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304 Holiday Cruise Reviews

This was my 6th cruise and unfortunately, not my best. I have to say I was disappointed. The ship, while big and sparkling is too big. The crowd was huge. I felt like I was in a crowed city and it was not relaxing. The were not enough ... Read More
This was my 6th cruise and unfortunately, not my best. I have to say I was disappointed. The ship, while big and sparkling is too big. The crowd was huge. I felt like I was in a crowed city and it was not relaxing. The were not enough chairs on deck, the Windjammer cafeteria never had enough seats, every show was packed, basically, it felt like a cattle call. Trying to reach the guest services desk was a 30 minute wait no matter what time of day you went. I will say that the shows each night were very well done. The final show, Saturday Night Fever, was not great. It felt like they took on something a little beyond their reach. However the sets and the singing we great. I traveled with a party of 11 Thanksgiving week. We had both interior and balcony cabins and both were exceptionally nice. The service was fine. The dining room was elegant but the food was only ok to poor. Yes they are feeding thousands, but that is the problem. Most dinners, several people in our group (2 families), let the majority of the food on the plate. I have sailed on several lines and do like Royal Caribbean but this time it really felt like they were constantly in my pocket. Everything was an extra charge. How about cupcake decorating for $35? Or a basic toenail painting for $50? The drink packages were absurd for non-alcoholics. Who needs $50/day in alcohol? I'm 110 pounds and traveled with 6 teenagers and an elderly man. We had 5 people take one excursion, bought one drink package for my husband, had $20 in the arcade and our bill totalled $1000+ with service fees and extra charges (ice cream, a latte, one glass of wine...really???) What started out as a economical vacation became very expensive and not much fun. Not one of my teens ever got a turn on the rock wall or flow rider because they were too crowded when they wanted to go. Granted, they could have gone at off times but they lost interest in that. We had fun. The ship is nice. Service is good. But is expensive and crowded. We tried to play shuffle board and had to search for a full set to play and finally just played with an incomplete set. It took several days to even be able to play because there were so many people waiting. Not my idea of a fun relaxing cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
I have been on Voyager 4 times as it is my favourite ship but this cruise was not the best. We went to Singapore as we wanted to check out the revitalisation. We got down at the pier just after 10 and I did expect the wow factor after ... Read More
I have been on Voyager 4 times as it is my favourite ship but this cruise was not the best. We went to Singapore as we wanted to check out the revitalisation. We got down at the pier just after 10 and I did expect the wow factor after the dry dock. Sadly for the second time, boarding in Singapore , was delayed by about 3 hours or more and in my view a publicity disaster . I could not believe this could happen and I now believe Royal Caribbean have no idea on how to make an impact. You spend Millions making changes and before 1 person gets on board you get them all off side. I heard many reasons why it was late but bottom line it was a disaster. No wow factor and what surprised me no Xmas decorations I did like the changes but some were not done as advertised, My bathroom had not been made over nor were my sheets crisp and new and I was in a suite. We had my time dining and we found the changes to the dining room were not to our liking. We thought the food was boring in most venue's and the service was not what I expect from RCCL We were amazed that a glass of wine was $11 US , that is just getting stupid in my view All in all our favourite ship after having Millions spent on revitalisation did not excite me Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
My family and I were very excited to take a cruise that we’d been planning and looking forward to for almost a year. When the day of the trip finally arrived, everyone was excited as we climbed into two large Super Shuttle vans to take ... Read More
My family and I were very excited to take a cruise that we’d been planning and looking forward to for almost a year. When the day of the trip finally arrived, everyone was excited as we climbed into two large Super Shuttle vans to take the 14 of us to Long Beach Harbor. Unfortunately, only one of our vans made it to the ship on time as the driver of the other van went to the wrong harbor. We hadn’t even boarded the ship and yet we were already worried half our family would be left behind. Luckily we had ordered the shuttles to pick us up extra early, so the lost driver made it back to Long Beach in time. We hoped that was going to be the only bump in our journey, but sadly, it was just the beginning. From the minute we boarded the ship we felt an intensely strong vibration in all five of our rooms. If you lay down on the bed, it was like laying on one of those old motel beds with a quarter slot-machine next to the bed to make it vibrate. Sadly for us the there was no “off” button. We hoped the vibrating might stop once the boat left the dock and heard a few others wondering the same. We had five balcony cabins mid-ship on the 7th deck, which we were told was one of the better locations on the ship for rooms. When the ship finally left the port of Long Beach, the vibrating did not stop. Five in our family went to Guest Services to complain and ask what was going on and each of us were told a different excuse (each of which turned out to be fiction). You could barely focus on a book in bed because of the vibrating, but worse was that was it made it difficult to sleep. We were told once that the vibration was from the weather, but we had beautiful calm seas for most all the trip. We were also told that it was just the size of the ship and a little vibration was normal. Guest Services kept assuring us it would get better. It never did. It wasn’t just “a little” vibration, it was more like the ship had Parkinson’s. We finally went online and discovered an article posted by Carnival in April of this year which explained that the Miracle actually had a propulsion problem and all they were planning on doing was to cruise a little slower and not make any real repairs until the Spring of 2015. It seems wrong to post your ships troubles on the internet and then turn around and lie to the faces of your paying guests. My family felt that the Carnival people must think us a bit “slow” to tell each of us a different excuse about the problem with the boat. We would have preferred an honest answer and an apology instead of being lied to directly. We did enjoy the food very much, but our seating at Dinner was bad. We had requested two adjacent tables for our large group (like our previous cruise), but instead they slid two tables together to accommodate us all at one long narrow table which forced any on the inside to either crawl under the table to get out or ask everyone to get up and move coming in and getting out. It was not comfortable or enjoyable. The service was barely adequate (many ordered items were forgotten) but we tried to remain calm so as not to upset the staff and get worse service. We did, however, enjoy the shows onboard and the service for the cabins. This was our second Thanksgiving Family Cruise with Carnival Cruises… and after this experience, it will be our last. My family and friends will never cruise with Carnival again.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
I was nervous about this 50 year old ship but we chose it for two reasons. The itinerary to the fjords and its ability to get into ports like Flam and the fact that it was small with only 800 passengers. Unfortunately it was 800 passengers ... Read More
I was nervous about this 50 year old ship but we chose it for two reasons. The itinerary to the fjords and its ability to get into ports like Flam and the fact that it was small with only 800 passengers. Unfortunately it was 800 passengers crammed in giving far less square foot per person than the bigger ships offer. Arrival at the port - this was chaos with a long queue to get to the terminal only to drop off our luggage and turn around to drive back over a mile to the actual Tilbury port and docks to park our car. Why they didn't direct people who had paid for parking to go straight there I don't know. The queue was over a mile long and we were 90 minutes late checking in, which was very smooth and painless like others have described. Our cabin was 638 on Deck 9 and although quite a high category it was still very small indeed. Clean and bathroom was sufficient but it just felt a bit cramped. Only one power point (unless you unplug TV). Facilities on board were minimal with a small duty free shop, gym, table tennis table, 3 hot tubs, games room, reading room etc. There was a internet room were charges were 60p per minute so very expensive. WIFI available on deck 8 but still expensive. The problem was during our 2 sea days there is just not enough space to accommodate everyone, we ended up back in our cabin watching dvd's one day as all the available seats in the various lounges and clubs were all taken. Food - Marcos restaurant was very school canteen like and we tried it for breakfast and lunch on one day and gave it up for the Waldorf restaurant on other mornings. What was quite nice was the wraps, paninis and burgers they cook fresh at the poolside bar. I took my own teabags but as they do not offer fresh milk for tea on board everything tasted a bit chemical or stale. the drinks service in all of the bars is good and all reasonably priced. They do a good range of cocktails and I worked my way through the non alcoholic ones during the day too. The Waldorf restaurant was good and our waitress, Katareyna was very nice. The wine waiter was very surly and didn't really want to be there and was only interested in serving wine and not any alternative bar or non alcoholic drinks. A good selection each day, small starter, soup and a salad followed by a main a dessert, cheese and coffee. Not too keen on any of the pasta dishes they were all very stodgy and bland. Breakfast in the Waldorf had a good selection and eggs and omelettes were cooked to order. The entertainment was good with 5 very professional singers who put on a spectacular show each night in the show lounge followed by late night cabaret. They all worked very hard indeed. Each show was repeated at 1015 for diners that were on the late sitting so there was no reason to miss anything by being on either dinner sitting. The entertainment cruise director was also very professional. Our ports of call were Eidfjord, Flam and Bergen and we signed up for the excursions in Eidfjord and Flam. If we were to go again I think we would do our own thing. In Eidfjord there was a small land train that took you round all the sights and up high enough to look back down at the port. I think I would have preferred this to sitting on a coach driving round the countryside. In flam there were two ships in port and plenty of tickets available to go up the flam railway to Myrdal for those who wanted to opt out of the excursion. Our trip on the railway had two disappointments, the first was that we had to get off at the stop before Myrdal where we just took a few photos and looked round a souvenir shop at one of the hotels up the mountain. The second was that the carriage was oversubscribed on the way down and we had to stand up for nearly an hour which didn't give us a very good view or the opportunity to take photos. We did complain about this and was refunded £27 each. Anyway subscribing to this excursion, I recommend you take the morning one as the afternoon one gets back too late for the first dinner sitting and so many people were forced to miss a sit down meal with waiter service that evening. Bergen - very easy to navigate under your own steam, there is a small land train as well as the funicular railway. It was raining quite hard when we arrived so everyone on the funicular excursion didn't get to see anything as it took them up to the top of a mountain surrounded by cloud. We waited until the sun came out just after lunch and had a great view. All in all the reason we went was for some beautiful scenery which we got in abundance. The Marco Polo looked very romantic and majestic anchored in the fjords where as the larger white multi deck cruise ships looked somewhat out of place. Would I go on the Marco Polo again? I don't think so as the ship felt too crowded, the average age was a lot older than expected (70-80+). Whilst our cabin steward and our waitress were very friendly we found a lot of staff very surly, particularly when you asked for specific things away from the norm (please only fill my coffee cup up half way caused a breakfast waiter to become rather rude and slam things about). Disembarkation - whilst this was very smooth and well organised the few hours leading up to it were very stressful. Every passenger was asked to vacate their cabin at 7am and because there is not enough room to seat everyone at the same time the queues for breakfast were long and we had to wait for over an hour. Meanwhile everyone was sitting where they could, on the stairs, on sunbeds etc with their hand luggage waiting to disembark. Disembarkation was staggered depending on cabin category (coloured luggage labels) and started at 0810am with the last passengers off around 10.30am. With this in mind I think it may have been more sensible to stagger breakfast.   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
