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42 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
My boyfriend and I had never been on a cruise so didn't know where to start when booking. After some research we came across the MSC Seaside and were mostly attracted to the ship as it was brand new. For a couple who have never been on a ... Read More
My boyfriend and I had never been on a cruise so didn't know where to start when booking. After some research we came across the MSC Seaside and were mostly attracted to the ship as it was brand new. For a couple who have never been on a cruise and were slightly wary of cruising the idea of an old weathered ship smelling of stale cigarettes was not what we wanted. So the fact this was the ships third voyage sealed the deal for us. We went with the Aurea package with the whirlpool suite and unlimited drinks. Any couples traveling I would highly recommend this room and package. We were unsure when we booked as it seemed a little extravagant to pay the extra money for a hot tub. BUT, I would say it was the best decision we made, we used it every morning and evening at sunset, it worked with no problems, had underwater lighting, 2 types of pressure and perfect temperature. The hot tub is also situated in a way that gave us the most relaxing view of sunset and the ocean as the ship sailed away. Some nights we spent 2 hours in there! The hot tubs around the ship are usually full of 8-10 people to so to have your own private one really made a difference. Other perks of the package were the unlimited drinks and use of spa. There were no loop wholes with the drinks package as I thought there might be. it literally was unlimited any drink at any bar and restaurant through out the whole ship (except room service for alcoholic drinks) Food - we found the food to be very good, I over heard a lot of Americans complaining about the food (I am an American) I think this is because it is an Italian cruise line so the options were more Euro style which is my opinion is a lot more of a broader selection. No there were not options of endless fried and junk food but instead fresh cheese, ham, fruit pastries as well as all the usual cooked breakfast options, eggs, bacon, pancakes etc etc... Basically if you are looking to gorge of junk food for a week this is not the cruise line for you. The options were endless and certainly enough to please everyone, the quality in my opinion was great, nothing ever ran out, as soon as certain foods were running low a fresh batch would appear. I have read reviews from the first cruise from italy and how bad the food was, I think this must have been resolved before we cruised as there was no way the food could have been described as in anyway bad unless you are reviewing for the New York Times ;) The Korean BBQ restaurant was our favorite, and the Butchers cut. I did not enjoy the seafood restaurant because of course being on a cruise the shell fish has to be frozen, so the crab i ordered had been de-frosted and was soggy. The fish was good but I would always avoid any shell fish on a cruise. Spa was brilliant, 8 different rooms, snow room was spectacular. We had a couples massage booked in with our package which was very good. Didnt use the swimming pools much as they were too cold, the adult only pool is a nice touch as the other pools were over run by children. Gym was very well equiped had more than my gym at home, and not too crowded. My boyfriend got a very good hair cut in the barbers for a good price. Arcade was fun but you have to pay additional which I dont think is correct, this should be included in the package, it doesnt cost the ship any extra to operate a bowling alley or 5D cinema so no reason to charge more, its just a money making scheme which seems harsh considering the amount cruisers have already paid. Seaview lounge was our favorite bar to have afternoon drinks, not too crowded always served quickly and good views of the oceans. Bar and food wise there are more than enough options and neither one was ever too busy even at the peak time we sailed. Staff we all very pleasant and quick with service, especially our dining staff. The only bad service we encountered was the MSC representative at Fort Lauderdale airport, she was actually very rude to us, would not help us we actually ended up getting the address for the port from a Royal Carribean worker, so that was not a great intro to our trip. There also seemed to be a lot of staff lingering around who couldnt actually answer questions, it was a lot of 'you need to go there' or you need to ask this person. The feeling of being passed on to someone else with no resolution seemed too frequent. Room service was very bad too, phones rarely were answered and when they were things either didnt arrive or came 1hr plus late. One evening we wanted to stay in the room and order room service for dinner, after trying to call for over an hour with no response we gave up and went to a buffet. Once someone did answer I asked why it took me 10 attempts to get though and they said it was very busy and they only had 4 phones. Not really a good enough excuse for a boat that holds 4000+ passengers, solution - get more phones - have lingering staff to answer them. Cleaning