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4,670 Panama Canal & Central America Cruise Reviews

Is bigger always better? That depends, of course, on whom you ask. In my opinion The Norwegian Joy is just too big. My wife and I took the Joy, from LA to Miami because of the itinerary: a full transit of the Panama Canal. While I ... Read More
Is bigger always better? That depends, of course, on whom you ask. In my opinion The Norwegian Joy is just too big. My wife and I took the Joy, from LA to Miami because of the itinerary: a full transit of the Panama Canal. While I have visited Panama a couple of times, neither of us have ever gone through the locks. It was extraordinary. I prefaced the journey by reading David McCullough’s “The Path between the Seas.” That detailed account of the politics and the construction challenges associated with this amazing waterway made the journey much more interesting. We have been cruising for years and have been on numerous lines. Years ago we traveled on the Norwegian Sun out of Texas. Because we enjoyed that so much, we thought we would give NCL another try. The crew is as good, friendly and service-oriented as we have found elsewhere. When the threat of a virus apparently became a reality they went to great measures to protect the ship’s occupants. But we were amused to note that all sliding doors in public areas (and they are everywhere) could only be activated by placing one’s hand squarely on an activation pad. All those hands (many unwashed) pressing those buttons seems to negate all the hand washing required regularly at points where food was served. I believe other ships we have been on employed automated doors. The entertainment, in most cases, is as good as we have found (The Band- Silent Shout, the stage production Elements and the piano man- Arvin, were favorites.) A huge entertainment favorite on board is a Beatles tribute band. Unfortunately (I guess to be historically correct) they picked what is one of the smallest venues on the ship- The Cavern for these guys to perform. Regularly, many annoyed people lined up at the door only to be turned away from the tiny room. The Savor, Taste and Manhattan restaurants were OK but not extraordinary. This was our first cruise without Lobster or Escargot. I was disappointed. The Buffet, The Garden Café, was a favorite with a wide selection of sandwiches, breakfast items, hot entrees, ethnic dishes, salads and desserts (including several strategically placed “soft serve” ice cream dispensing machines.) There are two banks of eight elevators fore and aft. There is a wait about 85% of the time. When a car does arrive, it is usually very crowded, and you risk unintentionally offending someone when you back into them. But that’s all to be expected with that huge number of (sometimes huge) fun-seekers. When you pick up a towel for the deck, they record your name and cabin number because if you don’t bring the towel back they charge $30 per towel. I understand the intent: don’t leave an untended towel on a chair to save it as it just might get pinched and you will be out the thirty bucks. I doubt anyone is ever charged for a missing towel as the process to get a towel is loose. The colossal number of people made finding deck chairs and chaise lounges a genuine task. The cabins are OK, but they skimped on electrical outlets. There was a grand total of two in our verandah cabin (10796); both right next to each other. Take extension cords. The bathroom and showers are bigger and better than most. There is a quirky little design flaw (probably to make the bathrooms larger) that makes it difficult to get into the closet, because the bed or sofa by necessity is jammed so close to the closet that there is very little space to access your wardrobe. Getting on the ship took about two hours. At one point there was no one staffing the computer points to process incoming passengers. I was told they had all gone to help at another area, near the street, because, it seems, they were understaffed. I don’t know if that was NCL’s problem or the Los Angeles World Cruise Center’s boondoggle. Disembarkation went quite well. I never sign up for excursions. I enjoy the challenge of finding a driver near each port’s terminal. I have saved thousands in doing so. So, nothing to report there. We will cruise with NCL again, but not on the monster ships. The prodigious crush of people diminishes the experience for us. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We wanted to go from Fort Lauderdale FL to Los Angeles CA through the Panama Canal. We were not disappointed. The best part, by far, of this cruise was Bill Fall. This incredibly knowledgeable ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We wanted to go from Fort Lauderdale FL to Los Angeles CA through the Panama Canal. We were not disappointed. The best part, by far, of this cruise was Bill Fall. This incredibly knowledgeable man held several presentations, sharing slides that helped us understand the history and construction of the canal far better than we ever expected. Next to Bill Fall, the best part was our cabin steward, Jonathan. We have cruised many times on various lines and he is at the top with his genuine helpfulness and positive nature. Our dining experience was average to better than average overall. Crown Grill was exemplary for a specialty restaurant on a ship - best steaks ever. Anytime dining very helpful to our schedule, though we didn't have the advantage of the same server to accommodate our tastes. The food was better than average overall. We appreciated having outdoor options as well. Entertainment was as expected. Some shows very fun and others not so. The cruise staff personalities varied to such an extent that we found ourselves picking the evening activities based on who was hosting. Ports very interesting overall. Huatulco is a beautiful sleepy beach town but if you choose a "Highlights of Huatulco" shore excursion, please note that there aren't many highlights in Huatulco. Stick with sitting on the beach as that's the best part. Our favorite shore excursion sponsored by the ship was the La Paz waterfall trip in Costa Rica - well worth it! We also went off the ship's excursion list with a Vallarta Food Tour in Puerto Vallarta (10 stars!) and a segway tour in Cartagena (another ten!). And top marks to Princess for having a texting service that allowed my family to stay in touch while on the ship. You put your phone in airplane mode, select the ship MedallionNet wifi option and add your family names as contacts. This was wonderful for us to be able to know where all six of us were at any given time. The best part was going through the Panama Canal - I think everyone should do that at some point in their lifetimes! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
The Joy is, unquestionably, a beautiful ship. That being stated, there are several deficiencies as to the ability to handle 3800+ guests. The theater is not able to handle the crowds and unless you got there at least 30 minutes prior to ... Read More
