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104 Holiday Cruise Reviews

Let me preface my critique by saying, we are seasoned cruisers that take a cruise every Christmas or New Year. We booked our Christmas cruise in June. We were so looking forward to cruising on MSC. What a disappointment! We paid for a ... Read More
Let me preface my critique by saying, we are seasoned cruisers that take a cruise every Christmas or New Year. We booked our Christmas cruise in June. We were so looking forward to cruising on MSC. What a disappointment! We paid for a Balcony Stateroom with a couch and coffee table. What we got was the same as an inside room with a balcony. It was a very tight space! Not to mention that the picture of this cabin on their website showed a couch and coffee table! That was just welcome to MSC! You know what they say about first impressions! Next, we didn't leave the Port of Miami until after 9:00PM. Not that it was their fault but, it would have been nice to know why we were still sitting in Miami at that time. The first night at dinner was a disaster! The cruise was booked to max capacity and they could not handle the dinner crowd. The table we were seated at was partly located in the aisle and part was stuck in an alcove rendering half of the table unusable. Not to mention, every time a person passed, they had to bump into the table in order to pass! A pet peeve of ours is the sham of a dress code! Why say you have one if you aren't going to enforce it! If we wanted to eat at the pool, we would have, swim trunks, jeans and shorts just aren't acceptable! The shows were good but music in the bars and public spaces was mediocre. No comedians, no piano bars but a lot of big empty rooms! Every other Christmas cruise we have been on, had Christmas events - this cruise had nothing, no holiday spirit! NO parties, music, Christmas breakfast - Nothing! The pool decks were roomy, but the best areas for getting sun were in areas that you had to pay extra to get to, and they were strict about entering these areas. You had to be a member. So I really am not sure who I would recommend this cruise line to. Not a lot to do for kids. Not a lot of activities for families. No great bar scene for couples. The afternoon lunch is a zoo, very disorganized. Buyer beware, there are a lot of great cruise deals out there, MSC is not one of them.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
As you may have guessed this is not going to be a positive review... Cruise Q423 to Amsterdam for the Christmas Markets 2014 was meant to be a nice little pre-Christmas break to relax and unwind ready for the festive season. Obviously, ... Read More
As you may have guessed this is not going to be a positive review... Cruise Q423 to Amsterdam for the Christmas Markets 2014 was meant to be a nice little pre-Christmas break to relax and unwind ready for the festive season. Obviously, Cunard had other plans as they had enlisted - what can only be described as - a "B List" Captain and Team of Senior Staff. We had previously cruise on this ship 4 times before and found it to be absolutely wonderful. Hence, we were excited to spend a few days on the ship before Christmas. However, right from the start this cruise felt a little flat with staff very unmotivated and an absence of senior staff. Embarkation was good and the ship departed Southampton on time. In the early stages of the cruise there was no indication from the Captain that there would be any problems with the cruise. I had also checked the weather prior to leaving and knew that there would be some strong gusts in Amsterdam, but the Captain had indicated none of this. Later in the cruise the Captain mentioned strong winds in the Amsterdam area; again I was not overly concerned as only the previous year the ship failed to dock in Amsterdam because of high winds, but did dock at Rotterdam; the wind were not as bad as last year. The Captain then said that there was a 10% we may dock at Amsterdam and that we would sail all the way to the entrance and see what conditions were like. Eventually we were told we would not dock and alternatives would be considered. We then spend a considerably long time just sailing round with no updates. Finally we were told we would not dock anywhere because conditions were so poor. By now the mood of the ship had somewhat changed and this was very noticeable to both passengers and staff. To make matters worse the Captain then announced we would be arriving back in port a day early due to ‘essential works’. I think this pushed passengers over the edge as we then had lots of moaning and complaining. The atmosphere on the ship for the last two nights was pretty ugly. I am not really complaining that we did not go to Amsterdam as I appreciate that is a difficult port to get in and out of. However, its pretty poor to suggest that the entire west coast of Europe was inaccessible due to strong winds; especially when 12 month earlier the Queen Elizabeth had encountered far worse conditions and docked at Rotterdam. Not to mention the ship departed Southampton in Hurricane Force 12 winds Christmas 2013…if that was safe then Cunard have no excuse for not calling at any alternative port. I also understand that other cruise liners also docked at Amsterdam that night. I was also surprise that the ship had a strong diesel smell in the casino and pub; this was pretty disturbing as it appeared there was a problem with the ship. Why was this? Was it safe? Where Cunard cutting corners to save money? Cunard’s poor management and handling of the cruise meant many passengers just disembarked when the holiday was cut short by the Captain. It was not at all enjoyable having a meal in The Verandah Restaurant watching people lining up to get off on one side of the restaurant and Southampton dock on the other side. It was meant to be a pleasant night at sea sailing back from Amsterdam. The port cancellation was only one of several issues with this cruise. The majority of the staff and crew were either absent or not engaged in keeping passengers happy - well below the standards I have experienced with Cunard in the past. The Entertainments Director was a complete Misogynist asking young female colleagues how much they weighed on the TV feed. All in all, the cruise was rubbish. After the cruise, I did think of writing and complaining, but decided not to. However, Cunard contacted me a few weeks ago to see if I'd like to cruise with them again....they had a chance to win our custom back, but instead managed to make matters worse by saying "we are not giving any compensation" when I never complained or asked for this and was simply never going to cruise with them again. Only the arrogance of Cunard could make a customer service call escalate to the point of "rubbing salt into the wounds". Thankfully, we've found Celebrity so we won't bothering Cunard again...and we'd advise anyone not to bother with Cunard either! Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We just returned from a 4 night Thanksgiving holiday cruise on the Golden Princess. We have sailed on the Golden Princess previously but this time was definitely not like the first. Most of the dining staff and buffet staff were so ... Read More
We just returned from a 4 night Thanksgiving holiday cruise on the Golden Princess. We have sailed on the Golden Princess previously but this time was definitely not like the first. Most of the dining staff and buffet staff were so unfriendly I couldn't believe it. Food was definitely not the best and on Thanksgiving evening they ran out of dressing and we sat down to eat at the first dining. When food was finally served (1 1/2 hrs after placing our order) it was cold and just plain not up to Princess standards. On two plates they actually put 2 chestnuts as the dressing! We finally had such poor service and food we just went to the buffet the next evening. At least we could get our food but the wait staff in that area were just as unfriendly. It was like they were all tired and did not want to serve you, after all, with automatic tipping they will get tipped whether they do a good job or not. Also if you ordered a drink at the dining table, the waiter had to go get it. Bar service needs to be returned to the bar staff as the waiters already have plenty to keep track of. The bartenders at the Lobby Bar were the best! John, Ferdinand and Delton! Wow do they know how to make drinks and were so friendly and nice. The pool bartenders were rude and one of them in the Vista Lounge actually challenged one girl in our party about why she didn't order when everyone else did! So rude! Production shows are always the same - nothing new. Hawley Magic show was very good. This was my 5th cruise with Princess. If this was my first cruise with Princess I don't think I would be a returning cruiser. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
In February 2014, my husband and I booked our first cruise with Royal Caribbean. We have cruised previously with Carnival, Disney, and Holland America Lines. We were so excited to enjoy this new cruise line that before we knew it, we had ... Read More
In February 2014, my husband and I booked our first cruise with Royal Caribbean. We have cruised previously with Carnival, Disney, and Holland America Lines. We were so excited to enjoy this new cruise line that before we knew it, we had 21 other family members coming to celebrate Thanksgiving with us! For most, it was their first time on RCI, for others, they raved about the excellent time they had on other RCI ships. This cruise was full of memories, unfortunately not all were good. Sadly, the Vision of the Seas quality and service did not performed well or meet our expectations because of multiple issues that began even prior to sailing. We did not actually board the ship until 2:50pm, a full 2.5 hours AFTER arriving at the Port of Tampa, at our "scheduled" time, since we were on Deck 4. We have sailed out of Tampa before & have not had this problem. We were told multiple reasons for the delay, but were not offered any apology and greeted at every point by rude, condescending staff & security. There is nowhere to sit while waiting during this time, as the seating area is not until after you receive your Sea Pass. No restrooms, one vending machine, 2.5 hours. Families were separated, as they were closing lines off and only allowing people to enter once one section of the terminal was cleared. Also, we were told multiple times by RCI representatives when making our reservation and calling in to clarify, that NO outside food or beverages were allowed to be brought onboard, save 2 bottles of wine/champagne per cabin, with adults over the age of 21. There were families bringing cases of water, soda, and food and nothing was said to them. There is no enforcement of this policy, however my husband & father-in-law had their pocket knives confiscated because they could be used as a weapon. When asked to see this policy, the security guard rudely said that she "KNOWS Royal's policies and pocket knives are NOT allowed,". Strangely, my brother-in-law and uncle did not have their knives confiscated, as they were in a different line. Some customer service retraining would be helpful for this team, as they did not appear to know what they were doing. We had to ask the agent if he needed to take our picture for our Sea Pass! So, after all that, we get on the ship with enough time to drop our bags and go get something to drink, as we purchased the soda card...JUST KIDDING! Everything was closed for muster drill! We had to go to muster drill without part of our family, as they were still getting on the boat. Yes, people were still boarding the boat while muster drill was