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3,536 Family Cruise Reviews

I was quite dismayed to find such a glowing review for the Sea Princess, cruising from San Francisco to Alaska June 2010. The author, who stayed in suite D753 implied that those who gave the poor reviews did so because of the class of ... Read More
I was quite dismayed to find such a glowing review for the Sea Princess, cruising from San Francisco to Alaska June 2010. The author, who stayed in suite D753 implied that those who gave the poor reviews did so because of the class of service they had paid for on the ship. She then continued to describe the suite in glowing terms, as well as the food, service and overall experience. Part of the reason for my dismay is because we had been on the previous sailing, and in the same suite as the author. Like most of the reviewers, we found the service and food to be extremely disappointing and nothing close to the quality we have come to expect based on our previous sailings with Royal Caribbean and Holland America. The author further implies that those who don't go on their cruise with an attitude to have fun and enjoy are responsible for their own rotten time. Tell me, who doesn't go on a cruise with the intention of having a great time? Of course that is the goal of everyone on board. However, the quality of your experience can be greatly affected by the quality of the food, customer service, amenities, options, etc. offered by a cruise line and each ship. These are the issues that are coming under fire on this cruise line, ship and sailing, and all are very valid criticisms which can dramatically affect the experience of cruisers. Our experience in suite D753 of the Sea Princess sailing to Alaska: We were very excited about this cruise as it left our home town port, so would require no air flight. We had heard from our travel agent that some of her customers who had sailed Princess had been disappointed due to the decreasing quality of Princess cruises. However, when I researched cruise critic in April, there were mixed reviews with most seeming positive, and the overall scores of the ship were similar to a Holland America cruise we had taken and loved in the past. We decided to go forward and book our suite, never anticipating we would have such a very disappointing experience. We were very excited to embark, however, our first disappointment was upon seeing our suite. The layout was quite poor compared to what we'd come to expect from our experiences on Royal Caribbean and Holland America. It seemed as though the square footage had been misrepresented, as there is no way it 500 sq.ft. nor was it comparable to the Owners suites, royal suites and family suites we had experienced on the other cruise lines - all of which are listed as similar sized (except the Owner suites on Royal, which I believe are listed in the 600+ sq.ft. range) In addition, the decor was quite dated and old fashioned. This also surprised us, as the ship had been dry docked for upgrades Fall of 2009 and we'd been under the impression that the rooms had been updated (we found out later from Miguel, our cabin steward, that the Giant screen above the pool and improvements to common areas are what was completed - no stateroom improvements). However, not wanting to let this decrease our enjoyment, we settled in with the notion that the space would be a bit smaller but we'd be fine for the 10 day cruise despite this. We always book suites and we travel with our daughter, who is presently five. We've found the extra space and added amenities of a suite make traveling much more enjoyable for us all. One benefit on a cruise is that you can order off the restaurant menus and have it delivered as room service. With a little one, this is often a great option as prolonged dinners with multiple courses don't always work well with children. We continued to explore the ship and were disappointed to discover that there is a very heavy sales attitude on board. Buy pictures of yourself boarding, buy pictures of yourself gambling, buy pictures of yourself at this port, buy pictures of yourself at the bar. This, in addition to "buy art at our auction...buy internet time... buy fancy tea and coffee...buy this...buy that." Over half the channels on the in-room television were Princess infomercials and...you guessed it...more sales. "Buy a DVD with memories of your trip". While most ships do offer similar things, they are not pushed in such an overt, commission-sales type of a manner. Suite holders receive free internet and laundry service, however, we're still bombarded with the sales messages by the television and walking through the common areas. In addition, one of the destinations, Huna, seemed to serve no purpose other than to generate more money for Princess, as there was nothing there except a few activities co-created between Princess and the local land owning tribe. They offered a significantly over priced zip-line (more than I've ever seen at any of a multitude of destinations with zip lines), a "rain forest tram" which was essentially a bus style golf cart ride along the shoreline with nothing really unusual or different to set it apart from just walking along the shore on your own. There were other over priced options such as kayaking, etc. However, there was nothing there that was not essentially owned in whole or in part by Princess, and nothing that would draw a traveler to this port if they were selecting destinations on their own. We also discovered that the staff does not have the uber-friendly, uber-helpful attitude that we've always encountered on previous ships. The attitude was a bit more reluctant, a forced, fake friendliness. It was easy to pick up on a depressing, heavy vibe that gives the impression that the staff is not treated well on this ship. If staff members have to fake their friendliness, force their helpfulness, and try to hide a feeling of wanting you to just leave them alone, then something must be wrong. This is the overall feeling we had from most all the staff on board except for our cabin steward Miguel. This is also completely opposite our experiences on Royal Caribbean and Holland America, where the staff all seem genuinely happy and friendly, they bend over backwards to be helpful and there is an overall feeling of happiness on board. An interesting example of our poor service, is that only one time did we receive a room service order correctly during our entire cruise (and we order room service once or twice per day, every day). Typically we'd receive the wrong food, not enough silverware, and it was always cold. The same girl always delivered our food, so you think she'd have figured out there were three of us in the suite - not one, not two. We got to the point of writing down our order and not letting her leave until we verified each item was present, and enough utensils as well. We'd show her the list of items ordered if there was a conflict and often they'd actually try to argue that we ordered what was delivered, not what was on our list. Additionally, the quality of the food was terrible compared to other cruises we've taken. The selection at the buffet was limited and missing expected items. For example, what salad bar doesn't offer nuts, seeds, croutons, shredded cheeses and other such items for the salads?. The bagels were those small, cheap lenders bagels. All the food seemed very processed and NOT fresh. I felt like I was eating at fast food and big chain restaurants the entire time (and my stomach let me know it, too!) You might be thinking, "Well, these folks travel in suites all the time, they're likely rude or snooty to the staff and that's why the attitude." I assure you that this is not the case. We are very down to earth, always super nice and friendly - even when there are problems and issues. So, no, the poor service is not due to cruisers with bad attitudes. This ship does not have the sliding skylight type cover to put over the pool area, so consequently it was always super windy and too cold to use the pool. The only time it was warm enough was near Victoria, CA. So essentially this amenity was useless. They should only use ships which can cover the pool area for the colder cruises. This was a great feature on our Holland America cruise. The kids club and security control for kids on board was very poor compared to both Holland America and Royal Caribbean. It appeared as though the kids club was an after thought and jammed into a space that was ill equipped for children. There were times all the kids of all ages would be jammed into one room because a kid would have puked in another room and it was closed off for hours. (This cruise is very rough and there were many who were seasick or queasy - absolutely need dramamine on this sailing). Our daughter who typically LOVES kids clubs on board didn't want to go because it was no fun for her - that is just awful - might as well not even offer a kids club. They do not issue matching wrist bands to parents and children, so if a child were to become lost or separated they would have no way to determine who's child it is, or in an emergency, what muster station the child should go to in order to unite with her/his parents. All-in-all virtually every aspect of the cruise was a huge disappointment. This is from folks who love to travel and love to cruise and rarely have a disappointing time. We will never, ever consider Princess for a cruise again. I also strongly caution anyone from sailing with them - especially if it is your first cruise, as it will turn you off of cruising forever. Had this been our first cruise we would have never considered cruising again. Thank goodness we've cruised enough on other lines to realize how awful this was and that it is NOT the norm for other cruise lines. We will stick to those lines who receive only stellar reviews going forward. Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
The cruise to Alaska was the main target of our 2010 three weeks trip to the USA. We chose to cruise with NCL, because any kind of Freestyle venue is our idea of a relaxing vacation. We are a 50+ y/o couple, and like to carefully ... Read More
The cruise to Alaska was the main target of our 2010 three weeks trip to the USA. We chose to cruise with NCL, because any kind of Freestyle venue is our idea of a relaxing vacation. We are a 50+ y/o couple, and like to carefully plan our trips ahead. All excursions were booked, we knew exactly what to expect, and were quite excited towards the cruise. We flew from Las Vegas to Seattle via Los Angels, the towncar was waiting for us and we were on our way to the Red Lion Hotel on Fifth Avenue. The room was very nice, and the hotel location was great, everything in walking distance. We had Saturday to explore Seattle, and we loved this city that feels like sort of one of the European capitols we are familiar with. We spent the evening before embarkation in the Sky City spinning restaurant on the Space Needle, and had a great dinner while watching the sun set. Embarkation was quick and easy, and we were on the Pearl before 12:00. We were directed to the Garden Cafe Buffet, had some lunch and around 1330 our Ocean View state room on deck 5 was ready. The room was spacious enough, and we had no trouble fitting our stuff into the closet and our four suitcases under the bed. The window was big, the bathroom was comfortable, and the state room service throughout the cruise was perfect. Every evening we got the Daily Freestyle bulletin, that had all relevant information for the next cruise day. Shopping - we didn't like the too many, actually endless shopping promotions that went around the ship and TV throughout the whole week. Because of the cool weather conditions we (and almost no one) couldn't use the swimming pools and climbing wall. The exercise room was very well attended, and we used it daily, starting at 6AM. Dining - we had breakfast at the Garden Cafe buffet every morning, It was very busy but we had no problem finding a seat. The food selection was quite rich, but we missed the vegetables we are used to eat daily. We loved the unlimited supply of pineapples, and enjoyed tons of it. We ate at two of the special restaurants. Cagney's steak house was excellent, and was well worth the extra charge. The Mongolian dinner at the Lotus Garden was fun, and a nice experience. We had the rest of our dinners at the Summer Palace MDR. The food was very good, and the service perfect. We went a few times to the Blue Lagoon for excellent comfort food, and many times just for coffee. There was always something going on there, and we liked to sit, drink and watch. Entertainment - We liked the Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons show. The other shows were OK. Excursions - Highly priced, but since you have almost no other option, we booked ahead and enjoyed all of them. We flew In a seaplane over the glaciers in Juneau, We took the Mount Roberts cable car, we rode the White Pass train and prospected gold, enjoyed the Ketchican Tomcar adventure and loved the visit to Butchart Gardens in Victoria. As for staff and service, everything, anywhere was perfect. They work very hard, long hours but they always look freshened up with a big happy smile. We salute them all, except one, and here comes the big story of this review: How did a single crew member, succeed to demolish a perfect cruise and NCL's reputation, one hour before disembarkation ? We arrived at Seattle, and started to get ready to disembark the ship. Around 7AM, when my wife stepped out of the shower, she suddenly collapsed and lost consciousness. I started to assist her with my limited medical knowledge, grabbed the phone, dialed 0 and was answered by a woman probably at the front desk. I asked for emergency medical assistance and explained the situation on my hands. The woman told me to hang down and wait. It took 30 long seconds, the phone rang and when I answered, a woman identified herself as the ship's nurse, and asked what the problem was. I explained quickly (remember - I was busy trying to revive my wife), and then the nurse said: "We are closed now, you can call a doctor for a fee". I quickly figured out that no assistance will be coming from this "nurse" direction, and proceeded assisting my wife that was luckily showing first signs of recovery. It took another hour until we were able to leave the state room and grab a cup of coffee. During that time, no one from the ship's medical stuff showed up or at least called to ask what is going on. We discussed the shocking event and the ship's crew total abandonment of a passenger in distress, and decided to disembark and file a complaint with NCL management. We were pretty sure, that NCL is running a fair and professional business, that truly believes in customers conservation, and would handle our complaint honestly. In our complaint, we only asked for answers regarding the nurse's unprofessional behavior, but got nothing more than a statement saying "Usually, our stuff is known for their care..." (why not always specially when it comes to a medical emergency ??!!) and a promise for special amenities during our next NCL cruise. We responded quite assertively to this offending reply, and NCL's next reply letter was even more irritating, claiming that our complaint was immediately forwarded to the ship, but "Once the ship disembarks the telephone records are no longer available". We have now quite a nice collection of letters from NCL customers relations department, but still not one good explanation for the Norwegian Pearl nurse "Freestyle" life risking behavior. Lessons learnt from our June 2010 Norwegian Pearl experience: • Disembarking the ship was a huge mistake!! The right thing to do was to refuse to leave the ship until the matter was brought before the ship's captain and medical stuff, while they are still present on the vessel and all records are available !!! • The minute your cruise bill is fully paid for, you are history. NCL doesn't really care if you are dead or alive. • Writing complaint letters and waiting for honest and professional replies is a waist of time. Instead, spread the story around, people read and internalize. • For us - Cruising with NCL - never again !! Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
I cannot overstate how disappointing this cruise was, in comparison to others we've taken (especially RC)! We had a truly awful time - had we not been at sea, we would have left early. The Norwegian Jewel is too overcrowded for the ... Read More
