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2,001 Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

We have just returned from the Ancient Affair cruise, departing from Limassol and calling at Alanya, Marmaris, Heraklion and Haifa. We did not have an auspicious start as, upon arrival at Paphos airport, we were left in a queue in the ... Read More
We have just returned from the Ancient Affair cruise, departing from Limassol and calling at Alanya, Marmaris, Heraklion and Haifa. We did not have an auspicious start as, upon arrival at Paphos airport, we were left in a queue in the coach park while a TUI member of staff had to locate our driver. We would have been less than impressed if it hadn't just stopped raining. Once on board the coach, the transfer from Paphos to Limassol took around 1 hour. Embarkation was easier than I had anticipated and our cases arrived at our cabin very quickly indeed. The paperwork in our cabin said that the muster drill would take place at 9 p.m. We decided to explore some of the ship and had stopped in the Water's Edge Bar for a quick drink when one of the waiters came over and told us that the drill had started. There was no announcement over the tannoy (or if there was, it wasn't loud enough). We proceeded to our muster station to be confronted with what must have been the most disorganised and polntless drill we have ever experienced. No one demonstrated how to put on a life jacket, there was no demonstration of what the alarm sounded like and what one should do in a real emergency and no one was properly checking who had attended and who hadn't. We might as well not have bothered and I am not sure the shambles we winessed would actually comply with maritime regulations. Since the drill was next to the buffet, we decided to grab something to eat there. The food in the buffet is some of the worst we have had on our 10 or so cruises. However, the experience in the Orion restaurant was much better and the food was very good indeed (although I do think it is a bit cheeky to charge an extra £9.95 if you want a steak). The entertainment on the whole was pretty good, and the all inclusive drinks package more than covered our requirements. The drinks were plentiful, measures generous and no feeling of being limited. New Year's Eve was a great night. The main dining room looked very festive and the food very good. The deck party was fantastic and the atmosphere great. We enjoyed it very much. The only port in which we booked excursions was Haifa (having been changed from Ashdod). We ended up doing the overnight experience and had an absolutely fantastic time. The guide was great, the overnight hotel wonderful and we packed in so much that we felt it well worth the cost. The stand out point on this ship is without doubt the crew who were absolutely lovely and couldn't do enough for you. It was also one of the friendliest cruises we have experienced. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Chose this cruise as it was a bargain. 2 x nights in Venice, 5 x day med cruise, 1 x night in Genoa. We had obstructed outside cabin. Opera is a very clean and tidy ship with an excellent crew. We purchased a drink package that was 29 ... Read More
Chose this cruise as it was a bargain. 2 x nights in Venice, 5 x day med cruise, 1 x night in Genoa. We had obstructed outside cabin. Opera is a very clean and tidy ship with an excellent crew. We purchased a drink package that was 29 euros plus service charge per night. I think we broke even and possibly drunk more than we would have done if we had just paid for drinks as we went. The entertainment on the boat was not the best but nether the less acceptable. The ship was full mainly of Italians and Germans us brits were in the minority. We ate in the main dining room for every meal and thought that the food was good but not gourmet. This was our first MSC Cruise and overall thought that it was value for money but not up to P & O standard and worth doing again. We were supposed to stop at Kotor but due to bad weather did not visit. Thanks to the captain and staff we made an unscheduled visit to Messina and did an organised trip up Etna. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We live in Cyprus and thought a cruise from Limassol would be very convenient, avoiding air travel etc. We left our car at the port, which was located next to arrivals/departures and the ship itself. We boarded the ship just after 1pm ... Read More
We live in Cyprus and thought a cruise from Limassol would be very convenient, avoiding air travel etc. We left our car at the port, which was located next to arrivals/departures and the ship itself. We boarded the ship just after 1pm and were surprised to find out most of the passengers had not departed yet. On other cruises we had to be off the ship by 8am. Marella had a far more flexible arrangement even allowing departing passengers to go on tours in Cyprus. The ship departs at 9pm, no doubt due to the late arrival of flights. The crew were very friendly and accommodating, always saying hello when passing by. Restaurant service varied from buffet style to waiter service in the main and specialty restaurants, which charged extra. The main restaurant on deck 4 offered fine dining for breakfast and dinner with open seating. It was also open for lunch at times. Reservations required at the two specialty restaurants and it is advisable to book in advance. The extra charge was worth it. We upgraded to premium drinks but the all inclusive offers a wide selection. Bar service was excellent with bar staff remembering your requests. Unfortunately smoking was allowed in a number of areas outside on both aft and port. Usually this is confined to one side. Deck 12 at the front, deck 9 aft promenade deck, deck 10 and 8 at the rear. However there weren’t many smokers. The show lounge entertainment was enjoyable but far too loud with some songs. There were a number of passengers with mobility issues who found it difficult to move around particularly when a lift was out of order. We booked two of the shorter excursions in Turkey ports. The guide on the first one was good but we couldn’t hear him at times as our group was too spread out. A lot of standing with little seating. We cancelled the second tour. Tried hop on hop off bus at the Greek island but that was vey disappointing. As it was winter some of the bus routes did not run. In Haifa we went by taxi to the Bali gardens. The taxi at the port offered tour lasting an hour for €50. He’d drove us up to each section avoiding the steep hill, which we found interesting. Glad we didn’t try to walk there. Overall we were very happy and looking forward to booking another Marella Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This ship seemed to have a primarily European clientele. However, being American was not a detriment. Every staff person that we approached for whatever reason, spoke English. All messages were announced in English (as well as many other ... Read More
This ship seemed to have a primarily European clientele. However, being American was not a detriment. Every staff person that we approached for whatever reason, spoke English. All messages were announced in English (as well as many other languages). The staff on board were exceptionally courteous. The ship was impeccably clean and any minor issues that we needed assistance with were handled instantly. The food was great for the most part. Breakfast eggs were a bit bland and some people complained about the lack of deep fried foods offered, but overall, the food was of great quality and good variety. Only one specialty restaurant which was primarily sushi. The shows at night were amateurish for the most part with a few good points. Not much in the way of on board activities. November was chilly so not much deck time. Excursions were well organized, but not available to book on the smart tv. You needed to book before sailing or wait on the excursion desk line. Ports were great. Genoa a bit boring. People embarking at different ports so not everyone gets on all at once, which was nice. Tenerife and Funchal were my favorites. Long wavy ride from Malaga back to Rome. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We selected this cruise for the itinerary, The Holy Land. The first sailing day we had stormy weather. Lots of queasy passengers, very hard to walk around and several activities cancelled or rescheduled. This is one of the challenges of ... Read More
We selected this cruise for the itinerary, The Holy Land. The first sailing day we had stormy weather. Lots of queasy passengers, very hard to walk around and several activities cancelled or rescheduled. This is one of the challenges of sailing and -- it happens. The crew did a great job of communicating and making us as comfortable as possible given the circumstances. Because of the weather, our Sicily stop was changed to Crete. Personally, we didn't mind because we had never visited Crete. Our Ashdod port was changed to Haifa so we had an overnight stay in Haifa. We agreed, better to be safe. Unfortunately, it was a religious holiday and everyplace we visited on the Jerusalem and Bethlehem shore excursion was very, very crowded. Compounded by the longer transit time (1.5 hours) from Haifa versus Ashdod, it was not the experience we had anticipated. Nonetheless, we were able to quickly see religious sites that had enormous emotional and sentimental value to us. The Jewel is a little older, but well maintained. I have sailed on the Jewel before so I knew what to expect in terms of ship size and layout. It does not have zip lines, surfing, multi-deck slides, carousels, and neighborhoods. The Jewel is a good, mid-sized ship with some of the older ship style charm. We were in cabin 9256, which has a standard size cabin, but a larger balcony. The extended balcony has a nice AFT and Port view. There are passenger cabins above and below. It is very private and quiet. It would be nice to have a staircase towards the aft. Our aft cabin was quite a walk; on the bright side, we got exercise just going/coming to/from the cabin. The food ranged from okay to good; the dining room staff was very pleasant. We had Anytime Dining and our average wait for a table for two was approximately five minutes. The seatig wait time was consistent with a land based restaurant. The entertainment in the centrum area was quite good. It was usually a crowded area. We are in our late 60s and sailing in November allowed us to avoid too many children and teenagers. The children that were sailing were very well behaved. Our fellow passengers were primarily multi-generational families and couples. The shore excursions were as described, so no surprises there. We pre-ordered the excursions we wanted and used the ship excursions for most of our ports. The two exceptions were that we booked the Hop On Hop Off bus in Rhodes (small port city) and Athens (we had been there before and just wanted to get an overview). Yes, there were less expensive excursions available from private vendors...but the notion of being left at a port frightens me. We quickly learned, strenuous meant strenuous and made one or two adjustments to our selections after our first full day excursion. When we changed excursions, I wished the Shore Excursions Desk onboard would honor the 10-20% discounts we received for pre-ordering. Also, Easy Ephesus could spend a few minutes at the ruins for pictures and a lot less time hearing a carpet sales pitch. We had a great time. My overall suggestion for this itinerary would be to take the earlier sailing (there were only two offered in 2019), the weather would probably be better and you may avoid religious holidays. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We boarded the Magnifica the day that Venice flooded - the water was already calf-deep in the morning, very sad. The boarding process was very smooth, and so was our departure. Our interior cabin was always clean and well tended; ... Read More
