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999 Holiday Cruise Reviews

As a Marriott Rewards Platinum status guy, we always took our vacations to Marriott properties. Well on our last Marriott stay over Spring Break at the Harbor Beach property, we walked to the end of the beach and saw the awesome cruise ... Read More
As a Marriott Rewards Platinum status guy, we always took our vacations to Marriott properties. Well on our last Marriott stay over Spring Break at the Harbor Beach property, we walked to the end of the beach and saw the awesome cruise ships enter and leave the port. It looked exciting and made me curious. Well our Christmas vacation opened up and we booked a pretty last minute 8 day Southern Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Freedom so we would be . We have 3 kids (14,12, and 7) and love beach vacations. We had such a great time that I booked the week after Christmas again on the Carnival Sunshine for 2015. We booked side-by-side balcony rooms on the 8th floor. At first disappointed that they didn't adjoin, but on board, found out that the wall between them swung open. Perfect for keeping the girl mess away from the boy mess with the ability to walk back and forth. The rooms and balcony were what we expected. Appropriately sized for a cruise. I can't tell you how much time I spent on that balcony. The sounds, views, colors, waves, and just feeling humidity again was priceless. We went to Grand Turk, Dominican Republic, Aruba and Curacao. We booked Carnival excursions for Grand Turk (Reef and Rays) and Aruba (Catamaran snorkeling and dinner). In the DR, we booked a private excursion to the Chavron River cruise and somewhat of an adventure day learning about the area, kayaking, and swinging into the river. Of the 4 spots, Grand Turk had the clearest water with Curacao coming in second. Easy to tell with GoPro pics. All of the excursions were well organized and planned out. In Curacao, we hit Cas Abao beach as we need a chill out day. Awesome beach. Public with a Amstel Bright food hut, nice locals and Euros and only a few fellow cruisers. Chairs were $3 and lunch for 5 with beers ran $40. The cab roundtrip for $100 for 5 of us. it was about a 25 minute ride from the ship. As far as the ship time, it honestly was a fun crowd. Again we have kids so are used to craziness and somewhat enjoy it. The pool scene was a blast with the DJ on Sea Days. It was a young crowd so think Spring Break minus the nudity. Kids and parents dancing and participating was awesome to watch and be in. The water slide was fun too and I think my little guy and I played 27 holes of mini golf a day. At night, with kids of differing ages and genders, we had so many options. Movies outside at the pool on the big screen, saw the 80's show, a Magician/comedian, Action comedy show and also the comedy club. Loved them all. It was nice that they were short, like 45 minutes, so you could also have time to hit the game room, swim, whatever. As far as dining on the boat, the Posh Lower dining room was nice and our staff couldn't have been any friendlier. The food options were good. Was it Chicago 5 star? No, but again with kids we just like variety and 4 star will suffice. Breakfast buffett had the usual and was easy to get what you needed quickly. Suprisinly, the coffee was awesome and I'm a Starbucks guy. Lunch we had Tacos at the Cantina or Burgers at Guys. Both of those places were poolside and our go-to's. Awesome pork tacos and even better cheese burgers. I could go on forever how much I liked everything. I even enjoyed the casino and I lost money!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
EMBARKATION Embarkation was at Princess Pier, Melbourne after flying in fom Adelaide that Morning  And bussing to pier from airport Booking in took about 45 mins and we were on board in no time After dropping our hand luggage to our ... Read More
EMBARKATION Embarkation was at Princess Pier, Melbourne after flying in fom Adelaide that Morning  And bussing to pier from airport Booking in took about 45 mins and we were on board in no time After dropping our hand luggage to our cabin (deck 8, Dolphin 344) we were surprised to find our cases already delivered to our cabin. We then went to the buffet for a latel lunch CABIN We had cabin 344 on Dolphin deck, an obstructed view which was not too badly obstructed at all It was very small with a cramped bathroom so much so that when I sat on the toilet the bathroom door had to be open for my feet to hang out through the door. Access to the wardrobes was not possible with the bathroom door open. There was a fridge in the room. An Australian type power point (one only) was in the room above the fridge. We had a double adaptor which met our charging requirements adequately. I am not sure if power boards are allowed to be brought on board. A small safe was also in the room. No tea making facilities were supplied and the only water available was from the hand bowl in the bathroom. The shower space was adequate and I am a big bloke and did not have any difficulty showering. The shower was very good with plenty of pressure and hot water. A retractable clothes line was in the showe space. Liquid soap and shampoo were supplied on the wall in the shower and a cake of soap appeared every couple of days for the hand bowl. The was more than adequate clothes hanging space in the wardrobes and coat hangers were in plentiful supply There were also plenty of drawers in the cupboard between the singles beds. We asked for twin beds as if they were made up into a queen size bed there was barely enough space to get around each side of the bed. Two very soft pillows were supplied for each bed and the mattresses were very comfortable and soft. Suit cases when unpacked fitted easily under each bed out of the way. A hair dryer ws supplied but we did not use it so cannot comment on it's usefulness Fresh towels appeared at least twice a day. We requested a jug of ice each day and Roberto our steward made sure it was there daily. We hardly saw our steward as he knew when we were at breakfast or not in the cabin and it was always cleaned and made up unobtrusely when we were not there. Likewise at night when we were at dinner the room was turned down for the night withe the choccies on the pillows It was noisy outside our cabin as a crew entrance to and from the service areas of the ship was opposite our cabin door but the noise didn't bother us too much DINING we had first sitting dining in the Florentine dining room on a table of eight. Our table companions were a good bunch and we all got along fine. There were three Americans on the table (not too many of them on the ship at all) and the rest of us were Australians Our table and drink waiters were excellent and nothing was too much trouble for them. The food was of the usual Princess high standard and was served exquisitely the menu choices were extensive and if something you wanted wasn't on the menu the waiters usually found something to your liking The Lido buffet we found to be good with a good variety of food and we had no trouble finding seats The food was always hot and the buffet waiters were always very helpful especially getting you hot drinks We did not try out the specialty Stirling steak house. We had several pizzas from the pizzeria and they were very good with good service. Pasta and salad dishes were also available. We did not try the grill bar on deck 12 ENTERTAINMENT A mixed bag with most of the live shows,especially the ship's orchestra and dancers very good A "pop violinist" was the highlight of the visiting performers as was a NZ comediaThe string quartet were also good mainly playing in the atrium but they did do a stage performance in the theatre one night which was excellent. The was a bloke on the piano on deck 7 in the Atrium who sang popular songs to his own accompiament but he was a woeful singer It would have been much better if he just played the piano and shut up The two singers in the Wheelhouse bar were very good and popular with the passengers Trivia was held twice a day and some days three times and was popular and well attended NOROVIRUS The cruise immediately before ours had an outbreak of norovirus with reports of 400 plus being affected by it. Our embarkation in Melbourne was held up while the crew disinfected the whole ship for the first couple of days passengers were not allowed to serve themselves in the buffet with waiters handing out whatever portions onto your plate. In the main dining rooms bread rolls and butter portions were not placed on he tables but were served to you by the waiters After two or three days things returned to normal but not before my wife became very ill before we reached our first port at Auckland and me coming down 2 days later. We experienced violent vomiting and dihoearrea for 24 hours.We were both quarantined to our cabin for 24 hours each time with the nurse checking on us periodically and giving me an injection The "Hit Squad "came in 3 times a day and disinfected the whole cabin. Strangely enough, our diagnosis was ACUTE GASTROENTERITIS AND NOT NOROVIRUS. I think by this time norovirus had become a dirty word on the ship and no one wanted to hear anymore about it. I cannot speak highly enough about the medical staff and the "hit squads" who did the disinfecting. The only thing I am upset about was that I was of my tucker for over 2 days THE LIFTS This turned out to be a major annoyance to most passengers. The lifts were totally inadequate to service the requirements of passengers. On the forward lifts one lift was out of service for practically the whole cruise. The other lifts ere out of synchronisation with three lifts being at the same decks at the same time to be more than a coincidence. This needs to be attended to urgently bt Princess DISEMBARKATION Went very smoothly with us being off the ship when called and on the airport bus within 25 minutes. No complaints her SUMMARY All in all despite my grizzles and our bout of sickness, we had a good cruise Princess lived up to their high standards despite "Dawn" showing her age with rust being continuously being painted over, carpets being replaced while we were aboard, furniture in public areas showing obvious wear and tear and other fittings looking tired. I believe she is due for a refit about May so those things should be attended to We will be back JOCELYN &JOHN Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This was our second sailing with Celebrity. We had never cruised over Christmas and thought it might be a new fun way to celebrate the holidays- stress free. We did enjoy our week but if you are thinking of sailing the high seas over a ... Read More