happening. After muster drill, the only place that was open for food was the Park Cafe, that had a line a mile long, as there was a large majority of people who didn't have the opportunity to eat since breakfast due to the exceptionally long embarkation time. We ended up eating at the Windjammer Cafe that night, as our luggage did not arrive until nearly 7:30pm. Only one side of the Windjammer Cafe was open and our family found that it is a terrible setup on the buffet, as the 2 sides are different, so you end up having to go through the line twice, or face being "that rude person" that cuts in to get some bread, butter, etc. It was not until the next night that we began having issues with the Main Dining room. During our first venture out to the Main Dining room, we made a reservation for all of us, 23 total, for 8:30pm. No issues with this, as we were a large group, and had 4 tables of six. Service was terrible from the beginning. Our waiter acted like he had better things to do and our wine sat unopened on our table until our appetizers were finished. We asked for a Diet Coke and we received an eye roll and a big sigh. It was already bad enough we spent most of the day hunting for a bar that would actually acknowledge our presence to fill our glass since we had the soda card. Once, I stood for 10 minutes at the pool bar without even a look my way. So, when we received the eye roll, we really had just about had enough and this was only our first full day onboard. Dishes were thrown down on the table, all stuffed together, incorrect dishes for some people and when we let them know it was wrong, "Oh, well, they are out of that other dish you ordered,". We were also told that the bread for the table is thrown away after they come around and you choose your piece of bread, as my nephew asked for bread with his entree and was denied. They asked us if we had reservations for any of the specialty restaurants, which we didn't, and they offered us 30% off. We declined. We attempted to go to MDR the next night, with only 2 people and were told that 8:30pm was the earliest we would be seated. Wait...this is My Time Dining, right? So, you're telling me basically that I have second seating, great. I prepaid my gratuities to eat AGAIN at the buffet. We attempted MDR once more this cruise, with 6 people, and again were told 8:30pm was the earliest we could eat. I actually stood in the "No Reservation" line upstairs on Deck 5 and was completely ignored for 20 minutes while my family stood in the "Reservations" line. No eye contact was made, no information was given as to when I would even be addressed. Completely and utterly rude. When I finally interrupted the little pow-wow at the desk & asked when I might be seated, I was greeted with another eye-roll and a finger pointing to the line, "After all those other people with reservations are seated, that's when we will seat you,". Wow. Basically, RCI, are you NOT wanting anyone to eat in the MDR? We never attempted to eat in the MDR for the remainder of the cruise, even though we had plans originally for Thanksgiving dinner as a family there. We have cruised other lines with My Time Dining and there is only a certain number of guests that can choose My Time Dining before that option is closed, then one must choose first or second seating and be on a waiting list for My Time Dining. This may be something that RCI could look into, as My Time Dining was still being offered until the second full day of the cruise. Since we're on the topic of food, let's discuss the availability of food & beverages. After 9:00pm, only lemonade/tea/coffee available is in the Park Cafe. After 2:00am, nothing, besides room service. For the soda card, your only options are basically the casino, or try & hunt down which bar is open, which is a crapshoot depending on the night. We had to again go to the casino to get our drinks while watching Monday Night Football on the Lido deck, as the pool bar was closed. There are zero beverage stations on the Lido deck by the pool and the Windjammer Cafe was closed off most of the time for refills on beverages, so you had to trek to the back of the ship to the Park Cafe, again. Food overall was sub-par, with the bread & baked potatoes being the best on the buffet. We were really expecting something special for Thanksgiving...nope, everything was the same, save for carved turkey that was undercooked and pumpkin pie. Seriously disappointing. During this time, service overall on the ship continued to be lackluster, as well as the activities on the ship. Seriously, every night we were told there we "so many activities! The shops, casino & photo gallery are open!,". Those are NOT activities. Nor is trivia once a day or a movie on deck in the middle of dinner time. In a word, this ship was boring. It's a good thing our family brought decks of cards because until the shows started at night, there truly was nothing to do, and afterwards, forget it. The ship was dead. The poor kids had a Wii tournament on the TV at the Schooner Bar. Really?!?! 20 kids huddled around the TV there trying to play Wii tennis. Very sad. Also, limited access to places to read, play cards, relax. Most venues were closed if not being used or they were being used for storage for art or other supplies. Most times we were wandering around looking for something to do or a place to play cards to no avail. The rudest service award goes to a casino bartender, as she told my husband she was "too busy to get him another soda & try another bar,". Guess what other bars were open? NONE! We weren't playing in the casino, just trying to get a soda, which apparently means you may/may not be served. I do NOT feel that the soda package is a good deal on this ship, especially since you can't take a can of soda with you "to go", unless you want to be charged for it. If there were more venues I could get a soda from, I wouldn't feel like I had to take a can "to go"! The shows onboard were ok, nothing jaw-dropping or fantastic. The aerial show in the Centrum that everyone was excited for was not worth the hype, as it looked very unpolished, with timing completely off and equipment looking ill-fitting on one of their performers, as his bungee went so much lower than the other two...very distracting. Also, during this time, there was an exceptionally rude photographer that continued to take photos during the aerial show and would rudely let people know they were in his "workspace" as they were walking through to get a spot or see the aerial show. Add another rude RCI employee to the ever growing list. At this point in the cruise, it became a running joke when we all met for meals as to what ridiculous thing happened today on the ship. We also had an issue with the tender information given in Belize. We have been on many ships that have tendered into ports. Never have we been told that we could not even receive a tender ticket an hour and a half after we anchor. We went to Guest Services to discuss this, as we had an excursion planned and needed to get off the ship as soon as possible, as our excursion left at 9:00am. Gabriela at Guest Services was exceptionally helpful in this department and we were allowed to depart with the shore excursion groups. We were very thankful for this! For future, maybe something should be posted on the itinerary when booking of the proposed tender times, as not everyone books shore excursions with the ship. One of our family members actually cancelled their cave tubing excursion & rebooked with the ship due to the tender issue. They lost their deposit since they booked with their prior knowledge of tenders to Belize was not what was expected on the Vision. We had also asked for a refund of our pre-paid gratuities due to the lackluster service and were told it was be credited to our card on file. We have NEVER doen this before. My sister-in-law also never received the $25 onboard credit she was missing (received $150, was supposed to receive $175), that we did have documentation of, as there was no follow up from Guest Services after they "contacted the corporate offices in Miami,". There was also a fantastic sewage smell in our hallway all week, at all times of the day. This was on all the port side decks, as we had family members on multiple decks. Gross. Nothing like getting a big whiff of poop stink first thing in the morning. My husband also got a nice bidet treatment one morning when the toilet next door flushed & the toilet water in our toilet splashed up on him. Ew. The last few nights, since the seas were rough, the hallways also smelled like vomit. There was a lack of sea sickness bags throughout the ship & guests were vomiting into purses, trash cans, and stairwell corners. Overall maintenance of the ship was lacking, and on deck, I was reprimanded for being on the jogging track at 5:30am, since they were power washing everyday at that time. The fitness center isn't open that early & we get to port at 7:00am, when exactly can I get my run in, then? Why are you power washing at 5:30am and why have the dirty dishes & cups not been picked up before now, as they are being blown all over the upper decks. My niece and I also had a hard time finding a deck chair that wasn't missing straps, mangled, or broken in some way. These chairs are in dire need of replacement, as they look like they are the originals that came with the ship. We did have one shining jewel among all this, our room steward, Donald. He made our cruise tolerable with his pleasant demeanor & attentiveness. We LOVED having him & he always made sure we had everything we needed, bringing us extra ice to chill our bottle of wine and extra towels since our niece & nephew would get ready in our room at times. Loved, loved, loved him! Disembarkation was just as awful as embarkation, completely disorganized & zero food available after a certain time, even though we disembarked a full 2 hours after we were supposed to. We waited in the Some Enchanted Evening lounge and had the hardest time understanding the crew member and what was going on, who was supposed to stay vs. who was allowed to go. Please make announcements throughout the ship instead of just in certain venues. Everyone's getting off the ship & some would rather wait in a different area with others in thier family that is not so congested. We are beyond disappointed with this cruise, as well as RCI because of the lack of quality and service overall. It is a terrible feeling to spent 9 months waiting for a vacation to be hit all week with obstacles that no one really seemed to want to help us with or care about. We have said that we may try RCI in the future, however in the distant future, as we don't want to repeat this experience anytime soon.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
If you are disabled, handicapped or have a special need think twice before "pearling"...37 night..four cruises back to back and with almost 400 other Aussies onboard this crew had NO IDEA! Immigration and disembarkation were ... Read More
