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240 Southampton to Europe - Western Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

This was our first time on IOS - previously we have done P&O and Celebrity. The ship was lovely and I liked the promenade part with the cafes and bars and the entertainment was excellent – best I have had on a cruise. Even the days ... Read More
This was our first time on IOS - previously we have done P&O and Celebrity. The ship was lovely and I liked the promenade part with the cafes and bars and the entertainment was excellent – best I have had on a cruise. Even the days at sea were not boring. One thing that let it down was dinning in the main restaurant. The service was OK – our waiters were OK - but it just didn’t have the same feel as P&O and Celebrity cruises we have done – it didn’t feel like ‘fine dining’. We only had two waiters whereas you normally have 3 - food, wine and bread. I had soup to start most nights and it always came out all dripped down the side of the bowl! None of the food seemed to be presented particularly special. It all tasted nice enough but didn’t have the wow factor. It was just OK! If you ordered a glass of wine you had wait about 25 mins for it to arrive! On Celebrity with the drinks package they just keep filling your glass and take your cards at the end. On RC you had to keep ordering it, they take your card, bring the wine. All was a bit tedious really. We had trolleys of dirty plates being wheeled past us – I think were sat too close to the food station perhaps. One night they were actually dusting some chairs on empty tables to one side of us whilst we were eating!! It was so bright in the restaurant as well which meant there wasn’t any ambiance. Another thing that spoilt it for us was the fact that only 50% of the ship adhered to the dress codes. Feels strange when you are in a long formal dress and someone next to you at the bar is in a track suit top! It didn’t seem to matter what the dress code was for some – they just wore scruffy gear regardless. Obviously in the main restaurant everyone stuck with the dress code. I suppose RC let everyone have the kind of holiday they want to have and I don’t have a problem with that, but when you are dressed up and others aren’t it makes you wonder why your bothered. Either have dressed codes or don't! We decided not to let it bother us and we still dressed up every night regardless as that’s what we like to do. We obviously have a bit more self respect than others. Having said all that it was still a fabulous cruise and we had an excellent time - just the above things let it down and stopped it from being perfect. I just wish you could mingle all the bits of the different cruise lines together to get the perfect cruise. Celebrity dining, P&O dress codes and Royal Caribbean entertainment would be a perfect combination for a cruise! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We looked forward to cruising with royal caribbean as usually we cruise with another company- but were very dissappointed with the cabin, not much room to even pass each other.the beds were so small -narrow and uncomfortable and the ... Read More
We looked forward to cruising with royal caribbean as usually we cruise with another company- but were very dissappointed with the cabin, not much room to even pass each other.the beds were so small -narrow and uncomfortable and the mattresses were covered with pieces of cheap foam, i-suffered from pain in my hip ever since. IT IS ONLY IMPROVING NOW BECAUSE I PAID TO SEE A PHYSIO, I FEEL THERE WERE TOO MANY STOPS AT PORTS -NEARLY EVERY DAY-NOT REALLY SURE ABOUT BOOKING AGAIN WITH THEM MAINLY BECAUSE OF THE BEDS, Other cruises we have been on have more classes such as keep fit on deck, but i really feel that these beds ruined our cruise. Would be interesting to see if any one else agrees with me. As 13 nights in an uncomfortable bed wasnt much fun. I wonder if all the cabins have these or was it because we chose an inside cabin. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
After two great cruises with RCI in previous years we had high hopes for the Navigator, but our dreams did not come true. RCI has become the king of the upsell, and the continuous hounding to buy buy buy severely detracted from the overall ... Read More
After two great cruises with RCI in previous years we had high hopes for the Navigator, but our dreams did not come true. RCI has become the king of the upsell, and the continuous hounding to buy buy buy severely detracted from the overall experience. A few vestiges of what cruising used to be remain, but we will be looking elsewhere the next time around. Embarkation from Southampton was well organized and went quickly. Our inside cabin (6509) at the front of the ship was adequately sized. I was initially concerned because the cabin was directly above the Star Lounge, but we couldn't hear any noise from the entertainment. There were odd tapping and clattering noises periodically throughout the night, but earplugs took care of those. Our room steward was very friendly and very responsive to the few requests that we made, but was not very efficient or consistent. The room wasn't vacuumed once during the entire cruise, and didn't appear to have been vacuumed before our arrival. We found a pair of womans' shoes under the couch that I tried to pass off to my cousins, but could find no takers. We left them for the next guest. Service in the dining room was wonderful, one of the last vestiges of the traditional cruise experience that RCI has managed to retain. Our waiter and assistant waiter quickly learned our preferences and frequently brought us an extra appetizer or entree for our table to share. Food quality ranged from average to excellent. Don't look for surf and turf or that lobster dinner that you enjoyed on previous cruises unless you want to pay an additional $35. In addition to the four specialty extra cost restaurants on board, RCI even managed to find a way to upsell you in the main dining room. For shame. Food in the Windjammer was average cruise ship fare. The breads and breakfast pastries were very good but the desserts were generally a disappointment. The three production shows were a big disappointment. Although the singers and dancers were very talented, they were betrayed by the poor quality of the material they were given to work with. Much of the choreography was especially awkward. To add insult to injury the sound in the Metropolis Theater was poorly mixed, loud to the point of distortion, with the orchestra drowning out the vocals. Word must have spread quickly because the theater was never more than half full for any of the three production shows. The headliner acts that RCI had little hand in producing were much better, and were very enjoyable. Other than the theater, public spaces on the ship felt very crowded, but you could often find a table or seat in the bars if you hovered like a vulture or it was later in the evening. Activities on sea days seemed sparse compared with other cruises that we have taken. Negative comments notwithstanding she's a beautiful ship; it's a shame that she doesn't have better management. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We really enjoy cruising from the UK also this being our 12 RCCI cruise we were happy to choose them again. We had been on Anthem last year and Ovation in April both being excellent cruises and the non observance of the adults only policy ... Read More
We really enjoy cruising from the UK also this being our 12 RCCI cruise we were happy to choose them again. We had been on Anthem last year and Ovation in April both being excellent cruises and the non observance of the adults only policy in the solarium on the Ovation by the crew being our only grumble. How very different this cruise was! the quality of the food in the dining room coupled with poor service was disappointing. The entertainment was poor in the theatre, on the last night the magician was introduced as straight from Las Vegas I joked with a fellow passenger that I thought he had probably been employed there as a car park attendant. The ships company at best were amateur I don't include the lady singer and the comedian from this critique both excellent For a ship that was 16 years old we found it very clean and presentable also it's fair to mention that the food and service in the Windjammer and the Promenade Café was quite excellent. We left with the distinct impression that RCCI are putting all their resources into their new ships and if that's the case how about an Oasis or Quantum class ship being based in Southampton. Lastly I feel I must mention the Diamond Lounge. As Diamond Crown & Anchor members we thought the loyalty lounge was the best one we had ever experienced. So you see RCCI the critique is not all negative Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We selected this cruise for the ports and had selected My Time Dining. We were booked in the Grand Suite which was a fabulous space with tons of closet space and an amazingly large bathroom. We had so many empty drawers when we finished ... Read More
