1. Home
  2. Cruise Styles
  3. Holiday Cruises
  4. Holiday Cruises Cruise Reviews
Cruise Ratings
999
519
304
175
104
See Reviews For
Sail Date: September 2011
Having sailed with P&O cruises for many years we chose Princess Crown Princess purely because of time constraints. If more time had been available to us we would have cruised with P&O , but as a transatlantic cruise from ... Read More
Having sailed with P&O cruises for many years we chose Princess Crown Princess purely because of time constraints. If more time had been available to us we would have cruised with P&O , but as a transatlantic cruise from Southampton to our chosen destinations would have incurred an additional 10 days we chose Princess . Initially we were very sceptical about our choice but overall I would say we were very pleased with Crown Princess and the overall operations of PRINCESS. The similarities are very evident on board so I will try and highlight what we saw as the main differences and perhaps expel some of my previous concerns between the two company's. Firstly, we travelled to Quebec as part of the brochure package which was originally shown as flying to Quebec and boarding there. Six weeks after booking, our confirmation showed that we were in fact booked to fly to Montreal and then be transferred by coach to Quebec. When querying this both with our Travel Agent and directly with Princess's neither seemed to know why this had changed or how long the coach journey would take. On privately investigating this, I discovered it to be a 3hr coach trip. I also requested that we needed to pay for an upgrade on our return flight from New York as we were purchasing Princess "extended "stay option. Unfortunately I did not feel that the Princess staff handling the request were as efficient as those at P&O When arriving in Quebec after a long flight and long coach journey in the dark , the welcome was not exactly overwhelming. The staff not sure if they were Princess's or the Port Authority were very abrupt and obviously wanted to go home. There was no P&O courtesy of "we hope you have a lovely cruise and if there is anything you need on board just ask" . We were just told to follow the directions onto the ship after going through endless paperwork at the embarkation desk despite completing and confirming everything on line before hand. Our cases took over 3 hrs to get to our cabin 2:00 am next morning) which bearing in mind we were the last passengers to arrive was a little disappointing. Once under way the next day things got a lot better. We found the ship to be very friendly and a very similar layout to the VENTURA and AZURA. The function rooms are a little dark but do create a very relaxing atmosphere. Probably because of the time of the year there was a lack of children on board which does have an impact good or bad. We had requested a table for 2 and unlike sometimes on P&O we had no trouble with our request. In fact for some reason the 2nd sitting for dinner was always half empty and so there were always tables for two and 6 always available and this was on traditional dining option. The waiters were extremely courteous and attentive and the Maitre De in our restaurant an Italian gentlemen was a delight. In respect of the restaurants and the food on board, I would say, surprisingly the portions were smaller than P&O but more than adequate. There was definitely a smaller selection of food in the buffet area than P&O and bearing in mind unlike P&O where each day you have the choice of formal lunch in the restaurant or buffet lunch, apart from the one sea day no formal lunch restaurants opened. Also a surprise was the fact that the formal dining room only has the minimal table settings laid out - soup spoons , desert spoons etc are only laid in between each course if needed. Maybe setting a table for dinner with all the condiments is a British thing but none the less it does make a nicer appearance at the table when entering the restaurants. One advantage of Princess over P&O is that they have retained the additional plain options on the evening menu , something that we missed last year on P&O. In respect of drinks these are certainly more expensive on Princess. The basic cost of drinks start of higher, and then when the 15% service charge is also added ( This is in addition to your end of cruise tips) drinks are very expensive (Bacardi and coke, whisky and coke Total $12.The entertainment was probably the same standard as P&O, the normal theatre shows , comedian, singer etc. The Atrium had various musicians playing which was very pleasant and the trio's were excellent in the bars - better than recently experienced with P&O. We thought on tender days the disembarkation for non tours passengers seemed to be very slick, previous experiences on ships with 3,000 passengers has been very slow but Princess have this sorted, hardly any time was lost - despite weather conditions causing early delays all went well and we did not feel that because we had not purchased a trip we weren't left on board for ages. We did purchase two tours which included a lunch on each occasion.- $140 each person each trip) Whilst the tours were good we were a little disappointed with the lunches. In the past we have experienced select restaurants with waiter service (just like being aboard) but on these two occasions the food was buffet and were accommodated in large conference rooms so that a far greater number could attend. Not sure this was value for money , however the tours were well organised and well curated. The port lecturers were televised but appeared to be a curator just reading directly from notes. This was not as professional or as well organised as P&O and the tours desks lines with queries was horrendous. Cabins are of similar standard to P&O very well maintained and cabin stewards very attentive. On P&O you can expect room service and kettles in cabins, however due to safety issues kettles are not provided so we just ordered tea each morning from room service as we had already paid for on board gratuities. Not quiet sure why kettles are seen as a risk as electric hairdryers are fitted on the walls (which could be left on - dangling in cabins) and there are irons in the launderettes. Laundrettes on Princess are not free . You will need to pay $2 for a washing machine and $2 for a tumble dryer again this is free on P&O. My husband however was very pleased that Ice creams are available all day on the deck for free. Something that P&O had as one of its traditions but has sadly relinquished on. Overall I found that Princess were more accommodating to customer needs than P&O have become over recent years, staff are exceedingly friendly and everything is very well organised. I would certainly have no reservations on travelling with Princess again but if travelling from Southampton on our next cruise and we had to choose between Princess or P&O, I would have to say we would go with P&O , only because of the extra charges and cost of things on Princess. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
Having sailed on the old Adonia which was wonderful and Arcadia in the carribean i was looking forward to our 3rd cruise with P&O on Ventura, we sailed from Southampton and after arriving at the new terminal which was very busy, we ... Read More
Having sailed on the old Adonia which was wonderful and Arcadia in the carribean i was looking forward to our 3rd cruise with P&O on Ventura, we sailed from Southampton and after arriving at the new terminal which was very busy, we waited about 20 mins before being called through security, not too bad i thought. We had a balcony for the first time which was wonderful and all was good and clean accept there was some drink staines on the valance around the bed, so i assume these are not changed every cruise? The food was good and so was the service from the P&O staff. I didnot like the some of the layout on Ventura there is no crows nest like the other ships we have been on, just a wasted shaded area for relaxing that nobody used and around the pool area people are squashed together like sardines. I used the spa once for reflexology a cost of 66, never again what a waste on money and painful and not at all relaxing. On the second week of the cruise i was ill, came down with a bad chest infection and was coughing really badly and i know i was not the only one, thats the trouble with air conditioning bugs get passed on quickly. I would like to be able to say i really enjoyed this cruise but i didnot, i wont blame Ventura for my illness but i got it from somewhere and it did spoil my holiday. I think i will go on Arcadia the next time. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
After an unscheduled overnight stay in Southampton due to technical problems with a lifeboat and its certification (why is there never an inspector on 24 hour call outs,surely the cruise company fraternity can give someone a good wage to ... Read More
After an unscheduled overnight stay in Southampton due to technical problems with a lifeboat and its certification (why is there never an inspector on 24 hour call outs,surely the cruise company fraternity can give someone a good wage to facilitate such matters).So,this meant no stop off at the French port of Hendaye,disappointment for some but i was okay with it specially as F.Olsen had reimbursed us £50pp of OBC,which took care of my bar bill! Pleasant weather most of the time, though a bit rough for some as we sailed through the Bay of Biscay,lots of sick bags available on this day plus we heard the doc's surgery was busy handing out sea sickness jabs (always take your own pills).After a couple of days sailing we eventually got to Lisbon,a wonderful vibrant city.Took the Big red bus tour here (15 euro pp) rather than a ships tour of the city (£40pp) and the bus stop is right outside the terminal gate,they did not advertise that in the brochure and only at the very end of the port talk (wonder why). However we did take a ships tour in Vigo,our next port of call. Seeing it was Sunday and all but the cafes were closed though the main attraction today was the Aircraft carrier, Spain's Juan Carlos was in town and the Spanish public were queuing for literally miles to get on it as it was open to them today. Our trip was okay though as usual way too overpriced for a view of the harbour and city from a high vantage point and a trip to Bayona were we saw some ancient castle/fortress which now houses a 4* hotel (with 5* prices for drinks,2.80 euros for a small coke!) Next up was La Coruna,did our own thing again, a free shuttle bus through the port to the port entrance was laid on,then we took a leisurely walk around the quaint old town,then into the shopping district where we stopped off for a coffee and watched the world go by.Next day was the port of Getxo for Bilbao,took a ships tour here,again our first stop was to a high vantage point to get a panoramic view of the city,this view was quite spectacular.A couple of stops in the city to a sacred church and then into the old town centre,again quaint, and very picturesque finishing off with a look only at the carbuncle of a building that is the Guggenheim museum. After each trip the weather was very good for a spot of R&R on deck 11 with its warm Pool and even warmer jacuzzis and if you did not fancy a 4 course lunch there was soup and sandwiches. We dined in the Spey restaurant were the food was excellent,service slow at times,as the waiters had a "lot on". Breakfast taken mainly in the Palms self service,they do a wonderful ham omelette,cooked fresh to your liking here. Entertainment, could not fault the visiting "pro" acts though the Balmoral singers and dancers were ordinary,probably the worse we've seen on a cruise but hey. The other entertainment staff were good,thought Juliet had a great voice in the wonderful crew show. All in all a very good cruise would recommend to anyone. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2011
Welcome to P&O - now owned by Carnival Cruise Line.We chose this Cruise for the Itinerary and The Fall.Sadly we ended up seeing only 6 ports of call out of 9. We missed Rhode Island ,Aurora then broke down at Portland Maine and missed ... Read More
Welcome to P&O - now owned by Carnival Cruise Line.We chose this Cruise for the Itinerary and The Fall.Sadly we ended up seeing only 6 ports of call out of 9. We missed Rhode Island ,Aurora then broke down at Portland Maine and missed out on Bar Harbour(we think priority given to The Queen Mary)so had to put up with Michelle Obama stopping one getting on and off the ship in Portland on our second day in Port.Then missed out on St John's New Foundland.Most passengers were angry on board and feel cheated by P&O. Aurora has been a pain since she has been launch and now requires a full refurbishment !? I think she should be scrapped like Canberra !! Don't recommend P&0 to anyone after this Cruise and a nightmare World Cruise on Oriana.The company has gone to the dogs and we now have pigs in the trough in the Orangery.Yes ! Fat passengers who don't know how to behave.Welcome to Butlins on Sea . A waste of money and time and feel Fred Olsen Line have more to offer and smaller ships,to get into various ports like Bar Harbour etc ! Big ships on this Itinerary with tenders no good. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2011
We have previously travelled with mainstream cruise lines such as P&O, Princess, Celebrity, RCI etc and thought we would try a more expensive '5 star' cruise. While many elements of the ship and the cruise were excellent and ... Read More
