Chose this because we wanted a 7-day canal transit on a small ship. First time on Windstar. Overall very good -- excellent service, food was quite satisfactory, ship was in good but not outstanding condition. The cabin space was ... Read More
Chose this because we wanted a 7-day canal transit on a small ship. First time on Windstar. Overall very good -- excellent service, food was quite satisfactory, ship was in good but not outstanding condition. The cabin space was excellent -- was skeptical of the french balcony, but liked it a great deal. Since you have a whole suite, no need for a separate balcony, and opening the sliders brought the outdoors inside.
The canal transit was excellent, super informative, just what we wanted. The excursions at the Panama and Costa Rica stops were good. Time on board was generally very relaxing and pampered (see smoking exception below!). We are not foodies, but we found the food very good in selection and quality -- and again the service overall was really excellent, from top to bottom.
As noted above, the ship's smoking policy was ridiculous. We enjoyed hanging out at the outdoor bar, called the Star Bar, and there is a designated smoking area right next to the bar (like maybe 10 feet away). Come on, this is the year 2018! We had perhaps 6 or 7 smokers (out of about 170 passengers), why should they smog up the place for the all the others? Of course the breeze was always blowing straight from them towards the rest of us. Worse, two people were cigar smokers, and they also puffed away. Windstar should move the smoking area away from the bar! There is plenty of space on the top deck (where the Star Bar is), and the smoking area should be moved AWAY. Before booking another Windstar I would need to investigate the details of the individual ship's policy -- I would be very cautious about booking another cruise on this ship if the policy is not changed. Read Less
I was fortunate enough to cruise many times with my late husband but never got the opportunity to cruise to the Panama Canal. After much discussion, my cousin from Sarasota and my cousins from New Jersey decided on Holland America's ... Read More
I was fortunate enough to cruise many times with my late husband but never got the opportunity to cruise to the Panama Canal. After much discussion, my cousin from Sarasota and my cousins from New Jersey decided on Holland America's Zuiderdam to fulfill that bucket list wish! We were all very pleased with the smaller size of the ship. Easy to navigate with no long lines of passengers waiting for elevators or in the Lido buffet line. Thought the food served in the MDR, Lido and specialty restaurants to be very good with lots of choices daily. I must comment on the excellent service by all staff and crew members. They work hard to keep the ship clean and tidy. We even got our chipped bathtub replaced early in the week while we were on a tour. Enjoyed the entertainment in the Main Show Room by the ship's talented singers and dancers, but for me the main attraction was the nightly performances in the Billboard Onboard Piano Bar by Danny and Ian. They played 3 shows a night, the last one being an all request show, and I never missed one! Very talented pair!
Took one independent tour in Aruba with Fantasy Tours and was taken to all the island's highlights for a reasonable price. Ship tours included Curacao, Cartagena, the New Canal Locks and the Hacienda tour in Costa Rica. Enjoyed them very much. Would definitely recommend this ship and itinerary. Read Less
This was our sixth HAL cruise and it didn't disappoint, just like all the others. The ship is 16 years old, but I understand it has just returned from a re-fit in drydock. The interior looked brand-new. You coulda said the ship was 16 ... Read More
This was our sixth HAL cruise and it didn't disappoint, just like all the others. The ship is 16 years old, but I understand it has just returned from a re-fit in drydock. The interior looked brand-new. You coulda said the ship was 16 weeks old and I woulda believed it. It seemed everything was new - carpeting, furniture, facilities, new layouts of many public rooms. We were on an Alaska cruise last summer on her sister ship, the Noordam. We could see the differences with the new layouts. The crew was uniformly excellent, pleasant, helpful and seemed to be enjoying their jobs.
We always chose the open seating in the dining room so as to meet new people. This is almost the highlight of the day. We ate in the Canalotto Italian restaurant 3 times as we enjoyed it so much.
