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5,075 Group and Theme Cruise Reviews

I have cruised with NCL a handful of times, and have always been satisfied with the value for your money. This would be my first trip where I don’t feel that way. To be fair, the weather can never be predicted - but other cruises I ... Read More
I have cruised with NCL a handful of times, and have always been satisfied with the value for your money. This would be my first trip where I don’t feel that way. To be fair, the weather can never be predicted - but other cruises I have been on with inclement weather seemed to have better contingency plans. I haven’t cruised on a ship this small or old before, so I definitely will book any future cruises based more off of the ship vs the dates and destinations. The ship feels very old, and the rough waters during this cruise were unbearable. I never get sea sick, but there were plates flying on the floor in the restaurants and my closet door even swung open and broke off of the hinges due to the turbulence. The power went out in the casino as I walked through, and even some of the crew members called in sick due to extreme conditions. The outside areas of the ship were virtually useless for a majority of the trip, so most events were moved to the crowded Bliss Lounge. There wasn’t a lot of entertainment on the ship, with the exception of Bingo, Deal or No Deal, board games, and a comedian. Many of the locations and activities didn’t have active servers during the events, like most NCL cruises I have been on before. Some areas even had the bars closed during events, making it inconvenient for our travel party. On day 2, my husband booked an eyebrow wax at the spa. We have done this on other NCL cruises, and he gets them at home every 4-6 weeks. The spa employee completely ripped the skin off of the top and bottom of both brows. Either the wax was too hot or the technique was incorrect, but my husband had scabs around his eyes from day 2 through disembarking. We did show the spa manager, and he was very concerned and conceded that it had to have been a technique issue. He refunded the service, but my husband was forced to wear sunglasses for the remainder of the trip to cover the bloody scabs around his eyes. The dining was very limited compared to the other ships I have been on (even the staple Garden Cafe seemed to rotate hamburgers and hot dogs every day, and lacked variety). We went to the Sports Bar late one evening, and waited 20 minutes without being served, so we left and ordered room service. We dined as a large group at the Four Seasons a couple of times, and the service and food there was great. We brought 16 people, and a few of them were first time cruisers. I kept reassuring them that this wasn’t normal, but I felt bad that their first experiences had so many issues. The crew did a decent job, but many of them were noticeably off of their game due to the conditions. Dave (Trippong) P at guest services was very helpful. I had to visit the desk nightly to get sea sickness medicine. I’m hoping that this trip was a fluke, because NCL has been my preferred cruise line the past 4-5 years, but I definitely won’t go on the Sun ever again. My family is still worn out and seasick a day later. *I hadn’t cruised from Port Canaveral before, and the embarking/disembarking process was the easiest I’ve ever experienced. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Just got back from a 5 day cruise. I have to say I will never go with this cruise line again. The food was absolutely horrible and service was beyond bad. We had a "penthouse" if you want to call it this that was to have a ... Read More
Just got back from a 5 day cruise. I have to say I will never go with this cruise line again. The food was absolutely horrible and service was beyond bad. We had a "penthouse" if you want to call it this that was to have a butler. When we got to our room we noticed we needed converters for our phones and computers. No where on the site does it say we needed to bring converters. There was 1 110 outlet. We called the butler to see about getting a converter and were told to call customer service. We did and they said you need to come down and get in line. What do we have a butler for if we can't use this service? We called only 3 times for this service and every time told to go to customer service. The rooms are very dated and the bathrooms are old and very small. Especially for a penthouse. The ONLY person we found on the ship to be polite and happy was our guy that cleaned our room, Mel. He was the exception and we took care of him as well. Getting on the ship is a rat race and exiting was horrible even being a prefered guest. You would of thought this was the first time doing this. They exited us off the ship and said "follow the line" don't tell you anything else. The bar on the 13th floor that was outside was already out of spirits the 1st day. We had just set sail. How do you run out the first day? It was busy but not expecting a bar to run out. Once this was brought to the attention of the manager by another guest this is when the bar was finally stocked the rest of the trip. The bartenders were not thrilled working and didn't want to talk or even greet you. It wasn't until we tipped them we finally got good service even after we bought the upgraded beverage package. Oh and the premium package guess what there is an even hight package when you get there if you want top shelf. I don't get it. Tip each day if you want good service or it won't happen. We did this a lot just to finally get decent service. We usually do this at the end of our cruises but this time we did each day. We had the entire boat reserved with our company or this would not have been the cruise line I would go on. If you want cold and dried up food and you see people sending back several meals all the time then you have the right ship. Seems like they need to work on customer service as well since they don't seem to know what's happening on the ship either. Pool is extremely small but they do have lots of chairs. Cigar bar was a joke. Only cigarette smokers were ever there and cigar people had to go outside. The entire 6th floor reeked of cigarette smoke. If you don't smoke don't book on this floor. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We have done several Caribbean cruises but had never visited the Panama Canal or Costa Rica. Princess is supposed to be a premium brand of Carnival but we were disappointed with the level of service in the dining rooms and the quality of ... Read More
