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Sail Date: June 2019
Cruise over all was moderately okay. The ship was clean and easy to navigate. The cabins were presentable and just enough space for the 4 of us, having the bunk bed really helped. Dining was nice at the included buffet, the food was good ... Read More
Cruise over all was moderately okay. The ship was clean and easy to navigate. The cabins were presentable and just enough space for the 4 of us, having the bunk bed really helped. Dining was nice at the included buffet, the food was good and plenty of choices. Every night for entertainment we headed to the theater to watch singing and dancing which was fun to watch. Service was good they were very quick if you need anything at all like plenty of milk at night for the baby. Shore excursion was the best part swimming with the pigs was AMAZING and I highly suggest it. Once 3rd day which is day off the boat the whole family which includes 18 month old and 10 year old ( this was her bday gift) got red little itchy, stinging bumps all over our back, legs, and arms. Went to family dr once back home in Atlanta and diagnosis Bed Bug Bites. Tried reaching over 5x now to manager Maria at the cruise line but she is always in a "meeting". The cruise is what you pay for. Not hot food, small pool, decent service. I was going to suggest cruise to family and friends until this happened. I hate for other children to go thru this. Not the out come I was hoping for my daughters birthday cruise. Best part was swimming with the pigs. The staff was great and tour guide was very informational and friendly. Maria call us back! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
This was great! Our whole family went. We had four adjacent ocean balcony rooms. My husband and I in one. My three daughters (early 20s) in the next. My one daughter and son-in-law in the next, and my oldest daughter, son-in-law, and 2 ... Read More
This was great! Our whole family went. We had four adjacent ocean balcony rooms. My husband and I in one. My three daughters (early 20s) in the next. My one daughter and son-in-law in the next, and my oldest daughter, son-in-law, and 2 1/2 year old granddaughter in the last. Our cabin attendant, MC, opened the dividers on the balconies, so we could all sit out together. It was great! Also great for using bathrooms when yours was occupied. Great for 9 adults and one child! We drove from PA to Bayonne, NJ. Two short hours and we were there. Parking was easy, and the embarkation process was quick. We were on the ship in less than 20 minutes! My husband and I were on a cruise last year so we told our kids to wear their bathing suits and enjoy the pool while there would be less people and lots of space to move around. They loved the deck area. I was a little disappointed that there wasn't a spray park (?) play area for kids that weren't fully potty trained yet. My granddaughter only had the tiny pool area to play in, which was such a small space. She kept asking to go in the big pool with the other kids. I thought I had read there was a spray area for kids when I was researching this ship. I guess I was wrong. On a positive note, the children's babysitting area called Royal Tots was wonderful. We only used it 3 times for a few hours each time. We were all able to see the shows together while our granddaughter went there. We registered the first day, and were told spots fill up quickly. They will only take 8 children under three in this area at a time, so register early. She had fun, and the staff was very attentive. My daughters (5) and son-in-laws (2) went on NorthStar on Day 2 and took great pictures of the ship from above. They said it was awesome! One night we saw Matt Ye, a performer at Schooner's Bar. He did an interactive "adults only" show with everyone . We had a great time! He was very funny. We had dinner in Chops one night which we enjoyed. My daughter and son-in-law ordered the seafood tower and it was devoured very quickly. The food was very good, and the service was great! The other nights we ate in MDR. We really enjoyed the food, and many of us ordered 2 appetizers most evenings. Our server, Agnelo, was very attentive. The woman that did our drinks was great as well. She remembered what we liked and had it ready as soon as we arrived. "We Will Rock You" was great! It was a mixed aged audience. The middle-aged crowd (like myself) were singing right along with the Queen songs. My younger daughters liked it too, especially since seeing the "Bohemian Rhapsody" movie. The singing was amazing! The band, especially the guitarist, was great! The only issue I had was the timing of the show. It was at 6:30 which made dinner a problem. The dining rooms open at 5:15, and Windjammer opens at 5:30. Usually we like to get to the show 30 minutes before to get seats together and order drinks. My daughter was also dropping my granddaughter off at Royal Tots at 5:50- so pizza night it was. If the show was at 7, I don't think dinner would have been an issue. This was a 5 day cruise with an overnight in Bermuda--days 2 and 3. I would recommend an overnight, then you don't feel rushed to get back to the ship on the first day. We decided not to book an excursion through RC, we just went off the ship to the pier. Right at the pier, there are many, many taxis, and mini-buses to take you places. We took one for $7 a person to Horseshoe Bay. So it was $7 there, and $7 back= $14 per person. RC's excursion to the same place was over $35 pp. Loved Horseshoe Bay! The water was beautiful, but there was a lot of seaweed. This didn't really matter after awhile--we just enjoyed being in the beautiful blue waters. Again, going on our own allowed us to stay as long as we wanted. When we decided to leave, we walked to the parking lot, and there were the minivans/buses to take us right back to the ship. So easy! The second day in Bermuda, we decided to do some shopping, right next to the docks. We just wanted some souvenirs, and to look around. It was a beautiful day--the weather was great! As a family, we always had dinner together, but then at night we did whatever we wanted. I went to the comedy show, which was really funny. I forget the comedian's name, but he was very funny. It was a show meant for the family, and he appealed to many ages. My 20 year old daughter, was lost on some of the jokes, because he referenced things she didn't know about, but I was laughing so hard that my jaw started to hurt. My daughters and son-in-laws loved the pub and the guitar player there. There were either there or in Schooners most nights. They loved IFly, the sky diving simulator. They raved about it, and I got some hilarious pictures. Make sure to book this as soon as you can. I didn't see it up on cruise planner, but after browsing Cruise Critic, I learned that you should book it as soon as you get on the ship on Day 1 through Royal IQ app or go to guest services. It booked up really fast. You can always go to standby if you can't book it, to see if there are some no shows. I am sure there must be. One of my daughters was a no show to to some rocky seas on Day 5 which made her queasy. Overall, we really enjoyed our cruise, and would certainly sail again. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
I do not normally write a review on cruises. I do always rely on my other half to do this. I have read so many bad and negative reviews about Costa which I was not very keen to sail with them this time. I have traveled a lol, done so ... Read More
I do not normally write a review on cruises. I do always rely on my other half to do this. I have read so many bad and negative reviews about Costa which I was not very keen to sail with them this time. I have traveled a lol, done so many cruises with Royal, Azamara, Cunard, Princess and so on. You just imagine how well they are by name. So I was quite worried to embark on Costa Mediterranea due to my experience with the best ones on the sea. I cannot praise to anyone to give a go, to try it at least once. It was amazing. We sailed this month and we went to the Norwegian Fjords. The ship was glizzy, beautiful though. It's like a Las Vegas Hotel if we want to compare to something. It's not new but no old at all. It has got that sparkle which it makes everything good to be on. We were for 10 days and we enjoyed everyday. We are definitely going back again. Also we have found out that Costa had a free shuttle from Amsterdam (from a station to the port, which no so many cruise liners do that.... On the other hand I just would like to pointing out few things.... We do feel citizens of the world, Costa is a multicultural environment and of course we do not expect everyone to speak with the same accent or this perfect English. Sometimes demand is it perhaps we do want this or that in our own way? Why cruiser just accept what it is without making huge fuss? The only problem is some the passenger itself which they do not know what it does mean respect. To be honest criticize and write a bad review to a cruise company is easy but sometimes we should ourselves understand why sometimes things don't go how we want. Perhaps we expect too much, we treat badly those people who are really working hard on board for us. Just be nice, try to see yourself on the other side and just think how you would like to be treated, perhaps your perception will change a bit. I can't personally knock anything down. It's us we should respect each other when traveling. That's my personal opinion. If you don't like it then you can go with Silversea, Seabourne, Oceania where you pay a high standard rate and you get what you really want. Sorry to be harsh but we just need to stop winging and criticise everything. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
My family and I decided to give RCI a try this summer. We have been on 20 Carnival cruises and 2 Princess cruises since 2001. We picked this cruise strictly on the itinerary. My teenagers were doing a DC trip with their school so we met ... Read More
My family and I decided to give RCI a try this summer. We have been on 20 Carnival cruises and 2 Princess cruises since 2001. We picked this cruise strictly on the itinerary. My teenagers were doing a DC trip with their school so we met them at the end and then came on this cruise. Coming Jon the ship we had high hopes for a great cruise. We had purchased the Key which was quite expensive for a family of 4. The only amenity we even used was the internet. RCI claims you can stream with it and you can if you sit in the Internet cafe. On your personal device in your room - nope, could hardly even play a game without your connection dropping constantly. The internet is not good at all. With the key and with a suite, you get to have reserved seating for shows. On some of the ships, this may be a benefit but on this ship - the shows were hardly attended. The broadway show was awful. I admit that I am picky about shows because I am a huge broadway fan and have attended many shows in NYC and in London but this was the worst show I’ve ever seen on a cruise ship. The All Access show was better until they got to the Madonna part and then it was a train wreck. The first comedian was great - my favorite show by far. He was good in the Welcome Aboard show and not too terribly raunchy in the adult show which was a pleasant surprise. Sometimes on Carnival, they can be just disgusting. The hypnotist show was ok and the juggler was ok. The rest, meh, Rey disappointing. The ship just doesn’t have much to do or to choose from to do. There were a couple of trivia’s per day but that was about it. The only cleaver things they had was the egg drop and the Royal Fair. Food - if you love buffet food, this is the ship for you. I however, do not. If you don’t eat on a buffet there really isn’t any other choices. They do offer lunch in the dining room on sea days but on port days - that’s it. The buffet is not appealing, food has been sitting for a long time, the hamburger buns are hard as a rock and the patties are burned to a crisp. The main dining room was good, the servers were great but there aren’t too many choices every night, just a couple. They push the specialty dining almost to the point of irritation. They even push you to pay for a specialty add on meal every night when you are about to order in the dining room. They must get a bonus or something if they can upsell you. In closing, we thought we would try a small ship to see if it was worth it to brave 6,000 people and on a ship and the family verdict is - No Way! We will stick with Carnival and enjoy the shows, the activities and the variety of food offered every single day. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
