We booked this cruise at the Nurnberg Germany Airport when my wife found a Bargain Price...08 to 20 Feb 2019 We normally take time and search for reviews but we did not this time, our mistake.
I had recently had my 3rd back surgery and was in a walker when we booked so the travel agent asked for wheel chair assistance. When we Arrived no Wheelchairs. My wife inquired and was told we don't do that... but the lady in Genova pointed me to an elevator.
At Check in we were told our cabin keys would be in our cabin. and to use our booking papers to purchase drinks until then. it was 0930, and our cabin would be open around13:30 or 14:00, not being able to walk much without pain we settled at a seat near the ships entry point where we were offered a choice of 9 drink packages. some for with meals only drinks, some for non alcoholic and some for alcohol. Prices start at 19, 29, and 39 Euro's a day per person and all in a cabin must purchase the package. the entry level package were good for draft beers and only a few special drinks up to 6.10. Euros. Bottle beer start at 6.50 and required the 29 Euro Price. Name brand alcohol required the 39 Euro package. Ice cream and coffee and water were not free and required a package. Coffee was free at Breakfast. I only met one couple from Canada who bought an Alcohol Package and One who purchased the non Alcohol Pkg, but got a refund after an argument with ship staff when they did the math. They only drink water, which was 2.90 a bottle. We like to cruise and have spent over a 150 days at sea on 4 previous cruise lines. We like to be served as I have trouble standing for long periods and walking for short distances. to My surprise in the dining room Lunch is also a buffet. only dinner is served. Breakfast is a buffet with some options like pancakes and omelets orderable. About 50% of the time the table was set with a coffee spoon or a butter knife. no standards seemed to exist or no one was checking. Tipping was set at 10 Euros a Day per person and automatically charged to your account, as were a donation to UNICEF. At our first meal we were offered Bread. no butter was on the table and it took a full 20 minutes and an argument with the waiter the head waiter his assistant and the head of the ding room to get it fixed. we were initially told it was company policy not to put butter on the table. After I made a scene we had butter the rest of the cruise on every table. The food was sub standard compared to other cruise lines. I actually lost weight. A steak was never offered on the cruise. Lobster was offered twice at a 22 Euro upcharge. my veal had a large bone and every chance they had they smothered your meal with tomato sauce or bad cheese. We had 3 formal nights but many wore T-shirts.. dress codes were not enforced. A couple at our table wanted coffee with desert, They were given drink tickets as part of their cruise and bought us several drinks. Problem was always the emphasis was always on getting the paperwork done and your account billed and signed before they would get you a drink, or coffee. only on the last day of an 11 day cruise did he get his coffee with his desert after I again made a scene as he ate 2 deserts and everyone was leaving dinner when they finally brought his coffee. The staff did Try to meet our requests but they always seemed worried they might get in trouble for doing what we asked them. Training and customer service were not a priority.
The Cruise Director was invisible the entire cruise and her only appearance or function I saw was at the show to introduce the heads of each department. If she fell overboard no impact on the ship would be felt. The staff did speak multiple languages.
Entertainment was a bright spot as we enjoyed the entertainment crew who would entertain the audience before each show then dance with guests after. On stage it was also great entertainment, except for 4 opera nights. these were opera singers not productions often only a piano player and a singer. Not my cup of tea.
Shore excursions were good except for Rome and Crete. In Rome we had a hop on hop off bus tour. We were dropped a long distance from the nearest bus stop with lots of roads and stairs and turns to navigate, near a kilometer. We were told to find a Burger King to use the bathrooms by our tour guide after an hour and a half bus ride from port to Rome. as soon as we were issued our tickets for the Hop on Hop on Bus the guide disappeared. In Crete the bus stopped for an hour while she took some guests for a long walk in heavy rain to look at some old part of a one horse town on Sunday with nothing open. When we were given free time it was 40 minutes and it took 15 to get to the city center from the bus leaving no time to eat and little time to shop before we had to walk back 15 minutes to the bus. The shops were open in the port town and would have been better time spent than in the little town. This was true for most other tours we took too little free time. Often I had to let my wife go alone as I waited because I had difficulty walking, which is no fault of anyone, but know you will walk long distances and have little free time on excursions. They make a point of taking you to souvenir shops they are affiliated with on these excursions.
Our Cabin was clean but aged with broken tiles in the shower. shampoo and body wash was in the dispensers. Bring conditioner. Never was a towel folded in the cabin into an animal shape. My wife wanted two single blankets instead of the larger singe blanket and it was provided. No complaints on the cabin or service.
Casino I amassed over 5000 points, you get a free cruise for 2 at 9999. I was offered 30% off my next cruise and 250 Euros casino Play. There were no free drinks offered as on other cruise lines at 1500 points in the casino. I will not be back to use this offer.
Clean but aged, wear and tear visible in shower. No folded towel animal,. no treats on pillows. BASIC
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