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5,206 Family Cruise Reviews

This was my platinum cruise and was very convenient choice for us but I absolutely do not want to ever go on this ship again and will def rethink ships remodeled! This ship was old and had a negative history. ( fire,arrest and even a ... Read More
This was my platinum cruise and was very convenient choice for us but I absolutely do not want to ever go on this ship again and will def rethink ships remodeled! This ship was old and had a negative history. ( fire,arrest and even a death ) So in order to save the ship they had to change the name and redo. Big problem was they didn't think it all through or just didnt care) It was a smaller older ship. The corrections made them more money and passengers more annoyed They did away with laundry rooms on most floors and added more rooms. They made everything we like smaller! They added more dining choices BUT many are for a price! They took away much of the dining space ( free) and left people waiting in ridiculousy long lines for food... The pools were literally standing room only ! Serenity did not have their own pool either. SMOKING!!!!!!!!!!!! I smelt smoke pretty much everywhere. I know this is huge issue for many but one would think remodeling would help things but it certainly did not. Carnival ships are set up the worst of all ships when it comes to avoiding second hand smoke,, In order to get to certain areas you have to walk through the casino which is ALWAYS disgustingly full of smoke! Not only that but the area is open to all the floors of the atrium so the smoke hits everyone! Constantly seeing people walking around with their faces covered. They have very very little food for kids and it was an issue just to get milks and juices. unless the go to the camp carnival, there is nothing for them to do. They took away most of the free room service . It now only goes to 6p . After 6 you pay! To sum it up. They added more rooms to make more money . More people with less room to play ( except casino) less free dining, Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We sailed on the Carnival Sunrise as part of a large 40+ group of friends, so we did not choose this particular ship or itinerary. We have sailed with Carnival before and are Gold level members. Embarkation: We were pre-assigned a ... Read More
We sailed on the Carnival Sunrise as part of a large 40+ group of friends, so we did not choose this particular ship or itinerary. We have sailed with Carnival before and are Gold level members. Embarkation: We were pre-assigned a time to show up to check in for boarding. That was excellent and went very smoothly. Hats off to Carnival and the NYC port for making what used to be a nightmare, a pleasant experience. Cabin. We had a balcony cabin on level 6. We were near the Atrium. The room was quiet despite the loud night-time parties in the Atrium. The room location was ok for most areas of the ship we frequented. Our cabin steward and staff were extremely friendly and efficient. Our plumbing worked fine! Balconies were cleaned during our cruise, which was nice. Plenty of USB & AC outlets for our electronics. Air conditioning was sufficient. Public areas: The pool areas were crowded as usual on a ship, especially on sea days as you would expect, however, the pools are too small for the number of guests on board. We did not even want to go in as there were shoulder to shoulder people in the pool most of the time. NOT INVITING!. The lack of staff to clean the dishes from the pool area made for a messy area much of the time. Poor ship design between the Guy's Burger joint and the Lido Marketplace made a narrow passageway that caused traffic jams constantly. I was always afraid my food would be knocked into and spilled moving from outside to inside. The coffee/tea area, ice cream machine and the pillar/railings make for a very narrow 2 way passage. The air conditioning in some areas either did not work or was poorly designed. We found "hot spots" all over the ship. Food: The dining room food was fine, wait staff worked very hard. Most of the time I received what I ordered. The Lido marketplace buffet was overcrowded most times, It seemed to run past the stated closing each day as there were still people waiting in line to get food at the closing hour. Buffet food was ok, not exceptional. We ate there only twice. Guys burger joint was fast and good, the Blue Iguana Cantina was OK but fast to get food, Pig & Anchor was excellent! Highly recommend if you like southern BBQ! Lucky Bowl was excellent! No lines to speak of most of the time. we ate there frequently. Did not try the 24 hour pizza but we heard it was good. Did not try Bonsi Sushi (extra charge), it was empty most of the time. The Red Frog pub was a large area, not crowded, beers were ok. Personally I did not like the Red Frog "red ale", but the Toasted Amber was good. The ship seems to have only 4 flavors of ice cream (chocolate, vanilla, strawberry & butter pecan). Only the first 3 are available soft serve, butter pecan is available in the dining room with the other 3 flavors. Personally I wanted more choices in the dining room as Ice cream ins my choice of dessert. Not a fan of cakes, etc. Lido buffet was also one of the poorly air conditioned areas of the ship, it was hot most of the time, which made eating uncomfortable. Staff was good cleaning the tables. Ports of call: Grand Turk: The ship dock at Jimmy Buffet Margaritaville. Just a pool/beach stop, nothing to see there. Food & drink is for purchase only, not free. We took a private trolley tour with Island Trolley Tours (not a ship excursion). the were excellent. If you want to see the island, this is the only way ($30/pp) Ship tour is twice that. Buy tickets on beach or online prior. San Juan: Ship docks right in town, El Morro is a long walk but do able with the time allowed. Amber Cove: Another pool stop. Pools are very crowded both in Margaritavile & Amber Cove. Nothing to do there other than shop & swim in the waist high water. We did not swim in the pools as we dislike over crowded pools with no shade opportunity other than hiding under a foot bridge. Disembarkation: Handled well. we lined up around 0830 to get tags. we had tag # 8. This got us off the ship around 1030. We waited in the Liquid Lounge. The only complaint I had was I did not have any idea when our number would be called. We had someone picking us up and I was not sure when to tell him to be at the dock. Geting off the ship and getting our luggage was excellent, and efficient. Customs was a breeze! Final thoughts: Level 3 was the best serenity area on the ship. Forget the official Serenity deck as it was also overcrowded and no shade. Deck 3 off the Atrium was quiet, had a panoramic ocean view, a nice breeze, and was near the Atrium bar. Plenty of deck chairs also! If you like crowds, loud parties, so so ports of call and long lines...this is the cruise for you! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We selected the Idyllic Aegean 7 night cruise in early August 2019 aboard the Celestyal Crystal in an XB exterior stateroom. This was my second cruise (first was a western Caribbean cruise with Norwegian) and the dates and itinerary worked ... Read More
We selected the Idyllic Aegean 7 night cruise in early August 2019 aboard the Celestyal Crystal in an XB exterior stateroom. This was my second cruise (first was a western Caribbean cruise with Norwegian) and the dates and itinerary worked very well for our honeymoon plan. Unfortunately, that was one of the few enjoyable things about the cruise. First, the positives: -(Mostly) Great itinerary with overnight stops in Mykonos and Santorini -Our cleaning crew (Ernesto and Ayu) were very friendly and did a great job -Bartending staff were polite and fun The negatives: -Had to email customer support to even get my e-ticket for the cruise—I’ve received literally no email correspondence from them at any point (And yes, they had the correct email on file) -the boarding terminal had no signs or instructions for where/how to board. The ship was also very similar. We had to ask several times where to go/how to find things because of a lack of signs. This was especially true any time we tried to exit the boat at ports. -This cruise ship is old. The room/ship furnishings, restaurant, flooring etc could use a significant update -the rooms are TINY. The XB stateroom is a middle of the road option in terms of cost and we literally did not have enough room to put two normal sized pieces of luggage open on the floor. There was also no under the bed storage and very limited closet space which meant there was no where to store our empty suitcases. We ended up stacking them upright on top of each other so we could walk around the bed. As a 6’1” guy I banged my elbows against the shower repeatedly every morning. -Restaurant hours have significant restrictions (2-3 hours) for each meal and stop serving dinner at 2200. Some days, they didn’t even start serving lunch until 13:30 -Two a la carte restaurants with