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Sail Date: June 2015
From the moment me and my husband got on the ship we were very excited, it was a 31st Anniversary surprise, that turned out to be a nightmare,I am so disappointed and disgusted We have travelled on RC for many years and never ... Read More
From the moment me and my husband got on the ship we were very excited, it was a 31st Anniversary surprise, that turned out to be a nightmare,I am so disappointed and disgusted We have travelled on RC for many years and never experienced anything like it. are first meal we had in silks was just un believable,(before i came on the cruise I bought a soda and non alcohol cocktail package)could not get a non alcohol cocktail nor could i get a fresh or carton orange juice,but i was offered a fizzy kids orange juice not to mention the bar waitress was offish with me for asking for a non alcohol menu, then we witness the waiter getting told off by the head waitress,followed by food on the floor waitress and waiters walking around them only to see the waiter kick the food under the counter, not very hygienic in the least.Dirty toilets with toilet tissue and urine on the toilet floors not to mention the over flowing wet hand tissues from the bin to the floor and work tops this is a laugh when they tell us to wash and sanitise they can't even keep there toilets clean lack of staff i had a piece of cling film in my soup also my bowl of soup was spilt all down the sides and served to me in Chic restaurant in American Icon the waitress brought my soup and calamari out at the same time which resulted calamari being very cold and me asking it to be changed only to get a cracked bowl with my sauce in imagine the germs that could of made me ill.I never ate it nor did i stay to have my main course it put me off completely, there were dirty towels on all the sun beds yet no staff around to pick them up and tidy the beds so people never knew if the chairs were available to sit on, under most of the sun beds their were dirty bottles and glasses cluttering up. Glasses left all over the ship and in the lift area not pleasing to the customers eyes rude bar waiter ignoring to serve me because he wanted to fill up the ice machine, when he did serve me he didn't take my card for 20 mins and left me standing for another 15 mins whilst he filled up again meanwhile the ice was melting so i asked the other bar tender to take my card and he alerted the man who served me who told me to wait again for 5 mins then he snatched the card from me as to say its my fault he's had to stop what he was doing , Cafe promenad only had 1 girl serving so no one was tidying cups and plates off the tables no clean tables to be found we had to clean it ourself also the coffee and tea area was dirty all the time so was the pizza restaurant next door . I filled a cup with coffee not realising there was a dirty teabag in the cup only when i stirred it I realised.The wind jammer behind the stack of plates the counter had dust on and not to mention the sink facilities are a good idea if someone cleans down the sinks they were in a bit of state. The grand restaurant is meant to be formal, but the staff were letting people in with jeans and hoodies and football shirt in,so annoying because i wore my evening gown and my husband was in his dinner suit like others then their was other people in very casual clothing on, surly the rule is the same for everyone , it was very annoying!!! Never saw entertainment because of the time of my dining at 8 pm kept missing it and there was not another show on like on other ships the show is on for the later diners on the good side my cabin was nice and clean by Glenda who was very pleasant every day and night lovely lady with a lovely smile ,Also my meal in wonderland was nice and Izumi was nice Ask if I would recommend this ship ? No I Would not. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
Just got back from Venice which is an amazing city. We had 7 nights on board MSC Lirica, we had an outside cabin compared to other cruise lines we have been on it was very small, the shower was so small the curtain stuck to your body ... Read More
Just got back from Venice which is an amazing city. We had 7 nights on board MSC Lirica, we had an outside cabin compared to other cruise lines we have been on it was very small, the shower was so small the curtain stuck to your body which was very unpleasant. With regard to drinks we purchased the Allegrisimo drinks package which does include water, which isn't stated on the web site. Also you can get water in the buffet restaurant and also at some drink stations so don't buy the separate water package as we did it was a waste of £23. This drinks package is a must as drinks can work out quite expensive and with this you don't have to worry about the bill at the end. Food in the main restaurant in the evenings was ok but nothing special, have had better on other lines. Also don't bother taking loads of evening clothes people are very casual and on one gala night my husband and one other chap were the only people in dinner suites we felt really over dressed. There were also lots of children on this cruise running around the bars well after 10.00 in the evening (mostly Italians on board - it may have been their school holidays). We also felt that some of the public areas were not up to scratch with regard to hygiene, lots of the hand gel stations were empty. I will say that our cabin steward was very good. After the cruise we had 3 nights stay in Mestre, Aaron Hotel, not very good at all not in a very safe area and rooms are very small, although they are clean. We are looking forward to our next cruise but it will not be with this line. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
We had extremely high expectations for this cruise, and rightfully so given our previous excellent experience on the Wind Surf along the Croatian Coast. Let's begin with the ship. The Star Breeze is a different type of vessel from ... Read More
We had extremely high expectations for this cruise, and rightfully so given our previous excellent experience on the Wind Surf along the Croatian Coast. Let's begin with the ship. The Star Breeze is a different type of vessel from those who are accustomed to the Windstar sailing ships, but we knew that going in. Having acquired the ship from Seabourn, and recently completed a much touted multi-million dollar renovation, our expectations for the ship were higher than what was delivered. The staterooms are more spacious than on the sailing ships -- a big positive. The public areas are ok, but a bit underwhelming. The main dining room is the nicest area on the ship, as far as the public areas go, and they certainly did much to make it elegant. The "Candles" restaurant really is not a step up in food quality from the main dining area, and other than the fact that you are seated outdoors, there is nothing special about the ambiance. It is the same area used for serving breakfast every morning. With that said, we certainly did enjoy the outside seating and the wait staff did an excellent job with their service. Larry is the ship's officer responsible for the dining room staff, and he is truly committed to service excellence and to making sure that the client experience is very positive. We found him to be very personable and engaging. One of the most frustrating aspects of the ship was the horrible internet infrastructure onboard. I have an extensive background in technology and am well aware that satellite-based internet service is inherently slow. That's not the issue. The issue was the ongoing outages and continual dropped connections to the ship's router that occurred throughout the duration of our cruise. There were times that I got dropped 10-12 times over an attempted 1 hour session -- finally giving up in frustration. One morning, I got up almost 2 hours early to take care of some time-sensitive business matters back home, only to find that the internet connection was down completely. I politely complained about all of the above to the nice young woman at the reception desk, only to be told, "I'm sorry sir... our officers have been made aware of the problems..." I'm now in Day 9 of our trip and I feel like there should be some adjustment made to the outrageous $250 fee I paid for "unlimited" internet use. It has not been offered yet, although I intend to ask for one at the end of the cruise. Today, our port of call was Capri. Knowing it was a "short" day with the last tender returning to the ship at 3:45pm, we were up waiting for the first tender at approximately 8am. Nothing happened. The number of people started to build in the waiting area, and clearly there was frustration. No communications. Finally, the Captain made an announcement over the ship's PA system at around 9:30am, explaining that they had been negotiating with the Port for a place to anchor and regarding the use of the ship's