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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We arrived at Port Everglades, and check-in was only delayed because some of the local agents seemed to be still learning the whos, whats, wheres, whys, and hows of the Medallion system. Boarding had not quite started, but within 15 ... Read More
We arrived at Port Everglades, and check-in was only delayed because some of the local agents seemed to be still learning the whos, whats, wheres, whys, and hows of the Medallion system. Boarding had not quite started, but within 15 minutes or so, we were on the ship. Our cabin wasn't ready yet, but I dropped off our case of wine and carry-on bags before heading to the dining room for lunch. Our waiter strolled in about 10 minutes later....he had just returned to the ship after spending several months at home, and he wasn't in his groove yet. We were in vacation mode, and apparently, so was he, so we chuckled about it. We ended up eating in the main dining room only a couple of times, opting for the buffet, and specialty dining more often than not. Once at both Sabatini's and Planks BBQ, twice @ Steamers, and four times in the Crown Grill. Sabatini's: It's been at least 7 years since we've tried Sabatini's. The meal was excellent. Everthing was fresh, and tasty. My only complaint....it's a loud room, Lots of hard surfaces. They also sat 5 tables in our waiter's section within minutes of our arrival, including a party of 10, swamping the poor guy, but everyone stepped up to get things served as timely as possible. He thanked us for being patient. Hey, I'm on a boat, with my wife, and a killer bottle of Chianti. What's not to like!? Planks: Service was great, but the food was only so-so. But when it comes to BBQ, I'm a tough cookie, because I live in Georgia, and I'm surrounded by great BBQ. Steamers: We really enjoyed the view from the window while chowing down on great seafood. Add the crab legs and lobster! Not everyone likes certain things, so it was real easy to say, no clams, or no mussels. They gladly offered substitutions. The service was outstanding. Crown Grill: Excellent service. I'd always drop off my wine a few hours before our reservation, and it would be decanted, waiting for us when we'd arrive. I had the lamb chops twice , and they were cooked perfectly. My wife had with the filet each time. Only once, did she have to send it back for being under-cooked. It happens every once in a while, and they took care of it. The entire CG staff were kept busy all night. Princess would go broke if they had to pay these folks by the mile. Vines: We enjoyed 2 flights of wine, and the pricing was very reasonable. Service was perfect. MDR: We had dinner there once, and were seated in a section that didn't have a waiter. After a few minutes, the Maitre D' asked us who seated us there, and quickly found a waiter to serve us. He did a great job, even without the help of an assistant waiter, but we found ourselves missing the friendly faces of the servers on the Lido Deck. The Ship: They are keeping her up nicely, always busy working on something. They are dealing with a/c issues in both public areas and cabins. We needed someone to fix our a/c the first night at around 11:45pm. They adjusted everything, and it was ok for the most part, but not 100%. Fans were offered, we declined. Our cabin was R745, the very last inside on the starboard side, which we absolutely love due to it's location. Three steps up, and you're at the terrace pool. We liked to call it our own private balcony. We ate breakfast and lunch up there most of the time, and there's always someone willing to bring you a drink or take your plates away. Every member of the food & beverage team we encountered on the Lido Deck, were delightful. Service was excellent. The Crew: Everyone seemed to be in great spirits as they had just finished doing months of 7 day Caribbean sailings, and this was a big change for them. New ports, cooler temps, and a week off from dealing with a turnaround day. We rarely encountered any lines or delays going here or there, because we learned a long time ago, that the early bird gets the worm. We were usually off of the ship while most were just showing up for breakfast.We walked between 5-6 miles each day in port. In a stop like Charleston, it was nice to walk and see everything and be back on the ship before it was too hot. How do you avoid an hour long line to buy ferry tickets in NYC? You download their app, and buy your tickets on your phone. I realize that some folks were miserable on this cruise, while others, like us, hated to leave. It's all up to you how you want to spend your time. Do you spend the night complaining, or do you choose your battles wisely and roll with things. I'll give you an example, there's a special drink I like on the platinum/elite lounge menu, I'd order it every day, and it was consistently made wrong. Instead of sending it back each evening while my wife drank her cocktail, we'd joke about if they were going to make it correctly or not each time. They got it right only once. A miserable record, but great folly for us. Some people seemingly take comfort in berating the help, I witnessed some doozies on this sailing. I would never let folks talk to my employees that way. So....if you don't like standing in lines, go before or after everyone else does. Don't get angry at the Maitre D because it's your anniversary and you can't get a window table. If it's so important to you, make arrangements ahead of time. Plan ahead, so you can enjoy later. You're on a floating hotel in the middle of the ocean, if you can't somehow enjoy yourself, you deserve to be miserable. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We paid for a large suite and were extremely disappointed, as all advertising material said that in Club Class we would enjoy an upscale menu. All regular dinning venues had through the ship had the menu, but we were offered ONE additional ... Read More
We paid for a large suite and were extremely disappointed, as all advertising material said that in Club Class we would enjoy an upscale menu. All regular dinning venues had through the ship had the menu, but we were offered ONE additional appetizer & entree per night. Could not believe that when ever the ship was docked all dinning venues are closed with the exception of the buffet We did not take a large suite to go to the buffet I will say the food & service were fine We were only able to get seats to one show in 13 nights by cutting dinner short, everyone was complaining. The theater is too small Tendering was a joke, people were going crazy trying to get off We were supposed to spend a whole day in Quebec City, but one night received a notice that the water authority issued an order that everyone must go slower so we wouldn't arrive until 12PM. They must have gotten several hundred complaints as two days later the authority miraculously changed its mind so we could speed up and arrive at our 9AM scheduled time. But we didn't seem to be going any faster The crew were just not attentive or well trained Not the best cruise we have been on Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We boarded this cruise in Ft. Lauderdale. Embarkation and debarkation were very smooth and efficient, as we used the Princess medallions, which we received prior to leaving home. We had an inside cabin B741 on Baja deck (11), near the ... Read More
We boarded this cruise in Ft. Lauderdale. Embarkation and debarkation were very smooth and efficient, as we used the Princess medallions, which we received prior to leaving home. We had an inside cabin B741 on Baja deck (11), near the rear of the ship. It was comfortable and quiet, with very little outside noise. Everything worked, and our cabin steward was efficient in cleaning and servicing our cabin. The bed was very comfortable, and my wife both slept very well throughout the cruise. The weather was almost perfect, with only a couple of rainy periods and high temperatures in the 80's during the day. The ports of call were interesting and welcoming. We visited Charleston, SC; New York City; Newport, RI, Boston; Bar Harbor, ME; Saint John, NB, Halifax, NS, Sydney, NS, and Quebec. All of these ports had lots to see and do with the exception of Sydney, NS, which nevertheless was a pleasant walk around town. Charleston has a number of well preserved homes, and we simply walked around, enjoying the relatively cool weather in the morning in Charleston. In NYC, we docked in Brooklyn (Red Hook). This was less convenient than docking in Manhattan, but there is a ferry stop at the cruise terminal which terminated at Wall Street in Manhattan. It was crowded due to the number of cruisers, but we got to Wall Street after about an hour of waiting to buy tickets and then boarding. We visited the 9/11 Memorial, which is very well done. After lunch, we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, and had a long wait (90 minutes) in the rain for a ferry back to Red Hook. Newport was a pleasant surprise. We walked the most accessible half of the Cliff Walk, and enjoyed seeing the estates there. The public transport was pretty good. We rode a hop-on, hop-off bus to enjoy the attractions in Boston. There is a stop