We selected this cruise for the ports and had selected My Time Dining. We were booked in the Grand Suite which was a fabulous space with tons of closet space and an amazingly large bathroom. We had so many empty drawers when we finished unpacking that I could have brought another full suitcase. The My Time Dining worked really well and we always got the exact same table and the same waiter and assistant waiter. A big shout out to our assistant waiter Sanjeet, who made every dinner very enjoyable and entertaining. We did try Chops twice and Izumi once and both were very good, although Izumi had the final bill all mixed up with the other couple we were dining with. Being in the Grand Suite provided us access to Chops for breakfast daily and lunch on sea days. Although the breakfasts were very good, the menu was small and didn't change over the 13 days so was a bit boring towards the end of the cruise. The suite also gave us access to the Concierge Lounge which was nice, great service from the staff, although it is quite small and often we couldn't find a seat. As the cruise was out of Southampton the menus in the main dining room had been altered for the large component of brits on board, removing the staples like roasted chicken breast and adding in a daily pot pie and curry dish. We did find the selection of salads wasn't very good, and a lack of fresh vegetables with the meals, but other than that the food was much better than I expected it to be given some of the reviews I had read. The Entertainment was also geared to the Brits, so we couldn't participate in any of the quizzes and didn't get many of the jokes in the entertainment, but the Brits were rolling with laughter. Service was hit and miss. Our stateroom attendant wasn't very good at all, which was surprising, but the service in the main dining room and in Chops was very good. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
The service on board was great and we found that all the staff and crew were friendly and helpful. The food was a little repetitious however for a 14 night cruise, that it sometimes to be expected. Usually the standard was good, however ... Read More
The service on board was great and we found that all the staff and crew were friendly and helpful. The food was a little repetitious however for a 14 night cruise, that it sometimes to be expected. Usually the standard was good, however when using the self service buffet it was sometimes somewhat chaotic, although usually when excursions got back late after a very long day and there were hundreds more people eating in the buffet rather than the restaurant. We have not cruised with Royal Caribbean for some years, using mainly NCL. We found the ship not adequately equipped with sufficient seating within the bars and cafes, many times not being able to find a seat to have a drink or cup of coffee. Crowds of people would converge into the Promenade only to find that they had to wander aimlessly around looking for places to sit, so not good in that respect. We felt that standards were not as high as on other ships we had experienced and cost cutting by RCI was certainly noticeable. All in we enjoyed the holiday and the excursions we booked with RCI were both enjoyable and well organised. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
EMBARKATION In 2010 i went on celebrity eclipse and i think the memory of how good and quick embarkation is probably ruins how i feel about p&o i remember parking the car and within 20 minutes being on the ship yes the cabins ... Read More
EMBARKATION In 2010 i went on celebrity eclipse and i think the memory of how good and quick embarkation is probably ruins how i feel about p&o i remember parking the car and within 20 minutes being on the ship yes the cabins arn't ready but you can go into the main public areas with p&o this time i go there at 12 and was made to wait until 2pm they sent me a boarding time of 3.30pm which seems nuts i have travelled with p&o but they do seem to be getting worse on this rather than better. DINNING Oriental and limelight club food was excellent as well as service but the horizon left a bit to be desired on 2 occasions i ended up going out to lido grill and having burger and chips because i couldn't find anything i liked i'm not mega fussy but can't eat spicy foods and wanted something hot rather than cold which was the only option the burgers were always hard were they had been there for quit a bit of time but the chips were good nice and warm and seemed to be fresh. ENTERTAINMENT Limelight club cheryl baker excellent and she had her husband steve playing guitar. ALSO SAW ERIC AND ERNIE (IAN ASHPITEL AND JONTY STEPHENS) WERE EXCELLENT AS WELL Britannia rocks on lido deck pools this was really good costumes that light up as well as plenty of led lighting which changed colour it didn't start until 9.45 pm which made it stand out more i should imagine they have to wait for darkness for it work properly during the summer. I didn't go to any of the main theatre productions but did got a meat the cast with neil oliver and 6 cast members which was very interesting explaining how they achieve certain effects.... Neil oliver and he's entertainment team were excellent making sure everything is ok as per normal didn't have 2 sail-away party's because the ship didn't leave port until 6pm on 1 occasion and the other was 9.30pm sailing from naples.i saw neil at least once a day walking round the ship the captain i only saw at the captains gala i can't remember he's name but i know it wasn't paul brown who i know is the other captain as i have sailed with him before and he is very visible and like neil oliver always ask's if things are ok and if theres a problem he will try to sort it out and paul brown joins the entertainment staff on at least 1 sailaway. PORTS OF CALL The only time i went on a shore excursion was rome i had done this before on a previous cruise but it was a lot more tiring as it was very hot an humid which it was for most of the cruise we did rome on you're own by coach. CADIZ I WALKED AROUND THE TOWN AND ENJOYED BEING OF THE SHIP AS WAS 1ST PORT OF CALL BARCELONA HAD INTENDED DOING THE CABLE CAR ACROSS THE PORT BUT IT WASN'T WORKING AND ENDED UP DOING A BOAT TRIP ROUND THE HARBOUR WHICH COST 7.50EUROS Monaco i had intended going to the princes classic car collection but got lost and walked the f1 track but due to how hot and humid it was it took me over 2 hours and ended up getting the boat bus across the harbour. Civitavecchia (rome) as above only did the trip were one of the last coaches back. Naples my family went on a trip i didn't friends had warned me about naples which by all accounts not very clean and pick pockets a plenty. CARTEGENA WALKED AROUND PORT DIDN'T DO MUCK QUITE NICE AND CLEAN VIGO WALKED UP THE TOP OF THE MAIN SHOPPING AREA AND BACK LOADS OF COFFEE SHOP/BARS SHIP I have been on 3 other p&o ships britannia is not set out right you can't walk all the way round the ship without going up or down and in one case going up twice to come back down the ship is starting to look tatty and in need of refurbishment there are not enough lifts and staircases the atrium has a lack of stairs only really the spiral staircase the stairs at the back of the lifts are crew only at a certain level at least one lift some where in the ship was out of action each day. On the safety drill we were on deck 15 it took us 20 minutes to get to the headliner theatre due to the sheer volume of people coming down. SHIPS CONDITION For a ship which is only just over a year old i don't know how long she will last as carpets are wearing out and looking tatty there is a loud vibration at the rear of the ship when its doing more than 18 knots which was most of the cruise and i heard at least 3 different couples complaing about lack of sound insulation between inside cabins which they were later told was because of a breakdown of the insulation product all in all i relaxed but will never sail britannia again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This has to be the most disappointing cruise I have ever been on. I am a 'Platinum Member' in the Captains Circle and opted for a guarantee cabin. I asked for an Oceanview cabin. I booked this cruise in April 2016. Several ... Read More
This has to be the most disappointing cruise I have ever been on. I am a 'Platinum Member' in the Captains Circle and opted for a guarantee cabin. I asked for an Oceanview cabin. I booked this cruise in April 2016. Several weeks before the cruise I was allocated Cabin # E102, which, when I looked it up, it seem to look very pleasant. Big mistake!! It did say that the cabin 'could accommodate' up to 4 people but what it failed to mention was that there were 2 massive bunk beds stuck on the wall either side of our bed. Subsequently, both me and my husband had to bend down from the foot of the bed to the head end bent down. AND to add insult to injury, we banged our heads on the hideous bunk beds when we got up in the night to visit the bathroom. Also, there was no view of the ocean, only people jogging or walking past our window, so therefore we had to keep our curtains closed. When we first saw the cabin we immediately went to the front desk to complain. We were told there was nothing they could do and that they were full up and we would have to wait until we arrived in Barcelona, our first port of call, to see if there were any other cabins became available. Therefore I refused to unpack our cases until we arrived there. Our cabin was opposite the Crews' quarters and they were noisy and all we could smell was cigarette smoke. 