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1,312 Gay & Lesbian Cruise Reviews

This was my very first cruise. I can say I went into it feeling very nervous and overwhelmed. I tried to make sure I had done all my research on all the ports prior to sailing to ensure it was a worry free vacation. We arrived to port ... Read More
This was my very first cruise. I can say I went into it feeling very nervous and overwhelmed. I tried to make sure I had done all my research on all the ports prior to sailing to ensure it was a worry free vacation. We arrived to port at 12pm on a rainy day in Miami only to find a massive line up, in which parts of it left you standing in the rain. It took approximately 2.5 hrs to board the Escape. Upon entering I was blown away by its beauty and pure size- I couldn’t wait to explore! I quickly learned that the lineup I dreaded having to deal with to board would follow me wherever I went on the ship- food, drinks, washroom, you name it. Which quickly becomes frustrating when you are trying to have a relaxing vacation. On our first sail day we went to go to the pool, only to find it was a sea of bodies in the pool and no chairs to be found. Sadly the Escape has a pool not much bigger than the average backyard pool that is somehow supposed to fit +4000 people. I was very disappointed to know I wouldn’t be able to get anywhere close to the pool. Our first stop was Roatan and we chose to do the Jolly Roger Catamaran and Snorkelling. Everything was perfect. The staff were friendly, and very helpful when teaching how to snorkel. And the Reef was absolutely stunning! Second stop was Harvest Caye, Belize. I was very interested for this stop as I knew the island was owned by NCL and operated by locals. We chose to not do an excursion that day and just explore and relax on the island. What I was not aware of is that our food and drink package are not included on the island. 2 daiquiri’s were a whopping $25! It was refreshing to have a large pool to sit next to as this was my first day being able to go in a pool on our vacation. After lunch we decided to go back to the ship as it was too expensive to be buying drinks when we already had paid for a very costly drink package. Third stop was supposed to be Costa Maya but unfortunately got cancelled due to a local strike. In turn we had a half day at sea as they continued onward to Cozumel. Having over 24 hrs in Cozumel actually worked quite well as we were able to do extra exploring and not be in a hurry to get back to the ship. We went and swam with the dolphins and stingray. It was a 5 min cab ride to the aquarium. Overall it was an amazing experience! The highlight of the cruise was the food. Le Bistro was hands down my favourite restaurant. Most of the staff throughout the ship were friendly and very attentive. The only staff member I can complain about was a bartender at the Mojito bar. We went there every night before dinner and he was always straight to the point and we witnessed him yell at various customers. If NCL is reading this, I would say their app is very helpful when on-board and we caught ourselves always referring to it. You can message fellow passengers through it for a very expensive price. I would like to see them change that so you can message your family members on the cruise through the app for free. Overall it was a great trip and I was able to bring home lots of amazing memories. I do feel like I could use some time away from people though. Personally I would not recommend Harvest Caye but Roatan and Cozumel were lovely. If I go on another cruise it will have to be with less people and more pool options. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I was with a tour group of about 300 people. LGBT “bears” (large and hairy men) from a tour operator named “Arno”. This was my second cruise. The first one was at Carnival Pride, with a similar but smaller group called “Daddy ... Read More
I was with a tour group of about 300 people. LGBT “bears” (large and hairy men) from a tour operator named “Arno”. This was my second cruise. The first one was at Carnival Pride, with a similar but smaller group called “Daddy Cruise”. The ship was amazing and huge. Very clean and they had sanitization stations everywhere. Embarkation was quick and simple at the home port and every other one. Leaving the ship was super quick as they just did facial recognition. I hate kids/teenagers. The adult area is nice and in front of the ship. Much larger than Carnival Pride, which is in the back. Only bads: the menu in main dining barely changes the whole trip. They want you to pay for premium dining. Carnival was different every day and very good. So we did. Wonderland was awful, slow, too long. Sushi was ok, but nothing special. Nice gym but no saunas or steam rooms unless you pay. Saunas and steam room were separated by gender and free on Carnival. may be the largest ship in the world but still the ocean is much larger. Last day, the ship was shaking and vibrating and jumping. We got warned in advance but still was unnerving. If you though the size meant it would move less... no luck. The adult area is nice and in front of the ship. Much larger than Carnival Pride, which is in the back. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
My husband found this cruise on Travelocity at a very good price. We have been on 13 cruises but never with MSC. At such a great price, we thought we would give it a try. Boarding the ship in Miami was a breeze. Embarkation was swift ... Read More
My husband found this cruise on Travelocity at a very good price. We have been on 13 cruises but never with MSC. At such a great price, we thought we would give it a try. Boarding the ship in Miami was a breeze. Embarkation was swift and orderly even though the staff wasn't exactly the friendliest. This should have been our first sign of things to come. Once on board, we noted how dated and in need of repair the ship was. My 8 year old son pointed out loose tiles in the shower and that the air in our cabin wasn't working very well... my 8 year old who never notices anything. I don't mean to be petty, but I am going to be petty here... Every other cruise line we have been on, we would get a towel animal and a little chocolate left on our pillow at night. Not on this ship. Our room steward was attentive and kept our cabin clean, but we missed the little "above and beyond" measures that we had come to expect as the normal standard through other cruise lines. The dining hall our first evening was a complete disappointment. It felt as if it was their very first time doing anything! Toward the end of our meal, the head waiter for our area made to over to introduce himself and it was a complete game changer. From that moment on, he made a point to seek us out for each meal. He guided our wait staff in making certain our drinks were kept filled and our food made it to us hot and delicious. The entertainment crew on the MSC Armonia was the absolute best we have ever seen on any cruise we have been on. I am not sure how many hours they put in on their performances but you can tell they work hard to perfect their routines. Each night before they would go on, the ship's cruise director and his team would warm up the crowd with giveaways and hilarious antics. I do not know what these staff members get paid but it is not nearly enough! Everything else just seemed way too crowded to enjoy. Our first port of call was Jamaica. We had to tender to shore. You had to stand in line to get a ticket to take the tender to shore. They passed out tickets through number 25 or 26. My family and I were able to make it to shore on the number 9 tender. I have heard conflicting stories about what number they stopped calling tenders at, but what can be said is that not every passenger was able to get off of the boat that day and experience Jamaica. It was not a good day. I think if they had run out of rum on board, there might have been a mutiny. Grand Cayman was, well, Grand Cayman. overpriced, hot, and busy. Costa Maya was very nice once we left the port and hired a taxi outside of the port gates to take us to Chacchoben for the day. Very nice and relaxing... and about half the price the cruise line wanted for the same tour. The day spent at Ocean Cay is a nice day if you enjoy swimming and the beach. I do not. My husband and children LOVED it. They love sun, sand, and water. Me, not so much. Would I ever sail on this ship again? No. Would I ever sail MSC again? I am not sure. I will be doing much more research and reading reviews before booking my next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Embark and Disembark were handled smoothly out of Miami. Multiple time cruiser with Norwegian. Very good food dining options on the Upscale Dining Program. Cagney's and Los Lobos continue to be awesome. LeBistro and Ocean Blue ... Read More
