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175 Holiday Cruise Reviews

We were on the Dawn over Christmas, Tampa to WCaribbean. After reading all the pretty dismal reviews, including one from someone who had actually CANCELLED their Dawn cruise due to all this negativity, we were more than pleasantly ... Read More
We were on the Dawn over Christmas, Tampa to WCaribbean. After reading all the pretty dismal reviews, including one from someone who had actually CANCELLED their Dawn cruise due to all this negativity, we were more than pleasantly surprised by most things we found on board. Embarkation was not too bad at all, although I realse this was made much better by the fact that our cruise date did not include pick ups in Cozumel. However, it was made worse by a bizarre situation at the cruise checkin desks, where non US citizens such as us from UK( although we had obviously already been admitted into the US via strict border control, ESTAs granted etc etc) still had to have their passports re-entered into some computer by someone slowly using "one-finger" typing for each passenger. This led to long queues at his workstation, holding up every other passenger in every check in queue! Surely, if this is necessary, it would be better to have a check-in desk, or two, just for non-US passengers. This would allow the others to board more quickly. I am sure the US passengers would be very happy! Our balcony cabin, 9192, was fine. Smallish, but lots of storage space. Bathroom tiny, separate wc behind a screen was miniscule! Looking at the size of some of the passengers, I can only imagine they were in large suites...no way would they get in the wc! Food..we ate mainly in Venetian, we cannot stand the "Zoo" that is the buffet, although the food selection looked good, specially at breakfast, to see fellow passengers pushing & shoving to pile their plates with bizarre food combinations is not my idea of a good time! This does not reflect on NCL, only on the passengers!! What greed some have. Freetime dining did not work well over Xmas, due to herds of people all wanting to eat at the same time. Lots of vouchers for free bubbly were given out by patient staff at the Venetian check in desk(Well done Gen!!) & buzzers used to the max. Teppanyaki was great, best steak all cruise(worst steak was Prime rib in Venetian, just inedible, although all other meals good there) Coffee & tea was poor (to our taste) everywhere, take your own & use the equipment provided in cabin! Le Bistro was adequate...no more, no less. We dine in France often..believe me,Le Bistro is not good standard French cuisine! No-one eats al-dente potatoes!! But the chef for Le Bistro obviously thinks they do!! Wouldnt go there again for a surcharge. Service was mainly good, especially in the Venetian, although we did feel it was a little false, with expectations of further tipping. Some were surly, but I suppose thats life, & happens anywhere! The Spa was great, well worth the extra cost. The jacuzzis were great, the pool a little cool, but welcome to escape the children. The on-deck hot-tub at the front of the ship, behind the Bimini Bar, was also a good find, really quiet most days, plus lots of sunbeds available there. Entertainment was good, Paul, the cruise director(a fellow Brit!) was excellent, although we felt sometimes his British humour may have gone straight over the heads of some passengers. We got totally fed up with the "shopping woman" wittering on constantly about buying diamonds, watches etc etc. We went to what we though would be an informative presentation about some ports, to find it was a Diamond Hard Sell...Thanks, but No Thanks! A little disappointed by the comedian Tim Kaminski, he relied very much on audience participation, but if that was poor(Wizard of Oz nigh!!!) then the whole show dragged on & was very flat. Second City were much better...impro at its cleverest. Bollywood was glitzy, we enjoyed it more than we had expected. So, all-in-all...a great value Xmas cruise! Well done NCL..this was our first cruise with you, we may well return!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
I have been on over 50 cruises. This one rates in the bottom 10%. The ship was clean and sparkling, and our cabin attendant was great. Other than that, we got what we paid for. The morale of the staff in the buffet area was horrible. The ... Read More
I have been on over 50 cruises. This one rates in the bottom 10%. The ship was clean and sparkling, and our cabin attendant was great. Other than that, we got what we paid for. The morale of the staff in the buffet area was horrible. The dining room staff (same people, different location) were a little better. The food and beverage manager dealt with his employees with an iron fist and sagging stomach. The cruise line charges passengers for their "gratuities", but passes little of it to the crew. Obviously there is no incentive to do a good job unless they want to sign on for another contract. "Roast beef" was served three nights out of 10. It was about 1/8" thick. Pitchers of iced tea and water were placed on the table, but no sugar/substitute. Minestrone soup was served every night. No coffee was available on the ship until after 7:00 AM unless you called room service. The quality of the coffee was so bad that they had packets of instant coffee available for their guests. Water/iced tea glasses were hard to find during buffet hours. Disembarkation took hours, and was a nightmare. Debarkation times were issued on the basis of cabin location rather than flight times. Immigration took retinal scans and finger prints of all foreign passengers (probably 80% of the ship). Angry passengers were forced to stand in line for hours waiting for 11 immigration agents to clear nearly 3,000 passengers in Miami. Many people missed their flights. This was a Christmas cruise, but it lacked any spirit. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
I went on the Christmas Cruise with my wife, son, mom and my wife's parents. We booked 2 rooms on the Royal Princess on the 16th LIDO level floor. I understand you cannot please everybody most of the time but I agree with most of the ... Read More
I went on the Christmas Cruise with my wife, son, mom and my wife's parents. We booked 2 rooms on the Royal Princess on the 16th LIDO level floor. I understand you cannot please everybody most of the time but I agree with most of the bad reviews on this ship. This boat is ONE BIG JOKE. Food was terribly bland and Service was mediocre. The Servers were more interested in talking among themselves than serving you. If you did not order alcohol in the Anytime Dining, Chances are, you will be ignored. The Royal Princess has some very very obvious flaws. No stairs Midship. Elevators not synchronized. Post Dancing Fountain show literally flooded the pool area making it dangerous to walk by, flooding the overrated skywalk. Balconies slightly bigger than the very small bathroom. Our room attendant only came to vaccum the floor, ignoring the towels and dirty glasses that I left purposely on the balcony. Whirlpools seemed to be used by kids and teens more than adults, some of the too young to be in there without an adult. Some teenagers had bottles of beer in their hands and that was being tolerated. The Crew obviously did not care as they were more bent on selling than monitoring. For all the money that was spent on this cruise we expected better. But the crew seemed unhappy to be there and we were really disappointed with cruise overall. The only and I mean ONLY bright spark of the cruise were the shows which were really good including the David Cats Magic show. We stayed at The Hampton Inn Ft. Lauderdale and it was one of the best decisions we made. They pick you up at the Airport and drop you off to the Port, all free. After having a great time on the Ruby Princess 3 years ago we were greatly disappointed on the Royal Princess. Maybe never again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We've just returned from a Christmas and New year cruise - 21st Dec 2013 to 2nd Jan 2014. To say that joining the ship was a shambles would be an understatement. We arrived at Bergen airport - no signs to where to pick up the bus! ... Read More
We've just returned from a Christmas and New year cruise - 21st Dec 2013 to 2nd Jan 2014. To say that joining the ship was a shambles would be an understatement. We arrived at Bergen airport - no signs to where to pick up the bus! Eventually found the bus - it was full. Driver said he wasn't expecting so many ( surely they would know?). Next bus another hour.... leaving about 40 of us standing out in the cold. Then after 50 minutes 2 buses turned up! On arriving at the Hurtigruten terminal at approx 1.30pm we're told we can't go on board until 3pm, so we went for a walk around Bergen to get something to eat. On arriving back at the terminal, we get through the check in and proceed to the cafeteria (closed). We're then told we can't board the ship until 4pm. Considering we'd been up since 4am, if was wearing a bit thin. At 4pm, expecting to at last get on board, they decide to show us a safety film for 15 minutes. If this is the Hurtigruten 'they know how to run ships' , I'm not impressed. The ship itself was comfortable enough and the food for the first 3 days nice (I don't eat fish and don't fancy reindeer stew). However, it then deteriorated for most of the rest of the cruise - I'm talking main courses. Soups were good and desserts excellent. Staff were superb. It doesn't seem that they cater much for British tastes - probably 60% of the passengers. Even my partner, who loves fish was feeling 'overfished'. Breakfast variety could certainly be improved, with very little effort. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We flew from Manchester and arrived in Barbados at around 3pm BB time. The journey to the ship took about 30-40 min and there we had to wait for over an hour to check in Now for Thomson's Holiday Money Extraction.. On checking in a ... Read More
