We went on a Christmas cruise and the ship is old and the entertainment and onboard activities are only OK. I would never go on this ship again as the food was terrible. I almost "lost it" when I saw Caribbean goat curry a ... Read More
We went on a Christmas cruise and the ship is old and the entertainment and onboard activities are only OK. I would never go on this ship again as the food was terrible. I almost "lost it" when I saw Caribbean goat curry a selection on the buffet. One dinner entree was so cold that the waiter sent it back after he saw that I could not eat it. I threw up all night after one of the steak dinners that had a bit of a funky taste to begin with. I of course did not finish it. The brisket that I ordered one night was all fat. One taste of that and the bite ended up in my napkin. The waiters were very good and the staff cleaning the stateroom was excellent, otherwise I feel that this ship is not up to the standards that I have had on Royal Caribbean in the past. We are Emerald members of the Crown and Anchor Society, so we have sailed many times on this line.
The weather was cool so many people went to the Solarium which is dedicated to adults, but it was too cool on the outside pool so everyone crowded in the Solarium and plunked a towel down. The staff did not remove the towels until late in the day so many chaise chairs were tied up with no one using them all day long. I tried to get a seat many times and asked for help, but was met with stares when I asked the staff for assistance in removing towels that were there for hours with no one in them. It was awful. I know it sounds minor, but it meant that I did not get a chair as the people that did "reserve" one were at chapel, changing clothes or somewhere else for hours and that was their chair when they returned. It was simply not fair and Royal Caribbean did nothing to solve the problem, nor did the staff care.
My husband had his 80th birthday and the travel agent informed the staff at RCC. It was never acknowledged. We had a great table so the last night I asked them before we disbanded to wish him a happy birthday. Don't get me wrong, it was not about RCC not giving him another dessert. After 8 nights we knew that there was not one that was even pretty or good as we had tasted them and the only one edible was the ice cream. Just was a disappointment as we had gone on this ship for the holidays and his birthday.
The line up for Customs and the departure was terrible. They herded you in one room then had you to sit forever and then paraded you around to another area where the lines were not known to anyone and it was utter chaos.
I am a migraineur and to not have pain if I drink a cup of coffee several times a day. I do not think that their coffee has caffeine in it as I got a migraine which was not helped by their coffee. They had a Starbucks on board so I bought coffee which solved the problem, but I am pretty sure that they probably serve only decaf in the dining facilities.
I have recently returned from a 14 day New Years Eve cruise to Fiji and New Zealand with my husband and 11 year old daughter. Having previously sailed with P & O, which we enjoyed, we were really looking forward to our cruise on a ... Read More
I have recently returned from a 14 day New Years Eve cruise to Fiji and New Zealand with my husband and 11 year old daughter. Having previously sailed with P & O, which we enjoyed, we were really looking forward to our cruise on a 'bigger and better' ship. To say that we feel let down by the experience is an understatement.
The trip started well, embarkment was relatively easy (although we did have our power board taken off us before boarding), and we explored the ship, excited at all the new features. However, when I took my daughter to book her into kids club, I was warned that it was 'first come, first served' as there was over 900 kids on board. This was the start of what turned out to a very unenjoyable experience.
Let's start with the kids on board. Despite seeming to have so many options for the kids to do, in reality there was not much at all. The ice skating rink was only open for the passengers to use a handful of times in the 14 days. The rock climbing wall was only open a few hours a day, and as such, had very long waits to get on. The flowrider had height limits, and therefore only teens could do the stand up, and only over 10's the body boarding, which was also open limited hours and had very long lines. With the kids clubs full, the kids had nothing to do, and a ship full of bored children resulted in kids hogging the spas, playing up in the pools, running amok in the hallways and stairwells and playing around in the lifts.
Speaking of the lifts, with the Voyager's very expensive makeover, came a lot more cabins and therefore a lot more passengers. This made the ship very over crowded. The lifts on the ship cannot cope with the extra passengers. Many times we would have to wait over 5 minutes for a lift to arrive, and then we would find that it was already packed full. I would have to say that I used the stairs more often than the lifts as it was usually the only option (I wouldn't normally mind using the stairs, except I have a knee injury, and needed panadol and neurofen to help me to sleep each night because of this).