We have previously travelled with mainstream cruise lines such as P&O, Princess, Celebrity, RCI etc and thought we would try a more expensive '5 star' cruise. While many elements of the ship and the cruise were excellent and merited the extra cost, there were some surprising negatives also. Food varied from acceptable to excellent, with the exception of the Signatures restaurant - pretentious menu and average to poor food! The main restauarant was great for couples with lots of tables for 2 by the windows! The food was often great - lunches in the main restaurant were particularly unusual and excellently flavoured; also the portions were not too big which is great at lunchtime. Occasionally, however, there were some very odd and definitely second class offerings - one afternoon tea, the only sandwiches were cheap potted meat or jam (I haven't been offered a jam sandwich since I was a child when it was definitely food for the poor!!!) The upsides first:- Wonderful cabin - spacious, well-equipped, good balcony, beautifully furnished. Some things we particularly liked were the curtained area for sitting, separated from the bedroom - this allowed me to get up earlier than my husband and to read and use the balcony without disturbing him!; the walk-in closet with lots of hanging space and drawers; big bathroom with very big shower area, lovely toiletries and lots of space. (We had a cabin with only a shower and this gives you lots of room if, like us, you do not want a bath. Great staff - friendly throughout the ship, including the officers; nothing too much trouble; efficient and helpful. Even the tour staff were good and this is often one area where cruise ships are poor!! Lots of space in the ship - no queues for anything, even the buffet restaurant had lots of tables whenever you wanted to eat. The ship felt quiet and uncrowded throughout the cruise - very relaxing. No attempts to keep selling to you, which is unusual - no photographers constantly in your face trying to take photos and sell them to you, no pressure to use the shops. This is all in line with the fact that everything is included so you don't constantly have to show your cruise card. At the same time, the staff were great in keeping you supplied with food and drink - no need to chase them at all. It makes for a very relaxing time. Tours were good - no feeling that, because they are free, they are a lesser class than those sold on other cruise ships. Ports of call were all great - some a bit busy but that is the only possible negative, and is not RSSC's fault!! Downsides:- The tours were all early morning and nearly all scheduled at similar times. This made a few issues - overcrowding and lines waiting to disembark. The worst point, however, was that the mealtimes were not adjusted to take account of the tours. So, the restaurant was only open in the morning as you were reporting to the tour - you could only have a sit-down meal if you were staying on the ship! You had to use the buffet (sometimes cold food!!) or have room service which was often the only practical option. Similarly, you had to rush back at the end of the tour if you wanted to be served because many of the tours ended at 1.00-1.15 and the restaurant closed at 1.30. Even the buffet closed at 2.00 so you could not have a look round the port after the tour if you wanted to eat. There was always room service but that always takes time to order and receive, and the choice is limited. Generally, the availability of food was the poorest I have come across on any ship. Apart from room service, there were gaps in the morning and afternoon where you struggled to find food. This meant you had to keep an eye on the time to ensure you did not miss a meal - not what you want on a cruise. One morning we got up at 9.00 (hardly sleeping in!!) and found only one place we could eat cold food!! It would be nice when you get back to the ship to find cold drinks and cold towels available - they do this on Celebrity which is a cheaper option. A bit galling to be moored next to a cheaper cruiseline and seeing them being regaled with cold towels!! The public areas looked a bit tired to us and no wow factor. Downsides may sound a bit picky but this cruise is expensive and is meant to be top class so I think you should expect excellence! Overall, a very good experience but I think RSSC should travel on some other lines to see how it could be improved to 5 star all round Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
Travel to the ship from the airport was (it has to be said) the worst we have ever experienced, I don't blame Thompson for this as they have limited resources at each port, but the coach had no air conditioning at 36 degrees was like ... Read More
Travel to the ship from the airport was (it has to be said) the worst we have ever experienced, I don't blame Thompson for this as they have limited resources at each port, but the coach had no air conditioning at 36 degrees was like sitting in a sauna, and was incapable of going over 40 mph, and to top it all was pulled over by a police check which took a further 40 minuets as the driver produced every document and argued with the authorities! The Thompson boarding crew although friendly did not seem that interested and were more geared to get us processed as quickly as possible. This is the third Thompson cruise we have been on but the first time on the Celebration, The ship although dated by today's standards was probably the best ship we have been on from this company, The cabin (outside) was just about big enough but was ok for this type of ship, The shower was probably the worst experience due the tiny nozzle and being un-detachable made things worse, I couldn't wait to get home and experience a proper shower, (sorry Thompson bad move with that shower design, get them changed now!) The room TV is placed so that only one person can watch from their bed, and it's an old 14 inch job that's ready for the tip, glad we don't watch TV too much (but I do like to watch the news every now and then) This looks like it's a negative review but its not really, the entertainment was ok to good, fair amount of things to do after evening lunch, the restaurant food was nice (as expected on any cruise) and as normal the waiters are second to none. Daytime entertainment was ok, but being used to another great, great ship (Ocean Village) they have a bit more to go. Unfortunately we were spoilt on another ship (Ocean Village) which we judge others by, Thompson do try, and are much better than other much bigger ships we have been on, if they could just up their daytime entertainment a bit more (lets have a DJ on deck please), update their cabins with modern equipment and get their desk staff to try and show some interest, they could be the best. I have found a cruise not so much about a flashy big ship, but about how they look after you and make you comfortable and at ease, in all, Thompson is cheap, so you only get what you pay for I suppose, so they do provide good value for money. As long as you don't expect top quality and quite happy to do your own thing (no set meal times etc) you should have a good cruise experience. Would I go back on this ship? Yes, I think I would! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
Sailed on the Carnival Magic on a 12 day Mediterranean cruise in September 2011 Ship was lovely as was expected being new; staff were very friendly and helpful. Our one large complaint was the lack of transportation provided by Carnival ... Read More
Sailed on the Carnival Magic on a 12 day Mediterranean cruise in September 2011 Ship was lovely as was expected being new; staff were very friendly and helpful. Our one large complaint was the lack of transportation provided by Carnival at our ports of call. If you were on a tour off the ship then it was okay but if you wanted to do your own thing and get into town fees ranged from 5.pp to $10.00pp in Dubrovnik. This ended up getting a bit pricey by the end of the cruise. A fee was charged at every port to get off the docks, except Monte Carlo where we were right in town and Venice. You were unable to walk at some of the other ports as you were in an industrial area. We can only surmise that due to the size of the Magic we were moored in container shipyards instead of nearer the town centres. One other smaller complaint was the lack of visibility of the senior officers and captain. They were never seen even at the formal nights which had no sense of purpose, not quite sure why we were dressed up, there seemed to be nothing happening to warrant the occasion. Lots of photographers to take your photo but there was no captains greet and meet or champagne fountain. No midnight buffet with carvings. A behind the scenes tour of the ship which included the bridge and engine room was $95.00. So many places to eat that you were spoilt for choice. At meal times you had plenty of choices. Tandoori, bbq, grill, pizza, deli sandwiches. In the buffet you had a choice of Mongolian wok or carvery, piazza bites for fresh coffee and the most amazing looking cakes and in the evening sushi and nibbles were available. The Italian restaurant charges a surcharge in the evening but you can eat there for free at lunchtimes. Meal was very good. Did not try the steakhouse. It was pleasant to have a drink in The Red Frog bar. Drinks were the usual ridiculous prices but you are a captive audience. Shops were okay with everything in US dollars. Unable to get in to see the shows in the evening as the Showtime lounge was too small for the amount of passengers. Spoke to one person late one evening who asked if we had seen the show. I said no we could not get in, which show did they see the early or late show to which she replied, both shows. Explains why we could not get seat if people are watching both shows. One other complaint was the lack of enforcing of the rules on saving sun beds with towels. This was in the fun days magazine, I complained at 8am in the morning that I could not sit by the pool as 85% of the chairs were empty but had towels on them, I was told it was in the funtimes magazine that saving beds was not allowed. Even though I and other cruisers complained, nothing was done. This happened every sea day. I do not sit in the sun all day long but even the chance to have a couple of hours by the pool was negated by the people who were absent most of the day but had saved themselves a chair. The ship seemed too small for the amount of people sailing on sea days as sun beds seemed to be put out every where around the ship. We were glad we had a balcony to sit on. Our itinerary was changed due to industrial action in Italy, not Carnivals fault in any way but this seriously detracted from the tour for us as we had to visit Marseilles instead of Naples, absolutely no comparison. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
This was our second cruise on Adonia, the first in June/July to the Baltics, and following in a cultural fashion, off we went to The Black Sea (first visited on the old Victoria, fly-cruising from Cyprus, in 2000.) The cruise was chosen ... Read More
This was our second cruise on Adonia, the first in June/July to the Baltics, and following in a cultural fashion, off we went to The Black Sea (first visited on the old Victoria, fly-cruising from Cyprus, in 2000.) The cruise was chosen because of the ports of call. We had the same cabin on both trips - but despite the 'refit', the curtains are from Princess days although due to be replaced at some time. The cabin furniture is dark and dated, the lighting is poor, and storage space is somewhat limited. We could not fault the food in the Pacific Restaurant, after about 20 days we were quite frankly 'fooded' out. We booked the Sorrento Restaurant on 3 occasions,and the Ocean Grill on another night. The food in both Restaurants is good, but service is slow. There is no 'free' alternate dining in as much as The Conservatory only provided evening food on special Theme Nights, of which there were we think only four. Entertainment on board was varied and interesting. We are not 'show people' so did not watch the Headliners, nor did we listen to Edwina Curry. The speakers - Prof. Robert williams, Stanton Marcus, Mick Testoni, were excellent as was Graham Cole (PC Stamp of The Bill. Radio 4's Peter Hobday gave an interesting talk but sadly that proved to be the only one. The comedians made us laugh, Bobby Crush revived old memories. Steve Ledwell, the pianist who looked like a member of the Grumpy Old Men team, was fantastic and with his very droll humour, was excellent entertainment. The Dance Instructors, a young couple Leighton Jones and Jo Almond, were an inspiration to would be dancers. They taught in a modern innovative way, greatly different from the past dance instructors on board, and they also gave dance demonstrations. This was the first time they had worked on a cruise ship, and hopefully P&O or other cruise lines will give them contracts. If they stay with P&O, then we think that Oriana or Aurora would best suit their talents. We cannot speak for Ventura or Azura, since we have not cruised on either, and are unlikely to do so. The band, Quintessence, whilst good did not seem to perform that often. Duo Vision (or is it Vision Duo) performed extremely well, but we gather they are soon to join another P&O ship. The downside to such a long cruise on Adonia is that she has only the one show lounge, and thus while there is a show/lecture on, there is little alternative activity. The dance lessons were held in part of the Gym area, on deck nine, which is not the safest nor most comfortable place especially when there is a swell. (Adonia does tend to 'corkscrew' in less than smooth waters). The quizzes, of which there are many, have in our opinion lost the bite and the fun of earlier years and are held usually in The Conservatory (way too cold at 10.30pm) or in the Crow's Nest. As ever, the cabin crew, restaurant waiters, bar staff, and reception, were absolutely brilliant - always courteous, friendly and smiling. The Cruise Director may be excellent at administration and behind the scenes, but his PR ability in our opinion was very poor. So, will we sail Adonia again? We have a cruise booked for next year simply because of the ports of call but after that very unlikely. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
We did this cruise in September (departing from Liverpool which wasn't an option in the list) and were really pleased with our holiday. The ship was in god order, the staff were very helpful, the entertainment was of a pretty good ... Read More
We did this cruise in September (departing from Liverpool which wasn't an option in the list) and were really pleased with our holiday. The ship was in god order, the staff were very helpful, the entertainment was of a pretty good standard and most of our visits were great. It is the first time we have been on a cruise where Tea and Coffee were available all day free of charge, this made quite a difference. Our minor gripes didn't stop us having a great time and booking up to travel on the sister ship (the Marco Polo) next September but for the record these were, the ship was a bit noisy when going flat out and we had a bit of trouble sleeping on the first couple of nights, we are vegetarians and the food was a bit repetitive and finally the trip around Casablanca was a bit disappointing - it was the only organised trip that we went on and whilst the Mosque we saw as spectacular we didn't really got much of a sense of the place. Having said that all of the positives more than compensated, 2 films streamed every day with others shown in the cinema, really good band who put on a varied programme throughout the ship (loved the Gypsy Jazz especially) and incredible afternoon tea every day! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