5 days later, after we departed Barcelona, we were told to wait until we arrived in Civitavecchia. The Front desk were rude and very unhelpful and even though we know that some people went off the ship due to illness, we were not offered another cabin. The entertainment was awful. All the Entertainments Manager told us was to go to the disco on deck 17. They allowed smoking, seemed most nights, in the Casino and had to leave almost immediately as it was chocking. Got nothing against smokers, as I was one myself years ago, but felt it was wrong to allow it in a small confined area. The only person who was absolutely lovely was our Cabin Steward, Andy. After sending a complaint to the Customer Services of Princess, all they did was apologise and hoped that we would sail with them again. Some hope! We didn't even get a voucher or a free upgrade for another cruise. I certainly wont be sailing with Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This was our 3rd cruise on the Celebrity Eclipse 2014 and 2015 ship cabin was excellent but have to say this year service has declined quite alarming after two previous years. There was a shortage of bar staff and waiter service very ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise on the Celebrity Eclipse 2014 and 2015 ship cabin was excellent but have to say this year service has declined quite alarming after two previous years. There was a shortage of bar staff and waiter service very slow/coffee bar again short of staff coffee luke warm waiter service slow/ Main Dining Moonlight Sonata Service slow food on most occasions luke warm got fed up of sending meals back the menu was poor desserts very basic to previous years waiting long periods of time for table to be cleared between courses, waiters seemed to be novices and very slow waiting 20min for drink waiters for service . Ocean view café shortage of staff drinks waiters non existing once again long periods of time removing used plates food not very hot the plates for desserts were to hot including the cheese foods. We had a drinks package but in the cabins there was a bottle of water and charged extra $6.50 for every small bottle yet if picked up from bars no charge I except it was a service but $6.50 ( do Celebrity think we are mugs ripping us off) Would we cruise with Celebrity again not sure will be looking at other companys Out of 1 to 10 (6) We where told by Celebrity that 20% of shore excursions would be kept on sale on board within 10 min of getting on board at the excursion desk and was told the two that we wanted was not available. Sailing date 3/9/16 to 17/9/16 cabin 7219 Harris Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This was our first time with RCI. We travelled in a group of 10 and had booked early 6pm dining. When we got on at Southampton and cruise ship departed. It was 5-45 and still no bags delivered to cabin. I asked staff and was told it ... Read More
This was our first time with RCI. We travelled in a group of 10 and had booked early 6pm dining. When we got on at Southampton and cruise ship departed. It was 5-45 and still no bags delivered to cabin. I asked staff and was told it didn't matter if I went to dinner casual as it was first night. I was in clothes I had been in all day and I minded! Went into bathroom and there was NO toiletries whatsoever, not even a bar of soap. Never before have I known this on a cruise ship. Didn't see any soap or our cabin attendant till approx day 5. However the cabin attendant Kearon Alexander for cabins 8387 and 8385 was amazing. My family in those cabins genuinely got to know him and he couldn't do enough. Dinner in Saphire restaurant was of good quality. We had booked a drinks package but spent so much time of our holiday queuing at the bar. Not enough bar staff or bars. Everywhere was packed. Most nights nowhere to sit. Spent a lot of evenings wondering around looking for someone leaving a table. I feel this ship has fitted too many cabins for entertainment space. Biggest gripe of holiday was for the teenagers in group. RCI do not cater for 16 to 18 year olds. They were bored! They would go to sports deck to do activities and were always told they were too old or too young Ie why have 18plus volleyball at 3-30 pm Then flow rider was only surfing between 4-30 and 6-30 most days ( we were at dinner at 6) so for people who complain about teenagers roaming around please remember they have paid the same price as everyone else but have been short changed in activities. I have been on over 10 cruises and have NEVER before written a review but this is the first cruise I have felt so underwhelmed. This was not the fault of the majority of the crew onboard as we met some fantastic staff. They were doing their best. I feel RCI are all about selling and profit. Pack them in and make them spend and give them a bit of average entertainment along the way. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We chose this cruise because we wanted our grandchildren to have a great time. They did. We less so. We had been on IoS on an Atlantic when the ship was two years old and enjoyed it. We knew August would be kids' central, which was ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted our grandchildren to have a great time. They did. We less so. We had been on IoS on an Atlantic when the ship was two years old and enjoyed it. We knew August would be kids' central, which was why we chose to go. No complaints there. Brilliant facilities. I could go-on about the lack of parental responsibility but that isn't RCCL's job, though Security could have been much tougher. Nothing seemed out-of-bounds and nobody from the staff cared. My perspective is from that of a suite dweller. You might think "rich" but it's just the way we have chosen to spend what's left of our children's and grandchildren's inheritance! Our previous cruise was in a similar suite on Celebrity, sister company to RCCL. On Celebrity we were greeted in our cabin by a bottle of fizz. Had free drinks in the fridge. Unlimited speciality dining (though we think that is overrated on most ships). A suite restaurant and a private club where you could drink whatever you wanted all day FOC. In the cabin we had slippers, real flowers, two TVs and, as my wife points-out, shower caps and a container of cotton buds. None of that in the Owner's Suite on IoS except for two cotton buds - replaced daily! There is a Concierge lounge on IoS that offers nice canapes and cheap (as in brands) FOC each evening. I could go-on but I'm sure you get the picture. If you take kids IoS is great. If you don't then IoS might be great unless you book a suite. Food in the MDR was consistently good; The Windjammer also though again not quite such a wide selection as on Celebrity. Excellent production shows - Grease was amazing - and of course the stars really glittered on the ice rink. Staff were efficient, especially our cabin attendant Marian and Cheryl in the MDR, but the bar tenders didn't smile much and one closed the shutters while I was waiting to be served: "Sorry it's six-o-clock". IoS is looking a little tired; nothing serious. Maybe I'm unfairly comparing it with more modern vessels. In conclusion, other RCCL ships offer better suite facilities, I understand. Pity the suite guests on IoS and possibly other vessels of that class are poor relations. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We chose this cruise as we had sailed on the Independence of The Seas three years ago, and thought it was a beautiful ship. Our sail date was in September so we avoided the peak season. my son started back to school a week later so we ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we had sailed on the Independence of The Seas three years ago, and thought it was a beautiful ship. Our sail date was in September so we avoided the peak season. my son started back to school a week later so we could travel then. This time, unfortunately we travelled peak time. However we were, this time, appalled at the general greed of the RCCL, and the advantage it took of people who had already parted with a few thousand pounds for the promise of paradise. Anyone who chose to the do the ridiculously overpriced excursions were sadly dissapointed. Frankly unless you are filthfully rich, lazy or in need of a partial labotomy should not engage when there are so many companies now offering excursions from the very same itinery at a fraction of the cost. Not only were they a rip off, but they were mis sold to people under the premis you would have time to explore/ purchase souvenirs and browse the area. The drinks packages were ludicrously over priced at over £550 per person roughly for two weeks, and not suprisingly the wine package has been removed! Buying water packages/tea/coffee packages....what an earth? Why? There is perfectly good tea/coffee/ flavoured water/water...why would you buy it? Because are not going to advertise that fact that there is regular supply without a charge. As for kids soda packages, well, if I had a large family i would buy one and just get them to share as no one checked their cards. They used to have a movie channel on the tv in your stateroom, I see that has been removed to introduced a pay movie channel about £12 a pop. Pie shops/ ice cream shops/diners/ designer shops/duty free all designed to fleece you. Photographers at every meal time hoping to catch you to make a few more bucks. A bottle of mediocre housewine.. $35, most wines by the glass about $9 plus 18 per cent. All greed, pure greed. Ok, no one is forcing you to buy these extras, however Queuing for an hour to get ice show tickets at 8am a week before the show as it will be sold out - unacceptable. Queuing to get seats an hour or may be two hours in the case of Grease, the best show they performed, ludicrous. Sun bed rage at reserving a bed or simply not being able to get a sunbed at all at 9 in the morning.... Not relaxing! Every aspect of entertainment required military planning to even get a look in. Even ping pong! Reserving a time for anytime dining and still having to wait an hour, unacceptable. Unsuitable shows for children at 7 with bad comedians and awful embarassingly vulgar language. The fact they make you think gratuities are legally enforceable...they are not. They already take their 18 per cent. Did you know if you book through the USA RC it is cheaper by far, by the way? Thats may be why they think tipping is do appropriate. Do not encourage them! we had the whole sob story by the guy that did our room how he only survived on his tips! Lies! The shuttle to Toulon being $18 instead if €2 the port charge is exorbitant. In fact, I would rather line a taxi drivers pocket than give them any more money for shuttles to town. Instead of being a nice friendly family crowd the place is chav central, and it seems Turkey,Tunisia and Sharm el Sheik clientele have fleed their terror threatened holiday destinations to the safety of the cruise liners. It is a holiday of the masses now. Especially getting their moneys worth out of the drinks packages. Crowds of mean girl type teenagers. Good points of our cruise were: Ship - amazing facilities Most staff very very hard working Cabins were small but comfortable, our view in a stateroom with sea view, lovely. Great gym. Sports staff lovely. Joff the cruise director, entertaining, but no doubt well paid. Action packed activities. Ice skating amazing and ice staff/proffesional skaters lovely. Check in/arrival back at port quite well organised. But don't for heaven sake encourage Royal Caribbean. They are shameless. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Embarkation at Southampton was awful. I am disabled & reliant on my female P.A & there was no guidance or assistance in unloading the car with our luggage. We were told to put our suit/dress holders in our suitcases yet we saw ... Read More
