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Sail Date: September 2014

We arrived in NYC around 11:00 and by 11:30 we were on the ship. Went to buffet for a good lunch.

Room was ready by 1 pm. We had our luggage by 4 pm. Food in buffet was pretty good. We ate mostly in Magenta dining room. Food was ... Read More

We arrived in NYC around 11:00 and by 11:30 we were on the ship. Went to buffet for a good lunch.

Room was ready by 1 pm. We had our luggage by 4 pm. Food in buffet was pretty good. We ate mostly in Magenta dining room. Food was good and staff was friendly. We didn't have a good experience in Grand Pacific the first day (slow service and waiter not friendly). That was the only day we had a problem with the dining room. Was disappointed though, no lobster tail or shrimp cocktail. We paid for specialty rest. for one night in El Bistro. It was really good, but not worth the upcharge. Food just as good in dining room. We loved the Great Outdoors (next to buffet) on Deck 12.

We had two rough nights at sea (bad weather) and a lot of people got sick. Thank goodness we were fine.

Our cabin steward was not very friendly but he did a good job keeping our cabin neat and clean. Great towel animals too. The casino was so smoky, we couldn't even walk through it.

We took two ship excursions, both very good. In Halifax, Peggys Cove was pretty, waves crashing onto rocks and interesting lighthouse. We visited the Maritime museum on our own and saw Titanic artifacts.

In St John we had lobster at Steamers Lobster (right across street from where ship was docked) and it was very good. We walked a couple blocks up the hill to City Market which was fun to see and shop.

In Newport we saw Doris Duke Rough Point mansion which we really enjoyed. We felt the tour was rushed and wished we had more time to stroll around the grounds. The tour should really be longer because there is so much to see inside the mansion and outside. View of Cliff Walk and ocean is spectacular.

In Bar Harbor, we took an Oli's Trolley bus to Acadia which was beautiful. We loved Thunder Hole and Cadillac mountain.

In the other ports we roamed around on our own, there was lots to do and the towns were great. We visited the Isabella Gardner museum in Boston which was awesome.

The entertainment was pretty good. We loved the Gem dancers and singers as well as comedian Jeff Harms. We didn't care for the Second City Comedy group. Cruise Director, Dan Dan was great.

It was a great cruise that we would recommend. We will cruise with NCL again.

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Sail Date: September 2014

On September 27, 2014 I arrived to JFK airport in NYC and headed to the ground transportation desk looking for the Carnival Cruise Lines provided transfer I purchased. After waiting for about 15 minutes, a nice lady showed up and ... Read More

On September 27, 2014 I arrived to JFK airport in NYC and headed to the ground transportation desk looking for the Carnival Cruise Lines provided transfer I purchased. After waiting for about 15 minutes, a nice lady showed up and introduced us to our driver. My very first cruise vacation was officially underway.

Not having cruised before, I purchased the Faster to the Fun for all three cabins of our group. I wasn't sure if it was worth it, but after arriving to the Cruise Terminal, it was worth every penny. We bypassed the entire line, was directed right up to a representative at the check in tables and quickly boarded the ship. We were on the ship in less than 15 minutes after having turned in our luggage to the curbside check in person just minutes earlier.

Not knowing what to expect, I was overwhelmed. Once on the Splendor, we headed to the Lido deck buffet as directed by a member of our group (an experienced cruiser). I can't say I'd recommend this in the future. It was a zoo. In fact, we carried plates of food for more than 15 minutes trying to find a place to sit. I actually ended up abandoning a burrito I had made at the buffet because it had become soggy from the salsa on the same plate I walked around so long. Finally, someone secured a table and I went to get fresh. This detail is important because even though I had gotten fresh food, it was the worst buffet food I'd ever eaten. I wished I was eating Golden Corral instead. That's how bad the food was. The desserts were horrible on the buffet. I tried the buffet 2 other times during the cruise and not once did it get better. Everything was soggy, mushy, limp, not up to temperature, or bland and tasteless. Nothing was seasoned and eggs were wet and unappetizing.

The dining room food through out the cruise was inconsistent. Some dishes were good, an occasional dish was great, but most of all there were some horrible items. The service, unlike the food, was always spot on. Our dining room server, Lidia, was phenomenal! She is the reason we enjoyed dinner every night - regardless of how good or bad the food was.

