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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Great ship and great weather were the highlights, but too many boring sea days. It could have been much better with some more speakers and better entertainment on those long sea days. The best part of sea days was a geology professor ... Read More
Great ship and great weather were the highlights, but too many boring sea days. It could have been much better with some more speakers and better entertainment on those long sea days. The best part of sea days was a geology professor guest lecture. Embarkation was much slower than disembarkation. Nice cabin with reasonable bathroom. Too cool for pool and sunbathing on this route. Port in Japan and Russia were small, but interesting. Alaska ports were fine, but Icy Point Straight was a NCL-contrived port with little to see. Activities at sea included art auctions, specialty restaurants, expensive slow internet etc. that all seemed to create additional profit centers for the cruise line with a captive audience. Food was on par with Carnival and Royal Caribbean, but not necessarily themed for the ports visited. Service was on par. Hot chocolate served outside on a few cold port or glacier viewing days was a nice touch. Both food and service were better in the specialty restaurants, but then you pay for a meal that you have already included anyway with the cruise, so I count those as a port meal. Entertainment was sub-par, with the exception of one acrobatics show. Mostly Philippine bands doing their best with a wide range of western standards. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Loved the idea of a repositioning cruise and that part was great. Could sail forever. However, the service on board was indifferent, to say the least. The people who ran the "kid's club" were fabulous and my grandchildren ... Read More
Loved the idea of a repositioning cruise and that part was great. Could sail forever. However, the service on board was indifferent, to say the least. The people who ran the "kid's club" were fabulous and my grandchildren had a great time. This was the best part. Ebarkation and disembarkation were flawless. Food was another matter. It was, to say the least, somewhat strange. Clearly it was mostly frozen and then reheated and the descriptions didn't really match what was served. The only really good meal was in Teppanyaki. The rest of the food was indifferent--it would work if you were hungry but it wasn't a good experience. The Enrichment speaker was wonderful and very enlightening. Felt as if we were being "nickled and dimed" for everything. For example, after having bought the soda package, we were often told in restaurants that no diet pepsi was available (that there was no more on the ship) only to be able to get it later at a bar. This happened more than once. Would I sail on this ship again? Not really if I had another choice. We went on this ship because of the large stateroom (with a separate bedroom) that was available for my daughter's family. That is the only reason we would go again on this ship. I've sailed on Oceania, Windstar, Celebrity, Princess, and now Norwegian. Norwegian was, for me, my least favourite. On the other hand, it had a repositioning cruise, which is my favourite. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was our third cruise with Viking ocean. We chose this trip for the itinerary. We had never been to Asia and liked the ports in both Asia and Alaska. Crossing the Int’l Dateline added to the attraction. We were in the Orion in ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Viking ocean. We chose this trip for the itinerary. We had never been to Asia and liked the ports in both Asia and Alaska. Crossing the Int’l Dateline added to the attraction. We were in the Orion in Jan-Feb visiting New Zealand, Tasmania and Australia. This crew was better trained and worked well together. We were pleased with most aspects of the ship. A few little things need work, but nothing major. You know what you get with Viking-it is an older crowd but activities/entertainment were sufficient for us. While some of the entertainment was the same, they did a good job at adding new entertainers. As Viking enters new parts of the world they are learning their way with shore excursions and local customs. Shore excursions were well managed. They do a good job at calling people at the right time and keep waiting times to a minimum. Checkin staff did a great job. Local guides were good. A sufficient level of activities were offered. EMBARKATION a breeze. You can arrive well before your checkin time. You are greeted with a glass of champagne and invited to use the open restaurants. Your luggage will be in your room by your assigned checkin time. DISEMBARKATION-we had a curve thrown as we could not stay in port because of too many ships in Vancouver. Luggage was offloaded in the middle of the night. We didn’t hear a thing. We disembarked via tender according to flight times. Full breakfast services available. You had to be out of your stateroom by 10am. Tenders left according to schedule with staff assisting everyone. Our luggage was waiting at our terminal at the airport. One of the most efficient operations we have experienced. CABINS Deck 3. Be careful of location. Torshavn noise is audible almost every night. Not late into the night, but it may bother some. A very convenient deck. DINING-Dining room and World Cafe offered a varied selection. Soups could use some improvement. Replenishment of eating utensils/napkins was too slow. Chef’s table-staff could use better training. One visit we had two wine pairings and no food. The French menu was too rich; not a good balance between first and main courses. Manfredi’s was very good, but don’t try to have pasta as a separate course-throws them off! SERVICE in general was excellent. Lounges and bar waiters were great. Most were very personable-not long before they know your name and cabin #! Room steward was wonderful-Edwin. SHIP-beautifully appointed. Always spotless. This ship has a dome. I don’t think this is a feature that will be included in the rest of the fleet. Makes the 8th floor area very hot. Eliminates a nice viewing/drinking area. Don’t know if that is the reason why the 7th floor area of the Explorers lounge tends to be cold. The skins on the sofas are starting to shed. Most people rolled them back to protect their clothing! PORTS/excursions. Viking’s first visits to ports can present problems. Most of our excursions were organized. In cases where we took local shuttles the scheduled were mixed. We ended up seeing what we wanted to see. ACTIVITIES-a little more variety on sea days would have been good as this was a long cruise. Lectures varied and sufficient. Like the ability to view the port talk in your cabin on the following day. Very good selection of shows/movies on the in-room system. Free internet a great feature-reception was generally good. Suggestions-have hot water in the World Cafe for hand-washing. There were some illness problems. The internet system in the room for onboard account, reservations, etc needs immediate help. The ship can not control or correct any errors. The dining for Chef’s Table had the wrong info for almost 8 days. The general website also had errors for our trip. The map wasn’t corrected until a few days before we sailed. On board future booking-a great offer that we used. However, you need to book a specific cruise that you know you won’t be using. Mucks up the booking system for other Viking customers and the whole reservation system. Viking needs to keep its attention to detail at a high level as they release the rest of the fleet! We will sail with them again! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