tenders, versus the port's. This made no sense to me since it is well known that Capri requires the use of their own tenders. We watched the "comedy" as the Italian tenders from Capri were sent out to the ship, as they bobbed and rolled in the fairly mild seas, yet posing great difficulty for people to safely board from the ship. Ultimately, only one of their tenders was useable, and it needed to be shared with the larger ship anchored next to us. We ended up waiting until about 11 am to finally board and head to shore. We also observed the crew staff tell one of the other passengers that he and his family needed to wait because first priority boarding was being given to passengers who booked shore excursions through the ship. He politely told the crew staff that he had his own excursion and was going to board the tender with the same priority as those who purchased theirs through the ship. Unexpected things happen in every business, and how you handle matters with your customers differentiates the best businesses from the others. This matter was very poorly handled by the Windstar crew, and ultimately the responsibility resides with the Captain who was nowhere to be seen. Frankly, he should have left his ivory tower and explained the situation to the multitude of very upset passengers... personally, and not via the PA system. People should have been offered refreshments to keep them comfortable, and there should have been ongoing communications about the problem, what was being done to resolve it, and when people should expect to make it onshore. Instead, there was very little communication, and the ship's staff appeared to be confused and ill-prepared to handle the problem. The finger of responsibility was pointed at the Italian's at Capri's port, but this issue was totally foreseeable. Instead, many of us felt that there was a lot more to the "story" than was being communicated to the passengers. Even though the shore time was extended by almost 2 hours to "make up" for the delay, many passengers lost confidence in the system that would supposedly get us back to the ship, and ended up cutting the afternoon short in order to return early and avoid the chaos we had witnessed in the morning. After missing one of our earlier ports of call due to heavy seas, our final port of call in Capri was substantially compromised. It was not a positive way to conclude our cruise experience on the Star Breeze. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
This was our first clothing optional cruise, but definitely not our last. The boat was full of nothing but cheerful people. I guess it's hard to be crabby when your not wearing pants! This was truly a clothing OPTIONAL cruise. ... Read More
This was our first clothing optional cruise, but definitely not our last. The boat was full of nothing but cheerful people. I guess it's hard to be crabby when your not wearing pants! This was truly a clothing OPTIONAL cruise. Most folks chose to take full advantage of the sun and ocean breezes, but some preferred full or partial covering and that was OK. I can't recommend the Bare Necessities folks and organization highly enough. there were 16 first time couples, and we all said we'd come back in a heartbeat. The ship, meanwhile is great. When the wind blew the Captain shut off the engine and hoisted all 42 sails. Stunning! There isn't much choice of activities on this 200+ passenger ship, but all we wanted to do was lounge around on deck, with occasional (and voluntary) sail hoisting and mast climbing. One day he raised all the sails in a very light breeze, and launched two tenders full of photographers to circle the ship. She is a BEAUTIFUL ship! There is a minuscule library, comprised solely of donated books in many different languages. And the entertainment is very low key. Shoe excursions were very reasonably priced, with a good variety. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2015
I booked this cruise with Thomson Cruises from June 5th - June 12th 2015 and thoroughly enjoyed it. The ship was immaculate and infection control was in place at the toilet areas by using anti-bacterial gel provided. Hand gel was ... Read More
I booked this cruise with Thomson Cruises from June 5th - June 12th 2015 and thoroughly enjoyed it. The ship was immaculate and infection control was in place at the toilet areas by using anti-bacterial gel provided. Hand gel was compulsory before entering restaurants and administered by ship staff. The food was fantastic and in abundance from morning to night. The cabin was adequate and cleaned frequently throughout the day. Sleep quality was good and the bed comfortable. The ship staff were efficient, polite and very friendly. Entertainment was very good and enjoyable, but you had to be early before the shows, to get a seat. The cruise itinerary of ports of call were excellent and plenty of time was allowed to go ashore sight-seeing. The cruise itself was very smooth and not once did I find the ship sway or move suddenly. In fact, I did not feel the ship docking whilst still in bed early morning. The only thing I found was that no cash was taken on-board at the bars and I had to open an account in sterling linked to my bank card. Not a problem but I had taken euros in cash and a cashpassport card loaded with euros. However, I was able to spend the euros on shore and what I did not spend, transferred them back again to my bank account to cover the bill on board ship. You could open a cash account in euros which was converted into sterling and a cash account in sterling by placing a deposit of £200.00 which you would have to top-up if spending over £200.00. So it was far easier to open an account by bank card and then you were billed in three separate payments throughout the cruise. To sum up, an excellent experience and cruise. Highly recommended !! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2015
How disappointing to pay extra and book an ocean view cabin and have a totally orange lifeboat to look at for 7 days. Our first cruise we had an internal cabin and decided to upgrade on our second cruise to an ocean view, very misleading ... Read More
How disappointing to pay extra and book an ocean view cabin and have a totally orange lifeboat to look at for 7 days. Our first cruise we had an internal cabin and decided to upgrade on our second cruise to an ocean view, very misleading charging extra when it was smaller than our internal cabin and had absolutely no view at all - even if you stood on tip toe all you could see was an orange lifeboat! to top it all I have written twice to Azamara and received a computer generated response and now, three months alter, have still not had a reply. Internet also ridiculously overpriced - a a ship of this caliber should be offering free wi fi. service excellent, entertainment good, facilities great. still had a great trip but annoying to be mislead regarding our cabin choice. a cabin with total window blockage can only be classed as internal and not sold as ocean view. we heard a few complaints about this at our first safety meeting from other people as well. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
We booked the cruise as a postponed honeymoon, we had been on the Oceana 2 years previously and hadn't wanted to revisit. However it was the itinerary we wanted. Previous to joining the ship we stayed at the Sofitel at Gatwick a great ... Read More
We booked the cruise as a postponed honeymoon, we had been on the Oceana 2 years previously and hadn't wanted to revisit. However it was the itinerary we wanted. Previous to joining the ship we stayed at the Sofitel at Gatwick a great way to start your holiday. The flight was chartered via Thomson and the check in was so smooth, the next time we saw our luggage was in our cabin. P&O have this part of your holiat off to a fine art. We were kep't informed of our pre cruise travel really well and love the cruise personaliser. We researched our shore ex trips and booked them all before boarding. Once landed in Genoa the journey to the trip is relatively quick and getting through customs was super quick. The check in and embarkation once again was really good, very friendly check in staff, then the usual photo as you are about to board. Once on board, there was no cabin staff to show you to your cabin, just pointed in the right direction and find your own way. The last time we were on board, we were informed the ship was going into dry dock for a refit, we were intrigued to see what changes had been done. That will be none then, nothing has changed and the ship is looking really, really tired. We registered our son for the Reef and the team here are great, the activities are really good and he loved going on an evening, whilst we we dined as preferred to go to the children's tea. The reef team really engage with the children and also know how to converse at all levels. Our first evening we dined as a family in the Horizon Grill, the food was