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

175 Holiday Cruise Reviews

Carnival Conquest Nov 20-27, 2011 We arrived Nov 19th. Stayed at the Hilton right next to port. Very nice hotel!!!' A word to travelers. Walk to the ship if you are staying at the Hilton or Harrah's. You will be nerves ... Read More
Carnival Conquest Nov 20-27, 2011 We arrived Nov 19th. Stayed at the Hilton right next to port. Very nice hotel!!!' A word to travelers. Walk to the ship if you are staying at the Hilton or Harrah's. You will be nerves & money ahead. We were advised to do that but took a taxi instead. With the taxi after 30 or so minutes, driver let us out on the road & we walked anyway. No lanes for Taxi's or limos. VIP is not much advantage here at New Orleans. Very long lines. Very dis- organized. From what I was told this is normal here. Ship left 1 & 1/2 hours late. But it did not matter. We were on the ship. Food- poor quality & poor selection. Steak house is excellent! Service in dining area was great. Had a wonderfful lady from Africa. Her name is Marion. The matre d was very nice & was the best one besides Ken on the Magic. His name is Elvis, really! Ken was on another ship when we Met him first. He is known as the singing matre d. Room- balcony room 8364. Never hardly saw our steward . But he did everything just fine. Our room was just below lido deck. Quiet noisy. Beds are worse than I ever remember. You can ask for a quilted mattress topper. Does not help a lot. I suffer with Lupus so need all the extra comfort I can get. Entertainment- went to a magic show. It was good. Others looked like musicals so passed. Was very tired after late dinner so went to bed afterwards. Excursions-.did a plantation with over 100 types of pineapple. Yum! I love Jamaica. This was our 3rd time there. Did not get off in Grand Caymen. It is expensive & once you have been to the sights need not do it again. You can take a cab & see the whole island . The sting rays we did several years ago . Would recommend this excursion. 7 mile beach was a disappointment. Be sure to visit hell at the end of the island. There is a Margertville there that serves up great hot wings. Cozumel was next. We like that port. Alot of places to go & see. Nice tucked away beaches that are a $10 cab fare away. We go to Mr . Sancho's about 6 miles from the dock. Passion island is good, as is the speed boat ride to get there. Days at sea were relaxing. Casino won as it usually does. Monte Carlo dollar machines were very good. Spa was ok. Had a massage. Booked an appt with the acupuncture Dr. Got there on time for the appt. They said sorry they had scheduled it wrong as he was also giving a seminar at that time. She wanted me to book later bur I had other plans. Then she pulls this" there is a 24 hour cancelation policy & she was going to charge me when she was at fault. I said "I don't think so". So be careful & don't let them do that to you. She did not charge me but would have if I had not known better. I would do Conquest again. It is easy to get around on & a nice older ship. New Orleans is a horrible port, but lovely city from what we saw. Debarkation was ok. None eventful. Was off by 8 am. Spent the night at Harrahs. Again super place & good machines. Went to the WW2 Museum. 4,blocks from the hotel. A must visit. I will go back & spend more time in New Orleans to do some sight seeing. The next day got on a flight & was back in Texas by 5pm. Next cruise is Jan 20th out of Miami on the Norwegian Epic. Happy Cruising. It is all good! I would do Conquest again. It is easy to get around on & a nice older ship. New Orleans is a horrible port, but lovely city from what we saw. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
My family all got together for a 7 night cruise with Holland America on the Eurodam. There were 5 of us and two rooms. I had been on a Royal Caribbean cruise in September that was my first cruise and was AMAZING! I was told that Holland ... Read More
My family all got together for a 7 night cruise with Holland America on the Eurodam. There were 5 of us and two rooms. I had been on a Royal Caribbean cruise in September that was my first cruise and was AMAZING! I was told that Holland America was a notch above Royal Caribbean. NOT! The first night in our room my aunt pulled back her sheets and found a bug. Not sure if it was a bed bug or not we called housekeeping to come check it out. They took the bug to determine whether or not it was a bed bug and while waiting my aunt pulled back her sheets so they could put fresh linens on the bed and she found pee stains. Not only was it on the first mattress pad but apparently they didn't remove the wet plastic mattress cover and just put the wool mattress protectors over the wet spot. It soaked the first blanket and they added a second blanket. It was the most disgusting thing I've ever seen! They came in and removed the mattress and gave her a new one but we could not get that out of our minds. The room was filthy dirty. It had not been dusted in weeks. My son slept on the sleeper sofa and we found dust on the top of the sofa so thick that it balled up on your fingers. Under the TV, on top of the coat hangers and also the head board of the other two beds. My aunt confronted the steward the next day and asked him to thoroughly clean the room. When we got back into the room nothing had been done. They had not even vacuumed. The bathtub was never cleaned the entire week. The same grime and dirt spots remained all week. I heard our stewart tell his helper one morning as he opened another cabin door "no vacuum needed." He hadn't even walked in the room. We purposly left little things on the floor to see if they would be vacuumed and they never were the entire week. The itinary for the ship is boring! Even my 90 and 91 year old grandparents who are active and like 70 year olds complained there was nothing to do. The shows were good but you can only see so many musicals over a weeks time. EVERYTHING shuts down at 11 PM on this ship. There is no midnight snacks, no late entertainment and only a few bars remain open. Unless you gamble there is not a single thing to do after 11. They even put away all the pool chairs so you can't sit on the pool deck. On the last night there is NO last night event for the adults. The ship rocks and rolls with the ocean everyday. We had a day or two of rough weather but even on the calm days you felt like you were walking drunk on the ship. Overall, I was very disapointed in the cleanliness, the entertainment, the buffet food was nothing more than going to Luby's Cafeteria and picking the same thing to eat everyday. I don't think I would take another Holland America cruise even if it was given to me as a free cruise. I would go back to Royal Caribbean for sure! Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
My son and I have cruised 20+ times in the past and Celebrity has always been our favourite. WE are Elite members and have sailed on Solstice two years ago. At that time we had enjoyed our cruise very much and we were looking forward to ... Read More
My son and I have cruised 20+ times in the past and Celebrity has always been our favourite. WE are Elite members and have sailed on Solstice two years ago. At that time we had enjoyed our cruise very much and we were looking forward to have the same experience. Unfortunately this time the cruise did not turn out to be up to Celebrity standard. It seemed like I was on a totally different ship. Starting from below average food quality (both in the main dining room and upstairs buffet) and continuing with very poor entertainment. I can't believe that Solstice cruise director Stewart has worked for Celebrity for over 10 years and nobody fired him yet!!!! Overall, entertainment crew appeared to be not motivated, and often they looked like they didn't want to "be there". I saw the same shows two years ago and what a difference! As Elite members we took the backstage tour once again. I invited one of the ladies from our dining room table to join as as she was an artist. I bragged to her prior to the tour how exciting it was going to be and how much she is going to learn about show productions. And you have no idea how embarrassed I was after we took the tour! For first half hour we listened to cruise director Stewart how fabulous he was (and he wasn't even supposed to be there!) and after they just walked us through the back (it took literary 1 min) and sent us on our way... This brings me to the subject of consistency... Consistency with previous quality of food and service on Solstice as well as consistency of food and service on the current cruise. Every drink, every cup of coffee I ordered tasted different from each other. I really can't understand why. There was also a problem with consistency of information received from the crew. I had an issue with shore excursion stuff in relation with my extended stay excursion in Ft Lauderdale after disembarkation. When I went to shore excursion desk to inquire what exactly is involved in the excursion one lady told me that we get dropped off "somewhere in the city and it was my responsibility to take a taxi if I wanted to go to the beach". She became very argumentative to the point of being rude when I asked her to double check this info as the description of the excursion in the paper was totally different from what she was telling me. She also stated that the manager was unavailable to answer my questions. I then spoke to another shore excursion officer who told me that we in fact get dropped off at the beach (totally opposite from what the first officers told me). She was even be able to get the manager on the phone to confirm this information. And last but for sure not list.... My BIGGEST issue with this cruise. If I only read the reviews of past passengers that sailed on Solstice earlier the same month.... I would have known that the ship had to be thoroughly cleaned several times (in fact, there was a huge delay with embarkation early December) due to noro (or Norwalk) virus. NOBODY from the crew bothered to tell us that this problem existed. I actually remember that once when I sailed with another cruise line they sent out a letter prior to the sailing day notifying passengers about the virus. NOT THIS TIME. If you read this and you are about to sail on Solstice please, please, take the precautions!!!!! they for sure would not care! I always wash my hands, so does my son. We have not been sick in years. ON Christmas night, the night before disembarkation, my son fell very ill (I will spare you from the details, but I can tell you it was awful). I followed in the early morning hours as I obviously was in close contact taking care of him. In the morning both of us could not even move. And as you all know on the morning of disembarkation all they wanna do is to get rid of the passengers as soon as possible so they can start with the new ones. It is very hard to explain in words how you would feel if you had this virus, but all I can say that you just wanna die. Of course, you would not be able to think straight and the fever does not help at all. I knew we had to get out of the cabin, my son wasn't even moving though. All I could think was to go to the guest relations desk for help, and also it was the closest place to our cabin (I had difficulty walking at that time). When I told the officer from the Guest Relations desk that my son and I are very ill SHE SAID "so what??" I could not believe this response. I further told her that I thought they wanna know as other passengers may get sick as well. She did not seem to care. She did say that she will get a nurse to call my cabin. At no time did she ask if we needed any assistance to disembark or anything else for that matter. Unfortunately by the time I returned to the cabin the nurse already called and spoke to my son. Not sure what she was able to get out of him as he was half unconscious.. As the room attendants were already knocking on our door asking when we were leaving (to give them credit they had no idea how we were feeling and they were just doing their job) I had to get my son up, grab our bags and crawl out of the room. For me it appears that nobody on board really cared. Needless to say that the rest of the day was pure hell... Upon arriving home we received emails from several other passengers that we met on this cruise who fell ill as well. I immediately contacted Celebrity to notify them that they might have a problem. The operator didn't seem to care and quickly tried to judge the steps that I made and blame me for not going straight to the nurse. It is probably very difficult to understand the state of mind I was in without experiencing it. I did state to the operator that the reason for my call was not to get anything out of this but to alert the cruiseline of the potential problem on board Solstice. I hope those of you who are planning a cruise on Solstice will find this information helpful. We may be considering another trip with Celebrity but for sure not on Solstice and most likely not on "S" class ships Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
We did a back to back on Carnival Glory covering Christmas & New Year. Carnival came highly recommended to us. Our only previous experience was with Royal Caribbean this is my only comparison points. I have to say firstly, I love ... Read More
