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Sail Date: July 2019
My partner and I just took our 27th cruise (second on HAL) and had a good time, however, we expected so much more, and the line under-delivered. Our first experience with HAL was about 12 years ago and we had a great time then. This time ... Read More
My partner and I just took our 27th cruise (second on HAL) and had a good time, however, we expected so much more, and the line under-delivered. Our first experience with HAL was about 12 years ago and we had a great time then. This time we expected just as a good service like before but were left just wanting it. The good: Great cabin (4158) with an extended balcony (that we paid for). Comfortable bedding, great bathroom with a very roomy shower stall; Great cabin room stewards, friendly and very attentive; Food quality in the main Dining Room is very good; The ship is very pretty and quiet; Few announcements and sales; The cons: The same extended balcony we paid for was always dirty due to the discharges of soot from the ship stacks. Our cabin was in the AFT portion. Likely not in problem if we were mid ship or forward; Service in the dining room was lacking, slow and disconnected. We complained and promised that they would serve "faster" on the following nights. They didn't. Servers were friendly and very polite, but somehow things were not working as they should on almost every night of the 12 nights onboard. Too much time between courses and several mistakes, like attempting to take an order without bringing the menus, skipping a course, dessert without the ordered coffee, coffee without cream (even after a week with same servers), etc etc. Maitre D would apologize but the service quality would stay the same: low; Desserts are lacking quality and choices. Offerings are boring, repetitive and did not quite taste good. Dessert is like an afterthought on the ship; Buffet: They do have a different service philosophy on this ship (don't know if this is a system-wide thing) but one needs the help of a server to get any food, and that means standing in line all the time, from station to station. One can't get a whole meal on one station, so one needs to stand in line again at the next, and then the next. When there was no line, the server would hide in the kitchen, so one needs to wait there till he/she comes back out. The food offerings have no signs showing/explaining what they are, so when it is your turn, one needs to ask "what is this" and "what is that" every time. Portions are usually given on a small plate, and then on the next station they will try to give you another plate... We actually hated this system, and avoided the buffet every chance we could; Ship eateries and restaurant times are very restricted. At some obvious lunch or early evening times, one can find most of the venues closed. Off course they have several other venues, if you want to pay extra; Alternative eating venues (at no extra charge), like the Dutch Café and the Explorations Cafe, offer not a single choice of a free drink. No water, no coffee, no ice tea at these locations. So if you come here, you either have to go several decks up or down to get a glass of water, or you have to buy a drink; A lot of nickel and dimming on the ship; Alcoholic drink prices are way too high; with the required 15% gratuity, the least expensive beer onboard costs $8, the wine by the glass $10.50; HAL is not going to give you a single free cocktail, even on events we all expect to get one. On the captain's welcome night you will get a glass of pro-secco here (they might refill it) and the "party" to welcome and thank repeat guests has been replaced with a lunch, where you will be given ONE glass of pro-secco. Yes, not a choice to get a cocktail, not a chance to get your pro-secco glass refilled; Top decks are difficult to navigate. One can not go for a walk on a top deck from AFT to FWD, anywhere; Theater entertainment is very limited and boring; Music on BB King's Club is very good (they have great singers and musicians on board) but the music is too loud (and I am not 80y.o.); Ship does not offer shuttle services to bring passengers out of ports or into city centers. In Dubrovnik a Shuttle was offered for $16pP, when the city bus that stops right outside the port and brings passengers to the same final stop of shuttle in the old town costs $4.50 for an unlimited day ticket; In 3 Port Stops we were left in alternative docking locations, which meant longer walks to required shuttles only to get us to the normal docking areas, very upsetting; Overall a good trip with some great ports of call. But HAL could do a lot better. Please stop nickel and diming passengers, and deliver the experience we all expect. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We had a great time on our first cruise on Koningsdam, cruising the Adriatic in late July/early August. The ship was beautiful and well maintained. The service on board was excellent. The ports of call were plentiful on this 12 day ... Read More
We had a great time on our first cruise on Koningsdam, cruising the Adriatic in late July/early August. The ship was beautiful and well maintained. The service on board was excellent. The ports of call were plentiful on this 12 day itinerary and although most ports were too crowded due to the dates we were traveling, we appreciated that this itinerary included ports like Koper and Korcula which are a little less popular and hence much more inviting. The entertainment was much better than expected with the music venues available on board offering a wide variety of live performances. Even some of the shows at the main theater were good which was a pleasant surprise compared to our prior cruise experiences. Due to the time of year, the demographics of the passengers included passengers of all ages and from all over the world but was heavy on big multi-generation family groups. The food on board was very good. We dined a number of times in Club Orange because we booked a suite and thought they did a terrific job there. We especially enjoyed the specialty dining at Rudi’s and Tamarind (which remains our favorite cruise ship restaurant on any line). We also tried the special Indonesian night at Tamarind but didn’t care for it as much as the regular Tamarind menu. We did not enjoy the Pinnacle Grill as much as we did on another HAL ship in the past. We ordered room service once and they sent us the wrong food so we didn’t try it again. We purchased the couples spa pass and enjoyed using the hydrotherapy pool and steam room there. The only negatives which I think are worth sharing as they may be helpful to others to know in advance: The main dining room, Lido buffet, and the main theater are too small for the number of passengers when the ship is at capacity. It seemed that anytime dining often included very long waits, the buffet was generally an unpleasant experience unless you visited at off peak times, and the better theater shows often had no seats available at all by the time the show was about to start. The family pool and loungers were too crowded on the two sea days and since staff did not appear to remove any towels/personal belongings from loungers left unattended for hours, there were rarely loungers available. The adult pool usually had space available but the area was full of people smoking. I anticipate that if you sail at off peak times of the year, your experiences would vary considerably on these specific issues but I think they are worth noting so that one can go in with realistic expectations. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
The NCL experience is why we keep coming back. The Greek Isles Cruise out of Venice did not disappoint. Although we had to skip the Montenegro port (due to the changes in Venice port), the remainder of the ports were amazing. There ... Read More
The NCL experience is why we keep coming back. The Greek Isles Cruise out of Venice did not disappoint. Although we had to skip the Montenegro port (due to the changes in Venice port), the remainder of the ports were amazing. There were NCL tours for all ages and abilities. Venture through Kings Landing fed our Game of Thrones fix. The Greece tours Best of Corfu, Greek Style Celebration - Opa! (Santorini) and Melissani, Meze & Ouzo (Argostoli) all were informative and includes the best food and fun. We have sailed on the Star previously (2012). We like the smaller ships, less passengers and easier to maneuver about the ship. The cabin was perfect for our needs. The steward took care of our needs. My wife hurt her should the day before embarkation. He ensured we had ice in our cabin at all times. The dining was wonderful. The restaurants, both included and specialty, have great menus, serve and ambiance. We used the buffet mainly for breakfast and lunch. Food allergies and needs were at the forefront in each dining spot. The only improvement would be reservations for specialty restaurants. They are not for spontaneous dining. From past experience, we knew the difficulties, so we booked ahead based on our excursion plans and ports. Whether the music through out the ship or shows in the theater, the entertainment was great. An improvement can be made for the theater shows. Once the shows started, guests continued to come in. It interfered with viewing. There didn’t seem to be enough NCL staff to monitor it. I would suggest no further entry once the show starts. Embarkation was fine. There was an hour delay in our hotel to port transfer. Unsure of the reason. It was raining in Venice, and we stood in the rain. Luckily, we brought an umbrella. Once inside, we moved through the line quite quickly. We filled out the short health questionnaire while on line. Disembarkation was quite easy as we had a post hotel stay. We automatically were set up. The latitudes rewards were also great...discounts for excursions, on board purchases and even a bottle of champagne in our cabin are all worth it. The spa was fabulous. Purchased the thermal spa passes...worth it! Next time may book spa cabins that have it included. Booked massages and acupuncture...the staff was professional and the services amazing. The acupuncture helped relieve my wife’s should injury. Would we go again? ABSOLUTELY. We already signed up for CruiseNext putting deposits on future cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We prefer the newer mega ships but the itinerary was just what we were looking for so we booked the Star. Although the ship was built in 2002, it was recently refurbished. Or cabin 5128. had a lot of storage space that you do not generally ... Read More