If you are disabled, handicapped or have a special need think twice before "pearling"...37 night..four cruises back to back and with almost 400 other Aussies onboard this crew had NO IDEA! Immigration and disembarkation were disasters particularly in San Diego (crew admitted they did lots wrong.,) elderly in queues for up to 1 and a half hours.....on a wet deck...queue from front to rear of ship. Took them 40 minutes to pull the handicapped and disabled out of the queue...when previously asked one staff member refused! yep- refused to assist a disabled passenger!...Long letter of complaint to Head Office. Wheelchair bound passenger left on wharf missing a tour and the list went on. One disaster after another. Had a disabled cabin and yet....passengers totally ignore handicapped seating in both garden cafe and Stardust Theatre. Crew do NOT police this and claim they cannot ask offenders to move on. Why have rules if you don,t police them? Avoided mandatory life raft drill (5 of us) knowing we were not on any list and we were right! These guys (Administration and Guest Services) have no idea how to run a ship. Demographics of age of passengers not even glimpsed I would suggest. 1500 "spring breakers" would have loved the queues and got drunk! however.... Best week was the one I spent ill in my cabin! Through or continuing cruising passengers with tours not given desembarkation preference over those going home and the list went on and on. NEVER,NEVER again Norwegian and in particular Pearl. Cold meals, argumentive staff, the cattle pen that was the Garden Cafe and poor facilities for the handicapped I,m afraid left me very cold and it wasn,t the climate. I doubt Norwegian have ever dealt with passengers doing four cruises back to back. There were exceptions of course and they were seen to in the right manner and in the right light and credit given where due. Demanded a return of the 12$ per day service fee due to all of the above and duly received same. Note that this fee is a "discretionary" fee. Most other lines have removed it or you can remove it on boarding.,it is NOT mandatory or compulsory contrary to what Norwegian might like you to think. Aussies tip who we feel deserve it - not as a matter of right..call it a service fee or whatever does not make it right. They also have to stop offering every complainant a free bottle of wine..that does not cut it with me ---solve the original problem--you cannot wash it away with a free bottle of wine! Must cost them a fortune in give away free wine! Food problems, language problems, poor comedy acts and it went on and on. I think you have my message by now. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
I rented a "Grande Suite"! A surprise for my wallet! $$$!, and one for my daughter on Christmas! We opened the door of this "palace" and yes, it is spacious and looked pretty clean... Although shabby furniture screamed ... Read More
I rented a "Grande Suite"! A surprise for my wallet! $$$!, and one for my daughter on Christmas! We opened the door of this "palace" and yes, it is spacious and looked pretty clean... Although shabby furniture screamed of the 80s and had seen better days. Some of it was so old that furry stuff stuck out of the seams run down leather upholstery. Was it leather?... Your call! My daughter noticed a layer of dust on the cocktail table legs. Suddenly aware of our environment, we took a closer look. Dust everywhere covered all of the furniture like a nice velvet blanket. The phone, the decoration above the bed, the shabby crooked lampshades, everywhere! Windows and mirrors had fingerprints that were not ours... There were splashes of liquid (yuk) on walls, doors and inside drawers and the carpet was full of stains. The bed skirts looked like they had spent a day trampled by some cattle. We looked at each other in dismay and called housecleaning. While we were talking to a charming state room manager, my daughter ran into some lump on the inside of the bed... AN OLD EARPLUG! No kidding! I thought it was a candy! It looked promising from where I was standing... We were guarantied a clean room, clean sheets and we thought this would be the end of it... We went our merry way to take a tour... It gets better... We walked out and took the elevator. Someone had obviously thrown up there and it took me two days and lots of complaining to finally have this taken care of. For two days, it became a habit to meet other passengers with their clothes all the way up to their noses to cover the smell and not puke. Around the ship, constant smells of putrefied water or garbage... Where is all this coming from?... 24th December 2013! Christmas Eve! Lunch time. We decide to stand in line for the "Mongolian Wok". BAD, BAD decision! It took us no less than 2 hours to get to the front of the line, and then... large plates had been replaced by small bawls and there was no more food on the trays! Dealing with an angry hungry mob was what was in store for the staff behind the counters... Miraculously, plates came out of nowhere and food reappeared on trays! We tried to change lines several times during that ordeal, but all of them were just jammed with passengers as well. We realized that this was just the way it was on Carnival Imagination for every single meal. Breakfast is served around the pool, an old pool with greenish scary water, and it would not be too bad if... for more than 2,600 passengers, there were more than ONE toaster! Suddenly, as you are happy you made it through the line (a real victory!), holding your plate full of steamy food and fried eggs, there it is! Stopping everything! The ONLY toaster that takes for ever and can only toast 4 pieces of bread! On ONE side only! Be prepared to eat your fried eggs... cold! Why Carnival did not ask us to bring our own toaster? Your guess is as good as mine! Dinner time! "Pride Dining Room Allows you to dine at your leisure anytime between 5.45pm -9.30pm" (SIC) This is what it says in their daily "All Kind of Deliciousness" schedule... Finally! Maybe some service! A line again? They wouldn't dare... or would they?... Let's see... Hungry passengers filled the hallways in a 40 minute line to... get a... pager! No joke! It is true. Then, we were "free" to roam "leisurely" around the entrance of the dining room, clog the hallways and staircases for another hour or so until the buzzer reminded us that we had come here to eat! We then entered the dining room and although there were about 12 empty tables around us, there were no servers, so.. Guess what? More wait! Servers, although friendly, were scares and extremely busy. Obviously overworked and understaffed. I had no clue that the main entertainment was "the food lines" on Carnival Imagination! The only resort if you wanted to avoid these small "inconveniences" that would eat half your vacation time was to eat at what Carnival Cruise calls "All American", where lines were smaller and I understood why very quickly. The food was horrific. Some pale imitation of what our neighborhood McDonald has to offer. Dry tiny pieces of chicken nuggets, in some sauces that had no name... accompanied by French fried by name only. Ah! Let's be fair! Their coleslaw was delicious! Entertainment! Most of it was done in the pool area! Bingo, trivia, children's activities, St Jude's hospital charity fund raising and all! So, if you wanted to enjoy the pool (filled with greenish water and in need of major repair) and pool games, and eventually nice pool music, you also had to put up with ear-piercing loudspeakers that would cover any other sounds around you, even if you had no inclination for any of these activities. Just yell! The night shows were great! And singers and dancers amazing! Let's be honest! Trivia was at times held in an area across the bar. Not enough tables in that long stretchy area to sit us all. You ended up standing, writing in your hands, or sitting on stools at the bar, even if you did not want to drink, or smoke! Children and all! I went to the "Service Desk" several times to see if we could see any improvement only to be told that it was just about normal to waste about 4 hours in line every day if you want to eat! Lots of apologies that did not translate into $$$! But in a tray of chocolate covered strawberries! Wow! I decided to relax and take advantage of the Jacuzzi that came with the room. Surprise! It did not work and I could not empty my bathtub as the system to remove the plug was also broken! I just had the time to jump out of my dirty water to let the plumber in. He took care of the sink as well that was clogged since day one... I almost forgot the electrician who showed up to fix the light that did not work in the closet and since we were not provided with a flashlight, we could not see our safe! This is of course in between the endless parades of "managers" who showed up by pairs like good soldiers to "see" the state of our predicament. I was told: our Jacuzzi is "fixed" (sic)... ugh... not really... one spray only! Just enough for one toe! for 3 minutes and then... Nothing! I gave up! I walked out on my balcony in search of a semblance of sanity around this ship, it was nighttime, windy and nice... I wanted to read... The light did not work... Moral of this story? On Imagination, do not forget to pack your Clorox wipes, bring your plumber and your electrician along, do not forget your toaster and BE PATIENT! I have rarely seen so many people so overworked as our staff on this ship. They never stopped working but you still had entire areas with tables filled with dirty dishes and full ashtrays, dirty rails, empty sanitizers (rarely available). The staff all looked worn out. It was pitiful. Often, we had to pick up dirty dishes off the tables to make space for us to eat. Back to slavery, only a modern version of it. I talked to one of the staff on our lunch line and she said she was working 80 hours a week! 8 months in a row, no day off!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Good - Coco Cay was wonderful. Enjoyed swimming in the beautiful water. The Ship Director and Wife were very good. Our waitress was outstanding. Bad - Sewage smell in our bathroom and hallway. They tried to cover it up by spraying ... Read More
Good - Coco Cay was wonderful. Enjoyed swimming in the beautiful water. The Ship Director and Wife were very good. Our waitress was outstanding. Bad - Sewage smell in our bathroom and hallway. They tried to cover it up by spraying something, which helped a bit. The food was hit and miss, especially the breakfast being not so good. Powdered scrambled eggs. Lasagne at dinner was terrible. The Christmas Brunch was a disaster. Lines went on and on to try to get into the 9 am start. Prices varied for the same drink at different bars. My husbands's prescription sun glasses were stolen from a table we sat at in the bar. Went back to retrieve them and they were gone. Checked with guest services many times -- not there. The Ugly - Our brand new piece of Jeep hard side luggage had a huge dent and crack. We had to wait for almost an hour before they brought it to us. Apparently, they didn't want people to see it on the conveyer belt! The REALLY UGLY -Bed Bugs in Cabin 4060. I took photos of my leg and the bed sheet. Upon reporting this, today, I was told that I have to go through a long legal process for any compansation. Also was told by RCCL that the shorter cruises have more problems. Really? That's nice to know. I'm writing this to let people know of the problems they can encounter on this cruise   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
I'm writing this to warn any and everybody of what a sad trip I just had on the Norwegian Dawn. And this was supposed to be a very special Christmas Cruise. It was anything but - except the outrageous price. This occurred during the ... Read More