We did a back to back on Carnival Glory covering Christmas & New Year. Carnival came highly recommended to us. Our only previous experience was with Royal Caribbean this is my only comparison points. I have to say firstly, I love cruises and visiting different ports. We visited many posrts on this cruise and we were delighted with the places we visited. I will sepearte my review on different areas. Embarkation: This was relatively quick. They have a lot of people to get on board so you should expect to wait. We did back to back crusies, so on our date of changeover, we went to Miami and returned via VIP check in. That was a great experience. We waited a long time on the deck to actually get onto the ship. This was a sign of things to come. Stateroom: We had an ocean view on the 8th floor. The room was fine. There was plent of space for us to unpack for 3 people for 2 weeks. The room was alway clean and tidy. Our stateroom Steward, Constantine was amazing. He did a wonderful job and I cannot prsise him enough. Ship Layout: It took me a while to get used to how the ship was laid out. There are so many bars and rooms around the ship, we constantly had to refer to maps for help. Food: This is where the complaints start. One word to sum up the food, Awful. This let down the whole experience of the cruise. Nothing was hot. At breakfast, everything was barely warm. The toast was a joke. It was done on one side and cold. If you could be bothered to wait for an omelette, that was hot as it was cooked to order. Lunch was worse. The food at the buffet was cold and disappointing. They have a small grill area where they do burgers, hot dogs, fries etc. I would guess a lot of people would rather have this option for lunch. The lines were so long you didn't want to wait. The times I used the grill option, fries were stone cold. The pizzeria was ok. They really don't want to give you more than one slice of pizza. The saving grace for the ship was the Mongolian Wok. If you want it, you will have to stand in line for a long time. This was a great. The guys who work there are amazing and they never stop. We ate in the platinum dining room for dinner. The food again was always just better than cold. It seems to be down to the system they use getting the food from the kitchen to the tables. We got a better view of this on our 2nd week. As an example, I timed how long it took from the dishes being placed on the waiters station to it being served to guests. The food sta there for an incredible 12 minutes 20 seconds. I repeated this each evening and the quickest it reached guests was 5 minutes 24 second. Remember, this food is already plated and ready to be served. Even if it was piping hot when it left the kitchen, it wouldn't be by the time you got it. I have no upsides of our evening dinner experience. We used the steakhouse for 2 nights. It was well worth the $30 charge to get good hot food. We found ourselves buying fast food on our port stops just so we didn't have to face the poor food on Carnival Glory. Emabrkation at Ports: They must do this so ofeten that it should be seamless. Every time you wanted to come back to the ship you had to line up. In Cozumel we waited in line for 35 minutes. If you don't want to wait in line, you have to return at least 2 hours before the due time. This means you have less time at the islands. OnBoard: It states clearly in the "Fun Times" each day that guests are not permitted to reserve deck chairs. Staff will remove items if they have not been used for 30 minutes. This is not the case. On Sea days, if you do not have chairs by 7:30am, forget it. On our last sea day. 16 chairs wer reserved from 7am 3 people used them until about 11am when some more people showed up. At no point were all beds used. My idea of a relaxing holiday is having to fight for for chairs. Carnival should enforce the policy they say they have. Also, you cannot avoid the photographers. When you walk from the promenade to the dining room, you are accosted by at least 5 photographers trying to get you to stand in front of a tacky backdrop. Entertainment: It was ok. The only one I really enjoyed was Justin Illusion. The others were very samey and nothing spectactular. The crusie director, Josh has 3 things he says all the time: "Folks", "Give you a quick heads up" & "As it pertains to". He was ok, but constant messages on great deals that we shouldn't miss were boring. I am not on a cruise to buy some overpriced art that wouldn't sell anywhere else. Overall: The food is the big let down. Have low expectations and and you won't be disappointed. The ship looks and feels dated. Carnival focus on "fun". If they focussed on some other areas highlighted, maybe people would have a better experience. The beast part of being on the Glory was the staff in the Atrium Bar, Evie and Gladys. They were wonderful and always polite and happy. I will never cruise with Carnival again due to this experience. I didn't get value for money. I do understand that others cruise with Carnival a lot. I would say, try other cruises, you'd be surprised how poor carnival actually is. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
This is my third cruise, but my first time on Norwegian. Previously it was Holland America. I was attracted to Norwegian by the free style approach, and that part of the cruise was wonderful. I traveled alone and found the balcony ... Read More
This is my third cruise, but my first time on Norwegian. Previously it was Holland America. I was attracted to Norwegian by the free style approach, and that part of the cruise was wonderful. I traveled alone and found the balcony room very tiny, but in good condition, although for a recently renovated ship I was surprised who antiquated the TV was. Even the ship's stations came in poorly. I did enjoy the cabin , but wonder how two people fit in it with their luggage. The food was HORRIBLE. I tried four of the specialty restaurants and found the Italian to be the only acceptable one. I first ate at Cagney's the steak house. The steak was so tough, even the waiter could not cut it using the seat knife. I returned it, and the second one came out only slightly better. They had to give me a special chefs knife to cut it, but that knife finally worked. The second night I tried the Bistro French restaurant. I ordered the duck. It was one tough bird! It was overdone, and I sent that one back. The third try was La Cucina, the Italian one. At least this was acceptable. The rib eye was nothing special, but compare to the other two, it was heaven. I then tried the Asian style Ginza. The sushi was watery from being improperly defrosted. The shrimp dish was also returned. I finally ate in the main dining room. The food was not much better, but at least I did not have to pay extra for it. On the possibility that Cagney's had an off night previously, I foolishly ate their again. This time the fillet was tough as shoe leather. The couple sitting next to me both returned their food. The entertainment was not much better. Only the last night finally was any good. The piano player's singing in the atrium was so bad that I had to leave the area.The carpeting in the hallways was worn and torn. For a ship that was supposed to have been recently renovated, there is no excuse for worn out torn carpeting. Finally, all the elevators has this terrible smell emanating from them. It was so bad that many of use walked the stairs rather than deal with that terrible smell. On the positive side, free style cruising was wonderful as was the staff. The staff was fabulous. The cabin was cleaned twice a day, and everyone was very helpful. They all made you seem like they were genuinely happy to help you. If food an overall ship quality are important to you this star does not shine. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
After having a fantastic freestyle cruise on Spirit of America in the Hawaiian Island I decided to go NCL for a second time when we went on a Christmas cruise. My big complaint about this cruise is basically - the ship! NCL really needs ... Read More
After having a fantastic freestyle cruise on Spirit of America in the Hawaiian Island I decided to go NCL for a second time when we went on a Christmas cruise. My big complaint about this cruise is basically - the ship! NCL really needs to refurbish The Star in every way. I could not believe this ship was only a little over 10 years old, so clearly it just has not been maintained in that 10 years. It was just plain tatty. The carpets were worn, pulled up and dirty. The walls, bannisters and most surroundings were in disrepair and worn. I thought the buffet looked little better then a high school cafeteria and every washroom I used on the ship, aside from my cabin, had doors that the locks were broken. It was a joke among us female passengers that you had to check for feet under the stalls to avoid walking in on someone. I have been on a number of ships at Christmas and have always been overwhelmed by how beautifully decorated they are. It would seem however that NCL thinks "Dollar Store" cardboard cutouts and paper garland is just fine. The nicest room on the ship, The Versailles Dining Room which could have looked amazing and enhanced everyones Christmas experience, was decorated with cheap, cardboard skateboarding elves. I think the cruise industry is one where posh, not tacky is the watchword for ship presentation but The Star obviously does not agree. We had a mini-suite, which was large, with a lovely balcony and bathroom, but again, all just seems, old, outdated and not maintained. We also treated ourselves to a spa day and although I have no complaints about the technicians treatment, the spa just is not up to snuff in relation to the costs. If I am going to pay high end prices, I don't want to be put into an old, thread worn robe that should have been retired 5 years ago. I did however think the food was good on the ship and had an amazing New Years Eve dinner at Cagney's. Service and food were both very good there. Service however did not match the food elsewhere on the ship. We ate 3 times in one of the two main dining rooms before switching to the 2nd dining room. Not only did freestyle seating not work but it was like a giant gong show every night. Even after waiting 45 minutes to be seated first night prompted us to make sure we had reservations the other nights, we always were waiting to be seated and felt like we were inconveniencing the dining room staff. In the Versailles we were not once asked if we even wanted a drink. The staff poured water in silence, asked for our meal order and basically did not say another word all evening. I have never been treated so coldly on a cruise by the wait staff. Service was definitely improved in The Aqua but only marginally. One of my cruise mates feeling was that NCL just wanted everyone to dine in one of there additional charge dining rooms and maybe that is indeed the case. All that being said and done however, my 2 companions and myself were determined to have a good time and what The Star did excel at, in my opinion, was entertainment. The shows were among the best I have ever seen on a cruise ship and the show band, Midnight Revue and Sean the Traveling Troubadour were outstanding. Also the Cruise Director and her staff tried very hard to make sure everyone was having a good time. Would I travel NCL again, probably not. There are just too many beautiful, well maintained, more modern ships out there to risk being on a second rate one. Yes the entertainment was good, but I love cruising because for a reasonable price I have always felt I was treated like I was special, whether in the lowliest of inside staterooms or a suite. NCL fails both at surroundings and service. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
As noted above, this was our first cruise with Carnival. We chose this short four-day cruise over New Year's as a good way to test the waters, and get some fun in the sun. It was myself, my wife (who celebrated a birthday on the ... Read More
As noted above, this was our first cruise with Carnival. We chose this short four-day cruise over New Year's as a good way to test the waters, and get some fun in the sun. It was myself, my wife (who celebrated a birthday on the cruise), and our 12-year-old daughter. We traveled with friends; a family of four, first-time cruisers, with two children. Having cruised on Holland America, Princess, and Norwegian multiple times, I set my expectations for Carnival -- I thought -- accordingly. We flew in to Jacksonville, which was not a problem. It seems that the vast majority of Fascination cruisers drive to the port rather than fly. As we unfortunately learned upon our return, the small size of Jacksonville's airport and lack of frequent flights can be a problem if flights are cancelled. There certainly aren't the plethora of options that stranded fliers might find in say Orlando, Miami, or Ft. Lauderdale. Getting a van to the pier was easy and the ride for seven cost $45. As is known, the terminal at Jacksonville is a temporary structure. That said, it serves its purpose fine, as the only ship using it is the Fascination. It is small and for reasons still unclear, the time it took for us to clear security, complete check-in, and board the ship was the longest we've ever encountered. The check-in staff were not overly efficient, and the whole process took nearly an hour. By contast, boarding the Epic -- more than twice the twice -- took 10 minutes, door-to-door. As soon as we entered the ship, the "missing little things" started to show. There were no people waiting to greet you on board; no one handing out daily schedules or maps, or even offering to help you find someplace on board. I have to note that during the ENTIRE cruise, I did not hear one single announcement from the captain; not one. In fact, I can remember no announcements other than those from the Cruise Director, Jen, and they were always for bingo, dance parties, etc. Being a sold-out New Year's cruise, it was crowded -- particularly as we boarded -- but we were surprised to find an available table in the Coconut Grove buffet area as we waited for rooms to be readied. From this meal, it was obvious that the food was to be substandard at best. The lines were very long and the food was high-school cafeteria quality, and that is being generous. The ship, I must admit, is in very good shape. She does not show her advanced age and the crew does an excellent job on maintenance. We sailed on the Norwegian Spirit earlier this year, and that ship is younger, went through a more-recent renovation, and still appeared MUCH older and in worse-repair than the Fascination. Kudos to her team. We had an oceanview cabin, category 6B, on the Main Deck. We were pleased with the overall size. The third bunk folded up against the wall and was not too intrusive when open. Princess still has the best layout we've seen (other than a sofabed), with their third and fourth berths that fold up and away into the ceilings. The bedding and mattresses were TOP NOTCH. Very nice and comfortable, so kudos again to Carnival. Bathroom was large and functional, nothing more. I never did get fully accustomed to stepping on a huge "soft spot" in the floor when you enter the bathroom; an artifact of the marine toilets, I suppose. What the room lacked was a hair dryer (though our steward was able to secure one), a fridge, a clock (hello?!), writing pad and pen, and a coffee maker. They chose to take up much of the desk area with an assortment of canned soda and bottled water, which is not complimentary. I would have prefered to use that space for a coffee maker, or just leave it open. We asked the steward to remove the sodas, but they remained there for the entire cruise. Aside from the glaring omission of a clock, what the room really needed was a thermostat. The room was very cold and when we looked for a thermostat, all we could find was a vent knob on the bottom of the air diffuser on the ceiling. It basically allows you to turn the flow of air (one temperature) on or off. As it was, we had to close it off to try and warm up the room (which didn't really help -- we ended up using extra blankets at night to stay warm. With the air off, however, it made all of the noises made in the hallway and in neighboring rooms VERY loud. I usually love sleeping on ships, as the hum of the air system is usually so loud and constant, that it drowns out all other noises. Not so the case on the Fascination. Not only were we cold, but we heard every hallway conversation. Also, a minor point, but it would be great if Carnival invested in small rubber stoppers to stick onto the insides of the closet doors. They now are bare, and whenever one of the three closet doors close, there is a loud "bang"...the sound of doors banging in other cabins was very noticable, and it seems