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175 Holiday Cruise Reviews

It has been 12 years since we were on Carnival and it will be at least 12 years before we come back. Our last experience was so bad to keep us away but I thought we would give the new Breeze a try. I was so anticipating this cruise to ... Read More
It has been 12 years since we were on Carnival and it will be at least 12 years before we come back. Our last experience was so bad to keep us away but I thought we would give the new Breeze a try. I was so anticipating this cruise to celebrate many family events. I was so disappointed. It appeared that they were understaffed. Especially in the dinning room. The wait at meal time was very long no matter when you went nor if you had anytime dinning or the set seating. I had asked about getting a set time and table for the anytime dinning. Or at least a reservation. I was told they don't do this. Then toward the end of the cruise I saw some family had the same table every night at the same time and they had it reserved. So I guess some passengers were allowed to do this and others were not!! The room service pic up of food trays was horrible, they sat out on the deck floor for hours. To the point of the halls starting to smell. I saw breakfast dishes sitting there long after 3 in the afternoon. Lunch and dinner dishes late into the evening. It seemed like they never got picked up. I found staff to be rude in some cases. They were not overly friendly at all. In fact many hardly talked to you at all. It was not all of them but many. This was more true up on deck than the cabin stewards. My boys (they are in their 20's) went to inquire about excursions only to be greeted by a person who was not helpful and they found him to be rather rude as well. They walked away shaking their heads and said they would do something on the island. I had asked about an excursion as I was ready to book it. Turns out it was nothing like it was explained on line or in their booklet and I told her so and she said she would look into it. So glad I didn't put out the almost $500 in advance to be misrepresented. The ship was rocking and rolling a lot. Seemed like the stabilizers were not doing a thing. The seas did not seem particularly rough either. No storms that we had heard of. We did have some showers the first day but only a little for the first part of the day and they came and went for 20 min spurts nothing huge.but after that it was great weather but the rocking continued for most of the first 5-6 days. Sometimes rather strong rolling making it hard to walk around. The music at the main pool area was very loud. Same as for the Shows at night. The shows seemed to repeat themselves in format. Divas this Divas that. One juggler and one hypnotist. The 4 comedians that were brought on 3 were good one was bad. The venue was way too small and to have to empty it then form a line to get into next show. There was not enough staff to control the line or the amount of seat saving in the venue. Plus we saw Carnival crew people with name tags sitting in seats while passengers were standing in the back. The buffet did not open until 7:30 am. while many passengers were up and looking for food well before then. Not even one line was open for the early risers. As the week went on the buffet food got worse and worse. So over all we were all disappointed in our cruise. We had fun but it was not the best of out 14 cruises that we have taken.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
In 2013, we sailed on RCCL with the Freedom of the Seas for New Year's Eve and had a wonderful experience. Therefore, we booked the Brilliance of the Seas for New Year's this year and invited additional family members. The result ... Read More
In 2013, we sailed on RCCL with the Freedom of the Seas for New Year's Eve and had a wonderful experience. Therefore, we booked the Brilliance of the Seas for New Year's this year and invited additional family members. The result was a disappointment and we have ranked this our worst cruise of 13. I really hate being so down, but this just didn't meet expectations although most crew were working very hard. First some of the great things - The ladies playing classical music in the Centrum were very good, the guitarist in the Schooner lounge was out of this world and Clark in the pub next to the casino was very funny and enjoyable. Also, cha cha lesson in Centrum was very well done. Also, the chef for the chef's table was extremely personable. That is not worth the $7K spent. That concludes what was right with this cruise and they saved the day. The ship was noisy and overcrowded compared to the other 12 or 13 cruises we have taken on several different lines previously, many during holiday periods. The interior of the ship just seemed shabby and not quite clean even though it was clean, just cheap. The furniture in the stateroom was chipped and the room very small. Bed okay, shower pours out into bathroom floor due to poor design. The food was mediocre even though we spent 4 of 5 nights at specialty restaurants. Chops is over-priced for steak quality. We all had intestinal problems after eating in the Italian. Yes, it was that restaurant for certain. A couple of really big problems - holding my luggage because security believes I might have alcohol is treating me like I am in high school. First, I am 54 so this is only a revenue policy and second, the offending item was Murad toner and if I drank it, I would go blind as it states on the label - denatured alcohol is the base. I really do not need to pay to be treated without respect and it is not acceptable. No message from security (as Princess did one time when my husband had a questionable item). I thought my luggage had been left in port. The staff acted extremely stressed everywhere as it was clear to us they had to meet their revenue targets (including signs posted where we could view them). This was a stressed staff focused on revenue targets cruise. Yuch.... If this is the direction of cruising which I have loved, count me out. There are so many things that were wrong - rude purser desk staff, lack of activities, cleanliness, food terrible, not abiding by the 2 for 1 wine by the glass for our RCCL status, slow internet, not making ports on schedule, arriving in Tampa at 3 am and being awakened by train whistles and lights from port, captain unavailable during New Year's Eve Party. All items are little, but it just kept adding up. I would not recommend this ship. A complete switch from previous cruises on Jewel and Freedom which were delightful. And, fuel costs are down so really quite paid enough. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
The ship was beautifully decorated with an xmas theme. We enjoyed the first half of the cruise as we chilled out and relaxed, however due to a lack of activity range on board, the second half was deadly boring. On board activities were ... Read More
The ship was beautifully decorated with an xmas theme. We enjoyed the first half of the cruise as we chilled out and relaxed, however due to a lack of activity range on board, the second half was deadly boring. On board activities were aimed at rest home level, and were regular. i.e. knitters group, craft group, bridge players group, and on it goes! There was little of interest for anyone under 50 years old and there were no new activities during the cruise. The cruise director was dreadful. He appeared lazy and stale. His jokes were weak and he repeated them often. He was rarely seen during the day and came on after each show in the evening, and many people just walked out when he came on. The singers and dancers were great, but unless you enjoy ballroom dancing and associated music, there was nothing else to do in the evening except gamble at the casino which became expensive, or drink too much. They had one deck party during the entire cruise which was great, but needed more. We love good music but there was only the princess band which had a large brass section so could be hard to listen to, a duo who where almost karaoke with their electronic backing, a quartet which played classical and the band which occasionally played on deck who were painfully out of tune and untalented (only ok to listen to after large quantities of alcohol). The nightclub mainly played disco music. Occasionally they screened concerts by good bands like tina turner or U2 on the big screen which were great, but often at 10am?? The food was amazing. Fabulous, fresh, tasty, great selection, cannot complain. We had an inside cabin which was quite adequate for us, but the beds were very hard and a bit lumpy. The itinerary sounded good, but all of the Fiji ports were just that - ports or small towns. No little islands with sandy beaches and good snorkelling and swimming unless you paid for an excursion. New Caledonia ports were good though. In general the best staff were the lower ranking ones. They couldn't do enough for you, although it soon transpired that if they put one foot out of place they were disciplined. They wouldn't even let us fill our own wine glass from the bottle on the table, or they would end up in the office of their superior. The supervisors, however in general were not great and could appear arrogant and unhelpful. Typical of such a hierarchal organisation. I would have happily fired a few and promoted their subordinates. Overall I definitely would not travel with Princess again. They have dated and slipped behind in a hugely competitive market where there are superior ships and experiences available. My advice to Sun Princess is get rid of your Cruise Director and find someone with some fresh ideas and some get up and go.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