This was our second sailing with Celebrity. We had never cruised over Christmas and thought it might be a new fun way to celebrate the holidays- stress free. We did enjoy our week but if you are thinking of sailing the high seas over a major holiday remember the KIDS will be everywhere. Our last time on Celebrity there were maybe 8 kids on the entire ship. This time we heard there were 700! It felt slightly like children had overtaken the ship and were running amuck. It did not ruin our cruise but it did seem to spread the crew thin and frazzled most guests. The lobby was very festive for Christmas but I would have loved to see one crèche as they did have a menorah. The beautiful lobby common areas were draped in garland with lights and they had a huge gingerbread collection. The Christmas show was just perfect and my favorite of any Celebrity show I have ever seen. The talented and beautiful Claire Vinkesteijn made all of it possible. We had the best massage of our entire lives from Karen. This was our first time experiencing Aqua Class. WOW. BLU is worth Aqua all on its own. yes there is a cool shower head and yes since only two per cabin for aqua class we had peace and quiet near our cabin but BLU was just amazing. The service impeccable. We also loved the foot stool on the balcony and spent many hours enjoying the sea. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Our first time with NCL and we have only cruised 3 times previously one of these with RCI the others were out of Europe. We chose this ship because of its Freestyle cruising and because we wanted to do the Caribbean and get some Winter ... Read More
Our first time with NCL and we have only cruised 3 times previously one of these with RCI the others were out of Europe. We chose this ship because of its Freestyle cruising and because we wanted to do the Caribbean and get some Winter sun. We loved: our balcony room, very comfy bed, fantastic efficient stateroom steward. The food both in the buffet and Indigo and the Summer Palace. Eating breakfast on the outside deck at the back of the ship and seeing the island we had arrived at. The omelette chef who would also cook you a fresh fried egg over easy. Plentiful fresh fruit and amazing breakfast choices. Our couples massage in the Spa which left us feeling so relaxed we had a 3 hour afternoon nap back in our room! The adults only pool on the pool deck and jacuzzzi's. Jim the Piano man in Magnums who made us laugh every night with his dry sense of humour. The amazing acrobatic husband and wife. The amazing Christmas decorations in the Atrium and the Christmas Eve singalong which brought a teàr to my eye. St Lucia our favourite island green and vibrant and our Segway Adventure with Sheldon and the guys. The beautiful Koki beach at St Thomas where we spent Christmas Day. The new friends we made and celebrated NYE with. We didn't like: The time it took to get onto the ship in Miami and the chaotic lines and not knowing where one ended and another started. The Bistro and La Cucina we wished we didn't bother and pay the extra it just wasn't worth it. Some of the shows in the Stardust Theatre and the very annoying Joel and Joey! The fact that anytime music was played on the pool deck if you wanted to dance you couldn't unless you took part in the "line" dances. We may be older but we still would like a boogie occasionally! Very disappointing Caribbean night poolside. Lacking in atmosphere and appropriate music. Have they never heard of reggae and calypso!! The 12 dollar each service charge just put it on the price of the cruise if it is compulsory. Large groups of teenagers being very loud and disrespectful to others as if hey owned the ship. The Best of Aruba tour with only 15 minutes for the beach. Silly tannoy reminders for activities. Would have preferred to have stayed a bit longer in some of the ports. Our shore excursion was cancelled an hour before we were due to leave the ship. The guy at the desk was less than helful in advising us of what else we could have done. Overall lack of information about the ports if you wanted to do something independantly. Feeling like a second class citizen when being told that one of the lifts was only available for the Haven cruisers when we got on and the same when getting off. Overall we really enjoyed it and are hoping to do the Alaska cruise with the Pearl in the future. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
My family consist of my husband and myself , two boys ages nearly 10 & 17 and my father. We had an effortless flight from Manchester to Barbados. I must say I dislike having to pay for soft drinks on such a long flight. Food was ... Read More
My family consist of my husband and myself , two boys ages nearly 10 & 17 and my father. We had an effortless flight from Manchester to Barbados. I must say I dislike having to pay for soft drinks on such a long flight. Food was edible enough. On arrival at Barbados we were promptly escorted on to a A/C bus and driven to the cruise terminal. this usually takes about 45Mins, our driver decided to take the back roads and we arrived within 20 mins. Check in at the cruise terminal is my only bug bear, there must be a simplier system and I feel all passengers should be offered refreshments whilst we wait in line. especially after such a long journey. I really hate been asked to have a photo taken as we board the ship for the first time.! Who wants a picture taken after travelling so long. As we had been on Ventura several times before, we were able to locate our cabins very quickly. Cabins were clean and tidy and adequate foe all our needs A202,A206 balcony cabins deck 12. Cabin boy quickly introduced himself. we noticed our beds had been set up incorrectly, this was mentioned and was sorted upon our return several hours later. Cases arrived very quickly. Within an hour of arriving my youngest was ready to sign up to the Kids clubs. I was happy to be advised that the 9-12 yrs now had to be signed in and out { this wasnt the case previous years and i was a little dubious) I for one would not want my nearly 10 yr old wandering out around the boat whenever he felt he wanted to. I wasnt really impressed with the stickers attached to our cruise cards as they allowed only us to pick up our child. My older son is nearly 17 and I would have like to have been able to send him to pick up the younger one on the odd occasion. As usual the kids club staff were fantastic, i struggle to get my son to spend time with us on the cruise as he loves kids club so much. These staff do a brilliant job with them. I get a little fed up with some reviewers moaning about kids splashing in the pool and wandering around the ship. My kids are very well behaved and in all honesty never saw any unruly kids, but it's there holiday too its a xmas cruise, if you don't like kids dont' go on a family friendly ship. There are plenty of adult only cruises to choose from. I wasn't impressed with the pool attendants this year , they were like the naughty police and really were not needed. They just spoilt the fun for everyone. We had Freedom dining, got a table everytime. Food was adequate but not great. Enjoyed all of the specialised eateries, The white room, east and the glass house. I was disappointed that a surcharge had been added to eat at the beach hut. A little too greedy P & O. The way passengers have to queue to be allocated at table for Christmas day and new years eve, is disgusting. I personally queued for 2.5 hours, other up to 4 hours. The have immigration to a tee why can't they do the same for the tables for special days ???? Entertainment was ok. Really enjoyed Paul Eastwood the comedian and Robbie Williams tribute. A little disappointed with everything else. There is so much talent out there, why are P & O not finding it. We had excursions from the ship but we also did some of our own trips, all thoroughly enjoyed. Enjoyed all the Islands. My only other complaint is the films on the interactive TV, Jaws is over 20 years old we should'nt have to be paying for films at all after what we pay for the cruise in the first place. We are booked to go on the Xmas cruise on Brittannia I hope P & O are taking notes of everyone's concerns as certain things do need revampling. Other than a few hiccups we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves on this cruise. I certainly would rather be on the lively Ventura than the boring block of high rise flats docked at the side of us on St Maarten.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Just returned from the Caribbean Fiesta aboard the Queen Mary 2, a 12 night excursion from New York visiting 5 Caribbean ports. To describe this in a word, AWESOME! We first sailed QM2 in 2009 on a Transatlantic voyage, it was a wonderful ... Read More
