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1,313 Southampton to Europe - Western Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

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
We were just looking for a restful cruise from Southampton in September and this fitted the bill. We had done all of the ports on past cruises. Booking using their web site was a complete nightmare. Eventually had to call their office ... Read More
We were just looking for a restful cruise from Southampton in September and this fitted the bill. We had done all of the ports on past cruises. Booking using their web site was a complete nightmare. Eventually had to call their office in Surrey and get one of their agents to do everything for me. The list of things that went wrong are to numerous to mention here. The cabin on deck 7 was as good as other ships of this size and the attendant was efficient if a little withdrawn. The ship was smart and up to expectations as far as decor and facilities were concerned. We had a drinks package and onboard spend. The drinks package does not extend to the minibar in the cabin even if you drink the same drinks as those included in the bars. No explanation for this forthcoming. The agent had helped me make speciality dining reservations before sailing (this did not work online) from my onboard account. When I checked my account on cabin TV, there was no mention of the spend so I queried it. If you book before you sail it is not shown on your account but it does show on guest services system. The assistant who showed me my real account was obviously fed up of explaining this to any number of guests. I declined the automatic gratuities before sailing planning to do my own. It made no difference. The gratuities were added to my account anyway. Apparently you have to decline them onboard what ever the agent did online for me. I was presented with a 'demand' for gratuities in the form of envelopes on my bed the second last night. There was a label on the top of the envelope telling me who I should pay and how much it should be per person per day. I tore them up and made my own arrangements. The meals in the restaurant were good if a little repetitive. The speciality dining in Murano and Tuscan Grill was slightly better but not value for the additional cost. The entertainment was very variable. Jayne Curry was fantastic, one of the concert party shows was excellent as was the comedian. However, much else was average or just plain poor. The groups playing in the atrium were loud. The drumming in particular was loud and reminded me of the films showing slave galleys with drums beating out the rowing rhythm. Unfortunately, the rhythm was ramming speed. The orchestra in the theatre was good but their sound often drowned the artist (which was an occasional bonus). The best piece of entertainment was the hot glass show. Service was variable except for Jasna in the wine bar who was truly excellent. I saw at least six events where superiors were berating junior staff in front of passengers. This is abject management. In one case that highlights the real Celebrity culture a manager was berating his staff for not up selling more speciality dining to passengers. I could not view the shore excursion properly online so I did not take any offered by Celebrity. When I got onboard and saw their prices I was pleased their online system was rubbish. I knew each port so was able to do my own tours at a fraction of the cost. I have seen comments stating that Celebrity nickel and dime their passengers. I have to agree with those comments as their hands were never out of my pocket. I have done at least eleven other cruises on other lines but this is the first time I have felt uneasy with regard to their pushy sales activities onboard. We will not use Celebrity again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
What can I say, just outstanding. The staff were friendly and worked so hard and a special mention of our waiter and assistant waiter on table 219, Jason and Pande and Aleks the Sommelier. Didn't see much of our cabin steward but ... Read More
What can I say, just outstanding. The staff were friendly and worked so hard and a special mention of our waiter and assistant waiter on table 219, Jason and Pande and Aleks the Sommelier. Didn't see much of our cabin steward but when we did see him he was lovely and kept the room immaculate. The food was exceptional ,one comment though that I think it needs to have more variety on it as it didn't change that much, still had Filet and Chateau Briand and my husband loved the escargots. The ship was beautiful as we expected, could do with some more lifts as they were extremely busy at certain periods of the trip but that was no big deal. Eddie the entertainment director was fabulous as was our Captain "the voice from above", certainly was very visible and mixed with all the passengers which makes a change. The shows were excellent as were the individual acts that came on, Jane Curry was terrific as were the McDonald brothers. The tours were good although the storm in Rome put a slight dampener on things but that's not Celebrity's fault. My husband and myself loved everything about the cruise that whilst on board we booked the next one, roll on September 23rd next year. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Having sailed with Celebrity previously my wife and I were eager to return to "Eclipse" for her trip to the Western Med in September 17. The cruise met all our expectations with regard to the incredible staff and the ample, ... Read More
