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1,775 Repositioning Cruise Reviews

Princess takes great care of suite passenger so we enjoyed breakfast in Sabatini's, club class dining, special room services menu items, priority spa reservations, room service on debarkation day and many other extras. We think the ... Read More
Princess takes great care of suite passenger so we enjoyed breakfast in Sabatini's, club class dining, special room services menu items, priority spa reservations, room service on debarkation day and many other extras. We think the cabin price is worth it. We've never complained about quality of food on our many Princess cruises and this one was no exception. In fact, we thought food on this trip was particulary good. Club Class dining each night had a special tableside dish that was delicious each time. We visited the Crown Grill and Sabatini's for diner twice each during the trip and enjoyed truly exceptional meals and service.The crew we encountered was all top notch--friendly, cheerful, attentive and professional. I would have like to have ticked five stars above but we were very disappointed about having two of six ports cancelled. The culprit was the weather which of course is out of Princess's control but the complaint is how missing these ports was handled. We happened to be on a Princess cruise in the maritime provinces of Canada during Hurricane Sandy that caused several of the eastern seaboard stops to be cancelled. Rather than just bob about until it was clear to sail south, Princess found a couple of places for us to visit while we waited. In the current case, Crown Princess merely changed course and aimed to the next stop after a cursory announcement from the captain. It seemed to us that in the case of cancelling the Azores call, we could have remained at Lisbon to have the advantage of a full weekday ashore or stopping at Madeira. Surely the captain knew before we left Lisbon that Hurricane Lorenzo would keep us from the Azores, so we could have stayed at the dock. If we couldn't, an explanation of why not would have been the courteous thing to do. Likewise, an explanation of why Madeira couldn't be a substitute would have been appreciated, especially since we got close enough to that destination to transfer a medical patient from Crown Princess to a boat sent out from Madeira. We think the passengers deserved more than silence. One other minor gripe. Our coffee card from an earlier cruise was refused as having expired. At sale, the cards are advertised as being good on later cruises for specialty coffees and there's no mention of expiration. Pretty cheap on the part of Princess to declare one has expired. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was a three night hop from Vancouver down to Los Angeles, an excellent way to pick up cruise credits en route to free laundry. :) The Ruby is not our favorite ship by a long shot. It’s small, and it feels small, despite her ... Read More
This was a three night hop from Vancouver down to Los Angeles, an excellent way to pick up cruise credits en route to free laundry. :) The Ruby is not our favorite ship by a long shot. It’s small, and it feels small, despite her ability to carry so many people. When we got on board, I couldn’t believe the Horizon Court wasn’t a snack bar. What the heck? This was our second time embarking at Vancouver, so we know this wasn’t typical for them - or at least, this wasn’t what they used to be. There were three ships in port and boarding was a zoo. We came into the garage and were shuffled into a queue to a single elevator with our luggage to go down to the second garage level to drop off our luggage, then into another queue to take another elevator back up to queue up to register to get on board. Word to the wise: if you use a cane or are handicapped at all, GET A WHEELCHAIR as soon as you arrive. I was using a cane and was in significant pain by the time we finally got through all the check-ins, customs, immigrations, etc. Just... swallow your pride and use the damn chair. The food was, unfortunately, the least inspiring we’ve had on Princess. Not bad, just not great. Well, no. The Horizon Court selection really was quite poor, probably because it was just so darn small. Dinners were average - nothing special, which was disappointing. What really got my goat, however, was Princess is now so into increasing revenue on board the ships, the menu in the dining rooms include “selections from the Crown Grill for your convenience”... so if you didn’t get a chance to make a reservation at the Crown Grill (the pay-extra dining experience) you can fork over $19 - $29 for an entree in the regular dining room for an upgraded dinner. That is one slippery slope, IMO. Where does that stop? When do we start paying for all our meals, regardless of what we order, in the dining room? This I do not like. At ALL. I didn’t see anyone order upgraded meals, so hopefully that will stop, but who knows, maybe they will expand the practice. I sure hope not, but they seem to be pushing sales for as much as they possibly can, all the darn time. They’re now selling escape room activities, albeit for only $5 each, but it’s another pay-to-play, and $20 for a family of four. Bingo is getting more and more expensive (it’s now $59 for the most expensive package). Gelato will set you back $1.50/scoop, and sodas are $9.95/day + 15% gratuity + tax. Don’t ask about the unlimited booze, you can’t afford it. Someone (anyone) needs to teach them what afternoon tea is. It is NOT a hard roll and sugar cookies. It is finger sandwiches and little decorative cakes. It is scones with clotted cream and jam on BOTH SIDES of the scone after it has been split. It is a selection of tea (not just Earl Grey, which is all they had). That was just bad. How about the good stuff? The staff is great as ever. I love the trivia games (I wish they would schedule them a bit further apart from bingo...) Disembarking was a breeze (although the LA Port is a pig, there’s almost no where to sit while you wait for your ride, but that’s not Princess’ fault). Will we take Princess again? Unquestionably. Just not the Ruby Princess. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose Avalon for our first river cruise because of the itinerary, the amenities offered during the cruise and the cabin layout. The ship was spacious and our cabin was very comfortable. I especially enjoyed the french balcony that ... Read More
We chose Avalon for our first river cruise because of the itinerary, the amenities offered during the cruise and the cabin layout. The ship was spacious and our cabin was very comfortable. I especially enjoyed the french balcony that allowed us to breath the fresh air and see the river sites clearly. We particularly enjoyed the breakfast and lunch buffets and afternoon tea was a treat. Our wait staff were wonderful! We laughed so much during our meals! We were so happy to find two other like-minded couples to share our experience, so our expectation of getting to know people from other countries was definitely met! We also appreciated our cruise director who was wonderful at guiding us and responsive during stressful times. Evening entertainment was mixed, some of the evenings were more enjoyable than others, which is to be expected. The ports and shore excursions met our expectations of learning a bit more about the different countries and their regions. All in all, an enjoyable experience that we will recommend to others and repeat! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our 34th cruise and several of them have been crossings on the Queen Mary 2. We chose this crossing to get us to Europe for an extended stay. There were no surprises, pleasant or otherwise. Overall we were pleased. Some ... Read More
This was our 34th cruise and several of them have been crossings on the Queen Mary 2. We chose this crossing to get us to Europe for an extended stay. There were no surprises, pleasant or otherwise. Overall we were pleased. Some positives: Embarkation was smooth and efficient. Maybe Cunard has solved some of the problems that used to plague Brooklyn departures. The ship is in excellent condition and we were thrilled to return to our favorite public rooms, the Chart Room and the Commodore Club. Our Princess Grill stateroom was comfortable and well-designed. We received excellent help from the Concierge on a number of issues. Overall very good service. We continue to be underwhelmed by the food choices and quality on Cunard. It's just the same old quite old fashioned cruise ship cuisine, blah and not very interesting. English and French stye, few true ethnic choices. The exceptions were the alternative dining at night in Kings' Chaos where the menu was adventurous and quality very good. Note that this was a very formal experience with 3 formal nights out of 7, and with the expectation that men would wear jackets on the other evenings. The QM2 crossing is not for those who pack only casual clothes. We have another QM2 crossing scheduled for 2020, and hopefully there will be others. It's a great way to get across the Atlantic without jet lag. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Having done a back to back cruise last year on the Harmony of the Seas I can say without reservation the Radiance was a far more enjoyable experience for two experienced cruisers in their mid(ish) 60's that don't relish being ... Read More
Having done a back to back cruise last year on the Harmony of the Seas I can say without reservation the Radiance was a far more enjoyable experience for two experienced cruisers in their mid(ish) 60's that don't relish being around over 1,000 kids. We tried the "mega ship as the destination" thing and the" ship within a ship suite level" thing, and it left us wanting. A lot. Then a destination wedding of friends on the Big Island made us reexamine RCI. This was a ten day cruise Vancouver to Honolulu (5 sea days then stops in Maui, Kauai, Hilo, Kona, Honolulu) with 18 more days to Sydney Australia for those doing the complete journey. We disembarked a day early in Kona since we would have had to fly back there for wedding the next day. Perfect timing. We'd been on the Radiance 10 years earlier and enjoyed her, so off we went. What we loved: The size of the ship and the number of passengers (just right) The orientation to the sea from almost all the interior spaces and the beautiful atrium One of the handsomest lounges at sea (Colony Club) Lots of seating inside and out at the Windjammer buffet The crispy lobster rolls at Izumi (and almost everything else!) Lots of deck space and loungers. Automatic leveling pool tables. The friendliness crew, officers and cruise staff. The excursion to Lanai....off the beaten track with a 5 star guide! What we liked: The food in the Windjammer and and main dinning room. The food in the specialty restaurants The musicians and lounge acts. Plenty of activities for the number of sea days (special shout out to the egg drop) The art deco vibe of the stateroom Cleanliness of stateroom and public spaces in general. The excursion to Hanelei on Kauai...