I'm writing this to warn any and everybody of what a sad trip I just had on the Norwegian Dawn. And this was supposed to be a very special Christmas Cruise. It was anything but - except the outrageous price. This occurred during the week of Christmas 2013. I've cruised several times before on Carnival and Royal Caribbean and never had such a forgettable trip. First, it took forever to check-in. My family and I arrived at about 12:45pm and there was a huge line. It took some two hours before we got into our cabins. I don't know what they use to disinfect the elevators but they all had a persistent nauseating odor - simply awful, for seven days. We thought we paid to be on a Higher deck (we were actually on deck 4) and we ended up on the lowest floor for passengers. We heard all sorts of knocking and pinging every day and night. We don't know what but it was probably normal 'crew' type activity. The free-style dining wasn't working - each night a huge queue of people (us too) with no pre-assigned dining time or table waiting for up to an hour for dinner. That is unless you opted for the buffet - again huge queues and waits. The food was good though lacked imagination and variety. Again this was CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!! And we paid a fortune for this cruise. The staff was largely a foreign crew that had only mediocre english skills - many simple questions were met with a curious "stare" - like "what did he say?" There was only one pool for adults and it was always packed - The kids had two private pools! The entertainment was abyssmal for a holiday cruise. There was a very un-entertaining comedian that seemed to dominate cruise evenings. He was featured on four different evenings as a headliner and he was awful. The Norwegian dancers were good - not great but weren't featured enough. The best entertainment was a duo of Russian Ballet dancers who were excellent. Other than them the singers weren't good and the comedians weren't funny. Correction - Second City was funny with their rehearsed skits but not the improvisation. The cruise director was forgettable with his constant "Now here's the plan of attack" after yet another joke of a performance. There was one silver ling - our Cabin stewardess, Kim, was courteous and polite and kept or rooms tidy. Overall I'm ashamed for having paid what I did for this cruise. There was almost no Christmas atmosphere on board, Norwegian will never get another dime out of me.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
After sailing with other cruise lines in the past and having a blast, we decided to sail with Princess for the first time due to the itinery they offered over the holiday period. Biggest mistake I have ever made. I don't normally ... Read More
After sailing with other cruise lines in the past and having a blast, we decided to sail with Princess for the first time due to the itinery they offered over the holiday period. Biggest mistake I have ever made. I don't normally complain and have spent just as much time writing raving reviews on here about our other great cruises, but this was a disaster. We checked our bags in at the luggage drop off at 10 am and went and did some final shopping in Auckland and then checked in to the ship at 12pm. Check in and embarkation was quick and smooth. 2 of our three bags arrived sporadically throughout the day. Cabins are much smaller than we are used to and showers are tiny so don't even think about this ship if your a bigger person. 6 pm and our bag still hadn't arrived. After several requests to our cabin steward and the ship due to leave the dock I was told "don't worry" by our steward with quite a bit of attitude. As the ship was pulling out I call the steward to ask him to find out if my bag was at least on the ship, to this again the response I got was "don't worry". At this stage I was worried and was fed up with his flippant attitude and asked him to find my bag as this was the luggage that had all of our clothing. No more than 2 minutes later there was a knock on our stateroom door where our cabin steward was standing with our missing bag which he felt the need to throw at me and walk off without saying a word. I was dumbfounded, and contacted passenger services to complain about what had happened. And we hadn't even left the heads yet. Let's just say the service didn't get any better. The ship ran out of white wine on day 2 of a 12 day Christmas new year cruise. Most of the bars closed at 7pm and others didn't open till 5 forcing you to walk half the ship to get a drink. One afternoon I was in the Churchill lounge reading a book and felt like a drink so had to go to the casino as it was the closest bar open and asked for a glass of Pino Grigio. The girl behind the bar quite sharply responded " we don't have any" and after looking me up and down added " the only bottle of white wine we have here is $70 a bottle", as if I couldn't afford it. As we were travelling with my partners family we decided to try Vivaldi's on night 2, the head waiter was extremely rude and denied us entry to a half empty restaurant because we were on anytime dining. Last I was led to believe anytime dining means "anytime". We did find out later that Vivaldi's is the only restaurant on board that has a policy of anytime starting at 8:15pm, however the waiter should have handled it much better. All the staff with very few exceptions, seemed like it was an effort and a hindrance to carry out the simplest of tasks. Christmas Day was a non event apart from Santa being in the atrium for 2 hours for the kids in the morning there was nothing special organised. Christmas lunch was had in the buffet and the only thing that even made it slightly Christmassy was sliced ham. Dinner was a bit better with sliced turkey and pudding in the dining rooms, which made a few people on the ship, including me, sick. The choice of food was non existent throughout the cruise and felt like we ate the same things for 12 whole days and the anytime dining rooms all served the same food, which we found out later is not normally the case. The dining rooms were also extremely hot and overheard severally passengers complain. The wait staff were clumsy and frequently got orders wrong. We did, however, participate in the chefs table, which I would highly recommend as it's well worth the money. New Year's Eve also bearley happened. The top decks were blocked off from about 8 pm so no acces to the forward smoking area was allowed and all of the outdoor bars closed at 7pm. We thought we'd try sabatinis (a $25 per head specialty Italian restaurant) for New Years. Food was good but found out later that evening that the same menu was served in the anytime dining rooms at no extra charge so I would like to know what we paid the extra for. The only thing organised was a ballon drop which went off early so we missed it. The atmosphere was less than celebratory. The only place to go was skywalkers nightclub which again was way to hot and the crew pretty much took over the club once their shifts finished. It was the first New Years ever that I bearley made the countdown before I went to bed, extremely disappointed. The entertainment onboard is certainly left to be desired, if you could find it at all. There was nothing on the open decks and the quality of what was available was ammiature. For the first time ever we actually considered disembarking early. The final straw for us was on the last night. I cracked my head open getting into the pool. After having it attended to by a paramedic and being told it only required a few band aids, woke up the next morning to a blood soaked pillow. I went down to the medical centre to have it looked at before disembarking to be greeted with " oh YOUR the guy from last night" with a snide tone. After being assessed by the nurse, who was one of the few polite people on board the doctor came in and assesed the wound. Never before have I been judged so much in my life. After a clean up and some steri strips the head of security came in. Let me tell you this guy needs a job in Guantanamo Bay. Falling short of calling me a lier, he stormed out and slammed the door. I have never been so humiliated in my life. Oh and they charged me $200 for the experience. This was the worst holiday of my life and will never travel with Princess Ever again, and if you want to enjoy your holiday that you spend your hard earned money on, I suggest you don't either. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
This was our third cruise on the Celebration this year and since April we have seen a decline . We did voice our concerns in August but was informed by Thomson Customer Service that they were sorry they did not meet our expectations but ... Read More
This was our third cruise on the Celebration this year and since April we have seen a decline . We did voice our concerns in August but was informed by Thomson Customer Service that they were sorry they did not meet our expectations but had for the majority ! So we went for our first Christmas & New Year cruise with the hopes and expectations that all would be perfect, not so, how wrong were we. Drinks service on board is really poor a wait of at least 45 mins to get an order in and maybe an other 15 mins to get the drinks. Not by any means the staff's fault , they are just not enough. All our previous cruises with Thompson up to 2013, staff had sections, they had time to talk to you, your drinks were topped up , you didn't spend time you have to be relaxing looking for bar staff !! We bought the drinks package and we have lost out badly, we just could not get served even when going to bar yourself you had to wait ages. The drinks package just keeps adding concessions , and now you have the lovely new coffee shop which replaces Explorers and that is not included in the drinks package, although they did reduce hot drinks for you. This still makes Hemmingways crowded from those who may have sat in explorers now go in here , so there is lack of seats and of course bar service a major struggle as they look after the casino too. If it wasn't for the fantastic casino staff you would never get a drink while playing ! One of the biggest disappointments was we were expecting a WOW factor on arrival, big company , big brand , was expecting big decorations. So not the case, was truly lacking and Horrizons had none at all !No Christmas shows just repeats from what they have done throughout the year, same quizes, same jokes! same play. No build up to Christmas or New Year from Cruise Director Gavin, if a announcement was made by him it was geared around selling something! You were constantly hassled to buy wine packages, wine taster evening's , pictures (of which 1 night they had 5 areas on board they set up to grab you ), We sailed Christmas Eve but docked Christmas Day when all shops were closed ? No fireworks New Years Eve as we were sailing ! They even hassled you to buy champagne for New Year , no offense the price we paid I was expecting it to be free ! No little touches for Christmas, mince pies in cabins? mulled wine ? just a repeated CD playing same Christmas tunes. Even the Cruise News was the same , could it not have come with Christmas Colours ? They did do Santa for little ones. Food was cold, repeated and you could see the servings of certain foods in the Lido was reused on another seating. Food was the same as what was served in August, except Christmas and New Years Day.The Lido is now no longer 24hr dining and closes at 1am, which although I can see opening all the time is silly I do feel it should close when all the entertainment is closed. On New Year Eve it still closed at 1am although people were still on the Lido deck drinking and dancing! We had a feeling there was norovirus on board as they switched to serving us, drinks menu's were taken in. When I asked why drinks menu's were taken in I was informed it was due to passing on any germs, I sort of understood that , but the menu's for drinks and snacks you had to buy in full were still out ? If you got a large straw with a drink the tip of the paper cover was on but if you had a smaller straw it didn't ? This was to stop spread but did not make sense why one and not the other. Everything now on board seams geared around extracting as much money as possible from you. You no longer feel important to Thomson, we made a written complaint and left it with reception, we were not contacted by anyone to say they would look into it or that they had received it! Nothing from the cruise director!. Constant vibration throughout the ship even in dock! Basically we paid for a Christmas cruise and we actually got a very poor normal cruise. Certainly not standards you would expect from Thomson. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We went on the Celebration for Christmas and the New Year and after a fantastic time on the Majesty last year we had high expectations for a great time this year. After promoting the ship as a 'Platinum' ship we were expecting ... Read More
