1. Home
  2. Cruise Destinations
  3. Western Mediterranean Cruises
  4. Western Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

340 Southampton to Europe - Western Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

This is our 10th Cruise, predominantly on RCL and Celebrity, but we have done Princess and P&O. as well. Went with friends who wanted to take lots of luggage, hence we chose a Southampton Sailing, to be honest, to Ports we had mostly ... Read More
This is our 10th Cruise, predominantly on RCL and Celebrity, but we have done Princess and P&O. as well. Went with friends who wanted to take lots of luggage, hence we chose a Southampton Sailing, to be honest, to Ports we had mostly done before. So a little apprehensive, we love the standard of Celebrity so a lot to live up to. Firstly embarkation was quick, although it was after two when the Eavesway coach got us there. We had a Balcony cabin on Deck 6 which was good, plenty of space and a decent balcony, clean and tidy. The Ship is ready for its re-fit next year and the wear and tear is staring to show, it won't spoil your Cruise but you can see it needs refreshing in places. The worst part about a Southampton sailing, especially in October is the Bay of Biscay, which was quite choppy on the way out, making us all feel a little queezy and too cold to sunbathe, so we felt the first couple of days were a little wasted, same coming home. DINING: We were in the queue for My Time Dining which is ideal but we were given a 8.30 Set Dining. We asked to change to MTD but we were told there was a long waiting list so chose to go for a 6pm Sitting. This is the first time we have had a set sitting and it dictates your day. 8.30pm is too late and 6pm too early, especially if your have been out on a trip all day. The food was very good, although the portions can be a little small at times, 4 Breaded Mushrooms as a starter on the last night was a joke. As the two weeks went on less and less people used the Dining Room, either they wanted a greater choice, larger portions or the flexibility to dine when they wanted, hence they ended up in the Windjammer, which did have excellent food all the time. We ate in Chops Grille one night, the portions were huge, the Steak was amazing, we were so full after this meal, well worth the extra money. I suggest you insist on MTD when you book, that way you can please yourself when you eat. ENTERTAINMENT Outstanding Cruise Director Mark and his team, outstanding shows from the Singers and Dancers and great acts throughout. A number of Comedians, a Ventriloquist, an outstanding Hypnotist and the "Grease" Show was amazing. Would be hard to beat the standard of entertainment on any Ship. The shows were 7 and 9 most night but you needed to be an half hour early for the 9pm show as it filled up to capacity. The ICE Shows were also extremely good. Only complaint may be that if you have done INDY before then you will have probably seen the main shows and the ICE Show before. But overall excellent. The "Love and Marriage " Game Show was memorable, even the Cruise Director said he had not experienced anything like that before, so funny, but a little naughty, least said !! Daytime activities were ok, we were a little disappointed they had de-commissioned the Golf Simulator as we are keen Golfers and was looking forward to using this. The Parties on the promenade were excellent, great fun singing along and dancing to the Cruise entertainment team, they worked really hard. PORTS. Malaga and Cartagena, just walked ashore, both lovely places to look round. Rome- 1.5 hours on the Coach to Rome, then had 5 hours free time, worked well as we had done Rome before, so we could wander where we wanted this time. Livorno, just did a Wine Tasting trip in the afternoon, very nice, and lots of Wine. Provence- went to Cassis, lovely fishing village, and on route the Bus goes up the mountain, spectacular views and amazing photos at the top. Gibraltar and Lisbon, both are easy to walk in and look around. DRESS CODE/PEOPLE The Cruise was just into the new School term so very few children on board, the demographic was mainly over 60, a lot of Wheelchairs and motorised chairs but it was still a good atmosphere. The majority of people dressed smart for Dinner in the Dining Room and surprisingly for the Formal nights which we always enjoy. Maybe in summer with a 1000 kids on board it would be different ! Overall, as regular Celebrity Cruisers, we really couldnt find much fault with "Indy", the staff were outstanding, the entertainment was excellent, main Dining Room food could have been a bit more varied and bigger portions but we always had enough, and the sun shone (once out of Biscay), just a cracking Cruise ! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Wanted to experience a bigger ship to thought we would try the Oriana going to,, Spain, Italy, Gibraltar etc. Oriana holds around 2,000 passengers and was the biggest ship we have ever been on. We stayed in Soton the night before and ... Read More
Wanted to experience a bigger ship to thought we would try the Oriana going to,, Spain, Italy, Gibraltar etc. Oriana holds around 2,000 passengers and was the biggest ship we have ever been on. We stayed in Soton the night before and boarded early. One thing I always look for is the entertainment, and I must say I was blown away by the Headliners theatre company, up there with the best I have ever seen on a ship. The theatres were excellent and to be honest the whole ship came to life in the evenings, such as Harlequins bar and the bar the other end of the ship I can't remember what it was called but there were fun quizzes in there. In the day there were a lot of activities going on and it wasn't really our thing. Sea days are great for relaxing but there wasn't too much opportunity of that short of actually sitting in your cabin all day. I did go to the spa for a massage once which was very therapeutic and recommended. For a ship of its size Oriana was very efficient at getting all the passengers and crew off at every port- there aren't really any hold ups. Some lovely places I hadn't visited for 30 yeras. Overall a good experience, I may come back again but perhaps on a shorter cruise with no sea days. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This was our third cruise on the Eclipse though the first time we have sailed fro Southampton. We travelled with two friends. The embarkation was easy, parked the car in the nearby carpark (ABP £120.00) where the luggage was taken from ... Read More
This was our third cruise on the Eclipse though the first time we have sailed fro Southampton. We travelled with two friends. The embarkation was easy, parked the car in the nearby carpark (ABP £120.00) where the luggage was taken from us to the ship. A very short wait after the check in formalities. We boarded at 11:30am, cabin was available at 1:00 pm and the last item of luggage was delivered by 3:30 pm. Our cabin steward (IMADE) was excellent and supplied all our requirments. In the MDR we had a table for 10 (table 239), the waiter (JESUS) and his assistant(Felix) were excellent. Our Sommelier (YAN from China) was outstanding, advising us on the wine to go with our food choices and keeping our glasses topped us as required. In general the cruise staff were very good with the exeption of the staff in the Cafe El Bacio who were indifferent at times. The coffee served in the EL Bacio was not very good being weak even if you got a double shot, we had found this on our previous cruise when the coffee supplier had been changed to Lavvaaso. We found it very difficult to find a seat in any of the midship bars for pre and after dinner drinks with the Martini bar area the most crowded. Perhaps Celebrity should look at the amount of space that is given to the art sales area which in my opinion could be reduced by 75% and the cellar masters whch could also be reduced. Additional seating could then be installed with perhaps a second Martini bar which is very popular. My Wife and I did not go on any of the ships excursions ( These are in our opinion overpriced) but did our own thing in the ports. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This is our second trip on the Eclipse and third on Celebrity, we sailed on Reflection a few years ago. Embarkation was easy, although were told we couldn't board til 2.00pm we were onboard not long after 12 noon. We were pleased ... Read More
This is our second trip on the Eclipse and third on Celebrity, we sailed on Reflection a few years ago. Embarkation was easy, although were told we couldn't board til 2.00pm we were onboard not long after 12 noon. We were pleased with our choice of stateroom, No. 7206. We had the 'slanted' balcony on what I call the 'sticky out' bit of the ship. It was a generous sized balcony. Our steward, Joseph was from Guyana and he did a great job. My husband is a cricket fan and Joseph is a big fan and a mine of information on the sport, my husband enjoyed his chats with him and even though England beat the West Indies, Joseph took it well!! We took the speciality restaurant package as it's now changed so that you can use a restaurant more than once, unlike last year. We ate in the Tuscan Grill and Murano, food was excellent in both. The Murano had the edge in service, but not by much, the staff in both were excellent. The entertainment was disappointing, mostly single performers, singers, pianist/singers. I can't speak for the comedians as I'm hearing impaired and don't go to shows where I have to listen too hard. The only shore excursion we booked was for Obidos from Lisbon as we had been to several of the other destinations before. Unfortunately our excursion was cancelled as only 5 other passengers booked it. We weren't offered any help or advice to arrange the trip ourselves and Guest Relations staff wouldn't tell us who the other disappointed passengers were. We would have been willing to pay a bit more if they had offered to arrange a small tour for the 6 of us but no help was forthcoming. The Classic drinks package was included and the choice of wines suited us very well, we couldn't see the point of paying for the Premier package. On a personal note, as I've mentioned above I'm hearing impaired and can't watch films or any TV broadcast without captions. I had taken a portable DVD player so that I could have something to watch on sea days. I also forgot to take the lead to connect it to the TV set. The Hotel Director found a DVD player for me and had it set up. This was a godsend and it's the first time my disability has been catered for! They also offered a vibrating alarm if I needed it. Luckily my husband has normal hearing so he could tell me what the messages were, in case I needed to know! I'd just like to mention here that when we were on the Emerald Princess last year, they were showing several captioned films (and all free to view), so I hope this is something Celebrity will look at. Judging by the number of hearing aid wearers on board it will probably be welcome. I couldn't even understand the inhouse films about destinations, etc. Maybe these could be captioned? Talks were also inaccessible to me but I guess having a 'speech to text' transcriber on board would be too much to hope for!!!! We will travel with Celebrity again in the future and look forward to doing so. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