Dont get me wrong, we had a good time on our cruise. We had waited 10 months on what was our "big birthdays" holiday so we "pushed the boat out" so to speak and had a balcony cabin, on Deck 9 which was really lovely. ... Read More
Dont get me wrong, we had a good time on our cruise. We had waited 10 months on what was our "big birthdays" holiday so we "pushed the boat out" so to speak and had a balcony cabin, on Deck 9 which was really lovely. We felt this was a one off cruise as Alaska is not the sort of place we would normally go to as we love sunny destinations. We were so surprised at the weather, every day we were told 4-5 times "we are so lucky with the weather". only 2 days did we need our coats. We also liked the fact that we had people come on board to give talks and guide us through Glasier Bay and whale watching. We chose Princess as this was part of our holiday package and this was the biggest ship we had been on. Unfortunately, it didnt live up to our expectations in some areas and cast a small shadow over the cruise. The best bits for us was the cabin, production shows, breakfast in horizon court, entertainment team but the place we always found ourselves in was the Piazza which was fab - there always seemed to be things going on (after a couple of lunches in the horizon court, we decided to have our lunch thereafter and with the purchase of a coffee card which was good value, we spent many a good hour eating drinking and people watching. We also loved to dress up so two formal nights was great and the highlight was the elderly Japanese ladies in full dress - lovely. The let downs,and this is in order of importance for us was (1) the quality of the main course in the main dining rooms, (2)there didnt seem to be any atmosphere in these dining rooms, they were all decorated the same - a bit boring really and they had italian names? One would expect more colour than beige. (3) The entertainment shows (excluding production shows) were by other cruise standards abismal. I would hope that the Golden Princess were so desperate to have a band that they employed New Deal -they could certainly empty the bar. And the artist who did juggling etc, his voice was so grating on you and once youve seen him thats enough, not nearly every day - well thats what it felt like - you could hear him at the other end of the ship. Well each to their own and it was not our cup of tea at all. (4) We used the adult pool in the spa area for the first time then saw the scum around the edge and Carole wrote our names in it and we promptly reported it to the staff. I must say the next day the pool was empty and was being cleaned soit was good that Princess dealt with this straightaway although why should get in that state in the first place? The jacuzzis were fine tho. (5) My friend didnt like the fact that you couldnt physically put coins into the slot machines but that might apply to all ships nowadays - that was just her preference. (6) Being duped into taking a "welcome cocktail" from a waiter - little did we know at the time that it had a "keepsake plastic princess cruise glass" at a cost of over $10 which of course we queried and the cost reduced. We wanted to make our concerns known to the Pursers Office but couldnt get past the reception desk so we completed the appropriate comments pages and handed them in. most staff were very good however we found the ones that didnt have a smile on their face all day long were the eastern europeans. Our steward Enrique was excellent and couldnt do enough for us and as I mentioned above, the entertainment crew were great. On the whole though it was a good holiday and I would recommend Alaska. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
I went on the 24 night roundtrip voyage on Queen Elizabeth from Southampton to New York and New England for my 30th Birthday. The ports of call themselves were beautiful, fantastic, everything I thought they would be and more even though ... Read More
I went on the 24 night roundtrip voyage on Queen Elizabeth from Southampton to New York and New England for my 30th Birthday. The ports of call themselves were beautiful, fantastic, everything I thought they would be and more even though the weather wasn't great. Going to New York has always been a dream of mine and to have that dream come into reality was bliss. However I shall keep this review about the ship, the ports of call can always be searched alternatively. Allow me to begin this review by stating that I chose the Cunard line for a purpose; I have a specific interest in maritime history and the days gone by as it were, and I wanted to relive the nostalgia of the vintage era. The ship lived up to it's name - the passengers, well, they were a different story altogether. I will start with the good points about the ship as there were many. First of all, the ship was pristine, glistening marble and wood, polished tables and stunning decor. The cabin, we were A4 Balcony, far exceeded my expectations. It was spotless, the bed was comfortable, our room steward was beyond fantastic - he put up with doing some extra cleaning due to my allergies and immunity etc. There wasn't a great deal amount of space for clothing etc but we managed and sitting on the balcony at 5am watching Lower Manhattan pass by slowly is something I will never forget and something one cannot experience if flying into New York. The Matri-D's were excellent, there was a man whose name passes me by now, but I nickednamed him Jose Marino for his slight resembelence to the Portugese manager. He was so friendly, he used to go out of his way to come and speak to us every day and say hello. Our restaurant Matri-D', Ali, was also friendly and rather amusing, one felt as if they were talking to old friends rather than staff of a large ship. We were seated in the Britannia Restaurant towards the back of the ship where we had glorious sweeping views of the sea as we ate. The food was excellent, simply excellent although I could have done with a slightly bigger plate as it was so delicious, the portions were somewhat small. The ship itself is furnished in wood and bronze with stunning art deco decor and a real feeling of being in the gilded age itself. You could not fault the design of the ship with its sweeping grand staircase and beautiful ornate furnishings. If you are looking for a ship with a pizzeria and a shopping mall, a duplex on sea then you are looking in the wrong place. Cunard is all about taste, refinement, elegance, tea in the afternoon served with white gloved waiters whilst listening to a harpist, classical music accompanying your dinner, ballroom dancing and old style glamour. This was fine by me, I suffer from a host of medical conditions and rest a lot so I felt the haze and rush of Royal Carribean would not have suited my needs. The entertainment staff were excellent, they really got the guests involved, especially the Head of Entertainment, Keith Maynard, who I gather has quite a following amongst Cunard fans (lucky Keith!). Not surprising, he cut a fine dash in his tuxedo and was funny, witty and professional, and dare I say it rather naughty in the Mr and Mrs Quiz! This brings me round to the question, and my first complaint, what was there to do? The answer was not much if you are under 65. This cruise was not marketed as an over 60's but may has well have been, Cunard know where their cash cow lies and do little to offfer much to any other demographic - every facility and design of that ship was catered with the over 60's in mind. Yes, one might argue, this is the greatest percentage of cruisers. But, what about the other 20 or 30%, does their money not matter? I am in my thirties and was quite honestly disappointed. As I stated above, I was not looking for nightclubs, a booze cruise so to speak but found myself wandering around at 8pm wondering what an earth to do with myself in my ballgown. The entertainment was not to my liking at all, apart from the odd thing like the comedian and magician who were both excellent. Shows and musicals are not my forte so unless one wishes to go to the Royal Court Theatre or wait from dinner till 11pm for the Golden Lion entertainment, especially if you are on the early sitting for dinner, there is little else to do. No evening films, no evening classes, nothing, apart from aimlessly wandering the decks. The same applied to the daytime activities. All were catered for the over 60's...bingo, bridge, ballroom dancing classes, lectures - none of that appealled to me. Whilst I would not have wanted to hang from a rock faced wall or skated on ice at sea, I wouldn't have minded something to do. I did however attend David Henderson's lectures on air travel which were excellently presented and Seth Golpin and Bill Millers lectures were also good but I missed them and caught them on the TV. If one fancied a little music, the DJ did not start until so late that it was time for bed by the time he had put his first track on. I would like to have gone to Michael Jackson night but my condition means I need to rest early and everyone else was supping cocoa and reaching for their slippers by then. Which brings me around to my primary complaint: the people on board. I worked in PR and can easily mix with all types of people from all walks of life but I have never encountered such rudeness and hostility as the passengers on this cruise. A lot of these people were of retirement age, or older, and some obviously had a lot of money and were loathed to breathe the same air as anyone who they felt was beneath them. You walked into the elevator, for example, said good morning to someone and they snubbed you. I use a walking stick at times and twice was pushed over, the first time I was knocked off my feet outside the arcade shop by a man bustling past who did not even turn round to apologise even though I told him he had just knocked me over. I was speechless. The second time was in Quebec City, where a man did not wish to wait for me to hobble past, barged me out of the way and grabbed my arm and bruised it as I fell, he then walked off and turned around and shouted at me, in full view of other passengers, shouting that my stick was in his way. He carried on striding ahead and kept turning around and hesitating as if to start an argument but his long suffering wife, who was also disabled, with a stick, chastided him to the best of her ability. These people did not say excuse me whilst queuing for tea, they just pushed you out of the way, barged in front of you if you walked too slow and tutted if you said something they did not like. My mother takes medication that keeps her alive, without it she would be dead, simple as that. Whilst taking her medication at breakfast one morning, this hideous couple started whispering and pointing at my mother. The man then leans over and shouts "if you take any more of them your going to rattle". I was astounded, who made it his business. These people continued whispering and pointing at my mother whilst we were in Halifax much to our annoyance. As I said before, I sometimes use a walking stick. I suffer with a very rare genetic disorder which means my ligaments tear and the collegen that supports the joint does not exist and all my joints move, dislocate, fracture etc on mimimal exertion. This has also affected my heart and sometimes I need a wheelchair, other times I can manage. Because of this, I spent the entire cruise being stared at, people pointing at me, whispering and making nasty comments. One woman at tea was saying to her husband "one minute she has a stick, where is her stick now" as if God made it her business. Folded in my bag was the answer but I confronted her and she got very nasty. These people looked me up and down like they were eying up vermin, like I was something on the bottom of their shoe which I have to say, ruined my holiday, as I could not relax and unwind, I felt like I constanty had something to prove with people whispering and backstabbing. What do they know of rare genetic diseases and how ill I felt? The attitude of the ship's staff towards my disability left little to be desired. I boarded the ship in a wheelchair and made it known I would need assistance yet there was no protocol for assistance, no-one to ask where to go and what to do. When we got to New York we were told at the terminal there was no wheelchair assistance to get me on and off the ship and they left me standing there until I collapsed and was then given a chair to sit on. Of course I got filthy looks from passengers who had seen me walking a little bit without the need of a chair. It was only at the END of the cruise I was told that I needed to book the wheelchair from the pursers office to get on and off the ship and that they pick you up from your room. I had never been told this. I only found out through my horrific experience getting off the ship by tender at Bar Harbour. We were delayed due to bad weather so some tenders had gone, others were waiting. To get off, if you are part of a tour you went to the Queens Room, got your ticket and went when your ticket was called. If you were not part of a tour you were put at the back and had to wait till the very end to get off, apparantly the Captain announced 'open tender' and anyone could then disembark. I went to the Queens Room to ask for a wheelchair, to be told by a very rude man who SHOUTED at me "WHEELCHAIR, WE DON'T, YOU CAN'T HAVE A WHEELCHAIR". Then I was told to go the pursers desk, who then sent me back to the Queens Room to get a ticket despite me telling her I was not on a tour and needed a wheelchair. I was in tears by this time and feeling rather unwell with all the walking backwards and forwards. Eventually I braved the tender alone, thinking I'd use my stick and manage, only to be told "I wasn't disabled enough to use the lift, I had to walk". Excuse me I said, I cannot manage two flights of stairs? You are not in a wheelchair therefore you walk was the curt reply from the woman checking people off the ship. "How dare you" I fumed, "what is this, disability discrimination?" The Entertainments Manager luckily was there and told me to go ahead and use the lift. Who are they to judge my pain and condition, the Department for Work and Pensions? The Lido The staff in the Lido were horrific. Not all of them I must stress, some of them were lovely but the particular individuals I encountered were so rude and nasty I