I cannot overstate how disappointing this cruise was, in comparison to others we've taken (especially RC)! We had a truly awful time - had we not been at sea, we would have left early. The Norwegian Jewel is too overcrowded for the amenities on board. There are not enough pools, hot tubs, deck lounge chairs, elevators, or even seating at the buffet for the number of passengers this ship takes on board. Everywhere we went it was impossible to get near anything and there was no order to anything. We did not go in the pools or hot tubs once the whole time - we couldn't get near them. We were never able to get a table at the buffet that accommodated the 5 of us who were traveling together. And trying to get an elevator was frustrating (we were traveling with a baby in a stroller so couldn't use the stairs). The wait for an elevator was excruciatingly long and often when the door opened it would be so overcrowded there was no room to get on so we had to wait for another. This overcrowding held true on the private island as well - not enough lounge chairs or cabanas to accommodate the number of passengers. The buffet is mayhem - very confusing with no natural order or "flow" and very little seating near it. The food is mediocre at best and seemed to be the same thing every single day. And, curiously, there are no trays in the cafeteria which made it extremely difficult to travel with a child. I had to make my daughter's plate, then go back up to get her milk, then go back up for my own plate, etc. The drink stations were - more often than not - out of coffee, or out of milk, or out of something. The staff were not anxious to please. They were "OK" but definitely NOT the over-accommodating types I've encountered on other cruises. If you're used to being a bit "pampered" when you cruise, this ship is definitely not for you! The Tsar's main dining room was the best choice for dinner, though with the "freestyle cruising" style there are often long lines and long waits. The food is just "OK" and often our orders were mixed up, or incorrect altogether. As far as the specialty restaurants, we really enjoyed Cagney's Steak House. We had an excellent meal, which in my opinion was well worth the $25 per person cover charge! Conversely, the hibachi dinner was really not worth the cover - way too much garlic for my taste, and it takes over an hour from start to finish . . Finally, the disembarkation process was utter mayhem! They offered a "walk-off" option for folks who wanted to just carry their own bags off the ship, rather than putting them out the night before. We decided to do this, thinking it would make the disembarkation process quicker and easier. WRONG!!! Once again, there was no order to the process - just 2,800 people racing to get off the ship. The elevators were absolutely jammed and there was no way to get one. There was not one NCL employee in sight - just hundreds upon hundreds of people pushing and shoving - it was absolutely unbelievable! My baby was in a stroller, and was hit in the head TWICE by people's baggage hanging off their shoulder as they push and shove their way through the line. I cannot underscore enough what a miserable experience this cruise was due to the overcrowding.If you are considering the Norwegian Jewel, I highly recommend that you look for a comparable cruise itinerary on RC or another more upscale line. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
We were a family group of seven...four 60ish adults, two 30-somethings and a six month old baby. We were looking forward to our cruise on Royal Caribbean with great expectations as all except one in our group had cruised together before on ... Read More
We were a family group of seven...four 60ish adults, two 30-somethings and a six month old baby. We were looking forward to our cruise on Royal Caribbean with great expectations as all except one in our group had cruised together before on Crystal, Windstar, Carnival, Regent, Azamara and Oceania and had enjoyed it immensely. This was the first cruise for my nephew's wife. We arrived at the Port of Miami on Monday at about 12:00. Check in was smooth and uneventful. Cabins may not be entered until 1:00 and this is strictly enforced. Two of our four cabins were junior suites on Deck 10 and two were standard ocean view cabins on Deck 9. The suites were comfortable but not what one would call luxurious. There were no bath amenities. Robes and coffee and tea makers were nice touches in the suites. The suite balconies were spacious but only had chairs...not loungers. We asked for loungers and they were delivered within a few hours, thanks to our very competent cabin stewardess. There is a very wide ceiling overhang above the balconies in midship which blocks a large part of the sky view you would otherwise have. It is clear that these balconies were retrofitted rather than having been original to the ship. If you like tot sleep with the sliding glass door open so that you can hear the sound of the ocean waves, be advised that the smell of engine oil comes into the cabin if you do so. The standard ocean view cabins on Deck 9 were extremely small. the "windows" in those cabins are little more than portholes. If you are at all claustrophobic, the extra expense for the junior suite is well worth it. We unpacked and then went to the Windjammer for lunch. There were lines for all the buffet stations and getting tables was very difficult due to the crowds. The guests appeared to be primarily in their twenties and thirties....more on that later! The food at the Windjammer was standard cafeteria-type food. We hoped for better food in the main dining rooms, but better food was not to be had there either. Two of our group had prearranged for Kosher food. They reported that the Kosher food was very good. Janet, our assistant Maitre D handled the details of the Kosher food very well. The service she provided was excellent...and this was a high point of our cruise. Janet made sure that the next day's menu was presented and that orders were placed for each day. She even arranged for my nephew and his wife to be able to dine on the Kosher food in their cabin. I am vegetarian and there are sufficient vegetarian choices at each meal. Our wait staff in the main dining room were all very good, especially Mehmet! The quality of the food however was below par. The menus at dinner were very limited as to choice. The food itself was not "gourmet" in any sense of the word and did not compare to what we had experienced on Crystal, Regent, Azamara, Oceania, 0r Windstar. All of those lines have food that is far superior to that of Royal Caribbean. If you are a "foodie" Royal Caribbean is not for you! We were disappointed by all of the "nickel and diming" that occurred during our cruise. One morning we decided to have breakfast in the main dining room specifically because the menu offered "freshly squeezed orange juice". This fact was also touted in the ship's daily newsletter. What was not mentioned in the newsletter or anywhere else was that there is an additional charge of $2.50 for the fresh squeezed orange juice! Soda is extra...you must purchase a $25.00 card in order to be able to avoid a by-the- glass charge. The water and cans of soda in the minibars are extra as well. There is a cafe, but you must pay extra for the coffee there. There is a Johnny Rockets, but you must pay $5.00 extra if you want to eat there. Hope you don't need to go to sleep before 3:00 AM! We paid about double the cost of a standard ocean view cabin for our junior suite with balcony located on deck 10. What we were not told was that on Tuesday night there is a pool party on deck 11...right above the suites, that starts at 11:00 PM and consists of a DJ playing extremely load music and encouraging the parties to jump up and down to the music. At each jump, we thought our ceiling was going to fall in. Finally after two and a half hours of this, I called the front desk and asked how much longer the pounding was going to go on. I was told "until 2:30 or 3:00". No "I'm sorry for the inconvenience" no sympathy whatsoever. After I continued to tell them that this was unacceptable, they did offer me a cabin for the night on deck 3, but then changed their minds and told me there was no other cabin available. Needless to say, I was not able to go to sleep until the party was over after 3 AM. I spoke to the "customer service" representative at the front desk the following day, and again there was no apology, and no concern for what had occurred. All that he said to me was that the pool party is a "scheduled event" and that's just how it has to be...they can't do anything about it. The representative did say that "we only had two other complaints about it"....as if that was a good thing!!! You will not experience the level of service on this ship that you would expect even at a Holiday Inn. Finally after speaking with another representative about the sleepless night, I was offered a credit of 25% of the cost of this cruise towards a future cruise on Royal Caribbean and a $50.00 credit against the cost of this cruise. However, after this experience I won't be able to use the 25% credit...there will be no future Royal Caribbean cruises or me other the other six people in my group. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
I have just returned from 7 day cruise on the Thomson Dream. When we arrived at Palma harbour the ship looked impressive, thats when the dream stopped. When you arrive on board the first thing you are greeted with is the smell of sewerage. ... Read More
I have just returned from 7 day cruise on the Thomson Dream. When we arrived at Palma harbour the ship looked impressive, thats when the dream stopped. When you arrive on board the first thing you are greeted with is the smell of sewerage. When you complain you are told the engineers are working on it, after three days you are asked not to hasstle the customer services desk as there is nothing they can do as the engineers are doing everything they can to resolve the problem. Next a letter to all the cabins from the captain to say there is no health hazard. Excuse me but if toilets are backing up, cabins are flooding, stairways closed off and a continual smell of sewerage I think there is a health & safety problem. Thomsons should have flown a director or manager to the ship to assess the problems at first hand. This is a tired ship with broken chairs and sunbeds on deck, I got a chair once on the lower smoking deck in seven days. The tables on deck around the pool are dirty and must be 10 years old. the buffet you have to queue for low grade food on plastic platters with tea stained cups. The only top class meal we had in a week was in the grill bar were there is a £20 supplement. Things were so bad that one of the customers called a meeting in the theatre which was attended by several hundred passengers much to the embarrassment of the Thomson staff. Thomson input ZERO. I don't think there is any point on reviewing anything further about this ship as from what you are reading it wouldn't improve your experience. I have no doubt people will say things were not as bad as I am making out. Question 1 Did you smell sewerage in your cabin or corridor. Question 2 Did your cabin flood. Question 3 Did your toilet back up. Question 4 Did your toilet not work for up to 3 days. Question 5 Did they close the stairway from your cabin and remove ceiling panels. Question 6 Was the food of a HIGH standard not adequate. Finally all I can say to Thomson's is you are very lucky you were not dealing with american customers as you would now be facing a lot of law suits. I will never travel on a Thomson cruise again as they are selling holidays not fit for purpose. Make your own mind up & GOOD LUCK! Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
Well NOTHING!! We traveled with 7 adults, 4 children as a group, but not hooked together at the hip during our vacation, this was booked as a fun, let loose and hopefully a little romantic vaca with my husband & friends.. Not soo ... Read More
Well NOTHING!! We traveled with 7 adults, 4 children as a group, but not hooked together at the hip during our vacation, this was booked as a fun, let loose and hopefully a little romantic vaca with my husband & friends.. Not soo much!! Not going into alot of details about all the specifics as there are way too many, however I will give you my ratings of this ship overall.. Notice we sailed in May '10, why have I waited so long to post my review?? I wanted to give Carnival a chance to practice "customer" service and make things right with us..but after many phone calls to Carnival's customer care dept since the cruise, hours of my time and finally getting Discover involved there has been NO resolution to my satisfaction, so I don't want to slam but I am going to be honest, and this is my opinion and facts of what happened..Yes I have been on numerous cruises before and have NEVER had as many issues on one ship as we did on the Triumph, in fact even on Pride of America we weren't 100% satisfied with everything but never felt the need to make any "complaints", it wasn't great but it was good...and never before in my life have I ever "disputed" any charges on my credit cards until now w/ Carnival...I am the type of person that just "sucks it up", if I buy something and it doesn't work or I break it in a day, oh well LOL...So with that being said, now that Carnival said they were done with me and offered me NOTHING more, WE are DONE with them and will tell anyone who will listen or wants to know, about our experience not only on the Triumph but with their customer care dept as well and NEVER recommend or will use their line again. I spent alot of time before booking this cruise reading reviews, researching, etc..came to the conclusion that this would indeed not be what we are "used" to as far as beauty and luxury, so our expectations were not high in the first place, however since the price was relatively decent (approx. $1500 for 2 adults) and our friends had already booked it for themselves and we knew we "needed" a vacation soon (husband is in the military and always facing possible deployments at any time) we decided to book it with them and used their reservation agent from Carnival (who was actually the most helpful before & after our cruise than anyone else associated with Carnival). So here are some "specifics" and advice: 1) If you have ANY Type of issue/complaint with ANYTHING while on board a Carnival ship, YOU must go to the Guest Services Desk and make it in writing no matter how big or small the problem is...Carnival told me that because nothing was documented while we were on board we are not entitled to receive any credits, certificates, etc..Just talking to the area "managers/boss" in that part of the ship where an issue could be addressed, does not make a valid complaint with Carnival..I cannot even count how many of "those" people myself and another member of our party talked too while on board, bar supervisors, buffet workers & supervisors, pit boss's in the casino, shore excursion managers (who by the way did take down our information and said they would "take care of it" but because we didn't follow up on it back on the ship, no credit was issued to our sail & sign account, so I had to wait over 30 days,& tons more hours on the phone explaining the situation over and over again to numerous reps, to finally get our "out of pocket cost" (which was not our fault) related to our excursion finally credited back to the credit card!!) It is absolutely ridiculous the amount of time I have had to spend dealing with something that they were supposed to take care of.. So I HIGHLY encourage visiting Guest services as soon as something should arise, make them document it, and yes this will probably result standing in line, I believe the average wait for us each time was about 45 min (and when we went there I think 3 different times, and times of day, all we wanted was to get a copy of our bill & see if my friend's son's swim shorts had been turned into lost and found, they were wrapped up in a towel in their room and yep you guessed it cabin steward)! 