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13 Malaga to Transatlantic Cruise Reviews

Having sailed once before in the Caribbean with Star Flyer we decided on taking it across the Atlantic. The 23 day crossing was a combination of Malaga, Spain to Las Palmas, Gran Canaria (9 days) and Las Palmas to Barbados (14 days). ... Read More
Having sailed once before in the Caribbean with Star Flyer we decided on taking it across the Atlantic. The 23 day crossing was a combination of Malaga, Spain to Las Palmas, Gran Canaria (9 days) and Las Palmas to Barbados (14 days). Due to popularity it was over a year from booking to sailing. Cabin 121. 80% of passengers are repeat. We arrived in Malaga 4 days before the cruise, allowing time to adjust from the west coast of the US. Our hotel was a few blocks from the harbor and we were able to walk to the boat rolling our bags. check in was at 4 but you could store your bags at the pier starting at 12 noon. The first 9 days we took 2 tours, bus to Marrakesh from Safi and tour of Lanzarote. Tour to Marrakesh was disappointing, tour guide wanted to make sure we shopped "his store" (for a kick back?) so all else was rushed to get to his shops. Lanzarote tour to volcano park was much better. Seas were rough two days especially the Safi to Lanzarote day at sea; this is normal. Also quite chilly needed a sweatshirt and a wind breaker. Meals were good; breakfast and lunch are a buffet, dinner is a menu, all meals are open seating. No formal wear required. The 14 day trip started in Las Palmas, the Canary Islands. Some passengers left here others boarded. No shore excursion is offered, but town is an easy walk from the pier; there is also a multi story shopping mall next to the dock area. 139 passengers made the crossing. Every day it got warmer, seas were rough (15-20 ft swells) at La Gomera and the port was dropped as the pilot could not board. 95% of the cruise was under sail, a record for the captain. To sit and watch the sails in the wind a fantastic experience. We saw whales, dolphins and lots of rainbows. Had an oil rig towed passed us in the middle of the Atlantic. On board entertainment consists of the piano player/singer; passengers playing darts, board games and cards. There is a talent show, toga party, pirate night and Neptune party. When you have the night sky full of stars, the ocean waves ever changing during the day the entertainment takes a back seat to mother nature. Would we do it again? YES, YES, YES. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We have done over 20 Thomson cruises and although most of the ship particularly the cabins are tired we have always enjoyed the entertainment and cruise. This one was shocking....the entertainment team spent more time on deck 6 smoking ... Read More
We have done over 20 Thomson cruises and although most of the ship particularly the cabins are tired we have always enjoyed the entertainment and cruise. This one was shocking....the entertainment team spent more time on deck 6 smoking than they did entertaining, they put on a deck party that lasted 35minutes where they just all danced together and did not involve any of the passengers and when were in dock there was no entertainment at all on the decks. All the shows were poor and pretty much everyone felt the same way one of the comedians thought it was funny to tell homephobic jokes and although we are not gay it was very uncomfortable. We were at sea for 6 days and they did nothing extra on the decks, most people had to make their own entertainment. I could go on and on about how disappointed we were and in fact couldn't wait to get off the ship and come home. There was no sail away party and even when the outside decks were full with passengers no extra entertainment was put on. If this is the future of the old Thomson cruises now called Marcella we certainly won't be doing another one Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Friends had a son who had worked as Cruise Director on this and other TUI Cruise Ships, they thought we would enjoy it. How wrong they were. All comparisons are made with previous cruises, long and short haul, made with NCL, P & O, ... Read More
Friends had a son who had worked as Cruise Director on this and other TUI Cruise Ships, they thought we would enjoy it. How wrong they were. All comparisons are made with previous cruises, long and short haul, made with NCL, P & O, Holland America and Princess Lines, all small ships. Flew out on 5th.November, flight delayed on runway over an hour, toilet function problem. Poor meet & greet at Airport, wrong directions to transfer coaches! Late arrival on board, meant less than 15 mins to the second lifeboat drill. Meet & greet staff on board did not know cabin location ! Made the drill meeting in the Show Lounge, usually it's at your appointed lifeboat station. No indication given to cabin number lifeboat, assumed that display info on Prom Deck was correct, even cabin numbers to port, odd numbers to starboard. One morning while having breakfast on the Lido outside rear deck area, noticed a pungent smell, assumed it was from the docks, but became worse, then smoke came out of the rear swimming pool vents, it had been closed off and empty, no explanation given. Smoke became dense and black, so quickly departed to upper deck, P/A issued a coded message, which was obviously for the fire crew. Staff cleared everybody off the rear deck, and the fire was extinguished. Later announcement advised the fire had been caused by welding repair to get the rear pool up and running. Several days later pool was filled and operational. Next issue followed