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Cruise Ratings
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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2012
We booked this cruise because of the wonderful reviews and high rating. We were well prepared to have a blast and enjoy some great food. Ship looked gorgeous. We walked in to our cabin and right away noticed strange smell, like somebody in ... Read More
We booked this cruise because of the wonderful reviews and high rating. We were well prepared to have a blast and enjoy some great food. Ship looked gorgeous. We walked in to our cabin and right away noticed strange smell, like somebody in this room smoked before and the smell remained in everything, the walls the bed etc. I told our state room attendant and to ask him to deodorize. Also walking down the hallway I noticed smoke smell, like somebody in one of the rooms was smoking, which is strictly prohibited. I notifies guest relations and asked to follow up. How surprised I was when guest relations told me that nobody is smoking because it's not allowed and to call them in to my room when I smell smoke again. I asked if they also expect me to stay in the hallway all day long to catch the smoker? Or perhaps room attendants would smell the smoke when they clean up? I called some friends in to our room to make sure that we are not crazy and they also smelled the cigarette smoke. Our room attendant however smelled nothing, nor did his supervisor. But I am pretty sensitive to different odors and was waking up with the headache. I complained again and my stateroom attendant offered to clean the room for me again. After the cleaning room smelled pretty fresh and seemed like the smoke smell was gone. Next day after excursion I came in to our room take a nap before dinner and could smell something different, some very strong chemical odor. I could not understand where the smell is coming from, Within 15 minutes it triggered a migraine headache so bad that I could hardly get off the bed. I rolled over to the other side of the bed to get ibuprofen and realized that it does not smell so bad here. Right away I looked under my bed and found a plate with the towel soaked in a very strong, concentrated solution. I just took the plate in to the corridor and handed it to the room attendant. Without even asking me if it's OK to deodorize the room with such a strong smelling chemical, he put this concentrated solvent right under my bed. It's a good thing I found it. Never the less my day was ruined. This migraine can last up to 5 days and I was terrified that perhaps the rest of my cruise was ruined as well. The smell was still lurking in the room. I called reception and complained again and this time they send supervisor to clean and deodorize(with odorless deodorizer) my room again. The next day I woke up with the same terrible migraine, could not go on the excursion, lost the money we paid for it and spent entire day in bed. To sum it up: nobody bothered to offer us a different room, refund excursion money, nobody bothered so much as to apologize. All I've heard was we don't smell anything but we'll clean it for you. Second problem was dining experience. Originally when we booked this cruise we asked to be seated at a table for 6. This way we get to meet new people and have more fun. We were assigned a table for 2. Asked head of the dining room and to move us to a table for 6 or 8. Got a table for 6 downstairs in the main dining room but not only it was so noisy that we could not hear each other, we were the only 2 people at the table :-) Went back and asked to be moved again upstairs where is allot quieter to a table for 6-8. No luck, there was only table for 4 and we were the only 2 people at it. So finally we gave up and took the table. Our waiter was not too friendly and not too communicative. Strictly business, take an order and go. Menu was not impressive. My husband ordered fish encrusted in crab which turned out to be baked fish with crab meat on top. Veal was too dry, my filet mignon was medium well and pretty dry. Steaks were tough and people were returning it. On formal night we were not offered lobsters. Escargot was not on the menu at all. So after couple of nights in the main dining room we gave up and started eating other places. Thank god for sushi station at the dinner buffet. 1 time we went to the specialty restaurant but even that was not as good as we remembered it from our cruise on Constellation so we canceled the rest of reservation and just ate sushi. Breakfast buffet was ok. Omelets station was not offered every day. There was no lean breakfast meats like turkey bacon. It was the choice of bacon or Canadian bacon fried in bacon fat. Cheese blintzes were not too bad if they were fresh...allot of times they were from yesterday and from heating too many times cheese was getting brown. Caramelized apples were offered but most of the time they were bitter from sugar burning. I also found hair in potato hash which was disgusting. My husband found hair in chili. I saw other guests complaining about it as well. One time my husband got ice cream and it was spoiled, sour. I have no idea how that is possible. Deserts were terrible, mostly creams and mousses. Not a single normal cake. Not even during chocolate extravaganza. It was really disgraceful. The worst pastry experience ever. I think they really need to consider changing the pastry chef as well as head chef. I have never seen such a sloppy food handling as well as such bad food quality ever on any of the ships. However there are some pros to this cruise. Entertainment is really top notch. Several productions shows and especially the last nights show "Avatar" spin off with dancers and acrobats was one of the best I've ever seeing, real Broadway quality. The magician and instrumentalist were quite lame. Instrumentalist would have been fine if he would not attempt to sing. The rest of entertainers were all world class performers. Party band "Great Ideas" was wonderful! They are so versatile. From old ballroom favorites to jazz, pop, disco, rock....Singer has wonderful, very powerful voice. Great personality and some cool dance moves. They were playing for hours every day always delivering the same top notch quality from first to last song. Perhaps the best party we've seeing on the cruise ships. Corning glass show. Wow! I've discovered the new absolute favorite activity. It's was interesting to watch, very informative and educational. Some of the pieces made were a bit funny, to say the least, but some were real work of art. Always incredible to watch the process in the hands of professionals. I would love to take a class one day. After they auctioned off few of the pieces and all for good cause. Daily activities and there were so many too choose from. Several dance classes per day, games, sports, classes. Or just relax by the pool where there were always enough lounge chairs. The loan club is very interesting idea. We loved to have grassy area and those cute birds. Some people say it only takes space, I don't agree, I think it adds allot of charm. And if you want to walk barefoot on the grass you can do it even at sea. Ports of call were also pretty interesting. Excursions we took were not bad at all. Complete Istanbul 2 days we did not like too much. It was expensive, we saw couple of temples, grand bazar for an hour, spice bazar for half an hour, rug presentation and a palace. Boat ride was horrible and boring. In other words we did not see Istanbul, just very small area. I would have preferred a ride around the city, less time in temples, no rug show, no boat ride. And some more free time at grand and spice bazars. Smart people were taking local taxi with personal guide for 40 euros per day and got complete overview of the city, the temples and palaces as well as bazars for fraction of the cost. Ephesus excursion was quite interesting. Problem was that there was very hot (around 30) and for 2 hours there was no bathrooms inside Ephesus. With the amount of water you have to drink in such heat it was quite uncomfortable. Amalfi coast and Sorento was quite interesting. We were in the buss for close to 5 hours. Almost 3 hours we drove in the mountains, on very narrow road built for a horse and carriage. Allot of times a bus could get through and cars would have to back off to make way for it. Couple of times we thought that our lives would end right there on the spot when from the sharp turn a local bus would just speed like crazy towards us. I can not imagine the patience of drivers who take that road every day. But Amalfi coast is so beautiful! Was well worth the drive, not sure I want to do this again, perhaps next time a boat to Amalfi would be better idea :-) Would I take sail with the same ship again? Absolutely, providing they change few things to regain the 96% customer satisfaction rating as I am one very unsatisfied customer. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2012
We sailed in April 2012 and the 1st thing that greeted us was the STENCH OF STALE Cigarette Smoke,, While the Facilities ARE Fabulous the CREW need Re Training. You were made to feel CREW WERE DOING YOU A FAVOUR NOT The other way round ... Read More
We sailed in April 2012 and the 1st thing that greeted us was the STENCH OF STALE Cigarette Smoke,, While the Facilities ARE Fabulous the CREW need Re Training. You were made to feel CREW WERE DOING YOU A FAVOUR NOT The other way round for Choosing to cruise with MSC in the 1st Place. But why would they EVEN TRY when their Tips have already been Deducted from your account and they know that (This is Normal Practice for MSC) Our Cruise was like a SCHOOL TRIP Hundreds of screaming children ( IT WAS FREE CHILD PLACES THAT WEEK **** NO ONE TOLD US BEFORE WE BOOKED) Children running at all hours in the public areas , i do not know how they came off safe, and in the Cabin hallways CONSTANT NOISE The crew have little or NO English , we have conversational Spanish , French & Italian God HELP those who do not ,because we had an awful time, ANY Q'S we asked was either DONT KNOW Or WAIT I FIND OUT , and no one comes back to you. SMOKING was everywhere even in RESTRICTED AREAS This was not ADDRESSED AT ALL CHILDREN IN THE CASINO Playing Machine's ! Which brings me to SAFETY , ye rite, The LIFEBOAT DRILL was a joke told to go here , then there , no back again , When we did get to the correct Lounge , they delayed IT as they were talking about PORT SHOPPING, the crew JIBBERED their way through 10's of languages n laughing here n there!! We spoke to many English speaking cruisers and all had the same complaint No one spoke it Very well if AT ALL No English programmes in room TV , (UNLESS YOU PAID FOR THEM) Which brings me to DINNING ROOM ,,, NO TEA OR COFFEE OR WATER in the dinning room, NONE (UNLESS YOU PAID FOR IT) The BUFFET AREA was a CATTLE MARKET UNREAL, DISSGRACEFULL NEVER enough SEATS (They Kept areas closed??)Your food was ALWAYS COLD when you got to EVENTUALLY EAT IT,And the GENERAL LAY OUT IS OFF, NEVER ENOUGH SILVER WEAR (CUTLERY) and when you asked a server , they looked at you. So we went to the dinning rooms for All Meals BUT WE HAD TO PAY FOR Coffee!! The DAILY PLANNER had no USEFULL INFORMATION all ADVERTISEMENTS FOR SHOPPING ON BOARD. ie What ID needed at each port , what was the currency, what was the customs n tradition's, where to get Taxi , was there a Bus etc etc And if you went to Front Desk , it was , the usual vacant look and we DONT KNOW We ll get back to you. Allowing for the fact predominately most guest's were ITALIAN SPANISH GERMAN they were larger than Life, loud n mostly Aggressive ,esp in the the Elevators This is not a review OF English V Foreigner's THIS REVIEW IS ABOUT THE ABYSMAL WAY MSC DID NOT , Assist, Help ,Explain or intervene in any way , unless of course you spoke FLUENT ITALIAN that is. We love to Embrace new people , new food's and new cultures not on this Cruise, the atmosphere was AWFULL. RELAXING = NO ENJOYABLE = NO MEMORABLE = YES FOR ALL THE WRONG REASON'S. So OUR ADVICE RESEARCH , RESEARCH , AND RESEARCH SOME MORE WE DEF WILL NOT BE BACK WITH THEM EVER AGAIN P.S ***Not for the unfit people either due to the lay out of the ship and wheelchair users found it very narrow in places and waited ages for a empty elevator, AS did all guests.**** Read Less
Sail Date: April 2012
We just had the same BAD experience with MSC (Musica) 1 week ago. We took a 8 days cruise out of Venice down to Bari, Greek islands and Croacia. They never advised in any of the route advertisement about a 2nd embarkation port (Bari) ... Read More
