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3,272 Family Cruise Reviews

Well, this cruise was a bit ago, but I thought that I would write a review so that others can benefit from my experience as I used this site to pick out our cruise November 2009. This was a family cruise for us. I actually went on the ... Read More
Well, this cruise was a bit ago, but I thought that I would write a review so that others can benefit from my experience as I used this site to pick out our cruise November 2009. This was a family cruise for us. I actually went on the cruise with my parents and was younger at the time. Embarkation We arrived at the allotted time and stood in line for quite a while. The process took around 2 hour. Quite a bit of time for a family of 6 to stand around (the youngest at the time being only a couple of years old) The crowd was noisy and it was quite hot, but eventually we got onto the ship. The FOOD I was expecting what you see in the advertising on TV. I was expecting gourmet food so beautiful that you don't want to eat it and so delicious you don't want to get full. I was sorely disappointed. The food was somewhat edible and there were hardly any choices at all. Breakfast was the same every day. Lunch tasted like something you would get at a cheesy restaurant trying to fix something ordinary into something great. The buffets were closed most of the day. If you didn't eat at the allotted time then you had to order room service. (which was limited and disappointing.) There were no all night buffets. Everything closed around eight. The Entertainment It was poor and that's putting it nicely. They closed the pools after sundown. No late night swimming for us. Basically bed time was set for nine and everyone that wasn't in bed was bored to death. They had some cheesy pool side games that attracted the older crowd. We only met one other english speaking family on the trip.. everyone else was italian or french. The fire drills or whatever you would like to call it, took quite a while as they had to say everything in about four different languages. So what should have taken maybe half an hour to an hour took double that. There was smoking all around the ship. The younger kids around 15 were even allowed to smoke in the teenager portion of the ship. The entertainment for teens was definitely not appropriate if you are concerned at all for your child's morals. This particular cruise pulled into Progresso, Mexico. One of the poorer parts of mexico. There were no coral reefs or tropical fish. It was on the Yucatan Peninsula. A more ugly part of mexico. There were slaughter houses with rotting beef and poor children asking us for money. Not a bad vacation spot for shopping, but definitely not tropical and lush like we were expecting. The vacation after the cruise was the best part as we went to Universal Studios in Orlando for a couple of days and stayed at our timeshare in Florida. But all of us were very disappointed with the cruise. My husband and I are going on a Carnival Cruise in November and I have heard nothing but good things about them, so we are very excited. Hopefully it will wipe the memory of this cruise from my mind. Read Less
Sail Date March 2005
On Thursday 30th May we discovered over 10 centimetres of dirty water coming up through the drain in both the toilet and shower cubicle and water leaking out over the carpet. Although the plumber initially thought that the shower was not ... Read More
On Thursday 30th May we discovered over 10 centimetres of dirty water coming up through the drain in both the toilet and shower cubicle and water leaking out over the carpet. Although the plumber initially thought that the shower was not draining, further investigation found that it was the drains, and that this was actually contaminated water. The cabin steward did his best to dry the cubicle and replace the wet bath mat etc. but the carpet remained wet for the rest of the voyage. This was a serious health and safety issue. It was when speaking to other passengers that day that we discovered that there was a lot of sickness and diarrhoea on board and also that there had been many cases the previous week.It was then that we realised why the food was being served by the staff rather than self service as it had been four weeks previously when we were on the ship and why there were so many "Do not disturb" notices on cabin doors.The occupants were obviously ill and confined to their cabins.It is obvious that the problem with the ships plumbing was a contributing factor in spreading the sickness and diarrhoea. The sickness and diarrhoea were attributed to an outbreak of the Nova virus. In addition to this, some of the sickness was undoubtedly due to very poor standards in food hygiene. Most of the food was over cooked, but then put out cold. Putting cold food into the hot serving trays would have increased the risk of salmonella. It was only once we had boarded the ship that we learnt that the ship had almost capsized the previous week in trying to avoid some rocks. This alarmed my wife, who lay awake all night after when the ship hit rough seas, another contributing factor to the way our holiday was completely ruined. To compound this, one day there was a false alarm at 5am to go to the lifeboat stations, which led to passengers putting on their lifejackets and following the emergency procedures. It turned out to be caused by faulty circuitry, but certainly added to the atmosphere of anxiety amongst the passengers. On Friday 31st May the sink plug mechanism wasn't working so we could not release the water in the sink so I requested a plumber to fix it. The plumber came and adjusted the mechanism but then the plug would not retain the water in the sink. For the rest of the voyage we had to wash and I had to shave with the tap running continuously. Whilst this was not as serious as the other issues, it was inconvenient and annoying. On Sunday 2nd of June we awoke in the early hours of the morning to a gurgling sound coming from the toilet. On investigation we found that dirty water was again coming up through the drains in the toilet and shower cubicle. We telephoned customer relations but they failed to solve the problem, telling us the leaking was caused by the movement of the ship. We asked if there was another cabin available, but we were told there was not. We were advised to use our own bathroom, even though this would have meant standing in 6 centimetres of water, to use our toilet and wash basin. My wife and I ended up using the toilets outside the Ocean Theatre. Later that day, when the problem was still not resolved, I was greeted with rudeness by the plumber, who was dealing with all of the toilets, as it seems that none of the toilets on deck 7 were working. This situation undoubtedly compounded the problems with the spread of sickness on board the ship. We again had to use the public toilets, further exposing ourselves to the bacteria that was causing sickness around the ship. On Tuesday the 4th June we left the ship to join the coach to take us to our hotel, and it was then that my wife began to get sick. There was further incompetence with the arrangements for medical help, as the doctor was sent to the wrong room. The holiday rep tried to deceive us, and said that the doctor was at another hotel. When the doctor arrived she told us this was not true, as she had been given the wrong room details. The doctor also told us she had treated several people off the Island Escape and that the ship had been ordered not to leave port until it had been deep cleaned. My wife was treated with an injection and medication that we had to pay for. She was very ill for the next 2 days and could not eat or leave the room. Why wasn't the ship deep cleaned the week before when Thomson were aware of the problems on the ship? it was irresponsible of Thomson to allow the ship to sail on the 28th May in the full knowledge of the situation on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date January 2006
Our cruise was really a nice pleasant cruise and the excursion where wonderful! The Dolphin Swim was absolutely Awesome. We had great people we shared dinner with every night! Tom and Tiffany, Tiffany's Mom and a work mate of ... Read More
Our cruise was really a nice pleasant cruise and the excursion where wonderful! The Dolphin Swim was absolutely Awesome. We had great people we shared dinner with every night! Tom and Tiffany, Tiffany's Mom and a work mate of Tiffany's Mom. We could not have asked for better people to share our meals with. We where stuck on the late dinner which was hard on my Mom who is 70. This was my first cruise and my mother's 3rd. cruise. We had the best food the chefs made the best foods and the desserts where out of this world. We also had a staff member on the Lido Buffet dinning named PI who took the time to learn our names and always greeted us by our names. PI was such a wonderful Staff Member always a smile and a greeting for us. We also enjoy an evening with Carol her daughter Lisa who we did the Mayan Ruins with them then enjoyed drinks out of the Coconut Monkeys. The beds were great and it was quiet on the cruise even though we had an adjoining room. We did have one Loud Mouth Braggart on the Cruise who bragged about winning "ANOTHER FREE CRUISE" in the raffle drawing. He did spoil things for others with his bragging and his big mouth! He really did create a hush in the crowd when he started bragging about winning "Another Cruise". I would say he spoiled it for a lot of people who bought tickets in that raffle! Disembarkation was the pits! We were on the Rivera Deck and the last ones to get off! So we stood the longest in line at customs! We selected Carnival because they go out of Galveston and Mother had cruised with them before. But the one trip on Carnival for me will likely be my last! They said fill out your surveys and get them turned in for the drawing for a "Free Cruise" just before we disembark from the cruise. Well they called my Name. I was so excited and I went to the desk on the main floor and waited to receive a STUPID PIECE OF PAPER to be in their "Monthly Drawing from all the Drawn Names". Needless say I never heard another thing! I had to tell the friends I had made on the Cruise who also where under the mistaken believe that you would Win a Cruise that I got a PIECE of paper for a "Chance" at a cruise. So beware and pay attention to what they say about the Survey and a "Chance to Win" a piece of paper! Carnival calls me four times a week and I decided to cruise with a different cruise line since they feel I am just a piece of paper! This has left a BAD TASTE in my MOUTH! Of course a call to Carnivals Customer Service was on no use either. But they love to call me four times a week to cruise with them again! Read Less
Sail Date May 2008
Having cruised many times before and a lot on Carnival, we were ready for another great vacation. This was the first time on a ship of the Triumph's class, and we were cruising with a group of 8. The Carnival reservation staff was ... Read More
Having cruised many times before and a lot on Carnival, we were ready for another great vacation. This was the first time on a ship of the Triumph's class, and we were cruising with a group of 8. The Carnival reservation staff was very helpful with making all of the arrangements and getting us a dinner seating all together. They even got us cabins right next to each other. It was only too bad the experience didn't transfer to the ship! This was out first time departing from the Port of Miami. Since the cruise experience begins at the port, choosing your departure port can make or break your first impression. I recommend trying to find a cruise at any port in Florida EXCEPT Miami! Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale, and Orlando are all great! The Port of Miami was disgusting! First of all, since the Port parking can be very expensive and we had to take 2 cars for our group, we elected to hire a limousine service. The cost was about the same as the parking fees for 2 vehicles, and we were all excited about dropping off in a Hummer Limo! When we arrived at the port, they would not let the limo drop us off with our bags like every other port we have cruised from. We were dropped off in the middle of the tour bus rows where we had to lug all of our bags about 100 yards to the entrance. We were suffocated with diesel exhaust as we gathered our belongings from the limo. No porter service was available where we were dropped off. Once we drug all of our bags to the entrance, we discovered that Carnival was late in opening the gates for ship boarding. Someone told us the ship had not been cleaned yet. This was a first for us. Anyway, we joined a long line forming down the sidewalk waiting to go inside. It was about 90 degrees in the blazing sun as we all stood there and began to sweat waiting to get inside the building. There were no facilities available outside, and we waited more than an hour! Carnival did absolutely nothing to accommodate passengers waiting in the hot sun, and they seemed to care less. Once inside, the port of Miami had the slowest boarding process we have ever experienced at any port. The port staff were rude and obnoxious. We also were pushed and shoved in the line by other passengers. I had never experienced anything like this before! Once we finally got on board and visited our staterooms, we discovered one of the rooms in our group had been decorated with Happy Birthday crepe paper all over the place. It was a nice touch, but nobody in our group had a birthday and we didn't order the decorations. Obviously, somebody else had paid for the decor and had nothing. Since the decorations were hanging everywhere, we asked the room steward to remove them. He only smiled and walked away, apparently he didn't speak english. We had to tear the stuff down ourselves. So far, we were not impressed with this cruise. We decided to go upstairs and get something to eat at the buffet, to our surprise, there was a long line forming all the way out the pool deck! I had never seen this before on a Carnival ship! We were soon learning that the monster ships really have all of the same amenities on the upper decks, but just have extra decks of rooms to jam more people on board. I immediately began to feel like there were way too many people on this ship!...The long lines persisted the entire cruise. Our dinner seating also was a disaster. Our group of 8 was placed at a table along the side of the dining room and was apparently the only route into the dining room for persons needing assistance. Every time another wheel chair came along the person sitting at the end of our table had to interrupt his meal and stand up so the wheel chair could pass. This was ridiculous, so we squeezed him along the side of the table. We still got our table bumped, drinks spilled, and knees jammed sitting at this table for 2 nights. The staff seemed to care less about our dining experience. We finally requested a table change only to get a very sarcastic remark from the Head Waiter. He insinuated that our group did not want to help with the assistance of disabled passengers, as if we were supposed to sacrifice our cruise experience. Why doesn't Carnival just make the aisles a little larger?? What a rude man! One morning at the buffet restaurant, our group tried to find a table to all sit together. Again, it seemed like there were too many people on the ship! When we found a large table and began to sit down, a man ran over and told us he was "saving" the table for his group. We had never seen anything like this before on any cruise ship! The man insisted, and began to shout and act like a fool in front of everyone. I had never seen anyone behave in this fashion on a cruise ship before. Our group found another table. These types of things seemed to go on the entire week long cruise, ranging from dining room problems to pool side crowds, etc. I felt like we bought a discount cruise and were joined by low class slobs that had zero manners! Immediately after arriving back home I contacted Carnival to express my disgust with the entire cruise experience. I also advised Carnival that we were return customers and had cruised Carnival many times before. They didn't care, and only made excuses for the port and everything else that went wrong. They offered $100 of onboard credit if we decided to cruise with Carnival again, but they then issued a time limit on when we must book the cruise in order to use the credit! What a joke! I told them to keep their $100 bucks and that I would not cruise Carnival again. They sent the $100 voucher in the mail anyway! We have not cruised on Carnival again, and will never do so. Carnival lost good customers and they don't even care! We have now switched to Royal Caribbean and find their level of service much more accommodating. Read Less