nice, the cover charge to eat here is quite expensive for the choices and sizes, the service was terrible and considering the restaurant wasn't full, the food did take a long time to come out. The restuarant staff were more bothered about people walking through. The migration of passengers is very confusing. We travelled to Pisa on the next day whilst docked in Livorno, our local guide was really good and we were escorted by one of the ships photographers whom decided to fall asleep on the back seat and then badgered everyone for photographs. Day at sea was very relaxing, the crew once again were stretched and more bothered about throwing people of their sunbeds than actually servicing the decks. It was quicker and easier to go to the bar than wait for a waiter. On this evening we started to eat in the Adriatic Restaurant, once again the restaurant hasn't changed, we had a table of 8 with 3 other couples. Our table was really pleasant and we looked forward to our evening meal. However we were on a second sitting and have to say, I have never experienced such bad service, no engagement from the waiters and no choice, meals were more or less thrown down and none of the great service we had received previously with P&O. To be honest the same service was replicated across the ship, it wasn't suprising to hear other passengers commenting on the same topics. We would always pop to Cafe Le Jardin and once again the crew are more worried about passengers walking in through the rear doors than observing the passengers. The food options has dramatically reduced and is very evident to see, there are no labels informing you of what is available. Our next shore ex was the island hopping in Croatia, this was excellent, the tour guide, the trip, the weathe the reason we took this itinerary. The shore ex guide from the ship however was more interested in speaking with the local guide about her bulgarian boyfriend and gossiping, something I personally don't want to hear. Which continued on the returned trip to the Ship, including the local guide then telling her all about her life? Our last shore ex was a Gondola trip in Venice, it was a great experience apart from our local guide, who's english was so bad, no-one could understand what she was trying to say, the walk from the tender to the Gondola was a good 30 mins and to be honest if we had known would have probably made our own way in and sorted it ourselves. The Entertainment is probably the worst I have seen from a cruise ship standard, there was no Cruise Director on board, events cancelled with no alternatives, the cast just didn't want PR or speak with you. Which is a must for those all important CSQ's, however Paul Lau the host was brilliant, a real professional. The visiting attractions were great Roy Walker, The Octaves and Tony Adams. The sailaway parties are very dated with put a flag in your hand and pump, the conga and dated party dances. The constant hounding of photographers get's on your nerves after a while and it is very expensive for what you get. All in all we had a relaxing week on an itinerary that we had wanted, the ship is tired and the service in not good. The crew did mention that there had just been a crew change and it was evident. In their words all the good ones have been pulled onto the Britannia. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
The whole cruise was fantastic..this despite not being able to go to dubrovnic which disappointed everyone...the cabin...d703..was smallish but lovely..the staff are really polite and brilliant..the food we found to be exceptional..as was ... Read More
The whole cruise was fantastic..this despite not being able to go to dubrovnic which disappointed everyone...the cabin...d703..was smallish but lovely..the staff are really polite and brilliant..the food we found to be exceptional..as was the many and varied entertainment...paul and micheala are brilliant...the theatre troupe were also brilliant particularly grant who should be acting in way bigger productions or films but all tge singers and dancers were of a really high calibre.....i thought i may be bored i was way wrong...the whole thing is great..id go every year if i could..ports also were anazing as was our tour of pompei...ive run out of expletives but if ur reading this wondering whether to go like i was...go..its amazing Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
We went on the 7-night Star Breeze cruise, Rome to Nice, based upon the belief that this would be a 6-star experience, docked in each port because this was a"yacht," and could go to ports where the big ships could not go. THE ... Read More
We went on the 7-night Star Breeze cruise, Rome to Nice, based upon the belief that this would be a 6-star experience, docked in each port because this was a"yacht," and could go to ports where the big ships could not go. THE GOOD: The ride was really smooth. We were concerned that the yacht, being small, might not be comfortable in not-so-calm waters. The ride was a pleasure. The cabin was large and beautiful. It was about the length of a Princess mini-suite, bet about 1-1/3 wider. The decor was tasteful, and the bathroom large and beautiful (double sinks!) The food was excellent and plentiful, particularly the baked goods. The croissants were about the best I've had. A small thing, but do not miss the orange juice. I appreciated it as I enjoyed it on board, but, now at home, I miss it. The service was super, except for a few hiccups. The ports were beautiful. Portofino, in particular, lived up to its hype. Cinque Terra should not be missed. THE BAD: Do not go if you want entertainment. They had 2 duos, who were good, but offered only sporadically. The free "Glitterazzi" excursion to the Monte Carlo Casino was a bust. We only took 1 of their offered tours, the boat trip to Cinque Terra. It ww q bit pricy, but we were glad we did it. Otherwise don't bother. They offered a walking tour of Monaco for $115 each. 30 yards away was a hop-on-hop-off bus for 19 Euros. These are good values for an overview, and then use it to return to those sites which interest you. THE UGLY The promised ability to dock in the smaller ports was not true. We had to tender in half of the ports. And the tender was awful. Most cruise ships use their life boats, relatively stable catamarans. Windstar, however, used a couple of old 1930-era speed boats, which bounced terribly. When at the ship (er, "yacht"), they only used one rope, and you had to jump on and off the tender. Several people were bruised, and one lady had a rather nasty injury to her arm. All in all, I give this cruise a C+. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
My wife Andrea and I were of the opinion that the small cruise lines delivered better service, until we experienced the Celebrity Constellation. Our room attendants, "Ray" and "Igede," our butler Nikola, waiters ... Read More
My wife Andrea and I were of the opinion that the small cruise lines delivered better service, until we experienced the Celebrity Constellation. Our room attendants, "Ray" and "Igede," our butler Nikola, waiters Christian, Mohammed, and Mateja leave us as raving fans of Celebrity and the Constellation. On a slow day in one of the restaurants, we were able to have a meaningful conversation with Mateja, who we later encountered at the gelato bar. My wife remarked that there is a depth to this man and qualities that go well beyond what training can accomplish. I agree. Nikola insisted we call him to set reservations, bring room service, and he cheerfully brought by tea every afternoon around 4. He is pure class and would do well training and mentoring others. The authentic desire to serve makes the staff aboard the Constellation a cut above the 5 other lines we have sailed. Clearly, the people who hire, train, and coach the staff on the Constellation "get it." These 12 days covered some of the most beautiful places we have ever been. Malta and Santorini stand out for us. We had a small suite with a nice deck, and it was perfect. The food was excellent everywhere we went on the ship. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
If the "O" stands for "O" zero value, "O"zero taste(foods),"O" zero crusie experience than they got that right. They also have an "F" rating with the BBB, (which I wish I had checked ... Read More