The casino was large - much larger than I expected. The first two nights I won several hundred dollars on multiple machines. After that, it went downhill. But for a net loss of about $800, I ended up getting a free cruise from the casino to be used in the next month and a half. I used it to book an 8 day November 2014 cruise to the Eastern Caribbean! Every night starting on day 3 of the cruise, the casino sent me sweets, goodies, and two nights a bottle of wine in the dining room. The casino staff was awesome. I earned the drinks on us card the morning of day 2 and at first drink service was non-existent. After a different guest was overheard complaining that drink servers weren't seen in over an hour and a half, the service became much better. I tipped a dollar per drink in the casino, and the staff would come back every 5 minutes, regardless of the 15 minute drink policy. In fact, one server was getting me free drinks when I wasn't even at a machine but was in the casino area. That was great!

The entertainment staff was awesome too! From the Cruise Director, Malcolm, to all of the game show hosts and other entertainment hosts (like Karaoke host Melessa), the entire staff was fun, lively, and entertaining. I even won a bottle of champagne playing a game - it was actually decent stuff. Thanks entertainment crew!

We attended the Chef's Table - and it was worth EVERY penny. Unlimited wine? I had just under 2 bottles myself. The best red wine I've ever had (and I'm a white wine drinker). The food was tasty and yet the presentation was incredible. The impressive cooking techniques used to create the dishes was scientifically fascinating. This was one of the best experiences on the ship.

My room steward was on top of everything. Upon request, he made sure we had ice twice a day! This ensured my soda and wine was kept cold when I wanted one. The room was VERY clean. One of the cleanest rooms I've ever stayed in. I was very impressed.

The retractable dome over the lido deck was a great feature of the ship. Being in the high 40's to low 50's some nights this came in handy. That being said, it was too warm some nights with the dome closed, especially when we had to layer to go outside on the decks. We were comfortable outside, sweating inside. This was a New England cruise in the fall after all.

Lastly, I have to mention all the pink. It was too much in my book but I will say I did not care for the pink zebra print everywhere. That was a bit much. Some of the wall and elevator appliques looked like zebra print donuts. Didn't care for the decor at all. But the ship itself is awesome. Thanks to the open layout (even though the mid ship lower floors are confusing because only one elevator shaft will get you to the one dining room since the galley takes up so much space) and the amazing crew of the entire ship, I'd sail Splendor again anytime!

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Sail Date: September 2014

Embarkation: Arrived at the Black Falcon cruise terminal at 11:45 am, dropped our bags off with porter and entered the line to register. By the time we got our Sea Pass they were letting people on (noon). We were on ship by 12:20 and I ... Read More

Embarkation: Arrived at the Black Falcon cruise terminal at 11:45 am, dropped our bags off with porter and entered the line to register. By the time we got our Sea Pass they were letting people on (noon). We were on ship by 12:20 and I headed to Minstrel dining room to check out our table for ten. We are traveling with four other couples all from the Boston area. All rooms were ready by 1:20pm.

The Ship: The ship is in great condition for being 12 years old. Both pools were salt water and deep (5’8”) compared to the newer ships. We were at the main 6 pm dining and our table was by a large window. Very nice. The Centrum is where a lot of the action took place on this cruise. It has a nice bar and set up for a band to play. There was always some type of music playing. The Casino did allow smoking but it wasn’t too bad. They now have a large screen in the outside pool area. Last time we were on ship it was in 2010 in Europe. They played movies at 4, 7 and 10pm on this screen. The Pacifica Theatre hasn’t got a bad seat. We were in room # 3614, and outside view that was plenty big for the week. The rooms in the area come with a constant hum from the engines. One couple was in room #3120 on the other side of ship and they did not have the hum. Another couple in room #4548 on our side of ship did not have the hum. Sign in room notified you that you must ask for ice. I asked the first day and the bucket was kept full for the entire trip. The Sea view Café is now called Izumi. It offers sushi and other Japanese food at an extra cost. Part of the Windjammer Cafe is called Rita’s Cantina where at some times it was offering Mexican food at an extra cost. Did notice that on first day, the menu had a lot of lobster dishes on it. We did not try it. We also did not try any of the specialty restaurants.