The ship is beautiful and the accommodations were adequate. The staff seemed to be friendly enough. I/we did not get that real customer satisfaction feeling we have had before. Food was OK. No fee restaurants did not have interesting menus ... Read More
The ship is beautiful and the accommodations were adequate. The staff seemed to be friendly enough. I/we did not get that real customer satisfaction feeling we have had before. Food was OK. No fee restaurants did not have interesting menus at all. Savor and Taste had the exact same menu. Buffet was bland and as boring as Savor and Tastes. Room service was prompt. O'Sheehans was the go to place for us but even they did not change the menu??? By the way, do NOT try and get chocolate ice cream at O'Sheehans. It will cost you $4.00. You can get vanilla or strawberry at no fee. WHAT???? Appears NCL is pushing the cruiser towards spending money on the specialty restaurants? We have cruised many times and realize that this is a business. However, on this cruise we felt like we were being nickle and dimed. Once upon a time the mens locker room had showers, sauna and steam rooms as well as the womens side. Now you pay $199.00 for that experience and it is coed. That is a bit uncomfortable. Casino is large and has many tables and slot machines. I lost as usual :o). However, I did NOT hear anyone talk about winning. I also did not hear much excitement there. Odds/payout on slots were terrible. Ports= Could not stop at Stirrup Cay. Not NCL fault....weather made it unsafe. Bahamas...OK I guess. Most shops and straw market was closed on Christmas Day and the next day (Boxing day) is a holiday there as well. So pretty much a waste unless you booked a tour. Bottom line is the cruise was Not really the experience we expected. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We have sailed on the Pearl previously and loved this beautiful ship. After a fabulous Christmas cruise last year on the Dawn, we booked a suite in January and really looked forward to this cruise. Embarkation in Miami was smooth for us, ... Read More
We have sailed on the Pearl previously and loved this beautiful ship. After a fabulous Christmas cruise last year on the Dawn, we booked a suite in January and really looked forward to this cruise. Embarkation in Miami was smooth for us, although the concierge was quick to warn us that the ship was fully booked with families and reservations needed to be made for dinners, shows, etc ASAP. We had planned ahead so no problem for us. Here are the issues that made this a mediocre experience for us. 1. The ship was minimally decorated for Christmas in comparison to the Dawn last year. Nothing special was happening. Holiday music was not played until Christmas Day and it varied between operatic style Christmas carols and the Chipmunks. It was awful. Just no holiday vibe at all. 2. The staff seemed exhausted for the whole cruise. They tried to be cheerful but it was obviously forced. The butler and concierge were remote. The concierge was responsive when contacted, but neither made any effort beyond perfunctory duties. We never saw the concierge in the dining venues checking on her guests as has been our experience on other cruises. The one time I used the butler for room service, it was beyond tardy. When I called to inquire about the delay, I was told he had many orders to deliver. I had already waited one hour for a sandwich! Our room was not very clean at check in. The glass doors and mirrors had splatters that stayed on them for the duration. 3. Food service in Cagney's was slow and unorganized, particularly at breakfast. Quality was not great except in the evening when more staff were present. 4. We had a couple of bad interactions with arrogant casino personnel. The place was not very busy the whole cruise so they might want to review their hospitality 101 before they alienate players. Their new point system sucks, by the way. 5. We like freestyle cruising and have no desire to dress formally, but a little dress code enforcement was desperately needed. We spent the cruise with folks in gym wear and swimsuits. It looked as though they walked from the pool to the dining room. Seriously, we saw gym tanks, shorts and flip flops in the MDR and that was on men. Ripped jeans, grubby tees, shorts, etc. The attire was generally better suited for a quick run to the hardware or Walmart. 6. Children ran wild. Racing up and down staircases, in and out of elevators, through the casino, outside, through the dining areas, pushing and shoving anyone in their way. We had dinner in Cagneys one evening ($30 per head) only to have half the meal disrupted by a table of unsupervised kids under 7 ( seated by themselves--parents all sitting elsewhere) who sang loudly, jumped up and down like hopping bunnies around other tables, ground up pepper and threw it at one another, screamed randomly, ran back and forth in front of the serving area where staff were trying to retrieve orders and generally created chaos. Their adoring parents ignored them. The staff tried to get them to sit but it had little affect. We all wanted to clap when they finally left. And really, why in the world are such young children permitted to be seated alone? 7. The dolphin cove excursions in Georgetown, Cayman were an absolute disaster. We were all herded under a big, hot tent elbow to elbow for 2 hours while ONE person tried to organize excursions. There was no organization. Most excursions had to be scrapped because they did not have any transportation. NCL did not have a rep on site. Someone finally got the assistant excursion mgr and he arrived at the 2 hour mark. He was helpless to recover the day's excursions. There were lots of really angry people and disappointed, crying children. We returned to the ship and roused the excursion mgr. And what a whiner he was. He said he didn't like this port stop, he didn't have enough staff, he couldn't be in 2 places at once. Meanwhile, Carnival and Royal Caribbean had 2 ships each in port. They managed to get all their excursions efficiently organized and on their way. Not to mention their tenders were so superior. We were finally given a refund and a specialty dinner. 8. Port stops were not our favorite. Would not repeat. And it rained at all but the private Island stop in the Bahamas . 9. The musical venues we saw were very mediocre. Interesting parties or musical events did not start until 1030 pm. Hard to be a night owl when you need to be up early for excursions. 10. Cumulatively, this cruise disappointed. Our experience last year was so very superior. Probably will skip a holiday cruise next year. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
It's hard to put my finger on exactly what wasn't right about this cruise. It was over Christmas, and we wanted a get-away of rest and relaxation, and we definitely got that. But some things were a little off with this cruise as ... Read More
It's hard to put my finger on exactly what wasn't right about this cruise. It was over Christmas, and we wanted a get-away of rest and relaxation, and we definitely got that. But some things were a little off with this cruise as compared to our other Princess sailings. If you've read through the previous comments, you know the common complaints: no stairs mid-ship, slow elevators, small and cold pools, small balconies, etc. They're all true! Luckily, our cabin was near the rear of the ship, and the elevators in the back were pretty accessible. It was only when we were in the piazza or heading to/from dinner that the elevators were crowded and slow. The elevators seemed to stop at every floor, even though there was no one there to get on/off. We had three days at sea, and when we went to the sun deck (17), it was almost impossible to find two loungers together after 10 AM. Throughout the day, we saw passengers wandering about with folded towels in hand, trying to find a seat. As two adults (with no kids), we tried to get into the Retreat area (adults only), but even by 7:45 AM on sea days, all the loungers were taken. We sat on loungers in between the two pools and stayed away from the chaos on 16 as much as possible. There are just too many people on board for the size of the pools and the number of lounge chairs on the decks. We had over 800 children on board because it was Christmas week, and the captain reminded us all to exercise patience with so many children aboard. Because of all the families, Deck 16 was loud and super-crowded. There were plenty of bar staff wandering around to take drink orders and clean up used plates and cups, and everyone we encountered was very friendly and helpful. The captain came on the PA system around noon each sea day to update us about things like weather--we did run into some showers each afternoon, forcing us inside (where we usually sat on our balcony). Speaking of the balcony, they're completely comfortable for two people. We did not have the footstools, as others mentioned, but we were able to share drinks and appetizers out on our balcony without any problems. We also had no problems with soot, as was also mentioned in earlier reviews. Our first stop was Princess Cays, which was just what we wanted: a relaxing day at the beach. If you just want to hang out and enjoy the beach, turn right when you get off the tender. To the left, it's much busier and louder, with all the water sport activities going on. The lunch was fine, not great. Burgers, hotdogs, chicken--basic outdoor BBQ food, but nothing special. We ordered drinks from the bar and were surprised to find out they were $12 each! For a plastic cup that maybe held 8 ounces. We walked around in the afternoon and bought a couple things from the vendor huts. Getting back on the ship was a bit of a nightmare: we got off the beach at 3:15 (4:00 was the last tender time), and the line was SO LONG!! We couldn't even see the end of the line. I'm not sure how many tenders were in operation that afternoon, but it clearly wasn't enough. Christmas Day was spent in St. Thomas. We booked the Dolphin Swim excursion, which took us off the island for the entire day, so we didn't actually get to see anything on St. Thomas. The excursion was poorly organized. Told to be on the pier at 8:15 AM, we were up and off the ship early, only to have to fill out customs forms and waivers while standing there (why we couldn't have done this earlier, I don't know). There was only one guide on the pier trying to give out paperwork and then check it and collect our passports. Two people would've been much better. The guide took our passports (since we were going to the BVI of Tortola), only to drop the entire box of passports in the water as we finally boarded the ferry. She had a flippant attitude about it all, which really annoyed us. The ferry ride was rather rough going over, and the teenagers on board acted as if we were on a roller coaster, which got old fast. The ferry ride back was much calmer, although the boat was loud and dirty. The Dolphin Swim was really extraordinary, but the whole thing is a less than natural. The experience was organized, but we were a really big group, and our time wasn't as personal as the smaller groups that came after us. The dolphin trainers were wonderful, as were the dolphins, but don't even bother taking your cameras--they are not allowed in or near the water. Instead, they have photographers who take photos of each contact with the dolphin for each person in the group. We bought a CD/photo package that was almost as expensive as the excursion, but the pictures WERE really wonderful and it was worth it to have those memories. After the swim, we were instructed to order lunch (not included), which we chose not to do--a cheeseburger was $14--and instead just waited for the time to go back to the ferry. We collected our passports (many of them were wet and ripply) after the swim and headed back on the ferry. The guide had the gall to solicit tips after what happened with the passports! The day after Christmas, we were in St. Maarten/St. Martin. We booked the excursion of the beach break to Orient Beach. We loved our guide, Vilma, who was a native St. Martiner. She was humorous and knowledgeable about the island, and gave us good advice regarding the pushy sellers we'd encounter on the beach. Compared to the dolphin excursion, this one was very well organized. We got some fruit punch on arrival at the beach (with or without rum) and Vilma directed us to our section of the beach. It was Boxing Day, which she said was a very busy day, and the beach chairs were so close together that it was difficult to walk between the rows. We paid $3 for the umbrella rental, but so did all our neighbors, and it turned out we didn't even need it because of the shade from all their umbrellas! As soon as we sat down, people started coming up to us selling everything from hair-braiding to tattoos to jewelry to clothing and artwork. It was non-stop, and they were pretty aggressive. We found out you could get almost everything they were selling more cheaply at the souvenir shops in town, but we did feel good about helping the local economy, which heavily depends on tourists. Lunch at the Waikiki Bar (included) was barely fair--go with the fish or ribs and not the chicken. We were cautioned that we might see topless sunbathers, but we only saw one older woman walking along the shore who was topless. We were then at sea all day Friday and Saturday on our way back to Ft. Lauderdale. As I mentioned above, the early risers get the best seats on the decks, so it might be worth it to get up early, stake out your spot, and have some breakfast before settling on the lounger for the day. We ate in the anytime dining room almost every night, and we didn't have to wait too long for a table. We prefer to sit at a table for 2, and we were fine with waiting for one to open up. The key to timing dinner is to leave about 2 hours for the whole thing, and to not go immediately after a show lets out, which is when the longest waits are. We liked the food, knowing it is pre-plated banquet fare, but it really wasn't as good as previous Princess cruises we'd taken. On the morning show, we heard the head chef talking to one of the cooks about not adding too much salt because of the older passengers on board who were watching their sodium intake, but we both thought the food was bland, bland, bland. The appetizers were varied, and we did like some of the soups, but there were a couple of nights when nothing on the main course appealed to us. Lots of beef and pork and turkey, and there is always a vegetarian option. Depending on where we sat, the service ranged from great to neglectful, depending on the waiters. One night, we didn't order any wine or drinks with dinner, and the waiter noticeably ignored our table. We went to a bunch of shows and games, and they were good, but not great. The magician's tricks and illusions went on a little long, and we didn't really get the whole concept of his show. The singers were good, but the dancers were a little tacky. I don't know if it was their routines or their costumes or their wildly flinging hair, but we didn't love their dancing. We went to a soul music show (which wasn't really soul--more Motown), which had live music that was very good. We loved the comedian, Al Katz, who was really funny. His first night was in the theater, which was pretty full, and his second night was in the Vista Lounge, which was packed. Get there early (but not 45 minutes early, as some people have suggested). We played bingo a couple of times but didn't win. Get there early for that, too, and take a pen or buy a dauber to mark your cards. The cruise staff were fun-loving and we went to a couple of the trivia games--they were silly and we had a good time identifying songs. There was plenty of live music on the ship. Bands played out on the decks, and there was a pianist in the Wheelhouse Bar, and more bands played in the piazza. I couldn't keep them all straight, but they played a variety of live music that was all enjoyable. We got our disembarkation information, and one of us was listed as a Walk-off (correct) and one wasn't (incorrect). I was able to fix it quickly at the main desk. Our walkoff time was 6:15 AM (yawn), but that was a good time to get off the boat before the craziness of everyone else's leaving. Breakfast in the buffet opened at 5 AM that day, so we had breakfast before leaving the ship. Going through customs took about 15 minutes (there were only 3 agents working, so the lines got considerably longer as the morning went on), and our ride met us in the pickup area. We were home by 7 AM, tired, tan, and happy.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Just returned from a 10 day cruise on the '' Oceana'', which set out from Southampton on the 19th Dec.2013, obviously taking in Christmas. We had been on the boat for about 5 hours, when both my wife and I started ... Read More
Just returned from a 10 day cruise on the '' Oceana'', which set out from Southampton on the 19th Dec.2013, obviously taking in Christmas. We had been on the boat for about 5 hours, when both my wife and I started vomiting. This lasted for about 30 hours, and was caused by the boat being unstable and rolling all over the place. During this time, the toilet packed up, and we were without a toilet for about 6 hours. Both my wife and I were not well for most of the cruise, because of the instability of the boat. In fact, on Christmas Day, my wife had nothing to eat, and I only managed to keep a half a bowl of soup down. The only time we felt O.K. was when we went ashore. I had a couple of cooked breakfasts towards the end of the cruise, and my wife had one on the last day. We had booked a couple of shore excursions, in Casablanca and Cadiz, but because my wife was ill on the day we were in Cadiz, she dare not go on the coach. I went to tell them that we would not be able to go on the trip after all, but I was told that because we hadn't given 48 hour's notice, we would forfeit the cost, £72. How we were expected to know, 48 hour's in advance that my wife was going to be ill, I'll never know. The last straw was when we couldn't get a decent cup of coffee one evening, from one of the bars, as there had been black-tie dining that evening. We were told we would be able to get one after 9.30 pm, but just then they would be serving cocktails. We have found out since returning, that the Oceana was built for the Caribbean, and not for going down the Atlantic Coast , and that the ship's bottom is too flat to go where we went. The entertainment was pretty amateurish too, and all together the whole experience of the cruise was pretty awful, and a waste of money. I doubt whether we shall ever cruise again, after this experience, but if we do, it certainly will not be with P&O!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
I know some people thought this cruise was fine and have even re-booked for next year but for the life of me I cannot understand why. I don't go on holiday to pick fault but I have nothing good to say about the Celebration. Our ... Read More
I know some people thought this cruise was fine and have even re-booked for next year but for the life of me I cannot understand why. I don't go on holiday to pick fault but I have nothing good to say about the Celebration. Our problems started way before we even embarked - with the awful customer service we received from the call centres (having booked on line). It took well over half an hour just to make a payment, they then gave us the wrong telephone number to book excurisions and in the end we had to call into one of the Thompson shops where they confirmed that the call centre service was a matter of some concern to customers. However that said we were looking forward to our week's cruise to the Canary Islands and Madiera. The ship is old and no amount of refit is going to change the lack of space and facilities. The food was pretty awful. cold, repeditive and recycled. There was an outbreak of novo virus (we spoke to two ladies who were confined to their cabin for 2 days). The staff for the most part, were friendly although terribly overworked. Service in the bars was slow and on no account would you get value for money if you had paid for the drinks package (we got our included as we had booked early). We had to ask for milk for the complimentary tea/coffee and had to request pool towels which should have been in our cabin and we never got replacement toiletries. Entertainment was abismal ranging from a song and dance group who could neither sing or dance to Butlins style games. We spent one day at sea and the next day was Christmas Day when we docked and everything was closed on shore. It would have been much better if we could have had 2 days in Madiera but I feel everything was cost cutting so it was cheaper to have the ship at sea. They have formal nights (we had 2 although nothing in the booking advised that there was one extra one as it is usually one per week I think) but the great majority of people did not conform to 'black tie' and there were many men very casually dressed so if Thompson aren't going to enforce formal dressing on these occasions I would suggest they drop this as this cruise is pitched , in my opinion, at the low end of the market and I would be hard pressed to give it a 3 star rating. I was going to book the Dream for next Christmas but I am going back to P & O. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Returned several days ago from Carnival Conquest 7 night Carribean cruise which departed from Miami. Overall the experience was sub par. The main dining room, atrium, buffet and seating areas were so cold it was hard to enjoy anything. ... Read More
Returned several days ago from Carnival Conquest 7 night Carribean cruise which departed from Miami. Overall the experience was sub par. The main dining room, atrium, buffet and seating areas were so cold it was hard to enjoy anything. Even the rooms were cold. We went for Christmas with a group of 12 friends and family. Everyone agreed that the interior of the ship was so cold, that at times it was unbearable. The food in the buffet and in the main dining room was inadequate at best, at times inedible. Guys burger joint was unappealing and greasy Entertainment extremely lackluster. Positives: Staff, whom are mostly of Indonesian decent, are friendly, hardworking, and courteous, rooms always cleaned promptly and thoroughly. Waiters in dining room worked hard to please. The days at port were interesting, although weather did not always cooperate. However, the days at sea were painfully long, with not much to do. I would not ever sail with this cruise line again.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Oceana E330. We are seasoned Thomson Cruisers, having been on 8 or 9 of their cruises, one NCL and once on the Oceana around 2 years ago, so you have an idea what we are comparing to.... The ship was very similar to how we found it 2 ... Read More
Oceana E330. We are seasoned Thomson Cruisers, having been on 8 or 9 of their cruises, one NCL and once on the Oceana around 2 years ago, so you have an idea what we are comparing to.... The ship was very similar to how we found it 2 years ago, modern and new looking compared to the Thomson ships we are used to. The food was good, nothing spectacular, but good quality and well presented. The weather was poor on the BOB crossing and to say we were in a force 9 at times the ship handled it well, it got better as we headed home. We were in cabin F229 (we did book late) which is right at the front, so some nights were sleepless. It was like being in a tumble dryer sometimes. The cabin was spotless and kept well by Joris our lovely Stewardess. The only good weather we had was in Casablanca, the rest of the ports having dull days. I would have to think hard about whether to do a similar cruise at this time of year again, the Canaries or Caribbean being a better option. This was a Christmas cruise but it was no party ship. 12.30am Christmas Day and the ship was dead, they had all gone off to bed. This doesn’t happen on a normal Thomson ship night never mind Christmas. There was no atmosphere on the ship, this probably comes down to the entertainment team, they don’t mingle with the guests and get people involved in anything. After the main shows finish there is not a lot going on, no late night cabaret from the show team that gets everyone up dancing, the disco is quiet, it’s just a hot chocolate or horlicks and bed.... The acts performing were good, Lloyd the Comedian was good, Clem Curtis (singer ex Foundations) and Matthew McGurk the magician were excellent. Howard Hughes the Children’s Magician was also excellent, great shows and he along with his wife were wonderful company on the dinner table. However the rest of the entertainment left something to be desired. The headliners company could be considered to be OK as long as you have not been spoiled by Thomson show teams in the past. These guys probably work about a quarter of the hours the Thomson teams do, hence the atmosphere on the ship.... It was however good to have real life backing Musicians to the shows, they really are professional. Having two good venues to perform in I found it strange that on some nights there would be one of the acts in one venue and a film being shown in the other, where were the show team? In general the waiting on service was slow and poor. We waited half an hour one night for a drink, and the lounge was mostly empty, this was not uncommon. It took 1.5 hours to have Lunch in the MDR one day, and a lot of the evening services took around 2 hours. Again there is no atmosphere in the MDR, too few staff waiting on, most (but not all) are miserable, no groups of waiters going around playing guitars and singing if they a spare 5 minutes (which these guys do not have). I get the impression that the staff are told not to get too friendly or interact with the guests, just do your job with a stiff upper lip. On Christmas Day the kids were all meeting Santa on his sleigh, parents were told they could not take their own pictures and were being turned on by the ship’s Photographers. Come on guys, we know you have a job to do but it’s Christmas Day for crying out loud! One excellent service was the Eavesway coach transfer, they have been dropped by P&O as they want a large upfront payment to be the “preferred” provider. If you need a coach service to Southampton I suggest you take any OBC offered instead of the P&O coach service and give Eavesway a call, it will more than likely work out cheaper for a guaranteed quality service. There was a free WiFi connection on the coach back too. Would we go back on P&O? Yes we would, as despite these little niggles we did have a good time, and a cruise is as much about the itinerary as the ship, and after all we wouldn’t get entertainment this good in a 5 star Hotel anywhere for the price we paid. Still, glad I’m back on Thomson Majesty for my next cruise ;-)   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Our cruise began on the 21st Dec 13 at Southampton, the process of getting onboard was stress free, and took in total around 15 minutes. We pulled up at the ship dropped off the luggage (and my wife) I then drove the car over to the ... Read More