If the "O" stands for "O" zero value, "O"zero taste(foods),"O" zero crusie experience than they got that right. They also have an "F" rating with the BBB, (which I wish I had checked before, not after I took my first & last cruise with them), a mistake learned going forward. The "F" stands for, Failed!Failing! Falling short! and in fact Failure to respond to my BBB complaint as well. Also a first time ever for me, filing such a claim with any company. Oceania really don't seem to care, which goes to their attitude on board as well.The well being of their passengers are not their priority. It is a corporate decision to just ignore the BBB complaint (they have lots of complaints filed, check it out before booking). Please Save your $, they are not even close to being a high end, luxury cruiseline.Clueless is more like it. There are a few others to select from that deserve your hard earned $$$$$$$$$$$'s The food is pretty but tasteless. Even in their specialty restaurants. Got food posioning at Jacques, their french restaurant. Couldn't chew the prime rib at their famous chop house. I don't think even the cow it came from could have chewed it. How do you screw up a prime rib from your best steak house. The afternoon teas had pastry that tasted like cardboard. Restaurant hours not condusive with port calls, so most closed when you got back on board only to have the grill serving the same few selections daily. The entertainment was so bad that I actually felt sorry for them. I mean cringe worthy bad. No lectures, or movies or other choices but very bad shows. They do offer cooking classes that you have to pay ( as if their fees aren't high enough) for and a free art class. The ports were in areas where there was nothing to do if you didn't go on a tour that took you at least an hour away. Also the local guides lied about important information that could have caused great harm, and did not have the passengers best interest. This crusie was paradise from hell and has nothing to do with expectations not met, as was told to me from their representative. This is all about their failing to provide a cruise experience worth celebrating, as we have had on so many other ships. I can't state this any more clearly, if I can save one perosn from cruising on Oceania, they will Thank me. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
My wife and I have now sailed on Windstar 4 times, the last being the Classic Italy/Dalmatian Coast cruise on Wind Surf that May 3 -11. Sadly, because we really have loved the small ship, casual and comfortable style of Windstar in the ... Read More
My wife and I have now sailed on Windstar 4 times, the last being the Classic Italy/Dalmatian Coast cruise on Wind Surf that May 3 -11. Sadly, because we really have loved the small ship, casual and comfortable style of Windstar in the past, I think this is likely our last Windstar sail. I have some specific comments but I must say that the Windstar feeling seems to have changed. The marketing is slicker but the service actually seems a little more rote and less personal. I was surprised that the meals in the dining room were not better - I had heard they had improved but I did not find that. Not that they were bad, they certainly were acceptable - but one comes to expect more of Windstar. As a point of comparison, the food in Amphora and breakfasts at the Verandah were consistently excellent - so the company can do it. The excursion and tour selections were extremely disappointing - you could get 1/2 day or full day private cars or vans or book ordinary walking or bus tours for twice the price that you have to pay if you book directly. And, there was, at least to me, a significant overemphasis on food and wine experiences. The Sicily private event was a waste of a day. But the most unpleasant experience was disembarkation in Venice. The actual point where we leave the ship was a long walk from the terminal - a long long walk. We were staying at an apartment in Venice so did not need Windstar transfers. But we did need directions, etc. to get started. The Windstar staffer at the terminal had little time for us - after all we were past customers and not paying for a transfer so she just pointed out the door and said get a taxi over there. We walked - there was no taxi stand - we ended up walking 30 minutes from the terminal to Piazza Roma for vaparetto connections (and it turned out if she had helped there was a vaparetto stop not 5 minutes from the terminal in the other direction). This was not just a lack of service; it was specifically disservice. Summary - ship is still fun, food good but not great, cabin comfortable, ports good, shore excursions mediocre. All in all, not the world's best small ship line. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
We went from Venice to Barcelona. The ship was just beautiful. Even though it holds 900 passengers we will still seeing and meeting people on the last days. There are so many places to sit and relax on the ship it never seemed crowded. ... Read More
We went from Venice to Barcelona. The ship was just beautiful. Even though it holds 900 passengers we will still seeing and meeting people on the last days. There are so many places to sit and relax on the ship it never seemed crowded. We observed that everything was very well orchestrated behind the scenes. For example in the Word Cafe where the buffet was, and this was certainly not a typical buffet in any manner. Only small amounts of food were placed out at a time but a adequate selection to ensure it was hot and fresh, but it was under the constant careful eye of senior staff so food was always available. Also you never went without your table being clean or cleared. Senior Staff had a nice discreet manner with staff to ensure everything was taken care of and passengers were not bothered. Suchi chef was great and the head Chef was always there to explain how food was prepared and to greet you. We ate in The Restaurant, Chefs Table and Manfreddies as well. We found the Restaurant was a bit slow and only ate there when we wanted to take more time for dining. We went on both the included and extra paid for excursions all were excellent. The included excursions were very adequate and many passengers only opted for those. We did some of the paid ones to get us more into the country side and because we wanted to see more. Like the Vatican, Florence, Pompeii. Viking had top notch local tour guides ready for each tour, they all had at least 15 years experience. Each tour had some free time included so you could do what you wanted as well. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
I cruise quite a bit and found the Jade to be consistently a great experience. If you read my other ship reviews you can see I am critical. Very clean and excellent service, I'd take another cruise on this ship. Technology is not the ... Read More
I cruise quite a bit and found the Jade to be consistently a great experience. If you read my other ship reviews you can see I am critical. Very clean and excellent service, I'd take another cruise on this ship. Technology is not the same as newer ships, can't check your bill on line. The food was fine. The French restaurant was outstanding for taste and service, very impressive. Cagneys was painfully slow and the waiter (same one two different nights) would not give us clean silverware between courses. The buffet staff was the best I have seen. No conditioner provided so bring some if you use it. The spa was amazing. Clean, great view and relaxing. The band at the pool left us running for a peaceful escape and found the spa's therapy package to be pampering and well worth the money. Loved all the ports. Would like to return to Kotor, so much to see and do we ran out of time. Did private tours in each port with great success. Great cruise, great ship and staff. Hats off to the Jade team. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
My sister, mum and myself went on P and O cruise ( Oceana) first time for me and their third cruise although first with (P and O). From the moment we landed the staff were friendly and polite and from the moment we got on the plane at ... Read More
My sister, mum and myself went on P and O cruise ( Oceana) first time for me and their third cruise although first with (P and O). From the moment we landed the staff were friendly and polite and from the moment we got on the plane at Gatwick airport and handed over our cases we didn't have to worry about them till we landed in our rooms. I can honestly say it was the best holiday i had in a long time, I loved everything about it from the 5 star dining to the buffet dinners and the afternoon tea. I loved the entertainment. First night we took part in a fun quiz, to the theatre shows which were so well done and entertaining, The comedian was hilarious and the band were also very good. I also came away with a beautiful photo to remind me of my holiday and got to go on a gondola in Venice which ended the week of nicely. There wasn't one thing i didn't like about this holiday as everyone was so professional and nice from the staff to the passengers. Our room was inside cabin which suited us just fine, I know now having done one that i would love to do another one in the future with my husband and four boys. Well done p and O for giving me a holiday i will never forget. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
My wife and I have cruised all the major cruise lines. This cruise was our first on Celebrity and probably our best, food and service on board was superb. Only complaint was their mis-handling of their Select Dining option for which you ... Read More