We went on the Celebration for Christmas and the New Year and after a fantastic time on the Majesty last year we had high expectations for a great time this year. After promoting the ship as a 'Platinum' ship we were expecting the standards to be high but they were appauling. The food was cold and repetative and in most cased tasteless. We were constantly bombarded by photographers and there were 4 formal evenings instead of two but we were not informed before the cruise. Several people had not packed for the additional evenings. The set dining was a shambles. There was absolutely no reason for everyone to be at the dining room for 8.15pm on Christmas Day or New Year's Eve. Many people were still waiting for a table after 9.30pm. It also put pressure on the waiting and galley staff. What should have been a special New Year's Eve was a bit of a flop. The entertainment staff at the back of the ship with some poppers was not exactly high end entertainment for New Year's Eve. Many people could not understand why Madeira was not on the itinerary with it's world renown firework display. Probably more cut backs by Thomson. The staff tried their best but service was poor in some areas and on one occasion we walked out of the Horizon bar after waiting 30 minutes for a drink. The coffee shop has a charge even if you are on 'all inclusive' and there are cabins instead of the cinema which make the ship busier.There was a serious lack of space when everyone was on board. The food finished at 1pm although you could order room service at an additonal charge yet again. On the second week my husband contracted Noro Virus and we were confined to our cabin for 48 hours. Many passengers and staff contracted the infection causing more problems with staff shortages. Although staff were seen to be wiping tables and mopping floors we never saw them actually rinse the cloths in hot soapy water and the mops were filthy. The ladies' toilets outside the coffee shop and Horizons bar were a disgrace in the evening. When I reported this to the reception I was told house keeping had been informed but 3 hours later nothing had been done to clean them or unblock the toilets. The waitresses in Hemmingways did try their best and the standard of service delivered by Manny and Jasper in the Meridian restaurant saved out holiday. Apollo our cabin steward worked hard and kept our cabin spotless. We have always had fantastic holidays with Thomson Cruises but if this is the future of their 'Platinum' fleet we will not be chosing them in the future. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We have just returned from the Caribbean Christmas and New Year’s cruise and can only say we were very disappointed. This had been out tenth cruise with Cunard on all of their three ships and can honestly say their standards have not ... Read More
We have just returned from the Caribbean Christmas and New Year’s cruise and can only say we were very disappointed. This had been out tenth cruise with Cunard on all of their three ships and can honestly say their standards have not only slipped, but slid quite away. The daily activities was virtually none existent, take the bridge classes, Spa Ranch, pub quiz, bingo and minority group meetings from the daily program and there was very little left. The guest speakers were a welcome break from the monotony, although not all were to my interest the auditorium was packed out on each of their presentations. The evening shows were second rate although the Cunard Dancers were very professional only let down by the Cunard Singers whose singing was amateur to say the least. The two comedians, one of home who is a house hold name in the UK had material not changed since the 70s and the other’s humour or lack of it was to take the mick from different nationalities. However, on the East Bound Atlantic crossing back to Southampton the Fly Rights were brilliant, we had to wait 3 weeks for some decent entertainment, which was this. One afternoon and one afternoon only the entertainment staff along with the production staff acted out a Murder Mystery Suspense Thriller to music where the audience participated. Very slap stick but the audience loved it. The food in the Britannia Restaurant was adequate and served cold on more than a few occasions although this was rectified each time we complained. The food in the Kings Court Buffet was acceptable and a good variety in choice. I’m afraid Cunard has had its day, surviving on its history and White Star Service which is a shade of grey now. Most people we talked to were very disappointed and talked of other Cruise Lines they had been with being far better. Cunard, your Platinum and Diamond members are not going to live forever and you need interest the future generations or sail with empty ships.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
I have cruised many times before and previously with thomsons, we booked this Xmas cruise basically because it was affordable with it being Xmas , quite frankly it would have been cheaper and better if we had gone with one of the leading ... Read More
I have cruised many times before and previously with thomsons, we booked this Xmas cruise basically because it was affordable with it being Xmas , quite frankly it would have been cheaper and better if we had gone with one of the leading cruise lines. We were charged for a safe. Never have I known this on a cruise ship. The buffet dining was rediculous, I know Brits are very good at queuing but long lines of queues because the buffet is so disorganised, same queue for the hot and cold food instead of separating them, so that people who just want salad etc are not having to wait in long lines. The entertainment was less than mediocre, same band on all the time , so if you hadn't had enough of them all day, they were on again every night as well. We paid £800 for the drinks package which was a rip off, having to pay extra if you wanted a decent rum, in the Caribbean for gods sake. The ship sold bottles of spirits on board which they stated you couldn't drink on board but everyone was taking them into the lounges to drink, how annoying when you have paid all that money and quite frankly were treated like 2 nd class because you couldn't have a can of soft drink, and I was told that I couldn't have two ports in one glass???? Cheaper to buy the bottles on ship £6.90 and buy cans of mixers, could have had a cheap holiday for the price of the drinks package They now also charge for you to have a decent seat in the theatre £ 9.99 ridiculous !!!! Xmas day was a farce, no entertainment, no celebrations, didn't get .xmas dinner till 9.30 at night and waited 2 hours till desert which we gave up on. Definitely go with princess or p& o next time. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We had booked this cruise for our entire family over Thanksgiving--four cabins, nine people. We had one balcony of 3 and 3 inside cabins. Let me preface this by saying that we have cruised over 18 times and four counting this one have been ... Read More
We had booked this cruise for our entire family over Thanksgiving--four cabins, nine people. We had one balcony of 3 and 3 inside cabins. Let me preface this by saying that we have cruised over 18 times and four counting this one have been on Norwegian, but also have many on Celebrity, Royal, and Princess. We booked this cruise on Norwegian due to limited time constraints, and affordability for some younger members of the family. The room configuration for families is TERRIBLE. We had our 15 year old son in our balcony room and privacy is non-existent due to the bathroom and shower being in the absolute front of the room directly next to the door. When you exit the shower, you are standing directly in front of the cabin door. Wet. Naked. The third person literally sleeps on the couch. The room has been turned so that there is barely space to move or to change clothes. It is impossible to walk in front of another person, there is so little room in the cabin. Any time dining? Yeah, right. We did not have one night out of all seven that we were able to eat in the dining room without at least a half hour wait. And eating at Taste? I think I've had better more cheerful service at the McDonald's drive thru. Waiters and waitresses were irritated, surly, and short. And why shouldn't they be? Norwegian has created an atmosphere where the waitstaff have little if nothing to gain by being pleasant and conversational. You will NEVER have the same waiter or table twice, due to anytime dining. The waitstaff already HAVE their gratuities....no point making any extra effort at all. The Manhattan room is somewhat better, and definitely in terms of decor. Taste felt like eating in someone's basement. I can't imagine who designed that one. We ordered the wine package and their was no champagne available on either the first or second tier. We took the entire family to Le Bistro one evening and were terribly disappointed. We had been to Le Bistro on the Sun, but the one on Epic is not the same. There was an upcharge of $10 for half the menu. And that's after already paying $20/person. One of the kids wanted to order two entrees and was told that ordering more than one entree was not allowed in the specialty restaurants. But the WORST of the WORST was O'Sheehans. If you can avoid it, do so. It is simply the WORST service EVER. Even the bartenders are RUDE. The staff is irritated to have you there, and they let you know it. We were even asked not to sit at an empty table so that they didn't have to wait on us separately. You can't get a glass of water or soda (yes, we bought soda cards) that isn't 4 inches tall anywhere on the ship, and O'Sheehan's is no exception. The wings were raw in the middle and cold. The hamburgers were like rocks. One of my kids ordered a soda and gave it to the other who had left his room card with the soda sticker in the room and was "seen" by the waiter who then came over and threatened to "take his soda sticker away". Unless you are ordering beer or liquor the waiters make it clear they would prefer you leave. Ordering just food or using your soda card or asking for water earns you an attitude of disgust. Food and lines in the cafe were terrible and disorganized. The same food was served each and every day and was very obviously recycled dinner. The room stewards do their jobs, but look exhausted and put out. We consistently got two of everything in our room instead of three. We usually love our room stewards, and ALWAYS tip extra on top of the gratuities. This was the first time we have not written the compliment card out for at least several employees on the ship and tipped generously over and above the gratuities, but this was an entire shipload of employees who behaved as if they wanted nothing more than to get off the boat at the next port and never come back. When you are in the Caribbean, you might expect a reggae band on the pool deck, right? We got a polka band on the pool deck several days. No lie---a POLKA band. Huh?? We all HATED the layout of the ship and HATED the crush of all the people. It was like spending 7 days shopping on Black Friday with the crowds at a KMart bluelight special. Just YUCK. The ceilings are low everywhere, there is overwhelming smoke in the casinos and the library (THAT'S a library??) and everyone with allergies suffered continuously. Never again. Epic fail.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
