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4,670 Panama Canal & Central America Cruise Reviews

Have always wanted to see the Panama Canal, so we decided to book on Island Princess as we could travel easily to Fort Lauderdale. When we arrived at the pier for embarkation, there was an ENORMOUS line.....just the beginning. Our cabin ... Read More
Have always wanted to see the Panama Canal, so we decided to book on Island Princess as we could travel easily to Fort Lauderdale. When we arrived at the pier for embarkation, there was an ENORMOUS line.....just the beginning. Our cabin was fine and we had a wonderful steward.....that's the best part! We chose anytime dining.....then we're told they didn't take reservations for the cruise, you had to call each day.....called and were told no tables until 8 pm. .....so we would go early and again stand in line.....then were offered a sharing table now, or wait for a table for four.....we chose anytime dining because we like to enjoy a quiet dinner with friends and have easily been able to make reservations for the entire cruise prior to leaving in the past. Menu selections were strange at best.....usually when presented with a menu, you look at it and try to decide among all the good offerings which one you'll eat....on this ship it was look at the menu and decide if there's ANYTHING you would even try! We ended up eating at Horizons several nights after reviewing the dinner menu. At least there you could get a good salad....and make it yourself.....not what we had in mind, but in a pinch.... The ports were fun and we took tours by Princess in almost every one....tours were wonderful..then we arrive back in Fort Lauderdale and choose early disembarkation.....which was good. The entertainment was below average....very short shows, below average talent with the exception of one comedian who was great fun! Got off the ship only to find that we were at a totally different pier than when we left and our car was parked a mile away....yes, there were shuttle buses, but information not shared with passengers at all until we got off the ship. This was our first cruise with Princess and I would certainly not book another! Lack of organization, lack of communication with passengers and food selections were our biggest disappointment. When you say Princess Cruise Lines, emphasize LINES! Princess loves them! Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Overall, we enjoyed the cruise with good food and nice entertainment. We were in a noisy penthouse suite so enjoyed suite perks. Caution on anytime dining as the lines of people waiting for seats was a problem the entire cruise. We made ... Read More
Overall, we enjoyed the cruise with good food and nice entertainment. We were in a noisy penthouse suite so enjoyed suite perks. Caution on anytime dining as the lines of people waiting for seats was a problem the entire cruise. We made reservations so avoided that pain. Theatre for evening shows was overcrowded for show that coincided with first main dining seating time. People lined up 30 minutes before showtime just to get a seat! Embarkation - princess sent out a notice assigning staggered times to arrive for embarkation. Many people apparently ignored that staggered schedule and arrived at the start of embarkation so lines were a problem. We avoided the lines due to priority boarding via platinum status so not a problem for us. Ship condition - the island was in good repair, newly painted and looking good! Activities/entertainment - there was a nice variety of activities scheduled throughout the cruise, with the exception of exercise classes. Evening entertainment in the princess theatre was very good. Again, show times for those with first main dining were overcrowded with many people not finding seats. We went to shows for 2nd dining time. Normally two lounges had dance music in the evening with easy listening music in other venues. First rate movies were shown in theatre, pool big screen, and in staterooms. The only negative was the lack of exercise classes. They had a Zumba class on the pool deck in the morning but it was a poor choice for exercise. You felt like it was more for the entertainment of people sunning on the deck and they had the ship,photographer taking pictures! Like you want that! I ditched the first class. Service - we had great service the entire cruise from all staff! We were able to make anytime dining reservations which was very helpful and hostess Lupita was great! Dining - we were very pleased with the food on the ship. It seemed to be better than the last couple Princess cruises so we were very satisfied with the quality. We ate breakfast in our cabin via room service, generally used the horizon court for lunch, and did anytime dining with reservations at 7-7:30 for dinner. The free pub lunch which was offered a couple times was great as was the free pizza in Sabitinis. We had "for fee" dinner in Sabitinis one evening and that was also great. Again, want to caution those with anytime dining that line ups at 6:30-7pm were the norm. 40 plus people in line was common. I think that would make for a horrible experience.. So check out dining reservations for anytime seating. We made those the first day we were on the ship but another couple told us they were not allowed to make them so I am not clear on the princess policy. We were in a suite so might be a different policy. Cabin - we booked a penthouse suite, Lido 721, as a treat. While the suite was large and nicely furnished, it was horribly noisy. The suite had significant amounts of vibration which was bad enough but then you add the noise level which sounded like rattling and rumbling of furniture above, and it was like living next to the railroad tracks. We quickly complained and after a couple days princess offered to move us to a smaller suite as another couple had been a no show. We declined due to the smaller size and our desire for aft facing balcony to view the Panama Canal crossing. I would not recommend L721 as a cabin choice despite its large size. Also, despite the incorrect deck plans diagram, l721 does not have a wraparound balcony. It has two separate balconies, one aft facing and one on the side. Ports - we enjoyed all the ports and I have reviewed those in the port section. Tips for the crossing: if you are on the partial transit, you will have two opportunities to see the canal locks. In the morning, the rails are very crowded with people watching. The return trip thru the Gatun locks is much less crowded so your views will probably be better. People on ship excursions disembark in Gatun lake and rejoin after the ship goes thru the locks on the second pass. So the ship is less crowded in the afternoon. Also if you do not have an aft facing balcony cabin, the for fee sanctuary is a great choice for viewing. It's hot and humid all year in the Canal Zone due to being close to the equator, so the optional full transit excursion can be uncomfortable. My opinion is, if you really want to see all three sets of locks, do the full transit as you can't beat the cruise ship for comfort! Disembarkation - while there was a good 45 minute delay in starting disembarking, once we got going, it was very smooth. Not sure what caused the long delay. We cabbed it back to the airport which was easy. We were on our 11:30 am flight home with no problem. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
This was a nice cruise. It had a variety of destinations, including Caribbean islands (Aruba and Grand Cayman) and ports (Carttagena, Panama and Costa Rica), which were all very interesting. We especially enjoyed Cartagena and Costa ... Read More
This was a nice cruise. It had a variety of destinations, including Caribbean islands (Aruba and Grand Cayman) and ports (Carttagena, Panama and Costa Rica), which were all very interesting. We especially enjoyed Cartagena and Costa Rica. The sea days were also fun, as we met some very nice people. I found some fellow Mah Jongg players, which was nice. The cabins were of adequate size, although the showers were extremely small! The food was surprisingly good. All in all, it was a good trip. This cruise only went partially into the Canal, although we did make an excursion over to the other side of Panama. We also saw the newly-constructed canal, which will open shortly -- interesting! The other excursions were also interesting. We selected Sting Ray City in the Grand Caymans, the Old City of Cartegena, the Jaguar Rescue Center in Costa Rica and the turtle farm in Aruba. We would recommend this cruise, if you don't want to travel through the entire canal. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