After 70 cruises I may be a little biased. However after a week on the Legend I feel I am more then qualified to say the food and service was way below par for any cruise ship. Our servers were extremely nice but lacked in the skills ... Read More
After 70 cruises I may be a little biased. However after a week on the Legend I feel I am more then qualified to say the food and service was way below par for any cruise ship. Our servers were extremely nice but lacked in the skills required to maintain a table of 7, much less four more tables. Our food was always cold and usually served all at once, yes starters, salads, soups and mains all at the same time. Table was one crowded mess. Our room steward came by once a day at his convenience and usually didn't do more then exchange towels. Our cabin 6227 was like a 25 cent vibrating bed, constant vibrations 24/7. Whole ship was showing wear, paint peeling and a lot of rust on balconies. Ports were as they were the last 5 times we have been there, crowded but new to our grandsons who enjoyed off ship excursions in each port. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
This cruise was supposed to go to Cuba but was diverted to the Bahamas. Cruise was great. Cruise had open bar for all (all inclusive) . Good Value and ship was very clean and had just been updated. I would go again. Dining was good ... Read More
This cruise was supposed to go to Cuba but was diverted to the Bahamas. Cruise was great. Cruise had open bar for all (all inclusive) . Good Value and ship was very clean and had just been updated. I would go again. Dining was good including the specialty dining at the steak restaurant. Embarkation and Debarkation were the best so far of any cruise. Ship may not have been full due to Cuba cancellation. Great shore excursion in Freeport on a sailboat . Most excursions are catamaran's crammed full of people this excursion was less than 25 people on a 50' sail boat. Cabin was a balcony with a nice couch. The cabin had plenty of room. Casino was very small as compared to other ships I have seen. The ship does not cater to kids with watersides etc but the pool area was nice. Private Island was very nice and laid back. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
The service was impeccable. When my husband stopped by Guest Services to pick up the Assistive Listening device they got overzealous and installed blinking lights and bed vibrator in the room. That was very kind but I didn't need all ... Read More
The service was impeccable. When my husband stopped by Guest Services to pick up the Assistive Listening device they got overzealous and installed blinking lights and bed vibrator in the room. That was very kind but I didn't need all that ( and it changed the set up of the room) so they took it right back out. We loved having the assigned seating at 6pm. We loved having the same wait staff each night. I emailed special requests ahead of time---They were able to give us a private table away from the piano so I was able to enjoy without trying to explain my deafness to people They handled my food allergies easily. The main dining room was my something I looked forward to everyday. We loved every single thing about the size of this ship. We never felt crowded, never waited in line, never felt rushed. We asked Guest Services and they said it was fully booked and had 1600 people on board when we sailed.There are rumors about Royal taking it out of commission with Cuba off the table. I hope not-- I would sail this ship again in a heartbeat. The biggest surprise--- the teen club. As you know, they have little to nothing on the website about having a teen club. I was very, very worried that my 13 year old would be bored. We made him go to the teen meet and greet the first night promising to pick him up in 2 hours. We were thrilled to find out that instead of a dedicated room---they have a "roaming" teen club. Fabian had the kids all over the ship from morning until midnight. They played hide and seek, uno, scrabble, a scavenger hunt, went to the shows as a group and played a days long spy game called paranoia. My son was gone from sunup to curfew and had the best time. Added bonus--- no electronics were involved so it really was a throw back to the childhood of disconnect. I think Royal is missing a huge marketing opportunity and parents would sign up for this ship just to get their kids off the devices. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We had two rooms 14716 and 13639. Both rooms were wonderful and we all were well taken care of by our room attendants. The staff was friendly and helpful through out the ship. At Cagneys they offered to deliver our deserts to our ... Read More
We had two rooms 14716 and 13639. Both rooms were wonderful and we all were well taken care of by our room attendants. The staff was friendly and helpful through out the ship. At Cagneys they offered to deliver our deserts to our rooms since we didn't have room after dinner. The spa was a nice quiet retreat, especially, after a day in the ports. The staff was wonderful and attentive. Massage was nice and relaxing. Lots of port specials. The Vibe was nice but the price was surprisingly higher than last year.it was over $200 per person. We felt we didn't get enough use out of it to justify the price. The casino had lots of hand pays and the staff was friendly and fun. We had a good give and take relationship with the slots. I won a few handpays which always makes for an exciting time. The drink servers were very attentive. Loved the casino hosts! Always upbeat and fun. Loved going to the main dining rooms, especially for breakfast. The food was good and there was never a long wait. Entertainment was good. Really enjoyed comedy magician. Ports were fun. We booked all inusive excursions for Cozumel and Costa Maya. We will do this again next year. We had a wonderful time on the Breakaway. Would highly recommend this ship. Will be booking again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
My son, daughter-in-law, two granddaughters, wife and I sailed on the Harmony of the Seas departing on June 9, 2019 returning on June 16, 2019. The itinerary was Perfect Day at Coco Cay, day at sea, St. Thomas, St. Maarten, and two ... Read More
My son, daughter-in-law, two granddaughters, wife and I sailed on the Harmony of the Seas departing on June 9, 2019 returning on June 16, 2019. The itinerary was Perfect Day at Coco Cay, day at sea, St. Thomas, St. Maarten, and two additional days at sea. Our staterooms were 7630 and 7632, adjoining Jr. Suites. Note that my wife and I are experienced cruisers with more than 20 cruises, most with Celebrity and Royal but with others as well. This cruise vacation is summarized below. We live in Orlando so getting to Port Canaveral is an easy drive. We left the house at 9:45 and arrived at the port about an hour later. I dropped off our bags passengers and parked in the onsite garage which was very convenient though a little pricey. Check-in was very quick as we used the Royal App and had all information on our cell phones. I purchased the digital photo package on-line prior to the cruise so we had numerous photos taken on boarding. The on-line price for the package was $249, onboard it was over $300 (although Royal had different promotions for it throughout the week). Our rooms were obviously not ready so we headed to Park Café for lunch and to make our home base until the rooms were opened up which occurred at 1:00 as advertised. While others were getting their lunch I headed up to Country Kitchen to make our dinner reservations for a party of 6. This was my first disappointment on the cruise. I asked for reservations at 6:00 each night but was informed the restaurant opens at 5:15 so I could have 5:15 or after 7:00. They told me that they only had two tables for 6 so that was my only option. After much haggling they gave me 5:45 for the first 3 nights but 5:15 for the remaining nights. I chose to chill and explain the situation to my son and daughter-in-law but they were not happy as 5:15 as it was way too early for them. 5:15 was too early for my wife and I as well for that matter. Getting two young children (5 & 23 months) and themselves ready by that time would significantly eat into their afternoons. In hindsight I should have bumped up my issue to a higher authority above the restaurant manager. This situation resulted in much stress each afternoon but we all coped the best we could. I am not sure why they couldn’t accommodate my request as the restaurant was half empty each night and they easily could have created a table for 6 as they did one night. After lunch we headed to staterooms and met our stateroom attendant. As always the rooms were very nice and spacious with lots of storage space. If within your budget I would highly recommend booking a Jr. Suite as it just makes the cruising experience a little more pleasant. We had the divider opened between our two rooms making it essentially a two room suite. The grandchildren enjoyed being able to come over at will. Our stateroom attendant was friendly and did a great job doing his job. I would say he exceeded my expectations for service. Day two was supposed to be our Perfect Day at Coco Cay. It turned out to be anything but perfect. I bought tickets to the Thrill Water Park for all (the 23 month old was free) paying a little over $300 on-line prior to the cruise. I did my research and both my son and I clearly understood the restrictions for the 5 year old and what she could ride. However once inside the park what we thought the 5 year old could ride she could not even though she was well over the lower height restriction. The problem, we did not put a life preserver on her, our bad. But the life guards did not advise or direct us to do so either. They simply said she could not ride. Also for the adults the wait times on the rides were anywhere from 1 to 2 hours. They also closed the rides for 2+ hours do to lightening in the area (10 mile radius) although it never rained on site. Bottom line is that in a best case you could get maybe 5 rides in. In our case after taking time out for lunch and letting the kids play in the areas outside the water park none of the adults rode any of the thrill rides. The next day I received a message asking me to review the Perfect Day at Coco Cay and I gave it a very negative review. Subsequently I was contacted