I was travelling solo and took what I was given for 16 days with 11 ports. At ports I went off solo and re-discovered some favorite places from the past as well as some new places, people, and adventures. (I rarely if ever do ... Read More
I was travelling solo and took what I was given for 16 days with 11 ports. At ports I went off solo and re-discovered some favorite places from the past as well as some new places, people, and adventures. (I rarely if ever do "excursions.") On Board met so many couples with fascinating stories. Ship's staff was 5-star. (I did not attend entertainment so no review there.) All in all, never a dull moment for me. Now to the negative which generated title of my commentary. Booked this Christmas/New Year cruise almost 10 months in advance. Understood price guarantee should there be a future discount. Woops!. Huge drop 7 weeks before sailing but it was secret. deal!! Secret from those who had purchased early. HAL made no offer of upgrade and/or discount to those who had already paid full price. Only when folks embarked we all discovered that well over 12% of ocean-view cabins had been sold-- 6 weeks earlier--- at far, far less than longtime passengers paid. AND low, low price for cabin also included extras free: Round-trip air from west coast of US to east coast free plus pre and post stays at Ft. Lauderdale hotel, etc. Understand person who had paid over $1,000 per day for top tier suite was livid to discover same type sold month before sailing for about 50% less per day. In my own case: Traveled solo in what I could afford which was tiniest interior cabin I have ever seen! Slept on narrow cot-- not a bed. Paid $3,000 plus 60% single supplement. Another widow (also solo) paid just a bit less than I did, only 6 weeks before sailing. What did she have? For less than my cabin cost, she had a large ocean-view cabin, mid-ship, with 2 regular single beds,plus free air from Seattle, and free pre and post-cruise in FLL. . Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
I took my family on a cruise for Christmas this year. We all live in Texas, so leaving out of the Houston port was very convenient. There were 23 of us, ranging in age from 2 to 79. We had a good time, but there were some issues with the ... Read More
I took my family on a cruise for Christmas this year. We all live in Texas, so leaving out of the Houston port was very convenient. There were 23 of us, ranging in age from 2 to 79. We had a good time, but there were some issues with the cruise that I'd like to share for future cruisers. First of all, the positives. Embarkation and Disembarkation went very smoothly. The new cruise terminal in Houston was very nice and seemed organized. Parking out in front was very easy, but cost $80/week. The NCL staff was very attentive for the most part. Our room steward was very sweet. And the wait staff in most of the dining rooms were friendly and helpful. We also found that the front desk staff was exceptionally helpful. We all enjoyed the entertainment. My favorites were the Russian Duo Dance team and the comedian, David Naster. I didn't go to any of the other shows, but heard from family that they enjoyed them. The cruise ship had plenty of options for the family... some went to the shows, some went to the kid's activities, some lounged around the pools and hit the hot tubs, some went to the casino and others to the disco/bars... I liked that there was something to keep everyone happy. Then we all met together every evening in the Tsar's Dining room for dinner. I enjoyed Breakfast in the Garden Café, lots of choices, eggs, meats, fruit, etc. It was sometimes crowded, but we usually tried to find a group of tables in the same area for the family and we made it work. Also enjoyed several lunches at O'Sheehans' Pub and Grill, part of the complimentary restaurants on the ship... our favorite was their chicken wings. I also used the Sauna/Steam room on the Jewel every day and really enjoyed it. The area was roomy and comfortable and very tastefully appointed. I was disappointed that it cost $149 for the week, but my kids bought the package for me and I did enjoy it. We stopped in 3 ports of call and overall, the tendering and getting on/off the ship went smoothly. Now for the negatives... I have traveled on almost all the other cruise lines, and was very surprised at how Very Small the Balcony cabins were on the NCL Jewel. I bunked with 2 of my grandsons, so there were 3 of us in our cabin. When all the beds were pulled out for the evening I couldn't get to the Balcony or to the Desk and Coffee Pot in the morning. It was definitely not what I was expecting. We also had several days of plugged toilets. The maintenance staff was quick to respond, but they had trouble finding the problem and it took several days and several calls before they fixed the problem. On one occasion the maintenance man had to ask me to help him by flushing toilet, etc... again, definitely not what I was expecting. I said above that I enjoyed Breakfast in the Garden Café Buffet, but that's were the good review on the food ends. The lunch and dinner at the buffet was not very appetizing to me and often was not very fresh. Several times I tried the Hamburgers and found them to be dried out, also tried to get ice cream one afternoon and found that the Buffet only serves it for several hours each day. The complimentary room service menu was very limited and although I didn't order from it, I heard from other family members that the wait time often exceeded 30-45 minutes. The meals in the Tsar's Dining Room weren't much better. Our evening meal often drug out over 2 hours, even when the restaurant was half empty. And there weren't very many choices that seemed appealing to me... the chicken alfredo was made with rice and red sauce, the escargot was served in a brown gravy... again, just my opinion, but I found the meals served in the Tsar's restaurant to be lacking. We did eat one night in The Steakhouse (specialty restaurant) and the food was better, and the service was definitely 5-star. But even with the surcharge ($30/pp) you were only allowed one entrée... each additional entrée was $10... I find that to be very disappointing. In O'Sheehan's Pub and Grill I tried to order a milk-shake that was advertised on their digital menu but was told they didn't serve milkshakes. Again, definitely not the service that I was expecting. I was very glad to be able to take the whole family on this cruise, but I would not sail with NCL again.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This cruise was sold as the "ultimate" and the ship was rated with 5 stars ! This cruise was just the worst I ever experienced. Apart from 4 constant shopping channels on the TV with a cruise director who should be fired at all, ... Read More
This cruise was sold as the "ultimate" and the ship was rated with 5 stars ! This cruise was just the worst I ever experienced. Apart from 4 constant shopping channels on the TV with a cruise director who should be fired at all, this cruise can be considered as a "rocky horror picture show".. Christmas was celebrated with flying paper-planes and hard rock music, 30 minutes (!) the cruise director was playing the piano ( worse than an beginner ) where the guest were allowed to sing christmas songs,the dinner was very poor, no decoration on tables, noisy kids were running around during dining and there was no feeling like christmas. at the pool area the so called cruise director played with the awful house rock band hard rock as it worst. The show at the theater were unprofessional, cheap and stupid. Same on new years eve and during the other days. The food was ordinary, always the same and the presentation of it far away from 5 stars. But the worst thing was the lack of hygiene - kids with diapers occupied the pools and hot tubs, even the spa. This actually should be reported to the us health authorities. Lazy waiters were busy with internal discussions rather than to clean the tables and take the dishes away. Same with the area on the pool deck. On top of it the entire staff was unfriedly except the cabin attendant and the bar keepers on the sunset deck. There was neither control, nor security visible. I could continue the list of endless complaints but it would exceed this report. One thing still to mention - the captain could not answer the question how many guests are on bord this ship! In my opinion this ship was totally overloaded. I was happy that the "horror picture show" did end after 11 days finally. This cruise line never again ! Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
I did a back to back on Princess over the holidays and came back extremely disappointed in the drop in Princess Standards and amenities. They did not have an omelet or pasta bar on this ship, which its competitors from Carnival to ... Read More
