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52,648 Family Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because it suited our family. There was plenty for them to do and the accommodation suited us. We had a balcony cabin which was excellent, An inside cabin again very good and a studio cabin which was excellent. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it suited our family. There was plenty for them to do and the accommodation suited us. We had a balcony cabin which was excellent, An inside cabin again very good and a studio cabin which was excellent. The embarkation and disembarkation went like clockwork. We ate mostly in the 2 main dining rooms and the food and service was excellent. The service from the staff was excellent. Very friendly and knowledgeable and could not do enough for you. The only shore excursion we used was Rome and the Vatican and it was an excellent trip. We took a taxi from Livorno to Pisa from inside the cruise terminal and although we were unsure of what to do a family of 3 approached us and there was 5 of us so we were able to user an 8 seater taxi which was 200 euros return, but it took us straight from the ship to the centre of Pisa and back again. The day we were berthed in Cannes we took the train to Monaco and back. We were only 60 euros return for 5 of us as they only charged for 4 and we got 1 person free. The train wad excellent as the views on the journey were breathtaking and when we came out of the station in Monaco we were right in the centre. The ship is excellent and although there was 18 decks we found it very easy to navigate. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We had an amazing time being pampered on the Carnival Ecstasy! Loved the Faster to the Fun option that allowed us to bypass the longer check-in lines and exit lines. Worth the $49 dollar per room charge to have access to this level of ... Read More
We had an amazing time being pampered on the Carnival Ecstasy! Loved the Faster to the Fun option that allowed us to bypass the longer check-in lines and exit lines. Worth the $49 dollar per room charge to have access to this level of personal attention. We received daily quality service on the cruise! The staff is extremely hard working and worthy of high praise! Loved the many opportunities for entertainment! Can't wait to have the chance to cruise again with Carnival!! Two thumbs up! Our favorite excursion was to Half Moon Cay! The water is so clear and temperature perfect! Our family rented a private villa and loved it! Great job Carnival Ecstasy!! Dining in the Wing Song Dining Room each evening was a real traat! Great food, service and entertainment! Our wait staff went out of their way to make sure that we had a terrific vacation experience. Thanks Carnival! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We chose this cruise because other family members were already booked, and we wanted to join them. I did no research before hand, so after we booked it, I started to look into the ship and the ports of call. I was a little worried because ... Read More
We chose this cruise because other family members were already booked, and we wanted to join them. I did no research before hand, so after we booked it, I started to look into the ship and the ports of call. I was a little worried because of all the negative reviews, but we had a great time. It really is what you make of it. The negatives- the ship is small, rooms are small, and the pool is very small!! For me, the pool was the only hang up. It got hot sitting on the deck and the pool was jammed packed, so getting into the pool to cool off was a challenge. We still made it work. We got up close and personal to some strangers and just made friends that much faster!! It was easy getting on and off the ship. We didn't have to wait in line long at all even at the tender port. The food is good, entertainment was good and definitely worth our time, and the staff was excellent! It was a less expensive cruise, so it was totally worth it. Me and my family (10 in all) had a blast!!! I would definitely go again! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We actually chose the Bahamas but they changed it on the last week and nothing we could do about it. Empress of the Seas is a boat that needs major overhauling. The hallways (deck 7th) stunk like sewer. The room that you are shown on the ... Read More
We actually chose the Bahamas but they changed it on the last week and nothing we could do about it. Empress of the Seas is a boat that needs major overhauling. The hallways (deck 7th) stunk like sewer. The room that you are shown on the internet when booking is false advertising. The room is about 10ft wide by 15ft long. It is built just like my old travel trailer. You can hear all kinds of noise from the rooms next to you. As I was fixing an issue with my card, there was a couple wanting to talk to the captain because they were affraid the beds on the wall would fall on their heads. The funny thing is that I actually had the same complaint but security does not do anything about it. As a matter of fact; there was only one security guard on duty as far as I saw and it was posted by the pool to make sure people were not doing cannon balls. The pool deck is about the size of a basketball court with a tiny pool (15x20ft) in the middle and 3 little hot tubs. Rusted all over, nasty tarp shades. It is like someone decided to upgrade the boat and then super cut the budget. If you are intending to be drunk off your mind; I highly recomend this cruise. Because you wont know the difference. But if you are planning a family vacation like the one I went; dont. There is nothing for kids to do except play arcade at $1.45 for what would cost a quater in land. The cruise entertainers had a couple of dance parties in the master staircase and started pulling the kids into the middle so the parents would stay. There were 2 men and a woman. One of the men started to dance with the kids like he was a stripper and the other like he was a flamming queen. I believe most courts would find this to be indicent or lewdness behavior with a minor. Public lewdness refers to indicent or obscene behavior in public. These laws protect society from public conduct considered immoral and inappropiate. The female was the only conservative. There were some shows for adult only and they were allowing kids to come in because there was not really anything for the kids to do; and the obscene jokes didnt stop. There is a latino band (conjunto) that plays salsa and other latin rythms. The 3 men in the group were ok. The one female doesnt know how to sing and doesnt know the words to the songs. She kept on reading them from her tablet in the middle of singing missing her beat. It was like they pay her to do karaoke. Then there is the fake regae band that plays on the top deck. Out of tune and annoying as hell. It was like if they got all the reject entertainers and put them in this boat. And then there is the waiters for the top deck. God forbid there is any dirty glasses or dishes on your table, they wont take it away. But when you ask for a drink, they surely can ask for gratuity. Which by the way, you get charged $13.50 a day/ person. So you are forced to give tips and they still bug you for tips even if they dont do anything. Every time there is a good show like karaoke or battle of the sexes, there is someone who gets on the intercom and starts announcing some sale. My best time was actually off the boat. I highly recomend the shore excursions. They are mostly personal business and they really care about proper treatment. We did the snorkle at Cayman and the trolley tour at Key West. And the internet doesnt work in the rooms. You have to go to the top deck to get service. Waste of money. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Our family just took the four night cruise to the Bahamas. We had 31 family members ranging from 10 months to 82 years old. This is our fifth RCCL cruise, but the first for most of our family members. After reading the reviews for ... Read More
Our family just took the four night cruise to the Bahamas. We had 31 family members ranging from 10 months to 82 years old. This is our fifth RCCL cruise, but the first for most of our family members. After reading the reviews for this ship, I decided to plan our own activities. I'm so glad I did. The cruise director, Susan, was rarely heard from or seen. Normally, on Royal Caribbean Cruises, the cruise director is everywhere, announcing the day's agenda, walking and chatting with guests, etc. The previous reviews were spot on about there not being a lot of cruise activities. I highly suggest you plan to bring your own if that is what you like to do. The first day went great. We got to the port at 10:30 am and were on board by 11:15 am. We ate at the windjammer and the food was the same as it is for all cruises. I did not have any complaints. The group meet in the Viking Lounge for a kick off, we had dinner and then we did the rock climbing wall. We did not go to the show. We ate all our dinners and most of our breakfasts in the main dining room. I thought the food was great. My family ordered several appetizers/entrees and we shared them. I was expecting the dining would not be as great after reading the reviews, but our group did not have any complaints, in fact the dining seemed like any other RCCL cruise. It was varied each night, with enough choices to satisfy our entire group. We had three tables and had great service. Most of us had purchased beverage plans which was a great idea. We were up to the wee hours in the bars and for my family, that was one of their high lights. The adult comedy club on the third night was good, not great, as I was told. The second night has the headliner show which was not up to RCCL standards, but it was good enough for the younger cruise members in our family. Some of our older members, left in the middle of the show. We did not attend any other shows. One was enough. We always attend every show on RCCL. Best to adjust your expectations for the entertainment. The ship does not have a lot of small private places, the karaoke was done in the middle of the atrium in front of the dining rooms as well as the cake decorating contest. I think the spectrum lounge would have been a better place. The Schooner bar was our favorite place to hang out as well as the pools. The new addition of the kid pool area was a hit as well as the movie screen. The kids loved it. I can't imagine the ship without one, so I'm glad they installed it. The teen club was disappointing. When we went there the first day, there was no crew member to meet the teens and later in the week, my teens never saw a crew member. This is not up to RCCL standards. This cruise ship is a great cruise for big families and big groups who want to hang out with each other. If you are going with a small family, I definitely recommend pre planning some extra activities, else you may feel like the odd one out. Coco Cay: We took