of the room was very good, always done on time and cleaned twice a day. Entertainment wasn't a big concern for us as we arent big show watchers, The 2 shows we did see were good. only 30 minutes which is the perfect amount of time, some of the dancers were of a very high standard, females I thought a lot stronger than males. Bingo was a lot of fun we played 3 times, I think they should have done more bingo as it seemed to be a big hit. There were always enough parties and things going on in the evening for a young couple no problems there. We stopped in Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Bahamas. We only booked one tour which was the Bob Marley tour in Jamaica, well worth it if you are a Bob Marley fan. Cozumel was the least favorite of our stops, Bahamas was beautiful. Weather wasnt great that week but if it is and you dont want to do an excusion just google the nearest best beach and jump in a taxi from the port. Its worth getting out for a couple of hours. Except Cozumel, unless you have booked an excusion you're best staying on the boat as there is nothing to see there. We got a taxi to a beach and it was full with other cruisers, over prices bad food and drink. Your better to stay on the boat and save the money, there is nothing to experice there. In summary, going into this experience somewhat wary of what a cruise entails we were pleasantly surprised. The mix of nationalities on the boat for us was a real plus, it showed people had flew in from all around the world for this ship. The ship was by far the most impressive we saw on all of our port stops and was very much in envy of the passengers travelling with other cruise lines! If you unsure of weather to book this from previous bad reviews, from what I saw any initial faults were fixed and we had a perfect sailing with very minimal problems, I would definitely sail on the seaside again. Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
To be honest, I was a bit hesitant right before the start of my cruise onboard Seaside by reading what some cruisers posted, so my expectations weren't that high. I have to say that my family and I really enjoyed ourselves. We loved the ... Read More
To be honest, I was a bit hesitant right before the start of my cruise onboard Seaside by reading what some cruisers posted, so my expectations weren't that high. I have to say that my family and I really enjoyed ourselves. We loved the design of the ship, beautiful colors and materials used, very different from other cruises we took on Celebrity, Royal and HAL. Granted, the overall standard of service is not as high as on Celebrity and HAL but then again we paid much less as well plus MSC doesn't have the reputation and experience that the other cruise lines do especially with the US market. I can see they are making an effort though, their menus are more geared towards us than what I saw on Divina and there was much more variety in the buffet. Maybe because we sailed outside of the holiday period where there were much less kids and people in general from what the crew told me, I found the spaces to be quite comfortable, especially the outside decks. Loved having the adults only back deck by the pool on 7 and also the promenade deck on 8 where I could always find empty chairs. Service in the dining room was very good and the food was excellent. I loved the spa, bought a thermal pass and enjoyed all the cool stuff such as the snow room (not too long), the big jaccuzzi pool and the various saunas (steam, hot air). The entertainment was good, liked the cabin (Aurea class) and especially the ability to dine at whatever time I feel like instead of fixed dining times. My waiter was very good and dinner was quick but not rushed. My cabin steward was great also, room was always cleaned on time, loved the ability to indicate when I was out of the cabin to have it cleaned by pushing a button and the light switches on versus the little pieces of paper on the floor that I see on other cruise lines which cabin stewards put in between the doors to indicate if someone has left their room. I think the best is the value for money. I got a much better cabin and paid much less than when I was onboard the more established cruise lines. I would definitely recommend sailing on Seaside. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We chose this cruise first for the itinerary which included southern Caribbean islands we hadn't visited before and the great value. I've previously cruised on Carnival and Princess, and I definitely feel like this ship and Celebrity are a ... Read More