Our cruise began on the 21st Dec 13 at Southampton, the process of getting onboard was stress free, and took in total around 15 minutes. We pulled up at the ship dropped off the luggage (and my wife) I then drove the car over to the parking area where I gave the keys to CPS parking who took the car away to the parking area. Rejoining my wife who was on her mobility scooter. We were immediately told to go to the disabled desk to check in, to be honest there wasn't much of a que anywhere. We were booked in, photos taken and given our sail account cards and then followed the rest of the people to the security area. Again not much of a que. Once onboard we went direct to our cabin 6001, which was a disabled cabin with a balcony. It was at the very front of deck 6 on the stbd side. The cabin was bigger than we expected although quite an odd shape. Loads of drawer and wardrobe space. We didn't actually fill all the drawers up. One good gesture from Cunard was the half bottle of sparkling wine in the ice bucket. Which we drank almost immediately. The bathroom was of a good size with a pull down shower seat. One problem though was the size of the sink in the bathroom, very small kind of like you would add to a corner in your toilet at home (just big enough to get your hands in). Also there was very little space to put your toiletries with no cupboard space at all. There was a uk plug socket along with a European type socket, in the bathroom was a shaver type socket. Although I found that the uk socket was turned upside down, and there was no space really to plug a uk plug into the European adapter. Lunch was being served in the Lido on deck 9 which was quite nice although by the time we found a spare table the food was cold, and we were asked by the ships staff to move the scooter. We didn't mind that. As the cruise went on we found a table first my wife sat there and I went off to get the food and drink. The standard of food from the Lido was generally good, with quite a good variety on offer, the sweets were good also. Copious amounts of tea and coffee (although not very good coffee) and cold orange juice, lemonade and cranberry were always available. Plus a help yourself vanilla and chocolate ice cream. We knew from other cruises that the coffee was not always very good so took a pack of Kenco with us. Dinner in the Britannia was generally good although saying that the ribeye steak we had one night was so tough we couldn't eat it. My wife always found the food to be over salted. I usually put salt on my food but during our cruise I never put any on at all. The fillet steak was very good. We never went to any alternate dining restaurents so I cannot comment on them. When going to dinner in the Britannia it was either informal or formal dress. Informal was trousers, shirt (tie optional) and a jacket (always) The staff do tell you a jacket is required to dine. The formal nights (we had four on our cruise - including Christmas day and new years eve) were good. The waiters like to please and will get you anything you ask for. Again the coffee quality was not very good and my wife asked for a cappacino (sorry for the spelling) and they got her it (which was free of charge). Day time entertainment was in our view not very good at all. if reading a book and falling asleep in the chair is your thing then its good. On our previous cruises with other cruise lines there were usually someone playing a guitar and singing or a dj playing tunes etc. but nothing like this at all on the Victoria. The same in the evening, except for hemispheres where their four piece band played. Elsewhere in the ship there was a harpist, a four piece violin/cello and in the Queens room was a band playing ballroom type music. In the Golden Lion pub there was usually a chap playing the piano which was a bit more lively. They also had quizzes every night which on the whole were quite good. Bar staff and bar waiters were good, especially Quinton in the Golden Lion. One thing to remember though is that they charge you for soda water, as though it were lemonade. We enquired as to how much a jug of pimms would be with diet lemonade instead of the full fat stuff. The normal price is $18 however they would charge you extra for the diet lemonade. Bit of a rip off really. Next time we will purchase an unlimited soda ticket as it would be cheaper in the long run. Christmas day festivities were a bit of a let down, with nothing special being put on. New years eve was a bit better however the festivities centered around the central staircase (over three decks) and unless you got there very early there was not a seat to be found free. we saw the new year in there and wandered off to the Golden Lion pub to listen and join in with the singsong and pianist. Just by the Golden Lion pub is the casino, which is quite small, around four tables and 20 or so one arm bandits. My wife did win $500 on the card machine so it is not all bad. In the theatre there is very limited disabled seating. On deck 2 there is enough room for 2 wheelchairs or scooters on either side of the theatre. There is also very limited seating for the disabled persons escort. There is however power points very near the disabled areas so if your low on power you can plug in, providing you have the relevant adapter for your charger, we had the US and European with us so covered all options. There is also a couple of disabled spaces in the stalls on deck 1 but its a bit of a job getting the wheelchair or scooter in the right position. We usually got to the theatre half an hour prior to the start of the show only to find the spaces already gone. We left our scooter at the back and walked down to the seats (which my wife could fortunately do) if you cannot then you may not be able to see the show. It seemed to us that at the slightest bad weather the outside decks were closed off, which was a shame really. You can always go out onto your balcony (if you have one), although I had to fight with the door to open it, with the strong wind and the inside pressure. On port days we were always in quite early. Queen Victoria always laid on shuttle buses to the local town which was good of them. One thing though is that there is only usually one disabled bus so you may have to wait some considerable time to get on it. Fortunately for us my wife could walk a little so we put the scooter into the bus hold and got onto the bus. On the whole we enjoyed the cruise (as we always do) but were disappointed with the entertainment. It could have and should have been better. I hope my review helps you in your decision to go with Cunard Queen Victoria. For us though it is a one off with Cunard. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
I realize people on this site are probably seasoned cruisers but I will write this as a rookie because that's what I am. I just got off my second cruise. My first was with Carnival Fascination and my second was with Carnival Fantasy. ... Read More
I realize people on this site are probably seasoned cruisers but I will write this as a rookie because that's what I am. I just got off my second cruise. My first was with Carnival Fascination and my second was with Carnival Fantasy. Both ships are ok. I don't think I'll ever travel with Fantasy again. It isn't anything big, it's a lot of little things that add up. Fantasy is older and it shows. The staff are just a little bit less friendly and helpful. It's shopping (jewelry, clothes) didn't appeal to me as much as Fascination. The ships entertainment was not comparable. The show, trivia, etc. is higher quality and more fun on the Fascination. Embarking on the Fantasy was slow and laborious, yet on the Fascination was quick and easy. Debarkation was just the opposite. The Fantasy was announcementless yet quick and seamless. You get the directions on TV and in several handouts. It just went bing-bang-boom. The Fascination was horrible. We were stuck sitting in the stairwell for close to 2 hours waiting for things to happen. The food on both ships was similar, but again, like I mentioned before the Fascination is just a tiny bit more polished. Empress level is a good choice for me for most of the time. It is near most things happening on the ship yet not near enough to be noisy. It is one level down from our restaurant. It is definitely NOT the place to be in rough seas. I think the next time I cruise I will get a balcony. I really miss fresh air. I realize most seasoned cruisers spend very little time in their cabins, but I spend a fair amount of time there as I am a "homebody". Being alone in my own room is comforting to me. I want to be able to walk out of my room and be near the ocean. BTW - I sleep with my shades/curtains open in my bedroom at home because I don't like being closed in. I keep the curtains on the ocean view window open too. I went on the Fantasy for a New Year's Cruise - 5 days to the Bahamas leaving from Charleston. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Having relatives near Houston, this was a great opportunity to do a Christmas time cruise with family. There was even a cruise planner who seemed to make everything easier when booking the cruise in May. Unfortunately having a guaranteed ... Read More
Having relatives near Houston, this was a great opportunity to do a Christmas time cruise with family. There was even a cruise planner who seemed to make everything easier when booking the cruise in May. Unfortunately having a guaranteed cabin, resulted in being given a cabin 3-4 days before the ship sailed. Princess never even emailed to notify us of a cabin and the only way i found the cabin was to call the cruise planner who said a cabin had been assigned. Had we known of this cabin even a month before, we would have paid for an upgrade. Having cruised since the eighties, this was the first time, this had ever happened. Other reviews were spot on in the delays and issues getting to the ship and getting off. It didn't seem to be a Princess cruise as there were so many things missing, almost like the crew and ship were "just going through the motions". Because of "weather" issues things kept changing and needless to say cost a great deal of money in changing flights and hotels. Princess Cruises should be held responsible for these additional costs as the itinerary kept changing. If they had stuck with their initial announcement of a delay, things would not have resulted in many traumatized passengers. I am still waiting to receive a folio of expenses on the ship, even though I have contacted Princess Cruises at least three times. The casino was also abruptly closed freezing the little funds I had there. Princess did say they would send them to me, in 5-6 weeks. (The casino was terrible and yes I know putting hundreds of dollars into quarter and dollar machines was stupid, especially when nothing ever came out). All in all, this was a very expensive cruise. Hopefully Princess will reimburse those that had to change plans several times. The free use of phone and internet at the end was a bit of a joke as you couldn't get through on the phone and you had to pay for 30 minutes of internet and they would supposedly reimburse you. We did feel the buffet food was delicious and enjoyed many days there. I felt very sorry for the employees on board who were deluged with complaints and issues the last two days. Any one of rank, could easily go into hiding. Kudos to all those hard workers that tried to make things easier for a constantly changing end of cruise. I do hope Princess can either fix or change this port, as other cruise options are available from other lines.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
This was a Christmas cruise and as such perhaps anomalous of other experiences, but my main bugbear was a feeling that I wasn't getting value for money. My dad went on the Oceana 2 weeks prior, and paid £750 for the balcony cabin ... Read More