We boarded the Magnifica the day that Venice flooded - the water was already calf-deep in the morning, very sad. The boarding process was very smooth, and so was our departure. Our interior cabin was always clean and well tended; make sure you bring tissues (kleenex) as they aren't provided. The TV only showed news, news, and the view from the bow of the ship. You want movies? You have to pay for it. (MSC does nickle-and-dime you a lot.) The food in the restaurant was excellent for lunch and dinner. The Bistro was almost always chaotic, and it could be hard to find a table during peak hours, but the variety of food was really good, the food was fresh and tasty, and the crew took care that it was all hygienic. We didn't buy a drinks package and packages were pushed pretty hard the first couple of days, but otherwise the service was always quick, polite and friendly. We sometimes wanted to try more than one main course - the service staff was happy to get an extra serving for us to try, and was quick to bring extra vegetables if asked. The restaurant people were very responsive and the food was always hot and tasty. I was very impressed by the evening shows. The dancers did a great job, the costumes were lovely and the acrobatic performers did a fantastic job considering the sway of the ship. Each night had a different theme. The singers were really good, and a lot of the songs were in English. I was very impressed with their operatic performances. The MC spoke a great many languages and I think the crowd all felt included. The couple of dance classes I attended were fun. We didn't do any of the optional tours: they are extremely expensive and we were able to get around easily without taking them. Don't fall for the optional 10 Euro bus rides they offer to get you from the ship to the port frontages - the walks were often very short and bus rides not necessary. Sometimes there were even free port buses. My husband and I are in our mid-50s and relatively fit, but our mid-60s companions had no issues with the walking either. The stops were generally long enough to have a good walk and look at the place - a taste of each place rather than a chance to really look around. The only hassle with the stops is the crowded wait before getting off the ship, but the MSC security staff handle the exits and re-entries quickly. We had to skip Katakalon due to weather, and weren't able to dock back at Venice because of the flooding. MSC organised a comfortable bus to take us from Trieste to Venice airport. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We (wife and I, and another couple – call us “late 50’s”) chose this cruise as we wanted to experience a European cruise after doing several Caribbean cruises. This was our 3rd cruise on Celebrity. The Venice-Rome, and Dalmatian ... Read More
We (wife and I, and another couple – call us “late 50’s”) chose this cruise as we wanted to experience a European cruise after doing several Caribbean cruises. This was our 3rd cruise on Celebrity. The Venice-Rome, and Dalmatian Coast was highly appealing to us as we have read so much about these areas. Port stops were Rijeka, Split, and Dubrovnik (Croatia); Kotor, Montenegro; Valleta, Malta; Catania, Sicily; Naples, Italy; and ending in Rome (Civitevecchia). We flew into Venice a day in advance and stayed at the Hotel Olimpia, which is very convenient to the cruise port. It could not have been better for us. Although it was raining on embarkation day, we found it very easy to get to the Marittima Cruise Port via the people mover. Embarkation was as easy and fast as we have ever experienced. We were on board in no more than about 20 minutes, start to finish. The staff welcomed us as they always have, with a glass of sparkling wine. Having been on the Infinity 2 years prior, the ship was immediately familiar. Overall, the Connie is in very good shape – very clean, well maintained. We get that she is older and will be spiffed up shortly, however there was NOTHING we could find that detracted from our cruise experience! Our room was in fine condition, and we did not experience “threadbare” conditions as I have seen in some reviews. We were lucky to have left Venice when we did, for shortly after our departure, the city experienced their epic flooding that we only heard about later. We did dodge wind and rain for good parts of the cruise, however we were still able to enjoy our cruise. One port stop, Kotor, Montenegro, was cancelled due to advancing Adriatic weather systems, however they diverted to Corfu, Greece rather than settle for a sea day. That decision was made early, and we are thankful for the consideration for passenger safety. Food is always subjective, but we always enjoyed all of our options. The menu in the MDR is somewhat repetitious from past cruises, however our food was always well prepared and tasty. Options in the OVC were varied, and we could always find options for the few meals we ate there. We did the Tuscan Grille one night to celebrate the birthday of one of our travel companions. This particular night was their “seafood night”, so they did not have their usual menu. We had the mixed seafood grill, and the amount of food was staggering. The staff also wanted us to have lobster, so they went ahead and gave us all a lobster too! It was very good, but not over the top. The wait staff was amazing, though! Entertainment was very good overall. The House Band (“Cardinals”) and Music Soup were amazing (heard mostly in the Rendezvous Lounge). I am a musician, and the pianist is stunningly good! For “down time”, we really enjoyed the Stonewall Acoustic Duo (usually in the Cellermasters) – and got to know them a bit while on board. Very friendly folks! We only made it to one production show due to the busy itinerary - it was pretty good, but not over the top. Two different evenings featured British entertainers – one a “piano guy” (did all Elton John, Billy Joel, etc), and a female singer (seriously funny, and an amazing voice). Comedians were a bit “hit and miss”. Overall….quite happy with the entertainment. The port stops were amazing – we mostly did private tours for the 4 of us. We did opt for ship credit to do ship tours from Catania, Sicily (Taste of Mt. Etna and Taormina), and Naples (Taste of Pompeii and Sorrento). They were good, but we do believe we were spoiled by the private tours. However, the distances travelled on these 2 tours dictated that we felt we should be on a ship tour. Disembarkation was among the fastest ever! Our suitcases were easy to locate, and the lines easy to navigate. Bravo! OVERALL – we thoroughly enjoyed this cruise. Everything, but for 1 port stop, went according to plan. While we do prefer the S-Class ships (Murano!!), we were very satisfied with our experience one the Connie. She was very warm and comfortable, and the staff was amazing. We would certainly book this ship (and M-Class) if the itinerary dictates it. Kudos to some of our favorite folks: Sanyan (stateroom attendant, Deck 3), Dawangga (bar service), Akor (bar service – Rendezvous Lounge); Carlos (MDR), and so many others! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Our second cruise with Ponant, this time on their new ship, Le Bougainville. Our cabin on deck 5 was ready as we embarked early in Istanbul.. we found the cabin to be comfortable, enough space for 2, a comfy bed, lovely verandah. The ... Read More
Our second cruise with Ponant, this time on their new ship, Le Bougainville. Our cabin on deck 5 was ready as we embarked early in Istanbul.. we found the cabin to be comfortable, enough space for 2, a comfy bed, lovely verandah. The linen was good quality. The bathroom was ideal, great Hermes products that were replenished daily. An excellent shower. The cabin was cleaned well each day. Turn down at night with a small chocolate or biscuit. Water was topped up daily as was a small mini bar. The cabin was very quiet. Our cruise was around Greek islands and it was very disappointing that we did not celebrate this with a Greek dinner or similar. There was one occasion where a few dips and pita bread were offered and an afternoon tea with Greek pastries. We were hoping for a Greek influence during the cruise, with such a wonderful vital culture perhaps Greek dancing, food etc could have been included. I can only guess - this is a French line and that was very obvious every day. The entertainment was similar to last year, some excellent French dancers. A very talented pianist was a highlight each day. We did not undertake any excursions. We found the limited time on each island was very disappointing. For example the beautiful island of Rhodes should have been a full day at the expense of a less favourable stop. The food was similar to Le Lyrial. Often looking better than it tasted.The outside grill buffet area for lunch was always open to flies. Breakfast was the best meal with a wide variety available. Room service menu was very limited. The Blue Eye is a wonderful concept. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We wanted to visit Dubai. The ship. The crew. The food. The entertainment all very good. It he itinerary had Beeb changed about a week before departure and we were not notified.we would finish in Oman. Then on our penultimate day travel ... Read More
We wanted to visit Dubai. The ship. The crew. The food. The entertainment all very good. It he itinerary had Beeb changed about a week before departure and we were not notified.we would finish in Oman. Then on our penultimate day travel by free bus to Dubai. But due to medical emergencies the ship diverted , delaying our arrival in Oman by 24 hours. So we didn't get to see Dubai. Our first stop Aqaba ,we stayed for two days and after departure it was announced we had taken on security guards, we would picking up weapons at sea. Some decks and areas of ship were closed for safety against pirate attack. This was around the Gulf of Aden. We were 12 days at sea on this cruise. We departed with a 2.5 hour drive to Dubai Airport. The choice of restaurants is excellent. The food quality first class. Great choice of drinks on the fully inclusive. Cleanliness of cabin very good, obliging stewards. Cleanliness of ship very good. Entertainment, plenty of choices, for a lively time or places to just chill. We have been many times with Marella, they are our favourite cruise line. Because the service is excellent From Oman. Our holiday was booked from Manchester Airport even though Birmingham is our closest airport. The reason for this was, if we took the Manchester flight we gained an extra night in Dubai. We are disappointed this time with Marella as we should have been given the option to change our holiday. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