We chose this cruise first for the itinerary which included southern Caribbean islands we hadn't visited before and the great value. I've previously cruised on Carnival and Princess, and I definitely feel like this ship and Celebrity are a step above those two lines. Sailing out of Puerto Rico was also a first for us, and overall this more southern port made access to islands like Barbados and St. Lucia attainable for a seven-day cruise. Embarkation was simple and fast at the Pan American pier. As an Aqua Class guest, we had an expedited check in line, and were through the line at 11:30AM in five minutes from drop off to getting our welcome complimentary glass of sparkling wine. There were a lot of things to love about this ship. The decor and artwork were much more contemporary than any Carnival or Princess ship I've ever cruised, and that's a huge plus to me. While other reviews mentioned that the ship shows its age, I really didn't notice this. It's very well attended. The smaller size made it feel generally less crowded, although the main pool area could get busy and loud on sea days and after returning to the ship. My preference was the solarium with the two hot tubs, thalassotherapy pool, padded loungers, and air-conditioned enclosure. It's quieter here with nice views of the sea and soothing music. Access to the bar was close-- just through the doors to the pool area. The best part about the experience was the overall service level of the staff on this cruise. With small exception, service quality was all five-star. The crew were concerned about how well we liked everything. We had a small problem on the first day with the toilet flushing and on the second day with our sink leaking, but these things were fixed within a few hours. In each case, we got calls to our room to confirm that the problem was fixed and that we were satisfied with the resolution. We even got calls to our room after we had room service deliver our breakfasts to confirm our satisfaction with the food and the order. Our stateroom attendant, Suzannie, was fantastic. She'd visit our room two or three times a day, delivering beach towels for our excursions, dropping off afternoon canapes, getting us our sparkling wine when we ordered it, replacing our pillows with memory foam ones, and even replacing our beach back pack when I requested. Food overall was very good. We dined in Blu almost exclusively and I found the service to be the best I've ever experienced on a cruise and on par with any top quality restaurant on land. We had a team of people to serve us from the manager and hostess Alisa, to our head waiter Roy and assistant waiter Chedli, to the sommelier, to the bar waiter Nathasha, and even the backup staff who'd take away plates, serve us coffee in the morning for breakfast, or bring around the tray of pastries. Food quality was better than I've experienced before, if not Michelin star quality. The food itself looked great presentation wise and tasted very good. My only nit was that sometimes it was a bit overcooked: my ribeye and veal loin both ordered medium rare came more medium. It's good to know that the menu from the main dining room was also available, and we could mix and match from the two menus for any meal. The staff knew us by name by the second day. Room service for breakfast was always on time and great. The room service menu from Aqua Class was better than anything on Carnival or Princess. Made to order omelets, pancakes, multiple types of meats, any type of breads or pastries, juices including fresh squeezed were also complimentary. We tried specialty restaurant QSine on the first night. They were offering a discount of $35, but I waited until later and spoke with someone at the host stand in the restaurant around 5PM and got a discount to $30 per person. QSine overall was fun, food quality was generally great, and service was also five-star. We ordered 10 different options and shared them over the course of about 3 hours which included a break on the first night for the compulsory muster drill in the Rendezvous lounge. When we mentioned that we didn't particularly like one dish, the waiter then talked to the kitchen and got us special courses which weren't even on the menu. The dishes were a lot more circuses than bread, but the experience was amazing. We skipped Sushi on Five because they offered no special deals to eat there after the first night and everything was a ‘la carte. The Tuscan Grille menu, heavy with pasta and red meat didn't appeal to us, either. Fitness in the gym was great. The gym had towels, water and very up to date TechnoGym cardio equipment for running, biking, recumbent biking, and elliptical trainers. It was never crowded. The other passengers were probably just about 6-10 years older than we were on average. I'm 53, and my husband is 55. They were very international with multiple Canadians, Germans, Puerto Ricans, and French onboard. The people we met were the friendliest among cruisers we've ever met. We made great friends! My major disappointment with the ship would have to be the activities and entertainment overall, especially compared to Carnival and Princess. As for enrichment activities, unless you count our beloved trivia, there were none I noticed. We enjoy trivia and played twice. The first time, there was no prize given. We play an Eighties late night name that tune group game in the Revelations lounge one night and this was an exception. We had a blast attending this. As for the evening shows, I would say that the onboard talent was better than Princess or Carnival, but the shows had no cohesive productions. They were basically vehicles for sequential musical numbers which got a little boring. There were two very good aerialists, however. We missed the magician, who I heard was good the first night, but the pianist was boring, the comedian bombed unless you were over 75 years old, and I'm not old enough to want a Beatles or Motown review. The live singers and performers were okay to good, with the best one being the band performing in the Revelations lounge and in the main pool deck on sailaways. The string duo were anemic. Nevertheless, this was an elevated cruising experience for us. I liked it so much, I cancelled a cruise planned for October on the new Carnival Horizon in a Havana cabana, and rebooked to join trailblazer Captain Kate McCue on the Equinox to the ABC islands. I hope my next cruise lives up to this wonderful experience. Celebrity is awesome. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We chose this cruise for the ports of call - St Martin and San Juan, Puerto Rico specifically. When we booked we were advised that these ports were questionable. But we were delighted to see these ports - and to spend some money to help ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ports of call - St Martin and San Juan, Puerto Rico specifically. When we booked we were advised that these ports were questionable. But we were delighted to see these ports - and to spend some money to help the local people. We enjoy this ship very much and the staff and crew work so incredibly hard to provide good service and also keep us all healthy. You guys are all awesome! Off course, there are always people who complain... about everything! If you cruise often enough, (we have done 10 cruises) you learn to pick them out! The entertainment is top notch! What we particularly like about Royal Caribbean is that they don't constantly push the drinks! While lots of choice at the lunch buffet---would like a little more variety (not just in preparation but actual offerings). We would also prefer a little stronger enforcement of the formal night ( maybe reduce to one on a seven day cruise). Suggest it be more than a dress code suggestion! The shore excursions are wonderful and we strongly recommend an excursion sponsored by the cruise line! We will be back! Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Summary This was a fun way to get a quick visit to each of the major islands, while having a constant home base. Food was good but not amazing. Staff was generally very friendly and helpful. Cabin was as expected. Pre-Cruise We ... Read More
Summary This was a fun way to get a quick visit to each of the major islands, while having a constant home base. Food was good but not amazing. Staff was generally very friendly and helpful. Cabin was as expected. Pre-Cruise We booked through Norwegian Directly, and they were very good about emailing with updates and things. One thing I didn't love was that I wasn't able to get an idea of the specific activities (White Hot Party, Fabba, etc) that would have been nice to know about when packing. Also, when I called Norwegian to ask a question about the cruise, the person at Norwegian didn't really have any information about our specific cruise (didn't even realize that two of the ports--Hilo and Kona--were on the same island). We booked air travel and pre-cruise hotel through Norwegian as well, but it was very difficult to get any information about the specific flights, and there was no way to change any aspects of the flights that they picked. I understand that it is part of them scheduling group rates, but the airfare seemed about what normal price would have been, but we had no flexibility in scheduling flights. The flights are made through a separate travel agency (not Norwegian) and they weren't very helpful or friendly when I was trying to get information about our specific flights, and the possibility of staying a few extra days. Also, had a hard time finding out from Norwegian about when the shuttle from the hotel to the ship would be leaving so we could plan the day in advance. Finally, when I called the hotel, they looked up some past times for the shuttle, and was able to get a ballpark idea. The flight itself was a good direct flight, and at a convenient time. Shuttle from airport to hotel was friendly and efficient. We stayed at the Aston Waikiki Beach hotel. It was a solid hotel, and we liked that it was one of the closest to Diamond Head, since we planned to hike Diamond Head early the next morning to watch the sunrise. That hike was AWESOME and I would completely recommend it to those who like hiking. We walked from the hotel to the crater (2.1 easy miles on sidewalk but with a definite uphill trend) then hiked to the summit (0.8 miles moderate to strenuous on a mix of sidewalk, and somewhat uneven trail with a significant elevation gain). Views along the way are very nice, and from the top are amazing. Start early to avoid the heat! It does cost $1 per person to enter the crater. Embarkation Luggage pickup was between 10 and noon and the shuttle left for us between noon and 1 PM. The shuttle process was very smooth, and it was nice not to have to mess with luggage. Check-in was efficient and friendly. They do have limitation on what liquids you can bring on, but we were able to bring snacks and other foods without problem. We were on board by about 2:30 and went to the Aloha Cafe buffet right away. Our rooms were ready by about 3:30. Cabin We had an inside cabin, and it was great for what we needed. The shower was smaller than what we had experienced