We flew from Manchester and arrived in Barbados at around 3pm BB time. The journey to the ship took about 30-40 min and there we had to wait for over an hour to check in Now for Thomson's Holiday Money Extraction.. On checking in a fee of £25 for the safe? There is a charge if you want steak at Dinner £9.95 or £13.95 for steak under the stars £19.95 for the Grill. You could then pay £9.50 a night to reserve the best seats in the house, for the show? Also now the all night buffet is no more, it shuts from 1am - 6am. The AI is now a rip off as so many drinks have smallish charges against them. The John Smiths was undrinkable and bottled beers were £2 extra which they ran out of after a few days. They also ran out of Guinness another good money spinner for Thomson's if you are a beer drinker. Not to worry though as Bar waiters were few and far between with 30min wait the norm for a drink. The food as also gone down bank ( This is our 12th Thomson Cruise ). The variety and service was very poor in the Orion and the house wine undrinkable... £1.40 for a glass of good wine on top of AI. I will say that Thomson still know how to do a Full English! Christmas Day was a big let down If they were Carlsberg they would know how to do the worst Christmas.... No festivities on deck all day and the evening diner.. We queued up for 45mins to get into the dining room and we finished dinner at 10.45pm. Christmas dinner was 2 slices of turkey.2 tiny potatoes 2 brussel sprouts and the pig in blanket was a 1 inch piece of tined hot sausage with a slither of wafer ham??? We have been on the Dream 3 times before and had pre booked our cabin ,so knew what to expect and all was fine. Did the drill and then went down for dinner in the Orion where it was packed? Did not do the sail away party as we were to knackered! Went for Breakfast the next morning and up to Sirens Deck for a day at sea, with plenty of sun beds up to 9.30 and never seemed a problem throughout the 2 week cruise. It is the staff that are Thomson's asset on there Cruises and always smiling. They are now working twice as hard and it's not there fault for the poor service as there are a lot less of them trying to do twice as much. The shows are nothing like they use to be with Thomson's.. Very young team which at times showed and 2 days a week only one show a night and a 15min session on the open deck party and one a comedian a week. The must see is the crew talent show ( 45mins ), it knocks spots off the show team. The first week was Bonaire, Aruba ,Curacao and Grenada ,an excellent first weeks as all the ports were in the town. We only did one tour and that was in Grenada $15 for a tour up into the rain forest (6 of us so comfy 3hrs). I would recommend this as there in nothing in the town. The second week the 1st stop was a bit of a disaster Mayru a tender stop. The tenders were ready at around 9.30,we waited until 10.30 and was greeted by 400 more trying to get off. We were told that the wait was in excess of 1 hour and to wait in the lounges. We waited on deck and 30 mins later they postponed them due to high seas. They then opened up the tenders to able bodied people only, we returned to the tender disembarkation at around 12.30... 300+ in the queue and very hostile. The next day was a sea day Christmas?? St Vincent was a lovely stop and was glad to get off as we had 2 days on board ( see above ). We did a nice tour for $20 in St Kitts ( berthed 3 mile out of town ). Then on to St Lucia where we berthed in the old dock so did the beach for the day. The flight out and return were fairly comfortable, on time and we were well looked after. Conclusion There Are Far Far Better Cruises with better value for money than Thomson's now..... We use to really love them but now they are scrapping the barrel! Thomson please look at your product and why ho why call it Platinum? Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
My husband and myself have just returned from a very disappointing Christmas & New Year cruise on Ventura. Disappointing to the point that we also will never cruise with P & O again. This is our fourth Caribbean cruise. We ... Read More
My husband and myself have just returned from a very disappointing Christmas & New Year cruise on Ventura. Disappointing to the point that we also will never cruise with P & O again. This is our fourth Caribbean cruise. We stupidly booked through P & O and we were totally ripped off - we booked "the last cabin" (14 months ago) which unfortunately was inside and were assured that because we had booked directly with them we would certainly be upgraded. Of course it didn't happen. We were told that there were no upgrades and yet we met many people who had been upgraded without requesting it on embarkation day. So the choice of having a relaxing time watching the world go by was denied to us. The buffet lunches were very monotonous curry, curry or curry with the odd stew now and then. The self service area itself is very small and cramped. We ate in the cinnamon restaurant every night and the choice of food was ok, steaks were cooked exactly as we requested and the service was excellent. The main thing that ruined our holiday was the gangs of teenagers ( who's parents obviously couldn't care less where they were or what they were up to ) it was like being thrown onto the set of TOWIE or Made in Chelsea. Kids lying around drunk, throwing each other in the pool after one too many cocktails and gypsy wedding type girls crying because NYE was a disaster for them as they hadn't pulled ! We avoided the top decks because of all this but we still had to step over the occasional body on the stairs !! There was never any security present and I am amazed none of these out of control teens didn't end up over board to be honest. We were also disappointed with the service on deck 7 which was non-existent until disembarkation day when half a dozen crew sit in the arena chatting and popped out now and then to make sure they get the last bit of money they can from you. We certainly didn't have to fetch our own drinks that day! There was even a nice cream man - we hadn't seen him at all during the cruise ! Smokers were definitely catered for - we had a job to find anywhere to relax without having smoke blown in our faces - deck 7 at least had one side which was non smoking. We tried to go up to the oasis spa exclusive area for peace without cigarette smoke but although it was empty, we were told it was completely booked out ! We never found out what the extra cost was for peace and quiet ! Also, If you do decide to try Ventura don't expect much from the onboard shops they are truly basic and vastly overpriced. Announcements from the bridge were regular, Captain Carr is a marvelous delegator - I'm not sure he ever docked or sailed away (which always included a reference to 'winding up the big elastic band' and encouraging us all to grab a gin and tonic) but I for one always felt safe. The highlight of the whole on board experience was the Panto which the crew put on for us - absolutely fab! Unfortunately, we will be looking at other cruise companies for our next cruise - we paid for a luxury christmas cruise which fell short of our expectations on many levels. You can't beat cruising the Caribbean - the majority of the Islands are amazingly beautiful but apart from the locations We could have spent the festive season at The Blue Water Centre still surrounded by chavs and chavettes but at least the shopping choice would have been better. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Cruise no E330 - OCEANA - 19th - 29th Dec 2013 Been on this ship a number of times, always had a good cruise. We were looking forward to a wonderful Xmas experience on board this trip what a big disappointment and may I add waste of ... Read More
Cruise no E330 - OCEANA - 19th - 29th Dec 2013 Been on this ship a number of times, always had a good cruise. We were looking forward to a wonderful Xmas experience on board this trip what a big disappointment and may I add waste of money. We are not party animals, but there was no Christmas atmosphere on this cruise, which is why we paid the extra for this cruise. 2012, we went on a Warner's Xmas break, better than excellent, P&O could learn from Warner's Xmas festivities. Everything about this cruise was not up to what is promised and expected of P&O.  Even the presentation and quality of the food was not up to the usual standard. The entertainment was also not of the calibre expected and Headliners were rubbish, compared with other cruises. This was also voiced by other passengers. Our plan was to book in advance while on board a 2014 Xmas Cruise, but as we found this cruise to be so poor, we declined and are considering another option. Unfortunately we have already committed ourselves and our payment is now due for a cruise on the Azura departing 19th April, and are not looking forward to this. We can only hope Azura's standards are a great deal higher. If not it may well be our last cruise with P&O. Having cruised a number of times we have only cruised with P&O and have always been satisfied. Our friends are asking if we had a good holiday, they are not sold on a cruise with P&O. The only efficient part of our holiday was the service by Eavesway coaches, and now I am told to use another company for my next cruise. The cutbacks were extremely noticed by all who have sailed with P&O. Considering Oceana has had some refurbishment, having cruised on this ship a number of times it was not noticeable.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We have sailed on Costa before and promised that we would not do so again, but the dates and the length of the cruise and the ports to be visited made us get excited again, and it was a different ship this time, so we thought, why not? ... Read More