Embarkation at Southampton was awful. I am disabled & reliant on my female P.A & there was no guidance or assistance in unloading the car with our luggage. We were told to put our suit/dress holders in our suitcases yet we saw other people carrying theirs. Upon entering the terminal we were given a fast track card, what a joke! We were waiting more than 1 hour! We were quickly rushed on to the ship, shown our cabin & straight to the life jacket drill. My cabin was B302 an accessible cabin which was very roomy & quiet despite being close to the staircases & lifts. Access to the balcony was excellent. The wet room floor was slippy, the toilet not raised & the grab rails were not in a good position. The staff on main reception were useless, unhelpful & bad mannered! We asked 2 questions & both times were told to look at our newsletter. When we disembarked the bill was wrong. I had been mis-sold some treatments in the spa costing £112 which I returned the same day & was told by the spa reception that mŷ account would be credited within 2 hours which it hadn't. Be careful with the spa receptionists as they sold me a treatment which I did not ask for that was £30 more expensive without telling me the cost. They also added a 10% gratuity cost without telling me before the treatment. Also, my partner nearly ate a piece of plastic in her desert in The Sindhu Restaurant which they said they would deduct the cost of the wine of £19 from the cost of our meal due to the chef's mistake. Main reception were so unhelpful, it felt like 'we have got your money, now leave the ship'! I did not leave the ship until the bill had been altered & yet when I got home I checked my credit card statement they had debited the wrong amount including the £112! I had to phone P & O customer services & miraculously the £112 was credited to my credit card the next day! Main reception told us the night before disembarkation to phone them the next day so they could arrange for my wheelchair, bed post, walking frame & shower chair to be collected. We were then told by reception that we should have left all the equipment outside my cabin the night before! They then said that they could not arrange for the equipment to be bought down from my cabin! They expected my female partner to carry all that equipment & 3 bags of hand luggage by herself! Disgraceful P & O!! Fortunately I had read on a piece of paper that assistance was available in the bar next to the casino & they were very helpful. Incidentally they were not P&O staff! What a surprise! Apart, from all that we had a great time but that was down to ourselves, the entertainment I.e Paul Emanuelle (great singer), the karaoke night, sail aways, and not to mention the food & service in The Epicurian Restaurant (fantastic). Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Getting on the ship was fantastic - so organised at Southampton. Drop cases off, drop car off, get in a small queue to get Sea pass, passport control, security and onto the ship. We were on ship just after 11am, but cabins opened at ... Read More
Getting on the ship was fantastic - so organised at Southampton. Drop cases off, drop car off, get in a small queue to get Sea pass, passport control, security and onto the ship. We were on ship just after 11am, but cabins opened at 1.30pm, so time to explore ship and get something to eat and drink. We had already purchased a non alcoholic drinks package with coffee, water, soda and non alcoholic drinks prior to the cruise, but I wished I'd purchased the one with wine or beer, as each glass of wine ranged from $9 to nearly $15 including the rip off 18% charges. We asked for the charges to be removed but they were compulsory. One bottle of wine ended up being $63 with the 18%charge and it cannot be removed.Some bottles were cheaper. Speciality coffee from $2.95 from Starbuck and windjammer. Coffee with milk is free in windjammer and royal promenade.Water is also free but not bottled water - that is $2.50. Tea is free also in rooms, windjammer and royal promenade but we drink coffee. Wi fi - buy before you go - rip off charges onboard $12.99-$17.99 per day onboard. We paid over $100 for wi fi onboard - we couldn't always get service with our provider. Rooms basic - plenty of room for storage - we left a full case of shoes in the bottom of the wardrobe - I took 10 pairs.Tea and milk provided (no coffee). Basic small bar soap. Soap dispenser in shower. Hairdryer. 2 Hand towels, 2 bath towel and 2 face clothes. Extra toilet roll.Rooms tidied and towels changed morning and night by friendly attendant. Our disappointment that our room was noisy - they came to look at it 3 times but said it was the air conditioning system that was new. You obtain your beach towels on deck 11 by the pool. Can be changed as frequently as you like. People complained there weren't enough sun-beds but we never had a problem. Large screen by pool to watch football and olympics during day. 3 bars near pool generally packed - queued for drinks regularly. Free ice-cream near pool and in windjammer - many children just wasted the ice cream. There were many unsupervised children running around the ship everywhere. Playing with lifts so you stopped at every floor. I have children but they were never unruly and rude like some of the children this time. Many disabled people this time too - it would be nice to have a separate pool for them. Some poor children in wheelchairs appeared to be in them for the entire holiday. It would have been nice for somewhere for them, as the normal pools were packed and not suitable. The adult pool was ice cold. Boiling hot jaccuzzi - inside and out. Many kids clubs - but as said before - many kids were just unsupervised and running everywhere. Mini golf was great - didn't use flowrider or rockwall. Food Poor - quality and choice not as good as last time. Delton and Sravan lovely, but other staff in restaurants were like robots. They might as well have had a tape recorder. My husband only had 3 starters in the entire cruise over 2 weeks and I missed the starter a few times. They push the specialty restaurants. All food was repetitive and deserts were not the best. The Jonny rockets that we paid for was the worst meal ever at lunch time. Eat as much as you like for $6.95 cover charge but it was rubbish. Cold inedible food. We sent our food back 3 times. milk shake $4.95. Entertainment - poor. The orchestra were fantastic and the compare was nice. However, the navigator of the seas singers could have been better. It was like watching a school production. We enjoyed the visiting acts. The ice skating shows were on during the day - who wants to go during the day they should be at night and you can only go at certain times according to your cabin number. Obviously we didn't get to see it. Stupid system. Bar singers - repetitive every night. Spa - I had my nails done - she was tired - she worked from 7.30am-9.30pm- not much conversation. It was like she just wanted to get it over with. Spa continuously pushing products and services. Gym and classes good. Art auctions - continually pushed - ranging from $495.00 to $19,500.00. Not the best of collections and not sure if all bids were genuine. Expensive. Shops - not much for children. We didn't take children, but my husband purchased some cadburys chocolates that cost less than £2 here for $10 onboard. Casino - good fun - onboard lottery $2 per day. Didn't win. Disappointment - only 3 formal night out of 14 days. I like dressing up in an evening but lets just say many people didn't. Excursions - Malaga - Marbella and Puerto Banus. Not enough time - rushed and difficult to understand Tour Guide. Lisbon - supposed to be wine tasting - not shown how wine is made and given 2 small samples in tiny glass. Wouldn't recommend. Another rushed trip. Late back to ship. On our own Gibraltar - big queue for lift - didn't go to top but excellent duty free shops. Bus or many taxi trips available. Cigarettes £20 at port. We dont smoke. Liverno/ Florence - do it yourself by train is cheaper but check train times, before you go and make sure you get the last train by about 3pm, as they are not always guaranteed on a Sunday. Genoa - bus tour outside - 12 euros each. Unfortunately shops closed for bank holiday. We had been to Rome before so didn't get off ship. Nice or monte carlo - tender - can be done yourself on train next to port - or stay near port lovely restaurants and beach. We had been before so stayed near the port for a nice lunch. Back at Southampton - they can take your bags off if they are ready the night before or we chose to take our own off. No problems - great disembarking. Give them a time on your sheet of paper - night before they give you an area to go to - then straight off the ship. Bags waiting in Southampton or we took our own off. Overall - I wouldn't recommend cruise. It was a bit creeky on the way back in bad weather - it is an older ship and you can tell by the interiors. The food wasn't the best and the entertainment was average. Onboard and excursions were expensive too. Didn't like 18% compulsory charges either. You think you are getting a good deal until it starts adding up. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We chose this cruise as it was part of our daughter's 21st birthday celebrations. Plus the fact that we sailed on the Explorer last year so expected the same standard and service we've come to expect on our last 6 cruises with ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was part of our daughter's 21st birthday celebrations. Plus the fact that we sailed on the Explorer last year so expected the same standard and service we've come to expect on our last 6 cruises with Royal Caribbean. However, this was not the case, a very disappointing ship. Sadly I felt dismayed that we had spent more money on an August cruise for less space in our cabin. I will not be booking a cruise in the school holidays again as the ship seemed overfilled with young unsupervised children running about, despite the rules against this. The whole ship needs a deep clean, new loos, new pool area, and smarter cabins up to the standard of its sister, the Explorer . The staff were not interested in the service towards passengers and on the whole I felt that we were always being harassed to purchase extras. We were not told of the extra surcharge on drinks seeing that we'd prepaid our gratuities this seems unfair. The 'big sell' attitude has put me off further holidays with this cruise line and if it wasn't for the fact we have reached diamond level I would not be booking again. The good points; food in the speciality restaurants was delicious and worth paying the extra for, some of the shows were ok but again not the usual standard. Our cabin was adequate, sheets were old, shower and sink needed updating, even though the ship had apparently been recently renovated. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Returned from 14 nights aboard Britannia West Med Embarkation ( 1 hr ) and Disembarkation ( 2hr ) went as well as one can expect and considering 3000 people to sort time on Disembarkation was more due to the fact you asked to leave room ... Read More
Returned from 14 nights aboard Britannia West Med Embarkation ( 1 hr ) and Disembarkation ( 2hr ) went as well as one can expect and considering 3000 people to sort time on Disembarkation was more due to the fact you asked to leave room at 8am and waited till 09.15am at an area on ship till given instructions to leave. Rooms vary on board depending what your requirements are. We opted for a superior room on A deck, port side, mid forward ( deck 15 on map of ship ) The one let down before we left is they cancelled Gibraltar ( said too busy ) and replaced with Guernsey. Later in the trip Monaco was cancelled with no replacement ( said too windy) and then they cut Cartengena stay in half ( to make Guernsey port ). Sailing on Britannia was no problem ship sailed as smooth as one can hope for, and lovely views from decks across the seas. Room was good toilets were like aircraft ones noise like thunder :) plenty of space and balcony easy fits 2 people in outside chairs side on. Television is limited to films & tv shows all programmed and fixed for whole trip. ( some films cost extra to see ? ) Food oh so much available ! Peninsular and Meridian are dinner suit black tie, average time to eat 2 hrs, also if you sit down at a table for 8 and are first, they try to make you wait till the rest of the table is full before starting to serve ( not good ) Horizon probably best bet for quick easy food open near enough all day till 2am either breakfast, lunch, dinner, afternoon snacks and late evening snacks. Smoking is deck 16 at back and deck 7 starboard side for those that do. Drinks on the whole fair prices, sometimes a little over high street prices. Lifts no real problem sometimes a little frustrating but hey nothing 5 minutes wont fix at worst. Bar Waiting staff all over ship looking to fulfill your needs, and horizon staff eager sometimes a little too eager to clear your food away once finished. Ship was always spotless, and room staff excellent. Entertainment is available depending on your needs should fulfill something for everyone, and also films to watch ( Cinema in the studio) Shore Excursions opted to do on own but can be 1.5 hrs to get anywhere outside of the ports, and Bracchino lake and Chariot ride was terrible 5 mins ended up on a horse and cart for 8 round a farm !!! lake was only ever half done !!! None of the time allowed in any shore excursion was as stated in brochure, lost as much as 2 hrs in one port ? My worst pet hate was towels on chairs around adult swimming area and side seating areas, at 08.30am 84 chairs had towels on them, and some did not go to these for over 3 hrs !! ( that has to be stopped ) The 2 main pools were mostly for kids but adults can use them, but they are very busy. I would say this that as a first time cruise this was an experience and enjoyed more than put here, but you also have to understand you are a captive audience all the while ship is sailing, and any frustrations are part of this type of holiday. Where you are on ship and where you need to go is on plaques on side walls in lift areas, and certain places on ship. This is frustration as it does not tell you that you need to go to deck 7 to get to deck 6 at times depending where you are on ship. and Illuminating signs would be much better. If you in coming back from any port you have a customs check at port or on ship as you enter. Cruise card issued before you enter ship, that is your only way to buy anything on ship no cash. we opted for a cash account but they still want a credit card. Shops on board as one expects the usual type, reception deck 5 okay can be busy. Whatever room you choose the Facilities outside your room are the same for everyone. You never see 3,000 people at any one time you will be surprised at how much room there is to move around. Coffee and tea available @ Horizon 24/7 nearly, they only serve juice once a day that is at breakfast ( would have been nice for evening meal ) They do try and serve different dishes from around the world and an awful lot of curry is available, usually a roast of some sort, salad and also few vegetarian options. small puddings are lovely at every meal. cheese and crackers, rolls butter or marge and other various jams honey pots etc. First day is your worst to get around ship, but you soon pick up where, when, how. They deliver a magazine every day to your room to show whats on next day, so you can plan things. I hope this gives a small inside view of what to expect, and have no experience of any other cruise. All comments are our views only. Have a great time Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
The embarkation was very smooth and slick, this may have been because we were late getting on the ship, most people were already on. The ship is average , nice without it being WOW,however, the last ship we went on was the Anthem of the ... Read More
The embarkation was very smooth and slick, this may have been because we were late getting on the ship, most people were already on. The ship is average , nice without it being WOW,however, the last ship we went on was the Anthem of the seas,so this may be the reason we felt as we did. The cabin, which was a virtual balcony adapted cabin was again ok, the bathroom we felt did not have enough handrails , and also, there should have been some on the wall by the bed. The cleanliness of the room was also ok, however, I did notice dust on the telephone, enough to write my name in it if I had wanted to. The food was nice, again though it was no where near as good as on the Anthem, a very limited and repetitive choice in the promenade cafe. Entertainment was the worst we have experienced in the time we have cruised, there was one act which was good, an impressionist. The skating show was exellent, this did make up for the lack of entertainment in the theatre. The ports were good, we did our own thing,exept the beach transfer to Palma nova. This was expensive for the distance from the ship. We will not go on the Navigator of the seas again, but would go on the newer ships in the fleet. One thing to say in favour of the ship is that the service helping wheelchair users on and off the ship was exellent. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This is one of many cruises we have done. The Navigator of the seas feels old and tired. We had a suite for the first time as a special treat and as we had a third person with us. Whilst roomy the sofa bed was very uncomfortable and needed ... Read More
This is one of many cruises we have done. The Navigator of the seas feels old and tired. We had a suite for the first time as a special treat and as we had a third person with us. Whilst roomy the sofa bed was very uncomfortable and needed padding with quilts. The toilet seat was cracked and failed to flush on three separate days. The junior suite was most certainly not worth the cost of over £3000 per person! and we felt disappointed. The whole ship feel as if there were too many people for the space and facilities. We never got a seat for a pre or post dinner drink in ANY bar. We only got a sunbed twice and people were laying towels down on the deck floors to try and sunbathe. Tendering in Ville France took a long time due to the numbers of people and by the time our ticket was drawn it was hardly worth the bother, in fact some people didn't. Drinks prices have increased very much on RC with a glass of wine topping £11. The food was enjoyable but not overwhelming and the staff pleasant although some pool bar staff need to understand that not everyone is in a drinks package and need to be served order measures. We would not choose this ship again and would consider other cruise companies for value as it seems RC are becoming a little too pricey in terms of drinks and room costs etc. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Good Points fantastic itinerary ( Corsica, Sardinia, nice, Palma, Cadiz ) Restaurant was very good Service from catering staff was fantastic Bad Points Very very crowded Very hard to get near a bar in the evening ... Read More
