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336 Repositioning Cruise Reviews

We picked this trip for the itinerary. With 25+ cruises under our belt we never cruised a mega ship. Never again. Lines, lines and more lines. Waited one hour for a show at Syd Norman's. Never got in because it was too crowded.Miami ... Read More
We picked this trip for the itinerary. With 25+ cruises under our belt we never cruised a mega ship. Never again. Lines, lines and more lines. Waited one hour for a show at Syd Norman's. Never got in because it was too crowded.Miami port was a disaster. Mob action mentality. Took 2 hours to have lunch. And even in New Orleans, our luggage was piled all together without any rows to access it. Taxi line was over 2 hours long. Ship is illogically laid out...one bar is placed between 2 dining rooms with not enough space for people to pass. Million Dollar Quartet, hypnotist, Cirque show were fantastic. Public bathrooms flushed when I walked in, flushed when I stood up and then flushed when I left. No water saving there. Soap dispensers were also automatic but didn't work half the time which is probably why half the ship was sick! Ship needs new management and a logistic expert to fix. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was the worst cruise we have been on, will never travel Norwegian again. Up until Cork Ireland it was good from then on it just got worse. Went through hurricane Pablo and subtropical storm Rebeka, missed a port hence instead of two ... Read More
This was the worst cruise we have been on, will never travel Norwegian again. Up until Cork Ireland it was good from then on it just got worse. Went through hurricane Pablo and subtropical storm Rebeka, missed a port hence instead of two days at sea a day in port that we missed then four days at sea it became seven days at sea. They took this large ship and made everything in it smaller from rooms to finding a quiet place to read, library is a joke no space to sit to read. People went to margarita ville the service was so terrible it ended up to be complimentary because orders were all wrong coming from the kitchen. The stop in Miami was a joke spent all our time in immigration, some people sat in terminal for five hours before being allowed to go back on ship. We ran out of some food before and after picking up supplies, some of the waiters etc did not know what they were to do as if they had never done this before. While dining in the main dining room the music for dinner was so loud you couldn’t hear what the person across the table was saying so we don’t call this dinner music. Captain kept apologizing for the cruise all the way up to when we disembarked in New Orleans. On disembarkment people were looking for their suitcases come to find out they were still on board ship and had never been taken off which made for huge delays leaving. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We had a great trip but the time on the ship was a total disappointment . The itinerary was what enticed us to book this cruise. It was our first with MSC and we are very unlikely to cruise with them again. If this had been our first ... Read More
We had a great trip but the time on the ship was a total disappointment . The itinerary was what enticed us to book this cruise. It was our first with MSC and we are very unlikely to cruise with them again. If this had been our first cruise it is possible we would have never returned to cruising. First impression - beautiful ship but don’t be taken in by this. It is a beautiful facade to raise your expectations. Don’t be fooled by this. Embarkation sets the standard and tone for the cruise. Embarkation is a mess. You get shunted from one waiting area to another. No information, no one to ask but each time have to produce same documents etc. Took 3 hours from when we were told to arrive to when we set foot on the ship. You wait and wait and wait. Service on board - you wait and wait and wait. I know it is a European line but I was told that English was an official language on board. The staff’s English either poor or non existent. We thought initially that we might be on a staff training ship as no one seemed to know what to do or what was happening. However as things didn’t improve over the 29 days we must have been wrong. They were just not trained at all. It was very noticeable that there was no official cruise director. After the captain was unexpectedly changed one guy was a ‘nominal’ cruise director but all he did was make a show of greeting everyone in many languages at the theatre at night They really pushed the drink packages. If you didn’t have a drink package you couldn‘t even get water with your meals or tea or coffee. Water is essential to life but on this cruise line you have to buy water if you want to drink it with your meal. Tea and coffee were also not available with meals eaten in the restaurant at lunchtime or at dinner. You also had to buy water anywhere else on the ship unless you filled up a bottle in your bathroom or got water from the bistro. Our cabin steward was very good but there was no way all her cabins could be done every morning until well into lunchtime as she had 20 cabins to look after. So very frequently we would come back to a cabin that had not been made up. This is the first time that has happened to us on a cruise. They were also not available to be on call. Guest Services was a mixed bag. They appeared to want to help but if you went to query something, question something or had a complaint they were totally on the defensive and it was never the ship’s fault. I had a question regarding why there were no seats on the promenade deck as I have always enjoyed sitting and reading on this deck. I was told it was OH&S issue and only available for walking. Nobody seemed to know what was going on and never got the same answer twice. The service at breakfast was appalling. We would ask to be seated at a table with others so we would be seated at a table for 6 or 8 on our own. Waiting times for orders to be taken were all over the place. Sometimes it was efficient but more often it was not and you could wait up to 20 minutes to place an order. Then after the order was taken we had to wait up to 25 minutes at times to receive the food whilst those at tables around us who had arrived and ordered after us had nearly finished eating similiar to what we had ordered by the time our food arrived. If you ordered a small starter for breakfast followed by a hot dish it all arrived at the same time. They were also not capable of taking an order correctly. You ask for an omelette with everything but mushrooms so you get a mushroom omelette with nothing else. It was never their fault if there was a problem. The food was very ordinary, servings were small in the restaurants. As an Australian of European background I found the menu’s boring and bland. Whilst each night had a different theme for the menu they really didn’t vary that much. As someone with a food allergy that can be easily managed, that I had notified the company about, I would order what I could eat and the ‘chef’ would decide that I couldn’t have it and substitute something totally not to my taste and mostly very dry and bland. Hardly any vegetables were served with the main meals. Steamed vegetables were available but they did not vary for the 29 days. The meals were usually lukewarm. The deserts were very repetitive and very rarely was a hot desert served. If you enjoy your food lower your expectations on MSC. If you ate at the bistro the food was more like barely lukewarm and the deserts at lunch and dinner were nearly the same for 29 days. They just changed whether they filled the pastry with cream, chocolate cream or custard. We had only MSC channels on the TV after several days as we had no news channels or any other channels available. Internet was extremely slow. The program on sea days was repetitive and hardly anyone participated. It catered only for those that wanted to dance all day in front of the pool and besides the port lecture there was nothing else. As the weather was hot everyone wanted to be on deck but unless you got there very early you had no chance to get a lounge and nothing was done to address this. The evening shows were also repetitive with one group performing at least 5 times. Some of the ship’s dancing shows were good. This ship does not have good ventilation. Most of the passengers got some sort of virus and nothing was done to contain it. There were also various strong chemicals smells coming from multiple areas of the ship and sometimes from your own shower stall. When you drew the crews attention to this they will not listen to you and will treat you as if you are a nuisance. They allow open smoking in several areas inside the ship which permeates other areas. There is also a very large smoking are on pool deck limiting access to lounges for non smokers. On top of this relaxing on the pool deck or in the various bars was often spoilt by sales staff setting up tables along side the seating, to sell ‘cheap’ stuff, it was like sitting in a Market Place. On the pool deck they always set up on the non smoking side as did the occasional outside buffet. So where are the non smokers supposed to go if they wanted to sit out of the sun? The overall impression is that it is a corner cutting line, poor customer service and inadequate activities to keep passengers engaged.. Overall very disappointing and will not recommend this line or this ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was the worst cruise we ever had. Embarcation in Genova took almost 5 hours. Disembarkation in Durban took more than 3 hours. Because of the bad airconditioning half the passengers were ill after the first week with serious ... Read More
This was the worst cruise we ever had. Embarcation in Genova took almost 5 hours. Disembarkation in Durban took more than 3 hours. Because of the bad airconditioning half the passengers were ill after the first week with serious influenca. The food was very low mass production and below any cruiseship standard. Fresh fruit excisted of melon green, red or yellow with the ocasionsal appel. Food was tasteless and prepared with no finesd whatsoever. I.e. perri perri praen were served just defrosted with a sprikel of perri perri powder. Beef was uneatable from a cow that must have been 105 years old. Salad came without any dressing. Barservice was slow. The price for drinks was unacceptable. A glad of table wine 6€ a glas of beer 5€ . After 3 weeks they ran out of wine for the prepaid drinks package.. no upgrade of course. The excursions were totally overpriced. In Cania/ Greece they offered a shuttle bus for € 9.90 where as the public bus was € 3.40 without que and waiting time. They keep you uninformed for most of the times and if you tried resception they would give you a very serious look and a stupid answer Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I will preface this review by stating I have been on over 28 cruises. I've sailed just about every cruise line out there or sold it while I was a travel agent. I Just returned from 18 days on the Ruby Princess. We boarded in ... Read More
I will preface this review by stating I have been on over 28 cruises. I've sailed just about every cruise line out there or sold it while I was a travel agent. I Just returned from 18 days on the Ruby Princess. We boarded in Auckland, which was the last 8 night leg of the reposition cruise that started in Vancouver. We Stayed on for a continuation cruise of 10 days which did round trip Sydney. We had cruised on Princess twice in the past. Once in 2006 which was a great experience and again in 2010 which was not great! We had no idea what to expect from this experience. Unfortunately, it was a lot more not great than the one in 2010! This ship is just plain old and what I would call a rust bucket! There is no coat of paint that is going to make this sad ship up to what Princess claims it's standards are. The balconies are rusted out as well as all the sprinkler heads. Whenever I walked on the outer decks I looked up and saw rust. When we got a close up of the ships body while we were boarding the tenders, you could see just how horrible it was. There are tons of coats of paint chipping away, marks all over and just plain ugly. The cabin and deck furnishings are all very outdated and worn. There are two plugs in the entire cabin! One by the vanity and one up near the ceiling, above the corner cabinet. I heard many people complaining about the lack of places to plug phones and electronics. If you need a sleep apnea machine, be sure to bring a long extension cord because it has to travel quite a ways for a plug. The standard balcony cabin is about the smallest I've seen in the past 7 years or so. There is a vanity chair and that's it! I can't remember when I've been in a balcony cabin without a couch. This was the poorest choice I could have made for 18 days at sea. There was enough space in the closet and cabinet for all our clothes. The bathroom was the standard telephone booth size with cracked shower floors and moldy shower curtain. The shower head does not come off the wall so it made it that much more difficult to shower. We had not issues with the plumbing but many people on the Deck 12 were complaining about toilet issues and water being turned off for lengths of time. The cabin Stewards and Dining room staff were about the best I've seen at sea which is true to form for what Princess once was. They were always the most pleasant people on the ship. I will note that we did not get one towel animal which I guess is something they have stopped. Not a big deal at all, just something that surprised me. For the most part the Horizon buffet staff was also excellent. They attended to the tables and delivered drinks without ever having to ask. I did encounter a few of the food attendants that did not seem to like their jobs very well. I've been on other ships where they allow the guests to put their own toast through the toast machine so you can have hot toast. The Carnival products seem to think we are not capable of toasting our own bread so they have a person on each side of the buffet just running toast through the machine. They toast giant stacks of bread and then bring them to the warming trays. For 15 days I had rubber toast! On the 16th day I asked for hot english muffins out of the toaster. You would have thought that woman was going to have to go in the basement, bake the muffins then toast them. She kept telling me the toast in the bins was fresh and I needed to take it from there. This annoyed me more than most other issues we had. It was a simple request that I made very nicely. This is one of the main reasons I will not choose to EVER cruise on Princess again. Sounds unreasonable, but everyone has their breaking point! There was not a person that we met in the 18 days that did not agree with us that the food was terrible. Sauces were heavy and over salted. One comment I kept hearing was "there is a whole lot of brown food on that buffet!" Everything was swimming in a sauce. Many of the carving meats were over cooked and dry. They served various kinds of flat fish every day but they were prepared everyday the same way, drowned in butter or oil. The buffet breakfast was just a disgrace. The way they prepared that food was a crime. They would have trays of fried eggs on a warming dish for hours. They were dried out to the point of feeling like hockey pucks. You couldn't find one egg with a running yoke. The same thing with the eggs Benedict. They were all hard boiled....every single day! It really is a sin that they destroyed so much good food. The scrambled eggs were all chopped up so small it was like eating cottage cheese. The only saving grace was the omelet station. You needed lots of time for that though! They had no cream at all for the coffee. It was all skim or regular milk. Just about everything was so budget and you could tell. The specialty steak restaurant was a joke. If that was supposed to be like a fine steakhouse, they missed that mark by a mile. I got a steak that was less than 1/2" thick and tasted like a salt lick. I specifically asked for little to no seasoning, but that was something they just paid no attention to. The baked potato was dry and like a rock. The whole experience was horrible. The regular dining room food was hit or miss. Some nights they would have a decent amount of choices, none of which were tasted that great. Most nights there were no choices we would eat. They did NOT have a steak on the "every night" menu. I have never been on a cruise where you could not get a steak in the dining room every night if you choose. At the bottom of the menu they have choices of good food for an extra cost of between $20 to $40. That's something I've never seen before either. It's like, if you want good food, you will now have to pay extra for that. If it was anything like the steakhouse, it wouldn't be worth it anyway. I can't imagine paying extra for any of the crap they served. The entertainment was not too bad on the 8 night Auckland to Sydney part of the cruise. Once they changed over to and "Australian" cruise line (all the money went to aud) for the Sydney round trip, the entertainment went right down the tubes. It was horrible. The singers were ancient, the comedians were old and Princess dancers would have a hard time performing on the stage with the Norwegian cruise staff. The best part of any of the entertainment was the games shows, etc. put on and run by the cruise director and staff. However, they held them all in rooms that were too small so if you did not get there at least 30 minutes ahead of each even, you were not going to get a seat. Many nights our dinner ran late and we could not go to an event because we could not sit. The worst part of the entire cruise was the fact that almost all the ports in Australia are tender ports. Princess is either too cheap or too stupid to have gotten large ferries in all the ports. They had a system where you went down to a showroom at a time they announced in the morning to get a number to get off the ship on to a tender that would take you to a port. If you are an elite member, no problem. They take all elite members off first. If you have a million dollar tour that you purchased through Princess they took you off on the tenders first as well. If you just wanted to go to shore or booked your own excursions through viator or other wholesaler you were out of luck for getting off that ship in less than 2 hours. In one port we were unable to get off the ship until 11:30am. We arrived in port at 7:00am!!! It was ridiculous. One day many people never even got off the ship. By the time their number was called they felt it was too late to get off. The tenders took about 40 minutes each way on most the stops. Finally, after many angry shouting matches, there were Ferry tenders in two of the stops. It still took forever to get off, but at least we didn't miss our excursion. By the way, something we noticed was they NEVER looked at your tender number! The average shore excursion cost over $175 per person and that was for a 4hour tour. Most tours were 8 hours or more and cost in excess of $275. Princess was charging $479pp for The alpine express excursion from Christchurch to Arthur's pass. It included a bus from the port to Christchurch which was about an hours drive. The train, if purchased directly costs $149.00!! This is just robbery. Princess gets away with it because they scare the life out of everyone by telling them if you don't take a Princess cruise, you might miss the boat on the return. Many tour operators will guarantee to get you back to the ship on time or get you to the next port if you miss the boat because of them!!! Look around and compare! This cruise ship staff created so many situations where guests were made to wait in lines and get angry. They didn't even have an organized line at the guest services. Many days people started yelling and fighting because guests would just walk up to the counter and ignore the lines. I've never seen a ship run more poorly than this one. When they turned over to the Australian Dollar from US Dollars in Sydney, no one at the front desk knew how to convert the currency. I was given an amount and then called in my room to come back to the guest services because they gave me too much money.....that was after it took them over an hour to figure out what they did give me. It took over 4 days for them to get most of the casino slot machines up and working after departing from Sydney. I couldn't imagine how much money they lost because there were no machines to play. It was just crazy. I'm not sure who is responsible for most of what goes on aboard that ship, the Captain or headquarters but someone should be fired! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Wanted to do a Transatlantic and the ports of call were great! The staff was friendly enough but the ship was a complete let down! Dirty smelly cabin and everywhere I sat the seats were dirty and very uncomfortable! Food was just ok never ... Read More
Wanted to do a Transatlantic and the ports of call were great! The staff was friendly enough but the ship was a complete let down! Dirty smelly cabin and everywhere I sat the seats were dirty and very uncomfortable! Food was just ok never really hot. Bedspread was torn and had seen better days! Throw pillows in our cabin smelled and were stained as well as the throw they put at the bottom of the bed. I asked them to be removed and replaced... never replaced! Thank God I brought along Clorox wipes and room spray and had a balcony so I could air the place out!!! Many times no seating in buffet except way in the back and by the time you got a seat food was cold! Also crumbs on table and chairs!!! The staff didn’t really have time to clean up after ppl left due to the amount of ppl needing a seat! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We saw a special deal, fly, accommodation in Singapore, and 14 night cruise back to Sydney. Sounded ideal! Especially as the ship had been launched in April 2019, millions of dollars spent on refurbishment, and a maiden voyage. THE ... Read More
We saw a special deal, fly, accommodation in Singapore, and 14 night cruise back to Sydney. Sounded ideal! Especially as the ship had been launched in April 2019, millions of dollars spent on refurbishment, and a maiden voyage. THE SHIP IS 20 YEARS OLD! Our excitement cooled off even before we left home. The company got my wife's date of birth wrong, the port of departure in Singapore was wrongly specified on our boarding pass which was printed the day of departure from Sydney. When we arrived at the wrong port, we had difficulty getting a taxi to the right port, as none were available. We then had to queue for 45 minutes whilst they checked our boarding pass and Passport three times. This was all before we got on board. Once on board, our cabin was small and filthy. We complained and were given another one in the same category, after we sailed from Singapore when there was a 'no show.' Dinner in the main dining room was chaotic. Waiters had very limited English, and all the food came out at once, including dessert while still eating our appetiser! Only two white wines and one red available. The cost of the wine almost $50 which included the service charge.The carpet was grubby, rarely vacuumed. It was obvious they were catering to the Chinese market, with a majority of Chinese passengers on board, who pushed, shoved and shouted; behaviour quite unlike that of the many Chinese friends we have in Australia. We felt like getting off at the first port, which was Jakarta, Indonesia. The gratuities are compulsory. We prefer to give to our cabin steward and to waiters in the dining room and other people who have been kind to us. The speciality restaurants are very expensive. The only ones included in the fare are the main dining room, the Lido (buffet), and a Chinese restaurant. Tea and coffee making facilities in the cabin were great, except milk was $3 extra. Our main concern is safety! Many passengers did not attend the safety drill which is compulsory by Maritime Law. We can only imagine the stampede if there was an emergency as many passengers couldn't speak English. We love reading and the library consisted of two small cupboards...five books in English, the rest in Chinese!!! However, we must say that the stage shows were very good, but the three shows were then repeated ... Travel agents beware...don't recommend this Cruise Line.. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Overall, we were extremely disappointed in the Celebrity cruise experience. This experience was strongly affected by the meals onboard. We chose the Aqua Class cabin as we would be dining in the special restaurant Blu - for a better ... Read More
Overall, we were extremely disappointed in the Celebrity cruise experience. This experience was strongly affected by the meals onboard. We chose the Aqua Class cabin as we would be dining in the special restaurant Blu - for a better dining experience. Unfortunately this is where things went particularly bad. For specific examples, fish was overcooked and dry on one of our first evenings. We told the waiter who intern told the maitre d. The plate was exchanged for another dish and the issue did not appear to go further. Our server was friendly and on successive nights, he described dishes as “the Celebrity version” and steered us to the filet minion and onion soup and shrimp cocktail. If that was what we were happy eating, I guess we would have never had a bad meal but I did not go on a cruise ship to eat the same meal every night. Several evenings, my husband and I left the dining room with our glass of wine and did not eat. It was not until the next to last night of the cruise that I asked to speak to the chef as one had not been seen in the dining room. On this particular evening, I had ordered the macaroni and cheese thinking how could that possibly be bad. The macaroni and cheese was described as having brie and another cheese, tomatoes and herbs. The pasta was dry and there was no sauce. The dish simply had three small wedges of cheese stuck in the middle of the pasta. I pointed it out to our server and asked to have it remade. He asked what was wrong with it. The same pasta was returned to me with a large slab of mozzarella cheese melted on top on the pasta. I stuck my fork into it and the cheese peeled off the top. Still dry pasta. The maitre d arrived and asked how things were and I asked for the chef this time. The chef arrived and appeared disturbed with the dish. He remade the dish and the macaroni was returned with a cheese sauce. I ate a few bites and left the restaurant with my husband. I proceeded to the buffet, got some fruit and headed towards the cabin. The restaurant manager sought me out and asked how he could help me out. He offered us dinner in the Tuscan Grille. As I pointed out to him, we booked the Aqua Class so we would have an elevated dining experience which we certainly did not feel we received and declined the invitation. By this point after 12 days of disappointment I was quite frankly not in the best of mood. The last day onboard the ship, I was invited to sit down with the restaurant manager and two of the chefs. I went over the issues from the past two weeks. The manager inquired if a chef had visited us in the dining room during our previous complaints. There had not been. They asked where we wished to dine on the last night and I asked them to fix our meal and we would eat in the cabin. That final meal was what we had expected for the entire cruise. In the spa area on deck 10, the breakfast and lunch options were limited and remained the same for the entire cruise. This also surprised me. Another disturbing occurrence was when I asked a staff member for anything, the first answer was always “no”. Can you get me the diffuser that is supposed to be in the Aqua Cabins. Can you get me a cover for a plate so I can take it to my cabin. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Fact Finders review Vasco da Gama Half World Cruise Tilbury to Sydney 9 October – 2 December 2019 The facilities, services, design and layout of the ship presented very well, despite its age of 27 years, in the pre-cruise promotional ... Read More
Fact Finders review Vasco da Gama Half World Cruise Tilbury to Sydney 9 October – 2 December 2019 The facilities, services, design and layout of the ship presented very well, despite its age of 27 years, in the pre-cruise promotional material. The itinerary crossing two magnificent oceans and the Panama Canal was just perfect for us. However, our cruise experience was devastated by the lack of appropriate maintenance or upgrade of Vasco da Gama’s essential services and utilities. It became apparent shortly into the cruise that these were in dire need of refurbishment and should been addressed during the ship’s time in dry dock. The associated problems of this neglect plagued passengers throughout their entire cruise experience. It became obvious to us that the purchase of a second or third-hand ship with a patchy maintenance record and renaming it after limited refurbishment (only the engines?) and remodelling of some public areas was a high-risk strategy. CMV should have carried out a comprehensive audit of the ship’s utilities and essential services and undertaken a thorough overhaul of them rendering this critique unnecessary! Our cruise experience was also greatly diminished by unprofessional executive management and incompetent management of guests’ needs, reminiscent of Fawlty Towers. We could not understand what all the “white uniforms with epaulettes” were doing as they stalked their way around ship, including the dining rooms. We were told that it was to ensure that staff were doing their job properly. Unfortunately, there was a gestapo-like quality about their supervision which did not contribute to a relaxed and genial atmosphere. Certainly interaction of executive and some senior managers with passengers, as we have experienced on other cruise lines, was not a priority for them. The following is a list of issues drawn from our and other passengers’ experiences on the ship over 53 days of cruising that we believe CMV must rectify to ensure that passengers do not have to endure them in the future. 1. Inadequate and ineffectual air conditioning system - temperature and air flow could not be properly regulated in cabins and public areas of the ship; 2. Defective plumbing and faulty waterproofing - resulted in sewage spills, flooding and water penetration requiring fans all around the ship to dry out carpets and dispel unpleasant odours; 3. Incomplete coverage of the public announcement system across public areas of the ship which prevented passengers from hearing ship announcements. This represented a major safety issue as passengers in these areas were unable to hear important or emergency announcements; 4. Primitive and unsafe gangways to tenders - gangways to tenders were uneven and too narrow for ease of movement and were totally unsuitable for passengers with mobility problems. When there were no planned land excursions, at a limited number of ports, disembarkation of passengers became a free-for-all rabble because there was no organisation by management of passengers. It was irresponsible and negligent of management not to coordinate disembarkation in a safe and efficient manner. Hundreds of passengers were forced to queue up and down stairs and along passageways on the disembarkation deck for up to an hour before getting off. This created considerable discomfort and a major health and safety problem for passengers, particularly older passengers, because of overcrowding and heating from so many bodies. It represented a major safety issue because there was no emergency exit plan provided by management as to how passengers could quickly and safely exit from these areas. Areas around lifts were so overcrowded that people exiting them had extremely limited egress and when they were unable to take their place at the end of the queue they were forced to push in front of other passengers who became upset at the intrusion. Passengers who were not disembarking had to fight their way back to their cabins if they resided on that deck. 5. Untrained and/or inexperienced hospitality staff - CMV appear to have recruited a large cohort of employees to work in the ship’s hospitality service areas who had very limited English and lacked even the most basic restaurant and bar service skills; 6. Uncooperative and ineffective guest service at reception - staff provided little or no action on guest concerns. Just in case passengers expected any form of “concierge services” on Vasco da Gama, provided by most other cruise lines admittedly more highly rated than CMV, the opposite was true with reception stonewalling most enquiries; 7. Unprofessional performance by executive managers and some, but not all senior managers - guest concerns and suggestions for improving their cruise experience were generally ignored despite the ship's stated policy of effectively communicating with guests. As a result, legitimate management problems identified by passengers during the cruise persisted until final disembarkation; 8. Communication - CMV claims that it seeks to establish a good level of communication with passengers, but we found out from bitter experience, that doesn’t happen. CMV avoid addressing negative issues with passengers that might reflect poorly on the company and its reputation, but which directly impact passengers. Take, for example, the complete absence of public announcements to forewarn and forearm passengers about serious outbreaks of respiratory infection, gastric infection and norovirus. The symptoms of which plagued many (hundreds?) passengers throughout their entire cruise, all of which had potentially life-threatening implications, particularly for older and more susceptible passengers. Passengers estimated the average age of this cruise around 75 years, with a substantial number in their 80’s! This age grouping made the risk of health complications from infection a reality and represented a dereliction of duty by management for passenger care. Another example of bad communication was CMV's explanation of the power failure on Vasco da Gama in Spencers Gulf outside Adelaide (see 2GB link on stranded ship) which was described as a “controlled precautionary blackout’, not a power failure. 9. Inordinately expensive Wi-Fi and lack of "duty of care" by IT at reception - to ensure that passengers did not lose their data allowance by failing to disable all relevant apps and updates, including automatic receipt of unwanted emails that used large amounts of data. The general advice provided by reception on these technicalities, especially for older passengers unfamiliar with them was totally inadequate. This resulted in the loss of much of their paid for data through unwanted data usage. 10. Loss of opportunity to enjoy our onboard cruise experience and to disembark on land excursions in countries we have never visited because of our ship-related illnesses. We believe that widely varying temperatures in the ship, because of the faulty air conditioning where air flow in some areas and thermostat control more generally was almost non-existent exposed us to respiratory infection as a result of moving from the hot and sweaty conditions in our cabins to uncomfortably cold conditions in public areas, particularly in the Hollywood Theatre, where we spent 2-3 hours a day. We are also of the opinion that sewage spills in passageways and cabins and associated sewage aerosols were directly related to our gastric infection which resulted in us being restricted to our cabin for 7 days with diarrhoea and vomiting and isolation for 2 days. During the weeks we endured the symptoms of these respiratory and gastric infections we were unable to function normally, unable to participate in on-board activities, unable to attend restaurants and to missed land excursions of 3 ports at the Cook Islands (Rarotonga) and Tahiti (Papeete and Bora Bora), which were high on our bucket list. The positives of the cruise - the redeeming feature of this cruise, however, was the great layout and decor of the ship and the excellent range and standard of musical entertainment provided by the very talented musicians and entertainment team. Decks 8 and 11, the Hollywood Lounge, the Study, Blue Room, Captains Bar, Ocean Bar, Jade Spa, sauna, steam and relaxation rooms, including the gym were outstanding in design and décor and were great venues for on board activities. The standard of the stage shows, singers, dancers, costumes, choreography and stage production whilst not as big as on larger ships were outstanding. The standard of the comedians brought on board, however, were second rate and should have been left on the club circuit. Some of the guest lectures were a bit hokey and off-topics that could have been more relevant to the destinations of the cruise, rather than obscure myths and legends and overly detailed stories of so-called celebrities that many passengers had no idea about or were really interested in. Some were most enjoyable and informative. The standard of food and service in the main and 2 specialty restaurants was average to good, but not as outstanding as promoted by CMV, however. Whilst the menus changed daily in the main restaurant, the same menu ran for 7 days in the 2 specialty restaurants. As a result, passengers ran out of choices after a few days, especially those with dietary restrictions. The menu in the main restaurant ultimately become very repetitive and boring. After three quarters of our way through the voyage, we could have written the menu ourselves. How many variations can you have on grilled fish? The bottom line - if passengers were able to suspend their frustration, annoyance and disappointment with the failings of essential services and the unprofessional management of the ship, including some of the wait-staff who didn't seem to want to be on board, and focus on the positives of the cruise experience, the maintenance problems of the ship were inescapable. This was the prime reason for me rating the cruise as “terrible”. Fix these up and the rating would sky- rocket. But CMV didn't, despite it being aware of the faulty or potentially faulty condition of the ship's utilities and associated maintenance problems! Our personal cruise experience - we quickly discovered that there was something critically wrong with CMV restaurant and bar staff recruitment. Bar staff throughout the ship had limited English and did not understand beverage or cocktail orders. In Club Bistro, staff had very poor English and could not understand a simple request for a food order. Staff tasked with cooking breakfast and food service were incompetent, disorganised and clearly untrained, or poorly trained. Wait staff clearing and resetting tables were slow and inefficient. Overall, Club Bistro wait-staff appeared disconnected and disinterested in serving guests. Eating in Club Bistro was equivalent to having a meal in a second-rate boarding house. Breakfast service was a shambles. It created considerable irritation and annoyance amongst guest who could not get their orders understood or served in a timely manner. Despite massive feedback from guests nothing seemed to change. On the last day guests were left stunned that Club Bistro staff still could not get their orders right. I submitted my concerns and suggestions for improvement to the guest services manager who duly ignored them, responding by saying that the ship had an "ongoing staff training and development program". The problem was that the staff training program was at the expense of guests. Why are passengers paying the "price" for on-board training of inexperienced and untrained staff so that CMV can minimise costs? We believe that this policy warrants investigation in relation to whether CMV is compliant with hospitality industry standards, including employment of unqualified staff and their level of remuneration? Over the entire Oct-Dec 2019 cruise, senior managers were detached and impervious to guests and their concerns. They stalked around the ship like gestapo with no little or no passenger interaction. Passengers were clearly not a priory for them, as no action appeared to be taken on our feedback, both personal and as the result of a mid-cruise questionnaire. We could only wonder what their duty statements required! Staff at reception were the same. They essentially ignored our concerns. They fobbed guests off by saying they didn’t have the authority to act and that they would pass any complaints on to the manager responsible. And that was the last we heard of it. As a result, there were many unhappy, frustrated and upset passengers due to the lack of action and lack of responsibility of senior management. On the very last day of the cruise the public toilets on the ship malfunctioned. Now we know the ship lost all power and services en route to Adelaide. This was not to be unexpected given the history of the ship. It is 27 years old without a major upgrade of the facilities concerned. It is ironic that the ship’s power supply failed, since it was one of the few ship upgrades that occurred. Systemic problems with the air conditioning caused cabins and public areas to be either freezing cold or unbearably hot. Such drastic changes in temperature throughout the ship exposed passengers to respiratory infections early in the cruise. These took several weeks to recover from and seriously detracted from the enjoyment of the cruise. Some passengers were exposed to potentially life-threatening complications, including pneumonia, particularly amongst older and more susceptible passengers. All the so-called communications received by passengers from management about on-board health issues were general in nature, that is, limited to hygiene and the need to sanitise regularly. There were no warnings from the ship's management that the ship was experiencing a major outbreak of the above health problems. It was as if it didn’t happen! Guests coined the phrase “hospital ship” and “Oh you’ve got the Vasco cough, too”. Some were turning up to the Hollywood Theatre wearing beach towels to ward off the cold. One guest speaker made repeated jokes about it, at our expense, as well as the poor standard of food and service in Club Bistro, which was so disorganized, as explained above, that guests were arguing as to who was to be served next. This was great for moral! Passengers with respiratory infections were then put on buses with 20 and 30 guests where they coughed their way their way around various tours of up to 6 hours duration! Hello further transmission of respiratory infection! What was management to do! As if respiratory infections throughout the ship weren’t enough. They were followed mid-cruise by acute gastric infections and an outbreak of norovirus. The symptoms of these infections lasted up to a fortnight to three weeks before full recovery with many passengers experiencing lingering debilitating symptoms for additional weeks. Passengers who advised ship's management of their symptoms were compulsorily isolated in their cabins and put on a clear soup and bread diet for 48 – 72 hours, depending on the severity of the diarrhoea and vomiting, the odour of which permeated the passageways. Don’t even attempt to imagine the smell, which got worse when there were sewage spills on several decks. Passengers were advised that the ship’s captain had the power to remove passengers from the ship if they didn’t comply. Their cabin card was deregistered until they were medically cleared. What a shame that afflicted passengers couldn’t leave their cabins to take their scheduled paid-for land excursions at various ports-of-call. We missed all of Tahiti – Papeete and Bora Bora. Vasco da Gama’s unserviceable and unmaintained plumbing system resulted in blocked and broken sewage pipes or seals spilling sewage into bathrooms, bathtubs and passageways on many decks throughout the entire voyage. Imagine the smell on top of the vomit? No don’t! Toilets regularly flooded into bathrooms and cabins, saturating carpets and personal belongings. One couple who had to move out of their cabin twice because of flooding during the cruise, experienced another flood the night before disembarking Sydney. We felt sorry for the engineers and support staff who bore the brunt of the mismanagement of the ship’s service facilities. They had to work virtually 24 hours dealing with the numerous crises throughout the ship. It was only due to most of the passengers’ goodwill and resignation that they were on a cheap cruise and could do little about the ship’s systemic maintenance problems that there wasn’t a mutiny. However, the issue of over servicing and over charging by the subcontracted medical centre of passengers’ medical conditions – including those referred to above - was an issue that did result in over 100 passengers convening meetings, including with the captain, to seek redress for the exorbitant cost of medical treatment. Reference to this and other problems encountered by passengers on the ship may be found in postings on the Trip Adviser Forum. Could CMV be accused of knowingly disregarding passengers’ level of comfort and overall cruise experience without upgrading essential service utilities in order to keep the ship at sea to maintain revenue? Could it be that the CMV "business plan" is to buy second and third hand ships without proper upgrades to provide cheap affordable cruising taking the risk that their highly competitive price point would attract enough new customers to keep the company afloat despite driving away return customers? Fact Checkers believe that an independent audit of compliance of the ship’s essential services and utilities be carried out by cruise ship regulators with the aim of enforcing systems upgrades previously disregarded by CMV to prevent a repeat of the fiasco on Vasco da Gama. Also, an independent review of the standard of guest services and competence of senior management on Vasco da Gama should be carried out, in particular targeting the performance of the guest services manager and hotel director specifically in relation to what action they took or didn’t take and why on the myriad of passenger complaints and the two formal feedback questionnaires on improving passenger cruise experience on Vasco da Gama. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
It was visiting some of the places I’d never been. The first day we were given our key and we went to our room and it smelled mouldy. Over the first 15 days we were moved from cabin to cabin 6 times. We finally had enough and visited ... Read More
It was visiting some of the places I’d never been. The first day we were given our key and we went to our room and it smelled mouldy. Over the first 15 days we were moved from cabin to cabin 6 times. We finally had enough and visited the Hotel director. After making it clear that we had had enough of the moving around the ship, and forcefully requesting an upgrade, we were given a balcony cabin with no more issues. The ships aircon didn’t work, the plumbing was leaking in the rooms and spilling sewerage on the floors. People were being moved around to different cabins because of these issues and we were too. One lady was charged $1000 for an upgrade to get out of the room she was in due to problems with it. Although most of the food is cooked ok, it is always the same and no variety. The staff on the lower rungs of the ladder, although young and inexperienced a lot of them, are very good and a credit to the company. This is the ONLY upside of this cruise. The higher up managers don’t care. AND A WORD OF WARNING, DONT GET SICK ON THE SHIP. Bring lots of medication for flu like symptoms and vomiting and diarrhoea. The doctor charges what he wants and doesn’t answer to anyone. Most people had ECG’s even for diarrhoea?? Lots of bills are up to and over $10,000 and they need to be paid before they get off the ship, even though the Dr has all their insurance info. Never seen so many people on a ship with cannula in their arms It seemed to be the order of the day. He has lied on reports about their symptoms so it looks like it has nothing to do with the cleanliness and the hygiene on the ship. One lady went and complained about her bill and he discounted it by 50%. If you have to go on, take all the precautions you can. Everything on the ship is expensive, there are no toiletries available for sale on the ship. The staff in the Mediterranean restaurant are superb. The menus are changed every 10 days, so there is no variety in the specialty restaurants either. Children’s club not open. Entertainment was mostly done by the crew although very good, there were not a lot of guest entertainers. I think we had about about 3 for then whole cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We choose this cruise due to the itinerary it stopped in Hong Kong, Vietnam and Singapore. The ship was on its way to Australia. This ship is not ready for the Australian market. Very focused on its Asia market. Service was ... Read More
We choose this cruise due to the itinerary it stopped in Hong Kong, Vietnam and Singapore. The ship was on its way to Australia. This ship is not ready for the Australian market. Very focused on its Asia market. Service was terrible and slow. Very disorganised staff who didn’t know how to apologise. Had to go looking for service. Drinks took ages to be served. Took 3 hours to get on ship. Most of that in a corridor standing and given no explanation for delay. They checked our passports 4 times! Embankments and disembarkments were very slow and disorganised. In Hong Kong we took a shuttle from port and only had three quarters of an hour in a city mall. In Vietnam we had to wait 3 hours for us to get on a tender. So we cancelled next port visit which we were disappointed. Not enough chill out areas. Some of them got closed for private functions which left few options. Room bathroom had nasty smell. Reported 5 times nothing changed except the strength of the air freshener. Activities only focused on Chinese travellers. Entertainment for the 3 shows we saw was very good though. There was a contingent of Australians on board that almost everyone were moaning about the same things. Not a ship to recommend unless they can prepare better for the Australian market. Travel agents beware of sending your travellers on this cruise Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Having previously sailed on the Bliss in the Caribbean, we looked forward to the Pacific Coastal cruise so much we even convinced a friend of ours to book a cabin on the cruise. Boy were we disappointed. Standing in line winding ... Read More
Having previously sailed on the Bliss in the Caribbean, we looked forward to the Pacific Coastal cruise so much we even convinced a friend of ours to book a cabin on the cruise. Boy were we disappointed. Standing in line winding outdoors and indoors for over 2 1/2 hours to get our room cards and board the ship. There was no place to sit or rest until we were more than 2 hours into the process. No one from NCL seemed to care. When we finally got onboard (after 10 pm) the only place to get some food was the buffet....where nearly 4,000 of our fellow passengers were trying to do the same thing. Then we were told the first port of call, Seattle, was cancelled because there was not enough time to process the passengers through immigration so we would spend an overnight in Victoria BC. Why NCL created an itinerary that requires two separate US immigration stops is beyond me. (Vancouver to Seattle to Victoria BC to San Francisco before ending in Los Angeles). We wondered about that part of the itinerary when we booked the cruise but apparently NCL did not. Victoria BC has no amenities near the cruise terminal and no entertainment area either. To make matters worse, only 3 bars were allowed to be open due to local restrictions so drink service at our specialty restaurant was negatively impacted as the closet bar was 7 floors away. Our tour guide told us it was the first time he could recall a ship staying overnight in the 20 years he had been in the town. On the 3rd day of the 6 day cruise we finally sailed so the shops/bars/casinos could be open. Things were looking up...or so we thought. Unfortunately the next cruise port (San Francisco) was another frustrating experience as we technically arrived at 8 am but we were not able to get off the ship until after noon (with another 45 minutes of standing in line after our floor was called to disembark. So much for a full day in San Francisco. The Bliss is a beautiful ship but it is NOT capable of handling the number of passengers it carries when those passengers are indoors. The employees did not seem to give much effort to making our trip enjoyable. Maybe the attitude of frustrated passengers caused them to become defensive. We have already talked three other couples who inquired about our trip to stay away from NCL Bliss for this itinerary. When I wrote to NCL customer service to express my frustrations with their efforts, they brushed me off and did not offer what I really wanted most...acknowledgement that they did not provide the level of service their customers deserved. It may very well be my last NCL cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Not what was expected. Very unfriendly staff. Outdated vessel. Very small. Not well kept. Food was worse than hospital food. Balcony very dirty. Not a lot of activities on-board for 4 day duration. Age group 50-85. Disembarkment process ... Read More
Not what was expected. Very unfriendly staff. Outdated vessel. Very small. Not well kept. Food was worse than hospital food. Balcony very dirty. Not a lot of activities on-board for 4 day duration. Age group 50-85. Disembarkment process very early. Shops with expensive prices. Atrium is a small hole in the vessel. Elevators are old and dirty. Not sailing again with a Princess. The staff seem to agree that Royal Princess have higher standards in food, cleanliness and ship entertainment. The cocktails were very overpriced. Coffee tasted like water, looked muddy. Tea was better option. Same breakfast menu every single day. Buffet posts and glass were extremely dirty. Staff around ship couldn’t answer badic questions, but gave honest responses, “sorry, I can’t answer that, maybe someone else knows”!!! I would spend a few hundred more and get a better experience with an alternate cruiseline. Many seniors with books in hand and ready for relaxation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Chose this cruise foe its for its travel itinery. ship far to big , only onboard awe factor is the main auditorium, spectcular light show and there it ends, MSC health and safety to passengers is lacking. Major incident - Meraviglia ... Read More
Chose this cruise foe its for its travel itinery. ship far to big , only onboard awe factor is the main auditorium, spectcular light show and there it ends, MSC health and safety to passengers is lacking. Major incident - Meraviglia Lounge at lunchtime, entertainment crew decided the days lunchtime entertainment would be kicking a football on the dance floor where guests were sitting , drinking ,reading and chatting, so you expect the inevitable to happen and it did, football smashes into the table where we were sitting, cups, glasses sent flying, my wife hit full on with a glass of red wine, fortunatley the glass hit her shoulder another few inches higher and i dread to think of the outcome, my wife is in total shock covered in wine, hair, face and upper body, immediate panic from the staff trying to console her and trying to clean her up. We proceeded to customer reception and made a formal complaint, i womt go into the dran out procedure but it took four days to get to see and speak with the client relations manager who appologised on behalf of MSC, we asked on several occasions to view the video footage and the staff account of what happened, neither was forthcoming. We took the matter up with head office on our return, after several emails the end result was the offer of £180 credit towards a future cruise which we declined, why would i wish to spend several thousnd pounds on another cruise with MSC in the hope it would be any better, They seemed to simply dismiss the incident as a spilt glasss of wine when the outcome could have been life changing for my wife, i am thankfull this was not the case, Speciality dinning ecxperience - we booked a trio dinning package at a cost of 207 euros The Butchers Cut, The Ocean Quay and the Cirque de soliel dinner show, Just one out of three was up to standard. Butchers Cut - superb Ocean Quey - very poor Dinner show- absolute disaster, two 10 minuete stops for technical problems which ruined the performance, the food served was cold, no offer of a repeat show. Port embarcation - this took ages at all ports, customs at New York took nearly three hours, one passenger collapsed and was taken to hosipital, probably lost the will to live waiting around. There were no enrichment or seminars during the cruise considering the climate and much of the time was inside which also led to a lack of comfertable seating during the day, MSC gave the impression of repositioning on a budget at the expense of full paying passengers, they ran out of certain beverages, wines and soft drinks. Considering the mishaps the cabin was very good and housekeepig superb, the food served throughout the ship was good, our waiters at dinner were fantastic a credit to MSC. It just didn't compare to previouse cruises very dissapointed. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Elite member of Princess, have always enjoyed our experiences but not this time. First time I have found that I wish we had not gone at all. Embarkation was fine, cabin, while old was good except ONE plug that worked. Dining, found ... Read More
Elite member of Princess, have always enjoyed our experiences but not this time. First time I have found that I wish we had not gone at all. Embarkation was fine, cabin, while old was good except ONE plug that worked. Dining, found the food in the dining room OK but very little variety and I very much resented that I could not get brewed coffee on my coffee card until I either sent a poor server out to find it as it was not available at the Horizon Court either..Oh well, what you got was not very good anyway. Entertainment-- write that off, two male singers, two female singers, two shows and I believe there was someone who told jokes.....very little variety . That plus there were so many people coughing at times they were hard to hear. Service, lots of service people all who were very good at their jobs BUT especially in the Horizon Court I felt that more effort should have been made to disinfect the chairs, salt and pepper shakers and to keep the food area cleaner and the hand washers filled and to encourage people to use them. Shore Excursion people not nice to deal with, rude at times. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise for the ports of call and to see Iceland - a 17 night transatlantic from Kiel, Germany to New York City. A beautiful ship- great staff - a mozzarella making station - great your choice dining at which tables for 2 were ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ports of call and to see Iceland - a 17 night transatlantic from Kiel, Germany to New York City. A beautiful ship- great staff - a mozzarella making station - great your choice dining at which tables for 2 were plentiful - However, an absent Captain, a wannabe Cruise Director, passengers embarking and debarking at every European port - a FLOATING BUS - Our welcome aboard party was at sea , Day 10 , heading from Iceland to Canada. There were 2 gangways for everyone to use other than the specialty Yacht Club who had their own, and the poorest managed ship we have ever been on - No such thing as nickel and dime to death here - It is many Euro & Euro to death - If you did not take the MSC cruises or shuttles, they did not tell anyone about city run free port shuttles (Southampton), the Hop on Hop Off next to the terminal in Rejkjavik, or the change of plans and routes. My wife and I do not drink wine or beer. We were told that we could only get wine or beer on board when in St John, NB, Halifax because that was the Canadian law- they did not tell us that MSC was too cheap to pay the port taxes for spirits consumed . At the service desk I was told that we would not receive a 3 day rebate on our paid beverage package and to drink what they had available MSC contracts everything out .- even the individual bars are in competition with each other. That is why there was hounding every day to purchase everything on the ship, including the full sized gymnasium & equipment and the exercise room - we do not classify the shopping in the promenade mall, spa, drinking and eating in the specialty restaurants. The giant tv at the very little used Lido pool showed a continuous loop of the Northern Lights 24/7 for 18 days. The greatly used solarium pool was dumped out for 24 hours for a 2 hour ice sculpture on a sea day - The staffing on board was well below the numbers on smaller ships we have been on - The MSC management team tried to keep selling the fact that they had all kinds of activities all day long and were extremely busy running them. We do not consider 1 activity an hour on the whole ship (4500 passengers) as being busy - heaven forbid on a sea day that there be trivia to interfere with the promenade shopping and their daily specials. The most mismanaged ship we have ever been on because if most things on board are contracted out - then the contractors are to blame not MSC. This is the first time I have ever taken the time to send in a review and this comes 3 months after we got home - If this was our first cruise - we would never be doing another - MSC does not even get to the bottom rung of our ladder - We were either mis-informed, uninformed or purposely lied to by the Sr Management on board of this Cruiseline and this particular Cruise. Never again. - MSC Meraviglia should be called - MSC Fregatura - (Stiffed or Ripped off)- North Americans must know how this company operates - This was not our first rodeo as you can see on my signature - It was our only cruise we have had something to complain about and put it in writing for a first time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise as we wanted to go to the Darwin Cup and Komodo Island. All that dates aligned with the ship docking in Darwin on the date of the Darwin Cup. Paseptic Doom Room 8107 -do not go there. I was so excited to be ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we wanted to go to the Darwin Cup and Komodo Island. All that dates aligned with the ship docking in Darwin on the date of the Darwin Cup. Paseptic Doom Room 8107 -do not go there. I was so excited to be going on a cruise, Brisbane to Singapore, with stops at Port Douglas, Darwin, Timor Leste, Komodo Island and Benoa Bali. I had read some bad reviews and also some good reviews about the Pacific Dawn and I decided to go with the the good reviews. I booked an interior room and were surprised to have been given a complimentary upgrade to cabin 8107, obstructed view. The first night we noticed our floor vibrating, then the loud noise from the band, then karaoke (help me please). We made the decision to not come back to our cabin till after 11.30 to avoid this. We had a great few days enjoying the ship. The decor is very modern, and we soon settled in to ship life. Day 2 my partner came down with very bad head congestion and rough cough. By Day 6 I also had it. So we did not contaminate others, we lay low and and hid in our cabin. That’s when we noticed the little laneway outside our cabin carrying all kind of engineering/ seamen past our cabin window. One whole afternoon they were grinding metal outside our windows. So curtains closed during the day, and noise till 11.30 pm each night. As we disembarked in Darwin to head to the chemist for medication, we noticed a couple of 100 more people with the same problem cough. After we were feeling a little better and not contagious we ventured out. One night in the Marqee lounge, the chorus of coughing was louder than the entertainment. My guess would be that the air conditioning on this ship is very sick. We washed our hands thoroughly, used the sanitiser, I sanitised our cabin twice a day with eucalyptus spray. You can’t catch it through the food handling as the staff handle all the food. So I am guessing if you go on this ship get a balcony cabin so you can have fresh air. I am sitting by the pool right now and it is a chorus of coughing. Now down to the sewerage problem. The first couple of days all was fine, then a massive sewerage smell started sweeping over the ship. Staff outside the Marquee were spraying air freshener on to the carpet to try to cover it up. The smell was very dominant around deck 7,8,9 and 11. This is not good enough P&O. This is a major health risk to your staff and your passengers. I do hope that this is your major priority of your 2 week dry dock in Singapore. Getting off the ship at tender ports. It is so slow. Arrive Bali at 8.00am, still trying to get off at 12pm. Not complaining as I can see the problem, but just be aware if you book tours privately. Promenade bar is a great spot to get a serious drink and unwind before dinner. A very big Thank-you to John and Bella for looking out for us. Orient Bar Too noisy for me, always trivia, games, karaoke going on , but way to loud for my tastes. The Pantry Food acceptable, the only problem for me was if I wanted butter with my toast, I had to line up in 2 queues, as the butter did not live with the toast. A good concept of a food court style. Stops germs spreading. Food was ok, service was excellent. The Waterfront Gone are the days of having the same table for dinner every night. But it was ok, we got used to it. The food was of an acceptable standard and the service was efficient. Salt Grill What a disappointment We had dined here previously 10 yeas ago on the Jewel. It was brilliant back then. I ordered sashimi scallop. There was more potato on the plate than scallop, and covered in a green herb sauce that totally over powered the delicate taste of the scallop. I had a steak that was a little on the tough side for main. I had the cheese for dessert, which was the smallest serving of cheese I have seen on a platter. All in all very bad value for money at $59 per head. Nice wine list though. We also had the afternoon tea at Salt Grill which was very good at $29. I wish they would change the menu as I would have liked to this again. Chefs Table Pre dinner canapés with Australian Sparking, followed by a 7 course degustation. This was a lovely meal, the standout dish for me was the lobster bisque We had Tuna Lobster Bisque Barramundi Strawberry Daquiri Steak Mango dessert Cheese platter All dishes had accompanying Australian wines. It was a very well balanced out menu Shell & Bones Thanks Kylie for a wonderful night. The food was what I expected and the prices reasonable. We ended up esting here Twice The Grill Perfect Pizza, excellent. The Spa Did not go to the spa as the prices were off the charts. I really wanted a masssge but not at those prices. I wonder how many people would book treatments if the prices were not so high. Our Cabin 8107 Very clean, our steward James was fantastic looking after us in every possible way. Hot water is magically hot and pressure is the best. But as above, do not book this if you want privacy or peace and quiet. The Orient bar runs all day and concludes at 9.45 and some nights 11.45pm. All access tour. I really wanted to do this, it was something I was looking forward too. We had the access all area’s tour booked, but we are both so sick and we don’t want to affect anyone else’s holiday. The staff are amazing, they go above and beyond any request possible. If it were not for the bad cabin and illness I would rate this a really good cruise. Day Trips Port Douglas Too rough to tender. Darwin Went to the Darwin cup, the buses run for free from the city service. The set up on the day is great, Hundred of long tables under cover for the public. Timor Leste We chose to tour privately with Timor Adventures. The tour was great, but we were pushed for time due to the tender process getting off the boat. Our tour was scheduled to leave at 9am, but it did not leave until 11am, whilst we waited for people to get off the boat. We drove out to the old fort, stopped at an old gaol, seaside lunch, Cristo Rei and the cemeteries where the massacre was. We learnt a lot about the struggles of the people of Timor Leste. Komodo Island We booked a private tour here with Beyond Komodo Tours. It was the highlight of my trip. We had a small group tour of the dragons, sighting 7 in total. We then went on a boat to Pink Beach where we were given snorkelling gear and were dropped straight on the the reef. It was spectacular, beautiful corals and a multitude of fish. Then we were served a delicious lunch of prawns, calamari, chicken, eggplant and stir fry with rice and noodles. Thankyou Leo from Beyond Komodo. This made our trip. Bali Another private tour in a car to Ubud, we visited the monkey forest, a traditional housing compound and a Lewakcoffee house. As we struggled to get off the ship again due to tended, we missed 4 hours of our tour. We used Hire Bali Driver. Leo was very good trying to fit in as much as possible. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Royal Seas. Let me first say that there is nothing Royal about this. Don’t let the pictures of the brand new cruise ships fool you. The ship we got on was rusted and corroding away. They called us with an all inclusive package that in ... Read More
Royal Seas. Let me first say that there is nothing Royal about this. Don’t let the pictures of the brand new cruise ships fool you. The ship we got on was rusted and corroding away. They called us with an all inclusive package that in reality, was nothing inclusive about. We gave them a credit card number that we knew did not have enough to cover the initial $1,000 so that it would be declined and they could leave us alone. Well they had a way around that and charged it anyways so that we were way over our limit. After 6 months we decided that this was not something we were interested in. After trying to get a refund, we were refused and told basically that we either take it, give it to a friend, or forfeit the money. After some deliberation we decide to just go ahead and take it. We should have just forfeited the money. There was a bunch of taxes and hidden fees that were not included in our all inclusive package. We also paid $300 to upgrade our resort on the island so that our food and beverages were included. We set our date, book our flights ($400 extra), and arrive in FT. Lauderdale. After also upgrading the rental car (because we aren’t fitting comfortably into a Kia Rio $170 extra), we get to our hotel that Royal Seas booked us claiming to be a Ramada....yeah like 10 years ago. Let’s talk about false advertising here folks. The room itself was spacious, beds were not terribly uncomfortable, but the AC only cooled to about 78 degrees. Top that with only 4 tv stations, and the late night drug deals in the parking lot....we were not happy. Then we find out the next day our “orientation” was actually a Time Share tour. Living in a tourist town we know what a waste of time that was about to be...but they hold our Cruise tickets hostage until you endure 2 hours of “OMG it wont even cost you that much and you get this and this and this” better known as we cost more then a car payment and will bankrupt you into a contract you cant get out of. Come on Wyndham, you could have at least put us up in your “resort” to sell us a time share. After leaving 2 hours of our life that we will never get back, we call Royal Seas to complain about the accommodations, at first we get a rude little girl who very unprofessionally hangs up on us. As business owners, rule 1, never be the first to hang up. After calling back and speaking to management, they acted like they were gonna put us through to HR to put a formal complaint against that person, but we were hung up again, and only after saying they didnt have anything else available. Needless to say, we packed our bags, found the best little AirB&B 1 hour away and hightailed it out of there with our cruise tickets. Honestly, the AirB&B was the highlight of our trip. On day 3 we make our way to the port to board the ship. We get there at 11, stand in line for 1.5 hours, get charged $150 (taxes, fees, taxis, etc) and board the ship. Only to not have our rooms ready so we are forced to be around a bunch of strangers while hoarding our stuff because, well, they let anyone aboard. After barely eating a down right terrible lunch buffet, we sweat our butts off on the outside deck so the claustrophobia isn’t as bad before finally getting to go to our room...Where we promptly tried to hide in for 3 hours until the dang boat finally set sail. Let me say this right here if nothing else, they do not tell you what’s included, help you out at all, or care if you are getting everything you want out of the amenities included. We were afraid to leave the room for fear of having to be charged anything extra and at 18% gratuity alone, no thanks. Skipping ahead to the next morning (because there are just some stresses that needn’t be said) at 830 we all but ran off the ship to the hot island Bahamian air where we had to wait on a taxi to our resort. There’s our first indication that Islanders are not very friendly, especially when you’re a different skin color then them. We were ignored and left waiting for the next taxi because one female driver decided we weren’t her people. The next taxi held 12 people in it, 12 hot sweaty people, barely working AC, and a 20 year old van in desperate need of shocks. 20 grueling minutes later we arrive at the “all inclusive resort” where we were told to make sure we have a day bag packed because for 6 hot miserable hours, we would not be allowed to check into our room. At first we were excited. there was music, white (ish) beaches, and clear blue water. We found our own spot along the beach and took turns in the water (after all, trust no one, especially islanders haggling with you on the beach for Conch shells, marijuana, and Cocaine...yes, cocaine which we were offered 10 minutes after stepping foot on the beach.) 2 miserable hours later we get our buffet lunch (mediocre) and proceed to sit around for 4 more miserable hot sweaty hours before standing in line for 45 mins to get room keys. After walking to the absolute furthest room on the island we are met with a nice cool ACed room, but missing towels which an employee gave to us about 20minutes after getting in there. 7 hours in and we were already dead sick of being trapped in this resort. After looking into tours, excursions, and tourists traps (dont even ask about them unless you got money coming out of your ass because thats honestly the only way you’ll afford anything) the next day we purchased a rental car. $85 with taxes, we set off on day 2 with the resort in the rear view. While we found our own private beaches, coral rehabilitations, and deserted roads, the island is dirty, poor, and literally a living garbage can. Trash everywhere, run down buildings everywhere, abandoned hotels. It was downright sad at the state of what could have been a beautiful island. Day 3 we return the rental to an extremely rude owner who decided overnight that we were no longer worth mannerisms and check out of our hotel to get back on the dreaded cruise ship. I will say the return home was not nearly as bad now that we knew what was included but still, Royal Seas isn’t even comparable to one of those little rescue boats hanging off of a Carnival cruise ship. Before they con you into spending your hard earned money, think twice and read reviews. Splurge for Carnival, or stay away from floating death traps that hold a thousand people who would shove you overboard to save themselves and make your own way. AirB&Bs include house boats if you wanna be on the waters. Just saying. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
1. Room 8040 was terrible we keep hearing super loud thumping sounds from somewhere, my four year old who always sleeps like a baby woke up so many times and said it’s just too noisy 2. Food service was terrible, they ask you how you ... Read More
