1. Home
  2. Cruise Styles
  3. Holiday Cruises
  4. Holiday Cruises Cruise Reviews

104 Holiday Cruise Reviews

We sailed the MSC Poesia between Xmas and New Years and I can only say that it will be a holiday that I will never forget....so I therefore will never make the mistake of sailing with MSC again. We were with a group of 19 extended family ... Read More
We sailed the MSC Poesia between Xmas and New Years and I can only say that it will be a holiday that I will never forget....so I therefore will never make the mistake of sailing with MSC again. We were with a group of 19 extended family members. Let me try to say a few positives: Cabin Stewards were nice and helpful when around, and the rooms and common areas were very clean. Great excursion in St Thomas - we did the kayaking Eco tour and it was well run and great for adults and kids alike. Although honestly, they could have told me that they were going to feed me to a tank full of sharks during my excursion and I would have signed on just to get off of the boat for a day. The only other positive thing was that we got to spend time with our family which we don't see that often for extended periods of time. These 3 are the best I can come up with, and the last one isn't even related to the actual cruise line. Sorry, I tried. Not to reiterate all of the other negatives (which I agree mostly with all that I read) To highlight a few: Buffet lunch was ridiculous. The set up was a cattle call in the making, the menu variety was non-existent, the staff was not helpful at all. I am not talking not helpful like they wouldn't carry your plate for you, I am saying not helpful like at the water and beverage station (which there were way too few of) if they were out of cups and you found someone to ask, the response was "we are out" or "I don't know". That scenario was a daily occurrence. So frustrating to feel like you had to wonder all over the ship just to get a cup of water.... Seated Dinners were only slightly better. On other cruise lines where you often find a head waiter in the background providing leadership and direction to the more inexperienced servers --Not on MSC. I can honestly say, that not once did we get our coffee with dessert after asking numerous times. Once when my sister was waiting for her coffee after getting dessert 10 mins prior, instead of finally bringing coffee, the server came and tried to take her unfinished dessert! Every night was the same unfortunately. Quality of food and menu was better but overall disappointing service. Too little time at ports of call- the only time that we got a full day in port was at St Thomas. We only had from 8-1 in St Martin and 3-6 in the Bahamas. Such a joke. If there was ever a ship you wanted to get off of, it was this one ...and unfortunately even that was poorly scheduled. No activities for kids- other than the dino room which was for young toddlers and about the size of 2 cabins, there was nothing for the kids scheduled. All activities like bingo, clay making and painting were for ADULTS only. Lots of smoking onboard-- don't forget that this a Italian owned and largely European traveled, so that means much more public smoking than Americans are currently accustomed to. In the casino, some lounges, decks etc. In closing, I have to say that I have traveled top of the line and camped for days without running water. Overall I am not hard to please, but I could never recommend this ship or cruise line to others. I never have taken the time to write a review of anything as a consumer, but If I can keep one person from wasting their money and vacation time than it's worth it. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
NCL-Pride of America is the only Cruise ticket in town so they don't have to try harder. However, this will be the only and last NCL cruise we will ever take. For the most part the shows and accommodations were pretty good although ... Read More
NCL-Pride of America is the only Cruise ticket in town so they don't have to try harder. However, this will be the only and last NCL cruise we will ever take. For the most part the shows and accommodations were pretty good although the ship could use some redecorating and refurbishing but these are not my major complaints. The food in the main dining rooms are of low quality and just bad tasting. The ship has several other specialty dining rooms and you are charged and extra fee ($20.00/Person) to eat there and you must make a reservation. We did not try any of them for fear that the food would be just as bad as the main dining rooms. All the food comes out of the same kitchen. The cruise ship dining experience should be one of the highlights of the cruise and always has been in the past. Additionally, we were constantly harassed to purchase and spend on other things such as photos, art, beer tastings, wine tasting, pub crawls and even bottled water and soft drinks were extra charges even at meals. We no sooner got on board and we were approached by a bar maid to purchase 6 bottles of wine which were way over priced, which we would be able to drink on board. However, one would have to give 24 hours notice if you wanted one of them delivered to your cabin or the dining room. We thought this was "Free Style Cruising". They also charge $12.00/day/person as a gratuity and in addition add a gratuity each time you order a drink. I guess that this is not an incentive for providing excellent service. Each time you disembarked the ship you were harassed to have your picture taken and believe you were not asked. You were herded to the spot and told to stand in certain place for the photo. This was in such bad taste. By the way, these photos were $20.00/each. Everything on the ship was an additional $20.00. Get this one! We took the cruise which covered Christmas Eve. It was announced that they would be having a Christmas Eve Brunch for an additional-Yes you guessed it, $20.00/person. I believe that this was best of all since we were already paying extra for the Christmas Cruise. The very first day was a disaster. My husband and I brought a single bottle of wine on board. We boarded the ship at noon. At 6:00 pm we had not yet received our bags. We finally received a letter at our door instructing us to come to the 3rd floor mid ship to pick-up our suit case as they found liquor in the bag. There must have been 50 people waiting in line to get their suit cases. The ship has a RULE that you are not allowed to bring your own liquor on board. You must purchase it from them. We could have kept or bottle of wine if we agreed to pay a 15.00 corkage fee and let them keep it to be delivered to us at dinner or our cabin at a later time. This is so ridiculous and really promotes really bad feeling and relations. All in all, this was NOT a good experience and would not use NCL in the future for fear of the same experience. Also, the cruise line owns the onshore tour company that they promote. You can probably make a better deal with Roberts Tours which is another Hawaiian tour company. My husband and I Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
This was a Christmas & New Year cruise of 28 days. Ship much too big, not enough room in Playhouse, Manhattan Lounge, Malabar Lounge, to accommodate - hence several arguments with people blocking views- had to get to show lounges long ... Read More
This was a Christmas & New Year cruise of 28 days. Ship much too big, not enough room in Playhouse, Manhattan Lounge, Malabar Lounge, to accommodate - hence several arguments with people blocking views- had to get to show lounges long before start to get a seat. Gave up towards the end of cruise. Stuck out the appalling service in the restaurant for two weeks before giving up and eating in self service. was told by maitre d it had 130 people too many in the restaurant and the kitchens could not cope. No supervision in any restaurants or bars etc- hence dirty tables, no cups or glasses, many times no cutlery. In the playhouse people were sitting on the stairs blocking exits and bringing in chairs from outside. The ship is very badly organised no one able to take charge of any daytime activities. We would not recommend this ship it has far to many passengers and NOT ENOUGH SPACE for shows Etc. They should have learnt from the very bad reviews on VENTURA that there was a very big problem. The layout on Azura is crazy, when you leave the Playhouse you have to walk through the Glasshouse bar and restaurant -Great when you are trying to have a quiet drink or meal and 600 people are walking through, or queuing to get into the playhouse. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
My husband and I recently completed a cruise aboard the Brillance of the Seas. We departed Barcelona 12/29/2010. I was assigned cabin 7170. I paid for a balcony cabin and when I received my cabin assignment I looked on the website ... Read More
My husband and I recently completed a cruise aboard the Brillance of the Seas. We departed Barcelona 12/29/2010. I was assigned cabin 7170. I paid for a balcony cabin and when I received my cabin assignment I looked on the website and the placement of the cabin looked fine. There was no mention of an obstruction. My travel agent verified he saw nothing wrong with the cabin. However, when we reached the cabin the day we sailed we found it was about 40% blocked by the ships structure on the left side. Also, the overhang above the cabin kept the sun from reaching the balcony for most of the day. I paid for a balcony because I wanted to see the Mediterranean Sea from the entire cabin and to enjoy the balcony. My view was obstructed and substantially diminished my trip of a lifetime. I would never have gone on this cruise had I known this cabin was so horrible. In addition to the blocked view, we were directly above the Colony Club on the 6th deck. The music and drum beats reverberated into our cabin sporadically throughout the day and night. New Year's eve the music went until after 4am. We contacted guest services 4 times regarding the noise. They even sent a ships officer to our cabin regarding the complaint. While he was there, our steward verified the music was very loud to the ships officer. While the officer was there he said it must be from the club below. The placement of the cabin was responsible for the noise and of course guest services aboard the ship couldn't fix it. I have sailed 3 times on Celebrity ships with balconies and never encountered a problem such as this. This cabin should be marked as substandard due to the obstruction and the noise from the club so other travelers are not ripped off as I was. I see today there is a note about obstructions on many cabins, but I think it was just added. I contacted guest services at Royal Caribbean and received an answer from M Velasquez of Corporate Cruise Relations who said it was essentially too bad she hoped I would take another trip with them. Also the ship did not have enough dining space in their upstairs casual restaurant, the Windjammer. There was a constant milling around of too many people trying to eat at too few tables for breakfast and lunch. Very stressful for dining. Don't ever go on this ship as it doesn't make for a pleasant vacation. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
After thoroughly enjoying a month long Christmas and New Year cruise last year on Oceana we decided to book the similar cruise on Ventura this year. What a huge mistake that proved to be. After only a couple of days it seemed as though the ... Read More
After thoroughly enjoying a month long Christmas and New Year cruise last year on Oceana we decided to book the similar cruise on Ventura this year. What a huge mistake that proved to be. After only a couple of days it seemed as though the ship was being run by an entirely different cruise line. Yes, the ship is large and we expected that. What we did not expect was that many parts of the sip were downright grubby - dirty marks on carpeting, really dirty tiled areas in the Waterside buffet and on one occasion chips were left lying on a staircase in the Beachcombers pool area for over 2 weeks. In the same Beachcombers pool area some birds had defaecated on sun loungers whilst the roof was open in port during the first week of the cruise and these were never cleaned during the remainder of the cruise. There are inadequate toilet facilities on the pool decks. In fact there are only 2 ladies cubicles and 1 disabled between the Laguna and Beachcomber pools and these have to be reached by walking in the smoking area and consequently they reek of cigarette smoke. The only other toilets are situated between the Beach House and Waterside buffet areas. One of our main complaints was the quality and choice of food. In the Waterside and Beach House buffets, the layout is very poor and it is necessary to wander with a laden tray to negotiate various foodstuffs. There does not seem to be a logical pattern to where the various food is located. Often the trays, bowls and plates were too hot to handle but this was obviously to help warm up the mediocre, often barely warm food. At breakfast fresh fried eggs were put out and I found that they were cold. Presumably they then have to warm up under the lights. During the second half of the cruise American type streaky bacon was provided but unfortunately not served in the American style i.e. crispy so it turned out to be greasy. The toast resembled re-cycled cardboard. The choice of fresh fruit at breakfast was very limited and repetitive. The even sliced the grapefruit into thin slices to make it go further! Bananas, when they appeared were of a quality that would not even have been sold as seconds in a supermarket. By the second week the honey in the little containers had solidified. It was almost as though they had not prepared for the fact that this cruise was of a month's duration and not the usual two weeks. Steak, which is usually on the always available part of the menu appeared most nights on the main menu. There was no way anyone could opt for a healthy eating option as many of the vegetables served were of the frozen variety. We endured the freedom dining on only 4 occasions as each time the service was extremely slow and when the food finally arrived it was not piping hot. The waiters had a tendency to try to get all the tables they were saving to catch up so that they could serve each table with the main course simultaneously. The quality of the meat and vegetables was second rate. The Christmas dinner was one of the worst I have ever had on a cruise ship - the turkey tasted more like something that had been artificially produced, sprouts as hard as bullets, roasted potatoes that my have 'visited' an oven briefly to give them some colour but no crispness. Dry Christmas pudding to follow with a brandy sauce that seemed to be alcohol free! We gave the New Years Eve dinner a miss and used room service! The only redeeming factor regarding the food was that there was a Beach House diner open every evening except Christmas Day and New Years Eve (unfortunately). Here there was a limited menu but the food was cooked to order and was excellent in comparison to the rest of the ship. It was interesting to note that as the cruise progressed the queues for this