First time on Celebrity Cruise lines and it was a WOW! The room, service, entertainment and the staff were all great. A pleasure and so much fun. We will go again. This time we were on the Celebrity Equinox. Just the right size for us. The ... Read More
First time on Celebrity Cruise lines and it was a WOW! The room, service, entertainment and the staff were all great. A pleasure and so much fun. We will go again. This time we were on the Celebrity Equinox. Just the right size for us. The embarkation and disembarkation were so smooth, we never touched our bags until we got home. Just loved it. The dining room was great and the food was over the top as were the choice of wines. The activities and the ports were all very well thought out. The nightly entertainment was great and a lot of fun. The room were very spacious and the beds were king size and very comfortable. I can't say enough about the cruise. Fun, Fun, Fun. They even had real grass on the top deck, real grass, so nice on the feet. Can't wait to do it again on Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We booked a wonderful Alaska cruise with Celebrity two years ago. So, given the quality of the food and entertainment we experienced there, we booked an 11 day Central America cruise on the beautiful Equinox. We were disappointed. The ... Read More
We booked a wonderful Alaska cruise with Celebrity two years ago. So, given the quality of the food and entertainment we experienced there, we booked an 11 day Central America cruise on the beautiful Equinox. We were disappointed. The Silhouette dining room doesn't serve the same quality of food their reputation says they do. The food in the main dining room, although varied, is bland and unappetizing to say the least. Knowing that their cruising clients prefer the occasional lobster tail or filet mignon steak, the company has moved these items to the speciality restaurants and forces you to pay $35 - $40 to get them at the Murano or Tuscan. The food there is exceptional but I personally resent being taken advantage of and paying for the "good" food that was always enjoyed in the past in the main dining room. Of course, it was our choice to eat the better food. Last year, I ate lobster and filet mignon in the main dining room with Princess cruises. The average age of the clientele on this cruise must have been near 75 and a good number of them were disabled or had mobility issues. I'm glad to see people of this age enjoy life as they do (we will all be there soon) but it does have an effect on the overall feeling of the cruise. In this case, it almost appears that the company scrimped on the quality of the musical entertainment knowing only 10-15% of the passengers would be late night dancers. The house band was not up to the same standard as my previous Celebrity cruise and left me disappointed. On a positive note, the crew was extremely well trained and courteous, the service was beyond reproach, the ship was immaculate and our stateroom was splendid. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
we arrived a day early and stayed at margaritaville in Hollywood. We were scouting for next year's trip with the family. Got a good deal for room as the place is new and is not filling up yet. It was right on boardwalk in Hollywood ... Read More
we arrived a day early and stayed at margaritaville in Hollywood. We were scouting for next year's trip with the family. Got a good deal for room as the place is new and is not filling up yet. It was right on boardwalk in Hollywood and right on the beach. No roads to cross. Hotel was clean and upbeat, ate at 3 of the restaurants and all were good. Lots of music and entertainment and the 2 and a half mile long boardwalk was great. I think hollywood will be an up and coming place since Miami and Ft Lauderdale are so pricey and overbuilt. Embarkation was a breeze. Left hotel at eleven and we were on the ship at 11:45. Everything moved quickly. Rooms were ready by two. Ate at the buffet, not as crowded as people say and explored the ship. We sailed the Eclipse in Europe years ago and were familiar with layout. We actually ate every meal at the buffet, and almost all outside on deck 14 or 15. Great views and the weather was perfect except for one rainy afternoon. We don't like the time restrictions and the amount of time spent eating, so I can't offer feedback on other restaurants. We found the food at the buffet excellent with good variety, if it's good enough for the officers it's good enough for us. Staff at buffet and elsewhere were excellent and saw no disgruntled staff. Matija was particularly friendly every day on deck 14. Enjoyed deck 15 rear and along the lawn for sailaways and sea days. Great breeze and beautiful location. Had classic drink package with no upsell pressure. Friendliest bar staff was at gastropub for evenings in atrium. Only caution on drinks was during second half of cruise my mojitos were not made with Barcardi. Grabbed Ron Carlos instead. If you requested bacardi then you would get it. Entertainment continues to be mediocore on Celebrity. We have sailed on several others lines since our last Celebrity cruise and all had much better entertainment across the board. There was a definite void in anything happening from 8:45 to 10:00. If you didn't go to the show there was nothing. The itinerary was great. We did a scouting expedition in Cozumel at Playa Mia for next year's cruise with the grandkids and were impressed. We got lucky as we left at one o'clock and got back to the ship before the skies opened up with heavy rain the rest of the day. Did ship excursions for Costa Rica..train boat bus tour, Panama...canal and Panama City, Cartagena ..old city tour and best excursion of all THE PARTY BUS evening excursion was fabulous....Second day in Cartagena we took a death defying cab ride back for shopping, and took public bus to 7 mile beach i Grand Caymen , which was a mob scene. way too crowded in most areas, next time we'd go near to the hotels where beaches had more room. Mid ship balcony cabin was great and Viviana our cabin steward was excellent. Mostly used the stairs, but the few occasions we were on the elevator it was quick. Ship looks great and it was a smooth sailing journey. Captain Leo, only 38, was very visable and brings positive vibe to ship.His lecture last day should not be missed. We're not into cruise directors but Alejandro was high energy and humorous. All in all a great cruise. We were very impressed with modern skylines and Panama City and Cartagena. Great sail in and sailaway from Cartagena. Excellent itinerary all around.We did independent walk off at 7:30 and had not problems getting off and through customs. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
This was our second year in a row on the Equinox. The year before we sailed on the Silhouette, which is nearly identical. Boarding and disembarking was very quick and painless. The ship is immaculate and well-tended, and the cruise ... Read More