We just had the same BAD experience with MSC (Musica) 1 week ago. We took a 8 days cruise out of Venice down to Bari, Greek islands and Croacia. They never advised in any of the route advertisement about a 2nd embarkation port (Bari) and due to bad weather we had to wait + than 8 hours till we could dock, what made us to loose the next day port of Katakolon in Greece (Olympia), ended up stuck inside for 3 days ! Besides that, there was a complete lack of organization to get out of the boat on every port, a really stressful & almost dangerous situation with people pushing and shoving...a lot of rude people around. Food was average, no creativity at all, no local typical foods, just a cheap offer of stuff that had the same taste every day. I'm sure any of us can do better at home. Entertainment was terrible, every night it was the same singing & dancing show, with a different figurine, besides the annoying presentations of the entertainment director that had to speak everything in 5 languages, so a big waste of time. Even the employees were unhappy & complaining about how the company was holding food and using low quality ingredients and about the way they are treated overall. MSC, never again ! Even if I have to pay 100% more for another company. We made several other cruises with Princess (scores a 10), Carnival (9), Norwegian (6) and MSC would score no more than a 3 in my 0-10 scale. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2012
Firstly the ship itself is beautiful and spotless. The shows are spectacular but that was the only positives of our cruise. Myself and my husband and daughter were looking forward to our weeks cruise and we had always used P&O but we ... Read More
Firstly the ship itself is beautiful and spotless. The shows are spectacular but that was the only positives of our cruise. Myself and my husband and daughter were looking forward to our weeks cruise and we had always used P&O but we fancied a change so booked on the MSC Splendida as it was advertised as being wonderfull for children. We quickly found out that if you are british and go with children there is nothing for them to do and if they want to have fun you have to pay and pay and pay. There are no children's reps and no one to organise any child activities. My husband and I spent the whole week keeping her occupied which was very difficult. The biggest bug bear was being charged for everything, we stupidly thought all ships were the same but not MSC they charge you for everything. Firstly you are charged 7 euros each per day for tips then on top of that for every drink or anything purchased on board there is an extra charge of 15% gratuity. Everything is astronomical in price before they add 15%, you pay for room service, you pay huge amounts to eat at a different restaurant. In your room you have 3 british news channels and if you want to watch a film that you can watch for free at home it is 5 euros, could not believe this. The food was awful, it is the same food every day and night and if you did not like anything on the menu in the restaurant then you had a choice of a bit of chicken or beef frying steak, talk about being cheap. My husband and I came together with other Brits on board who were finding everything just as bad, we formed a brits against MSC society. If you are British DO NOT go on MSC it is not aimed at brits and the staff have no time for you unless you have paid for the MSC Yacht club. We asked the staff if they recieved all the money that we paid in tips and they said no they never saw any money charged to us, in fact the staff are treated just as badly as guests. We complained and insisted that the 7 euro tips be removed from our account as we wished to tip ourselves. The staff that we tipped for wonderful service were so delighted and they deserved it. Overall you are like a cash machine as soon as you step on board so make sure you have plenty of spends and also as a woman you are leared at constantly which I found very uncomfortable in front of my 11 year old daughter. We are absolutely going back to P&O and will never stray again. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2012
Sailed from Barcelona 22nd January 2012. Lovely clean large ship with great balcony cabin 9056. Great cabin boy Mustafa and Waiter Winda, both excellent. Found most of the staff pretty rude, many in the Bora Bora cafe just barge into you, ... Read More
Sailed from Barcelona 22nd January 2012. Lovely clean large ship with great balcony cabin 9056. Great cabin boy Mustafa and Waiter Winda, both excellent. Found most of the staff pretty rude, many in the Bora Bora cafe just barge into you, no communication with you and the Bora Bora food very poor in choice and quality. Decor of Bora Bora very dark walls ,ceiling and dark furniture,dismal!!! Main dining rooms, tables very close to each other, food from 7 course menu poor even rissotto dishes blobs of soggy rice no presentation,Last 2 nights meat dish cold sliced Turkey and Turkey Escalope!!! No tea or coffee served after dinner. Dining hours very restricted on this ship Ship photographer ignorant!!! While eating my soup course leaned across me knocking my spoon as I was eating,then moved wine,water bottles and glasses to get his photo and proceeded to replace every one's drink in the wrong place. He then tried to take my photo which I refused and had to tell him forcibly to go away. A serious concern was every public toilet wash room hot water was always never hot!! I ran the hot taps some times for 2 minutes and never got even warm water. I reported this on my end of cruise report. Entertainment very Italian not at all to our liking. You pay for everything on this ship even a bottle of water in our cabin on boarding. Everything is also top prices plus the usual 15%. The charged tips (billed as service charge 7 euro p p p day) I will never do again, I will only tip the people that deserve it. This charged system could be the cause of poor customer attitude. We have cruised extensively and seek to try different cruise lines this MSC line we could not recommend and we will not use again. Graham Moore   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2012
I have only once felt the need to sign up for a " blog " but I feel so strongly about my experience that I would like to add my voice to previous reviews. My daughter a Columbia U. student on winter break and myself chose MSC ... Read More
I have only once felt the need to sign up for a " blog " but I feel so strongly about my experience that I would like to add my voice to previous reviews. My daughter a Columbia U. student on winter break and myself chose MSC thru a local travel agency. Our choice was primarily due to our restrictions on travel dates and our choice on a European cruise. I thought I did my research on the cruise line thru various sites , this one , trip advisor etc. We felt that despite the negative reviews many people described , we would try not to prejudge and make our own opinion. Our cruise was out of Venice, Italy 1/5/12 9 days expected itinerary was Bari, Haifa, Rhodes, Athens . The weather ( not fault of MSC) was very bad and we were unable to make port at Bari and instead docked at Ravenna Italy to pick up passengers that were supposed to have boarded in Bari . First it was not made known to me nor thru the travel agent that this was a scheduled stop to board additional passengers and the expectation was " sightseeing" We instead ended up in Ravena ( only 3 hours to see) then headed off to Haifa ( this was to be a 2-day port stop) allowing the many sights be seen and appreciated ( as many could not be seen in 1 day given the distance between cities ) . Our next stop was Rhodes and we had only 3 hours there also, MSC sighting : Israel authorities for the delay in departure) . We then went to Athens and were unable to dock for a full 2 hours again MSC sighting " maritime traffic " being heavy for the delay . I could go on but space does not allow . The passengers were not assured during the " extreme weather conditions" that the ship experienced the 1 st 2 days that we were " OK" or that the weather would improve or that the mandatory " safety drill" would be scheduled when the conditions improved or in the event that the ship was in danger how to view the TV interactive program on the life vest application, lifeboat location and expectations that were . We were fortunate as we do not suffer from sea sickness but many passengers were very ill and little assurance to alleviate some anxiety would have benefited them The food as described in many reviews was completely inadequate in quality the same dishes were served at dinner both at the buffet and the sit down dinner on many occasions . The alcoholic drinks were poorly made ( I doubt there was a actual person who had bar tending training ) in any of the many bars on board. The variety was also non-existent . The staff housekeeping and wait staff were very tired but very polite and helpful, I have no complaints about them. My complaint does involve the 6.00 euro /person /day that is taken from your bill for " tips" it does not allow nor insure that the hard-working staff are given any tips and my feeling that it goes to the company. I have been on cruises RCCL line in the past and know what expectation for service there is . MSC simply does not meet American standards for service, quality or comfort, We met several British passengers who felt the same and gave very poor reviews at the end of the voyage I will never sail MSC again and advise others to give serious consideration to other cruise lines if you want a vactaion that is stress free I will be wtiting a letter to MSC and my travel agent as well Sorry for the lengthy review but I kept it as brief as I could given my horrible " vacation " experience . Read Less
Sail Date: December 2011
Positive: The stateroom is nicely decorate and it is quite comfortable. Negative: The service is so bad that I think majority of the crew especially in the dinning room should be retrain. If you don't speak Italian than many ... Read More
Positive: The stateroom is nicely decorate and it is quite comfortable. Negative: The service is so bad that I think majority of the crew especially in the dinning room should be retrain. If you don't speak Italian than many of the entertainment will count you out. The food quality is the worst ever. There are lot of pasta and pizza, but if you are looking for lobster, good steak, good dessert........sorry! They don't have any. Some of the food are worst than college cafeteria. Did you ever see the lettuces at the salad bar have an inch of water sitting in the bottom? The Bora Bora dinning room which serve breakfast are pack with people that you could harpy find a seat. The people on the ship were rude and seems like they have not been feed for days. If you are not European, don't even think about any Italian cruise line. The main dinning room service is a joke. Our waiter don't know anything about the wine and menu. You cannot order any extra dish. We could only pick one on each course. That's something new for me! I thought cruise ships usually spoil you with food and you could order anything you want. Not with this cruise line. They try to sell you different packages. Wine package, water package, cocktail package, coffee package, soda package.......... We purchase a couple of these packages for the convenience but end up ever time you order wine, water, cocktail you need to present the coupon and your room card to charge. It is so stupid and inconvenience. They don't serve water at the dinning room, you have to pay for water. Ther is no anytime dinning unless you go to speciality restaurants and paid extra. The Mexican restaurant food is awful!!!!! The entertainment is just average. It seems like every evening are the same except the costumes. In conclusion, I will not recommend this cruise line to anyone but my enemies. This is really the worst cruise ever and I will not cruise with them even they pay me. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2011
Having booked this cruise only 6 weeks prior to departure I was extremely annoyed to see their agents advertising the same at over £100 less. Having challenged Thomson about this and requested an upgrade they became quite intransigent ... Read More