Good Points fantastic itinerary ( Corsica, Sardinia, nice, Palma, Cadiz ) Restaurant was very good Service from catering staff was fantastic Bad Points Very very crowded Very hard to get near a bar in the evening Entertainment very poor ( northern working man's club quality ) Kids club non existent Very hard to get a sun bed Groups of feral teenagers roaming the boat at night bullying younger kids Very few daytime activities / shows on sea days We went with celebrity last year. It is no more expensive and far better. This boat was over hauled 2 years ago and a further 82 cabins were added. However they have not improved or added to the deck space or facilities. The cheapest drinks package allows unlimited beer and this meant some parents were drinking from 11am whilst their kids roamed the ship. At times this truly is butlins on a boat Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This was a family holiday on the Emerald Princess, which suited our required holiday dates. We thought the ship was in good order, clean and tidy - very similar to P&O's Ventura and Azura. Embarkation was first class, as was ... Read More
This was a family holiday on the Emerald Princess, which suited our required holiday dates. We thought the ship was in good order, clean and tidy - very similar to P&O's Ventura and Azura. Embarkation was first class, as was disembarkation. The staff were very good and professional throughout the ship. Some of the minus points were no tea/coffee making facilities in the stateroom and dining in the dining rooms was not as good as P&O or Royal Caribbean, in that the choice of meals was average and quality not as we have previously experienced, to the point that, we chose to eat in the buffet on a number of occasions. Furthermore, we found that there was a hidden cost for the shuttle buses, some, for example, Barcelona, were expensive for the short distance from the ship, although we had been advised that it was a 10-15 minutes journey, but it only took 4 minutes at a cost of $10 each. Marseilles was $12, although this was a longer journey. Livorno cost $5, although this was an industrious port and was unsafe to walk. The shuttle bus in Civitavecchia was free. We feel these should be advertised when booking your holiday. Entertainment was poor to average, with some shows only lasting 35 minutes. Some of the comedians would be better entertaining the local pub on a Friday night as most of their jokes were years old. The singers were ok (these provided the majority of the provision of entertainment), as was the on-board band. Overall, we enjoyed the ports, and were blessed with good weather, but would we book with Princess again? Not so sure. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We decided to go on the Emerald Princess for our first cruise due to the wonderful destinations it stopped at - Barcelona, Rome, Pisa, Florence, Genoa, Corsica, Marseilles and Gibraltar. I wasn't disappointed - these destinations were ... Read More
We decided to go on the Emerald Princess for our first cruise due to the wonderful destinations it stopped at - Barcelona, Rome, Pisa, Florence, Genoa, Corsica, Marseilles and Gibraltar. I wasn't disappointed - these destinations were FAB-U-LOUS. Embarking onto the ship was dream - hardly any queuing time. Thank goodness they had porters to take our 5 huge suitcases to our rooms. The ship itself looked amazing; I was impressed. Everywhere was clean, tidy and well kept. The cabin, an inside one, was just as I expected - quite small. However, for the price we paid I was fine with that as we knew we wouldn't be spending much time in there. I found the beds were extremely comfortable and the shower was fabulous( the water came out strong). Even though there was no window, I didn't find it too much of a problem as i just turned the TV onto the channel showing the ships position. Unfortunately, there was not much storage facilities for three of us and I would highly recommend bringing your own hangers as they only supplied about 12 of them. The food in the ANYTIME dining rooms was absolutely delicious. The service was excellent and the waiters would cater to your every need. There were a few times I didn't fancy any of the starters or soups on the menu - this was not a problem as i just ordered a main course in its place. One evening i had salmon to start, followed by lobster tail and king prawns, then finished with beef wellington (All main courses) On another evening, the beef fillet was so mouth-wateringly tasty, the waiters brought me another piece as they could see I was in heaven. Nothing was too much trouble for the waiters. The food at all the other restaurants - Horizon Court and Cafe Caribe was just as good. If you didn't like what was on offer, there was always pizza or the grill. The food on board was amazing. Most of the service on board was beyond excellent. However, a few of the waiters on the ship were extremely miserable which made me feel uncomfortable at times. On a few occasions, when I was waiting at the bar to be served , the bar tenders would serve the customers with gold cards first ( the elite passengers) which was a bit annoying. What really let this cruise down was the bad entertainment on board! I was extremely let down. Quite a few activities were just a way of selling products to customers. For example I went to one entitled - Complimentary Facial and Sunglow Application. I'm not naive - i knew this would be a ploy to get people into the beauty salon to see what is on offer. However, what I did not expect was to spend an hour listening to all the therapies on offer while PUTTING ON MY OWN face creams. I also went to a back pain seminar but all they tried to do is sell me some plastic insteps for my shoes. You live and learn. We also saw a magician in the Princess Theatre, who was good - if your a child aged 7 or below and some shows where the singing made my ears bleed. All was not bad - I did love all the trivia challenges and game shows that were organised but they only lasted for 40 minutes. There were also some great musicians on in the different bars, but finding a seat was almost impossible unless you arrived an hour before they started. Loved Movies under the Stars and watched films like The Martian, Starwars, Eddie the Eagle, Batman versus Superman and Joy. The ship was at full capacity, which meant that finding a sun lounger or seat in the bars could be extremely difficult. Because it was so busy, the teen club was a big disappointment for my son who is 13. Over 300 teens were registered and on the first night most of them tried to squash into the Teen Lounge. Many were 15 years or above and this totally overwhelmed my son. Needless to say - he didn't go back. Disembarkation was good - fast and efficient.The shore excursions provided by the ship were expensive but well organised. We only went on one with the ship - the tortoise and beach getaway - which we enjoyed. The rest we arranged with cruisingexcursions.com, who were fab. We splashed out on a private tour around Rome with this company and it was sooooo worth the money. If you want to make your own way around each port, be warned - you have to pay for some of the shuttle buses. You would have thought Princess Cruises would have put on some free transport! I will definitely go on another cruise but will try another company next time. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This was our first cruise- two adults and two children sharing an interior room so potentially as cheap as this experience could be. I was therefore a but surprised when I totalled up at the end of the cruise and discovered that I had paid ... Read More
This was our first cruise- two adults and two children sharing an interior room so potentially as cheap as this experience could be. I was therefore a but surprised when I totalled up at the end of the cruise and discovered that I had paid RCI just over £7000 for the experience. My first impression is that it is a ship of two halves, and you decide which half you are more comfortable in. If you wanted to dress up and enjoy waiter service, you could eat in the main dining rooms and drink in the Olive and Twist, if you prefers more relaxed, ' salt of the earth" type, (dare I say Blackpool or Benidorm) experience then you could go to the self service windjammer canteen and drink in the Dog and Badger. In the evening, we mainly ate in the dining room. The food was good but not outstanding, the service on the other hand was outstanding- well done Allyn and Preston our waiters who did make us feel special. We mostly ate at about 6 each evening, but were on my time so could change this if we wanted. However, whilst we were generally shown straight to our table at 6, by the time you got to 8 o'clock, you would have to queue for quite some time for a table under this arrangement. The windjammer required you to firstly find a table- not easy during busy times, and then ensure that one of you party held the table whilst others went for their food- doesn't make for the best family dining experience as we tended to all be on different courses at any one time. There are plenty of bars on board, and in general the staff at each were very friendly, ( with a couple of exceptions). However, be prepared to wait for up to 15 minutes to get served at busy times. I had presumed this was just a way of limiting those on all inclusive packages from getting their "money's worth" but whatever the reason, too few staff trying to serve cocktails that take a long time to prepare results in you going thirsty. The exception to this seemed to be the casino where the staff were excellent but cynical old me thinks this may be to keep you in the revenue generating area. Previous reviewers have compared the cruise to Benidorm or Butlins and I can see why, but I would also throw in a bit of Ryanair- as they seem to use ther principles of trying to Exract every penny from you from the minute you get on board until you get off again- often at excoriate prices but disguised as bargains. For example, they had " quality" watches for sale reduced form $700 to $300 but I saw the same watches on sale in one of the ports for €90. I actually found this endless selling quite stressful- from breakfast time and the $3 orange juice, to endless spa promotions everywhere around the ship, to the $35 to eat in one of the speciality restaurants and then discover that some menu items in there still have an additional supplement of up to another $70. Even as we were leaving the boat for