After spending a disappointing night at the Grand Harbour Hotel in Southampton for a pre cruise stay, we had a very easy journey to the ship, where we could park a couple of minutes walk away from the terminal. Embarkation was really ... Read More
After spending a disappointing night at the Grand Harbour Hotel in Southampton for a pre cruise stay, we had a very easy journey to the ship, where we could park a couple of minutes walk away from the terminal. Embarkation was really easy, with no lines, and we only had to wait fro around 15 minutes before boarding began. We have sailed on Eclipse before, and once again we were delighted to be back onboard. The ship is beautiful, with grand public areas and great levels of customer service. From the welcome champagne, to the exquisite food, Celebrity really do know how to roll out the red carpet! We were staying in a Concierge Class Cain 9296, midship with a balcony, and as the cabin is on the bump off the ship, it has a larger than average balcony, which gives some much welcomed extra space to relax on. Celebrity are very keen on trying to convince guests to upgrade at every opportunity - drinks package upgrade, dining package upgrade etc are all available, and while the crew are not overly pushy, they are keen to try and encourage you to purchase as you board. We upgraded our drinks package to the premium alcoholic package which allowed us drinks up to $15, and a 5 night dining package. Celebrity Eclipse is one of the older solstice class ships, and as such does not have so many dining choices as Silhouette and Reflection. In addition to the Moonlight Sonata MDR, Ocean View Cafe and mast Grill, there are the familiar speciality restaurant options of Murano, Qsine, Tuscan Grill, and the new addition of Sushi on Five, which replaces Bistro on Five. The quality of the food in each venue is wonderful, and generally the service in each venue is good too. The service varies according to the venue, with MDR being more hurried than the speciality venues, but there did seem to be a lack of consistency in the speciality dining venues - and seeing as Celebrity charge twice as much as some of their competitors for speciality dining, they really need to focus on getting this absolutely right. There are silly things that are not delivered consistently across the fleet, and it does make it feel a little like there are corners being cut. The onboard entertainment was good, with the guest entertainers being a particular highlight, especially the insanely energetic Jayne Curry, and X Factor finalists the McDonald Brothers. Celebrity are clearly trying to offer something for everyone, and as a result there were some nights when the onboard entertainment really failed to appeal to us. The other real let down, was the house band. Lethargic, and seemingly disinterested on performing, they really were a low point. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Recommendation from family & friends. The Eclipse was a really great vessel with all its Splendour, very happy with cabin and balcony, but could do with more draw space. The restaurants were excellent with good choice on menu, ... Read More
Recommendation from family & friends. The Eclipse was a really great vessel with all its Splendour, very happy with cabin and balcony, but could do with more draw space. The restaurants were excellent with good choice on menu, Restaurant Staff were especially helpful and attentative with a special mention to Jesus, Felix and Jan, who gave us excellent service each night, we all shared a lot of humour between them too!! Excellent entertainment in the theatre each evening, plus drinks served to your seats. Sun decks were well equipped with sunbeds (but too close for comfort at times). Choice of bars, lounge areas and excellent Coffee Shop with choice of cakes. Excursions were well organised, (although very disappointed with visit to Rome, with weather causing floods prevented us getting off coach, apart from 45 mins at the Vatican, when rain had eased off and allowed a short look around and to take few photo,s.). All members of staff were all very friendly and helpful, and not forgetting The Captain himself who made an appearance around the Ship and will always remember his voice each morning, whereby he always finished with the words "Life is Beautiful" - and he was there to shake hands with all the guests when we disembarked the Ship. A very enjoyable cruise that I would recommend to anyone taking their first cruise, I'm sure I will be taking another cruise on Eclipse before too long. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
I travelled with my parents and the three of us shared a cabin. We had cruised on the Equinox two years previously, so we pretty much knew what to expect. Embarkation was excellent. Although we were advised to board at 2 pm we turned ... Read More
I travelled with my parents and the three of us shared a cabin. We had cruised on the Equinox two years previously, so we pretty much knew what to expect. Embarkation was excellent. Although we were advised to board at 2 pm we turned up at 11 am and were onboard within 20 minutes. No queues at all. We had our luggage by 3 pm. The ship is beautiful and we enjoyed the amenities. We saw a big difference in the menu selections since our previous cruise two years ago. They have shortened the menu and the daily selections always used to feature a steak. Now, there are many nights when there was none listed. I never asked - maybe if I had I might have gotten one. Whenever they served beef - it was amazing but some evenings the choice was very poor. We were on a table for 8 and really enjoyed the group of people that we met. The service was excellent - we found all the staff very pleasant - except for the Cafe al Bacio - where they were quite dour. We always ate breakfast and lunch in the Oceanview and enjoyed everything offered. We disliked sailing from Southampton - it takes 2.5 days before you can feel any sun and the same on the way back, so loosing 5 days sunshine from your trip was something we hadn't thought about before we sailed. All in all we would travel with Celebrity again, but never without a drinks package and OBC - their prices are very high - it makes life a lot nicer when you don't have to keep signing for your drinks ;-) Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
It had been 8 years since we had taken our first ever cruise which was on Independence Of The Seas on a Mediterranean trip from Southampton. So this trip was a bit of a nostalgia visit on a similar itinerary with the same participants, ... Read More
It had been 8 years since we had taken our first ever cruise which was on Independence Of The Seas on a Mediterranean trip from Southampton. So this trip was a bit of a nostalgia visit on a similar itinerary with the same participants, me, my husband, Mum and Sister. This isn't a port review, there is a lot of port info elsewhere for those needing it. Boarding We arrived at Southampton at about 11am and used the official car parking service. We were onboard within 10 minutes mainly as Mum was in a wheelchair with dedicated check in desks however the other lines were pretty short as well. We were greeted with champagne on boarding, something we've only experienced on Celebrity before. We went straight out on deck as the weather was very pleasant and sat and had our first drink. We got the free Deluxe Drinks package as a perk and started to test it out....... We got a few small plates of food from the windjammer which included the first plate, of many on this cruise, of delicious large shrimp and took them back outside with us. Cabin Cabins were ready at 1pm and we had two Deluxe Balcony cabins close to the centrum lifts on deck 6 (6626/6628). These were classed as interconnecting but strangely the sofa in one cabin blocked the interconnecting door and it had been taped up on the other side, not that we wanted to use it. Having been on Anthem and Oasis since our first Indy cruise the decor struck us as a little more dated however in practice the cabin layout works very well. There is a good circulation space, lots of storage, a good sized balcony and all round the cabin was well maintained. After the first night however I realised the bed was way too soft and I took a look and found an old sagging mattress with egg crate foam on top and two mattress toppers. If you like to sink into a bed you would love it but it offered no support. Anyway we got this swapped out for a brand new mattress on day 2. The location was super convenient for the lifts and stairs and was probably the quietest cabin we have ever had. No creaks or rattles at all. Dining We had Mytime Dining in the King Lear level of the main dining room. It is nice to enter this big impressive space with the huge Chandelier. I had pre reserved 7.30 times for each night in advance online. In practice this worked out really well. We could have pre dinner drinks just after people had vacated the bars for early dining then arrive back into the bars after dinner whilst early diners were at the show and late diners were still eating. This gave us a free choice of where to have a drink and we mixed it up every night though the bars all became packed later. Our favourite place was the Olive or Twist bar up in the Viking Crown lounge with its superb views. We had booked the BOGO dining offer for the first two nights and chose Chops for both evenings. This was extremely good value and made a nice start to the holiday. It was a shame the menu had been changed recently and had less choice (no scallops for instance). After these first two nights we took up our reservations in the MDR. On the first night we were seated on a table for 4 at the back near the exit from the kitchens. This wasn't great as there was a constant stream of waiters passing by and it felt uncomfortable and less than relaxing. When we exited I mentioned this to the Maitre D' who said he would seat us somewhere else the next night. The next night he did seat us somewhere else, on the next table