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1,086 Repositioning Cruise Reviews

We like Viking. It was going to the Azores which we had wanted to see and had never been to during any of our travels. We have sailed on Viking Ocean 4 times now. This was a cruise that did not live up to our expectations. The cruise ... Read More
We like Viking. It was going to the Azores which we had wanted to see and had never been to during any of our travels. We have sailed on Viking Ocean 4 times now. This was a cruise that did not live up to our expectations. The cruise director was very talented herself but pretty much dominated the cruise and did not let the other entertainers perform to the best of their abilities. The food which is usually excellent was still good but the service in the restaurants was unusually slow. Disembarkation was truly a disaster. Handled by the shore excursion manager it could not have been worse. This is the second time we have had this manager for shore excursions on Viking. Unfortunately he is not the best and often unorganized or ill prepared. In addition he is not accessible and does not speak English very well which makes him hard to understand. The ship is excellent and most of the staff would do anything for you. Since this cruise had 8 scheduled sea days there should have been more activities. We would be unlikely to take such a cruise again however we most likely will travel again on Viking. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The ship was generally in good shape but the stairs were not solid and sagged at times when you went up or down the stairs. We had a nice balcony cabin for overlooking the Panama Canal. It was mid ship and we were able to see the other ... Read More
The ship was generally in good shape but the stairs were not solid and sagged at times when you went up or down the stairs. We had a nice balcony cabin for overlooking the Panama Canal. It was mid ship and we were able to see the other ships going in the opposite direction. For most of the cruise the bathroom smelled from sewage. We had the hotel director's staff come and look at the issue. They eventually fixed the problem. There was no reason for us to keep going to Guest Services to complain about the problem. The food service at the seven seas was awful. The food arrived cold and once the food was delivered, the server did not come back to check on us. We never saw the head waiter. In the four seasons, the waiters were very attentive, the hot food came hot. In the buffet it was hard for us to usually find food that we could eat. The Indian food is too spicy. Most of the other items had pork or pork products in it and we do not eat pork. This included bacon in the mac and cheese, ham in the sour kraut. various ham sandwiches and bacon in the salads. Towards the end of the cruise, they were running out of food and the milk was spoiled, same for the yogurt and you needed to find a manager to get the spoiled products removed. The cruise director was hard to find, he was hard to understand at the main theater and P A system announcements. The production shows were good. The cruise director staff provided us with good games and trivia challenges but they reused a number of the questions over and over again. Besides that there was not much to do on sea days. For some of the ports, the length of time in port was too short to really enjoy the port. I don't understand why we stopped at some of the ports. They barely even has a choice of shore excursions. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We choose this cruise is because we have never been to South America. We took an excursion in Puntaeranes, Costa Rica and could not find the bus that was supposed to take us to St. Jose. There were no guides at the terminal and we ... Read More
We choose this cruise is because we have never been to South America. We took an excursion in Puntaeranes, Costa Rica and could not find the bus that was supposed to take us to St. Jose. There were no guides at the terminal and we asked the bus drivers where our bus was and was directed to outside the gates of the terminal but the bus was actually the first bus in the terminal closes to the cruise ship gate. The food was very salty especially the soup which cannot be consumed. In the Royal Princess, there were 2 pots, one salted and the other not salted and we could blend both soups to make it not too salty. The food is also very salty, not like on other Princess ships. The menu was always the same especially at breakfast. The entertainment was excellent and we enjoyed the production shows. Service was sometimes lacking especially in the early mornings when half the staff was not on duty yet although the restaurant was open. The cabin was comfortable. I would avoid Star Princess in my future cruises. I will stick to Royal or Regal which are better managed although the Captain of Star Princess was very attentive and resolve problems on the spot. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The basics: Howdy. I went on the 30-day encompassing travel from Los Angeles to Buenos Aires. Travel was part of a family/family friends unit accompanying passengers in their 60s and 70s, one with mobility, non-wheelchair ... Read More
The basics: Howdy. I went on the 30-day encompassing travel from Los Angeles to Buenos Aires. Travel was part of a family/family friends unit accompanying passengers in their 60s and 70s, one with mobility, non-wheelchair considerations; we're mostly a group that wanted to see the sights and hopefully get an inkling of the life of the region with less emphasis on the bells and whistles of cruise life/services and holiday cruising. Some, but not extensive cruising experience prior to this one. All in all, I feel that our days were lucky and well spent with very comfortable service/passage, interesting ports, and fortunate weather with the caveat and advice that the experience is also more driven by your own efforts, energy, and embracing come what may of the cruise experience. Ship: Ship spaces are generally pleasant. The Star feels more of a modest environment: There are few-to-no grand visual statements and often swaths of low ceiling, unexciting carpet, and mild patterns; the best of what decor offers is more in some updated spaces that are intimate and comfortable (Wheelhouse Bar, and the fee-dining areas of Sabatini's and Crown Grill - perhaps my gravitation for polished wood and booths, here). Other areas feel a little more perfunctory and are deflated a little by what feels to be almost consistently cramped design: The flow and available space in the Horizon Court dining areas, for example, seem to subdivide yet compress traffic flow, and the Piazza/shopping area feels a tad compact and cold in comparison to other cruise experiences. There are also some awkward moments, such as locating the nearest bathroom of the Amalfi 6th-floor dining room one floor up, the random corridor/dead end in navigating from one side of the ship to the other, and what came to be called 'elevator roulette' in trying to figure out which door opened (sometimes behind you) - small details and decisions that don't necessarily make sense or feel accommodating to the passenger. Cabin: Cabin space continues the general idea of functionality without much flair - for three passengers, ours was an obstructed view starboard with two twin beds and two fold-down options. Sharing for three is possible, but dependent on traveling style. Storage includes a small safe (not for anything larger than small electronics - maybe one camera, a footprint not much larger than a paper sheet) and cabinet column next to an open closet (with plenty of hangers) and then a few open shelving corners, drawers, and a night table per twin bed. There was some fair space in the closet for standing luggage, but at the same time there was barely desk space for two and open floor was very limited - seating and rest were pretty much constrained to the beds which were happily comfortable. (Note that the upper berth has a light switch that is permanently lit in green.) Unfortunately we didn't check the lamps for USB ports; we relied on the two available room outlets to rotate between charging our gadgets. The bathroom is basic with a shower stall and again some limited open shelving and one outlet. TV and phone were without frills and fine - ultimately, our cabin only served for rest and recuperation as needed. Service: Professional service was the norm - overall, the impression was attentive and dedicated, particularly despite the extensive hours and scheduling being worked by some staff. The weaker points come from the instances of when service fell through, most prominently in information distribution and scheduling and handling of port day organization. Causes seemed variable - a lack of confidence in providing/committing advice, an outdated piece of information here and there - but it also felt almost structural - never had I been more aware of feeling like the staff somehow needed more resources and bodies to address the needs of the passenger audience. Nevertheless, those thoughts don't diminish that we had wonderful stewards and waiters during our month on board, with great conversation and care that made traditional dining always a highlight to wind down the day (many thanks to Julius and Fitri!). There are many teams hard at work on board - dining, bar, entertainment, photography, to name a few - and the sparks of friendliness helped to create a sense of consistent community on the ship, especially in the cheerful atmosphere set from LA to Santiago under the command of Captain Michele Tuvo (a definite highlight - passengers on the Sky Princess will be in good hands). Dining: Mostly traditional, no-fee for our experience; for the most part (along with our excellent service) we were pleased with the various menu ideas and items if equally occasionally disappointed in the execution. Appetizers - a