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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our 25th cruise and 4th with NCL. It was a last minute cruise booked directly through NCL. At no time in the booking process were we informed that the tips per day were increasing from $14.50 pp to $20.00 pp. Upon receiving bill ... Read More
This was our 25th cruise and 4th with NCL. It was a last minute cruise booked directly through NCL. At no time in the booking process were we informed that the tips per day were increasing from $14.50 pp to $20.00 pp. Upon receiving bill under door on day of departure, was the first I would see this change. I immediately called the cruise line on the car ride home and was put on hold for one hour. Getting no satisfaction from the agent I called back again and was put on hold for another hour. Finally, I was told that we could have prepaid the $14.50 before April 1. This we were never told upon booking directly with NCL. The agent gave us a $50. Credit towards another cruise if we book within 2 years. I doubt we will be on NCL again any time soon. My assessment of this cruise is the following: Ship: Nice renovation and very clean. Small public rooms which made for congestion. Food: C- The buffets were less than average with few bake goods. No cookies, croissant, danish, etc. the entire 4 days until the very last morning. Baker must have been sick. Crossing dining room was good with excellent wait staff. Food was average. Entertainment: Fabulous shows! Cabin: Porthole, small but functional. Very pleasant & efficient Cabin person. Destination:Cuba is very interesting and will return for another visit. Private island was nice. Passengers: Too many drunken passengers taking advantage of their bar packages. I doubt many of them will even remember they were on a cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Majesty is the oldest, smallest of the Royal fleet and it shows. While the food service is above Royal's average the rest is far below. Even the layout of the ship is a bother. If you rely on elevators to go between floor good ... Read More
Majesty is the oldest, smallest of the Royal fleet and it shows. While the food service is above Royal's average the rest is far below. Even the layout of the ship is a bother. If you rely on elevators to go between floor good luck. Everything is all ajumble. Nothing fatal but it speaks to the lack of attention to details. We got notice of an excursion cancellation - 12 hours before it was due to depart. Funny thing was I had never signed up or paid for that excursion. Took 3 days of a 5 day cruise to Cuba to get my Diamond + status sorted out. While everyone did their job the only person I can point to that seemed to be willing to take pride in service to the guests was a guy who wiped down the tables and removed empty cups from the pool deck.. Cuba was great. Majesty was just transportation to the island Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise as it was very reasonably priced and it was our first time with Norwegian.. Embarking was quiet an experience with the staff shoreside being quiet short and abrupt if you had a question to ask. Once onboard we ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was very reasonably priced and it was our first time with Norwegian.. Embarking was quiet an experience with the staff shoreside being quiet short and abrupt if you had a question to ask. Once onboard we went straight to the outside restaurant on deck 11 for a snack and drink, the bar staff seemed very rushed and a tad rude, probably due to the amount of people they were trying to serve, so put it down to work overload. Our reservation was deck 4 mid ship, I didn’t like the fact that we could only access it from either end of the ship and the aft access was via 1 small elevator or small staircase. After spending the night in the room we simply had to move, the AC noise was, at the very least annoying. We upgraded to a balcony on deck 8, this was much more roomier and not quiet so loud, much easier to access and better located. We were allowed to choose which restaurant we went to for dinner, thankfully this was the case s the 1st one went to was awash with the smell of smoke, seven seasons on deck 5 aft. We then went to Four seasons, deck 5 mid ship, although the smell of smoke was all around the atrium it didn’t creep into this restaurant too much. Our service in this restaurant was excellent, although I think the menu could have been a bit more varied from day to day they did try to please us. We found the layout of the ship very disjointed with having to go up and over to come down again just to get to somewhere next door on the same deck, very weird. The worst part of this ship is the smell of smoke on some days, I think most was coming from the casino and maybe because of the age of the air handlers it seemed to spread far and wide, it really was quiet sickening and I found I couldn’t sit in many places due to this awful smell. I did make it know to customer services how unpleasant I found it and it seemed many others were of the same opinion, the ship did try to pump air fresheners thru it’s system but they we short lived. Our cruise was only 6 days and we were ashore for 4 of them so we didn’t have much time for the entertainment but the daily activities was a little bare. In brief, if you are not handicapped and if you don’t mind the exercise then you will overcome the ships layout.. if they stopped smoking in any indoor areas or upgraded their air system this was a very pleasant cruise. The staff were very welcoming and helpful and the service at dinner was excellent. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because it did a over night in Cuba. All of the stops were great. worse part was they went to Key West before Cuba so we had to go through customs 2 times. should of went to key west first would of saved us lots of ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it did a over night in Cuba. All of the stops were great. worse part was they went to Key West before Cuba so we had to go through customs 2 times. should of went to key west first would of saved us lots of time.Do not stay on deck 4 in area of 4219, hallway had a bad mildow order! not really any good show, just singing people. everyone was very nice from staff to people we met on ship. Food not so good. Ship was just updated but you would never know it. Casino was nice. They did away with straws with your drinks, so if you like to use, i would bring hard plastic straws with you to keep reusing. all in all it was fine for what we paid just dont exoect too much, we wanted to go to cuba over night and this worked. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
No, I am not a “one-issue voter.” But barring the LGBT get-together, which was printed on the Day 1 schedule, from taking place so that some other group could monopolize the Spinnaker was waaaay not OK. Really bad, and the “It was a ... Read More
No, I am not a “one-issue voter.” But barring the LGBT get-together, which was printed on the Day 1 schedule, from taking place so that some other group could monopolize the Spinnaker was waaaay not OK. Really bad, and the “It was a typo” thing just added insult to insult. The 1-1/2 hour (at least) line to get off at Key West was a fiasco and a clinic in inept crowd control. We didn’t much feel like a multi-hour walking tour after that.... Cuba matters were handled reasonably well, though we had to dig a bit for some info about what to do and so on. But complexity surrounding visiting Cuba is hardly NCL’s fault. Still, odd that it was much easier to get into Havana than into Key West :-) Food was very good. No issues there. Our steward was excellent and the cabin suited us perfectly. We did the pay as you go internet and it worked very well. I wish the sauna and steam had a relaxation area attached but hey! this ship is smaller than the Gem and it’s not its fault! So not a disaster (I mean, really, I hope I have some perspective) but to be honest, if this had been our first NCL cruise we would probably have shrugged NCL off and not returned. But we’ve been semi-regulars for several years and we’re rooting for this to have been an anomaly. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We did a 16 day cruise around the Caribbean.The weather was amazing and the crew could not have been more helpful. My wife and I paid a premium to go on this ship. All gratuities and drinks were included. We have completed about 11 ... Read More
We did a 16 day cruise around the Caribbean.The weather was amazing and the crew could not have been more helpful. My wife and I paid a premium to go on this ship. All gratuities and drinks were included. We have completed about 11 cruises on different ships. This was the first time on Azamara Journey. We enjoyed every part of the cruise except one thing which we consider very important and ruined the overall cruise. That was the deck chairs. For a luxury 700 passenger ship we expected to be able to sit around the pool on a nice day. Unfortunately, we were not able to secure a deck chair on the pool deck most days. On some days we had to sit in the Living room lounge as there were absolutely no chairs available. What annoyed me more than anything else was that there were always about 30 chairs with personal items on them but no one around. They had been "reserved" early in the day by passengers who wanted a deck chair for the day. Although there were signs up saying not to do this, the crew did nothing about it. I was so annoyed I took several photos of chairs that were reserved with personal items on them and went about 45 minutes later and no one had been sitting on the chairs. When I pay a premium for a cruise I do not expect this sort of thing to happen and I do expect to be able to find a deck chair for my wife and I. If you go on this ship do not expect to be able to sit on a deck chair most nice hot days.. I can understand this on a budget ship but not a ship of this standard Until they sort this out I probably will not be cruising with Azamara again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise for two reasons...we have cruised a lot but we had not been to Havana (or any place in Cuba). We saw an add in the Orlando Sentinel newspaper, which offered an inside cabin on this sailing for a really inexpensive ... Read More