the glass bottom boat tour in Coco Cay and some members took the Sting Ray tour. Both tours were excellent. I highly recommend taking the early tour, we were the first ones off the boat. The glass bottom tour is small and friendly and just right for all ages. We had a two year old, teens, 50 year olds and an 82 year old and we ALL enjoyed it. The family members who did not purchase a tour, got on the island on 11:30 am. They waited for two hours in the stairs for a tender. Later on, someone said there was a problem with one of the tenders, so if that's the case, then that would explain the long wait. If not, then plan ahead, either get an early excursion, or expect to leave at 11:15 am. The snorkel beach had several Sargent Majors and little fish, just enough to snorkel and plenty fun for new snorkelers. We brought our own snorkel gear but you can purchase or rent them at Coco Cay. The family spent the entire day at the beach, no other activities were purchased. The BBQ lunch was nice, but just remember, it's a BBQ lunch, it's not fine dinning. Nassau: It was very unbearably hot the day we were there. We were bombarded by lots of taxis, which was a little bit much for my taste, so we crossed the street to get away from it. Because it was so hot, we did not go to the places we had planned to go to. We went to the straw market, which has moved down the street, and then we went back to the ship. Other family members loved the little beach nearby and got a chair and tables for $25-$45 and beer for $1.00. Other members enjoyed the rum distillary and one family went on a free island tour with a volunteer, Annie, who is a nun. Activities: I purchased jewelry kits from Oriental Trading and we had our our jewelry designing activity. I also purchased card making kits, deck of cards, play dough, children books and brought some children toys to entertain the little ones during dinner and family socials. We also paid an extra fee to book the rock climbing wall just for our group. This is something groups can do, it worked out well for us, and was one of our highlights. You need to book this well in advance through the group reservation. We met at the Viking Lounge for some of our activities. And since we were a group, we rented a conference room. This turned out to be a great idea. The conference rooms are on deck 7, private and have a great view of the ocean. My dad gave a great family history presentation. If you have a big group, this may be something to look into. If you have a small group, or are by yourself, you will have to work a little harder on this cruise to find something to do. There is bingo and the casino, but in my opinion, the activities and entertainment was the worst I've seen on any RCCL ship. Think of this cruise as a cruise for you to find your fun. Either by lounging at the pool, reading a good book, chatting up with one of the great bartenders, Marianna in the Schooner bar... Don't expect to be entertained. We took the galley tour for $25 per person. I have never done something like this. I thought it was fantastic. It was pricy, but we had the best service, met the head chef and the second chef in charge, walked through the entire galley, choose our own dishes and talked with the waiters. We got to see what's like on the ship being a waiter. The wait staff were the most well liked crew members. We never met or chatted with any of the cruise director staff. Were there any? Cons: There was an issue with our liquor. We purchased liquor the first day, you get an extra 10% off of selected items but our receipt and everyone's who bought it the first day never made it to the liquor store. Oddly, they didn't deliver your liquor the last night, we had to pick it up at 7:00 am the day we departed. Which further complicated issues since they had not prepackaged already purchased liquor. They ran out of some items, so they had to substitute. It was very odd. The on board stores are not put to RCCL standards. The captain didn't make many announcements nor did the cruise director. I had to constantly remind my family how to get off the ship and when to return. I was shocked at the little information we received. Mostly we received no information. We all made it back on board. Everyone should double check before leaving, what is needed to board. The waiters are a great help. It was very disappointing, and I can understand why so many reviews are not good. The captain and the cruise director are not very good communicators, which is a shame, it takes the excitement out of cruising. We never heard from the Captain of how fast were going, when we were to arrive, enjoy your cruise, etc... Hopefully, a new cruise director will join the Majesty of the Seas very soon. Cabins: We stayed in cabin 4550, it was adjoining to 4548. We normally have a balcony, and after reading the reviews, we were expecting the worst. It was good to read them because it set our expectations nicely. Yes, they are very small. Have that in mind. There is no couch, you can't sit at the desk while someone is trying to walk by. The opening between the cabins opens up about 10 inches because the beds are in the way. The kids could fit through easily, not so easily for me. But I could peek inside to see how they were. The little kids loved their cabin. It was very cozy and the beds were apart enough so they had their own space, the pullman bed was a hit for the three year olds. I thought the cabin was small, and we normally spend a lot of time in our cabin on our balcony, watching the sun go up, this was not possible, but I truly didn't miss it. I scheduled our own family activities back to back with the ship's activities, so I was not in the cabin very much. However, if it was just our family of four, I would have paid the extra for the balcony cabin. Our cabin was clean, the deck was clean, I didn't notice any smells, the ship seemed in fairly good shape. I did notice some rust around the windows, but that kinda made me like the ship even more. It is not glitzy, but it was glitzy enough for first time cruisers, and perfect for our family because we got to hang around each other a lot more than if we were on the Oasis. My family wants to go on another cruise. I think they all had a great time. I was the group leader and I spent about 4 months preparing for the cruise. I made sure we had lots of activities for all ages, and found time for all of us to meet. If I was going just with my teenagers, I would suggest, bringing your favorite board games, paper and pencils, books and plan for some time to hang out as a family. Don't expect to be able to drop the kids off at the kid club and go to the bars. It's isn't one of those cruises. If you have little children, bring small toys like play dough, and books, finger painting, etc. Happy Cruising. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We chose this cruise based on our schedule availability. Just prior to the trip, we read some bad reviews and we began to get a little concerned. Our experience couldn't have been any better! The staff was awesome, the food was great, ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on our schedule availability. Just prior to the trip, we read some bad reviews and we began to get a little concerned. Our experience couldn't have been any better! The staff was awesome, the food was great, and the overall experience was unforgettable. We had no issues that were mentioned in previous reviews. The ice cream was flowing for the entire cruise. The entertainment was superb. One night the main act had a health emergency and the cruise director was able to pull an entertainer from the piano bar that lit the place up. Carlos, the cruise director, was great. The kids loved the rock wall and Adrian and Vinnie really showed personal interest in them. Our dining experience was phenomenal. Omar and Hadi took great care to ensure our dining experience was top notch. We traveled with my kids and my parents and all were pleased with the cruise. The only problem---it was over too soon. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
I chose this cruise because of where it was going. Found out after the cruise was booked and paid for that this was the smallest ship in the fleet. You could feel it rocking the entire cruise. My wife and son were sea sick the entire ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of where it was going. Found out after the cruise was booked and paid for that this was the smallest ship in the fleet. You could feel it rocking the entire cruise. My wife and son were sea sick the entire cruise because of this. We have cruised before on larger ships and that never happened. Their was really nothing for teenagers to do on this cruise and you could not find that out until after you got onboard because the website is not very user friendly. The ship is very small and there is not a lot to do for a 5 night cruise. This ship should only be used for short trips. The one thing I will point out is that you still get great and friendly service from the staff and the NONSMOKING casino was great. All of the ships need to be NONSMOKING!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Cruised from Cincinnati, OH to Alton, IL. There are various types of cabins to choose from. Our cabin had an outside door an inside door to the hall ( 2 entrances). Nightly entertainment, two dining times for main dining, but there is ... Read More
Cruised from Cincinnati, OH to Alton, IL. There are various types of cabins to choose from. Our cabin had an outside door an inside door to the hall ( 2 entrances). Nightly entertainment, two dining times for main dining, but there is another casual dining option elsewhere on the boat. Wine included in main dining. Pop, water, coffee, tea, lemonade, ice cream, cookies, and popcorn included all day long. Pool an exercise room, movie theater. Daily river talks, rooms to read or play games and gift store. Shore excursions included along with pay for premium shore excursions. EVERYONE working on this boat is friendly and ready to help you. All ages welcomed. Every night you receive the River News with the next days activities listed. You decide how relaxed or busy you want to be during your cruise. Free wifi. Boat computers are all set up with various airlines to just click your airline and print your boarding pass. Robes and slippers in each room. Elevators and stairs to choose from. Buses for shore excursions run every 15-20 minutes with hop on/hop off option an are included. Step on guides from the local area on the buses to give information about the city you are in. The American Queen is a steamboat paddle wheel. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We were newbies.. so here are some notes for other newbies. Hopefully it will help you on your first trip. Hind sight is always 20/20. Airport: We flew into Miami International from CA. It was a red-eye. We arrived around 6:30A, ... Read More