(with scenes from movies shot on Kauai on the ride back to the ship, crowd favorite Dinocroc Vs. Supergator) Enough elevators for the amount of guests (contrasted to the Oasis class horror) What we weren't crazy about: Embarkation slow and disjointed....you go through US customs when you leave BC, slowing down the process. Stateroom bathroom tired, dated and exorbitant amount caulking used to fill in the gaps. Internet amazingly slow....(think dial up speed if you are old enough to remember) The floor in the Windjammer often very slick from as the signs say "condensation", like walking on ice in street shoes. Evening entertainment limited. Would we do RCI again? As long as the Radiance class ships exist, doing longer itineraries, we will. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Disclaimer - We would like to pass on our impressions and thoughts of our cruise experience to anyone planning for or getting ready to participate in a similar Itinerary. Everyone knows that reviews are subjective. One person’s gold is ... Read More
Disclaimer - We would like to pass on our impressions and thoughts of our cruise experience to anyone planning for or getting ready to participate in a similar Itinerary. Everyone knows that reviews are subjective. One person’s gold is another’s trash. That said please remember this is our personal impressions and yours, of course, will vary. We ignore postings that are made in response to our reviews that merely seek to flame. We will review subsequent posts in order to provide answers to questions asked. We appreciate this understanding. Please ignore any spelling or grammar errors – we want to get this posted swiftly before we lose focus on our experiences. Thank you. Travel and Embarkation - We are a semi-retired American couple (both 66 years of age) living as expats in an Asian country. This was our seventh cruise (3 on Princess and 3 on Norwegian, and now 1 on Royal Caribbean). We made all our own arrangement for this trip including direct reservations with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, air travel, and hotel, (we did a RCCL transfer from the ship to the airport in Honolulu). We flew in one day ahead of the 10 September sail date so we could enjoy some time in Vancouver without the stress of trying to make a flight on cruise day. This was a good decision in retrospect as our experience in the Vancouver airport was one for the record book. We were queued up three times in multi-hundred person lines before we got to immigration. The airport appeared to be completely overwhelmed with passengers. It literally took three and a half hours from exiting the airplane to getting to the point of retrieving our baggage. We took the light rail line from the airport to the Waterfront Station in downtown Vancouver. The train was very easy to negotiate, quick, and inexpensive. Our pre-cruise stay was as the Exchange Hotel located a couple of blocks away from the cruise port at Canada Place. The weather was typical Northwest – cloudy with a couple of periods of heavy rain. Vancouver is really a beautiful city. On boarding day we took the short 5 minute walk from the hotel at just after 10:30. We were in a Grand Suite for this cruise so dropping off our bags we walked directly to security and then to the express check-in without waiting in a single line. The Ship – It is small as ships go these days. The Radiance was launched in 2001 but had come out of renovation in May 2016. The ship looked to be in generally good condition. There are numerous areas around the ship that could do with a little paint and rust removal but overall the ship is well maintained, clean, and free of obvious neglect. Our Grand Suite was Port Forward on the 10th deck and we generally walked the stairs and rarely took an elevator so crowded elevators were not a concern. We did notice that often there were many waiting to ride. We did not use the casino but we did walk through the area a couple times and noticed a very heavy tobacco odor permeating the area. We decided that after the first day when walking from the front to the rear of the ship we would simply walked up or down a flight of stairs, crossed over or under the casino and walk back up or down the stairs on the other side. The odor, while evident, is not in our opinion, something to get upset about after all it is a casino. There is a rock climbing wall, 9 hole golf putting course, and basketball court. The weather was agreeable most days. There are two swimming pools on deck 11 (one adult only and one open). Both are small and busy on the Hawaii itinerary. Our Cabin – We had a Grand Suite with balcony on Deck # 10 Port Side Forward. Our cabin steward was very intuitive and was always available but never intrusive. He was very friendly and always helpful. Towels were replaced almost as soon as used and the room serviced regularly. The room was kept very clean. The grand suite has a large sitting area with full sofa and two easy chairs and a coffee table. We had a king sized bed located in a separate area of the suite. The bathroom was very large and had a big bath tub with shower. As suite guests we