Embark and Disembark were handled smoothly out of Miami. Multiple time cruiser with Norwegian. Very good food dining options on the Upscale Dining Program. Cagney's and Los Lobos continue to be awesome. LeBistro and Ocean Blue have modified menus so that was a nice change. Q and Food Republic are definitely worth a whirl. I will say that while food quality was good, the portions in some dining areas has clearly been diminished in size. Great Cabin and I had a balcony. Great room steward which is typical. The entertainment on board is great. Choir of Man and Kinky Boots are both great shows. Very enjoyable and I highly recommend giving both a whirl. The Silent Disco is a MUST DO. Great pool experience and was always able to find a chair with no major wait time or delays. Upper Decks have become pay and that is a bit of a change for me but not a dealbreaker. Escape Room is a must do as is the Galaxy Pavilion and Laser Tag. I recommend the $29 one hour pass to do it all and it's more than enough time. Mandara Spa is always great and I used it daily and had a great massage. Finally, my only complaint, while all in favor of every discernible equal rights offering, I am not sure if it was a particular event or a group but the large LGBT community on board was very cliquish and almost took over the ship at times on programs. As someone who flies the rainbow flag, I support the community but the need to "take over" events and to be so unhospitable to others is just not a good look. All in all, a great ship and one that I would highly recommend for a frequent NCL customer, for a family seeking fun, for a great getaway and for some refreshing new options from cruising. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
A little bit about us, we are 52 years old and have never cruised before. We wanted a vacation that was laid-back, upscale, and hassle free. A friend suggested that we try the Haven on NCL. After doing a bit of research we decided on ... Read More
A little bit about us, we are 52 years old and have never cruised before. We wanted a vacation that was laid-back, upscale, and hassle free. A friend suggested that we try the Haven on NCL. After doing a bit of research we decided on Norwegian Escape. The boarding process was quick and efficient. And the Haven concierge staff was always accommodating and had answers to all of our questions. We were lucky enough to book an owner's suite with la large balcony, it was on the front of the ship with gorgeous views. Some days we didn't want to leave our balcony. We ate breakfast lunch and dinner at the Haven restaurant, along with Cagney's and Le Bistro, all of which were excellent. Because our demanding jobs deal with people 24/7, we were looking for a vacation that was hassle free and quiet. The Haven gave us that. We enjoyed exploring the rest of the ship, but primarily relaxed in the Haven lounge, Haven pool, and Haven sun deck. The Haven restaurant staff was always friendly, tidy, and excellent service. And the food was top notch. We were lucky enough to book an owner suite, room 18700. Our butler Mellany was always courteous and friendly, and quick to respond to our requests. Our cabin attendant Gina, did an excellent job every day, and when the light switch broke, she had maintenance repair it ASAP. Griffith at the Haven restaurant, always made us feel welcome and pampered, and always had a smile on his face. We would highly recommend NCL Haven to anyone looking for a pampered Caribbean cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This is our third cruise with MSC and they didn't disappoint. Another clean and beautiful ship with service to boot. What we found special on this cruise was the theatre entertainment both by the ship's entertainment staff and by ... Read More
This is our third cruise with MSC and they didn't disappoint. Another clean and beautiful ship with service to boot. What we found special on this cruise was the theatre entertainment both by the ship's entertainment staff and by Cirque du Soleil. Never have we been on a cruise (9 cruises) that had such consistently high value. Every show (we saw up to 3 a day) ended in a standing ovation from 800 people. The Cirque shows were especially entertaining and compared to land prices a real bargain. Our only critique would be the Galleria which became quite congested when the theatre let out. Other than that we had little to complain about (although I'm sure some will, they always do). We also had a great time at the Cruise Critic gettogether on board. A good time was had by all. A shout out to Gio the maitre'D in the main dining room. We've been on three different MSC ships and somehow he's managed to be on everyone. He recognizes us every time and always extends the best service. Thanks, see you next time. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We sailed on NCL Bliss on 14-day Western Caribbean cruises out of NYC so on Feb 2, 2020s. The ship visited Cape Canaveral. Great Stirrup Bay in Bahamas, Ochorios in Jamaica, George Town in Grand Cayman, Roatan, Belize, Maya coast and ... Read More
We sailed on NCL Bliss on 14-day Western Caribbean cruises out of NYC so on Feb 2, 2020s. The ship visited Cape Canaveral. Great Stirrup Bay in Bahamas, Ochorios in Jamaica, George Town in Grand Cayman, Roatan, Belize, Maya coast and Cozumel Mexico. Great cruise and good staff. We had a standard balcony cabin 12722 on deck 12 with plenty of room for the two of us. Nice ship with lots specialty restaurants good. Buffet was great - better quality food than the general dining (hotter, more variety, very nicely prepared and presented. The only 'complaint' is that there is too much salt added to food throughout. We don't use salt at home, so really notice it We didn't participate in any of the 'activities' like bingo or quiz shows but they had some good entertainment. the 'Beatles' group was standing room only at every show - they needed a bigger venue! They had a rock/pop band who did a good job, and the 'Jersey Boys' was a great performance. Six Boleyn was also good musical described life of King Henry VIII through his 6 wives. There was live music in moist lounges (District Brew House, Mojito bar, atrium and observation lounge). The observation lounge was a great place to get a comfy chair and snack, I spent my days there reading the book, “SEA OF POPPIES” by Amitav Ghosh describing the story of Opium production and trade by the British India company. ON 2nd day Sea day we had cruise critic meet and Greet met the GM of the ship. Sharon complained about lack of body lotion in the bathroom. He took our cabin number and instructed our room attended to supply steady supply of Bulgari body lotion. Afterwards I mentioned him today is Sharon’s birthday. After we came back from lunch our cabin was decorated with Happy birthday sign, Streamers and balloons. He also sent some specialty Chocolate, a bottle of wine. Sharon, her cousin and Aunt enjoyed the wine. I was not happy with luncheon menu at the main dining room. I complained to the Maître Dee. He said I should eat at taste of India. I looked up the Executive Chef Sreekanth Sundram and spoke to him. He informed me Breakfast, lunch and dinner are available for vegetarians at the” Taste of India”. Next morning to my surprise I had an excellent breakfast with Vada, Uthappam, Sambar, Chutney, poori, Potato, with Masala Chai. I also met Rohith Gokulakrishnan Executive Sous Chef from Chennai, Chef Balappan. Everyday I had a feast for breakfast, lunch and dinner We went on Shore excursion on Airboat and crocodile farm in Florida, tour of countryside of Jamaica, Roatan tour to see mangrove reserve, shipwreck and to a beach to watch a local show. Next day we visited the Maya ruins and spice farm in Belize. 9th we visited Mayan coast to see Mayan temple. At Cozumel we visited Mayan Chocolate Farms to learn about history of Chocolates use by Mayans and how Spaniards modified to fit the western taste. Then we visited Mayan Honeybee farm amid the forest. I learned there is no pure Mayan blood descendant, most of them descent of Mayan and Spanish descendants, the last Mayan died in 1850 Overall this cruise is excellent on a new ship with 4,000 capacity. May be less than 10% were people under 40 years old. Most of the guests were seniors, some on walking with Canes, others cruising around on their scooters which took most of the space on the elevators. We were on Deck 12. Most of the entertainments and dining rooms are on Deck 6-8. The Garden Café is deck 16 and lounge is on Deck 15. It is really a struggle to get into the elevators during breakfast, lunch and dinner time. There are 16 elevators for 4,000 peoples which is a handicap. Sometimes I used stairs with huffing and puffing. WE returned on Sunday the 16th after dropping Sharon’s aunt and cousin at the airport for their onward journey to the frozen tundra of Saskatchewan Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
