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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
My wife and I have done 29 cruises, mostly ocean but several European river cruises. My wife likes new ships so we decided to do the American Duchess. Overall, the ship is fine but we seemed to notice that dinning room service was ... Read More
My wife and I have done 29 cruises, mostly ocean but several European river cruises. My wife likes new ships so we decided to do the American Duchess. Overall, the ship is fine but we seemed to notice that dinning room service was lacking. We couldn’t quite determine the problem. Not sure if the dinning room was poorly designed in that the tables were too far from the kitchen or maybe they were under staffed or even poorly trained. It didn’t matter which meal it was all the same. For breakfast it took for ever to get that first cup of coffee and a refill later was sparse. We had to ask for juice always. The waiters seemed to be very busy despite the dinning room being less that half full. In fact some of them walked very fast back and forth from some where but nothing seemed to get done. The waiters were very kind and friendly and apologized often for late food, etc. I have one suggestion, and that would be to hire a helper or two for the waiter staff just to fill coffee, water glasses, rolls, juice, and bus some dirty tables. Some tables were left cluttered the whole time we were in there. The buffets were not any better, sometimes there were no plates or bowls or they were out of soup or salad item,etc. Overall dinning seemed to be very disorganized and at best I would have to rate it 2star. Other guests we talked to concurred. At times my wife and I would bet each other on whether we would get that dinner roll or that second cup of coffee,etc.. Overall, the ship is in good shape, the cabins are large for a river boat, and the staff is very friendly. It is just the dinning experience is not any thing close to 5star. These cruises are expensive, and when paying over $1000 per day per cabin plus tips you should expect good dinning service. In short, we did not find this good value for the money. I think we will stick to European rivers and the Ocean. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
We decided to do this as a Christmas cruise with my parents as well as to celebrate their anniversary and my mom's birthday. This was my 8th cruise with Carnival so I kind of know what to expect in terms of how things go. I was ... Read More
We decided to do this as a Christmas cruise with my parents as well as to celebrate their anniversary and my mom's birthday. This was my 8th cruise with Carnival so I kind of know what to expect in terms of how things go. I was pleasantly surprised by the embarkation process. They now put your room keys in your mailbox on the ship so there were no lines and simply needed to flash our boarding pass and Since this was a "Journeys" cruise, we were expecting more in terms of exposing us to the different foods and cultures of the islands/ports we would be visiting, as advertised. We sort of got that, but let me just say, the food in the dining room for dinner was horrid just about every night. The most exciting part of dinner..dessert was an even bigger disaster every night. If you saw the pie crust they used for their pie of the day every night, you would weep in sorrow. It was like the pie filling sandwiched between two pieces of cardboard. I kid you not. The cafeteria (lido deck) at lunch time would be your best bet for food and I would always enjoy their BBQ upstairs. Desserts in lido were also way better than in the dining room. Breakfast in the dining room was a plus actually. They offered things like avocado toast and broken egg sandwiches Seaday Brunch was not a highlight, however, as these items weren't on that menu and I'd usually go with the steak and eggs but they almost always overcooked my fried eggs! But I will note, I never starved on the ship or anything, but the food almost always left something to be desired, especially dinner in the dining room. I believe quality has diminished because I do not recall it being this lackluster in all of my other Carnival cruises. The worst part was the entertainment. I agree with another review here that said it reminded them of a high school production. I mean, the singing and dancing was very sub-par. I don't know what happened! There also was only one variety act in the entire cruise and my last cruise I went on in 2016, we only had to endure something like two of the Carnival dancers productions and the rest was variety acts like jugglers, magicians, etc. That was enjoyable! I went to one comedy show and he was okay. Overall, there was a serious decline in the quality of the entertainment overall was not good. We actually found ourselves heading back to our room and watching movies on TV after dinner most nights and on seadays..well, there wasn't much to do other than the Academy of Fun sessions. Not a lot going on that didn't require you to spend more money. Way too much BINGO lol Anyway, I have to say, after this cruise, we are thinking of trying a more "upscale" cruise line. I'm just disappointed that it seems quality has diminished from Carnival and it wasn't like we're talking the best of the best of cruise lines either. They didn't have too far to go to be at the bottom and well, now, they are getting closer to that. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2016