facility started earlier each night and there were many regulars using it, who like ourselves had given up on their regular dining room for similar reasons to ourselves. There was obviously some form of respiratory virus going round the ship as included on the usual letter about Norwalk virus it also included coughs and colds and requested people contact the medical centre if they were suffering from these. Everywhere you went on the ship people were coughing and full of colds. It was not surprising as this started on the outbound flight where someone behind us coughed constantly for the whole 9 hour flight! To make matters worse, the public rooms in the ship were extremely cold. It is the first time on a Caribbean cruise ( and we have done over 30 of these) when we have had to turn the air conditioning in our cabin up from the lowest setting. The only time the ship's interior felt comfortable was during the last two days in Barbados when normal Caribbean temperatures resumed. The first week of the cruise the weather was cool and cloudy in the Caribbean and then we headed north towards New Orleans, which was a further ordeal. P and O provided all passengers with the green immigration forms to complete (which have not been used for almost 2 years) only for the immigration officers to throw them away! The immigration ordeal started at 7.15 a.m. and only finished just after 6 p.m. as there were only 8 booths operating on the quayside. Interestingly though, the crew seemed to complete all their immigration procedures in order to start their crew drills and coast guard inspection by 10.30 a.m. Passengers who were only on the 2 week cruse hardly saw anything of New Orleans as they left early the next day for their return flights. Again it is not the first time P and O have been to New Orleans - in fact Azura was there the previous week so why wasn't there communication between the two ships as they must have encountered the same problem. We have been there on Oriana and it took til 2 p.m. for the ship to be cleared then and they only had half the number of passengers. St. Thomas, too, was a disappointment as we docked at Crown Bay which has very little in the way of facilities as the one at Havensight. In fact one shop owner remarked it was the first time they had had such a large ship in there before. It is obviously a cheaper option in the way of port charges etc. for P and O. It was impossible to walk into Charlotte Amalie and the open 'taxis' were charging $8 per person for the return trip. P and O provided shuttle buses in Port Everglades and Port Canaveral but nothing in St. Thomas. The entertainment was the usual mix of shows, comedians and tribute acts although we did have Tom O Connor appearing in the second half of the cruise. Cabin TV was showing the usual range of Christmas films the first two weeks but did not replace these with any additional films for the second two weeks. In fact the interactive TV was quite annoying as it took time to load and you had to get the remote in a certain position to operate it only to find that most of the films on offer were pay per view (not mentioned in any of the brochures). We did not even get a cruise log for the first two weeks and when we asked at Reception we were told that one had not been issued. Untrue as we had seen them in other pigeon holes. Likewise we did not receive any disembarkation information and were told we should have had one. There was no cruise overview issued for the second two weeks and the excuse given was that the entertainment had not yet been finalised! Were they working on a day to day basis and hoping that it would be 'alright on the night' and that passengers would not notice that some of the shows were repeated from the first half of the cruise. Many of the entertainment venues were not suitable especially the Tamarind where they had the classical artistes performing. There is a thoroughfare through this venue and we had to endure the kids club with their supervisors marching through and other passengers having quite loud conversations whilst walking through which is very distracting when trying to listen to classical music. The Exchange Bar and Casino were other walk through areas and there were often queues in the former waiting for the second performance in the Arena Theatre. There were very few quiet areas on the ship to sit and have a drink as there seems to be a necessity to have bands in most public areas. The library was quite small for the size of ship and had a very poor selection of fiction. Many of the books were old and in need of repair/replacing. It was almost as though all the other ships belonging to P and O had donated their oldest and tattiest books to Ventura.The librarian was not always at her post at the times stipulated which meant people left their returned books lying on her desk and others then picked them up without having to have them recorded. It just seemed pointless having the cabinets locked and specific opening times for the library when it could not be supervised adequately. Despite the fact that the Captain, Hamish Reid is quite a character and was on last year's Oceana cruise, he did not appear to be enjoying his sojourn on Ventura. We never saw him walking round the decks. He also seemed to be taking on the role of Cruise Director announcing all the evening entertainment and the shopping events when he was informing passengers that we were due to leave port. He also did not seem to be able to operate the public address system as most mornings in port we were woken by his voice in the cabin announcing that we had docked in such and such a port. He might just as well have started with "Hi de hi cruisers" to reflect the kind of ship he was running. There has obviously been a lot of cost cutting, changes and directives from Head Office since last year and standards have certainly dropped. I wonder, too, why there was a P and O director on board in Barbados on the last Friday? My advice to discerning cruisers avoid Ventura at all costs unless you want to experience how a cruise ship should not be run. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
We were looking forward to cruising the Caribbean on P&O's new ship the Azura- what a disappointment! Ship was OK but nothing special. The food choice was abysmal compared to other cruise lines - food itself in the restaurant ... Read More
We were looking forward to cruising the Caribbean on P&O's new ship the Azura- what a disappointment! Ship was OK but nothing special. The food choice was abysmal compared to other cruise lines - food itself in the restaurant was reasonable but the waiters were running around like headless chickens as they obviously has too many tables to service - we waited 1/2 an hour between courses and some people were waiting even longer- just too many passengers and not enough staff.This was also evident in the bars etc and in the glass house -we waited 1 hr 40 mins for a meal to be served - excuse was there were a lot of people eating that particular night. The self service restaurant- choice very limited typical bar type food pie and chips etc very few healthy options and a lack of fresh fruit. Entertainment too samey 3 tribute acts, a couple of comedians and the ships staff more or less what you would expect at a holiday camp. A large proportion of passengers had booked last minute at vastly reduced prices but it appeared from speaking to many passengers that the up graded cabins were given to the people who had booked late and paid approx half the cost of the people who had booked months before - This was our 8th cruise with P&O and were we offered an up grade NO were we offered on board credit as we had paid a high price NO WHAT DID WE GET FOR OUR LOYALTY TO P&O? 'RIPPED OFF'- A HIGH PRICE FOR A SUB STANDARD CRUISE! Never again Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
Nov. 20, 2010 Embarkation Day, I were awake up at 5:50am i am out of bed then i got my clothes i has LSU shirt for gameday on the ship then i just done got clothes up then at 6:15am i was walk at computer see the Bridge cam i saw the ... Read More
Nov. 20, 2010 Embarkation Day, I were awake up at 5:50am i am out of bed then i got my clothes i has LSU shirt for gameday on the ship then i just done got clothes up then at 6:15am i was walk at computer see the Bridge cam i saw the Carnival Triuph we be sailing then at 8am we done all clothes then at 8:35am our dogs drop at vet then at 9:15am we luggage put on the car then at 9:35am left leaves from house we heading road  about 1 1/2 hour road from NOLA we just stop traffic were slow i just happen no problm but car were cash on the road cloes we road fast passed to NOLA then at 11:30am stop from Port of NOLA just waiting from lot of cars just moving then at 12pm just moving from lot of cars very well not bad from cars then at 12:14pm we just parking from port of NOLA just drop from our luggage any small packbag carry to onboard then at 12:35pm we walk to VIP and got card then at 1:05pm we just walk to onboard ship then i said im love WELCOME TO CARNIVAL then i just it said 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0 we just onboard the Triump now time it 1:28pm we be later today just fine don't worry anytime got to onboard ship but well today we got into from capliot area then at 1:30pm just go to lido deck see room we number cabin were 9266 then i saw that it say Happy Birthday for my dad then we heading to buffet for eat i got hambuger then i was tried then at 2pm walk look at on 3 deck then at 3pm wait to 3:40 be ready it soon then at 3:45 we go to muster today to 4pm just done then at 4:10pm we heading to cabin we was ship leaves is later at 5:30pm but i don't know happen we lugage were be later arrive too many from poeple then at 5:20pm our arrive from luggage well then out of clothes from our luggage then at 5:40pm just left leaves from NOLA it very drak today then at 6pm we heading to dining called London dinning room we have eat then i got warm meltimg chocolate we done dinner eaves headung back to cabin i was very tried ii was sleep night at 9:20pm goodnight at sea day tomorrow. Nov 21, 2010 At Sea Day, I awake at 7:15am i saw at window saw sunny is up warm itoo i saw these at sea day then at 7:50am i just clothes then at 8:05am we ready for breakfast from buffet i got egg and grits and hot chocolate too were great food then i just done breakfast at 8:45am we back to cabin then at 9:20am leaves from cabin we look at from deck then heading to game room then we leaves look at shop ship at 12:05pm we leaves heading to lido deck from buffet eat for cheese pizza were good then I saw beautiful sea day on the Triumph ship I am dance with pole and fun on the ship them we heading lido deck I have pay my drink is smoothies I love it on cruise at 2pm I'm sitting on balcony feel cool and warm it is great on the Triumph  then at 4:30pm I just shower ready for dinning then 5:45pm we have clothes already at 5:57pm heading to MDR I just wait for 3 second at 6pm just open from dinning room then I has eat is two lobster and I has warm melting chocolate cake with hot chocolate that is good dinning we done for at 7:05pm just told mean our time on the Triumph I go to Shoshone it very beautiful dress many full color I just done 8:30pm to 9:30pm end at Showtime I was sleep fall then at 9:15pm I heading go to bedtime tomorrow two sea day.    Nov. 22, 2010 At Sea Day I'm just woke at 7:20am I saw beautiful sea day this is the Caribbean sunny be close in cloud almost shower in the ship not bad wave water float on water be during shower I have go to lido deck for breakfast then we walk on the ship take photo all time be before my lunch is pizza has two time then I go to got ice cream! Then we walk look at ship full these on the Triumph sailing but I love the Triumph these was very beautiful ship I just look it is shower just bit sunny this it beautiful weather not awful weather only shower with sunny this is beautiful just left from lobby area I leaves them go to lido deck I just into at balcony I saw the water light blue the beautiful weather I love the sailing walk saw these is great water my love the Triumph ship then we not have dinning room this these food were bad thing I made my fully my food then at 7pm I just left at balcony I go to buffet for my dinning not have time for MDR on lido deck not do for me then I'm glad got dinner not do follow my cruise then we done buffet I walk outside on lido deck midship these see light blue this is beautiful ship! Then I'm back to cabin I'm tried go to bedtime tomorrow arrive land. Nov. 23, 2010 Belize, I'm just woke at 7am I saw land in Belize here I feel warm up whoohoo when we live in LA is cold but best island but glad better warm up more be hot about noon but we heading at 7:35am just eat breakfast fast to then I not saw cruise but have two other land  then we heading to down from casino hope kids can during in casino but these were turn off as locked is closed from Belize this not l like awful in belize then just call ready for boat on the water just leaves go to around to shop allay just by 12:15pm leaves back to ship just feel hot weather this os beautiful we just back onboard ship then we heading to lido deck I am eat this is sandwich with cheese this great lunch time then heading I'm lazy watch big TV in lido deck on the near hot tube! I'm be fun appear I have time from Belize then at 5pm i saw two rainbow in close from shower that is wow! our cruise just left leaves now I saw rain here in land lucky on cruise I saw sunset down that is beautiful weather I just our cruise leaves for night our go to eat at buffer no dinning room I'm doing nothing these then we heading to game room before dinner from buffet them I'm done game back to cabin at 9pm I'm heading bedtime tomorrow again land. Nov. 24, 2010 Isla Roatan, I'm woke at 7am I saw land arrive to island I just arrive at 7:30 already dock in land then go to eat breakfast at 8:05am and I saw the one ship with us it is Carnival Legend ship next dock behind our cruise of Triumph this the legend sailing was beautiful sailing of Carnival Legend I never her I'm be go to these will year then I'm be done eat then we ready for land around shop this not like my island  I think not land.. We go walk stop with gust wait to huts the Carnival Legend set to rope just 50 second then waiting to set rope from the Legend call it said ready left walk to shop I saw far beautiful two carnival cruise shot photos At 1pm just back to ship soon ready for guest party we just onboard heading to lunch time we great at shop from land then at 4pm just ready for gust party on Rome lounge area then at 5pm just done left for now just back to room I just fast shower time for dinning room for today then I just done dressed I saw the legend just left today not later I just fast for shower I saw the legend is beautiful light ship I love ship then at 5:30pm our cruise just left land leaves now for night we heading to MDR I had all good for food were great on cruise then I have back bed time had last arrive land. Nov. 25, 2010 Cozumel, I just woke at 7:15am whoohoo this my love the island I said YES it is Cozumel from Mexican beautiful water on the land I just saw close to RCL ships just dock and