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

240 Southampton to Europe - Western Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

PRO - good sized ship with plenty of faciltities and that wow factor due to its height/length and design CON - not enough sunbeds on Sea days - 40-50 people lying on the floor on towels PRO - Main dining room food was excellent ... Read More
PRO - good sized ship with plenty of faciltities and that wow factor due to its height/length and design CON - not enough sunbeds on Sea days - 40-50 people lying on the floor on towels PRO - Main dining room food was excellent nearly every day and fast service with 3 x mini shows provided by the staff including singing and a speech by the head chef CON- Guest services slow due to constant queueing - no surprise there was no queue at the excursions desk (£££) PRO - some entertainment was really good IE Ice Show and Daniel Day plus the ships band Horizon and the 15 minute Circus show. rest was variable often comedians picking on members of the audience.... CON - excursions are very expensive at around 70-100 dollars each for a few hours PRO - Ships interior is well design as with the ship itself CON - drinks are pricey. EG. an ordinary cocktail would be 10 dollars ( £7.60 ) even a bottle of Bulmers cider is 6 dollars (£4.61 ) ASDA does it for £1 a bottle. CON - watch out for the gratuities automatically added to your account per person - these are NOT compulsory and can be stopped by visiting the Guest Services desk without needing a reason CON - not enough time to spend in destinations usually around 5-7 hours . spend about 90% of time at Sea PRO - plenty of food included (Dining Room, Windjammer Buffet mainly) though buffet closes too early at 9pm.... PRO - decent range of fitness equipment to burn calories CON - daytime activities revolve around Spending Money - very few things are included. most people seemed to be Drinking despite the lack of seating in the bars and pubs (excepting the Cosmopolitan club venue) - too much focus on retail space PRO - Cosmopolitan nightclub (though DJ kept repeating tunes) PRO - Skylight Chapel (deck 15) a nice quiet place to meditate or enjoy some peace CON- cattle market boarding at Southampton - organised Chaos Con - poor value on board due to prices (greed) and using the US Dollar Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
There were quite a few negatives about this cruise, which upset me as I normally love RCI cruises. The queues outside departures were disgusting. There were elderly people who were having to stand for hours. I understand that there was ... Read More
There were quite a few negatives about this cruise, which upset me as I normally love RCI cruises. The queues outside departures were disgusting. There were elderly people who were having to stand for hours. I understand that there was an issue with the ship arriving late but it was handled disgracefully. Once we got through to check in it ran very smoothly and the cabin staff did a great job of turning the rooms round so quickly. The ship in my opinion was very well maintained, all areas were clean and sparkling. Our inside cabin was clean and tidy, no issues there, had plenty of storage under the bed to get rid of the cases. We all suffered really bad motion sickness the first couple of days, there was no way the stabilisers were out, for whatever reason. We missed a seaport due to the terrible atrocities in Nice, this upset everybody on board and I obviously understand it was in no way a reflection to RCI, however I feel that we should have docked at a different destination instead of having another sea day. Passengers could then have made up their own mind whether to get off the ship or stay onboard. The shuttle bus fiasco is the worst I have seen. If a ship docks miles from port and it is impossible to walk then the company should provide free shuttle buses as has happened on several different cruises we have been on, having an outside company run the buses and then charge us $11 per person was daylight robbery. The sea days were horrendous with grumpy, insolent bar people and people fighting over sun loungers. The lack of sun loungers was laughable and the deck hands did not remove towels after the said 30 minutes to give others a chance to use them. I actually saw people fighting over a subbed!!! (Maybe this was one that had been missed in the 'reserve yourself a sunbed olympics at 0600, then walk nonchalantly back to bed until 1000'!) I mean really, where are we? Not acceptable RCI. There was very little music, fun and entertainment around the pool, the big screen should have been utilised more instead of just playing cheesy background music on loop all day and showing scenes of a seashore! The kids club was the worst I have been on in 11 cruises, they were miserable, unhelpful and moaned in front of me about the amount of kids they had on the ship on the first day! Every time I went to collect my little girl early or dropped off late the staff were sat around doing nothing except gossiping with each other while the kids ran riot. Every rosta of the day's activities was the same games just with different names. It was only on the second to last evening they finally decided to do something different and took them on a parade. We witnessed staff arguing in one of the cocktail bars, in the pool area and in kids club. It felt like 90% of the staff on the ship were really miserable and unhappy, the morale seemed so low between them, this seemed to be the worst issue on board. It's a beautiful ship, yet the staff are unhappy! To top the cruise off we had an 18% gratuity tax added to our (very expensive) drinks package, we have never had this before on a cruise, when we queried it, apparently it was introduced in January 2016 - after we had booked our cruise! It just feels it's gratuities after gratuities. I know this is standard in America and I wouldn't really have a problem if the staff seemed happy to help you. I would much rather use the envelopes at the end of the cruise to give to those I feel deserve a tip. A ship like the Navigator should be a happy, joyful place to be, after all, the amount of money spent on a cruise is astronomical to a normal working family. It appeared that unless you were a gold card member or a member of staff sat drinking with their families (which we saw many times) eg the Hotel Director holding court with his family in the r bar on several occasions, drinking and having the bar staff running round after them looking terrified. A serious amount of customer service training needs to be done, especially to a worker (shall remain nameless!) who was the most miserable, awful waitress I have ever encountered and that was in Johnny Rockets which we had heard was supposed to be full of fun and laughter and dancing and songs. It was miserable, quiet, dirty and topped off with the waitress from hell. I think their customer service training should be ran by the lady who greets you every morning for breakfast at the wind jammer. I'm sure she is tired, overworked and homesick but she made us laugh every day with her happy, smiley face and lovely singing, I think her name was Veronique. Or the man who works in Boleros who was lovely, happy and chatty even when stressed out. Entertainment was average, a couple of good shows on the promenade but the space is so small you couldn't see! Couldn't understand a word the captain said, he was so dreary, monotone and quiet, we had to keep asking the other passengers if they knew what was happening. Still can't understand why he didn't use his stabilises! It is a beautiful ship with many positives such as the food, the range of drinks and Cafe Promenade and it should be utilised to its full potential. Cocktail bars 'r' bar and Boleros made amazing cocktails, just a shame the tension and arguing between staff in the 'r' bar ruined it on occasions! The food in both the Windjammer and main dining room was lovely, however we could only get a seat at either 1830 or 2100. We used Chops Grille one night for our anniversary and it was the loveliest experience on the ship. Gorgeous food, lovely atmosphere and great staff. However pricey and MORE money to get out of passengers. Disembarking at Southampton was very smooth. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Had never sailed on Royal Caribbean before so a last minute booking on a 14 night Western Mediterranean was a good opportunity to try it out. Not having to fly (as we live in the UK) and an interesting selection of ports was also a plus ... Read More
Had never sailed on Royal Caribbean before so a last minute booking on a 14 night Western Mediterranean was a good opportunity to try it out. Not having to fly (as we live in the UK) and an interesting selection of ports was also a plus point. Navigator of the Seas now counts as one of RCI's mid-sized ships (even though it was the largest in the world when launched) but it was the largest we'd ever been on. I think however that was was probably the main issue we had. There were 3800+ passengers on board and that meant that the ship was bursting at the seams, with both outdoor & indoor seating hard to find. (Speaking to people who'd been on the ship before, I think the situation has got worse since the extra cabins were added at the last dry-dock renovation) Embarkation at Southampton was ok. It took us about an hour from drop off to getting on board which in my experience is pretty good for the port. RCI give you a time to check in (depending on cabin grade) and so we had a late afternoon check-in which probably meant we got on quicker than those people turning up at noon. We had a standard outside cabin on one of the lower decks (Deck 3) which was "compact" (160 sq ft), but it had everything we needed (we were 4 sharing) and enough storage for all our belongings & luggage. All UK departures have a kettle in the cabin, which is a nice touch for the British passengers (who were by far the majority - 80-90% on this trip), although only 2 tea bags are provided and no fresh milk (although it's easy enough to get those items in the Windjammer) The ship has all the standard features of a modern ship of it's size such as a multi level atrium, panoramic lifts, multiple eating options (although mostly at an extra charge), outdoor cinema screen, pools & jacuzzis (3 of the former and 6(!) of the latter). It also still has a outdoor wrap-around Promenade Deck which is something we always look for on a ship (but it something that is often missing form the newer ones). But apart from the smokers (who were allowed to light up on the entire Port side) this was underused. Probably because the company had not seen fit to put more than 10 chairs per side out. As well as being a very pleasant place to sit, putting more out may have relieved the pressure on the space on the upper outside desks... But there a few things we hadn't seen before: A central wide & high internal promenade on Deck 5. This I think is meant to emulate a pedestrianised street with shops & cafes on either side. But to my mind it doesn't really work. Because it is an internal space with no daylight the lighting is crucial, and here the designers have really failed. For the majority of the day harsh blue lighting is used which makes it a very unpleasant place to linger. Hence we didn't feel the urge to visit the pub or wine bar which were located on either side. In the evening the lighting was sometimes changed to a vibrant red which worked slightly better, but the whole ambience was still not relaxing, especially so as the number of people on board meant finding a seat at any of the venues was tricky most of the time. Out on deck there were some of the signature Royal Caribbean attractions (Flow Rider, Rock Wall, Crazy Golf) which the youngsters certainly seemed to enjoy. And then in the bowels of the ship is an actual ice rink. Here a superb ice show was performed on a couple of the sea days which was a definite highlight. We ate all our dinners in the Main Dinig Room (Sapphire) which is a stunning 3 storey space at the rear of the ship. The menus here were good but often the exotic descriptions were sometimes let down by what was actually delivered. But the service was good and we didn't feel the need to try any of the Speciality restaurants as an alternative. (Although we did go to the Johnny Rockets hamburger bar for lunch one day, and for a $7 cover charge we thought that was good value) The Windjammer buffet was at least large enough to cope with all the passengers most of the time, but unfortunately we found the variety & quality of food on offer to be poor. And going by the fact that the most popular items seemed to be the pizza & chips I suspect the other passengers thought the same. We had 6 sea days on this trip and unless you wanted to frazzle on a sun lounger all day there was a lack of interesting things to do during the day (Trivia quizzes & Bingo sessions were held daily, but there were hardly any talks or films available, and those that did happen were mostly just pushing shore excursions or spa related activities). The ubiquity of background music in all bars & lounges also meant finding a quiet space just to read was also difficult. But we did enjoy the night time shows in the main theatre. There was a good selection of solo performers (singers, comedians & speciality acts) plus 3 shows featuring the company singers & dancers. Special mention shoudl also be made of the Navigator Orchestra who were very professional. The Cruise Director - Rob McNally - was also very good and was also very visible (unlike the Captain and other ships officers who were rarely seen out & about) We did our own thing in each of the ports and didn't take any of the organised excursions. (But you will need to do your own research if you do this as there is no information available on board about what you can do independently, and the port information they do hand out doesn't even show where the ship docks or the shuttle bus drops you off; although it does list the local jewellery shops which I assume get a commission form the company). We travelled by train to Rome & Pisa, and just explored Genoa, Malaga & Lisbon directly from the ship. (We were meant to call at Nice on this trip, but this was cancelled because of the terrorist attack that happened on the previous day. A disappointment but quite understandable, and the company refunded Port taxes for that day) So all-in-all a mixed bag. We enjoyed the cruise (we always do!) and all the ports were interesting, and certainly our teenage sons made loads of new friends (we hardly saw them except at dinner). But compared to Celebrity or Cunard we felt that this ship was rather more akin to a holiday camp at sea than we'd have liked. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
The quality of the service by Victor and Flynn in the Main Dining Room was excellent and the best part of our cruise on the Navigator of the Seas. The overall quality of the service and experience provided by Royal Caribbean has slipped ... Read More
The quality of the service by Victor and Flynn in the Main Dining Room was excellent and the best part of our cruise on the Navigator of the Seas. The overall quality of the service and experience provided by Royal Caribbean has slipped substantially from the service provided on a 2013 cruise to the Baltic and St, Petersburg on the Brilliance of the Seas. Shore support personnel arrogantly and rudely ordered passengers to leave the cruise terminal and go to Southampton when the ship was delayed by bad weather on the previous cruise. No indoor seating was provided to passengers who chose to stay at the cruise terminal for the three hours it took to get the ship ready for us to board. The sliding glass door in our Royal Family Suite was so clouded by condensation that we could not enjoy the view from the stern of the ship and the couch in the living room was stained. One of the headline entertainers performed the same songs in the same order wearing the same outfit as she did when she performed on the Brilliance of the Seas in 2013. Waiters assigned to the Chops and Izumi specialty restaurants frequently interrupted our dinners in the Main Dining Room to pitch reservations for their restaurants with intrusiveness that would shame a carnival worker, telemarketer or car sales representative. The Royal Caribbean excursion to the City Sites of Genoa toured the financial district at length but ignored the memorial to Christopher Columbus and omitted any discussion of his history in Genoa and his contribution to the exploration of the New World. As a final insult, Royal Caribbean has taken 34 days and counting to process a refund for part of our reservation to my credit card, despite repeatedly assuring my travel agent and me that it would take only 7-10 working days, and no staff level or managerial employee in Customer Service or the Crown and Anchor Society work groups apparently have the authority to call Royal Caribbean Accounting to expedite a refund that has been delayed by their errors. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
I'm always reluctant to write reviews as it is easy to focus on negativity is there is one bad thing. I have to say that one bad thing was huge. The staff are not happy in want way. This was our 13th cruise which was unlucky for ... Read More
I'm always reluctant to write reviews as it is easy to focus on negativity is there is one bad thing. I have to say that one bad thing was huge. The staff are not happy in want way. This was our 13th cruise which was unlucky for me. We experienced very miserable waiting staff everyday all day, the waiting staff in the main dining room were constantly fighting with each other in public. They were fighting each night about who had the rights to use my sea pass when I wanted to order drinks. I guess they were fighting on who should receive the gratuity!!! The entertainment staff were much happier. They seemed to be enjoying themselves and genuinely wanted us to do the same. The headline acts were no so hot, in fact the were probably the worst collection of headline acts I have seen on a UK cruise. One singer called Toni was excellent. On two evenings we walked out of the show due to its standards. The in house show troup were so poor, it was laughable. Cruise director Joff, was on board and again was excellent. He is very capable and is one of the best out there. The quality of his shows and quizzes are excellent and very entertaining. The heart of any ship which keeps any cruise happy has to be guest services. This had to be the worst I have ever came across. They were very rude, showing no empathy to guests. This seemed to be the general conversations in the bars. There was an issue where we had paid gratuities when booking so that we could partake in my time dining. When we arrived the gratuities were being added to stateroom accounts. When complaints were made, guest services were very cold and rude when explaining to us they had no record of such payment. They did admit that you cannot get my time dining without pre paying gratuities, but told us there was nothing they could do but exclude us from the programme. That meant that the staff on the last night believed that you were not tipping them. I bring his up to warn others as I was one of those guests, even though I was showing them my email confirmations. I was being told that I had cancelled my prepaid gratuities several days before boarding?????? By how the guest relations acted, they are fully aware of this action and was unhappy having to deal with so many on the ship complaining. I was left that I would be excluded from the gratuity programme and that I would need to contact RC when I get home. Not the best cruise by far, usually cruise ships are famous for trying to extract as much money as possible from you, but this is a whole new idea. I think they were wanting us to pay tips twice. I based this on the reaction from guest relations and the behaviour of the waiting staff. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This was our third time on this ship. We had a good time, but felt the standard was not as good as it had been. We are Emerald cruisers and there was no problem boarding the ship. Our cabin was okay, but slightly shabby - the curtain in ... Read More