This cruise went from Ft. Lauderdale to Half Moon Bay, Aruba, Curacao, Cartigena, Panama Canal, Puerto Limon and back to Ft. Lauderdale. Read Less
Three couples chose this cruise because it went to the Panama Canal. I have never been on Holland and didn't know much about them, (found out later they are part of the Carnival/Princess lines of which I am NOT a fan but by then it was ... Read More
Three couples chose this cruise because it went to the Panama Canal. I have never been on Holland and didn't know much about them, (found out later they are part of the Carnival/Princess lines of which I am NOT a fan but by then it was too late). This ship and the line were outstanding! We are retired, in our 60's and this was the perfect choice for us. No KIDS, you could get in the hot tubs, no belly flop or newlywed games but still perfect for all of us. Very classy entertainment of all types, every venue and show was outstanding. The ship is beautiful, very stately and in great shape. The food was just fair although the Lido does an excellent job in their serving and preparation. The dining rooms are nice because they don't hoard people at the same time, the anytime dining is very fluid and you can always get a table. The food in the dining rooms was usually lukewarm, it might have been our waiter. There are two speciality restaurants and our travel agent treated us to both. The Italian one was outstanding, our best meal. The steak house had cronic service issues. It was so bad they invited us back again as their guests but unfortunately the service was not much better - it took over 3 hours to eat and we left before desert so we could go to the show. The cabins are lovely - we booked early and chose inside cabins on deck 6 mid ship - 6081, 6071 and 6067 - each was perfect, larger than expected, great location and we loved them. I am not a sit on the veranda kind of cruiser, I like to get up and out and we would go directly upstairs to deck 9 and sat outside. There are two nice pools, one covered. My husband smokes cigars and there is a nice smoking section on deck 9 and it was a great social gathering spot. As I said, the entertainment was great. This was the longest cruise we ever took, might not do another this long but it takes a while to get to the Panama Canal and it was worth it! We took the tour through the other 3 locks and I highly recommend it. Don't sit on the ship that day, the port of Colon is just plain dangerous and you came all that way take the trip through the locks. It is a once in a lifetime experience. We went to the rainforest in Costa Rica, it was so - so there might be other better excursions and we did the hop on -hop off in Cartagena - not necessary the only thing to see their is the Wall city and that is great - don't miss it. Nothing else to see in that city. Half Moon Cay was great, and Aruba has really deteriorated over the years and Curacao is nice. The itinerary was almost perfect - some stops, some days at sea, just right. Our weather was perfect and that adds to the experience. Some of the other poor reviews were I am sure due to the weather. If ours had not been as nice for the entire 11 days it might have been a different experience. Read Less
Overall we had an excellent time on this cruise. It was our first Holland America cruise and they did not disappoint. The ship is older (built in 2002), but it is in very good condition and obviously recently refurbished. It is not as big ... Read More
Overall we had an excellent time on this cruise. It was our first Holland America cruise and they did not disappoint. The ship is older (built in 2002), but it is in very good condition and obviously recently refurbished. It is not as big as the newer mega-ships, but we thought this was actually a good thing. Embarkation and disembarkation were both easy and relatively quick (probably waited 30-45 minutes for each). We were thrilled to be able to wait in our room for disembarkation. The average age for this cruise was older than we had experienced on any previous cruises (someone said the average age was 74 but I can't definitively confirm that). It was obvious, however, that we were in the youngest 10% onboard (we are in our mid 50s). Although we thought this could be an issue when we boarded, it actually ended up having a lot of advantages. There was not any crazy partying during the cruise. The pools were usually almost empty and we had a pool to ourselves quite frequently. Lounge chairs were always available and there wasn't any crazy "saving" of chairs that we've had on past cruises. The older cruisers ate early so if we dined after 7:30pm neither the dining room or buffet were crowded at all. Stairways were also virtually empty (everyone took the elevators). Also, after the first day, the fitness center was not crowded at all. We did have to be patient quite a lot with slower individuals and many people with scooters, wheelchairs and walkers. The itinerary was great (and that's why we took this particular cruise). All of the ports were great. Since the ship does not transit the entire Panama canal, we highly recommend taking a tour that does so. You must book that tour through the cruise excursions. We were lucky to have fantastic weather (sunny and 80s every day except for one). The captain said it was the best weather in over 2 months. I'm sure this helped us have a great time. The food was good and was similar to what I've experienced on other cruises. We mostly ate at the buffet as we find that you have to commit too much time to a dining room meal. We thought the mainstage entertainment was average and so we didn't go much. However, the BB King All Stars were EXCELLENT. We wished we would have had more time to watch them each night. The quality of those musicians was the best I've ever seen on a cruise. Service was great - typical for a cruise ship. Read Less