2) If you choose to visit the casino and play any table games, I suggest you ask to see the rules they have for each game you play (they are not posted anywhere near the table games and the dealers did not offer up any info on them), some are different than in stateside casinos...but then again that may depend on who your dealer is at that game at that time too, each day we learned a new rule but of course that was after we broke it & didn't know it, they informed us, thank goodness no big jackpots were at stake because I know they wouldn't have paid it out LOL!! During our time frame there was some really nice & good dealers but most of the time not so much. In fact on the very last night one dealer told my friend that if she cursed at the table one more time, she had to leave the table, even though none of the foul language was directed towards him or anyone else, it was just a slip of the mouth while we were having a personal conversation between us about our husbands!! He told us that was a "rule" even though many f-bombs were dropped at that table each and every other night by plenty of other people and no other dealers ever said anything about this "rule"! And you really have to pay attention to your game, I cant tell you how many times they "forgot" to pay out and had to call a pit boss over!! Oh and if you play late at night, be sure to ask what time they will be closing that particular night, after a couple of nights we figured it out every night they closed approx. 15 min earlier than the night before, yes even the table games, in fact the last night there were 3 of us on one table dropping quite a bit of money and having a good time since it was the last night, and they (pit boss & managers) told us we had to leave even when we asked to stay and play.. 3) If you elect to NOT eat in the dining room (and if you do, plan on your meal lasting about 2 hrs!!) but if you don't (my husband & I didn't because he is wayyy too picky) so we ate at the buffet mostly for the hamburgers & fries, again plan on very long lines because of the wait, each time they only had 1 cook..he would cook the hamburgers in the back (maybe like 5 at a time) bring them out, serve those, so those people went on, so he would go in the back to cook more, bring those out and by that time the other foods on the line had run out so he would serve the hamburgers again and then go back and get more of the other foods and drop more fries and then we would wait in line now with cold hamburgers for the other foods. We saw this day after day so, half the time we would either skip the hamburgers and just eat what was ever left on the line or vice versa, we are not impatient people we can wait 10 min but this was like 20 min wait each time and trust me the cook was in no hurry no matter how many people were in line...I understand though because if I was the only person cooking/serving all those people I would be pissed!!! We thought about just ordering room service then to eat since most people would be in the dining rooms, room service surely wouldn't take that long..guess again!! Our average wait time for room service any time of the day was about an hour, and breakfast scheduled for a certain time was anywhere from 15 min- 1 hr late and half the food ordered missing, in fact my friend 2 doors down with 3 kids never even got their breakfast one morning, scheduled 1 1/2 hrs before they needed to leave for their excursion, even after call after call nothing ever came, we ended up giving them some Debbie snacks that we had brought with us so the kids would stop whining LOL...I suggest bringing additional food/snacks like that or stock up on fruit from the restaurants, if you don't have the flexibility of time and want to eat!! Overall the food was average to poor, again I wasn't expecting anything to "blow me away" and be delicious but I did expect a variety (which there wasn't), food at the right temps, and definitely not a hassle to just get something to eat and feel full... 4) Cabins-not too bad, for 2 of us we had plenty of room, nothing pretty or fancy about them, could compare to a Motel 6 or Days Inn type of room...not 100% clean, even the first day but at least everything worked in ours =) Cabin steward tried but pretty much dropped the ball on anything we asked for, never brought me sanitary bags, 4 out of 7 days took our ash tray and didn't leave a new one, we would call when we got in, said one would be brought to us immediately, would wait and wait again & nothing so we ended up just using a glass with water and the next day after cleaning, that icky glass would still be there. I am beginning to think they just come in the room, do a quick vacuum down the center, make the bed, spend too much time on a towel animal, and sometimes empty your trash can. I know that whole week our room was never cleaned thoroughly or even disinfected. So I suggest leaving a list/note/reminder of what you need or want done-just like I do for my housekeeper at home!! I am on vacation I really shouldn't have to spend my time asking/waiting/ & stressing over minute things like this, that Cruise ships pride themselves on in providing for their guest & of course what we are paying for too!!! This is sort of in relation to our excursion but more so about Carnival's customer service-or lack there of. The last port day in Cozumel once we were back on board the Triumph, my husband realizes he doesn't have his cell phone (we used it the entire trip to take all of our pictures) so here we go again...I wont go into all the details about this situation, it was his fault he didn't keep track of the phone, he did make report with Carnival immediately at Guest Services and asked them of course how we can contact the park and the tour operator (thinking it may have fell out of his pocket or our bag while we were on the bus or the water taxi) it was definitely in one of those 3 places as we did use it earlier that day in the park. Guest services made him a copy of the report and told him they would contact both places and let us know what they found out...Never heard another word on the phone situation so on debarkation morning he goes to the desk and ask again and they told him neither place has responded to their email!!! Are you kidding me, email??? Okay fine, its a ship, in the middle of the ocean, whatever!! Well I am done waiting on Carnival to get anything done in a timely manner so when we get home I start looking online right away for the contact info for these 2 places, find Xcaret no problem talk to lost and found, they were great, took my info, and said nothing has been found as of now but if they do find it or it gets turned in they would contact us...after probably calling every transportation company in Cozumel and Playa Del Carmen (on my dime again) that I could find info for and no luck I call Carnival next and just ask them for the NAME of the tour operator they use down there so I can contact them and ask them about the phone myself since they still hadn't "received" anything by email...well guest care dept. doesn't know who the company is, they need to email the ship and ask them, was told give it a few days...call back..nothing...wait...call back...nothing...wait and during these calls I am discussing all my other complaints as well...All I get is "I'm sorry there is nothing I can do for you." Along with the explanation of their policy that all complaints need to be made while on board. Keep in mind not a single person that works for Carnival on board that I "verbally" complained to ever said one thing about going to guest services to let them know. However they would send my complaints/suggestions & request to the ship and will contact me within 10-14 days with an update/outcome and or tour company info..so 15 days later still without hearing anything not even the name of the tour company (by now we have to get a new cell phone, but would still like to track down the phone for our pictures and contacts info) so on 6/2 I call back and ask again and was told to give it 2-3 more days and they will have the rep that I originally spoke to contact me for a follow up...yep never happened, finally on 6/14 I received an email from a carnival rep that I have never spoken too, luckily I didn't delete the email, but she informs me that I have been issued my $31 credit and they would love to see me again!! Not even ONE apology from ANYONE (except from our original reservation agent whom I also talked to when we returned) but not from ANYONE else associated with Carnival in regards to their service & actions that took place on the Triumph. You would think that first time cruisers on Carnival, traveling with the amount of people that we did, a sail & sign account up over $8000, opening a new Carnival MasterCard account, and signing up for a future vaca that they would have perhaps done a little more to rectify the situation and keep us as Carnival customers-NOPE guess not...I told my husband if Carnival would have made this all okay with me, I was willing to give them another try, definitely not on the Triumph ever again, but we would consider another ship. But since Carnival issued me a $31.00 credit (remember that was our out of pocket cost for the transportation to the excursion that was already "owed" to us and told they would make it right with us, and then failing to do so on our on board acct, prompting me to inquire about it, then waiting 30 days and arguing to receive this credit) that they did not owe me anything else and now my disputes are closed & completed..What a joke from literally beginning to end! So we will never be using Carnival again, never recommending them, telling our story, canceling our future vacation certificate, and closing the MasterCard account. Too bad because we are only in our 30's and Love to travel by cruise ship!! But they had no respect for my time, no consideration for my complaints and or suggestions, and didn't follow thru on what they said they would do, so apparently they don't value our business. So a company that does this and makes me feel that way will never receive another penny from myself & family..Again, I don't ask for anything unless I feel I am entitled to it, only one other company is "blacklisted" in our household, that's Sprint =) and that ordeal was over 5 yrs ago...But unfortunately Carnival will now be added to that list. I sincerely hope if you decide to sail with Carnival, you can truly enjoy what you are paying for and have a nice vacation, unlike us =) I know there are thousands of people that are completely satisfied with Carnival and even The Triumph, unfortunately we are not one of them.Good Luck & Happy Sailing!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
We are Diamond members and this sailing on the Oasis of the Seas on May 29, 2010 was the WORST cruise adventure we have ever experienced! It's taken us almost 4.5 months to be able to put into words our experiences on this horrible ... Read More
We are Diamond members and this sailing on the Oasis of the Seas on May 29, 2010 was the WORST cruise adventure we have ever experienced! It's taken us almost 4.5 months to be able to put into words our experiences on this horrible cruise. If this was our first cruise, we'd never get on another ship. The Oasis itself is a marvel and the technology on the ship was amazing. However, there were still many non technology-related glitches during our cruise. Here's a summary of our misadventures that added up to a totally disappointing cruise: Day 1-May 29th (embark): Security lines in the Check-In Terminal. One of the guards apologized for the long lines because two security scanners were sent to Mexican ports. We got stuck in a security line that joined up with another one at the machine - we received bad direction from the security staff and had to physically squeeze our way back into the line with no help from the security personnel. Once through security, the lines to check-in by deck were mostly empty, except for the Diamond/Diamond Plus lines. We stood in one of two Diamond/Diamond Plus lines and waited our turn. For some reason our line moved faster. When we reached the front of the waiting line and the attendant at one of the 3 counters in front of our line signaled us to proceed forward, the lady in the next line was obnoxious and wanted special treatment because she was a Diamond member and had waited longer than we did. We let her go. When it was our turn again, the next lady played the same game and convinced the assisting staff that she was there before we were and should go to our open window. What a bunch of stuck-up Diamond members -thank goodness the ship was so big we never ran across them again. All in all, it took us 21 minutes to check-in and started boarding the escalators to board, at approximately 12:45 pm. Not bad but many friends told us it only took them 15 minutes before they were actually on the ship. Once on board, we were directed to the Windjammer for lunch. The Windjammer was packed, crammed and the tables were so close together we had to move our chair every time some passed behind us. It was also very small compared to other smaller RCCL ships. But we do give credit to the staff for the wide variety of offerings, and all served so hot and attractively! The Windjammer sitting area was smaller than any Royal Caribbean ship that we have sailed on and very uncomfortable. We were able to get into our cabin at approximately 1:30 pm and the room was warm. We turned the air conditioning down to the lowest possible setting and felt only a little bit of cool air coming out of the small vents. We called Guest Services and they said they would send someone; no one ever showed up. When we met our cabin steward, he immediately called it in. To our knowledge, no one ever came. We checked out the ship and returned a couple hours later and the room was still warm. We called Guest Services again and they had no record of our calls. The cabin steward came by and he called again. The electrical switches were not marked and the cabin steward had to explain which switch controlled which light. We kept the curtains closed whenever possible and were very careful to keep the balcony door closed because of the whistling sound it made when it wasn't in the locked position. The door was poorly designed for comfort and noise. Throughout the week, the reading light over the bed near the balcony would blink on and off repeatedly. We called that in and the cabin steward also called it in but by the 6th day it was never fixed and was still blinking periodically. The cabinets in the cabin were poorly designed. The delightful wooden cabinets on the dresser were great for storing toothpicks - but nothing else. All week we heard about the $10M spent on art on the ship - wish they had spent the money on better air conditioning in the cabins!! MAIN DINING ROOM. The wait staff consisting of Ruivah and Haye was an outstanding service team that met all our needs. Their service made us go back every evening instead of finding alternative dining. However, our table, #244, was stuck against a column and it was a very crowded area (2 tables from the entrance). There was also some miscommunication with the other 6 people assigned to the table. We dined alone 3 nights at a table for 8. The other family had 2 18-month old twins and English was not their first language. They were a nice family but it was impossible to enjoy dinner as family members kept leaving the table to care for the twins - yes, the twins were also at the table in strollers. It was not a pleasant dining experience but we didn't want to hurt that family's feelings by seeking another table. Spa Cafe. Hours posted on the computer screen just outside the Cafe on deck 6 indicated the cafe was open till 11:00 pm on the first day, and 9:00 pm every night after that. We arrived at the cafe before 10:00 pm and there was no one there. The Spa Manager was nice enough to answer our questions and direct us to the Food and Beverage staff. When we called, the Manager said they close at 9:00 pm - a time not consistent with the computer information screens. Guest Relations arranged for my wife to meet the Director of Food and Beverage to discuss the situation. He contended that the screen did not say that but was still defensive when shown that the screen had incorrect information. He also said he would review video to confirm my being there but never got back to us. Aqua Water Show. It was terrific and amazing - the performers were so skilled and perfect. It was great to see the last show of the cast before the new cast took over during the next cruise. Congratulations on a fabulous show in fantastic surroundings! The only problem with the show is that 4 different scanners did not read our SeaPass cards correctly and we had to wait in line at the laptop before we could gain entrance. Day 2-May 30th (at sea): We enjoyed meeting other Meet & Mingle passengers and spent time checking out different parts of the ship. The huge solarium was disappointing with the limited shaded areas. The Solarium Bistro had very tasty food. We found the offering of so many eating places discombobulated. We seldom knew whether we were paying for food or not!! The Daily Compass was often wrong with events that were not held. We realize that this was printed daily but the information had not been changed in a long time. We showed up for 3 events that the staff was not prepared to host - amazing! And the lunatic staffer who wouldn't let us take the scrapbooking project out of the room until we finished it? How would we finish a "picture frame" of our shipboard memories until after the cruise when we had pictures printed? (She had NO scrapbooking knowledge nor experience!!) Day 3-May 31st (Labadee): We spent the morning ashore and the afternoon on the ship. Day 4-June 1st (at sea): We tried to enjoy the Solarium but it was too crowded and there were very few shaded areas. The cantilevered hot tubs were wonderful but there were no comfortable seating areas because it was located at a major thoroughfare between the pool and the solarium. Day 5-June 2nd (Costa Maya): We stayed on the ship to enjoy the amenities. Day 6-June 3rd (Cozumel): Ice incident. We were standing at the railing of our balcony and trying to converse with the crew of the Grandeur of the Seas across the pier. As we stood there, water and ice came tumbling down from above. I called Guest Relations who sent a representative immediately and saw the water on the railing and a couple ice cubes still on the floor of the balcony. He suggested that window cleaning was going on but there was no one above. The cabin was 2 decks below the back of the outside of the Windjammer Restaurant. I don't believe that your window-washing crews use ice cubes in the wash water! Elevator lunch incident. We decided to go to the Windjammer for lunch. Of course, there was no available seating, even sharing a table with other guests, so we took our lunch back to our cabin. In the elevator, a couple came in a deck below and forced his way toward the back of the elevator and swung his backpack around him and knocked most of my wife's lunch off her plate. She looked at the food on the floor and said, "We can pick it up and put on your plate before you eat it!" I said, "Lady, that isn't even funny!" As the elevator door opened and we left, they yelled as us: "You ugly Americans!" The caliber of guests was certainly the worst we've encountered on any ship. Accosted in Main Showroom Theater incident. I was accosted in the main theater by a drunk passenger who couldn't wait for my wife and I to stand up to let him pass and accidentally stepped on my wife's foot. He continued to the end of the row, circled the front of the theater and ended up behind us. I calmly asked him to apologize to my wife for stepping on her foot. He leaned forward from the row behind us, grabbed the back of my head, and told me "that's bullshit, bullshit, bullshit." Others around me said he also slapped the back of my head but I was so stunned I didn't know what was happening. I went to the theater entrance and asked for security. They finally showed up and asked if I wanted to press charges. I had no idea what that meant. Security personnel didn't explain that by pressing charges I would put him in jail and he would be put off the ship at the next port - meaningless since we were returning to Ft Lauderdale. They finally escorted him out of the theater as the performance was starting. Day 7-June 4th (at sea): We stayed in our cabin except for dining and couldn't wait to get off the Oasis! Day 8-June 5th (disembark): Disembarking was relatively easy. However, there were LONGER LINES for U.S. residents in the Immigration section than other foreign residents!! Not as many windows were open for U.S. residents. How could this cruise be improved? Watch out for people who are getting too much to drink. Selling drinks is great, but when their behavior interferes with other passenger, then that's certainly a situation the staff should be available to handle. Honestly? We don't care. We will never sail on the Oasis nor the Allure and it will be a long time before we return to Royal Caribbean. The ship was wonderful nd the activities were fine but the caliber of other passengers was just disgusting!! We've already been on another cruise line and have already booked a second cruise at Christmas. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
The Nightmare.... - Due to power failure on ship, took 3 hours to get through embarkation. - Foul Smell on Ship. - Room was directly above Disco - Til 3 am every night - loud bass pounding. - Room was also right above the outside ... Read More
The Nightmare.... - Due to power failure on ship, took 3 hours to get through embarkation. - Foul Smell on Ship. - Room was directly above Disco - Til 3 am every night - loud bass pounding. - Room was also right above the outside smoking area and place for cigars. Could not enjoy outside deck due to smoke. - Not enough public space. Could not get a deck chair. Worst chair hogging I have ever seen on any ship. - We lost electricity several times during the cruise - twice when in shower with shampoon in hair. Not fun being in totally dark bathroom with no water. - Could not find bar staff when needed - when you could - they would bring you wrong drink. - I have been on some tacky ships before - this one takes the cake. The decor is over the top and too busy. - Missed Belize due to "high winds". Later was informed by crew members that that was really not the case as we were behind a Princess ship in Roaton and due to propeller issue, Princess ship could not leave and we were stuck behind them. We ended up another day at sea after still being in Roatan at 9 am next day. Instead of letting us enjoy another day in Roatan - we were stuck on ship with very poor planned events and again not free space on decks. 5 other ships were to be in Belize on that day - amazing the other 3 ships made it (princess and carvinal the two ships that did not make it). - While I know Carnival will have more kids than most ships - this cruise had over 1200 kids and it was amazing how parents would let kids from 5 to 18 have free reign with no controls. I will never sail Carnival again. I usually sail Princess and due to Carnival being so bad - this may influence me to not use Princess as well. Too bad Carnival does not know how to treat it is repeat customers very well. Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
My sister, niece and nephew and I were very excited to go on our 7 day cruise to the South Pacific. We didn't care even when the Pacific Dawn had trouble at the Brisbane dock - we were on holidays! We did care when we woke up to the ... Read More
My sister, niece and nephew and I were very excited to go on our 7 day cruise to the South Pacific. We didn't care even when the Pacific Dawn had trouble at the Brisbane dock - we were on holidays! We did care when we woke up to the announcement that due to more trouble we would now miss Noumea. It was worse when we got home and was told this had been ongoing for months. The $50 per person credit was a joke especially when the kids didn't get it as they were under 13. When I asked why we were told that it was because they didn't pay as much. That's not true as our cabin cost the same for four people regardless of age. Overall we had a good time - after all your holiday is what you make it. We had a fabulous time on Lifou - I highly recommend the forest grotto tour and in Vila - we did snorkelling from the semi-submersible in the morning; Eskasup village tour in the afternoon and still managed to do some duty free shopping and visit the markets. The food on the Dawn was very average. The dinner menu was very limited and the buffet meals were very poor. My sister and I got food poisoning - very bad combined with the movement of the ship. The drinks were overpriced when you could get them. We only managed to get wine service in the dining room one night out of the seven - the staff would ignore you or were too busy. The only free coffee was via a Nescafe machine on the pool deck and it was terrible The staff service was OK overall but I wouldn't suggest you ask for help with the internet - you won't get any. They also tended to direct you to other departments e.g the pursers desk said we could get extra copies of the daily letter from the cabin steward and vise versa BUT the worst part of the cruise was that for the last two days the water was undrinkable. At breakfast in the dining room just before disembarkation we were served water that looked like someone had put off milk in it. We noticed all the tables still had full glasses. Three stars for P&O ships is highly over-rated and overpriced. My experience is not unique as I discovered by talking to other cruises. My husband and I are planning a cruise and my only criteria is that it is not P&O. You get much better service on the 4 star cruises for around the same money. Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
As you read this review, please keep in mind that the Star was in dry dock for four weeks immediately before my cruise set sail. I thought this would be a good thing, as I heard that the ship was going through deep cleaning and sprucing ... Read More
As you read this review, please keep in mind that the Star was in dry dock for four weeks immediately before my cruise set sail. I thought this would be a good thing, as I heard that the ship was going through deep cleaning and sprucing up. Surely everything would be in working order and spic and span...right? Here is just a sampling of things that went wrong in the first 24 hours after we boarded: 1. Arriving in our room we were unable to open the safe and the television would not turn on. I called reception and was told someone would come. Four hours later I called again to follow-up as I did not want to continue carrying all of our valuables around the ship. Finally maintenance arrived. The last occupant had left the safe closed and locked with the TV remote inside of it. The maintenance man explained that the TV power button did not work, and that we must use the remote. The remote batteries were dead and he left and returned with replacements. 2. I ordered the birthday package for my daughter and paid $30. My cruise consultant explained that as part of that there would be a card in the room that she could turn in for a birthday cake on the day of her choice. However when we arrived the cake was sitting in our room, uncovered. Who wants to eat birthday cake four days before your birthday? Who wants to eat cake that has been left sitting in the open for who knows how long? Worthless. 3. Our cruise consultant was unable to answer my questions regarding things to do in ports of call if we did not sign up for excursions. She told me the shore excursion desk on board would be able to answer my questions. When I inquired there once on board, I was told they could not give me any information other than the excursions that were for sale, because of "liability". 4. Saturday evening my daughter's friend started the water to draw a bath. After a minute black gunk began pouring out of the tub faucet! I called to report this and was told to continue running the water and that it should clear. It did, but it was concerning from then on to stand under the showerhead. 5. That evening I went to the photo desk, embarkation photo in hand, to purchase it. There were two men behind the counter ignoring me. Eventually a blonde woman came behind the counter and spoke with the men. One of them left, and only then did she turn her attention to me. I was the only customer there so there was no excuse for this lack of service. I was handed my photo back already inserted into the hardcover frame with a picture of the ship in it. I had read that I could choose a picture of the ship, or a picture of our itinerary. I had to ask about this before I was offered my choice. 6. We were in a mini-suite. I pulled the divider curtain closed and something hit my leg. It was a folded Andes mint wrapper, which had been left by a previous occupant. Clearly this room had not been thoroughly cleaned for us, even though the ship had been in dry dock for four weeks. 7. We were unable to find the cinema using the signs that pointed the way, so I asked for directions. I was told that it was out of commission and was being removed to create more passenger rooms. I was told to ask at reception as movies may be shown in the theater. The answer at reception was they didn't know, and that I should watch for them in the "Cruise Daily". 8. Saturday evening around ten we decided to get a snack in the Blue Lagoon. The tables were less than half full, yet it still took almost 45 minutes to get an order of chicken fingers and an order of French fries. Then when they arrived we had to send them back to be remade as they were room temperature at best - no warmth in the fries at all. 9. The boat rolled and pitched the entire time we were on it. My daughter and her friend were unable to sleep Saturday night and became seasick even while using acupressure wristbands and motion sickness medication. 10. Sunday morning we woke up to weather that was too cold to lay out in. We wanted to use the four hot tubs near the pool, but two of them had nets across them to close them. The other two were not warm or bubbling, and were full of children including some with snorkel gear. The water slide was also not working. A maintenance man explained that there was an issue with a pump and they hoped to have it working sometime during the cruise. 11. We decided to spend $60 for the three of us to use the indoor pool/hot tub area for the day since we were at sea and there was nothing else to do. After using the hot tub we went to the relaxation room. My daughter got a glass of water from the stainless urn to drink. She brought it to me asking me to smell it. There was a definite earthy smell, similar to green moss or mold. I took it to the spa desk and the woman behind the desk said it "smells like sand". I told her where it came from and she said she would have it taken care of. When we left approximately 30 minutes later I told her it had not been removed and she stated that she had told the main dining room as that was where it came from. Her attitude appeared to be that once she told them it was no longer her problem. Later in the evening we returned to the indoor hot tub area and one of us wanted to make a cup of tea. There were no clean cups near the tea bags so we found an employee and asked for some. None arrived, so we asked the next employee we saw. I estimate it took at least 45 minutes from when we first asked before clean cups were restocked. 12. Around noon the girls were feeling motion sick (my daughter had actually thrown up) and they went to the room to rest. They woke later and wanted to order room service, as they felt the motion less in our room than in the dining room. My daughter is vegetarian and wanted cheese pizza. Room service told her they could not make that. Her only choices were to have a pizza margherita or one with vegetables or meat. There was cheese pizza being served in the main dining room at that time, but room service could not deliver one to the room? 13. Around 1:15 PM Sunday I asked again at reception about movies. Ana Marie Malinao at reception told me about movie channels (14 and 15) on the TV in our room. She printed off a listing of them for me. I returned to my seasick teens excited that I had found something for them to do! We turned to channel 14 and found a still shot from "Planet 51" the movie that was supposed to have shown at 7 AM. We turned to channel 15 and found only a blue screen. I called reception and a different woman told me the ship was already aware of this issue as others were having the same problem. We checked several other times throughout the day and the channels never showed movies. 14. My Verizon cell phone would not dial out. I had international roaming (for this cruise ship) set up on it, and had the Verizon instructions for how to dial. In addition, all three of our Verizon cell phones were having trouble sending and receiving text messages. Each one we received would come in multiple (3-6) times. Texts that we went were truncated so that the recipient only received about the last 2-3 words. I had my daughter's friend with us and I was responsible for her. It made me uneasy that the contact method her parents had to reach us did not work. 15. Sunday lunch and again at dinner it was virtually impossible to find a clean table, with clean silverware, available in the main dining room. We had to search for a clean table, then search for a staff member who had some wrapped table service settings that they could provide us. 16. Sunday evening we ordered room service at 11:45 PM. When it hadn't arrived at 12:25, I called to check on it. A man named "Marlon" became very irritated and said "I told you when you called it would be 45 minutes or more". He said he was by himself and it was busy. When the order finally arrived, none of the side dishes listed on the menu were provided with the sandwich ordered. The menu stated that the sandwich came with "mustard dressing" but it arrived with mayonnaise on it. We had asked for extra potato chips and those did not arrive either. We asked the delivery person to bring the sides and extra chips, and that took an additional half hour or more. To summarize, during the first 24 hours on board: 1. I became concerned about the cleanliness/health of the ship due to: a. foreign matter running from our bath faucet b. candy wrappers still in our room from a previous occupant c. Staff's uncaring attitude toward serving drinking water that they admitted smelled bad d. Kitchen and wait staffs inability to serve food at a proper temperature and keep tables wiped clean e. Birthday cake being left in our room unprotected f. Kitchen staffs inability to follow simple recipes for making sandwich platters. 2. I became uneasy with the customer service due to: a. Having to ask multiple times for help with our safe and TV b. Being told cheese pizza could not be ordered through room service even though it was available in the dining room. In addition, I had been assured by our cruise consultant that vegetarians were well taken care of on board. c. Shore excursion desk using "liability" as a reason why they could not answer questions about ports other than to sell us an excursion. d. Photo desk staff not bothering to greet me or discontinue their conversation to sell me a photo. Then they did not bother to explain my choice of framing option, instead assuming I would be happy with what I got and wouldn't know the difference. e. Reception giving me a list of in room movies to appease me when the reception desk was already aware that these movies were not working. f. Room service staff rudely speaking to me and telling me about their understaffing issue as an excuse for the poor service. g. After paying $60 for three of us to use the indoor pool area for a day, we had to ask multiple times before clean cups were restocked. 3. I became concerned for our safety on the ship due to: a. So many maintenance issues with hot tubs, water slide, in room movies, bath water, TV remote, safe. b. Men had been in the hall outside our cabin quite a bit with the ceiling tiles off, working on something up above. c. No way to use my Verizon cell phone, which had international roaming set up on it. d. The cleanliness issues listed in item 1. 4. The cruise ship failed to provide us with the cruise experience NCL had advertised: a. Hot tubs did not work. b. Water slide did not work. c. Cinema was out of commission. d. In room movies did not work. The temperature of the outdoor air was outside NCL's control. The motion of the boat due to undercurrent (the sea appeared calm) was also apparently out of NCL's control. But the cleanliness/health of the ship, the customer service, the safety of the ship's passengers, and providing the advertised amenities were all within NCL's control. The Norwegian Star had been in dry dock for four weeks immediately before my cruise set sail. I thought this would be a good thing, as I heard that the ship was going through deep cleaning and sprucing up. Instead the crew used the dry dock as an excuse for why everything was going wrong. When I pay over $2000 for something, I expect to get what I pay for, not excuses why it cannot be delivered.By late Sunday afternoon I was concerned enough that I decided I needed to get my teenage daughter, her friend and myself off the ship. I used the internet cafe to book a hotel in Cabo San Lucas for Monday - Thursday nights, a flight back to Los Angeles from Cabo on Friday, and a hotel in Los Angeles for Friday night so that we could catch our flight back home on Saturday. Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
This cruise had some high points, but NCL is really not for us, and we won't sail with them again. We were not alone in this sentiment. We met other firt-time NCL passengers during our last excursion whose experience on NCL was ... Read More
This cruise had some high points, but NCL is really not for us, and we won't sail with them again. We were not alone in this sentiment. We met other firt-time NCL passengers during our last excursion whose experience on NCL was similar to ours, and who said they would never sail with NCL again. Boarding The NCL port staff in Los Angeles did an excellent job. Our luggage was taken for us directly from our limo to be checked. There was a long line of people waiting to check luggage, so I don't know how we ended up with this premium service, but I am thankful. We had a fairly big group, and the difference between booking airport transportation through NCL and getting a limo was very small. I'd highly recommend that to anyone with a larger group. We had heard horror stories about the wait and disorganization in boarding, but we had no problems. We were fairly early in arriving at the port, and the port staff was doing an excellent job at getting people checked in, and organizing the boarding to eliminate long lines. This was on par with our experience with Royal Caribbean at Port Canaveral, and much better than our experience with Carnival in Miami. Once on board, we had the usual crowds at the buffet trying to get lunch (since the cabins weren't open yet, everyone is in the public rooms). This was not different than our previous experiences with other cruise lines. Dining This was the worst cruise dining experience we've ever had. We have enjoyed our cruise dinners in the past, and like the extra-special treatment of having the same wait staff every day. We had read online that you can get this more "traditional" style of dining by talking to the maitre d' after boarding. This is not true. We spoke with the maitre d', the reception desk, and the operations manager and the cruise director. You cannot get this kind of service. Your options are to go to the dining room very early or very late to get in with a wait of about 10-15 minutes, wait in excess of 45 minutes for a table at a more normal dining time, or pay extra every day for a reservation in a specialty restaurant. If you choose the main dining room, expect poor quality food and exceptionally slow service. We waited up to an hour to receive food after ordering in the main dining room. The cruise director had commented that you rarely feel like there are that many people on the ship, unlike other cruise lines with only 2 dinner seatings. On the contrary, our experience with traditional seating was that there was a very short wait (3 minutes or so) on the first day to be shown to our table. After that, we just walked in to our table, and never felt that there was a crowd. In contrast, on NCL, we felt the crowd every meal. The staff pushed the option of making reservations in the specialty restaurants if we didn't want to wait. However, there were 5 of us. This would mean spending an extra $50 to $125 per evening to avoid a wait that I shouldn't have anyway. The food was very disappointing. I have a few tips on the menu if you're cruising NCL. Any dessert that lists a sauce (for example lemon cream pie with raspberry sauce) will have only 5 or 6 dots of that sauce decoratively around the plate (not enough to even taste it). The sea scallops are the size of bay scallops. An entree of sea scallops consisted of 3 bay-sized scallops (even the waitress felt bad about that one). The bay scallops are half the size of normal bay scallops (or less). Finally, don't expect the labeling of the dishes to be correct. I ordered Fatoush one night (which I adore). What I was served was not bad, but it wasn't Fatoush. I was also very concerned about the food safety. Our son got waffles one morning. He couldn't swallow even one bite. He said they tasted "moldy". My husband tried a bite, and immediately spit it back out. He described the taste as rancid. Our daughter, bravely, had eggs Benedict almost every morning, and never had an egg cooked the same twice. They ranged from cooked completely solid to having both the yolk and egg white runny. I spoke with another passenger who had food poisoning all day on our first port day (she hadn't had any food in Mexico because she hadn't been off the ship yet). Room service was extremely slow, when you could get them to answer the phone, and the food was as underwhelming as the food in the dining rooms and buffets. The "Chocoholics Buffet" was a lot of waiting in line for nothing. I don't know how anyone can mess up chocolate that badly. There was a chocolate Yoda sculpture displayed in the atrium for a few days promoting the "Chocoholics Buffet". I've enjoyed the elaborate ice and fruit sculptures on other cruise lines for their midnight buffets. But honestly, on this ship, I'd rather the chefs spend time actually making good food than making chocolate Yodas. We spoke with other passengers that suggested that NCL makes the food in the main dining rooms so bad in order to get more people to pay extra for the specialty restaurants. Since we didn't eat at any of the specialty restaurants, I can't say if this is a possibility. The food there could be just as bad. Some of the wait staff was competent and pleasant. I give credit to those people. There is really no monetary incentive for the staff with the Freestyle concept. With more traditional seating, we tip well at the end of the cruise for good service. But with Freestyle, the automatic tips are distributed equally to everyone. You could tip extra to a single staff member for exceptional service, but you can't have the same waiter twice (even if you ask; we tried). I have enjoyed exceptional service on previous cruises on other lines, and I like personally thanking these people while distributing tips. Other I would rate the on-board entertainment as standard. We enjoyed the performances in the Stardust Theater. The bar service was also about average. We really appreciated the availability of popcorn in the Red Lion Pub. There were several times we ended up eating popcorn because we were hungry and the wait for a table in the dining room was so long. Unfortunately, there was only one staff member serving the popcorn. There was a sea day where she was completely overwhelmed with a huge line for popcorn. She looked completely frazzled. Conclusion We had a wonderful time in the ports (below), but that was thanks to the excursion operators and not NCL. Those excursion operators work with all the big cruise lines, and we would have chosen those excursions regardless (interestingly, I saw cheaper prices for the excursions through Carnival). There were so many times when we had an experience on board the Norwegian Star that we said that we should have just paid the extra money to sail on Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas (which we really enjoyed, despite its size, on a Caribbean cruise a few years ago). We won't make that mistake again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
This, not being our first cruise, was by far the worst we have ever had. From the check in procedure....why recommend the fun pass when it does nothing to speed up the process? We were still in line for over an hour to get on the ship. ... Read More
This, not being our first cruise, was by far the worst we have ever had. From the check in procedure....why recommend the fun pass when it does nothing to speed up the process? We were still in line for over an hour to get on the ship. Activities were not held as scheduled, buffets were no where to be found. Hot food was cold and we both got horrible stomach viruses. In addition, our bathroom was not cleaned once until we lodged 3 complaints with the housekeeping staff. The supervisor who came to our stateroom, 30 minutes past the promised time, told us "I don't know what you want me to say". Twice he told us he "was busy" and would see if he could have our bathroom cleaned. We had to find the housekeeping manager to get anything done. With the exception of 2 crew members, this was the most unfriendly cruise crew I have ever encountered. The average time to get a drink at an empty bar was over 10 minutes...the crew is great at ignoring waiting customers. Avoid Carnival at all costs! I saw other people say you get what you pay for and that is definitely the case. Carnival is well below the service level of other cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date February 2010
This was our third cruise(other cruise lines used before). 8 hrs after getting on the ship my husband got food poisoning. The third night when he was feeling better we went to the London Dining room for dinner, dinner was great got treated ... Read More
This was our third cruise(other cruise lines used before). 8 hrs after getting on the ship my husband got food poisoning. The third night when he was feeling better we went to the London Dining room for dinner, dinner was great got treated like royalty. Then the next day the same food was being served on the lunch buffet. Very disturbing that they would reuse fish like that. We were traveling with 3 children from 11 to 14, its frustrating that the amenities they had were broke down the whole trip or constantly being shut down. The water slide worked 2 hrs. out of 6 days. The golf simulator was not working the whole trip. They kept shutting down the pools and whirlpools for either cleaning or maintenance while at port the only nice days we had. There was two time during busy hours one side of the elevators were shut down for repair, and either wait forever for one or take the stairs. Every day we went to breakfast to hear construction and a sander blaring in your ear(they were fixing things) why not do it at night when no one is around. I had an inside stateroom. Not bad in size but the beds were very hard and the pillows were puffy. Didn't get more then 3-4 hrs sleep. I would not recommend this ship or cruise line to anyone. I have tried to contact Carnival guest services only to get automated responses. They obviously do not care about customer service and this is probably why they have a policy of absolutely no refunds. They know their cruise line is not good and don't want to hve to deal with customer complaints. The one thing I did read in another review was about refusing the gratuity charge and I did so on the fourth day. When we went for dinner that evening it was like they knew what we did. We did not get the same treatment as the first time. And this was suppose to be a family ship, then why was there constant vomit on the decks left uncleaned. I saw this at least 3 times. I will say this my 11 yr. old really liked the carnival camp. Nothing spectaculal but it kept her busy seeing how she could not enjoy the pool, golf or the other things not working. I would not recommend this ship to anyone. The staff was great its not their fault the ship is not run properly. Read Less
Sail Date February 2010
Ever since living in the Northeast for the past 10 years, we have decided to take our big family vacation during Winter Break in February. We have been purchasing 2 cabins in order to accommodate myself, my husband, and our two boys. In my ... Read More
