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615 Mexican Riviera Cruise Reviews

Beautiful Ship. Generally very good food. Beautiful art throughout ship. Excellent cabin. Advertises free unlimited internet. Doesn't tell you in advertisement that it is for 1 person per stateroom. My wife and I like to check email ... Read More
Beautiful Ship. Generally very good food. Beautiful art throughout ship. Excellent cabin. Advertises free unlimited internet. Doesn't tell you in advertisement that it is for 1 person per stateroom. My wife and I like to check email first thing in morning and before going to bed. Had to keep switching by one of us logging off and other logging on. Was treated very rudely when I complained. They pointed out the language on my confirmation which I received after paying for cruise. and which was confusing. Witnessed internet person refuse to print an elderly passenger's boarding pass un less he purchased an internet package. Never had a hotel refuse to do that. No place to get coffee and desert after buffet closes at 9 pm. Concierge couldn't accomplish anything asked of him including internet issue. Tough to get pool lounges in shade. Didn't enforce no saving rules. Service good but doesn't compare to the service on Azamara. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
This was our third cruise in the past year. We have previously been on a Princess Cruise as well as a Carnival Cruise. I do not consider us experts on cruising but are getting very familiar to the cruising lifestyle. Our family loves ... Read More
This was our third cruise in the past year. We have previously been on a Princess Cruise as well as a Carnival Cruise. I do not consider us experts on cruising but are getting very familiar to the cruising lifestyle. Our family loves cruising, exploring new areas, excursions and the all inclusivity that a cruise offers. We chose to go on this Norwegian Cruise, because of timing, disembarkment port, Norwegians pricing and ports of call. As we arrived on the Norwegian Star, I found the embarkment process to be very organized and easy compared to the two previous ships. We were at the port about an hour earlier than recommended but only had to wait about a half hour to be called on the ship. On past cruises, we have had to wait several hours. While we were heading on to the ship, we were stopped by the photographer for poses but they seemed to have difficulty swiping the card and getting it to process. My wife does tend to buy all the pictures offered and on this cruise I pre-purchased a package for that purpose. More on the photography later. Once on the boat, we had to wait in the lobby and pool area for the rooms to be ready, although this was common, we waited 3 hours to get into our room. We checked our bags but did have personal items we carried on, the wait to drop these items off in the room made it difficult to lug around as we tried to explore the ship. At around 3:30 pm we were asked to head to our Muster Stations for the safety briefing, as this is a pain, we were aware of it and know it is mandatory. In my cruise experiences, I found it very easy to find the stations with some help from staff and signage along the way. In this experience, I found the staff to be less than helpful, they just kept pointing to the back of the boat. We were set up to go to muster station N In The Versailles restaurant. Not one crew member told us that, nor was there signage pointing us there. We finally found the wall map showing us to go to 7th floor, (muster station was actually 6th floor of dining room). We found it ourselves. On our first evening, my family and I went to the Versailles restaurant for dinner, we were one of the first couple of groups to attend. A hostess with a drawn map, took us to our table, only to be met by another hostess and group at the same table. They had switched the tables around before this cruise, and drawn up maps but didn't review them with the staff. The two hostesses conflicted over the table for about 5 minutes while each of us groups stared at each other. Once we finally sat at the table, the hostess forgot to give us the menus as she was still arguing with the other hostess about the tables. I had to get up and request a menu. Then we unfortunately received the disappearing waitress, an hour and 45 minutes later, after complaining to a supervisor and three tables around us finishing there meals but starting at least 20 minutes after us, we finally finished our meal without dessert. We were just done. The food was average at best, more to come on that. Since, I am on the subject of the food, in my previous experiences on cruises, each meal for the most part, was another very good experience of something I would say wow, that was excellent. Not once on this ship did I say that. Norwegian prides itself on its food options, but in reality, I can only assume because I was not about to pay for an up charge for a restaurant, that the best food was kept for those types of restaurants. Again, on previous cruises, I didn't pay for an up charge and was very pleased with what I received, so I figured why should I now on this cruise. Seriously, $30 per person up charge for one night for Cagney's steakhouse? What happened to all inclusivity. I don't know what I missed but I can only assume it probably compared to the quality I received on other cruises that I thoroughly enjoyed for no added cost. The food was the same poor quality at both dine in included restaurants on the Norwegian Star. The Market buffet, was just that, a buffet. I would compare it no better than a golden corral quality food, but with no organization. They would have themed evenings but the themed food was very lackluster. The Mexican night was the regular boring bland fare with a chili made into taco meat. (Seriously, kidney beans in a taco meat). No sour cream, no enchiladas, tamales, carne Asada, carnitas, etc. just chili beaned tacos. Italian night was a cook standing behind a pot and throwing partially cooked noodles in a pot of hot water and adding sauce after a couple of minutes. Their idea of made to order? I will admit, the Carnival cruise I went on, I was very impressed with Guy's burger joint and blue iguana cantina, so they had a lot to live up to in my mind. They fell flat. The "grill" by the pool, was bland hamburgers, and sausages that were a questionable meat. Compared to my previous cruises, this was terrible. Each steak, pork loin etc, was served with a heavy gravy. Prime rib with a gravy, not as jus. I felt they went more for filler than quality at all the restaurants we visited. Throughout the entire cruise, I just continued to be disappointed. The food we had in port off the boat was spectacular, I can't say this is a highlight of the ship as it wasn't their food. The bars and lounges were even more disappointing. We were on a Mexican Riviera cruise and by the second day of the cruise, we couldn't get a piña colada, strawberry margarita or daiquiri. They only served certain flavors each day. They didnt advertise their drink of the day well and it was very difficult to find a waiter while on the pool deck area. Bars by the pool closed by 8 pm. We had received the ultimate beverage package as part of our booking. We aren't heavy drinkers and typically would not have this package if it wasn't included. After not being able to get drinks that should be readily available, and common, we definitely wouldn't get it on another Norwegian Cruise. We did go to several shows while on board. The comedy was outstanding but the productions were drab and old. I don't understand why they would make decades in review with songs that weren't even popular in that decade. Again, on Princess and Carnival, I left those shows in awe. Here, I left disappointed. My own personal experience for excursions, is to book your excursion through an independent company, not through the cruise line. You will avoid the crowds, enjoy the same excursions that the cruise sells at half the cost and each time we have had very small groups if not on your own. We have done excursions at every port. In puerto Vallarta and mazatlan, we had three guides each for the three of us and in cabo, we had only 7 people to the three guides. Through the cruise line, you could have 50 people. Try zip lining with 50 people waiting to go. We were ahead of those groups, on the same excursion wondering how much fun could they be having. Some parts of the ship were very beautiful, well designed, and as on other cruises, you typically do find some maintenance work being done while cruising. This, however, I considered extreme. Around the pool area, the Norwegian Star, has lighted poles with lighted Plastic palm trees surrounding it. For the entire cruise, less than half of these lights were working and were being repaired throughout the cruise. The majority were missing the palm tree plastic leaving and the lights that were removed from the leaves were duct taped around the pole, the entire cruise... The water slides on the Norwegian Star are terrible. Kids or kids at heart, would get "stuck" less than a quarter of the way down and would have to scoot down on their butt to get the rest of the way down. My twelve year old son went Down twice only, and said enough was enough. We saw this happen throughout the cruise to everyone. The spa's in the main pool area were falling apart, I picked up a drain cover and removed it as it was floating around while we were in it. The spa's at the front of the ship were in good shape but rarely used, as the wind tended to pick up quite a bit there. I felt many of the ships activities were there just as money makers for the cruise line and not for the enjoyment of the patrons. Bingo, art auctions, shows, etc were all prefaced by buy our lotto scratchers and drawing tickets. I understand the business of it, but Norwegian took it to an extreme. They reminded me of the airlines that is charging the passenger for everything from seat belts to carry on luggage. Losing the all inclusive atmosphere. I hope this isn't the direction of all cruise lines. My wife did utilize the spa because I had purchased a gift card for her prior to the cruise. We took the "tour" of the spa, and thankfully for them we had already purchased the gift certificate because they would have lost the sale had we not. The staffer that guided us was unknowledgeable and lacked any personality. We left half way thru the tour. I had to keep reminding my wife to use her gift certificate, she was so unimpressed, she didn't want to go. Finally, on a good note, our room was a good quality and our room attendant was great. He was very attentive to us as we walked thru the hallways, remembering our names and asking whether we needed anything. I will say, compared to the other cruise lines, we didn't see him as much as we did on those. He seemed to have a bigger responsibility of rooms than the other cruises but he was very polite and helpful when we did see him. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