wild mushroom tartlet, crab cake, for example - were probably the most satisfying, with dessert second. Cold soup options like one with crystallized ginger and a lychee-coconut drink and sorbets in honeydew and apple cider were among our favorite and most surprising discoveries over the whole course. On the other hand, savory soups were frequently salty, and over the course of two menu cycles it was possible to encounter variance in quality in any item (a disappointing, fibrous vegetable quiche to a fantastic slice; a supremely sweet mousse to one well balanced). For traveling along South America, fruit itself also seemed inconsistent, perhaps a necessity of cruising but still perplexing. Outside of dinner, the options were serviceable: Secondary notables included the reliable and satisfying Prego Pizzeria slice for lunch and the often overlooked afternoon tea on sea days (tea, scone with jam and cream, sandwiches, and desserts in a brief window). The Horizon buffet options were standard with a clear orientation towards quantity production - a good option for a do-it-yourself sandwich, but for most items often featured idea over execution with a few finds. Paired with tight spacing and inconvenient seating, it was less favored than a formal dining room or grab-and-go. Late-night grub is also limited to one option after 11 p.m., which ties a bit into the overall ship life... Entertainment, Programming, and Ship Life: Programming/ship life unfortunately was probably the flimsiest portion of our cruise experience, whether navigating past the cascade of jewelry and gallery events to queuing for limited seating in craft sessions to the early morning scheduling of enrichment lectures and so on. Personally, I was a little disappointed by how promotional activities wanted to be, with art lectures that tried to tie into the auctions, craft sessions with purchasable kits, and port lectures with excursion ops: these seemed less suggestive of personal enrichment and kept events from feeling as professional, educational, or enjoyable as they should have. Intentions, demographics, and target audience aside, many ship activities never seemed to really gel, dogged by a feeling that resources and space were never really meant to accommodate the audience that arrived. Easier options included Movies Under the Stars (which sometimes allotted three showings of the same film), but seating, preparation, and planning otherwise for events would have benefited with more attention - not placing an event at the same site as a sale or an auction, ensuring that passengers waiting for an event had an alternative to sitting on the floor, checking that equipment compatibility did not delay a start for twenty minutes - the cumulative details felt unrefined. Entertainment quality was also mixed - musical entertainment outside of evening shows held up well with performers providing enjoyable listening (what felt like nightly Tango music with the Bujacich Quintet was very in-theme and well appreciated) whereas mainstage acts could impress (magician Alex Ramon, guitarist Nestor Santurio) or less depending on the evening. One major miss for me was a silent run through Glacier Alley: whether simply unscheduled or maybe a technical malfunction, the Star Princess sailed through the area without announcement and a far cry from the Alaskan Glacier Bay experience on a different cruise line. Port/Itinerary/Excursions: The port schedule serves to balance out the unflattering as-you-go nature of sea days - the itinerary, particularly in the main leg of San Antonio/Santiago to Buenos Aires, is filled with singular experiences of landscape, wildlife, history, and culture, paced often with an alternation between port days and sea days to rest and prepare. The repositioning from Los Angeles to Santiago is deceptively slow, with two sets of three sea days back-to-back, but its ports of call can also provide for some expansive offerings to those traveling first-time like we were (San Martin was a spectacular surprise in providing terrain and wildlife we'd never seen before). As strong as the itinerary is (and our schedule also saw us as the only ship in most ports), a warning that doing research on the ports and vendors available can be well worth the time and money saved. Skip out of what might seem like a convenient bus-based city tour for taking the courtesy shuttle and/or walking the path directly (San Martin, Punta Arenas, and Montevideo come to mind) and also realize that comparable and reliable options do exist at sometimes less than half the price. Another major shortcoming is the management of tender and shuttle ticketing: we were ill-prepared for how poorly operations went for Lima shuttle tickets and not-insignificant wait times were involved for most tender operations without personal planning. (Aside from the iconic Captain Tuvo, nothing unified the ship more than the antipathy towards the WiFi and tender services.) Odds and ends: For repositioning to the first run of the season, the 30-day sailing does encompass the winter holidays and New Year's. Nods in the decor were trees, wreaths, and other decorations for the entirety in addition to some light scheduling of holiday events (card making, gingerbread houses, caroling, etc.) and a special dinner menu for each occasion. A piazza balloon drop celebrated the turn of the year - enough late-night fun for me! - but other cruisers might have preferred something that felt more extensive and encompassing. Young adults on this cruise should be prepared to find or prepare their own entertainment. The two portions of the cruise were markedly different in composition, so finding a similar cohort was even more challenging before the family groups and end-of-year cruisers arrived for Santiago to Buenos Aires. There are all-ages activities and enrichment opportunities, but nevertheless, targeted activities were scarce. Embarkation from Los Angeles went smoothly with friendly service. Disembarkation was more reflective of the organizational ambivalence that emerged through the course of the cruise with disembarking excursion passengers called very early in the morning to assemble before waiting further to disembark. Nonetheless, the excursion itself was a very smooth process (be warned - EZE was not). In any sort of going on and off the ship, those with mobility issues were often lost in the crowd. Conclusion: In hindsight, we all had a memorable experience with the essence of what we had hoped - new experiences, culture, land, and people with hopefully more revelation of how little we do know. In that regard, I'd like to say that it was excellent. Nonetheless, for the purposes of this review, I can't really say that we lay that claim to the Star Princess, however grateful we are for the excellent instances of service and the privilege for the convenience and comfort of the ship. Depending on what you're looking for, this could be a very good cruise - one where you form friendships and memories and travel affordably - but if it is, it will likely be because of your own efforts, investment, and objectives as opposed to the experience of the vessel. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We travelled on the Dawn Princess ,Pacific Explorer a few Times before she became the Explorer . We had to have a look what she was like after the Refurbishing in 2017 ! Dining Rooms lost their Charm . Waterfront looks like a Container ... Read More
We travelled on the Dawn Princess ,Pacific Explorer a few Times before she became the Explorer . We had to have a look what she was like after the Refurbishing in 2017 ! Dining Rooms lost their Charm . Waterfront looks like a Container Dining Room , with Food to match . Items on the Menu , when they came to the Table could not be Identified as the Item you ordered . Garden fresh Vegetables was a term used on the Menu ,yet on most Dishes we ordered they could not be found on the Plate . After alternating between Dragon Lady and Waterfront for 3 Days ,we gave the Dining Rooms a miss ,and went to the Pantry where you could see what you where eating ! Most Upgrades in the Public Areas were ok .Some were obvious Money generating changes , we did not use .We could not Comment on them . Food in the Pantry was fine . The best Idea was that Passengers could not serve themselves .What happened after the Food got to the Table is a different Story . Cleanliness in the Dining Room and Pantry left a lot to be desired . It is either Lack of Staff or inadequate Training causing these Problems . Entertainment in the Marquee Was excellent !Cruise Director and her Programm to entertain Guests very good . Except for Love Riot ,deserves to be Kiel hauled !! Embarkation went Fine , Disembarkation not so .Could have been because Tent Disembarkation set up . The Ship and Cabin were fine , Shower Cubicle a bit Tired ,Floor does look a bit worn ! Service was excellent , Except for lack of Staff during Rush Hour at Pantry ! Tender Services a little shoddy ,but you can always blame the Wind. We will not go with P&O again ! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Started the cruise in Genoa Italy. This was in cruise crossing the Atlantic to the Caribbean, the first few days were spent at different Mediterranean ports then onto the island of Tenerife, now there was five days at sea,this is when the ... Read More
