1. Home
  2. Cruise Styles
  3. Family Cruises
  4. Family Cruises Cruise Reviews

13,499 Family Cruise Reviews

Over all this is one of the best cruises I have been on. Their Ocean Medallion program definitely made a huge difference in my opinion. Embarkation was the fastest I ever experienced on a cruise. That's the way it should be! The ... Read More
Over all this is one of the best cruises I have been on. Their Ocean Medallion program definitely made a huge difference in my opinion. Embarkation was the fastest I ever experienced on a cruise. That's the way it should be! The only negative is the entertainment at the pool. The music was excellent, but was interrupted and cut short by an NFL game or movie. Movies should be played only in the evening. I was in a great mood with the music, then when it was cut, the mood was gone. The food & wait staff in the dining rooms were incredible. We were able to experience all 4 dining rooms because our main dining room would get busy. But that's ok. The fact that they accommodated us so quickly was fantastic! My stateroom attendant was accommodating as well. He took care of my son's needs (he has eczema) without judgement. So it was a big deal. He made my son feel comfortable, bringing extra blankets & changing the bed when we asked. Thank you for a wonderful experience especially with the New Year's celebrations. That was memorable` Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
New Year's Eve! Itinerary was New Orleans (Louisiana); Cozumel (Mexico); Roatán, Bay Islands (Honduras); Harvest Caye (Belize); Costa Maya (Mexico). Spent a couple of days exploring New Orleans before the cruise and highly recommend ... Read More
New Year's Eve! Itinerary was New Orleans (Louisiana); Cozumel (Mexico); Roatán, Bay Islands (Honduras); Harvest Caye (Belize); Costa Maya (Mexico). Spent a couple of days exploring New Orleans before the cruise and highly recommend checking out the city. Embarkation was a little rough only because the port only has two small lanes and thousands of people trying to drive on it and drop off at the same time so add at least a half hour to your estimates. The actual ncl embarkation was as smooth as I can ever remember it being, checked in with no wait and then less than 20 minutes until they started boarding the ship. With a guest capacity of almost 4000 this is a big ship. That being said there was tons of stuff to do that I was excited about, the first being going to Margaretville for an Incommunicado to start off the cruise right and we also signed the teen up since it was right next door. We then headed down to the main dining room for embarkation lunch. They set the mood at the main dining room for our whole cruise right there. We were sat immediately and had our food within ten minutes of ordering, and it was delicious. After we left the teen in the arcade and went to check out the ship and she is beautiful. H20 at the very back, a ropes course across the entire width of the ship, a nice climbing wall, and a kid’s play area.We do like to play trivia and the fun games they have at the atrium but we did wish they had more scheduled especially on the sea days but it was a bit underwhelming on that front. The Million Dollar Quartet was just amazing we had an awesome time watching the show. Plenty of bars to keep people happy, one being right next to the pool of course. The ship is beautiful and had a lot of fun things to do but it wasn’t one of our favorites. Mostly it had to do with the layout of the ship than anything actually wrong. We prefer the openness of the Bliss to the sort of blocked off feeling this ship gave. Everything was just kind of tight together when there were crowds which we expected with such a popular sailing but the public areas could be a bit larger is all. Balcony room was perfect and we had no issues at all. Overall an amazing vacation and would 100% recommend to anyone who wants to sail out of New Orleans. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I generally dislike larger ships, but we were planning a multi-generational cruise for the holidays, and the itinerary worked with our dates. We were a total of 11 people, ages 13-75, and booked 3 Grand Suites. Getting to the port in Miami ... Read More
I generally dislike larger ships, but we were planning a multi-generational cruise for the holidays, and the itinerary worked with our dates. We were a total of 11 people, ages 13-75, and booked 3 Grand Suites. Getting to the port in Miami was a nightmare, as 6200 people were leaving the port at the same time that many of us were arriving. We had a private van that we had booked with American Transportation, thank goodness, but they wouldn't let him drop us anywhere near the check-in. However, once we cleared the mess, we boarded the ship quickly and easily. The ship was recently out of dry dock, and she was clean and beautiful. We were on board just after 11 am and headed up to Central Park for lunch at the Park Cafe. Disclaimer: I'm a foodie! I found that the dining across the board was very average. We bought a specialty dining package and ate at 150 Central Park (by far the best meal we had), Chops (really average, same as I've found on every other RC ship), and Giovannis (the old folks loved this one, I just thought it was chain-restaurant quality food). Nine of us also did the hibachi dinner one night, fun but way overpriced and no different than you'd get at Benihana on land. We ate in our dining room just once and found the food there to be pretty much the same quality as the specialty restaurants, but the service was actually better. So next time I wouldn't bother spending the extra money on specialty dining. We had one dinner at the Solarium Bistro which was a buffet for appetizers and desserts but we ordered dinner from the menu. It was fine. We didn't think it was worth the $9.95/person charge at Johnny Rockets for a hamburger, so we didn't eat there. We watched the Orange Bowl in the sports bar but were annoyed that the snacks were an extra charge. I never once set foot in the Windjammer Cafe. As suite guests we had access to the Coastal Kitchen and Suite lounge on deck 17, and we spent a lot of time there. For us it was a wonderful respite from the insanity of the rest of the ship. They offered sit-down breakfast every day, and the service in CK was much better than it was elsewhere on the ship. Buffet breakfast was also available there for those who wanted to eat on the run. Lunch and dinner were also available there, as was an all-day fancy coffee machine. Each evening they put hors d'oeuvres out at 5 pm. When it was sushi it was a very small quantity and usually gone within minutes. Wine and beer were available all day, though we had beverage packages so we were able to get upgraded wine and beer. The bar service in CK was slow and inefficient. CK was also where the concierges worked. We didn't find them to be terribly helpful. We've dealt previously with the Disney concierge, and they were communicating with us well before sailing date. The Disney concierge also booked things for us but the RC did not. They gave advice and answered questions but didn't do any of the work of making reservations, booking things, or getting us into exclusive tours, etc. Speaking of tours, RC charges an arm and a leg for any type of tour on the ship. In years past we were invited to do tours of the bridge, the kitchen, the theatre, etc. as suite guests, but these were incredibly expensive or not available so we opted out. The pool decks were insanely crowded on sea days with not a chair to spare. There is a suite guest only deck, but even these filled up, and RC doesn't enforce the exclusivity of the area, so people jump the gates or let their friends in. We saw many people there who were sharing their friend's card to get in and out of the area. It was frustrating. Wifi was included with our suites. They advertise their wifi as the best at sea, and I would say that's definitely true in my experience. This was obviously good, as we were keeping track of each other all over the ship. However, it did not allow me to turn off and unplug from my regular life, so I got calls from work and others intruding on my relaxing vacation. The Disney Cruise app allows communication via an intranet type system so you can keep up with people at sea without being available to others in the outside world, and I much prefer that system. The Royal Caribbean app was somewhat helpful but very often not accurate and also very quirky. We learned quickly to go get the old fashioned paper schedule each day. It did allow us to see our bill in live time at any given moment. Once rooms were ready, our key cards waiting for us in the room. We also got RFID bracelets and were told that they would work just like the key card to open our door and work as our credit card on the ship. It's a nice idea, but in reality, it was a pain in the butt to have to take the bracelet off and give it to the waiter to take to the scanner in the back. They also didn't work on the island. The kids used them when they went to the pool, but the rest of us pretty much left them in the rooms. I think it's a concept they are still working out. We had 3 grand suites: 6660, 8654, 8260. All were nice, though the family in 8654 had limited contact with their cabin steward and never got their bathrobes. I was personally in 8260 and liked the location and our lovely cabin steward. It was smaller than grand suites on other RC ships we've sailed, so when all the beds were out for the 5 of us it was hard to move around. Bathroom was nice, the shower had great water pressure. It's not at all friendly for anyone with mobility issues, as the tub is quite raised. We spent lots of time sipping wine on the balcony. When it was originally booked it was billed online as a "one bedroom suite" but it's not actually a suite at all. There is not a door but a curtain that separates the king bed from the rest of the room. So privacy is limited. The room was quiet and cool, and I slept well. The Aqua80 show was the standout event of the week. It was probably the coolest show I've ever seen on a ship. Basically, it was a dozen dancers and a handful of divers, and they put on an amazing show to a great medley of 80s tunes. We saw it twice. I would definitely not miss this. Cats was the Broadway headliner and was actually very good. The other main stage show was called One Sky... and it was probably the WORST show I've