were provided upgraded amenities (soap, shampoo, rinse, body wash, etc.). The bathroom was spotless. Storage area was more than adequate. Even with three large suitcases we did not even filled up one closet with two to spare. We had a large flat screen television. Channel selection was non-existent but useful for checking your shipboard accounts and reservations. Ship announcements were not broadcasted into the rooms so you had to listen from the outside if you wanted to hear the public announcements. We had an unlimited Voom Surf and Stream Wi-Fi package. While billed as the “fastest at sea” that was not our experience. It was the slowest and most prone to disconnection of any service we have every had on any ship. There was a water pot and coffee maker with free coffee provided in our cabin but we did not use them as the coffee available at many locations around the ship provided plenty of very satisfactory coffee. Dining - We ate breakfast and lunch in the buffet on deck 10. Breakfast was the standard fare with omelets made to order and a wide variety of breakfast foods to choose. In our opinion the buffet was well designed with adequate seating. The staff was very fast at removing plates and silverware and cleaning tables as people left. If you meet Jade in the buffet say hello to a wonderfully upbeat and kind young man. Since we were suite guests we never had a difficult time finding a seat because there was a reserved dining room just off the buffet. We found the food in the buffet to be generally good but somewhat repetitive. There is a self-serve soft ice cream machine in the buffet area. We had dinner twice in the Main Dining Room. Both were excellent meals. Having reservations we were seated immediately. We did notice a slight lag in service but the menu items were always appropriately hot, warm, or cold. We also dined in our room twice with selections from the main dining room menu which was delivered hot and quickly from room service. Extra Fee Dining - On our second sea day we ate Izumi’s sushi restaurant. The food was well presented and very tasty if not quite as fresh as we would have liked. On our fourth sea day we ate at the Samba Grill a South American Churrascaria concept venue. The food and service were excellent. Come hungry as portions are large and filling. On our sixth sea day we ate at the Italian themed Giovanni’s restaurant. Again the food was wonderful and the service attentive and friendly. Entertainment - The one area for which we would like to see change is more entertainment in the theater. We enjoyed the one revue show we saw as very entertaining and well done but other evening entertainment presented appeared to be filling an otherwise empty evening. Tours – We booked all our tours through Royal Caribbean. As most everyone knows this is a more expensive option but the benefits of ease of booking, guaranteed return to the ship, and tour operator vetting are hard for us to ignore. We did not want to take any risks getting back to the ship on time. Maui Hawaii (Lahaina) – Hana & Haleakala Helicopter Exploration. We had a wonderful time during this just over one hour aerial tour of Mt. Haleakala, the world's largest dormant volcano. We were picked up at the port and escorted to the Blue Hawaii air terminal located at the Maui airport. Our pilot was personable, knowledgeable and gracious. The views are indescribable. While costly, this tour is well worth the money. Upon completion we were again picked up and returned to the cruise port in a comfortable van. Kauai Nawiliwili – Grove Farm and Kilohana Plantation Railway. A short drive from the deep water port of Nawiliwili the Kilohana Plantation harkens back to Kauai's Golden Age of Sugar with a four-hour tour of the Grove Farm museum and a narrated railway ride around the former plantation plus free time at Koloa Rum Company and other artisan shops. Rich in history and slow in pace this tour is a relaxing stop on the Garden Island. Of all our tours during this cruise we found this to be our least favorite and not worth the cost and would not consider it worth repeating. Hilo Hawaii (Big Island) – Zipline through Paradise and Waterfalls. A total of eight zipline runs follow the Honolii River high over thundering waterfalls and deep gorges. Our guides were extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and obsessed with our safely. We were given three rules to remember and were quizzed repeatedly concerning them. The three rules were 1) don’t adjust or handle your harness, 2) don’t put your hands on the cable, and 3) have fun. Some zipline runs were tranquil and easy and some were quite thrilling. We had a great time and would have liked to have gone back up and done it again if possible. The light rain throughout our tour did little to dampen our enthusiasm. Highly recommend this tour if physically able. Kona Hawaii (Big Island) - Atlantis Submarine. We rode a large comfortable boat with around 70 other guests from the cruise terminal out into the ocean where the submarine was waiting. Boarding was done via gang plank from the boat to the submarine under the watchful eye of the crew who stood by to assist if needed. All went well. There were two entrances into the submarine (one on each end) so boarding went quickly and easily. The interior of the submarine has individual seats (two rows facing back to back) and each passenger has her/his own designated port hole through which to view. The nearly hour long dive visited two ship wrecks and numerous coral formations. While many fish were in the area none were large and the light filtering effects of being under up to 100 feet of water drained most of the colors leaving the viewer seeing mostly in gray shades. The submarine is well lit, clean, ventilated, and large enough to eliminate any possibility of Claustrophobia. This tour is very interesting and well worth the cost. Overall we had a wonderful time and would recommend the Royal Caribbean and the Vancouver to Hawaii itinerary. The Radiance of the Seas is a great ship for a relaxing cruise. Younger cruisers with families may want to consider larger ships with more traditional entertainment venues (water parks, rope courses, flow riders, etc.). Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We boarded in St. Petersburg after a 4 day stay in town. Wonderful visit and nice, safe place, with friendly people. Lots to see and do, and cabs are cheap. The terminal experience was very unusual however. We expected the regular ... Read More
We boarded in St. Petersburg after a 4 day stay in town. Wonderful visit and nice, safe place, with friendly people. Lots to see and do, and cabs are cheap. The terminal experience was very unusual however. We expected the regular crush of hundreds of other passengers, but there were fewer than a dozen that we saw during our processing. The Medallion system isn't really much of a benefit under these type situations. The ship is in good condition, I didn't see any wear and tear anywhere, and the crew keeps it quite clean. The décor is a little boring except in a few spots like the central atrium. That said, the layout is peculiar in that there are parts of the ship that are difficult to reach, and not in the typical locations. For instance, the rear set of elevators ends at deck 6, but you need to go up a level to actually get anywhere except cabins on that deck. The buffet has somewhat narrow passages on each side and this causes a lot of bumping and confusion, particularly at peak meal times. Smoke from the open ceiling casino vents into the shops above and became an issue for passengers. My biggest disappointment with the entire cruise is the food in the buffet. The selection and availability is good, HOWEVER it is never hot! I mean it's barely warm. All the toasted items like bagels English muffins, French toast, etc. will not even begin to melt butter. Eggs are fried in batches and put out 20 or so at a time and also lukewarm. By the time you get to your table with your meal, everything is usually at room temp. The scrambled eggs taste like they began as powdered, and the omelets seem to be made from the same mix. The pastry selection is usually good for every meal in the buffet I must say. The highly touted "Highest Speed WiFi At Sea" was practically unusable for a full 5 days while crossing the Atlantic. Speeds typically were between 50-150kbps, similar to dialup or DSL speeds over 10 years ago. The Captain apologized, announcing it was the lack of satellite coverage, but it should have been no secret that over 25% of our 19 day cruise would encounter such poor service. The gym is sparsely equipped with basic machines like curls for instance. It's also small, and at the rear of the ship, unlike most I've seen. The main theatre does not have enough seating for anywhere near 1/2 the passengers, so you'll need to arrive 30-45 minutes before a show to get a few decent seats. Entertainment was average with the usual mix of entertainment. The dining room anytime dining is good, and we ate there about half the time. Alfredo's pizza on deck 6 is great and I highly recommend it for a quick, good individual pizza. The Calzones also looked good, but I didn't try one. I doubt I'd book this cruise again mostly because of the buffet food temps and the poor WiFi at sea, but overall, it wasn't a bad experience, just not great either. The standard balcony cabins are small compared to Celebrity and Royal Caribbean, with no couch and tiny bathrooms. The balcony was only about 4 feet deep it seemed, barely enough room to have a chair face out to sea. The Medallion feature turned into a major yawn for us. It only was used to unlock our door and check in and out in port. NO ONE used the public panels to navigate the ship or anything else that I noticed. There are at least 5 different Princess apps to download if you want to bother, but they are confusing and do very little easily. I've been on over 50 cruises, and I walked away slightly disappointed in this one. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Overall a nice experience. Great cabin, balcony was well used and steward was perfect. Food was not up to other Princess ships I've been on but service was wonderful. I should clarify, Horizon Court Buffet at times reminded me of ... Read More
