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54,153 Family Cruise Reviews

This was our first cruise with P&O having cruised several times previously with Princess. We chose P&O due to the convenience of a direct flight from Manchester to Barbados. We will not be choosing P&O again and I would ... Read More
This was our first cruise with P&O having cruised several times previously with Princess. We chose P&O due to the convenience of a direct flight from Manchester to Barbados. We will not be choosing P&O again and I would advise anyone booking the Azura to think carefully. The most noticeable features were the poor standard of service and the poor quality of the food. Only a very few of the staff are friendly, engage well with passengers and show an interest and pride in their work. When you come across a smile it stands out against the norm. Most staff carry out their work to the minimum of standards; they are indifferent, appear to be unhappy and treat passengers as if they are commodities. The standard and quality of food in the formal restaurants is average and the choice and quality of food in the self service is limited and mediocre. However, the quality and standards in the Sindhu and Epicurean speciality restaurants is excellent, demonstrating that P&O can provide a good service when they choose to. Of course, you are charged extra for these restaurants. You pay for ice creams on board and these are expensive and the choice is very limited. For this reason there is little uptake from passengers and therefore the ice cream counter is rarely staffed. The coffee shop is a Costa, complete with paper cups. It offers a small choice of unappetising cakes and snacks and as passengers are not tempted by them they sit in the counter for most of the day. Though I like and often use Costa in the high street I do not consider them a luxury or highly 'star rated' coffee shop. The ship itself is tired and scruffy with clear signs of damage to some walls. The atrium, compared to other ships, is small and uninspiring. Overall, this was a mediocre 3 star holiday. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I chose this trip on November 15th, 2019 after my booked September cruise was during Hurricane Dorian. We went to Key West, Cozumel, Costa Maya and Grand Cayman. I was disappointed that I was on the smallest of the fleet after not being ... Read More
I chose this trip on November 15th, 2019 after my booked September cruise was during Hurricane Dorian. We went to Key West, Cozumel, Costa Maya and Grand Cayman. I was disappointed that I was on the smallest of the fleet after not being able to sail on the Allure, but surprisingly it was not as small as I had expected. I travelled with 3 other adults.The embarkation was smooth. The only downside about this was the tight space in the ocean view bedroom. I had a porthole, how ancient is that? Dining was great in the Starlight Dining Room, our waiters Kevisen and Adarsh at table 414 were great. They were quite knowledgeable about the dishes being served. The host at the Windjammer where the buffet was Washy-Washy was quite entertaining. He made sure that hands were cleaned before entering the restaurant. This service was great overall. This cruise had a lot of elderly people onboard. I thought I was on a Golden Oldies cruise. Entertainment was alright but I think scheduling should be better for dining customers who want to see the headline shows. The Director was funny and quite suited for his job. Service was great and the crew really do a great job keeping the place clean at all times. I got better deals on land than via the cruise suggested excursions. Dining was fine in the Windjammer and the Starlight Dining Room was alright, more variety needed on the menus in the dining room. I would travel this again for the price but otherwise I prefer more variety of things to do and more comfort in the cabin. Overall it was a good time, despite the senior age of the majority of the other passengers. The ports visited were okay, I had cruised to a few before. Disembarkation was smooth and quite impressive to me as I dread this time on other cruises. I would recommend the Empress if you want a really good wind down time for your money. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We have cruised on three other cruise lines. This was our 8th cruise since 2015 several being with our two young children. I wanted to try NCL even though my husband was hesitant. I am THRILLED that I did!!! The ship left from NYC so I ... Read More
We have cruised on three other cruise lines. This was our 8th cruise since 2015 several being with our two young children. I wanted to try NCL even though my husband was hesitant. I am THRILLED that I did!!! The ship left from NYC so I really should have considered the season when booking this trip. It was cold and very windy on our way down to Bermuda so the pools, water park, and ropes course were for the most part closed. But once we got down there they opened for a bit of time and were so incredibly enjoyable!!! The different dining options were by far my favorite part! Oh and Jackie was SO funny!!! My favorite part of vacation is napping and watching movies so we missed A LOT of the fun shows but we got to participate in a couple and had such a good time! The shopping was nice as well! Another fav part is THE ELEVATORS! Frequent cruisers know elevators can be problematic. Not on the Escape. By far though the single best part I fond about NCL is when I got on board I had $200 in room credit because the fees ended up being less than what I paid. That was such a pleasant surprise as I have NEVER had any cruise line give back money! Couple down falls: We were told you couldn't make reservations, but you could. The self serve screens were often down. Debarking was TERRIBLE and took almost 2 hours. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
One of the reasons we chose this cruise is that we had never been to Darwin. Well. we still haven't! The Exit deck was changed from Deck 1 (as was widely advertised) to deck 4, and the ramp provided was incredibly steep. I hired a ... Read More
One of the reasons we chose this cruise is that we had never been to Darwin. Well. we still haven't! The Exit deck was changed from Deck 1 (as was widely advertised) to deck 4, and the ramp provided was incredibly steep. I hired a scooter for the express purpose of seeing Darwin, but it would not have been safe to take it down the incline, nor would I have been able to ride it back up. Several of the older passengers and those with sticks also had great difficulty in negotiating this ramp, and were completely winded by the time they got to the top. It totally spoilt my day, and several other disgruntled passengers felt the same. Also, don't bother getting a soft drinks package. Despite being issued with the bulky microchipped glasses, there are no soft drink dispensers on board the "New" Voyager. Total waste of money! Johnny Rockets is also a "no show". The venue is marked on the deck plan, but isn't open, and the free milkshake we were promised - "buy one get one free" - so much pie in the sky. BTW, the Windjammer seating arrangement appears identical to the old one. There are certainly no "extra seats", and getting a table can still be problematic. Also, the picture shown in the article is of the Deck 14 lounge, which is NEVER this empty. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
By far worst cruise i have been on. I took off work for 7 days for this cruise and it was horrible. I understand weather but it should have just got cancelled altogether. I am a mom and can only do vacation one time a year. The staff are ... Read More
By far worst cruise i have been on. I took off work for 7 days for this cruise and it was horrible. I understand weather but it should have just got cancelled altogether. I am a mom and can only do vacation one time a year. The staff are very rude and i had my food before my drinks n i had to get the head waiter to get our drinks. We got to nassaeu for only 1 hour n had to pay port services and we couldnt do anything for one hour. I am very frustrated.I felt unsafe a couple of times. My own daughter told me that she wanted to go to the room because she wa s scared of everyone yelling n screaming n a fighy almost happenend n no secuirty or staff around on deck 2 n i had to call security n of course they took their good old time. I have never complained. I would like some kind of money back. One day cruise credit for 2 days we missed out on is not fair. Staff was very rude throughput cruise. They dont care about their passengers. I will never go on this ship again Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
First of all, this certainly was not our best cruise experience; however some things were in my opinion unavoidable, but RCI still could have done better in their response. To start, prior to the voyage, RCI sent everyone both an e-mail ... Read More
First of all, this certainly was not our best cruise experience; however some things were in my opinion unavoidable, but RCI still could have done better in their response. To start, prior to the voyage, RCI sent everyone both an e-mail and text message the day before the cruise informing us of an impending storm and that there may be itinerary changes. I viewed the storm myself on radar and it was rather large. I've been on a ship before that attempted to go around a storm and that was a bad idea, many people got sick. I certainly preferred to stay in calmer waters for 2 days, rather than take a chance. So of course this affected everything. We did not go to Port Canaveral at all (still need to recoup money for a third party excursion to Epcot Center); we arrived in Nassau at 11:00 PM and had only 90 minutes to see virtually nothing (most businesses were closed); and CoCo Cay was indeed nice, but that was about it. The staff was hit and miss, which was disappointing (some were very good, others were not). The shows were decent. Some of the on board activities were lacking, such as Bingo in which the cost was a bit pricey for just a simple game of straight bingo or 4 corners. Probably the most disappointing was the food. For the most part the buffet food in the Windjammer was lukewarm at best. The dining room was a bit better, but just overall average. Also it should be noted even for breakfast in the dining room, the food on the bar was cold. However, our dining room servers were great (Sinegar and Mark), as was our cabin steward (Chris). Also the young lady outside the buffet that providing the hand sanitizer was wonderful and always a breath of fresh air. The cruise directors Katrina and John (who had taken ill) worked hard to keep things going. I would like to note they also led a non-denominational service which I hope RCI does implement on all of it's cruises. The two tributes to the vets (of which I am one) was outstanding. Our cabin (although a junior suite) was just okay, a bit dated, but clean. RCI did provide everyone an additional monetary credit towards a cruise that needs to be used over the next year (good on you). Overall, not the best cruise experience and I would say it is good they are retiring this ship next year. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We are platinum cruisers and just finished our 19th cruise yesterday. We chose this cruise because we liked the itinerary and wanted to take our 12 year old granddaughter on it. The ship itself is okay...needs a little TLC...but that ... Read More
We are platinum cruisers and just finished our 19th cruise yesterday. We chose this cruise because we liked the itinerary and wanted to take our 12 year old granddaughter on it. The ship itself is okay...needs a little TLC...but that didn't bother us. Our evening dining experience was good and our wait staff was excellent as was our cabin crew. However, we feel CARNIVAL has lowered its standards. This is a small complaint, but come on, ….we used to get a cheap pen and paper in our rooms (yes, we took the 10 cent pen home) and now we got a half pencil and 6 tiny sheets of paper. We used to get samples of products in the bathroom, but this time we had to ask for another bar of soap....a few years ago we got chocolate mints on our pillows when the bed was turned down,....etc. My biggest complaint, however, is the family time shows. My granddaughter and I went to Epic Rock (at 7:30 pm) and it was so VULGAR, I felt like I was in Sodom and Gomorrah! No wonder the theater was only 1/2 full at the most. This was absolutely no place for kids! Where is your shame and decency! The same applies to the *80's Rock show! This is NOT family entertainment! Also, I may add, screaming the songs IS NOT singing. Anyone can scream a song! CARNIVAL, what happened to entertainment? On our way back to Wisconsin, we have decided to go on Celebrity X on our next cruise. We hate to give up our perks, but I will not patronize the standards Carnival has set. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
The cruise itself was good. We had taken this exact cruise this past April and were excited for this itinerary again, only this time we were going on the cruise with both of my kids, ages 13 and 7. There weren't any specific things on ... Read More
The cruise itself was good. We had taken this exact cruise this past April and were excited for this itinerary again, only this time we were going on the cruise with both of my kids, ages 13 and 7. There weren't any specific things on the ship or during the cruise that were any different than last time - that being said, the same issues I had back in April, I had this time around as well. Embarkation - We flew into Ft. Lauderdale the night before the cruise. It took us probably close to 45 minutes waiting for a ride share. It was a little frustrating on that front. Mostly because, in the past, we've never really had to wait maybe more than 10 minutes or so. It was a bit chaotic in th queue and I don't think a lot of the ride share drivers were really patying too much attention. Once we got picked up, the drive was easy. Our hotel was almost directly across from the airport and the port. The next morning, we were picked up fairly quickly and made it to the cruise port in about 15 minutes. The check in process at the terminal was pretty quick. They were doing the facial recognition so they had my husband do it and then we were through. Security itself was fast, too. I think it took us...20 minutes from the time we walked into the terminal to getting on the ship. We were able to drop our things off in the room and get our cards and then we explored the ship. The ship - Equinox went through a refurbishment in May 2019 but it wasn't really a whole lot different aside from Cellar Masters becoming the craft beer bar. We sailed on this ship in April, just before the refurbishment, but aside from a couple minor things, it didn't seem like much changed. I think we ate half the nights in the MDR and in the buffet the other nights. The food is good, as it typically is. Our waiter was great in accomodating appetizers for my kids - a plate each of just pineapple and just watermelon. I do not have adventurous eaters. Entertainment - We didn't see but one of the shows and it was very good. It was a band performing The Beatles hits and songs by Paul McCartney. The entertainment staff was great. Dan, the cruise director, was very, very funny. He reminded me a lot of James Corden. There was a lot of trivia on this cruise, which was good because we're huge fans of trivia. There was an orchestra that was great plus a couple singers who sounded great. The port stops: Key West - This was our second stop in Key West this year and I love it. We did the old towne trolley since my kids joined us and they don't do walking long distances very well. I think I like the trolley better than the conch train, due to the fact that you can hop on/hop off. We got to the Southernmost Point fairly early so there was only a short line. If you're going to visit this, getting there later can cause headaches due to long wait times. We also went to the Hemingway Home and Museum again, this time for my kids. I say "for my kids" but the truth is, my husband and I also wanted to see the cats again. We ate at Two Friends Patio for lunch. Their buffalo fried shrimp was super good. My husband had breakfast and he enjoyed it as well. My son and I had a slice of key lime pie at Kermit's. Best key lime pie I've ever had. We finished off our time in Key West at the aquarium. I don't think the attraction, while cool, is worth the price of admission. It's very small and there's not a whole lot there. We did get to watch a shark feeding and we got to feed some fish as well. I don't think I'd pay more than $10/pp for it. All in all, it was a good visit. Costa Maya, Mexico - We went to Maya, Lost Mayan Kingdom and had an absolute blast! Neither my husband nor myself were expecting it to be much of anything but we really, really enjoyed it. The lazy river was fun, the kids waterslides were a big hit, and the relaxation pool was very relaxing. The staff were very friendly as well. My husband and I have said we'd definitely go back. Cozumel, Mexico - We went to Mr. Sanchos, which we do every time we're in Cozumel. Julio, who works the pool bar, remembered us from April of this year. The kids had fun there, too. The drinks were good, the food was good, and it was very relaxing. The only downside was that we had to be back on the ship by 330p. George Town, Grand Cayman - We took an excursion to the Cayman Turtle Centre to see sea turtles and it was probably the single best part of the entire cruise. We got to touch baby sea turtles, get in the water with them, and even snorkel with grown sea turtles. Best excursion of the whole trip and probably one of the best we've had on any cruise. We grabbed a late lunch at Margaritaville and while it was good, I'm not sure we'd go back. There didn't feel to be much urgency to anyone while we were there. Debarkation - The process of getting off the ship could have been better. There was no communication around the ship as to what luggage tags had been called yet unless you went into one of the restaurants. We heard a couple passengers ask and none of the staff seemed to know anything. When we were actually off the ship and heading to customs and immigration, it wasn't the smoothest there, either. There was a bit of confusion over where we were to go because they had two lines - one for passport holders and one for those using birth certificates. There was not any signage for families/groups using both passports and other documents. We were met with a little impatience when we asked which line we were supposed to be in. It didn't take too long to get our bags and getting out of the port itself was very, very easy. Now there were a few things that we didn't like all that much but only a couple things. The biggest issue I had - both back in April and this recent cruise - is the location of the library. Libraries are meant to be quiet spaces but when there's live music in the grand foyer, it's insanely loud in the library. Another issue was a lack of variety in food. I don't expect a cruise line to change up their menus every cruise or every month, but some variety would be nice. They had the same things in the MDR that they were serving back in April. 