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6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I will start out by saying that the cruise was great. The quality of service, food, entertainment for kids and adults were all spectacular. The onboarding experience was super quick. What I would like to review is the Key Experience. ... Read More
I will start out by saying that the cruise was great. The quality of service, food, entertainment for kids and adults were all spectacular. The onboarding experience was super quick. What I would like to review is the Key Experience. We purchased "The Key" for our family of five. One of our kiddos was under 6 years old so she didn't have to pay. The following benefits were to be included with our purchase: 1. Priority Boarding - There was no dedicated area. We had to ask around and finally were just directed to wait in the regular boarding lines. Not a big deal, as the onboarding process has been incredibly streamlined and fast. We were on the ship within 30 minutes of arriving at the port. 2. Taking of carry-ons to room: We did not find this service. 3. Lunch at Chops Grille on embarkation day. This is from 11AM to 1PM. We arrived around 1230 and were seated pretty quickly. This was a delicious meal. 4. Streaming internet for four. We only used two devices, as the children would not need internet access. The internet was fast. 5. Private times for Key members for big attractions like the Florider, Zipline and rock climbing walls. Here's the catch. The private times that are provided are mostly between 8AM and 9AM in the morning or 5-6PM. If you have a 5PM dinner, you're not getting that benefit. Nonetheless, because it is dinner time, there are no lines for the rock climbing walls at this time anyway. The time slots given were really disappointing 6. Priority disembarkation at the ports - we did not ever see or find any priority disembarkation areas for Key members. When we mentioned we were Key members we were pointed to the same line as everyone else. 7. Priority seating at the shows. "The Key" seats are held for 5 minutes, 15 minutes prior to showtime. If you do not arrive 15 minutes prior to showtime, you don't get the seats. If you get there 15 minutes prior to showtime, you're going to get good seats regardless. For us, there was no real benefit to us. 8. Breakfast on disembarkation day. This was good. It was a nice calm breakfast. Once done, there was to be an escort to disembark (again, supposedly cutting all the lines) but in actuality it was just an escort to the disembarkation line. Once again, no special benefit. All in all I felt like we had been suckered. The VIP experience advertised is not at all what you get. We would have saved a ton of money if we had paid for lunch at Chops and our internet packages. If you get everywhere 15 minutes early or are willing to wake up at the crack of dawn on your vacation - you're good to go. There is no value in the Key experience. Our joke for the week was that "the Key isn't real". Its not an actual thing. Hope this helps someone. I couldn't find any information on it here. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose the Liberty after seeing her revitalization when she was docked alongside us in Cozumel while we were cruising on the Allure. We had sailed on Liberty twice before in 2008 and 2010 so had a good idea of what to expect. The kids ... Read More
We chose the Liberty after seeing her revitalization when she was docked alongside us in Cozumel while we were cruising on the Allure. We had sailed on Liberty twice before in 2008 and 2010 so had a good idea of what to expect. The kids pool area was really the biggest difference in our eyes as my son was too short and I was too big for the aft waterslides. As a whole, service was mediocre with a few exceptions, most notably Kadek in Giovanni’s who exemplifies the outstanding service that first attracted us to RC fifteen years ago. Food selection in Windjammer wasn’t stellar and quality was along the lines of a university dining hall. Despite the MDR opening at 5:15pm Windjammer didn’t open for dinner until 6pm and strangely on sea days didn’t open for lunch until noon. This created ridiculously long lines at Sorrentos on the promenade which also seemed to open late at 11:30. Tendering in Grand Cayman was better than expected and debarkation in Galveston was a breeze as well. We didn’t appreciate RC eliminating Diamond Plus from the priority security line at the pier, which took us 25 minutes to pass through when we arrived around noon. Once through security RC lumped Diamond Plus, Diamond and Emerald members together into one “priority” check in line, another disappointment. We enjoyed our interactions with our cabin steward but strangely didn’t receive the normal C&A welcome amenities or the canapes on formal night. Not sure if this was a change that we were unaware of or just poor execution. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We've loved Celebrity since our first sailing eight years ago so we were excited when they announced the first new build to the fleet in a number of years. Good: Embarkation and debarkation were the quickest and most efficient ... Read More
We've loved Celebrity since our first sailing eight years ago so we were excited when they announced the first new build to the fleet in a number of years. Good: Embarkation and debarkation were the quickest and most efficient we've experienced in our 20+ sailings. The main dining restaurant variety was good, food and service was good. Nice decor although the modern feel does not lend itself to decor that's passenger friendly given most Celebrity passengers are 60+. Another noteworthy item - the shower was larger than other cabin showers. Great: Fine Cut Steakhouse - a must do. The food is the best you'll find on board even when paying the uncharge. We were so pleased with the quality of the food we booked a second time during the lunch hour. Too much hype: The infinity balcony was a total let down - Celebrity oversold the concept and under delivered on the value proposition. It should be advertised and sold as an ocean view cabin - it's not worth the additional money and you can't enjoy opening the window if you would like for your cabin to maintain a comfortable temperature. Cabin storage and space was adequate, however, if the bed is located by the closet, accessibility is awkward and difficult to maneuver. Public spaces have been taken over by retreat cabins, dining and pool deck. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We had a fantastic time on this trip. However, I feel the service on NCL is slipping. Bar service was the worst I have ever experience. Getting a drink was a hassle. The definitely need more bar staff. I also felt the dining ... Read More
We had a fantastic time on this trip. However, I feel the service on NCL is slipping. Bar service was the worst I have ever experience. Getting a drink was a hassle. The definitely need more bar staff. I also felt the dining staff wasn't very happy, maybe they need a vacation. Our cabin was nice we had a balcony room and our room attendant was very very good. The entertainment was good, Burn the Floor was great fun as was Rock of Ages. We truly loved Switch Back to the 80s band, saw them twice while on-board. Entourage (the teen club) was great for our 13 year old son, he had a blast and made some friends to hang out with in the evenings. The check in process was smooth and fast however, disembarkation was a zoo. They should let people know prior to leaving their rooms if there is a problem with their on board account, etc. Definitely not a smooth process. Not sure if we will chose NCL for future cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
This was a spring break cruise for our family traveling with elementary aged kids. They were not too impressed with the kids club or kids activities because of the restricted hours of operation for splash academy and the organization of ... Read More
This was a spring break cruise for our family traveling with elementary aged kids. They were not too impressed with the kids club or kids activities because of the restricted hours of operation for splash academy and the organization of activities in the Club (games when you were “out” you had to sit and wait with nothing to do). We were also not very happy with the food in the main dining and especially the buffet. The variety was limited and the layout was too large to fill a plate of food before it got cold. In main dining, service was a bit slow as well and we could not expect to spend less than 2 hours over dinner. The ship was nice and new and seemed to have many options for everyone. However, 2 in my immediate family and 2 in extended family got food poisoning, or stomach illness on second to last day on board. Also eye infection. So although things looked clean, common areas may have needed a bit more attention. It did not feel too crowded even though we had a full boat, so that was nice. And our rooms were comfortable and a relaxing retreat. Embarkation was smooth and faster than anticipated, and debarkation was not too bad either. Overall, we would probably consider a cruise in Norwegian Escape again, however, not until both children are over the age of 13. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
I found I like not fighting to board and leave the ship, jostling shoulders, almost tripping over others. so what if the buffet is smaller- there are less people to be in line. the only thing I didn't like was the height of the ... Read More
I found I like not fighting to board and leave the ship, jostling shoulders, almost tripping over others. so what if the buffet is smaller- there are less people to be in line. the only thing I didn't like was the height of the overhead bunks, as you cant sit on the lower without contortions to your neck.4 adults had cabin M-58- perfect to the elevator access-no noise. the itinerary was almost frenetic as only 1 seaday so off on adventures daily. love the water colors and no tendering. ate in dining room the most as I prefer not being in lines. wish the menu would change more as the same selections seem to be there every year, and limited selections for the vegetarian passenger. as usual hate the upsell and the outrageous prices in the salon. used the gym for prescribed physical therapy and it worked out well. staff good. hate the staff doing "showtime" during my dining which I like to be quiet for conversation. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this ship because of the many options it has for children! The lines for the rock climbing wall and ropes course were unfortunately long. The pool areas - both for kids and adults- were small and very crowded. Our kids spent ... Read More
We chose this ship because of the many options it has for children! The lines for the rock climbing wall and ropes course were unfortunately long. The pool areas - both for kids and adults- were small and very crowded. Our kids spent no time there. We did buy an unlimited arcade card which was money well spent! Our biggest disappointment with the cruise was the negative attitude of the serving staff. There were a few exceptions but for the most part, we were treated like we were a bother and a smile or kind word was rare. The worse instances of poor service and argumentative staff were at Cagneys steakhouse and at Spice H2O. The besf part was getting off the ship-escaping the crowds and seeing new places! The stop at Harvest Caye in Belize was a bust. Man made, nothing authentic; you could have been anywhere. Loved the stop in Costa Maya. We left the port and went into the local town. Unfortunately that stop was only for a half day! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Second time on the Allure in two and a half years. The first time blew us away. The second time was just another cruise. After having the drink package for the first time on the first cruise on the Allure I felt like it was a fair deal. ... Read More
Second time on the Allure in two and a half years. The first time blew us away. The second time was just another cruise. After having the drink package for the first time on the first cruise on the Allure I felt like it was a fair deal. Trying different high end cognacs(hennessyXO) , aged scotch(mcallen 12yr double cask), tequilas (don julio 1942), aged rums...etc in the Champagne bar for a minimal surcharge of a buck or two was quite nice. Left the first cruise with some nice ideas to stock my home bar and a guarantee i would buy the drink package on Royal Caribbean the next time i cruised with them. Then the "next time i cruise with them" happened for spring break of 2019. Was hyped up to get on the ship and get me a HennessyXO neat for a $2 up charge with the drink package and start my reexploring of the Allure. Upon ordering my drink, the bar tender kindly made sure i was aware the HennessyXO wasnt part of the drink package. i told her i knew there was a small surcharge according to the last cruise on the allure of $2. She then told me it is now an $8 surcharge above the drink package cost. I paused and started looking for something else to start my trip out with and asked where the Don Julio 1942 was which was also a $2 up charge. She said they dont carry that any more.(though they sell it in the ship store). Nor did they have the double cask scotch i was eager to have....so i settled on some RemyXO for a buck surcharge that i didnt even finish..Truly disappointed that i paid for the drink package to sip on zacapa and coke and old fashions all cruise. I could buy six bottles of zacapa and four bottles of makers mark for the price of the drink package and that would last me a year. Another knock on the drink package is how Royal markets how it is usable on their private islands. Labadee was a JOKE when it come to drinks offered. There was one special drink, "the labadoozy", and a bunch of bottom shelf junk. I ask for a long island and the bartender told me the didnt have sour mix....what, no sour mix at a bar..i told her to make it any way and just use more coke. My wife ordered a pina colada and was told the didnt do pinacoladas...you heard that right..we were in the middle of the Caribbean on a cruise port stop and couldnt get a pina colada. i just wonder if the people at the private beach with more money than all the other guest were able to get what they wanted. Totally disappointed with Royal in the drink package aspect. Wont do it again unless I can confirm what alcohols are available for a small up charge, and what drinks are available on their private stops. the ship itself is top notch always clean and well maintained, except for some soiled carpet areas and the smoke coming from the casino when going to dinner, theres not much of a better taken care of ship. dinners are better than the average cruise line that ive been on, (princess and carniva) and the workers seem to be in better moods on Royal than other cruise lines. We saw three shows while on the ship. The Blue Planet had some highlights but was rather slow for my liking, The Ice Games was my all time favorite of any show on any ship Ive been on(7 different ships). And my wife and i left half way though Momma Mia. To boring for how tired we were. Rock climbing wall and waver rider where very nice for the active. I made the best out of my hopes of sipping on fine spirits being baited and switched. We had a 14th floor boardwalk balcony which was nice to watch the aquatheater. All in all you cant go wrong with Royal from my limited experience. i just dont like change...especially when its change that doesnt make my trip better. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We just returned from our Spring Break cruise on the Horizon. We wanted to try a Vista Class ship. So far, we have taken 8 cruises with Horizon. Below are the Cheers and Jeers: Cheers Had a Havana Suite. The added balcony room is a ... Read More
We just returned from our Spring Break cruise on the Horizon. We wanted to try a Vista Class ship. So far, we have taken 8 cruises with Horizon. Below are the Cheers and Jeers: Cheers Had a Havana Suite. The added balcony room is a treat. The room was very quiet. Exceptional service from the room steward. Got to see the Dr. Seuss Activity in action. The children were enjoying themselves. Shows were good. The singers apparently were rehearsing and we were treated to one song in the atrium (third floor on the steps). Could have listened to them sing all day. The app is nice. We always get good service from the agents when booking by phone. More efforts toward sustainability - pencil instead of a pen, fewer paper handouts each day, straws by request. Cake Buffet had a different, delicious selection each day. Internet connectivity is much better. All you trivia cheaters will love it. Jeers We ordered the Cheers pass knowing that at best, we would break-even. Never again! Carnival has cut staff and it is especially felt in this area. Wait staff rarely come around so we had to go to the ONE bar that was open on the Lido Deck on port days. That bar was two deep so the wait was considerable. For most bars, there was only one bartender even on sea days. Think carefully about ordering the Cheers Pass if you have not been on a cruise recently. It just isn't worth it. (We tip in cash with every drink that is served to us so it is not us, it is them). Carnival needs to revamp the drink menu. Same boring drinks and them seem to be more sugary sweet. We went to Guest Services immediately upon arriving because we wanted to send a gift to someone on another ship. There was one person to handle us lowly cubic-zirconia level members. Diamond and Platinum have their own line. The person that was being helped was not accepting whatever the guest service agent was explaining. I waited for 15 minutes before I asked them to summons another agent. By now, the line had grown to the elevators. I asked the Diamond agent if she could get someone else to help. No one was in her line. "Well, I will go ahead and help you," she said sarcastically. She wasn't pleased to do so. She gave us incorrect information. We ended up calling the 800# on the Carnival website. We found ourselves at guest services twice. Both times, went away feeling like we were at the DMV. They had the warmth of a TSA agent. Main Dining Room - No, we were not able to check-in for ATD on the app. Instead, we had to go to level 5 where we were rerouted to level 3. Why can't we just go to level 3 in the first place? We ate in the MDR on first night. Food/service was good. Again, getting a drink takes awhile. On Elegant Night, we went to the MDR again. This time, we were seated in a dark corridor by the kitchen door/kitchen elevator. It was so dark that it made it difficult to read the menu. We wanted to see the show, so we asked to be seated somewhere else. The waiter spoke to someone and came back and removed the silverware from the table for the other two no-shows and left us there. We didn't return to the MDR for the rest of the cruise. While we enjoyed the Havana Suite, the patio chairs are very uncomfortable. They are low to the ground and are appropriate for a preschooler. The short lounge chair has a back that does not adjust. It is too low to look at sea or to read. Whoever purchased that chair should have to sit in it for a week. TV channels are limited. There is one news channel: CBSN which doesn't cover much. From there, TCM, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, Discovery, and a few cartoon channels. To make up from this cost-saving mistake, you get a selection of Pay Per View movie channels. Many are free but they are so bad that you cannot even watch half of it without turning it off. Liquid Lounge Layout - get to the shows early. The Horizon has more passengers but it does not have more room for the Liquid Lounge or Limelight Room. Do not select a seat with a free-standing chair close to the stage.The performers use platforms in this area which means that you will miss some of the performance. Elevators - the destination dispatch elevators increases the wait time. You have no idea where the elevator you have been assigned is at in the hoist way because there are no position indicators letting you know if the elevator is coming or is being held up at another floor. Most floors do not have TV screens showing which elevator has been summoned to which floor to allow you to get on should the door open. There is no longer a PreSale Agent on board stating staff cuts. Carnival really needs to staff this position! Part of enjoying this cruise is booking the next one while on board. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
First the great. Embarkation was a breeze. We (my wife, daughter and her companion) arrived at our allotted time and we were on the ship within 10-15 minutes. It was the best embarkation experience of our 19 cruises. Great job on ... Read More
First the great. Embarkation was a breeze. We (my wife, daughter and her companion) arrived at our allotted time and we were on the ship within 10-15 minutes. It was the best embarkation experience of our 19 cruises. Great job on this! The food was also great! My wife and I were pleasantly surprised to find that this ship had such an array of dining selections and the quality of the food. The main dining room was our choice for 3 of the 8 nights, and all meals were terrific. We ate at the steakhouse twice and the Italian restaurant once, both were very good. Our daughter also ate at the Asian restaurant and loved it. For breakfast my wife and I ate in the dining all but one day and found it quiet and with wonderful service and food. The wait staff remembered our names after the first day. For lunches we experimented with Guys and the buffet. All very good. Our cabin (7305) was a Grand Suite. It was very nice. The balconies on these cabins are very narrow but still nice to have. The service from Agus was top notch. Now the not-so-great. We paid over $400 to get the Thermal Suite. If you are looking for peace and relaxation, do NOT get this. Passengers are rude, noisy, and do not care about anyone but themselves and the staff does nothing to stop it. We also got 5 spa treatments while on board. Most were very good, but the upsell effort was a little too aggressive. Finally, the worst experience we have ever had on a ship was getting off this one. We were supposed to have "expedited" privileges but it was a nightmare. We had our bags checked the night before and waited over 90 minutes to get them the next morning. We missed our flight and had to rebook at our cost. My advice, if you go on this shop and have a flight before 11:30 a.m., do not check your bags. Nobody could seem to help us...we were on our own. Everyone just shrugged their shoulders. I know this is a family ship in the "value" category, so we got what we signed up for. But we probably will not be going back to Carnival even if we are taking our daughter. It's too noisy, too much partying, and that disembarkation experience did it for us. I guess we have officially become old fogies. Read Less

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