Just returned from the Caribbean Fiesta aboard the Queen Mary 2, a 12 night excursion from New York visiting 5 Caribbean ports. To describe this in a word, AWESOME! We first sailed QM2 in 2009 on a Transatlantic voyage, it was a wonderful time and decided to try it again this Christmas. It completely exceeded our expectations. We treated ourselves to the Grill Suites this time as opposed to the BC. It is the only way to go. I'll break it down as follows: Our Suite 9042 was mid-ship. Two doors down from the Concierge Lounge. We got to know the Concierge 'Ophia' quite well during the cruise. Interestingly, we never saw our Butler the first two days of the cruise. Our steward Grace, seem to be doing all the work from delivering luggage to attending our cabin. Late in the second day, Andres rang our bell and introduced himself. He apologized saying he was ill and not able to perform his duties until now. Oddly, he seem a little terse in the beginning and began to warm up towards the end. We just assumed he was still recuperating. On the other hand Grace was very warm and friendly until the last 2 nights of the cruise where she was downright icy. This didn't hamper our experience. The Suite was spacious to say the least with a Bar and Refrigerator fully stocked, a very comfortable King-Size Bed and we couldn't quite believe it a walk-in closet. The Balcony was long, but narrow the lounges couldn't be placed side by side. The Royal Court was organized and well maintained. There were many different food offerings up there. We mainly used it for Breakfast and mid-day snacks. We choose not to go to the Dining Room for every meal. There was an abundance of Breakfast cereals, Fresh Fruits, and Hot dishes. The only caveat is trying to locate a glass of milk. Unlike other ships where they have containers of milk, Cunard only has a milk dispenser for cereal that's not available all day. We would just take an extra glass and put it in our refrigerator for later. Lunch and Snacks were available, a fine selection of meats and cheeses and a sushi station that was very appealing. The chef's galley served Burgers and Sandwiches. On a previous cruise they used to o a cooking demonstration, but it was not available on this cruise. The Queen's Grill was a culinary masterpiece. Each meal we ate there was even more perfect then the last. Our servers Clarence and Satia were attentive and professional. We saw Satia off ship in some ports and he was just as polite when in the Dining Room. He was leaving the ship when they return to Southampton to go home. Our sommelier, Nick was prepared for us every night. We gave him our food order and he produced the exact wine to complement it. As for the food, we had Prime Rib our first night out that was excellent. During the course of our 12 nights, we tried the Dover Sole, that Bobbi prepared tableside and there was not a single bone in it. We had Beef Wellington for Christmas and Chateaubriand and Lobster for New Years. The Lobster Newburg was a hit as well as the King Scallops. I could continue to rave about the menu, but you get the idea. Todd English was a bit of a disappointment, we dined there once. The service was excellent, but the food was lacking pizzazz. The Grill was better. The Entertainment was just average. We skipped many of the shows as they didn't appeal to us. The ones we did see weren't exciting. The Flyrights were about the best with their Motown style of entertainment. The show Crazy in Love was dreadful. We skipped Incanto as we saw them on another ship. The Common areas were neat and tidy, you can see some wear in the carpeting especially near the entrances and exits. We purchased a Spa Pass for the cruise duration and was well worth it. The Spa pool area was quiet, but it's also small for a ship this size. All in all this will go down as one of the best trips we've ever taken.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Wife and I just returned from a 13 night Christmas and New Year cruise around the Caribbean on Legend of the Seas embarked on 24/12/2014, our first cruise was on this ship 11 years ago (after which we were hooked on cruising), we are now ... Read More
Wife and I just returned from a 13 night Christmas and New Year cruise around the Caribbean on Legend of the Seas embarked on 24/12/2014, our first cruise was on this ship 11 years ago (after which we were hooked on cruising), we are now Diamond members which entitles you to great offers like free drinks from 4.30pm - 8.00pm in the Diamond lounge and they "load" your sea-pass with 3 free drinks ever day from 4.30pm - 8.00pm, can't fault that! Although the ship has had refits and upgrades it still seemed "tired", our balcony stateroom 7050 was nice and adequate but the balcony glass was cracked and paint on glass, the bathroom has been refurbished but the toilet roll holder is a bit of a stretch to reach and one tends to catch the toilet brush/holder with your leg! We had a great table for evening meals (154) met some really nice people and the waiters were first class. With being a small ship it's a friendly atmosphere and easy to meet new people. We found the entertainment ok most of the time, bars seemed under staffed resulting in sometimes long waits at being served, being used to the bigger ships of RCI (Oasis, Independence, Navigator etc.) there are more shops on board and the entertainment/shows are better. All in all couldn't fault the cruise itinerary, food, service and staff, will do this cruise again but hopefully on a different ship. Well done RCI. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Hello, This was our 1st cruise with Celebrity. Overall we thought it was very nice. We opted to only eat in the main dining room. The specialty restaurants were expensive, considering we already paid for all meals. Food and presentation ... Read More
Hello, This was our 1st cruise with Celebrity. Overall we thought it was very nice. We opted to only eat in the main dining room. The specialty restaurants were expensive, considering we already paid for all meals. Food and presentation was very good!! The staff was very attentive and could not be more friendly. This was the highlight of the day for me! We decided to not get the drink package…..too much pressure to drink our moneys worth!!! The alcohol by the glass was expensive, but still less per day than if we bought the drink package. We HAVE to recommend the Molecular Bar!!! The drinks are $13 per glass, and worth it!!! It's kinda cool to have your drink served with liquid nitrogen in it….makes a good show. This bar alone might make the premium drink package worth the money. If we go again, I will buy the package but not wife. (2 drinks and she's done!!) The on board daily planned activity's were pretty boring to us. We are 53/55 yrs old. We did not bother with much except for the nightly show in the Reflection theatre. The entertainment was nice for a cruise ship. We went every night and had a drink during the show. Nice casino but lost money!! :( We enjoyed the experience, but were a little bored at times. On sea days there is not much to do. Eat, fall asleep at the pool, eat, clean up for the nightly show, browse through the already inspected gift shops and repeat. Maybe we are just not cruise people….not sure yet. Need one more trip to Molecular Bar!!!!! We would recommend the Reflection. Nice ship and crew was great!!!!!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This was our 16th cruise and 2nd Celebrity cruise. After trying 8 different cruise lines we have decided that Celebrity suits us best. We stayed at the Hampton Inn, Plantation FL through stay123. Front desk personnel were very friendly ... Read More
This was our 16th cruise and 2nd Celebrity cruise. After trying 8 different cruise lines we have decided that Celebrity suits us best. We stayed at the Hampton Inn, Plantation FL through stay123. Front desk personnel were very friendly and helpful. There are shopping malls on both sides with numerous retail stores and restaurants. The stay123 pre-cruise package includes a one night stay, free breakfast buffet with hot items and great coffee, free shuttle to the cruise pier, 7 days free on-site parking and a free shuttle back to the hotel. We sailed on the Eclipse last year and since they have identical deck plans, we found it super easy to get around. We had an oceanview room on deck 3, which allowed us to pick the free classic drink package on their Go123 program. Deck 3 is on the same floor as the Silhouette dining room & Passport Bar and only 1 flight of stairs up to the theater. We found the embarkation and disembarkation to be very efficient and on time. The doors opened for embarkation at 10:45 AM, we sailed through security, got our sea passes and we were onboard with our free glass of champagne by 11:05 AM. Cabins opened at 1:30 PM and our luggage arrived at 2:30 PM. We did the self disembarkation which was easy, as long as you were willing to stand in line and talk to people you somehow never met during the 10 night cruise! Our OV room was kept clean by Inacio & Nadine, plenty of storage, loved the circular shower doors. Cruise Director Paul was the best! We always saw staff cleaning or vacuuming; painting or washing the exterior while in port; public bathrooms were immaculate and all personnel were super friendly. A special thank you to Solarium attendant Mayo! We had Celebrity Select Dining and the 1st night we were seated in Sergio's area. We asked for Sergio & the same table every night of our cruise. Food was plated beautifully, served at the correct temperature & excellent quality! Recently, we have noticed, that other cruise lines have downgraded the quality, but Celebrity just cut back on the quantity. Which I am OK with - I have never gone hungry while cruising! My spouse had a draft beer at the new Gastrobar ($9.78 and not on the free drink package) Activities: played Bingo once ($39 for 3 cards, $49 for 6 cards and $59 for 9 cards) watched the cupcake demo, participated in the Reindeer Games, watched the Corning Glass show,, watched the Top Chef challenge and generally spent a lot of time at the Solarium pool relaxing! The best part of this cruise was the Christmas decorations. Especially in the Grand Foyer, where they built a whole gingerbread village between the two elevator. Then on the last night of the cruise they had Holiday Caroling lead by Cruise Director Paul (who has an excellent voice!) with faux snowflakes floating down into the foyer and several floors of passengers joining in. It was a true goose-bump moment!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We decide a month before the sail date to go away for Christmas on a short cruise from an easily accessible port. We had been on the Star Princess in 2007 to the Greek Islands. We chose the Dec 21 departure from Houston on a 7 day journey ... Read More
We decide a month before the sail date to go away for Christmas on a short cruise from an easily accessible port. We had been on the Star Princess in 2007 to the Greek Islands. We chose the Dec 21 departure from Houston on a 7 day journey to the Western Caribbean with stops in Roatan (Honduras), Belize, and Cozumel. The food was good. We especially liked the Crown Grill, Crab Shack and the Pizza and Ice Cream bar. The 7 bottle Gold wine package was a good deal. The entertainment was excellent as was the service. The transfer from and to Hobby airport was easy and well organized. There were plenty of choices for shore excursions. The ship was well decorated for Christmas and the crew sand several Christmas carols. Santa Claus showed up on Christmas Day. video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHGMaJ7Y4Hc All in all we had a great time. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
I recently over Christmas travelled to Fiji and the South Pacific onboard the Sea Princess. Have cruised several times before but this was the first time onboard a Princess cruise ship. I was with my parents and my girlfriend and we had a ... Read More
I recently over Christmas travelled to Fiji and the South Pacific onboard the Sea Princess. Have cruised several times before but this was the first time onboard a Princess cruise ship. I was with my parents and my girlfriend and we had a wonderful time. Food - The food onboard was unreal! So much choice and was delicious. We ate in the buffet, the dining room and in the speciality Steak House. Did not have one complaint, was fantastic! Staff - Probably on of the best features onboard. All the staff were incredibly friendly and helpful. Did not encounter one rude or unfriendly staff member. Everyone happily greeted you and offered assistance where ever they could. Staterooms - Very clean and tidy. Everything you need is there for you. Embarkation - Was a breeze! Arrived there at our allocated time to a waiting shuttle and boarded with ease. Ship - Really nice design. Pool area is great, theatres and bars all fantastic. Entertainment - AWESOME! Had some terrific shows! They catered for everyone. Anytime you on a cruise it comes down to what you make of it. There will be people who will complain about anything however we had a very enjoyable time onboard and will definitely cruise with Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
I'd recommend this week long cruise, both for value and content. There is something for everyone here. I'm not going to bore you with information that can be found on the mycubacruise.com website; the information there is ... Read More
I'd recommend this week long cruise, both for value and content. There is something for everyone here. I'm not going to bore you with information that can be found on the mycubacruise.com website; the information there is generally accurate. I see there is one gentleman who seems to have been on the same cruise as us who likened the trip to the famous Brit TV series 'Fawlty Towers'. This is really very unfair; while there were significant organisational issues to be sorted as regards excursions off the ship this was the first tour of Cuba this season so to grant a little slack is reasonable. We booked this trip about six weeks before the departure date of 19th December and the process was quite strait forward. It was done over the phone to the company's office in Calgary, Alberta, as this is a Canadian company. We dealt with a lady called Jane who was both friendly and efficient. Book as early as you can or you may not get the cabin type you want (as happened to us). Having said that the cabin we actually got was quite adequate for our needs, cabin number 7228 (see website: cabin layout). Being on the starboard side (right) is an advantage as the cruise proceeds clockwise around the island. On the port side there are excellent views...of the sea! The ship herself, the Louis Cristal, one of two this company owns, is some 155 meters long, is 34 years old and can carry 1,200 passenger plus some 350 crew. This makes her quite small by modern standards but a lot friendlier. You get to know a lot of passengers & crew by the end of the week. A further advantage of being quite small is her ability to go where others are unable to...like the tiny port of Antilla, the first call after Havana. You can join the ship in either Havana or Montego Bay in Jamaica. We started in Mo Bay and this was the first time the ship had passed this way this season as it had come across the Atlantic from Piraeus via various stops on the way, the last being St. Lucia. Joining was quite easy but there were only some hundred joiners over the four hour boarding period so there were only a couple of other families in immigration at the time. We were shown to our cabin via reception where there is a little form filling for Cuban tourist cards, credit card deposit, and so on. Incidentally, you don't need to get a visa in advance, a point not covered at all well in the information available on line. I had to call and ask several times as if you look on your local Cuban Embassy website it will say you need to get a visa before you leave your country of residence; not true in this case as it is all done on board the ship if you are joining in Mo Bay. Presumably you will need one if joining in Havana. Our cabin (or stateroom as the marketing department likes to call it) was quite adequate. There is adequate storage for everything if you don't go too crazy. Bags the size of your average overhead stowage wheelie bag will go under the bed which is a great help. There is a good 30 inch LG TV with a truly dreadful selection of four channels with mostly advertising (although it does have all the latest connection facilities for running your own media if you have the correct cables), adequately comfortable beds, a good shower (with shower gel & shampoo dispensers), a small refrigerator and enough seating space to relax away from the bed. Both telephone & internet are available on board via satellite. Nothing is free of course but both Skype & Viber are disabled which I find both cynical and annoying. You can purchase one hour of internet for $CAD12, usable over period of 8 days. It is up to you to keep track of your usage time as there is no time base visible. There are larger packages available. It was actually very slow when the system was working at all and it was constantly saturated although the management were well aware of the problems. Heaven knows what it would be like with a full passenger load! Best just to shut yourself away for the week and forget the rest of the world. Shipboard safety & security is taken seriously and you have to attend to your emergency 'muster station' with your life jacket when told before the ship sails. All activity on the ship is controlled via your 'ship pass', basically your room key with various additional functions. Now, excursions from the ship. See the website for details of what is on offer. You can either go the conventional route and tag along on these tours or with a bit of planning you can have a great time away from the crowds. A good & comprehensive guide book of Cuba is invaluable. Cienfuego, the first stop out of Mo Bay, is a good example of what i am talking about unless you particularly want to go to the very interesting botanical gardens outside the town or take the long drive to Trinidad. Looking around the town is easily done on your own on foot at a saving of some $CAD 50 per