We have sailed on Costa before and promised that we would not do so again, but the dates and the length of the cruise and the ports to be visited made us get excited again, and it was a different ship this time, so we thought, why not? Great views from the balcony, but on the wrong side of the ship, we were always on the water side never got to watch the port from ours. Very small room, don't let the photos on the web pages fool you, just enough room to walk between the wall and the bed. the balcony itself is only 1m x 2m with 2 chairs and a very low table, the door is extremely heavy as you would expect, however, my wife struggled to open it most times. The bathroom is exactly the same size as every other stateroom, so no extra space, and for a person who is 6ft tall and weighs 220 pounds that does not leave a lot of room for anything! let alone getting in the shower. Sadly, the airconditioning unit in the hallway burst a pipe and flooded our cabin and six others around it, we were disappointed with Costa's compensation offer ( a bottle of wine and a bowl of fruit ) to put up with an industrial dryer in our room for the next 3 days of the cruise and one outside the door for 4 days, not to mention the smell of wet carpet for 4 days. Bad, Bad, Bad! The ports that we visited were Semarang, Benoa, Lombok, Singapore, Penang, Langkawi, Phuket (Patong) and back to Singapore. I would pass on Semarang, Lombok and possibly Benoa, but the other stops where terrific. The Costa entertainment crew, they call them the "Animation Team" now, were a bit of a let down compared to the entertainment team on the Costa Romantica that took us to similar ports just 2 years before. Being the Christmas and New Year cruise the staff had made pretty red bows to go on all of the cabin doors and there were a few tinsel pieces around the place, the atrium had a lovely decorated Christmas tree but that was about all. For NYE the crew let go of a net full of balloons on the strike of midnight, but because of the layout of the ship, there was not really many people in the area to enjoy this. I think that the deck layout on the Victoria made for a difficult time for them, there is not just one spot to be entertained in but many small areas, but we made our own fun. the good thing is that Costa has stopped people smoking anywhere on the ship that is inside, you have to go to the outdoor areas. Given that we have now had two cruises through Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia, I think maybe the next one will be to the Phillipines, Cambodia, Vietnam and Japan etc. Just next time won't be a Costa cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We have been on many Thomson cruises, but think this will be our last. Firstly, the food has deteriotated badly, the only meal we really enjoyed was the breakfast in the Orion restaurant. The evening meal was poor, very poor quality meat ... Read More
We have been on many Thomson cruises, but think this will be our last. Firstly, the food has deteriotated badly, the only meal we really enjoyed was the breakfast in the Orion restaurant. The evening meal was poor, very poor quality meat (mostly pork), and slow service. We tried the Lido on a few occasions, but the same boring buffet everynight, with pork (again) Xmas Eve was quite pleasant, and we enjoyed the carol service, but Xmas Day was a big letdown, nothing at all festive and The Gala Dinner was far from anything special. The entertainment is very childish, as others have said, the same things on deck every day. Silly game shows on a night (Mr &Mrs, etc). The entertainers in the Broadway Show Lounge are enthusiastic, but that's about all you can say, a very young team who prance around thinking they can sing (most of them look like they should still be in school). We were on The Dream in June2013, a more mature team, but the exact same shows. Some of the chairs in the various lounges were on the verge of collapse, a lot of penny pinching going on. The highlight of the cruise was the many friendly people we met and the wonderful ports of call, we did all the tours and beaches ourselves sharing taxis with others. To sum it up, Thomson need to up their game, a lot of cutbacks and it shows. We love cruising but won't be back on Thomsons. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
I sailed on the Pride on Thanksgiving week with my wife and 11 year old son. Based on all experiences this will be my last cruise on carnival and out of Baltimore. Embarkation: We have been at Tampa, New York, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, San ... Read More
I sailed on the Pride on Thanksgiving week with my wife and 11 year old son. Based on all experiences this will be my last cruise on carnival and out of Baltimore. Embarkation: We have been at Tampa, New York, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, San Diego, and now Baltimore. I would say Baltimore was far the worst port we have sailed from. The security line was long and the line to check in was much longer. It seems they lacked staff. 2 of the security lines were not even working. The lady we checked in was very pleasant, however getting there took way too long. Service: Our cabin steward was great. He was really the best part of our cruise. He was so attentive. We always had our room cleaned after breakfast and after dinner. Anytime we needed anything he was always there. I would love to take him on future cruises. Cabin: The cabin was fine. Even when the air conditioner was on we asked if they could turn on the heat, which they did pretty quickly. It did get a little hot when we down to the Caribbean and I did not want to have them readjust the temperature, because when we started to go back to Baltimore they would have to readjust again. Dining Dining in the dining area and steakhouse (David's) was nice. We had a great hostess and dining staff. Be had anytime dining and for the most part we had 2 head waiters. Both were real nice and very attentive. We did have one assistant waitress who seemed that she did not want to be there. The service otherwise was excellent. Entertainment This was the worst part of the cruise, in my opinion. Except for a few of the comedians the shows lacked any surprises and it seemed we have seen these shows before. Carnival should look at Royal Caribbean and how they do their entertainment. They have different venues which much better talent. I would give the entertainment 2 stars, except the comedians. Children's Clubs Camp carnival was really good and my son really enjoyed himself. The staff was great and he really enjoyed the night owls programs. Disembarkation This was an absolutely nightmare. First of all the line to customs was very long and someone who left the ship earlier accidentally took one of my suitcases. That is not the real issue. The issue was the people of the port did not real care we lost our bag and were really nasty to us. This was an emotional situation since the bag was my sons and he was very emotional. No one at the port would walk around with me. The real issue is that the person who accidentally took my luggage called and apologized. The [problem is carnival is saying that since someone took it is not the responsibility to return the bag to me. If Carnival would have offered to pick up my bag and return it to me this would be a non-issue. However their take is that since someone else took the bag they have washed their hands off the issue. In the scheme of things how much would it cost Carnival to have someone pick up my bag and deliver it to me? Summary I think this will have been our 8 and final cruise with Carnival. The entire experience, especially with our luggage has left a sour taste with Carnival. We had a nice time, however these incidents were disheartened.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
We had 18 family members looking forward to a wonderful cruise. Unfortunately we chose the Conquest. Letting you know we have taken the Carnival Dream and that was very good. The food on the Conquest is poor. If you are looking forward to ... Read More
We had 18 family members looking forward to a wonderful cruise. Unfortunately we chose the Conquest. Letting you know we have taken the Carnival Dream and that was very good. The food on the Conquest is poor. If you are looking forward to wonderful meals you will be highly disappointed. On Thanksgiving Day we were anticipating a great turkey dinner. Instead, after waiting 1 1/2 hours standing in line at the Renoir Rest. we were served lunch meat, yes I said lunch meat turkey, and no real pumpkin pie. Our state rooms were located on the 1st level where the sewer smell was outrageous. The cabins on the even side did not have the smell in the state room but ones on odd size did as well as it was overwhelming in the hall ways. Complaints brought just a spray down on the outside. The cabin was roomy and bed comfortable. Attendants did their job nicely. Have no complaints there except for the horrendous sewer smell in the hallway and sometimes back up in the shower and alot of night noises in the hall. Buffet was better but you were served powdered scrambled eggs unless you stood in line for omelets which were okay. Fresh food was good. No production shows at all and not really a whole lot to do like other cruises we have been on. Over all the rating we would give the Conquest is maybe a 1 or 2. It is an old ship that needs to be renovated and renewed. Hope you're not taking it from Miami. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
My family of 4, hubby & 2 daughters, sailed the Imagination for Thanksgiving this year. As much as we tried to love this little cruise we just couldn't quite get there. Some of it really wasn't Carnival's fault. So with ... Read More
