1. Home
  2. Cruise Destinations
  3. Spain Cruises
  4. Spain Cruise Reviews
Sail Date: May 2014
This was our 7th Princess cruise but our first since 2009 and sad to say we did notice that standards had slipped in a number of areas. Mainly little things like they no longer produce the daily newspapers for US, Canadian and UK ... Read More
This was our 7th Princess cruise but our first since 2009 and sad to say we did notice that standards had slipped in a number of areas. Mainly little things like they no longer produce the daily newspapers for US, Canadian and UK passengers, a box of tissues in your cabin is no longer standard, but available if you ask, the sun decks were not cleaned to previous high standards and used crockery etc. was not cleared away as rapidly, and, unlike other US lines sailing from the UK, they don’t provide tea or coffee making facilities in your cabin. But by far the biggest disappointment was in the standard of the food, we always found that dining on Princess was exciting with each course savoured, this was no longer the case and the quality of some of the cuts of meat was well below our previous experience. Probably the biggest deterioration was in the breakfasts, we found a lot of the food items in the buffet were at best only lukewarm, whilst in the MDR we experienced very slow service. I highlighted some of these issues during the cruise and to be fair passenger services did take them seriously and we ended up with 3 boxes of tissues! But more importantly the buffet breakfasts did get much hotter. Overall the cruise was still very enjoyable, especially since we were with our 2 sons and their families, and we did get some very good service from most of the bar waiters and those in the MDR. Was it good value, well yes but only because we got 2 price drops honoured by Princess which resulted in the overall cost reducing by 40% from the original booking fee. Whilst Princess continue to give price drops they will likely remain competitive, but their launch prices in the UK are much higher than RCCL/Celebrity or now, on this year’s launch, even their partner company P&O, and as we need to book early to secure an accessible cabin then they would need to be providing a must have itinerary for us to give them our future business. Entertainment. This was typical cruise ship fare with production shows and guest artists in the theatre, but unlike P&O there were no guest artists in the other venues only the ships staff musicians, DJ music or the entertainment staff organising trivia type shows or the Princess Pop Star passenger talent contests. There were however some guest acts performing in the Piazza as well as a couple of pseudo shows from the ships singers and dancers. But Princess do try to pack more features into their Piazza area, as a result it can get very crowded at some times and finding a seat is well-nigh impossible. The lack of guest artists in the other lounges was probably fortunate for us since we found that both the lounges had poorer viewing access of the stage areas than their P&O equivalents, but for canned music this is not a problem. We also found that Explorers lounge had worse access for wheelchairs than P&O’s Tamarind or Malabar equivalents, and as a result we did not use this lounge. There were a fair mix of musicians on board including a string duo, a couple of pianists, a C&W duo, a guitarist and a party band, generally sufficient to find some bar with your type of entertainment. Ports of call. All the Ports of call were our first visits, at none of which did we take any ship’s excursions, mainly because Princess did not offer any accessible tours at all on this cruise, but they did provide free accessible shuttles where needed. La Coruna – The ship berths close enough to the town centre so that a shuttle bus is not needed. It is quite a large town on a peninsular, similar to Cadiz but much bigger and more modern, with a promenade, the Paseo Maritima, following the coast line and providing a reasonably level walk whereas the town centre is quite hilly in places. We did not venture as far as the Tower of Hercules but wandered around the old town and then into the town hall square which has sidewalk cafes all around it. We enjoyed a tapas lunch and then a short stroll back to the ship. Bilbao – The berth is at Getxo which is about 3 miles from Bilbao centre and requires a shuttle transfer of 20-30 mins, provided free by Princess. Unfortunately there was only one accessible bus and it did not run to the provided timetable, as a result we just missed it and decided to let the rest of our party use the normal bus and we went back on board, so I have no real information on Bilbao, other than the family enjoyed it and said it was very pleasant. Le Verdon (for Bordeaux) – The berth is a 3 hr. drive away from Bordeaux and Princess only provide shore excursion tours to Bordeaux or the vinery’s, but they do provide a free shuttle to Soulac sur Mer, however the shore excursion team and even the Captain go out of their way to disparage Soulac, and one of the team even told me that it had little to offer and any beach Soulac had was quite poor and too far away for an easy walk, all of which is quite wrong. The town is only about 20 mins away and although fairly modern is quite a charming little seaside resort. The main shopping street is about a quarter to half mile long leading from the main square where the shuttle drops you right to the sea front which has a magnificent beach and a pleasant promenade. It obviously began as a tourist resort back at the start of the last century and has one or two interesting old hotel buildings on the sea front, and quite a large old market building along the main street with the usual shops selling all sorts of interesting food produce. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit. St Peter Port, Guernsey – This is a tender port and since I was informed that my wife would need to be able to take a few steps in and out of the ships tender and that there were also steps from the dock in the town we decided to stay on board. So we were rather disappointed to find that Princess were also using a larger shore based tender and we saw at least one wheelchair and passenger carried on board this vessel, but by this time the rest of our family had already gone ashore. Conclusions. We had a very enjoyable cruise and cruising still provides a high quality holiday at a reasonable price, but for those of us who have been cruising over the last 10 – 20 yrs. the cutbacks in quality of food and standards of service are quite noticeable. Comparing Princess with other lines we sail, we think they are now very similar to P&O, but have fallen behind Celebrity’s standards, and are probably closer to RCI and CCL itself. This is perhaps not surprising as both Princess and P&O are part of Carnival, but this now leaves Carnival without a main stream high end offering since HAL is a much smaller operation.   Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Bad food. Poor quality mass production not quality . Ship well worn and needs major overhaul Chandelier fell on us in Viking lounge first night when leaving Rome Glass all over us. .And the Windows bonded in by Stevie ... Read More
Bad food. Poor quality mass production not quality . Ship well worn and needs major overhaul Chandelier fell on us in Viking lounge first night when leaving Rome Glass all over us. .And the Windows bonded in by Stevie wonder with silicone gun and timber dowels to stop it grinding against metal frame .as they falling out and badly fitted . Tiles missing around tiny pool area. Inside cabin room like a 20 year old caravan Old worn paint .decorative green bed sheets holes badly stictched Sewage odor in hallways and entrance two days Staff nice In general but one or two not suited to serving people in Viking lounge one man ( brown hair .I think Russian) gives wrong orders and likes to confront you .Same situation in main dining room for breakfast. Was made stand to one side for 20 min. And six people walk by you and get a table. As they are more important than you ,, Slow service then And after a while asked to leave as time for it opening was up .as it only opens for two hours . Some staff won't serve you at the bars out on the floor if your not signing or paying when have a full drinks package .think maybe cos can't get extra tips. .all members of the group Got that impression . Food in wymjammer was bland and poor quality. Massproduction. Feed the animals . You would need boxing gloves and a baseball bat to get food no system .I It's like getting your dinner in the middle of a rock concert . Main dining ok some night s. And some nights it was hopeless . all food was over cooked early in the day .And served half cold . Entertainment Was like every other 3star hotel in holiday resorts . Ok but seen it all before . Was like butlins 20 years ago no class no quality , And a major let down. . Some people on the ship try to over hype it and convince you other wise .but when you sit back and look around sober and think about it. Notting is done right .pools food entertainment accommodation .it's false and just a money making machine .I'm going on a CRUISE sounds good to your friend s. But Forget quality and 5star. On this one !!!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
This was my first time with P&O and on the Oriana. At first everything was fine and the crew were very lovely. We had problems with the air conditioning sticking on either too hot or too cold but we could forgive that as it was going ... Read More