We have done several Caribbean cruises but had never visited the Panama Canal or Costa Rica. Princess is supposed to be a premium brand of Carnival but we were disappointed with the level of service in the dining rooms and the quality of food overall. Wait staff were not fluent in English and we had difficulty conversing with them. The ship was built in 2004 and it looked tired, even though it had recently been refreshed. We prevously cruised on Celebrity Summit and Infinity which are comparable in age and we found them to be much better overall. We had difficulty conversing with staff in the restaurants because their English was very poor. We expected Princess to be on a par with Celebrity but this was not the case. The dining staff on Celebrity were easier to understand and there were 3 people assigned to each table while there were 2 on Princess. Each Celebrity table had a wine sommalier to help with wine selection. They poured drinks at the table from a bottle shortly after you arrived while Princess staff (not sommalier) had to get each drink from the back, increasing wait times considerably. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I chose this cruise for the price. My husband and I cruise an average of once per month. This was our first time on a MSC ship. I can't believe the amount of reviewers who wrote to complain about the dumbest littlest things. Yes ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the price. My husband and I cruise an average of once per month. This was our first time on a MSC ship. I can't believe the amount of reviewers who wrote to complain about the dumbest littlest things. Yes the ship is crowded after all its sold out. Is it dangerously overcrowded, duh NO! Food- limited but cooked well and tasty. Great pizza! Cabin-Spacious could be cleaned better Entertainment- Theatre show very good. Entertainment staff Superb!!!! Lots of interaction with passengers, much better than Royal Caribbean. Very nice Cruise Director. Much to do around the ship, day and night to keep you busy. Destinations- Same as other lines. The cruise lines don't govern the islands they choose as destinations or Holidays. Yes, some will be nicer than others. Excursions-Book your own, cheaper. Check out the internet for other excursions. Step out of the box and explore. Give yourself ample time to get back to the boat. Ship appearance cleanliness - Excellent Private Island-Fun! Fun! Great Snorkeling As soon as vegetation kicks in, it's going to be a beauty. Parade was fun. Fire pits on beach were a very nice romantic touch. The lighthouse shows and Luna libre party were spectacular. Shop items were a little high but not out of the norm. The quality of the merchandise was very nice. Yes there were flies on the island by the. food area after all they were cooking hamburgers. How is the cruise line at fault for this? Should they have placed several staff members near the food area dedicated to swatting the flies? I have seen flies inside and outside the ship on various cruises. Come to think of it, I have seen flies in my backyard when I BBQ. Here's a simple solution cover your food. We are booked on their Transatlantic and Greek Cruises and looking forward to it. It's all about attitude. Don't sweat the small stuff. Life is too short! If you expect luxury at bargain prices, this is no the cruise for you. I for one am happy. to pay less and cruise more! P.S. If you are worried about getting sick and. that there won't be enough sanitizing gel, as a safety measure bring your own. Helpful tip bring a small can of lysol and spray your cabin down. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I am retired and an avid cruiser. I have cruised on most of the major lines. This was my first trip on MSC. I was attracted to it by the price and my desire to try something different. I had read a lot of really terrible reviews so I ... Read More
I am retired and an avid cruiser. I have cruised on most of the major lines. This was my first trip on MSC. I was attracted to it by the price and my desire to try something different. I had read a lot of really terrible reviews so I arrived at the ship with some hesitations. The load in was a headache. Long lines mostly in the sun. My mind is drawing mental pictures of a ship that looks like a 50's B movie. When we arrived on the ship, I found how wrong I was. I was surprised by the beauty and quality of the furnishings and decor. The Italian flavor of the vessel is everywhere and quite tastefully done. I particularly enjoyed the mosaics in the pool area. My second fear was that I would be spending 5 days eating tv dinners. So my first stop was at the buffet. There were not as many entrees as on some of the other cruise lines, but the choices were adequate and preparation and taste was on par with any ship I have been on. The pizza bar in particular was phenomenal. Ok so the ship is beautiful and the food is very good. I bet our stateroom is going to be the size of a closet. Wrong again. I had booked a room with a window. But when I arrived there, MSC had given us a free upgrade to a balcony. The room was spacious by cruise ship standards and nicely appointed. The bathroom even had glass shower doors. The staff was pleasant, maybe not overly so but I don't take a lot of pampering. The entertainment was a bit of a throwback to earlier times. Acrobats, aerialists, dancers and singers. It wasn't Royal Caribbean Broadway, but these performers were at the top of their game and their enthusiasm was obvious. The shows were lots of fun. (One caveat, the Cruise Director and Captain talk too much. You can arrive at the show 15 or 20 minutes late and still have time to be bored before the show starts.) Lest you think I see the world through rose colored glasses I will tell you service in the Dining Room is slow. Very slow. Plan on two hours for dinner. The Buffet is a good alternative for quicker food but will be crowded to the max. Here's a tip, if you don't mind a few steps, there are tables in the adjoining pool area with a lovely ocean view and less noise. Also the public restrooms are small for a ship of this size. You may find it easier