by guest services to clarify my review and in that conversation I requested compensation for my dissatisfaction. At first they offered 25% refund, which they were refunding everyone because of the weather closing, but I was adamant that I received zero value for my money. After two additional conversations with guest services and the manager of shore excursions they refunded me my total amount. I am happy that Royal eventually took my complaint seriously and did what I believe is right but I am disappointed that it took so long to do so. Bottom line is make sure you are willing to wait on long lines and maybe get only a few rides in. Also if you have a young ones over 40 inches but not yet 48 inches put a life vest on them (note though I only saw a 48 inch height gauges no 40 inch gauges). Also RCL should figure out how to accommodate chaperones who do not ride on the attractions such as older grandparents, why charge someone who is not using the facility. Will I use the facility again, maybe, but at least I will go in with full knowledge that I am just giving Royal my money with little value in return. Other ports were essentially noneventful. Getting off and boarding at each was easy and quick. We didn’t take any tours and simply made them beach days. In St. Thomas we took a taxi to Emerald beach which worked well for us. In St. Maarten we took the water taxi to town and rented chairs and beach umbrellas. We also had a great lunch in town in a restaurant along the boardwalk. The water taxi worked out well so I would recommend it if it works into your plans. On previous cruises to St. Maarten we simply walked into town which is an easy walk. Our dining experience onboard was mixed. We only used Windjammer for breakfast and lunch a few times. I was very disappointed in the breakfast served there. In the past on Harmony you could get eggs benedict there but not on this cruise. Also in the past you could get omelets made to order, no more, only pre made omelets. Pancakes and waffles were also pre made and were cold and dried out. You could get fried eggs to order though. Lunch in Windjammer was a little better. Windjammer food quality and choices though are simply declining. We went to American Icon twice for breakfast and it was ok but not great. I ordered eggs benedict and the eggs were over cooked and the Hollandaise Sause was dried out on top. Second time I simply ordered eggs over medium and they came out as you would expect. They also had a very good French toast that I enjoyed. In short I would say everyone in our party enjoyed their breakfasts in American Icon. The best breakfasts we had on the ship however was at Johnny Rockets, killer omelets with nice country fried potatoes in a nice location on the ship. Also Johnny Rockets had plenty of seating and service was quick and friendly. We also used Mini Bites a few times for lunch and snacks and were pleased with the offerings there. We ate dinner the second night of the cruise in Wonderland as my wife and I enjoyed it on our last cruise on Harmony. No so much this time. We simply remember the dining experience being much better. The meal was ok but nothing to write home about. We used a specialty dining coupon we had from our TA and in retrospect we should have eaten at Park 150, we have never been disappointed there. All other dinners were in Coastal Kitchen. The reservation times aside the staff there was spectacular. They honored our every request including asking for several items from the MDR. They were great with the children. The food offerings there however were not as good as I remember it on past cruises. One of the reasons I book a Jr. Suite is to dine in Coastal Kitchen. In the past we found it better than any specialty restaurant on the ship, but not on this sailing. We found the menu selections ordinary, nothing special. The head chef came by each evening and one night I asked him if the menu was his or Miami’s, he said Miami. Too bad, I think in the past the chef may have been given more flexibility to use their creativity in creating dishes. The food was not bad, just not the exceptional dining experience I have become accustomed to. One big mistake serve what is on the menu, one night they said they had Pear Salad but when it was served it was apple salad with a different dressing. The server should have known that the Pear salad was not available. No killer nightly dessert either, just ho-hum. As with Windjammer dinner in Country Kitchen appears to be on the decline, at least on this ship. The nightly entertainment was enjoyable. We have been on Harmony in the last 18 months so the shows have not changed. Make sure you make reservations online well in advance on line, we did and it worked out great. Although we enjoyed the shows we look forward to RCL rolling out some new shows on Harmony. I found the musicians on this cruise to be outstanding, better than I have been accustomed too. The two comedians onboard Nery Saenz and Heath Harmison were fantastic, very funny guys. The Headliner Showtime act, Tribute Band, Private Stock, was ok but not a great show although many in the audience enjoyed them more than I. Another new item I did not appreciate was the large number of reserved seats for suites (Grand and above), Diamond Plus (not there yet, maybe never) and Pinnacle as well as seats for those that purchased The Key. It used to be that the first couple of rows were reserved for Suite guests, now 2/3 of the seats in the center section are reserved for the above, very disturbing. It simply means getting in line early at the front so you can run to get your seats when the doors open. This simply creates more stress and watch watching during dinner. Guess it is just another indication of the cruise line going back to the class system; regular paying customers are not as appreciated as they were in the recent past. Daytime activities onboard were very good and what have become accustomed to. Note however a change in the procedures on the Flow Rider. My son is a very experienced Flow Rider having sailed on Freedom, Independence and Harmony. He signed the waiver, got his wrist band and was in line for about 30 minutes for the standup Flow Rider when the attendant told him he needed to ride the knee board Flow Rider first and get a different colored wrist band. So this cost him about an hour of wasted time in total. He should have been advised of the change in procedure when he signed the waiver. He complained and they began making announcements to this requirement, it would have been nice if they were making announcements prior to his complaint. Apparently this is a new procedure implemented a few months back, not sure what its purpose it has. I do not like writing what is mostly a negative review, particularly since my past sailings on RCCL have been outstanding. So what is my take away, will I sail with Royal again, sail on Harmony again? Probably yes to both depending on value and the itinerary. As I live in Orlando I will likely sail on whichever Oasis class ship Royal is sailing from Port Canaveral, not sure it is worth the drive to Fort Lauderdale or Miami for me. But given the value of the cruise and itinerary driving south is always an option. Will probably only sail RCL though with grandchildren, for me Celebrity is still my go to cruise line and ships. But I will also be looking more closely at Princess as I have had good past experiences with them as well. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Boarding and disembarking was a disaster. Food overall way below average. Reservation for the shows was a nightmare. Sushi was very good on board. Kids didn't like the kids club. Pools are small for this size ship. ... Read More
Boarding and disembarking was a disaster. Food overall way below average. Reservation for the shows was a nightmare. Sushi was very good on board. Kids didn't like the kids club. Pools are small for this size ship. Company have to adopt a policy of "no pool chair reservation", guests put towels early in the morning and never use the reserved chairs. Someone have to check that periodically . I felt the ship was understaffed, the waiting to order anything was way greater than expected on a cruise. I traveled Haven with NCL before and was really good, will never travel again with them in the " general population", it is a huge price difference, now I know why. A ship inside a ship, everything is different. This time we decided to go regular because of the kids, they can't use the Haven pool or solarium, made no sense to me going Haven, but now after the cruise it does. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
This was a family trip with my Dad and Sister. Every bit of it was perfect. I enjoyed the serenity pool and hot tub. My room steward was very nice and prompt. The room was clean and comfortable. Best sleep I've had in a very long ... Read More
This was a family trip with my Dad and Sister. Every bit of it was perfect. I enjoyed the serenity pool and hot tub. My room steward was very nice and prompt. The room was clean and comfortable. Best sleep I've had in a very long time. I wanted to take the mattress home. The shows were very good...we saw movies on the deck, comedy shows and variety shows. I was unable to book any excursions due to an injury prior to the cruise, but there was shopping and swimming right off the ship. I have to admit, I had all but given up on Carnival's food before this trip, but they did a fantastic job. It was definitely up to par this time. I would book on this ship again as the staff was very welcoming and attentive. The only complaint that I could muster is that the shower did not maintain temperature throughout. It would go from a little too hot to a little too cold. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
This was my 4th cruise to Bermuda and 3rd with NCL. By tradition, we take a family picture while the ship passes under the Verrazano Bridge. Apparently, The Haven sundeck is now age restricted and taking a single is out of the question ... Read More
This was my 4th cruise to Bermuda and 3rd with NCL. By tradition, we take a family picture while the ship passes under the Verrazano Bridge. Apparently, The Haven sundeck is now age restricted and taking a single is out of the question if one of the family members is under 16. I can see the reason for the restriction if kids are raising hell on the sundeck when people are trying to relax, but their Procrustean enforcement of this is absurd. On previous NCL cruises, we had trouble getting our son to leave the children's' program. On this cruise, he asked to leave after 90 minutes and refused to return the remainder of the cruise. He did not provide any reason other than describing it as "boring". NCL's "signature cheesecake" is off the menu. I mentioned this in The Haven Restaurant and was informed that it was still available, but I had to submit a request 24 hours in advance. Speaking of The Haven Restaurant, the menu is exactly the same, every day. The meat was frequently served under cooked. Our butler didn't do very much, but we got a lot of personal attention from our steward. The other restaurants on the ship had very slow service. Overall, service seemed not to be very good, but not lack of trying on the part of the crew. It seemed as though they were working exceptionally hard to deliver service with limited resources. In effect, not the crew's fault, but the people running the operation. NCL's "White Hot Party" is now called the "Glow Party" and seems to be more of a marketing gimmick for their overpriced booze. It's not NCL's fault that it rained during the party, but you would think since they regard this as one of their "signature events", they would hold it indoors. Handicapped access in The Haven is lacking. My sister is in a wheelchair and it was an ordeal to get her in and out of the cabin through a narrow door. They did have a complimentary ferry to St. George which I thought was nice. Overall, it seemed like everything was just a little bit worse. I enjoy Bermuda, I've been there 6 times, but next time it will be on a different cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Wanting an Alaskan cruise for a family with two six year olds, I chose the Norwegian Bliss sailing from Seattle on June 9, 2019. This was my first cruise on a mega ship and my third cruise to Alaska. The experience was more like living ... Read More
