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Cruise Ratings
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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We picked this cruise simply on price and an inherent need to get away from the snow for a week. The boarding process was quite smooth and quite liked the "scheduled" boarding time as our stateroom was available as soon as we got ... Read More
We picked this cruise simply on price and an inherent need to get away from the snow for a week. The boarding process was quite smooth and quite liked the "scheduled" boarding time as our stateroom was available as soon as we got onboard. Unfortunately the experience deteriorated quickly after. The ship is poorly laid out and difficult to navigate. the overbearing PINK was abnoxious and the staff overall avoided eye contact and if we did not say hello, or good morning, we would be hard pressed to even gain acknowledgement (beyond our room steward or servers in the dining room). The live music was poorly situated in the atrium and the volume was excessively loud at all hours. I felt sorry for anyone with a stateroom in the middle of the ship as you could not excape the volume. We have cruised with NCL for many years and thought this would be a nice opportunity to try a different company. While we did compare to our experience on NCL a lot, the glaring difference we found besides basic acknowledgement, was the sheer lack of hand sanitizers throughout the ship. On NCL they were at every entrance to resaurants and every elevator bank, while there were very few located on this ship. I can honestly say I MISSED hearing washy washy and have a staff member spray your hands before entering the dining room, Carnival could learn a lot from NCL. The ports were enjoyable and the tender process for Cabo was efficient, however we arrived an hour early from when tender tickets were to be issued and got tender #1 right away. I would hate to see where we would have been if we had gone to line up even 20 minutes later. When you state a time, I think you should stick to it even if we did luck out and get our tender tickets early. The staff looked to be run off their feet and always rushing from one activity to another. We attended a trivia session and the first words out of the hosts mouth was an apology because she would haev to cut trivia short to make it to her next gig. Not to mention the person who had the room booked for the next event was waiting right beside her to push her out the door at the appropriate time. I think you need to either have more staff or schedule events a bit better. We spent most of our free time on the ship in the Spa and the Serentiy area in the big loungers and the ClamShell loungers trying to relax away from the static and noise, only to find that the music from the spa (not really relazing spa music to start with) was blaring on deck and in the spa at a volume that made it difficult to "relax". To the ship designers, if you are building an area for people to relax and call it "serentiy" maybe dont put the mini golf on the deck above with screaming children. I cant count how many stray golf balls landed either on me or right beside me from a wayward "putt"! Food, what can one say about food on a cruise ship other than, stay away from the runny scrambled eggs. The dining experience onboard this ship left a lot to be desired. I like the ability to eat in the dining room or the option of the buffet, however the quality of the food was really sub par. the layout in the buffet made it difficult to enjoy a meal adn the seating was abhorent. you are not even allowed to pick out your own bacon for breakfast and are at the mercy of the crew to "dish it out" for you, which is difficult if the serving crew have multiple jobs to do on the serving line. this only stalled the lines from moving. If you are going to have an omlette station, do not have it in the middle of the buffet line as the time it takes to make an omlette only lengthened the time everyone else had to spend in line behind you waiting. Maybe set up a seperate ommlette station??? All in all our experience was so poor that we will definetly not go on another Carnival cruise and will stick with our tried and true NCL from here on out. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Let me first preface this by saying that this was my wife and I's first cruise. We figured we would take a 4 day cruise to see if this kind of vacation suits us. We had heard positive things in the past from other cruise goers and ... Read More
Let me first preface this by saying that this was my wife and I's first cruise. We figured we would take a 4 day cruise to see if this kind of vacation suits us. We had heard positive things in the past from other cruise goers and thought we would give Carnival a shot. Getting onto the ship was ok. We were 5 minutes early for our allotted time and instead of letting us wait, which would have been the much faster line the person outside chased us down and forced us into the early line which was quite long. We got on board around 1pm. Entering the boat we were ushered to the lido buffet. Into what could only be explained as a mad ant pile of humanity, it felt more like a sardine can than a boat. It took us 30 minutes of stalking people as they ate to find a seat. Finally we did. The buffet food overall was similar to an average all-inclusive resort in Mexico, bland and cold. The shining star in the buffet was the Deli, amazing sandwiches. We could have lived off the sandwiches and Guys' burgers alone. We then went to find our stateroom. It was as we expected small but functional. We were mid ship 7 deck E135. The windows were so filthy that we could barely see out of them. We chalked this up to the joys of being at sea. Clearly a disadvantage of being on a boat that does not have any balconies. The TV only had 4 stations, TBS, TNT, TCM and one movie channel. My wife's luggage was waiting for us outside, but mine did not show up until 4 hours later. Definitely not ideal but not the end of the world. We saw several shows on board, by far the best was the comedy club, B.T. was hilarious both times we saw him. The other entertainment was very lack luster. We got off the boat at both port stops. We rent a golf cart on Catalina island and this is my wife's highlight of the entire trip, it was a blast! In Ensenada we moved along to a shuttle bus that cost $4 round trip to downtown. We were on this bus for all of 5 minutes before it dropped us off at what appeared to be a back yard make shift market place. We felt uncomfortable there so we found the nearest main road and started walking. We walked for 15-20 minutes before realized we could actually see our boat. So we just walked back to it. We are not your average 30 something travelers. We do not drink alcohol or like to party. With that being said we bought the bottomless bubbles drink package. What a waste! They don't tell you they charge you tax on the beverage you've already paid for when docked. And the only time we could use it was at sit down dinner service. The only place you can get I filled is by a waiter or at a bar, good luck with that. They have self service beer stations but you have to fight to get a soda?! In the buffet they only served lemonade and Ice tea. That's what we ended up drinking the entire cruise. Clearly We are not cruisers! now we know. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Sorry for the delay, my wife stop me till I cooled down. My wife needs a wheel chair to get on and off ship, when we got to the port we were told she needed to get in the building and then they would find a wheel chair, we waited over a ... Read More
Sorry for the delay, my wife stop me till I cooled down. My wife needs a wheel chair to get on and off ship, when we got to the port we were told she needed to get in the building and then they would find a wheel chair, we waited over a hour in the VIP lounge, then when they came they only took her to the lobby of the ship and told us the third party staff could not go onto the ship, we were in a area with 30 other people trying to get to there cabins. We were traviling with 5 other couples and were seated at a table for 12 in the main dining room. The first night we did not get our food for over 2 hours, the staff turned the lights up to clear the table before we got or disserts. On the second night they served prime rib/lobster. I had the prime rib with baked potato, everyone was done with their diner before I was offered any topping for the potato so I told them where to put there diner. The head maiter'd gave me a guarantee this problem would be fixed the next night, We were happy that he did fix the problem. They put more staff and a head waiter that know how to serve a large, they should have had this all along. We had to call room service to get ice in or rooms and they would only bring a quart bag at a time ( why ) Getting off the ship was a joke, this time no wheel chair was available so we had to use a walker the hole way. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
As a 4 star mariner (loyalty level), I was very disappointed in the small changes that have occurred to HAL over the last 5 to 10 years. I have come to expect a better experience and was just disappointed by the food quality and generally, ... Read More
