lunch-only a la carte) specialty dining with Encore - though the food was fine, it was nothing to go out of your way for. The menus were disappointing and offered things that were already available elsewhere on board with a slight twist. NCL still hasn't solved the problem of too little seating in the social (using folding chairs during the inaugural transatlantic) and not offering accessible seating at the rear of the theater, though there is a reserved handicapped area at the rear of the theater utilizing standard theater seats. Kinky Boots was a fun show and welcome addition to the fleet's entertainment offerings. Speedway and VR Paviliion have unposted/uncommunicated weight and size limitations, you are also required to have closed shoes (such as sneakers) for the speedway - no sandals or other shoes with open toes or backs. Passengers should be prepared for uncomfortable conversations with assigned staff if there's a possibility that they won't be able to use the facilities within NCL's defined limitations. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
An inaugural cruise is used to get the kinks worked out. Let's remember that the ship was just delivered from the shipbuilder to NCL only days before the transatlantic crossing. So, we couldn't be expected to find everything ... Read More
An inaugural cruise is used to get the kinks worked out. Let's remember that the ship was just delivered from the shipbuilder to NCL only days before the transatlantic crossing. So, we couldn't be expected to find everything flowing as if the ship had been in service for months. Yes, there were issues with the spa's thermal pool being cooler than normal on that first day at sea. And, it had to be drained when we hit rough seas to prevent water damage to the spa. (The motion sickness bags placed around the ship should have been a clue.) But, it was not something that went uncorrected when it was reopened. I will agree with another reviewer that "quiet" rules were not followed in the spa at all times. One group of people in the hot tub were particularly loud at times. One review item I cannot agree with was the Garden Cafe. It had probably the best food I have ever seen in any cafe aboard the major cruise lines. In the last 13 cruises, I can count on one hand the number of times we have eaten dinner at the ship's cafe. We have always eaten dinner in the main dining room. But, we enjoyed the Garden Cafe's dining fare so much, we ate dinner there nearly every evening. A first for us. So, yes. The ship did have a few things they needed to get up-to-speed. But, that is normal for any new ship just entering service. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Cruise number 10, our third transatlantic crossing, and also our third cruise on Norwegian. The Encore was beautiful! We had an aft facing balcony stateroom which was adequately spacious, very comfortable bed, decent storage and good size ... Read More
Cruise number 10, our third transatlantic crossing, and also our third cruise on Norwegian. The Encore was beautiful! We had an aft facing balcony stateroom which was adequately spacious, very comfortable bed, decent storage and good size bathroom. The weather wasn’t the greatest so the outside activities open were minimal. However, the Observation Lounge on deck 15 more than made up for it! We spent a few hours there every day. It was beautifully appointed, plenty of comfortable sitting areas, lots of good snacks available throughout the day, bar service, and a 180 degree view. The main dining room and menus were very good. We also ate at Los Lobos Mexican restaurant which was excellent, and Q Texas barbecue restaurant which was also good. We never had to wait for a seat but the ship wasn’t full so it’s hard to judge what a full passenger load would feel like. The staff were very good throughout the ship. We would make the trip again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
It was a great time to cruise with P & O on the Arcadia - 4 weeks away at the beginning of November when it was wet and cold in the UK. No flying, Southampton to Southampton via Madeira, the Caribbean and the Azores. Once the ship had ... Read More
It was a great time to cruise with P & O on the Arcadia - 4 weeks away at the beginning of November when it was wet and cold in the UK. No flying, Southampton to Southampton via Madeira, the Caribbean and the Azores. Once the ship had sailed through the fog (the first couple of days) the weather was really good. Interesting ports of call and extremely easy to get ashore when in port. The ship is very comfortable but quite tired. Everything works as it should be but there are signs around windows etc to suggest that perhaps a re-fit ought to be imminent. The cabin was very comfortable but quite clearly had been constructed later when the P & O decided to make the Arcadia child free. The food was excellent although my other half thought that there could have been some more plain dishes on the menu. However we didn't have a meal that was not to our tastes. Both the cabin staff and the dining staff were very good, pleasant and ready to converse with the passengers. We enjoyed the excursions we booked and the arrangements to meet for them was really excellent, on the pier or just off and so no nonsense about meeting in the theatre on the ship. All in all it was an excellent cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Silhouette is wonderful looks stunning and is very friendly. I had joined the cruise critic roll call before this sailing and had some great fun for about a month beforehand signing up for group activities including a joke the turned ... Read More