on other cruises, but otherwise we found the room very consistent with other cruise lines. There was good closet and storage space, and plenty of lighting, including lights right by the bed for easy access. I did wish there was an alarm clock or something else to check the time quickly when waking up in the early morning, but we made do with our cell phones. In the future I will just bring a small clock. Our room steward was very friendly, and did a great job of keeping the room tidied, and providing us with the next day's itinerary. We didn't spend much time in the cabin, so it was actually the second to the last day of the cruise when I finally met him. Dining We mainly used the Aloha Cafe Buffet because of the convenience and time elements. The food was very good in my opinion with lots of options, including fresh fruit, and salad options. I am a vegetarian, and was pleased with the options available to me. The Indian, and Asian food part of the buffet was particularly good. We dined twice in the main dining halls, and once in the East Meets West specialty dining room. The food in the Skyline and Liberty were good, but nothing amazing. Options for vegetarians were very limited, and that was part of why we didn't use it more often. We also felt that the difference in the quality of the food wasn't really worth the extra time and hassle. The service was good but again, not amazing. East Meets West was the best dining experience we had. The food was very good, and the presentation was great. Dining staff was very friendly and helpful. Seating was quick and easy. We did take the advice of another cruise critic reviewer and made sandwiches for the day trips on multiple days. I would recommend that, just bring some ziploc bags if you plan on doing that. Overall, the food was good but nothing amazing. Entertainment We watched the opening preview show, and loved the comedian, and made sure to see his shows during the week. We felt like the general dance/singing crew was decent, but clearly more singers than dancers, and didn't make it to any of their later shows. The magician seemed good too, but we didn't feel like it was worth it to choose his shows over other activities. We did make it to several trivia challenges, game shows, and bingo. We loved each of these that we attended. The cruise staff was outstanding. They did a great job of having good energy, and were funny and friendly. The pool volleyball game with the officers was also a highlight. Fun activity to have. I was impressed with the fact that the cruise staff remembered people from the activities, and would chat with them and us later on the ship. We didn't make it to any of the dance parties, mainly because we were tired after fun days adventuring on the various islands. They seemed like fun though! As I mentioned earlier, it would have been nice if they had sent out an email or something about these beforehand so we could have packed for some of the special party nights. The comic was Michael Somerville, and he was fabulous. Extremely funny and topical without being crass or offensive. Even his 'adult' show was very tasteful, and didn't rely on dropping the F-bomb for humor. Just good solid comic content, and even had a great message. Liked it enough to buy his DVD, and will recommend him to others. Ports and Shore Excursions We didn't schedule any excursions through the cruise ship, since we have been to the islands a few times already. We did have an awesome time though! I will preface this with the following disclaimer. I love adventure type activities. Things that get me out into beautiful natural settings and let me use my own legs to get there are my preference. So, here is my take. Maui Loved the Road to Hana. We rented an SUV for 6 of us (there are shuttles to the airport rental places), and downloaded the Shaka Guide to my phone for the trip. I would say this is a MUST for anyone planning on doing this excursion. Everyone in our party loved it, and asked what other guides the company makes. It provided precise and accurate directions to cool stops on the way, including some less traveled ones that weren't on the commercial tours. Had info and recommendations for everything from bathrooms stops to food to waterfalls. The stories the guide has as you drive made the whole thing fun and even the background music was a plus. It was a great day. My only suggestion is to start EARLY! The Road to Hana is an all day adventure, and isn't something I would recommend driving back in the dark. If you can make it all the way to the 7 Sacred Pools and the lower portion of the Haleakala National Park, I would highly recommend it. If you are keeping the car overnight, there are a couple of options for parking. The safest option is to park overnight in the airport parking. That is $15 for overnight, but is monitored, and you are guaranteed not to get ticketed or towed. It does add 45 mins or so to the process though. You can also park in the shopping center parking lot close to the port. It has signs warning that there is no overnight parking, so there is a chance you could get ticketed and/or towed, but several people on the cruise did it and no one had any problems. The shopping center is within easy 5 minute walking distance of