The Joy is, unquestionably, a beautiful ship. That being stated, there are several deficiencies as to the ability to handle 3800+ guests. The theater is not able to handle the crowds and unless you got there at least 30 minutes prior to a show, odds are that you wouldn't get a seat. I have never, ever experienced this issue on any other cruises. Additionally, both the Cavern Club (the Beatles tribute band venue) and the Social (stand up comedians venue) are woefully undersized. To go to a performance in the Cavern Club, you had to get in line a full hour before the show (which is 45 minutes!). Huge lines at the Social as well. It is clear that NCL has significantly (repeat - SIGNIFICANTLY) cheapened the offerings in the main dining rooms. Pretty much every night, you'd look at the menu and really struggle to find something appealing. No shrimp cocktails (ever!), no lobster night, and the utilization of really cheap fish varieties (swai, bluefish, etc). I guess that they really want you to buy additional nights in the specialty restaurants (which we did!). Additionally, even on a 16 night cruise, they never changed the limited lunch menu in the main dining rooms (or La Cucina, where Concierge Class could eat breakfast and lunch). Obviously, this is crazy! The specialty restaurants were wonderful. We dined in them 9 out of the 16 nights and loved every meal. It was clear to us that if we were ever to travel again on this ship, Concierge Class is an absolute necessity. Embarkation in LA was an absolute nightmare and the debarkation process in Miami was no better. Lines were beyond comprehension if you were not Concierge or guests in the Haven. You'd think they'd have these processes figured out, but it was utter chaos in both places. That being said, we had an absolutely fabulous concierge who did not have the word "no" in his vocabulary! This really enhanced the trip. Additionally, as noted in other reviews, the staff overall was as good as any we've ever had on a cruise. Kudos to NCL for what is obviously a terrific training program. Ports: Most were fine, but Acapulco is a disaster and there is virtually nothing to see on the Pacific side of Costa Rica. 40 years ago, we went to Acapulco a few times and it was "the" place to go in Mexico. Now, it's in shambles. No cruise ship should be going there. The cabin: Concierge Family Inside Suite. UNBELIEVABLE!!!!! At 561 sq.ft., it was larger than our son's apartment in Brooklyn! It was comprised of 2 bedrooms, a living room, and 2 bathrooms (master bath with a double sink and bathtub). It is designed for up to 6 passengers, but as there were virtually no families on this sailing, NCL offered it at prices far below normal. While we occasionally missed having a balcony (especially while crossing the Panama Canal, we'd gladly sacrifice the balcony for this cabin any time. Now, we're spoiled!!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
My wife and I have multiple things to celebrate (35th anniversary, both healthy after medical scares, etc...) and decided that a two week cruise through the Panama Canal was just the ticket. We enjoyed everything about the cruise. Both ... Read More
My wife and I have multiple things to celebrate (35th anniversary, both healthy after medical scares, etc...) and decided that a two week cruise through the Panama Canal was just the ticket. We enjoyed everything about the cruise. Both embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly and the staff was very friendly and helpful. Our last 2 cruises were on RCL and the staff on those ships treated us like we were annoying if we asked for anything. On this trip on the Emerald, the staff treated us wonderfully, from the front desk to our steward, the dining room, and bar staff. We spent a lot of time at the back of the ship by Terrace Pool. The bartender and staff learned our names and called them out whenever we walked out onto the deck! We splurged more than normal on this cruise and had a mini-suite. We loved the extra room and spent quite a bit of time on the balcony. The only minor complaint would be that the couch in our room seemed quite old and uncomfortable. It should be replaced. The food was pretty good. I found it to be more of a variety than other cruises I've been on, but still got to be repeated too much on a 15 day cruise. But, we did not go hungry! We had some wonderful excursions, and the trip through the canal was awesome! The commentary offered was really great. We also met some really nice people from all over the world. All-in-all, we had a great 15 days! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We are in our late 40's and we are a very active couple. Sitting around and watching movies is not our forte'. The entertainment on this cruise was horrible. When you have 8 days of "Sea Days" and the most exciting ... Read More
We are in our late 40's and we are a very active couple. Sitting around and watching movies is not our forte'. The entertainment on this cruise was horrible. When you have 8 days of "Sea Days" and the most exciting thing for that day is going to a lecture about arthritis, something is wrong with that cruise line! I would not recommend Princess for our age group. We were so ready to get off this cruise and get home to our kids. The ship is showing her age, the staff is just there... nothing outstanding, and the choices for entertainment were not well thought out. There were not enough seats for the activities that were worth going to and you literally had to get there an hour before it started to even get a seat. We don't go for the food, but it was decent. The ship is clean, the staff is there to do their job - and that was about it, and the food was edible. Nothing fancy and not worth the money that we paid. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Figured it was time to spend a few bucks rather than just leave it to the kid. So with our slight cruise experience via Royal Caribbean cruise, we'll go big and take a long ride. Norwegian couldn't be that much different than RC. ... Read More
Figured it was time to spend a few bucks rather than just leave it to the kid. So with our slight cruise experience via Royal Caribbean cruise, we'll go big and take a long ride. Norwegian couldn't be that much different than RC. We were wrong. Knew something could be amiss when i visited the Garden Cafe for a bite to eat. Why any cruise company would supply about the cheapest hot dogs possible made me shake my head at the start. And since I'm from Michigan where hot dogs are an art form, yes, there is a massive difference in quality in something so simple. IOW, when you see a pack of hot dogs at the local store for less than a buck, you avoid them at all times yet NCL seems to think, cost cutting is a means towards success. But as the two weeks went on, most the staff was friendly and tried to make our stay as enjoyable as possible but the little things that were cheap just put a tarnish on the whole experience. While I didn't expect a 5 star meal at the breakfast or other buffets everyday, many things were cold and the menu just flat out didn't make sense. And the low ball quality really was evident. Let's face it, when people go on these adventures, they aren't there to be back of the bus passengers. But the ship was nice but the concept of the Haven is one thing I will never go anywhere near. Great that a few want to spend as much as the they want to and get perks. IOW, views were restricted. Again a disappointment. But the one thing that was completely inexcusable was how we let NCL make arrangements for travel to and from. While having nearly 4k passengers leave at once is a logistics nightmare, to book passengers on flight almost 12 hours after they exited, is an insult. Especially since there were other flights that could have easily gotten us out earlier. Will likely cruise again but most likely won't go NCL. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We wanted to experience the Panama Canal and go somewhere warm in January so we booked this cruise and had a fabulous time. We arrived in sunny Fort Lauderdale and stayed at the Marriott North for a couple of days Pre-Cruise. It is a ... Read More
