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Sail Date: October 2009
EMBARKATION AND DEBARKATION 5.0 Embarkation was an overnight stop in Barcelona. I arrived late (as expected) and was handled quite efficiently. Debarkation was a Monday in Fort Lauderdale and was reasonably efficient; the usual weekend ... Read More
EMBARKATION AND DEBARKATION 5.0 Embarkation was an overnight stop in Barcelona. I arrived late (as expected) and was handled quite efficiently. Debarkation was a Monday in Fort Lauderdale and was reasonably efficient; the usual weekend chaos at FLL was absent. CABIN 5.0 Standard size and comfortable, although with an unusual L-shaped configuration. The bathroom has the standard size and layout, with a single medicine cabinet rather than double shelving. The mid-ships elevators have an odd, three-bank configuration, where a number of outside balcony cabins were replaced with scenic elevators. An expensive arrangement which doesn't work all that well. DINING 5.0 Main Dining Room Huge portions of bland American comfort food. Numerous choices, although no separate salad or pasta courses. Little excitement, few surprizes. If this is what you want, they do it well. Service was "average"- not bad, but didn't live up to the marketing hype. But formal nights were a farce, even though HAL is so uptight they even put it on the boarding pass (HAL may say that plaid sports jackets with orange polka-dot bowties are formalwear, but that doesn't make it so). Perhaps half actually wore something which was properly formal. Buffet Mostly cafeteria service, rather than true buffet. Pasta and desserts available to 1:00 AM, although I was usually the only passenger after midnight; the "midnight" buffet was already finished. A little more attention to detail is required- for example there was no holder for the bread tongs, they ended up being placed on top of the bread. Ample hand sanitizer stations were available, but there was no enforcement. Pinnacle Grill- Lavish presentation, but the food was not really much better than the MDR. Not worth the extra money. FITNESS AND RECREATION 2.0 Fitness Room. No one I talked to reported any difficulty with overcrowding. The equipment seems to be good quality and in good condition. For some reason, the scale is calibrated in kilograms. Do not expect many physical-fitness oriented activities. Although HAL has a reputation for "wheelchairs and walkers", I did not see many, and the ones I met had a positive, "can-do" attitude. But I saw a large number of very fat (BMI's of 50, maybe even 60) passengers. I'm a 60-year-old guy with a heart condition, but I felt like oneof the most active and energetic people on board. ENTERTAINMENT 2.0 Shows The comments I heard indicated shows ranged from good to mediocre. Cooking Displays I did not attend any cooking displays, nor did I hear any comments from those who did. Some were extra cost. Event Evenings There were two major evening events, a 50's night and a Black-and-White ball. Both were crowded for about an hour, then everyone left. Exciting only in comparison to other activity on board. Cinema Seating is comfortable but limited; signs are already posted about not bringing extra seats. ENRICHMENT 1.0 For a ship with 2000 passengers on a Transatlantic crossing, there was not much choice, although it seemed to be adequate for demand. The topics seemed generally interesting, although I admit I did not attend the napkin folding lecture. LGBT activities were scheduled almost every evening; also some sort of religious service every morning. I did not attend either, so I cannot provide any details. PUBLIC ROOMS 1.0 Apparently there is a problem with old people trying to dance and falling down, so the ship puts sticky goo on all the dance floors. This makes it very dangerous to dance until it wears off, about two or three days. But there isn't much demand, most people go to bed by 11 PM. Ocean Bar The house band is given music by HAL, and that's all they are allowed to play. Dreary, dismal stuff, at least a generation out of date. The group on this sailing was from Mexico and spoke limited English, so I am not sure how much flexibility they had regarding tempos and requests. They did play til 11:30 PM, but very few couples danced, the room was often empty. Queens Room A multipurpose room, used mostly for cooking demonstrations, rarely for dancing. The dance floor is a decent size, but normally occupied by extra seating. There were a few evening activities, once even until midnight. Crow's Nest A large, attractive lounge, used mostly as a piano (or guitar) bar; often reserved for private parties. Disco The DJ tried very hard to find out what music passengers wanted. But the busiest I ever saw the disco was 9 people- most nights, none at all. The disco bar is a smoking area for the casino. Library/Internet A decently sized library. Food available for purchase. Internet seemed to function at normal speed for a ship. Casino Operates on a semi-cashless system. The machines will take cash, but only credit your winnings back to your cabin account. Quite a few 1-cent and 2-cent machines. SERVICE 4.0 Not bad, but doesn't live up to the marketing hype. The Cruise Director did the usual shameless begging for inflated survey ratings; worse, partly-completed surveys disappeared from some cabins, including mine. SHORE EXCURSIONS Not evaluated. But there was no effort to decontaminate passengers or bags returning. Steam cleaning of carpets was not done until night. One woman actually boasted about bringing local food on board. The ship must be assumed to have been contaminated with any local microbes at every port stop. VALUE FOR MONEY 5.0 or 1.0, depending on your interests If you want "Florida Retirement Home" ambiance with huge amounts of food, then this ship is an excellent choice. But if "life begins at 10 PM", stay far away - you will be travelling with some of the most boring people I have ever met. Those with racial prejudices will be happy- passengers are white, servers are brown, blacks are not to be seen. The Oosterdam did not strike me as a happy ship. The corporate MBA's in Seattle need to stop worrying about the survey system which is obviously flawed, and spend more time on board. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2009
Since I have never experienced a repositioning cruise before, nor ever cruised with Royal Caribbean, I hope I am not unduly unfair to Royal Caribbean in the following comments, as I am not sure if this is the result of it being a ... Read More
Since I have never experienced a repositioning cruise before, nor ever cruised with Royal Caribbean, I hope I am not unduly unfair to Royal Caribbean in the following comments, as I am not sure if this is the result of it being a repositioning cruise or just normal operating procedure for RC. Repositioning cruises are the best deal - and if you are budget conscious or just like to get the best deal for your money, this is the way to go!  Serenade of the Seas was a great ship for Alaska - with so many places to sit and watch the scenery without freezing or being outside. Mother nature was the real hero on this cruise - once we departed Seattle, we had sunshine EVERY day - a more beautiful experience could not be had. Even the captain had to comment on the amazing weather.  Overall my husband and I found the food wait service & food quality of both the main dining restaurant, Reflections, and the self-service restaurant, Windjammer, up to our discriminating standards and what we would expect of a decent cruise line.  We were disappointed with the wine selection, however and five days into the cruise, there was yet to be an offering of an identifiable chocolate dessert at dinner!  I made this complaint to our waiter and he personally took it as his mission to bring me a chocolate dessert each evening from that point on  (and from where it came I have no idea - don't ask don't tell) - no matter if I ordered a different selection - my table mates were jealous! We spent the extra $54.00 pp dining charge to experience Portofino's special Wine course dinner as a celebration of experiencing Hubbard glacier that day, and unfortunately, the wine selection from Italy was once again very disappointing, although the special menu, service, food quality & taste was excellent.  Overall cabin service was excellent - the steward met us on the first day and asked us our preferences for delivery of ice to the room, etc. She was very attentive and surprised us on occasion with towel animals on our bed... I gather this is a RC tradition as they offered a class on creating towel animals on one of the sea days.   Three areas I was really disappointed with in comparison to other cruise lines I have used was the entertainment, port talks, and disembarkation procedures.  Given this was a 14 day cruise and a natural paradise, we had a lot of port days, eight in total not counting the disembarkation in Vancouver.    There was a single port and shopping talk for Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan - and it basically amounted to just a sales pitch - make that a sales push - to buy from the stores like Diamond International and others they had listed in the port guide.  Never a mention of the ports - in fact the gentleman leading the talk told us to look up the port info in the books in our cabin (which by the way only had the Caribbean ports listed - not Alaska or Canada). Everyone I spoke to thought this was a waste of time and many walked out of the lecture. RC even had a naturalist on board, and while the lectures were interesting - the facilities in Safari Club were not conducive to accommodating the people interested and seeing the slide presentation.  The lecture on glaciers was in the Tropical theater and was a much better environment to listen and see the slides.  As far as the entertainment goes, overall I could only give it at best a fair rating. There were only 2 production shows for the 14 days, the shows were good but the quality of the singing was just OK.  All the other evenings were solo performers, including Marty Allen - yes - he's still around at 86 years old.  The entertainment for the first 7 days was all solo performers - I guess that was to give a break to the production singers and dancers or they were new and learning the shows ... not sure which.  Also - the shows would sometimes be late - after the second seating at 10:30 pm or before at 7:00 pm  ... not sure why that was the case.  The cruise director was OK - he seemed to get involved in a lot of details and he never introduced his cruise staff onto the stage until the last day of the cruise.  Regarding general disembarkation procedures, they had a lot of trouble with the first tender operations in Hoonah or Icy Straight Point - it was extraordinarily time consuming - but they did seem to get their act together for the second port we tendered to - Sitka.   