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Cruise Ratings
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
This was my second cruise with Carnival, and we had a great time as expected. The service was outstanding. Most of all we want to give a shout out to several crew members: Thuthisa and Sanja-servers in the Saphire dining room, ... Read More
This was my second cruise with Carnival, and we had a great time as expected. The service was outstanding. Most of all we want to give a shout out to several crew members: Thuthisa and Sanja-servers in the Saphire dining room, Glenn-server at the Red Frog Pub, and Arnata-our cabin host. These folks truly made our trip such a delight; we will deeply miss seeing them, and we will cherish all the memories of the laughs we shared night after night. I am not a big snob about decor so we can sum it up as clean and beautiful. The food was good. We stuck to eating mostly in the dining room, but we also tried Guy's burgers a few times, and we have no complaints. Carnival ships are all about having fun, and they do a great job of giving you the opportunity to stay engaged. As far as the cruise ports... I hated Jamicia. The Montego Bay port runs a racket for duping tourists. We asked for a cab to take us to Doctors Cove and were shown to a small bus that charged 7.00. Once on the bus and driving, we were informed that we would not be going to Doctors Cove. Instead, they were offering for 11.00 more than the 14.00 fair to a souvenir shop and back, they would take us all around to several places so that we can experience Jamicia to the fullest and we would also go to a "much more beautiful" beach than the crowded tourist destinations. At this point, you were already stuck paying 14.00, so it didn't sound so bad. What ended up happening was we stopped at a shop with a bunch of crap made in China, drove halfway up a driveway and looked at a former plantation house (but we never went up to the house), sat in a hot, crowded bus as we went through a part of town that was not safe for tourists, and ended up at a beach that we had to pay 5.00 each to get in and had broken glass everywhere and garbage strewn about. I highly recommend you book a cruise excursion. You've been warned. The Cayman Islands If you like to shop, this place is for you, but the island dollar is worth more than USD so prepare to pay a bit more for your souvenirs. The snorkeling part of our Pirate Boat excursion was canceled due to high winds, but we made the most of the open bar and had a good time nonetheless. Cozumel We had the most fun here. The locals are friendly, there is a lot of stuff to explore around the ports, and we booked a private excursion of horseback riding for over two hours through the jungle and to Mayan ruins. I can't wait to revisit Cozumel. Overall, I have no complaints about the ship or Carnival Cruise lines. As for the ports, we should have booked more excursions. Lesson learned. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
This was our second Carnival cruise. First one was almost 4 years ago and I am so glad they improved on the embarkment and disembarkment. Before, they use to snap pictures of people when trying to get off the ship at ports right on the ... Read More
This was our second Carnival cruise. First one was almost 4 years ago and I am so glad they improved on the embarkment and disembarkment. Before, they use to snap pictures of people when trying to get off the ship at ports right on the gang plank. Now, they moved that to the dock, much better and disembarkation went so quickly going on and off. We did have a 2 hour delay getting on in Miami which was crazy and no one ever explained to us what was going on, but you're on vacation and away from the snow so no big deal standing in the sun in Miami for us Canadians. We had a balcony and it is the only way I have cruised so far so can't compare it to anything. Room was the usual small cabin/comfy quarters but how much time does one spend in their room, right? The cabin steward kept our room clean and lovely towel animals. Use to get chocolate on pillows but didn't get any this time. We went to Grand Turks, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts and St. Maarten - Puerto Rico is still my favourite place. Saw damage from hurricane's in PR but especially in St. Maarten. So sad. The planes are returning to St. Maarten. Did not do any excursions on this trip so can't recommend. Entertainment was good. Matt the Entertainment Director was great, very funny. The staff on the ship work very hard and are always so polite and friendly. The ship is kept very clean considering there are thousands of people on it. Dining, Buffets and Food: I am a plant based vegan and that was impossible on the ship unless I only wanted to eat salad every meal. I started eating vegetarian on the