exactly the same menu as each other and very little variation in the buffet options -a la carte restaurant required pants for men at dinner and no flip flops but dress code was inconsistently enforced -the whole ship is on a relatively rigid “early bed, early rise” schedule. Good luck sleeping in during the 30+ minutes of morning announcements at 8am or before every morning. -a couple of the stops were not technically at a port and required lifeboat transport to the shore, sometimes taking 20-30 minutes or more. One stop required you to get in line prior to 8am to get a ticket and then wait for that number to be called, resulting in 2-3 hours of constant morning announcements on the intercom. -for a ship of 1200 passengers, the pool had a max capacity of 10 people and no poolside lounge chairs. I guess it didn’t matter anyway since the boat sailed so fast some nights that water was sloshing from the pool, all over the deck while people were trying to eat dinner. -drinks in the all inclusive package were incredibly watered down and served warm with 1-2 ice cubes. The drinks that were actually good were available to buy and with a much, much more extensive selection but it kind of takes away from the point of “all inclusive” -the last leg from Kusadasi to Athens was quite long which required the ship to travel at a VERY fast pace and rock severely the whole night. My wife and I had never been motion sick on a cruise before but were quite queasy and unable to sleep the last night due to the rocking and ridiculously loud squeaking of the entire boat because it’s too old to even withstand that kind of motion. -Our “honeymoon” courtesy was a printed sheet of paper on our bed the second night of the trip. They have many options to pay for champagne, extra dessert but basically no complimentary honeymoon extras on this “all-inclusive” trip Overall you should really only consider the cruise as a very cramped place to sleep with tons of rules and restrictions and have sub par food while going place to place on a good itinerary. For almost $2000 a person, we expected more. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The Armonia is really past its prime. The ships air conditioning was really only functional in midship public rooms on decks 5 and 6. Warm or even hot everywhere else. Our cabin was set to the coldest available setting and we still could ... Read More
The Armonia is really past its prime. The ships air conditioning was really only functional in midship public rooms on decks 5 and 6. Warm or even hot everywhere else. Our cabin was set to the coldest available setting and we still could cover with no more than a sheet and even kicked that off several times during the night. The single most disappointing thing was the incredibly poor buffet. Even though the food selection was awful, there was never enough seating. Simply horrible place to eat. The food in the dining room was adequate and our server made it better than it would have been. The selections were ok but on only one occasion really good. We both did like the prime rib. The high point of the cruise, (the single high point) was the children's program. Our 7 year old granddaughter really enjoyed going there and the activities provided. The service in the bars was ok but you sure didn't want to be in a hurry to get a drink. We had the basic drink package that came with the "suite" which proved adequate. My wife liked that she could get coffees and sodas. We are from the U.S. and you should be prepared if you go on this ship.....the VAST majority of other guests did not speak English. Just FYI. We would never cruise on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Chose this cruise for the Cuba itinerary. Of course we missed out on Cuba but decided to stick with this particular itinerary due to the many accommodations/plans that could not be broken. I'll start with the most positive thing. ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the Cuba itinerary. Of course we missed out on Cuba but decided to stick with this particular itinerary due to the many accommodations/plans that could not be broken. I'll start with the most positive thing. The absolute best things about this ship are the kids clubs. My 6-year old daughter raved every night about her days onboard, and now [a month later] she still regales us with stories from her magical 7 days. Cannot say enough about the Mini and Junior Clubs. Staff was excellent! Now, the not so good stuff. First-time cruises may think this ship is beautiful/amazing...and normal. I assure you it is not. Ship is old and small, which makes the layout a bit strange when navigating around the ship. You need to literally pass through every room/bar/library/dining room to get to the next area, which means if the purse store is closed (it was never open), you'll need to go to the other side of the ship to walk through a random bar to get to where you're going. They are almost always out of silverware or glasses, and never was there at least one or two juice machines that wasn't out of order. The food was universally pretty terrible, as cruise ship food goes. We found the buffet lacking variety, and it was peculiar when we saw/had the exact lobster bisque from the buffet later that night in the main dining room for dinner. The bisque was terrible I might add--runny and not at all the consistency of a typical thick/creamy bisque. I could go on and on about food specifics, but typically on a cruise you can always find something good to eat. Of course we did, but this was much more of a challenge on the Armonia. The part that was disconcerting was that we got the distinct feeling that waitstaff/bartenders seemed keenly aware that the food sucks. I can't properly convey the tingling spidey sense that told us this, but if you think I'm kidding or biased somehow then I encourage you to read lots of other reviews and pay close attention to how they rate Armonia's food. The excursions were misleading, and I'm not sure whether this is an MSC thing or the tour companies they use. ATV'ing with my son was a huge disappointment. You must share one ATV, which leaves me curious what would happen if you went on this excursion without a partner. Would they pair you with a stranger just to make double occupancy on each bike?? My son got to drive for maybe 10 mins because they failed to let us switch halfway through the trails. The Jamaica culinary experience leads you to believe you'll actually cook some cultural delights. You will get a hair net/apron/gloves but I assure you you will NOT cook a damn thing; you'll watch the [very hospitable] staff cook. You will NOT make jerk seasoning; you'll mix ketchup with a dash of hot sauce--no I'm not kidding. We upgraded to a balcony room. And while I understand that not all balconies are created equal, ours was terrible. I complained by phone the very first day that there was no AC. They sent a guy. I then waited in line for 40 mins to complain in person at the desk. They sent a guy. Our cabin steward witnessed the temperature each day and used our phone to call. They sent a guy. By the third day I was done complaining cuz....vacation. We were told to keep our windows/doors/curtains tightly shut and drawn the entire time because the outside elements (heat/humidity) were the cause. Really? The heat caused it to be hot? Wait, are you sure? For you first timers, balcony rooms are to be used to relax on your balcony. There aren't many things better in life than to throw the curtains back and experience the sites and the smells of the port in a glorious new city each morning and the sunset each night after dinner with a cocktail and your partner. Or a book. Or nothing at all. This was terrible, and I took pictures and documented my wife and daughter sleeping on top of the covers each night. All you wanna do when returning from excursions in the 100+ degree heat is relax and have a nap in a cool room. How do I know it was terribly hot and miserable you ask?? Well, I booked 2 rooms. My teenage sons had an interior cabin, and their room was lovely!! That should NOT happen. I put them there because they're loud and boisterous and they don't deserve a peaceful, luxurious balcony room; they of course don't care one bit and only want to be left alone with their pizza/french fries. My wife and I weren't supposed to be jealous or pissed because their inside cabin was nicer than our upgraded balcony. But I was patient and non-confrontational because after all, we're on vacation. The last day I finally decided to wait in line to basically hear what MSC would say about our experience. I've never been so pissed at a response. We were told that it was our fault for not standing in line each day [for 40 mins]; that calling the front desk and reporting to [and watching] our cabin steward use our phone to do the same, not to mention reporting the continuing problem to at least 3 of the technicians dispatched to our room was not enough. It was our fault that they refused to hear what we'd all been telling them since day 1. And so I calmly explained that if they refused to budge to at least take the sting out of our miserable experience, I would have no choice but to reduce our gratuities drastically. They looked us dead in the face, knowing this would only affect the cabin stewards (for 2 rooms) who did absolutely nothing wrong, and refused to rectify the situation in any way. My wife and I ended up reducing our gratuities specifically so that MSC would know it was on them, but we took care of the cabin stewards on our own. I doubt I'll ever even consider MSC [certainly not the Armonia] ever again. You've been warned. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I have been on over 35 cruises my second in two years on the Breakaway. FOOD The food was still good, however it really irks me that they have done away with Lobster night. Also seemed to be a lot more nickel and diming the ... Read More