My wife and I have cruised all the major cruise lines. This cruise was our first on Celebrity and probably our best, food and service on board was superb. Only complaint was their mis-handling of their Select Dining option for which you pay extra. Their system for this does not work and we spent most of our dining in the Ocean View Cafe (buffet), this was the best run such area we have experienced on any ship with excellent food and variety. A note on the main dining room, we heard many comments from other passengers that the dinner service to over 2 hours and most had to obtain more food in the buffet afterwards because of small portions served. Entertainment and activities was definitely geared towards the passengers average age which I would guess ranged from 65-70 yo. Would I book another cruise on Celebrity -- ABSOLUTELY !!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
Cruised for the first time as a 25th Anniversary present to ourselves, and other than minor (really, really minor) issues, the cruise was great. We live in Orlando, and drove in to port the morning of the cruise, arrived early - and < ... Read More
Cruised for the first time as a 25th Anniversary present to ourselves, and other than minor (really, really minor) issues, the cruise was great. We live in Orlando, and drove in to port the morning of the cruise, arrived early - and < 30 minutes after stepping from the car we had embarkation mimosas in hand and were looking at the booths on deck 3. We'd been advised that cross-selling was more prevalent than it used to be, and it did seem that every corner had someone offering a dinner package, a drink package, a spa package, etc, etc; learning to say 'no' came very quickly. We did purchase a dinner package (one dinner at the Tuscan restaurant, 2 at Ocean liners), and we had no complaints or issues at either restaurant, EXCEPT that the MDR food was *almost* as good and no additional cost. Based on the food quality in the MDR, i'd have a hard time justifying the cost for the dinner package on a future cruise. Almost everyone we spoke with told us how 'brave' we were to make a Trans-Atlantic cruise as our first cruise ever - and we still marvel at that thinking. We had no time for boredom, always something going on; a show, a class, an auction, a drawing, meals...all great fun. Of all things, Bingo was disappointing. I'd be fine only playing 3 games a session if packages were, say, $20/person. But the packages were $40/60/80, and that's a bit pricey to play three games and leave - so that was a one and done experience. We were *slightly* disappointed in the karaoke songs options (lots of older music, which is fine considering the typical clients, some newer music) in that there were few musicals included (as in one - 'My Fair Lady' was the only one I find - no Phantom, no Cats, no Wicked, no other big name, recognizable musicals included; just seemed like an odd omission). The ship ported in Madeira, Gibraltar, and Alicante before disembarking in Civitavecchia. We took none of the ship excursions, and so cannot comment on their quality - but can say the pricing seemed high. In Madeira we walked the town and had a great time, especially after 8 days at sea 8-). In Gibraltar we accepted a cab tour from a gentleman standing at the taxi stand, and once a group was gathered (maybe a 15 minute wait), we took off and definitely got our monies worth. He was informative, funny, knew his material and was easily understood. In Alicante I had arranged a Vow Renewal ceremony through a local company, and we met at Castillo de Santa Barbara - beautiful site and all went very smoothly. DO NOT look for cabs at the Castillo though, they don't seem to wait around there at all; expect to take the elevator from the Castillo to the beach and find one there, although it's a short walk to port shuttle from that point. The entertainment was hit or miss, mostly hit for us. Jayne Curry was fantastic, and the highlight of the individual entertainers as far as we were concerned. The juggler/comedian Steve Carte was standard fare, without anything truly distinguishing his work from other juggler/comedians we'd seen busking in parks for many years now. The stand-up comedian lost us and we walked out when he presented a series of jokes (better performed and notably available on DVD and the internet) from Jeff Foxworthy and Bill Engvall. Comedians stealing material is nothing new, but not such high visibility jokes and scenarios. Gemma Louise Doyle joined the ship in Madeira when Jayne left, and we lost in that trade; Gemma's singing is mostly pleasant, but she has little stage presence and no connection to the audience whatsoever. If we'd not been sitting in the 2nd row we'd have left. The Stars of the Constellation preformed several shows as well, and several were VERY good (iHollywood and the new show Elyria), most were decent and (we felt) only one failed to live up to expectations. It was the fourth night at sea (can't remember the name or theme of the show) but the cast seemed tired or bored, and it showed in the performance - very rote with no energy. Later performances were much, much better 8-). Perhaps the timechanges affected them? Our room itself (inside cabin 9018) was fine; small as expected, but plenty for two people not spending hours awake in the room. Hallway noise was non-existent, and we never heard anything from other passenger cabins. It IS next to a steward pantry, which apparently has metal stairs in it - you can hear the occasional steps being taken. It's also beneath the spa, and seemed to have drains from the spa area passing the walls, so you had the occasional water feature sounds coming from the walls. We found it relaxing (although it probably encouraged the odd nighttime bathroom trip or two), but I'm sure there are pickier travellers for whom these sounds might be disturbing. Service was great, the crew friendly, the weather was all but perfect for the entire trip. We couldn't believe we were finally on a cruise, and now look to make it a habit. A BIG recommendation: when the ship is heading to a new area (not back to the embarkation port), DO have language classes for the end point of the cruise! Celebrity put on ONE one hour Italian class right at the end of the trip, and all the conversation we heard though this not only should be standard fare, it should have started day one and continued right through the cruise! Just a marvelous idea. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
This was our 7th. TA with Celebrity & RCL and beyond a shadow of a doubt, it was by far the best cruise we have experienced in over 15 years of cruising. It met and exceeded our expectations in all ways. Cruise was booked and the ... Read More
This was our 7th. TA with Celebrity & RCL and beyond a shadow of a doubt, it was by far the best cruise we have experienced in over 15 years of cruising. It met and exceeded our expectations in all ways. Cruise was booked and the flights directly with BA, travelling from the Edinburgh to Miami via London. We arrived in the US some 36 hours prior to departure JIC. Note: Clearing immigration and customs in Miami was a nightmare, horrendous queues (lines) caused I suspect due to insufficient staff on duty. (We were told that this was the result “cut backs” by the current US administration, much like the UK with our almost non-existent border control officers.) My wife and I boarded the ship at our allotted time of 12:30hrs with minimal fuss or delay and the staterooms were ready by 13:15hrs. Our suitcases arrived some 30 minutes later which was a bonus. (Stateroom No.7086) The obligatory safety drill was held at 16:15hrs at our muster station in the theatre. This was a very well controlled drill and we could clearly see and hear the information being given, unlike RCL where it is held on the open deck and in the squash, only those at the front can see what is happening. We opted for the “open dinning” and pre-booked for 18:30hrs., this give us ample time for a relaxed pre-dinner drink and sufficient time to catch the 21:00hrs show in the theatre. We were told by the very helpful staff that we could arrive 15 minutes before or after the booked time with no issues. We did not dine in either the Tuscan Grill or Ocean Liners having done so previously we find no real need to do so again. This despite the repeated and mildly annoying attempts by cruise line staff to get us to book up for a meal…(Just a bit OTT in their efforts to drum up custom for the high number of empty tables we noticed in both outlets on many evenings.) The entertainment provided was exceptional on this cruise. As were the entrainment director Alejandro from Argentina and his entire staff. The decision was apparently taken, to cater more for the age profile of the passengers on board. To this end, a number of the more normal late night entertainments and