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541 Repositioning Cruise Reviews

Overall ok and like most cruises still very relaxing, but very disappointed with Princess over other lines like Celebrity. Small, very small staterooms with low ceilings and very, very poor food choices and quality. Went to steakhouse, ... Read More
Overall ok and like most cruises still very relaxing, but very disappointed with Princess over other lines like Celebrity. Small, very small staterooms with low ceilings and very, very poor food choices and quality. Went to steakhouse, and the steak could not be eaten as it was so tough and fatty. Main dining room also was mostly poor, with the hamburger probably the best option for lunch at least. Some nights you could not eat what they served. Maybe because they were using up all the old food on the transitional cruise. However did have nice music in the lounges, which we enjoyed most evenings. The boat is newer and adequate overall and had nice swimming pools. Movies under the Stars was ok, but most of the movies were very old and not what you wanted to see. I would not given a choice go on Princess again, except if it was a much better value than other lines. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We had gone on Princess in Jan, 2018 on the Panama Canal cruise and it was wonderful. We had a great mini-suite and the entertainment was great. Afternoon happy hour and music. This cruise which was classified an a club class upgrade was ... Read More
We had gone on Princess in Jan, 2018 on the Panama Canal cruise and it was wonderful. We had a great mini-suite and the entertainment was great. Afternoon happy hour and music. This cruise which was classified an a club class upgrade was the most disappointing cruise we have been on. We did not receive the upgrades per the website. The robe were old, thread bare and one size fits all a small. There was no way my husband and I could put them on. We asked our room steward and the front desk for new robes. Nothing. We were to have a dining table for 6-8 and we got a table for 2. When we tried to exchange they wanted us to go to anytime dining, which we rejected. The afternoon entertainment consisted of "senior citizen" board games. Music didn't start until dinner time and evening entertainment was lumped into about a 3 hour period. WRONG. Another factor there were over 100 new employees aboard and many untrained. Our dinner helper was a nightmare and our poor waiter had to pick up her slack. Not a good experience. The shore excursions were way overpriced for what we got. The cutbacks from January, 2018 to this cruise were alarming. I wonder if we want to do another cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
we chose this ship because we had never sailed on a "mega" ship before. this was our 26th cruise and our fifth on Norwegian. we are both in our seventies and avid cruisers. we took a cruise aboard the Star two years ago and ... Read More
we chose this ship because we had never sailed on a "mega" ship before. this was our 26th cruise and our fifth on Norwegian. we are both in our seventies and avid cruisers. we took a cruise aboard the Star two years ago and had a very good time. however, this particular ship we would never sail on again. it started out with norwegian contacting us the day before when we were taking the train up to nyc; they called to say there was a medical emergency and that the ship would be late. well, it was too late for us to cancel our hotel reservation for that night or to remake train reservations without penalty. we took the train up in anticipation of a minor ship delay, got there in the pouring rain and it poured the next day also which necessitated us having to pay an additional half day's rate for an extra six hours at the Chelsea Courtyard Marriott. The room at the Marriott was about as small a room as you could imagine, more like a walk-in closet. we had to open our luggage in front of the door because there was no room to open it anywhere else, so you can imagine having to spend one night there in the teeny, tiny room and then having to spend an extra six hours because of the pouring rain. plus, norwegian kept giving us a later and later arrival time and they didn't want anyone arriving at the terminal before 5:30, then eight, and then it was 10, etc. marriott kindly arranged a car for us (possibly uber or lfyt) and after going through a major hassle trying to even get to the terminal, the new york port authority pulled his car out of the massive lineup that took and hour and a half to even approach the terminal and told our driver that he would have to circle around and get in the back of the line and start the process all over again. the driver had already missed an airport pickup and probably another pickup, so he ceremoniously dumped us three blocks from the terminal where we had to then schlep all our luggage over cobbled sidewalks to terminal 88 in the pouring rain. so... the boat still hadn't arrived by 8:30 when we did finally get to the terminal which meant they had to disgorge 4000 passengers from the previous cruise whilst we waited in the terminal like drowned rats where there was no place to sit, no communication from the personnel there, and utter chaos especially when we were finally able to board at about 12:30 am. the norwegian personnel were rude when you could get an answer out of them at all. to add insult to injury, the lovely captain decided to hold the safety drill at 2:30 am when he could have waited until we were under sail later that day. we did not leave new york until sometime after 6 am, sacrificing our first port, puerto rico, and went straight on to tortola, bvi. the ship interior was so-so, nothing remarkable, glitzy maybe. our cabin was another thing altogether-- we had a mid-ship mini-suite which had to have been one of the smallest minisuites we have ever had, the balcony was a joke at about 3/4 feet by six (barely enough room for two passengers let alone two chairs and a foot square excuse for a tin table). there were no chairs in the cabin but one uncomfortable couch and a "cube" stool that doubled as a table. the closet was very poorly placed at the side of the bed with about a foot to spare for anyone trying to get into the closet. the tiny end tables on either side of the bed were open instead of having actual drawers. the bathroom was large which was nice but who wants to spend their whole time in a large bathroom. we would have preferred more space in the cabin itself. as i said, the room is not a real minisuite at all and i understand that the balcony/verandah cabins had no couch and that was the distinguishing factor between them and the minisuites. the cabin steward was pretty good on the cleaning scale but he often forgot or overlooked things like providing us with wash rags, coffee cups, toilet