Horrible management on this sailing. MDR people and cabin steward were great but there was a total lack of concern by everyone else. Missed a port due to bad weather, cold, rain. They think it's a wonderful thing to show movies ... Read More
Horrible management on this sailing. MDR people and cabin steward were great but there was a total lack of concern by everyone else. Missed a port due to bad weather, cold, rain. They think it's a wonderful thing to show movies outside. What happened to streaming in rooms considering the weather! Large ship but other than trivia, not much else going on. Even the solarium wasn't covered. The evening reception was wall to wall people. Claimed they couldn't put in a larger venue because they promised the space to Park West!! During that time, the imperial loung was vacant!! In the meantime, no monitoring of who belongs in the evening reception other than,someone look quickly at you sea pass card going into the diamond lounge. The m ale shift bar, nobody the ked. Of course you could haced easily given your card to anybody. Who would have known? Suffice it to say, many NON Diamond on up passengers were able to benefit from the free drinks etc. from 4:30 to 8. To add insult to injury, we wanted to disembark in Canaveral 1 day early and planned it prior to sailing. Told $65 to do that. Challenged it with Miami, no luck. Found out that passengers that decided to get off earlier while onboard the cruise, NO CHARGE!!! Not rumor. Guest relations verified it and said we had to discuss with Miami. Used to be, as they say, loyal to Royal". Now the million dollar question, WHY? There were so many disgusted passengers on this cruise so I know this is not an isolated case, sadly. We are diamond plus, but with this treatment, are the perks worth it? Read Less
Firstly I chose this cruise for the itinerary going to the Philippines but it was changed to Vietnam This was also a place I wanted to see so didn’t cancel Not sure that was a good idea I have been on many cruises and many Royal ... Read More
Firstly I chose this cruise for the itinerary going to the Philippines but it was changed to Vietnam This was also a place I wanted to see so didn’t cancel Not sure that was a good idea I have been on many cruises and many Royal Caribbean I am quite loyal to them but not sure after this cruise The organisation was bad from start to finish from boarding to disembarking The food was the worst I have ever had ranging from cold to inedible I have to say the staff were all amazing and did their best The entertainment was the worst I have seen I have never seen so many walk out of performances It seemed all the entertainers were from Australia and the standard was not the usual Royal Caribbean produced I don’t know what has happened to Royal Caribbean I spent the whole cruise trying to convince other passengers that this was not the normal way a cruise holiday should be and to convince them to give R C another chance but I fear they have already made up their minds If this is the way R C is going to continue I fear I may even jump ship Read Less
Most of our cruising has been with Holland America (over 300 nights), but we have also sailed with Celebrity, Princess, Royal Caribbean, and Swan Hellenic (of blessed memory). We chose this cruise because we wanted to experience a big ... Read More
Most of our cruising has been with Holland America (over 300 nights), but we have also sailed with Celebrity, Princess, Royal Caribbean, and Swan Hellenic (of blessed memory). We chose this cruise because we wanted to experience a big ship, and we liked the itinerary (Genoa, Italy to Miami, FL, via Civitavecchia, Marseille, Barcelona, Cadiz, Lisbon, Azores, Bermuda, and New York City). Unusually for a trans-atlantic repositioning cruise, we had three overnight stays (Tenerife, Bermuda, and New York City. A hurricane over the Azores caused a diversion to Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spanish Canary Islands.)
The Divina has a capacity of 4,345 passengers, but we were 3,335 upon arriving in Tenerife. Even with the ship only 77% full, it always felt extremely crowded in the public areas, and especially on the sun decks, the restaurants, the bars and lounges, and the theatre. One problem with bigger and bigger ships is the fact that more and more people still have to leave and enter the ship via a couple of gangways. This can lead to long waits in the ship and/or on the quay.
The food was average or below average (my wife's evaluation) to good (my own evaluation). We succeeded in obtaining freshly made, consistently hot dishes at breakfast and lunch in the Black Crab restaurant by insisting (we were frequently told that he was not on duty, but this was true on only one occasion) on being seated with a particularly attentive waiter, Mr. Arturo de Leon, from the Philippines. His consistently excellent service to us, and to some other passengers who sought him out, seemed to provoke jealousy, rather than emulation, on the part of several of his colleagues. Our evening dining in Villa Rosa was also enjoyable, as we shared a table for 8 with two other Canadian couples, and were served by a trio of excellent waiters: Rusdi (Indonesia); Rohan (India); and Gabriel (Romania). My favourite meals were the fish dishes and the desserts.
Our cabin steward (Ronald, from the Philippines) was also very efficient, and almost always managed to service our room while we were away at breakfast or dinner. The fuse for the thermostat burned out, and it took several days to get it repaired.
The fitness centre had only two elliptical machines, was crammed full of people, and had the music cranked up to the maximum.
Apart from the (mostly initial) entertainers (a living shadow artist; a mime; a ventriloquist; and four superb flamenco dancers), we found the dancing and singing acts to be excruciatingly loud, and gave them a pass, after several tries. The very, very worst "entertainment" were the Bermudan drummers and dancers: unbearably loud and incredibly repetitious. Several guests (usually, the same ones) disregarded the order to refrain from recording the shows on phones and laptops. The prohibition was never enforced by staff. There was only ONE solo recital of classical music, by the accomplished pianist on board. MSC's idea of classical singing is to have a third-rate tenor screaming "O Sole Mio" as if he was being burnt alive. Alma Duo gave two great tribute concerts to ABBA and the Beatles. The fashionista and his towering model were good.
The "library" is the worst on the high seas: frequently closed (without warning) because of "staff training," it had the smallest selection of books in any of the five languages used during the cruise (English, Italian, French, Spanish, and German), and not a single reference book (atlas, travel books, almanacs, etc.).
The trivia quizmaster was by far the most obnoxious staff member I have ever encountered on a cruise ship. He treated contestants as if we were half-witted kindergarteners.
Many staff appeared to be poorly trained, and some were observed smoking and drinking on the non-smoking 7th deck (port side), and tossing their butt ends and empty cans overboard. I mentioned this on my feedback sheet, halfway through the 23-day cruise, but received no followup.
The future cruise consultant offered limited office hours, and NO cruise brochures were freely available. I asked for a loan of a brochure in English; was promised one "in your cabin, in a few days," but was never sent one.
One good aspect of MSC cruises is their willingness to match one's status on competing cruise lines or hotels. Even though this was our first (and might be be our last) cruise with MSC, our 4-star Mariner status with Holland America got us Black-card Voyagers Club status (the highest of 5 levels) on MSC. This enabled us to receive various perks throughout the cruise, which made up for some of its less pleasurable aspects. Our favourite meal on board was the sushi tasting menu on deck 15, which was most enjoyable, and one of the aforementioned Black-card perks.
Lastly, it was wonderful to meet a large group of Cruise Critics on board, visit their cabins, and socialize. Read Less
We paid for a cruise on Vantage, a line we have had good experiences on previously. Instead of the Vantage ship we expected, we were greeted with the Variety Voyager on arrival in Poole, our departure point. The ship appeared to be older ... Read More
We paid for a cruise on Vantage, a line we have had good experiences on previously. Instead of the Vantage ship we expected, we were greeted with the Variety Voyager on arrival in Poole, our departure point. The ship appeared to be older and was in need of some repairs, some of which were obvious to passengers.
The reservation agent offered a cabin on the port side so we would have a good view of the landscape as we cruised. We later learned learned that international shipping law requires vessels to sail 15 miles from the coastline.
Within a couple days of sailing, some passengers reported they had brown water in their sinks, toilets and showers. As time on the ship continued, the condition reached most, if not all the cabins. This condition was never fixed in spite of the ship being docked in Ferrol for 3 full days after only 2 days at sea.