The overcrowding (and lack of staff) was a problem thoughout the ship. Everything that you wanted to do, or buy, required a lengthy line up. The only (half) decent coffee on the ship (the free coffee tasted like dirt), was at the Cafe Promenade. Here the lines were up to 20 metres long, with only 2 staff serving (this counter also served the Ben and Jerry's ice cream and the soft drinks). The coffee was also not cheap at $5.95 American (do the conversion). We ended up buying our own coffee at the first port. I had also paid for a soft drink package on the ship, but barely used it, as being served at the understaffed bars took so long that it was just easier to get water from the windjammer.
The windjammer was also a disappointment. In 14 days the food barely ever changed (only when they started running out of food towards the end of the cruise). Breakfast was exactly the same every morning, and there was the same food served for lunch as for dinner, and this had very few variances. I am vegetarian, and I basically ate either pasta and sauce with salad, or vegetable curry, for lunch and dinner for all 14 days! (We don't eat in the restaurant as my husband gets seasick in the closed in room. On our last cruise we found that the buffet was a nice option).
Now to the (lack of) entertainment. This was the biggest gripe that I heard on board. Every single person I spoke to complained about how bad the entertainment was. My husband was very excited that with the refurbishment, they were installing a big screen on the deck. My husband is a smoker, and on our last cruise he spent many hours relaxing on the deck watching shows on the big screen. Well he was extremely disappointed! In the first 2 days all that was played on the screen was Spider-Man 2 (5 times), and after that, there was 2 movies a day (the same movie at 4pm & 8 pm), and very, very rarely they put something else on for 1/2 an hour. The rest of the time the screen had 'Welcome to Royal Caribbean' written on it! New Years Eve was also a big disappointment! I have seen videos online of other cruise lines throwing huge parties, with acrobat shows (and similar) on the deck and was looking forward to what they would do (I really should have known better by then, as it was 3 days into the cruise!) Well, we went to the deck early to get a good seat, sat there for two hours, and at midnight we got a glass of champagne, a countdown from 20 and some popped streamers! Apparently in the promenade they had balloons! A band played on into the night, but that was it! The nightly shows were also lousy (the few that there was). A Rod Stewart impersonator who cleared the room, a very unfunny comedian, a classical pianist (not everyone's cup of tea), a boring hypnotist (spent most of his time on stage hypnotising people and ran out of time to do much else). The 3D theatre showed the same 2 shows for the entirety of the cruise, and although the ice show was brilliant, there was only one show performed 5 times to accommodate all the passengers. The trivia was in the very small bar areas and the larger Star theatre was unused for a large amount of time. Most of the 'things to do' on the cruise compass involved drinking, gambling or other ways to take our hard earned cash.
To finish, I'd like to say that Never Again will we sail with Royal Caribbean, and my husband says that if he'd seen a P & O ship passing by, he would have jumped overboard and swum to it!
Christmas Cruise. I guess I should have known better but this cruise had 2,000 children on it. That's an actual number not an exaggeration. Almost no activities for adults. In a few of the lounges, after 9:30,PM you could listen to ... Read More
Christmas Cruise. I guess I should have known better but this cruise had 2,000 children on it. That's an actual number not an exaggeration. Almost no activities for adults. In a few of the lounges, after 9:30,PM you could listen to someone play the piano. We did not rock climb, flow board, ice skate, play in the arcade or any of the other activities designed for children so for the most part, we stayed in our room and read. There was not a chance of getting a seat by the pool or in the hot tubs during daylight hours. The dining rooms were not open for lunch so that left the cafeteria and you would have stand and wait for a seat being careful not to slip on food that had dropped on the floor. The ship does have many options for you to buy your meals. The architecture of the ship is truly beautiful. The library is a joke. There were fifty books in the English language, that includes all genre. The absurdity of it all was brought to a point when we got on the elevator with a gang of adolescents, spitting and laughing. They were having a great time, us...not so much. Read Less
Having just returned from spending Christmas and New Year onboard Celebrity Millenium I have to say this is the worse cruise ship I have ever been on. Having sailed with several other companies I was persuaded by family and friends to try ... Read More
Having just returned from spending Christmas and New Year onboard Celebrity Millenium I have to say this is the worse cruise ship I have ever been on. Having sailed with several other companies I was persuaded by family and friends to try Celebrity. From the minute we arrived at the Departure Lounge we felt let down. We booked concierge class and the brochure quite clearly states early boarding, however we were put into group 6 and were last onboard. Our cabin was "tired" and with that Im being kind, we had torn bedding, a dirty balcony, with furniture and handrail splattered with paint, and a bathroom desperately in need of redecorating and updating.