Having booked this cruise only 6 weeks prior to departure I was extremely annoyed to see their agents advertising the same at over £100 less. Having challenged Thomson about this and requested an upgrade they became quite intransigent and obnoxious, although I was prepared to pay a little extra, and stated that the prices vary on a daily basis. I ASKED FOR THE PRICE OF A DRINKS PACKAGE AND WAS QUOTED £240 EACH. ON BOARD I ESTABLISHED THAT OTHER PASSENGERS HAD ONLY PAID £99 FOR THE SAME. MORAL: DO NOT BOOK A CRUISE VIA A THOMSON/TUI SHOP. Our cabin for which we also paid an extra £39 was tired to say the least. The only chair in the cabin was torn, the tiling around the toilet and throughout the shower had areas of black mold. The handbasin was chipped in places. The capeting was worse for wear. Deck 7 was subject to major works of new carpet installation for the whole of the trip. The whole ship is tired and disgraceful. The Captain, a Russian was never to be seen except for the Captains night. The waiters in the Meridian Restaurant were incompetent but polite. Several times we were served with courses out of order although we sat with other guests. All they were interested in was put it down and remove the plate as quick as possible. On the night we docked in SAFAGA we were placed by the window for dinner which had sewage smelling odours wafting from the A/C. This was making the ladies quite ill and until I created a 'stink'of my own we would have been left there. At my insistence we were moved to a central table. After returning to our cabin we found that all water to the shower, toilet and handbasin was running a dark brown. I complained immediately and the plumber was sent for who notified his chief officer and then made light of it all saying that the water was safe. After my complaint the whole deck started to complain of the same problem. The water was left to run for a couple of hours but still remained a light brown. The plumber told us that this was the water taken on at SAFAGA from the Egyptian tanks and was probably from the nile. The Main Reception was disgraceful. They treated every passenger like cattle and were only interested in payment of monies and accounts. At one stage I had misslaid my safe key. They promptley demanded a £40 replacement charge. I went into some rage about this and they quickly reduced it to £15. However my key was soon found by my wife and they were dismayed that I did not pay at all. Although the cruise was for 8 days, we were told on the evening of the 7th night that we must vacate our cabins by 9.00am the next morning. This was not acceptable as the cruise was for 8 days and our home flight was not until 19.35pm in the evening. RECEPTION THEN DEMANDED A FEE OF £30 to keep our cabin available to us until 16.00pm on the last day. I declined. Courtesy cabins were meant be available, which could not be booked, and only available at 13.00pm. Small bits of paper were issued at this time with several cabin numbers displayed over several decks and it was a free for all to find an empty one. During our search I noticed a key left in the outside of a cabin door. I ventured in and quickly shut us into a cabin made ready for new guests. WE MANAGED TO CHANGE AND GET READY FOR OUR FLIGHT THIS WAY. After this we sat in the lounge to await our departure slot. Many passengers were complaining about the boat and the service given for departure. One long term cruiser with Thomson, a lady, said she had been on every ship in Thomson fleet and that this one was the worst she had ever been on. No way would she ever set foot on this boat again, a sentiment given by other passengers. One physically challenged passenger had paid for the PREMIUM CRUISE PACKAGE which provide additional specialist services fo such travellers. He was forced to carry and hump his own bags to/from the ship/cabin. TWO FURTHER LETTERS OF VEHEMENT COMPLAINTS ARE THEREFORE WINGING THEIR WAY TO THOMSON, AS WITH OTHERS. The shows were mediocre and the entertainment on the aft deck abysmal. Liberties Bar gave the only two decent shows during the trip. THIS BOAT IS TIRED AND DIRTY AND STAFF ARE INDIFFERENT TO PASSENGERS. AS A LONG TERM CUSTOMER OF THEIRS, I FOR ONE WILL UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES TRAVEL WITH THOMSON AGAIN. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2011
The Pros: The ship is very modern with some state of the art features which do not reflect in the way the cabins are fitted out. On the whole the staff are very hardworking and trying to please. You can see certainly the cabin ... Read More
The Pros: The ship is very modern with some state of the art features which do not reflect in the way the cabins are fitted out. On the whole the staff are very hardworking and trying to please. You can see certainly the cabin stewards working almost around the clock. The embarkation process was smooth and efficient and our luggage arrived to our cabin very fast. The Cons. 1. ACCOMMODATION/HOUSEKEEPING On arriving on the QV we were quite happy with our accommodation even though we found some old fruit underneath our dressing table and some dirt on the walls which had not been wiped clean. We considered this an oversight and did not make a fuss about it. Underneath the lockers on each side of the bed we found some old medication and pins. We would have felt happier if we had thought a thorough cleaning had been carried out. On the second day using the Ladies Changing Room on the Spa floor I noticed no conditioner - towels on the floor having fallen out of the overflowing used towels basket. The sauna itself was very clean and has a fabulous viewing window. In fact the ship really is very well set out and the decor is lovely. The only thing that lets Cunard down is the lack care taken with regard to cleanliness. The day prior to our departure we were told by our cabin steward that he could not give us any more tissues in our cabin as we were leaving -â€" we subsequently sorted this matter out by having to go down once again to the Pursers' desk. They contacted the housekeeper who said we could have more tissues but we are still wondering what happened here. We felt that now we were leaving our comfort was no longer important. The TV in our A1 cabin was an old cheap TV which went to black and white when a program was on .Very limited and usually 4 very old films a day .No Sport.Cant even match the Princess TV package. 2. LIDO During our first few days in the Lido we raised the following issues with the Maitre D' and then with the Pursers' Desk as we felt we were getting nowhere fast with the Maitre D'. A. We noticed a number of flies floating around and when we raised the matter with the Maitre D' of the Lido and the Purser's Desk we were given to understand that to implement measures to get rid of the flies would not be allowed for H&E reasons - I cannot see that leaving flies on food could be healthier. We are Elite members of Princess and have never been on a ship before where we have encountered flies in an enclosed eating area. B. We had read with much anticipation about the Indian Buffet nights in the Lido and very much looked forward to the same but they did not happen. Instead this buffet had been moved to the Todd English restaurant for a higher charge of $20.00. This feels like a very cynical move. Reading about the Indian Buffet in the Lido formed part of our decision to come on this cruise. C. During first few days on 7 occasions we went to have our meal there to find that the hot water and coffee had run out. I would have thought that the basic requirement for even the most mediocre of restaurants is a supply of coffee/hot water for tea. I noticed that the burners underneath the various pots had been allowed to go out. I had to point this out to the waiter and asked him to re-ignite the burners and bring new ones. The queues of disappointed people at the tea/coffee points was full of frustration. I don't know if this was allowed to happen because of inefficiency, not caring, and simply not being good enough. D. Food temperature -â€" in the Lido I don't believe we at any time had what could be called a hot meal (or even a warm one) for some reason we could never get anything that was not just "Lukewarm". Quite spoilt our appreciation of most dishes. We heard similar complaints about the Britannia restaurant. E. On Princess we always eat in Horizon because of the great freedom and also the choice and being able to eat when and where and help ourselves to exactly what we want. However, on the Queen Victoria during the outbreak of Novovirus on the ship which continued for almost a week we found our choices of food in the Lido restricted, inconvenient, and like a school canteen. Not at all what we needed to complete the Lido experience. 3. ENTERTAINMENT I am married to an Irish person and quite frankly I was rather taken aback by a comedian on board who made some "Irish" jokes in very poor taste (intimating that Irish people are stupid!). He made fun of the Welsh but only of high pitched voices and fun of the English for being reserved - I would not have minded if he said we are too proud, drink too much even but being stupid is not a character trait one wishes to hear. I felt very uncomfortable and walked out with my husband. I work in a law firm and know that even on television now such jokes would not be acceptable. Jokes about race are not acceptable. I made my views known to the cruise director and all I got was a patronising response. In this day and age of PC correctness I hope Carnival the owners of Cunard stop this before this becomes a serious issue - I did not hear any jokes about Chinese nationals or French nationals etc. and there were a lot on board - I think you might find they would not find such jokes about their race acceptable either. 4. ITINERARY We were bound in Alexandria for an extra day due to inclement weather. However, we noticed that an old Fred Olsen ship left without coming to any harm. There was a lot of bad feeling on the ship and speculation as no-one believed the Captain when she said it was bad weather. We therefore missed going to Katakolon which was for us one of the highlights of the trip. In Venice where the port closed due to fog -â€" we noted that although the ship was stationary until about 10am in the morning outside Venice we were only told about 5pm that evening that the ship would be going to Trieste and that we had to make our own way to Venice airport. Subsequently we were told by the Pursers' Desk that we would be provided with a transfer to Venice airport and they told us to cancel our taxi pickup previously booked -â€" which cost us (£60.00). The purser then came back to us and told us that Cunard would not provide us with transport to the airport that we would be dropped off at the port and would have to reinstate our original plans which we had cancelled. We are aware of how things can be done correctly on board a ship to make the passengers trust the Captain and the staff but we found that the command structure and communication on the QV was less than acceptable. This was a top down problem and the staff seemed very lacking in motivation because of no clear leadership or direction. Sometimes it seemed as if everyone was working at cross purposes. In conclusion we do not honestly think we would ever consider cruising with Cunard again after all the unnecessary stress, lack of clear management, hygiene and racial issues that we have been subjected to. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2011
With the recent GroupOn 'offers' I felt I needed to submit my review to warn others, so they don't have a disappointing week like we - and seemingly most reviewers - experienced. Firstly, I feel it best to point out that ... Read More
With the recent GroupOn 'offers' I felt I needed to submit my review to warn others, so they don't have a disappointing week like we - and seemingly most reviewers - experienced. Firstly, I feel it best to point out that the 'offer' isn't an offer. It is, at best, a very small saving on the actual price - with the guide price being heavily inflated. Having previously been on 8 cruises, 6 of them with RCI and 2 with Disney, I can only equate the experience we had on MSC as going from riches to rags. The Interior Stateroom - previously more than adequate for us - is like a prison room. It is listed as a meager 12 metres squared, and feels much less. The bed sheets were old, worn and dirty. When we asked if these could be changed, we were told that they would be changed when everybody elses were and no guests would be given special treatment. We knew from that point we were in for a very different cruise experience - in terms of both facilities and the attitude of staff. The sheets being old and worn were symbolic of most things on the ship. Everything is so dated compared to the other cruise lines we experienced. The number of entertainment venues and the number of staff simply aren't equipped for the number of guests. They're trying to do things on a budget and it shows. We queued for 35 minutes on the first night for the cinema, only to be told - along with others - that the auditorium was full. On our second day, we were going to play basketball as a family. We had to wait 6 hours. Yes, 6 hours for a court. When we were allowed on, we had to be off again after 20 minutes. The fitness suite was similarly overcrowded, with a staggeringly small number of machines compared to guests wanting to use them. The food we received on our budget flight to and from Barcelona was comparable to anything we had on board. It was obviously pre-prepared, mass produced and reheated. Unlike anything you'd ever experience with RCI or Disney. Really, I'm depressing myself by thinking about the experience again. I'll end my review there. Needless to say, I wouldn't return, for any price, despite being an avid cruise lover. I just hope that this review and others save some families the disappointment and expense that we had. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2011