paper, bags for disposable pads (which i wound up having to appropriate from other carts or the public bathrooms), and he put in a red rectangular hazmat thing which i had no idea what it was so i called security and put it outside our door. found out later that it was for disposable hypo needles but never having seen this or dealt with this on any other ship, i felt somewhere between stupid and whatever for calling security. we had two main issues with the cabin also. one day my key card wouldn't work so i went down and got another one. that one didn't work either and the cabin steward's didn't work so they had to call security. apparently, the battery in the card slot went dead (never had that happen on any other ship). then, i was showering one day and was all soaped up, shampoo in my hair, getting ready to rinse off and suddenly no water. i tried several times to call the operator, housekeeping, whomever, naked and soaped up all over because the towels are not big enough to cover your body and you apparently have to request terry robes for the room (even though it was a minisuite), so i had to cover myself with my coat and wait about 45 minutes for the water to come back on. communication, once again, norwegian style, not telling people that the plumber was fixing something and not answering their phones in any of the service areas. on another day my husband could not flush the toilet which had a considerable amount of poop in it, and we couldn't flush for quite awhile and had to use public restrooms during that time. the toilets were problematic to flush to begin with, usually requiring three or four "pushes" to get the thing to respond. so that's the story of the cabin. Service: breakfast service in the manhattan room was uniformly slow, especially if they placed you on the port side (tables 25, 27 and 14 were anathema). the waitrons were a bit testy, sometimes disappearing for a long periods of time. you had to constantly remind them or ask them for tea, juice, pastry baskets, etc. the food was surprisingly good in savor and taste at dinnertime. we have previously found ncl's food to be pretty bad throughout all their ships which leads us to spend additional bucks dining in the speciality restaurants where we know we will get decent food (la cucina was a real disappointment on this ship; ocean blue was wonderful). o'sheehans was okay (limited menu) and the garden cafe was one great herding ground with some of the rudest passengers, but then it always is. we don't eat up there, period, but sometimes bring food back to our room if we missed the normal hours in manhattan. we had a couple of favorite bars -- maltings and one other which i can't remember the name of (between savor and taste); however, here too is another major failing on this ship and most of ncl's other ships. first, they charge exhorbitant prices for their drinks and then, in the case of martini's at least, they don't even fill the glass to anywhere near the level that it should be. when you have to pay 15.95 for a grey goose martini and 19.95 for a hendrix martini, that glass should be full, not an inch and a half or more below the rim. Shore excursions: we had to cancel the one to tortola because they changed the itinerary and the mode of transportation (to open-air safari type with bench seating). we took a private cab tour instead and saw a lot of the island that way; it was cheaper than the ncl tour, air-conditioned and you didn't have to squeeze in on bench seating. we had been to several of the ports previously so we didn't tour all of them. the st. lucia tour was okay but the bus seating left a lot to be desired. the curacao tour was on the most uncomfortable bus we have ever been on. you could put about one butt per double seat and be comfortable. the port in jamaica was a joke -- chaotic, port didn't even look like a work in progress but looked like a dumping ground. ocho rios is dirty, poverty stricken, and the people are not particularly friendly. we took a private tour here also and spent most of our time at the falls. the vendors at the falls were overpriced but not as aggressive as the ones in haiti. we had a nice jerk chicken lunch as part of our tour, but again, it felt like the people were doing you a favor by waiting on you. i would never go back to jamaica!! i loved the turquoise waters surrounding grand cayman and the fact that they are trying to keep the reef alive by making ships tender to the island. picked up some fine rums in both tortola and cozumel and nice souvenirs from all of the ports. Disembarkation: if we thought embarkation was really bad, well, disembarkation in new orleans proved to be even worse in its own way. trying to get a taxi was an absolute horror story with port authorities giving you conflicting lines to get in, having us go out door four onto the street and back into door one where we were told to go back to door four and get back into the end of the line because one woman had no clue why her coworkers were telling us to go in one door and back into another. finally, we found seats and waited out the two hour taxi line. then we get to the wyndham hotel in the french quarter where our room wasn't ready because people who were getting on the next ncl breakaway cruise out of new orleans decided to stay past their checkout time, thus wasting for us the rest of the day waiting for our room. then, the next day it was pouring rain and we had a tornado alert which kept us in our room for the day. we did have two marvelous dinners at mr. b's bistro and the bourbon house. but, we didn't get to see much of new orleans... i am sure there is more that we could add but i guess you get the picture -- two not-so-happy-campers on this norwegian cruise, and not likely to ever cruise norwegian again. 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Sail Date October 2018
I boarded the Ovation in Singapore as the 2nd half of a land and sea package - Nepal then onto Singapore for a cruise back to Australia. I actually got off the ship in Adelaide yesterday instead of continuing onto Sydney. In addition ... Read More