7 months is a good bit of time that revamping the menu could have been done. Especially with the ship having gone thru it's refurbishment. They could have been modifying the menus during those 29 days as well. I also had a bit of an issue with how they set up the rooms. We were in a balcony cabin that had a pull out trundle bed so that you could sleep 4 in the room. When the bed is pulled out, though, it leaves maybe 4" of room between the trundle and the dresser/vanity. Trying to get anything off the vanity once the trundle bed was pulled out was next to impossible. All in all - it was a very good cruise on a very nice ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My parents gave us this trip as a family gift to celebrate 4 birthdays and their own 15 year wedding anniversary. Their children and grandchildren were not present when they were married in Hawaii 15 years ago. We looked forward to this ... Read More
My parents gave us this trip as a family gift to celebrate 4 birthdays and their own 15 year wedding anniversary. Their children and grandchildren were not present when they were married in Hawaii 15 years ago. We looked forward to this cruise for six months only to find it a HUGE money pit! Very disappointed in the cruise itself. The drinks were always taxed due to being in port everyday! The auto gratuity was over priced due to the service and food quality. I'm a great tipper, but I would not have given the cooks extra tips at all! Crew members were actually serviced before my sister and I on two different days at two different locations on board. Not ok when you pay $30k for a vacay. We bought a wedding package to surprise my parents for a vow renewal for $500 so they would have the entire family present this time around. The photographer was less than par and the photos were super dark. After the viewing of the photos my parents were about to spend another $600 for 6 prints on a USB drive. Luckily my husband stepped in an intervened before that mistakehappened. Unfortunately we will not ever have good photos of the event only memories. We decided as 4 separate families that none of us would be on Norwegian ever again!! There are too many amazing cruises out there for the price we paid. .However, Hawaii is NEVER ugly or regretful. I'm glad we were together as a family in the beautiful islands. #family4ever#norwegianNeveragain Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Great value for money .majority of pessengers ware 50+so it was very quite. Food quality and selection was very good. Shows and bars were well stocked with variety of menu. The entire process of embankment and disembarked process was ... Read More
Great value for money .majority of pessengers ware 50+so it was very quite. Food quality and selection was very good. Shows and bars were well stocked with variety of menu. The entire process of embankment and disembarked process was amazingly efficient. Airport transportation is expensive compared to Uber/Lyft.Avoid that at any cost. Not only it’s expensive but wait time at airport is way more then Uber or Lyft We went to sabatini Italian restaurant which has a $29 cover charge per person. Food was good but price seems to little high compare to food served. Shore excursions were good but if you have little bargain skills you can save up to 50% compare to cruise ship.Most of providers are registered with local authorities and seems safe. As a general rule,simple safety rules to be followed. Do not forget to have some over the counter medicines like Tylenol, cough syrup and pepto bismol in case you need it. It’s available on ships but it’s 4 times expensive then local store. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Took this cruise with my best friend who was my cabin mate, and my husband and young adult daughter who were cabin mates. We chose the cruise because we wanted to sail on one of the larger ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet and Bayonne is ... Read More
Took this cruise with my best friend who was my cabin mate, and my husband and young adult daughter who were cabin mates. We chose the cruise because we wanted to sail on one of the larger ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet and Bayonne is just a bit over three hours drive for us. We had expedited arrival and embarkation was quick and smooth. From parking the car to being on the ship was about 10 minutes! THE SHIP ~ the ship is really nice, but I was disappointed in the Royal Esplanade and this was a personal thing. I was comparing to the Royal Promenade on the Voyager class ships which in my opinion has a much bigger WOW factor. That being said, it was the hub of activity and the variety of shops and venues was nice. We especially liked the Music Hall. CABIN ~ we had two balcony cabins; one forward and one aft which made for a lot of good exercise walking the corridor. Our aft cabin steward, Imade, was absolutely fabulous. Our two simple requests of ice each day, and extra bath towels were met and he was always friendly. Hubby's cabin steward was efficient as well, but just not as friendly. DINING ~ We enjoyed breakfast and lunch at the Windjammer Buffet on most days and there was a nice variety of items to choose from. Everything was very tasty, but all cruise lines need to do something about rolls for burgers and dogs ~ they always seem so dry! Maybe steamers would be a good solution for that. A personal favorite is the Coconut Ranger Cookies ~ they are so addictive. We had my-time dining and ate in the dining room six of the seven nights. The food there was also very tasty. I did have issue one night with a steak not being done to my liking, and my husband thought the turkey/stuffing/gravy was better at the Windjammer. After our first night, we requested Karim as our waiter. He and his assistant were very friendly and provided great service. One downside was the head waiter coming by the last night and asking that we give top ratings because it is beneficial to "our wait staff." Our party had nothing bad to say about our service, but this should not be something that is pushed. Another issue we hate is having the photographers come while we are eating dinner. We will just decline. Sorrento's Pizza is the bomb! Especially the Caribbean Pizza. ENTERTAINMENT AND ACTIVITIES ~ We enjoyed bumper cars, iFly, and North Star. iFly is such a cool experience but I can tell you for sure that I will NEVER skydive after that experience!!! The Solarium area was really beautiful and a nice place for the adults. Karaoke is not for us either by participation or listening, but to each his own. There was a BonJovi cover band who were spot on. We did really enjoy The Royal Swedes Band and went to see them numerous times throughout our trip. The final night they were joined by some of the members of the We Will Rock You ensemble and let's just say that Zak was too "over the top" and really didn't do the band any justice. "The Gift" was a different type of show than we are used to seeing on cruise ships, but the music selections pulled the story line together nicely and the ensemble was terrific. "We Will Rock You" did exactly that!!! The plot of the show was fun and the ensemble was just FABULOUS! Such talented singers and dancers throughout. "Spectra's Cabaret" ~ well, all we can say is WT????? Absolutely confusing and NOT entertaining at all. Wouldn't be surprised if that show doesn't last long. My husband and I spent a tiny bit of time in the casino ~ it is just too smoky. Another thing cruise ships need to work on. We are non-smokers and spend a decent amount of time in our local NON-SMOKING casino. Having a non-smoking section is just totally useless when there is absolutely NO separation between the two areas. In our opinion, it's just like it used to be in restaurants before smoking was banned. Really, if people want to gamble they will do it whether they can smoke or not, the same as when they go out to eat and have to go outside to a designated area to smoke. I don't need to get sick because of your addiction. Yes, I know we have a choice and so we choose to extremely limit our time ~ it's the cruise line's loss. PORTS AND SHORE EXCURSIONS ~ Our itinerary was changed twice due to weather issues. We didn't let that bother us because mother nature is the culprit. We figure we are not cooking and cleaning, but are having great meals and entertainment and activities, and our cabins is being taken care of so we still had a great time. We enjoyed our beach day at Coco Cay. All adults so we didn't do the water park. The barbeque lunch was good and plentiful, as were the island drinks. The CocoLoco is YUM!!! SERVICE ~ I saved this for last because this was the NOT SO ROYAL part of our trip. Due to the fact that we were docked in Bayonne for 2.5 days and the fact that we have unlimited service on our phones, the VOOM package that our daughter purchased was not necessary for those days. She requested that those days be refunded and was flat out refused. On top of that, the internet was very sketchy for the entire cruise and there were many times when she did not have service. Nothing like paying for a service and it doesn't work most of the time. The biggest fiasco, however, was the "ship's IT services" which seemed to always be down. We had to visit guest services 5+ times to get things credited properly when they weren't being applied to the proper person in our cabins, for when our daughter got charged three times for one drink when the bionic bar malfunctioned, and when they credited our NASA port excursion incorrectly. AND, they still aren't correct when reviewing our final statements!!!!! We don't understand how difficult it is when you have names and credit card numbers for each cabin. If they could just get this right from the beginning they would probably have 75% less people standing in line at guest services. They can build a $30 million dollar technologically outfitted show area ~ Two70 ~ but they can't properly charge a cabin account. One thing that frustrated MANY including us was all of the confusion for Sunday football and where the games would be shown. Come on people, we've watched football on every cruise we've ever been on. They started the game late in the Music Hall and we had to watch without sound on the upper level, because we were being tortured by karaoke on the lower level. Sorry, but that's just poor planning!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Choose this cruise because my sister and I had not been on Symphony of the Seas and we wanted to see what this large ship was like. Embarkation was quick and we were on the ship 20 minutes after we arrived at the port. We had a Central ... Read More
Choose this cruise because my sister and I had not been on Symphony of the Seas and we wanted to see what this large ship was like. Embarkation was quick and we were on the ship 20 minutes after we arrived at the port. We had a Central Park Balcony on the 10th floor. I like the ocean view balcony better but we wanted to try something different. We spent very little time on the balcony and sometimes it was very noisy with music and people making noise. The cabin was great, plenty of room to store things, like the glass enclosed shower and our room steward was tops. Grease was amazing, I would go on this cruise again just to see it. The ice skating and aqua shows were terrific. They had to delay the aqua show because of high seas but they did it the next day so worked out fine. I am Diamond and one con was the small Diamond lounge, at night it was always packed with no place to sit unless you got there early so we did not use it, instead using our 3 free drinks at the bars. We spent some time in the casino, if you stayed in the no smoking area wasn't too bad. This is a very busy casino with 3 sea days it was open very late at night. We ate at Park Cafe, Jamie Olivers Italian (fabulous food), Solarium for breakfast and lunch most days, and MDR for our evening meals. Our table mates were great, we had a very interesting time and our dining room staff was top notch. We never had a bad meal anywhere we ate. We Went to St. Maarten, had an excursion and saw both sides of the Island, both Dutch and French. Ate a great raspberry tart at a bakery in the French side across from the marketplace. Shopped a little in the booths and then back to the bus. We boarded a double decker boat and cruised the lagoon. Saw lots of boats damaged by hurricane Erma. Then boarded the bus and saw more of the Dutch side. Our guide was very good. In San Juan we had an excursion that took us on a tour of both old and new San Juan.. Had a great guide who knew lots about the cities and kept us well informed about what we were seeing. In Labadee we rented a Beach Lounger and spent the day on the beach. The weather was absolutely perfect, the water was blue as could be and we watched the zipliners come across the water. The food on Labadee was just okay, hot dogs, hamburgers, etc. With over 6000 people on this ship, the elevators were often a long wait to get where you were going, especially around dinner time and show times. Debarkation took a while to get everyone off the ship,. We had a 7;40 - 8:00 departure time and we were off by 8:00. We had a transfer with RCCL that worked out great, got right on the bus and directly to the airport. We had a 12:25 flight and had time to get lunch before we boarded. We would definitely sail on this ship again, the crew was friendly, efficient most of the time, and the ship and shows are excellent. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was a great introduction to cruising for my kids. The number one reason we chose this cruise was the amazing price and the dates worked will with my vacation time. This is a small basic ship but you get what you pay for... There ... Read More
This was a great introduction to cruising for my kids. The number one reason we chose this cruise was the amazing price and the dates worked will with my vacation time. This is a small basic ship but you get what you pay for... There was plenty to do on the ship and my girls (6 and 8) loved the pool. The ports were nice but nothing special. We got off in Nassau and walk to the beach. We sat next to a person sleeping on the beach and a garbage dumpster. The water had too much of an undertow to do more then get your feet wet. We were back to the ship for lunch and spent the afternoon playing in the pool Freetown, there was nothing to do close to the ship. We decided to take a taxi to a local beach and got swindled by the taxi company. The man filling the taxi vans said it was $14 each and that would get us there and back and we wouldn’t have to pay any more. Well we got to the beach and we still had to pay $5.75 per person to access the beach. The water was freezing cold and lots of vendors constantly walking up and down the beach trying to sell tshirts or braid the girls hair. After 2 hours we headed back to the ship for lunch and play in the pool. Next stop was Key West. A very nice little town. Once again we could not walk to anything close by the ship as it was docked in a Navy base. Walked around the town and back went back to the ship for lunch and more playing in the pool. All in all, we had a great time. The weather was warmer then home. The entertainment and food was good. Nothing out of this world but still way better then having to cook myself! The ship had two pools, a few hot tubs, basketball court and shuffle board. That was just enough to keep the girls entertained. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We enjoyed our week on the Royal Princess, but all in all it was nothing special. The food in the main dining rooms was generally good, but some nights the selection was less than inspiring. The buffet offered a wide variety of choices, ... Read More
We enjoyed our week on the Royal Princess, but all in all it was nothing special. The food in the main dining rooms was generally good, but some nights the selection was less than inspiring. The buffet offered a wide variety of choices, usually tasty. As always, the ship's pastries were better to look at than to eat. Dinner in the Crown Grill was very good, and worth the upcharge; the same cannot be said of Sabatini's, which was very disappointing--the "lobster three ways" was particularly unpleasant. As others have mentioned, the elevators were inadequate for the number of passengers. The casino is a disaster. Too small, too few machines, too many customers, too much smoke, and illogical use of space which had dead-ends and people bumping into one another. No complimentary beverages, no matter how much one played, just an offer of casino credit on a future cruise. A glass of ordinary white wine came in at $13, including the mandatory "tip." Unconscionable. The mattress was heavenly. Our room steward, Michael, was quiet, efficient, and pleasant. The Medallion experience was a very mixed bag--surely not worth the hassle. We never did manage to use it to locate our travel companions. Princess should either fix it or abandon it. One very complimentary comment: the tv selections were excellent--recent movies, lots of on demand shows from travel and home and garden channels, all day access to MSNBC, BBC, Fox, etc., all at no charge. Best in-cabin entertainment we've ever had. Despite a very generous offer of future casino credit, we're not enthusiastic about returning to the Royal Princess. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Carnival Vista, all 1,061 feet of her, is spectacular and a wonderful addition to Carnival’s family. We had the pleasure of calling her home for 7 days. This is my assessment of the Carnival Vista. Carnival Vista makes her home in ... Read More
Carnival Vista, all 1,061 feet of her, is spectacular and a wonderful addition to Carnival’s family. We had the pleasure of calling her home for 7 days. This is my assessment of the Carnival Vista. Carnival Vista makes her home in Galveston, Texas. We came from Idaho, so we were lucky enough to fly into IAH in Houston. We were aware of the distance between the airport and Galveston, but somehow, we didn’t understand the reality until an hour $85 UBER ride at 8pm on a Friday night. I don’t understand why there isn’t a typical shuttle bus that goes between airport(s) and Galveston for a reasonable rate. Traveler beware. We stayed at Gaido’s Seaside Inn. If you book your room directly with the hotel, and not through a booking engine, they have a shuttle that will take you to the port. The hotel is across the street from the Gulf. The room was clean, bed was comfortable, and the proximity to the ocean was perfect. It was dark when we arrived, but I got up before the sunrise to capture a “sunrise in Galveston” - and it was nothing short of spectacular. I do not recommend eating next door at Gaido’s Restaurant – it is overpriced, and not very good. (The service was spectacular) The port is on the inside of the island – have your UBER or cab drop you off along Strand St. There are a lot of cool shops and great souvenir shopping prior to embarking and it is right across the street from the port. The Embarkation process/Boarding times – in my opinion is a huge benefit. Leave your luggage with the porters. There will be 2 lines – one line is “ON TIME”, one line is “EARLY/LATE” - We showed up on time – we showed the first agent our boarding passes and our passports. We then moved forward to another checkpoint. They checked in all members on our boarding pass at the same time. There, they checked the passports closely, and scanned in our boarding passes. They also took photos that would be used for the sign and sail cards at this point. From there, they sent us forward to the security line. No shoes or belts need removed – but your carry ons and coats etc go on the conveyor belt and you walk through the metal detector. Then its up the escalator/elevator to the “financial” area. If you have already set up your sign and sail account, you keep moving forward. If not, you will go to an agent and set up your account here. We did not stop moving at this point. There are a couple of photo opportunities along the way. We crossed the gangplank into the Vista. The first thing I noticed is the funnel. It changes all the time and yes, there is some kind of movement. However, the atrium does not go up all the way to the top of the ship, like the older ships. There are also NOT the glass elevators up the atrium. Sadly missed. We grabbed an elevator up to lido – Deck 10. They were busy, but not out of control people. Finding a table that 6 could sit at was not terrible. All of the food is aft of the pool area. We ate at Guys Burger Joint more than once. The burgers are pretty good, fries aren't horrible and there is a bar with grilled onions, mushrooms, and other toppings. On the other side is the Blue Iguana Cantina. There are two lines – one line for tacos, one line for burritos and taco salads. There is also a topping bar with salsas, limes, and other items. When you see massive taco salads going by, that’s where they came from. The buffet is much smaller, as has been mentioned before. The forward side is the “international”side - usually has a unique menu. There is also fresh gelato made between the two sides. (2 flavors daily) The aft side is the “regular” side – with a carvery. There is an amazing dessert area with the most beautiful cakes! They are a little dry, but pretty good. The deli is between the aft side buffet. Out back is the seafood shack – which is at an extra $$ - we never tried it – and the other side was the pizza – which was ALWAYS busy. No, they don’t make special pies – it is only what is on the menu. Up to deck 11, aft above the buffet, is JiJi (asian) and the Cucina (Italian) restaurants. During the day – you may eat there for no charge. But there was a substantial wait for JiJi – and unfortunately, was flavorless (Szechuan). The noodles in Cucina were cooked amazingly, but I was not fond of their tomato based sauce. Dont forget the BBQ joint off of deck 5 outside. Watch for the lines of people. Great Brisket! After we ate our burgers, and got our first ice cream (and for me, the Drink of the Day), we received the announcement that we could go to our rooms. We were on deck 6 aft starboard, by design. The cabin (6427) was very clean – and your standard balcony Carnival cabin. We were very excited to check out the balcony. However, when we looked over the railing, all we could see was the Havana balcony below us. This was the first issue we came across. While out at sea, we love hanging out on our balcony, hearing the water right there. Not this time. What a huge disappointment. All we saw was towels, swimsuits, underwear... Whatever the cabin below left out on their deck. Down one deck, is deck 5. There is a LOT available on deck 5. Deck 5 is one of the decks that goes all the way front to back. Location was perfect for what we needed. At 7 am, there is a small buffet of breakfast food available without having to go up to Lido. We frequently got coffee and pastries there. The coffee shop is around the corner as well, but at a $$. Muster – the “Safety Meeting” was very disorganized. We waited longer for people that did not feel they had to participate than we did for the actual briefing. Inconsiderate people... Unbelievable. Our Muster Station was the dining room Aft. And beware – the elevators were HORRIBLE afterwards. We missed sail off because we had one of our party in a wheelchair. As the ship goes through the channel, watch for passing vessels and fishing trawlers – you may see several dolphins! We unpacked – lots of closet space, enough hangers and lots of drawers. Suitcases under the bed. We explored until the first night for dinner. We had late seating, table 227 and had a phenom wait staff! There are no tablecloths – which we noticed, but cant say that it was detrimental. I have menus that I will post in the comments at the bottom of my review. They are screen shots off of the Carnival Ap – I tried to number, at the top, which day it was. I thought the food was ok – nothing super special – and we always left full. We did enjoy the chocolate melting cake with a side of peanut butter. Elegant night 1 – the food was good. Everyone was dressed to the hilt, and we did not see many that did NOT dress up. We had some fun with the photo ops as well. The second elegant night there were a lot of people dressed up as well. I was pleasantly shocked. The wait staff did sing and dance (Showtime) every night. I enjoyed it! I got up and danced along every night. The service was amazing in the dining room. Nyoman, Sujuana and Yuithing were amazing. Lots of personality, lots of attention. The assistant Dining Room manager stopped by our table every night to see how things were going. That was new! We ate at the steak house on night 3 – In my opinion, it was all fluff, no show. They are trying to be a Michelin restaurant, but the service was bad, and the food was not worth the upcharge. The shrimp cocktail had more guacamole than shrimp and the lobster bisque had no flavor. The mac and cheese (as a side) had no flavor. The filet was very tender, but the flavor was just as good in the Main Dining Room. The lobster was ok. What we did enjoy was the “ART DESSERT” presentation. A chef comes out with a cart of sauces, cookies, and candies and makes a beautiful historic presentation on a large board. It wasn’t a typical dessert, but dragging candy or a cookie through the sauces was pretty good. As far as the bars/pubs go, my husband liked the Alchemy Bar. If you turn into a regular, they will remember your preferences – you tell them sweet, savory, salty, and what kind of alcohol you like and they will create a concoction for you. It's really not a set menu – they are very creative. I liked the Red Frog Pub – they make great beer which they have on tap. Also, if you see people walking around the ship with great big fish bowl drinks, they came from the Red Frog Pub. They are $ 19.95 I think. It’s a lot of alcohol and it’s a great bang for your buck if you like those kind of drinks. There is a sweet 4 person table/swing outside the Red Frog, but the most important thing...that’s where karaoke is. Every day. And they are so so busy! Go figure. We stopped and got drinks and just about every bar, but it wasn’t because we didn’t have a favorite – it was just what was the closest. We did an Western itenaray – Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Jamaica. In Cozumel, we went to an AI resort up north – El Cozumeleno. Beautiful resort – Easy check in. We were there early enough to catch the breakfast buffet – outstanding. We grabbed a place on the beach, and our waiter never let our drinks go dry. He brought us nachos and ceviche later on too. It was far from crowded – there was a small sandy beach area but is was never so busy you felt crowded. There were a lot of rocks, but that made for amazing snorkeling! Parrot fish, Sargent's, Blue Tang, pencil, angels, porcupines, etc... I cannot even name the assortment of fish that were there. I thoroughly enjoyed my day in the water. Former reviews said the food was bad – I can verify it was NOT. This is a great place with no crowds. The shopping in port was way too easy, and we ended up with a couple bottles of tequila! In Grand Cayman, we did a Stingray/Snorkeling tour with Captain Marvins. This is the second time we have hung out with this company, and I can tell you, hands down, they are the best. We have been to Cayman several times, have done Stingray City several times. Their boats are new, their crew is wonderful with the passengers, and their boats are not overbooked. They do a great job out at Stingray City, although I no.ticed there are less stingrays than I have seen in the past. The snorkeling stop was great – they just let you do your own thing for about 30 minutes, but they do keep those that ventured out a little too far in check (oh that was me – but I am a strong swimmer) The wind was horrid, and the water was rough. One thing I will say about Grand Cayman, is the tendering management by Carnival – that is a C-. Its horrible. Dear Carnival, this DOESN’T WORK. If you have an early Non-Carnival tour, watch for the “tender number board” - not sure where it initially is but listen close to the announcements and watch your mail to your cabin. We got the tender letter the DAY of port – so it was too late. If you do not have a Carnival Excursion, you must have a “number” to get on the tender (water taxi). If you don’t get an early number, you are screwed. This method doesn’t work... so just be prepared, ok? In Jamaica, we decided to go Boogie Boarding down the Bengal River! When the ship pulled into port, it was wonderful. Singing, dancing and a woman on a bullhorn welcoming us to Jamaica. And that was before we even docked. If you are on the Starboard side, you can watch! It was pretty awesome! We met our tour, and they drove us to Bengal River. It was about an hour drive, but the scenery was outstanding. Jamaica looked cleaner and greener than ever! And the driver was so careful, and not suicidal! It started raining about 15 minutes out of the drop off, and never really stopped. We decided to take tubes as opposed to the boogie board – and it was great! We walked about a mile up the river to the drop off point, and there were seven of us that hung on to each others tubes (bungee cords) We were a big donut floating down the river, and our guide was on the boogie board. We floated down some rapids and right into the ocean. When we got out, we had some jerk chicken and rice and beans and some Jamaica rum! It was a great day, aside from the rain. My mother in law stayed near the ship on a beach, and it never rained there... Geography, I guess. Sea Days were relaxing – lots of sun, lots of laying around, recuperating. The SkyRide – is a pedal bike that is suspended from a beam. It takes 5-7 minutes depending on how fast one pedals. If you are afraid of heights, this may not be for you. There is a scale that they will have you step on prior to buckling in. It is NOT a lot of work, nor is it a tough pedal – pretty easy. No open toed shoes. But it is so unique to do on a 14 deck ship. The Ropes Course – there are two sides, one easier than the other. They will strap you in and hook you to the course. There is no turning back, so if you are afraid of heights, this isn’t for you either. We also played mini golf, and shuffle board. There are pool tables and a twister board painted right on the deck. I did not participate at the spa. We did head to the Serenity Deck and check it out – very peaceful, quiet. No kids. Great Salad Bar! Debarkation was different – they had you get a ticket, just like the Grand Cayman tendering. Make sure you get a ticket if you have an early flight and pray to the traffic Gods to get you out to the Airport in time. It took us 90 minutes to get from Galveston to IAH due to construction on a Sunday. Had to be out of our cabin by 8:30am but our number wasn’t called until about 9:45. This is the first ship Ive been on that it wasn’t a rush rush to get off. Relax, take your time. Debarkation was a breeze, although very sad! After you get through US Customs, you will have to pay the state of Texas if you bought Alcohol or tobacco. Yikes! We left with more than we were planning. General thoughts – the cruise director was fun – he wasn’t in your face, nor was he on the loud speaker the whole time. Thought he did a great job – His name is Matt. Will I remember him in two years? Probably not. The general music on the Lido deck was HORRIBLE. Oh my heck – with all the talented musicians out there, please please don’t play that lousy stuff! It was so annoying! The temperature on Lido was frigid as well – we drank as much coffee and hot chocolate as we ate ice cream. I attended a couple of lectures/workshops. Good information, but in the end, they are trying to sell you something. The music was pretty good – the band Riff Rafts were the main group – very entertaining. They played rock, AND COUNTRY! There was a horn line that played independently, and with the Riff Rafts. Made for a big band sound some nights. There was an electric violin trio that was very good. They had some balance issues, and their backing tracks were not very good. That is a shame – they had so much potential. Thre was a guitar player/singer that I heard off in the distance, but never went to “watch” The casino was a standard casino. I have never seen so many penny slots, though. I am not a gambler. One thing I will say, is the design of the ship keeps the casino smoke encompassed, and not wafting up throughout the ship. The only time we went to Customer Service was to pick up our deck of playing cards. A 90 minutes UBER to Houston was crazy – road construction? Ugh! And we stayed at the Comfort Inn East – DO NOT STAY THERE. It was the absolute worst hotel I have ever stayed at. But I will not get into that here – this is all about Carnival Vista. This was my 7th Carnival cruise. I have cruised a couple of other Companies, but I definitely will be booking again with Carnival soon. Will I book Vista again? No. I did not like the balcony set up with the Havanah Deck. Will I sail out of Galveston again? Probably not – the transportation situation between the airport and the port is a little ridiculous in my opinion. But I did enjoy myself very much, and until next time, peace out. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My sister chose this ship for her 50th birthday cruise. We had a blast, loved the pool entertainment. Love and marriage and my parents of 57 years won, was best part of trip. All the food was great, and loved the anytime pizza, which I ... Read More
My sister chose this ship for her 50th birthday cruise. We had a blast, loved the pool entertainment. Love and marriage and my parents of 57 years won, was best part of trip. All the food was great, and loved the anytime pizza, which I ate alot after midnight. Dine in movies was fun too. Everything was great and will go on carnaval again, The rope course was great, we had so much fun doing with our niece. Guys burgers and fries station was awesome too. We had a balony room and steward was great and always there if we needed him. Also had room service for coffee every morning and was always fresh. We had fun at all the ports and love Senior Frogs. Our excusion was canceled, because of too windy, but we had a great time at the beach. so all and all everything was great and cant wait to go on another carnival cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
The Panama Cruise was very interesting to us all(three couples), the itinerary was just as expected, varied and very interesting. The embarkation was a breeze, they let us on the ship as soon as we arrived at the port so we could relax, ... Read More
The Panama Cruise was very interesting to us all(three couples), the itinerary was just as expected, varied and very interesting. The embarkation was a breeze, they let us on the ship as soon as we arrived at the port so we could relax, eat and have a drink. Our rooms were ready by 11:30 and we had our luggage waiting for us in the rooms. The disembarkation went just a smoothly, a well oiled machine. The ship being a little smaller was great, never any crowds, the crew and staff very friendly and helpful. Dining room staff in particular were very warm and a pleasure to see and talk to each night. Our room steward Cathy offered to unlock our adjoining balcony doors every day at noon and relocated them around seven pm while we were in the dining room. This enabled us all to share a glass of wine every evening before going to our dining room. We all thought the smaller ship to be an advantage, the service, entertainment and food were hard to beat. She’s a very comfortable ship, you won’t be sorry. We would sail on this beauty again, anytime. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This is an odd one. My and my wife (both mid-30's) just got off this ship and I can say we were not too thrilled about the ship itself. The crew was super, service was spot on, and food was outstanding. I'll just do a quick ... Read More
This is an odd one. My and my wife (both mid-30's) just got off this ship and I can say we were not too thrilled about the ship itself. The crew was super, service was spot on, and food was outstanding. I'll just do a quick rundown... Cons: Hardly any public toilets!!!- When dining in Blu there's only one men's toilet (literally 1 toilet) and it services 3 restaurants, 2 bars, and a lounge. If I had to leave dinner to hit the RR I'd sometimes have to go up to deck 14, then travel down to find an open toilet. Odd ship layout- one night we went to watch the "family-oriented" glass blowing. To our surprise they were playing a movie 20 ft away from the glass studio, the movie was super loud with drug use, cursing, and violence. We couldn't hear the glass blowing people talking and eventually just left. No after-hours anything- We'd head out for a drink at the bar and there's no one out... ever. With the bar staff looking bored. And there's no food to speak of after dinner. The Internet for their app is worthless. No priority embarkation. Hard/impossible to get a spot by the tiny pool No trash cans.... anywhere Shows that my wife said reminded her of a high school talent show. Pro: The best staff ever, the service was fantastic. Clean ship Drinks package for only one person in the room Showers in AC are amazing Overall, even the best crew experience and service don't make up for an aging, small ship with little to no activities onboard. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Sailing the Panama canal was on my father's bucket list, so we selected this sailing to do it as a family group. We had several people in our party with dietary restrictions that were discussed with the sales rep before purchase, and ... Read More
Sailing the Panama canal was on my father's bucket list, so we selected this sailing to do it as a family group. We had several people in our party with dietary restrictions that were discussed with the sales rep before purchase, and we were assured they would be accommodated, and a high level of cuisine provided. This was not so. The vegan and gluten sensitive person in our party went thru a painful daily struggle to try to get the kitchen to prepare an edible meal. It took 3 days before they were able to find gluten free vegan bread. The dining room staff were great, and so was stateroom steward. The problem is that the kitchen staff had no idea what vegan cuisine is, nor were they prepared to provide same. Additionally, given the fact that the vegan person has been sick for the past 3 days, I suspect the supposed lactose and gluten free items weren't really so. I was not expecting haute cuisine, and still was pretty underwhelmed. This line is definitely not for anyone younger than 60, foodies, adventurous types, or those who expect good return on their dollars. My dad enjoyed himself, but aside from that, this trip felt like a massive waste of hard earned money. Benny the cruise director and his staff were great, they worked hard to have fun events and games to keep all different ages entertained. Super well trained and outgoing, all of them. The headliners were definitely better than average for cruises, full house for about every show, recommend getting there early to secure a seat. The band and especially the pianist and the violin duo were amazing. Check-in, debarkation and tenders we're smooth and timely, no undue waits Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I'm wring after just returning a couple of days ago from a 5 night cruise on Independence of the Seas. This was our 2nd cruise this year on this ship and our 3rd cruise this year with your cruise lines.  We choose Independence ... Read More
I'm wring after just returning a couple of days ago from a 5 night cruise on Independence of the Seas. This was our 2nd cruise this year on this ship and our 3rd cruise this year with your cruise lines.  We choose Independence because we had a remarkably great time in February and it was not the same experience at all this time, which was sad because we choose to book 3 rooms and bring our children and grandchildren.  There were several instances that were disturbing and one in particular that caused my adult daughter to file a formal complaint because of comments made by a very unprofessional bartender to her.  Getting on the ship was difficult and chaotic even with expedited arrival but getting off was ridiculous and took almost 2 hours.  We had a much better experience on the Allure in September which was a much larger ship.  It seemed like many of the crew we encountered on this ship were disengaging from the guests.  We had problems in the dining room the first evening and dinner took over 2 hours. My daughter and her 3 children never returned to dinner with us because of this.  We did talk to guest services about this and tried to have our dining time switched to anytime dining but they refused to allow us to do that.   The remaining 4 dinners were served more efficiently (usually 1 to 1/2 hours) but it was too much for my daughter to not know how long we'd be sitting so sadly she ate in Windjammer every night (with her 3 kids) which was not well run and was very hard to get service for drinks in this venue (or anything else you might need after sitting down with your plate). We also had difficulty at breakfast getting service in the Windjammer and in the main dining room (which took over an hour for 2 people - so we didn't go back to that dining room for breakfast again.) If we wanted fresh squeezed orange juice which we paid for with our package, we had to literally flag down a waiter.  The only one of the 9 of us who seemed to get good service was our beautiful tattooed body builder daughter who had waiters tripping over each other to serve her. There was barely any afternoon pool side service at the kids pool for most of the trip.  This is extremely important since parents with young children can't just venture to a bar whenever they want to.   The one employee who did shine on this ship and that we want to recognize was our stateroom attendant, Byron who was exemplary in every way. Friendly,efficient and helpful with much information.  In fact, he was the best employee of RCCL that we've encountered on the 3 cruises we've done this year.  Sadly we would not recommend this ship again to anyone or cruise on it.  It was wonderful in February but not so on this trip. We are planning to cruise again in summer 2020 on the Oasis, Harmony or Anthem and hope to be doing it with RCCL but many look into another cruise line as well. We are new to Royal but would like to continue with the brand. My husband and I typically vacation 4 times annually.  Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We’ve sailed in HAL and I find they have excellent service. This was no different. I really loved the itinerary (Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia and the Bahamas) and they had great choices for shore excursions. ... Read More
We’ve sailed in HAL and I find they have excellent service. This was no different. I really loved the itinerary (Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia and the Bahamas) and they had great choices for shore excursions. It was a lovely way to experience the canal and parts of Central and South America. Delicious food too. The ship is a little dated. Wonderful entertainment (classical Lincoln Center quintet, dueling pianos, singers, dancers, comedians, magicians, musicians). My only quibble: terrible internet (no streaming and only one device at a time per payment). They shouldn’t be charging for internet which is now like charging for AIR and especially without streaming! Also they charge their employees for internet and I think that’s wrong when they work so much and need to stay in touch with family. Loved all our shore excursions which I went on with my active 81 year old mom: swimming with dolphins (Puerto Vallarta), snorkeling (Huatulco, Mexico), Lake Atitlan (Guatemala, beware 2.5 bus ride each way plus 2 hour round trip boat ride), equestrian show at a ranch in Nicaragua, crocodile nature boat ride in Costa Rica, food tour in Cartagena, Colombia, surf horseback riding / kayaking in Bahamas and great Panama Canal experience. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Chose this cruise for the itinerary aurba and Curacao new places to visit never been before. Pros: 1) JiJi kitchen (restaurant), we reserved ahead of time for two nights and it was worth it first and last night of vacation. 2) ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the itinerary aurba and Curacao new places to visit never been before. Pros: 1) JiJi kitchen (restaurant), we reserved ahead of time for two nights and it was worth it first and last night of vacation. 2) family habor room with window was nice , like the fact a tub is added so we had a shower or relaxing bath 3) family harbor lounge, nice short lines for breakfast and snacks are served until evening time and they had an espresso machine in the lounge. 4) pool area was nice 5) movies under the stars was so nice it was the best entertainment for my 5 year old 6) the basketball court and soccer court was nice as well Cons 1) small pool 2) they don't have the infamous gold stairs everyone take pictures on hahaha 3) wish they had the burrito station open later not sure why they close it down so early when it's a big hit not many people like the Buffett food. 5 year old loves it. I had fun and my husband did too. We made the best we were really in the ship for the islands because I don't really like the larger ships that much. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