to the one on the previous night, by the corridor for the waiters and next to a serving station. I returned to the Maitre D', had a moan and we got a table in the centre of the floor from that night onwards. Our waiters were superb. Nothing was too much trouble and on the whole we were fairly picky eaters. I asked for some extra vegetables on the first night and the sharing vegetable plate they provided grew larger each night with lovely snow peas, asparagus and French beans. The menus were less interesting than our experience on Oasis in Feb/Mar which was trialling the new menus which were a lot better in our opinion. The choice was wide but there were some strange combinations (who needs a choice of 2 onion soups on one nights' menu). The food overall was nicely presented but we had several instances of cold food, some sauces that had no taste at all and some deserts that sounded nice but in reality were not great (pecan pie for instance was very dry and hard and Crewe caramel that wasn't crisp but was runny). However we enjoyed the experience more than the food and our service made up for the menu/food issues. I have to mention breakfast. I don't know if we missed this 8 years ago and on our Anthem and Oasis trips, but the choice was excellent. Of course there was the windjammer which had a great choice of options but we struggled to find a table easily. On Deck 5 they had the waiter service a la carte breakfast which we tried once. Very nice but a bit lengthy for us. Then on Deck 3 they had a buffet breakfast but with waiter served drinks. This suited us very well. No problem getting a table. A much more relaxed environment and a good choice of options, though of course less than in the windjammer. To have a choice of full a la carte in the MDR, buffet breakfast in the MDR and full buffet breakfast in the windjammer is a great feature. For lunch we ate in the Windjammer each day apart from one sea day in the MDR where we had the buffet lunch which was excellent. My Mum loves shrimp and the windjammer had shrimp about every third day and lobster 4 times during the cruise. This was such a treat. There was a good choice of curries (for the Brits) which were excellent. Lots of roast meats, the usual burgers and hot dogs and delicious chicken burgers. The choices changed each day and you would have to be very fussy not to have enjoyed a great choice and nice food up here. On the next to last day we had the bottomless brunch. This was a freebie because of an issue we experienced onboard. You gathered on the deck 4 dining room, had a glass of champagne, signed a health waiver and then were taken into the galley in groups of 20. The tour made me realise that any switches we requested via our waiters each night must have added a lot of hassle for them when selecting our choices in the waiter line up. After the tour we sat at tables with antipasto laid out and then a three course menu option. However they said they also had (off menu) a surf and turf of lobster and fillet minion which the majority went for. The champagne was free flowing. A lovely lunch and would actually be worth the fee if you want to enjoy a galley tour and a hearty brunch. To add one note that affects all Dining onboard, any dish marked as vegetarian suitable but which contains cheese isn't vegetarian as the cheese used contains animal rennet. This is common across American cruise lines but for any UK cruisers used to relying on vegetarian symbols on menus being accurate this might be an issue that affects you. Drinks. We had the free Deluxe Drinks package included and we made good use of it. From Coffees in the Promenade Cafe and fresh orange juice with breakfast to bottles of water for trips ashore and of course pre dinner cocktails and wine with dinner. The choices were varied and bar service was very good. I would say over 75% of the passengers had the 'free' package but that didn't impact on the service. On deck by the pool the service was amazing. Not a minute went by without a waiter passing. Clearly Royal have incentivised the waiters to provide drinks (albeit free) and it shows. We've never had such good poolside bar service. Being an ex UK cruise the Dog and Badger pub was the busiest venue, pretty much all day and even served potato chips on football match days. We had a bit of an issue with canned soda as some venues said it was included, others said they had to open the can before they gave it to you and others said the package only included fountain soda. A conversation with someone from food and beverage confirmed sealed, canned soda was included in the package so eventually we managed to get just that (useful for the mini bar fridge and trips ashore) Pools We had great weather on this cruise. Apart from the first and last days. The decks got busy, especially the prime spots, but we got up early and grabbed good positions. There were warnings in the cruise compass advising not to leave sunbeds for more than 30 mins and we did see them logging reserved beds and even removing some belongings. I would say they seemed more proactive earlier on when the beds were filling up but less visible when the pool decks were full. They had films on the outdoor screen twice a day. There were 160 kids on this cruise which was a pretty low number and we didn't see them at all, presumably the kids clubs kept them entertained. As a consequence the H2O pool area was the quietest area on deck, no kids and no bands playing. The pool sunbeds looked pretty new and were much better than the rubber strap type that they previously had. In fact the balcony furniture looked pretty new too as did the chairs on the deck 4 outside Promenade deck. They had a couple of poolside buffets, one was a massive paella dish with so much meat and seafood and another had shrimp, lobster, burgers etc. A nice addition but as they were not in the compass it was pot luck if you happened to spot them, luckily we did. Lifeguards at every pool must be reassuring for families. On a couple of hot sea days staff came round the outside decks with melon and strawberries. Don't remember this previously and it's a nice little touch. Entertainment It's been our view for a while that Royal has good entertainment. From a packed programme of quizzes and talks to golf, climbing walls, flowrider. The cruise director was Joff Eaton. Perfect for a U.K market and this cruise was 95% British. His Quest hosting was about the best we've seen and his morning tv shows were very quirky but fun. We didn't see a lot of the theatre shows. We went to a magician but from the upper tier you couldn't see a thing. Joff said the act didn't like cameras and tv screens and perhaps then they shouldn't book him if half the audience cannot see his tricks. Royal seem to have stolen The Liars club idea from Celebrity and we went to that. Instead of crew members on Celebrity it was the entertainment staff and was fun. Grease was on twice on the third to last evening and on the last sea day as a matinee. It was excellent. Perfectly suited to a cruise ship performance. Great vocals with outstanding dance routines. We went to the 6 o'clock show and when we exited at 7.30 there were queues for the 9 o'clock show. We went to both ice shows, although the fast forward show was the same as 8 years ago (really?). Very good, professional and a great choice of music to accompany the skating. Disembarkation. We had requested the earliest disembarkation slot and got it. We exited exactly on our 7am slot and were in our car by 7.10. Very smooth and easy. So how to summarise our return to the Independence. Overall we enjoyed it. Lots to do, friendly staff, great bar service, great entertainment, good dining room service, variable dining room evening food, excellent windjammer options, great breakfast dining choices, good sized cabins but slightly dated and a 10 yr old ship which is being kept in good shape. However, having been on Oasis, and more so Anthem, Indy feels slightly less sparkly and modern. It was lovely to sail on her again but I'm not sure we will be back onboard again. Also whilst we like the Royal Promenade, you are made to feel the volume of passengers onboard when using this thoroughfare and Celebrity's S Class ships spread the passenger load out much more efficiently. Indeed evenOasis with its massive passenger load felt less crowded. This was also a very British cruise. This may sound strange from a Brit but we have come to enjoy meeting people from elsewhere on our cruises and like a mix of cultures but clearly Indy is very much loved by Brits and there were so many repeat guests with some who have only ever cruised on her and never wanted to try another ship or cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Just liked the look of it!!! The only real drawback was the main dining room on a formal night at 6.00 pm. we had a designated table number but found a very awkward older lady already at the table who was not for moving!! The manager ... Read More
Just liked the look of it!!! The only real drawback was the main dining room on a formal night at 6.00 pm. we had a designated table number but found a very awkward older lady already at the table who was not for moving!! The manager checked our table number and we were proved correct but he put us with others who were not good mixers and without any hint of an apology, however the food was brilliant, This was Macbeth dining room and we felt pushed out, We did not use again as the same problem would have happened again!!!!!!!! The rest of the cruise was really good and the staff on the state rooms and the windjammer dining room were first rate in fact all the crew were very good..We used the theatre most nights and was very enjoyable. Over all we would go on again but with a different dining option.!!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Still a great all round cruise experience. The 2018 refit which will be the biggest in RCCI's history is much overdue. Hopefully the refit will include all new beds and other furniture. Not sure how adding extra cabins will improve ... Read More
Still a great all round cruise experience. The 2018 refit which will be the biggest in RCCI's history is much overdue. Hopefully the refit will include all new beds and other furniture. Not sure how adding extra cabins will improve the overall experience. Now if only they would fit a roof on the Solarium it would be almost pefect. Dining was much better than last year. All the staff were execellent. Able bodied guests should show more consideration to those in wheelchairs especially when leaving the theatre - it can often take wheelchair users 30 minutes to get from deck 3 to deck 5 as the lifts are full of ablebodied guests just using the lifts to get up 2 decks. The same problems occur when wheel chair guests need to travel from deck 5 down to the ice rink. Overall still excellent value and a firm favourite with all the family. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Great staff, lovely ship. The only downside of this cruise was the temperature of ALL of the food! Cold cooked breakfasts are not nice. Everything else was super!! The Boleros bar was a favourite - the entertainment in that bar was ... Read More