We were newbies.. so here are some notes for other newbies. Hopefully it will help you on your first trip. Hind sight is always 20/20. Airport: We flew into Miami International from CA. It was a red-eye. We arrived around 6:30A, which is 3:30A PST. Our plan was to get some breakfast, meet up with other friends who were arriving after us and then go to the port. We found that there were a many good places to eat at the terminal where you land, but when you get out to the baggage claims section (tram ride and quite a bit of walking), there were very few choices. None of them near the baggage stations looked appetizing but we compromised and picked up something light. Miami International to Miami Port: When we asked at the airport what would be the best way to get to the port, they told us to take a taxi. They said it was a flat rate (~$27-28), so we did. That was a bad idea. The cab driver was unfriendly to begin with, and then when we tried to pay with a credit card, he became rude and angry. The cab has a credit card terminal but it didn't work. The cab driver insisted we pay him cash. When my wife tried the credit card terminal few times, the driver got increasingly angry. We ended up paying cash. I personally think they actually rig the machines to not work so that they get paid cash, I may be wrong. However, our friends had the same experience with another cab driver. TIP: take Uber or Lyft. Miami Port: Kinda looks like an airport terminal. Signs point you to your ship. Ours were easy to find. There were porters there to help you get your baggage checked in. We checked in all our large luggage and gave them a small tip. TIP: make sure your luggage is clearly tagged. The tag they put on your luggage seemed a bit flimsy. They will deliver your luggage to your floor at the ship.. you have to go around to find them. Checkin: There was a short line around 10:30A.. then they let us into the check-in counters. They explained that the ship was being prepared, and we'd be able to board by 11:50A. We checked in; it was painless and quick. We then got into another line and then boarded the ship around noon. They told us the buffet (Windjammer) will be open for us to eat lunch, and we did. They had burgers, hot dogs, etc.. Room: Small, but was ok size I thought. We were in deck 4. OK for 2 but for 4 it gets crowded with the fold out beds on top. The room attendants were super duper. They might have lived under the bed since every time we left the room and returned, the room was made up.. continuously! There are small drawers, a good size closet and 2 beds that could be pulled together or kept separate. The mattress were comfortable; I heard they replaced all of them during the remodel. The towels were good, clean. They had hair dryer available. The lock safe was there but it was already locked and we couldn't use them. But we really didn't feel we needed them. They have a TV there and it has maybe 20 channels, some in spanish language. The bathroom is small, one person operation. Water pressure was decent and hot water was fine. They have a clothes drying line above the shower, which comes in handy. They provide shampoo/soap in the dispenser but it wasn't too great; bring your own. The walls are thin, and at times you'll hear the activities going on in the upper decks. With enough activities during the day, we slept good through the night. Noise wasn't a problem for us. Ship: You originally enter on 5th floor into a nice center space. Most of the service staff are there to assist you with anything. Dining is on deck 4 and 5, pool on deck 10, and they had 2-3 elevators.. sometimes stairs are faster. It's a small ship; perhaps smallest in the Royal Caribbean fleet. Exploring the ship is fun, but you won't get lost.. it wasn't big enough to get lost. Oh yeah, you do get a whiff of sewers off and on at various parts of the ship. It wasn't bad though. Pool deck: When you first see it you'll tell yourself, there must be a main pool somewhere, but no that is the main pool. It is small; a big bathtub size maybe? The water is salty. Kids complained that their eyes hurt when pool water got into their eyes. They probably need it to be salty to keep it sanitary. They have pool chairs everywhere. It gets crowded, but you can find a pool chair somewhere. Our sailing may not have been 100% full.. so maybe that was why but it didn't feel crowded. The pool is right next to the Windjammer buffet. They have a ice cream cone machine there with an attendant making it for you. It was in operation all the time practically. Ice cream machine in that location is the best thing in the world. Caribbean and Miami is HOT and humid all day and night. There is also a couple of small Jacuzzi and a kiddie pool on the other side. Kiddie pool is more like just a wading area. There is a shower booth but it was weird. It was sorta in the center and there is only one? So if you use it , it feels like everyone is watching you or something. The pool is what it is.. it is there to dip in your toes, cool off and to get a tan. They usually have a reggae live band playing music.. I liked that. They have pool towels there; you need your card to 'check out' the pool towels (they scan them in and out) Casino: They have a casino. 2-3 Black Jack, roulette, 3 card poker, and a lot of slot machines. It gets hot there. AC is either not working or is weak. All those slot machines generate a lot of heat. They brought in fans but it was still warm. Not unbearable though. You can get cash out using your card. But they will charge you 5%.. so if you pull out $200, they will charge you $210. They don't provide free alcohol for playing there (like Vegas). It didn't get too crowded. Gym: Gym is towards the back of the ship I think, above the club/lounge. They have several basic exercise machines, running machines and a small exercise floor. The machines seemed pretty new. They have towels there. The gym was more than adequate. And you get a nice view of the ocean from there. You can also jog around the ship on deck 5 or 6 I don't remember exactly which. Bars/Drinks: There are multiple bars on board and they all have a good variety. The one at the pool made the best drinks I thought; they made them nice and strong. The drink prices are not too bad and they have a good selection. They don't gouge you on the price. You can get the latest prices online. We considered for a LONG time about getting the drink package but decided not too. It was too expensive. If I was still in my 20-30 then, I'd get my money's worth. But with 2 days off the ship, it would not have been worth it. I'd have to drink A LOT in the 3 days on board to break even. The blended Mojito at the pool bar was really good. They have a lot of restrictions on what you can bring onboard. You can bring 2 bottles of wine per room. We brought two and opened a couple every night (our friends brought some and when we ran out, we bought bottles). They have signs at the port saying they charge corkage fees, but they didn't charge us any. We also originally ordered a case of water ($36 for 12x 1 liter bottles), but we returned it. You can get beverages (water, lemonade, ice tea) at the Windjammer all the time. We bought our kids soda package, that worked ok. I read we couldn't bring any other drink onboard, but I saw some folks carrying in case of water bottles at check in. No one stopped him. We were perplexed. Shows: They have a show every night. Most memorable was the comedian. He was good. Apparently he was on AGT.. all the shows are PG-13 and there were kids in attendance in most of the shows. They also had Beatles concert? It was ok. Rest of the shows were mediocre. They also do games (BINGO, game shows, etc) at the theater during the day and evening. BINGO was not fun ($9 per sheet of BINGO!). I guess if I won, it would've been a different story. The prizes were 2-$300 and some cruise voucher. You can order drinks there at the theater too. Dining: The dining hall is quite nice. When you board on the first day, you can make dining arrangements (arrange seating with your friends, dining time, etc). They do sit down and order menu breakfast early (first come first served) in the morning. After that you can go for their brunch (starts at 9:45A). The breakfast menu is static throughout the week. The breakfast menu was just ok.. pancakes and french toast were not good. Their steak and eggs were alright. They also server Mimosa and Bloody Marys and will provide you OJ too. The brunch was also, ok.. nothing memorable but they had good variety. They were making waffles one day, but the guy making it was really slow. The menu changed slightly from day to day. They didn't have an omelet station, which I thought was odd. They sold fresh squeezed OJ for $4.50. We chose to dine at 6pm every day. It was either 6 or 8:45 I think. We liked it at 6. They also have "my time dining" or something like that. We didn't use it. For dinner you get the same server assigned to you every night. Our server was simply AWESOME. He made our dining experience very pleasant. He did everything he could to make sure we were happy. We actually gave him extra tip on the last night simply because he really deserved it. The dinner menu changes every night. It is a 3 course meal (starters, main, dessert) Some nights are Italian, others were seafood, French, and so on. Our day 4 menu was prime rib/lobster night. That was probably the best. Some items on the menu are static (and marked as such). The food wasn't fantastic. I was disappointed with the baked French Onion soup.. it wasn't terrible or anything like that. It was above average for the most part.. probably about equivalent to a good hotel buffet at Vegas maybe? We had wine and that really helped. The servers really take good care of you. Empress did not have a formal night. It wasn't made very clear prior to the trip. We all packed jackets/dresses for the formal and found out they don't have one. We all decided to go formal one night anyway. Everyone dresses up some what in the dining hall.. so no matter what you wore there, you didn't stick out. It was good to dress up one night for a fancier feeling dinner. Windjammer food wasn't all that great. Burgers, hot dogs, salad, sandwiches, chicken, ribs, dessert, fruit, drinks, etc, etc.. Cafeteria food. It was decent, but cafeteria food. They're open late past midnight. They have hand washing stations at the entry, which is a great idea. Windjammer is open most of the time, and it was very convenient. George Town/Cayman: They park the ship off shore and take you to the island via a small boat. You enter through the port there, where you'll find a big crowd since other cruise ships also arrive around the same time. There are some small shops at the port for small items and drinks etc. If you bought "shore excursions" they have people there to guide you. We bought the dolphin experience for our kids ($84). They swam with the dolphins. They really liked it but it was really short (a lot of waiting). They have a lot of variety of activities you can purchase before going on shore. They had a dolphin experience + turtle farm visit for $89 (only $5 more), but we only came to know it after we booked it. Read the brochure carefully since there are so many choices. Only the kids (and one adult who had to go with the kids) who paid were able to get on the bus to the dolphin area. If the other adults wanted to come along, they wanted $30. It wasn't worth it we thought. We met up at the "public beach" where we rented 5 beach chairs and 2 umbrellas (it was really hot and you need them) for $40. The locals there were pretty friendly. They showed us a liquor store across the street where we can get cheap beers instead of ordering it from the bar at the beach. They also had jetski, banana boat, etc rentals there at the beach, but we decided just to enjoy the ocean. The ocean water was WARM. We had a great time drinking cold beers in the warm ocean. It was great. We bought food from the bar there. It wasn't cheap, but the food was really good. Kids snorkeled near the beach but didn't see a lot of fish. It started to rain a bit in the afternoon, but we didn't care. It was fun. We found ride back to the port to catch the last boat back to the ship. The ride was about $5 per person. You can deal a bit with the driver. You need to bring passports with you. Key West: Nice little town. It was very hot and humid that day. We decided to rent bicycles for everyone to bike around town. We went past the bike rental place at the port, just 5 minute walk into town called Island Safari. It was much cheaper there. About $10 per bike, all day. We biked to the southern most point in US to take pics. We didn't stand in line for it, we took pictures with it in the background :-). We then went to a couple of beaches and ate at "Salute! on the Beach". The food and service was excellent, but they charged us automatic 20% service fee for our group (of eleven). I thought that was pretty stiff. We probably spent a little too much time with the bike rentals.. we wished we had a bit more time there since we had to return to ship by 4:30P, which is kinda early. You need to have passports with you to go through customs. They have Key Lime Pies in many places in Key West, which apparently originated there. They were pretty good. Debarkation: Stay patient. You'll have long lines and will have to go through customs. Other than the long lines, it was painless. Catch Pokemons while you wait. We decided to stay an extra night in South Beach Miami before flying back home. The flights were cheaper next day, so it was to our advantage. Miami/South Beach is like Las Vegas on the beach; a different world. I can write a couple of pages on this but is not too relevant here. We took Lyft/Uber. It was MUCH BETTER experience than taking a taxi (and it was much cheaper too). Value: Empress was one of the cheaper cruise/ships. Weeks after we booked, we saw the price go down by 4-$500.. but oh well. They also charge you $13.50 per person per night for tips for service staff. I thought that was fine. The service staff really take good care of you. For the price we paid, I thought it was a good deal regardless. Others/Misc: Sea-sickness? First night was the tough one. We took red-eye and were sleep deprived. Mix in a bit of ship's swaying to and fro, and a few glasses of wine and it felt weird. A good night's sleep cured it. After the first couple of days, the ship's movement was much less noticeable. I'm not good with motion, and my wife is even worse but we were fine. One in our group needed a patch under his ear. After the patch, he was ok. Strangely my wife felt ground move for a couple of days after we returned home. Apparently it is something that happens from time to time for some people. They provide you literature "Cruise Compass" every day to give you information you need for the next day. Read through it, since you'll find a lot of good info there. They have Rock-Climbing onboard. It is near the gym. They opened most of the days. Kids/adults get into a harness and climb the walls (about 30 feet higt?). They had about 5 lanes of varying difficulties. Kids really enjoyed it. They provide you climbing shoes. You need to bring socks. They also teach you line dancing. If a lot of people get involved, then it gets fun. They play a movie every night at the pool deck. They have a nice screen and a good sound system. The demographics were really mixed. You see people from all over the world. Since it's in the Caribbean, there were quite a few Spanish speaking folks. Average age was probably mid-late 30s to early 40s probably. Everyone was in pretty good mood and were friendly. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
I have cruised before on Norwegian and Royal Caribbean. This was our first time using Carnival. Our cruise left from Charleston SC and sailed to Nassau and Half Moon Key. From reading other reviews I was leery of leaving from Charleston as ... Read More
I have cruised before on Norwegian and Royal Caribbean. This was our first time using Carnival. Our cruise left from Charleston SC and sailed to Nassau and Half Moon Key. From reading other reviews I was leery of leaving from Charleston as some reviewers stated the process of boarding was unorganized and chaotic. In our experience nothing could be further from the truth. The boarding procedure was the most organized and least chaotic experience of any of my previous cruises. I've departed from Tampa, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and Port Canaveral. We arrived near our designated arrival time and were directed through a parking lot where our tagged luggage was taken directly out of our vehicle and placed on the same type carts used to transport luggage to an airplane. Our entire party,(still in our vehicle) were then directed to another area of the parking lot where all the documents(boarding passes, passports and birth certificates were checked to make sure we had them. We them moved up and paid the $85.00 for the parking fare for the week. Continuing forward we were directed inside a warehouse where all cars are parked front to back in rows of two leaving plenty of room to get out when the ship returned. We then were placed on large buses with the items which we wanted to carry on the ship with us and transported around to the terminal entrance. Inside were numerous security lines set up which moved very quickly. We then went and almost immediately were being processed by a ticket agent who checked our documents, took our pictures and handed us our official onboard id's. We were enjoying our first of many trips to the buffet within one hour of our arrival at the Port of Charleston. Our first experience with Carnival was a good one except for a few things that I feel need mentioning as compared to the other two cruise lines I've used. For one thing I would not say that the ship was dirty but there did not seem to be any urgency from any of the staff to remove dirty plates or to wipe the tables clean from a dining area. In my experiences with the Norwegian and Royal Caribbean it seemed that someone was removing the dirty plate and wiping the table almost immediately after someone got up. On numerous occasions throughout the week we had to really seek out a clean table that was free of dirty dishes and had been wiped clean. The other thing that stood out was the lack of friendliness of most of the staff. Again, compared to my other cruises the staff on Carnival were not mean in any way but they also didn't go out of their way to say good morning or approach the guests to ask how they were doing. In my other cruises experiences the bar staff was happy and would remember my name after a day or two onboard. The staff working anywhere on the ship would always politely smile and say hello or try to strike up a conversation. This did not happen with Carnival. With all this said we thoroughly enjoyed our experience and would travel on Carnival again and especially if they are sailing out of Charleston!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
First let me state that there were 13 in our group. This was a family cruise to celebrate a 45th anniversary. We had a Junior Suite, #8134. Embarkation: This did not go as planned. Usually we are onboard quickly and with little to ... Read More
First let me state that there were 13 in our group. This was a family cruise to celebrate a 45th anniversary. We had a Junior Suite, #8134. Embarkation: This did not go as planned. Usually we are onboard quickly and with little to no waiting. This day someone (this is second hand knowledge) evidently "forgot" they had ammunition in the backpack they were bringing onboard. Needless to say it unleashed a security frenzy that involved Miami Police/Canine, FBI, and Coast Guard. This resulted in us having to wait over an hour while they sorted it out. Needless to say others had to wait 2 hours in the hot humid areas outside the terminal. It was miserable I'm sure. I don't know what RCCL could have done, my only suggestion would have been to bring out water in some form to keep the ones out in the hot sun hydrated. I'm sure they will be working on how to handle something like this in the future. Enchantment of the Seas is in need of being refurbished (again). I think she was refitted in 2006/2007. Overall it was very clean. She needs to have rust taken care of, there was a lot of rust on our balcony. The sliding door to the balcony was extremely hard to open/close. Our cabin was spacious and kept wonderfully clean by "Pat" from Thailand. She was friendly and made sure all our requests were met. We asked for ice twice a day and she never missed a day. No complaints at all with the interior of the cabin. The balcony was another story, as mentioned above. Keep in mind that all of the deck 8 cabins are just below the pool deck so we would hear some noise but it did not disturb our sleep. We chose the 600p MDR dining. We had three kids sailing in our group so we chose to eat at the same time every evening and keep the same servers. This worked out really well. The servers were wonderful with the kiddos and made sure they each had a bowl of fresh fruit every evening at the table waiting for them. This held off the "I'm starving" meltdowns quite nicely! The food in the dining room is predictable and definitely NOT 5-star but we all found something we could eat every evening and the servers added to the enjoyment with their great attitudes and willingness to make sure we had all we needed. The kiddos discovered escargot and had at least two plates each every night! Kuddos to Orville and Marian! Entertainment: We were only able to catch one show and it was very good. The singers and dancers do an amazing job with the space they have & the rocking and rolling of the ship. Others in our group saw the Magician, Puck, and they loved it. The kiddos especially were enthralled. Of course the 70"s Show is always a hoot! On this ship it was in the Centrum. Service: Overall is was very good. My only complaint is that while we were out on the pool deck one day not one server came by to see if we needed a beverage. We had to