person. The same goes for Havana where you can walk from the dock to the Capitolo in fifteen minutes and get on the open topped double decker at a cost of about $CAD5 per person for unlimited use for the day. On a stop at the small port of Antilla on the Bahia De Nipe we hired a 1952 Ford at a cost of about $CAD80 for some five hours (without bargaining!) and visited two archeological museums in the area. If you want to cut yourself out of the crowd it is easy to do so at any point on this cruise, often at considerable saving, but of course you do not have the security of an organised tour. On the last cruise that I went on some 15 years ago tipping at the end of the cruise was a real nightmare. Who to tip...and how much? And what about all the unseen staff in the background? What happens on this cruise is that there is voluntary $CAD10 per person per day added to your account at the end of the cruise which goes into a central fund for everyone which seems a lot fairer. As always it is as well to check your account when it arrives on the morning of your arrival. The level of personal service I would say is equivalent to a four star hotel...and I've been staying in four & five star hotels for the last 40 years!. On the last night we dined at the best restaurant on the ship, the Alberta Prime, paying a $CAD35 per person extra; I would certainly recommend giving this a try. It made the final evening on the cruise really special.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This was our 4th festive cruise on Ventura around the Caribbean islands. The usual efficient P&O system of dealing with flights and luggage soon had us in the holiday mood. This time we were on a Dreamliner from Manchester. We were ... Read More
This was our 4th festive cruise on Ventura around the Caribbean islands. The usual efficient P&O system of dealing with flights and luggage soon had us in the holiday mood. This time we were on a Dreamliner from Manchester. We were happy with our balcony cabin on B deck and this was kept immaculate by our Steward Edward. Overall this was one of the best cruises we have done with wall to wall sunshine for the whole trip. We thought the quality and quantity of the food and also the quality of service had improved since the previous Christmas and also the standard of dress of the passengers was very high. Many ladies and girls opted for long dresses or cocktail wear even on the non-formal nights. Also on formal nights there were more men in evening dress than previously. So we were well happy. In the evenings we drank mainly in the Glasshouse or Tamarind. Prices seem to have held since the previous year both for drinks and meals in the speciality restaurants although they have introduced a cover charge for the Beach House restaurant in the evenings. This clearly had the effect of reducing the once mandatory queuing to zero and on the evening we ate there, hardly any other diners. The one blot on the proceedings was the requirement to queue to reserve your dining times for Christmas Day and New Year's Eve. I was near the front of the queue and it still took 1.5 hours for me to be seen to. Some people were queuing for up to 4.5 hours. This is appalling and P&O need to find another way of addressing this matter for example by using Cruise Personaliser. Like many others we will not be on Ventura for Christmas 2015 as we will all be on the Britannia. All in all an excellent cruise on the home from home Ventura . Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
First, it doesn't take a lot to make me happy. Champagne at embarkation, free bottle of wine at steak house 1st night of cruise, attentive cabin steward, accommodating maitre'd and main dining room wait staff all made me happy. I ... Read More
First, it doesn't take a lot to make me happy. Champagne at embarkation, free bottle of wine at steak house 1st night of cruise, attentive cabin steward, accommodating maitre'd and main dining room wait staff all made me happy. I was a happy cruiser! Our cruise on the Carnival Dream over Christmas was a dream vacation! Throw in snow, Christmas carols in the atrium on Christmas Eve along w/ the children's Christmas program on Christmas night-well, that's the stuff of dreams and memories are made of! Second, in between we read, slept, and ate our way through the Lido buffet. The pasta bar tucked away above buffet (think up the stairs) and the Indian food at back of ship were hidden treasures waiting to be discovered! Discover them we did! Don't miss 'em! Third, the Lanai deck (deck 5) was a great place to walk every morning, people watch, and take sunrise pictures. I couldn't have asked for better cruise vacation! Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We had our first cruise due to the generosity of my in-laws. They purchased tickets for 14 of us to go together over Christmas week 2014 in honor of their 55th wedding anniversary. Further, they got everyone balcony rooms. We sailed out of ... Read More
We had our first cruise due to the generosity of my in-laws. They purchased tickets for 14 of us to go together over Christmas week 2014 in honor of their 55th wedding anniversary. Further, they got everyone balcony rooms. We sailed out of Houston on the Emerald Princess (all from Texas). After loads of research before departure, I wanted to put in some notes from our experience. First, we found our departure out of Houston to be flawless. Smooth and easy. A moderate line for embarkation, but, vacation was officially underway, so who cares about a line! All the port employees were smiling, friendly - even jovial. Thanks to all the reviews and information available online, I felt pretty well prepared. Right down to carrying a small bag with anything I'd like to have on hand immediately or even for dinner (we didn't board until 2:00 and dinner was at 5:30). Luggage did take a bit to arrive (mid-evening), but, again, with having the items I really wanted on hand, it was no biggie for us. I cannot say enough about the wonderful staff on the ship. I am lucky to have a husband with the gift for genuine interest in others and he's a great conversationalist. He and I believe in treating our waiter or bartender like a friend and not a servant. I'm sure, because we treat folks this way, we may receive better or more thoughtful service. However we got there, I can tell you we felt pampered 100% by all the staff (steward, wait staff, head waiter and bartenders). All the little details we mentioned up front enjoying were remembered and repeated daily - without a request. For me, that's pampering. Bless the dear soul who brought us coffee and juice each morning with a smile. We had standing reservations for dining daily at 5:30 PM at my in-laws request. My husband and I did not think we'd like the time being so early, but it was perfect. Two large tables takes about two hours to serve and we'd head out each evening to the main show in the theatre. At that point, there's a line waiting to get into to their tables. Choose 5:30 - trust me. We passed on a lot of the ancillary daily activities until the last two days as, I admit, some sounded a bit gimmicky. But, the last two days we participated and had a great laugh and good time. We both agreed, next cruise, we'll be checking out those opportunities daily. MOTION SICKNESS: I chose to use the prescription patch to keep potential motion sickness at bay. For those worried about the matter: IT WORKS!!! Don't bother leaving without a patch in place. Why even risk feeling badly when you can prevent it? No pill to pop, no sleepiness. In 14 people, about half had some minor to moderate sea sickness symptoms off and on. We were the only ones armed with the patch. FOOD: We found the food to be wonderful. The staff offered us "appetizer" portions if we were curious to try an entrée but did not want to have it for our main course. My college age sons tried so many different things I cannot recall. Our request for a special appetizer (off menu) was granted the follow evening. With a smile. We enjoyed most of our dining in one of the main dining rooms. I'm not keen on buffet food so this served my preference well. We did enjoy a pub lunch (fish and chips) one day and slices of pizza another (really quite good). Had a room service lunch of club sandwiches one day as well. Our sons enjoyed a second dinner after 10 PM in their rooms many nights. I appreciated the portion size being reasonable. Not small, but not "Texas sized". You can order whatever you want, but, if you are wishing to show some restraint, it's not hard to do. If you don't have dessert in the dining room, there are options to grab tiny confections at a coffee bar spot. They are really almost better than the main dining room. Grab three and share. ALCOHOL: All over 21 carried a bottle of wine onboard. Husband got one beer package (six for the price of five I believe). He ordered a few extra through the week. I got one canned soda package (diet coke and tonic water) and purchased a smallish bottle of vodka for $17 (room service). We enjoyed a bottle of wine in the evenings as a nice cabernet was available at $15/bottle. We did not spare on the consumption for our liking and felt the prices were reasonable. I had a minor accident that required a visit to the medical facility. Get the insurance that will cover these things!!! This was the last day at sea so not a real downer for the trip. I was surprised that the medical facilities are not available all day every day. It seemed to be 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening. I assume there's reasoning behind this, but we had to beg to be let in (doors locked) while my foot was bleeding quite a bit. They'd really wanted me to wait to the afternoon hours. With my right toe toenail ripped half off (there's a story....), I felt pretty emergent. Some insistence by my husband got me in the doors, but, it's the one thing I did not research and wanted to share. It's a bit of a complaint, but, awareness would have been wise on my side to know the hours before the trip began. We had some looking for treat for motion sickness and they were always closed - just by chance. FYI for all to know!! CONDITON OF THE SHIP: There was constant maintenance going on everywhere. Not intrusive, but, evidence of real work being done (varnish, paint, etc. outdoors). Public restroom facilities were CLEAN and plentiful. I'm a real stickler for cleanliness and freshness. I appreciated the sense the ship was well maintained daily. OVERALL: The cost to value ratio worked for us and we are dreaming of indulging again - hopefully this year on a last minute deal. We will go Princess again. We'd both love to do Alaska in a few years. I am happy to report that I am a "cruise person". I wondered if I'd dislike the experience (kind of dreaded part of the year leading up to it). But, I'm sold. Eventually, more interesting destinations may be our goal, but, for now, we both agree the 'floating resort' experience we can get to via driving fits our budget and felt luxurious. We were pulling out our cash and leaving additional monetary tips for all that took care of us - in addition to the room gratuity. That's how much we felt well cared for that week. Thank you Princess!!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Eight days aboard the soon to be refurbished Explorer of the Seas. The good: Port Canaveral efficient as always - My first favorite port to drive to, and second to sail from (Port Everglades is my favorite to cruise from). Showed up ... Read More
Eight days aboard the soon to be refurbished Explorer of the Seas. The good: Port Canaveral efficient as always - My first favorite port to drive to, and second to sail from (Port Everglades is my favorite to cruise from). Showed up around 11:30 and was onboard in less than 15 minutes. Excellent bar service - Bartenders were very helpful even though I had the beverage package but my wife did not. Efficient service, great drinks, well worth the additional tips I provided. Very festive New Years Eve celebration - The Royal Promenade was hopping! I spend NYE 1999 in Vegas, and this crowd was just as rowdy (just not as large). Strong 8 day itinerary keeping us south enough to enjoy the warm temps everyone is looking for in December. The fact that you do more southern ports is the even more significant than you sail around for 8 days. I choose routes like this whenever I can. Excellent MTD service - MTD can go either way based on when you are seated versus those around you (makes things easier/more difficult for your wait staff). We had the same waiters all but one night, and they got us in and out there with no additional delays. The menus had enough variety for everyone in our party. Common areas in great ship - While you could spot the blemishes if you were looking for them, the truth is the ship looked good for one about to enter refurb. The so so: Cabin carpet and balcony floors showing the wear common to ships that are due to be refurbed. The sofa had noticeable stains as well. Neither impacted my vacation, nor would it have yours. If you are reading this review after March of 2015 these items will have already been addressed. Self debark was a nightmare as a LARGE number of people opted for it. People were lined up across most of deck 4, spiraling though the casino, wrapping around the dining room. Part of this was caused by the fact that the pilot was late arriving to the ship (~45 minutes; watched him arrive from my balcony), so it docked late. I give Royal a pass on this one due to the delay which was out of their control. Things I can't comment on: Missed most shows due to our dining times. The one we went to (dancers) was well done. All our excursions were private (seasoned cruisers), so I can't comment about the ones Royal was offering. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We decided to book a Holiday cruise this year for the fist time ever. It was amazing! From the moment we walked onto the ship there were beautiful gingerbread houses and Christmas trees everywhere. It was beautiful! This is our second time ... Read More
We decided to book a Holiday cruise this year for the fist time ever. It was amazing! From the moment we walked onto the ship there were beautiful gingerbread houses and Christmas trees everywhere. It was beautiful! This is our second time on the Gem and she looks just as beautiful as ever. I was worried because I had read reviews saying that she was not in great shape. I did not find this to be the case at all. The ship was fully booked and there were a lot of kids with it being the holidays which was great for our 10 year old. She didn't want to go to the kids club as much as she has on other cruises but i think she is just at an age where she isn't into it which was fine with us as there were always lots of kids by the pool for her to play with. The kids club always looked full and like they were having a great time. The pool area did get busy on sea days and we witnessed a few fights over chairs but we always managed to find a spot to sit, even if it was just sitting along the side of the pool. I still don't get these people who put their towels on chairs to save them fist thing in the morning and then not return till later in the afternoon and then get mad if someone had taken their chair???!! Anyways, this happens on all cruise ships so nothing new here. Food was pretty good and some days really good in the included dining rooms. We did not try out any of the specialty restaurants. There was never a long wait for a table either which was great. Christmas eve they did Christmas carols in the atrium which we loved. Christmas dinner was fantastic, we were very happy to enjoy a turkey dinner. No lobster night on this cruise so not sure if they no longer have it which was a little disappointing but not a huge deal. We saw a few shows which were good and spent lots of time in the atrium or at the piano bar where there was always something going on. The kids party out by the pool one evening was fun as well. We had an issue with a lot of creaking in our room that they tried fixing every day and then we got a phone call that we were being moved up to a balcony room which was amazing and so unexpected. We have never booked a balcony but i think from now on we will! It was fantastic. They also brought up chocolate covered strawberries and a bottle of wine which was so nice. We bought the drink package for the first time. I was a little worried when i read through all of the rules which stated that we would each have to get our own drinks and one at a time and knowing beforehand how busy the cruise was going to be i pictured my husband and i taking turns to go wait in line to get a drink the whole cruise but it didn't turn out like that at all. They allowed one of us to order 2 drinks on one card and there was never a wait and we could pretty much order anything off of the menu so it was fine. Not sure if i would get the package again though as i feel like we might have drank more than we normally would had we not had the package, not that that's a bad thing! The white party was really good and New Years eve they really went all out. Was so much fun! The crew are just terrific and always smiling. We figured for them to be away from their families during the holidays can't be easy but they were all just great. On the last day we decided to carry our own bags off and were told we could start leaving at 8 a.m. I was ready for a huge line up of people crowded into the atrium trying to get off of the boat so when we finally got our stuff together at around 8:30 we were shocked to get an elevator right away and were out of the ship in about 3 minutes! Customs was super quick and we were checked into our hotel in NYC just after 9 am. Hope to get another chance to enjoy this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Cruise detail: back to back on NCL Dawn for Christmas and New Year's Eve 2014. Rooms: 11020 and 9000 Concierge: Kerabi Butler: Edward Cruise director: Dingo Dave Review Tweet version: The Dawn is a wonderful ship perfect for your ... Read More
Cruise detail: back to back on NCL Dawn for Christmas and New Year's Eve 2014. Rooms: 11020 and 9000 Concierge: Kerabi Butler: Edward Cruise director: Dingo Dave Review Tweet version: The Dawn is a wonderful ship perfect for your family vacation. She is not a new ship nor I don't think anyone working the ship would claim that she doesn't have some things that need improvement. The Dawn is like that old sweatshirt that you have. It's older maybe there's a tear in it but it's comfortable and it's warm and it's the first thing you grab when you come home on a cold winter day. That's the Dawn, comfortable and filled with warm people ready to help you. Review long version: Food: We ate in the main dining room, Le bistro, the Italian restaurant, the Chinese restaurant, buffet and Teppanaki. I did make reservations each morning for the desired restaurant. There were no pacing or service issues in any of the restaurants; in fact I would go as far as saying it was spectacular service. Biggest surprise was the Italian restaurant. I ordered something not on the menu and they created the most wonderful tasting eggplant creation. By far the best of my two weeks on the ship. I always found food that I wanted on the buffet. I primarily eat vegetarian style so the Indian dishes for me were very enjoyable. Highlight of the Indian dishes was the spinach with fried tofu, I could have eaten that all day long. Of course now that you've just read that I praised the spinach you might question my food savviness. Bottom line: no issues with the food, the service or the quality. Main areas of the ship overview: The ship was decorated for the two weeks for Christmas and for New Year's Eve. Midway through the New Year ’s Eve cruise they started taking down the Christmas decorations. There were a couple Christmas trees and several opportunities to have your pictures professionally taken in front of the trees. On Christmas eve there were Christmas carols in the atrium and Santa Claus arrived on Christmas morning handing out presents and taking photos with anybody that wanted to. When I didn't choose to sit on my balcony and wanted to go up on deck there was never an issue finding a chair. I did not see people reserving chairs for any long period of time. Tip: Front of the ship on deck 13 is a quieter area. Internet: The closer you were to the Internet café the faster the speed. I noticed when I was in my room with the door closed it was not as fast, connectable yes fast no. Tip: remember to logout. I saw several people in line complaining that they had additional minutes charge to them. They did not realize or know that they had to log out, the system does not automatically stop after your minutes have been used, it will continue to bill you. Fitness Room: I worked out every day sometimes twice. Once people had left the ship for the ports I would then run laps on the running track. I believe I figured out it's about five laps for a mile maybe a little bit more. All the equipment in the fitness room were operable and clean. There were weight machines, weights, treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, spin classes for a fee, Ab classes, stretch classes. yoga rooms for relaxation, stretching and individualized workouts. State rooms: If you are a family of four for me there is no better suite room than 11020. There's an amazing living room area, small bedroom with bathroom, and then a larger master bath and bedroom. Plenty of space for myself, husband, sister, and 20-year-old niece. Towel animals were made each night. The steward always changed where he put the towel animal. Sometimes in the small bedroom, the master bedroom, or hanging from the ceiling. It was fun! The second week of the back to back we were in room 9000. Just two of us this time. it's comfortable for two people. I'd be hard-pressed to say you can fit four adults in their comfortably. But what I like this room for is the balcony. The balcony seems as large as the room. We had a great time!. The service was wonderful. Tip: go to trivia, you might actually meet some great people and have a good time.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
First time on the Epic on Norwegian cruise line. Cruised with my husband and 18 year old son. I read cruise critic reviews before boarding so I did not set very high expectations. Cruised Carnival 4 times (3 Caribbean and 1 Mediterranean) ... Read More
First time on the Epic on Norwegian cruise line. Cruised with my husband and 18 year old son. I read cruise critic reviews before boarding so I did not set very high expectations. Cruised Carnival 4 times (3 Caribbean and 1 Mediterranean) and a weekend cruise RCCL. Embarkation was terrible almost 2 hours on extremely slow lines. Once on board we went to our cabin on deck 9 Mid and was ready and luggage was there. Cabin was fine for two and yes, unique layout. No issue for us. My son was in a Studio cabin on deck 11 Aft. Studio Lounge is very nice. Studio cabin nice decor but it is a bit tight in there. Layout of the ship was unusual and took long to get to where we needed to be. Elevators were very slow. Food was average and honestly, extremely boring menu. Seafood options were not good. Wine list was OK. No lobster at all in main dining rooms. We ate at The Manhattan mostly for dinner which was OK but again, boring menu, Moderno Brazilian was very good, Cagney’s was OK and the Garden Café was good. At Cagney’s, option for a small lobster for additional charge. If you bring your own wine on board, you must pay a cork fee per bottle. I had a glass of wine for $13.50 plus gratuity and same wine by the bottle at Total Wine costs $19.99. Garden Café buffet was surprisingly very good for lunch and dinner. The buffet had Lobster with Shrimp and Pasta one night and much better food selection and desserts than the sit down dining rooms. One day at the Garden Café, my husband had paella for lunch which I missed out on and he said was very good. Breakfast buffet was always very crowded and hard to get a seat. Shows: Cirque show was excellent, food was good. Blue Man Group was OK (seen it in NY and FL). Book it early because it is not available every night and the theater is shared with the Legends show which was OK. Service was fine overall on the ship except a bit slow at Cagney’s. Very dim lit steak house, nothing to brag about. I would not consider it fine dining. Don’t bother calling Guest Services they never answer the phone. Our steward on deck 9 Mid was excellent and very helpful. He was very informative and always answered any questions we had and would go out of his way for any request we made. I can’t remember his name but he was great. Itinerary was Bahamas, Ocho Rios Jamaica and Cozumel. For some reason, this cruise did not offer Grand Cayman as a port which is usually included on this itinerary any other time but not for this Holiday cruise so we had four sea days. Very large ship, no elegant grand staircase, nothing really elegant about the ship. Casino needs better air cleaners you have to pass the Casino to get around. Lots to do on the ship but you really have to read your daily newsletter to know what is going on. We’re lucky we have cruised before because communication is lacking on this ship, you can barely hear any announcements on the PA. We knew what needed to be done to get ready to disembark (get luggage tags at Guest Services, leave luggage with tags outside cabin the night before disembarkation). I did not know who our Cruise Director was until the Deal or no Deal Game which was actually fun. Never got to see the Captain. Since I did not really read the daily newsletter in our cabin much, we missed performances at Howl at the Moon, Fat Cats Jazz singers, The Second City show, did not get a chance to go to the Ice Bar. We were in the Casino and Club Bliss every night. Disembarkation went very well. Overall, it was a good cruise. If you love an active nightlife, not having formal nights or assigned dining, not much of a foodie, do not mind crowds and do not mind paying extra for additional dining options, then you will enjoy the Epic. I would cruise on Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Sailed on the Breeze with my 16 year old daughter for Christmas. We received an excellent deal on this cruise and booked rather last minute. We drove down the day before and drove most of the way, finishing up the last 4 hours the day of ... Read More
Sailed on the Breeze with my 16 year old daughter for Christmas. We received an excellent deal on this cruise and booked rather last minute. We drove down the day before and drove most of the way, finishing up the last 4 hours the day of the cruise. We parked at Safe Cruise parking, had no problem finding, quick trip to the port once our car was parked. Overall embarkation was pretty easy, we arrived about noon, and I think we were onboard the ship by 12:45. Only issue was they didn't ask for the card I was using for onboard services so I had to have that updated at guest services once we were onboard. We had in inside cabin on deck 2. Room steward was excellent, always had a hello and called us both by name. Anything needed was quickly supplied. We had set dining, daughter wanted a table for two and that was arranged after our first night. Dinner staff however was very slow, not sure if they had too many tables or not. Most nights we would see people already getting their deserts, while we hadn't yet received our entrees. Though staff was very friendly, they seemed just a bit overwhelmed. Overall food was good, I however have never been overly impressed with Carnival's dinner or desert menu. I tend to find something I will eat, however a few items I have liked in the past were now missing. I found dinners to actually be our least favorite meals. We had breakfast in both the buffet and dining room. Normal breakfast fare, but everything we had was fine. Now for lunch my daughter and myself at the taco's or guy's burgers practically every day. Occasionally had the pizza, she also ordered room service twice for a little snack. I would love to see longer hours at the taco and burrito place. They really should be an option open through the evening, I would think to at least 11 pm. Seating in the buffet we found to be a bit more crowded, but usually found something. Though the higher booth type tables don't work well for everyone, so not sure if those are the best choice for seating. We did excursions in both the Dominican Republic and Curacao. Grand Turk we hung out at the beach and in Aruba we did a little shopping and had lunch. We only went to one of the shows in the evening and did go to three of the family comedy shows. We tried trivia during the day, but were never able to find a seat. After three tries we gave up. Overall didn't really do a lot of activities, my daughter hung out in the cabin quite a bit during the day. We did purchase the lowest social media package for $25, it allowed for Facebook and Snap chat which allowed my daughter to keep in contact with friends during the trip. Disembarkation was easy, only issue was they seemed to skip over our number or the way it was announced was just a little odd. We got off, found luggage immediately, quick through customs and then waited for pickup. Safe Parking did pickup, we waited about 15 minutes before shuttle arrived, quick trip back to the car and we were on the road again. I would absolutely sail this ship again, it is beautiful. Though I would love to have a balcony, for the price the inside was perfect.