I saw look at what is it surriped it the ECSTASY whoohooo that new ship many balconies this is she sailing at galveston almost moving to NOLa our dock soon dock I'm take shots photo of the Carnival Ecstasy this today holiday that is thanksgiving day and game day it is saints football at about 5:30pm   then we left at 8am heading to buffet in Cozumel were beautiful day then at 9am we just off ship heeding go to shop and I saw two carnival ships were great sailing with us can together with the RCl ship I have heading to shop then end at 1pm we heading back to on boarding ship then we go to lunch time on ship from buffet I look at the Ecstasy ship were smaller than our cruise is bigger the. 4pm just the ecstasy left now almost horn on I wait hear just loudly this is both ship horn  I just the Ecstasy leaves from land I said bye from the Ecstasy ship is beautiful ship then at 5pm our cruise it leaves now turn right I saw beautiful sunset down full weather in Cozumel our end land leaves I'm sadly were over cruise  then I just 5:30pm ready for football GP NOLA GO!!! we hurry eat at buffet I had eat turkey for today then I just go to Showtime it New Orleans city with bread I'm good for me at 9:30 just tried from Showtime back to cabin I'm bed we done land tomorrow it last day:( Nov. 26, 2010 At Sea Day I just woke at 7:29am I saw last sea day I, sadly were over ship today just at 8am  heading to breakfast from buffet I saw at sea weather is beautiful water not show oil not see them then we left for cabin during busy clean up from room I leaves around shop Then at noon we heading to lunch time I had pizza then saw rain and water wave over water can't happen weather then at 1:45pm we left at ship I look at see cafe area this I love it these on the Triumph sailing is great then at 4pm I am tried around on ship then I'm ready shower for dinner have last day cruise we number zone is one at 8:15am For off ship then at 6pm we not need MRD we heading to buffet hope stop rain right now then I'm eat on buffet last day we back to room we set unpack ready tomorrow off ship then at 10pm I saw close to river from LA then I'm tried I have g to bed time tomorrow time home Nov. 27, 2010 Disembarkation, I just woke at 6:30am I saw land at NOLa but the ship arrive to NoLa time is it 4:35am this is early in NoLA then at 6:30am we go to breakfast we last one eat time then at 7:45am wait call number one time off ship at 7:50pm heading to dinner room down sitting wait call off the at 8:15am just call ready off cruise we off cruise at 8:30 pickup luggage take to car ready go to home we road to 1 1/2hrs arrive I'm home just made in BtR the Triumph were over for NOLA she moving to Texas. I'm sadly off cruise The End our next is cruise turn to NOLa of voyager of the Seas for my birthday after our holiday in 2/18/12 just next up soon. Enjoy cruise  Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
Your day would start with a breakfast filled with frustration and dread! Around came your boy with water for tea, somewhat tepid as he's been up all night doing another shift, so walks slowly. Tea sir, yes please we say, into the ... Read More
Your day would start with a breakfast filled with frustration and dread! Around came your boy with water for tea, somewhat tepid as he's been up all night doing another shift, so walks slowly. Tea sir, yes please we say, into the cup goes the tepid water, waiter goes away; 'tea bag' we enquire, yes sir. Five minutes later he retraces his steps with tea bags in hand,' over here' is heard the dry cries; milk my good man, yes sir, five minutes later................ The waiters round the pool were more attentive, but as sales were poor due to the very high cost, one would run for any sale, after all they do need the 15% charged on top for everything you purchase, it's their wages. The shows were good, but when introduced in 4 or 5 languages, they were somewhat tiresome, and the so called entertainment director had a very annoying habit of walking very slowly from the back of the theatre in very high heels (she was very proud of her arse) to let you know what's on tonight, yes in 4 or 5 very poor languages. Asking the staff how they liked the ship, poor pay and long hours, did not help. However, the main problem was they all came from Indonesia; some 300 were all from the same agency, they had to learn very basic English to get the job then learn Italian, French, German and now Russian when on board. No wonder the tea boy looked so knackered. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
If you have the choice, do not go on the Carnival Dream. We just got home from a 7-night Western Caribbean cruise (Dec 12 - Dec 19) and the experience was terrible. Nobody likes long story-like reviews so I will summarize all the knocks ... Read More
If you have the choice, do not go on the Carnival Dream. We just got home from a 7-night Western Caribbean cruise (Dec 12 - Dec 19) and the experience was terrible. Nobody likes long story-like reviews so I will summarize all the knocks against this ship as briefly as I can: - The ship cannot handle the number of guests. Everywhere we went felt like Macy's the day before Christmas. We were ~400 guests below capacity and yet the over-crowding was terrible. - Long lines for everything! If you wanted to see a comedy show you better had lined up 30 minutes before to get in the room. Also, It was impossible to get food without waiting in a 20 minute line. That is completely unacceptable. - Woefully understaffed. ONE cook making omelets on a ship of this size is ridiculous. Our waiter each night looked like he was going to have a heart attack trying to serve all the tables he was assigned. No matter the time, food stations were either closed down or had lines stretching for as far as the eyes could see. - Room service often never arrived. Other times they quoted wait times of over 1 hour. We were often conflicted whether to go to the Lido deck and wait in a 30 minute line for the buffet or sit in our room for an hour for room service that may never arrive - Our hallway smelled like a toilet. How is this possible on a new ship? - When approaching ports our room vibrated like we were in a San Francisco earthquake. This always occurred very early in the morning so we were never able to get a good night's sleep. - We had multiple billing issues. Someone else's drink order somehow appeared on our card one day. Then in two other instances the bartender rung us up for high-priced cocktails when we had ordered much less-expensive beers. I'm willing to let an error or two slide, but three over-billing errors on one trip is unacceptable. I chalk these human errors up to a symptom of an understaffed ship. - Want a glass of water on this ship? Good luck finding one. - Never did an employee offer us water, coffee, etc. while dining on the Lido deck. - Want a sure fire way to find ship staff? Look no further than the gym and the Caliente night club. The gym was constantly packed with employees (ogling my fiancE no less) and the nightclub always had a good contingent of employees getting drunk in the evenings. I have no problem with employees enjoying the ship's facilities, but the optics of this are terrible on a ship that suffered so much due to under-staffing. Was anyone actually in charge of this ship? While this was by far the worst cruise I have taken, I will nonetheless try to end my review on good notes: - All three billing errors were rectified within 24 hours. - Our waiter and assistant were extremely nice. We felt pity for them since they worked so hard at a job that desperately needed additional manpower. - Our room attendant (Mohamed - 2nd floor deck) was awesome. He always had a smile on his face, greeted us by first names, knew our schedule after only one day, and cleaned our room flawlessly. In summary, we will never cruise with Carnival again. Two very disappointed thumbs down. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
We sailed on Dec. 19. The cruise was to celebrate my Mother's 87th birthday. We were so glad when it was over. I've been on many cruises. This was horrible. First let me say the food was ATROCIOUS! It was overcooked, over ... Read More
We sailed on Dec. 19. The cruise was to celebrate my Mother's 87th birthday. We were so glad when it was over. I've been on many cruises. This was horrible. First let me say the food was ATROCIOUS! It was overcooked, over seasoned, over sauced or otherwise tasteless. Even the deserts were bland. I enjoyed one creme brulee. I am not picky but expect well prepared food on a cruise. If anyone from NCL is reading this, please, take a cruise on Princess to see how it's done right. The NCL Garden Cafe buffet is a joke. No trays, one buffet area and not enough seating. My elderly Mom could not manage. There is no place to relax near an adult pool. Only one adult pool! And it's adjacent to the childrens pool with slide. Very noisy. To top it off people were smoking cigarettes and CIGARS in the lounge area next to the children's pool. Who planned this ship!! To top it off I got a horrible stomach bug and then my Mother got it. She was very sick on her birthday! I read on a previous review that people also got the bug on the previous week's cruise. And I know other's on our ship got it. We literally spent most of the week in the cabin. The room stewards and waiters were very sweet and helpful although they and the crew denied anyone was sick! The daily newsletter was difficult to read and there wasn't anything about daily activities on tv except for sales promotions. Not well organized and difficult to get information on this ship. Not even weather on the tv. Psgr services only had it for the next day. I made it to a bingo game and thought the bingo announcer mc, whatever person, was unclear, rude and generally lacking in personality. On the positive, the minisuite was quite nice and spacious. The entertainment seemed good, although we only got to 2 shows. Talented singers and dancers. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS SHIP! Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
Well, to begin with, the CC description of the Jade is mostly incorrect. Prices have changed, and the Penhouse Suite we had (and visited others) was one room and a bathroom, no second rooms, extra TV's, etc. That all comes at the ... Read More
Well, to begin with, the CC description of the Jade is mostly incorrect. Prices have changed, and the Penhouse Suite we had (and visited others) was one room and a bathroom, no second rooms, extra TV's, etc. That all comes at the Garden Villa level. Tipping charges have increased to $12 per person per day. Water and sodas in the cabins are NOT free, nor is Internet which is interminably slow. Never heard any priority embark/debark until we asked. Ship decor is best described as Hawaiian Hideous. Room 9172 is handicapped access (supposedly) but sadly, it made US sick. The bathroom flooded with 3-4 inches of water every time we showered (there is no tub) On the third day, the room stweard gave us more towels " in anticipation" of the sewage problem we were about to discover. The rank mildew stench coming from the drains in the bathroom was nauseating. We asked and asked the steward, butler, and the non-responsive concierge for help. Finally, the hotel Director, Dallas Easterly, when encountered mid ships, said he'd look into it. Nothing was done. The headaches started. We left the ship ovenight in Cairo and hoped for improvement on our return. It was worse. The headaches continued. On our last day at sea, I managed to find the concierge and her boss. Once again, nothing was done. This is a continuing problem on the ship, and nothing was done. No apologies or suggestions or offers were made by NCL. Been off the ship for 5 days and we're still sick. We booked our own excursions with people we met on CC boards. Brief opinions: Before the cruise: Flew into Madrid. Took van transfer located as you exit the airport on the lower level....about 20 Euros for both and luggage. Stayed at Husa Paseo del Artes which was great location for touring and a nice hotel. Great breakfast, nice beds and right across from Atocha atation. Free Wifi! Two HOHO bus stops within 2 blocks made for easy sightseeing. Loved the Prado ( hire an English speaking guide for $15, hand held recorders are not sequential with the art) Great gift shop with easy to carry items for anyone. Loved the English section with fantastic marquetry tables and original plans displayed above. Took the Ave train to Barcelona, easy and very convenient from hotel. Barcelona: Take the blue Aerobus for 5E (buy tickets outside lower level of airport. Take route to Plaza Catalunya for an easy 25 minute ride. Luggage racks on board. Stayed at The Pulitzer 1/2 block off Plaza Catalunya. Again, a great location and a very good hotel. Rooms comfy and bright, good beds, but the highlight here is the cheerful helpfulness of the young reception staff. They went out of their way to be helpful in so many ways! A nice breakfast, too and a cozy bar/lounge. Free Wifi! HOHO bus stops at Plaza Catalunya and tours all around town on two routes. The red route had more to offer. The Rambla is overly crowded and very touristy, but do go to the Gothic Cathedral (see the courtyard and the small museum) and La Boqueria (HUGE market, under roof, foods, flowers and more. A sensual feast!)and take your camera. The Montjuic stop offers spectacular views of the port and city and has an outdoor terrace cafe. As in any major metro area, watch your belongings and keep your valuables in the safe in your room. Take a taxi to the ship ( should be less than 10E from Catalunya area) and make sure to negotiate the fare/check to see that meter is running as you leave. Embarkation: No one told us there was an express lane for Suites. We waited in line..it was a little confusing. Taken to VIP and met Monica, who gave us a brief & lackluster intro and had us taken to our room. Nice large aft room ( handicapped...we just wanted the space not the access) with a large bathroom. Champagne awaited us and we enjoyed the first of our evening treats before dinner. Since cover was waived, we went ot Le Bistro and had a very nice dinner. Rome: We had been before, decided to sleep in and walk around the port town. Not much to see or do there. Slept late and had lunch at the buffet. Athens: Took a private cab with pals from Cruise Critic for about 50E...nice way to see a lot in a short time. Rainy day...but it held off till after we went to Acropolis. Wonderful sight. Skipped the market due to rain. Later went to new Acropolis Museum which is fantastic (1 euro) Make sure to go to top floor and see the video. Magnificent, wide open hallways and galleries. Criticism: some of the item descriptions were so innocuous and poorly located they were hard if not impossible to read. Great gift shopping at the museum. Ephesus: Booked a private tour with a highly recommended guide, Nejat Incedogan. Nejat was unable to come due to an injury but sent us Mr Ali, who was great! A retired teacher, I doubt any one knows more than he about Ephesus and the Terrace Houses, which are a must see. If you have to choose between the Terrace Houses and the Mary House, choose the Terrace