This was our second year in a row on the Equinox. The year before we sailed on the Silhouette, which is nearly identical. Boarding and disembarking was very quick and painless. The ship is immaculate and well-tended, and the cruise line's contemporary art collection is wonderful (but it won't appeal to all, who may be left scratching their heads). We were in Concierge Class Statement 1659, near the stern, and it was very quiet. (We booked Concierge Class because it wasn't much more expensive at the time than regular class and we got more Captain's Club points. However, the benefits of Concierge Class while on the ship are minimal, and the staterooms and amenities are the same.) Our stateroom attendant, Ana, was very friendly and kept the room spotless, and she seemed to have our schedule down pat because our room was always made up when we returned from the ship. She did forget twice to leave the next day's listing of activities and port information, but we managed. On the other hand, she was quick to provide two additional bed pillows, for a total of six, upon request, and the bed was comfortable. We were happy with Ana! The stateroom's televisions are pretty dated and should be replaced ASAP. Also, the small LED screen on the telephone by the bed is so bright that you'll need to cover it with a washcloth or something else unless you enjoy sleeping with a light on. Another inconvenience were voicemail messages sent by the concierge which produced a large yellow flashing light on the telephone in the middle of the night. Had to put a pillow over the phone to eliminate that annoyance (or get up and listen to the message and delete it, which I didn't feel inclined to do in the middle of the night). The food didn't seem as good to us as the previous two years. It was style over substance, flash over flavor. You can always find something decent to eat in the buffet (Oceanview Cafe), but the main dining room was hit or miss (and mostly miss). Of the specialty dining venues, Murano was a big disappointment this year. The lobster, sauteed tableside with brandy, mustard, bacon, and cream, tasted like a loaded baked potato (the sauce completely overwhelmed the lobster, and the waiter overcooked the lobster to boot). But the Dover sole was very good. The Asian restaurant, Silk Harvest, was terrible. Everything tasted the same, which is to say, bland. We all wished we had just eaten at the buffet that night and saved our money. On the other hand, we had a very good meal at Tuscan Grille this year (which was our least favorite last year, FWIW). That said, the food isn't much better or worse than we've had on other cruise lines, including Carnival, Princess, and Holland-America. That said, the Oceanview Cafe is so well-designed for traffic flow that it never feels too crowded and it's a pleasure to eat there. And the scones served in the afternoon are excellent, as are the cookies served all the time. The standout for coffee and pastries is Cafe al Bacio on Deck 5. They have really good cappuccinos and pastries. The management, including the caption ("Captian Leo," the youngest captain in the fleet), the cruise director, Alejandro, and the activities manager, Jane, were omnipresent and fantastic. There was also a very good and sweet salesperson in the Exquisites shop, named Melissa, who knows her jewelry and watches cold. We went to shows sporadically but two guest performers, Jayne Curry, a formidable singer and very funny as well, and a magician whose name I don't remember, were first rate. On the other hand, the production cast and their silly shows were mediocre at best and cringe-inducing at worst. The ports of call were great, especially Cartagena, Colombia, where we had an overnight stay and two full days in port. The Panama Canal was also nice as were Costa Rica and Grand Cayman. (We were rained out in Cozumel.) Overall, we had an excellent time and would sail on Celebrity again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Trip was a mess and WindStar management could care less - took six weeks to answer my letter of concern and the answer was all incorrect - they are now ignoring my follow up contacts Basically the Star Breeze was dirty adn poorly ... Read More
Trip was a mess and WindStar management could care less - took six weeks to answer my letter of concern and the answer was all incorrect - they are now ignoring my follow up contacts Basically the Star Breeze was dirty adn poorly managed with poor information flow to the guests The Chef was great and food service was excellent as was the food - cabin service was poor and front desk and activity information was virtually non-existant The itinerary is not good - the stops are third world rural towns of 100 to 150 people so unless you purchase an over priced tour you have nothing to do The biggest thing was that the ship was suppose to have a daylight passage through the canal (I even verified that with the bridge one day before entering the canal) but did not enter until well after dark and we were given no information about timing so nearly missed dinner just to get to see the entry into the first lock. As far as I know the Panama Canal is nothing but a string of red and green lights stretching both ways as far as you can see. This was our third Windstar cruise and it was nigh and day from the others - they were great which is why we booked this one - the Star Breeze Panama Canal was a total bust - and their continual refusal to do other than send untrue answers makes it all worse While our previous two trips were great (10 out of 10) this one destroys things with barely a 3 out of 10 and that only because the food was the best of the three Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
This was our third cruise on Black Watch and we were a little concerned that standards had deteriorated, following a few mediocre reviews - not so. The standards of service and quality of food were outstanding. It is an old ship and ... Read More
This was our third cruise on Black Watch and we were a little concerned that standards had deteriorated, following a few mediocre reviews - not so. The standards of service and quality of food were outstanding. It is an old ship and a number of minor issues arose during the cruise, which were dealt with rapidly and professionally by Guest Services. It is a relatively small ship and the charm of this is that we got to know, quite well, a fair number of like minded passengers. The itinerary was excellent, although trips arranged by Black Watch are quite expensive. If you are relatively active and a little adventurous, you can always find fellow passengers to share taxis etc. at considerably less cost. Optional activities on board such as bridge (Terry), choir singing (Margaret), historical talks ( John Waters ) dancing etc were first class. Very well done again, Black Watch. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
we have had a trip to the Panama canal on the list for a long time so decided this year was the time! travelling from the Uk (Yorkshire) was a bit of a hassle which ever option you took so after much planning I chose the Coral Princess ... Read More
we have had a trip to the Panama canal on the list for a long time so decided this year was the time! travelling from the Uk (Yorkshire) was a bit of a hassle which ever option you took so after much planning I chose the Coral Princess which seemed to combine the least travelling (although still 2 nights at the beginning) with about the right length - 10 days and good reviews. I have cruised maybe 20 times on lots of different lines so am a bit picky. the ship was lovely, the staff truly excellent and the food terrific choice and quality. the staff were attentive in every area. we upgraded to a suite which was roomy and special with a nice big balcony. The shows were fine ie good ship fair (excellent magician) and there was always a lot happening. the canal was well worth seeing although your visit is quite brief in that you sail in through 3 locks, moor up and then really have to take a (quite expensive but worthwhile) trip first to the lock which is quiet interesting then on the train around the lake. (the train has two option and the cheaper normal seats rather than the $100 more upper seats are fine as all you are really seeing is a lake). as for the rest of the trip the time in Aruba was short and a disappointment and the other ports were fine although we didn't get off at a couple. the ship is really spacious we never felt crowded I went into the sanctuary on sea days but it wasn't really necessary. all in all a really lovely boat crew. the ship went to be refurbished after this cruise although it hardly looked as if it needed it so its good that Princess are investing in there stock before it starts to become a bit ragged. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We encountered the most surly reception staff ever and public areas air conditioning that could cause frostbite. There was dust on ledges in the Orion dining room and we found the menus basic and unexciting. Lots of lobster tail meals at ... Read More