A year and a half ago I cruised on Holland Zuiderdam destination Panama-it was such a terrible experience they gave us a voucher towards another cruise. This cruise was also a failure and I will not cruise with Holland again. As always ... Read More
A year and a half ago I cruised on Holland Zuiderdam destination Panama-it was such a terrible experience they gave us a voucher towards another cruise. This cruise was also a failure and I will not cruise with Holland again. As always getting on the ship takes a lot of patience because you have to wait and wait and wait to get on-board. (I had taken the Disney Dream Cruise in October and there was one couple in front of us and we walked onto the ship and to our room). Food: Mediocre at best. Selection was poor, meat was dry, and the rest lacked flavor. Room: Average we had read the reviews of the cabin before we left and they were not great. This was due to the cabin being right over the anchors-the whole room would shake every time we went into port and every time we left a port. Service: Average except for Rose in the Ocean Bar -she was great. Other staff: poor Excursions: Good excursion in Cabo doing a catamaran ride with snorkeling- The staff wasn't as good at taking care of the snorkelers while we were in the water. Have snorkeled in Hawaii from Catamarans and they had a many more people in the water and in kayaks watching the snorkelers. Poor excursion in Puerto Vallarta-Mexican Fiesta and tequila tasting. Terrible tour guide he took us to several stores where we could shop-looked like he got compensated for anything we spent. Other tour guides went into the historic areas and explained the history-he stood outside talking to friends. Two bad incidents on the ship- At the early evening show I was a row behind an elderly-frail lady fell down-I saw that a gentleman behind her helped her up. I turned around and saw a HAL server and motioned to him to come over.. He looked at me and walked away to take an order from another table and then left to place the bar order. Incident 2- After breakfast one morning 5 of us got on an elevator. Three people got off at the next lower floor. After that the elevator failed to stop at any floor. We were trapped in the elevator trying to stop it. After about 5 minutes of going up and down the floors of the ship we were finally able to get the door to the emergency phone opened. We called and they said they would send an electrician out and they hung up. We had no idea how long before help would come. They did not ask our names, how many people were trapped, were we ok -NOT one question! We continued to go up and down in the elevator for another 5-10 minutes. We are now pounding on the door trying to get someone's attention. We then heard noises coming from the roof of the elevator and then someone yelled down to us "Quit that pounding". Again no concern for the occupants of the elevator. Another few minutes and the elevator stopped and the door slowly opened. As we got out (nobody was there to ask if we were ok) the person on top of the elevator yelled down "Is everybody out?" The elevator was never put out of service so that the staff could check it out. I complained to the front desk about the lack of concern by the HAL staff. I was told they care about the safety of the passengers and they would have to investigate. Later that evening an inexpensive bottle of wine was delivered to my room with a note "We are sorry for your inconvenience" I don't drink wine so I gave it away. But I was insulted that my being stuck in an elevator and the staff not even bothering to find out about the passengers well being "was an inconvenience for Holland America Line."   Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
First time Princess cruiser. Other cruise lines we have sailed were Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Disney. We went with three other couples and two other couples have sailed on Princess many times. We chose this cruise because we could ... Read More
First time Princess cruiser. Other cruise lines we have sailed were Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Disney. We went with three other couples and two other couples have sailed on Princess many times. We chose this cruise because we could drive to the port. The good: Embarkation was easy. Food was good. The Crown Grille was amazing! The service and food at the Crown was well worth the extra money. The not so good: The minute you get on board the push of the coffee cards were ridiculous. It continued for days! I bought the coffee card before we boarded. I didn't need to be bombarded to buy a coffee card every time I sat down. The upsell of bellini's or other cocktail specials continued every night even after telling our waiter we were not interested. Probably the worst buffet we have seen on a cruise ship. Food was the same day after day. Our waiter was crabby and not friendly. He started to warm up towards the end of the cruise, but by then we were done with his attitude. Our cabin steward was very friendly, however, if you place a towel on the ground it means that you want it replaced not hung back up! We came back to our room after he cleaned it and the towels that were hung up were the towels we showered with in the morning still wet. He also brought us wine glasses that we requested but then didn't bring back clean ones for 3 days. The service at the bars were slow. The Vines bar took very long for anyone to even acknowledge you are there. We did the 1/2 day at the Sanctuary which is nice. We were shown our loungers and offered water. Never saw anyone again for 2 hours. No water replacement, no offer for headphones. I had to hunt someone down to see if we could order lunch. Probably wouldn't recommend the Sanctuary to anyone. I would just use the pool and loungers around the adult only area under the Sanctuary. It's free! All in all, it was a fun cruise because of the people we went with. I'm not sure I will sail Princess again. Even our friends that have sailed Princess many times said the service and overall product has declined. The price and itinerary would have to be one not to miss for me to choose Princess again.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Carnival, where the fun never stops, I am still waiting for the fun to begin never mind never stopping. Things didn' t start well when we got to the port to see a massive queue which we would be stuck in for almost 2 hours, just to ... Read More
Carnival, where the fun never stops, I am still waiting for the fun to begin never mind never stopping. Things didn' t start well when we got to the port to see a massive queue which we would be stuck in for almost 2 hours, just to check in! There were about 10 kiosks but only 4 or 5 manned and it was slow. There was no information about how long we would have to wait, no coffee stations etc, really bad organisation. They know how many people will be checking in so why not prepare? Once on board we were told we could have lunch so went to the buffet. We had been up since 7am so were hungry. The buffet is poorly laid out with a few stations. The queues were horrific and we knew there would be no chance of getting any thing to eat, and we were right. I asked to speak to a head waiter but he could not have cared less and kept checking his phone whilst I was talking to him. I have never heard of a cruise where you cannot get anything to eat! Dreadful incompetent planning! They had one guy making sandwiches from fresh, why not have several trays ready on embarkation day. We then had to go to muster and that took forever. We were made to just wait and wait and they never checked who was there so what was the point? I had poor expectations from then on and I was proved right, time and time again. The food in general was pretty average and there were always queues, no matter what you wanted. It was not very exciting and never hot. The dinner in the main dining room was ok but nothing special. There seemed little to do during the day except for a few quizzes - wow! The evening entertainment was a real let own. There were only 2 shows as such (must be a great life being a "dancer" on this line) and they were not that brilliant. One of the shows was about the Beatles but I think they got confused with the musical Hair looking at the wigs the girls wore, more 70s than 60s. The other night there was a juggler and than they used a really cheap way of entertaining us by audience participation which is always a let down. I do not want to hear where everyone comes from or if they are looking forward to the cruise. This is all down to budgets and I must say the Cruise Director was hard working and seemed a really nice guy. There were a couple of male singers, Andy was really nice but they put him at the back of the bar in the casino? There was little atmosphere at night and most people ended up in the casino, good ploy by Carnival. There were no female lounge singers as on other ships. This is the only cruise I have been on where at times it was difficult to get a drink. The lobby bar was busy but with only 2 staff who worked non stop, where the Piano Bar was empty with staff having nothing to do. In the Mad Hatter bar which was freezing,the service was awful and the barman didn' t seem bothered. There was another bar where the live music was so loud you could not stay there. There were just 2 stops which was fine, Cabo San Lucas where we only had a few hours, and then Puerto Vallarta. The good points were the housekeeping staff, especially Phanton and also the staff in the restaurant, particularly Nathaniel, the Maitre was also very pleasant. The cabin was nice. The self service coffee was good. The Serenity area was pleasant, and I think that is about it. We were bored on this ship and were glad to get off. There seemed to be a lot of people on a fantastic deal so perhaps they had cut back on things. It was good to get off and eat a hot, tasty meal. I thought Carnival would be good as they own so many lines but we were very disappointed. Back to Royal Caribbean next time. First and last time with Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