first time on the celebrity cruise so i can't compare to their other classes of ships but i thought it was good. we were on the cruise that was in Rome, Sicily, day at sea, santorini, athens, mykonos, naufplion, katakolon, day at sea, ... Read More
first time on the celebrity cruise so i can't compare to their other classes of ships but i thought it was good. we were on the cruise that was in Rome, Sicily, day at sea, santorini, athens, mykonos, naufplion, katakolon, day at sea, malta, naples, back to rome. embarkation: very smooth process- maybe 10 minutes; we did the cruise's transfer from the airport to the port and once we were off the bus, it prob took about 10 minutes or so to get into our room; very fast lanes. the only thing is it took until DINNER TIME to get our luggage. might as well carry your own luggage with you the first day so you don't have to wait for them to bring it up. disembarkation was also fast--got up ate breakfast, left, and they had our luggage out waiting for us and we hopped on the bus. SPA: **DO NOT BUY A SPA PASS IT'S NOT WORTH IT** . 1) the lotion and shampoo and stuff in there were also the same as the ones in the cabin. definitely not worth it if you're thinking you'll get better products in the spa..... 2) there are rain showers in the spa and it was supposed to have the aromatherapy oils in there..... but we were only able to smell the oils in there the first two days. for the remaining days of the cruise, could not smell any of the oils despite telling front desk about it. they claimed it was an engineering problem. the salt room is kind of a gimmick i think. only a portion of the wall had the himalayan salt bricks ... and they had some chunks of salt lying on this heated machine thing... i highly doubt any of that really does anything.. the sauna and steam room were ok. the hammam room was kind of useless just kinda like another steam room b/c it's a co-ed spa, so it's not like you can strip naked and get scrubbed down. so just treat it like a 2nd steam room. floating cocoon chairs were alright. major disappointment was the rainshowers in the spa though since there were only 2 days of the essential oils in there. you might as well shower in your own room then. also bring your own hairdryer if you plan on showering in the spa since they don't have one. 3) also we were jipped for 4 days at the spa.... on some days, after a long day, we would go to the spa around 10:15 or 10:20pm since it closed at 11pm ( we were aware we had to be done by 11pm since that's when the spa closed, so it should have been plenty of time). HOWEVER when we checked in the spa at 10:15pm, the front desk lady on duty that night told us it closed at 10:30pm and started shutting off the steam in the steam room when we were still sitting in there at 10:28pm !!! she kept telling us the closing time was 10:30pm and essentially for about 4 days, we only got about 10 min of spa time or less. we told the manager about it, who never followed up though. * if you're in aqua class it's part of the deal w/ your room, but it's not worth the extra money only to get snubbed and a curt attitude from the nighttime front desk employee. ROOM: really liked the room- it was spacious (infinite veranda). PLENTY of storage space and closet space and hangers; there is a USB outlet by one end of the bed and another little box that fits european and american plugs plus 2 more USB ports on the desk. table can retract as well so if you need more space you can push the white table in. the veranda.... like other reviewers stated it is kind of annoying with the blind; one shortcut to making it a onetouch thing is to just press the down button for the WINDOW, and the blinds will automatically go up without you having to hold down the 'up' button for the blinds. towards the end of the cruise, the windows needed some WD40 as they were extremely squeaky. *wish they had more movies on demand as well, but oh well. there were only about 10 titles.... Anna, tomorrow man, ugly dolls, etc. Bed was nice and comfy. ** toiletries in the bathroom were terrible-- BRING YOUR OWN--the shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel do NOT suds up at all so you're questioning how much you're using. also, the lotion is grainy. there's like literal grains of sand or something in it. so bring your own toiletries if you want ENTERTAINMENT; should have done some more comedy acts or whatever. the singing of the main celebrity crew was not very good- their harmonizing was never in key and were always flat. just sounded out of tune. the magician was the best. another singer ashlie amber... was just not good. felt like i could find better youtubers singing. FOOD: very good food- steak was always good. soups were nasty though--either super salty or just blegh in flavor. ice cream was DELICIOUS. desserts were good. main dining was good we did not do the specialty dining. lamb dishes are always delicious... we ate at cyprus most nights. curry was always excellent. buffet was good... SERVICE: don't bother w/ the shore excursion people. they just tell you to look at the app for shore excursions. sometimes when you just need a recommendation, you might as well go to the port shopping expert. he gave us more details than the excursion desk employee did. but the main dining room service was good. as mentioned before, spa service was NOT good --some of the other spa employees were good, just not the front desk person who kept kicking us out early EXCURSIONS: overpriced, not that great; we did one in taormina/sicily---saw mount etna and the craters, ate cannolis ... but the ship had better tasting cannolis--- and wandered taormina. taormina was very touristy and overpriced, but it was a cute little town to take pictures i guess..... other one was acropolis in athens--- they make you wear whispers on your ear the little radio thing so you can hear your tour guide. they don't fit well on the ear... in Olympia, we did our own excursion--we just hopped on a bus at the port for 10 euros per person roundtrip--- i think train was also the same price, and there was an excursion there thru the cruise as well but it was all sold out-- i think it was more than $200 per person for 4 hours. *note: oct 28th is a national holiday in greece so the admission to the museums are FREE. we were in katakolon (olympia) that day, so we saw the olympic ruins for free basically that day. not a bad deal. **APP: so the ship has an app as well where you can look at activities--they always tell you to refresh the darn page.well even refreshing doesn't really mean anything; because there were clearly activities that were listed on the daily newsletter AND the app , but when we go to the 'activity' at the listed time, it wasn't happening at all. even the employee didn't know about it. so.... take it w/ a grain of salt. the nightly newsletter was also not very consistent w/ telling u which activities have a fee and which don't. for ex. on the app, it states the workout of the day has a fee. but on the newsletter it doesn't have the asterisk stating there is a fee. the spa cafe and juice bar listed on the newsletter also does not have an asterisk to tell you there is an additional fee, but there actually IS one for the juices. **pools: whirlpool in the solarium was the only one that functioned correctly UNTIL THE LAST DAY IT WAS MESSED UP--- the jets would only go to the feet. one of the whirlpools on the top deck was broken for half the trip and then the other one always took like 2 minutes to start up after you pressed the button for the jets.... **miscellaneous: '1) Eden was STINKY. it literally smelled funny the entire time--not sure what they put in there. the show in there was also strange like people have commented..only went for 15 minutes and left. 2) to get the view of the front of the ship you either have to be in the suite class level to get to the front resort deck to see it, OR get a pass to the spa (again SPA IS NOT WORTH IT-i can't speak for the actual massages/other services, but the sea thermal suite pass is not worth it). 3) **speakers-- if there is ANY ANNOUNCEMENT you HAVE to be either out in the public area or open your door to your stateroom to hear it. there are no speakers in the room so you just hear a muffled waaaa waaa waa sound; just make sure you open your stateroom door to listen to the announcements. 4) photographers were amateurs overall, the experience wasn't too bad. biggest minuses were the issues w/ spa (attitude, rainshower issue). food was great and the room was nice (minus the toiletries). the ship was still new, so at least that was a plus. 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Sail Date October 2019
We choose this cruise for the Europe destinations. Rome was great to see when we first got there, a little crowded, but were told it's worse in the summer months. The cruise terminal is a long ride, but we had a private transfer which ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the Europe destinations. Rome was great to see when we first got there, a little crowded, but were told it's worse in the summer months. The cruise terminal is a long ride, but we had a private transfer which made it nice. The embarkation seemed like we were in a third world country. Pop up tents and metal guard rails in a parking lot, but it went pretty smooth compared to the looks. We always select a jr suite for the spacious room and this one didn't disappoint. The first night however we found that our stateroom, (1078) was directly below the wind jammer which they start preparing at 3:30am, (every morning like clock work) and the carts running back and forth wake me up. So much for paying more for a suite. The cruise ship is a smaller one, so not as many options for sea days and after shore excursions. It was nice, but you can tell it's older and there was a sewer smell on the 10th floor for the entire cruise. Our cabin was great and outside of the noise that started at 3:30am every morning we had no issues. All the staff were great, (as always) and we never needed for anything. The food was as expected in the wind jammer, just luke warm, but this has been our experiences for all cruises. We ate at Tides dinning room one night and it was great. Chops Grill, was not any good on day 2, Rib eye steak was rubbery, but medium well and lobster was mushy. You can tell this food was pre cooked, then heated up and not what we expected for additional paid dinning. Giovannis was great on day 6 where I had the filet and my Wife had a seafood dish. We did not do much of the entertainment or shows outside of the movies in the cinema and on the pool deck. This cruise had very few kids/families so there weren't a lot of kids running around the pool deck, mostly adults, which was great. All staff were courteous and nice and always looking to help out. Ports and shore excursions. We did all our own shore excursions with our travel agent. Mykonos, Athens and Santorini Greece were all fabulous and as expected with the views and scenes just like the post cards. Our excursion in Athens was canceled upon our arrival, so we did the hop on hop off and spent almost the entire day at the Acropolis which is awesome. Malta was not so good. We paid for the Blue Grotto and Marsaxlokk tour, which come to find out is a fishing village and it's like a flea market that sells fish and souvenirs. They dropped us off for 1.5 hours and said to be back at the bus, then it started to rain. When we got to the Blue Grotto, it was closed, so all we could do was eat and get back on the bus. The stops in Sicilly, Naples and Rome were great and other than my Wife shopping and spending lot's of money, they were as advertised as well. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We picked this cruise because of the itinerary. We have cruised with MSC's bigger ships (Divina, Preziosa, and Seaside). So our expectation at least for the ship experience is a tad lower than the ships we've been. Ship ... Read More