We wanted to experience the Panama Canal and go somewhere warm in January so we booked this cruise and had a fabulous time. We arrived in sunny Fort Lauderdale and stayed at the Marriott North for a couple of days Pre-Cruise. It is a nice Marriott and a good price since it isn’t on the beach. We took Uber to the port and it was very easy. We arrived at 11:30 and we were boarding soon after. The embarkation couldn’t have gone smoother. We are Platinum next cruise and will speed things along even faster. We had lunch in the DaVinci dining room and they announced the staterooms were open before 1:00 which was a nice surprise. This was our third trip on the Emerald and she didn’t disappoint. We have had some fun cruises on the Emerald and the ship isn’t brand new anymore but still very pretty and in good shape. We always seem to have a good crew on this ship and the staff seems happy and eager to please. We had a wonderful stateroom steward, probably one of the best we have ever had. He was friendly and anticipated our every need. We had traditional early seating at 5:15 which was a little early but the late seating is too late for us. My husband is on a very low sodium diet and the head waiter gave him the menu every night for the next night so he could Pre order and they prepared his meals low sodium. We ate in the dining room all but two nights and really enjoyed our waiter and assistant. We thought the food was good in the dining room. I always am amazed that people complain on these reviews about the food. If I don’t have to shop for it, cook it or clean up after then it is great for me. We certainly found something on the menu to eat every night and didn’t come home lighter! The buffet was good as were the hamburgers by the pool. We had escargot, lobster, beef tenderloin, steak, lots of shrimp and scallops and enjoyed every bite. The entertainment was enjoyable. The new Rock Opera which debuted on the Emerald this sailing (it is also on the Sky I believe) was absolutely superb! The singers and dancers on this cruise were tremendous. We had some other really good guest performers that were very talented and some good magicians and comedians. The Princess theater was packed every show and for the 7:30 show you had to arrive at least 30 minutes early to get a seat. I really think it would help if Princess would add a third showtime or repeat the shows because every passenger seemed to want to go to the theater every night. I noticed lots of people brought books to read while waiting. We also had Medallion Net Wifi and we were able to text, email and call if we wanted. It is really a game changer if you need WiFi. Most of the basketball games that my husband NEEDED to see were on a ESPN channel in the stateroom but one that wasn’t on ESPN he was able to keep up with it online. I however went to the theater since I don’t require basketball at sea. We had a balcony booked but this cruise was over sold so they offered us an amazing deal to give up our balcony and move to an inside cabin. Well that was ok but the inside they moved us to had two more berths that fold down from the wall. These extra beds just stuck out from the wall and made the room seem so much smaller and we both cracked our head on them a couple of times. That was a bummer. Fortunately we were aft Riviera deck so it was a quick escape to the terrace pool and bar and outside seating which helped us to not kill each other in that cabin for 15 days. We really enjoyed the ports since they were all new to us. We did a couple of private excursions (in Cartagena and Nicaragua) and a great Princess excursion to the Starbucks Hacienda Coffee Plantation in Costa Rica. We had an awesome guide and a delicious lunch. It was a small group of 10 in a van which made it so nice. It was well worth the money. Starbucks gave us the VIP treatment too. We were on our own in Huatulco which was ok. There isn’t much at the port (some restaurants and shopping) so I would book a tour if I went back. Puerto Vallarta was beautiful and we took a taxi (7.00 each way for the taxi not per person but you need exact change and we tipped a couple of dollars) to the Malecon boardwalk and it was fine with lots of shopping and restaurants and walking along the ocean and downtown. The day of the Panama Canal crossing was an all day event and was fantastic. We were up at 6:00 am with the other 3000 spectators but there were plenty of places to watch the crossing. The most popular spot was Lido deck all the way forward where they opened the unmarked doors to the very front of the ship. They even served mimosas up there which was festive. We went through the new locks and it was a marvel. There was a commentator that talked us through the Canal and he was very interesting. He did a number of port lectures as well which we didn’t attend but watched them in our stateroom later. His name is Bill Fall and he was very knowledgeable and interesting. The first two sea days were really bouncy. I think we were having high winds so I don’t think it was normal. When we arrived in Cartagena it was calm and stayed very calm until we left Puerto Vallarta and headed toward LA. The seas were not quite as calm and the temperature dropped to the 60’s for the two days back to Los Angeles. Disembarkation was also very organized and we were off by 8:30 then took an Uber to LAX and were there in plenty of time for a 12:10 flight. We enjoyed this cruise very much. We found the majority of the staff and crew to be very friendly and efficient. We went to a Meet and Greet with our roll call and enjoyed meeting the Captain and several other officers that attended and spoke. They were warm and approachable. The Captain was really delightful and we saw him often around the ship. He seemed to enjoy talking to passengers and answering questions. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
The cabins were clean ... and service was good ... staff were happy and helpful ... loved the observation deck on 15 ... BUT the food although plentiful was mediocre and lack variety ... often the blandness was masked by over salting ... ... Read More
The cabins were clean ... and service was good ... staff were happy and helpful ... loved the observation deck on 15 ... BUT the food although plentiful was mediocre and lack variety ... often the blandness was masked by over salting ... my biggest disappointment on this cruise line was that served restaurant breakfast end at 9:30 am ... so I was left to elbow my way thru the buffet resulting in a cold breakfast by the time I got to a table ... my cruise ship morning routine on other cruise lines consists of morning exercise, a shower and then a sit down breakfast after 10 am ... this routine in my definition of cruising so I will not be cruising on NCL again ... PS ... loved the spa ... went every seaday ... was very happy when the water cooler was moved to the waiting area ... Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Great route through the Panama Canal, very friendly staff and good service. On and off boarding went hours, even in the haven class. Beware of medical center. Good treatment, my wife was treated for a cold. 15 minutes consultation ... Read More
Great route through the Panama Canal, very friendly staff and good service. On and off boarding went hours, even in the haven class. Beware of medical center. Good treatment, my wife was treated for a cold. 15 minutes consultation and 3 medicines cost $1000, one medication costing 50$ in the US was sold for $200 on board. we weren‘t informed about charge until on our bill, then nothing could be changed and nobody was able to look in to this. Ship had many people ill and had to take additional precaution against viruses, ship seems to be too big to handle flow of people and contamination under passengers and crew. Crew is well trained and does its outmost to give a good experience. Food was very good, especially in the speciality restaurants that cost extra. All department laid a big effort on up selling and cross selling, it is all about additional revenues Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
As Platinum travelers on NCL and having cruised multiple times with other cruise lines all around the world, my wife and I selected this NCL cruise as we have never cruised through the Panama Canal and wanted to do so on a newer and larger ... Read More