Houses. Some serious stairs to climb, but so worth the effort, the display rewards visitors with a glimpse of what life was like for the weathty citizens of Ephesus so many thousands of years ago. Brightly colored mosaics and frescoes bring the past to life and are a sight I'll never forget. Nejat kindly called Mr Ali's cell phone to check on us during the day, and I just recieved a holiday greeting from him. HIGHLY RECOMMEND! Egypt: Booked a private tour with Memphis Tours. Be sure you mandate your itinerary with your tour company and take a copy in writing. Half the cost of NCL's tours. Visiting rug factories, cartouche makers, papyrus institues and perfume shops is not really visiting Cairo. The pryamids at Giza are a phenonmenon, of course, but we also enjoyed very much Sakkara and the step pyramid at Memphis....you are actually standing "in" history and it was an overwhelmingly unique feeling. Also recommend the Kahlili Khan Bazaar in Cairo....the real shopping op. Mostly souvenirs, but there is a spice market and so much to see, hear and touch! The Egyptians are gregarious sales people, but not violent and not robbers, so tuck you valuables away and haggle, haggle, haggle. Remeber you cannot take fruits, seeds and nuts out of Egypt into the US. Stayed overnight at the fabulous Oberoi Pyrmaids Hotel and Resort. Great facility and breakfast with pyramid views... Next day went to Alabaster Mosque and Saladin Fort...also remarkable. Finished up at the Egyptian Museum, which everyone should do, making sure to see Tutenkhammon's room, funerary mask, mummy and so much more. Also of note, Hatshepsut's large sculpture....she was Egypt's only female pharaoh. What a place! Malta: The loveliest surprise.... a picturesque, quiet and laid back port city. See Valetta and ancient town of Mdina. Take the HOHO bus outside the port gates and ride away....make sure the route includes Mdina as there is more than one HOHO bus company. Back in Valetta, visit St John's cathedral,( audio guides included in admission) taking note of the floors (all marble tombstones).Make sure to go upstairs to see the fantastic tapestry collections....as you exit the church, have a coffee, hot chocolate or a local beer at the charming little outdoor cafe on the right. Make sure to be on deck for arriving and departing from Malta....it's spectacular! This itinerary is unmatched. Too bad I have negatives to report as well. Ship summary: Spend the extra money and go at least Penthouse suite. This affords you more room, access to concierge (reservations anytime, anywhere) access to the private dining room at Cagney's for breakfast and lunch, ( food and service superb and no surcharges); private concierge lounge, special snacks and treats delivered to your room each afternoon; priority boarding, etc etc etc. That said, note the following: Service was great in Cagney's and Le Bistro as was the food. Concierge lacking in personality and job skills. Main dining rooms & buffet....food uenven but mostly okay. Room service: borderline terrible. Internet:horribly slow and very expensive. Drink cards: Overpriced and not necessary unless you are a Pepsi addict. Note also, ship charges a % on ALL bar, food and GIFT SHOP purchases on top of 12$ daily per person for gratuities. Wouldn't have minded if the service had been great. Take a tiny booklight if you like to read in bed. The lighting is harsh and inadquate. My huge complaint: room 9172 has a non-functioning drainage system in the bathroom. See above. Rot. Mold. Mildew. Unacceptable at any price. Other complaint: very rough sailing, especially on the last night when we were really tossed around...there was no announcement or reassurance from the crew, notably the captain. a few words of warning would have done wonders for the nerves. We met fantastic fellow passengers and enjoyed our privacy at the very back of the ship. However, the lack of concern, caring and response from the crew is unforgivable. We will not sail NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
This cruise departed from New York City on 12/19/2009 with three scheduled ports (Port Canaveral, Big Stirrup Cay and Nassau, Bahamas) before returning to New York on 12/26. This was the fourth cruise for my wife and me but our first ... Read More
This cruise departed from New York City on 12/19/2009 with three scheduled ports (Port Canaveral, Big Stirrup Cay and Nassau, Bahamas) before returning to New York on 12/26. This was the fourth cruise for my wife and me but our first cruise with NCL. I had read many positive to very positive reviews about the NCL Gem and its crew. Many had said good things about the NCL's "Freestyle Cruising" so we were prepared for a great holiday cruise with our two adult daughters who had never been on a cruise. Having outrun the Blizzard of 2009, we arrived at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal just after 11:00 am on 12/19, easily found the parking area, paid for parking, checked our luggage and quickly made our way through check-in. We made it onboard the Gem about 1:00 pm and did some exploring until our staterooms were available just after 2:00 pm. After we checked out our staterooms (deck 4 forward), we made our way to the Garden Cafe (deck 12) for some lunch. It was very, very crowded and we ended up sitting outside (in the freezing cold) because there was no room in the inside dining area (this was a chronic problem throughout the cruise). By the way, no trays were available to carry your plates and drinks which made things cumbersome. The most favorite things on our cruise were the efficiency of the stateroom stewards (they were very pleasant and asked how things were going every time we saw them), the evening shows, the easy embarkation, the walk-off disembarkation (very quick), the availability of the elevators, the large showers (at least for a cruise ship), numerous storage shelves in the stateroom and the comfortable beds (which were by far the most comfortable we have slept in on any cruise). While much of the food was a disappointment compared to our other cruises, it was far from our biggest disappointment. The biggest disappointments on this cruise were the uninformed crew (particularly at the Guest Services desk and dining servers), the always crowded buffet dining room (Garden Cafe), the long waits for seating in the main dining rooms (Grand Pacific and Magenta) and the unwillingness of the crew to help with most problems. The most common answer we received whenever we asked a crew member a question was, "I don't know," with no willingness to do anything to find out. Let me provide some examples of issues that we had (these are just a few). After dinner on 12/19 in the Grand Pacific at about 7:15 pm, we stopped by the Guest Services desk to ask if there was going to be any religious services on Sunday. The answer was, "I don't know." We asked about Christmas services, (note: my travel agent had told me that NCL had services scheduled at 6:00 pm on Christmas Eve and midnight and 6:00 am on Christmas). The answer from Guest Services was, "I don't know, but you can check in the Freestyle Daily on Christmas Eve." As we are Catholic, we asked if a priest was on board. The answer, "NCL does not provide a priest, if a private family has a priest with them, I am sure they will offer daily services." We learned from the 12/20 Freestyle Daily, which unfortunately had not been delivered to our stateroom on the evening of 12/19, that there was a priest onboard who offered Sunday and daily masses at 8:00 am. A member of the Cruise Director's staff mentioned to those in a lounge, where we were playing a game, to remember to pick up tender boat tickets at the Shore Excursion desk for our second port (Great Stirrup Cay). Before dinner, we stopped by the Shore Excursion desk and asked when tickets for the tender would be available. Their response was, "I don't know. Maybe you should ask at Guest Services." We went to Guest Services, which is about 20 feet away, and asked about the tender tickets. The answer, "I don't know, but you should probably check with the Shore Excursion desk." When we returned to our stateroom after the evening show, we checked the 12/22 Freestyle Daily and, sure enough, it directed us to pick up tickets for the tender at 10 am on 12/22. However, it did not say whether everyone had to pick up their own ticket or whether a single member of a group could pick up tickets for everyone. We didn't even call to ask because we knew the answer we would get. So, all four of us lined up at the Excursion Desk at 9:30 am. (Note: The tender tickets really seemed like a great idea, as it was meant to prevent crowding the disembarkation deck. A great idea which failed because of very poor communication.) With our tickets in hand, we went back to our stateroom and waited to be called. When the first ticket number was called, I opened our door and asked several passengers that were filing past if they had their tender tickets. Surprise, surprise, most did not and had even heard about the necessity of getting tickets. My final examples happened on Christmas Day (last day of the cruise). These examples demonstrate our general frustration with the dining staff throughout the entire cruise. In every previous dinner menu, NCL provided an "Always Available" menu in addition to each specific day's selections. On Christmas Day, the menu was formatted differently and did not show the "Always Available" menu. My daughter didn't care for any of the Entrees and asked if she could have a steak (which had been shown on the "Always Available" menu). The server looked at her as if she did not understand the question. My daughter repeated her request. The server just pointed to the menu and asked which entrEe she wanted. No offer to find out if the steak was available. Under the Desserts, Ice Cream was one of the choices, but on Christmas Day the menu stated that there were "special favors available, just ask". So I asked. The server's answer was, "I don't know." I requested that she please check in the kitchen and let me know. She said okay. As the dishes from the main course were being cleared, we asked the server if she had found out what the special flavors of ice cream were. She said she had not, but would go find out. About 15 minutes later, she returned and told me the special flavors were Frozen Peach Yogurt and Pineapple Sherbet (both of which had been listed separately on the menu above the Ice Cream choice). On my way out of the restaurant, I asked the Maitre D' what the special flavors of ice cream were. Her response, "I don't deal with the menu." To make matters worse, on Tuesday, the Garden Cafe went from self-serve, to crew service only. This unexplained action immensely increased congestion and wait times. We began using the main restaurants and Blue Lagoon for breakfast and lunch in order to get a seat. (The rumor was that there were numerous, severe illnesses onboard during the first two days.) Here is my estimate of the average wait times at the main restaurants after being seated; to get a menu - 5-10 minutes, to place an order after getting a menu - 15 minutes, service time after finishing each course - 10 minutes and very, very slow water refills (my daughter had to hold her glass up above her head for 5 minutes at breakfast one day to get a refill). We only ate in the Grand Pacific, Magenta, Blue Lagoon and Garden Cafe. (I suspect service in the Specialty Restaurants was much better but can not comment.) Overall, our take on Freestyle Cruising means that NCL has disregarded their responsibility to accommodate their guests and has shifted that responsibility to the guests to take care of themselves. On our first day at sea, my wife and I attended the CruiseCritic.com Meet and Greet with the senior crew including the Captain. The Captain even gave us his and others' phone extensions so we could contact them if there was a problem. To quote the Captain, "I don't want you to write a review stating that the trip was the Cruise from Hell without giving us a chance to rectify the problems you are experiencing." I noted the numbers but figured I never have to use them. However, when I did use them, a notice came up on the phone that the extension was either "incorrect" or "out of service." So much for getting help from any of the senior staff. During the Meet and Greet the Captain said that we had 2,970 passengers on board. This significantly exceeded the 2,466 passenger capacity listed on NCL's website. In NCL's frequently asked questions, the maximum passenger capacity is shown as 2,807 with a crew of 1,110. While the extremely high number of passengers may explain much of the overcrowding, delays and wait times, it does not explain the lack of information, the misinformation and general lack of helpfulness that we received from many of the crew throughout the entire cruise. (Not the "Cruise from Hell", but certainly close enough that we won't be returning.) Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
Having completed 6 previous cruises mostly with Cunard, we chose the Celebrity Solstice on recommendation. Embarkation Embarkation at Fort Lauderdale was long and tiresome as we had to wait 2 hours after being herded in a seating area ... Read More