This cruise line is touted as an upscale cruiseline. We have been on Sea Dream so we know what that means. I would place this cruise one level above Carnival. The food was very mediocre. Had to send it back the first night in the dining ... Read More
This cruise line is touted as an upscale cruiseline. We have been on Sea Dream so we know what that means. I would place this cruise one level above Carnival. The food was very mediocre. Had to send it back the first night in the dining room. After the second night in the dining room, we gave up and only ate in the buffet restaurant where the food was actually better than in all the other restaurants, including the ones you had to make special reservations for. The staff seemed untrained. They tried hard, but did not have their act together. The room was really small even though we were on the Concierge level. Don't really see the benefit of paying extra to be there! Fortunately, we got off every day. The excursions were great, but when we got back on the ship, nothing but aggravation. No nightlife to speak of. Fortunately, had jet lag most of the time. Would not recommend you spend this much money for this cruise line. Have cruised with Royal Carribean and they are heads and tails above this line. We could have gone all out on Royal Carribean and still only have spent half of what we did with Oceana and had a much better time! Save your Money!!   Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2011
We were really looking forward to this particular cruise as it was our 25Th Wedding Anniversary the previous month. We have cruised many times previously with both Princess and Royal Caribbean. We booked Cunard as we were under the ... Read More
We were really looking forward to this particular cruise as it was our 25Th Wedding Anniversary the previous month. We have cruised many times previously with both Princess and Royal Caribbean. We booked Cunard as we were under the illusion that we were booking something exceptional and of a more elegant and superior quality. The ship itself is beautiful in the main public areas if a little 'plastic' in appearance. We could not fault the staff who carried out their work with dedication and attention to detail but all appeared to lack any sense of ownership of the Cunard brand. Many appeared unhappy or at the most just getting through the daily grind. The food in the Britannia Restaurant was not equal to what we have experienced on both Princess and Royal Caribbean. The Duck on all of the nights it was served was tough. The portions were also smaller and in many cases lacked imagination especially after the build up it receives in the brochures etc. The waiter staff were excellent and very attentive but again they seemed to lack enthusiasm for 'the Cunard brand'. On one of the many formal nights (which by the way were difficult to distinguish from the ordinary semi-formal/smart casual nights other than on one formal night we had Lobster)when the kitchen/waiter staff paraded around the restaurant the announcer tried to muster enthusiasm with the cry because.......WE ARE CUNARD!! there was a very obvious lack of response from the staff - it was lack luster and they appeared embarrassed. The Lido restaurant was very disorganised. The hassle of trying to find a table was tedious. Standing in line to make a cup of tea was not something we expected on this ship. On our first day we were approached about the 'special offer' spa experience. $350 for two people for the 18 day cruise. It was sold to us as unlimited use of the Spa facilities. As it had a steam room we paid for this. On other ships the spa area especially the steam room and indoor pool have been free. As we were at sea the next day we thought this was perfect and accepted that perhaps the experience would be more than we had had before. We attended and received our gowns and went into the spa area. Although not together we found two beds and duly left our gowns and belongings on them whilst we had a dip in the pool. Another couple followed us in but could not find a bed. They proceeded to reception, The girl who had booked us in two minutes previously arrived into the spa area and removed our dressing gowns and put them in the bin!!! Apparently you cannot leave a bed and use the pool. Once you leave it you have forfeited it. What a rip off --- We demanded our money back. They apparently have fifty places which can cater for a ship of this size. They were also selling day passes so could not cope with the volume. The photographs taken were either at port or the supposed formal occasions were very poor with little or no attention to individual preferences or positioning. Because of this and the extortionate price $25 each they struggled to sell many. Cunard needs to think and ask why this is. Entertainment was very poor. The theatre productions were at best the standard of an am dram group. Very little variety. Afternoon tea! Beautiful scones etc which you could have for free in the Lido or pay $25 for the privilege of a white gloved waiter serving them to you in another area. Nothing explains how ludicrous this is more than the following... We sat in the Conservatory one day eating our free scones whilst on the other side which had been roped off the white gloved waiters served some people who had paid the above mentioned charge for the same scones. They also had the pleasure of the harpist who sat on their side. We also had the pleasure as we listened from our side!! What a shame that they have got so much wrong. Cunard really need to look and listen to their customers. We are genuine lovers of cruising and would have loved to continue to experience what Cunard purports to offer as it advertises. The reality is very different. As for us we will stick with Princess or Royal Caribbean or try others. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
Let me start by saying this. If you are thinking of cruising with Princess Cruises, DO NOT! Save yourself the time and money, they ship was terrible. Princess Star was a joke, the food was terrible, and I mean terrible. The buffet was a ... Read More
Let me start by saying this. If you are thinking of cruising with Princess Cruises, DO NOT! Save yourself the time and money, they ship was terrible. Princess Star was a joke, the food was terrible, and I mean terrible. The buffet was a 1.5 out of 10 (the 1.5 is only because breakfast was decent, but that's pretty hard to mess up). The restaurants where you had to pay for the meal were just as bad as the included meals, there were never more than 8 items on the menu and I had to regularly send the food back to kitchen. Steaks were never cooked correctly even in their steakhouse, they even managed to forget to put the sauce on fettucine alfredo. The staff are friendly enough and our cabin steward was great. The drinks were $11 or above for anything alcoholic, $4 for a pop or $7 for a mocktail. The water that they provided was usually brown in color and a bottle was the same price as a pop. Even the cream for your coffee at breakfast was sour. When you poured the cream in your coffee you could see it curdle at the top. The amenities on board were a joke, the swimming pools are only a couple feet deep and no bigger than most hot tubs. There were never enough lounge chairs for guests and people were always waiting for the moment anyone else stood up so they could take yours. They had movies under the stars at night, however for 2600 people they had less than 100 seats. The casino was good enough, exactly what you would expect on a boat, nothing fancy, but they had a couple tables and some slot machines. As for entertainment, they had a magician and a comedy show. The comedian was soo bad nobody even laughed at one of his jokes (not one person). The magician was even worse (I left, but my sister and brother in law stayed). Every morning at about 5 AM, the boat would be getting close to port and would turn on the thrusters. This meant every wall panel in the room would start vibrating to the point were it was so loud we would have to get up and hold the mirrors against the walls. We were supposed to arrive in Mykanos in the evening, however the boat did not have enough fresh water on board and the captain decided to circle around to collect water for the desalinzers instead of paying for water at port. His announcement to the public was "We will be delayed in arriving to Mykanos as our navigator has decided he wants to right his name in the water with the boat". We were told this only a few hours before we were supposed to arrive in Mykanos. Shore Excursions: Generally not bad, the tour guides were a bit weird though. In Croatia, the tour guide referred to the war as an "aggression" and that there general was a national hero and he shouldn't be tried for crimes against humanity by the Hague. (This is what she spoke about for more than half of our 6 hour tour) In Athens they told us Public transit and taxis would be on strike so if we wanted to leave the terminal we had to book with the cruise line transportation. (they told us this the day before we arrive in Athens, fair enough) However, when we arrived at port in Athens there was a long line of taxis waiting there to take anyone in to the city. Princess charged us 4 times the taxi rate. I mentioned Mykanos earlier so I won't talk about that again. Our other excursion was in turkey, that was good enough, however it was supposed to be their only religious excursion, people got so frustrated that our guide wasn't talking about the religious aspects of the tour they left our tour and joined other tours. Now one of the tours we were looking forward to, Hike a volcano and go swimming in hot springs in Santorini. The Volcano was a nice start, it was more like hiking up a rocky hill and wasnt really what I was expecting (I thought we'd see a huge crater in the center or something, but nothing like that). The Hotsprings were NOT HOT!!!!! Even our tour operator told us they are "warm springs" and only 2-3 degrees warmer than the ocean. He mentioned that he didn't recommend going into them, but if we wanted to it was at our own discretion, We were 2 of the 10 that went. the other 30 people stayed on the boat. The water was not even warm, maybe 15-16 degrees Celsius. Our tour description specifically said swim in the natural Hot Springs of Santorini on the side of a Volcano. This was not the case, and one of the biggest disappointments in my view. Our disembarkment tour of Rome was good, worth it for the transfer alone and not having to wait in line at the Vatican. Although most other people on the excursion were mad because the tour guide was rarely audible even on the radio system they had us wear. All in all, it was a terrible cruise. The only good thing about the cruise was the ports we embarked at. We always wanted to bring food on board from the ports but that was against the cruise ships policy. So for the most part on board we played cards (that we bought for $8/pack on the boat) and watched tv in the state rooms. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
Embarkation OK no disabled check in though, cabin supposed to be biggest inside on ship so the others must have been very very small. Food in buffet deck 11 is a joke, breakfast, lunch and dinner, everyday the same hardly any rotation. ... Read More