My husband and I aged 54 and 52 had an interior room on deck 6 (6376) for a 9 day South Pacific cruise at a total cost of $83 per day each, now thats exceptional value. As the old saying goes "You get what you pay for". ... Read More
My husband and I aged 54 and 52 had an interior room on deck 6 (6376) for a 9 day South Pacific cruise at a total cost of $83 per day each, now thats exceptional value. As the old saying goes "You get what you pay for". The ship overall look is older style with very gaudy decor, clashing colours and overall ugliness in some areas. "You get used to it". Stateroom was a good size clean and comfy. Food was a hit and miss. Some good choices in the Lido and some not so good. Sandwich bar is excellent, also liked most of the food in the Black Pearl dining room restaurant. Most staff where very good, a few seemed brash or uninterested. Unfortunately we missed 2 Island days, Lifou and Isle Of Pines, due to the Corona Virus scare. Island officials closing the Islands to ALL cruise ships until further notice. Ship gave all passengers a $25 credit to compensate for this. Instead of Lifou we went to Port Vila and a day at sea instead of Isle Of Pines. Ship holds a lot of passengers and finding seating especially near the 2 pools was usually impossible unless you staked your claim before dawn. Hygiene practices were nearly non existent. I hardly ever saw anyone use the hand sanitiser before entering eatery areas. Entertainment was very mediocre actually worst we've had on our 7 cruises. Please be aware if you have sailed on the Carnival Spirit and expect this ship to be on par, you will probably be disappointed. We will not be returning to Splendor even at the budget price. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I don't know what all the fuss is about, but I actually loved the Veendam. This was my 7th HAL cruise and the 1st on the Veendam. If you want a quiet relaxing cruise this is the one for you. I went with a group of elderly ... Read More
I don't know what all the fuss is about, but I actually loved the Veendam. This was my 7th HAL cruise and the 1st on the Veendam. If you want a quiet relaxing cruise this is the one for you. I went with a group of elderly gentlemen and had a fantastic time. Yes, there are not a lot of activities and the ship is older and smaller, but kept in immaculate condition. I had no problems on this cruise. I had a Vista suite, cabin B082 in the very aft of the ship in the corner. The cabin attendants (Indy & ?) were very attentive and kept the cabin in tip top shape. No problems with the heating or air conditioning. No clock, so bring one along, and only 1 electrical outlet but ask the cabin attendant for an extension cord or bring one along also. I found that the food was outstanding. I was a little hesitant on some of the beef dishes, but I needed not to be concerned as the beef tenderloins and short ribs were very tender. The dining room steward was friendly and attentive. Lunches were in the Lido room and a wide selection of dishes. This ship is mainly for the elderly, and the ship's personnel are geared to this age group. I was surprised on the amount of ship's personnel that were on board. Very few children on board. Did not attend any evening shows, preferring to spend my time with a good book. So if you want to get away, read some good books and just relax this is the ship for you. It's not a party ship, so don't be disappointed on the lack of activities. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
HA is know for their service and excellent service is what we usually have experienced with HA. The Veendam wasn't bad, but felt disorganized, like perhaps half the staff were either new or burnt out. Our stewards were excellent ... Read More
HA is know for their service and excellent service is what we usually have experienced with HA. The Veendam wasn't bad, but felt disorganized, like perhaps half the staff were either new or burnt out. Our stewards were excellent attentive and friendly. Our room with just a window, midship, main deck was actually nice, well laid out and quite. However, we encountered many other aspects that were below HA standards: The meals in the main and Pinnacle dining rooms were nothing special - presentation, flavor (overcooked vegetables, etc.) and variety were lacking. The service in the Pinnacle was atrocious (basics like sitting 10+ minutes before wait staff said hi, water not being refilled, coffee never arriving with dessert). The main dining room service was hit and miss - some areas were well served, others slow and sloppy. The Cannaletto was good, slow but attentive. The Dive was improperly staffed - 35 minutes to get a burger when my ticket was only the 3rd in the que. The basketball court had useless basketballs (worn, ripped covers with the rubber sticking through) at the beginning and none once those were removed. Other than that, it was a nice cruise, just not to the usual HA standard. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We got this cruise for free and loved every second of it! The ship has so much to do, we never had the opportunity to be bored and we loved it. Our favorite things were the entertainment, the customer service, and the ports and shore ... Read More
We got this cruise for free and loved every second of it! The ship has so much to do, we never had the opportunity to be bored and we loved it. Our favorite things were the entertainment, the customer service, and the ports and shore excursions. I wasn't incredibly impressed with the ship and the staterooms. I felt that it was outdated and a little dirty, especially our rooms, left like I was stuck in a cheap tacky casino in Las Vegas. The activities and wonderful customer service definitely made everything better. We loved our excursions,due to bad weather we had to cancel one of our port days and the crew members were so good to make our experience wonderful and enjoyable and quickly changed the plans so that we could get to a location with better weather that we could stop and spend the next day at. Some of our favorite crew members were our steward, Akhmad, our waitress Pat, and our waiter Charlie. We went home and talked about Akhmad for days, we absolutely loved him and felt like we were so well taken care of by him. He made sure to call us by name every time he saw us. Every crew member that we came into contact with was incredible and made our trip so enjoyable. We were not impressed with the food either, the waiters and waitresses went above and beyond but the food, was Golden Corral worthy, even in the dining rooms. The only food that I truly enjoyed was the Burgers from Guys Burger Joint, the Tacos from Blue Iguana, the Pizza, and of course the free Ice Cream. I don't know if this is a normal thing for cruises but by day 4 I was completely done with all of the drunk people. Everyone was incredibly obnoxious and began to ruin our cruise, this ship was for sure a party cruise, full of loud music, lots of drinking and drunk people, if you are into that, this is your cruise! Overall had a great time. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I have been on several cruises before... always on Disney, so naturally the bar was set extremely high. The reason I was on this particular cruise was because it was gifted to me by my mom. I had read alot of review about the carnival ... Read More
I have been on several cruises before... always on Disney, so naturally the bar was set extremely high. The reason I was on this particular cruise was because it was gifted to me by my mom. I had read alot of review about the carnival imagination before I embarked (on this site in particular) there were alot of reviews in which people's complaints were things I was not bothered by, there were also many things that I was bothered by that many people have not mentioned. I'll start with the good and end with the bad. The good: the embarkment process was super fast, and easy, faster and alot less complicated than Disney. One thing that I noticed other people were complaining about was the smoking... honestly I didn't mind it...I actually liked it...not because I am a smoker, because, well I am not. However what I liked about it was that the cruise did not solely cater to kids. Their smoking policy encompassed this perfect. There were many areas to smoke that was not just on deck but also inside. Speaking onto their dissregard for kids. That was probably the thing I liked, actually loved most about this cruise. Which is funny because it is what most of the reviews ranted about. Anyways, I don't like kids...I am a child free person who really dose not like kids or their parents they are rude and self absorbed. (To further prove this...there was actually a used dipper on one if