ship, which also was harder than you would think given it is 2018. In the dining room one evening, I was about to order the tomato soup as a starter but my waiter informed me it was made with "chicken" stock. Seriously! Then whenever I found stir fry at the buffet, it had chicken or shrimp or both. Only once I found it with just veggies. I went to the asian place for lunch and ordered a veggie stir fry and it was good, although very small. I found the selection of food anywhere on the ship terrible if you were vegetarian and for get it if you were vegan. Family I was with had lobster one night at dining and the lobster was mostly raw. I think for the amount of money I paid (and for Canadians, we also have to fly to a port), the food should be better with options that are not ALL meat, cheese and dairy. And if you make a soup that contains no meat like vegetable or tomato, use vegetable stock to make it not chicken. So many of the various salad options were loaded with mayo ... vegans don't do ANY dairy. I have to say, I was very disappointed in the food. I expected better. I contacted Carnival prior to going and mention I was vegan/vegetarian and they said talk to my waiter. One night in the dining room they made me a special meal, two pieces of broccoli, over cooked asparagus and two hunks of not cooked tofu. It was disgusting. Carnival, you need to dedicate a cook to vegetarians/vegans at meal time. Someone who can make at least one thing completely tasty and healthy. Waterslides - so much fun! Skyride- LOVED it! Summary: for us, cruising is so expensive when you take in account the airfare to get to a port, cost of the cruise, all the gratuities, extras for decent coffee or a drink and then all the expenses when you go off at various ports. I think it is cheaper to go to a resort for 2 weeks then one week on a cruise. I also think that since I have only been on Carnival, I will have to research the other cruise lines to see if they have vegan/vegetarian options that Carnival just does NOT have. If so, my cruising dollar will go to the line that does. I'm not going to neglect my health just because I'm on vacation. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
The entire vacation was great. The employees really looked like they enjoyed their jobs and made sure that we were having a great time as well. I saw nothing during the entire trip that was bad, negative, or couldn't be done. I was amazed ... Read More
The entire vacation was great. The employees really looked like they enjoyed their jobs and made sure that we were having a great time as well. I saw nothing during the entire trip that was bad, negative, or couldn't be done. I was amazed at the condition of the ship after being 15+ years old. Hope to go again real soon, and have no other cruise company to choose from other than Royal Caribbean. Thank you to Junlee and Rex for their outstanding service at dinner every night, and Rex for his service in the morning at the Windjammer buffet breakfast. Also, to Bintang for keeping our room clean and in order 2-3 times a day, and the funny towel sculptures he left on our beds. It showed us how much he really enjoyed his work in pleasing us and helping us have the best possible vacation adventure with Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
Our friend who is a regular cruiser has been saying for years we must go on a cruise, but it wasn’t something that particularly appealed to us. Anyway after watching lots of cruising TV show we warmed to the idea and booked MSC ... Read More
Our friend who is a regular cruiser has been saying for years we must go on a cruise, but it wasn’t something that particularly appealed to us. Anyway after watching lots of cruising TV show we warmed to the idea and booked MSC Divina for our honeymoon, and are so glad we did! We absolutely loved it, even though it started off with bad weather - we love the sun, and normally if the first couple of days of a holiday have bad weather it sets the tone for the rest of the time away, but I spite of that we still loved it. Whilst we don’t have any other cruises to compare it to, what it has done is made us want to book again, so we must have enjoyed it. I don’t like to think of us as hard to please or very demanding, and on the whole we enjoyed everything about it. We had an issue with priority boarding in that we awerent give it, even thought it came as part of our package - got it sorted out but wasted maybe 45 minutes waiting around in the terminal. The staff there were either very good or very bad, but I don’t think that is something MSC can control. As first timers I think maybe they could explain things a bit better, such as getting in and off the ship. We felt a little lost at times, but are perfectly capable of figuring things out - I question whether maybe some passengers would just get on with it and figure things out like we did, so perhaps a little work is need there, Regarding food, this seems to be one of the main areas where there is criticism and I understand this, it wasn’t the best. For us, it was fine. Food isn’t really a huge issue fo is, as long as we can get something to eat. I would say it was probably average, selection wasn’t always great wherever you had dinner and not always as hot as it could be, but equally was too hot at other times. Definitely an area for improvement, but by no means a deal breaker for me. All said, it was a fabulous experience and I wouldn’t hesitate to go on Divina again! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