We picked this cruise because of the itinerary. We have cruised with MSC's bigger ships (Divina, Preziosa, and Seaside). So our expectation at least for the ship experience is a tad lower than the ships we've been. Ship Ship is showing its age but still pretty decent. It is a mid-size ship. It looks a bit crowded in some common areas (like the buffet, theater, upper open deck, etc.) but there are some spaces where you can hang out in peace. Common areas are maintained well. We have used the open area in Decks 13 & 14, mostly in Deck 14. The open section of Deck 13 is designated smoking area. Try to avoid it if you do not like the smell of cigarette or cigar. There are 2 pools in Deck 13 which I find not used a lot during our cruise. The weather was great most of our 7-night cruise. We were surprised that there were vacant lounge chairs in Deck 13 & 14. We were able to use them several days during our cruise. The shops and boutiques are pretty standard. There are enough variety of goods. The theater is big considering the age of the ship. However, the seats are not as comfortable compared to the newer MSC ships we have been. Itinerary This itinerary didn't have a sea-day. We were on land (on port or tendered) everyday of this 7-night cruise. The itinerary is great. Except for one day when it rained while we were tendered in Sarande, the weather was great and the places needed a second visit. I wish we had more time in Pireaus/Athens, Dubrobnik, and Mykonos. If you don't pace yourself, you will get exhausted easily. The timing of arrival in Pireaus and Dubrobnik were perfect. Tourist attractions are not yet so crowded. If you don't like to be stressed-out in Athens, take the excursion from the ship (a bit expensive but stress-free) or take the Hop-On-Hop-Off just outside of the cruise terminal/port gate in Pireaus. If it your first time in Dubronik, go to the Old City and circle the city walls. A little bit expensive (€29) but it gives you a good view of the sea, the mountain, and the Old City. Walking in Acropolis and Dubrobnik's Old City walls or even in the Old City streets might be slippery when raining. Food/Evening Show/Dance lessons The buffet area is relatively small compared to the bigger ships but we were always able to find a table. Table clean-up in some areas of the buffet is slow. One of the things I've learned when using the cruise buffet is getting there at the right time to have a hot meal. Food is good for the most part. There were some fish dishes that were not to my liking but that is a matter of preference. Their pizza never fails. Sometimes there is a line up on the pizza isle. We used the MDR for most of our evening meals. We also used it a couple times for lunch. We used it to have a less-hurried meal time. The food/menu is good. Nothing special but decent meal. The waiters are nice. You can tell them if you want your meal to be served quickly. There was a meal that I find a bit salty. The waiter even asked me if I want to pick another from the menu but I declined. It was not a big issue to me. The Evening Shows were nothing special. Every night there is a theme but basically singing and dancing, some acrobat, and some magic trick. I find the sound volume is a bit loud. Production quality is about average (like your high school musical production). Talent quality - singing, dancing, acrobat, and magic trick is like the elimination round of America's Got Talent. There are other singers and musicians that plays in various lounges in the ship. Talent quality is not great. We didn't participate in any dance lessons but we were in the same location where the lessons were conducted. The dance instructors were good and has the talent to encourage the participants to be comfortable at dancing. Embarkation The Embarkation process needs some work. We arrived at the cruise terminal from Marco Polo airport around 11:45am. The bag drop-off line up is already long, however, it was moving decently. We entered the cruise terminal after 12:00 noon and the line up was almost to the terminal doors. There were no annoucements or information posted what to do. The line up was slowly moving. We got our Priority Boarding number tags (#22) at 12:15pm. We stood at the line that wasn't moving until 1:00pm when an announcement came that they are starting to board Priority Boarding #1. We broke-off from our line and moved to a more comfortable section of the cruise terminal at this time while watching the display screen show the Priority Boarding numbers that are boarding. We started boarding (get through port security) at 2:15pm - 2 hours since we arrived at the terminal. It took us another 15 minutes to line up and board the ship. We were able to locate our cabin quickly and have our lunch at the buffet. It was our worst and chaotic embarkation so far. Disembarkation Other than the itinerary, we also picked this cruise because it disembarks in Venice which will give us enough time to visit the other parts of the city we missed when we visited Venice 4 years ago. Because of weather (foggy morning), we were not able to dock on the scheduled (even the revised) time. We were disappointed that we won't have time to visit Venice. Our only consolation was that 1) we don't have stress-out ourselves rebooking our flight because our flight out of Venice is the day after, and 2) the buffet was open and we had our breakfast and lunch on the ship. We docked at 3:45pm. There wasn't an explicit announcement which group was disembarking but display screens in the ship showed which (color) group are being processed for disembarkation. Our group started lining up from the back lounge of the ship at 5:00pm. We were out of the cruise terminal at 5:20pm. Final thoughts This cruise was the most expensive cruise (fare) we had compared to the other cruises with MSC. But we enjoyed it as much as the other cruises we had. Room Service is included in our Fantastica cabin which we used several mornings for breakfast. Embarkation was a disappointment which I hope MSC will address in the near future. It is always best to stay in Venice on the day of disembarkation. I've noticed that the ship is trying to lessen single-use plastics by using a refillable shampoo and soap dispenser, no plastic sache for food condiments, and paper bag or no bags at all at boutique stores. I'll give MSC brownie points for that initiative. Food wastages in the buffet is still a common thing. I may sound like a wet-blanket with this observation but it appears that there are people who feels no obligation to minimize waste. I've seen plates upon plates of food that appears not to have been touched at all left on tables in the buffet restaurants. The ship (MSC Musica) will be refurbished later this year but I think we like to cruise the bigger ships. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was our first holiday for 3 years and first ever cruise. We were on the Marella Discovery for 2 weeks sailing from Corfu up to Koper, Venice and down the Croatian coast line with the 2nd week over to Rome, Naples and around Southern ... Read More
This was our first holiday for 3 years and first ever cruise. We were on the Marella Discovery for 2 weeks sailing from Corfu up to Koper, Venice and down the Croatian coast line with the 2nd week over to Rome, Naples and around Southern Italy and Malta. We are a young couple mid 20's and early 30's and didn't know what quite to expect, we had a balcony cabin which was in fairly good condition with the only minor complaint being the cabins were a little dated, clean but dated. The service on board was fairly good albeit a little rushed at times, we are not big drinkers or party animals and were usually in bed for 11pm and found you couldn't hear anything other than the water lapping up against the side of the ship when we retired to bed at night, even though not 15 metres below us other guest were having a ball. We went on this cruise more for the destinations than all inclusive drink and entertainment and found that our privacy was respected. I was worried this may have been a "benidorm at sea" kind of holiday but it was not, a good honest mix of people who were all friendly and seemed to be honest hard working people who were on holiday, just like us. We didn't see any drunken passengers staggering around, shouting, screaming or bad behaviour. On the flip side i was also worried it could be full of people who walk around with their noses in the air, i was pleasantly surprised to only encounter 1 person like that who described the cruise ship as a "tug boat" later going on to tell me of her 64 other cruises being better later wandering off across the deck with her husband pacing 6 feet behind her. We had the opportunity to dress up at night and sample all the restaurants part from the Sushi one, all were very nice especially the Surf & Turf being really good. The entertainment on board was just enough to keep us occupied for the 2 days at sea, passing time on the mini golf course, playing poker and using the breakout escape room. We found the excursions (we went on 4 i think) very good value for money and had to get a refund from a company we had booked an excursion with before getting on the ship. Cruising excursions charged us £254.00 with Marella charging £120.00 for the same excursion. The ports we visited were very nice with the only exception being Malta, we would have liked more time there as with the tender across meaning we only got to spend 2.5 hours in Valletta. We are the type of people that would get off the ship early and head to the train station taking a regional train to the nearest point of interest, sometimes up to 1.5 hours away, Valletta, obviously we couldn't do this. I use an E Cig and would have liked some more smoking areas, i was forced to either go 3 floors down or 2 floors up to have a quick smoke on my e cig, there are a lot of more mature passengers and a lot do smoke so maybe catering for them a little more would have made the cruise slightly more enjoyable. The entertainment on the top deck when leaving a port was a little OTT, with loud music and singing as we sailed out of port as you sat having a beer and tried to relax taking in the views, that could just be me being miserable but after a tiring (but enjoyable) day exploring the last thing you want is someone murdering an Andrea Bocelli song not 10 metres away. Would we do it again though, yes, certainly. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We choose the Edge because of the Greek Islands. Sounded great, but once there, everywhere was crowded. We thought by October most tourists would have been gone, but not the case. As for the ship, very modern, seemed like lots of ... Read More