the elevator button boxes that a parent had just left there) as I was saying, as much as I LOVE the Disney cruise it is very catered to kids. The carnival was not, they had many casinos, bars, smoking areas, nightclubs, 21+ comedy shows and even an area just for adults with hot tubs. I loved Catalina island the water is clear and the island was beyond expectations. There was quite a few events to keep us busy. The buffet was above average, I loved how they had the cakes cut and served to you by staff (so the kids were not getting their hands all in it) the comedy shows 21+ were above expectation and both comedians should be famous honestly. It was not too packed either. Beds were comfy as hell, state room was clean, and there was alot of good movies available. The bad: I wish we had stayed at Catalina the whole time...if you want to see Catilina this is a good way to do it. There is alot to do snorkeling, parisailing, scuba, and the water was crystal clear. That island was amazing. However ensanada is not much it is polluted, gross, and really is not much more than Tijuana. Your tours consist of getting drunk, fat, or both. On many cruises such as Disney they employ staff from all over the world. It provides a really fun and beat experience. However on carnival unlike Disney many of these staff members barely spoke English. The sit down dinners were a constant battle of guessing games. It would not bother me as much however the staff was rude about it and would get frustrated with you even though they were the ones who did not understand you. More about the sit down dining. I have been to many upscale restaurants and whatever that was is far from "upscale" if you have not had a 5 star dining experience you may be fooled, however. Many of the dinners were nasty and tasted like airplaine food. The chef mixed alot of wierd ingredients in an attempt to be fancy however they kept coming out as nasty concoctions. Besides the food, the "fancy" experience was ruined by the fact that every 5 seconds they needed your stateroom card, and we're constantly trying to sell you stuff. Also of you get the "bottomless bubbles" package (free drinks for your Cruise) you still end up paying a tax....leading into my next subjects. I don't know if you have ever flew with spirit airlines, however if you have you know about their bare minimum experience followed up with alot of "nickeling and dimeing you" (extra charges) one of the things I absolutely loved about the Disney cruise was that everything was free.... everything. However on the carnival many of the restaurants cost money, drinks cost money unless a package is purchased....your ticket may cost 200$ but by the time you spend the money to have a half decent experience you will be 500$ in easy. The pool is way too shallow. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I choose this cruise because it LOOKS spectacular... But don't be deceived. The service was horrible... I wanted fresh parmesan but I got the 3 year old grated parmesan cheese... If I were to be a 1st time cruiser I still would ... Read More
I choose this cruise because it LOOKS spectacular... But don't be deceived. The service was horrible... I wanted fresh parmesan but I got the 3 year old grated parmesan cheese... If I were to be a 1st time cruiser I still would think that this ship was bad... I got woken up at 9:30am ship time to the crew emergency practice... on the 6th day. Why couldn't they have used the walkie talkies... The wifi was so expensive it almost made me won't to jump off the ship... I really wanted to get up and just go on the bumper cars... I waited for 2 hours then I had these snobs who cut in front of me... This cr u ise was the worst serviced cruise... I'll say a positive... oh yeah that's right there is none... Can I just say that my 12 year old son waited in line and then I found him crying in a corner reheating lining up... Don't bring your children they will be bored there is nothing to do for them... unless you buy the key then you will skip all lines and get yelled at. If your child is younger then 12 then dont bring them Please listen I paid 4000 US dollars to get on this 9 day cruise for the worst experience of my life... And they had LGBTQ every night for choose who where. If your a sleeper then do not go o n this cruise you can't sleep it was to Rocky on the last night and don't get virgin Australia it got canceled for 2 and a half hours for maintenance and then they tell us that it has had maintenance problems. -Anymous Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Do yourself a favor, research the ship’s age before you book a cruise. It has been decades since we have been on an MSC ship. In between we have cruised on medium sized ships with lots of lines, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Princess, ... Read More
Do yourself a favor, research the ship’s age before you book a cruise. It has been decades since we have been on an MSC ship. In between we have cruised on medium sized ships with lots of lines, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Holland America, Carnival etc. All have been great to very good. Then we went back to MSC because we saw a “Fantastica” level balcony, seven day Caribbean cruise for $567 per person. It was not so Fantastica. Embarkation in Miami went smoothly, which gave us hopes for the cruise. However, the food was terrible, with dried out fish and chicken and both pork and veal so tough it couldn’t be cut, nevertheless chewed. The MSC Armonia is very old. Even the captain blamed missing the port of Grand Cayman because the “low powered” ship couldn’t overcome the waves. So the older stabilizers didn’t seem to work well either, and we rolled constantly. The upholstery and carpeting were worn and dirty. There are kids clubs for all ages. Teens and LGBT cruisers had their special meeting areas and events. But better confine your kids to the splash park though, as the two swimming pools were both over 6’6” deep throughout, with no shallow end. There were only two Jacuzzis, so they were constantly full. The entertainment troop was small at eight dancers and two main singers, doubtless because this is an older, smaller ship. They performed valiantly but not very effectively. There was one very good band in the main bar area. The other bands were not good. To be fair, there were good points. The staff was amazingly warm and helpful, the beds were comfortable and we were one of the first ships to visit MSC’s new private island in the Bahamas. But on balance it was a memorable experience, a bad memory we don’t want you to repeat. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Shout out to Terri (DT) and Julian who did an amazing job. NCL arranged transportation. You meet them in the baggage claim area and wait for bus that takes you to port. Check in was (despite reviews I had read) was very organized ... Read More
Shout out to Terri (DT) and Julian who did an amazing job. NCL arranged transportation. You meet them in the baggage claim area and wait for bus that takes you to port. Check in was (despite reviews I had read) was very organized and quick. From drop off to on the ship was 30 minutes. Cruise staff, entertainment, and food were all great. Ship is large and easy to find your way. Good cruise for solo travelers as there are plenty of outgoing people. Observation Deck on 15 was a great place to unwind at the end of the day, have a cup of tea, and meet people or read a book. Sign up for meals and entertainment prior to boarding the ship. Free style was great if you had those reservations. Staff in The Local were always organized, friendly and helpful. The TASTE was much more organized that The Savor. Manhattan was good too. Helpful hint--don't wait for your tag color to be called at the end of the cruise or you will, as did many people, miss you flight. Clearance was given about an hour behind schedule and If I had waited I would not have made a 2pm flight. Also, it is worth getting your bag and asking for the porter to take you in a separate line and you clear re-entry very quickly. Overall, the ship staff was amazing, friendly, interactive. The ship was clean and they made efforts to maintain hygiene. I would take the cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I decided to surprise my adult son with a cruise and spent months planning the trip. We were very excited about the trip and had excursions booked but couldn't decide about a specialty dining package so we chose to wait until onboard. ... Read More
I decided to surprise my adult son with a cruise and spent months planning the trip. We were very excited about the trip and had excursions booked but couldn't decide about a specialty dining package so we chose to wait until onboard. I've cruised before so knew what to expect but it was my son's first so it was important to leave a good impression. Embarking was quick and easy, despite waiting for over two hours at Enterprise for a shuttle. Our cabin was inside no window and incredibly small. We made it work but only had one electric port and our steward would not allow anything to remain plugged in while we were out of the cabin which was most of the time. (Make sure you have good batteries for whatever you are using for pictures!) We had the free drink package and headed to a smoking area H20 to grab our first drink. We ordered and were told no I'm not making that I will make you this, and were handed drinks! Not the best way to start off but we blew it off as a communication barrier or maybe he misheard us, and our second drinks were what we requested. Btw, they use some pretty awful drink mixes and a pina colada tastes horrid. There are only two smoking areas on the entire ship besides a small area within the casino, and they fill up fast. Standing room only if you don't get a seat. One is half of a side of a back deck called H20 and then a box of sorts on the 15th deck by the pool. We vape and felt like second class people stuffed into a noisy chatbot as if we were in time out. H20 played football on a large screen alot so if your not into the sports bar scene...good luck. No drink runners to be found any of the times I was in the casino and extremely tight slots. Bartenders so rude at poolside we ended up getting managers involved. Waited about 10 mins to be served and even though the bartenders were making eye contact, they kept helping others. It got so obvious we were being ignored that a group of other people were literally yelling at the staff to assist us!! Bartenders just looked at us and walked away!! We just stood there a bit dumbfounded but got taken care of by the supervisors after we said something. I hate to make complaints..I'm on vacation and nobody has time for that!! Cleaning staff was friendly and the staff at the buffet entrance were awesome. Room steward was punctual..cleaned twice a day and knew our schedule right off as well as our names. No cute towel animals the entire trip though. Missed two ports for weather-so they said. All inclusive days at the private island appear to be hard to come by if you read other reviews. Missed Costa Maya. We were refunded 12 dollars and change for those port misses. Lots of hidden charges on this ship. Drinks are taxed while in US port....and we had some random charge for seeing a comedy show in the theater but by the time this cruise was done and we reviewed our bill, we decided not to bother because the lines to everything were long and staff just wasn't all that friendly. The food was fair...some days really good, other days not so much. Big on handwashing but food was cooler than should be allowed and the seafood was usually undercooked with a strong fishy taste. I'm a huge seafood lover so that was also disappointing. Met a few people that got food poisoning right at the start of the cruise. We were only able to get one reservation for specialty dining so I'm glad we didn't buy the package. We went to LeBistro which was amazing!! Top notch food and service, a highlight for our trip really. Book things as early as you can, shows, tenders, etc or you won't get in or will have to wait in large crowds. Very disorganized. Elevators constantly full and hard to come by. Pool area incredibly small and chair savers made sure no room to lounge. Ship pretty much shuts down at 10pm unless you like nightclubs with the you get crowd. Pot smokers in the smokers box with staff right there. No one did a thing about it. Pot smokers in H20...no one batted an eye. The end of our trip was the straw that broke the camel's back. Our last night we pulled put everything to pack and decided to head to dinner before the packing began. We put on the do not disturb light so our steward wouldn't stroke out on the mess we made and headed out. We had been very diligent utilizing our safe for valuables up to this point but felt safe with our light on knowing we wouldn't be too long. WRONG!!! We came back to find that someone had placed our shore bought liquor in the room and we were missing a kindle tablet and sunglasses that were on our desk before we left!! My son went to guest services about the sunglasses but we knew for a fact the kindle was there because I was going to plug it in and decided against it last minute. I was pretty much in shock knowing that someone breached our security despite the do not disturb light on and failed to make a claim until we got home the day after disembarking. After making a claim I emailed the VP of guest services Paula and was told an investigation would be done. Was later told it was our steward who brought the liquor, and that the security cameras showed him opening our door and placing things inside but that he didn't go in. HA!! Our bottles were in next to our desk...where the missing kindle was placed ....and unless his arms are 8 feet long, he DID absolutely go inside!! After a back and forth with her I realized nothing would come of it (obviously lied to me about not entering the room) and even though things were taken, the biggest issue as far as I'm concerned was that someone came in with a do not disturb light on!! What if I had been in the shower, or worse???? Worst guest service ever!! Will never, ever book again with this cruise line. Save your money!! The service is barely rateable and it appears to be a crooked company with the crap I encountered. Despite it all...our vacation was fun but NCL won't be getting another red cent from our family!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We love cruising and have cruised 4 times in the past 3 years! This was my first time on the Mariner of the seas and I was excited for my small children to experience the Perfect Day at CocoCay. This cruise fell short of my expectations ... Read More
We love cruising and have cruised 4 times in the past 3 years! This was my first time on the Mariner of the seas and I was excited for my small children to experience the Perfect Day at CocoCay. This cruise fell short of my expectations and truly left a lot to be desired. Boarding was easy and painless. It only took about 20 minutes from the parking lot to the ship. For this review, I will begin with the pools. There are 2 pools on the main deck surrounded by 4 large hot tubs. There is not a designated pool/water play area for children on this ship as opposed to some of their other ships. Children bombarded the hot tubs and made them nearly impossible to enjoy. Drunk adults were in the hot tubs with the children and it was cringeworthy. The boat has a solarium for adults with 2 hot tubs and 1 pool but children were consistently passing through this area running, yelling etc. to reach the main pool via the aft elevators. On prior cruises, the lifeguard would ask that they leave the area but the people on this boat could care less. Lunch in the windjammer was a madhouse on the first day. People were touching the food and putting it back. There was hair on my food and to be fair, it could have come from the patrons or the staff. I lost my appetite and did not eat there again. The sky pad was fun when it was open. It did close quite a few times even though the app said it was open during the cruise and I’m not sure why. The slides are okay for kids 48 inches or taller. Also, there is a small climbing apparatus for kids that should be replaced for a wade pool or some sort to keep them entertained and away from vacationing adults. The rooms were well taken care of by the staff and they entered 3 times a day to replace towels, make the beds, replace used water glasses etc. The dining room staff is amazing! They make us feel special and remembered little things about us. Ours called us by name and that is very nice. The shows they prepared for us were boring to me. It reminded me of a high school talent show. It was not entertaining. The cruise director really tried his hardest but neither he or the comedians were funny. The kids fell asleep and we left early. The most fun they had were in adventure ocean. Otherwise, the itinerary missed the mark. The ice skating show began but stopped abruptly. They took an intermission and then began again. The boat also had Bingo, a casino, NFL games on the big tv outside, and Laser tag while the ship docked in Nassau. I wish they had laser tag again during the forced sea day. This ship was scheduled to dock in Nassau, Bahamas and then dock again on Royal Caribbean’s private island, CocoCay. The “Perfect Day at CocoCay” was cancelled. The announcement that we heard said that the Ship failed to dock but the staff said that it does happen sometimes and the ship just doesn’t go there. Hundreds of passengers were upset and asking if they will receive compensation and were told that they would not. The sea day was boring, cold, and quiet. Royal Caribbean has to do a better job entertaining the guests in the event that the ship cannot dock. It took more than 2 hours to revamp the itinerary and the first activity wasn’t scheduled until after 1pm. We learned that the second port was cancelled before 8am. The guest services crew was rude, even when I asked them a question unrelated to the itinerary (I was changing credit cards for shopping). The lady took a deep breath and mumbles under her breath. Future cruising on this ship or any other Royal Caribbean ship is a no go for us. I had no idea that they sometimes do not go where they promise to and in the future, we will steer clear!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Selected cruise for its Hawaiian ports and warm weather plus sailing on the Grand via San Francisco. Amazing cruise, amazing service by Grand Princess staff, and beautiful islands. Highly recommend Grand Princess for its world class ... Read More