get up twice to get them. I know people were complaining, loudly, about always being hawked to buy drinks but I think they went too far and now it is hard to find the fun bar servers twirling the trays. Other service already mentioned above. Ports and Shore Excursions: We did not buy any excursions from RCCL. Having been to all of these ports before we knew what to expect and led the others in our group to what to expect/do. Nassau is not always fun. There are a lot of taxi/excursion hawkers vying for your dollars. We always ignore them. But this time while we were off the main street by the pier when we came across a lovely non-native islander who absolutely made our day. We stopped to ask her a question and we ended up hiring her to take us in her taxi on an island tour. She took us up to Fort Charlotte, around to Balmoral, to the Graycliff Chocolate Shop (delicious), a yummy frozen fresh fruit daiquiri stand. Very reasonable price and she was so personable and fun! We had one grandchild with us who has ASD. She was wonderful with him! If we get back to Nassau we will look her up again. Her name is DeeDee Rolle. Coco Cay is always fun. We had good weather, the food is basic beach food, a fun filled day for all of us. Key West can be a challenge. You need a "battle" plan. Being there before we knew what we wanted to do. Our stops always include Peppers of Key West, a stop into all the fun and famous bars (Sloppy Joe's, Capt. Tony's, Hogs Breath, Schooner Wharf) and of course getting Key Lime Pie on a stick. Others in our group went to the Southern Most Point, Hemingways house, the southern White House, and Margaritaville. All in all a great port of call! The kids had a great time. Because it was a short cruise none of them went to Adventure Ocean. We did see kids involved in the kids program and they looked like they were having a lot of fun. Debarkation: As always there is the back up with the customs. RCCL really can't do anything about that. Will we go on Enchantment again? Probably not. This was chosen specifically for the length of the cruise. We usually sail on 7+ night cruises. Will we sail on RCCL again. Absolutely. We have never had an issue that wasn't resolved and overall we feel RCCL is the best cruise line for us. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
this is the second time we have done this 14 day cruise. although this time we did have rain at every port, it did not stop us from having a great time. we most enjoyed our visit to Icy Strait Point and Hoonah. the best shopping in the ... Read More
this is the second time we have done this 14 day cruise. although this time we did have rain at every port, it did not stop us from having a great time. we most enjoyed our visit to Icy Strait Point and Hoonah. the best shopping in the cannery, especially in the Native American shop, of the entire trip. We were 3 generations and the children ages 12, 9 and 7 had a great time in their Hal Kids groups and never wanted to leave or go ashore! Also i will say that the ships dancers and singers on this cruise were the best i have ever seen on any ship. just outstanding in their voice ranges and the dancers, especially the russian trained men were amazing. overall we enjoyed the ship but do think that the lido choices for lunch were a bit slim with the new Homestead dining...we all missed being able to scoop out pineapple, bananas, etc and not just have fresh whole fruit and a bowl of mixed, mostely melon fruit as an option. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Amazing staff who cannot do enough to help, they work very long hours but always have a smile for you. The boat is dated, the rooms and bathroom are really tiny, but well equipped, no bar fridge in the room, the food on board is ... Read More
Amazing staff who cannot do enough to help, they work very long hours but always have a smile for you. The boat is dated, the rooms and bathroom are really tiny, but well equipped, no bar fridge in the room, the food on board is excellent, the dining room is lovely, the bar is also nice but on the small side. The top deck has very basic relax chairs, but once again the deck service on board is outstanding. The smoking area at the rear of the boat is an issue, I think the entire boat should be 100% non smoking, as several guests including myself found the cigarette smoke offensive. The included shore excursion's tours are good, the older guests enjoy being taken around in a big bus but if you are young at heart you might find the bus trips a bit tiresome. We enjoyed the cycle rides, and hoped we might have had some more fun activities, but we understood that the age group is older and their mobility is not that great. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Chose this cruise mainly because of itinerary, price and timing. Had been in Med before & toured Rome, Athens, Sorento & Pompeii - but this time took professional tour of Rome so saw more sites. Went to some countries we probably ... Read More
Chose this cruise mainly because of itinerary, price and timing. Had been in Med before & toured Rome, Athens, Sorento & Pompeii - but this time took professional tour of Rome so saw more sites. Went to some countries we probably would not have otherwise chosen - so glad we did. Shore excursions way too expensive. Service we received in our room and at dinner in Windows was superb - food was average - people we met from our Roll Call were delightful. Ship is a bit 'tired' in spots - but we like the size - some of the entertainment was great, some was average - but enjoyable. Although folks don't typically spend a lot of time in their rooms on a cruise, it would be nice to have more variety from the TV satellite service for those extended times (like afternoon after a tour, etc.) in the room. Size of ship was just right for our purposes. This was a great trip for us. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We chose this cruise for the itinerary (which was fabulous - 11 ports in 14 days, the best way to sample a little bit of Europe in a small amount of time). That being said, the ship is dated (but scheduled for refurbishment) and the ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary (which was fabulous - 11 ports in 14 days, the best way to sample a little bit of Europe in a small amount of time). That being said, the ship is dated (but scheduled for refurbishment) and the evening entertainment was not what I had come to expect from NCL. The cabins are clean the food is good and the company (due to the fact that we joined our first CC roll call) was the best part. I can't say enough about how CC friends we met really enhanced our trip! We've met wonderful people from all over the world and look forward to those continued friendships. Staff were friendly and very accommodating, it was the smoothest embarkation and disembarkation we've ever experienced. We didn't use the shore excursion department as there were so many private professional companies to plan through at much lower costs. I guess if I had one complaint it would be that NCL tends to gouge you on the shore excursion prices and beverage prices as well. Even if you get the unlimited beverage package for "free" you to still have to pay the several hundred in gratuities up front in addition to the daily per person service fee. I also don't like the daily "service fee" that NCL charges. If it was called a gratuity it would mean it all goes to the staff, but since it is a "service fee", NCL can do what they want with it. I don't think the server's see much of that fee. NCL should be more transparent about those fees and 100% should go to the waiters, cabin stewards, bartenders, etc. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Food was great. If the buffet gets boring the inclusive restaurant menus change everyday. We really enjoyed the restaurants. Shows were ok. Aerial show on last night was the best. Not to be missed. Make friends with your Stewart as well. ... Read More
Food was great. If the buffet gets boring the inclusive restaurant menus change everyday. We really enjoyed the restaurants. Shows were ok. Aerial show on last night was the best. Not to be missed. Make friends with your Stewart as well. He's always around waiting for requests. This ship was over crowded for my liking. In cape canaveral we booked a shuttle to take us to the space center. Much cheaper! We used happy hour shuttle. Blue lagoon was awesome! Amazing water but not enough time to explore island, lay out, and participate in water activities. We had to take 3pm boat back in order to rush through town and be able to shop a little. Stores in Nassau are a little shady so be sure to go to stores shopping expert on board recommends. I think his name was Bob or Rob. Spa was great! We purchased the therapy spa room pass. It was unlimited visits for the price of a message. I was only able to use it a few days due to sunburn but I still got my monies worth! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Our family group included 3 adults, 2 teens and 3 generations. We started a day early in Anchorage and took the Denali 11 day express. The Lakefront Hotel was lovely and helpful. Prices, of course for meals and such, were high but we ... Read More
Our family group included 3 adults, 2 teens and 3 generations. We started a day early in Anchorage and took the Denali 11 day express. The Lakefront Hotel was lovely and helpful. Prices, of course for meals and such, were high but we expected that. We took the $30. pontoon plane ride over Anchorage and that was wonderful. I recommend this flight Our planned helicopter ride up to a glacier was canceled due to weather and we were so happy we had the sea plane experience. A portion of our trip up to Denali was by rail A beautiful trip The purchased food on board was some of the best o the entire trip. We were able to view many scenic areas that would not have been possible by bus. We were fortunate to have a 3/4 view of Mt. Denali (the rest covered by clouds) on the way up. The hotel was rustic and clean. 0430 came way too early but it was worthwhile to see the view sand animals of the park. Our family divided into 2 group, the early 7 hour interior excursion and the regular 5 hour. There is al line of shops near the hotel. I recommend burying from those that have the made in Alaska signs. I had an $11. reindeer hot dog. Nothing special. We returned to the Lakefront Anchorage for the night. BTW, we found a nice reasonable priced little restaurant, the Chinook, nearby with a good breakfast. While in Anchorage we went to a recommended restaurant, Humpys. Great! Try the halibut or cod fish and chips. We preferred the Cod, Try the Blueberry cobbler, we bought 2 for 5 people and all were satisfied. Our second favorite meal in Alaska. The Sun is a much better cruise ship than I expected. The balcony suites were lovely but not spacious. Every staff member we met was friendly, helpful, cheerful like a group of boy scouts. The ship was clean and odor free. I mention this because there were some comments about a septic type odor I did not notice any need for refurbishing. The food was nice but not special. We only went to meals that were included in our package. Service was always great. They attended to my SIL's serious peanut allergy with concern and let him choose his next meal from a special but similar menu. The only activities I can really speak about positively is the teen club. My two granddaughters, 15 and 17, loved it. No adults were allowed there. It was cosed during meal time , I suppose for teens to be with their family.. 