would not sail on this ship again. Some of the staff huffed and puffed and clearly could not be bothered to work. The tables were never cleared away, we had to ask each time for a table to be wiped of the previous passengers food reminants. One girl REFUSED to wipe the table, I had to get her manager. They could not be bothered to wait for people to get their drinks and barged in to do their job with little regard for the passengers. This lead to my having an accident. Two surly buffet staff were waiting to fill the coffee machine, there was a queue a mile long for tea and hot water. Instead of saying excuse me, or letting people get the hot water and tea whilst putting the coffee people to one side, they pushed in and huffed and puffed their way through the process of replacing the filter. I came to my turn of getting hot water and they would not move. I said 'excuse me' and they said 'you can get there'. I replied I could not and would they please move. They pointed at a tap next to me with hot water which I proceeded to use but instead of waiting for me to finish, these two buffet stewards pushed me and I scalded my hand with boiling hot water. I screamed, dropped my cup, and went to get some ice. We called the Matri-D over, a loathesome chap called Theo who strutted around looking down his nose at everyone. He came over and looked me up and down with a look of disgust and said he wasn't there therefore could not possibly comment. He saw my hand was burnt and red raw and stuck up for his staff, offered no apology yet looked at me with pure malice. I told him off for looking down at me and said with absolute horror "are you not going to offer me an apology". To which he repeated his first response of that he was not there. I could not believe the attitude of this man who was paid to wait on passengers, not make them feel two feet tall. Prices Everything on this ship was inflated, grossly overpriced. Hair Colour for $90 only to be charged an extra $30 to dry it, $15 to remove nail polish? Even the spa treatments were triple what I normally pay in the heart of London. The tours were grossly expensive as well, one could have picked up city buses in Boston and Newport for a few dollars rather than pay over $60 each. We did Quebec by ourselves and thoroughly enjoyed it. I only did a few tours, there were a lot of complaints about the organisation of the tours but the New York one I did was absolutely fantastic - couldn't have asked for a better experience although my fellow passengers were grumbling and glaring at me, grinning from ear to ear taking in the sights and squealing every time we got to a landmark. The Boston tour we did was also excellent. To sum up: I was truely ashamed to be British from the attitudes I got from my fellow passengers. There was no tolerance of others, no manners, no please and thank you. Yes I met a few nice people, I will not lie that there were some nice people on board but 95% were as described and I thought it was the younger generation wherein the problem lies.... Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
Excellent start to cruise, no problems with embarkation & stateroom as expected. (Sailed on Eclipse to the Baltic last year). The food and service in the main dining room was of the previous high standard - this time we chose to ... Read More
Excellent start to cruise, no problems with embarkation & stateroom as expected. (Sailed on Eclipse to the Baltic last year). The food and service in the main dining room was of the previous high standard - this time we chose to have select dining to give us more flexibility which we found worked well for us. We ate in two of the speciality restaurants which, although expensive was a nice treat and most enjoyable. The quality of the entertainment varied, with some shows better than other, or perhaps not to our taste. More time in ports would have been appreciated, especially Venice and Dubrovnik. In Venice we noticed how long the queue was waiting for the shuttle boats back to the ship and cut short our sightseeing to make sure that we were not late back on board. More information regarding the closure of some sites on certain days would have been helpful. All service on board was very good - special thanks to our stateroom attendant. The end of the cruise was not so good!! We were due to leave the ship at 9.00 but did not reach our car until shortly before 11.00. ( Last year we had left the ship, collected our luggage and walked to our car within 15-20 min.) Utter chaos would best describe this years disembarkation, collection of luggage and transfer to the car parks. We hope that in future Celebrity will take action to improve the disembarkation process, because unfortunately this is the last thing that we remember of what otherwise was an excellent holiday. Read Less
A
Sail Date: September 2011
Radiance of the Seas -- 16 September 2011 Background Information We were booked for this cruise (YVR to HNL with port calls in Kona, Lahaina and Nawiliwili) and also the following one (HNL to SYD with port calls in Tahiti, Moorea, ... Read More
Radiance of the Seas -- 16 September 2011 Background Information We were booked for this cruise (YVR to HNL with port calls in Kona, Lahaina and Nawiliwili) and also the following one (HNL to SYD with port calls in Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora and Auckland). I injured my right knee the day we boarded and, after visiting the on board acupuncturist, developed a serious staph infection on my right calf. At the STRONG suggestion of the two ship's physicians, we canceled the second cruise and left the ship in Honolulu. I got some interesting insights into traveling while disabled and will write about that at the end of this review. Travel to Port of Embarkation We flew from LAX to YVR nonstop on Alaska Airlines. We were able to get seats on a nonstop flight for only $99.00 and that beat any other possible combination we could come up with. The plane was full but the service was excellent and wifi was complimentary during the month of September. Arrival at Vancouver International was on time and we had a relatively quick trip through immigration, baggage claim and customs. The airport is very nice but we always seem to come in at one of the furthest out gates and that means lots of walking. We had quite a bit of luggage -- two 22 inch rollaboards, two large totes, a garment bag and two smaller bags so decided that Skytrain would not be the best way to get into town. Instead, we took an Aerocar shuttle. The guys in charge outside were pretty disorganized but we only had to wait about 25 minutes for the next shuttle to arrive. Our hotel was the last stop but we would use this service again. Hotel We spent the night before the cruise at the Marriott Pinnacle. It is a lovely hotel with a good central location. Because we are Lifetime Platinum members of the Marriott program we were given a very nice 25th floor room on the Concierge Level. We enjoyed a couple of glasses of wine with cruise friends in the Lounge and the complimentary snacks were our dinner. The next morning we had breakfast in the Concierge Lounge and then used a van/taxi for the short trip to Canada Place and the ship. Embarkation There were plenty of porters to help with the bags that we were checking and the trip through U.S. Customs and Immigration and checkin were very easy. By doing the U.S. processing in Vancouver we were able to avoid having to do it when we arrived in Hawai'i. We boarded at about 12:30PM and the cabins were not to be ready until 1:00PM. We found a place to sit in the Champagne Bar and soon afterwards the announcement was made that the cabins were, indeed, ready. Stateroom For this cruise we were booked in an E2 Balcony, 7534. This is one of the cabins that has the extra large balcony. It is about twice the size of a regular balcony but you do lose a bit of privacy because divider becomes a half wall for the last few feet and you also have people looking down from the cabins above onto that area. It was not a serious problem for us. The new deck furniture -- two nice chairs and a dining height table -- are a nice addition. The cabin was pretty much standard. We did notice the new flat screen TVs but also realized that the E2 cabins are smaller and have less storage space than the D cabins. The beds were together instead of apart as we had requested but our very good Cabin Attendant Ahmad took care of that before bedtime. The in room wi-fi (Fee charged although our two Diamond coupons gave us enough time to download and upload e-mail.) works great and is, perhaps, the best of the new features. The location of this cabin is good. It is close to the stairs/elevators that go directly to the Theater. We had heard some comments about noise from the Theater but that was never really a problem. Ship Info This was our fifth cruise on Radiance of the Seas. The last one had been the Coastal Cruise from San Diego to Vancouver before she went in for refitting in Victoria, BC. We were looking forward to seeing the changes. She seemed, on first look, to be in very good shape. A lot of painting had been done and some new carpeting installed. The Stateroom itself could have used new carpet and new upholstery. The bedding and drapes also need to be updated. One of our first stops was the Windjammer to get something for lunch. We had been concerned that the addition of Rita's Cantina and Izumi would cut into the already scarce seating. We were right. You can still go through Rita's to the outside area but, unless it's a nice day, that's not a good option. This seems to have been a revenue driven decision and has not been a popular one with people who use the Windjammer on a regular basis. Because I ended up needing a wheelchair for most of the cruise, I didn't get to explore as much as I'd like to have. I do know that there were negative comments about the loss of the much loved Sea View Cafe. We also missed the Breakers Dining Room for the Diamond/Diamond Plus breakfast in the morning. It has been replaced by three single cabins and six Oceanview cabins. We were told that the singles were being used for crew accommodation on this cruise. The new Diamond Lounge has been carved out of the Royal Viking Lounge. There were so many Diamond members on this cruise they had to open a rear door up and use part of the Royal Viking Lounge. We very much enjoyed the complimentary cocktails and beer/wine. It was explained to us that this is the main difference between a Diamond Lounge and a Diamond Event. Service was a bit spotty although Nickson did a very good job. The Concierge, Steven, seemed to be spending quite a bit of time carrying plates and replenishing food on the buffet which is not really what he is supposed to be there for. He was very pleasant when he had time to stop and visit but that was rare. While we enjoyed the Lounge, this has cut up what was once a lovely room with panoramic views for all to enjoy. Dining We were signed up for My Time Dining. With all of Deck Five being MTD, we hoped that things would go more smoothly than they have in the past. The first night we were seated fairly quickly but at a table directly next to the back side of a noisy service center. Watching plates being scrapped and dirty plates stacked wasn't especially appetizing. The next morning, however, we ran into a favorite waiter, Andrew Tuscano, from Navigator. We were able to be seated at one of his tables for the remainder of the cruise and he and his assistant, Agnelo Fernandes, took excellent care of us. We were also happy to see John Fernandes, an assistant waiter from an earlier cruise and Rathan who is now a supervisor. The quality of the food was good. It is, however, predictable. The menus have not changed since our first cruise on Radiance in 2009. Day One, Vidalia Onion Tart... A couple of favorites are there, of course, including the pork medallions and the Thanksgiving Dinner. Two of my favorite appetizers -- escargot and the scallop and shrimp gratin -- are also still on the menu. Andrew always made good suggestions and went far above and beyond to make dining a fun and enjoyable experience. One night, when I wasn't feeling up to going to the MDR, he insisted on sending dinner and dessert to the cabin. I had already ordered from Room Service but the thought and his concern was very much appreciated. On this cruise we ate at only one Specialty Restaurant. We went as a party of six to Chops. The meal was, as always, good. The service, however, was not as personal nor as professional as we remember from other visits. I do very much like the addition of creme brulee as a dessert option, however. One very small complaint: The flatware is still cumbersome. It rolls off the plate when you put a knife or fork down. We had looked forward to trying Samba's Grill but ended up not doing so. People we spoke with said that it was good but not exceptional. They also found the location -- replacing the Sea View Cafe -- a bit odd. That was especially true when it was cold or wet at night. Again, a revenue driven decision not thoroughly thought through? Activities/Shows Because of my condition we didn't participate in many of the activities. We did go to two shows. One was a comedy show performed by the two Argentines who own and produce Tango Buenos Aires. They are brothers and are very funny. The tango show, which we've now seen four times was excellent although the female lead singer was not as strong as the others we've seen. Bobby and Becky Brown were the Cruise Director and Activity Director. They are both true professionals and do a great job. Service We had excellent service from our Cabin Attendant, Ahmad, and in the Main Dining Room from Andrew and Agnelo. We had a feeling, though, that everyone was doing more work than before and some service suffered. We gave up trying to contact Guest Relations by phone. They just never answered and the one time they did were not able to help us with out an in-person visit. We had breakfast delivered by Room Service most mornings and it was, with two exceptions, prompt and efficient. It would be nice to have more variety on the menu, however. The people at Guest Relations seemed to be overwhelmed much of the time. I was also surprised, when we went to tell them that we would need to leave the ship early, that there was no hint of We're sorry to hear that. The young woman we spoke with seemed a little put out that we were causing her extra work. She did offer a complimentary phone call or thirty extra internet minutes which never activated. She was not available to speak to about this so we paid the charge. The