Passengers were bused to and from destinations that were not included in the itinerary, destinations we specifically wanted to see. Instead we spent about 7 of the 13 days on the bus with nights spent in some very nice hotels. We did get to see some of the scheduled sights but the tour directors had to scramble to find activities for the passengers since we were not in the designated ports of call. Because the bus time was so lengthy we were deprived of the pleasure of the company of fellow passengers stuck in our bus seats. We often arrived at a hotel very close to dinner time (in one case dinner at 8:30) so by the time we finished our meal, it was very close to bedtime. Once again, no time to mingle.
While the food on the ship was generally good, breakfast left a great deal to be desired. Lunches were buffet style and offered several options that were acceptable.
Entertainment was a disappointment. One song group came in but were busy pedaling (selling) their CDs to the passengers. We found that offensive. The other two nights with entertainment were somewhat enjoyable..
Most land tours were well done but again, with the exception of two days, there was no time to explore on our own.
The cabin was comfortable but had limited storage space but had much wasted space with what passed for a desk area.
Staff was courteous and willing to help when called on. As time went on, tour directors, having had to struggle to find substitute venues, became a bit short with passenger inquiries. Somehow this was almost acceptable as they had to scramble for alternates due to the bus ride.
Yes, there were weather conditions out to sea but not for 5-6 days off and on. We were told the ship would be sailing in an effort to keep up with the bus but that did not seem to happen.
Apparently this was a repositioning cruise which are somewhat less expensive but we were never advised of this.
All in all, the cruise was largely a bus ride. Had we wanted a bus tour, probably at about half the price, we would have bought that. Again, had there been any indication much of it would be a bus tour, we never would have signed on. We expect some sort of remuneration by Vantage, the cruise company with which we contracted. Read Less
First, let me say, I loved the itinerary for this cruise - 21 nights across the Pacific from Seattle to Sydney. Embarkation (and disembarkation) went very smoothly, though we were surprised there was no welcome aboard glass of champagne. ... Read More
First, let me say, I loved the itinerary for this cruise - 21 nights across the Pacific from Seattle to Sydney. Embarkation (and disembarkation) went very smoothly, though we were surprised there was no welcome aboard glass of champagne. This was a minor change from the previous cruises we'd taken on Celebrity (a sister company), but was just the beginning of a slew of disappointments in the quality of Royal Caribbean as it compared to Celebrity.
My biggest complaint was the quality of food in the main dining room. Steaks were low quality and very tough. Selection was low quality and, most surprising, did not improve on formal nights. They were literally offering higher quality food selection at the buffet! The result of this however, was that the huge dining room was virtually empty while the buffet was packed with long lines and full tables.
Secondly, was the unabashed up-sell! Even the dining room menu had choices that you needed to pay extra for! Apparently, if you wanted decent food, you had to pony up another $30-$50. Breakfast in the dining room had an option on the menu for the fresh-squeezed orange juice, but that would cost you an additional $5. We looked at menus from the signature menu and even they offered up-sell selections!! That's just plain tacky.
Next was the sick-boat-syndrome. Every one of our party of 5 had upper respiratory illness throughout the entire 3 week period. It never abated until we got off the boat. Yet my husband and one of our friends, who suffered the most severe symptoms, had to pay exorbitant medical fees and wait for long lines to get treatment. The long lines and loud chorus of coughing throughout the boat was enough proof that this entire boat was suffering the same symptoms.
The design of the ship itself left much to be desired. There was no outdoor dining section. In fact there was little emphasis on offering outside views. There were few window seats in the lower level lounges and even those just looked out on the lifeboats. There was one upper-level lounge that had a wide array of windows, but that looked out at the pool rather than out to sea. There were a lot of little lounge areas that looked into the atrium, but who wants to look at that when you're out at sea?
The shows also didn't live up to the quality of those we had experienced on our Celebrity cruises with the only exception being the ice show. That was actually quite extraordinary!