Having completed 6 previous cruises mostly with Cunard, we chose the Celebrity Solstice on recommendation. Embarkation Embarkation at Fort Lauderdale was long and tiresome as we had to wait 2 hours after being herded in a seating area before being allowed to board. This was in order for US customs to check the ship and crew which we were told was routine for ships coming into America after months sailing Europe. Just a shame we were not forewarned. Pre-Cruise Hotel The overnight stay in the pre cruise Hilton Hotel was exceptional, the room was clean and recently refurbished with a large flat screen interaction TV and great balcony views of the yachts. First Impressions First impressions were promising, the Solstice being a clean nearly new ship with impressive modern features. Ship Experience It was only after getting settled that you realised that the impressive modern look of the ship masked serious fundamental flaws. The modern bars and casual lounges were poorly designed with seating that looked impressive but gave a less than comfortable feel. We got the feeling of always being on show in the bars and lounges as there were few nooks and niches to relax. The bar servers looked sullen and table service took longer than you would have expected. There weren't the usual relaxation areas inside the ship to sit which led us to stay in our cabin over prolonged periods. The Bingo Experience I'm not a bingo player but when in Rome... The ticket pack for the 2 of us was very expensive, $60! The prize money was relatively low. Poor value and best avoided in my opinion. We paid the extra and booked the speciality restaurants throughout the cruise after reading poor reviews about the main dining restaurant. The Buffet Area There was a good variety of foods served here from salads to burgers and something for everyone. However we and others found the English style breakfast items cold and only cold plates were available to use. Poor Buffet Opening Times One major complaint was the buffet closing after 1am. If your hungry for a late night snack it's not easy ordering from the only available food source, your room service, especially when your wife is asleep in bed! Tuscan Grill Food quality was inconsistent, we pre-booked Tuscan on 4 nights. You would have thought the Tuscan staff would remember us but not a bit of it, after tipping well throughout, on the last night we were shown the worst table in the restaurant, in a corner next to the kitchen door which kept opening and closing. To make matters worse this was the last formal night with my wife dressed up to the nines facing the wall as if she were some naughty school girl. Afternoon Tea This was held during the afternoon in the Tuscan Grill and was a complete and utter shambles. The staff clearly had no idea how to serve afternoon tea which is a predominantly English affair. Even though there were more staff than guests, we and other guests were constantly ignored. We only managed to get one small cake and sandwich throughout the experience while staff walked round with full platters of which they seemed to have no inclination to empty. Murano Our impression was of an overrated pretentious service. When we asked the sommelier to help choose a wine for us he took it upon himself to open a £150 dollar bottle of wine without first checking, presumably to maximise his 15% beverage gratuity on our bill. We only learnt the true cost of the wine when it came to pay the bill which we paid reluctantly to avoid embarrassment. This ruined our cruise experience Silk Harvest Reasonable Asian cuisine but with poor overbearing table service. Bistro on 5 This was by far the best experience for us at the least extra cost (an extra $5 dollars per person). The food was fresh and exciting with a good menu with plenty of salads and crepes. Service was exceptionally friendly throughout. I would wholly recommend this restaurant. Deck Grill Serves burgers, hot dogs and chips. These were of good quality. Try the onion rings in beer batter which were exceptional State Room The Stateroom was a good size, well thought out bathroom and private glass/perspex balcony. Good large flat screen TV with swivel arm allowing bedtime viewing. The interactive service was exceptional allowing up to date viewing of our on board costs. There were a host of free newly released films to watch as well as videos of the bookable excursions. In Cabin Breakfast Service We liked our breakfast food delivered so we could eat first thing on our balcony. Food was always delivered hot and then followed by a phone call an hour or so later from the kitchen to check everything was all right, top marks for this service 10/10. Disembarking Took over an hour, quite tiresome and not well directed. On Board Advice, Tips & Excursions If you don't want to pay the daily $12 dollars a head automatic cabin gratuity, ask guest services to remove this from your bill. Many seasoned cruise travellers do this to focus on those providing exceptional service. In my experience, paying your cabin steward a little in advance with the rest at the end will ensure attentive service throughout. Our cabin steward was exceptional. Try ordering breakfast in bed from the breakfast menu in your cabin and then sit eating it on your balcony. You can order as many breakfast items as you wish but spare a thought for the poor steward who has to carry the tray down. Those Virgin Trans Atlantic flights are tiresome especially if your economy seating, I'm no bulky person but the seats are extremely narrow with little leg room for tall persons. Extra leg room is worth the extra cost or better still, premium economy provide more comfortable seating. You can save money by just getting off ship and doing your own thing. This proved easy for us to do, we were soon walking around the more interesting parts of the port town of Porto Rico. By asking which were the safest taxis to use, for a few dollars, we were relaxing on the best and quietest beaches on St Kitts and St Martin.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
We are no strangers to cruising and travel to all parts of the world. This vessel was chosen as it gave us the option of a Xmas cruise. However, I regret not doing my homework prior to sailing and hope this review will deter others from ... Read More
We are no strangers to cruising and travel to all parts of the world. This vessel was chosen as it gave us the option of a Xmas cruise. However, I regret not doing my homework prior to sailing and hope this review will deter others from making the mistake we did. The boat is beyond its sell by date and no amount of touch up paint, new mastic seals etc can hide the serious problems affecting it. Major problems were encountered on our cruise including the human waste disposal system malfunctioning resulting in many travellers being asked to leave the ship and stay overnight in a hotel(the best night of the cruise !!)whilst the problem was rectified. We returned aboard to find the problem was now intermittent and not persistent a status which remained for the duration of the 14 day cruise.Due to this health and hygiene will always be compromised. Our outside view cabin was small with a picture window and basic facilities - no fridge, tea/coffee making facilities or hair dryer. Forget the slippers, dressing robes, chocolates on the pillow or a news sheet. However, if you want a hair dryer staff services will provide one on a first come first served basis under threat of "you will have to pay for it if you damage it". Rumours will always circulate faster than a bush fire but we heard that people had returned to the UK early in the cruise having witnessed the overall state of the ship, including a honeymoon couple. Others were organising petitions, threatening legal action and exposure in the media. There is ample food on board, albeit simple and lacking imagination. To enjoy a little indulgence, ie waiter service, you will add handsomely to your expenditure. For days at sea or during inclement weather do not expect to be watching blockbuster movies to while away the hours nor should you expect reasonable entertainment on your cabin TV - it does not happen. There is no promenade deck for exercise or an an evening stroll although there is a small fitness suite. Now for the irony - we actually enjoyed our cruise for the following reasons : 1. The multinational staff were superb, always available with a smile on their face despite the plethora of complaints. 2. The people we integrated with were fabulous, like us they had decided 'we are here now so we might as well make the most of it'. Together we made it enjoyable for each other although we were surrounded by those persistently moaning about the same problems which, quite simply, were not going to disappear unless this vessel is taken out of service. Think before you book, you have been warned   Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
"Dissatisfaction". 1. Upon arriving on the ship the Dream there was a STRONG smell of "sewer". We thought maybe this was coming from something in the Port... but the whole week, the smell never went away. Apparently ... Read More
"Dissatisfaction". 1. Upon arriving on the ship the Dream there was a STRONG smell of "sewer". We thought maybe this was coming from something in the Port... but the whole week, the smell never went away. Apparently Carnival is aware of this issue as we were explained by a crew member that it was a design flaw that they were working on, but had not fixed it yet and were told by the crew member to keep our fingers crossed and hope for "Good winds" to help with the smell. 2. The thermostat in our room was malfunctioning and was always hot. We asked to have someone from maintenance look at this twice, but no one ever came. 3. The spiral staircase in the main lobby is so unsafe that I feel down the second night of the cruise. I was not seriously hurt, a very large bruise and some scrapes but did not use those stairs for the rest of the trip. They were the size of 2 by 4's (no I am not kidding) and very hard to walk on. I was not the only person that fell down these stairs this cruise. 4. The staff... WOW! They were SO rude and condescending in every way and department except for the front desk and camp Carnival. We saw and heard staff arguing with each other in front of guests. WITH guests... about guests in front of guests. It was embarrassing! One night at dinner the rest of my family got their dinner 35 minutes before I did because I ordered my steak rare. The waiter said it should only be a few moments so I agreed to have my family start eating... But 35 minutes was horrible. When the waiter finally came back after being missing the whole time I told him I had changed my mind and would just go to the buffet. On Christmas morning we went to brunch in the restaurant and we were seated very quickly which was great. Our waiter came over and handed us our menus and asked what we would like to order? Confused, I said you just handed me the menu, we have no idea what is even available and he state that we either order now...or wait 10 minutes for him to come back because he had 5 other tables to assist! Again this was not said in a nice way, he was actually mad at us about not knowing the contents of the menu. We said we would wait, but as soon as he left our table we asked to be moved to another area and waiter because of this. Funny enough it must have been a bad morning for most of the waiters this morning because as we were leaving we had to walk thru a fight between the hostess and 2 waitresses about a family that originally asked to be seated for a table of 6...and then 4 other people in their party arrived and they had asked to be moved to a bigger table or simply move two tables together, not sure why this was such and issue that required and all out fight in the dining room...but I am certain that more than half of the dinning room heard the argument. All in all the staff was simply horrible. 5. The food, except for my night with the 35 minute steak the dinning room food was not bad. But the buffets were borderline to say the least. What they would do everyday is prepare the food and set it out on the buffet line about 45 minutes before the buffet would open and cover the food with cafeteria trays so no one could get to it. By the time they opened the food was almost cold and not appetizing at all. They also advertize a Sushi buffet...be aware it is not. You stand in line for a half hour and wait for 3 small pieces of pre prepared sushi and are sent on your way. 6. Here is the straw that broke the camels back. We upgraded our cabin to a deck 11 Spa cabin because we were told that we would have unlimited use of "You would have unlimited access to the thermal suites which are laconism tepidarium oriental steam baths and aroma steam baths and also unlimited access to the thalasso therapy pool which other guest do not have access to unless they pay. You would receive 2 complimentary fitness classes per person. Also, spa branded bath robes & slippers for use during the cruise. Last, the cloud 9 products in your stateroom is Elemis, Shampoo and Conditioner, 1 hand and 1 body Elemis Soap dish. Elemis shower get and body lotion. (Basically the high end spa products). You receive a Welcome Reception at the Spa too. As soon as you board you receive a welcome letter from the spa with instructions." On Dec 22cnd & 23rd I went to the Spa with my 7 year old daughter to take advantage of the package we had purchased. We were advised that because she was a minor she would not be able to enter the whirlpool because of the temperatures, which I fully understood but she was more than welcome to use the thermal heated chairs, which was what we were going to use anyways. But on the 24th we were blocked at the door by an Indian woman that I forgot to get here name. She was EXTREMELY rude and actually blocked & stood in front of the door in a manner as if she was ready to attack me and my 7 year old daughter if we took a step. She stated my daughter was a minor and NOT allowed in the Spa. I explained to her that was not the case for the past 2 days before when we were welcomed at the Spa. When I asked to speak with a manager she got on the phone and actually "ordered" me to "Have a seat" as if I were a new puppy that was being trained. When a manager finally came out it was the assistant manager and I explained to her that my daughter and I had visited the heated spa chairs the previous two days with Spa personal knowledge and permission and we were confused as to why the third day we were being refused an amenity that came with the room that we paid extra for with Carnival. She explained that the two previous employees must have been new and untrained but because my daughter was a minor they would not allow her in the heated seats. I explained to her that it seemed as though they were changing the rules daily to accommodate the Spa and not the customers. The Assistant manager had no other explanation other than they did have some new employees and those must have been the ones that we had spoken to at the beginning of the cruise. When I asked to speak with the manager "Mia" I was told that she was in a meeting but to go back to my state room and she would call me at 2:30pm to discuss this issue. I went back to my room and waited until almost 4:30pm with NO call from "Mia" I waited 24 hours to give her the benefit of the doubt...but still no call. When I tried to call her at the Spa, I was told she was unavailable...of course. I then took my matter down to the information Guest Services desk and spoke with "Clara" She was very understanding and agreed that I was not treated appropriately. She then tried to reach "Mia" which took about 20 minutes. When she finally spoke with "Mia" she was told the same thing that I was told. "Clara" said that she would bring this up to her manager and see what they could do to accommodate us and also explained that Mia would be able to call me later that day. Mia did finally call me in my stateroom and again in a very condescending manner told me that there was nothing that she could do because even though we paid extra money to have a "SPA" cabin which came with free use of the whirlpool and heated chairs, that we did not actually pay the Spa anything because the Spa was a separate entity from the ship so therefore she did not have to accommodate me in anyway. I brought this issue back to Clara and she asked that I give her some time to work on the issue to see if Carnival could make it up to us. (As a side note while we were speaking there was another guest at the front desk complaining of a similar issue with other Spa employees and he had also expressed that what he was doing was authorized the day before and was also confused as to why he was now being refused services.) Clara left us a voice mail the next day as well as sent us a letter explaining that there was nothing they could do on the ship but instructed us to call Corp. when we got home. This of course made it impossible for me, my husband or my family to use the Spa for the rest of the trip because we were made to feel very uncomfortable @ the Spa at all because of the sheer horror of what was going on. What we actually found out later is that the Spa was only suppose to sell these special wrist bands to an extra 45 people on the boat for $250 a piece to have to amenities that were suppose to be "included" in our cabin package that we already paid for. (we got the wrist bands upon arrival) Now they had sold more than the 45 extra and had to try to limit who could go because of complaints from the people who bought the wrist bands. We did call Corp. when we got home and explained to them all of our concerns, we tried to work with them and come to some sort of mutual accommodation and explained that this was our 3rd cruise with them in less than 2 years and we already had another one booked with them for the July 31st-Aug 7th , 2010 sailing which would be our 4th cruise in 2 years. They had nothing to say other than "We are sorry that you did not enjoy your cruise" They offered no refund of any kind (which we feel we are entitled to after this mess), no on board credits for our upcoming cruise, no upgrades for our upcoming cruise. The attitude was "too bad". We went up to the supervisor and were told the same exact thing. Basically we were told that if we were so unhappy we should have got off at one of the Ports of call and gone home and they would have given us a partial refund. Had we known this was an option I can assure you we would have done just that. Carnival obviously does not care about customer services and I can tell you that they have just lost 4 frequent Carnival cruise customers. This was suppose to be a Happy Christmas for our family... As you can tell...that was NOT the case. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
Having read some of the reviews I had mixed feelings believing it can't be as bad as described but it was - DO NOT GO ON THIS SHIP IT IS A DISGRACE. My family paid £5.2k for this holiday 2 adults 2 children aged 14 and 11 Where do I ... Read More
Having read some of the reviews I had mixed feelings believing it can't be as bad as described but it was - DO NOT GO ON THIS SHIP IT IS A DISGRACE. My family paid £5.2k for this holiday 2 adults 2 children aged 14 and 11 Where do I start - the cabin was too small for two people never mind four no storage space, damaged ceiling and wall panels, shower room tiny dirty taps, cracked shower screen, cigarette burns all over sink, mould on walls and tiles, carpets and beds very worn, outside window dirty and mouldy around seal, sleeping is near impossible due to the loose fittings and whatever was clanking about in the ceiling space. Public areas tired and neglected leaks all over, the smell of drains and damp was quite evident throughout. the food is good but the restaurants are beyond a joke, the beachcomber is ok if you like eating off old melamine plates the tables and chairs are old and very worn its bit like a greasy Joes cafe. The Island restaurant is better but the long communal tables are not my cup of tea, they are too close together compounded with the wide arm wicker chairs it's near impossible to exit the table which is a problem considering its self service. We had paid a supplement in our holiday cost to dine in the Oasis restaurant on Christmas day - the quality was much better the food good but the service was poor , there was a sorbet served between the first and second course picture this we shared a table again we had the same waiter the other couple received their sorbet then main course we received our main course but did not start as we where expecting the sorbet to come too - it did not I eventually I got the waiters attention explained we had not received the sorbet to which he disappeared for some time then he brought the sorbets then promptly disappeared guess what no sundae spoons to eat it with by this time our main was cold considering the cover charge was £34.50 pp it was a poor service. The ship in general is past its sell by date and appears unstable in choppy seas it's also worth noting that some of the stair carpets are thread bare and several people where injured falling - my daughter included. The all inclusive is a rip off its not as on other Thompson ships and I would be very surprised if the Stella is genuine - I suppose if you like cheap beer,spirits,wine & rola cola its for you. As I'm not a big drinker I like my teas & coffees but guess what their not all inclusive you have to commute to deck 10 to greasy Joes where you can get cheap coffee in a plastic cup then trek back. I've saved the best for last the toilets!! Yes they constantly break down when you complain you're told it's an old ship! In our case along with most other passengers our toilets did not function for most of the cruise and when they did they may not flush for up to 10-15 mins. We had to trek around the ship to find a loo and when you did they where usually overflowing with excrement. We where offered to be put up in hotel Malaga at for the night but I did not see the point .Complaining is an utter waste of time. Most of the staff worked hard but as the old adage says "you cant maker a silk purse from sow's ear" .I also noted the staff seemed very subdued and had some sort of discipline regime to humiliate the crew called Bananas apparently the more bananas received demonstrated a lack of competence. We have been on many cruises and booked with Thompson as they have always represented good quality but they have now seriously damaged their brand by using the Island Escape cruise ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
Our flight from Miami to San Juan was filled with excitement for the three of us. We awoke at 3AM to catch our 7:15 AM flight with lots of enthusiasm and zest. We were bombarded with long lines and lots of waiting and hardly any airline ... Read More
Our flight from Miami to San Juan was filled with excitement for the three of us. We awoke at 3AM to catch our 7:15 AM flight with lots of enthusiasm and zest. We were bombarded with long lines and lots of waiting and hardly any airline personnel around to help us. Thank goodness for the American Airlines lounge where we relaxed had a chance to call our loved ones before boarding. Upon arrival in Puerto Rico, we were stoked about our cruise and the plans we made for fun and relaxation. We hailed a taxi from the airport to our Celebrity ship; the Summit. Embarkation was handled a bit clumsy and awkward as the computer system went out. Finally we were herded like sheep to check in and finally board. We found our room and I almost wiped out in the bathroom due to slippery floors where a water leak occurred. Great! Just what I wanted on my vacation- to sit and wait for a plumber to fix a problem in our cabin. It was finally resolved and our vacation was about to start. So I thought...something was missing oh yes how about the ambiance Celebrity is famous for- well it was fading fast along with the carpet in my cabin....But I still had high hopes. We grabbed a quick snack on the 11th floor cafe with the left over food from the previous cruise.It was sufficient until dinner. We then hailed another taxi to shop at the Mall of the Americas. We love shopping...it was way too hot to trot around Old San Juan;though in retrospect was a better choice...the mall was insane!What was I thinking???? We were on deck 9-the Concierge floor. Nothing special or worth the up-charge. Overall, the entertainment was poor, the food-worse ever and I was so turned off that I will sail with Celebrity again as they have lost us as customers. Our daughter, age 16 could not find any fellow cruiser to hang with as the Tennprogram was not existant. We walked the ship nightly and tried to find some sort of amusement. We were not even enticed to gambling where sometimes we love to play nightly.After boarding once again, we took showers got ready for the Muster station drill,( cruise number 9 on Celebrity and 17 overall)2nd seating dinner and looking forward to laughs with my family. Dinner was almost laughable but most of all almost inedible. We enjoy fine dining(? not on this ship) and we watch our weight as well. Nothing had much taste. We were shocked with portions and the only positive thing I can say about the menu choices were not much. The quality of the food and overall service was very poor. How else could the outcome be if you cut any and everything to the bone? Corporate decisions were obvious and unfortunately does not help Celebrity Cruise lines-it shows poor judgement and even poorer quality of an once coveted cruise line that was above the mass market cruise standard. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
All we were looking forward to for month was our first cruise on MSC Poesia for the New Year! Embarkation was a smooth sailing and the Port Everglades Staff made us feel more than welcome. Little did we know, those smiles from staff ... Read More
All we were looking forward to for month was our first cruise on MSC Poesia for the New Year! Embarkation was a smooth sailing and the Port Everglades Staff made us feel more than welcome. Little did we know, those smiles from staff members were the last ones we would see for a week! The Poesia is a beautiful, very clean ship with our cabin and storage leaving little to be desired. However, first impressions didn't hold up too long! Service leaves a lot to be desired and the food is just simply awful. Selections are spares and executed in way of a soup kitchen. The Salad Bar in the Cafeteria was the worst display I have ever viewed and tasted in over 12 cruises. Not to blame the staff, the problem is for sure the training and supervision. "Who Cares" seems to be the slogan of the cruise, problems being brought to attention find the response of arguments. Nobody seems to acknowledge the concerns of the guest, excuses are being made for being " A European Cruise Line". I'm German born and live in the states for the past 15 years, no excuse was good enough for what was presented! For examples, our cruise account card was closed for 3 nights in a row for mistakes on accounting sites. We had wasted lot's of time to fix it, only to be insulted and argued to! New Year's Eve Night Celebration was a great attempt, but poor in execution! There was one single party on the pool deck, guess they didn't think anyone would show. Midnight came around and the Champagne Toast turned into a Stampede with Cruise Staff yelling and pushing and not being able to serve. The after party we were sent to at the Disco, was taken over by staff (on duty),yes, this includes the captain, smoking and drinking and making it impossible for guest to even approach the bar. As a matter of fact, these behaviours were seen throughout the cruise, staff members smoking, taking breaks and hanging in public areas! something you would never ever see on cruise lines like Royal, Princess and Celebrity! Same to say for the Excursion Staff, not trained , poor communication skills and just simply not enough information given to the passengers. We wasted a lot of our time making up for their mistakes in organization! Simply not acceptable! To MSC, if there is anyone in charge, you need to realize, we the passengers make you successful, without us you don't go too far. We save up for our vacation for quite some time and look forward to it for even longer! I wasted my money and my New Year's Eve on your ship, yet I met great people and shared good times with loved ones! Finally, I hope stopping another in making the same mistake. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
Terrible experience will be sure not to repeat. Traveled with mother and 90 y.o. grandma (probably her last) The suite was nice, beds were ridiculously uncomfortable, I elected after 3rd night , of a 14 day trip, to sleep on the ... Read More
Terrible experience will be sure not to repeat. Traveled with mother and 90 y.o. grandma (probably her last) The suite was nice, beds were ridiculously uncomfortable, I elected after 3rd night , of a 14 day trip, to sleep on the floor!!! Food was terrible, actually embarrassed for them. Excursions were a terrible joke and NOT appropriate for my grandmother - Where indicated: Leisurely was actually a HIKE that I could barely manage, she had to stay in the bus and miss the Orchid Farm which was only thing she Really wanted to see. On another excursion driver was high as a kite and threw bus into reverse while driving we all got hurt. In the fancier dining room that you pay extra for I was scalded with coffee arm and chest by waiter, did they offer to pick up the tab? No! One Big Sales Gimmick To Buy Jewelry non-stop bombardment. They should pay us to take this trip and listen to their ongoing sales pitches. Shocked at the level of lies, service, horrible entertainment, food, and intent Celebrity operates under! Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
> My husband, myself and eight of our friends went on a Carnival cruise from 24 December 09 to 28 December 09. In order for all five cabins to get the lowest price, which is the military rate, CF, a Carnival travel agent, suggested and ... Read More