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We traveled with our adult daughter and teenage grand-daughter. We had next door balcony staterooms on the Lido deck.. Drove from the Atlanta GA area and overnighted at the Hampton Inn West in Port St. Lucie. Arrived at the Port of Miami ... Read More
We traveled with our adult daughter and teenage grand-daughter. We had next door balcony staterooms on the Lido deck.. Drove from the Atlanta GA area and overnighted at the Hampton Inn West in Port St. Lucie. Arrived at the Port of Miami on Saturday around 10:30am. We booked FFTF Fastest to the Fun for each stateroom. FFTF provided priority check-in and boarding (right after the Diamond and Platinum groups) and we were on board before 11:00am. FFTF, also, provided priority stateroom access and our staterooms were clean and ready when we boarded. We dropped our carry ons and went to the check out the food. We always check out all of the buffet lines (they usually offer some different items) and new restaurants/grills. Glory was refurbished in 2012 and we really like the changes - especially GUY's and the Burrito grill. The Steakhouse was our dinner choice. The food was excellent! Service had some minor issues - my medium rare steak was served to my wife and her medium steak was served to me. We just traded steaks and ate our merry way through dinner! Breakfast and lunch provide good variety. Choose wisely!! Have dessert first! Dinner - there seems to be fewer menu items (maybe it's my memory) than last time we cruised Carnival. Food was good and cooked as requested. Service was timely with some minor issues - orders presented to the right table, wrong person. We never had to wait for water re-fills or bread. By the way eat more that one appetizer and/or entrée. Or, it you don't like what you ordered get something else! We had to make appointments to visit with our grand-daughter. She joined Club O2 and made several new friends. The adults went to several of the productions, adult comedy shows, etc. Some were really fun and some were okay. We visited St. Maarten (Dutch side only), San Juan, and Grand Turk. Enjoyed each port and their unique cultures. FUN ALL OVER THE SHIP ON DECEMBER 31ST!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We chose a back to back Christmas cruise including the New Year celebrations which was very reasonable in price. We chose an inside cabin, which was a little small but adequate. We found the ship very cheerful and staff very pleasant and ... Read More
We chose a back to back Christmas cruise including the New Year celebrations which was very reasonable in price. We chose an inside cabin, which was a little small but adequate. We found the ship very cheerful and staff very pleasant and felt very much at home for the three weeks. The destinations on shore were very interesting, and both Christmas Day and New Years Eve were spent at sea and NCL went to great trouble to entertain us. The shows in the Theatre were outstanding, despite the fact that this was a back to back cruise, there was minimal repetition of the shows. The show "Elements" was world class and a credit to NCL:. The food in the MDR was excellent and the staff were most obliging, efficient and faultless. In the evening time we like to dance - and we were very well catered for by the 'Guys and Doll' group. This was a north American band and they made sure that everyone's dancing tastes were catered for each evening. This included - waltz, foxtrot, quickstep, tango, merengue, mambo, rumba, cha cha, line dancing etc. Having cruised fifteen times before with different cruise lines, this was our first encounter with such a dedicated dance band - which made our cruise so very enjoyable! It was a pleasure to be on the Norwegian Jade as so many cruise lines are cutting down on the dance area and the bands are not as accommodating as we found on the Jade. Kevin and Mary Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
I normally would not write a review but I must say this was fantastic. Taking Princess is first class and such great quality. I know going during the holidays is an expensive time to travel. But a family of 4 with Kindergarten Twins this ... Read More
I normally would not write a review but I must say this was fantastic. Taking Princess is first class and such great quality. I know going during the holidays is an expensive time to travel. But a family of 4 with Kindergarten Twins this was wonderful. The cruise was sold out and there were so many kids and families on board. What better way to spend the holidays then a cruise to the beautiful Carribean. New Year's is such a fun and wonderful time of year. The cruise was perfect. They had a huge New Years Party. My kids absolutely loved it! The kids club and the pool was there favorite. The food was wonderful and the ship was so very clean. I would take Princess again with my kids in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This was our 4th cruise with our family of 5 and the grandmothers and each cruise has been enjoyable. To get away from the hustle and bustle of Christmas and to sail away to warm, exotic places is a memory that our children will remember ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise with our family of 5 and the grandmothers and each cruise has been enjoyable. To get away from the hustle and bustle of Christmas and to sail away to warm, exotic places is a memory that our children will remember for a lifetime. We left out of the Port of Miami and went to the Southern Caribbean for an 8 day cruise. We had signed up for Faster to the Fun, and it was worth every penny. We were at the terminal around 11 am and were on board within 30 minutes enjoying lunch on the lido deck. We had 2 days at sea to get acclimated to the ship. The ship is beautiful with plenty to do. In fact, we didn't have enough time to do it all. Our first port was Grand Turk. We opted to stay at the beach and just relax. It's a beautiful beach and our daughter was able to snorkel and get some good pictures of parrot fish. Our next port was LaRomano, Dominican Republic. From reading the reviews, we were leery of this port, but it worked out alright also. We went on the boat ride to Saona Island. It was a bumpy ride as stated in the reviews. Our daughter hurt her backbone from bouncing on the seat, but they were all so excited to see the star fish on the sandbar that she didn't mind too much. Our next port was Curaco and we opted to get a bus tour once we got off of the ship. The floating bridge was moving when we got there, and that was a cool sight to see. The bus tour was about 2 hours and we still had time to shop once we got back. Our last port was Aruba on Christmas Day. From the reviews, I was glad we had an excursion already booked. We saw the big rocks, the baby bridge, lighthouse and then we had about 1 1/2 hours at the beautiful beach. We had 2 more days at sea. On the next to the last day at sea, we had booked the Behind the Fun Tour of the ship. If you ever get a chance to do this, it is very interesting. One last day at sea and then back to Miami. Since we had Faster to the Fun, our debarkation was simple. Then home to winter weather and hopes to do it all again someday. It was a great trip. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We took a family Christmas vacation on the Carnival Sunshine. We had 4 adults and two children (9 and 6). Absolutely wonderful vacation. The boat was nice, tons of activities for everyone. Waterpark on the boat is awesome for both adults ... Read More
We took a family Christmas vacation on the Carnival Sunshine. We had 4 adults and two children (9 and 6). Absolutely wonderful vacation. The boat was nice, tons of activities for everyone. Waterpark on the boat is awesome for both adults and children. Food was all amazing. Loved the selection and quality. The night shows are awesome, very high quality. Kids loved the camp, the Dr. Seuzs theme is great. All the staff were incredible, they all treat you like royalty. Second time on Carnival, both cruises have been amazing. Can't wait to go back.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014

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