Ever since living in the Northeast for the past 10 years, we have decided to take our big family vacation during Winter Break in February. We have been purchasing 2 cabins in order to accommodate myself, my husband, and our two boys. In my lifetime, I have NEVER experienced such a disheartening trip as this one on Voyager of the Seas, February 14, 2010! I agree with many of the other reviews, NEVER again! I especially chuckled at the remarks made by 1stCruiser80, I totally agree, we were there!!! However, we were not there until Tuesday, meeting the ship in Cozumel, thus making our trip a 5-night cruise. After countless agonizing hours of trying to find a flight, because of snow in Atlanta, we were able to arrange a flight into Cozumel, with the help of Delta Airlines, doing their very best to get us to Houston on Monday, and then onto Cozumel early Tuesday morning. The shocker came when we finally arrived at the Pier, and we were stopped, not once, but three times, by Security and by RCI representatives, as all of our names were not on the registry. Anyone can imagine our embarrassment as we are lugging our baggage ourselves down the Pier, only to be shoved aside rudely at each checkpoint, and asked to please get our luggage out of the way, by both Mexican Security and Royal Caribbean! I was dumbfounded, as I had verified prior, with three different members of Royal Caribbean Personnel at their Executive Offices, that the ship would most definitely be expecting us, our family of 2 cabins! This went on for quite sometime, eliminating any hopes of seeing Cozumel, so as it turned out, my family had ONE port of call, that being the southern tip of Grand Cayman. We were not able to enjoy Cozumel, and we never saw Jamaica. We have decided that the young 33-year old captain, who was bragged about for his young age, did not have the proper experience for such a large vessel. Weather is weather, but come on, NO other Port anywhere out there to stop at, for THREE FULL DAYS at SEA! And, not to mention the lolly-gagging going on, now that we have 3 days at sea and cannot get into Galveston because of the fog! That ship should have been well within Galveston Harbor long before the fog set in. As mentioned, I have been on numerous cruises in a very wide range of diversity, from Carnival to Premier's Big Red Boat, Norwegians SS Norway, to the QE2, from the Caribbean, through the Panama Canal, Europe to the tip of Norway and the Midnight Sun, the Bahamas and Barbados, and most recently, all on Royal Caribbean, believing that our little Platinum Status actually stood for something! Don't be fooled! We were met with attitude and arrogance from Day 1 at home, trying to get there, and it continued on until the last moment. I was in such a state of shock that this is "my" Royal Caribbean, the ones who send me countless mailings of how important My LOYALTY is, one cruise away from Diamond status, and I believed it! The topper was at the end of the cruise, the staff decided to tape and seal shut the "Comment Boxes" for the comment cards. Never have I witnessed such a thing! We, being seasoned cruisers, knew what to say, and we had already deposited our comment cards the day prior. We watched as fellow passengers tried to poke holes in the sealed Comment Boxes to deposit their comment cards, to no avail. This did not seem right........ But, what about US, the passengers, what do we get in return.....oh, that's NOTHING! We picked the itinerary for this trip, not the ship, and had previously cruised on Voyager in 2005, but now she is old, rusty, and tired. Live and learn. This was by far the most disappointing, most horrible trip of a lifetime, leaving us with no memories. Certainly Royal Caribbean is not new to the cruising industry, but one would think so. My advice, Know Before You GO!!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2010
The cruise was to celebrate my 65th birthday with my husband, daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter. We thought a cruise would suit us all, sadly it suited none of us!! When booking we were advised 1st dining was at 6.30 p.m. - great ... Read More
The cruise was to celebrate my 65th birthday with my husband, daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter. We thought a cruise would suit us all, sadly it suited none of us!! When booking we were advised 1st dining was at 6.30 p.m. - great for our granddaughter. When the paperwork arrived it stated 7 p.m. dining - still no problem. Our cabin stewart, who was very good, advised as he introduced himself that 1st dining was actually 5.30 p.m. Who wants to eat at that time on holiday - not even time to get back from trips, shower and arrived refreshed!! The Italian metre' d'hotel did not want to know about changing our sitting time. Not one evening did we all receive the same course of meal at the same time, in fact one evening I even got my main course before my starter - chaos or what. Admittedly the cruise ship could do nothing about the weather, but when they have to anchor at an alternative port I do really think a courtesy coach should be laid on to the expected port of call - it cost us US$90 in additional transportation costs. We were all appalled that at the children's club (our granddaughter is 9 years of age) the children were allowed to wander in and out willy-nilly - no booking in our out. We did not feel that this was a safe environment to leave a child. Seated breakfast was not relaxing - this waiter only did juice, that waiter only did coffee (not tea) and you were lucky if you got what you had actually ordered. I have written directly to MSC regarding our comments, in fact lots of people on the cruise said they were going home to do the same. To-date I have at least got an acknowledgement saying they would look into the matter for us, but that is all and that is really all I can expect of them - they do not care too much about their passengers. Italian throw your arms in the air - its all too much trouble for you. No port information was available before embarking - we were told we could pick up literature on ports of call once we went ashore. There were maps to look at at reception but none for passengers use!! The only information we were given was on trips - which are not always necessary as its usually cheaper, especially when in a group, to organise a taxi oneself. To crown it all I picked up a tummy bug on the Thrusday before we were due to disembark on the Saturday - did not eat anything from Thrs - Sat. Had only eaten on the ship up until that point - where did I get the tummy bug!! I could not recommend using MSC Cruising to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date February 2010
If you are looking for a ship that has no ATM on board, no interactive capabilities on your cabin TV screen, very few activity and entertainment choices and not exceptionally clean cabins, then this is the cruise for you. If you enjoy ... Read More
If you are looking for a ship that has no ATM on board, no interactive capabilities on your cabin TV screen, very few activity and entertainment choices and not exceptionally clean cabins, then this is the cruise for you. If you enjoy total chaos while dining, waitstaff running around frantically, waiting a long time for food and receiving it warm when it should be hot or cold, and hearing your waiter give a different excuse each night as to why things didn't go well... this is your cruise. If you like your room service in 1 hour or not at all, never having your mini bar restocked, ordering bar services and not receiving it, being refused, yes refused, admittance to the dining room because the men in your party were not wearing a coat and tie on formal night, and if you enjoy relaxing to the point of sheer boredom, then, by all means, book on the Oosterdam. If, however, you are looking for a fun cruise with lots to do, enjoy a staff that is friendly and outgoing, then please book a different cruise ... on any other cruise line. This was my 20th cruise and by far the worst experience I've ever had. On the upside...they have a great screening room with good popcorn. So buh-bye Holland America. Never again. Happy travels, distrat Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
We traveled to San Diego for the 9 night Mexican Rivera cruise. I should have realized with the check in and pre-cruise customer service that this was going to be a very interesting cruise. Having traveled on Disney multiple times and also ... Read More
We traveled to San Diego for the 9 night Mexican Rivera cruise. I should have realized with the check in and pre-cruise customer service that this was going to be a very interesting cruise. Having traveled on Disney multiple times and also Princess I was expecting great service from Royal Caribbean. The embarkation was delayed and everyone was waiting in the port to board and it was cattle call boarding. Something I haven't experienced for a while. Once on board we saw the cruise ship and it was in good condition clean and overall pretty nice. I guess the main place to start is what we liked about the cruise. Our favorite port was Manzanillo and Ixpacta. Maztatlan was great as well. The ports were nice. The magic show was great and so was the tango beunes aires. What was comicle to us was the final show and most of the entertainment. The shows were very interesting and not a full production or show i would suggest seeing. The nightlife on this ship was very interesting and my wife called it a boose cruise. If you don't drink as we don't it would seem that most of the entertainment is engaged with boose. What was the absolute worst. On the first night of the cruise we asked to see if we could change rooms or pay for an upgrade to another room as where we were located had abnormal amounts of movement. I thought it interesting before i could finish A No was basicly yelled to me. My wife is somewhat sensative to motion and on Disney we had no problem at all and where in a similar space, midship. This was a interesting way to start of the cruise. The food on this cruise was actually disgusting. I had better food in a college dorm. The windjammer had the same food every day. They did not have food rotation at all. When dining the basic serve cold food cold and serve hot foot hot rule wasn't followed at all. Things were always luke warm. The service was just ok and I would say that the cascades dining room didn't have quality food. the chicken was mostly pressed chicken and reminded me of McDonalds food. If you like fast food you will like the food but if fine dining and quality food is what your expecting travel on another cruise line. I did cancel our cruise in December 2010 on the Oasis ship simply to the food quality and customer service. The price for the cruise was the common value but I didn't quite realize what that meant for the cruise. I would be leary to book on RCC again as Disney and Princess obtain most of our future bookings. Sorry but i would give the cruise negative but thats not possible. The only redeeming quality to the cruise was a couple of shows, the magic show, the first commedian and the tango beunes aires show and the ports. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
Food was always the same, except the restaurants food, boring shows, air condition in the public rooms the cold, specially in the restaurant we need a warm jacket to eat there. The worst thing are the time on the islands, always to short, ... Read More
Food was always the same, except the restaurants food, boring shows, air condition in the public rooms the cold, specially in the restaurant we need a warm jacket to eat there. The worst thing are the time on the islands, always to short, costa arrives later and departs earlier than the royal caribbean, may be they save port taxes. Caymans: not enough tender boats, so you waste time by waiting. Never had so many times wasting by standing in a line and have to wait, for everything especially the checkout on the last day. You have to pay for the service twice, by buying drinks and again by costa checking about 300 dollar to our cabin for tipping. Ship was full on Christmas and new year, so you always have to wait a long time for food in the Buffet Restaurant. Deckchairs are all occupied, pool area was very loud, because of the terrible animation all day long, the covered quiet pool was forbidden for children, the security always send them out, so we had to stay in the loudness. Cabin was alright, we had a big balcony with 2 chairs and a table, we could sleep with open balcony every night air condition off, there was a bad smell from the bathroom, so we were happy to have fresh air from outside. The Cabin has a double bed, a single bed, and a pull out bed from the roof, that was scary for the kids, so my husband has to use it, fortunately it withhold his weight, even it doesn't look so in the first sight. Too many days on sea, only 7 stops on islands in 14 days. Don't book costa excursions, time on the island then is very short, st Thomas for 40 usd they drive you in a bus half an hour in the dusty mountains,then to the beach, after 1hour 20 minutes you have to go back to the ship. That's wasting time, better take a taxi at the port and go by your own, so you could stay as long as the ship is in the harbour. Children's club we couldn't use because our kids don't speak italian or English, there was no German animation for them. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
Overall Experience My husband and I took a Carnival cruise on the Destiny from 1/16/2010 through 1/21/2010. We boarded the ship anticipating a four o'clock departure. We didn't leave the pier until eight pm and when we left ... Read More
Overall Experience My husband and I took a Carnival cruise on the Destiny from 1/16/2010 through 1/21/2010. We boarded the ship anticipating a four o'clock departure. We didn't leave the pier until eight pm and when we left they had to start and stop the engines 4 times before we were released from the pier. Instead of moving forward we sat in the water for several minutes before setting sail. We were informed before we left that our late departure was due to waiting to load potable water on the ship. After we left they said we left late because of a medical emergency. On 1/17/2010 we were informed that there was a problem with the ship's propulsion system and that we were going to skip our stop at Ocho Rios but we would make it to Grand Cayman. At this point we had only been traveling at just over 11 knots. My father who is well-educated in navigation said that we would never get as far as Grand Cayman because there were too many nautical miles to cover. They issued a letter that tests would be completed by 2:00am and we would be informed on whether or not we would make it to Grand Cayman. My husband was on our balcony at 10:00 pm and witnessed the ship turning back north at that time. On 1/18/2010 we were informed that we would be unable to reach Grand Cayman and that we would be going to Nassau. The captain, Pier Paolo Scala came over the intercom to tell us how lucky we were to be going to Nassau and that we could have just gone back to Miami if he so chose. So much for damage control! We felt a bit like a 3rd grade class being scolded. During the cruise, information from other passengers who had researched the problem on the internet and had heard by word of mouth revealed that the ship's starboard prop had been severely damaged in September and that they had been unable to satisfy many itineraries since then. Many people on previous voyages had been informed on arrival to the pier of the problem and changes and had been given discounts on future cruises. We had never been told anything of the sort and unbelievably, the cruise director had the nerve to give shore excursion talks on ports that at that point we would never be able to achieve! Apparently the damage to the prop is so major that the ship will have to be dry docked in order to fix the damage. Carnival continues to take passengers out on their damaged equipment and in the case our our trip, without any knowledge to the passengers.The ship also has many areas that reek of raw sewage. On the second floor there was also an incident of some rooms that were flooded and crew members were going in and out with masks and the hallways were covered in plastic. I have contacted Carnival by phone with my complaints and they refuse to grant any refund. Please contact the Florida State Attorney General and the SE Florida BBB. This cannot continue. Port of Miami This is a very efficient port! We moved through security and the embarkation process very easily with absolutely no waiting (or coralling!) like other ports. Stateroom We purchased an extended aft balcony stateroom. We really enjoyed our balcony but the extended part is inaccessible due to an inward leaning rail. The room was comfortable, the decor (peach) outdated. Ship The upper outdoor areas have been taken up by the extra balcony rooms that were added. We missed eating outdoors. The ship has plenty of seating for dining, but the buffet areas are no larger than carnival's smaller ships which resulted in very long lines. Dining I thought the food was great and the dinner waitstaff is excellent. Their table-dancing cracked us up!! Entertainment Okay. It's supposed to be a family show but the costumes are way too revealing and a lot of the dancing is raunchy. I would have been embarrassed to watch it if our kids were along; especially with our teenaged sons. The family comedy act was still too crass for my tastes. Overall The onboard experience was good. I am furious that we were taken out on a ship that is so damaged that it only reaches half the speed it needs to reach scheduled ports of call. If this was a NEW problem or due to weather or other acts of God I would completely understand. But, this ship has been not working properly for months. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