We choose the Edge because of the Greek Islands. Sounded great, but once there, everywhere was crowded. We thought by October most tourists would have been gone, but not the case. As for the ship, very modern, seemed like lots of wasted space, should have at elevators better directions for finding your way around the ship. Our room, 6197 was beautiful. Lots of storage space, loved that finally there is a TV in front of the bed rather than off to the side somewhere. The shower is large, but they need better soap dispensers in the shower. Mentioned to the room stewart twice that the soap was very slow coming out, he said it was full. Minor problem but annoying. Some people complained about the shade for the infinity balcony, but ours worked fine blocking out the light. Our biggest complaint was the library, the lack of one. Most Soltice class ships have a 2 story library, well stocked. The Edge has a shelf in the Eden bar with maybe 5 books left by past cruisers. Maybe they should make the weird room entrance to the Eden a library. We liked the idea that most cruise information needed while on the cruise is found on your smartphone. Also, the food in the buffet and dining room was terrific and staff was excellent. We will be doing a B@B cruise on the Edge in April, 2020. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I love Celebrity especially the Reflection but I opted in for what I thought was an upgrade and ended up in a noisy,clanging,rumbling,vibrating room! Room 7107- family veranda. And insult to injury-I paid for the upgrade! Every docking ... Read More
I love Celebrity especially the Reflection but I opted in for what I thought was an upgrade and ended up in a noisy,clanging,rumbling,vibrating room! Room 7107- family veranda. And insult to injury-I paid for the upgrade! Every docking and departure created this other worldly ungodly racket. It was the anchor and every other contraption used to secure the ship to its spot. The first time I heard it it woke me from a sound sleep- scared me to death! I would never let a family use this room- babies would scream, children will have nightmares and Moms and Dad will run to stand in line for a half hour at guest services to get them selves moved! That's exactly what I did but it took 3 times to get a new room. 7 days of this - every time we docked or left port.Yikes why would any one consider this room for a vacation? In the end I was moved to a nice quiet room and yes I slept through the next docking- oh sweet sleepy dreams after a week of clang, clang,clang,bang,bang,rumble,tumble,screeching noise.Do I still love Reflection - yes oh yes. Why ? The food of course, the state room attendants, all the staff- maybe not so much guest relations because they looked at me like I had 2 heads when i complained about the noise- They actually said no one had ever complained before- laughable. But I will go back .Just take my advice, when they offer the family veranda upgrade don't take 7107! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Chose this for the Eastern Mediterranean itinerary. The itinerary did NOT disappoint and it was everything we had hoped it would be. LIKES: *The Captain and crew *Dining - Food in the MDR ranged from very good to excellent on a ... Read More
Chose this for the Eastern Mediterranean itinerary. The itinerary did NOT disappoint and it was everything we had hoped it would be. LIKES: *The Captain and crew *Dining - Food in the MDR ranged from very good to excellent on a few nights. *Service - Excellent service from our Cabin Steward, Richard. Best steward we have had so far. Dining servers at Table 144 each evening pretty good. The assistant server got rather lax on getting coffee served WITH dessert and it started coming well after desserts had been eaten. Mentioned to the head server, Suraj on the last night and coffee arrived WITH desserts. *Entertainment - Very good with one exception for us. *Celebrity does a marvelous job of matching dinner companions. We have met some of the best people and thank Celebrity for that. DISLIKES: *Embarkation in Barcelona was a nightmare for us. We stood in line an hour to board the ship. WHY? We had done the X-Press Pass check-in online and had read CC reviews where they just breezed on board and their Sea Pass cards were waiting on them in their cabins. We had to do a complete RE-Check-in. Ridiculous. *Boarded the ship on Deck 5 and they were already out of Welcome Bubbly at 11:45am. Headed to the bank of elevators to go down to Deck 3 for Sail Away lunch, That bank of elevators was OUT OF ORDER so back to the forward bank. Ridiculous. *Sail Away luncheon: We were pleased to see the Morrocan Braised Short Ribs on the menu as we had enjoyed them so much last year on the Silhouette. YUK. These ribs seemed to grow more stringy with every bite. One of our companions said the salmon was very good though. *Reflection Symphony (band): TOO LOUD!!!! They played so loudly it was hard to understand the words of the guest singers. Take it down a notch, Reflection. Louder is not always better. This was a complaint voiced by MANY passengers, not just me. *Dress Code: WHAT DRESS CODE? Why tell people what to wear for dinner in the MDR and just let them breeze right in wearing the wrong type clothing? Drop the dress code requirements if you won't enforce them; it would make packing a lot easier! *Health Code Violation in the OV? There were two women on this cruise who had brought their ENORMOUS POODLE with them. I am talking, big poodle! I saw that dog several times in the OV Cafe at lunch. Really? Couldn't you leave the dog in the cabin long enough to eat a meal? In the state where I live only Guide Dogs for the legally blind are allowed in restaurants. *Hygiene: Virtually non-existent on the Reflection. On other Celebrity cruises the employees would literally chase people down to squirt the Purell on their hands before they entered the dining areas. Not so on the Reflection. It was hit and miss. *General Appearance of the ship's interior: Tired and DATED. There was a huge chunk of 'wood' missing from the back of the seat in front of us in the Reflection Theatre. Tacky furniture in the common areas and in the Sky Lounge. *If you have thick hair, bring your own hair dryer or you will spend an hour drying your hair. It is not fun holding the button in for length of time. We were pleased with the itinerary and smooth sailing thanks to Capt. Nicholas. However, we would not sail the Reflection again. I think the ventilation system in the cabins is not really good. I heard to many people coughing......including myself. Think we will stick to the Silhouette. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I had multiple frustrations long before boarding. Most of which were related to the fact that my mother and I were in different staterooms and it was very difficult to coordinate reservations for excursions or dinner. I was able to for ... Read More
I had multiple frustrations long before boarding. Most of which were related to the fact that my mother and I were in different staterooms and it was very difficult to coordinate reservations for excursions or dinner. I was able to for main dining after I figured out how to associate a reservation (tho website still less than intuitive as you have to check the selection you JUST entered for it to associate). However specialty restaurants reserving with two separate rooms was awful. Called concierge. Sort of helped. But when room two called back they showed no availability. Even though we each were singles and would only need one table of two they couldnt do that without days delay and could reacting concierges. Day of embarkation there were multiple stories of same at captains club. It seems to be an incompetent process. I reserved finding ahead of boarding and was assured cancellation would go to my card. So when we cancelled one restaurant that I had out on my CCard for two separate staterooms they credited the respective staterooms rather than my card. I had to fight to get the credit removed from second room back to mine. And notably NOT to my card but as a room credit despite what I was told when booking weeks prior. WiFi - this was a selected perk so we didn’t pay for it (seems expensive). Quality was pretty good however it dropped a LOT (several times a day) and had to continually sign in. Also we had a single device so had to switch between iPad and iPhone but that was a personal frugal option. Drinks. - pool bar frozen dacqaris really bad. They didn’t have Lime (and bartender didn’t even know what I meant by traditional lime) and then added (dark!) rum after so it was not mixed in. The REAL benefit of a drink package is you can just trash the bad drinks and get a different at no charge. Regular margarita was typical and good. I didn’t have many mixed drinks but not one I had wowed in the least. My mother is elite captain level and supposed to get three free wines. They told her free was “not at dinner”. What?? That is just pathetic. Way to value your customers. They really seem to nickel and dime on everything here from alcohol to coffee to dining. Really takes away from overall experience Fitness: The jogging track was lovely as it traversed two levels so had “hills” and went by garden view and sunset bar as well as around pool (a floor above). A very nice walk and longer than most ships at nearly a 1/4 mile per lap. I had heard there was one or two Pelatons on the edge but found no reviews of them so here it is: Peloton. 6 bikes. 