Wanting an Alaskan cruise for a family with two six year olds, I chose the Norwegian Bliss sailing from Seattle on June 9, 2019. This was my first cruise on a mega ship and my third cruise to Alaska. The experience was more like living in a budget hotel attached to a shopping mall. There were plenty of activities but most were impossible to book and we had difficulty making restaurant reservations for a party of six. The staff were efficient but indifferent. The itinerary was strange because of the short stays that were either early morning or late in the day except for Skagway. Though no one has confirmed it, I suspect that the sheer number of cruise ships in these ports in the summer has led to assigned time slots preventing several thousand people at a time from overwhelming them. There were high spots and some good shore excursions. The day cruising Glacier Bay with park rangers aboard narrating was exceptional. We saw whales and glaciers and enjoyed lots of excellent Alaska seafood. There were plenty of opportunities for quality family time. Alaska is still magnificent. All in all, though, the shipboard experience did not enhance this trip and I would opt for a smaller ship with less whistles and bells were I to do it again. The Ship: The ship itself is newer and very large. It has a two story atrium that has a huge screen and seating on the first floor and a restaurant with bar seating around the edge of the atrium above. It is used for movies, trivia, music and any number of other activities. We found this to be an unpleasant area and avoided it whenever possible. It was very loud and folding chairs were added to the stationary seating for large events. Unfortunately, there are only two elevator banks so that elevators were difficult to get on more often than not and were usually crowded. There were parts of the ship we never saw until debarkation, so take a ship tour if you opt for this ship. We thought the exterior walkway on deck eight with outdoor seating for the many restaurants and bars was a real plus - just not good enough weather to use it most of the time. Our Cabin: Our cabin is discussed at length below. It was below average in size and storage and required us to move furniture to access the closet and obtain drawer space. The nightstands are literally six inches wide. Dining: As a party of six, we opted for free dining whenever possible and made reservations in advance when we could. Wait times did not seem long, food was fine, and service was excellent in both Manhattan and Taste dining rooms. We ate one night in the Mexican specialty restaurant and the bill for the six of us was over $150, excluding drinks. Most of the bars are in high traffic areas and the only one we really liked was in the Explorer's Lounge. The buffet was spacious with lots of seating and a variety of choices and the food was good quality. We had room service continental breakfast daily and it was always on time and exactly what we ordered. Entertainment and Activities: We largely avoided the group activities because of the crowds and cost. Our six year old boy absolutely loved Kids Club and we could barely drag him away. Both children loved the water slides and pool and used them often. The Glacier Bay cruise was exceptionally good with narration by a ranger who boarded the ship. We were grateful for a balcony cabin for that. Service: Service was efficient but largely indifferent. This is the first cruise ever for me (of 30+) where the stateroom attendant never introduced herself. According to the TV display, her name was "Larry." She did as good a job as she could but it is hard to tuck in flat sheets when the space you have to work in is less than six inches. Ports and Shore Excursions: Were it not for the ports and shore excursions, I would have rated this experience as below average. We did whale watching and a glacier experience in Juneau, the Lumberjack show and crab feast in Ketchikan and spent a day wandering in Skagway. Alaska is stunning. There were plenty of things for kids to do and good dining and shopping. Of my three Alaska cruises, I would rate this one the lowest because of the shipboard experience and limited time in ports. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I will start by saying i must have read 200 reviews of this cruise before booking so i want to give a thorough review for anyone contemplating this cruise and also choosing to upgrade to the Haven. We are a family of 4, my husband and i ... Read More
I will start by saying i must have read 200 reviews of this cruise before booking so i want to give a thorough review for anyone contemplating this cruise and also choosing to upgrade to the Haven. We are a family of 4, my husband and i both in our early 40's and our kids are 11 and 14. We have a boy and girl. We were traveling with my sister n law, her husband and thier 3 kids ages 15, 12, and 10. I tried to read every review i could get my hands on regarding the Haven because it was considerabley more and i wanted to make sure it was worth it. I will tell you it is worth EVERY single penny!!! We chose the 2 bedroom haven family villa and wow the room was amazing! Large living area, seperate king size bedroom with a huge bathroom and giant windows over the tub and in the shower to look out to sea and a seperate bedroom and bathroom for our kids. Flat screen TV's in every room. From the moment we walked through the glass doors of the Manhatten Cruise Terminal till the moment we departed and got into a taxi back to the airport it was VIP service at its finest. I read a few reviews that mentioned people never wanting to leave the Haven and be in other parts of the ship and i totally get it now. We were in room 18112. To clarify not all Haven rooms are actually inside the Haven. Some have access to the Haven but their room is not inside. Our room was inside the Haven and that definitley added to the wow factor of our experience. The customer service we experienced was top notch. Our concierge Adrian is just amazing. Seriously he should be running the whole ship. Our Butler Samir was the same and cabin attendant Joceyln was just as awesome. So let me go back to the beginning. We walked into the cruise terminal and there is a very long line to check in but then i look to the right and there is a seperate line for Haven guest with about 4 people in it. We walk over and are immediatley escorted through and into a private lounge with chairs food, and refreshments and our own team to check us in and give us our key cards. It took about 15 min and then we were privatley escorted on the boat and into the Haven lounge. There were waiters ready with drinks, hambuger sliders and fries. We were told our room was ready right away and went to check it out. As i mentioned it was beyond impressive and my husband who truly does not like to cruise was very impressed. We chose to eat at Margaritaville because it was free for Haven guestst the first day. We are from South Florida so we have eaten there quite a few times before. Unfortunatley the service there was terrible and food not that great but the manager immediatly recognized what was happening and swooped in and gave us a card to come back for free another day. We never did because there were so many other options but it was a nice gesture and we werent paying for it anyways so we really didnt mind much. The Haven itself is truly amazing. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and the food is great. I am having withdrawls from the amazing avocado toast i had for breakfast every morning. We never made reservations and there was always a table when we needed one. The pool deck on 17, loungng deck on 19 and sun deck on 19 are worth the money for the upgrade alone. Cushioned loungers, waiters bringing you whatever you needed to drink, eat (there is a menu for the pool and lounging decks so you dont have to get up and go to the restaurant they just bring the food right to your chair) Never had to fight for a chair. The sun deck on 19 was my favorite and i spent a good portion of my time up there sunning, reading in a shady spot or loungng in the jacuzzi up there overlooking the ocean. The servers also come around sporatically with fresh fruit skewers and cheese. It really is first class service. Going back to our private conceirge and butler meant NEVER having to visit the internet cafe, general concierge, and all those long lines on deck 6. My internet was set up immediatley in the haven lounge by our concierge.( FYI the ncl app is cool because for $10 per phone you can also talk and text all you want with your loved ones through the app. We also chose the unlimited internet package for my husband and i to share and the unlimited social media package for my kids to share.) Our private concierge Adrian booked all of our dining reservations, shows, really anything we wanted was done immediatley and never a problem. It was truly crazy how attentive and awesome he was. And there is a private seating section for Haven guests at all shows. Our butler Samir was equally impressive getting us anything we needed whenever we needed it. Chocolate chip cookies at 1am for my kids, pizzas for us at odd hours etc.. whatever we wanted it was done. There are also little platters of snacks, sandwhiches and chocolates they leave in your room everyday. We ate at the following restaurants - Moderno, Tepanyaki, La Cucina, Manhattan room, Haven, Osheehans, Margaritaville Moderno was amazing - tons of food and great quality meats Tepanyaki was also amazing - a ton of food and just tasted great La Cucina - not very good. The pizza was good and that was about it. And this was our second time eating there because we went on the inaugrual sailing of the Bliss last year to Alaska (wich i will get to later) and the food was not good then either so they really need to consider what they are making in there Manhattan Room - amazing food, and dinner entertainment. Wish we ate there more than once. We ate there on our last night Haven - amazing all around Osheehans, - great pub food for lunch and dinner. They have a light night menu that i cant say the same about. Not sure if the food goes downhill that time of night or what but they should be embarrased to serve the nachos they do Margaritaville - i already discussed Garden buffet - i had a snack there once. our family traveling with us at there a lot and said it was not as good as the Bliss and i am sure they are right because the buffett food on the Bliss was suprisingly amazing Pool Snack Menu in the Haven - great they had everything from swordfish burgers, chicken ceasar wraps, burgers etc... they also have pound cake and banana bread by the pool everyday also with tea and