> My husband, myself and eight of our friends went on a Carnival cruise from 24 December 09 to 28 December 09. In order for all five cabins to get the lowest price, which is the military rate, CF, a Carnival travel agent, suggested and approved the following change: Since both myself and my husband are military veterans, and our cruise friends Kand D (mother and daughter) were not veterans, we changed the names of the cabin occupants to show that one veteran would be in each of those two cabins, in name only, for the sole purpose of the reservation, so that I would share my cabin with D, and my husband would share a cabin with K. All four of us were told by CF that making changes to cabin occupants is a common practice to get the lowest possible price, and that changing the cabin assignments once onboard would not be a problem. Just to explain, we changed travel agents from Carnival's CF to an online agency because Carnival's agent lied to us about group rates for ten people. When all four of us boarded the cruise ship, we went together to Guest Services to change the cabin occupant names. We were all told by the Carnival employee at Guest Services, that first hour on board, that Carnival would change the occupant names so that My husband and I were now together in one cabin, and K and D were in another cabin. Guest services also told us that our key cards, which are used to open our cabin doors, used as identification, and also to make purchases on board, were corrected to represent the changes made by Carnival Guest Services. As we boarded the ship, our photograph was taken to make sure that all the other information, including credit or debit card information, was matched to the correct guest and to the correct cabin. At least once, sometimes 4 times every single day on this four-day cruise, either I or K went to the Guest Services desk to correct information about cabin occupants or on board charges that had been applied incorrectly. Each time we went to Guest Services, together or individually, Guest Services told us that they corrected the information, but in fact, they did not. One time, three of the four names were listed as being in one cabin, while the fourth person was listed as being alone in her cabin, onboard purchases were all incorrectly applied to the other cabin's account. What was so frustrating and upsetting was that in each instance, the Carnival employee at Guest Services insisted that they had corrected everything. All 4 of us went over all the details of cabin occupants and credit card or debit card owners and numbers several times with Guest Services in that four-day period. I find the negligence on the part of Carnival's Guest Services to be unprofessional, at best. Even on the last morning, when we were waiting to leave the ship, we all went to Guest Services because our print outs were incorrect yet again! At that point, for reasons I will explain later, my husband and I decided that the employees of Carnival did not earn nor did they deserve the $80.00 service gratuity per cabin, that was automatically added to our Sail and Sign Statement. I spoke with a female Guest Services employee from South Africa, who told me that she would refund the $80.00. Obviously, she did not do as she promised, and that charge remains on our credit card account today. On 30 December 09, I received a frantic call from my friend K, telling me that Carnival had taken $473.93 out of her checking account, which would cause her to bounce checks and create insufficient funds charges from her bank when they automatically withdrew her mortgage payment on 1 January 2010. That $473.93 was the amount stated on our Sail and Sign statement, which included the $80.00 automatic gratuity the woman from South Africa promised to remove. In other words, Carnival not only ignored our demand to refund to us the service gratuity of $80.00, but they also took the incorrect amount out of the wrong bank account! Both K and myself called Carnival that day to straighten out the mess, and to ask that the Carnival accounting department rush the correction before K's mortgage payment and checks began bouncing. We both talked to T, a female employee of Carnival who was not willing to rush the correction nor even pretend to be interested in solving the problem. Carnival took several days to refund the Olson family the amount of $473.93, and apply that charge to the correct credit card account. But now they still have charged us the wrong amount! It is supposed to be $393.93, which is the charged amount of $473.93, minus the $80.00 automatic gratuity we are disputing. I called Carnival on 8 January 2010 in a good faith effort to resolve the dispute with Carnival after the $473.93 charge appeared on our credit card. I talked to T at Carnival, and asked again that the $80.00 be refunded. I explained some of the more disturbing problems we encountered on the Carnival cruise. Tiffany told me that because she saw no documentation of any complaints during the cruise, and that now the cruise is over, she would not refund any charges. Of course, guests cannot force Carnival employees to document complaints, and Carnival employees probably know that the best way to deter or prevent guests from denying them gratuities is to just smile, nod, and fail to document anything. > We flew on Southwest Airlines to SNA, and stayed with a friend overnight before we embarked on the cruise. Embarkation was very smooth. Our stateroom on the Carnival Paradise was sold to us as being wheelchair accessible, which I need because I use a wheelchair. I can walk but not very far, and I have constant pain. It was simply impossible to get my wheelchair into the bathroom or shower because it was way too small of an area. Only the smallest infant wheelchair would fit inside. There was only one electrical outlet in the whole room. The bedsheets were dirty. We complained but the problem was never resolved. The guest services employees simply nodded, smiled, but did nothing to resolve our complaints.Our cabin steward never cleaned the room as he should have done: the drinking glasses he left in our cabin had someone's lipstick on them. The bed sheets had someone's pubic hair all over them. The towels had fresh, dirty footprints on them, and the shower was simply never cleaned at all. There was someone else's hair in the bathroom sink, and someone's bobby pins and used nose tissue paper on the floor. This was more than sloppy service, but a serious health hazard. Yes, we complained. Daily. I asked Guest Services to ask to supervisor of Housekeeping to come to meet us at our cabin so we could show him what the cabin looked like. He never showed up, so we called Guest Services to ask the Housekeeping supervisor to call us when we were in our cabin. He never called us or left any message on our phone. We never spoke to him or met him. We did leave messages for the Housekeeping supervisor at the Guest Services desk, but we don't know if he ever received them. The buffet areas had a nice choice of food, but it was hard to find an open table because the staff only cleared tables once per mealtime. There were dirty tables and chairs everywhere, with stacks of dirty dishes on them where guests had cleared their own tables to make room for themselves. The tables were never disinfected. Even between meals, there were crumbs and greasy areas on tables, and chairs were used as stairs for the children to climb on the tables and jump off. At dinner, we received dirty dishes, dirty silverware and questionable glassware. When we complained, our items were replaced. The steaks were very good, and there were many choices of entrees. Other problems include dirty dishes and used silverware in the supposedly clean stack of dishes at the entrance of the buffet line in the dining rooms, dishes and silverware with dried food on them in the restaurant, dirty glasses in the restaurant, and I saw a bar server take a used straw out of one drink and place it in another drink before he served that drink to a guest. Other members of our group saw and experienced similar sickening behavior from Carnival staff. We took this cruise with a large group so we spent most of our time with them. There were no children in our group, so I can't speak of the quality of children's activities. I observed that of the 500 children on this cruise, the large majority, even children wearing diapers, were unsupervised, screaming, running in the public areas, leaving half-eaten food on the floors and on any public holiday decoration that they could find, and generally behaving like wild animals. As far as the entertainment, we really enjoyed the comedian, but not the singing and dancing shows. The movies available were for the children, since this was a holiday cruise. We did not buy any shore excursions from Carnival, but instead left the ship and hired locals to take us to the same sites promoted by Carnival, at a substantial savings. Disembarkation was the smoothest I have ever seen. If there is one thing Carnival knows how to do right, it's how to get people off the ship quickly. The bottom line is that we as guests feel that we determine how much gratuity is to be given, just like in any other restaurant, hotel, or other merchant that provides a service. Carnival can suggest a gratuity amount, but they can not force guests to pay a gratuity that we determine was certainly not deserved. We found the entire cruise to be sub-standard, unprofessional and Carnival's business practices unethical. Our cruise experience was, and remains, negative. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
I've been fortunate to enjoy many fine traveling experiences in my lifetime, but my experience aboard the Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas during this past Christmas is not among them. I will never cruise again on ANY ship; I do ... Read More
I've been fortunate to enjoy many fine traveling experiences in my lifetime, but my experience aboard the Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas during this past Christmas is not among them. I will never cruise again on ANY ship; I do not have any animosity toward Royal Caribbean; I do not want to be contacted by anyone affiliated with RC to compensate or apologize to me; I simply wish to warn others about making the mistake of booking this trip. You really need to accept giving up your freedom if you cruise. My wife and I are in our forties and we travelled with our 17 and twenty-year-old daughters. I speak for all of them by saying this was hands-down the worst family vacation we ever planned. If you are considering taking the Royal Caribbean Christmas Cruise out of Galveston and you have teenage children, I strongly recommend you consider our experience. Here is the good and the bad: Boarding in Galveston: Extremely efficient process. We stayed at the Hilton the night before and enjoyed a complimentary shuttle to the pier. Hilton parked our vehicle free. Stateroom: Room was hospital-clean; however, there was a distinct sewage odor upon opening the door to the stateroom. The room attendant did his best to correct it, and his efforts seemed to help initially. By midweek, we realized the odor was not emanating from the bath but from the ventilation system and it was affecting the adjoining room occupied by my children. RC was very courteous about the problem, but could not repair it and could not relocate us on the ship because there were no available rooms. Luggage: Everyone in my family received their luggage except me. I finally got mine at 11 p.m. and would have had it sooner if the staffer who called me could actually speak reasonable English. By the time I got to sleep Sunday night, buyer's remorse was setting in and never really ended for me. Food: We live in the Dallas area and are certainly spoiled by great restaurants. The food on board was not bad, but certainly lackluster. Aside from the nice presentation and the opportunity to replace any dish you did not like, it is definitely not remarkable unless you appreciate quantity. The ship faces a daunting task trying to feed 3,000 people in short time periods, so make your mind up before you go to expect somewhat bland food for an entire week. Plan ahead to pay for the upgraded meals occasionally to break the monotony. We could not wait to eat something with some spice in it when we got off the ship. I know we are spoiled; it's just that I would never plan a trip where I eat hotel food for seven days. Staff: Very friendly and genuinely engaged all of us. Unfortunately, my stateroom attendant seemed to be in fear of me since I repeatedly told customer service about the odor in our cabins. It was not his fault but apparently he was blamed. I did see a technician working on the air handler in the hallway but the problem never went away. Weather: Probably the most compelling reason you should reconsider this trip. It was 47 degrees in Galveston upon departure and still too cold on Monday to be on deck. We had good weather in Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Jamaica, but a storm appeared on Friday after lunch and it quickly became too cold or windy to enjoy the deck. My teenagers had a misconception that they would be in deck chairs for most of the trip, but with the exception of Friday morning, it was too cold. Age of children: Royal Caribbean can't help this, but there is very little for a 17 and 20 year -old to do aboard this boat. If you have small children, perhaps pre-middle school age, I think it would be fine. Excursions: Without getting too lengthy here, the excursions are fine but the mechanics of getting so many people off the ship and onto shuttles takes up too much of the days ashore. Yet another compelling reason to take your dollars and fly to a resort of your choice and not have to deal with lines and transfers. It isn't that RC isn't well organized, it's just a time consuming process to get 3,000 people where they wish to go. I cannot imagine what it would be like on their newest, even larger craft. In Jamaica, I hired a cab to take us to a private beach just so we could avoid the shuttle herds. I regretted doing so on the return trip back to the ship because beggars were tapping on the windows of the cab and my daughters were justifiably frightened. I really cannot imagine why RC stops there. Communication: I own my own business and unfortunately I always travel with the laptop and cell phone. I'm used to paying some high fees, but the rates aboard the ship are the worst I've encountered anywhere. I did make arrangements with AT&T before the trip so I could concentrate my cell use while ashore and not on the boat where it's $6.95 per minute. The web speed onboard was excellent and I had no email issues. Departure: My bill came to my room as promised on Sunday morning, but not without an overcharge. I got to wait in line at customer service only to be told the computers were down but they would correct my bill. I told him a final time about the odor in our room and he said he would make a note of it. He made no such note and some other poor souls spent a week the same way we did. I know that computers fail everywhere, but it did disappoint me again when my visa bill arrived without the correct charges and I had to call RC and write a letter to Visa to protest the charge. RC did agree to correct it. In summary, we just don't get it. My family felt trapped in a hotel for a week with the exception of the three days of excursions where more time is spent on the transfers than on the activity itself. If I had flown to a destination and had the sewer odor problem, I would have cut my losses and returned home early. I realize many people enjoy cruises, but my family got a good lesson in making the best of a disappointing situation and we learned how much fun we've had on our other vacations enjoying our FREEDOM. For my family, we enjoy doing what we want, when we want and eating when and wherever we wish while on vacation. Other than the Disney trips when the kids were little, we don't go places where we stand in lines. I backpacked across Europe after college and stayed in my share of unpleasant accommodations, but I would never consider putting my family in those conditions, especially not when trapped aboard a ship. My last thought before drifting off to sleep each night was wondering if Legionnaires disease had an odor. A final humorous note: we took advantage of the early departure offer and carried our own luggage from the ship. The Hilton shuttle greeted us at the dock and we were quickly transferred back to the hotel parking area. You could sense the relief as we closed the doors on the Suburban to make the drive back to Dallas. We had only travelled a few blocks before my wife asked "My gosh, do you smell that? It's following us!" The unpleasant odor of the staterooms had permeated our luggage. We pulled into a Starbucks and drank coffee while watching the open windows of the Suburban! Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
First, the ship is awesome and the food was phenomenal. The ports were great and the excursions were fantastic. But, here's the rest of the story: Since our travel agent booked us a guaranteed stateroom 9297, we had to walk ... Read More