2 never seemed to be available for use - always covered. Technically, you must be in suite or have own pelaton account (used peloton before). Free but must reserve a time to use It (or take chance it will be free which it mostly was). However they told one woman it would be $50 for cruise to use them - I think bc she was neither I suite nor had ever used it before. They remove the seats unless someone is scheduled to use it though you might get lucky if you show up after someone finished, but you can just ask trainer to get them. There are never any seats on until 7 am when trainers begin day and you have to ask. They will provide clip on shoes in your size if you want. I LOVE Pelaton and loved that I could use it daily. For me, it was one of the best part of the Edge. I was not in a specialty room but told them (truthfully) I had my own Pelaton account. Something a trainer said led me to believe they may begin charge for using it (if they don't already - no clear policy it seems) They are very tight with making seats available for peloton use. Don’t know why. Sailing day - arrived on ship early and toured gym. Looked good and only 1 or 2 using it. First day we didn’t port until noon. Got there at 7:30 am and hopped on a peloton (before i knew you had to reserve) got kicked off after 30 minutes for someone who had it reserved. Still a good workout. The real shortcomings of the gym: lack of cool down stretching space. Quite crowded (yoga room in use or probably could do there). The free weights area is quite small too and crammed on sea day. There were enough cardio equipment that something was open whole time I was there - stair master, treadmill, techno bike etc. Day two first sea day. Had reserved peloton for 8 am but forgot the time change and got there late. No problem they accommodated me as others were finishing their ride. There was a good amount of buffering at sea and I cut my 45 Min ride to 30 due bc of buffering. The Pool: love the pool for many reasons the main one being it is actually long enough to swim laps in. It is between 20-25 meters (Based on personal stroke count) so a very respectable swim workout can be had. Even at 10:30 am first sea day there were very few in the pool and I was able to swim 1/2 hour without dodging others much at all. However many days into cruise it was clear anyone who had goggles (and some who didn’t) decided to swim laps even if this meant dog paddle, as they realized others were swimming laps. It got congested much of the time after morning. The pool length gets huge points in my book. You could have the pool to yourself in the evening as no one ever there after 6 it seemed. The pool setup with a sundeck and chairs is lovely and pool has submerged rim all around is very nice. Best pool I have experienced on a cruise ship. Pool itself was busy after excursions but still usually could get a couple seats, always both sun and shade available. Did not pay money for fitness classes but there was a good variety of yoga boxing HIIT and Techno Hume RYDE classes. I did yoga in my room a few times which was nice with infinite balcony feeling part of the room. $149 gets you unlimited classes which include yoga, hiit, boxing and more Entertainment. Mediocre. All of the dance and song performances (which seem to be most nights) are a different version of same. 4-5 women are dressed in boy shorts and halter tops (sometimes sequences sometimes In different colors) and the 4-5 men are in tanks and tights or pants. They pair up. One male and one female lead sing. Songs are mostly known songs and they set some plot to it (which is not evident without narrator or reading write up) They finally got a comedian to come after cruise director got feedback of too much of same thing. Musicians were quality violinist and piano from what I heard. I only made it through one full performance. But shows are not my thing. Food. Overall pretty good. Spa cafe is nice, light and healthy - however it is the same bfast and same lunch every single day. Main dining rooms have quality food and service with a different ambiance in each. La Petite Chef was great and worth it. Best food of all and really fun. Ocean view cafe had great variety and all seemed good. I will say desserts are better looking than tasting - in all venues. Eden. First impression on day 1 visit. Feels 70s and dated with plants growing out of walls. Some decor just seems weird. It is not a place I would seek out for any reason particularly to read or relax. Had dinner there night 3. The presentation was wonderful, the service (too) attentive and the food was very good. Not great. The steak dish was decent but far from a great steak. I don’t think it is worth the supplemental expense and wouldn’t do it again. The Eden performance - I misunderstood and thought there was something to happen during dining. Nope (tho we had an early seating). A few crew walked around with weird costumes which is what they wear for 10:15 performance which only happens every other night. Never went but ship mates went and said it was only a singer. I just don’t get (nor did I like) Eden. Finally, this was my first celebrity cruise and I truly enjoyed many things. I really appreciate they now offer single rooms with balcony without doubling the price for solo. But I doubt I will cruise Celebrity again unless there is a fabulous itinerary. It is fine. But if I traveled with my young adult kids I would want a ship that had more fun - race cars on NCL, rock climbing/surfing etc on Royal Caribbean - I like those things too. Yes celebrity is a 'bit classier' but also not as many options for fun. And mixed drinks were not good and packages are ridiculously expensive. If I go by myself I will go Crystal from now on. That is class, never crowded and ALL inclusive with awesome itineraries. Ports: The Nafplio Greece port was the best of all. Beautiful quaint town with great shops and not busy with tourists. Pick an itinerary with that port! Did Corinth canal which was good. Skip OIA in Santorini. It is a MADHOUSE. Horrible. Mykonos was crazy busy too but great streets and shops to wander through. Malta was a let down. Beautiful from ship, great historical buildings but kind of too short stop to do real substance and it just felt like a big city (w traffic) - though historically stunning. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because we had a credit from a previous Celebrity Cruise where we had a problem. I liked the itinerary and despite some negative reviews about the Infinity we decided to go for it. All in all I thought it was a fine ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had a credit from a previous Celebrity Cruise where we had a problem. I liked the itinerary and despite some negative reviews about the Infinity we decided to go for it. All in all I thought it was a fine trip. Embarkation went very smoothly and we enjoyed the Concierge special lunch. Althought the ship was far from new it was not a dump. There were some peeling areas on our veranda and the sofa needed some new upholstery but it didn't bother us at all. The crew ws really wonderful and couldn't do enough for us....especially our room steward and our dining room servers. We found the food to be good enough....there were a few items I didn't care for but all in all it was good and I didn't have to cook it which made it even better. We were able to make it to the 7:30 show after our 6:00 dinner seating so the service was pretty quick. There was a bit of a mix up on our dining time selection but it was taken care of promptly and we ended up at a table for six with lovely people. I liked some of the items in the Spa Cafe but they are now charging for smoothies unless you have the Premium Beverage Package. Luigi, the cruise director was very personable and energetic. We enjoyed the shows that we went to as well. The servers at Al Baccio and the pool bar were also very accommodating and made drinks to our taste and always had a smile. We didn't use the pool but it looked as if many people were enjoying the sunny Mediterrean weather. We used the gym on sea days and my husband did the cycling class and I did the Zumba class. We had some nonrefundable cruise credit so that's where it went but I did think the classes were a little on the expensive side at $17 plus tip. The third Zumba class was cancelled because there weren't enough people (needed 3 people). The machines worked fine and my only complaint with the gym was not the fault of the ship.....I just wish people would wipe down the machines and the weight benches after they use them. Our bed was very comfortable and we had plenty of space in the storage areas. The bathroom was typically small but the amenities were nice enough and our room steward kept us refilled without being asked. We had a Concierge room and told our steward not to continue bringing the evening appetizers as we didn't eat them. Okay now for the things we didn't like. We had the Classic Beverage Package as part of our cruise deal. Believe it or not, the Classic Package doesn't include sparking water. That is the main beverage I drink so I tried to get my package changed to a Premium Non Alcohol package but for some reason they couldn't do this. I'll bet if I had wanted to upgrade to an Premium Beverage Package that cost more they would have found a way to do it!! We only ate in the buffet a few times. The background music was really annoying and it was very noisy. There were also some passengers that forgot their manners when it came to the buffet which bothered me. We ate breakfast in the main dining room whenever we could and it was fine except it would have been nice to have something different once in a while. It was always the same menu. We ordered room service a few times when we had an early excursion and it was rather disappointing.....cold toast, forgotten items, etc. It would have been nice to have some speakers talk about the areas we were visiting as they were very historical. The only speaker I remember was talking about dogs. It seemed like a rather incongruous topic. We played Trivia whenever we could and it was generally fun except for the one crew member who was always in a huge hurry when she did the questions. Their Trivia prizes are pathetic. We met some really nice people on this cruise and enjoyed it overall. Many of the passengers were staying on for the back to back to Miami and were looking forward to some sea days as our itinerary was very busy. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Over all the ship is average. Lame lecture circuit.. here we are in the middle of history, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Rhodes, Malta....you would think a guest lecturer would put some spin of the past, but NO.. the only speaker missed the ... Read More
Over all the ship is average. Lame lecture circuit.. here we are in the middle of history, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Rhodes, Malta....you would think a guest lecturer would put some spin of the past, but NO.. the only speaker missed the mark.. had several lectures on how to talk to your dog. Yes. And the turkey is on for the next cruise, too. He is a “ringer”, no way could you get this gig without payola. Shows.. pretty good. Skinny Elton singer was good.. Broadway, good too. Rest ho hum. TV.. in case you wanted to watch football of even hear the news, good luck. TV sucks. Freezes, worthless. Movies are a frighten joke. Cartoons and documentaries unless you want to pick one of a dozen pay per view at $15 each. Selection is sorry. Specialty restaurants.. the Sushi is ok for sushi lovers. Limited menu for others. I think they need to copy Nobu to be success. 25% full. Mostly empty and avoided. Otherwise it will die. QSine is a video novelty restaurant.. worthy of one visit, like a Disney animation. The good one is a Tuscan.. best choice. That’s it. Otherwise the cruise was great. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our 15th cruise on our 5th different cruise line (Celebrity, Carnival, NCL and Holland America). We’ve always liked Royal and went on this ship in February to the Caribbean and wanted to do a Mediterranean cruise. We flew ... Read More