The embarkation process to get on the ship was great, very fast and efficient. The disembarkation process was ridiculous and unorganized, some workers would split the main line into lines only to get to a bottle neck where they merged the ... Read More
The embarkation process to get on the ship was great, very fast and efficient. The disembarkation process was ridiculous and unorganized, some workers would split the main line into lines only to get to a bottle neck where they merged the two back together which took so much longer. We ate at 3 specialty dining locations (cagneys steak, le bistro and teppanyaki), le bistro and teppanyaki were awesome experiences, but Cagneys was a huge disappointment and I would have been furious at paying that much for a steak that was dried out if it hasn’t been on our plan. Both fillets minions (myself and my husband) had been flattened to the point where it was no thinker than a strip steak and where so charbroiled they had crunchy spots. If you want a great steak that melts in your mouth try le beuf at le Bisro (you can cut it with a butter knife). As far as getting on and off the boat at the islands that process was always super quick and easy as well. I think my biggest issue was I just got tired of being in lines for absolutely everything. Also we never got to use the pool because on the first and last day (days at sea) the pool was so crowded with everyone sitting on the sides there was no where to get in and we got out there by 10am, for a boat of that size it’s crazy to me that their one pool was so small. Overall the islands were cool, belieze was amazing but costa maya was a big let down, the main beach we visited was peppered with people trying to sell you trinkets every 5 min, finally got so annoyed we just left cause the same people kept coming around non stop. We had a balcony room which was deff well with the money and we found the staff to be always super friendly. The food outside the specialty restaurants was just okay but deff recommend the nicer dining options Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We decided to come on this boat because it is new to the area. However from day number one its been miserable. Check in was a mess! No clear instructions even the staff had no idea where to send you. Once we made it to the counter and ... Read More
We decided to come on this boat because it is new to the area. However from day number one its been miserable. Check in was a mess! No clear instructions even the staff had no idea where to send you. Once we made it to the counter and checked in we moved to yet another long line of waiting. Once we completed the line we move on to yet another line to get on the boat and then a loud buzzing sound comes on like emergency sounds where people decided to leave the line to move back to the terminal. Which then they told us to move to another line where they "Yacht Club" members go in. Once we are in the ship beautiful ship! However the staff has no idea where to send you! The ship itself is so confusing! Good luck trying to find your cabin! Public toilets are poorly taken care of at one point they had two locations closed!!!! We get to the ship and our welcome letter is! "Guess what you were scheduled for two ports but we will get you to one!" We went from going from 2 port to 1 one and no communication or acknowledgement of reasoning why the change! The lines for the front desk were crazy! Heck some dude started a chant to go to the original port the Bahamas! Their EVP of operation was on the boat but all he does is talk to those people that look happy. The culture for MSC is more like its about MSC and not the passengers! The internet packages are joke $200 dollars for unlimited and 1 device at a time! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was a pre-Thanksgiving cruise with family and having been on a numver of cruises before, but never with NCL, I have to say the experience truly gave everyone in our party a mixed bag. Some of the good: - Stateroom Attendant. ... Read More
This was a pre-Thanksgiving cruise with family and having been on a numver of cruises before, but never with NCL, I have to say the experience truly gave everyone in our party a mixed bag. Some of the good: - Stateroom Attendant. Her attentiveness throughout the week was top notch quality and top notch customer service. We had several incidents with our room: TV remote stopped working, TV itself wouldn't turn on, lights inoperative, A/C stopped working. Every time we reached out to her, the problem was solved within the hour. And she even followed-up on each issue to ensure we were satisfied. - The Buffet. We've been on a number of cruises just like the Breakaway, with 24/7 service and an array of options that it seems damn-near impossible to leave unsatisfied. But on almost every other cruise, the buffet always has a reputation of being...under-cooked, under-prepared, chaotic, greasy...you catch my drift. This was none of that. We had breakfast and half of our lunches there and the food everytime was spectacular. - The Entertainment: Both shows (Burn the Floor [Dancing], and Six [Singing/Acting]) were the best I've seen on a boat. Actually wished both were longer they were so good. The staff in-charge of Trivia/Day-to-Day guest activities were a HOOT. Some of the bad: - Lack of Staff: It's like they planned for our boat to have 2,000 people when we ended up having 4,000. This was the largest and most glaring problem. There was not enough staff to help with half of the dining rooms or with the beverage services. Waited for 30+ minutes everytime when ordering drinks (attempting to order is a better expression, as there were several instances of just giving up because the comfort of sitting was ultimately better and not having a drink rather than standing up at the crowded bar with 30 others and only 1 bartender). The same was for waiters/waitresses on-deck during the days at sea and even some of the time in the dining halls. - Misrepresenting Excursion: The port of Belize should NOT be done off of the Harvest Caye island in my humble opinion. Our family decided to do the Cocoa Farm tours. The excursion is marketed as a 60-minute bus ride. What they conveniently forgot to mention was the *45-minute boat road to the bus. Our 6 hour excursion was actually just 3.5 hours of travelling to/from the boat to the excursion. A number of excursions have to WAIT for others to return before the 45-minute boat can return to port with the cruise ship. It was exhausting. - Lack of Communication: This was the most aggravating experience/complaint out of this trip. NCL is known for open-dining concept but unless you've been on NCL before, you wouldn't know. So many last minute dining reservations made. That's fine though. What's not is the announcements. When we reached ports, there was no pre-arrival run-down of what everyone needs. No understanding of where to go to disembark. WORSE arriving back in Miami, US Customs had issues and they said there would be a delay. After waiting an hour in our cabins, we grew impatient and went downstairs to find they had actually reopened the disembarkment process without making announcements over the loadspeakers. Our disembarkment group had been called but only to those who had been on deck 6...not anywhere else...like who runs an operation this way? It really is a mixed back. Almost all of the food was the best we've had on a boat. The service was overall the worst we've had. Beds weren't the most comfortable either. If you have the Spa package, it is absolutely HEAVEN. Take full advantage and go daily. Still a very nice time but some glaring holes that NCL could hire a systems and process engineer to come help work out... Read Less
Sail Date November 2019

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