The only reason I didn't give this cruise a one out of five is because a few things went well, including embarkation and disembarkation; plus, the poorly trained staff at least tried (for the most part).
Our crew were all in training, but this was not a training priced cruise. $11,000 per suite (double occupancy). Crew experience was 16 weeks or less, except for a handful that were asked back and promoted! All were about college age and while nice, not trained or knowledgeable about what it took to do a good job. Very frustrating.
The ship looked very old (1980s décor), but it was actually built in 2005. It looked like a retirement home.
My room key was a frustration from the very start. Every time I used it I had to pull it out a bit from the lock, get it just right, then turn it, so it would lock or unlock.
No room safes, and on top of that, I was told there was no safe on the entire boat!!!!
I always locked my door to my balcony when I left my room, but several times, while docked, I arrived back and the room door out to my balcony was not only unlocked, but actually open so anyone could walk right in (I believe this was a housekeeping issue). After being gone all day long and not having a safe to hold things, it was very disconcerting.
The food was adequate, but nothing special – at all. The food was not plated well - just thrown on. It was not appetizing. All the menus were gone well before lunch (not a breakfast eater), so I couldn’t see what we were going to be having later in the day to know if I needed to special order. One day I found the extra menus in the garbage in the big room and dug one out (they were supposed to be available most of the day).
Food - inconsistent serving portions. The most glaring example was the strawberry shortcake. It looked like a wonderful, healthy, serving size when we saw the first trays coming out. Then, when it came time to get ours, it appeared as though they had run out when putting all the other portions together. Hardly any strawberries, vs flowing over in the first that came, and tiny portions when ours arrived!
We had the same issue with entrees, even at the same table. Some were almost double that of others. We originally thought people were ordering half sizes, but they were not, and people were disappointed (I was one of those several times). No portion control.
I had a salad at lunch and the lettuce was dirty – caked in dirt in the crevices. It had not been washed. Very gritty, unsanitary and nasty.
A couple of the servers could not pour without spilling.
One server, at least, could never get orders (food and drink) to correct person at lunch.
Cocktail hour food was nothing I ever wanted to eat.
The gym was a joke. Three pieces of equipment stuck outside on the back of the boat. I don’t even know what to say about that, except I was planning on being a user and never tried them once.
There were cracked ceiling tiles in my bathroom and the bathroom floor corners were nasty – not really sure if dirty or bad job on grouting (or more likely both).
Entertainment? What a joke. From bingo to music that was straight from the 50s, and not high-end.
Photos we saw ahead of time did not match our ship. This trip was misrepresented. I felt cheated. If I was paying $2500 for our suite, and been told it was a training crew, I would have expected what I got – 3rd rate service, food, rooms, balcony, gym, everything.
I am posting an online review so others who are smarter than I (because they will do more research) will know to stay away. I relied on the person making the reservations, and they relied on the cruise line’s word and brochures. MISTAKE.