We encountered the most surly reception staff ever and public areas air conditioning that could cause frostbite. There was dust on ledges in the Orion dining room and we found the menus basic and unexciting. Lots of lobster tail meals at the formal dinner were returned because they were dry and overcooked and my husband's mixed grill the following evening came with gravy over the egg. We were shocked to see that lamb chops or steak carried a £9.99 subsidy, something that would be regular items on the menu on other cruise ships. Although my allergy was catered for at no time was i provided with a menu to pre choose my meal as stated by the maitre d every evening using the same spiel verbatim. Service was generally good however an Eastern European head waiter was racist as he told us to "follow the monkey boy" referring to an Asian waiter. Totally unacceptable. The sunbeds on deck were stained and filthy and one waiter actually kicked the fruit he dropped from a drink under the sunbed. Cabin was basic with a TV that lost its signal and a bathroom that was extremely tired looking with scratched washbasin and ill fitting shower curtain that had mould along the top of it. We didn't see any shows or stay to enjoy a drink due to retiring to our cabin after dinner to warm up because the air conditioning was so cold. Many guests including myself were coughing continuously because of it. Shore excursions were great however members of the admin having a day out in the rain forest were very noisy and consequently scared away some of the creatures we had paid to see. Disembarkation was excellent. Thankfully this was not our fist cruise or it would have also been the last. We have previously cruised on The Celebration and can't believe how different two Thomson ships can be. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We have had a trip to the Panama Canal on the list for a long time and as we have sailed with Princess on 4 previous trips decided on the coral princess this year. Travelling from the UK (Glasgow via London) was as expected and arrived ... Read More
We have had a trip to the Panama Canal on the list for a long time and as we have sailed with Princess on 4 previous trips decided on the coral princess this year. Travelling from the UK (Glasgow via London) was as expected and arrived at the Hell Hole of Miami Airport which must be among the worst airports in the world for processing visitors. We have been there twice before (never again) and it takes on average 2 and a half hours from the arrivals gate to the bus. We were so long in the line for passport control that our luggage had been removed from the belt and scattered on the floor so that the conveyor belt could be used for another flight. The ship was nice enough and the staff excellent. We don’t use the main dining rooms at all so can’t comment on them even though they got our compulsory gratuity (don’t agree with that either). We were in stateroom C310 which had a Smaller balcony due to being on the curve but provided great views due to the curve. The stateroom was as expected but the shower was always cool to cold. The production shows were Ok although only 3 shows on a 10 day cruise seems a bit mean. We also had as guest entertainers – Donny Ray Evans, a singer who did a Soul and Motown show which was excellent and a Nat King Cole tribute which was not my cup of tea. Sonia Selbi a female singer who was excellent in both shows. Rollin Jay More a comedian who was hilarious to the Americans and quite funny to everyone else (we didn’t get some of the jokes). The Juke Ellington Tribute was not for me. Alexander Great was just like any other magician (I find them strange people and don’t get it). Other acts were-- Sugar cane duo – tried to avoid. Epithany -- good musically but could do with a singer. Blue Jade – great singer and musicians but more elevator type music. The Cruise Directors team worked well but the quiz questions were more American knowledge than general knowledge. Owing to the age group space on deck and sun beds were not an issue on sea days so don’t bother paying extra for the sanctuary. We did not take the liquor package as it was way over priced for us. We took advantage of the happy hours and stocked the cans up the fridge. The ship goes to be refurbished after this cruise as it needs it due to loads of minor repairs being required. The main one being the non existence of hot water in the shower. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Travel to Embarkation Port Negative -No reception at gangway (no staff greeting, no direction, no signage) -Took away Canadian passports without explanation (very strange) but did not take British passports -Driver did not ... Read More
Travel to Embarkation Port Negative -No reception at gangway (no staff greeting, no direction, no signage) -Took away Canadian passports without explanation (very strange) but did not take British passports -Driver did not provide some customers with small immigration form and had to wait to get this and complete them (disorganized) Positive -Offered water in cruise port -Luggage tags provided and luggage taken to cabins Reception Department Negative -Took away all Canadian passports without explanation. When asked to speak with a manager the reception staff refused. Reception Manager Ben Burwell refused to meet with customers and discriminated against Canadian travelers by stating "we never have had an issue with European and British passengers as if to say that North Americans are the one with the issue. The Captain of the Ship authorized the return of the passports, so happy he was able to get the reception staff to do something about this. -Reception staff could use some retraining as could the Manager -Thomson staff could use retraining on anti-discrimination Positive Did not have a positive experience with reception department Cabins Negative - 2.5 star rating -very old furnishings - Thomson does not provide shampoo, conditioner, or toiletries (gift shop offers this at a very high price (10 pounds or over 20 bucks Canadian for each item) -only one towel animal (yet wanted to sell a towel animal book) Positives Bathtub in bathroom Activities Positive Entertainment staff member Ted was excellent Crew members Negative -Some events did not run even though they were listed in the Cruise news itinerary (i.e. Dance parties did not run) and did not provide explanation as to why did not run -Trivia events only ran for 20 mins -Shows were not good quality (i.e. Michael Jackson Show was conducted by an entire White staff?!) -Activities referenced only British trivia and did not consider any other nationalities - discriminatory -Gym equipment- many out of order Service Negative -Witnessed an elderly man who had an accident on the Lido Deck, no staff members offered to assist this man only passengers helped him Positive -Bar Staff friendly and hard working -Housekeeping- excellent Dining Negative -Menu for dining room was not appealing -Drink package had a great deal of limitation (only bottom shelf offerings) Positive -Lido deck buffet was good Shore Excursions Negative -Extremely expensive (took some excursions that were not with Thomson at half the price) Overall Experience -Would not return to Thomson, felt they discriminated against North Americans and only caters to Brits -Extremely poor customer service and doesn't offer any staff contacts to resolve issues with -Ship was very old (built in 80s) and in need of a makeover Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Travel to Embarkation Port Negative -No reception at gangway (no staff greeting, no direction, no signage) -Took away Canadian passports without explanation (very strange) but did not take British passports -Driver did not ... Read More