As Platinum travelers on NCL and having cruised multiple times with other cruise lines all around the world, my wife and I selected this NCL cruise as we have never cruised through the Panama Canal and wanted to do so on a newer and larger boat. After reading numerous reviews regarding this cruise aboard the NCL Joy we were very concerned about all of the negativity, and therefore had low expectations. However, we were so pleasantly surprised and are now happy to write this rebuttal review regarding this particular cruise and this ship. The boat is absolutely pristine and clean with the most friendly, outgoing crew that we have ever encountered! You cannot pass by any of the 1700 crew members with receiving a warm and friendly greeting! This boat has something for everyone from Racing cars to water slides, to golf, to laser tag! The entertainment venues are the most varied and numerous we've ever encountered from numerous comedians, to numerous quality singers, hypnotists, aerialists, ventriloquists, tribute bands such as a wonderful Beatles Review, a full Broadway Production in "Footloose" as well as an original production of "Elements". Every evening we had several entertainment venues to keep us busy and involved. the boats itinerary was perfect with a mix of interesting ports mixed with some sea days. The Panama Canal crossing was truly spectacular with this boat due to the numerous viewing opportunities such as the opening of the front bow to the air-conditioned Observatory Deck, to The Front Cafe and the "Waterfront" areas with their cafes and sofas that all combined to offer different viewpoints along with a running commentary from a local historian from the Bridge. We were given explanatory pamphlets as well as a colorful certificate for framing. NCL went above & beyond to insure that the experience could be enjoyed by all! Frankly, as one who looks to these reviews for an objective perspective, I'm writing to say that, in the case of the NCL Joy, these negative reviews could not be any more off point! Anyone seeking a Panama Canal Crossing on a new ship should strongly consider this cruise as a great value for the money that offers numerous entertainment, eating, and activity options. My wife and I would happily repeat this cruise again! No complaints! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We wanted a warm getaway in winter and Panama canal transit sounded great. Lots was available to do on the ship, but nearly every activity required extra $$$. In addition, there were several issues that either no crew working directly ... Read More
We wanted a warm getaway in winter and Panama canal transit sounded great. Lots was available to do on the ship, but nearly every activity required extra $$$. In addition, there were several issues that either no crew working directly with passengers had info about, OR they had been instructed to say nothing to passengers. It started with the Norwegian-provided transportation from LAX airport to cruise ship. About 200 or more folks were in the baggage claim waiting for the shuttle for more than 2 hours, without even a seat for some of the older folks who can't tolerate standing for that long. The ship reps who lined us up couldn't -or wouldn't?- tell us what was the delay. It was all aboard time before shuttle got to ship. Then about 3 days before the end of cruise all the condiments were removed from tables and you could no longer self-serve food and beverage at the buffet (instead, stand in line and tell them what you want on your plate... and get all jammed up). Again no one could-or would- explain why beyond 'it's to keep you safe'. The rumors and suppositions about the issue were probably worse than reality. Finally debarking was all jumbled. We were to leave on a 'tour' that transferred us to MIA at 9, but were barely getting off the ship by 9, at which time we stood for 45 minutes in the skyway/walkway watching all the luggage passengers set outside their rooms for collection the night before being transferred to the cruise terminal so we could pick it up. Once more no one was able, or maybe no one was authorized, to disclose what was the reason luggage hadn't been transferred when we first docked. Not communication issues, but other negatives: There were only 2 small pools for the majority of the approx. 3500 guests to use (altho the small number of Haven guests had a 3rd pool to themselves). The atrium was open to the internet cafe, guest services, shore excursions and cruise next areas making all the sounds run together so that it was difficult to think or hear responses to your questions. Positives: Entertainment was better than the other NCL cruise I took, and there were 3 large main dining rooms in addition to the buffet, so it wasn't too difficult to get a table for 2-4 during open hours. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this cruise because the Canal had been on our bucket list for a long time. We have sailed on Eurodam almost ten years ago and had some really good memories of that time. We stayed in Deerfield Beach the night before where we found ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the Canal had been on our bucket list for a long time. We have sailed on Eurodam almost ten years ago and had some really good memories of that time. We stayed in Deerfield Beach the night before where we found a delightful Brazialian buffet. Since spouse was riding a med scooter, we were given some leaway on standing in lines so embarcation went very smoothly. On board and in room by 12:30. The ship was well done in overhaul with new color scheme and upgrades. Our cabin 8033(accessable) was larger than most on the ones we were albe to peek in with plenty of room for the scooter to park and turn around. The shower was spacious but did flood the entire bath when used( drains wouldn't contain water). The bedding was very comfortable and the room was expertly maintained by steward whenever we left cabin ( one day even making bed 4 times). The dining was good in the main dining hall ( didn;t try specialitys) and we were treated with care and graciousness. Was nice to called by name every evening when we came to sign in to dine and by several of the attendants on the Lido deck. Even had one of the line supervisors prepare a plate and then carry to find table for spouse. The main entertainment was not as elaborate as we remember with the "shows" being a single singer or comedian. The best in our opinion was the staff preformance. Plenty of other activities with two excelent piano players in the Billboard who often had fifty or more people standing in the aisle watching since no more seating. The orange party was no more than waiters bringing around canapes while the band played very loud music in the BB King room. Don't bother with wearing Orange, few did. The self walking tour in Curacao was nice and we felt completely safe while seeing a good bit of the old city. The canal tour in Puerto Limon was excelent with many sloths and other wildlife being seen. The bird park at Cartegena was well done with some beautiful displays and easy to travel pathways. Most ports were typical vendors pushing the same trinkets and "local" (made in China) wares. Disembarcation for us was very easy since we were in the last group to be called. Eight ships in port that day. We lazed around and enjoyed talking and visiting until after 10:15. Walked off ship, picked up luggage, stood in line at immagration for about 10 minutes and then strolled to parking garage and were on road to Alligator Alley before 11:00. Overall a good cruise with some highlights and some letdowns. The worst was when HAL "allowed" us to have Meet and Greet in same room where they were playing bingo loudly. HAL did set up snacks and coffee which was jumped on by bingo players. Saw several quieter possible locations. No officers or other HAL reps attended. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was a very successful vacation. Aft cabin on 8th floor was perfect for going thru the Panama Canal. The guide narrating the cruise was a welcome surprise...he did a great job. We also liked the (30 minute) educational classes they ... Read More