I couldn't wait to get off this ship. It's not that I mind cruising because I don't. I have booked over 75 days on better cruise lines but Carnival Miracle is disgusting. Our cabin, one of the largest on the ship was worn ... Read More
I couldn't wait to get off this ship. It's not that I mind cruising because I don't. I have booked over 75 days on better cruise lines but Carnival Miracle is disgusting. Our cabin, one of the largest on the ship was worn out and dirty. I can forgive bad design, (sorta) but there is no excuse for filth. I was afraid to take my shoes off for a week in this cabin because the carpet was literally sticky. The windows and the deck were worse. The staff overall were nice and helpful but the attributes end there. The food is made from largely cheap ingredients and the variety is limited. Perhaps this has to do with price point and the guest that is attracted to this cruise line. It's a bit of a NASCAR crowd. Plenty of Costco Hawaiian shirts and extremely large appetites. We only took this cruise because it spends the night in Cabo. When we arrived there, we couldn't get off this ship fast enough. We ended up spending more on one night at Resort at Pedregal which was quite frankly Amazing! One there was worth 20 nights on The Miracle of Carnival Cruise Lines. Hint- save your money and fly or choose a respectable cruise line and spend a few extra dollars!   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Don't use Princess if you plan a conference! First start with the lack of transportation of your conference materials to your conference rooms. Don't pay a porter - they can only take you to the front door of TSA! The, plan on ... Read More
Don't use Princess if you plan a conference! First start with the lack of transportation of your conference materials to your conference rooms. Don't pay a porter - they can only take you to the front door of TSA! The, plan on having a minimum of 3 people - one to stay with the boxes at the front door, one to stay with the ones upstairs where you can check-in, and one to shuttle everything by hand! Once you get checked in - you have to shuttle manually thru TSA scanning. Then you have to decide if you want to wait in line and one box at a time bring them onto the ship, or wait for a luggage cart to become available (thanks Francesca!) - we only had to wait 45 minutes - but we were able to get them to wheel our stuff to the conference room. The fun doesn't stop there! We had 2 real conference rooms - and had to use a dining room at the OTHER end of the ship for our third conference room! This really inhibited networking amongst conference members. Conference Day 1 - we had to provide breaks to our attendees to go out to a bar to get water. Day 2 (at sea day) the rolling of the ship was so bad - that we took many breaks - and then at 3:45 people came into our session that were not part of our group! By 4 - we were cleaning up - and the group after us was hustling us out! Princess should NEVER have booked 2 different groups with no break in between! Our hosted parties were very nice, but there was no "security" at the door to ensure that only our party was in the event. The food for lunch was mediocre - dinner was nicer, but the wait staff was not up to par (perhaps because we already pre-paid for gratuities) - we definitely won't be doing another conference on a ship anytime soon! I have to think other cruise lines are more accommodating. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Sailed on Grand Princess 0n 3rd Jan-10th Jan. Only our second cruise with Princess and probably our last. Overall the cruise was very poor. The ship feels,and in particular,smells,old despite it's refurbishment. The condition of the ... Read More
Sailed on Grand Princess 0n 3rd Jan-10th Jan. Only our second cruise with Princess and probably our last. Overall the cruise was very poor. The ship feels,and in particular,smells,old despite it's refurbishment. The condition of the public toilets was deplorable;in all but two of them I found either the taps did not work,the soap dispensers did not work or the garbage bins were overflowing and never once did I see anyone cleaning or inspecting them. The food was adequate but nothing more (it was not poor either).Above our table in the Da Vinci dining room the lights had an annoying habit of going from bright to dim every eight minutes or so;when asked about this,the waiter said it had been like that for two months. The main buffet was only just so. The service everywhere was only just so also,nothing special at all.The front desk customer service was atrocious,especially the manager Natasha;we had a major issue and she refused to talk to us,instead preferring to conduct negotiations through one of her minnions despite the fact she was only some twenty feet away behind a closed door!. The issue was a repeatedly leaking toilet in our cabin. We were actually moved to another cabin but the service was dire to say the least. My one other major complaint is one I have with other cruise lines,and that is the increasing number of previous free activities and events that are now subject to a user fee.In this field Princess comes out number one.There is virtually nothing obtainable without the use of ones pass card,they really do "nickle and dime " you to death. As I say,it will be a long time before I use Princess again,if at all. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
left late for most excursions. did three total at a pretty big cost thru carnival ship.Dolphin swim, Sting Ray swim and ..well..was supposed to swim with turtles. Always waiting on others, and not keeping with the scheduled times..got cut ... Read More
left late for most excursions. did three total at a pretty big cost thru carnival ship.Dolphin swim, Sting Ray swim and ..well..was supposed to swim with turtles. Always waiting on others, and not keeping with the scheduled times..got cut short on my Grand Camen turtle swim..'not enough time to get in the water with them'. Cruise had elevator problems 1st and third days. Jacuzzi broken for 2 days in back of ship. Main LIDO deck pool was empty the 4th day . Food was good. Entertainment was ok. Piano bar was very unfriendly. Comedy club however was fun- funny. And over all staff was fun and upbeat. fairly clean ship...could have been better. Room however was spotless entire trip. Very good job cleaning room 2228 anyways! :) Earned enough credits to 'drink a few on the casino so long as I was playing"..but once drink card was visible..no server was to be found. Not a big drinker, but I was on vacation. On my attempt to watch my dolphin swim on DVD..turned out 'blank' and at an extra cost of over 85$..not good. Also never received Sting Ray photos I paid for...also over 25 bucks paid cash.. Very disappointed. Two truly fun parts of the trip I'd like to be able to remember. Carnival seemed more interested in how much money they could make off me rather than give good service. Opted for an early bird massage at 'cloud nine spa'....premium bamboo massage for over and hour and got a lecture on several detox products and lotions...all while cutting my 'massage' down to just over 40 min. Again..at a huge $ premium. :( Overall~ was an ok experience. I'd like to give Carnival Cruse lines an opportunity to prove this was a fluke bad cruise...but would only do it at their expense. Wanted to rave good thoughts about Splender Cruise...sadly this I can not do :( Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
This was our ninth cruise, fourth to MR, first time on Princess and many of the things we have come to take for granted on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, and NCL were not there. Small things admittedly but they add up after 10 days. (1) ... Read More
This was our ninth cruise, fourth to MR, first time on Princess and many of the things we have come to take for granted on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, and NCL were not there. Small things admittedly but they add up after 10 days. (1) Embarkation was a nightmare as there was a bottleneck filling our health questionnaires, many queued up outside and a rainy day would have been especially bad, this could have been fixed by passing clipboards down the line to people and when you finally got checked in they wanted you to board in groups but there wer not enough areas to wait. (2) we (and many others on board) got some upper respiratory thing that kept us confined to our cabin for 3 of the 10 days, I blame this partially on Princess as the first signs appeared after 3 days and there were not NEARLY as many opportunities for hand sanitizer as on other cruises. (3) the buffet had all the charm of a hospital cafeteria (white tile); tucked back in a corner under so much sneeze guard (HAH!) your could barely get to it.--and the placement of the food was so weird, people were always backing up to get something to go with their plate and it gave the impression of being disorganized. (4) much deferred maintenance on the ship; our draperies had safety-pinned hems; almost half the lights were burned out in the pool, there are few public bathrooms and the heavily used ones remained with wet dangerous floors some stalls remained inoperative the entire cruise. (5) crew was incredibly unevenly trained (trying to be kind) never on a cruise before have I had to hold the doors open for a crew member, move aside to let them through or back up so they could proceed, I took for granted that THEY usually do that in deference to passengers. (6) the set-up of the ship is very confusing as hardly any of the decks go all the way fore and aft; many walls are at angles--we never did find the fitness area or a track for walking... Sad trip as the weather was cold and rainy (obviously not their fault) but I don't think I would be back on Princess anytime soon. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Terrible odor permeated my cabin. It was the filthy shower curtain that had pink mold and smelled of urine. Balcony not finished with slip proof flooring as others are. Very small and tight. Food was simply terrible. It was always cold ... Read More
Terrible odor permeated my cabin. It was the filthy shower curtain that had pink mold and smelled of urine. Balcony not finished with slip proof flooring as others are. Very small and tight. Food was simply terrible. It was always cold which is scary because that is how one gets ill. Limited food options. Over salted. Disgusting. Omelet were premade egg patties they simply threw fillings into. Kind of Subway breakfast sandwich. Who decided it would be a good idea to give folks who paid $150 for ultimate ship behind the scenes tour a heavy bathrobe. What about the weight when flying? Dumb. Very little to do. No fun activities. Casino is so tight, only house wins. Never again. Will stay with Carnival! Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
This was our ninth cruise, fourth to MR, first time on Princess and many of the things we have come to take for granted on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, and NCL were not there. Small things admittedly but they add up after 10 days. (1) ... Read More
This was our ninth cruise, fourth to MR, first time on Princess and many of the things we have come to take for granted on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, and NCL were not there. Small things admittedly but they add up after 10 days. (1) Embarkation was a nightmare as there was a bottleneck filling our health questionnaires, many queued up outside and a rainy day would have been especially bad, this could have been fixed by passing clipboards down the line to people and when you finally got checked in they wanted you to board in groups but there wer not enough areas to wait. (2) we (and many others on board) got some upper respiratory thing that kept us confined to our cabin for 3 of the 10 days, I blame this partially on Princess as the first signs appeared after 3 days and there were not NEARLY as many opportunities for hand sanitizer as on other cruises. (3) the buffet had all the charm of a hospital cafeteria (white tile); tucked back in a corner under so much sneeze guard (HAH!) your could barely get to it.--and the placement of the food was so weird, people were always backing up to get something to go with their plate and it gave the impression of being disorganized. (4) much deferred maintenance on the ship; our draperies had safety-pinned hems; almost half the lights were burned out in the pool, there are few public bathrooms and the heavily used ones remained with wet dangerous floors some stalls remained inoperative the entire cruise. (5) crew was incredibly unevenly trained (trying to be kind) never on a cruise before have I had to hold the doors open for a crew member, move aside to let them through or back up so they could proceed, I took for granted that THEY usually do that in deference to passengers. (6) the set-up of the ship is very confusing as hardly any of the decks go all the way fore and aft; many walls are at angles--we never did find the fitness area or a track for walking... Sad trip as the weather was cold and rainy (obviously not their fault) but I don't think I would be back on Princess anytime soon (BTW I accidentally posted this under the SAPPHIRE Princess and it belongs with the STAR Princess--sorry) Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
We have taken this cruise to Mexico via Catalina 3 times on different ships each time. The Inspiration was the worst one. We met our cabin master once and never saw him again till the last day. Anything we needed, we had to go find it ... Read More
We have taken this cruise to Mexico via Catalina 3 times on different ships each time. The Inspiration was the worst one. We met our cabin master once and never saw him again till the last day. Anything we needed, we had to go find it ourselves. Calls were not returned. The food was not as good as the other ships. The crew was not as friendly or helpful. We are going to try this trip on the Inspiration again in hopes that this was just a fluke situation. We were disappointed as we were traveling with our newlywed grandchildren. This trip on the 4th of this month we are taking a couple that have never traveled before and hope with crossed fingers that this time it will be much better. We do want to give Inspiration a second chance. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
My husband and I sailed the Norwegian Star on 12/28/2014 for the 7 Day New Year's Eve Cruise to the Mexican Riviera. We're both in our mid 40's and traveled without family or children. Let me preface this review by stating ... Read More
My husband and I sailed the Norwegian Star on 12/28/2014 for the 7 Day New Year's Eve Cruise to the Mexican Riviera. We're both in our mid 40's and traveled without family or children. Let me preface this review by stating that we are avid cruisers, having cruised many times over the last ten years. Recently, we've been sailing exclusively with Norwegian cruise lines and this was our 6th cruise with them. We often sail holiday cruises, particularly New Year's cruises, and this was not our first time on The Star. That should give you some insight into who is writing this review :) The ship is in reasonably good condition and clean. Some public areas do show wear and tear but it's nothing significant or off putting, just signs of an older ship (she's about 14 this year). For cruisers accustomed to the larger ships of late, The Star will feel small and lacking in amenities. All of the usual dining experiences are there and we found them to be mostly satisfactory but generally lacking in any feeling of being special. The waitstaff in the main dining areas were overworked and without enough help, often creating wait times that were exhausting. We did partake in several outings to the specialty restaurants. Le Bistro never fails to hold the highest of standards and we had great meals there. Cagney's was fine. Teppanyaki was okay, overly seasoned and the chefs were a bit "snarky", beyond the expected entertainment level. The service at Ginze was horrible, again, totally understaffed and we had difficulty getting the servers attention. Entertainment was disappointing. We absolutely LOVE the Second City and look forward to attending as many shows of theirs as possible. After being on the ship for two days, we noticed there was no mention of the Second City in the Freestyle Dailies and no signage of theirs on the ship. That's because, THEY ARE NOT THERE! I could not find any explanation from any staff member on board as to why and the NCL website still shows them as being part of the entertainment on board. The other shows were okay and bad. Our only saving grace were the live musicians performing in the lounges. Gabby & Sebastian are a great due - vocals, guitar, some percussion from Gabby. They have an incredibly song book and were a pleasure to watch - HIGHLY recommended to see them at least once while you are on board. Our Balcony Stateroom was perhaps the WORST part of the trip. We booked a mid ship balcony which are on decks 9, 10 and 11. The website shows that they are 203 to 220 sq. ft. with balconies that are 37 to 54 sq. ft. Close to our sailing we were "upgraded" to a Family Balcony on Deck 8. The room they put us in was at the front of the ship directly above the theater. I called NCL many times to change our room and complain about the location, noise, etc and they would not change the room saying it was an upgrade, it had a larger balcony, the ship was fully booked, etc. We attempted again at the pier but with no luck. Not only was our room small, but the balcony was enclosed around the perimeter by the ships hull since we were so close to the front of the ship (this prevents water spray from coming on deck, mostly). This inhibited our view, created a tin can noise effect and negated the lovely experience of having a balcony. Horrible. If you're looking to book a cruise with NCL, I suggest looking at the larger ships with more amenities. This one is small and tired and the service is just lack luster. My other advice is to book your cabin, don't do a guarantee, and really investigate the location of that cabin before you book. It makes all the difference! I'll be posting Freestyle Dailies on the message boards!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Embarkation - What a complete mess. This is our 6th cruise in 7 years and have never had such a crazy, badly organized experience. If we hadn't bribed a porter to take our luggage it would have taken 3 hours to get on the boat instead ... Read More
Embarkation - What a complete mess. This is our 6th cruise in 7 years and have never had such a crazy, badly organized experience. If we hadn't bribed a porter to take our luggage it would have taken 3 hours to get on the boat instead of 2 hours. Seemed like NCL was doing this for the first time. We have no status on NCL and where in a regular balcony cabin (vs. a suite) and this basically translated into being treated like garbage. NCL staff told us that NCL is too cheap to hire enough check in agents. echecking in prior to the cruise made no difference. The saving grace of this cruise where the Mexican ports which were amazing: Cabo San Lucas - Water taxi to the beach - An amazing day Mazatlan - Regular taxi to the beach - Another amazing day. Waves where great. Puerta Vallarta - Privately organized trip to Dolphin Discovery - Did the Royal dolphin experience which included 1 hour with the dolpins, lockers, lunch, an amazing water park, zip lining. $20 cab ride from the boat. Very clean and not busy. A third amazing day. Room - We had a balcony and an inside cabin for 4 of us. Room consistent with other cruises we've been on. Room steward was excellent. Entertainment - Thought it was fairly good Food - In general, not good, especially the buffet, the coffee and the desserts Freestyle cruising concept - Decided it was no for us. Did not like having different wait staff every night. Luckily we had prebooked all of our dinner reservations, even those in the regular dining rooms. Other passengers got upset with us as they hadn't realized that you could do this prior to the cruise and they had to wait a long time for tables and we were able to walk up and get one within a few minutes. Once the cruise starts, bookings for the regular restaurants are only done for large groups. Internet - Good Gym- Pretty good. Liked the 2 walking tracks around the ship Getting off the ship- Every other ship we've been on on the 3rd or 4th day, you get a form to fill out asking when you want to get off the boat. But not this one! Everything was on a need to know basis. We asked for the earliest luggage tags and managed to get off with only waiting in line for 1 hour. Process is very archaic. Customs officers come on board but have no machines. Canadians need to fill out I94 forms. Think I last saw these in the 1980s. Customs agents told us that NCL is too cheap to go the other terminal which has the machines, as Princess does. We were also booked on Princess with a better deal and the same itinerary but ONLY chose NCL as it left a day later. Guess we won't make that mistake again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
There is almost always going to be something that happens on a cruise ship that won't meet your expectations but it takes a great effort on a cruise lines part to make sure they fail to do so in each and every possible area. So much ... Read More
There is almost always going to be something that happens on a cruise ship that won't meet your expectations but it takes a great effort on a cruise lines part to make sure they fail to do so in each and every possible area. So much so that I'm not sure I'll ever have the opportunity (thankfully) to experience this again. I'm sure it wasn't because they charged significantly more for a "holiday" voyage, but more that they must have felt compelled to reward many of their employees with time off over this very same period. So, what did we get by having mostly new, inexperienced people around the ship? I'm sure this is something you want to know about because it makes you appreciate how qualified an experienced server is in relation to this bunch. Mass confusion in the dining room. How often do you get the pleasure of seeing the head waiter and section heads busing and putting tablecloths out? If you said "every time", you'd be right! Zero - The number of times there was butter available at the same time you received your toast or dinner rolls. It was still zero if you did not explicitly ask for it. I'm going out on a limb to say that when training all these new people, they incorrectly assumed everyone knows that butter and/or jam is usually a good idea when people order certain foods. Cruise director, what cruise director? I guess if you have director in your title you can direct the rest of your staff to attend all those events so you don't have to bother attending everything. This was my first time seeing the assistant cruise director hosting every single event, even one's that have historically been taken care of by the cruise director. If you had started reading this review and thought to yourself, "I bet she's going to say the cruise director took his own vacation from passengers", you'd be right again. Cabins - If you were wondering how many days a stain can sit unattended on the front of a side table, I'll confess the only thing I can offer up is seven as that's the number of days I saw it. I'd venture a guess the dust on the second and top shelf in the bathroom has been there for a lot longer. Guess that's why I'm not too surprised they haven't been able to eradicate noro yet. I did not complain to guest relations about him because I wanted to save that action for something truly worthy. Despite my putting the thermostat down as far as it would go, it was always warm in my cabin. In fact, it was pretty warm on the entire ship. Maybe dry dock repairs will fix that for the next group. Buffet - It was great to see them serving the food for you. Makes a change from the last time I was on a princess ship when I saw someone reach over to a slice of pizza and pick off the pepperoni while leaving the slice where it was. Downside to this was that if you arrived at a station and was unsure what you wanted you'd be responsible for holding up the line. I only went when it was less crowded so did not have that pleasure, but there were plenty of others. Returning to the dining room, since there are no bar stewards or sommelier's don't be surprised when you ask your assistant waiter if they can recommend a wine that the response you get is "yes". They are much too "rushed" to really be able to give more than that one word answer but even if they did, they are very new and may have not been taught anything other than white is white and red is red. It is the lack of a bar steward that leads to a huge backlog of servers who are no doubt standing around waiting their turn in the bar line to get your drinks. Very likely the reason why, the minute you get your food the next time you'll see the waiter/assistant is when they are taking your plate away with one hand and handing you the dessert menu with the other because they want you OUT of the dining room as fast as possible. That's Princesses way of rewarding you with 5:30 dining because seven months out there wasn't a way to find room for three women at a larger table at any other time. The head waiter - If you send your food back as I did one night (the last night as a matter of fact we ate in the dining room) and he/she is forced to bring you hot food, don't expect they'll have salt, pepper or butter handy, they've probably only been trained to "carry" the new food over to you. Very likely too, that by the time your assistant waiter comes back from getting drinks for another table and the waiter emerges from somewhere else that your food has gone cold again. Entertainment - It did just that, entertain us. I guess it doesn't cost them anything to recycle the same questions during the marriage show, but hearing it with a sometimes hard to understand accent was entertainment in and of itself. Bar staff - One in particular was downright nasty. If you've been on crown princess you could probably guess who I'm referring to. If you were going to guess what they would show at movies under the stars on New Year's eve would the yule log be at the top of your list or would you have thought maybe they'd show something more entertaining like the NYC ball drop? Or maybe another time zone's ball drop? Well, if you said the yule log is your ultimate form of entertainment right up until the countdown, you're really on top of things. I should add the service in the dining room for afternoon tea was good and when you got a scone they did offer you jam and whipped cream (probably because they had one server who walked around with that). The things that were good - The mini panini's at the international cafe! Just delectible. Pork and avocado, cuban one's were the best. The sandwiches at afternoon tea were yummy as well. Even though I had an obstructed view cabin, it wasn't bad. Since it was rather warm in my cabin any time I wanted to relax and read I would choose to do that somewhere else on the ship. While the view in skywalkers is nice it sure reeks of stale smoke. Saving the best for last. Naturally when you tell anyone in the service industry that you have a flight and offer them the proof of it, they will make sure you get to the airport in plenty of time. Not princess though, they will hold you hostage and tell you point blank you can't leave until the 2000+ other self debarkation passengers get off, even if it means you'll miss your flight. These people will even lie to you, maybe it's because this was their first time on a cruise ship just like the dining staff? While they thought there were only 1,200 of them, the jokes on us as everyone got in line to get off, even if these people had nowhere to go. I'm sure at least 500 people who were walking off with their own luggage wore the same thing every day as they didn't have a single piece of luggage with them! Despite their attempts to make us miss our flights, we were able to get on the bus along with anyone who wanted to go because they didn't care if people had a transfer or not. You could probably save your money and gamble that they will have a group of new people reading from comment cards so they know to ask you which terminal at LAX you are going to and won't know to ask you for your transfers. I was all prepared to put down a deposit for a future cruise but there isn't an OBC I could possibly get that would make me want the corporate office to reward the Crown Princess for what I had to deal with. I will sail again but it will not be on Princess. Maybe the come back new is come back with a new realization that Princess took a lot of my money and delivered a really awful experience. Thankfully was on the ship with good friends and we were able to have an amazing time despite the attempts of the cruise line to wreck it. Oh and I'm not surprised in the least they have failed to eradicate Noro, but I hope that for those who cruise on them while it's still present that you don't have to hear about other passengers bathroom habits while eating lunch. In case you were wondering there were at least half a dozen servers in our dining room who admitted to being on the ship three or less weeks. One even said when I said "we asked for two teas", "Sorry ma'am this is my first time on a ship".   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We traveled the Sea of Cortes on the Safari Endeavour over the New Year's period. We chose this holiday because we were multi-generational group who all love adventure and active trips. Un-Cruise was recommended to us by our seasoned ... Read More
We traveled the Sea of Cortes on the Safari Endeavour over the New Year's period. We chose this holiday because we were multi-generational group who all love adventure and active trips. Un-Cruise was recommended to us by our seasoned expert travel agent. She knows cruises and she knows us, which is why we are still shaking our heads over the whole experience. To say it was a misfit is an understatement. But i have to say that we were in the slimmest minority of passengers who left unsatisfied. Most of the other passengers were delighted with the program, the staff and the ship. Here are the PROS as we saw them: The Sea of Cortes is truly a breath-taking landscape. It is such a remote and desertic place it is best visited on a ship. There were lots of other families on board so plenty of socializing opportunities for our children. We got to swim with shark whales and sea lions (pretty incredible). Staff is knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the region. There is no internet onboard offering us a heavenly tech-free week. We really got to interact with our kids! Loreto, a small traditional Mexican town, we visited was a real 'find', tranquil, beautiful, authentic. They had a wonderful bar-tender onboard (Heather), the only staff member who rivaled our staff experiences on other ships. The CONS, sadly, well outweighed the PROS for our group: FIrst of all, the cabin and ship are very poorly maintained (from a cleanliness perspective). Our cabin, a Commodore Suite (their highest grade) never felt truly cleaned. This is partly because the cabins are maintained by the crew which also waits tables in the dining room. When we arrived in the cabin I mentioned to my mother that our duvet cover (a horrid navy blue thing that belonged in a college dorm) looked slept in. She was incredulous but, on our last day as we were packing up, the cleaning crew asked if they could come in to strip the beds while we ate breakfast. When we got back to our cabin to retrieve our carry-on luggage we saw that the beds were stripped but the duvet covers were indeed left on! DISGUSTING! The coverlet on the hide-a-bed was visibly filthy with brown dirt. Dirty towels were frequently left forgotten on the bathroom floor after the morning cleaning. Our shower curtain was similarly dirty from past use. The floor was vacuumed precisely once during our whole stay (sand and candy wrappers were left as evidence on the floor). Again, no one else onboard seemed put off by this so I think our housekeeping expectations may have something to do with our past cruising experiences on SeaDream, Seabourn, and Paul Gauguin where spotlessness is the norm. The staff is more reminiscent of a summer camp than a cruise ship or a resort: they are gung-ho but not really trained for ship service. They remind me of kids taking a break from college to do a bit of travel. Several of them are precisely that, few if any are career ship staff from what I saw. They are nice enough (although not really service minded at all) but wildly uneven and unsophisticated (they would forget the simplest requests like a glass of water, ice, a wine refill, an extra dollop of mayonnaise). The ship lacks polish in every respect, from the staff to the ghastly common areas to cabins and all the details are way more Best Western than luxury ship (and the prices are definitely in the luxury ship zone). Pillows, sheets, TP, toiletries were all strictly budget motel grade. There was never, until the very end with one or two (Ashley and Jeryd in the dining room stand out) the sense that the staff was concerned with getting to know our likes and dislikes, or what they could do to make our trip better. We hooted with laughter at Jeremy's proud proclamation that Uncruise prided itself on having "a plan from which to deviate" ethos. The only plan this ship deviates from is when weather makes whatever was on the books untenable. Otherwise, and here is where we were really fish out of water, Uncruise has the most rigid guest policy I have ever been held to. They must be scared to death of litigation: we were give ZERO allowance to do as we pleased on shore except when we were in one of the two towns we went to. One is not allowed to deviate in any way from the planned activities. Should you want to walk at a faster pace on the hikes, paddle a bit further in the kayak, go for an impromptu swim, eat at any time other that the hour set for each meal, well, pall, that is plan from which Uncruise will strictly NOT be deviating. The staff are infuriatingly unconcerned with your preferences. It's all about keeping to a schedule and maintaining everyone in a manageable group. It is adventure for the timid, the leery of autonomy, the utterly malleable. The very fact that in this spectacular landscape they have no place or inclination to serve drinks or even a snack in the open air (everything is served in the grim dining room- everyone at once) is a travesty. On a sunny day there is no comfortable place to sunbathe, not an outdoor cushion in sight, no staff to offer you so much as a glass of water. We were there on New Year's Eve. There was no attempt to decorate the ship or serve a festive meal. It was all so ho-hum. These are people who have no sense of occasion (and nor apparently did the guests- hardly any one did so much as change into a nicer shirt for the dinner- so sad!). In fact, this is how they manage the food service - breakfast is at 7:30 sharp (on holiday!) no and ifs or buts, and then at breakfast you are told what the lunch and dinner choices are and you are to give your preferences then for those meals!! Who doesn't love planning what they're going to eat for lunch and dinner at breakfast, on holiday no less! My son and I who are avid hikers and climbers had to stage an escape one day to scale a hill that caught our interest. I hated having to be duplicitous and sneak around the guides but they left us no choice. After that we felt a distinct chill from Jeremy the cruise director. He's a nice enough guy but he clearly likes his guests sheep-like and undeviant. Ah well, Uncruise is not for us. We like our freedom too much (and cleanliness and sophisticated service). But if you like everything planned to the un-th second, and an all-American crew, and super safety conscious adventure dolled out in thirty minute increments (as the majority of our fellow passengers did) - then this is for you. On a last note, the food was fine (not one memorable bite but not dreadful) but we all had upset stomachs the last few days until the day or so after we got back... The coffee is cafeteria bad. The butter is not real butter. The cocktail hour snacks were truly awful. There is no maitr'd to greet you at the entrance to the dining room and help seat the groups so it's a sort of undignified game of musical chairs at every meal. If you go, don't bother packing binoculars (they have plenty, sun lotion (again they provide reed-safe sunscreen), any sort of nice clothing (this is a strictly beige/sage-toned, Tevo sandal crowd). Do bring reading material and DVDs you're likely to have a lot of time on your hands between activities. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
great expectations, booking to celebrate New yr and also to combine with my 50th which is in march,,,itinary ticked all the right boxes. 2 days before Christmas i,m trying to track down tickets has we had not heard anything off NCL ,,all ... Read More
great expectations, booking to celebrate New yr and also to combine with my 50th which is in march,,,itinary ticked all the right boxes. 2 days before Christmas i,m trying to track down tickets has we had not heard anything off NCL ,,all lines of communication where failing .Christmas eve i am getting our uk agent to get them to email all docs over to them ,so has they can be e-mailed to me ,,Finally were on our way ,,excited .Get to terminal ith 2 badly damaged suitcases .queue up ..SORRY i cant locate your booking we are told (even though we new our cabin number) supervisor gets called ,,SORRY again but could you take a seat while i quickly sought out problem .....50 mins later i get another member of staff to see whats the hold-up ,,look of horror when she realises she had forgotten us,,,finally get key cards ,,get on board,,no-one to welcome and show you to the direction of your cabin,,,just the team from the spa trying to sell us treatments,,,not good ,,,get to room ,,keys do not work,,(we ended up with several replacments because they just kept failing and this was day 1 ,We ended up in a very noisy cabin 5087 ,aviod ...paper thin walls and the main staff corridors lie behind to headboard ,so trolleys and chatter into the early hours ,,the ship was full so we new it was no good complaining,,,Entainment,,, we where on a back to back cruise which meant you got REPEAT REPEAT yawn yawn ,,no deck parties except for new yr for us their was only a couple of shows that raised the bar ,but they really need to look at what the other ships are doing ,,this was crusise num 14 for us ..FOOD ,,the market cafe ,,well ,,is laid out like a market cafe ...no-frills warm food ,,its the first ship we both had to spend a day in bed with chronic tummy troubles ,,,maybe we must be just lucky or not has the case maybe ,,,Versalies rest ,,,was much better ,more stylish ,,and a very good service for most of the time,,,i think the ship is giong in for a makeover .it does need it Get rid of those dreadful uncomfortable bench seats in aqua restuarant,,had to stop going their because of back ache,,the hole ship is looking quite tired .Will we be back ,,,i think not,,once bitten twice shy has they say Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Super-speedy embarkation. We arrived a little before NOON and were on the ship by 12:30. Bags were to the room by 1:30. Very well choreographed. Once onboard I realized quickly that this would be the ugliest and dirtiest ship I have ... Read More