I have been on over 35 cruises my second in two years on the Breakaway. FOOD The food was still good, however it really irks me that they have done away with Lobster night. Also seemed to be a lot more nickel and diming the customers. ROOM Our room steward was the worst I have ever experienced. After 2 straight mornings of him running the vacuum in the hall at 8 am, I asked him to why he was doing it so early and not waiting until more passengers were out of their rooms. He told me because it was dirty, I pointed out that it could wait. He also argued with me regarding that I ordered distilled water even after I showed him the email confirmation. I complained the phone did not work, he said he would take care of it. I checked later that day and it still did not work, so I asked him and he said he fixed it. I told him he did not and told him to follow me back to the room to show him it did not work. Friends of ours 2 rooms down, said he broke their son’s glasses that were laying on the bed. Yes they should not have been left on the bed, but he could at least own up to it. He forgot to leave them towels and when they called him, he said he was off duty, talk about terrible customer service! EXCURSION In Roatan, we did the ultimate resort for a day, what a nightmare. There was a strike and the road was blocked the driver turned around and almost got t-boned. He then took us on a one lane dirt road up a mountain, with cars and trucks coming the other way. All of us in the van asked him to take us back to the ship, which he refused. We got there after an hour and half, he told us he would pick us up an hour early. The service was terrible, we had to wait 45 minutes for drinks and they were not very busy. They also warned us about sand flies, so we used off and did not even go the beach, just used the upper pool which was high above the beach. My wife got 11 bites anyway. When we left, we were half way back to the ship, he had to turn around for 2 more passengers, we get there and there are 6 more, but only room for 4, and there was another van coming in 10 minutes. We should never had to go back for any of them. We complained to the excursion desk, I told them I didn’t want any compensation, but rather they needed to know the terrible experience to drop the excursion. They listened and then told us that we had our allotted time, I explained we did not since we were an hour late getting there and picked up and hour early. Again terrible customer service. Bottom line the service has declined! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was our ninth cruise, third with NCL. I am rating it poor simply because of the issues with the cabin, described later. We chose this cruise because friends had already booked this sailing. This was our first cruise in The ... Read More
This was our ninth cruise, third with NCL. I am rating it poor simply because of the issues with the cabin, described later. We chose this cruise because friends had already booked this sailing. This was our first cruise in The Haven and we were hoping for every good thing we've heard about The Haven and we were not disappointed. The experience was awesome, from the minute we checked in until we disembarked we were treated like royalty. Our butler, Helbert, brought us a pitcher of ice water daily, made sure we had milk in the fridge for morning coffee. When we returned to our cabin after excursions, he had left a snack (fruit or sandwiches) along with some sweets for us. The concierge, Omar, lived up to his reputation. He is perfect in that position. We ate in The Haven restaurant for most meals and the food was fantastic, service was excellent. Sharmila and Remi were our favorites, but everyone was friendly and provided great service. While we spent most of our time in The Haven area, all of our dealings with any crew members were pleasant. The washy-washy ladies when entering the Cafe could bring a smile to anyone's face. Other than the specialty dining, we had every meal in The Haven. We chose Cagney's, La Cucina and Moderno for our specialty dining and the food was fantastic. Service in La Cucina was a little slow, but the food made up for it. As for the entertainment, I walked out of Priscilla Queen of the Desert after about 20 minutes, as did many other people. My husband stayed hoping it would get better but it didn't. We had late reservations for Burn the Floor on the last night of the cruise, but had to skip it because of an 0615 disembarkation to catch our flight. We didn't participate in many activities around the ship because we preferred the solitude of The Haven and our cabin. There were a lot of children on this cruise and many of them were running around unsupervised and/or undisciplined. Since we had booked a Spa Suite, we also had access to the Thermal Spa. There wasn't much time to enjoy the spa on this cruise, but we did manage to get there twice and found it very relaxing and peaceful. The entire area was clean and well maintained. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Must book activities and meal places within the first 24 hours or there is nothing available. I travelled with 2 teenage kids who were so excited about this ship. their excitement quickly turned to frustration as they couldn't do ... Read More
Must book activities and meal places within the first 24 hours or there is nothing available. I travelled with 2 teenage kids who were so excited about this ship. their excitement quickly turned to frustration as they couldn't do all the activities freely. The race track has a longer wait/demo time than the actually ride time. Same with laser tag. The slides were down the whole cruise for maintenance. Cabin is tight with 3 people in it. There was no where to put our luggage. The bathroom was ok. The dining experience is crazy. They have 4000 people on the ship and all trying to eat in the free places is mayhem. Everyone stalks for tables in the Garden Café. Towards the end of the cruise I made us go early to meals so we could get a seat. Feels like they are trying to force one to go to the 'for fee' restaurants. Staff is not friendly. During the week I only met 2 friendly staff personnel that were not robots saying whatever in a robotic voice. Lines for de/embarkation were LONG. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We (family group of 8 / 3 rooms) choose this cruise for the Alaska outings and wanted to try the large ship with great looking laser tag and race track. You cannot book those 2 in advance. As a result, when you get on the ship, you need ... Read More
We (family group of 8 / 3 rooms) choose this cruise for the Alaska outings and wanted to try the large ship with great looking laser tag and race track. You cannot book those 2 in advance. As a result, when you get on the ship, you need to book for your entire week and availability is very limited. Do not plan on that for entertainment. The slide my teens hoped to enjoy was closed the entire cruise. On the race track, you cannot bump and speeds are very restricted, passing is difficult so the person first in line will always be first at the end. There are 4,000 people trying to eat in the Market Cafe which probably has seating for 1,000. It's a crowded mess and trying to sit with family is impossible (breakfast and lunch - horrible). Food is good, especially the Indian section. They must assume all cruising will pay for the additional restaurants. We did not, and when we saw some of those places they seemed available - for an additional fee. Very little entertainment options so bring books and games. There is ~1 or 2 show options daily and again, if you did not book before you came on board, you will likely not be seeing a show. The comedians we did see where great. Jersey Boys also was terrific - I booked that pre-cruise. The staff are robotic, sing songy, and have no attention to service or making your experience fun. First time on Norwegian and this is a striking difference from Royal Caribbean. Pass you in the hall - surly looks - not like you are their guest. Very limited public announcements about the days events. Sporadic screeching over a scratchy intercom that can only be heard in the public halls. It was great to see some whales from the ship and the beauty of Glacier Bay. Amazingly beautiful scenery all the time. The excursions were decent, but the time in port is extremely short. For teens, the teen club requires that you wear a bracelet the entire cruise. My teens would not go, due to that, plus nothing happening in there. They did hang out in the video arcade, but that was their main entertainment. 2 bowling lanes for 4,000 - not possible. 4 mini golf holes - 4,000 people - not possible. Fitness center is open at 6 (sometimes when someone opens the door). On a day we could get off the ship at 7 am, the Market Cafe did not open as planned at 6 am. We were told 6:15, then 6:45 by staff that acted like we were expecting too much. Norwegian - never again. We can and will receive better service on a different line. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We were excited about experiencing the new Norwegian Bliss, but were disappointed on several fronts. In short, there were just simply too many passengers on the ship. We had long waits for dinner service every evening. Also long waits ... Read More