This was my first time with P&O and on the Oriana. At first everything was fine and the crew were very lovely. We had problems with the air conditioning sticking on either too hot or too cold but we could forgive that as it was going in for a refit in November. Mid week a the Norovirus broke out and everything changed. The hygiene standards actually worsened and did not improve. They had no idea of infection control and I witnessed on lots of occasions very poor disinfectant techniques. The staff obviously had very little knowledge of how to disinfect adequately. There were many empty soap dispensers on the ship and the only hand sanitation was in the dining room, where we had one squirt as we went in.Very little information was given to passengers. The staff were obviously under pressure from their supervisors and their attitude changed, especially the waiters who were rude and incompetent. They didn't even look at or acknowledge when people thanked them. This was my fourth cruising experience but first with P&O. Thankfully the first three lovely and staff were brilliant. I thoroughly enjoyed them but had this been my first ever cruise I would never step board on a ship again. There were so many other things that went wrong or were bad practises that I would have to write a book to include them. Thankfully we didn't contract the virus but I wasn't in the least bit surprised it was a problem on board. I felt so sorry for the passengers boarding the Oriana as we were getting off. Read Less
43 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
The worse cruising experience I have ever had. From beginning to end. My wife and I have cruised with Fred Olsen cruises on three occasions this was to be our fourth, we booked a cruise for my mother and father in law, my sister and ... Read More
The worse cruising experience I have ever had. From beginning to end. My wife and I have cruised with Fred Olsen cruises on three occasions this was to be our fourth, we booked a cruise for my mother and father in law, my sister and brother inlaw and my wife and I. The cruise was on the "Black Watch" an eight night cruise sailing from Belfast October 2015. The cruise started on the 16th October 2015 we were told to check in at their facility at Belfast docks at 2pm, my brother Inlaw was given a 2.30pm checkin, why? After registration all 700+ passengers were herded into what I can only describe as a small warehouse with very basic facilities, like myself most passengers would have been retired with a large number of disabled people. We waited almost 2.50 hours in crowded cold conditions to be bused to the ship which was located at another dock beside an animal feed warehouse, the stench was almost overwhelming. The checkin warehouse had a hole in the wall canteen offering hot and cold drinks which we had to pay for, yet we had checked in, and all of our party had an all inclusive card, Both my wife's parents are in their 80's and sat shivering like others waiting on the inadequate number of coaches to take us to the ship. When we eventually arrived onboard we went immediately to our Cabin (Superior Outside cabin) which I can only describe as tired and past its sell by date, both single beds mattresses had bowed in the middle and looked like something you would get in some third world hostel. The usual ships newsletter was placed on the table it listed various events, restaurant times etc, enclosed with it was a special notice informing us that due to repairs to the ship auxiliary engine we would be missing our first port of call "La Coruna." The ship would be going to the second port of call "Bilbao" for repairs so we would spend almost three days there. We were offered £50 each as compensation which had to be spent on the ship. At this stage the ship had not left the dockside in Belfast. If Fred Olsen cruises had notified us prior to getting on the ship I would have cancelled, as one of the main reasons for booking was the opportunity of going to La Coruna and taking my wife's parents to Santiago de Compostela an opportunity which because of their age and cost will sadly not be possible again. Having sailed on Fred Olsen cruises three other ships I had no hesitation booking the Black Watch as the previous cruising experience on these ships was faultless, unfortunately the Black Watch fell way below their sister ships standards, the main restaurant was one of the worst I have seen, was more like a ferry canteen than an elegant cruise ship restaurant, It was to bright and lacked any atmosphere. The staff lacked personality and just seemed totally bored, unenthusiastic, we listened to a couple of the waiters complain about the salary they got from The cruise company and how it was topped up with the gratuities which we had all prepaid. In comparison with its sister ships the menus were boring, breakfast and lunch was a buffet but you could order off the menu if you could get eye contact with a waiter I gave up trying and opted for buffet. Trying to get a glass of wine on our all inclusive card on occasions took ages getting eye contact with a waiter got worse as each day went by, on the final night my father in law finally got a glass after he had finished his main course, in any case the house wine was practically undrinkable. The reception staff, shop staff were totally unpleasant, getting a smile was a rarity, the one area that I enjoyed on the ship was the observatory bar the staff were pleasant and efficient, the trio who played there every evening were excellent. One of my pet hates on any cruise is the constant manufactured occasions that their photographers use to get a happy holiday shot, captains dinner, captains farewell dinner etc, the photographs cost a fortune to purchase, on the Black Watch I seen one of the worse photographs I have ever seen, a couple getting photographed with the captain, his wife stood beside the captain, her husband was in a wheel chair, the photographer took this shot and put the picture on the usual display. The head of the person in the wheelchair was all that you could see of him sticking up at the bottom of the photo. All my comments like this are just a snapshot of a very bad experience on the Black Watch never to be repeated. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
I did my first cruise on the Celebrity Solstice in 2012 round the Mediterranean and it was the most magical experience everything from the beauty of the ship and the cleanliness the way in which we were cared for excellent. Celebrity x ... Read More
I did my first cruise on the Celebrity Solstice in 2012 round the Mediterranean and it was the most magical experience everything from the beauty of the ship and the cleanliness the way in which we were cared for excellent. Celebrity x helped us when our travel agent let us down so we had no hesitation in booking direct felt it would be nice to be back in safe hands. What a mistake initially everything went ok holiday booked what could go wrong. Just about everything, Our initial sailing booklet didn't arrive I checked spam nothing, I phoned up to say how did we get our luggage tags was assured I would be informed when this was in August. By September I was beginning to get nervous however I did eventually get said booklet and was told my luggage tags would be here. I then asked about a connection from the airport to the ship and was told for 19euros this was possible. When I phoned up about it got someone completely different who said it was not possible so I asked what was the port address for the ship and the person I was speaking to had little English spelt out the name which turned out to be wrong. The Barcelona Airport hotel sorted that one out for us. Baggage tags never arrived eventually sent some sticky luggage tags from the complaints department We did not get the email about the virus being on the ship and arrived at the time suggested only to join hundreds of people waiting. I have to say I am all for the methods adopted on health and safety and the company did offer travel back to Barcelona however we had flown in late the night before were tired and decided to stay put. All the passengers were offered a bottle of water and either a packet of crisps or a bar of chocolate very suitable for a diabetic - what was wrong with some tea or coffee and a roll it surely wasn't that difficult. When we did get on a glass of sparkling wine was enjoyable but not the person trying to sell a 3 meal deal. The room was comfortable but a little tired and all the little extra's did eventually appear over the next 8 days. I had trouble with my electrics and when my hot brush decided to overheat and start smoking I let Guest relations know in case the fire alarm went off I was told someone would come up no one did. Two days later my phone charger also decided to give up the ghost, I asked the room attendant twice if someone could look at the sockets as this did not happen on me earlier cruise. We were woken up in the middle of the night by the air conditioning going off the lights wouldn't work and the emergency lighting came on. It was a little concerning. After we left Lisbon we went down to arrange our dinner booking and the smell of diesel was really clawing thankfully I wasn't eating in that part of the ship that evening. The staff we had in the dining room and the co-ordinator were fantastic, as was the staff in the Sky Lounge enjoyed the drink and nibbles. The gastropub was a favourite the girls their very funny and helpful. The café al Bacio served the most delicious iced teas and great coffee these were our ship highlights. The food was very good with quite a selection for every taste. The Canapé's delivered to the room sadly were not a patch on the last time I had to ask for a fork or spoon to be delivered and they certainly were not finger food. The excursions off the ship were on the whole pretty good as was the 3 meals off shore a good mix of places with plenty of time to see them. My overall impression was tired ship, stress in some of the staff in short a real end of season feel to the cruise leaving us very disappointed in comparison to the 2012 experience. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
It was a shame as we had upgraded to a Mini-Suite and we were expecting a better standard than we experienced. The food was disappointing and nowhere nearer others that we have experienced on other lines. The entertainment generally was ... Read More
It was a shame as we had upgraded to a Mini-Suite and we were expecting a better standard than we experienced. The food was disappointing and nowhere nearer others that we have experienced on other lines. The entertainment generally was not of a high standard when we managed to get a seat. The organisation was very poor when we had any trips. It often took time to find the correct coach without guidance. I did try to complain on the Cruise but no one bothered to contact me; when we get back we wrote to P & O and again no response. It is the last and only time we will be travelling with P&O.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2014
Cruises are too expensive for you to waste your money on this cruise line. I have been lucky enough to have cruised for many years from very small ships to the largest in the world (Royal Caribbean Allure of the Sea- It was the largest in ... Read More
Cruises are too expensive for you to waste your money on this cruise line. I have been lucky enough to have cruised for many years from very small ships to the largest in the world (Royal Caribbean Allure of the Sea- It was the largest in 2012 when I cruised it). But I consider myself a pretty decent judge after about 25 cruises. But by far, this ship is the WORSE and most badly operated ship I've ever sailed on. The 12 floor buffet deck staff is miserable and the ship overall is dirty and old. Mind you, old is okay, if it's clean and is operated by helpful and warm staff, but I barely saw anyone cleaning a banister or vacuuming a floor-even during shore leave. The staff is sloppy and make it very clear they don't want to be there. All could be forgiven if the food was at least decent, but that's the worse part of the cruise. The food stinks and when the staff has to serve you, they just kind of plop the food on your plate and don't even look at you. There is something REALLY wrong with this cruise line , hence the old saying, The fish rots from the head down, I truly believe this to be true because EVERY head waiter and person "in charge" I dealt with were equally rude and and unconcerned about accommodating their guests. The Cabin was dirty and our private bathroom was dysfunctional and badly cleaned. I would see the same dirt on the bathroom floor for 5 days and each time I mentioned it to our steward I was told he thoroughly cleans the floors every morning....WHAT? This is so long because I just want you to think before sailing on this cruise line. If you are accustomed to bad service and don't care about cleanliness, then by all means sail away on Oriana, but if you're a person who goes on a cruise to enjoy being taken good care of and making your vacation a truly memorable event....then Pass on P&O. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
Just returned from our first cruise on this ship (18th August) . Unfortunately the weather was not great and so the ship was unable to port in Guernsey which we were really looking forward to. The additional sea days were not really ... Read More
Just returned from our first cruise on this ship (18th August) . Unfortunately the weather was not great and so the ship was unable to port in Guernsey which we were really looking forward to. The additional sea days were not really catered for by the ship. Most of the activities for adults were puerile and an insult to my intelligence and I found most of the shows I attended poor in quality. My 2 teens were so bored that it lead to tensions in our group-there is only so much wii and Xbox they could take and plus they could do this at home. The service charge policy is not explicit and the organisation needs to look at how they convey this information about this is openly conveyed to passengers We did meet some lovely people both passengers and staff. I could see that staff work really hard and it was interesting hearing their stories of their homelands. I was however, also concerned about the officious ness of some staff particularly in reception. Fundamental complaints were not really dealt with and , I experienced, the attitude about any issues raised seemed to be a shrug of the shoulders.i observed examples of managerial staff shouting at junior staff in front of guests and witnessed 2 incidents of staff mimicking passengers. Did try to draw attention to this to front desk staff and was told to write it on my questionnaire rather than being offered the opportunity to raise this with a manager. Interestingly the questionnaire only offers 3 lines for feedback I did request additional paper but when I asked for a paper clip or staple was told to just fold it together and put it in the box.I did express my concern about this as I could already see the box was already very stuffed, but she did not relent Overall MSC is not really for us although I understand that it suits others (possibly those with very small children) We did get some lovely reassuring advice from other more experienced cruisers who were emphatic that we shouldn't judge cruising by this experience and reassured us that there were better cruising options with other operators that would better suit our family's needs In a nutshell MSC never again.... Cruising would love to do it again Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
I heard loads of good things about this operator, I wondered what all the fuss was about, no new fancy ships in the fleet, only just heard about the Britannia, so I thought, give it a go and booked onto the Oriana, as I always thought of P ... Read More
I heard loads of good things about this operator, I wondered what all the fuss was about, no new fancy ships in the fleet, only just heard about the Britannia, so I thought, give it a go and booked onto the Oriana, as I always thought of P & O as being our ferry company. Well I set off for Southampton QE2 dock , all went well, check in was efficient. Then we saw the ship, my wife commented on how dated and tired it looked, I gave her hope and reminded her that Oriana had a refurb 2 years ago, wait until we get inside. We entered from deck 5 and a quick glance around assured us the inside was better than the outside. I was struck by the lack of wow factor, it was very ordinary. (we paid a heap of money to get 'ordinary'). Now it started to go wrong. We found our cabin C100, it was a cupboard, it was approx 2.5m wide...yes TWO and HALF METRES wide and approx 3.5m long, My wife put on a brave face and refrained from crying, I went to reception and requested a move.'We are full but I will put you on a waiting list'...what a patronising statement. So we had to stay in there. We as others do go straight to the buffet to get a flavour of whats to come and walk around the open decks, it was awful, all the hand rails were bare wood as the varnish had been worn away there were oil marks from oil that was leaking from the life boats, which were looking well tired and lacking TLC. The whole ship was shabby.I digress, the food we were looking forward to, was, well, my wife said it was ok! I thought otherwise. We were 'Free Dining' which is good for us, as we like to meet new people. The menu was very, ordinary, very English, you know how, you get 2 for a £10 deals in a pub? well that's exactly what they serve on the Oriana. It must be said, the best breakfast at sea I've ever had, spoiled only by the garbage bread they serve. I like to try everything so we had actually booked into the specialty restaurant, SORRENTO's, save your money it too is rubbish, why? I hear you ask, well we ordered steak fillet, or Fillet Steak we say in England. We actually got the scraggy ends of the fillet steak and spent most of our time cutting tendons out of the meat and paid an extra £6.50 each on top of the £7.50 each to book, what a swizz. But what I found totally abhorrent with P & O was the total lack of women working in the restaurants the ship was very nearly totally male, no/few ethnic origin women interfacing the passengers, this alone speaks volumes about how P & O treat people, they totally lack respect. To finish off on a positive note, the entertainment was fair. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2014
I wanted to relate to you our experience on the MCS Opera. From the time we checked in we started experiencing problems. The young man at the check in counter could not run our credit card, he said he would have to enter it manually, this ... Read More
I wanted to relate to you our experience on the MCS Opera. From the time we checked in we started experiencing problems. The young man at the check in counter could not run our credit card, he said he would have to enter it manually, this would prove to be a problem later in the cruise. In addition, my picture for the room and charge card did not come out clearly. When I boarded the ship I was taken aside and asked to see my passport. I was then told I had to go to the reception desk and get a new picture. So that was the start of our cruise experience. Our problems continued with the food. This being our 9th cruise we are very familiar with the quality and quantity of cruise ship food. The food on this ship was mediocre at best and of poor quality most of the time. Portions in the main dining room were small. On numerous occasions we had to go to the buffet after our meal to feel we had a complete dinner. One of my main courses consisted of veal cutlets about the size of a silver dollar. There were a total of three on my plate and about 2 ounces of potatoes to go with it. Three of our meals were inedible due to the meat being over cooked and dried out. Most of the fish dishes were of poor quality. I could go to any Denny’s or Applebee’s restaurant and get far superior meals than anything served on this ship. The chicken cordon bleu was breaded and deep fried and tasted like a McDonald’s Happy Meal. In addition coffee or tea were not available with dinner in the main dining room. I will not even go into the buffet food as I would just because it was even worse than the dining room. My troubles continued with a member of the reception desk staff. Prior to leaving for the cruise we had contacted MSC regarding transportation to Amsterdam from the port, which is about 45 minutes away. We had been told that the bus ride was complimentary. Once on board we found this not to be the case. We had to buy a bus excursion into Amsterdam for 32 euros each. The next day, I received a note in my room to come to the reception desk to talk about these charges. As mentioned, before the problem with my credit card at check in was raising its ugly head. Upon my arrival at the reception desk and showing the young lady the note, her first words to me were,”You can’t make any more charges to your room”. When I asked why she said, “You didn’t run a credit card when you came on board”. When I related to her what had happened when we checked in she then told me, “That’s not how we do it, the people on shore don’t know what they are doing and you didn’t run your credit card”. After several more exchanges like this, and her telling me not to be rude, I asked to see her supervisor. Other than an apology from the supervisor nothing else was said or done about the incident. I have attached a picture of the shower floor in our state room. Most of the edge of the shower is coated with mold. This was indicative of the cleanliness of the rest of the ship. Windows and mirrors smudged and dirty, tables in the buffet wiped with only a wet cloth that just spread the mess around instead of removing it. On one occasion I observed a bus boy drop his cleaning cloth on the floor, step on it, pick it up and continue to “clean” tables with it. I did not even contemplate going in the pools or Jacuzzis. At one time I saw an infant of about 12 months in one of the Jacuzzis, with a diaper on, and none of the staff asked it to be removed. I have many more examples of problems with this ship including tendering issues, lack of amenities, and certain crew attitudes that would take too long to relate to you here. Overall, we were very disappointed with this ship and would never take another MSC cruise. We did not have any issues with the multiple languages on board and this was one of the bright spots of the ship as was the nightly entertainment. This ship was advertised as a 4 star ship and I would not even rate it a 2. This was not just our opinion but that of many other passengers we talked to while on board. One experienced traveler we met called this a Dollar Store cruise, which fits it very well. I would not recommend this cruise line to anyone in the future.   Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
INTRODUCTION - I had built my Mother and Son's expectations up so high telling them what a wonderful time they would have cruising only for their first cruise to fall flat on it's face. PRE-CRUISE CUSTOMER SERVICE - Booking our ... Read More
INTRODUCTION - I had built my Mother and Son's expectations up so high telling them what a wonderful time they would have cruising only for their first cruise to fall flat on it's face. PRE-CRUISE CUSTOMER SERVICE - Booking our tickets was easy and straight forward. I saw on p&o's website there was a theme night, it might be Hawaiian or 60's/70's. I love dressing up and our details did not inform us which it would be. I phoned customer services gave cruise details and she said she would find out. I was told not to worry as it was only a 7 day cruise they did not have theme nights. I left my costume at home. Guess what? that's right we had a 60's/70's theme night on board. EMBARKATION - I was pleased to find this was stress free and very quick. We were given a card with a letter on and different groups were called staggering the amount of people at the check in desk. FIRST IMPRESSIONS - Upon entering the main foyer I was expecting to see something grand only to find it reminded me of an airport lounge with a dance floor in the middle. Not even a ballroom on board. SERVICE DESK - Staff were friendly enough but didn't do their job. My son's safe in his cabin was not working as the prongs that shut it were locked out and could not be closed. On the evening of embarkation this was reported. We were told someone would be along to fix it. On the day of dis-embarkation we were still waiting!! CABIN - was an inside one as I like to have it pitch black at night. Presentation was reasonable but nothing special. I had to laugh as there was a flower in a vase with no water!. General upkeep in the toilet shower was good over the week, however I did run my finger along the mirror at the back of the bed to find it thick with dust! We had 2 bottles of water upon our arrival and that was it. Tea and coffee making box was not refilled and all the biscuits were broken. My son had blood on his sheets and my mum had goodness knows what on her pillow, mustard colour patches!! (I dread to think) CABIN STEWARD - Did not see her much, she was polite enough but not overly friendly. She never knocked on the cabin door just came straight in which annoyed me. LIFEJACKET DRILL - what a farce that was. This is supposed to be taken seriously for your own good, but I don't think people listened to what was being said. Having said that the ushers showing the way to your muster station were pretty useless. Instead of making sure everyone was keeping to the left going down the stair everyone just meandered down ( and before they were actually supposed to) I thought you kept the right side clear for emergency services to be able get through?!! The actual drill, well the staff member told us quite clearly to watch the other staff members first and to then join in the second time. I could not believe it, about 90% just did their own thing - safety at sea, I hope it never has to be used on Azura. SAIL AWAY - The very first sail away I found patronising and childish as it was the entertainment team dancing on a small platform on the pool deck. It was like ' 1 2 3 sing along with me' The great British sail away I did enjoy but it was crowded. THEARTE ENTERTAINMENT - Saw the opening show which was ok. Mick Miller. a throw back from the comedians was good and was entertaining. Refreshing to see something funny. Reel to reel was good also, singing and dancing to movie songs through the decades. My disappointment here was that the music was pre-recorded and not a live band. BAR ENTERTAINMENT - I saw about 5 mins of a George Michael tribute which was more than enough, same can be said for a singer called Portia. I wanted to see a Freddie Mercury tribute (who I am told was good) didn't find out for myself as the bar was so packed I couldn't get anywhere near. BARS - were heaving at night and you counted yourself lucky if you got a seat! The service was very slow. My son to amuse himself started his stop watch just to see how long we waited. 20 mins was the longest it took (could have died of thirst) and then we had to wait extra for the waiter to bring our cabin charge card back. I was given the wrong drink but couldn't be bothered to wait another 20 mins for him to change it. GENERAL STAFF - I have to say I found most of them to be quite rude and they expected you to get out of their way (there were 1 or 2 who were ok.) Most of them walked around with faces that looked like they had just been smacked, not a flicker of a smile or a "good morning". On the pool deck there was one man clearing plates and he so obviously loved his job!!!! as each time he opened the metal rubbish bin he just let it slam every time and it got on your nerves after a while. The interesting thing was, when a senior officer came past he opened and shut the bin very carefully - spoke volumes to me. HYGIENE AND CLEANLINESS - There was a distinct lack of this through out the ship. I never once saw any general cleaning taking place. Vacuuming seemed to take place around 3 am. There were some disgusting toilets that looked like they had never seen toilet cleaner. One of the worst areas was the lido deck restaurants - the windows were smeared with handprints as was the glass partitioning. The base of the table was greasy and again thick with dust. Upon entering the lido deck there was no hand sanitiser only on the gate area that leads to the food, so you could walk in and make a drink with dirty hands. My son who had a late supper around 10.00 pm, later took his laptop up to the lido deck around 2 am (as he couldn't sleep) found his dirty plates and cup still on the table as he had left them.. There were dirty serviettes, bottles, cans and waste on the pool decks that was just left. There were spilled drinks, again just left. One of them had been a glass of milk which of course would have been slippery and given there were blind people aboard I could see a safety issue here. When reported I was told it would cleared up. I made a point of going back to look a couple of hours later only to find it was still there. The outside windows were drizzled with water by an automated machine (not even a proper cleaner) on the last evening. The carpets throughout the ship were very badly stained and for a ship that is only 4 years old I can only guess what the condition would be like on their older ships. By far the best has to what my mum thought was a dirty serviette and when we looked it was a pair of ladies dirty soiled knickers just left on the walkway. MAIN DINING - we were on the first sitting in the oriental restaurant. Our waiter and head waiter were absolutely wonderful, I can only sing my praises to them which I think had to be about the only positive thing on board this ship. We being vegetarians found there was not a lot of options although they did have a vegetarian menu. One Evening I chose melon for my starter my husband had egg mayonnaise - fine you may say. The thing was that is what was on the menu the next night too!! The waiters kept saying "anything you want just ask" so I asked if it would be possible in 2 nights time if they could make a curry. The head waiter said he would ask and confirm the next evening. I was ill so didn't see him that day. The day I had requested the curry for I tried to contact him. I was sent to another restaurant to find him - no luck I was told to talk to the head waitress. She keyed my request into the computer and wrote it down. Surprise, surprise he never got the message. One evening 3 of us ordered a starter that was cold and congealed, none of us ate it. Well you would have thought we had committed a crime. They prodded, poked and analysed it, and insisted we have something else. I told them that was fine please don't worry. They kept on so much in the end I had to leave. LIDO DINING - The food here was beyond awful and I am being polite when I use the word awful. EVERY day the food was just about the same as the day before. You always got fruit salad, profiterols, chocolate cake & cheesecake. The choices were few and far between and what there was I swear came from packets and tins. Mum and I ended up each day playing a game of guess today's filling in the profiterole. Again for vegetarians there was 1 option. I ended up living off chips, potatoes, bread and occaisionally veg!! I had said there would be wonderful cakes, pastries's, pizza's, waffles, pancakes - you name it you would get it on a cruise. I think my mum and son thought I had made it all up as we saw none of that. You could only have fruit juices at breakfast!!! or it was water for the rest of the day. VERY often there was no milk or cups. Finding a table I have to say was a real pain. One day, it was half way through our week from hell I had just about given up the will to live and there was not a seat to be had I just had enough and plonked myself down in the middle of the floor - nobody said a word. On the last night one of the serving staff picked an argument with my son as he had shorts on, they were long ones. He was told he couldn't come in, silly really as there was a woman wearing what could only be described as a pelmet showing far more leg. The food on the whole was penny pinching and horrible. FELLOW PASSENGERS - What can I say here, very loud, rude and inconsiderate to other travellers. Shouting in the corridors at all times of the day, Having to get in the lift FIRST. Mostly aloof people but we did meet a few nice people. LIFTS - I think anyone who was on this cruise would agree with me that this was a big bug bear. One lift was out of service for the entire voyage. There were a large number of elderly and disabled who obviously had to use the lift. Given the lifts are not very big, put one wheelchair in and the lift is full. My mum who is elderly and doesn't do stairs had to use the lift. On one occasion we waited 25 mins to get one. Again we played another game while waiting "shall we catch the 10.20 or the 10.40?" SHIP - very badly designed layout. I love having a stroll around the promenard deck but you can't walk right the way around on this boat and on the starboard side smoking is permitted, although people were smoking portside also. Their are cabins on entertainment decks. If you want to walk around the top you have to walk up hill and down dale ,not very eldery/disabled friendly. The one thing was whatever time you went down on the pool deck there was loud music all the time. I love loud music but when you can't hear the person next to you!! There are hundreds of sun beds with little room to walk or climb between. Over all Azura is by no means a pretty ship or a practical one. CHILDRENS ACTIVITIES - N/A DAYTIME ACTIVITIES - few and far between, If you like line dancing, juggling or quizzes you will be fine. SHORE EXCURTIONS - we only did one to the Normandy beaches. Our tour guide was very informative, thoughtful and considerate and had lots to tell us. A very moving experience indeed. I felt a little more time spent at the beach is needed rather than just 30 mins. CAPTAIN AND SENIOR OFFICERS - We never once saw the captain or any of his senior officers once. I began to think the ship was running by remote control and all the messages pre- recorded. There was not an audience with or book signing with the captain. SUMMARY - if you like brash and noisy, don't mind the filth, waiting for just about everything, then this is for you - BUTLINS AT SEA! I would rate this as a 0 but alas 1 is the lowest so 1 it has to be. FUTURE CRUISES - certainly not with p&o, this was my first and last with them. My mum and son have been put off cruising full stop. for me I will only go with CUNARD in the future. I can not fault them in any way - perfection at it's best. WORD OF ADVICE TO P&O - give up cruise ships and stick to freight and ferries. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2013
We were looking forward to our Christmas break aboard the Oceana ...we boarded on the 19th of December,and at first everything was fine!..Went to the Plaza for our first meal,although it was crowded,we expected this as everyone was rushing ... Read More
We were looking forward to our Christmas break aboard the Oceana ...we boarded on the 19th of December,and at first everything was fine!..Went to the Plaza for our first meal,although it was crowded,we expected this as everyone was rushing there for their lunch! We were then allowed into our cabin..and that is were everything went downhill ... the balcony,which we had paid extra for was very small,and the floor was covered in white paint chippings,which had been left there,obviously after a rushed paint job..The handrail had been varnished and left tacky (although there was a note attached with some sellotape) Bedding was very clean..(But we did have to ask for clean linen after a week)..Supposed to be changed every 3 days.The cabin steward later said the clean linen had not arrived!..that was rectified the same day,so must have arrived quickly after I asked for clean sheets! The en-suite shower room was very small,you could hardly turn around in the shower cubicle ... Clean towels were provided when requested and always lots of hot water! We chose not to eat at the plaza..always busy (More like a works canteen) opted for Café Jardin for breakfast and as we were on freedom dining, we ate at the Ligurian,every night. The food was excellent although not always plentiful and sometimes cold! The waiters work extremely hard (for little pay I might add!) One reviewer described it as a slave ship.and I am afraid have to agree! On Christmas night, things went badly wrong! I awoke to hear water lapping around; I had heard this earlier in the week and it turned out to be rain and spray on the balcony. This was louder though so I thought perhaps my wife had left the balcony doors open and I got out to close it. I stepped out of bed and into above ankle deep water. I switched on the lights (something I realised immediately was a risky thing to do!) and saw the whole cabin awash with water. More water poured in from under the bathroom with every roll of the ship. I opened the bathroom door and saw the problem. The toilets are similar to aircraft suction toilets - they suck away the waste and then fill the bowl with water. A fault had developed in our room where the refill mechanism had decided to go into over-drive and the toilet was overflowing with gallons of water. I woke my wife and naturally, awaking to see our cabin swimming in water, she initially thought the worst, that the thought the ship was sinking! I was frustrated to find there was no "emergency option" on the cabin phone and I had to go through a menu system to get through to reception! Anyway, I described the problem and someone appeared fairly quickly. Amazingly, the guy knew what the problem was, he described with his hands what often happens to the valve system in the toilets, especially in rough weather. But it left me thinking, if they are so aware of what is wrong in such detail and if it happens often, why has it never been fixed? They assured us we would be back to take us to another cabin. Half an our passed before someone finally arrived. We were asked to follow the person down the corridor, down two decks on the lift to our new cabin on C deck (to cabin C441), me dressed in my boxers and my wife in her nightie. We were asked to try to get some sleep and reassured someone would be round first thing in the morning to sort everything out. Naturally, we didn't sleep well and we sat waiting for someone to return. No one arrived and when I called reception, I had to remind people who we were, where we were and what had happened. We had been forgotten. The cabin staff appeared and I followed two of them to get some essentials; they said they would bring the rest of our stuff. So I went back to the old cabin to retrieve some of our clothes and toiletries. As there is not much room to store things like cases in the cabins, we had stored the cases and my travel guitar in its case under the bed. These were all soaked. I managed to dry off the guitar and it appears okay, but it cannot have done it any good! The staff offered to dry out the cases and was a few items of clothing that were still in the cases, which they did. This was the day we were supposed to get off the ship to explore Lisbon and the day turned out to be the nices day, weather-wise, of the whole cruise. Unfortunately, we had to miss that will all that was going on. I all the above was not enough, the water had also destroyed my tablet computer, which had suffered water ingress and no longer works. This is where the "fun" really started! I asked about getting the cost of my tablet computer covered. I was told I could have a £125 as a "goodwill gesture"! I pointed out to them that a goodwill gesture was what a company made when a problem occurred but they wanted to show there good customer service and then I turned down their offer. I was then asked if I would like to meet the "Accommodations Manager". I also pointed out to him that this was certainly not a situation where a "good will gesture" was appropriate! He appeared to be reeling by the fact I had not accepted his initial offer, but eventually came offered me £250.00 and also told me to claim on my travel insurance when I got home. After much ado, he finally sent his "go between", the deck manager, who did most of the delivering of messages. He told me that the Accommodations Manager would like me to consider a better offer, but I would have to meet and sign a document. During a subsequent meeting with the Accommodations Manager, he suggested I should accept a final offer of £400 for the replacement of the tablet; an approximately correct amount and, for our "inconvenience", a sum of £125 in the form of a voucher off our next P & O cruise. I had to point out to him that, considering the treatment we had received, it was extremely unlikely that we would consider a future cruise with P & O and therefore, the voucher held no value. Finally, he contacted me again and said he was prepared to apply the £125 as credit to the current cruise account (as was the offer of the replacement value of the tablet), but said he could not give us cash for either. So, our only option was either to drink our selves senseless in the hope we managed to get maximum value for what we were offered, or to buy things we did not want from the on board, over-priced shops. So, not wishing to appear awkward, we opted for the latter. Then came the sting in the tail! The Deck Manager appeared in our cabin and said he "hoped we were happy with the outcome" and asked if we would be happy to sign a form to that effect? If so, he would bring us the "mandate" as they called it for us to sign. When the mandate appeared, it made no mention of the damage caused, but simply described we had experienced a flood in our cabin. It further repeated that the payment to us was a "good will gesture", but much to our annoyance, actually told us we were, as part of the "agreement", prohibited from telling anyone about what had happened to us, under threat of prosecution for the full refund of all monies paid to us. Naturally enough, we declined the offer as we did not wish to be silenced to allow us to warn other people of what to expect and hopefully to avoid others going through the same thing. We are extremely unhappy with the way we were treated. We also lost part of our holiday; The only decent weather was when the ship docked in Lisbon and we had intended to explore Lisbon with friends. Instead, we spent the time putting stuff away in the replacement cabin and negotiating with the staff on the ship. Neither of which was very pleasant. Following this incident, we also both contracted a strange flu-like illness from which we are still both suffering. No, obviously, it would be difficult to prove this was a direct result of us having to walk around the cabin, flooded with sewage-contaminated water, but the possible connection is obvious. We are both currently on antibiotics for chest infections. All of this was so unnecessary. It should have been very simple to put right, but as far as the Accommodations Manager was concerned, it was all about him ensuring he had made the experience a cheap as possible for P & O. When I talked to him about our whole experience and how it made us feel, he just stared at me. I may as well have been talking in Swahili. At one point, I did ask at the reception desk if we could possibly speak to the Captain, but this was met with an amused and feigned look of surprise, as one would get if one had popped into the local church and asked to see the Pope. Apparently, one does not get to speak to the Captain, he is far too important. Now, I can understand that the Captain would not want to meet routinely with passengers, but in view of what had happened, I would have thought it would have been appropriate for us to spend a few minutes with him outlining our distress. So, I guess either he doesn't want to know about such detail, or the rest of the crew ensure bad news never reaches him. Either way, it is a very sad state of affairs. This was our first cruise of any kind and we feel, because of our experience, it will also be our last. We have not been compensated - and I expect any compensation to come without strings; I would have thought a company the size of P & O would have done whatever it could to ensure no passenger leaves the ship thinking they had a bad experience or at least they they left feeling P & O had bent over backwards to mitigate the passenger's bad experiences. Since getting home, I have emailed P & O customer services but received no reply as yet. I *did* get a call from the young lady who was our cruise advisor. She said it was just a courtesy call to see how the holiday went. Strangely, neither our friends nor other members of our family who were on the cruise with us received such a call. Anyway, I repeated the main point of the fiasco to her and she said she would talk to who ever was investigating. Needless to say, we were very disappointed with the cruise, with the flood, the damage to my tablet computer and the wrecking of our holiday generally and especially with the attitude when we asked to things to be put right. It does not appear to be possible to come back and edit this, so if the company finally respond, and I will leave any updates at http://www.sparksoft.net/pando along with a short video where you can view the water in our cabin. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2013
We cruise as a family around twice a year minimum, normally P&O and we have never had any issues with them.We are certainly not a family of wingers and therefore find it difficult complaining here, but it has to be done ... Read More
We cruise as a family around twice a year minimum, normally P&O and we have never had any issues with them.We are certainly not a family of wingers and therefore find it difficult complaining here, but it has to be done unfortunately.Embarkation was not as smooth as we are used to , this however was down to the inefficient car park attendant who was trying his best on his own to book a long queue of eager to get on board cruisers. Once aboard , around 12.30pm we went for lunch at the windjammer, which should be renamed the windcrammer, no seats at all so we had to sit outside near the pool and it was freezing !Cabin ready around 2.30pm however case did not arrive until around 5pm, room attendant said it could have been as late as 9pm normally, not good when you are first sitting dinning and dressed in shorts ?Cabin clean but looked rough around the edges and tired to say the least.Kids club - normally have to fight to get the kids out of it, not on R/C it was very poor, kids bored all the time , and if they stayed after 10pm they charge you $6 a hour extra or $1 a minute if you state you are going to pick them up at 10pm and are late, unbelievable !Not big drinkers luckily as the drinks prices are crazy, $11 for an average glass of merlot, and the service from the bar staff is almost non existent.The biggest problem on this ship is the lack of seating areas, plenty of bars etc to visit but you will battle to get a seat guaranteed and queuing to be served is a regular daily occurrence. Granted the weather on this weeks cruise was not always great which bring passengers down to the lower decks but the ship simply cannot cope with this, and when the weather is good you again battle to get a sunbed, noticed they had a fair few new ones on board that they were unwrapping so hopefully this with help a bit in the futureIn our opinion the Ice rink (seen the Ice show and it was very good) takes up a lot of room especially for only one performance and a few hours skating for the kids, the same goes for the the promenade, all looks very nice but is not practical with very few seats !The lobby bar : asked for a Bacardi and coke, reply - "come back later no bacardi" , when back there that same evening, wife asked for a bloody Mary , reply - "come back later, no tomato juice", no apologies very rude actually !Its money money, money onboard, oh and $15.00 each if you want a shuttle bus to get off, (went with my 78 year old Father so the 30-40 mins walk was out of the question.)Evening dinning however was top class, and so was the service , food was superb, no complaints here at all, breakfast and lunches at the windjammer average, orange juice in the morning was literally week squash, however you are constantly asked if you would like freshly squeezed OJ at only $4 a pop !2 shows put on for us were very good , but would have liked more, they make up for this by having themed dance nights on the promenade (70's and Brit pop) but this once again gets packed and its just the entertainment team dancing to backing music.Disembarkation went very smoothly, no complaints here !Overall very disappointed with this cruise and really glad it was only for a week, normally dread it when the holiday draws to an end , but on this occasion we were actually glad to get off, never again Royal Caribbean, certainly not value for money, it was a "Royal Rip Off." Read Less
Sail Date: April 2013
A group of four of us has just returned from what should have been an enjoyable springtime cruise on the Thomson Dream. This was our seventh cruise, the fifth with Thomsons, so we were expecting the same high standards that we had ... Read More
A group of four of us has just returned from what should have been an enjoyable springtime cruise on the Thomson Dream. This was our seventh cruise, the fifth with Thomsons, so we were expecting the same high standards that we had previously experienced on other Thomson ships - how wrong we were. When we arrived at the port to board the ship in Tenerife, we had missed the onboard lifeboat drill so a member of the crew stood at the front of the coach and tried to show us how to fasten our life jackets - no-one at the back could see a thing. We were then told that we could find our lifejackets in a cupboard within our cabins. The lifejackets would have our muster station number written on them so it was up to us to find it.This is the first time I have ever been on a ship and not been shown to my muster station. On the second night one of my party contracted Norvirus. She was ill for three days and never regained her appetite until we arrived home. On the fourth nigh, my husband contracted Norovirus. He isolated himself in his cabin for 36 hours . The nurse rang twice to say she was coming to see him but never turned up. By the middle of the week the ship became very quiet during the evenings - most passengers were in their cabins suffering form Norovirus. The food was served by the crew - to prevent the spread of Norovirus. It was never hot enough and people were asking for more because the portions were so small. The temperature on board ship was very cold - I'm told it was to prevent the spread of the disease. I heard one lady sarcastically asking a waiter for a hot water bottle during the show.one evening I had to call the plumber out to my cabin three times. The sink became blocked, the bath water was dark brown and water continuously came up through the drain in the bathroom soaking the bathroom floor - this was still happening when we left the ship. Although the crew were very friendly and supportive, they always seemed to be very disorganised. Getting onto the ship took well over an hour as there weren't enough staff deployed to check us all in. We were locked out of our cabin for two hours when we reported the key was broken. Upon our return to reception to collect a new key, they had forgotten to replace it and made us wait for a further half an hour. Disemnbarking at the various ports also turned into a circus as the crew kept changing their minds about the deck and the side of the ship they would be using. The Captain apologised to everyone and promised to report the incident back to Thomsons after the tender to Portimao turned into a disaster. It took well over half an hour for each tender to reach shore. This resulted in large queues forming on the quayside waiting to board the tenders back to the ship. Passengers were waiting for over an hour in the cold, huddled together like penguins, without any seating or warm drinks avaialble. Thank goodness for the shore excursions. They were very good value and gave us a reprieve from the fast spreading germs on board the ship - when we were well enough to go on them. This will definitely go down as the worst holiday we have ever had. We could not wait to get back home. Unfortunately, due to my experience on the Thomson Dream, I have lost all faith in my favourite cruise line and will definitely be looking at an alternative next time! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Previous wonderful experience with Fred Olsen over the past fifteen years. Sadly, will go with them no more unless they get back to their previous excellence. It appears that the ' Bean Counters ' have taken charge. Cruise prices ... Read More
Previous wonderful experience with Fred Olsen over the past fifteen years. Sadly, will go with them no more unless they get back to their previous excellence. It appears that the ' Bean Counters ' have taken charge. Cruise prices have rocketed by up to 70% ( beware ' Anchor Fares ' you will be second class guests even having to pay a large sum for a couple of clicks on a computer to change your unfavourable dining time ). Quality of food has fallen dramatically, they used to have the very best food, now the meat is tough ( pork steaks, veal etc. ) Food in the self service buffets is always no more than very lukewarm, cold bacon, uncooked vegetables, far less than al dente, just dipped in warm water. The breakfast marmalade and jams are cheap, bulk bought and tasteless in open dishes rather than the tasty individual sealed packs and immediately adjacent to wheat bearing bagels so the crumbs can contaminate the jams with gluten. Scrambled eggs very cool and so runny they could be poured; horrid. Never once was steak or prawn cocktails on offer, unlike other cruise lines where they are staple every dinner. A New Maitre D' needed, bring back Mr Angel. Same guest artists twice each in 7 nights. Good theatre company, though. No interesting guest speakers Captain waiter in Palms never once spoke to us, not even a greeting. We ate there over 30 times. Dirty looking, food ingrained table mats in Palms restaurant, no doubt bacteria bearing. Mentioned this but they were only ever wiped over with a damp cloth, and, to think, cruise lines worry about Norovirus !! Only place where good food available is The Grill, at £20,00 per person extra, but even that is over priced, no soup on menu. Only good coffee on the ship in there. We have recommended Olsen to many friends and obtained many customers for them but we can no longer do so as there is far better value on other cruise lines. We have three further cruises booked, none of them with Fred Olsen. Only consolation of this cruise was the wonderful staff (mostly ) Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
So …….. For my Wife's Birthday I surprised her with the Spanish Delights TUI Cruise aboard the Marella Dream. Have Cruised with TUI previously so knew what to expect ( more or less ) - The Dream is an 'older' lady ... Read More
So …….. For my Wife's Birthday I surprised her with the Spanish Delights TUI Cruise aboard the Marella Dream. Have Cruised with TUI previously so knew what to expect ( more or less ) - The Dream is an 'older' lady however, the crew do an amazing job of cleaning / maintenance albeit often at inappropriate times ! Cabin: on deck seven ( 7139 ) highly recommended, our cabin steward was amazing! - aim for mid ships if you can, its nearer the restaurants / bars / show lounges. The air conditioning however is a nuisance, gave me endless sore throats. Food: ……. ah' the all important food was ………. appalling at times, forever cold / tasteless / 'odd' ! How bout' Beef Stroganoff cooked with whole lemons that were cut in half and then 'stewed'-in with the gravy !!! totally disgusting - off putting to say the least. I experienced raw bacon / stale bread / toast you could break your teeth on ! / The orange Duck was orange-less and tasted of ……. Nothing! The coldest 'cooked' glazed carrots ever, salad past it's sell by date / stay away from the Fish, Grey in colour and again tasteless & on & on. Lets talk milk, the milk onboard is the long life stuff found in cardboard boxes, it is NOT chilled prior to being 'served' to passengers - imagine my horror when first trying cornflakes for breakfast and the milk is unnaturally 'warm' - TUI, the majority of Brits. prefer cold milk on cereals !!! The dessert station was a disaster, very poor selection compared to say the TUI Celebration and again tasteless, the rice pudding for example so thick and stodgy you cement bricks with it ! and what was that watery custard all about! The food was overall dire - We spoke to senior ships crew member who disagreed with us! claiming it was a popular menu served on all TUI ships! My wife survived on a diet of watermelon for breakfast / Lunch / Dinner !!! Entertainment: was fab. don't believe other reviews that say the singers cannot sing! my own 40yrs on the 'road' tell me otherwise. Ports of call: All good with the exception of Portugal / Valencia. Both of these require a £7 pp Shuttle to get you to town. Totally disappointed with where we docked in Valencia - an industrial dockyard with nothing for miles should you want to stretch your legs and get off the ship for 10minutes. Our view, no matter where we stood on the ship - Steel yards / Cranes / Container ships / Industrial noise. this for 8 hrs plus the horrendous smell of refuelling the Dream. Whilst docked and if you preferred to stay onboard - you endured maintenance inc. angle grinding noise and the worst lead paint smell ever ! as the crew set about set about their task of 'keeping the Dream afloat' ! All whilst you tried to relax on the 'tired' / mostly unclean sunbeds! Staff: For us - the restaurant staff saved the day ( saved the holiday / My wife's birthday surprise from being a disaster ) Big shout out to Daisybel and Marley who were more like friends than ships crew, made our day/s as we would often seek them out to cheer us up! and cheer us up they did with their infectious smiles / quick wit / singing! Would we go TUI Cruising in the future? Unlikely, Absolutely poor value for money in this modern day age of cut backs - clearly TUI have had their annual board meeting and decided the cutbacks need to come from the all important food ! I'll wager TUI's CEO's wouldn't eat some of that slop served to us! And don't tell me I'm the only passenger to air concerns - We chatted to another hundred + passengers who felt exactly the same - inc. a family of 5 who chose to eat off the ship each time We docked! I suggest if you do not have children - pick an adult only cruise, a small number of the 'kids' on our cruise were disrespectful, roaming the corridors / bars mocking passengers who were dancing for example, quite intimidating at times and why did the angry young man need to repeatedly kick the lift doors. On-board, TUI suddenly turn into 'double-glazing' salesmen and women, every opportunity they get - they are trying to 'sell' you a package this / package that! ** Be careful with the Cocktails from the bar/s …….. whilst they look enticing - they are actually nothing but 'coloured' mountains of ice - We ordered 2 large cocktails first night only to find after a couple of sips the actual liquid content had been consumed leaving behind a mountain of ice !!! When ordering cocktails - stand firm and demand less ice ! ** TUI - I want a refund for the food at least !!! Please be aware that a formal complaint is headed your way.​ Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
My elderly mother cannot fly because of health issues and wanted to visit her home country.This was the only cruise that called at ports we wanted to call at. Our experience of the cruise started poorly when initial arrangements were ... Read More
My elderly mother cannot fly because of health issues and wanted to visit her home country.This was the only cruise that called at ports we wanted to call at. Our experience of the cruise started poorly when initial arrangements were badly handled and information had to be submitted several times.I let that go as one of those things. Once on board , every time I bought anything whether in the restaurants , shops ,bars etc the bill presented left a line for adding a tip. This despite having prepaid gratuities as recommended by the cruise line. That is appalling. The cabin service by the stewardess was efficient. The room service orders arrived prompt ,served efficiently and by nice staff. The waiters allocated to our table were excellent ( so I tipped generously). Otherwise, things are not good. The food was indifferent, sometimes the portions were meagre . Classic dishes were often spoiled , being accompanied by a bit of boiled vegetables. Appetisers were particularly bad, better to have none at all. The buffets were of inferior cafeteria standard. The breakfast buffets were basic and tired , the bread available dreadful. As for the coffee throughout the ship (in the restaurants, the buffets, breakfast ,etc it was dire, dreadful, weak, thin . Similarly with tea , the water for which was never hot enough. So weak tea was served throughout. The only way to have decent tea or coffee was to buy and pay for it in a specialist coffee shop. The wine lists were absurd. At the beginning of the wine list 5 recommended fine wines were listed. When ordering one of these , after waiting 10 minutes, I was told they didn’t have it. So I chose an alternative, that was also not available and so on with 4 of their own recommended wines! The wine waiters didn’t know much about wine. So nothing on this ship for wine lovers. The entertainment on board was basic holiday camp fare, except for two excellent guitarists often playing some of the lounges. The activities available were standard fare. The gangways at most ports were badly arranged - given that they knew most passengers were elderly - steep stairs were in use. Bad enough for many to struggle descending , much worse when ascending on returning to the ship. Claims that they were restricted by the tides did not check out, as they could ramp or extend the steps to make them easier. Overall, the ship has a downmarket feel and the cruise line seem unmoved by making life better for its customers. I shall not be using it again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
Reviews were mixed but we took a chance as we’d been on 4 Thomson cruises before, although the last one was 8 years ago. What a mistake. The Lido buffet restaurant was awful, horrid seating, massive queues and mediocre food. The Sirens ... Read More
Reviews were mixed but we took a chance as we’d been on 4 Thomson cruises before, although the last one was 8 years ago. What a mistake. The Lido buffet restaurant was awful, horrid seating, massive queues and mediocre food. The Sirens was a lot better for breakfast and lunch. The food was just ok but the choice in the self serve was disappointing,the drinks prices were expensive and the quality of the beer was very hit and miss,the serving staff were excellent as we expected from tui cruises. This ship is ideal for smokers and young families, but not for us. TUI is definitely the bottom end of the market. Everything is always to pay extra for learning how to play poker to a visit to the bridge its pay pay pay more more more . The ship is very out dated. We did not feel that we had value for money and the experience was not one we would repeat Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Having been on 2 previous Thomson cruises and thoroughly enjoyed both, we thought this cruise would have the same high quality and pleasant experience. HOW WRONG COULD WE BE?? The whole of the first week, all the passengers had to wear ... Read More
Having been on 2 previous Thomson cruises and thoroughly enjoyed both, we thought this cruise would have the same high quality and pleasant experience. HOW WRONG COULD WE BE?? The whole of the first week, all the passengers had to wear fleeces, jackets or in my experience a woollen shawl everywhere - except our cabin! The air conditioning was on full blast for the whole of the week in every bar, dining room, place of entertainment. One could not get away from the cold air blasting into your body, except in the cabins. We spent a lot of time in the cabin that first week but couldn't even watch tv, because it didn't work properly. When I complained to the correct person on board about the cold more than once in the first week I was told it was a fault that was being rectified. It was rectified THE SECOND WEEK. Everywhere you went the first week you had to wear something to keep you warm - eating in the restaurants, seeing a show, having a drink in a bar, everywhere. The food in all the restaurants on board, bar the one you had to pay for, had exactly the same food served every day. The Deck Buffet had a warmed up different version of the previous days food, but did also have lots of other things to eat as well, which was good, because we had uncooked fish twice on board and didn't want to get food poisoning so went to the buffet every meal time from then on. When I got back home I wrote a letter informing head office of these complaints and faults on behalf of Thomson Cruises I was completely ignored for about a month. I then received a letter telling me they could not listen to my complaints (which they disputed) because I DIDN'T FILL A FORM IN ON BOARD SHIP. I even wrote to the managing Director Mr Richard Sofer of Thomson Cruises TUI. But that letter was sent back to me saying address unknown. The address I used was the head Office address on line and I also had the post code from Thomson Cruises chat now complaints on line. So now we use P&0 for our cruises and Thomas Cooke or Virgin for our other holidays. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
The shower and toilet room flooded on two occasions,the toilet bowl filled up to within 1inch of the top on many occasions and the colour of the water was as black as your hat with all bits floating in it even with many flushes did not ... Read More
The shower and toilet room flooded on two occasions,the toilet bowl filled up to within 1inch of the top on many occasions and the colour of the water was as black as your hat with all bits floating in it even with many flushes did not clear I reported this to reception.The water from the taps was was a yellowish colour which was also reported. The size of the cabin was more lithe size of a broom cupboard we had to live out of our suite cases all week.The buffet you couldn't help yourself you hah to hand your plate to one of the chefs for them to dish out the food .The shore excursions were very poor for the price. The good parts were the cabin stewards went that extra mile to to help they were Exellent. Also the entertainment staff were also Exellent Read Less

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise