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1,107 Repositioning Cruise Reviews

This was our second transatlantic on RCI. In comparing to our last RCI transatlantic on Mariner OTS in 2013, we noticed quite a few changes......some not for the better. OVERALL: Just average. No WOW factor that Royal uses in their ... Read More
This was our second transatlantic on RCI. In comparing to our last RCI transatlantic on Mariner OTS in 2013, we noticed quite a few changes......some not for the better. OVERALL: Just average. No WOW factor that Royal uses in their marketing. We traveled with another couple who had been on only one other cruise on Carnival. (They thought all cruises involved screaming children, belly flop contests at the pool, excessive drinking, etc.) We bragged how much better Royal was in areas such as food, ambiance, service, etc. After this cruise, we are not sure our neighbors will travel with us again. We came in to Rome 4 days early. Great idea to acclimate to the time zone and tour Rome. Highly recommended. We took the Leonardo Express train from the airport and walked to our hotel not far from Termini Station. We packed using a wheeled duffle and a backpack. Easy to get around. If you pack with less mobile luggage, you may want to rethink. Quite a bit of walking. EMBARKATION: From Rome, we walked back to Termini and took the express train to Civitavecchia. This is a regional train with just a few stops. Cost just 11.5 Euros per person and was clean, fast, and on-time. In just about an hour, we had arrived at the port. Another review had mentioned that arrival at the Civitavecchia station involved stairs. VERY TRUE! Arrival platform involves going down stairs crossing under the tracks and back up another flight of stairs. No escalators or elevators. Remember this if you have any difficulty carrying luggage. A very short walk to the port entry gate was easy to do, but not well marked with directional signs. The walkway is wide and level. Once at the port entry, there is a bus pickup area that will take you to your ship. We arrived about 11:00am and they only had one small bus running every 45 minutes or so. Disorganized, no staff from RCI at the bus stop, and over-crowded with many passengers pushing and shoving to try and get on the bus when it arrived. We thought it was bad, but tolerable, until the bus took us to a tent in the middle of the port to get off, pick up our luggage again and then wait for ANOTHER bus to finally take us to the ship. This 2-step transport process was painful, wasted time, and did not make a good impression. It took us longer to get from the port entry to the ship than it did for us to get from Rome to Civitavecchia. Once at the ship, embarkation agents were ready and everything moved fairly smooth for boarding. Cabin was not ready so we headed to the Windjammer buffet for lunch. Overcrowded and no seats available. I said this in my last review, do the math RCI! You are going to have problems if you try to fit 1,000 people into a 750 seat restaurant. After waiting 20 minutes, we finally found a table outside aft. Nothing better than eating in your jackets in cool and windy weather. I said WOW, but not in a good way. SHIP: Overall the ship looked pretty good after it's recent drydock. No major complaints on overall appearance and our cabin was neat and tidy as well. The bathroom did have some chipped mirrors and missing caulk in the shower. Not sure why you would spend millions in a renovation and overlook these details. They also supplied some towels that were actually torn and threadbare, well past their usable life. A hotel that rents by the hour would not even use these towels. Not sure why RCI would even consider this practice if they are remotely wanting to make a good impression on their customers. Our cabin steward was pleasant, quiet and did a good job. Even after several introductions, he could never remember our names. This was the first sign that something had really changed. Overworked? Too many cabins/customers? Bad memory? You would think after 12 nights he would remember us. Remembering customer's names is part of the charm. DINING: This is where a major change was noticed. The food in the Windjammer was institutional grade at best. Sure there is plenty of it, but not the best quality. Some days the lemonade was like water, the next day it was super tart. Same with the ice cream machine. Appears nobody quite got the mixing instructions correct. The bricks on my house are softer than the toast served for breakfast. The orange juice had a very strange flavor. Not sure it contained oranges! One morning they set up a waffle station with one staff member and two waffle machines. With a cycle time of 3 minutes, that meant they could serve a waffle every 1.5 minutes (if all goes smoothly). I counted 28 people in line. Not sure standing in line and waiting 42 minutes for a waffle is worth it. Why make a few people happy and piss off so many? Do it right or don't do it at all. In using the main dining room for breakfast, their eggs benedict had some sort of weird meat (not canadian bacon) and no hollandaise sauce. Think of it as an egg and mystery meat on an english muffin. While we in the middle of the Atlantic, our waiter said they were out of tomato juice (as in ALL OUT). The next day I see a glass of tomato juice and request some. This waiter says no problem. When I ask about the supposed outage, he tells me the other waiter lied and just didn't want to go to the storeroom to retrieve it. (Another WOW moment). I also like corned beef hash. Usually it was cooked and served fresh. One morning it was a mix of old grey meat and fresh pink meat. It was obvious that they had combined older leftovers and newer hash. (Another WOW moment). During dinner in the MDR, the food was just OK. Not impressive at all. I kept thinking that RCI did this on purpose to drive customers to the added-fee restaurants. Also noticed that during dinner, they had so many tables crowded together, I kept wondering if they had fire codes at sea. You literally had to turn sideways to get by some tables. Think tables built for 10 with 12 chairs. Tables built for 6 with 8 chairs. And then too many tables in too little space. You get the picture. Of course this overcrowding contributed to a much higher noise level. Instead of a nice dining room, it was more like eating in a busy fast-casual restaurant every night. In thinking about the overall food, it was a much lower standard in terms of quality than our previous transatlantic. When RCI added 40 extra cabins during drydock and at least 80 more passengers, they contributed to already overcrowded spaces. (Maybe the executives at RCI should go on Undercover Boss to experience what is really served to customers and the service levels to see how they like it. Bet they wouldn't want to eat there every day. Hope they remember that customers are spending their hard-earned money and using valuable vacation time. Not really the place to cut corners. We did eat three nights in the specialty restaurants. Excellent food and fantastic service! It seems RCI has managed to move the old main dining room experience to the specialty restaurants, the buffet experience to the MDR and institutional food service to the buffet. A sad downward trend. ENTERTAINMENT: Individual acts pretty good. House band fantastic! The new outdoor movie screen by the pool was way underutilized. They would show only one movie per night (and not every night) at around 6:30pm during early seating dinner and not early enough for late seating dinner. (one more WOW moment) The same few movies kept recycling over and over again for days on end both in the cabin, in the theater, and at the pool. POOL AREAS: another do the math RCI! On warm days, no pool chairs available. This lack of chairs is mentioned in many reviews. A few passengers tried to save chairs in the solarium. Thank goodness the staff would actually remove their towels and "book and sunglasses" savers if you pointed it out. We witnessed a lady who claimed she was just "working out" for 10 minutes after being gone for 3 hours. Trust me, this lady hasn't seen the inside of a gym in 40 years. She had the nerve to go and complain about her saved chairs being given to other passengers. SMOKING: Warning - way too much smoke! I do not know if this ship was more liberal than other RCI ships due to it being based in the mediterranean and a greater percentage of smokers. They allowed smoking on decks 12, 11, 6 and 4 and allowed smokers to "drift" even farther from their designated areas. It was very uncomfortable going anywhere near these areas. You may as well forget the casino. Unbearable smoke levels! Our group actually had to leave the casino due to the high smoke levels. (Unbreathable air causing all of us to cough and gasp for air). One dealer even commented that he doesn't smoke, but feels like he does after working in the casino. Good news is more money in my pocket and less in the casino's pocket. PORTS Valencia: The city centre is a few miles away from the port. RCI staff was very deceptive in stating that the only way out of the port area and to city centre was by their paid shuttle. I finally cornered a staff member who admitted, only after my direct repeated questions, that there was a free shuttle to the port entrance. Easy city bus service to the city centre for only 1.8 euros. Lisbon: a really great city. Our shortest time in port. Not nearly enough time to explore all of the sites. Ponta Delgada: Small, quite, and quaint. Not a tremendous amount of walkable tourist attractions from the port. Would have much preferred a stop at Madeira instead. DISEMBARKATION: Straightforward enough, but seemed a little disorganized and none of the scheduled departures groups left on time. Another note that RCI has eliminated the self-carry luggage option to disembark early and quickly. That means you were required to place luggage outside your door the night before and have to reclaim it dockside before customs. Unless RCI has a super deal, we may rethink our next cruise choice. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Never been there before and the ship was suppose to be docked for 3 days ,. carnival estascy , cabin was noise from engines , away from couples we were traveling with ,not what we had ask for . Dining was also not what we requested due to ... Read More
Never been there before and the ship was suppose to be docked for 3 days ,. carnival estascy , cabin was noise from engines , away from couples we were traveling with ,not what we had ask for . Dining was also not what we requested due to many of party needing to have early dining we had to have it changed to anytime dining , food was most of the time prepared very good ,a few times orders were wrong or cold . Entertaiment was very good the shows are very good in the theater , activities were not as many this time as have been on other ships , i applaud the celebration for veteran days that the estascy did i am a veteran and i enjoyed it !!! Service did their best to make everyone feel at ease on a rocking ship due to rough seas and weather.the port of bermuda we had to leave a day early . For fear of wind . Bermuda was a little boring . Really feel very disappointed this cruise .but we will be cruising again!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Trans-Atlantic cruise was average. We booked an Aqua class cabin. We have cruised a number of times and did not find Celebrity to be any better than the average cruise line. In fact, some aspects were worse. A few examples are 1) wash ... Read More
Trans-Atlantic cruise was average. We booked an Aqua class cabin. We have cruised a number of times and did not find Celebrity to be any better than the average cruise line. In fact, some aspects were worse. A few examples are 1) wash cloths were basically rags. Some had holes and others shredded. Not very "luxurious". 2) In the past, water was free as you needed it. Now they only give you a few bottles. 3) We ate our last breakfast in Blu (dining room for Aqua Class) and it was horrible. No choices. we were served under cooked scrambled eggs with over cooked bacon. Very disappointing. 4) disembarkation was horrible in Ft. Lauderdale. When it was our turn to leave the ship they called our number. We left the waiting area only to have to wait in line 15 minutes to simply get down the steps to the floor we would exit the ship from. Than, we waited another 15 minutes in line in order to get into the room to pick up our luggage. We have never experienced this type of poor planning on Carnival, Princes, Norwegian or Holland America. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We wanted a cruise coming back to the USA with Tampa as the final port for us as we live in central Florida. Little did we expect the whole ship to be under restrictions because many passengers had a virus - this really puts a burden on ... Read More
We wanted a cruise coming back to the USA with Tampa as the final port for us as we live in central Florida. Little did we expect the whole ship to be under restrictions because many passengers had a virus - this really puts a burden on the staff especially at meal time. Everywhere you went people were coughing and not always into a tissue! IMHO the filters should be replaced before every cruise for all cabins and public gathering areas. The cruise itself was as smooth as glass - didn't feel like we were on a ship. As far as the ship is concerned, the carpeting, on floors where cabins are located, is very rumpled which could lead to a safety issue for the many "older" folks who take HAL cruises (me included!). We had an obstructed view cabin looking out over a couple of tenders and I wondered, with all the rust and frayed cables whether they'd be in shape should there be a need to use them. Sorry HAL, but this ship is tired even though the crew was excellent. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Iconcierge App -doesn't show what you have booked on the ship for Entertainment reservations and Restaurant reservations -Can't make entertainment reservations through the app. Could only make specialty dinner reservations ... Read More
Iconcierge App -doesn't show what you have booked on the ship for Entertainment reservations and Restaurant reservations -Can't make entertainment reservations through the app. Could only make specialty dinner reservations -doesn't show daily menus for the manhattan room and taste restaurants -one morning at TASTE- I was forgotten about, sitting at a table by myself. The eggs were rock hard, Ordered a 2nd breakfast of pancakes and they were hockey pucks. Left and went back to share my experience- Maitre D' offered to cook my breakfast for me. He sent me a bottle of wine to my next specialty reservation! Cagney's -complaint from other passengers. Small portions (a positive), cold and hard au gratin potatoes, steak was great - everything on menu is now listed as "a la carte" prices Thermal spa suite- took a day and 1/2 to get the pool working. Spa should have given a discount for that fact! Staff was constantly replenishing water, towels and drying floors! -a manhattan cocktail w/ makers mark $23.00 (I suppose I was passed on the costs of those passengers with FREE beverage packages) -Significant difference in pricing for passengers on the cruise. -Brits get incredible deals which include cruise, airfare and 3-night hotel stay in Orlando FL for less than what I paid for just my cruise -My 6th NCL cruise and can report no improvements in the food quality at the Buffet, Taste, El Cucina and Cagneys. All food was consistently cold and NOT FRESH- in fact the quality has plummeted -Ship left Barcelona without enough lemons and vanilla soft serve -All canned music played in Epic Theater (except the guitar and bass players in BURN THE FLOOR) cuts out live musicians and those of us WHO are instrumentalist as a profession. -Shows: Burn The Floor, Divas of Motown and Priscilla: casts were all top in their show biz fields -CASINO never anyone in a line to Cash-out any winnings from the Casino -Blackjack dealers were relentlessly touching their computer screens every time someone got up or joined in the play. Gamblers always asking what they were doing with those computer screens. Always a long wait for drink service. -was practically empty the entire cruise. -casino and roulette tables were receiving new rugs and new board layouts -Art gallery staff: friendly and professional. Brian, the auctioneer made the auctions fun and fast! -Customer Services. A staff member would service the line to see if you should remain in it or not. All in all, I always have a great time. Just continue to be disappointed with food quality. But I remain a loyal customer. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
The second day at sea I had not heard where the Cruise Critic meet up was to be so I checked with the guest services and was told it had already happened and they gave me to note. They would note that I was missed on the distribution. ... Read More
The second day at sea I had not heard where the Cruise Critic meet up was to be so I checked with the guest services and was told it had already happened and they gave me to note. They would note that I was missed on the distribution. Sorry to have missed seeing any of you that did attend. My stateroom was what I expected and served my needs well. Attendant was excellent. The ship is good except for the placement of the elevators. It seem that what I wanted to do was always away from where they were. I never was able to get a sense of direction on board. The daily "Compass" newsletter listed what the featured cuisine was in the Windjammer each evening. That would have been helpful in dinner planning if the electronic menus for the main dining room worked. Most nights the dining room menu was not that inspiring to me. Having cruised on RCI 8 time in the past 2.5 years the headliner shows were what I had seen before. The RCI cast singers, dancers, and musicians were very good. Activities offered were the normal wide range of things. I always found something to do when I wanted to engage. Cruise director's staff ranged from great to OK. Any problems I had were solved quickly and in a professional way, but if they took a little more time before they could have been avoided. Seem to be a lack of communication between departments. I didn't take many shore excursions but the ones I did were very good. Fitness center has some problems. Equipment is old compared to many other RCI ships. Bikes and treadmills don't have video screens. Drinking fountain has sign "For public health reasons Do not fill water bottles" This is the one place that people need to fill water bottles. There are a number of units on the market that allow for filling on bottles with out a risk of cross contamination. The enrichment lectures were atrocious. The pictures were very old and usually didn't relate to the the subject being babbled about. No order to the lecture just a incoherent ramble. Transfer from ship to airport was a disaster. Very poor signage to the pick up point, the person checking us in did not have a alphabetized list so had to go thru the entire list for each person (very slow). The bus driver circled the airport several times (I think he was lost) before stopping at the wrong place. All of us who were told this is your stop had to re-board and ride to the correct place. From ship to airport terminal 1 hour. Not how I wanted to end my cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was my first NCL cruise and not sure of what to expect. The ship was very dated and is going in for a refurb in March so that is a good thing because I am booked on it again in September 2017. Embarkation was good, Disembarkation a ... Read More
This was my first NCL cruise and not sure of what to expect. The ship was very dated and is going in for a refurb in March so that is a good thing because I am booked on it again in September 2017. Embarkation was good, Disembarkation a nightmare. Ship size for me is perfect. I am more comfortable on a smaller ship. Staff: Cabin attendants very pleasant. Bar staff were very rude and disinterested in helping you. I'm used to happy engaqing staff and they were just plain miserable. Grand Pacific Dining Room staff were a bit more pleasant. As far as the food was concerned it was maybe average. Nothing exciting. When I cruise I am always excited to see what they have on the menu. In the Jade's case, it was a matter of should we go to the buffet or see if there is anything worthwhile on the Grand Pacific Menu. The second week seemed to improve a bit and more enjoyable choices. The Buffet crew were always pleasant and helpful. The food was good with lots of choices for breakfast and lunch. I think we only ate dinner there once. Topsiders grill had great burgers and the Great Outdoors had a mini-buffet which was pretty good. Cagney's was a disappointment. We shared a 32 oz. Porterhouse and asked for medium rare. Got close to well done. The Moderno was extremely disappointing. The gauchos rarely came around and the choices were minimal. Salad bar was extremely minimal as well. The only good thing was the lamb and their specialty steak. Not worth the extra money. Maybe I am used to better quality Brazilian steak houses or maybe because it was the last night of the cruise and they just weren't interested. We thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment although the seats in the Stardust Theatre uncomfortable. They seemed to slant forward. I can't say it was a terrible cruise. Just disappointing. Communication with passengers seems to be the most difficult issue. I went on this cruise to find out how they deal with "accessibility" passengers and there were horror stories about how some passengers were treated. This was very sad. I didn't personally encounter an issue even though I had a cane but speaking with other passengers about their issues was disarming. If the Jade has a decent refurbishing and improvement in quality of cuisine it will be a wonderful ship. It's just the right size. And if they do some customer service training with bar staff that would be a vast improvement. At this point I am booked on 2 other NCL cruises. Getaway and the Jade again. I'm happy to try this cruise line again and hopefully the issues above will be much better. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We prefer re-positioning cruises for their normally unique itineraries and they are normally more than the standard 7 day adventures. This cruise embarkation was in Boston which is only an hour flight from Toronto so we could fly out and ... Read More
We prefer re-positioning cruises for their normally unique itineraries and they are normally more than the standard 7 day adventures. This cruise embarkation was in Boston which is only an hour flight from Toronto so we could fly out and board the same day. Boarding was a little hectic but manageable. Disembarking in Fort Lauderdale was a completely different story and probably the worst disembarkation we have ever encountered in the nearly 15 cruises with Royal we have been encountered. While luggage was right where it should have been the nightmare began right after that. No one directing where the lines to customs began so it was a mad dash to where you thought you should be and some people ended up in the preferred customer line which was for diamond plus and pinnacle levels only and when told they could not use were hustled back to their line....and what a line it was with probably 20 switch back type lanes that really didn't move with any steady pace. Then to see groups who used porters have their luggage taken a completely different direction and were allowed to cut the line and get through...a total mishandling of clients for sure. Rooms were same as usual (inside for us) but are starting to show some wear and tear. Entertain was just OK withe Love and Marriage show the usual hit. The food was by far the worst we have ever had on any of our Royal cruises. Often cold and normally over cooked and not a great deal of variety. This was our first time trying my time dining but I don't think that that option was why these issues were so noticeable. The bright spot was by far the ports we visited which are all ones we have been to before and they didn't disappoint. We look forward to reading other reviews from this particular cruise to see if we were alone in our observations about these issues. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
The best aspects of this cruise was the warm weather for November and the Solo Program that Norwegian offers for cruisers travelling alone. Departing from Barcelona with stops in Tenerife, San Juan, and Orlando pretty much guarantees the ... Read More
The best aspects of this cruise was the warm weather for November and the Solo Program that Norwegian offers for cruisers travelling alone. Departing from Barcelona with stops in Tenerife, San Juan, and Orlando pretty much guarantees the best weather possible when returning to the United States from Europe in November. Each and every day of the cruise guests could enjoy the pool deck and the warm sunny weather. Also, though travelling alone on a two week cruise, there was not one night that a group was not available to go to dinners, shows, or clubs with. This is because of the evening gatherings in the Solo Lounge where individuals signed up to participate in activities, if they want, with other solo travelers. The ship, cabins, service, and dining were all standard fare, though Norwegian does seem to be cutting back on variety in the buffet. And for a Transatlantic with few stops I thought the entertainment was very good. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We did Transatlantic thinking the ship is massive and will keep us occupied and oh god we were wrong :( Couldn't access Spa, sauna(fully booked), Couldn't access Posh lounge area(fully booked), Couldn't book specialty ... Read More
We did Transatlantic thinking the ship is massive and will keep us occupied and oh god we were wrong :( Couldn't access Spa, sauna(fully booked), Couldn't access Posh lounge area(fully booked), Couldn't book specialty restaurants last 4 days were fully booked since NCL decided to throw free passes to their loyal customers. Only show we liked was Priscilla and cirque. All others were similar to the one found from cheap resorts and were boring. All those Bars were next to each others and all the pensioners never moved from their seats and no where to sit! Ships space is wasted by having too many casinos and not many was playing! plus installing Haven area on this ship made the ship more small for other fellow cruisers. There is no ocean connection like sitting and having a drink from the bar overseeing the ocean. TBH you get that only in one area on the Spice H20 and always crowded. Only good thing was the food. We loved the variety of food on-board. Spa should be opened to everyone first come basis for everyday so everyone can have a go. NCL shouldn't allow private booking to few groups for the Posh area. It should be opened to everyone on daily basis All these restrictions made the ship feel small cramped and boring after a week of sailing. Wish we did Transatlantic on a different ship but hey its life we learn from mistakes lol Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was our first transatlantic and generally we enjoyed it. However it didn't start too smoothly as once onboard we noticed our sea passes were endorsed as Emerald and not Diamond as they should have been. Having seen the C&A ... Read More