invitations for the Meet & Mingle were not sent in time to about half the people who were registered. Ours was in our cabin the evening after the 10:30AM event. Our Diamond amenities were not in the cabin when we boarded. They were delivered at 10:00PM the first night. Again, perhaps too much work for too few people? Port and Shore Excursions We didn't do any Ship's Excursions. In Kona we went ashore and met friends for lunch at the Kona Inn. As usual, it didn't disappoint. I had a very good Mai Tai and excellent calamari sandwich. At Lahaina we rented a car and drove to the top of Haleakala. It was a perfect day with the drive up the mountain in clouds and drizzle and then bright sun at the top. We could see both Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa on the Big Island 100 miles away. We stopped at the Kula Lodge in Kula for a very good late lunch. and then drove up to the Iao Valley and Needle on the way back to Lahaina. On Kauai we also rented a car and went up to the Waimea Canyon, stopped at the Kauai Coffee Company and the Spouting Horn and had lunch in Wailua before returning to the ship. Disembarkation We were in one of the last groups off the ship and met in the Cascades Dining Room. They had pastries and drinks available. When they called our number there was a crew member with a wheelchair (we had returned the one we were using so we could get the credit for the $250.00 deposit) and he took us to baggage claim where we got a porter and then out to the Taxis where we got a cab into Waikiki where we spent a night before flying home. Summary We made the best of a difficult situation and tried to enjoy the cruise as much as we could. I was disappointed that I didn't have the mobility to see as many of the changes that were made during dry dock as I would have liked. As mentioned, I think that the addition of Rita's and Izumi was a mistake. It has really made a bad situation in The Windjammer worse. Spending most of the cruise in a wheelchair or on a cane gave me a new appreciation for people who travel this way all the time. The crew were generally very helpful and compassionate. Many passengers were, too, but I was really surprised by how rude and inconsiderate some people were. We had people go around us to get in elevators, let doors close in our face and generally ignore that we might need a little extra time or help getting around. I have to especially acknowledge the crew working the tender operation. This can be difficult at best but they treated me with respect and the inclinator they use for getting the wheelchairs up and down to the tender platform works really well. We were also treated very well on the return trip, being taken aside so we would be the last on/first off the tender. Would we sail on Radiance again? Absolutely, if only to see and experience the new things that we missed this time around! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
Listed below is the good, the bad, and the ugly. Perhaps due to the number of cruises we have taken, it has made us more critical. We are not looking for perfection in a cruise, but we also don't look the other way when things go ... Read More
Listed below is the good, the bad, and the ugly. Perhaps due to the number of cruises we have taken, it has made us more critical. We are not looking for perfection in a cruise, but we also don't look the other way when things go wrong. We enjoyed our cruise, but the below is for the benefit of future cruisers and Celebrity. Sorry, we don't sugar coat our review. Room There was quite a bit of dirt in the corners of the bathroom. There was no cold water. Not enough hangers. Had to argue with steward to remove items from refrigerator. He finally did. HVAC thermostat -â€" The wall thermostat needs to have fan and better temperature controls. The HVAC output vent was right above our bed and many people complained that the constant dry air caused dry mouth and sore neck. It was necessary to turn the thermostat way down to avoid this condition. There needs to be some sort of way to deflect the air. Plug outlets -â€" I'm sure you have heard this before, but there needs to be more plug outlets in the room. Pool Went to outdoor pool towel cabana. Asked clerk inside for a towel as there were none on the window. She said there was some on the other side of her cabana. She didn't want to get up to walk two steps to the other window to give us a towel? We would also like to see longer hours for the hot tub and pool. Even if this meant only leaving open one hot tub or one pool.A midnight swim is very enjoyable for some. Clocks Often the clocks in the pool area and other places on the ship were off by hours. A clock in each room would be a nice touch. Our advice, wear a watch. Dining Room Our table mates told us that their steak was tough one evening. My wife's steak was also tough. They mentioned it to our waiter and even commented that their jaw is sore from chewing and they are having difficulty cutting the meat. Our waiter came back with a sharper knife and said that this should solve the problem. From the dirty look our tablemate gave the waiter, the matre de came over to check and was also shocked that our waiters solution to a tough steak was a sharper knife. He immediately brought a much better steak. Likewise, the Ahi Tuna steak was over cooked and he brought another one that was cooked seared and rare, cooked perfectly. On another night, the key lime dessert was so bad that it could not be eaten. Overall, the food was about equal to 'Golden Corral' restaurants, that being about a 2 to 2.5 star restaurant out of 5. We did not find any of the food spectacular. Perhaps if the head Chef Paskal was not out doing so many cooking demonstrations, the food might have been better? Dress Code -â€" Whereas we did hear many complaints of people who were turned away from the dining room due to improper attire, overall, all agreed that there had to be a line of decorum. That if they allowed one person in not dressed correctly, that it would cause a chain reaction for others. It seems that they were just 'testing the waters' in the restaurant to see if they would really turn them away. Good job MDR!! Staff In wanting to disembark the ship, the TV stated that disembarkment will start at 11AM. Signs around the ship also stated 11AM on deck 1. We went to deck 1 at 11AM and Lindy rudely told us that we are not disembarking at 11AM and to return to our room. We believed her and got back on the elevator and returned to our room. As soon as we got to our room 11:08, they announced on the loud speaker that everyone can now go to deck 1 and disembark. By the time we fought the crowd, we did not get off the ship until almost 11:25. We were only at this port for a short time and had many errands to run. She did not need to send us back to our room and she did not need to be rude about it. All the other staff was exceptionally friendly with smiles from ear to ear. Celebrity Life Activities -â€" The activity leaders (Mike Gibbons and Leuisa Cortez) were both personable and friendly with what they did! Unfortunately, there were not enough activities. For such a long cruise, there should have been continual activities. There should really have been twice as many activities. With as many old people on the ship, where were the talks on various medicines, diabetes, vitamins, exercise, etc. Casino -â€" The slots were too tight. Many casino's advertise that their slots pay out 95%. Every person I spoke with lost lots of money on the slots. We had a group slot pull, putting over $400 in one slot machine. My wife is a CPA and a numbers person and calculated that this machines pay out was closer to 60%. Likewise, many of the old people could not understand all the various slot machines. I would recommend that the casino set up 3 or 4 practice slot machines so that people can learn what it means to play various lines and such. Also, Texas Holdum is a game played with a deck of cards and a dealer, not computers. People who played the computer Texas Holdem and lost were suspicious of the computer being 'fixed'. Many people who normally played Texas Holdem did not play at all, including myself. Room Stewards Our room stewards was always very polite, quick and thorough. They were great. What happened to the towel animals we use to get? Once I returned to my room and my shirts magically were folded and stacked on the bed. Wow! Waiters and staff in MDR (Main Dining Room) Waiters and staff were very polite and remembered the drink we ordered and had it ready for us right after we sat down. Kudos! On the other hand service was slow in bringing us our food and removing our dishes from the table. It was so slow that a few times it caused us to be late for other scheduled ship activities. SHIP APPEARANCE Elevators -â€" either they were not large enough, not fast enough, or not enough elevators. Too often the elevators were full and we had to wait for another one. During disembarking we had to wait for 8 elevators before we could get on. A ship of this size with this many people should have more or faster elevators. 10th Floor Buffet -â€" I could not understand why some salad bars on one end of the buffet were different than the other salad bar. It became necessary to walk around the WHOLE buffet to see exactly what was served and what differences there were in the buffet. The buffet was not explained when we got on the boat. The Sushi buffet was great, except the hours. Opening the Sushi buffet from 5:30 PM to 9PM creates a big problem if you have early dinner. How can you enjoy dinner at 6PM if you just filled up on Sushi at 5:30? We switched to late dinner (9PM) so that we could enjoy the sushi. Signs -â€" There needs to be better signs for when people get off the elevators. Instead of FORWARD and AFT, better would be like what hotels have. Rooms 7501 and greater LEFT. Rooms 7500 and less RIGHT. Or something similar. Even after 17 days in the same ship, the older people were still wondering around looking for their room. RECOMMENDATIONS There needs to be (on the TV) the various bars, grills, buffets, small sandwich shops, and other places to eat. It should also include the daily menu for the MDR so that it is not necessary to go to deck 4 to check to see what is being served each day. It should not really be difficult to add a food channel to the current list of TV channels that would only be for the various food issues around the boat. FOOD -â€" The food (on the average) was only mediocre. Some nights were very good and some nights were very bad. There was not enough variety of foods. Why was there no Trout, Halibut, Sea Bass, Orange Roughy, and others. Many of the menu items were just simply repeated over and over again. SHOWERS -â€" There needs to be cold water and better water temperature regulation in the shower and sink. Most hotels are going to a circular shower curtain rod. This would be a great idea for these small bathrooms as they would give more elbow room and would also prevent the shower curtain from blowing inward into the shower and sticking to you. It would be a cheap update and should give the shower about 4 cubic feet of more space. CAPTAIN & STAFF It would be nice if tables had the option of having a guest staff person join their table for a night. INTERNET The Internet is too expensive on the boat. We purchased 2 hours on the first day for $99. The ship should be encouraging people to bring their lap tops and doing work and other things. Perhaps even arranging multi player on line games. Not only would people (and especially children) specifically want to cruise with a line that has this, but it would cause people to stay in their rooms more and this can cut down on staff requirements. Second problem is that on this cruise, the average age per person had to be around 65 years old or older. This range of people are usually not computer literate. I had numerous people tell me that when they were not able to connect their laptop, the Internet store wanted $75 per hour to diagnosis and hook them back up. I suggested to one person to find any teenager and they should be able to easily get you back on line. That person took my advice and got back on line and bought the kid some Cokes for 5 minutes of work. Requiring a special 'log out' when done surfing the net is also ridiculous. If you don't use their special log out, the minutes that you bought kept ticking away. One time I quickly shut down forgetting to use their special log out and lost a half hour of minutes. CELL PHONES It's known that cruise ships have their own cell towers on the boats. Either free cell phone usage should be given or a MUCH reduced rate. The first cruise line who does this will quickly grab a larger cruiser audience. In this world of communications, cell phones are a necessity, not a luxerry. There needs to be a cheaper alternative. Once more: The wife and I waited 2 years for this cruise. We DID enjoy it. We DID have a good time. We DID come back 7 pounds overweight. We DID meet many new friends. We WILL return to Celebrity again to take another cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
We made a 7 night western Mediterranean cruise with Costa Concordia starting from Civitavecchia visiting Savona, Barcelona, Mallorca, Malta, Palermo. We used the train to get to Civitavecchia from Rome; it was not easy to get to the ... Read More