Overall a nice experience. Great cabin, balcony was well used and steward was perfect. Food was not up to other Princess ships I've been on but service was wonderful. I should clarify, Horizon Court Buffet at times reminded me of college dorm fare. Shows were very good. The most annoying thing was the constant announcements of sales. Yes, they have to make a profit but sometimes it's the little things that make a customer feel special. It was exciting to receive a packet in the post with documents, luggage tags and great expectations of an upcoming adventure. Now you have to print yourself documents etc etc. Nice touch at the end of the cruise was the airlines luggage program. Bags whisked away not to be touched again until you land at your home airport. Note the Star is getting a bit long in the tooth. Showing some age, it gets hard to maintain a ship after 15 years of service. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Balcony cabin very nice great cabin service and friendly personnel all over the ship. Food taste and choice excellent in main dining room and Lido for breakfast and lunch and dinner and snacks. BB king Ok and 2 pianos and Lincoln center ... Read More
Balcony cabin very nice great cabin service and friendly personnel all over the ship. Food taste and choice excellent in main dining room and Lido for breakfast and lunch and dinner and snacks. BB king Ok and 2 pianos and Lincoln center music nice. But level of sound in rock and roll show way too loud . Too loud in main show room also. Entertainment varied and good quality. Only con no nice dance music before dinner, Not enough free exercise programs like zumba dancing class..Exercise room very nice with lots of equipment. Good charity walk scheduled. One tour to Mijas in Malaga was excellent. Good shuttle service to city center from ship in Madeira very easy. Great port cities on transatlantic cruise Cartagena, Malaga and Madeira. Very easy embarkation and getting off but expect long wait in US immigration in Fort Lauderdale. Great cooking shows with excellent woman presenting the information with demonstration and videos. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise because we were visiting China and it fitted in with our timetable. Decided it was a great way to get home instead of flying and hadn’t done a Princess Cruise before. We spent 10 days prior to the cruise ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were visiting China and it fitted in with our timetable. Decided it was a great way to get home instead of flying and hadn’t done a Princess Cruise before. We spent 10 days prior to the cruise exploring Beijing, Xi’an, Chengdu and Shanghai. The embarkation and disembarkation were a credit to Princess Cruise as was the organization for each excursion. We enjoyed the variety of ports, the food in the main dining room was good, but the food in the Lido on deck 16 was average. It was only ever lukewarm and very repetitive. The entertainment in the theatre left a lot to be desired and the continuous days at sea were long. Other cruises have run workshops, seminars and information sessions, which were replayed on the tv in your room for you to watch if the coincided with other things. Unless you were into dancing, bingo or casino there was very little to do. The crew were fantastic and it is the first cruise we have done where all the crew appeared to be genuinely happy and getting on with each other. These negatives only relate to a small part of the cruise and I would not hesitate to do another Princess Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Let me start by saying that the actual ship is very nice and we had a nice trip. PROS: The cruise directors, Andrew & Andy, were really fun. The entertainment was very good. We enjoyed the various trivia games, there was a great ... Read More
Let me start by saying that the actual ship is very nice and we had a nice trip. PROS: The cruise directors, Andrew & Andy, were really fun. The entertainment was very good. We enjoyed the various trivia games, there was a great magician, awesome juggler, and very interesting high-tech lights\video\music act. The food was great in both formal dining room and buffet. They have great video screen at the pool that plays recent movies (that you can also view later in your cabin). There are fun "touch screens" on every floor where you can locate the people you are travelling with, see deck plans, the entertainment schedule, AND there is fun "explorer puzzle game" for the kids to play. There are 3 regular sized pools (one is private one for adults only near the spa), and one very small "kid's area pool", so there are different options. I think they make good use of the space and boat doesn't feel too large (or too small). Also, very "non pressure" from the staff. I've been on some cruises where they are always trying to sell you things, but this ship wasn't like that. Stops on our cruise were awesome. In particular I loved Quebec City, & Prince Edward Island. Halifax is nice, but a bit more of a bustling city. Sidney Nova Scotia is cute town but a "young port" so tour options (e.g. if want to go to the Alexander Graham Bell museum) are limited if you don't book ahead. You can't even really even find a taxi. - - - CONS: There are limited shore excursions and most of the good ones they sold out months before the cruise. (Not sure why they can't see the high demand and arrange for additional tours). It ended working out OK for us though because we found that for most ports you can find alternative tours outside of the port for cheaper than Princess charges. The EXCEPTION though is the port of Sydney, Nova Scotia. If you don't book something ahead won't be able to find trips on short. The "app" (where you can order drinks and see entertainment schedule seems to be a bit of a work in progress (didn't work very well for me). I could see upcoming events schedule but never could do anything else with it. There was mystery "high seas