some cheap rubber bumpers would be an easy fix. We had the traditional fixed dining (early seating) in the Imagination dining room. Our server was good, but the table was small, with seven of us put at a table meant for six. The food in the main dining room was much better than on the buffet, but it was still of very poor quality. None of the meals we had there was more than average, and most were below standard. Biggest complaint about the dining room, however, is the noise. It was, by far, the loudest dining room we've ever had on a ship. I suspect it had to do with the relatively low ceilings, but it was impossible to hold normal-level conversation across the table and that ruined whatever ambiance the room has. The other main dining room is exactly the same configuration, only midship vice in the rear, so I'm sure the sound there is just as bad. As noted, aside from sushi -- the times for which change daily -- there are no eating venues aside from the buffet and main dining room, and the main dining rooms only serves dinner -- no breakfast or lunch. The buffet at breakfast and lunch was very crowded and the food often inedible. The breakfast selections are very basic, and the salad bar at lunch was wholly unappetizing. Pizza is always available, but it was freezer-quality and not enjoyable. On our day in Freeport, we took a Carnival excursion but weren't returned to the ship until after 6:00pm. We thus missed our dinner (which was the captain's formal night) and had to eat in the buffet. I have to say that that meal was truly disgusting. The selection was meager and the food was of embarrassingly poor quality. Even a simple hamburger would have been nice, but the grill is only open during the afternoons. The ship is fairly easy to navigate, given its small size, and motion was not a problem for us. Reaching some areas of the ship was frustrating, as not all elevator banks go to the higher floors, and the galley serves as a natural barrier between the two dining rooms. Still, it is easy to get around. Elevators were sometimes hard to get, but there were never too many flights of stairs to climb, so no big deal. Despite her obvious abundance of balcony cabins, I have to give Fascination BIG points for the amount of deck space and readily available deck seating. With four+ decks with outdoor space, it was never hard to find a lounge chair or simply a place to enjoy the outdoors. The top-deck minigolf and jogging track were also quite nice, as we enjoyed the adults-only Serenity area. The pool was adequately sized. As always, the lone hot-tub open to children was often overflowing. Activities on board were adequate. We participated in many of the trivia and game shows. The cruise director staff was plentiful and always busy, and the cruise director did a good job. Jen is definitely "unique," but she works it well, and her personality seems to match the Fascination's. That is a compliment, by the way. I liked her work. They did put on a New Year's Eve balloon drop and pool-side party, and they did a very nice job. It was fun and well organized. Entertainment was good to average. We attended the family-friendly comedy shows, and they were fun. We didn't have an opportunity to attend any of the adult-themed shows. We attended both "Vegas-style shows," and they were classic cruise ship fare. Again, compared to our other cruises, though, they were high-school vice Vegas-level quality. For disembarkation, we were pleased that Carnival offers the option of walking off with your bags or having them remove your luggage. We had a noon flight, which we thought would give us plenty of time. As it was, our steward left us luggage tags to put us in an earlier disembarkation group, as noon is their cutoff time for determining an "early flight." Originally we were in Group 17, but we were moved to the earlier Group 2. We toyed with the idea of taking our own bags, but decided against it -- we later regretted that choice. We were at the dock before 0700, and as we dressed for breakfast, I discovered that our flight had been cancelled. I reached the airline, only to find that the only option of getting out that day was aboard an already-overbooked 1045am flight. We rushed to let our friends know -- who were on the same flight. By the time we found them and they got through to the airline, no more seats were available and they were bumped until the next day. Hence, my comment about the lack of flights into/out of Jacksonville. We were now faced with the daunting task of getting off the ship as soon as possible, hoping to make the earlier flight. Guest Services on the ship were understanding when I explained what happened, but they confirmed that there was nothing they could do to get our bags out of Customs any earlier. They said we would have to wait on the ship until all of the "walk-off passengers" were cleared; that would not be until around 0930. Against recommendations, we did exit the ship with the walkers. When we cleared Customs -- without our bags -- a VERY helpful terminal worker pulled us aside. I explained our situation, and she had us wait in the boarding area. She explained that the bags were all in a separate area of the terminal, under Customs control, and there would be no one over there until they were done clearing all of the walkers. This is when we realized just how many people had elected to walk off -- they just kept coming and coming. While waiting, a very nice Customs agent asked about our situation, too. After about 15 minutes of waiting, the head of the terminal and a great Customs agent came and got us and escorted us to the area where all of the bags were being held. They allowed us to retrieve our bags and then did another inspection. With that, we were clear and literally ran outside to grab a waiting cab. Thanks to the outstanding help from the terminal and Customs officials, we made it to the airport with about 15 minutes to spare. We cannot thank them enough. I know all of this does not apply directly to our Fascination experience, but for what it's worth, I would recommend you walk off with your own bags if possible, and I'll vouch for the helpfulness of the crew in Jacksonville. Overall, I'm not sure if we'll do another Carnival cruise. I know they sell on their price point, and had we not paid a huge New Year's premium for this cruise (more than three times the cost of non-holiday Fascination sailings), I might feel otherwise. That said, the dismal quality of the food and lack of alternate food options weighs quite heavily in my dismissive tone against Carnival. Barring a truly superior price advantage, I do not see us repeating the Carnival experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
We went on the Christmas Getaway sailing from Barbados. This was not a cheap option, but we chose it due to the excellent itinerary. The Thomson Dream is not as bad as I expected, but the holiday was let down by a number of factors, this ... Read More
We went on the Christmas Getaway sailing from Barbados. This was not a cheap option, but we chose it due to the excellent itinerary. The Thomson Dream is not as bad as I expected, but the holiday was let down by a number of factors, this was mainly the quality of the food, service and entertainment. The good points first, the ports of call were fantastic and we arrived on tome every day and were not diverted or abandoned any ports. The check in process was fairly smooth and efficient, although we were delayed so I think this may well be why we did not experience any delays in checking in. The cabin was of a good size and clean and comfortable. The bathroom was pleasant and toiletries provided. The breakfast in Sirens was always well presented and hot as was lunch and afternoon tea. The bad points, the entertainment was appalling, the main lounge had a group called French Melt, they were out of tune and the lead singer spoke broken English and sounded worse that a cat in agony. The Caribbean duo in the main lounge were good but sang exactly the same songs in the same order for 14 nights. In the Oceans Bar, the group were better but it was impossible to get a seat unless you missed meals and sat all night. The main show lounge did not live up to the normal Thomson standard, the shows were very boring and the performers appeared to be simply going through the motions. The guest acts were a joke, on a 2 week cruise they had 2 comedians, both as bad as each other. This was a disgrace on a special cruise. The food in the buffet restaurants was generally good, however, the selection available late at night was poor and the first week they served you everything and you felt a bit like Oliver Twist asking for some more. The main Orion restaurant was very poor in terms of quality of food and service. On New Years eve it took 30 minutes to get a drink, the staff were rude and unwilling to help. The food was very poorly described on the menus and often did not resemble the food you ordered. Steak was offered once in two weeks and it was more often pork or chicken, with a the over use of spinach. The size of the portions were what you would expect in an OAP home, not on a cruise ship, it was not like it was high quality food they were giving you! I find it very difficult to believe that Thomson's do not enforce rules on their cruise ships, for example, on other cruise lines, under 18's have to be out of the public areas by a certain time, on this ship children as young as 4 or 5 were casing chaos in public areas after midnight. On the days at sea it was a very boring experience, the day time activities were rubbish and every sun bed was reserved from the crack of dawn even if not used, no policy was apparent for resolving the reserving of sun beds, this must be looked at on a small ship with limited outside space. The cabin had very poor air conditioning, I reported this to reception on 3 occasions and nothing was done about it, eventually they admitted a problem and gave us a complimentary bottle of cheap wine! Watch your bill at the end of the cruise, they appeared to be giving people on board credit then taking it off in the second column of the bill, check it carefully before you leave the ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
I defended Carnival after our first cruise with them on the Freedom, but unfortunately we will likely not sail Carnival again after our recent experience on the Dream. I returned home deflated by poor service, lack of enforcement of ... Read More
I defended Carnival after our first cruise with them on the Freedom, but unfortunately we will likely not sail Carnival again after our recent experience on the Dream. I returned home deflated by poor service, lack of enforcement of policies and a deflated bank account. Let's look at each piece, including the redeeming parts of the cruise: 1) The service was nothing compared to our last experience on the Freedom. Since Carnival changed their tipping policy to be automatically billed to the room, the staff do not feel the need to work for it or even smile. I was so dissappointed. At the dine-in breakfast, we sat for 20 minutes before asking for a waiter to help us. It was another 5 before we received anyone, and the rest of the meal was more of the same. The only nice person throughout the cruise was the room stewardess. The rest were just grouchy. 2) The kids clubs were guided by staff with bad attitudes. They greet you with complaints, facial expressions and a disdain for the public. I was extremely unhappy that I chose this cruise on the basis of the esteemed 2-5 year old program only to find that it was a battle to encourage our daughter to go, due to their unpleasant demeanor. There was one nice girl that our daughter clung to and was happy to go to.... the rest were... grouchy. 3) The food was not as good as our last Carnival experience. Some was bland, there was less variety, and some fatty meats were included. Downer. The upside was the pizza station and the salad. 4) The embarkation/debarkation was as expected. No real complaints or praises here. 5) The shore excursions were great... and this was the one redeeming area of this cruise. Although we spent about $900 in shore excursions alone, they were worthwhile experiences packed with rich activities... and they were well-orchestrated. Tip: The Cave Expedition, Off Road 4x4 and River Boat (with an amazing rum punch) excursion in Belize was the best excursion I have had yet. 6) The adult entertainment options were OK. Comedy show= plus. Piano lounge= depends whose there (Dave's Piano Party is a splendid good time.) Bars/ barstaff in general = not too great, except one in particular. Our dining room bartender actually ignored us and had to be repremanded by the head waitress for continously forgetting us. 7) The value was not even that good. We ended up paying in the long run just a little shy of what we would have paid to go on Disney Cruise Line, which we have had two good experiences with. 8) The hotel experience pre-cruise was awful. I do not recommend the Hampton Inn Cocoa Beach. I am a HHonors member, and I will not ever stay there again. The carpet was sticky (I mean all over, in a disgusting way.) And the service was horrible... the night clerk was clueless and took one hour to check us into our room. The shuttle service we book was chaotic and overbooked... they couldn't fit us on the bus and we were asked to get off. Ugg. All in all, I had fun, but I feel it was a wasted experience. I am $6000 poorer and yet I didn't return bragging and raving. Sigh. The Carnival Dream is not so dreamy. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
My family of 16 took this Christmas Cruise. We were not impressed. The ship itself was impressive and our room was in a great location. We were all on different floors. I had a balacony room on the 1oth floor. Very close to the Lido ... Read More