Sail Date June 2008
First Carnival cruise - Jubilee - about 15 years ago. This was a Panama Canal (part way in) to near the Equator...NO AIR CONDITIONING!!! No, it didn't break down on our cruise; it actually broke on the cruise before ours. Of ... Read More
First Carnival cruise - Jubilee - about 15 years ago. This was a Panama Canal (part way in) to near the Equator...NO AIR CONDITIONING!!! No, it didn't break down on our cruise; it actually broke on the cruise before ours. Of course, they didn't bother to tell any of the passengers who were boarding for the next trip...nor did they try to fix the A/C. Heaven help you if you were a diabetic...the only sugar reduced dessert was yellow cake. Every night they did change the frosting to another color and they gave it a different name (i.e., pink was strawberry; yellow was lemon; green was mint, etc., etc.). Okay, this was an old ship even at that time but it was always very dirty (perhaps, it was also too uncomfortable for the crew to keep things shipshape (no pun intended). After this cruise, my husband and I swore we would never sail with Carnival again. So much for swearing...move forward about 15 years... Our second (and, without a doubt our very last, forever, no way) cruise was on the Splendor. It was a brand new ship with only two voyages before ours. It was cruising out of Dover, England and would be visiting Northern Europe/Baltic ports. Our brother and sister-in-law talked us into joining them on this trip. Although we were very hesitant to go on this cruise, we decided we would give Carnival another try. I mean a brand new ship - how bad could itt be? Pretty bad, if you want my opinion. . We were on the Spa deck (10) in a handicap room (at the very front of the ship - there are two locations on board the ship for handicap access rooms (the very front or the very back (right next to the crew's metal stairway!). The doorways to these cabins have a wall opposite them making maneuverability difficult if you're using a motorized scooter. They door to the room does open automatically to let you get in when you put your card in the slot (we didn't know about this feature until we were five days into the trip because the door was not functioning when we got on the ship). One problem with that was that the door automatically closed whether you were in the room or in the doorway...smash!!!!!!!!!!! goes the door into your scooter, leg, etc. . Food was alright (nothing special). The desserts (sugar-free) were the same as on our first cruise... The food court was very disorganized and at some points on the line you actually had to reach across food to get to other food (yuck!). . The Styrofoam carvings were - well - there! Ugly - if they didn't want to do fruit carvings or ice carvings... okay, but Styrofoam with plastic flowers just didn't meet our standards. . Shore excursions - who knows! If you were unable to walk well or couldn't climb steps - you needn't bother to book any tours. You can get off the ship and ride your scooter or wheelchair up and down the dock - but, don't expect to go sightseeing. I could go on and on, but I won't. I would like to add one bit of information though, 10 years prior to this cruise we went on the Royal Princess to the same ports (with the exception of Germany) and it was FABULOUS!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2008
I will start by saying that if you have not bought your cruise tickets for NCL yet - you are smart. Choose any other cruise line and you will have a great vacation. I am sorry I have to rate them as 1 star - they are NONE in everything. ... Read More
I will start by saying that if you have not bought your cruise tickets for NCL yet - you are smart. Choose any other cruise line and you will have a great vacation. I am sorry I have to rate them as 1 star - they are NONE in everything. Our background: we have been on 18 cruises on all mass market cruise lines - NCL is by far the worst cruise line and the worst cruising experience ever. This was the last minute after Thanksgiving cruise that we purchased 4 days before we went on it. And we did not expect much from a 3 night cruise - some relaxing time, good food, show, dancing - regular cruising experience. I am 38, my husband is 46, kids are 14 and 7, and we live in Florida and try to take a cruise 2-3 times a year. Embarkation: Was very slow, entrance was 5 miles away from ship, or it felt like 5 miles, there were no lines, but you had to go through the maze from person to person, next one worst then the one before. One was practicing how to say our last name letter by letter for 5 minutes; the other asked my 7 years old if she was a minor, third asked my husband if he wants to use his key card as credit card on the ship or have a kid card with one corner cut off. Finally we got to our cabins. On the ship: After reading reviews, we decided that first thing we want to do is make reservation for the steakhouse for next day and then go explore the ship. There was a huge line at the reservation desk, 20 people, and she was also taking phone calls and placing reservations on both ends. It tool 45 minutes to get to reservationist to find out that all she had left for next night's dinner was 5:45 and 9:45seating and that we could not make reservations more then 24 hours ahead of time. Also, we could not reserve time at a regular restaurant because it is free style which means you can come any time you want and stay in line as long as you want. I asked her to call maitre d' and double check and I was not leaving until I got my dinner reservations made for 7:30 next night at the steakhouse. She called maitre d' and for sure he was able to find a table for 2 of us for dinner at 7: 30. Deck 11 - buffet: Next we went to have lunch on deck 11. Nothing else was open and kids were hungry. However, this was the worst lunch I've had in my life - on or off ship. The temperature in the room was over 100F, it felt cool outside in the sun compared to the temperature inside. The selection was - hot dog, cheeseburgers, chips, fries, gumbo soup made of okra, yellow leaves that they called salad, roast pork so dry you can bend silverware with it and assortment of slimy looking deserts. This is the selection that they had throughout the cruise for lunch. One day they added over-fried rice with dried up fish, next day they had overcooked vegetables and over-salted stew. Finally I understood why every past cruiser in their reviews said that they liked French fries on the ship - there was nothing else to eat!!! Kids Program: Next we decided to sign up kids for kid's program and then figure out where to eat and how to schedule our meals to avoid buffet. There was our next huge disappointment - there is NO KIDS PROGRAM per se - kids are in the program between 6 pm and 10 pm only, the rest of the time you have to pay per hour, they don't have program when you are in port and not when you are on a private island (more about that later). Also they do not have computers, Nintendo, games, or anything that kids enjoy doing - they play athletic games, do scavenger hunts, and color pictures. Between 6 pm and 10 pm is the time when we take kids to dinner and a show and after the show when adult games and dancing start is when we usually use kid's program on other cruise lines, as well as during the day. Our last cruise was Disney where kids were entertained between 7 am and 1 am none-stop and at no additional cost every day in or out of port. But this did not end there. Our older daughter has mild disability and we usually transfer her to 9-12 age group because the teen group has no supervision and older kids go in and out all the time. None of the other cruise lines ever had a problem with that. Disney this year was a delight, Carnival and RCCL last year were very accommodating, Celebrity and Princess year before had no problem at all. Not NCL!!! No, they cannot age bump, no they cannot have an extra person or an additional supervision in teen room, no they do not have computers and no they do not have games, and no they cannot provide a room where she can stay and play by herself or with others under any kind of adult supervision. And even if we pay, they cannot provide one-on-one service even for 2 hours while we go to dinner. We've got more "NO" answers in 10 minutes there then in all previous 18 cruises we took. So we went and canceled our hard earned reservation for steakhouse the next night and said good bye to any time alone for my husband and I on this cruise. We went on the deck and longingly looked at disappearing Miami skyline and said in unison: "Is it too late to get off this ship?" Cabin: We went up to the cabin to change for dinner and I wanted to get a drink from mini-bar to unwind a little after the stress of last 3 hours on the ship. There was no ice in ice bucket. When I called room service I was told that I need to ask cabin steward who is outside in the hall to bring me ice. The hall was deserted. I called again and was told to wait and see if he will walk by. Then my husband called and someone came 5 minutes later to get an ice bucket. He did not introduce himself, so I still do not know who our cabin steward was. One guy picked up the bucket, another brought it back and asked if there was anything else I needed tonight (mind you it was 6 pm). I asked him to specify and he said, well, do you want a turn down service? So I've got a better idea of the kind of a La Cart service we've got. Dinner: We went to a regular dining room where we were given a pager and told that wait time was about 20 minutes. 30 minutes later we were seated at the table. Dinner was not bad, at least not as bad as I was afraid of based on reviews and previous 4 hours on the ship. They use tiny salad shrimps for shrimp cocktail, there was lamb dish and beef dish on the menu, they had salmon, chicken and salad, soup and kids menu. Deserts were good. Server was good, water was re-filled regularly. As you can see we are not picky eaters and dining room dinner was just fine. Show: Because we waited 30 minutes for dinner and service was a little long, or maybe kids took a little longer to eat, we missed the show. We then saw it on TV and we did not miss much. We actually were glad that we spent some time on open deck instead of that show. Cabin: We had 2 balcony cabins, since it was last minute cruise there was nothing else available and no cabins to fit 4 of us. Cabin was furnished in thrift store fashion: scratched nightstand, dirty stained upholstery, dirty room (my younger kept on finding things that were left there by previous cruisers - pins, hair band, old receipts), piece of plywood instead of mattress, coffee table from last century that ended up on the balcony since room is so small there is no place for even small table. Next morning: There is no clock in the room and no clock on TV, so after lying for 5 hours on plywood mattress my back hurt so much I had to get up and wait for sunset on the balcony to figure out the time of day. Nassau: We were in Nassau so many times that we did not want to leave the ship. We stayed by the pool, the weather was gorgeous, there were very few people by the pool and I finally had one-on-one time with my book. My husband entertained kids - monopoly, chess, cards, and dominos. Water in the pool was below freezing, but the air was fresh. Of course, there was nothing else to do anyway - no music, no trivia, no activities by the pool. Makes you wonder if there was entertainment staff on board at all. Lunch: Terrible selection, tasteless food, no service, close to the pool. Dinner: 20 minutes wait, good menu, good service. So far the best experience on this cruise. The waiter Dennis was good. When my husband asked him his opinion about 2 dishes, a duck and beef Wellington, he just said that he will bring both dishes and let us decide. Both were good. Show: After all, there was an entertainment staff on board. Show was not bad. 4 singers - only 2 could sing, 6 dancers, good choreography, and good music. Newlywed game after the show, but after so many cruises, same questions irritate you. Boring newlywed game was the main attraction of the cruise because they kept showing it on TV non-stop for next 2 days. Dancing. NONE. There was big orchestra that played mix of new age and old jazz that you can listen but not dance to. There was Cuban band that played strictly Cuban music. There was Caribbean band on the deck once. Guitar player was good, but no place to dance; piano player was good, played in the bar, with no dance floor either. Next day - Private Island. Where do I start? I guess line at breakfast that took 45 minutes to get an omelet and coffee. And then line to get on tender that started on deck 4 and went all the way to deck 3. And then island! We went to RCCL Private Island, Princess Private Island, Disney Private Island - so we had an idea what to expect - and we always enjoyed an itinerary that included private island. Not NCL!!!! Small, crowded, dirty, no fresh water shower, no empty chairs, no umbrellas, no towels exchange, no service, terrible lunch. We looked but did not eat. BBQ pit serves a gourmet grill compared to that lunch on the island. We stayed there for a short time until kids splashed in water and went back to the ship. On the way back there was a guy with the water hose to hose your legs off before getting on the ship. Ordered room service, which had very limited selection, but no greasy fries and burgers and no lines. Of course I had to call twice and wait for 50 minutes to get the delivery, but at least they had salad. Last Evening: There was bingo and a comedian -no show. Same old quest game. The Park West gallery auction with cocky auctioneer who does not know names of the artists that gallery sells. No dancing again. Dinner was uneventful and same as the other 2 nights. Overall, in 3 days and 3 nights on the ship we did not get any service from anyone onboard the ship except in the dining room. To get drinks on the deck, we had to go to the bar, to get drinks in the bar, we had to go to the bartender, there was no drink service in the theater or any other public places on the ship. There is no wait staff during breakfast or lunch, if there was I did not see them. But I saw an old woman with cane carrying her own coffee on slippery deck, I saw another elderly person asking where she can get milk for her coffee and being told by the waiter to go back to the coffee stand and get it. I saw people leaving dining room after they were told that they have to pay $25 cork fee for the bottle of wine they brought with them. I saw a man asking line cook where he could get water and being told to go in an opposite direction from the refreshment stand. There was no hot cocoa or tea available after hours, there was no buffet on the deck, no d'oeuvres or finger foods in the evening. So when one night kids wanted to eat something around mid-night, we had to tell them to wait until breakfast because room service takes forever. There were kids ages 16 and 17 sitting on the stairs between dining room and teen program one evening for hours and laughing and swearing loudly. There were 4 kids 9-10 years old who rode in panoramic elevator between 5 and 9 pm one evening and then between 10 and 12 pm at night, cannot imagine what their parents did all that time, well I can imagine, but kids were nonsense. And lastly, we were told to carry our own luggage off the ship since no luggage tags were provided by room steward. At the end of the cruise they do not ask you to fill out an evaluation or a survey form – after all, even they cannot ask you to rate the non-existent service they provide. Or may be they just do not care - they got your money already. Read Less