We prefer the newer mega ships but the itinerary was just what we were looking for so we booked the Star. Although the ship was built in 2002, it was recently refurbished. Or cabin 5128. had a lot of storage space that you do not generally find on cruise ships.The design of the cabin was well thought out with the passengers comfort in mind. We have taken some high end cruises and this ship rivaled them in food, entertainment, and fun. The ship has a lot of energy due to the quality of the crew members.We had a minor issue with one of our meals and received a call from the Executive Chef that more than remedied the situation.Norwegian does a great job with its open dining concept.Dining on your time is a great benefit. I'm surprised other cruise lines have not adopted this system.We loved the Star ant the ship far exceeded our expectation. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Chose this cruise because of the killer itinerary - Dubrovnik, Montenegro, four Greek Isles, plus no days as sea. (We have cruised many times, so we pick cruises for the ports; at-sea days are boring for us.) Unfortunately, because of ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of the killer itinerary - Dubrovnik, Montenegro, four Greek Isles, plus no days as sea. (We have cruised many times, so we pick cruises for the ports; at-sea days are boring for us.) Unfortunately, because of the Venice cruise ship crash a month or so before our cruise, three days before our cruise the portmaster rescheduled departures and arrivals to allow more time between each ship, meaning our cruise no longer had time for Montenegro (and NCL did nothing to compensate us for losing that port, which was disappointing). But the itinerary was still excellent. We were cruising during peak season (July/August) and had read the horror stories about how crowded every place was. Being ready for that helped set our expectations and be tolerant of that. Reading the stories on cruisecritic about chaotic disembarking for non-NCL shore excursions and freelance visits, since NCL offered a $50 discount on each port, we booked NCL excursions for every port. (Saving ~20% by getting the four-port package also decreased the cost.) This made disembarking very orderly and efficient. (Pro Tip: get to the theater a little early for the excursions and you'll be the first group out, which will make the lines shorter at each stop along the way.) All of our NCL shore excursions were great, with entertaining guides. (Surprising, the only Greek isle we were not familiar with, Kefalonia, was our favorite.) We only ate at the free places on the ship and, despite what others have said, found the food very acceptable and typical of our other cruises. (If you don't like something, it's all free - just get something else!) As others have also mentioned, the buffet is almost always busy, but we only had to share a table once. The shows in the theater were not bad. Paradis and the magician & contortionist were excellent, Vegas was pretty good and the dancing couple were okay. Except for a couple instances, we found the service to be excellent in all areas. When we complained about banging under our cabin one morning, guest services followed up a couple times to make sure it didn't reoccur, and sent some chocolate strawberries (which seems to be the go-to - we saw many other cabins getting these as well). So, despite the complaints others have listed, overall we found this to be a typically good cruise with a great itinerary (and if you get Montenegro with yours, I'm sure it will be even better). Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We selected this cruise based on itinerary and no at sea days and were not disappointed. Our experience may differ from others as we stayed in a Suite and had the luxury of priority embarking and disembarking at every port - this alone ... Read More
We selected this cruise based on itinerary and no at sea days and were not disappointed. Our experience may differ from others as we stayed in a Suite and had the luxury of priority embarking and disembarking at every port - this alone was worth the extra $$. In the hot sun having a Butler escort you to the front of the line was slightly embarrassing but equally appreciated. We stayed in a Family Suite that was incredibly spacious and perfect for our family of 5 with children ranging from 8-15. At night time the sleeping sections would partition off so that we did not all need to go to bed at the same time. Our Butler Percy was helpful and lovely and we loved the afternoon treats each afternoon. Brussel our room attendant was friendly, efficient and did a great job of keeping our room looking clean . Karin from Concierge was incredibly efficient and ran a great team. The pool are was really busy and noisy but there were lots of sun loungers scattered around the ship that you could always find a quiet spot. Our room had floor to ceiling windows and we enjoyed relaxing in our room more than I expected, on board it was often windy so having the great view to watch the world go by was certainly a bonus. We did not do any NCL organised tours but from speaking with others they enjoyed theirs. Unfortunately our itinerary changed 2 days out due to the Venice port authority requiring the boat to dock early on the final day so we did not visit Kotor - was really disappointed but it was out of NCL’s control. Dubrovnik Lots of taxis when you leave the boat, not so many for a family of 5 but we did find one. He took our for a tour of various places around the city and then dropped us at the old town. The old town was beautiful but a crush of tourists - the boat usually docks at 7am (with the change we docked at 12) so I would say go early and you may not experience this. It was a lovely walk back to the boat - maybe 20-30 minutes. Corfu There were no taxis for 5 so we walked into the old town. If you decide to walk it is around 20 minutes - just don’t do what we did and follow the brown driving sign to the old town as this takes you a different route that is much longer. Walk along the waterfront and you will see the old town and work out how to reach it. We enjoyed walking around and finding somewhere nice for lunch. We also found a nice seaside bar close to the fort - this had a public beach below if you feel like a swim. Santorini We were the first tender off the boat so the cable car queue was quick followed by a 20 minute public bus ride - we just asked around how to reach the bus station. The bus picks you up in the same place to take you back to the cable car, just ask the driver how often. I think it was 2-3 euros and it helps to have smaller change, Santorini is beautiful, busy and expensive. Loved going there and the view is incredible. There was a long queue for the cable car so we decided to walk down. Such a shame the donkeys use the same trail as it really is an easy, gorgeous walk down. Just watch out for donkey doo and the donkeys do not give way so walk with caution around them. I would not take this trail if you do not have good balance or with really young children. Mykonos There are supposedly only 31 taxis on Mykonos - out kids were exhausted by day 4 and we decided to have a beach day but all the NCL excursions were full. After leaving the boat we found a place called Mykonos Getaway (it is located further along the waterfront on the left up the small hill just before you reach the road). The lovely girl suggested Ornos beach that was not windy and we were not disappointed. It was 30 euro for 2 x loungers and an umbrella. Gorgeous sandy beach with lovely clear water. The return trip was 80 euro. Bar and restaurant service on the beach. Loved our day here. Kefalonia This was our favourite stop. We pre-organised through Kefalonia VIP Tours and Transfers a 4 hour island trip. Spiros suggested places to visit - we decided to do the Melissani Cave/Lake and not the other cave. Lake was beautiful, our driver George got us there before all the tour buses and the queue was minimal. He then stopped at a cute fishing village followed by a photo stop of Myrtos Beach. We wanted some beach time so he took us to a gorgeous place called Assos Village where we had 1.5 hours for a swim - this village and beach is incredibly beautiful. There were sun loungers and umbrellas for 10 euro for 2. Love, loved it! George our driver was so interesting and shared lots of information about Kefalonia. Food We thought the food overall was a 7/10 and they do really well to cater for so many people We were pleasantly surprised by the good quality of food in Versailles one of the no charge restaurants and dined here 3 times. If you find a waiter or waitress you like you can request to dine in their area. We had lovely Jinky who was our waitress, she remembered what wine we liked and was so friendly and proud of working for NCL. We ate at 3 specialty restaurants - Tepanyaki was fun and food good. We could only pre-book a table for 4 so changed it when we arrived to 5, not a problem. We loved Moderno and thought like the Japanese - food was of superior quality, Le Bistrot was just ok but we did have an exceptional waiter. The kids sometimes had snacks from the main buffet but we did not eat her or if we had to would just take a plate back to our room. With a suite we were lucky to have different options for Breakfast and lunch. Staff Every staff member we encountered was friendly, they work really hard and deserve the service charge. We did hear some guests being really rude when there drink order was wrong or one suite guest being so rude because they could not get the restaurant booking they want ‘I’ve got the top guys card do I need to get him involved’ - wow - I can not believe people spin such lines! you get back from staff what you put in is all I can say. Be friendly, kind and you will get the same back. Overall it was a fantastic first cruise. Yes the boat was a bit older but it does not stop you having a good time. Lots of shows and other activities on offer that we did not do so I can not comment on these, The only show we did see was a magician one that was good. After dinner our kids tended to swim as the pool was empty and quiet. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