to return to your stateroom especially if you are in a hurry. : ) The beaches at the private island are gorgeous. There is some coral so it is best to have water shoes. If you like to snorkel go along the rocks you will see some good size fish. Don't miss the laser light show of the lighthouse. It is a genuine stunner. The plants are recently planted and not what you would hope for in a tropical "paradise." If you have problems with flies near the food trucks. Cover your food with a plate and step away before you eat, or take a short walk back to the ship and eat there. So was it a perfect trip? No. Every cruise has its own little headaches. But to be honest I recently came off cruises on Royal Caribbean Symphony and Celebrity Edge that cost a lot more and delivered a lot less. Would I cruise with MSC again? I already have booked two more cruises with MSC. That should be recommendation enough. My advice to you: When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade, add Tequila. Call it a Margarita, and book another Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Overall, I would do this ship again. My first cruise was the Dawn and it definitely brought back some memories. I think I am biased to the smaller ships! I think the food was pretty good. I've seen others complain about it and the ... Read More
Overall, I would do this ship again. My first cruise was the Dawn and it definitely brought back some memories. I think I am biased to the smaller ships! I think the food was pretty good. I've seen others complain about it and the only real complaint I have is that the food from the buffet was a bit bland which I think is to be expected. It is why they give you salt and pepper at your table. I loved, loved, loved the Great Outdoors buffet/bar area. It was awesome for late night snacks and even to sit outside when the buffet was a bit more crowded. Speaking of which, the buffet was tinier then the Dawn's, but the seating area was larger. We found seating whenever we went, even if it was busy. There are 2 pools which I think was great. Even on the busy sea days we were able to find chairs. They didn't host a single thing outside at night if you are into that. We did the Thermal package and spent an hour to 2 there every day. I loved the warm rock/ceramic chairs. I always ended up dozing off they made me so relaxed! They hosted a lot in the Spinnaker Lounge which I thought was really cool. It is in the front of the ship, so it can be a bit rockier, but there was a lot of room and the view was so neat! The shows in the Stardust were cool! The comedian was hilarious (we went to the adult show) and the Legends of Rock show was seriously so great I didn't want it to end! The acrobats/flyers were good, but not really our style. Our cruise director was Tiara. We weren't huge fans of her (we love Richard Matic, so we are spoiled lol). She didn't really host much. Left most of it to her Assistant CD and staff. The staff was so good and one of them was a phenomenal DJ! We bowled which was not easy, but a cool experience! We had an inside room near the front stairs and there was no noise at night at all. Would definitely do an inside room again, even if we did sleep a little later since it was like sleeping in a cave lol Everyone on the ship was super helpful and very nice to talk to, especially when you treated them with respect! We stopped at Harvest Caye and Costa Maya, Mexico. Harvest Caye was great and the pool was sooooo nice. You do have to pay out of pocket for stuff, but we went back to the ship and had lunch. I thought the Wildlife Experience was super cool! Costa Maya is definitely a tourist port, but it was still really neat to experience. The water is a beautiful blue!! Disembarking was a bit of a pain, but not NCLs fault. Customs seemed really slow. Took us maybe an hour to get off the ship and through customs. We did self-disembarkation as well (carried our own luggage). The ship is a bit older and not really made for kids. My husband is 30 and I'm 25. We both have a bit of older souls so I think we fit the crowd great! Would 100% do again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
My friends and I have been on 3 Norwegian cruises and this last one topped them all. Although we missed out on 2 of our ports due to weather and it was 2nd time not being able to see Great Stirrup Caye, we still had a blast thanks to the ... Read More
My friends and I have been on 3 Norwegian cruises and this last one topped them all. Although we missed out on 2 of our ports due to weather and it was 2nd time not being able to see Great Stirrup Caye, we still had a blast thanks to the staff. Kasi, one of the bartenders made every day special. His personality and helpfulness was above and beyond what I expected. By the end of the trip he had me drinking Campari shots like it was nothing. Having to say goodbye to him was my least favorite part but now I have a friend for life. Along with Kasi their were a few other crew members that made our trip amazing. Marcus one of the bar waiters felt like family by the end, Iwana created a drink just for us that we named after him, Lee was another great bartender, Deadra from Osheeans dealt with all our drunk loudness after bliss each night, Predrag another bar waiter played the floor is lava with us every time we saw him in passing, Gustav- Guss(our housekeeper) cleaned our 3 rooms with no complaints always helpful and always smiling. These people deserve praise for all the hard work they put in each day and night. Belize was one of our favorite ports because we got the private cabana just steps away the the ocean. It was absolutely beautiful. Another favorite was Nassau Bahamas and Cozumel Mexico. Gian guided us during our tequila tasting for my birthday. He was so informative and genuinely nice. I didn’t expect to like Cozumel as much as I did but now I can’t wait to go back! I could go on and on about how much fun we had. I will definitely recommend this cruise to everyone I know! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We are frequent cruisers but had not cruised on NCL for 10 years. This cruise on the Sun was a very pleasant surprise. The ship is in great shape - all the money spent in renovations during dry dock really shows! The food was very ... Read More