Started the cruise in Genoa Italy. This was in cruise crossing the Atlantic to the Caribbean, the first few days were spent at different Mediterranean ports then onto the island of Tenerife, now there was five days at sea,this is when the problems started, the largest populations on the ship were German,French,Italian with smaller groups of Spanish and British, all sunbeds on the top deck were taken by 6 o'clock in the morning,towels were placed on sunbeds all day with many not being used at all. Complaints were made to the ships staff but nothing was done, then some Italian families actually had fist fights around the pool area because they had taken"there sun lounger area by the pool" staff were called but refused to get involved. Many complained again but nothing done. The theatre shows were Italian in origin rather than international and became monotonous after a few days. We were on an all inclusive drinks package 25 Euros a day, but many of the drinks were not included! Although it says beer is included its not, only Heineken lager is included, all other beers are chargeable, when you order you have always to ask if it's included which is embarrassing as people think you cannot afford it. The bar and cabin staff go out of there way to make your stay enjoyable and always pleasant, on the other hand the security staff on the exit and entrance onto the ship were anything but. They would grunt at you take your hats and glasses off, stand still while we check your card,no smiles no talking to you, just as thought you were entering a country, inside the ship they would walk into you as though you shouldn't be in the way, had no respect for any passengers ( but they would not attend to the fighting by the pool , cowards). Yes people join the ship in most ports but that dosnt cause a problem, although you get a little tired of the safety drill at every port. Be aware that there is no self service laundry facilities on-board, although the ship will do your laundry for a price. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I chose this cruise as I wanted to be away to avoid a certain anniversary. I looked for a Reposioning Cruise as I like plenty of sea days and not many port calls. Travelling as a single is always expensive and this was not a cheap holiday ... Read More
I chose this cruise as I wanted to be away to avoid a certain anniversary. I looked for a Reposioning Cruise as I like plenty of sea days and not many port calls. Travelling as a single is always expensive and this was not a cheap holiday even though it included drinks and gratuities. So one could not say ‘ You get what you pay for’ and imply it was a bargain rate and that I should have known better... The ship itself is fine, very clean and the majority of the staff are good at their job, helpful and courteous. The food is again ‘fine’, good choice, plentiful and varied, if somewhat overcooked at times, but the chefs are catering for a wide range of tastes and appetites. The Turf and Surf had very good food and was well worth the supplement.Embarkation and airport transfer were excellent. Excursions were pretty standard and reasonably priced. My problem was I am not vastly overweight, don’t wear Primark clothes, wouldn’t dream of drinking a pint of lager at ten in the morning, dislike having to strain to speak to people over the incessant row made by the talent-challenged entertainers in the bars, would have loved to sit on the sundeck without loud pop music blaring out - so I didn’t really fit in. It sounds snobby I know, but had I been aware of the target market of Marella Cruises, I would have realised it was out of my comfort zone. We all have different tastes and it doesn’t make us better or worse than each other, but Marella was not for me. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Nice ship! RC obviously have their ship design sorted and Marella now own a nice/modern ship. It isn’t a monster either and we like ships this size. We’d prefer this ship over P&O’s Oriana and Aurora and it’s that much ... Read More
Nice ship! RC obviously have their ship design sorted and Marella now own a nice/modern ship. It isn’t a monster either and we like ships this size. We’d prefer this ship over P&O’s Oriana and Aurora and it’s that much ‘nicer’. Shame about the buffet being at the front where every other ship puts a bar: Many tables weren’t available due to people being sat at the windows with a glass of orange juice just to watch the world go by. The ship. Looks and is very nice. Great to walk around, shiny and well maintained. Humorous captain and most of the crew very attentive. The culture on our sea-day intensive cruise was lovely & laid back. The main restaurant was good; 3 courses for all and the house wine or Prosecco please. We enjoyed our 2 weeks aboard, one week of which was at sea (we love sea days). The enrichment talks and presentations on board were great (Astronomy/Space, Piracy, belly dancing lessons and others) and the trips ashore to Petra, Wadi Rum and Spinalonga were a proper cultural immersion. Shame about the extremely average food at Spinalonga. (we didn’t order the rain either but we didn’t complain to Marella about that…) Marella forcibly entertain you. Most of the entertainment is in your face. There is some (usually good) music and performance in the Atrium but it is often overpowered by the performance from the live room, itself sometimes overpowered from the music in the Squid & Anchor. Ordering your cocktails from the all-inclusive menu? Don’t worry about the alcohol content as they all will be short-measured. Our cabin, 6500, was over the entertainment at the front of the ship. Early nights were a nightmare of music, music and music, courtesy of the Squid & Anchor. On one occasion we had to wait an hour between starter and main course. We had to be blunt with the restaurant manager whose staff kept telling us ‘it’s on its way’ so many times… The buffet was just a buffet. The bacon was unsmoked, the sausages mundane. (The moussaka was great!) The afternoon tea was OK; you could tell we weren’t sailing Cunard. Oh, we also liked having ‘technical problems’ a couple of days before Oman. We enjoyed the ship cruising far more slowly and having an extra night on board Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We were glad to find the ship had been refitted during it's 8 day lay-over in Singapore, before the relocation cruise to Sydney. However engine problems meant we were given a revised itinerary for the cruise on boarding. Many people ... Read More
We were glad to find the ship had been refitted during it's 8 day lay-over in Singapore, before the relocation cruise to Sydney. However engine problems meant we were given a revised itinerary for the cruise on boarding. Many people were unhappy as they had made prior arrangements for some scheduled ports of call. The ship could only manage half speed. $200 USD per person was credited to ship board accounts as compensation. However by the time we reached Darwin new parts were delivered to the ship and the remainder of the schedule could revert to the original. The rooms, while refurbished to a good standard, are still very small. We were on deck 9 with balcony. In the toilet (smallest ever - when sitting on the toilet you could rest your forehead on the facing wall - beware if you are a larger travelers!) Room steward was excellent and was very helpful. Food was overall disappointing and lacked variety. The Tsar's Palace dining room was nicely refurbished, but staff were overall quite indifferent at times, and didn't interact, as on other cruise lines. We dined at The Azura Restaurant the first evening, but found the staff inattentive and the food was cold - yes we complained! Le Bistro was our 'best of the bunch' with a good selection and attentive staff. We are early diners so benefited from having the venue mainly to ourselves. The 'Chinese' restaurant on board was disappointing, a very limited menu (you could pay extra for two alternative dishes) and again service was average. The Irish themed restaurant was lacking in real Irish themed food, and was really just a cafe. Shore excursions were reasonable, although on Bali it was quite shocking to see the poverty in the areas we were driven through. The ship has limited shopping options but service was good. The entertainment was a highlight , very high standard and good variety. Another highlight was the 'The Spinnaker' lounge which was a nicely refurbished lounge at the top of the ship, with glass all around, a bar, and events and entertainment throughout the day and evening. A nice area to 'chill out' during the day with a book. The on board TV and video system has been upgraded and vision quality is good (best 'bow camera' we have seen) though there is no 'programme guide and many 'genre' are misnamed - some of the most violent movies were on the 'family movies channel'. Also there is no system to check your account in your room on this system, you have to go to Guest Relations and request a printed copy. Major disappointment was the shore excursions to shore at Airlie Beach were via 'ships tender' and also contractor's catamarans, we went on a 'cat' and returned on a ship's tender. The return crossing was 30 minutes in rough seas (10 minutes outward on the'Cat') the rough seas resulted in sea water coming into the boat at times , very frightened passengers and 2 people in our tender suffering minor injuries. It was very scary with waves crashing over the boat. On returning to the ship, I went to 'Guest Services' and said that having had some experience in Work Health and Safety, I would recommend not using the tenders for the remainder of the day, instead using the 'Catamaran's', in the interest of passenger safety. The Guest Services staff member seemed uninterested and said if there was a problem it was up to the 'Pilot' to report it! I said I had passed the message to them and that I could do no more. One other matter worth mentioning, was an excellent presentation by the staff responsible for future cruise bookings, on the things guests should be aware of, and wary of, when booking cruises. The jargon and pitfalls were explained and some of the background on how and why cruise lines offer upgrades and specials. Also there relationship with agents. We found this quite refreshing and very helpful. It would be good if other 'lines' were as open on these issues. A 'Q and A' session at the end was unhurried and everyone was able to ask there individual questions, long after the session was supposed to conclude. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This was our first transatlantic cruise and we had a fantastic time. We had a 2 week trip to Italy planned and decided it would be fun to sail home instead of fly. There were a lot of positives but there were some things that we ... Read More
This was our first transatlantic cruise and we had a fantastic time. We had a 2 week trip to Italy planned and decided it would be fun to sail home instead of fly. There were a lot of positives but there were some things that we didn't like about this ship. Embarkation in Rome was very quick and easy. Disembarkation in Miami was an absolute disaster. The problems could have been avoided if the ship improved their process. Times were assigned but they had no way of tracking which times people had. So at least half of the people got in line with the first group departing causing a huge jam in the terminal. We got in line at 8:45 and finally got to the luggage area at 10:00. Immigration took another 45 minutes which was the cruise lines fault but may have been better with a more controlled process. Our cabin was fantastic. Plenty of room for all of our belongings. Cleaning services was fantastic. Bathroom layout and space was great. Shower had really nice pressure and a lot of space. One negative is the mini fridge. It's a waste of valuable space and who would use it especially with the Ultimate Beverage Package. Room maintenance problems: When we tried to flush our toilet for the first time it clogged. This was 15 minutes after we got to our room (and was not our fault if you know what I mean). I told the cabin steward about it and had to complain again when it wasn't fixed 3 hours later. Took 5 hours to finally be corrected. A couple of days into the cruise it clogged again but was fixed much quicker this time and we didn't have a problem again. Our AC worked great for the first 9 days of the cruise but then didn't cool as well for the last 5. I asked Guest Services to look at it but never heard back if they actually did and it never improved. Cabin location was not ideal. You were not close to O'Sheehan's and had to go down a very winding hall to get there. Pool and buffet areas were 4 floors up and buffet was on the other end of the ship. Main restaurants were on the other side of the ship. If I took this ship again I would do so with a rear cabin. Dining on the ship was good. We had 4 nights of specially dining. Cagney's Steakhouse gets 5 stars and we ate there twice. The Brazilian Steakhouse and the Teppanyaki gets 4 stars. The free Asian restaurant also gets 4 stars and we ate there several times. The Buffet gets 3.5 stars. Most of the food was very good but the layout was horrible. There are a lot of narrow areas that were constantly log jammed. Food was different at different areas and confusing. Ice and water machines were terrible and often had out of order signs. Entertainment was mediocre. We went to several shows and most would receive 3 stars. The bar entertainment was better however the sound setup in most of the bars distorted the music and singing which made it bad. Bars: Best bar on the ship is the mojito bar inside the Brazilian Steakhouse. It's very small and most people don't even know about it so it was private. Bar staff was fantastic. A general issue on this ship is the staffing levels in the bars. There are some really good bartenders but they need help. If you ordered a drink from your seat you were going to wait for a long time. Best thing to do is to go the bar as most of the bartenders wait on people first and then work on the orders from the wait staff when then have free time. Casino: Nice selection of games. I only play poker and I was pleasantly surprised to find a real poker table on board (instead of the machines that most cruise ships have). The negative was the rake. 10% with a max of $25 is ridiculous. Having said that I did play on about 9 days and left the cruise up a couple of hundred because there are some really bad players which overcomes the horrible rake. Other negative about the casino is that they allow smoking. There is no ventilation and there were days when I wanted in and immediately left because you couldn't breathe. The Gatsby bar is down the hall and you could often smell smoke there when you were having a cocktail. Ultimate Beverage Package: It was really good with most drinks included. Also plenty of wine options. Negatives: bottled water and specially coffee is not included (both are included on other cruise lines that I've used). Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose this cruise to travel with friends, and specifically for the Funchal port which we ended up missing. This was probably not the cruise lines fault, but we could have made better use of our Barcelona time if we had known in advance ... Read More
We chose this cruise to travel with friends, and specifically for the Funchal port which we ended up missing. This was probably not the cruise lines fault, but we could have made better use of our Barcelona time if we had known in advance about the repairs that they were doing. Overall the biggest disappointment on this ship was the food, followed by the service level, and finally the overall appearance of the ship. The food was barely above all inclusive resort standard....usually lukewarm, often over salted to an amazing degree, and variable. Sometimes overdone, sometimes underdone. We had a package with the paid restaurants, in which the food was very good. The service level in the restaurants, with one or two notable exceptions, was horrendous. We avoided Versailles after about day 3, after we waited 45 minutes between ordering dessert and receiving it. Cagneys steak was excellent, but there were mixups on orders, entrees arriving at different times for the table....I expected way better. On board service was also variable. The staff just seemed more interested in talking to each other than to serving guests. Our steward very grudgingly brought us requested bathrobes after about 2 days, which ended up having no tie belts. Service in any restaurant was exceedingly slow, unless you were lucky enough to get a really great server. It was hard to believe this ship just came out of refurbishment. Our cabin had cracks in the plastic on the floor edging in the bathroom, and overall the ship is run down looking. We received towels and facecloths with holes in them. Cleaning buckets were always left in the hallways; a major tripping hazard and just not a professional look. Public washrooms were hard to locate, and often non functional. This ship just feels tired, and so do the staff. There is just no positive energy. No activities planned for the transatlantic days - I've been on other transatlantics such as Carnival, which planned a shipboard "Olympics" which was really fun. There is almost nothing for added activities on this ship, and curiously, only 4 round deck relaxing "pods" for the whole ship, which must have been staked out for the day by about 5 am. After 6 sea days in a row, they chose to do the famous "White Night Party" the night before our first shore day, which is just remarkably poor planning. The library is not overly well stocked, and I never saw anyone there to check out books, even during the posted hours. Sadly, this trip is almost enough to make me reconsider Norwegian. I can live with the nickel and diming, I know they have a rep for that, but I think all cruise lines do it. I'd rather not be telephoned in my cabin to be sold things though, that is over the top, and it did happen on this trip. We have been on the Jewel and the Epic, and I think the Jewel was really well managed and fun. On the Jewel, we purchased a next trip coupon. We chose not to this time, as we are no longer certain we will travel with Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Due to weather we missed one port which could not be avoided I guess. Disappointed with entertainment. Production company and Russian arial act only decent evening entertainment. Lady violinist should have had prime time and put juggler, ... Read More
Due to weather we missed one port which could not be avoided I guess. Disappointed with entertainment. Production company and Russian arial act only decent evening entertainment. Lady violinist should have had prime time and put juggler, hypnotist, magic act and others during afternoon. Producers need to watch America’s Got Talent and recruit entertainers as what we saw was amateurish. Miss crew talent night. Passenger talent night was a joke and waste of time. Food has gone way downhill in dining room. Crew on NCL continues to be outstanding. Not a prob there. Really enjoyed having lectures. Would recommend having lecturers with a little more depth and not so much fluff. Transit to Miami was a little hairy trying to find. Disembarkation in Miami was a nightmare and we almost missed our flight after allowing four hours to get off and to airport. The problem was blamed on Miami customs. We thought ship was totally refurbished but evidently not. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Our friends who we cruise with every couple of years suggested this cruise and we loved the itinerary and wanted to try the Star. We did this cruise back to back with the Caribbean cruise after this one. Embarkation in Civvi was very ... Read More
Our friends who we cruise with every couple of years suggested this cruise and we loved the itinerary and wanted to try the Star. We did this cruise back to back with the Caribbean cruise after this one. Embarkation in Civvi was very easy; we were not in the suites waiting area long at all, the concierge basically said welcome, and a butler came by and escorted us onto the ship. He took us to Moderno for lunch where all the suite passengers can eat lunch. After a nice leisurely lunch we went to our suite. We loved O'Sheehan's. Always friendly and never seemed too busy. The chicken wings are great. We ate at Ginza a couple of times and were pleased. Service was excellent, food hot. I was wishing there was a wider selection of sushi. Moderno was very good. Again slow the first time around. Second time much, much better. Lots of things to choose from and very good meat. Teppanyaki was outstanding. The show was fun, the food melted in your mouth. Service was good except the first time a waiter kept yelling in my ear (I couldn't hear because the chefs were singing). I'm not a fan of the cake for dessert but the green tea ice cream is really good! Cagney's was very good; melt in your mouth steaks. The second time I ate there, however, I literally walked out of the place because I had already waited an hour for my entree. The third visit they were extremely attentive and the service was very good. LeBistro was off the chain wonderful. It remains my favorite place to eat on NCL. The Garden Cafe was mostly cafeteria food quality. One night my friend wanted a quick dessert and they had closed 15 minutes early. I enjoyed the "deck food" burgers, hot dogs, fresh fruit and the like on sea days. The pool was nice, a little chilly at first but fine after that. There are 4 hot tubs on deck with varying temperatures. Suite passengers can eat in Moderno for breakfast and Cagney's for lunch. Moderno brought one of my cruise mates a cold waffle. Service was slow. Once we found a waiter we liked, Dennis, we had quick service and great food. Cagney's for lunch was very good and service better. I went to the spa one time for a pedicure. It was fine, the lady was engaging and friendly. Of course she tried to sell me everything in there, but I did not want anything but a pedicure. Activities and entertainment were so-so. I ran into the cruise director (Simon) only twice; once at the VIP party and once in the Atrium. He was very friendly but otherwise the only time we ever heard him was on the loudspeaker every day. Cruise staff was not to be found. Later on I was told because of the weather, the staff was mostly in Bliss Lounge. This was weather-related; our first few days out of Barcelona were chilly. I did not attend any shows. I cannot speak for them firsthand. Our cruise mates were very happy with the shows. The casino is fine, played 3 card and blackjack. The dealers were friendly and a lot of fun. I am a smoker, and on this cruise, the smoking area on deck 12 was sadly neglected, a lot of full ashtrays. It became apparent toward the end of the cruise that someone got spoken to, because it sure was kept clean the last few days! You may smoke on deck 12 portside, deck 13 at Sky High Bar, and on deck 7 outside of 5 O'Clock somewhere. Our concierge was the best we have ever had; Suzanna. She walked on deck every day and made sure to stop and say hi, ask how you were doing and if you needed anything. When restaurant reservations were confused, she would straighten those out right away (my fault, not hers). She had not seen me for a day or so and actually left a voice mail to see how I was doing. That woman is the hardest working concierge I have ever encountered. Our butler was Loy, he was amazing also. If you needed so much as a bowl of potato chips, he was right on that and happy to deliver. The stateroom attendant was Artie. Our room was sparkling clean all of the time. And for you towel animal fans, he never missed a night of leaving one on the bed. We got an extra night in Barcelona, because of heavy weather to our west. We took advantage of that and got to go into town and spend time milling around and eating some great food. We had to skip Portugal because of the weather, which is understandable. Our shore excursion in St. Maarten was very good, we had a very informative and friendly guide on our way to the airport to watch the planes. Disembarkation in Miami was easy for suite passengers and more difficult for non-suite passengers. The ship not only had to go through customs, but a CDC inspection and a USGC inspection. Many crew members had to be up at 3:30 AM for immigration. Many were blaming NCL for this. This was not NCL's fault. This was the United States Government. I definitely would sail the Star again. My humble opinion is that there was a young, inexperienced crew working in the dining venues, they seemed very overwhelmed and tired. I'm sure this will improve. I do not cruise for the food itself, I cruise for the cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We are a couple in our mid 40s who have done about 15 cruises, this was our 7th NCL cruise but first time on the Epic and first time on a ship with more than 2,500 passengers. We like sea days and this cruise was very affordable so thought ... Read More
We are a couple in our mid 40s who have done about 15 cruises, this was our 7th NCL cruise but first time on the Epic and first time on a ship with more than 2,500 passengers. We like sea days and this cruise was very affordable so thought it was a good opportunity to try a mega ship. We had just come off a cruise with 900 people and hence felt the bigger crowds immediately. Embarkation, the crowds and queues were huge and it felt like mayhem but soon lines got organised. For the first time ever we needed printed ESTAs which was a pain but they had computers with printers. Finally onboard we went to the restaurant for lunch and it was obvious from the start that the crew were not as experienced and trained as on other ncl ships. Our first course (shrimp arugula salad) came without shrimp and arugula. These sorts of errors became common place at almost every meal. One lunchtime we were the first in the restaurant but had not seen a server after 20 minutes and had to get the maître d to move us as it appeared nobody knew who was looking after that area, basic things. Queues for the restaurants at night were huge and wait times were at least 30 minutes but then the buzzers never functioned so you usually waited longer unnecessarily. Unfortunately small problems continued all cruise, our account was wrong every single day of the cruise and guest relations seemed to be trained to either deny there was a mistake or accuse the customer of making the error. Eventually a meeting with the hotel director where he admitted to the ongoing problems they were having with the restaurants and dealing with port taxes at least acknowledged some of the poor training and supervision and led to some of the problems being rectified. We were given a meal in the Epic club in the Haven as an apology, interestingly while the food was amazing the service problems continued there. As platinum members our meals in French Bistro and La Cucina we were treated as second class citizens, with countless comments about our meal being a “voucher meal” and constantly being told we were limited to certain courses taking the shine from what should be superior dining experiences. The food in the Bistro was very mixed (mains excellent, starters average and dessert poor). La Cucina was disappointing after loving it on our last 2 Jade cruises, the pizza was no better than that in the buffet. Pasta dishes were good. We liked the atmosphere of the Manhattan dining room, tables were well spaced and there was often music. Unfortunately the supervisors never picked up on small things like missing cutlery, broken table lamps, missing condiments. Several fellow guests made similar references to the lack of management and supervision on the ship and in the restaurants in particular and it lead to a feeling of slackness and lack of care by the management. The telephone messaging system broke down, the one night we wanted to watch a movie in our room the channel broke down, the outdoor movie screen was a good concept except they refused to put chairs out for it. The indoor movie was about people using sign language except they put Spanish subtitles up. Osheehans regularly opened half an hour late for lunch. Originally we just laughed off these mistakes as the cruise was so cheap but after a week it starts to grind you down and just takes away from the fun you are generally having. On all our other cruises we have written at least a dozen hero cards for our favourite staff on this cruise we only wrote 2. As with many others we didn’t really like the ship itself, the main problem was it was difficult to see the ocean which is what we love about sea days. There is no real promenade, the small area there is has life boats blocking the view, exhaust fans blowing out kitchen fumes, and smokers. There are very few windows. Upstairs you have to get one of the few deck chairs on the upper level to see the sea. There is no forward facing bar and the screen in the h2o bar at the rear of the ship blocks most of the view. Public venues are too small, the theatre only holds 700, the restaurants less than 500, most of the bars only cater to about 50 ... on a ship that was full with 4,500 guests! The worst aspect is you smell smoke everywhere, the casino is mid ship and open so smoke fills surrounding bars and restaurants, disgusting. No mid ship staircase or lifts. We only use stair cases and thankfully most didn’t so they were easy to manoeuvre about. Entertainment is excellent but because the venues are so small the same acts are repeated over and over to allow for people to see the shows but if you went to more than one show (eg the afternoon matinee and then maybe a comedy show later that night) for the first few days you were out of options after a week. As usual the activities were plentiful, we liked the water slides as well, the pools were all heated despite us being in the Caribbean???? Gym was a good size but very busy especially as so much of the entertainment staff using it. Only one walking track for 4000 people and the staff use it to get to their smoking spot. We were given 3 loads of laundry which was s nice surprise. We had an inside cabin which had a comfortable bed and plenty of storage but we didn’t like the unusual bathroom design which is hardly romantic or practical. The sink is a joke. Our cabin steward was excellent. There were only 3 ports and of course NCL made this as difficult as possible as per usual (they are the worst line for port experiences). Took more than an hour to get back on the ship in Funchal with everyone forced to stand in the rain. St Maarten was cancelled due to weathe (fair enough) and we changed to Antigua, they did a good job of accomodating this change on short notice, St Thomas I can’t comment on as we had to do US immigration on the shortest port day and were in the last group so had less than 3 hours ashore. We of course still enjoyed ourselves as the weather was good and we met some great people. This was the first time we have not bought future cruise deposits as it was just a little too underwhelming and we are trying MSC to compare. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose this cruise because it had lots of at sea days. We prefer those to the stops in ports since we're not keen on spending so much on the commercialized tours. It was a bit of travel down memory lane as well, because I had sailed ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it had lots of at sea days. We prefer those to the stops in ports since we're not keen on spending so much on the commercialized tours. It was a bit of travel down memory lane as well, because I had sailed across the Atlantic several times as a kid. We were glad it was this ship because it was as large as the Escape on which we had sailed a couple years ago and we enjoyed that. This was our third cruise with NCL, the other one being on the Sun through the Panama Canal, This ship was great in terms of its design and features. However, our biggest complaint was that there was not a single lounge on the ship that was not loud all day and evening. On our first day, we asked at the guest services desk if there was a quiet place we could relax. The person told us, in an accent that was almost unintelligible, that the only place was the library. Great. We went there and discovered it was packed! Only about 20 seats all lined up. For a ship with 4,000 guests, one quiet room with 20 seats doesn't seem to be enough. We had difficulty imagining that we were the only ones on the ship that would have appreciated a lounge with quieter music where one could relax and read. We certainly were younger than most guests on the ship and we're not old-fashioned in our tastes. We found that the variety of food on the menus at the free restaurants was quite limited. The Garden Cafe (the buffet) was great but again there was not as much variety as we had previously experienced. One last thing... the luggage pickup part of the disembarkation process was an absolute disaster! Confusion reigned. Nobody knew where we were supposed to go or wait. The staff was arguing with each other. We decided we'd probably try a different cruise line next time. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I returned to Norwegian for my second cruise in 10 years because as solo traveller I wanted to experience the solo studios and I also wanted to do a trans-Atlantic. Like before, the Norwegian experience is hit and miss. But on this ... Read More
I returned to Norwegian for my second cruise in 10 years because as solo traveller I wanted to experience the solo studios and I also wanted to do a trans-Atlantic. Like before, the Norwegian experience is hit and miss. But on this cruise two things were exceptional: the solo studio experience and the onboard entertainment. I never expected the solo traveller program to be so brilliantly organized, I never expected to make good friends, I never expected to never eat alone! NCL had a brilliant young Filipino named Ters Tesoro (or Terry) who held daily meetings in the solo lounge with solo travellers. The lounge is a great concept as the single studios are so small. You can hang out there, drink good coffee or nibble cookies or croissants (supplied daily) and chill with fellow cruisers. Several dozen attended the late afternoon daily meetings, when Ters would offer those who felt sociable a chance to have dinner together, avoiding the queues, or a show where seats were put aside for us. We could meet for all meals, and soon several small groups befriended each other and would do stuff together. It was huge fun and completely unexpected. Entertainment was also first rate: Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Burn the Floor were excellent and with pianists, comedians, hypnotist, Beatles tribute band, and a wild Icelandic singer/violinist all available, evenings rocked on the Epic. Now for the bad stuff: I love to deck walk, and the narrow jogging track on one side of one deck is a joke. I so missed the Princess's promenade decks! I tried to walk on Deck 15 but was told no. The food was mainly poor to terrible. It was almost impossible to get warm, let alone hot, food in Taste, one of the main dining rooms. I don't blame the servers, it was a systematic failure from Kitchen to Table. You know things are bad when the plates are cold to the touch. And that was 90% of the time. Meals took forever: sometimes two hours to complete breakfast. I have cruised more than a dozen times, and this was by far the worst dining room experience. The other "complimentary" dining room, Manhattan, was a little better. The 24-hour pub always managed to provide piping hot food, but the wait at lunchtime was often very long. I was surprised when I first entered my studio room at 3 pm on sailing day to find it was not made up and clothing from the previous occupant was still hanging in the closets. He had apparently moved to another room for the TransAtlantic but no-one had removed his clothes. Weird. The other really annoying thing about NCL is the constant pressure to put money down on your next cruise. A phone message. Messages on the TV. Almost daily notes or letters encouraging you to put money down. The worst (and most disgusting) tactic was to send you a copy of your bill to date (showing your charges) to make the point that a future cruise deposit would waive these charges. Well I had prepaid grats and grats on the drink package, so my bill should have shown zero, not the $500 or so in charges the invoice said I had run up. I saw several people take these fake invoices to guest services who said it was nothing to do with them and had come from the NextCruise people. Shameful. I enjoyed my cruise overall but feel the experience was hugely enhanced by the solo program which allowed me to put up with the negatives. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We were very excited to take our second transatlantic cruise with Norwegian. We took one on the Star from Copenhagen four years ago and had a wonderful time. I want to say that this cruise was better, but it was not. I listed some ... Read More
We were very excited to take our second transatlantic cruise with Norwegian. We took one on the Star from Copenhagen four years ago and had a wonderful time. I want to say that this cruise was better, but it was not. I listed some things about the cabin below, but here are a few things about the cruise. There was quite a lot of rain on the trip, I believe 11 of the 13 days had rain. The 15th deck that has most of the outdoor amenities was almost impossible to walk on while wet. We observed several folks slip and fall on the surfaces, including in the Garden Cafe. It was OK when dry, but it was not that dry very often Entertainment was very good. We enjoyed all of the shows, especially all of the comedians (please do not have their shows in the large venues, they were great in the small venues). The Pricillia musical, the dance show, the Cirque show, the magician, the faux Beatles, the young lady with the violin were all great. The cruise director (Andre Gaffney) and his team were all fantastic. They were the best thing about the cruise (i do not know when Andre slept). Cudos to him and his staff, he saved the cruise from being a really awful time. We always enjoy the speciality dining and were a little disappointed this time. Teppanyaki was very good Moderna food was very salty and dry. There was no lobster or frankly anything else in the lobster bisque (although I heard that sometime later they fixed that). The Cirque show food was cold when it was served (we were in the balcony and food got to us last, which was fine, but it should have been a little warmer). Le Bistro on this ship is located under the bowling alley, which happened to be in use while we were eating. There was a dearth of dropped bowling balls during our meal, which was noticed by everyone sitting in our area. Our waiter need to be reminded more that one when we needed more water or wine. The TV display of our cruise is always great, but there was never any weather or sea conditions given. Would have been nice to have at least a next day weather forecast, especially with all the rain. During our "sales reception" for Latitude Silver members (which was very cheap and not very well organized) our Captain admitted that he did not know the members of his senior staff yet. I know it was his first time on the boat, but seriously, no notes? Our tour in Funchal was not very good (guide did not know very much English). Would recommend a on and off bus to tour the island. Re-boarding in Funchal was very poor. Took nearly an hour to get back on the ship. Only one boarding door and one security position at that door. While we were waiting, about 200 crew walked right past us to their dedicated door (while necessary, optics were very bad). Finally opened another door and sent customers down to the crew door. Norwegian has to fix this if they intend to bring their large boats to this port. The Space H2O area on deck 15-17 in the back has very nice. We spent time there and made some friends from the US and Europe. The UDP was a great perk and very much added to the enjoyment of the cruise. Again, we had hoped for better. This will not stop us from taking Norwegian, but it was disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We had made up our minds several years ago to forgo cruising...they have just gotten where they are nickle and diming you to death. It all started with the "Pay to Eat" restaurants...cruise ships "claim to fame" was ... Read More
We had made up our minds several years ago to forgo cruising...they have just gotten where they are nickle and diming you to death. It all started with the "Pay to Eat" restaurants...cruise ships "claim to fame" was always the food, which was included with your cruise. When they decided to add the pay-to-eat restaurants, they spent a lot of time telling you how GREAT the food is and BETTER than the food inluded with your cruise. It was not better but the buffet food was pretty dreary as well. We ate once at la Cucina on Epic and frankly is was embarrassing. Cold 'Penny Piquante" that took nearly 45 minutes (come on...all the pasta is cooked ahead of time anyway...) an "Osso Buco" that was so salty it was inedible and had risotto cooked within and inch of it's life. Shrimp Fra Diavolo that they forgot to put the "Fra Diavolo" in...I was an Italian chef for 10 years and I can say with all honesty, the food was abysmal and all they wanted to do was sell us wine. The cabin: Whoever the idiot was that designed the "mini suite" they should have never hired him! The toilet is enclosed is a very small closet with opaque doors, on the left as as you entered the cabin from the corridor. If you are a large person, I feel very sorry for you because I am not large and there was barely room to squat. On the right side as you enter was another opaque closet that houses the tub/shower. So picture this in your mind...if someone knocked on your door, you had to open the door so that a person in either the toilet or shower was visible. Who designs a bathroom that has a open hallway to the outside, down the middle??? In addition, the wall in the mini suite is "curved" necessitating one of the shortest beds on the planet. My husband is 5"11 and his leg and foot hung over the end at least 9 inches! Oh, and by the way, the "stops" on the sliding toilet and shower doors were completely worn off and we had to stuff throw pillows and towels into them at night to keep them from slamming back and forth in rough seas. One last thing..."Free Sailing" IS NOT FREE. Because of the cabin we chose, we were allowed two "free" picks from several onboard offerings. We chose the "free" specialty dining and unlimited beverages.. Imagine my surprise when the "free" offerings were going to cost me $738.00, up front, non-refundable gratuities charged at 20% pr day for each of us. The last time I payed attention, "gratuities" were just that...if you feel at the end of the meal that the service was great, then you leave a gratuity and nobody twists your arm. I am not even sure it is legal to pre-charge a gratuity...a service charge is okay but a gratuity is your option. I informed NCL that I wanted neither of the "free" choices as I don't drink and we would have only eaten at maybe two of the "pay to eat" restaurants anyway (none after La Cucina.) The gentleman on the phone told me "I did not understand. They are two different things". I informed him I understood perfectly...If I did not pay the $738.00, non-refundable and upfront" there would be no "free" eating or drinking going on. Do you know you can ask to have the automatic room gratuities removed from your account? I suspect if one made a lot of noise, these RIDICULOUS charges would go away. Every since the crise lines started bulding these behemouth, multi-billion dollar ships, they are trying to scrape up every dollar they can and squeeze passangers until they bleed...just see it as they have a "straw into your credit card" and continually suck away. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Ship was just OK - nothing to write home about. Bed was wonderful and large TV was a nice touch. Wait staff in Botticelli dining room was fantastic! Nelson and his crew were outstanding! Unfortunately the food was less so. Embarkation in ... Read More
Ship was just OK - nothing to write home about. Bed was wonderful and large TV was a nice touch. Wait staff in Botticelli dining room was fantastic! Nelson and his crew were outstanding! Unfortunately the food was less so. Embarkation in Rome was unbelievably quick and easy - best ever in all of our cruises! Seas were very rough early on in the cruise and we could not make port in Toulon,France due to high winds. Many cruisers were disappointed because they had booked shore excursions. It was understandable because the safety of the ship and passengers has to come first. We met some great friends on the trip and look to travel with them again. Disembarkation went well with some delays going through customs. Getting a porter was a must since we had many bags. We spent 2 weeks in Sicily with family and one week in Rome before the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We had a really bad storm in the Atlantic that necessitated changing the itinerary we ended up with 10 sea days where 9 of these days it was impossible to go on deck. There was not enough to do No Bridge Director leaving at least 60+ ... Read More
We had a really bad storm in the Atlantic that necessitated changing the itinerary we ended up with 10 sea days where 9 of these days it was impossible to go on deck. There was not enough to do No Bridge Director leaving at least 60+ guests very disappointed also very few quizzes 1 music and the daily progressive and the odd trivia certainly not enough for a full ship stuck inside for 10 days. I have been on 7 Transatlantic crossings (2 with Celebrity Eclipse) and there has always been a Director for duplicate bridge. Sue the cruise Director told us Celebrity don’t do it any more. Most other cruise lines with 3 or more consecutive days at sea always have a bridge director who teaches and organizes Duplicate Bridge. A watercolour artist was advertised but never materialized. Really feel Celebrity have gone down hill since they did away with formal nights the evening chic does not work the dress is very casual for those who like to dress up. They have certainly cut back, no news papers anymore, no port maps and so much of the entertainment entails paying extra these days. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We sailed with Princess eight times in the past but this was the worst. The biggest problem was Princess does not enforce hand sanitizing of passengers in areas serving food like the buffet. Passengers were grabbing food with their hands ... Read More
We sailed with Princess eight times in the past but this was the worst. The biggest problem was Princess does not enforce hand sanitizing of passengers in areas serving food like the buffet. Passengers were grabbing food with their hands as they tried to figure out how to work the tongs, needless to say many got sick on the cruise including me, my wife and the other couple we traveled with. One reason for picking this particular cruise was the ports. Genoa was cancelled weeks prior to the departure with the excuse "too much port traffic". It's hard to understand how they could not have known earlier. I suspect the real reason " Princess didn't sell enough Genoa excursions". Beyond this the 2nd port we wanted to visit, Toulon, was cancelled for weather although the weather didn't seem that bad. No compensation for missing either ports and that left us with 3 ports we had visited multiple times. Add in a non-existent captain (only seen for 10 minutes at the captains party and it was a 14 day cruise) and a cruise director that lacked ANY creativity and you have 10 very boring sea days. The best the cruise director could come up with was napkin folding, flying paper airplanes, egg drops and trivia, trivia, trivia. After so many cruises you would think she could come up with something more entertaining. We spoke to many passengers on-board and they all felt the same way and all couldn't wait to get off this ship. Nightly entertainment was routine as well, one comedian making fun that Americans didn't have free healthcare and side remarks about the president and a second comedian repeating word for word his routine we had heard on a prior Princess cruise. Singers were mediocre at best along with the production shows. Internet was fairly slow and we timed-out many times, this may be do to being in the middle of the Atlantic. The ship is definitely showing it's age and new carpet, furniture, etc would help. On the positive side the food was fairly good and we were happy to visit Sabatini's which had a more normal menu than we have found on other Princess ships. Service was good in all restaurants and relatively fast although we did have to wait for seating for dinner most times. Embarkation and luggage delivery was fast and easy, same goes for disembarkation. Our steward did a good job of daily cleaning of our stateroom. In summary we had another transatlantic on the Emerald booked for November 2019 and I just cancelled and asked for a refund. Spending thousands of dollars to go to ports you have visited many times while being bored on all sea days and night just didn't seem like the best way to spend our vacation dollars. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We wanted a transatlantic cruise, and Rome was an attractive port in which to spend pre-cruise days. Genoa, Toulon, Barcelona, and especially Azores, were all interesting ports. Genoa was dropped, and replaced with Livorno about 12 days ... Read More
