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175 Holiday Cruise Reviews

We returned from our Christmas Holiday cruise on the Summit. This was our family's first time on a Celebrity ship so I can't speak for other Celebrity Ships but the Summit was not impressive. We had two cabins and one of them ... Read More
We returned from our Christmas Holiday cruise on the Summit. This was our family's first time on a Celebrity ship so I can't speak for other Celebrity Ships but the Summit was not impressive. We had two cabins and one of them smelled of mildew the entire week despite a complaint to our cabin stewart who loved to hang out in the hallway outside our room to chat with guests and other staff, but not actually get much done in the way of cleaning or providing towels. Usually, one of our rooms were missing some bath or face towels on any given day. But I wouldn't let the towels or the smell get me down if it weren't for the food. The quality and variety of food choices for breakfast and lunch were poor. If you didn't love powdered eggs and greasy sausage or bacon, you had better get up early because the full breakfast ended way before most passengers arrived in the buffet line! The staff running the buffet line always looked confused when you asked them a question, I think they were all new to their jobs. Lunch was slightly better than breakfast but not by much. While the food looked fresh, it was rarely varied-there was the pizza station, poor quality cold cuts, the salad station and stir fry spot as the main anchors to a few hot items and cold salads. There was little to get excited about or look forward to. Dinner was only a small step up from breakfast and lunch since our waiter was excellent and tried to his best to make dinner an enjoyable meal despite the kitchen's many shortcomings. Lobster night featured overcooked lobster tails that were burnt to a crisp. If you did find something to enjoy at the dining room, don't try to find it the next night because they would not ever find you something off the menu from the previous evening. It was to the point that our family looked forward to getting off the ship so we could get an interesting meal. We attended a cook off event on the ship where the head chef was asked about bringing some local flavors into the menu. He answered in his french accent that he would never try to bring the flavors of the ports we visited into his menu, that he never varied his menu to reflect the areas that the ship visited. He seemed proud of this accomplishment, although I'm not sure why since other lines we experienced had done exactly that and it made the meals that much more exciting. The ports on this ship is what made this cruise fun for our family-Dominica was beyond our expectations in both beauty and the friendliness of its guides. We hiked in the rain forest and found the trip exciting! Grenada has beautiful beaches and wonderful spices, although there are many aggressive vendors on the beaches trying to braid our hair or sell us something. On St. Kitts we took the ship's catamaran and snorkel trip and it was one of the highlights of our week. The crew were exceptionally personable and helpful, and the sailboat was stunning. All in all, we had a relaxing vacation but it could have been so much better if the Summit were as good as promised. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
For Christmas my family and I decided to take a 7 day cruise...I was the only first time cruiser in the group. My parents cruise at least 2 times a year. This however was their, and obviously my, first time experiencing NCL and NCL Epic. I ... Read More
For Christmas my family and I decided to take a 7 day cruise...I was the only first time cruiser in the group. My parents cruise at least 2 times a year. This however was their, and obviously my, first time experiencing NCL and NCL Epic. I had spent a month prior to our trip getting acquainted with the layout of the ship, reading reviews and Q&A from prior cruisers. Embarkation day: we fly to Miami, grab a cab and head for the ship. At the port, we are met by a guy that obviously is in partnership with the cab driver...he starts unloading our luggage and will not allow us to touch/handle our luggage and then demands a tip. Of course we tip him b/c he now has our luggage hostage...I tried to grab a piece of my luggage and the cab driver literally slapped my hand and said "NO". (I had read the day b4 we left home a cruiser's review on NCL FB page from a earlier cruise commenting on the same issue.) Check-In: went somewhat smooth. From my perspective once we got on the ship it was like being herded by people that don't know how to herd cattle, mass chaos, definitely short on staff and/or a lack of NCL/NCL Epic knowledge of processes, packages (e.g. beverage, etc.) in the customer service arena. The left hand did not know what the right hand was doing or suppose to do. We attended the Mandatory Safety meeting, the presenters, staff, were very unprofessional, unfriendly and unkept. Alarming to me! As the cruise progressed, the staff never went beyond the call of duty, they were cordial but not nearly what I would expect. (I have gotten better customer service at a Motel 6...and cleaner amenities.) Cleanliness: (I have pics to prove) There was mold growing in the corners in the hallways, the air filter in our stateroom was disgusting, the light switches were filty, long dark hairs on the balcony floors, walls, inside the rooms (my family...we are all blondes.). I could see long hairs hanging off chairs at the Garden Cafe. The utensils, etc at the Garden Cafe by the 4th day on the ship were less and less clean. Room service trays/dishes would pile up in the hallways throughout the day causing the stinch in the hallways to become overwhelming. The smoke smell from the Casino was in the Epic Theatre, in the staterooms. Not to mention at nights, the passengers were forced to go through the casino to get to the lower floors because the stairways/elevators were closed to the 6th and 5th floor so you had to take the escalator located in the casino area...most of the entertainment venues were on 6th floor and the atrium was on the 5th floor. No passenger should be forced to go through the smoking area! Which leads me into design: Design: Whoever designed the staterooms on the Epic and the keycard to have lights in the stateroom really should find a new profession. I would like to think most passengers are not exhibitionists even with their immediate family. The shower, toilet set up behind a curtain at the door entering the stateroom, who thought this up. The pull out bed was the couch that literally was smaller than a twin, curved and hard as a rock. In our room the couch/BED was situated beside the toilet so whoever slept there at nights had their head by the toilet. The keycard for lights how inconvenient! I would say there was a ton of closet space and I was amazed at how sound proof our stateroom was! Adult Only activity: Did it really exist? Clearly adult activities during the day that should have been in the adult only pool area were held at the kids pool area e.g. dance off competition with old drunk men in speedos lap grinding on old drunk women's laps...seriously in the kids pool area? I think "adult only" activities need to be revisited and redesigned! Not all adults want to spend time around children and there are activities that should be "adult only"! Very disappointed in the entertainment for adults! Even at night I attended events such as "dueling pianos" loaded with kids. It really would have been more appealing to an adult without kids to have entertainment such as dueling pianos for adults only. Food/Dining Service: The food was not great but it wasn't bad. There was just nothing special about it! I will say this, my father loves apple pie.. It was on the dessert menu for Manhattan and Taste. My dad ordered it for dessert the first night at Manhattan. When it came out it had not been warmed, looked like store bought yucky apple pie. I didn't think he would order it again but he did a couple nights later at Taste. He specifically asked the waiter for the Apple Pie and to have it warmed. When the waiter brought it out I saw it from the doors of the kitchen that it wasn't warm. I said dad it isn't warm and yep it wasn't warm. Seriously!?!?!? Our server the last evening in Taste was horrible. I would think it would be crucial to provide exceptional customer service through out for the passengers but critically the first night and the last night. The first night to make a great impression and to put your passengers in a great frame of mind and the last b/c the passengers are tired, ending their vacation AND it will be the most vivid of experiences that will stand out in their minds post cruise. When we would dock at the ports, the NCL crew put on a show at each port but it was a bit misleading to those that were getting off the other ships. It appeared that the NCL Epic was a happy, fun ship when in reality that was the most excitement out of the crew. It definitely wasn't like that onboard the ship. I'm sure the staff is tired, I don't personally know how they do it BUT that is a NCL issue...they are understaffed, the staff for the most part is not qualified in knowledge of NCL and NCL Epic processes, amenities, procedures and for the most part Customer Service. Communication on the ship: I thought communication while onboard was lacking, although there was stuff going on all the time, it was poorly communicated through out the ship, poorly planned. The amenities that the shipped appeared to emphasize was the spa and fitness facility or any "event" e.g. art auction, etc that generated additional revenue. There were large screens (TV) in the Atrium and the Adult pool, each one should have been playing movies during the day especially the days we were out to sea all day. One night at 5pm Cher's final tour was shown on the screen in Spice H2O adult pool area. Overall: I found it to be a poorly organized and run ship! We were told by other passengers that the other NCL ships are better but I'm not sure that I want to spend the money to find out. It was an expensive trip for the experience(s). My parents typically travel on Royal Caribbean and have traveled on Holland. They said out of the 3 cruise lines so far Royal Caribbean is by far the best. From people we talked to while on shore Celebrity looks and sounds like it would be worth a try. Highly doubt that I will ever give NCL a try again and I will make sure my friends don't. Excursions and Ports: Loved St. Maarten! We participated in the Beach Buggy excursion, we all had a blast! I have never laughed and giggled so much not to mention the views! I highly recommend this excursion!!!! St. Thomas was breath-taking. We participated in "The Cat" Catarmaran Turtle Swim. It was fun and we did see turtles. Nassua, Bahamas wasn't my favorite BUT I didn't think when booking the excursion about Atlantis being in Nassua. We walked into town which was dirty and the locals were coming at us from every direction. I was propositioned for drugs and my mom was propositioned for sex. I will say by the time we got to Nassua I'm not sure that Atlantis would have been appealing because there again it was focused on child entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