I boarded the Ovation in Singapore as the 2nd half of a land and sea package - Nepal then onto Singapore for a cruise back to Australia. I actually got off the ship in Adelaide yesterday instead of continuing onto Sydney. In addition two lots of people near my cabin got off in Perth, they had paid to cruise to Sydney, I think this says a lot. This was my fourth trip with RCCL and it will be my last. Despite the best efforts of the serving staff ( the administrative staff were worse the hopeless and seemed to specialise in disinformation and rudeness ) no-one can make a silk purse out of a pigs ear. Embarkation in Singapore was chaotic, no signage, no water or refreshments were available to elderly people who were obviously distressed in the heat and once I reached a security gate I was told to go away as they were only boarding decks 9 to 13. Really, we were already hours behind of schedule due to a medical emergency and they were not just boarding people so we could get away !! After nearly 30 cruise I know what one can or can not bring onboard and what will be confiscated. All my luggage was in two cases - a decorative Nepalese knife and Nepalese vodka in one separate lot but the rest was confiscated for no reason ( I put all “prohibited “ items in one suitcase ) but they kept all my luggage - I found this out after I received a message on my TV. They then X Rayed my big suitcase (3 times) and said no problem - so I said why wasn’t it in my cabin ? Also they didn’t know about the vodka ( next to the knife ) until I told them - more fool me. This was after 8.00pm and all I wanted was a change of clothes and a shower. One poor woman didn’t get her luggage until 11.30pm because they claimed they couldn’t find it and when she insisted on searching the area she discovered her suitcases behind a low wall. The attendant ( in front of her ) then ripped of her luggage label and said it had no name on it that is why it wasn’t delivered. One chap got into the lift with me after I got my luggage and he had been accused of having 11 bottles of alcohol in his small suitcase. I jokingly remarked “ nice try “ unfortunately there wasn’t even one bottle in his bag - go figure. Other issues : - room service was terrible, didn’t turn up one day, no utensils the next and stale cereal ?? - Gave up on room service to find out the restaurant had run out of such a simple thing as corn flakes - really !! - because of the speciality high end shops the main promenade is actually more crowded on the smaller ships. - activities such as trivia were repeated over and over again and was run in small bars that were packed up to an hour before the actual event - Charging $11.95 for a movie in your cabin is sheer rip off territory and the movies in the theatre were B Grade at best. - some of the stage shows were excellent but the rest were, except for Pixels, mediocre at best. - normally at night I like to read my Cruise Compass and select things to do the next day but basically it was a cut and paste job from the previous day and I was stumped to find something to do. - as I was travelling solo I turned up outsideTWO70, near the cafe as instructed after a briefing only to have the young chap in charge turn his back on me and the others and walk away, talking on his phone - no excuse me for a moment, nothing. The speciality restaurants ( Chops, Wonderland, Izumi and Jamie’s ) were amazing but if I had not bought the speciality dining package and the high speed internet (allowing me to watch movies ) , I would have got off in Fremantle. But even then I would have lost money as a medical emergency made Fremantle a waste of time. In addition, because of weight restrictions on my flight from Adelaide to Newcastle, I had to cancel my duty free purchases- it took three visits to the store but my account still showed a $60 debit until my 4th and final visit. The final insult was getting off the ship - I asked two different people at the Adelaide disembarkation talk where would I get my confiscated items. Both said I would get them before immigration. You guessed it - no items and, despite having a receipt, it took them 45 minutes to find them. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
MS Koningsdam - A Review I cruised Koningsdam for 24 days from 10/18/2018 to 11/11/2018. She is about 2 years old and appears to be in very good physical condition and is well maintained. That said, Koningsdam is a mixed bag of good, ... Read More
MS Koningsdam - A Review I cruised Koningsdam for 24 days from 10/18/2018 to 11/11/2018. She is about 2 years old and appears to be in very good physical condition and is well maintained. That said, Koningsdam is a mixed bag of good, bad and ugly...in this writer's experienced opinion. THE GOOD By all appearances, the ship is being kept very clean. Wear and tear has not yet begun to show too much. Not much rust in sight. The theater (World Stage) is the best in the HAL fleet, and maybe in most fleets. Sight lines are excellent and there is hardly a bad seat in the house. Seating capacity is relatively generous and can fit about a third of the passengers at any one time (close to 800). That said, there were many occasions when the theater was totally filled and people were standing and/or sitting in the aisles (safety hazard?). The hi-tech stage uses a 270 degree computer controlled LCD screen as the backdrop and is the main apparatus of the otherwise sparse set decoration. Lincoln Center Stage is an outstanding plus for HAL. Koningsdam's venue for the very talented quintet is larger than other ships in the fleet and offers comfortable seating. Public seating is excellent and comfortable throughout the ship. The staterooms are a bit smaller on than most of HALs ships, but they are reasonable equipped. Electric and USB plugs are abundant and storage/closet space is good. THE BAD While Koningsdam is new and bright, HAL has done nothing to change the nickel-and-dime operation and product they offer. EVERYTHING they do is designed to get passengers to spend more money. Most of the daily on-board programs offered are for revenue and income production. Venues throughout the ship are too small for the large number of passengers, often filling an hour or more prior to a presentation. The Culinary Arts Center is the showcase venue for America's Test Kitchen, and it is very ill-suited for the purpose...very poor seating and sight angles. They also utilize this room for extra-cost dinning in the evening (much more suitable). The Mariners Program on Koningsdam appears to be treated more as necessary nuisance than as the customer building program it was originally designed to be. There does not appear to be a suitable venue on Koningsdam for a Mariners Reception, so only medallion recipients are invited, no matter how many medallions one has or how many cruise days you've logged. The multi-Star Mariners cocktail party is held in part of the Lido Pool area, while other people are in hot tubs on the other side. It's very clear that HAL management wants to change the demographic of its customers. They are looking for new, free spending blood. Staterooms are noisier than one would expect for a "new" ship. Even in slight seas there is creaking, rattling and banging...especially at night when you are trying to sleep. Fit and finish is not all that it could be. As an example, stateroom have a recessed "frame" for the wall mounted large screen TV. In my stateroom the TV was mounted well out of the center of the frame and lop-sided (one side higher than the other). There is no replay of the excursion or enrichment talks on available on Koningsdam's