about a week later in the Caribbean, again breakfast time, all the lights/air conditioning etc went off. About 20 mins power was restored, the fire/flood doors could be opened. They closed automatically when the power went off, explanation was a failed generator. That evening however, as we left a port, out in the navigation channel, all lighting etc went off, also no engine power ! Restarted again in about 15 mins. Blame was put on demand to aircon due to high temperatures experienced ! We are in the Caribbean remember. Action taken was to restrict aircon output, so cabin temperature rose, especially at night, and certain zones throughout the ship had intermittent aircon. The ship is now operating its Winter schedule in the Caribbean with ineffective aircon Trip was Adults only, all inclusive, however the bar price list showed only certain basic drinks and cocktails were included. Named drinks/named wines/certain cocktails etc had an extra charge up to £3, min £2.50. Named wines were expensive, Anjou Rose @ £17, half decent red up to £35, Tesco prices about a third. House wine was not good, red was undrinkable, never tried the white, Rose was weak but drinkable. The taste/flavour of all drinks and cocktails varied dependant on bar used. Outside deck sources were especially poor. Other passengers agreed with our thoughts, and we all agreed the drinks were "watered down". I even started to order a separate gin measure or light rum measure to top up a G&T or Cuba Libre, but they neither had the smell nor expected taste. The bar staff opened new bottles, but they did not have the plastic insert within the bottle necks, to prevent a bottle being refilled, so make your own decisions on the subject. Cabin was a de luxe on deck 7, paid extra, but more space quoted. Ship was refurbished not long ago, interior is light maple veneer, very good storage via drawers, and two separate built in wardrobes. Reading lights above beds, lighting controls on bedheads for the cabin. Fridge with pay as drink basics, tea and coffee making, bottled water is extra please note, we didn't realise till the bill came. Dressing table area has two power sockets, one US plug and other is 2 pin European. Bedhead has double socket UK 3 pin plug, and two USB ports built in. En suite is small, very narrow bath with shower curtain, mixer tap with button shower engagement. A grab rail to cabin side wall is badly located, too near the riser rail, so you knock your right arm on it when washing your hair or applying the shower gel. Refit specification should have stipulated a walk in shower with Glass Panel, who bathes these days, and the shower curtain wraps around your body, so so naff. PLEASE NOTE SHOWER GEL IS PROVIDED BUT NO SHAMPOO NOR CONDITIONER. We had to buy shampoo at first port of call. Couldn't believe it. Dining was either at The Meridian Restaurant with waiter service, or The Lido which was buffet self service. In both, menu was poor, some nights pretty impossible. They both offer at extra cost, £9.95, a steak or chops alternative. Never tried either, nor the extra cost Eating Venues, at £19.95 per head, as it all comes from the same source really. Quality of food was poor, portion control excessive in the Meridian, only is 3 courses now, our friends said it was 5 courses. Never had breakfast in the Meridian, the Lido gets overloaded, long queues, no glasses/plates/trays virtually every day. Choice never changed in 18 days, served up food pre cooked in hot water trays, toast pre done as well. Tinned tomatoes yuck, very thin cut bacon which was cooked about 3.00am along with the toast, black pudding whatever that tasted like heaven knows, choice of eggs, under done sausage. Separate cereal station but loose cereals, very little choice, four options, fruit never changed, sliced melon, unripe pine apple, sliced tough oranges, tinned prunes or peaches. Yoghurt was Danone tubs, like Spanish holidays in the '60s. No bread other than white rolls which were tasteless, or brown. No other offerings. Evening time they did offer brown and white sliced bread plus the tasteless rolls, although some nights the bread was stale. Fruit juice came out of machine dispensers, concentrate diluted with water, fresh orange juice was extra from the bar, but was still out of a packet !! No separate station for the soup options, this was in the middle of the horse shoe conveyor belt layout, so you had to queue up twice to get your soup, then the main meal. In the middle was the joint of the day, carved for you, deep frown received if you asked for more, felt like Oliver in the film. Pork was good, beef was really tough, lamb was good. Never tried the rolled Veal as didn't like the inner core it was stuffed with. Entertainment was poor as was the very limited Activities. The speakers offered were not good, nor was the chosen subjects, funny things that took place in his police career, and film reviews by the other guy. Did one and gave up. The first dance group were quite good, voices not bad and show themes were of interest. Second lot after changeover day and ships, were over weight, couldn't sing and not interesting themes. Had one imported Soul Night singer, ex Drifters, really good. Very boring comedian another night. Various quizzes, but the Cruise Director and seemingly most of the Entertainment Team required a translator, to know what they were saying. Mancunian and Geordie were not taught in my school days, the Queens English was however. The daily Activities must have come from a Nursery School option list, Bean Bag Targets, Skittles, Carpet Bowls, to name the highlights ! There was an option to learn Welsh, you couldn't make it up but it was true. One quiz host called me " mate" while handing over a paper, and I'd never met him before! Some passengers created their own Activities, brawling in Liberties Lounge one night, because a couple had sat in front of another couple, blocking their view of the entertainment, Security restored sanity. Another night in Hemingways Bar, another Activity and brawl was glass throwing. Service overall was quite good, plenty of staff who worked tirelessly. Cabin stewards likewise. Did not take any shore excursions, had been to all bar one port several times before, the hurricane meant an amended schedule for ports of call, original format would have seen three new Islands. Thought the excursions were expensive. Thomson clients seem to be a certain type, mostly from Up North, Tyne Tees, Wales etc, minority from the South. Many had done the trip before, even the return leg as well in April. The stereo type is grossly over weight, tattoos, and thinks acceptable behaviour includes resting ones legs by either putting ones bare feet up on another chair, or laying full length, bare foot on a lounge bar settee, despite shortage of seating. Picking assorted food from the buffet and either eating it in the queue and or on route to the table. The two main activities are drinking from 10am till the bar closes, and smoking as much as possible in the designated areas, in between the drinking. Sunbeds are a premium, requiring early towel visits to secure, anything later than 7.30 and you've missed out on the prime spots. Rumour has it, one guy was up around 5.00am to secure their padded bed on deck 8. Majority of sunbeds are unpadded, somewhat past their sell by date, dirty and tired. Conditions are very cramped unless you have picked your spot, and angled " your two" to create more space. Slyly moving adjacent ones further apart. Tip of the week there. To sum up, we all look for something different, having tried Thomson/Marella, we would not use them again, it is not the standard we require, if you think I am being a snob, that is for you alone to decide. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
There is a lot to recommend this ship. 1. It is excellent value for money. 2. The food overall is very good. Whether you eat in the main dining room or the buffet there is always lots of choice and the quality is good. Best pluses ... Read More
There is a lot to recommend this ship. 1. It is excellent value for money. 2. The food overall is very good. Whether you eat in the main dining room or the buffet there is always lots of choice and the quality is good. Best pluses are the pasta station and the salad bar. Only minor criticism is, for me they over cook the beef. We also never had problems in getting seats at the time of our choosing in the main restaurant. The buffet could get busy on sea days but was far less chaotic than most cruise lines we have been on. 3. Overall the basic drinks package is very good. Reasonable quality spirits and good mixers. We don't drink white wine but we liked the Rose and the red was just about acceptable. Beware the red outside the dining room because it sometimes comes at mulled wine temperatures. The only beers offered in the basic package are Fosters and John Smiths. I like these beers some may not. Some people complained that because of the restrictions it was not all inclusive. I have been on lots of cruise lines and this is pretty good. Yes, some lines do offer top shelf spirits and wines but you would have to pay far more for the cruise in the first place. There were a couple of silly anomolies, you can order a gin and a vermouth separately, but if you order a Martini, you get charged. 4. Staff throughout the ship were excellent. Sometimes, in the theatre in particular, you had to wait to be served, but that was sheer weight of numbers. The boys and girls always kept smiling and worked their butts off. Our star performer was Maria in Horizons. 5. The entertainment team and the guest acts were excellent. Less keen on the comedians, but that just may be us. We have been on many cruise lines but this was our first on Thomsons. The majority of our experiences were positive. Now for the couple of downsides: 1. We are early risers and we like to sunbathe between eight and eleven ish. The first day we went down at just after seven and all prime locations were reserved but not in use. The following day we checked before seven. Same again and every sea day. We have encountered this problem before on Italian ships, but never before have we come across the Benidorm mob on a British cruise ship. 2. When I tried to raise the issue with guest services they ignored me for four days. The Manager apparently never received my four messages. I will put that down to inefficiency, rather than rudeness. On thing this cruise has taught me is to think very carefully about repositioning cruises. Four years ago I had exactly the same problems with MSC. I have not used used them since. I will not be using Thomson again for Ocean crossings.. I will use Thomson again for cruises with frequent stops. Good value, food drink and service make it acceptable. The sun beds issue becomes unimportant because either I or the majority of the mob will be . Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This has been our third Transatlantic crossing (Malaga to Barbados) all on Seadream1 and it’s been the best. We are still on board and I must say that our experience has been a lot better than one comment already posted. The sea ... Read More
This has been our third Transatlantic crossing (Malaga to Barbados) all on Seadream1 and it’s been the best. We are still on board and I must say that our experience has been a lot better than one comment already posted. The sea from Malaga to Madeira was a bit choppy, but they were still able to serve dinner on the rear outside upstairs decks, so there was no rocking and rolling. We are now 10 days into the 13 day crossing and the seas are calm, it’s 29 degrees and passengers are enjoying the pool and sun decks. The yacht is looking good, a lot of care is obviously taken to keep it on top form. The food is the best yet, some superb meals. Service is excellent and the officers including the captain are always on hand with information. There are only 67 passengers on board ( it can take 112) so plenty of space for everyone. We have absolutely no complaints to make and have rebooked for next year! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
I wanted to do a Transatlantic and the price was really good on this one. I don't usually sail on Royal, but I couldn't say no to this cruise. The ship itself was wonderful and the crew was fantastic! The only real downfall in ... Read More
I wanted to do a Transatlantic and the price was really good on this one. I don't usually sail on Royal, but I couldn't say no to this cruise. The ship itself was wonderful and the crew was fantastic! The only real downfall in my estimation was the dining. What I really enjoyed was the friendliness of the staff from the room stewards to the Captain. They worked very hard to keep us happy and entertained and they succeeded! The ports of call were excellent as well. We started from Malaga Spain which is a real hidden treasure in Spain. Wonderful city with a lot of things to see and great food! We stopped at Lanzarote, Grand Canaria and Tenerife, 3 of the Canary Islands. They are just amazing to see and go back to, volcanic islands with fascinating scenery and all different. I had just been to 2 of the 3 in April this year and was happy to be there again. The last stop was Nassau which I've been to many times so nothing really exciting, but I'm sure there were many on the ship that had not been there before. I would do this cruise again and on this ship in spite of the dining disappointment. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
The ship was super clean, the crew were very friendly and the food was great. My husband wanted to go on a Transatlantic since he previously worked on a cruise ship. We went with 2 other couples. Weather was warm and calm. Overall ... Read More
The ship was super clean, the crew were very friendly and the food was great. My husband wanted to go on a Transatlantic since he previously worked on a cruise ship. We went with 2 other couples. Weather was warm and calm. Overall a great first cruise! The camel ride and tour of the Volcanic National Park on Lanzarote was a definite highlight of the shore excursions. We stopped at 3 Canary Islands and Nassau. I thought the days at sea may be boring, but they were not. We enjoyed the art auctions, trivia contests and exercise activities. This was a great value trip. We bought the deluxe drink package and enjoyed all of the specialty coffees and drinks. The crew made a special point to make sure we were happy with all food choices and were quick to make things right. Overall a great experience--liked it so much we are doing it next year from Rome! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We knew this was an older ship, but the price was right and the ports of call were interesting. Also, we've been on the mega ships and are a bit tired of the floating malls. We were looking forward to enjoy the real cruise feeling of ... Read More
We knew this was an older ship, but the price was right and the ports of call were interesting. Also, we've been on the mega ships and are a bit tired of the floating malls. We were looking forward to enjoy the real cruise feeling of the smaller ships again. We were not disappointed. The ship was in great shape. A little wear and tear in places, but everything works. The cabin we had was very quiet, had lots of storage and the shower was great. Good water pressure, nice hot and no temperature fluctuations like we often find in newer ships. With the exception of one guy at the future cruise sales desk, the crew was very friendly and eager to please. Outstanding was the diningroom service (Tatiana, Jan and Maria - we love you). Entertainment was average, and the cruise director was excellent. If there is any improvements that could be made, its in the entertainment venue. It does look ancient. During the first two days, the food was marginal (strange spices, luke warm soups). But then, for some reason, it got much better. To the point where I would say the food was outstanding. Meats were great, especially the roast beef. Soups were nice and hot, and desserts were top of the line! I understand the Chef is an Austrian pastery chef, and it definitely shows. Would I go again? Absolutely. In fact, we're considering a little Caribbean hop on this ship in the spring. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Great cruise holiday overall, First cruise on the Thomson Dream and was pleasantly impressed.First time in inside cabin and would recommend an outside one from previous experiences but if your budget doesn't allow for this the inside ... Read More