This cruise was fairly well advertised in North America, in hopes I think of getting a slice of the North American market. It failed miserably. The food was terrible. There was very little beef or shellfish available and what there was, ... Read More
This cruise was fairly well advertised in North America, in hopes I think of getting a slice of the North American market. It failed miserably. The food was terrible. There was very little beef or shellfish available and what there was, was poorly done. The food was cold in the buffet area and barely warm in the restaurant. There is also a huge language barrier here and although announcements were made in English, it was difficult to understand. Some of the officers were outright rude, especially when handling queries. If you are a casino lover, forget going in there as it was constantly thick with cigarette smoke. Any of the English speaking people we met, felt the same way and would never use this cruise line again. It was money poorly spent on what was to be a great trip. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
Just got off POA and was extremely disappointed in the whole cruise, the Islands were great, but the ship left a lot to be desired. Food, average. the ship had been in dry dock for a refurb just prior to this sailing and had not been ... Read More
Just got off POA and was extremely disappointed in the whole cruise, the Islands were great, but the ship left a lot to be desired. Food, average. the ship had been in dry dock for a refurb just prior to this sailing and had not been completed. Deck 13 had 2 x 20 foot containers still on and half deck closed. No TVs in the rooms worked Food just average - buffet only Water leaking from downlights at reception deck 5 Bar staff pretty average Cabin staff obliging and kept room well Know of at least 1 cabin that was flooded Very little entertainment I had gone on this cruise with rave reviews from my parents, I paid single supplement for my cabin and have to be honest it was the worst cruise I have done. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
We quickly tired of the constant badgering to buy drinks, merchandise, etc. You have to walk through the spa (more selling) to get to the gym. Through the casino or gift shops to get to most anywhere. For dinner there was a minimum ... Read More
We quickly tired of the constant badgering to buy drinks, merchandise, etc. You have to walk through the spa (more selling) to get to the gym. Through the casino or gift shops to get to most anywhere. For dinner there was a minimum 30 minute wait for a party of four at Taste and the Manhatten Room; yes we tried a different time every night. We felt that this was designed to get us to make reservations at a specialty restaurant. Yes we received drink vouchers, frankly we were ready for dinner and just wanted to be seated. Plus we could not count on dinner timing vs. show times. Larger parties had reservations and waltzed right in to Taste and Manhatten at their appointed time while we waited. Service was efficient, impersonal and brisk. Dinner one night took over 40 minutes to arrive. Restaurants were very noisy with service noise. When we went to the buffet for dinner, it was quite limited. Did not appreciate this manipulation at all. Gym equipment was very poorly maintained -- one day I used five different cardio machines and the touch screens were not working on any of them. Husband had a similar experience. The batteries were dead on one of the two rowing machines. The staff person I approached about it was indifferent, and batteries (4 AA's) were not replaced for the duration of the cruise. I almost did it myself. Cardio equipment is in need of a total maintenance overhaul. Usually on cruises we meet other adults and socialize with them. Not this one -- we raraly saw the same person twice. Atmosphere was like an airport or bus terminal -- keep to yourself and carry on. Positives? Predictably pool deck was a zoo but there are places to go (Upstairs forward, Spice H2O) to get away from crowds. Passengers (adults with small children) who ignored the "over 18" at Spice were approached by security and asked to leave. We went to several shows on standby and got in. Embarkation/disembarkation was great. we liked the inside stateroom configuration and storage options. Outside rooms with the wave looked awkward. Our kids (14.5 and 17) did not find other kids to hang with -- their problem, not NCL's. Unanticipated dynamic for a 17 year, 10 month old: 18 year olds may drink on this cruise if parents sign a waiver. So daughter's peer group was drinking, she was not, and she did not like hanging out with "tipsy" 18 yo's. We think Epic is good for large family groups, people who want to spend the extra $$$ on Haven and specialty restaurants, and people with elementary and middle school age kids. We won't be back. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
A group of six did our annual Christmas Cruise this year, deciding on the new Carnival Breeze 2.0 Class ship. Having been on many Carnival ships in the past, this was, without a doubt, the most disappointing cruise ever. The staff on ... Read More
A group of six did our annual Christmas Cruise this year, deciding on the new Carnival Breeze 2.0 Class ship. Having been on many Carnival ships in the past, this was, without a doubt, the most disappointing cruise ever. The staff on this ship, other than at the stores, where the most unprofessional people ever encountered on a ship. At embarkation we had two special needs (wheelchair) passengers. We were giving quick access to receiving our sign and sail cards and given sign stating "Special Needs". So we sat and sat and sat until finally we all just decided to push the wheelchairs on board. So much for helping those with special needs. Although our table in the Blush Dining Room was on the upper level and was very close to the kitchen, the food was never hot. Some meals were actually cold. Usually the head waiter will nicely hand you a menu, here the menu was thrust in your face, with no comments or conversation. The staffs goal was to get you in the restaurant, feed you and get you out of there. Of course to accomplish this, we had to pass and stack our dishes for removal. The food on this ship in the dining room was the absolute worst, cheap food that could be served. We always look forward to dinner on a ship; going to dinner on the Carnival Breeze was more of a punishment than it was enjoyable. The concepts of the "Guy Burgers" (which were greasy but very good, along with the fries), the BlueIguana was good, but the meat was skimpy and the food was cold; Fat Jimmy's BBQ on C-days was fair, again the food was always cold, the Mongolian Wok always had a huge line, because the food was made to order. The Pizza was mediocre with the lack of toppings and cheese, all you could taste was the burnt crust. The Tandoor food was spicy, but cold. The one day that we docked for 1 PM, the food stands did not open until 12 PM causing long lines. The Comfort Food station was a nice thought, but the food was always the same as well as cold. Lunch was served from noon to 2:30. The dining room was not open for lunch. On sea days you could have brunch in the Sapphire Dining room with George Lopez comics - the comics could have come up with jokes that were not from the 1940's. The food at the brunch was also fair, at best. Now for the shows. There was one good show on this ship, Max Winfrey. The visual effects screen (big TV) in the Ovation Theater was totally awesome, but the shows were not the wonderful productions that we are accustom to attending. The Hasbro Game Show must have been the cheapest thing to do for entertainment. And of course, using the passengers as free entertainment always adds to the profit margin for the cruise line. Now for Butch the Cruise Director. If he is Carnival's finest, Carnival is in trouble. His long drawn out announcement always starting with "Hello Carnival Breeze Family" were disgusting. We are paying customers, not family. They were always to promote paid activities or what you can buy today aboard the ship, or repeating in a long drawn out manner what the Captain had already said. Amy (6 3) was so obnoxious that my Bingo playing friends went one time and that was enough of listening to Amy. Of course, the ship did not stop at Grand Turk, which makes us wonder if that is really a stop or just a nice filler on the itinerary. This is the second time we could not dock at Grand Turk because of wind. And for missing a port, you get a whopping $14.69 refund. Of course, having an extra sea day means extra income for the cruise line... and the "make a profit" comment from the CEO keeps coming back. This is the first ship that bothered you every night for photos at dinner. I can understand this on formal night (which really needs to be abolished on all cruises), but this was every night. The food was bad enough with the constant interruptions. This was also the first ship that required your to use your room key to turn on the lights in your stateroom. But we bypassed that with the hotel key that we had! Any card will work fine. And since you no longer receive comment cards at the end of the cruise, you cannot tell Carnival about your cruise experience. So before you book a cruise on the Carnival Breeze, think about it. If you like cheap, bad, cold food and poor shows, awful service by the dining room staff, and obnoxious cruise directors then this is the dream cruise for you. If not, join us on our next cruise which will be on a Celebrity ship!! This is the last Carnival Cruise for this group of seasoned cruisers! This is one "Dream Class Ship" that was a total nightmare! Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
I am resubmitting this as I am unable to find my original review. My husband and I took his son and our 5 year old grandson on the Emerald Princess for their Eastern Carribean New Year's Eve cruise. My husband and I have been on ... Read More