closed circuit TV system or on stateroom TVs. You can, however, book extra cost dining, spa and excursion options via the interactive TV system. What little "art" there is on the ship is far removed from traditional seafaring art. All is very contemporary and the artwork appears to be photo-shopped pictures. There is NO art in stateroom passageways. Passage fore and aft on public decks 2 and 3 is restricted to one side of the ship, ensuring exposure to every selling station onboard. Traffic flow is poor, especially outside elevator locations where they have planted large modern sculptures (?), creating bottlenecks. The Promenade Deck is quite narrow and there are no deck chairs thereupon. The walking gets very bottlenecked at the stern end of the ship, so if one is walking behind slow walkers or encountering walkers who insist on walking upstream, it slows everyone down. Not important enough to write Congress about...just a mention. THE UGLY Whoever designed the toilets in the staterooms should be fired immediately. One cannot sit "on the throne" straightaway. You have to sit sideways because the glass shower enclosure is in the way, and you can't get your knees to squeeze in...unless you're 2 or 3 years old. Very awkward and uncomfortable. DINING This is a very subjective area and not all tastes are alike. So offering comments about the food and service aboard the Koningsdam is treading on very dangerous ground. That said, HAL has put together a fine group of chefs in what they call the Chef's Counsel, to help Chef Rudy design a dining program for the ship's various venues. They have created offerings that, in their test kitchen, appeal to all the senses. Great food requires great ingredients skillfully assembled by craftsmen who love their work. Unfortunately, the Chef's Counsel is not on board to supervise the final product. HALs logistics program is complex and mainly designed to minimize costs and maximize efficiencies. They do not take advantage of the terrific local products as they cruise from place to place. So freshness of ingredients is sacrificed in favor of program convenience. They claim there are reasons (or excuses) for this, but others seem to be able to take advantage of local fresh product availability. That's all I have to say about this topic. Everyone has to judge for themselves. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
The crew is friendly but rather unhelpful, they never clarified any instructions and I was offered a drink maybe once in my several days by the pool. There was no one out taking drink orders and bringing drinks. The food at the formal ... Read More
The crew is friendly but rather unhelpful, they never clarified any instructions and I was offered a drink maybe once in my several days by the pool. There was no one out taking drink orders and bringing drinks. The food at the formal dining was not great, and even upon sitting at the bar my younger sister tried to get the crews attention for over 30 minutes. I’m addition when we made it to our second stop we originally were told we could get off at 11, well going through customs has people still on the boat it’s alrwady 2 o’clock. Originally they also said we didn’t have to be back on the hot until 8, that has also been moved up until 6:30. This is the most unruly cruise I’ve ever been on, people are missing their excursions they paid hundreds of dollars for, and frankly it isn’t even worth it to get off the boat anymore. Simply ridiculous. All of this said, we were looking for a cheaper cruise but I feel even for the price it wasn’t worth it. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
The itentary- fall foliage Cabin, they have even ran out of facial tissues, received a note, sorry we are out with a room of toilet tissue! Service - diamond +++, they have ran out of all white Zens, there is no Chardonnay. ... Read More
The itentary- fall foliage Cabin, they have even ran out of facial tissues, received a note, sorry we are out with a room of toilet tissue! Service - diamond +++, they have ran out of all white Zens, there is no Chardonnay. Entertainment, C-, guess they are using the money on the bigger ships. Dining, same menu every four days, and if you are in a section with Pinnacle or Suite, you will just have to wait!. The ship is well maintained, but who ever did the planning and ordering really messed up. Plus they have been doing this run for two months, so it should be history. The on ship activities are located in small venues, such as Triva in the Scooner Bar, people are sitting on the floors and they refuse to change to the larger lounge that is one flight up. There is nothing even scheduled in there. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
As a Diamond Plus member with over 50 cruises of various cruiselines, this was by far the worse cruise I have ever taken. The good. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly except for someone taking my luggage instead of their own ... Read More
As a Diamond Plus member with over 50 cruises of various cruiselines, this was by far the worse cruise I have ever taken. The good. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly except for someone taking my luggage instead of their own to the airport. We both departed early, yet they got the jump on me and grabbed their bag. Port Everglades Royal Agent Maggie was excellent in confirming the passenger exited before me so we could confidently assume they took my bag which was similar. They eventually returned to the seaport when my bag was weighed at the airport. My cabin steward Richard on Deck 8 was excellent in keeping our cabin great, clean and attending to our needs and request. The bad: on Day 2 was supposed to take place at 4 pm per announcements made at 3:50 and Compass. It was cold and drizzling in Quebec City. Due to the delay of Royal excursions, while most of us stood either outside or inside (certainly not even enough seats for the elderly) for 45 minutes the emergency drill whistles did not go off until 4:30 and the muster did not end until 4:45. With 1300 elites on board, two of the four elevators to the Diamond and Suite lounges were inoperable the entire 13 night cruise, leaving most to have to walk up. While four contractors were visible on occasion working on the elevators, I mostly saw them in the Windjammer eating vs actually working. Needless to say there were not enough room or seats, even when the overflow were allowed into the Viking Crown. I did not see the Diamond Concierge until Day three, as he was out sick due to back pain for the first two days. The first two nights of the D event were by far the most disorganized. When he did return he was unable to book reservations for the times we wanted, although we tried on our own to book specialty reservations immediately when we embarked. He rarely left his desk and didn’t