We chose this cruise for two reasons...we have cruised a lot but we had not been to Havana (or any place in Cuba). We saw an add in the Orlando Sentinel newspaper, which offered an inside cabin on this sailing for a really inexpensive price. We decided to give it a shot! We had a really small inside cabin (with a TINY shower), but it had tons of storage and the cabin steward was great! We found the service in the dining room, and the food in general, to be just okay, (how can a Mediterranean cruise line NOT know how to make great pasta!!!) with some notable exceptions...the gelato and desserts were wonderful. The Grill (burgers, etc.) was good. The Surf and Turf Restaurant was outstanding! The final gala evening also was, finally, a very good meal. Also the Caffe Lounge was wonderful. The cruise director was charming and enjoyable. The entertainment staff was also fun and engaging. The entertainment was good and was different each evening. The front office staff was pleasant and helpful. And we found their shore excursions to be well run, interesting, and moderate in price. All of the trips that we chose were smaller groups...15 to 20 people, at the most, which made for a more enjoyable excursion. The guides were interesting and informative. The ship had matched our 4 Star Mariner status with their vacation club, giving us a top tier "Black" membership level. They gave us champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, invitations to 2 cocktail events, 2 chocolate ship replicas, and other gifts. In addition, we got priority tendering and disembarkation. All of this was an unexpected pleasure and made the trip nicer. Finally, the "Meet and Mingle" that the ship organized for our Cruise Critic group was delightful....the nicest we have ever attended! It was held in the Red Lounge/Rum Bar on the morning of our first sea day. We were greeted by the head of the hotel department and several other officers. The lounge was set up with clusters of padded chairs surrounding cocktail tables. Each table was set with a martini glass filled with chocolate covered strawberries and surrounded by fancy little canapes. Servers circled the room with champagne, mimosas, bloody Marys, and non-alcoholic drinks. A fancy cake was served, photographs were taken, music was playing...all in all, a very nice event! To sum up, we had a great time in spite of the ways in which we found some areas of the ship wanting. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our family's first cruise. We chose MSC due to the itinerary. The sailing dates matched nearly perfect with our high school kids spring break, and we were going to be able to visit one of our bucket list destinations, ... Read More
This was our family's first cruise. We chose MSC due to the itinerary. The sailing dates matched nearly perfect with our high school kids spring break, and we were going to be able to visit one of our bucket list destinations, Havana, Cuba. Arriving in Miami around 1:00 pm, embarkation began for us immediately. The bag drop service was very simple and quick. Entering the terminal, things were very organized, signs and employees directing you, answering questions, and providing general help. We entered the long line, but it moved very quickly, about 20 minutes until we were at a window checking in for our week. Prior to stepping on the ship, we pass through security, and our kids cards were mixed up. The security officer told us that we needed to go to guest services on the ship and have new cards printed (he kept their cards). Once onboard, we were a bit confused as where to go, but after a quick question to one of the eager crew members, we were directed to guest services and the problem was solved. Once we found our cabins and unpacked, we decided to explore the ship. We had read that this ship is MSC's oldest in their fleet. We have nothing to compare it to, but the only thing that looked as though needed some updating was the carpeting. The ship is not a "mega-ship" which we were excited about, as we didn't want to be onboard with 5000+ people. this ship was only approximately 2000 guests and 600 crew we were told. The ship to us seemed to be a “no-frills” ship. There were several bars, a small casino, two small pools, a splash pad for little kids, a basketball court, and a mini golf course. If you’re looking for water slides, rock climbing walls, etc, this is not the ship for you. The ship was always kept clean. I was amazed at the fact there was never any garbage lying around. However, it seemed as though there were no garbage cans for public use anywhere except the restrooms. When you had something to throw away, you needed to either carry it with you to the restroom, or drop it off at either a bus station in the restaurants or bar. The poolside bars were convenient to grab a drink, but they were extremely slow. I did not see any bar staff taking drink orders and bringing drinks to you on the sundecks. Many times we waited longer than 7 minutes for a drink. Unless you were ordering an unmixed drink (vodka on the rocks for example), the drinks had a very light pour. We did not purchase a drink package, but we did book the “Fantastica” and were