This was our first transatlantic and generally we enjoyed it. However it didn't start too smoothly as once onboard we noticed our sea passes were endorsed as Emerald and not Diamond as they should have been. Having seen the C&A manager we were given new passes but there were no fringe benefits in the room and we missed out on a behind the scenes tour. There were also issues with our free internet which I had to chase and get resolved. The ship is starting to show its age and is looking a bit tired in places. The crew keep it clean though. We sailed on it for the first time in the summer and it's the first ship where I could find an outside seat (on the summer trip not this one) The dining experience in the main dining room was OK but overall Royal Caribbean are reducing the standard and service on an ongoing basis. The focus it to push the fine dining restaraunts where you pay a supplement or the Lobster or Fillet Mignon in the main dining room where again you pay a supplement. The shows on this cruise were above the average standard and the feature length production of Grease was excellent and you would willingly pay to,see it at a local theatre. We didn't use the other bars really but there was some good music emanating from them most evenings. Again, standards are slipping and I had a couple of minor issues and requests which I presented to the main customer service desk. One of them was not dealt with at all and I had to chase it up in order to resolve it. With gratuities rising, the service is not matching our expectations. The points we stopped along the way were all nice if a little samy, but then it is the Caribbean. With hindsight I think a stop in the Azores would have been nice and broken up the long stretch at sea. I could have forgon Labadee. The US immigration check upon arrival in St Thomas was an absolute shambles. We were fortunate to be on a tour and smart enough to get up and be near the front of the queue. Others on our tour didn't make it, despite us waiting 40 minutes. There was still a queue when we returned to the ship five hours later and we heard accounts of people waiting over three hours. What made it worse is that upon arrival in Fort Lauderdale we had to have our passports checked again. What a waste of time and typical beaurocracy for the sake of it. I hope this review doesn't present too poor an impression. We had a good trip and would do it again but would possibly try a different ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
As well travelled cruisers we could not believe, that after 9 days at sea, and one day of hot weather they decided to refurbish the pool area! This work involved stripping off the "astro-turf" type covering from around the pool ... Read More
As well travelled cruisers we could not believe, that after 9 days at sea, and one day of hot weather they decided to refurbish the pool area! This work involved stripping off the "astro-turf" type covering from around the pool areas, thereby reducing the number of sunbeds and making the deck look like a building site, with whole areas taped off!! This work continued until the end of the cruise - the children's pool being completely out of service as they reduced it's depth. When we booked the holiday this was not mentioned by Royal Caribbean, and shows a total disregard for their customer's comfort and enjoyment. The ship was a bit shabby in certain areas and I overheard that it is due for refurbishment in 18 months time, so beware they might decide to refurbish other areas during "up and coming" itineraries. So Buyer Beware!! However, the food in the main dining areas was excellent, and cabinot and dining staff members were also excellent. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We are a married couple from Scandinavia who previous have been on about 40 cruises. We have sailed, both on many Transatlantic Cruises, and on other destinations with several different Cruise Lines. Pre-cruise: We had for the third ... Read More
We are a married couple from Scandinavia who previous have been on about 40 cruises. We have sailed, both on many Transatlantic Cruises, and on other destinations with several different Cruise Lines. Pre-cruise: We had for the third time booked in advance a car with chauffeur from Online Airport Cars in London, to take us to our hotel in Southampton. It worked again OK for us, and we thought the price was fair. As before, we had booked a room at Hotel Novotel Southampton, one day before the cruise. We think the hotel is a good 4* city hotel. Embarkation: Went very smoothly. The voyage: For the first time on a Transatlantic Cruise in late fall from Europe to the US, we had no ports of call in the South Atlantic, like Madeira or one of the Canaries, before crossing the Atlantic to the Caribbean. This turned out to have consequences regarding the weather conditions. Captain Iv explained that there was a greater weather challenge to sail a North Atlantic route in late fall, instead of sailing a more southerly route to the Caribbean. The Captain also showed on an online map, that if Independence had sailed a more southerly route near Madeira, we then would had a high pressure with nice weather. Instead, we had to wait six days to see the sun and enjoy warm weather. The reason why a northern route across the Atlantic was chosen, I'm pretty sure was to save fuel expenses due to a shorter distance to the Caribbean. To satisfy the passengers with nice weather was apparently of no concern for RCI. To me, it appears unfortunately that Independence also will sail the same route, from Southampton to the Caribbean, next October. The Ship: The Independence of the Seas is a nice ship, and I think the ship seems mostly well maintained. But a special comment: Cushions to the chairs in the Windjammer should be replaced. Stateroom info: We had booked a Superior balcony stateroom on deck seven. It was large and comfortable. However, the two plastic chairs on the balcony could have been better. We were satisfied with our stateroom attendant. Something else, it is many years since we have had such a poor selection of TV channels during a Transatlantic Cruise! After the first two cruise days, we lost all TV channels with news coverage. The reason was stated to be missing satellite connection. When we reached the Caribbean, the only TV stations we then were able to watch with news coverage, were CNN US and Bloomberg. News beyond the US presidential election, was almost completely absent. The background for the very poor TV channels selection, was probably that RCI wanted the passengers to buy internet packages. This was offered on the Royal Promenade during the whole cruise. With the exception of the last three days of the cruise, there were no free movies to watch in the cabin (only movies for a fee). Dining: We had set dining time in the Macbeth Dining Room on deck four. We were mostly pleased with the quality of the food that we selected. On our table no. 459, we had excellent service from our professional waiter from Goa in India, and his very pleasant female waiter from the Sao Paulo area of Brazil. The food for breakfast in the Buffet Restaurant Windjammer, was reduced. For instance prunes was no longer available, and smoked salmon was no longer among the cold cuts. Regarding the selections of hot dishes offered for lunch, the quality of the burgers was unfortunately very poor. As usual, it was a bit difficult to find an unoccupied table for breakfast and lunch during “peak hours” in the Windjammer. The first two days of the cruise, I think the employees in the Windjammer were a bit too relaxed, but after that, the majority did a good job of clearing tables etc. On this cruise we found the selection of food in the in Café Promenade, more limited than we generally are used to find on other RCI ships with a Café Promenade. The Bars: Most bars were understaffed. General comment about the crew: The majority of the crew we met, were friendly. Entertainment: Of course, a lot of entertainment. The two different ice shows we watched, was as usual excellent, and we really enjoyed the musical production of Grease. We have several years ago got tired of watching the Cruise Lines own production shows, with their many non-original music and songs. Moreover, we