Super-speedy embarkation. We arrived a little before NOON and were on the ship by 12:30. Bags were to the room by 1:30. Very well choreographed. Once onboard I realized quickly that this would be the ugliest and dirtiest ship I have *ever* been on. When I say ugly, picture this: smokey mirrored walls with brass trim, blue, red, and violet neon striped lighting. The carpet is worn, when the elevators work they skip floors, the atrium is so small and claustrophobic it looks more like a disco-themed launching pad for a space shuttle than the heart of a cruise ship. There are these dark faux brown violins that dot the atrium and other public spaces- they aren't classy or charming, they are just bizarre and make the space feel dark and closed in. Now to the smell. There is a an indistinct smell that permeates the halls, atrium, and other indoor areas of this ship. It is a mix between BO, cigarette smoke (casino), vomit, and febreeze. My husband couldn't smell it, but I referred to it as the smell of death. Ewwww. I admit, it wasn't all bad. The food was as expected, not spectacular, but solid cruise fare. There was only one night in the MDR when the menu sucked. So, we went to the buffet afterwards. Warning: there are NO specialty restaurants on this boat, so if you're not a fan of MDR food, you may be disappointed. The buffet was not as grand as on other Carnival ships, but there was always something tasty to feast on. Also, the servers try to upsell the first night, which I found to be a little obnoxious. If you get seasick, this may not be the cruise for you. The seas were pretty rough on at least 2 days. My husband scoffed when I donned my Transderm-scop patch on day 1, but by day 3 people were getting sick in public areas (note: aforementioned vomit smell) and I was pleased to NOT be one of them. The stateroom was smaller than on any other Carnival ships. Normally in an oceanview room we'd have a spacious windowsill, 2 end tables, sofa, and vanity. However in this particular room we had a very narrow sill, 1 end table, a straight-backed wooden chair, and small vanity. Also, MIA was the hairdryer. I would say that is was 40-50 sq feet smaller than usual. The bathroom was tiny but utilitarian, my husband adored the fire-hose water pressure in the bathroom. In fact, after his first shower he stated "this water pressure is better than at home!" The ports: Avalon, Catalina was the best port I have been to in my 10 cruises. It's like scrubbed clean and safe version of Key West. I wouldn't book an excursion here, just wander the town, drink the beer, and think of the good life as you stare into the clear blue water. Ensenada, Mexico had the most aggressive hawkers that I have ever experienced. We couldn't walk thru the fish market, eat outside, or walk to/fro the ship without being accosted by adults and children alike. I could skip this port, it lacks the charm of Cabo, there's not much to do but eat, drink, and buy souvenirs. If I was into fishing though, it may be a good place to do that. The venue for the comedy show was much larger than on other Carnival ships, so we were quite pleased that we didn't have to arrive 30 minutes early to get a seat. One comedian was a racist jerk, obscene and not funny, and the other one (Jerome) was fall-down hysterical. For this reason, I believe that Carnival has the best entertainment on the high-seas with its Punchliner comedy clubs. I despise the low production quality of the shows (magicians, acrobats, songstresses), they are all the same to me: high school quality: bleh. I have been on the Carnival Conquest, Splendor, and Breeze prior to this cruising and would rate them 2-3x better than this ship. I honestly can't believe that a person who took their first cruise on this ship would venture to take another cruise with Carnival again, or any cruise EVER again. That being said, if this is your 20th cruise, this is worth going to Catalina island alone, however if it's your first cruise: skip it! Pick a higher rated and more modern ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
I guess I'm too used to the Carnival Magic, but my first (and likely last) time on the Triumph was a big let down. It felt like I stepped back in time to 1990 with our awesome 13" CRT TV that would either be too loud or too ... Read More
I guess I'm too used to the Carnival Magic, but my first (and likely last) time on the Triumph was a big let down. It felt like I stepped back in time to 1990 with our awesome 13" CRT TV that would either be too loud or too quiet. One TV in the main bar at the casino....ONE!...Way over on the left side to where you can't really see it from the smoking section....where the big crowd of people are all standing wrenching their necks trying to see it. The worst part of my cruise: the food. It used to be what I looked forward to the most about a cruise, so this makes me sad. The food in the dining room and buffet area is starting to have a little too much Indonesian influence. I know that every single one of the kitchen staff is from India, but I don't understand why if 99% of the customers are American. That said, the best thing I ate on this cruise were the two Guy's hamburgers I got from the lido deck (recipe supplied by an American...coincidence? probably not). That's pretty sad when you consider that I also ate lobster (with no taste), steak (that was like a block of rubber), and prime rib (that was 50% fat). One evening in the dining room I ordered an extra side of mashed potatoes for my meal. Our waiter says "sure np" and then never returned to our table at all. Not to pick up our entree dishes after we had finished eating, not to ask if we wanted dessert, nothing. Never saw him again that night. On another night one of the food runners, Indian guy, had body odor so bad I literally almost threw up on my plate when he walked by a couple of times. This is not ok Carnival. Do you wonder how Norovirus gets on your ships? Dirty people, that's how. Some of your employees need some instructions on the various uses of soap. And when did we start having to ask for iced tea? You think everyone wants to drink water that tastes like it came out of a plastic hose with their meal? No, I'd rather have the iced tea that taste like fish, thanks. Even the pizza that I used to love so much is now worse than a cheap $3 Totinos. Paper thin and floppy with almost no sauce. You'd have to stack 3 slices on top of each other to have the amount of crust and toppings from an average sized slice of pizza. DO NOT order a grilled cheese sandwich from room service and expect to receive a grilled cheese sandwich. You will get a cheese slice sandwich that looks like they lightly toasted the bread (with no butter) before they put the cheese inside. So to summarize, you get two slices of room temperature or colder toast with 2 slices of cold unmelted cheese stuffed between...as a grilled cheese sandwich. Do you like warm tuna salad? Me either, but if you do just order all the tuna salad sandwiches your heart desires....warm tuna salad forever. Mmmmm, right? So yeah...will NOT be sailing on this ship again. Maybe if they give it the Sunshine treatment, but probably not even then. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This is my third hal cruise and first on the Statendan ( sea of cortez cruise) and based on this cruise I would not sail HAL again. First the positives : the staff were overall exceedingly nice,in particular some of the cocktail servers ... Read More
This is my third hal cruise and first on the Statendan ( sea of cortez cruise) and based on this cruise I would not sail HAL again. First the positives : the staff were overall exceedingly nice,in particular some of the cocktail servers and bar staff. The food in the main dining room ( dinner) was very good- though service was way too slow at the beginning of the cruise but improved over the days. Embarkation and disembarkation was very good. Disembarkation being exceptionally good , unlike the mass chaos of the Oosterdam, last time we sailed it in 2010. The Statendam negatives: the food in the lido at dinner was mediocre at best - think Denny's quality, and that is probably being unfair to Denny's . Plus there are no longer trays in the lido,so if you want an appetizer and Main course, you'll have to forgo a beverage unless you have 3 hands . The on shore expert who was supposed to give a talk on the history of the area in the showroom , talked down to us like we were 10 year olds and covered very little history, mostly tips on getting off the ship. We only went once as a result,, . But the overall worst thing was the complete lack of daytime activities on sea days - ring toss and napkin folding being the highlights, .granted most people on the Statendam appear to be 75-90 years old ( we are in our late 50s) but even still, I think you could find more interesting activities in an assisted living facility. Hal is not known for its entertainment or daily activities in general - and on this ship they were really pinching pennies,in the extreme - very unimpressed with the daytime activities as well as the limited entertainment , and with 4 sea days - this was totally unacceptable. Would not sail HAL again anytime soon as a result of this issue, Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
My wife and I have been cruising once a year for the past 10 years. Most of our cruises have been on Princess, but we also have been on Royal Caribbean, Holland American wont be sailing on and Oceania.For the following reasons we wont be ... Read More
My wife and I have been cruising once a year for the past 10 years. Most of our cruises have been on Princess, but we also have been on Royal Caribbean, Holland American wont be sailing on and Oceania.For the following reasons we wont be sailing with NCL again. 1. Freestyle dining means that you have to stand in line for 20 minutes to get a table at the restaurant if you don't want to pay an extra $15 - $30 per person for dinner. They advertise that there are 14 restaurants but 10 of them have a surcharge. 2. There is only 1 American plug in the room and its at the dressing table not at the desk. Very inconvenient. 3. There is no self service laundry facility. 4. I use a walker and I could only find 2 ADA handicap toilets on the ship. Both were outside the Stardust Theater and during the day when there were rehearsals the doors to the theater were locked so one of the toilets was not accessible. At most toilets I needed someone to help me get through the door with my walker. Both to go in or out because the door was so heavy. 5. No Ironing facility. If your clothes are creased, you need to send it out to be ironed for a charge. 6. The genius ship architect placed the library right near the pool where the band can loudly help you concentrate on the book you are reading. Also it has doors on both port and starboard sides so people can use it to pass through from one side to the ship to another and leave the doors open so you can listen to the band. Needless to say there were very few places inside that were quiet enough to read in. 7. When we arrived at the Port of LA to embark there were no wheelchairs to help me get on board. I was forced to walk all the way to my cabin. First time this ever happened to me.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Hi, If your going to read this I appreciate you taking the time and hope my experience helps you in some way, more so in your decision to use a different cruise line for your needed services needs! Our boarding hours were 12 to 2 but you ... Read More