As a 4 star mariner (loyalty level), I was very disappointed in the small changes that have occurred to HAL over the last 5 to 10 years. I have come to expect a better experience and was just disappointed by the food quality and generally, employees that just were doing their job. There were a couple of employees that were outstanding, but overall, they had already left for the day. The food quality has decreased, even in the Pinnacle which is more expensive and has less offerings. Attempted to eat in the dining room with any time dining, but if you don't have a set reservation time on the first day. You will wait. The hydro spa was broken for 2 days, no refund. Offered a leg massage instead. I did not go on any excursions. I have found in the past that generally the ships tours are overpriced, crowded and slow. The entertainment at night has increased, but it all seems to be at the same time. Signature of excellence (last slogan) has died. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We've been on 3 Nat Geo/Lindblad (NGL) trips and this was by far the most disappointing. This was recommended to us from many who were on the Epic Galapagos trip as a "must". So we were looking forward to this. ... Read More
We've been on 3 Nat Geo/Lindblad (NGL) trips and this was by far the most disappointing. This was recommended to us from many who were on the Epic Galapagos trip as a "must". So we were looking forward to this. Disappointment starts with the title of the trip. Among the Great Whales really should have been "Among the Gray Whales. The title implied that we would see many types of whales when in fact we saw two. No complaints about the ship and the food was okay. Entertainment/Activities were ok but nothing special. Service by the cleaning staff was horrible. Our room was cleaned only twice - at the beginning at the last date and only partially. Also, the evening/morning of the rough seas and some of us couldn't get out of our cabins for breakfast, when the seas calmed there was no food made available without many customers asking. You would've thought that this would've been planned for. The itinerary seemed pretty weak and overall satisfaction by NGL travelers who have done other trips thought similarly. Those travelers that were new to NGL cruises thought it was great. Which works in favor for NGL as they may try other trips. We would not do this trip again nor would we recommend it to anyone. I guess when you've been on some of the other NGL expeditions this just can't even come close!!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We have traveled on Carnival Cruise line once before and had no problem. This time we took our two kids on the Carnival splendor. When we arrived our room was dirty, including dental floss in the shower, toilet paper on the ground, sticky ... Read More
We have traveled on Carnival Cruise line once before and had no problem. This time we took our two kids on the Carnival splendor. When we arrived our room was dirty, including dental floss in the shower, toilet paper on the ground, sticky ring marks on the dresser, splattering all over The mirrors, debris left behind, dust bunnies, and a towel in the bathroom rolled up on the ground that was damp and smelled like urine. We saw staff putting back utensils that have fallen on the floor back on the buffet, although the tables were wiped down, there was food and crumbs all along the window ledges, including sticky greasy fingerprints all over glass. Our first meal at the Asian wok, included vegetables that were frozen solid, the guest in line in front of me commented to the cook, and he removed some of the vegetables to soak them in hot water. The food was poor quality, The buffet areas were always crowded, and the layout of the of the ship was so odd. It always seemed dark, and everywhere you turn it seems like it was a dead end. Our list of complaints goes on and on, and needless to say we contacted carnival cruise during and after the cruise, and they were so "generous" enough to give us a $25 credit each on our next cruise. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Be prepared if you expect luxury because my comparison of this ship is that it was more like a passenger ferry than a cruise ship.--I just wrote to Holland America to explain my decision to leave the ship on day five of a seven day ... Read More
Be prepared if you expect luxury because my comparison of this ship is that it was more like a passenger ferry than a cruise ship.--I just wrote to Holland America to explain my decision to leave the ship on day five of a seven day itinerary, A little history on me--I have done about thirty five cruises, three previously with Holland America on the Nieuw Amsterdam, Koningsdam and Eurodam--these ships were beautiful. When I booked the Oosterdam, I thought I would have a similar ship to the Eurodam (which I only did four months ago) but was shocked at the state of it: on my of my facebook postings, I stated "I am on a ship a few sailings away from the scrapyard" and it was not an exaggeration. The crew were exceptional in trying to maintain the cleanliness but there comes a point that the effort to keep up an appearance is all in vain, which was the case here, and I feel so bad for those hard working people. Unlike the other ships that had nice light, warm inviting colours, one entered into this one facing dark, drab maroon and blue--very 70s retro. As I walked down the hall to my cabin what was the most noticeable was the smell of dampness, then looking at the carpets, on most all decks, they were water stained. Not little ones here or there but the stains were making their own pattern in the carpets! The room--same drab colours, a couch that was threadbare and the arm rest black (mixed into the maroon) with dirt, the bathtub so worn that my initial reaction to all the nicks was a slight heart palpitation because I thought they were insects. The water temperature in the shower never got above luke-warm, the light fixture behind the bed was broken, about to fall off, one light needed replacing and the coffee table lever was broken so it was left in the highest position. To me it felt like the ship must be on a scheduled dry-dock sometime soon because all effort to make it look somewhat presentable was gone. Others on board seemed to enjoy it, and I am glad they could make the most of it, but with all these cruises under my belt, I felt the need to place this review for a) frequent cruisers like myself who have a certain expectation of cleanliness and a small standard of basic working order of things and b) for those who might be spending hard earned money for a first-time cruise---my advice, do another ship or wait to see if this one ever gets upgraded. In Cabos I went to the Walmart there to buy more cleaning supplies to try to get that "dirty" feeling out of my room but by Mazatlan, I knew that I could not do those last two days at sea, researched the contract, confirmed with the ship that I could depart in PV and that is what I did. I booked a hotel in PV, new flights up to my final vacation destination and set the wheels in motion. Note--if one chooses to go this option, expect a change in attitude from the front desk staff from sweet and polite to rather blunt. Further, when I first inquired as to being allowed to stay on-board until noon I was told no problem but by 7pm on the last night, a letter arrived to my room informing me that at 7:45 am the following morning I must report to the Immigration officers on-board with my luggage (normal procedure) but I had to depart the ship immediately after---there went the welcome. Too add insult to injury, they did not even communicate my departure with the security officers on Deck A so after I cleared the Mexican Customs on board, the security staff still pulled me to one side to "verify" that I was allowed to leave. I had a few choice words for them on that topic. The ports I have been to before---San Diego, to begin is a beautiful city and I will go there again. The first sea day, and on Western based cruises this is to be expected, it was freezing and wet! Cabos uses tenders so be prepared for a bit of a line-up to get on one unless you have an excursion. Coming back close to noon a very intoxicated woman sat next to me and practically passed out on my shoulder going back to the ship--I had to wonder how much she drank so early in the morning?! Mazatlan, though it did not have a tendering system because it was docked at a cargo port, meant that one still had to wait for little shuttle trolleys to take passengers from the ship to the cruise building. The town itself was lovely and I took the local bus over to the hotel zone to find a Starbucks to get a coffee and good wireless. The malecon in Mazatlan is miles long and very scenic--loved it. PV--I have been there many times on land vacations and though the ship docks close to the hotel zone and 7 peso bus ride can take anyone into the historic part in about 20 mins for each direction. Overall, I would use Holland America again, especially one of the past three ships I enjoyed, but the lesson I learned this time, even after all my cruises is that any future cruise I take, I have to research the ship more closely, in particular--the date it was built and when it was refurbished! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
We sailed on the Carnival Splendour in February out of the port of LA for a two day stop in Cabo San Lucas, a one day stop in Puerto Vallarta, and three days at sea. This was our sixth cruise with Carnival and the fourth time we have ... Read More