This was a very successful vacation. Aft cabin on 8th floor was perfect for going thru the Panama Canal. The guide narrating the cruise was a welcome surprise...he did a great job. We also liked the (30 minute) educational classes they offered and attended almost all of them. Microsoft classes. Photo-coach classes. Port to table cooking demonstrations by chef about local foods. Presentations by the cruise director about the regions, and animals, and history. Fascinating topics. Also, the Lincoln Center Stage offered classical music performances and talks about performers. Such a treat! Our biggest complaint is that we don't like to dress up for dinner on the 2 gala nights, and eating in the Lido buffet can be challenging if ya want to just sit and have dinner as a couple. Would prefer HAL to come up with a dining service option for the "under dressed"...lol. One other thing we don't like is the high pressure "spa and fitness" people. They are too aggressive and materialistic...so we stayed away. However, we will definitely return to HAL!!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Discovery 2 Panama Canal Experience Jan 2020 First the Bad. We booked early through Sunwing (Toronto), paid full price. When we boarded the ship, our assigned cabin was quite small. We are pensioners, Sunwing requested our age. There ... Read More
Discovery 2 Panama Canal Experience Jan 2020 First the Bad. We booked early through Sunwing (Toronto), paid full price. When we boarded the ship, our assigned cabin was quite small. We are pensioners, Sunwing requested our age. There was a queen bed in the corner, 1 night table sideways at head (drawer could not be opened), access to the bed was only from foot or on right side. Access at right side, about 12 inches opening to 18 inches. We went to reception, they had a look at the cabin and asked us to return after all passengers had boarded. When we returned, they did have an inside cabin for us with the queen bed in the middle, night tables each side and access on both sides. A big thumbs up to Stiven at Customer Service, a very upfront and professional Marella employee. Booking from Canada we could not pre book a cabin or anything else. Sunwing need to ensure that elderly passengers are in a suitable cabin and/or have the option of booking a suitable cabin. If we were in our 40’s we would not have complained. Sunwing are hard to deal with, we requested a call back from a supervisor re our booking and were never called back. If you book with Sunwing cover all of your bases before they get your credit card info! Next the Good! Third time on Discovery 2, another excellent cruise. It's a friendly ship. There was some obvious updating in Islands and the new Quid and Anchor Lounge. Food was very good. Third time on board but first time for the fish & chips at the Snack Shack – excellent! Entertainment, excellent as usual, amazing talent. Even though we had seen most of the shows the year before they were still quite enjoyable - must have been as most nights we went twice. We are still laughing at the comedian’s (Peter Piper) jokes – “How Much?”! Costa Rica, Port Limon – did the canal and train excursion and enjoyed it. Guide (Ivan) was excellent. Panama, Colon - We chose this cruise primarily for the trip through the locks on the Panama Canal into Lake Gatun. Up at 4:30am, coffee was on. Quite interesting and well worth it. We stayed on board for the day and enjoyed the return trip back through the canal. Columbia, Cartagena – Just took a cab into town and wandered around. Quite an interesting place. Port Royal Jamaica – Well what can I say, first ship to dock since Captain Henry Morgan! Interesting swing out pier/walkway that attaches magnetically to the ship. This is new tourist destination facility, first day it was open. People were very friendly, we walked through the town to the old fort, quite interesting. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this cruise because we had cruised Princess to Alaska and had a very enjoyable experience. This cruise was slightly different. Our cabin steward was MIA for the 1st 2 days, apparently he was ill, but there was no one we could ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had cruised Princess to Alaska and had a very enjoyable experience. This cruise was slightly different. Our cabin steward was MIA for the 1st 2 days, apparently he was ill, but there was no one we could directly contact with issues. This was a 10 day cruise, 4 of which were at sea. Additionally, because of bad weather, we were unable to dock in one of our scheduled ports, making it 5 days at sea. The ship seemed crowded. Guests spent a lot of time inside because of the weather. Many people don't remove their used towels from the chairs and it leaves others wandering around wondering what is available. The deck crews should be on top of that more. The spa was okay. I had a facial and my husband and I had a couples massage. The massage was much better than the facial. The fitness center was a disappointment. While it is large and there are several treadmills, they are not available until 9:00 AM. Very disappointing. The entertainment was good, but when it is in a small venue, it is crowded and hard to get a seat. Back to back activities in these small venues creates a problem because people don't leave between activities. The food was good, our server, Victoria was wonderful. As a suite guest we were able to have breakfast in Sabatini's in the morning. The staff there was also great. Room service was average. Excursions: Cayman Island - we took a coast to coast bus tour. It was okay, didn't care for our driver and her uppity attitude. Cartagena - toured the old city and the San Felipe Fortress. It gets hot, make sure your tour is in the morning. Good tour guide, crappy bus, many many peddlers in the streets! Panama - canal locks were amazing. Domed car train ride not worth the money. Jamaica - toured the Rose Hall Great House - it was fine, finished with a short shopping trip to shops. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Food in restaurant was very disappointing (eg. 1 got a seafood entree that only had 1shrimp,4 mussels, 0 scallops and one bite of Sea Bass. All served on a bunch of scallop shells in a broth. It shouldn’t even have been sent up from the ... Read More
Food in restaurant was very disappointing (eg. 1 got a seafood entree that only had 1shrimp,4 mussels, 0 scallops and one bite of Sea Bass. All served on a bunch of scallop shells in a broth. It shouldn’t even have been sent up from the kitchen or served ) (eg.2. Got served a bowl of broth with a piece of fish dropped in it. This was supposed to be a “chowder”. Inedible!) (eg. 3 requested rye toast in restaurant for breakfast and got 2 pieces of warm, untoasted, brown bread). Enough said re restaurant fare. We ended up just eating at the World Fresh Market. ie buffet. This buffet food was very good! The production shows were disappointing. The performers were very talented but the shows were not exactly toe tappers or sing alongs. Most of the staff were friendly especially in the all night International Cafe. When we could not go into Limon Costa Rica ,due to bad weather , the company was very fast at refunding our prepaid excursion costs. Alcoholic drink costs were atrocious so we only indulged once. We ordered 2 glasses of wine on the formal dinner night that ended up costing us almost 30 dollars Canadian. We enjoyed the ports and the people. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We were on a group tour from our church. We like the itinerary as we wanted to see the new locks. SHIP: Overall the ship was very nice. All the public areas were well maintained and the people flow was good. We chose to hang ... Read More