We left Montreal Jan 2 to head out to Santiago Chile before our cruise on STAR PRINCESS from Jan 5 to 17 .As per our agreement MICHAEL THE GERMAN PIRATE from MY Valparaiso met us .Getting out of the airport took 2 hours of lines to pay ... Read More
We left Montreal Jan 2 to head out to Santiago Chile before our cruise on STAR PRINCESS from Jan 5 to 17 .As per our agreement MICHAEL THE GERMAN PIRATE from MY Valparaiso met us .Getting out of the airport took 2 hours of lines to pay entrance fee,customs and agriculture and to retrieve bags .Michael waited patiently . DO BEWARE NO FOOD ENTERS CHILE . THey are VERY strict and will fine you even if you were not aware of the rules .ALL BAGS ARE XRAYED UPON ENTRY Michael was the best .We went to wine country and country side .It was very nice .Bought great wine ,enjoyed empanadas in country and visit to unique Artist's home by the sea. WOW what a magnificent view and such an interesting old man Really enjoyed this visit .Michael promised special visits and did deliver I highly recommend him The next day he picked us up at the BEST WESTERN VINA DEL MAR for our walking tour of VALPARAISO .This hotel was very nice ,nice staff ,nice breakfast ...just a tad noisy .Be advised VINA is MUCH cooler then Santiago dress accordingly Had dinner at LA FLOR DE CHILE ....charming Our walking tour was VERY interesting .Michael provides before and after pictures to display changes over time .He is organized and well informed .I would never venture into Valpo without a guide and glad we were in a big group of 12 .SAFETY IN NUMBERS WE walked for hours but did see the whole city Very interesting I would NEVER have done it alone It is dangerous so do be careful. Michael advised us our ship was arriving late ....6 hours late and that became the PERPETUAL theme of our cruise ...DELAY OOPS SORRY >>DELAY ...OOPS SORRY >>DELAY ....OOPS SORRY We went to the Terminal around 6 pm to a total chaotic mess We were told to leave our luggage by a wall ./I chose to stay with it to make sure it was safe.Only after meeting with Princess staff did I feel confident in leaving it Some people never got theirs The terminal was a madhouse!!!!We avoided long lines because I was Platinium ...apparently membership does have its privileges!!!! A bus took us to embarcation and we soon found our aft Caribe balcony ...totally covered ..very convenient on cold days .I did use our balcony a lot inspite of cold because we were sheltered BUT we did ROCK AND ROLL IN the back of the ship a...lot a...lot a... lot ....almost continuously for 12 days .THANK YOU GRAVOL for making my tummy safe !!!! The ship itself is nice,clean , good food good shows good service nOw for the cruise ...WHAT CRUISE???? What we had was a sea voyage WE sorta kinda missed the first port with a long delay a ridiculous tender system and 2 hours to visit LEARN>>>>GET YOUR TENDER TICKETS EARLY ...I waited ...OH bIG MISTAKE ...only had 2 hours to shop in first port went the wrong way ....bought NOTHING SEcond port Princess excursion on Magdalena island to see penguins .Well organized .Expensive but only place we got to see them ...so glad I did this Shopping here was fine People quite nice Next port RAIN RAIN RAIN POURING in USHUAIA .Did Beagle Channel INteresting Saw seals ..LOTS of RAin .TENDERING HERE WAS LUDICROUS Argentinian authorities blamed Princess ,Princess blamed authorities ,,\.....do the Math ...someone is a PINOCCHIO!!!! We were soaked to the bone ...such is life Did I mention it rained ....a lot ...a tad too much people got sick on tender ...a holy mess!!!! The whole tendering system on this ship needs MAJOR REVAMPING Truthfully a disgrace .THREE HOURS TO GET OFF SHIP when you have 6 in all What can I say HARDLY saw any of South America Falklands was cancelled due to weather ..so what else is new???? Captain came on everyday APOLOGIZING profusely for our compounded problems ..and the CHERRY ON TOP OF THIS CAKE >>>WAIT FOR IT >>>NORO VIRUS!!!! Thank god we did not get it but 10% of pop did .We saw BIOHAZARD teams everywhere ...NOT A PLEASANT thought We did have a makeup port in Puerto Madryn ...Lovely little town for shopping Thank you Captain Kent .I finally set foot in Argentina!!!! Montivideo was GRAY and ugly ....SORRY but true .Did a little shopping Another dangeous place .STAY in TOURIST areas WATCH YOUR purse Watch your camera Buenos Aires Our hotel THE GRAND KING HOTEL on Lavalee near Florida ...BIGGEST DUMP IN THE WORLD .Horrible place smelly rundown dilapidated YUCK .They would not give me a better room because I booked with EXPEDIA .DO NOT STAY HERE .Lobby looks great ....rooms are a DISGRACE Breakfast had burnt rolls and spoiled fruit People at reception NASTy LADIES .They sent me flying when I asked for a better room .THey were unhelpful throughout!!!I speak fluent Spanish and believe me they could not care less about PR or good will gesture .She said I could write anything about this hotel ...TOO BAD ..she could not care less .I ordered a Taxi for our departure ...they nEVER reserved it !!!NOT NICE My friend stayed at the TRYP WoW what a difference .He paid almost as much as I did Modern clean elegant marble bathroom ....such is my luck!!!! Florida street and Lavalee are fun places but do be vigilant Cheating tourists seems to be a SPORT in BA .CHECK everything your wallet ,your change,your bill ...ooops sorry came up a lot when I pointed out mistakes Got RIPPED off at PORT Taxi should have been 5$ he charged me 50$ CROOKS ABOUND everywhere Il Caminito is fun place to spend Sunday afternoon .Recoleta cemetary gave me the CREEPS .TRULY what is the fascination with cemetaries ????I just don;t get it fOund a nice restaurant 2 blocks away RODI"S ..GREAT food good prices Beware some restaurants DO rip you off El Palacio de Papas Fritas has the BEST FRIES ever !!!Big and fluffy Visit to Delta and Tigre river a big puzzle ...muddy waters with nice homes ..Another thing I do not understand ..people were swimming in the mud ...YUCK !!! WE took public transportation It was fine Coins are hard to get you need them for busses and subte I bought Gum to get some change ...nO ONE WILL GIVE YOU ANYHold on to yours Overall I did South America ...oh so little of it ..but I got REAL tired of looking over my shoulder expecting to be mugged or robbed ...WHO NEEDS IT Been there done that ...NEXT PLEASE To top it all off Side pockets of my suitcases got robbed at the EZE airport HoW desperate to steal undies ...albeit designer stuff ,bras and my son's briefs and socks ...YUCKY!!!!POOF ALL GONE !!!My umbrella 2 rain coats Next time I will lock ALL!!!! Was this cruise a disappointment ...YOU BETCHA!!!Apparently weather is TOO often problematic in the region ...I did not know this beforehand ...but now you do ...my advice think twice .This cruise ...pardon me..... sea voyage was VERY expensive when you add up cruise cost ,entrance fee ,air hotels etc etc Not EXACTLY worth it .TOO BAD ship was nice but it would have been nice to SEE actually SEE some of Patagonia ...No..... no next time ...I'm done ...Thanks for reading All in all I feel sorry for our Captain...he really had his hands full ...and how much can you apologize for all that went wrong I'm sure he is happy to be home now Michele Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
We opted to take a cruise as a means to gather several family members together (mini-reunion) - and for that purpose, the cruise worked out well. Beyond that, I could never imagine spending my vacation on a ship again. General Overview: ... Read More
We opted to take a cruise as a means to gather several family members together (mini-reunion) - and for that purpose, the cruise worked out well. Beyond that, I could never imagine spending my vacation on a ship again. General Overview: I suppose since we are new to cruising, we were a bit unprepared for many of the factors that are probably just inherent to cruising. For instance: - I felt like I was constantly being nickel and dimed to death. Art auctions, endless photo ops (both on the boat and off the boat), drink cards, drink "specials" in plastic cups, steakhouse, jewelry sales, spa specials, excursions specials, etc. Everywhere you looked, Carnival was trying to suck more money out of your wallet. It was beyond belief annoying. - We felt like cattle being herded from one pasture to the next. Wait in line to get on the ship. Wait on the Lido for your room. Wait in line for dinner. Wait to get off the boat. Wait to get back on. Wait in the buffet line. Everywhere we went - we went with a thousand other members of the herd. - Now I realize that Carnival (and no doubt other cruise lines) probably hire Indonesians and other SE Asian employees, because labor is probably extremely cheap - but have we no respect for some degree of labor laws? We were told during the disembarkation presentation that the room stewards work 7 days a week - sometimes 10 hours a day! This was told to us so we didn't feel bad about providing a gratuity to them - and it certainly worked. I had visions of indentured servitude and promptly decided my gratuity was the least I could do. Speaking of labor, I couldn't help but think that Carnival is catering to Americans and yet unemployment in America is through the roof. Too bad Carnival can't lend a hand in America. - The biggest shock of the cruise was the gluttony. I have never seen so much food - or so many obese people waiting to feast upon it. I couldn't tell if some of the people were rolling or walking in the buffet line. Perhaps Carnival could cut the food free-for-all down just a bit, save some money, and instead relax on the nickel and diming over everything else. If for no other reason than the gluttony, I will never cruise again. We are outdoorsy, athletic people - and prefer our food in moderation. Cleanliness: Our room was always in perfectly clean condition - and our room steward did a wonderful job of keeping everything neat and tidy. The common areas were a different story. Every time we went to find a table to play cards or a game, the table was always covered in some unidentifiable food / drink / gunk. Each time, we had to go hunting for someone with a wet rag to clean it up. The seat cushions in the various eating areas were covered in layers of stains / food - which pretty much made them disgusting. Balcony vs No Balcony: Some of our family members had balconies; some did not. The majority of time, we were in the middle of the ocean with nothing really worth looking off the balcony at - thus I never really saw any great advantage to having the balcony. The vast majority of time is spent outside of one's room anyway. The non-balcony rooms were about half the price of those with a balcony - and given that difference I would recommend one take an interior cabin and save the money for other nickel and diming. Excursions: These were definitely the hi-lights of our trip. In Cozumel, we opted to snuba (via Carnival) - which was our first time doing this type of activity. It was absolutely awesome! The water was decently warm, the scenery was amazing, and we felt as though the price paid was worth the event. I personally can't wait to try scuba now. In Belize, we used Major Tom (cave-tubing.net) to do cave tubing and zip-lining. Much as others have said - Major Tom's organization was delightful. We felt as though we were in great hands the whole time and would highly recommend them in the future. We paid MUCH less via Major Tom than we would have paid through Carnival - and since all the tour groups take you to the same place for tubing - I see no reason why to pay the cruise line premium. In Honduras, we did a rather laid-back island tour and the semi-sub excursion. This worked out well - as we had an elderly member of the family traveling with us. The excursion was through Carnival and overpriced - however, we still enjoyed the tour. In Grand Cayman, we took an excursion to see the sting rays and snorkel via Moby Dick Tours. I would definitely recommend them; however, I would suggest you try StingraySailing.com - who performs the same tour with a catamaran (instead of a motor boat). Do NOT book through Carnival for the sting rays - as this would be a definite waste of money. Water was very warm and enjoyable. A few tips: - Do not put anything of value in your luggage while checking it onto (or off) the ship. One of our family members accidentally left her jewelry in one of the bags that was checked onto the ship. Everything was stolen during the check in process. Carnival refused to even admit the idea of theft. Instead, they referred to it as being lost by the family member. We encountered 2 other travelers who also had their jewelry stolen during the same process. - Bring a watch. I personally no longer wear a watch and instead have gotten use to having my iPhone around for time. The iPhone is not so handy when you're running around in a swimsuit or doing excursions. A watch would have been much more useful. - If you haven't booked a cruise yet and you're wavering on the whole idea - skip the idea altogether. Book a ticket to Costa Rica, stay in a resort of some type, interact with the locals, do all the excursions you want, and enjoy some R&R sans 3,000 others being herded around with you. We did this a few years back and would HIGHLY recommend it over cruising. I know this review is very critical, but it does reflect honest thought. We had a terrific time being with family; however, in the future we will plan family trips far from cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
We traveled on the Fantasy on December 26th as a romantic get away. Our trip was anything but romantic or a get away. This was our second Carnival Cruise. The first was one of the best times of our lives. We loved it so much that less than ... Read More
We traveled on the Fantasy on December 26th as a romantic get away. Our trip was anything but romantic or a get away. This was our second Carnival Cruise. The first was one of the best times of our lives. We loved it so much that less than six months after that trip we were back on a Carnival ship. The Good: The ship was clean, the food was good, and the entertainment was good in a typical carnival fashion. The Bad: We had two major problems. First our toilet plugged every time you put any amount of toilet paper in it. We had were at the back of the ship and had to walk 1/4 of a mile to the front desk to get them to fix the problem daily, sometimes more than once a day. We'd try to call the front desk or housekeeping and no one would answer the phone. The funny thing was, it was the same plumber each time the front desk sent someone to fix the problem. You'd think that after the third or fourth time they might actually look for the root cause of the problem and not just unplug the thing. It got so bad we'd just not use it and leave the room and head up to the public decks and use the restrooms up there as we figured it was a closer walk. Our second problem came in Nassau. We booked and paid for a tour of the island by a Jeep. We were supposed to leave for this tour at 2pm according to our reservations. Without telling us Carnival changed the tour time to 9am. We slept in that morning thinking we'd wait til everyone disembarked the ship, then we'd stroll out and walk around the city. As we were leaving the room around 10am we grabbed the tickets and opened the sealed envelope we noticed that they had crossed off the 2pm and hand wrote 9am on them. We had missed our tout by an hour at that point. We got off the ship and found the excursion manager who offered to put us on another Carnival ships jeep tour that left the port at 1pm. Crisis averted, or so we thought. We showed up at 12:45 as instructed and presented our ticket for our Jeep tour to the person we were supposed to speak with. He took our tickets and put is in a line. We asked him repeatedly if we were in the correct line because the sign said "Discover Nassau and Beach" Not, "Discover Nassau By Jeep." He assured us we were in the correct line. It turns out he was wrong. The put is in a the very back of a bus with an air conditioner that leaked on us and drove us around the island for a few hours. In fact, it was over an hour before the bus had a stop so we couldn't even stop the driver and tell him we were on the wrong tour. By the time the bus had stopped we were wet from the AC unit and an hour late for our tour. When we got back to the ship Carnival blamed the problem on the tour guide and took no ownership of the problem. I told them I didn't pay money to a tour guide I paid it to them and that my problem was with them not the tour guide. At the end of the day, with both of our problems, Carnival assumed zero ownership of the problems. We lost 1 of our 2 days in port over their mistakes and the best we got was "Sorry the tour guide screwed up." We couldn't use our toilet for a week and no one checked to make sure it was OK after all the times we had to get it repaired. IF WE WERE IN A HOTEL we'd have left and found a new one. At sea you are held hostage and don't have a choice about leaving, therefore, I think the stakes are a little higher and they ought to make certain that everything is proper and working. We've written a letter to Carnival's corporate customer service about these issues. It's been a month and no response from them yet. As it stands now, we are going to cruise again, but we'll pay a little more and choose a better cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