We are frequent cruisers but had not cruised on NCL for 10 years. This cruise on the Sun was a very pleasant surprise. The ship is in great shape - all the money spent in renovations during dry dock really shows! The food was very good in all the venues we tried. The food and service was excellent in the Seven Seas MDR. Norwegian is a much more relaxed "freestyle" experience and we enjoyed that after cruising on other lines not quite so relaxed. There were many, many activities available during the day and night with a good amount of live music around the pool, in the atrium, in the Bliss Lounge and sometimes in the Spinnaker Lounge on deck 12. My husband and I are dancers - social ballroom, country and western, Carolina Shag - and none of the venues had great dance floors. The production shows were good. The performers were very young with LOTS of energy in their routines! The comedian and magician were pretty bad. The two ports - Costa Maya and Cozumel were enjoyable and the weather was great with temperatures in the low 80s. We had a little rain one day, but other than that, it was a great January cruise. Our cabin was a mini-suite on the 8th floor. The room was great and had been updated during the dry dock. The balcony was a large aft balcony with a nice view of the ship's wake. One negative note - the aft rooms on the 8th deck are over the theater so there's noise during the shows and when they are practicing during the day. Port Canaveral is a very nice little port. People are more friendly and you don't have all the rush and stress of a large port like Port Everglades. I would definitely take this cruise again! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We choose this cruise because it was going to Turks and Caicos one of favorite stops! Also a sponsored cruise by our community so many neighbors on board! We did do Rudi's Sel De Mer and for the extra charge this is well worth it! We ... Read More
We choose this cruise because it was going to Turks and Caicos one of favorite stops! Also a sponsored cruise by our community so many neighbors on board! We did do Rudi's Sel De Mer and for the extra charge this is well worth it! We also did another night at the Pinnacle Grill along with the Canaletto Italian fare included by VacationsToGo. I do need to say we enjoyed the Canaletto the best maybe because we are partial to the food! My wife had the Veal Scallopini and I the Lobster Ravioli. The Langoustine-Tomato Soup is the best we ever had! Entertainment: The dance crew were excellent and we really enjoyed (the comedy) Mike the ventriloquist with Terrance his Figure! Terrance kept picking on this loser in the first row who didn't understand the humor as Terrance kept saying "What A Loser"! In Gran Turk we did the Grand Turk Exclusive Supreme Snorkeling Tour almost 4 hrs. Snorkeled the wall first and then some shallow reefs. Tasting the fresh conch was excellent and conch salad even better! The Stingray back massage was a kodak moment to be captured and remembered! Thank you Capt Gary and First Mate Marshall for a trip to be remembered! These guys need a big tip also! Nieuw Amsterdam azipod thruster malfunction forced a change in Itinerary from stopping at Saint Martin and sailing to St Croux instead! This was a welcome change and we had the best weather day at this stop! Don't miss a small bar on the nearby beach run by Shelly and Big Sexy what a hoot that was! Best drinks better than the ship and best jerk chicken! Stop in Old San Juan just after first earthquake not so great with most stores closed due to power outage! We did not make the Half Moon Kay private island stop due to high winds and poor weather! Best Martini's on the ship are made my Michael in the Pinnacle Bar midships! Give Michael a big TIP!!! Just one note on our room we had Cabin #8147 STBD side just under the Lido Deck Sea View Pool area. You will be awoken by the movement of chairs and tables every morning between 6 and 6:30 am. Noise also goes to 11pm at night depending on the weather. Do not recommend staying on deck 8 aft unless you are a heavy sleeper! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was a group cruise in Jan 2020 and was the eastern Caribbean. The ports visited were Saint Maarten, Saint Lucia, San Juan. We missed Grand Turk as the wind was too high to safely enter port. The food highlight was the visit to the ... Read More
This was a group cruise in Jan 2020 and was the eastern Caribbean. The ports visited were Saint Maarten, Saint Lucia, San Juan. We missed Grand Turk as the wind was too high to safely enter port. The food highlight was the visit to the steakhouse (extra $$) but it was worth it. We visited the 2nd nite and was able to take advantage of promotion for free bottle of wine. We also brought wine aboard and were pleased that they didn't charge the corking fee in the dining room. The dining room food I found to be on par with past cruises on Allure of the Seas and Norweigan. There were plenty of lunch food options and the burger joint was quite good but the BBQ pit a disappointment. At dinner, if you missed dining time the buffet was rather sparse and limited. The ship entertainment focused more on party time. There were fewer shows and lower overall show quality than Royal Caribbean and Norweigan (based on our other cruises). The rooms were very clean and the staff very nice and attentive. Overall, the crew were the friendliest of any other cruise I have been on. Overall, the trip was ok but would not re-do this ship. 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
We chose Princess for the first time mainly for the ports of call. The trip overall was wonderful as far as the stops and the excursions we did, some we booked through the ship and others we chose once we got off at each port. The ship was ... Read More
We chose Princess for the first time mainly for the ports of call. The trip overall was wonderful as far as the stops and the excursions we did, some we booked through the ship and others we chose once we got off at each port. The ship was a beautiful ship overall. The staff every where on the ship were exceptionally friendly, always greeting you with a smile as they passed by. Our stateroom steward was amazing, friendly and very accommodating. The entire casino staff were wonderful, the only downfall were the hours the casino was open. I have never been on a ship where the casino closed at midnight at the very latest, that was very disappointing. The food in the dining room was satisfactory, I definitely like Carnival's common dining menu much, much better. The dining staff again were amazing. The shows were disappointing overall, we only attended two, the remainder were not of interest to us. Our room was quite noisy most of the nights. This cruise as far as being on the ship just did not fit our age group, not exciting for the most part, music variety was terrible. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