the port. We did Haleakala Summit the next day. The sunrise experience there is phenomenal, but you have to make reservations WELL in advance, so be sure to plan ahead. We used the Shaka Guide again, and loved the stories about the Hawaiian hero Maui, as well as tips for places along the way. Be sure to have warm clothing for the summit, since the temperatures are in the 30's and 40's typically. The summit is almost otherworldly in a barren, Martian planet kind of way. If you aren't into that, then it might not be worth the drive. Other people in our group did the Atlantis Submarine tour and a whale watching tour and said both were fantastic. So, if you are more into those things I would recommend that. Big Island We did this one a little differently to do something unique. We disembarked in Hilo and rented a car (again shuttles to the airport rental places), then stayed overnight on the island to see the lava glow at night. If you are going to do this you do need to let guest services know, and we also notified our room steward to save him the trouble on the room. This was really the highlight of the trip. You can find places to stay in Kalapana (the town that was wiped out by the flow in the 90’s) on Airbnb for anywhere from $70-300. Getting out to where the active flow is involves a fairly significant hike across open lava fields. It is tiring, but for me was indescribably worth it. We literally walked among the active flows, and could get as close as we wanted to it. We poked a stick in the moving lava and watched it instantly disappear. It was unbelievably cool, and physically very hot. We did part of the hike at night, but had headlamps and flashlights. If you want tips for this part of the trip I can give you some in a message. The next day we hiked out to the sea cliffs formed by the flows and saw that end of the process. Another amazing experience. We decided to drive around the north side of the Big Island and hit a few waterfalls along the way. Rainbow falls is super cool, and a very short side trip. Akaka falls is also a neat stop, and there are some cool little shops on the way to Akaka Falls State park ($1/person or $5 per car). The first part of the drive around the north-east side of the island is one beautiful valley with waterfalls after another. If you have the time get out and hike in some of these for some road less traveled fun. In Waimea we stopped at the bright blue food truck offering malasadas and roasted corn. Several locals said they were the best on the island and it did not disappoint! Delicious beyond words! If you have the option, the Kailua-Kona airport isn’t the easiest place to return or pick up a rental car, and there aren’t shuttles to the port. So, you will need a taxi or Uber (each about $20-30) if you use an airport location. In Kona you are also tendered on and off the ship, so leave a little extra time for that. The line gets quite long. Kauai We rented a car (shuttles to airport locations), and this time we made a quick trip to Kailua falls. It is a quick stop kind of thing with very limited parking and not a whole lot to do other than snap a quick photo or two, but it is beautiful. Next we did a group ATV tour with Kipu Ranch. It was a fun excursion, and we got to see several places where movies were filmed and a couple of small waterfalls. You can rope-swing into the river where Harrison Ford did it in Raiders of the Lost Ark. You get dusty or muddy, depending on how wet or dry the day is, but it was more fun than I expected (I prefer using my own two feet to get around generally), and the lunch provided was good. Our guides Kyle and Ryan had a fantastic dynamic, and made it lots more fun that it would otherwise have been. We then drove up to Waimea Canyon, which I would consider a must-see element. Amazing views regardless of whether or not you hike into the canyon itself. You can get spectacular pictures just from the road and the overlooks. If you are keeping a car overnight, there is some good parking close to the ship on the side of the road just after you turn right off of the road to the port. The spots on the road are free, but they do fill up if you are coming in late. You can also pay to park overnight in the shopping center closest to the port. It is $20 for that parking. Kauai day two is a short one, and you have to be back on board by 1:30, which meant dropping off the rental car around 1 pm. We opted to do a zipline tour through Outfitters Kauai. It was a fun time, and the Flyline was a particularly fun element. You lay face down as you zoom above the forest and grasses for over 4000 feet. Kind of a fun twist if you are into ziplines. There are other activities that you can do on the island, but you probably want to stay fairly close to Lihue since traffic can get pretty bad. Na Pali Coast cruise The reason for the early departure on Friday is so the ship can cruise past the Pali coast. This is really pretty spectacular. You get a chance to see the rugged cliffs and beaches of one of the most beautiful places on the planet. You can watch from the decks on the port side of the ship, or if you are lucky you can get a window table at one of the restaurants and watch while you eat. I think the direct view from the decks is better and