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Sail Date: September 2019
I have done one cruise before with Disney and travelled with 3 friends, one couple who cruise often on Explorer of the Seas, and one complete newbie. Embarkation was a breeze, although our email we received days before said to show up ... Read More
I have done one cruise before with Disney and travelled with 3 friends, one couple who cruise often on Explorer of the Seas, and one complete newbie. Embarkation was a breeze, although our email we received days before said to show up between 14:30 - 15:30. We left our AirBnB in Barcelona at maybe 10:15, and were at the port shortly after. We snuck in with our friends who were in a junior suite although we were only in a CP View cabin and were given group one and told it would be a 45 minute wait or so for boarding to commence. But we were happy to have group 1. However maybe 10 minutes later they started calling group 1. By the time we made it to the elevator to the gangway they were already saying group 1-25!!! So really fast boarding. I am a complete newbie to the Oasis Class, but I did get a feeling the cruise wasn't by any means sold out though. Which would make sense at the end of the Summer season like this. The ship was impressive and lived up to the hype of the Oasis class. One thing I had read online and also that my friends who cruise on other ships also noticed along with myself is that the ship really is very interior focused, and even the few spaces on the main decks that do have windows/portholes for some reason have frosted or vinyl'd over glass. You could easily go a day on this ship and maybe only see the water once or twice. Even though the ship was two weeks away from a major dry dock and her amplification, she was in pretty good condition. Only a few niggles with the lifts sometimes not responding to button pushes. We did a few finger wipes in nooks and crannies in public areas and every-time were impressed with the cleanliness. Our cabin was fine for the two of us, although other than speaking with our steward(ess) about having our beds separated the first night, we did not really interact with her again. Dining was average in the main dining room if I am honest. It wasn't to Disney standards, and my Carbonara one night was particularly congealed which was disappointing. The wait team in the MDR were brilliant though. We also did Izumi which was great. And 150 Central Park, where the food was good, but the atmosphere and staff were a little lacking. Entertainment wise the main shows were great. Cats was a great production, but I do not understand why RCI thought this would be a good fit for the casual audience of a cruise ship. Many people left before the show even made it to the end of act 1, and even less came back. The Ice show was also great. Come fly with me made zero sense, but the cast were great. One night we ended up really enjoying which we hadn't expected to was the 70's party night in the Promenade. It just clicked and the place really came alive and everyone seemed to have a great time. Overall the service could be a bit lacking and maybe this is because the crew knew it was the end of the season and they have one more cruise after ours then a long dry dock. But that is really no excuse, in particular every time I used the Solarium Bar, I was served by the same server who seemed very unfriendly and uninterested. Shore excursions we did just one official RCI one which was Aix on your own, so it was really a commentated coach ride in and then we did our own thing (in the pouring rain sadly). Majorca was a great stop, although quick. but for me Cinque Terre at La Spezia was a highlight, stunning scenery and a great walk between two of the towns. Naples was foul, we took a train to Pompeii, but if I did another cruise that stopped in Naples, I would stay on the ship. Overall it was a good introduction to RCI, and great to be able to brag at having done one of the largest ships in the world, and the first of the famous Oasis class. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2019
A very good experience. The ship is well laid out and there was always a free sun bed. The steam room and sauna are good - perfect to unwind after a day of sightseeing The itinerary was 1st class and evenings were very enjoyable ... Read More
A very good experience. The ship is well laid out and there was always a free sun bed. The steam room and sauna are good - perfect to unwind after a day of sightseeing The itinerary was 1st class and evenings were very enjoyable because onboard entertainment was very strong. Manda the pianist is wonderful and the ship also had a very strong enrichment lecturer on board, daniel rossall Valentine who gave excellent destination talks on Bilbao Lisbon and barcelona. The food and restaurant service were very good and the cruise was well organised Staff are friendly and very eager to please Only criticisms are : no comedy shows onboard and children are allowed to spoil performances as the rules are not enforced. On 2 occasions live performers were distracted by a child dancing on the front row. This requires action by royal Caribbean Will definitely sail with royal Caribbean again Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2019
I've cruised once before on the discovery 2 and enjoyed so had high hopes for this "new" ship and could directly compare. On the Explorer 2 there was the same great entertainment, more choice in sunbathing areas (loved the ... Read More
I've cruised once before on the discovery 2 and enjoyed so had high hopes for this "new" ship and could directly compare. On the Explorer 2 there was the same great entertainment, more choice in sunbathing areas (loved the Veranda), bars (loved Flutes) and restaurants (loved Nonnas! + the terrace was a nice extra) and although the food in Latitude was good but it definitely wasn't nearly as good as it was on Discovery 2 which was disappointing as last time that was a real highlight. The coffee choice had been removed from the buffet restaurant (apart from Nonnas) so if you wanted say a latte you had to purchase it from the much expanded coffee port - which was at least an extra € a cup more than the price shown between 07:00 and 10:00!? I couldn't find anywhere that had this information until they told you at the till. Although I had a great time and enjoyed the ship I think I'll be trying another cruise line next as Marella aren't improving overall. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2019
The Marella dream is a very old ship and it shows and there a lot better more modem ships out there so it dose seem very basis there’s a lot of vibration and juddering when at sea and all sorts of creeks at night which is a bit alarming ... Read More
The Marella dream is a very old ship and it shows and there a lot better more modem ships out there so it dose seem very basis there’s a lot of vibration and juddering when at sea and all sorts of creeks at night which is a bit alarming of your not used to it However value for money you can’t knock it the crew keep the boat spotless clean and could not do enough for you , the food was only ok at best but the was know shortage Morning noon and night as so with the drinks tui do a upgrade drinks package at £50 pp/pw but it’s really isn’t worth it you’d have to be a boarder lone alcoholic to make it worth while to get your money back entertainment was a bit hit and miss but overall not The thing with tui is what pay includes everything there are no extras so no need to spend anymore if you. Choose I’ve been on much better ships which cost a lot but this is extremely good value for money Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2019