1. Room 8040 was terrible we keep hearing super loud thumping sounds from somewhere, my four year old who always sleeps like a baby woke up so many times and said it’s just too noisy 2. Food service was terrible, they ask you how you want the meat cooked but it’s never cooked to our preference and most things are cold when they reach us. We weren’t very happy that there were many times when we were hungry but there wasn’t any food available to us other than soggy fries and pizza that tasted like plastic. The dining rotations were so bad by day 3 we wanted to skip it and just go to the buffet but only to realize there is no dinner buffet! Desserts were unbearable! Breakfast buffet was so 1980’s. No gluten free options and it’s just a bunch of flour and sugary foods but are not even considered real food. We could choose either cheap waffle pancake or donut, with lots of sugary dressings, or we go for boxed cereal that aren’t even real food but synthesized. The butter wasn't even real butter it was margarine! People who care about their bodies and health and watch what they eat don’t eat these packaged processed foods. My daughters are gluten/corn/soy sensitive, they ended up having no appetite for breakfast. I am not sure about you but from where I live everyone is aware that eating like that causes obesity and diabetes. But I don’t mind eating that stuff if it’s good but it wasn’t even good! 3. Most of us were so seasick we couldn’t really enjoy it, and I have never been seasick at all on any cruise ship, not to mention one time I was on a cruise when I was in between first and second trimester. But this time I felt so sick I was lying down one time for 36 hours straight and one of the kids threw up right in the middle of the show that’s how bad the ship was moving and swaying. 4. The Club House was terrible, they just hand my 4&6 year olds iPads! For the money we pay we would think the people there would have been giving them some more interesting things to do but our kids come back and say they are bored because they just get an iPad which my 4 year old never got any instruction and isn’t even fluent in English, so she had no idea what she was doing and was utterly bored! 5. The UK customs clearance was unbelievable, we were in line for almost two hours only to have to give up because we didn’t want to miss the Lion King premier and then had to go back in the line again after the movie! That’s just really poor coordination, we wasted so much time and it’s quite obvious that people were pissed too. They even asked us if we had any intentions to work in the UK! As if anyone would pay 17000 USD just to sneak in and find illegal work? 6. Laundry was so frustrating when half of the machines would always be broken at any time! So the functional machines were scarce and people ended up having to bite or fight each other to use them. It just reminded me of my college dorms! And people were taking my stuff out of dryer even before I got the message from Disney Cruise app! I had semi dry clothing lying all over when I got there a few minutes before my dryer time is up! 7. When we got to Dover, the shuttle bus to Dover train station actually cost 10 USD per person including our small children, that’s 40 USD in total while local taxi which we ended up taking only costs 10 pounds! 8. For all the coffee at our dining rotations, it actually costs money! For a coffee to go with the dessert after our meal, it costs 2-3 dollars I think that’s just too obvious Disney is trying to charge for whatever they could. We paid 17000 USD for 7 days and we couldn’t get a coffee to go with our dessert? 9. The Disney Cruise wasn’t even very Disney, I thought it would give us the feeling when we walk into Disney Orlando but it was nowhere near. Other than the shows and occasional characters posing for photographs (which again costs money), nothing was Disney! No Disney Music, no Disney decor, no Disney colors, not even the famous Disney parade....which we actually had even at non Disney Cruise Ship one time, the Oasis. For 17000 USD I think we definitely have many other options. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Where to start: First, we have sailed nineteen times and experienced an array of American AND European cruise products from RCCL, Princess, Costa, P&O, NCL, Holland America etc. The experiences of these diverse products have ... Read More
Where to start: First, we have sailed nineteen times and experienced an array of American AND European cruise products from RCCL, Princess, Costa, P&O, NCL, Holland America etc. The experiences of these diverse products have collectively informed my opinion of our MSC experience. MSC is NOT for the American market share rather, this European line is clearly after the sustainability of the European market share. American products by and large, do not charge a consistently high price for the cruise and then, charge clients for water while on board. Yes... MSC does this. Not even Costa does this. We paid over 3k for our cruise (similar and consistent to what we have paid for with other products like RCCL, Costa, Princess etc.) but while on board the MSC product we were charged for water.... we were amazed, perplexed and terribly disappointed. Its also important to note -what MSC USA sold us was not what we experienced onboard. When we pointed out the discrepancies on board we were told to take it up with MSC USA when we got home. We did, they did nothing to satisfy or settle our issue. We purchased the Fantastica experience, were told drink packages were included - then they somehow were not included. When we argued they were - we were told we had to buy a drink package which we did for our two children (non alcoholic package) and 1 adult alcoholic package. Only to get on board and be told we shouldn't have done that in fact it was included in our package and when we asked to have the initial prepaid packages we purchased refunded they said - sorry it wasn't included... The only thing which we felt was consistent was the inconsistency between what was sold and what we expected to what we actually experienced onboard. Other things we felt were important to note. The excursions - expensive but of little to no substance; again, representing to us an imbalance between what we paid for and what we actually experienced. We purchased several excursions through MSC - and quickly spent MORE TIME transiting to the excursions than we actually did enjoying the place we were visiting. This happend to us in both Arles France and Portofino. In Arles, we spent 3 hours on a bus to experience the town for only an hour. While in Portofino, same things - we paid a fortune to go to Portofino and spent three hours transiting there only to spend an hour IN Portofino... Very little value for money. Similarly, MSC twice docked at a port which they charged a fee to go from the Port facility to the town.... We were left shaking our heads and again, having the experience of other lines, this was an anomaly we felt was important to note for others who are considering this line. The ship itself was clean, comparatively clean to other lines and with cabins which were much larger than the typical stateroom found on other lines. That was about the only two bonuses on this line. Our experience of the ship was in one word -- exhausting. Terribly overcrowded and with clearly overwhelmed staff who continually treated us with discourtesy and disregard. The staff appeared as exhausted of the overcrowded conditions as we were. This was consistent from the bar staff to the dinning staff -- totally overwhelmed and continually discourteous and seemed exhausted..... The common centers on the ship were jammed daily elbow to elbow with people and loud music - wasn't a quiet spot on the ship to be found... ever. The smoking is an experience not commonly found with American products, on European lines - smoking is everywhere and something we found terribly intrusive and distasteful. Imagine placing the ONLY soft serve ice cream station for kids on the ship in the smoking section of the ship... kids actually have to endure cigarette smoke while waiting for their ice cream (which was eventually closed down due to being broken). This careless disregard for children - alone, made us not want to return to this product... ever. We have sailed many ships (19 cruises to date) and several of those other European products. First time we were ever on a ship and product we couldn't wait to leave... first time. The cost of this product comparatively is similar to other lines - RCCL, Princess Holland America - but what you get for your money is wholly inconsistent and as a result, we could not in good conscience recommend this product, especially for families. While MSC is trying desperately to break into the American marketshare, we believe this is going to be extremely difficult as people with experiences such as ours, share our impressions with others. This was an honest and unbiased account of our experience. We hope it is taken seriously so the product may be improved for others going forward. For us, we will not use or recommend this product in the future. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
To put it mildly.....We really need a vacation after this Cruise! We ~hesitantly booked this Alaskan Glacier cruise with 7 other family members from around the US. This was to be a true "Bucket-List Cruise". There were 3 ... Read More
To put it mildly.....We really need a vacation after this Cruise! We ~hesitantly booked this Alaskan Glacier cruise with 7 other family members from around the US. This was to be a true "Bucket-List Cruise". There were 3 Seniors with our party..one of them a "Diamond RC" member. We aren't typically cruise people, but we wanted to participate with this one for the aging members of the family. We are Luxury Vacationers and Platinum Marriott Members. We enjoy fine food, fine wine and luxury amenities. Yes, the Ovation is a sparkly new ship. The balcony stateroom was adequate, the staff were quite nice. That's all the positive energy I can put into this review. The biggest disappointment..BY FAR...was that THIS Alaskan Cruise did not get to see the glacier we had on the itinerary...This ship is TOO BIG to get to the glacier!! So I'll bet no one will ever see the glacier if you take this ship! The 3 other ships that sailed with us all went to the glacier. Also, the same cruise the week ahead of us didn't go to the glacier either. Safety aside..this was THE hallmark of the trip. If they couldn't do it, they should've told us ahead of time. Right off the bat, they want your individual picture! Not because it's " A time to Remember" ...it's all about facial recognition. Don't believe it's true? Think again! For beginners, the embarkation was total chaos, stress and disorganization from Seattle. The seniors were exhausted and so were we. The dining experience.... Some of our family were staying in Junior Suites...They ate at a separate dining room every night. We were not allowed to attend that dining room. So unless we wanted to pay the upcharge for a specialty dining venue we never ate dinner together....NOT ONCE! So we did lunch together instead. Here is where we ate our meals and our thoughts on the experience.... Where ARE the fantastic Buffets? The ice sculptures? The shrimp towers? The chocolate fountains? Not on this ship! None of it.... We ordered coffee/Juice & danish from room service each morning..free with a tip. OK Windjammer is like a hospital cafeteria. Food was Eh... Cafe Two70 another hospital cafeteria. Food was Eh... Cafe Promenade 24hr coffee/ stale pastry & Sandwich shop is the size of a kiosk at the mall. Nothing special here. Chic MDR dining where we ate dinner was ok, staff was very attentive. Average food, nothing special, didn't leave hungry. Solarium Bistro Breakfast to order was a hidden gem in the mornings and decent. Solarium Bistro Dinner...not that great. Eh... Lunch in the The Grand was ok, good place to gather if you are with a group. The smoking/vaping sections of the ship. If you are a smoker, vaper or enjoy a cigar...Beware! There are only 3 places on ship to indulge in your stress-reducing cigarette. #1 The 5th Floor patio near Vintages Wine bar- the quietest place and most difficult place to find (but closed many times for cleaning?, without any cleaning going on?) #2 The 14th Floor open air hallway between the Solarium and Splashaway Bay. This is quite a hike from most staterooms. Not a favorite place to go. #3 The back left section of Casino Royale if you want to be out of the weather & wind. Another not-so-favorite place to go, but nice at 6:30 am if you'd like a little peace & quiet. Night time activities were mediocre at best. We usually ended up in the Music Hall for a silly game or two and some music...not as good as my local bar. Schooners had some nice piano music. We never did see any of the shows. They were booked up from day #1. We did the Skagway train excursion, which was nice. We booked that several months in advance. The " Refreshment package" was expensive, but covered all of our bottled water & Virgin Mary drinks & Mocktails. We also used it for other mixers because we purchased a few "Royal Gift" packages of Absolute Vodka for our room so we could mix our own drinks. We also brought on 2 bottles of wine from port on embarkation day. The others with us hardly got their money's worth from the alcohol packages they spent almost $1,000 on. Most of the bars were closed during days in port. FYI... The PUSH to SPEND MORE ! OMG!!! The constant push to spend more money blew my mind! As if you haven't spent ENOUGH already!!!! Every activity is put in place to help you spend more money. From the "Smokey-Eye" Demo (to purchase Urban Decay Makeup Pallets) to the Seminars. They want you spending..spending...spending! Even the TV stations...non-existent so you are out spending instead of watching tv. VOOM Experience..=...DOOM Experience...need I say more...totally NOT worth it. Even in an emergency. Formal nights....FWIW what is the point? Nothing special...No fancy dinners here or reduced drink prices...Just more opportunity for pictures to sell you later. The Captains Reception....Hahahaha....reception? I though most receptions came with a drink and a small bite? My mistake. Ports..Interesting tourist traps...bought a few things, saw a few things, drank a beer, ate a lunch....maybe did an excursion....got back on ship This is just the tip of the iceburg...haha..But you've got the idea. Perspective...If you're a cruiser, you'll always be a cruiser...it's your thing. No offense, but I just don't see how this is a relaxing or pampering way to vacation. I would not classify this as a Luxury Cruise. When the bills roll in and begin to hover near the $8,000 mark and we have nothing special to say about this vacation, that's just sad. I can put a much better vacation together with 1/4 of the money we spent and say.."I have had a vacation"...Ahhhhh. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Booked the Queens Grill = £9.000 so quite expensive. Was expecting a real quality experience but very quickly realised it was not all it was made up to be. So, arrived in Southampton and entered a chaotic cattle shed where I was shunted ... Read More
Booked the Queens Grill = £9.000 so quite expensive. Was expecting a real quality experience but very quickly realised it was not all it was made up to be. So, arrived in Southampton and entered a chaotic cattle shed where I was shunted to the priority line. Walked on the ship to be told “the lift is over their, like “get on with it”. Walked around aimlessly for a bit and really found my cabin (943) by chance. Cabin was clean, bathroom tiles were dirty. A welcome was conspicuous by its absence. Food in the Queens Grill was like clockwork .. boring and on numerous times Luke warm. I never got the Gala Nights. Put on a DJ to eat dinner, nothing else, I expected the captain to sit with us or a gala ball for the Queens Grill ... nothing. What was very surprising is that during the entire trip not once did any management come to us to say “welcome” or “how it the trip” .. there was no discerning quality, they just wanted your money. So where was “packing and unpacking, or a morning pot of tea” .. didn’t exist. The evening canapés delivered to the room were simply low grade pate or other stodge. Cut my leg badly on the edge of a chair on the deck and asked a crew member to get me a plaster, he just walked away. The whole experience felt like a Chanel Ferry crossing .. once you leave the ship in New York you are on your own. There is NO assistance to locate your baggage or assistance with carrying. We are elderly and really struggled through the immigration hall and border controls to the chaotic outside with NO assistance to find a taxi .. total chaos. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise because of the incredible places it visited. The ports of call and most excursions were awesome and well worth the time and money. However, the ship was a completely disgusting place to have to spend time on. Our ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the incredible places it visited. The ports of call and most excursions were awesome and well worth the time and money. However, the ship was a completely disgusting place to have to spend time on. Our first cabin constantly filled with smoke fumes from the exhaust stacks above. For some reason, the exhaust found its way into our cabin via the air conditioning unit as well as from the balcony door while it was open. Not only did we endure exhaust fumes day and night, but we also had to deal with the smell of sewage coming in the door when we tried to clear out the polluted air from our cabin. We also smelled sewage gas fumes while out on our balcony and around the ship. As a result of the exhaust fumes, my asthma/bronchitis flared up and I was (and still am) in dire distress throughout the cruise. Paid over $300 to see the doctor on board only to be told that I needed a cough suppressant. Waited over 2 hours with multiple other passengers who were suffering various forms of breathing distress. We reported the exhaust fumes that filled our cabin to customer service. They had a young lady come to the door of the cabin to ask us what our problem was. She said she'd let maintenance know. Maintenance came to the door and asked us, once again, what our problem was. They said they'd let their supervisor know. That was the last time anyone on the ship responded to our breathing issues. When we mentioned it to one of the head waiters, she asked about it for us. She was informed that the maintenance staff considered us to be liers. She was upset on our behalf, but there was nothing she could do. So, the management of Royal Caribbean, Spectrum of the Seas determined without further investigation that WE were LIERS and there were no exhaust fumes in our cabin! The entertainment was hit and miss. Some of the shows were amazing, others were so-so. Most of the so-so shows were repeated throughout the cruise. The ship's band was excellent, however, it always played so loudly that earplugs were necessary. The gymnasium was small with limited equipment. Lots of entertainment for younger passengers - bumper cars, climbing wall, surfing, etc. Quite amazing, actually. The food was great during the first half of the cruise and went downhill as the second half of the cruise progressed. We found that we ate very little of what was served to us. Coughing, loud, tortured, and constant by well over three-quarters of the passengers was heard throughout the ship. Lots of sick people to spend time with while living on the ship. The many people we spoke with also complained about exhaust-like fumes throughout the ship. Staff were absolutely AMAZING! Courteous, friendly, helpful (except maintenance, of course). Can't write enough good things about each of the staff members. They did an incredible job doing what they could to cheer up all of the passengers. EVERYTHING was expensive on the ship. There were charges for everything. Nowhere to purchase toiletries except at the Japanese Pharmacy. One had to purchase three large containers of a product at exorbitant prices. Nowhere could we find simple products like cold suppressant supplies, toothpaste, hairspray, etc. ALL of the shops were high-end and extremely expensive. Nowhere to purchase simple, inexpensive souvenirs to bring home. We were personally aware of three elevator incidents. Two times where people were trapped in the elevator and couldn't get out. Ten people suffered multiple injuries when the elevator they were in fell three floors. I overhead the meeting those people had with management and I was appalled at how rudely they were treated! No compensation was given other than a discount off their next cruise with Royal Caribbean. They were even told that they were lying about what took place. One woman that I had come to know started crying and one of the ship's management people told her to "settle down'. No empathy whatsoever. Even when they were removed from the elevator it was done in an unsafe manner. If the elevator had fallen (it was slowly going down at the time) they would have been severed - beheaded. All in all, we will not be travelling with Royal Caribean again. Mostly because of the lack of follow up with so many disasters and health-compromising issues. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose because, although this would be my first cruise. the other three people had previous good experiences with Princess. However, all four of us will NEVER sail with Princess again. From booking on there were problems. We were ... Read More
We chose because, although this would be my first cruise. the other three people had previous good experiences with Princess. However, all four of us will NEVER sail with Princess again. From booking on there were problems. We were misled on the use of on board credits; our free premium drink package was not honored until we proved it was legit; food was lukewarm on the buffets while the plates were scalding hot. One real danger to passengers: Princess is very misinformed about passport use. They claimed passports did not need to be carried with you off the ship, and were totally ignorant of when a passport needs to be stamped at entry. Almost got us arrested following their advice. Luckily, quite by accident, we met a Spanish immigration official in Barcelona who gave us the real information. But the real problem was with shore excursions. Be forewarned, Princess will not come to your aid if something goes wrong. Our tour guide went rogue. During the "kidnapping", I tried to call Princess. No phone numbers worked. Their offices were not open. When I finally got someone and gave all the info, including the location,tour number, my name, and all contact info, they hung up and failed to call back. Then for the next five days, they attempted to bury the incident. They never investigated. I forced their hand, and had meetings with all levels of management, including the captain, who took no responsibility and claimed that Princess would never cover up any incident. BTW, after this horrendous experience, I could not leave the ship due to panic attacks until we got to the end of the cruise. I was a prisoner in a billion dollar jail. All Princess staff claimed that no cover up was going on. They never investigated, even 30+ days later and never tried ANYTHING to help. They endangered my life and the lives of 40 other passengers, and showed nothing but neglect and indifference. Keep in mind that Princess Cruises was just fined $20 million dollars for covering up dumping waste in the Caribbean over a five year probationary period by falsifying records and lying during inspections. So the bottom line is: Princess just wants to cash in, and anything else can be bought off, even the health and safety of its passengers. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was meant to be an aniversary present for my husband. We expected to see some of Hawaii but the itinary was changed several times before the sailing. We sat in Oahu for a survey instead of cruising. They cancelled all our prebooked ... Read More
This was meant to be an aniversary present for my husband. We expected to see some of Hawaii but the itinary was changed several times before the sailing. We sat in Oahu for a survey instead of cruising. They cancelled all our prebooked shore excursions leaving us with a breif stop in Maui. If you wanted to shop great if not disapointing. It was just a really long boat trip from Hawaii to Vancouvre via Maui. Our time in Victoria was cut short due to the tide. We sat in Vancouvre overnight in port. Dissembarkation was a nightmare. Locating bags was like a really sick idea of a scavenger hunt. Close to 3 hours to get off, find your bag and wait in the longest line ever for a taxi. Of course the taxis were busy bringing people for embarkation so it was a mess. We were told when we complained that everyone received the same compensation. We received refunds for our shore excursions and refunds for 2 nights we spent in port instead of cruising. We received a credit to buy lunch because they couldnt one day. That certainly is not compensation its reimbursment! Royal Caribean do not care. They changed everything about our holiday, we did not get what we paid for or what we expected. If we had wanted to do a long boat ride from Hawaii to Vancouvre then we would have booked one. We didnt but thats what we got. Wouldnt travel with them again. The cruise was a comedy of errors and changes. Appauling customer service. MSC gave us a better cruising experience at a far better price. The activities onboard were sometimes hard to get onto and into. You certainly needed to be everywhere very early and not mind waiting in line at times. The artists were of a high standard. The food was nice in the restaurant but it did get a little boring after 10 Days as several meals were repeated. The buffet had a large range but again the choices got boring as they seemed to be the same each day. We dinned at Wonderland on one occasion and really enjoyed the quirky nature of the food. It was fun and a nice break from the main eating areas. The robot bar is fun the first time but the novelty soon wears off. Unfortunatley there were a large amount of people who had very small children in the bars even as late as midnight. We had the drinks package and found it was a good idea as the prices on board were expensive. There were multiple shopping events. Its such a shame that this cruise was spoilt by poor planning. We complained to our travel agent who passed our concerns onto Royal guest services who said that all passengers were given the same compensation. We were refunded the cost of shore excursions and 2 nights that we sat in port as well as the cost of lunch on a day they could not provide it. That certainly does not qualify as compensation. Perhaps they need a dictionary to understand the difference. At the end of the day they just did not care about our experience it was all about the money. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019

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