My family of 16 took this Christmas Cruise. We were not impressed. The ship itself was impressive and our room was in a great location. We were all on different floors. I had a balacony room on the 1oth floor. Very close to the Lido deck. At night you could somtimes here the music coming from the Lido deck, but not to much that you couldn't sleep. The room was nice loved having the couch in the room and the bathroom was a decent size. The housekeeping staff did a fine job keeping the room clean and well stocked. Had to ask for two days to have the min bar opened. Now lets get to the service on the ship!!! Not impressed at all. It was almost like the staff knew they were getting tips so they didn't go out of their way. My sister fell getting onto the ship they took her cabin number but not one person called to check and see if she was okay. Was treated very rudley by one of the guest service staff when we went to him with a concern he said it was our problem not his. Not what you would expect at all. Not one person on the ship made us feel special or that we mattered alot different then the service you receive on the Princess line. The people in the dinning room were not very accomodating. We had 16 people in our party and they always gave us a hard time about sitting together. At first they would say they couldn't seat us together (even though when we booked we were told it wouldn't be a problem) always had to argue with them about it. Also everyone in your party had to be present before they would seat you. Even the little kids so that was a bummer for them especially on nights we had to wait 40 mins for a table. Now the food!!!! Not impressed at all. The food in the dining room was always cold. Sometimes the waiters would bring it up and it would sit 15mins before they served it to you.( Trust me we timed it). Had to ask for your water to be filled not what you would expect from the Dining room. The food in the buffet was okay not spectacular. Not open 24 hrs, which shocked me since it was 24hrs on the last cruise we went on. The only thing you could get 24 hrs was pizza and room service which was sandwiches. Gets tiring after 8 days. The rotiserie was great one place I would recommend to eat at. The entertainment I felt was lacking. I would of liked to see there be more things to do. Saw the show VROOM and that was fabulous. The outdoor giant movie screen on the Lido deck was great. Being a Christmas cruise I thought they would of done more to celebrate Christmas day. There wasn't even anything special in the dining room. Santa did come and visit the kids which was great for them. My family did some excursions. The pirate ship and the extreme canopy. They had a fabulous time on both. Definitely highlights of the cruise. They would recommend them to anyone. Spent the day at the beach in Cabo and that was amazing. Had a blast. The water taxi was only $2.00 per person. We spent the whole day there relaxing and drinking in the sun. Loved Cabo. Wasn't to impressed with Las Pas. Wouldn't get off the ship there again. Overall we had a great time on this cruise being with family, but I wouldn't cruise Carnival Splendor again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
I traveled on the Carnival Destiny with my husband and three kids aged 4, 9 and 12. This is our third cruise, second with Carnival. I have to say, we won't be cruising again for a long time. We sailed out on New Years Eve... ... Read More
I traveled on the Carnival Destiny with my husband and three kids aged 4, 9 and 12. This is our third cruise, second with Carnival. I have to say, we won't be cruising again for a long time. We sailed out on New Years Eve... Here's an overview. SHIP: The ship itself is old, however kept very clean. Our cabin steward did a great job at making sure we had everything needed in our cabin. The cabin itself was clean, however the bathroom smelled of sewage. That same sewage smell is all over the boat. Speaking of odors, the Galaxy restaurant reeks of dishwasher and its hard to escape the smell of second hand smoke throughout the ship. The pool area is crowded and i think you have to get up before 6 if you want a chair. The pool area also smells of smoke and is messy because people eat and drink right in the pool area. Some people were even eating ice cream in the hot tub... FOOD: Gross! The food was terrible....from room service in the morning..disgusting coffee...soggy toast (apparently the toaster was broken), to the terrible dinners with very little choice. Of this 5 day cruise, we had 4 at sea...due to bad weather our excursion to Grand Cayman was cancelled....this boat cannot accommodate days at sea as far as lunch goes. The buffet line ups are endless...The best meal we had was the jerk chicken on the beach in Ocho Rios!ENTERTAINMENT: Cruise Director was not that funny, but the comedians were. The night shows are ok. The entertainment staff tried their best by getting drunken congo lines going, bean bag throwing tournaments etc. STAFF: Very friendly. For the most part, the staff was friendly and accommodating. We tried to make the best of this cruise because we were together as a family and it was our annual vacation. But overall we were truly disappointed and are turned off of cruising after this experience. The lineups, the days at sea...torture...I have to say that we, as many passengers were so disappointed when our second port of call was cancelled....that couldn't be helped by Carnival, however, you realize that the ship has nothing to offer...no good shopping, no games, bad arcade, no room at the pool and not even an enjoyable lunch to break up the day. if you hate days at sea, don't get on this boat!!! if you are sensitive to smell, don't get on this boat! If you appreciate good food, Don't get on this boat...if you hate line ups...don't get on this boat!!! if you don't want cancer from second hand smoke, don't get on this boat!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
After a christmas cruise on the arcadia 5 years ago which was superb we decided to try P&O again and booked the christmas cruise on the Ventura. This being our 18th cruise on various cruise lines, we do know the standard to expect. ... Read More
After a christmas cruise on the arcadia 5 years ago which was superb we decided to try P&O again and booked the christmas cruise on the Ventura. This being our 18th cruise on various cruise lines, we do know the standard to expect. After a good flight all be it delayed we arrived in Barbados early evening.We were transferred immediately from the airport but had a long delay sat at the port on the coach, not what you want after a long flight. To our surprise when eventually on board we find out we have been upgraded to a balcony cabin from an inside cabin.Very nice thank you, but we found out later people had paid for 4 weeks what we had for 2 weeks as we booked 20 months in advance. The ship itself was fine although due to its different layout from other ships took a while to work out.The entertainment we found was okay although as in our previous cruise their were no well known celebrities.. The ports of call were fine but there were too many days at sea. The ship seemed to be cleaned early morning and then never again, one of the dirtiest ship's we have ever been on. Toilets not cleaned and by evening the paper hand towels were all over the floor. Trays of food left in the corridors all day. On deck the tables were not cleared quick enough. Dirty carpets all around the ship. Days at sea were very stressful as 50% of sun beds had towels left on them at 7am for most of the day which no staff ever moved' Our major problem was the food. The main restaurant was an experience you would want to forget. We had the worst Christmas dinner we have ever had. The standard of food was pub grub at best, not what you'd expect Poor quality and badly cooked. The buffet had theme nights but had very little choice, lunch or dinner but the breakfast buffet was very good if what you wanted was a traditional English breakfast.We tried the White Room and found very nice but not worth the £20 cover charge. If you travel with Celebrity or Holland and America you would get this as standard every night. We enjoyed EAST but would have liked a little more choice. This to me proved they could cook quality if you paid extra for it. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
ENBARKATION - Chaotic at Manchester Airport due to lack of overhead locker space, resulting in plane taking off late. Long lines for check-in at Athens. Three hour check in at Manchester Airport meant leaving home at 3 a.m. The last ... Read More
ENBARKATION - Chaotic at Manchester Airport due to lack of overhead locker space, resulting in plane taking off late. Long lines for check-in at Athens. Three hour check in at Manchester Airport meant leaving home at 3 a.m. The last thing we needed was long check in time at Athens. DISEMBARKATION - We were required to be out of our cabin for 8 a.m. in time for a 1.30 p.m. flight to Manchester. 6.30 a.m. breakfast. Our tansfer coaches were parked in a holding area for over 50 minutes due to inadequate check in facilities at Naples Airport. ON A POSITIVE NOTE - cabin was well furnished with good cabin service. Food was good with excellent waitersrvice. Why was there no hand sanitzer gel outside the Pacific restuarant when entering for the evening meal? Conservatory - Food was good in the buffet restuarant with good service. However, Hygiene standards left a lot to be desired. I persosnally observed people wandering into the buffet area without using the hand gel. Staff were adjacent to the door but did not ask people to use gel. CURZON LOUNGE - Public space was limited on the Adonia and the Curzon lounge was the venue for the cinema, talks, classical concert, production shows and dancing. We felt coralled into a space which was totally inadquate due to wastful seating arrangements and lack of a raked floor. Why are there two speciality paying restuarants on a small ship. One of these restuarants should be utilized as a community room for after dinner speakers etc. Entertainment both during the day and evening was mediocre and boring. We received a notice advising us to wash hands in order to prevent Noro Virus. P & O also advised that toilet facilities in some port locations were basic and not to UK standards. I was appalled that P & O did not provide hand sanitizing gel for passengers returning to the ship after visiting Israel, Turkey and other ports of call. My husband contracted acute Gastro Enteritis (Noro Virus) resulting in him being isolated in his cabin for 24 hours. He missed out on the Gold Lunch and the Pertunus club party. To add insult to injury when he reported his condition to the medical centre it cost him £31. I spoke to a numbe of people who did not report their condition and others who said they would not report this condition. A very bad policy P & O. In my opinion you contributed to my husbands condition. I contracted a cold/chesty cough virus whilst on board resulting in a visit to the medical centre and being prescribed three lots of medication inclduing Antibiotics. Again I believe P & O should bear some responsibility for my condition. I would say one person out of three had similar symptons to mine. Both the Noro Virus and the Cold Virus appeared to be rife on board this ship. The ship was being talked about as a 'DIRTY SHIP' and one of the reasons it was going into dry dock was because it required a 'DEEP CLEAN before sailing to the US as it would not meet the high standards of hygiene required by US Port Sanitation Inspectors. These were of course only rumours but it hightlighted the dissatisfaction and concerns of passengers. I spoke to one lady who had cruised 27 times with P & O and this was the worst cruise ever. There was a general feeling that P & O had badly let people down. Many many loyal P&O passengers felt dreadfully let down and the general talk was that standards had fallen drastically. Not a happy ship and certainly not a happy cruise experience. All in all a big big disapointment and wast of money. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
Re: Caribbean Princess Back to Back Departures Dec 18th & 26th 2011. Sir: I don't feel that I should have to resort to again taking my time to point out obvious short falls in your organizations, Management and Security. ... Read More
Re: Caribbean Princess Back to Back Departures Dec 18th & 26th 2011. Sir: I don't feel that I should have to resort to again taking my time to point out obvious short falls in your organizations, Management and Security. I have cruised with Princess 20 times over the past years and I am scheduled to sail with Princess again on Star Princess Mar3rd. 2012. I have always kept up my end of the bargain of being a Loyal and frequent passenger. I feel that your organization on the Caribbean Princess has not done its duty to me and my fellow passengers. I attended a party on Board the Caribbean Princess to celebrate the Top 20 most traveled passengers. I met the Captain Craig Street and several other Senior Officers. I asked to speak with him about some concerns I had, at a time, other than the party. He acknowledged and had his Customer Relations Manager; Lars-Alexander Helms call me and arrange an appointment. I took the time out of my vacation to go and sit with Mr. Helms to explain to him that I didn't feel that it was fair for Princess to be downloading its responsibilities to the passengers. Lars did listen and comment as the meeting progressed and kept me informed that he had notified all departments of my concerns. He called me once more to inform me that Youth Security had been added to the New Year's cruise. (Myself and my fellow passengers feel Youth Security, should be on all Holiday and Spring Break cruises where there is a large number of children on board.) 1. Maintenance: a. I and several other passengers complained about a Jacuzzi being out of service, several times. I was given the old "it will be fixed soon and it will be fixed tomorrow "line. I waited 3 days called back and was fed the same "BULSHIT" and I told the Pursers desk that in no uncertain terms. I had been in contact with a fellow passenger from the Dec 11th 2011, cruise who told me it had been closed on his cruise as well. I informed the Pursers Desk that if it wasn't fixed by the next morning I would call Santa Clarita. Guess what it was in full working order the next morning. b. Why should I or passengers have to get on their backs to do their jobs? We signed on and paid our passage, it is your duty to ensure we have a relaxing time, not have to follow up on delinquent maintenance. The Jacuzzi was not the only thing taps in washrooms, an important health item on board, were not working in various washrooms throughout the ship. Air conditioning on Board was interment especially in the cabins at night. 2. Security: a. Deck 17 aft on the first cruise was a disaster area; several Puerto Rican Families took over the location and became extremely unruly. Pretending they couldn't read English regarding the rules and when they had it explained to them they became taunting and loud. One woman resorted to washing a dirty diaper in the Children's splash pool. At one point they flooded the Adults only Jacuzzi with children and refused to leave, there was more than 10 in the tub along with their parents. By the time they left the tub smelled of urine. It had to be cleaned overnight (and it was). b. Even though the Pursers desk had been notified, no one showed up during that cruise to intervene or investigate. I feel that when a passenger requests Security to attend a problem, they should show up in a timely manner. The Deck Attendant was nowhere to be found except to lay out loungers and stow them in the evening, which he did with fervor in the late afternoon ordering people to vacate the loungers sometimes before 5 PM but he would not be around to ensure the orderly use of the Deck. c. Again I don't think passengers should have to intervene in security issues. d. I was assured by Mr. Helms that the following cruise would be different, as Youth Security would be on board and be more vigilant. We didn't have as much trouble on Deck 17 aft but it was still left to the passengers to enforce the rules as the was very little evidence of Deck Attendance or Security. e. I was walking back to my cabin, late one afternoon and was witness to a Spring Break outbreak at the main pool. Adults and children belly flopping from the Jacuzzi into the pool, underage drinking supplied by older young adults and parents ( I was acquainted with several of the culprits, so I know there was underage drinking). General mayhem is a good description. I stood there for a good 10 minutes; it was obvious this had been going on for a while due to level of intoxication. I looked around the area; there was not a single Deck Attendant, Security Officer or Ships Officer to be found. I spoke confidentially with several Staff, Deck Attendants, Waiters, Bartenders, and Maintenance Staff and Officers. They all agree with me and they all said the same thing. "If there is a conflict between the staff and a passenger, the passenger wins and could cost them their job". Their stance is "I SEE NOTHING AND I KNOW NOTHING." Thia review was sent to the President of Princess Cruise Lines, I received a call from a Representative of the President of Princess who listened attentively and offered no comment on my letter. She hoped I would continue cruising on Princess. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