We chose this cruise to have the large ship experience and visit the ports on our itinerary. What I liked: freestyle dining and the specialty restaurants. Not having an assigned dining time was nice and the steakhouse was especially good. ... Read More
We chose this cruise to have the large ship experience and visit the ports on our itinerary. What I liked: freestyle dining and the specialty restaurants. Not having an assigned dining time was nice and the steakhouse was especially good. The entertainment was also good, although the Burn The Floor show was a bit disjointed. The ports were all good. Our cabin steward (Michael) was very good and responsive. The ports were all good and there was plenty to do everywhere we went. What I didn’t like: being nickel and dimed to death for the entire cruise. Do not buy the water package which is bottled water delivered to your room. Not only is it unnecessary and expensive, the environmental impact is huge. They should sell reusable metal water bottles with special filling stations at various locations through out the ship. The elevators were frustratingly slow. Oftentimes 1, 2 or even 3 (out of 4) of the elevators were out of service. The excursions were also VERY expensive. For a ship of 4100 passengers, the front desk was severely understaffed - lines were very long. WiFi is expensive, slow and connection is weak. Lastly, I didn’t like the bathroom sink out in the cabin. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2019
This was my second time on oasis so I was really excited to sail on this ship mostly the cruise was fabulous with few complaints firstly in the evening I had to wait in a large queue for over thirty minutes before we were seated and when I ... Read More
This was my second time on oasis so I was really excited to sail on this ship mostly the cruise was fabulous with few complaints firstly in the evening I had to wait in a large queue for over thirty minutes before we were seated and when I tried to book a table for the next evening there was never a time available after 7.30.Next you are forbidden from using an iron in your stateroom which I understand but Royal Caribbean now charge you for every item you need ironed I believe they should make somewhere available that people can use in safety without having to pay.And finally from the minute you board they start the big sell with people approaching you at every time of the day selling meal packages, drinks packages watches etc please let people enjoy their holiday and relax.but I must say other than the few things I mentioned I enjoyed my cruise thoroughly in such massive ship can’t wait to se her after she gets the refit. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2019
The food was super salty, same thing every day salad bar, hotdogs and hamburgers for lunch, greasy sausages and bacon. Oily omelette. Wait staff was disengaged and not friendly. Got torn towels and sheets and when they were reported, ... Read More
The food was super salty, same thing every day salad bar, hotdogs and hamburgers for lunch, greasy sausages and bacon. Oily omelette. Wait staff was disengaged and not friendly. Got torn towels and sheets and when they were reported, replaced by torn towels again. Nickel and dime for everything. Main dining room had same menu except for 2 appetizers or main course. Adult pool was a hot tub, far from being a pool. To many issues...the ship is tired and unkempt, many places with paint chipped off, every time we came back onboard after a port at least one elevator was out of service. Plastic plates in at the Garden cafe are gross and there is always a smell Nof eggs on them. Had the beverage package and couldn't get bottled water as it was a premium item but a can of red bull was available. Senseless. Bar staff by the pool only see the young girls that waive a $1bill and not anyone else. The ship looks run down and tired. The fact that they pick up passengers along the way provided little sense of security as you end up carrying your own baggage because it can easily go missing. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2019
Chose this cruise primarily for the ports of call. Cannot really fault NCL and The Epic at all as everything was excellent for us. The staff,organization,food and entertainment was all first class.We left Barcelona to Naples > Rome > ... Read More
Chose this cruise primarily for the ports of call. Cannot really fault NCL and The Epic at all as everything was excellent for us. The staff,organization,food and entertainment was all first class.We left Barcelona to Naples > Rome > Livorno > Cannes > Palma > Barcelona. All excursions were first class but if you want to really explore then I suggest the full day options.We visited Pompeii,Pisa and Cannes and all were amazing.Embarkation was stress free and easy as was the disembarkation which all went like clockwork. There is an option to self assist with luggage but we chose the colour coded system which allows you to put all your cases outside your room the night before you get off the ship and it was all so easy.We were in stateroom 14141 on the 14th floor and it was also excellent. Great housekeeper in Wilfred and room was kept spotless.Met some really nice passengers from all round the world and everyone was so approachable including all ship management. We paid upfront for the premium drink package and gratuities and it really is worth looking at that option. Definitely would consider NCL and the Epic again. Loved every minute of it. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
MSC Seaview 31st August - 7th September 2019, return trip from Barcelona with stops at Cannes, Genoa, La Spezia, Rome, Ajaccio and Palma This was our 23rd cruise, having cruised, as a couple and as a family, with most of the mainstream ... Read More
MSC Seaview 31st August - 7th September 2019, return trip from Barcelona with stops at Cannes, Genoa, La Spezia, Rome, Ajaccio and Palma This was our 23rd cruise, having cruised, as a couple and as a family, with most of the mainstream cruise lines. Our trip with Seaview was our 3rd MSC cruise experience having sailed both Magnifica and Splendida previously. As before, the decision to choose MSC was driven mainly by the itinerary and the perceived value. Our experience of MSC in the past had been mixed at best, however, the draw of a port intensive cruise along the French and Italian rivieras was sufficient to overcome any concerns we may have had. Sailing MSC from a Med port is a different experience to other lines. The ship acts more like a bus, where passengers from across Europe and beyond can start and end their cruise at any of the main ports. For us, provided you arrive early in the day, embarkation was relatively straightforward (we were on within 30 mins). This is possible as only a proportion of the passenger complement is embarking/ disembarking at any given port. Once on Seaview, our initial impressions were that this ship is large, very large and slightly disorientating. You are sharing your cruise holiday with thousands of fellow guests speaking multiple languages from across Europe and Latin America. The ship is ‘busy’ - this is not a ship to choose for peace and tranquility! The design theme of the ship is ‘modern’ - plenty of glass, steel, mirrors, chrome and vinyl in a muted pallette of purples, greys and greens. Whilst we would not describe the ship as dirty, it was the least ‘kept’ ship we have ever been on. This could be to do with the thousands of people in constant movement on the ship, but one of the biggest differences we noticed is the total lack of staffing. We rarely saw anyone cleaning the public areas, and it was common-place to see unvacuumed carpets or handprints