The biggest disappointment was the food, the resteraunt was ok, however I had to remember not to trip over the torn carpet, however the Buffet was dreadful. Breakfasts were a nightmare, bacon swimming in water, diluted baked beans, and everything cold. However if you wanted cold fruit or continental breakfast the plates were to hot to hold. I opted for omlettes however this meant queing for at least 20mins and on one occassion over half an hour.
Both myself and my friend were taken ill with chest infections and while I appreciate the need to pay,we paid $121 dollars for our first visit to see the doctor and a further $105 for medicines and treatment I was however appalled to find we were both charged $42 dollars for a second visit (suggested by the Doctor) for just reporting to the office, and a further 95 dollars for the treatment. We literally said our names and for this we were charged $42. I have written to celebrity to complain with photos, however i am not sure i will get a response. Read Less
Our first cruise on 'Oriana' was fifteen years ago, and we were so looking forward to being aboard her again, in fact we were hoping that this Xmas cruise to the Caribbean would be wonderful, but it truly wasdn't. It was ... Read More
Our first cruise on 'Oriana' was fifteen years ago, and we were so looking forward to being aboard her again, in fact we were hoping that this Xmas cruise to the Caribbean would be wonderful, but it truly wasdn't. It was quite dispiriting to see how tired ‘Oriana’ is looking these days, with ‘The Conservatory’ (correctly known as ‘The Piggery’) being the worst. Cabinets broken or deteriorated, dirty walls, filthy windows, crockery grubby, and most people eating up there piling their plates to the rafters then leaving most of it. I had to contact the Deputy Captain to organise for our bathroom to be re-grouted, get a new shower curtain to replace the filthy old one and replace the curtains by the balcony as they were badly torn and stained. We had a balcony cabin on 'B' deck & had rather expected it to be better appointed with scuff marks on the wardrobe doors and on the lovely old wood. However, we realise she is now coming up to 21 years of age and even with the refits she’s had, P&O could give her a lot more TLC, as it’s heart-breaking to see such a graceful ship being so neglected. For example the seats in the cinema & theatre should be replaced as they are truly uncomfortable, sunken and grubby, same goes for Anderson’s Bar with the furniture tired, worn stuffing and discoloured, and although the carpets are kept spotless at night many of them are betraying worn & frayed edges. The best bit about ‘Oriana’ is the staff – who we found to be absolutely tremendous, they are the ones who have made our holiday memorable. Food was good and bar prices reasonable.
The worst or most disappointing bit? A great many of the passengers, their meanness, the tattoed crude men who couldn't be bothered to dress halfway decently on black tie evenings, the lack of basic good manners, lack of hygiene, many uncouth – not shy about the ‘F’ word around the ship and just their general boorishness. We witnessed drunken behaviour, women in a mad rush to leave the theatre after a show wearing vertiginous heels then falling over and breaking their ankles or wrists. Why rush when they’re on holiday? And why wear stupid high heels when the ship was experiencing choppy weather & was unstable? It just beats me. In the daily newsletter P&O were constantly having to remind passengers about their dress code, to not save seats in the theatre & cinema, to not take their own litre bottles of spirit or their own wine into the public areas & just ask the staff for mixers or coke & the old perennial annoyance of leaving deck-chairs by the pool with towels & books on them, departing for a 2-3 hour lunch, and wondering why fellow cruisers were cheesed off with them when they eventually returned. On formal nights a great many passengers couldn’t be bothered to dress properly so that they were turned away by staff at the restaurant door then they became aggressive, or on the last night not bothering to tip their waiters or just to pass them a £10 pound note which disgusted us.
Next time we will have a really good think about a different line (and this sounds snobbish & I don't mean it to) but if we have to pay extra to get away from the “Butlins-on-Sea” crowd then so be it. I paid a great deal of money for this cruise and I feel robbed. With regret I don’t think we ever wish to return to ‘Oriana’. Have to do our homework before our next one as much of what we witnessed was really off-putting. Many of the staff were unhappy and were badly treated by some passengers who you wished frankly you could chuck overboard. I was also shocked that some passengers had had their cruise paid for by the Government then had the cheek to say they thought the experience to be 'not what they expected and their food was rubbish'.
Let me preface my critique by saying, we are seasoned cruisers that take a cruise every Christmas or New Year. We booked our Christmas cruise in June. We were so looking forward to cruising on MSC.
What a disappointment!
We paid for a ... Read More
Let me preface my critique by saying, we are seasoned cruisers that take a cruise every Christmas or New Year. We booked our Christmas cruise in June. We were so looking forward to cruising on MSC.
What a disappointment!
We paid for a Balcony Stateroom with a couch and coffee table. What we got was the same as an inside room with a balcony. It was a very tight space! Not to mention that the picture of this cabin on their website showed a couch and coffee table! That was just welcome to MSC! You know what they say about first impressions!
Next, we didn't leave the Port of Miami until after 9:00PM. Not that it was their fault but, it would have been nice to know why we were still sitting in Miami at that time.
The first night at dinner was a disaster! The cruise was booked to max capacity and they could not handle the dinner crowd. The table we were seated at was partly located in the aisle and part was stuck in an alcove rendering half of the table unusable. Not to mention, every time a person passed, they had to bump into the table in order to pass!
A pet peeve of ours is the sham of a dress code! Why say you have one if you aren't going to enforce it! If we wanted to eat at the pool, we would have, swim trunks, jeans and shorts just aren't acceptable!
The shows were good but music in the bars and public spaces was mediocre. No comedians, no piano bars but a lot of big empty rooms!
Every other Christmas cruise we have been on, had Christmas events - this cruise had nothing, no holiday spirit! NO parties, music, Christmas breakfast - Nothing!
The pool decks were roomy, but the best areas for getting sun were in areas that you had to pay extra to get to, and they were strict about entering these areas. You had to be a member.
So I really am not sure who I would recommend this cruise line to. Not a lot to do for kids. Not a lot of activities for families. No great bar scene for couples. The afternoon lunch is a zoo, very disorganized. Buyer beware, there are a lot of great cruise deals out there, MSC is not one of them.
As you may have guessed this is not going to be a positive review...
Cruise Q423 to Amsterdam for the Christmas Markets 2014 was meant to be a nice little pre-Christmas break to relax and unwind ready for the festive season. Obviously, ... Read More
As you may have guessed this is not going to be a positive review...
Cruise Q423 to Amsterdam for the Christmas Markets 2014 was meant to be a nice little pre-Christmas break to relax and unwind ready for the festive season. Obviously, Cunard had other plans as they had enlisted - what can only be described as - a "B List" Captain and Team of Senior Staff.
We had previously cruise on this ship 4 times before and found it to be absolutely wonderful. Hence, we were excited to spend a few days on the ship before Christmas. However, right from the start this cruise felt a little flat with staff very unmotivated and an absence of senior staff.
Embarkation was good and the ship departed Southampton on time. In the early stages of the cruise there was no indication from the Captain that there would be any problems with the cruise. I had also checked the weather prior to leaving and knew that there would be some strong gusts in Amsterdam, but the Captain had indicated none of this. Later in the cruise the Captain mentioned strong winds in the Amsterdam area; again I was not overly concerned as only the previous year the ship failed to dock in Amsterdam because of high winds, but did dock at Rotterdam; the wind were not as bad as last year. The Captain then said that there was a 10% we may dock at Amsterdam and that we would sail all the way to the entrance and see what conditions were like. Eventually we were told we would not dock and alternatives would be considered. We then spend a considerably long time just sailing round with no updates. Finally we were told we would not dock anywhere because conditions were so poor.
By now the mood of the ship had somewhat changed and this was very noticeable to both passengers and staff. To make matters worse the Captain then announced we would be arriving back in port a day early due to ‘essential works’. I think this pushed passengers over the edge as we then had lots of moaning and complaining. The atmosphere on the ship for the last two nights was pretty ugly.