First of all , let me start by saying that I have taken multiple new years cruise with carnival and other cruise line. My first impression was a worn down destroyed ship that needed a lot of work, but never thought that I would ... Read More
First of all , let me start by saying that I have taken multiple new years cruise with carnival and other cruise line. My first impression was a worn down destroyed ship that needed a lot of work, but never thought that I would experience a horrible sewage smell throughout the floor where my cabin was at all times!! (7th floor). My cabin was kept clean by my stateroom steward , WIRAT, VERY ATTENTIVE AND NICE. BUT TOWELS are OLD AND NEED TO BE THROWN OUT!!! My dinner experiences was nothing to brag about. Poor food selection but great service. Overall, the staff in the carnival sensation ship are wonderful, too bad the ship is in such a bad condition. There was rust and what appears as holes from the bottom part of the ship that I saw during debarkation . The ship should have not be allowed to leave the port under those conditions!! The tours offered by the cruise are good with the exception that you can not listen to the tour guide when there's a recommendation for local food and stores. Since it appears they take you where they might get a commission and no regards if the food is good or not. I would continue cruising but not sure if will ever go again on a carnival cruise due to my experience and definitely not on carnival sensation!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Took the New Year 2020 7 day cruise. This was my 6th cruise but 1st time with MSC. Ship was very modern and beautifully design even though the theater seems a bit small and some of the layout is not ideal such as the casino being kind ... Read More
Took the New Year 2020 7 day cruise. This was my 6th cruise but 1st time with MSC. Ship was very modern and beautifully design even though the theater seems a bit small and some of the layout is not ideal such as the casino being kind of hidden. Water slides were not open every time we tried to go in and don’t think they were open at any moment. Service wasn’t what we expected. A lot of the servers and waiters don’t speak or understand fluent English. The Guest Relation staff was very disorganized and not helpful at all. In fact, they did not honor the Free WiFi and Drinks package we had with our booking. It took them 5 days to respond and they still didn’t give us the package after we showed them proof. The photo dept charged us $40 to our credit card for photos we never requested and never refunded it. Spa staff tried to sell us another package saying that the online package we bought on their website wasn’t available and that we needed to call back after arriving back in Miami to get a refund. By the way, they never answer the customer service phone number. Food at the main dining was ok, they never brought more bread, took quite a while to get our food, and water refills took long as well. At the Marketplace buffet there wasn’t much selections and some of the areas will close down rather quickly. The buffet will only have pizza available after 10pm. Excursions are ok. The captain couldn’t leave Costa Maya due to bad weather however other 3 cruise ships left without an issue. So we never got to Ocean Cay and this seems to be an ongoing issue. Coming in to Miami they hit the bottom reef or buoy sending things flying on the cabins and almost having to evacuate after the “Delta Echo Delta Echo” message through the cabin speakers at 4:30am. Life boats were being prepared and no responses or updates were given about this situation. Will not be booking another cruise with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We choose Freedom because of the sail ports and dates. A group of 18 people got together to take the cruise and celebrate New Years Eve! The New Years eve parties were awesome. Food was very good and you never went hungry. We were in ... Read More
We choose Freedom because of the sail ports and dates. A group of 18 people got together to take the cruise and celebrate New Years Eve! The New Years eve parties were awesome. Food was very good and you never went hungry. We were in a balcony cabin which was very nice and had plenty of room to move around and store our clothes. The entertainment was awesome - the cruise staff went above and beyond to make all the entertainment fun and exciting. The pool area was awesome and had 4 bars very near so you never went thirsty! The waiters were constantly circling the pool area and offering bar service - even brought the drinks right to the pool edge if you didn't want to get out! I highly recommend the beverage package - it is truly unlimited so it is worth the extra money. We didn't book excursions because I didn't want to be scheduled to do anything - this was a true vacation. The phone was turned off when I got on the ship and not turned back on until the end of the cruise. There is plenty to do on the ship on port days plus if you enjoy the pool it is empty on port days! I would highly recommend Royal Caribbean Freedom of the seas. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
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 crew staff was great The captain is a rambler and does not till you the truth Food was good but the menu was not extensive changing The ion shore trips are twice the price for the same trip if you pay on board The drinks ... Read More