The one area they excelled at over Celebrity was the more active offerings for younger travelers - the FlowRider, climbing wall, miniature golf - and the larger children's activity center. Personally, I would never take another Royal Caribbean cruise.
As an after thought - I forgot to include a review of the enrichment activities. On a cruise this long with SO MANY sea nights, they were unprepared for the number of people wanting to participate in the activities. There were literally fights between people trying to get into watercolor and jewelry classes and the lounges used for trivia were way too small to accommodate the crowds. Read Less
We chose the breakaway transatlantic mainly for ports and price - we cruised Norwegian in 1990,1991,2001 but those records were no where in their system so went as new cruisers (our 14th cruise). the ship is beautiful but Norwegians ... Read More
We chose the breakaway transatlantic mainly for ports and price - we cruised Norwegian in 1990,1991,2001 but those records were no where in their system so went as new cruisers (our 14th cruise). the ship is beautiful but Norwegians attention to cost per plate in the main dining rooms were apparent - meals in the premium rooms were great but 14 days with cafeteria level food. Our room steward was in to make the room approx 4 times - if gone on a 5 hr excursion the room would be in the same condition as when we left. The Hibachi premium restaurant was very good and we found ourselves going to O'Sheehans and Shanghai more than the main dining rooms because of the food quality. I would like to ad the first night on the ship the Manhattan meal was spectacular but many guest commented that the chef must have changed in Sweden. General areas were very clean and nice. shopping was disappointing (on a transatlantic you have a lot of opportunity to shop), the comics were spectacular but found other entertainment not up to par with other ships we have been on. Drinks were priced in a way to make the drink packages look more appealing. Staff at the main desk were always friendly and helpful. dining staff we suspect must have largely started a new contract in Copenhagen. meal times in the main rooms were around 2 hours. Last year we went with another line from Rome on a transatlantic for comparison and at a cheaper price was a real bargain.
Shore excursions ( we did 3) were rushed and we felt a little more time at the major attractions would have been helpful - we are fairly young and not slow moving but found ourselves running for the bus on all 3 excursions we booked thru the ship. In the azores we took a van tour from the dock with 2 other couples and was wonderful with much more relaxed pace and saw much more during the time spent.
Room was clean and new looking
ship clean and very nice
Our room was booked as one step up from the bottom with it being said we would have a chance to upgrade (the travel consultant for Norwegian was fired in December and we found out we had been missing out in August) we like an interior room but promises did not materialize adding to the disappointment along with the poor service we experienced we find it hard to recommend Norwegian to our friends and co workers. Read Less
I am a platinum member and when we got to our suite I never received the specials for platinum members...had to ask for them..ex bathrobe extra towels also had to go to guest relations for my laundry and extra specialty coupons. ... Read More
I am a platinum member and when we got to our suite I never received the specials for platinum members...had to ask for them..ex bathrobe extra towels also had to go to guest relations for my laundry and extra specialty coupons. Sometimes had to wait over 60 mins for food in restaurant and café food was luke warm. Some of our group of eleven did not receive the correct free spending allotment and those that chose the spa package could not use the pool and were only offered a 67.00 credit instead of 1/3 of what they paid. Basically since all the pools were closed most of the time not much to do around the ship. We got tired of the origami...wished there were more things like scrapbooking, card making etc.