get up and chat with any passengers. Due to the cold weather and age of the average passenger, the ship seemed to be overly crowded as no one was on the pool deck and their did not seem to be enough seats in the interior. The Adventure Solarium is not covered so it too was too cold to attract passengers during its voyage. Finally when we reached warmer climate and the ability to use my balcony, I get a letter stating I may NOT use my balcony from 9-4 while docked in Port Canaveral while they varnish my balcony rail. So of two days I can sit out, one I can’t. They should have done it earlier in our cruise when it was too cold to sit out. During our Portland Lighthouse ship tour, we left late because the bus they sent did not know how to operate the wheelchair lift as we had a passenger who needed that service. The driver mentioned they only have a couple of these types of lifts and it was the first time he was using it. Again, everyone was held off the bus in the cold while they figured it out. I felt badly for the woman in the wheelchair as well. She only got off at one lighthouse. the food hardly changed from day to day in the Windjammer. Other than carving station, the offerings were the same. I will say I think Royal’s desserts were good. Giovanni’s menu was awful. It was small and how can an Italian restaurant not offer lasagna. Chops was no better. Actually the filet mignon was better in Giovannis. TV offerings were awful. Royal did not take the weather or audience into consideration. Showing two movies a day at least OUTSIDE where the weather was awful. I would have gone to a movie in the theater during the bad weather. We skipped Sydney and did not get an updated compass until 4 pm. Yet with bad weather, we witnessed their lifeguards mandated to stand in the cold empty swimming pools. I guess they lost some lawsuit, but it looked and was insane to make the lifeguards do this when there were no children in the pool and I believe only 7 onboard. I only saw two children and a poodle. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I have been on 2 previous Oceania cruises and chose this one because it left from San Francisco to many ports I hadn't visited and through the Panama Canal. Unfortunately, we changed itinerary for 8 days due to a tropical storm and ... Read More
I have been on 2 previous Oceania cruises and chose this one because it left from San Francisco to many ports I hadn't visited and through the Panama Canal. Unfortunately, we changed itinerary for 8 days due to a tropical storm and missed 5 excursions. Communication from Captain or cruise director was terrible. No explanation for any thing. Morale among the passengers was very poor. I'm sure they lost some loyal customers (including my husband and myself) The food in Grand Dining Room and The Terrace is still very good, but a step down from what we experienced on previous sailings. Toscana and Polo Grill are still wonderful. Service staff in general were lovely, but some were poorly trained with snafus on drink orders and restaurant reservations which seemed to disappear even though we had the print out summary of our reservations from the front desk. There was no explanation, no apology and we were supposed to feel grateful that they managed to "fit us in." There were power outages and some ship sections experienced non- flushing toilets at times. The ship is due for an overhaul and we got the impression it had many ongoing mechanical issues. But none of this was address by the staff. Our cabin was quite nice and kept very clean by housekeeping staff. There was good entertainment and plenty of activities like Trivia, golf putting, shuffleboard, ping pong, Bridge lessons and games, casino w slots and poker tournaments, karaoke. But we went for the port visits and excursions, not endless sea days. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
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
Sail Date October 2018
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
Sail Date October 2018
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
Sail Date October 2018
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
Sail Date October 2018
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
Sail Date October 2018
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
Sail Date October 2018
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
Sail Date October 2018
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
Sail Date October 2018
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
Sail Date October 2018
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
Sail Date September 2018
I chose Princess lines because i have sailed with them before amazing service and cruise to Alaska in 2001 .This time i felt i did not get my moneys worth . I wish i could be compensated for a portion of my trip because there were so many ... Read More
I chose Princess lines because i have sailed with them before amazing service and cruise to Alaska in 2001 .This time i felt i did not get my moneys worth . I wish i could be compensated for a portion of my trip because there were so many issues ,example the drink packages are a total ripoff particularly with the exchange being CND to US and what types of alcohol is included in the Premiere Package, Not enough live music on the deck or at nightly venues plus the DJ was not seen therefore you could not request songs, The nightly venues closed early as well the Casino. The beverage service on Deck very poor. The cigar lounge was extremely disappointing & very small with extremely poor air filtration. I spoke to some people who smoke & they advised unlike other cruise lines who have a very nice "covered smoking area" this ship did not - it appears that more people smoke than what most think! My Wife & I heard many disappointing things from long time Princess cruisers. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
It quickly became evident that our most recent cruise experience was going to be less than stellar. From empty serving pans and poor service at the buffet when we boarded, to the poor quality of food that we received at their pricey ... Read More