Embarkation OK no disabled check in though, cabin supposed to be biggest inside on ship so the others must have been very very small. Food in buffet deck 11 is a joke, breakfast, lunch and dinner, everyday the same hardly any rotation. All geared to Italians i had a bowl of cereals in morning, we had to get every lunch off ship in port, and dinner was a cheese roll and fries. Pizzas and fruit at side of pool bar, same everyday and a nice chap did cook different fresh pasta at lunchtimes at side of pizza place, and this wasn't to bad. We do not do main restaurants so cannot comment on those. Drinks are a bit on the expensive side but if you drink water or fizzy drinks, i recommend the restaurant soda package. For 7 euros all cans and bottled water free during mealtime hours on deck 11 and main restaurants, this saved an absolute fortune, and if you have to go with MSC get this! Be warned though you do have to pay for tea and coffee with meals(except breakfast) and the only place you could get them free was a machine on deck 11 near pizza`s, and then you had to carry them to the buffet restaurant. Staff, i would say 10% of them are friendly and helpful, the other 90% rude and not helpful. i was holding the door open 1 evening, stood with a drink and my walking stick keeping the door open for my wife and a manager walked straight through without even a thanks, i could not believe it! Ports of call were very good and we did enjoy those, but watch Santorini, if you want to get off early you need to be on an excursion or get a number. I was pushed into a corner by an Italian member of staff who did not explain this, and when i was told 20 mins later to go to reception i found all numbers had gone and we could only go ashore after 4pm! Entertainment a big let down nothing at all to do if you were sailing, only sit around reading or sunbathing or spend more money on drinks and sit in the empty lounges. And finally the Italian guests, they are the most rude people i have ever met, you press for a lift and stand back to let people off, not the Italians, they barge past you and wont let people get off the lift before they get in!! I did complain about all our problems we had in the week and Marcello the Guest relations manager was very nice about it and did cancel our 7 Euro daily service charge, and i gave 2 tips to the only 2 i thought deserved any. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
As a group of five (including one child) well traveled but first time cruisers, we were very excited about embarking on the spectacular looking MSC Musica. The ship is new and nice. However, there are just so many people! The only ... Read More
As a group of five (including one child) well traveled but first time cruisers, we were very excited about embarking on the spectacular looking MSC Musica. The ship is new and nice. However, there are just so many people! The only personal space you'll get is in your own cabin. Everywhere else, it's pushing and shoving at the buffet, for a pool lounger, to dis/embark, etc. The cabins are pokey and simply finished. Some of the fittings such as the carpet, desk top or bathroom fittings are worn or even falling apart. The balconies are nice and large enough for two people to enjoy a sun downer as the world passes by. We went to two evening theater performances but the quality was 'amateur' at best. The guy is small but sufficient and in a great location just above the bridge. One of my lasting memories was enjoying a treadmill workout as we cruised between the Greek islands. The restaurant dinners were nice and with a reasonable selection although you feel rushed as they push you through the courses to get the next sitting in. The buffets were very bland, even the "Indian" themed one! The focus is defiantly on quantity and not quantity. I know that cruising on big boats is a mass tourism pastime and i didn't expect exceptional personal service on a ship with more than 2,000 passengers. What i didn't expect was to receive such terrible service and rude staff on such a consistent level! We chose not to pay the optional daily service charge but were berated by the guest services officer who firstly told us we couldn't remove the charge, and secondly that the Guest Services Director refused to see us. Sad- it was an opportunity for MSC to receive some genuine feedback but their approach only made us resent their attitude towards their guests more. I took the time to offer some constructive suggestions by completing their Comment Form at the end of the cruise, but the "Guest Services Officer" refused to take it at the "Customer Services Desk", telling me i had to walk to the theater at the other end of the boat to put it in the box there! Wow! The real icing on the cake was when MSC lost one of our bags upon disembarkation. I duly reported the loss (due to MSC incompetence) and caught my flight home. After ignoring my correspondence they informed me after three months that they are also ignoring their Athens Convention obligations and refuse to pay me a bean. No explanation, just a continuation of the terrible experience I have come to expect from MSC. We embarked with open minds but found that the reality missed our expectations on almost every count. The killer was the consistently rude service which I would go so far to say ruined our holiday. I'm glad that we did the cruise, even if to know that big boat cruising with MSC isn't for us. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2011
We were honeymooners. This trip was supposed to be our dream mediterranean vacation. It was my wife's first cruise and first time in Europe. We had a fantastic time during our land tour with Contiki around Europe. With that joyful ... Read More
We were honeymooners. This trip was supposed to be our dream mediterranean vacation. It was my wife's first cruise and first time in Europe. We had a fantastic time during our land tour with Contiki around Europe. With that joyful spirit, we expected to have a great and relaxing time with this cruise. As it turned out, Costa cruise ruined the 2nd part of our honeymoon trip. To start, arriving at the port, there was no sign or staff to show us where to go to embark. I had to ask around to find the bus that would take us to the ship. The bus had no AC. It was during a hot day during the first week of september, 2011. Once arrived, the "gate" which was just a big tent. Inside, it was so disorganized and chaotic, the staff had no sense of how to manage the crowd. Adding to the insult, there was the smell of portable toilet inside the same tent!!! We had to wait 1 hr in this smelly place before getting on board. What a good way to start!!! This should have been a warming sign for what to come next. Once on board, our cabin has no English speaking channels. I had to wait 2 days and over 10 calls to the italian staff to have it fixed. It was useless to talk to the italian crew, whose English skill was poor and did not care about our complaint. Finally, we had the chance to complaint to our English host, Sean, and the problem was solved. Going to our first lunch in the buffet, it was like a zoo. All the people in there were Italians and appeared not to have been fed for days. They were pushing, screaming and cutting the line like a pack of hungry hyenas. The word courtesy was totally foreign to them. The sad part was that they were fighting for poor quality food. Water was limited and dispened in water cooler, which was most of the time empty. Our toilet of cabin smelled like urine, not matter how hard our steward tried to clean it. The boat was old with little activities that a non-Italian would enjoy. We ended up staying in our cabin most of the time. We are not picky travellers but this company hit rock bottom in terms of service quality. The non-Italian staff were kind and helpful and deserved all the credit to make this cruise a little more tolerable. During the disembarkement, it took the cruise staff over 5 hrs to let us leave the ship. While waiting, there was no refreshment or entertainment offered. Overall, I would highly recommend to avoid Costa cruise. It is poorly managed by its Italian crew. However,the olive oil is the fine dining was excellent. That was the only positive of this awful experience. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2011
We have done six enjoyable cruises and booked on the September Oceania Marina cruise in December 2010 as we thought it would be good to try a new ship and bookings might sell quickly. On boarding the ship we had many discussions with ... Read More
We have done six enjoyable cruises and booked on the September Oceania Marina cruise in December 2010 as we thought it would be good to try a new ship and bookings might sell quickly. On boarding the ship we had many discussions with passengers, some had only booked less than a month before it sailed and all paid a fraction of the price we paid plus a large onboard credit. We paid a premium price for a verandah stateroom and were very upset as we saw the price decreasing month by month. Oceania and our Sydney travel company Cruiseco did not bother to help us with an up-grade or extras. My cabin card caused endless trouble which we had mentioned to staff. I was treated very rudely by the reception staff when we took it to them after the security on leaving and boarding the ship also had trouble with my key card. We were very disappointed with the standard of the food on the Marina. The Grand Dining room choice, service and standard of meals was way below other cruises we have enjoyed. As the port tours were quite expensive we only booked two-the Ancient Olympia from Patras was an enjoyable tour aided by a very good guide but the Corfu tour was disappointing. The Cruise Director was most unfriendly and not at all interested in interacting with passengers. The Marina was not a well designed ship. One of the most disappointing features was the fitness track which was on a high deck out in the open with no cover or shelter from the hot sun or wind. The shower cubicle in the cabin was poor. Our cruise on the Marina was a most unhappy, expensive mistake and we would not recommend Oceania to anyone, in fact the opposite. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2011
My wife and I retired at age 49. We have been cruising ever since then and usually make 2 or 3 24+ day getaways a year. We have cruised all lines. In the past 10 years, we have done about 30 cruises, most of which were 12 nights or ... Read More
My wife and I retired at age 49. We have been cruising ever since then and usually make 2 or 3 24+ day getaways a year. We have cruised all lines. In the past 10 years, we have done about 30 cruises, most of which were 12 nights or longer. We generally book our own air on Delta, using miles when possible, as I am almost a double million miler. We stay at Starwood Hotels, as we are Platinum in their rewards program. On this trip, we did back-to-back cruises on the Silhouette (see my review entitled Do It Yourself (DIY) Cruising) and Constellation in September, 2011. I am legally blind and also travel with a service dog. She is not a seeing-eye dog, but she is still my driver. Guchi is a Chihuahua that has received extensive training to assist me. She normally sits in a front pack and from the way she points her head, I can tell where to go. She also alerts me to the presence of other people and animals in my general vicinity. On this trip, I was also accompanied by a second dog that was in training. This complicated our travels, as I had to carry each dog separately in carry bags, one on each hip. We stayed in Italy for the 4 days between cruises, and then flew Alitalia from Rome to Istanbul. We took a taxi to the port in Istanbul. Weather delays made what should have been a 2.5 hour sprint into a 12 hour marathon. We arrived at the port very tired, hungry and everyone, including the dogs, needing a bathroom. Security begins in Istanbul when you enter the embarkation facility. The security officials were not aware that anyone would be bringing dogs on the ship, and so we were denied entrance to this facility. THERE WAS NOONE FROM CELEBRITY AT THIS POINT OF ENTRY TO HELP US. So after what seemed like hours, but was probably 5 minutes of trying to explain that Celebrity knew that the dogs were coming, we simply Crashed the gate, ignored what was being shouted at us in Turkish, and walked into the embarkation area. As it was very late in the afternoon, there were no lines and we quickly completed the embarkation process, which included hunting down the Embarkation Officer to give her all of the dogs paperwork. When we reached the ship, we were once again stopped by the ships security, as they were also not aware that dogs would be onboard for this sailing. ALL of us now REALLY had to use the bathroom. Again after what seemed like hours but was only minutes, the security officer got permission for us to board the ship. We were detained twice more trying to board the ship: the next day in Istanbul and 