Having sailed with Celebrity previously my wife and I were eager to return to "Eclipse" for her trip to the Western Med in September 17. The cruise met all our expectations with regard to the incredible staff and the ample, well-produced and displayed, food. But the awful entertainment and total lack of sporting events on the much-vaunted lawn were a great disappointment. The Cruise Director was possibly to blame for the shambolic selection of presentations by the ship's theatre group - who had to work valiantly and whole-heartedly as they were continually forced to fly out over the audience, holding on to what appeared to be white bedsheets, several times during three shows, while the rest of the "entertainment" was top-heavy on third-rate singers. One wonders, also, why it is necessary for the excellent band's drummer to be ordered to dominate every piece of music performed - he was even put on his own raised platform in case we might miss his presence! These was not the Celebrity offerings that we had experienced in the past, and were not helped by the appalling selection of the screaming piped background music blaring out all-over the ship almost continuously. A disappointing cruise, and food for thought about booking with Celebrity in the future, particularly if they can't make up their minds about the "formal" evenings: it's quite simple: black tie or not - there is no middle ground. 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
Know we have nothing to compare this cruise with as our first time on any cruise ship, but loved it and so impressed with everything. Parking at Southampton and getting through security was so quick and boarding very easy and ... Read More
Know we have nothing to compare this cruise with as our first time on any cruise ship, but loved it and so impressed with everything. Parking at Southampton and getting through security was so quick and boarding very easy and straightforward. Amazed at how much was on offer on ship. Stateroom spacious and had everything we needed. Staff were amazing, so friendly and couldn't do enough for you. Food fantastic in every venue and just so much choice, all well presented. Entertainment was great. Ice skating shows were amazing, as was the show Grease and the other entertainment in Alhambra theatre was also very high standard. Found other people on cruise very friendly. Hot tub lovely place to warm up and pool great place to cool off. Ice cream very welcome on hot days sitting by the pool. Great selection of cocktails and speciality coffees. Loved the party nights on Promenade, the quizzes, and watching rock climbing etc. Getting off ship in ports very quick and getting back on also very easy. Lovely to be met with cold water and lemonade and a cold flannel when returning to ship after day on excursions. Loved seeing the Apes in Gibraltar and views from Rock amazing. Also very exciting seeing dolphins swimming near ship on our arrival in Gibraltar. Great trip to Aux de Provence in Marseille, pretty town and great place to have coffee and people watch. Rome was also great excursion for seeing all the sights, although tiring due to crowds and heat. Lisbon was also very interesting and great place to visit. Shuttle from ports takes you into town if you wish to walk around, or alternatively there are trams and tour buses. Would have liked more time to explore Lisbon. We didn't get off ship at every port and had some restful days on board instead, which suited us fine. Some small children on ship and a few older kids but not so many as school holidays over. Rest of passengers were mixed ages and quite a few family groups and couples. Even if you didn't go in a group, it was always easy to meet people as everyone so friendly. We ate in Romeo and Juliet dining room every evening and our waiter Ricky and assistant waitress Laiza were amazing people. They really cared about the passengers and went over and beyond to ensure everything was perfect for you. Such lovely people and we felt quite sad when it came time to say goodbye to them. Never had that on a holiday before. The ship was clean and had everything you could possibly want and would happily recommend this cruise Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
The ship is stunning. I loved it this time as much as the first time and can't wait to see it after its refurb. The staff are friendly and the entertainment caters for all age groups. The food is excellent. The dining room is ... Read More
The ship is stunning. I loved it this time as much as the first time and can't wait to see it after its refurb. The staff are friendly and the entertainment caters for all age groups. The food is excellent. The dining room is beautiful with its chandeliers and grand stair case. The dining staff can't do enough for you and are so polite. The food onboard was first class. I enjoyed every mouthful of the half stone I put on in weight... however, there's really no need to put weight on as you can have all the excercise you need onboard. The gym is excellent with a variety of machines to use. There's also a running track on deck 12 which goes around the entire deck, as well as the sports courts where you can play a number of sports. There's the flow rider and crazy golf if you like something less energetic. Entertainment was excellent with a variety of shows. Comedians, singers, musicals, musicians. You name it! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Great cruise good ports and lovely sea days. Had a balcony cabin which was good even with three of us in there. Staff great ready to chat with you. Easy to get around and found things easy. The dinning rooms were great and staff helpful. ... Read More
Great cruise good ports and lovely sea days. Had a balcony cabin which was good even with three of us in there. Staff great ready to chat with you. Easy to get around and found things easy. The dinning rooms were great and staff helpful. The food was good and varied to suit most tastes and always looked good. The entertainment was good good shows guest entertainers with lots of laughfter. At times there was too much on at the same time so had to choose waht to go to. The two shore excursions we took were good and the information was helpful to us. Other ports we did our own thing and went ashore and looked around found some lovely places to just sit and people watch. The ice shows as always were great and well worth going to see. Look forward to sailing on the ship next year after refit. 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