Travel to Embarkation Port Negative -No reception at gangway (no staff greeting, no direction, no signage) -Took away Canadian passports without explanation (very strange) but did not take British passports -Driver did not provide some customers with small immigration form and had to wait to get this and complete them (disorganized) Positive -Offered water in cruise port -Luggage tags provided and luggage taken to cabins Reception Department Negative -Took away all Canadian passports without explanation. When asked to speak with a manager the reception staff refused. Reception Manager Ben Burwell refused to meet with customers and discriminated against Canadian travelers by stating "we never have had an issue with European and British passengers as if to say that North Americans are the one with the issue. The Captain of the Ship authorized the return of the passports, so happy he was able to get the reception staff to do something about this. -Reception staff could use some retraining as could the Manager -Thomson staff could use retraining on anti-discrimination Positive Did not have a positive experience with reception department Cabins Negative - 2.5 star rating -very old furnishings - Thomson does not provide shampoo, conditioner, or toiletries (gift shop offers this at a very high price (10 pounds or over 20 bucks Canadian for each item) -only one towel animal (yet wanted to sell a towel animal book) Positives Bathtub in bathroom Activities Positive Entertainment staff member Ted was excellent Crew members Negative -Some events did not run even though they were listed in the Cruise news itinerary (i.e. Dance parties did not run) and did not provide explanation as to why did not run -Trivia events only ran for 20 mins -Shows were not good quality (i.e. Michael Jackson Show was conducted by an entire White staff?!) -Activities referenced only British trivia and did not consider any other nationalities - discriminatory -Gym equipment- many out of order Service Negative -Witnessed an elderly man who had an accident on the Lido Deck, no staff members offered to assist this man only passengers helped him Positive -Bar Staff friendly and hard working -Housekeeping- excellent Dining Negative -Menu for dining room was not appealing -Drink package had a great deal of limitation (only bottom shelf offerings) Positive -Lido deck buffet was good Shore Excursions Negative -Extremely expensive (took some excursions that were not with Thomson at half the price) Overall Experience -Would not return to Thomson, felt they discriminated against North Americans and only caters to Brits -Extremely poor customer service and doesn't offer any staff contacts to resolve issues with -Ship was very old (built in 80s) and in need of a makeover Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
The ship is a little tired. However, the Cabin was bigger than RCI and P and O the other companies I have cruised with. The arrival is efficient cases checked in at Birmingham and arrived at Cabin within 30 minutes of boarding the ship. On ... Read More
The ship is a little tired. However, the Cabin was bigger than RCI and P and O the other companies I have cruised with. The arrival is efficient cases checked in at Birmingham and arrived at Cabin within 30 minutes of boarding the ship. On the return cases collected from outside cabin and sent to luggage carousel in Birmingham. There is a shortage of seats in the public areas so you need to have dinner in the buffet and get one early to get a seat. The shows are excellent but support poles in the theatre mean an obstructed view for most. The hassle of bar staff is worse than any port you will ever go to. I entered the theatre and within 3mins 45 seconds 4 different waiters asked if I wanted a drink from the bar, on another nigyht the time was 4mins and 35 seconds if you move seats they are all back asking again, if I accepted every offer I would be drunk and bankrupt. I heard from someone who did a cruise the week before that some guests were causing problems by being drunk every night not a great surprise. The waiters are rude when you say no and will start to ask every member of your group separately. Something you discipline your children for. Bar staff apart the waiters in the restaurant are very polite and good though meals take a long time every meal was served hot something you cant say about RCI where 60% of meals I sent back for being cold. The safe priced at £25 was a little steep especially as others offer it for free and an extra £9.95 for a steak in the restaurant is a liitle steep again compared to other cruise lines. Sunbeds around the pool are difficult to get so you have to get up early to get one, notices state that they will remove towels after 45 minutes but this just is not done I observed towels on beds all day only being removed by a guest late afternoon when they decided they were not going to use them. Another annoying point on Sea Days they kick you out from the pool and sunbeds at 4.30pm and the staff are not polite about this I asked to speak to someone senior and this was refused, although the cruise news states it is open until 8.00 pm when questioned we were told it was for a private party on each occasion surely these could be held somewhere else or at least the Cruise News Paper could show the correct times. Tours are variable when booked on board and the descriptions do not match the tour in many cases. The Port information is variably for example the starting port Montego Bay in Jamaica gives Spanish phrases. However, I visit Jamaica regularly and the language is English or patois. A last point is that the flights are with Thomson there plane ran out of Water after 7 hours toilets would not flush and no tea or coffee this on a 10 hour flight is awful and I certainly would not refer to it as a Dreamliner, perhaps a dream you were on a different plane liner. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
The ship is a little tired. However, the Cabin was bigger than RCI and P and O the other companies I have cruised with. The arrival is efficient cases checked in at Birmingham and arrived at Cabin within 30 minutes of boarding the ship. On ... Read More
The ship is a little tired. However, the Cabin was bigger than RCI and P and O the other companies I have cruised with. The arrival is efficient cases checked in at Birmingham and arrived at Cabin within 30 minutes of boarding the ship. On the return cases collected from outside cabin and sent to luggage carousel in Birmingham. There is a shortage of seats in the public areas so you need to have dinner in the buffet and get one early to get a seat. The shows are excellent but support poles in the theatre mean an obstructed view for most. The hassle of bar staff is worse than any port you will ever go to. I entered the theatre and within 3mins 45 seconds 4 different waiters asked if I wanted a drink from the bar, on another nigyht the time was 4mins and 35 seconds if you move seats they are all back asking again, if I accepted every offer I would be drunk and bankrupt. I heard from someone who did a cruise the week before that some guests were causing problems by being drunk every night not a great surprise. The waiters are rude when you say no and will start to ask every member of your group separately. Something you discipline your children for. Bar staff apart the waiters in the restaurant are very polite and good though meals take a long time every meal was served hot something you cant say about RCI where 60% of meals I sent back for being cold. The safe priced at £25 was a little steep especially as others offer it for free and an extra £9.95 for a steak in the restaurant is a liitle steep again compared to other cruise lines. Sunbeds around the pool are difficult to get so you have to get up early to get one, notices state that they will remove towels after 45 minutes but this just is not done I observed towels on beds all day only being removed by a guest late afternoon when they decided they were not going to use them. Another annoying point on Sea Days they kick you out from the pool and sunbeds at 4.30pm and the staff are not polite about this I asked to speak to someone senior and this was refused, although the cruise news states it is open until 8.00 pm when questioned we were told it was for a private party on each occasion surely these could be held somewhere else or at least the Cruise News Paper could show the correct times. Tours are variable when booked on board and the descriptions do not match the tour in many cases. The Port information is variably for example the starting port Montego Bay in Jamaica gives Spanish phrases. However, I visit Jamaica regularly and the language is English or patois. A last point is that the flights are with Thomson there plane ran out of Water after 7 hours toilets would not flush and no tea or coffee this on a 10 hour flight is awful and I certainly would not refer to it as a Dreamliner, perhaps a dream you were on a different plane liner. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
First off we were given wrong terminal number , so had to retrieve our luggage and get another taxi to take us to proper terminal. We had traveled on this ship previously and had a great trip to. Alaska. But apparently they have added ... Read More