heist" ongoing game that we participated in, which was semi-fun but sloppily run and slightly confusing. There is "kids club" for area but for some reason it is closed from Noon-to-2PM so it didn't work out well for my wife and I when we wanted to do some of the things like the art auction on the boat, or trivia. Also, the staff in the area are not that friendly, and per my kids (so take with grain of salt) they had strictly regimented task for them to follow. (e.g. they couldn't just draw, read, play video games or Foosball when there was an activity like "t-shirt painting" going on. You have to do what group is doing while in kids club, at least if you are in the 7-to-11 year old section). Perhaps not the cruise line's fault but found the "exit port" in Brooklyn NY to be run horribly. A lot of confusion, and they routed people into different lines... allowed people to cut in the lines... and ultimately you could just walk out of the port if you wanted to (there was no security check or anything) so all the confusion wasn't really necessary if they were better organized. Lastly, bad ratings to our cabin (E514), mostly because it is located directly above the lounge where loud music is played most nights. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We are just back from 1 14 day back to back cruise on the MSC Seaside and wanted to share our thoughts. I am a very critical person when travelling. Firstly I am not going to compare the Seaside with any other cruises we have sailed on ... Read More
We are just back from 1 14 day back to back cruise on the MSC Seaside and wanted to share our thoughts. I am a very critical person when travelling. Firstly I am not going to compare the Seaside with any other cruises we have sailed on which include Carnival, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean as I believe all have their good points and not so good and it is unfair to compare. The Seaside is a lovely, clean and very impressive ship. There are not many times you feel like you are onboard with 5000 passengers let alone another 1500 crew. We experienced only a very positive interaction with crew members with many taking time out to say hello and a general friendly approach especially to our 2 grandchildren who got lots of attention and high 5's. Embarkation and debarkation was very smooth and quick . Cabins - we had a balcony cabin and whilst cosy for 2 adults and 2 children it was comfortable and clean. Space can be a little tight but we adapted with bringing over the door organisers. I cannot comment on the room steward who whilst wasn't very visible always kept the room clean. Kids Club - our 2 grandchildren loved it and although we wanted to spend some good quality time with our 2 grandchildren on board it was nice to get those couple of hours to ourselves once in a while. Shows - a little confusing at times and some acts repeat over other shows later in the week but they are very professional and enjoyable. The Starwalker Michael Jackson tribute and show end on the Friday is a must see. You get a bit of everything at the shows, singing, dancing and Cirque de Soleil type performers. The beer prov children rated comedy show was very funny and a good watch. Food - we ate in the buffets for breakfast and lunch and the main dining room for dinner. This was probably our biggest disappointment. The buffet is a little repeatative and sometimes a little lacking in choice but the pizza is great and the late night cookies at the snack station were wonderfully soft and delicious. we ate in Ipanema main dining room and the waiting staff were friendly including the maitre d's even dancing with our granddaughter and always asking if we were ok and had a good day. service was a little slow on occasions and the very odd dish was not great but we felt the food could have been better overall. Guests - it is a very multi cultural guest list is the most polite way of putting it but again with 5000 guests from 120 nations you are going to get some who do not share your manners, standards and etiquette. Don't be put off by the completely negative comments you read about the MSC Seaside, I am very critical and would describe our experience as positive overall and YES I would sail with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Our 1st ever cruise was some 10/12 years ago on P&O Pacific Star. Well, haven't things changed (for the better). We were very happy with the offering from P&O and in particular the crew on board the ship. They were a credit to ... Read More
Our 1st ever cruise was some 10/12 years ago on P&O Pacific Star. Well, haven't things changed (for the better). We were very happy with the offering from P&O and in particular the crew on board the ship. They were a credit to the Company and although the ship is an older vessel (certainly showing external signs of age) the vibe on board was friendly and efficient and the crew appeared (primarily) to enjoy their job. Admittedly we did have lower expectations having travelled with the more highly rated Celebrity and Princess Lines, however we were overall quite impressed with the majority of aspects onboard. A special mention to the bands. . . both Popcorn and The Lazy Leis were fantastic and the jam session on the last evening involving all performers was truly memorable . . . very talented. On board crew shows were excellent, a couple of guest performers are past their use by date and appeared