This was our third time on this ship. We had a good time, but felt the standard was not as good as it had been. We are Emerald cruisers and there was no problem boarding the ship. Our cabin was okay, but slightly shabby - the curtain in front of the balcony was hanging down and the sofa was a bit worn. We were disconcerted to find ourselves alone at our second sitting dining table on the first night. Later in the week we were joined by two other couples who had relocated from MTD, because of the long waits. This time we found the ship extremely crowded. It was really difficult to find somewhere to sit in the bars and we did get a bit frustrated with this. We purchased a dining room wine package, but were not given the right information, so queried it and it was eventually sorted out to our satisfaction. We went on four shore excursions - the one to Malaga was a complete fiasco. We drove around and when the bus stopped we were told we had two options - to go on a walking tour and have 30 minutes free time - or to go straight back to the ship. We were told we couldn't skip the walking tour and have more free time for coffee and shopping. Most people went straight back to the ship. On the Cadiz trip, which was excellent, we travelled on a bus capable of taking wheelchairs and a gentleman in a wheelchair was with us. Unfortunately the bus driver was not properly trained and dd not secure the wheelchair properly. When he drove off the wheelchair skewed and tipped forward. My husband and another man shouted to the driver to stop, which he did. The occupant was okay, but my husband, who is trained in this sort of thing, secured the wheelchair properly. If you go on any of these trips with a disabled passenger, make sure you check out this sort of thing. We used the boat shuttle and the bus shuttle to go ashore on our own and they were fine, We ate at Giovanni's one evening and it was excellent. Johnny Rockets for lunch was not so good. The food in the main restaurant was very nice, although some portion sizes were rather meagre. We ate in the dining room on sea days, which was fine. The Windjammer was far too crowded - a bit like a free for all! We enjoyed the headliner shows - Bobby Davro was absolutely excellent - but found the musical shows put on by the ship's entertainers, not so entertaining. However, the ship's orchestra was fantastic. We had no problem disembarking the ship, just sauntered off when our number was called, straight into baggage reclaim and over the road to the car park! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We are seasoned cruisers in our 50's. I wasn't going to bother writing a review for this one but having seen a few others, I changed my mind. As I indicated in my title, I think that Royal Caribbean have forgotten that the people ... Read More
We are seasoned cruisers in our 50's. I wasn't going to bother writing a review for this one but having seen a few others, I changed my mind. As I indicated in my title, I think that Royal Caribbean have forgotten that the people who board their ships are on their holidays and are looking to have a good time. Why do I say that ? . Well surly and unsmiling staff is the main reason. Our MDR waitress was so unpleasant, brusque and rude we stopped going and ate in the Windjammer for the rest of the cruise. From what I could see she was like that with all the tables she was serving .I didn't complain as I am not in the business of getting people into trouble. However I know that others don't hold back so I will be surprised if this young lady lasts much longer. In any case, no head waiter or anyone else ever came near our table to ask how things were. Bar staff were especially grumpy. Although it is understandable when you have about twelve people waiting to be served and only one barman trying to cope. It is also painfully obvious that RC now try to get us to part with as much cash as they can during the two weeks. Duty free prices that they advised us to take advantage of on the first cruise night as they wouldn't be repeated turned out not to be such bargains after all once we landed in Gibraltar. I heard many people complaining about that. All the announcements made over the tannoy during the day wee for chargeable items such as spa treatments, art auctions, watch sales, blah, blah, blah. And $49 to play a game of bingo ? - Ridiculous overcharging. When we got off at Palma ( or rather 4 miles from the centre of Palma ) RC had put shuttle buses on for us. $15 for a day pass but if you were crew it was only $3. If that isn't a clear case of ripping off passengers then I don't know what is. They also changed the itinerary at short notice and many people were not made aware. So if it wasn't bad enough to take us to a port we didn't really want to go to, they then charged us $18 per person to get there by their water taxi. Blatant profiteering. Funny they didn't mention the local water taxi which was only 2 Euros each way. And who at RC thought Toulon was somewhere people would want to visit ?. The port charges must be cheap. One last thing is to mention the cruise director and entertainment team. The former sole role seems to be to introduce the headliner act each evening. What do you do during the day sir ? . As for the team, all they seem to do is a couple of quizzes each day. I can get that down my local pub. Surely someone who calls themself an activities manager can come up with some ideas of activities during sea days other than yet another quiz We love cruising but it is now getting a bit of a chore avoiding all the add ons and sales pitches which are pretty much in your face. Finally - a Pie shop on the Royal Promenade - Seriously ? what genius came up with that idea ? Someone must have told one of their executives that the Brits love pies. We have tried other cruise lines but they are all doing the same thing to a certain extent. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
A cruise, or any holiday for that matter, is what you make of it and in the case of this 'Mediterranean Beaches' departure we had a great time .... however there were definitely some very good and very bad points but working in ... Read More
A cruise, or any holiday for that matter, is what you make of it and in the case of this 'Mediterranean Beaches' departure we had a great time .... however there were definitely some very good and very bad points but working in the travel industry myself (not for Royal Caribbean) I am hard pushed to know what Royal Caribbean can do about it. THE GOOD Crew - Almost without exception the crew of the IOTS were friendly, hardworking and eager to please. Guest services were probably the biggest let down but to be fair to them they had to deal with some obnoxious, foul mouthed and rude customers throughout. Food - I cannot understand how anyone could complain about the food served in the Main Dining Room, I found it to be excellent and I have quite high standards. This view was mirrored by most other people we spoke to. Additionally, although only eating there at lunch time I never found the Windjammer to be a bun fight. Other food service venues such as Sorrentos and Café Promenade never had significant queues and the food was pleasant. Cabin - Spotlessly clean and very well maintained by the most pleasant room attendant I have come across on any cruise, Sachin. Entertainment - I found the entertainment to be of a good quality. There is you wanted it and not forced down your neck if you don't. Emperors of Soul, Once Upon a Time and Bobby Davro (who knew he was still knocking about) were stand out however. Sunbedgate/Seatgate: I am not an early riser however I was always able to find a sunbed no matter what time I made it onto deck. Similarly if you had enough patience and didn't storm out of a bar immediately after scanning the room for 2 seconds you could always find a seat. Said sunbed or seat may not have been exactly where you wanted it to be but hey ... that's life. THE BAD Fellow Passengers: Unfortunately we nicknamed the main pool deck as the 'Jeremy Kyle Show'. I am not a snob, I am from a working class area myself however it was quite clear that many of the passengers had migrated from All Inclusive hotels in Turkey, Tunisia, Egypt etc. and were not used to the common etiquette normally seen on ships. Many of these all inclusive hotels obviously water down their alcohol which Royal Caribbean does not and as such many people simply couldn't handle their drink - we saw some of the most despicable behaviour with fighting, shouting, swearing, threatening behaviour being quite common - as previous reviewers have stated around 70 passengers were removed from the ship during the cruise. It took six crew members to restrain one passenger (who to be fair was built). Many crew who we spoke to commented that they have never known anything like it! This being said, by day three people generally knew the lay of the land and those who wanted peace migrated to other parts of the ship. Almost as bad as the above brigade however were the people that spent the whole of their holiday moaning to anyone that would listen about the above brigade and every other tiny detail. I have never spent so much time anywhere with such a hoard of compensation seeking, whining, rude and frankly despicable people in my life. There were a lot of husbands on that ship that deserved more than a gold medal!!!! People bemoan the fact that the lower cost of cruising has lowered the standard, and I agree that it is much more affordable and drinks packages then attract a certain crowd however I think that looking at the competition there is very little that Royal Caribbean can do other than follow the trend or get left behind. I disagree that there has been massive penny pinching as a result - yes, some corners have been cut but not enough to make a massive difference to your experience. Port changes: Toulon was a bit of a waste of time, however the fact our berth was in a different town altogether made the trip to find this out a little more challenging. However we found the €2 boat (as opposed to the $18 ship shuttle) so nothing much was lost. All in all I will travel with Royal Caribbean again indeed travel on this ship again. I would however board with a different set of expectations and as always make the most of it ... and stay away from those who would moan at a lottery win! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
The service and food were amongst the best out of the 30 or so cruises we have been on with various cruise lines from the Med to the Far East. The ship is spotless BUT we are keen ballroom dancers and overall the dance experience was very ... Read More