First off we were given wrong terminal number , so had to retrieve our luggage and get another taxi to take us to proper terminal. We had traveled on this ship previously and had a great trip to. Alaska. But apparently they have added another 110 rooms, have not increased size of dining areas or staff as many times crowded and staff over whelmed and unable to keep up. The entertainment was not what used to be, 1/2 hour shows, except for last night went 45 mins. and most nights done by ship dancers and singers, who were good but could have found same quality of entertainment at local High School Drama presentations. We did not get the seating in dining room as requested , but found was better to go to 6:30 entertainment as 8 pm performance was far more crowded, so we decided to go to Horizon Court to eat as had same food there anyway. The food was bland and had some that was undercooked, after awhile it all tastes the same. They try to nickel and dime you to death. Every day there are advertisements in mailbox so is a great waste of paper as we just threw it out.The Internet is a ridiculous cost and was told is slower than the old dial up. The price of drinks are pricey and then they have 15% charge on top and the bartender has hand out for tip.The automatic gratuity increased from time that we booked. I feel they should pay their staff a decent wage and not expect the customer to supplement the wage.We cancelled one gratuity and gave to those who we felt deserved it as they have the feeling they get it anyway. The room was tired and in need of some updating. The housekeeping was adequate ,but had feathers on rug for days in a row. Deck not cleaned regularly so husband wiped balcony glass down most days. We fulfilled a bucket list desire by seeing how the Panama Canal works and the short visit to a couple of the other ports were interesting . I do not think another cruise is in my near future Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Sailed on Azamara Journey through the Panama Canal , from Caldera, Costa Rica to Miami in early January, 2016. Service was , as usual , excellent. Ship was clean and cared for, the last sailing before the much anticipated dry dock, when ... Read More
Sailed on Azamara Journey through the Panama Canal , from Caldera, Costa Rica to Miami in early January, 2016. Service was , as usual , excellent. Ship was clean and cared for, the last sailing before the much anticipated dry dock, when there will be much upgrading. Had an obstructed oceanview, which was fine, although could not see much out the window due to the lifeboat (Cabin 6044). I think cabin next door may have had a bit more view. We had two men onboard who gave great lectures and presentations daily in the Panama Canal and Caribbean. One many narrated all day from the Looking Glass, where the front windows have a great view of sailing through the Canal. Ports: Quepos, Took the Mangrove Boat tour which was mild and interesting. Monkeys came onto front of the little boat and you had to watch your hat. Lunch included at an open air restaurant; very good typical fish, rice and beans. Antonio Manuel Park was closed that day ( Monday). Golfito is a fairly primitive port for cruises. We pre booked a private tour with Changing Tides and they took us first on a small boat to see many dolphins playing in the bay; then a snorkel and swim off of the boat; then to a small Eco Lodge where the owner took us around the tropical garden and a short hike in the rainforest. A bit wet and slippery due to rain the night before. Another great lunch in their open air restaurant. Cartegna, Columbia: took the ship tour , Taste of Cartegena, which was a short guided walk around the walled town and time alone to explore. Saw the fortress but did not go in and glad we did not as it was very hot and the walk up the fort looked tiring in the heat. Falmouth, Jamaica; took a shared cab to Montego Bay, Doctor's Beach (?). We were the only ship in port and few people wanted a cab and the cab driver did not want to take only 6-8 people so we ended up waiting an hour and finally negotiating with him to get us to the beach. Beach was fine, small with a restaurant there; Admission, chair and umbrella ran $15. Azamara treated us to a wonderful time time in the Azamazing evening event at Great Hope House. Bused us there with security leading the way, torches, great little food tidbits and local wines, beer and mimosas. Third World reggae band played a wonderful set and we all had a great time dancing in the open air dance floor. Fireworks at the end! Food in the main dining room was good. The included wine seemed to of lesser quality that I have had on Azamara in the past, and many people complained about the wine. Although the last night they pulled out a wonderful Chianti. Eric and Capt. Johanness were again a fun team to be sailing with. Sea days there were many things to do and there were always pool loungers available. Looking forward to another Azamara in the future! Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We sailed on the Journey for a Panama Canal transit and it was wonderful! It was our first time on Azamara. I was a little nervous as it was "a luxury line" and we are just two unassuming retired folks. We found our fellow ... Read More
We sailed on the Journey for a Panama Canal transit and it was wonderful! It was our first time on Azamara. I was a little nervous as it was "a luxury line" and we are just two unassuming retired folks. We found our fellow passengers down-to-earth and unpretentious. The cruise was very smooth. I usually have difficulty with my balance when I get off a ship but I haven't experienced that this time. The staff on the Journey all seemed very friendly and helpful. The wait staff in the Main Dining Room and in Windows Cafe were very attentive and even checked when we had special requests from what was on the menu! We enjoyed most of the shows. The Journey Singers and Dancers did a great job! They had also brought in special entertainment in addition to the Journey Singers and Dancers -- there was a comedian and two violinists. They were both very enjoyable. Dima and Sasha's dancing was incredible and we enjoyed our group dance lessons with them. Natalie, Marcos and Daniel were good singers. Eric was a hoot with his banter with the Captain and his drag dressing for Hairspray songs. The Land Discoveries were good. I would have preferred to have an audio unit to hear the guides, as I frequently held back a little to take pics and I missed some of what was being explained. In Costa Rica the visit to the Carara National Park was listed as strenuous but most in our group thought it wasn't all that taxing. We did get to see some monkeys and birds but not many (but we know you can't schedule nature!). We saw many more at the Animal Rescue Center which was a fun tour. The Azamazing evening was well-organized and the music presented was very good. I thought it was a little rushed and didn't allow much time for exploring the venue. The only negatives were that they changed one port of call several times, even as close as the week before (from Haiti to Montego Bay to Falmouth) and changed some of the Land Discoveries without letting folks who had pre-booked them know ahead of time. I had also asked about Church Services and was given incorrect info from the concierge. After walking to the Church, we found out that the service was over before we docked but the priest was happy that we made the effort and conducted a communion service for us before he left for a mission church service. We enjoyed the open seating and shared a table most meals. Our fellow passengers were fun to talk with over meals. We didn't find anyone trying to upsell the drinks or the photos or artwork. And there was never any mention of tipping except for a few of the Land Discoveries, and even then it was just mentioned. Overall, it was an excellent trip! I would travel with Azamara again! Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
My overall ranking would be good rather than average, but there is no option. They are re-doing the ship as of now. I hope they pay attention to my reviews. I enjoyed the first few days of the cruise. Trip was jan 3=13, journey. Panama ... Read More
My overall ranking would be good rather than average, but there is no option. They are re-doing the ship as of now. I hope they pay attention to my reviews. I enjoyed the first few days of the cruise. Trip was jan 3=13, journey. Panama canal, costa rica & other. My cabin was very nice as i was upgraded. (tiny bathroom but ok.) i thanked the desk on the first day. I bought my special meal package as i boarded, and was firmly told....i would be seated alone. Really? The first two night's dinners 6:30 (too early) in main dining, there was an effort to seat solo passengers together. (after that it was hopeless.) i want to clarify solo. Adults married or not, male or female, every generation, color, ethnic, etc. Simply travelling alone or with a friend or whatever and wants to enjoy company at dining, or random activities. The passenger age, early dining, promoted a eat, show, sleep, ship. Awkward situation for anyone under 65 or not with a partner. I sat with some ladies or men several times & most seats at table were empty. Other activities did not encourage meeting others. There were plenty of things to do, (almost too many) which made activities i attended brief and haphazard. The host dashing away. Trivia was a mixed up mess. Teams of 2 to 6ppl, no cash build pot, 30 min random times, different locations. The 6# teams of course always won. No multiple choice trivia either, which had some teams really left out, experts in. Lectures good. Disco totally haphazard. Too much old music...starts late & ends short. No good lighting, or lively atmosphere. Big empty room the times i went, except one night. A couple of shows were good "voices", and a couple of them average. Live music scattered here and there at random times. All the music players looked exhausted to me.(moving around, setting up.) so much seemed muffled down for old folks. Bars did not open till 5:30 (except pool.) standard bar deal is great... But casino bar (at least) should open earlier. Live music at pool was nice, ho hum, same dude, & songs. Stateroom attendants and most staff generally excellent. Dining is very good. Special dining was good food.... But atmosphere for a solo....stifling. Chef''s table very nice. Drawing room (a library) is basically empty day and night. Would make a great piano bar near fine dining area. Could do quiet piano music 6:00 ish to 8:30...ramp it up with lively music and song, entertainment or singalong late. Use the always boring empty bar at prime c. (set up chef's table early, clear it away, or make it a group table by 8:30 ish.) add club tables etc. Configure seating in prime c, further back by 8. Tell diners there is music after 8. (some may love that, others will dine early !) there is a little corner in casino with piano... But wrong location. "ringading all the time & couch type seating. (trying to get gamblers i guess.) club seating would help. No music in bar near main dining. The line to dining cuts the space. The desk should move inside dining area !! Nice music in main dining room at special buffets. The passengers were generally at least 65 or up and casual in general. There were random lively groups of couples. The two special evenings were outstanding !!! Poolside white night party lovely & azamazing night was unforgettable. Bottom line....tweaking and a real effort for mingling & lively music would really change the mood. The general idea of azamara is really on the edge of something special, but.... For me (and my several travelling buddies) they must make it more lively and solo friendly. Love the dine ashore & overnight stay ideas. Love the value !!! The solo upcharge was very fair ! I would not recommend the line for those travelling alone. I have done (over the years) 16 or so cruise segments. (most when married with children.) it is very hard to please everyone. I am not young and also not dead, so i honestly don't want some wild table dancing singles thing going on and not there to pick up some old dude. I just don't want to feel isolated when travelling alone. Solo travel is certainly a growing market. Azamara.....you are soooo close ! You have it right there....but you need some really good ideas and not just words in a brochure, to get there. Right on the edge of something special ! I would go again, but not until/unless i see a tweaking of things. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We sailed from Costa Rica through the Panama Canal and to Miami from Jan. 3, 2016 to January 13, 2016 on the Journey. After I booked the cruise last July, I found out that the ship would go into dry-dock for a multi-million dollar ... Read More
We sailed from Costa Rica through the Panama Canal and to Miami from Jan. 3, 2016 to January 13, 2016 on the Journey. After I booked the cruise last July, I found out that the ship would go into dry-dock for a multi-million dollar overhaul at the end of our cruise. I was kind of concerned about what condition we would find the ship to be in when we embarked, but it was clean, beautiful, and did not look in need of any kind of repair except the usual upkeep on a sea going vessel. This was our ninth cruise, but our first on Azamara. We loved it. We were in a veranda cabin which was small, but the storage and the placement of everything was great. There was adequate storage for everything I took and I over-packed. Plenty of hangers, etc. The thing that stood out most of all was the crew and the service that we received. The captain, Johannes Tysse, was the most visible captain of any cruise we've been on. He was everywhere. He was friendly in a very low key way. The entertainment staff did a wonderful job. They were a very talented group led by Eric De Gray. I enjoyed all the shows we went to see. They had to change the show the last night because one of the dancers became ill and on short notice did a great job of revamping the presentation. No one would have known if they had not seen it before. The young man in the internet cafe was kind, helpful, and very patient. Our cabin steward and his assistant, Earl and Wilvorn, were very efficient and totally unobtrusive. I wish I could remember some of the waiters names that went the extra mile to give good service. We ate in the specialty restaurants 3 times and MDR every night except those three. We ate at Windows for breakfast every morning and either the pool grill or Windows for lunch most days. Nearly all the waiters were courteous and very helpful. The food was good. My husband is a meat and potatoes person and not an adventurous eater. He did not like the theme nights in Windows, but I would have loved to have tried some of the dishes they served from around the world. We went to the Azamazing Evening. We enjoyed it even though the music was not the style that we like. People began to leave early and it became kind of chaotic because we were receiving instructions on how to exit and reboard the buses from about 3 sets of people and they were not the same. It was at Good Hope Plantation on Jamaica and the entertainment was Third World band, a reggae group. We enjoyed the food and the ambiance of White Nights. The lecturers on-board to explain the geography, construction, and workings of the Panama Canal and the surrounding areas were very good. They helped tremendously with aiding our understanding of the canal and the places we visited. Embarkation and disembarkation were the easiest we have ever experienced. We did 2 shore excursions from the ship and had two that we arranged ourselves through the internet. We enjoyed all of them. There simply isn't much to see in Golfito and Quepos, Costa Rica. We had been to Costa Rica for vacation a few years ago. We had seen and done lots of the things that tourists do and enjoyed them, but didn't want to repeat them again. Azamara has done an amazing job with customer service. We would travel with them again because of that. The reason the cabin got a 4 instead of a 5 was the bed. It sloped and there was a definite ridge where the twin beds were pushed together. My husband did not like the theme nights in Windows. The bus driver on the Jamaica shore excursion gave us a wild ride back to the ship from the beach we visited. They may all drive that way, but it seemed too fast and he passed another bus a couple of times. It was like they were having a race. All in all, we had a wonderful experience. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
If this was our first cruise we would have thought well it was OK but, we have had 3 cruises in total so we had something to compare this cruise with. The balcony cabin was the smallest we had been in and not a lot of room for a lengthy ... Read More