This was our 5th Cruise with Azamara and cruising down the West Coast of Australia is the wrong time of year as it is Cyclone season. Although we didn’t come across one there were a few in area both before and after our sailing down ... Read More
This was our 5th Cruise with Azamara and cruising down the West Coast of Australia is the wrong time of year as it is Cyclone season. Although we didn’t come across one there were a few in area both before and after our sailing down the coast. Embarkation was a little longer then we have previously experienced as there were torrential rain in Bali and I think everyone wanted just to get onboard and stay dry. It was great to see familiar faces as we boarded handing us a glass of champagne Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
As always, this Princess cruise was chock full of the senior set, which is fine - we're just coasting into qualifying for AARP ourselves, so it's not a problem - we're not party animals by any stretch. The good: The Coral Princess is ... Read More
As always, this Princess cruise was chock full of the senior set, which is fine - we're just coasting into qualifying for AARP ourselves, so it's not a problem - we're not party animals by any stretch. The good: The Coral Princess is one of their smaller ships, which meant we developed more friendships with people than on larger ships, which was nice. Likewise, we got to know more of the staff members on a more personal basis. The ship is able to go through the Panama Canal (only just, it squeeked through) and it's amazing to watch. The activity tours we went on were amazing (ziplining in Costa Rica, swimming with stingrays in Grand Cayman) but the walking tours (Gautamala, Cartagena) were really bad (how much will you buy, rich American tourist? Oh, yeah, there's a bit of history here, but let me show you where to spend your dollars...) My advice: do the activities. Serious fun. You do NOT need to be in fabulous shape to do them. It's okay to be chubby and wheeze a bit. You do need to be willing to laugh and feel a bit ridiculous. You will make the BEST memories if you do. We stayed at the Ft. Lauderdale Renaissance Cruise Ship Terminal, and it's literally right next door to the terminal. This does NOT mean you can stay there then walk to your ship, but it does mean it's an easy Uber/taxi ride. I would not walk it - it must have been a good 2 miles considering we had to drive all the way around the port to get to the ship. It's a decent hotel and we were able to Uber from the airport to the hotel, then walk over and get dinner from Chipotle next door. It made getting on the ship the next morning stress free. We're a lesbian couple celebrating 25 years together and despite this being an overwhelmingly straight, elderly demographic, we felt nothing but welcomed and accepted, which was the best thing ever. The bad: "Anytime Dining" on the Coral Princess apparently means line up at 4:45 or you won't eat until 7:00pm - and those old folks are SERIOUS about getting din-dins on time. Don't be messing with their meals. It's worse than third grade recess with line-cutting. One person will stand in the line and 42 people will walk up and join them before the doors open. The Universe Lounge has movies and production numbers, but the balcony level is awful to be watching anything - there's multiple safety bars. No idea why they don't put in plexiglass instead so people can actually SEE what's going on. There's less food selection in the Horizon Court than the larger Princess ships - a LOT less. I found that really disappointing. Same ol', same ol' every morning for breakfast. The ugly: Sales, sales, sales. I imagine it's the same on all cruise ships - we haven't been for a couple of years, and wow, it seems like they're selling at every turn. Most conversations seemed to start with "You want to buy..." Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
This was my first Atlantis charter gay cruise. I was leery about the size of the ship, but I never felt it too large. There are so many areas to hang out, lots of smaller eating venues, that usually there were no lineups. I particularly ... Read More