infused water The casino- I read a hundred reviews complaining about the smoke. I will start off by saying i have asthma and not lightly either my lung actually collapsed when i was 18 so i dont like smoke. It WAS NOT as bad as some of the reviews i read. yes you can smell it terribly if you walk through a certain part of the slots section but i love black jack and there is a non smoking section (the smoke does wreak through into the non smoking because there is not a barrier to seperate) but it was managable. i played black jack every night and didnt feel like i was dying. They def could have designed it better as there was not a problem at all on the bliss games - the kids took advantage of karaoke every night and it was a blast to watch some people. they did the ropes course and said it was a lot of fun. Hardly any of them went to the kids clubs. they did their own things and we let them. they all stayed in a group and had phones so i was comfortable lettting them roam free. we played bingo and took part in some of the family fun games. they also spent a ton of money in the arcade and bowling so watch your kids spending on their cards if they have charging privleges escape the big top - absolutley terrible - dont waste your time. I'm the one that booked it and i dont think I will every hear the end of wasting an hour of everyones time. It was truly aweful. Excursion - we didnt book any through the ship. I booked a private catamaran through Sail Bermuda called the Wyauna and it was the highlight of the trip. We went paddle boarding, snorkeling, kayaking, and cliff jumping. The boat was well equipped immaculant and everyone had the best time FYI Bermuda is absolutley beautiful. We travel a ton and its the prettiest well maintianed Island i have ever been to. For the second day we rented electric cars from Oleander Bermuda Rentals and toured the entire Island and hit some beaches. Just make sure they give you a fully charged car. My brother n law had an issue with his. So last year we went on the Bliss all 9 of us also. It was amazing the ship was brand new and we did not have the haven. I didnt feel like i missed out because everything was so gorgeous on that ship and the staff was so friendly. We also did not have a lot of sea days. I will say i dont think we would have enjoyed this cruise as much if we werent in the haven. My sister n law and her family were not in the haven and although they had a nice time they have come complaints and there experience was not the same as ours. The staff outside of the Haven did not seem to be as nice as they were on the Bliss. The cleanliness of the ship was not as nice as the Bliss either. So i guess the bottom line is if you want a hassle free, VIP, total escape from problems crusie book the Haven. If you dont mind waiting in long lines and being incovenienced a bit then your fine without the Haven. But the pool deck and chair situation outside of the haven looked like a madhouse just FYI. Oh and getting off the ship there was about an hour and a half wait and i was freaking because i thought we would miss our flight but nope there was a special exit and special line to clear customs - took us 15 minutes! I hope this review was helpful:) Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We had traveled with Royal Caribbean years ago when our kids were small. We were taking our whole family, two adult children and their spouses along with five grandchildren ages 5-12. We thought Royal Caribbean was a good choice for kids ... Read More
We had traveled with Royal Caribbean years ago when our kids were small. We were taking our whole family, two adult children and their spouses along with five grandchildren ages 5-12. We thought Royal Caribbean was a good choice for kids activities. We did have a wonderful time being with our family and watching the kids enjoy being together and the activities on the ship. However, we will go back to Holland America or Princess when it is just the two of us. Check in at San Juan was a breeze. We were on the ship by noon. We were able to enjoy that entire day at the pool. We had two family cabins with large windows and one balcony room.The family cabins were very roomy and made the trip with five in a room much less hectic. The balcony room was larger than most we have had. Our porters were great. One even decorated our daughter and son-in-law's cabin for their anniversary. The only real problem with the cabins were the beds. They are literally hard as a rock, and they had no egg crates or other cushion to put on them. My husband had bursitis for the first time in his life, I woke up several times during each night to horrible hip pain, and my daughter had hip and back pain. Whoever invested in these mattresses made a huge mistake. The waiters were excellent . We had five children, and they were amazing with them. They knew all our names the first night. We food was fine. It was not exceptional however. The food on both Holland America and Princess are far superior. We had one night in the Chops Grille. It was good and service was good, however other lines were superior here too. The Windjammer was mediocre and the lack of staff was noticed. Sorrentos had outstanding pizza we enjoyed often. The coffee bar was also great. We were able to get coffee whenever we wanted and relax. We were disappointed in the shows. The singers and dancers were good but not great. The comedians, magicians were just OK. The pool area is great for kids. It has a splash park and whirlpool plus a pool and many hot tubs. It also has an adult only pool that was always jammed. The kids loved the ice cream on the deck!!! We booked three port excursions through the ship. We went to the Adventure Race on St. Marten. It was fun but hard for the little kids. I would recommend this for adults and older teens. On St, Kitts we did catamaran and snorkeling. It was a lovely day for all. In Antigua some of us did swimming with the stingrays and others did zip line. We enjoyed both. In Barbados we did a private tour where we went to Harrison's cave. It was Ok, but we were somewhat disappointed after visiting other caves in the world. While most of the staff was friendly, we did have one encounter with a shore excursions staff member. She was beyond curt, condescending, and rude. My husband and I were taken back at her attitude because cruise ship staffs are always so helpful. This was our 16th cruise and have never had that happen before. We complained to customer service, and they were very apologetic and sent a bottle of wine to our room. The ship is nice but very big, and you tend to walk yourself to death. This ship is definitely for families and young people who like to party. We had fun, but back to Holland America next time. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We’ve sailed four times with Royal Caribbean, but always on older, smaller ships — Grandeur of The Seas, Enchantment of the Seas and Majesty of The Seas — and were itching for a chance to try larger ships. This summer, we opted for a ... Read More
We’ve sailed four times with Royal Caribbean, but always on older, smaller ships — Grandeur of The Seas, Enchantment of the Seas and Majesty of The Seas — and were itching for a chance to try larger ships. This summer, we opted for a cruise on Liberty to celebrate the high school graduation of our son and daughter. Later in the summer, we will be on Anthem of the Seas for a just the two of us cruise, to get the company’s more current take on a similar-sized ship. If you haven’t been on the bigger ships in RCI’s stable, Liberty is, well, big and yet, oddly familiar. Many of the classic styling cues from the last three decades are everywhere on the ship, so it's both familiar and new. One thing that was clearly new — and I’ll have a lot more to say about it down below — is The Key, RCI’s new program to give Suite-like perks to us mere mortal cruisers. One thing not new, based on reading here and elsewhere: Liberty of the Seas has a main dining room management issue, which I’ll also address below. General impressions of the ship: well cared for, but not quite as well as we’ve seen with other RCI “vintage” ships. Obviously, it’s a big ship and it gets hard use, but there are a lot of small details that seem to be overlooked in terms of maintenance — the hallway carpets in the cabin areas were so worn, as an example, to look like they were wet or stained in the high traffic areas. A small detail, to be sure, but one that is telling. As the Freedom-class Liberty has been in service for more than a decade, I won’t belabor the layout and facilities — most of which are excellent — or the elevator placement (just two banks on either side of the ship, which leads to a lot of crowding at certain times). It’s a nice ship with a lot to do — we didn’t even come close to trying everything available on one trip. A couple of general impressions: it feels like you’re either alone or in a very crowded situation onboard, depending on the venue. The Promenade is an interesting, mall-like feature, that can get a bit tight at times, especially when the center of it is filled with promotional sales tables. I find it interesting that in its Quantum-Class ships — similarly sized — RCI went to a totally different layout, with less mass gathering areas and more nooks and crannies. We look forward to be able to compare/contrast that in July. What I will say is that Liberty seems best suited for family trips, with more and better kid-friendly facilities than we’ve seen on other RCI ships. It might not be ideal for a romantic getaway for two, though. One frustration: the ship had multiple meet ups for 18-20 year olds at One Air, the Karaoke bar (which is generally pretty great, but oversubscribed for some of its uses), right as over crowded events were to begin — making it impossible for people to gather and meet and talk. This is poor planning -- an earlier time, like before dinner when things are quiet might work better in this place — or an alternate location should be used. In terms of the staff: all were nice, friendly and very helpful (and some went above and beyond). A few seemed to have suffered for incomplete training — the ability of a bartender to follow a specific order, for example, to use a specific rum (or just use a dark rum versus light) varied wildly from bar to bar. Some of this training issue extends to The Key, RCI’s new upgrade program. In short, you get a embarkation day lunch at a premium venue (and the ability to drop off carryon luggage), premium seats for shows and access to special exclusive times for attractions, special debarkation for ports, breakfast and special debarkation for the final day of the cruise, plus one Voom Surf & Stream for each person in the cabin. We bought this for ourselves and our kids — for both cabins. We would have purchased Voom, anyway, and the price was only incrementally higher (we jumped in early before the price doubled). What worked: Voom, mostly (more on that below). The welcome lunch at Chops was nice, although probably a bit much for a first day lunch. The check-in was OK, but not a massive boost beyond what we normally would have seen as Crown & Anchor Platinum members. What didn’t: the “exclusive” times for Wave Runner was one hour the entire cruise, 9 am the first morning, not ideal for those who stayed up late the first night of the cruise. I’ll note my kids had little trouble getting on, picking strategic times to ride. The ice skating window, again, just one hour for the entire cruise, came on day one, and as it required long