We were excited about experiencing the new Norwegian Bliss, but were disappointed on several fronts. In short, there were just simply too many passengers on the ship. We had long waits for dinner service every evening. Also long waits for the elevators -- there were only 2 banks of elevators, and we often had to wait for several to go by because they were packed to the gills. Also there were always long lines at Customer Service. We had a hard time finding any quiet uncrowded space to relax . The Observation Deck was usually full, with no chairs available. The gym as well was over-crowded. We have been on 12 other cruises (Royal Caribbean, Princess, Norwegian, Cunard, Carnival) and have never felt so crowded. In addition, this cruise was more expensive than others we have taken -- so there was just no upside to this cruise at all. Very long waits to get on and off the boat at the Alaska stops, as well as the Victoria stop. Just so I'm not a nabob of negativity, there were a few good things. The comedians on board were very good, and we enjoyed Jersey Boys. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
When looking for a British Isle vacation, this Princess Cruise seemed to be our best fit.... I wish we could have a do-over. The ship was older and the layout for many areas was poor. But we could have over-looked many of the negatives ... Read More
When looking for a British Isle vacation, this Princess Cruise seemed to be our best fit.... I wish we could have a do-over. The ship was older and the layout for many areas was poor. But we could have over-looked many of the negatives if the food and activities on the ship were, at least, tolerable. That was not the case. The food in the buffet, (which is our go-to after a long day) was, terrible. After trying every salad dressing, I gave up on eating salads on this trip. Desserts were also not worth eating. Each one of us (5 in our group) found a few things that we could tolerate eating. We then ate those few things throughout the trip. Towards the end, we found ourselves eating cheeseburgers and pizza on deck 15... not what we had in mind for good cruise food. We ate at the Crown Grill and Sabatini’s. Though our meals were better than the buffet or the dining room foods, we would never have returned If these were restaurants in our own city. And paying $29/person was quite a bit for a meal that consisted of, for example, noodles with jarred Alfredo sauce and crumbled bacon. The, much promoted, chocolate desserts were comical to us. The quality was extremely low. In addition to the food, we purchased the alcohol packages for 4 of our 5... (our fifth doesn’t drink.). That fifth person was billed for drinks that the others drank ... not sure how that’s even possible with the new Medallion. At the bar, we also found that many of the wines were priced outside the alcohol package. So to have a good glass of wine, (like a drinkable Pinot Grigio) one would have to pay for it ... even though they had bought an alcohol package. And the coffee ... was so terrible. To get a normal cup of coffee, we had to go to the Cafe and stand in a long line. The restaurants and buffets served a coffee product ... bad stuff. The two things that were great about this cruise were the itinerary and the beds. We had saved for a year for this vacation and were so disappointed that we chose a Princess Cruise Ship. We will never make that mistake again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Just returned from Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas Northern Europe and Russia cruise. THIS IS A FULL REVIEW. Explorer is 20 years old and smaller but otherwise identical layout to Freedom and Independence of the Seas, ... Read More
Just returned from Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas Northern Europe and Russia cruise. THIS IS A FULL REVIEW. Explorer is 20 years old and smaller but otherwise identical layout to Freedom and Independence of the Seas, sharing the same (but smaller) Deck 5 central shopping mall idea, Schooners Bar, triple-floor Sapphire Dining Rooms, Windjammer buffet, ice rink, FlowRider and Dizzys/Sky Bar etc. The August cruise from Southampton to Northern Europe was perfectly pleasant. Oslo, Copenhagen, Tallin, St Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm, Skagen (Denmark) and Stavanger (Norway) and the weather was kind, but lazing in the sun on the main deck was possible on one day out of 14, although I spotted several people, probably from Newcastle on Tyne, out there in their bikinis in Force 8 winds! This is an easy cruise to access all the cities visited. All ports were quayside docking and all within easy walking distance of the city centres (Helsinki and Stockholm a couple of miles away but with cheap public transport from the quayside). Don’t fall for the cruise-line’s nonsense of buying their organised trips or paying an extortionate $40 for their own local shuttles - every city had cheap (typically $3 per trip or $10 for a 24 hour ticket covering all busses, trams, water taxis and metros) and regular public transport always right from the quayside. We organised our own tours through local operators, but in cities like Oslo, Helsinki, Copenhagen and Tallinn you can walk everywhere. In every case, local tours were 50% cheaper than the cruise line’s official tour, and usually better. In Skagen we just walked but a friend rented a car for $35 for the day and visited everything there was to see - more than any of the organised tours. In Stavanger we booked a 3 hour fjord cruise with Rödne Tours from a booth right next to the cruise terminal for $40 each when we arrived, but I’d recommend pre-booking in case there’s more than one cruise ship in port. In St Petersburg we booked a 2 day tour with TJ Tours just 5 days before arriving and had a great experience with our own guide and a comfortable Mercedes minibus, all meals and water included, visiting more locations and for longer than the best available cruise-line tour for half the price ($250 each). You must book with an official Russian tour operator to get your necessary temporary Russian visa - you can’t visit St. Petersburg unaccompanied (well, not officially) but it’s as simple as booking online with a tour operator such as TJTours, SPB or Alla Tours. We found many fellow Americans were scared stiff of Russia, thinking the “Reds” might not like them. Well, that’s simply not the case. They are lovely! The guests on this cruise were 60-70% British. Some Americans and Australians for whom this was usually one half of their European cruising (the other half being a Mediterranean cruise, but not always with RCI). The Brits were a mix of classes, lots of blue collar families but nice, friendly and honest in the way Brits usually are. A couple of dozen feral kids under 10 running around, living in the elevators with no parents or ship security enforcing some manners. A public keel hauling of the worst offender would soon restore discipline (this is a joke, btw). . The negatives on this trip were all on board the ship. Having cruised with Royal Caribbean several times a few years ago, these are the noticeable differences – a general decline in standards whilst RCI try even harder to screw every last penny out of their guests: - Sapphire Dining Room - food still ok but menus not quite as varied as before and some dishes simply not up to scratch. Service definitely slower and poorer than we’ve experienced on any other cruise or cruiseline. One night we waited 30 minutes for our order to be taken. Another couple next to us waited 90 minutes for their main course. Lots of complaints heard about this. The dining rooms seem to have more tables crammed in and they’ve dispensed with the nightly “Showtime” singalong by the waiters. Coffee and liqueurs used to be offered automatically, now you have to ask. No chocolate mints anymore. MyTime Dining is a shambles. Dress codes are not enforced at all - families in tee shirts and