This was my first Atlantis charter gay cruise. I was leery about the size of the ship, but I never felt it too large. There are so many areas to hang out, lots of smaller eating venues, that usually there were no lineups. I particularly enjoyed the calm and quietness of Central Park, with the lovely Park Cafe - a good spot for breakfast (hot sandwiches but no omelette station here) or lunch (soup and salad, either prepared or made to order) and a hot sandwich choice too. There was even hardly any lineup for Guest Services towards the end of the cruise! The regular RCL show Grease was really good and the ice show 1887 was phenomenal; Columbus the musical was a piece of fluff, but it was supposed to be a parody. The parade down the Promenade would be enjoyable for families. Overall, I enjoyed this size of ship, even without partaking in all of the special activities like mini golf, the Abyss slide, the water slides, the rock wall, and probably others I have forgotten! This would be a great ship for families, with lots to do for all! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
BACKGROUND: Took my mom on this cruise. It was #1 on her bucket list to travel to Australia. I’m 50 , she’s 71. We chose this 12 day cruise based on itinerary, not cruise line. It covered South Australia including Tasmania ... Read More
BACKGROUND: Took my mom on this cruise. It was #1 on her bucket list to travel to Australia. I’m 50 , she’s 71. We chose this 12 day cruise based on itinerary, not cruise line. It covered South Australia including Tasmania and was round trip from Sydney. I normally cruise on Silversea but have also cruised one time each on RCCL, Paul Gauguin, Celebrity and Azamara. HOTEL: We stayed for 3 days pre cruise at Hotel Intercontinental which is a fantastic location and beautiful hotel. I have been to Sydney 4 times and this was by the best location. Circular Quay really is the heart of Sydney and is the easiest location to venture to other parts of the city. Definitely will stay here again or Marriott which is also right there as well. EMBARKATION: very easy. Porters met us as soon as we exited limo. We went inside, filled out health questionnaire and proceeded to desk to check in., No lines, very nice staff. In a matter of minutes we were on board. FIRST IMPRESSION: I had low expectations honestly . Having read cruise critic before trip and I had googled photos. But much to my dismay, the pictures I had seen actually made it look nicer than it really was. I knew it wouldn’t be modern and shiny like Silversea and Celebrity but was shocked the second I walked on. It was terrible. Ugly dark blue carpeting, with bright red accents and the lighting was literally yellow with ugly brass sculptures and trim. I know this ship was built in 2006 but cant imagine it was even stylish back then. We made our way to deck 6 and as we walked aft to our room , I couldn’t believe how ugly even the hallway was. Ugly wall covering, peeling in most places, cabin doors that looked like cork and ugly blue funky carpeting. My heart sank..The ship is so dated and worn. I know it’s going in to dry dock for a refurbishment in May....but I’m not sure HAL will do enough to make this ship really competitive in the industry. There are so many new ships out there and ships being remodeled, I would think HAL must be losing ground. I noticed when I got home they are advertising a lot and wonder if they are beginning to have trouble filling up ships with all the stiff competition out there. CABIN: See below on cabin review...but we had a Neptune Suite 6177. LOVED LOVED the huge wraparound veranda. DINING: i prepaid 6 specialty restaurants ,,,3 for Pinnacle and 3 for Canaletto. I was happy to find out that we had the same 2 top reserved for the whole cruise in the Main Dining Room . I dont know if that is normal, a suite perk or our travel agent set it up for us, but it was a lovely surprise. I loved the food on this cruise. I thought it was better than Celebrity and not too far off from Silversea. There were lots of choices every night. After eating one night each in Canaletto and Pinnacle, we decided that although very good, I dont think they are worth the upcharge as the MDR was so good and I dont think they were better than the MDR in my opinion, so we canceled the remaining reservations at specialties. We also had very good service in the MDR>. Loved our waiter and asst waiter and we felt the service was quicker in the MDR and a bit slow in Pinnacle and Canaletto. I dont like to linger at the table for hours on end during dinner, so I appreciated the quicker service in the MDR. Every meal I had was good (except room service). The only thing we didnt like at the restaurants was a ginger chocolate cake one night for dessert. Had no flavor, seemed a bit “wet”...just blah. It wa like a major ingredient