I am resubmitting this as I am unable to find my original review. My husband and I took his son and our 5 year old grandson on the Emerald Princess for their Eastern Carribean New Year's Eve cruise. My husband and I have been on numerous cruises all over the world and many different lines. We ALWAYS book full suites/penthouses. We booked L107 Lido Deck for us and a second cabin nearby for the kids. Our first morning we woke to THUMPING, LAMPS SHAKING, TV SHAKING, BATHROOM DOOR SHAKING. It was our first morning and at sea. So we planned on a leisurely day waking up whenever we did. Who could sleep with all the racket. It was 7 AM (our time). Turns out our bedroom was directly under the treadmills. When we booked the cruise the web site indicated we werr under the spa which is quiet. I called the hotel desk immediately plus notified our steward. Our steward, Jeffrey, was wonderful. He brought his supervisor to our suite to hear the thumping. The supervisor, Sammy, contacted customer relations manager, Anthony, who said he would see what he can do. Meanwhile the thumping was all day long. I asked for a meeting with the Hotel Manager Peter which was granted. In the interim the customer service manager offered to move us to a mini suite on deck 9 (we were on deck 15) and near our kids, that was the plan. If I wanted a mini suite I would have booked one! My husband and I explained to him that this was unacceptible. We were planning on having great holiday cruise with family and now we can't even stay in the suite we paid $10,000 for. The hotel manager suggested they would try to pinpoint which treadmills were affecting our suite and close them down for the mornings. They put out of order signs on the first 3 treadmills. The next morning it seemed quieter. Too good to be true because the thumping started. I called Hotel Manager again. Basically for 4 days I was calling the Hotel manager. i would go up to the spa to see what machined were being used. Sometimes it was the second 3 machines. In the meantime they have about 20 treadmills all along the front of the ship. The ones used the most were the ones on the starboard side above our suite. Whenever i went to the gym to check there was never anyone using treadmills on the port side. The woman at the spa desk said the customer relations manager instructer her not to close off additional machines. Maybe if they tried closing machines 1-6 we would not have had any issues. Finally while at sea I called Corporate Princess. After being passed to a second person they said they would look into it. It wasn't until day 5 that the customer relations person called our cabin and provided us with compensation. Considering we spent over $10,000 for our suite and we paid for the kids cabin, in addition to a few thousand in shore excursions, drinks, special restaurant, gambling, the $1150 they gave us is in an insult. This is the first complaint. Food was horrible. I have never been on a cruise where the food has been so bad. Even in the Crown restaurant it was not up to standards I am familiar with . Not to mention it took 4 days before I got a waiter to give mac and cheese to my grandson. Although EVERYONE on board said asking for mac and cheese was no problem no one seemed to be able to get it for us. Our first night in the Michelangelo dining room they said they didn't even have a kids menu! Finally the next night we got a kids menu. it wasn't until the fourth night we ate in Michelangelo and had a waiter named Wotold who managed to get us mac and cheese. Every night after that we made sure we sat at his table as he seemed to be the only competent waiter. The coffee in the Horizon was all water! We love a good cup of coffee in the morning. It was the pits. But in the evening the coffee was fine in the Michelangelo so why couldn't be the same in the Horizon. New year's eve was a major disappointment. They did not offer complimentary champagne. You had to buy a bottle if you wanted a glass of champagne at midnight. We have been on other cruise lines for new Year's and always was given a glass of champagne. The evening activities on New Years was terrible. Your choice was the top deck with the band and the activities group leading in line dancing or the inside piazza with balloons dropping. That was it! As i said this was the worst cruise ever! Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Just got back from New Years eve cruise. Here is the high (sic low) lights of the 14 days. Before embarkation you are issued with a cruisecard - it is your onboard credit/ security card. Upon entry stood in a cue for over 20 minutes only ... Read More
Just got back from New Years eve cruise. Here is the high (sic low) lights of the 14 days. Before embarkation you are issued with a cruisecard - it is your onboard credit/ security card. Upon entry stood in a cue for over 20 minutes only to find out this was to have a hole punched in the card - great 1st impression. Hey - puch a hole in the card before you issue it!!!! Then into another cue to be stung $8 for a lanyard to hang this card from your neck. 50 cent lanyard for $8. The Moral - bring your own lanyard and avoid any cues unless you know EXACTLY what the cue is for as the crew won't tell you and often its to up sell you. This is the 1st of many up-sell episodes onboard. Ships itinerary was changed due to cyclone- no one can help that - but this throws out all the booked shore excursions. Ship avoids telling passengers to last minute that the excursion they have booked is now "altered" to offer less excursion but same price and if you don't realise this 48hr beforehand they won't let you cancel. they knew upto 10 days beforehand that a lot of the shore excursions would deliver less than that was advertised due to dates and times changing but made no attempt to contact passengers in enough time to allow them to cancel or change. I found out that some of the experienced passengers knew this would occur and cancelled, then the ship sold this spot to another less suspecting passenger who was wait listed for the same excursion. As we found out the ships excursion fee was upto double what is normally charged for the same excursion if booked off the ship. So much for group discount. Absolute RIPOFF. Do your own research beforehand. Ship is overpriced and deceitful. Do NOT, repeat DO NOT book another excursion via the ship. No dryers to dry clothes. Tip - they will offer complimentary drying of your clothes but only if you complain. Tip - to get anything fixed or done - you have to complain. They will not proactively inform you of what you can do. Makes for a great, relaxing holiday when you have to whinge all the time simply to get something that you have already paid for. Cocktails are $11 for a glass of ice and some cocktail if you are lucky - maybe 3 mouthfuls per glass. bottled water $5. Softdrinks (cans) $2.50. Buy a sticker that gives you unlimited soft drinks (post mix) its worth it if there are more than 2 kids. Ship was affected by vomit and diaohhea bug - quarritined people made to stay in cabins and all self service aspects stopped( ie food and drink etc), ie staff served you which delayed service immensely. You often had finished your meal before your drink order was taken. No cold water in the health spa or gym to stop bugs spreading and tap water on ship runs warm. Takes some water bottles and refrigerate them at night (that is - if your fridge works). If you enjoy a nice coffee - don't go on this ship. Coffee card is $35 for 10 brews. This was the second most common complaint I heard after the shore excurion rip offs. If you can take your own coffee you might be able to get one of the crew to brew it - good luck as they are programmed robots who simply follow procedure. Gym has limited equipment but adequate. Health spa is nice but over priced - check what discount they will offer if you book multiple sessions. Take an umbrella and some rain gear for going ashore. At Isle of pines the cue to return to the main ship was over 90 minutes long- standing there in high humidity, rain and heat without shelter - tragically poor organisation and no communication. Just great if you have kids or are elderly. They don't tell you where toilets are etc on the shore excursions. THe offered lunch on one excursions was a pack of arnotts biscuits - "only take one please" and a bottle of water = A$80 - BARGIN Take a power board as limited power points in cabins to charge all items we use these days. INternet $65 per 100min or $0.75 per minute and slow speed so avoid skype etc. In short - don't go. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
We are a couple from the UK in our early fifties. We absolutely love cruising and have mostly been on various Royal Caribbean ships. So as this cruise covered New Year, we thought we would " trade up " and although it was ... Read More
We are a couple from the UK in our early fifties. We absolutely love cruising and have mostly been on various Royal Caribbean ships. So as this cruise covered New Year, we thought we would " trade up " and although it was expensive, we thought it would be worth it to enjoy the 5 star treatment Celebrity promised. Oh Dear ! I really don't want to write a moaning, negative review but Celebrity failed on so many areas and I think it is only right to point out what we experienced so that other guests will know what to expect. We flew British Airways from the UK to Miami. It took 3 hours to get through immigration and out to the bus. Brits please note , it's better to fly into Fort Lauderdale. They are much quicker. Pre night cruise was the FLL Hilton Marina. Room was clean and comfy. They stiffed you a bit on the price of their breakfast. Embarkation on cruise day was like any other. A big queue but what do you expect when there's 3,000 passengers. The ship is beautiful, of that there is no doubt. Furnishings are very plush and we had no problems ever getting loungers etc. Yes, people do leave towels on loungers all day but that happens on all cruise ships. My first gripe is the crew. They just didn't seem interested. Don't they realise it's us customers that keep them employed ? Bar staff, waiters, cabin attendants, guest relations all made us feel as if we were getting in their way. Don't get me wrong , I'm not into having long , meaningless conversations with crew but a simple Hello or the odd smile wouldn't hurt. The crew on royal Caribbean ships were much more friendlier and interactive and this is the same company. So what's gone wrong on Celebrity which they say is their premium cruise line ? - I don't know but the difference was extremely noticeable. Second gripe is the food. We enjoyed excellent food on Royal Caribbean so we were really looking forward to Celebrity cuisine. What a disappointment. Main dining room food was cold, very small portions and took way too long to be served. One hour wait between soup and main course is appalling. No point complaining as all you got was a blank stare. Food in the buffet was more akin to a works canteen. Someone should tell the chef that custard can be accompanied by more than just Bread and butter pudding. We didn't use the specialty ( or fee paying ) restaurants and from what I saw, not a lot of other people used them either The Cruise director was Patti Honacki, a celebrity wannabee who thinks her role is to appear once a day on the TV to tell us how wonderful she is, what bit parts she has had in films and to advertise the specialty restaurants, spa and other fee paying stuff. Absolutely no interaction with passengers.She should take lessons from Richard Spacey or Joff Eaton to see how it is done. Theatre entertainment was a bit naff. More akin to what you would get at a Butlins holiday camp. On board activities seemed to be limited to Trivia challenges and Zumba. For what we paid I expected a bit more imagination than that There is a large lawn area on the top deck and it is a complete waste of space. Especially when there are " Keep off the Grass " signs all over. I found that ironically amusing. A word of warning, check your stateroom account daily. We had shore excursions, champagne and specialty restaurants all charged to our stateroom account. Problem was we hadn't done any of those. We wasted valuable time trying to convince the uninterested guest relations people that they had made these mistakes. And also, even if you haven't opted to pre-pay gratuities, they still add them to your stateroom account. You have to go to guest services and stand in a queue to sign a waiver if you want to give your tips in cash. This is a terrible way to treat customers. Anyone who saw the Channel 4 Dispatches programme will know this in the only way to ensure that your tips get to the people you want as Celebrity use pre-paid gratuities to make up the crews basic wage I won't go into details about the ports - It's the Caribbean - you know what to expect. However I would advise avoiding Celebrity's excursions as they are very expensive. So to summarise - a comfortable ship but staffed by a crowd who don't seem to realise why they are there. I will not use Celebrity again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