across mirrored surfaces. Hygiene did not seem to be enforced on the ship with no one being asked to wash or sanitise their hands before entering the restaurants. Whilst embarkation was straight forward and quick, the rest of our ‘cruise prep’ was nothing short of a mess. We had pre-purchased our drinks package and had paid extra for the ‘Fantastica’ experience to ensure we had our choice of dining time as we enjoy eating later in the evening. This was all confirmed with MSC by our TA and our tickets issued by MSC confirmed the same. Once on board we celebrated the start of our cruise with a sail-away cocktail only to be told by the barman that no drinks package was loaded to our account - at this point we noticed we had been allocated the first sitting (6.15pm) for dinner. A trip to Guest Relations was required. We felt sorry for the staff in the end. There are just too few of them employed by MSC. This means they are overworked and tired and begin to see guests as a problem. We queued for 20 mins to see the agent at Guest Relations. He could not help as his computer just said ‘no’ to finding our drinks package. His colleague was better equipped to help but never once looked us in the eye and continued to tap furiously at the computer trying to find our drinks package. After calling over a third colleague and then reissuing our whole party’s cruise cards we were all set to go. This episode had taken 1 hour. We mentioned the dining time error and were dismissed with the wave of the hand and told to report to the restaurant to request the change. We duly reported to the head waiter at the restaurant and after a further queue we were summoned forward to plead our request to change our dining time. Our request was met with a snort and we were asked if we knew how many children were on board (1500 apparently). We were informed that children like to eat late so we would have to eat early - no ifs or buts. We protested that we had paid the extra to eat at a time of our choosing. His response was, with a wry smile, to read the small print (there is no guarantee that MSC will honour the time of your choice). We continued to protest - clearly the head waiter had heard all of our arguments before - and only gave us the blank stare look. Eventually we must have hit the correct word pattern for him to take out a notepad and write down our request for a table for 5 at a later time with a promise to see why he could do ‘tomorrow’. Unfortunately this start to the cruise was an all too familiar MSC experience for us. We don’t understand why they make such hard work of such basic elements of their service. Clearly the deficiencies are all too evident to their staff but they seem so indifferent to their employers incompetence. Our inside room was well appointed, the beds comfortable and the IT (interactive tv and USB charging ports) were excellent. Whilst most continental channels were provided, English speaking guests have a diet of three news channels or PPV movies at 7 Euros a go. Our room steward made himself known. He was efficient if somewhat aggressive. MSC only allow you one pool towel that you must return to your cabin. Failure to comply will result in a 20 Euros fee. Our towel was taken by ‘persons unknown’ whilst we made use of a jacuzzi. The cabin steward took some convincing that we had not sequestrated an MSC branded towel. Whilst familiarising ourselves with MSC app we discovered the head waiter had managed to change our table reservation for a later evening slot as originally confirmed by MSC. Hooray! Not that this was communicated directly to us, we just noticed the table number had changed on the MSC app. A call to Guest Relations did indeed confirm the change. Dining with MSC can never be described as a culinary experience. There are three set dining times, with just a 15 minute window for you to enter the restaurant at your set time. With up to a third of the ship eating at any one time, it is a miracle what they do achieve. It was staggering sight to see so many people crowed outside the restaurant waiting for the ‘rope drop’ moment when the hoarding mass is let into the room to feast. We ate in the Silver Dolphin restaurant. A dull grey affair with seating that resembles 1970s office furniture. Our ‘new’ table for five was in fact a table for four with the fifth person stuck on the end. This person being just inches away from the adjoining table; they could easily join in with that party. The waiters did well, but they were clearly overworked covering a wide section of tables. We would arrive around 8.15pm and would be asked to select all courses. We would not receive our first course until well after 9pm. The rest of meal being served in quick succession to ensure we were out by 10pm for the next sitting. The food itself is fairly bland and uninspired and was served to us ‘warm’. Most dishes appeared to be a variation of fish and pork. The din in the room was so much it was very difficult for us to conduct a conversation. In a first for us, we ate more frequently in the casual dining option (Deck 16 buffet was a good option) to escape the confines, noise and mediocrity of the main restaurant. It has to be repeated - this ship is large. This wouldn’t normally have fazed us, but this time we travelled with an older family member with limited mobility. We were somewhat reliant to travel by lift when we wished to move between decks. The ships deploys an ‘intelligent’ lift system where you select the floor you wish to travel to prior to entering the designated car. Whilst this may result in a fair distribution of available lift space it can mean lengthy waits in the lobby area. This can become tedious especially at peak times as you can’t just jump in the next available passing lift. Based on our previous MSC cruise experience we knew that a drinks package of some description would be required - the only free options are water, tea and coffee in the buffet areas and ‘juice’ at breakfast. To find someone to order your drinks from is a challenge. Again MSC don’t employ sufficient staff. In the buffet a call bell system is deployed where you press a button on your table that buzzes a nearby waiter’s watch to notify him to coma and take your request. That’s the theory but it rarely worked without prompting. We noticed that several bar staff were manning at least three of these watches. Where were the staff? On the outside deck we never saw a bar service waiter. One of our party needed to make a trip to a bar to get the order. On one occasion the bar man asked a colleague to help take out our drinks to where we were sitting - this was met with a ‘do I have to’ protest. To sum up, we were aware of MSC’s deficiencies before we booked and they did nothing to change our view. The ports of call were excellent and were the focus of the holiday, and therefore we enjoyed our time. MSC seriously understaff their ships and whilst there were a couple of exceptions most staff appeared disinterested in the customer experience. The food remains average. The consequence of a large ship is lots of people, noise and queues at peak times. For us, this will be the last MSC cruise. We will focus on the quality of the experience and steer clear of the larger mega-ships. If MSC spent as much money on their staffing and food offering as they have on their latest ships the overall product would stand better scrutiny. We would rate our overall experience as 3 out of 5. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
My partner and I had cruised before on one of royal Caribbean ships and said we would give the d2 a shot as it was handy for us to get to Palma and so on we had a balcony cabin it was nice We are in the islands restaurant it’s great ... Read More