As an introduction, I am hardly a novice cruiser. My husband started up and staffed ship's hospitals for about a decade, so I served as a hybrid between pax and crew on about 6 or 8 cruise lines and have been a passenger on several ... Read More
As an introduction, I am hardly a novice cruiser. My husband started up and staffed ship's hospitals for about a decade, so I served as a hybrid between pax and crew on about 6 or 8 cruise lines and have been a passenger on several others, perhaps 12 or 15 in all. Several of these stints were truly maiden voyages where the entire ship was newly built with completely inexperienced staff. I mention this because many of the inadequacies and equipment failures were chalked up to the Infinity's "upgrade" to Millennium class, after which we were the second voyage. I must say, there were more "glitches" in the first three days of the "new and improved" Celebrity Infinity 's second voyage around S.A. than in a week or two on other cruise lines. Now, hopefully many of these refit issues have been resolved. But it was the attitude of onboard staff and subsequently management, that brings me to post this now. And the realization that they didn't even correct the billing mistakes I pointed out on the invoice while on board. Also, the client-specific issues may not change from year to year. I booked in August. The first problem was failure to receive an invoice for the cruise from either the cruise line or the travel agent by deadline. Celebrity canceled our reservation and planned to keep the deposit. I was able to get this reversed by the agent, and indeed got a lower fare in September for a higher class of service (Aqua class). We never received boarding instructions, direction to the cruise terminal, or anything like boarding passes despite many phone calls to Celebrity and Continental. Embarkation was inefficient, luggage long delayed and for half of the ship, access to suites was impossible for many hours due to repeatedly faulty key cards. The drill was conducted in 3 languages, took 45 minutes in a stifling, SRO lounge, and we never were directed to lifeboats. The minibar was barely functioning, bathroom fixtures leaked repeatedly, and the room heating was defective. The spa, which was the only alternative for a shower to a lake in our bathroom, had poor lighting, no place to hang dry clothes, extremely slippery floors and very poorly maintained thermal rooms with nonfunctioning door handles or no doors at all. The outdoor spas were consistently intolerable with extremely hot water in the torrid places and cool water closer to Antarctica. The gym equipment was not functioning properly because of the extreme heat in the room, and spa staff were focused on sales rather than the comfort or safety of passengers using non-revenue features. Guest Relations was a nightmare, with long lines daily throughout the cruise and no acknowledgment or apologies for the many deficiencies all were experiencing. The concierge spoke minimal English. The most difficult problems involved unruly children and teens, coupled with parents who ignored prohibitions, and security staff who were unwilling to confront them. So for example, children ran and jumped in the pool area and cafeteria at all hours of the night (over guest suites), teens jumped in and played handball off a wall with small hard balls in the adult only "relaxation" Thalassotherapy pool, and babies were brought, in diapers and pool toys, into this area which is not sanitized except with salt. Teens played (prohibited) boomboxes in the open pool/deck areas right under the eyes of security, and were present on deck with drug paraphernalia in the mornings after obviously partying all night. The only time ships staff did intervene was when I reported unsupervised children hanging from the ropes/yardarms on an upper deck! Entertainment was extremely variable in quality, some superb, much mediocre. The library offered no videos or other diversions, there was no guide to what was available on TV, and books apparently were of the "found" variety rather than selected for quality or relevance to the voyage. The onboard enrichment programs were so-so, but the only practical port information had to be obtained by repeated trips to shore excursions, because all of the ship sponsored port talks were sales pitches for tours. The food in the Aqua class restaurant, BLU, was superb as was the service. The main dining room, however, served fish and steak that were inedible, and even the highly popular sushi bar got less and less attractive later in the voyage because all food is brought in from the states, despite some of the best and freshest fish and meat in the world in the regions we were cruising. I was very sorry for people experiencing all of the other disappointments and not even able to eat well. Disembarkation instructions were extremely limited and VERY late in coming (the last newsletter on the last night). We were not warned of the cutoff time for Internet, and coupled with the many times during the voyage that internet was unexpectedly not available or interminably slow, quite a few purchased minutes (at typically exorbitant cruise rates) were foregone. We were not given information about tipping or alterations from the "automatic" tipping scheme, were not even given our invoices in order to correct mistakes (supposedly they were available on TV, but this system never worked), and when mistakes were pointed out, had no way to check whether they were corrected (and incidentally, I now realize that they weren't) because I NEVER received a final accounting even after the cruise by mail, as was promised. People had apparently been allowed to give their folio #s orally in the lounges and restaurants (instead of supplying a card), so there may have been quite a bit of freeloading if our invoice was at all typical. I expressed all of my health and safety concerns to staff while on the ship, with only the most serious being addressed. Reportedly, the onboard Guest Relations staff was still reeling from the complaints from the prior voyage, when even more accommodations were "not ready for prime time" or not ready at all---the whole upper deck still held containers by one report. After the voyage I wrote a lengthy letter to the President (because the disembarkation survey was extremely limited compared to other cruise lines) and received a brush-off written by apparently quite a junior staffer---after 6 weeks, and two or three follow up calls to land based guest relations. The bottom line is, beware of post "refit" cruises, though they will be advertised as elevating your cruise experience immeasurably; it might take multiple voyages before they are even functioning normally! Beware of Christmas cruises, unless you are on a line that does a better job of enforcing security and protecting adult spaces. And I would have to add, beware of Celebrity which is one of the least responsive cruise lines I have every experienced when there are problems. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
I was told not to put this in letter form but just an FYI a letter was written to two people at NCL and sent on 07/23 and neither saw fit to respond as of this date (now that was really disappointing to say the least. What upset me most ... Read More
I was told not to put this in letter form but just an FYI a letter was written to two people at NCL and sent on 07/23 and neither saw fit to respond as of this date (now that was really disappointing to say the least. What upset me most was the fact that we were WALKED in ot TWICE. It is in a paragraph almost at the bottom....the rest of the incidents were bad enough but that was totally not good or right. Sorry to those that love this cruise line and I see some had similar experiences with food, etc. but I just found this site. I HATE starting out sour grapes but some of these issues are IMHO important enough that others should at least know in an effort to help them make an informed decision My wife and I recently took a cruise on the "Norwegian Jewel." It was our anniversary cruise after over 40 years of marriage. The body more or less went as below. A couple of weeks have passed and I have now "settled down" some and got caught up from the trip. I feel I need to make you aware of a number of issues we encountered on this cruise and why I hope this was all just an aberration and hope this is not indicative of the cruise industry of today. I was not a "happy camper (or cruiser)." First off please note that we totally enjoyed the trip to Alaska and would go back given the chance. We had a great time on all the shore excursions and each port and we even enjoyed the ship we were on. We also enjoyed the bottle of wine and chocolate covered strawberries sent our cabin and thank you. However, it was a lot of little things that made this NOT a customer-friendly trip. First off this cruise served as my wife and my anniversary gift to each other after over 40 years. I will save the worst for last. I really had hoped things would go differently. Day one started out with a disastrous attempt at getting signed in. 1. We stood in line for hours, in a SINGLE line. After the first hour and a piece as it neared around 2:30 p.m. or so it came over the intercom that your company was having computer issues and "sorry for the delay, etc." It was not so much as standing in line that really upset me, it was the fact as I learned from having own my own business that when there is a problem the true worth of a company shines. In this case, not. It was apparent there was absolutely NO WAY everyone was going to get boarded to sail on time and everyone sort of figured it out as time dragged on. I based this on the time we stood in line before the announcement and how many folks were behind us that were in the building. It was obvious some were going to be boarded w/o going through the boarding process or left behind if we were to leave on time and was borne out by the fact that the next day over the intercom it was indicated where such people should go to complete their boarding process. I even had to go to the Purser's desk to "link" a credit card to our account. NCL apparently chose to do things the way they had always done when there were no issues except for the single line which in itself made NO sense. When we finally entered the terminal a kind gentleman asked if we had sailed on NCL before and showed us the "short, reserved line" for previous NCL cruisers. Although we had previously been on at least six cruises over the years, we simply could not remember so we opted to say, "No." We were then shuttled into the single long line. As time went by we saw a few thirtysomethings enter the other line as they apparently said, "Yes" when they were asked if they cruise with NCL before. In the same line as we were in were a number of older folks, even older than we are (67 and 62), who were having a very difficult time standing on their feet for so long in the heat generated by so many people in such close proximity to one another. Some of them were using canes. Some of them were verbally and physically agitated. At the very least the "older" folks should have been shown the respect due them at their station in life and (in view of security) could have been "patted down" and should have been allowed to board and complete the process at a later time. Or, NCL should have directed these folks to the line the thirtysomethings were in. Or, they should have been allowed to sit down and NCL could have sent one or two of the 20 or so folks behind the counter out to personally take care of them. Any of those alternatives would have at least shown a bit of class and would have shown that NCL really cared for ALL of their passengers. My father was a vet and served in WWII and was shot down, I am a vet from the Nam era, my son and daughter in law are currently serving and both have served overseas. Everyone including Cruise lines now shows concern and caring for our vets by way of special fares, etc. and this is a good thing.however, who takes care of the "old folk? They are just as valuable a resource and is even more valuable in my opinion. 2. After we did get onboard and into our room and waited for our luggage to arrive we found we could hear nothing broadcasted over the room speaker with messages. Even after reporting it, the speaker was never fixed throughout the whole cruise. We were however directed to the channel on TV by our very pleasant and courteous room steward and was told the information also was conveyed this way. Thing is we didn't want and nor did we have the TV on 24/7 and a lot of messages went unheard no matter how important. 3. Once the luggage arrived my wife started unpacking and as she was putting things in the closet she said, "John!" I asked her what was wrong and as I turned to look at her I saw she was holding some women's underwear. Thing is, it wasn't hers. She found it in the bottom of the closet on the floor. I tried to make a joke out of it telling her how lucky I was this was our first day and we never left each other's sight but by this time her mood was almost like mine.hoping things would go better. Well, you take it from there. 