were not impressed with a female vocalist who performed in the Alhambra Theatre, and the band that was playing on Pool Deck. We think the Cruise Director, Jamie did a good job, and we enjoyed the Daily Morning TV Show with him and his Activity Manager. The Crown & Anchor Society: As Diamond Plus members, we appreciated the gifts that we received on board. We are usually very pleased with the nightly event for Diamond members and above, with the offer of free beverages and canapés, and in addition the three drink coupons. However, for the first time, we are left with mixed feelings with our experiences with the Diamond Lounge event this time. During the first part of the cruise, both service from the waiters, and the offer of beverages and canapés were very good in the premises, which was used as the Diamond Lounge.But unfortunately, later was the number of the waiters serving beverages nearly halved, and the platters with canapés were rarely refilled. When it was four day left of the cruise, it was said that Independence was out of stock of Cognac in all the bars on board, which I unfortunately do not necessarily think was the truth. Another day, it was not possible to order a glass of Rosé Wine in the Diamond Lounge, and also during the last cruise days we were told that they now were out of ordinary wineglasses in the Lounge! - and only had smaller glasses left. I don't think this was a correct explanation. I assume "all this" is due to cost cutting! We never visited the Concierge Lounge in the evening, it was too crowded. Itinerary – As stated before, we unfortunately had no ports of call in the South Atlantic, like Madeira or one of the Canaries, before crossing the Atlantic to the Caribbean. However, the five ports of call in Caribbean were all good. Immigration – Like previous years when arriving in St. Thomas, the immigration process took between one and a half to two hours. The reason for the always very long lines, is the lack of a sufficient number of US Immigrant Officers. Unfortunately, the long immigration process leads each time that some passengers get reduced hours to go ashore in St. Thomas. Disembarkation: It was severely delayed in relation to the assigned time we had been given the day before. We had to wait on the ship nearly an hour and a half beyond that time, before our disembarkation number was announced. Fortunately, we were not in a hurry in Fort Lauderdale! Overall – In recent years we have also experienced cost cuts by other Cruise Lines, but never to the extent that we experienced on this cruise! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We chose this cruise because of friends that were also booked. If not for these friends and new ones we met it would be hard to find many positive comments other than the crew members. The flight to Boston was a breeze as was the taxi ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of friends that were also booked. If not for these friends and new ones we met it would be hard to find many positive comments other than the crew members. The flight to Boston was a breeze as was the taxi to the ship. To the best of my recollection check-in and boarding went smoothly. I recall seeing rust and paint bubbled as we walked along the deck to get inside the ship. When we went to our cabin on the inside we noticed the ship was really showing her age. Now it was time to get a bite to eat so off to the Windjammer to find the variety was not the same as other RCI cruises and this stayed the same for the next 12 days. Dinner in the Dining Room was less than exciting, we found it hard (some nights) to find something on the menu that looked all that appetizing. It used to be our evenings were planned around the show in the theatre but the quality of the entertainment was at an all time low. We went to two shows one of witch we should have got up and left. The in-house entertainment was so much better that the guest entertainment. Our favorite was the young man that played piano like no one I have ever seen. Now for the positive side: In the Diamond Lounge each evening we had one of the best bar tenders we've had on any of our 28 cruises. Over all the crew were exceptional from our cabin steward to the bartenders and fantastic wait staff in all eating venues. The young lady that made my omelet each morning was cheerful and just a delight. Best meal on the trip was at Chops Grill, great food and service. Would I cruise with RCI again, yes but probably choose a different ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
The best part of the Cruise was the smooth sailing and beautiful weather. As others have posted the rooms are chopped up (I had a beautiful interior room)but would have been crowded for 2, and I did not care for the layout of the ship. 3 ... Read More
The best part of the Cruise was the smooth sailing and beautiful weather. As others have posted the rooms are chopped up (I had a beautiful interior room)but would have been crowded for 2, and I did not care for the layout of the ship. 3 small pools (1 out of service most of the cruise) Hot tub had no hand rail to get in it, making it difficult to get in. I purchased my airfare and transfers as well as my Cruise through NCL-BIG MISTAKE. I did get a great rate, but others I met bought from outside NCL and got the same or better prices with extras. I did not get any extras. My cabin attendant was outstanding! I traveled solo this time, and found the dining rooms awful. I ate at Taste x2, and both times my dinner took over 2 hours. Breakfast there x1 was 1:30 min. Forget about refills on coffee. Manhattan was slightly better. With dinner wait of about an hour. That's not getting seated, that's after being seated. I always offer to table share, but the Hostess was not very nice. Very limited menus. No lobster, unless you were willing to pay for it. Shanghai was much faster. In and out in an hour. Again, the wait staff was not very friendly. Buffets were great! They had a different theme every night, great variety. Hot food hot, and cold food cold. Room service is an extra fee here. There is no designated Casino really. Several machines down the middle of the ship and a few in an alcove by the windows for smokers. In Tenerife I did the hop on and hop off local bus. Great value for $16. Don't book the excursions! I booked the tour excursion in San Juan for $70. The tour consisted of the bus ride from the port to the Bacardi factory. A tour at Bacardi. Then a drop off at the Fort. San Juan has a FREE transportation system. I pointed this out to J Valdez at the Shore Excursion desk and she read me the flyer (like I was a moron). I didn't ask for my money back, just thought they would like to know. The shows were outstanding. The free talk the Captain gave as well as the Seminar on the History of Naval Aviation were very informative and entertaining. The limited shows and movies on TV were very frustrating. Same movies everyday. Unless you wanted to pay. BBC and MSNBC only-unless you wanted to look at the bridge or a Port talk for the 10th time. The music on the deck (15, pool/bar/smoking) was way too loud. I mean over the top, head pounding loud. Many people complained, but no one cared. It sure emptied out the deck several times a day. Embarkation was over 2 hours, disembarkation for tours was over an hour as was the final disembarkation (walk off if you can). I loved the trip, and will definitely do it again, just on a different ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was our 5th Trans-Atlantic repositioning voyage in two years and our first cruise on Celebrity. We're avid Mariners with 15 cruises under our belt, having sailed on Royal Caribbean, Princess, Holland America and Oceania. ... Read More