My partner and I had cruised before on one of royal Caribbean ships and said we would give the d2 a shot as it was handy for us to get to Palma and so on we had a balcony cabin it was nice We are in the islands restaurant it’s great for breakfast and lunch but not dinner it’s seemed by the time you fit your food found a table the food would be cold. 47 & gallery 47 the food was very nice and staff were nice The pool area was nice and relaxing except every day the entertainment team would do quiz games and were really loud I personally don’t like that and I thought it was too noisy it seem to be a big hit with the British guests but you should rage into account not all guests on board are British. It was the one thing I hated every day I like to relax. The staff are very friendly and our cabin girl HANNAH we stayed in cabin 6600 from 31/08/19 she was brilliant nothing was any trouble The one other staff member that really stood out too us was MOKA the lounge bar mAn in the live bar by night and pool bar by day I have the say he was brilliant Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this cruise for the ports of call Discovery 2 was visiting and we have had a wonderful holiday. The entertainment team put on some truly spectacular shows we especially enjoyed the Freddie Mercury show absolutely amazing, also ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ports of call Discovery 2 was visiting and we have had a wonderful holiday. The entertainment team put on some truly spectacular shows we especially enjoyed the Freddie Mercury show absolutely amazing, also Carl the UK comedian had everyone laughing from the minute he came on stage to the minute he left and what an amazing voice he's got! The cuisine in all the restaurants is excellent, we especially enjoyed the Italian restaurant, our waiters, we're John Vicoy, Gilzen and the lovely Mary Rose, ask to be seated at Mary Rose's section of the restaraunt, I assure you they will add to your dining experience, thank you guy's and Mary Rose, you really made our holiday special and the trio of tiramasui is the best desert I have ever tasted! A mahoosive thank you to each and every crew member for making our holiday so wonderful. We will be back! Carol and Robert Parkes Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
This was my 3rd time cruising, 1st time w/ Celebrity. The 2 previous cruises were both with NCL. My review is mostly based on the fact that the food is HORRIBLE on the Edge. I do not know how they could've dropped the ball so low. The ... Read More
This was my 3rd time cruising, 1st time w/ Celebrity. The 2 previous cruises were both with NCL. My review is mostly based on the fact that the food is HORRIBLE on the Edge. I do not know how they could've dropped the ball so low. The buffet is disgusting & greasy; the food messed with my stomach. They also don't even have a sandwich station in the buffet, I mean COME ON... I don't feel like eating prime rib for lunch. All of my meals in the main dining rooms were terrible. I ate in Eden (specialty Michelin star chef) , it was so-so. Definitely not Michelin star quality. Raw on 5 (sushi) was TERRIBLE. Worst sushi I've ever had in my life. My only good meal was in Fine Cut (steakhouse) which was quite good and delicious. I also ate in le grand bistro (French) for lunch and that was a better experience. My Microwaved meal on the flight home was better than most of the food on board! ..Seriously! Aside from the food, the ship is nice... but I don't think it lives up to the hype and publicity its received. NCL's newer ships are just as nice in terms of aesthetics, maybe even nicer than the Edge. I also found the pool area's decor to be tacky. When you see it in person vs in pictures it definitely leaves you flat. Entertainment was also subpar. The singer in the main atrium was HORRIBLE. I couldn't stand her voice for 1 second. The shows are not theater quality like on NCL. Some are good, but most not so much. The comedian, Kevin Jordan was the best though! Captain Dimitrios was also a great captain, very charismatic-- which I think makes the experience more exciting. The Ports were also great. Cabins are nice and spacious. The service at first was pretty good, but as the cruise progressed I noticed the quality of service decreased. It's really too bad the ship fell short, I do not think I'll be cruising with Celebrity again, unfortunately. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We had sailed on Magnifica previously and really enjoyed the cruise, so we tried sea view. The positives were the Cabin and restaurant staff, really friendly and helpful. However on the Magnifica the atmosphere was different, it seemed to ... Read More
We had sailed on Magnifica previously and really enjoyed the cruise, so we tried sea view. The positives were the Cabin and restaurant staff, really friendly and helpful. However on the Magnifica the atmosphere was different, it seemed to have a more personal touch. The entertainment team on the Magnifica were really friendly and I didn’t feel the same on the sea view, I don’t know if it is because it is a large ship, or just because of personalities but the ship just felt sterile in the entertainment department. The team weren’t as lively in that department, so it just wasn’t as much fun, however they do work really hard. I just felt the entertainment did start later, also which did make a difference, but there were more games played on Magnifica which really got everyone mingling together which was fun at an earlier hour. Some staff outside the ship didn’t even say hello, when I greeted them so ....... it was just so strange and just not what I had previously experienced at all. The ship passengers were rude also which really doesn’t help, queuing doesn’t exist in the buffet area at all, it really is just dive in. Otherwise I did find the cruise good but there were some niggles, new ship perhaps still but overall it is a good cruise at a good price. The shows are really good, with singing, dancing and acrobatics and the talent is absolutely amazing. On the Magnifica the shows weren’t as good, the singing was good but really the shows aren’t as good, however the entertainment team really covered this area and ensured we all had a great experience. The main restaurant was good and their food was superb in my opinion, nothing was to much trouble. I hope this gives an idea of positive and negatives. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We celebrated are 30th anniversary by cruising this ship. We have cruised 4 times previously on Royal Caribbean and Carnival all in the Caribbean. This is our first time on a ship of this size. We chose our itinerary first, ... Read More