Great cruise holiday overall, First cruise on the Thomson Dream and was pleasantly impressed.First time in inside cabin and would recommend an outside one from previous experiences but if your budget doesn't allow for this the inside cabins are of a good size, well equipped only difference is no window. All staff were first class in every area of the ship and any request was acted on immediately with as little fuss as possible. The Captain toured the ship daily and mixed freely with passengers as did all the senior officers and crew. The 6 days at sea were well managed with plenty of on-board activities and entertainment to cater for all tastes. The Entertainment team were superb. Very friendly and all their shows were most enjoyable. The other entertainment acts were excellent too. The dining on board was also excellent. A great selection of menu choices which catered for all of our needs. All of the dining options were managed well with constant officer observation in them all ensuring everything was kept to standards required. The ships bar areas were all laid out well with various ambience options available to allow any taste in to be catered for. There were very few occasions when queues formed as staff would be reassigned to the nip points when volumes dictated. The drinks menu was extensive on our All Inclusive drinks package with a wide selection of branded drinks and some cocktails included too. The ports of call were excellent apart from one. The "Dominican Republic Port of Romana" should not be the main port for Thomson ships. Our itinerary was changed at the last minute from Port au Prince. I asked at reception if it was safe to walk ashore to the port town. I was informed yes. On leaving the port area I noticed a high volume of local police at ever street corner. They were informing everyone to take of jewellery and to take a secure grip of any bags etc. I was one of the younger (50) passengers venturing onshore and probably went further into town than most. We were ashore for no more than 40 minutes. Basically hit the town outskirts and back post haste. The most uneasy I have ever felt anywhere on holiday. We were informed on board 4 passengers had been robbed and one couple had been held up at gun-point for their valuables. No amount of vigilance or diligence by anyone will stop that happening. Thomson now know this port is unsafe and are using it as their main port of call for the Caribbean season in the Dominican Republic. One reason may be the higher port fees applicable for Port Au Prince. Thomson in my opinion have a "DUTY OF CARE" to all its cruise passengers visiting any port. Port Information must be correct and honest to allow passengers to assess the risks or dangers associated with local areas or customs. The only other criticism I have for this cruise is the amount of passengers who kmoan about trivia.If its something minor don't become drama queens. Enough moaning the cruise was first class apart from Romana. Thank you Thomson's Dream. Kevin Duncan Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
This was our 6th cruise on the Dream and the 3rd Transatlantic so we knew exactly what to expect. The ship is showing signs of her age (30) and the lifts are worse than I remember. However, none of this detracted from what was ... Read More
This was our 6th cruise on the Dream and the 3rd Transatlantic so we knew exactly what to expect. The ship is showing signs of her age (30) and the lifts are worse than I remember. However, none of this detracted from what was essentially a wonderful cruise. Food in Orion restaurant was terrific and not once were we pressurised to pay for speciality restaurants. (Have used them in the past and they are good). We ate in Lido only twice on returning from shore excursions and were perfectly happy with the food on offer. Cabin 6113 (inside) is our favourite - have had that one before. It's situated mid ship so no movement felt but as it turned out the sea was flat calm all the time. Perfect. Entertainment - as expected. Plenty of excellent shows by the in-house team and guest acts were better than some we've endured in the past. Resident musicians - Locomotion were billed as "resident party band". Well I'd hate to be at that party - they are fine musicians if you like bland music, a lot of whistling and no interaction. After a few days they were relegated from Medusa to various other venues and replaced by 2 Intense - a great duo who interact with the crowd. Cruise director Gavin Carroll is just fantastic in the role. Captain - Peter Harris is a real people person and often stopped by to chat with the passengers. All in all it's a happy ship but she' s old and needs money spending on her. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We picked this cruise for the itinerary, the duration and the dates. The ship was very tired, the lifts were shockingly bad, the food was hit and miss and the queuing in the buffet was rather like being at a school canteen. There ... Read More
We picked this cruise for the itinerary, the duration and the dates. The ship was very tired, the lifts were shockingly bad, the food was hit and miss and the queuing in the buffet was rather like being at a school canteen. There was difficulty in getting a sunbed and deck space for days at sea, more cramped than we have encountered before, and having to get up at 6:30 AM in order to secure a sunbed for the day. The entertainment was poor all round, except for 2 Intense, a singing duo. The main lounge was home to never ending mind numbing quizzes and bingo, the shows were very poor, and the bar service was slow which was down to a lack of staff I would say rather than individual staff members - who worked very hard. The furnishings and some areas on the ship are in need of replacement, cleaning and maintenance. The excursions were OK, although I think the choice was quite limited. Overall I think the standards are low and there needs to be investment in the ship if it is to continue and attract new customers. But there were plenty of people who have never cruised with any other company, only Thomson, who will book over and over again - notwithstanding all the shortcomings. For the money that we spent we have been on better ships (cleaner/ better food / more varied entertainment) with other cruise lines. I was not sorry to leave this ship - although I enjoy the ports of call and the weather! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We have enjoyed 3 cruises on The Celebration previously so we knew what to expect from the ship and had chosen our cabin so we were pleasantly surprised to find it had been spruced up with new upholstery and carpets. We settled in quickly ... Read More