I am not really complaining that we did not go to Amsterdam as I appreciate that is a difficult port to get in and out of. However, its pretty poor to suggest that the entire west coast of Europe was inaccessible due to strong winds; especially when 12 month earlier the Queen Elizabeth had encountered far worse conditions and docked at Rotterdam. Not to mention the ship departed Southampton in Hurricane Force 12 winds Christmas 2013…if that was safe then Cunard have no excuse for not calling at any alternative port. I also understand that other cruise liners also docked at Amsterdam that night.
I was also surprise that the ship had a strong diesel smell in the casino and pub; this was pretty disturbing as it appeared there was a problem with the ship. Why was this? Was it safe? Where Cunard cutting corners to save money?
Cunard’s poor management and handling of the cruise meant many passengers just disembarked when the holiday was cut short by the Captain. It was not at all enjoyable having a meal in The Verandah Restaurant watching people lining up to get off on one side of the restaurant and Southampton dock on the other side. It was meant to be a pleasant night at sea sailing back from Amsterdam.
The port cancellation was only one of several issues with this cruise.
The majority of the staff and crew were either absent or not engaged in keeping passengers happy - well below the standards I have experienced with Cunard in the past.
The Entertainments Director was a complete Misogynist asking young female colleagues how much they weighed on the TV feed.
All in all, the cruise was rubbish.
After the cruise, I did think of writing and complaining, but decided not to. However, Cunard contacted me a few weeks ago to see if I'd like to cruise with them again....they had a chance to win our custom back, but instead managed to make matters worse by saying "we are not giving any compensation" when I never complained or asked for this and was simply never going to cruise with them again. Only the arrogance of Cunard could make a customer service call escalate to the point of "rubbing salt into the wounds".
Thankfully, we've found Celebrity so we won't bothering Cunard again...and we'd advise anyone not to bother with Cunard either! Read Less
We just returned from a 4 night Thanksgiving holiday cruise on the Golden Princess. We have sailed on the Golden Princess previously but this time was definitely not like the first. Most of the dining staff and buffet staff were so ... Read More
We just returned from a 4 night Thanksgiving holiday cruise on the Golden Princess. We have sailed on the Golden Princess previously but this time was definitely not like the first. Most of the dining staff and buffet staff were so unfriendly I couldn't believe it. Food was definitely not the best and on Thanksgiving evening they ran out of dressing and we sat down to eat at the first dining. When food was finally served (1 1/2 hrs after placing our order) it was cold and just plain not up to Princess standards. On two plates they actually put 2 chestnuts as the dressing! We finally had such poor service and food we just went to the buffet the next evening. At least we could get our food but the wait staff in that area were just as unfriendly. It was like they were all tired and did not want to serve you, after all, with automatic tipping they will get tipped whether they do a good job or not. Also if you ordered a drink at the dining table, the waiter had to go get it. Bar service needs to be returned to the bar staff as the waiters already have plenty to keep track of.
The bartenders at the Lobby Bar were the best! John, Ferdinand and Delton! Wow do they know how to make drinks and were so friendly and nice. The pool bartenders were rude and one of them in the Vista Lounge actually challenged one girl in our party about why she didn't order when everyone else did! So rude!
Production shows are always the same - nothing new. Hawley Magic show was very good.
This was my 5th cruise with Princess. If this was my first cruise with Princess I don't think I would be a returning cruiser. Read Less
In February 2014, my husband and I booked our first cruise with Royal Caribbean. We have cruised previously with Carnival, Disney, and Holland America Lines. We were so excited to enjoy this new cruise line that before we knew it, we had ... Read More
In February 2014, my husband and I booked our first cruise with Royal Caribbean. We have cruised previously with Carnival, Disney, and Holland America Lines. We were so excited to enjoy this new cruise line that before we knew it, we had 21 other family members coming to celebrate Thanksgiving with us! For most, it was their first time on RCI, for others, they raved about the excellent time they had on other RCI ships. This cruise was full of memories, unfortunately not all were good.