chose this back to back cruise because of ports visited. Jamaica, belize, Honduras, quatamala,cuba.mexico. we were in an outside cabin on deck 3. the cabin was fine plenty of drawers and space. dining was good throughout the ship, with ... Read More
chose this back to back cruise because of ports visited. Jamaica, belize, Honduras, quatamala,cuba.mexico. we were in an outside cabin on deck 3. the cabin was fine plenty of drawers and space. dining was good throughout the ship, with good entertainment team and bar service. the ship was all inclusive for drinks [ except premier and certain cocktails ] very good service with attentive staff and plenty of seats. service by all staff in bars entertainment teams, officers, cabin stewards. everybody and a very good captain. I have cruised on quite a few cruises and the staff on discovery 2 were the best I have come across. no issues at all. the ports were typical for central America with a big difference in the standard of living. cuba was a great place to visit, we stayed overnight. on to cozumal, an Island off mexico. to get to the mainland you catch a ferry, but we were informed earlier in the week that all ship excursions to the mainland were cancelled [this was in line with other cruise companies as there had been a bombing onboard one of the ferries] which was disappointing but understanding given the circumstances. I spoke with many other passengers during the cruise and they agreed with myself and my wife, that the ship was very good after reading some previous reviews.and will definitely use again. Read Less
This was our 5th cruise on this ship, and 6th overall with Princess. Boarding and disembarkation quick and smooth. We stayed the night before at the Embassy Suites close to the Cruise Terminal. 45 minutes from hotel room to having a ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise on this ship, and 6th overall with Princess. Boarding and disembarkation quick and smooth. We stayed the night before at the Embassy Suites close to the Cruise Terminal. 45 minutes from hotel room to having a drink onboard. We had an early flight out of FLL, so we were given option to disembark right after Walk Off as "Guests with independent arrangement.". Retrieved luggage, went through Customs, taxi to Delta departures, check in, and through TSA in 45 minutes. Could not ask for better. Cabins were fine. Very impressed with all of the crew. All that interacted with passengers were very fluent in English. Some spoke as many as 5 languages. Food was very good (with a couple of exceptions). We rotated through Coral and Island dining rooms on Anytime Dining. Lunch was usually a hot dog or buger on Lido Deck by the pool.
We traveled as a party of three, taking our adult son with us. Mini-Suite was fine for us. Bathroom was more spacious than a lot of ships we have been on.
Internet service is scheduled to be upgraded soon. If you don't have a seat in the Princess Theater 45 minutes before the show you will be shut out. We suggested (as did a lot of other disgruntled) that the shows be live streamed to the cabins. No dice. The last refurbish added 2 new restaurants on the Lido Deck. Steamers was OK, but Planks served us the worst meal we have had in years. Advertised as a BBQ place the food was almost inedible. Several others echoed our sentiments.
We like breakfast delivered to our cabin. All arrived as ordered and on time.
We did Cartagena, Panama Canal, Limon, Costa Rica, and Grand Cayman. Recommendation - book excursions as early as possible. The most popular sell out quickly. Read Less
We chose this ship for the Itinerary of the Panama Canal. We enjoyed our tours in The Caymans and Costa Rica but the Panama Canal was interesting but the rest of the tour was rather long. Colombian tour was too short. Overall we were very ... Read More
We chose this ship for the Itinerary of the Panama Canal. We enjoyed our tours in The Caymans and Costa Rica but the Panama Canal was interesting but the rest of the tour was rather long. Colombian tour was too short. Overall we were very pleased with the ship. The Marketplace had a wide variety of food and the staff was very accommodating.
We had any time dining but turned out we had to wait until 7 or 7:30 thus we were unable to attend any theatre. The theatre was quite small for this size ship and filled up quickly.
I had read many negative reviews of this ship but found the ship in good shape, except for engine problems which will be repaired next month.
There were several bars playing a variety of music which everyone seemed to enjoy as there was lots of dancing. The Pinnacle band was really great to listen to at the pool.