you might get to see whales (we did), and then you can watch the sunset as you turn back toward Oahu. Disembark Process We had the added excitement of being at breakfast on board Saturday morning when the Incoming Missile warning hit everyone’s phones. There were some pretty freaked out people, and obviously the crew didn’t know any more about it than other people, so disembarkation was delayed until it was discovered that it was a false alarm. The crew did a great job of handling the situation, including bringing extra personnel into the common areas to help with the increased traffic caused by the delay. The disembark was pretty smooth, but it is kind of a hassle to get anywhere from the port if you haven’t arranged transportation beforehand. A taxi to the airport is about $30, and everyone will have all their luggage. There are some rental car places that will provide a shuttle to their location, but none of the airport car rental places have shuttles to the port. Final Notes Overall, we had a really good time, and the cruise really is kind of like a tasting menu of Hawaii. You get to sample each of the main islands, and use your sleep time for traveling. While some of the aspects of the ship itself weren’t quite as nice as other cruises we have done, I think this cruise is all about the time off the ship, and it does a great job of providing that. Parties you might want to pack special clothing for. Fabba-Celebration of Abba music, so bring your most fabulous 70’s digs. White Hot Dance party—all the crew are in all white, so if you want to be extra cool bring some whites. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
I recently booked a vacation on the Ruby Princess and used a travel agent for the booking, our travel agent assured/guaranteed Princess Cruises will do everything to accommodate special diets, this was not the case. Our Travel agent told ... Read More
I recently booked a vacation on the Ruby Princess and used a travel agent for the booking, our travel agent assured/guaranteed Princess Cruises will do everything to accommodate special diets, this was not the case. Our Travel agent told us that they sent Princess a list of our dietary requirements including the various foods items required. At our first dinner sitting there were no Vegan options on the menu and in speaking with the service staff we were informed that the only vegan protein they had available was Tofu. One of my biggest concerns in arranging the booking was that Vegan meals would be provided and there would be a variety of choice, I was extremely dismayed to find that there were no vegan options on any of the menus including the dining room. Further, the only protein source they had available on the ship was Tofu. It is my expectation that when I make a specific request for a Vegan Menu that this be provided. The Anytime Dining and the Buffet did not provide the ingredient list for their prepared items and there was no indication if the various dishes were Vegan or not. I would expect to have available meals that are prepared using organics, healthy oils, no refined sugars, etc. Vegan ingredients for the most part are easy to find and not expensive, alternative protein sources include Tofu, Beans, Lentils, Quinoa, Kale, Hemp Seed, and Chickpeas. As a result of the limited menu, I ended up with essentially the same meals each day, not what I was expecting. Why are there no Vegan dishes on the menu? Quinoa Salad, Chickpea salads, Kale Salads, Bean Salads, Lentil dishes, Chia Pudding, is often available in most restaurants as entrées, why would Princess not also have these available? Customer service by the staff on board the ship was exceptional, if Princess educated their chef and kitchen staff on how to prepare tofu entrées with flavor, quinoa salads, bean & lentil entrees they would open doors to customers that have special need diets as well as ones that choose to eat clean. Vegan entrees should be included on the menu. As well, this could enhance the wonderful vegetable & fruit salads in the buffet. I also would like to comment on the excessive number of sales pitches onboard the Princess, so many talks etc. were just there to sell a product and this was especially true of the fitness center. As an example one of the trainers presented on how to get flatter abs, with the comment that 50% is from Diet and Exercise and the other 50% from a detox product which they would be happy to have you purchase on a monthly subscription. They also stated that we all know about diet and exercise so he would not comment on this. I found this presentation particularly offensive as this information is just not true. There are absolutely no scientific studies that have shown a detox product to specifically result in a flatter abs. Flatter abs will come from diet and exercise alone and the assumption that everyone knows about diet and exercise is also wrong. I am very well educated in diet and fitness and yet know I still have much to learn and any information on this is always welcome. I also booked the Chileno Bay Sail and Snorkel in Cabo San Lucas and was under the impression that we would have 40 minutes of snorkeling time, at best only 15 minutes of snorkeling time was provided. The host were very good, but quite disappointing to have booked a snorkeling adventure and then only have such a limited time in the water. Much of the time was spent watching whales, which is fantastic, but this was a snorkeling excursion not a whale watching one. This was my first time on a cruise ship and I have to say I was quite disappointed with the level of food service provided. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