shorts - even on Formal Night. This is not what I pay my cruise bucks for. If diners want to dress in shorts, send them to the Windjammer. There IS a choice! Hey, Royal Caribbean - stop this race to the bottom and restore some semblance of style to your ships. - Bars. There seem to be fewer waiters going round taking orders. Best bar for cocktails is still Schooner. Dizzy’s on the 14th floor has a good atmosphere (but the air con is always too cold). Some evenings it’s taken over by a “silent” disco, which actually means drunken guests singing the chorus of two different songs out of tune at the top of their voices. Silent it is not! Why on earth they can’t hold this in one of the disco clubs is beyond me. Drink prices noticeably up. $6-10 for a beer, ordinary branded spirits $10-15 and wine at $11-16 a glass. Cocktails typically $12 and up. - On board sales bargains - e.g. watches and jewellery. Quality and variety on offer is poor and prices are the same as high street. The rest of the goods on offer was tourist tat, overpriced by 50% compared to identical tourist tat in each port. On board bargains used to be one of the joys of cruising. It isn’t any longer. Art and overpriced jewellery auctions did zero business. I never understand how they make money, but this cruise full of savvy Brits wasn’t going to part them from their money. - Windjammer Buffet. A glorious spectacle of excess. Food quality is awfully variable, from awful to variable yet never excellent. If you want to watch fat people getting even fatter, pushing and vying to see who can pile their plates highest and yet still leave enough waste food to feed New York’s entire homeless community, then this is the best free entertainment venue on the entire ship! The number of electric buggies plus the constant feeding frenzy was like that scene out of Wally...... Not offendin’ anyone, just sayin’.... - Theatre Entertainment. The in house ‘orchestra’ is a great bunch of talented musicians tied to performing holiday camp-standard routines. The in-house song and dance reviews were nothing special, in fact highly avoidable. A couple of guest bands were excellent, though - a Beatles tribute band and The Wild Boys in particular were very good. A visiting West End singer, magician and a hypnotist who were all pretty mundane. I fell asleep during the hypnotist act. No idea why. - Round the Ship entertainment. There’s a talented solo guitarist playing a repertoire of 30 almost recognisable pop hits in a vaguely classical style. He looks tired and bored, but go and ask him to play something decent, like Tarrega or Rodriguez, and he perks up! The House Band is OK, best when they are doing live karaoke. Lead vocalist loves herself but the drummer is the better singer. The reggae band are very good. There’s a very camp Liberace clone who knows his downmarket audience to a Tee! Straight from Phoenix Nights! Truly awful....unless you like that kind of thing. - The usual selection of half hour games and quizzes, presented in a generally lacklustre way, always in a hurry, formulaic and rushed. Too few staff? - Casino. Never more than 1/4 full. The Brits obviously don’t gamble. The ship did nothing to entice them in, so each night it was the same 50 American faces playing the slots and a handful of tables. At least half the croupiers looked dead or asleep. They could have jumped ship for two weeks and no one would have noticed. A missed opportunity. - Cruise Director. Every other Cruise Director we’ve had has been the life and soul of the ship - always about, saying hello, geeing people up. Not this one. Known as “Hello Clo”. Been in the business 27 years, apparently. Never saw her round the ship saying hello to passengers, never saw her on the gangplank, only on-stage introducing the acts. Something missing here. - Photographs. Still expensive but with many more photographers and backdrops. The old style of printing out thousands of photos on paper for you to peruse has been replaced with a dreadful touch screen system. The staff said it was more popular but I doubt it. - State Room Stewards. Great, as ever. These people work the hardest on the ship and deserve the biggest tips. - On Sea Days the ship was heaving with people because it was too cold out on deck. 3,500 bored passengers wandering round inside an already crowded ship, all looking for something to do. You would think the Entertainment staff would make a bit more effort and lay on extra entertainments when it’s too increment to go outside, but no. Nada. Nothing. This, above all else, was the weakest element of the cruise. The Ship. 20 years old and looking its age. It had a refit in 2015 but there are a lot of defects. Lifts out of action, PA systems on their last legs, cutlery in the dining rooms old and knackered, large viewing windows which had gone opaque, furniture a bit tatty. Lots of maintenance engineers fixing things discretely. Many staff just seem to be tired, going through the motions. Even the Captain’s daily announcement was delivered in a flat, monotonic voice. The only time he sounded enthused was in Stockholm, probably his home town. I heard that Explorer of the Seas is due another refit to take away some public areas and add more cabins, so this ship is likely to get even more crowded. I hope the staff-guest ratio increases but somehow I doubt it. Would I cruise with Explorer of the Seas again? No. Has my opinion of a Royal Caribbean been tarnished? Yes. Cruise destinations. 9/10 Ship. 5/10 Entertainment. 4/10 Dining. 6/10 Steward. 10/10. Value for Money. 7/10 Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise as it was the Right time of year school holidays and going to Northern Europe with st Petersburg on the itenary we were disappointed in that my two girls couldn’t attend the children’s club because they were 10 ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was the Right time of year school holidays and going to Northern Europe with st Petersburg on the itenary we were disappointed in that my two girls couldn’t attend the children’s club because they were 10 & 12 and would have had to go to separate clubs because of their ages they didn’t want to go alone & there was no leeway with this they also had to stop using the pools after the first week as they came out with terrible skin rashes all of our party did I reported it to customer services they said it was because someone had been sick in the pool so had to be drained and stronger chemicals put in !! There was another mum complaining at the same time and families around the pool were not using them for the same reason! My family and I were absolutely fuming that there was an extortionate fee for the shuttle busses there was 4 adults and 4 children only in Helsinki did they not charge for the children I can’t believe that RC did not receive most of this money as why did we have to pay directly to RC We were all very disappointed with the entertainment nothing for the children no pool party’s games on deck we had good weather most of the cruise so there was no reason for this The food was ok very samey but nice we only ate in the windjammer as we had 4 fussy children so it was great for them to just try things We only did the Russia trip preferring to do our own trips the guide was very knowledgeable but it was a bit manic as in on off the coach and they took us to a very expensive tourist gift shop but we were allowed to use the toilets The ship itself was looking a bit warn out and tired its due a refit I believe Most of the staff were really nice but they fussed around the alcohol drinkers more In short we won’t be travelling with RC again Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This is our 4th HAL cruise. We've been in Alaska few years ago and we loved the scenery. We booked the balcony so we could enjoy the beautiful view, but it was a BIG mistake because we never enjoyed it because of a strong smell of ... Read More
This is our 4th HAL cruise. We've been in Alaska few years ago and we loved the scenery. We booked the balcony so we could enjoy the beautiful view, but it was a BIG mistake because we never enjoyed it because of a strong smell of smoke. We reported it few times at the costumer service but they never did anything. They keep telling us they will investigate ( whoever smokes at the balcony), NEVER solved the problem and it just gets worse everyday. The buffet was always crowded and I often heard people complaining about lack of space. Food was ok .The other complimentary restaurants had about the same food as buffet just fewer choices and service was not good there either.The dinners were just ok. We spent an hour and a half waiting on courses to be served. The positives side of this trip were the staff, they were great and friendly.. except the staff at the costumer service whose not very helpful. Front desk folks not helpful or friendly...took us many trips to report a problem and NEVER solved. Lack of activities as well. Most activities were just an opportunity for Holland to sell you something. This time I was in some ways disappointed. I remember our previous cruises with HAL was always great.. Not this time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was the second time that we’d cruised on this ship. Standards have certainly dropped. Firstly the good points. Embarkation at Southampton was excellent and totally stress free. The cabin was ready as soon as we walked onboard and ... Read More