relatively near the cruise terminal that is served by Old Town Trolleys. There is a cheaper hop-on hop-off service which we did not use since it does not serve the cruise terminal and would require a walk of almost two miles each way to access. Bar Harbor is the gateway to Acadia National Park, and we took a guided bus tour of the park (Oli's Trolleys) that including most of it's high points. It was well done, and a convenient way to see the park. Bar Harbor also has many restaurants and drinking establishments serving the tourist trade. We took a hop-on, hop-off at Saint John's NB. Highlights here were the Reversing Rapids, in which the river flow changed direction when the tides in the Bay of Fundy ebb and flow. We also enjoyed a flight of beers at the Moosehead small batch brewery, which was a treat since I last time I had Moosehead beer was in college in the 1970's. There is a lot to do in Halifax, NS. We visited the Museum of the Atlantic, which has a very good exhibit on the Titanic, and the Citadel. There was not much to do in Sydney, NS, but we had a nice walk about town, coffee and Timbits at Tim Horton's, and a beer at the Governor's pub. One of the best things Princess did at Quebec was to overnight there, which allowed more time for our visit. We stayed an extra night at the Hotel Chateau Bellevue. As a result, we had a good opportunity to see the sights in the old city, and take a day trip to the Isle d'Orleans, the St. Anne basilica, and Montmorency Falls. We had a great time in Quebec, with great places to eat and drink. The people of Quebec were friendly and welcoming. Taxis to the airport are a flat rate of C$35, which was cheaper than Uber. We were surprised that there were relatively few flights out of the Quebec airport and they are relatively expensive. A number of our fellow cruise passengers opted to either take a shuttle or the train to fly out of Montreal, which has much better flight availability. In summary, this was a pleasant, relaxing cruise. Service was excellent, and the ship was well maintained. Although Princess sometimes can be disorganized, such as the tendering to Newport, RI, it still has a good combination of quality and comfort. The biggest complaint I have with this cruise is the relative lack of enrichment activities. Entertainment was excellent, with very good production values, but a lot of people were turned away because the theater could not accommodate everyone.The food was uniformly good, but for the most part not exceptional. We did have an exceptionally good meal in the Crown Grill, which was worth the $29/pp upcharge. Our cruise was good value for the money. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Coming from Florida, this cruise was a good choice for us. We have easy access to Port Everglades and had the opportunity to enjoy cooler summer weather in New England and Canada. We have sailed with Princess many times and are Platinum. ... Read More
Coming from Florida, this cruise was a good choice for us. We have easy access to Port Everglades and had the opportunity to enjoy cooler summer weather in New England and Canada. We have sailed with Princess many times and are Platinum. The ship is pretty, the food is good, and the ports enjoyable. A downfall for some might be the entertainment. The peculiarly designed showroom fills up fast, and one needs to claim a seat almost an hour before a performance. We didn't bother going. Too much trouble. Because this was a new itinerary for employees in the excursion department, they were inexperienced and caused some chaos with crowds leaving the ship at various ports. At some of the ports, the walkways from the ship to the terminals were very long...one example was Charleston which was 5 stories down..and then up. Our balcony cabin was attractive with new carpeting. However there was some mold in the bathroom and a dirty bed skirt which was quickly replaced. We did have a wonderful 13 days on the Caribbean Princess. Vacations are what you make of them. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
My spouse and I had wanted to do a New England / Canada Cruise for sometime. We were fortunate enough to have benefited from a last minute sale from Princess Cruises that allowed us to experience this wonderful itinerary. Our experience ... Read More
My spouse and I had wanted to do a New England / Canada Cruise for sometime. We were fortunate enough to have benefited from a last minute sale from Princess Cruises that allowed us to experience this wonderful itinerary. Our experience aboard the Caribbean Princess was generally very good but there are some minor issues that should be reviewed by Princess in order to improve their service onboard this ship. We booked an Oceanview Cabin that was partially obstructed but were pleasantly impressed with the size of he cabin and the storage space that was available for us during this cruise. The bathroom on the other hand was quite small that lacked storage space for toiletries and one needed the skills of a contortionist to benefit from the space provided in the shower. Our Stateroom attendant was excellent and our cabin was kept in immaculate condition. We participated in the Anytime Dinning and our overall experience was varied depending in which dinning room we were assigned for that evening. In the evening some of the Dinning Rooms were at capacity when we arrived and the Maitre D would often assign us to another Dinning Room in order for us not to have to wait for a long time for a table. This resulted in mixed results in regards to the service we were provided by the staff, Generally the service was very good but on occasion the server would get the order wrong and the wait times for service would vary from a few minutes to one one occasion twenty minutes. The quality of the food in the Dinning rooms also varied from being very good to poor, Over the years we have observed, as well as other long time Princess Passengers, that the quality of food in the Dinning Room has somewhat deteriorated although it"s still better than many other Cruise Lines. On the other hand the food in the Buffett was surprisingly very good and the selection of food was impressive. We attended two speciality restaurants onboard the ship including the Italian and the BBQ Restaurants and found the service and food to be excellent. The entertainment onboard the ship was very good. The production shows were off a very good quality although one of the production shows experienced some technical problems and it was cancelled half way through the performance. The Princess Band, performers and cast members of the production shows were of a very high calibre. Outside of the never ending Art Auction so called Enrichment Programs there was nothing in regards to guest speakers to discuss the Historical significance of the ports we were visiting. Outside of Halifax we booked our excursions through the Princess and we enjoyed all of them. Most of our excursions were of walking variety and did require a certain level of fitness. Clearly these excursions should not be booked for people with any mobility issues. The only issue regarding excursions was what occurred during this cruise was in the Port of Newport. This Port required tendering in order to get ashore and the process that took place regarding this experience can only described as a fiasco! It took up to two hours for some passengers to get ashore through the tendering process from the ship. Needless to say there were a number of unhappy passengers on that day. Overall we did enjoy this cruise and we definitely would book another cruise with Princess. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Main attraction was an opportunity to visit ports on eastern shore of Canada and the United States. I chose Princess because my previous cruise experience was very good. This cruise is much different than expected. Upon landing in Fort ... Read More