This was our 5th Trans-Atlantic repositioning voyage in two years and our first cruise on Celebrity. We're avid Mariners with 15 cruises under our belt, having sailed on Royal Caribbean, Princess, Holland America and Oceania. Highlights: The Eclipse is a beautiful ship and maintained to high standards. Constant emphasis was placed on hand sterilization in all venues. Kudos on job well done! Officers were visible and approachable throughout the entire voyage. The Captain himself, on the last sea day, presented an hour-long power-point overview on "behind the scene aspects " of a typical cruise voyage covering topics ranging from officer hierarchy, duties, responsibilities and shifts on the Bridge, navigational terminology, explanation of modern engine equipment optimizing fuel consumption, etc. to specific graphics detailing actual maneuvers made in every port of call on our itinerary - all peppered with interesting trivia on tonnage of food items consumed during our crossing! The food in the Main Dinng room is excellent. We opted for early seating and were assigned to table 360. Our waiter (Rafael), Assistant (Sukkritta) and Sommelier (Alister) were awesome. When a meal fell short of expectations (over/ undercooked, etc.) it was immediately replaced with another option. Entertainment and activities were diverse and top notch - cruise director Sue and team are brilliant. Moving Rememberance Service on Nov. 11th honoring all Veterans, with crew and passenger participantiin and two minutes of silence. Thank you for including prayers! Smoke free vessel! Disappointing: Comparisons with other cruise lines are inevitable, and Celebrity falls short. Beverage costs: outrageous! Specialty coffee, beer and wines are much higher than on Holland America and Oceania. No daily Happy Hour (2 for one specials)... Constant push to buy beverage packages - for those of you who do make advance purchase prior to embarkation, note that on the first night of this sailing ALL packages were being offered at 40% discount from list price. Fees for many activities that are free in other lines: behind the scene tour, etc. Another insane cost is a fee for the "Johnny Walker" tasting - offered FREE on Holland America and Princess! Cabin (Concierge level, Balcony): limited storage (drawers/shelving) and no retractable clothesline in shower. Raised "bowl" sink sits in top of counter which causes water to overflow on to floor if you hand wash any clothing - then no space to hang item to dry! Laundry service: it has been our experience on all repositioning voyages to have an "all you can stuff cloth laundry bag" for a flat rate of US$30 or US$40, which included laundering and pressing of clothing, returned either on hangers or nicely folded in a basket. Not so on Celebrity: passengers can fill a PAPER bag, without tearing it, and are charged a hefty $49.99 for laundered clothing which are returned wrinkled in the paper bag. NO ironing, which is extra! Crew: we were shocked to see constant bickering, arguments and complaints amongst staff in restaurants (breakfast in MD and all meals in Ocean View). Service during breakfast in MD and lunch in Ocean View was horribly slow, causing backups in food lines and waiting on tables to be cleared and cleaned. One morning in the Main Dining room we witnessed 4 waiters standing in a service station behind our table, arguing in Spanish about who would serve a fellow passenger two tables away from us .. this continued until I turned around and asked them in Soanish whether or not I needed to get up and get a manager? Seating in public areas seemed insufficient for the 2800 passengers on board. Furniture in bar areas, Grand Foyer and Entertainment Court adjacent to Celebrity Central is bulky, heavy and very uncomfortable. Tables in the specialty cafe and Ocean View restaurant had signs asking passengers to please vacate immediately once finished with coffee or meal - and crew was not restrained in asking you to leave! Constant harassment! Shore Excursions were also expensive - check other third oarty options. Overcharging: we were over charged $350 (duplicate charges for items purchased and posted at beginning of cruise and then debited again on last night of journey) - and it took 45 minutes in day of disembarkation to have charges taken off our bill. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
My wife and I are long term cruisers, twice on Eclipse, with a gap of a few years; the first time was 2010, freshly painted from the yards. She was then the epitome of five star cruising, plush, elegant surroundings, attentive experienced ... Read More
My wife and I are long term cruisers, twice on Eclipse, with a gap of a few years; the first time was 2010, freshly painted from the yards. She was then the epitome of five star cruising, plush, elegant surroundings, attentive experienced staff, great food and great entertainment. How things change. This is my first and last ever review on here, no criticism intended to regular contributors, but I’m not a ‘clubby’ type cruiser, I am opinionated but don’t normally share, but boy, do I feel the need to vent for once. Of all of our cruises over the last 10 years, this one was by far the worst. So bad in fact, I swear never to cruise again, that's it as far as I'm concerned. We sailed Concierge class, deck 10 balcony cabin, which was perfect, just as we recalled it. Apart from a faster check in, there is no longer any point in paying extra for this overblown ‘privilege’ label, it’s a complete sham and is very close to being an organised rip-off. Drinks package was the Premier package. Be careful here, because you will get what they serve you if you don’t tell them that you are Premier package and require Premier wines and beverages. Several times, especially in the Ocean View Café, inferior rubbish was offered until we pointed out that we were Premier and wanted the stuff that we had paid for, served. This again has the ‘smell’ of an organised rip-off. Food in the Moonlight is exceptional, no faults at all. We also purchased the package to dine in all of the speciality restaurants. Waste of money apart from the Murano which was five star. Faultless (part) silver service and the food was of a very high standard. The QZine is touted as a dining experience like no other, well, yes I’ll give them that strapline, but not for the reasons they think! Apart from a gimmicky way of ordering and serving food, the whole process was tiresome, irritating and annoyed me so much, I couldn’t wait for it to be over. The Tuscan Grill was mediocre. Tepid food which was sent back, poor sommelier service, no wine knowledge whatsoever. We were sat at a table for two, placed very close to a table of 10 booze fuelled, loud mouthed pre-election Trumpites and Clintonites in full flow about who will save America. Ocean View Café. What can I say? It’s a cattle shed. Hated it, but maybe that’s just me. Cold food, 15 minutes waiting for a Premier wine and a bottle of mineral water to be delivered, hopeless. Standing around like a waif and stray waiting for a table to free up, no thanks. The best times to visit to avoid the overcrowding are; NOT at lunch time and NOT at breakfast time. Work that one out! Entertainment- pretty good, very professional but poorly targeted. (Apart from a superb Remembrance service). Let’s face it, the average aged cruiser on this ship is not much into disco dancing shows. Some good comedy and some awful. Some good lectures from a NASA guy and the Computer chap was technically good, but he has such a comedic voice, I couldn’t take him seriously! Crew- the usual mix of the pleasant, the helpful and the downright rude. This was one of the most striking differences from six years ago, I’m not used to rude or indifferent crew. And finally; our fellow passengers. There was never a truer maxim than ‘It takes all sorts’. And Celebrity now does, unfortunately. We met some genuinely nice people on this cruise, some of whom we will remember for all of the right reasons and; if it wasn’t for the constraints of distance, would have become real friends. We also met some of the trash. I’m not a snob, but I did genuinely look at some of these people and wondered what on earth had given them the slightest idea that they would ‘fit in’ on a cruise let alone this particular ship. And yes, I know that their money is as good as mine, but regretfully; their style isn’t. Formal night has disappeared (Sadly, big mistake) and has been replaced by Evening Chic. For these people it meant carrying a handkerchief, not swearing, covering up their tattoos and not getting too drunk. To be honest, If I wanted to mix with this type, I’d go down the Dog and Duck on a Friday football night. I don’t want it or expect it on a cruise holiday and won’t take the possibility of encountering it ever again. And that’s the main reason I won’t be taking any more cruises. So, Good Bye. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Have sailed many times on Celebrity, but boy have they gone downhill, they have no formal nights but a chic night that allows jeans to be worn.The food has drastically sunk to new level, the menus in main restaurant were very poor, the ... Read More
Have sailed many times on Celebrity, but boy have they gone downhill, they have no formal nights but a chic night that allows jeans to be worn.The food has drastically sunk to new level, the menus in main restaurant were very poor, the food was sent back many times from being too cold or over cooked ,the choice was terrible.Ate in Muranos but even though the service is excellent the food very average, Ate in Tuscan grill again the food below the standard expected, the only speciality restaurant any good was Qsine, excellent food and service.the cabin was as expected for a balcony one, they should get things right in the restaurant's before putting the chocolate back on the pillows at night. The self service cafe was better choice and better food than the main dining area, i just cannot explain just how bad this cruise line has got , either there was a change at the top and the person appointed must be paid by Carnival to bring down the standard, or a new brush that sweeps clean and in doing so ruining a once great cuise line and they obviously do not listen to their customers .The shows were in general very good, the ports of call were excellent, but no shore excursions they have certainly managed to over price these .Me and the wife will probably not go again with Celebrity, until the people running it get their act together and bring it back to the standard they once were. lastly every where you eat or drink they always want to sell you water or coffee which is a ridiculous price. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We sail Celebrity Aqua Class exclusively and have always had a terrific experience on Solstice and Millennium class ships. The good/great: dining in Qsine and Tuscan Grille and the elite breakfast in Tuscan Grille; location of the Ports ... Read More