2 days after that in Kusadasi. I do not understand why it took until te fifth day of our 13 day/12 night cruise for the word to finally get out to the security team that my service dogs were allowed to board the ship. We had booked a balcony guarantee. About a week after booking and making payment in full, Celebrity sent us an email that showed that prices for this cruise had dropped TREMENDOUSLY and now a concierge-class veranda cabin was $550 per person less than we had paid for a standard veranda cabin. Our travel agent was able to get us the better cabin, but could do nothing about the over payment of $1100. We did send a fax to the Celebrity CEO and after several conversations with a member of their Executive Guest Relations Group; we were offered 2 $275 future-cruise credits. As this was better than nothing (what we were told to expect by our travel agent), we accepted this offer. We were assigned a very nice cabin on the Sky Deck. I should point out that cabins on the Sky Deck cannot see the sky, as the overhang from the Lido Deck above it is huge. This did not matter to us, but if you want some sun on your veranda, you should choose a different location. The ship is medium sized in todays cruise industry, and carries about 2200 passengers. It was recently updated and 2 specialty restaurants were added. We love the solarium and the thalassotherary pool. After my wife began to read me the menu at dinner the first evening in the dining room, I began to recite it to her, as it was exactly the same menu as the first night on the Silhouette. (I have been legally blind since age 13. I was able to earn a Doctorate in Engineering from M.I.T., because I remember everything that I read or hear one time.) We did not enjoy the offerings on this menu 2 weeks earlier, but we hoped that on a smaller ship that had been sailing for a long time, it would be better. It wasnt!! We checked the menu the second day and it too was exactly the same as the second days menu on the Silhouette. We REALLY did not like this menu and could see the writing on the wall, so we decided to buy the 5-dinner package ($139 each including gratuities) for the specialty restaurants and made reservations for every other night in them. The Constellation has 2 specialty restaurants Tuscan Grill ($35 per person) and Ocean Liner ($40 per person). They offer the same menus as the Tuscan Grill and Moreno on the Silhouette. They are both excellent and the service and food were wonderful. The price for a single dinner, in my opinion, is high. On other ships that we have sailed on, the specialty restaurants ranged from $5 to $20 per person. The 5-dinner package is a good deal, however. There are also packages that include wine. Concierge-class cabins offer an expanded room service menu, which looked great. Unfortunately, the breakfast items that were supposed to be hot were not and the items that should be cold were warm. This cruise had only 2 days at sea. As Celebrity now only offers a sit down lunch in the dining room on days at sea, we did not have many opportunities to try the dining room at lunch. As I am almost blind, I do not do buffets. We were told that there would be help on the buffet, but the only staff that we could find were serving alcoholic drinks or clearing tables and not available to help carry trays, etc. Thus, my wife became the waiter. As a result, we did do room service a lot and ate on our balcony. Our room steward was great, but we felt bad, as he would have to stop whatever he was doing and go to the kitchen to get our food. Celebrity suggests that you order room service on the TV (OOPS!!! DIY#6 which I forgot in my review of the Silhouette), but many items were not listed there. They also allow you to order items from the dinner menu. This is a nice idea, but the menu is not on the TV. You either have to go to where the menu is posted and write down what you want or you can order a menu and one will be brought to your room. You guessed it the room steward then has to first go and get the menu and then go again for your food. All in all, the food is just not up to the quality it once was when Michel Roux was their Executive Chef. Because we were traveling with a service dog and a service dog in-training, we did not do any of the ships activities. We did take advantage of the special coffees and cocktails that they offer to Elite members of their Captains Club every morning and afternoon. These gatherings were very nice!! We also did not have children with us. We found the staff very helpful some WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE HOTEL DIRECTOR. On the second or third day on the Constellation, the Hotel Director introduced himself to us at the afternoon cocktail hour that Celebrity sponsors for the Elite members of the Captains Club. He asked how we were doing and how we liked the cruise so far. I replied Would you like my honest answers or do you just want to hear that everything is great? He replied that he would like to hear my honest opinions and we had about a 15 minute cordial conversation about how I felt service and food quality had declined over the years on Celebrity. He did not disagree, but said that this was the inevitable results of rising food and fuel costs and declining cruise fares. We agreed that Azamara, which we had sailed on twice, was the right fit for us within the RCI fleet. We shook hands at the end of our conversation and he asked for our names and cabin number and gave me one of his cards. A day or two later, the Constellation stopped in Marmaris, Turkey until midnight. We were told that there would be a fireworks extravaganza that evening with 30 minutes of fireworks. The extravaganza lasted at most 5 minutes. On our way back to the cabin, we ran into the Hotel Director. He asked us how we enjoyed the fireworks, and again, we gave our honest opinion that they had advertised 30 minutes but gave 5, so we were disappointed. He told us that the 30 minutes was the window of opportunity for the fireworks display that they had been given by the port, that this was the first ship that had had such a display at that port, and that hot even Azamara had fireworks. We said that it was nice that the locals made the effort and went off to our cabin. The next day my wife and I and the dogs spent a long day ashore. Upon returning to the ship, alarms went off when my wife put her seapass in the scanner. The security officer told us to stand aside and made a call. He then gave his phone to my wife and she was told that we had to meet the Hotel Director in his office in a few minutes. She said that we were hot and tired and negotiated a 7 p.m. meeting time. We spent the next few hours getting ready for dinner and wondering why we were being called to the principals office. We could only imagine that he wanted to apologize for the fireworks fiasco and offer us a bottle of wine or something. BOY!! WERE WE WRONG!!! We met with the Hotel Director and a note taker. The meeting started with the Hotel Director telling us that several passengers had sought him out to complain that we were ruining their vacations, and that we were in violation of Celebrity Cruises Code of Customer Conduct. He continued by telling us that if we were so unhappy on this cruise, we should leave the ship, at our own expense, and that he would gladly see that we were give a partial refund for the days that we missed. You could have knocked us over with a feather. We were shocked!!! We asked for specifics, but were told that was confidential. My wife told the Hotel Director that she found his unsubstantiated accusation and behavior very offensive, and we left the meeting. We went to dinner in one of the specialty restaurants and a show, but neither of us could remember a thing about either of them when we got back to the cabin. IT WAS CLEAR TO US THAT WE HAD TO LEAVE THE SHIP at a time and place of our choice, rather than being forced to WALK THE PLANK if and when the Hotel Director felt like it. We did leave the cruise a day after THE MEETING, when we reached a port where this was feasible and returned home. Before leaving, we met with the Staff Captain to register our complaints about the Hotel Director. We have since written to the CEO of Celebrity and were contacted by a different member of Celebrity Cruises Executive Guest Relations Group. After he checked with the Hotel Director, we were told that we were overheard complaining to the Hotel Director by several passengers and they had sought out the Hotel Director to complain that we were ruining their vacation. Also, we were heard by crew making disparaging comments about the Concierge and Hotel Director. Both of which were in violation of their Code of Customer Conduct. They again offered to refund 5 nights of our cruise fare. We had spent over $11,300 on the trip and were not willing to settle for $1300 AND NO APPOLOGY. We were told to take it or leave it and that this was all that they would do. We decided to leave it. We began a campaign to let other cruiser know what happened to us. I posted a review on Cruise Critic and several other travel-related websites. My wife began a thread on Celebrity Cruises Facebook page. She also began a conversation with the head of the Executive Guest Relations Group. We were told by her that our complaint would be reviewed again by upper upper management. The result of this second review of our complaint was: 1. WE ARE BANNED FRON ALL ROYAL CARIBEAN CRUISE LINES SHIPS!!! 2. We are barred from making posts on their Facebook page. 3. They have rescinded their $1300 refund offer, and 4. We cannot use the 2 $275 future cruise certificates. I did express our disappointment to the Hotel Director about how the level of service had declined and how the quality of the food in the dining room had gone down, AND oh by the way, he did not disagree. He simply stated that this was the inevitable result of rising food and fuel costs and declining cruise fares. I did complain that the concierge never answered when I pushed the concierge button on the phone in my concierge-class stateroom. I later found out that concierge-class staterooms and the concierge are unrelated. The Facebook discussion did get quite nasty. But none of the nasty comments were made by me or my wife. They were made by the Celebrity zealots who frequent the page. After this cruise, we decided that we would only go on small luxury ships. The entertainment is better on large ships, but that is about all that is better. If your mindset is to eat as much mediocre food as you can in a short period of time and gain your pound a day, the Constellation is for you. If you want good food and service, like Celebrity used to have in the dining room, be prepared to pay for your meals in the specialty restaurants or look elsewhere!! But if you go on Celebrity, do not express ANY negative opinions, even if asked for your honest opinions by the Hotel Director, if you might be overheard, because the Celebrity Zealots will tattle on you and you too may have to WALK THE PLANK. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
VERY DISAPPOINTED : No tables for two at the restaurants, always seating at tables of 6 - unacceptable! We went for the first night and that was ENOUGH! We ate at the cafeteria for the rest of the trip - ALL MEALS! Food was average at ... Read More