ship needs revamp. dining ok if you like a curry or high fat foods.Entertainment .poor. The only good thing about this cruise were the bar and waiting staff and the ports of call . Only ate in main restaurant four times as was put off by ... Read More
ship needs revamp. dining ok if you like a curry or high fat foods.Entertainment .poor. The only good thing about this cruise were the bar and waiting staff and the ports of call . Only ate in main restaurant four times as was put off by the chicken drumsticks chips and gravy,hardly a la carte. Buffet curry eggs and onion rice for breakfast or full English dripping in fat. cruised many times before and have never had to leave a bad review .you need a new cruise director as his vision of good entertainment is perhaps suited for an old peoples home at best.Kids club was a joke and they wanted $25 to ice a cake where as on all other cruises this would have been free . We spent in total £9000.00 on this holiday for two adults and two children paid for a la carte got chicken drumsticks paid for our children to be entertained did not happen,paid for great entertainment was not entertained Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
PROS: 1) Everything you had to pay for, Champagne Bar, Butcher’s Cut, Sushi resto, French Bistrot, 10/10, excellent food! Excellent service! 2) Brand New ship, quite modern. 3) Excellent itinerary, Malta, Messina, Marseille, you ... Read More
PROS: 1) Everything you had to pay for, Champagne Bar, Butcher’s Cut, Sushi resto, French Bistrot, 10/10, excellent food! Excellent service! 2) Brand New ship, quite modern. 3) Excellent itinerary, Malta, Messina, Marseille, you don’t stop there quite often. 4) Crowd of all ages, very sophisticated people to be around and make acquittances. 5) Easy registration at Marseille terminal. 6) Cirque du Soleil with the dinner, excellent! Magnifique! CONS: 1) Food very average, think Carnival. 2) Not very personalized approach, never heard the captain, never saw him, no chocolate on your pillow, even your excursion tickets weren’t delivered to the room. 3) Very crowded, and full of kids, a lot more than anticipated. No reserved adult pool, or reserved exterior smoking area. Very crowded buffet. 4) Cabin Stewart, very nice, but working alone. No ice in ice bucket, mini bar not automatically refilled, unless you requested it. No bathrobe. 5) NOISY, Many kids, many door slamming, no butlers around, no discipline. 6) Overall expansive. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise because of the ports of call and our Parents, who went with us, are Platinum members on Princess. The check in was the quickest we have experienced in comparison to Royal Caribbean. The Food choices each day in the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the ports of call and our Parents, who went with us, are Platinum members on Princess. The check in was the quickest we have experienced in comparison to Royal Caribbean. The Food choices each day in the restaurants were excellent and very appealing to look at. PROS: Check in process was efficient and quick The itinery was great. Ports of call were gorgeous and perfectly fit our bucket list. Staff was very friendly and professional. This was especially true with stateroom Stewards and casino hosts. Bar staff was quick and friendly. We booked interior rooms because we didn't plan on staying inside. Were very surprised with how spacious the rooms were and the bedding was so comfortable!! CONS: Entertainment was very poor and catered to over 70 crowd. No variety each night. Food in Dining rooms were great but Buffet selection and taste was poor. Part of our excursion was canceled to rough seas(Amalfi Coast and Pompei) They took us to Sarrento by bus and dropped us off at the square for 1 hour. Poor substitute for a boat cruise down the Amalfi Coast. Princess credited us $40 for the change in itinary. Eve though I appreciate the thought, I think this was highway robbery when you consider the substitution. I felt that Princess Excurtions did not credit us the appropriate amount for the shortfall. How can you compare the experience and price to being dumped at the city square to sit in the hot sun for an hour. I would have preferred to return to the ship and use the credit on another excursion. This left a poor taste in our overall impression of the cruise. They lost one star for this experience. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Just back from a week on the Bellissima. It was amazing! 9 previous cruises with RC, first time with MSC and think we're converted. Positives: We were mainly converted thanks to the food, RC is very American, and as MSC is ... Read More
Just back from a week on the Bellissima. It was amazing! 9 previous cruises with RC, first time with MSC and think we're converted. Positives: We were mainly converted thanks to the food, RC is very American, and as MSC is Italian it's obvious via the food which was just amazing! Even the buffet was 10/10. The homemade piazzas 24hrs a day are AMAZING, compared to Sorrentos in RC. Yes the portions are smaller than RC in the main dining room but I like that, your're not too full and also means you can try more than one main if you want and not be too full. The entertainment was amazing, no comedians or magician due to so many languages, all musical but they're very good! There are entertainment staff that hang around with the passengers which are brilliant at getting people up dancing and enjoying themselves. We're a young couple and always disappointed in RC that the bars and nightclub don't really stay open past 1am, this cruise the music was going until 4am and always full of people dancing. The ports of call were all amazing, except Marseilles we weren't too impressed with. (Naples, Sicily, Malta, Genoa, Barcelona, Marseilles, day at sea, Naples, not in the correct order). Disembarking was so much better than RC, we didn't get off the ship until 2pm after lunch. Embarking was also so much faster and easier, as unlike RC where everyone gets on and off the same day, there are different people every day so its much faster. Negatives: Too crowded everywhere esp the pools and Jacuzzi, you need to queue for the Jacuzzi. The worst thing was the cirque du soleil (shows were amazing) but that you have to pay. I have never experienced on a cruise where you have to pay for a show, I though this was bad. Options are "Dinner & Show €35" or "Cocktail & Show €15". I said "neither please as I have the drinks package, so just the show please", replied "no problem you're booked in" Then to my surprise we paid for the show unknowingly. I think I should have been told ok well it's still going to be €15 just so you know. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
21 July- We catch the 11.12 train from Rome to civitavechia (€4.60 each). We arrive an hour later and pay another 2€ to get the bus right to the ship, rather than push the bags along 2km of cobblestones. We board the Norwegian jade ... Read More
21 July- We catch the 11.12 train from Rome to civitavechia (€4.60 each). We arrive an hour later and pay another 2€ to get the bus right to the ship, rather than push the bags along 2km of cobblestones. We board the Norwegian jade within 10 minutes and are soon having lunch on board with a glass of Chardonnay. We do the lifeboat drill at 4 and are sailing away by 5pm. We see the opening show which is not inspiring, and do some trivia. 22 July- Sea day today, so I go to dance aerobics , ping pong and we play 3 different trivia, winning 2 and making many new friends. There are 2 different bands by the pool- a Latino one with great kudos but bad singer, and a Phillipino duet with an good singer! But they are all sooooooo loud!! The progressive trivia tonight is about American sports stars and we think we are pretty disadvantaged when the Americans start complaining that they are all obscure, in fact one is a picture of an American female soccer player that played 10 min in a reserve game. They get so angry its like a mutiny and the poor Chinese host doesn't know what to do, but promise better questions tomorrow! After dinner we do the battle of the sexes game which I play in, then see the production show called blazing boots, which is a mess of unknown country and driving songs with hard choreography done well. Trouble is they tried to link songs that just don't work, and the singing is only ok. 23 July- Santorini. We play a quick trivia at 9 before getting the first tender to the old port ( the advantage of being a gold member) where we pay 15€ to get on a large boat and go around the coast to Oia, then back to Fira by bus. When we arrive it's a little crowded and we see the amazing vistas by walking around the small town. Many Europeans and Asians have worn their best clothing (big flowing cotton dresses) and spend hours posing for pics at beautiful locations. We see the famous windmill houses and the blue roofed buildings and then the crowds of 4 cruise ships hit and it turns unpleasant in the tiny overcrowded cobble streets. We try to catch the 1pm bus to Fira, but it's stuck in traffic and can't get through, so we don't arrive there until 2pm. We walk around the village here ,all built along the cliff top, see the cable car that carries people up the hill, but decide to walk down the stairs , pass many people coming up on the biggest donkeys ever- some must be crossed with draught horses! We go by the pool for a late swim, some more trivia, dinner, the true or false game and a Scottish singer concert. 