My family of 4, hubby & 2 daughters, sailed the Imagination for Thanksgiving this year. As much as we tried to love this little cruise we just couldn't quite get there. Some of it really wasn't Carnival's fault. So with that being said we probably will try to cruise with them again. We had a nice cabin. It is an older ship but our steward was great. Everything was clean. The food I found to be pretty awful. There were some things that were okay. My omelettes in the morning were good and they prepare a great flat iron steak in the dining room we were in. We had really rough seas and high winds. So WaterWorks was frequently closed as was the Mini-Golf. A great deal of stuff was cancelled in Mexico as well. Again not Carnival's fault but it made our trip less enjoyable. My ongoing theme of this review is, you take your chances. You take your chances sailing in November. My daughter, 7, loved Camp Carnival. And with good reason they did a wonderful job. I loved all the activities they had planned for the kids and so did she. On another note, was the crowd we were with. I do not consider myself hard to get along with I really enjoy people and having a good time. However, the rudeness and level of tact was hard to work with. There were some shining stars who were nice to meet but overall it was as rough as the seas. A great deal of cussing, pushing, and zero politeness or respect for others. It made me sad more than anything. So again as my title says, You Take Your Chances. You may have a better crowd and better weather, which could make your experience better than ours. I heard the crowds are rougher on all lines for the shorter and smaller ships. Next time we may go bigger and stay longer to see if that makes a difference. Happy Sails! Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Myself, 46, wife 42, son 13 son 3 decided to spend our thanksgiving cruising. We took this cruise this time of year to get our platinum status before carnival changed the vip policy. The seas were terrible, which was no fault of carnivals. ... Read More
Myself, 46, wife 42, son 13 son 3 decided to spend our thanksgiving cruising. We took this cruise this time of year to get our platinum status before carnival changed the vip policy. The seas were terrible, which was no fault of carnivals. 12'! It is very obvious in the cutbacks that carnival has made in the last two years. Im not sure if it has to do with the triumph and concordia incidents or what..... This was our tenth cruise with carnival, we have been on the biggest to the smallest of their fleet. We were expecting good things from a boat that just had 15 million dollars spent on upgrading it. Easiest way to show changes ive witnessed is simply listing them. 1. No waitstaff on lido to bring drinks. you want a drink go get it. 2. lounge and showroom are now one! terrible idea. chairs that slide and are stacked up to turn into a lounge at night. 3. sewerage smell on deck 4 that you could not handle! and several other areas of the ship. 4. I was taking platinum cruise but when we went to embark, I was issued a blue(first timer) card. Which by the way was not located in the vip lounge. So our embarkation process took longer than even the normal process and we werent even in a line. 5. debarkation was difficult for platinum as well instead of making it easier they herded all platinum member to the dining room and made us sit for half an hour. 6.Shows were terrible! there were only 8 dancers on the entire ship. Hard to put on much of a production with 8 people. 7. Cruise director Jamie was basically a boppy dancer. No personality kinda acted 12. 8. ship was hard to navigate and some areas of ship pretty hard to find actually. 9. Decks and floors were almost always wet. there is no drainage built into lido so when the pool sloshed from the waves the had guys with squeegies constantly pushing water away splashing all on areas where icecream and burgers are served. 10. There was no aft pool and only 1 little bitty pool on lido. So guess where the kids were? yep in the hot tubs! 11. Guest services were very rude to some people I saw, but not to me. 12. The midnight buffets and gala presentations are no longer existent! we were waiting on an elevator on the 5th floor and a big piece of metal ttrim work just fell off the roof. Luckily no one was under it. 13. The ship was obviously ruched back into service way too soon. There was still a lot of construction going on and a whole lot of repairs that needed to be made. 14. Our toilet would not flush at times and maybe 5-10 minutes after you tried to flush it it would do it all by itself. 15.We ate in the sunset dining room everynight. The waitstaff did not sing or perform. Not even the night when they tell you goodbye. 16. the bars were way understaffed. It took upwards of 10 minutes at times just to get waited on. And one bartender in the atrium gave our 13 yr old son a "virgin" pina coloda that was about as virgin as well........ 17. waterworks and sportsquare were pretty small and almost always taken over by the same kids. 18. The food on lido was terrible. The guys burgers were pretty good but were heart attacks on a platter! lol 19. The captains party was a real joke! it was basically the captain standing in the walkway in the casino and you could walk up and take a picture with him (with your own camera). No drinks or snacks or even formal gathering. 20. comedy show lounge is so small if you arent there 45 minutes before show you probably wont get a seat or will be forced to sit in back where you watch it on a monitor. 21. areas you used to could explore like on the front bow of the ship etc are off limits now. I could keep listing things but surely this gives you an idea. All this put on top of terrible weather, 12' seas and 1 port rained out. = pretty bad investment! This was our platinum cruise with carnival but probably our last. We will be using royal carribean in the spring and see what they are like. Carnival has definitely went to "get em on get tier money and get them out" mentality. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
This was my third cruise with Princess. The first two were on the Sapphire Princess Ship and both times it was a great experience. I wish I could say the same thing for the Caribbean Princess. This was a Thanksgiving cruise leaving out of ... Read More
This was my third cruise with Princess. The first two were on the Sapphire Princess Ship and both times it was a great experience. I wish I could say the same thing for the Caribbean Princess. This was a Thanksgiving cruise leaving out of the Houston Port. I have been told that Princess only started leaving out of Houston port earlier the same month (November). Embarkation seemed chaotic. Our family had a mini suite, and previous times leaving port we were able to get in a line for suite holders. This time, we were told that we would have to get in the long line because we did not have a "full suite." It was cold and windy, and we had to wait in the elements for over an hour. Once on the ship, the captain got on the loud speaker stating we would be delayed a couple of hours leaving the port due to the weather. A couple of hours later we were told that they would still not be able to leave the Houston port due to the weather and that they would try again at 10:00 PM. No word after 10:00 PM and we went to bed on the ship. When we woke up the next morning, we looked outside our balcony and saw that the ship was still parked next to the Houston Port. The captain later got on the loud speaker and stated that they would try to leave around 10:00 AM and explained that the itinerary for the cruise would need to be changed due to the delay. The ship left around 10:30 AM Sunday morning. The captain later came on the loud speaker and stated that we were not going to be able to go to Honduras due to the delay. Also, instead of going to Cozumel the first day as planned, we would be going to Cozumel on Thanksgiving Day (Thursday). This day was planned to be a day at sea. We would now be going to Costa Maya Mexico on Tuesday (not on the initial itinerary), and would be going to Belize on Wednesday as planned. We had no idea what was in Costa Maya. The cruise ship was able to plan activities and we did arrange an excursion to see Mayan ruins. After Costa Maya, we set course for Belize. Wednesday morning, the captain got on the loud speaker and told us that due to strong winds, we would not be able to go into port in Belize and instead would be staying out in sea for the day. This was frustrating. Instead of a Caribbean cruise visiting exotic destinations, it turned into a Mexican cruise visiting only two ports. On Thursday, we arrived in Cozumel. I believe most if not all of the water excursions such as snorkeling and scuba diving were cancelled due to the weather. We were able to visit X-Caret and enjoyed our excursion. The excursion returned us to the ship at around 5:00 PM. We got on the ship at 5:15 PM. Thanksgiving Dinner was at 5:30 PM and we had to put on our formal attire before going in the dining room. The Thanksgiving Dinner was very disappointing, as we had what appeared to be processed Turkey, with no mash potatoes. I saw other people had stuffing, but for some reason, there was no stuffing on my plate. I was able to request mash potatoes which was then delivered to my table. Although I enjoyed most of the Dinners on Princess during the trip, the Thanksgiving meal was the most disappointing meal I have ever experienced on a cruise ship. We left Cozumel and arrived at Houston Port on Saturday morning by 7:00 AM. First, let me say that I believe Princess needs to reconsider their decision to move from the Galveston to the Houston Port. From what I read on another review, the same ship was delayed going into Houston Port due to fog which likely caused many passengers to miss their flights. I believe this was the fourth cruise out of Houston, so having problems with the port on two out of four cruises is not a good statistic to have. On the way home at the Houston Airport, I spoke to a couple that left on the Disney Ship out of the Galveston Port the Saturday we were supposed to leave. The couple told me that they left the Galveston Port with no problem. If Princess is going to have cruises not being able to leave Houston Port due to weather, then people need to reconsider whether they want to go on a cruise out of Houston. The second thing I want to say is that Princess did not provide any reimbursement for not going to two of the three ports advertised (money off a future cruise would have been nice). Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