Main attraction was an opportunity to visit ports on eastern shore of Canada and the United States. I chose Princess because my previous cruise experience was very good. This cruise is much different than expected. Upon landing in Fort Lauderdale Princess personnel provided little assistance other than yelling, herding, and selling transfer vouchers. The voucher for transportation between airport and pier required additional wait till me of more than forty minutes, another stop in the airport and holding any carry on luggage upon your lap due to the fact that metal rods were installed along the upper shelf to prevent anyone from using them. Upon arrival to the ship contradicting directions were provided passengers regarding what should be done with luggage. Crowding and screaming resumed throughout the boarding of the ship. No one assisted with direction to rooms, food, rest area, etc. As the trip continued the Captain made several long winded announcements that were misunderstood because he could not speak English well. On one occasion he announced "an investigation of a matter is underway." Many passengers were certain the crew was investigating. "MURDER!" The Cruise Director provided little introductory information regarding any port. No excursions were described. The threat that "you can miss the boat when your excursion is purchased directly. Princess also enjoyed price gouging, for example HOP ON HOP OFF in New York posted rate of $55 sold for $99. Exiting the ship became a hide and seek game at every port. No announcements were made to inform passengers at what level the gangway would be placed. Entertainment on this cruise was excellent, however the theatre is so small one must arrive at least thirty minutes early. The Princess has also implemented system in which a madallian Is given each passenger. The madallian are several colors depicting how many times you have been with Princess. Elite and Platnum levels were paraded by guests having a lower medallion status. The crew appeared unprepared for any medical emergency. A passenger who could not breathe required more than five minutes to receive medical assistance. His help appeared after the ship captain announced the need. The ship Doctor provided assistance two hours daily. Another passenger fell getting off the boat. He was not helped by any Princess staff. Upon his return to the ship after visited nag the hospital he found all of his belongings had been packed. He had to beg the doctor to return to the ship and his room. He was charged $250 for the packing and cleaning of his room. I share these stories due to the fact that more than fifteen percent of the passengers appeared to be ninety years old carrying canes, walkers, and wheelchairs.Elite and Platnum members will brag and boast of the wonderful time they enjoyed on this cruise. Good for them. I regret that I will be unable to reach this high social status. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
This was an amazing cruise with 9 ports ... there was so much to see and do in every single port! We thoroughly enjoyed the smaller group excursions. The LuLu Lobster boat, in Bar Harbour, was one of our favourite excursions. We ... Read More
This was an amazing cruise with 9 ports ... there was so much to see and do in every single port! We thoroughly enjoyed the smaller group excursions. The LuLu Lobster boat, in Bar Harbour, was one of our favourite excursions. We wouldn’t recommend the whale watching as there were about 250 passengers on the boat; very crowded and the chances of seeing a whale is minimal (we didn’t see any because the fog rolled in). We did see numerous animals and birds randomly throughout the cruise. We were somewhat disappointed with the organization of disembarkation for a few of the shore excursions. Entertainment on the ship was exceptional! At a couple of the ports they had local groups come onboard to perform - ex. French Canadian group in Quebec and children’s Celtic dance group. We had issues with some wait times for the anytime dining however Moises in the Palm Dining room took good care of us once he realized there was an issue. Food choices and quality were great! Our room steward, Richard, was the absolute best! Our cabin was exceptionally clean and the Richard took very good care of us! All in all a fabulous cruise and experience! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This was our second cruise with HAL. The first was through the Panama Canal and was memorable. This one was more memorable for the Cons than the Pros: Pros: We like the Neptune suites because they are spacious and there is access ... Read More
This was our second cruise with HAL. The first was through the Panama Canal and was memorable. This one was more memorable for the Cons than the Pros: Pros: We like the Neptune suites because they are spacious and there is access to the Neptune Lounge, breakfast in the Pinnacle Restaurant, the complementry laundry, and the Concierge who is very helpful for anything that comes up. The crew was excellent and our cabin stewards were very helpful. The drinks were well made and reasonable, but they do tack on a 15% gratuity in spite of the $16 per day gratuity assessment. Who does that go to? The hamburgers by the pool were very good. The no sugar added desserts were excellent. WIFI was faster than other ships. That means it was adequate. LOL Cons I thought the food was lacking, except for the Pinnacle Restaurant. We ate in the main dining room twice. The first time I had halibut which was overcooked and dry. The second time I had pot roast which was bland and required salt and pepper. I mentioned the overcooked halibut to the concierge and got a phone call from the head waiter offering to make another reservation and also the food services officer stopped by at our table at breakfast to apologize. This would indicate that the crew is very serious about the food. That's why I feel it is a budget constraint causing the "just average" food. The food in the buffet was just average, except for the fried shrimp, which were so small that you could not see the shrimp in the breading and the NY steaks were somewhat tough. I think the budget was screwed down pretty tight. A big problem was that the buffet seemed understaffed, causing lines at the various stations. By the time we found a table, our food was usually cold. Kids were running around everywhere and the table density in the buffet was very high and made it hard to walk between tables. WIFI is not included, but is available at a flat rate. $139 per week per device. The per device sucked as you had to knock off the other person to get on wifi. The speed was pretty good for shipboard wifi. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Choose this cruise because it was close to a two week cruise. Loved the ports of call, and had not been to a few. Great ending in Quebec where we choose to stay a few days and then take a train to Montreal! Had never been to theses ... Read More
Choose this cruise because it was close to a two week cruise. Loved the ports of call, and had not been to a few. Great ending in Quebec where we choose to stay a few days and then take a train to Montreal! Had never been to theses places in Canada. My favorite stop was Bar Harbor Maine, the Natonal park tour was very interesting! The medallion on the cruise ship was a fun experience which we had tried on other princess cruises. Throughout the ship there were places you could use your medallion to find out what the venue for the day was, and where the activities were being held. Our room was a premium balcony in the aft corner of the ship! Fantastic balcony and room! The whole cruise on the Caribbean Princess was exceptional! Our captain was very engaging and good at announcements and keeping us updated! Love princess cruises, this was our 30th cruise just with princess. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I think this particular cruise is all about expectations. We read the reviews... older boat, older crowd, not the best entertainment, etc, etc. Because we already knew this going in, we had a wonderful time! We took out 12 and 5 year old ... Read More
I think this particular cruise is all about expectations. We read the reviews... older boat, older crowd, not the best entertainment, etc, etc. Because we already knew this going in, we had a wonderful time! We took out 12 and 5 year old kids and we had 2 oceanview staterooms (2525 and 2529). Pros: The food was overall very good. The buffet tasted like normal cruise food, but the dining room had some really good dinners. I would say they excelled at the meats and sides. The soups and salads were average. The desserts were amazing. There were 4 entertainment options we liked. They did a live concert to Planet Earth 2 which was really beautiful. The comic was funny enough. There was a violin duo that we enjoyed, and we liked the America's Test Kitchen presentations. We liked that the pools were not crowded and we could always find a lounge chair. We were also VERY impressed with how we really didn't wait in line for anything. Our last cruise was on Disney and we felt like a heard of cattle everywhere we went. On the Zaandam, our embarkation was immediate, our bags were in our rooms quickly, our shore excursions days were a matter of just walking off the boat and we didn't wait in line for dinners. The longest line we had was waiting for our crepes in the morning ;-) The best part of this cruise was probably the ports! We were only at sea one day. Prince Edward Island and Quebec City were what I was hoping for, and we loved Bar Harbor, Maine. If you want to enjoy Sydney, you must do an excursion. We just walked off the boat to the town and it was a major disappointment. Halifax was OK. Cons: It's an older boat. Everything was clean and nice, but having been on many other cruises, there was nothing cool or exciting to see. Just your average boat layout with shuffleboard and ping pong. I was surprised at how much you had to pay extra for things like exercise classes and soft drinks. I was also surprised at the prices of the spa options. For this reason, we didn't do the spa although we would have liked to. The kids club staff was very nice, but they were always closed. We would get flyers about kids club the morning of, but the flyer would say you needed to call the day before to reserve your spot. So that was frustrating. Overall, very smooth sailing, super friendly staff and fellow passengers and we had a delightful time! We did come across a handful of older people that did not appreciate the energy of our kids so that was a bit hard, but we also came across an equal amount of truly amazing people that treated our kids so wonderfully. My kids didn't want to get off the boat! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Our cruise on the VeenDam was not a pleasant one. The food was terrible and the ship was dirty. We had dinner at our assigned table only 3-4 times. We just could not tolerate the food. After finding a hair in my salad we didn’t go back ... Read More