We sailed on the Carnival Splendour in February out of the port of LA for a two day stop in Cabo San Lucas, a one day stop in Puerto Vallarta, and three days at sea. This was our sixth cruise with Carnival and the fourth time we have traveled this route. Traditionally we have sailed on spirit-class cruise ships with about a capacity of around 2000 passengers. This was our first time aboard the Carnival Splendor which has a passenger capacity of 3006 passengers. On our other cruises parking at the Long Beach terminal has been easy. We would arrive about 1-1:30 ish and there would be plenty of parking spaces left. This was not the case for this cruise. We got what we believe was the last parking space in the parking garage (On the top level far corner). I did not see signs for where the overflow parking was supposed to go. Some advice is if you are not arriving early perhaps call in and ask where to go if the parking garage is full. Or get dropped off. Luggage drop off has always been well organized with the porters outside the terminal next to the parking garage and this has not changed one bit over the 15 years we have sailed with Carnival. Cruise check in is no longer at the airport style counter. There are several “Pods” set up with a Carnival team member taking your information and issuing you your sail and sign cards. It was well organized and moved along efficiently. On board the ship cleaning staff I will say do a great job and put in some long days. Just an observation on my part that I believe Carnival has cut back on the amount of cleaning staff over the years. Despite this I have always found the staff to be very friendly, helpful, accommodating. During our fire drill we waited in an area that had recently been or was in the process of being re-painted. The smell of fumes was very strong and put a lot of passengers off. I thought this would be a singular event but it was not. On the entire seven-day cruise there were paint crews working in many areas of the ship. You could smell paint fumes one day in the breakfast buffet. The next day while sitting outside the ship at port. The next day on your deck. You get the idea. I understand that ongoing painting of a ship is normal maintenance. It’s just I have never seen that much of it. As a byproduct of old paint being removed you could see paint chips on the glass, on the exterior areas of the ship. It was even on our two balcony deck chairs. Our room was a normal balcony room. Aside from the afore mentioned paint chip chairs the mattress and pillows were completely past the point of wearing out. I’ve been in the army, believe me I’m not fussy when it comes to sleeping accommodations but when you drop 3K on a cruise you expect a mattress to be of the same quality as an average priced motel. The room problems were further complicated by the fact that the bed of our neighbors and our bed were on the same wall. This means we could hear everything. And I mean everything. Our neighbors must have been excited about being on a cruise because you could audibly hear them at least seven times a day. And I believe the gal was particularly excited because she kept repeating the mantra “Oh Yes”. I am not sure if these rooms are different from other Carnival ships but man the walls seemed thin. We have never had this problem on any of the other five Carnival ships we have sailed on. The ship pool area always seemed crowded on sea days. It did not seem like there was enough public space to accommodate the number of passengers onboard. Most of the public areas outside seemed crowded. Apart from the splash park and the Serenity adults only retreat which didn’t have much of a crowd at all. The slash park I am not sure why this is. It’s for kids, and seemed will built and maintained. Maybe you have to ask kids why they didn’t like it. Our five-year-old had fun anyway. The Serenity adults only area is traditionally at the aft of most ships. On the Splendor it is on the port side one deck down from the mini gold course. The location was not well thought out as you could hear the noise filtering down from the mini golf course. That is if one of two giant industrial fans weren’t drowning out everything with white noise. They retrofitted some baffles in front of the fans but this blocked the wind only. The sun beds in the serenity were old and worn out. Overall it didn’t attract a lot of traffic. Not like I’ve seen on other ships where it was well planned and well maintained. We did not eat in the specialty restaurants and we did not eat in the formal dining room so we cannot comment on these. We did eat at the buffet and found the food to be cold. All the time cold. It was so predictably cold that one time we found a hot pot of soup and joked about it for two days. I watched them set up for a buffet one afternoon. The food was sitting for an hour prior to being open to the public. This was while the staff worked to set up. And by staff, I mean the two team members who were assigned to that area. They worked hard there just wasn’t enough of them. The 24-hour pizza was good as well as the burger and fries station. The ship itself had a bit of a “Goofy” layout. You would have wide halls leading to a public area, but just prior to entry into the public area you were funneled into a narrow entrance. This led to constant human traffic jams. The entertainment was good. The ships dancers put on a pair of great shows. They were not large productions. The shows consisted of about seven to eight performers. The ship does have a “Dive in Theater” with two nightly showings. This was the first time we experienced this and find it to be a neat feature. There was free popcorn, which was cold. From what I understand this ship will be sold to a sister company in Australia later this year. After this cruise we will be re-evaluating any future cruises for quite some time. If we do cruise again we will be very careful in picking our ship. If I was to offer some advice to Carnival it would be to stop cutting back on staff, re-evaluate where you are, and add staff back in to increase the experience for your paying passengers. At this point my family believes we can get much better value for our money. I hope Carnival can make us change our minds again. Have fun and stay safe D Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
I bought a drink package for just over $500. On our seven day cruise, I had no more than 8 drinks (I started counting). The reason for not having more is because each drink took an average of a half hour to get to me. I believe they do ... Read More
I bought a drink package for just over $500. On our seven day cruise, I had no more than 8 drinks (I started counting). The reason for not having more is because each drink took an average of a half hour to get to me. I believe they do this because they know the sooner you get your beverage, the sooner you may order a second one. It's a scam and I feel I was robbed. I'm not a crazy drunk but I do like a drink at lunch and with dinner while on holidays. It was IMPOSSIBLE to get a drink. Don't bother wasting the money. Our second problem was the fact that there was no coffee maker in the room. We spent the extra money for a balcony with the vision of waking up early to watch the sunrise while sipping our coffee. We had to get up, get dressed, walk to the nearest café just to get a morning coffee! Not good. We are a young couple. Princess had a chance to secure us as long term guests but that won't happen as we were deprived of what we consider basic amenities. There are plenty of daily activites but watch out, the majority of the activities have a heavy sales pitch attached to them. i.e. how to look 10 years younger (buy pills and lotions), how to start exercising (pay huge fees for on ship trainers), and the list goes on.... The fitness room was one of the main reasons we chose this ship. We work out everyday. While I was doing floor work on a huge spacious floor, I was asked to leave the space because there was either a yoga class or a spin class about to start. There was plenty of room to run the class without having to ask me to stop my workout. The trainers became rude to me after I told them I wouldn't move. They told me the guests participating in the classes were paid customers. I am a paid customer!!!!! It was awful. I eventually said they could have to have security move me. Only then did they digress. I won't cruise with Princess again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
This is our 20th cruise, first (last) on Azamara. While the line definitely has its fans (groopies?) its just not for us. Many seem thrilled with the "personal attention" they perceive, it's available on most ships if you ... Read More