Silhouette is wonderful looks stunning and is very friendly. I had joined the cruise critic roll call before this sailing and had some great fun for about a month beforehand signing up for group activities including a joke the turned into the most amazing chocolate swap. Embarkation was brilliant my dad uses a walking stick and we were shown to the assistance line no wait and we were on the ship in no time. We were welcomed aboard with a glass of bubbly. Our first impression was the ship looked wonderful and friendly. Our veranda cabin was spacious and the overhead cupboards very useful. The food and service in the dining room was great however getting into the dining room could be stressful. The fact that it was possible to book dining time in select meant there were empty tables in the dining room and long queues outside. I tried 3 of the specialty restaurants, Qsine twice, Tuscan Grille and Lawn Club Grill all excellent however I much preferred the steak in Tuscan. Qsine is a fun experience. The entertainment was varied the Elton John act being my favourite. I enjoyed the lectures by the former District Attorney. There were 272 cruise critic members signed up for the meet and mingle and Celebrity put on a great welcome. We especially enjoyed our friends of Godiva chocolate swap complete with refreshments provided. Celebrity went over and above in facilitating our members and enabled a great vibe to circulate around the ship. Ports were great and the excursions good value. Would I go again well I booked Reflection for October transatlantic 2020. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Booked this cruise on a whim to get up over to Florida for an extended vacation. Overall the cruise was great seeing New York, Boston, Bermuda, Nassau and Fort Lauderdale. Firstly embarkation was really slow especially security. Once on ... Read More
Booked this cruise on a whim to get up over to Florida for an extended vacation. Overall the cruise was great seeing New York, Boston, Bermuda, Nassau and Fort Lauderdale. Firstly embarkation was really slow especially security. Once on the ship having already sailed on a Solstice class ship it was all very familiar. Our stateroom (concierge) was as expected, clean tidy and nicely appointed. Stateroom attendant was great and always smiling. The ships pools and sun deck areas were fine and never got overly busy. So here are my observations: 1) Although I expected the demographic to be in the older age category it still surprised us that it was a vast majority who were over 60 on the cruise, nothing bad about that but just an observation. 2) Having an included drinks package took the worry out of when to have a drink, not sure we took full advantage of it but would always try to figure it out in the future. 3) Main dining room was on the whole always good with tasty and varied meal choices, our servers being friendly and attentive. 4) Many sea days means getting a routine going and after four or five we were desperate for a port day. 5) The Atlantic can be lively on these cruises and for the first couple of days it was. 6) We made some new friends at dinner and around the ship who were a delight and made the whole experience a little special. 7) we saw far more wildlife than we expected, many whales, dolphins and porpoises - great. 8) getting off the ship at port was quite a struggle being very busy especially with late arrival in Boston. 9) Debarkation was a breeze and we were in our hire car very quickly. Now we are not "show" people so we have no comments about the entertainment. Nor did we speciality dine, nothing really appealed. The cruise director and his entourage were great and made the cruise feel personal in that they were around to chat with and interact. The only real negative was that I often find that on cruises there are a certain group who seem to think they "own" the ship. Quite often we saw them pushing in-front of others at elevators and just generally being lacking in the manners department. I've seen this before on other cruises and I just think there are a group who think they are better than you and that's just their problem! One final observation, why oh why bother with Nassau? We tire of the constant hassle from people on the street and it makes the place a "I'll think I'll stay oil the ship next time!" place. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019

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