Sail Date November 2008
As a little background, this is my 4th cruise, but first with Norwegian (and surely last). I have done 2 Carnival and 1 Royal Caribbean. Our group of 18 couldn't wait for the big family cruise to celebrate my grandparent's 50th ... Read More
As a little background, this is my 4th cruise, but first with Norwegian (and surely last). I have done 2 Carnival and 1 Royal Caribbean. Our group of 18 couldn't wait for the big family cruise to celebrate my grandparent's 50th anniversary, all of the kids, their spouses, grandkids, and our spouses went. We put an unbelievable amount of planning into this vacation in order to make it extra special for them; wow were we disappointed! We had no problems embarking, it was a rather speedy process and the people at the counter were very nice and helpful. We got on the ship and went strait the reservation desk to make dinner reservations at the Hibachi grill. The ladies there were rather snooty, not overly willing to help, and we even got a few rolling eyes. We booked, brushed it off, and hurried off to our rooms. When we got there, I was quite upset. We had specifically requested that 7/8 of our rooms be arranged into queen beds, as we were all couples. We had 2 twin beds, but that wasn't the worst part, there was dry urine on my toilet seat, which was quite a shocker. And of course, no room steward could be found. We also had 3 lights that didn't work, the 1 outlet we had did not work, and the phone didn't work (so we couldn't call anyone to fix any of these problems). My cousin and his wife were staying next door to us, and they had dirty sheets (also 2 twin beds instead of the queen). So we went down to the desk to let them know, then off to lunch. We ran into our grandparents and they told us to join them at Windows (one of the sit down restaurants) because they had reservations. When we showed up, some of the group was there, so we sat at the table next to them. There were only 10-12 other parties seated in this massive dining room, but the waiter was less than thrilled that the party of 8 had turned into a party of 12 (and he showed it well). We were brushed off, which wouldn't have been too bad if the food was decent, but that didn't happen. We also spoke with the maitre' De to try to make reservations (freestyle cruising SUCKS by the way) for our party of 18 to eat together, because that was the whole point of the cruise. We were told that they couldn't push 2 tables together, so we would be a table of 10 and a table of 8 seated close to each other. Gee thanks. We again brushed it off, and started exploring the boat. My husband, mom, and I went to the spa to make reservations for treatments, and we felt like we were putting them out of their way by helping us. I couldn't get over how rude they were when we were there spending money. We took off late (were supposed to pull out of port at 5 PM, but didn't until after 7PM). We all dressed for dinner (they still hadn't put our beds together yet) and met in Windows to find our 2 tables separated by a portion of a wall and a big plant, rude wait staff, and mediocre food (at best). After dinner, we all wanted to do something, but that was a problem because there was NOTHING TO DO on this ship. This was the most boring deadest ship I had ever been on. I could go on for days, which I'm sure you can tell by my lovely experience on the first day, but I'll just list out the numerous problems we encountered. -The rudest staff I've ever encountered on a cruise ship, with the exception of our room steward, Enrica, who was AWESOME!! Also, the Assistant Maitre' De in Windows was wonderful. At one point, a crew member ran into my husband with a rolling cart and didn't even say excuse me. We were in shock the whole cruise of how horrible these people were. -Horrible food, with the exception of the Hibachi grill (well worth the $25.00 cover charge) and Blue Lagoon (everything I ate there was good). -We got overcharged for our spa services, then yelled at when we tried to use the coupon that THEY provided to us, telling us that we were reading it wrong (which it was as plain as day that they were wrong). -We paid for express dry cleaning on my formal dress, and didn't receive it in time -Getting of at the ports was a nightmare, no organization, and it took FOREVER! -The beds were so uncomfortable, that we got little sleep each night. My husband actually had to go to the chiropractor when we got home with a twisted spine thanks to their beds. -One night we, along with my aunt and uncle,who were next door to us, smelled smoke (like burning, not cigarette). We were both calling the emergency number (which nobody answered), until my husband just went downstairs to the desk. 45 minutes later (yes, 45 minutes to respond to a burning smell), someone finally came and told us not to worry about it (without even checking anything out). It turned out that we were passing by a marsh fire, and the smoke got into the ventilation system, which we found out from another passenger, not a crew member. Disembarkation was a complete nightmare. Remember this name: Gail Jackson, if you see her while disembarking, RUN. She was by far the rudest person we encountered the entire trip, yelling at other passengers trying to get their luggage, my whole family, even her co-workers. It was so bad that I actually called headquarters and reported her. It took us close to 2 hours to get off of the boat, (and that was with expedited service due to my grandpa being in a scooter). We did have fun, but it was definitely from the fun that my crazy family created, not from what the ship had to offer. I have so many specific incidents I could get into (to show that this isn't just me overreacting to something small), but I'm sure there is a space restraint on this. All I can say is STRONGLY STRONGLY reconsider taking this cruise, because I'm sure you will be greatly disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date November 2008
We were told by a relative how great the MSC lines are however this one just came over from Europe and we were the first sailing on it.We had to fly from Ohio to Ft.Lauderdale-My son's girlfriend from England flew in from there and we ... Read More
We were told by a relative how great the MSC lines are however this one just came over from Europe and we were the first sailing on it.We had to fly from Ohio to Ft.Lauderdale-My son's girlfriend from England flew in from there and we went on a 4 day cruise. The food was SO BAD-I ended up loosing weight on the cruise...which was the only good thing. If food is bad and you are just eating anything to compensate it really ruin's a cruise. My son LOVES cruises and food is the #1 enjoyment on it for him. The same relative went on the same ship 2 weeks later-I told her to cancel.She said she was VERY surprised how bad the food was and her friend complained too. Everyone on my ship was complaining about it but what can you do-if they cannot cook-they cannot cook. They could not speak very well at all to people either. The big event with the food at the end-was just people were over the taste that was blah anyways. Clean ship-but who cares-Italians know how to cook-what the heck happened. I complained in writing when I returned and got a letter saying sorry and we hope you join us again in the future.ARE YOU KIDDING!!!!! The last port we could not dock at either-it was just bad news all around THE only good thing was that Susan Sommers was on the ship so it was fun to have seen her at the outside bar area.Pretty as always.Bet her slim event went well because the food sucked so bad on the ship those people would have no problem not eating. I will only go on Royal Carribean from now on thank you-they know how to cook-are more than polite and just it is an entirely different scene. To date I just need to save money for us to go again so we can re-do what was so bad. This poor kid for his life will always remember his 21st with his birthday celebration on the worst ship we have ever been on. Read Less
Sail Date November 2008
Background Info: This was a last minute cruise to take our 4 y/o grandson on to see where Nanny goes when she says she's going cruising again. My husband went along this time. This was my second cruise on NCL, the first a 13 nighter ... Read More
Background Info: This was a last minute cruise to take our 4 y/o grandson on to see where Nanny goes when she says she's going cruising again. My husband went along this time. This was my second cruise on NCL, the first a 13 nighter the end of 10/08 repositioning from New York City on Spirit, which was a quite different experience hands down, after being "Loyal to Royal" for 7 previous cruises since 2005. Travel to Port of Embarkation/Hotel Info: We flew from PA via USAir (another story in itself, not recommended) and stayed at the airport Comfort Inn Suites about a mile away (free/points). I would not recommend this hotel as there were "interesting people" hanging around the entrance and lobby. Their "pool" was down the street at another hotel. The hotel itself was cheesy and smelly; i.e. stains on carpets, gunk on caulking in bathroom which looked like vomit, drains clogged in sink and bathtub, odors unrecognizable, etc. Embarkation: We took the shuttle to the port arriving around 11:30 and promptly went inside and registered, which took about 5-10 minutes. It went quite smoothly. Note to anyone taking a grandchild onboard: Make sure you have parental consent form signed! (We did.) Our grandson got his own card with the corner cut off. I must admit that the entire staff made our grandson feel welcome while on the ship. Stateroom: We had a balcony cabin on deck 9 port side. The balcony is quite spacious, more so than Spirit, but instead of a sliding door it had a regular door and porthole on the other side. The dEcor of the room was a quite bright pink sofa bed (for one) which, when made up at night, had a huge dip in the middle with a mattress of about 4 inch thickness at most. This stateroom did have a safe, hairdryer, 2 robes (thin) and a small fridge. The bathroom had a circular shower curtain, but not much room for essentials shelfwise. This was also the case as far as storage for clothing so we basically lived out of our suitcases which fit under the bed. As for the shower, we had to be very careful before getting into it as the water is either lukewarm or scalding hot with a fine line in between. We were provided with shower cap, lotion, shampoo and conditioner and some sort of eye cream on the first day, but never replenished the five days. Enough said. Dining: We ate in the dining room two nights on this trip and the only thing that was truly hot was the soup. As for snacking in the afternoon or late evening, forget it unless you like hot dogs and hamburgers, which were plentiful on this cruise. There was nothing available (that we could find) between about 1:30 and 3:30 and after 10 we found nothing. Most of the foods available at the buffet were unrecognizable as well. We did not eat in any of the "extra" venue restaurants so we can't comment on those, but...I believe that the regular choices, without you having to pay extra, leave a lot to be desired; hence, the reason they have the pay for restaurants I would imagine if you want anything good to eat, but I can't imagine how much better they would have been. No ice sculptures to be found. No chocolate fountain except behind the counter at the ice cream counter which they got for you (on Spirit it was free flow). Children's Clubs: We did use the services for our 4 y/o GS after 6 p.m. for about an hour and a half. There are portholes up above for you to monitor what is going on without actually going into the room and disrupting the activities. We checked on our GS several times and he seemed to enjoy it. Entertainment: I guess if you like magic shows, then this is the cruise for you and yours. There was no dance floor that we could find anywhere. If you like the usual bingo, then this is the cruise for you. As for the casino, throw your money into the wastebasket before going and you will be further ahead. They kept going around and opening the machines, doing something for a second or two and closing them again (mostly after someone did have a lucky streak per se). The only "jackpot" that I heard was won was on the first night ($4,000) and never again did I hear any actual winners. In fact, one woman approached me on one evening and asked if I, too, thought the casino was a joke and I told her most definitely. We only went in there to pass through it on a few occasions and on the few occasions we actually played, it was definitely not what I called entertainment. Service: We met our room steward on the first day right after boarding. It was the last time we saw him. We had towel animals on the first two nights and none after that. We also had to always ask for beach towels to be replenished. Language barriers were quite evident. There were not too many people who worked on board who understood what you were asking them. It was very frustrating, although not surprising. Shore Excursions: We chose to only take one NCL excursion on Grand Bahamas called Beaches and Caves. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate and the $130+ we paid for the excursion would have been way too much for what we got in either case, rain or shine. Nassau is Nassau..what can I say? We did take a taxi to the beach next to Atlantis for $4 each and the weather was sunny, but the waves and the beach were nothing for little kids. There was a step-off about 5 feet into the ocean that got deep quite quickly and the undertow was horrendous. There was the usual Straw Market, Diamonds International, perfume factories, etc. and very few people shopping. Guess the economy has hit everyone. Our next stop was the private island for NCL, Great Stirrup Bay. We tendered and were told up front to be back to the ship by 3:30 instead of 4:30 because of a "frontal weather" coming in. The front never arrived until about 6 p.m. if you want to call it such. The beach itself was nice, although quite rocky and lots of coral in places. As for the snorkeling, one woman said she saw exactly 12 fish. I guess we saw more near the beach without snorkeling. The barbecue consisted of...you guessed!...hamburgers and hot dogs and the assortment of fruits. Free water! Hurrah! But forget the iced tea. Enough said. Debarkation: We chose express service, keeping our luggage with us rather than sitting it in the hall the night before. We got off the ship around 9 a.m. and walked right off. We hailed a van, which already had 2 people in it. We started to leave for the airport (so we thought) and found ourselves circling the port again so that he could find some more people to fill the van while about 100 other taxis were waiting for patronage. After my husband complained we finally got to leave. Summary: Although for some this may have been a "cheap" cruise. For people who were experiencing their first cruise, I would love to know whether they would do it again...I certainly wouldn't have. I will stick with what I know...RCCL has a better product hands down. Read Less
Sail Date December 2008
We booked this special Christmas cruise for our family of 5, and the fact that we were all together at Christmas was the only saving grace for this appalling debacle which was the MSC Fantasia maiden cruise. We arrived in Genoa to total ... Read More