a final time on day 14 they were trying to sell us RCI glasses. The cost of excursions was incredible. RCI charged a total of $320 for a trip to Rome that cost €18 on shore- somebody else has already mentioned the cost of shore transfers and "boat transfer' to Toulon. The boat overall is looking a bit tired - carpets are worn and our cabin, although fine, was not very clean- I presume the cleaner just doesn't have enough time to dust or clean properly. They were actuall redecorating the corridor outside our cabin during our trip so some effort is being made. We were at sea for about half of the 14 days and the biggest complaint overall was the lack of sun beds. It appears that those who were up early enough- around 7 in the morning, were able to secure a bed in the sun, one in the shade, and a char at the pool. There wasn't anywhere near enough sun beds to start with, so with some people reserving up to 3 separate seats the situation was chronic. I can honestly say that on not one occasion throughout the whole trip was I able to get a bed in the sun. This would need to be something that RCI find a solution to immediately as the current policy does not work. The day time entertainment was just not good enough to attract passengers away form the pool area so this magnified the problem Our two kids - aged 13 and 11, loved this boat. We saw them at breakfast, at dinner and again at bed time and they were occupied for the rest of the day with the activities on board. There was a lot of kids on the boat and I agree that then1am curfew was too late- there were activities organised for our 11 year old at midnight, and we felt like Victorian parents for not allowing them to join in - however with in the region of 1000 kids on this cruise I thought that RCI managed them fantastically and I saw no examples of kids running out of control around the ship as others posters have said. The adult entertainment? Well, the jury is still out. We had the show Grease on one night and a that was very well done. We probably saw "headline" acts on about four other nights and these ranged from OK to absolute drivel. The ships own staff's efforts at night, such as the 70's night in the main promenade were very well received, but in reality lasted about half an hour and anything else I saw them do was very much 'quiz' related and not really to my taste. During the day, the entertainment seemed to consist of watching the staff do their job - napkin folding, ice sculpting and for only an additional $30 per person you could watch the chefs make lunch in the galley. I was waiting to see how much they were going to charge for watching somebody clean the toilets and dust, but judging the standard in our cabin, this doesn't happen often enough to turn it into an activity. The beer belly type competition at the pool is straight from the Butlins handbook, as is the other evening entertainment organised by the ships crew. Overall? My kids would have happily stayed on this boat for another two weeks, I would have been happy to get off after about 10 days- but I am like that with all but the most exceptional holidays. I would go back to this ship, but I am in no rush to do so, and £7000 can buy a lot of holiday for a family of four on land. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This is our second RC Cruise. The previous cruise had been to The Fjords and Iceland which we really enjoyed. The reason we choose this cruise was that the children's clubs are excellent, we can barely get our children out of them! ... Read More
This is our second RC Cruise. The previous cruise had been to The Fjords and Iceland which we really enjoyed. The reason we choose this cruise was that the children's clubs are excellent, we can barely get our children out of them! It also gives us time to go sightseeing. The food in the main dining room was excellent and quite unbelievable considering the amount of people on board. We also ate breakfast in the main dining rooms as it was less busy. Positives: *Outstanding Food and service in main dining areas. Staff provided a high level of service. * Excellent children's clubs * Good facilities for children - ice skating /flow rider * Entertainment excellent we saw a production of "Grease" it was of a very high standard and definitely of London West End level Negatives: * On sea days there is no where near enough space on deck to sunbathe. You literally need to be on a sunbed by 7.30am to get a bed, which we didn't bother with. I complained a couple of times to guest relations, but there was little they could do. Although there is a policy for reserving sun beds it was impossible to police as guests were getting irate (drunk) . Many guests reserved beds for the whole family. You dare not move a towel! * Mix of nationalities. On the previous cruise with RC there had been a good mix of nationalities ie: Europeans/Americans/International etc.. The English were in the minority on the previous RC cruise . We preferred this mix as it made an interesting cultural experience. Unfortunately on this particular cruise I felt we had entered the set of the TV program "Benidorm" within hours of arriving in Southampton most people were literally hammered and staggering around. It was clear that the ship was mostly English and enjoying the drinks package a little too much. We were pretty shocked. There were also teenagers walking around in large groups at night. It was as if they had sold all the left over cabins off for a £1 at the last minute. The "All Inclusive" idea has definitely gone wrong somewhere or the cabins have been sold off last minute too cheaply to obtain full occupancy. *Spa fully booked. You need to book before you go to get a space. We have already booked another cruise with RC but are thinking of cancelling due to this experience and reading other reviews. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
On arrival at the ship all was well I left my bags on shore and they were later delivered to my cabin. I completed a from in which I requested any monies spent on board was to converted from dollars to sterling by my bank, I was a disabled ... Read More
On arrival at the ship all was well I left my bags on shore and they were later delivered to my cabin. I completed a from in which I requested any monies spent on board was to converted from dollars to sterling by my bank, I was a disabled person travelling with my family, I was taken on board by a steward which was excellent. Once we left port the holiday started, with the obvious inspection of the facilities on board, the facilities offered were good and the hosts had provided something for every one it started as an ideal holiday, the crew were very friendly and the restaurant waiters were of the highest quality together with cabin staff who served us throughout the 14 days, the Ports of call were well organized and the entertainment was good, it was a shame the shopping was not up to the standard of the rest of the ship, some, not all of the goods were advertised and very misleading in the pricing structure, I purchased a watch from Harding Bros shop on board and the watch was marked up at $900, I was told if I purchased the watch I was entitled to 40% discount plus and additional 10%, these discounts were also advertised in the shop, I purchased this item and the receipt showed I had paid $478 this was also shown on my folio summary, when I got back to shore and travelled back home after the holiday I checked on the price of the watch, and I found on several in shops I checked, the watch model very similar to the one purchased on board, was in fact cheaper on shore from the watch manufacturers direct. obviously I consider this practice to be in extremely poor taste and for a company with your reputation does not sit well, Finally when my first folio summery was delivered to my cabin, it stated how much money I had spent, it also stated the money stated in USD on the folio would be converted to sterling by the Royal Caribbean, I immediately challenged this with customer services, who very kindly took my entre and credit card and reissued another card stating that my account would now be finalized into sterling by my bank. When I tried to use the card supplied on board I was unable to purchase anything, but it kept referring me back to customer services, again another visit to customer service, finally at last things worked although I was still not convinced my total spend in USD would be, despite assurances from customer services that the money conversion would be carried out by my bank as I had requested, I asked customer services to check a copy of the original confirmation sheet I completed before boarding for my holiday, I was informed this was not possible as the staff would have to MANUALLY look through all of the forms of every passenger and they did not this facility on board. although again I was assured from customer service that my final folio spend will be converted from UDS to Sterling by my bank, this never happened resulting in my on board account costing me more money which I strongly object to, Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Beware.... This is a long review as I have a lot to say!! Having thoroughly enjoyed a cruise round the Baltics last year with Royal Caribbean on Brilliance of the Seas, we were delighted to book this year on Navigator. However, it ... Read More