This was our 15th cruise on our 5th different cruise line (Celebrity, Carnival, NCL and Holland America). We’ve always liked Royal and went on this ship in February to the Caribbean and wanted to do a Mediterranean cruise. We flew from Canada the week before the cruise and spent three days in Munich and then four days in Rome. Took the train to Civitivecchia the morning of the cruise and started walking to the pier with 8 other cruisers. When we couldn’t find out how to get there, we realized we had to get on a port shuttle bus to take us to the cruise shuttle buses to take us to the terminal Very confusing port with insufficient signage to tell people how to get to the ship. Embarkation – Once we got there, the embarkation was very quick and smooth. Food – the food was very good everywhere, especially in the Windjammer. We didn’t go to any specialty restaurants as I found the food in the buffet and the dining room was great and had lots of variety. Ship – the ship is really nice. I like the layout of the Radiance class and have been on Radiance, Brilliance and the Jewel. The adult solarium pool is very relaxing and the outdoor pool is nice too.. I got a coffee card and had a special coffee (latte, cappucino) almost every day. Ports – we liked all the ports but Malta and Santorini were our favourites. I hadn’t heard much about Valetta but it was beautiful, clean, picturesque. We did a Segway tour and it was a blast. Entertainment – we don’t usually go to the shows but I found the one or two that I went to were as good as any other ship. Summary – Overall, I found the cruise to be great in every way and the itinerary (especially Malta) was everything we hoped it would be! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My wife and I decided to cruise for our 25th Wedding Anniversary. We chose MSC for the location. We were lucky to spend 2 days in Venice prior to departure which was amazing. Firstly having read reviews I see a lot of negative reports ... Read More
My wife and I decided to cruise for our 25th Wedding Anniversary. We chose MSC for the location. We were lucky to spend 2 days in Venice prior to departure which was amazing. Firstly having read reviews I see a lot of negative reports on what appear to be unreasonable expectations of the staff. One reviewer using words like “our demands were not met” I didn’t realise it was a dictatorship !! Staff- Wonderful people. Multi lingual. This is an Italian company the staff are from all over the world. If you smile or engage them you get the same back. They work hard but efficiently for your enjoyment. Take some time to speak to them. They are wonderful people with great life stories. Remember they are at work just like most of us do, we all have off days. The food was good. Catering for 3000 people from 6am-11pm is a challenge. We ate in the restaurants. Table served by waiters. The dinner choice was excellent and we made good friends. Staff were very attentive and it felt like an intimate dinner party with fine dining. Potions aren’t big but good quality. If you prefer quantity the Buffett will deliver for you. Didn’t eat enough times to share a balanced opinion but there is huge variety. The drink service is slow but the place is busy. The entertainment was perfect for us. A 30 minute show in the royal theatre. Fantastic performers and quality production. There was live music in every bar more background but variety. We didn’t venture to the nightclub. Out cabin was near the front with a balcony. Perfect room, great views and Olivier was very efficient. We didn’t spend much time in there due to the quality of social areas. The ports were as expected. I’ll leave you to decide. We did not make Katakolon due to weather. MSC excursions are expensive. We were advised by others to do Hop on Hop off buses. We didn’t but on reflection should have around €20pp. We did two MSC trips to Athens and Santorini. The drinks package we had has been changed now. It’s worth doing if you enjoy a drink especially during dinner when your glass is continually topped up !! Over all we loved it and it would take some beating. We will use MSC again and recommend Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Itinerary appealed to us. Croatian ports and inner passage. We are used to travelling on Princess and Seabourn. We expected something from Azamara that was “in between” but feel we didn’t get it. The food was bland and there was ... Read More
Itinerary appealed to us. Croatian ports and inner passage. We are used to travelling on Princess and Seabourn. We expected something from Azamara that was “in between” but feel we didn’t get it. The food was bland and there was little fish offered as main course on any day. The lunchtime buffet on the final day was outstanding but lunch on other days was not. If you chose to eat light and have a salad there was nothing much to go with the salad unless you had a Caesar salad. We were very impressed with the pre embarkation information and duly loaded our details including photos and set up the Azamara app but when came to check in at Venice the receptionist chose to discard all this and made us start again. Ridiculous. The information on the app was not updated properly so the menus were never accurate. So all in all the app was a shambles. Nonetheless we had an enjoyable cruise but would prefer Princess in future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Mediterranean Cruise on Vision of the Seas September 2019 This is my review of our most recent cruise. It was our twenty- ninth cruise, and our first in Europe. We prefaced the Barcelona departure with two pre-cruise days in ... Read More
Mediterranean Cruise on Vision of the Seas September 2019 This is my review of our most recent cruise. It was our twenty- ninth cruise, and our first in Europe. We prefaced the Barcelona departure with two pre-cruise days in London. Approximately half of our cruises have been on Royal Caribbean, however, we have cruised with Norwegian, Disney, Princess, Celebrity, and Carnival as well. This booking was made a year in advance, and all cruise amenities and/or add ons were prepaid prior to boarding. This is significant and worth noting. All European cruises that leave from a European port are subject to a 21% VAT Tax from the European Union. This means everything from drinks to souvenirs, to excursions and any packages such as Internet, Dining, or Beverage that are purchased onboard. So, to save, pre- buy these items prior to boarding. Our flight arrangements and transfers were all booked via the cruise line through their Choice Air connection. The rates were competitive and we were kept informed of all changes that occurred prior to departure. In reference to changes, there was one pre boarding change made to our itinerary. The port of Malta was changed to a stop in Crete instead. Also during the cruise, the port of Mykonos was cancelled due to high winds and a second day in Athens was substituted. Our eight- and one-half hour flight to London was on British Airways and was uneventful. Taking place in the middle of a British Airways pilot strike we were worried about this leg of the trip, but it went smoothly. Service was adequate, seats in Premium Economy were not particularly comfortable, and the food was mediocre. We stayed at the Heathrow Hilton T4 which is connected to Terminal Four by covered walkway. There is also an Underground Tube station at the terminal. The hotel was nice and food and service was very good. Taking the tube into London using our pre-purchased "Visitor Oyster" cards was easy, however, on both occasions that we used the tube to return to Heathrow from downtown London the cars were overcrowded to the point of absurdity. There are no words that adequately describe the amount of mass humanity that can jam into a London subway car. Very unpleasant, but unavoidable. We managed to see a surprising amount of the iconic London landmarks, and even took a Thames River cruise from Westminster to Greenwich during our one- and one-half days in London. The high point of our London visit was the tour of Buckingham Palace. We had been very lucky to obtain these hard to get tickets in the months prior to our departure. It was an amazing visit and the gardens were beautiful. In the course of our London visit we walked just under sixteen miles. Our flight from Heathrow to Barcelona to catch our ship departed at 6:15am and required that we take a taxi from Terminal Four to Terminal Three. It was arranged by the Hotel Concierge and went smoothly at a cost of Eighteen British Pounds. This flight was also on British Airways and went smoothly. The Barcelona Airport proved to be a miserable place, and getting through Customs took almost as long as the flight from London. A prime example of inefficiency this place has inadequate signage, rude people, and absolutely nothing to recommend it to anyone. The transfer from the airport to the cruise terminal was slow and not without minor issues, but was accomplished after a short wait. Due to the number of ships in port the Vision of the Seas had been relegated to an industrial dock far from the cruise terminal. The bus from the Airport took us to the terminal for check in which went quickly, and a second bus then took us to the ship for boarding. Again, not very efficient but it did get the job done. Upon boarding Vision of the Seas which we had sailed on previously we made our way to the Windjammer Buffet for lunch. Finding a seat was easy and the food was good. The food at the Windjammer proved to be very good during the entire cruise. Service in the Windjammer was very poor during the first couple of days, but did improve as the cruise went on. Our cabin, an inside stateroom on Deck 7 forward was ready by 1pm and we found it to be in good order and more than adequate. Our Cabin Steward, Alexander provided exemplary service during this twelve-day cruise. One caveat, our cabin 7513 was directly over the Theater where live performances take place and from time to time could be a bit noisy. The ship does show some age, but for the most part it seems in good condition with ample seating in and around the Atrium. The cleaning of tables around the seating areas was for the most part non-existent. Very poor job of housekeeping in this area. As far as the running of the ship, it did seem that it was being operated efficiently. It arrives and departs on time, and the Captain keeps passengers well informed. The ship also seems to ride very well, and is for the most part very comfortable. Entertainment in the Atrium was pretty standard with small combos, and piano players making regular appearances. We did not sample the main theater, or the main dining room on this trip. We ate exclusively at the Windjammer and were never disappointed. It seemed that the main dining room was not attracting as many people as in the past, and the Casino also rarely seemed crowded, although we didn't really check it out during prime hours. The shops were the usual basic Royal Caribbean fare, and the Photo Gallery still prints pictures bucking the recent trend of going all digital. Our first stop was Cannes, France. Cannes is a tender port, so you must take a tender boat to and from the ship. We did not have a shore excursion and simply went ashore and walked along the waterfront and among the shops and street side restaurants. It is a very pretty