We booked this special Christmas cruise for our family of 5, and the fact that we were all together at Christmas was the only saving grace for this appalling debacle which was the MSC Fantasia maiden cruise. We arrived in Genoa to total chaos. Embarkation was dangerous due to the fact that nearly 4,000 people arrived in a very short space of time to check in. Some children were trampled and two people fainted. There was no organization by the port staff (which was MSC's final excuse, even though it was the Fantasia staff on the ground checking people in!) It took over 2 hours for us to get on board (some people were waiting for almost 5 hours). There was no proper explanation and certainly no apologies. When we got to the front of the queue, we were quite understandably unhappy about the situation, but the staff member said he didn't speak English (we later found out that he did, quite well!). We had booked our cruise direct with MSC in the UK and had booked first sitting, but were given the second sitting. We were directed to the maitre'd on the ship, but found a whole line of others trying to change their dining arrangements. The maitre'd refused to do anything for anyone. I guess we were lucky really, at least our party was all seated together; some parties were put on different tables, different dining rooms at different sittings! I guess we were also quite lucky with our cabins. We had booked two particular cabins adjacent to each other and actually got what we had booked. Some parties were split up onto different decks at different parts of the ship. Apparently MSC's response to this was "we put people where we want them and not necessarily where they want to be" - how nice and very customer friendly! The ship is undoubtedly beautiful and was spotlessly clean and tidy all the time - there were staff constantly cleaning and polishing, and our cabin stewards were helpful, cheerful and friendly, as were most of the bar staff. Unfortunately, the people who really needed to be all of the above were not. The reception and information staff were at best surly and at worst downright rude. According to MSC all staff speak 5 languages - what they omitted to say was that no one spoke any one language well enough to hold a conversation with foreign guests, certainly not the English ones! -We were constantly reminded to wash our hands to help avoid spreading germs and told that we must use the disinfectant handwash stations throughout the ship - there were NONE anywhere! -We found that everything on the ship was to pay for, even water on the dining table. We did manage to get a jug of tap water after some time trying. There was not even water in the gym, just a juice bar selling drinks! -The cafeteria was always extremely busy and chaotic and was only open certain hours (not most of the day like other cruise lines). On port days, MSC seemed to like having visitors aboard and offered them lunch in the cafeteria which only added to the problem of overcrowding as well as their being no proper security (as far as we could see the visitors did not have to go through security before boarding,even though we did). -The restaurant food was quite good with 7 courses offered every night. MSC advertise several other restaurants on board in you fancy a change to the main restaurants but all are to pay for. -The evening entertainment in the theatre was adequate but the performers still appeared to be learning their routines - surely something which should have been done prior to the maiden cruise! -DO NOT SAIL WITH MSC unless you like an inefficient, unorganized cruise line, indifferent staff and have nothing better to spend your money on. If having read all of the above you decide to still book with MSC, stay away from having a cabin at the back of the ship - the vibration was bad all the time and absolutely horrendous when the ship was maneuvering into port. Someone on board who knew about these things said there was definitely a misalignment with one of the pods. If you have already booked with MSC despite all the poor reviews (as we did, thinking that the launch of their new flagship would surely change the way they operate - unfortunately they did not!) GOOD LUCK and I hope it improves for your cruise! Read Less
Sail Date December 2008
If I took this cruise in Rome, I would understand the low quality of service. After all it would be in Italy by italians. But I boarded on Ft Lauderdale, USA. You know you are in trouble if the front desk and reservations people ... Read More
If I took this cruise in Rome, I would understand the low quality of service. After all it would be in Italy by italians. But I boarded on Ft Lauderdale, USA. You know you are in trouble if the front desk and reservations people don't understand what you are saying. It is standard on all other cruises to have non-english speaking people on the restaurants or the cabin service, but to have to explain 2 or 3 times to front desk personnel is ridiculous. I cannot give a 0 rating to service, so I'll have to give it a High 1. So now to the detail. We are Miami locals so did not have to stay on a hotel. IT was 2 adults 2 children on my party. StateRoom: Pretty small. but that's ok. Ship Info: One of the smallest we have taken, but that might be an advantage as going from place to place is pretty fast. Dining: Average at best. I cannot complain about our waiter, Silvio from Romania. Very nice and accommodating. He earned his tip. We had second seating which is OK. Schedules for restaurants are not compatible with port schedules, meaning that by the time you come back from the port all restaurants are closed and the only choice you have is stalled hard hamburgers and hot dogs. This does not happen on other cruises where the buffet restaurant closes at 4:00 instead of 2:30. Activities: Average. Again, This is for Italian people. All singers, pianists, guitar players, etc are Italian so you will get an italian experience. Children's Club. My 11 year old did it only once. He decided to skip it the rest of the nights. But he belongs to the dysfunctional generation of the 90's where the only brain activity that seems to be used is reflected on their fingers, either with a stupid cell phone or on an XBOX360 controller. Last cruise I am taking with my kids, that's for sure. Staff and Service: The only person that I found accommodating was our waiter. In the stateroom I would have to call for Ice more that 3 times to get it to my room. The cleaning lady had no clue how to get things for us like when our bathroom did not flush for about 8 hours and she had me called 3 times the Italians in the front desk because she did not understand what Flush is. (Neither did the Italian for that matter). Entertainment: Italian average at best. Shore Excursions: Did not take any, but the schedules are horrible. If We have to sail all day from Dominican Republic to Ft Lauderdale. I do not understand why they have to leave a 3:00 pm and cut all port times to nothing. The same with Key West. All ports were nice. But very short. In 2 ports we could not dock on the port so they have to use little boats to carry passengers which cut the port time at least 1:30 Hour. Disembarkation: This is another thing where the italians shine. We left ft lauderdale from terminal 4 and came back to Ft lauderdale on terminal 22. It is about 2.5 miles from the parking lot on terminal 4. This little cramped bus takes you to terminal 4 and you can imagine if you have 6 or more luggage pieces how fun is that. They said the first luggage color would be called around 7:45 am. The first was actually called around 9:30 am. We were ready at 8:00 am and departed the ship around 11:00 am. Again a High 1 on organization for the italians. Summary: Leave the italians for Italy. Read Less
Sail Date December 2008
I have been on several cruises with other cruise lines and have always had great experiences. I was told that Holland America was a 5 star ship (Statendam) and booked a Christmas Cruise for my family (4 adult children and myself) from ... Read More
I have been on several cruises with other cruise lines and have always had great experiences. I was told that Holland America was a 5 star ship (Statendam) and booked a Christmas Cruise for my family (4 adult children and myself) from December 20, 2008 to December 27, 2008. This cruise was a disaster from the time we got on the ship. There was a lunch buffet while we waited for our staterooms. Myself and my children had the buffet and were surrounded by dirty trays and dishes. I started collecting all the dirty dishes and trays and handed them to a waiter who was walking by our table and asked him to please take the trays. He looked at me and took the trays and put them right back down on our table and walked away. At around 3:00 p.m. we were allowed into our staterooms. I had booked 2 rooms - one for myself and my 2 daughters and 1 room for my 2 sons. I had requested the rooms to be close together. The rooms were not even on the same floor. My son immediately called my stateroom and said there were 2 problems. The first problem was they had one bed not 2. The 2nd problem was our zip lining/water caving excursion had been cancelled. I went to the front desk to get the bed changed to 2 beds and to find out why our excursion was cancelled since I paid for it in October. I was told there were political problems and they only found out a week ago. I asked why I was not contacted 8 days ago so I could have booked another excursion. There was no explanation given. I was told I could not get my credit card credited. My children and I spent the first 3 hours on the ship calling a friend in Illinois to go on the internet and find another zip lining excursion. We finally found one and booked it. I booked all excursions in advance so we could enjoy the cruise not spend our first 3 hours booking an excursion. This could have been avoided if we told been told a week ago when Holland America was aware of the situation in Belize. Our first dinner on the ship was a wait of 2 hours. They tried to sit us at 2 different tables on 2 different floors. The waiter kept saying he had a table for us and we would walk through the dining room only to find people already sitting at our table. This happened twice. I told them that I booked this cruise to eat together as a family. Therefore we waited 2 hours to sit together. The food was mediocre at best. The service was terrible. Every night of this cruise, we would ask for more water and bread and would receive it half way through the meal. Usually we receive more water after the appetizers and salad. The next day December 28th I made dinner reservations and we were taken upstairs and had to wait 1.5 hours. I ordered fish and my children ordered steak rare and medium rare. My fish came and an hour late the steaks came medium well. The steaks had to remade and arrived another hour later. I had finished my meal 2 hours ago. By this time we missed the 9:00 p.m. show that I had wanted to see with my family. On Monday I told my children to have the snack at 4:00 p.m. in case we had to wait again for dinner. My daughter asked for the cheese queso dip that was empty. Twice she was told that it was coming. After 30 minutes it never did. I asked for chips since they were all broken in tiny pieces. I was told that the key was lost to the room where the chips were kept and therefore there would be no chips forthcoming. On Monday we were lying on the deck chairs and could only get someone to get us a drink once. We went in and got our lunch and brought it out to the deck outside of the Crow's Nest. Seven and half hours later, the dirty dishes were still there sitting on top of the garbage can. I finally went to the front desk and asked them to be removed. Dinner on Monday was another bad experience. We were given a wine list but had to ask twice to order wine. The meal was less than mediocre and there was no service. I asked for the head waiter and asked why the food and service was terrible. I was told that 1200 adults plus 200 children had booked the cruise and they were trying to accommodate everyone. I feel that Holland America knew how many people had booked the cruise in advance and should have been prepared to service all adults and children. On Tuesday we had a shore excursion and had a wake call scheduled. We were never called. Luckily room service came with out breakfast so we woke up or we would have missed our shore excursion. Of course our room service for breakfast was not correct so I had to run up to the 11th floor for the items that were ordered and not delivered. The bacon that was delivered was barely cooked, wrong cereal, only 2 juices delivered, and the wrong milk delivered. Tuesday, December 23, 2008 the only reservation we could get was at 5:30 p.m. We did not get out of the dining room until 7:30. The service was incredibly slow and we sat with dirty dishes in between. Therefore we missed ½ of the show that night. Wednesday, December 24, 2008 room service was ½ hour late and we had cold eggs, cold toast and warm yogurt. This is the day that our shore excursion from Holland America was cancelled and we booked an excursion on our own. When we tried to get off the ship, we were told that people who had booked shore excursions off the ship were being let off first. Her tone and demeanor was not nice at all to me. I tried to explain that I had booked an excursion off the ship, but it was cancelled. I said we needed to get off the ship for an excursion that we had booked on our own. Again she said in a not so nice tone, that we would not be allowed off - only people with shore excursions stickers were being let off the ship. Therefore we were late for our excursion. Dinner again was mediocre, slow service, and my son tried twice to order wine. December 25, 2008 was by far our worse dinner. We had 8:00 p.m. reservations and when we got there, it was formal night. Myself and my daughters were dressed up but my sons needed jackets. We were told we would have to rent jackets at $40.00 each. A cost for me at $80.00. Since we could not go to the dining room, we were told to go to the Lido Room. I took my family upstairs and the Lido Room closed at 8:00 p.m., so they told us to order room service. Merry Christmas to us! Furthermore the next day, we met people that were given a jacket in order to sit in the dining room! The last night for dinner was the absolute worse! The waiter as he was pouring the salad dressing on my salad, poured part of it on my leg. I wiped it off with my napkin and all the waiter said was "hey, hey." Later the Baked Alaska was brought to our table. It was melted and it was a huge marshmallow mess. The waiter scooped it out from the middle and it all landed on my leg instead of my plate. There were no apologies or even an offer of a rag to clean it up. It took 4 cloth napkins and a trip to the restroom to clean off my pants. The waiter was beyond rude. My daughter who is 25 pre-registered her credit card. Holland America put my son who is 17 on her credit card and put her charges on my credit card. My son tried to register his credit card and it went on my daughter's account. My son's fees were put on my account. This should not have happened as 3 separate credit cards were pre-registered. The Teen Room closed due to lack of supervision. If I had never been on a cruise before with several other cruise lines, I would never book another cruise after this terrible experience. I wanted to give my children this Christmas - a cruise of a lifetime - unfortunately it was a terrible experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2008
We arrived at the embarkation port of Barcelona on at 17 Jan 2009. There were no staff available to give directions about luggage, boarding or anything else. The day before 90% of the passengers on our hip had boarded in Genoa. So while we ... Read More