My husband and I booked this 4 night cruise to get out of hosting Thanksgiving for our family this year. We left Los Angeles on Wednesday, 11/27/13 with easy boarding. The ship looked nice, no obvious signs of wear and tear for an ... Read More
My husband and I booked this 4 night cruise to get out of hosting Thanksgiving for our family this year. We left Los Angeles on Wednesday, 11/27/13 with easy boarding. The ship looked nice, no obvious signs of wear and tear for an "older" ship. We are both foodies - love great food - and we couldn't find it on this cruise. We were so disappointed in everything that we tried. The executive chef is from Scotland, perhaps that is why the food was so bland(?). We dined at the Crown Grill one night and even that was blah. We were served an abundance of food, but that didn't make up for the lack of flavor. Aside from very boring food I was extremely put off by Princess for not having a single representative at our meet & mingle. Granted Princess does not host these as the other lines do, but the only other time that we sailed on Princess there were several officers who came and greeted us. No one at this one. The icing on the cake - the biggest insult and the nail in the coffin against Princess for me is that I had brought this oversight to Princess' attention in my comment cards and here it is well over a month later and nobody has responded to me. The heck with you Princess! I'll spend my money on Royal Caribbean/Celebrity from now on. You don't need me! I don't need you! Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Booked our dream vacation and were generally disappointed. Poor value for the money and the ship is in poor condition (showing wear and tear). Better value in the Caribbean. The five days at sea going over to Hawaii were OK. Lots to do ... Read More
Booked our dream vacation and were generally disappointed. Poor value for the money and the ship is in poor condition (showing wear and tear). Better value in the Caribbean. The five days at sea going over to Hawaii were OK. Lots to do exploring the ship, attending great lectures and eating. Great weather and getting excited about going to Hawaii. Had an obstructed ocean-view room and were pleased with the space and layout. Bed was good and loved having daylight in the room during the day. Booked into the late sitting for dining (Bottecelli 210) and had great people at our table. Our waiters were EXCEPTIONAL and made the dining experience something to look forward to (not to mention the food quality). Had great time in Nawiliwili, Kauai. Amazed with ability of crew to steer into this awkward harbor. Great tour of waterfalls then Wailua riverboat to Fern Grotto. Definitely walk trough the Marriott right beside the dock - nice beach and great garden area in the middle of the complex (great koy pond). Honolulu was everything expected: Diamondhead, Royal Palace, and Nu`uanu Pali Lookout, Waikiki Beach was a bit of a disappointment (hard to see with all the tall buildings), but a great city tour and nice to see all the landmarks you see on TV. Pearl Harbor was OK - BUT, the Federal shutdown created problems touring the Arizona Memorial (a real letdown for many people). Been there - done it! Stopped in Lahaina, Maui and had the greatest fun snorkeling at Molokini Creater , but, the highlight was swimming with the sea turtles not far from the dock in town - GREAT!!! Nice town to just walk up and down the front street and shop, eat & drink. NICE PLACE!!! Last stop - Hilo, Hawaii -- WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT!!!! Thought we would drop the expensive excursions to the mostly closed volcano sites and just spend time in town relaxing - wrong.... The small city of Hilo has absolutely nothing to offer tourists (no beach, no front street, no character - just a long bus ride through industrial area to a Walmart and and a Sears shopping mall. This was a total waste of a day in paradise!!!!!!! Now for 5 days back at sea to the mainland. Got a little tired of the sea days but the entertainment and food kept us going. Got really tired of non-functioning bathrooms and elevators throughout the ship. Now here is the confusing part - for some reason, the ship came back to a little town called Encenada in Mexico. This town had nothing to offer other than a crowded market street with the usual cheap crap being peddled by annoying marketers - not to mention the little children trying to sell you chicklets and beds. Nothing to really do bu find a bar and have a margerita. TOTAL WASTE OF ANOTHER DAY!!! One more day at sea and were are back at San Francisco. Princess would be well advised to modify this trip and make the stop for 2 more days in Hawaii and drop Ensenada. Also get out of Hilo - it is a dump..... Probably would not advise any friends to go on this cruise as it is a waste of time and money for the sites that you get to see. Fly and stay instead........... Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
We just finished our fourth cruise with MSC. The first was in 1999 when few Americans had heard of MSC. We loved it! The cuisine, the shows, the demographics, the waiters, came together for a very European experience. Since then we ... Read More
We just finished our fourth cruise with MSC. The first was in 1999 when few Americans had heard of MSC. We loved it! The cuisine, the shows, the demographics, the waiters, came together for a very European experience. Since then we have always particularly enjoyed our cruises with MSC. But this time things were very different. The cruise we took on the Armonia was largely in the Adriatic. The ports were fine and so were the excursions. So we enjoyed that part of it. The shows are still slightly wacky, fun and decidedly non PC. Enjoyed that too. The food, however, was substandard. I have been on quite a few cruises with different companies and this was the worst. It is a deal-breaker. Presentation was lovely, dining rooms too, but most of it was either overly-salted or utterly tasteless. How can anything so pretty taste so bad? We took to eating in the ports of call or ordering extra courses to see if there was anything we would want to eat. We are definitely not finicky eaters. It was clear that MSC is cutting corners. Part of what a passenger looks forward to on the cruise is the food. Not here. Also, no midnight buffets, everything including ice cream on deck had a price (didn't used to be that way), virtually no activities onboard. Passengers were left to entertain themselves with cards and board games and an occasional dance class. I have never been on such an uninspired cruise. I used to love going on MSC cruises. Not going with them again. Uh uh. Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
We booked this Cruise in January 2013 to celebrate a friends special birthday. We have sailed with Princess on five previous occasions and have been upgraded to Platinum status. Princess have, for the past year made a huge deal about this ... Read More
We booked this Cruise in January 2013 to celebrate a friends special birthday. We have sailed with Princess on five previous occasions and have been upgraded to Platinum status. Princess have, for the past year made a huge deal about this Cruise with loads on videos and emails. To be honest, we were very excited at the thought of going to this trip.   Embarkation was fine. As a Platinum guest we had priority. We were lucky enough to be amongst the first new guests on board. The looked great. Although the length of the ship does not seem any longer than other ships we have been on, Crown Princess, Sea Princess, Ruby Princess it is a lot taller. Everything smelt brand new. The Atrium is a marvel. top points to Princess for the new design. The layout of this was somewhat different from the norm, which was a pleasant surprise.   Upon embarking, as one does, we headed straight up to the Horizon Court. The Horizon Court was very light and airy with the décor being very pleasant. Instead of the usual buffet lines, the design is totally different with long self service counters with a variety of different foods. Unfortunately, a lot of the food was repeated and what appeared to be a great choice turned out not to be. The hot food was not hot. The food was very bland with many passengers making derogatory comments. The service was good.   After lunch we headed to our Cabin. The cabin was very nice. Similar in size to what one would expect. We had a balcony cabin made up with a queen bed. A nice touch was the wall mounted wide screen TV with a great selection of films and TV box sets on demand at no extra cost. The cabin steward was great., Our room was clean and tidy at all times. The guy was polite and unobtrusive. Room service was good and on time.   Princess then, in my opinion really messed up. The first night was billed as a Formal night. The customary champagne waterfall was scheduled. We arrived as billed. No fuss was made of the new ship and the captain said nothing. Only a few drinks were handed around and I didn't see any canapés. A huge opportunity to welcome everyone aboard and to make everyone feel special was missed.   We opted, with our friends for anytime dining. In the afternoon we had phoned and made a reservation. No complaints surrounding this process. The food however was unimaginative, was cold and bland. Very disappointing.   After Dinner, having explored the ship we headed for the Show. The Princess Theatre on this ship has been designed differently than the other ships. Whilst the seats are more comfortable they no longer have trays to put your drinks. Only two narrow walkways now existing from the top to the bottom. The scenery and lighting was excellent as was the sound. The Princess Dancers were fantastic although the show itself was not to my taste.   In my opinion, the real let down of this trip was the Cruise Director and his staff. We have been unfortunate enough to have had the same Cruise Director, Ron Goodman on a previous trip. The guy was never around the ship and I don't think we saw his staff more than once. The guy is totally false.   We were due to visit Guernsey, but due to poor weather we could not dock. Princess had a captive audience. Hundreds of people were milling around the central atrium most sitting bored. The ship hurriedly produced a new Princess Patter but it was clear that the Ship not only had no B plan, but didn't have a C, D or E Plan. A friend of mine approach Goodman and said to the effect, hey, do something, you have a captive audience, this is a new ship, people are bored all he said was, 'thanks for your comments' and walked off. This guy and his team are doing Princess no favours.   All in all, having taken a number of cruises before, our party of 8 all felt let down by this whole experience. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