We wanted a transatlantic cruise, and Rome was an attractive port in which to spend pre-cruise days. Genoa, Toulon, Barcelona, and especially Azores, were all interesting ports. Genoa was dropped, and replaced with Livorno about 12 days before sailing. We couldn’t stop in Toulon due to rough seas and high winds. Barcelona and Azores were wonderful, but at least 4 of our 9 sea days were very rough. We’ve investigated the fall crossings for several years. They normally set sail by the third week in October, so I’m not sure if the later sailing contributed to the rough seas. The last theee days, we had lovely, warm weather and smooth seas. This is a good value cruise, but it is not the typical mix of Princess passengers. Entertainment was not quite up to the standards of other Princess cruises, but Magic To Do is a very well-done, professional show. The food was good, and service is overall very good, especially in the staterooms. One issue we had was that we both came down with colds. My husband’s symptoms occurred immediately upon entering our stateroom. Mine developed 4 days later. We both noticed that we felt much better when we were out of our rooms, especially when we were in fresh air. Not sure if the feather bedding contributed to the symptoms/seriousness of the colds, but the stateroom sure didn’t help. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
If you are desire a long rest, a Transatlantic Cruise is an ideal escape. This was our first, taken on the recommendation of friends. The staff, food and service were excellent. There was an interesting speaker each morning for one half ... Read More
If you are desire a long rest, a Transatlantic Cruise is an ideal escape. This was our first, taken on the recommendation of friends. The staff, food and service were excellent. There was an interesting speaker each morning for one half hour, no guest speakers for the remainder of the day. There should have been another speaker for an afternoon session, not just staff from the spa talking on various health and appearance issues. The scheduled times of the same activities remained the same each day, trivia is an example, limiting the opportunity to attend different venues. After the second day, I found the sea days and activities monotonous, and missed the variety of different ports of call. The port of Barcelona was excellent, and would have benefited from an overnight stay. The comics were most enjoyable, especially the multi-talented David Copperfield. We hope Princess brings him back often? This cruise was the first that I felt we missed some excellent entertainment that was scheduled at 9 pm, which conflicted with late traditional dining. Other cruises would have arranged for a second showing. We have cruised often, and will continue to do so, but will choose those offering the opportunity to explore new places. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We choose this cruise because it was a new ship going through the new locks of the Panama Canal. The crew were excellent and the majority were happy and helpful. The cabin was fine, we had a mini suite which had a nice sized bathroom. ... Read More
We choose this cruise because it was a new ship going through the new locks of the Panama Canal. The crew were excellent and the majority were happy and helpful. The cabin was fine, we had a mini suite which had a nice sized bathroom. The ship is too open and very loud. The free restaurants very noisy because they are so open. The entertainment was good when you could get a seat. Having to book for shows was inconvenient. If you didn't book weeks or months before the cruise you didn't get in or you could get in a standby line. Several of the smaller venues seat less than a hundred people and when the ship hold over 4,000 your chances of getting in is nil. The no pay lunch restaurants don't change the menu so that gets old after a few days. Breakfast at the buffet is a disaster with way too many people and not enough space. The ship had to dock in commercial ports due to it's size and getting from the ship to the towns required busses and once again 4,000 people on our ship . The lines were long and the buses not up to what we are used to. We ended up being bussed to one tour destination in groups of four in taxis which took overall two hours and therefore shortened our tour considerably as we were the last to get there. They didn't utilize the theatre for enough activities and over used the atrium where there were way too many people and too much noise. If you went to a customer service desk, shore excursion desk etc which were all in the atrium area you couldn't hear anyone trying to help you because of the noise of the activity going on. Very bad planning. All in all we saw what we wanted going through the Panama Canal but I doubt Ill ever go on Norwegian again and I won't go on any of the mega ships again. Too many people, and having to book for average meals and entertainment just doesn't make for a relaxing holiday. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Reputation According to Cruise Critic this ship has issues and many reports from passengers are not positive at all. Our experience with Princess Cruises has always been positive so we went along with the booking we wanted. ... Read More
Reputation According to Cruise Critic this ship has issues and many reports from passengers are not positive at all. Our experience with Princess Cruises has always been positive so we went along with the booking we wanted. Electronic Bookings Great web site that is easy to navigate and where you can do all your bookings. A note about payment for excursions. You can book excursions well ahead of the cruise but payment must be made for the reservation to take place. There is no problem cancelling or changing the reservation until shortly before the cruise itself without incurring any cost. We used our on-board credit on our account in the payment section of the excursions. Evaluation After 16 cruises, 9 of which were on Princess ships we found our Crown Princess evaluation the lowest we have written. However, it is not all bad. Princess Cruises and Crown Princess had very good points on this trip. Our cruise was from Rome to Fort Lauderdale where the weather interfered with stops in the Mediterranean Sea. There is nothing one can do with bad weather. Ship management is another thing though. The positives were: • The Rome transfers from the airport to the hotel we had booked through Princess and the transfer from the hotel to the port at Civitavecchia to be excellent. It was well organized and we would certainly do that again on any future cruise. • Princess offered a choice of hotels in Rome. We selected the Savoy Hotel which turned out to be near perfect. It is centrally located near the Spanish Steps and Villa Borghese. It is about 200 m from Via Veneto. The hotel is steeped in history and old fashioned charm and includes an excellent hot and cold breakfast. The reception and staff were accommodating. • The embarkation and disembarkation were both very well handled. Smooth operation with no wasted time other than Border Services of course. • Our cabin with a large balcony was excellent. Lots of storage space to the point where we had unused spaces. The new Princess beds are outstanding. And our room attendant Manuel Crisostos was friendly, acutely aware of our likes and dislikes and always at hand keeping our cabin impeccably clean. • We had a traditional dinner where we found the food excellent and the service by Srinath our waiter to be of the highest standards. • On many afternoons, formal tea was served in a dining room. It was traditional and very well done. Definitely civilized. • Overall, the ship’s staffs were all very friendly and courteous. • My spouse needed serious medical attention. Dr Kruger and her whole medical staff provided exceptional support. They were all very professional, showed empathy, and ensured that my spouse was comfortable and able to fly home on arrival in Fort Lauderdale. We could not have received better attention and treatment. To counter those positive points we found the following deplorable: • In our booking we had a choice of traditional dinner at 6 pm or 8 pm. We selected 6 pm and it was confirmed. Before the cruise we were twice advised that the dinner timings at been changed throughout the fleet to 5 pm and 7:15 pm. 5 o’clock being too early for us we elected to change to 7:15 pm. However, on embarkation we discovered that Crown Princess had ignored the company direction and had us at the 8 pm sitting. We gave it a try and found it much too late. That set a very negative tone for us. • The water system was problematic with air in the pipes, cabin hot water that came out brown and for two nights there was no water at all in the cabin from midnight to 5 am. Even if Princess the tap water is potable, I would wager the=at CDC would not agree when the water is brown with air mixed in the pipes. • On 13 November there was a sewer smell in the Atrium early in the morning. There were also similar sniffs of methane on occasion but that morning it was a significant venting issue inside the ship. • The food in the Horizon Court (Buffet) was generally lukewarm at best. The fried eggs in the morning were cold and meats as well. There was also a paucity of mixed salads at lunch time. Overall, the layout needs to be re-thought and the foods meet common heat standards. • The daytime entertainment lacked lectures on relatively serious subjects without having to seek the discovery channel on the cabin TV. Instead, there was bingo, bean bag tossing, games on trivia, and similar activities, or, commercial sales pitch of all sorts. The only lecturer dealt with his career in Hollywood… • On past cruises you could see performers in many locations on the ship but on Crown they used DVDs instead of musicians albeit the Atrium had entertainers but no seating space. • The smoking in the Casino that spread to the rest of the ship and the crew lounge venting on the promenade deck was offensive to us. We cancelled our reservations for a future cruise on Crown Princess and would look elsewhere in the future. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018

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