additional matinee performances by the visiting guest artists were time shifted 15:00hrs. What a very clever and so easy to implement. This change to the normal cruise routine, proved to be very popular and the majority of the afternoon events were performed to full houses. Very special mention has to be given to the UK singer Jayne Curry from Manchester, she was phenomenal and performed her socks off throughout the cruise. The Beyond the Podium speakers were also very good especially in giving valuable and insightful port information. (And not just the location of the nearest “Diamonds International” or other store outlets as occurs all too frequently with RCL) There were literally so many daily activities it was a case of which ones to miss out, in order to attend the ones we wanted to see or take part in. Cruise Staff: They were simply great all round, from the highly visible and very friendly Captain Kostas to the cleaners who do such a magnificent job working tirelessly ensuring the ship looks bright and clean each and every morning. Our stateroom attendant was fantastic, being both very efficient and friendly without going OTT. There were no issues with sun bed hogging especially when the temperature dropped to 20C mid Atlantic. However there were one or two minor squabbles in the theatre with people trying to reserve seating for other friends or family, especially at the very busy 21:00hrs show, this despite repeated PA announcements not to do so. The ports of call were all OK. Having previously visited all the ports, we simply walked ashore and enjoyed the atmosphere in Funchal, Gibraltar and Alicante. Taking lots of pictures, purchasing the odd souvenir and enjoying the great weather was the extent of our excursions ashore. All ports were fairly easily accessed by walking for 15 -20 minutes. (Free shuttle in Alicante) On board photography and Art Auctions are my two personal dislikes. The photos because they are not of particularity outstanding quality and they are now far too expensive. The art auctions because they take up valuable seating space within the ship (especially during adverse weather) and appear not to be, that well attended. In addition, Celebrity make a great hoo-ha about being environmentally friendly even to the extent of asking us not to change our towels on a daily basis. Well how about the waste of quality white paper used in the printing of the hundreds of pictures which are not purchased or indeed the volumes of unsolicited promotional flyers of the various sales and art auctions that arrive in the staterooms on a daily basis. There has to be a more environmentally efficient way of achieving the promotion required for such things by Celebrity, without the need to waste reams paper within their fleet of vessels! Departing the ship was a breeze, we left at 07:00hrs., picked up our bags in the terminal walked past customs with a nod of the head and were in our pre-booked taxi and on the way to the airport at 07:15hrs. (Could not have been easier) All in all it was a fabulous cruise with calm good weather as an added bonus, very nice company on-board a truly relaxing holiday. We are now already counting down to our Autumn TA, from Barcelona to Tampa on the Vision of the Seas. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
Firstly, just have to say how marvellous the shore team in Genoa were as we had a family medical crisis. Janine and Gildon from P&O really made it possible for us to get aboard with ease and great care during a challenging time! ... Read More
Firstly, just have to say how marvellous the shore team in Genoa were as we had a family medical crisis. Janine and Gildon from P&O really made it possible for us to get aboard with ease and great care during a challenging time! Can't thank them both enough! Amazing people. Also the on board medical staff who helped us resolve issues with an older relative quickly and with great professionalism meant that we could stay on board. The doctor and two nurses we met were among the best I've known and as a long serving nurse I've known a few ;) - these guys were the tops! Made our Dad feel better, safe and secure and made sure that we could enjoy our holiday! Excellent people! Sadly that's where the great service from P&O ended. Our cabin steward was nice, discreet and kept us well topped up with stuff and towels. But our shower didn't work, it just dribbled cold water. I reported it twice to reception, the same pleasantly smiling vacuum of personality took my concerns on both occasions. Nothing happened, no shower fix. After three days of cold trickled showers an engineer arrived. Twisted something and left, the shower was no better. I reported it again to the reception lady with no response (just a smile). We have had seven days of cold showers and no one cared. The food has taken a sharp down turn in quality and there is no longer silver service in the main restaurant. On two nights my soup was Luke warm, the lamb shank inedible and puddings are just a different coloured blamanche mix arranged differently on a cold plate. Sadly it seems that the best dining on the high seas has sailed to another brand. On our second sea day I fancied some coffee with actual coffee in it, so we popped to the on board Costa bar. For twenty minutes four bar staff stood chatting and laughing while making eye contact with me, I had to approach them and ask to order a drink. One of the female bar stewards told me to take a seat and she would come over. Ten minutes later (once the conversation was finished I assume) she took my order. Our coffees that arrived were cold. No one was around at this point to ask for a hot one. Afternoon tea was the next cracker!! And now I'm home I can be amused by it; we entered and asked to sit just the two of us and we're asked "do you have to?" I said yes and we sat by a window! Nice I thought! Until a raw crumpet and some anaemic tea was thrust upon us. Followed by a stale finger sandwich (I kid you not)! Then no cakes, the other tables got a whole cake stand, we were told to wait. After ten mins we buggered off and went up stairs! Which leads nicely to the motor way service station that seems to have been installed on deck 14! Tray after tray of slop! 50 shades of beige is the perfect description for the plaza buffet. Day trips! More Positive bits now! As usual P&O pulled it out the bag, great days in Pisa, Pompeii and Venice. Don't listen to it he nay Sayers, I've seen the signs yesterday and P&O defiantly book you a cheaper gondola ride! Also, you then get to arrive in St marks square by water taxi which is fun and included otherwise it would be €15 return. There is a monorail from the port to the town centre and that costs €1.60 each way, we had a go on it just for fun! In Dubrovnik we did our own thing, free shuttle to old town. Walk to cable car and then at the top hired dune buggies and went on a guided tour of a battle field. Amazing guy took us, we saw a lot. Then he said we were driving round a mine field but not to worried as it's been cleared four times... Still not sure if he was joking or not! But an amazing experience for less than €20 each! One not to be missed! On board entertainment spot on as usual! Headliners continue to be awesome and the elton John act was wonderful. Entertainment manager had no get up and go though! Compared to others we've had, he seemed tired and not bothered. This is not intended as a rant at P&O, I'll save that for my formal letter lol We did have a lovely time, but just not the usual level of on board service were used too. We feel quite sad about it. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
This was our first cruise and we were naturally a little apprehensive about how we would cope with such a long time on board. Our fears were allayed considerably by the friendliness, courtesy and efficiency of the staff. The ship was ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we were naturally a little apprehensive about how we would cope with such a long time on board. Our fears were allayed considerably by the friendliness, courtesy and efficiency of the staff. The ship was immaculate at all times and the hard work put in by the crew was unobtrusive. The accommodation was most acceptable. The food interesting and tasty as well as being abundant and pleasing to the eye. The quality of the entertainment was outstanding and well orchestrated by the very professional cruise director and his team. It was difficult to make choices about what to participate in from the diverse selection provided. Although embarkation and disembarkation were a little irritating for the long waiting sessions, it is appreciated that a large number of passengers have to be handled and the processes were fairly well handled and organisation evident. All in all, this was a very positive experience and one that we would like to repeat. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2015