We had sailed on the Star in July, 2008, when the weather was totally sunny and the temperatures were in the 70's and 80's. This time we wanted to experience Alaska in more normal weather. While the weather this time was in ... Read More
We had sailed on the Star in July, 2008, when the weather was totally sunny and the temperatures were in the 70's and 80's. This time we wanted to experience Alaska in more normal weather. While the weather this time was in the 50s, we did have some sunny periods, and the visibility was always good. We arrived in Seattle on the Wednesday evening before our Saturday, May 11, sail. Spent two nights in at the Hampton Suites in Lynwood about 30 minutes north of the City. This proved to be an excellent location for visiting the Wineries and Indian resort casinos nearby. On Friday night we moved to the Homewood Suites on Pike, across from the Civic Center, and took in the Pike Street Market and our favorite restaurant, Elliotts Oyster Bar on Pier 53. Elliotts has the best in regional oysters, plus a great location on the waterfront. Took a cab to the new Princess north pier location; we arrived at the designated arrival time (a new Princess loading scheme), but had to wait an hour. The staff seemed to be disorganized first time experience in this our 5th Princess Cruise. Once on board, we were quickly impressed with the condition of the Star the same ship we had sailed on five years ago. The ship had the appearance of having recently been refurbished, although I dont think this was the case. Our favorite place to look out, the Sky Walker Lounge, was still in place, and had not been removed as it has been from the Stars sister ship, the Grand. Our cabin, C424, was great. The steward was very attentive and efficient, and the cruise so lacked any rocking, etc. that we thought we were on a lake rather than out on the Pacific for the first two days. The glacier state park at Juneau was beautiful to see, and we also were able to observe two bear cubs in a tree, as well as several mountain goats. At Skagway, we rented a car and drove one hour north to the Yukon Territory, and had lunch at the only restaurant just north of Carcross. Enjoyed spectacular scenery this is an option to the train at Skagway that I highly recommend. Cruising in the Glacier Bay National Park was the highlight of the trip! Ketchikan was good for shopping, while most of the shops in Victoria were closed when we arrived. Service on board the Star was uniformly excellent. The jazz performances were very good. Meals at the specialty restaurants were good, and the International Food Bar was excellent. Now the bad news. The food at the Horizon buffet was often cold, and not very tasty. The menu selection at the traditional dining room was very poor. Princess needs to do something, quickly I believe, to address their food preparation and variety. Debarking went smoothlyI recommend checking your bags through from the ship at a reasonable cost. The bus service purchased through Princess was a near disaster. The driver got lost in downtown Seattle, almost hit a car on I5, and drove between lanes on the Interstate. The trip to the airport took twice as long as it should have taken. All in all, we will cruise on Princess again, but we hope the food, especially, will be much improved. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
We were really excited to be taking the inaugural voyage of the Norwegian Breakaway from Southampton to New York this April but excitement led to let down as we boarded the ship and then throughout the voyage. 1st - the ship was clearly ... Read More
We were really excited to be taking the inaugural voyage of the Norwegian Breakaway from Southampton to New York this April but excitement led to let down as we boarded the ship and then throughout the voyage. 1st - the ship was clearly not ready for us. There was no program of the day's activities in the stateroom and the customer service desk said they had run out and no more would be printed. As a platinum Latitudes member I was entitled to a number of amenities but none were present in my cabin. After a complaint the amenities appeared the following evening. Another initial problem was an absence of the shipboard credit my travel agent had confirmed for us. It took 3 more days to get the credit that was confirmed in our reservations. As for the ship it was rather bland and boring. The food was the same. The pay restaurant Moderno was excellent however, as was the Blues club -we attended it every night and it turned out the be the highlight of our cruise. We highly recommend the band Slam Allen. The Cirque show was good as well, but Rock of Ages was horrible. We walked out after a tedious hour of amateurish singing and dancing. The pool area was totally inadequate. Set in the middle of the ship adjacent to a stage - speakers blasted either canned rock music or music from a live band. The sound was deafening and a total deterrent to using the pool. The children's pool and the water slide pool across the deck were unusable also as this was the area people landed from the huge water slide above. For a transatlantic cruise the pool was not really missed but it certainly would be on a Caribbean cruise. Another issue with this ship was a lack of quiet reading areas inside. There were almost no public lounges as pay restaurants had replaced these usual lounge areas. People congregated in the atrium mostly but it was extremely noisy. As for the cabins, we had both a balcony and an inside cabin and both were excellent. Top marks for good design and ergonomics. In conclusion I have to say we will not be cruising in this class of NCL ship again. Overall, it did not work for us. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
A friend and I decided to get away for the dual holidays of Christmas and New Year's and decided that the Carnival Miracle was a perfect option because it sailed from New York (we're New Yorkers) and we were looking for something ... Read More
A friend and I decided to get away for the dual holidays of Christmas and New Year's and decided that the Carnival Miracle was a perfect option because it sailed from New York (we're New Yorkers) and we were looking for something "all inclusive" Our embarkation went smoothly and we quickly found our room, finding our bathroom was another story because story because it took about a minute of two for the light to turn on. We then took our bottle of champagne and put it in our little refrigerator which did not work and took 5 days of an 8 day cruise to have replaced. Our luggage then arrived in a timely manner. However, my brand new suitcase was damaged with a pretty severe oil stain. We immediately went to guest services to complain, where we were rudely told.. "What do you expect?... Sometimes luggage gets dirty".... The agent reluctantly took the bag and smartly said "We'll clean it, but don't expect it to be "perfect" We then went to the Bacchus room for dinner, I ordered a soda with dinner, only to find out that only Iced Tea and Lemonade were "complimentary" The following day I decided to book some spa appointments for hair and nails. Each appointment lasted roughly an hour.. let me rephrase, the procedure lasted about 1/2 and hour, the sales pitch for the nail cream, hair cream, and face cream took the other half. That evening we dined at Nick and Nora's, the tenth floor steak house. NO COMPLAINTS here whatsoever. The service and the food were IMPECCABLE! On Thursday we arrived in Port Canaveral. We went on a shore excursion called "Pontoon Lagoon", which was a little ferry ride through people's backyards to look at trees where pelicans go to the bathroom. On Friday we arrived in Nassau, Bahamas, again by mistake we booked an excursion to the "Blue Lagoon". After spending more that an hour in a line that changed directions for fun and games, we made it through the hordes of natives trying to sell us anything from bottled water to cocaine. We arrived at our destination at 2:00 to be told that we need to be back on the boat at 4:15... Really screwed on that one! The following day we arrived in Freeport. My friend and I said "screw it" to our planned excursion (Fool me once....) But to Carnival's credit, they were willing to give us a credit on this. THANK YOU!!!!! We proceeded off the boat to go to the little port "village" that was set up. THIS WAS THE HIGHLIGHT OF OUR TRIP. There was a bar/restaurant there called Senor Frogs. This establishment provided an atmosphere of fun and adult entertainment that we could not find on the Miracle. THIS AFTERNOON WAS THE BEST PART OF OUR TRIP.... this was the first time a venue existed for the passengers to mingle and have fun with each other.... The consensus at the bar was that Carnival needed to provide an atmosphere like that.... and this was exactly what the Miracle was missing. We then set sail for New York, which was two more days at sea. This should have been relaxing and peaceful... BUT.... on our floor was a group of about 10 teenagers that amused themselves by knocking on cabin doors and running away at all hours of the night. This and prank phone calls lasted until the end of the trip. The cruise ended with New Years Eve... may have been fun, wouldn't know because at this point my friend and I were so tired of this atmosphere, we decided to stay in out cabin. Also, should be noted that after 8:30 PM the only food available is Pizza... edible, but after 8 nights, barely. Never so happy to see the Hudson River and New York City as I was on 1/1. THINK VERY CAREFULLY BEFORE TAKING THIS TRIP.... The best time you will have is at a bar in a tourist trap.... but that was TRULY an amazing time! Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