We were on a group tour from our church. We like the itinerary as we wanted to see the new locks. SHIP: Overall the ship was very nice. All the public areas were well maintained and the people flow was good. We chose to hang around the adults pool located at the back of the ship. Easy access to food and beverages, not as crowded and a little quieter. The Medallion experience was OUTSTANDING! With a disk the size of a quarter you can locate anything you need, all your traveling companions, activities, directions by checking in at the portals located throughout the ship. Even better is to download the app and have all of this at your fingertips. You get a free lanyard and there are accessories you can buy (a bracelet; a wristband) but I though the prices were too high. SERVICE: Again shout out to Edel and Jonel our waitstaff and Basulto our cabin steward!! The cruise director (DuVual) and his staff were outstanding, funny, gracious and entertaining!! ENTERTAINMENT: This was EXCELLENT!! We went to every show and none disappointed. Bravo (a medley of Broadway show tunes); Fantastic Journey (a type of Cirque d Soleil); a comedian; a magician.. The only issue was that both the comedian and magician played both in the main theater and in one of the lounges - the lounge was very tight for space. ON BOARD ACTIVITIES: We enjoyed all the trivia games, a back stage tour, a galley tour. There were two violinists on board who were outstanding and played in the piazza. We did line dancing and a couple of "beat the crew" games; a photography class; and arts and craft classes. DINING: We dined with our group in the Palm Island room. The menu selections were at times a bit strange - we are not foodies and just enjoy basic meals. But they had a base offering of the same menu items each night which appealed to us. Portions are not large but very sufficient. So if you want to indulge in more, you might have room. The buffet was good - excellent omelette station! PORTS OF CALL: Cartegna, Columbia: We generally do not due excursions mostly because they tend to spend too much time at a gift shop vs. the actual experience. However we did disembark to the pier and were told about an aviary within walking distance. We spent a great deal of time there and saw sloths, anteaters, parrots, peacocks, flamingoes and various fauna. Well worth the visit! Partial transit/Canal New Lock (Aqua Clara): Unfortunately the day dawned overcast and a bit of rain early on. We went out on deck by 6A to fully watch the entry into each chamber leading up to Gatun Lake. Fascinating engineering. There was an on board lecture being piped throughout the ship which was sadly more annoying than informative. We had attended the prior lecture on the history of the canal offered the day before in the theater oddly given by the same person so it was a bit surprising that the day edition wasn't quite as good. Limon, Costa Rica: Unfortunately due to rough waters at the pier, our ship could not safely dock. We got another sea day as we headed to our last port in Jamaica. I have to absolutely commend the cruise director (DuVual) and his staff for the efficient and quick way they put together yet another fun filled day of activities at such a short notice. Falmouth, Jamaica: This was actually our second visit to Falmouth and again we chose not to do any excursions. we had intended to just freely walk about the exterior streets (outside the marketplace right at the pier). We lasted about three blocks. Once you leave the marketplace (which is fenced in and guarded), you are at the mercy of EVERY street vendor, taxi driver, tour guide, hawker imaginable and they are relentless. Once one leaves you, there are at least two or three waiting to walk at your side and talk you into whatever they are selling. It is also a bit unnerving to walk around, The smell of marijuana permeates, there are too may deep dark alleys, and it just didn't feel safe. Would NOT recommend leaving the pier marketplace. All excursion transportation enter the fenced in area to pick up passengers and return the same way. Embarkation and disembarkation: Excellent!!! We arrived at the port with our group and were at our cabin within a hour (one suitcase was already there). Same for disembarkation. Our group was scheduled to leave the ship at 8:40A and the day was going so well, we actually were able to leave 30 minutes earlier (however, our return bus wasn't scheduled to pick us up until 9A). Our bags were at the terminal in their assignen/coded areas and we easily picked them up, breezed through customs and wento meet our bus. So both experiences were leisurely and stressless. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this cruise to see the new locks of the Panama Canal which we did. We were on the same cruise ship in August and it was very good. New chef, captain, and cruise director made it a poor cruise. Main problem was the food in the ... Read More
We chose this cruise to see the new locks of the Panama Canal which we did. We were on the same cruise ship in August and it was very good. New chef, captain, and cruise director made it a poor cruise. Main problem was the food in the dining room. Awful. Cruise director liked to hold everything in the center of the cruise ship which was not large enough for dance lessons and dancing at night. This was a poor choice. We will not use princess for a about 3 years since it was so bad which is disappointing since we just reached elite. I know Princess will not contact us as they are happy to fill up all their cruise ships for now...but that may change!!! As fof the room, it was very good and the steward was above average. Bars were great and bartender Zen was the best ever. Jun the bartender was good as well. Entertainment needs improvement. Getting on and off the ship was above average. We liked using the medallions for getting in the room and charging stuff. However, the poor food made it so our next three cruises we have signed up for will be on Holland American and Viking. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We have done several Caribbean cruises but had never visited the Panama Canal or Costa Rica. Princess is supposed to be a premium brand of Carnival but we were disappointed with the level of service in the dining rooms and the quality of ... Read More
We have done several Caribbean cruises but had never visited the Panama Canal or Costa Rica. Princess is supposed to be a premium brand of Carnival but we were disappointed with the level of service in the dining rooms and the quality of food overall. Wait staff were not fluent in English and we had difficulty conversing with them. The ship was built in 2004 and it looked tired, even though it had recently been refreshed. We prevously cruised on Celebrity Summit and Infinity which are comparable in age and we found them to be much better overall. We had difficulty conversing with staff in the restaurants because their English was very poor. We expected Princess to be on a par with Celebrity but this was not the case. The dining staff on Celebrity were easier to understand and there were 3 people assigned to each table while there were 2 on Princess. Each Celebrity table had a wine sommalier to help with wine selection. They poured drinks at the table from a bottle shortly after you arrived while Princess staff (not sommalier) had to get each drink from the back, increasing wait times considerably. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Totally satisfied with the entire cruise experience! All the Princess Cruise people were so helpful, bent over backwards to help you. Food was excellent, service was excellent! Saw some reviews that the Caribbean Princess was dated. I ... Read More