24 July- Piraeus. We thought we would like to see the Athens riviera today, but there is no scooter hire and the hop on and off bus won't work as we would have to do the Athens city loop first, then meet with the Riviera bus which is only hourly. There is no tourist office around, so we think about bus 80 direct from port to the acropolis, but we can't get info on the return trip. So we opt to walk the 3km into Piraeus from our pier ( which is the farthest). We ask for directions many times but eventually find the metro station and buy tickets each way for € 1.40 with trains every 20 min. We know to get off at Monastika station, but the sign says another word and the station master said 7 stops and it's only been 5, but I realise at Odeon we have gone too far, so we catch the train back a stop. As soon as we exit the station we see the Byzantine church in the plaza and are very close to the roman agora, which we walk around.( though after turkey they look like incomplete ruins) .We then head for Adrian's gate and see many other historic ruins and churches on the way. We go to the base of the acropolis but don't go up today as we did this last time, and walk back along the narrow streets to the flea market and then catch the train back from Monastika station. We walk more directly back to the ship this time, and enjoy a beer/ wine with a late lunch and tired feet after another 14km walking day. Tonight's trivia is on strange animals so most are Australian so we win, then have dinner at the Chinese before seeing a Glen miller tribute played by the jade band. 25 July - Mykonos. We are shuttled by bus for the 5 min drive into town and start by walking around the very windy old port, with its white houses and azure sea. It is a maze of metre wide streets with tiny vans trying to pass pedestrians .We find the area they call little Venice which is medieval old houses with shuttered balconies overlooking the sea. Most of these are now restaurants with St Mark’s square prices to match. We wander up the hill to take the classic Mykonos shot of the old windmills on the hill. We decide to hire a 50cc 2 stroke scooter (25€ for 3 hours) and we soon find out why he asked if we were experienced riders as no normal person could handle the super touchy throttle and poor brakes. The bike whines with a ring ding ding around to some beautiful beaches including Kotfos and Ornos which are opposite each other on a little spit. We ride up the hill and around to paradise beach which is where many from the boat have headed to for the day (30€ for 2 sun lounges and an umbrella). It's pleasant enough now but we can see at night it has over 100 speakers and spotlights...living hell! The rooms are small, basic and aimed at the 20s crowd. We ride back via Pinkys beach and a few more that have over 100 foot boats moored near. We return the bike, though he can't find my licence for a while and we get back boat quickly realising that there is little to do on these islands other than lay on the beach, eat, drink and shop. Tonight we see the production cast do a Broadway cabaret, and a visual comedy show- of which both are underwhelming (but we do win beers of the world trivia with help from our Italian friends.) 26 July- Rhodes- Now this is my sort of port...within 5 min walk from the ship you are at the edge of medieval town, surrounded by high walls with many majestic gate entrances. We enter through St Catherine's gate (go me!) and walk through the perfectly maintained old buildings, easily imagining the knights of St. John strolling here. We walk up Sokratous Street, which is mostly shopping, then see the mosque of Mustafa pasha and a high clock tower. We buy a 10€ combined ticket to access the close sights- a 14C church, the archaeological museum (which was a 15C hospital in which the architecture is much more interesting than the exhibits) , and the grand masters palace. This sits at the top of a fully medieval street called the knights way, and houses architectural exhibits on the ground floor, and has more rooms with furniture etc on the top floor- all 3 are worth seeing and make the ticket great value. We then walk out of the old town via the water and see another harbour guarded by 2 dears on towers next to St Nicholas light house and tower. We see many beaches including Elli beach that have crystal clear water, but it is a steep rocky entry to the water and quite windy, so we walk back to the old town where Glen realises his wallet is missing. He thinks he brought it but isn't sure, so we go back to the boat to check through everything, and it's not there. We walk back into the tourist office that had Wi-Fi to cancel his credit card as he is convinced he has been robbed. We were going to have a swim on the beach just near the ship but are now both hungry and thirsty .Back on to the ship, and our extra wallet hunt has bumped our 11km day up to 15km.. We then get changed for the pool, and he finds his wallet in another pocket of the shirts he is still wearing arghhhh!! Afternoon and evening trivia and a spa fill the afternoon before another production show based on Havana (again random unknown songs) and the 60 seconds to win it game. 27 July- This morning we dock outside the tiny town of Chania in Crete for just a few hours, so we skip brekky and get the local bus (€3.40 return) in by 7.30. We visit the old local markets with their fresh meat, including rabbits with the fur left on the feet and many skinned lamb heads?? We again see old synagogues, Catholic Churches, mosques and Greek Orthodox all within a few streets and built between the 13 and 19 th centuries. The most interesting is the unique shape of the Kioutsouk Hasan mosque built in a renaissance style with flying buttresses on a dome roof. The Venetian harbour and lighthouse are picturesque and there is an old Fort right on the corner. We wander again through the tiny cobbled streets and pat the many cats before returning the 20 min to the ship by the bus. We are moving again by midday so read, listen to music, swim and play games through the afternoon. We see a great French acrobatic show tonight after we play a music mania game and win blow up guitars?? 28 July- We play shuffleboard and morning trivia as we don't dock until lunchtime at Valletta in Malta. As we enter the harbour we see amazing forts and cathedrals all around and realise this is 3 cities in one. But we settle for a walk around Valletta and are stunned by its history and beauty. We get a tourist walking map at the dock and catch the lift up to the town for 1 € and arrive in upper Barrakka gardens. We look at the thick Fort walls and the many canons all around and love the view of the water and other cities. We do 14km walking around the Castillo, St James and johns bastion, the royal opera house the triton fountain, grand masters palace and many more. Unfortunately it is Sunday afternoon so the famous St. John cathedral is actually closed, as are all the churches. We walk through the steep lanes and down to the ferry crossing, passing old buildings constantly. It's the first day I haven't brought swimmers with me and we see such enticing water! We do the whole loop including Fort st Elmo and the lower gardens, then find the only open church, which is the shipwreck church of St. Paul and it is stunning. It has a crypt and decadent decorations and has two strange artefacts- the wrist bone of St. Paul from when he broke it in Valletta, and part of the plinth from where he was beheaded in Rome. It's in a quiet little backstreet but is a real gem. As we approach the ship in our loop back we see gondola type boats doing tours of the harbour for 8€ and crossing to the other side for 2€, which we would have done if it was earlier as it looks great. We sail out as the sun has just set and see the wonderful old buildings all flood lit, before another show with the singer Lilly Jane. 29 July- We are off the boat soon after docking in Messina, Sicily as we would like to visit Taormina, a hillside old town with a 2000 year old amphitheatre and pretty buildings and churches set near steep cliffs and blue sea. We catch the inter bus there (€4.30) which leaves next to the station ( a 10 min walk from the dock) at 9am, passing through some interesting and dirty areas , and arrive up in the village around 10.15, though the bus is way too big for the tiny roads and it's a hair raising trip up the final hill. We don't go the theatre as it's 10€ and an hour wait, so decide to walk the Corso Umberta which runs through the town and has most of the historic buildings and churches on it, ranging from the 11th century. When we reach the end we can see Mt Etna really well, including pockets of smoke leaking out. We then catch the cable car down (3€) to the bottom of the hill where there are amazing beaches including isola Bella, and Mazzaro where I have a lovely swim in the floaty water and explore the ruined castle and its secret entries from the water. The whole area is just stunning, but we look forward to the return train journey along the water’s edge, which doesn't disappoint (after getting another local bus to the station). We get back to Messina with time for a quick wander to a few sights including the church of Santa Maria del Anna which looks a little like a mosque, the huge and grand cathedral in piazza del duomo, and happen to be there right on the hour to see a small movement of the mechanical clock in the bell tower, which has its main performance at midday. We are really pleased we didn't take the offer of a taxi at the start of the day which only offered an hour in Taormina as so much more time is needed, and the train and bus were easy and cheap. More trivia, food and a feature violinist tonight. 