2 weeks after return they are still texting etc the group on multicultural teens. How wonderful. The teens enjoyed collecting the free charms from jewelry shops in each port. Non of the shops treated them with distain, in fact, they were helpful to the girls. Some activities like the bingo were expensive to buy in and were short and seemed to renege on prizes. The art auction was a sham and used unorthodox means to say you bid on a painting that turned out to be litho or print. Very disappointed with that. Jewelry salesmen were everywhere. There were dreamy music played in the scattered bars that was enjoyable. Spent a short time in the casino and lost my allotted funds quickly. I didn't see anyone winning at the machines. There is smoking allowed in the casino but did ot see much anywhere else. Although the ports were changed we had a great time at all the ports. The teens located the Alaskan Bush People's boat (Integrity) in Hoonah and were thrilled. Every port had something great to see and experience. When our heli-trip to the glacier was cancelled due to fog we went whale watching and saw large amounts of whales bubble netting fish. The views of the mountains and glaciers from our balconies was breathtaking, We were on the starboard side. De-embarkation was a hoot. We picked up our luggage outside the ship and lugged it to the large terminal building were we didn't see any signs. We lugged the luggage everywhere just following people in front of us. Ladies were stationed calling out and motioning to the crowd: Americans to America, Americans to Canada, Canadians and I wear "everyone else." Not being seasoned travelers we followed the cattle like hoards. Canadian customs was easy but hit a snag because I had a pocket knife, for opening medication packets, in my luggage. We found we had not purchased a bus ticket. Who knew we needed bus tickets? They kindly let us on the bus out of the terminal toward the airport. Twice we stopped to get a light lecture on what we can bring into the terminal. Again,no signs and we are still trudging along with our luggage like blind mice. We found a very busy airport worker who helped us. We placed our luggage on big floor scales where got paperwork and again trudged our luggage into a large area we did not recognize as exiting Canada customs. That was going smoothly until we had to walk ourselves through self directed kiosks. My 5 ft 0 granddaughter only got a pic of herself from the nose up. Finally, someone asked us to lift our luggage up on a table and they rummaged through mine I had to throw out some hair product. He asked if I want to go outside and put it in my big bag. "Hell No." Then someone asked for our passports. Ah, I guess this is where the Americans going to America came in. We finished American entry customs and went to finally drop off our luggage and enter a normal busy terminal. And, No, I would not recommend going thru Vancouver. Leaving Ecuador was easy by comparison. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Celebrity Cruises 11 Night Celebrity Cruises 11 Night Greece & Italy Cruise sailing on 07/18/2016., Below is a summary of our recent voyage with some specifics to follow. We hope you find it helpful. Summary: We booked two ... Read More
Celebrity Cruises 11 Night Celebrity Cruises 11 Night Greece & Italy Cruise sailing on 07/18/2016., Below is a summary of our recent voyage with some specifics to follow. We hope you find it helpful. Summary: We booked two adjacent cabins for this 11 night cruise and stayed an additional 3 nights in Rome for two adults and two children. The Celebrity Refection is a miracle at sea, but one of many and not exceptional in this experience. The service was spotty and the vessel visibly worn in areas. The formal and informal dining was average to below average and overall disappointing in our opinion. Access to coffee and tea was very good and appreciated. The itinerary and ports visited were excellent in most cases. One full day tour guide was unintelligible and we would have been better off on our own. Embarkation & disembarking was fast and efficient at each of the ports. Excellent access to hand disinfectant and most of the crew were dedicated and worked hard. One of our first and worse (and lasting) onboard experiences was with Jason at the main restaurant when we requested information concerning the ‘anytime dining option’. We had the early seating (18.15) and were seeking additional information on the anytime dining. He appeared bored and disinterested and I was offended on how he interacted with my soft spoken wife who was gently, politely and respectfully requesting information. His answers were vague and he was entirely unhelpful. We decided to keep our dinner time instead of dealing with this highly offensive passive- aggressive Celebrity representative. Clearly he despises his customers, hates his job or both. My wife and I both agree that Jason is hurting more than he is helping his employer. The other guests in the queue gave us empathic looks of surprise and disappointment with Jason’s attitude. Rafael at the Excursions Desk was not as overtly rude, but equally unhelpful concerning excursions. Our adjacent Veranda cabins were adequate, but somewhat dirty when we arrived. They have a connecting inside door to next (our children’s cabin) and the veranda partition can be opened for a double open deck space. There were refrigerators in each room fully stocked with goodies at minibar sky-high prices (which we sampled anyway). We requested that our cabin steward remove some items for a few bottle of water brought on board and he happily complied. Bedding is satisfactory. Two twin beds were configured into a queen for us with the children having their own twin bed in the other cabin adjacent and adjoining cabin. There was also a pullout bed associated with the couch that we did not use. A flat screen television gave the room an updated feel which was countered by the cheap looking and worn and faded sofa. Upon reflection, we canceled our future bookings on Celebrity when we returned home. The following are our objective ratings for the various components of the vacation. 1-Transport to & from FCO to port. We used Bob’s Taxi for $100 €. Less on the return. They were simply fantastic. Easy, efficient and helpful. They met us at the airport as soon as we cleared customs. What a great way to start! 2-Embarkation. Access to vessel was quick and efficient. There was some confusion in which queue we would go to and we were immediately placed in the longer general boarding queue. When I gently protested, we were quickly repositioned in the Captain’s Club queue and were processed in 10 minutes or less. This was fantastic. We were on board before you knew it after the obligatory silly picture taking (smile everyone!). Nice job overall 3-Cabins. They have adequate space and we loved that they connected with a door and veranda. The cabin was a bit dirty (a hair comb left under the desk, an off brand shampoo left in the shower, the cabin safe was locked when we arrived and had to be unlocked by a supervisor for us to use, dirt/dust in corners….). We did not like the material of the couch (red fabric that appeared cheap and worn). My wife and daughter detested the quality of the Celebrity provided shampoo and conditioner mandating an emergency purchase at our first port-of-call. We could not hear any of the announcements in the cabin or while on the veranda. The only options were to miss the message or transition to the hallway to try and hear whatever remained of the message. When I asked the cabin attendant for guidance, I received an unintelligible answer with no follow-up. The flat screen TV could be rotated away from the wall for better viewing and worked well. The veranda furniture was nice, comfortable and sturdy. We awoke one night with the partition between our and the neighbors veranda banging loudly. It had come loose somehow and was repositioned and anchored in about 2 hours. During the safety briefing, several in our staging area were so loud I could not hear the presentation. 4-Food. This was a sad disappointment. The meals in the informal (Oceanview Deck 14, I think) and formal dining area (Deck 4) were solidly disappointing. Emphasis appears to be on appearance and not taste or quality with no exception. This includes the deserts that looked good but with no flavor. Of the four of us nobody loved the main evening meals with a couple of exceptions. Think TGI Fridays, Outback Steakhouse and Cracker Barrel and you get the picture. At times those standards were not met. There seemed to be a focus on presentation, quantity but with little attention to quality. The good side is that if you have a passion for food, it is hard to over-eat due on the Celebrity Refection. You simply would not want to do so. So why did we not use the specialty restaurants? Our reasoning was that the planners, buyers and preparers were all the same so why chance it and be disappointed? Plus the Trip-Advisor comments were not entirely positive concerning the specialty restaurants. When we were off the ship, we dinned onshore. We noted that the waiters and assistant waiters were attentive and tried their best. The problem was not the service but the product. One additional comment concerning the food service. As soon as you are on the vessel you are hounded for the additional paid al-la-cart services. This included the specialty restaurants and beverage packages. It reminded me of shopping bazaar where the merchants chase after you until they wear you done and you either yell at them or make a purchased. When I asked our waiter why he continued to pitch us when we politely but firmly declined he indicated that he was mandated to do so by his superiors. This added an unnecessary atmosphere of unpleasantness. So much for the upscale persona of the Celebrity brand. 5- Personnel Hygiene/Health. Great job in prevention of hand-borne illness such as norovirus. Purell dispensers are at key locations and crewmembers walk around with portable units. 6-Pools/Grass areas-Another big disappointment. Always overcrowded. It reminded me of a public pool in Brooklyn during the summer. Way, way overcrowded. So crowded we could not and would try it if only for the hygiene concerns. Concerning the half acre of real grass on Deck 15 called The Lawn Club, the grass areas are a very highly hyped, but had absolutely no appeal to us. 7-Fitness center-Problems here. Equipment maintenance should be revisited. At least one elliptical and 2 of the stationary bikes were not fully functional for the entire voyage. The water coolers in the exercise room were often empty. I liked the cold rolled washcloths that were available. The area was large and reasonably equipped, if everything worked as it should. 