pants to skate, virtually no one had their luggage and the ability to change to use this perk. We observed no Key departures on port days. Nada. Nothing. VIP seating was extremely uneven. We were able to use it for the Ice Show — but we had to ask around. For other shows, like the alleged comedian, there seemed to be none, despite the fact that we showed up 30 minutes before show time. The choice debarkation was, in short, a mess. We did get a hot breakfast (a mixed blessing to be sure, based on the issues with the main dining room), but then got cattle called into leaving with one of the normal departure groups (although two different staffers argued about how we should be handled). In short, The Key has both a staff training problem and a value problem. First, staff needs to be fully trained on the program and its perks, to properly assist passengers. Second, there needs to be more in the way of exclusives. With the $600 plus it cost us (for four), there are clearly times it would be smarter to upgrade to a Junior Suite and get most of the perks and a nicer cabin. As a prime perk of The Key, Voom continues to over promise and under deliver, in part at least, due to poor WiFi signal throughout the ship. While better performing than on the smaller, older ships built before the advent of WiFI, Liberty’s wireless net still has issues. Surf and Stream is only half true: you can surf (read the Web or get email), but streaming video is extremely unlikely unless you do so in the middle of the night. RCi needs to focus less on selling ‘Net service to every passenger and more on being able to support those who do buy. Okay, moving on to what was maybe the biggest disappointment: the food in the main dining room. I’ll note this is our fifth RCI cruise — and prior to this one, I’ve generally been pleased to delighted with the main dining room food. I don’t expect Michelin star food, but merely decent, well prepared meals. Unfortunately, I can’t say that for Liberty of the Seas. The food was routinely dried out, seemingly left under heat lights too long — I had one decent meal at dinner time, but the others were not even Applebees’ quality (which is saying something, something not good). Breakfast, too, was a disappointment. The hollandaise sauce for for the Eggs Benedict (an RCI dining room staple) was messed up — and unwanted spinach was added to my meal. Similarly, I was unpleased with poorly cooked (overcooked) omelets and scrambled eggs. The low quality of the dining room was fairly shocking to me, as it has previously been a go-to for food on previous cruises. On the bright side: the ship had the best Windjammer we’ve ever experienced. The food quality was higher (they, unlike the dining room, made a very solid hollandaise sauce and did not over cook the eggs). While a loud, crowded, chaotic atmosphere goes with the food (it’s the nature of cruise ship buffets) this may have been the best we’ve seen on any cruise ship. Additionally, the specially restaurants, Chops, Sabor and Giovanni’s (we used all three when it became evident the main dining room was an issue) were excellent as usual, albeit at a higher cost. The same is true with Johnny Rockets — an upcharge, but the secret place to get exceptional french fries. Lastly, Sorrentos continues its steady improvement, with better pizza crust. The sauce still needs a bit of love, but overall the pizza on this line (once a sort spot, like the still undrinkable coffee) is vastly improved. Moving onto entertainment, there was a great deal of it around the ship, some of which we only caught snippets of — and most was excellent. While we don’t have names — the guitarist in the English Pub was exceptional as was the band that played in the Deck 5 night club — generally speaking all of the music was outstanding. We did not see the Saturday Night Fever show — in part because of schedule, in part due the failure of The Key program — so I can’t comment. We did see an alleged comic. Imagine yourself trapped in a bad version of Grossingers, and your cranky aunt has thrown back a few too many adult beverages and starts riffing obscene Henny Youngman material. That, in a nutshell, is the work of Michele Balan, who appears to be phoning in the same tired routine since the Bush Administration. Starting out with a Donald Trump-like “See how awesome I am self-tribute video” her act goes down hill from there. Avoid at all costs. Excursions: The Jolly Roger Snorkel Trip, Roatan, Honduras: We’ve been on four or five of these type excursions, but this one was by far the best. The crew and ship were great — super friendly and fun. The snorkel equipment was the best we’ve seen on such a trip — it makes a big difference. Additionally, the reef area used was beautiful and the water was very calm and full of wildlife. Additionally, they had great food and drink following the snorkeling — a nice surprise. The ATV Jungle Adventure, Costa Maya, Mexico: The ATV trek through the jungle and beach roads was great — be ready for a 30-minute ride in a troop truck to get there, though. Post ride, we were delivered to a “resort” where we were pestered constantly by local merchants selling trinkets and “Cuban” cigars. After that, we bailed, and returned to port for lunch — and picked The Mojito Bar, much to our regret. While it had a great view of our ship, the food was bad (and completely wrong), the bill was $220 for lunch for four — and they didn’t take credit cards. Avoid at all costs. The Jose Cuervo Tequila Tasting Tour, Cozumel, Mexico: Well done throughout, very informative and entertaining. We learned a lot about tequila, how it is made and how to distinguish various grades and styles. Additionally, there was really good local food provided as well as native arial rain ceremony. In all, well worth the cost. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We were visiting from Illinois and chose this cruise because it fit our schedule and the price seemed reasonable. We did spend additional money on entertainment and drinks, but in the end it was still a good value, especially with kids. ... Read More
We were visiting from Illinois and chose this cruise because it fit our schedule and the price seemed reasonable. We did spend additional money on entertainment and drinks, but in the end it was still a good value, especially with kids. Weather was great! Pluses: Nice looking ship with a variety of live entertainment, shops, bars, and activities. Great itinerary with interesting ports. Wide stairways made it easy to skip the elevator wait. Getting on and off the boat was generally smooth. The kids loved the mini-bowling. The cabin had adequate room even with the sofabed opened up. Beds were comfy. Minuses: Quite a few maintenance issues. Among the things which did not function for most or all of our cruise were one of the bowling alleys, the racecar simulator, some of the indoor hot tubs, several treadmills, and the air hockey games. The cabin bathroom was rusting in parts and smelled faintly of sewage. The pools tended to be overcrowded. There is a lack of public toilets, mainly due to poor design (one toilet stall covers a ridiculously large amount of area, even with a full sink inside!). Mixed: - The food. Breakfast was fine but repetitive. The buffet was OK but seafood and fresh fruit tended to disappoint. Snacks and desserts were often the best items. Main dining meals were slow to arrive and not consistently high quality, although they were sometimes good. We got the Fantastica package which offers free bottled water in the main dining room. When in Europe we are used to paying for water, Americans who complain about that forget that even a 15% tip is now considered stingy stateside. - The ship design. It takes some getting used to, although there are maps everywhere. Lots of zigs and zags. Among the more confusing areas are the buffet, the virtual world, and Deck 5 (where you have to wander among cabins to find the reception). Service: We found all the staff friendly and polite, and room service was very prompt. However, the customer service procedures were often baffling. I sometimes was bounced around between places to get charges dropped, and it would usually take about 5 minutes of a staff person pecking away at their keyboard to get even simple account changes made. Communication with guests could certainly be improved. I suspect one reason the lines are reception are long is that the onboard systems are poorly integrated. Ports: We did not do any excursions, and avoided the paid shuttles. Going independent did make things a bit harder, especially when the port was in an industrial wasteland, but when the official bus costs more than a taxi it doesn't make much sense to use the bus. We encountered a number of MSC-organized tours, and given the large group sizes and lack of English we don't feel we missed much. It's definitely worth buying an internet package if you're going independent, you will need to do a lot of searching and mapping. Passengers: Mostly Italians, but a fair number of French and Germans too. It's Europe so people smoke on the balcony. Lack of a common language made it harder to strike up casual conversations, and we didn't really get to know anyone the entire time. I can imagine this could be a drawback for the kids club, though to be honest our kids tend to shy away from kids clubs anyway. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We had an excellent time on this cruise. I cruised with my husband and three daughters and my parents. The best part about this itinerary is that they spend 3 days in Bermuda, which allows you to do more on the island. Cruise ... Read More
We had an excellent time on this cruise. I cruised with my husband and three daughters and my parents. The best part about this itinerary is that they spend 3 days in Bermuda, which allows you to do more on the island. Cruise Terminal: This ship left out of the Manhatten Cruise Terminal and I would suggest that if you are planning on cruising out of this terminal that you research where you are going to park ahead of time. there is parking at the terminal but it is expensive. $40 a day. We researched ahead of time and found a parking garage within only a few blocks from the terminal for half that price. Embarkation: Boarding the ship was relatively smooth. There was a long line but it moved quickly and the staff checking people in was efficient. Ship: The ship is huge. This was our fifth cruise with Norwegian and the layout was identical to their other large ships in the fleet such as the Breakaway, Bliss and Getaway. The ship was very nice and clean. Certain areas tended to get congested such as the Garden Café, and the theaters during show time. The Escape has waterslides, a ropes coarse, plank and mini golf, in front of Spice H2O there is the grotto with a waterfall area you can walk through. The pool area fills up quickly, two of the days we were not able to find a lounge chair that was empty. Get there early if you want a chair especially on sea days. For the shows we watched Choir of Man, which was outstanding, if you do nothing else, you must see this show, and we watched After Midnight which was also very well done. The only specialty restaurant we did was Teppanaki which was amazing. As soon as you set foot on the ship book your shows and restaurants right away, if you wait then everything will be booked out on the first day. Cabin: We had 2 adjoining rooms that were interior rooms on the 13th deck. It's nice and quiet up there. My kids were in one room and my husband and I were in the other one. Before this cruise we had always done a balcony but I was impressed with the interior room. Still enough space and it was cozy. The only thing I was unhappy with was the cabin steward. He took our pool towels and never replaced them and he lost our laundry, it ended up being found later that day. Aside from that, the rest of the service was off the chart. Bermuda: Bermuda is a great destination. It's such a beautiful island with the most stunning beaches I have ever seen. The one thing I will say is that it is extremely expensive. I forgot to pack sunscreen and when I bought it there it was $18.You will save a ton of money if you go back to the ship to eat all your meals. the first day we did an island tour that lasted 3 hours. This was a great way to get oriented with where everything was on the island. We also did snorkel park beach which is s short walk from the ship. No waves so it is great for children and you can rent kayak's and snorkel gear, and they have a beach bar. On day 2 we did a catamaran swim and snorkel. This was the highlight of the trip. They take you out to a reef a few miles away and you have 3 hours to snorkel in no more than 15ft of water. Snorkel gear is provided, along with kayak's and paddleboards. There is a bar on the boat and you get a free rum swizzle. It was great. For beaches we went to Horseshoe Bay which is a must see, it is beautiful and Tobacco Bay in the town of St. George, another beautiful beach with no waves and good snorkeling. Dining: We only ate at one speciality restaurant and it was Teppanyaki. All the food in the complimentary dining rooms was excellent. Overall we had a great time and would go again. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