It quickly became evident that our most recent cruise experience was going to be less than stellar. From empty serving pans and poor service at the buffet when we boarded, to the poor quality of food that we received at their pricey specialty restaurant...one thing gradually led to another, to exemplify just how far the cruising industry has degraded over the years. Apparently, the cruise industry is much more interested in seeing how many people they can stuff aboard a single ship, than concerning themselves with customer satisfaction. We loved most of the ports that we visited, and most of the tours that we took. It's a shame that the tour descriptions opted to overlook aspects of tours that would prove daunting to handicapped passengers, and omit the fact that another area of one of their tours will simply not be available to passengers, even after they've paid for the tour. The dining room food quality was disappointing, at best. Ship stabilizers were over-reactive, and often tossed the ship harshly from side to side. Crewmembers admitted that this is not the smoothest ship they've ever been on. On the day of disembarkation, you have to be out of your stateroom by 8:00 am. Guys, make sure you use the restroom before leaving your stateroom, because after you leave your stateroom, and go to the buffet, you'll discover that EVERY men's toilet facility in EVERY public men's room on the ship has been locked, with a sign that reads, "UNDER MAINTENANCE". How interesting that EVERY men's room toilet broke all at once. Or, could it be that the cleaning staff has decided to clean them early (as they will need to turn the ship around in a few hours) and couldn't care less if you've gotta "go" or not? No Board of Health to report them to, I guess. Most of the cruise lines appear to be affiliated with one another these days, so I don't know if one line is any better than any other. Just don't set your sights very high, and you shouldn't be disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I chose this cruise due to the great itinerary, and my previous experiences with Norwegian. Unfortunately, NCL has evidently changed some of its policies to benefit itself. One would think that a single passenger would only have to pay ... Read More
I chose this cruise due to the great itinerary, and my previous experiences with Norwegian. Unfortunately, NCL has evidently changed some of its policies to benefit itself. One would think that a single passenger would only have to pay a maximum of a 100% Single Supplement. I paid the same as 2 passengers but while they would receive 2 Free at Seas, I only received one. And the amount NCL charged for the tips/taxes for the Free Drinks package was over $300 US. Not so free! The information then stated that in order to step onto Russian territory, you had to have either a Russian visa or be booked on an NCL excursion. This proved to be a lie, since as long as you didn't leave Petropavlovsk, no visa was required. As I have visited Alaska on several previous occasions, I was quite happy to fend for myself in the 3 Alaskan ports. I eventually was able to get a Russian excursion that wasn't several hundred dollars due to the perseverance of my agent, and I was very glad that I booked excursions for the 4 Japanese ports. The last one took us on a highlights of Tokyo and then to my hotel. Tokyo is a very intimidating city as far as getting around, so after the cruise, I was very glad to book with another tour company that picked us up from our hotel, took us to the bullet train station, to Kyoto for a tour there, and then all the way back to my hotel. On the final day, I had already booked an airport shuttle to take me to Narita airport, which was not far off a 2 hour trip. I truly feel fortunate that each activity that I had planned went off without a hitch. Embarkation was terrible in Vancouver. Even though I was provided with a 12 to 12:30pm time slot, I didn't actually get on board until after 3pm. NCL doesn't seem to think that its customers have any issues with standing in long lineups, with very little support for those who use walkers/wheelchairs. I can't stand for long periods so was very happy that my hardbody carry-on luggage could be used to sit on. I was totally exhausted by the time I reached my cabin. As far as the actual cruise, the food was fine in the 3 regular waited-on restaurants, as it was at the pay extra restaurants, although I questioned why I had bothered to pay the extra amount. The entertainment was okay but not as good as my previous cruises on the Sun and Dawn. My cabin attendant didn't get my room cleaned until mid-afternoon each day, not something I was used to with NCL. I have wanted to visit Japan for many years, so am glad that I took this cruise, along with the visit to Russia. Due to another passenger's medical emergency, we ended up turning around and visited an island south of the Kamchatka peninsula, which happened to coincide with a volcano starting to erupt straight ahead of us. I have never seen a volcano erupt before in person. There were 3 that erupted within a 24 hour period that passengers were able to see, and despite a couple of typhoons hitting Japan, we were able to miss both of them by the ship changing its course to avoid them. I will be on the Queen Elizabeth next June, a high end cruise line. I wonder why I was able to obtain a whole cabin on this ship for myself, while paying 0% supplement?! I will be looking at other cruise lines other than NCL in the future. I used to think that NCL had the best features, but no more. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We have traveled with Celebrity, Cunard, P & O and Princess and till now Princess was our clear favorite, but our experience over the past 3 weeks has left that favoritism in tatters! There were many negatives on this ship but I ... Read More
We have traveled with Celebrity, Cunard, P & O and Princess and till now Princess was our clear favorite, but our experience over the past 3 weeks has left that favoritism in tatters! There were many negatives on this ship but I will start with some positives. The staff were all very helpful, polite and generally good at their jobs. The ship itself was extraordinarily stable with almost NO rocking and rolling over the entire 22 days even though we traveled from Asia to Australia. Their system of taking the passports from the passengers to ease the immigration processing worked in most cases and the tendering service on the one occasion it was used was extremely smooth. Sadly, the negatives affected our cruise more than the positives, with one having a major effect on us throughout most of the trip. I will work through them in a logical order. Some are not fixable but it is probably best if you are aware of them rather than being surprised later. For this particular cruise the boarding in Shanghai was a nightmare. I am told that Princess were not responsible for the debacle in Shanghai and had indeed tried to be in control and failed. All I can suggest is that in future they avoid Shanghai altogether. It ensured most of the passengers boarded the ship in less than a positive frame of mind and could well have been part of the reason so many people were negative about the ship . For our part, the cruise was spoilt by our inability to have the balcony door open at night, but more of that shortly. On the first evening we went to dinner in the any time dining restaurant, Symphony, at 6.30 only to be handed a buzzer and told to go away and wait till it buzzed!! I assumed they had