Well, here we are back on the Jewel (sailed Sydney - Singapore in February), but this time in the Haven. Why? We wanted to see Japan and we wanted to do Alaska and ‘transpacific’ helped complete our journey around the planet (although, ... Read More
Well, here we are back on the Jewel (sailed Sydney - Singapore in February), but this time in the Haven. Why? We wanted to see Japan and we wanted to do Alaska and ‘transpacific’ helped complete our journey around the planet (although, technically, the Bering Sea may not actually be the Pacific). Anyhow, this was a repositioning cruise and we decided to take advantage. Unlike our last cruise where we just showed up in Sydney, this time we came to Tokyo five days before the cruise to enjoy the city sights. Tokyo did not disappoint. It was very clear, fairly easy to navigate, many opportunities for dining... we stayed at the Keio Plaza Hotel in Shinjuku-Ku and I would highly recommend it. The only downside was that it was Golden Week and there were more crowds than usual. We were unable to visit Mt Fuji due to crowds as well. I would definitely go back to Japan. There were an awful lot of people at that pier in Yokohama, but because we were in the Haven, we were among the first to be checked in and whisked aboard the ship. I cannot say how embarkation was for anyone else, but it did look like a very large crowd. Once aboard, we met some of the staff in the Haven. A truly great group of dedicated professionals who did not disappoint. They were great for the entire cruise. Our room guy was Giri and we were very fortunate to have him. One thing that surprised me, though, is that this ship has no dedicated Haven restaurant. Breakfast, though, was served in the Moderno restaurant and we were there each morning. Michelle was our server of choice and she was another example of the wonderful staff. Lunch was also served in Moderno for Havenites, but we ate there only once or twice. Unlike other ship, though, for dinner you’re on your own. Luckily, we had seven meals coming to us (5 were Free at Sea and 2 because of our Platinum status). On the other seven or eight nights, we split it up with either the Tsars Palace or Azura and, if we didn’t care for the menu on a particular night, we went to Chin Chin. About the food, overall it’s very good, but after a while it becomes quite repetitive. Having sailed for nearly three weeks on the same ship two months earlier and now another two weeks, we found ourselves wondering what the food on other cruise lines is like. By the way, the food in the Garden Cafe buffet wasn’t bad, but because this was basically a cold weather cruise, everyone was eating inside. So, table space was limited at peak hours. Luckily, they let you sit in La Cucina up until afternoon. Not a lot of kids on this cruise as you might imagine as this is school time. So, that made it the perfect time for an Alaskan cruise. Cruising in July - August is probably the last place you’d find me. The entertainment was just so-so to be honest, so many nights we just didn’t go. Ports and shore excursions were ok, but in Alaska you could easily double the cost of the entire cruise and more. We did just basic sightseeing, no helicopters or sea planes. Alaskan ports seemed like one trinket store after another. Would I go again? Maybe, but probably not. Still, Alaska is a trip everyone ought to make once in their lifetime. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
I have always wanted to go to Alaska and my husband wanted to go to Japan, so on this cruise we got to do a bit of both! Boarded in Yokohama Japan. We stayed at Sotetsu Fresca Inn Sakuragi-cho in Yokohama. This was fine and we were able ... Read More
I have always wanted to go to Alaska and my husband wanted to go to Japan, so on this cruise we got to do a bit of both! Boarded in Yokohama Japan. We stayed at Sotetsu Fresca Inn Sakuragi-cho in Yokohama. This was fine and we were able to walk to the port from here - although was a good 25 minute walk. Embarkation was a little unorganised and long, but we were also quite early! Once on board, everything was easy. We mainly ate breakfast in buffet, and this was good. Sometimes had to walk around a bit to find a seat, but no major trouble. Plenty of selection and options, although it is amazing how after two weeks you still get a little bored with whats on offer! My bad! For lunch we ate in various restaurants, we gave all the complimentary ones a go! Menu didn't change much for lunch tho. Really enjoyed O'Sheehans for lunch - their fajitas and burgers were great, better than the ones at Tsars! Massive selection at buffet for lunch and options changed daily. Nice steaks out by the pool at Topsiders Grill - although this area was closed on cold wet days. For dinner we always went to either Tsars or Azura. Same menu in both, but just different atmosphere and decor. The waiters were amazing in these restaurants. Also loved Alvin who did the table allocation at Tsars, he was great with names and very welcoming. The food was very very good. Not amazing, but very very good considering the volume they are producing for. The ship production crew shows were amazing, especially the cirque inspired one!! Other shows were entertaining, some better than others. The nice guy giving the lectures each day was very good, but a little too indepth on certain things for me! We enjoyed all our cruise port stops. Alaska was amazing!! One bit of advice for cruises that go to Petropavlovsk in Russia. Although the ship berthed at 5am and some 30-40 russian immigration guys were expected to arrive soon after to do immigration checks for all passengers. It was 11.30 before our deck 5 was able to disembark. This meant that we missed our privately organised and prepaid tour. The various decks were allowed to retrieve their passports and depart according to deck, commencing from ship excursion passengers, haven passengers, deck 11, deck 10, deck 9 etc. down to deck 4, all with allocation times approx 30 mins apart. If we had been on deck 11 we would probably have got off about 9.30, but deck 5 was second last. If visiting this port would be better to do a ship excursion (something I rarely do!) or select a cabin on a high deck! Although we missed our excursion (the tour company did wait over an hour for us, but then had to go as had others with them), we were able to walk off the ship and into town ourselves for a look around. Was about a 10 minute walk. The ship had said that we would require to buy an $8 shuttle ticket, but this was not necessary. No one even checked us to see if we had a rebooked excursion or shuttle ticket. Spas were lovely and hot and the pools were heated too. We loved spending time upstairs in the Spinnaker Lounge. This was a lovely quiet spot with comfy lounges and great views!! There are also some little computer screens at front of some bars/restaurants that you can take a selfie photo of yourself and send a brief message via email back home - handy to let loved ones know how you are going! We had the free internet package and our 250 hours were rationed amongst the sea days and worked fine. We never did work out how to do the phone package to call our kids on their mobiles tho! Drinks package was great, it was included which was good, because we probably only drank 2 or 3 drinks a day which was more than normal!, but not enough to justify buying a package! Loved the manager, think his name was Steven Jacobson, very friendly and helpful. Also loved the cruise director Dan. There was enough entertainment around the ships, although there were still times where we didn't know what to do, but thats the time to grab a good book! Easy disembark, just did it ourselves and walked straight off! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
