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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose the Serenity having travelled on the Espirit and the Harmony and because we wanted to do a Baltic Sea Cruise. We have suite 11060 which is fine and it an added benefit to order dinner from any of the dining establishments. The ... Read More
We chose the Serenity having travelled on the Espirit and the Harmony and because we wanted to do a Baltic Sea Cruise. We have suite 11060 which is fine and it an added benefit to order dinner from any of the dining establishments. The check in was seamless. Our butler and cabin attendants, Jose and Lydia, were the best!!!! You could not find anything lacking in their lovely demeanor and commitment to our well being. The first two days we were in Copenhagen. The weather was less than attractive, rainy and overcast, but the city's personality shown through. The Danes are a wonderful people, very conscious of the environment, very hygge, the perfect city to start the cruise. The second port in Germany was kind of a bust. The town was ‘eh’. It is a nice little seaside town in Northern Germany. We took a long walk into town along a boardwalk filled with German tourists. English was rather sketchy. I recommend getting off the main tourist area and walking into town. They have a lovely church square and a sweet little park that the local use. Day 4 was the day at Sea and Formal Night. The cruise seemed very casual. Less than half the men was saw adhered to Crystal Casual or the Semi Formal attire. We had dinner in the dining room which is where our problems started. My husband was the first to succumb to the norovirus the morning of day 5. I will not subject you to the details, but suffice it to say it was extremely unpleasant. The medical team admonished him for not washing his hands enough, and he was quarantined leaving me to go to a lower floor overnight. His poor health lasted two days missing Helsinki and one day in St. Petersburg. I succumbed the 2nd day in St. Petersburg missing St. Petersburg and Tallin. I did not expect to find the Norovirus in such a high end cruise. I don’t have an official count but the ship has seemed very quiet and the medical center was very busy both days we visited. An airborne food disease is not the ‘fault’ of guests. It is the responsibility of the ship to provide a clean and disenfected environment. The first evening aboard the ship I witness tissue on the ground on the 11 floor, trash left in a stairwell to the work out room and napkins in the elevator. Really! On a Crystal ship! We have sailed on 17 different cruise ships since 1991 and this is the first time we have encountered the Norovirus. As far as other aspects of Crystal, I have yet to find a barista on board at least at the Marketplace that can make a decent cappuccino. How can you call yourself a luxury cruise line when the coffee station cannot make cappuccinos and don’t use the proper size cup to get the ingredients correct. I don’t drink alcohol but I do love my mocha and cappuccinos. Sorry to say, I have not had a decent one since we left the d’Angleterre hotel in Copenhagen. Excursion desk. My question is this, how can I purchase my ticket to the Russian ballet 5 months in advance and be seated with the crew, when someone who bought their ticket for the excursion a couple of hours before the show had tickets in the second row. Also, did I mention we purchased penthouse suite? That just did not make sense to me☹️. Also, you need better excursions. The company that took us to Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg also took us to a place to purchase souvenirs. On another day a private guide we arranged to use to a souvenir shop and the items were 40-50% less. Beware! I thought the service staff was great. Crystal society rep was less than lack luster, I approached while my husband was in the room, he was getting up to join his friend at the Cruise Sale desk. I stopped him to tell him what was going on, he did not ask me sit just let me talk to him in an open lobby, and immediately joined his friend when I was finished talking. I don’t like to say never, but after having travelled on the Espirit, I will not ever take another voyage on Crystal Serenity. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Iceland bucket-list trip on a tired old ship. Everything about the ship was off on this trip--rooms were worn, carpets stained, tables scratched, etc, tours late or over-booked, food so-so-ish, and service mostly good, but occasionally ... Read More
Iceland bucket-list trip on a tired old ship. Everything about the ship was off on this trip--rooms were worn, carpets stained, tables scratched, etc, tours late or over-booked, food so-so-ish, and service mostly good, but occasionally lax. Everyone from the Captain, yes the Captain, on down seemed unhappy with the ship and the itinerary. Rumors circulated that the Captain had complained about being saddled with this route at the Captain's dinner--"what did I do to deserve this...." My sense was that Windstar was just trying to get through a few more cruises on this ship before it enters drydock for a major overhaul in October. The ship's team talked constantly about the need to move on--every complaint was met with a sigh and a promise that the overhaul will fix all bad things. Don't like the broken shower faucets? We're fixing it. Don't like the drink stains on the table? We're replace them all. Wonder about all the repair work? Give us some duct tape and come back a year from now. Windstar did this to itself in many ways. Part of selling future cruises on this Iceland trip was to explain the company's desire to add cabins to every ship--the plans were widely advertised to passengers as a way to keep Windstar in the small-ship category by getting as close to 350 cabins without crossing over. Hence, the conversation was almost always about how tired the ships all are--"we'll be converting staterooms on the Wind Star here and on Star Pride there, etc., but will never go over. The whole dialogue was a distraction and left me wondering why we weren't told that this was a bucket of bolts before booking. And it definitely was a bucket of bolts. It was a great ship ten years ago after it was updated before joining the Windstar fleet, but it has suffered at every turn and the company has spackled its way to the drydock. Food was good, but this ship is not designed for an Iceland itinerary--not easy to eat outside when it is near freezing outside. And the inside amenities were, as noted, aging. Three ancient treadmills and two stationary bikes is not a fitness room and looping the same movies over and over day by day is not an entertainment program. As for ongoing service, reception desk was great but couldn't solve most problems--took us too long to get small things fixed and the ship was confused from time to time with scheduling, in part because Captain Surly was anti-social. The frontline staff was terrific as usual--highly motivated, but worn out by a brutal schedule. Lovely folks out of SE Asia for the most part on short-term contracts and 7-day schedules. Got to love them for their enormous effort. Nothing they could do about the ship's condition so far from the penny-pinchers in Seattle. Would I go on another cruise with the Windstar fleet after this? Absolutely. It's a fine company that cares about quality. I just wouldn't sail with them again this year or next. Give Windstar time to work through the kinks as its fleet goes into the renovations--these are major, major changes that involve cutting ships in half and adding new sections of cabins (see the promotional material at https://www.windstarcruises.com/starplus/). This is not just a little paint and new beds. I'm of the opinion that how a ship goes out is just as important as how it comes in. This cruise was a joy on many levels, but our satisfaction was IN SPITE of the company, not because of it. They have let this ship decline ever since they decided on the upgrades and it shows. Be careful about this, Windstar. Your own advertising about the upgrades contains the shadow of the neglect you've tolerated as everyone waits for the teardown. It showed on this voyage. If we had known more about it before booking, we would have taken another ship. Once burned, forever shy? (Oh, why does embarkation have to be such a crowded mess on Windstar? Not enough people and too little space to do this right on this ship. A mess and uncomfortable. Is that because the all-you-can-drink package sales-team is trying to make a sale? It's the last stop on this brutal, unhappy welcoming.) Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Whilst the embarkation and dis embarkation went very smoothly and the cabin and the ship itself was of a good standard we were left feeling disappointed at quality of the food on offer and the additional charge if you wanted a steak rather ... Read More
Whilst the embarkation and dis embarkation went very smoothly and the cabin and the ship itself was of a good standard we were left feeling disappointed at quality of the food on offer and the additional charge if you wanted a steak rather than what was offered on the menu. The price of beverages was a rip off, $6.75 for a can of Guinness probably with their buying power they get it for less than 50c a can. The entertainment was average at best, did not attend any half way through the cruise. The crew are excellent and friendly as they are on all cruise ships. First time with Princess and the last as well. Overall the potential was there to have a really excellent cruise but let down by the companies goal of adding more profits, not arriving in Skagen and 2 hours late arriving in Copenhagen just took the shine right off. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise for the ports. The Baltic ports were great. Unfortunately, this ship is poorly designed and way understaffed. And the staff, although friendly, was unable to do much if it wasn’t in their guidelines. No extra towels, ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ports. The Baltic ports were great. Unfortunately, this ship is poorly designed and way understaffed. And the staff, although friendly, was unable to do much if it wasn’t in their guidelines. No extra towels, etc. there was ALWAYS a 45 min line for customer service desk. Day and night. The specialty Restaurants only open at night and they are hard to book. The other food was about quantity not quality. Staffed gave us wrong information about free meal packages. The Poorly designed ship filters everything into the very loud and crowded atrium. They wouldn’t help off load luggage or book a taxi because we left too early. Good grief. On a positive note, they have a Starbucks where you can buy good coffee. Bottom line, They nickel and dime you for everything. The internet, free drink packages and dinners - that you pay a 20% charge for tips- aren’t free. Think those go to the staff? We could have gone on a luxury small ship and had excellent attentive service for what we paid. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
To be clear, we chose Norwegian because of the port stops and because the timing of this cruise allowed us to take it with another family. Overall, we had a great time with our friends, liked the port stops (except Russia), but the ... Read More
To be clear, we chose Norwegian because of the port stops and because the timing of this cruise allowed us to take it with another family. Overall, we had a great time with our friends, liked the port stops (except Russia), but the Norwegian part of the experience was disappointing. In the past, we have cruised with Disney (2), Princess (1), and Carnival (1). Liked... 1. The ports and excursions were generally good, but expensive. 2. Bar services were very good (few lines, good drinks). Sugarcane Mojito Bar was excellent. 3. The few on-board entertainment / shows were very good (Burn the Floor and Cirque Dreams & Steam, Sid Norman’s nightly rock entertainment). 4. Food was good, but best food was at restaurants where an extra cover charge was paid ($30+ per person). 5. Laundry service ($20 per bag) was a great service to offer. 6. My son enjoyed the 13-17 kids club. Activities were plenty and well-structured. Did not like… 1. The ship was not ‘full’ (we were told) but it felt crowded everywhere we went, especially on at-sea days. We found it difficult to find seats in the lounges & common areas; seating at the Garden Grill / buffet was terrible; lines at guest services were almost always 20-30 people deep; had to wait for an elliptical machine in the fitness area; waited 20 minutes in the internet café and walked away; no-cover restaurants had a wait unless you had reservations. 2. Did not like the "Free Style" dining option. They advertised 5-10 minute waits but, in reality, it was 30-45 minutes. If you did not make a reservation at least the day before, you will wait. 3. The pre-booking process did not support groups. We were not allowed to book an 18 & 14 year old in a room together. We could not link our reservation with that of our friends. Room or balconies do not connect. This created a lot of inconvenience when it came to booking things as a family or with our friends. 4. Lack of entertainment options and general poor timing of the entertainment. There was maybe one option for entertainment in the evening. No nightly movies available anywhere on the ship. Most entertainment options were something you had to pay for, or were geared towards selling you something. We were absolutely bored in the mornings and afternoons. 5. St. Petersburg Russia stop was a missed opportunity. If you did not book an expensive excursion with the Cruise Line, and you did not have a special Visa, you could not spend time at the port. The Visa issue was NOT communicated during booking and in all of the conversations my wife had with the agent. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
we sailed on this cruise as we wanted to visit the amazing cities around the baltic 1st The good points. The Onboard staff were all amazing from the Cabin stewards to entertainment crew, all very friendly and helpful. But I have to ... Read More
we sailed on this cruise as we wanted to visit the amazing cities around the baltic 1st The good points. The Onboard staff were all amazing from the Cabin stewards to entertainment crew, all very friendly and helpful. But I have to make a special mention to 2 members of staff who did go that extra mile to make our cruise special Putra our cabin steward was exceptional in trying to sort out our many problems that we incurred and secondly Gregg from the Bar staff who was entertaining, friendly, full of happiness and good fun to be near. 2nd The bad points. We entered our cabin and found we had a paper thin mattress that when you just touched it with slight pressure you could feel through to the bed frame. 2 wooden boxes with sharp edges protruding from the space in the headboard where our heads went. Another wooden box protruding from the wall near the access to side of bed. Safe not working. Fridge not working. Air conditioning not working. welcome to marella explorer. after complaining we were told that it would all be sorted out and not to worry. the reception staff ended up coming down to cabin as they seemed not to believe what we were saying and took photo's. we were informed that there was no other cabins available and they would put an extra mattress on the bed and pillows to cover boxes on headboard, 3 days later safe is replaced, refrigerator is replaced, air con is fixed(ish). We were told that the protruding boxes would be removed the following day, 2 days later we were informed that the protruding boxes could not be moved, a sorry was issued in the form of a scribbled note on a bottle of prosecco with 6 chocolate strawberries and we would have to make do! ships layout is not great if you are in the theatre and want a drink you have to walk 3/4 the length of the ship then que for 20 minutes by which time the show is finished Also if you want to participate in the evening entertainment and watch the evening show you cant as they overlap by 15 minutes so you either miss the end of the entertainment or the beginning of the show .... very poor planning Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise on recommendation from our travel agent. We flew to lovely Lisbon a few days beforehand, the joined the ship,looking very tiny berthed near some very large cruise ships. The welcome was decidedly perfunctory, and we ... Read More
We chose this cruise on recommendation from our travel agent. We flew to lovely Lisbon a few days beforehand, the joined the ship,looking very tiny berthed near some very large cruise ships. The welcome was decidedly perfunctory, and we found our way to our deck 4 cabin. It was pleasantly large, but definitely needed a good spring clean. The bed seemed hard and sagging, not a good start we felt. We liked the white marble bathroom and noted approvingly that the toiletries were quality Occitan. We explored briefly then went for a buffet lunch in the stern Verandah. It was a very ordinary buffet choice and we were astounded at the cost of the drinks on offer. We learned that many passengers had bought a drinks package, but as the wines were fairly mediocre in our opinion, we decided not to take up the package offer. It was lovely to note the teak decks , a small outdoor pool and hot tub, and plenty of deck lounge seating. We looked through the daily program, but it lacked variety or imagination, so we decided that a comfortable spot with a good book might be a good way to relax. Much ceremony was made of the sail away flag raising to the music of Vangelis’ 1492, used on other cruise lines we recalled. There was a comfortable lounge with busy coffee bar and a tiny library, but little else of note. It was a port intensive cruise with only one sea day, but we had visited all the ports previously, so did not read the excursion offers. In each port the ship laid on a shuttle bus to the centre of town , a useful service for those who wished to be independent . We were happy to wander, sample the local cuisine and bars in each port. We were right in our estimation... the bed was horribly saggy and worn, leaving us both with aching backs! Entertainment was decidedly limited, with a singing duo , but little else, with the exception of a lecturer with a sole topic. Dining was open seating, with varied menus and good service from the friendly Asian servers. It was not gourmet dining, but perfectly adequate. It would not be a ship we’d choose on future occasions, but it was an interesting experience. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We choose this ship due to the itinerary which was one of the few things we ended up happy with. We booked initially in Dec. Two weeks after final payment the price on our trip dropped by more than 60%. I was offered a $250 on board credit ... Read More
We choose this ship due to the itinerary which was one of the few things we ended up happy with. We booked initially in Dec. Two weeks after final payment the price on our trip dropped by more than 60%. I was offered a $250 on board credit as a consolation to the almost $7000 drop. Not ever cruising NCL prior I was baffled. I have never seen a cruise line struggle to fill cabins to the extent they created such a massive drop. That should have been our first clue! We boarded the ship and there was a massive wet brown stain on my carpet that the room steward tried to cover with the ottoman. The sheets were stained in three places and the mirror had two large handprints in the middle of it. Second clue? After calling housekeeping and front desk and to deal with the carpet I was told they would replace it in two days. Three days later they finally did. We went to La Cucina on the first night and were told my sons dining and drink packages were never paid for. They were part of our fare and had the receipt. They refused to acknowledge the receipt I had with me saying they had to make contact with the mainland. For 5 days they could apparently not make contact with the mainland and it took me having to have my husband call from the US to Orlando to have this fixed. It was their mistake. They somehow dropped it from his booking. No apologies from anyone. That seemed to be the theme throughout the cruise-we had exactly 4 crew members on the cruise that made our trip enjoyable and I will make a point to send a card to NCL about them because the rest of the crew just did not seem to care about anything. La Cucina was a huge disappointment and we barely ate our food. When the waiter picked up our plates he asked how it was and we said "honestly, not very good". He then proceeded to say OK and took our food away...never once asking how he could fix it. Their excursions are marked up beyond belief. We just were flabbergasted that they charged $199 for a Flam railroad ticket when you can walk right off (or better yet book ahead of time) for less than 1/4 of that! The only NCL excursion we did was Paris on Your Own. Our 6 hours in Paris was reduced to 2 1/2. No apologies. They really didn't care. They left over an hour after the ship cleared for no apparent reason. The ship itself is in good condition and we did enjoy and make use of the thermal suite everyday. Food, which I understand is subjective, was not at all the quality you find on Disney or Celebrity or even Royal. We struggled to find anything decent to eat most nights at dinner. You almost have to have a dining package for most nights. And even that is iffy...Cagneys and Le Bistro were good. The Mojito Bar is a bright spot. If you dare to cruise with them head there and hang out with Roberto and drown your sorrows that you didnt pick a better line. The perfect end to the cruise...the last night the sliding door in the shower fell off! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Let me start with the positive - the ports were fantastic and our family enjoyed every minute visiting the beautiful cities. We found the disembarkation and embarkation process efficient considering the number of passengers on this ship. ... Read More
Let me start with the positive - the ports were fantastic and our family enjoyed every minute visiting the beautiful cities. We found the disembarkation and embarkation process efficient considering the number of passengers on this ship. The two NCL excursions we participated in were a good value for the money and were very well run. Our independent tours through TJ Travel were fantastic. I agree with an earlier reviewer that this ship is designed for warm weather travel, making the interior public areas very crowded, so bring warm clothing so you can take advantage of the outdoor areas and activities. We were very fortunate and had beautiful weather the entire trip. It was hit or miss with staff overall, some were friendly but most seemed to be going through the motions and giving their minimum effort to engage with guests. Our room steward did his job, but made sure we knew when he was off the clock, which we thought was odd since the only thing we asked him for were some extra towels. Our issue is with the overall cleanliness, food handling and sanitation practices aboard this ship and is the main reason we will never sail with NCL again. I understand staff can only do so much, but sanitation practices are critical aboard a ship - especially one of this size. Public areas including the railings and elevators were not wiped down and sanitized during the cruise; by the end of the cruise, visible fingerprints and grime could easily be seen throughout the ship. Vomit in the public bathrooms was not cleaned promptly. Cafe' (buffet) staff did not practice or enforce basic sanitation practices (despite signage everywhere) other than "washy washy" and passengers reused dishes and routinely filled personal beverage cups right in front of staff and staff did nothing to stop them despite our comments and complaints. A large amount of passengers were coughing and sneezing openly throughout the ship, making proper sanitation practices all the more important. Our first specialty dining experience at Moderno went well and the food and service was very good. Our next dining experience at La Cucina was not so. The members of my family ordered different food items at La Cusina, but we all wound up with identical gastrointestinal distress afterward indicating whomever handled our food did not follow basic food sanitation practices; we all refused to attend our last pre-paid dining experience at Cagney's for this reason. I have shared my experience with NCL, and can only hope that for the sake of future passengers they will review and improve the food handling and sanitation practices aboard this ship. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
The itinerary was what we were looking for, hoped previous experience with NCL would be improved upon, not to be. The good... We made it to all the ports, even if it was a little late a couple of days. Our room steward was very ... Read More
The itinerary was what we were looking for, hoped previous experience with NCL would be improved upon, not to be. The good... We made it to all the ports, even if it was a little late a couple of days. Our room steward was very competent and attentive for the most part. The show Million Dollar Quartet was excellent. We did not use any NCL shore excursions, mainly due to the cost and previous reviews. We used an independent company for Berlin and St Petersburg, which were very good, but used Hop on hop off tours in other cities. Most are okay, although construction, traffic and street closures impacted the ease of getting around. Highly recommend using "Free Tour" walking tours, available in many cities. The bad.... The Internet. We had been warned, but reviews I read made me hope things had improved. Not so. Given that WiFi is available in every port, I would discourage anyone from purchasing the Internet packages. The IT staff were terrible, Even leaving passengers standing at their desk, leaving without any explanation. I had over 100 minutes on my account as we were coming into Copenhagen which I hoped to use to check on travel arrangements, only to find they had cut off access to my plan, and wanted me to sign up again! Giving you bonus minutes only helps if you can get on the Internet. All your time should not be used loving on and logging off. Very slow. The meals.... Trying to get anything at the trough they call the Garden Cafe was a joke. Limited variety, mediocre to poor food, and (although not the ship's fault) incredible rude fellow passengers made it a very unpleasant experience. You should not have to pay extra plus an automatic gratuity to get good food! As the cruise progressed, both my husband and I developed breathing issues while in the cabin. Headaches, clogged throats and sneezing. We asked the steward if they had used some kind of chemical carpet cleaner, but he said no, but by the time we left the ship, neither of us was healthy and both had hacking coughs. We noticed several other passengers in the same condition. The disembarkation process was a joke. As we were taking our own luggage and had a very early shuttle to catch, we asked multiple crew where to line up. Four people, four different answers. Unless you were travelling with NCL arranged shuttles, they had no idea. We almost missed our bus, no thanks to this confusion. A simple direction on the paper delivered to our stateroom directing those who planned to "walk off" to go to the forward elevators would have helped a lot. Instead they just said N/A. Publuc announcements would really have helped, too, but none seems forthcoming. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
From the beginning of the embarkation to the end I would have to say that we were sorry that we chose Costa. No communication had been given to us for getting to the ship from the airport. The phone number we were given was not in service. ... Read More
From the beginning of the embarkation to the end I would have to say that we were sorry that we chose Costa. No communication had been given to us for getting to the ship from the airport. The phone number we were given was not in service. We worked it out with a taxi at the beginning and end of the cruise at the cost of €100 each way. The itinerary was what we wanted and the tours were well done but for the language barrier. English was at the bottom of their priority list and messages were read after at least 4 other languages first. No one spoke English with less than a severe accent and making it difficulties follow. The crew was sour and rarely smiled. Our safety drill was a series of lining us up at the muster station. Pushed into rows of three, shoulder to shoulder I resented being touched by these serious crew members. Don’t touch me! Tell me. Oh yes, you can’t speak English. The food was mediocre at best. I’ve never lost weight on a cruise before. Communication and manners were lacking almost always. There were no substitutions in the dining room and vegetables were lacking. Any other cruise we’ve been on offer alternatives every day. The buffet was also lacking taste, variety, and tender meat choices. The same menus were offered every day. We could not have butter unless we asked for it and waited for someone to get it from the kitchen. Coffee was offered with breakfast and after that we had to pay for it at the bar. They actually have a drink pkg for coffee juice and water. Most of all, the waiters pushing past you with trays or reaching across you to serve or remove dishes was so rude. Whether you had to step aside for them as they rushed by or get shoved out of line as they filled the clean cup tray, the waiters were rude. Even in the dining room our orders were mixed up and waiters could not seem to serve plates in a mannerly way. They still reached across our faces to serve others. The entertainment was mediocre at best except for one singer and 3 acrobats. The dancers were not nearly what we have seen on any other cruise. Their poor synchronization accompanied poor routines. I guess what frustrated us most was the inattention to the English speaking guests with brief announcements which we did not understand. As well, the tour guides who could speak good English were few with a lack of ability to converse with us. Speaking of inattentive behaviour on the part of the crew, we were mainly ignored with little or no eye contact. The sour looks on most of the employees’ faces indicated a poor work climate perhaps and poor morale amongst staff. Wait staff never helped in any way but to clear dishes at the buffet. No smiles, no good morning, no ability to understand what you might be asking for, such as “Do you have hot cereal this morning, porridge, oatmeal, cream of wheat?” Our room steward was sweet and did his best with a stale-smelling stateroom. The pillows seemed to need washing and the carpets required a good shampoo. (So did our soap dispenser in the bathroom) Another warning is that the added 15% per day is a required fee. They do not regard it as a tip. In fact, they told us that we were free to tip individuals but we could not withhold any of the 15% per day charge for our severely poor service in the dining room. Speaking of money I’d like to say how angry I was at not being able to get an accounting of my charges. I had to have my husband with me because all room charges were put on his account only (even though we signed equal status for charges.) I was the one who booked the cruise, arranged for the tours, paid for our two watches that we bought, all on my Visa not my husband’s. When I asked them to change the accounting they told me that it could not be changed because of the system. All charges and payments would be under the man’s name in a cabin. Really, is this 1950? All said, our itinerary was ideal and the tours worth the money even without good tour guides. There was a lot of written information on each port to follow along. Within the opulence of this ship a number of disappointments seized us and threatened our joy of going to see the land of my heritage. But Norway out-performed this costa ship with its grandeur and awe inspiring beauty. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
The reason we picked this cruise was because of the itinerary and the overnight stay in St Petersburg, Russia. We had over 10 cruises in the past 2 years with different cruise lines and have been cruising with Royal Caribbean most of the ... Read More
The reason we picked this cruise was because of the itinerary and the overnight stay in St Petersburg, Russia. We had over 10 cruises in the past 2 years with different cruise lines and have been cruising with Royal Caribbean most of the time, so we thought it would be nice to try Regal Princess for this Baltic/Scandinavia trip. This was a family cruise with my husband, our 2 young children, my mom, and my aunt. However, we were very disappointed with Regal Princess. The ship layout was similar to Disney Dream, so there was no wow factors, and no high ceilings in the Dining Room. The ship décor was pretty outdated and tacky. The service and food were overrated. We were used to RCI's Junior Suite, but Regal Princess' mini suite was smaller than RCI's regular balcony room, with no walk-in closet and very little storage space! The balcony & bathroom were very tiny. When we arrived, we were shocked by how dirty our room was! There were dusts on the vanity table, coffee table, night stands, bathroom countertop, bathtub, glass shelves. There were hair and dirt in the drawers. We found leftover food and drinks from the previous passengers in the mini fridge. My mom and my aunt's Balcony room was even worse. It had only 1 chair, as it didn't even fit a sofa! The Medallion didn't work on the 1st day, and this Medallion is overrated as well. We preferred the traditional Key Card which we could carry in our wallets, instead of wearing the metal piece (Medallion) like a pet. The apps were a joke. We needed to download quite a few apps, one for pre-cruise check in (Ocean Ready) and a few others during On-Board.... And the apps were not even that great. We didn't understand why couldn't they put everything into one single app? The variety of food at the Horizon Buffet was nice. During meal times (even dinner time!) and Sea Days, it was very hard to find a table. If the buffet was crowded during dinner time, it told you that the food at the dining room was horrible. The breakfast buffet was the same every morning, and the selection was fantastic! I love the smoked salmon. Lunch and dinner consisted of traditional American staples, Asian, Indian, European, and theme cuisine. We were disappointed that the desserts were mostly Americanized (way too sweet) in this Baltic sailing. Many cakes were too sweet to a point that we could swallow. We miss our Royal Caribbean desserts, which was more European style with less sugar and more delicate. We did like the Afternoon tea, as the English scones were as good as those at InterContinental Hotel HK. Dining room service was ok. On Day 1, when we arrived Concerto Dining Room for Traditional Dining but found out our assigned table was occupied by another party. So, it turned out Regal Princess made a mistake. No big deal, they seated us at another table temporarily that evening. The head waitress was awesome. The assistant waiter was friendly at the beginning, but once he found that we were there for only one evening, his attitude changed immediately. From then on, he didn't want to serve us, so the head waitress needed to work super hard, including taking orders, bringing out dishes, and cleaning up. We felt bad for her, so we gave her some tip after dinner. The next evening, they re-assigned us to Allegro Dining Room for the traditional dining, and the waiters were great, thoughtful, friendly, and professional. The quality was the food wasn't to our standard. The fish dishes were always dry and overcooked. The steak quality was bad. The mussels were tough. Food was too salty most of the time. There was one time that my daughter's salmon has turned bad due to poor food handling. The only evening that was excellent was on the 2nd Formal Night, with delicious Escargots that resembles those at the 5-star hotel, lobsters that was fresh, and quality prime rib that was perfectly prepared. We like the Afternoon Tea time (3pm to 4pm) at Allegro Dining Room. However, we had a horrible incident on Day 10. We were going to meet up my aunt for afternoon tea. My aunt arrived the dining room first, and we were 10 min late because we got lost in Deck 6. My aunt asked for a table for 6, but the manager didn't let her go in because the rest of the party wasn't there yet. My aunt was 71 years old and just had radiation treatments for her breast cancer, so she was very tired all the time. In addition, she didn't have lunch that day and was starving by 3pm. So she asked the manager if she could have a small table and eat by herself first, as she was very hungry. But the manager still insisted no, and had her wait out there. Once we arrived, the manager was shocked that my husband, my kids, and I could speak English fluently (we are Asian-Americans). Then, his attitude changed completely, and was super sweet to us and treated us like VIP (What a jerk!)! Throughout the afternoon tea, we were not very happy with this manager for not respecting his wait staff and treating them like slaves by screaming at them and commanding them like slaves. The waiters and waitress were very efficient though. They were very nice to our two young children. The scones, pastries, and mini sandwiches were amazing. The service at International Cafe was a hit or miss. The crew member who served us was very nice, but the one who served my aunt was horrible. She mistreated my aunt just because my aunt spoke broken English. Sabatini's was disappointing. The dishes, including the complimentary bread sticks, were mostly deep fried at some point during the cooking process. This was not how Italian cuisine supposed to be. The seafood dish that I had was overcooked and tasteless. The menu of this Sabatini's on Regal Princess was totally different from the Sabatini's locations on Land. The Fitness Center was small, but served my needs. The machines were so close next to each other that I could smell the sweat of the man on the elliptical next to me. Shopping was very limited, as we were expecting more name brand shops such as Salvatore Ferragamo, Coach, Cartier, and so on. The kids' club was one of the best, with very attentive staff and fun games & activities. Our kids (7 and 8 years old) had a blast! They looked forward to Sea Days, because they wanted to go to the kids' club. However, other than that, there wasn't really anything for them to do while on this ship. The photography team was the best of all! All of them were very helpful and very good at their profession. The photo quality was the best out of all the cruises that we have had! We purchased the pre-cruise package deal at $199, which came with all print and digital copies. We took almost 300 photos in total! The service on the ship was not up to standard. The crew members seemed to be unhappy, comparing to RCI. We even witnessed how the supervisors yelled at the crew members and called them names (e.g. "You stupid!") in front of the passengers. The Internet service was slow and unstable, even at the ports. It made it very challenging for us to work and conduct our business transactions and bank transactions during the evenings on board. We missed the Royal Caribbean's VOOM, which was the fastest internet service at sea, even in Europe. The excursions were amazing, which made our trip unforgettable, despite of the poor service and food on the cruise ship. We signed up the Discovery Exclusive tour in St Petersburg, where we could tour the palaces during the before and after hours, in order to avoid the crowds. At Catherine Place, we had an exclusive tour of the garden and the palace at night (after the palace was closed to the public), followed by the orchestra and Royal Dance performance in the grand Reception Room. The ball room was even more splendid at night, and the dancers in costumer brought you back in time. It was truly a one-of-a-kind experience which would last for a life time! Another thing that we did like about Princess Cruise is that it provided very informative and educational materials about all the ports and cities every evening. We wish that the other cruise lines could do the same thing too. In general, we loved our excursion tours offered by Princess Cruises (especially the Discovery Exclusive ones), but not the cruise ship itself. We didn't regret for sailing with Regal Princess, because we were all about trying different things (Hey, at least, we tried it!). However, we will definitely go back to Royal Caribbean, or try another cruise line, in the future, unless there is an itinerary that we liked very much and is offered by Princess Cruise only. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
This was my 13th cruise with NCL and every year they seem to get worse and worse.The Food,entertainment and overall service is deteriorating like anything. Food is cold even in specialty restaurants. The spirit should be grounded as ... Read More
This was my 13th cruise with NCL and every year they seem to get worse and worse.The Food,entertainment and overall service is deteriorating like anything. Food is cold even in specialty restaurants. The spirit should be grounded as soon as possible as it is in a terrible run down condition and most areas of the ship seem to be in need of an upgrade or repair. The service in specialty restaurants is extremely slow and in the end you get cold horrible food. the menu is extremely limited in all restaurants. The music was sub standard throughout the ship. The air conditioning is virtually zero as it is centrally controlled and they are trying to save money by keeping the cooling to a minimum. I stayed in a penthouse this time which was in an old depleted condition with foul smell in the bath area. Everything seems to be needing some kind of upgrade. I am Platinum member a status which has virtually no benefits. Am seriously considering shifting to other cruise carriers for my future cruises. 'I STRONGLY DO NOT RECOMMEND NCL TO ANYONE" It has really really deteriorated over the years .Total waste of money. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Chose this cruise for the itinerary and the reputation of RC ships. Our 2nd cruise ever and first 1 was on Celebrity Equinox. The itinerary was not a disappointment- however- the ship was a great disappointment. The social spaces were ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the itinerary and the reputation of RC ships. Our 2nd cruise ever and first 1 was on Celebrity Equinox. The itinerary was not a disappointment- however- the ship was a great disappointment. The social spaces were all dark and dingy. The ship seemed to be overflowing with people, hard to find a space to escape the crowds. The entertainment was just adequate. Not of a high standard although the Ice Show which had a theme was very good. The food- average. The best night we had was at Izumi. Giovanni average. The Windjammer was like a canteen. And the Saphire lunch and dinner was almost same food as the Windjammer. The cabin was lovely, spacious however there seemed to be a permanent odour of some sort. The staff seemed in the main to be pre occupied. Not all happy though they tried hard. We are going to go on Quantum of the Seas in January - this was booked before this cruise and I am really hoping for a better experience Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Our party of four sailed on Oceania's Nautica in May 2019, leaving Barcelona onto Lisboa, with a southern dip to the Canary Islands. Spent additional four days in Lisboa and the surrounding area. The cruise itinerary was terrific, ... Read More
Our party of four sailed on Oceania's Nautica in May 2019, leaving Barcelona onto Lisboa, with a southern dip to the Canary Islands. Spent additional four days in Lisboa and the surrounding area. The cruise itinerary was terrific, the main reason we chose. Alas, the ship is a tub, well past its prime. Built in 2000, this almost two decade boat shows its age. Cabin furnishings are tattered. TV is tiny. WiFi didn't work and when it did you were limited to one device per cabin, and it was dicey to change devices without losing the WiFi. Ships colors are dull and lifeless. Casino has perhaps 10 slot machines, some out of order. Our Veranda chairs had to be replaced due to stains. Concierge class offers nothing over standard Veranda cabins (brochure highlights of Concierge benefits only apply to Oceania's larger ships...bait and switch). Food in main dining room average. For the premium price Oceania charges the experience is vastly overrated. jWE cruised on Oceania 7 years ago and found everything to be classy. Something has happened to lower their standards. To be fair, highpoints: cruise Director Carson is absolutely wonderful. Such a waste of talent to be assigned to the Nautica. Shows and fly-in talent were great. Avoid this ship till after 2020 June. If you book prior to that date Oceania should give you a big discount. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
My husband I were on MSC Preziosa for the 11-night Northern Europe cruise (May 26 - June 6). We picked this cruise because of the itinerary which included Hamburg, cities in Scotland and Iceland. The ship interior was beautiful and the ... Read More
My husband I were on MSC Preziosa for the 11-night Northern Europe cruise (May 26 - June 6). We picked this cruise because of the itinerary which included Hamburg, cities in Scotland and Iceland. The ship interior was beautiful and the public area was clean. This was our first cruise with MSC. We have cruised over 10 times with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Norwegian. We were disappointed by MSC food quality and overall service. It is unlikely I will book another MSC cruise again. FOOD Breakfast -- The breakfast selection was pretty much the same everyday. Coffee is too weak everyday. Pastry quality and selection were good. Plenty of fruit Dinner -- We picked the 1st seating option in the dining room. I would rate the entree quality from poor to just OK. The food presented often did not match the descriptions on the menu. Occasionally, there would be a good entree and/or desserts. I was most surprised by the poor pasta entrees since MSC is an Italian cruise line! SERVICE The ship appeared to have the most confusing beverage policy. For example, we had the non-alcoholic beverage package. We could get free bottled water in dinning rooms but not at the buffet or different bars. I could get a free cup of tea but not coffee after dinner. We were charged Euro 3 to 5 each time. Different staff members had different explanations. Many passengers were confused and argued with servers about this. Our cabin service was below par. It took several days to get face cloths and a missing mug. The room to room phone message system does not work. We were traveling with another couple and there was no way to leave them a phone message. We called the guest service and was told that the message system on the phone does not work. ENTERTAINMENT The in-house group of singers and dancers was quite good. However, it could get repetitive night after night. On the last full day of cruise, it had a piano concerto performance by Maestro Mauro Bertolino in the afternoon. It was great!!!! TV and COMMUNICATION The in-house TV offered little useful information except I could review my room charges online. It does not even show the temperature of the port of call. There was only one English speaking station (BBC). I bought the standard Internet package. It was working fine until the last week. EXCURSIONS We booked our own private tours. The ships offered many excursion options but appeared to be overpriced Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Note, this May 25, 2019 HA Rotterdam sailing (May 25 to June 8, 2019), was a 14 day Norway cruise, not 21 days. We booked this to see the fjords, scenery, certain tours, and go beyond the Arctic Circle to the most northerly point in ... Read More
Note, this May 25, 2019 HA Rotterdam sailing (May 25 to June 8, 2019), was a 14 day Norway cruise, not 21 days. We booked this to see the fjords, scenery, certain tours, and go beyond the Arctic Circle to the most northerly point in Europe. There were two key port downgrades due to tender maintenance issues...completely within HA control, and either an example of poor maintenance or an inadequate PM (Preventative Maintenance) Program. Neither of the substitute ports (Skjolden or Hellesylt) offered anything like the originally planned excursions that Flam and Geiranger offered. Flam and Geiranger were prime ports due to their excursions, and losing these ports was a major disappointment, all within HA control. There was very poor communications issues with port changes. Nothing when checking in, nothing from the room steward when handed the excursion tickets, about the missing ports / excursions. We had to call Guest Services as to why we were missing excursion tickets, and the communication was matter of fact that due to tender issues, had to change the two ports...lack of empathy or apology. The Captain's approach to dealing with the issue was very negative. I met with the Captain on behalf of a group of 25 Cruise Critics members re the port changes, expressing disappointment and asking for fare reduction, and instead of empathy, the Captain said that he would not tolerate any potential growing unrest, and that if the Cruise Critic group met again, that under Maritime Law I would be put off the ship at the next port. The Cruise Critic group was taking no unrest actions. The Captain's approach was an unbelievably negative experience. Other ship issues: Safety concerns associated with the drill and lifeboat changes / positions. When everyone was lined up at their life boat position, there was only about a metre of space to the railing, with people trying to walk by. If everyone was wearing their bulky life jackets, there would have been no space. We view that the life boat drill without wearing life jackets is not realistic and is an inadequate drill. Frequent toilet not flushing issues. Frequent Sat TV not working. General ship condition - rust, some cracked windows. No laundry room, with excuse of 'hygiene'. If that is real, then every laundry mat in the world should close. We suspect that the real reason is that the washers and dryers break and need regular maintenance. Food and food service was very good. Room steward service was very good. We outlined these issues to the HA President, and requested certain financial consideration. While HA indicated that they would follow-up on the issues that we raised, HA only offered a dinner at the Pinnacle Grill, on a next cruise...wholly inadequate. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because of the wonderful array of Baltic sea ports and excursions. While the stops exceeded expectations in almost every case, the shabby condition of the ship and the indifferent food and service left us with a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the wonderful array of Baltic sea ports and excursions. While the stops exceeded expectations in almost every case, the shabby condition of the ship and the indifferent food and service left us with a negative feeling. Food service - even in the specialty restaurants - was always rushed. We repeatedly had to ask that service be slowed down and that not all items be served at one time. In the main dining room, food choices were lackluster, and food was rarely served hot. In Le Bistro, I was served tepid French Onion Soup; a request for a warmer portion resulted in another lukewarm offering. Cagney's steakhouse served excellent filet mignon, sauced well, but the waitstaff was completely unable to order/serve cocktails correctly. A request for a vodka martini, "up" with olives, was met with a neat vodka, no garnish. My request for a list of after-dinner drinks resulted in a menu of all Mojitos. The servers really pushed and rushed us through that meal. The buffet was terrible - food was rarely labeled, and when it was, labels were difficult to read. The food quality was substandard, and seldom more than "warmish". Shore excursions were, for the most part, excellent, with well-qualified guides. The great exception: Copenhagen. This is a congested city, and the "tour" featured the back of the bus in front of us, crawling through traffic. The guide repeatedly walked off and left guests, failing to return to the agreed-upon "meeting spot", resulting in delays. She also, after 3 hours, was unable to direct guests to a bathroom. Ultimately, guests demanded to be taken back to the ship, some hiring taxis when the guide refused. The cabin was decent, and our cabin service was excellent. The bathroom, however, was so cramped that there wasn't room in there to change your mind, let alone anything else. The toilet space was designed for a child of 10; other guests told us they could not even use their cabin bathroom, but were forced to use public toilets. I'm 5'10", and my knees hit the wall every time. We've traveled on 4 other cruise lines, and never had such a cramped space. Finally, the overall condition of the ship gives the feeling of "shopworn". The lobby and bar furniture had upholstery which was worn and frayed at the corners and edges of cushions. The sofa in our cabin was also worn and shabby. We asked to have the balcony chair replaced, as the fabric had been shredded where it joined the frame - which was covered by a towel when we arrived. We had sailed on this ship on an Alaskan cruise some years ago; the intervening years have not been kind to this faded gem. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We went on this cruise for the variety and number of ports. We're trying to see 100 countries before we get to be 100, up to sixty three (63) so far! entertainment was very good. Some shore excursions were excellent, some not so. we ... Read More
We went on this cruise for the variety and number of ports. We're trying to see 100 countries before we get to be 100, up to sixty three (63) so far! entertainment was very good. Some shore excursions were excellent, some not so. we always look for a quiet place to relax and read, while the library is nice it's usually crowded and so we used the spinnaker lounge until the activities crew came in, a nice facility. the ships layout left me wondering who would design a ship that you cannot traverse stem to stern both starboard and port of deck seven? design of the summer palace restaurant was beautiful... But having to use stairs to enter was dumb!! who puts the not smoke free casino adjacent to the theater without expecting smoke to waft into the theater? who designs a bathroom with a water closet so tight you can barely change your mind in it? but it was a beautiful room!! why does senior crew not provide an indication of the daily temperature range for those planning an excursion? put it on the tv or better in the daily paper. how difficult is it to provide such simple info? who charges their crew $15.00 a month rent for their room... Shared with two or three other crew members? who manages a ship where the elevators are controlled during "peak times" to the point where fourth, fifth and sixth floor passengers cannot use them... "you'll need to use the stairs." i feel certain the over crowding could be managed better, stagger the excursion times, stagger the restaurant hours or make them longer, do something!! who designs a movie area in the busy guest relations area of the ship? who designs theater seating so tight you feel as if you're on the toilet in your cabin? i figured out who designs these things... No, no not the architect. i believe it's norwegian cruise lines in an attempt to create as much revenue as possible! They even have a TV channel named "REVENUE." The crew members are the saving grace of this ship... Everyone we encountered was fantastic, helpful, and understanding. but most of them seemed dismayed on the operations of the elevators. There's more but i think i got most of it out... Larry Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Having cruised with rccl many times and other cruise lines, this cruise has made me question ever booking with rccl again. It’s become very similar to the reasons why we don’t travel with p&o which is a shame. Main issues: - ... Read More
Having cruised with rccl many times and other cruise lines, this cruise has made me question ever booking with rccl again. It’s become very similar to the reasons why we don’t travel with p&o which is a shame. Main issues: - staff generally unhappy. Miss the American service from 5+ years ago where they couldn’t do enough for you. With the staff on here everything was to much trouble. - have turned into a company where they are constantly looking to upsell to you. Perks or small gestures for returning to them, such as little gifts in your room have disappeared. - all the little things add up to disappointment. Can’t get lemon slices in your drinks, room curtains were old and had holes in them so light came through, constantly rammed in the windjammer, massive queues constantly to guest services, booked anytime dining and couldn’t get in for a meal at 6.30am, 5% charge for casino spends, the amazing if daytime activities has dramatically reduced, waited for room service for some toast for 90 minutes. The service and attitude of staff has changed dramatically and for that reason we won’t be booking again. Princess are much better!! Don’t waste your money!!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because it seemed like good value for money and was visiting some ports not previously visited. We boarded Costa Majestica in Genoa and from then their organisational skills or non organisational skills became evident. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it seemed like good value for money and was visiting some ports not previously visited. We boarded Costa Majestica in Genoa and from then their organisational skills or non organisational skills became evident. It took at least 4 hours to get on the ship with no regard for the elderly or disabled. The cruise was 28 days from Genoa to Stockholm. Most of the crew were not very friendly, the food was ok but always cold in the Buffet. Getting on and off the ship at most ports was a nightmare long ques along the ships passage ways or when coming back to the ship stretching hundreds of yards with people trying to push to the front which nearly caused some serious fights because of no crew supervision. Again with no regard for the elderly or disabled. Most of the shows and entertainment were in Italian ( which I suppose we should have known, an Italian ship leaving from Genoa). A lot of pre good excursions were cancelled because of the lack of English guides with some people having trouble getting their money back on some tours. We were also told by Costa that when filling in their feed back form only 9 or 10 score will be accepted for questions on the form or it will be discarded, Never agin will I sail. Costa. If anyone from Costa would like to contact me I would welcome it because no Costa represventive on the ship cared very much Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Where to begin...ship is old. Despite upgrade a couple of years ago, still old. Food...generally bad. Cagneys, Le Bistro and Asian were ok. Modenos was well terrible. Buffet was hit or miss. Casino was a casino but if your a player ... Read More
Where to begin...ship is old. Despite upgrade a couple of years ago, still old. Food...generally bad. Cagneys, Le Bistro and Asian were ok. Modenos was well terrible. Buffet was hit or miss. Casino was a casino but if your a player management were cold. Service was generally good. Staff were as friendly as they could be. No point in getting a Haven Suite. Regular Suites got the same thing. They used Moderno or Cagneys for breakfast and lunch for suite guests. Every time went there food and service was deplorable. Guest Service folks were great once you got to them as the lines were unacceptable. Ports are what you expect them to be but if your in Bruge do not book the Express Shuttle. Complete ripoff. Dump you off a long way from town. Better off with a cab. In fact NCL excursions should be not considered. Book a car or a cab. Room... had a 2 bedroom suite. Beware of where you are. We were deck 11. Every morning between 5:30 and 6 heard them setting up chairs etc. Banging was continuous and constant. If your going to northern Europe consider another line. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Chose this cruise primarily for the Itinerary - however we missed 2 ports. The 1st due to NCL's disorganization and leaving Copenhagen several hours late. The 2nd Port there is conflicting information, Captain said high winds, ... Read More
Chose this cruise primarily for the Itinerary - however we missed 2 ports. The 1st due to NCL's disorganization and leaving Copenhagen several hours late. The 2nd Port there is conflicting information, Captain said high winds, newspapers say dock had ambulance and police do to an incident. Getaway designed for the Caribbean, not Northern Europe. People normally on water slides, the pools, etc were inside making for a very crowded, very noisy ship. Activities were over subscribed and over crowded and a different venue should have been used. Previous cruises with solo activities were incredible, non existent on this sailing, so bad not funny, embarrassing NCL! Total disorganization and long waits, we were 2 hours in Edinburgh, with the tendering. Food in Savor and Tast lukewarm and overcooked at best. Buffet was insanely crowded. Staff were excellent and great service in the cabin, restaurants and bars. Overall, very disappointingly and would avoid this ship until they get their act together. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I picked this cruise over others because of the itinerary. Before we ever sailed, we had issues with our plane reservations which we booked through them. They never communicated with us anything about them and assumed that we just knew to ... Read More