This was the second time that we’d cruised on this ship. Standards have certainly dropped. Firstly the good points. Embarkation at Southampton was excellent and totally stress free. The cabin was ready as soon as we walked onboard and our room was very good. The ship has recently been upgraded and is very nice.Our cabin attendant was also very good throughout our holiday. Entertainment was also generally good. The bad points. The food was very poor in the main dining rooms and buffet areas. With the choice in the Waterside very limited. The payable restaurants were much better. The catering staff didn’t have any interest in the passengers and appeared sullen and unhelpful. I wonder if this is anything to do with the discontinuance of gratuities . I think that P&O need to ‘up their game’ to keep up with Celebrity and others. The overall experience has certainly put us off another P&O cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We booked the cruise for end of summer, we had to stand in line at guest services 4 times the first day, because our cards wouldn't work for purchases or as our room keys! So our first day we stood in line at guest services for over ... Read More
We booked the cruise for end of summer, we had to stand in line at guest services 4 times the first day, because our cards wouldn't work for purchases or as our room keys! So our first day we stood in line at guest services for over 1.5 hours trying to get keys to work. At supper we were on anytime dining, so we went to dinner in dining room, we were greeted and seated. After 20 minutes, I asked a waiter, who would be taking care of our table? He immediately said I will send someone over shortly. If anytime dining is a problem for the staff, then do away with it! We didn't ask for anytime dining, that's what we were given. If carnival wants the vista to be there flagship, they missed the bar!! They have tried to include everything and left out the basics. An example of this, the casino is on the fourth floor, and there is not a mens restroom. The casino dealer told me the restroom was on 3rd level for the men. Makes no sense. If you have a womens restroom go ahead and spend the money for a mens restroom too. Again Thursday evening we are standing in line at guest services, card is not working again. They have our credit card on file, all charges are to go to the credit card, and guest services said our card is inactive, but she didn't know why? Guest services reactivated our card, and now we can make purchases again. Guest services has been a nightmare!! Supper on Thursday night, I ordered lobster tail which was an additional $20, the waiter brought me 2 lobster tails, I cut into the first one and took a bite. It was like a rubber band, overcooked!! I informed the waiter that it was not good, he kindly took it away, and explained that I would not be charged the $20 for the lobster. I thanked him for not charging me. Generally the table is cleared and then dessert menus are brought, not tonight! My wife was still eating her supper, and here comes the dessert menu. I know this was because I returned the overcooked lobster. Highlight of the cruise for us was the comedy show on Thursday evening and Mr. Sanchos at cozumel. Mr sanchos is not a carnivasl excursion, but is worth every penny. JiJi Chinese restaurant is a great place to eat! Cost like 15 per person, but you get way more food, than you can eat. Unfortunately, we have already booked the vista for December. Hopefully we will have a better experience in December. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Was very excited for this cruise and being able to see all of the different islands. Embarkation was very smooth, and we were able to get into our rooms with 3 hours of getting on the boat. Luggage also showed up early evening which was ... Read More
Was very excited for this cruise and being able to see all of the different islands. Embarkation was very smooth, and we were able to get into our rooms with 3 hours of getting on the boat. Luggage also showed up early evening which was impressive. I do not believe that the stewards had enough time to turn around rooms, as room was not as clean as we were used to when we first arrived, however, got better the next day and coming days. Steward was always very nice when we saw him in the hallway. When we first arrived, the balcony had not been cleaned (hair was left, along with sand/dirt). The one main reason I am rating this experience less than average was because of the food. The price for this cruise is significantly more expensive than others (Caribbean), but the food was beyond disappointing. Each meal in the Aloha Cafe left little to be desired. Breakfast was identical each morning and lunch had a few changes, but overall the poor quality remained the same. We had dinner in two specialty restaurants and the Skyline and Liberty in the evenings. Our experience has been that the seated dining rooms have consistent top quality food, but even those dining rooms were below average in taste. We ate at Cagney’s steakhouse on the last evening, I had the Fisherman Platter and my husband had Prime Rib. The starters and salad were the best meal of the entire cruise, but main course fish and steak were again below average. Steak was dry and bland, and fish had a very fishy frozen taste to it. Moderna Dining was consistent across the meal, and the most satisfying and consistent across the board for the entire dining experience. The entertainment was average, we spent most of our evenings in the Wine Bar and Pink’s Champagne Bar. The Wine Bar had a great selection and the sommelier was extremely knowledgeable. If you are a wine drinker, this is a must do experience if on this ship. Pink’s has live music every night, which was better after a few beverages. The other significant item we noticed was the staff. In uniform, there was an instance that a staff member came through and yelled to another staff member across the Gold Rush Saloon to a female staff member, “How do you like your eggs? Fertilized?!” My husband and I were the only ones in the dining area and I’m sure he didn’t realize as he was walking through, but unprofessional while in uniform. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I chose Princess Cruises based on the strength of the cruiseline's reputation and the many glowing recommendations of my travel agent and friends. I was incredibly disappointed in the land portion (7 days) of our Cruisetour that ... Read More
I chose Princess Cruises based on the strength of the cruiseline's reputation and the many glowing recommendations of my travel agent and friends. I was incredibly disappointed in the land portion (7 days) of our Cruisetour that preceded the actual cruise which probably set us up for a disappointing experience on the ship. Princess has been doing this a long time and this shows in the seamless embarkation, disembarkation, and handling of our luggage. These things went extremely well. However, so many other things that COULD have gone well didn't... and I attribute this to the volume of business Princess handles. The excursions staff are poorly trained and so when things don't go as planned, no one knows how to handle the situation. Missing buses, mis-handled excursions, and incorrect billing are all things that happen... but they also need to be remedied and not addressed with a shoulder shrug. Amenities should also be as advertised. The "Fun Zone" was closed on the ship, the video arcade removed, and the space where Princess Links was supposed to be located was nothing more than some old astro turf with a few cup holes. Kid-friendly really means "kid-tolerant" as there was nothing for my young boys to actually do that was age appropriate aside from parking them at the Kids Club. (Needless to say, they aren't anxious to cruise with Princess again although we might be able to get them on a Disney ship.) NOTE: I spent a lot of time walking around the ship to entertain my boys and our favorite game became spot the broken stuff. The busted and missing railings count was up to 7 when I disembarked. As for the food. I don't understand why so many people rave about it. The Horizon buffet is mediocre and there is so much sodium in the food, it make me feel sick. We had dinner at the Crown Grill which was delicious (which should be with the extra charge!), but our celebratory Wedding Dinner at Sabatini's could have been bested by The Olive Garden. Our main courses were simply inedible, overcooked to the point where we couldn't even cut the shrimp. The special Crab Shack night was fun, but definitely not worth the $29 cover charge per person. Fortunately we tried Donatello's and it proved to