We arrived at the embarkation port of Barcelona on at 17 Jan 2009. There were no staff available to give directions about luggage, boarding or anything else. The day before 90% of the passengers on our hip had boarded in Genoa. So while we were trying to board they were leaving the ship for excursions. Any available staff were directing them to buses and were oblivious to our presence. We eventually found our own way. There was no safety drill for us as it had been done the previous day with the other passengers. The dining arrangements were,sit down breakfast ended at 9am and the buffet ended 10am. So if you missed them you waited until noon to eat. Second sitting for dinner varied from 8.30pm to 9pm. There were six items on the menu. The system was that everybody ate at the slowest persons pace ie if you decided to have three courses(starter, main course and dessert) and some one else decided to have all six you waited and all courses were served together. One evening we ordered our soup at 8.40 and got it at 9.20, lukewarm. Dinner always exceeded 2 hours and left very little time for anything else. Our itinerary stated quite clearly that we would stop in Gibraltar on day 2. This did not happen. When we enquired why, we got the standard shrug of the shoulders. As a result of missing this stop we spent from from 5pm on Sat until 8am Tue at sea. While at sea all of the swimming pools were emptied and netted even the indoor one. Again when I enquired why and got the shrug again. I went to have a sauna and was asked for €12 for one hour. On other ships while at sea there was always entertainment arranged around the pool.Not so here.All in all I feel the entertainment was dreadful. I dont believe I have ever seen so many people absolutely bored out of there minds. Drinks were also quite expensive. A small bottle of guinness (30cl) €5.80. My stateroom was quite comfortable on first impressions. But while we were at sea the panels in the ceiling creaked all night. It nearly drove us loopy. We reported it and the maintenance people drove a wedge of wood between the coving and the ceiling to remedy it. This did not work. We asked about a change of room and were told the ship was full.We had to put up with the noise and sleep came with complete exhaustion. Before leaving home I enquired about the system for paying gratuities. I was told they were optional and that envelopes would be supplied at the end of the cruise and you could tip as you saw fit. This was NOT the case. On your first news letter it is pointed out that the gratuities are €6 per adult per day and this would be billed to your account. There is a system whereby you can check your account at any time. Some of the passengers checked there accounts around day 3 and the gratuities were already added at €66 per adult. When I was paying my account after 7 days I was being billed the full amount €132.00 The one positive I found was that the stateroom attendants and waiters were lovely naturally friendly people. Maybe if they were running the ship our cruise would have been a lot better. MSC never again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2009
Our one week family cruise (there were 12 of us) was a very nice family holiday. The time spent with family was terrific, but I would not take another MSC cruise. Embarking - this was a breeze and actually much easier than any previous ... Read More
Our one week family cruise (there were 12 of us) was a very nice family holiday. The time spent with family was terrific, but I would not take another MSC cruise. Embarking - this was a breeze and actually much easier than any previous cruises I have been on. Cabin - we were in cabin 9048. It was a great location. The nearest elevator was perfect for getting to and from the dining room and various lounges. Elevator service is very slow, and we chose to take the stairs in many instances. Balcony cabin was much smaller than on Celebrity. Food - This is an area where MSC must try to improve on. There was no consistency in quality. Our meals were more than edible, but the food wasn't as good as we have experienced on Celebrity. The presentation of meals is very poor (they just dump it on the plate), so if this is a deal breaker for you, you will be disappointed. Some of the soups were wonderful, while others were terrible. The steak in the dining room was not good. Pasta is very nice. It should be remembered that you get what you pay for and the price point on this ship is lower than most. One of the gals in our group summed it up well when she said, "I didn't think you were supposed to go to bed hungry on a cruise". The grand buffet was the poorest we have seen on a cruise. A huge line up (like there normally is), only to get to the front to see some fruit and cheese. There were no hot dishes on the grand buffet, so if you are looking for your standard beef wellington fix, you will not get it here. The main buffet, while plentiful, was far too busy. When we met as a group at the buffet we referred to it as the "free for all". Note that the bread on this ship is very good. Service - Most of the crew was pleasant. There are always a few bad apples. The service in the dining room was poor and painfully slow. We had a table for 8 and a table for 4. There were several occasions when someone at our table (8 people) did not receive their main meal until the rest of our table had finished theirs. It's my opinion that they are understaffed in the dining room and that a lot of coaching is needed. Wine service in the dining room was inconsistent. One night very good; the next night very poor. Bar service in the lounges is very slow. Spa services - I had a 1 hour massage and it was good. A manicure and pedicure was far too expensive, so I passed. Photo shop - without a doubt this was the most disorganized system I have seen on any cruise ship. Drinks are very affordable. The wine package ($105 for 7 bottles) was fantastic. They need to make a more concerted effort to advise what services are available. 3/4 into the cruise I found out about the cocktail package, but this was from another passenger. There was nothing printed to advise of such a package or I would have purchased it. Ports of call - You know when you book a cruise what the timing is at your port of call. MSC does not, in my opinion, have the pick of the litter when it comes to port times. Disembarking - this was a very smooth process. Overall opinion - we got what we paid for and would never travel MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2009
When I was sent the price from our Internet travel source we thought it would be a great time to try out a cruise line we have not tried. We were very interested in their itineraries because they are smaller and can visit different ports. ... Read More
When I was sent the price from our Internet travel source we thought it would be a great time to try out a cruise line we have not tried. We were very interested in their itineraries because they are smaller and can visit different ports. We asked our agent and she said some people love it and some people hate it. Well we thought we would try it. Needless to say it was our 1st and will definitely be our last. There is a total lack of communication with the cruise ship as a whole. 1st) I have to tell this is the cleanest ship I was ever on. They clean and clean constantly. When we mentioned it to the crew they said they are the only ship that has gotten 100% with no comments the last 3 inspections. I think that is what they feel is money in the bank. 2nd) Our cabin was very spacious. We had walk in closets that were fabulous. We took the top category which I think was an 11. These rooms are bigger than the concierge class on Celebrity. 3rd) The staff in the Martini Bar and the Casino were very nice and were very accommodating. Now for the bad: 1st) The food is the worst we have ever had. The times were very unaccommodating if you were doing any excursions or just wanted to sleep in. There is no room service to speak of unless you want a cold sandwich. I don't know why they can't bring an egg to your room in the morning. The pasta was worse than you would get from a can of Chef Boyardee. Really!! When we mentioned this to the bar manager he said because we were Americans who are used to Olive Garden and Pizza Hut we don't know what Italian dining really is. He really said that. My husband is Italian and we are gourmet cooks. Their meat is the worst. It appears to be boiled and then some gravy poured over it. Most of the time you can't cut it. This was the 1st cruise we lost weight on, really!! 2nd) The casino is not open until 4pm. Sea days they don't open until late. I know they only have 7 casino employees but if they added some they would make more money. They have 2 roulette tables taking up all the space, they could put in another card table very easily. There was almost a fist fight that broke out over not having seats at the card tables. 3rd) You can't book shore excursions on line before you go so you have to figure out that you need to call your agent and have them try to book them. It is really quite insane. 4th)They changed their ports without telling us. No explanation. They changed the time we left, no explanation. They changed the time of the dinners, no explanation. They really don't communicate to anyone. 5th) They give you the opportunity to take your own luggage off if you need to be one of the 1st ones off the ship. We had to catch a plane at 10am so we were cutting it close. We took our flight info to them and they said yes you will be one of the 1st ones off. They morning we were supposed to be off as one of the 1st ones, there were probably about 750 people who took this option. Everyone was butting in and most of them were saying what will we do all day we don't leave until 5pm. I think they could be a little bit more organized. They don't ask, as other cruise lines do what time do you leave and get you off the ship in an orderly fashion. Again I thought a fight would break out. 6th) They do the automatic tipping, which I never care for. They don't need to work for their tips and the people who do work hard don't get them. We found out that the cocktail waiters/waitresses don't get tips. There is no place to put them on your check you have to give them cash. When I mentioned this to the bar manager. He said we do the automatic. I told him other ships do, but the cocktail waiters get something for each drink. He was really shocked. It is a real shame. The boat is a great size and has so much potential. I never heard so many people who were so upset. Read Less
Sail Date January 2009
I would like to start off by saying, I read Cruise Critic and take others opinions with a grain of salt. I have never considered myself to be a hard person to please. I don't return food at restaurants because I am not happy. I ... Read More
I would like to start off by saying, I read Cruise Critic and take others opinions with a grain of salt. I have never considered myself to be a hard person to please. I don't return food at restaurants because I am not happy. I just DEAL and move on. We have been on 6 cruises now. 2 Disney, 3 RCL and this one with NCL. I wanted to try the "Freestyle" cruising and now I have. I must be ANAL and like structure because I found myself wanting a scheduled activity, we actually used the "card-game room" on NCL. I never knew a ship had one of these. When we left our home at 2:30 in the morning we had to travel 60 miles to the airport, through an ICE STORM. My husband was not allowed to get over 25 miles an hour. "SLOW DOWN". We passed numerous cars flipped on there tops and I was not in the mood for that. We caravanned our way up the Interstate and made it to the airport (2 hours later) in time to catch our flight. They had to De-Ice the plane and we missed our connection in Atlanta. My hats off to Delta. They already had us booked on the next flight to Fort Lauderdale and they made it seem like it was no big deal. Yeah Delta! EMBARKATION: Joke #1. NCL Funnels you through gates, like cattle. One to get your picture and sign up. Then you go through the cattle stalls to pick up your card. I am not sure if it was us traveling with someone with limited mobility or if it was really annoying but I felt like all this could have been accomplished in ONE stop. (like on RCL.) Did I mention that we were "Yelled" out throughout this process. "Get your cards out".."This Way"..."Keep Moving". I was a little aggravated before I got on the ship. SHIP: A little about the ship. I am accustomed to RCL where when you get off the elevator at any given floor you can travel the entire length of the ship and stroll and look at all the sites. On NCL I would try to do that and run into a wall or a door that said "employees only". I did not understand the logic here. To get to the Summer Palace, One of the free restaurants, you had to get off on floor 6 mid ship and walk aft and go up a floor to get in. It was exhausting and needless in my opinion. My mother who did not leave the ship until disembarkation has COPD and can do limited walking. This was ridiculous to her and me as well. FOOD: I don't like the fact that out of the 12 restaurants on board, you only have 4 choices if you do not want to pay an additional surcharge. I feel like I am missing out on some of the better food reserved for the (additional) paying people. Don't get me wrong, I believe that you get what you pay for, but I had already paid for this. Also what they don't tell you is that if you are not standing in line at 5:30-6:00 to be seated, when the restaurants open, then you are waiting with a vibrating pager in hand for a table. That did not bode well with me. We waited on Lobster Night at the Summer Palace for a table for over 2 hours, our group decided to go at 7:30 that night instead of our usual 5:45-6:00. When we did get seated, the service was awful. We waited 11 minutes to get our drink order. Luckily the food did not disappoint that night. The Lobster and Steak were wonderful. The third day of our cruise the dreaded "Gastrointestinal Disorders" broke out and the self serve food stations were over. They were replaced with not so pleasant people throwing food on your plate, rarely was it the piece of chicken you had eyed, but the one most convenient for them to toss to you. I almost forgot, before you got to the not so pleasant people you were greeted by another employee who was required to drown you in sanitizer. I did not mind it too much, but if people would just wash there hands, this would not have happened. YUK! GENERAL COMPLAINTS: I did not really meet anyone who was pleasant. I realize that the employees are "At Work" but I am also talking about the other cruisers. NCL is a slightly older crowd and they were for the most part hateful. I found myself needing to move out of others way a lot. I would say excuse me and I would get no response back. Maybe that is because we are from the South and our Mommas raised us right....I don't know. I have had this issue on ALL Cruises that I have been on. My family is big on soft drinks. We buy the Coke Card, which comes with a sticker on the back of your room key and a mug to get cokes in. The bar staff act mad when they come up to the table you are at and ask if you want anything and you ask for a coke. I guess they think that they are not making any money on you and you are a waste of time. This makes me mad. I paid over $80.00 for a youth coke and an adult and for $80.00 I expect a little (not a lot) of service. I ended up going to the bars myself and getting cokes for the guys. I think Cruise lines need to work on this issue, since I have experienced it on numerous Cruise lines. Disembarkation: We had booked a Fort Lauderdale Excursion to the Everglades. This was my Mother's first excursion. As mention above she has limited mobility and was content to stay on the ship for the duration of our trip. She was taken from the ship in a wheelchair and we made ALOT of people mad when the NCL employee rolled her right past the lines and off the ship to customs. We were greeted with many dirty looks and snide remarks. Look people...We are all getting off the ship. I am sorry that some people have disabilities and need some special attention. Our party needed to stay together. We tipped him too. When we got to the luggage retrieval room....It looked like the pit of hell. We were greeted with more people yelling instructions at us and a lady at the door yelling "Get all your luggage, once you leave you will not be able to come back"....Who would want to???? We were funneled out and on our way to the Everglades. I am starting to sound like a complainer....Overall we spent more $$$ on NCL and did not have the best time. I spent more money on excursions trying to make up for the "Not doing nothing" feeling that Freestyling left me with. We will cruise again but not with NCL. Read Less