4. Now with all that and done unpacking we decided to relax on our very lovely and quite adequate balcony and just relax for a while and have a drink from the minibar. I wanted a scotch and she wanted water. I looked at the price list for the minibar and was totally amazed. To be quite frank I found the prices to be airport prices or high end restaurant prices. Seven dollars for an ounce and a half of scotch? To me that is restaurant prices but the thing is we go out to eat a couple of times a month so that is not so bad, but this was a week straight on a cruise ship. Well to me the prices were sadly high to outrageous. To charge $5.25 for a liter of water is again way beyond not customer friendly almost to the point of gouging for the almighty buck. I truly understand profit having owned a full service gas station but we never charged book prices for labor and we always treated the customers fairly. You could have still doubled your money charging half that. To boot I never saw a liter of water in the room much less in the minibar and I doubt a liter would even fit in the minibar. That was just our first day.on the second day we had NO heat in our room that evening. Unlike the speaker issue however, it did get fixed. Other issues I would like for you to know about that sort of agitated me (and a few of my fellow passengers) were the facts that: 5. The buffet was FAR from convenient or customer friendly. It was a sad attempt versus other cruises we have been on. What is more if anyone took any of the longer shore trips and came back and wanted lunch at the buffet, forget it. The hours were terrible. I can full well understand shutting down a table or two at a time during changeover but to shut them all down and leave a small, very small one open in another room with little options was not so good. Any other cruise had a real 24-hour buffet. Heck, even when the outside buffets were supposed to be open, they were not. At least one side was always closed and the lines were long and the other side opened "late." To top everything else off we were told to go to the Blue Lagoon if we wanted. Thing about that was.no one was there???? I later found out when they were there you had to order from a menu???? In addition, one night they completely closed the whole buffet for "chocolate night???????!!!!" I am a diabetic. Why would close the main buffet? Why not close one of your boutique restaurants for one night or the Tzar's restaurant and set up there for those that like that sort of thing. The buffet should have remained a place to eat dinner. To boot, I think it even opened at 7 p.m.? 6. The whole washy-washy, happy-happy thing was an affront and if it is meant to keep the germs away, well let us say there is definitely no issue with the stationary hand cleaner there for folks who wish to take advantage of it but to have someone stand there (when they were there) and spray the back of your hand or miss and spray your pants leg or arm or whatever they could hit.when I get out of the shower in the morning I am supposedly clean. I do not need nor want to be sprayed. I am adult fare-paying customer, not a child that needs washy-washy. If I wanted to "sanitize" again I could have used the one placed there on a stand. Again, sometimes they were there, sometimes not. 7. It is very interesting that the room steward keeping banker's hours only on a split shift. We would come to our room after shopping or whatever and would want to get a drink or some ice. Most times what little ice was left in the bucket before she left was already melted and when we went to get some no steward was found anywhere. At least if you are not going to have a steward available please consider putting an ice machine somewhere on each level where a passenger could get ice. Out of curiosity what do they do the other 16 hours? NOTE: I am saying anything bad about our steward. She was wonderful, polite, and attentive when she was there. No complaints re her job, just the inaccessibility and again not very customer friendly. We had to call room service for ice. Almost done. 8. Why is it necessary to send folks to the purser's desk to get a copy of their room charges when even hotel rooms (and from past cruises) have a channel on the TV you can go to and get those charges displayed. Never mind. I probably already know the answer. Linking a credit card to a room is one thing and understandable due to the problems onshore but I should have had easy access to what charges were put on my card and to make sure mistakes were fixed and there were indeed mistakes. 9. There were a few other incidents like trying to talk us out of a bottle of sake after we had agreed on their price and the room service menu not showing prices on "everything" that would be charged for like water, etc. and little things like that. Since this is already long, I am going to stop with the final, most egregious two incidents. TWO times we were walked in on, TWICE. The first time was our room steward.my wife was in the room alone napping. She heard a tap-tap on the door, the door opened, and she heard a "hello, hello" and turned and there she was. The second time we were sitting on the balcony watching time and sea pass. , again, when my wife heard, "hello, hello." I turned around and there in the room by the bathroom stood a man. I asked him what he wanted and he told me he was from maintenance. I was shocked he came in like that. After the initially shock wore off I asked if he was going to fix the speaker (he knew nothing about it) and he said "no" he was there to look at the toilet seat that was broken and was turned in. Neither my wife nor I knew what he was talking about. Anyway he said he would replace it "as soon as we get one in supply." Thing is, our seat was not broken to both our visual inspection and to our knowledge it too was never fixed. If there was no seat in stock, why even come at all? This is so very not good. Unless the "make up room" sign is out a room should NOT be entered unless you can be certain the room is vacant. Use your imagination and think if it was a young honeymoon couple!!!.again, on past cruised the stewards knew when we left as there was ALWAYS a steward close by. It was like a genie whether the room was already made up or not, they did something to freshen it up. At the very least a phone call should have been made. When someone is sitting on the balcony they most assuredly cannot hear a tap, tap on the door and can barely hear a hello, hello. To boot, I am deaf in one ear and most seniors do lack hearing to some degree. I know this because my wife is in the healthcare industry and sees it on a day-to-day basis. I am sorry for the length. I truly did not mean for it to be a b..ch session and apologize because it most certainly is but I feel somewhat better now and it is off my chest. Will we cruise Norwegian again? I will not say never because I do believe in second chances (turn the other cheek). I just hope the whole industry (including NCL) has not adopted the "show me the money" doctrine and the "attitude" towards the general population that we felt on this cruise when we were on board. I truly hope this was an aberration. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
My husband and I recently sailed on Celebrity Summit to Canada and New England. This was our first experience with Celebrity and it will probably be our last. I have never seen such disorganization and it started from the time we first ... Read More
My husband and I recently sailed on Celebrity Summit to Canada and New England. This was our first experience with Celebrity and it will probably be our last. I have never seen such disorganization and it started from the time we first made our reservations through Celebrity. We were told that they would pick our cabin in the next 10 days. My husband had asked for a veranda with a view on the port side. They selected a veranda with a blocked view on the starboard side. When we called, we were told they had one on the other side (port) that was available. The ship itself was very nice and clean. Our cabin was also very clean and the cabin steward was very good and accommodating when we asked for something. We selected 6:00 traditional seating and weren't even told that it was booked. When we checked our reservations they had us at 8:30 dining. We called about that and were told that because we were "Select" that we could "wait list" for the 6:00 seating and would probably get it. Every time we called after that they kept telling us that we would get the 6:00 seating. But of course, that didn't happen. We had to take "Select" and didn't get to have the same waiter every night. When we arrived at the dining room, they never asked if we wanted to sit with someone, just assumed that we were a couple and sat us at a table for 2. The wait staff showing us the tables every night never even knew where the table was. We found most of the service on Celebrity very slow. We sat in Michael's Club one night and there were only 4 people in there and 2 of them were staff. It took 15 minutes before we were asked if we wanted something to drink. But in Rendez Vous, they were very quick to ask if we wanted something. We didn't book any excursions through the ship, but plan a couple things on our own. We tendered in 3 ports and that was a total disaster. In Sydney, we waited almost 3 hours to get off the ship. While there wasn't much that we wanted to do in Sydney, we did want to walk around since we had never been there before. In Bar Harbor, it took about 2 ½ hours to get off the ship. And then, the tender we were in still had about 30 empty seats with passengers still on board waiting. We hadn't eaten lunch on the ship because we really wanted to get lobster locally, but we didn't eat until 3:00. Then to finish the cruise, our debarkation time was 9:30 and we weren't called until 10:20. On a positive note, we did have an excellent cabin steward and wine sommelier. The food also was very good. This cruise was just one thing after another and I heard many long time cruisers on Celebrity say the same thing. Many even indicated that they would not be sailing on Celebrity again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
This was our 3rd cruise this year....b2b in Feb and March on the Miracle and our 1st cruise on the Glory. (probably last one also). A few positives...our room steward and one drink waiter. The 2 new production numbers were good. The ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise this year....b2b in Feb and March on the Miracle and our 1st cruise on the Glory. (probably last one also). A few positives...our room steward and one drink waiter. The 2 new production numbers were good. The lounge singers (dont know their names a man and lady) were very good and the 2 guitar players were good also. Very disappointed in the ship. The main dining room was always so cold we learned to wear jackets at all times and the food was cold as well. One night our whole table was served COLD coffee. When we brought it to the attention of our waiters they just laughed it off, but did return with hot coffee. We all decided not to go several nights because the service was bad and so was the cold food. Dont like the new comedian venue. (no variety). Several of our family members rooms had no hot water the 1st several days. We were told that over 600 of the crew members were new...It showed. no team work. We liked the new Burger joint and the Salsa bar. The buffet was bad at breakfast especially. Many of the scheduled activities (deck parties etc) were either moved to a different spot or didnt happen at all. This is the 1st cruise I have been on that never had ANY midnight buffet and the chocolate buffet on the last day was very small. I liked the deck plans of the ship and the beautiful colors etc, but even by the last day still found myself lost at times. We learned one thing for sure...sailing on Holidays isnt all it is cracked up to be. San Juan being an American territory celebrates the holiday also and the only things open were a few bars. So that was bad planning on the part of the cruise line in my opinion. I dont really like getting off the ship and sitting in Senor Frogs all day cause nothing else is open. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
This is a review of the Navigator of the Seas, sailing date Nov 17, 2012. Our group was my wife, myself, our children (ages 20, 12, and 12) and my wife's (mid 70s) parents. As a general statement I believe the crew on any given ... Read More
This is a review of the Navigator of the Seas, sailing date Nov 17, 2012. Our group was my wife, myself, our children (ages 20, 12, and 12) and my wife's (mid 70s) parents. As a general statement I believe the crew on any given ship will make or break the entertainment value of the vacation. The crew on the Navigator just didn't seem to care and weren't trying to hide it. We are a pretty laid back, self-entertaining group and don't expect to be waited on hand and foot, so we can and did have a good time despite the crew. That said I could not in good conscience recommend this ship/itinerary to someone. I don't like reviews where someone just says a cruise or hotel room is bad or good. I need to know *why* you thought so. If I know the why then I can better determine if that would be good/bad for me. So I want to provide a review where I detail what was good/bad along with some of the 'why.' Boarding: We flew in the day before and spent the night at the Embassy SUites. At 12:30pm We walked the two blocks to the whale lot where there were porters loading luggage onto carts. There was a bit of confusion because some folks who were Carnival passengers were trying to give them luggage. Our bags were already tagged so it was a quick drop and go situation. The porters tagged you bags if you didn't already have them. Note that the Riverwalk access to the cruise ship walkway (it's still marked like that) is closed. The doors have a heavy chain and padlock on them. It's easy enough to walk in the street, about 1 block from the whale lot to the terminal. There was a police officer (where the port road turns onto Julia street) managing the vehicle and pedestrian traffic. At this point organization took a vacation. We didn't know it at the time but a lot of the embarkation problems were related to the fact that the Navigator had just come trans-atlantic. I was later told that because the ship was previously trans-atlantic and "new" to the port all the various authorities were being more detailed in checking things out. This applied not only to disembarking passengers, but also checking out the crew. (Imagine Coast Guard, and Immigration and CUstoms officers diligently following the rules.) I'm not saying anything is wrong with this, just making note that it cause a lot of confusion and delays. I hope this experience was not indicative of a normal boarding in NOLA, because it was hands down the worst I've experienced out of 7 cruises. I'll give an example: One RCL employee was telling embarking passengers to go back the other way because there were still 500 passengers from the previous cruise still disembarking. We ignored him along with a few others and asked a bit further down and another RCL employeed told us to continue ahead as they've been boarding passengers for the last hour. We then were able start the boarding process. Entertainment: Nightly shows: The dancing shows were fine. (Nothing spectacular or particulary impressive.) There were two different comedians which were both very good. There was a Platters group that was fantastic. Daily entertainment: Our group agreed that overall this was weak. This was compounded by the fact that the first two days were sea days. There was just very little going on those two days. This was especially disappointing to me since