The Food: We ate in the main dining room every night and the Windjammer for breakfast and lunch. The service at the evening meals was excellent. The food was OK but not as good as Celebrity. We were on the Equinox last March. We did try the Main dining room for one breakfast but didn’t go back because it took too long to be served. The Solarium has the Park Café that offers Panini sandwiches, pizza, sweets, coffee, lemonade and ice tea. This is the only place that stays open late at night (2am). We did not try room service but our friends had all ten of us in their room for wine before dinner one night and their attendant made sure they had 10 wine glasses and ice buckets to hold the wine we had brought on board.

Weather: This was a very unusually cold week. Only one day we were able to get in the outside pool in the afternoon. We spent a lot of time in the Solarium where it was nice and toasty. The day we were in Bar Harbor it did rain but the sun was out all the others. On average in the 60’s.

The Ports: Portland, Me. We didn’t get off the ship because we have been there so many times before. In Bar Harbor, Me. we visited the Main St. shops and had some snacks and a drink at Geddie’s. In St. John, N.B. we walked a few hundred yards to the City Tour Bus and got a two hour tour for $20 each. We got there at the right time (10:30) for the 11am tour because it filled up quickly. We made two stops: the City Market (20 min) and Reversing Falls (20 min). The tour was very informative and the right price. After tour we went to Barbour’s General Store and the Mall building that had the New Brunswick Museum in it. Some of us stayed and had lunch at Grannan’s on the Pier. Halifax, N. S., we walked a mile in 45 degree weather to the Maritime museum right on the Harbor Walk. Very interesting museum. Then we took the two hour bus tour presented by Grey Line ($46.50 each) and got to see the Titanic Grave site and all the high lights of Halifax. We had never been to either St. John’s or Halifax so both these tours were just right for us.

Entertainment: Most nights we went to the show in the Theater after dinner. They had the Original Drifters one night(excellent), Bobby Ayrons, singer, who sang the theme song to Happy Days TV show (excellent), Steven Scott, comedian (excellent), Duo Soul, acrobatics (excellent),and The Brilliance Singers and Dancers (poor, because of choice of Broadway Shows like The Full Monty). My suggestion is to show up for the last 10 minutes of show when they do ABBA. The rest is forgettable. Do not miss the Newly Wed Game or the three girls called Fleur de Lis. Dru was the Cruise Director and he told jokes every night after the main act. He was excellent.

Drink package: Thought we might save $20 and get one non alcoholic Replenish package on the second day instead of the first. Wrong! It is $19 per day pus 15% gratuity for seven days no matter when you buy it. Came to about $152. Was it worth it? I think so. It was for my wife who had sparkling water every night at dinner, OJ in the morning, a couple of specialty coffees, regular water bottles all day and a couple of virgin pina coladas. Most times we were not signing for anything.

Departure: Asked for #1 tags so we could be one of the first off the ship. We did put our bags out the night before so we only had to carry our small carry-ons and the two liter bottles I bought on board. Everything went smoothly and we were home 1 hour after we got picked up. So nice not to have to fly.

 

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Sail Date: September 2014

We stayed in Aqua class and we thrilled with the food in BLU as well as the service in BLU. while we are in our late 50's and early 60's we seemed like the youngest on the ship. Our steward and his team was excellent. Javier anticipated ... Read More

We stayed in Aqua class and we thrilled with the food in BLU as well as the service in BLU. while we are in our late 50's and early 60's we seemed like the youngest on the ship. Our steward and his team was excellent. Javier anticipated everything we might want and had it in the cabin. We never lacked for ice, wine glasses or an exquisite towel animal. The weather was beautiful and port highlights were Quebec, Bar Harbor, Portland and Halifax. We were disappointed that we docked outside of the lower town area but we enjoyed the Public Market and other small stores in this area. Disappointments were the lack of movies in the theater and day time activities that appealed to us. The entire staff on the ship was extremely attentive to our needs and so warm and friendly. We loved our cruise!

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Sail Date: September 2014

Our five star sailing started at Newark Airport having just arrived from Edinburgh and the long wait to get through customs there was nobody from Celebrity to greet us and we had to find our way through the airport catch the air train ... Read More

Our five star sailing started at Newark Airport having just arrived from Edinburgh and the long wait to get through customs there was nobody from Celebrity to greet us and we had to find our way through the airport catch the air train to another part of the airport to get the hotel shuttle which was not fit to carry farm animals in the hotel was Hilton Doubletree.