The service and food were amongst the best out of the 30 or so cruises we have been on with various cruise lines from the Med to the Far East. The ship is spotless BUT we are keen ballroom dancers and overall the dance experience was very disappointing for the following reasons:- - for 12 of the 14 nights we suffered a Frank Sinatra impersonator 3 times each night. Even if you like Sinatra I believe the boredome factor would soon creep in. -the orchestra also played strict tempo jazz orientated music. The music was usually too slow and lacking in both oomph and modernity. -the floor is always packed so only social type ballroom dancing is practical. - little provision made for sequence dancing. In fact opportunity was only provided early in the evening when half the passengers were at dinner. The dance hostess was clearly out of her depth and didn't host at all (at least not as we know hosting). With a floor so crowded clearly sequence dancing, regularly interspersed with ballroom dancing would create much more opportunity for all especially if a knowledgeable host was to take control. - dance lessons were for beginners only, once per sea day, with no development lesson later in the day. There are other minor complaints but I like to retain focus for Cunard on the dance experience endured. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Chose to return to IOS after a great cruise in October 2014, whilst we had an okay holiday, we won't return to "Indy" as her die hard fans refer to her. It's just not special anymore. Check in and boarding process ... Read More
Chose to return to IOS after a great cruise in October 2014, whilst we had an okay holiday, we won't return to "Indy" as her die hard fans refer to her. It's just not special anymore. Check in and boarding process was smooth. Balcony cabin on deck 7 had plenty of storage and was large enough for the two of us for a two week holiday. Room was kept clean by our steward Clifton who was always cheerful and willing to help. In room TV was frankly diabolical with the same six or seven programmes being shown over and over on a loop for the whole fortnight. If you want a movie that will set you back 11.99USD. Tea and coffee facilities available in the cabin. Food in MDR is average at best, ate in there twice. Giovanni's and Chops Grill both good, less said about Johnny Rockets the better. Unless you eat late the Windjammer is a bun fight serving canteen food and is probably best left alone unless you want to be nudged/barged by rude diners who have just learned how to use a knife and fork. What is it with using deck 5 as some kind of tat market? Most of the bars were usually full with no where to sit. Want a sun bed? Get up at 5.30 and stick a towel on one, rules are not enforced. And if you do get one they are so tightly packed together you can smell your neighbour. Whilst a lot of staff are very good, a lot are very indifferent I learned that some had been moved to Harmony, probably taking the best with them. Check your account regularly, even though on a drinks package drinks appeared on it. Entertainment was reasonable. A lot never bothered with formal nights, instead preferring to wear a football shirt. Gangs of kids got a lot of enjoyment running down corridors banging on doors and pressing lift buttons. It seems that some of those that used to enjoy all inclusive in Turkey/Tunisia are now venturing out to sea. RC are indifferent to complaints. I'm sorry if this is disjointed, I had planned on doing a proper review, but I really can't be bothered such is my attitude to this ship and RC Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
This cruise was booked after a very good cruise in October 2014, this one left us feeling that we wont return to "Indy" as her die hard fans call her. It is not special anymore. Embarkation was very quick, on board around 15 ... Read More
This cruise was booked after a very good cruise in October 2014, this one left us feeling that we wont return to "Indy" as her die hard fans call her. It is not special anymore. Embarkation was very quick, on board around 15 minutes after arrival. Cabin & steward. Balcony mid ship on deck 7. Clean with plenty of storage bathroom and shower adequate. Steward Clifton was excellent. A quick tip, if you are going ashore ask your steward if they need anything, it means a lot to them. Service in Sky bar, Dog and Badger and On Air bar very good Entertainment in Alhambra good with the exception of Mel Mellers who was bad. Gareth Oliver was good, Darren Day was a nice surprise. Enrichment lectures by Dr Anya Hunt on forensic science were excellent. Food. MDR was average at best although service was good only ate there twice as that was enough. Windjammer, usual bun fight at the just about ok coral. Chops grill overall was good despite use of squirty cream from a can. Giovanni's good. Sandwiches and pizzas from deck five okay. The food in Johnny Rockets not good at all. Trip to Monaco and Monte Carlo was good. Lisbon and aquarium terrible and shouldn't have gone ahead due to traffic, which RC knew about. Malaga town and Civitavecchia were lovely Whilst the ship still appears clean there was definitely less cleaning going on than during our last cruise, a lot of the staff seemed disinterested. I learned that a lot had been transferred to Harmony, no doubt taking the best with them. Gangs of kids were seen running about pressing lift buttons and knocking on cabin doors, kids running about in Pyramid lounge. Whilst a lot made the effort on formal nights there were still plenty of football shirts on show. Some people wore vests and shorts in the MDR and Windjammer. Deck five rammed to capacity with stalls selling tat meaning that it was difficult to get about. People sitting on stairs eating food from paper plates. Sun loungers being reserved at the crack of dawn and 30 minute rule not enforced. Some very rude, loud people who clearly had only spent previous holidays at all inclusive resorts as in Magaluf or Hisaronu We spoke with several previous Indy cruisers who said they won't return although most will. Not us. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We like cruising with P & O, but we did have issues with this cruise, mostly to do with the location of our cabin. We were on the lowest aft cabin deck (D) in a balcony cabin, and dined in the Oriental Restaurant, two floors ... Read More
We like cruising with P & O, but we did have issues with this cruise, mostly to do with the location of our cabin. We were on the lowest aft cabin deck (D) in a balcony cabin, and dined in the Oriental Restaurant, two floors immediately below. Others have commented about the vibration in the restaurant (so much so that we could not place our cutlery together at the end of the meal, because this prompted so much noise). We were very pleased, on viewing our cabin, to find it one of the nicest balcony cabins we had occupied. However ...... My sister and her husband, whose cabin was alongside ours, decided they couldn't cope with being woken at night and requested a move which had to be to a lower-grade cabin as no balcony cabins were available. One of the Reception staff said they advised passengers to go for mid-ship cabins, but I always heard that this was to avoid movement, not noise. This implies that it's just bad luck if you've chosen an aft cabin (because we don't mind the motion of the ship so that's never been an issue) but excuse me, everyone has to sleep! We being in our 80s my husband and I decided that we couldn't cope with the upheaval in moving cabin, so just had to put up with the noise. On a positive note, the food was mostly good and sometimes very good, but there is a definite problem with items described as "pan fried" which never come out with crisp skin which is rather unappetising (fish, duck). The speed with which food is served is astonishing, but the lovely vegetables which used to be served separately is now a thing of the past, sadly. The shows we saw (Headliners Theatre Company) were excellent, the best we have seen. This particular group were getting off the ship with us, so hopefully the quality will not suffer for subsequent cruises. Would we go again? Definitely not in this cabin (D231) or any of the D Aft cabins. Despite this negative review we did enjoy our cruise and the ports were lovely. Average score reflects the fact that it seems the vibration is something passengers will have to put up with for a while yet. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Everyone had drinks packages not enough staff. No waiters on Sun decks hence queues at bars .Waited for drinks on every occasion. The cosmopolitan bar was a joke if you wanted a drink you could wait up to 15 mins. Rccl has your money if ... Read More
Everyone had drinks packages not enough staff. No waiters on Sun decks hence queues at bars .Waited for drinks on every occasion. The cosmopolitan bar was a joke if you wanted a drink you could wait up to 15 mins. Rccl has your money if you wait and drink less it's win win for Rccl . Dining room staff excellent in general and staff at door helped us get good tables once they knew our preferences. Will definitely start looking at other cruise lines. In general we enjoyed the cruise even with poor weather and one port cancelled. There was lots of work going on in corridors deck 7 and we were given no apology or explanation. Definitely not enough seating in public areas and sometimes went back to room when we would have preferred to sit and have a drink and people watch. Rccl will try to get more cash from you at every opportunity when they should be helping you get value from what you've already paid for. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This was our second time on the Independence and our fourth cruise with RC. Where to start? The queue to embark, although we got ushered through as loyal platinum members, eventually. The ship was very clean and the staff friendly in a ... Read More