This is our 20th cruise, first (last) on Azamara. While the line definitely has its fans (groopies?) its just not for us. Many seem thrilled with the "personal attention" they perceive, it's available on most ships if you seek it out. The ship's appearance was good. Some failed decorative embellishments coming off the closet doors, and what has to be the smallest shower i've come across. What others considered "special" events (White Night, Azamazing Evening) we saw as just another way to foist a buffet on guests, instead of providing dinner in the main dining room. I'm not a fan of standing on lines each time I want to get something to eat. Again, I will emphasize that many passengers (a large % being repeaters) felt they were happy with the evenings. The biggest failure centered around the attempt at entertainment. First, since this is a small ship, there was just one entertainment venue at a time. Unlike other ships where there was a choice of piano bar, soloist, combo, etc., here is was just one. AND often it was a failure. The first evening, our Cruise Director (who was great) let us know how we were in for some special entertainment nights, all NEW. (That should have been the first alert.) One of the great, new shows was in conjunction with 54 BELOW, a cabaret located below Studio 54 in Manhattan. Great write-ups and fabulous performers appeared in the past. That's great but what we go was a singer who was promoted as singing in over 1000 performances of "Jersey Boys" He appeared two nights. We, along with everyone in the venue, was expecting songs that must be from ... "Jersey Boys"...right? Wrong, Although a very good singer, he chose to relate his life story, and sang a collection of music from the 40's. I will tell you I love this music and play it often, but like others we were confused. On his next performance night all were waiting for the "Jersey Boys" experience. Again...disappointment. He sang some of HIS favorite songs from the era. The final song was from Jersey Boys (and there might have been one buried in the middle) but none of the songs seemed to be the "show stoppers/top of the charts" songs we expected. BUT, this was not the biggest disappointment in the entertainment. We were also treated to another completely new experience...SHORTS AT SEA" This was an evening of three 10 minute plays (A rage in Miami since the mid 90's) I'm guessing the target audience does not have the ability to focus for more than 10 minutes at a time, hence the idea. Overall, the performances were mediocre to bad. How do I (not a theater critic) know? Well on the first night of performances (yes, there were more to come) I noticed some empty seats after the first act, and many more after the second. The next morning I hear one couple asking if another saw the show, and what did she think. I'm close to exact here, so I will use quotes..."I've never seen anything so terrible." We tried the second performance (again, nothing else to do on the ship) and the venue started out about 3/4 full. After the first play, 1/2 full, and we left with others after the second act. Thankfully, the ship did provide an excellent alternative for the third night's performance, having a very talented piano/arranger, Sasha, and keyboardist George try to put together some impromptu entertainment. Unfortunately, an alternative was not planned for the fourth (yes, FOURTH) night of this fodder on a 12 night cruise. However, apparently a higher authority was displease and the seas got rough enough that our actors from Miami could not perform! I say no more. The house band of five very talented musicians excelled when they were given the main stage, and even small grouped at the pool. On one night the Cruise Director did a great performance (he was on stage in Mama Mia) and brought that excitement with him. Oh, back to that last night....small ship equals rocking ship on rough seas and many cruisers had a rough evening that would have been much less upsetting on a larger ship. I know that the Azamarites who read this may not agree since they seem to feel everything Azamara is superior, but trust me, it ain't so. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
Just not for seniors! Bars are late and excessively loud, too much smoke in the casino, bands not good - the whole experience was not our cup of tea. We have traveled a lot and this is the first time on Carnival and it will be our ... Read More
Just not for seniors! Bars are late and excessively loud, too much smoke in the casino, bands not good - the whole experience was not our cup of tea. We have traveled a lot and this is the first time on Carnival and it will be our last.......... The big show was awful....no one on pitch, cheesy themes! Only one band was good - Free at Mightnight and they didn't play enough around the ship. The staff in the dining room and our cabin steward were wonderful but the rest of the staff we found to be indifferent and at times rude. Food was good but too sa]ty for some of us. Wait staff in the brunch area on sea days need training....... we sat there for over 10 minutes before we got service and even at that we had to ask for it........ overall, the waitstaff needs better training if they are going to be in that area. And it was obviously that the big boss was not respected....he asked the waiters to do something in a very nasty tone and the looks on their faces said everything you needed to know - he is just a big bully! We subscribed to the spa only to find that the water was never warm inspire of talking to management and the heated chairs were lukewarm, again talking to staff. They were just vey indifferent. And getting on and off the ship was a ZOO! It was so disorganized! Not a good example of what good and true cruising can be. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
This cruise replaced my cruise out of San Juan that was canceled due to the hurricanes. I am a 74 y.o. female, frequent cruiser, traveling alone. I was very disappointed in the food and the service in the dining room and on the Lido ... Read More
This cruise replaced my cruise out of San Juan that was canceled due to the hurricanes. I am a 74 y.o. female, frequent cruiser, traveling alone. I was very disappointed in the food and the service in the dining room and on the Lido deck. Food was served cold, small portions, tables not clean on the Lido deck buffets, and I had a couple of waiters in the dining room that forced another table mate to rely on the maitre 'd to resolve her problems. I had a comment made to me when I ordered 2 entrees because they were very small. My crab cake the last night as an appetizer was about the size of silver dollar and was served on cole slaw!! It looked burned. I actually told several first time cruisers not to rate Carnival on the basis of this ship. Carnival usually has excellent service and sufficient amounts of food, buffet tables are clean, etc. Anika, the assistant waiter, worked her butt off; she carried the heavy trays of food and made sure we had water and bread. My room steward also was first class. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
From embarkation to disembarking this cruise experience was less than satisfactory. I had traveled on carnival once before and was not impressed and now will not travel on them again. Embarkation was extremely confusing and we waited ... Read More
From embarkation to disembarking this cruise experience was less than satisfactory. I had traveled on carnival once before and was not impressed and now will not travel on them again. Embarkation was extremely confusing and we waited over 2 hours upon arrival at the port at 11pm. We also waited on disembarkation from 8:30 to 10am before we were able to debark even though we had a low number. The ship itself was not very clean and lacked purell stations where they should be ie: outside bathrooms, by the casino and at each restaurant entrance. Activities were geared to a younger crowd which makes sense for Carnival though on sea days they could have included more of a variety of things to do. The muster drill was a muster mess.....they did not have an efficient process of checking people in nor were the directions for stations clear. Dining room service was fairly good but the food was not good. I had roast chicken that was so dry I could not get my knife through it...lobster that was not cooked entirely the best part was the Chocolate melting cake....I had it at every meal. Once I went to get a cookie at the buffet at 3:25pm, they were sitting there and when I reached for it I was told they were closed and I could not take one...really??? I liked the ports as I had been to them before and the excursions were good and reasonable. I am 60+ and traveled with my daughter of 30 and we both felt this was not a cruiseline we would go on again. It is possible since this is geared toward kids and families that we just made a bad choice and you get what you pay for...poor quality, Also the cruise director was very active and had a great personality.....the singers and dancers were terrible....could not sing and hurt my ears. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We have sailed on many cruises, and Azamara was a new one for us. The Quest looks just like the smaller ships on the Oceana line and except for a few differences they are exactly the same. But only in the ships appearances. We were on ... Read More
We have sailed on many cruises, and Azamara was a new one for us. The Quest looks just like the smaller ships on the Oceana line and except for a few differences they are exactly the same. But only in the ships appearances. We were on the prior segment and wanted to continue to see new ports in this part fo the world. 1 No embarking as we sailed on the prior segment, we stayed onboard and enjoyed the pool area. 2. Our cabin in the Continental Suite area was large but oddly decorated. The carpet was beige and black and always looked dirty. The large desk and counter above low drawers was a fake marble that also just looked dirty although that was the design. The bathroom was ok but had a tub with the shower in the tub. Now this was supposed to be a suite but a cheap shower curtain that didn't close all the way was really odd. Large balcony but rust stains everywhere. The cabin staff never brought in the seat cushions so they are always wet. More air-conditioning issues and chronic sewer smells in the corridor. 3. Dining - Main room was the best with OK meals but nothing special. The specialty dining was Italian or Steak house themed. Both rooms looked nice but the menus never changes. Both rooms had sushi as a special appetizer. Really!! The Italian had only one pasta dish and the Steak house had mediocre meals. Don't get the soufflés unless you like scrambled eggs for dessert. Our experience in the Italian venue: I asked for the pasta as an appetizer and got a well overcooked glop of pasta, could not eat it. While having dessert an 1 1/2 hrs. later the chef came over, apologized for the bad pasta and offered to make it again for me! During dessert!!!!!! And Azamara charges people for this lousy food and service. We had these issues on the first segment and nothing changed. Not even the menus. 