Our cruise on the VeenDam was not a pleasant one. The food was terrible and the ship was dirty. We had dinner at our assigned table only 3-4 times. We just could not tolerate the food. After finding a hair in my salad we didn’t go back to the dinning room. Janet almost threw up when I found the hair. One morning we were having an omelets and I discovered a hair in my omelet. (picture attached) Another morning I grabbed a fruit cup and was eating the fruit when I looked down and saw a filthy glass the fruit was in. I took my finger nail and scratched the crud. This was disgusting. I took the cup to the front desk and heard crickets. (picture attached) After this incident we lived on scrambled eggs, yogurt, fruit, salad and pizza for the majority of the cruise. Anything that was prepacked or would be killed in high heat. The fruit juices were watered down just like their cocktail drinks. We went one evening to the Crow’s Nest for happy hour. The Holland America app said happy hour was from 4:00-4:30. This crated a lot of confusion with the bartender. The guy in front of me had a discussion with the bartender about the time. I showed the bartender the H.A. app which clearly said 4:00, but the bartender insisted it was 4:30 as printed in the daily ships guide. The bartender eventually gave the guy his drinks at first one at regular price and the 2nd for $2.00. When it came my turn, he said I had to pay full price or wait until 4:30. I told him this was discrimination and the people behind me agreed. It is obvious some of the ships personnel need to be retrained. It gets more interesting. Every evening at happy hour there was trivia. The cruise director Tom Webber was great as was Eileya who did the trivia in the evening. One evening we ordered Mojitos. The bartender never mulled the lime and mint together, so on this evening I discovered a bug in my drink. (picture attached) There was dust everywhere. No one ever dusted the bases of the fixed table.(picture attached) I called for a meeting and Mr. Bashir met with me in the lobby, outside of the customer service desk. I went through my list of issues and was told “there are 1,350 on board the ship. “We are trying to make everyone happy”. You are the only complaint”, which is a lie. We did excursion with many people who complained about the services and quality aboard the ship. I showed Mr. Bashir my pictures and he didn’t believe me. I told him “I bet you that spinach is still on the wall”. He said “they clean every day”. I took Mr. Bashir up to the Lido deck and showed him the spinach on the wall. He too was unhappy about the quality of the food. I was at breakfast one morning, before I met him, and he was complaining about how his food was cooked. We did a lot of excursion. One had only one excursion that was not good and that was the trip to Corfu. The WORST excursion we EVER had. I complained about this excursion, as did others. We did not get a refund, only crickets. As for Holland America, I will not cruise with them. This was our 3rd cruise. This was our gift to each other for our 45th anniversary. Not a glass of wine, not a glass of Champaign nothing! Holland America’s was all about separating you from you money and if you didn’t like what you got, well that was just too bad. See you later sucker, they just didn’t care because they had their money. We paid high dollar for a low budget, low quality return. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We have sailed with Princess a number of times, but had a very bad experience two years ago. We decided to give them another chance as the itinerary appealed to us. We won’t travel with them again, and our fellow passengers that we spoke ... Read More
We have sailed with Princess a number of times, but had a very bad experience two years ago. We decided to give them another chance as the itinerary appealed to us. We won’t travel with them again, and our fellow passengers that we spoke with also felt very let down. Their cost cutting attempts affect all parts of the overall experience from having nothing to stir your coffee with, to reducing time in key ports at the last minute - just speed up and stop trying to save money on the fuel!!! Princess’ biggest issue is the fact they never accept responsibility for their actions, they lie, offer up pathetic excuses and blame the passengers. The reason it took 2 hours to disembark at Newport - because we all decided to get off the ship at the same time!!! The reason we had such a ridiculously long queue at Boston - that’s right, our fault for wanting to make the most of our short time there! We paid over £3k each for a mini suite but it took 36 hours and 3 phone calls to get our shower fixed. 24 hours to get water delivered that we had already paid for prior to the cruise. Vegetarians are not catered for (unless you want to live on salad), food labelling is dangerously bad and food is always cold. I’ve never seen food temperatures taken. General staff like room stewards are as nice as ever, but everyone else in what may be considered a more senior position are rude, unhelpful and critical of their guests referring to them as ‘idiots’. The entertainment is worse than 1960’s Butlins, but then the cruise director and ents team behave like that’s where they all came from. My advice - Celebrity or Royal Caribbean will value you much much more and understand the importance of good customer service. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Food market food was awful always looked like it had been out way too long No variety had regular ask for things to be refilled on breakfasts Sick last but one day and never ate outside ship or on their tours So little ... Read More
Food market food was awful always looked like it had been out way too long No variety had regular ask for things to be refilled on breakfasts Sick last but one day and never ate outside ship or on their tours So little information about how to use their medallion system All they want is you to do is spend money in their casino if you are a family don’t bother Never tell you what the movies are about Only good thing was the pizza place and the salty dog Cabin attended always missed things on room refresh Now we sit in an airport with no seats Watch out if they put you in Shula’s hotel wet and the food is extortionate Only good thing was the band static don’t get a drinks package unless you never leave the ship it’s cheaper to buy individual Shore excursion team where helpful but most things you can do on your own on this route I will never use Princess again unless absolutely desperate Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We recently returned from the 6 day Canada & New England Cruise (7/20/19- 7/26/19). We are in our late 40's with a teenage daughter. This was our 2nd time on the Adventure of the Seas (we had been on the ship in 2003), ... Read More
We recently returned from the 6 day Canada & New England Cruise (7/20/19- 7/26/19). We are in our late 40's with a teenage daughter. This was our 2nd time on the Adventure of the Seas (we had been on the ship in 2003), we've also sailed the Liberty of the Seas (2010) and Anthem of the Seas (2018), and this was our first Canadian/NE cruise. For perspective, we've also cruised on HAL, Celebrity and NCL. We spent a few days in NYC prior to the cruise, and we hired a car to take us to Bayonne. Traffic on a Saturday morning was relatively light (and our driver stopped in Jersey City where we bought two bottles of wine). The entire drive from Chinatown to the port (including the 10 minute stop at the liquor store) was 45-55 minutes. It took us maybe 20 minutes from the time we arrived at the port (11 am) to board (and getting off the ship yesterday was almost as fast). On embarkation day it seems the Windjammer is always crazy busy and this time was no different, we just skipped lunch rather than fight the crowds. We left Bayonne at the height of a heatwave (temps on 6/20 in NYC were in the upper 90's), I had been reading the CC messages boards trying to figure out how cold it would be on this cruise - turns out there was only one day where I needed a sweatshirt or sweater (temps in the mid 60's), all the other days on this cruise were in the low to mid 70's (which for me is t-shirt weather). We had (very light) rain for part of two days so a raincoat was a good thing to have. There was one formal night (second night of the cruise). Most of the other passengers were relatively casually dressed (we saw very few tuxedos), most ladies in sun dresses, and men in button down shirts (a few, but not many, in sport coats). We booked a corner Aft balcony (1388) on Deck 10 (the corner balcony rooms with extra room in both the cabin and balcony and the pole in the middle of the cabin). We were right under the Windjammer, and although I was nervous about noise from the Windjammer, it was minimal (I heard it once, my husband reported hearing some foot traffic a few times). The room was HUGE (compared to the size of a standard balcony room). Our teenage daughter slept on the pull out couch, and even with her bed made up there was lots of room for all 3 of us. The (very small) downside was that while on the balcony I could always hear the music from the Flow Rider (Deck 12?), and sometimes we could feel the engines. Even with those small issues we'd gladly book this room again. Our room steward (Omega) was fantastic. We were traveling with extended family (9 of us total), and we had chosen the My Time Dining Option. We found out that seating for 9 on the My Time Dining was available at 5:30 or 8PM (only) which was a letdown as we had been hoping to eat around 6:30. My husband and I purchased the Classic Soda Package - there are two of the Freestyle Coke machines in the Windjammer and two more on Deck 5 (on the Promenade). One of the two machines (port side) in the Windjammer was broken all week - on the port days, only the aft side of the Windjammer was open (and the Windjammer bar was closed) so no soda was available in the Windjammer those days. Normally that wasn't a big deal for me, but I had broken my ankle 2 weeks before the cruise and thus walking was a bit of an issue. Food in the MDR was hit or miss - the prime rib was great whereas the fish of the day was a letdown as was the pasta carbonara (no biggie, just ask the waiter for something else and they gladly bring it to you). I requested an extra side of vegetables each night (and by the end of the cruise all my table mates did the same as the vegetables were all cooked perfectly). We ate dinner at Giovanni's one evening and we thought it would be similar to Jamie's Table (on the Anthem). Although our waiter in Giovanni's was great, the food wasn't anywhere near as good as the food we had at Jamie's (on the Anthem) in 2018. The Windjammer closed at 9am each night, so if you're looking for anything to eat after that time you need to either go to the 5th floor (Cafe Promenade - free) or order room service ($7.95). There is also a Ben & Jerry's ice cream station on Deck 5 (for an extra fee). The other cruisers seemed to be mostly extended families, along with a fair number of senior citizens. It was a full ship (Windjammer packed at breakfast & lunch on sea days) and oftentimes it was challenging to find somewhere to sit. We ordered room service twice, there is a flat $7.95 fee for room service (apart from breakfast, where there is no charge for muffins, pastries etc), it took about 45 minutes each time (food was great on both occasions). With my broken ankle I didn't go into any ports. Several members of our party went rock climbing in Bar Harbor and had an amazing time (not a RCL excursion, we found the company on Trip Advisor), my in laws took a tour in Bar Harbor and had a nice time. Of the three ports (Bar Harbor, St. John & Halifax) my husband liked Bar Harbor the best (he described it as a nice quaint town, he and my daughter enjoyed walking around it after their rock climbing tour). Many members of our group rode on the FlowRider on several days, the FlowRider staff were great and were happy to help the beginners as well as those in our group who had done it before. It was open several times a day (every day), there was also an option to rent it for $345 per hour (and with an instructor was around $500 per hour). We had lunch in Johnny Rockets on the last day ($7.95 per person, milkshakes/malts were extra). We didn't go to any shows, the spa or the gym. We went to the trivia games on several days - they are POPULAR - if you are into trivia, I'd suggest you get there 15-20 minutes early to get a seat. Overall this was a very nice cruise. The ship is a little older but it was very clean, and each and every staff member I encountered was friendly and helpful. For the cost of the cruise I felt it provided a good value (but the crowds got to me so I think next time I'll pay more for an upscale cruise line for a less crowded experience). Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
There were 2 couples sailing on this cruise (fifth we have done together), we chose it for the itinerary. The embarkation was flawless. We arrived at the cruise terminal and we finished all the paperwork and were boarding the ship by noon, ... Read More
There were 2 couples sailing on this cruise (fifth we have done together), we chose it for the itinerary. The embarkation was flawless. We arrived at the cruise terminal and we finished all the paperwork and were boarding the ship by noon, half hour or so. The ship is older but quite lovely and well maintained. We were in Vista suite 7050 and our friends were next door. The room steward opened the balcony door between so we could share visits and happy hours etc. our room steward was phenomenal. He left ice in the bucket twice a day as well as fruit in the basket on our coffee table. We always bring a small extension cord as there are never enough outlets. We enjoyed the breakfasts in the Lido Cafe. Very wide selection of foods and if you ordered cook to order eggs,pancakes,waffles,omelets they were good. The cooks serve you mostly so as to decrease the cross contamination, which we appreciate. We never took any of HAL excursions due to cost. Over time we have found that going on private tours is much nicer and generally not a huge cost difference. We are then able to stop and take pix as often as we choose. We had the most difficulty with dinner service. We were at the second seating at 730 pm which we liked, however the shows were at 9 pm and even though we told our waiters we wanted to be out in time we never got to a show on time. The shows are only 40-45 mins long so that’s a big deal. The dinner food was ok not great. My husband who is celiac has always been visited by the maitre d on our previous cruises to choose dinner options for next evening. On this cruise we were visited a couple of times and most of the time he was on his own to choose. They did have gf next to a couple of items but we knew from previous experience that some of the other choices could be changed slightly to accommodate. No one was there consistently to help with this. We did enjoy a few of the entertainment acts such as The BBC orchestra,PJ Walsh a comedian and Mike Robinson a ventriloquist comedian who was very good. All in all we were happy with the cruise and the ports and the ship. There were a couple of areas where improvements could be made. Disembarkation was also a breeze. We were able to choose a time and we were off right on time to get our luggage and continue our trip in Boston. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We loved the Adventure. RC staff is always excellent and this ship was no different. The food was probably the best we’ve ever had on RC. On this cruise we opted to allow RC to choose our balcony cabin and were pleasantly rewarded. ... Read More
We loved the Adventure. RC staff is always excellent and this ship was no different. The food was probably the best we’ve ever had on RC. On this cruise we opted to allow RC to choose our balcony cabin and were pleasantly rewarded. We were assigned aft balcony cabin 6688, and did we ever luck out. It was quiet since there was very little hall traffic. The best part was the bigger than usual balcony. Our friends’ port side balcony barely had room for two chairs and a tiny table. Ours had the same two chairs and table but additionally had two loungers and a second table. Even with an obstructed view, it was great! The biggest negatives of the cruise were 2 shore excursions. One was the Bay of Fundy Bucket List tour. The excursion was 5 hours long and we were probably on a bus 3.5 hours. The places we visited we not worth the hours spent on the bus to get there. The second excursion was the Peggy’s Cove and fishing village trip. Again the time spent on the bus was an hour each way and the time at the actual destination was too short. It would be nice if the excursions’ descriptions would mention the amount of time spent on the bus. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We wanted a cruise out of NJ. Parking at Liberty is a breeze. Once parked we were on the ship in under 1/2 hour. We had a balcony on deck 8 on the hump. Great location! Had no problem with breakfasts in the windjammer or snacks. Always ... Read More
We wanted a cruise out of NJ. Parking at Liberty is a breeze. Once parked we were on the ship in under 1/2 hour. We had a balcony on deck 8 on the hump. Great location! Had no problem with breakfasts in the windjammer or snacks. Always found a table. Did BOGO for first 2 nights. Had dinner in Chops and it was just OK. Doesn't live up to NY steak houses. Our waiter was excellent. Giovannis Table was much better! Food was excellent and service was top notch. We ate the rest of our dinners in the main dinning room and had My Time dinning. No problem and no wait at all if you make reservations every night as they are always honored. Our wait staff in the main dinning room was fantastic. They really care about there customers and went out of their way a few times to please us. Bar Harbor was great. We booked a tour to Acadia National Park and really enjoyed it. Saint John we were not crazy about. Cruise was there only until 2:30 and that was more than enough time. Halifax was fun and interesting. We did the tour to Peggys Cove though the ship and it was well worth it! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I was a little nervous after reading reviews here, but was very happy with the Zaandam. The ship is a little old, but is well kept and our group of 15 had very few problems. We had balcony rooms on the 6th and 7th deck which were nice, but ... Read More
I was a little nervous after reading reviews here, but was very happy with the Zaandam. The ship is a little old, but is well kept and our group of 15 had very few problems. We had balcony rooms on the 6th and 7th deck which were nice, but the TV's are tiny and nearly useless (some rooms had newer TVs). We had ports of call every day but one and enjoyed all of the stops. We were 40 minutes late to Halifax which put a wrench in my plans. And we were several hours late to Quebec which made us cancel a walking tour, but the weather, which was supposed to be half rainy turned out great just about every day. Even saw a whale on the day at sea. Service was always excellent and cheerful from the dining and room staff. HAL isn't overly pushy on shopping and excursions (unlike Carnival). The food in the dining room was good (not always great, but never bad) with good variety, but sort of random portions, sometimes huge, sometimes not much more than an appetizer for the main course. The Lido cafeteria had a lot of variety and the food was also good. Some in our party really enjoyed the shows, but that isn't really my thing. I did enjoy the live music by a piano and violin duo. Lots of room on board to hang out. Happy hour drink specials (buy 1 at full price get another for $2) made the drinks more reasonable and the hours weren't bad. I didn't do any HAL excursion due to the price, but had a great time at Bar Harbor using Acadia NP's free shuttles, rented cars in Halifax and Sydney for side trips (to Peggy's Cove and for a boat tour to see puffins), and enjoyed walking around Charlottetown, Quebec, and Montreal. Great trip and very thankful for the excellent weather. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise because it stopped in Mackinac Island and provided a chance to see all five Great Lakes. We stayed in the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee prior to the cruise rather than the recommended hotel only because it was our ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it stopped in Mackinac Island and provided a chance to see all five Great Lakes. We stayed in the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee prior to the cruise rather than the recommended hotel only because it was our anniversary and we wanted something special. Milwaukee has plenty to do within walking distance of the dock and is safe and clean. The Pearl Mist is a small ship which enables all cruisers the chance to get to know each other. Our room was comfortable and provided everything we needed. Plenty of hangars in the closet though I bought extra as I like to hang all my clothes. There is a safe in the desk to store your passport and other valuables. We enjoyed the chairs and table on the balcony as we sailed through the Welland Canal and its locks and several times as we sailed away. There are two lounges to choose from for happy hour (all drinks free!) as well as lots of seating area on the top deck to enjoy the scenery as we sail before dinner. Our evening entertainment was two singers on guitar (same ones each night) who were adequate. The music was great - the singing not so much - but nice to dance to. There is also an open bar (more free drinks!) after dinner in the lounge with the entertainment. We enjoyed many meals on the ship where there were also options for vegetarians and gluten-free. Plenty to choose from and the desserts were absolutely yummy. The majority of excursions were included and those that were not were reasonably priced. I compared the prices to what we would pay if we did them on our own and the ship's prices were the same or less. Most of the towns we docked in were right in the town allowing us to walk around on our own. When it was not, the ship provided a free shuttle to the points of interest even if you didn't book an excursion. Maps and local infomation were supplied ahead of time in each port. All excursions were well planned and organized. We went on each included excursion and bought an optional excursion whenever we could. Well worth it. Each day there was a lecture we could attend onboard to learn about the area we were sailing through or some point of interest. There was also a movie or documentary playing on the TV all day pertaining to our next port. I am so glad I overlooked some of the negative reviews that were posted. Some people are always looking to point out that bad. This was a wonderful cruise. The staff and crew were excellent and we enjoyed the highlights of Mackinac and Niagara as well as the smaller towns on the Georgian Bay. Each stop had something to offer and lots of beauty. My husband and I are in our early 60's and good health. We would definitely go again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Embarkation: Worse experience ever. Almost 2 hours just to check-in at the port. Two lines – one for priority one for steerage (us). Our line did not move. Meanwhile they closed our line (about 15 people behind us) and everyone was ... Read More
Embarkation: Worse experience ever. Almost 2 hours just to check-in at the port. Two lines – one for priority one for steerage (us). Our line did not move. Meanwhile they closed our line (about 15 people behind us) and everyone was sent to the priority line. We watched people get in line an hour after us and checked-in within 20 mins or less. Were told the reason for our line not moving was that they permitted all those with wheelchairs or strollers (who were in a separate line) to check in immediately from our side. If this was the case then why didn’t they take people from both sides for the next available check-in counter? This was our 7th cruise on five different lines and we have never taken more than 15 mins. (if that long) for check-in. Cunard should be embarrassed. This was unacceptable and inexcusable and is how our vacation started. When we finally made it to the ship, dropped off our carry-on in the cabin and went to grab some lunch (because we spent lunch in line waiting to check-in) it was almost 3:30 p.m. and they were clearing the food from the buffet. Not a great first impression. Disembarkation: This was fine. We got in a line when we were ready (rather than waiting for the designated times provided by Cunard) and other than getting stuck behind two people who could not get their wheelchairs over the ramp, it took about 10 mins. Cabin: The cabin was fine. The furnishings were outdated, dusty in places, dirty carpeting (not just in need of a good vacuuming but stains), mold in the bathroom but there was plenty of closet and storage space for two people and the bed and pillows were comfortable. Horrible sewage odor at all times in the bathroom. We never, and I mean never, met our steward. We knew his name because there was a card in the room and we saw him in the hallway a couple of times but he never introduced himself or stopped by to see if we needed anything (we left him an extra tip every day too) – EXCEPT when we were still in the room at 8:30 a.m. on disembarkation day – then he knocked on the door and told us we had to leave. Again, having been on six other cruises this is the first time a steward was incognito. The location of our cabin was good. We had an inside midship (between stairs C and D but closest to D). HOWEVER, the cabin vibrated constantly – the bed, sitting on the toilet, the floor, sitting in the chair – the entire cabin almost the entire time. We couldn’t understand why because we were on deck 4 above the Britannia dining room. This was very annoying. Dining: The buffet set-up was weird – multiple locations separated by eating areas. The dining areas in the buffet were great but the buffet itself was very limited, especially at breakfast where there was no variety – same thing every day and they didn’t have bananas or hard boiled eggs. We ate in the Britannia for dinner all nights except the last (didn't like the menu). Britannia menu was also very limited but overall the food was good and service was very good. We were however disappointed because we were originally told we would be at a table of six but had a table for two. It would have been nice to have tablemates and I don’t know why they changed this from our initial reservation. Bars/Lounges: Golden Lion was nice, especially for lunch – it was always crowded and very difficult to find a seat. We didn’t experience Carinthia or Commodore. Drink prices were surprisingly affordable, including bottles of wine. Wine selection was extensive. Entertainment: The few shows were good, especially the comedian. We did not attend any of the lectures. Afternoon Tea: Afternoon tea was the best part of the cruise. Finger sandwiches, desserts, scones. All of it was delicious and decadent. Activities: What surprised me the most was the lack of organized activities. There were things to do throughout the day such as lectures, movies, trivia but there were only a couple of actual organized activities with cruise staff throughout the entire cruise. Ports: Halifax - great day – no issues. We were delayed getting into Boston and then had to go immigration. Similar to disembarkation we were supposed to go through at specified times but it seemed like everyone got in line immediately and it wrapped around almost the length of the ship. We waited 90 minutes before going to immigration and got through in about 5 minutes (great decision). Newport – we tendered and got fogged in so could not get off the ship until about 1 p.m. Tender ticket issuing was poorly handled, extremely disorganized and it took a very long time to get everyone who wanted to off the ship. Once on shore we only had about 3 hours to explore – disappointing. Pools/Spas: The children’s pool was closed the entire cruise because of an issue with soot from the smoke stacks landing in the pool. The other pool was fine but the hot tubs were not hot (the heaters were broken and were supposed to be fixed when we were in Boston but they weren’t). The inside pool and spas were always crowded. Casino: The casino was very small with a number of slot machines, a few black jack tables and a roulette table but no poker tables. Outside/Smoking Areas: One big issue was that the children’s pool was on deck six aft directly below deck seven aft which was the smoking section and deck eight aft which was the location of the outside pool as well as an additional smoking area. That meant that smoke wafted down (especially cigar smoke) to deck six where most of the lounge chairs were. Deck 13 (sports deck) was fine to get away from it all except they only had about 20 lounge chairs out and all others were stacked and covered. The deck chairs on the promenade were plentiful and always filled. Overall the cons far outweighed the pros for this cruise. If you like cruising (for me it’s about the destinations) with not a lot to do throughout the day/night, this is for you. Personally I thought the food options were very limited without much variety and was extremely displeased with the embarkation process. Fellow passengers were fantastic. I would only cruise Cunard again if the price was right. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise because it fit our time schedule for a vacation. We thought it would be exciting to be in Boston for the Fourth of July and the departure port in Brooklyn was a simple 3 Hour Drive from our home. I blame myself a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it fit our time schedule for a vacation. We thought it would be exciting to be in Boston for the Fourth of July and the departure port in Brooklyn was a simple 3 Hour Drive from our home. I blame myself a little for not researching the cruise more. We booked last minute, and we thought it would just be a lot of fun. We did not have passports as we don’t travel a ton outside Mexico and Canada. We were told by Cunard we could not have pre printed E tickets due to the fact that we did not have passports. This was a huge source of stress. I knew our enhanced licenses and birth certificates would be fine for getting us in and out of the country, but just not sure how it would all work. Getting on the boat was a complete disaster. We waited in line with everyone else for three hours. There were so many disabled people and elderly getting on the boat that simply had to go ahead of us. No one followed the time on their ticket and we were told to come at noon because we were unable to get pre printed tickets. The whole process was chaotic and confusing and people were very upset. Elderly people in line with us struggled to stand for three hours. There was no place to get anything to drink or eat. We had not eaten since the morning and didn’t enter the boat until 3 PM. People did not want to get out of line to even go to the restroom, because tempers were running thin. While waiting in line to enter the boat, we realized that we were probably some of the youngest passengers. Mind you we are not young in her late 40s. So basically getting on the boat was terrible. If I were getting on the boat again in Brooklyn I would get there around 3 PM. The boat didn’t even leave port until after eight due to a medical emergency and the boat being held for a flight coming from England containing eight passengers. Activities on the boat are OK. There is a lot to do. Definitely geared towards older people. If you are an active younger couple or group of people, I would suggest another cruise. We were interested in a fun time in wanted to be active during the day and have beautiful dinners and some nightlife in the evening. Activity was hindered by the poor condition of the swimming pools and hot tubs. Most of the hot tubs didn’t even work. They were simply warm small pools in need of painting and maintenance with no jets. The pools are not extremely clean and we’re in need of repair and paintings well. Be forewarned the Queen Mary two does not have five pools as advertised. One of the pools on the very top deck must have been removed in the refurbishment in 2016. We were disappointed with our lack of options for swimming and lounging during the day as the weather was quite favorable for such activity. One of the outdoor pools was netted for the entire cruise, so It was unable to be used by any of the passengers. Frankly the condition and access to pools was unacceptable. The walking deck, deck seven, was often closed in sections making it impossible to walk loops around the deck. Once again the Queen Mary fell short in providing the simplest of activity. The food was not bad. We enjoyed the main dining room three nights out of our seven night cruise. Our poor waiter really struggled with English and this hindered us from getting great service. He did try his hardest though. The food in the main dining room was presented nicely and there was a pretty good variety. The main buffet was also sufficient, but became a bit repetitive after seven days. I’m not sure how somebody does a 14 or 27 day cruise eating the same food over and over. The quality was quite good and overall we were usually able to find something we really liked. We were in cabin 4022. This was a sheltered balcony in the front of the boat. I’ve very favorable things to say about the cabin. Our steward Gerry was very friendly and hard-working. He did a good job cleaning the room quickly and was helpful when we had questions. Although the room was not brand new or in sparkling shape it was a fine cabin. Even for being in the front of the boat, I found there to be little motion or disturbance. Nightlife was also disappointing. Pretty much after 10 PM the place shuts down. The shows we saw in the royal court theater were nice. The dancers, singers and orchestra put on a wonderful production. There’s a nightly movie in the illuminations theater, but we were looking for more engaging activities. The night club is open later, but when we visited there it was quite empty. So basically if you’re not interested in going to bed around 10 or 11 PM you’ll have trouble finding anything to do. The ports we visited were wonderful and a lot of fun. Halifax with a cute little city and we enjoyed our time walking around shopping and visiting museums. Boston was a great deal of fun as well, We did the trolley tour and then met up with our niece later. We like to walk, so we did walk a couple miles back to the boat. Not a bad walk but it was pretty hot when we did it. We viewed the highest of the fireworks from the top deck. We had fun in Newport Rhode Island, but getting off the boat was another disaster. We had booked a tour that was canceled because they could not run the tenders due to fog. I understand they have no control of the fog or the weather. The problem we encountered was they told us not to get tickets for the tender, but when our tour was canceled They required us to have tickets. Consequently we were in the back of the line and one of the last tenders to go out to Newport. We only had a couple of hours to spend in Port. The kicker is the captain and staff went on and on about How incredibly unsafe it would be to run the tenders during the fog in the morning. They canceled the tours and we were understanding because we all wanted to be safe. The problem I have is when we return to the boat after visiting Newport the fog had returned. No one spoke of any safety issues or concerns as they loaded us on to the tender and we took the small boat in the thick fog back to the Queen Mary 2. It was so foggy that when we finally returned to the crew ship the 100 passengers broke out in cheers and were clapping As we were so relieved. It seems they were concerned about our safety in the morning, when the fog had returned in the afternoon our safety seem to go out the window because they were more concerned with keeping their schedule. In the end we had a good time because we made our own fun. I highly recommend this cruise for older people who want a nice quiet time. If you’re younger or want fun and a little nightlife look elsewhere. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
The Canadian Empress is a replica of the old steam operated passenger riverboats that used to cruise in the Thousand Islands of the St Lawrence River. There are of course modifications for the 21st century, even WIFI, so our travel was ... Read More
The Canadian Empress is a replica of the old steam operated passenger riverboats that used to cruise in the Thousand Islands of the St Lawrence River. There are of course modifications for the 21st century, even WIFI, so our travel was more comfortable than it would have been in the early 19th century. All travel is done in daylight hours, so you can maximize the scenery. We travelled from Quebec City to Kingston. Shore excursions usually take up a half day, including a bus tour of Montreal, a stop in Trois Rivieres with a bus to the shrine at Cap de la Madeleine, a visit to Upper Canada Village, a tour of Fulford Mansion in Brockville, and a trip up the Sky Tower on Hill Island from Gananoque. The remainder of the day you can sit on the upper deck or either of the covered stern or bow decks to watch the beautiful scenery go by. The pace is slow. Dress is casual, comfortable and practical. Chef Joe does amazing things in a very tiny galley. All meals are full service and the wait staff are great. There is a small bar at the end of the dining room with very reasonable pricing. On our trip beer and wine were included with meals but only $6 at other times. Bartender Matt was fantastic! The purser Karen did a great job of keeping us organized and entertained. There was a daily puzzle, evenings had entertainment including a magician, a flute and classical guitar duo, Roger James a singer who defies categorization, a night playing team Trivial Pursuit, and because our trip covered both July 1 and 4, views of fireworks. The July 1 event in Montreal was especially unique as it is done over the water, right where we were moored. Accessibility is an issue, as there are stairs. There were travellers on our cruise using walkers or canes and they managed, but this is not a wheelchair accessible ship. Most passengers were seniors, but family groups included middle aged members. We all got along very well, and the age mixture was great. This is not a cruise for children or teens though. Physical activity is minimal on board, shuffleboard and walking the deck the extent of it. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We went as a family of 10 on a cruise to Canada/New England and this was our first times cruising. The ship was pretty but not as equipped for children but that was ok. We expected that. I am also a travel agent so I knew this was a ... Read More
We went as a family of 10 on a cruise to Canada/New England and this was our first times cruising. The ship was pretty but not as equipped for children but that was ok. We expected that. I am also a travel agent so I knew this was a smaller ship. We had so many issues with our children's Set Sail passes being deactivated and my husband's picture being changed on his pass. We visited Guest Services who seemed to resolve matters but when it happened repeatedly, we were told we were sorry we felt the way we did when we got frustrated. We had Wifi issues which we paid for and were not told properly how to connect, so we were hit with a huge roaming charge that could possibly have been avoided if they would have helped or informed of us ahead of time. My Time dining was not easy to get a reservation which we didn't think we needed. All we ever heard from Guest Services and from Corporate after the fact was that they were sorry we felt that way and no compensation or amenities could be done because they are not at fault. Highly disappointed and going to find it hard to sell this cruise line when they do not seem to care about their guests or agents. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
I haven't been to New England since I was a teenager and my husband never traveled there, so we decided to take this cruise. We prefer small ship cruising -- Azamara, Oceania, Viking Ocean and this was even smaller -- 170 ... Read More
I haven't been to New England since I was a teenager and my husband never traveled there, so we decided to take this cruise. We prefer small ship cruising -- Azamara, Oceania, Viking Ocean and this was even smaller -- 170 passengers. We stayed overnight in Boston because we have had bad experiences with airlines and missed connections. Much less stress to be at port the day before. We took a taxi to the port at about 11 am. City traffic, but no problems. Embarkation was perfect. Our cabin was ready soon after we got on. The ship is almost new (2018) and it showed. This was the largest stateroom we have ever seen in almost 60 cruises on various lines. We had more than enough drawer space and a full closet, large bed with two nightstands, spacious balcony with table and two chairs, good bedding. Bathroom was larger than most with good lighting and ample storage. Shower space was good, but no hand shower. I learned from another passenger that it was available upon request. Throughout the cruise, our cabin was kept clean and serviced almost as soon as the "make up the room" sign was up. The fabrics used in drapes, upholstery throughout the ship were lovely ( I sew and notice things like that immediately). They have opted for a coastal feel to interiors and it is appropriate . I loved the itinerary, although rainy weather interfered with some of my plans. There are several included tours and even the optional ones are reasonably priced. I loved the mansions tour in Newport and the botanical gardens in Maine. The lobster boat excursion was fun. I now know how to tell the sex of a lobster. That covers the good stuff. Now, the mediocre. Food. I do not go on a cruise to eat food from Costco that I have in my freezer and those were the appetizers served at the cocktail hour until I complained to the hotel manager and then we had freshly prepared items. I wish I had done so earlier in the cruise. The cocktails were poured with a heavy hand, stronger than on most cruise limes and lots of wine, beer and sodas etc. available all day. Lots of lovely lobster and seafood of all sorts served, as I expected, in the dining room. Stick to the seafood; everything else was overcooked, over salted and disappointing. My bean soup was watery and had 3 beans in broth. Steak was thin and overcooked, no matter how we ordered it. Pasta was mushy, chicken parm inedible. The vegetables varied from tender crisp and good to dried out and tough. They ran out of basic items from time to time. There's no excuse for no skim milk at breakfast when we are in American ports with supermarkets a short walk from the pier. That said, breakfast was usually the best meal of the day (unless there was lobster). Lots of fresh fruit. One funny story. My husband ordered 3 eggs and three pancakes, but apparently, the kitchen only uses even numbers. He could get two and two or four and four, not three and three. Dining room service was very spotty, but they tried hard and worked hard. There were only one or two servers that seemed to be experienced; for the others, it was on-the-job training. They were all friendly and courteous and I am sure they will improve with time. The Backporch Grill on deck 4 was very good. Because the dining room food, etc. was disappointing, many used the grill option and the men working there were often overworked. Excellent hamburgers and hot dogs. They also had pizza and chili, with Klondike bars and other delicious ice cream sandwiches. The entertainment was spotty. I only remember two nights with really good performers, a banjo player early in the cruise and a duo in Martha's Vineyard. The others were amateurish at best. The lecturer was a pleasant man who knew New England well, but wasn't particularly exciting as a speaker. The exercise room and equipment was less than your average motel. No treadmill, but a stepper and bikes, yoga mats and a few hand weights. Other cruisers assured us that the line's other itineraries were better, especially the Snake River Lewis & Clark one, but even they said this cruise needed improvement. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Had never been to this area before and wanted to see it. Lovely views, scenery was great. Dropped our car in Boston and flew to Montreal to catch ship. Boarding was straight forward and done in no time. We rented a car for the day and the ... Read More
Had never been to this area before and wanted to see it. Lovely views, scenery was great. Dropped our car in Boston and flew to Montreal to catch ship. Boarding was straight forward and done in no time. We rented a car for the day and the process was easy. Pickup at airport, returned downtown; Enterprise took us to cruise port. Ship was smallest that we have ever sailed on. We liked it. Room 1844 was nice size with plenty of storage. Perfect location for getting on and off ship at ports. Food was good at all restaraunts, but selection did not appeal to all of us. Entire staff that we dealt with were friendly and helpful. We love HAL and were not dissapointed at all on this cruise. Entertainment was just a tad off, we blame content not cast. Disembarking was the easiest ever experienced. Right off and out. Read Less

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