The ships seemed to be a little short handed in crew or very over booked. There was a lot of mess ups on the schedule of when things were going on. Like elegant night was a big mess up, I heard lots of compliants on it. The shows were ... Read More
The ships seemed to be a little short handed in crew or very over booked. There was a lot of mess ups on the schedule of when things were going on. Like elegant night was a big mess up, I heard lots of compliants on it. The shows were messed up on schedule. A lot of peoples clothes were wet. My husband spend 12 bucks to dry his laundry the first night. A lot of complaint people didn't get luggage till 9 that night. There was not as good chooses on the food menu as usual. One night of cheesecake and one night of cream boulea. Our room was hot all the time so not much sleep. Not a lot to do but shop and play bean bag toss and go to the spa events on ship days. The best part by far was the New Years Eve Party. It was great. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Unless you pay for the more extravagant excursions, most coastal Mexican towns/ports are very similar with a lot of souvenir shops and pushy junk vendors. In Puerta Vallarta, the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe is a must see. In ... Read More
Unless you pay for the more extravagant excursions, most coastal Mexican towns/ports are very similar with a lot of souvenir shops and pushy junk vendors. In Puerta Vallarta, the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe is a must see. In Mazatlan, the open air buses were down, so there was no affordable way to see the city. In Cabo San Lucas, the Harbor is beautiful and the best view of it is from the ship. A quick trip (1 hour) to shore to see some seals, pelicans and other wildlife was all you needed. On-board, the crew and staff were friendly and helpful, our stateroom steward was great. The entertainment was good (some of the musical acts were very loud and garbled), The food was fair, except for La Cucina was excellent and Chin Chin was terrible. The New Year's Eve Party was very fun with our traveling friends. The Game Shows were cute and funny, Trivia was a great place to meet other passengers, although several of the MCs had very thick accents and were very hard to understand. In some cases, it turned into a game that the first team to decipher the question in English deserved an extra point. We will take more cruises, and would not rule NCL, but this cruise did not instill any significant loyalty beyond the value (Free Ultimate Drink Package, Tips included, $100 on-board credit plus a great price from our travel agent). A great All-inculsive vacation to be remembered. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Retirement present for self and Husband. Never been on a cruise before, went with another couple who were seasoned at cruising. Staff on ship friendly, but lack of contact communication from Thompson reps, seemed to walk past the ... Read More
Retirement present for self and Husband. Never been on a cruise before, went with another couple who were seasoned at cruising. Staff on ship friendly, but lack of contact communication from Thompson reps, seemed to walk past the passengers without any communication. Cabin staff worked very hard, and keen to please, our. Cabin was on the outside, but spoiled by air conditioner and engine noise, and vibration at all times Fantastic food, available at any time Great not to have to worry about cash as all inclusive, but this lead to abuse of alcohol especially with youngsters. Great New Year Party organised. Despite an adults only pool, children were often the occupier of this facility. The ship did look dated and tired, but not too big which made getting about easy. Trips, especially the 4 x 4 into the mountains was a complete waste of money, -driver couldn't speak any English, and the entire journey was in silence, photo stop on way back for electric pylon!!- what is that about??- should have complained but just glad to get back to ship.Sight seeing trip in Dubai was also a disaster due to fog- in realty saw absolutely nothing- pity there was no provision when the trip organisers knew the weather was against what the aim was. Unsure if I would cruise again-didn't float my boat! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Not the Royal Expectation we expect for spending Christmas and New Year on board Anthem of the Seas. So much has been said about the ship itself. One would expect this particular cruise to be of some differences at least, because this is ... Read More