The crew staff was great The captain is a rambler and does not till you the truth Food was good but the menu was not extensive changing The ion shore trips are twice the price for the same trip if you pay on board The drinks package was a total rip off as are the bar prices $15 for a beer after a 18% tip and exchange rate. The exchange rate the ship gives you is poor All expenses add 18% as a tip that is not share with all crew only senior staff. You have to pay no opt out is given The islands you visit some have deals with the cruise line and they also over charge you at pine island the menu price for a beer is $8.5 but they charged us $12 then later in the day it increased to $15 because they could. The island only has 1 pub you can get to Basically the ship will rip you off all the way through They even floated around for a day so they could make sure we spent on the ship Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I have never been on a cruise before and, I have to admit that I will never forget this experience. The embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. Our mini-suite room was great: comfortable bed, air-conditioned, safe box, ... Read More
I have never been on a cruise before and, I have to admit that I will never forget this experience. The embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. Our mini-suite room was great: comfortable bed, air-conditioned, safe box, minibar, movies on demand and the ensuite bathroom that was small but pleasant. Anytime dining was just amazing. Lots of quality food options were available - Mexican, Italian, French, vegetarian. My favorite place was BAKERY :) The room service is so quick and there were no separate charges. It was a 12-nights on the cruise and has no boring moments because the cruise has a wide range of entertainment programmes throughout the day. Also, it was so big that you will find a new place every day when you explore it. The staff is very friendly and helpful. The events organized by cruise were fabulous :) Fully recommended this ship to all age group of people. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Everyone from the cabin steward the wait staff, the tour assistants the bartenders , everyone helpful and pleasant. The people the food the ship it was all amazing. the ship was decorated for the holidays and the new years eve ... Read More
Everyone from the cabin steward the wait staff, the tour assistants the bartenders , everyone helpful and pleasant. The people the food the ship it was all amazing. the ship was decorated for the holidays and the new years eve celebration,and new years day brunch were excellent. cabin was roomy enough and laid out conveniently the dining room offered a nice variety and was relaxing ,the world cafe offered a wide selection, and always the gelato. Room service was very punctual. it was nice to have several areas to go for a breakfast. again all staff were helpful never any problem to go the additional step to please us. the ports/excursions were wonderful and the guides in Pisa, Monte Carlo and Barcelona were great. The ship was laid out so that all was convenient and the activities and entertainment was diverse. thanks for a great trip. We had sailed with Viking river in the past and loved it all. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I am no expert cruiser, but wanted to share our experience for those seeking a December experience on this REALLY big ship! Pros: *Holiday ease w/lots of options for the entire extended family. *Informed captain that made expert ... Read More
I am no expert cruiser, but wanted to share our experience for those seeking a December experience on this REALLY big ship! Pros: *Holiday ease w/lots of options for the entire extended family. *Informed captain that made expert decisions to avoid storms and find sunnier ports. *Ship design that allows for folks to getaway from the crowds. *Great Teen club that my two teenagers said "Was actually pretty cool." *Super shows! Grease is a knockout. El Gaucho was ok and the adult only comedy night was very funny! (Rodney Laney, I think and don't remember the other comedian). *We all took Bonine EVERY night without fail including 2 days before sailing. The boat was rockin' and rollin' especially the first night. Please do not wait until you are sick to take medication. It is very difficult to reverse the effects of motion sickness!! Take Bonine whether you think you are prone to motion sickness or not. It can save your vacation! *Staying on board on a port day makes for lots of room by the pool! Cons: *This boat is HUGE. We had 6700 passengers on board. Knowing that both the Park Cafe and the Solarium offer breakfast at no charge is key to avoiding the crowds;) * Prepare for a not-so-sunny day or two in December. We had great weather most of the trip despite dismal forecasts for the entire week from The Weather Channel. We prepared for the worst and experienced the best most every day! *Main Dining room service can suffer a bit on a really big boat. The personalized experience that you get at dinner on a smaller ship is difficult to replicate with massive crowds of diners. We changed tables after the first night because we experienced sub-par service. Things were wonderful for the rest of the cruise. We did not eat in any specialty restaurants and ate in the main dining room every night so it was important to us to be at a table with experienced servers that were invested in providing excellent service. * The Christmas theme is over the top. Ok...it's a Christmas cruise so it is expected to hear Christmas songs on an infinite loop and for families to appear in matching pj's on Christmas morning ready for photos in the dining room. You need to be prepared for an excess of Christmas everything until after Christmas day. It is definitely the focus of every person on the ship. We were very much over Christmas music by 12/26!! There can be too much of a good thing;) * You usually pay more for this time frame so budget accordingly. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We booked this cruise largely because friends of ours invited us to join them. We were quite excited to try out MSC, having previously tried Royal, Disney, Norwegian and Carnival. Some Pros: 1) Loved the status match. It made it a ... Read More
We booked this cruise largely because friends of ours invited us to join them. We were quite excited to try out MSC, having previously tried Royal, Disney, Norwegian and Carnival. Some Pros: 1) Loved the status match. It made it a very easy decision to consider MSC when we've already got status with several other cruise lines. Getting the 5% off just by being a part of their loyalty program was amazing. And getting the free hour in the spa was fun. 2) The ship was gorgeous. Incredibly clean (there were ALWAYS staff cleaning) They cleaned out balcony with a full pressure wash twice while we were on board for our 7 day cruise. 3) Our room steward was amazing - always prompt, incredibly polite, he noted that we were Canadian and was more than happy to speak to us in either Official language (French or English) 4) All in one package - this add on was amazing and totally worth it. The easy package was just fine for us (no real need for fancy cocktails.. I'm very happy with a Vodka Cranberry or a Coco Colada with a shot of rum on the side;) 5) Cirque du Soleil - Sonar was AMAZING. Viaggio was ok. The cocktails offered at both weren't worth it. The seats for the cocktail only bookings were better than the ones for dinner (the tables for dinner are on the outer circle around the stage with all the cocktail seats nearer to the stage). Both shows used the entire theater in incredible ways. 6) Embarkation and Disembarkation: both were among the smoothest I've ever experienced. Disembarkation took maybe 15 minutes from the time we heard our number called to the time we were through customs and looking for our transport to the airport. 7) The pools were gorgeous and the Bamboo pool area was great. The pools themselves filled up fast though. 8) The app chat feature - it was great. We had a group of 11 people in 4 different cabins and were able to very easily keep in contact and coordinate. However, kids under 16 aren't allowed to use the chat feature, so that made it REALLY inconvenient when they'd be in the kids club. Definitely room for improvement on that aspect. 9) The elevators. For a ship that size, it was really easy to get an elevator. Most of the time we avoid them like the plague due to the wait (or waiting and finding out the elevator is already full). This ship though, we rarely had an issue. 10) Smoking area and smoking enforcement. The ship seemed to actually enforce the smoking areas, it was at the back of the ship next to a bar near a smaller pool with a huge deck, and of course in the casino (which was on a lower level and enclosed to help prevent smoke and smell wafting in the rest of the ship). As an asthmatic I struggle being in areas with smoke and the only time I had an issue on this ship was going to circle du soleil (as you have to go through the casino to get to the show's theater). Our neighbour smoked on their balcony the first night so we called down to guest services who very promptly dealt with the situation. 10) the Aurea spa - we're not spa people so this was our first experience with the spa. We only went since we had the hour included with our loyalty status. We went during a port day so we had the entire area to ourselves. There were easily 10 different rooms, each with a different feature (lights, smells, hot/cold, whirlpool, salt room, etc). My biggest complaint here was that it was entirely inside with no views of the water. Otherwise I enjoyed it. Also, the staff did not track time at all (perhaps because we were the only two using the facilities) so we stayed for about an hour and a half. 11) ocean cay. I cannot stress enough how amazing this island is. I'm eager to return, particularly in a couple of years when the island has had more time to develop and grow. It's already gorgeous, but it will be even that much more amazing. Sitting at the bar by the lighthouse enjoying a cold refreshment watching the sun set over the water and listening to the soothing sounds of the waves is one of those experiences that stays with you for a lifetime. The not so great: 1) the activities. We would routinely go 2 - 4 hours where there would be NOTHING on the schedule (literally, the time slots wouldn't even be listed on the app). This regularly happened during the day time, leaving the over crowded pools, the board games (most of which weren't in English so if you didn't know how to play... good luck? although Clue in German was pretty hilarious for a non-German speaking family ;) Then, in the evening, the activities would be stacked between the shows, some game shows, trivia, movie by the pool and of course dinner. So we'd be starved for planned activities during the day and at night, we'd have to miss some of the best activities. 2) The food experience: The food was just ok. There were some dishes that just a bit... different. (IE: My husband ordered eggs benedict for breakfast.. and got a hard boiled egg on ham, with an english muffin. But only about 2 tablespoons of hollandaise sauce (the point of the dish I thought?) and the whole thing was covered in easily 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese. So it just tasted like salty Parmesan. 2 nights in a row we ordered pasta dishes and the noodles tasted like clarified butter and nothing else.) Dinner ALWAYS took an hour and 45 minutes or more. The first night we arrived 15 minutes early so that we'd get to our table first (and we were literally the first people to walk through the doors) and dinner took over 2 hours. We ended up late for the show. When we mentioned this to our waiter, he informed us that we should make sure to be first to the restaurant.... which we were. It improved the rest of the nights, but it was incredibly clear that the waiters were given far too many tables to be able to handle so we missed out on getting to know our server and assistant server. 3) The buffet. My husband and I differ here - I really enjoyed the buffet. The carve station was always great, there was always delicious mashed potato. I was a happy gal. My husband though, felt that the food was either very 'plain" (meat and potatoes) or it was a little weird (fettuccine Alfredo with whole anchovies on top, or nachos but no cheese, pepperoni pizza with no cheese but there's fresh mozzarella made on the ship, steamed veggies then tossed in yogurt). 4) The easy drink package - both a plus and not so much here. They don't make you sign anything so you can't really check to see what you got charged for. At one point my husband ordered a drink on their easy menu called a "Canadian and Coke" (which should have been according to their menu, a Seagrams 7 and Coke). The bartender (not necessarily wrongly... per se) poured him and charged him for a $9 Canadian Club and Coke (which wasn't included on the easy drink package). Not really a big deal, but if that's your drink of choice for the week, you could be faced with a hefty bill if you aren't checking your bill (which you can do on the app or on the TV). 