This was a Christmas cruise and as such perhaps anomalous of other experiences, but my main bugbear was a feeling that I wasn't getting value for money. My dad went on the Oceana 2 weeks prior, and paid £750 for the balcony cabin next door to the one we later got for £2600. At the end of his cruise he was told if he wanted to do a back to back, he could have his same cabin for another 12 days for £449. So while I appreciate that there is a premium to be paid for holiday cruises ( I am a teacher and can only travel during those times) it meant I couldn't help feeling that I was eating the same food, watching the same shows, visiting the same ports as my dad had, only for almost 4 times the price - and my cruise was 2 nights less! Still that can't be helped and I'm sure is the same for all cruise lines. I haven't sailed with P&O before, my previous 7 cruises have been on RCI (3), NCL (1), Carnival (1) Cunard (1) and Celebrity (1). The entertainment on the Oceana was great I thought - the Headliners shows were really fun and had extremely talented performers. The food was much better than I expected - always hot (we had Freedom dining and this may have been the difference) and with plenty of choice, though I do get tired of the whole fancy food thing on any cruise about halfway! I certainly disagree with a reviewer who complained about lack of choices as breakfast - we ate in Plaza buffet, dining room and Cafe Jardin for breakfast and I can't imagine what we could have wanted that wasn't available - maybe some American choices like grits I suppose, but the Continental and English breakfasts were very varied and good. I do wish there had been more choices of bread though - it was sliced white or brown, small white or brown rolls. None of the lovely fruited, grain or malted crusty loaves I remember on Celebrity, or any 'slice-your-own' baguettes etc. Still the afternoon tea was lovely, though at 4pm, too late for me to try more than once, due to proximity to dinner! I'd have happily skipped lunch and had afternoon tea instead if it was served from 2 or 3pm. The food is indeed very English, so if you like to go on holiday and eat outside your usual experience, this may be lacking in diverse cuisine. I managed to try several things I hadn't had before like pheasant and partridge though, so I was quite happy! Other positives were the staff, our waiters, barstaff and stewards were all exemplary. Cleanliness was good also and there were nice touches like bathroom amenities (The White Company) and quality coffee, tea and biscuits in staterooms, always topped up generously as soon as we made our preferences known. Now for my big criticism, and the reason I would be unlikely to pick P&O again. The nickel-and diming. The prices on P&O seem comparatively competitive, compared to other lines. I was happy to see the soda package was less than the one I always get on Royal Caribbean - until they told me it was for 20 sodas only. If I pay for a package, it's because I DON'T want to consider whether or not I am thirsty enough to order a Diet Coke during a show. I want to have the freedom to get one without considering the cost, because I've already paid for that privilege! I don't want to have to calculate and keep trackof the number of sodas and whether my package will run out with 2 days to go. Let's be honest - they are well-drinks, poured over whole glasses of ice, I doubt even I am able to consume enough Diet Coke for them to make a loss on the same unlimited packages that other lines offer. I decided against the package, and it left me feeling irritated from the get-go. Then the beauty salon. £41 for a haircut, I arranged with a spa receptionist who agreed my hair (a chin length bob) was short. That's cheaper than my salon at home, so yay! Then I turned up for the appointment and was told 'Oh no, your hair is MEDIUM length, that will be £48'. So I left. Not because £7 is a huge amount, but again, because it left a sense of being scammed. The internet packages are also cheaper than RCI, but my brother spent time almost every day in the Library trying to find out why it didn't work properly, only to be told the whole system was down, so when he disembarked he still had almost 2 unused hours on his package. I paid for laundry, and they hung a sweater up to dry so it came back to me 8 inches longer than before. I registered a muted complaint at the front desk, saying I knew I couldn't get a refund or anything as they have a disclaimer on the laundry slips, but I wanted to suggest they don't hang woollens up to dry in future so it doesn't happen to anyone else. I never heard back from them, not even an acknowledgment. The best value for money is the alcoholic drinks - I don't drink but everyone in my party and other passengers said they were commensurate with pub prices and wine at dinner was reasonable. The other extra we paid for that annoyed me was the meal at the speciality restaurant, Cafe Jardin. We always eat at least once in the speciality places on cruise ships, and I have never been told how many dishes you can order (3 - a starter, main and dessert). I asked for a seafood starter and also a salad from the appetiser section, but the waiter seemed alarmed and said he didn't think that was possible and would have to ask the chef. I was mortified - as if I had asked for 4 desserts or something, and he said perhaps I could settle for a side salad, so I agreed happily. It never came. And again, left me feeling that I was being unrealistically greedy or trying to get one over on them, when in fact it's standard practice in the steakhouse on Carnival, Chops Grille/Portofinos on RCI, Cagney's on NCL etc that you can order what you like from the menu, just as you can in the MDR. So my advice to P&O would be to nix the White Company amenities - no one but me in my party had even heard of them, and though I appreciated them, I'd rather have had an unlimited soda package, without quibbling over how many Cokes make me seem like a freeloader :) RCI don't give you a crappy square of waxy chocolate on your pillow any more, but they at least let me drink 21 Diet Cokes. They don't give us a free small bottle of water in our mini-fridge like P&O do, but at least they don't begrudge me a salad with my otherwise vegetable-free pork Milanese when I've paid a cover charge. And to be honest - I know I am moaning a bit much at this point - but a free bottle of water on Day 1 only sort of highlighted the fact that I wasn't to be given any more without paying. Lastly, this isn't a complaint as it's hardly P&O's fault, but just a warning for other would-be Xmas cruise travellers out of Southampton. I've never been on a ship that rocked this violently - the weather was poor, and the Bay of Biscay crossing can be bad in winter, but pretty much everyone I spoke to agreed this was EXTREMELY rocky, one of the ship's officers my brother spoke to in the sauna told him over 300 people had paid for a seasickness injection (£80) and I met plenty of people who spent all 4 sea days in their cabins. I could tell it was bad because of the unusual number of room service trays in corridors on those days, though I didn't experience any seasickness myself. So if you are prone to this, don't go on that route at this time of year, a piano fell over at one point and we often heard crashes from the art gallery! To end on a positive note though, I was pleased when I called to ask if I could bring a bottle of champagne on board for us to have on Xmas Day as it was a gift. P&O have no issue with you bringing a reasonable quantity of alcohol for consumption in your room, which is a nice change as once we won a bottle of wine on an RCI cruise, and they wouldn't even give us a corkscrew to open it and drink in our cabins, even though they gave us the wine! Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We chose this cruise because of the ports of call and wanted to try our luck with Celebrity. Plus we liked that the ship stayed in ports for multiple days. This was our 7th cruise (first with Celebrity) and we have traveled extensively. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the ports of call and wanted to try our luck with Celebrity. Plus we liked that the ship stayed in ports for multiple days. This was our 7th cruise (first with Celebrity) and we have traveled extensively. Staff on the ship was friendly, courteous and very attentive! Our state room attendant Schubert and his assistant were excellent and seemed like genuinely good guys! Embarkation and disembarkation was a breeze. This was a Christmas cruise and the ship did a very good job providing for the kids. Both our Kids 5 and 9 years old had a fun vacation. Ship layout was easy to navigate and possessed the usual cruise ship flair. The ship is bit old and shows its age. Our room was 9156, a family veranda with an extended balcony. It was spacious with a separate sleeping area for our 2 children which included an extra television. We would have been quite happy. However, the room was infested with bed bugs. Many of them were mature and we were all badly bitten. We were immediately removed from the room. All of our luggage and clothing was put in plastic and taken away to be cleaned. We were moved to a much smaller room. We were told our original room would be ready in a few hours. A day later, our clothes were delivered to the smaller room without an explanation. After several calls to guest services, we were informed our room would not be ready. Then only after complaining, we were offered 2 rooms side by side but not connecting. I would have preferred that our family be together in the same room but at least we were comfortable. The new rooms were clean and serviceable. Our new rooms were 6027 & 6029. 9156 was offered back to us after a few days but we elected to stay as packing up again didn't appeal to us. We essentially missed a day and a half. The ports of call were amazing cities! We had prepared for the long distance 2 - 3 hours bus or car rides each way but many were complaining. More time to compensate could have solved the problem. The ship was in port overnight on many of these occasions. We spent 2 nights in a private hotel in Bangkok. We wished we had done the same thing in Saigon. Hanoi needs an extra day. We missed the port at Da Nang because of inclement weather. The food at the restaurant was generally OK. There were some disappointments. The food at the buffet was not good. Snack food was terrible. Everyone at our dinner table liked our head waiter Alberto. His assistant Nadan was also extremely nice and should be recognized for giving outstanding service! We didn't eat at any of the specialty restaurants. The shows and entertainment are exactly what you should expect on a cruise ship. The lounge acts were marginal at best with the exception of the one man guitarist/singer who plays in the main foyer. He was exceptional! We had our issues. None which we didn't overcome. We met some very nice people and had a nice time. Somehow we expected more...   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Embarking was a breeze - good start. Cabin 4010 - very nice, balcony cabin- clean and spacious. Room attendants greeted us and provided a card with their names and contact details. I was very disappointed that the ship had no ... Read More
Embarking was a breeze - good start. Cabin 4010 - very nice, balcony cabin- clean and spacious. Room attendants greeted us and provided a card with their names and contact details. I was very disappointed that the ship had no "wow" factor, compared to 2 Royal Carribbean Ships I have sailed on - it was very boring,no fabulous staircase or art work to look at. The meals in the a la carte restaurant were excellent along with the service. No problems getting served at the bars. The croupiers in the casino were pretty dull and one of them kept making mistakes. The entertainment was dire - especially for Xmas - very much same old same old as the singers stayed with the ship, unlike RC where they fly in and out. One of the singers should really not have been there. I have to say, in the end, we stopped going to the shows but went on the last night and it was just as bad. Photographers were terrible - we had some formal shots done, only one was full length and showed off my lovely new long gown but sadly the faces were out of focus. In one really nice photo I had my eyes closed and the photographer told me that they were not closed - in the print, my eyes were closed! Didn't buy any photos as they were poor. Shore excursions were very "tourist trap based". Diving excursion got cancelled as their boat had broken down, so we found a dive centre ourselves and dived - for half the cost the ship was charging. Internet is ridiculously priced - don't understand why they charge so much. No good for teenagers trying to study. Very helpful and friendly staff all round the ship without exception. I would not recommend this cruise line for families with older teenagers - the no alcohol rule was not such an issue - although it was a shame they were not allowed to join us with some champagne on Xmas day - but there was nothing for them to do in the evening - this ship better suits the older generation. Disembarkation again was a breeze - very good and efficient. We won't use this cruise line again as it does not have the glamour appeal that you would expect on a cruise ship - no champagne on Xmas Day and poor entertainment….. RC here we come…..   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We flew from Manchester on the Dreamliner, nice plane. We arrived at Barbados and transferred directly to the ship, easy check in in the “shed” We had booked an inside cabin on deck 5, same cabin that we were in in September so no ... Read More