I enjoy having a drink on the pool deck and watching contests or listening to music. Two days at sea and the highlight of the pool deck was the ice cream machine. The bingo was run well The trivia and sudoku contests in the schooner bar were okay The movie selection in the theatre was geared towards a 20-40 crowd. I would liked to have enjoyed more movies there but the seats were were so incredibly uncomfortable I couldn't make myself go back. My father in law went once also and said it was like sitting on a board. Dining: MDR: The food was good, the service decent. Nothing spectacular. The service of course varies from table to table. For some odd reason they served the Thanksgiving meal on Wednesday night. Windjammer: Only once did I find the Windjammer crowded. It was a sea day right at noon. Any other time we have no trouble getting a table or having to wait in line for food. The food itself was fine and well kept up. The only issue I had with Windjammer was it closed at 9:30 pm every night. Which would not have been a problem except there were no late night buffets, so you were left with room service or the Cafe Promenade (See below.) Cafe Promenade: This place was just downright awful. I've seen it well done on the Freedom of the Seas, so I know it can be done. I was served the worst Starbucks latte I've ever had. I threw half of it away. The worst part though was the service. I'll give an example: There is a sign with the available kinds of pizza. (Only once was I ever there and they actually had all 3 kinds listed on the sign.) I asked the woman at the counter what kind of pizza they had since I could see there was only 1 pan under the heat lamp. She gave me a dirty look and gestured at the sign. So I play along and ask for pepperoni which was listed on the sign. She turned around and looked at the pan, turned back around and told me they only have cheese pizza. Which wouldn't be so bad except that cheese pizza wasn't one of the kinds listed on the sign. Bar Service: I've been on some ships where I felt like I was constantly getting mobbed by bar service folks. That was definitely not an issue on the Navigator. Soda Package: In my opinion, the soda package on the Navigator is a complete waste of money. They have apparently changed how this whole situation is handled because if you have the soda package you either get fountain soda or soda poured from a 2 liter bottle. The problem with the 2 liter bottles is every time I got it, it was flat. I'm convinced others figured this out as well which further aggravated the problem. What then happened is people would not get soda at the places that had the 2 liters which caused long lines at the other places. Most often those places were the bars, which then angered the bartenders and others waiting for alcoholic drinks. I honestly believe you could solve the issue by not having the bottles at all or marking them with a timestamp. Note that if you didn't have a soda package they would whip out a cold can of soda and provide glass. (I'm tempted to write letter to the Coca-Cola company about the issue.) I'm not sure I will ever buy the soda package on RCL again because of this. Wifi: This ship does not yet have wifi throughout the ship. I was able to get a very weak signal in our room on deck 9 forward but never enough to actually get a internet connection. I never had any trouble getting a connection on the pool deck, windjammer, royal promenade, or of course in the internet cafe. Teen club: My twins went to the 12-14 club and activities. My daughter didn't enjoy it and gave it up after the second day. My son kept going throughout the entire cruise. Most of the activities did seem more boy oriented. The only issue I had was once when I went to check on him in the teen club room. I stepped inside the room and the RCL woman freaked out and ran over at me. She kept telling me that I couldn't come in there. She wouldn't shut up so I started talking over her and said I came to check on my son. She kept saying I can come in there. I asked how to I get a hold of him, and she said I would have to talk to her and she could get him. I then asked how if she was also in the room how could get a hold of her without coming into the room? At that she stopped talking and just stood there with her mouth open like that had never occurred to her. By that time we had the attention of all the kids in the room. I just talked to my son quickly and then left. (I've never had a problem stepping into the room to get the attention of staff on the Carnival kids club.) Excursions: Our excursion in Grand Cayman was cancelled due to high wind. We had left early to catch the tender and shop a bit so we didn't find out it was cancelled until we were standing there waiting for the group to show. I did discover that the excursion desk had left a message on our room phone indicating the cancellation. So I give them props for trying to contact us. Disembarkation: It wasn't as bad as embarkation, but having been through many others this experience was consistent with rest of the voyage. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
This was our 11th Princess cruise and the biggest disappointment ever. We always cruise on Princess since they seem the most knowledgeable and accommodating for a Gluten Free diet that my husband requires. We have been on many other ... Read More
This was our 11th Princess cruise and the biggest disappointment ever. We always cruise on Princess since they seem the most knowledgeable and accommodating for a Gluten Free diet that my husband requires. We have been on many other cruises over Thanksgiving and it has been crowded with many children and large family groups but this time it was a very large group of obnoxious adults that were the biggest problem. We did complain at the desk and they did calm down a bit but still pretty bad behavior in the dining room as well. Another disappointment was the food. It was nothing special and at times pretty bad. We always have to eat in the dining room due to the GF requirement so I can't address the buffet. The service was okay...there was nothing special or outstanding about this ship. The day we boarded the first thing were notices were the stains on the carpeting in our stateroom...the ship needs a major overhaul. The public rooms seemed to have been updated but the staterooms were not. Our dining mates were all first time cruisers on Princess and they too were complaining about the food. After coming home we decided that we would always choose newer ships and we would not cruise over a holiday. We have a cruise booked on the new Royal Princess for Dec. 2014. Originally, we had booked over Thanksgiving week again but immediately changed our booking after this experience. Princess...please start enforcing some rules of decorum or we will be changing our cruise line of preference. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
A friend and I decided to get away for the dual holidays of Christmas and New Year's and decided that the Carnival Miracle was a perfect option because it sailed from New York (we're New Yorkers) and we were looking for something ... Read More
A friend and I decided to get away for the dual holidays of Christmas and New Year's and decided that the Carnival Miracle was a perfect option because it sailed from New York (we're New Yorkers) and we were looking for something "all inclusive" Our embarkation went smoothly and we quickly found our room, finding our bathroom was another story because story because it took about a minute of two for the light to turn on. We then took our bottle of champagne and put it in our little refrigerator which did not work and took 5 days of an 8 day cruise to have replaced. Our luggage then arrived in a timely manner. However, my brand new suitcase was damaged with a pretty severe oil stain. We immediately went to guest services to complain, where we were rudely told.. "What do you expect?... Sometimes luggage gets dirty".... The agent reluctantly took the bag and smartly said "We'll clean it, but don't expect it to be "perfect" We then went to the Bacchus room for dinner, I ordered a soda with dinner, only to find out that only Iced Tea and Lemonade were "complimentary" The following day I decided to book some spa appointments for hair and nails. Each appointment lasted roughly an hour.. let me rephrase, the procedure lasted about 1/2 and hour, the sales pitch for the nail cream, hair cream, and face cream took the other half. That evening we dined at Nick and Nora's, the tenth floor steak house. NO COMPLAINTS here whatsoever. The service and the food were IMPECCABLE! On Thursday we arrived in Port Canaveral. We went on a shore excursion called "Pontoon Lagoon", which was a little ferry ride through people's backyards to look at trees where pelicans go to the bathroom. On Friday we arrived in Nassau, Bahamas, again by mistake we booked an excursion to the "Blue Lagoon". After spending more that an hour in a line that changed directions for fun and games, we made it through the hordes of natives trying to sell us anything from bottled water to cocaine. We arrived at our destination at 2:00 to be told that we need to be back on the boat at 4:15... Really screwed on that one! The following day we arrived in Freeport. My friend and I said "screw it" to our planned excursion (Fool me once....) But to Carnival's credit, they were willing to give us a credit on this. THANK YOU!!!!! We proceeded off the boat to go to the little port "village" that was set up. THIS WAS THE HIGHLIGHT OF OUR TRIP. There was a bar/restaurant there called Senor Frogs. This establishment provided an atmosphere of fun and adult entertainment that we could not find on the Miracle. THIS AFTERNOON WAS THE BEST PART OF OUR TRIP.... this was the first time a venue existed for the passengers to mingle and have fun with each other.... The consensus at the bar was that Carnival needed to provide an atmosphere like that.... and this was exactly what the Miracle was missing. We then set sail for New York, which was two more days at sea. This should have been relaxing and peaceful... BUT.... on our floor was a group of about 10 teenagers that amused themselves by knocking on cabin doors and running away at all hours of the night. This and prank phone calls lasted until the end of the trip. The cruise ended with New Years Eve... may have been fun, wouldn't know because at this point my friend and I were so tired of this atmosphere, we decided to stay in out cabin. Also, should be noted that after 8:30 PM the only food available is Pizza... edible, but after 8 nights, barely. Never so happy to see the Hudson River and New York City as I was on 1/1. THINK VERY CAREFULLY BEFORE TAKING THIS TRIP.... The best time you will have is at a bar in a tourist trap.... but that was TRULY an amazing time! Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
I will start by giving an honest review about this cruise as it was our first with P&O. Embarkation We arrived at 2.00 pm for embarkation at the Ocean Terminal and we were greeted by the staff and porters. The car keys were ... Read More
I will start by giving an honest review about this cruise as it was our first with P&O. Embarkation We arrived at 2.00 pm for embarkation at the Ocean Terminal and we were greeted by the staff and porters. The car keys were handed over as it was to be parked in Valet Parking, and the suitcases were taken swiftly by the porters. The cases arrived at our room around 5.00 pm. After going through check-in, security we had boarded Oceana by 2.40 pm (very good timing). On boarding Oceana we were informed that our cabin was ready, so we proceeded to the cabin to drop off some items we were carrying. Cabin & Cabin steward when we arrived at our cabin C739 deck 9, we met our cabin steward "Roy", our first impression of our cabin steward was not friendly, and we know its a very long day on "turnaround day" so we gave him the benefit of this and thought that may of been the reason for him not being friendly & welcoming. His general attitude during the remaining few days did not really change. We had the feeling that he did not want to be there,but never asked him this as we did not want to pry.... We have been on lots of cruises before P & O and this was the first cruise where our cabin steward was not very nice.. This was first time we have taken an inside cabin, purely because this cruise had been sold out when we came across this cruise, and we were told that we would have to go on a waiting list for a possibility of getting a room. When it came up we accepted the inside cabin and booked, and thought at least we were on the ship and paid around £679 each which was not cheap for a 4 night cruise but it was over the new year festivities, and thought it would be great! First impressions of the room was small, dark and not very welcoming. Looked like the room was due an update and I believe it had a small mini refit in December just gone, (apparently not on these rooms). Bathroom was not very clean, and my husband found hair from previous guests and dirty shelves and towels that had pink stains on them!! Staff P & O staff are not as friendly as other ships we have cruised with before, and the general impression was "the staff were not happy"! We spoke to lots of other guests and they all agreed that they had noticed this. Dining venues We had requested the traditional 2nd sitting, but was informed that it had been fully booked since last March 2012, and we were offered anytime dining; As we have never done this before, we thought OK lets try it and compare the difference "we might of preferred it". However on the day of embarkation we were told that we had been allocated the 1st sitting, (which was just to early for us). This then meant like many others we had to stand for over 90 minutes to change the dining, and missed the sail away party! We ate in the Lingurian Restaurant, "anytime dining" which was nice, but you are not given your own waiter so even though a waiter comes and takes your order, you are not sure who is your waiter as you are served by many others also. so on a personal level we have decided that we prefer the traditional sitting! We booked a night in their speciality restaurant "Marco Pierre" which had a cover charge of around £6.75 per person. The restaurant was situated in the main atrium deck 8. Our impression of this was like a small Bistro, the food was good, but again found another of the waiter staff rude. My husband had asked one of the waiters for a moment of his time to explain to him that we wanted to watch a show at 10.30 pm and did not want to miss it as we only had around 20 minutes till the show started and could we skip the puddings and just have the coffee. He replied to my husband I'll be with you in a few minutes. We waited another 5 minutes whilst watching him stand with other staff members talking and discussing who was going to serve us, not very professional in my opinion! We decided to leave the restaurant and made a complaint to the head waiter about the staff member. The head waiter was very apologetic and removed the