We wanted it because it fitted in with our holiday dates. The crew were all very happy, helpful always smiling and an occasional song as well. The Independence was very clean overall and lots to do, even on a sea day it didn't feel ... Read More
We wanted it because it fitted in with our holiday dates. The crew were all very happy, helpful always smiling and an occasional song as well. The Independence was very clean overall and lots to do, even on a sea day it didn't feel crowded. You were spoilt for choice on dining experiences. We had the deluxe drinks package and every drink we asked for was free so very contented with it. The atmosphere in the casino was great. If you just wanted to watch others gambling you could and if you just wanted a small flutter that was OK as well. The food in the main dining rooms and windjammer was tasty and hot with a great variety to choose from. The public areas were clearly marked, and clean and spacious. The only negatives we found were the lack of seating in the bars on Sea days and evenings. The rule regarding the reserving of sunbeds was not fully enforced. The overall experience was fantastic for us though. 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
Food was lovely but a serious lack of vegetables and starters were not great for my quite conservative husband 3days he had Cesar salad. Service is fantastic you said something and it appeared. Shows were ok grease fantastic and ice shows ... Read More
Food was lovely but a serious lack of vegetables and starters were not great for my quite conservative husband 3days he had Cesar salad. Service is fantastic you said something and it appeared. Shows were ok grease fantastic and ice shows wonderful but too many comics promenade shows are fantastic .We didn't do any tours as I am disabled and can't keep up with them but the hop on buses are fabulous. Loved Lisbon beautiful city and under the bridge is a must see for all.Hired a scooter for the ship from Mobility at sea it was a great idea when I got off the ship I was much more able to walk. It is a relaxing holiday with lots of lovely places to see things to do big decision is whether to go for swim or hot tub lol. Cabin needs a bit of a refurb but plenty space even with the scooter in .All in all beautiful places to see and wonderful care and great food loved it 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
We liked the ports in the brochure and I had enjoyed over a dozen cruises with Royal Caribbean in the past; however I had always booked my air and transfers myself. I am a Senior now and I am changing the way I travel to let others do some ... Read More
We liked the ports in the brochure and I had enjoyed over a dozen cruises with Royal Caribbean in the past; however I had always booked my air and transfers myself. I am a Senior now and I am changing the way I travel to let others do some of the booking chores. We had Royal Caribbean do the Air and Sea Program for us, that is handle the flights from California to London and return, also all transfers to the hotel in London for the day before the cruise and transfers to and from the ship from London to Southampton before and after the cruise. We had one stop in Dallas from California before we would fly to London; the plane was delayed due to air traffic in Dallas and unable to land so when we should have been getting our connecting flight we were circling Dallas and missed the connecting flight that the pilot told us would be waiting for us! This should have been no big deal, we did the footwork and got another flight to London. We had planned to sight see in London and the plane we re-scheduled with would have allowed for that. We got to the airport in London, looked for our Royal Caribbean prepaid transfer service Representative and found none. We waited, still no one, there were representatives from two other cruise lines but no one from Royal Caribbean. We did not have a phone number on our voucher in case of a mix up. There were no phone numbers on any of our paperwork to call if transfer personnel did not show up. The tourist information assistants tried to call a number we had for the cruise line but they could not get through (it would have been about 5:00 A.M. U.S. time.) Travelers Assistance told us just wait, they will show up; we waited over three hours. No one showed up. Travelers Assistance finally suggested we take a cab at our expense to the hotel and follow up with cruise line personnel later which we did however that took another two hours, so we got to our hotel in London too late to do any sightseeing; we just had dinner at the hotel, a Holiday Inn Express. Had we chosen a hotel it would not have been the Holiday Inn Express in London. We told the hotel personnel our transfer from the cruise line never showed up to transport us, they told us they have nothing to do with that to contact the cruise line. Our van to Southampton showed up on time the next morning, we showed our vouchers and they took six of us packed like sardines in a small van with luggage in the back seat; they acted like there was a mix up but did not share the reason for that with us; I suspect the van was really for 4 people and we actually had no ship scheduled reservation but we had the prepaid vouchers in hand so they took us to the ship. Once on board I went to Passenger Services and asked why we had to re book and re pay to get to the hotel from the airport after