We sail Celebrity Aqua Class exclusively and have always had a terrific experience on Solstice and Millennium class ships. The good/great: dining in Qsine and Tuscan Grille and the elite breakfast in Tuscan Grille; location of the Ports in Boston and NYC; Aquamarine Duo (piano and violin) that performed almost nightly in the Ensemble Lounge (fantastic); food in the Ocean view cafe; flexibility to enjoy Elite evening cocktails in multiple locations throughout the ship. Not up to the usual standards: Blu, room service food; entertainment in the main theatre. Blu only had the wonderful Bluberry pancakes a couple mornings, then they were 'out of blueberries', yet we noted there were blueberry pancakes regularly in Ocean View cafe. Finally, looking up from the balcony, you could see big sections of chipped paint underneath the Ocean view cafe deck. Somehow, a big piece of white paint fell of and landed on our balcony. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
I was so excited to once again cruise. The check in went smoothly, but as soon as my feet pattered onto the ship, I was hit by employee after employee to buy a drink package, buy a specialty restaurant, by a message, by a spa package, buy ... Read More
I was so excited to once again cruise. The check in went smoothly, but as soon as my feet pattered onto the ship, I was hit by employee after employee to buy a drink package, buy a specialty restaurant, by a message, by a spa package, buy buy buy. It was a very stressful situation for me, and I couldn't avoid them, they were everywhere. I felt trapped by solicitors! Wait a minute! I just bought a cruise, what happened to all inclusive? From other reviews I read, I felt the same way. It used to be a top notch ship, but the furniture was so big, and outside of Michaels club, is dark. On a long transatlantic cruise, there was literally no place to sit in a public area. The main dining room food was good, but the service was not great, all accept for Henry our select waiter, and Ganna the gatekeeper Hostess of Select Dining. She was a real peach, and could handle herself in any given situation. Walking by the dining area to Ocean Cafe, was always a no-thank you, always trying to sell me a wine or drink package, making me feel uncomfortable, and a lot of dirty tables. The staff seemed invisible there, and certainly not enough to take care of that huge Transatlantic group, with no place to go on the ship for a week, but wander around. It was cold outside, and we had had some rough weather, so basically, the pool area had been abandoned. Captains Club was a joke, the wine selection that was for our club was not great, and the alcohol they pour for the club was not great. The Captains Club Hostess couldn't remember anyone's names, so just called everyone Ma'am. It was irritating, I told her my name at least 5 times. Coupons for only 3 drinks, and then I guess you have to leave or ask for ice water. It's gone downhill, and the race to Zenith, just literally came to a halt for me. I went on a Carnival cruise last year, things were better than this! The Captain gave a great talk, and is a very nice fellow to talk with, and seemed very concerned about everyone on board. I liked his staff of officers as well, and were easy to communicate with. Dressing for formal night is now evening chic, meaning, what I would wear every other night I cruised. So disappointing. I saw people in t-shirts, terrible outfits, like they had been camping for a month. Yuk! No dress code. It just didn't seem like a Celebrity cruise, with so many people that had no idea how to dress for a nice dinner or lunch. The music and the shows were made for millenniums, and our ship and most Celebrity sailings the average age is 65-70. Really, get with the picture here, you are trying to cater to a group that doesn't exist on these ships. The only people you are catering to are your employees! The NYC shore excursion was a disaster! We got an actor whose day job is a tour director on a bus. He couldn't stop talking about Hillary Clinton, and the big Celebration that he would be working at her headquarters. When we asked to drive by Trumps Headquarters, he refused to take us, saying he wasn't going to win, and we aren't going. There was paint clearly chipped off deck 12 underneath the balcony. You could see it from below and from the pier. The ship needed some work, the windows were constantly dirty, even after having time in Boston to clean them. The enrichment lectures were fun, but it just didn't seem like the staff was interested in working. Another example was at Caffe El Baccio. A lot of employees having fun, but now very professional. I would say that the basic employees were either so tired from their partying or they just didn't care anymore. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
My wife and I are very regular cruisers (two or three times a year) and mainly loyal to Celebrity which suits our lifestyle and who have an excellent loyalty program. We have sailed on most of the Celebrity fleet including Eclipse about 4 ... Read More
My wife and I are very regular cruisers (two or three times a year) and mainly loyal to Celebrity which suits our lifestyle and who have an excellent loyalty program. We have sailed on most of the Celebrity fleet including Eclipse about 4 times previously. We had not done a transatlantic before so we gave it a whirl on Celebrity Eclipse as it included destinations Boston, New York, Bermuda, Bahamas, and Miami. Our overall summary of this cruise is that it was not up to our previous experiences on Celebrity due mainly to: Worst Cruise Director; Poor Entertainment and entertainment staff; Non visibility of officers and senior staff around ship; Impersonal feeling given by staff/crew; and also various further cut-backs made by Celebrity. We joined Eclipse at Southampton following an excellent train journey and a very short taxi ride to the cruise terminal. Check-in and boarding of Eclipse was well organised, very efficient and speedy and we were on-board within half an hour. We were welcomed on-board by the usual glass of champagne which is always very nice. Unfortunately there was not the usual welcome line up of Celebrity staff/officers to make the welcome boarding (apart from Captain Michael who was seen close to the security point). This we found impersonal and not as our previous experiences. Our balcony stateroom was as on previous cruises very clean and tidy throughout and our stateroom attendant and assistance kept it spotless at all times with the exception of the veranda which was never cleaned and had debris from previous maintenance of paintwork on the veranda, although we must say that we never mentioned this to the stateroom attendant. We noticed various Celebrity cut backs including; No longer a Captain’s table; No more formal nights; No more brunch in the main dining room; etc.; all of which we found to be detrimental to previous enjoyments. Breakfast was taken mainly in the Main dining room where we found the waiters to be very much un-organised and similar to headless chickens in their approach. Service did however vary from good to poor. We also had breakfast in the buffet restaurant which we found to be very good in all respects and so much more convenient than the main dining room. Lunch was taken in different locations including spa, buffet and also the main dining room. All were good and we particularly enjoyed the spa café mainly because we could have a light lunch without being tempted to calorific culinary delights. Café al Baccio was good for tea and coffee with general good service and friendly staff; however it was generally difficult to find a seat. Dinner in the Main Dining Room was for late seating at a table of 8 (mainly American guests) who were excellent company. Our dining room table attendants aimed to please. We went to specialty dining in Muranos twice and this was excellent although expensive. Bar staff we found generally to be very good especially Michael who without hesitation recalled our order on arrival. Drinks are however expensive. We found that the Cruise director Sue proffered a very overpowering presence, wanting to be paramount in everything, and seemed