Sadly, the Vision of the Seas quality and service did not performed well or meet our expectations because of multiple issues that began even prior to sailing. We did not actually board the ship until 2:50pm, a full 2.5 hours AFTER arriving at the Port of Tampa, at our "scheduled" time, since we were on Deck 4. We have sailed out of Tampa before & have not had this problem. We were told multiple reasons for the delay, but were not offered any apology and greeted at every point by rude, condescending staff & security. There is nowhere to sit while waiting during this time, as the seating area is not until after you receive your Sea Pass. No restrooms, one vending machine, 2.5 hours. Families were separated, as they were closing lines off and only allowing people to enter once one section of the terminal was cleared. Also, we were told multiple times by RCI representatives when making our reservation and calling in to clarify, that NO outside food or beverages were allowed to be brought onboard, save 2 bottles of wine/champagne per cabin, with adults over the age of 21. There were families bringing cases of water, soda, and food and nothing was said to them. There is no enforcement of this policy, however my husband & father-in-law had their pocket knives confiscated because they could be used as a weapon. When asked to see this policy, the security guard rudely said that she "KNOWS Royal's policies and pocket knives are NOT allowed,". Strangely, my brother-in-law and uncle did not have their knives confiscated, as they were in a different line. Some customer service retraining would be helpful for this team, as they did not appear to know what they were doing. We had to ask the agent if he needed to take our picture for our Sea Pass!
So, after all that, we get on the ship with enough time to drop our bags and go get something to drink, as we purchased the soda card...JUST KIDDING! Everything was closed for muster drill! We had to go to muster drill without part of our family, as they were still getting on the boat. Yes, people were still boarding the boat while muster drill was happening. After muster drill, the only place that was open for food was the Park Cafe, that had a line a mile long, as there was a large majority of people who didn't have the opportunity to eat since breakfast due to the exceptionally long embarkation time. We ended up eating at the Windjammer Cafe that night, as our luggage did not arrive until nearly 7:30pm. Only one side of the Windjammer Cafe was open and our family found that it is a terrible setup on the buffet, as the 2 sides are different, so you end up having to go through the line twice, or face being "that rude person" that cuts in to get some bread, butter, etc. It was not until the next night that we began having issues with the Main Dining room.
During our first venture out to the Main Dining room, we made a reservation for all of us, 23 total, for 8:30pm. No issues with this, as we were a large group, and had 4 tables of six. Service was terrible from the beginning. Our waiter acted like he had better things to do and our wine sat unopened on our table until our appetizers were finished. We asked for a Diet Coke and we received an eye roll and a big sigh. It was already bad enough we spent most of the day hunting for a bar that would actually acknowledge our presence to fill our glass since we had the soda card. Once, I stood for 10 minutes at the pool bar without even a look my way. So, when we received the eye roll, we really had just about had enough and this was only our first full day onboard. Dishes were thrown down on the table, all stuffed together, incorrect dishes for some people and when we let them know it was wrong, "Oh, well, they are out of that other dish you ordered,". We were also told that the bread for the table is thrown away after they come around and you choose your piece of bread, as my nephew asked for bread with his entree and was denied. They asked us if we had reservations for any of the specialty restaurants, which we didn't, and they offered us 30% off. We declined.
We attempted to go to MDR the next night, with only 2 people and were told that 8:30pm was the earliest we would be seated. Wait...this is My Time Dining, right? So, you're telling me basically that I have second seating, great. I prepaid my gratuities to eat AGAIN at the buffet. We attempted MDR once more this cruise, with 6 people, and again were told 8:30pm was the earliest we could eat. I actually stood in the "No Reservation" line upstairs on Deck 5 and was completely ignored for 20 minutes while my family stood in the "Reservations" line. No eye contact was made, no information was given as to when I would even be addressed. Completely and utterly rude. When I finally interrupted the little pow-wow at the desk & asked when I might be seated, I was greeted with another eye-roll and a finger pointing to the line, "After all those other people with reservations are seated, that's when we will seat you,". Wow. Basically, RCI, are you NOT wanting anyone to eat in the MDR? We never attempted to eat in the MDR for the remainder of the cruise, even though we had plans originally for Thanksgiving dinner as a family there. We have cruised other lines with My Time Dining and there is only a certain number of guests that can choose My Time Dining before that option is closed, then one must choose first or second seating and be on a waiting list for My Time Dining. This may be something that RCI could look into, as My Time Dining was still being offered until the second full day of the cruise.