4. The shore excursions were abysmal. Inexperienced guides, small 20 seat buses, some with minimal air conditioning. No headsets for walking tours and all guides talked to the air in front of them and unless you were right next to the guides you heard nothing. And so overpriced too. We saw other cruise ship folks getting on big buses and headsets too. After the 1st segment we cancelled all the pre-booked tours me made. Others did the same thing. We then did our own thing for a fraction of the cost and enjoyed the ports on our own. We do this in many places but gave Azamara a chance to see what they offered and they are worse them most. 5. Entertainment - As usual, like so many other ships the in-house productions were amateurish and high school productions are better. They did hire a few individual entertainers who were great but thats rare. The band only played at night, not at the pool area. Oh and Azamara has one night they take you to a special show in one of the towns. They transported at least 600 people in mini vans to an indigenous tribe location for a show. It look almost 2 hrs. each way to get everyone to and from the venue for a 40 minute show and unless you were outside the canopy area you saw nothing. Why couldn't they bring the 15 performers to the ship? A waste of an evening. 6. Staff - Amazing and great and wonderful. They made the cruise bearable. All except our butler. I don't know what he actually does but he constantly asked what he can do for us and we said "thank you we are fine". He served tea at 4:00 pm each day and he thinks that is something special. Even when we put the "do not disturb" sign on the door he called us on the phone asking if we wanted tea. This went on for both segments and during the second segment we just had to tell him to stop bothering us. 7. Public spaces are nice but so dated. Upholstery is warn and faded. 9. Disembarking was delayed and absolutely no organization. No matter what numbers were to be called first, there was a huge crowd pushing and shoving. The shore side folks acted like it was their first day on the job and had no clue. Nothing luxury about the ship. Although the staff did try to keep shorts out of the main dining room, jeans, flip flops, and pullover shirts were plentiful. So many folks in shorts and tee shirts just went to the buffet off the pool area. Some nights it was packed and of course no one told anyone about the dress code in the casino. We met some great folks, enjoyed the crew and saw some amazing things in Central America and Mexico. But no way will we ever sail Azamara. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We have sailed on many cruises, (52 to date) and Azamara was a new one for us. The Quest looks just like the smaller ships on the Oceana line and except for a few differences they are exactly the same. But only in the ships appearances. ... Read More
We have sailed on many cruises, (52 to date) and Azamara was a new one for us. The Quest looks just like the smaller ships on the Oceana line and except for a few differences they are exactly the same. But only in the ships appearances. We booked this segment and the next as a back to back of Central America & Mexico. Except for Mexico all ports were new to us. So the itinerary was what got us to book. 1. Embarkment in Costa Rica - We get an email the night before that the location for embarkment is a different location but as independent guests, no further details were given us. Repeated calls to Amamara were no help. Thankfully our driver got us to the new port on time. We had a confusing and odd embarkment through the village of Puntarenas. Then sent to the theater for two more groups to inspect us. 2. Our cabin in the Continental Suite area was large but oddly decorated. The carpet was beige and black and always looked dirty. The large desk and counter above low drawers was a fake marble that also just looked dirty although that was the design. The bathroom was ok but had a tub with the shower in the tub. Now this was supposed to be a suite but a cheap shower curtain that didn't close all the way was really odd. Large balcony but rust stains everywhere. The cabin staff never brought in the seat cushions so they are always wet. Air conditional was non-existent when we arrived. It took 5 hrs. to fix. Why? 3. Dining - Main room was the best with OK meals but nothing special. The specialty dining was Italian or Steak house themed. Both rooms looked nice but the menus never changes. Both rooms had sushi as a special appetizer. Really!! The Italian had only one pasta dish and the Steak house had mediocre meals. Don't get the soufflés unless you like scrambled eggs for dessert. Our experience in the Italian venue: I asked for the pasta as an appetizer and got a well overcooked glop of pasta, could not eat it. While having dessert an 1 1/2 hrs. later the chef came over, apologized for the bad pasta and offered to make it again for me! During dessert!!!!!! And Azamara charges people for this lousy food and service. 4. The shore excursions were abysmal. Inexperienced guides, small 20 seat buses, some with minimal air conditioning. No headsets for walking tours and all guides talked to the air in front of them and unless you were right next to the guides you heard nothing. And so overpriced too. We saw other cruise ship folks getting on big buses and headsets too. 5. Entertainment - As usual, like so many other ships the in-house productions were amateurish and high school productions are better. They did hire a few individual entertainers who were great but thats rare. The band only played at night, not at the pool area. Oh and Azamara has one night they take you to a special show in one of the towns. It rained on the day we were to see this show so they brought all the entertainers on board. The show was to be outdoors and there were more entertainers then guests in the cabaret lounge. And for a 1/2 hr. show?! 6. Staff - Amazing and great and wonderful. They made the cruise bearable. All except our butler. I don't know what he actually does but he constantly asked what he can do for us and we said "thank you we are fine". He served tea at 4:00 pm each day and he thinks that is something special. Even when we put the "do not disturb" sign on the door he called us on the phone asking if we wanted tea. One night he even found us having dinner in the main dining room and asked if there was anything he could do for us. I sure wanted to tell him truly but just said "no thanks". 7. Public spaces are nice but so dated. Upholstery is warn and faded. 8. No disembarking as we sadly stayed on for the next sailing. Nothing luxury about the ship. Although the staff did try to keep shorts out of the main dining room, jeans, flip flops, and pullover shirts were plentiful. So many folks in shorts and tee shirts just went to the buffet off the pool area. Some nights it was packed and of course no one told anyone about the dress code in the casino. I would say this was an experience and would never sail with Azamara again but we had to sail with the for another 14 nights. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We choose this ship because it was based out of SF and we could drive down. That was perfect but that's where it ended. Princess was our very first cruise in 2002 on the same route, so we could compare some. We found this ship, now ... Read More
We choose this ship because it was based out of SF and we could drive down. That was perfect but that's where it ended. Princess was our very first cruise in 2002 on the same route, so we could compare some. We found this ship, now 20 yr old to be so awkward., boarding on pathetic. While it was "refurnished" recently, it could not hide that it is a very old ship by most standards. But it was worse than that. The schedule was poorly done. You could get to dinner but not a show! So many people did not dress up for formal nights. The food at the buffet esp breakfast was enough to gag on! Dinner meals in the dining hall was OK, but nothing special. The stateroom, although small, was OK for our belongings. Bed was comfortable enough. entertainment was a mix, but in general the evening shows were pretty good, if you could get a seat in the theater, which was very small compared to most. If you did not get there half hr early, forget it! We did not do excursions, since we have been on this route several times. TV was small, channels limited. The very best thing about the spa was the gym, with great new machines! The pools were too cool most of the time and the Jacuzzis were not particularly warm. The dry sauna never worked and was outside and far from the dressing areas. It was touch to find quiet places to read. The library was right off a busy hall way. Service was inattentive and staff was often more engaged with each other than passengers. The new terminal in SF was great and that was probably the smoothest part of the trip. There was one on-going lecture but it was so inappropriate to the group and we did not attend any (we usually love them). Princess Line has slipped incredibly. We will not consider them very much in the future. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We live in Sacramento one and a half hour drive to the San Francisco pier. $100 parking for 10 days with Parking Panda. Ten minute walk to ship. Embarkation a breeze one of the best ever, Debarkation was even better, got off early and NO! ... Read More