8-On our return to the ship, we were met with-cold towels & ice cold water and a kind word from the staff. Nice touch. 9-Security was good with your photo ID (your key card) necessary to re-board the ship. Cameras are everywhere. No compliant from us. 10-The excursions were good overall with one exception. Our guide in Sicily could not speak English adequately so we did not learn anything and was disappointed. The guides in Rhodes & Pompeii were great. 11-Entertainment. The various bands and classical venues at various locations and nooks were very enjoyable. Upbeat and fun. The musician’s passion was heard in their music and performances which added to our enjoyment. The Reflection Theater was comfortable and the performers worked very hard. We did not enjoy the mainline show, Elysium. The story was lost with no continuity from one scene to the other. The message is that nice costumes cannot carry the show. Go to the casino or watch a movie instead. The performance by the cruise director was horrid (and we are being kind), although we admired her spirit. The evening shows featuring the pianist, violinist and magician are worth your while. 12-I asked a couple of officers if the ship they was certified to ISO 14001 (an international standard that drives environmental sustainability). The safety officer did not know. Another officer promised to get back to me by leaving a message on my voice mail but never did, so I guess that they are not. On a past cruise we learned that Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines is certified to the international standard and feel Celebrity should also be. I don’t trust anyone who declares they are sustainable (or anything else for that matter) without transparency or verification. Who would these days? 13-Internet was very expensive. We tried it and it was too slow & not worth it. It was less expensive to use our Sprint service (believe it or not). You need to contact your carrier for the proper plan. Sprint’s international plan was no-charge. It was slow, but serviceable. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
apparent low cost and drink package. We were attracted by ad" book with P.O.or your agent. Checked on board and was told that offer did not apply (we booked on time). The ship left Fremantle six hours late and we had to catch ... Read More
apparent low cost and drink package. We were attracted by ad" book with P.O.or your agent. Checked on board and was told that offer did not apply (we booked on time). The ship left Fremantle six hours late and we had to catch a bus to town to get a meal and coffee. our oceanview cabin window was so old and stained you could not see out. We tried to order a dvd (2 asks a day for 4 days no dvds) the cabin attendant took pity after 8 tries loaned us a few and the dvd player blew up.We tried to watch movies on tv buy nobody knew the programme so you took pot luck to guess the start time, air con went crazy and maintenance man could not fix it. The food in the main dining room was dry and overcooked. the"pantry" was ok and always crowded. We booked to visit Indonesia and could not go to Bali , there were ships in the harbour but we stayed out.The specialty restaurants were good but crowded. Drinking water was a cost drink prices as a restaurant duty free alcohol was well priced. We spent $600 having a beer and wine. We sent a registered letter requesting compensation to the CEO of P.O. it was received and as yet have had no reply(many months) I contacted legal aid they said the advertising is misleading. Bottom line we paid and did not get our value or an explanation for failure to honour their offer, we could take action but on discussing this with senior travel agents were told to save the hassle an travel with a trustworthy, reliable cruise line in the future. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This is the smallest of the RC cruise line but the service was second to none. While we wish the pool was bigger or they had waterslides....if you are going for great service and some great port of calls this is your ship. The staff was ... Read More
This is the smallest of the RC cruise line but the service was second to none. While we wish the pool was bigger or they had waterslides....if you are going for great service and some great port of calls this is your ship. The staff was excellent and made us feel special and answered our every need. Would cruise on this ship again and again. The dolphin swim excursion in Grand Cayman was excellent....just be prepared to pay big bucks for the photos. The staff is very pushy and try to make deals with you...while we would have loved to had pictures of this amazing experience we could not justify the price for the pictures. Otherwise the Stingray City/ Dolphin Swim is a must. Jose and Benni were our dining room crew and they were amazing! They made us feel like we were their only guests! Benni taught my daughter how to fold napkins into shapes and she loved it! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
First of all I would like to take my family to Grand Cayman and Key West. So the location of the itinerary are the first reason. Second reason is the dates that match our vacation dates to my kids school vacation dates. The third reason is ... Read More
First of all I would like to take my family to Grand Cayman and Key West. So the location of the itinerary are the first reason. Second reason is the dates that match our vacation dates to my kids school vacation dates. The third reason is the price of the package of the cruise is very reasonable. This is my third time choosing Royal Caribbean ship and in my last two cruise my family always had good experience overall with the staff from the dining, sports activities during the cruising day at the sea and the shows and entertainment at night are fantastic broadway presentation. I would definitely choose Royal Caribbean ship again on our next family vacation. We are looking forward of cruising again in Caribbean next year going to Jamaica, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Mexico and other places that we can see some good package for the whole family. If Royal Caribbean will have route starting in Los Angeles this would be great. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We chose this cruise because it was smaller and we were cruising with our three children for the first time. The dining experience and food was great. The information we got from calling Royal Caribbean direct and using their website ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was smaller and we were cruising with our three children for the first time. The dining experience and food was great. The information we got from calling Royal Caribbean direct and using their website was very inaccurate. For example, website and their customer service told us there was a formal night and the rest was casual. There was NO formal night and casual was putting it lightly. We purchased clothes for all 5 of us based on this information when we really did not need to. This ship did not have anything for teens to do except rock wall, which was not open a lot, and a pool that was very small for 2000 people to use. Their website boasted activities for teens, such as a basketball court, coke machines, etc. They had none of this. We snorkeled at Key West and barely had 30 minutes of snorkeling. Definitely not worth the money we paid for 5 people. If I had it to do over I would spend a little extra and go on one of the bigger ships that are newer and I knew for sure had the activities for the kids. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This was our 1st and last cruise on the pearl we where very disappointed, Firstly the Staff at waterfront restaurant are very rude and need more training, on arrival as we were one of the fist passagers we went straight to the waterfront ... Read More
This was our 1st and last cruise on the pearl we where very disappointed, Firstly the Staff at waterfront restaurant are very rude and need more training, on arrival as we were one of the fist passagers we went straight to the waterfront restaurant to make our booking for dinner the lady at the front desk Maria told us they do not take any bookings we just need to turn up. When we arrived for dinner that evening she then advised us we had to have a booking, we then had to wait until 8:15pm to ended up sharing a table with a couple celebrating their anniversity, very awakard although there where plenty of unused tables. When we explained to her what happen she totally ignored us. The food at the plantation was horrible, entertainment was average. Rooms where clean ,we will not cruise or recommend Pacific pearl. Don't waste your money. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
I travelled July 2016 onboard Thomson Majesty mainly because I liked the sound of the Western Med itinery which included Rome and Sorrento. Having sailed on 3 other Thomson ships on 4 previous occasions as well as RC and NCL so can make a ... Read More
I travelled July 2016 onboard Thomson Majesty mainly because I liked the sound of the Western Med itinery which included Rome and Sorrento. Having sailed on 3 other Thomson ships on 4 previous occasions as well as RC and NCL so can make a good comparison. I had read very negative reviews about Majesty so was prepared for the worst. Upon arriving at the airport, Thomson Rep directions were very poor and there was an absence of staff. Once myself and other lost passengers found the bus staff to take us to the Port we enjoyed a short bus journey that was not unpleasant. Having arrived early evening, we did not have to wait long in the queue to embark Majesty. The welcome was very pleasant. We were told the drill would take place at 10.30 p.m and had time to get a bit to eat. We were late for the drill and no one seemed to be bothered unlike other drills were it was made a priority and they did not commence until everyone had arrived. My fault, however, just saying.... The only restaurant available was the buffet on deck 10. The venue was very basic and the food choice was just okay. There was not enough meat choice in my opinion and that's coming from someone who is not a meat lover. In saying that, there was enough to eat and the choice included soup, salad, curry, chicken, fish, port, occasionally beef, potato (not much variety) and some veg (which was the same every night). The clenliness of the restaurant was a little poor. I often sat at dirty tables and the chairs were sticky in places. I was annoyed at this to start with but got used to it by the end of the week. Now onto the cabin. My goodness, besides the Island Escape, this cabin ( inside