We celebrated are 30th anniversary by cruising this ship. We have cruised 4 times previously on Royal Caribbean and Carnival all in the Caribbean. This is our first time on a ship of this size. We chose our itinerary first, Mediterranean, and then picked from the available cruise lines. This ship had the best stops in our opinion. Livorno/florence, Cannes, Majorca, Barcelona, Naples and one day at sea. I was pleasantly surprised that given the amount of cruisers it never felt crowded even though i was told ship was at 90% capacity. the uniqueness of this particular itinerary is that the ship on boards people in 2 different ports. some people get on in Barcelona and sail Sunday to Sunday, we got on in Civitavecchia/Rome and sailed Wed to Wed. I was told that of the 4000+ passengers 2/3 get on in Barcelona 1/3 in Rome. that being said check in in Rome could not have been easier. from the time we got to the port to the time we walked into our room was about 20min. very well organized. we didn't find the ship layout confusing unlike others. different as there is no mid-ship elevator. and getting to the 5th floor where guest service is as well as the atrium means going to 6th floor and taking staircase or escalator down to that floor. restaurants are spread out between mid-ship and aft. with theater and dinner theater locations in the forward part of ship. first time we have been on ship with so much freestyle dining which was perfect for us. not being relegated to a particular sitting as 5 of 7 nights we were on excursions during the day so was nice not to be the relegated to the older 6:30/9:30 dining room options. definitely a positive change by the cruise industry in general. We ate in the Manhattan main DR room (aft)twice, and the Taste(near atrium) once for dinner but 3 times for breakfast. food was good. service was good for most part. waiter in the Taste was a little off her game the night we were their. We purchased the AI beverage package as well as 3 specialty dining meals. Cagney steakhouse, Moderno Churrascaria, La Cucina. all three were very good. Cagney and Moderno share the same space right about the Manhattan room on deck 7. Moderno is a brazilian steakhouse where they walk around brining different meats to your table until you tell them to stop Italian was the fanciest and is forward with views right out into ocean on the 14th floor. you actually access it by walking through the garden cafe buffet to the front of it and down the stairs. O Sheehans bar/grille which is on deck 6 midship is very popluar congregating place. Open 24 hours for food(fixed bar/pub food menu) but stops serving booze at 3am. food is just average. has a little game room with pool tables, arcade games and 3 lanes of ten pin bowling. We found the selection of alcohol was very good and pretty consistent among all bars. maybe a little less likely to find exactly what you want at the 2 pool bars. our AI beverage package got us everything that was $15/drink or less. so bicardi, grey goose, kettle one, bombay sapphire, jack daniels,bulleit, patron all part of the plan. next level up we would have had to pay surcharge. all beers were less than $15 and there were enough wines to choose from $15 or less as well. spent our ship time at the SPICE H2O pool bar and grill which during the day (to 6pm) is adults only. this was nice. always manage to get a seat. in chair waiter service was really good here. server to cruiser ration much better than around the main pool bar where we spent 1 afternoon. Really like the Maltings beer and whiskey bar as well as the Martini bar. We also participating in Sky vodka ice bar which was an additional $25/person. this got you the outerwear and 2 vodka drinks once in side. we had never been in one and wanted to try one. it was interesting and glad we did it. we did 3 cruise sponsored excursions. Livorno/florence we did the Pisa & a Taste of Tuscany excursion. 40 minute ride and then you spend the morning in Pisa. then 40 min ride you go to Lucca, mountains to a winery where you get a little tour about the place/process. then you sit down to a meal with the ability to sample the wines they make there, both red and white. We really liked this excursion. very well organized by Norwegain EE's. In Cannes we did a tour of Monaco/Eze/Monte Carlo. you bus to each of these location spending 1-2 hours in each location. Monaco was good and Eze was fantastic. Monte carlo was a waste of time as really nothing there but the famed casino and you can't even get in without paying a fee. on the way to Monaco we drove by/thru the seaside town of Nice. It was really nice and wish that was on the itinerary over Monte Carlo. Naples we did the Mt Vesuvius & Pompeii. This was really good. see the active volcano and the city it buried in ash back in 79 AD. really picturesque and really historical. In Barcelona and the island or Palma, Majorca we went on our own. all ports off and on boarding very well organized. We didn't do any of Epic theater shows except the Beatles tribute band. other offerings just not our style. went to Headliners couple of nights which had various musical acts, told that when this ship cruises out of US the actually have comedians mixed in with musical acts. Bliss lounge had karaoke most nights. they don't in Mediterranean due to language barrier/issues. Dueling piano show at this venue a really good take. All in all we were really pleased with the cruise. We would definitely sail aboard this ship again and given our liking of this ship would definitely cruise Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Pros ... lovely modern cabin lots of space nice size and balcony , Lovely ship and nice staff,Cons .. way too crowded marketplace buffet is hell on Earth it’s like a stampede no spare tables and people pushing into you and elbowing you , ... Read More
Pros ... lovely modern cabin lots of space nice size and balcony , Lovely ship and nice staff,Cons .. way too crowded marketplace buffet is hell on Earth it’s like a stampede no spare tables and people pushing into you and elbowing you , hard to get a drink , food not nice at all not enough choice..all in all an awful experience , food poor in restaurants also, we were glad to get off the ship to have a nice meal that we actually enjoyed , anything that’s any good you have to pay for cirque do soleil 15 euro each and you get an awful drink that’s supposed to be a cocktail, although the show is good, speciality restaurants very expensive but nice food the standard the food on the rest of the ship should be , bowling arcades and cinema not free total rip off 50 euros to use all 3, theatre shows average at best , drinks package needed to be upgraded as soon as we boarded as it soon became clear we could only drink Heineken and 1 wine and spirit , pools far too crowded and people reserving their beds with towels and not turning up for hours this should not be allowed , the ship is lovely but the crowdedness and standard of food really let our overall experience down, msc trips not worth the money a nice relaxing boat trip to Portofino was 500 people being crammed onto a dingy ferry and loudspeaker blasting out about 7 different languages all the way there’s and back really not a nice experience at all , if you are have kids and are a willing to spend a lot of money for extras and eat pizza and burgers for a week then this is the ship for you ! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Not sure if 'niggles' translates well and this is my first cruise so it might be just NFC (normal for cruising). First impressions of the ship was great. Speedy embarkation and friendly reception. However when we wanted to ... Read More
Not sure if 'niggles' translates well and this is my first cruise so it might be just NFC (normal for cruising). First impressions of the ship was great. Speedy embarkation and friendly reception. However when we wanted to get a drink 15 minutes before muster we were refused and we were parched! Didn't know about that. Muster took ages but there were plenty of seats. We went to Taste for lunch but was so rushed! Server's constantly around us to take plates and my son's main came out when he was still eating starters. We should have gone to the garden café. Next morning we were refused entry to the garden cafe at 11.15 but it was supposed to close at 11.30 - disappointing. Kids club was hit and miss. My 11 year old found "free style play" in Splash boring. I took her to the "Entourage take over" for 8 pm as advertised to be told it was open at 8.30 pm - so we went to Splash, to be told it was at 8 pm at Entourage and they had "just called down to tell them" (yeah right!) so we had to walk the full length of the ship back to Entourage! Entourage was closed until around 6 pm each day except sea days. This meant my 13 year old was a bit bored on the days we didn't go ashore but I played table tennis with him and we joined a quiz in the Atrium. There was a coffee shop there but the seats there all face the stage area and the ceiling is low so you can't see the whole screen unless you are at the front. Bad design. Another bad design is the casino being in the middle where to get to all the bars and entertainment you have to go through it. I got sick of seeing the place but luckily it wasn't too smokey. The drinks package included sake which I wanted to try. We were told we had to purchase food at the Sake Bar so we went to Shakers. The bar tender said we had to go to the Sake Bar and we didn't have to buy food. He walked over with us and this time we were served! Overall the food was not impressive. I liked Manhatten for the ambience. Garden Cafe was too busy and often couldn't get a seat so we took our plates down to La Cucina which was calm and lovely. We did this every time thereafter. Food was very average, the experience reminded me of a self service motorway services, similar standard. Apple pie in O'Sheehans also disappointing after hearing good reviews of it. We didn't eat there again. Even in the main dining rooms no one said "this food is amazing". Some reviewer suggested it might be to encourage people to buy the dining package which could be the case! On the plus side the furnishings were comfortable, well maintained, looked high end and clean. The entertainment such as The Beatles, Precilla Queen of the Desert, and Burn the Floor were fantastic. The Theatre was one of my favourite places along with Maltings. However we didn't allow niggles to spoil our holiday or put us off cruising. We just thought "let's try a different line next time". Overall we had a really good holiday. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Boat was amazing the food and service was top notch. Entertainment was excellent and the ports were amazing. Rooms clean and functional. Epic has a great staff with friendly servers and for a big ship never had to wait in line. Beatles ... Read More
Boat was amazing the food and service was top notch. Entertainment was excellent and the ports were amazing. Rooms clean and functional. Epic has a great staff with friendly servers and for a big ship never had to wait in line. Beatles show was alot of fun as was Broadway show. Western mediterian had amazing ports and the times in port were perfect. Also loved the cruise director whi had fun activities planned all day and night. The glow night party was also alot of fun. Maybe the pools were a little small would be the only complaint we had but didnt really go in any of them. Breakfast at taste on deck 5 was our favourite. Never waited for a drink and the casino was actually better than we thought . I would travel.on this ship again and would like to try this ship when it travels south in winter. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Extended family holiday - found a lot of staff rude and unhelpful - probably to do with pre paid gratuities. The only real exception was the cabin staff. Due to large number in group we were never able to sit together and found that ... Read More
Extended family holiday - found a lot of staff rude and unhelpful - probably to do with pre paid gratuities. The only real exception was the cabin staff. Due to large number in group we were never able to sit together and found that meals were brought up at different times - understandable in the main restaurants but not acceptable in the extra dining venues. In Le Bistro some were on dessert while we were still waiting for starters. Cabin was awful - think more suited to 2 people - not suitable for children also. Good points - food was lovely - drinks had a large selection - never had a problem with sunbeds. This ship is quite old and should probably have a refit its lets NCL down as this was our second cruise with them and we were very disappointed. Will try another cruise line next time. Customer service terrible so far since home sadly also. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
This was my wife's and I first Norwegian Cruise and we picked this one because of the European ports of call and the fact Carnival does not offer the European cruises unless they have a new ship launch..The European ports we stopped ... Read More
This was my wife's and I first Norwegian Cruise and we picked this one because of the European ports of call and the fact Carnival does not offer the European cruises unless they have a new ship launch..The European ports we stopped at were fantastic and we visited places we had only dreamed of in the past. We have been on 13 previous Carnival cruises with 11 of them being balcony cabins with them all being on the Conquest class ships or the Dream class ships..This is what we found...Freestyle cruising and that's what Norwegian calls it is not for us .They want you to book ahead of your cruise any specialty restaurants or shows you want to go to..We had the Liquor package thrown in with our cruise along with 3 specialty dining restaurants..We picked Le Bistro(french),Madurno's a Brazillian steakhouse and Le Cuchinos a Italian restaurant...If we had to pay for these restaurants the bill would of been just under $300.00..The meals were excellent in the 3 specialty dining restaurants but were subpar in the main dining restaurants Manhattan and Taste.We found the main dining restaurants to be very noisy and several food items to be subpar with what you get on Carnival in their main dining rooms.With the free style concept you go to eat when you want or better said when you can get the reservation..My wife and I like the early dining option on Carnival thus we were not to pleased with the setup on Norwegian except for the superior quality food in the specialty restaurants and like I said before you pay for it....Also on Carnival your waiters get to know you and build up a bond with you night after night thus the service is better on Carnival. Another thing you do not get this on Norwegian and we found the service to be very impersonal. What we missed on Norweigen is that with Carnival your waiters put on a song and dance show during your meal. Your not going to get this on Norwegian. Another item we found sub par on the Epic was that the elevators were very slow compared to the 13 other cruises we have been on. It seems like they do not have enough elevators for the 4100 passengers on board. Entertainment we found not as plentiful on the Epic compared to the carnival ships...They had one Broadway style show which was very good however the Circus du Solei show was a pay show only so we decided not to attend.For the most part EPIC had less live music than you would find on a Carnival ship and most of the singers were sub par with the exception of the Epic Beatles and a Filipino singer named Allan who sang solo near the Whiskey Tasters bar. The balcony cabin that we had looks nice but was badly laid out and not as functional as on Carnival. Our room steward was good but did not have the same friendliness we have experienced on previous Carnival cruises. When you disembark you feel you are just a number not the feeling that you are leaving family on Carnival.Do not get us wrong this is a beautiful ship with a lot of polished wood but for our liking we would of been more than happy on Carnival Breeze or Dream.Yes we would take another Norwegian cruise but not on the Epic...Long story short my wife and I feel that Carnival has the best value for our vacation dollar. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
This was our first cruise and we decided on the Cosmopolitan Classics cruise around the Med. Flight and transition from airport to ship was very smooth and embarkation was fast for 12 noon time of day. Our cabin was also ready when we ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we decided on the Cosmopolitan Classics cruise around the Med. Flight and transition from airport to ship was very smooth and embarkation was fast for 12 noon time of day. Our cabin was also ready when we went to put our hand luggage in it. Ship: Very clean, tidy, easy to navigate around and always seemed like there wasn't a lot of people on ship despite it being full. Staff: There was a really happy vibe on the ship and this was due to the happy and friendly staff. They simply couldn't do enough for you. Captain Chris was down to earth and gave interesting ship announcements and information. The entertainments director, Johnny, was very funny and also very informative on daily activities on his TV broadcast each day. He seemed to appear everywhere and set the fun vibe for the cruise. I can't fault all the hardworking bar staff and our cabin steward, Malvin, who's service was excellent. Entertainment: There was always something to do on the ship in the day or night from poolside, talks, dance classes, trivia and Broadway Shows. The entertainment team were top notch and the shows were amazing. The young actors/dancers/singers were all professional and amazing to watch. We went to 5 shows in 7 nights and they all worked really hard as they also work in the day and around the rest of the ship. There are also some very good musicians on the ship playing in the atrium and the live lounge. We did visit the casino some nights and had few goes on the roulette table. Food: we usually ate in the buffet as we found the quality and variety of the food to be exceptional and it suited us for time to allow us to do other things. I always find it difficult to find good vegetarian options in restaurants, but found the buffet offered so much choice for me. We didn't try the paying restaurants as we were so happy with the food in the buffet. Excursions: we booked 3 excursions for the week with Tui. Naples: the port was beautiful and very picturesque. We went to Pompeii and Vesuvius and really enjoyed this trip. Tip_ climbing the rest of the way up the volcano after the coach drops you off at 1000m was hard work, but worth it! Tui books local guides from the area who are very knowledgeable and this really makes the excursion interesting. We also went to Pisa and Wine Tasting and loved this cultural trip and even bought some wine from the vineyard. We went to Monaco and Monte Carlo as we are F1 fans and the lovely French guide gave us time on our own during the trip so we went to the 'Cafe de Paris' and had an expensive coffee and did some people watching. Some people say to not book excursions and do your own thing, but I like the ease of transport and the local guides make the trip more exciting and informative. I think the Tui excursions were value for money. I'm glad we didn't book more than 3, though as you do need time to relax. It was so exciting to find ourselves at a different port each morning and that has given us the cruise bug from now on. We also went on a 'Behind the scenes Ship tour' for £39 each. We met Captain Chris and had a 15 minute question and answer session on the bridge. We were offered tea and shown around the bridge by the third officer. We also visited the engineering room, the M1 under ship corridor, the kitchen and staff and had a glass of fizz with the Hotel manager. We also had a free photo with the Head chef and his hard working kitchen staff. This tour was great and we would highly recommend it. Overall, we had a great first cruise on a friendly and relaxed ship. All the guests were relaxed and happy due to being looked after by the staff and the happy vibe of this ship. The hardworking staff made the voyage memorable and Tui should be congratulated on all the travel organisation and ease of travel. We came home and booked our next Tui cruise for next year. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
This was the first time we have done a cruise and we really did not know what to expect. We traveled as a family with 2 older teenagers and chose the MSC Bellissima in the hope that it would offer enough to keep them entertained (the Aqua ... Read More
This was the first time we have done a cruise and we really did not know what to expect. We traveled as a family with 2 older teenagers and chose the MSC Bellissima in the hope that it would offer enough to keep them entertained (the Aqua Park was the key deciding factor and not the itinerary). Just to start - the Bellissima is a beautiful and elegant ship, yes we were very impressed by the Swarovski crystal staircase. It is also loud, lively and family friendly. So if you don't appreciate sharing your holiday with lots of children of all ages then this probably isn't the ship for you - particularly during the school holidays. There are plenty of activities on board. The children's clubs seemed to be very good although we did not use them.The sportsplex although almost always busy again was good. We all particularly enjoyed the F1 simulator, bowling, ice hockey and interactive cinema here. The fun pass came in very handy and I would highly recommend purchasing this in advance as it offered excellent value for money compared to on board prices. The swimming pools were lovely, although crowded. As with many holidays, you still have the unfortunate experience of people hogging sun beds with their towels but never really appearing in person! There is absolutely no need for this and this was probably the most irritating thing about the whole cruise. The Aqua Park was very nice but not nearly big enough to entertain my older thrill-seeking teenagers. It is, however, excellent for slightly younger children. The Himalayan walk was fun. The Cirque du Soleil shows were excellent. We saw one as a dinner show and the other as a cocktail show. I would highly recommend the dinner show. The shopping was good but expensive, primarily due to the poor exchange rate for the pound against the Euro. However, there are promotions on everyday with significant discounts. We bought the unlimited internet package in advance. This seemed very expensive at the time but proved essential for my teenagers using social media and keeping in touch with friends. They complained it was a slow internet connection - however it is satellite wifi and so not as fast as home wifi. We did one MSC organised excursion to Gozo by powerboat followed by a jeep safari around the island and time on the beach. The excursion was well organised. It seemed expensive at 115 Euro each, but we all really enjoyed the day so it was worth the cost. The service was excellent from all the staff we met. I appreciate this is contrary to some reviews I read prior to booking but we found that all passenger facing staff spoke very good English and,as a minimum, they were all polite and professional. Our cabin attendant, Jean, was particularly friendly and helpful and went out of his way to make our stay special. The restaurant service was almost always very rapid and always courteous and polite. In the seated restaurant the staff would try to offer something else if you did not like what was offered on that evening's menu. The buffet restaurant had a huge variety of dishes to suit all tastes. We had the premium drinks package included which was very good for us and again I would definitely have this again. The whole ship was spotlessly clean and you could see staff at all times of day cleaning public areas. There was a real focus on hand hygiene at meal times with excellent facilities for hand washing outside the main buffet restaurant - a welcome sight! We did use the Zoe voice activated information system as a bit of a novelty, however the MSC for me app was much more useful. Embarkation and disembarkation were busy but well organised and there were minimal waiting times. Overall, we all thoroughly enjoyed our first cruise experience and will definitely travel with MSC again. I am confused by some of the negative reviews I have read but I would highly recommend both the company and the ship. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