We travelled on Ocean for their New Years Cruise to Amsterdam. The berthing procedure at Southampton was faultless. We spent the first day in Zeebrugge which was lovely. We were then to go onto Amsterdam spending new Years eve and part of ... Read More
We travelled on Ocean for their New Years Cruise to Amsterdam. The berthing procedure at Southampton was faultless. We spent the first day in Zeebrugge which was lovely. We were then to go onto Amsterdam spending new Years eve and part of New Years day in Amsterdam. The captain announced adverse weather conditions and we could not go into Amsterdam. There was no adverse weather conditions the sea was calm there was some wind but I have spent and uncomfortable night in a force 8 gale and I can assure you this ship was as calm and stable as a rock with hardly any movement. I complaind to p&o on arriving home about our cruise which ended up on New Years day in the English channel with a view of Dungerness power station. There response was that there passengers safety was paramount and that we were not entitled to any compensation. I feel this is not acceptable as they did not have to pay any berthing costs in Amsterdam and also they had two days of passengers spending money on their cruise ship when they would have been ashore if we had been allowed to dock. The ship was very crowded P&O chose to keep a large lounge/bar closed therefore very little room to sit around the ship and enjoy any of the facilities. We have cruised with P&O on many occasions and this is the first time I have made a complaint they are usually very good but on this occasion I feel they failed miserably to placate the passengers (a free glass of champagne may have helped)and feel there was another reason that we did not berth in Amsterdam. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
On Nov 10th of this year, my husband and I traveled on the Carnival Valor. I was EXTREMELY disappointed to say the least. I booked the Grand Suite hoping there would be a few "perks" but they were non-existent. We received ... Read More
On Nov 10th of this year, my husband and I traveled on the Carnival Valor. I was EXTREMELY disappointed to say the least. I booked the Grand Suite hoping there would be a few "perks" but they were non-existent. We received priority embarkation, but we would have gotten it anyway as my husband is disabled. We saw our room steward maybe a total of 5 times during the entire cruise. Our room was nice, but when I got into the shower and closed the door, there was black mold in the track behind the door.(I have pics). I needed to request a new remote twice as neither would work from the bed. Food in the restaurant and buffet was cold for the most part and the times the buffet were open made no sense. On the pool deck the ashtrays were filled to the top most of the time and I never once saw staff wipe off a table there. I mostly saw them standing chatting in groups of two or three on the pool deck as well as in the buffet seating areas. One evening we decided to order room service. After 45 minutes, I called to make sure it was coming and was told "It's on it's way!" After an hour and a half, I cancelled it and went to the buffet which had only a few things left on it. It's been a while since we've traveled with Carnival and I see why. They make you appreciate all of the little things the other lines have to offer AT NO CHARGE. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
We sailed on the Carnival Miracle in April out of NYC. We had cruised on Carnival's Inspiration 8 years ago(our first cruise) and everything was exceptional. However, we were truly disappointed with this cruise. Our major ... Read More
We sailed on the Carnival Miracle in April out of NYC. We had cruised on Carnival's Inspiration 8 years ago(our first cruise) and everything was exceptional. However, we were truly disappointed with this cruise. Our major complaint is with the difference in the treatment received by the staff. Primarily with their security staff on trying to get off the ship at the ports was the worst. After being at sea for 2 days our first stop was Puerto Rico and I think most everyone was anxious to get off. The ship only had one exit available and it seemed like chaos getting people lined up and took forever. It was not a pleasant experience and the security staff in charge were rude. Same thing happened at Turks and Caicos. We had booked a private excursion at Turks and thought we would miss it. Luckily they waited for us. At St. Thomas it was better because they did have 2 exits open. Not sure why they would only have had one at the others but it sure was poor planning and you felt like a criminal the way you were yelled at by the staff to stay in line etc. Another major difference we found was with Room Service. On our first cruise I was amazed at their prompt efficient service. Not this time. After the first 3 days I gave up and never called them again. Our order in the morning only consisted of two pots of tea and fruit. Never got that right. It was just the two of us and we just each wanted a pot of tea that basically give us two cups each to drink. We would get one pot of tea and four cups, one pot of tea and one cup, couldn't make them understand. They also would take forever to answer and you were placed on hold or even hung up on. So I gave up and would wonder down and carry it up myself. So they lost out on their tips that way. I also tried putting out the card on the door, but that never came at all. The best staff encounter was our room steward. He was great and we had no complaints at all with him. So we tipped him extra at the end since we choose to do our own gratuities at the beginning. We only tipped our dinning room staff the minimum since the service was just acceptable. I was thinking that perhaps there was a communication issue as our orders (for a table of six) were mixed up on 5 of the 7 times visiting the dinning room. The food itself was good but not exceptional. The bar staff that we encountered were good. You couldn't see the TV screen properly if you were lying in bed and we had to call them for service. That took two days to fix. Apparently from talking to other guests at breakfast they had the same issue. Not one to sit and watch TV while on a cruise, but do like to turn it on just before falling to sleep. Couldn't even make out the faces. Our experience at the ports of call: Puerto Rico - Not good. We had opted to venture off to a public beach and took a taxi there that we shared with someone else from the ship. That was ok but found the public beach very dirty. We started to walk back to find a cab to take us back to the ship. Found one that was just parked at the side of the street but he said he would not take us, that he was too busy. So we had to walk about 2 miles back to ship (on his directions) and never saw another cab. Not a pleasant experience. St. Thomas - We went to Secret Harbor Beach for snorkeling. I had researched this prior to the cruise. It was Wonderful. Probably the best snorkeling and the most pleasant beach I have ever visited. Highly Recommended. Amazing snorkeling experience and no crowds. Turks and Caicos: Nice. We had booked a private snorkeling charter. Preferred the snorkeling off the beach in St. Thomas though. Disembarkation from the ship: Good. Have to admit it was much better organized than getting off at the ports. Felt like they couldn't wait to get rid of us. Summary: Although we still enjoyed our cruise,I have to admit we're not planning another one soon. Going to book at an all-inclusive resort next year instead. Hopefully, you enjoy your cruise, just don't put high expectations on Carnival's Miracle. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
I like to start out with the Pro's of this cruise: Expensive ticket price but caught a good sale so I liked the price I paid. They also gave us VIP check in because my husband is Active Duty Military. Overall great food but the dining ... Read More
I like to start out with the Pro's of this cruise: Expensive ticket price but caught a good sale so I liked the price I paid. They also gave us VIP check in because my husband is Active Duty Military. Overall great food but the dining room had better dining than buffet style. The entire dining staff, stateroom attendants and bartenders were amazing! Fairly smooth sailing. They also had a great holiday show. Cons: FIRST when I called to inquire if the online ship map was to scale the person from NCL lied. Deck 10 room 0106 is in fact the smallest style room (2.5' x10' less). So for the same price I was guided in to picking the smaller of the two room choices. I verified with my neighbors during the cruise of the sizes vs my initial options. SECOND the entire cruise experience seemed confused and not so organized. I called guest services 6 times during the 3 day cruise, of that 4 times during the day it FLAT OUT was never answered (ohh and I waited while it rang)! I had to go down to the guest services desk which was NOT at all busy. The entire upper level staff was curt and would constantly cut you off to answer the question they think you were asking. Several times I received contradictory information when asking questions because the initial answers did not pan out. THIRD our stateroom smelt like mildew BIG time. It was mainly the bathroom but the smell hit us when we walked in. When we got home MOST of our clothes WREAKED! Every single thing in my luggage (unpacked on the ship or not) wreaked when we got off the ship. Because the closet was right across from the bathroom we all smelt pretty bad on the drive home. Ironically my swim top smelt like chlorine inside the zip lock bag...lol I didn't notice my clothes smelled in the room but when we left the ship on the third day WOW my shirt was eeewww mildew smelly! FOURTH, I realized quickly that some things were discouraged on NCL Sky that is advertised as available. For example I did not receive a menu for room service (not the only one), nor did I receive one after telling guest services that I did not have one and wanted to see the menu. They said I have to call, they will tell me, when I did they said call back (NEVER ordered room service). Our parents had a menu in their room. Another example is carrying your own luggage off the ship. We did not fly so we could easily carry our three bags off, but were constantly told we HAD to check luggage off ship yet in the newsletter it stated it was optional but vaguely worded. Finally second attempt trying to reach guest services at 7pm they said it was optional and that we may actually carry our bags off. It sure didn't seem that way with the constant barrage of people reminding us we HAD to. FIFTH, we booked a shore excursion to tour forts and a museum. It was severely rushed to say the least but liked the tour. We also booked the hippo water slide (FUN!) but they shut it down nearly 2 hours early! So total waste of money. SIXTH con, we found a big roach in our stateroom. Sadly we had never brought food in the room and this last night I had just brought back a fruit plate, needless to say no so hungry after hunting down a cockroach. Perhaps this is why they discourage room service. I have been on another cruise and ordered constant food, never seeing a roach, big time EEEEwwww NCL! NEVER AGAIN, If I were a first time cruiser I would honestly never cruise again period. Since I am not, it will cruise again... just not be with NCL. Overall not worth what they charge. Thank goodness for Royal Caribbean! Read Less
Sail Date December 2011

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