made an error as there were plenty of empty tables in the restaurant and told them I had any time dining, but they said they realised that and to take the buzzer and wait. 40 minutes later it went off and despite a preference for a table for two, we were forced to share a larger table of six if we didnt want a further delay! In all the cruises with all the different shipping lines we have sailed with that was the first time that had ever happened. Any time dining in the past referred to any time WE wanted to eat not any time the staff could fit us in! As a consequence to eating so late, I had severe indigestion that evening and in order to avoid that problem again we went to dinner at 5.45pm each night to ensure we got mostly the same table and didnt have to wait to be placed on a table. However it completely nullified the point of any time dining which is one of the main criteria we look for on a cruise. The other main essential for us is a cabin with a balcony so we can sleep with the door open at night. The reason we do this is because we enjoy fresh air and it usually avoids the problems associated with breathing recycled air conditioned air and the coughs and colds that often causes. On this cruise, despite paying so much extra for a balcony (and indeed a mini suite) we were unable to sleep with the balcony door open for all but the final few nights. The reason for that was a loud ''howling'' sound that erupted spasmodically from the wall next to the door when it was opened. Sometimes it was a high pitched whistle and other times it sounded like the night of the living dead! On the morning of the second day, we asked the cabin steward to listen to the sound and see if it could be fixed. He appeared horrified and baffled by the noise and told us he would get someone to look into it. Nothing happened so we assumed it was something structural which could not be fixed at sea and started sleeping with the door closed. Whilst it had an impact on the cruise from our point of view, we understand that sometimes there are events that are outside peoples control. However, on the 18th day an engineer came to the cabin to check our fridge and while he was there I asked if he knew what was causing the wailing sound when the door was opened. He listened to it and recorded it on his phone after tracing it to the panel of the bulkhead beside the door and told me to call reception and request a carpenter. I did this as he waited, but all that achieved was the cabin steward arrived asking if I had called for him. I explained I had asked the engineer about the noise we had told him about 2 weeks earlier and he called down to someone and spoke to them in a foreign language and left after telling me a carpenter was on his way. After a while we left the cabin as well. 8 hours later I called down to reception to ask if the carpenter had been as the noise was still there and they said he had been and not heard the noise when he opened the door and left! I had explained it wasnt constant but irregular and often. After dinner there was a message to call reception if the noise started - which it did almost immediately. They said the carpenter would be there, but it took about 2 hours for him to arrive! Around 10.15 that night the carpenter came. The noise was very much on and off and not as serious as before but he did at least hear it and started banging a hammer on a screw driver. A manager arrived part way through and then when the noise stopped they both left and the carpenter said he would check back in the morning to see if the noise was gone. In the morning we advised him it was substantially reduced but still there a little and he then filled several gaps with silicone and from then on it was perfect. However it was annoying to discover we had paid for a mini suite for the balcony and not been able to use it for all but the final 3 nights despite pointing out the problem on the first full day! We may as well have paid for an ocean view for all the good of it. THAT issue obviously had a major impact on our cruise and its enjoyment. But it was not the only one. On the Majestic there is no promenade deck as such. On EVERY cruise ship we have traveled on in the past we could walk around the entire deck with a nice view and fresh air as we go. This was not possible on the Majestic and I believe that is a major design flaw. We took a Princess shore tour in Singapore and have to say we were shocked by the poor condition of the coach we traveled in. It was quite old and the air con was VERY limited. Worse still when the engine idled it was impossible to hear the guide speaking and the smell of petrol became quite over powering at the back of the bus where we were seated.Having said that, we could see the other coaches were all quite new, so it is possible we were unlucky. However the tour ended at some markets in China Town. They were about the least inspiring markets I have ever seen and having driven past all the fabulous stores on Orchard Street, a stop THERE would have been far better than ending up in a smelly third rate market! Due to the passenger numbers on the ship, there is another problem - not enough places for passengers to sit and read quietly. Most of the common areas are so full, there isnt a seat to sit on at times and far too much noise when there is. The lounge in front of the Hollywood Club was either full up (which it was all day) or the odd person would come and play the musical instruments around the place (BADLY) to interrupt any attempts to have a quiet moment in the evening. I am sure that sounds picky, but a lot of passengers look for that little place to sit and have some peace on board. On Majestic it really doesnt exist. For Trivia, there were more people than seats which resulted in my missing out a few times and I assume others missing out when I didnt! The room just wasnt big enough for the passenger numbers. The little nook and cranny problem was exacerbated by some of the few areas available being closed off now and again so a British film crew could film a fake wedding or give a (fake) impression of quiet areas on board as they made their free advert for Princess which will be shown on English TV shortly.! Finally I should mention the entertainment, which was disappointing. In over 3 weeks there were only 3 major stage shows on board - UNHEARD of on any other cruise where they are usually every second or third night. Whilst the value of the other entertainers is very much subjective and affected by personal opinion, the stage shows by the singers and dancers are what most of the passengers look forward to and less than one a week is pathetic! As for the other entertainers, some were good and some were iffy at best. I wont criticise individuals because as I said it is all a matter of personal opinion but for me, I have certainly seen better on every other cruise in the past. These are not all the problems or all the things that adversely affected the cruise for us, but I am sure if these had not been applicable the rest of the problems with have dimmed into insignificance. We may reconsider, Princess in the future, but at this moment we are very disappointed with them. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Just returned today from a four day Vancouver to LA, so my thoughts are all very fresh here. We are "Platinum" members with Princess and wanted to take a quick get away cruise from Vancouver to LA, and I cannot stress how ... Read More