5) The sales pushing - When we got on board the ship, in this big, beautiful promenade area with the gorgeous LED screen that spans the length of the ceiling.. all you really want to do is take a moment, look around, orient yourself and figure out where you are supposed to be going for lunch. Instead, we were immediately surrounded by easily 5 different staff members holding up papers advertising various packages (internet, specialty dining, drink packages, excursions) all calling out as though you were in the middle of a straw market and pushing their papers towards you. Once you break free of the first group, there's another 20 staff lined up all with the same papers to make sure you weren't missed in their attempt to upsell you something. While embarkation was smooth, the initial experience on the ship was a little overwhelming. Particularly when those staff continued to try to sell you those packages in almost every public area (and at dinner) for the first 2 days of the voyage. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I make it short Ship is old but very clean U find everywhere a quite place Food in Restaurant was good not the best but good. Service in Restaurant was great. Shows was ok Steve the Cruisedirector was great The ... Read More
I make it short Ship is old but very clean U find everywhere a quite place Food in Restaurant was good not the best but good. Service in Restaurant was great. Shows was ok Steve the Cruisedirector was great The coffeeplace was real good..thanks to that team The cabin is modern and very nice After every excursion it was like coming back home The captain is a real person that u see every day around the ship on any place and he talking to u without making a big thing out of it. The buffet is ok.. not the best but for shure not the worst ..u find all time something to eat. The new years party was super The drinks and cocktails was super The internet was slow but we had lot of kids and teens on board so there were all online what made the internet slow.. It was great time Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We are Diamond members with RCI, they seem to want to forget about the loyal passengers and only seem interested in Suite passengers. The normal Diamond Lounge has been taken away from Diamond members and given to Suite passengers and ... Read More
We are Diamond members with RCI, they seem to want to forget about the loyal passengers and only seem interested in Suite passengers. The normal Diamond Lounge has been taken away from Diamond members and given to Suite passengers and have been pushed into a pokey 31 seat room near the Star lounge. A lot of the Diamond members had to sit in the Star Lounge. Seems like they will be altering their tier system due to the increase in Diamond members, this monster was created by RCI so we will have to see what they will do. The Diamond Lounge was a social hub where you could catch up each day, but now it may as well be closed. The gym has been moved from the front of the ship to the rear of the ship removing the inside pool and all saunas and steam rooms and reducing the size of the gym. This was a Christmas cruise which was more like the cruise ship that for got Christmas, there was no traditional Christmas dinners which having over 3,500 Australian passengers you would have thought this would be the main menu item. For the first 7 days there was no enforced washing of hands so people would walk straight in without washing their hands and spreading Noro virus to over 400 passengers, after complaining about this, hello they enforced it on the last two days putting two offices at the entry, well done Royal but too little too late. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Chose club class mini suite. Excellent for 2 week voyage. A bit disappointed with the entertainment of Santa and holiday events because of such a huge crowd in Piazzia. Maybe show this entertainment on tv so more can see. I’m sure that ... Read More
Chose club class mini suite. Excellent for 2 week voyage. A bit disappointed with the entertainment of Santa and holiday events because of such a huge crowd in Piazzia. Maybe show this entertainment on tv so more can see. I’m sure that was the best place not knowing weather conditions and having a full capacity of guests. Club class dining is outstanding, a bit disappointed in buffet. Formal nights were mostly informed in dining room, but was so much happier in club area. This is noticed on many cruises and I like it I enforced. It is on your booking and buffet is open if you don’t want to dress appropriately. The entertainment, dancers, musicians, singers were enjoyed by all ages. It was wonderful to have holiday decorations the entire time. All of the ports had decorations as well. I was disappointed how all tour groups met off ship and had to walk some distance to find group and then to get to tour bus or boat. I prefer to meet as tour on ship and leave as a group, not a mass exit when approved to go ashore. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
The cruise offered three days in Israel; it offered free excursions at every port; it served free wine or beers at most meals; etc. Viking also has an excellent reputation, and the cruise went at a most convenient time for us. My wife has ... Read More
The cruise offered three days in Israel; it offered free excursions at every port; it served free wine or beers at most meals; etc. Viking also has an excellent reputation, and the cruise went at a most convenient time for us. My wife has traveled on river cruises with Viking and loved them, but this was the first time either of us had a Viking sea cruise. We especially enjoyed the Italian restaurant but not so much the Asian restaurant. The menus for the main dining room were very varied and enabled us to enjoy our favorite dishes. We did not avail ourselves of the fitness room, but my wife did have some service at the spa, such as a massage and hair dressing. The lecture on the Bayeau tapestry we found very informative, especially as most of the elevator stages had exceollent, enlarged c opies of panels from the tapestry. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019

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