I went on this cruise as part of a large group (50+ people). It was my first cruise and will also be my last. I was always told your are treated like something special on a cruise. I did not experience this. I was also told that the ... Read More
I went on this cruise as part of a large group (50+ people). It was my first cruise and will also be my last. I was always told your are treated like something special on a cruise. I did not experience this. I was also told that the food was fabulous on cruises. Not the case on the Freedom. Getting on to the ship was absolute chaos. Luggage is turned in at one end of the port and you have to walked back through the massive crowds to get to the entry doorway to go through security and board the ship. What a mess that was. When you walk onto the ship and finally get inside the oppressive three story atrium makes you feel depressed. It is dark and underwhelming. No excitement. No light and airy feel. The first thought is "what did I get myself in to?" We had to wait two hours before we could get to our rooms. Once we hit Deck 2 we smelled the never ending smell of light sewage in the air. In all the elevator lobbies and general populations areas there was always something to be wiped down and/or picked up. Food was more miss than hit especially the Lido deck buffet. Yuck! Guy's Burgers were about the only think edible on the ship - everything else made us nauseous. Staff would sometimes smile but most of the time not. I really did not like to see my 77 year old mother harassed on debarkation. >:{ Ship windows were cracked. Cabin couch cushions had mold, spots, rips and tears. Beds were more comfortable than they look but still too short - my feet hung over the edge the entire trip - I'm six feet tall. The nail tech in the spa was great but that's about where it ended. AC in cabin never cooled things down below 78. Called maintenance but they never showed. Fitness center did not open until 5PM - no morning workouts unless they entailed walking circles around Deck 10 through the smoking areas. Saw drunken fights every night on the ship. Had to call security on one woman who beat her husband which was right across from my 14 year old daughter's cabin. Another incident happened in the casino where a guy accused a woman across the roulette table of racism and she never said a word to him. Another night a guy on the Lido deck suck punched another guy walking by with no provocation. I hid in my cabin the last night just to stay away from the drunkenness. If I ever cruise again it will not be on Carnival. I had to come home and schedule a true relaxing vacation from this mistake on the sea. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We wanted to do a paddleboat River Cruise and our friend that owns a travel agency suggested we try this ship. The ship and the crew were fantastic. However, we found no out that people that booked in the month before the sailing were ... Read More
We wanted to do a paddleboat River Cruise and our friend that owns a travel agency suggested we try this ship. The ship and the crew were fantastic. However, we found no out that people that booked in the month before the sailing were given room upgrades and up to $1000 credit. Apparently so many people cancelled due to the ports being closed because of high water levels that the line needed to fill rooms. We booked 6 months in advance and were not offered any upgrade. We took an interior room which we normally do on cruises as we are not in the room often. The room was so small my husband would shower and get dressed and leave and then I would do the same. The first port for the Oak Alley tour was closed due to high water. The Francisville and Greenville ports were a dud. We spent only 45 minutes in Greenville and Francisville was an hour. Nothing at all to see. Natchez and Vicksburg were amazing. We wish we would have had an entire day in Vicksburg as there was so much to see. We had wonderful table mates for dinner from California and Oregon. Ages 55-75. We all agreed that the terms used in the towns were racist. Tour guides pointed out where “ The Jews” settled. Not a Jewish community. Just kept saying “ The Jews” . I asked Clint our guide about seeing the Catholic Church on the list and he said don’t go on their because you will go blind. He was a native of Greenville and obviously didn’t care for Catholics. I know it wasn’t just us because it was the topic of conversation every night at our dinner table. We were all appalled and uncomfortable. The food was ok. Dinners had odd choices and was generally cold. You are better to eat on deck 3. We only ate in the dining room because we loved our table of cruisers. They were hysterical. We are happy we did the bucket list of a river cruise. But we would not suggest anyone of our friends take this particular southern route. Especially if you aren’t from the Deep South and are not used to terms such as colored, The Jews, those Catholics, etc. it was an eye opener for my family and our dinner table. Also do the reverse cruise from Memphis to New Orleans. Better ports Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
My first cruise was a success. Alaska was breathtaking. NCL Bliss wasn’t a disappointment. Loved being in the solo cabin. Mandara Spa took me over budget but it was well worth it. I travel a lot but this was the first time I actually ... Read More
My first cruise was a success. Alaska was breathtaking. NCL Bliss wasn’t a disappointment. Loved being in the solo cabin. Mandara Spa took me over budget but it was well worth it. I travel a lot but this was the first time I actually let go and relaxed during a vacation. So I took great advantage of the week spa, enjoying every room in the spa. The food was up to par though I was disappointed with the food at the Teppanyaki restaurant. It was the worse hibachi food I’ve ever experienced. I didn’t get the drink package because there was no way I would be able to drink half of the daily allowance. I was pleased to see that the provided flavor water which wasn’t too bad considering. Onboard shows - Levity Comedy, Jersey Boys, Havana and Prohibition. Prohibition and Levity Comedy were my favorite show. All the staff were warm and welcoming. They were extremely accommodating and would spoke so highly of their duties onboard the ship as well as their lives back home. As far as the different ports - Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan and Victoria BC. Ketchikan was my favorite. Collectively, it’s amazing how simple folks live. Everyone was so laid back and easy going. Nothing like life in Atlanta. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We had not sailed on this class of ship before nor been on this itinerary so we were very excited. Embarkation was a breeze. Our boarding window was 12 - 12:30 PM. We walked up at 12:01 and were on the ship within 15 minutes. ... Read More
We had not sailed on this class of ship before nor been on this itinerary so we were very excited. Embarkation was a breeze. Our boarding window was 12 - 12:30 PM. We walked up at 12:01 and were on the ship within 15 minutes. Debarkation was the opposite, however. It took us 6 hours to get from state room to the sidewalk. We were given a few explanations but the most common one was that CBP computers went down. This was not Carnival's fault but certainly was not pleasant. We really enjoyed this ship. I've seen reviews of horrible lines and poor service and we didn't experience any of that. Our room steward was excellent and we had no complaints whatsoever. Lines for things like Lido buffet and pizza were longer at peak times but that is to be expected. And they moved quickly, in my opinion. We showed up 10 minutes early to shows and activities and had no issues finding seats/participating. I agree that some seats in the Liquid Lounge are poor because of the pillars that block the view. We used the Hub app to check into Any Time Dining for dinner and never waited more than 15 minutes for a table. The food quality was excellent. Two fish dishes were slightly bland but that's the worst I can say about the MDR! Lido options were usually very good. I did note that most of the cakes seemed to be the same on the inside with a flavored frosting/decoration on the outside. Chocolate cakes were the exception and very good. Pizza and Guy's burgers were excellent. My son enjoyed Camp Ocean and the arcade as well as the America Rocks show and IMAX 3D movies. Our ports were Cozumel, Belize City, and Roatan. We did a beach day on our own in Cozumel but used Carnival excursions for the others. The water shuttle process in Belize was easy and we loved Mahogany Bay in Roatan. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Background information: My husband and I are in our 80s, and I use a small mobility scooter to help me get around. This was a cruise to celebrate our 60th wedding anniversary with our four children. This was Bob's 19th cruise and ... Read More