The final disembarkation was a mess. We had early flights and should have left the ship at 8:05 am - We did not leave until 9:30.  We waited for the PURPLE tagged luggage call, holed up in the Safari Club. The team there did not know what was going on and while there were departure colors called that were due to leave after us, they kept telling us that we could not leave since our luggage would not be in the customs hall... Well, we got so frustrated after waiting so long, that we left anyway - and lo and behold, ALL the PURPLE tagged luggage was there - the lounge people obviously missed the call to send us out.  Luckily we had decided to take a taxi and got to the airport in time for our flight back to the US.   As you can surmise, we prefer to make our own travel arrangements being seasoned travelers.  It saves us a lot of money. For example - the cost of the taxi to Vancouver's airport from the port was $36 CAD.  RC charges $36 per person USD to get to the airport.  We also found it best to set up our own port excursions if you want to save money, with the exception of Icy Straight Point, there were plenty of tour companies available as soon as you arrived at both Alaskan and Canadian ports.   07-May-2009: Ketchikan This was actually the first Alaska port we sailed into on this repositioning cruise. We docked by 7 AM and departed Ketchikan by 3 PM - enough time if you decide on a self-tour option. Waking up to the picturesque town right there in front of us was pretty neat.  The RC staff really pushed buying your excursion before you left the ship, but honestly, the prices were much cheaper by 25 - 50% if you bought your tour off the ship in the visitor's bureau.  As soon as you reached port there were plenty of tour companies right in the bureau, including many options to get to Misty Fjords - the must do tour from the accounts of people we spoke to who paid up to $300 per person fee for the float plane experience.  We chose to be economical on this Alaska trip - so we took advantage of local transport and our own two feet to tour Ketchikan.   Saxman village - the place where all the historical totem's are and which still houses local native artisans that carve totems - is an easy 2.5 mile walk on a paved walking path along the water.  On the way, we discovered a drive-thru espresso convenience store, which was perfect since we were craving a good cup of coffee - we walked up to it and the folks there made a great latte.    When we got to Saxman Village, there was a $3 charge each for access to the grounds, contrary to info we read about in the 2009 Fodor's Alaska Ports of Call book. We went into the gift shop and the gentleman behind the counter was kind enough to lend us a handout about the historical purpose and meaning for each of the totems.  We took the city bus back into town, leaves every 30 minutes- for a nominal charge and then walked around Creek Street and took the Funicular up to the Cape Fox lodge for some beautiful views of the snowy mountains. We then trekked down to the town following some of the paved paths, including the married man's path along the creek.  Since we were there in early May, no salmon were running - but I can imagine how cool it will be in the summer to see the place brimming with the fish.  We sampled some amazing jam in one of the stores - a fruit I never heard of - Salmon Berry - looks like a yellow-orange raspberry.  We bought the jam - and an Ulu knife - best prices for the Ulu knives were found in Ketchikan - with quite a variety of wood handles to choose from.  For the photography enthusiast - the town was a delight to photograph and the walk to Saxman Village also offered some beautiful sites.   08-May-2009: Juneau -  Our key interest in Juneau was to hike the trails near Mendenhall Glacier and catch the sites in that area, and we did!  WOW!  We took advantage again of the local shuttle bus service for $7 per person one way - so it gave us the time to do what we wanted for as long as we wanted.  Where the bus drops you off is a set of trails, a Creek trail and the Moraine Ecology Trail.  We were the only two people to get off the bus and take the trail right there and to our amazing luck, we encountered a young black bear within 40 feet of the trail head!  It was really exciting and we took a ton of pictures until he moseyed away following the creek under the trail ramp. The ecology trail is a very easy hike - but since we were early in the season, there was a lot of snow on parts of the trail, luckily our hiking boots are water proof. The cool part was seeing the animal tracks and skat evidence that was so visible in the snow and sound of silence, that is until we encountered a robin attacking a Bluejay. We came upon the front of glacier from the lakeside then walked the lake bed to the visitor center and the falls, and we also followed a piece of the East Glacier loop that was not closed.  We took advantage of the visitor center to watch the films and exhibits, speak with the rangers, use the restroom facilities, and see a family of mountain goats through their telescopes. There was a charge to the center - $4 per person.  We were going to take the Mt. Robert's tramway to get a better sense of the scenery from the mountaintop - at a cost of $27 each - but decided not to - as it just seemed to be a very high cost.  