Since we're on the topic of food, let's discuss the availability of food & beverages. After 9:00pm, only lemonade/tea/coffee available is in the Park Cafe. After 2:00am, nothing, besides room service. For the soda card, your only options are basically the casino, or try & hunt down which bar is open, which is a crapshoot depending on the night. We had to again go to the casino to get our drinks while watching Monday Night Football on the Lido deck, as the pool bar was closed. There are zero beverage stations on the Lido deck by the pool and the Windjammer Cafe was closed off most of the time for refills on beverages, so you had to trek to the back of the ship to the Park Cafe, again. Food overall was sub-par, with the bread & baked potatoes being the best on the buffet. We were really expecting something special for Thanksgiving...nope, everything was the same, save for carved turkey that was undercooked and pumpkin pie. Seriously disappointing.
During this time, service overall on the ship continued to be lackluster, as well as the activities on the ship. Seriously, every night we were told there we "so many activities! The shops, casino & photo gallery are open!,". Those are NOT activities. Nor is trivia once a day or a movie on deck in the middle of dinner time. In a word, this ship was boring. It's a good thing our family brought decks of cards because until the shows started at night, there truly was nothing to do, and afterwards, forget it. The ship was dead. The poor kids had a Wii tournament on the TV at the Schooner Bar. Really?!?! 20 kids huddled around the TV there trying to play Wii tennis. Very sad. Also, limited access to places to read, play cards, relax. Most venues were closed if not being used or they were being used for storage for art or other supplies. Most times we were wandering around looking for something to do or a place to play cards to no avail.
The rudest service award goes to a casino bartender, as she told my husband she was "too busy to get him another soda & try another bar,". Guess what other bars were open? NONE! We weren't playing in the casino, just trying to get a soda, which apparently means you may/may not be served. I do NOT feel that the soda package is a good deal on this ship, especially since you can't take a can of soda with you "to go", unless you want to be charged for it. If there were more venues I could get a soda from, I wouldn't feel like I had to take a can "to go"!
The shows onboard were ok, nothing jaw-dropping or fantastic. The aerial show in the Centrum that everyone was excited for was not worth the hype, as it looked very unpolished, with timing completely off and equipment looking ill-fitting on one of their performers, as his bungee went so much lower than the other two...very distracting. Also, during this time, there was an exceptionally rude photographer that continued to take photos during the aerial show and would rudely let people know they were in his "workspace" as they were walking through to get a spot or see the aerial show. Add another rude RCI employee to the ever growing list.
At this point in the cruise, it became a running joke when we all met for meals as to what ridiculous thing happened today on the ship. We also had an issue with the tender information given in Belize. We have been on many ships that have tendered into ports. Never have we been told that we could not even receive a tender ticket an hour and a half after we anchor. We went to Guest Services to discuss this, as we had an excursion planned and needed to get off the ship as soon as possible, as our excursion left at 9:00am. Gabriela at Guest Services was exceptionally helpful in this department and we were allowed to depart with the shore excursion groups. We were very thankful for this! For future, maybe something should be posted on the itinerary when booking of the proposed tender times, as not everyone books shore excursions with the ship. One of our family members actually cancelled their cave tubing excursion & rebooked with the ship due to the tender issue. They lost their deposit since they booked with their prior knowledge of tenders to Belize was not what was expected on the Vision. We had also asked for a refund of our pre-paid gratuities due to the lackluster service and were told it was be credited to our card on file. We have NEVER doen this before. My sister-in-law also never received the $25 onboard credit she was missing (received $150, was supposed to receive $175), that we did have documentation of, as there was no follow up from Guest Services after they "contacted the corporate offices in Miami,".