My husband and I had a dream Cruise in June 2012 on MSC Divina! Just amazing! For Christmas holidays we decided on a Family holiday, it could be the last as our children are now 20 and 18. We chose Royal Caribbean Rhapsody of the Seas, a ... Read More
My husband and I had a dream Cruise in June 2012 on MSC Divina! Just amazing! For Christmas holidays we decided on a Family holiday, it could be the last as our children are now 20 and 18. We chose Royal Caribbean Rhapsody of the Seas, a 10 night (5 stop) cruise from Sydney back to Sydney. Never Again! We chose this Ship as we were led to believe that it had had a major refurb ?May 2012. Some of the Public areas had been freshened up but the cabins were VERY tired! We had a Cabin with a Balcony on level 7. It really needed a freshen up! There were patches on the ceiling where the paint had peeled off! We were shocked to hear that other levels below didn't have a fridge in their rooms and had to use ice buckets! Sadly due to Cyclone Freda our Itinerary had to change so we only had 4 stops and an extra day at sea! Missed Noumea altogether! The meals were disappointing in the main restaurant. Several were inedible! Meals in the speciality restaurants were fantastic (but you pay extra for this!) Drinks are all extra, apart from cordial type drinks and normal tea or coffee. Excursions are expensive and short! My highlight was dinner at Chefs Table! A fantastic evening of delicious food! Wine matched and 5 courses plus Champagne to start. New Year's Eve was well done and the tables in the main restaurant were nicely decorated and party hats provided. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
I booked our cruise on line and had no trouble what so ever. Used an internet site. The staff were exceptionally helpful. However we were not informed about the drop off luggage area. Consequently we booked a motel room for the morning ... Read More
I booked our cruise on line and had no trouble what so ever. Used an internet site. The staff were exceptionally helpful. However we were not informed about the drop off luggage area. Consequently we booked a motel room for the morning as our flight from Perth had left at midnight & we arrived in Sydney at 6.00am for a boarding at 1.30pm Not wanting to carry our luggage around Sydney we thought this was best. The motel was a flop also we could not get in. We woke the receptionist up who informed us in (Chinese) room not available until 10.00am Despite being told it was serviced 24/7. After discovering we could drop our luggage off - we did so. We proceeded to board & was pleasantly surprised to be able to board earlier given our obvious look of tiredness. The room was a little small- had to climb over the end of the bed to get to any other area of the room. The bed was veryyyy uncomfortable gave me a back ache every night. Bathroom was adequate, having cruised before it was better than was expected. Lucky I took my own shampoo & conditioner, as I could not work out the wall mounted system. Meals on board were very average, dinned in the buffet room nearly every meal. This was disappointing that it closed at 9.00pm In the main dinning room the waiter was very helpful, however when you have allergies to food and have to pre-order the night before it becomes quite daunting. We booked an early seating for 6.00pm and was approved this however our sea-pass stated 8.00pm Entertainment was very average, the comedian was boring and a lot of people left during his show. Excursions were very much over priced we took the train ride, beautiful scenery however lunch was disappointing. A salad & beef roll. Coffee /Wine. Cost of this trip $200.00 pp. The on board staff we did not think were very helpful or polite. Cabin assistant was friendly & assisted with extra pillow when requested. Ordered a coffee to be delivered to room via room service was told 1 hour waiting period. (cancelled request) walked down stairs to have to buy one. later discovered that 2 mtrs away we got one for free. The trip through the sounds was very cold but pleasant. The crew sold windcheaters on the deck for all those unprepared guests. However this would have been better done the day before. A few guests were wrapped in towels to keep warm. However the final straw was when my husband came down with gastro/vomiting on the 9th day of our cruise. He got so ill from other complications that he spent the night in the on-board hospital. Although he did get very good treatment and we were disembarked at Tauranga to a waiting ambulance and transferred to hospital whereby he spent the next 12 days in Tauranga hospital( I was in a motel) before our flight home to Perth. As we were leaving the ship I was handed a letter which was the report to give to the awaiting hospital, also was the bill for 1 night $5692.00Aus Despite telling the doctor we would not be covered for insurance as what he had was pre-existing. ( Breathing complications) they didn't care. The bill was like a service report for a motor vehicle. Every item itemised. Royal Caribbean, have offered to pay for our flight home. I am still waiting for the refund. So how did we enjoy our xmas....In a hospital room. Would I cruise with Royal Caribbean again NO Would my parent who did the same cruise 1 week later NO Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
This old and tired ship is well past its sell-by date and unbelievably Saga are renaming it back to Pearl 2 which it was before it became Quest for Adventure. I booked the holiday as Saga usually have special events to introduce solo ... Read More
This old and tired ship is well past its sell-by date and unbelievably Saga are renaming it back to Pearl 2 which it was before it became Quest for Adventure. I booked the holiday as Saga usually have special events to introduce solo travellers - not this time sadly and it was the subject of many complaints. Having paid a great deal for an outside cabin, the window was caked with dried salt and never cleaned the whole cruise. This applied to large picture windows in the library area as well. That is normal routine cleaning on all ships but not this one. I found the amenities sadly lacking and the small swimming pool with rusty steps very uninviting. The main sunbathing deck was under the funnel which sometimes belched out filthy black smoke, depositing soot particles on the sunbed cushions below. Entertainment apparently had to be provided by the wonderful overworked crew and it was embarrassingly amateurish. Saga need to pay for real entertainers as there were only 2 singers and 2 pianists provided. The Discovery Lounge is not designed to watch shows as there is no raised stage or tiered seating. Views are also blocked by pillars. The cinema was a joke as the small screen could not show widescreen films and only basic seating provided. "Free" seating for dinner meant singles were put on whatever table had space and was not what I envisaged when booking as usually singles are put together. Food was mediocre and nothing like the quality enjoyed on most cruise ships these days. The fresh fruit at breakfast and lunch was cut into small pieces and both pineapple and banana were often brown and overripe. The casual "Verandah" dining area for lunch and breakfast was very badly arranged and involved a lot of walking from one corner to the other and then to the middle etc. Not diner friendly and it could have been much better set out. Shore excursions were quite expensive and,since there were no singles meetings, it was not possible to arrange our own tours which I had always done with my late husband. We had an expensive tour supposedly to see Bequia and Mustique by catamaran but this in no way accorded to the description given and the travel desk did not want to know about us on our return, telling us to write to head office. We had paid £99 for this trip that turned out to be 2 hours on a catamaran and being physically hauled ashore at Mustique as there was no gangway provided. Embarcation and disembarcation was very well organised at all times. The flight back with Monarch was dreadful and, looking at airline reviews,their reputation says it all. Saga need to change their charter airline. Obviously, I will not cruise with Saga again and have passed on my comments to their Head Office. I am still waiting for the results of their "investigation". Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
We were really excited to be taking the inaugural voyage of the Norwegian Breakaway from Southampton to New York this April but excitement led to let down as we boarded the ship and then throughout the voyage. 1st - the ship was clearly ... Read More