I will start by giving an honest review about this cruise as it was our first with P&O. Embarkation We arrived at 2.00 pm for embarkation at the Ocean Terminal and we were greeted by the staff and porters. The car keys were ... Read More
I will start by giving an honest review about this cruise as it was our first with P&O. Embarkation We arrived at 2.00 pm for embarkation at the Ocean Terminal and we were greeted by the staff and porters. The car keys were handed over as it was to be parked in Valet Parking, and the suitcases were taken swiftly by the porters. The cases arrived at our room around 5.00 pm. After going through check-in, security we had boarded Oceana by 2.40 pm (very good timing). On boarding Oceana we were informed that our cabin was ready, so we proceeded to the cabin to drop off some items we were carrying. Cabin & Cabin steward when we arrived at our cabin C739 deck 9, we met our cabin steward "Roy", our first impression of our cabin steward was not friendly, and we know its a very long day on "turnaround day" so we gave him the benefit of this and thought that may of been the reason for him not being friendly & welcoming. His general attitude during the remaining few days did not really change. We had the feeling that he did not want to be there,but never asked him this as we did not want to pry.... We have been on lots of cruises before P & O and this was the first cruise where our cabin steward was not very nice.. This was first time we have taken an inside cabin, purely because this cruise had been sold out when we came across this cruise, and we were told that we would have to go on a waiting list for a possibility of getting a room. When it came up we accepted the inside cabin and booked, and thought at least we were on the ship and paid around £679 each which was not cheap for a 4 night cruise but it was over the new year festivities, and thought it would be great! First impressions of the room was small, dark and not very welcoming. Looked like the room was due an update and I believe it had a small mini refit in December just gone, (apparently not on these rooms). Bathroom was not very clean, and my husband found hair from previous guests and dirty shelves and towels that had pink stains on them!! Staff P & O staff are not as friendly as other ships we have cruised with before, and the general impression was "the staff were not happy"! We spoke to lots of other guests and they all agreed that they had noticed this. Dining venues We had requested the traditional 2nd sitting, but was informed that it had been fully booked since last March 2012, and we were offered anytime dining; As we have never done this before, we thought OK lets try it and compare the difference "we might of preferred it". However on the day of embarkation we were told that we had been allocated the 1st sitting, (which was just to early for us). This then meant like many others we had to stand for over 90 minutes to change the dining, and missed the sail away party! We ate in the Lingurian Restaurant, "anytime dining" which was nice, but you are not given your own waiter so even though a waiter comes and takes your order, you are not sure who is your waiter as you are served by many others also. so on a personal level we have decided that we prefer the traditional sitting! We booked a night in their speciality restaurant "Marco Pierre" which had a cover charge of around £6.75 per person. The restaurant was situated in the main atrium deck 8. Our impression of this was like a small Bistro, the food was good, but again found another of the waiter staff rude. My husband had asked one of the waiters for a moment of his time to explain to him that we wanted to watch a show at 10.30 pm and did not want to miss it as we only had around 20 minutes till the show started and could we skip the puddings and just have the coffee. He replied to my husband I'll be with you in a few minutes. We waited another 5 minutes whilst watching him stand with other staff members talking and discussing who was going to serve us, not very professional in my opinion! We decided to leave the restaurant and made a complaint to the head waiter about the staff member. The head waiter was very apologetic and removed the cost of the dining from our bill! Entertainment The entertainment was very good on P&O and this is one of the positives that other cruise liners could take from P&O. We watched various shows and there was always something to do in the evenings. They had very good show times so you did not miss them. One show in particular we watched was "Mecury rising" Steve Larkin! His tribute Act was to Freddy Mercury and I can say he was a very good singer and played the piano as well. It would be so nice to see more acts like this on other Cruise ships!!! In General In our opinion this was our first cruise with P&O and there was a multitude of things that niggled us, a few you can over look but when their is a lot, they seem to pile up. (just to note I have not noted them all, too many to list) Our first port of call was Zeebrugge and we had booked to go into Brussels for the day and we had a lovely day, on arriving back at the ship we had been on around an hour when the Captain announced that we would not be travelling to Amsterdam due to reports that there was adverse weather conditions in the Netherlands and he had exhausted all avenues on where to take the ship, but he was left with no alternative but to drop the anchors just outside the port of Zeebrugge, and that all our safety was paramount ( which I do agree), however like I and lots and lots of other passengers said it did not seem right and thought it sounded quite suss!. Anyhow the ship ended up spending the night anchored outside Zeebrugge until the morning, and I must say the ship never moved all night (swaying motion). In the morning around 11.20 am the captain made another announcement that the weather was still not great, but we would try and head to Amsterdam and would take around 6 hrs to get there and he would come back to us all with his next decision. Whilst we set sail to Amsterdam the sea was not that bad, some slight swells and rain but that's all (we have experienced worse in the Caribbean sea). However around 6.20 pm the captain came back with another announcement that we were 30 miles from Amsterdam and we would not be going to dock at Amsterdam as the weather was not good conditions for the pilot to board the ship, and that we would be turning around and heading back to Southampton! On the way back again there was no movement in the ship and again passengers were all questioning the Captain decision!!! Just to point out no-one saw the Captain at all on this cruise, I guess he knew that guests were not happy! More to the point as we were disembarking we walked passed a VIP person and we heard them over talking about the captains decision and they said he should of went to Amsterdam. On a positive note, we did enjoy our New Years Eve dinner and party-ed hard till 5.00 am I believe that other passengers were still partying at 7.00 am..... the ship was very quite on New Years Day. As I said this was my first cruise with P&O, and I do not think I will rebook another cruise as other cruise company's seem to be miles ahead on lots of things. If you are looking for a cruise with good customer satisfaction who generally care about their customers, have great Gala dinners free champers and canapes and lots of other things to inspire you, then there are other cruises than just P&O. If this had been my first cruise experience then I truly believe I would not of bothered booking again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
This being our third sailing of Pride in past 12 months, mainly due to convenience of Baltimore port, we are in a good position to compare how she has done through the year. Answer, not so good. Reason, I think Carnival is asking less and ... Read More