given a book of drink tickets (12). After the tickets were gone, we used our cruise card to purchase the drinks. We saved about $160 for our cabin and another $400 for our children’s cabin. The casino bar had much faster service. The Bar del Duomo was fun as well, as a lot of different parties and activities were centered here. Again, bar service was slow, even if the bar was nearly empty. I fully understand that the typical “frozen drink” takes time to make, but a 6-7 minute wait time for a vodka/soda is a bit absurd. We did not drink in the Bacardi Rum bar. We did not drink in the Coffee Bar with the exception of one cup of regular coffee. The shows in the Teatro La Fenice were good. The shows were a variety of different shows, singing and dancing, acrobatic, comedy, audience participation. Each night had multiple showings at least 2, sometimes a third different show later to accomodate all who wanted to see a show. Food: We had read many reviews prior to cruising that the food was mediocre at best. I disagree. For us, living in Chicago, it is difficult to travel and get the same quality of food that is available for us in the restaurants here, so we do not expect much when we travel. Additionally, my wife has dietary restrictions (gluten free) that need to be maintained. Pizza Bar: My kids and I all thought this was good. They serve pizza from immediately after the breakfast hours until approximately 1:00 am. They serve a variety of thin crust (NY Style) pizza that are good. The one exception that I experienced was the pizza with cut up hot dogs on it that they attempted to pass as a “sausage pizza”. For breakfast hours pizza bar served forms of a breakfast pizza (did not try), pancakes, waffles, donuts. Burger Bar: Again, my kids and I thought this was great. Same hours as the pizza bar. Burgers, Cheese Burgers, Chicken Sandwiches, fries, and all the toppings all day long. For breakfast hours, burger bar served made to order omelets. Buffet: The buffet seemed to always be open. Two sides to it, during breakfast and lunch both sides open. During dinner, only one side was open to serve. Many options for all meals. Lots of fresh breads, salads, sliced meats, hot choices, a carving station. We all found food to enjoy at the buffet. Desserts were also very good here. Marco Polo Dining Room: We ate here all nights except one. Two seatings, we chose the 2nd seating (8:30 pm, local time whatever time zone you’re in for the day). Food here was mostly good. The wait staff were slow to start the cruise, but it did improve. Our table seemed to be slow, and we found out later it was because one person was new, and didn’t know the routine yet, and they were also short staffed by a body for that area as well. The wait staff were able to allow my wife to choose her meals for the next night the day before so the chef could ensure they were gluten free. The menu had choices which were on it each night, in addition to items specific for the theme of the night. Portion sizes were very appropriate. Be prepared when ordering to order your appetizer, entree, and dessert all at the same time. The crew members of Armonia are all or at least appear to be extremely happy, ALL the time. The energy level of the entertainment crew is unmatched by anything I’ve ever seen. The long hours they work, and the energy they bring to the parties, shows, and general attitude of the ship is truly amazing. Excursions. Since this was our first cruise, we decided to book all excursions through MSC. After cruising once, I would rethink that. Each excursion in each port had a meeting time and place where the crew members would organize the groups and get you to your ground transportation. Relatively simple process, but did seem to run slow. In Roatan, the ship provided a tender boat service, so that took a bit longer since people were being taken off the ship only about 120/boat. In Roatan, Honduras, we opted for the BFK Beach and Lunch. This was to include a 30 minute bus ride to a boat, where we’d be on the boat 5 minutes. The bus ride turned into over an hour long ride due to road construction. At one point, i observed our tour guide give the bus driver some money, and all of a sudden the driver was making a much better effort to move us forward. Once we got to Big French Kay, lunch was served which was very good, and we enjoyed the beach experience. The long bus ride gave us limited time at the beach (only about 2 hours instead of 3 as advertised) before it was time to get back on the boat. The bus ride back to the ship was much quicker, only about 30 min as the road construction had stopped for the day. Costa Maya, Mexico we opted for the Mayan Ruins at Chacchoben. This tour was a full motor coach bus with wifi and air conditioning. The hour long bus ride, followed by a 2 hour tour of the ruins, and then a hour long bus back to the ship was just too long for our family. We felt that we could have rented a cab for the drive, walked the grounds for 30 min, and then driven back in the cab again, and saved ourselves 90 minutes. The pyramids are interesting, and big, but the time to value ratio just wasn’t worth it in our opinion. Back near the ship, Costa Maya is