One of the good things were the elevators which did not create a problem with that many passengers on board. Read Less
To be fair we chose this cruise for the itinerary…not the ship. However, the ship was a big disappointment. The upper decks were closed for the vast majority of the cruise and there were no accommodations made even though there were 4000 ... Read More
To be fair we chose this cruise for the itinerary…not the ship. However, the ship was a big disappointment. The upper decks were closed for the vast majority of the cruise and there were no accommodations made even though there were 4000 people jammed in the lower decks. They have 3 main restaurants and they were almost never open at the same time. We utilized the “pay’ restaurants 6 times and they were great (as usual). The other restaurants were extremely slow. Our average meal was 1 and ½ hours. This includes breakfast. Several times our food was either wrong or didn’t show up at all. As for the entertainment, it was average. The Cirque Jungle Fantasy was very good. Many things were not working on the ship. The pool was drained and only available on the last 2 days. The spa hot tub was broken for 2 days and the spa therapy pool was broken for the last 5 days. The “ropes” course on the upper deck was closed for the majority of the cruise and, when it was to open, they would not open even one minute early. When they did and we “walked the plank” we found out that the camera was not working so….no photo opportunity. Overall the experience was poor to say the least. This is our 6th cruise with Norwegian and was our worst. Read Less
for the Itinerary - I never did the Greek Islands before, so this time I tried to "link-up" NINE Cruise Segments, starting on 1st October in ATHENS and finishing on 8th December in DUBAI.
There were several "double" ... Read More
for the Itinerary - I never did the Greek Islands before, so this time I tried to "link-up" NINE Cruise Segments, starting on 1st October in ATHENS and finishing on 8th December in DUBAI.
There were several "double" Segments through some of the Greek Islands, which gave me the opportunity to visit Ports twice or more = so that was a good experience.
Unfortunately, this Ship caters mainly for the Spanish Package Deal Market, so everything is in Spanish - some Shows are (Only) in Spanish, and some of the English Announcements are hard to understand.....
Whenever I book, I always opt for the cheapest INSIDE Cabin, so even though I had booked the 9 Cruise Segments on the same day - there were NO Upgrades - in fact I had to change Cabins after every Segment.
What "riled" me, was one night when I wanted to eat in the Main Restaurant and ordered my Meal with the Waiter, I requested some GREEN Vegetables to go with the Meal, to which the Waiter flatly refused - NOT AVAILABLE!!! So after such a negative attitude, I took my meals at the Buffet Restaurant, where I could "help myself" to whatever Vegetables were available, even though many times only COLD Green Vegetables were there on offer.
Another Negative point was, that the Dinner Plates were COLD, sand the food presented was also only "warm" or Cold - so I asked the Chef's there to re-heat the plate???? Which is not saying much for the quality of the Food or the Service.
AND, the "COMPULSORY" Gratuity charge came to about 1000 EUROS!!!! With such a mediocre Service - this was a total RIP-OFF!!! Read Less
I chose this cruise based on its wonderful itinerary. Excellent service at the Magnum Bar and very good dinners at Le Bistro. That being said, 1) I received flowers without a card 2) No acknowledgement of birthday 3) Repetitive, poor ... Read More
I chose this cruise based on its wonderful itinerary. Excellent service at the Magnum Bar and very good dinners at Le Bistro. That being said, 1) I received flowers without a card 2) No acknowledgement of birthday 3) Repetitive, poor quality food in Garden Buffet 4) At the only dinner I ate in MDR, mushroom caps were cold, onion soup was tasteless, pappardelle with meat sauce was inedible(meat had bad taste, pasta overcooked). This was brought to the attention of maitre d' who took my room # and was never heard from again. Cagney's Steak Restaurant had a decent steak, baked potato was 2 weeks old with watery sour cream. Italian specialty restaurant was as Italian as Pizza Hut; Chinese Restaurant as authentic as an egg roll. Irish Pub was decent. Ship had been refurbished 2017, was constantly being cleaned and polished. Bathroom layout was excellent with sliding door to close off toilet space while other person showers. Entertainment was average except for Sean who sang and played guitar nightly in various venues. Ports were everything I had hoped; only booked 1 excursion(to Blue Lagoon) which was worth the $189 fee! Passengers charged $20p.p. for shuttle from ship to Reykjavik! To highlight this whole misadventure, 2 passengers and myself were verbally abused and physically threatened by a drunk couple on Deck 13. I filed a report with security and submitted a post cruise survey, to no avail!! Will not cruise with NCL again and advise others to do the same. Read Less
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