We made a 7 night western Mediterranean cruise with Costa Concordia starting from Civitavecchia visiting Savona, Barcelona, Mallorca, Malta, Palermo. We used the train to get to Civitavecchia from Rome; it was not easy to get to the harbour from the train station; you have to walk at least 10-15 with your luggage's. This is nothing about Costa but you should know and organize yourself. Embarkation and disembarkation procedures were well organised and everything went well for us. We stayed in a balcony cabin on deck 7. We loved the cabin; it was large, well organized. The bed was large and very comfortable; the balcony and the bathroom were both large and useful. There was enough cupboard in the cabin. There was an old style TV where you would expect a LCD etc. The cabin was very clean and it was kept clean during the cruise. The staff responsible for our cabin was very good, polite and helpful. We used the room service many times; in some of them we had to wait too much and had to tell the same thing over and over again. Most of the staff did not look happy with what they are doing. We had a feeling that they were working too much. Our English speaking hostess was very good; we liked her. Food was not as good as we have expected. The quality was high but it was generally not delicious. Open buffet was not that good; dinners were better but as I said it was not so delicious. Esp pasta's were not good; we did not have a delicious pasta even once. In breakfast there were only two types of Italian cheese; no olives and no olive oil which is not expected from an Italian ship. You can purchase drink packages on the ship; which actually do not include that much of advantage. One hint about the water; you can ask for tap water at dinners which was free; do not pay for bottled water unless you prefer mineral water. Pools were very small;almost impossible to swim. There were many bars all around the ship; there was live music all night long; and many of them were empty most of the time. Only the great bar was full every night. The casino was very small. Shows we watched were OK; dancers were good; lady singer was very good. We only had one excursion in Savona to Portofino. It was very good although they combined Spanish and English groups. It was well organised; the guide was very very good, speaking two languages one after another all day long. There was a good variety of excursions; prices 35-70 euros per person. We did not need to use any of the excursion in the ports we have visited. Only in Savona we would recommend to use excursion without a doubt. Ports of call were good. An important point, in the programme it says Mallorca for both 3. and 4. days altough the ship only stays in Mallorca for 1 hour -from 00:00 to 01:00- on the 4. day. Do not think that you are going to stay there an overnight. An other important point for international travellers. The majority of the passangers were Italians and they were not so polite. They seemed unhappy to get in a queue for food or to meet you in the corridor or in the elevator looking into your face saying nothing; our "good morning"s "good afternoon"s were not answered unless there is someone else from another country. Anyway if you are looking for an international environment, Costa ships departing from an Italian port are -most probably- not the right ships to take. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
This is our 10th cruise and, like all our previous cruises, we ensure we take advantage of the departure port and get there several days in advance to enjoy the particular city prior to boarding. Honolulu was no exception and we thoroughly ... Read More
This is our 10th cruise and, like all our previous cruises, we ensure we take advantage of the departure port and get there several days in advance to enjoy the particular city prior to boarding. Honolulu was no exception and we thoroughly enjoyed our 6 day pre-cruise visit. RADIANCE is big and "strong" and amazing how it handled the big swells of the Pacific. Advanced stabilizers kept the ship on an even keel (excuse the pun) as she cut through the seas at an incredible 25 knots. However, after all the jazzed up reports of the makeover, I was disappointed. I was expecting more. Sure the added specialty dining rooms and outdoor movie screen were the main changes done, and they were spanking new of course, but I had wrongly assumed the staterooms had been overhauled as well (apart from the flat screen TV). Embarkation: Easy; boarding staff were friendly. Getting to the port was also a breeze. $6 on a shuttle bus with a friendly driver was a good start to our cruise. Stateroom: Not what I expected; drab and "tired" and musty smell. Sofa was worn and faded (this was the same through other staterooms that I visited) and I really didn't feel comfortable sitting on it, curtains old and "whoofy" odour. But our stateroom steward attended to the smell and deodorised the room within a few hours. I got over the initial bad impression and all well after this; my idea of a ship overhaul is obviously different to RCC International's! Bathroom small but sufficient storage in mirror cabinet to keep all toiletries. Shower oh so small, but this is the same on all cruise lines in this class cabin. A real plus is the amazing water pressure in the shower (reminded me of the Seinfeld episode with Kramer!) Storage for clothes was adequate. Bed? Excellent - very, very comfortable. Food: We honestly had no problems. Find it hard to believe other reviewers had issues. In fact, we enjoyed the food so much in the Cascades and Windjammer that we never got to try any of the specialty places. Our excellent table waiters Aleksander and David were outstanding and our dining companions were also fun. We did find however that breakfast or lunch in the Cascades to be a bit "pressured". Staff were polite but you could see they were under extreme pressure to provide the timely service. While the "cereal bar" for breakfast and "salad bar" for lunch were interesting, it did confuse many people. One could go to the central area and waiters there would serve you cereal, juice etc as an "entree" and the table waiter would take your order for the "main" course. I must admit the salad bar was amazing! Everything so fresh - no wilted leaves to be seen ever. So many ingredients - all types of salad leaves, peppers, corn, sprouts, seeds, salmon, chicken pieces, and various salad dressing - and even prawns! One could simply forgo the main course and just indulge in the salad bar. As previously touched on, dinner at Cascades was something we looked forward to each evening. Food was outstanding and Aleksander and David bent over backwards to please. A nice touch here is that they called us by our first names and not SIR or MADAM or MR x or Mrs x... made the dining experience more special. I must point out however, that table waiters and table companions are a key to a pleasant dining experience. If these don't "work for you" then you would need to change tables up front or head to the Windjammer or specialty restaurants. Solarium - adult pool area. Was disappointed the captain did not retract the glass roof on our sunny days as it was quite stifling in there although cosy on the dreary cold days. Park Cafe - brilliant - salad bar, hot roast beef rolls, pastries etc. RCC obviously didn't deem it important enough to replace the "greenery" in the Solarium. Tired, discoloured plastic vines and leaves really took away from the "jungle" ambiance. Other: Lot of nooks and crannies to relax eg. library (small but quiet), Starquest lounge (on highest deck and great forward view) so quiet and peaceful. Helicopter area far forward- do your impression of The Titanic scene here if you wish or just sit on the comfy benches and drift away- not a sound here except the wind and the waves. Golf course - loved it. Apparently this was part of the renovation and it showed - beautiful artificial turf and rockery that looked so real. Apart from really windy and rocky days, it played quite true. TV in stateroom: appalling programming; ad nauseum repeats. Entertainment: very good... Tango Buenos Aires a highlight. An early 7pm show for the 2nd sitting diners was a superb idea instead of a late 10:30... well done RCC Guest Relations: Nothing different here... it amazes me how politely rude, or rudely polite these people can be. OK, they basically deal with complaints 24/7 but that's their job.... a smile wouldn't hurt. 10 cruises and the same 10 experiences. Final note: very surprised that there were 1500+ Australians onboard but even more surprised that that there were 160 kids also! We knew it was school holiday time but we didn't expect Aussies to fly all the way over to Hawaii with their kids for a 17 day cruise. Live and learn. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2011
We joined the cruise at Amsterdam, having made our own way there and spending a couple of days sight seeing before we embarked. Embarkation was slow and a bit haphazard, but we eventually boarded around 2.30, having arrived at 1.30. Lunch ... Read More
We joined the cruise at Amsterdam, having made our own way there and spending a couple of days sight seeing before we embarked. Embarkation was slow and a bit haphazard, but we eventually boarded around 2.30, having arrived at 1.30. Lunch was provided on arrival and our cabin was ready immediately, our bags arrived quickly too. All good news to start with. The first impression of the ship is that is gaudy and glizzy - one might say full of bling. The colours used throughout are really bright, with loads of lights, which almost hurt the eyes to look at. Cabins, however, were light, bright and much less colourful! The standard of accommodation in the cabin was very good, it was always kept beautifully clean and everything worked, as you might expect on an almost new ship. We picked this holiday for the itinery - Tallin, St. Petersberg, Stockholm, Helsinki, Copenhagen and back to Amsterdam so the programme was quite hectic with lots of time in port. We only did excursions in St. Petersberg and did our own thing in the other ports which worked out well. Most times the ship was 'parked up' quite a way outside the town and Costa put on shuttle buses for passengers, which worked well but were quite expensive. There were times when staff at the tour desk were rather misleading of their description of how long it might take to walk into town, which meant that one bought a shuttle bus ticket when it was not necessary. The standard of the excursions we did was very good but because of the lateness of one arriving back to the ship we were unable to take another trip which we had booked, which was very annoying. Days at sea were full of opportunities to do something but most of it was not to our taste. There were approximately 300 English speaking passengers out of 2200 (ship not full), the majority of the rest were Italian. This resulted in multi-language announcements which could get intrusive. For example, the 'card room' is actually an open space on the side of the biggest lounge area. Whenever cards were being played (e.g. Bridge), there would be a fashion show, quiz or someting else noisy going on right nearby which was irritating. Because of the open plan nature of the lounges as well, smokers were placed quite close to non smokers, so there was often a smell of cigarette smoke wherever you sat. The evening meals were extremely good, although some of our table-mates were critical of the level of choice. Each dinner was at least five courses and some of them were 'themed'. We were on second sitting, which was not until 9 p.m. This meant that often we did not finish eating until 11, after which one could go to the disco or a show if one wanted. The self-service cafeteria was always a bit of a scrum and we ended up trying to avoid it for breakfast, going to the restaurant instead. Lunch was available at both locations too. My biggest grip with Costa is that they try to get more money out of you whenever they can. From the minute you board the ship, they take photographs of you at every opportunity, for which they charge 9.99 euros each. Of course, you don't have to buy them, but it does become irritating. We also had a bottle of water in our cabin with a note saying that if we opened it, the price would be charged to our bill - about 1.30 euros, I think. This is petty when, had we paid full price, the cabin would have been 4000 euros between the two of us. There is also a fee-paying restaurant that one can use as an alternative (20 euros)and cappucino and espresso coffees are also charged as extras. One lovely event is the 'elegant tea' which happened twice within our cruise, beautiful variety of teas, exquisite sandwiches and cakes with strawberries dipped in chocolate. Everyday afternoon tea was supplied in the self-service restaurant, but the elegant one was far superior. Disembarkation was well organised and our luggage easy to find when we got off. I wouldn't go with Costa again because I didn't really enjoy the daytime activities and wouldn't want to pay full price but I suspect that it would suit some people very well. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2011
We had not realised until we arrived at the ship that the operator, Shearings Holidays, did not own the ship and had only chartered it for two cruises. This was not, therefore, a Voyages of Discovery cruise. On the positive side, ... Read More
We had not realised until we arrived at the ship that the operator, Shearings Holidays, did not own the ship and had only chartered it for two cruises. This was not, therefore, a Voyages of Discovery cruise. On the positive side, for us, we had a small ship of 750 capacity, with an excellent RESIDENT crew. We cannot speak highly enough of the waiters, cabin boys and bar staff, all Filipino. Nothing was too much trouble for them and everything was done with a smile on their face. The food itself was varied, of excellent quality and tastefully presented. All facilities were provided on a very clean and well looked after ship. If i was rating the cruise on these factors alone they would get maximum marks. What spoiled the whole experience for us, however, was Shearings part in it. They got us to the terminal in good time and check-in went well. What transpired over the period of the cruise saw a downhill slide and is the subject of a lengthy complaint direct to the Company's CEO. Shearings staff introduced themselves as Head Office staff and throughout the cruise exhibited very little cruise knowledge. The trips were poorly organised and subject of many complaints, some resulting in refunds. In the main the staff had not even experienced the places we visited and when things went wrong couldn't deal with the problems. On the ship the staff were scruffy in appearance, unprofessional in dealing with clients and seemed, in the main to be there to enjoy themselves. The entertainment was amateurish, so thank goodness for the cinema. Passengers experienced varied problems, some of which we saw, others we heard about. In our case i was verbally abused during a discussion with a member of Shearings staff and my wife was shouted at and then had this person "in her face" with a finger pointed directly into her face. So please take two things away from these comments. Firstly, the ship and its permanent staff were a delight and and in its Voyages of Discovery trips I am certain first class (see other reviews) . Secondly, do not go on a Shearings cruise,it's so unbelievably unprofessional. Community Manager's Note: 'This review was written when the ship sailed for Voyages of Discovery. As of February 2013, it is now sailing under the Cruises & Maritime banner" Read Less
Sail Date: August 2011
We are a family of 4 and we have sailed with Royal Caribbean and with Norwegian in the past. This was our first Celebrity Cruise on the lovely Silhouette. We had originally booked it because it was scheduled to go to Egypt, we stuck with ... Read More
We are a family of 4 and we have sailed with Royal Caribbean and with Norwegian in the past. This was our first Celebrity Cruise on the lovely Silhouette. We had originally booked it because it was scheduled to go to Egypt, we stuck with it because our travel agent said we would love it! We checked in after a 5 day stay in Rome. Civitavecchia was a 45 minute train ride to the port. Very easy and cost effective. What was not so pleasant was the shuttle system from the pier entrance. It was poorly organized and there was no defined place to stand and wait for the shuttle to check-in. We basically had to read the sign on the shuttles arriving to make sure it was going to our ship and make a run for it. After 3 attempts we finally got our luggage stored under the bus and got some seats. A big free for all with a me first attitude. Not so fun with kids in towe. Once we arrived to the check-in tents, yes, tents....the luggage porters motioned for passengers to load their own luggage onto the carts which was a first time experience for us on a cruise. The benefits of a concierge class booking made no difference upon check in. Actually, people who took the train with us from Rome who had standard rooms made it through their line faster than us. Our daughter's luggage arrived to the stateroom damaged and an item was missing. After all this was done and forgotten we did begin to enjoy this beautiful ship. The ship is very elegant and stylish. I loved it but the kids found it boring compared to the Allure which we sailed on last March. We, my husband and I, thought it was a great size and had everything a couple could want. Adult activities were plentiful and we certainly enjoyed the wine tasting events. The sommeliers were informative and pleasant and it made for lovely and pleasant afternoons on sea days. Our 16 and 9 year old children enjoyed the Fun Factory and the X-club however the amenities for children on a ship like the Silhouette were for the most part non-existent compared to what they have experienced on RCCL and Norwegian. The biggest disappointment was the small pool on the pool deck and the fact that only half of it was made available to the 400 children on board during our sailing. There was no kids pool area. The service level we experienced was fabulous throughout the cruise. It was exceptional at Bistro on 5, Murano, Tuscan Grill and Qsine. The specialty restaurants were delectable! Where the service was mediocre was at the ilounge and at the buffet. There were a few people that worked in the ilounge but the guy who seemed to oversee the lounge was arrogant and easily flustered which led him to speak without a fliter in a very unprofessional manner. We tried to avoid the buffet the most part but on the days where we had to go there we found that it was a little less polished and the wait staff was generally more aloof. It might have had something to do with the "Me first attitude" of many of the guests on board and the general pushiness of the guests in crowded areas and on the elevators. This brings us to the culture of the guests on board. This European cruise was a first for us so I'm not sure if this is just the way it is or if this was unique to the dynamic of the guests on the cruise for this particular sailing. One thing Celebrity must resolve is the inability of the pool butlers to execute Celebrity's no reservation policy of chairs on the pool deck. The amount of reserved chairs not being used for several hours at a time was ridiculous and even more ridiculous was that people were saving 2 sets of chairs. One set in sunspots and the other in shaded areas. The ports were fabulous and I can't really comment on the shore excursions because we booked all our ours independently through local tour guides. If I had a magic want though, we would have had a full day in Santorini, the 6 hours were just too short once you factored in tender time to get on and off the ship. I would have easily traded the 3rd day in Israel for and extra day in Greece. Do not walk up or down those steps in Santorini. Big mistake unless you like navigating donkey poop on marble steps. Our Stateroom was very clean, new, elegant and would have been perfect for the 2 of us. It was a little crammed for 4 people and I found the storage area above the beds hard to reach. The bathroom was nice and spacious and the storage there was plentiful. We did not really order canapes so I am not sure I would book Concierge class again. The 4th bed was a trundle and I do not like the set up. It makes the balcony near impossible to get to after turn down service. We much prefer the pullman system. The shows were good and our cruise director was very entertaining but we only saw him on stage. As a family we agreed that we preferred the shows we saw on the Allure though. We found the ones on this sailing got repetitive after 3-4 nights. What we did love was the live entertainment on the pool deck, in the lounges and throughout the ship. There was a fabulous a Capella group from Michigan and a lovey Jazz band that accompanied our new favorite jazz singer Azure McCall. She was simply sensational! What a voice! The Captain was adorable! Being of Greek descent I guess he couldn't help it! His daily updates were witty and charming. Disembarkation was quite easy but again when it came to the shuttles, directions to the shuttles were non-existent and getting on was another free for all reminiscent of embarkation. Party was over!!! Loud and clear!!! In summary, my husband and I would love to cruise with Celebrity again once we are empty nesters. We know we will enjoy elegant and refined surroundings with delectable food and wine with excellent service. If and when we do, will will go out of our way to avoid boarding any ship in Chivitavecchia. Until then, we will likely stick with RCCL. Same company more suited to families. I will miss Murano until then that's for sure! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2011
Background: This was our first cruise. We are a family of 5. We were joined by my sister, another first-time cruising family of 5, and my parents who have been on a number of prior cruises on various lines. The children's ages ranges ... Read More
Background: This was our first cruise. We are a family of 5. We were joined by my sister, another first-time cruising family of 5, and my parents who have been on a number of prior cruises on various lines. The children's ages ranges from 3 to 12 and my mother was in a wheelchair. Embarkation: Awful queues after bag drop where the health forms are completed in an unventilated tent with no air conditioning, which was a horrible experience. Also full of Italians who don't know how to queue! But after that the security and check-in process was very quick and efficient. Stateroom: We were in one of the Family rooms which was excellent - very large, separate sleeping area for the two bunk beds and a curtain to separate off the double bed from the sofa bed. I'd thoroughly recommend this room to any family of 5 or 6. Dining: Breakfast/lunch: The buffet in the Windjammer was a nightmare on most days. It seats about 700 for a ship of 3,600 passengers. Impossible to get a table (not helped by couples sitting on the large circular tables) and people were eating standing at the edge of the buffets. After the first day we either ate at times to avoid the queues (depending on when the excursions left) or ate in the restaurant on the days at sea, which isn't the same as even though anything can be ordered it somehow doesn't tick the boxes like a buffet does. Having said that the quality and choice of food was fantastic. Dinner: We ate fixed dining on the first sitting. Food was of an exceptionally high quality on 6 of the 7 nights. Our two waiters couldn't have done more - friendly attentive service, lots of little extras for the children and ensured that we were well catered for as most of our party were vegetarian. Activities: Plenty to do, especially for the children, with the swimming pools, rock climbing wall, ice skating rink, roller blading, mini golf etc. The mini golf was terribly disappointing - a few obstacles in the holes would have made it far more interesting. My only complaint was that the ice rink was only open twice for general skating the whole week - what's the point of having an ice rink and hardly ever being able to use it? My other complaint was concerning the arcade, which was fine in itself. However one machine took $1.25 from our card but then didn't work. I asked three times for the money to be refunded to our card, and was promised on each occasion that the refund would appear, but it never did. Although $1.25 is not a lot of money it was annoying to be promised something only to be let down. Children's Club: Disappointing. The range of activities was generally poor and the staff didn't seem so interested in the children. The activities in the 2 to 5 year old's club were mainly sticking, colouring and watching TV - something that can easily be done in the stateroom. Our three year old refused to go back again. After hearing from seasoned cruisers how amazing the children's clubs activities are we were disappointed. Service: on the whole fantastic. The waiters really excelled themselves and it was really only the table cleaners in the Windjammer that weren't so friendly. However we did have one cause to complain. At every opportunity you feel RCI are trying to sell you something or make money out of you. That's fine in itself. But when we left the ship in Athens (with someone in a wheelchair) we asked the people taking photos where to go and they said they'd only help us if we agreed to have our photo taken (which we didn't want). They then sent us to a building 100m away which was locked - it turned out we were supposed to wait for a bus. Back on the ship we complained to deaf ears - not even a hint of an apology. Entertainment: Mixed. Three great shows (Beatles review, ice skating and a street artist),one awful show (West End musicals review) and two uninteresting shows (Italian singer and ballroom dancing). No show on the first evening if eating at the first sitting which was also hugely disappointing. The cruise director (in charge of entertainment), a certain Warren Allen, was rude and awful. The evening ice show turned out to be the same as one the previous afternoon but this was never explained on the cruise compass (daily activity planner). That wasn't great as we had to sit there with the kids for over half an hour just to secure seats. When I asked the cruise director why it was the same show he reasonably explained that the ice rink only seats 700 so they need to repeat the show 4 times so everyone can see it. Fair enough. But when I asked why this wasn't explained on the cruise compass he told me it was. I still have the cruise compass and it wasn't. When I told him it wasn't he accused me of lying. All I was hoping for was an apology! Not the standard of serviceI expected. Excursions: Too expensive - we arranged our own. Disembarkation: Very efficient. We managed to leave 15 minutes before our allotted time. Luggage was easy to locate. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2011
The Caribbean Princess is a very large ship- over 3,000 passengers. The ship was fully booked for our cruise (the week before the hurricane). I was a little worried since some of the previous reviewers complained about there being no place ... Read More
The Caribbean Princess is a very large ship- over 3,000 passengers. The ship was fully booked for our cruise (the week before the hurricane). I was a little worried since some of the previous reviewers complained about there being no place to have some private time. I found lots of spots/deck chairs to sit and relax. I ate breakfasts in the buffet area, and lunch and dinner in the seated dining rooms. I was not able to get an assigned seating and actually hated having to line up for dinner for seating for the first 2 nights. The first night was extremely busy, and the second night was a formal night- also very busy. Trying to book a reservation by phone was frustrating. After 2 nights, once we started touring, free dining became less of a problem. I think Princess should have more fixed dining availability. Also, there was a time change of a hour when we arrived in Halifax but a lot of cruisers (myself included) did not see the tiny printed notice on the daily bulletin. The next time there was a time change, a large printed notice was sent to the cabins- I guess people complained. The meals were very good, and if you did not choose to eat in the main seated dining rooms, there were lots of alternatives. Loved the beignets and croissants at the coffee/bakery section on the fifth floor. The staff is very multi national and were wonderful- great service,and very friendly . I will definitely be booking future Princess cruises. The quality of the food is very high in importance to me when choosing a cruise line . As cruise lines try to economize, they often do so at the expense of the quality of the food. I have been on a previous cruise (which will remain unnamed)in which the food was very mediocre.It does not matter how great the sale , or how great the itinerary - I will never go on another cruise from that particular cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2011
Having sailed with NCL twice before we were really looking forward to the Epic, expecting bigger and better than the ships we'd been on before. Embarkation at Barcelona was quick and easy and our stateroom was ready almost ... Read More
Having sailed with NCL twice before we were really looking forward to the Epic, expecting bigger and better than the ships we'd been on before. Embarkation at Barcelona was quick and easy and our stateroom was ready almost immediately. The room was very clean and contained everything we needed, although in order to cram in as many cabins as possible NCL have given them the minimum amount of space. As always, we found the dining options, service, public areas and entertainment to be of a very high standard, although I would recommend booking for the Blue Man Group before you go to be sure of getting in. We choose NCL because of the Freestyle dining and on this trip we visited four of the 'speciality' restaurants and enjoyed each one, especially the Tappenyaki which is great fun. What we didn't enjoy on this cruise was the extortionate cost of drinks and services e.g. $36 for an average bottle of wine and $25 for a spinning class in the fitness centre. Don't even get me started on the price of excursions! Our experience of cruising has taught us that prices are higher than normal, having a captive audience appears to give them licence to charge whatever they want to but such high costs and the addition of 18% gratutity on everything you purchase (on top of the $12 per person per day service charge) is forcing us to consider whether the overall cost of cruising with NCL is really worth the money. This is such a shame as we have receommended this cruise line to lots of people and continue to believe that their format is a winnner but we object to being ripped off! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2011
Embarkation. We boarded at The Ocean Terminal for the first time and found it to be excellent. The process of handing over the car the luggage and proceeding through check in and onto the ship was pretty well seamless. Arrived at terminal ... Read More
Embarkation. We boarded at The Ocean Terminal for the first time and found it to be excellent. The process of handing over the car the luggage and proceeding through check in and onto the ship was pretty well seamless. Arrived at terminal at about 11.15am and were on board by just after 12.30pm. I would have rated the process 5 but for the fact that there were about 400 Portunis Gold Club members, who, quite rightly had priority but given the numbers it took quite a while to process them. Service. We found to be excellent throughout the cruise and we were very well looked after by all the staff but particularly by our waiters Sebastian and Ajay on table 116 in the Meridian Lower Tier and by Loretta the chief bar keeper in the wonderful Rising Sun Pub. As mentioned in the cabin section our steward was first class. Food. On the whole was very good, as ever on P&O well presented and served. One or two issues with the Belvedere self service restaurant, probably the worst self serve out of Arcadia, Ventura and Oriana. In saying that my comments relate to breakfast and lunch, dining in the evening was good. The curry nights particularly were of a high standard. The two speciality restaurants are fabulous and well worth the cover charge, I am just sorry Gary Rhodes franchise is coming to an end. However, I am sure Marco Pierre White will do a fine job. Really we would love to see freedom dining across the fleet, I don't think you can get away from the fact that first sitting is too early and second is too late. Sitting at the same table with the same people at the same time is really quite low on our cruise wish list.Ports and excursions. The itinerary was superb and all the ports had something good to offer. New York was an undoubted highlight but they were all good. The excursions were varied interesting and reasonably priced. Particularly good was the JFK museum and library in Boston, the trip to Kennebunkport from Portland Maine,and, the Titanic experience in Halifax Nova Scotia. Entertainment. Absolutely the best on any cruise we have been on. The Cruise Director Tracy Clegg and her team (and a team is just what they were) gave their all. I have never known an entertainments team work so hard and so well. From Arcadia's version of Strictly Come Dancing to Quizzes and the ships own version of loose women called 'Loose lips' it was all fantastic. Our wonderful dance instructors Alan and Ginny Newman were lovely people, so kind and patient and they made learning to dance such fun. On the formal side Sam Kane, Brian Conley and the wonderful voice of Eve Sherratt were exactly what they are stars. I did hear a not of complaining the morning after one show, a comedian, and, I have seen something in a review on this site. However, cannot comment as were attended the dancing that evening. We both found the lecture programme varied and interesting, in fact some topics I would have not expected to be interesting turned out to be very good. Summary. Absolutely fantastic we loved it and will certainly never forget the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2011
We had a 39 day cruise around the British Isle, across the Atlantic by way of Iceland, Greenland, New York and up into Quebec City during August and September 2011. There were many good things I liked and equaly as many things I ... Read More
We had a 39 day cruise around the British Isle, across the Atlantic by way of Iceland, Greenland, New York and up into Quebec City during August and September 2011. There were many good things I liked and equaly as many things I didn't like. We had our grand daughter with us and she was enrolled in the kids program and it was fantastic. The crew that worked in it were excellent.!! The crew in general were exceptional, very polite,helpful and went out of their way to help the passengers and make the excursion more enjoyable. The Captain was a real person person, a very nice pleasent man who worked hard to make the passengers as comfortable as was possible under all conditions. The negative things were mostly with food selection and preparation and the entertainment. As for the food, the fish was always overcooked and rather blah. The selection of vegetables did not vary much and the red meats were really quite tastless. To get a real meal we enjoyed the Steak House a few times.There always seemed to me to have a way to many pasta dishes. To me pasta is pasta no matter what you call it or how you dress it up. As for the entertainment, it was not high class. If you've seen the Princess singers and dancers once , thats enough. The bands in the different bars were great but their repertoire was limited. The one thing that made swimming rather uncomfortable was that both pools were exposed to the weather- no cover in cold weather. The washers and dryers are JUNK and are not at all efficient and should be replaced. The above opinions are only mine and are based on about 8 other Princess ships. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2011
We have cruised on Arcadia several times but could not help noticing how some standards on the ship have declined on the last cruise. This did not alter the fact that overall we enjoyed the experience. Our first moan was that we had to ... Read More
We have cruised on Arcadia several times but could not help noticing how some standards on the ship have declined on the last cruise. This did not alter the fact that overall we enjoyed the experience. Our first moan was that we had to wait for at least 20 minutes in the car before we could unload the luggage. It appeared that this was due to there not being enough drivers to park the car. Our last cruise was on Celebrity Eclipse in May and the unloading/parking method used then would eliminate this wait. We drove up to the unloading point, our luggage was removed, we parked the car and walked back to the ship, making a note of where we parked the car. This made it a lot easier when we arrived back as we did not have to search for the car. The reception was very good. As we are Portunus Gold Members we more or less booked straight in, straight through security and were directed to the Orchid Restaurant where we had champagne and light bites before going to our cabin -â€" a deluxe balcony cabin which we have had before. The carpet was not clean, although the rest of the cabin was fine. This time there were no slippers or bath robes as had been advertised in the brochure, only a small gerbera in a silver vase which lasted less than a week and a few boiled sweets. Storage space is adequate but would be a tight squeeze for a World Cruise. We made extra space by removing the wooden hangers provided, storing them in a suitcase under the bed, and used our own plastic hangers. The TV was tiny (14 inch) and very difficult to read even from a short distance. A good supply of tea, coffee and biscuits was available. The bathroom was adequate - a fair amount of storage space but the shower is over the bath with a horrible curtain which inevitably sticks to you. My DIY husband remedied this by fixing a rope across. Would it be too much to have a fixed screen, I ask? The balcony was roomy, plenty of space for two loungers and two small tables. We did not meet our cabin steward till the evening of our first full day when we mentioned the carpet. Her reply was that she did not have a vacuum cleaner! Well on top of that and our first lunch in the Belvedere (see below) I made a complaint at reception. All the points I mentioned were attended to : the restaurant manager phoned me as did the accommodation supervisor and there were no more queues at lunch time and our steward got her vacuum cleaner but not without a reprimand for telling us too much! Our dinner was in the lower Meridian restaurant but the standard of service, which was very slow, and the variety of food choice were of a lower standard than on previous cruises. The wine service was the worst we have ever had -â€" the white wine was served warm every time we had it, in spite of us asking the wine waiter to make sure it was cold and the red wine seemed as though it had come out of the oven! Because of the slow service the only time we had a full dinner was on the nights when we decided not to go to the theatre and we could enjoy the coffee and petit fours. We had a most enjoyable dinner in the Orchid Restaurant -â€" excellent service, including the wine, and excellent food but that comes with a cover charge. Other nights we had dinner in the Belvedere (buffet style) which had much improved since our last cruise on Arcadia with places being set at the tables with glasses and cutlery, and water was served by a waiter. The wine service was good and the wine was served at the correct temperature. Tea and coffee were also served at the table. We had lunch once in the Belvedere as the experience on our first day was not enjoyable. I had to queue for 10 minutes to get salad as only one side of the buffet was open. I fancied some chips with my salad but I took one look at the queue where the hot food was served and did not want another 10 minute wait. I went back to our table where my husband was waiting. He got me some chips as the other side of the buffet had opened but they were stone cold and soggy as they were any other time we tried them. When we went to make our tea there were no teaspoons and no milk!! Instead of lunch from then on we had afternoon tea which was a more enjoyable experience with a fair range of choice. I was also disappointed to see that as there was no check on the entrance to the Belvedere to ensure that everyone used the hand sanitising gel. Very few people did in fact use it. Could this have been the reason that so many passengers had colds? The theatre is lovely, better than some West End ones, but to be sure of getting a good seat it looks as though you have to leave dinner early which is a shame as dinner should be a sociable occasion. In Celebrity Eclipse dinner was 15 minutes earlier and the theatre started, I think, at 9pm which we found to be more relaxing. Like a lot of others who have sailed on Arcadia a few times we were getting bored with the resident group "The Headliners", same old performances, good dancing but awful singing. The guest artists were, with one or two exceptions, very good. We thoroughly enjoyed the classical concerts but the piano was at right angles to the audience with the result you could not see the pianist's hands. In fact the pianist was in silhouette most of the time! We spoke to the pianist and she too was unhappy with the position of the piano. When I asked her if she had mentioned it to the Cruise Director she said she had not met her! Surely, the Cruise Director, Tracy Clegg, should have met all the Artists? Her deputy, Magic Martin, did not help matters any, when, one night as he was introducing the pianist said, "Welcome to the Globe Theatre" when in fact we were in the Crow's Nest and to make matters worse he did not call for an encore which is standard practice. I think these two would be better suited to organising Bingo! The Ports were on the whole very good. We organised all our own excursions but I would only recommend doing that if you were accustomed to cruising and had done a fair bit of research beforehand. It rained on our first day in New York (the only port where we had rain) but we still enjoyed our stay there. We walked to Central Park on our second day and had a great time but as we were too exhausted to walk back hailed a yellow taxi with little effort and the fare was only about $7. Bar Harbor was the port we enjoyed most -â€" absolutely picturesque. It is a "must see"! As the fog was very thick in St. John, New Brunswick, we stayed on board and were later told there was not much to see. We had a tremendous start to our stay in St John's (Newfoundland & Labrador) where we had the best welcome party yet - two girls and two men in ancient military uniforms, two mounted police on lovely black horses and to top it all one gi-normous Newfoundland dog and a black Labrador. Not much to see there but enjoyed the walk. The send-off we received was also worthy of mention -â€" soldiers in ancient military dress were high up on Signal Hill where they fired their muskets as we sailed away with the sun still shining. This coincided with our early dinner time which we decided to forego and dined in the Belvedere. The food, Indian buffet, was good but as usual was lukewarm. We paid for 14 days at the thermal spa which we always enjoy and it is the only draw which would make us return to Arcadia unless there is a complete makeover. There are plenty of other ships which are much better managed. After the long walks we had on shore days it was so relaxing to have a soak in the hydro-therapy pool and then lie on the thermal beds looking out to the sea, allowing our tired muscles to recover at leisure. The public rooms and bars were all satisfactory but I do wish that there was more space for those who want simply to read without being bombarded with canned music or other noise. We spent a fair amount of our morning time in the Spinnaker Bar mainly because it now serves Costa coffee with some of the muffins seen in UK. One rather weird event which happened during our stay in New York - we noticed that the muffins were not on show as usual and when we asked the waiter why he replied that the American port authorities considered the selling of the muffins as unhygienic! Why should they have any control over what we eat on board? We and the waiter thought that the selling of food on the New York streets was more in need of criticism! Read Less

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise