This cruise came highly recommended to us by my parents, who had been on this ship and cruise twice before and loved it. We invited them to join us, and they were so excited to do so again. By the time the week was over, they were ... Read More
This cruise came highly recommended to us by my parents, who had been on this ship and cruise twice before and loved it. We invited them to join us, and they were so excited to do so again. By the time the week was over, they were mortified at all the changes and at our experience.
Upon embarking on the ship, we entered into QVC on the Water hell, we felt like we were trapped in a time share sales nightmare, where every time we turned around, someone was hocking more fees and things to buy, nonstop. It started with the gourmet restaurant packages where every 5 steps someone was trying to sell these to us, which went on for about 4 hours or so, until we could get to our cabin and hide. After that it was the drink packages, then the nonstop merchandise sales.. and it goes on and on.
The dining room staff - OMG. We ate the first night in the Silk dining room, which was a nightmare, where our table literally bordered the aisle, so every time someone came in, walked around, left.. they were walking right by my shoulders, because the tables were right on the aisle. There was no room to move the table in. I spoke to the Maitre D Lucien for a table change, whose repeated answer was he would try but could not guarantee a change. The idea of eating another meal so stressed (the atmosphere was circus-like) was just unacceptable. I shared that with him, and got the same answer. Upon not getting a change message by the next day, we changed to the call ahead room instead. While they gave us a little big of grief over the change, with the manager sending us back and forth between rooms, once this was done, this dining room was a joy, waiters were amazing, the guy who was in charge of the dinner service there was so personable - it was such a relief. And the food was delicious.
Eating in the Windjammer if you slept past 10 or during lunch when the dining room was closed was a nightmare.
The pictures were horrible. These people need to learn to take pictures! Poses were boring but moreso, they take them from straight on or lower, instead of above you, so you always look like a potato, regardless of your body type. They didnt put any pics in my parents folder, and were very impatient and rude when my parents explained that viewing the pictures with all the lines and patterns on the pictures through their digital system was too difficult for them (they are over 75 in age). They promised to print them out by 6 the next day, at 10 when she still had done, the manager snarked at her that he was too busy to print them.
The water show was AMAZING, we loved it! Pass on CATS and the ice skating. The rink is so small, these poor skaters were falling, I was terrified for them. They had an additional show on the second to last night supposedly for adults, but the line was sooooo long and wrapped around the boat with teens, we could not get in. My parents were pretty shocked considering this show previously had been a bit racy and not for kids younger than 18. In a boat of 6000 people, this was very poorly planned.
This is to say nothing of the air conditioning that is freezing during the day and got turned off every night around 1-2 a.m. so we would wake up roasting. When i called, they sent 2 flunkies to test it, there was no air coming out.. and they said the room was 68 - not quite. I was in tears by Wednesday night at the guest services desk. The gentleman there was very understanding, told me to wait 30 mins and in fact it got fixed for the rest of the week.
Our room was wonderful, very spacious, it was an outside cabin with a window. It actually was in the very front of the boat, it was great. Our steward was the best too. I loved the piano bar and dancing in the club downstairs was fun. LOVED Solaris, where no little kids at the pool or on deck. They have these huge round comfy chairs two of you can sit on and just watch the ocean. Food there is good too.
This is a very big ship- but not a ton to do. There are A LOT of people, 6000, and after a day or so in sea, everyone is stir crazy. Too many kids during this time.. some people literally brought their kids into the bars at 11:30 at night, the poor kids were sleeping in the chairs sitting up, where there not enough seats for those of us wanting to dance. One person even parked their stroller in there - no one said anything, i thought this was very poorly managed.
The ports were great. We went to St. Martin, Puerto Rico and Haiti. Shortest time spent in Puerto Rico, we had to be back by 1:30, which was really disappointing. Instead they needed extra time in Haiti, which was sooooo hot and buggy, big Zika virus zone, so wished we could have had extra time in Puerto Rico, no bugs during the day at least.
If you are looking for a relaxing experience, this is not the venue. If you like the hustle and bustle, dont mind 25 people in an elevator and the nickel and diming, you will have a great time. Read Less