ever seen on a ship. It was really, really bad. No plot, lame choreography, and generally just a big waste of time. People were leaving in droves. I would for sure skip that one. There were 2 comedians onboard, one was hilarious and the other just vulgar. New Year's Eve was really fun, and there was a huge music party, countdown, and balloon drop at midnight. The entertainment in the promenade was always good, and the cruise director Michel, was fun. I didn't know about 70s night or I would definitely have brought some dress up clothing! There were some other theme nights, but we didn't partake of any of them. The bar service pretty much everywhere on board was very average, which seems to be a general problem with all RC ships. I guess because most people have the drink package there is little incentive to do a good job. We hung out a lot in the English pub in the promenade, and they seemed to have the best beer list, though they had a bad guitar player in the evening with a way-too-loud amp that drove everyone out of the pub at night. It was sad to see all the empty seats when he was playing. Schooners was fun with the piano player, and we rode the Rising Tide elevator bar a few times, which was fun. The Robot Bar was fun to watch, but none of us actually liked any of the cocktails we got from it. I guess we needed to do more research on which drink to order. The Boardwalk was consistently crowded so we didn't spend much time there. One person in our group got to zip line but the hours were inconsistent and they didn't move people quickly. A few had fun ice skating. My personal favorite pastime was listening to the classical guitarist in Central Park or the jazz band in the jazz club. Ports of call: Labadee, the private island. We spent most of our time on the private suite guest beach, and they drove us there in a golf cart. I thought there would be waiters taking drink orders at our chairs, but we had to walk to the bar each time. Floaties were available there without a charge (I think they were for rent elsewhere). Some of us went to the blow-up water slide/play area which was an upcharge (of course!) but they had fun. There were some local musicians at various points on the island, singing and dancing, some in costume. Unfortunately, we were told that we would not need money at all at Labadee because it was the cruise ship's private island and our Sea Pass would work. All of these musicians had tip baskets out, and I would have liked to tip them. Hopefully the cruise line is taking care of them! Jamaica: some went zip lining, some went tubing. The tubing group's bus broke down and they were very late, so the ship had to be held for them. Thank goodness they booked it through the cruise line! The terminal in Jamaica is very clean and safe and there is some limited shopping. Cozumel: We've been here a dozen times. Our group split up into 3 excursions. You are forced to walk through the shops to get back to the ship. Senor Frog's is right there and just as loud, cheesy, and overpriced as always. Disembarking in Miami: we were able to be escorted off from the suite lounge so we didn't have to get into the insane elevator queue with our luggage. Once again, the port was a nightmare, and it was not well-organized as far as where pickups occur, etc. We had hired a private van to take us to FLL where some of us flew directly home and the rest got a nearby hotel for a Monday departure. We all had fun, and I would probably sail on this ship again. Royal Caribbean does not do fine dining, exemplary service, or luxury well, even at the suite level, but they provide a solid experience. It worked well for our multigenerational group. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise to experience a different New Years, other than just partying at home as we normally do. We arrived at the port by 10:30 am on Monday 12/30/19. First thing noticed, the staff was all super friendly and nice. We ... Read More
We chose this cruise to experience a different New Years, other than just partying at home as we normally do. We arrived at the port by 10:30 am on Monday 12/30/19. First thing noticed, the staff was all super friendly and nice. We checked in and handed over out luggage to the bag attendant. We had three suitcases and a backpack with toiletries. We proceeded to board the ship and look around until our room was ready for us to enter by 1:30 pm. We take the elevator to deck 2, while walking to our cabin #2353 we notice one of our bags was placed in cabin #2333 which was the incorrect cabin number. We noticed the bag attendants were still delivering bags and let them know one of our bags was placed in the wrong door. We asked to have the other two bags and backpack delivered to us, which they did right away. Once in the cabin, we started to unpack and settle in. I noticed my hair diffuser was missing from my backpack. Apparently the bag had opened and the item fallen out. I was a bit disappointed that happened and was hoping someone found it and turned it in. I went to guest services and asked, but it was not found. The highlight of the entire cruise was the Cruise Director Savanah, who was an amazing host and kept the energy level up thru the entire trip. Our stateroom stewards Arvin and Handayani Dwi were both super attentive and very welcoming. They were both amazing people. The cabins were very clean and everything needed was in place. The dinner service and waiters were amazingly friendly and attentive. Some of the concerns we had was the safety tutorial which was way too hot and crowded. It should be organized differently and maybe at different times. I found some of the food in the breakfast Lido deck buffet was not as hot as it should of been. I noticed the ship was a bit old and needs some upgrading to look a bit more up to date and clean. There were areas where I could feel the floor tiles were loose. The carpet had a funky smell in certain areas as well. The pool deck giant monitor screens need to be replaced, since one side was hanging halfway off. My main complaint will be the drinks. We drank Bahama Mama drinks most of the trip. Each drink was 11.74 and tasted as if no alcohol was in it. I found that a bit disappointing since we were paying for a drink that was more like a mix juice drink. I found myself having to tell the bartenders to please pour alcohol in our drinks. Overall, we had an amazing time and New Years experience on the trip and would definitely do it again. As I mentioned Savanah the cruise director was an amazing host and so was Olivia. Our stateroom stewards ARVIN and HANDAYANI DWI were courteous, attentive, kind and welcoming!!!!!!! Till our next trip Carnival!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We just completed a very enjoyable cruise to New Zealand on the Ruby Princess. It was our first time cruising on Princess although have cruised many times with other companies. The ship was recently refurbished and everything was in good ... Read More
We just completed a very enjoyable cruise to New Zealand on the Ruby Princess. It was our first time cruising on Princess although have cruised many times with other companies. The ship was recently refurbished and everything was in good working order and nicely presented. Everything was spotlessly clean and neat. We were upgraded to a suite which was a fantastic experience with all the added perks like access to the thermal spa, complimentary laundry, afternoon tea in the lounge and separate dining room access and seating. It is an American ship and all plug points are US. They do however provide one Australian converter plug. The cabin was roomy and spacious. It was an accessible cabin so only had a very large shower, no bathtub, which was perfect for us as we do not use a bath anyway. Lots of cupboard space and drawers to unpack in. The only downside to this cabin was the position as it was directly below the walkway from one pool to the other and we constantly heard footsteps or trolleys rolling along the passage when we were in the cabin. People warned us about the weather at this time of the year and boy did it come true. Three days of very rocky sailing and missing two ports, Akaroa where we planned to swim with the dolphins and the Fjordlands which we were so looking forward to sailing through. Food was ok but a bit limiting for vegetarians in our party. Service at the restaurant was first class especially that we were in a special section for suite guests. Entertainment was mediocre and pretty ordinary for this class of ship. Pools were fantastic as there are two adult only pools and found chairs quite easily. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We choose Liberty because of convenience to where we live and price. This ship despite its age is still beautiful and majestic. We were 6, 5 adults and 1 12 yr old. 2 Retired teachers, Phd. Chemistry professor, CIO of major University and ... Read More
We choose Liberty because of convenience to where we live and price. This ship despite its age is still beautiful and majestic. We were 6, 5 adults and 1 12 yr old. 2 Retired teachers, Phd. Chemistry professor, CIO of major University and a beauty salon owner. The renovations are very good but some areas need improvement. Our cabin was 2214 and at times when leaving the cabin the smell of backed up sewage was quite noticeable. This smell was noticeable in deck 1, where other family members had their cabin. At times, the smell of dead fish appeared but only lasted a few seconds. We choose You Time Dining and I would give it a B at best. The service is slow and we noticed that those who purchased drinks or wine were served first and attended quite a bit more than others like us that do not drink except water and coffee. On our second night, gala night, the server presented himself and asked what we wanted to from the bar. We said nothing and he then assigned another server and never came back. It took at least 10 minutes before he came and served us bread and water. Took our order and after 20 to 25 minutes no server. I went to the Maitre’D and he tried to speed up things. He apologized and said that he would send a food gift to our cabin, but nothing ever came. He just lied to try to appease us. Well the food finally came and it was cold. Apparently, it was sitting somewhere. We tried to eat and the server never showed up again. The Maitre’D also never showed face again, avoiding to pass by our table. At times, we thought that maybe it was because we spoke English and Spanish, I do not know. Well after waiting again for another 10 to 15 minutes, we just got up and left. Very disappointing since we have been on 20 cruises different cruise lines before. The entertainment was excellent. BlueIguana on Lido deck is excellent. The breakfast huevos rancheros are a must try. The Guy hamburgers are excellent. They are big and there are always a small line of folks. The music throughout the ship was quite good. My 12 year old granddaughter loved the Camp for her age group. Made some new friends. The shops were as always, on board shops. Nothing new or special to buy. Clearance sales was just old stuff that no one wants to buy. They need to lower the price quite a bit if they really want to sell. The food on the Lido deck was quite good, varied and good tasting. Although they close rather early 11pm (at least for us), the Pizza is always open. Their Pizza was excellent. The pool area was great and so was the outdoor cinema. The service to clean tables in the Lido Marketplace is slow. Maybe they are understaffed or just walk slowly. We had to clean for the most part to use a table. The cruise director is very good at entertaining and moving people to dance and just have fun. The port Nassau was nice. This was an overnight stay. We went to the Jankatoo beach, about 10 minutes walking from the ship. The service on the beach was excellent, since these are mainly young locals that want your business. Leaving and returning to the ship was quick and easy. Overall, the cruise was enjoyable. Personally I would only return if the price really goes down. Almost forgot, the brunch was excellent. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Be sure and arrive at your designated time, you don’t want to get in the longer early or late line. If you bring on a small ice chest, no ice or water allowed, bring freezer packs. Cans only is the rule now days. If you don’t have ... Read More
Be sure and arrive at your designated time, you don’t want to get in the longer early or late line. If you bring on a small ice chest, no ice or water allowed, bring freezer packs. Cans only is the rule now days. If you don’t have faster to the fun, expect to keep your carry on luggage with you when you go to the spa for a tour, or to the busy lunch buffet. You can get access to your room at 1:30. The room key cards will be in the mail bin by your door. If you buy an alcohol cheers package, it starts the next day. If you get a soda cheers package, expect to pay tax for each drink until the boat is under way. If you are planning on using your spa privileges / discounts, be sure to go take a tour early, before it gets crowded. They show you all of the areas of the spa, and try to talk you into each procedure offered. Research what you are interested in before you get on the boat. Not every spa offering is included in the 20-30-40% off, and the best deals are on port days, including departure day. Schedule your whole week right then, so you can get spots before or after your shore excursions for the best prices. My daughter was 16, so was limited on what she could do, but they offered her much more than was on the zspa teen list, there were many adult offerings she could do at the spa room discounted prices. On departure day we both got the body scrub with a massage for 75 minutes. I highly recommend that, it was so wonderful I did it later in the cruise. I tried acupuncture to relieve chronic pain in my shoulders. They felt better for a couple hours, but my wrists, ankles, and butt still hurt the next day from the needles. I’ll not try that again. The steam rooms and heated recliners were wonderful as well. If you want your free yoga, it is at 8am, and the palates is at 4. The serenity deck was nice, but crowded during the day, with all of the seats saved early. The salad bar was wonderful. The hot tubs were not crowded after dark, and no kids swimming in them! Deck 14 was very quiet, no drunks walking the halls at night to wake me up! Only 2 elevators go to deck 14, expect to find one that goes to 12, and walk the last flight up. I would not recommend deck 14 for people that can not use the stairs. The elevators are really as bad as stated on previous reviews. The casino is not smoky like other reviews stated, if you take the path around. I did miss the glass elevators. Only kids movies were offered in the Imax, the same 2 all week, so I did not go to it. The large 2 story Horizons restaurant was solely for Your Time dining, always crowded, and very slow service. Plan on spending an hour and a half, and waiting a long time for service. This was my 10th Carnival cruise, and the first time I ever ate dinner at the buffet, and I did it twice. It was hard to go see the comedy shows, unless you saw it first and ate late, which I don’t like to do. Under 18 can only go to the 6:15 and 7:15 shows, they will check ages with your room key for later shows. The steak house was wonderful. If you go there be sure and get the Art at the Table choice for desert. The chef comes to your table and puts on a show. The sky ride was fun, about a 30 minute wait each time we did it. The line for the ropes course was most often short. The easy runs along side the hard, so you can go along side your kid (you on the easy, the kids on the hard). There is no turning back, unless no on is behind you. There is only one track for the cable, no one can go around you. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was our 15th cruise and 3rd on NCL. I had a great time but that said, would probably pick a different class of ship next time. This was the largest ship we have been on and think we prefer the 3,000 passenger size better. Breakaway ... Read More
This was our 15th cruise and 3rd on NCL. I had a great time but that said, would probably pick a different class of ship next time. This was the largest ship we have been on and think we prefer the 3,000 passenger size better. Breakaway had a ton of options to try but if you are looking for a traditional ship feel then this wasn’t it. Embarkation at Port Canaveral was the smoothest and quickest we have ever had anywhere. We stayed at Disney Pop Century before the cruise and took the complimentary Magical Express bus to the MCO airport. (Set this up when you check in to the resort and make sure you load your luggage on the bus you are taking) Then we took the Go Port Canaveral bus to the port. Was on the ship in about 15 minutes. No waiting more than a couple minutes for anything. Food was great! Buffet was clean and food warm most of the time. Options changed daily but of course the favorites were there all the time. Pizza not that great but burgers were huge and the fries better than McDonald’s. Crepe bar in the evenings was awesome. If the buffet looks closed just check out the other side of the ship and you will likely find something. The main dining room food was good in taste and presentation but lackluster in options. They obviously were saving on cost by not offering much in the way of glamorous fare; a lot of chicken and pork dishes. However since most cabins are offered three specialty dining meals as a free option then that elevated the food to better than average. We ate at Teppanyaki; fun Beni Hana style Japanese cook. Cagney’s; super good steak house. And Maderno the Brazilian bar-b-que; lots of meat. The Fillet was excellent in all. Maybe not worth the upcharge if you have to pay cash but if it is a free promotion or you have cabin credit then definitely worth it. There is no poolside grill for a quick bite or any quick serve in the Atrium area unfortunately. O’Sheehans pub restaurant had great decor and decent food. There were some other free restaurants so lots of options but you have to look and read to find them. Overall food was good or better than average cruise fare. Activities were always going on somewhere. I didn’t attend much but my daughter said they were fun. Went to about 45 minutes of the Glow Party. That is the new White Out deck party. It starts at 11 pm (don’t believe the 10:45 time noted in the description) It was not a typical White Out party with black lights so white clothing did nothing to enhance the atmosphere. If you want to wear something special then pack neon colored clothing and glow sticks. The program was the Cruise Director (DJ) hyping up the crowd to get them to jump up and down and dance to the loud techno music repeated 100 times. The entertainment shows were very good. “Six” was a fun Spice Girls concert/history lesson but very hard for me to understand the British girl banter that was the bulk of the dialog. I am sure I missed a lot of humor. It would be helpful to brush up on Henry the 8th and his six wives history before the show. The magic/comedy show was the best I have ever seen anywhere. Saw a Queen tribute band that was amazing. If the show doesn’t take reservations, get there at least 30 minutes before or it will be full. My biggest complaint was the ever-present smoking areas and how they affect non smokers. Of course the Casino is smoking and being that it is gigantic and in the middle of everything, it contaminates the venues around mid-ship. You have to pass through the casino stench to get to a lot of places. On the pool deck there is a large smoking area that is cordoned off with Plexiglas strips which are open on top, bottom and front. This is located between the main pool and the kiddy-pool. The Plexiglas strips do nothing to contain the smoke so the main pool and kiddy-pool areas are smoke filled. The starboard half of the adult deck H20 is smoking so of course that means all that deck has smoke if the wind is blowing right. Most ships set up smoker areas that are higher and downwind of the public areas but not NCL. If you are a smoker then NCL wants to make it easy for you to enjoy smoking where everyone else is located. The word must be out because there seem to be a lot more smokers on the Breakaway than a normal ship. If you are bothered by smoke then pick another class ship. Service was great. The staff seemed happy and personable. Our room steward was quiet and cleaned well but did not interact at all. I think he is not comfortable with speaking English yet. If you asked nicely for something, the staff went out of their way to try to please you. I don’t drink but saw lots of bars with only a couple people and even bar service guys walking around the deck looking for drink orders. I saw some crowded