We flew from Manchester on the Dreamliner, nice plane. We arrived at Barbados and transferred directly to the ship, easy check in in the “shed” We had booked an inside cabin on deck 5, same cabin that we were in in September so no surprises there. The Good. The itinerary, 12 ports in 14 days. Long days in port. Most days arrived before breakfast and left as it was going dark. The bar staff, we were on the drinks package and got to know the bar staff well. They are very friendly and good at their jobs. The Grill, we ate here twice as it was so good the first time we went back on the second week, 8 course meal! The Bad. The food in the Orion was average on most nights. On New Years Eve on the gala dinner I had Steak Rossini and it was so well done it could have been used as shoe leather. Service was slow on most nights and there weren’t enough wine waiters for the amount of people. On the last night one of the options on the menu was Cornish Pasty! The Entertainment We had seen most of the shows before as this was our 3rd cruise in the year. These were the worst performed of the 3. The dancing was good and the close harmonies were ok but there wasn’t any good lead singers. Most nights the show lounge was half empty and people were walking out. The only time the show lounge was full was for the comedian and for the crew show which was superb. I would be very reluctant to book another Christmas Cruise with Thomson as they are happy to charge premium for Christmas but there is no value for money.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
I recently have returned from a 14 day. Xmas cruise on the Thompson Dream How disappointed we were. After reading some of the reviews I can only highlight what has already been written.. We were hoping for a Dream Holiday we have been on ... Read More
I recently have returned from a 14 day. Xmas cruise on the Thompson Dream How disappointed we were. After reading some of the reviews I can only highlight what has already been written.. We were hoping for a Dream Holiday we have been on many cruises but never had the experiences we had on this ship. The room we were allocated was a single room with 2 children's beds in we are 60 years young they told us they were unable to move us until the second week.. we were offered another room on day 8 that was smaller so we stayed put the food was unacceptable both in the Restaurant and in the Lido buffet we complained on many occasions but was told it would get better !!!!! It never did Christmas Night we queued for over an hour and left the table at 10.45 still wating for our dessert. The Christmas dinner consisted of 2 slices of Turkey 2 carrots 2small potatoes 2green beans, they were more interested in selling their Wine than serving at the tables There was no christmas Celebrations going on whatsoever during the day The Evenning Entertainment Was good but No way as good as I've seen on other Thompson Cruises apart from the shows there was very limited Entertainment we were in bed by 10.30 the ship looked very tired and in need of a complete refurbishment . I would like to know how this ship has been graded with a Thompson Platium Award !!!!!!! I would not recommend this cruise it cost us a lot of money and we both feel very cheated. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Celebrity Millennium – Holiday Cruise- Dec 21, 2013- Hong Kong- Singapore (SE Asia) I wanted to share our experiences on the Celebrity Millennium Dec 21- Hong Kong- Singapore Holiday cruise. This is an honest assessment; the good, the ... Read More
Celebrity Millennium – Holiday Cruise- Dec 21, 2013- Hong Kong- Singapore (SE Asia) I wanted to share our experiences on the Celebrity Millennium Dec 21- Hong Kong- Singapore Holiday cruise. This is an honest assessment; the good, the bad and the ugly. This was my second Celebrity Cruise after sailing on Celeb Reflections this past summer on a Med Cruise. After our Reflections sailing, we felt we had finally found our cruise line and booked this cruise along with another Celeb Med cruise in June 2014. Our port was the new Kai Tak cruise terminal in Hong Kong. It’s brand new and they don’t have their operations down yet. Suffice it to say we did not get our luggage until nearly 10pm. By which time, we were too tired to do anything but eat at buffet and go to bed. Not off to a good start and Celebrity seriously needs to get with port authorities to figure out how to expedite luggage to the cabins. Many fellow pax groused about the same thing so already they got off on the wrong foot with their customers. If you sail in our out of this port, be advised there are not many taxis around. Try to pre-arrange if possible. I found a great online private transfer service- www.blacklane.com who specializes in Asia. They act as a broker with private drivers in many, many cities. I booked them for Hong Kong airport pickup to Kai Tak port while at my airline club in Shanghai waiting to board fight to HKK and 3 hrs later when I landed, I had a text that my driver was waiting. They were flawless and prices very competitive. For example, a 9 pax van from Singapore port to airport was $45; ship quoted me $160. First impressions when walking on board, the ship was definitely showing its age but the public places were still clean, if dated. Cabin- Our cabin 1140, an Aqua Class on Deck 11 was small but had an awesome balcony. It was an aft cabin with by far the largest balcony of the Aqua Class cabins. I highly recommend this cabin if you sail her and balcony size is important. It was right over the deck 10 aft bar (never did find out its name- we called it the Sad Café), but we were never bothered by noise. Probably because the staff at that bar was so disinterested, that no one really cared to sit out there for any length of time other than smokers. More on this later. Cabin was small and unlike Reflections which has overhead storage over bed, this cabin was egregiously lacking in storage. You have to bring a lot of clothes on a 15 day cruise; not sure where we’re supposed to put them. Bad layout to say the least. Not sure when these cabins last had a makeover but if it was recently, they did a lousy job. Our cabin steward was nice and perfectly competent and unobtrusive. As someone else also mentioned in their review, the thermostat never really worked properly in our cabin either. Dining- We obviously were entitled to eat at Blu and did so only 3 nights for a variety of reasons. Some days we got back from tours so tired and late, that we didn’t have it in us to clean up in a hurry and those days we ate at buffet. Other days we spent off the ship (total 4 nights overnighting in Bangkok, HCMC and Halong) The food at Blu while good, was not up to the standards that had been set on Reflections. It was good, not great and IMHO, certainly not worth the extra charges for an Aqua Class cabin. The service was awfully sloooow. Again, an entirely different experience than the one I had on Reflections. Maitre’ D was very nice as were all staff. It just took forever to get service and once we placed our orders, the dishes were brought at record speed so that you could finish your meal in less than 30 min. Just in time for that glass of wine you ordered an hr earlier. ‘Nuff said. QSine and Olympic however were stellar. QSine’s staff was phenomenal and service excellent. Sommelier was great. Food was very good, not quite up to Reflections, but very good nonetheless. We ate here twice Olympic- Food was phenomenal and service was STELLAR. What you would expect in a 2 star Michelin restaurant in Paris. Whoever trained that staff needs to be walked around the ship and give refresher courses to staff at other dining venues. We ate here twice. Il Bacio Coffee Bar- great coffees and excellent service. I think barista’s name was Annie, make sure SHE makes your coffee concoction. Service phenomenal here as well. Buffet- Food selection was fantastic and for most part, all dishes were excellent and very tasty. Best pizza I’ve ever had on a cruise ship. Great omelets as well. Good choices of salads and sides, gourmet sandwiches…etc. No complaints here. Great alternative to formal sit-down dining. Entertainment- Didn’t go to a single show but was told by other cruisers the entertainment was very good. Can’t help you here. Bars and Lounges- Generally speaking, most bars seemed understaffed or they just weren’t making an effort to ask pax if they wanted to place a beverage/drink order. Many pax I spoke to felt that was because so many of us were on Bev packs, that Celeb may have issued an edict not to offer up drinks to pax that have bev pckgs and to let us work for them. We were all just scratching our heads because it certainly was a recurring theme in most bars/lounges and egregious at the Deck 10 Sad Café. Cellar Masters, their wine bar was our meeting place for pre-dinner drinks. Service was good when you mosey up to bar and ordered a drink, otherwise pretty nonexistent if sitting at a table. We learned quickly that we needed to go to bar to place orders and then, they would bring drinks to table. Wine choices were terrible. Just really pedestrian wine at inflated prices but we made do. Reflections had a much more extensive and robust wines-by-the-glass list. Michael’s Pub- Supposedly a “craft beer” bar. Pretty pedestrian choices here as well, but since I’m not much of a beer drinker, it didn’t really matter. Sad Café- Deck 10 Aft- And then there was this bar. Don’t even know where to begin but this bar needs an overhaul. Most days you could find the staff joking amongst themselves while their pax died of thirst and neglect. Not sure what the problem is here but if there was one thing that turned off almost every single fellow pax I spoke to, was the absolute lack of service and overall staff demeanor at this bar. Dirty dishes would sit on tables for hrs at a time, no one would pick them up, things would get blown around and I would see the same French fry for 3 days on the deck. One day it was raining and dirty breakfast dishes were overflowing with toast, egg yolks, pancakes- you name it- on to the tables and eventually the deck. And those dishes sat there accumulating rain for HOURS. It was disgusting and provided a hell of a view from my cabin directly overhead. This is one major reason why I will rethink future Celebrity bookings. I expect that of maybe an MSC, but certainly not a line that prides itself on being a “premiere” liner. I can’t quite figure out if it was just a poorly run ship, if this is standard for Celebrity, or if Reflections was just an exceptionally run ship. Guest Services- Staff was very congenial and professional but seemed incapable of responding to major issues. More on that later. I do want to recognize Raul and Sandra who were both very responsive to any of my needs or inquiries. Itinerary- PERFECT!!!!!!!! I cannot say enough about what an ideal itinerary it was. It was the perfect amount of time in port for a “taster” of that given city. We booked an overnight junk through a private operator in Halong Bay and it was the highlight of our trip. Fellow pax that went to Hanoi regretted it because roads were so bad and trip took too long. We had an amazing overnight cruise on the Victory Star, which I highly recommend. Our ship skipped Chan May Port (Hue/Danang/HoiAn) because of weather and we ended up spending 2.5 days in HCMC/Saigon. We had originally planned on a 1.5 day overnight in Saigon and used the extra day to go to Vung Tua which was a great little beach city about an hr from Phu My port. Bangkok we overnighted 2 nights (NYE/NYD) and that was a treat. Laem Chabang is 2.5 hrs from Bangkok so make sure you arrange your tours before you arrive. I cannot tell you how many pax were stranded on the ship because the ship’s tours were sold out and all private tours were sold out. We used Oriental Escape (www.orientalescape.com) for our transfers and arranged private tours with them and could not have been happier with their services. Anyone on future sailings that has private tour questions, feel free to PM me. Happy to help. I am hooked on sailing and exploring this part of the world. I would actually take this cruise again in Dec 2014 were it not for the ship. I won’t sail Millennium again. Too bad Celebrity can’t substitute a different ship for this itinerary. You can do this sailing 4 years in a row and always have new things to do. If you’re contemplating a SE Asia trip, don’t think it through any more, just do it; you’ll be thrilled beyond your wildest dreams. Lastly, I do want to warn anyone sailing on this ship in a balcony veranda cabin, that my friend traveling as a single in a dbl occupancy cabin on Deck 7, got locked out of her balcony at night when the ship was swaying in rough seas. The sliding glass door slid shut and the handle popped into the locked position leaving her stranded on her balcony for 30 minutes until her cries for help were eventually heard by the people in the cabin next door. We reenacted the situation several times and each time the balcony door would pop into the locked position. Although she made Celebrity aware of the issue, they seemingly downplayed it. A warning should be on each and every door that the handle needs to be in the down position if you step outside. The response from Celebrity was simply unacceptable. My friend was traumatized. She asked to speak to the Hotel Mngr who never called, asked to get a copy of the incident report- nope- Celebrity wouldn’t do it. Just deplorable customer care. Her hand was swollen to three times the size because she banged on the door so hard trying to be heard. She eventually went to get acupuncture onboard and asked Celebrity to at least pay for that. Nope. Not even a future cruise credit for her nightmare. Shame on Celebrity. Parents and fellow travelers consider yourselves warned... In closing, I boarded this ship as a Celebrity loyalist with intentions of sailing Celebrity whenever possible. I leave still in search of a cruise line I can call my own.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We love cruising and are already planning our next trip. We were married on a Princess cruise and have sailed with Princess nine times. Most recently we were onboard Royal Princess Dec 22 -29, 2013. The Ship is beautiful, but we were ... Read More