Sail Date January 2009
We had a group of 39 people that had saved for a year to go to Jamaica and grand cayman on 1-16-2010. We entered the ship and it went downhill from there. we left almost 4 hours late, ( about 10 minutes till 8 instead of 4:00). The next ... Read More
We had a group of 39 people that had saved for a year to go to Jamaica and grand cayman on 1-16-2010. We entered the ship and it went downhill from there. we left almost 4 hours late, ( about 10 minutes till 8 instead of 4:00). The next morning around 7 am. I was having coffee on the rear of the ship and noticed only 1 prop was turning. I thought that was odd and told my wife about it. Well about 8-10 hrs later we received word from the captain that we were having propulsion problems (DUH!) and "tests" would be conducted to see if we could make it to Jamaica, if not we would go straight to grand cayman. Well.... we woke up and found a note in our door stating the tests did not go well and we would not make it to Jamaica or grand cayman but were turning around and going to Nassau! We had several people in our group that had been to Nassau and did not care to return. Oh well! We go where they say we go! We headed directly to the information desk where a crowd was already gathering, I wouldn't be surprised if there was a you-tube video of it. I thought there would be a "mutiny" It was kinda funny actually. But to no avail they would only refund $75 to our sign and sail account for "port fees". Whatever! we were very unhappy with how they handled this whole situation. the information desk said I'm sorry there's nothing we can do and that's it! We got the same answer from the corporate office over the phone. We also emailed corporate. All in all CARNIVAL was unprofessional and rude. And to think that there were 2 wedding parties on board that had families meeting them in Jamaica that were now not able to get married!! And I thought we had it bad! AVOID CARNIVAL!!! They are not customer friendly! Read Less
Sail Date January 2009
First off, let me explain the positives on this cruise. There were two: the bed, which was quite comfortable, and the shower, which had good water pressure. That's it. And it was a good thing, too, because we spent A LOT of ... Read More
First off, let me explain the positives on this cruise. There were two: the bed, which was quite comfortable, and the shower, which had good water pressure. That's it. And it was a good thing, too, because we spent A LOT of time on the cabin we were so displeased with this cruise. The food was horrible (more on that later), there was very little to do on board, the crew couldn't communicate very well, and the shore excursions were really a rip-off. I would never go on NCL again. Before I leave the subject of the cabin, I should mention that for some reason, you could hear an incessant whistling noise in the cabin, like the wind howling, even though no draft was coming into the room. I don't know what that was about, but it was most annoying. The dining situation on this ship is just unforgivable. The quality of the food is terrible, and the hostesses in the Grand Pacific border on being downright rude. I'm sorry, but I'm on vacation, and I will not have some woman placing her arm in front of me to bar me entrance to the dining room while she yells, "Everyone after here must have pager!" No, this is not the Outback steakhouse, and if this is supposed to be an improvement over the "rigid" or "formal" dinner seatings of other lines, then rigid and formal is starting to sound pretty darn good. Your only option to avoiding a pager is to race against your fellow patrons to make a reservation at one of the restaurants, and then pay extra to eat there. And the food ain't great, people. And you feel worse about it not being great because you have to pay extra money for it. What nerve even the menu in the steakhouse had items that cost an ADDITIONAL amount over the additional amount you were paying to eat there have they no shame? Also, maybe I'm picky, but doesn't sushi generally have fish in it? They had sushi boats on the buffet table that were made to LOOK like they contained fish the ginger slices were rolled up to look like salmon but there wasn't one morsel of fish in any of the pieces. How cheap can you get. Everything was like that faux sushi just ersatz and second rate. You just felt bad. Additionally, going back to the screamy hostess in the Grand Pacific dining room, it seems like you got yelled at a lot on this trip. I mean, there was such disorganization all the time, it just seemed like people were all barking at you. Most of the staff on the ship seem to be acutely uncomfortable speaking English, which is a really problem. They seemed to know a couple of canned answers or responses, but if you tried to engage them any further, they got a panicked look on their faces, like the deer in the headlights. I felt badly, because I certainly couldn't speak their native languages as well as they speak English, but I never before had this experience on a cruise, where the wait staff desperately didn't want you to speak to them, for fear of exposing how little English they could speak. I discussed this issue with the Food and Beverage Director, Mirsad Bucuk, who was actually quite concerned about our displeasure with the dining situation, and he did admit that the language barrier was a problem. I think these people need more training for their jobs, and more fluency in the language. It doesn't seem fair to put them in a stressful situation like that, where people are frustrated about something and they can't do anything to help them. Both parties lose. But I'm sure NCL saves some money by engaging in insufficient training. Embarkation should have tipped me off as to how disorganized this cruise would be. I have sailed out of New York many times, and I never remember such a long, arduous embarkation process. I couldn't believe the lines. I have been on Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Celebrity and even Carnival, and they all did a much better job. Disembarkation was also quite annoying "express", my keister but Royal Caribbean's was also disastrous, to be fair. The shore excursions were overpriced, and not fun. We went on a "clear kayak" excursion in Nassau. The water was so choppy, many people capsized or sank. I refused to go when I saw the water. It just didn't look like any fun, trying to handle a kayak in that. The man running the excursion couldn't believe I would just say no. But I did, and I am so glad that I did. No one seemed to have any fun at all. Plus, there was nothing to see under the water no fish or plant life, nothing at all. It was a dead area. What a rip-off. Also, waiting for buses for the Beaches and Caves excursion in Freeport was totally disorganized. More yelling, more lines, more crowding. And I kept thinking, "For this I am taking off time from work??" In conclusion, if you want a relaxing cruise where things feel genuinely top-rate, I would go for Holland America or Celebrity. They are just such better lines; you feel like you had a real vacation, not like you were ripped off and just endured something. I knew something was wrong when three days into it, I was counting the days to go home. That's just not right. We work hard for our money, and discretionary income for things like this is becoming more and more scarce. So you don't want to blow it by making a mistake. So DON'T go on this cruise line, or at least NOT this ship. Read Less
Sail Date February 2009
We wanted to take a short cruise to celebrate our sixth wedding anniversary over the Lincoln/President's Day long weekend. Being native Californians, we had never tried the shortie cruise that almost everyone in their brother has been ... Read More
We wanted to take a short cruise to celebrate our sixth wedding anniversary over the Lincoln/President's Day long weekend. Being native Californians, we had never tried the shortie cruise that almost everyone in their brother has been on. After 10+ cruises on other cruise lines were we ever in store for many surprises on the Carnival Elation. Cons: Despite its youthful 11 years in age, the Elation really is need of major repairs and upgrades. We had a window cabin which was spotless, however the bathroom sink had many repaired chips, no clothes line in the shower to dry wet swim suits nor usable shelving. The cabin itself had no refrigerator or thermostat to control the room temperature. The enclosed public areas had very little seating unless you wanted to belly up to one of the far too many bars. The Mark Twain Library was a beautiful room for everything but reading selections. Many of the floors in the atrium area were quiet dark and dank. The buffet was not a 24 hour service offering and at times (like right after the first show at night)there were only make you own ice cream cones available. As all the food was pulled in for a midnight buffet setup. The food offerings when present were limited. The main dining room had a food service area right in the middle of the "formal dining" area. Here is where condiments, soups, salads, desserts were retrieved from inlieu of the waiter/asst waiter having to go to the kitchen. Pros: Efficient check in/check out, wonderful chocolate lava cakes in the dining room, very through muster station exercises, the dining wait staff and cabin steward were most Efficient and willing to please. The Carnival staff set us up with 4 other couples at a table for ten. We had much in common and I must admit that dining with them was the highlight of our cruise. We even celebrated the our anniversary with another couple at our table on the same evening. Summary: Would we take Carnival again, I think not. Perhaps we are too spoiled by having been on higher end cruise lines and have come to expect a bit more formality in cruising. If we had never been on a cruise before, I probably would have reasonably pleased with this one. Read Less
Sail Date February 2009
We have been cruising for the past five years, usually aboard Carnival. Up until this trip, which was on the Island Princess, we always had nothing but great things to say about the crew and activities. This shop lacked both. The crew ... Read More
We have been cruising for the past five years, usually aboard Carnival. Up until this trip, which was on the Island Princess, we always had nothing but great things to say about the crew and activities. This shop lacked both. The crew was non-attentive and sometimes rude. They were very good at saying "yes" to your requests, but more times than not they did not give us what we asked for, or just ignored our request completely. We had anytime dining (which I would not recommend)this had to be the slowest dining ever, and confused wait staff. Typically, we went to dinner by 6:30 and did not get out of the dining room until 8:30 or later. When we asked to have a table for two, we were handed a pager and told it would be about 15 minutes. Well, 15 minutes always turned into at least a half hour or more and one time they even scratched off our names without seating us. This entire crew seemed to lack attention to detail and organizational skills. The food was average nothing spectacular stands out to report about. They didn't even serve lobster & filet mignon on formal night. We had an obstructed oceanview room (life boats blocked part of the view). All I can say is unless you enjoy listening to things banging up against the wall at your headboard never accept one of these rooms. While the sleeping area and clothing storage area was accommodating, the bathroom was less than desirable. The shower was sooo small you could barely turn around in it and my husband and I are both average size people. The water was very hot (even when using the temperature adjustment on the lever) there was barely any cold at all, so you jumped in and out as quickly as possible. The activities were geared towards the seniors (many of which were complaining there was nothing to do). Our society is living longer and much more actives lives than years ago. Bingo, shuffleboard, bridge, pottery and crafts, trivia and rated PG comedians just don't cut it anymore. There were NO nightclubs for dancing (well, not at least that played music for those aboard from the 70's and 80's). The best night was island night on the Lido deck it was wonderful to have upbeat music and to see those of all age groups having a good time together. However, the band, TREASURE which was featured throughout the cruise seemed to only know so many songs. The repetition also goes for the piano players and string quartet. While we made the best of it, it made for an extremely long 10 days (especially those 4 days at sea). PS: If you are gluten free; like I am lets just say it was slim pickens and not a great deal of accommodation. Read Less
Sail Date March 2009
I was gravely disappointed with this cruise on the Navigator of the Seas with Royal Caribbean on March 18th. It started from the time I called Royal Caribbean to learn they did not rent wheel chairs while aboard the ship. I was ... Read More
I was gravely disappointed with this cruise on the Navigator of the Seas with Royal Caribbean on March 18th. It started from the time I called Royal Caribbean to learn they did not rent wheel chairs while aboard the ship. I was trying to get one for my mother who was traveling with us and has Multiple Sclerosis. Then I found out as we were on the ship they did have Royal Caribbean wheel chairs, we saw them quite frequently aboard the ship. I can not understand why they told me they did not have them when I called and no they did not tell me they where out for that sailing. It was a direct "no" we do not rent wheel chairs. So my mother spent most here time in her cabin without a wheelchair. I was extremely disappointed with everything on the ship. They served the same food in the Windjammer for breakfast and lunch everyday of the week. Breakfast I can understand, but not lunch!! I have never had that even cruising three times before with them. I went on my first cruise on Carnival in December 08 and was quite impressed with them compared to this cruise. They had a wide variety of food everyday and it was never the same. Who wants to eat the same food over and over? Carnival even offered FREE Sushi on there three day cruise. On past ships with Royal Caribbean they have the Seaview Cafe that offered chicken wings, onion rings, and a variety of other options. They do not have that on their newer ships. Instead they give you Johnny Rockets and charge you a fee of 4.95. How much more greedier are they going to get? My experience with dinner in the formal dinning rooms was not as well as expected. Our service was terrific but the food was mediocre. We were told they do not offer lobster on there 3 or 4 day cruises. On my recent three day Carnival cruise we had lobster, plus paid much less for the cruise itself. Even the shows on this cruise were only average, the shows on Carnival for excellent actually incredible compared to this cruise. They have also changed there delivery policy on alcohol. They use to deliver it to your room on the day before departure. Now you have to pick up you alcohol the day you depart. I guess they don't think you have enough to do on departure day. I asked the two men working "how am I going to pack it if my luggage is already packed up and gone". The two gentlemen looked at me like I don't care that is your problem. We all know the reason they started this policy is greed again. They want to make sure you buy their watered down drinks, so they can make more money off of you. We also noticed on departure day a few people in are area alone that had forget to pick up their alcohol. One person had been waiting over an hour for them to bring it out to her. Royal Caribbean is not looking out at all to what could make your departure easier. I booked this cruise for ten of us and one person who went with us had only been on Carnival ships. She had cruised with Carnival about fifteen times and I had raved so much about Royal Caribbean I was embarrassed by the end of this cruise. She won't be going back on a Royal Caribbean ship ever. In short the comparison from this four day cruise on Royal Caribbean compared to the three day on Carnival. Which, this is something I never thought I would say Carnival well surpassed by expectation. I don't believe I will be traveling on Royal Caribbean anytime in the near future. I hope everyone reads this and it helps make your decision if you are considering a cruise between the two. Please don't make the same mistake. Remember you are on this cruise with no other food but what they serve you and I don't think anyone wants to eat the same thing over and over!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2009