bars during a venue but you didn’t have to look hard for a free bartender if you were willing to walk. The single pool was crowded of course and the deck around it filled up by 8 am with chair hogs. A curse on anyone who saves a chair for more than 30 minutes without using it! NCL does not enforce the “no saving chairs” rule. The water slides and ropes course was really good for a ship. The ship has a lot of people and NCL likes to put big events in small venues like the atrium where only a fraction of the people who want to see it can physically be present. This means you have to be diligent and get to the venue early to get a seat. Restaurant reservations are similar. You must plan well ahead. “Freestyle” actually means you have to schedule everything well in advance or you miss out. Be sure to get a tender boat reservation as soon as you get on the ship or as soon as they are available. Although our Cruise Director just ignored the tender ticket order and announced for everybody to show up at the tender deck which created a big crowd. Make sure you have the free NCL app downloaded and know how to use it. That tells you what is going on in the day, keeps your reservations straight, your account balance, etc. We didn’t do it but it would have been worth it to get the $10 pp upgrade for texting. Debarkation also quick. We picked 9:15 and they released several groups all at once with ours. A long line but went quick. Got on the last Go Port Canaveral bus. Overall, great cruise on a ship that could have been better managed to allow all guests an enjoyable time. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I will start off by saying this was our first cruise. My wife, myself, and 4 children (21yr old, 15yr old, 14yr old, 6yr old). The ship is beautiful and truly amazing. The crew and staff were above even that. The entire crew & ... Read More
I will start off by saying this was our first cruise. My wife, myself, and 4 children (21yr old, 15yr old, 14yr old, 6yr old). The ship is beautiful and truly amazing. The crew and staff were above even that. The entire crew & staff that we encountered really went above and beyond. From the cruise director (Simon), to our dinning server (Kevin who = GOAT), to the room steward (Nurhamid =my 6 yr old just loves & misses already) to the servers in the dinning rooms, and EVEN the deck workers (Asuandojono* = Squeegees & Mops the the deck floors AFT Pool area), to the Croatian Sensation hosting bingo = gonna make it raaaaaiiin HA! Just crazy Amazing people. Seriously, hands down. When you can engage and involve everyone of ALL ages, even our 6 year old and leave an impression, that is what it is all about. Making Amazing Memories =MAM. The ship did not feel crowded, except at sea days around the pools. (everyone wanted that sun). The shows were truly amazing. The cast appears to truly love what they do. Food was just amazing. Kevin worked hard to server 14 people each night. He even got to show off his dancing skills!! This man can D A N C E y'all!! There are lots of things that you can do as a family or as a couple and really make amazing memories! If I had to pick something to complain about or suggest so you don't think I work for Carnival, because I don't. It would be how the soda setup is done for say younger children. My wife and I are not comfortable sending say our 6 year old up to a bar to get a soda. Just not logical. This is something I would recommend Carnival looking into to address or make better. At least in the areas where everyone gathers. Now at dinner time, was not an issue as your server gladly brings you or your child a beverage. Other than that, and the fact we couldn't dock in Grand Turks due to weather, this ship would be 5 stars in my book. Gave it a solid 4 because of the soda issue and the fact we truly was looking forward to snorkeling in Turks and Cacaos and didn't get the opportunity to. Thanks again Carnival. You gave afforded our family to MAM in Jan 2020!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this cruise due to the reasonable prices. We normally cruise Celebrity, Princess or Royal Caribbean but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with this ship. I was concerned about it feeling too crowded after reading other ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to the reasonable prices. We normally cruise Celebrity, Princess or Royal Caribbean but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with this ship. I was concerned about it feeling too crowded after reading other reviews but the ship has many different areas that make it feel more intimate and private. CABIN- we had a mini-suite as our daughter was staying in the room with us (for 99.00), room was a bit larger than the typical balcony and the bathroom made it worth it. (nice double sink area so two people can get ready at once. DINING- the specialty restaurants were a step up from main dining or buffet. Highly recommend Ocean Blue and Teppanaki. The buffet did not have as many choices as Celebrity, and quality a little less than Celebrity as well. ENTERTAINMENT- we've been on about 10 cruises and the entertainment was the best we'd seen. Great comedians and the Burn show had fantastic dancers. We also enjoyed the talented women in the Six show. Also recommend the mojito tasting and ice bar, delicious drinks and good time. SERVICE- hit or miss. We had some waiters that were great. My husband had a bartender complaining that he only wanted to make easy drinks (bar was crowded), my husband ordered a mojito and the guy apparently was disgruntled. Our cabin steward had to make up the couch for my daughter. She only put a fitted sheet and comforter on top. When we asked her to put on another sheet she told us "we were lucky" that she had one. Some of the employees seemed annoyed that they had to serve you. We wanted to tip the servers, it took forever to get cash from guest services so bring plenty of small bills. All in all a fun cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
My wife and I cruised on the Symphony of the Seas in January 2019 to the Western Caribbean. This was our 27th cruise overall, 11th on Royal, 4th on their mega ships. We are in our 60’s and usually cruise to a more interesting location as ... Read More
My wife and I cruised on the Symphony of the Seas in January 2019 to the Western Caribbean. This was our 27th cruise overall, 11th on Royal, 4th on their mega ships. We are in our 60’s and usually cruise to a more interesting location as we’ve cruised the Caribbean too much. However, she attended a conference on this cruise so we had no choice on location or timing. Overall it was a good cruise but not great which is why I gave it 4 stars. There were two main issues: First, the weather was poor which is expected this time of year and not the cruise lines fault. Be aware of Caribbean cruises in mid-Dec to mid-Feb as you are likely to encounter rain and strong winds. Departing Miami we had rough seas for a couple days, got rained out at Roatan (most excursions cnx), okay weather in Costa Maya, windy in Cozumel, and very windy at Coco Cay so most activities there were cnx. Second, we felt Royal is eliminating or reducing items that were free before and now make you pay extra for the same thing. Also known as “nickel & diming you to death!” This first occurred on boarding where we looked forward to a peaceful lunch in the dining room to avoid the crowds at the buffet, only to find that the only dining room lunch available was for “Key members” who paid an extra fee of $25 per day for perks including lunch on first day and reserved seating at shows, etc – which takes away seating from us little people. Then we found the Windjammer buffet stopped at 9:15pm every night, normally it’s 10 or 11pm, so you have to go to their very limited Café Promenade or pizza place OR order room service at $7 plus fee if you want a snack late at night. In room TV is now extremely limited with a few channels with obscure tv shows or very old movies as they want you to buy the On Demand pay movies. Final expense we didn’t appreciate was the specialty restaurants now are $50ish per person. We ate at Chops and it was fine but not as good as we’ve had and certainly not worth $53! EMBARKATION – We drove to Miami and parked in the garage next to the pier for $25, pricey but very convenient. You drive up until you find the porters (on level 4 that day), drop off your bags, then park. Walk over to terminal, go thru checkin line, then security. Although a little crowded at noon, we were thru and on the ship in 20 minutes. You do not get your room key until you board the ship, it’s in an envelope outside your cabin. If you charge drinks, etc, you show your boarding pass until you get your key card. SHIP – Symphony OTS is a beautiful ship as it’s only 2 years old. As with our earlier cruises on these mega ships, there is a lot to do and activities for all ages. The crew and staff were outstanding and very friendly and helpful. Even with the windy weather the ship did not rock that much. We had a full load of 6,000 plus passengers but there were lots of quiet areas - our favorite was Central Park on Deck 8 CABIN – We were in a balcony cabin on deck 11 forward. The cabin seemed larger than previous mega ships, definitely longer as we had a king bed and a full size couch. They’ve added storage and two separate wardrobes with hangers, very nice. Plenty of electric plugs. The shower is also larger. Our room steward was very good and gave us extra towels, soap bars, and shampoo as needed. DINING – We had early fixed dining at 5:30pm with the conference group which worked well. Late dining was at 8pm. They also had a room for anytime dining but we heard no comments on it. We prefer fixed dining as the servers seem better because they know your preferences and the food arrives quicker. Our waiter and assistant were superb. Overall the food was good, even beef options were tasty, but the menu was somewhat limited as there were only 3-4 new choices each night plus 5 standard choices. Lobster tails were served on the second formal night. Formal nights are now more business casual as you only need a collared shirt, no coat or tie. OTHER FREE DINING – We ate in Park Café (Deck 8) and El Loco Fresh (Deck 15) quite a bit. Park Café has been expanded so there was always seating available. It has breakfast sandwiches and pastries and then salads and great roast beef sandwiches rest of the day. El Loco Fresh is outdoors in the aft area by sports activities and has a limited breakfast buffet and then a great Mexican buffet rest of the day. We really enjoyed El Loco! Café Promenade and Sorrento’s Pizza (Deck 5) were okay but I found the sandwiches a little odd and the pizza just okay. Windjammer buffet was always crowded and the choices were limited compared to other cruise line buffets. Also they did not have omelet stations for breakfast unless you went to the dining room for brunch. DIAMOND CLUB – This was our first Royal cruise where we were Diamond status and thus could use the Diamond lounge on Deck 4. We really enjoyed it. Although not a large room, it is very comfortable and was never crowded for happy hour. Happy hour was 4:30 – 8pm where you got unlimited drinks in the lounge plus 3 free drinks at bars and dining room. Drinks were well drinks, although they made martinis, cosmos, and margaritas in the lounge, wine by the glass, beer, and sodas. ENTERTAINMENT – Symphony had the best shows of any ship we’ve been on. Hairspray and Flight were outstanding in the main theater. 