We love cruising and are already planning our next trip. We were married on a Princess cruise and have sailed with Princess nine times. Most recently we were onboard Royal Princess Dec 22 -29, 2013. The Ship is beautiful, but we were very disappointed and would not book it again due to the following. 1. Embarkation process was very slow. Lots of confusion. 2. Our cabin # B625 was smaller than most we’ve seen but nice. The balcony however was unusually small. About 3 x 8 ft. Category BB. We paid $2388.00. Not worth it! And yes, we get that it was more because of the time of year but also expected more. 3. Pool areas were over crowded. Not enough lounge chairs. People were fighting over them. 4. We stayed at the Westin Diplomat precruise. The pools at the hotel are huge. There was a sign posted , at the Westin, stating the legal bathing load for the pool we visited was 39 persons. There were hundreds of people trying to use the two small pools on the ship with no such sign. It really made me wonder what the legal bathing load is onboard? 5. Very strong raw sewage odors on the deck 17 jogging track, the deck 16 adult pool area and the Lotus Spa entrance on deck 5. 6. Lots of great bands around the ship but the entertainment in the Princess theatre was not very good. Most nights seemed to be the same old show with different costumes. 7.Christmas Eve show had very little, if anything, to do with Christmas. Started with a very boring light show. There was a magician that did not speak, a pair of very strange tumblers and of course the Princess dancers came out dressed like hookers with lots of kids present?? 8. On the first day we had an unfortunate encounter with a stressed out crew member , a fry cook, who was very rude to us and two other ladies waiting in line at the pool side grill. Who knows how many others he offended that day. His name was Francis. 9. Ship is rated for 3500 passengers but they boarded over 4000 and were bragging about it over the intercom system. What happened to passenger safety being #1? 10. Very slow service in the Piazza bars. We actually left a couple of times because we we were not waited on after 15+ minutes. 11.Sushi bar was always covered with dirty plates and glasses yet they never seemed to have any customers?? 12.Went to the Horizon Court most days for breakfast. Had to stick to cereal and fruit because the cooked food was always cold:( 13.Tried the main dining room one morning. Ordered eggs sunny side up, ham and whole wheat toast. Didn’t get one thing I asked for. All at my table got scrambled eggs and bacon with white toast? 14.Disembarkation was interesting. Had to wait in line with hundreds of passengers for a taxi. Diesel fumes from idling buses and trucks in this area were overwhelming. 15.The day after we got home I received an e-mail from Princess with a customer satisfaction survey. Filled it out and mentioned most of the above points. Got a generic response from Princess Cruises Customer Relations Specialist, stating she was sorry we would not recommend Princess to friends and family and invited me to contact her directly, so I sent her an e-mail. I asked her why she did not comment on any of my concerns? She did not respond, nor will she ever.  I won’t bother filling out any more Princess surveys since no one reads them! 16. They finally called me but only because I contacted Princess customer relations. She offered no explanation, compensation or apologies. All she did was acknowledge receiving my e-mails and did tell they have been having a number of problems with the ships ventilation system causing the raw sewage odors in the public areas. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
To start off with a bit of background, we are experienced cruisers having taken almost 40 cruises already (mostly in the Caribbean). We are platinum on Carnival and this was our 17th cruise with the line. To say that we were disappointed ... Read More
To start off with a bit of background, we are experienced cruisers having taken almost 40 cruises already (mostly in the Caribbean). We are platinum on Carnival and this was our 17th cruise with the line. To say that we were disappointed was an understatement. Our bad experience actually caused us to get a cruise critic account and write a bad review. This is my first review so bear with me. To start, embarkation was relatively uneventful. We were running late and arrived at the terminal at around 2:45. The new terminal Carnival uses is nice and functional. Check-in was smooth and we were on the ship in a matter of 15 minutes. Our first bad experience came from lunch. Naturally, we expected the lido to be closed due to our late arrival, but this was such a violent shut down. The crew uses some shades they lower in front of the dishes. The crew was literally pushing people away and yelling for them to stop getting in line. I understand crowd control but this was ridiculous. We managed to grab some small selections right before they closed. The food was greasy and cold but it held us to dinner. Dinner was alright. We were in the Sapphire, with your time dining. We went nice and early and had nice seats. The restaurant is nice, not too audacious and gives a relaxing vibe. The food was below average. Every course was cold, and the food was cheap. Redfish and fried chicken on a cruise line, in the dining room? Wow. The second day was relaxing with the majority of the day spent in the cabin. The ship was full so many of the public areas were packed. There wasn't much to do on the ship, most of the activities were shopping based or by the pool but the ship was so full that being by the pool really didn't feel fun. Breakfast was standard cruise ship (but toned down a lot) breakfast throughout the entire week I noticed they were missing usual staples such as hash browns or even ham. Not too impressed. We ate lunch from the Blue Iguana and I must say it is pretty good, it's just annoying have to tell the crew to put extra chicken in your burrito because two small pieces isn't enough (the attitude they had wasn't very fun either, the food was tasty though). I don't eat burgers but everyone else in the family said that the burgers were very good, just a bit too greasy. Tonight was elegant night, which leads me to a whole other topic. People really don't respect elegant night anymore do they? For the first time I saw shorts in a dining room on elegant night. Plenty of people without ties, jackets, even button-down shirts (normal days were even worse but I am guilty of not going too dressy once or twice). Dinner was again mediocre, the lobster tasted old. The waiter we got this time forgot two courses and finally the lady at the front forgot to give us a pager and said it was our fault for not asking for one. Not the best night. Next day was Grand Turk, which we did not get down due to the fact that we had already been there a few times and seen everything. It was moderately rainy as well. Arrival was early, and departure was on time, couldn't complain about that. We rode the watersides while the ship was empty, very fun, definitely a highlight of the ship. At night we went to eat at the Italian restaurant, Cucina del Capitano. It was probably the best and most satisfying meal we had all cruise. The staff was friendly, and attentive (not the best but certainly the best all cruise) and the food was delicious. Absolutely no complaints. Next day was La Romana, which was to put it lightly, bad. We opted to take a bus ride to the city and explore the town. The bus left us in a tourist trap where honestly, thank God we speak fluent spanish and knew how to say no, but if you didn't speak spanish I could have honestly seen you having a horrible time. I said more in a destination report. Dinner was in the lido tonight and the food was at least hot, not necessarily tasty but hot. Next day was Curaçao. What a beautiful island, though we sadly didn't get down, from the ship it looked like it might have been wonderful. You could see the dutch influence in the buildings and it looked really historic. The city was really pretty at night too. That night we ate at the steakhouse, Farenheit 555. The food was alright, nothing too special, the prime rib was very good but the others' filet mignon was average. The food is pretty good but I'm still not sure if its worth the $35 per person cover charge. After Curaçao was Aruba. This was definitely our favorite island. We opted to take a shore excursion that took us on a catamaran cruise/snorkel. The meet-up was a bit disorganized but the shore excursion was a blast with beautiful views of the ships, island, and water. The water was the clearest I've seen in the Caribbean in a long time. The reefs and wreck we visited were full of life as well. It was stunning. After the excursion we went to some shops around the port, they were nice too. What a wonderful way to spend thanksgiving day. Heres the disappointment of the night. The dining room menu only had one thanksgiving item, turkey and baked potato. The lido was the same story as well. You couldn't even find apple pie! It really sucked that we didn't have a proper thanksgiving dinner. Even on Costa and Holland America, traditional thanksgiving meals were served. Still waiting to have my turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. The last two days at sea were pretty boring. More shows and sales for shopping was about it. Bingo was there as well but they were probably the cheapest games I've ever seen, except for the coverall at the end of the cruise which was $10,00 (no one won before the 46 turns so it went down to $1,000). The "Chocolate Extravaganza" was okay, they've really reduced the selection. Brunch in the Blush dining room was horrid. My huevos rancheros were raw (They didn't even look cooked in any way shape or form), our bagels were either not toasted at all or black, the croissants were like rocks, and the coffee was watery. Not to mention that they sat us in probably the worst table in the entire restaurant. Disembarkation was a nightmare. The worst we've every experienced. First the ship was delayed in arrival to the port and no clear information was given until 7:30 (!). We had priority debarkation and went down at our scheduled time with an ok from the staff. Apparently, half of the number three had been put on the carousel and the other half was not. Plenty of VIP's and Platinum guests were there waiting from 7:45 to 8:15 waiting for the bags to show up. To top it all off, the carousel (Carousel C) breaks. So now the terminal area is backed up to no end with people ranging from VIP's, Platinums, and people with early flights. Finally after arguing about what they should do for 30 minutes they decided to put all the leftover three's on Carousel B. Within five minutes of putting the luggage on Carousel B, Carousel C starts up again. So now people are scrambling between both carousels trying to find their luggage. It is now 9:00 and we have finally got our luggage and head to customs. Thankfully, we beat the rush of people and were out through customs in two minutes. I feel bad for the people who had flights to catch early on. Thankfully we drove (we live only about 40 minutes from the port). What a bad way to end the cruise. In summary, the food is mediocre if you're not willing to pay. Selection is pretty good but a lot of things either just don't taste good or don't belong in a classy dining setting. The Indian Tandoor was obviously not very authentic but was probably the best tasting of the group of foods in the lido. The pizza was hit or miss, sometimes it would be thin crust and very cheesy (the way we like it) or soggy and greasy. The pasta bar in the Italian restaurant was actually delicious, a very good concept. The comfort food section was gross, we found hair in our food in three occasions. The C-side BBQ was not very good either. You could probably build a tastier salad at your local Chuck E. Cheese than at the lido buffet. I already commented on the Blue Iguana and burger bar above. The service was the worst we've had on any Carnival ship, or cruise in general. There was no attentiveness or