This was our second time on the Independence and our fourth cruise with RC. Where to start? The queue to embark, although we got ushered through as loyal platinum members, eventually. The ship was very clean and the staff friendly in a distant kind of way. I could imagine their staff briefings telling them to smile and be polite. It was as if they were going through the motions. The food in the main dinning room was hit and miss, sometimes really nice, other nights horrible. The main faults I found were the sunbed wars. It was truly comical to have to try and out manoeuvre the sunbed mafia. If you want a sunbed near the poolside, especially the quiet adult pool then be prepared to get there for 7.30am and stay there. A fight nearly broke out when someone tried to move one and security was called. The next day the removal of towels on sunbeds occurred after they had been left unattended for half an hour. A policy that is fair but is hardly ever carried out by staff. The other fault was the poor provision of seating in the bar areas. We were on second sitting and when we came out of the dining room and tried to get a seat anywhere, pub, champagne bar, piano bar, café there wasn't one seat to be had! I have never once been in the Dog and Badger pub, it seems the first sitting and Windjammer lot grabbed the seats and were glued to them all evening. SO if I ever board again I may resort to bringing my own portable chairs and table. I wonder what their reaction would be?? The queues were terrible, we queued to get off for 40 minutes when we called at Malaga, there was no staff around to assist and quite a few passengers were elderly and not good on their feet. On disembarkation in Southampton, the staff were just helpless/useless as the queue to get off ran right around the ship, literally! And we were supposed to be the last to be let off So all we got for being loyal to RC was one free drink and a special ice show, which lasted 10 minutes, and a white bath robe to use. Won't really keep me loyal anymore and I will be looking elsewhere for our next cruise. The good bits - Daren Day was brilliant, what a fantastic talent he is and an asset to the entertainment side of things. Sue, the resident crafts person, really enjoyed her card making classes on sea days, and the weather in the med, that's it . Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We have never sailed with Royal Caribbean and the itinerary was good also we got a very good deal. Embarkation a very long queue but we were pleased with the cabin, inside deck 7 midship. Very clean and very comfortable. The cabin ... Read More
We have never sailed with Royal Caribbean and the itinerary was good also we got a very good deal. Embarkation a very long queue but we were pleased with the cabin, inside deck 7 midship. Very clean and very comfortable. The cabin attendant was great, Marlon. We got our table for 2 in the King Lear restaurant for dinner, our waitress May and assistant Emanuel were brilliant (table 631). All the staff were wonderful. The entertainment was fantastic but the drinks were very expensive 35 dollars for 2 very small glasses of Pinot Grigio inc 5 dollars gratuity in Vintages !. Toni Warne from the Voice, Darren Day, Mick Miller to name a few. Great and the two ice shows were amazing. The food was ok. We had breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer. If I never see bread and butter pudding again I will be happy ! Disembarking was awful. A blonde lady who was in charge in the Macbeth was extremely rude and told us if we didn't move out of the way she wouldn't call our number to leave. True to her word she didn't. The last number called was 27, after a long wait a tannoy announced Numbers 1 to 31 could leave we were 28. ! I think she needs a people management course. Until that time we had a great holiday. The Independanr is a lovely ship. I agree with a previous review, a few less passengers would have been better. We never could get a seat in any place other than the theatre where we went early. Everywhere was packed. Sorry I should mention we didn't do RC trips we did our own thing. Customer Services were helpful as to info re shuttle buses taxis etc. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Apologies for the late posting – this got buried in my misc file and has only come to light having had a grand de clog of the computer! Having recently returned for a 7 night cruise 7-14th May on the Emerald Princess I felt a ... Read More
Apologies for the late posting – this got buried in my misc file and has only come to light having had a grand de clog of the computer! Having recently returned for a 7 night cruise 7-14th May on the Emerald Princess I felt a review coming on! I've never cruised with Princess before I went with an open mind ! Taking with me for her first ever cruise, my younger disabled sister. Embarkation for us was excellent - although there did seem long queues , we went straigth through - many thanks to our wheel chair pusher. My sister thought it was a wonderful ship and the flat and easy access everywhere with hand rails galore meant she felt confident enough to leave her walker in the cabin most of the time whilst she was on board We had an inside cabin which was fine although the toilet seat looked in need of replacing - clean but with chips out of it.! We were on deck 10 - Caribe deck which seemed a long walk from anywhere - having never been on such a large ship before ! Although we were several decks above the theatre the sound seemed to funnel into our cabin. We cruised out of Southampton with a very short sail away party for the first night at sea. Having opted for the dine anytime we duly presented ourselves to the Micheal Angelo restaurant at the ( for me ) early time of 6.15 - table for 2 ? sorry you will have to wait - please have a pager unless you don't mind sharing ! So shared we did. Our meal was fine but really nothing special as my sister had the pre paid soda package she was served a soft drink - I was just ignored ! So water and an average meal later - although the rib of beef was nice - corn on the cob, jacket potato and half a tomato wasn't quite the accompanying veg I was expecting. ! Onwards and upwards , we must see the first sitting of the show in the theatre I told my sister Debs - it will tell us all the types of shows we can expect for the week ..BIG disappointment! The dancers did their thing briefly , The Cruise Director did the usual hype bit and then this Magician took to the stage - I fell asleep and I wasn't alone ! 35 mins later and that was it ! Throughout the week the shows were well below what I was expecting and on one night had I been sitting at the end of a row I'd have got up and left - the 'entertainer ' ( and I use that title very loosely) started off making rude comments about the audience -he then got a lady up on stage and as she walked up the step starting making raspberry noise as if she was Farting HARDLY what I was expecting from the prestigious Princess Line , I know others around us were equally unimpressed. My sister was delighted with the dancers and thought they were fab - They only did a 35 min show ! so were hardly into their stride before it was over. I was disappointed having seen far better acts /shows on older, smaller and cheaper vessels.! After 2 meals in the MDR we decided to use the buffet , at least there I was asked if I wanted some wine ! And we could eat when and with whom we wanted. Downside - the plates were plastic ! I understand the reasoning behind this but there were glass water glasses on the tables, however and when my wine arrived it was in a plastic glass ! I was too stunned to do anything about it , the following night I was ahead of the game - Sauvignon Blanc in a real glass please - back he came with it in a water glass ! Our ports of call were La Coruna - having been there several times before and mindful of sisters walking abilities we took the 2hr Hercules tour - which was very interesting and not that expensive at 15 euro each. Bilbao - New port for me , took the shuttle bus into the city which was a fair old trip , meandered around and did a little shopping. Didn’t bother with the Museum as modern art not our thing. Le Verdon – billed as Bordeaux (ish) a lovely little French seaside town , the sun came out and we had a mooch about. Wasn’t prepared to do the 2 hour trek into Bordeaux. The dock at Le Verdon was tightly controlled as it was a container terminal rather than Cruise one. We had specified walkways and the trek from Ship to coach was a good half mile – not nice in the pouring rain. We were late away from here owing to latecomers - shame on them ! Onwards to St. Peter Port – another place I’ve visited many times and I did worry how sister would manage with the tender transfer. I didn’t need to – as usual the staff were most kind and professional and my sister was very pleased with herself . We did the noon day gun here at the castle ( not the most disabled friendly location – but glad we made the effort ) Disembarkation Day Given the ship holds 3000 I expected a bit of a wait on disembarkation but it was ok - only marred by – in my opinion selfish or simply thoughtless able bodied persons seemingly unable to walk down some flights of stairs. Thus preventing the less able to get in the lifts. On our deck 3 persons in wheelchairs , plus myself with debs and her walker waited over 30 mins - I finally jammed Debs in a fairly full lift and walked down . We were not the first off and hadn’t opted to self-disembark , I understand if you have several bits of hand baggage the desire to use the lift – but if you are a couple it’s not rocket science - one uses the lift with the bags and the other the stairs. Overall we enjoyed the cruise, the food was fine, the service was good, though our maid seemed to have a lots of cabins to service – perhaps that was why ring marks from glasses were not wiped off the dressing table for 4 days ! The entertainment let it down for me, although I must say the selection in the Karaoke books I thought was very good – far better than Cunard.! Would I cruise Princess again ? well I did put down the £75 deposit for future cruise BUT as I now know they don’t have any adult only ships I may well ask for my money back.! Especially since the court ruling on no children out of school in term time appears to have been relaxed now. There were only a few children on board – but they took over the two main pools and the Jacuzzis with the parents choosing to ignore the signs saying their children must be supervised. At the end of the day children will be children and I know some people like the extra life and noise they bring - I don’t . Having said that I did meet 2 beautifully mannered and behaved boys who were a credit to their parents. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Embarkation was very good and well organised, the ship is lovely and clean, the staff very friendly for most of the bars and restaurants. The entertainment was awful and not what anyone other than Americans would call entertainment, ... Read More
Embarkation was very good and well organised, the ship is lovely and clean, the staff very friendly for most of the bars and restaurants. The entertainment was awful and not what anyone other than Americans would call entertainment, this made the whole trip poor because wherever you went you were bombarded by really poor so called entertainment, this was compares asking guest to run around and grab items of clothing and cocktails and run back to the stage with them, or over loud demonstrations of someone cutting up a melon making little people from them. The live band Fusion had a repertoire of about 20 songs and played them to death. The food was ok, but not as good as on P and O, afternoon tea was a total let down and lots of people complained about it. Our biggest complaint was about the photographers who constantly bombarded you with stupid photo requests where ever you went on board they hassled you to the extent this is the first cruise we have done and not had formal photographs done on board. The formal nights were also very low key and not made in to a celebration night because of the lack of good entertainment. They had a comedian in the theatre who was sexist and again his idea of being funny was to take the mick out of the guests - Not funny The theatre only showed 2 shows all week - Disapointed Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
speedy boarding ship was clean did not seem crowded. Mini suite was comfortable well looked after by Raymond our steward. Shows were ok saw Bernie Flint comedy/singing act for 3rd time he gets better with time. Did not use any shore ... Read More
speedy boarding ship was clean did not seem crowded. Mini suite was comfortable well looked after by Raymond our steward. Shows were ok saw Bernie Flint comedy/singing act for 3rd time he gets better with time. Did not use any shore excursions that were organised by cruise company so cant comment on them Most of the staff were pleasant only problem was when we came to dine in the Da Vinci restaurant which is anytime dinning except the time you want. We asked for a table for two but the Hostess that was in control pressurised you into sharing with others. On the second night we had same problem with her but this time held out for a table for two she was not pleasant this time. We had a 20 minute wait which was fine. For the Rest of the cruise we used Michelangelo restaurant and this Hostess was most welcoming she did ask if we would share but accepted we wanted a table for 2 we had between a 10 minute and a 25 minute wait most nights which is fine/ We spoke to a number of other people who had same problem at Da Vinci one couple said they were seated at a large table where the other dinners had finished their starter and were unable to get into the conversations going on at the table as other guests were well into various subjects. would not use Princess Cruises again have booked next cruise with Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Can only compare to the Britannia and it is my personal opinion. Embarkation was quite smooth but we arrived around our allocated time of 3pm.Car parked with CPS who are excellent. A very large ship with very nicely renovated public areas ... Read More
Can only compare to the Britannia and it is my personal opinion. Embarkation was quite smooth but we arrived around our allocated time of 3pm.Car parked with CPS who are excellent. A very large ship with very nicely renovated public areas and the atrium forms the hub. Its more glitzy than the Britannia which is more like a boutique hotel. There was always a bit of a buzz around the hub with lots of people enjoying coffee or a drink and lots of shops to peruse plus the library and future cruise sales. I found the upper deck with the pools quite spartan especially the covered pool which was reminiscent of a public pool. This area was always crowded with plenty of bed hoggers as the weather wasn't too good. The aft terrace pool was a lovely sunny spot but sadly spoilt by the smokers. The smoke clung around the surrounding areas including the corridors which isn't too great if you don't smoke. Cabin was a superior deluxe on D deck and was quite large and spacious with a balcony that jutted out. We didn't find many people hanging over their balcony's looking down onto ours and were happy with the position mid aft. Sucurro our room steward was very nice and did an excellent job looking after us. Relatively quiet. Inside the cabin, however, was in need of a makeover. The carpets and furnishing were shabby and worn. The bed was really comfy. The TV system dire .It took ages to boot up and quite frustrating. It was handy to have the onboard account visible to check. The bathroom again seemed ancient but the shower was powerful and although not a fan of the shower curtain there was enough space. We had freedom dining in the Cinnamon restaurant and found the staff attentive and courteous. We had to wait on average about 30 mins for a table for two. The meals were generally very nice and with a good choice. The fish was excellent as were the soups. The waterside buffet ,however was not our favourite. Not enough room in the food area and people queued a lot. If you wanted a simple bowl of soup and salad for lunch you seemed to have to queue with everyone else . On Britannia there was much more room in the buffet with a better flow and a better choice of food. There seemed to be lots of elbows and trays pushing around. Lots of filthy manners like helping remove food with fingers, licking them and diving in again. Saw someone with his nose almost in the milk jug stretching across. Gross! Where were the staff to check on things? My other half actually stopped someone manhandling food.The table hoggers were out in force and it was frustrating trying to find a table. In bad weather people wouldn't move after their meals, couples would sit diagonally on a table for four or drape bags/ clothes on chairs to stop others sitting down. I moved a couple of times earlier than I would have wanted to let wheelchair users have the table. The afternoon tea at 4pm was a lovely treat in the main dining room. The Beach House very pleasant but the portions huge and not enough choice in my opinion. The Epicurean nice for an indulgent evening but not as nice as the Britannia. The theatre filled up very quickly at night an if you weren't in for 8pm you would struggle for a seat. The Headliners troop were very good especially the movie type show. No famous names on our ship like jimmy James, Kiki Dee etc... or celebrity chefs. We didn't find much else that we enjoyed. Lots of anti wrinkle/ swollen leg lectures. The gym was well equipped but lacking in instructors for advice. There were three computerised bikes but only one worked properly. There was a Cuban comedian who was very funny and a good Tina Turner impersonator. We found the Ventura a nice friendly ship. We didn't find one grumpy member of staff. The waiters, room stewards, bar people etc... very pleasant. The ports were very clean and interesting to walk around. The fortress tour of Gibraltar was excellent especially the guide. We had a very nice holiday but wouldn't go on Ventura again. We like the Britannia too much. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Arrived at Southampton and the ship looks huge from the outside and when we walked in you could tell it was all new but also totally geared up for the Chinese market. All signage was in both languages and the staff and shopping totally ... Read More
Arrived at Southampton and the ship looks huge from the outside and when we walked in you could tell it was all new but also totally geared up for the Chinese market. All signage was in both languages and the staff and shopping totally again geared up for that market. Also the ship is a bit of a reverse tardis it feels much smaller on the inside that the lie of freedom or voyager class ships due to the lack of the full length Royal Promanande Service in the restaurants was extremely rushed so much so that we had to ask for a ten minute break between courses, Wonderland could have been fabulous however we where pushed through the whole meal in just over an hour so a real waste of money. We also did the chefs table after doing this several times on other ships and again what a massive disappointment. Instead of a separate private room this is done at the back of chops grill on a very long table. The chef only came out for a few seconds at the start of the meal, we never saw him again and at the end the waiter said thats it its over and left. Another huge let down. Why are you also pushed to book all the restaurants at a time that does not suite and then the majority of the time they are half empty and we where told we could not sit at tables near the window as they where for the walk in and never used in the whole time we where eating. One positive is the food in the windjammer was probably the best on any RC ship I have been on but be prepared for a fight to get a table its extremely busy at all times. The food in all the restaurants and all the cafes could not be faulted it was just let down by the staff. If you have sailed on RC ships before be prepared for a shock in your cabin they are much narrower that any I have had before and the storage space is limited. Entertainment was great but getting a seat in 270 is almost impossible and although its an amazing space it really has too many obstructed views to make the lower levels of any show visible. This was the very first time I really could not wait to get home the ship felt over crowded and way to hot. Dynamic dining really is not so dynamic and really not for us and will not be booking another cruise on this class of ship if this is what its like. Im going back to freedom or voyager class in future. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
When we first seen Ventura we was in awe.it took us a few days to get our orientation right. We found the ship too big in our opinion,we felt you did not get that personnel touch compared with the oceana last year.the ship in parts are ... Read More
When we first seen Ventura we was in awe.it took us a few days to get our orientation right. We found the ship too big in our opinion,we felt you did not get that personnel touch compared with the oceana last year.the ship in parts are a bit tatty with mainly worn carpets.cabin never hoovered.never seen any entertainment at the 8.30pm show due to getting filled up at 7.00pm.half way through the cruise there was an outbreak of some kind of virus.in the self service restaurants you were served by the staff,even the hot drinks etc,staff washing down chairs in the bars etc soaking wet!this was a pain in the backside.most days the buffet restaurant was that busy you had to carry your tray to another restaurant to get a seat!the positives,the freedom dining worked a treat.the covered swimming pool I enjoyed for a early morning swim before breakfast. Going back on the oceana in May but I am reading some negative reviews lately especially the standard of the food which we mostly enjoyed last year. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We have done may cruises before with many different cruise companies, I think P & O was the ninth different operator, so I think we have a wide range of experience. On the positive side, embarkation and disembarkation was good. The ... Read More
We have done may cruises before with many different cruise companies, I think P & O was the ninth different operator, so I think we have a wide range of experience. On the positive side, embarkation and disembarkation was good. The ship was better than we expected in terms of decor etc as I had read some reviews that said the ship was tired and shabby, we would not agree with this view at all. We had booked only a month before sailing but were very happy with our balcony cabin as it was clean, the bed was comfortable and it was quiet. What really let it down was the dining ! We did not pay to eat in any of the 'Select' dining restaurants as a matter of principle, as, to me cruising should go hand in hand with a 'Fine dining' experience. On P & O this was not the case. The food was mostly edible both in the Bay tree restaurant, and in the Waterside buffet but it was boring! Ok it all you want is 'meat & two veg'! Also I thought that the presentation of the food in the buffet was poor, more like a reasonable canteen, that what i have come to expect from a ship. We had a last minute break in a Tenerife hotel in January and the buffet dining experience there was far superior! The main restaurant dinner menu is principally just 3 courses, (except formal nights) although you could stretch it to 5 if you ordered a soup and another starter, and then a sweet and then the cheese. There was never a salad course. The food was always typicalyl British - , no curry, chilli or any other foreign cuisine. So dining ok if all you want is a full stomach! The other big disappointment, and really the most important, was the lack of hygiene precautions on the ship, - very lax compared to others we have sailed on and therefore no surprise that myself and many other passengers were struck down with norovirus or the like and confined to cabin for 48 hrs to endure room service meal options - dont get me started on that one!! Although there was gel near the gangways, initially nobody was interested in whether passengers used it when boarding after the port stops and it wasn't much better afterwards either, with passengers not even being asked to use the gel if they didn't voluntarily. It was available in the main restaurant and generally used but again I think it was initially easy for people to ignore it if they chose to. When it came to the Waterside buffet restaurant, there was gel available, if you entered to food selection service area, but not when you entered the restaurant seating area, so people could and did, help themselves to coffee, tea etc from the drinks dispensers and then sit at the table and drink them without there even being a bottle of gel in view for them to use. This was generally the case is all buffet areas, and for the pizza and grill options, in the beginning no gel available so it was possible to, for example have a pizza, pick up cutlery take it to a table and sit down and eat it without even looking at a bottle of gel! Is it any wonder there were problems. When we have sailed with other companies, hand hygiene was always much better. The entertainment on board was generally varied and good, some better than others, but it's a matter of personal taste so what some passengers liked, others less so. It was geared very much for the British market. We didn't bother with the photographer so can't comment. The shops were ok, the usual and mostly reasonably priced . They had a guest Marine biologist, Philip Price who did 6 lectures, and was excellent. They had the usual bingo, quizzes etc so pretty typical entertainment overall. We only did 2 shore excursions and the Trip to Seville was excellent while the Lisbon 3 stops one was ok except somehow we only had 2 stops. Value for money is probably average as shore excursions go. We were really interested in booking a World Cruise, and this trip was a try out for P & O but I'm afraid they failed miserably! There is no way I would want to spend 3 months with them! Back to the drawing board on that one! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This cruise was booked as a transfer booking from an earlier cruise that had to be cancelled, whilst being able to transfer the booking it did mean we lost the little extras like free parking. Still retained the chosen dining option, and ... Read More
This cruise was booked as a transfer booking from an earlier cruise that had to be cancelled, whilst being able to transfer the booking it did mean we lost the little extras like free parking. Still retained the chosen dining option, and the free shuttle bus options. Embarkation was a touch slow due to having to wait for my partner to have assistance with boarding, following an operation that affected her mobility, all pre arranged prior to arrival. She was added to the list of People with Mobility Issues and allocated a wheelchair helper. Hold onto the fact that pre booking had been completed and documented prior to boarding. Weather in December across the Bay of Biscay is all you dreamed of, if you often have nightmares, but it added to the excitement. Out and back it was bumpy, the old gal was groaning at times, and the toll was telling as she shed some ceiling tiles, glassware, china, and Christmas Trees. Motion Discomfort (Sea Sick) Bags were deployed at the stairwells. The further south we went the calmer it got, Lisbon was nothing to really get excited about, Cadiz was better, Gibralta a one street shopping arcade, with Cartagena and Malaga just as one would expect, however the Chocolate and Churos were fabulous in Cartagena, almost a meal. Casablanca was a bit of a manic mystery, we had booked a shore excursion with the ship, and before arrival had a note about Foreign Office advice on Casablanca with a rider of there was nothing to worry about. Slightly later before arrival there was a notice of a change in the trips itinerary due to parking restrictions ! The trip was uneventful, though having a Driver, an 'Assistant' a Guide, and two of the ships crew posing as tourists make me think that perhaps Casablanca are not taking chances with tourists. All that said, it was a charming place and so different from what was expected, thoughts of Bergman and Bogey were way off, the place is a massive built-up city with manic traffic, you get a real buzz. Funchal was magical and just made the whole cruise, I understand that New Year is something else, I'd go back there for December again. Food was as you would expect, and service was generally acceptable, the speciality restaurants were noting special, there again the cover charge was only £5 a head, food was fine but service a touch off. Wine waiter delivered the bottle never to be seen again, sweets delivered to the wrong table, and LED candles. Not earth shattering but hardly special ! Cabin service was reasonable, though I did resent being lobbied for an excellent rating at the end considering the acceptable not outstanding service received. On arrival we had a flower in a vase, after it wilted and shrunk daily as the stem was trimmed, it eventually went, with nothing to take its place, I finished making up one from the daily 'what's on sheet' just to fill the vase, and the sweeties were never replenished. I know that all this is trivial, but if an attempt at being special is going to be made, at least make an effort, not half an attempt. Disembarkation was the ruination, I appreciate shifting and re-loading customers has to be organised, but having registered as needing assistance on, there was no trace of needing assistance off from Mrs Clipboard, despite the ships staff knowing of the reduced mobility. The guys wheeling the wheelchairs were brilliant, just Mrs Clipboard who would only recognise her list which I suspect was blank when she walked on board ! In conclusion, was it worth it, just about, would I go again, yes if the fare was right, did I enjoy myself, yes, there were great moment and not so great moments, but all in all enjoyable, would I go with P & O again, yes, again at the right price, but from this trip I'd suggest that they are no different from other package holidays, not quite as special as they once were. I have sailed a good few times with various lines, all have something good and something not quite so good, just book and enjoy. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
I recently went on a Cunard cruise , as I have in the past been on the old QE2 and the new queen Mary . I thought I would try for the queen Victoria too complete all three. I loved the old QE2 although dated and very seventies in style my ... Read More