Salty food EXPENSIVE excursions are the Jewels main features!!! Took a 15 day trip on this cruise ship from Yokohama Japan to Vancouver, Canada and my blood pressure went up 60 points in 15 days!!! Food on this ship is salty and ... Read More
Salty food EXPENSIVE excursions are the Jewels main features!!! Took a 15 day trip on this cruise ship from Yokohama Japan to Vancouver, Canada and my blood pressure went up 60 points in 15 days!!! Food on this ship is salty and terrible and rarely served hot in main dining room !!!! Beef I tasted were from the cheapest cuts from the cheapest vendor and tasted HORRIBLE!!! Norwegian is such a stingy cruise line they don't even allow you to bring water bottles on the ship cause they want to sell them to you at $4.00 a 20 ounce bottle plus a whopping 20% service charge to boot!!! Wine prices were also very steep for wine that costs $4.00 a bottle in California they charge $26 PLUS 20 % service on top of that!!!If wine you bring wine from home they confiscate it or demand $15 a bottle service charge even if you drink it in the privacy of your own room. Norwegian scans your luggage and if they find wine they make you pick up your luggage and pay service charge of $15 a bottle. EVERYTHING on the ship is expensive and the the excursions are outrageous. They price gouge their customers at every single opportunity!!!! There supplemental restaurants are substandard and there chefs are cooks NOT chefs!! Cagneys was steak was a HUGE grilled piece of fat with perhaps 35% meat on it!!! The french restaurant was also TERRIBLE!!! French soup tasted like salt soup and the four mushrooms soup also tasted extremely salty!!! I paid $1375 for a window including a single supplement not a bad price had the food been edible. I will say the room was nice and the gym was acceptable and opened till 11:00. I would NEVER cruise with this company again!!When you won a trivia game you got no prize. On another cruise ship the winning trivia group got a bottle of sparkling wine but this company is too cheap to do that. Also at breakfast the eggs Benedict was awful and the lox and bagels comes with yellow cream cheese that tastes like chemicals and grease!!!If you cruise alone they rarely ever seat you with other people at dinner and lunch so you either eat dinner with the single cruisers or you eat alone on this ship !!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
The Jewel has been refurbished but not to the extent that it needed. I have never seen a harder working general manager (still hotel director to me) than Stephen. His problem is he can only deal with the staff he has been given. I ... Read More
The Jewel has been refurbished but not to the extent that it needed. I have never seen a harder working general manager (still hotel director to me) than Stephen. His problem is he can only deal with the staff he has been given. I certainly understand that all the employees from the Joy needed to be dispersed throughout the company but the lack of a clear understanding of English is a problem. The ship layout is difficult for someone used to the new Breakaway class. My last review of the Bliss was that it was "bliss". This was a long cruise and there were many sea days. It is hard to come up with enrichment activities that suit all. The lectures were wonderful. There was so much "trivia" that I had to retreat to my cabin to keep myself from going mad. The spa is certainly not up to par with the newer ships. It did not have a glass door so the door was kept open in order to help people find it. In keeping it open all the heat escaped. Even on a heated bed one needed a robe and towel covering to keep from being cold. The hot tub in the ladies only locker room had resting chairs by it. Those chairs had real fabric upholstery. Some regular deck chairs would make much more sense. I never felt that I could sit/lay on one of those chairs in a wet bathing suit. So many little things that one does not find lacking on a new ship. Too many to mention. I do still fully support NCL and intend to travel only on NCL. I write this review only as I feel it is necessary that all know the difference in the various ships. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise for the interesting ports and had a terrific time. The newly refurbished Jewel is beautiful and we much prefer the smaller ships. We had quite a few Sea days and Ncl had many activities scheduled. Trivia multiple ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the interesting ports and had a terrific time. The newly refurbished Jewel is beautiful and we much prefer the smaller ships. We had quite a few Sea days and Ncl had many activities scheduled. Trivia multiple times a day, dance classes, cake and cooking demonstrations, etc. One thing I found difficult to get information on before the cruise was how Ncl would handle crossing the international dateline. Basically, most nights we moved our clocks forward one hour to catch up with the current time for the port stops. Then, the night that we moved across the international dateline instead of moving forward we moved it 23 hours backwards. This gained us one extra day. It happens to be Mother’s Day, May 12, so we all celebrated twice. I also want to comment on our stop in Petropavlovsk Russia. Although technically no visa is needed to get a shower, and prior Crucis people have just been able to walk off the ship with no excursions scheduled. We had an independent excursion that we booked ourselves. Two days before we arrived in Russia, Ncl advised everyone that you had to have an excursion, either with Ncl or independent, to leave the ship. Fortunately we have paperwork from our tour guide and were able to provide them with that. As a last minute solutions, Ncl arranged for an eight dollar round-trip shuttle although technically no visa is needed to get a sure, and prior cruises people have just been able to walk off the ship with no excursions scheduled. We had an independent excursion that we booked ourselves. Two days before we arrived in Russia, Ncl advised everyone that you had to have an excursion, either with Ncl or independent, to leave the ship. Fortunately we have paperwork from our tour guide and were able to provide them with that. As a last minute solutions, Ncl arranged for an eight dollar round-trip shuttle to The small downtown area that would suffice and satisfy the Russian authorities. This had nothing to do with Ncl, it was merely a change from Russia. Another comment, small downtown that would suffice and satisfy the Russian authorities. This had nothing to do with NCL, it was merely a change from Russia. Another comment, they have now built a cruise port there and we did not tender ashore. It did take a long time to get our passports back and get a sure, we landed at 5 AM in the Russian immigration came right on and started checking everyone’s passports but the last ones were not cleared until 10:45 AM. You were able to get off in groups based on your passport being ready, excursions first, followed by Haven, then called by floor. Service at all the bars and restaurants was top-notch. Never a wait for anything, it was a very quiet, older and civilized crowd. Not sure what the average age was but since it was and I’m gonna cruise in the weather was chilly there wasn’t too much in the way of loud partying, but still plenty of fun to go around. One of the most fun afternoon so we had was on a cruise critic pub crawl. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was the first time on Norwegian Cruise line and was very impressed with the service, food and the entertainment. There was never any waiting for a table in any dining rooms, the staff were very attentive. I have cruised with a ... Read More