Totally satisfied with the entire cruise experience! All the Princess Cruise people were so helpful, bent over backwards to help you. Food was excellent, service was excellent! Saw some reviews that the Caribbean Princess was dated. I did not, enjoyed the art, especially deck 6 entry to the theater. Do go at least 30 minutes prior to the events. I would highly recommend the Caribbean Princess, and would sail on it again. Also purchase the shore excursions well in advance they sell out very fast. The Princess cruise excursions were very good. It’s worth any extra costs to book thru them for the security of knowing they will wait for you. We did Panama canal partial crossing, It was sufficient. They went thru 1st 3 locks to Gatoon Lake. They dropped off Princess excursions to buses for all Princess passengers. Did the Old Panama city Pacific side tour with 1 hour stop at original canal Lock. Ship was going thru being pulled by 4 engines. Fascinating, definitely best shore excursion ever. Highly recommend!!!!!! One other note, If you do a tour you only see half the transit thru The new locks, for me it was fine Seeing the original canal lock and Pacific side on the excursion. Trip of a lifetime! Highly recommend! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I have never been on a cruise before and I came in with little to no expectations and a positive attitude. At first I was overwhelmed with amount of action going on and the small rooms, food etc. But after the initial first day, which was ... Read More
I have never been on a cruise before and I came in with little to no expectations and a positive attitude. At first I was overwhelmed with amount of action going on and the small rooms, food etc. But after the initial first day, which was stressful because of flying and nothing with the Princess cruise line, everything worked out. Sure, we did not go on one of our port stops due to weather, but safety was the priorty and I understood that. Also, the staff was INCREDIBLE!! Everyone was so personal, kind and nice! Spoiled me rotten from such great service. Entertainment was great and the whole time I was enjoying, having a blast and was always satisfied with everything. And if at any point I had any issues, they were quickly resolved. The game shows and entertainment was too notch, they have things for kids, teens and in betweens. And obviously adults and older adults as well. We watched a movie outside and ate ice cream, I mean what could be better? So all in all, the best vacation of my life. I would totally reccomend. For a lot of people who complain on these forums, these people are natural complainers so I would take it with a grain of salt. I had an awesome time and would 100000 percent reccommend. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We loved this itinerary and we were excited to sail on Princess because it has a nice reputation. We loved the Medallion class and the technology and convenience that the ocean medallion offers passengers. The idea is that it will ... Read More
We loved this itinerary and we were excited to sail on Princess because it has a nice reputation. We loved the Medallion class and the technology and convenience that the ocean medallion offers passengers. The idea is that it will personalize the service for passengers in the future. However, I think that Princess still has a very long ways to go before they do that. In fact, I feel that the personalization of the service has diminished since we last sailed on Princess 10 years ago. We liked the excursions offered by Princess and we loved how streamlined the excursions were with the cruise. The biggest disappointment for me was the food - as well as the state of the staterooms (old carpet, old furnishings). The food in the main dining room was very poor. The grill and pizza was even worse, with non-fresh vegetables, non fresh bread, etc. One night, I orderdered the featured mussels with toast. The mussels tasted very fish, the broth had hardly any flavor, and the toast was literally amazingly stale. Like it had to have been just out for days. I liked the food better on NCL and Carnival - and that's disappointing considering the premium price. I was also not impressed with the entertainment. It's hard to get great entertainment each night on a 10-day cruise - I get it. But the 'singer comedy act' that they had was just so amateur. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Great Panama Canal experience! The Caribbean Princess is an older ship with great upgrades and a fantastic crew! The Cruise Director was unbelievable and was a huge asset to the fun on the cruise. The waitstaff in the dining rooms were ... Read More
Great Panama Canal experience! The Caribbean Princess is an older ship with great upgrades and a fantastic crew! The Cruise Director was unbelievable and was a huge asset to the fun on the cruise. The waitstaff in the dining rooms were great and worked together to make your ding experience a great one! The ships decor was terrific and the flow of the activity decks seemed you were on a much smaller ship. I loved the International Cafe for there fresh Lattes and service. A great friendly smile to start your day. The Guest Services Desk was always full of employees to help with you issues, not like other cruise lines that have a skeleton crew (NCL) to service your needs.Overall, the Princess cruise line is trying and staying way in front of their competition with there Medallian program which is helping non techy's like me to feel GOOD! I hope they continue to be way in front and accommodating! Thanks Princess Cruise Line! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I am a veteran of cruising, and have been on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Viking and Carnival numerous times. For the extra money paid for an Oceania cruise, I really expected more. I wanted the Panama Canal, full transit itinerary, and ... Read More
I am a veteran of cruising, and have been on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Viking and Carnival numerous times. For the extra money paid for an Oceania cruise, I really expected more. I wanted the Panama Canal, full transit itinerary, and when we booked, Oceania was the only one going all the way through. I must say, the crew and service was fantastic. Because the gratuity was included, I did not expect that, but they were wonderful! However, the food was very disappointing for that class of cruise line. And the price of buying just one occasional bottle of wine was much higher than we see at other cruise lines. They seemed to really push their drink packages. Food and drink on the other cruise lines is certainly better. I might rate Oceania above Carnival, but Celebrity and Royal Caribbean are just as good, and for a much lower cost. Sorry, but for the cost of an Oceania cruise, we will never use them again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We had a great cruise on the Serenity from Miami to Los Angeles. This was the first leg of the 2020 World Cruise. Food and wine are an important part of cruising for us. We found the food to be very good to excellent with only a couple ... Read More
We had a great cruise on the Serenity from Miami to Los Angeles. This was the first leg of the 2020 World Cruise. Food and wine are an important part of cruising for us. We found the food to be very good to excellent with only a couple exceptions. The included wines were certainly up to the task. The service was great throughout the ship. We received particularly good service from Phil on deck 12 and Alexandra and Cameron in Crystal Cove. George the sommelier in Waterside also gave us good service after a slow start. The enrichment presentations were top notch. Ian Maclachlan and Dick Morgan both gave excellent presentation on the ports and the Panama Canal. Tim Grey was a great technology presenter and also helped my wife with some specific technology questions related to setting up a blog. Bob Ray gave some interesting behind the scenes presentations on The Beatles and The Beach Boys. And Astronaut Scott Kelly was a great bonus speaker. There were a couple presenters that didn’t really appeal to us but given the number of options, we just skipped them. The entertainment was excellent as well. I truly enjoyed Icons in Concert but that music is right in my wheelhouse. Any show ending with Queen is great in my book! Lou Gazzara, Vox Fortura and Rob Proulx, James Fox and his Billy Joel show, and comic John Joseph all put on great shows. We also found that Crystal Cove was our favorite spot for a pre-dinner drink. It was active and we enjoyed the music there more than the Avenue Saloon. especially the violinist, Irina