I recently went on a Cunard cruise , as I have in the past been on the old QE2 and the new queen Mary . I thought I would try for the queen Victoria too complete all three. I loved the old QE2 although dated and very seventies in style my impression was good. Attention too detail , outstanding food and impeccable service. The queen Mary was a glorious modern nostalgic experience with amazing food and the same attention to detail. My cabins on the queen Victoria was very nice although the lack of a clock in the room at times proved difficult , we had a spacious balcony and were surprised how quickly are cases arrived too our room. We were on deck eight and we were near the lifts and lido to get tea and coffe quickly using the stairs . On exploring the ship we came across lots of surprises and the decor was clean crisp and cheerful. With hints of the building towards Christmas in evidence everywhere. The library shops and seating areas were good and staff happy helpful , the free internet minutes onboard as a gold card member allowed me to FaceTime my children regularly on the boat which was lovely. The first port of call was Cadiz and I was so pleased we explored this city independently and it was safe , clean , historic and the weather warm and sunny. It was also very cheap to travel ,eat or visit sites of interest. The people were friendly and polite , we looked round the catherdral in the main square with the aid of audio guide for 5 euro which was fascinating and informative. Looking out over the city walls and parks you imagined the ages past and fleets of ships leaving to carry out historic journey across the seas. We arrived in Monti Carlo next to the port entrance and walked into the beautiful Christmas fare and had a lovely time collecting gifts for Christmas and smelling mulled wine. It was frequented by children and ladies with small well groomed dogs with coats on. Dressed in winter clothes as we wandered round in summer clothes like true tourists. We did a tour to the monastery outside Barcelona as we had both been on city tours and stayed in the city in the past. The railway journey was ver good the sites across the mountains wonderful and the guide very helpful and information good. The shops and local stalls of local cheese and honey very good and inexpensive, the church was beautiful and lots of places to ponder and wander around safely. I did a walking tour of Rome which was full on and at times and a little rushed but the guide was outstanding and she was so professional . We had a incident with a guest not having his comication device not work in which he responded irrationally too. She was so polite and was tried to calm this agitated guest too her credit she did. We saw things and had sights explained very well and although I have spent several weeks in Rome over the last 20 yrs she was full of information and knowledge. The eternal city was getting set for Christmas adding to the expectation of the city. Naples was terrible and dirty and unpleasant and felt unsafe to wander about. We went to huculana and that was fascinating and the guide very good. It was good value and I loved the place I would want to go back and explore again independently. Imagine my surprise I went onto the queen Victoria and it looked beautiful , was very clean and staff very well trained and attentive . The food was very inconsistent at time good but never memorable. I had meals in the resturant they were bland and several times the meat was grey looking (never a good sign! ) even on a highlight formal night we had surf and turf which was served to one guest on my table undercooked (lobster). Sardinia was a joy and we were greeted by helpful bus drivers, the trip to the top of the city was well worth it. The museums was outstanding and full of ancient treasures to wonder at and see and we sent several hours drinking in the culture. Gibraltar was as I expected a shopping paradise and bustling with ex pats earning a living in a little far flung outpost. We shopped with enthusuim but sadly this was a very short stop less than four hours. Getting on and off the boat was not always easy. Thankfully we always seemed close to the port of call making independent travelling easier. But the boat simply could not cope with us all getting on and off quickly , from one exit so we had wait a lot . The disabled were not helped to disinbark and a disclaimer stating they must do so with out staff help was not kind. We were left at times with a steep slope and no handrail the last few meters which was not pleasant and rushing was not an option because of the angal of the descent. The entertainent was very good , we saw great shows every night . Laughed at the comics , the musical things around the boat very pleasent too sit with a glass of wine. With music to suite all styles and tastes. Sadly I was unable to get my favourite raspberry Martini anywhere on the boat but not too worry! I made do with other things so that cannot be a bad things. I was disappointed and surprise that the cinema repeated films two and three time in 14 days . The speakers on the trip were outstanding and different but very good . The question and answer settings really good. The food normally the highlite to any cruise was not as I as expected. On past Cunard boats I was treated too outstanding meals , spoilt for choice and self indulged with classic and modern interpretations. This was not so on this trip to my great Disappointment! The lobster was one that Aldi would have been happy with but not for any respectable chef to serve. Sadly this was not an accident as we had this twice and the second time the steak was missing replaced by three battered prawns. Again one guest had undercooked lobster but at least she sent it back for a correctly cooked one this time. After going to the demonstration given about the food on the boat the ethos seemed to be that seasoning was to be added by the patroons not the chef. As seasoning was different for all of us and very personal . In principle I agree , but in practice this leaves no time for tastes to develope or infuses and enhance the foods natural flavours. Leading sadly to many a bland meal with salt and pepper a crude after note. I went to lido and the food, which was often warm but never hot, even when seemingly freshly cooked. This was very unpleasant at times. Slightly odd inervations had been made like bagels , smoked salmon and cottage cheese ! I cannot recommend this combination at all . The fresh burger bar on deck , served excellent food but sadly this was not my expectation of luxury food I was expecting. I was reduced to asking for an omelet every time I visited the lido for breakfast otherwise all eggs were served only warm. The hot plates were turned off or not on correctly on full. My only conclusion was that because staff were in full kit behind the hot plates and the food thrown away every two hours. To reduce the risk of food poisoning they simply did this for staffs comfort. I did mention the temperature of the food several times to staff but this had no real effect and happened so often I simply avoided chicken and lamb that do not benifit from being warm not hot. Sauces ,gravey etc all had skin forming on the dishes which was unpleasant . The roast beef was outstanding and consistently good which was a saving grace. The afternoon tea was a delight to the eyes and very stylised but imagine my surprise as the cucumber sandwiches were presented with tuna not smoked salmon! Thankfully the lido did serve them but put raw onion in them. ( this lack of attention to detail was disappointing ) . So we headed to the lido saving the day with freshly made warm scones with jam a cream was just as well if lacking the style of the queens room. The selection of tea coffee and drinks was outstanding and this was a refreshing and saving grace for the trip. The staff were friendly and helpful and this helped with the feeling of being welcome. We tried the food in the pub and it was good but very limited , it was hot and freshly cooked but was more weather-spoons than gastro pub food. I could not say that carnival had influenced the food because we went as a family on a Carnival boat with my adult daughters and the food was outstanding in the USA and Uk . We went again from Dover on a Carnival boat with experienced cruise friends and the Baltic trip was wonderful and the food hot , intesting and full of flavour and style with service I was unexpectedly good. I moved too France 5 years ago so maybe my standard of food and service has changed but I doubt it is to such a degree as I found on this trip. My impression was that staff were highly trained but the supervision of food delivery and taste was left to staff that had no passion for food. Bones in fish tarts, grey meat and undercooked lobster with desserts that did not wow you are what your dinning should be about. Looking round the table at my dinner guests meals I never once felt I missed a better meal. At times I was thankful I did not choose there meals more often than not this is never good. Disembarkation was smooth , on time and easy the parking service for my car lovely and made the travel back home too France less stressful . Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
GOOD First and foremost Headliners Theatre Company. Thoroughly professional, energetic and imaginatively choreographed. In particular lead vocalist Jayson Keeler was outstanding. Best we've seen on a cruise. We also enjoyed E. ... Read More
GOOD First and foremost Headliners Theatre Company. Thoroughly professional, energetic and imaginatively choreographed. In particular lead vocalist Jayson Keeler was outstanding. Best we've seen on a cruise. We also enjoyed E. Sarah Carter, a talented and vibrant fiddler. Embarkation and disembarkation straight forward and organised. Art consultant Lindsay gave interesting and informative lectures. Fitness room well equipped and spacious. Guest lecturer, Kathy produced well researched, interesting talks. Cabin Steward Ports of call. Quiet breakfasts at Tazzine (Coffee card advised) Tea and biscuits in cabin NOT SO GOOD Ship needs a makeover. Stained carpets, inadequate cleaning and a lack of maintenance in some public areas. Food variable. Bread not fresh and on one occasion too stale eat. Soup cold but not Gazpacho! Breakfast in Saffron dreadful, cold poached eggs sent back and no pot of tea so waited ages for refill. Service in Baytree at Dinner good ( maybe a little too fast) and one Gala meal was first class but most meals okish with excellent sweets. Not possible to 'lap the deck' as front section mostly closed due to bad weather? Had to walk back and forth and past lots of smokers so I did a bit of passive inhalation on my walks. Stern of Promenade Deck often awash and deck often crowded so v. dangerous to run. Shows so popular that it was wise to arrive a least 30 mins before start to get a decent seat. TV and interactive stuff slower than a one legged cheeter. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click