This was the first time on Norwegian Cruise line and was very impressed with the service, food and the entertainment. There was never any waiting for a table in any dining rooms, the staff were very attentive. I have cruised with a lot of other cruise lines and you always feel you are being push into a paying speciality restaurant in some form or another like serving crap food in main dining room to encourage you to go to the speciality restaurant and pay but not with Norwegian Cruise line on the Jewel the food was excellent no matter where you ate and to eat when you like and where you like was great even had breakfast till midday, now try that on any other line and you miss out on breakfast. The ship was full but there was no problems getting a seat anywhere on the ship for all meals. You can even eat at 2am in the morning which I did a couple of times as I felt a bit peckish after dancing to the brilliant music and then finishing at the casino I would go and have some fish and chips in O'sheehan's which is open 24hr now try and get that on any other cruise line. Other cruise lines once 9pm hits there is nothing other than room service which you have to pay for but on Norwegian cruise line there is no reason to use room service. There was even two soft serve ice cream machines open from lunch until late. The staff are amazing and were very attentive to your needs and very friendly and happy. I have noticed some ships are given 6 stars and I give Norwegian Cruise line 6 Stars and can justify my reasons. 1) Restaurants no waiting for a table at any restaurants Eat where you want and when you want and with who you want, unlike other ships where you are pushed onto large table groups. The Jewel you were give a table for two every time unless you requested a large table. Waiters very helpful and friendly and happy and a ratio of 1 crew to 2 passengers. Food available 24 hrs a day and this was not room service either. Breakfast was available till 12 noon, no other ship does that. Seating in lounge and theatre Seating in lounge areas were plenty and theatre there was always plenty of room. 2) Service I didn't need to get waiters attention as they would always be near your table and if you looked up as if you were about to ask for help they would be there and even when i dropped my napkin on the floor and before i could bend down to pick it up a waiter would already be picking it up and telling me he would get me a clean one. even in one of the other small main dining rooms we had a personal waiter who attended to what ever we needed. very impressed. 3)The Alcohol was included at all bars and restaurants and no limit. The only thing we didn't have was a butler but who needs one just to unpack. Would I go on this line again the answer is yes and I think now this line would be the only line for me. Would I recommend it to others and the answer is yes, go try it for yourself. Keep up the good work Norwegian Cruise Line. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We tend to prefer longer cruises with sea days. Celebrity almost always has excellent speakers and this cruise was no exception. We tried to catch all the talks. This is our second cruise in Aqua. The ammenities make the trip so much ... Read More
We tend to prefer longer cruises with sea days. Celebrity almost always has excellent speakers and this cruise was no exception. We tried to catch all the talks. This is our second cruise in Aqua. The ammenities make the trip so much more enjoyable so thats what we look for now. Our cabin, an A1 was a long way from the spa and because of the weather we didn't use it. The room was very well done and the bed was very comfortable. By the time we finished breakfast our room was usually finished. Very clean.did n The buffett was usually crowded but never so much that we couldn't find a place to sit. I noticed, and reported, when a guest came back and dumped his leftover food back into the container. After that I only ate what was served. No more self serve. I feel that they should have someone at all the stations. I have no desire to eat a strangers leftovers. The lounge music venues were very nice. The service in Blu as always was excellent. Daniell and Jet, our waiters, Yudie(sp) the Maitre d' and the wonderful hostess were were so friendly and professional. Overall the shows we great with one notable exception. The music was so loud it overpowered the singers and the guest piano player. It was also.was damaging to our ears. Some of the performances we had to leave because of the music. I don't know why the music director thinks that louder is better. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
As the caption suggests, my main dissatisfaction with the cruise was the was overly-amplified "ambient" music everywhere, and it was always of the thump-thump variety. There was no escaping it. I will never cruise on ... Read More
As the caption suggests, my main dissatisfaction with the cruise was the was overly-amplified "ambient" music everywhere, and it was always of the thump-thump variety. There was no escaping it. I will never cruise on Celebrity again. For those who do not object to this terrible noise, I am adding a few comments on other aspects of the cruise. The promotional material said the port of embarkation would be Yokohama. With no explanation and no apology Celebrity sent out an e-mail saying the ship would leave from an freighter port about ten miles from Yokohama. I had to change my hotel reservations. Some people said they didn't get the e-mail, went to the wrong port, and had to scramble. Some poor souls probably failed to make it on board at all. Changes must sometimes be made, of course, but failing to acknowledge inconveniencing your customers and to apologize is a serious breach in good service. Regarding the cabin, the shower was roomy and functioned perfectly. It was the best cruise ship shower I've seen. The little lady who tended to my needs was sweet and responsive. Sheets were changed every three days, which was nice. The bed was over-burdened with huge pillows. I stowed them over the closet and under the bed. My cabin attendant got me a reasonably-sized pillow. The mirror had a big circle of light around it. If I sat on the sofa, the light reflected off my glasses, producing an image in the mirror of me with luminous circular eyes. I was amused. The TVs are bolted to the wall, so when the TV was playing next door, I could hear it. The food in the dining room was mediocre, meaning it wasn't very tasty. The emphasis seemed to be on what is called “presentation.” Typically, food is placed in a heap, rather than segregated on the plate. Maybe this is artistic, but the assemblage has to be taken apart before one eats it. As for the specialty restaurants, I didn't try them. Two [Luminae and Blu] were reserved for people higher up in Celebrity's caste system. As a peasant, I was not allowed in them. There was no library on board. A room called “The Retreat” looked like it served that purpose, but it was off-limits to serfs like me. The ship does not have a card room, but we were allowed to play in the upper dining room near the door into the service area, where there was an escalator in serious need of grease. The throbbing of the escalator, along with thumping ambient music, did not make for a relaxed card game. I imagine dining there would be less than ideal, too. Nearby were tables for two with seats enclosed in a cove of foam. That might help a little with sound abatement. One of the bars had two talented chanteuses and a dance floor. It was a pleasant and entertaining way to spend a little time in the evening. The shows in the auditorium were all grossly over-amplified. The grandest featured elaborately-costumed and energetic dancers wearing fake microphones and lip-syncking to recorded music. I don't expect an orchestra on a cruise ship, but at least the singing should be real. Enrichment included a man who talked interestingly about crime in Los Angeles. The other lecturer, while a dynamic speaker, did not have much of interest to say. His lecture on the Pacific Ocean basically said it is big. I like to go to the gym and use the treadmill. Who needs music playing at all or, if it is necessary, why at such high volume? Maybe you want to watch TV, listen to content on your phone, or just read. The loud music is an annoying distraction. All this noise is a deal-breaker for me. I'll never cruise on Celebrity again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
While the overall cruise was very enjoyable, since we were with friends, we have for the first time, being Elite members, have found some issues with the food and/or the prep. This was the first time we sailed in Aqua Class, and while ... Read More
While the overall cruise was very enjoyable, since we were with friends, we have for the first time, being Elite members, have found some issues with the food and/or the prep. This was the first time we sailed in Aqua Class, and while the smaller dining room is nice & Blu, gave us access to two menus (Blu and Main), we do not feel the extra cost of Aqua class was merited. There were some instances where the entrees lacked flavor and were overcooked. One of our travelling companions made the remark that the crepe suzettes dessert tasted like "hockey pucks." Early on, we expressed our disappointment to Guest Relations. Subsequently the Head Chef came to our table and explained that the food comes frozen from the US. and that may alter the freshness factor and taste. Having been on numerous Celebrity cruises, Europe, Caribbean and the TransAtlantic, this was quite a unique explanation. On a positive note, service in Blu was excellent and the wait staff were always willing to exchange any food that was not to your liking. The Blu hostess was also extremely accommodating. As on all our Celebrity cruises the cabin attendant "Z" kept our room in excellent shape. Also we had fun with the Celebrity Life staff, particularly with Jaz and Tim. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We took this cruise as a gentle way to go home to Canada from Japan. (We had done an around Japan cruise with Windstar beforehand) It was very enjoyable, food great, staff lovely, entertainment good. There were alot of sea days ... Read More
We took this cruise as a gentle way to go home to Canada from Japan. (We had done an around Japan cruise with Windstar beforehand) It was very enjoyable, food great, staff lovely, entertainment good. There were alot of sea days together but we got a routine of trivias, podium talks, hot tubs and eating in the day as the weather was too cold to be out on deck much or in the swimming pool. The speakers were entertaining, one gave talks on major trials. Another did Buddhism history and meditation and a third did varied talks from Rasputin to dog behaviour. The afternoon progressive trivia was fun if you had got a team together. It wasnt too rough so seasickness wasnt an issue either. We did have to change our clocks forward about 6 separate times to be on Vancouver time by arrival butbetter than getting full jetlag. So repositioing was worth doing, although the stop in Russia was a waste of time except to stretch your legs! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our 33rd cruise and our fifth time on HAL. We chose this itinerary as a means to return to North America after a long adventure in Australia. First the things we liked: The BB King All Star Band was terrific every time they ... Read More
This was our 33rd cruise and our fifth time on HAL. We chose this itinerary as a means to return to North America after a long adventure in Australia. First the things we liked: The BB King All Star Band was terrific every time they performed, playing excellent cover versions of classic pop, soul and funk songs The BB King club was a great place to relax and dance. Overall the food was good enough. HAL has the same dishes on all of their ships, the variety is good and the quality is good enough. Generally the service all over the ship was quite good. Unfortunately the ship itself was old and the interior design was dated, unpleasant and downright ugly. This was a shock to us as we have found other HAL ships to be attractive. But the Noordam was like a bad cheap hotel with almost no pleasing public spaces. The Noordam is in desperate need of a complete make-over. There were many sea days and unfortunately the activities on board were very down market. There was only one lecturer who was mediocre, leaning on video content from other sources. Otherwise just silly games and activities aimed at upsales like gem displays and beverage tastings. So we were quite bored and had to lean on the hobbies we brought on board. Shortly after leaving Sydney, the ship began to run out of all sorts of beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. At one point there was almost no beer available. Lots of passengers were commenting about it. I got fed up and wrote a letter to the Hotel Manager which resulted in a flurry of responses, including a face-to-face meeting with the Assistant Beverage Manager. He thanked me for my letter and explained that all of the items were indeed on board but the staff just failed to go get them from their sources. He promised that they would do better. But then the next morning when the room service waiter brought our breakfast juice and coffee, he apologized that the ship was out of orange juice. Of course there was plenty of OJ on board, just not in the room service kitchen. Crazy. I was pleasantly surprised by the very low price of this cruise, but then found out the truth in the cliche "You get what you pay for." This was just a budget cruise with the quality that one usually finds with low-cost budget products. We will probably return to HAL, but probably not to the Noordam. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruises from Sydney to Honolulu as we wanted to visit the islands and Hawaii. also to try out HAL for first time, we have done 27 other cruises mainly on Princess but also on Cunard, P&O, Celebrity, Carnival. Embarkation ... Read More
We chose this cruises from Sydney to Honolulu as we wanted to visit the islands and Hawaii. also to try out HAL for first time, we have done 27 other cruises mainly on Princess but also on Cunard, P&O, Celebrity, Carnival. Embarkation was ok. Had VD verandah cabin, aft near elevators, ok with cabin. Bed fine, settee a little hard. Shower ok. Ecko our steward was fine. Had various meals in MDR and Lido, all poor, mdr meals for dinner were poorly presented and poor quality ingredients, i.e. tough meat and fish, hardly any veggies. Worse food on any ship I have been on. Little assistance given to me as a Celiac, although I advised HAL well before cruise. Not once did the head waiter speak to us re food, service at our table. Only time we saw officers was in pinnacle bar having their drinks before dining in pinnacle restaurant, they don't eat in the mdr !! The Captain did not even appear at the gala night cocktail pary and I never saw him. Entertainment was ok. I was not impressed with our first taste of HAL and will not return. Overated. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Trans-Pacific cruise as ships relocated to US Northwest. Normal RCI quality, i.e. excellent food and quality staff. We we disappointed that Rita’s restaurant has been closed as we used to enjoy sitting out eating guacamole / chips and ... Read More
Trans-Pacific cruise as ships relocated to US Northwest. Normal RCI quality, i.e. excellent food and quality staff. We we disappointed that Rita’s restaurant has been closed as we used to enjoy sitting out eating guacamole / chips and sharing the grande margarita with friends (it would be nice to be able to get a pitcher of margaritas for sharing but bartender thought it was mitigate over-serving issues that have happened). The ports were only ok, generally a little on the boring side but guessing due to the last ship of the season. The ship was good shape although showing signs of external wear Horrible cabin location, it’s beneath the Windjammer and Izumi speciality restaurant. The room sounds like you’re in a bowling alley due to the carts in the restaurants above running over the stippled tile in the kitchen areas. It does subside around midnight until around 4:30 am, currently 4:21 am and the banging has started. Called several times and restaurant manager did state they would try to mitigate noise, unfortunately to no avail. Asked to be moved but was not accommodated although RCI did give coupon for small discount on future cruise. VOOM on this cruise was marginally above worthless. Using SpeedTest by Ookla, download speeds ranged from a high of 1.5 mbps down to a non-functional low but averaged at 0.55 mbps across the multiple occasions that I tested. Onboard Tech stated that it speeds is up to 4 mbps, subject to weather and sea conditions but even docked with clear skies the speeds were typically sub 1 mbps. Be warned, no refunds or recourse from RCI for poor VOOM service Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
ok!! here are the pros cabin comfortable. food in dinning room good. staff in most bars great, very friendly, coffee shop guys fantastic. entertainment ok, some great acts, ( Freddy show ) some a bit ordinary. plenty of ... Read More
ok!! here are the pros cabin comfortable. food in dinning room good. staff in most bars great, very friendly, coffee shop guys fantastic. entertainment ok, some great acts, ( Freddy show ) some a bit ordinary. plenty of activities going on if you want to participate OK!! now the cons. the ships billing system is a nightmare, they add cost and credit cost all the time. very hard to understand. I spent severial days visiting guess services trying to understand. travelling with us a friend who is a finance manager and accountant was dumbfounded. so just be careful!!, an example I paid my bill second last night, then on my final statement, they had a charge of $100USD for pool towels. now we only used them 3 times and returned every time back too counter. so with another visit to guest services, they credited the towel without a murmur. i just wonder how many people just pay it??? dining room staff not that great, seem to be more interested in cleaning tables than serving the guess, we where always having to ask for drinks, if we could find our waiter. windjammers average, tend to a bit the same if I ever cruise again I will look at other companies. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
My husband and I were on the recent reposition cruise from Australia to Honolulu. We usually love RC and are Diamond (now Diamond Plus) members. This ship is in a run down condition. One of the main elevators was not working over half ... Read More
My husband and I were on the recent reposition cruise from Australia to Honolulu. We usually love RC and are Diamond (now Diamond Plus) members. This ship is in a run down condition. One of the main elevators was not working over half the time causing a log jam at the elevators. In our cabin, the sink was cracked, and hot water was seldom available. Rust was prevalent almost everywhere. There was not enough room for the Diamond and up members. In order to find seating, one had to be at the longe at least an hour early. The food is getting worse and worse over the years. The same items were on the menu night after night. And to our dismay, they ran out of vanilla ice cream in the WindJammer. On the plus side, we seemed to have a new mattresses. Our neighbors, however had an old one and were very uncomfortable. Overall, we were very disappointed in a cruise we had been looking forward to. We will be trying other cruise lines in the future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our first cross ocean repositioning cruise. The opportunity to visit Sydney/New Zealand again, see French Polynesia for the 1st time and wind up in Honolulu was the attraction overcoming the twelve sea days. Had prepared for ... Read More
This was our first cross ocean repositioning cruise. The opportunity to visit Sydney/New Zealand again, see French Polynesia for the 1st time and wind up in Honolulu was the attraction overcoming the twelve sea days. Had prepared for stormy weather in New Zealand, but were surprised by the rainy, windy weather most of the way to Tahiti. Sea days from Bora Bora to Hawaii were sunny and warm allowing for sunbathing and deck walking. My sister and brother-in-law joined us on this cruise. Embarkation started out with a short walk from our hotel to the Overseas Passenger Terminal. The door alarms were having difficulties. Many loud sirens and announcements ensued to immediately vacate the building. These were ignored and check-in continued through the din. My four-plug power strip was taken away at the security check along with many others. Was surprised, as it had not been a problem for past cruises. Heard later that power fluctuations on board had caused a power strip to catch fire, resulting in the ban. No notice in advance from Royal Caribbean. The Radiance is older, but we felt that all the areas we visited were well maintained and quite clean. Our cabin was 1556 on Deck 10. For those researching in future years, there were three formal nights. Days 2, 8 & 16. Enjoyed the main dining room most nights. Our waiter and assistant waiter from Indonesia were excellent and very enjoyable. Head Waiter was quite nice and dropped by for a chat each night. Different menus were provided for each of the eighteen nights – no repeats! A number of standard offerings offered every night of course. Tahitian-themed dinner leaving Papeete was our favorite. Also enjoyed nights at Chops Grille, Giovanni’s, Samba and the Chef’s Table to break things up a bit. Entertainment in the main showroom was fine, but a little sparse with the long stretches between ports. Only two production shows during the cruise. Cruise Director Cuddy Cudworth was enthusiastic and worked hard to entertain. We really enjoyed the Sunny Duo – Ukrainian Violinist and Guitar player in the Schooner Bar along with the other music around the ship. To help get us through the stormy sea days, the night time entertainment did a number of matinee shows in the main showroom. Movies were also scheduled in the main showroom each afternoon. The little Cinema was swamped with customers most of the days. Overall service on board was very good to excellent. Kristina in the Schooner Bar took great care of the four of us. Would probably not do this cruise again, but had enough adventures and new experiences to make the one time memorable! Ports/Excursions Sydney – attended the Handa Opera West Side Story musical on the harbor. Great production and amazing singing/dancing in a great setting. Also visited the Sydney WildLife Zoo and had dinner at Aria. Picton – rainy day. Did the Queen Charlotte Sound cruise, visited the Vines in Blenheim and walked around Picton for a bit. Not much open on Easter Sunday. Wellington – nice day. Full day Lord of the Rings Tour was excellent. River Anduin, Isengard, Rivendell and "Get off the road" filming sights plus an excellent lunch. Tahiti – snorkeling tour, walking around downtown Papeete and sunset catamaran tour. Moorea – Motu Picnic Lunch included snorkeling with stingrays & sharks – very enjoyable. Bora Bora – booked Patrick’s tour with Maohi Nui. Incredible snorkeling outside the reef with lots of sharks and colorful fish. More great snorkeling inside the reef with stingrays and sharks. Amazing Polynesian lunch followed by a fire dance. Highly recommend this tour. Honolulu – did the Little Circle Island Tour. Good way to leave the ship a little later and bridge the gap to hotel check-in or flight departure. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Ovation is a spectacular ship with friendly accommodating crew who work extremely hard and diligently, except for one crew member who managed to spoil our cruise experience for us to the extent that we are now canceling 3 more booked ... Read More
Ovation is a spectacular ship with friendly accommodating crew who work extremely hard and diligently, except for one crew member who managed to spoil our cruise experience for us to the extent that we are now canceling 3 more booked cruises aboard the same ship even though it means we will lose a $1200 non refundable deposit. We are so upset by our experience that we have chosen to lose our money rather than cruise with Royal Caribbean again! The specialty dining at Wonderland and Jamies is a true delight but Chops Grille is now trading on their reputation from years ago, as for the dining room....I've had better food in a hospital. Entertainment was creative and visually pleasing on all levels, but did find queuing for shows hours ahead of time a tiring experience. Our cabin was well appointed and spacious, more storage than you could dream of, tea was provided but no coffee. Getting on and off was easy and efficient. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
There were 5 of us and the cruise was to celebrate a 70 birthday .We are all experienced cruisers whilst every thing was very clean and the food was ok ,the ship has no soul we could have been in a large department store with a pool on the ... Read More
There were 5 of us and the cruise was to celebrate a 70 birthday .We are all experienced cruisers whilst every thing was very clean and the food was ok ,the ship has no soul we could have been in a large department store with a pool on the roof ,cruise ships have lots of areas to sit listen to soft music catch up with friends for a coffee sit quietly to read the Atrium is the hart of the ship where you gather ,catch up ,listen to the piano whilst have a coffee on this ship there was virtually no where to sit. on level 4 from one end to the other virtually no seating any where ,this ship had no tables ,every cruise i have been on you could go to the pool deck "14 on ovation," and sit at tables with chairs play cards eat your meals whatever , what do you find on ovation hundreds of lounges every where go up more lounges ,50% unused ,want a table don't have any ,every thing on this ship was geared to seperate you from your money you felt like it was a definite strategy to gently keep moving you in to some where to spend .this was our 3rd RCI cruise . Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
This was a cruise of a lifetime celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary on the magnificent Ovation of the Seas. We were lucky enough to stay at the Four Seasons Sydney and had a fabulous view of the arrival of this beautiful ship into ... Read More
This was a cruise of a lifetime celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary on the magnificent Ovation of the Seas. We were lucky enough to stay at the Four Seasons Sydney and had a fabulous view of the arrival of this beautiful ship into the OPT terminal right in front of us. We just love the Four Seasons and its proximity to Circular Quay and all the buzz and excitement of Sydney Harbour and the Opera House. As this was a first cruise on a Quantum Class ship we were nervously excited ! Embarkation was a breeze and we were in our cabin 11596 just after 1pm where we found our luggage waiting for us in the corridor. Amazing as we only boarded at 12.30pm! After unpacking we set off to explore and find our allocated MDR table. It was not quite right for us but was easily changed to something that we were more comfortable with. Our table was in the Grande MDR and the service and food was outstanding every night. We also enjoyed the company of our neighbours immensely ! Our Head waiter was Shasshank and his assistant Agus and both were simply awesome! There is so much to do on the Ovation. There is the I Fly, North Star ,Flow Rider, walking tracks, dodgem cars ,bingo, trivia, dance lessons, The Morning Show etc etc. The evening shows were fantastic with the highlight for us the INXS tribute band. Also every night the pub Amber and Oak was literally pumping with Steven and all the other musos who came and jammed with him until late! We met some fantastic party people there and we were all well looked after by Nelson and his team! The whole crew provided excellent service every day1Our room was beautifully clean and cared for by Nilde! So spoilt! We did day excursions on Papeete Moorea and Bora Bora and all were amazing! Tendering was a breeze and we were well looked after by all our guides. Disembarkation in Honolulu was also so easy and Anthony of Direct Shuttles Honolulu had us at our accommodation by 8.00am. He also took us to the airport 5 days later at the crazy early time of 3.30am Overall our trip way exceeded our expectations! The weather was cool wet and windy as most days so when the sun did come out it made everything even better! The ship is stunning! The crew were awesome and our fellow pax were the best! Thanks everyone! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
To meet friends from New Zealand to Vancouver. It was spring break in Australia so you can guess how many children were traveling free on board. It was a zoo. II was assigned to cabin 8292 which is located where the decks are aligned to ... Read More