Background information: My husband and I are in our 80s, and I use a small mobility scooter to help me get around. This was a cruise to celebrate our 60th wedding anniversary with our four children. This was Bob's 19th cruise and my 30th cruise overall. It was his fifth and my sixth cruise on Royal Caribbean. We booked this cruise everyone could get off work on those dates and because it went out of Baltimore to Bermuda, and we always love to go to Bermuda. None of our children had seen much of Bermuda, so it was pretty new to them, and two of them had never been on a cruise before. Embarkation - One daughter came a day early and stayed an inner harbor hotel. She Ubered to the port. One daughter was driven by her husband. The third daughter's family flew in and stayed in a hotel near the airport. Our son drove up from SC and stayed in the same hotel. He took them all to the ship. Bob and I drove up from southern Maryland and arrived at the cruise terminal about 11. Check in was pretty quick. But we could not get into the room until 1:00 and the dining room was not open which meant everyone had to eat lunch in the Windjammer with all their luggage. This was NOT a good experience. I was supposed to have on-board credit, and it was never added to my account I thought the muster drill was kind of sketchy. They held it out on the deck (which meant that only about one in eight people could see because most people were behind another person). It was outside even for the people in wheelchairs, walkers and scooters. Unlike some ships who do the muster drills for the mobility challenged inside. Some people have a problem standing for that period of time. Ship: We have sailed on this ship before and it is a nice smaller ship, although it is quite noisy. There is always loud music in the atrium. One of the girls did the climbing wall and that was fun. There was a group on board and some of their meetings would close the Solarium or other venues. Two of the elevators were out of service for the entire cruise. The internet was the worst I have ever had on a ship. I could not post any photos because it was too slow. I could not even play a game of solitaire without having to turn the modem back on and log on again. We wanted to play dominoes and could not find a table anywhere that was big enough. Activities: There were scavenger hunts. We did trivia and had a good time with that. They had Harry Potter Trivia, Friends Trivia, and Pub Trivia in addition to regular general trivia. There was also Pictionary. Some of the group did Karaoke, and that was fun. My son-in-law tried to play Bingo, but he missed marking one of the numbers and then when he marked it and had Bingo, they said it didn't count because he didn't have the last number called. The Family Feud game was very poorly done. We didn't go to any shows and those of us that did weren't very impressed. Service was good. Our children commented that the bar service was particularly good (they had the drinks package) Our cabin steward did a good job and kept the cabin clean. We had a group photo that were taken on the first night. I decided that one of the group was good and we should get one for everyone. Everyone was good except one daughter who had her eyes closed in one of them. So I ordered four of the good one and one of the one with her eyes closed. They put that we should come and get the photos at 8 the next night and they were closed then. When we actually got the photos, they had done it the wrong way. 4 with her eyes closed and one with her eyes open. Dining: The Windjammer buffet was absolutely not an option for me. The labels were over my head and I could not see them from the scooter and I could not reach some of the food. Occasionally someone would offer to help me, but usually I had to get my husband to get me food. There were some times when it was not possible to get any food. For example, earlier than 6:30 am, or between breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer. They did a good job with the various allergies in our group (gluten, peanuts, lactose). In the main dining room, we had a nice round table for all of us on the first night (My Time Dining). We went to Chops the second night, and we were never able to get that good table again. We would get to the dining room as it opened and there was already someone seated at that table. Instead we had to have a long table which meant that we couldn't really talk to the people on the ends of the table. We mostly ate breakfast and lunch in the Great Gatsby. I like the chopped salad at lunch, and one afternoon, Bob had just shrimp and ice cream. The dinner at Chops was good - they did the sides family style. Port & shore excursions: I did not take any excursions because I have been to Bermuda eight times previously and I had booked a private guide. It was absolutely ridiculous to keep people not on excursions from getting off immediately. My children liked the Hidden Gems Tour and the Crystal Caves Tour, and one of them (who brought her bicycle) did some of the Railway Trail. Disembarkation: Very quick and easy Summary: We were able to do a lot of family activities and we had fun together. Bermuda was, as always, beautiful but our time there was too short. A five day cruise is just not long enough. I think two of our daughters are coming back by airplane and staying on the island Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
On the whole this was a fantastic cruise. Gibraltar, Marseille, Genova, and even Pisa (once you manage to leave the port of Livorno) were all fantastic. I can highly recommend the itinerary. Buffet areas were busy but we always managed ... Read More
On the whole this was a fantastic cruise. Gibraltar, Marseille, Genova, and even Pisa (once you manage to leave the port of Livorno) were all fantastic. I can highly recommend the itinerary. Buffet areas were busy but we always managed to find a table for the four of us. Food was good, generally no complaints, although they were running out of basics like honey and muesli by day 5 and the watermelon were past their ‘use by date’ by then. Waiting staff were great, all of them although I could hear a rather heated work discussion from the ‘kitchen’ area which was a bit awkward. We embarked straight after our flight in Barcelona at 2 p.m. planning to head out to the city afterwards. This plan fell through because we were told we had to attend the safety demonstration at 5 p.m. with all the usual threats about not attending. They didn’t tell us there would be a second safety demo at night, which would have suited our plans much better. So we missed out on Barcelona. Gibraltar was perfect as a cruise port. The town entrance is a 15 minute walk from the pier. Another 15 minutes walk to the cable car. Took a shared taxi (as advertised everywhere on bill boards everywhere for 35 euros) up the mountain due to long cues for the cable car. The driver/guide was fine but spoke in as few words as possible. The monkeys/apes/macaques/whatever they are were present. The caves worth a short visit and the view stunning. Sailing away from Gibraltar is a sight worth seeing. I did not expect much from Marseille but the city proved us wrong. Finding your way through typical French streets leading to the steps all the way up the steps to the Notre Dame de la Garde Cathedral was one of the highlights of the cruise for us. Took a City bus tour in Genova, but you can see the same sights by foot if just head out from the cruise terminal to the aquarium and then enter the inner city. You can enter the city straight from the terminal but the area looked a bit ‘rough’ at first sight. I could be wrong. I loved walking through the narrow streets and alleys of Genova and the aquarium is one of the best I’ve seen with an impressive dolphin tank. Make sure to take a picture from the ship of the city just before sunset. The light is stunning. Now onto Livorno. The shabby port of Livorno left us with a very sour taste and we will avoid this port in the future. Why? Because you have to pay to get off the ship. Even though the town centre is less than a mile away, passengers still have to pay five euros per person for a shuttle bus. I get it, the harbor area doesn't lend itself to pedestrians, but at least offer the shuttle service for free (like in Marseille and many other ports). It's a matter of principle. But what really ruined this day for us is how we and others were treated by the shuttle staff: -As is my custom on almost any cruise destination, I like to start the day with a morning run through town as soon as the ship is docked. It's a great way to get a feel of the town while the wife and kids are still asleep. At least that was the plan till a local member of staff rudely blocked my exit from the terminal: you cannot exit the terminal by yourself, you have to pay for a shuttle. So far for my morning run. -Due to a small miscommunication both my wife and I ended up buying those shuttle tickets for the family.Totally our fault and we spotted the mistake immediately. But guess what, the shuttle service flatly refused to reimburse the two surplus tickets. We were the ONLY passengers in the terminal, the tickets were bought less than a minute ago form the same employee, so it was obvious we did not use the tickets. But nope, they flatly refused to take the tickets back. -We rented an extravagantly overpriced car from Avis. There were 3 ships in town, so yeah, I get it, the price goes up. But at least clean the diesel fuel spill that covered most of the rear passenger door and booth. Driving is fine if you are used to Southern European roads or confident enough behind the wheel. -Pisa was fine. The tower is there. It leans. We took the same cliché pictures as every other tourist and went back to the port, returned the rental car, and waited, waited, waited, 10, 20 30, 40+ minutes for the paid shuttle to arrive. In the sun. At least five other shuttles passed us by, just not the very specific one for our ship. Our ship which was just a stones throw away.. -Oh and a fellow shuttle passenger got shouted at for not presenting his ticket on the spot. I'll end my rant here. We had six fantastic days during this cruise. Just not in Livorno. If you buy an official tour then you will probably be just fine. But if you like to do your own thing like us, then you know now what to expect. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I am a frequent cruiser and have cruised RCCL, NCL, Disney, Celebrity, and Carnival all in the past. I find that Carnival has the best deck parties and just seems more fun in general. However, this ship deserves the poor reviews. ... Read More
I am a frequent cruiser and have cruised RCCL, NCL, Disney, Celebrity, and Carnival all in the past. I find that Carnival has the best deck parties and just seems more fun in general. However, this ship deserves the poor reviews. The Pro's: Great Deck parties Stage Show Flick Sports Square and all it entails like Sky Ride and Ropes Course The Thrill and Imax theaters Guys Burgers, the Lido Deli The Con's: Horrible Dining Room Experience- I was unable to eat any of the meat dishes I was served. We had one waiter for our table for 12. The service was extremely slow. Drinks were hard to get, and even harder to get a refill. Cabin Steward: I only asked to have ice delivered twice/day and service in the evening. I repeatedly had to request ice, and my beach towels weren't replaced. I had to find him and ask about it and he said he ran out of towels before he got to my room. WHAT??? We also didn't receive any debarkation information. We got it from other family members. Elevators: SUPER SUPER SLOW. I took the stairs. Liquid Lounge: Seating was awful, as others have stated. Punchliner Comedy Club: Not enought seating. If you arrived 30 minutes early, you still may be standing. Debarkation: Total nightmare. Took us about 1 1/2 hours. I read that it took others up to 6 hours. We had Faster to the Fun. We actually had a fun vacation, and I will probably cruise Carnival again in the future. However, I had a Panorama cruise booked for next June and I cancelled it this morning. I don't want to sail on a ship that is a sister to the Vista. I really didn't like the layout or the closed in feeling of it. If the shows and the dining room experience are important to you, I wouldn't recommend this ship. Read Less

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