was left out . We only ate at LIdo Buffet twice as I hate buffets. We did salads for 2 lunches and they were good. LIdo Buffet dining room was always packed and hard to find a place to sit. Decor looked straight out of Golden Girls episode. ROOM SERVICE: Definitelly needs improvement. Without going into detail on each item we ordered....just seemed like it lacked someone doing quality control. Missing or short ingredients in salad, food not to temperature, omelette bathed in butter/oil, only hot milk brought for cereal, Every time we got it, we were disappointed. Fortunately, we had access to Neptune’s Lounge and there are always snacks and sweets there all day long. ENTERTAINMENT: I dont normally like cruise ship entertainment, so i didnt go to any shows , so I cant really comment . I can only say that friends I made on the ship didnt have anything good to say about the shows. SERVICE: Noordam really shined here. Everyone from our cabin stewards, to our waiters, to bartenders etc, were all excellent. Everyone was so nice and friendly and even though it’s a larger ship than what I m used to, i was surprised at how many workers knew my name and used it frequently. The only place where employees werent friendly was Explorations Cafe....I felt like I was in the “soup nazi: episode of Seinfeld. Order quickly then move down counter to collect your coffee and pastry. They didnt smile, didnt seem like they enjoyed their job, seemed annoyed if you didnt know what you wanted right away. OVERALL: It was such a mixed bag of experiences. While I loved the service and the food and the passengers were pretty social (unlike Silversea sometimes). The dreariness of the ship tarnished the experience. I loved the pool aft, big open space and never crowded. I never did the midship pool because it seemed like every time I walked through it, the roof was closed and they were doing some type of sidewalk sale from the shops and there were tons of people clogging up the space and being noisy. I loved that HAL has happy hour from 4-5 and 9-10. The bars were packed and a lot of fun and dare i say a great value for dinks on a ship! I got 2 gin and tonics or old fashioned s for $11 total including gratuity. Celebirty is outrageous...so I was very pleased. SPA: so while i dont do spa treatments on cruise ships as I think they are way too expensive, my mom loves pampering herself and so I encouraged her to enjoy. What I will say is that on day one, we did a tour of the spa and fitness area and was totally turned off/irritated. There was such a hard sell on this ship like I have seen on no other. I dont like when they wont take no for an answer. I had to get pretty curt in order to overcome their hard core selling pressure. My mom did 5 spa services and after the first one , she came back to the cabin with hundreds of dollars of unneeded and overpriced products. She’s very soft and easily influenced and the spa crew definitely knew her number. I was furious...feeling like they take advantage of an older person. GYM: old equipment and too small of a free weight area. PORTS: SYDNEY...MY FAVORITE CITY IN AUSTRALIA...BEEN 4 TIMES, LOVE IT! MELBOURNE: feel like it is overrated. Surprisingly, I didnt care much for it. We did our own thing...lots of locals at port to help with tourism advice. We uber’d Everywhere and it was easy. We did the Royal Botanic Gardens...Amazing!! It’s huge and gorgeous. Probably the best I have done anywhere. Then we went to St Kilda Beach. A great beach town south of town. Beach not as nice as many in Sydney, but clean. The village there has lots of local boutiques, restaurants etc...kind of a funky, hip town. Had a good lunch there in one of the many sidewalk cafes. Then we went to city center for some shopping. Ugh, what a mistake. Felt like just another huge city, with too many cars , people etc....it was claustrophobic....didnt feel like it was unique or interesting. General consensus of my happy hour friends that night was the same....Melbourne was a bit of a disappointment. ADELAIDE: we overnighted here. However, it’s a 45 min train ride into the city, so not as convenient. Train was free that weekend....it isn’t usually, but for whatever reason, that line was free. We loved all the beautiful architecture in Adelaide. It’s a smaller city which I liked and easy to walk. We also did the botanical gardens there which were very nice as well. Shopping is good ...they have a huge pedestrian mall/street there with anything and everything you would want...and lots of restaurants. Seemed to be the hub of the city. . Would definitely go back. PORT LINCOLN: small town of about 15k. Did a ship excursion that gave us a bus tour of the highlights of this fishing village. Then we walked around the town, poked in some shops. Some might not like it since its small and not a lot to do, but i love small