Beware.... This is a long review as I have a lot to say!! Having thoroughly enjoyed a cruise round the Baltics last year with Royal Caribbean on Brilliance of the Seas, we were delighted to book this year on Navigator. However, it didn't live up to expectations. It seemed clear to us that Royal Caribbean are trying to maximise profit by cutbacks in many areas, and by increasing the activities that have to be paid for onboard. EMBARKATION Due to weather problems, the ship was late coming into Southampton, so we weren't able to embark at the time issued. Royal Caribbean had emailed passengers the day before but evidently, not everyone had read the email. There was also an accident on one of the main roads leading to Southampton on the morning of embarkation, which led to many people being delayed. So check in was VERY busy and crowded. However, staff did a fantastic job and the queues moved relatively quickly so check in was fairly smooth. CABIN We had a balcony cabin last year, but decided to try an outside cabin this year. cabin review below Our cabin steward, Evangeline was excellent, but I think the amount of rooms they look after has been increased, so they are able to spend less time in each stateroom. SHIP The ship itself seemed clean and well maintained. I've read a few other reviews saying it was tired and in need of some TLC, but that wasn't my impression. Maintainance staff were very visible throughout the trip, painting, varnishing and attending to general upkeep of the ship. I'm not sure of the layout of the ship before the refurbishment but adding 81 staterooms has reduced public space on the ship, and added more people using that reduced public space, so there was not enough public seating areas on board, particularly in the evenings or on overcast days when the sun worshippers weren't out frying themselves. TRAVEL After leaving Southampton two hours late, we had two sea days. The captain told us he was going to try to make up time, and reach Gibraltar at the original time. The first sea day was quite rough, with lots of people feeling sick. We had another day which was also very rough, and Guest Services were dishing out motion sickness pills to everyone who wanted them. They are great!!! They really do the trick. The sea was so rough that our TV kept swinging out, then back in again, bashing off the wall. We eventually had to sellotape it back to the wall to prevent it from being damaged, and so we could get to sleep! We spoke to a seasoned cruiser onboard, and he thought the captain was trying to make up time, so didn't have the stabilisers out to help stop the movement in the ship. I've no idea if this was the case but it seemed plausible to me DINING We ate in the windjammer most evenings. We had requested a table for 4 in the dining room when we booked the cruise, as my daughter is very shy and takes a long time to get to know people and become relaxed in their company. We were placed at a table for 10 with two other families. A family of 4 with teenagers roughly the same age as ours, and a mother and teenage son. They were lovely people and while we enjoyed chatting with them, it was not as relaxed and enjoyable as if we had been at a table on our own. We asked if we could be moved to a table for 4, and were told that the maitre d' would look at all the requests and we would find out by noon the following day. We did find out the next day that we could not be moved. I completely understand that not everyone can have exactly what they want (and in fact my in-laws, who are diamond plus cruisers, also were declined their requested table), but as it changed the experience for us, we decided to eat mainly in the windjammer. The few times we did eat in the dining room, our assistant waiter was excellent. He was very attentive, capable and efficient. Our waiter however, was not so good. All of the families at our table felt the same. He wasn't particularly friendly or mannerly. Windjammer experience was fine. There was usually no problem finding a table, although the staff were sometimes so busy, they couldn't keep on top of cleaning the tables. We went to Chops Grille one night which was €30 per person. It was superb. Every single thing was perfect. From being greeted at the door and taken to your table. We were introduced to our waiter by the Maitre D' He was friendly, knowledgeable and extremely efficient. He answered whatever questions we had, and gave recommendations and explanations of the menu. I would thoroughly recommend trying Chops Grille - it really is something special ACTIVITIES We played the mini golf course, which was fun. Attended quizzes, which were good, although the format was the same for most of them, so they became a bit stale after 2 weeks. Also, the venues for the quizzes were far too small. Even after a few days it became apparent that the Schooner bar was nowhere near big enough to host the morning and early evening quizzes, but there was no change to the venue. Evening quizzes were held in the Star Lounge, which was bigger, but again, by the second week, it wasn't big enough to cope with the amount of people attending. Flo rider looks like a fun addition to the ship, along with the ice rink. There are numerous activities onboard, with something to suit everyone. You can choose to do as much or as little onboard as you please. Many people choose to lie on the top deck on sun loungers...... A MAJOR issue on this cruise. My family are not sun worshippers, so this didn't cause us as much angst as it did for many others. There were not enough sun loungers for the amount of people wanting to use them, so people were lying on the decks on towels. Previously on RCI, staff would remove towels from loungers if they had been vacant for more than 30 minutes, but not this time. Staff seemed unconcerned and unwilling to get involved. The sun loungers in the solarium all had towels on them by 7.00-7.30 in the morning every day. I've no idea why RCI think its a good idea to have a combined space for library and games room. You can't expect games to be silent, but library users expected quiet. Unfortunately, as the cruise progressed, groups of teenagers became more obvious and would take over the games room, often they were extremely loud, and sometimes using foul and abusive language. Once again, even after complaints to guests services, very little was done - security staff would come and move the group on, only for them to return once security had left. ENTERTAINMENT Mixed bag on this trip. Some good, some very good, some mediocre. One act (who I won't name) was so bad there was a mass exodus from the theatre after about 10 minutes. Ice show was very, very good. CUTBACKS BY RCI *Not enough staff on decks to deal with the amount of passengers *Not enough staff in the windjammer to clear and clean tables *Windjammer has shorter opening times, now only open to 9pm *Reduction in TV stations provided (I'm sure last year we had BBC news 24, which made sense for a ship departing from the UK, where arguably the majority of passengers were from the UK. This year, the only "British" channel was BBC World News, which reported very little in the way of UK news) *Toiletries provided are much more basic. There used to be small tubes of shampoo, shower gel etc, now it's a pump with all in one soap/shampoo in the shower. Even the showers in the spa/gym have these basic pumps) *Time spent in ports...... We didn't arrive in Gibraltar til 12.00, giving 4.5 hours maximum ashore. We were scheduled to have 7 hours in Villefrance, but didn't dock there due to a terrorist attack the previous night. Civittavechia and Livorno allowed us 11 hours which was great, although 2 hours was taken up with travel to Rome/ Florence. In Genoa, we had 6.5 hours We could spend 5.5 hours in Malaga And we didn't dock in Lisbon until 12. Disembarkation was a total shambles in Lisbon, with only one gangway open. It took us over an hour to get off the ship. We were moved from queue to queue and eventually were taken down to deck one and through staff only areas to get off. Staff were arguing amongst themselves about where queues should be going, and for some reason, it was mainly the entertainment staff who were organising disembarkation. There were many unhappy passengers. So by the time we got off and into town it was around 2.30pm and we had to be back on board by 6.30pm. * Fewer stations on board where you could get yourself tea or coffee. Outwith windjammer opening times, there seemed to only be one place to get hot drinks - Cafe Promenade on deck 5. It was small and offered very limited variety of food. However, the staff in here was excellent, keeping on top of table clearing etc. *Food quality in the main dining room was, in my opinion, not as good this year. *More money making options on board..... Johnny Rockets isn't worth spending the service fee on. The food is no better than the windjammer. Starbucks and Ben & Jerrys are paid for. The cost of drinks if you don't have a drinks package is astronomical. I bought my son a whiskey to celebrate his 18th birthday. It cost €9.38 for a Johnnie Walker red label. This is a ridiculous mark up. A new Mexican restaurant is available on deck 4..... Sabor My biggest bugbear however, is the addition of gratuities..... Both to everything you buy from a bar, or from Ben & Jerry's or Starbucks. And the gratuities they add to your account every day...... €13.50 per person per day. It's up to RCI to pay their staff decent wages. It's not up to passengers to subsidise this. When we totalled up the daily gratuities, it was comparable to another cruise fare!! I'm absolutely delighted to tip staff who provide good service, and who make our cruise that little bit more enjoyable, but I will not be told by a company who I should tip, and how much I should tip them! RCI also don't make it very clear or obvious that you can have these gratuities removed from your onboard account by going to Guest Services DISEMBARKATION We walked off with our own luggage which was stress free. I've no idea if anyone also had any issues with disembarking at Southampton, but as far as I could see, it appeared to be a slick operation. Staff were at the exit thanking you and saying goodbye. Transfer through the terminal was easy with no hold ups, and exiting the car park was pretty painless too. I would book again with RCI, as despite all my moans, I still feel it's fairly good value for money when you consider all you get for your cruise fare. However, I would be reluctant to go on Navigator again because I feel there are too many passengers in too limited a space, especially when the sun is not shining. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016

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