1977 was a great ice show and Hiro the very energizing water show. Very important tip – make your show reservations online before the cruise - they were available 45 days prior for our cruise. You can also make reservations onboard using the Royal app but they book up quickly. If you do not make reservations you will be in long lines hoping to get seats just before the show times. We also went to the Comedy Club but found the comedians average. SPORTS – Symphony, like the other mega ships, offers many recreational options. I like the large gym and long jogging track (Deck 5). There are four full size pools, a kids area with water slides, adult pool in Solarium up front, and many jacuzzis. In aft on Deck 15 they have 2 flow riders, basketball court, short zip line, and new slide Ultimate Abyss. You wear street clothes on Abyss and sit on a mat when you slide - surprisingly the lines were not long for this. One more complaint about the free items disappearing is the flow riders have a lot of time allocated to people who pay for private lessons and reserved times so free riding time is limited. WIFI – We bought one Voom Surf plan for the week, that’s the slower plan than the Surf & Stream plan. Buy it online before the cruise as it’s cheaper. We had connectivity thru the ship but it was slower in our cabin. My wife and I shared the one plan by logging in & out with each device. ROYAL APP – I downloaded the free Royal app before the cruise and found it helpful on the ship. It has the daily planner as well as the activities we’d booked already. You can also check your onboard charges and make reservations for excursions and shows. DEBARKATION – Very smooth and quick. Unless you declare customs, you get your bags and walk out of the terminal. There was a face scan station which apparently took care of immigration. Took our bags to the parking garage and drove off. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We are a puertorrican family composed by mom (47), dad (48), daughters (19 and 21). In January 2 we fly from Puerto Rico to Ft Lauderdale, to board Symphony of the Seas on January 4. We stay in Hampton Inn Coconut Groove/Coral Gables, a ... Read More
We are a puertorrican family composed by mom (47), dad (48), daughters (19 and 21). In January 2 we fly from Puerto Rico to Ft Lauderdale, to board Symphony of the Seas on January 4. We stay in Hampton Inn Coconut Groove/Coral Gables, a small hotel with breakfast included, very good price per night and the best location ever (close to restaurants, parks, the train and public transportation), and rent a car. While there we visit the area with parks and cute restaurants with outside tables...great for an afternoon stroll . We eat in ARIETE, super good ambience. For the vegans, I can recommend two places that my daughter absolutely love in the Miami area: Veganoroma and L'Artisane Creative Bakery. On Saturday 4, we arrive to the port around 3pm, really quick process, where stand up representatives receive the ones with online check in. And onboard we were! Being in Oasis and Allure, Symphony does not feel very different, is big and beautiful. Lets go to the details. Food: The food is great, lots of choices in different venues. Does not eat in any of the specialty restaurants. We enjoy the breakfast in the Windjammer, Solarium, Park Café and the main dinning room. For lunch too, included the Taco Loco venue. All our dinners we go to the Main Dinning Room to our lovely Waiter VIKRAM, and Assistant Waiter ANELYN (in table 242). They go beyond our expectations and requests! My daughters enjoy the vegan menu they have available every night for them, its a great step from Royal Caribbean. We too enjoy the food from the regular menu. SHOWS: I went with high expectations in terms of the Broadway Productions. HAIRSPRAY: I have to say that I enjoy more the one in the Oasis of the seas. The one in Symphony is a bigger production, but the one in Oasis stick better to the story. HIRO: was canceled because of the wind and weather conditions. FLIGHT: Its the history of aviation, a little boring but visually is a beautiful production. 1977: Its a GREAT SHOW skating show, the better I've seen. COMEDY SHOW: Really don't like it, but maybe its something about american humor vs. latin humor. LOVE AND MARRIAGE SHOW: As hilarious as usual. PORTS: Roatan: I have make arrangements to visit the West Bay Beach and Roatan Chocolate Factory through Roatan Taxi Tour. But the day we visit this port was raining (Royal Caribbean cancel all the tours in that port because of the weather). So we stay in the port, I drink a hot and delicious coffee, my daughters buy some things and chocolates. Costa Maya: I make arrangements through Chac Ek Costa Maya, a little local company. Since the moment I contact them through FB, the way they received us in the agreed place, and the whole local experience with Tino and Hugo (the driver) everything exceed our expectations. BACALAR SEVEN COLORS LAGOON is more beautiful than you can imagine or see in pictures. Color perfect, fresh spring waters and spa with natural clay, while enjoying local beer, tequila and snacks. The experience includes a lunch at a really nice taco place, for 3 delicious taquitos, and they even prepare the most delicious avocado for our vegan daughters. Also a quick stop for the sweetest pineapples that grows in the town. A safe and unforgettable experience with great people. Cozumel: We pay for the X-PLOR All Inclusive Royal Caribbean Tour. I would like to share something important about this tour. The group is reunited in the theater, early in the morning. At 7:30 am you will be boarding a ferry, that travel through really brave waters, and will transport the group to Playa del Carmen. When you board they will give you a green bag...and soon you will know why. Lots of people will be around you, throwing up and feeling sick..they get out of the ferry looking like zombies. So, if you have motion sickness beware of this, please. We do not get sick, thank God, but something to take into consideration. Well, once in Playa del Carmen you will be transported in a really big and comfortable bus that will take in a short drive to X-PLOR. We have the time of our lives: 10 ziplines, underground rivers, hybrid car and a delicious buffet with lots of alternatives including one station with only vegan-vegetarian food. This tour is expensive, like $200 per person, but in our opinion it was worth it!!! You will walk a lot, and climb lots of staircases. Coco Cay: Another day with bad weather, rain and cold winds. We can not enjoy this beautiful paradise as we wish, because of this. Some attractions were closed to. The island is still under construction, but it is as beautiful as the pictures. CONCLUSION: We have a great time in Symphony of the Seas, all of us enjoy our vacation, the food, the service, the ports...everything. I love Royal Caribbean, and will continue traveling with them. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Over a week, Sunday to Sunday, we went down and up the east coast of NZ. We were scheduled to circumnavigate NZ - going down the west coast after going past Cape Reinga, and then into Doubtful and Milford Sounds in Fiordland, but very big ... Read More
Over a week, Sunday to Sunday, we went down and up the east coast of NZ. We were scheduled to circumnavigate NZ - going down the west coast after going past Cape Reinga, and then into Doubtful and Milford Sounds in Fiordland, but very big swells (reputedly 8 metres) forced a change of plans. EVERYONE was really disappointed, as the Fiordland part was a main attraction, but better to be safe. Sometimes conditions dictate and priorities for safety overrule. Every cabin received a credit for $100 AUS. in compensation. Bad luck, that's all. All staff on board get 10 out of 10, a top effort by them in every respect. The cabins (staterooms) are really comfortable and have everything that you might want. Despite the unclear info supplied, there are 230v sockets in the cabins that accept a standard NZ (and Ozzy) 3 pin (or 2 pin) as well as British and European plugs, as well as USB sockets. The restaurants were very good - plenty of food and options. The entertainment in the Zodiac Theatre was particularly incredible. An absolute not to be missed, - you must get your seat there early (go 30 mins early) or you may miss out. Its ok watching everyone file in. The wifi is sold in packages, (none free) and our friend bought one, but never got it to work. In this day and age, no free wifi is a rarity, and a disservice to the cruise as anyone who was allowed (say) 300Mb per day would be sending photos and messages to friends thereby increasing publicity, so the meanness about this is a shot in the foot. World Class entertainment with 7 piece band in the Palm Lounge most nights, including visits from the incredible dance team. We Loved it all (bar the no wifi.). Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was our 10th cruise on Princess Cruise Lines and the Regal Princess did not disappointment. We have sailed many other lines over the years. This ship is very clean and the crew is very accommodating to passengers. Food in dining ... Read More
This was our 10th cruise on Princess Cruise Lines and the Regal Princess did not disappointment. We have sailed many other lines over the years. This ship is very clean and the crew is very accommodating to passengers. Food in dining rooms was excellent and entertainment (in theatre and Plaza) was 1st class! It always amazes me how some "cruise critics" can be so negative about their cruise. People, just because this site is called "Cruise Critic" does not mean only report negative experiences! Please be fair in your comments! Boarding and exiting the Regal Princess was a breeze with the medallion. Your cabin door opening as you approached was very convenient too. However, the medallion did not always work for finding shipmates (on Princess Cays), ordering drinks on top deck (at Movies Under Stars), or on the back deck level 16. Not all crew members or waitresses are familiar with how the medallion works! More education of crew members is required! Pizza and ice cream at pool deck was very good and convenient. Lobster on last formal night was excellent! Baked Alaska and server parade on last night was nice touch. Fresh egg omlettes made to order in Buffet every morning were very good! Overall ship did not seem crowded with lots of chairs in lounges available, and lots of seating around pools. Activities and entertainment were everywhere. Very cool electronic poker table in casino you should check out. Cabin bathroom is very small, one of smallest I have encountered on a cruise. But cabin had a very large TV, one of largest I have encountered in stateroom. Overall, a very nice cruise with a friendly crew. Regal Princess highly recommended! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was our first cruise ever with one teenager. We decided to do a cruise because I don't like flying and it was recommended by someone. The ship is relatively new - launched in 2016 and looks amazing. We had a stateroom with a ... Read More
This was our first cruise ever with one teenager. We decided to do a cruise because I don't like flying and it was recommended by someone. The ship is relatively new - launched in 2016 and looks amazing. We had a stateroom with a balcony which was small but perfectly formed. Our stateroom attendant was unfailingly cheerful even though he never seemed to get a break. We decided to purchase the Key, a priority program and skip the line pass that included the Zoom internet package. We mainly bought this mainly to skip the line with activities, which it was not very useful for (see below) but it was useful for onboarding and disembarking. Not sure if it was worth the cost. The activities such as FlowRider, NorthStar, IFly, bumper cars and roller skating were pretty amazing given this is all on a ship, but the lines are long if you did not have the Key and even with the Key we could only skip the line once a session. There are 5000 passengers on board. Sometimes this is not apparent but sometimes it did get very crowded. There were countless attempts to separate your money from your wallet, ranging from art auctions to high end shops to lots of sales and "opening specials" on thousand dollar jewelry which did get a little tedious at times. The price point for the beauty and massage service, Vitality Spa, I thought was rather high as it is easy to find a Thai style or hot stone massage in Australia for 60 AUD, as opposed to the 190 USD being charged onboard. The gym was enormous but even so could get very crowded. There were free stretch and core classes, although again these could get crowded and occasionally started early which I found a little irritating. I thought that the shows were quite good, with professional dancers and singers and the Cruise Director was very amusing. We found the complimentary dining more than adequate with US style service. The Windjammer was the biggest buffet I had ever seen. Cant comment on the alcohol as I don't drink. This ship is full of Aussie passengers - the construction business must be good as there was a preponderance of cashed up tradies and their families. Some kids ran around like they were in a caravan (trailer) park and would press all the elevator buttons. There were a couple of craft activities that simply consisted of a staff member handing out a craft kit. No real instructions to speak of which I found disappointing and again this often started early and was often crowded. Our main problem was the teen clubs called The Living Room for 12 to 14 and Fuel for 15 to 17. There seems to be this expectation that teens were simply let loose until up to the curfew at 1 am, to roam around at will, which I thought was highly unsafe given the population was equivalent to a small town. There were scheduled activities for teens aged 12 to 14, but after about 8 pm there were a few gangs of boys that roamed around checking out the young girls, some of whom were allowed to dress with long fake nails, low cut crop tops and false eyelashes. As I had a 14 year old daughter, I was not impressed. She loved meeting the other kids though and it was difficult to drag her away. We did our own shore excursions. Noumea was not that exciting although we did a bus tour which was interesting. Mystery Island was beautiful, but suddenly overcrowded by 5000 passengers! We ended up taking a village tour to Aneityum Island which was very interesting and much less cramped. We did the Hop On and Hop Off bus at Auckland and spent most of our time at the Auckland museum. Overall my impression was that was a surprisingly good holiday. This cruise liner catered for all types of passengers, although with a strange combination of high end exclusive marketing trying to persuade a somewhat downmarket customer base to spend up big on their vacation. The ship is quite spectacular and the service from the international crew was excellent. The teen area was our major concern and may be a deal breaker for us in the future. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose Encore because it is new, NCL, and looked great. I read mixed reviews about the ship but went on with our plans. We sailed from Miami to San Juan, St. Thomas and Tortola. We had an ocean view cabin because with three kids ... Read More
We chose Encore because it is new, NCL, and looked great. I read mixed reviews about the ship but went on with our plans. We sailed from Miami to San Juan, St. Thomas and Tortola. We had an ocean view cabin because with three kids that is basically all we could do (other than The Haven, which was five times more expensive). The cabin was nicer than usual. They put the closets between bed and sitting area and the curtain divider was a nice touch. The shower had a tub. The room decor was great and felt spacious for a family of five. We had to “side-step” around the foot of the bed to get around the room but it was fine. The ship moves more than any I have ever been on. The pools were normal for a large ship and didn’t feel smaller than others to us. In fact, it was easier to find a chair. The water slides are fun and the DJs and band were better than other NCL ships. Restaurants: We thought Ocean Blue was our favorite after sailing on prior cruises but we loved Food Republic. Nicholas suggested the chicken tacos and tuna pizza. All the sushi and handhelds were amazing. The food was truly fabulous. Onda was basically nothing to write home about, which surprised us. I actually thought the pizza was more impressive than other entrees. Le Bistro seemed less fancy than it usually does in terms of flavor. It felt off. We didn’t eat at Qs because we changed it to Food Republic again. The main dining room food was NCL standard- nothing bad and nothing excellent. The buffets in The Garden Cafe seemed better than usual- one night was seafood night and another was some turkey dinner thing. It was all fine. Kids Club did a good job keeping our elementary aged kids happy but our 3-year-old only went twice. She didn’t want to go again. I think with more effort they could have helped with the transition (Maze was able to do this once and we appreciated it because it worked). Some days, the staff didn’t seem to care who showed up. They told us about their plans to leave and go home soon. They seemed overworked and tired. A common theme on the ship. The ship itself was intense. Everything really was extra- the VR game room was $29 pp and the laser tag and other activities were similar. Plan on an extra $500-$1,000 by the time you pay drink taxes in port, play games, etc. We didn’t race the cars because they were unavailable per crowds or weather. The laser tag is skewed unfairly in favor of the blue team- the secret is so outlandishly unfair we felt ripped off after losing on the red team, but in the interest of surprises, I won’t spoil it here. I guess losing due to unfair advantage beats winning with one. The added games could be skipped. The VR room was kind of silly more than cool- but we liked Descent and Vertigo. Descent involved shooting aliens in a vertical tunnel. Vertigo had us walking a plank between skyscrapers to follow a kitten. It was intense and I recommend it before going to the bar, not after. This was like a roadside test we couldn’t pass. Kinky Boots was happy and uplifting but predictable. People walked out during the show- not sure if it was because it ran from 10:30-12:15 pm when we went or if they left due to other reasons. Drag queens are not for everyone but we enjoyed it. The Choir of Man was amazingly great. Those boys from Ireland can SANG. We even bought their Album. After years of Broadway shows, opera, symphony, ballet- this show is up there with one of the best (think Rent meets Celtic Woman). It had good humor and men seemed to particularly enjoy the show. San Juan experienced earthquakes and was totally dark and shut down. NCL still stopped there. We tried to walk around but the city was closed. We understand that it is an act of God but this felt like a wasted port for those of us paying thousands to travel. NCL should have re-routed to their island or something. St. Thomas is doing better post-hurricane and we had a lovely day at the tourist haven Magen’s Bay. Tortola was lovey. We did the ship excursion on Rebel Yell to Jost Van Dyke and chilled out at The Soggy Dollar bar beach. By far the best day ever. We only had to walk ten feet or so in shin-deep water, so our dry bag and water shoes made us laugh. We were over-prepared. Highly recommend Rebel Yell with or without children in tow. Encore is great and we had a nice time but it was a lot going on. The intensity of activities did have a Vegas feel. We did a calm painting class and found other ways to hide from the madness but it was too many bells and whistles for us. Overall, I gave 4 stars - if it were a report card it would be a solid B. It is not an A+ ship because it tries to be all things to all people. The crew on board were pretty under enthusiastic to be there, with the exceptions of Jose (who is promoting to an assistant cruise director on Sky) and Nicholas, who made dining on Encore a treat. The ship is clean and handsomely decorated. The Observation Lounge was grand and impressive. But even that wasn’t worth the added expenses of casino-like chaos while out at sea. We are more peaceful people who miss the simplicity of quietly traveling. I think if you keep your expectations somewhat low, the NCL Encore would pleasantly surprise you (especially if you buy lots of onboard credit certificates so you aren’t hit with a big bill). We liked the martini bar on Breakaway better than mojitos on Encore. Just a preference. Embarkation was easy (we arrived at 10:30 am and waited about half an hour inside). Disembarkation was lame and you can line up when you want - the color code system appears to be total bologna. Go when you want to go. Encore rolls as much as people say. Perhaps she is trying to shake loose of the overbuilt and overrated entertainment on her top decks. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We sailed Jan 6-10 2020 on the short 4 day Bahamas Cruise. For the price paid was excellent value. We ate mainly in the Palace dining room service was very good as well as food selection. I had an inside cabin category 1D it was the ... Read More
We sailed Jan 6-10 2020 on the short 4 day Bahamas Cruise. For the price paid was excellent value. We ate mainly in the Palace dining room service was very good as well as food selection. I had an inside cabin category 1D it was the smallest cabin I have ever had on my many cruises but I was alone so was OK. Entertainment was good, casino slots didn’t pay! Ate at the Le Bistro specialty restaurant the food was not great and overpriced. Was a fun cruise with great staff! Embarkation and debarkation were quick and efficient. Pizza for lunch at L.A. Cucina was excellent. I have sailed on most cruise lines and the Skyndid not disappoint. BEWARE BEWARE in Nassau do not visit the Tresor Rare store on Bay Street. They are selling knockoff high end cosmetic treatment creams. Heavy sales tactics targeted at older women! BEWARE BEWARE! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We are loyal to RCCL. We are beyond Diamond Plus and we like the deck plans on the Freedom and Voyager Class ships. Had on a gown and matching stiletto heels for formal nite and we had photos taken at three stations. Out of 15 ... Read More
We are loyal to RCCL. We are beyond Diamond Plus and we like the deck plans on the Freedom and Voyager Class ships. Had on a gown and matching stiletto heels for formal nite and we had photos taken at three stations. Out of 15 pictures not a single one was a full length photo. Just waist up. These are STUPID photographers if they can't get formal photos from head to toe. What was the point of wearing a gown? If we need to request full length then post it!! We are sick of three nites of RCCL song and dance crew. Once or twice is sufficient. We have seen all the moves and putting on a different costume doesn't improve a thing. Add some other entertainers and variety. The live orchestra is to die for. This is the only line that continues to have the orchestra and they are pure talent. A joy to listen to. Best loyalty program on the seas. The Diamond lounge has no equal in the ships and lines that we have sailed. RCCL made extra provisions when they found that they had a larger number of this class of passengers and provided extra lounge space. Well done. The sizing in the shops is ridiculous. We find this on each ship. Lots of XL, 2XL and S sizes but a M or L are nearly non existent. This is on the first day so it is not that they are sold out for the sailing. They just don't bother to update the supply for each crew. We no longer book NextCruise. The deposit and the lack of flexibility for making a change has let us know they only want our money not to accommodate loyalists. The RCCL phone app is a joke. We tired for three days to bring up our stateroom account and could never get it to work. It is no longer accessible from the TV. We also could not get our internet package without going down to IT to have them fix it. That all needs some serious work. We think the food if good, plenty of selection and always restocked. If I had any complaint it would be that this smaller ship offers fewer soup choices than the larger ships. The dining room experience was great. We chose MyTime and never waits for more than a couple minutes. Menu options for dinner continues to shrink. Fewer choices. Very disappointed that I was charge an additional gratuity in the dining room for ordering the lobster for dinner. First NO LOBSTER on formal nite, which is poor on RCCLs part. I chose to pay an extra $30 for one small tail. Then they tagged on an 18% gratutity to it. That is obscene. I already paid for dinner and a gratuity I paid extra for the small tail and then to insult you with a tip to boot is beyond stupid RCCL. Embarkation and disembarkation was seamless and efficient. We had not issues with getting on or off at ports of call. Easy and organized. Staterooms on this era of ship as well as the Freedom Class era of ships is much more generous for storage. There are sufficient drawers, shelves and cupboards to store your items. No the case once you hit Oasis or above class. Cabins got smaller on the larger ships and the elimination of closet and drawer/shelf space is very obvious. We do have an issue with the new beds. The supports make it very difficult to store a suitcase under the bed. Then they store linens in bags under there as well. Seriously RCCL what do you expect us to do with our large bags? We have small complaints as you can see but we will still sail again. Booked for March! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
First of all the ship may be older but it was definitely clean. There were staff everywhere cleaning the windows, bannisters, up on the Lido, etc. Everyone had a smile, Our dinner service was amazing. We were scheduled for anytime ... Read More
First of all the ship may be older but it was definitely clean. There were staff everywhere cleaning the windows, bannisters, up on the Lido, etc. Everyone had a smile, Our dinner service was amazing. We were scheduled for anytime dining. We sat at table # 100 in the Crimson Restaurant. We were served by Richard, Alberto and Lorenz. Richard was the lead waiter and managed our table service flawlessly even though he was also managing a table of 17, simultaneously as well as several other tables. He had the biggest load of tables the nights we dined with him (four). Always with pleasure and a smile. His sense of management of food and beverage delivery was uncanny and executed with precision. He motivated his two team members, Alberto and Lorenz which they each demonstrated individually their knowledge of great service delivery, both outstanding and equally would support them in becoming waiters. The team moved about effortlessly as they managed all the different requests, not one table left behind as we watched around us. Richard remained positive, motivating, creative in solving dietary needs (we witnessed this), his team trusted him, evidenced by their respect of him. He has a keen sense of his customers and anticipated our needs. He placed his customers at ease as he engaged both the mature and young alike such that we saw him receive both accolades and hugs from his guests. Lorenz and Alfredo both were attentive, offering suggestions and on top of the table service. Both friendly, fun and engaging. They greeted us by name, as did Richard, asked about our day, shared a bit about themselves which allowed for a meaningful connection which extended the pleasure of dining in the the Crimson Restaurant each night. Each night as we entered the Crimson Restaurant, at the entry there was a female staff by the name of Kamille. She always greeted the guests with a welcoming smile and a "hello" first which made us feel welcomed and excited to dine there. She was conversational, remembered our names, helped us use the app for dining reservations. Over the four nights during our dining, we watched her engage guests with a genuine, not forced friendliness that really made the start of the evening happy for ourselves and the other guests we watched her interact with. She is a gem. The bar service at the Atrium and also at the aft pool needs mentioning. First, in the Atrium bar. Both Nina and Vera were outstanding. They multitasked numerous requests all the while with a smile, a witty comment and outstanding drink service. Each night we were greeted by them they engaged us in conversation with themselves and other guests creating a fun vibe that made you want to partake, try new drinks, meet new friends. We looked forward to going down each night before dinner. We also want to mention Alexandra. She covered down in the Atrium bar as well as the coffee bar. We had the same experience with her as well. Not to forget, Maria in the SPA was the most educated and professional spa treatment provider we have experienced on a Carnival Cruise. Our expectation after several Carnival Cruises is a masseuse with some experience, some interaction, pleasant. Maria exceeded this expectation. She was knowledgeable about our concerns, offered several treatment options based on our concerns and not trying to "upsell" a service or a product. She was kind, friendly and most of all gentle. Her knowledge made us feel confident we were receiving a good product. Our room was immaculate, likely the cleanest in recent memory of any cruise on any cruise line we have taken. No dust as is often found on shelving, no lint on the floor, no weird or odd stains in the bathroom or tub. We were on the 7th floor,. # 7235 and Habibe was our steward. He immediately greeted us when when approached our room, handed us his card and offered to have us call him with any issues or request. Upon entering, we noted the cleanliness, actually spotless environment. There was ice in the bucket which continued daily. Each day he greeted us with a smile, was swift and efficient in providing us with a clean room. He invited interaction with him rather than having to encourage him to speak and engage which made it meaningful for us to get to know him, and vice versa. Sweet and kind. Lastly, at the pool bar, Vijay greeted us each time he saw us, even if we were simply passing by. He remembered our drinks, by the way, were great. He was outwardly friendly, engaging and fun. Super sweet! The cruise director was ok, not passionate, did what he had to do. We had a medical emergency that required us going back to Galveston. He could have turned the guest energy around but he did not appear motivated. We saw most of the guest take this in stride, the Captain explalned everything which chilled the vibe well. Carnival gave all the guests a 20% discount on our next cruise. We didn't get to go to Cozumel, went to Progreso which was just ok. Overall it was still a lot of fun. The guests were friendly, not uptight. We ate at Bonsai Sushi. Service was not so good, maybe we hit them on a bad night. Atrium music groups and also the Ocean Plaza games, trivia and dancing was fun. The fun squad did a good job. It was too cold for the pool or being outside. Embarkation was a fly thru: super easy. Disembarkation improved, had staff at the elevators to monitor. We did take the Carnival bus to the airport. No big issues there except we had to wait for a guest who never showed up which did delay are departure but did not affect our flight. We have another Carnival cruise coming up end of April. Stay tuned. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
So I've read a lot of bad reviews about this ship and they are not true at all. I've cruised Costa before as well as Princess, Celebrity, NCL, RCI etc.. To start with it's worth saying that this is not an American cruise ... Read More
So I've read a lot of bad reviews about this ship and they are not true at all. I've cruised Costa before as well as Princess, Celebrity, NCL, RCI etc.. To start with it's worth saying that this is not an American cruise line, its quintessential European (Italian) and you get what you pay for! We paid for a suite for the same price of an ocean view on a similar Celebrity cruise itinerary of the far east. Pro's: - Free room service breakfast (for suites) was well worth it. It avoided the queues and the rather bland breakfast buffet. Really good option! - Staff were generally amazing. Especially restaurant staff, our Butler Angelo and our room steward Babbo (?) - Lunch buffet and dinner buffet were good. Not amazing but on par with carnival cruises -Evening meals at the speciality restaurant which is included for suite guests is good! Some really good options especially if you are a fish eater! - Clean ship with lots of pools and hot tubs, plus a free spa which is good -Suites are awesome and worth paying the extra for! Huge balcony and shower room, plus priority boarding , tenders, disembarking etc.. Con's: - Entertainment is generally terrible. I don't go on cruises for the entertainment, but if you do then please note this! You get what you pay for with the entertainment - The food is generally geared towards meat eaters at the sit down restaurants. Just a note for any vegetarians or vegans. I coped ok, but with a lot of cheese and pasta - The experience would have been considerably different had we not had a suite. Our friends had a standard balcony and said they didn't enjoy it as much due to not as great food options, queuing, no free drinks package , no butler etc.. we had such an awesome deal it made sense. Could never afford it on NCL or princess etc.. Generally very good, great itinerary and I would recommend it for anyone looking for something slightly different and cheaper. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
My husband and I sailed on Norwegian Pearl this past week and had an amazing time. I haven't been on a cruise in 10 years and this was my husband's first cruise. We stayed in an inside cabin and it was exactly what you would ... Read More
My husband and I sailed on Norwegian Pearl this past week and had an amazing time. I haven't been on a cruise in 10 years and this was my husband's first cruise. We stayed in an inside cabin and it was exactly what you would expect from such. Our stateroom attendant was nice and our room was kept spotless during out stay. We did find the bed very uncomfortable and the giant gap in the middle bothered us a bit. We didn't realize until the last night that the zipper was broken that was supposed to hold this bed contraption together. The food on the ship was great! I'm a picky eater but everything I did put on my plate was good. My husband really liked the food as well. We didn't go to any of the specialty restaurants but we did go to formal dining at Summer Palace one night. Our server, Janice, that told us she's been with Norwegian for 10 years, was absolutely fantastic! She made the experience even better. We both got the steak and it was the best steak I've ever had. The entertainment was excellent. We thought the dancers and singers in the shows were great and went to all of the comedy shows. The comedian, Alex Ortis, was very funny and we enjoyed the adult show. The ship was kept impressively clean and the crew was very nice. We did not enjoy the spinnaker lounge. It was always crowded and hard to find seating during events and the evening. We liked Bliss much better. We had very rough seas and 50 mph winds but the ship handled it well. We were supposed to go to Key West, Great Stirrup Cay, and Freeport. However, we were notified around 6pm that we would be unable to tender into Great Stirrup Cay the next day due to high winds, and were being rerouted to Nassau. We found this really cool since they could have just given us a day at sea. We had fun everywhere we went but would probably avoid an itinerary with Freeport and Nassau in the future. However, we would love to return to Key West in the future. Overall I would definitely recommend Pearl. I would give it 4 stars. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Family cruise, 1st cruise for 5yrs old granddaughter. Connecting central park balcony cabins made cruising together extra easy and fun EXCEPT bad design for pool overflow drainage pipe runs just outside cabin and can be heard during ... Read More
Family cruise, 1st cruise for 5yrs old granddaughter. Connecting central park balcony cabins made cruising together extra easy and fun EXCEPT bad design for pool overflow drainage pipe runs just outside cabin and can be heard during slightly rougher weather when it's not rough enough to drain pool, even several decks down from the pool. Crew is phenomenal except for overworked mdr staff, in what now seems to be a common theme across both Royal and Celebrity ships. More and more items are prepared to reduce any additional service that was such a nice touch and went a long way to making the experience special. For example, souffles served in plastic ramekins with the sauce on the side, same little plastic sauce cups with mint jelly on the plate with rack of lamb. Probably a good thing though since your Walter and assistant waiter aren't available since they're assigned too many tables. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Shout out to Terri (DT) and Julian who did an amazing job. NCL arranged transportation. You meet them in the baggage claim area and wait for bus that takes you to port. Check in was (despite reviews I had read) was very organized ... Read More
Shout out to Terri (DT) and Julian who did an amazing job. NCL arranged transportation. You meet them in the baggage claim area and wait for bus that takes you to port. Check in was (despite reviews I had read) was very organized and quick. From drop off to on the ship was 30 minutes. Cruise staff, entertainment, and food were all great. Ship is large and easy to find your way. Good cruise for solo travelers as there are plenty of outgoing people. Observation Deck on 15 was a great place to unwind at the end of the day, have a cup of tea, and meet people or read a book. Sign up for meals and entertainment prior to boarding the ship. Free style was great if you had those reservations. Staff in The Local were always organized, friendly and helpful. The TASTE was much more organized that The Savor. Manhattan was good too. Helpful hint--don't wait for your tag color to be called at the end of the cruise or you will, as did many people, miss you flight. Clearance was given about an hour behind schedule and If I had waited I would not have made a 2pm flight. Also, it is worth getting your bag and asking for the porter to take you in a separate line and you clear re-entry very quickly. Overall, the ship staff was amazing, friendly, interactive. The ship was clean and they made efforts to maintain hygiene. I would take the cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We sailed on the Pearl on Jan 12 to Belize and Costa Maya. The best part of the cruise for us was the private villa on Harvest Caye Belize. The overall experience of being on the private beach with a hammock, lounge chairs, air ... Read More
We sailed on the Pearl on Jan 12 to Belize and Costa Maya. The best part of the cruise for us was the private villa on Harvest Caye Belize. The overall experience of being on the private beach with a hammock, lounge chairs, air conditioned villa, private bathroom, and waitress service was perfect for our family, The service on the island was excellent- the waitress, concierge, and driver were attentive, friendly,and professional. I highly recommend this experience! Overall the ship is fun, not too large, not too many people, and our family of 5 (3 young 20’s) had a great time. The Norwegian app was great for keeping in contact with each other by text message, Other highlights for us were the 2 specialty dining restaurants Moderno and La Cucina.. Both had excellent food and service and we really enjoyed them. Cant remember his name, but the bartender at the whiskey bar at night was the best on the ship! Some negatives for us were the food at the buffets, main dining rooms and O’Sheehans, and overall lackluster/slow service from waiters and bartenders in the other venues. The free food was average and sadly the coffee was terrible. Leaving the ship on the last day took forever and our bus back to the airport was really late, which was disappointing. Not sure if we will cruise Norwegian again or try a different cruise line next time, Read Less
Sail Date January 2020

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click