My wife and I chose this for our honeymoon. Having never cruised before we were apprehensive - there was no need for that. What a perfect holiday. Arrival at Naples was fine for us mid twenties couple, although there is a little 10 ... Read More
My wife and I chose this for our honeymoon. Having never cruised before we were apprehensive - there was no need for that. What a perfect holiday. Arrival at Naples was fine for us mid twenties couple, although there is a little 10 minute walk from the terminal to the bus so can't imagine it's great for everyone. Straight onto the boat and into our cabin, bags were delivered about 15 minutes after our arrival. We can't fault any member of staff on board the ship, and a special mention to our cabin steward Anastasiia and also Zaida in the perfume shop as their service went above and beyond. We were invited for dinner with the captain on our second week which was a great experience! Plenty of places to eat and the food is great for everyone, plenty going on in the day and at night, the shows were good - we both felt that the male singers weren't great. Went past Stromboli after leaving Sicily and WOW. As I said... Perfect holiday. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We wanted to explore Rome, Barcelona, and points in between; this cruise afforded us the opportunity to travel safely and with few worries. The Viking Star was the cleanest ship imaginable, and our cabin was immaculate. Staff members ... Read More
We wanted to explore Rome, Barcelona, and points in between; this cruise afforded us the opportunity to travel safely and with few worries. The Viking Star was the cleanest ship imaginable, and our cabin was immaculate. Staff members Made and Maha kept it that way the entire cruise, and accommodated our few special requests. We enjoyed all restaurants and cuisine we tried -- World Cafe, Manfredi's, and the Chef's Table. Dining al fresco was a special treat for the four of us. We enjoyed lectures available on board, and also the evening entertainment in the Star Lounge. An unexpected acknowledgment and recognition of the Viking staff on our last night onboard by the cruise director was a very poignant moment. (Good job!) The spa was a favorite activity, as was the infinity pool. Shore excursions were exceptional, if not a little tiring. We were very impressed with very smooth embarkation and disembarkation experiences, thanks to Viking's top-notch staff. And we look forward to our next Viking cruise! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
First...the Epic is a fantastic boat for all. I felt like it does everything at an A- level. Nothing was A+ which to be honest is just super. Some boats have varying degrees of grades in my perspective but everything was top notch so ... Read More
First...the Epic is a fantastic boat for all. I felt like it does everything at an A- level. Nothing was A+ which to be honest is just super. Some boats have varying degrees of grades in my perspective but everything was top notch so for a family looking for a lot of different things, I think this boat is just big enough with a lot of different things to do an experience. It felt like a big boat and not busy which was even better. Overall the Haven suite (2 bedroom) is perfect for a family. It is a bit pricy but the experience and to some degree the sanity you get from this is well worth the price. Plus we always had priority on shows, dining locations, etc. made it worthwhile as then we didn't have to wait in long lines at all. The Haven dining room was amazing as well and I felt like a VIP the entire cruise. Also the Haven 2 Bedroom Family room had an amazing Master Bath (best in class) and I was so surprised by it's size (and view!). Rome embarkation was quick and efficient as only 1.2k people boarded. Mid week we docked in Barcelona and that is when 3.3k people came off and on. So the learning is find out which port has the 'lower' embarkation number of people and go that route. Food was excellent in the restaurants and some of the best food I have ever eaten to be honest. The buffet on deck 15 is pretty good, but not memorable. I recommend getting the specialty dining to use at places like Teppanyaki (which was my favorite). The Beverage package for the free drinks was amazing and I just wonder how NCL does it as I have read that is where they make huge margins. Maybe it is built into the price but even then I notice the price on my cruise was lower than what I found for like experiences on Royal or Princess. Entertainment was excellent. Loved the Drag Queen show, Burn the Floor and all the other singers on board. The escape room was a bit hokey but fun for an hour. The circus show was amazing as well but it was a diner show which was plated to start with so didn't get a ton of options to choose a meal (but it was still great). Western Med was a great family cruise and I took advantage of the excursions. The value on the boat is just ok to be honest, and would recommend probably going outside of NCL to book them, but if you want hassle free.....it is not too bad. I would say end to end I give this cruise an A- across the board. It was close to an A in my book, but the boat did show a bit of age at places but it is going through a refurbishing soon. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Went on 4th cruise... chose Marella Explorer 2 for itinerary and port of Naples .... cruise and stay to encompass Sorrento and Amalfi Coast.. Travelled with friends to celebrate 30th wedding anniversaries. My opinion ( shared by husband ... Read More
Went on 4th cruise... chose Marella Explorer 2 for itinerary and port of Naples .... cruise and stay to encompass Sorrento and Amalfi Coast.. Travelled with friends to celebrate 30th wedding anniversaries. My opinion ( shared by husband and friends). Fabulous week had by all. Ship and cabins very comfortable and spotlessly clean. Service and staff all amazing . Bend over backwards to ensure passengers enjoy their time with them . Food brilliant standard. We tend to avoid the buffet type restaurants. Prefer to be waited on and finer dining offered in the other restaurants. Had one upgraded meal “Surf and Turf” which was an excellent experience all round. Food service all faultless Entertainment on board was very good. Shows ok to good. The musicians .... in a class all o their own. Just absolutely brilliant. Sooo talented. And something for everyone. Jazz/swing quartet to soul and rock sessions. Just amazing. Can honestly say the best we have EVER seen ( apart from famous band of course). Standard of hygiene, the decor and presentation of on board facilities all very good and o par with 4 and 5* all inclusive resorts we have stayed in many times previously across the Med, Caribbean and Australasia. I dot understand some of the bad reviews... beyond me how people have rated below 4*.....were we on same ship?? My advice.... if you are looking for all round fun, value for money, good food and service then Marella deliver on all . Do not listen to the moaners.... maybe they have 5* lifestyles every day. T Read Less

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