be the best choice; so we dined well here for the remainder of the week. What did got well was the attentive service by staff in the bars and restaurants. These members of the staff work incredibly long hours and they make an effort to ensure the passengers are having a good experience. The same can be said for the Steward who cared for our suite. There were plenty of entertainment choices for the varied tastes of my family members (Bingo and the game show style events were our favorites), but the Lotus Spa (which I really looked forward to) was a bit of a disappointment. Services were of average quality (mani/pedi, massages, facial, blow out, and a shave were all had by my family) for premium prices which was expected, but the hard sell of products by the staff was extremely distasteful. The adjoining Fitness Center was also a bit of disappointment as hygiene wasn't a concern. I showed up for the yoga class which was held in the same area as spin class... and the instructor didn't even pretend to clean the gross floor before rolling out a bunch of dirty mats for the passengers. I have never felt so ripped off for the $17 I spent for the class. If you have read my review and gotten to this point, I do want to say that a lot of people around us LOVED the cruise. I can see how a lot of people wouldn't have cared about any of the things I mentioned. If you don't have young children, have low expectations for the quality of your meals, and just want to be on a floating hotel where you can drink, be entertained, and see some sights in Alaska, then a Princess cruise IS for you. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Thought a cruise was a good way to see multiple places and not have to pack and unpack but we were disappointed. Arrival at ports were poorly planned, many of the facilities looked like they were from the ‘80’s. Food was just ok staff ... Read More
Thought a cruise was a good way to see multiple places and not have to pack and unpack but we were disappointed. Arrival at ports were poorly planned, many of the facilities looked like they were from the ‘80’s. Food was just ok staff seemed overworked and especially in the buffet area grumpy. My idea of a vacation isn’t waiting in line to board, get food etc. shows were ok even with a drink package sitting down at the restaurant you needed to keep showing your card - the first three days be prepared to be accosted for add ons to purchase. If you want To belly up to the table and eat and drink as much as possible then maybe a cruise is for you. We paid the extra money for concierge class but a bit of a dud no real value associated with paying the extra money. Seems like the cruise line also spends nine time driving you to diamonds international then sharing any information about the local sites. I am sure there is a very profitable business relationship that exists there. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I'm not sure that I've ever given a negative review of a cruise before but there is a first time for everything ... We live in Charleston so we were very excited to sail out of our home port. Avid cruisers, we've enjoyed ... Read More
I'm not sure that I've ever given a negative review of a cruise before but there is a first time for everything ... We live in Charleston so we were very excited to sail out of our home port. Avid cruisers, we've enjoyed Carnival, RCCL and Disney cruises and have always praised Carnival for its service and food quality, as well as the variety of entertainment. That said, I feel that the service has deteriorated dramatically since our last Carnival cruise. This ship, in particular, was aged badly and there was no sign of the daily maintenance that we were used to seeing in the past. Our room steward was Ok but the room itself looked old and unclean. Our wait staff was below average; one was even visibly annoyed when my nephew and I would order multiple desserts to share. The food wasn't appetizing, except for the Guy's Burger Joint, the taco stand and the deli. One word of caution, Guy's Burger would only give you one onion ring per burger... I've never been denied any food request on a cruise ship until now...Anyone else think that pre-paying tips may be the death of good service on a cruise??? I've also noticed that with the new drink package option, there are no longer nearly as many waiters available pool side. With the exception of one day, we had to walk to the bar for each drink. Given that we have two kids that were playing in the pool or napping; that is way easier said than done. Finally, the ship wasn't family friendly and the kids' club hours were not long enough and it didn't matter because my kids didn't want to go anyway.... Unfortunately, this will probably be our 11th and FINAL Carnival cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
If I could do two and a half stars, I would. We decided to do a cruise, which was not something we had ever done before. We decided on this ship because it was well priced, out of NYC (which is where we live), recently refurbished, and ... Read More
If I could do two and a half stars, I would. We decided to do a cruise, which was not something we had ever done before. We decided on this ship because it was well priced, out of NYC (which is where we live), recently refurbished, and Carnival has a good reputation as being a family friendly cruise line with great kids amenities. The Good: The stewards and other staff were lovely. Very nice and friendly. The Bonsai Sushi Restaurant was very good and well priced. Lucky Bowl was a terrific lunch time option if you didn't mind eating soup for lunch when it was 90 degrees out. The lobster rolls were good at the seafood shack, but also had an additional up-charge. The fries were consistently excellent. Chris Williams (the cruise director) was a lot of fun. Puerto Rico was an excellent port and we had a terrific time there. The kids really enjoyed putting on their bathing suits and watching movies while in the pool on the Lido deck. The Average: I was in one of the Port Hole rooms and one of the beds is obviously a sofa that is converted into a bed. It was very hard. My husband slept in the other bed which was far too soft for me. In room entertainment is very limited. Our snorkel excursion at Grand Turk was fine. Trivia contents we mostly esoteric and not real competitive trivia. The Bad: Honestly, where to begin? There were lines for everything. The ship is very poorly laid out and very cramped. They said the anytime dining and the set time dining had the same menus, but they did not. My kids (7/9/10) HATED the kids club. After the first day they referred to it as "baby jail" and refused to go. The reason for this cruise was the great amenities for kids. While they liked the water slides and the ropes course, that was about it. For a ship that was recently refurbished, it was very run down. Sewage smells in the hallways, the sprinkler head in our cabin was held on with duct tape, doors did not close, things had already fallen off the walls and elevators consistently did not work. Restaurants: (in order of appreciation): Bonsai Sushi (mentioned above) -- up-charge Fahrenheit 555 -- up-charge. The Waygu beef was excellent, the lobster bisque excellent, and that was about it. It was as good as any third tier steakhouse. The service was OK. Seafood Shack -- up-charge Excellent lobster rolls and fries. The crab was meh. Avoid the oysters. Lucky Bowl -- Included VERY good, as long as you are okay with soup on a hot day. Cucina de Capitano -- Up-charge. Pretty consistent pasta place. Not sure why there needs to be more than a $5 up charge on this. Hit or miss at lunch (when it is free). Meat Lasagna was odd. Felt like it was made with brisket. The Pizza place (I can not remember the name) - Included. It's good. Sunrise Restaurant -- Included. VERY hit or miss. The service is slow. The waiters mostly didn't understand special requests and you would have to ask multiple times. The food went from absolutely awful (salmon my first night...sad shrimp cocktail) to delicious (my kids loved the pork chop. The chicken breast was very good). Avoid the fruit "soups". They taste like melted ice cream. Brunch here was surprisingly good, however, and I highly recommend the brunch spaghetti. It was delicious. Guys Burger Joint (burgers) -- Fine for burgers. Tastes like fast food, which is is. Blue Iguana (Mexican) - Not great. BBQ Place -- never tried. Deli - (hit or miss) Lido Marketplace - AWFUL. Badly laid out. No concept of line management. We did this as infrequently as possible, but it made all the other restaurants around it feel cramped and uninviting. The food was truly awful with the exception of the Indian buffet day for some reason.(I tried it that day as a joke and was pleasantly surprised). I will not do a carnival cruise again. avoid. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
After so many fabulous Celebrity Cruises this was Benidorm at Sea Disinterested crew,unruly guests,cold food,average wines being passed off as premium,a front desk that was perfect at apologising without being pro active,repetitive menu ... Read More