We live in Sacramento one and a half hour drive to the San Francisco pier. $100 parking for 10 days with Parking Panda. Ten minute walk to ship. Embarkation a breeze one of the best ever, Debarkation was even better, got off early and NO! lines, baggage where it was supposed to be, no more than 15 minutes from off the ship thru immigration to baggage, to outside:) Now for the bad news: ship is 20 years old and recently refurbish but she is tired old lady. there were wet spots in several places, presumably from pipe leaks, repaired places obvious, the theater seats were threadbare. Circulation on the the common area decks was poor, very hard to find a quite spot to relax and chat or read. Library is across from a specialty restaurant and noisy...and why four pools? The food in the main dinning rooms was good to great.Wait staff excellent as were other staff. BUT, the Horizon (breakfast and lunch) cafe is still the old style cafeteria and food selection was limited and not great. Drinks limited to coffee and tea; orange juice only for breakfast. Ice cream came from a dispenser: choc., vanilla or combo. There were no educational/enrichment programs on sea days (we had 5). Night time dinning was 5:30 or 7:45 and shows started at 7:00 and 9:00, sometimes! Either enjoy your meal and dinner companions or rush like hell to get to a show. For anytime dinning wait could be 30 minutes, if you were no there when the doors opened. Dress code was not enforced...way too casual, but then I'm old school and like to dress for dinner. The cruise was geriatric, We are retired and old guys but not as old as many. We used open seating and on three different occasions one of our dinner companions was over 90. Lets hear it for us old guys and gals. Lots of scooters, wheel chairs and walkers; those using them were well taken care of by staff. Excursions and on-board entertainment was not amended to cater to the clientele. Sorry Princess; staff was good but you should retire the Grand old gal. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
I'd sailed happily on the Westerdam last year 5 times to Mexico, but its sister ship was disappointing. The crew seems to be dispirited and bored, more interested in chatting with their fellow Filipinos or Indonesians instead of with ... Read More
I'd sailed happily on the Westerdam last year 5 times to Mexico, but its sister ship was disappointing. The crew seems to be dispirited and bored, more interested in chatting with their fellow Filipinos or Indonesians instead of with passengers. The Explorations Cafe barista is downright surly, with never a smile or a thank you, something I've never seen on Holland before. After 3 cruises on Carnival in the past month, greeted in the dining room by charming hostesses from 5 different countries, it was disappointing to see nothing but male Indonesians on Holland. My image of the dining room went to zero when I went to use the restroom next to the dining room one morning, only to be chased away by security, who had a table set up stacked with urine sample bottles. There was also a line-up of miserable-looking crew waiting to be drug tested. Has anyone ever seen drug testing done in a public area of a hotel, restaurant, or any other business? Would you continue patronizing a restaurant that would display to patrons urine jars at its entrance? Well, I'm not, I cancelled the 3 other Holland cruises I had scheduled this Spring. The second big fail was having surly contractors close off sections of the promenade outside deck for the entire cruise, from 8-6, so nobody could do laps, run, or relax, without having to turn around and go the other way. Several days they closed off sections on both sides, including 10 minutes before the charity walk they do on the last sea day. There was apparently no oversight of these contractors and no attempt to balance desires of the passengers to enjoy unimpeded access to the promenade versus their maintenance needs--on other ships they saved major maintenance work for port days. Everyone on the ship acted and sounded bored, from the lifeless cruise director on down. The same singers and dancers were doing the same dull, plotless shows I saw 6 months ago on an Alaska cruise (why can't cruise lines do like Norwegian and Vegas and put on 1-hour versions of Broadway shows?) As usual on Holland, the only people who were truly friendly were the Lido servers and the room stewards, along with the jolly captain, bragging about the beautiful, elegant Oosterdam (well, other than the bottles of pee outside the dining room). It's definitely a shock going back to Holland after Carnival. Mobility carts everywhere, older couples bickering like George Costanza's parents everywhere. Despite the tattoos and trashiness of Carnival, I think I had more fun there, the crew seemed to enjoy life more, there was music everywhere (not the corporatized piano duo and classical quartet playing the same programs on every cruise), and Carnival fulfills what it promises, whereas Holland just seems to project faux elegance to gloss over its money-grabbing and upselling. The lack of crew diversity and gender equality is disappointing (if you're not a male Indonesian you can't work as a dining room server or room steward). With every activity on Holland now tied to some corporate partnership, everything is now standardized, so I'll see the same piano and classical programs, the same cooking demonstrations and Oprah/BBC lectures on every Holland cruise, so there's nothing new or original. More and more Lido and outside deck space is being closed off by cabanas that I've never seen anyone use (even the airlines aren't stupid enough to try to raise money by putting a tent cover over a seat--at least not yet). Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
A New Year cruise on Mexican Riviera might sound glamorous, but in fact turned out to be a low quality, poor service, repetitive basic food, cheap entertainment experience. This was my fifth cruise with Princess, and definitely the last ... Read More
A New Year cruise on Mexican Riviera might sound glamorous, but in fact turned out to be a low quality, poor service, repetitive basic food, cheap entertainment experience. This was my fifth cruise with Princess, and definitely the last one, since this company keeps rising the fares while providing lower and lower quality services. ***** Kleenex Tissues were not provided in the state room, and we had to ask for. ****** We dinned in the Da Vinci restaurant, table of 8, and every evening, constantly, only 6 butter rounds were served at dinner time, despite our request for more butter. The food and beverage supervisor, Andrei, explained that the butter is expensive, and the company tries to avoid wasting this precious commodity, but if we asked, we will be served. That makes you think, what happens to the unused bread rolls, are they served next day? ****** The food in the Horizon Court, had a limited selection. Constantly the same choices. Eggs, bacon and link sausage, few cheeses, limited choice of bread and rolls, unappealing slices of melons, patatoes and turkey, steamed fish, rice, sauteed vegetables, crappy soups, gravy, the same salami and salmon, the same croissants and poor deser selection. Nothing different than the menu offered by any Country Buffet for the senior citizens. ****** We took a tour in each port, which proved to be a waste of money. The autocars were nice and air conditioned, but the things we visited were common places, tile - leather or tequila shops, where they push you to buy low quality high priced things. The included food served on the tours was miserable. ****** The entertainment offered was mediocre ****** The service crew providing the resturant and cabin assistance did not go beyond their basic duties, many have just basic skills, and this adds to the feeling that you are in a cheap place and no value is offered for the price you pay ****** The medical services are offered 3 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the afternoon, while in a port, the medical office is closed. For emergencies call 911 and you will be charged, I guess. Overall this cruise proved to be a rip off, Princess is not the company it used to be. Now they offer little for more money. This was my last cruise with Princess. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
just back today from 7 day Mexico Riviera trip over Christmas. Service= Outstanding Room= Very Nice Spa/Exercise Room= Outstanding Food= Cruise avg. except for Steak House which is $70 extra and WORTH IT The deal breaker ... Read More
just back today from 7 day Mexico Riviera trip over Christmas. Service= Outstanding Room= Very Nice Spa/Exercise Room= Outstanding Food= Cruise avg. except for Steak House which is $70 extra and WORTH IT The deal breaker was the 24x7 constant VIBRATION in our room like the spin cycle on a washing machine... it was everywhere from midship to aft... i heard multiple people commenting about this during the trip... for our room on Deck 8 odd numbered room midship with balcony it was extremely bad... when i asked about it at the Service Desk, was told it was common due to the wind... i smiled and realized i was not going to get a straight answer... i said it sounded like something due to the rudder or propeller shafts as it was clearly a drone vibration in sink with the engines and propellors... the waiter in the steak house confirmed it as it was very noticeable the nite we ate there... He said that he put down a desert bowl on top of a plate the previous nite and the rattle from the vibration could be heard thruout the restaurant so i know this is a confirmed issue.... i did not notice the vibration or noise on lower levels in the Front of the ship so maybe its just mid to Aft only... dont know but it needs to get fixed... wont be back on this ship again. sleeping was incredibly difficult and i had to take sleeping pills to survive the night. all in all as i said, if they fix this the ship , crew, food, experience is well worth it... i have never experienced this on other cruise ships... we are booking our cruise for next Christmas and will look elsewhere. hope they fix this. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