Selected cruise for its Hawaiian ports and warm weather plus sailing on the Grand via San Francisco. Amazing cruise, amazing service by Grand Princess staff, and beautiful islands. Highly recommend Grand Princess for its world class service, wonderful and warm staff, and clean ship. Though it's an older ship, staff work hard to maintain the Grand Princess, and officers and staff were present throughout the ship 24/7. Had an excellent cabin steward and professional and wonderful dining room wait staff. Amazing trip onboard the beautiful Grand Princess! Like our waiter, Jonel Bola said, "The Grand Princess is known for #1 service out of its entire fleet of 18 vessels." The entire dining room staff was amazing and wonderful to all its dining passengers. The food was good, plenty of desserts to choose from, and staff are generous with service, extras/portions, drinks, and smiles! All staff throughout the ship were kind, courteous, warm, and provided consistent service and were very hard working. Service throughout the ship was consistent and amazing! Ship Captain, JP Bryant, was very nice and courteous and always greeted passengers pleasantly. This was a 16-day cruise! Have done shorter and longer cruises, but a 16-day is a perfect amount of time for a winter getaway! I highly recommend the beautiful Grand Princess! Others might be concerned that it's an older ship but I find it to be quaint, comfortable, has character, beautiful, has internet service, and has excellent and consistent customer service. I've sailed on the Grand 6 times and each time I've experienced consistent customer service! And, if something wasn't right, staff will work quickly and very hard to make the problem right! No complaints when I'm on the Grand! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
The good: -Boarding process: Left out of Port Canaveral and from the time we arrived via hotel shuttle to the port (around 11, boarding started at 12 on paper but they started early) to the time we set foot on the ship was around 25 ... Read More
The good: -Boarding process: Left out of Port Canaveral and from the time we arrived via hotel shuttle to the port (around 11, boarding started at 12 on paper but they started early) to the time we set foot on the ship was around 25 minutes. We waited maybe 5 mins at most outside to be let into the terminal and once we started moving, we never stopped other than the check in desk until we set foot on the ship. Was really impressed with how quick boarding process was. -Food: Did not have one bad meal on the whole cruise. We ate at taste, sushi bar, la cucina, moderno, buffet, le bistro, and ocean blue and did not have one bad meal. Food was amazing. Buffet food was a bit bland IMHO but it's buffet food. Can't really speak about the breakfast because I didn't eat breakfast once on the whole trip but my boyfriend said it was good. -Drinks: didn't drink too many frozen drinks or premixed drinks but liquor selection was good for the free at sea beverage package and had not problem getting my buzz on, this is coming from a heavy drinker. Martinis at shaker's were great, as were the bartenders there, same goes sid norman's pour house and spice h20 staff. Take care of them, don't be rude and they will take care of you. Ship could have a bit better beer selection but not bad. -Service: We were on a completely full ship during once of the busiest vacation weeks of the year and my BF and I both think the staff did an amazing job with service. From servers, bartenders, guest services, to our room attendant, no complaints at all. Ship was kept very clean as well. -Entertainment: We saw burn the floor and the band at sid norman's pour hour house. They were both great. DJ at 80s night could've been better. DJ for NYE party at spice h20 was good. -Ship: This being my first cruise, did not have much to compare this to as far as the actual ship but I thought the decor was nice, layout was a bit confusing at times at first but I picked it up over the next few days. Cannot really comment on pool since we didn't spend much time there, opting instead for spice h20, which we both loved and spent a ton of time at. I would say, if pool space is important to you, might want to consider a larger ship (symphony of the seas, etc) as I though pool space seemed limited on breakaway. The not-so-good: Wifi: Paid for unlimited premium wifi package for both BF and I so we didn't have to worry about sharing 1 internet package. With the amount of money NCL is charging for internet packages, the speed should really be a lot faster. Yes, yes I know, you're on vacation, you're supposed to disconnect but us both being self-respecting millennial internet junkies, we have to have it. Did several speed tests throughout the cruise and I think fastest I got was 3 megs, at around 3am when nobody else is online. At most other times, if you get the internet package, you are going to be waiting for stuff to load. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Overall we had a great cruise. We are two dads with a 3 year old and 7 month old. Aside from getting several quizzical and confused stares from passengers, we found the other folks on board to be quite pleasant. The most challenging ... Read More
Overall we had a great cruise. We are two dads with a 3 year old and 7 month old. Aside from getting several quizzical and confused stares from passengers, we found the other folks on board to be quite pleasant. The most challenging time (not surprising) was dinner in the MDR. Our waitstaff constantly seemed confused by how to set up our table (booster, high chair, kids menu) and only brought us a kids menu the first night of the cruise. Since dinner took so long and my active 3 year old could not sit still, we took frequent breaks to ride the glass elevators up and down. Another highlight was the nursery. We dropped off our 7 month old every night for a few hours. The staff loved seeing him and we enjoyed getting a break. We had the opposite experience at aquanauts, the 3-5 year old kids club. Our young 4 year old is fully potty trained, but does need reminders to go, which I told the staff at check in. Well, they didn’t remind her and we got a call to pick her up because she had an accident. Another day we had to pick her up because she was sad. Upon picking her up, I was told she had “2 strikes” and 1 more strike would result in her not being allowed back in the nursery. I was livid. I get getting “strikes” for hitting or biting, but for being sad or having an accident... come on. My impression was that the staff was not closely supervising the children. We got a coffee punch card but I was annoyed that a large coffee got you 2 punches. Come on royal- I know you enjoy nickel and diming but seriously. Another thing I appreciated was no announcements were made in the cabin other than the muster drill stuff. Great for sleeping kiddos. Finally, the casino is disgustingly smoky. It’s nearly 2020. Smoking kills. Make the entire ships interior nonsmoking. Please. Now. Port excursions: with little kids we went for beach days- Maya Key in Roatan and Starfish Island in Belize. We found both to be perfect for our little family and our kids loved splashing in the beautiful water. Very easy with small boats to and from the private islands. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Great time with family. Better than staying at home. If you have special abilities members of your family this is the place to go (with the exception of Shore Excursions helpfulness). The ship is great and assessable. Staff is ... Read More
Great time with family. Better than staying at home. If you have special abilities members of your family this is the place to go (with the exception of Shore Excursions helpfulness). The ship is great and assessable. Staff is wonderful and willing to help when needed. Always felt very comfortable at letting them just go about their day without us having to worry about them. From the entertainment staff to the the room Stewart, to the staff cleaning all were helpful (except shore excursion). You will be very pleased with the experience onboard. The medallion was such a great asset. You were able to locate and not worry about your party. Thanks again for making this a memorable event. And yes, we did book another cruise. Our special needs group also booked a cruise and they are planning on going alone, and I am sure they will be very pleased with the trip. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This is one of the smaller ships offered by Royal Caribbean. I would definitely go again. I've seen some reviews about cleanliness and norovirus and I could not disagree more. It's almost like you'd have to *try* to get ... Read More
This is one of the smaller ships offered by Royal Caribbean. I would definitely go again. I've seen some reviews about cleanliness and norovirus and I could not disagree more. It's almost like you'd have to *try* to get sick on this ship. Our cabin was cleaned TWICE a day, there were hand sanitizers everywhere, there were people holding and offering you hand sanitizer as you entered and left each restaurant, as you entered and left the ship in ports, etc. We embarked and debarked from Tampa and had no issues at all. We did do the self-assist and it was literally 30 min from leaving our cabin to catching a taxi (we live in Tampa). As I said, this is a smaller ship, so if you get motion sickness, bring Dramamine just in case of a rough night. We only had one and two Dramamine pills took care of it for me. On this ship, there's only 3 restaurants. Edelweiss is the nice dining room (no shorts, t-shirts, tanks allowed), Windjammer is the buffet, and Park Café is the grab n go. We really only ate at Edelweiss and Windjammer and both were good. Again - not sure about the 'cold food' comments re Windjammer, we found it to be just fine. The food that was supposed to be hot was hot and the food that was supposed to be cold was cold. The bars and theater were great. The weather was rough on our first day so the port at Key West was closed. The team at Rhapsody added multiple activities and I soon found myself going from super sad to super happy. My teen and I did the Scavenger Hunt which was so much fun, then I got to watch my Saints play the Titans in the theater! I'm a die hard Saints fan and figured I would miss the game and, instead, got to watch Michael Thomas break a record. Very happy! The shows in the theater were very good. I especially enjoyed Anselmo Boles in the Schooner Bar (a.k.a. the 'piano bar' at night) each night. He played great sing-a-long music for everyone. The Schooner bar also offers trivia during the day that is fun. The Shall We Dance lounge offers karaoke, bingo, etc and karaoke is for both family and adults at different times. Be aware that bingo is ridiculously expensive ($29 minimum for 3 games), but the prize money and prizes are gigantic. This isn't your regular charity bingo that you play for your kid's school. The Centrum is great for everyone and they offer just about everything. We were on a Christmas cruise and Santa came for all the kids, they had a Christmas tree lighting, massive gingerbread display, bands, Christmas music, etc. Other days were towel animal making sessions, family team egg drop competitions, dance classes, etc Above all, I would say that I loved this ship because the staff were beyond friendly (even to clearly rude people). On a smaller boat, you get to know the staff well as well as some of your fellow passengers and I found that the staff made an effort to remember my name which I thought was so cool. I visited Guest Services, the Internet Desk, and another desk (can't remember - not excursions), and my service was super fast each time. There are a couple ATMs on the ship. My card did not work in the casino ATM, however, it did work in the Atrium ATM outside of the casino (next to Guest Services). I will say that if you're going ashore and on any excursions, the ATM on the ship - even though the service fee will seem ridiculous - is still cheaper to use than any ATM on your excursion. We went into Cozumel and took a taxi and I had to go to *6* ATMs to even find one that worked and it cost me $7.95 in fees PLUS 7% of my transaction. Get your cash before you get on this ship or while you're on the ship. Much cheaper. Probably a lot of people know this, but I did not. On the Pool deck (9), there is a bar and a big screen where movies are shown. I found myself watching some movies I had wanted to see in the theater as well as a documentary one night. 10 has a ton of deck chairs and that is where I read my book and hung out in the sunshine each morning. There is also a walking/jogging track and a gym on 10 if that is what you want to do. I did visit the spa for a massage. The hot stone massage was FANTASTIC and I bought what I feel are some very good products. I've been sold products on cruises before at the spa, but these, I actually have already used them and I like them tremendously. My only complaint on the spa was that the spa seemed to be directly under the teen/kids space and I heard a bunch of 'thump thump thumping' while I was getting my massage which is a little disconcerting. I traveled with my teenager. I think my teen would prefer a bigger ship with the ziplines, 42 restaurants, etc, however, I am 49 and I loved it loved it loved it. I would say this ship more caters to the 40-80 year olds even though my teenager did have a very good time overall. Also, my teen is LGBTQ and I saw meet-ups for adults, but none for teens even though I met other passengers with LGBTQ youth. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Because good price and wanted to try it the best thing was the entertainment group Alex ameed don’t remember the name good of all but they were just a team they should never be broken. My table 539 the best service it’s something I ... Read More
Because good price and wanted to try it the best thing was the entertainment group Alex ameed don’t remember the name good of all but they were just a team they should never be broken. My table 539 the best service it’s something I will never forget because of the teams how they work their island beautiful the only thing is that they have to clean the windows that’s the only thing that I had problem with but other thing like the buffet on the morning was the same thing no variety and same for lunch but is ok the food was good but again the entertainment group is the best thing that cruise have and the theater good movie new make more jacuzzi and ice cream was good I would all over again in they cruise with the same people thank you so much Armonia the best time I had in a cruise Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
You'd think it would be difficult to be pissed off after spending a week somewhere as gorgeous as the Caribbean. But congratulations, Regal Princess - you've succeeded. I'll start with a little background: This was the ... Read More
You'd think it would be difficult to be pissed off after spending a week somewhere as gorgeous as the Caribbean. But congratulations, Regal Princess - you've succeeded. I'll start with a little background: This was the FOURTH cruise I've taken with Princess just this year alone - and my second on the Regal. I'm not the type to complain about every little issue on a cruise - I'm generally pretty easy to please. I did Panama Canal last month on the Island Princess and it was amazing. Zero complaints. I wrote a great review after that cruise because they deserved it. I just got home from a seven day Western Caribbean cruise on the Regal Princess. The ports of call and shore excursions were excellent, as always, but many things about the ship itself were pretty terrible. I don't even know where to begin, so I'll take it from the top... I boarded the ship the first day and headed up to the Riviera Deck to my stateroom - R311. I immediately noticed a funky smell in the hallway - almost like the cleaning products used to deodorize a toilet in a bus or airplane bathroom. It was pretty gross. I noticed that the carpets were wet, too, so I assumed that they had just wet vacuumed the hallways or something. I went into my stateroom and began unpacking. The carpet in front of my bathroom was also wet - bad enough that my socks got soaked after stepping on it. And the bathroom itself smelled like urine, which really bothered me, because I had the same problem last Spring in my stateroom on the Aloha deck. Later in the afternoon I went to explore the ship and stopped by the front desk to tell them about the smell in the bathroom. They said they'd have the steward take care of it, and he did - when I went back to my room an hour or so later, the bathroom had been bleached and scrubbed and