to think she was Queen Bee. We personally experienced her rudeness to other guests on board. Many guests we spoke to remarked on her attitude and one said she was more suited to a 3 star Butlins holiday camp/Hi-de-Hi camp environment rather than a 5 star cruise line. Entertainment was very disappointing throughout apart from a couple of acts namely a Welsh comedian who was really great and also December 23 (a Frankie Valli/Jersey Boys tribute act). Entertainment was generally poor individual acts and not Broadway style shows as our previous cruises. The entertainment manager Jane acted like a puppet to the cruise director and together they were very boring. In the end we attempted to avoid them as much as we could. Entertainment timings were not well organised i.e. for second seating dining guests the shows were always after dinner which meant ending in a late bed time, consequently not many people attended the late show. Some shows were also scheduled during the second seating dining time which meant we had to miss out on these i.e. murder mystery/meet the captain and officers. We also thought that entertainments were insufficiently organised during the 6 sea days. Entertainment did improve towards the final days of the cruise presumably to encourage tipping (maybe however we are being cynical). It is such a shame that Celebrity no longer have Perry who is a fantastic entertainer and crowd puller, and that Michaels club is no longer used for entertainment and is now very much under-utilised. Gym and Spa facilities were good but very expensive, and the Persian Garden was generally full and difficult to access. The Casino was generally very poorly attended which we thought unusual. There was generally a lack of officers/ staff presence around the ship throughout the cruise except for the Hotel director, Mark, who was very pleasant and effective. There was not even a Captains welcome aboard speech and introduction to the officers in the theatre with the usual toast. Staff generally did not appear to be sincere; were very distant and impersonal. New York was enjoyable and within walking distance of the berth. Bermuda was very nice with beautiful beaches. Bahamas had lovely beaches. Boston was interesting where we used the good hop-on hop-off bus service. Disembarkation was well organised and fairly speedy. We did book on board another Celebrity cruise for the future as despite the above we do hope that the next cruise will be better. It is just unfortunate that when you book a cruise Celebrity do not advise you of the senior staff and officers who will be on board so that you can avoid the Bad ones, although we appreciate this can be very difficult to predict when bookings are made very much in advance of the sailing. Since returning home we have booked another cruise but with a competitor as we do not believe Celebrity acknowledge loyalty once you reach a certain level of the Captains Club, and in view of this cruise bad experience we think it is time for a change. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
After over 12 previous cruises with Thomson 3 being transatlantic the Discovery was what we expected, being on deck 2 inside was very good, clean and cabin staff very good. The restaurant was a big disappointment, even at a quieter times ... Read More
After over 12 previous cruises with Thomson 3 being transatlantic the Discovery was what we expected, being on deck 2 inside was very good, clean and cabin staff very good. The restaurant was a big disappointment, even at a quieter times it took up to and over 2 hours the serve a 3 course meal. One evening the whole experience was a disaster from start to finish, as there aren't any wine waiters anymore our waiter brought the wrong drink that was ordered, mixed up the starters and when we had to send 3 sirlon steaks back as they were so tough it was hard to cut and even harder to chew, as an alternative we ordered turkey scallops in breadcrumbs with pasta, the pasta was dry and under cooked, the turkey looked like it was bought from Iceland to be cooked in a microwave when we complained the head waiter apologised took our cabin numbers but we had no feedback. The buffet lunch time meals were okay if you enjoy pies made with what was left from the night before, the evening buffet meal was better with a good selection apart from the pasta alternative that was spaghetti or pasta shells with tomato or white sauce very day. There was one good point the all inclusive drinks package was the best we have had on any other Thomson ship. . Entertainment, the Broadway shows were good but the other entertainment was not up to the Thomson standard, don't think we will be on the Discovery again Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We chose this cruise mostly for the itinerary. Ports were good. For some reason it took more than an hour to get back on the ship in San Juan, as they only had one gangway open and very little crew working at the gangway. Had some issues ... Read More
We chose this cruise mostly for the itinerary. Ports were good. For some reason it took more than an hour to get back on the ship in San Juan, as they only had one gangway open and very little crew working at the gangway. Had some issues with the hot tubs. Some mornings too cold, some mornings hot enough to scald the skin. Bliss Lounge was kept so cold that a few times we left due to the cold. We asked at guest services and they said there was no way to control the air conditioning. Food - They have Americanized the menu to the point there was very little variety. Larger portions do not improve the quality or taste of the food. We would rate the overall food in the MDR and buffet as poor. Much of the food was tasteless (ex. bacon, chicken) Foods were so mildly spiced there was little or no flavour. Food in the Bamboo was excellant. Food in La Cucina was excellent as well. We were extremely disappointed in Le Bistro, where we had the worst meal of our cruise. I would rate Le Bistro as terrible. The french onion soup was mediocre and the Coq au Vin was horrible as my chicken was swimming in grease. Even the plating was bad. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
took this back to back cruise, 1. singapore to australia, 2. australia to new zealand and the 2 cruises were so differant in value. Cruise 1 was geared up for the English, the food was very good, the formal nights exciting cruise 2 was ... Read More
took this back to back cruise, 1. singapore to australia, 2. australia to new zealand and the 2 cruises were so differant in value. Cruise 1 was geared up for the English, the food was very good, the formal nights exciting cruise 2 was very dissappointing, catering mainly for the australians who didnt dress for dinner, the food was bad, the menu limited and by this times the captains jokes had been used so many times he became boring. Entertainment also was better on 1st cruise and 2nd cruise was mostly the same. As with all cruises they were out for your money with over priced items which then had tax and service charges added and the "at sea" sales was a joke with crap from all other cruise destinations for sale, who wants to buy a souvinear from europe on an asian/australian cruise. The very large gym had loads of treadmills, 5 bikes and only 1 rowing machine Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Clodia has already given a balanced an accurate review of this cruise so I will not go into so much detail. I would just further add that Captain Camby was superb, the staff were excellent,Benny the Entertainments Manager was exceptional, ... Read More
Clodia has already given a balanced an accurate review of this cruise so I will not go into so much detail. I would just further add that Captain Camby was superb, the staff were excellent,Benny the Entertainments Manager was exceptional, our cabin steward Leviston was simply brilliant. What a shame that this cruise was blighted by such bad luck. To summarise: - coach tour of Azores a complete £90 wash out and so foggy we could have been anywhere - starboard engine failure in the Azores causing 30 hour delay in port - late arrival, late departure and tropical storm soaking in St Maarten - late arrival in St Lucia - Dominica: tour bus accident (passenger fatality and injuries), exit/entry computer system inoperative, flood in the Malabar, breakdown of three lifts midship, stewards finger crushed in cabin door, late departure - Grenada: water taxi from Grand Anse beach overloaded and close to capsizing and drowning after taking on water (rescued by another water taxi and the Britannia launched a life boat) Apart from the above it was a good cruise but was upset to see drinks being served in Manhattan to a guy in a vest and shorts on a black tie evening (what happened to the dress code) and drinks being served to four underaged youngsters in the Malabar. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016

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