Great staff, lovely ship. The only downside of this cruise was the temperature of ALL of the food! Cold cooked breakfasts are not nice. Everything else was super!! The Boleros bar was a favourite - the entertainment in that bar was great - Latin music most nights. The two main evening bar staff were very entertaining also. The entertainment was superb, the cruise director (Joff) is absolutely brilliant. They ice shows are tremendous! The guest comedians did not disappoint either, real quality stuff! The quizzes are good fun also. The sunbeds were always reserved by people with their towels which was very annoying - even though Royal Carribbean say they don't allow this, it happens! Grrrrr!! The ice cream from the pool area is lovely - how I didn't have two or three a day is amazing!!! The Olive& Twist bar had the BEST views of all the bars, wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We wanted to visit Rome and Florence to see the cities, I am a fan of proper architecture not this glass and mirrors they use everywhere these days. The ship does need a refurb but considering it's done something like 348 cruises ... Read More
We wanted to visit Rome and Florence to see the cities, I am a fan of proper architecture not this glass and mirrors they use everywhere these days. The ship does need a refurb but considering it's done something like 348 cruises since its launch its in very reasonable condition. The theatre shows did not come up to scratch, who would book a comedian and a piano on one night then a different comedian and a piano the following night, seems like poor planning to me. They also had a magician doing card tricks on stage so if your are not in the front row you couldn't see what was happening. The food was fantastic no complaints from me. Staff worked really hard and should be congratulated on their efforts, nothing was to much trouble, special mention to our room attendant Oka and our waiters Miller and Yefgenny (sorry if I have spelt this incorrectly). Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We chose this cruise mostly because of the itinery, we had been with Celebrity previously and wanted to compare the two. Celebrity was a quieter cruise and didn't have the promenade where everyone gathered so didn't have the same ... Read More
We chose this cruise mostly because of the itinery, we had been with Celebrity previously and wanted to compare the two. Celebrity was a quieter cruise and didn't have the promenade where everyone gathered so didn't have the same atmosphere as RC. We arrived at the port around the time we had been given for boarding and this is the only place we had to queue, once on board we went for a quick drink before going to our cabin. After dropping the bags off it was time to explore and we were surprised by what we found, so much to take in and it took a while to get our bearings but we enjoyed the experience of ending up somewhere different to where we had planned. The service from the staff couldn't be faulted, we never saw one grumpy face and I am sure there were some tired people on there as they work such long hours. We ate in the main dining room each evening, we were going to try the other restaurants but the food we were given was such good quality that we didn't feel the need. One tip is that for some reason they are not big on vegetables so order extra and after a couple of days your waiter will remember even if you forget. All in all a fabulous holiday and great value for money. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Cruise: 14-day Mediterranean Highlights, 25 Aug-8 Sept 2017 Ports: Cadiz, Barcelona, Cannes, Civitavecchia, Naples, Cagliari, Gibraltar Cabin: 5113 Grade CA Our first voyage/cruise with Cunard since 2010 (QUEEN MARY 2 ... Read More
Cruise: 14-day Mediterranean Highlights, 25 Aug-8 Sept 2017 Ports: Cadiz, Barcelona, Cannes, Civitavecchia, Naples, Cagliari, Gibraltar Cabin: 5113 Grade CA Our first voyage/cruise with Cunard since 2010 (QUEEN MARY 2 trans-atlantic) was a gratifying return to the line and overall, a very positive experience indeed. Most of our recent cruises have been with Oceania Cruises so pardon the references and comparisons to them below. If anything, QUEEN ELIZABETH compared very favourably indeed and even exceeded the far pricier Oceania in some key areas. We were very impressed. WE LIKED SHIP My third “Vista” class ship (others were HAL’s NIEUW AMSTERDAM and EURODAM) confirming that these are my favourite contemporary cruise vessels for their superb steadiness at sea, quietness, ample deck and promenade space (the walk around Boat Deck is a delight) and easy, rational lay-out… what a contrast to QM2’s hedge maze design! We had fairly rough seas on the way back to Southampton but you’d never know it, QE was so steady and smooth. SERVICE Excellent, personable and efficient service almost across the board from everyone encountered: dining venues (we only used Britannia Restaurant and the Lido), public rooms and cabin. Moreover the dining service levels were remarkably consistent throughout even using open sitting for breakfast and lunch in the Britannia. We didn’t experience a single miscue, muddle or those mysterious long waits between courses as we have had aboard Oceania Cruises. Never rushed, but never left to twiddle our thumbs in between, either. It’s astonishing, given the numbers of diners and the range of the menu, just how smooth running it all is. And it’s not done by accident, either, but through enviable organization, planning and training that is a real credit to all concerned. The maître d’s on this ship are simply outstanding: personable, professional and work their socks off along with the stewards and galley staff to make the Britannia Restaurant the best MDR on the seas. SPECIAL DIET ATTENTION Wonderfully attentive to my wife’s gluten-free diet, far better than we have experienced on Oceania Cruises for far more money. They took enormous efforts to tailor every dish to her needs and did so with grace and style and without making her feel self-conscious. Superb! Everything in the lido was clearly marked if gluten-free as well. And room service, too, ensured everything was gluten-free. This was the first cruise since she was diagnosed with Celiac disease where she really enjoyed the food and looked forward to meals. Thanks to Noel, Asst. Maitre d’ and our stewards Miguel and John. CUISINE (Main Restaurant) Cuisine in the Britannia Restaurant was consistently good. Extensive and varied menu choice with many vegetarian, fish and healthy spa options, great breakfasts (what a treat having kippers every morning!) and lunches were gratifying, too, and far preferable to “dining” in the lido. Food was consistently hot, well presented and reasonable in portion. You could always order extra vegetables or potatoes or have a small portion of a main course as a starter. Meats were always cooked properly to order, although yes here the cuts and quality varied. I thought the fish a better choice overall. The salads were especially well done and varied, unusual for a British ship. We never felt tempted to spend the extra to dine in the Veranda or indeed covet Britannia Club or the grills when the MDR was so good. I’d rate the elegant afternoon tea in the Grand Ballroom superior to Oceania’s, service here was outstandingly attentive with delicious freshly made, hot from the oven, scones, pastries, cakes and sandwiches, all elegantly served in courses. Really impressive. LIBRARY Best on the high seas, better than QM2’s. Wonderful collection of books on two levels on all subjects and lots of great ocean liner, transport and history ones, too. And since you have to check them out with a max of two at a time, there’s no hogging or disorder one gets from the free-for-all libraries of other ships. Or no library at all as on the new HAL ships. I didn’t turn the television on the whole cruise and didn’t miss it, either. Bliss. DRINKS Yep, they are top end London hotel in price and made worse collected in USD with a 15% service fee (and another 10% VAT when in Spanish waters). But Carnival has made this their profit centre and make the effort to get you to fork over the bucks with superbly attentive and personable bar service (Commodore Club in particular, thank you Colin), wonderful nibbles include hots d’oeuvres and all elegantly presented. Top end spirits, beautifully mixed cocktails and what a choice. It made it worth the price and in the end, it cost less than Oceania’s $60 a day pp drinks package with much better service. And far better than the small measure and watered down drinks of Holland America’s “happy hour” discounts. We bought the Commodore Collection 12-bottle wine package for the dining room that wasn’t cheap ($660) but still saved about 5% per bottle and the 15% service charge compared to buying individually. And the choice was primo indeed including a superb English champagne, port and some very fine reds, too. Again, the cost was worth it and it lasted us the whole cruise. Excellent wine steward, too, thank you Tukuna. ENTERTAINMENT Never high on our list of “musts”, the entertainment aboard was both varied enough to prompt our partaking of it, at least after dinner, and rewarding enough to make us return. High marks for Steele, the wonderful band that played in the Yacht Club, the cocktail pianist in the Commodore Club, the Beatles show and the string quartet, although if I heard The Blue Danube one more time I was going to scream. Moreover, unlike Oceania and Holland America Line, you actually had these performers work right through and have wonderful live music when you wanted it rather than the performers start a one-hour “break” as soon as you sat down. I also liked that Cunard shows movies in the show lounge like a proper cinema although only in the afternoon. QUIET After so many US market cruises, it was nice to be back on a UK market ship and relish listening to: blissful quiet. No blaring music on deck (although the volume of that confined to the midships lido seemed to go up as the cruise progressed), no endless tannoy announcements, and yes, the British just talk quieter than their American or European counterparts. It made for a most enjoyable, tranquil and traditional shipboard