First, the ship is awesome and the food was phenomenal. The ports were great and the excursions were fantastic. But, here's the rest of the story: Since our travel agent booked us a guaranteed stateroom 9297, we had to walk all the way down the hallway to get to our dining, spa, and ALL activities. On Day 2, we noticed a STRONG SEWAGE smell in the hallway. It was disgusting, and so we thought it would be obvious enough for others to notice. And we heard others talking about it. My wife being proactive made contact with the Guest Relations to let them know that the "funky smell" was there every day. We suggested that they deodorize the hallways hourly to keep us from almost throwing up each time we left our stateroom. There were a few times that we noticed the smell of deodorizer, so they must have sprayed sometime. Finally, on Day 9 (after calling or complaining to our Stateroom Attendants every day) - we got a call from the Guest Relations that we could move to another stateroom. We did go check it out but the balcony was not as large as the one that we signed up for, so I asked them for other options. That's the last time I heard anything and the cruise ended! Upon disembarkation, we filled out the satisfaction survey, and stated (truthfully) that the cruise would have been a 10 except for the stench, and that would not sail with Celebrity again because of the way Guest Relations handled our complaint. Now, we finally got a call from Ms. Smith with Celebrity and we're getting nowhere! She does not have an email address, nor, does she believe our story. Furthermore, Ms. Smith "does not read Cruise Critic", and denies that there were any other complaints. (my further research shows otherwise)... Read 02/2009 review here on CruiseCritic.com So, if you happen to have been on this sailing Nov. 23, 2009 to Dec. 4, 2009 - please post on this thread. Man, I wish Celebrity would have done the "right thing" ... the ODOR killed an otherwise FANTASTIC cruise. It's THE WAY THAT CELEBRITY HANDLED the issue (It's a known problem, engineers were on board, and the manufacturer's reps are on board for the whole 1st year.) Unfortunately, I will no longer contribute my hard earned dollars to a company who denies a problem existed on my cruise, and won't make it right. Peace and Merry Christmas! BrokerO Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
We have been on quite a few cruises over the past few years cruising with Airtours, Holland America, Royal Caribbean and P and O and they have all been enjoyable experiences apart from this one with Costa. This cruise was more expensive ... Read More
We have been on quite a few cruises over the past few years cruising with Airtours, Holland America, Royal Caribbean and P and O and they have all been enjoyable experiences apart from this one with Costa. This cruise was more expensive than any other cruise we had been on and was very frustrating and stressful. We booked this cruise as did many other people because of the itinerary. We spent two days pre cruise at the Island Pacific Hotel in Hong Kong. This was a lovely hotel with superb helpful staff, great food and very clean and was a very enjoyable experience. Our representative in Hong Kong, Wing, was also excellent. We were picked up at our hotel at 3pm and told this was the best time to embark and so began the nightmare. We were in a queue in the Ocean Terminal for an hour and half due to a lack of checking in staff. Waiting in queue's seemed to be a way of life on this ship!On other ships when the passengers are boarding there is a member of crew o show you to your cabin, on this ship it was self service. Emergency Drill was horrendous and we received a letter accusing us or not attending. The passengers who embarked n Singapore did not have one. Customer Services and the Excursions desk were atrocious could not answer questions asked, gave wrong info and were rude.Tried to ring Customer Service, Room Service and Emergency number on the last night no-one answered so if you were ill you could be dead. Entertainment was rubbish with lots of people walking out each night. The best night was the crew show.Announcements took ages in different languages We also had a banging in the cabin which we never found out what it was. Our cabin steward was very good and helpful. Breakfast. The dining room at breakfast was awful. We entered the dining room and had to wander round looking for a table to sit at, there was no order and on the bigger tables half would have been used and still have the used crockery and cutlery on and the other half sat.We only had three occasions when we were shown to a table. The juice was terrible and the glasses containing it hot. The cereal dishes were also hot. The toast was wrapped in a serviette and as cold and rubbery.Twice we had to return glasses because they were chipped or cracked. One waiter did apologise for the chipped glass and this was the only apology we received for any complaint we made. Lunch. This was a little more civilised. A request for tartar sauce was made and arrived after the meal was finished. No mint sauce for the lamb. Ordered ham and brie the meal was served minus the brie. Dinner. The food was sometimes lukewarm and was badly presented. Waiters rarely filled the water glasses unless asked.A lady on our table found a piece of wood in her pasta which the maitre d treated as a joke-no apology but did come back with a large piece of cheese and a bottle of wine. Coffee was cold when served but when we complained we did get hot coffee for the remainder of the cruise. Jacket potatoes were a potato cut in half and often black. Carrots were black round the edges. Same veg served. One of our fellow cruisers ordered a steak which was completely raw and had to be returned a comment from another member of our table was - a good vet would soon have that running round. My friend ordered a asparagus pie as her main meal it arrived and was the shape and consistency of a fish cake there was nothing else on the plate, no garnish or veg. Shore Excursions. Unable to comment as they were so expensive we did them independently. There was no useful information given by the ship on the ports of call and the maps provided were useless. Self Service. Certainly could not be called a restaurant was more like a works canteen. It was badly laid out with food in different areas. Plates were plastic. The large mugs for drinks were frequently not washed properly. Frequently ran out of water for tea and coffee ice and milk. The warm milk container was filled with cold milk and you would pour what you thought was hot milk only to find it was cold. To say that this was an Italian ship the ice cream in the canteen was a joke.One day there was a fly on a plate which the chef was wafting off and which returned to the plate again I pointed it out to the chef and he said yes Ma'am but would not have removed the plate if I had not told him to if this is done in front of passengers one wonders what is done behind closed doors. Glasses for water were hot. Air Con. This was inadequate all over the ship, cabins, dining room, theatre were all uncomfortably warm and the lifts like sauna's Decks. These were dirty and dirty crockery and food were left there all day. Pools. These were small three strokes and you were across them. Water was too deep to allow you to stand therefore non swimmers were not able to use them. Hard Work. Everything had to be requested, shampoo soap etc Lipton's English tea was kept in a cupboard so every time you wanted to make a cup of tea you had to find a crew member to request one. Read Less
Sail Date October 2009
If you are someone with low expectations then this cruise line may be ok. Never imagined that my christmas would be ruined this way. Let alone my relationship. I was looking for something really wonderful for my first cruise ... Read More
If you are someone with low expectations then this cruise line may be ok. Never imagined that my christmas would be ruined this way. Let alone my relationship. I was looking for something really wonderful for my first cruise experience so I found something for a little over 1200 dollars. It was the biggest waste of my money. first I will start with the good points: -nice ship -really spacey and beautiful room -ports of call (grand cayman and cozumel were fantastic) -didn't feel crowded eventhough it was a full ship heres the bad stuff: -first and foremost the food: I was expecting something decent because I have heard nothing but raving and ranting about the food. it was stale and disgusting and I did not have one thing that didn't taste like day old cafeteria food. This is completely unacceptable. A decent meal is not hard to achieve and shouldn't be on a cruise so expensive. It was not even to the quality of crappy fast food you can get at wendys. Me and my boyfriend are young and really not hard to please.. but my health suffered from all the bad food that I forced myself to swallow. - customer service: Nobody knew what was going on besides the information people and even they had a little confusion. Though it was nice to have people from all around the world (I myself am colombian and love to be around people from different countries), A lot of them spoke little english and were hard to understand. Not one person understood one thing I asked or could carry on a simple request. -Waiter- the waiter was lifeless, not friendly and barely spoke to us. Came over once to check on us if we got lucky that night. The maitre d was nowhere to be seen. -shows and entertainment: Not appropriate for all ages. They had very boring events and then some that were a bit "too" much. Very corny and cheesy contests that were tacky and not entertaining in the least bit. I did not pay 1200 dollars to see harry chests, absolutely ridiculous. Not one event captured our interest or made us happy. Once again I stress upon you that we are not hard to please and on sea days we were miserable. -time in ports of call- we were in grand cayman (the most beautiful place) for barely 2 hours, had lunch and then we were almost late getting back to the ship. what a waste. in cozumel we were there longer but stayed the bare minimum because everything closed down at 4 so the experience was shortened as well. I do have to say that getting off that horrendous ship of annoying employees made those 2-3 hours feel like heaven. Not sure if I am allowed to say this on here but I feel cheated. I feel ripped off and these people took a grab at my money any chance they could... to communicate with someone, to get help, to have a friendly person to talk to. No courteousness whatsoever. I intend to let everyone know what a crap cruise line this is. Please go with someone else. I may never cruise again. They knew nothing about dealing with someone who had diabetes (such as myself) and I am in the process of suing them for ruining my christmas eve. Read Less
Sail Date December 2008
We booked this special Christmas cruise for our family of 5, and the fact that we were all together at Christmas was the only saving grace for this appalling debacle which was the MSC Fantasia maiden cruise. We arrived in Genoa to total ... Read More
We booked this special Christmas cruise for our family of 5, and the fact that we were all together at Christmas was the only saving grace for this appalling debacle which was the MSC Fantasia maiden cruise. We arrived in Genoa to total chaos. Embarkation was dangerous due to the fact that nearly 4,000 people arrived in a very short space of time to check in. Some children were trampled and two people fainted. There was no organization by the port staff (which was MSC's final excuse, even though it was the Fantasia staff on the ground checking people in!) It took over 2 hours for us to get on board (some people were waiting for almost 5 hours). There was no proper explanation and certainly no apologies. When we got to the front of the queue, we were quite understandably unhappy about the situation, but the staff member said he didn't speak English (we later found out that he did, quite well!). We had booked our cruise direct with MSC in the UK and had booked first sitting, but were given the second sitting. We were directed to the maitre'd on the ship, but found a whole line of others trying to change their dining arrangements. The maitre'd refused to do anything for anyone. I guess we were lucky really, at least our party was all seated together; some parties were put on different tables, different dining rooms at different sittings! I guess we were also quite lucky with our cabins. We had booked two particular cabins adjacent to each other and actually got what we had booked. Some parties were split up onto different decks at different parts of the ship. Apparently MSC's response to this was "we put people where we want them and not necessarily where they want to be" - how nice and very customer friendly! The ship is undoubtedly beautiful and was spotlessly clean and tidy all the time - there were staff constantly cleaning and polishing, and our cabin stewards were helpful, cheerful and friendly, as were most of the bar staff. Unfortunately, the people who really needed to be all of the above were not. The reception and information staff were at best surly and at worst downright rude. According to MSC all staff speak 5 languages - what they omitted to say was that no one spoke any one language well enough to hold a conversation with foreign guests, certainly not the English ones! -We were constantly reminded to wash our hands to help avoid spreading germs and told that we must use the disinfectant handwash stations throughout the ship - there were NONE anywhere! -We found that everything on the ship was to pay for, even water on the dining table. We did manage to get a jug of tap water after some time trying. There was not even water in the gym, just a juice bar selling drinks! -The cafeteria was always extremely busy and chaotic and was only open certain hours (not most of the day like other cruise lines). On port days, MSC seemed to like having visitors aboard and offered them lunch in the cafeteria which only added to the problem of overcrowding as well as their being no proper security (as far as we could see the visitors did not have to go through security before boarding,even though we did). -The restaurant food was quite good with 7 courses offered every night. MSC advertise several other restaurants on board in you fancy a change to the main restaurants but all are to pay for. -The evening entertainment in the theatre was adequate but the performers still appeared to be learning their routines - surely something which should have been done prior to the maiden cruise! -DO NOT SAIL WITH MSC unless you like an inefficient, unorganized cruise line, indifferent staff and have nothing better to spend your money on. If having read all of the above you decide to still book with MSC, stay away from having a cabin at the back of the ship - the vibration was bad all the time and absolutely horrendous when the ship was maneuvering into port. Someone on board who knew about these things said there was definitely a misalignment with one of the pods. If you have already booked with MSC despite all the poor reviews (as we did, thinking that the launch of their new flagship would surely change the way they operate - unfortunately they did not!) GOOD LUCK and I hope it improves for your cruise! Read Less
Sail Date December 2008

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click