It's a beautiful ship, the water park is a lot of fun, we enjoyed the food and the entertainment is wonderful! We stayed in the Aurea suite and it was spacious and beautiful! One of the largest bathrooms I have seen at sea! Very ... Read More
It's a beautiful ship, the water park is a lot of fun, we enjoyed the food and the entertainment is wonderful! We stayed in the Aurea suite and it was spacious and beautiful! One of the largest bathrooms I have seen at sea! Very comfortable and functional. For the most part, we found the service in the bars and restaurants very good. We enjoy taking our time at dinner, not being rushed, there was a nice atmosphere and the servers were very pleasant. Only once we waited a bit longer for dessert but it was an exception. I know some complained about the slow service but for us the pace was just fine. We are on vacation and we don't like to be rushed. At the bars they went out of their way to serve us. We traveled with children and they enjoyed it. I will defiantly sail again with this ship, we sailed with the MSC Divina before and we will sail again with MSC Cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Embarked on the 6th of January for a cruise to nowhere, I mean Cozumel. We were taking the trip for the points in concierge class so as to move up to elite in captains club. Food in the MDR was good and the service there was Celebrity ... Read More
Embarked on the 6th of January for a cruise to nowhere, I mean Cozumel. We were taking the trip for the points in concierge class so as to move up to elite in captains club. Food in the MDR was good and the service there was Celebrity standards, room was, as usual, what we have had before, comfortable. Our attendant was always prompt when needed and was our salvation at cocktail,time delivering a cheese and fruit plate as well as the canapés that come with concierge class. If I were to go back to this area of Mexico I would do Cancún, Cozumel seemed like a cruise port and bazaar for the cruise guest, didn’t care for it. Again the Celebrity brand, to me, has not lost any of its luster from the last cruise we were on, a transatlantic last year. Loved the Equinox but it is back on the Silhouette for me. The Top Hat show on this cruise was great, a little odd, but great. All in all a fun trip and cocktails were, as I remembered, delish at the Martini bar. Love Celebrity. More cruises this year, another transatlantic on the Silly, April 15th, so looking forward to it and all the sea days. If you are cruising soon, enjoy! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
This was a 25 person Family Cruise. Very boring and over priced. The Brilliance of the Sea had a very tired feeling to it and it seemed to be all about the tips. The dining room food was not very good. Small portions and not very ... Read More
This was a 25 person Family Cruise. Very boring and over priced. The Brilliance of the Sea had a very tired feeling to it and it seemed to be all about the tips. The dining room food was not very good. Small portions and not very tasty at all. Service was very good at the table but overall the food was very poor in quality and taste. There was only 1 hot tub for adults and it was always full with a waiting line. There was alteration at the customer service area with a drunk person on the last night of our trip and there didn't seem to be any security available at all. When we inquired who was in charge we were told that they didnt know but they managed to get some sort of manager out of bed to come talk to us. We did file a report but not sure what came out of it. I would not go on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Chose this cruise based off of price and date of vacation. There was not much to do for young adults. We were unable to go on our shore excursion and they tried to charge us extra for a supplemental excursion. Pricing was not clear for the ... Read More
Chose this cruise based off of price and date of vacation. There was not much to do for young adults. We were unable to go on our shore excursion and they tried to charge us extra for a supplemental excursion. Pricing was not clear for the Spa. Still had to pay for the entire cruise even though we had to leave early because of maintenance on the ship. Very disappointed with the overall experience. Only positive was the food and comedians on board. The ship is very outdated and it showed. One of the main features is the Casino so if you don't gamble there was not much to do. The ship has a small pool outside and inside. Most of the time the Jacuzzis were closed which was disappointing. We received multiple answers from different members of the guest services staff. This caused much confusion. Overall, I would not recommend going with this cruise ship. Read Less

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