30 July - We dock at 7 in Naples, so leave early as we plan to travel to Sorrento. We ask at the tourist information about ferries as I have read they travel there, and she just says she doesn't know, and gives us a poorly photocopied map of Naples which is so pale it's not readable. We walk to the ferry terminal just beside the port, but it's so crowded we get no help and there are ticket windows to everywhere but Sorrento, so we decide to take the train. We walk the 4km to central station, but then find out it's a metro line so we could have caught a closer one to the port, but we catch the 9.10 to Sorrento for €3.50. It's interesting passing mount Vesuvius and hearing the many unusual train buskers, including a family where mum carries the speakers playing piano accordion music, the son has a Turkish drum and dad proudly plays the tambourine...not worth a tip. The train is very slow and not air conditioned so we at arrive 10.30. Very hit and ready to get off. We wander around the piazzas and cathedrals then walk down to the marina, where we find there is a return ferry, but it's at either 12 or 2 and it's more expensive. We see the sheer cliffs with fancy hotels on top and the many beach clubs right on the water (that really doesn’t look that appealing). We catch the lift back up to the other end of town and stroll some more, and realise we have seen enough, so run down the steps to catch the 12 o'clock ferry which we find is not €26 each, but for 2. We sit topside and watch the coastal scenery in the breeze as we return to Naples, where we have a walk around the churches , opera house and glass roofed shopping mall before boarding the ship. Swim, Trivia, dinner and the best show we have seen called elements, combining the production cast, gymnastics and magicians. 31 July - We dock at Livorno today at 9 and most people are going to Florence, but we decide we need more than a few hours in Florence so we opt for Pisa. All must pay 5€ to get out of the port area as you are not allowed to walk. We are the 3rd ship here today, and plan to catch the € 15 bus straight to Pisa, but by 9.10 when we get off, the buses are booked up to 11am, so we catch a local bus € 1.40 to the station, and catch the train (only 20 min and €5.30 return). We walk through the old streets admiring many churches and buildings from the 10 to 13 century, most open for a quick look inside. We see grand piazzas with highly decorated buildings then the huge cathedral, tower and Baptisma, all in white stone with the finest decorations carved throughout. Large crowds take their pics with the famous leaning tower, and we look at walking up it, but it's a 3 hour wait as tickets are very restricted (17€) and it's a bit pricey. You can see the cathedral for free in a scheduled ticket, but again this is not for a few hours, so we opt to pay the 5€ for the Baptisma , and you get the cathedral for free anytime. Both buildings are ornate and stunning. The cathedral has huge paintings throughout from the 15 and 1600s, an exposed saints tombs, as well as a golden ceiling and stunning carved pulpit all nearly 1000 years old. We walk back to the station via different roads, and almost as great scenery including a cute church on the edge of the river. The train soon comes, and we bus it back to the shuttle stop, then the ship...it all takes around 1 hour. One last afternoon of sun, swimming and trivia before we swap our game and trivia winning tickets for prizes. 1 August- we begin the long journey home , with a bus to the airport direct from the port( 20€ ) , a few hours wait, a 6 hour flight to Dubai, more hours wait and a 14 hour flight to Sydney. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
My family and i enjoyed every moment of this cruise from the ports of call, the great service we received and the best food we ever ate. we spent 2 days in rome first and was able to see all rome had to offer. then we got on the boat ... Read More
My family and i enjoyed every moment of this cruise from the ports of call, the great service we received and the best food we ever ate. we spent 2 days in rome first and was able to see all rome had to offer. then we got on the boat which took about 35 minutes from check in to our first meal. our first shore excursion time was 9:30 am when i made the reservation. it was changed to 8:00 and i was not aware of the change. when the staff saw how upset i was they contacted the shore excursion manager, dana, who went out of her way to get us on the same excursion with their sister ship at noon. the way they went above and beyond for my family will never be forgotten. for this reason alone i will only cruise norwegian. i can't thank them enough for the special attention i received to make it the best cruise for me and my family. One of the best things about free style dining is I was able to make a reservation for diner 1 hour after all my tours ended. Each day was a different time so going to a diner at the same time everyday would not have worked. And may I say we did not have one bad meal. Plenty to choose from and everything was great. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We have cruised four times before on a different cruise line. We chose this particular cruise with Norwegian due to the amazing itinerary in the Mediterranean. We arrived in Rome four days before our cruise and had time to explore all ... Read More
We have cruised four times before on a different cruise line. We chose this particular cruise with Norwegian due to the amazing itinerary in the Mediterranean. We arrived in Rome four days before our cruise and had time to explore all the tourist spots and get acclimated to the time zone. We had six of us and decided to book the 2-Bedroom Family Suite because it was not much more than two separate balcony rooms and the amenities were much better, and I'm so glad we did. Our initial embarkation was so smooth, and we were whisked to the VIP area while we waited to board the ship. We met our concierge (Bruno) and butler (Leo), both of whom could not have been nicer or more accommodating, and we were escorted onto the ship to our private dining room for suite holders (at Cagney's) for lunch. The quality of that meal was above average, but nothing extraordinary or special, and unfortunately, the lunch menu at that restaurant did not change for eleven days. Once we finished our meal, we found our suite, which was incredible. The master bedroom/bathroom was spacious with lots of storage, and we were able to fit both my sons' hanging clothes in the closet with ours. The master bed was king-size and very comfortable. My teen boys slept in the living room, where the sofa converted to a queen bed, which was as comfortable as expected. My college-aged daughter and her best friend stayed in the second bedroom, which is basically an interior room with a couch that converts to a full bed and a pull-down bed, both of which were not as comfortable. The second bathroom was more spacious than expected. The best part of the suite, other than the master bathroom shower and tub that overlooked the ocean, was the level of service from our concierge, butler, and housekeeper. All three of them made sure our room was clean, ready, we had afternoon snacks, and that getting on and off the ship was quick and painless. The worst part of our particular suite was that it is located right beneath the gym, and apparently people enjoy running on the treadmill very early and very late. While the accommodations and suite service were wonderful, many other parts of the cruise were not so wonderful. My husband and I had the premium beverage package, and there was quite a variety of wines and beers, but the mixed drinks were usually disappointing if not horrible. We also had four nights of specialty dining, which we were incredibly grateful for, since all of the complimentary dining places we visited were not great. Most of the food was comparable to Applebee's or Chili's. We usually ate breakfast and lunch in the suite-holder's dining areas, but as stated, the menu was exactly the same every day. The specialty restaurants we visited were all good - La Cucina, Le Bistro, Moderno, and Cagney's - with the best being Cagney's and Le Bistro. The service in the specialty restaurants was great, but the service in the complimentary restaurants and bar areas was not very consistent. We were very surprised that there were not bar staff roaming the pool decks and other open areas for drink orders. The entertainment on board was generally superior quality to the other cruise line we have experienced, with the musicians stealing the show. The acrobats were also stellar. The magician was cheesy, however. I wish we had seen the comedian and some of the other entertainment, but we were honestly exhausted by all of our excursions at each port. We did not try our luck at the casino, but did hang out by the pool a few times, which was always crowded and busy. We enjoyed karaoke one night, and the college kids went dancing a few times, but the cruise was mostly about the ports for us. We all experienced the spa, which was very expensive for the quality. The boys got excellent haircuts at the salon for a reasonable price, however. Most of our excursions were booked outside of Norwegian, but as suite holders, we were always able to get off our ship in time. The two excursions we booked with Norwegian were excellent (Highlights of Rhodes and Ultimate Florence and Pisa). In all, if we were booking another cruise and wanted to experience a great cruise, we would likely choose a different cruise line. However, Norwegian has great itineraries and prices that the other cruise lines are not competing with in Europe especially, so it is possible we would choose Norwegian again for that reason. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
The Ship was good, staff miserable, didn't smile much especially in the Medina restaurant, Food was awful, very funny combinations, Who serves Salt & Vinegar Ice cream for a sweet if was disgusting, peppercorn sponge. Please ... Read More
The Ship was good, staff miserable, didn't smile much especially in the Medina restaurant, Food was awful, very funny combinations, Who serves Salt & Vinegar Ice cream for a sweet if was disgusting, peppercorn sponge. Please Chef go back to school and learn some basics. Normal food required. No jacket potatoes in Horrizon Buffett only on first day on ship, after that never again..Why because they have them on other ships all the time. I have cruised with P & O before and food on Oriana was a lot better, basic food options, no concoctions put together, it was lovely all the time, but not on this ship. Please improve this, as otherwise you will get more complaints, also need more options for Gluten free customers, as not enough choice also for Diabetics, as there were a lot of these people onboard too. Please P & O sort the food issue out. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We wanted to visit the Greek Isles and Italy and chose this cruise as the most economical way to go about it. While the itinerary was packed with exciting destinations and fun places to explore, the on board experience was ... Read More
We wanted to visit the Greek Isles and Italy and chose this cruise as the most economical way to go about it. While the itinerary was packed with exciting destinations and fun places to explore, the on board experience was lacking—significantly. With the exception of a hand full of crew members (yes out of over 1,000+ staff), the service was sub par—with the majority of the staff seemingly unhappy and quite rude. If you plan to cruise with teens as we did, don't think you will get any good entertainment on the ship. The "Entourage" teen program is boring and unstructured and other than the 2 small pools, ONE ping pong table (which was never available), shuffleboard, a very small and dated arcade, and a seemingly great basketball court (that you were not able to play on after 5:30 PM because it was directly over a restaurant, which meant on this itinerary, my kids could never use it since we were off ship practically every day)... the entertainment was TERRIBLE. The cruise director was a joke. His cocky attitude and off-color commentary lacked professionalism and hospitality. While the food was overall very good, the service was not worthy of ever recommending this cruise or line to anyone. My parents, who are frequent cruisers and don't complain, were shocked at how unfriendly and lacking in service this cruise was. ** LACK OF SAFETY ** We were using the cabin hairdryer, and sparks began to fly out and we were horrified, dialed 911 and they said "we'll send someone up right away" and NEVER came. When we called back 10 minutes later, same response. After 45 minutes and no electricity, they claimed they didn't come in because the "do not disturb sign was on the door." I was fascinated. An actual fire on the ship and NOBODY came to help. As if someone would change their door sign during an emergency situation! If you're ready to be nickel and dimed and receive POOR service in the process, this is the cruise for you. Otherwise, Royal Caribbean seems like a better option for a cruiser. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We are in Canada, so we flew in Rome 2 days early to ease the time change and visited Rome at the same time. Embarkation and disembarkation were a piece of cake, they were well organised; we followed the instructions and everything went ... Read More
We are in Canada, so we flew in Rome 2 days early to ease the time change and visited Rome at the same time. Embarkation and disembarkation were a piece of cake, they were well organised; we followed the instructions and everything went well. We had a cabin with a balcony. This is not a huge cabin but it has everything one may need and lots of space for clothes and stuff. For us, the size was sufficient. We bought a 4 restaurants diner package before we left and we picked the restaurants and nights on the first day. All the other meals were taken at the buffet style dining room. The restaurant packages evenings need to be coordinated with the excursions one is buying: if you come back from an excursion at 1800, you don't want a reservation at the same time. The food was great (the Steakhouse is fantastic for a great steak), everything is clean and the staff do everything they can to assure a great meal experience. Great entertainment and I like the fact that there were great musical acts early in the evening. Services were great. All the staff are doing an excellent job. The biggest problem I had was with the internet. I bought a unlimited social media for two for the 11 days. It cost me almost $300.00 CAD. For that kind of money, I thought I was going to get top quality internet: I did not. I got slow and unreliable wifi. Big let down. We took 4 excursions and they were well organised even if at some times, I was left wondering if I got my money worth. The company run the outfit in a very professional manner and I will be looking at them first when I decide to go on my next cruise. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
OK, The ship, absolutely beautiful and huge!!! We have cruised twice before with royal Caribbean and Carnival but this ship leaves the rest in its wake. The cabins were great, I travelled with my husband and my 6 foot teenage son and we ... Read More
OK, The ship, absolutely beautiful and huge!!! We have cruised twice before with royal Caribbean and Carnival but this ship leaves the rest in its wake. The cabins were great, I travelled with my husband and my 6 foot teenage son and we had enough room although we did have a balcony. The beds were so comfy I dreaded leaving it behind. Also the shower room was bigger than any we have had before. Now dining, anyone that says there was not enough to eat must have been on a different ship than we were! The market place was open all of the time serving salads, chips, burgers, pasta, pizza etc etc, I just don't understand the complaints about the food. We ate in the restaurants at breakfast and for our evening meals. No the portions in the restaurants were not American size portions, its an Italian ship so Mediterranean food and portions. In saying that the food in the restaurants was beautiful and changed every evening. We had the Aurea experience and if possible I would go Aurea or Yacht Club. No queuing for embarkation or restaurants as you get anytime dining. Cirq de Soleil meal and show were definitely worth the money although once we went to the normal nightly entertainment I couldn't get my husband and son to go to another one!! Service was fantastic, I read somewhere on here that you don't have to pay the tips at the end, no you can have them removed but why? The staff were happy, attentive, helpful! Why wouldn't you tip? For the 3 of us the tips added were approx £200, I can remember exactly but no way would I have cancelled them, so just DON'T!!! Get off in Marseilles, it was our favourite. Approx £10 each for a transfer into the town, coffee shops, little side streets with wall out, really enjoyed it. Pompeii was worth the money although take plenty of water, 40 degrees when we were there, really interesting. Went to the beach when in Valetta, 19Euros each for the bus. Could have stayed a little longer, you get around 3 hours on the beach after travel. All in all we had a blast, it's what you make of it. I was really apprehensive before w went because of the reviews but I shouldn't have been worried. One thing, the market place is a bit of a cattle market and as one other person mentioned on here, watch out for the rude French. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
It seamed like an ideal way to relax after a busy work schedule and as a way to see other parts of Europe in transit to Turkey. It is a matter of choice how busy one can be on a cruise and this one did not disappoint. The sea days provided ... Read More
It seamed like an ideal way to relax after a busy work schedule and as a way to see other parts of Europe in transit to Turkey. It is a matter of choice how busy one can be on a cruise and this one did not disappoint. The sea days provided the necessary relaxation to reboot the energy for the day excursions and in preparation for the long hikes ahead. A taste of three different cultures during the shore excursions provided the enrichment and entertainment that I enjoyed. Gibraltar provided the English/Spanish history. At Marseilles, although it was disappointing that our first option was not available due to the bicycle race Avignon provided another historical visit and a glimpse at the countryside. Genoa and Livorno both gave us the opportunity to see the countryside and observe the enormous engineering feats that the Italians have accomplished with roads through hills with tunnels and viaducts. The picturesque beaches were a treat. Leaving the ship in Rome was inevitable but a place previously visited. The excursions are as described in the brochures and efficiently organised at each port along with the apparent seamless process for embarkation and disembarkation. The activities provided were a huge range and everyone should have found plenty of a high quality to meet their needs. Emerald Princess is a great ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Went on this cruise for my friends 50th Birthday. The whole cruise was amazing onboad the crew were great they could not do enough for me. They made my experience priceless. The on shore excursions are a must and I pre booked before ... Read More
Went on this cruise for my friends 50th Birthday. The whole cruise was amazing onboad the crew were great they could not do enough for me. They made my experience priceless. The on shore excursions are a must and I pre booked before leaving so I did not have to line up to book and took my time researching them. All the places we visited were amazing to see and plenty to do. You don't have to go a shore if you don't want to but would be mad if you didn't. The bar and wait staff in the casino were a lot of fun and I liked how they remembered your name and your drink. Also top deck and pool side were great too. The daily activities were fun and a great way to meet new people. Entertainment by the cruise entertainment people were quite funny and enjoyable. All in all had the best time ever. Thank you Princess Cruises Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This was my family's first cruise on Princess and I have to say we are extremely disappointed. We experienced so many issues, the most important being with poor quality of service. Here is some of what we experienced: - Nights two ... Read More
This was my family's first cruise on Princess and I have to say we are extremely disappointed. We experienced so many issues, the most important being with poor quality of service. Here is some of what we experienced: - Nights two and three we had horrible (and by horrible I mean nonexistent) service at dinner. Our other tables in our large party were literally finishing their entrees and we had yet to receive our appetizers. I still could not tell you who our assistant server was after our 7 night cruise because he was nowhere to be found. On night three no one came to our table for over a half hour. - The toilet in one of our rooms clogged like clockwork every night for the first three nights and instead of apologizing and fixing the problem the plumber essentially accused us of putting something other than toilet paper down the toilet (we didn't). When we would try to call the desk to have someone repair it no one would answer the phone, forcing us to walk to the lobby each time. After the third time the toilet broke, we went back to the desk and I could see one of the women at the desk mocking me as I spoke to her colleague. In front of my face. I work in the hospitality industry and can assure you that while direct and frustrated, I was very polite and calm while interacting with him. Completely uncalled for. Finally the next morning the plumber actually disassembled and repaired the toilet instead of the usual quick-fix from the previous nights. It worked fine after this. - The toilets in the public women's rooms were often filthy and would remain this way for hours. - The currency machines were out of order 80% of the time. The machines to check your account balance were down the last two nights of the cruise, causing insanely long lines at the front desk. When directed to the desk to exchange money, they acted as though guests were a bother. Every crew member we spoke with at the front desk was incredibly unprofessional and far from friendly. - In fact, most staff we interacted with on the cruise were unprofessional, unapologetic, and rude, making it very apparent they do not enjoy their jobs and do not wish to be there. After constant issues, sometimes all you want is a seemingly genuine apology, and we never received that. Not once. - Like I said, the attitude of most staff we encountered was poor to say the least. A couple examples: We watched an employee in the photography studio on the last night of our cruise yell (loudly!) and berate an elderly woman who took a photo of one of her pictures, not realizing this was not allowed. He followed her around the store yelling loudly for everyone to hear, demanding she delete the photo immediately. This was NOT the proper way to handle this situation and everyone around was mortified and embarrassed for her. Another night while shopping in Calypso Cove if you needed assistance from a staff member you would not receive it. Why? The two working were arguing in front of the store. - Want a drink at night? If you are directed to a bar that is supposed to be open until 11pm, prepare to get there only for them to be completely shut down and unable to pour you a drink by 10:30, a half hour before closing time. This happened twice at Adagio. - Spa staff was polite and helpful, until there was a concern with one of the treatments. Their demeanor then completely changed and became curt and defensive. - Disembarkation was chaotic. We did the walk-off option as we had to be off the ship early, and our entire group had to carry our 50+ pound suitcases down over ten flights of stairs because it was impossible to get an elevator. Three of the five elevators were marked 'R' for reserved and the other two were at capacity for over twenty minutes before we opted to take the stairs. Two people in our party who were unable to take the stairs waited over 45 minutes for an elevator. Children, seniors, and everyone in between were lugging their gigantic suitcases down the stairwells. POSITIVES: - Our stateroom, while dated, was always very clean. Our steward Winston was so friendly, always asking about our day with a genuine smile. - The restaurant 'Share' by Curtis Stone was excellent. We loved our food and entire experience here and agree it was definitely worth the up-charge. We wish we came here more than once - The Ports of Call were great. We loved each destination. It should be noted that we did not book any of our excursions through the cruiseline, only outside companies. - Embarkation was smooth, quick, and efficient. As first-time guests on Princess, we are beyond disappointed. After one day of this, we thought 'maybe this is a one-off.' But the continuous issues and unapologetic staff day in and day out made this vacation far from relaxing. We had high hopes and expectations and this cruise did not live up to them. For all of these reasons I would not recommend Princess cruiseline. I have no experience on their other ships but this one specifically was disappointing. I have sailed with three other cruiselines and have never experienced such poor service. My family spent a ton of money for what should have been the trip of a lifetime and while the ports were fabulous (again, excursions not booked through Princess) our time on the ship was stressful, agitating, and honestly shocking. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
No one told me it would be impossible to change large Euro notes. Guest services warns against taking large notes on tour excursions yet refused to change my 200 Euro note so I could have smaller notes. The person at guest services went to ... Read More
No one told me it would be impossible to change large Euro notes. Guest services warns against taking large notes on tour excursions yet refused to change my 200 Euro note so I could have smaller notes. The person at guest services went to plead my case to the purser. The purser opened the door, looked at me from the doorway, then went back in and the guest services person returned to say the purser had refused my request. I saw they had plenty of change, so this was unreasonable. They did say I could buy Eu200 on my credit card for 3% commission. The next concern I had was with the service charge which now appears daily on our account. No one told me it would cost US14.50 per day, per person. I have always left what I thought was a generous tip to those that gave me exceptional service but have never been forced to tip. For a family of 4, this means you need to budget US580 for tips. This has resulted in the crew not needing to try so hard with their service. For example, I drink tea instead of coffee. Every other cruise, staff have recognised me and automatically remembered this, but not on this cruise. In fact they even tried to keep topping me up with coffee. We tried to book The Dining room several times and the only time available was 5.45pm. Much too early. We tried to walk up and were told nothing was available. On our second last day another passenger said that if we walked up and said we were willing to share a table, they would give us a pager and we could wait in a bar. This should have been communicated to us on at least one of the occasions we tried to book. But when they are assured of a ‘tip’ their service standard drops. Also we did not make use of all of the facilities, so why should our service charge go to those areas when we wouldn’t normally tip them. And why do they put an additional 15% service charge on drinks and coffee? We also had a problem with IT where it could not properly print one of our stateroom cards. This was going to prevent us leaving the boat as the name would not print on the card due to its length. Three times we had to go to customer service and explain our situation all over again, despite them saying they would bring a new card to our room. They kept forgetting about us. The poor customer service really impacted on my holiday. Also I travelled with my sister and they gave us a double bed when we had asked for a twin. I asked for bottles of water on arrival and had to wait until the following day for it to arrive. Then we had a $37.50 beverage charge appear on our account by mistake. This was removed. We took a four meal dining package and the steaks in Pinnacle were nice but not as tender as the wagyu in Chops on the Ovation, but we would have had to pay a surcharge for that. Also included in the meal package was sushi but it didn’t compare to the 5 star sushi on the Ovation, where the soft shell sushi was amazing. The one on the Koningsdam was mostly rice and no shell that I could see. I was told they brought the crab in from another restaurant so it was not cooked by the sushi chef. The barramundi in red curry sauce that I ate in Tamarind was delicious. We returned to Tamarind on the last night to have rijstafel which cost US$30. I saw the menu which had about ten dishes on it and looked very traditional. After soup and salad starter, the other eight dishes were served together on one plate. Not very traditional and not the ‘rijstafel experience’ we expected. To top it off after this meal, I needed the toilet. The cleaner followed soon after and wouldn’t leave until she had serviced my toilet. She banged on the door three times in two minutes, despite me acknowledging her. The Planet earth show with an orchestra playing background music was excellent but too short (40mins). The rest of the entertainment was average. The free movies available in our cabin were recent and plentiful. The food in the complimentary areas was excellent although the msg used in the Asian Fusion area disturbed my sleep. We loved The Grand Dutch Cafe and returned several times for their coffee and croquettes. The shore tours are expensive but very good. We had a nice holiday but it will have to be a very good sale price to get us to try Holland America again. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Cruised many times on RC and NCL has away to go to compare! First time on NCL! First day my friend/roommate was hurt due to hole in ships floor! Spent time in infirmary! No one on the ship did anything to try to appolige or make up for ... Read More
Cruised many times on RC and NCL has away to go to compare! First time on NCL! First day my friend/roommate was hurt due to hole in ships floor! Spent time in infirmary! No one on the ship did anything to try to appolige or make up for their negligence! I ran two flights of stairs & found room where incident occurred before any medical where on scene! With the exception of the Irish pub, the food in the dining room had no flavor nd non creative options! There was no activity by the pool until the very last day! No one even knew who cruise director was! I met more people than he did! Funny enough we called the asst director to our table at 5 o’clock somewhere and expressed the disappointment without ant activity by pool! Coincidence the next day, last day on ship they did a little something by pool! Everyone enjoyed so doesn’t make sense all other days there was nothing! Other than Lesther at sky bar, Reenan the waiter in Aqua and my room steward Lunni, who were exceptional, no staff on this ship made an effort to get to know you, remember your name or display a personality! Such a shame! Even the officers were no mingling omboard until the last day! Excursions def had some wasted time organizing, days in port were short enough yet time was still wasted! Santorini was a disaster! Four ships in port with over a two hour line for cable car as the tour just drops you off and doesn’t tell you about cable car until end when you started on a bus! We did not get any time to shop or enjoy Santorini as we had to wait in this line, people were fighting not enjoyable & stole two hours of my time and a missed sunset! UGH. On that same day a women on the bus picked a fight shouting curse words across the bus the entire day! The tour guide should have thrown her off yet said nothing allowing her to taint that part of the day! I paid good money for this excursion from the ship on an island I wanted to enjoy to have it ruined! Oh and let’s point out the alternative of walking down the cliff on the donkey trail for 20 minutes in donkey poop, which was not an option to save time due to my friend being hurt on day one due to ships negligence! Last day in Croatia was cut early forcing everyone to change a schedule just to hurry up and wait causing us to get back into port in Venice over an hour late! Added stress! I feel there is a long way to go and some considerable customer service courses needed here! Almost forgot the two days my toilet in the room would not flush! Reported it, was kept up till 3 am while a man worked in closet next to room to wake up with only 2 hours sleep and still not have a toilet that works! July 2019 Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We are new to cruising this was our second and booked it through an agent SCC, it was good to have everything organised for us, I done it myself first time. We booked all inclusive with an balcony, the room was ok albeit a bit on the ... Read More
We are new to cruising this was our second and booked it through an agent SCC, it was good to have everything organised for us, I done it myself first time. We booked all inclusive with an balcony, the room was ok albeit a bit on the small size, never met the steward until we sought him out for more coffee, I had to bring my tea down from the buffet not provided in the room. The ship itself was fine although very noisy and busy, felt like I was in a zoo at meal times. Restaurant not much better, service leaned towards> OMG we are so busy lets get this over with!!! Food was fine nothing special. We were overcharged by the Spa only found out because our door key wouldn't work customer services said our payment was refused by our bank, showed us our bill to date and we found the over charge 245euros. We changed our payment method to another card, only to find out that the money was taken from the original account!! What's that all about??? Bank knows nothing about this supposed refusal as funds were always available. I personally found the hard sell to purchase other various things during the cruise very invasive and the shore excursions were expensive for the content, even with the 50euros off per excursion. If you like queueing/or lines as they refer to, then this is the cruise for you on and off shore. All inclusive is not quite accurate as you have taxes to pay for drinks when docked, never knew that one until we saw it on the bill, couldn't use the free spend to cover that, unsure why not!! Cruising is a learning experience as we are finding out. The really excellent parts of the cruise, was the weather Brilliant and seeing a volcano erupting Stromboli at night and guess what those were free LOL Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Having sailed three times previously with Seabourn,we are used to being wowed by their fabulous standards. However this time we noticed straight away that things were different. The cabin balcony had a dirty towel on the balcony, and ... Read More
Having sailed three times previously with Seabourn,we are used to being wowed by their fabulous standards. However this time we noticed straight away that things were different. The cabin balcony had a dirty towel on the balcony, and when I leaned over the handrail my arms were the covered in wet varnish.. The vase had no flower in and the fridge did not have our requested drinks, it was empty .The water bottle was half full and looked cloudy as if it had not been clean and refreshed. I went to Seabourn Square to speak to the someone about my problem, and was given an apology. On returning back to my cabin, I was informed by my husband that there was hair in the bath and the top of a razor on the shelf!! I went back to Seabourn Square and spoke to the head of housek,who apologised and said they would ensure that from now on she would ensure the rest of our cruise would be stress free. Restaurant Day one had to seek out a waiter and ask for a drink at lunch. Dinner asked if they had Pinot Noir and received a blank look? When my husband said he did not like the red, the waiter proceeded to put new wine in the same glass despite a small amount of the old wine still being in the glass. We had to ask for re fills. My lobster Thermidor was full of a brown mushroom sauce, with only a tiny bit of lobster Having made this dish numerous times I have never used mushrooms! We found the menu slightly repetitive and not their usual standard Extra Mile No Seabourn experience All in all very disappointed therefore I will be trying a new luxury cruise line Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
The Norwegian ship is my favorite and its itinerary included Venice, Italy Croatia, and the Greek islands which were the places we wanted to visit. We traveled with my two teenage daughters- 17 and 19 years old and had Senior citizens- 3 ... Read More
The Norwegian ship is my favorite and its itinerary included Venice, Italy Croatia, and the Greek islands which were the places we wanted to visit. We traveled with my two teenage daughters- 17 and 19 years old and had Senior citizens- 3 with us (their grandparents and my aunt). We had 3 cabins. My daughters found the teenage entertainment lacking, however they are used to larger ships as "The Breakaway" and all of the activities-including slides. The ports of call were beautiful and we had excursions in almost all. We ate at 4 Specialty restaurants and liked 'Cagney's" the best- although my parents were disaapointed to order a bottle of wine and have a charge of $14 added because it was uncorked- this is something that Norwegian should not do to their guests who have paid so much to travel with them (they did complain at guest services, but were told it's Norwegian's policy). We did not have any freebies as alcohol or beverage packages- siocne we had the early bird balcony guarantee. It was a memorable vacation since all of those places were so breathtaking! Read Less

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