Hi, If your going to read this I appreciate you taking the time and hope my experience helps you in some way, more so in your decision to use a different cruise line for your needed services needs! Our boarding hours were 12 to 2 but you have to go the long way around to understand that and they got it so there's not a lot of congestion all at one time to get on the ship but there is anyway, They are not at all forthcoming with information and what you see, hear, or read may be different than what actually occurs and they bank on that! Now with that being said, We were traveling with 2 senior citizens and 2 people with disabilities and they didn't offer or were not forthcoming with the information to take good care of them for boarding, while on the ship, ports, getting off ship, our group total was 13, all being adult but 1 teen and 2 children. Felt herded like cattle, like it does but uncomfortable and not like they say they have it set up. Now I won't be bias by using other company names but I have cruised before and can tell the difference, as well as worked for a cruise line in the embarkation/debarkation department so I am basing what I tell you on nothing more than my experiences! Going into the second day not even on the ship 24 hours yet and get accused of smoking in our room, now we are smokers, but the best time of our cruise was getting out of the room to go smoke areas where (we met the most interesting people on the whole cruise every time), eat, take on activities, so I didn't appreciate our steward one bit trying to scam us out of the 250$ charge you can pay if you want to (which is really all that is), she was a very miserable person who was way over worked to give the care that position is suppose to entail, 1 steward for 15 rooms and 2 of them "penthouses". It took till the 5th day of the cruise to get ice, or a towel animal, and I had to fuss to even get that, they moved our stuff around a lot for what looked like no reason. When one of the pool towels was used they didn't keep up with replacing it, so I had to say something every day or risk losing 25$ for taking a towel I didn't take or would even want! Our cabin was easy to deal with, only us 2 adults who picked up after ourselves, living right out of the suitcases, and were out of the room pretty much the whole time, except to sleep! This was my husbands first cruise so I really hoped he could have seen that good care a steward does, but alas, I was disappointed! You have to turn a pie chart rolling thing on the wall "welcome", "make up cabin" "turn down bed" "Do not disturb" I kept forgetting to do this, we were excited to be on our cruise, why isn't this by the door knob? and with my husbands first cruise, would have been nice, if when our horrible steward came up to introduce herself why didn't she show how that thing worked? Now I have an accent and it is possible some may have had a hard time understanding what I was saying, I took that into account until I watched it happen to a better english speaking person than me, then I knew, They just did not listen to what we told them to do, or what we wanted! Felt like I was dealing with a trained monkey who only knew how to do one only way to do something. Example and I have many, but here's an example at the buffet they had the omelet station I asked for 1 fried egg, guy gave me 2, it was little things, someone told me if you have any more trouble contact me, but oddly when you go to talk to them, they are to busy to talk to you at that time, nor make an arrangement to get back to you, and this was when I was actually going to thank a person that helped me! My biggest complaint was the misleading information, and that they really just did what they wanted to, not what they said they would do, my first drink I got came in the souvenir cup, I didn't ask for it or get asked which one (color, style) I would have liked so when I went to go change it out I had to just first chase down a bar that was actually open to do that and they gave me a hard time even doing that! For pretty much everything there were specific opened and closed times, due to the fact that we did visit 4 ports, things around the ship finished up/closed quite early everywhere in the ship, so this was not very good at all for night time people! In all I just went through so much and was not treated fairly, I did get the daily service charges removed BUT I tipped way more in cash at the time than what they were charging simply because it brings out great service in a way of saying "thank you" letting them know I appreciated from their choice them wanting to do that for ME! This was the first time I ever had to do that, usually I over tip, but I can afford to, and have once in my life worked for making tips so I know how it feels! Now I wouldn't say I am big on cruises, My vacationing ideas are much different, this last one I went on someone else paid for it, and I was doing it for them, "it's were conformity is taught, and learned by the impressionable minded" in a fun,"safe" way and for some it is needed, but I felt it my civil duty to review it and share with others in the hopes that it doesn't happen to you or help you handle it better if it does. They sent a survey to do in an email asking about my experience but right after a choice I made negative in one of the questions towards Norwegian my survey ended, they didn't even really want to hear about it, speaks volumes about their business practices. Bon Voyage Norwegian, people won't be back when you don't care what they want or give them what you say you will And they paid good money to get! Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Our experience with the embarkation process seems to be better than some of the other reviews I read online however we did arrive early to the port. We took only about 30 minutes from start to boarding. Cabin was acceptable and our cabin ... Read More
Our experience with the embarkation process seems to be better than some of the other reviews I read online however we did arrive early to the port. We took only about 30 minutes from start to boarding. Cabin was acceptable and our cabin steward was the only shining star for the cruise. Dining in the main dining rooms was horrible. Took forever for your food to come and when it did arrive is was just luke warm. One night I ordered steak and sauteed mushrooms and the mushrooms had obviously been sauteed in a pan that had just cooked fish as that was the flavor of the mushrooms. I DO NOT LIKE FISH OR SEAFOOD. Ruined the entire meal for me. If you opt for the 'freestyle' dining and pay extra for the meal you then get a good dinner. NCL seems to be after the extra dollars and trying to discourage customers from the main dining room. Would do better to charge more for the cruises and then be able to serve better meals. Entertainment.....let me just say the cruise director was the magician....and after attending the caroling fiasco I opted to skip the magic show. Even in the entertainment area greed seems to prevail on NCL. They offer two game show options. First is Deal or No Deal at @ $20 a pop. Out of a full room one man won $200. No other winners. I never went back. Bingo I did not participate in but I was told the minimum price was $40. Seemed a bit high for bingo. Our biggest complaint about the ship was in the Medical Staff or lack of.....my husband who already had a cast on his left hand fell in Cabo and had a significant cut on his leg along with banging his cast quiet hard on cement. When we returned to the ship we immediately went to medical. The nurse (I use the term loosely) reminded me of a gum smacking teeny bopper when asked if we could have his wound looked at..without even a blink or a glance at his leg her reply was that's alot of paperwork and will cost alot of money. GOOD GRIEF!! We didn't care about the cost but I surely wouldn't want to inconvenience her with a mountain of paperwork. Needless to say I will never go NCL again. Back to Carnival and Princess for us. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We decided to cruise Elation for my daughter's college graduation. I usually cruise Royal but this fit our dates and budget. I cruised this ship in 2011 and enjoyed it ok, but so much has change..not for the good. First, I was sad to ... Read More
We decided to cruise Elation for my daughter's college graduation. I usually cruise Royal but this fit our dates and budget. I cruised this ship in 2011 and enjoyed it ok, but so much has change..not for the good. First, I was sad to see the steel drums are gone. That really welcomed you aboard and made you feel that you were on vacation from the start. No live music except the smoke filled casino area and the Duke bar a few times. The overall attitude of the staff was distant and RUDE. The service in the imagination dining for terrible on our first two night. After I complained the 3rd night and asked to sit on the other side it improved slightly. Seriously I have had better service at a Waffle House. The food overall was terrible. Our chicken was actually GREEN?? The shrimp was frozen from Sams I guess, The caesar salad dressing was so full of anchovies it tasted like cod liver oil. Let's not even get started on the rubbery fake turkey they passed off as our Thanksgiving meal. Elation needs a new chef..period...Royal C. is light years better than this on their WORST day. Our rooms were comfortable other than the scalding shower. I did enjoy High Tea on the last day. I will say their room service option is better than Royal. The comedian Muncy was fabulous but Carolyn Picard was disappointing. Try the Golden and White cities excursion, it was a lot of fun. Other than this I would Never Ever go on Elation again, not sure sure about Carnival, but doubtful. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014

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