The food was okay, at best. The port stays were abysmal, and not as long as noted in the itinerary...in Nassau we only had about 3 1/2 hours. The staff were often rude, with some bright exceptions. Lack of concern or support in receiving ... Read More
The food was okay, at best. The port stays were abysmal, and not as long as noted in the itinerary...in Nassau we only had about 3 1/2 hours. The staff were often rude, with some bright exceptions. Lack of concern or support in receiving and solving issues. This is true both on the ship and at the MSC Cruises head office. Lots of rules that never actually did anything...like the disembarkation number for the shuttle boat, they never actually checked it and when our group got inadvertently split up we were told the number didn't matter, we could get on any boat to port we wanted. The shows were pretty good, except for the sound system that ruined the Opera night. The ship is very, very clean. We travelled with some great friends who made it easy to laugh at all the crazy things we were subjected to. Our trip was booked in a fairly large group, although we only knew 3 other families in the group. Several members of our group purchased a "forfeit" drink deal that our agent had worked out when booking the cruise. We arrived at the port around 3:00, were on the ship quickly and settled in to have a cocktail while we were waiting to leave port. We noticed that the bartender was rude...but our excitement over came that. The bartender noted the sticker indicating our drink deal on our card, but asked us to sign a room charge slip any way. When questioned he said that it would all be taken care of later. Several drinks later we started to hear rumors that there was a problem with the drink package. We resolved to go to the information desk the next morning to find out what the issue was. At the desk, we were told that there was a problem with some people paying for the package. We had the credit slip to confirm our payment and were told not to worry. But all day we kept hearing more and more rumbling. As it turns out, the department that deals with drinks on the boat determined that a bad deal had been made and they were not going to honor the original agreement. After several visits to the desk, we were told that they would honor the deal on a limited basis and that we would be expected to pay for day one's drinks. The deal cost $398CAD, fairly substantial, so we were not very happy with this. We asked several times to speak to the head purser and were told at first no, but when they figured we would not go away we were told they would call with an appointment. That call never came. The food was mediocre at best. I have read comments that rave about the food, suggesting that those who don't like it are too used to Olive Garden Italian food. I can tell you that is not the case. The food is mediocre, generally not hot, definitely not Italian cuisine. Often, the pizza was the best option, though it was frequently burnt. Also, many of the "salad" dishes on the lunch buffet looked like they were actually made up of left overs from previous meals. Our dinner waiter was lovely and very attentive. Several times he went to herculean efforts to provide us with food that was actually cooked properly, but to no avail. Steaks were never delivered as ordered. Vegetables were often cooked to mush. Desserts...well, lets just say that the only bright spot is the gelato served on deck that you have to pay for. On the 2nd gala night he attempted to bring us a lobster that was not overcooked and tasteless...brought 3 plates of lobster over in an attempt to get the least overcooked. His attempt failed and I ended up eating the last one because I felt sorry for him. The port stays were very frustrating. None were long enough to truly enjoy where you were or do any exploring. Best bet: Antigua, pay one of the taxi drivers to take you to a secluded beach. They will take you to a beautiful beach where they have an arrangement with a friend and it will likely have a drink/meal hut with very friendly service and a clean stretch of Caribbean post card beach. Many staff members were cold bordering on rude, and some where outright rude. And, if they think that they can make jokes and disparaging remarks about guests on the ship without being understood, they should think twice...many of us speak more than just English! Some of the staff did get real attentive about 2 days before the cruise was finished. One staff member actually said to my husband "don't pay for a Chevette and expect a Ferrari" ! Now really, what does that say about how (at least some) of the staff feels about the ship and the guests on it? We did not pay for a Chevette, we paid for what we thought was a reasonable deal for a new ship trying to gain a reputation. Some reputation. In the library, we asked what the hours were. The response: it changes...okay, but what hours can we come back...the response: when it is open. Doh! The kids programs, while well talked about and frequently noted in the daily events paper, seemed non-existent. Every time we took the kids (11-14) to partake in any of the events noted, there was no one to be found running any thing. The teen get together turned out to be a bunch of teens sitting around some tables in a brightly lit disco. Also, it was near impossible to get onto any of the sports areas, primarily due to lack of equipment. A couple of the kids went down to get pingpong balls for the two tables and they were told it was too late in the day and that there was only one ball any way. I thought our cabin person was outstanding. Until, that is, I found out that other cabins in our group received fresh fruit every day, cotton house coats and a complimentary bottle of wine. We received none of this. Additionally, we were in such a hurry to leave the ship, my husband left his suit in the closet. We would have expected the cabin staff to have turned it in. Over 3 weeks later, having tried for the first two just to get a response from MSC Cruises head office, we were finally advised that they had no suit in their lost and found. In case you think the suit issue is limited to our experience, another in our group whose cabin was at the other end of the ship with a different cabin crew also left their suit on board and they have run into the same issues. The line up at the accounting desk started the day before the ship returned to Fort Lauderdale (actually, the complaint line started way before that!). There were a lot of frustrated and angry people in that line. It was taking about and hour to an hour and a half to review receipts etcetera. Even so, we were glad we spent that time the night before. Some members of our group were doing it the morning of and the scene was even uglier. The icing on the cake was the shuttle bus back to our parking. We were talking about the "adventure" and having a general relieved giggle at what we had just experienced. After about 10 minutes of this, the shuttle driver hollered out "Just got off the Orchestra did you?" We asked how he knew that and he said that he has done that drive for a long time, and for the past 3 months or so, every person he picks up at the end of a cruise who is complaining is coming from the Orchestra. He said he feels bad when he is taking people to the ship because it was too late for him to give the advice to choose another line...in his words..."any other line". I can honestly say, in over 25 years of travelling, sometimes in luxury sometimes not, I have never had a bad vacation. Until now. Luckily the company and some bright spots made up for this ships clear shortcomings. Read Less
Sail Date March 2009
We had 19 people aboard the MSC Orchestra on april 4th. We have all sailed many times before.We have never seen anything like this before, nor will any of us ever sail on MSC again. I guess the best way to sum this up is they made us feel ... Read More
We had 19 people aboard the MSC Orchestra on april 4th. We have all sailed many times before.We have never seen anything like this before, nor will any of us ever sail on MSC again. I guess the best way to sum this up is they made us feel like we were an inconvenience to be on their ship.The answer to every question was no and its not possible.I am well aware that the crew is european, but they must have training classes to be this rude. First of all if you are going to the Caribbean to get some sun and enjoy the pools and hot tubs on board, This IS NOT THE SHIP. They close the entire pool decks, hot tubs, everything at 6 Pm. period. No exceptions. Their excuse was they have to clean them but they didn't do that until 4am. they also have a big screen TV on the pool deck and the ONLY thing that they play on it was commercials for shore excursions. NO cartoons, music videos, shows, movies, sportsetc... At night around 10 pm they would put on a movie.. but thats it. We asked to get the NCAA Championship and the Masters Golf put on it and was told we could watch it in our room. At first they told us that they could not even get the feed for either,while 15 feet away from the pursers desk was a tv with the shows on.Once again a total disregard for passenger enjoyment. The pursers desk was full of assistants who enjoyed telling passengers NO. My niece left her hat up at the day care. I asked the lady at the desk if anyone had turned it in. She checked and said no(their favorite word) then I asked if she could call up to the daycare and see if was still there, Her reply was I don't have that number.I told her that i didn't have it and could she look it up. her reply was again NO. My mattress in our balcony cabin was so bad that wherever you sat on it you sat on springs and rolled into the low spot. I asked for 5 days straight if they could do something about it and again was told NO its not possible!! On the 2 days that we were at sea with 2600 passengers on deck, they had 2 of the deck bars closed and you had to chase down a bar server if you wanted a drink.And once again they closed the pool decks at 6 pm. If you got up out of your deck chair they would put your stuff on the ground and take your chair. not another passenger but the crew. If you left a drink sitting with your stuff or on your dinner table with drink still in it and turned your back your drink would be gone. this happened more times than i can tell you. I had to put my glasses case over the top of my glass to keep them from taking it.when you brought this to someones attention they just did not care.I watched the wait staff run over a toddler with a service cart and never even stop to say they were sorry. And while you are walking through the dining hall or on deck be prepared to get out of the crews way because they will not hesitate to run you over witha tray full of glasses.One actually stopped and pointed that he wanted me to move out of his way when there was an entire deck for him to avoid our group.needlesss to say i finally was fed up with their rude behavior and gave that particular waiter a piece of my mind. That prompted the maitre 'd to ask what was wrong and when I told him his reply was that they are very busy and we should not interfere with they. I politely informed him that the next time one of his wait staff expected me to move out of his way and was as rude as this guy was that he would have trouble removing a tray from a rather unpleasant place. After 3 days i had had enough.I finally told the guest services manager that enough was enough and I was sorry that we have inconvenienced them by being on their ship. The ship and their web site prompts that this is a ship for families and kids. Well there is nothing for the kids to do on this ship. many of the kids were calling the MSC line the MOST SUCKIEST CRUISE but were using a little more crass word. The teen disco is in the adult disco only from 11 pm til 12 pm. after that there was nothing for them to do. which resulted in many teens unsupervised in many different areas of the ship. and from what i saw if they weren't having sex they should of been because their actions were just as blatant.this was in stairways, lounges,on deck and bathrooms. In the arcade only a few games worked. The smaller childrens area was only opened during brief intervals during the day and while they advertise for after hours babysitting it was non exsistant.The whole trip the kiddie pool was empty of water. The play set area was out in direct sunlight so the tubes and slides were to hot for the kids to play on. And once again with the pool deck closed after 6 pm there was nothing for the kids to do. While the ship itself is a nice ship I would only give this crew very little time before the turn it into a nasty place to be. They would walk by dirty dishes,etc.. if someone left their room service plates out in the hall they would sit there for days. We left a empty bottle on our bathroom sink and it stayed there for 3 days.never seen this before on any cruise line. We were up on the pool deck our day at grand cayman, when a older lady feel at the ping pong table and broke her wrist. she had an open compound fracture of her wrist and was bleeding profusely. As an EMT I assisted in securing her wrist and aiding her to the elevators to get her to the infirmary. We dialed the emergency number and the Doctor told us to bring her to them. I informed the doctor of the situation and finally was told that they were on their way. As the older lady went into shock, the doctor came in to the infirmary and again told us to "bring her to me". I asked her to get a wheelchair and she looks at me and asked" Are you a doctor?" finally after raising my voice they brought a wheel chair and rolled her back to take care of her. Then they told the ladys husband and me to get out of the room. I am still covered with blood from this lady and asked if they didn't mind if i washed up first. I also informed them that they were not going to throw the husband out of the room and to get someone there who spoke english. Their entire method of care was just unbelievable. When I returned to the pool deck no one had bothered to clean up the blood from around the ping pong table. there were kids running around it barefoot. I finally convinced a deck attendant to clean it up. What a nightmare. OKAY, I don't think that I have to tell you that i will never sail on this line ever again, even if they offered me a free cruise for my entire family I would turn them down. While I also under stand that cruising is what you make of it and believe me when i tell you that i always make it a good time, this cruise line made it very difficult for anyone to have a good time. The line to remove the gratuities was around 300 people long when i went to settle my account. So when you read these reviews please take them to heart. When I read about the rudeness and lack of caring I kinda ignored them and wrote them off as some people don't know how to have fun... boy was i wrong. If MSC is going to cruise in the Caribbean they will have to learn that they are here for their paying customers and not the other way around. As always I offer to discuss anything here with anyone at any time. Do yourself and your family a favor book with a different line. you'll thank me later. Ports Key west: again arrived early and sailed too early. While I realize that the ports do not want the cruise ships in there late at night there just wasn't enough time to do all that could be done there. Cozumel: always love cozumel great time there at playa mia beach resort. only complaint was the ship started off having two gangways opened and when they realized that too many were using the forward gangway where they were not taking pictures they closed it and funneled everyone into one gangway.this caused a huge back up getting off the ship. Grand Cayman: when we first arrived at this port the ship informed use that the port wanted us out of there by 3 pm cutting short a day that was already going to be a short one. Also there were 4 ships in anchor and when you try to tender in 10000 plus people it causes problems. If you have ever been to cayman you know what i mean they have one tender pier and thats it. Cayo Levantado. Great little island with a fantastic beach... just as cayman 2 ships in anchor and one tiny little beach.. oh well Dining: Food was just okay. not great and not terrible either. service was at best slow and time consuming. About the best thing I can say about this cruise was that they were great at getting you off the ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2009