Embarkation at Fremantle was slower than any we have previously experienced with the last of the luggage being delivered around midnight. The first week at sea was very unpleasant for us and for many other passengers, standing around in ... Read More
Embarkation at Fremantle was slower than any we have previously experienced with the last of the luggage being delivered around midnight. The first week at sea was very unpleasant for us and for many other passengers, standing around in queues listening to the multitude of complaints from angry people trying to sort out the multitude of problems with pre ordered merchandise issues. This was not the fault of MSC – the ship was being charted by Travel Superstore who proved to be most inefficient in many areas, leading to much confusion between the two parties. My husband and I have done 23 cruises between us previously in all classes of ships and have a good idea what to expect for the money paid, $20,000 for an aft balcony cabin (not a suite). A similar time in a Queen Mary II balcony cabin costs around half that. Consequently we were entitled to 5 star accommodation and definitely 5 star service, particularly with Travel Superstore’s continuous pre-cruise advertising that this cruise would be the “Trip of a Lifetime!” However for our 6 star prices the eventual outcome was a 3 star ship with a 2 star experience. General feeling of many of the passengers we spoke to during this cruise was that we Australians and New Zealanders were taken considerable advantage of by Travel Superstore, because of our Anzac sentiments on this 100th anniversary. We were dismayed when we first saw our cabin. The room and ensuite were far smaller than any other we have experienced at close to a similar price. The quality of the soft furnishings was a disgraceful standard. For example our sheets were so thin they needed replacing twice because they tore, our threadbare blanket was unusable and was stored under the bed, pillows were appalling – lumpy, matted balls of synthetic substances, the plastic(!) curtains had holes in them, the lounge upholstery was torn and sagged right down in the middle caused by broken slats and should have been replaced long ago. Day 3 in Albany saw us and many passengers purchasing their own pillows, and we even saw one person with a new duvet! We also had to resort to purchasing our own shampoo, conditioner and soap as that supplied was anything but quality. The restaurants and public places were the most crowded we have ever experienced. The overcrowding was explained to us by MSC and Gallipoli staff who told us that the ship had recently been refurbished to increase capacity by 500 passengers. The restaurant staff did their best under the circumstances but were hopelessly understaffed. On this subject, we have never experienced a worse staff to passenger ratio previously. The original ship offered had a standard passenger to staff ratio of 2 to 1 but our ship ended up being less than 3 to 1! This refit, to squeeze in more paying passengers probably also explains the lack of alternative restaurants other than the Asian one. Imagine an Italian ship without an Italian restaurant! (Although the pasta in other venues was below standard so maybe MSC were doing us a favour!) The quality and the presentation of the food was generally anything but 5 star! MSC was most inventive at giving different descriptions and names to salads all consisting almost exclusively of limp Iceberg lettuce. The vegetables, in short supply, were tasteless and overcooked, meat generally tough, with most main courses arriving luke warm. Icecream and sorbets however usually arrived half melted. The many countries from which the menus were supposed to pertain tasted nothing like what they purported to be. Drinks Packages: Drinks were generally dispensed in a miserly fashion, although this can be partly explained by the shortage of staff, particularly in the restaurants. Bar Staff had no such excuse to explain their poor and rude behaviour that we witnessed. The quality of wine provided in our package (Unlimited wine and beer with our meals) was disgraceful. Most passengers on other packages complained about the ship running out of supplies, often early in the cruise. The most reprehensible aspect of the cruise however was the attitude taken to the health of the passengers. There had been an epidemic of flu like symptoms from the departing passengers in Fremantle, which many of us caught in the first few days. Subsequently almost everyone else eventually caught it. The ‘pharmacy’ ran out of supplies within a week and these were never replaced despite many requests and opportunities! The doctors, charging EU$80 per visit for dispensing disprin! and not much else, were often criticised for lack of expertise and dispensing half courses of antibiotics, an extremely dangerous practice, with the advice to get the other half at the next port! And although hand cleansing devices were available around the ship their use was unpoliced. Sadly, once we all departed in Rome, the next unsuspecting embarking passengers no doubt also suffered similarly in all of our germ ridden cabins. Surely it should be a requirement to fumigate or otherwise disinfect ships thoroughly under these circumstances, as should have happened in Fremantle before we embarked. The ship was spotlessly clean which was great, and the cleaning, painting, varnishing and general maintenance was constantly ongoing, very much ‘in your face’ but often to the inconvenience of passengers with stairs blocked off, strong paint smells, balconies constantly cleaned resulting in our cabin being used as the cleaners’ thoroughfare as our balcony door couldn’t lock. The Balinese staff in the dining rooms and cabins were very friendly and efficient. The Italian staff were often rude and surly and never friendly. The entertainment was generally very good, and almost the only thing we can be complimentary about. The entertainers brought from Australia were excellent and the ship board ones were usually more than adequate. The Gallipoli Peninsula and Anzac Day ‘pilgrimage’ aspect was handled very well although we were too ill at the time to appreciate it properly. Cozzi, Travel Superstore's ‘front man’ upset many people with erroneous, poorly timed and often poor taste announcements. Disembarkation: We arrived before the listed time in the listed location, only to find out that our group had already left. After rushing to the gangway, we were refused exit as our account hadn’t been paid, despite us giving you our credit card details. Of course this was another stuff up which nearly caused us to miss our hotel transfer. This may have been noted on our account’s hard copy however no time did we receive one but as we had seen it on the TV we had not been too concerned. The following are some of our observations of services that were either missing completely or were unsatisfactory to a level that we have never experienced previously in our 23 cruises. • Internet. We appreciate that ship internet services are restricted by their dependence on satellites, but this was the worst we have experienced in 10 years, despite being the most expensive. • Room TV service. The first time we have experienced a service lacking in news services such as BBC, CNN, Bloomberg etc. which were only included from the 3rd week of the cruise on. Also the first time we have been asked to pay for movies. Apart from a repeat of the previous day’s history lecture and one very dated movie each day, there was no free entertainment or other documentary channels, only MSC self-promoting recorded channels ad nauseum. • Port Information. The first cruise we have experienced that did not provide comprehensive information both via lectures and newsletter prior to each destination that we visited. This ship had no information available for any of the ports, other than the paid excursions. • Room service. The first cruise we have experienced that did not provide unlimited choices from all menus as part of complimentary room service. All was at an extra charge. • Laundry. The first cruise we have experienced that did not have a guest Laundry on board. • Reception. The first cruise we have experienced where the reception refused to change large currency notes– US & EU. Reception staff were generally unhelpful and often surly. • No deck chairs on the promenade deck, only around the pool, which were all occupied very early in the day, most inadequate for a ship with 3000 passengers. I strongly recommend that everyone steer very clear of both this ship and its chartering company, Travel Superstore. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2015
Good: - The ship itself was lovely. - the staff were very helpful. - cleanliness was great. Poor: - ship has flu on it and they don't do much to contain this or get rid of before next cruise starts. 98% of ... Read More