I did a back to back on Princess over the holidays and came back extremely disappointed in the drop in Princess Standards and amenities. They did not have an omelet or pasta bar on this ship, which its competitors from Carnival to Celebrity seem to have made a standard feature. There was not any area that contained additional sauces like soy, tabasco, ketchup or steak sauce anywhere in the Horizon Court. Newsflash Princess, passengers are becoming more diverse in the cuisine preferences and background, and you need to please them all – not just the American pallet. Cabins were cramped and I always had to make sure my wife was not partially dressed and in view of the hallway whenever I opened the cabin door. Several times during the cruise we ordered wine and then were told later –like up to 20 minutes later in the MDR that it was not in stock. Don’t they provide that information to the dining staff before their shift? The Chef’s table while glitzy, lost the intimacy that we experienced in other ships. Also – I did not appreciate the entertainment by staff in the MDR – we were trying to get to know other cruisers and had this forced on us. Give the passengers the right to an uninterrupted dinner if they choose, please. The addition of the high top tables in the Horizon court frustrated several of the older diners – they were difficult to maneuver around when Horizon Court was busy and were inaccessible by many. And the upsell – the foot clinic, the wine tasting, the after dinner drinks, the spa advertising, it was worse than the Christmas consumer advertising we were hoping to escape. Princess Cays is not even worth the tender ride out. Better to stay on the ship and enjoy a peaceful and (rare) uncrowded day on the ship. Also noticed that there was very limited bar service on deck as well, and many of the staff turned out to be not good at comprehension. My wife had to tell one server 3 times that she wanted a club soda – not too difficult, but the server had a hard time understanding. The addition of the fountain on the top deck did not make up for the lack of the pool on the fantail. Also, on the 26th of December I have had enough of the Christmas music until next December. But no, the piped in music and even certain entertainers kept it going ad nauseum. Many people were disappointed by the lack of Christmas decorations, but they simply did not have space on the ship to add anymore as it felt incredibly cramped with such a large amount of passengers. It seemed like this ship was a training ground for many staff as they were endlessly asking others how to do their job or giving answers that were not acceptable to passengers which resulted in escalation to higher ups. We witnessed the women in the Cruise Director Staff be incredibly rude to others several times. And the design flaws, no stairs midship, cramped workout area that people had to walk through and the downsizing to add additional venues that were rarely busy seems like a waste. But the worst was eliminating the Explorer’s Lounge. That was our hangout after several cruises and the removal of this venue plus the downsizing of the Wheelhouse was a detriment –not an enhancement to prior Princess ship designs. All in all we had a good time but it was mostly due to the itinerary and being with a loved one. But never again Royal Princess. And you, sister ship Regal, are also grandfathered in.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
In Summary - Overall not good value for money. Not the Festive Cruise we had expected. New year's day fireworks in harbour at Tenerife out of sight from our berth. Details Embarkation - Reasonable with wheel chair assistance. Heard ... Read More
In Summary - Overall not good value for money. Not the Festive Cruise we had expected. New year's day fireworks in harbour at Tenerife out of sight from our berth. Details Embarkation - Reasonable with wheel chair assistance. Heard of long delays for passengers arriving earlier also requiring assistance. First impressions - As expected but little extra effort put into festive decorations. Dining - First sitting in Brittania Restaurant. Fixed dining on table for six. My wife and I like to mix with other people so chose a six table. This has its downside as we discovered. For three of the first five nights our companion diners did not appear so we were lone diners on a table set for six. It seems our companion diners preferred later dining and obviously have no responsibility to us. On the sixth night we did move to another six table nearby who had suffered the same fate and were also joined by another couple who moved from the later sitting. I cannot blame Cunard for the whims of fellow diners but the system is flawed. On Princess and Celebrity you are allocated early or late dining and then led to a table size of your choice on entering the restaurant. The waiters ensure minimum delay by filling tables efficiently. Fortunately our dining companions for the rest of the voyage were great. The food was at best acceptable for most nights and mainly consisted of basic fodder dressed up with fancy wording on the menu. On several nights there were 3 Vegetarian meals out of the six on offer. There were some good offerings such as Lobster, scallops and a Chateau Briande but seen together on one night only never to appear again. Is this penny pinching or what? Entertainment - Very Poor. This is our opinion but seemed to be the concensus of most passengers we spoke with. The comedian (one night only) was declared as very good by most. Other one night acts such as a female singer, a male singer, pianist, flautist and the acrobats(Power of Two) met with mixed reviews but none would be considered as a top line act. As for ship's company entertainment this was exceptionally poor. Three of their four singers were really poor and the dancers mediocre at best. The entertainment around the ship was just as poor with three piano players(come singers) offering some noise. The harpist and violin quartet provide acceptable background music. However it was the theatre entertainment that was the most dissapointing. Activities - barely passable but we did not partake in all of them. Table Tennis much the same as other cruises with minimal crew involvement. Knitting circle had no dedicated facilitator. The Bridge tuition and organised "Duplicate Bridge" sessions were exceptionally well run and much enjoyed by all participants. Quiz sessions mainly held in the Golden Lion were OK and well attended. The Golden Lion pub had a good ambiance but the beer(Bitter) served on tap was much too cold. At least one bitter should have been served on tap at cellar temperature. I drank bottled London Pride which had been left out of the fridge as a best alternative. In Summary - Overall not good value for money. Not the Festive Cruise we had expected. New year's day fireworks in harbour at Tenerife out of sight from our berth. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Our third New Year's Cruise: 2 Carnival, 1 RCCL. This was the WORST. 2,000 people on Prominade Deck. Shoulder to shoulder. Can't sit. Can't move. No champaign at midnight. No dancing or music...no room to do anything except ... Read More
Our third New Year's Cruise: 2 Carnival, 1 RCCL. This was the WORST. 2,000 people on Prominade Deck. Shoulder to shoulder. Can't sit. Can't move. No champaign at midnight. No dancing or music...no room to do anything except stand. Cost $1,000 extra per person for New Year's cruise. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY ON RCCL NEW YEAR'S CRUISE. Everybody packed onto Prominade Deck. Can't handle that many people. "Lobster" for New Year's dinner was a joke and should be an embarassment for RCCL. One to two ounces of lobster meat MAYBE (ONE BITE). Meat stuck to the shell. Only allowed one miniscule tail per person. RCCL new Port Canaveral terminal also a joke. Opened a week earlier than expected for our cruise. Waited in one of two car/bus lanes for ONLY FOUR open spaces to unload. 1 HR. 45 MINUTES IN LINE WAITING. Disembarking was worse. In line from on the ship all the way down their twisting ramp (five levels) to baggage claim. Person in charge would not let ANYONE get their backs until all the bags on the whole ship were unloaded. Another almost 2 hour waiting in line. Our 2 Carnival New Year's cruises, on the other hand, provided us with two of our BEST new year's ever out of 45 years of marriage. Will book New Year's on Carnival again this year. We have been on 25 cruises, so we are not novices. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We went on a 10 night Christmas cruise sailing from Fremantle to Bali and back again with a large family group. We had our 2 year old son with us and found the boat to be less than suitable even though we called and asked first. We knew in ... Read More