We were really excited to be taking the inaugural voyage of the Norwegian Breakaway from Southampton to New York this April but excitement led to let down as we boarded the ship and then throughout the voyage. 1st - the ship was clearly not ready for us. There was no program of the day's activities in the stateroom and the customer service desk said they had run out and no more would be printed. As a platinum Latitudes member I was entitled to a number of amenities but none were present in my cabin. After a complaint the amenities appeared the following evening. Another initial problem was an absence of the shipboard credit my travel agent had confirmed for us. It took 3 more days to get the credit that was confirmed in our reservations. As for the ship it was rather bland and boring. The food was the same. The pay restaurant Moderno was excellent however, as was the Blues club -we attended it every night and it turned out the be the highlight of our cruise. We highly recommend the band Slam Allen. The Cirque show was good as well, but Rock of Ages was horrible. We walked out after a tedious hour of amateurish singing and dancing. The pool area was totally inadequate. Set in the middle of the ship adjacent to a stage - speakers blasted either canned rock music or music from a live band. The sound was deafening and a total deterrent to using the pool. The children's pool and the water slide pool across the deck were unusable also as this was the area people landed from the huge water slide above. For a transatlantic cruise the pool was not really missed but it certainly would be on a Caribbean cruise. Another issue with this ship was a lack of quiet reading areas inside. There were almost no public lounges as pay restaurants had replaced these usual lounge areas. People congregated in the atrium mostly but it was extremely noisy. As for the cabins, we had both a balcony and an inside cabin and both were excellent. Top marks for good design and ergonomics. In conclusion I have to say we will not be cruising in this class of NCL ship again. Overall, it did not work for us. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
We had sailed on the Star in July, 2008, when the weather was totally sunny and the temperatures were in the 70's and 80's. This time we wanted to experience Alaska in more normal weather. While the weather this time was in ... Read More
We had sailed on the Star in July, 2008, when the weather was totally sunny and the temperatures were in the 70's and 80's. This time we wanted to experience Alaska in more normal weather. While the weather this time was in the 50s, we did have some sunny periods, and the visibility was always good. We arrived in Seattle on the Wednesday evening before our Saturday, May 11, sail. Spent two nights in at the Hampton Suites in Lynwood about 30 minutes north of the City. This proved to be an excellent location for visiting the Wineries and Indian resort casinos nearby. On Friday night we moved to the Homewood Suites on Pike, across from the Civic Center, and took in the Pike Street Market and our favorite restaurant, Elliotts Oyster Bar on Pier 53. Elliotts has the best in regional oysters, plus a great location on the waterfront. Took a cab to the new Princess north pier location; we arrived at the designated arrival time (a new Princess loading scheme), but had to wait an hour. The staff seemed to be disorganized first time experience in this our 5th Princess Cruise. Once on board, we were quickly impressed with the condition of the Star the same ship we had sailed on five years ago. The ship had the appearance of having recently been refurbished, although I dont think this was the case. Our favorite place to look out, the Sky Walker Lounge, was still in place, and had not been removed as it has been from the Stars sister ship, the Grand. Our cabin, C424, was great. The steward was very attentive and efficient, and the cruise so lacked any rocking, etc. that we thought we were on a lake rather than out on the Pacific for the first two days. The glacier state park at Juneau was beautiful to see, and we also were able to observe two bear cubs in a tree, as well as several mountain goats. At Skagway, we rented a car and drove one hour north to the Yukon Territory, and had lunch at the only restaurant just north of Carcross. Enjoyed spectacular scenery this is an option to the train at Skagway that I highly recommend. Cruising in the Glacier Bay National Park was the highlight of the trip! Ketchikan was good for shopping, while most of the shops in Victoria were closed when we arrived. Service on board the Star was uniformly excellent. The jazz performances were very good. Meals at the specialty restaurants were good, and the International Food Bar was excellent. Now the bad news. The food at the Horizon buffet was often cold, and not very tasty. The menu selection at the traditional dining room was very poor. Princess needs to do something, quickly I believe, to address their food preparation and variety. Debarking went smoothlyI recommend checking your bags through from the ship at a reasonable cost. The bus service purchased through Princess was a near disaster. The driver got lost in downtown Seattle, almost hit a car on I5, and drove between lanes on the Interstate. The trip to the airport took twice as long as it should have taken. All in all, we will cruise on Princess again, but we hope the food, especially, will be much improved. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
We booked this Cruise in January 2013 to celebrate a friends special birthday. We have sailed with Princess on five previous occasions and have been upgraded to Platinum status. Princess have, for the past year made a huge deal about this ... Read More
We booked this Cruise in January 2013 to celebrate a friends special birthday. We have sailed with Princess on five previous occasions and have been upgraded to Platinum status. Princess have, for the past year made a huge deal about this Cruise with loads on videos and emails. To be honest, we were very excited at the thought of going to this trip.   Embarkation was fine. As a Platinum guest we had priority. We were lucky enough to be amongst the first new guests on board. The looked great. Although the length of the ship does not seem any longer than other ships we have been on, Crown Princess, Sea Princess, Ruby Princess it is a lot taller. Everything smelt brand new. The Atrium is a marvel. top points to Princess for the new design. The layout of this was somewhat different from the norm, which was a pleasant surprise.   Upon embarking, as one does, we headed straight up to the Horizon Court. The Horizon Court was very light and airy with the décor being very pleasant. Instead of the usual buffet lines, the design is totally different with long self service counters with a variety of different foods. Unfortunately, a lot of the food was repeated and what appeared to be a great choice turned out not to be. The hot food was not hot. The food was very bland with many passengers making derogatory comments. The service was good.   After lunch we headed to our Cabin. The cabin was very nice. Similar in size to what one would expect. We had a balcony cabin made up with a queen bed. A nice touch was the wall mounted wide screen TV with a great selection of films and TV box sets on demand at no extra cost. The cabin steward was great., Our room was clean and tidy at all times. The guy was polite and unobtrusive. Room service was good and on time.   Princess then, in my opinion really messed up. The first night was billed as a Formal night. The customary champagne waterfall was scheduled. We arrived as billed. No fuss was made of the new ship and the captain said nothing. Only a few drinks were handed around and I didn't see any canapés. A huge opportunity to welcome everyone aboard and to make everyone feel special was missed.   We opted, with our friends for anytime dining. In the afternoon we had phoned and made a reservation. No complaints surrounding this process. The food however was unimaginative, was cold and bland. Very disappointing.   After Dinner, having explored the ship we headed for the Show. The Princess Theatre on this ship has been designed differently than the other ships. Whilst the seats are more comfortable they no longer have trays to put your drinks. Only two narrow walkways now existing from the top to the bottom. The scenery and lighting was excellent as was the sound. The Princess Dancers were fantastic although the show itself was not to my taste.   In my opinion, the real let down of this trip was the Cruise Director and his staff. We have been unfortunate enough to have had the same Cruise Director, Ron Goodman on a previous trip. The guy was never around the ship and I don't think we saw his staff more than once. The guy is totally false.   We were due to visit Guernsey, but due to poor weather we could not dock. Princess had a captive audience. Hundreds of people were milling around the central atrium most sitting bored. The ship hurriedly produced a new Princess Patter but it was clear that the Ship not only had no B plan, but didn't have a C, D or E Plan. A friend of mine approach Goodman and said to the effect, hey, do something, you have a captive audience, this is a new ship, people are bored all he said was, 'thanks for your comments' and walked off. This guy and his team are doing Princess no favours.   All in all, having taken a number of cruises before, our party of 8 all felt let down by this whole experience. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
We just finished our fourth cruise with MSC. The first was in 1999 when few Americans had heard of MSC. We loved it! The cuisine, the shows, the demographics, the waiters, came together for a very European experience. Since then we ... Read More