towns and enjoyed the slower pace very much! KANGAROO ISLAND: wow....this was probably everyone’s favorite destination. Anyone we talked to , raved about this island. You go here for wildlife. We did a ship excursion..but you could easily do it with a rental car as my friends did. It’s a sparsely populated island and easy to drive around and see the same sights we did on ship tour. Its gorgeous, the seals are amazing, seal lions, koalas, birds , kangaroos etc...it was a very long day, but absolutely stunning and magnicient. PORT ARTHUR TASMANIA: We did a ship tour. It was an eco cruise along the coastline for about 3 hours. It was a wild crazy fun ride. Swells were huge.....but it was such a gorgeous ride. A couple people got seasick...but the rest thought it was exhiliarating! HOBART TASMANIA. We did ship tour here to Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary. They only gave us 1 hour here which was disappointing. Lots of kangaroos to feed and pet. But lots of other Australian wildlife. This place isi great and no one wanted to leave. Then we went to historic town of Richmond....no tour...just dropped us off the bus and gave us an hour to walk around. Town was boring...even the shopping wasn’t very good. My big purchase there was a Red Bull to keep me awake. Once back to Hobart, we walked over the city. REally cute quaint city...in particular the trendy area of Salamanca....beautiful old buildings turned in to cool restaurants and shops...loved it. DISEMBARKATION ...super easy and quick....took the ship arranged bus to Sydney airport for flight home. We had an amazing vacation and loved our trip, our time together, the food , the amazing new friends I met on the ship...just wish it had been on a beautiful ship where I felt more upscale and special. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
1) because my brother and his wife have never cruised before. 2) the price 3) where it was going. 4) because my brother and his wife still like to party. Carnival seems more like a party type atmosphere. The staff was wonderful from our ... Read More
1) because my brother and his wife have never cruised before. 2) the price 3) where it was going. 4) because my brother and his wife still like to party. Carnival seems more like a party type atmosphere. The staff was wonderful from our room steward Wayan to our dinner stall Dede, Ignatius, and Polett. to the staff in cloud-9. spent the day in New Orleans before embarkation. Embarkation went very smoothly ( great job) our cabin 7203 is classified interior, but has a window. It is interior with a picture(walkway view).It was our highest level yet. and a good choice. they do sell out fast. we enjoyed most of our dinning I was disappointed in the main buffet, but like the other 3 buffet or was it 4? guy burgers was very good, the pasta bella was not a buffet, but a sit down where you place an order and drop it off at the head of serving line and then go sit down and they deliver it piping hot as you ordered. a don't miss if you travel on the Dream. Main dinning room was very good. the chef's table was an outstanding experience. It di cost extra, but we thought it well worth it. the shows in the encore lounge were to mush like Vegas style and loud. we like more Broadway style performances. disembarkation went very smooth also. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
I was on the Seaside Jan 13th to the 20th 2018. Excellent service, crew were great...we did have a little issue with the toilet system as many people have written complaints here in cruise critic BUT we must remember that this is a brand ... Read More
I was on the Seaside Jan 13th to the 20th 2018. Excellent service, crew were great...we did have a little issue with the toilet system as many people have written complaints here in cruise critic BUT we must remember that this is a brand new ship... I am an experience cruiser... it is totally normal to have issues on a new ship... overall MSC Cruises puts to shame other cruise lines... their shows are outstanding something I've never seen on a cruise ship. We liked it so much that we are already booked once again in September and October.... we are Diamond Plus and Elite Plus in Royal Caribbean and Celebrity so that can give you an idea how much experience we have.... we are very impressed with MSC... I must admit .. there are a lot of room for improvements but they are working on it.... this is a family owned Cruise Line not a Corporation like the other companies who only care about MONEY... MSC is very generous and flexible with perks and much more... cant say enough in this review... hope you have a wonderful time in MSC once you try it... remember this is an European Rich Cultured cruise line and is very proud of it. I cant wait to go back. Read Less

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