i embarked the ship on 15Th Jan, what a disaster from the moment i embarked it was obvious from passengers that were on the ship that norovirus was present, as the ship that day had been evacuated to be fumigated to eradicate the virus. ... Read More
i embarked the ship on 15Th Jan, what a disaster from the moment i embarked it was obvious from passengers that were on the ship that norovirus was present, as the ship that day had been evacuated to be fumigated to eradicate the virus. however after 2 days of being on the ship it was obvious that the virus was still on board. 2 days confined in a cabin on deck 9 the size of a public toilet cubicle ( do not pay for an upgrade as deck 4 cabins are better fitted out and bigger) with this virus is not my idea of a cruise. the hygiene of the ships crew was poor compared to other Thomson cruises, despite other reviews, these people obviously have not cruised often if they think this was a good experience. food was lukewarm in all eating places at all times of day(which would not be accepted in the UK.)toilets and public areas were not clean and a smell of sewerage was present throughout the ship. staff were OK, however, if you have previously travelled with Thomson you will notice a huge difference in the standard. on the day i left the ship passengers with norovirus were instructed to stay in their cabins while the ship was fumigated!!!!!!!!!!!! how is this eradicating the virus from the ship as this had already happened the previous week. in summary this ship is tired, dirty, and not a good experience, why Thomson cruises would put there name to this ship is anybody"s guess. island escape, informal cruising? more like carry on cruising with a bug. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
We just got back from a 14 day cruise from Valparaiso. This had to be the worst run cruise I have been on and ever hope to be on. The ship is DUE for refitting and repair. Our closet door and frame were hanging on by 2 screws and just ... Read More
We just got back from a 14 day cruise from Valparaiso. This had to be the worst run cruise I have been on and ever hope to be on. The ship is DUE for refitting and repair. Our closet door and frame were hanging on by 2 screws and just about fell off the first night at sea ,I finally put a chair against it to hold it closed and so it wouldn't rip off! They did fix it the next day.The Norwalk IS still a problem on board,which slowed down the food lines in the buffet and getting a spoon was like trying to find lips on a chicken. I don't know why they didn't give you one with the rest of your dinnerware? The plates were almost to hot to hold ,which in some cases was a god send and others a downfall. I say this because it was the only HOT thing on the buffet,and maybe it warmed the food up. It's downfall was cold food became HOT very quickly. Getting a place to sit and eat was terrible. It was cold and rainy and people would sit in cafeteria to read books and just look outside so there you were with your food and no place to eat. My one friend finally had enough and sat down on the floor and spread out his things....they got him a seat right away! The breakfast's at all the restaurants were warm at best,the food was hmmm OK at best. I talked with lots of folks who looked forward to ports of calls so the could get a hot meal. One person told me they had had enough and made them microwave his food as he left the line. The staff on board, half of them were GREAT the other shouldn't be working with people. One of the guest services people, were so rude. My wife asked him a question about something on there little magazine and he started to read it to her. She said yes she read it and didn't care what it said, just a question about it. His reply was " I don't care if you care" nice guest services !! We also had trouble with the "mystery dinner" They started half an hour early and changed locations. We questioned them about at noon and everything was the same but by 5:30 it had changed and no one knew what was going on. By the time we found out where it was we were late and they told us just to sit down.When we asked the girl who was running it what to do she said she was busy trying to get it going and couldn't help us then. The other girl told us I came to where it was supposed to be every 10 minutes to look for people who were involved. Well ever 10 minutes was enough time to go there see it wasn't there and try to find some info. She also said "well I was standing by the backdoor why didn't you come there?" How should we know? There was no sign and if you came between the 10 minutes no one was there.After finally we had enough we asked to talk to someone who was in charge. After waiting 10 minutes we were told someone from the cruise staff would be with us shortly. 30 minutes or more later we told them we were going to the bar and they could come find us.About 20 minutes later the Asst. cruise director came and talked with us ,said he was sorry about all the trouble bought us a drink and dinner at one of the restaurant's. Which was nice and the least he could do! I had the feeling the right hand didn't know what the left hand was doing. Thank God there was no serious problems on board because I don't think they could have handled it.Other little things that should have been noted and fixed were the clocks behind the guest services and shore excursion desk. The time was off ,yes I know the hours are different in other cities but was unaware that the minutes were also! some were 00:15 the next was 00:50 the next was 00:35 and so on.I know it would have taken some time to make sure all were the same,but it made me realize that if they couldn't get that right could they get anything right. Also we tried to check on something on NCL's web site and could never get it to work we called them and were told " Oh the website never works!"I also can't figure out why we weren't kept up on what was going on with the Norwalk on board ,we are all adults and should have been kept aware. The entertainment was poor there was a juggler that was great but the rest left me feeling like I was at a bad lounge show. So as I said it was the little things.The room attendants were GREAT !!! They went above and beyond,maybe the rest of the crew could take some lessons from them on manners! This was the first cruise we have taken with NCL and will be the last,we will also recommend to people to stay away. Our Travel agent tried to talk us out of using NCL as she said she had had trouble before with them,should have listened to her. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
I have just returned from the January 23rd sailing of the Poesia with 50 of my family members. I'd have to say that the stage entertainment was excellent, though the food was of uneven quality; some nights were commensurate with a ... Read More
I have just returned from the January 23rd sailing of the Poesia with 50 of my family members. I'd have to say that the stage entertainment was excellent, though the food was of uneven quality; some nights were commensurate with a cruise, but some nights were really no better than a mediocre coffee shop. The issue that was the most difficult was the room that my husband, I, and our son shared. It was at the very stern and rocked quite dramatically. I think it is because the ship is very rectangular. It is quite like a shoebox in the water; any waves make it pitch quite a bit. When looking at other cruise ships, all the others have some tapering to the hull to deflect waves, this one had none at all so on windy days with some waves, the ship moved more than any I had ever been on. Perhaps this ship was designed for the calmer waters of the Mediterranean, but it is not at all suitable for the typical waters of the Atlantic. It was worse than any of the many cruise ships I have ever been on and I have cruised in the Caribbean during hurricane season when conditions are very windy with high waves. But that wasn't the worst part of our room. Even though we were on the 12th floor, the mechanical vibration from the rudder and engine created so much vibration in our room that it was as if we were in a non stop earthquake. I tried to fall asleep in my berth, but it was as if someone was constantly and violently shaking the bed in time to rhythmic mechanical motions of the engine and rudder. The walls of the stateroom were constantly rattling and loudly squeaking. I am not a princess or one to complain unnecessarily, but this room was uninhabitable. We toured another stateroom of other members of our family that were in a room directly below us and it was the same. They had a 3'X5' mirror on the wall of their stateroom that was constantly, loudly rattling against the wall so that it was absolutely impossible to sleep. Their beds were also shaking violently. I tried to get a different stateroom but the staff at the reception desk was absolutely uncooperative. I requested a new room each day. On the third night, I met with their customer service representative and spoke to him for a good 20 minutes. He insisted that the motion was from the waves. I told him over and over that the waves were only part of the problem but that the mechanical movement from the engine and propeller made the room uninhabitable. I was so tired from the first night in that horrible stateroom that I slept most of the next day in complete exhaustion. My sister-in-law allowed me to sleep in an extra bunk of her stateroom midship the next two nights. My husband and son however, remained in that horrible room. After speaking with the staff each day and getting no assistance from them, I was finally able to prevail with getting another stateroom by the 4th night. A number of people in our party became ill over the cruise with the flu. I think they contracted it on the ship. For some it was very debilitating requiring injections of anti diarrhea medication. I don't think the crew was as clean as they should have been. For example, at breakfast one morning, six of our family was eating at tables in the 13th floor cafeteria. Two tables away a sweet little girl in a high chair threw up with projectile vomiting that spewed over the table, floor, and her high chair. It was a horrific mess. The parents tried to clean up some of it, but there was more than they had the means to clean. It was at least 10 minutes before the staff came to clean it and they did a cursory job at that. The dishes were cleared and they wiped the table though from my angle I could see quite clearly that there were still flecks of vomit on the table. The high chair remained at the table with the seat of it and the floor coated in cups of vomit. My party sat two tables away and watched as people cleared away. I was absolutely horrified as the staff motioned for two recent arrivals from our family to be seated at the unclean table. It was horrible! There was a vomit coated high chair and floor at one end of this six person table, and the staff tried to seat my family at the other end. I was glad I was there and motioned them away before they actually sat down. Our family sat two tables away while we wondered how long it would take the staff to clean up the vomit on the floor and high chair. No less than 20 minutes later, the vile mess was untouched. I finally asked the staff in a polite manner to clean it up. It was at least another 5 minutes before they came with cloths and a mop to clear the vomit. Another experience with lack of cleanliness and vomiting at an eating facility occurred on Tuesday. We had a family luncheon arranged for 50 people. We had a section of the formal dining room set aside for us and we were having a nice time. Suddenly, two members of our family at a table adjacent to mine became violently ill and vomited all over the table and chairs. A third followed so that the table was covered with a horrific mess. I don't envy the staff for the mess they had to clean up, but they did a cursory job given the potential for the spread of flu. Yes, the table cloths, dishes, and vomit covered chairs were removed, but the staff did not wipe the table with a disinfectant before putting the new tablecloth on. I stopped them and asked them to wipe the table with a disinfectant, they stalled and a few minutes later returned to complete putting the new tablecloth down without using disinfectant. As I mentioned before, the food was of uneven quality. I don't expect prime rib every night, but what was offered in many instances was no better than I could have had at Denny's. In fact, Denny's is superior in some instances. The Chicken Cacciatore on the first night was particularly awful. The chicken patty was made from preformed and prebreaded chicken, not unlike the chicken fingers that are served at a typical McDonalds. It was covered in crushed tomatoes that were completely lacking in any spice. The lot was then covered by a rubbery piece of melted cheese. I remember thinking that I hoped the meals would not all be this bad. The food on the last two nights were good, however, I was disappointed in the lack of food in the evenings. Our family sat at the early seating at 5:30 pm. After dinner, we went to the stage for entertainment or to dancing. By 9 pm many of us were again interested in some sort of food, but there was none, absolutely none, available in the cafeteria. Each night we had to wait until 10 pm for a paltry display of thin crust pizza. The sauce and toppings on the pizza was far from inspired, but the worst part was that the thin crust was most often burned black as the staff has not yet mastered the use of the pizza ovens. If one stayed up for dancing past 11pm, it would be best to pack a few pizzas in their pockets as even the paltry pizzas were only served for an hour. One evening there was quite a nice deck party hosted by the ship. There was a good amount of merriment; dancing and games. However, there was absolutely no food served. One would think that an evening party would include some sort of appetizers to satiate the revelers, but there was none. Being hungry is not what I anticipate ever happening on a cruise ship. The shore times are not conducive to excursions. In particular, the port time in Puerto Rico is from 4 pm to 11 pm. We bee lined from the ship to the fort for some sightseeing, but the late port time allowed us only 15 minutes in the fort before it closed for the day. While the ship's decor is attractive, there is an enormous amount of hard surfaces in genuine stone, faux stone, or glass. While these surfaces look very attractive and are typical for current decorating trends, it creates much ambient noise from sound vibrating off hard surfaces. It was almost impossible to have a conversation between six people seated at a table in the cafeteria during meal times. The formal dining rooms were better in this regard and were our preferred choice for all meals. The pools and outdoor spas are only open from 7am to 7 pm. Given these experiences, I would not recommend this cruise line to any one. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010

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