VERY DISAPPOINTED : No tables for two at the restaurants, always seating at tables of 6 - unacceptable! We went for the first night and that was ENOUGH! We ate at the cafeteria for the rest of the trip - ALL MEALS! Food was average at best... Water, softdrinks and coffee were all charged EXTRA and at a VERY HIGH PRICE ! To be exact ; at TWICE the price of the most expensive restaurants on their terrasses in the towns where we got off - TWICE AT LEAST ! That is unreasonable and unacceptable. If their prices had been on par with others, we would have consumed a lot more but out of principal we did not! Bottled water, 1 liter free per day per cabin is far from enough. Water should not be charged; this is an essential thing that IS ALWAYS FREE on any closed resort. If they are concerned with people abusing and leaving half emptied bottles lying everywhere, all they have to do is write the cabin # on all bottles given out and then require an empty bottle with the correct cabin # in order to give out a new one. Ports we stopped at : Ancona = 3/10 Corfu = 3/10 Santorini = 10/10 Athens = 7/10 Argostoli = 5/10 Kotor = 10/10 We felt like we were wasting our time at most places (see ratings) Cruise crew : cafeteria = 8/10 house keeping = 10/10 reception/front desk = 8/10 ***all crew members that WERE NOT Italian were amazing - great service, plenty of smiles. Italian members of the crew were typical; worse at best! Italians simply don't give a crap about tourists and will always be rude and unhelpful as possible if you are non-italian speaking. Ship / cabins = 10/10 very clean soundproofing = 2/10 ***we could hear our neighbors VERY WELL through the walls Boarding / disembarking on a daily basis = 9/10 at beginning/end of trip = 1/10 ***had to leave our cabin before 7am but could not leave ship until 10h30 - waste of 1/2 day! Too many noisy kids aboard this ship! We will NEVER book another cruise if they intend to keep our passports! They took these away from us and we did not feel safe at all when we got off at the different ports. This simply does not make sense and is probably illegal...They could have kept a colour photocopy on file to supposedly show to port authorities. By the way, our passports were not even stamped by ANY port officials...so we think they kept them to make sure we did not get off at any port along the way. We travel 6-8 weeks per year and have been to many places over the last 6 years but this was at the bottom of our list of trips and by a large margin. Overall the boat crew was great, the ship was nice but we definitely don't plan to take another cruise. There are too many things that are simply unacceptable at these prices. We kind of feel like we wasted a week. The time wasted is much worse than the money wasted. If all cruises are like this one...well cruises are not for us! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2011
We took this cruise August, 2011(St. Petersburg to Moscow). First, let me say that I have only been on 2 ocean cruises prior to this Viking cruise and cruising is not my preferred vacation style. That being said, we were invited by dear ... Read More
We took this cruise August, 2011(St. Petersburg to Moscow). First, let me say that I have only been on 2 ocean cruises prior to this Viking cruise and cruising is not my preferred vacation style. That being said, we were invited by dear friends to join them on this river cruise in Russia. I read the various trip reports and I am amazed how my opinion differs from many reviewers. The ship I was on (Pakhomov) looks like it has been renamed in 2012 to Ingva. On other cruise lines there appear to be a variety of nationalities on board - but our ship was exclusively Americans. Given the way you are herded back and forth on buses - you could actually spend 13 days in Russia and never speak to anyone but an American (unless of course you get away from the ship/bus and make your own way - which we did). My companions and I found the food barely tolerable. When in major cities (St. Petersburg and Moscow) we only ate breakfast on the ship. Although my expectations were low - they were not low enough and paying for our meals was the least of our issues. My #1 complaint is the extreme distance river cruise ships have to dock from the major ports. This is a complete waste of your vacation time and sitting in gridlocked traffic in Moscow for hours will make you scream. We quickly learned the excellent St. Petersburg and Moscow metro systems and used the ship more as just a place to sleep. The hardest part of the trip was the 5 day cruise between major cities. I though river cruising would be smooth - however when we went across major lakes - the ship rocked so hard and created such loud noise in our cabin (#428) we were awake most of the night. Finally, do NOT take the airport transfer ripoff. In Moscow, they wanted us to board the bus at 8am for a 2pm flight. We skipped the bus ($120) and took a 10:30am taxi ($45) to the airport and arrived easily in time for the flight. We ran into others from our ship that had been sitting in the airport for 5 HOURS. If you really want to experience Russia - don't take this river cruise. Get a good travel agent with local contacts and get out to meet the Russian people. They are amazing.... Read Less
Sail Date: August 2011
I never thought i would write a review it is just not something that interests me mainly because i am a restaurateur and find reviews can be self serving and biased especially if that written by a professional. But I feel i would be doing ... Read More
I never thought i would write a review it is just not something that interests me mainly because i am a restaurateur and find reviews can be self serving and biased especially if that written by a professional. But I feel i would be doing a great injustice to my lifelong passion if i did not express how unacceptable the food and wine are on this particular cruise line. First things first my wife and I have owned and operated 2 upscale restaurants for the past twenty years I am a chef by trade and my wife is a US certified sommelier and we need to warn fellow foodies of the unacceptable and outdated wine and food offeered on holland america. The Food i was surprised at the low quality of ingredients used in the dining room and buffet(lido) the salad dressings came from prefab jars with everything we now know about the unhealthy affects of additives and preservatives in our foods i was surprised that they would use these products. in the dining room our food was on most nights unpalatable the beef was of the lowest grade imaginable every fish dish we ordered were bland meaning that it was frozen and probably freezer burned. the sauces were loaded with preservatives ie. msg and tasted prefabricated. all the soups came from powders and were laden-ed with salt to mask the blandness the vegetable were obviously frozen which would be acceptable if they weren't over cooked to a mushy constancy and again over salted also the mash potatoes came from powder again...unacceptable Service: the servers are split between food servers and alcohol servers I`ll start with the food servers I have one comment train your staff every question we asked about our food was met with an I don`t know or let me check we ask simple questions that any waiter on land would know if they were indeed a professional also my wife being called moma was insulting. Wine: I you know anything about wine you will not be impressed markups are how we as hospitality professionals make our living but these markup for the quality of wine is borderline fraudulent the wine industry has grown by leaps and bounds over the past couple of decades but Holland America is light years behind the other cruise lines and land restaurants. the selections are outdated and of very poor quality I do not mind spending money on good wine and price is not a determining issue when choosing a wine but the selections are grocery store quality and having a `wine stewards or a cellar master peddling these wines is a waste of time and money which brings me to the next point the wine servers and so called cellar master we went to a wine tasting that was stale unprofessional and a waste of time to say the least. the wine servers in the dining room obviously working on commission as when i asked for guidance the most expensive wine was offered or a undescriptive comment like it is good or it is nice asking for the grape varietal was a foriegn question to them. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2011
Our 35th wedding anniversary was to be celebrated with a cruise starting and ending in Venice, Italy. Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas was so bad, we have vowed never to cruise again. I selected our cabin specifically so we would ... Read More
Our 35th wedding anniversary was to be celebrated with a cruise starting and ending in Venice, Italy. Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas was so bad, we have vowed never to cruise again. I selected our cabin specifically so we would have maximum space and privacy and that we did. However, our neighbors smoked so much that we essentially could not sit on our balcony the entire time of our cruise. There was nothing RCCL could do because their policy is to allow smoking on cabin balconies. The decor of the ship was very, very tacky. The staff was only "fake friendly" in most cases. The buffet restaurant window ledges were filthy dirty with food crumbs, some of which appeared to have been there for quite some time. At breakfast one morning, my husband took a spoonful of prunes and pulled an empty sugar packet wrapper from his mouth. They attempted to extort money from you, much more so than other cruise lines, even charging for fresh orange juice at breakfast. The quality of items in their shops was substandard and the prices, billed as tax and duty free were no bargain. I purchased a Fossil watch on-line directly from the Fossil web site for less money than they were charging on board for their "duty and tax free" watches. The shows were only mediocre with the exception of a Celine Dion impersonator) and the ship's cruise director's was less than charming. I will say, the food was good. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2011
Do not go on this cruise unless you smoke or don't enjoy good music. When we opened the door to our cabin it reeked of stale cigarette smoke. All week we could not get through to Reception or Housekeeping on the phone, so we waited ... Read More
Do not go on this cruise unless you smoke or don't enjoy good music. When we opened the door to our cabin it reeked of stale cigarette smoke. All week we could not get through to Reception or Housekeeping on the phone, so we waited in line at Reception area for 40 minutes after we boarded to ask for another room. The ship was completely booked so the receptionist said to go to dinner and they would have the room wash downed. After dinner the room was better. I could tell they changed the bedspread because the new one had a big rip in it, but in the morning the smell was as bad as before. Another trek and wait at the Reception area and we were told a room might become available after we left Bari. No such luck so we offered to pay more for an upgrade, but the cruise line wanted over $1,000 for the remaining nights for us to do so. After I said I wanted a complete refund so we could fly home, they offered us a downgraded, very noisy cabin but at least it did not smell of smoke. We had to sign a waiver saying we accepted the downgrade. Of course there was no refund. If you consider one person playing a keyboard with a sound system good music, then you won't have any complaints about the entertainment. The one theatre, called La Scala, offered nearly the same entertainment each night in a different format. Forget the pool. We never found a free deck chair and people were packed in every square inch. The rule that abandoned deck chairs would become available was never enforced. I also saw toilet paper in one of the pools around noon one day. Also, my husband and I like to sit on the promenade deck, but on this ship there were no chairs available and the deck did not even go around the ship. We ate once in the frenzied, crowded, long line buffet and after that chose to eat in the dining room. The food was OK, but we didn't expect to pay for water each meal except for coffee in the morning. You pay for coffee or tea other times of the day. Also, I was never on a ship where you couldn't get something to eat during the day between mealtimes. We came back from an excursion at 4 p.m. and had to wait until 7:30 for dinner to eat. The 1 a.m. midnight buffet was too late for us. It was annoying that everyone receives the same required tip regardless of the service they provide. As a result, there is no motivation for the staff to provide good service and several of them were rude. If I needed anything from housekeeping, like a wash cloth which is not provided without asking, I had to walk around and find someone to help because the phone connection was continually busy. We went without ice all week. The ports of call were fantastic. The excursions were very expensive so we took a chance and easily found alternate trips at 1/3 to 1/2 of the cost after we disembarked. It's too bad we chose this cruise line. It was the most expensive cruise we ever took and by far offered the poorest quality. Needless to say, we will never again choose MSC. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2011
We had cruised before only a river cruise though, we had been told that this ship and P&O were the ones for us (by people who "knew"). the cabin was adequate, although when we arrived ours stank of tobacco smoke, they ... Read More