I picked this cruise over others because of the itinerary. Before we ever sailed, we had issues with our plane reservations which we booked through them. They never communicated with us anything about them and assumed that we just knew to go into their web site and look at our cruise documents for our plane ticket information. No one ever told us to do that. They failed to get us seats on our outbound flights which was a huge hassle since both my husband and I have disabilities. You can not call one number and get things done. You have to call one for the reservation, one for the plane, one for entertainment, one for dining. I was on the phone for hours as you would be on hold for up to 45 minutes. Many of the departments are only open on weekdays during business hours and this includes Premier Air even if you have an emergency and your plane is late as ours was. Our plane was 1 ½ hours late leaving the US be and we only had 15 minutes to make our connecting flight in Germany. By some miracle we made it. Some other people from our state made it through NYC but their luggage did not. They were more than 50% through the cruise with no luggage and NCL took no responsibility for their luggage although they had booked their plane reservations through them. They try to cut the reservations too close to avoid people arriving too soon at the terminal. Beware making your plane reservations through them. I highly recommend arriving a day before. This is the first time I have arrived the day of the cruise. It was a nightmare. The communications from NCL, except to not arrive at the port early, was the poorest of any cruise line I have ever been on in my life. They called, texted and emailed us not to arrive at the port early, yet could not communicate a single word about our plane tickets. I had never sailed on NCL before and did not know that they had a reputation for missing ports for little or no reason – well it happened to us. We missed two out of the nine scheduled ports including one I had really wanted to go back to. Ostensibly the reason was “weather”; however, the port was sheltered and although they claimed 30-40 knot winds, they didn’t look like any 30-40 knot winds this blue water sailor had ever seen. It seemed like more of an excuse to try to get people into the dead casino with an extra sea day. The first port we missed because they were 5 hours late leaving the port the first day. We got a whole $50 credit per state room for their mistake. We got no consideration for missing the port because of “weather.” We liked the location of our stateroom (11262). It was quiet, close to an elevator, close to most dining and entertainment, etc. Food, dinning, spa, etc. is located either at the front or aft of the ship, so the closer you can get to what you are going to use the most, the better. The inside of the ship is a maze of cabins and we were unable to navigate from end to end without going to a public deck. This 16-deck ship is a monster and it took a while to get oriented. There are no comfortable places to sit, read or relax anywhere if you are sailing, as we were, in the North Sea when temperatures are in the 40s to 60s. Everyone was stuck inside and on top of each other. I have never found a ship with so few places to sit and relax. I was glad I paid $319 for a membership in the Thermal Suite just to have a quiet place to go that wasn’t in my cabin. They have teak loungers in there. The Getway had been in drydock for two weeks when we boarded. Everything was supposed to have been refurbished. My TV, coffee maker, remote control and telephone did not work. I had to ask for bath robes, which were supposed to be furnished. The chain of command for getting things fixed was not clear. It was impossible to call down and get anyone to answer your concerns on the phone and I sometimes got a snarky answer. The line at Customer Service was impossibly long, so I started going at 10 at night to avoid the lines. I highly recommend that you sign up for everything in advance – a lot of people could not get reservations for excursions or shows they wanted. The TV and onboard kiosk system were confusing to me. I do not advise paying for anything in advance. You may change your mind about what you want to do. With the exception of Madinero, we regret we did any of the specialty dinning. They were mediocre and not the fine dining we are accustomed to– especially Ocean Blue which we had as a part of our dining package and had to pay extra for on top of that. Madinero was a Brazilian Steakhouse and was excellent. We enjoyed Burn the Floor. We missed Million Dollar Quartet because it took them three hours to get us back by tender after an excursion although we had allocated an hour and a half from the end of the excursion. We enjoyed eating at O’Sheehan’s, which is included. Taste and Savor were about the same, but the lines were often long. The descriptions were not always on point. It also often took a long time to eat. If you participated in the excursions, you had very little time to shop and the shops had very few items from the places this ship went – Denmark, Scotland, Norway and Iceland. They were loaded up for their next cruise – the Baltics. This didn’t seem right. Although they had an extensive art gallery and auctions, they had very limited merchandise in their shops. I understood from people who had cruised on NCL before that this was their worst experience. The staff was unfriendly, didn’t work together well, would not follow through, etc. Everything was not terrible, but for what we paid, it was not what we were expecting. They also want to nickel and dime you to death – everything is extra. The one bright spot was the Excursions Staff who handled my disability better than any other excursions staff on any other cruise line. Kudos. They get FIVE STARS!!!!! I wish they could have done something about the three-hour tender wait. I was so incensed about the poor service and missing the ports, I had my service charges removed and tipped my steward myself. They don’t want you to know this, but you can do this by going to the Service Desk and filing out a form. Some people paid around $1200 for this cruise, as they were not sold out and dropping the price until they weighed anchor. We paid many, many times that as we booked almost a year in advance and our expectations were commiserate with what we had paid. I didn’t pay for a bargain cruise and I didn’t expect a bargain cruise. In talking with others about why they picked NCL, some said it was price, some said itinerary and some said because of the singles program. Unless I get a deal I can’t refuse, this will probably be my last NCL cruise. One last thing, NEVER drink the water in your stateroom. ALWAYS get your drinking water from a restaurant. They filter that water but do not filter the water out of the tap in your stateroom. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
First time on NCL and we picked this one due to its itinerary (Iceland, Norway and no Russia), and it will be the last time on an NCL line. The ship had too many passengers and not enough indoor space as we were in generally 40-50 ... Read More
First time on NCL and we picked this one due to its itinerary (Iceland, Norway and no Russia), and it will be the last time on an NCL line. The ship had too many passengers and not enough indoor space as we were in generally 40-50 degree weather and strong winds which basically eliminated most of the outdoor spaces - pool, slides, athletic areas, Waterfront restaurants - leading to crowded public spaces, including all the rather tiny venues for shows. But my biggest complaint was the nearly complete lack of information from the ship, either too little, too late, or not at all. No port maps were provided, nor information on how long (if possible) it would take to get to town or the tour buses (nearly a 10min walk to the buses at Reykjavik), no information on what was happening (no info on why we were 5hrs late out of Copenhagen, necessitating skipping the next port of call, nor explaining about the tender fiasco at Edinburgh (probably related to the death of a passenger and the illness of two others - which we didn't hear until the next day from family members back home - requiring expedited tenders for the Scottish emergency crews and getting everyone to shore,) The crew was a mixed bag - awesome steward - with many lacking the simple ability to just say 'hello" and actually ask if you want your plate removed rather than just reaching in for it. NCL is big about having guest call out exemplary service and because we found the service rather poor throughout (2hrs to eat dinner in the Main Dining rooms? really?), we made the point of filling out those cards for the few that did shine. As noted by other reviewers, way too many pay venues, shows, entertainment - as if paying for the cruise wasnt enough - and a heavy push on merchandise (esp the shops and art show) and "deals" to sail w/ NCL again (not). It was obvious that many of the crew were new as the logistics end was a hot mess. For the tours, instead of handing out the buses numbers and sitting people (in the theater) in an orderly manner, both were haphazard, leading to a near riot on trying to get space on the tenders at Edinburgh. And its a shame too because the ports were amazing, the fjords, waterfalls, geologic wonders were unforgettable, too bad the method and lodging of getting to those ports IS forgettable... Read Less

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