problem-solving initiative. There was no idea of customer service. We were even insulted by a group of crew in the lido and laughed at. It was not just us, many other platinums and VIP's we spoke with had the same opinion. The entertainment was cheap. What happened to shows with actual dialogue? Shows that weren't just peformers doing covers of songs from the 80's? Don't get me wrong, the cast had talent, but I feel like it was being wasted with these cheap shows. Even the kid's program was below our expectations. The smallest in the family, a nine year old little girl commonly complained of the counselors just sitting back and letting the kids do whatever they want and canceling activities, not to mention the fact that anything that was considered fun was an up charge. The other child, a fifteen year old boy did not have so many complaints about Club 02. The only thing about Club 02 is the lack of organized activities. It's really just a room for teens to hang out, and theres barely any supervision as well. The spa was decent although not much was provided. It could obviously be better. To speak positively about the Breeze, the price was hard to beat. The decor was actually very "cute". It definitely promoted relaxation and did not feel to cheap. The Lanai is a fantastic idea and was probably one of the best areas on the ship. The ship itself is very nice, and moderately clean.The sports court and waterworks were stellar and provided great fun. As said above the Italian restaurant was delicious. Our cabin was also very clean too. Room service never took long (though you would have to wait on hold forever). The fitness center was very modern, and I guess the crowd didn't like it as it was almost always near empty. Basically the hard product the Breeze gives you is great and does not need much improvement. It's the soft product that is lacking. I feel as if they had a different crew and new chefs that the ship could very well be the jewel of the Carnival fleet. In conclusion, this will probably be our last carnival cruise for a while. Our last one was on the Carnival Liberty in March 2012 and though it wasn't too bad, we had already begun to see a decline in quality since then. It's just not as good as it once was, and we have been sailing with them since the 90's! Thanks for reading.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
We cruised thanksgiving week 2013. First let me say we had a great time, despite the service being quite bad on our cruise. Due to the typhoon in the Philippines the ship was very short staffed, which resulted in the crew struggling to ... Read More
We cruised thanksgiving week 2013. First let me say we had a great time, despite the service being quite bad on our cruise. Due to the typhoon in the Philippines the ship was very short staffed, which resulted in the crew struggling to keep up with the demand. Your service experience may be quite better than ours and we chose to not penalize the crew for what happened to their homes and families. parking: we parked at safe cruise parking. same area as other non port parking facilities, close to port and very bad neighborhood. But parking lot was fenced off, easy to find, free shuttle to port. waited 10 mins for shuttle getting to port. no wait getting back to car. embarkation: very easy and quick. we got to port at 1030 am and did not have a line for security or checking in. we were on the ship by 1130. *traveling with kids- you cannot put a money limit on their card. its full access or no access. beware they can rack up video arcade charges extremely quick. rooms: curved walls give a unique look but limits space walking around. There is lots of storage. little space to walk around due to design. balcony was nice, the toilet and shower are split in the room with only frosted doors. bad design, floor gets wet and little privacy if traveling with more than a spouse. rooms do have hairdryers. Ship; the ships seems big at first but is quite easy to figure out after 2 days. Lots of space and the bars/ dining rooms were spread out nicely so it rarely seemed crowded. lots to do aboard. The ship does have some poor design flaws. example: no mid ship elevators, if your cabin is mid ship be prepared to walk a lot. swimming pools are small and were filled with kids. Spice H20 (adult area) pool is too small to enjoy with people in it. always some music playing on pool deck. slides were a blast. dining rooms: were very nice and food was great, but our service was horrible. at least 30-45 mins to get seated and another 1 to 2 hrs to get food and finish. only 1 server working each section. the buffets were the easiest place to eat, but the food was hit and miss. some days were much better than others. breakfast was always good but go early and always go to the back of the garden cafe to find good seats. *tip silverware is rolled and put on the tables during peak times its a nightmare trying to find silverware to eat with. *staff constantly spraying your hands with hand sanitizer around ship but i found it silly that napkins and silverware were left on tables where people ate. no 24/7 pizza or cafe specialty dinning: did not do any of these restaurants shows: shows are great. but book early to get time and date you want. entertainment on the pool deck was not very good. Staff: seemed over worked. hardly ever seen the cruise director or the support staff, they barely ever came out on the pool deck to mingle with the crowds. only a couple of drink servers walking around by pools. most of time you will have to go to the bar to get a drink. our room steward was great but others in our party were not so lucky. debarkation: was easy if you carry off luggage. took 10 mins to get off and through customs. ok. so we did have a great time. we have always sailed on carnival cruise lines. this was our first on ncl and it will be our last with them. for us carnival seems to be a lot more fun hanging out by the pools and enjoying the laid back island atmosphere. also we enjoy the fun staff being involved daily with the crowds. nothing against ncl. just not our things. ncl seems to nickel and dime you quite a bit. pay 5 for pizza, 25 deposit to get a beach towel by the pool. the pictures prices sky high to buy multiple ones. *tip order a usb for pictures, get all pics on a flash drive. they don't advertise that.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
First off- I'm a pretty positive person. I am in the customer service industry and know how the guest should be treated, so I hope this review is helpful and not seen as overly critical. On November 22nd our party of 15 set sail on ... Read More
First off- I'm a pretty positive person. I am in the customer service industry and know how the guest should be treated, so I hope this review is helpful and not seen as overly critical. On November 22nd our party of 15 set sail on the Carnival Breeze. There were two sets of grandparents. My brother, his wife and three children (18, 16, and 11) and my family (wife + four children 16, 15, 11, 9) This was during the week of Thanksgiving and my wife and I had sailed previously on the Carnival Miracle, Valor, Glory, Splendor, and the Magic, so we had certain expectations of Carnival. We have also sailed on Norwegian, Disney, Celebrity, Costa, and Royal Caribbean. We chose the Breeze because we wanted some of the newer amenities. The ship is not even 2 years old. The ship is colossal. I'll list the things we did like. 1. Our cabin was on the 11th deck. Easy to go to food on the 10th and the gym and activities on deck 12. 2. The water park is great. Ropes course is fun. 3. Guy's Burger Joint is awesome. Best burgers on the high seas! 4. Tandoor- the Indian food section was excellent. 5. The outdoor movie theatre- (except they need to make the sound louder and put subtitles on- hard to hear what's being said.) 6. The gym is ok- (many of the machines weren't hooked up to the TV system, which my wife and I enjoy when we work out.. :( 7. I enjoyed the dry sauna. 8. The ports of call were Grand Turk, La Romana, Curacao, and Aruba- Grand Turk was a beach day. La Romana was a speed boat to Saona Island on Pro Excursions. Curacao was a pretty lame tour of the island (traffic is terrible there!) Aruba- we rented Jeeps from Royal Car Rental and had a blast, but could have used more time to shop! We did our own excursions which saves about 40-50% from what Carnival tries to charge you for the same thing. Things we did not like. 1. Overall unfriendliness of the staff- we are used to people saying hello and good morning, afternoon...etc. Not on this ship. Staff seemed very aloof and they performed their jobs, but without any gusto. 2. Long lines for food. (Good luck getting the Mongolian Wok- 30 to 40 minute minimum wait.) 3. The entertainment was a huge downgrade from previous ships- no live band for the shows, subpar singers, not the big production events that we have seen previously. We like shows and entertainment. 4. Dinner Service was the worst ever. Our server had 42 guests to accommodate with 2 assistants. The first night we left after 2 hours and no dessert when they turned on the lights for the next dinner seating. I spoke with Fernando, the Maitre D and expressed our disappointment. He said they would work on it and it was better the next night and he had a 3rd assistant to help, but the speed of service was still not up to par. Dinner should not take 2 hours. 5. Show times for the family friendly comedy were at 7:30 PM and dinner started at 6:00 PM. We were not even done with main course by then. 6. Many of the venues on board are still the same size, but are expected to accommodate 4,500 guests. ??? C'mon Man! People got wise to this and would start to arrive at shows 45+ minutes before show time and would reserve seats. If you walked in 20 minutes before a show- good luck finding any good seats. 7. Too many people in wheelchairs and electric Hov-arounds. Wow! 8. Dinner menu is the same as it has been for 5-6 years with no new changes. 9. No pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving! ??? Needless to say, I don't think we will go with Carnival until improvements are made. This was a very disappointing cruise for the cost and level of service. The Breeze should be their flagship now as far as amenities, service, etc. This was not the case. For $11.50 per person/per day in tips, we got about $5.00 worth of value. Not good. My brother actually felt so strongly that he did not tip. We normally would give the cabin steward and waiters additional money for going above and beyond...not on the Breeze. This is unfortunate and maybe it's an issue of inadequate staffing. I don't know. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Embarcation was fast and friendly for those of us that were Elite Members, the only hold up was the forced photo taking by the ship's photographers followed shortly there after by the Security Staff taking pictures with handheld ... Read More
Embarcation was fast and friendly for those of us that were Elite Members, the only hold up was the forced photo taking by the ship's photographers followed shortly there after by the Security Staff taking pictures with handheld devices as you entered the ship. They need to speed this process up. The ship is gorgeous and beautifully decorated, the Piazza is spectacular and would turn out to be a great venue for many events and shows during our rainy week onboard. Plenty of deck areas and the jumbo television was fantastic - the showing of Top Gun was incredible on the big screen. Dining rooms were nice and food was good to excellent. The only disappointment was the traditional Thanksgving Dinner - cold, boring, no flavor and rubbery. Shows were fair to good, although the Beatle Maniacs and the Magician were top notch. Really enjoyed the cafe and the black and white mousse (I am going through withdrawals). Casino is way too small with limited gaming and the boutiques on Princess continue to be the best of any cruise lines we have encountered, one of the reasons we come back frerquently to Princess is our Elite Status this really pays off with additional discounts in the boutiques especially when planning on a jewlerty purchase. In Cabin Free Movies - nice! since it was so rainy we caught up on some missed films. Disappointments: The Spa was a real disappointment - the Serenity Spa area was small, too hot, and too close. There was no way to get fresh air since it is down on deck 5 and many times it was dirty and controling the entrance of non-paying guests was poor, so whjy did I spend the $150.00 per person to get in when other came and went as they pleased?? Spa Staff was not the friendliest with one exception Carly, the acupunturist who was kind and pleasant to everyone. The pools were too small for the number of people using them. Promenade: Chopped up and not contiguous - very disappointing (love the Promenades on the Grand Class Ships). Cabins: Smal and no storage with clostrophobic bathrooms. Missing: A lounge which looked out to see where you could read and relax, Loss of the traditional WheelHouse Bar as a formal room, now it is in a hallway and acts as the bar for the steakhouse - disappointing. Overall: A good cruise but not particularily memorable Read Less
Sail Date November 2013

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