Ship, Cabin, and Dining: By far, the worst cruise I've been on. The ship itself is old. The cabin had not been renovated and had similarities to a motel. Dining was disappointing throughout the cruise. NCL is proud of their ... Read More
Ship, Cabin, and Dining: By far, the worst cruise I've been on. The ship itself is old. The cabin had not been renovated and had similarities to a motel. Dining was disappointing throughout the cruise. NCL is proud of their flexibility when it comes to dining - dine when you want, where you want. They have a few complimentary dining (Aqua, Versailles, O'Sheehan, Ginza, & Buffet). Despite the different restaurants, they offer the same food except Ginza. I go to O'Sheehan for breakfast to only realize the food plated is the same food from the buffet. I go to Aqua for dinner and realize they have the same dinner menu as the other restaurants. No variety. Ginza is supposed to specialize in Chinese food. My family (who is Chinese) was not impressed and commented that Panda Express is better. Overall dining service is negative stars because (1) many servers did not know what they were doing and (2) the food was not impressive. I'm used to servers taking drinking orders from all around the table but for some reason, servers walked away after taking only 3 drink orders for a party of 6. To stop the server to complete the drink order was unpleasant, because they were visibly unhappy. To sum up the food, the child in the party was the first to mention the saltiness of the food haha. Never thought I'd have a child who said the food was too salty. Entertainment and Activities: Be prepared for this is Vegas on a ship. Majority of the daily activities was an opportunity for NCL to sell raffle tickets and other items. If you're not interested in things being sold to you, there's not much you can do. Many on the ship were playing board games in the bar/lounge or on the sports deck. However with 3 days at sea, you get bored easily. It's definitely a cruise I describe best for older folks who enjoys lounging around, playing at the casino, and napping. For myself (late 20s), this cruise was not a good fit. Service: Service throughout the ship was terrible. Majority of the staff onboard were very rude and unapproachable. When you walk up to the restaurant host, the first thing they ask is for your room card. There is no smile or greeting. I was expecting "Welcome to Aqua, how many are in your party?" or "Good evening, how was your day?" with a smile. When the staff doesn't greet you or even smile, it ruins the whole experience. Negativity is contagious. The Art Auction staff is also rude. I won a artwork through a raffle at the auction and was instructed to meet with a specific staff after the auction. I informed her that I won the raffle and the first thing she says is "740" with (I should mention again) NO SMILE. In my head, I thought that was the amount I had to pay for the artwork. She corrected me and said that I can meet with her at 7:40 to discuss shipping. Since that time conflicted with the show time (7:30), I just passed on the free artwork. Sat in the Art Auction for 1.5 hours, left with nothing, and felt like I wasted my time. To top it off, I passed by her every day in the art lounge sitting at the desk doing nothing. Overall the staff was unwelcoming, unhappy, and non-accommodating. The only staff that made my day was the "Washie Washie, Happy Happy" ladies who greet you with smiles, laughter, and a spray bottle of hand sanitizer. Ports and Shore Excursions: I did excursions at 2/3 ports. The service at these excursions was 5 stars! My family commented the service at the ports were extremely better than on the ship. However descriptions of the excursions are not accurate to the paperwork distributed at the "Shore Excursion" counter on the ship. One excursion took me to places that were not described on the handout which made me nervous because (1) I was far from the ship at this point and (2) Mexico has an increase in criminal activities to tourists. But I made it back safely! The second excursion mentioned a tour in a military-type vehicle. That didn't happen and I was a bit disappointed. Note: If you do a dolphin experience excursion, the "Observer" ticket they sell you onboard for $55 only works if those swimming the dolphin is 18+. So if you're a parent wanting to watch your child interact with the dolphin, you will have to get in the water with them. The "Shore Excursion" counter does not tell you this when they sell it to you. I know because a member of my family was only notified once off the ship and in the hands of the excursion guide. They had to purchase another ticket. Some of my party has sailed with NCL before and said this was the worst experience they've had with NCL. It could be just the ship, the staff, or that it was over the holidays. But for me sailing with NCL for the first time, I would not return. I've had better experiences on other cruise lines. I hope my review prompts NCL to look into this particular cruise line because I spent $1,000+ and felt like I wasted my money. On top of that, I hope NCL looks into improving the service on the cruise because an automatic charge of $14 per person/per day does not reflect the service you receive. I know I'm not the only one who was dissatisfied because other guests I've encountered on the cruise felt the same way. I highly recommend for cruisers to try a different cruise line from NCL - not Mexican Riviera with Norwegian Star. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
I was disappointed in my first cruise with NCL. I had high expectations based on inputs from family members’ past experiences on other cruise lines. Initial boarding was behind schedule and very slow. The ship’s condition was ... Read More
I was disappointed in my first cruise with NCL. I had high expectations based on inputs from family members’ past experiences on other cruise lines. Initial boarding was behind schedule and very slow. The ship’s condition was well-used and required renovation and a good cleaning. Many of the crew members, although smiley and friendly, were not helpful. Their typical response to questions or requests was "I don't know". The menu selection in the Versailles was lacking. After the third meal, I found regardless of what was ordered, it all tasted the same. The Market Buffet quality was on par with any family buffet restaurant chain – not what I would expect from a cruise. The Ginza restaurant was decent; very busy but this was likely due to its serving edible cuisine. The bar service was much better, however I did notice vast inconsistency between the same drinks from different establishments. Entertainment was poor. My expectation may have been too high; I expected Vegas quality but only experienced small-town local theater. The sound systems in use by the various bands and DJ was equally terrible. This wasn’t the cause of the poor performances, but was a contributing factor. The exception was a violin/cello duo called “Tea for Two”; they were outstanding and should be commended. My cabin Steward was stellar. He was attentive, knew the ship/routine, and did an exceptional job. The crew did a decent job getting passengers on/off board for the shore days. In summary, I do not recommend NCL. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
Norwegian Cruise 22 Dec – 29 Dec We found this cruise very disappointing. First, to be fair, there were two items of the trip that we found very good. The evening shows (with the exception of the hypnotism show that we did not ... Read More
Norwegian Cruise 22 Dec – 29 Dec We found this cruise very disappointing. First, to be fair, there were two items of the trip that we found very good. The evening shows (with the exception of the hypnotism show that we did not attend because we find such shows degrading) were excellent; and, the options of restaurants other than the main restaurants offering complimentary meals was good. Also, the bartenders at O’Sheehan’s, the Irish pub, were excellent; and the meal at the French Restaurant (le Bistro) was excellent. The food in the main restaurant, Versailles, was very good, but nothing exceptional (with the exception of the Veal Zurich to be addressed below). Now, we had asked that our bed in our stateroom be made as a full size bed and not two twin beds. Or, as the booking sheet said, “beds pushed together.” They were not. No stateroom attendant greeted us as was common on other cruise lines. When we finally found the stateroom attendant (after having been told by 2 other attendants that they were not ours), he was very unfriendly and not particularly interested in our needs. So, we left the beds as they were. On the evening of our first day, we went to Gatsby’s for a drink. We sat at a table near the bar. We arrived at 5:10 pm. There were a few people at the bar and a few people at tables. But Gatsby’s was clearly not busy. After waiting more than 10 minutes for someone to take our order, I got up and found a waitress. After serving another table she came to our table and took our order. Then she proceeded to take the orders from 2 more tables before placing our order with the bar tender. After waiting another 10 minutes for our drinks, I got up, went to the waitress and demanded my card back (she had taken my card when we placed the order). And we left. That is terrible service. [And “terrible” may not be strong enough to describe the service.] It is clearly unacceptable. One morning we went to Aqua for breakfast because Versailles was not available. After the hostess seated us, we waited for more than 15 minutes for someone to bring us coffee and water. Finally, I got up to get coffee for us because I saw the carafes. Because the waiter was by the coffee stand, I told him we wanted coffee. He had to get the coffee cups from another table and bring us coffee. When my cup was empty and we STILL had not seen a waiter, I got the eye of someone wearing all white [presumably a manager]. He came over and I asked him for more coffee and explained that our waiter was missing in inaction. Rather than apologizing or asking for more of the story, he simply got us more coffee and left. And, we were not alone getting bad service that morning. The lady at one table, got tired of waiting for the waiter to bring her ketchup, got up and got her own. The lady at the table next to us asked for cream for her coffee THREE times and I finally gave her some of our creams because the waiter never brought her cream. There were two bottles of water sitting on a table in our stateroom. They were not in the minibar. We assumed (foolishly) that they were complimentary. The stateroom attendant was not around to ask. I tried to dial 00 to ask two times but after being on hold for more than 5 minutes each time and being told by the recording how important I was, I gave up. Imagine my surprise when we were charged $6.60 for using one of the bottles of water! As I said, above, the food in the main restaurant, Versailles, was good, more or less. However, one night, one of us ordered Veal Zurich. The veal was both overcooked and tough as jerky. How you can do this remains a mystery to me, especially, since it was in a sauce. Meat cooked in sauce usually becomes more tender the longer it is cooked. This was horrible and we sent it back in favor of another entrée. On Wednesday evening, we ate at Versailles. The hostess seated us at a table. The tables in that section were so close together that other patrons in accessing their seats bumped my chair repeatedly. The waiter for one table in particular, rather than going around into a wider channel, walked behind my chair bumping it each time and not saying “sorry” or getting the hint. Finally, I took two chairs and formed a barricade. Did that work? NO, the jack ass waiter moved the chairs and continued to go through the narrow opening and bump my chair. Next, I put the two chairs back and put a metal champagne stand on the chairs. When he tried to remove the barricade, I stood up and told him to go around. Our waitress, came to our rescue and intervened on our behalf. On our final day, we got a printout of charges. It showed our charges and our “non-refundable” credit. My spouse went to the customer service desk to ask why the credit was not applied to our charges. The worker was very rude and simply kept repeating that it isn’t applied. When he asked the reason, the worker simply repeated the same thing. When he asked to speak to a supervisor, he was told the worker was the supervisor. When he asked to see the rule, he was told to talk to the person wearing white. Now, in Norwegian’s defense, the booking did say the credit would not be applied to gratuities. However, we should have been reminded of this prior to the last afternoon of the cruise. But, as they say, fool me once, shame on me. Norwegian will not have a chance to fool me again. The announcements of items were remarkably weak and hard to hear through the PA system and the people making the announcements had such horrible accents the content was impossible to understand. But the “PA checks” were very loud and so frequent and long lasting (on one occasion more than 30 minutes of “PA checks”) as to be obnoxious. At one point, I thought of calling 00 to tell them it was working fine, but I didn’t know how long I’d be on hold and, with every new “PA check,” I thought it must be the last. As I said, le Bistro, was excellent. However, Ginza was most disappointing. Having a specialty restaurant, a complimentary restaurant and whatever the sushi thing was in one place is, at best, stupid. Moreover, the food from the Ginza menu was dreadful and the service was, as usual, pathetic. During debarkation, when we got off the ship, my spouse was stopped by the security and was asked to wait for CBP’s secondary screening. When one of your female employees came and took everyones’ passport, my spouse told her, “I’m a US citizen, why are you taking me to CBP?” Rather than explaining the situation, the employee rudely responded, “it doesn’t matter” and then walked away. Fortunately, another male employee came and explained the situation to my spouse. No person in white (what Norwegian calls an “officer” but any Navy throughout the world would find laughable) ever spoke to us or, when walking past us, never even smiled at us. If Norwegian and its customers are happy with Norwegian, good for you and them. As to us, we know how to fix these situations easily, but if you want our help, you’ll have to pay us for it. In the interim, you won’t see us on another Norwegian cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
Ship is "chopped up" not senior friendly. Food in the "free" rest. is poor, specialty rest very good. Some of the staff are exceptionally friendly but many are not "passenger friendly" at all. Very difficult ... Read More
Ship is "chopped up" not senior friendly. Food in the "free" rest. is poor, specialty rest very good. Some of the staff are exceptionally friendly but many are not "passenger friendly" at all. Very difficult in communicating with many of the staff. (language problems) We wanted a Christmas cruise but it wasn't very "Christmassy" at all. The main shows were not very good and seemed to be highly suggestive for a family setting. Our cabin steward was great as was Jenny, a rest. hostess. We truly enjoyed the music pf a trio that was exceptional. Over all we were not very pleased with the cruise. This was our second time (over 12 years) on an NCL cruise and our last. We have cruised on four different cruise lines over the past twenty plus years and, in most cases, there is good and bad with all of them. Unfortunately NCL seems to (us) to lean in the wrong direction. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
The cruise itself was decent. Lots of pros and cons, some of which are listed below. The reason for the 2-stars is the poor post-cruise experience. I pre-purchased the "premium" 6-day internet package for $89 since it promised ... Read More
The cruise itself was decent. Lots of pros and cons, some of which are listed below. The reason for the 2-stars is the poor post-cruise experience. I pre-purchased the "premium" 6-day internet package for $89 since it promised the fastest internet speed. When I got on the Miracle on the 1st day, the internet was pretty much unusable. I screen-shot an internet speed test as proof in anticipation that I'll be refunded. I intermittently checked back online over the next few days. While some webpages loaded, it would take minutes to do so. On a couple occasions, the internet was fast enough. But most of the time, it was spotty and frustrating. And so rather than try my luck with it, I decided to shut down my laptop and enjoy the cruise. I emailed customer service as soon as I got back on land. The response they gave was surprisingly thoughtless. They questioned why I didn't report it to guest services. And in the same paragraph also explained how the internet can be unstable due to "itinerary and possible disruption from weather patterns and various obstructions." So what is it? Either Carnival is accusing me of lying. Or the internet can be unstable. Either way, they declined the refund request. On an otherwise enjoyable vacation, my final touch point with Carnival was a sour one. After spending thousands of dollars on this vacation, they are letting a negligible $89 unusable purchase leave a bad taste in my mouth. I will not be back as a Carnival customer Pros (on-board only) - the comedy shows and entertainment were fun, and the wait staff at the restaurants were also good entertainers (a one-song dance by the waiters at dinner) - Lunch and dinner on the 2nd floor were pretty good. Portions were small, but you could order more than 1 entree or appetizer per person - Housekeeping staff were very cordial and we appreciated the extra touches like towel animals - Decent gym Cons - food in Lido was something to be desired. It wasn't bad, but started becoming cringe-worthy by the 6th day - super-crowded lines all the time. At restaurants, at debarkation, entry/exit at ports, etc - pools were quite small and frigid cold - Terrible post-cruise experience as explained above. Not good to have the last touch point with the customer be such a poor one. Otherwise this review would have been 4 stars And because I'm not a fan of Carnival now, let me also give this piece of advice. Don't buy excursions through them. In Cabo, there are more than enough vendors and water taxis to do whatever you want. And they're negotiable. In Puerto Vallerta, you can look ahead of time at their excursions and then just contact the vendor directly. They will be more than happy to give you a discount if you book direct with them. Read Less

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