the smell was almost totally gone (note: if you want your steward to take great care of you, give him/her a $20 tip at the beginning of the cruise as soon as you meet them and they'll do almost anything for you). I was tired that evening and decided to just order room service. This also turned into an exercise in frustration. I called several times and nobody answered. I was put on hold each time. After spending about 10-15 minutes waiting, I'd had enough and called the front desk to complain. They said they'd have the room service people call me back, and eventually, they did. I tried not to get too worked up about the situation because it was the first night of the cruise, and the room service staff are often pretty backed up at this time. I ordered the lobster and steak and paid $19 for it (it wasn't worth it, and not only that, they got my order wrong). Later in the evening I tried calling the dining reservations line to make a reservation for the following evening at Sabitini's, and same situation - nobody answered. I gave up after several attempts. That night I went to bed in a not great mood but was hopeful that the rest of the cruise would be much better. I was startled awake at 5:30am by a SCREECHING alarm that went off in my stateroom. I called the front desk and they said they were aware of the problem - someone else had also called from their room on Riviera to report the same thing - and that they were working on fixing it. The alarm continued screeching for another 15 to 20 minutes. At this point, I'm wide awake, and I go to use the bathroom. I open the bathroom door and the bathroom stinks like urine again. Now I'm definitely not happy. There's no way I'm getting back to sleep. The alarm is still going off. I go down nine flights of stairs to the front desk to complain about the alarm and the smell of the bathroom. They send a housekeeping manager up to my room to check out the bathroom, and he sends the plumber up. Eventually the alarm turns off. The plumber fiddles around with the bathroom drains for 15 minutes or so, and then says he's sorry but there's not much he can do - the entire Riviera deck was flooded yesterday by a burst pipe, which is causing the sewer smell in both the hallway and possibly the smell in my stateroom bathroom, too. Basically, I'm out of luck. I appreciated the honesty, because this was the first time someone had the decency to actually explain to me what the TRUE situation was. A simple letter of apology or acknowledgement from Princess would've gone a long way here. "Hey, sorry the hallway is flooded and smells like a sewer and we did nothing to warn you", or "hey, sorry to wake you up from a sound sleep at 5:30am with an ear-splitting alarm that went off in dozens of rooms for 20+ minutes with zero explanation and no way to quickly turn off". Needless to say, this never happened. In any event, I called guest services and told them that I wanted a new room on a different deck. They said the ship was filled to capacity but that they'd see what they could do and get back to me. I heard nothing back for several hours. It wasn't until I got my travel agent involved AND threatened to contest the entire cost of the cruise with my credit card company that guest services finally had someone up the chain reach back out to me. I received a call a little later from Dean - the guest services director - and he was fantastic. I really need to give credit where credit is due here. I explained to him that pretty much every single thing about the cruise up until that point had been a complete nightmare, and that nobody on staff either seemed to care and/or had the ability to help me fix the problems I was having. I pretty much gave him a list of complaints and he immediately began addressing and trying to fix each one. It made all the difference in the world to me that he took my complaints seriously and actually worked to correct them. He even made me a complimentary reservation at Sabitini's that evening. Without my experience with Dean and his help resolving everything here, I doubt i'd ever be taking a Princess cruise again. From this point on, some things improved and some didn't. I went to Sabitini's that evening and this was literally the highlight of the cruise. They were so welcoming and friendly - the level of service and quality were amazing. I wish the entire cruise was like this. It meant so much to me that they actually treated me like a guest, because for most of the cruise up until this point (and after it), I felt like just a number. The ports of call and shore excursions were all excellent. Thank God for that because this helped the cruise not seem like a complete disaster. I did have some fun, at least. But overall, the negative experiences I had that first day or two of the cruise overshadowed the entire vacation, especially because many of them were never completely resolved. The hallway and bathroom continued to smell, it was difficult to get a human being on the phone when calling room service, the dining reservation line, or even the front desk, and the ship seemed very understaffed for the amount of guests on board. With so many shortcomings during this cruise, I've been trying to put my finger on how things could've gone so noticeably downhill since my last Regal cruise this past March. My theory is that it all boils down to the Medallion system. It's obvious that Princess is eliminating staff and replacing them with a terribly inadequate and cumbersome system of online Medallion applications. What a huge mistake. Human beings should not be replaced by automation in an industry where the overall level of quality/satisfaction is so heavily determined by the level of care/attention you receive from actual humans. If I go to McDonald's, I don't care if the human interaction is replaced by a self-service kiosk. When I'm on a cruise, it's a completely different story. Not to mention the fact that the apps often don't work or drastically limit the number of things you can do/order compared to when you interact with an actual human staff member - which often necessitates an additional human interaction, anyway. The few staff still employed seemed totally overwhelmed with the number of guests on board. They couldn't keep up, guests were getting frustrated, there were lines for almost everything, and the decreased morale was pretty apparent. it's a lose-lose situation for everyone involved. I really hope someone high up at Princess reads this review. Some of the issues on this cruise might've been bad luck, but others were entirely preventable. A lot of it boils down to customer service. I've given Princess many thousands of dollars in business in the past year alone. Just because I'm on the younger side, and traveling solo, doesn't mean I should receive a lower level of service than an older couple or a family with kids - and that was the impression I got again and again on this cruise (as well as other Princess cruises I've taken). I guarantee you I'm contributing just as much to your bottom line as these people, if not more. Perhaps you should realize who your truly loyal customers are, and start treating them that way. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Booked a Celebrity Suite (CS) for the first time on a very good Last minute deal having been in Balcony, Aqua and Concierge on previous cruises on Solstice. It included all the perks with premium drinks package, Wi-Fi and $600 OBC. So ... Read More
Booked a Celebrity Suite (CS) for the first time on a very good Last minute deal having been in Balcony, Aqua and Concierge on previous cruises on Solstice. It included all the perks with premium drinks package, Wi-Fi and $600 OBC. So now I’m spoilt for life! The suite was spacious and it was lovely to have the seperate bedroom and full lounge area. Our steward Jimmy was fabulous and could not have done more. The suite also has a butler who provided information and looked after room service, laundry etc. Tender transfers were immaculate as you just went to Michaels Club as were then personally escorted. Luminae restaurant was also great with fine dining with a french flair. It was all so relaxing and you were treated as special guests. The ship is still fairly pristine and well looked after. Other passengers were a mixed demographic being pre Christmas but quite a younger active crowd which was fun. Solstice does not really cater to kids and that is fine as the brand is more contemporary adult. Only disappointment was the rather basic wine. They seemed to have run out of a lot including dessert wines and ports on this cruise. Only one advertised but non hosted LGBT mixer on the first night. I suggest at least marking out an alcove in the martini bar with a little flag and a host. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019

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