Not the Royal Expectation we expect for spending Christmas and New Year on board Anthem of the Seas. So much has been said about the ship itself. One would expect this particular cruise to be of some differences at least, because this is Christmas and New Year. We like the deco and design of the ship, very similar to some of the Princess Cruise ship that we have experienced before. The interior of the ship is very well decorated, cabin color is very warm, with lots of room for storage. Unlike Allure of the Seas, Oasis and Freedom of the Seas which have much larger Promenade Space. The common areas at times feel very congested. Breakfast at the Windjammer is usually crowded, choice of food bad, breakfast menu same every day, finding a place for two some time could be a challenge. Personally we like Two70 better, very quiet, limited choice but very healthy diet. We both are not a lunch person (no comments) Dinner at the Grande is one of the worst by far. Imagine having Fish&Chip in fast food restaurants. (fish over cook and dry)Garlic Shrimp Entrees for dinner is not any bigger than shrimp salad cocktail. Numerous starters and entrees having to repeat at least once. Royal Caribbean you are very lucky to have Anoop,Lujan and Maricris as your employees.(Table 313)They all defended the Company well, when we complain that the food was not so great. Trying to make up for the not so good dinner every day, we will serve complimentary cheese to go with our wine each evening (by your wait staff) Lucky draw at Regalia is very unprofessional, we were ask which is the Real Diamond from the three on display in the show case. The correct answer should be all three (not diamond #1, #2 or #3) Ballot with a partial correct answer should not be considered for the draw. This only justified the products you sell are genuine and not otherwise. Personally I have a mixed reaction if someone pick diamond #1.Then #2 and #3 must be fake. (Do RC sell fake diamonds?) The group of us confronted the Manager and his staff about how the draw was conducted and how the rest was unfairly treated with the 100% correct answer. Your Manager from Romania reply (I'm the boss I decide) what an attitude. I told him that we will post our review on line. His reply... RC don't really care. This one is for all of us, we all wanted great deals, fine food, excellent service, and everything that is available for holidays on board the ship. The amount of food that is left behind after we are done having breakfast, lunch or dinner is disgusting (are we really the waste society of the world?) Imagine having to pay for every meals on board..... I'm sure you are not the person you are going to be. Cruise fare could be a lot less if all of us make the first move not to waste on food, and teach our kids take only what he or she can consume. Last and not least The headliner, Spectra, We will rock you show and The Gifts, are not up to mine expectations. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Traveled for the Christmas week on the Epic. Our group was a party of 6 with two large balcony cabins. We were 4 adults and 2 teens. Embarkation was very easy. No lines at 11 AM. Staff greeted us with a smile and we were easily on board ... Read More
Traveled for the Christmas week on the Epic. Our group was a party of 6 with two large balcony cabins. We were 4 adults and 2 teens. Embarkation was very easy. No lines at 11 AM. Staff greeted us with a smile and we were easily on board and on our way to the buffet area. We had the drink package and immediately began to use it with a cocktail of the day. Amazingly, there was outdoor food ready for us!! The buffet opened shortly after that. We did wait a long time to get to our cabins, and when asking how soon it would be, I was told "when it's ready we will let you know" A bit curt, but oh well! Cabin was as described...........strange but doable Lots of storage but awful lighting and outlets awful. Bring along some extra extensions of some sort.. Met our wonderful cabin steward, Rosalee, who remembered our names from the first time we met! How do they do this???? She did all that she could to meet our needs but was never intrusive. Will get back to cabin issues in another section of this review. Been on several cruises and feel this food was some of the best. Have read other reviews of this ships food and can't understand why all the complaints? Ate in 3 specialty restaurants and all were great!!! Mostly ate beef the entire trip, so after I have my arteries cleared, will stay off beef for awhile! Drinks were good and plentiful and service was very good for the most. Wonderful service in Cagney's and Tempanaki !!! Catered to our shell fish allergic granddaughter, always watching to be certain there was no cross contamination. Entertainment was as good as any ship we have been on and we were sure to have made reservations as we knew this would be a very crowded cruise. Husband liked the casino, but was unlucky! Felt some of the big events held in the Atrium should have been moved to the theater as there was just too much crowding and not nearly enough places to sit. Actual shipboard activities were just OK. As always pool deck very over crowded and seat savers the usual problem as on all cruises. Basically used my own large balcony instead. Bought admission for the adult only water spa and enjoyed the peace and quiet and huge water features for the entire week.Very clean! Thought Epic did a good job celebrating Christmas all week....music, movies etc. Did not do any tours this time as we had been to these islands previously. Also there was the need to tender and water was rough for me to safely get on and off the ship.Missed Jamaica due to high winds, so felt bad for my grand kids. Now the ugly! We noticed that our carpet in the cabin was very wet and reported it in the A.M. We were having room service in our cabin when maintenance knocked and asked if they could come in to check. No problem we said. They failed to mention that they were going to open a drain while we were eating!!!! Quite an odor! We quickly went outside on the balcony to finish our meal and when we went back in, they had left two very large pieces of equipment to quickly dry up the carpet. Now we all know how small these cabins are and it is next to impossible to get past the bed to begin with, so having a large fan and a dehumidifier in the ONLY walking space was quite a trick!! Also the volume of noise was unbelievable!!!!! So after we tried our best to get ready, we left the cabin for the day. They were still in place when we came back to rest and had to call maintenance to haul them away. Carpet never really dried and on the night of day 4 it happened again!! Really nasty!!! Back with the fans etc! Now on the last night of out cruise, while packing, I received a call from customer relations asking if we would please move out for the night to a cabin one flight up. Ummm, I don't think so! They then proceed to say they were concerned with our health...think MOLD.....really?? How about the last 6 days? If they had another cabin to move us to, then why didn't they? Originally said ship was at capacity. Where did the people who were in this new found cabin go? Did they leave them on last port? Were they sleeping on the pool deck? Did they jump ship? Made no sense and so declined. What they really wanted was to run those fans all night to cover up the wet carpet for the oncoming next day guest!!!! Well good luck with that as they never did find the problem. For a week of soggy carpet the generously compensated us $100 Probably not nearly enough to cover one of the medical tests we may need for mold disease!!!!! All in all it was a good cruise if you eliminate the carpet stuff and our inability to stop in Jamaica. Nothing is perfect. When dealing with 4,000+ passengers you must expect some blips, so get over most of these issues. Again, special thanks to our room steward, Rosalie!!!!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
good value for the dollar we got two holidays in one trip. The dining was our only issue, the waiter was not very friendly or sociable just stuck to his job and staff was under sized as our waiter's helper had 4 tables to handle ... Read More
good value for the dollar we got two holidays in one trip. The dining was our only issue, the waiter was not very friendly or sociable just stuck to his job and staff was under sized as our waiter's helper had 4 tables to handle when they normally have two . My request on first dining seating for raw sugar was quickly shot down as our waiter said they were out of that kind and should be getting some tomorrow so i was like ok. Next evening at dinner same story so i questioned why the windjammer has tons of raw sugar, he had no explanation and walk away at that time i said to my wife" I am tired of this crap" and I was going to customer service to complain,when out of nowhere the helper brings the sugar and never had a issue with sugar the rest of cruise. Now the food from start to finish of cruise was always lukewarm and is unacceptable,I said something to head waiter but that was useless, one night I ordered the meatballs and they were raw inside, head waiter got me new order and same thing raw inside,so he got me 3rd order except this time had more gravy on top, when cut open raw again he said they all are like that, to dip in gravy you will never see the color, then walked away. I could not believe what he said, after all the warnings about eating undercooked food. Ship overall is in average shape and could use some updating, showers are too small and the shower curtain stuck to you like glue. Toilets wont flush at times seems like maintenance is fixing them all the time. Shore excursions where costly, certain taxis were costly when doing your own thing, we did group tours which were reasonable from 15 to 40 a person.The galley tour n brunch was well worth the 20 bucks,fillet mignon was on the menu all you can eat, highly recommend.Staff was friendly and very helpful.Shows were very good .Overall I have been on this ship 3 times and this was the worst for food quality and dinner service. The park cafe is the pits,they have no wraps, no turkey, no made to order sandwiches unless it was a panini,the burgers,fries,hot dogs,pizza was always cold. Younger kids constantly ran around the ship some were pressing the elevator buttons some just causing noise. I would do cruise again as this was the first time for some issues that we did not experience on prior cruises with this ship. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
I was so looking forward to my first Christmas Cruise - but 16 nights later I was glad to disembark- disappointed is an understatement - the entertainment was dreadful - and the entertainment team - all five of them - had little experience ... Read More
I was so looking forward to my first Christmas Cruise - but 16 nights later I was glad to disembark- disappointed is an understatement - the entertainment was dreadful - and the entertainment team - all five of them - had little experience - they were geared for entertaining children - not passengers of a mature age - and calling for Santa on Christmas Eve to come out of the funnel went down like a ton of bricks - perhaps Christmas Carols might have been more appropriate- so we waited with baited breath to see what had been planned for Christmas Day apart from a five course dinner - in a word -.nothing - the Horiszon was the same as the previous day with the exception of a film - BFG at 2pm which we went to to pass the afternoon - boredom was setttimg in fast - I was quizzed out but the end of the trip - wasn't into line dancing - didn't want to learn bridge - and wondered occasionally if passengers were asleep or dead - The evening entertainment left a lot to be desired apart from a coup,e of acts - and News Years Eve - was thrown together at the last moment - three or four venues all doing different things - the captain managed to prevent the usual countdown to midnight in the Harlequin- 8 bells eithervside of midnight and that was it - bit of a damp squid - and the dancing re started - The food was excellent as was the service in the dining room and our cabin - but P& O may have a a large fan base but they want to pull their socks up and not take us for granted - change the entertainment and entertainers - don't treat elderly passengers as if we are all on our last legs - Yes I am aware I will have people telling me to stop moanimg etc - but we spent a lot of money for a Christmas Cruise expecting something really special - Apart from the tan - I wish I had stayed at home Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2015
We flew from Glasgow to Newark and stayed overnight in New York, prior to boarding the Norwegian Breakaway on 20 December 2015 for a 7 day Christmas Cruise to Florida and the Bahamas. The ship was very busy as you might expect. I have ... Read More
We flew from Glasgow to Newark and stayed overnight in New York, prior to boarding the Norwegian Breakaway on 20 December 2015 for a 7 day Christmas Cruise to Florida and the Bahamas. The ship was very busy as you might expect. I have nothing bad to say about the cabin, the crew or the entertainment as it was all good. However, I do think they need to rethink their port stops as there are only three and it appears that they regularly miss at least one of them, making it a long time at sea. The itinerary was meant to be: Day 1 & 2: At sea Day 3: Port Canaveral, Florida Day 4: Great Stirrup Cay (private Island) Day 5: Nassau, Bahamas Days 6 &7: Two days The ports are sandwiched between two days at sea on either end of the cruise and as there are only three, they are important. Our first port was meant to be Port Canaveral on day three of the cruise, where many families had spent a lot of money arranging trips to the Space Centre and to Walt Disneyworld. For whatever reason ( it was never explained) the ship didn't arrive in the port until 2 pm which meant that all visits were heavily curtailed. I felt really sorry for some of the families who had spent a small fortune on travelling to Disney but only managed a couple of hours there. Furthermore, as the ship was so late in berthing, the RCI Anthem of the Seas also pulled in alongside which meant that there was insufficient transport to take passengers away from the port. An absolute logistical disaster. The following day was meant to be spent at Great Stirrup Cay, NCL's private island and everyone on board was really looking forward to it, given the previous day's events. By mid-morning, we were still at sea and it wasn't until after 11 am that the Captain came on to the PA to announce that we wouldn't be going there as the tenders couldn't get in. Fair enough, I thought, as this was always a possibility. Later on, whilst checking online and speaking to the crew, this is a common occurrence for this destination and the tenders often don't make it. As an alternative, we travelled to Nassau early, but it was pitch dark and no one left the ship. There will always be adverse conditions that affect the ability of the ship to berth at certain ports, however NCL should reconsider this itinerary if they arrive late at the first stop and often don't make it to the second. I might cruise with NCl again, but I cannot recommend this itinerary for the reasons given; its too high risk. Read Less

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