little place, and did not seem too difficult o get around. Of course, we had to buy the usual souvenirs that tourists love so much. We stayed ashore long enough to get a feel for the place and appreciate its beauty. Crowds were not bad, and overall it was a pleasant experience. Our second stop was Livorno, Italy which is the port nearest to Florence and Pisa. We had an excursion to Florence that include the Piazza Santa Croce dominated by the Basilica of Santa Croce which is the burial site of Michelangelo, Machiavelli, and Galileo among others. We also visited the Galleria dell'Accademia to see the renown statue of David by Michelangelo. We also saw the Duomo, and many other historic sites as we walked through Florence. This was a walking tour, and it included lunch. Overall a beautiful place and a worthwhile visit. Be aware, this tour required that we walk over five miles over uneven and often slippery cobblestones and roadways. Also be aware that like all popular locations the crowds will be ever present, and often daunting. A sea of humanity all jostling for position and trying to keep up with and in sight of their tour guides. When multiple ships are in port the crowds number in the multiple thousands. One member of our tour became confused about our time of departure and missed our return bus. Fortunately, she was able to get help from shop owners who got a taxi which she took back to the port on her own. This error cost her two hundred Euros, and she just made it back to the ship in the nick of time. Beware. Our next port was Civitavecchia, Italy which is the port town serving Rome. Our excursion to Rome included visits to the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain and the Vatican. The Colosseum is amazing and awe inspiring, however, it is also crowded beyond belief. Ours was a special small group tour and we got to go inside and up to the second level for good viewing, but there like so many of these places the overwhelming amount of people make enjoying the sites problematic. Walking to the Trevi Fountain was a beautiful walk with many photo opportunities along the way. But again, at the fountain it is almost impossible to get to the site because of the crowds. We had a very good Pizza near the Fountain and then headed to the Vatican. The Vatican is always crowded. We went through the Vatican Museum, The Sistine Chapel, and Saint Peters Basilica. All were beautiful, and all were packed with people. A member of our group got caught attempting to take a photo in the Sistine Chapel and our entire group was removed as a result. We had been warned. But overall the Vatican was well worth the visit and putting up with crowds and their antics. After these stops, we had two sea days to rest. Believe me they were welcomed. The ship being a bit smaller than many did not seem overcrowded and moving around was very easy. Our next stop was the Port of Piraeus, Greece. This is the port that serves Athens. We booked two excursions, one for each of our two days at this port. On our first day we went to the Acropolis and Cape Sounion. The Acropolis is absolutely unbelievable. It is well worth the walk and climb to see. However, be aware that the walk and the climb are both significant. If you have any mobility issues or breathing issues, do not attempt it. The crowds here were among the worst of the trip. Old stairs with no handrails, uneven stone walkways, and slippery marble all must be contended with. It is, however, worth the effort if you can make it. After a provided lunch buffet at Hotel InterContinental Athenaeum which was very good, we made our way down the coast to Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon. Beautiful place, with high winds, slippery walkways and a vertical climb. Our second day in Athens found us on a basic downtown sightseeing excursion that included an extended shopping time in the Plaka Shopping District in old Athens below the Acropolis opposite Hadrian's Arch. The shopping was good and the area is picturesque and lively. The next stop was Santorini, Greece. First, it is as beautiful as the pictures that we have all seen. The one main problem it has is accessibility. You must tender to the dock to catch your excursion and the only way back is down a 600-stair stairway shared with Donkeys or a hopelessly overcrowded cable car system. our excursion took us to the amazing ruins of Akrotiri where you can walk among an active archeological dig and see the civilization that has been recovered. We also toured the island and Oia we had lunch at a small pizzeria overlooking the caldera that forms Santorini's bay. It was just a breathtaking setting and pretty good pizza to boot. The last stop was the capital of Fira. Catching the cable car back down to the dockside was a nightmare. You stand in line in the sun for one to one and one half hours to reach the ticket window. The line moves painfully slow and snakes through a shopping area. As you near the stairs into the cable car house people sneak out of the shops and begin to cut the line. This happens continually and everyone is aware and grumbling but no one does anything about it. This can and does lead to unpleasant encounters between those who dutifully stood in line and those interlopers who think nothing of cheating their fellow passengers. Later this was the number one complaint made by passengers on our ship about their visit to Santorini. Our last stop was the Greek island of Crete. There is not a lot to see, but it is a very pretty place with an interesting history. The story of the Battle of Crete during WWII alone is worth noting. We saw the remains of an Ancient Roman wall and an Ottoman fortress. Crete also is home to the only deep-water Mediterranean port used by the U.S. Navy. A pleasant stop, and a pleasant place. Our next two sea days brought us back to Barcelona. Disembarkation was smooth with only a slight problem in finding the correct transfer bus to that terrible Barcelona Airport. It seems that in Spain when Person A directs you somewhere, then Person B at that location will not have the slightest idea as to why you were sent there. Our flight home was with Delta Airlines and went smoothly and without incident. A few items of note. First, money. We did bring small amounts of British Pounds, and European Euros, and we did use them with no problem. However, our credit cards with chips were used without any trouble as well. We were never asked for a Pin#. We simply used the card and then were required to sign, hence the term, "chip and sign." Second, restrooms in Europe are another story. They are not plentiful. They often charge you to use them so always have some Euro coins handy for the attendant, and they are often not clean, or have no toilet seat. Some see this as "old world charm”. I don't. Third, if you are used to having ice in your beverage don't go to Europe. Again, "old world charm." Fourth, crowds. As I have pointed out in many parts of this review crowds in Europe are ever present, unyielding, often rude, and always overwhelming. Fifth, theft. You will be warned about pick-pockets everywhere you go in Europe. Take these warnings seriously. A fellow cruise passenger had her wallet lifted from a zippered compartment in her backpack while waiting in that Santorini cable car line, and she never felt a thing. Take precautions, and consider how you carry your valuables. And finally, sixth, filth. European cities are often dirty and smelly with garbage piled along the street and graffiti covering literally every surface in sight. One gets the impression that if you stand too long in one spot you run the risk of being "tagged" by some young Michelangelo "wanna be". In conclusion I am glad we made this trip and what we saw was absolutely worth the effort, but I don't need to see it again anytime soon. Also be aware that according to my wife's Fit bit we walked 65 miles during this trip. Be prepared. If you are interested, we did VLOG this trip. You may find our videos on YouTube. Simply search for our YouTube site, "Cruise Views and other Stuff." Please subscribe if you like the videos. Thanks. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our first cruise and we wanted to get an overview of cruising at a reasonable cost. We were looking for a cruise out of Venice to visit the Greek Islands. We absolutely loved the cruise we found the ship to be really well ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we wanted to get an overview of cruising at a reasonable cost. We were looking for a cruise out of Venice to visit the Greek Islands. We absolutely loved the cruise we found the ship to be really well organised and embarkation and debarkation were smooth and quick. I cannot understand the negative reviews that I have read on this web site, it is an international clientele with a majority of Italians but that was to be expected. There is as smoking area outside the restaurant on the top deck but this caused no issues. The public areas of the ship were beautifully clean and the service was very good . The theatre entertainment was first class and the energy of the dancers is amazing. We met some lovely people who have become great friends. A couple of negatives, the food was not brilliant, just ok, we never went hungry but you had to be careful with your choices at dinner and the buffet restaurant was a bit hit and miss. The drinks package....... we had the easy package which was limiting with very little choice and weak drinks, next time we would up grade to the higher package. Also I would bother ordering the Prosecco, canapés, fruit, package as this was was disappointing and we could not eat all the fruit. The shore stops were good ,although we did not go on the organised trips we managed to find out way around with little trouble Overall we had a fantastic time and would travel with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Lovely ship, food was excellent in all areas. Did not try speciality restaurants.Staff all very friendly. Entertainment different to other ships but enjoyed them. Loved the rooftop garden with film in afternoon. Eden was our favourite bar ... Read More
Lovely ship, food was excellent in all areas. Did not try speciality restaurants.Staff all very friendly. Entertainment different to other ships but enjoyed them. Loved the rooftop garden with film in afternoon. Eden was our favourite bar for pre dinner drinks Oliver the bar attendant was great. Also loved breakfast outside of Oceanview Restaurant. Shops way out of our price range. Lovely cruise despite being diverted and change to ports due to bad weather over Greek Islands but Captain Kate and her team went to great lengths to get us into ports. Santorini was a nightmare 4 large ships and a smaller one in port. Island was packed and no organisation with the queues for cable car and became very dangerous especially getting off no handrails. We witnessed 2 accidents. Definitely not for disabled or people with difficulties walking. Enjoyed the ship and cruise but would go for a balcony cabin in future not infinite for me but other people we spoke to liked it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019

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