We went on a 10 night Christmas cruise sailing from Fremantle to Bali and back again with a large family group. We had our 2 year old son with us and found the boat to be less than suitable even though we called and asked first. We knew in advance there was no kids club and organized ourselves with craft and toys to keep him entertained. Honestly it was hard work. There were five children on board and only two high chairs, so meal times were a battle for the high chair. The outdoor pool is VERY deep and has only a ladder for entry / exit which was fine for our boy but none of the other children. The food was the same, day after day. Certainly not gourmet. I think they mainly cater for the elderly which is fair enough because that is 90% of the passengers. There is no babysitting available at all so every evening we had to retire at 7.00pm with our son. We did stay out one evening until 9.00pm, and the cabaret show featured fire jugglers - despite the constant warnings of the risks of fire on board. The curtains in the cabin may as well not be there, they do not block out any light at all. If you are not an early riser, make sure you book an inside cabin. Be sure to book a cabin in the centre of the boat, we were up the front and averaged three hours sleep a night. The rocking and noise was unbearable. Every time we hit a wave it was like a cannon going off. Our family in the middle of the boat didn't experience any rocking or noise though. We had to take our own bed rail for our son (they don't supply them) so make sure you get one before you go. Be sure to take your own pillow. I have never had a neck complaint in my life but after three nights sleeping on their pillows I had to visit the Hospital and have injections for the pain, and two physio visits since I got back. They didn't have any other pillows available. The staff were fantastic. Our cabin manager was brilliant and our room was always spotless. If you wanted to make it a "Booze Cruise" they offered a drinks package for $28 per person per day, where it was all you could drink house wines (which were actually very nice), spirits and cocktails. You had to sign up for the whole duration and everyone in your cabin had to sign up. The organized activities throughout the day were very popular and well attended, not suitable for kids though. The staff tried to organize one activity a day for the kids but it never worked out very well - they had one glue stick and one pair of scissors for five kids to share etc etc. I would rate this cruise honestly as two/three star, there is nothing wrong with that as long as you pay accordingly so wait until you get a good deal. It is not luxurious and not suitable for kids. Also, we packed our four bottles of duty free purchased on board in our luggage to be taken off by the porters, two bottles were smashed when we collected our baggage and there was not a soul to be found to report it to once off the boat and through customs. Pack very carefully anything they are moving for you! Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
After an amazing trip on Freedom of the Seas we were excited to be spending Xmas onboard Voyager of the Seas after the refurbishment. Unfortunately the boat, cruise and service were all disappointing. The meals were average and lacked ... Read More
After an amazing trip on Freedom of the Seas we were excited to be spending Xmas onboard Voyager of the Seas after the refurbishment. Unfortunately the boat, cruise and service were all disappointing. The meals were average and lacked variety, the wait at any of the bars to purchase a drink was ridiculous, the service received was below expectations and the cruise lacked any Christmas spirit. The entertainment was not up to standard for a RCI cruise. We visited the day spa and were forgotten about and left in the lounge area, went back to see reception after 30 minutes. Finally had our massage / facials but it was rushed and below standard. For which we paid a compulsory tipping of about 17%. We came down with food poisoning on Xmas night and spent the remainder of the cruise unable to participate in anything. Left the boat on the 29th straight to the airport and then to see our doctor on arrival home. Whilst onboard and at the medical centre only nurse was available during the cruise and just gave injections and tablets. Not at all interested in another RCI cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
On December 27 our family boarded the carnival fantasy for a new years cruise. This was about my 8 time on the fantasy over the last 12 years so i have other cruises to compare it to. The cruise was way over booked we knew this by the crew ... Read More
On December 27 our family boarded the carnival fantasy for a new years cruise. This was about my 8 time on the fantasy over the last 12 years so i have other cruises to compare it to. The cruise was way over booked we knew this by the crew telling us. At dinner dervice we had to wait a hour to get our food sometimes a hour just to get our appetizers. I dont know if carnival is cutting back but there cruises are nonthing like they were 10 years ago. The crew worked hard but when you have that many people to take care of you miss a lot. Shows were ok but it wasnt something you write home about. Our family was on the same floor except for one of us had a cabin on a different floor and it was right under a kitchen. And they do the cleaning every nite banging and loud noises our family in there complained and they said they knew those rooms were bad and they usually booked them at the last min.......so how we get one we booked our over a year in advance. The food quality was terrible in the alternative dining where we ate breakfast and lunch. It was like well like i read another cruiser say it was like hospital food. My mom and brother went for lunch one day and both took a bite of there chicken and it was totally RAW, they showed them and was told sorry. Unless you stood inline for a hamburger that was 30 min long or stood inline for a omlette nonthing else there was worth eating. It was a very long cruise. This cruise was expensive and figured being a new years cruise something big would be planned but the band went on the lido deck played and got a paper hat and a blow toy. I am a Platinum member but if this is the direction carnival is going then im switching to Royal. I have another cruise planned for the dream in may i hope this was just a bad cruise. As for the ship for being the oldest ship in the fleet it was clean and nice just need more balconys. BTW im sure i wasnt the only one complaining about this cruise the line at the guest services always had a line with pissed off people. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Land and cruise package- Nairobi to Singapore. 19th December 2014 to 24th January 2015. Our holiday started with 4 nights in Kenya with three being in game lodges. The hotels and game lodges here and in Singapore, at end of cruise, were ... Read More
Land and cruise package- Nairobi to Singapore. 19th December 2014 to 24th January 2015. Our holiday started with 4 nights in Kenya with three being in game lodges. The hotels and game lodges here and in Singapore, at end of cruise, were of a high standard. The transfers to and from airports, hotels and ships were well organised. The safari started well but ended up a disorganised mess. The last full day was a drive from Amboseli to Tsavo. 5-6 hours became 11. Instead of driving to our lodge for a late lunch followed by a game drive we detoured an hour each way to another lodge. We then got lost. We arrived at dusk and that was the day. Salt Lick Lodge looked as if it would have been a great place to stay- built on stilts overlooking a waterhole. The animals had gone to bed when we got there. We left next day at 8am for a 3-4 hour drive to Mombasa airport where the company had chartered a plane to fly us to Zanzibar. The drive was nearly 6 hours. This was just one of those things. A massive traffic jam. However this meant the 4 flights of the chartered plane were delayed. The one ship representative we could see was just wondering around looking as lost as we did even though he was in communication with the ship! Fortunately we were the second group for a flight so arrived at the ship about 5.45. The 4th group arrived at 9pm and the restaurants had closed! These two days showed that the forward planning and organisation of the shore parts of the trip were just not up to any sort of acceptable standard. The ship advertises itself as a destination ship. This is why we travelled on her. Far too many times we were late arriving at our port of call. This meant the excursions were cut short and never did the captain extend the stay to accommodate the late arrivals. Overall the standard of the shore excursions were poor. Most of the guides were very inexperienced and their English was limited. Unfortunately the ship seems to operate a two class system. Balcony class and the rest. Now, this was the most expensive cruise we have ever been on and to be treated as not important and second rate was very poor. The "balcony "class always left the ship first on shore excursions. This wouldn't have mattered so much except that when you arrive late shore time is precious. It seemed to take the ship and age to disembark the small number of passengers on board ( 304 first leg and 279 second ). The balcony class got the best buses and the most experienced guides. We paid for one shore excursion that wasn't included and we were with mostly balcony class people. What a difference. A bus with air conditioning that worked and a very good guide. All this was so disappointing. If we had wanted to spend out time sitting in a deck chair looking at the sea we could have done it on a much more luxurious ship at a cheaper price. Our cabin was an outside one on deck 4. This was the smallest cabin we have ever been in. We adapted to the lack of wardrobe and drawer space ( we used under the beds).But the only flat surface we has to put anything on was the top of the chest of drawers between the beds. We became very tidy Kiwis! The TV was a very small one high on the wall above a bed. I don't think you could have watched it comfortably from any place but there was nothing to see anyway- a few very old films- they put on Christmas ones for the first leg and they stayed on until the end of that leg ( 7th Jan). The news was African for the whole trip or at least that was what they advertised. You could only see it for the first couple of days and none was in English. I think the ship was short staffed. Our cabin steward was not up to scratch. After 11 days I asked if we could have our linen changed. He said he had too much to do and couldn't do everything ( this latter was because I asked if he could vacuum the cabin as it hadn't been done for days).He changed the linen but people we were friendly with a few cabins down never got their's changed! On the second leg he changed it twice ( I think he had fewer) cabins. THE WATER I see from a review from someone who was on the second leg that they talked about the water. It wasn't just on that part of the cruise. It was a deep orange from the time we boarded in Zanzibar. ( This was the hot water). No logical explanation was ever given. In fact no official mention was ever made about it. They did no clothes washing for passengers for most of that leg. It was horrible water, stained everything and left your hair feeling like straw. From Colombo to Singapore it improved slightly in colour. Unless you travel balcony class you get poor toiletries ( and no body lotion), old discoloured towels and very dubious face cloths ( frayed and stained). Chocolate on pillows about one night out of three. Not the be all and end all but just another example of being treated as not worth bothering about. We enjoyed the meals and felt they were perfectly acceptable with plenty of changes of menu ( was that because everyone ate in the same restaurants?). The 24 hour tea and coffee on the Lido deck needs to be serviced more regularly. Being very hot weather the milk was often sour and there was often an awful smell of rotten milk.The urns of hot water and coffee were left too long and often there was only luke warm water/ coffee coming out. The lecturers were very good overall and some outstanding. The entertainment was quite good. We found Christmas day not what we had thought it would be. Nothing different from an ordinary day except for a very nice dinner with crackers ( The ship was nicely decorated). In our cabin we found 6 uninspiring small biscuits on a plate as a Christmas present! New Year's Eve they went to more of an effort and it was fun. Someone/people came on board in Colombo with a very bad coughing bug and it spread like wildfire round the ship. The ship was the slackest we have travelled on in regard to hygiene so no wonder it spread like it did. There were a lot of very sick people. The hand sanitisers were at the entrance to the restaurants and in a fairly out of the way position beside where your cards get swiped on return to the ship but there was no encouragement to use them and a lot of people didn't. Sometime afternoon tea was in the Charleston Lounge and there was never even a small bottle of sanitiser there. Overall we were very disappointed with this cruise. We travel to see different places and people and we were very let down with this ship and its organisation. Would we travel with her again? No we wouldn't Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We chose this cruise as it was one of the few that left from Melbourne, so we didn't have the hassle of planes/trains etc prior to the trip. We enjoyed the ports of call, and some of the staff couldn't have been better. ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was one of the few that left from Melbourne, so we didn't have the hassle of planes/trains etc prior to the trip. We enjoyed the ports of call, and some of the staff couldn't have been better. However, the overall food and restaurant experience were appalling. Bad organisation, cheap food, no change of menu, no flexibility with dining times, having to queue for breakfast, upstairs pantry - don't even go there .... you had to pay for a lot of the food, and which cruise line does not put food on after 9 pm on New Year's Eve, for heaven's sake? THIS ONE!!! We would hang out to be on shore just so we could find something decent to eat. The biggest problem with P&O is that even though they get you to complete a survey on your experience, they don't seem to give a toss at how bad the review is. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
I have been on two Princess cruises previously in 2013, a 7 day on Ruby and 10 day on Emerald. At the time I told Princess that the food and service was excellent but the space was so cramped we would not travel with them again. We saw ... Read More
I have been on two Princess cruises previously in 2013, a 7 day on Ruby and 10 day on Emerald. At the time I told Princess that the food and service was excellent but the space was so cramped we would not travel with them again. We saw the Royal and decided to try a newer ship. We had a Premium Deluxe Balcony. !. The music offered was fantastic both bands and individual performers. We both enjoy music, not particulary shows. Though the Saxophone Show was great. 2. The service was excellent. 3. Even with this largest balcony we were shocked at the tiny cabin. I think the Interior on the Royal Caribbean and Carnival are the same size. 4. My husband remarked after we were on the ship four hours, "Everything is so cramped". 5. The food was unremarkable, not bad but not exceptional as we thought three years ago. We could see the cuts made by Princess during those three years. 6. We told Princess that we would not travel with them again because we were horrified by the lack of hygiene by passengers in the food areas and the failure of Princess to direct passengers to wash hands as I've seen on my previous twenty cruises in the last six years. This newer ship had lovely handwashing alcoves before each entrance to the Buffet. No crew member directed anyone to them. I asked a crewmember in the Buffet why and he responded that passengers had complained that they were being told to wash their hands. So they were told not to do so. I saw at most ten people using them in our ten days on the ship. As we entered the Buffet there was no crew member placing a dab of Purell in anyone's hands. When I asked another crew member she also responded that they were told not to do so nor to direct passengers to Purell stands beside the plates and bowls. I saw less people using these than the handwashing alcoves. In the Dining Room, elevators and Buffet I saw passengers sneezing without covering their faces with anything. On the ninth day of the cruise in the Buffet a woman reached around me as I was using the tongs to remove some food and grabbed food directly from the buffet tray. I said, "What are you doing" and she responded, 'Huh". The lack of hygiene was appalling. By the sixth day I was hearing passengers saying in elevators and beside us in the Buffet and Dining Room that people were getting sick. Surprise! We will never cruise on Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Party of four left on 19 December for 7 day cruise aroiund Arabian Cost, visiting Dubai, Qatar, Abu Dhadi, Oman. This sis a noisy boneshaker of a ship. We had to change cabins as the engine noise kept us awake all night, the heavy ... Read More
Party of four left on 19 December for 7 day cruise aroiund Arabian Cost, visiting Dubai, Qatar, Abu Dhadi, Oman. This sis a noisy boneshaker of a ship. We had to change cabins as the engine noise kept us awake all night, the heavy vibrations didnt help either. bWe finished up in a small cabin down in the bilges, but at least it was quiet. Meals in the Meridian Restaurant were small portions, and not very good. One meal my Beef Wellington was red raw and my wife's was overcooked. Most evenings we had our meal then went to the buffet restaurant for a top up. Itinery for Xmas Day was changed and we visited a Village with no shops, no beach, no places to visit. We all immediately returned on the bus to the ship. Xmas day entertrainment was a silly sketch related stint lasting about 30 minutes. Xmas dinner was no different to any other night. The day befor our return we started to get sore throats and chests. All four of us have had to have medical treatment and have been really poorly for over a week. A lot of passengers were feeling the same. This ship needs retiring, it is years past its best. Will never use Thomson againb. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We are 2 women. I am in my late fifties, my travelling companion in her seventies. Originally my parents (also in their seventies) were to join us for the cruise in the adjacent mini-suite, but had to cancel at the last minute due to an ... Read More
We are 2 women. I am in my late fifties, my travelling companion in her seventies. Originally my parents (also in their seventies) were to join us for the cruise in the adjacent mini-suite, but had to cancel at the last minute due to an urgent health issue. This has no bearing on my review of this particular cruise. My companion had never cruised or left Australia before. I am an experienced traveller, often solo. This was my first ocean cruise. Previously I have cruised for up to 14 days on a small ship expedition off Kimberley WA coast and a river cruise in Russia. We are both of average fitness with no mobility problems. We chose the New Zealand itinerary over Christmas for the ports and shore excursions available around New Zealand sailing out of Sydney Harbour and the personal recommendation of at least 6 people regarding Princess Cruises. We used the Princess Sydney Airport shuttle bus both ways. Both the embarkation and disembarkation process and passenger experience was severley compromised by poor communication, lackadaisical service and in fact misinformation on the part of Princess staff/contractors on the ground and on board ship. We had been upgraded to Club Class - thank you - but were not informed of this until we had been standing in various queues for more than 3 hours at the Sydney terminal. There was nothing on the Cruise Personaliser and we or our travel agent were not informed. We were told to get into one queue and then another and then we were appartently in the wrong queue. Honestly this mob could not run a chook raffle. We were even told at one point that they had run out of trolleys - "go and look after your own bags" - after being told by another Princess staffer that they would be looked after between getting on the bus and cabin. Then after considerable panic, some nice young man turned up with more trolleys. The beginning of the cruise was marred considerably as it took my companion the first 3 days to get over it! Disembarkation was just as disorganised. We had done everything we had been told - as always - to the letter. We were called "light blue 6" so we made our way to where we were told only to be told by Security to "wait until you are called" We said "We have been called". We made our way down to the luggage and mine went missing for more than an hour. Another woman and I were both given "lost luggage vouchers" before some sheepish young bloke turned up with my bag. As far as i know, the other woman is still waiting. Cabin (mini-suite) OK, maitenance very poor. Shower/bath outlet blocked so showering in ankle deep water that took up to 20 minutes to drain (after 2 minute shower) - plumber materialised 48 hours after complaint - apparently no one had noticed prior to this. Speaking to other women on cruise - this is the first thing that they check - they clean their own outlet pipe of hair and other debris left by previous occupants! Yuck!!!!! Toilet broke while room steward on time off (Day 5 Auckland). Bowl overflowing and down back wall. Managed to stop before the dirty deluge reached the carpet, after wading in - not happy. Paged steward - no answer - pager clearly not put through to anyone else. Contacted Passenger Services and demanded help - not taken seriously. Plumber took 3.5 hours to arrive. Strange little man came to mop up water - did not clean bowl. Eventually saw supervisor 3 days later, who called me a liar - not a high point Princess! Complimentary bottle of cheap wine not really appreciated after that experience! Food repitive, average, sometimes poor - inedible - even CS Share. Room service - most times something - like milk - left off tray. Entertainment disappointing. High point of trip - the marvelous Ana (Club Class dining room hostess). Perhaps Princess need to make her a trainer in customer service and common sense! On-shore excursions generally as expected although expensive for what is provided. Akaroa - Southern Alps including train to Arthur's Pass. As with all the excursions considerably overpriced. I might be nice to at least get a biscuit to go with the cold weak coffee. Disappointing when driver left an elderly couple behind with their bags and coats still on bus after 5 minute photo stop. They could both be clearly seen by all of the other 20 passengers on this particular bus hurrying back to whithin 2 metres of the bus front door! Driver told repeatedly, but they were left to catch up at next stop an hour or so later on another bus - not good enough! Driver's name - Gary. He was clearly seen being interviewed for the "Reflections" DVD for this cruise. In Dunedin after city tour, bemused when "complimentary shuttle bus back to ship" costs $10 NZ one way! Bemused when on boarding found "gift for you" card for prepaid internet access. Apparently they were the "only cards that we had printed". People who had prepaid drinks packages had to ask for refunds as it was cheaper to arrange on board. Far too often there were language problems including incorrect drinks orders - or perhaps just convenient excuse for appalling service. Most of captain's and other announcements not audible from inside room. Some were - why not all? Told by steward to "open the door". If it is important enough to make an anouncement about then it needs to be heard throughout the ship. Sometimes by the time I realised that there was an announcement going on and got to the other end of the long skinny mini-suite to open the door - the announcement was over! The biggest bugbear was the door to our cabin / mini-suite. One or both of our cruise cards needed to be reactivated no less than seventeen (yes 17) times for the 14 days or our cruise to operate the door. Strangely the magnetic strip worked just fine for everything else - only the door was a problem! Just as well as my companion used hers to spend an awful lot of money in the ship's retail precinct. That was the only time except overnight on the bedside table away from lights etc. that she removed the lanyard from around her neck - as for both of us. She doesn't actually carry a phone and her bag did NOT have a magnet! It got to the stage that my companion would not leave the room without me for fear of not being able to get back in. We made contingency plans so that we did not miss various bookings because we couldn't get timely entrance to our room. Each foray into the queue at Passenger Services took from 5 - 30 minutes. Yes - I timed it! Yes, I, in particular do understand the concept of magnets, phones etc. as I hold post-graduate university qualifcations in medical physics. Other passengers also had problems with their doors and batteries etc were replaced - particularly if at least one of the passsengers was male! I have never had this problem before and no - I do not believe that this was our fault. Twice we were told that this would be checked out - it was not and of course on the last morning of the cruise my companion's card ceased to work yet again - right on queue! It was particularly disheartening to see our cabin steward and one of his nasty little mates appearing to have a good laugh at my elderly companion attempting to gain entrance to her own room and failing. It may be fine in some cultures to treat middle-aged and elderly wormen as invisible - not in mine. Please remember that it is my generation and older particularly in Australia and like countries who DO have the disposable income along with the opportunity, health and fitness in retirement to use it; but we are choosey where we spend it - and we are becoming silent no more regarding poor service and downright rudeness. "Princess Cruises - Come back New"...................... Princess Cruises - Come back broke and disappointed! Princess Cruises - don't come back at all! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Ship tired rusty dirty carpets and old fashioned in the public areas. The cabins were clean comfy beds and clean linen and towels cabin staff excellent. Bar staff over worked tiered and stretched. Main Dinning room staff ... Read More
Ship tired rusty dirty carpets and old fashioned in the public areas. The cabins were clean comfy beds and clean linen and towels cabin staff excellent. Bar staff over worked tiered and stretched. Main Dinning room staff overworked hence sloppy our table of 8 never got our food together on any courses and 7/10 in was warm to cold! The food was very good when we got it hot we felt sorry for the chefs all there effort ruoined by waiters not getting the food out quick. Also the wine waiters were very slow in the main dinning room. Ship Didn't feel Christmassy only one xmas tree! More effort was made for new year but the music in the main centrum was disastrous slow and boring. Properly our fault for choosing a cruise in the school holidays but was very surprised to find so many un accompanied children approx 8 years upwards charging around playing in the lefts pushing past elderly people being very load and hogging the hot tubs! Cannot understand why the UNDER 18 curfew is 1am yes 1 am! Every day. And New Year's Eve 12 to 17 years olds till 2am! Hence there was sick in the corridors! Many we saw drinking alcohol from the free champagne on New Year's Eve. Lastly royal Caribbean managed to leave 4 of our party of 8 stranded at Miami airport after they cancelled our flights home! Still waiting for an explanation and apologee as there 4 reps in the airport were not willing to assist us - we had to sort out our own flights home and hopefully we can reclaim the fee £1500 per seat back! So cruisers beware. We will never use this company again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We chose to do this cruise as it encompassed both Christmas (which also happens to be my son's birthday) and New Year's Eve--many other cruise options offered just one or the other. For such a big ship, I was surprised to have ... Read More
We chose to do this cruise as it encompassed both Christmas (which also happens to be my son's birthday) and New Year's Eve--many other cruise options offered just one or the other. For such a big ship, I was surprised to have to go looking for food when I felt hungry. I am an experienced cruiser, and couldn't believe that buffets and snack-style restaurants had very short hours throughout the ship on a daily basis. That being said, we went through a few things that we'd never experienced on a cruise and couldn't believe they happened to us: 1) On my son's birthday, December 25th, we visited the Central Park 101 restaurant to celebrate. The staff assured me that the table would be decorated, etc. While we were seated promptly, none of the promises were fulfilled. No decorations, and very poor service--as a matter of fact we even had to ask multiple times for the bread. This was also the day after we went to the Chops restaurant which was amazing and had set the bar very high. Being that we had such a positive experience the day before in Chops which has the same price tag as Central Park 101, we complained about the subpar service and the forgotten decorations. The manager was extremely rude and told us that we should just go back to Chops if we liked it better there the night before. After hearing how rude he was being, my son who never complains at restaurants spoke up and let the manager know that this was no way to be treating customers, specially on a holiday like Christmas! 2) Upon re-embarking the ship at port on the following day, the card scanner started going crazy when my son handed the security guard his card with the screen reading "security alert". Security made a huge fuss out of this and said that my son had to go to emergency services immediately yet didn't want to tell us what the issue was. Being that my son had just turned 23 and that I paid for the cruise, I wanted to know what was going on, so I went to guest services with him. I was worried that he wasn't telling me something because I never had to deal with something like this. Long story short, after treating us like criminals and putting us into a room in which they alerted us that they would be recording us with both "audio and video" (!), it turned out that on the first night of the cruise, my son got flagged in the system for "providing alcohol to minors". He recalled the event, and it was the first night at the Sushi restaurant when he gave his younger (18) sister a sip of his drink so she could try it. Having done a Costa cruise in Europe prior to this one, he actually thought the drinking age was 18+, and when the hostess went up to him to alert him that it was actually 21+ on the ship, he apologized and never gave my daughter a sip again. Apparently the misunderstanding wasn't resolved because they put us through hell for something unbelievably innocent. In the end they realized how ridiculous it was and even sent us a bottle of champagne to our room for blowing the situation out of proportion. What a stressful situation for no reason at all... Ridiculous. 3) New Year's Eve... We have done New Year's Eve on other ships before and had an amazing time. Expected nothing less on such a beautiful ship as the Allure. First, our cabin steward threw away a shopping bag containing various New Years hats, masquerade masks, noise makers, etc. that had already made it through the first 8 nights of our cruise thinking that it was trash. I don't know how you can possibly think all of that is trash when it is quite obvious what it is for. Additionally, the celebration party was subpar. Balloons were dropped from the ceiling to little fanfare, and made for a truly lackluster experience. 4) We asked for breakfast room service 6 times, via hanging the request card on our door before the cut-off time. It was only delivered once. Unbelievable. 5) While there were a few nice employees on the ship, it's noteworthy to mention that many were noticeably in a bad mood, which is very atypical of ship crew that are normally very nice to guests. I don't know if this was the end of a lot of crew's contracts or if management was mistreating them but something was definitely off. The ports of call were great, and the ship itself was very nice. However, on our overall experience we were truly let down as experienced cruisers. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
To enjoy a special Christmas and New Years holiday vacation in which I treated my sons and their wives (40 ish adults) I booked this cruise expecting an enjoyable 10 days. I Have been on over 40 cruises to date and previous ones without ... Read More
To enjoy a special Christmas and New Years holiday vacation in which I treated my sons and their wives (40 ish adults) I booked this cruise expecting an enjoyable 10 days. I Have been on over 40 cruises to date and previous ones without the whole family that were outstandingly good, this one was a sad disappointment in so many ways, outstandingly bad. TERRIBLE - food, service, attitude. VERY, VERY short buffet hours yet, 20 minutes before afternoon closing buffet ran out of french fries and hot dogs, and the cook REFUSED TO COOK ANY MORE THAT DAY! At three different meals in the buffet, diet Coke was unavailable because they were out of syrup or was not mixing right, the other fountain in the buffet also was not able to provide diet coke either, no one seemed to be concerned about getting machine fixed. - - We were charged for drinks that were supposed to be included as one of our DIAMOND STATUS drinks between 5pm and 830pm, had to go to the service desk twice to get account corrected. - - In one of the ports, St Martins I believe, the ship blew away from the dock during boarding, fortunately no one was injured but it took 20-30 minutes to get the ship tied up properly and the gangways functional again. - - the bottom of the pool is in absolutely terrible condition, mirrors in the cabin bathrooms are black along the bottoms and sides because of damage or age, wiring on deck five atrium speaker was haphazardly attached to glass and mirrors for 3-4 feet with pieces of black electrical tape - - The dancers in the production shows were good, but the singers and the song selections were poor. - - The orchestra was performing well but sounded poor because the sound-man/sound mixer person hasn't a clue or has a tin ear (get him some training or get someone else) - - the pool attendants were not enforcing the time limit rule on unattended deck chairs, so it was impossible to get one for ourselves - - the teenagers on board were not made to follow the curfew and were out running around all hours disturbing others - - these are the major issues I can recall, but it appears to me it is a top down problem on this ship, or maybe corporate down problem. I do not plan, even though I have diamond status and get some good perks, to ever cruise on Royal Carib. again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This was our first ever cruise with any company and it has put me off any future sailing with RC. I went on board with an open mind after reading many poor reviews about this ship. Unfortunately, most negatives were confirmed. Too ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise with any company and it has put me off any future sailing with RC. I went on board with an open mind after reading many poor reviews about this ship. Unfortunately, most negatives were confirmed. Too crowded. Too long to wait for any activities if they were not already booked out. Very short times on activities due to the number of guests they are trying to accomodate. (1 hr wait per activity the norm) Think your getting something special with the drinks package including premium coffee but there are so few places to get a decent coffee expect a 30-40 min wait at peak times. No real dramas with other beverage availability but some venues need more bar staff to reduce wait times. Food quality was quite inconsistent. Some was good and some was poor. Most was pub grub at best. Even in the 'extra fee' restaurants we were disappointed. Felt like RC is out to bleed your wallet at every opportunity. We had a travelling companion that needed some antibiotics from the medical centre. A consultation and a few pills later... a bill for $400 US? Trying to get off for the day at a port, now that's an experience. Expect delays after delays and total chaos trying to get 5000 people through one gangway and everyone wanting to be the first ashore. Ovation gangway rage was brewing. Trying to get a decent seat near a pool... Set your alarm for 6 am. Want a decent seat at a show you've booked.... Get there an hour early or you'll end up trying to look around a 400mm column in the Royal Theatre or be stuck up the back of Two70 with a huge designer lamp blocking your view to the upper level stages. Forget about seeing the performers on the lower stages unless your in the front 2 rows. The robot bar is the ultimate gimmick. It doesn't create drinks anywhere near the standard of a decent bartender and spills 15% of your selection trying to get it in the plastic cup. Most times I walked past, it was being re-stocked or had broken down. And the one that most people don't expect... This ship looks like a tsunami couldn't influence it's bulk. Wrong! Ovation is quite influenced by a swell as low as 3-4 metres. It's just too damn top heavy so be prepared for some extra rock 'n roll. With the huge amount of guests on board and the chaos we experienced in calm controlled conditions, one might question their ability to efficiently handle an emergency situation. On the positive side, If you do get a decent seat for any entertainment you should enjoy the talented performers. The band 'Rock The Boat' is one of the tightest and most talented covers bands you'll find anywhere. The Dream and Legs were also great. Pixels... well, got a crap seat so couldn't see much of that. Most of the staff are very friendly and efficient and will bend over backwards to try and please you. The accomodation is spacious, modern and comfortable but any announcements can't be heard inside the well insulated cabins. Dumb! Dumb! Dumb! Should be a speaker and volume control or TV override so you don't have open your cabin door to hear any announcements. Most people I spoke to on the ship about their experience had similar opinions to us and most said they won't sail again on Ovation. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
First I'd like to state that we are Diamond Plus member and this was our 4th sailing on the Freedom of the Seas. We were very disappointed and a very big let down by royal Caribbean cruise line. We have always loved the Freedom and ... Read More
First I'd like to state that we are Diamond Plus member and this was our 4th sailing on the Freedom of the Seas. We were very disappointed and a very big let down by royal Caribbean cruise line. We have always loved the Freedom and have always had great food, great entertainment and great service. This was a New Years sailing and I expected Royal to go above and beyond on this Holiday sailing but they went down and below. We were on the President's cruise on the Allure in September and it was magnificent and we were expecting the same on the Freedom. This was the worst cruise that I have sailed with Royal. The food in the windjammer was repetitive, tasteless and lacking choices. The menu in the dining room was not desirable. Thanks to Kemesh the dining room manager, we were able to get special meals on 3 nights. Giovanni and Sabor were very good, but you shouldn't have to eat in the specialty restaurants to get good food. The headliner show was great. Same theatrically shows that have been on the Freedom for years, didn't bother to see them. Magician was good and a special show with a singer was also good. The Cruise staff was lazy and the Cruise director was barely seen. Activities were boring and never started on time. The piano man was great, he had a big crowd every night. Dj's were horrible and since they turned the night club into Sabor, there is little space up in the crown for dancing. Most of the exercise equipment in the gym needs repair or replacement. The ship is aging and needs to go to dry dock. We will not sail on the Freedom again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Departing from Baltimore was excellent! We anticipated a wonderful, joyful Christmas cruise. In actuality, the decorations and activities were minimal and low budget. The entertainment was generally passable, but it was nothing special. ... Read More
Departing from Baltimore was excellent! We anticipated a wonderful, joyful Christmas cruise. In actuality, the decorations and activities were minimal and low budget. The entertainment was generally passable, but it was nothing special. Not enough activities for children/teens. Overall the ship experience was disappointing. The islands and excursions were generally good. We loved exploring the islands, and meeting locals who were all very friendly. The Royal Caribbean staff was courteous and generally seemed to care about doing a good job; particularly the dining staff. Unfortunately, we cannot recommend this ship because of poor maintenance, lack of activities, and overall pushiness of crew members trying to sell us dinners, art, spa treatments, etc. There was a sewage leak on our deck early in the trip and as a result, the entire deck smelled like sewage for the rest of the 7 days. Overall, we enjoyed being together on a cruise with our family, but Grandeur of the Seas is not up to par. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
I was on the Christmas 2017 Allure of the Seas cruise. My wife and I had a balcony room. We have done about a dozen cruises, the last several on Royal Caribbean. As a matter of fact, this was our second time on Allure. There were a few ... Read More
I was on the Christmas 2017 Allure of the Seas cruise. My wife and I had a balcony room. We have done about a dozen cruises, the last several on Royal Caribbean. As a matter of fact, this was our second time on Allure. There were a few good things about the cruise. But, there were several things I really found disappointing. The Positive 1. The room was nice – it’s always nice to have, at least, a balcony. We stayed in 12250. 2. Southside, the group playing a lot in Dazzle, was fantastic. We danced to them almost every night. We used to teach ballroom dancing so a great dance band is a must. 3. Ate at two different specialty restaurants – Japanese and Mexican. Both were great. 4. The show at the Aqua Theater was awesome. The performance of Mama Mia was first class. The Monopoly ice show was pretty good – except for the obvious commercials for the different venues on the ship. The Negative 1. Excursions. We wanted a catamaran ride to a snorkeling spot on St Thomas. We went to the Excursions desk and told the guy there what we were looking for – a boat with netting we could lay on while sailing, only about a dozen or so people on the boat. We showed him the excursion we thought would fit. He upsold us to a more expensive one. He told us the “fastcat” was exactly what we wanted AND it included a stop at a private beach and lunch. NOT! The boat was more a cattle car than a catamaran. There must have been 100 people on the boat. We had to walk through over 4 ft deep water (over sharp rocks) to get to the private beach – several people fell in the water because the rocks were so sharp. And, no, we couldn’t swim to the beach – we were holding towels and such over our heads. Then, if we wanted lunch, we had to buy it! This was the worst excursion I have ever had. Avoid the “fastcat” excursion in St Thomas. 2. Tips. Paying tips up front with a pre-designated price is a TERRIBLE idea. It was obvious that no one on the ship was motivated to go the extra mile to try for a better tip at the end of the week. They really need to go back to the envelope system where you determine the tip at the end of the cruise. I saw lazy service in our room, in Silk (where we ate every night), at the clubs, and around the pools. 3. Soft Drink Package. I bought this on my last cruise and it went great. This time, not so much. Using the little sticker on your card to get a soft drink in the clubs or the shows marked you as a second-class citizen. Several people would order soft drinks around me. Everyone would get a can of soda with a glass of ice. I got some sort of nasty tasting fountain drink. The first night, in Boleros, my wife ordered a glass of water and I ordered a diet coke. The water was free UNTIL the waiter saw the sticker on my card for pre-paid soda. Then, he tried to charge my wife for her water. 4. Cleanliness. The boat looked like it was maintained by slobs. In the Windjammer, there were times that a table would stay dirty for 5 or 10 minutes before cleaned. The bathroom in our room constantly smelled like an old bathroom in a rundown gas station. 5. Dining. I am used to having things move along at dinner – you finish one course and the next is right there. We always do early seating. This cruise we were in Silk. At our table, the service was so slow, I felt like ordering out between courses. There were times our plates sat for over 10 minutes between courses. Half way through the week they gave us new wait staff. Not much better. 6. Room Service 1. When did they start charging for room service? It used to be free. But, all you could get for free now was the continental breakfast. Everything else costs almost $8.00. It is starting to feel like they are nickel and diming us. 7. Room Service 2. We had a door hanger to fill out for room service. After the third day, the floor supervisor came to see us to tell us we needed to use the TV order system instead of the paper they provided. He was rude and condescending. But, we tried the TV system and it was terrible. You could not specify the quantity of items you wanted and there were real long menus to go through to get to the items you wanted. We have become loyal to Royal Caribbean up to this cruise. Now, we are seriously thinking about a different line next time. Bottom line, I expect to be WOWed on a cruise. This time, it was just a yawn. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Traveled to the Bahamas (Nassau and RC's Coco Cay) on Royal Caribbeans Majesty of the Seas from Port Canaveral Florida. December 29 to January 2 my wife and I brought in the new year of 2018. Weather for entire trip was fantastic. ... Read More
Traveled to the Bahamas (Nassau and RC's Coco Cay) on Royal Caribbeans Majesty of the Seas from Port Canaveral Florida. December 29 to January 2 my wife and I brought in the new year of 2018. Weather for entire trip was fantastic. Ocean conditions for entire trip were fantastic. These are a few of my reviews of the ship, trip, experience. Stateroom was ok but the bathroom was all rusty and in poor shape. Ship onboard WiFi is a joke, don't bother spending the money if you plan to do anything more than checking email. Dinning/food options were very limited, my wife and I have plant based diets. Coco Cay was very disappointing, overcharging for every conceivable need on the cay. Most passengers that debarked early were back on ship within 3 hours of arriving. Debarkation for our Nassau port of call was extremely unorganized and very stressful for all passengers that I talked to. No noticeable issues or events with regards to security. We both felt very safe on the island and had a great time with the locals and our taxi driver who took us all over the island. Our overall experience could have been so much better if they had better food options. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017

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