After so many fabulous Celebrity Cruises this was Benidorm at Sea Disinterested crew,unruly guests,cold food,average wines being passed off as premium,a front desk that was perfect at apologising without being pro active,repetitive menu in the ocean view unless you love fajitas and macaroni cheese every day... no description of your evening meal in the MDR just super swift need to clear this table for the next guest service Beyond disappointed Booked 4 Alcoves based on previous experiences..this one had no ropes no privacy and was a huge waste of money,now a public area no WiFi as advertised save your money its a rip off People sat on towels everywhere,using alcoves having not booked,and smoke from the engine mixed with the fuel odour. Disinterested crew that need to finish their chat before you may ask a question. To summarise,despite reaching out to Guest services it’s all a front,nobody irks really interested how your experience really is. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Can I just firstly say that the crew were absolutely amazing, each and every one of them! Some days I did enjoy myself but for the most part I was not happy with this cruise at all. Firstly it was very overcrowded. Apparently it was ... Read More
Can I just firstly say that the crew were absolutely amazing, each and every one of them! Some days I did enjoy myself but for the most part I was not happy with this cruise at all. Firstly it was very overcrowded. Apparently it was some kind of record, over 3500 passengers. Due to this a lot of people could not get sun beds or even seats in the ocean view cafe to eat. You pay that much money you should have a sun bed allocated for you and a place to eat the food you paid for. It felt like a 3 star holiday resort where everybody runs for the sun beds. At the bars I saw a lot of arguments between people trying to get served. The bar staff couldn’t control it they never knew who to serve next and people were pushing in. On my last night I had an argument myself at the ice bar. Everybody sits around the bar so you can’t get served. I was waiting for 15 minutes then all of a sudden this rude man tried pushing me out of the way and said it was his seat. I tried to explain I didn’t want to sit down I just wanted a drink then I was going to stand back. Then his friend started on me saying I didn’t understand. It’s ridiculous that people are allowed to cover the whole bar by sitting down, drinking, then getting served again straight away. Nobody else has a chance of getting served. The seats should all be removed it’s not fair on people. Now to the food. In the main restaurant I can’t complain. But In the ocean view cafe the food was always cold. I got told they replace it every 4 hours which is a very long time. Breakfast was the worst. Stone cold beans everyday. Then I kept getting them blue glasses which were sometimes filthy, with one day having yogurt all over the rim of the glass. Again it felt like a 3 star holiday resort. Then we got ripped off with the shuttle buses. $20 each to Marseille. The cruise made it sound like a super long way. On the evening paper it said 30 minutes drive. Well it was 10-15 minutes. What made this even worse was outside next to the shuttle bus we paid for. Was a free of charge shuttle bus! The absolute cheek of them to do this! It cost us $80 for 4 people. When you pay £8000 for a holiday you expect not to keep getting robbed. Then the amount of times the waiters and supervisors tried to get us to pay for the more expensive restaurants or to upgrade our drinks package. They truly have got you when you are on board. Then teenagers seemed to be everywhere and were really annoying. Never with any parents just in gangs taking up large areas of the ship. You had no chance of having a sit down in the hideaway. Even at 1am in the morning they were still swarming around causing bother to people. The women who sing on deck 3 must have a very small catalogue of songs. They sung the same songs every night it was so repetitive. Then on ‘rock night’ she did about 2 rock songs then went back to the other repetitive ones. I won’t be cruising with celebrity again, I feel like I had the wool pulled over my eyes on how great it would be. Again it’s not all bad, but not getting served and my incident at the bar really got to me, and I had enough at that point of the whole thing and just wanted to go home. Too many people. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
The frustrating: Beginning at embarkation, things were just rough. The people checking us in were unfriendly, and our keys to our rooms were not correct. Once on board, the main water slides were not working (the entire week), the adult ... Read More
The frustrating: Beginning at embarkation, things were just rough. The people checking us in were unfriendly, and our keys to our rooms were not correct. Once on board, the main water slides were not working (the entire week), the adult only pool was closed (the entire week), and customer service was deplorable. Customer service was not only rude to me, but I heard them be very rude to several other passengers. The entertainment was not family friendly although it was advertised as Cirque Dreams when we booked. One show was 18+ and the other was a burlesque/cabaret. Also, no more towel animals. The first 24 hours, our toilet quit flushing 4 separate times. The good: We were in a mini-suite balcony - 13228. It was a very nice-sized room for our family of four. It offered a king bed, a couch that made out into a single bed, and a murphy bed that folded down from the ceiling. The bathroom was nice sized and the shower was huge and had great pressure. We enjoyed dining on this NCL a little more than in the past. The best entertainment we've seen on 4 NCL cruises was Sy Norman's Pourhouse band. Fantastic singers, nice people. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
First let me say that my wife and I are not active cruisers, having taken fewer than 8 in our 50 years together. We prefer to plan our own trips and see things on our own. We chose the Baltic cruise on RCI because of the 3 days in St. ... Read More
First let me say that my wife and I are not active cruisers, having taken fewer than 8 in our 50 years together. We prefer to plan our own trips and see things on our own. We chose the Baltic cruise on RCI because of the 3 days in St. Petersburg and we didn't want to try Russia on our own. It was a mistake we will not make again. If we ever cruise again, it will not be with RCI. Embarkation was smooth and painless thanks to the pre-cruise checkin process offered on the RCI website. The food and service on Serenade of the Seas were good. The food in the Windjammer was plentiful but if you dine there every breakfast, lunch and some dinners, it becomes somewhat repetitive and is often quite crowded. All the staff that we came into contact with were very friendly and helpful. The entertainment was acceptable but not exceptional. The ABBA show was very nice, but some of the entertainers in the Centrum were boring. The cabin facilities were nice but somewhat tired, especially the carpet and sofa and the in-room amenities were non-existent. Having said all of this, the cruise would have been enjoyable if not for the way Royal Caribbean operates. Everything is designed to sell, sell, sell. They start trying to upsell you the moment you step on the ship with upgraded meal packages, drink packages, photos, excursions, etc. The price for internet service was especially outrageous. Over $26/day for a single device. Very annoying. As for the ports of call, it seems that they berth the ship as far away from town as they can to encourage passengers to book their overpriced excursions. They provide very little information on where the ship is berthed or what transportation options there are to reach town. There were no port briefings on things to see so if you don't take their excursions you have little idea of what is available. If you don't want to use RCI's excursions at each stop you must do a little research prior to your trip. Try to find out where the ship will be berthed in each port and what types of public transportation is available. The daily tip sheet provided to the staterooms provided very little information. If you wish to explore on your, you must plan ahead. Before you leave home, print out a map of each town you will visit and decide what sites you wish to see. If you decide you don't want to do this and let RCI do it for you, that's your choice of course, but be prepared to travel with bus-loads of fellow cruisers and to pay RCI's exorbitent excursion prices. Prior to our departure we used the internet to pre-book our excursions in St. Petersburg and Warnemunde for far less money and with far fewer passengers. For the other ports we used the public bus system, taxis or our feet to get around. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019

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