full of tourist type shops and restaurants. We overpaid for a lunch (about $100 for for of us with NO drinks at all). We were told by other cruisers that they took a cab to town, at lunch and ordered a bucket of 10 beers for $65. Rookie cruiser mistake here. We would have gladly forgone this stop for extra time later in Havana. Cozumel, Mexico we decided on the “National Geographic Snorkel”. We had heard the waters near Cozumel were great for snorkeling, so that’s what we decided on. At first glance, the boat was certainly nothing fancy. I was expecting a larger catarman, but ended up with an older “pirate style” boat. On board, the crew were very nice. Equipment was provided and instruction given on how to use the equipment. The excursion included three stops to dive in, as well as drinks after we were done. While the water was extremely clear and warm, the snorkeling was average at best. Havana, Cuba was our family’s favorite stop (and I am guessing the rest of the ship as well). Day one in Havana, we opted for the Hemingway tour. This was disappointing as the Cuban government and American governments were not allowing Americans at the Hemingway house. We were able to see the rest of the tour though, included to bar stops with drinks included, and a bit of a walking tour. Our tour guide was great and gave a lot of information about Cuba and it’s history. Day two we opted for the Classic American Car tour. This tour was a bit misleading. We thought we would be in a car, with a driver touring around Havana for 3.5 hours. In reality, we were in a car (all 4 of us, plus a driver), and part of a smaller group of cars. In one of the other cars was an English speaking tour guide. We made 4 stops along the tour, where we would get out of the cars and walk a bit. The guide had great information, but we would have preferred driving a bit more to different sites. If we did it again, we would have not booked through the ship, found a vintage car we liked, negotiated a price (usually between $20-30 per person per hour), and gone on our own. We would have wanted an English speaking driver though. Havana seemed to be a very beautiful, safe and friendly city. There is however, a lot of garbage around the city. We would definitely go back. As our tour guide said on day one, “In Cuba, you will see poverty, but you will not see misery.” Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Calling on Havana Cuba was a plus. Ship personnel did a very good job explaining what to expect from Cuba's government authorities when ship arrived in Havana. MSC must concentrate on improving quality of buffet offerings plus ... Read More
Calling on Havana Cuba was a plus. Ship personnel did a very good job explaining what to expect from Cuba's government authorities when ship arrived in Havana. MSC must concentrate on improving quality of buffet offerings plus dinner menu items. Quantity without quality will not cut it. MSC can turn an average cruise into awesome by focusing on improving the meals. I give the ship high marks for having a wide choice of activities throughout the day. Entertainment was fair because there was no special entertainment such as a comedian, magician or a person or group with exceptional musical talent. Cabin was clean with comfortable bedding. Generous storage space. I have nothing but praise for the wait staff, guest relations and bar service in public lounges. Many public places to hang out. Writers of reviews must have eaten some extremely sour grapes. I have taken forty five cruises using at least eight cruise ship companies and while MSC does not a five or six star rating I will consider a MSC cruise in the future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This is the 2nd time we sailed MSC. We have sailed many other cruise lines and this was definitely not our favourite. The ship is dated and really needs to be updated. There is a lot of sitting areas which is a plus. The buffet area is ... Read More
This is the 2nd time we sailed MSC. We have sailed many other cruise lines and this was definitely not our favourite. The ship is dated and really needs to be updated. There is a lot of sitting areas which is a plus. The buffet area is very small and not much variety in the selection if meals. The food was not very good there and it was very hard to find seating. The dining room food was much different and the food was very good and always hot. The interior stateroom was very small and the shower was unbelievably small. We had a great chambermaid and did an awesome job. I find the ship is geared toward European travelers and I believe that this will have to change if they want to become popular with the Americans and Canadians. It was very annoying to have things said in so many languages. I have been on board other cruise lines that don’t do this. We did not do any excursions so I cannot comment on these. The pool area is very large. This is a plus as many of the newer ships are getting smaller pool areas. All in all it was a very relaxing cruise but there are many things that can be improved. I hope that with the newer MSC ships, there are improvements. Read Less

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