This was our second cruise. The first cruise was with Holland America. HAL sets the bar higher than Carnival! Embarkation went well. Fast and friendly. The room Steward(ess) was wonderful! She should have been given all of the built ... Read More
This was our second cruise. The first cruise was with Holland America. HAL sets the bar higher than Carnival! Embarkation went well. Fast and friendly. The room Steward(ess) was wonderful! She should have been given all of the built in gratuities the dining staff received. We dined there twice on a 7 day cruise and found service and food to be less quality than Applebees. We had COLD shower on one morning as there was a problem with the valve. It was brought to the attention of the cabin Steward(ess) and it was replaced ASAP. She was GREAT! Rosie's was the place to eat. Great food especially the Fish and Chips on the second level. The pizza served by the adult pool was also great. Overall the staff seemed to be surly. My wife had purchased a coffee card and the two women serving the coffee at the different coffee bars seem to be put out. She also purchased a coffee tumbler. Upon doing so she received a free latte. Later when she finished the drink she found the directions to clean the cup still in the cup. We took it back and received a blank stare from the girl. She eventually offered a fresh cup of joe. She served it with no smile. (She really did not care.) At the beginning of day three we saw some food lying in the hallway by the stairs. On day four the food lying on the carpet was still there. I kicked it further into the hallway. It had been picked up by someone before Noon. Bad weather prevented us from going to Progresso due to waves and wind. I think everyone understood this. However the Captain waited until the last moment to alert the passengers of this decision. Then "Charlie" came on the speaker to alert us to a "FUN DAY AT SEA!" Well that would have been ok except, the next day was a Fun Day At Sea. The Spanish translation was given to the passengers about 45 minutes later. This created quite a stir amongst those no-english speaking passengers. Rightly so. It was Good Friday and many were looking forward to celebrating this day on land at a church of their choice. Then "Charlie" came back on to say that there were no ports we could stop at within such short notice. Even later "Charlie" came on and said each and everyone of the passengers would receive a $25.00 credit. He later announced he had made a mistake and it was going to be $20.00 instead. Later we discovered it would be $0.00. We;ll someone somewhere decided to make Key West a port of call. This was the saving grace for this cruise. A place to go that was real, not made up for cruise ships only. Like Costa Maya. It is strictly a gated open air key chain/t-shirt/shot glass/gold silver market. We had a beach break scheduled. It was great. Excellent beach, boats, kayaks, open bar, transportation. Later upon speaking to someone about the other beach break I discover there were bussed to a piece of land someone bulldozed a wide spot at the waters edge. The facilities were from the local store which was no more than a rusty polebarn. You had to buy drinks etc from the local owner. (He was pretty mad about this beach break.) Speaking of gold an silver, the moron shopping lady that was constantly hawking for the gold and silver business at each and every port. She was hawking it on TV, at the stores, and at a meeting on the ship. I get it, there is gold and silver at deeply discounted rates. I don't know how deeply discounted they can be. But she apparently is being paid by those people she is hawking for. So I assume she is making a good wage doing it. On the next to the third to last day we had signed up for an express checkout. Filled all of the forms out and got out tags for the luggage. That night we were to receive a message confirming our plans and tags. We received different tag numbers and no note. We went to the main desk and soon found out that our airline did not participate in the express check out. I told them Delta airline was listed along with nearly all other current airline because it was listed on their sheet. She disappeared behind that wall only to return with a letter she had just printed saying they were sorry but we could not express check. Well we waited on the disembarkation day to be called. (It went painfully slow) Long story short we arrived at the airport and was asked by Delta employees why we had not used express check as we were signed up for it and should have been there earlier. Delt also informed me I needed to paid for my two checked bags. I told him we had already paid for the bags thru Carnival. He said no we had not. I showed him the itemized bill showing we had. Anyway he summoned the Carnival employee sitting by the window reading a paper. He wrote down a number blah blah blah! We contacted Carnival blah blah blah they will get back with us, blah blah blah.... "Charlie" the cruise director instructed us to give high marks to the Camp Carnival staff for the fine job they did even thought we may not have used there service. I tried to mark down what the wait staff got since we had only dine there twice, because of the service and food. Politely they said that the staff deserved it and blah blah blah..... The ship Valor is laid out so that you cannot, without a lot of planning go from fore to aft or vice versa or find the proper deck without going thru the cigar bar. All in all this trip was not memorable. Like I said, I can have a good time cleaning the garage with my wife. But Carnival is not even worthy of the Wal-Mart crowd. At our stop in Key West we had to go thru immigrations. It went smoothly. They get it, most passengers got it. We received the require punched card and proceeded to get off the ship. It went slow, It went Slow. It went SLOW! It basically and hour and a half for the throng of people we were in line with. That is to say the three hundred in front of us and the three hundred behind us. We took baby steps to say the least. When I got to the point where I could see what the hold was, I could NOT believe my eyes. There was two of the ships security guys, there were two doing this, checking everyone photo ID. I asked a third guy from security with a radio why they were doing this. We all had our sign and sail card punched by INS. Here they were checking photos. They never check photos getting off the ship before. He spoke up and said something to commander id checker and he replied he was check photos. Finally he said something and el security began letting us off after card punchout. We then encountered the photos fools, wishing to take out picture as we arrive in Key West. They were nearly shoved into the waster from this anger building crowd. It was a fire hazard for exit, if someone had a medical emergency they would have been doomed at best. I know all cruises have issues, but this one seemed destined for a comedy of errors by everyone. It was the basic attitude of the crew that ruined it. The few that were good were great. Read Less
Sail Date April 2009
My husband and I cruise every year, sometimes twice. It is the best way to relax. NO worries, great food, excellent service and best way to see all the islands. I can go to the spa, my husband can read. He can scuba dive and I can tour and ... Read More
My husband and I cruise every year, sometimes twice. It is the best way to relax. NO worries, great food, excellent service and best way to see all the islands. I can go to the spa, my husband can read. He can scuba dive and I can tour and play at the beach. The best option for couples who like different things on vacation. Our preferred cruise line is RCCL. We have always wonderful experiences on RCCL ships. This year when booking our cruise, we found that RCCL was much more expensive than in the past. For the last few years, our travel agent has tried to get us to try Princess Cruise Line. The identical itineraries for both lines usually are within a few hundred dollars of each other. But this year, RCCL nearly doubled the rate on Princess. So, we trusted our agent (who has never tried RCCL), and went with Princess. We sailed out of FLL on the 10th of April aboard the Crown Princess for a 7 night to Eastern Caribbean. We had talked extensively about not comparing the two lines and just going to have a good time. This proved to be nearly impossible. My first impression of the embarkation was not good. The lines were not long, which was nice. We were told to go to any window, no matter what deck, and anyone could help us. We did just that, but no one came to help. After 20 minutes of standing in a line in front of the counter, a worker said, "Go to another line, no one is at that one." At least 5 people were standing behind the counters doing nothing but complaining about someone putting the cards in the wrong place. After moving to another line, we were given our cruise cards and were off to board the ship. As soon as we boarded the ship, we were immediately shoved into an elevator and asked what floor. Literally. We walked on board, turned to the left and a staff member said, "This way," and put us in an elevator. We had to go to our stateroom first. We were never given the option to pause and look around or even wander the ship a little. We stayed on Caribe, deck 10. Stateroom was smaller than what we were used to on RCCL. Although the closet was much larger on the Crown, it did not make up for the mediocrity of everything else. One very small desk with 2 drawers, terrible lighting and directly next to the balcony door was the only thing other than the bed. A small fridge with a shelf above for the TV was on the opposite wall in the corner. We had 2 outlets in the whole stateroom. They were placed so close together that if something was in one outlet, it blocked the other. Terrible engineering. Bathroom was the smallest of any ship I have ever been on. Shower? I am small framed woman and it was cramped for me. Very disappointing. On to the best part of the room, the balcony. Our balcony was huge. We were very happy! It held 4 chairs and a table. Two of the chairs even reclined. My husband commented that the huge balcony made up for the terrible room. Well, that was until we looked up. I had not been made aware of the "staggered" balcony concept. We could see everything on the balcony below us and everyone from anywhere higher than deck 10 could see everything on ours. Whenever a deck above us was cleaned or even the stateroom above ours, the excess water fell directly onto our balcony. We could not lay out without getting wet from somewhere above. So, huge balcony was worthless. The door to the balcony did not seal well. All night long the wind whistled through the cracks. The ship creaked and made noises all night long. By the third night, I had to buy earplugs just to block out the noise from the ship. Keep in mind that on RCCL, we sleep with our balcony door open every night. I have never been on a ship that made so much noise! Without going into major details, (it would take 4 pages), the food was terrible! It was not even up to par with Sizzler or a buffet. Any steak came well done, despite asking for medium. A filet mignon was more like a cheap round steak, drenched in a terrible sauce. Salads were mediocre. On our first night, I asked the waiter for steamed broccoli every night. He said no problem, but it never came. Our friends asked for lemonade with dinner. We were told no lemonade in the dining room! On any other ship, the waiter would have gone to whatever part of the ship and found us lemonade. I would like to say that poor service was the exception, but I would be lying. It was ship wide. Everyday we had breakfast and/or lunch in the Horizon Court (buffet). The food was worse than a hospital cafeteria. Very few choices and the same everyday. It was crowded and no rhyme or reason. The butter was on the salad bar, but 3 islands away from the bread. Try getting ketchup. One bottle for the whole buffet! When we asked for a soda, most times we were done with our food before it came. The service was terrible, at best. Never a "My Pleasure", a standard on RCCL, or anything of the like. The workers seemed rude and mad to have to work. I suppose it's because Princess automatically charges your pass for tips, so they get a share not matter how crappy the service. I asked our waiter if he had ever worked on RCCL. He said, "No Way!" He told me how staff came to Princess from RCCL. They left RCCL because it was too strict and too many rules. When they would come to Princess, they felt like they had hit the jackpot. Well, I suppose all of the rules and strickness of RCCL translates into well-mannered staff and excellent service. Entertainment? What a joke! The Princess Singers and Dancers were the most unprofessional of any show, including Vegas, I have ever seen. Male dancers tattooed all over and nipple rings. Really? You can't take your nipple rings out for your shirtless dance? The production was random, inappropriate, and worse than a high school musical. A fabulous comedian was featured. He was hilarious without being vulgar! Nice change. One port day, all of the ATM's were not working. We asked the Purser's desk what we could do? We were out of cash. He said to find an ATM on land. Problem, we needed to take a taxi from the port in St. Thomas to get into town. He looked at us and said sorry. Not an offer to let us cash a personal check or even charge our pass for $20 to get us enough money to get to a bank. I could go on and on about the disappointment of Princess Cruise Line. I can guarantee that this will be our only time on this line. Even if we had a free cruise, we would not go on Princess ever again. The parts we love most about cruising, (staff, service, food) were absent. Not to mention that they nickle and dime you do death! Charge for ice cream and $10-$20 to use the adult pool! Plus, any of the little bakeries or tappas stands around the ship charged money! Ridiculous. We will cruise again later this year, but will go back to RCCL! The money we saved by doing Princess was not worth the quality of the trip. You get what you pay for. The name "Princess" does to fit, it should be more like "Ugly Step-Sister". Just say "NO" to Princess. Read Less
Sail Date April 2009

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