We just finished our fourth cruise with MSC. The first was in 1999 when few Americans had heard of MSC. We loved it! The cuisine, the shows, the demographics, the waiters, came together for a very European experience. Since then we have always particularly enjoyed our cruises with MSC. But this time things were very different. The cruise we took on the Armonia was largely in the Adriatic. The ports were fine and so were the excursions. So we enjoyed that part of it. The shows are still slightly wacky, fun and decidedly non PC. Enjoyed that too. The food, however, was substandard. I have been on quite a few cruises with different companies and this was the worst. It is a deal-breaker. Presentation was lovely, dining rooms too, but most of it was either overly-salted or utterly tasteless. How can anything so pretty taste so bad? We took to eating in the ports of call or ordering extra courses to see if there was anything we would want to eat. We are definitely not finicky eaters. It was clear that MSC is cutting corners. Part of what a passenger looks forward to on the cruise is the food. Not here. Also, no midnight buffets, everything including ice cream on deck had a price (didn't used to be that way), virtually no activities onboard. Passengers were left to entertain themselves with cards and board games and an occasional dance class. I have never been on such an uninspired cruise. I used to love going on MSC cruises. Not going with them again. Uh uh. Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
Booked our dream vacation and were generally disappointed. Poor value for the money and the ship is in poor condition (showing wear and tear). Better value in the Caribbean. The five days at sea going over to Hawaii were OK. Lots to do ... Read More
Booked our dream vacation and were generally disappointed. Poor value for the money and the ship is in poor condition (showing wear and tear). Better value in the Caribbean. The five days at sea going over to Hawaii were OK. Lots to do exploring the ship, attending great lectures and eating. Great weather and getting excited about going to Hawaii. Had an obstructed ocean-view room and were pleased with the space and layout. Bed was good and loved having daylight in the room during the day. Booked into the late sitting for dining (Bottecelli 210) and had great people at our table. Our waiters were EXCEPTIONAL and made the dining experience something to look forward to (not to mention the food quality). Had great time in Nawiliwili, Kauai. Amazed with ability of crew to steer into this awkward harbor. Great tour of waterfalls then Wailua riverboat to Fern Grotto. Definitely walk trough the Marriott right beside the dock - nice beach and great garden area in the middle of the complex (great koy pond). Honolulu was everything expected: Diamondhead, Royal Palace, and Nu`uanu Pali Lookout, Waikiki Beach was a bit of a disappointment (hard to see with all the tall buildings), but a great city tour and nice to see all the landmarks you see on TV. Pearl Harbor was OK - BUT, the Federal shutdown created problems touring the Arizona Memorial (a real letdown for many people). Been there - done it! Stopped in Lahaina, Maui and had the greatest fun snorkeling at Molokini Creater , but, the highlight was swimming with the sea turtles not far from the dock in town - GREAT!!! Nice town to just walk up and down the front street and shop, eat & drink. NICE PLACE!!! Last stop - Hilo, Hawaii -- WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT!!!! Thought we would drop the expensive excursions to the mostly closed volcano sites and just spend time in town relaxing - wrong.... The small city of Hilo has absolutely nothing to offer tourists (no beach, no front street, no character - just a long bus ride through industrial area to a Walmart and and a Sears shopping mall. This was a total waste of a day in paradise!!!!!!! Now for 5 days back at sea to the mainland. Got a little tired of the sea days but the entertainment and food kept us going. Got really tired of non-functioning bathrooms and elevators throughout the ship. Now here is the confusing part - for some reason, the ship came back to a little town called Encenada in Mexico. This town had nothing to offer other than a crowded market street with the usual cheap crap being peddled by annoying marketers - not to mention the little children trying to sell you chicklets and beds. Nothing to really do bu find a bar and have a margerita. TOTAL WASTE OF ANOTHER DAY!!! One more day at sea and were are back at San Francisco. Princess would be well advised to modify this trip and make the stop for 2 more days in Hawaii and drop Ensenada. Also get out of Hilo - it is a dump..... Probably would not advise any friends to go on this cruise as it is a waste of time and money for the sites that you get to see. Fly and stay instead........... Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
I sailed on the Pride on Thanksgiving week with my wife and 11 year old son. Based on all experiences this will be my last cruise on carnival and out of Baltimore. Embarkation: We have been at Tampa, New York, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, San ... Read More
I sailed on the Pride on Thanksgiving week with my wife and 11 year old son. Based on all experiences this will be my last cruise on carnival and out of Baltimore. Embarkation: We have been at Tampa, New York, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, San Diego, and now Baltimore. I would say Baltimore was far the worst port we have sailed from. The security line was long and the line to check in was much longer. It seems they lacked staff. 2 of the security lines were not even working. The lady we checked in was very pleasant, however getting there took way too long. Service: Our cabin steward was great. He was really the best part of our cruise. He was so attentive. We always had our room cleaned after breakfast and after dinner. Anytime we needed anything he was always there. I would love to take him on future cruises. Cabin: The cabin was fine. Even when the air conditioner was on we asked if they could turn on the heat, which they did pretty quickly. It did get a little hot when we down to the Caribbean and I did not want to have them readjust the temperature, because when we started to go back to Baltimore they would have to readjust again. Dining Dining in the dining area and steakhouse (David's) was nice. We had a great hostess and dining staff. Be had anytime dining and for the most part we had 2 head waiters. Both were real nice and very attentive. We did have one assistant waitress who seemed that she did not want to be there. The service otherwise was excellent. Entertainment This was the worst part of the cruise, in my opinion. Except for a few of the comedians the shows lacked any surprises and it seemed we have seen these shows before. Carnival should look at Royal Caribbean and how they do their entertainment. They have different venues which much better talent. I would give the entertainment 2 stars, except the comedians. Children's Clubs Camp carnival was really good and my son really enjoyed himself. The staff was great and he really enjoyed the night owls programs. Disembarkation This was an absolutely nightmare. First of all the line to customs was very long and someone who left the ship earlier accidentally took one of my suitcases. That is not the real issue. The issue was the people of the port did not real care we lost our bag and were really nasty to us. This was an emotional situation since the bag was my sons and he was very emotional. No one at the port would walk around with me. The real issue is that the person who accidentally took my luggage called and apologized. The [problem is carnival is saying that since someone took it is not the responsibility to return the bag to me. If Carnival would have offered to pick up my bag and return it to me this would be a non-issue. However their take is that since someone else took the bag they have washed their hands off the issue. In the scheme of things how much would it cost Carnival to have someone pick up my bag and deliver it to me? Summary I think this will have been our 8 and final cruise with Carnival. The entire experience, especially with our luggage has left a sour taste with Carnival. We had a nice time, however these incidents were disheartened.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
We had 18 family members looking forward to a wonderful cruise. Unfortunately we chose the Conquest. Letting you know we have taken the Carnival Dream and that was very good. The food on the Conquest is poor. If you are looking forward to ... Read More
We had 18 family members looking forward to a wonderful cruise. Unfortunately we chose the Conquest. Letting you know we have taken the Carnival Dream and that was very good. The food on the Conquest is poor. If you are looking forward to wonderful meals you will be highly disappointed. On Thanksgiving Day we were anticipating a great turkey dinner. Instead, after waiting 1 1/2 hours standing in line at the Renoir Rest. we were served lunch meat, yes I said lunch meat turkey, and no real pumpkin pie. Our state rooms were located on the 1st level where the sewer smell was outrageous. The cabins on the even side did not have the smell in the state room but ones on odd size did as well as it was overwhelming in the hall ways. Complaints brought just a spray down on the outside. The cabin was roomy and bed comfortable. Attendants did their job nicely. Have no complaints there except for the horrendous sewer smell in the hallway and sometimes back up in the shower and alot of night noises in the hall. Buffet was better but you were served powdered scrambled eggs unless you stood in line for omelets which were okay. Fresh food was good. No production shows at all and not really a whole lot to do like other cruises we have been on. Over all the rating we would give the Conquest is maybe a 1 or 2. It is an old ship that needs to be renovated and renewed. Hope you're not taking it from Miami. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
My family of 4, hubby & 2 daughters, sailed the Imagination for Thanksgiving this year. As much as we tried to love this little cruise we just couldn't quite get there. Some of it really wasn't Carnival's fault. So with ... Read More
My family of 4, hubby & 2 daughters, sailed the Imagination for Thanksgiving this year. As much as we tried to love this little cruise we just couldn't quite get there. Some of it really wasn't Carnival's fault. So with that being said we probably will try to cruise with them again. We had a nice cabin. It is an older ship but our steward was great. Everything was clean. The food I found to be pretty awful. There were some things that were okay. My omelettes in the morning were good and they prepare a great flat iron steak in the dining room we were in. We had really rough seas and high winds. So WaterWorks was frequently closed as was the Mini-Golf. A great deal of stuff was cancelled in Mexico as well. Again not Carnival's fault but it made our trip less enjoyable. My ongoing theme of this review is, you take your chances. You take your chances sailing in November. My daughter, 7, loved Camp Carnival. And with good reason they did a wonderful job. I loved all the activities they had planned for the kids and so did she. On another note, was the crowd we were with. I do not consider myself hard to get along with I really enjoy people and having a good time. However, the rudeness and level of tact was hard to work with. There were some shining stars who were nice to meet but overall it was as rough as the seas. A great deal of cussing, pushing, and zero politeness or respect for others. It made me sad more than anything. So again as my title says, You Take Your Chances. You may have a better crowd and better weather, which could make your experience better than ours. I heard the crowds are rougher on all lines for the shorter and smaller ships. Next time we may go bigger and stay longer to see if that makes a difference. Happy Sails! Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Myself, 46, wife 42, son 13 son 3 decided to spend our thanksgiving cruising. We took this cruise this time of year to get our platinum status before carnival changed the vip policy. The seas were terrible, which was no fault of carnivals. ... Read More
Myself, 46, wife 42, son 13 son 3 decided to spend our thanksgiving cruising. We took this cruise this time of year to get our platinum status before carnival changed the vip policy. The seas were terrible, which was no fault of carnivals. 12'! It is very obvious in the cutbacks that carnival has made in the last two years. Im not sure if it has to do with the triumph and concordia incidents or what..... This was our tenth cruise with carnival, we have been on the biggest to the smallest of their fleet. We were expecting good things from a boat that just had 15 million dollars spent on upgrading it. Easiest way to show changes ive witnessed is simply listing them. 1. No waitstaff on lido to bring drinks. you want a drink go get it. 2. lounge and showroom are now one! terrible idea. chairs that slide and are stacked up to turn into a lounge at night. 3. sewerage smell on deck 4 that you could not handle! and several other areas of the ship. 4. I was taking platinum cruise but when we went to embark, I was issued a blue(first timer) card. Which by the way was not located in the vip lounge. So our embarkation process took longer than even the normal process and we werent even in a line. 5. debarkation was difficult for platinum as well instead of making it easier they herded all platinum member to the dining room and made us sit for half an hour. 6.Shows were terrible! there were only 8 dancers on the entire ship. Hard to put on much of a production with 8 people. 7. Cruise director Jamie was basically a boppy dancer. No personality kinda acted 12. 8. ship was hard to navigate and some areas of ship pretty hard to find actually. 9. Decks and floors were almost always wet. there is no drainage built into lido so when the pool sloshed from the waves the had guys with squeegies constantly pushing water away splashing all on areas where icecream and burgers are served. 10. There was no aft pool and only 1 little bitty pool on lido. So guess where the kids were? yep in the hot tubs! 11. Guest services were very rude to some people I saw, but not to me. 12. The midnight buffets and gala presentations are no longer existent! we were waiting on an elevator on the 5th floor and a big piece of metal ttrim work just fell off the roof. Luckily no one was under it. 13. The ship was obviously ruched back into service way too soon. There was still a lot of construction going on and a whole lot of repairs that needed to be made. 14. Our toilet would not flush at times and maybe 5-10 minutes after you tried to flush it it would do it all by itself. 15.We ate in the sunset dining room everynight. The waitstaff did not sing or perform. Not even the night when they tell you goodbye. 16. the bars were way understaffed. It took upwards of 10 minutes at times just to get waited on. And one bartender in the atrium gave our 13 yr old son a "virgin" pina coloda that was about as virgin as well........ 17. waterworks and sportsquare were pretty small and almost always taken over by the same kids. 18. The food on lido was terrible. The guys burgers were pretty good but were heart attacks on a platter! lol 19. The captains party was a real joke! it was basically the captain standing in the walkway in the casino and you could walk up and take a picture with him (with your own camera). No drinks or snacks or even formal gathering. 20. comedy show lounge is so small if you arent there 45 minutes before show you probably wont get a seat or will be forced to sit in back where you watch it on a monitor. 21. areas you used to could explore like on the front bow of the ship etc are off limits now. I could keep listing things but surely this gives you an idea. All this put on top of terrible weather, 12' seas and 1 port rained out. = pretty bad investment! This was our platinum cruise with carnival but probably our last. We will be using royal carribean in the spring and see what they are like. Carnival has definitely went to "get em on get tier money and get them out" mentality. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
This was my third cruise with Princess. The first two were on the Sapphire Princess Ship and both times it was a great experience. I wish I could say the same thing for the Caribbean Princess. This was a Thanksgiving cruise leaving out of ... Read More
This was my third cruise with Princess. The first two were on the Sapphire Princess Ship and both times it was a great experience. I wish I could say the same thing for the Caribbean Princess. This was a Thanksgiving cruise leaving out of the Houston Port. I have been told that Princess only started leaving out of Houston port earlier the same month (November). Embarkation seemed chaotic. Our family had a mini suite, and previous times leaving port we were able to get in a line for suite holders. This time, we were told that we would have to get in the long line because we did not have a "full suite." It was cold and windy, and we had to wait in the elements for over an hour. Once on the ship, the captain got on the loud speaker stating we would be delayed a couple of hours leaving the port due to the weather. A couple of hours later we were told that they would still not be able to leave the Houston port due to the weather and that they would try again at 10:00 PM. No word after 10:00 PM and we went to bed on the ship. When we woke up the next morning, we looked outside our balcony and saw that the ship was still parked next to the Houston Port. The captain later got on the loud speaker and stated that they would try to leave around 10:00 AM and explained that the itinerary for the cruise would need to be changed due to the delay. The ship left around 10:30 AM Sunday morning. The captain later came on the loud speaker and stated that we were not going to be able to go to Honduras due to the delay. Also, instead of going to Cozumel the first day as planned, we would be going to Cozumel on Thanksgiving Day (Thursday). This day was planned to be a day at sea. We would now be going to Costa Maya Mexico on Tuesday (not on the initial itinerary), and would be going to Belize on Wednesday as planned. We had no idea what was in Costa Maya. The cruise ship was able to plan activities and we did arrange an excursion to see Mayan ruins. After Costa Maya, we set course for Belize. Wednesday morning, the captain got on the loud speaker and told us that due to strong winds, we would not be able to go into port in Belize and instead would be staying out in sea for the day. This was frustrating. Instead of a Caribbean cruise visiting exotic destinations, it turned into a Mexican cruise visiting only two ports. On Thursday, we arrived in Cozumel. I believe most if not all of the water excursions such as snorkeling and scuba diving were cancelled due to the weather. We were able to visit X-Caret and enjoyed our excursion. The excursion returned us to the ship at around 5:00 PM. We got on the ship at 5:15 PM. Thanksgiving Dinner was at 5:30 PM and we had to put on our formal attire before going in the dining room. The Thanksgiving Dinner was very disappointing, as we had what appeared to be processed Turkey, with no mash potatoes. I saw other people had stuffing, but for some reason, there was no stuffing on my plate. I was able to request mash potatoes which was then delivered to my table. Although I enjoyed most of the Dinners on Princess during the trip, the Thanksgiving meal was the most disappointing meal I have ever experienced on a cruise ship. We left Cozumel and arrived at Houston Port on Saturday morning by 7:00 AM. First, let me say that I believe Princess needs to reconsider their decision to move from the Galveston to the Houston Port. From what I read on another review, the same ship was delayed going into Houston Port due to fog which likely caused many passengers to miss their flights. I believe this was the fourth cruise out of Houston, so having problems with the port on two out of four cruises is not a good statistic to have. On the way home at the Houston Airport, I spoke to a couple that left on the Disney Ship out of the Galveston Port the Saturday we were supposed to leave. The couple told me that they left the Galveston Port with no problem. If Princess is going to have cruises not being able to leave Houston Port due to weather, then people need to reconsider whether they want to go on a cruise out of Houston. The second thing I want to say is that Princess did not provide any reimbursement for not going to two of the three ports advertised (money off a future cruise would have been nice). Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
My husband and I booked this 4 night cruise to get out of hosting Thanksgiving for our family this year. We left Los Angeles on Wednesday, 11/27/13 with easy boarding. The ship looked nice, no obvious signs of wear and tear for an ... Read More
My husband and I booked this 4 night cruise to get out of hosting Thanksgiving for our family this year. We left Los Angeles on Wednesday, 11/27/13 with easy boarding. The ship looked nice, no obvious signs of wear and tear for an "older" ship. We are both foodies - love great food - and we couldn't find it on this cruise. We were so disappointed in everything that we tried. The executive chef is from Scotland, perhaps that is why the food was so bland(?). We dined at the Crown Grill one night and even that was blah. We were served an abundance of food, but that didn't make up for the lack of flavor. Aside from very boring food I was extremely put off by Princess for not having a single representative at our meet & mingle. Granted Princess does not host these as the other lines do, but the only other time that we sailed on Princess there were several officers who came and greeted us. No one at this one. The icing on the cake - the biggest insult and the nail in the coffin against Princess for me is that I had brought this oversight to Princess' attention in my comment cards and here it is well over a month later and nobody has responded to me. The heck with you Princess! I'll spend my money on Royal Caribbean/Celebrity from now on. You don't need me! I don't need you! Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
We have been on cruises before, but years ago. We have taken Princess, Cunard, Royal Caribbean. The stateroom on this cruise was nicer and larger than we expected. The food on some nights, however was inedible. We were on the ... Read More
We have been on cruises before, but years ago. We have taken Princess, Cunard, Royal Caribbean. The stateroom on this cruise was nicer and larger than we expected. The food on some nights, however was inedible. We were on the "traditional seating" plan. The menu items sounded wonderful, but the resulting meals served were far below what had been described. The food seemed to get worse, nightly. One night our table ordered the lamb chop/braised veal. I ordered the chop to be done rare. It was so well done that I couldn't cut it. It was like shoe leather. Our other table mates had the same problem, although they didn't order their lamb rare. It was dreadful. The next night they had leg of lamb on the menu. I had to ask our waitress three times to check to make sure I could get a rare to medium rare piece. She finally assured me that that is what I would get. Instead it came out grey. I did send it back that night and got a rare steak instead. One night I was served duck. Again I asked for it rare. It didn't happen. It was horribly over sauced and well done. The last night was Christmas. Both my husband and I ordered the starter "Jumbo Shrimp, Diver Scallops, and Craw-fish. The craw-fish was absolutely inedible. It tasted like water-soaked cardboard and was still frozen in the center. The shrimp were very small. At Walmart I buy a bag of this size for salads (medium) and the scallops were the size of a small fingernail. It was all awful. Next we had the starter of foie gras pate. It was not foie gras. It was, however edible. Then we had the butternut squash soup. There was no seasoning. It was so bland, you could feed it to a baby. Terrible. We both ordered pastas that night, because we hadn't had much luck with the meat. My husband took 2 bites of his Fettucini Alfredo and pushed it away. I had a Crispellla with cheese sauce and bacon. You could have used both for wallpapering a room. The desert was good. The buffet is a cafeteria. If you get there when they first put the food out, it's not too bad, but it gets old in the steam table pans, pretty quickly. The eggs are hard, the pancakes tough and the ham curled. The best food was my midnight hamburger, room service breakfast (rolls and fruit) and the Wheelhouse pub day fish and chips and the International Cafe (where they charge for tea and coffee and much to my husband's chagrin also for ice cream). Their salads were quite good. Their Panini Sandwiches not so much, according to my better half. I think he used the term "truly dreadful". The tea was pleasant but nothing to write home about. We don't like loud music, so we couldn't use the pool area. All our age group (over 50) seemed to run for cover when the concerts and movies started. We didn't want to pay $10.00 per person for half day $20.00 for a full day, to go to the quiet pool (did not see the charge advertised on the web site, but I might have just missed it). We would only have spent maybe an hour on two at the most so it wouldn't have been worth it. We did sit on the promenade deck, but there was no service there. At least it was quiet. The Wheelhouse and Crooners bar were both fun. Really nice music for us older group. The staff is very nice. The library was very small and not set up for small groups who were looking for an indoor quiet area. The shows were good, but we had to stand for a couple, because the theatre is not large enough for the ship. Everything was geared at selling you something. My husband said that he felt like he was on a floating shopping mall. Not our thing. If the cruise had been any longer, I think he would have jumped overboard. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Embarkation in Barcelona was swift and smooth, and to avoid crowds we went straight to the windows restaurant for lunch. Food was fine, then to cabin where cases had arrived and then to explore the ship. NCL have a big problem here and ... Read More
Embarkation in Barcelona was swift and smooth, and to avoid crowds we went straight to the windows restaurant for lunch. Food was fine, then to cabin where cases had arrived and then to explore the ship. NCL have a big problem here and that is the temperature of the food ..although it is ok, in the Garden restaurant and the Windows restaurant, it always arrives nearly cold, and every mealtime we had to ask for the food to be re-heated. This is a big problem and really needs to be sorted out. The best food is in the Raffles buffet ,beautiful joints of beef there etc and piping hot.and what is offered in the buffet at lunch time is the same as the menu in the restaurants for the nighttime...so you can see what will be offered and plan your evening meal. After one lukewarm breakfast in Windows we only breakfasted afterwards in the buffet, which was good, hot and a wide choice to suit all tastes. Our highlight of the day was the jam ,fresh cream and scones served in the buffet from about 3 til 4.30...which we never missed.For some reason i really look forward to afternoon teas on board and it would have been nice to have a separate venue for this making it an event, serving light sandwiches and cakes etc. The Blue lagoon is a concept that really works well. ..offering food, tea and coffee 24/7. there is a nice chatty atmosphere here, and although a limited menu, the food here is always nice and hot. Drinks are terrible over-priced on this ship ..we paid over 100 dollars for four bottles of cheap wine, which would cost 12 pounds for the four in any supermarket. I don`t really understand this pricing, and an inclusive drinks package will cost each cabin about 100 dollars per day. halving the price of this package would make sense and make for happier cruisers i think. On the 9 day cruise we had only 1 happy hour offered which is just meanness. ..otherwise tip-top prices plus 15% tax. A happy hour should be available every day in my opinion. A free liquor sampling was offered on deck 5 offering thimble sized tests of drinks. I went up 3 times to get samples for myself and my elderly parents, who had managed to get a seat in the nearby coffee bar.and on the 3rd time was told very rudely by the Romanian server I could not take samples for other people. i explained that my parents were elderly, and did not want to queue up, but was refused service. This was unacceptable, and to be honest I was furious. We had paid over 3,500 pounds for this cruise, and i am sure to expect a few thimbles full of liquor without any extra charge or hassle was not asking for too much. The shows in the theatre really were very very amateurish, the exception being the acrobats who were excellent. Upstairs in the galaxy the band of Philippinos were also very good, and the trio also fine ..but the `cover stories duo` often in the `champagne bar ` were very poor. this girl cannot sing!!! The ports of call were also fine, the highlights being Madeira and Malaga, though i think on a 9 day cruise at least another port could have been added. Our cabin was fine , and our steward excellent. The general atmosphere on the ship was nice with a lot of friendly well -traveled people, but complaints were many and all the same. ..the cold food ..the weak shows .the price of the drinks , and the high price they had paid for the experience. Would i go on this ship again? yes I would but only if I found a very good offer. Would i do another cruise with NCL again?...ii think first, i would look at other cruise-lines for a similar itinerary.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We were on the Dawn over Christmas, Tampa to WCaribbean. After reading all the pretty dismal reviews, including one from someone who had actually CANCELLED their Dawn cruise due to all this negativity, we were more than pleasantly ... Read More
We were on the Dawn over Christmas, Tampa to WCaribbean. After reading all the pretty dismal reviews, including one from someone who had actually CANCELLED their Dawn cruise due to all this negativity, we were more than pleasantly surprised by most things we found on board. Embarkation was not too bad at all, although I realse this was made much better by the fact that our cruise date did not include pick ups in Cozumel. However, it was made worse by a bizarre situation at the cruise checkin desks, where non US citizens such as us from UK( although we had obviously already been admitted into the US via strict border control, ESTAs granted etc etc) still had to have their passports re-entered into some computer by someone slowly using "one-finger" typing for each passenger. This led to long queues at his workstation, holding up every other passenger in every check in queue! Surely, if this is necessary, it would be better to have a check-in desk, or two, just for non-US passengers. This would allow the others to board more quickly. I am sure the US passengers would be very happy! Our balcony cabin, 9192, was fine. Smallish, but lots of storage space. Bathroom tiny, separate wc behind a screen was miniscule! Looking at the size of some of the passengers, I can only imagine they were in large suites...no way would they get in the wc! Food..we ate mainly in Venetian, we cannot stand the "Zoo" that is the buffet, although the food selection looked good, specially at breakfast, to see fellow passengers pushing & shoving to pile their plates with bizarre food combinations is not my idea of a good time! This does not reflect on NCL, only on the passengers!! What greed some have. Freetime dining did not work well over Xmas, due to herds of people all wanting to eat at the same time. Lots of vouchers for free bubbly were given out by patient staff at the Venetian check in desk(Well done Gen!!) & buzzers used to the max. Teppanyaki was great, best steak all cruise(worst steak was Prime rib in Venetian, just inedible, although all other meals good there) Coffee & tea was poor (to our taste) everywhere, take your own & use the equipment provided in cabin! Le Bistro was adequate...no more, no less. We dine in France often..believe me,Le Bistro is not good standard French cuisine! No-one eats al-dente potatoes!! But the chef for Le Bistro obviously thinks they do!! Wouldnt go there again for a surcharge. Service was mainly good, especially in the Venetian, although we did feel it was a little false, with expectations of further tipping. Some were surly, but I suppose thats life, & happens anywhere! The Spa was great, well worth the extra cost. The jacuzzis were great, the pool a little cool, but welcome to escape the children. The on-deck hot-tub at the front of the ship, behind the Bimini Bar, was also a good find, really quiet most days, plus lots of sunbeds available there. Entertainment was good, Paul, the cruise director(a fellow Brit!) was excellent, although we felt sometimes his British humour may have gone straight over the heads of some passengers. We got totally fed up with the "shopping woman" wittering on constantly about buying diamonds, watches etc etc. We went to what we though would be an informative presentation about some ports, to find it was a Diamond Hard Sell...Thanks, but No Thanks! A little disappointed by the comedian Tim Kaminski, he relied very much on audience participation, but if that was poor(Wizard of Oz nigh!!!) then the whole show dragged on & was very flat. Second City were much better...impro at its cleverest. Bollywood was glitzy, we enjoyed it more than we had expected. So, all-in-all...a great value Xmas cruise! Well done NCL..this was our first cruise with you, we may well return!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
I have been on over 50 cruises. This one rates in the bottom 10%. The ship was clean and sparkling, and our cabin attendant was great. Other than that, we got what we paid for. The morale of the staff in the buffet area was horrible. The ... Read More
I have been on over 50 cruises. This one rates in the bottom 10%. The ship was clean and sparkling, and our cabin attendant was great. Other than that, we got what we paid for. The morale of the staff in the buffet area was horrible. The dining room staff (same people, different location) were a little better. The food and beverage manager dealt with his employees with an iron fist and sagging stomach. The cruise line charges passengers for their "gratuities", but passes little of it to the crew. Obviously there is no incentive to do a good job unless they want to sign on for another contract. "Roast beef" was served three nights out of 10. It was about 1/8" thick. Pitchers of iced tea and water were placed on the table, but no sugar/substitute. Minestrone soup was served every night. No coffee was available on the ship until after 7:00 AM unless you called room service. The quality of the coffee was so bad that they had packets of instant coffee available for their guests. Water/iced tea glasses were hard to find during buffet hours. Disembarkation took hours, and was a nightmare. Debarkation times were issued on the basis of cabin location rather than flight times. Immigration took retinal scans and finger prints of all foreign passengers (probably 80% of the ship). Angry passengers were forced to stand in line for hours waiting for 11 immigration agents to clear nearly 3,000 passengers in Miami. Many people missed their flights. This was a Christmas cruise, but it lacked any spirit. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
I went on the Christmas Cruise with my wife, son, mom and my wife's parents. We booked 2 rooms on the Royal Princess on the 16th LIDO level floor. I understand you cannot please everybody most of the time but I agree with most of the ... Read More
I went on the Christmas Cruise with my wife, son, mom and my wife's parents. We booked 2 rooms on the Royal Princess on the 16th LIDO level floor. I understand you cannot please everybody most of the time but I agree with most of the bad reviews on this ship. This boat is ONE BIG JOKE. Food was terribly bland and Service was mediocre. The Servers were more interested in talking among themselves than serving you. If you did not order alcohol in the Anytime Dining, Chances are, you will be ignored. The Royal Princess has some very very obvious flaws. No stairs Midship. Elevators not synchronized. Post Dancing Fountain show literally flooded the pool area making it dangerous to walk by, flooding the overrated skywalk. Balconies slightly bigger than the very small bathroom. Our room attendant only came to vaccum the floor, ignoring the towels and dirty glasses that I left purposely on the balcony. Whirlpools seemed to be used by kids and teens more than adults, some of the too young to be in there without an adult. Some teenagers had bottles of beer in their hands and that was being tolerated. The Crew obviously did not care as they were more bent on selling than monitoring. For all the money that was spent on this cruise we expected better. But the crew seemed unhappy to be there and we were really disappointed with cruise overall. The only and I mean ONLY bright spark of the cruise were the shows which were really good including the David Cats Magic show. We stayed at The Hampton Inn Ft. Lauderdale and it was one of the best decisions we made. They pick you up at the Airport and drop you off to the Port, all free. After having a great time on the Ruby Princess 3 years ago we were greatly disappointed on the Royal Princess. Maybe never again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We've just returned from a Christmas and New year cruise - 21st Dec 2013 to 2nd Jan 2014. To say that joining the ship was a shambles would be an understatement. We arrived at Bergen airport - no signs to where to pick up the bus! ... Read More
We've just returned from a Christmas and New year cruise - 21st Dec 2013 to 2nd Jan 2014. To say that joining the ship was a shambles would be an understatement. We arrived at Bergen airport - no signs to where to pick up the bus! Eventually found the bus - it was full. Driver said he wasn't expecting so many ( surely they would know?). Next bus another hour.... leaving about 40 of us standing out in the cold. Then after 50 minutes 2 buses turned up! On arriving at the Hurtigruten terminal at approx 1.30pm we're told we can't go on board until 3pm, so we went for a walk around Bergen to get something to eat. On arriving back at the terminal, we get through the check in and proceed to the cafeteria (closed). We're then told we can't board the ship until 4pm. Considering we'd been up since 4am, if was wearing a bit thin. At 4pm, expecting to at last get on board, they decide to show us a safety film for 15 minutes. If this is the Hurtigruten 'they know how to run ships' , I'm not impressed. The ship itself was comfortable enough and the food for the first 3 days nice (I don't eat fish and don't fancy reindeer stew). However, it then deteriorated for most of the rest of the cruise - I'm talking main courses. Soups were good and desserts excellent. Staff were superb. It doesn't seem that they cater much for British tastes - probably 60% of the passengers. Even my partner, who loves fish was feeling 'overfished'. Breakfast variety could certainly be improved, with very little effort. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We flew from Manchester and arrived in Barbados at around 3pm BB time. The journey to the ship took about 30-40 min and there we had to wait for over an hour to check in Now for Thomson's Holiday Money Extraction.. On checking in a ... Read More
We flew from Manchester and arrived in Barbados at around 3pm BB time. The journey to the ship took about 30-40 min and there we had to wait for over an hour to check in Now for Thomson's Holiday Money Extraction.. On checking in a fee of £25 for the safe? There is a charge if you want steak at Dinner £9.95 or £13.95 for steak under the stars £19.95 for the Grill. You could then pay £9.50 a night to reserve the best seats in the house, for the show? Also now the all night buffet is no more, it shuts from 1am - 6am. The AI is now a rip off as so many drinks have smallish charges against them. The John Smiths was undrinkable and bottled beers were £2 extra which they ran out of after a few days. They also ran out of Guinness another good money spinner for Thomson's if you are a beer drinker. Not to worry though as Bar waiters were few and far between with 30min wait the norm for a drink. The food as also gone down bank ( This is our 12th Thomson Cruise ). The variety and service was very poor in the Orion and the house wine undrinkable... £1.40 for a glass of good wine on top of AI. I will say that Thomson still know how to do a Full English! Christmas Day was a big let down If they were Carlsberg they would know how to do the worst Christmas.... No festivities on deck all day and the evening diner.. We queued up for 45mins to get into the dining room and we finished dinner at 10.45pm. Christmas dinner was 2 slices of turkey.2 tiny potatoes 2 brussel sprouts and the pig in blanket was a 1 inch piece of tined hot sausage with a slither of wafer ham??? We have been on the Dream 3 times before and had pre booked our cabin ,so knew what to expect and all was fine. Did the drill and then went down for dinner in the Orion where it was packed? Did not do the sail away party as we were to knackered! Went for Breakfast the next morning and up to Sirens Deck for a day at sea, with plenty of sun beds up to 9.30 and never seemed a problem throughout the 2 week cruise. It is the staff that are Thomson's asset on there Cruises and always smiling. They are now working twice as hard and it's not there fault for the poor service as there are a lot less of them trying to do twice as much. The shows are nothing like they use to be with Thomson's.. Very young team which at times showed and 2 days a week only one show a night and a 15min session on the open deck party and one a comedian a week. The must see is the crew talent show ( 45mins ), it knocks spots off the show team. The first week was Bonaire, Aruba ,Curacao and Grenada ,an excellent first weeks as all the ports were in the town. We only did one tour and that was in Grenada $15 for a tour up into the rain forest (6 of us so comfy 3hrs). I would recommend this as there in nothing in the town. The second week the 1st stop was a bit of a disaster Mayru a tender stop. The tenders were ready at around 9.30,we waited until 10.30 and was greeted by 400 more trying to get off. We were told that the wait was in excess of 1 hour and to wait in the lounges. We waited on deck and 30 mins later they postponed them due to high seas. They then opened up the tenders to able bodied people only, we returned to the tender disembarkation at around 12.30... 300+ in the queue and very hostile. The next day was a sea day Christmas?? St Vincent was a lovely stop and was glad to get off as we had 2 days on board ( see above ). We did a nice tour for $20 in St Kitts ( berthed 3 mile out of town ). Then on to St Lucia where we berthed in the old dock so did the beach for the day. The flight out and return were fairly comfortable, on time and we were well looked after. Conclusion There Are Far Far Better Cruises with better value for money than Thomson's now..... We use to really love them but now they are scrapping the barrel! Thomson please look at your product and why ho why call it Platinum? Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
My husband and myself have just returned from a very disappointing Christmas & New Year cruise on Ventura. Disappointing to the point that we also will never cruise with P & O again. This is our fourth Caribbean cruise. We ... Read More
My husband and myself have just returned from a very disappointing Christmas & New Year cruise on Ventura. Disappointing to the point that we also will never cruise with P & O again. This is our fourth Caribbean cruise. We stupidly booked through P & O and we were totally ripped off - we booked "the last cabin" (14 months ago) which unfortunately was inside and were assured that because we had booked directly with them we would certainly be upgraded. Of course it didn't happen. We were told that there were no upgrades and yet we met many people who had been upgraded without requesting it on embarkation day. So the choice of having a relaxing time watching the world go by was denied to us. The buffet lunches were very monotonous curry, curry or curry with the odd stew now and then. The self service area itself is very small and cramped. We ate in the cinnamon restaurant every night and the choice of food was ok, steaks were cooked exactly as we requested and the service was excellent. The main thing that ruined our holiday was the gangs of teenagers ( who's parents obviously couldn't care less where they were or what they were up to ) it was like being thrown onto the set of TOWIE or Made in Chelsea. Kids lying around drunk, throwing each other in the pool after one too many cocktails and gypsy wedding type girls crying because NYE was a disaster for them as they hadn't pulled ! We avoided the top decks because of all this but we still had to step over the occasional body on the stairs !! There was never any security present and I am amazed none of these out of control teens didn't end up over board to be honest. We were also disappointed with the service on deck 7 which was non-existent until disembarkation day when half a dozen crew sit in the arena chatting and popped out now and then to make sure they get the last bit of money they can from you. We certainly didn't have to fetch our own drinks that day! There was even a nice cream man - we hadn't seen him at all during the cruise ! Smokers were definitely catered for - we had a job to find anywhere to relax without having smoke blown in our faces - deck 7 at least had one side which was non smoking. We tried to go up to the oasis spa exclusive area for peace without cigarette smoke but although it was empty, we were told it was completely booked out ! We never found out what the extra cost was for peace and quiet ! Also, If you do decide to try Ventura don't expect much from the onboard shops they are truly basic and vastly overpriced. Announcements from the bridge were regular, Captain Carr is a marvelous delegator - I'm not sure he ever docked or sailed away (which always included a reference to 'winding up the big elastic band' and encouraging us all to grab a gin and tonic) but I for one always felt safe. The highlight of the whole on board experience was the Panto which the crew put on for us - absolutely fab! Unfortunately, we will be looking at other cruise companies for our next cruise - we paid for a luxury christmas cruise which fell short of our expectations on many levels. You can't beat cruising the Caribbean - the majority of the Islands are amazingly beautiful but apart from the locations We could have spent the festive season at The Blue Water Centre still surrounded by chavs and chavettes but at least the shopping choice would have been better. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Cruise no E330 - OCEANA - 19th - 29th Dec 2013 Been on this ship a number of times, always had a good cruise. We were looking forward to a wonderful Xmas experience on board this trip what a big disappointment and may I add waste of ... Read More
Cruise no E330 - OCEANA - 19th - 29th Dec 2013 Been on this ship a number of times, always had a good cruise. We were looking forward to a wonderful Xmas experience on board this trip what a big disappointment and may I add waste of money. We are not party animals, but there was no Christmas atmosphere on this cruise, which is why we paid the extra for this cruise. 2012, we went on a Warner's Xmas break, better than excellent, P&O could learn from Warner's Xmas festivities. Everything about this cruise was not up to what is promised and expected of P&O.  Even the presentation and quality of the food was not up to the usual standard. The entertainment was also not of the calibre expected and Headliners were rubbish, compared with other cruises. This was also voiced by other passengers. Our plan was to book in advance while on board a 2014 Xmas Cruise, but as we found this cruise to be so poor, we declined and are considering another option. Unfortunately we have already committed ourselves and our payment is now due for a cruise on the Azura departing 19th April, and are not looking forward to this. We can only hope Azura's standards are a great deal higher. If not it may well be our last cruise with P&O. Having cruised a number of times we have only cruised with P&O and have always been satisfied. Our friends are asking if we had a good holiday, they are not sold on a cruise with P&O. The only efficient part of our holiday was the service by Eavesway coaches, and now I am told to use another company for my next cruise. The cutbacks were extremely noticed by all who have sailed with P&O. Considering Oceana has had some refurbishment, having cruised on this ship a number of times it was not noticeable.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013

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