To meet friends from New Zealand to Vancouver. It was spring break in Australia so you can guess how many children were traveling free on board. It was a zoo. II was assigned to cabin 8292 which is located where the decks are aligned to the exterior outline of lower decks of the ship. Embarkation went smoothly, but we were parked in a lobby area near the Schooner's lounge until the rooms were ready. The room seemed small as the queen bed was at the balcony door. Only about 6 inches from the closed curtain. All night long the wind howled. This noise was generated by the wind flowing past the door that separated the 2 balconies. Not the balcony door of the cabin. I reported this problem to guest services at least on 3 different occasions and finally a maintenance man was sent to my room to inspect the problem. He wanted to have the seal on the cabin-balcony door cleaned. Once I demonstrated that the problem was outside the room and there was no way to fix the problem, He agreed. The balcony was unusable due this noise. We were unable to use it for the entire trip except when at port. Royal Caribbean wanted to give use a $588 credit for a future cruise which is not going to happen. They gave me $150 on-board credit. Dining: I only ate 2 lunches in the dining rooms. All other meals were taken in the Windjammer buffet. I found the meals in the buffet much better quality and variety. The service in the buffet was just okay. Other cruise line buffets have been much better. Embarkation: Was excellent. My wife needed a wheel chair and the terminal got us on board without any hang ups. Enrichment Activities: The 2 speakers were very good. They knew their topics and were interesting and entertaining. Entertainment: Not great. Only saw 2 productions shows and the Pixels twice. Fitness and Recreation: A lot of activities available, but not utilized. On Board Experience: On board with 5000 other passengers not very good. Always a crowd. Public Rooms: Always crowded! Service: The stewards, wait staff in dining rooms were good. The guest service staff were knowledgeable, polite and helpful. Shore Excursions: Took a bus tour of Moorea which was interesting, reasonably price and worth the visit. Value for Money: I felt that my cabin says it all. Charged for a balcony room which was not much better that an inside cabin due to the wind noise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Travelled to Singapore from the UK stopped in there for four days very humid pool at hotel came in handy went on a few excursions bay of trees at night, trip to Clarke quay and up to the top of the Marnia bay sands what a view, then ... Read More
Travelled to Singapore from the UK stopped in there for four days very humid pool at hotel came in handy went on a few excursions bay of trees at night, trip to Clarke quay and up to the top of the Marnia bay sands what a view, then onto Australia to visit family five days had breakfast with the Koalas at the Wild life Centre in Darling Harbour which was brilliant, trip around the bay at Sydney, then full day at the Blue Mountains, Wow well worth the day of walking, outstanding views. Days flew by then it was hopping onto the Ovation of the Seas, weather good when leaving Sydney, very windy and overcast later and rained two of the port days, but Bora Bora did not disappoint, beautiful. Very overcast but warm the remaining days. The ship was outstanding the Two Seventy lounge at the back of the ship on deck 5 was our favourite spot also Quinttin Holis talk about the Hawian Islands and it history was enjoyed by all, the shows.in the Theatre were stunning, we were entertained every night The staff were very pleasant the Cruise director and the Entertainment Director was funny we nicknamed Chris and Chris the double act. We ate up at the windjammer more as you could pick better, we also eat in two seventy, pick your own salads great. All this said, I felt that there could of been more Entertainment in the daytime especially when sea days were wet and windy. Arrived at Honolulu for a two day stay, got off on the second day, stayed at the Imperial Hotel on Waikiki beach for 4 nights, after this our stay was over, we then flew to NYC for 3 days, arrived back home in England to cold weather, arrr well. Planning our next Adventure. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I choose this cruise for Sydney and Polynesians Island. First I must tell you I am Celebrity guy. This is my second RC experience after the Harmony last January, I will maybe go back with RC but only on a very good deal. The quality of ... Read More
I choose this cruise for Sydney and Polynesians Island. First I must tell you I am Celebrity guy. This is my second RC experience after the Harmony last January, I will maybe go back with RC but only on a very good deal. The quality of food is not at the level I expected. We got my time dining as usual, and after 2 diners , we asked to be changed for fix time dining at 8 hrs, the 2 my time dining rooms are not nice and jam packed, service and food are bad, although the food selection is the same at the 2 fix time dining rooms. the dining rooms are much nicer, almost empty, service and food are much better, even that the latest are not at the level of beauty of other ships, try not to skip the formal night because we got lobster at the second formal night, same as the Harmony, and it was the best lobster we got for long time. We got the 5 specialty restaurants package, went twice at the Gril and Uzimi and one time at the Wonderland, we skipped the italien Jamies because of the comments and mostly of poor menu selection. The Grill and Uzimi are very good. Got the package the first day at the embarkation, they give 15% discount on top of the already discounted price. all in all it is about 40% cheaper than the equivalent on Celebrity but less impressive in quality then Celebrity. The smoking area is around the main pool left side in a kind of not vented area,,, very bad. The buffet is the same as the Harmony, but a bit better quality but below Celebrity, Holland or Princess. The pizza is good, the tacos are not and same for the hamburger and shame... no grill to have fresh grilled hamburger, they are made 30 pieces or so in advance and stacked them somewhere at the buffet,, very bad. The french fried are good but a way less than HAL Koningsdam witch they have the best of the best. The regular coffee is good but all juices are awful, way to sweet. The buffet area is to small, we have been asked few times to hurry up and leave, not as much as on the Harmony though, there it was every day on Harmony they called up to move and vacate the place. Another thing that I dont like about the buffet, it is open only for some period of time, out of those time the doors are close, total area is inaccessible including the open area at the back of the boat attached to the buffet, instead of closing the food area only and leave all the tables, chairs and the open back of the boat available for a coffee pastry etc, they decide that every thing should be close, very bad. The gym area is good, in location and quality of equipment, I do treadmill twice a day and 5-6 times in my morning session I had to wait up to 15 minutes to get a machine, not enough treadmill that is for sure. On 16 days transpacific we had only 4 stops, 3 in french Polynesia and 1 at Maui. Because of the RCL company lack of planing, and because the Ovation havent sailed yet in USA water, They had to skip Maui and go directly to Honolulu for the last 2 days of the cruise in order to have the boat inspected by the coast guard, inadmissible, they should have known that before the planing of the port of call, they company did compensation us by giving us back 1/16 of the cruise price in OBC, good for them. The solarium no kid area is very nice with nice pools and nice double bed lounge chairs, but you need to wake up no later than 0630hrs to get one. This transpacific was against 30knd wind the first 8 days until Papetee, that mean in addition of the 20 knds boat speed, we got 50knd (60 mph) of wind the whole time, I couldnt enjoy my balcony very much, and the balcony separator were making a lot of noise by vibrating I return in November on the Celebrity Reflection for another trans Atlantic from Barcelona but this time with the wind in our back, that makes a great great difference on the comfort, boat noise and no boat big vibration like we were experiencing non stop the first 8 days on this transPacific. Read Less

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