Just returned today from a four day Vancouver to LA, so my thoughts are all very fresh here. We are "Platinum" members with Princess and wanted to take a quick get away cruise from Vancouver to LA, and I cannot stress how poorly run this ship truly is.. From Stem to Stern this ship stinks and I mean literally. The sewage system had numerous failures, as I witnessed several toilets either overflowed or backed up throughout the ship on the voyage. My first complaint was with the head waiter (Marcos in the Portofino Dining Room), as I have never been charged a "corkage" fee for the one bottle of wine that you are allowed to bring onboard, but on this occasion I was told that it is "policy". Funny, because I brought on 15 bottles of wine for my 28 day Tahiti Cruise and only paid corkage on 13 of them; the rest, they were more than happy to open without question, but the manner in which he handled the situation made me feel less than warm and fuzzy about being an upstanding Princess Patron...If this encounter didn't make matters worse, the meal in the Portofino wasn't very good that night period, so I proceeded to eat my next two dinners in the Capri Dining Room, but to be honest those meals were hit and miss just like the first. The Crown Grill, which is normally a fantastic meal experience was unbelievably bad, as the Rib Eye steak was so tough you could barely cut it. The server Steven was very nice and apologetic, but what could he do? I should have returned the steak immediately, but I've never cooked a steak that tough in my house and I guess I was just too surprised that they would serve it. Also, the food in general was just plain mediocre and very inconsistent. Generally the food on Princess in the Horizon Court is very, very good, but again not on this ship. If this had been my first cruise I probably would not sail with Princess again, but I know first hand how this is not the norm for any Princess ship. Very astonishing considering this ship was in Dry Dock just last December. The only saving grace was the balcony cabin, which was indeed very nice and comfortable, and the music on board was very good, otherwise it was a complete bust......Never again on the STAR.... Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
First cruise of this length. The allure of an Atlantic crossing got our attention. 5 days at sea; relaxation, entertainment, pampering, gourmet dining, interacting with others. We're not regular Princess Patrons, but the itinerary ... Read More
First cruise of this length. The allure of an Atlantic crossing got our attention. 5 days at sea; relaxation, entertainment, pampering, gourmet dining, interacting with others. We're not regular Princess Patrons, but the itinerary through Scandinavia, Scotland and Ireland was very appealing. That proved to be a pipe-dream, for a whole lot of reasons that you'll see below. Embarkation was simple and efficient, but we were very bothered with the the handling of passports. We are told to NEVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, SURRENDER YOUR PASSPORT. Before we knew it, the passports were gone and a coat-check-like slip was in our hands. This has never happened to us on any other cruise. The passports were delivered back to us on the way to Scotland by a stateroom attendant, and recollected after an onboard customs check. There is a whole lot of wrong with this process. We get the passenger convenience thing, but find a different way. Don't if cruise length or itinerary was a factor, but it made for a very geriatric passenger base. As one passenger but it to us: "Princess is becoming a cruise line for retired people, their parents and grandparents." Evening activities were most definitely catering to that crowd, leaving the ship largely devoid of people after the show, as the multitudes ascended to their state rooms. Just not a lot to do in the later evening. That is especially a negative with 5 full days at see on the Atlantic crossing. Similarly, and again not knowing if that passenger demographic was a factor or not, the crew seemed much less happy than on any other cruise or cruise line we have been on. Service was professional, but not exactly friendly. We were very surprised at the lack of attention given to passenger cleanliness around the food venues, especially the buffet. With no crew at the door pushing people to wash and sanitize, seeing people cough, sneeze and then handle food service items was disgusting. That said, Food was excellent, and the Chef's table experience was one of the best meals of any cruise. We noticed up-selling to be a major theme on this cruise, and it was tiresome. Our philosophy is charge me a fair and full price and most of all, PAY YOUR STAFF. Service is not something extra, it is an integral part of the vacation. Wait, kitchen and stateroom staff are as integral to a cruise line's business as the bridge crew. Would you expect them to live on tips? The stops at Aarhus, Denmark and Kristiansand, Norway were curious. Both cute villages in their own right, but little to do except walk around the port. Felt like they were added to the itinerary to check a box for number of ports. We did have an incident at port in Kristiansand, Norway. When the ship was disconnected from shore-power (since ships in Norway cannot idle and spew exhaust -- yay Norway!), The Regal computers shut down. Big oops on someone's side for sure. But a ship's computers being down means the keys don't work, there is no point of sale equipment for bars, and most of all, they can't confirm that everyone is on board (or should not be!). Princess did a manual count, which required everyone to be room bound for more than a couple of hours. As a result, we missed the tide and wound up majorly late into Greenock. This made Greenock and Glasgow a write-off. Most folk's excursion plans were cancelled, and with a scant few hours, looking for something to do. Don't get me wrong, stuff like this happens. The apologies however were too frequent and too empty. No sort of compensation was offered. Com'on princess, man-up. Guess the experience soured us to long cruises. Maybe better luck on other itineraries or cruise lines? Read Less
Sail Date September 2018

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