The port for the ship was a disaster as we were getting of the bus we were asked for money from baggage handlers which they did not get after the way they were handling the cases.

On the ship we had problems in our stateroom No3097 the toilet would not flush and after three visits from plumber and a battle with the woman on the guest relations who came to our room and told me to push the flush button hard well the air was blue me being a plumber to trade

The dinning room on the first night my wife asked for tea and the waiter came back and told her they had run out. One morning I waited 35 minutes for a bowl of porridge and the next morning the milk was sour and there was no sorry.

We always like to have lunch in the Aqua spa but we could not get a table for other guests playing cards and when I approached the staff you just get the vacant look and the shoulders come up.

The food on the ship was ok but not fine dinning we found it was very bland and one night pork and beans was on the menu.

The entertainment was good but the cruise director if he said awesome once.

We liked going to the port lectures and we felt sorry for Emile Baladi as he was having to lecture in a bar lounge where you could not see his screen and the tanonoy would come on a and he had to stop and as I passed the cruise director on my way to our cabin I approached him about it and he was very rude with his answer.

Disembarkation was terrible as we followed the signs for buses etc only to be tolled we had to go back to the other end tent and we were spoken to like animals and then the small bus that was taken us to our hotel was in a terrible state dirty and the smell of fumes was terrible.

If this is the way that Celebrity treats there guests and as we are elite members will we use them again well the jury is out on that one.I have written to Celebrity about our complaints on 16th October and as yet no answer.

I would like to mention two special people on this ship that gave us a lot of help with our problems and that was the Captain Clubs concierge girls Nadia and Ashley they were great and they were prepared to listen to you not like guest relations The cruise itself the places we visited was great and the colours were fantastic but I do think this ship needs a lot of work done.

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Sail Date: September 2014

My husband and I cruise every year. - mostly to warm-weather climates - and have used all the major cruise lines. I just experienced my 26th cruise on Sept. 6-13th, and have to say it was absolutely one of our best cruises for all the ... Read More

My husband and I cruise every year. - mostly to warm-weather climates - and have used all the major cruise lines. I just experienced my 26th cruise on Sept. 6-13th, and have to say it was absolutely one of our best cruises for all the following reasons: 1) Very few kids (grade school thru college were already in school at this cruise time). 2) Larger than normal oceanview room with ample drawers, closet and bathroom space. (The room accommodations seemed wider and longer than any other cruise ship we've been on except the S.S. Norway.) 3) Double-wide hallways and walkways. (No crowded corridors) 4) Great food! 5) Wonderful casino (and many people were hitting on the slots! One woman actually won $20,000 midway through the trip!) 6) Great staff - - extremely accommodating and friendly. 7) Plenty of pools & hot tubs - - never crowded. 8) Wonderful entertainment. 9) Best of all - - outstanding excursions with excellent guides to Boston, Portland, St. John's (Canada) and Halifax, Nova Scotia! Everything from great and quaint shops to whale watching to visiting beautiful Peggy's Cove (the "Grand Canyon of North America"). We even visited the marvelous and very moving site of the graves where the victims of the Titanic had been buried. It felt as though we had traveled far back to a very significant time. (And yes, folks, there really was a "Jack Dawson"!) I would highly recommend this particular cruise to anyone - - especially during the month of September while the weather is still warm and sunny, but the leaves are just beginning to turn.

Carnival -- My hat's off to you! Thank you for a thoroughly enjoyable cruise!