cost of the dining from our bill! Entertainment The entertainment was very good on P&O and this is one of the positives that other cruise liners could take from P&O. We watched various shows and there was always something to do in the evenings. They had very good show times so you did not miss them. One show in particular we watched was "Mecury rising" Steve Larkin! His tribute Act was to Freddy Mercury and I can say he was a very good singer and played the piano as well. It would be so nice to see more acts like this on other Cruise ships!!! In General In our opinion this was our first cruise with P&O and there was a multitude of things that niggled us, a few you can over look but when their is a lot, they seem to pile up. (just to note I have not noted them all, too many to list) Our first port of call was Zeebrugge and we had booked to go into Brussels for the day and we had a lovely day, on arriving back at the ship we had been on around an hour when the Captain announced that we would not be travelling to Amsterdam due to reports that there was adverse weather conditions in the Netherlands and he had exhausted all avenues on where to take the ship, but he was left with no alternative but to drop the anchors just outside the port of Zeebrugge, and that all our safety was paramount ( which I do agree), however like I and lots and lots of other passengers said it did not seem right and thought it sounded quite suss!. Anyhow the ship ended up spending the night anchored outside Zeebrugge until the morning, and I must say the ship never moved all night (swaying motion). In the morning around 11.20 am the captain made another announcement that the weather was still not great, but we would try and head to Amsterdam and would take around 6 hrs to get there and he would come back to us all with his next decision. Whilst we set sail to Amsterdam the sea was not that bad, some slight swells and rain but that's all (we have experienced worse in the Caribbean sea). However around 6.20 pm the captain came back with another announcement that we were 30 miles from Amsterdam and we would not be going to dock at Amsterdam as the weather was not good conditions for the pilot to board the ship, and that we would be turning around and heading back to Southampton! On the way back again there was no movement in the ship and again passengers were all questioning the Captain decision!!! Just to point out no-one saw the Captain at all on this cruise, I guess he knew that guests were not happy! More to the point as we were disembarking we walked passed a VIP person and we heard them over talking about the captains decision and they said he should of went to Amsterdam. On a positive note, we did enjoy our New Years Eve dinner and party-ed hard till 5.00 am I believe that other passengers were still partying at 7.00 am..... the ship was very quite on New Years Day. As I said this was my first cruise with P&O, and I do not think I will rebook another cruise as other cruise company's seem to be miles ahead on lots of things. If you are looking for a cruise with good customer satisfaction who generally care about their customers, have great Gala dinners free champers and canapes and lots of other things to inspire you, then there are other cruises than just P&O. If this had been my first cruise experience then I truly believe I would not of bothered booking again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
This being our third sailing of Pride in past 12 months, mainly due to convenience of Baltimore port, we are in a good position to compare how she has done through the year. Answer, not so good. Reason, I think Carnival is asking less and ... Read More
This being our third sailing of Pride in past 12 months, mainly due to convenience of Baltimore port, we are in a good position to compare how she has done through the year. Answer, not so good. Reason, I think Carnival is asking less and less staff to do more and more. I base that on condition of cabin, service, and number of bar waiters. EMBARKATION: Just have to love Baltimore. Just no fuss, just everything so close. Drive in, baggage handlers take luggage right out of car, drive into parking lane, pay and park. Walk across and enter terminal. Staff in terminal area very nice and helpful. Security a bit more of a TSA approach than previously however making me remove laptop from carry on, a first at any cruise line security point. Really did feel like they had seen a TSA training video and thought they were them. Here's the point security, we are not boarding a secure aircraft. We are boarding a large ship where dinner knives, explosive materials, etc abound. We don't really have to bring it on board. I am a security profession by career, I know the big deal checkpoint is as useful in this regard as a t.t on a bull. The banning of photo's and cellphones is terminal area, really? If needed a picture would go on internet. The only other embarkation comment, really wish they would build a gantry entry instead of making people walk that long uphill 5 story back and forth gangway. It's like it never ends. We arrived about 11:30 disembarking still taking place as we knew it would be. Baltimore at least the Pride arrives late for cruise ships. CABIN: 6173 Ocean Suite - Rosario cabin steward friendly and responded to requests, extra pillow etc no problem. That said, when spare roll toilet paper gone not replaced until requested. Found LARGE empty gift type box behind garbage can left by previous passenger. One faucet obviously broken had to call for repair, top was in pieces. Balcony door handle and latch broken. Repair crew came took them hour and a lot of cutting and drilling to replace. Balcony chairs crusted with salt balcony filthy remained until I called guest services. Steward explained hose didn't work. Table mates told us their cabin, don't know number, plumbing leak had fans in there for days as carpet was soaked. DINING: Table 232 worked hard, great personality did their best but obviously too few people doing too much work. They did their best to be attentive can't complain about them but can about cruise line that is just cutting staff every chance they get if you ask me. Two now do the jobs that were once done by 5. You want escargot this has now been relegated to the $35 per person specialty restaurant. Food itself was excellent no complaints. And again not waiters fault that so few do so much. ENTERTAINMENT: Good, comics always nice touch and Macey is great. Overall decent cruise but have to admit that I think we are Carnival and especially Pride overdone. We will try RCL out of Baltimore for next sailing from there. Staff are trying hard but line is not giving them the tools needed to make this a great cruise any longer. Heck it was hard to find bar waiters at times. One thing they are NOT short of, photographers. maybe they should convert a few of them into wait staff. I like to smoke a cigar and was too cold on balcony coming and going. They have one lounge for cigar smoking, closed it two days for art auction. Day was open asked bar waiter passing by for a scotch, he said that bar was closed, pardon me? Adjacent bar open what's up with that, casino bar open right near there to. When hard to get a drink you know you are understaffed. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
My wife and myself decided to leave all of the work of Christmas and new year and let somebody else do all of the work to somebody else. Finding this cruise was by accident whilst surfing the net for particular travel destinations rather ... Read More
My wife and myself decided to leave all of the work of Christmas and new year and let somebody else do all of the work to somebody else. Finding this cruise was by accident whilst surfing the net for particular travel destinations rather than seeking out Costa as a cruise of choice. Having never been on a Costa ship and the deal being ever so good, we took the plunge and booked the cruise thinking that an Australian-New Zealand cruise would see many other English speaking guests embark at Melbourne and enjoy a Christmas and New Year break at sea. That was not so as the total passenger numbers totalled approximately only 800 (can carry approx 1800), the majority being made up of Italian (it is an Italian cruise liner after all), French, German and Russian passengers. A significant number of these passengers could not speak or did not try or want to speak English. This was a bit disappointing. Still trying to be positive just after sailing and trying to engage with other passengers with our limited Italian or French speaking skills, we soon formed the opinion that we were a hindrance to some passengers who perhaps wished us not to be on board. An Italian speaking Australian passenger, travelling with her husband and friends advised us she was mortified by some of the comments made by some Italian passengers in their language that were very derogative to non European travellers. I suppose that is the risk you take when taking a cruise on a ship with full prior knowledge of English not being the primary language. Our cruise commenced in Melbourne, Australia and believe it or not the compulsory lifeboat training drill was at 1.00am in the morning of the first day of departure. Absolutely ridiculous and these sentiments where echoed by all and sundry who presented their required attendance card to staff who marked you off as attending. Those that did not attend promptly were identified and found in their cabins and marched to their stations. There certainly was an assortment of clothing attire ranging from bedtime wear to suits. Quite amazing picking that time to do a drill. It was an unusual cruise atmosphere for us and apart from the ability to veg out for 21 days reading or sleeping, their was very little else to do on board. This ship has no theatre having been removed during the recent refit and replaced with a lavish day spa type area where you apparently can pamper yourself silly for an exorbitant fee. Over all our experience of the Costa Line and this ship was quite poor. The meals in the dining room were good to average. The cafeteria meals were poor to average. The staff though were attentive and tried their best. Smoking on board the ship is woeful and it was very unusual to see Senior and Junior ships staff, smoking, drinking coffee and cool drink (hopefully) in lounges in full view of paying passengers. This is the first time we have seen this done. Personally, we do not think that is professional. To the ships credit, the costly refit has been done well, but again the rocking and rolling of the ship with associated creaking sounds is a bit disconcerting and irritating. Not having free tea and coffee and cold/hot water available 24hrs a day is also something new to us and although the coffee costs throughout the ship were 2 to 3 euro per tiny cup it just was not worth it. In summary, you pay for what you get but if I had paid a full fare to be on this cruise instead of the heavily discounted fare we got I would have been banging on someones door demanding my money back. My advice to English only speaking passengers intending to travel with Costa, think again or take language lessons prior to the cruise! Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
My mom (84) treated us to a cruise and paid $30,000 for all 22 of us to enjoy this family vacation. She is handicapped and is in a wheelchair. After waiting over an hour in line to just get onto the ship, I found my sister crying because ... Read More
My mom (84) treated us to a cruise and paid $30,000 for all 22 of us to enjoy this family vacation. She is handicapped and is in a wheelchair. After waiting over an hour in line to just get onto the ship, I found my sister crying because Carnival screwed up and did not have a handicapped room for my mom. I called Kevin from Carnival Cruise lines since we booked it with him. I called him on his cellphone and he told me that since it was a Sunday and he was not in the office, he could not do anything about it! We had to go to Guest Services and the woman (Anna) told us that when everyone boarded the ship, she will see what she could do for us! Well, to make a long story short, they never moved my mom or was able to accommodate her. Her wheelchair couldn't fit in the room. There was a step up to the bathroom. We had to get 2 people to lift her into the bathroom each time she needed the restroom. They brought us a half-mooned chair for her to sit on so we could bathe her in the shower. We had to move the table out to the balcony in order just to move around in the room. It was horrible!!! The food on the cruise was fair. With the exception of the ice cream and the chocolate melting cake dessert, all of the other desserts were awful. The formal night was such a disappointment. Not only was there no one in a tux, but most men were in golf shirts or buttoned shirts with no jackets. It was not a dressy event. We never even saw the Captain. On Christmas morning, we waited in line down the steps just to get into the dining room to eat breakfast. We were expecting Lobster tail for Christmas dinner since it was our Captain's dinner and our formal night, but they served turkey and filet instead. The desserts were the same as the rest of the week. There was no special attention for Christmas dinner. In fact, the only Christmas special treat was the Christmas show that you couldn't get a seat to see it because it was after Bingo and everyone stayed in their seat from Bingo!! The ship did not have a deck party on the last two nights and that was very disappointing. They had the deck party on the night before we were getting up early for Jamaica. We were wishing that they had it the following night because we were going to be at sea the next day or even the last night. The lines for the Lido deck buffet were ridiculous! We wasted more time in lines. We never got to eat the Mongolian Buffet stir fry because the lines were out into the hallway EVERY DAY!!!! It was at least an hour wait just to get the stir fry. The so called "Good Eats" or midnight buffet was an absolute disgrace. I wish I took a picture of it. It had the baby shrimp from the can and old crusty cheese and stale cookies. It had olives, fruit and one chafing dish of a deep fried item! It was horrible. My kids were looking forward to the ice cream bar and the ice cream bar consisted of ice cream only! There was not even a sprinkle or one topping! We were never able to get a lounge chair at the pool. People save them with towels and we were never lucky to get one. The sign said that they removed the towels after 40 minutes, but no one was doing this. The pools were also were really small for 3000 people. We were really surprised of the size! The casino and the floor it was on was smoky too! It took us over an hour to get off of the ship. Again, we waited in lines! We waited in more lines on this vacation including to get back on the ship from the ports. Pros: Staff and bartenders and waiters were nice and friendly. Ship was clean. Shows were good. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click