Instead we went and had a beer at the Red Dog saloon, a well deserved rest for our weary feet from all the hiking and walking in the town that day. 09-May-2009: Skagway -  - This was one of two ports where we selected an excursion in advance through the ship.  Since we like to be active when we vacation, there was a hike that let us experience the White Pass & Yukon Railroad for a 20 minute train ride to the Denver trailhead.  The hike was supposed to be about 3.5 miles round trip, but given it was a tour off the ship, there were persons unable to trek the terrain very swiftly, rated as moderate, since we had to be back at the trailhead within three hours to catch the train back. In fact, two people wore sneakers which were pretty slippery given the terrain and misty conditions.  The trail was interesting and well groomed - the guide knew his flora and fauna and told some fun stories on the way. The trail took us through the temperate rain forest with some old growth forest. We ended up hiking about 2 miles round trip - a little disappointing to my husband and me. The tour operator, Packer Expeditions associated with a retail store in town - The Mountain Shop, was great and split us in two groups after a while so we could move at a faster pace.  Even so, we did not hike as much as we would have liked, since we have to get back down the mountain to meet the train.  I would definitely try this again, perhaps organizing a private hike with others I know that would "keep up". When we returned to Skagway, we learned of some other hikes in town, so we had a quick snack in town and went on the trails that started off second street by the train tracks.  The visitor center in town had trail maps and the staff were very helpful. We ran into a lot of employees from the ship on the lower lake trail. It was a beautiful day, the sun was full out and the long range pictures of the snow-covered mountains were just spectacular.  The lake was crusted over with an ice layer that was melting with the intense sunlight. As the wind blew, and broke up the ice layer, it sounded like glass chimes tinkling in the wind. Very peaceful!  10-May-2009: Icy Straight Point -  The real name of this town is Hoonah - In reality - this is a created "port" for cruise lines to make money by selling  Zip lining tours - while zip lining is fun - on this cruise so early in the season,  they really were not ready for us - the cruise lines overbooked the time slots - the retrieval system for the lines was not operating. People got really annoyed waiting - we did not book this tour but wanted to try it - and we did watch people come down the lines screaming... it was hilarious to watch. Hoonah is a mile, easy walk from the port - not much to the town BUT we encountered bald eagles en mass near the little Lutheran church on the harbor side of the main street. The eagles were feeding and hanging out in the trees - some spectacular photo opportunities.  One of our table mates that evening told us they chartered a float plane ride from one of the few shops in Hoonah that had tours advertised on their storefront window and that it was an incredible experience.  We were jealous!  At this port you must tender in, and again - the excursions are limited, the only tour worth taking is the ZipLine (unless you can make your own arrangements in advance) - the other tours offered at the cruise facility generally got a thumbs down from the people we spoke with that went thru the cruise line.   There are some lovely walks along the nature trails and the beach trail at the facility. All are paved trails except if you go to the rocky beach area with plenty of benches and places to rest or contemplate.  12-May-2009: Sitka  We tendered into Sitka without any particular plans for the day. As we arrived at the pier, another ship, the Carnival Spirit was visible, and many tour operators were meeting passengers as we disembarked the tenders.  Unfortunately, Sitka was a short day - we had to be back at the tenders by 3 PM, so that limited what you could do as far as tours if you scheduled them yourself.   We ended up having quite the full day.  It started when we decided to join a party of 4 to charter our own private whale watch tour. Captain Rich and his dog Eva were great. We were lucky to see gray whales in the waters off Sitka and lots of cormorants, sea lions, sea otters and a small rock outcropping filled with at least 50 Bald eagles nesting... that was incredible.  The captain poked around the waters to get us the best vantage point possible for the wildlife. It was a three hour tour, cost us $120 per person and it was well worth it as there were only 6 of us on the boat.    After returning to the marina, Captain Rich recommended some places to walk to, the fish hatchery, and the Sitka National historic park. This park is the site of a memorial to the Russians who died fighting during the Tlingit-Russian confiict.  The park was filled with birds singing and was really peaceful. The paths were easy to follow and offered many options to enjoy the park.  There was a visitor center there, and we took advantage of the restroom facilities, but did not enter the center.  My only regret is that we did not have more time there, once we got back to the tender port at about 2:30 PM we had to stand and wait in line a long time to leave.  We were finally on the tender at 3PM. . Some people did see sea otters off a drainage ditch on the way to Hoonah (we did not) but we did see plenty of interesting sea birds (apart from the amazing bald eagles) and sea lions in the water.  15-May-2009: Victoria -  - SAVE all your whale watching excursion $$ for Victoria - AMAZING!  There are resident pods of Orca's (Killer Whales) there and plenty of opportunity to take all kinds of excursions. While I made our excursion plans from the ship's excursion desk, in town there were tens of whale watching companies that were much cheaper (plus you can pay in Canadian $$ and get the advantage right now of the positive exchange rate).  Royal Caribbean charged $118 US per person with the Whale Watch operator picking us up in their busses at the pier - but we found plenty of 3 hour tours with the local operators off the main marina & pier in town for $90 Canadian. That was a short 15-20 minute walk from where we were docked.  The operator we used had two naturalists on board, students completing their degrees or recently completed.  They pointed out a lot of the sites, wildlife, etc and were very knowledgeable about Orca's.  We encountered Orca's almost immediately once out in the open water and we actually exhibited some tail slap behavior and some breaching. Unfortunately, we were a bit too far for any interesting photographs, however the captain did well by us by inching closer and anticipating where the whales would go.  The most spectacular moment was when we encountered the clustering of the entire whale pod, about 25 or so whales in the J-pod, as they began entering their resting state. The naturalist told us that Orca's rest about 10% f the time, and cluster together to protect each other. As they are resting they rise above and fall below the surface of the water together. It was amazing to see and it also happened that the captain guessed right on where to move the boat, allowing the whales came within 20 feet of our boat as they passed down the channel in behind us. This action resulted in some great photos of the whales.  Read Less
Sail Date: April 2009
Our adventure got off to a rocky start. We utilized Princess air. They routed us from Dallas at 5:45am to Atlanta for a (4hr lay-over). We went to Miami and were bused to Ft. Lauderdale. Total travel time ten hours for a flight form DFW ... Read More
Our adventure got off to a rocky start. We utilized Princess air. They routed us from Dallas at 5:45am to Atlanta for a (4hr lay-over). We went to Miami and were bused to Ft. Lauderdale. Total travel time ten hours for a flight form DFW that would have taken less than three. We were some of the last passengers to embark at 4pm.  We got to our cabin C243 just in time for the muster drill.Once on board, the Crown,however,  I must say ...she's a beauty ! My wife & I sailed the Celebrity Summit, last fall for 14 days in the Med. Trust me the Crown was superior to the Summit in every way! Cabins, cleanliness, Pools, public areas, MUTS, gym, atrium, pool food, shops etc...Cabin: We selected a forward veranda and the room was very well appointed, clean and functional. My only complaint would be the size of the shower. It was small. One tip on the 10th deck the balcony areas are larger than on the 11th.Another thing, I was under the impression that all the Crown's cabins were refited with the plush bedding. Not, so.It must be the cabins above veranda class. Ask for a waffle pad for your bed on arrival. They go fast.Only drawback is that about 50% is exposed to the deck above. Entertainment: typical  cruise production, good comics and bands, atrium entertainment was great.Food: Make no mistake, food on the Crown is excelent! Executive Chef, Giuseppe Pollara, has won 'best in fleet' for five years and it shows.Didn't eat at the premium Sabatini's or Crown Grill, ( no need food was that good in the dining room) but, others told me that they were execeptional. Much superior dining experience compared to the Summit offeringCrew: Staff was efficient & motivated. Under the direction of veteran Captain, Andy Proctor and the best hotel Director I've ever encounted, Mr. James Deering.Cabin stewart was very accomodating to our requests.Ports: We completed a back-to-back so the real action was on the 2nd leg.Ponta Delgada : Nice and small  Lisbon delighful , friendly, good food.. Seville-R. Alcazar & the church stunninly beautiful. Casalanca-Forgetaboutit Only thing of beauty is the Grand Mosque. Gibraltar-Great English fun-Don't miss the caves and apes. Barcelona - One of the finest stops in Europe, don't miss the Monstrat monestary. Amazing!Marseille- a real gem and gateway to Provence. Livorno-Cinque Terre fabulous! Malta-terrific, old port and finally Naples-Had private van tour of the Almalfi coast including stops in Positano & Ravella. Magnificent.The Crown Princess reputation as being unstable at sea is unjustified. We experienced 2 rough days at sea on the crossing and she was fine. Complaints stem from passengers who have never been on Transatlantic nor in the North Sea. I highly recommend the Crown Princess. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2008
HAL used to be our favourite Cruise Line. We have cruised 9 times, last 3 of those with HAL. When we boarded ship in Copenhagen we noticed at once service had changed for the worst: we were the charges of very green (or very lazy) crew ... Read More
HAL used to be our favourite Cruise Line. We have cruised 9 times, last 3 of those with HAL. When we boarded ship in Copenhagen we noticed at once service had changed for the worst: we were the charges of very green (or very lazy) crew members. The once excellent food was pathetic, many "guests" were returning dishes after just tasting. Of course when something is bad there is a tendency to make you believe it's good by just saying so, and they told us ad nauseum how great the cheff and the food were. Only the proof of the pudding is in the tasting. The attendant kept on serving "guests" the wrong dish and his supervisor got mad at the "guests" not the attendant! The cabin attendant only changed bed linens under duress but was imaginative to invent excuses. As for Shore Excursions, they messed up ours for Scotland. And then,after crossing the No. Atlantic... along came Bill. Hurricane Bill, which was tame enough when it got (almost) near the Eurodam but was qualified by the Skipper as an active "force 5". Soooo, all excursions were cancelled and the beautiful Eurodam took us to small Canadian villages whose charms were either a shopping center or two blocks of shops. They were also cheap ports to dock in... We were told every day that everything done had been done to protect crew and "guests". In fact the overprotected was the ship which is really gorgeous: we "guests" (that helped pay for it) are proud of our deed. The Skipper skipped Sydney but allowed us a taste of modern Canada in lovely Halifax. With one day at sea before port and one after. When I say "the Skipper", I include the line which gave him his instructions. And we have already booked our 2010 cruise... with another line. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I agree with nearly all the comments made in the reviews regarding the 1st leg. We felt like 2nd class citizens. Most staff were under trained but about half were smiling and friendly. Only watchable TV in English was News and ... Read More
I agree with nearly all the comments made in the reviews regarding the 1st leg. We felt like 2nd class citizens. Most staff were under trained but about half were smiling and friendly. Only watchable TV in English was News and documentaries on China's CGTN network. Entertainment was quite poor with the best act being a comedy magician on the night before disembarkation. No milk or fridge in our cabin. We could only use our balcony when at sea since there was always cleaning, painting & maintenance being done while in port and the balconies on deck 2 were used as a through way for staff so the extra cost for the balcony was not good value. Why does a brand new ship need painting? Mandatory €10 per person per day (including disembarkation day) for "Service Charge" plus another service charge on any drinks and food purchased. Mixing cultures and too many languages really doesn't work for me. Every announcement was repeated in about 5 languages and the behaviour of some passengers in the buffet restaurant beggars belief with pushing and piling plates to overflowing with one type of food and thus quickly depleting amount left for other people. We've sailed with a fair number of cruise lines and therefore we have something to judge Costa against. One gets the impression that Costa's aim was to relieve passengers of as much money as possible. This was the worst cruise we have been on and no way will be sail with Costa again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
After cruising for many years with Princess my partner and I were disappointed with the lay out of this ship, their seemed to be not enough staff for the amount of passengers on board, most places we visited on board did not have enough ... Read More
After cruising for many years with Princess my partner and I were disappointed with the lay out of this ship, their seemed to be not enough staff for the amount of passengers on board, most places we visited on board did not have enough seating, the ship was designed the Chinees market and it shows with the conversions of the public such as the vista lounge once part of the casino and another now bar also was the high rollers as you will see by the amount of surveillance cameras in the rooms, far to much Chinees writing hard to know were you are in the lift with the English/Chinese writing, we had the opportunity to have dinner in the French restaurant the food and service was good, the location of this restaurant was not good in a walk way I sat looking at a till, was told they were booked out so had to eat at 18:30! this was not the case only two couples in when we arrived, the walk way running along side was very busy and noisy, would not recommend this ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose the cruise for the ports. It is very Port intensive and did enjoy the experiences . Could use a few more sea days as it’s quite exhausting. The older people had a lot of trouble navigating on the tours as there was a lot of ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the ports. It is very Port intensive and did enjoy the experiences . Could use a few more sea days as it’s quite exhausting. The older people had a lot of trouble navigating on the tours as there was a lot of uneven ground. The food in the main dining room is awful and is quite repetitive. A lot of fried unhealthy foods. Choices are also limited. The restaurant is very good. The staff in every area is excellent. They greet you with a smile even if they are not in direct contact with you. They are very accommodating with whatever your request. Also the laundry is very fast and efficient. The HAL tours have been good but only chose a few as they were very overpriced. Choose to do mainly private tours at a quarter of the price. Was very happy with this decision. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
we choose this cruise for the price the length and the itineries we had the most awful experience this cruise and would never like to go on the Lyrica again even if you were giving cruises away the food was disgusting it was always cold ... Read More
we choose this cruise for the price the length and the itineries we had the most awful experience this cruise and would never like to go on the Lyrica again even if you were giving cruises away the food was disgusting it was always cold tasteless it was so noisy you could not here yourselves think and you could not escape it either it was noisy all over the ship why do you think you have to make so much noise to enjoy yourself because you really don't some staff just went through doors and let them bang in your face so rude . no one seem to tell you anything you had to go to the reception to find things out for instance about whether there was a shuttle bus or not oh it was just awful the only thing that kept me sane was the craft sessions the instructors were a bit rubbish and didn't speak English but we got through sort of I could go on for ever but if you fancy a cruise please do not go on the lirica its awful awful awful showers not big enough if you are Italian or german you might be ok Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
First the ship is beautiful. The cruise critic event was amazing might have been our best ever. During that event we were shown a presentation. That the msc seaside was designed especially for miami and that is was family owned and they ... Read More
First the ship is beautiful. The cruise critic event was amazing might have been our best ever. During that event we were shown a presentation. That the msc seaside was designed especially for miami and that is was family owned and they wanted to treat you like family. We also matched from royal caribbean from diamond plus to gold. Which added not much value a drink package that was supposedly free however there was a surcharge on every drink. There was enough people from 6 different countries that each announcement had to be made in 6 different countries. The only time i have had that happen is in the mediterranean. So you felt like you were in europe. Dining staff took you order and brought no conversation. First night it took 45 minutes to get appetizers. We were giving the wrong food from someone several times. The dining room itself is a european open style which amplify the noise level so much so that you can hardly hear across the table.we wanted wine from our drink package however on the third night; we were told they had ran out and if we wanted wine it was an additional charge. But they had the wine in the specialty dining. We bought the specialty dining package which we told there was a savings. There was no savings at all. Plus if you wanted regular coffee with your dinner it was an additional cost. The bar service you had to request the bartender to come over to take your order. There was no bar service asking how can i help. We tried almost every bar on the ship and it was the same. Plus one bar had no coke zero or spirit zero and we were told there was none on the ship, yet you could walk to the next bar and they had. This include beers, wines and alcohols. We meet some several people that had wonderful time after the cruise. But they all had several things alike, yacht club, black card and max drink package. Msc has a special area and dining for yacht club and black card members. We asked and none of these people ate in the in dining room. Plus we only meet 2 other couples that spoke english on the whole cruise. Out of the 52 cruises i have been on this one ranked 51st.if you like to walk there is no walking track and the gym is tiny. Lines for the tread mills were long. Msc allows and it seems they encourage marking of lounge chairs by the pools. People were out at 5am marking chairs. We were looking for the walking track. I would not recommend msc seaside unless you can afford a suite for the yacht club and max drink package.last if you are disabled, we saw several that the doors are not wide enough to get there wheel chairs in. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We wanted to try NCL for the first time, we have cruised Disney and Princess for year. The ship and food were great, but the customer service was really bad. Honestly about 50-50, half the staff were very friendly the other half were ... Read More
We wanted to try NCL for the first time, we have cruised Disney and Princess for year. The ship and food were great, but the customer service was really bad. Honestly about 50-50, half the staff were very friendly the other half were very rude. I do not think we will be going back on NCL after this experience. It is a shame because we really liked the ship and the food. I did hear from crew this ship in particular has a bad reputation for the management, so hopefully that is the case. It is also not family friendly in any of the entertainment, so with all the activities for kids the nightlife has nothing for the kids. Spa is behind right now so they are pushing very hard to sell you anything if you have any treatments. We really enjoyed the specialty dining apart from the service by the staff. Read Less

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