Although the cabins are not large, we had a veranda room which helped in accommodating three in our room. The beds were super comfortable and we slept very well.
There were many activities but we stayed near the pool and only attended the talks by Dr. Dean, which were very informative.
We cannot say enough good things about the staff because they worked constantly to keep things in order, answer questions, and wait on everyone. Read Less
My husband and I chose this cruise after a very stressful year full of loss and trauma. We wanted to do something simple and a cruise seemed to fit that description. We don't usually cruise. We did go on one cruise on NCL to Bermuda and ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise after a very stressful year full of loss and trauma. We wanted to do something simple and a cruise seemed to fit that description. We don't usually cruise. We did go on one cruise on NCL to Bermuda and we were presently surprised by the variety of food options, no need for formal clothes and the variety of ages. On this cruise to the Caribbean on the MSC Divina, we found limited food options, two formal nights, virtually no variety of entertainment unless you like opera or musicals and rather rude staff. I will start with the positives and then go to the negatives.
One positive is that the ship is beautiful and kept quite clean. It is a comfortable ship and there are plenty of pools and hot tubs.
Another positive is that the drinks, coffee and desserts are good.
The last positive is that the cabin attendant was very good, kind and hard-working.
Now for the negatives: 1. The food is really very poor. There is a lack of variety and only three specialty restaurants (also there is a sports bar and a pizza restaurant). We tried all of the restaurants, paying extra because the food at the Black Crab was not so good. The specialty restaurants were not really worth the price and offered only four different entree choices. If you don't like beef or lamb, there isn't much for you. The seafood dishes were not so good. The buffet is just horrible. People are rude, cutting in line and then the food is the same every day. It had very little flavor and was just boring.
The bed was like sleeping on a slab of concrete. We had a balcony room. The balcony was nice but the room was just so uncomfortable with only one uncomfortable chair to sit on. I slept about 2 hours per night because the bed was so uncomfortable.
The staff are rude and when you complain, they are condescending. We did speak with a few people who were helpful but many were very rude.
The excursions were terrible and over-priced. We had a better time on the days that we did things on our own (Cartagena and Bahamas). One excursion was just horrible - the one in Puerto Limon, Costa Rica. The tour guide was so rude, the tour was overpriced and it was just a bad experience.
The entertainment is just geared toward opera and musicals. There is no real variety. It was just so achingly boring.
The fellow cruisers, well, many of them seem to have a particular disdain for Americans or maybe for humanity, in general. I love people from all over the world and have travelled to every continent save Antarctica, but the people I encountered on this cruise were so rude, staring, rolling their eyes, cutting in line, and saving the deck chairs all day. We had to rent chairs up on the top deck because people would save their chairs with towels, go to breakfast, lunch or wherever and not return for hours at a time. In general, it was sort of an experiment in social Darwinism. Very little regard for others is what I observed.
So...all in all, it was a really bad time. The only blessing is that the ship did not sink, the weather was great and I did not get food poisoning.
No. I will never consider MSC again. If my husband and I ever cruise again, it might be on NCL again, if ever. Read Less
I picked this ship for the itinerary and after reading some of the reviews I was a little nervous about going. Boarding was a breeze, the best one ever, just walked the line and disembarkation was smooth. The ship was beautiful and clean. ... Read More
I picked this ship for the itinerary and after reading some of the reviews I was a little nervous about going. Boarding was a breeze, the best one ever, just walked the line and disembarkation was smooth. The ship was beautiful and clean. The staff was great and super friendly. The shows were good some were more enjoyable that others but that is the way it is on all cruise ships. The same with dining some days better than others but again that is the norm just a preference of what you like more. I can’t say enough about the entertainment people, they were the best I experienced so far. They enjoy their jobs and it showed! The interaction with the passengers was amazing. They had people dancing, participating in games and laughing everyday and always with a smile. They seemed to care about how they could make your experience better. The captain even made himself available on different occasions and wanted to know how they could improve and asked for suggestions.
There may be a few minor things I could comment on but not worth the mention. There were some rude people on board but that is not a fault of the ship and they are everywhere.
I would recommend this ship and I would certainly travel with MSC in the future. Read Less
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