The ship is kept clean and is very nicely decorated and furnished. I especially like that no more than 700 guests are aboard and the overnight port stays make the itinerary enjoyable. Mosaic Cafe specialty coffees, snacks, tapas, and the daily availability of several Gelato flavors at the Windows Cafe are real plusses. Stateroom service is the best in the industry.
The complimentary Azamazing Evening - An Evening Carnival at the Solis Theatre in Montevideo, Uruguay was the absolute best perk. Not only was the logistics of shuttling over 600 guests from the ship to the theatre run effectively and smoothly, the entertainment was stimulating and pertinent to the itinerary. Local talent appearing in the event were outstanding. Totally fun and an excellent shore excursion which made for great pics, vids, and memories.
Negatives observed were in-fighting among bar/service staff and also arguing and a walkout fit concerning lighting from the members of the Riviera Sounds Band. The DJ, Valentino, displayed poor attitude daily with his actions and cold facial expressions concerning several requests which were not played. Additionally, Valentino interrupted a Disco evening by allowing one guest to perform her Karaoke in the middle of the dancing. He does not know how to keep guests dancing and constantly breaks the energy level and dance mood with his own selections. A severe lack of live and/or background music was observed most days around the pool area and during sail-aways; especially the first sail-away. Why have a stage at the pool area if it is only used once during White Night? The show band, Riviera Sounds, and the DJ were all underutilized. They need additional assignments providing music and setting the atmosphere in the pool area and dance floors in the Cabaret and Living Room.
The food was hit or miss and mostly "miss" concerning flavor. For example, at the Windows Cafe the lasagna was worst I've ever tasted and totally lacked quality cheese and seasonings. Desserts and pastries, while pleasing to the eye also lacked flavor. The "Best of the Cruise" Dinner Buffet was a misnomer and merely a repeat of most of the flavorless offerings from other days like the lasagna. Where's the cocktail shrimp, lobster tails, and crab claws which should represent the best of the cruise? Dinners at Prime C and Aqualina are slightly better in quality and flavor. Prime C definitely offered the best dinner item selections in terms of quality. Table service is better than at Windows at these specialty restaurants.
Most of the food service staff are friendly, efficient, and available throughout all areas of the ship. I was able to enjoy the benefits of my Ultimate Beverage package with waitstaff tending to my needs. I was often alone by the pool or other areas and found waitstaff were good constantly asking me if I needed a drink. I was in shock and disbelief during the White Night dinner when the wait person Romeo, brought me a Pina Colada and lied to me and my party saying it contained Kraken Dark Rum. It was so obvious to all at my table that my drink was too light and definitely not made with the Kraken Dark Rum. I had to take the drink back to the bar where Ivan, the bartender understood the issue and corrected it. I took a photo of both Pina Coladas to prove the difference.
Tony, the Cruise Director, and Amanda, the Assistant Cruise Director were seldom if ever observed taking time to walk around guest areas. They should make much more time to greet and spot-check guest feedback along with observing and tending to any immediate issues arising throughout guest areas on the ship. As previously mentioned, I observed in-fighting among entertainment staff, servers, and poor performance from the DJ. Tony was only visible during the Daily Show on TV and during major performances; especially his own. He failed in his Cruise Director duties to guests by not being available. The Cruise Director and Assistant should announce and publish their office locations and telephone numbers at the beginning of the cruise as a courtesy to guests as other cruise lines do. I experienced many issues that needed the Cruise Director's attention but did not have a means for contact.
The itinerary for this South American cruise to Rio Carnaval was about perfect save I would highly recommend an overnight at Ilhabela, Brazil. Twelve hours at Ilhabela was not enough time to explore the quaint town's nightlife and all the waterfalls. Sao Paulo (Santos), Brazil seemed to be a lackluster port merely on the itinerary to refuel the ship.
SUMMARY: I was very disappointed with the lack of daily visibility of both cruise directors during this cruise. Only saw them at their shows, bingo, or on TV. They need to greatly increase walking guest areas and making individual contact with guests.
Musical performances by the band, trio, and DJ need to be increased in frequency.
Overall, food is lackluster in flavor. Suggest the chef taste buffet offerings before service.
MOST IMPORTANT: Implement served buffet service immediately in light of increasing sanitary concerns aboard cruises. I hate to think of the risk of transmission from other guests who use buffet serving implements without sanitizing hands.
First impression was very good on entering my inside cabin located forward on deck 6. Colors easy on the eyes, fresh carpeting, comfy bedding, plush robes and towels, nice large screen TV, ample lighting and controls, plenty of storage, well-stocked mini-fridge, ice bucket, tongs, corkscrew, minuscule bathroom is a prefab unit with barely enough room to shower for 5'9", 165 lb. person. The shower curtain constantly clung to my body. Extremely difficult to wash my feet as bending over in shower is nearly impossible without bumping into a wall or fixture. Sink is so tiny and close to the mirror, one cannot wash face/shave without bumping head on the mirror and splashing everywhere. Toilet is strangely angled about 45 degrees into a wall and bathroom door. I cannot imagine having legs longer than mine and sitting on this toilet. The bean counters and space estimators have really had a field day on this bathroom pre-fab unit. Felt as if I had a bathroom in a small motorhome. Never experienced one on a ship as small as this. The AC unit was separately controlled in my room, infinitely adjustable and best of all; produced cold air as I needed.
The itinerary for this South American cruise to Rio Carnaval was about perfect save I would highly recommend an overnight at Ilhabela, Brazil. Twelve hours at Ilhabela was not enough time to explore the quaint town's nightlife and all the waterfalls.
The complimentary Azamazing Evening - An Evening Carnival at the Solis Theatre in Montevideo, Uruguay was the absolute best perk. Not only was the logistics of shuttling over 600 guests from the ship to the theatre run effectively and smoothly, the entertainment was stimulating and pertinent to the itinerary. Local talent appearing in the event were outstanding. Totally fun and an excellent shore excursion which made for great pics, vids, and memories.View All undefined undefined Reviews
Sao Paulo (Santos), Brazil seemed to be a lackluster port merely on the itinerary to refuel the ship. Just another big city in Brazil with anything worth touring very far (about 20 to 30 minutes by shuttle) from the industrial dock.
The best way to experience Carnaval. Private camarote in area 8 of the Sambadrome. Paid almost US $900 for experience limited to 100 guests in an air-conditioned, security-guarded, luxury camarote with included Perrier-Jouet Champagne, top-shelf liquors, full buffet, massages, haircuts, live bands, dancing, lounging areas, private restrooms, and private, great views of the Carnaval parade.View All undefined undefined Reviews
Great tendered port. This is a resort town with a nice beach, walkable main town mall area, with a few places to eat and shop, and of course, the hand in the sand at Paseo De Las Americas, Playa Brava at Parada 1 (where most tourists headed). We ate lunch here since we were tired of the bland food aboard the Pursuit. Had fresh shrimp, langoustines, and salmon at Leonardo Etxea, a Basque Restaurant located at Joaquin Lenzia c/Bv. Artigas. It was all very fresh and excellent.