We have enjoyed 3 cruises on The Celebration previously so we knew what to expect from the ship and had chosen our cabin so we were pleasantly surprised to find it had been spruced up with new upholstery and carpets. We settled in quickly after a horrendous embarkation experience (described by several other reviewers) which was way below Thomson's usual standards and had them apologising many times over the next few days. To our delight, we found staff members whom we had met on a previous cruise waiting for us in the dining room on the first evening and it was like greeting old friends as they welcomed us! This is one of the special things that we love about Thomson cruises and we hope they don't change as they move to bigger ships in the future. The service in the dining room is easily as good as in any of the expensive restaurants we have been to in London and the staff are always happy and smiling. The food is pretty good too - a double edged sword on a 17 night cruise! The Celebration is a relatively small ship, but we love her. She has a proper promenade deck and is easy to get around by using the stairs for exercise, or lifts if you're tired. There are free self service laundries and several bars of which our favourite is the Horizons on the 9th deck with panoramic views at the front above the bridge. We were lucky enough to see and photograph a whale blowing from up there as we left Madeira! This repositioning cruise was different from a normal two week cruise in that there was no changeover of guests halfway through as there would have been doing two 7 night cruises back to back. Everyone who boarded at the beginning was on the ship for the whole 17 nights and no one else would be joining us, so we started to make friends that we met up with in the bars and at dinner and it took on a great atmosphere of camaraderie. This was helped by the extra activities that were available for the sea days crossing the Atlantic, such as the watercolour painting classes, chocolate making, dancing and singing etc as well as the nodding to people as we walked the laps of the deck in the mornings to try and work off some of the excess of food and drink! We had been a bit concerned about the weather and brought warm clothes and shoes in case it was cold and rough, but actually it got calmer and warmer each day as we got further south and west so we would pack much lighter next time. There will definitely be a next time as we absolutely loved this cruise - it was the best yet, even without any of the ports we saw! Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We just came off the Nieuw Amsterdam in Fort Lauderdale. The ship was lovely, the service was impeccable and the food was great. Onboard entertainment and activities need to be reenergized and reengineered though....The only activities ... Read More
We just came off the Nieuw Amsterdam in Fort Lauderdale. The ship was lovely, the service was impeccable and the food was great. Onboard entertainment and activities need to be reenergized and reengineered though....The only activities on the program were related to promotions of shops, Spa, bars and art auctions/lectures. Meaningful afternoon activities were almost non excitant. The ship caters to an older demographics (78 average on this voyage) and had 80% repeat passengers. Having such a high repeat passenger count may seem to be a blessing but it is a blessing in disguise...Passengers eat early and retire early and the only time you find anyone in the bars for cocktails would be from 4 to 5 pm in the afternoon. We were supposed to embark in Malaga on 4 November, only problem was that when we arrived in the port on embarkation day, the ship was not there! The ship was delayed in Barcelona and would arrive in Malaga 24 hours late - and no one had informed us! Due to the time difference, we were unable to talk to anyone in HAL, Customer Service, before late in the day and other than the usual "we are sorry", they were not very helpful. They acted more like "Gatekeepers" for senior management than problem solvers. When we finally embarked the following day, the embarkation was anything but smooth...No representatives from the ship on the dock, no porters and no one to assist - it took us almost 2 hours to embark. We were assured by HAL Customer Service in Seattle that all our out of pocket expenses would be reimbursed onboard. HAL, however, had standard tariffs for delayed embarkation and only part of our expenses ended up being refunded. While onboard we never received an apology for all the stress and problems we had experience, not a note, not a bottle of wine or a fruit basket in the cabin. Nothing at all. Although the Neiuw Amsterdam is a wonderful ship, we would be unlikely to sail with HAL again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015

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