plus), has got to be the worst cabin I have ever been allocated. We tried to upgrade but were told the ship was full. The sheets were dirty and the pillow splattered with marks. The cabin had not been prepared as a twin so I was forced to sleep with my travel companion the first night and I was not very happy about this. I asked the room Steward if she could organise the bed to be converted to twin and pointed out the dirty bed lining. Let me stress that in between passenger changes, there is no apparent deep clean and there is a general tidy up. I noted grubby corners and the hair dryer felt very dirty to touch. I cleaned surfaces with wet wipes and they came up yellow in colour. Changes were made that evening however, the dirty pillow slip was not changed. The bed sheets were not changed the entire week. The room was cleaned once per day, towels not replaced at night as the room girl turned the bed down before I had returned to the room at night to change. I was frustrated by this as I particularly like to shower with clean towells on holiday. I was on holiday with another couple who experienced a totally different service. The bathrooms were disgusting, the toilet seat badly marked, the sink an environmental health hazzard and the shower very grubby. I can advise the water pressure was good and the water nice and hot. I experienced no toilet blocking the entire week, however overheard other passengers discussing problems. My cabin was located on deck 3. I would recommend a higher deck as the noise from the engine (a low humming/vibrating) was disturbing at night and I suffered from insomnia most of the week being a very light sleeper. The ship appeared to be very tired and is in much need of a refurb. The lift areas are particularly grubby. The Four and Seven Seas restaurants with Waiter service were better than the buffet restaurant. They weren't exactily grand but the tables had covers and the Waiters were much nicer in these 2 restaurants. My only real gripe hear is the fact many of the tables are placed near work spaces and this really impacts upon your dinning experience. The food was lovely albeit the choice a little bit limited. I chose to eat in all 4 restaurants onboard and had breakfast in the Cafe Royale (buffet) which in my opinion was a little smaller but nicer than Piazza San Marco. There was a selection of continental and English breakfast foods as well as tined and fresh fruit, cakes and bread rolls. Salad and a selection of hot food was made available for lunch and it was okay to be honest. Some of the Waiters in both buffet restaurants giggled as guests passed and made remarks in their own language. Now, this was a little unprofessional and in my opinion may be down to a lack of supervision. Both restaurants were located beside the pool area and there were outside seating areas. I didn't find this area particularly pleasant to eat in as it was usually very crowded and it was dificult at times to find a seat. The number of tables you were allowed to smoke were very limited. The pools were small and not crowded and there were 2 jacuzzi's which were usually empty but again, surrounded by tables and chairs. Deck 10 & 11 were the sunbathing decks and as the ship was sailing at full capacity, there was never a sun lounger to be got. Deck 11 was so crowded, you had to step over people at times. I preferred deck 7 which was also crowded but a good bit quieter. There was a struggle at times (especially the day at sea) to find a spare lounger on any deck and people often left towells on loungers and disappeared for hours. The promonade deck was a little ususual in layout with lots of obstructions which limited space and views. The Spirit has a much better design. Very disappointing for me as I love to lie on a lounger and watch the sea go by and I actually had to stand at the edge to do so. As the week progress, the entertainment got better. There was one singer that carried the shows in my opinion. He was great and did a great version of 'My Way'. The female entertainers were the weak link in my opinion, however by the end of the week, they had won me over and I could not get enough of the shows, which started off okay at the start of the week and really climaxed by the end of the cruise. I can't say that the variety was the best I have experienced on Thomson ships however I cannot criticise any of the entertainers. There weren't very many to be honest, 2 male singers, 2 female singers, 1 extra and 4 dancers. I have to mention the 2 resident bands that I occasionally got to hear because of the lack of seating, were absolutely amazing, the singers better than the show team. The Cruise Director was a real comedian and had me in stitches all week. He was brilliant and funnier than the Comedian/Magician on board who was also very good. The staff talent show was the highlight for me and the talented bunch also put on a very entertaining show. On the downside, I was unable to get a seat in the lounge all week. I missed all the shows in this area the entire week and was often forced to sit outside. The drink prices were good and the service excellent. The staff on board were on the whole very pleasant with the exeption of the female staff on Reception and the Head Waiters or maitre d on the doors of the restaurant who were most unpleasant, dour and unnecessarily over officious. Almost every other staff member greated guests upon passing and this was most welcoming and hospitable. The itinerary was okay. Sorrento and Mahon were well worth seeing and the trip to Rome very interesting albeit exhausting. I'm not sure why Sicily is on the itinery as the city is really uninteresting and the inhabitants unfriendly. The trip prices were very expensive and the bus tour to Rome which was necessary £42 per person. Would I recommend travelling in July? No. The temerature exceeded 30/35 degrees and it was too hot for sight seeing. What I can advise is the general run down state of the ship did not ruin my holiday and I still had a very pleasant cruise. Would I return to the Majesty? Absolutely not unless it was a free trip. Would I sail with Thomson again? Probably yes, albeit I think they are not trying hard enough in terms of customer service in the respect of the booking process and the way holiday makers were treated at the airport. As for comparison, I have had better cruises on RC and NCL however paid double the cost of this cruise. I also like Thomson cruises because they are primarily British dominated passengers and this is without doubt the best experience in terms of etiquette, entertainment, company etc... I would highly recommend the Spirit and I hear that the Tui Discovery is brilliant. If you have booked up to go on the Majesty, don't expect any more than 2/3 star accommodation, however, I am certain you will still enjoy your holiday. I hope I haven't put anyone off this ship but I have tried to be as honest and objective as possible. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We have been on 18 cruises including the Mediterranean and in my opinion the Alaskan cruise was the very best. My opinion of our trip is as follows: We left out of Seattle and spent one night there prior to the cruise. We ate at ... Read More
We have been on 18 cruises including the Mediterranean and in my opinion the Alaskan cruise was the very best. My opinion of our trip is as follows: We left out of Seattle and spent one night there prior to the cruise. We ate at Elliott's on the Seattle Waterfront. My husband ordered the fried oysters and said they were some of the best he has ever had. We also ate Italian food at a restaurant named the Pink Door in Post Alley. There is not a sign but it is much bigger than you initially think it is and the bolognese was amazing. Food prices seem a bit high in Seattle but both restaurants were very good. Also a great Columbia store for last minute items - which opened at 9:30 am. We chose to have uber pick us up from the airport, take us to the terminal, and back to the airport. Very prompt and would do it again. The Carnival Legend is a nice enough ship and has things like the lounge and taste bar is places you would not expect based on other Carnival ships. Ships decor is a bit gaudy and needs some renovation in my opinion. We were in an aft room 6333. Balcony could have been cleaner and furniture needs to be replaced. TV was an older model and not flat screen. Aft rooms in the ship are very convenient to the Lido and dining room. The excursion to cruise the fjords was amazing. Well worth the money. We prebooked. One of the boats was out of commission that morning and some guests that had not prebooked were offered a later excursion or a refund (I think?) The St Aqualina was the boat that took us on the excursion. It was very nice, clean, and had plenty of room to move around, bath rooms, snacks. We saw some amazing scenery including Ice calving ( a fairly large amount) from one of the glaciers. The views there were breathtaking. We also ate at the steakhouse that night and the views from the steakhouse from that location were beautiful. One of the prettiest Carnival steakhouses we have been to. In Skagway, we took the Ocean raft Wild life Adventure on the Tongass raft. Suits are heavy but keep you warm and dry. Fairly short walk from raft to locker area but a bit tiring for me with the heavy suite on since I have difficulty walking. We also rented a Green Jeep in Skagway - very nice folks and drove into Canada. Our excursion for the Taku Lodge and 5 glacier salmon bake in Juneau was cancelled due to weather - so I would think this could have again. We did not find this out until we were at the dock to go to our excursion. We did the dog sledding and it was great. Some of the dogs were involved in the Iditarod. I also have to highly recommend the Tracy King Crab Shack on Franklin. Best food I had the entire trip. Our last excursion was in Ketchikan - the Bering Sea Crab Fisherman Tour. Exceptional tour. Be prepared to take some unbelievable photos of eagles. The Alaskan Fish House was recommended. I ordered the cod fish and chips and did not like it at all. Tasted like it was overly seasoned with chili powder. In regard to the Carnival Legend staff - some of staff was borderline rude - maybe more stand offish. Spa manager was somewhat argumentative and breakfast staff the morning of debarkation served us cold food. They seemed more concerned with getting the tables ready for the next cruisers. Dining room was very slow and food seems ( to me ) to deteriorate with each Carnival cruise. Not a lot of food options like Red Frog Pub (they do have a Red Frog Pub for drinks) ,Cucina del Capitano, or Guy's Burgers. Bathrooms could have been better maintained. Entertainment is getting really boring on Carnival - needs to be rethought. Embarkation and debarkation went well. I will definitely plan another cruise to Alaska but will look at other cruiselines. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016

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