Guskova. Or cabin was 8131, deck 8 aft. It was small compared to others we’ve had on Silversea that are comparable category. There was plenty of drawer space but closet space was tight. The balcony was fine and while it was labeled as slightly limited view, we wouldn’t have noticed if they hadn’t told us. The room temperature was fine and resumed well when we lowered the temperature at night for sleeping. The bed was quite comfortable. The sofa and table were cramped and not really usable. The shower was fine with good temperature and pressure. There was a problem with vibration in the room. The TV vibrated some and we would have to wedge something next to it soften the sound. The closet vibration was harder to solve; the doors would vibrate and the hangers would as well. It wasn’t real loud but a constant low-level presence. We noticed the vibration in Waterside as well, three decks down. We would not book this cabin again due to the vibration. Our stateroom attendant was generally efficient but we saw her infrequently. The muster drill was not well-organized. We checked in and the crew member checked us off the list. Then after all passengers were seated, the called our stateroom number, and we said we were present, and they only called our number once. We thought we were all set, but then we got a note from the captain that they showed we missed the muster and should watch the safety video or we were there, we could ignore his note. Very odd that we checked in twice but they still didn’t have us there. I guess that’s better than marking us present when we absent, but still very odd. More on the food. We ate in all the restaurants at our least once. Waterside: I really liked the pancakes at breakfast. Lunch was good, especially the salmon Caesar salad and the service was good but a couple times a little too leisurely. For dinner, it was not our favorite spot but certainly quite good. The entrees were not always A+, for instance the beef Wellington on the second BTO night was only OK. Jacques at the front desk at Waterside knew our name after one night. That made us feel very welcome. A couple times we were seated in the very back of Waterside though which we didn’t really enjoy. After that I asked not be seated that far back. I realize they need to balance the workload but twice was enough. Churascuria: We ate dinner there once and enjoyed it. However, the way a Brazilian steakhouse works is that you basically have everything on the menu so there was no real reason to go back unless you really loved it. If we were on longer, we might have gone back but once it 15 days was good for us. Supper Club: This was offered only on Black Tie Optional nights. We went on the first night and had the lobster entree. We are from Maine, so we know our lobster and we thought it was a great meal. There is one seating at 6:30 which was a little early for us and you will sit at a table for four. The entertainment during dinner was very good. We didn’t go a second time (you need a reservation) because of the one seating and the tables for four but we are glad we went for one dinner there. Prego: We ate here twice for dinner. Both times the service was very good. My wife ordered a special with pasta and vongole (small clams) that was watery. My carpaccio, mushroom soups in a bread bowl and lasagne were excellent and I was offered (and accepted) limoncello with dessert both times. The second time I repeated the carpaccio and soup they were so good! My wife repeated the mushroom soup as well. Umi Uma: We are not sushi fans but enjoyed this very much as well. We ate there twice. The lobster and rock shrimp tempura were excellent. My wife’s black cod the second night was not up to par. We did not care for the Nobu Chardonnay but there were plenty of other great included options. Silk: We ate twice here for dinner and enjoyed it both times. Thanks to other Cruise Critic members who posted about the pacing and not to order everything at once. We ordered in a two or three installments; the items are very shareable. Service was great again. We also had lunch there a couple times. I really enjoyed the Chinois chicken salad. Terrace Grill: Our go-to embarkation lunch is a burger and a margarita—to us, that marks a separation from non-vacation to vacation! The Terrace Grill did not disappoint on either front. We went back a couple times for a low key lunch, or an ice cream. Nothing fancy but hit the spot. Marketplace: We really enjoyed this location for breakfast and lunch. There was a great variety for both meals. At breakfast , my wife was glad to get blueberries for her oatmeal by asking. The pastries and donuts were not a strong point, but the scrambled eggs and bacon were very good. Bistro: Good to-go coffee and some snacks/pastries in the morning till afternoon. Champagne Lunch: This was an extra fee event. We enjoyed the education about champagne as well as the food. The servings were on the small side and we had a second lunch afterwards, but the event was great. Tilmar the head sommelier did a very nice job. Tea service: We went to this several times. There is a lot of food with the tea service, given that it’s an afternoon meal tea service, and it was good to very good. The Mozart Tea was quite good with a buffet set up and Viennese coffee as an option. Some people have commented on the Asian focus on the food. We noticed it, for instance two of the restaurants focus on Asian cuisine and the Marketplace often had Asian selections as well. However, there are a number of other options every day that are all very good to excellent. Wines: We found the included wines to be very good to excellent. If there was a wine not to our liking, the sommeliers were happy to provide another option. We never had a problem finding a wine we liked. The wine service was quite good except one night in Waterside we were poured a grunerveltliner and told it was a Riesling. We discussed this with the sommelier who took note. We also asked the same sommelier about Rhône wines and he promised to come back but never did. We discussed that lapse with another sommelier after which time the first sommelier was much more attentive. Cocktails: We mostly had wine but I thought the Crystal Martini with a twist was very good. My wife had the drink of the day a few times and enjoyed them. We really liked the vibe in Crystal Cove. We took Crystal excursions in Panama City and Huatulco. We got off in Cabo on our own and the ship couldn’t tender in Nicaragua. Of course, the Panama Canal itself was the star attraction and Crystal did a fabulous job of arranging for narration during the transit and presentations before the transit. The excursion in Panama City probably tried to cover too much but it was very thorough. The Hualtuco excursion was a very nice exposure to rural Mexico. The other passengers were a well-traveled group. Average age was probably around 65-70. Here’s an anecdote. Early on we met a nice gentleman who told me he was retired after 30+ years in the Coast Guard. His traveling companion told my wife he was a retired Admiral! He was too modest to reveal that. A couple days later we struck up a conversation with another gentleman from Maine who said he’d been in the Coast Guard. After more conversation, we learned that the Mainer had served with the Admiral we met the other night! Then they were able to meet and have dinner! I think this exemplifies the wonderful nature of the other passengers. One definite negative was the quality of the internet. I realize we’re on a ship but I also realize it’s 2020. Passengers depend on internet access. At times it was dismal. My wife finally got her work done but uploading photos for Cruise Critic was painful. Overall though, this was an excellent cruise! Both the service and the food and wine were very good to excellent. For us, those are the keys to a great cruise and Crystal succeeded! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020

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