J. DeMarco, Long Island, NY

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Sail Date: September 2014

First off, my beloved spouse & I have had 3 previous GREAT cruises on Celebrity Solstice ships (in Aqua Class, because of the great food & service & ambiance, etc.)......just GREAT cruise experiences. So, before this cruise, ... Read More

First off, my beloved spouse & I have had 3 previous GREAT cruises on Celebrity Solstice ships (in Aqua Class, because of the great food & service & ambiance, etc.)......just GREAT cruise experiences. So, before this cruise, WE LOVED CELEBRITY. After this cruise, we cancelled a Celebrity Caribbean cruise in January 2015 and may never cruise again....period. This is not intended to be unkind or rude to those who DID enjoy all or part of this cruise---we are very kind, caring, fun-loving, friendly, easy-to-get-along with, conversation-loving, fellow-traveler-loving (met some of the best people ever on this cruise and prior cruises) folks---and incredibly tolerant & patient (lots of parenting experience helped that!). But really, I have to agree with ALL of the pertinent NEGATIVE COMMENTS on previous posts (can't comment on excursions we did not take, of course, or specific personal issues fellow travelers had). This was just a beyond-all-comprehension awful Celebrity cruise experience. Secondly, I want to add to the chorus of POSITIVES ABOUT THE HARD-WORKING & CONGENIAL CREW, especially our wonderful room attendants, especially Santana, the marvelous women who work at the El Bacio specialty coffee cafe (both behind the counter and as servers), and the equally-marvelous women who served drinks at the Rendezvous----reminded us that cruising should be a fun & special experience. Thank you!

I won't reiterate all of the negative comments on the general problems with this cruise (read, for example, Nice Cruise, but Celebrity's Halo Has Slipped!, for just one excellent listing of the serious problems many of us experienced on this cruise). I have a small notebook with 12 pages listing specific complaints (most of which my spouse shared with a supervisor at Celebrity HQ when she called to cancel the January cruise---to Celebrity's credit, the supervisor prompted my spouse to talk about each and every concern with the cruise in as much detail as possible----excellent follow-up, showed genuine interest & concern---not sure if it, along with complaints by others, will have any effect on future Summit cruises, but, for Celebrity's sake, let's hope it does. If anyone wants me to list the complaints I will, but they have been adequately covered in the other posts with serious negative comments. In general, we thought the Millenium-class Summit was horribly designed (compared to the awesome later Solstice ships) and much too small & very confusing to navigate; the service, other than by the above-mentioned crew, was beyond-belief uncaring, un-pampering, un-Celebrity-like, unprofessional---some of this was because the crew was obviously overworked and understaffed as to the number of passengers on this cruise, but a lot of it just seemed to be an unbelievable "we don't really care" attitude, as if the normally attentive crew & professional staff decided that this was a good cruise for them to take a breather (and that the head folks on the ship & at Celebrity HQ had given them the go-ahead to do so)---totally bizarre for a major cruise line like Celebrity to allow this to take place, BUT IT DID TAKE PLACE! In addition, the food in the Aqua Class Blue restaurant was mediocre compared to prior Aqua cruises, especially, as one commenter mentioned, the lobster-from-hell, and the set-up & the food & the staff in the general eating area (Ocean View?) was much, much worse (the food was almost inaccessible due to the crazy-huge sneeze-glass-coverings over all of the food areas---just nuts!---normal things like milk dispensers were few and far between (one skim milk dispenser, some of the time---none a lot of the time---sheesh!), dirty plates and silverware just left on tables for the entire length of meals (at all the tables, not just the one you were eating at!), little or no table drink service, some really terrible and often cold entrees, etc., etc., etc. Oh I could go on and on and on. Just a huge, huge, huge disappointment. You get an F Celebrtiy.....thank heavens the weather was great in Acadia National Park (awesome lobster lunch as part of our paid excursion) and the wondrous Prince Edward's Island (Anne of Green Gables country and one of the most delightful & beautiful places on the planet)----those two get A's. Otherwise, Yikes!

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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2014

We just completed our first Crystal Cruise, the 7-day Maritime Explorer out of Quebec City, with planned stops at Sept Iles, the Magdalene Islands and Saint Pierre and Miquelon returning to Quebec City. My wife and I are experienced ... Read More

We just completed our first Crystal Cruise, the 7-day Maritime Explorer out of Quebec City, with planned stops at Sept Iles, the Magdalene Islands and Saint Pierre and Miquelon returning to Quebec City. My wife and I are experienced cruises, having Elite status on Celebrity Cruises and have also cruised a number of times on Holland America as well as Princess and Cunard.

If there is a theme for this review it’s to try and answer the question “for us, was the extra cost of Crystal worth it?” To come to a conclusion, here are our thoughts on various aspects of the cruise.

EMBARKATION/DISEMBARKATION

The smoothest and fastest we’ve ever experienced. In fact, we were off the ship and into a cab almost a half hour before our scheduled time of disembarkation (living in Canada, we came by car so were not subject to airline or bus timetables). One factor that may have contributed to the rapid disembarkation was that despite our six hours in French Saint Pierre, we didn’t have to clear customs upon leaving the ship.

STATEROOM

We had a B2 cabin on deck 8 with a partly obstructed view (the onboard gangway was stowed directly below our veranda, preventing us from looking directly down onto the promenade deck or seeing anything in the water that might be close to the ship). Not an annoyance for most passengers. The cabin itself was no different in size or furnishings than any veranda cabin on any mass market cruise ship however with upscale touches as as leather upholstery on the loveseat rather than fabric. The sheets were upscale, the mattress definitely was not! Holland America, with its Euro-top mattresses, wins this one hands down! The bathroom does feature two sinks and tub with shower. At prime showering times (mornings and before dinner) the water was lukewarm no matter how high you turned the knob. Nice toiletries and towels, though.

We had the impression that our cabin attendant spent her day trying to keep up with the work load. On at least half of the days, the cabin wasn’t made up until mid-afternoon, which made catching an after lunch nap problematic at best. However, when the job was done it was done well.

We appreciated the free self-serve laundry on our deck and the environmental concern in not providing fresh towels when not needed or desired.

FOOD

Dinner in the main dining room was certainly a few notches above the mass market lines, but there were glitches. The steak we ordered one night was on the tough side, but everything was beautifully presented and arrived hot. The soups were especially good, as were the desserts. And you had the luxury of ordering off the menu for the following day if you so desired.

Prego, the Italian restaurant was superb – as good or better than any Italian restaurants I’ve enjoyed in Canada or the US. We didn’t try Silk Roads, the Oriental/Sushi restaurant. Tastes, a sort of informal global tapas restaurant, was excellent in the evening incarnation The Lido buffet was ordinary – no different than the buffet on any mainstream line. On our cruise there were two “theme” lunches; the oriental which was quite nice and the American which was ho-hum. A high price for southern fried chicken kept warm under a heat lamp! There were enough staff to keep your coffee cup filled and to carry your plate to your table if you so desired. At breakfast, other than the fresh-squeezed orange jucie, your could have been eating breakfast in the buffet on any mass market cruise ship.

The included wine selections for meals were excellent and we never felt the need to try the extra cost wine list.

EXCURSIONS

We only took one (the Magdalene islands stop was cancelled due to rough seas which made tendering impossible) but the one we took in Sept Iles was well organized and competitively priced. We had to cancel a second excursion and our charge was refunded with no questions asked, even if it was slightly after the deadline printed on the ticket.

ENTERTAINMENT

We’re not big on the production shows, but the one we attended was excellent as were the bands, string quartet and piano bar type entertainment. We didn’t attend any of the cultural lectures but we heard from others that they were very well done and informative. I did take a computer course on a day at sea and the instructors were excellent as was the instructor for the one workshop attended by my wife.

The ship also has an excellent well-stocked library which includes, in addition to books, a huge selection o f CDs and DVDs (Now if only I had been able to figure out how to work the DVD player in the cabin – absolutely no instructions were provided). I gave up after a half hour.

SUMMING IT UP

It’s wonderful to be able to have a second (or even third) single malt without worrying about the bill at the end of the cruise. Also the lack of nickel and diming for every soft drink, cappuccino, etc. The food options are great. And there was no subtle “I’d appreciate a nice tip for the service I’m providing” from any of the staff. All of the crew were warm friendly and made an effort to remember your name. But is the cost/benefit there? I’m still not sure, but I think I’d do Crystal again if the itinerary and timing are right – and our budget permits.

 

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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2014

I have cruised many times with Fred. Olsen and several times on the "Balmoral". It was the itinerary that attracted me to this cruise. It was primarily the Canadian part of the cruise is which I was particularly interested in.

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I have cruised many times with Fred. Olsen and several times on the "Balmoral". It was the itinerary that attracted me to this cruise. It was primarily the Canadian part of the cruise is which I was particularly interested in.

The ship sailed from Southampton on 1st September and we had an Atlantic crossing of 5 days ahead of us. We were blessed with calm seas and pleasant weather all the way. It was warm enough to use the swimming pool every day which isn't always possible on such a voyage.

Although I understand that the ship is going into dry-dock for a regular overhaul in December it was in good shape and is well maintained.

I had a single cabin on deck 4 which was spacious, well serviced and there is plenty of storage space. There is a large picture window and the cabin had very efficient air conditioning. The stewardess kept it clean, tidy and replenished the tea/coffee maker etc twice daily.

I dined in the Avon Restaurant on deck 10 which was excellent. The food was as good as ever and the service efficient and friendly. The views from the dining table were great.

Daytime entertainment followed the normal cruise pattern with lectures, games, crafts etc. The ports lecturer was very good and a speaker on taxation was most informative and was a great humorist. The classical recitals were excellent.

Evening entertainment as usual took the form of cabaret type shows. They varied in quality some good and some pretty poor. The "Balmoral" show company were enthusiastic and very entertaining.

One os the biggest selling points of Fred. Olsen cruises is the quality of the staff. This was very much the case on this cruise. Throughout the ship they were fall riendly and courteous.

After the long crossing we were glad to reach out first port of call, St. John's, Newfoudland. We then had calls in quick succession in Gaspe, Baie-Comeau, Quebec City and Saguenay all in Quebec, Halifax in Nova Scotia, Bar Harbor, Maine (USA), Boston and New York City. On the return voyage we called in Sydney, Nova Scotia. Our call in Shelburne, Canada was cancelled due to the illness of the sole port pilot! Although all the ports of call had good things I thought Quebec City took the first prize. It is attractive, interesting and delightfully French.I had a hectic two days in New York revisiting places i had visited over the years and visiting new places. The visit to the 9/11 memorial was very moving and the view of the city from the Empire State Building at close to midnight was memorable.

The weather during our port calls was, with a couple of exceptions very good. Sadly, the weather has been so mild this year that we didn't see the wonderful colours of New England in the Fall.

The voyage home was again very smooth although the weather tended to be rather wet. We arrived in Southampton on a pleasant Autumn day after a most enjoyable cruise.

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Sail Date: September 2014

Sailed out of New York City on a rainy day. Was fun to go past the Statue of Liberty. Had originally booked the cheapest inside cabin on deck 1. About 3 days before the cruise got a call to see if I wanted an upsell to Aft Balcony on ... Read More

Sailed out of New York City on a rainy day. Was fun to go past the Statue of Liberty. Had originally booked the cheapest inside cabin on deck 1. About 3 days before the cruise got a call to see if I wanted an upsell to Aft Balcony on Deck 8 for $300 total for 2 of us for the week. I immediately upgraded. I am glad we did. This cabin was much larger than the inside cabins and had a large balcony.

The ships decor does not matter to me at all. Was it pink yes, but it does not affect the experience. Our room stewart was wonderful. On the first day I asked for ice and had ice replaced twice daily. Gave an extra tip for this, because I love ice!!!!!!! We had anytime dining and only had to wait once, the first formal night. The wait was only about 10 minutes. I thought the food was very good. The wait staff in the MDR was very efficient. We had room service one morning and it arrived prompt and everything we ordered was there. Loved the coffee bar. It was very reasonably priced. The only issue we had was the last sea day we went to brunch and had to wait at least 1/2 hour for the desert. Also they never returned to ask if we needed more coffee, milk or water. I think this brunch is very busy and they aren't used to it yet. Did do the steakhouse one night also-fantastic, service and food. I would recommend.

We enjoyed the piano bar and the motown band. This band was phenomenal. We also enjoyed the comediennes. Would like to have been able to go to a comedy show every night but only had them 4 out of the 7 nights. My husband loves all of the trivia shows and Carnival has a lot of them. We also played in the casino and donated money.

I never got a chance to try the Deli, would have liked to but so much food and so little time. We did have hamburgers from the grill and they were excellent. I also tried the Mongolian Wok and it was great also.

My husband and I used the aft hot tubs and that was great. Started to watch a late movie one night but it was Grownups 2 and not to our taste.

I thoroughly enjoyed this cruise, always something to do, or nothing to do whatever is your preference. We don't cruise that often so always enjoy it when we do.

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