There was also a fantastic sewage smell in our hallway all week, at all times of the day. This was on all the port side decks, as we had family members on multiple decks. Gross. Nothing like getting a big whiff of poop stink first thing in the morning. My husband also got a nice bidet treatment one morning when the toilet next door flushed & the toilet water in our toilet splashed up on him. Ew. The last few nights, since the seas were rough, the hallways also smelled like vomit. There was a lack of sea sickness bags throughout the ship & guests were vomiting into purses, trash cans, and stairwell corners. Overall maintenance of the ship was lacking, and on deck, I was reprimanded for being on the jogging track at 5:30am, since they were power washing everyday at that time. The fitness center isn't open that early & we get to port at 7:00am, when exactly can I get my run in, then? Why are you power washing at 5:30am and why have the dirty dishes & cups not been picked up before now, as they are being blown all over the upper decks. My niece and I also had a hard time finding a deck chair that wasn't missing straps, mangled, or broken in some way. These chairs are in dire need of replacement, as they look like they are the originals that came with the ship.
We did have one shining jewel among all this, our room steward, Donald. He made our cruise tolerable with his pleasant demeanor & attentiveness. We LOVED having him & he always made sure we had everything we needed, bringing us extra ice to chill our bottle of wine and extra towels since our niece & nephew would get ready in our room at times. Loved, loved, loved him!
Disembarkation was just as awful as embarkation, completely disorganized & zero food available after a certain time, even though we disembarked a full 2 hours after we were supposed to. We waited in the Some Enchanted Evening lounge and had the hardest time understanding the crew member and what was going on, who was supposed to stay vs. who was allowed to go. Please make announcements throughout the ship instead of just in certain venues. Everyone's getting off the ship & some would rather wait in a different area with others in thier family that is not so congested.
We are beyond disappointed with this cruise, as well as RCI because of the lack of quality and service overall. It is a terrible feeling to spent 9 months waiting for a vacation to be hit all week with obstacles that no one really seemed to want to help us with or care about. We have said that we may try RCI in the future, however in the distant future, as we don't want to repeat this experience anytime soon.
If you are disabled, handicapped or have a special need think twice before "pearling"...37 night..four cruises back to back and with almost 400 other Aussies onboard this crew had NO IDEA! Immigration and disembarkation were ... Read More
If you are disabled, handicapped or have a special need think twice before "pearling"...37 night..four cruises back to back and with almost 400 other Aussies onboard this crew had NO IDEA! Immigration and disembarkation were disasters particularly in San Diego (crew admitted they did lots wrong.,) elderly in queues for up to 1 and a half hours.....on a wet deck...queue from front to rear of ship. Took them 40 minutes to pull the handicapped and disabled out of the queue...when previously asked one staff member refused! yep- refused to assist a disabled passenger!...Long letter of complaint to Head Office. Wheelchair bound passenger left on wharf missing a tour and the list went on. One disaster after another. Had a disabled cabin and yet....passengers totally ignore handicapped seating in both garden cafe and Stardust Theatre. Crew do NOT police this and claim they cannot ask offenders to move on. Why have rules if you don,t police them? Avoided mandatory life raft drill (5 of us) knowing we were not on any list and we were right! These guys (Administration and Guest Services) have no idea how to run a ship.
Demographics of age of passengers not even glimpsed I would suggest. 1500 "spring breakers" would have loved the queues and got drunk! however.... Best week was the one I spent ill in my cabin! Through or continuing cruising passengers with tours not given desembarkation preference over those going home and the list went on and on. NEVER,NEVER again Norwegian and in particular Pearl. Cold meals, argumentive staff, the cattle pen that was the Garden Cafe and poor facilities for the handicapped I,m afraid left me very cold and it wasn,t the climate. I doubt Norwegian have ever dealt with passengers doing four cruises back to back. There were exceptions of course and they were seen to in the right manner and in the right light and credit given where due.
Demanded a return of the 12$ per day service fee due to all of the above and duly received same. Note that this fee is a "discretionary" fee. Most other lines have removed it or you can remove it on boarding.,it is NOT mandatory or compulsory contrary to what Norwegian might like you to think. Aussies tip who we feel deserve it - not as a matter of right..call it a service fee or whatever does not make it right. They also have to stop offering every complainant a free bottle of wine..that does not cut it with me ---solve the original problem--you cannot wash it away with a free bottle of wine! Must cost them a fortune in give away free wine! Food problems, language problems, poor comedy acts and it went on and on. I think you have my message by now. Read Less