no one showed up from the cruise line to take us. to take us. They asked for all documentation and receipts, the vouchers for everything, air, hotel, all transfers, etc. which I produced. They told me I had to contact the hotel about the airport transfer, it was their shuttle that didn't show up. I had already spoke to the hotel personnel and they told me to talk to Royal Caribbean staff, they don't shuttle people from the airport. The ship Representative asked me to wait while she contacted a manager. The manager said we did not have a reservation to get from the ship after the cruise to the London airport, we were on a wait list and they said they had better get that straightened out before working on the airport transfers; they told me they had not received the money for the transfers, I provided a receipt for those and everything else including the cruise. I asked for the money we had paid for the transfers (2) we did not receive. It took them 4 days and 5 trips to the service desk for them to acknowledge they had made the errors. I refused to let this upset me and I enjoyed the time on board regardless of their errors however it did consume some time I could have been doing more enjoyable things. On board things looked very nice, the ship is showing some slight age but the layout is so fantastic we happily overlooked the rust and aging signs. It was crowded beyond belief on the pool decks, promenade, shows, and there were times we went into the Windjammer and just walked out due to crowds. There is a rule about saving lounges at the pools but they were not enforced so you seldom got a place at the pools. We were on the ship while the European "children and young adults" were still on summer vacation. This created quite a nightmare for us; the teens and preteens ran in groups, they attended shows that they were required to have an adult present and no adult was with them. Somehow they manipulated the elevators so that it would not stop on your floor, so we spent some extra time on elevators. They ran up and down the halls and elevators not only all day but from 1:00 a.m. (curfew time) until after 4 a.m. in the morning, I didn't sleep much the first 3 nights so I complained. Again very little if anything was done, it continued throughout the cruise. Prior to booking the length of the Ships port tours are given but not the hours they depart and return; The shore trips seemed to be planned at the worst times possible. If we were in port from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. the tour would start at 10:30 a.m. and end at 1:30 or 2:30 p.m. This created way too much "dead time." This did not leave any time before or after the ship tour to see the port; we canceled about half of our ship port excursions because of the poor times they chose to do them and explored on our own in ports and had a much better time. We left feeling we had seen more than the ship tours showed us. It would have been better to have more time in port or even dock over night in a couple of ports like some do in Mexico. We had early dining and the Waiter and his assistant were very good however many of the breakfasts were changed from regular dining room breakfast to "breakfast buffet" style dining which was nothing like a normal dining room breakfast. The Windjammer buffet was very crowded, the food was mediocre. There was ample seating with excellent views however due to the crowds we seldom got to enjoy that feature of the ship. We ate every meal we could in the dining room, it was better quality, hot or at least warm as compared to cold "hot food" at the buffet. They did come around with non alcohol buffet liquids once in awhile which was nice since they provide no trays for your plates, bowls and cups or glasses of liquids. Food on the Promenade was varied, some good some not so good, it was a great place to get water, I kept a pitcher in our cabin and used the small bottles of drink enhancers I had brought with us because we don't drink much soda, alcohol or high acid drinks (like orange juice). We could drink some lemon water or mango water that was available free in a couple of places, however for taste I would rate it a two on a one to five scale. Getting on and off the ship was good. The shore excursion staff was very good but the reason I will not cruise with this line again soon (if ever) is because of the crowds, lack of action by security, lack of action by passenger services with options and assistance on issues such as being stranded at the airport in a Foreign Country and shoddy reaction to problems with set rules that are not enforced. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I choose this cruise because it was recommended to me. I would like to thank Igusti Praganda stateroom attendant housekeeper who kept my room on deck 9 cabin number 9489 in prime order and every evening a lovely animal made out of towels ... Read More
I choose this cruise because it was recommended to me. I would like to thank Igusti Praganda stateroom attendant housekeeper who kept my room on deck 9 cabin number 9489 in prime order and every evening a lovely animal made out of towels on my bed he was pleasant and always greeted me with a smile. Food was excellent and waiters came around to see what drinks we wanted. The pool was delightful with plenty of seating and you didn't have to walk to the bar the waiters brought your drink to you. The shows at night time were very entertaining and they had two shows each evening. It was easy to get on and off the ship when we arrived to our destinations and waiters were waiting for each guest with a cool towel and a iced drink which was fantastic. Overall it was a fantastic cruise and both myself and my husband enjoyed it immensely. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017

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