This being our third sailing of Pride in past 12 months, mainly due to convenience of Baltimore port, we are in a good position to compare how she has done through the year. Answer, not so good. Reason, I think Carnival is asking less and less staff to do more and more. I base that on condition of cabin, service, and number of bar waiters. EMBARKATION: Just have to love Baltimore. Just no fuss, just everything so close. Drive in, baggage handlers take luggage right out of car, drive into parking lane, pay and park. Walk across and enter terminal. Staff in terminal area very nice and helpful. Security a bit more of a TSA approach than previously however making me remove laptop from carry on, a first at any cruise line security point. Really did feel like they had seen a TSA training video and thought they were them. Here's the point security, we are not boarding a secure aircraft. We are boarding a large ship where dinner knives, explosive materials, etc abound. We don't really have to bring it on board. I am a security profession by career, I know the big deal checkpoint is as useful in this regard as a t.t on a bull. The banning of photo's and cellphones is terminal area, really? If needed a picture would go on internet. The only other embarkation comment, really wish they would build a gantry entry instead of making people walk that long uphill 5 story back and forth gangway. It's like it never ends. We arrived about 11:30 disembarking still taking place as we knew it would be. Baltimore at least the Pride arrives late for cruise ships. CABIN: 6173 Ocean Suite - Rosario cabin steward friendly and responded to requests, extra pillow etc no problem. That said, when spare roll toilet paper gone not replaced until requested. Found LARGE empty gift type box behind garbage can left by previous passenger. One faucet obviously broken had to call for repair, top was in pieces. Balcony door handle and latch broken. Repair crew came took them hour and a lot of cutting and drilling to replace. Balcony chairs crusted with salt balcony filthy remained until I called guest services. Steward explained hose didn't work. Table mates told us their cabin, don't know number, plumbing leak had fans in there for days as carpet was soaked. DINING: Table 232 worked hard, great personality did their best but obviously too few people doing too much work. They did their best to be attentive can't complain about them but can about cruise line that is just cutting staff every chance they get if you ask me. Two now do the jobs that were once done by 5. You want escargot this has now been relegated to the $35 per person specialty restaurant. Food itself was excellent no complaints. And again not waiters fault that so few do so much. ENTERTAINMENT: Good, comics always nice touch and Macey is great. Overall decent cruise but have to admit that I think we are Carnival and especially Pride overdone. We will try RCL out of Baltimore for next sailing from there. Staff are trying hard but line is not giving them the tools needed to make this a great cruise any longer. Heck it was hard to find bar waiters at times. One thing they are NOT short of, photographers. maybe they should convert a few of them into wait staff. I like to smoke a cigar and was too cold on balcony coming and going. They have one lounge for cigar smoking, closed it two days for art auction. Day was open asked bar waiter passing by for a scotch, he said that bar was closed, pardon me? Adjacent bar open what's up with that, casino bar open right near there to. When hard to get a drink you know you are understaffed. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
My wife and myself decided to leave all of the work of Christmas and new year and let somebody else do all of the work to somebody else. Finding this cruise was by accident whilst surfing the net for particular travel destinations rather ... Read More
My wife and myself decided to leave all of the work of Christmas and new year and let somebody else do all of the work to somebody else. Finding this cruise was by accident whilst surfing the net for particular travel destinations rather than seeking out Costa as a cruise of choice. Having never been on a Costa ship and the deal being ever so good, we took the plunge and booked the cruise thinking that an Australian-New Zealand cruise would see many other English speaking guests embark at Melbourne and enjoy a Christmas and New Year break at sea. That was not so as the total passenger numbers totalled approximately only 800 (can carry approx 1800), the majority being made up of Italian (it is an Italian cruise liner after all), French, German and Russian passengers. A significant number of these passengers could not speak or did not try or want to speak English. This was a bit disappointing. Still trying to be positive just after sailing and trying to engage with other passengers with our limited Italian or French speaking skills, we soon formed the opinion that we were a hindrance to some passengers who perhaps wished us not to be on board. An Italian speaking Australian passenger, travelling with her husband and friends advised us she was mortified by some of the comments made by some Italian passengers in their language that were very derogative to non European travellers. I suppose that is the risk you take when taking a cruise on a ship with full prior knowledge of English not being the primary language. Our cruise commenced in Melbourne, Australia and believe it or not the compulsory lifeboat training drill was at 1.00am in the morning of the first day of departure. Absolutely ridiculous and these sentiments where echoed by all and sundry who presented their required attendance card to staff who marked you off as attending. Those that did not attend promptly were identified and found in their cabins and marched to their stations. There certainly was an assortment of clothing attire ranging from bedtime wear to suits. Quite amazing picking that time to do a drill. It was an unusual cruise atmosphere for us and apart from the ability to veg out for 21 days reading or sleeping, their was very little else to do on board. This ship has no theatre having been removed during the recent refit and replaced with a lavish day spa type area where you apparently can pamper yourself silly for an exorbitant fee. Over all our experience of the Costa Line and this ship was quite poor. The meals in the dining room were good to average. The cafeteria meals were poor to average. The staff though were attentive and tried their best. Smoking on board the ship is woeful and it was very unusual to see Senior and Junior ships staff, smoking, drinking coffee and cool drink (hopefully) in lounges in full view of paying passengers. This is the first time we have seen this done. Personally, we do not think that is professional. To the ships credit, the costly refit has been done well, but again the rocking and rolling of the ship with associated creaking sounds is a bit disconcerting and irritating. Not having free tea and coffee and cold/hot water available 24hrs a day is also something new to us and although the coffee costs throughout the ship were 2 to 3 euro per tiny cup it just was not worth it. In summary, you pay for what you get but if I had paid a full fare to be on this cruise instead of the heavily discounted fare we got I would have been banging on someones door demanding my money back. My advice to English only speaking passengers intending to travel with Costa, think again or take language lessons prior to the cruise! Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
My mom (84) treated us to a cruise and paid $30,000 for all 22 of us to enjoy this family vacation. She is handicapped and is in a wheelchair. After waiting over an hour in line to just get onto the ship, I found my sister crying because ... Read More
My mom (84) treated us to a cruise and paid $30,000 for all 22 of us to enjoy this family vacation. She is handicapped and is in a wheelchair. After waiting over an hour in line to just get onto the ship, I found my sister crying because Carnival screwed up and did not have a handicapped room for my mom. I called Kevin from Carnival Cruise lines since we booked it with him. I called him on his cellphone and he told me that since it was a Sunday and he was not in the office, he could not do anything about it! We had to go to Guest Services and the woman (Anna) told us that when everyone boarded the ship, she will see what she could do for us! Well, to make a long story short, they never moved my mom or was able to accommodate her. Her wheelchair couldn't fit in the room. There was a step up to the bathroom. We had to get 2 people to lift her into the bathroom each time she needed the restroom. They brought us a half-mooned chair for her to sit on so we could bathe her in the shower. We had to move the table out to the balcony in order just to move around in the room. It was horrible!!! The food on the cruise was fair. With the exception of the ice cream and the chocolate melting cake dessert, all of the other desserts were awful. The formal night was such a disappointment. Not only was there no one in a tux, but most men were in golf shirts or buttoned shirts with no jackets. It was not a dressy event. We never even saw the Captain. On Christmas morning, we waited in line down the steps just to get into the dining room to eat breakfast. We were expecting Lobster tail for Christmas dinner since it was our Captain's dinner and our formal night, but they served turkey and filet instead. The desserts were the same as the rest of the week. There was no special attention for Christmas dinner. In fact, the only Christmas special treat was the Christmas show that you couldn't get a seat to see it because it was after Bingo and everyone stayed in their seat from Bingo!! The ship did not have a deck party on the last two nights and that was very disappointing. They had the deck party on the night before we were getting up early for Jamaica. We were wishing that they had it the following night because we were going to be at sea the next day or even the last night. The lines for the Lido deck buffet were ridiculous! We wasted more time in lines. We never got to eat the Mongolian Buffet stir fry because the lines were out into the hallway EVERY DAY!!!! It was at least an hour wait just to get the stir fry. The so called "Good Eats" or midnight buffet was an absolute disgrace. I wish I took a picture of it. It had the baby shrimp from the can and old crusty cheese and stale cookies. It had olives, fruit and one chafing dish of a deep fried item! It was horrible. My kids were looking forward to the ice cream bar and the ice cream bar consisted of ice cream only! There was not even a sprinkle or one topping! We were never able to get a lounge chair at the pool. People save them with towels and we were never lucky to get one. The sign said that they removed the towels after 40 minutes, but no one was doing this. The pools were also were really small for 3000 people. We were really surprised of the size! The casino and the floor it was on was smoky too! It took us over an hour to get off of the ship. Again, we waited in lines! We waited in more lines on this vacation including to get back on the ship from the ports. Pros: Staff and bartenders and waiters were nice and friendly. Ship was clean. Shows were good. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012

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