Good: - The ship itself was lovely. - the staff were very helpful. - cleanliness was great. Poor: - ship has flu on it and they don't do much to contain this or get rid of before next cruise starts. 98% of passengers got sick. - the food was very poor...in buffet, everything was overcooked, bland...even pasta. - in restaurant food sometimes undercooked but mostly overcooked...steak very poor quality. Maitre D listened but chefs did nothing about the food. - food monotonous as well. - Soups were over salted. - internet was appalling...designed to make u use as much time as possible. System not big enough for a ship full...2500 passengers...too expensive since it took so long to get into sights and send anything. - Staff infexible...coffee package means ONLY coffee...no tea or hot choc even though we were told we could have other hot drinks. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
Firstly the positives - the restaurant, bar and entertainment staff were fantastic, always smiling and wanting to help. We were a family of 4 with 2 teenage chlldren. We booked 2 years before cruising when the children were smaller (due ... Read More
Firstly the positives - the restaurant, bar and entertainment staff were fantastic, always smiling and wanting to help. We were a family of 4 with 2 teenage chlldren. We booked 2 years before cruising when the children were smaller (due to special nature of the Gallipoli Cruise that we went on). In that 2 years my 2 boys grew into adult sized pubescent smelly 'little adults'. Despite several emails to the organiser of the cruise mentioning the cabin suitability for what is essentially 4 adults - I was reassured that all would be fine. So in the end we paid A LOT of money to have 4 adult sized people crammed into a tiny cabin (with no doors or windows or ventilation) that stank of smelly teenage boys after the second day, so the next 34 days were very uncomfortable. I went to speak to the organisers after 2 days to request to upgrade to a cabin that would actually accommodate us in more humane conditions - to be told they were very busy and would get back to me within 24hours. Despite offering to pay the difference in price to a larger cabin, I never heard from them again. We had 2 other lots of friends who complained on the ship about their cabins (noise from decks above and and odour) and they were upgraded (at no cost), but they didn't even bother to answer our plea for a more humane trip. Needless to say only 10 days into a 36 day trip I got sick with flu like symptoms, fever and cough, and then for the rest of our cabin - all 4 of us were infected and at varying stages of illness and recovery for the rest of the cruise. The medical facilities were seriously inadequate with English language issues (medical staff were Croatian???), the "pharmacy" ran out of Paracetamol in the first week and never restocked??? The medical centre charged a fee of $90 just to see the Doctor to get paracetamol (without even an examination). I am a nurse and my husband is a doctor and we were stunned at the lack of English and poor medical treatment. Combine this with the total lack of supervision of passengers at crucial places like the buffet - where we witnessed sniffling children with their hands in parmesan cheese, adults putting their hands all over the spouts of water dispensers etc etc. with no supervision or guidance by staff. It is NO WONDER over half the ship was sick by halfway through the cruise. So disappointed with the performance of this company and this cruise. The kids activities for children aged 12-14 were much younger than was appropriate for their age, and mine were (understandably) not interested in attending after a couple of sessions. Nothing like previous cruise experiences we have had. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
I will cover the good point first. The ship MSC Orchestra was a clean, well maintained ship. That's where the plusses end. The food was appalling, mostly overcooked in the dining rooms. The buffet on the thirteenth deck even ... Read More
I will cover the good point first. The ship MSC Orchestra was a clean, well maintained ship. That's where the plusses end. The food was appalling, mostly overcooked in the dining rooms. The buffet on the thirteenth deck even worse. Breakfast was routinely cold or lukewarm. Lunch was no better. Sandwiches and rolls were left in the self service areas until the bread was curling up and stale. The pre prepared salads served in bowls were terrible, they appeared to be frozen vegetables scattered over lettuce leaves. Staff - Some staff were very good, some arrogant and rude. Health - The ship was ridden with a flu like upper respiratory disease. At least 80 percent of passengers were struck down with this illness and were incapacitated for the entire cruise. The medical staff were inadequate and medicine was virtually non existent with hundreds of passengers having to seek assistance on shore excursions at considerable expense. I am still recovering 5 weeks after leaving the ship. Internet - The internet provided was abysmal and expensive 8 hours cost 69 Euro and rarely worked, you would be lucky to get 15 minutes use out of the 8 hours. The answer to a complaint about the internet re emails, was that it wasn't meant for emails. Service - The service was very disappointing. It did improve in the final few days. Smoking on deck 13 was also a disappointment especially for young children playing and swimming nearby. Deck 7 the deck which was wide and used for walking by many passengers was closed for maintenance for most of the cruise. Summary - I would not recommend this cruise line to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
We joined the MSC Orchestra cruise, a 35 day voyage from Fremantle to Rome via Gallipoli for the 100th Gallipoli anniversary. A number of things with the ship and service were good but all up leaves plenty of room for improvement. Three ... Read More
We joined the MSC Orchestra cruise, a 35 day voyage from Fremantle to Rome via Gallipoli for the 100th Gallipoli anniversary. A number of things with the ship and service were good but all up leaves plenty of room for improvement. Three key issues, 1 massive flu on board, which was on board from the prior cruise, 2 very very crowded public spaces, 3 extremely poor bar service Even though the ship was aware of the flu on the cruise from Dubai to Perth, they carried very limited (none after several days) of basic medicines in the pharmacy, ie no cold and flu tablets, no strepsils, no cough mixture, they knew of the problem and did not stock up. Yes you could see the doc on board at Euro 90 a time, but there was always along line. The public areas were crowded, could not get a seat near the pool, unless you were on deck prior to 7 am on warm days, the chairs in the dining room from adjacent tables kept hitting each others, waiters bumped into chairs as they passed as the area was over crowded. The bars were far too crowded, associated with the appalling bar service, it made getting a drink an unpleasant experience. The bar service was appalling, especially was we had paid $150 a day for the two of us to have the premium drinks package. Very early on I learnt not to go to certain bars as you could not get service, ie the pool bar or the Savannah Bar, we were regulars at the wine bar, that was the best of the bad service. On the 4th day, I spoke with the guest relations manager about the shocking service ie 22 and 25 minutes to get two consecutive rounds of drinks. The following few days the service was far better, as they had an officer in the bar as well. The bar service often was embarrassing, it would make you cringe with the incompetence. You would order a drink, which was an endless task, then they would put the drink slip down and the barman would pick up the slips in any order to serve, so a person who ordered 5 or 8 minutes after you may get their drinks first. It was a disaster. The ship ran out of a large number of drinks for a majority of the trip, ie quite a few wines (ie no Sauvignon blank), no baileys, no drambuie, no Tanqueray, no Jack Daniels, even no beer (particular brands) at some times, which made farce of buying a $150/day drink package when you could not get drinks. Generally the bar service in the casino was good. The table service in the dining rooms was very good and quite good in the buffet. The cabin room service was excellent. The ships entertainment was very good, each concert/show was well worth seeing. But they did not allow drinks in the theatre, which I guess is a way of controlling drinks consumption when folks are on a pre-paid ($150/day) drinks package. The part of the cruise that was organised by Gallipoli Cruises was excellent, great organisation, great entertainment, great speakers a real 10/10. We have been on 9 cruises in the past 4 years, including Princess Cruises, Holland America, Star Lines, Uniworld, so I believe that I have a good basis to judge from. Read Less

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