We had cruised before only a river cruise though, we had been told that this ship and P&O were the ones for us (by people who "knew"). the cabin was adequate, although when we arrived ours stank of tobacco smoke, they did fumigate it but eventually the smell came back, we believe it was coming from the crew quarters as they were right next door. the carpet was stained badly and the upholstery on the furniture was tatty, not what we expected from a new 2010 ship. decor was very drab too. Cabin steward and room service waiter were excellent. i think they miss a trick by not offering binoculars, even for a price it would have made the views more enjoyable. food- adequate certainly nothing special, the waiting staff were at best ambivelent to our presence at worst downright rude with notable exceptions. we chose freedom dining and therefore could choose when to eat, that worked pretty well. the "select dining" resturaunts were very good, for a cover charge that was reasonable, food in Sindu was excellent, service on our second visit poor, plus despite us having booked 5 days earlier they "did not have our booking" but "accomodated us" food in 17 also excellent as was the glasshouse. the waiters in many instances could have done with an interpreter so poor was their english. someone should tell them a smile costs nothing! comunication of weather forcasts non-existant, the interactive TV service was rubbish, it kept saying things like we left such and such a port on saturday when it was actually wednesday, when the cruise diary or log arrived on the last day it failed to mention the force 11 storm we endured for 8 hours prior to arriving at Kefelonia. it also downgraded two force 8's to 7's, (unless the TV was wrong again!!! three times my door key would not allow me to enter the room and i had to ge it reprogramed, you would think i were a criminal the way the reception staff behaved, lots of behind hand whispering and looking in our direction, totally unnecessary, even when one of them came with me on the third occaision having "reprogrammed my card it still did not work, they then had to reprograme the lock, that sorted it! in all too many sea days, pools unusable due to unsupervised children creating havoc, adult only pool was like a communal bath, no showers therefore you would be sloshing around with everyones suncream and what else?. the retreat was booked up within an hour of people boarding, (we did not get on for 3.5 hours so No Chance, even then the place was mostly empty and considering the price and the area it occupies i'm sure better use could be made for it, but that would not fill P&O coffers. entertainment - Peter Piper - jokes i had told when at school (they werent funny then) Peter Cuttler - good voice, thats it! Mike Scotts 4 Top revue - mostly good although one chap was very flat, the resident band was rubbish, no where hear punchy enough and on "stand by me" the bass player was very poor despite only having 6 notes to play. Mark Walker - very good Aiden J Harvey - still telling jokes and doing impressions from the 70's, who can remember what John Conteh sounded like?? did go to two others but cant remember what (i dont drink) as they were poor obviously did not leave any impression. could not be bothered with the rest as this lot put us off, but rumour has it that only the Freddie Mercury tribute act was any good (not for me, dont do Queen). Bar prices are reasonable, especially the mocktails. shop staff mostly very good, the exception being one of the watch staff insinuating my Montblanc watch was fake despite not even looking at it for more than a second, i obvioulsy look like i cant afford it! needless to say I did not purchase anything from him. selection of clothes in the shops are very limited. the port visits were as follows Malaga - building site, we went on a tour with a chap who continually banged on about how wonderful Picasso was boring the pants off of us for around 20mins in 35C heat at one point. Kefalonia (even the greeks don't know how to spell it) - very nice, we did the natural wonders tour, that is not worth the effort. one of the "wonders" was a cave which is not as good a wooky hole and that is not great but the island is lovely,our guide was excellent. just a note two coaches actually broke down on route to various tours!! Dubrovnik - Great Venice - its Venice... been before but managed to do things that we had not done before i.e Doges Palace and the Basilica as well as a gondola ride on one of the booked tours, only down side was on the return to the ship they dropped us off at the end of the dock (having departed directly from the ship) we had over a mile to walk to get back on board, we discovered a shuttle service when we had covered most of the distance, there had been no communication from the ships staff about this, (i have a foot problem which prevents me from walking too far) so better comunication is needed, everyone was moaning about it. Korcula - really nice corfu - tatty as most of Greece, we did a 7.5 hour trip around the island, not worth it, very tiring, shou have stayed in the town. Vigo - Why?? Too Many Churches but hey ho gotta fill the time. P&O go all the way to extract cash from you, it is very blatant, the Sailaways are pushed very hard, all to sell you a drink of Champagne... the cruise CD on sale shows as many kids as possible (extracts on the TV) so the parents will be mugged into purchasing. the Photography staff are annoying in the extreme and not very good, we had a pic taken on the first formal night but the angle it was short from made a very strange picture (i had more chins that a chinese telephone directory), in Kefalonia we were told by the Captain to take care when walking down the causeway as there were no railings, " stay in the middle" when we disembarked the photographers were positioned in the middle so you have no option to walk around the edge!! if i was to describe the experience - Butlins on sea. not one i will be repeating, this cost around £9,000 I can do alot better for half of that! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2011
We were a family of four. Two 16 year old girls. We stayed two nights before in the Hotel Canal on the Grand Canal in Venice. Great location and just over the bridge from where the airport bus drops you off. Getting on the ship ... Read More
We were a family of four. Two 16 year old girls. We stayed two nights before in the Hotel Canal on the Grand Canal in Venice. Great location and just over the bridge from where the airport bus drops you off. Getting on the ship PROS We were able to walk to the shuttle train (people mover) to get to the port terminal. It is only 1 EURO to the port terminal. All very straight forward. CONS Only down side is when its busy people seem to have forgotten what a queue is so be prepared to push and shove !!! SHIP - Voyager of the Seas We stayed in room 8658 Deck 8. The room was fine for four and having the balcony is an added bonus. Personally we could not do a cruise without a balcony. PROS We thought the ship was ok. The food was as expected when you are producing it on mass. All the staff we came across where courteous without being in your face. The Pig & Whistle entertainment Ian Miller was excellent. The theatre shows were ok. The ICE show is a MUST see, this was really brilliant. CONS Thought the shopping onboard could have been better. Needed to buy sun cream and after sun and the choice was very limited. Daughter also had a cold sore and could not buy and medication for this. Thumb sdown for me for shopping. Knowing up front about the cost of drink it still came as a bit of a shock how expensive the drinks are. This really is a rip off as no way does it cost RCL that much - the mark up on drinks must be huge and grossly unfair as you are a captive audience. Some people might say well don't drink then, yes could agree but still shocking prices !!!!! Our major gripe with RCL came on our last day. I had completed the forms the same day they were given to me for a later disembarkation and handed it to the Stateroom Attendant. Partly my fault as I did not think to check the on line billing service BUT!!! We had booked to leave our room at 9:30 and to disembark at 3:30 pm as our flight from Venice was not until 11:10 pm!!! We had everything organised and the stateroom attendant knocked to say that it was nearly 9:30 our time to leave the room. The girls went to the pool. We went and found a space on the pool deck and settled ourselves for a nice day by the pool. At around 10 am our names were called over the tanoy. My husband went down to speak to customer services only to be told that they did not get the forms and we would have to leave!!!!! I went back down to speak to them and the girls attitude was a disgrace. I have to point out that up until this moment all the staff on the cruise had been courteous. It was as if they had our money, it was the end of the holiday so bugger off. The customer services girl tried to blame the stateroom attendant for not handing the forms in!!! I have to say I did not believe this, basically their admin department screwed up. I tried to explain that our flight was not until late that night but she was just not interested and kept repeating that we would have to leave NOW. I went back to the pool deck and finished my cup of tea, I was not rushing off!!!! At 11 am our names were called again and they said that we "HAD TO LEAVE THE SHIP IMMEDIATLEY"!!!! The girls were soaking wet and what a terrible experience. The customer service experience ruined our whole weeks holiday and a stiff email has been sent to RCL. When we got to the airport we spoke with another couple who the same thing had happened to. So was really a very bad end to a week's holiday which up until that point had been good. I know some people reading this might say that I should have checked but when you fill a form in and hand it to the stateroom attendant as they instructed you to do, you just take it that it will be dealt with. Hindsight is a great thing and in future I will always ensure that I personally follow something like this up. Still a very very very bad end to our holiday. Main point being is they must have got the forms as they new that we were leaving the room at 9:30 am !!!!!!!!!!! PORTS KOPER - Slovenia We did an independent trip organised by a very nice lady Joy. The company used was Bled Taxis and the good thing was it was an English speaking rep (Graham from Guildford England). He was excellent and I highly recommend him. We went to the capital Slovenia, Ljubljana and then the Lake Bled and Bled Castle. This was one of my fav trips; Lake Bled was spectacular and still relatively unspoilt. A highly recommended trip. BARI - Italy We also did an independent trip to Alberobello to see the Trullo houses. This is also highly recommended. I booked this through GetYourGuide and the local tour company was SEADREAMS EXCURSIONS. This was also a very good trip. They also took us into Bari and from the little we saw, this would have been a good place just to walk about. RAVENNA - Italy We just got off the boat and walked to the very nice beach. It was about 10 - 15 mins walk. My husband walked into the small town at the port and said it was ok. DUBROVNIK - Croatia This was fabulous, we took the local bus outside the cruise terminal, and I think it was 1, 1b or no 3. This took you straight into the centre. It was only a few EUROS. We then got on an open top tour bus; it was great we were the only ones on it. They took us right round the sea areas and up the mountains, was probably about 1 ½ hours but was so worth it. The views from up the top of Dubrovnik where fantastic. We then went into the walled city and walked up round the wall. This is also highly recommended, tiring and very hot but also worth it. We will definitely go back to Croatia as it still had the unspoilt and natural feeling. VENICE - Italy We stayed two nights pre cruise. We just got 24 hours passes for the Vaporetta and jumped on and off the boats to visit different islands and sites. Spent a bit of time at the Lido beach which was good. Took a Gondola ride, this is a must do in Venice albeit pricey, wanted 100 EUROS but hubby got it for 80. It was only for about 40 mins but a def must do!!! Venice was great. Our last sea day in Venice, we took the train to Verona, all very easy from the station and only took over 1 hour. Verona was great, also went on the open top bus which is a great way of getting an overview of the city. Would have liked to have seen an opera but just too little time.. FINALLY Overall a good trip, plenty for two 16 year old girls to do with the teen club etc. Again the trip was just really spoilt on the final day with being frog marched off the ship because of inefficient administration and very very rude customer services RCL staff!!!!! Read Less

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