If this was our first cruise we would have thought well it was OK but, we have had 3 cruises in total so we had something to compare this cruise with. The balcony cabin was the smallest we had been in and not a lot of room for a lengthy journey. The shore trips were too expensive and were not value for money. When the Captain gave messages over the public address system it was as if he was whispering and no one could hear what he was saying. We had a few hiccups.....smoke in the engine room, a fire in the launderette and divers in Barbados welding underneath the ship. The most disappointing part of this cruise....which should be the best...was the food. I liken it to ferry food, it was basic and served warm....we never had a hot meal. Also disappointing was that there should have been a restaurant for all passengers who did not want to wear evening dress and tuxedos, the Horizon cafe (this is the best word for it), offered this facility but amazingly passengers in full dress regalia used it instead of the restaurants.....perhaps they wanted bigger portions as it is self service. Evening meals in the Horizon cafe were totally forgettable, poor choice and quality and you had to eat here because you were not allowed in the other restaurants or bars if you did not have the correct attire. You knew that the puddings would be bread & butter, fruit salad and some kind of mousse. We will not be choosing P&O again. They should stick to what they are good at...Dover to Calais. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We have traveled all over the world and decided to take a quiet small Lindblad/Nat. Geo cruise for health reasons. We chose the Panama Canal and Costa Rica. IT WAS BY FAR THE WORST TRIP WE'VE EVER HAD. The boat itself was not ... Read More
We have traveled all over the world and decided to take a quiet small Lindblad/Nat. Geo cruise for health reasons. We chose the Panama Canal and Costa Rica. IT WAS BY FAR THE WORST TRIP WE'VE EVER HAD. The boat itself was not well maintained - dirt and rust spots all over (we were later told it was going to be replaced soon). The first room we were assigned smelled so badly of mold and mildew we couldn't breathe and couldn't stay there, and threatened to leave the next day. It was unhealthy and sickening. They found us another room - it didn't smell but the bathroom smelled like sewage most of the day. They tried to tell us that this was simply "the ship's smell" - really?! It was awful. They did not give us bottled water to drink, so we had to drink the highly chlorinated water from the sink. This was shocking to us as we always buy bottled water, whenever we travel, and would never chose to drink water that smells like chlorine. Aside from all this, the stops were quite boring. Mostly uninhabited locations, which meant there was nothing to see, tho they were described as interesting and breathtaking. The only positive thing I can say about this company is that they returned half of our money based on our complaints. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
After several "big ship" cruises, we booked our trip on the Windstar Star Breeze, leaving Puerto Caldera on January 2nd, with planned stops in Nicaragua and Costa Rica. I want to begin by saying that the passengers on this ship ... Read More
After several "big ship" cruises, we booked our trip on the Windstar Star Breeze, leaving Puerto Caldera on January 2nd, with planned stops in Nicaragua and Costa Rica. I want to begin by saying that the passengers on this ship overall were great! We ended up with a "table for 8" that included three other couples that were fun, interesting, and full of life. And the crew was wonderful. Everyone was friendly, helpful, generous, and caring. I can not believe how many of them remembered our names and our drink and food preferences. This was a new itinerary for Windstar and suffice it to say there were some glitches. Our visit to Nicaragua didn't happen as the winds were apparently too strong for the tenders (inflatable Zodiaks) to navigate and our plans for the day were scrapped after several hours of waiting. I don't blame Windstar for this and I commend them for the constant communication with the passengers and their attempts to make up for the disappointment (including free drinks - never a bad idea!). They did their best to create alternate entertainment options for the passengers. The high winds also impacted the plans for the next day's stop, so the Captain opted to visit a different location, which was thoughtful, as everyone was eager to get off the boat and experience the region. They were able to organize new excursions for those interested. The rest of the trip went as planned. Tendering was generally efficient and easy wherever we went - no long lines like we experience on the larger cruise ships. As for the ship itself, we loved it. Our "standard" stateroom was huge compared to what we have experienced on other cruise lines. Seriously - a full sized shower/bath tub and double sink vanity?! A walk in closet with plenty of hangers and a lot of drawer space?! It was clean, comfortable, and classy. We loved our room. The ship itself is lovely - the Yacht Club was our favorite quiet space. As there were some air conditioning challenges in many of the staterooms (ours included) it quickly got the reputation as the most comfortable cool space on the boat. There may be some reviews that focus on the air conditioning problems, but really, we did not find it so oppressive that it ruined our experience. We were in Central America afterall, and it is hot and humid there! Sure we griped a little, but there were others that complained A LOT! The negativity was a downer, but I blame that on the passengers, not the crew or the ship. I want to add that Windstar responded to the situation with class and generosity by granting every single passenger a $200 onboard ship credit (not per cabin, but per person!) and a future cruise discount of 25%! We think this demonstrated a sincere compassion for the passengers. The food was wonderful! The outdoor BBQ was the best - eat lightly during the day because there is so much wonderful food to experience at the BBQ. This was a fun night as there was plenty of dancing on the deck. The other nights the entertainment consisted of two duos who were talented, but the music just didn't create an energy that attracted dancing. I included in my comment card that I think a couple of nights with a DJ playing disco style music (you know, the fun stuff that gets everyone dancing) would be a good addition, particularly given the participation in the dancing on the BBQ night. We had so much fun and I credit our new friends and the crew for much of it. I will definitely cruise Windstar again! Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We had read numerous reviews about this ship, and were frankly a bit apprehensive before boarding. The embarkation process was painfully slow, but once we finally got on board, here's what we have heard, and our response to it: The ... Read More
We had read numerous reviews about this ship, and were frankly a bit apprehensive before boarding. The embarkation process was painfully slow, but once we finally got on board, here's what we have heard, and our response to it: The food is mediocre-We found that to NOT be the case. We thought the cuisine was quite good, the variety was decent, the quality was quite good. The buffet line on Deck 12 was very good, at least as good as we have experienced on other ships. We did not go to any of the up-charge "specialty dining" places; we didn't see any need to. The entertainment was so-so: Actually, we agree with that. We've seen much better shows on other ships, but that may not be the case any longer. We've heard reports from others that the quality of the entertainment throughout the cruise industry is less than it used to be, We've heard good things about the staff: we agree. The crew on the Pearl were at least as good as we've met on other ships, and they were far better than some. Cleanliness of the ship: top-notch! Freestyle cruising: This Norwegian concept is not for everyone, but it was OK with us. All in all, would we go on Norwegian again? Well, we took advantage of a half price deposit scheme for two future cruises. Does that answer the question? Read Less
Sail Date December 2015

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