experience. Holland America Line has sadly given up this element along with most of its classic features making Cunard the last bastion of shipboard travel as many of us remember and still like. NOT SO KEEN ON DECOR The decorators of QUEEN ELIZABETH never got beyond the brown pages in the colour swatch book. I thought it was Queen Victoria and Mr. Brown. But no, it’s QUEEN ELIZABETH… she’s a muddy monotone of dung brown and band aid beige rendered in shaggy (and sometimes slightly shabby) fabrics, horrible phony plastic “wood” and contrived “art deco” elements that evokes the 1980s more than the 1930s. The Winter Garden and Golden Lion Pub are right out of a 1981 motorway food court. The Yacht Club was the nicest room and with the best entertainment and the Midships Bar and Club Carinthia attractive enough. The accommodation passageways are lined in an equally dreary pallid grey reminiscent of a nursing home or large city hospital. I cannot imagine doing a cruise in this ship in less sunny climes than the Caribbean or Mediterranean and we had more than our share of cloud and rain as it was. Very depressing indeed. I did appreciate the relics and artifacts from the 1940 QUEEN ELIZABETH and also from the QE2, but they seemed even more out of place, submerged in the sea of brown which swirled around them. OPEN DECKS More beige. This time kitchen flooring lino underfoot. Not a patch of teak anywhere which is a real disappointment compared to Holland America Line and Oceania. Just cheap and nasty lino. And cluttered with an astonishing assortment of chairs, none of which were vaguely comfortable, and yes… in beige. No cushions, just beige plastic webbing. And heaped with piles of used towels and yes, they are beige, too. After one day of resolute sunbathing, most passengers assumed the same hue, disappearing in the “wood” work literally and figuratively. The deck “stewards” on the QE are the laziest employees on the ship if not the whole of the Merchant Navy and do nothing but put it all out in the morning and take it all in at the end of the day. If you dare ask for a clean towel, they might point half-heartedly in the general direction of the one or two on the table, but that’s about the extent of the effort. Leaving you to contemplate a complete shambles from 0800-1800 that looked some tornado had swept the decks. It made me pine for my first crossing in QE2 in 1977 with the famous Dennis Dawson presiding over the First Class deck chairs, the finest deck experience afloat. Long gone with Cunard it appears. Worse, many passengers took it upon themselves to drag chairs and tables helter-skelter to every nook and cranny of the decks, often selfishly obstructing the shuffleboard courts as well. A free-for-all that resembled a cross channel ferry or the last boat out of Singapore Feb ’42. The only civilized alternative was the Boat Deck with its traditional wood steamer chairs which were too heavy to drag although some attempted to do so, inconsiderately blocking the way of walkers and joggers. And yes, there were more than a few shall we say not quite the Cunard “type” passengers aboard enticed by last minute “saver” fares who seemed to have reveled in the squalor and disarray if not largely contributing to it. LIDO RESTAURANT The decorative scheme here is, you guessed it, brown. Or one can eat al fresco and contemplate your tepid tortellini looking out on a sea of beige chairs heaped with soggy beige towels strewn across a beige plastic deck. Here, the food takes its inspiration from British school dinners and Chinese takeaway, is lukewarm at best and intuitively institutional. The layout inspires aimless shuffling, milling mobs that drive one to distraction. Or, more, proactively, to the civilized delights of the dining room for a properly served breakfast or lunch. We couldn’t imagine forking over $17.50 (per person) to have dinner up there with the rotating Indian, Asian and whatever alternative dining in the evening. MAINTENANCE Not quite Shipshape or Bristol Fashion, QE suffers from short turnarounds and a desultory approach to outside maintenance. Our cabin, 5113, was an obstructed view veranda made worse by the dismal prospect of rusty and dirty davit machinery behind filthy glass. Our cabin was kept clean, but that impressive toenail clipping under the table on embarkation wasn’t ours and the fussy décor cultivated unattended dust and not just in hard to see places, either. The windows to the veranda weren’t clean on embarkation and never once touched in the fortnight aboard. I think the sheets were changed once. Outside, the paintwork is vaguely clean but patchy in finish and a surprising amount of scale, rust and uneven painting for what is still a newish ship. Here, pristine Oceania Cruises is ever so superior. RMS QUEEN PURELLIA We do appreciate the efforts (and successful, too, it seems) by Cunard to ensure QE remains free of the dire viruses that beset big cruise ships with so much self-service dining. But my goodness, I wish I had the Purell concession aboard… I have never had so much of the stuff squirted on my hands in my life. Indeed, the greeting to all the elegant receptions, afternoon teas and events is a brace of stewards squeezing a dollop of it in everyone’s hands that somehow lessens the classic ocean liner ambience being cultivated. I guess it’s better than cultivating germs, though. I think I’ll pack my surgical scrubs and face mask instead of my d/j next time. OVERALL QUEEN ELIZABETH shined in the essentials of MDR cuisine, service, crew, entertainment and value for money. And is one of the last bastions of anything like traditional ocean liner cruising. With some extensive redecorating, a good overhaul and a clean sweep of the open decks in terms of staff, standards, supervision and seating, she could join the pantheon of great Cruising Cunarders. Recommended! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
This was a our second cruise with RC - prior to that we sailed on the newly fitted Anthem of the Seas. Then we had a loft Suite - This time we chose the Independence of the Seas because she also sailed from Southampton - meaning we had no ... Read More
This was a our second cruise with RC - prior to that we sailed on the newly fitted Anthem of the Seas. Then we had a loft Suite - This time we chose the Independence of the Seas because she also sailed from Southampton - meaning we had no luggage allowance. Parking was easy and the ship called at ports that were of interest to us. As this was a special occasion - we decided to book the ROYAL SUITE 1640 deck 10 We were met once we got through passport control by Patricia one of the two concierge who personally escorted us onboard and to the Pinnacle Lounge - Throughout the cruise she was impeccable in her service advice and professionalism. THE SHIP As we stepped foot on to the ship - we did notice that there were a number of tired looking areas - The Pinnacle and Concierge lounges although impeccably clean, had a dated look in terms of its decor and furniture. Furniture in the Romeo and Juliet dining room had stained chairs and a carpet that was well trodden. Undercover Pool deck areas seem to be cluttered dark and a bit dingy. Deck carpets on the flow rider deck were curling on the edges and looked somewhat grubby. The ship is in need of a decor facelift. Some areas like the St Tropez deck are quite soulless. Gold card guests and above have the privilege sitting in of a roped off terraced area of sun loungers - however the loungers are “standard” deck loungers and are crammed tightly together; whereas guests who frequented the quieter adults pool section had padded larger loungers. We were fully aware that being an August sailing that the ship would have a significant number of children on board - For the main part the majority of younger children were well behaved - well entertained by the ships kids club and enjoyed the water themed pool decks. Regrettably, there seemed to be a significant number of ferrel 13+ youths who were all too frequently, seen sitting on, and blocking stairwells, play fighting over sofas in the Pyramid Lounge, running along deck 10 ringing doorbells and making prank call to suite rooms. This was not acceptable behaviour. DINING We have mixed views on our dining experience onboard. We thought that he ultimate dining and drinks packages we signed up for prior, was excellent value for money. We were very disappointed with our “MyTime Dining” experience in the main Romeo and Juliet dining room. We only ate there 5/13 nights. At best the food was adequate - at its worst we sent back our grilled chicken as it was so tough the knife and fork wouldn't even cut through the poultry! Front desk and restaurant management were apologetic - however we were past eating and waiting for a second main to arrive - we left un happy unable to eat at Windjammers as it was after 9pm and had pizza and wrap in Sorrento’s. We did return the following night and were offered and accepted (at no extra cost) a lobster that was cooked perfectly - Service in the main dining room was all too often rushed, prescriptive and somewhat erratic. Our best dining experiences were with out doubt at Giovanni’s, Chops Grill and Chef’s Table. We were invited on one occasion to dine with the Captain - this was a superb dining experience with a lovely group of guests; good wine ad a excellent food. Our breakfasts were taken in Chops Grill - excellent buffet choice and hot food selection served by warm friendly waiters who genuinely cared. Windjammers, despite, at hi peak times, was a chaotic feeding frenzy - It however, provided fresh well prepared and cooked food. Eating early or late gave us less people, good food, and sea view tables. Our biggest issue re: our on board dining - was the tokenistic nod towards catering for guests with gluten intolerance. GF bread was readily available There was a GF food station in Windjammers - only distinction was the provision of GF bread apart from that it offered the same food as the salad bar + carvery and hot plate food. There was a distinct lack of Gluten Free dessert pastry and confectionary options - it was either chocolate mousse or ice cream - Even more disappointing came on the penultimate evening when guests were offered a wide selection of amazing cakes on the Main Promenade - and nothing apart from mousse was available - Similarly so, on the last day of sailing at lunch time, guests who ate at Windjammers were given a large slices of celebration cake. Nothing apart from mousse was available.Even that had to be brought from the food station BARS/DRINKS/ENTERTAINMENT The ultimate drinks package is a great deal - We had drinks in every bar apart from the Dog and Badger pub - which was a bit like a Benidorm Brit pub - (each to their own). We loved the view, music and ambiance Olive and Twist, Boleros being split seemed a little fractured and cramped especially when the latin group played. Liked Schooners - Always a good place to stop off at after a show!. Our favourite bar by far (apart from the Concierge bars) was the Champagne bar. it always had a great vibe excellent waiter service and top marks to RC - who Earmarked in its daily Compass mag that this was the bar for LGBTQ meet ups. Our pool bar attendant John was one of the best who kept us well hydrated and plied with mudslides with a friendly smile and a happy disposition. similarly so - the concierge bar staff were the best! We thought the entertainment onboard provided everyone with some form of enjoyment and happiness - we particularly loved the tribute shows of soul and Motown - the RC band is an exceptional group of musicians. Grease was an exceptional on board production. We also loved their jazz, big band and show tune sets that were performed in Olive and Twist. The resident DJ in the Labyrinth needs to work on his mixing and keep the dance floor full at all times! PORTS/EXCURSIONS We chose not to take any of the RC organised excursions, as shore time although ample was limited. We wanted to explore each city on foot. We did take advantage of the ship’s shuttle service when we docked in Barcelona and Lisbon - good value. We were impressed as to how swiftly we got on and off the ship. Being RS guests we were given priority tender boarding. Our tender trip to Cannes exciting being ferried there. Due care and attention was given to guests’ safety and security. Loved each port we sailed in to. CLOSING THOUGHTS We had mixed views on onboard the Independence of the Seas - we made and talked to some amazing friendly people who made our holiday. We were served by dedicated diligent members of crew. We hope when the ship has its much needed refit and that the issues and concerns raised in this review will be addressed. Not sure whether or not we’ll sail with her again?? Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
The cruise was good and very good ports visited.The ship is looking a bit tired and its planned refurbishment is clearly due.RCCL seem to be cutting back on the little extras and this is noticeable to people who have cruised before..Food ... Read More
The cruise was good and very good ports visited.The ship is looking a bit tired and its planned refurbishment is clearly due.RCCL seem to be cutting back on the little extras and this is noticeable to people who have cruised before..Food was generally good,although very similar with little variety.Having said that food is plentiful in the Windjammer.The Main Dining room offers less variety and a few weird choices. The entertainment especially the Headliners was poor.There was plenty going on with Joff the Cruise Director doing a good job. Favourite places visited included Malaga,Gibraltar,Barcelona,Palma and Cadiz. It was frustrating to find out once on board that some items ie Golf Simulator were not availableAs ever the Sea days felt crowded and finding a sun bed around the pool was difficult especially as people reserved them for hours without using them (its supposed to be 30 mins).The bands playing at the pool and in the bars were good except for one band that played Latin type music and this was very boring. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
It is a nice ship but I think it does need attention in some areas. The cabin was nice and of a good size, however, the doors to the balcony were very stiff and you had to slam them hard. The balcony itself was in need of a bit of ... Read More
It is a nice ship but I think it does need attention in some areas. The cabin was nice and of a good size, however, the doors to the balcony were very stiff and you had to slam them hard. The balcony itself was in need of a bit of maintenance ie. painting. Outside our cabin the carpet had a musty smell. We did mention it and they did attempt to deal with it and it was better but not solved completely. The food was good in the dining room and the food in the speciality restaurants was excellent, although you do have to pay extra. The entertainment was of a good standard on the whole. Most of the staff were friendly and attentive however there were a few that clearly missed the customer service training. Our biggest problem was the number of children and the fact that there were not enough adult only areas. I have to take my holiday in school holidays now so don't have a choice, but I will not do a cruise again this time of year. Although there was plenty of things for them to do, some thought it was a good game playing in the lifts and running up and down the stairs and along the corridors. Not wishing to sound snobbish but standards do seem to have slipped. Cruising used to be a luxury. We enjoyed the ports of call mainly Barcelona, Valencia and Malaga. We had plenty of time in Barcelona (2 days) however, we had very little time in Valencia which was a real shame. We don't do the excursions as we feel these are far too expensive. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Great cruise option for families- we loved it and re booked whilst on board. Great food, bars and activities for all ages and interests. Never cruised before so initially disappointed by cabin, basically kitted out with few luxury ... Read More
Great cruise option for families- we loved it and re booked whilst on board. Great food, bars and activities for all ages and interests. Never cruised before so initially disappointed by cabin, basically kitted out with few luxury touches. However it did the job perfectly well if we kept it tidy!! Cabin steward great. Windjammer very busy but served excellent food of a very high standard. We nick named it the crazy café though as it was so busy, we were put off by the plastic plates and fellow cruisers pushing and shoving. Main dining room excellent with great table service. Menu got repetitive towards end of 2 weeks. Pools small filled with sea water. Would do better with 1 larger pool with designated areas. Entertainment surprisingly good- go to see the shows they are great. They don't last too long to take up all your time. Bar service very good with highly trained staff. Some a little crowded with little sitting space which could be frustrating. My child was 11 turning 12 on this holiday. He was in between both kids club ages and felt didn't fit into either. He enjoyed the flowrider, climbing wall and golf. Travelled during school holidays so as expected lots of kids. Number of feral kids wandering about playing in lifts and running un checked was a problem. A fellow cruiser even felt bullied and intimidated by them. This would be my suggestion to RC- to put on some security to prevent kids getting too out of hand- whilst letting them enjoy the safety and freedom cruising allows. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
This is our first Cruise with Royal Carribean. The ship had everything our teenage son could wish for and he loved the fact he was safe to go about things by himself. The weather has been glorious and we managed to see some amazing ... Read More
This is our first Cruise with Royal Carribean. The ship had everything our teenage son could wish for and he loved the fact he was safe to go about things by himself. The weather has been glorious and we managed to see some amazing electrical storms whilst at sea. We had the most amazing Panoramic room on floor 12, so high yet gave us amazing views. Most of the staff were very pleasant, especially our stateroom attendant D-Roy, a huge gentle giant with a laugh to match. We were particularly impressed with his display of towel animals he left for us every night.....the big let down for us was the poor quality of food, service and cleanliness in both of the main restaurants, yes we did complain however the reason for these failings was 'these things happen' so after already paying thousands of pounds for the holiday we then had to pay for additional meal packages so that we could eat a meal in one of the speciality restaurants. After discussions with others who had been on the same ship last year, they confirmed the quality in both main restaurants was substandard and clearly noticed a declined this year. Clearly Royal Carribean need to look at what's changed and address their failings in this specific area. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We live in Lisbon and wanted a cruise that had our beautiful city as a port of call. It was a very unique experience to come into Lisbon by sea as the navigators of the past several centuries. Off all the ports of call, Lisbon was by ... Read More
We live in Lisbon and wanted a cruise that had our beautiful city as a port of call. It was a very unique experience to come into Lisbon by sea as the navigators of the past several centuries. Off all the ports of call, Lisbon was by far the most beautiful to cruise into...no bias there. The itinerary was quite nice and all the excursions surpassed our expectations. I must say the the absolute best service was from your dining room waiter and assistant. Always attentive, always helpful, polite, patient, professional with a great sense of humor. We had a beautiful suite that was very spacious. Our room attendant was very friendly and kept our room tidy. Only on the first day, I wanted to make coffee and the machine was dusty and the coffee bags were open. That was a bad first impression that he quickly resolved. We requested slippers to wear around the room but we were told that they no longer provided them. It took some work on our part but someone finally arranged a pair of slippers for each of us. I think it was the suit guest Concierge, Nadja...awesome lady. Not sure why they discontinued such an inexpensive but useful amenity especially for suite guest who pay a premium. We have been RCC clients for some years now and are diamond members. There is a feeling that the quality and positive experience we have had in the past is now slipping away, little by little. It is the little things that make all the difference as Ritz Carlton says, but RCC seems to be taking away those little things making clients feel less special than in the past. The suit lounge was rather unpleasant. It was like a box with no windows, no ventilation and it smelled very strongly of dampness or mildew. I couldn't enjoy myself in that space. Other ships have nice lounges for suit guest, with sea views. This was a smelly shoe box and was highly disappointing. We had the same situation with Explorer of the Seas last year. To be honest, I have to say that the total experience was excellent and we are privileged just to be able to be on such a vacation. This review is to point out some things that could potentially make RCC lose customers who have been Loyal to Royal. We decided to experience Johnny Rockets on day two for some milkshakes and join the rest of our team. The waiter delivered the milkshake, placed it on the table. He came with the bill to sign and I gently slid the glass and it scraped on the rough surface of the table and knocked over. I didn't even have a sip yet. The waiter cleaned up the mess but never gave me a new milkshake even after seeing exactly what happened. To make things worse, we had a 2 for 1 offer, so it would not have been a big deal to replace it. I was a bit shocked that I actually had to request a new milkshake. That was strike 2 in two days of how the customer care has declined and started making me question if RCC cares anymore about clients or just cares about shareholders. We purchased a dinner package and most of the meals were truly excellent. The only exception was Giovanni's. They pre-selected appetizers for our group which were not necessarily the one's we wanted. I chose a stuffed veal plate and it was totally overcooked and flavorless. My staff complained that for an Italian restaurant, the pasta was of very poor quality. It is a shame to be paying extra for a table of 12 to have them disappointed with the meal. We were all stuffed, but only half of the group actually enjoyed their meals. That was a shame and strike 3 in as many days. Izumi was great, Chops grill was great, Chefs Table delicious (only problem I had was that we did not have a special Chef's table room that other ships have and the Chef never came out to explain each dish as other Chef's have done) The food was great but the full experience a let down compared to all the other Chef's table we have so enjoyed. They converted Sabors Mexican into an Indian restaurant. The starters needed some work, could have a better selection of Nan breads. My lamb unfortunately was over cooked and not very tasty. The sauce was tasteless. My wife had a Korma that was delicious so I helped her finish that and only ate 1/3 of my dish. It wasn't worth eating. Strike 4. The Diamond lounge was very nice, if you could find a seat during peak hours. The Concierge was very nice. The coffee machine appeared to be broken nearly every time I wanted coffee. The trick was to go during off peak hours, early morning etc. They offered continental breakfast every morning which was plenty for me. Sad to see 80% of it thrown away every morning into a bin. There were a lot of children on this cruise. They were very excited which is normal but they plaid on the elevators, pushed all the buttons frequently, left food on the lifts all the time. We would find ice cream, pizza, cookies etc. on the floor of the lifts every day. Rather disgusting. I felt bad for the cleaning crew. The pool area was extremely crowded and people would reserve the chairs with towels and never actually be there for hours. Kids were bringing juice drinks into the Jacuzzi's and not making space for others who wanted to enter. The entertainment was nice most nights. We enjoyed a very funny comedian and some excellent shows. Would I do this again? Probably not, especially if the ship is full of children. The ship was pretty amazing though it is feeling outdated and a bit old. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We have travelled as a family with Royal caribbean for a number of years on different ships. Our age group ranges from now 7 to 81 with a teenager and us early 50's in the middle. We do like all that the company has to offer hence ... Read More
We have travelled as a family with Royal caribbean for a number of years on different ships. Our age group ranges from now 7 to 81 with a teenager and us early 50's in the middle. We do like all that the company has to offer hence staying loyal to them. We went on the navigator last year and as a slightly different itinerary we decided to go on Her again this year, plus we prefer to travel from Southampton. As always we had no problems with our embarkation and settling in to life on board. The staff were all extremely helpful and attentive and as we had got on first thing, we were able to appreciate all the shiney cleanliness that you get on your first day! We had booked a corner aft cabin on deck 10 and as we had been on the ship last year, we had already seen what the cabin was going to be like so we were really excited. it didn't disappoint. It was slightly wider than cabins in the past which was great as my daughter is getting bigger so we need a bit more space so as not to fall over each other! The cabin was kept lovely and clean throughout our cruise and at one point when my husband had hurt himself and was confined for a few days, the attendant looked after him with fresh ice packs regularly. The food was great and we ate most of our meals in the main Dining Room. We did eat at Sabors one night which has been turned into an Indian Restaurant for European sailings rather than the Mexican theme. It was nice, although the main courses were very spicey. Personally we preferred the Mexican last year but as I say, it was still nice and at $19 per head extra that was a good deal. The entertainment was typical RCI and easy going. For me the highlight of the entertainment was Comedian and Vocal Impressionist Darren Day. He was fantastic and I recommend everyone to go and see him if you get chance on any future cruise. There seemed to be more to do on the last 2 days at seas as well with a circus parade down the Main Promenade which was a light relief from the packing!! Outside, as with last year, they could quite keep on top of the water between the two pools and there were a number of accidents resulting in both adults and children wearing casts on their legs or arms. On an extremely positive note, on day 4 of our cruise, they introduced LifeGuards to this Ship. There was one based at every pool, including the adult only one. Apparently they are being put on every ship in the fleet. It didn't stop us watching our own children with our group, but it did give you peace of mind and meant you could relax a little more. We had a drinks package as I think the prices are quite high and it was beneficial that we did. I was disappointed though that my nephew who had the soda package was only allowed soda........not even water!!! Maybe I didn't expect it to be so literal and assumed that they would want to encourage kids to drink water as well rather than loads of E numbers to make them hyper!!! A downside for us, hence to title of this review was the kids club. My daughter complained of a lad picking on her in the club so I raised it with the Staff. They totally denied it yet as I was waiting for my daughter to get ready when I was collecting her, I heard the staff inform 4 separate parents that their children had been hitting other kids and were therefore on a last warning before being excluded from the club. We again raised it but once again it was denied. Luckily though my daugher had met a friend so she didn't spend as much time in the club this year as in the past and I suspect that as she gets older she will want to do more things in and around the pool. The only other downside for us was that the casino on here is still a place where you can smoke indoors. There are designated areas but obviously the smoke will drift over. Again, that is personal to us as we are not smokers. We didn't go on any organised excursions so I can't comment on that. Most places though were within walking distance. The only place we thought was a bit of a waste of time was Valencia. This was because we arrived early in the morning on a sunday when there was little or nothing open and we left early in order to get to Malaga the next day. There were quite a few people who stayed on the ship that day as well. We had an overnight stay in Barcelona and that was nice as something different as it took the pressure off coming back to the ship on time. We love Gibraltar but unfortunately we never seem to stay there long enough! Would we go again? yes definitely. In fact we had already booked our 2018 cruise five months before going on this one!! We do love cruising and everything about it. I love the variety of entertainment; the ease at getting off in port (even though we have done all the ports now but that isn't an issue for us); the standard and general quality of the kids entertainment (despite what I said earlier) and above all, the safety of cruising. They take the security of the Ship very seriously as they should and this, for us, adds to being able to relax more. My daughter loves it and my teenage nephew found there was more than enough for him as well. All in all, we enjoyed the Ship. Next year we are back on the Independence after her refurb so it will be a few years before we consider the Navigator again, but we will consider her. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We needed a holiday where one of us would absorb the sun, one could explore the various cities and the 9 year old child would not be bored. All boxes were ticked. After years of being frustrated at airports and seeing and doing the same ... Read More
We needed a holiday where one of us would absorb the sun, one could explore the various cities and the 9 year old child would not be bored. All boxes were ticked. After years of being frustrated at airports and seeing and doing the same old things on package holidays, we've finally found the perfect way to holiday. If anybody tells you that it's too expensive, just remind them you get what you pay for. From the minute we stepped out of the car at Southampton we were treated with courtesy, respect and efficiency. Within 1 hour we were sat in the Schooner bar with our first drinks. Worryingly i was called to Guest Services within the hour to ask me to inspect one of our cases for an unidentifiable item. Fear not, when i realised what they had found on the x-ray machine i was more than impressed of the security measures in place. The interior cabin was not over-sized but was sufficient for 2 adults and 2 children. We slept, showered and dressed in it. If you want to see the open sea, you will have enough opportunities on deck. Also there is enough room for storage if done correctly. We did the 'My time dining', which was ideal if the child/ren are in their respective clubs although he did attend once with us, under protest. The windjammer cafe has everything you would wish for and more if you want to be totally relaxed. The daily itinerary or/and entertainment was unbelievable and catered for absolutely everyone. I attended art auctions, lectures, quizzes and the belly flop championships to name but a few.The evening shows in the theatre were exceptional, from family entertainment to adult humour. The service we received from everyone was explicable, they could not do enough for you. The gratuities were cancelled on day one, as recommended by seasoned cruisers, and the state room attendant, favourite bar staff and favourite waiter were tipped handsomely at the end of the cruise. As mentioned initially, the wife stayed on board whilst i visited all the ports. As it was our 1st cruise we didn't book any shore excursions but in future i would book particular ones which suit. Although i feel a little expensive for families they are allegedly well organised. We did hear that on this particular cruise, some people were saying 'there were too many kids on board'. For goodness sake, kids make holidays and if those people want none or fewer children, book in school term time and go with P&O or Cunard with an elderly contingent. I will finish by saying that my wife and 9 year old child had an amazing time and have booked again already for next year ;-). Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We are regular travellers on Princess Cruises and the Crown Princess did not disappoint us. This was our first time on this ship. The atmosphere was wonderful because of the large number of teenagers and children with their parents and ... Read More
We are regular travellers on Princess Cruises and the Crown Princess did not disappoint us. This was our first time on this ship. The atmosphere was wonderful because of the large number of teenagers and children with their parents and grandparents. We are in our early sixties we welcomed this holiday environment. We were 2 of only about 30 Australians onboard and this gave us an opportunity to mix and enjoy the company of the mainly British passengers onboard. The food was excellent and the Horizon Court offered an extensive variety each day. The specialty restaurants and main dining rooms were up to their usual good standard. The friendly service by the staff was consistent throughout the cruise. Our Mini-suite was up to the usual good standard. The entertainment was varied and enjoyable. The fitness centre was well maintained and well equipped. The cruise itinerary was outstanding and gave us an opportunity to visit a variety of places not visited on our previous Mediterranean cruise several years ago. We highly recommend this ship. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Indy is still the best ship at sea, but tgd RC costcutting cheapens the experience somewhat. Like paying for room service. Like hiked up excursion costs. Like cheaper performance acts such as the Take That Experience (more fake that than ... Read More
Indy is still the best ship at sea, but tgd RC costcutting cheapens the experience somewhat. Like paying for room service. Like hiked up excursion costs. Like cheaper performance acts such as the Take That Experience (more fake that than take that) and a cheaper menu with very few options for limiited options diners, such as Lactose Intolerance. Massive choices for things to do means on sailing days you are never bored. Host of restaurant choices, lots of quiet, restful nooks and crannies. Our room was next to tge library and lifts, so it was quiet and well placed for an easy mid-ship sailing. Lots os sporty options, from rick cli bing to golf, to ice skating, jogging, with a good selection of orfanised fitness classes. Enrichment options are plentiful. We went to art classes and listened to royalty lectures - outstanding experiences. Saving up to do it all again in a coup,e of years. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
This was our 5th cruise with RCI, the third one sailing from the UK as a group of 3, myself, hubby and teenage daughter. We arrived in Southampton at 9.45am and were guided to park the car right under the front of the ship. Our luggage ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise with RCI, the third one sailing from the UK as a group of 3, myself, hubby and teenage daughter. We arrived in Southampton at 9.45am and were guided to park the car right under the front of the ship. Our luggage was collected immediately, so we had time to visit the shops in the city centre before returning to the terminal. Embarkation was very well organised, and we were called to board as soon as the ship was ready. Disembarkation in Southampton was smooth, with timed departures and luggage was easy to find. Access to cabins was at 2pm. Our cabin (inside on deck 10) was immaculately clean, and was well maintained throughout our cruise. The furniture and bathroom are starting to show their age and look at bit dated but everything worked, the beds were comfortable and there was sufficient storage space for our clothes etc. We had plenty of fluffy white towels and extra pillows. We had dinner iat 8.30 pm in the main dining room for 13 out of the 14 nights. Service was excellent, and the meals were always hot, well presented and tasted great. Having read reviews about the quality of the food before sailing I was a little apprehensive, but can honestly say the food was fine. We ate in the Windjammer when we returned from our day in Florence/Pisa but preferred the service of the MDR. Breakfast and lunch was in the Windjammer. As usual, the WJ was very busy at peak times and there are too many tables in the space at the back of the ship, which makes it difficult to move around. We found it easier to sit at a table along the side of the buffet rather than in the main dining area at the back of the ship. There was a good selection of hot and cold meals, and desserts. Wait staff were happy to bring any drinks to the table and cleared tables quickly. Cafe Promenade had a great selection of snacks/pizzas/sandwiches etc each day. Bar service was generally ok. Some bar staff were very pleasant, others less so. The poolside bars were very busy and understaffed at peak times. Entertainment in the theatre was great, we enjoyed all of the headliner shows and the ice show was excellent. The RC singers, dancers and musicians performing in the theatre were great but the musicians and singers in the bars around the ship were not so good. They were lacking in lots of ways, poor vocals from tired looking performers, following the same RC script - time for a change! We had seen the ventriloquist in 2015 on a different RC ship and his act was exactly the same in 2017. We had also seen the same promenade shows on the Brilliance and Independence (70s dance party and Rock Britannia). Although the cruise compass had a lot of activities listed each day, there were a number of things that were really sales presentations. There were poolside competitions, plenty of open climbing and skating sessions, and quizzes. Empty sunbeds on the pool decks were hard to find, lots of towels on beds but no occupants! We could usually find somewhere quiet to sit as we weren't wanting to sunbathe during the day and our late dinner time meant we could enjoy the evening sunshine when there were fewer people by the pool. We left Southampton at 4.30pm Saturday, and arrived in Gibraltar at around midday on Tuesday. Gibraltar was a disappointment. I had prebooked tickets for the cable car and nature reserve, but wasted my money. The ship docked late morning, so by the time we got to the cable car station it was very busy. We queued for about an hour (prebook does not mean fast track, you just don't have to wait in the first long queue to buy your tickets, but still have to wait in the next long queue to get in the cable car) before deciding to abandon our visit or risk missing the ship sail! A taxi from the ship to the top of the rock would have been far better in the limited time we had in port. After leaving Gibraltar at around 5pm, we had another full day at sea before our next port of call on Thursday. With hindsight I realised that we had spent a lot of the first week of the trip at sea as Gibraltar was only a short afternoon stop. Villefranche required tender boat tickets which were timed. We were told not to get tickets until we were ready to leave the ship so had breakfast then went to get our tickets. We then had a wait of 1.5 hours before our slot at 11 am. The ticket process did prevent massive queues for the tender boats but meant leaving the ship later than we would have liked. We were happy to wander around the very scenic town, and visited the Citadel, but it would have been tricky to travel independently outside of Villefranche with the limited time window ashore. Civitavecchia for Rome: We have been to Rome before so knew exactly what we wanted to see and do. I had booked train tickets on the fast train from Civitavecchia to Termini in the UK. We arrived in Rome just before 10am, spent 4 hours visiting the places we wanted to see, and were back in Civitavecchia before 3pm. We took the shuttle bus from the ship to the drop off point, then the public bus (2 euros each per journey) to the station. I think we left the ship at 7.45am for a train at 9.16am and had about 20 mins to wait on the platform for our train. Livorno: I had booked an excursion to Florence and Pisa with TuscanyBus for 38 euros each. We took the shuttle to the centre of Livorno where we met our guide and driver. The trip was excellent. We had enough time to explore Florence and see the tower in Pisa and were back at the shuttle stop for transfer to the ship at the stated time. Genoa: Another port with an early sail time (all aboard at 3.30pm), which limited what you could do independently. We walked along to the harbour, took a land train tour of the city (8 euros each) and then visited the aquarium (25 euros each). Another sea day then Malaga: We walked from the ship, past the beach, along the waterfront to the shopping area and walked back through the gardens to the port entrance. Malaga was a pleasant stop. Last stop was Lisbon. The ship docked at around midday so another late start! We enjoyed exploring Lisbon on our own, visited the Castle and had great views of the city. There were lots of people offering trips by taxi or tuk tuk as we left the terminal so plenty of choice. Overall, we enjoyed our trip and thought it represented good value for money. We will travel with RC again, but would look more carefully at the timings before booking our next trip. This was a long trip (in total we travelled over 6,000 miles) but the route had a lot of time at sea and the ship was crowded in places on those sea days, especially the pool areas. Also, the RC entertainment format for a UK sailing seems to be very much the same, so we are probably ready for a change! Read Less
Sail Date July 2017

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click