to be simply topping up their super. Production shows were considered to be a significantly higher standard - crew shows were particularly entertaining viz LipSync Battle. Having Petro Civoniceva on board was a nice touch as well. . .thanks to him for his valuable time and open participation. A couple of constructive comments . . . the Tendering situation needs work - whoever made the decision to honour the tickets from the aborted tender operation in Port Douglas in preference to distributed tickets for Dili needs to consider their future. . . a real howler. Actual Shore time was significantly reduced in both Dili and Bali due to sea swell and the large number of Ships Tours and "Priority" passengers. Made our own arrangements re a tour in Timor Leste and also Bali - understand cruise coys favour their own shore excursions though we prefer the small group experience v's a coach load. Anytime dining in the Waterfront took a few days to sort out - many passengers had made permanent bookings which meant there was initially up to an hours wait for anytime dining - this resolved itself after 4 nights when some perm bookings were a no show and therefore cancelled. Could easily do with an additional lunch menu in the Waterfront restaurant for variety . . .only 2 menus for the 14 days. . . though there was the variety in The Pantry. Drink prices are excessive though consistent across all lines - what did happen to duty free prices??. . .would like to see a similar policy to that of Princess. . ie allowed to bring a bottle of wine pp onboard. There was sufficient entertainment with usual trivia etc however big screen movies were heavily weighted in favour of children's themes and animations - this despite the small number of children on board. Special mention to the Captain for his accessibility and daily broadcasts - very approachable and informative (luvs his "Minions") . Upon arrival in Singapore, we skipped the long taxi lines and got the MRT direct to the Airport for flight back to BNE. Very efficient disembarkation, despite the fact the ship was advertised as docking at Marina Bay - instead we turned up at Harbourfront - this caught many off guard. Singapore has such a great public transport system - even with luggage. Extremely happy with our decision to revisit a P&O Aust classic ship - overall a good value for money cruise - we will be back. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Coming from Florida, this cruise was a good choice for us. We have easy access to Port Everglades and had the opportunity to enjoy cooler summer weather in New England and Canada. We have sailed with Princess many times and are Platinum. ... Read More
Coming from Florida, this cruise was a good choice for us. We have easy access to Port Everglades and had the opportunity to enjoy cooler summer weather in New England and Canada. We have sailed with Princess many times and are Platinum. The ship is pretty, the food is good, and the ports enjoyable. A downfall for some might be the entertainment. The peculiarly designed showroom fills up fast, and one needs to claim a seat almost an hour before a performance. We didn't bother going. Too much trouble. Because this was a new itinerary for employees in the excursion department, they were inexperienced and caused some chaos with crowds leaving the ship at various ports. At some of the ports, the walkways from the ship to the terminals were very long...one example was Charleston which was 5 stories down..and then up. Our balcony cabin was attractive with new carpeting. However there was some mold in the bathroom and a dirty bed skirt which was quickly replaced. We did have a wonderful 13 days on the Caribbean Princess. Vacations are what you make of them. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Our trip started in Hamburg, Germany on June 21, 2019, stopped in Southampton for the day on June 24 and onwards to New York arriving June 30. The trip had 2 very different vibes: The Hamburg to Southampton segment had many more ... Read More
Our trip started in Hamburg, Germany on June 21, 2019, stopped in Southampton for the day on June 24 and onwards to New York arriving June 30. The trip had 2 very different vibes: The Hamburg to Southampton segment had many more families with "free range kids", noise, heavy patronage of the buffet, garbage on the floors, noise at night, kids running and knocking on doors, kids running free during the life safety segment, kids running down the promenade deck careening into guests and people sitting in chairs etc. Adults with loud voices and shouting in the public rooms. The Southampton to New York a quieter more refined experience with the amazing guest speakers and quiet conversations among guests. QM2 is an experience of a life time and each time we take a TA on the QM2 it is excellent, unique and designed to link the guest to the sea. The QM2 is the way a ship should be. QM2 did not disappoint - but we would say the food in the MDR and the Kings Court buffet was a significant step downwards from our last TA 2 years ago. Cunard, improve your general food offerings, make it the same as Celebrity. Your general food offerings should not be less than Carnival. Other than that, the QM2 was excellent. The positives: * QM2 is a ship, not a Vegas hotel. * There is no end of vistas so that a guest can feel and smell the ocean. The open wing deck under the bridge is simply amazing. Modern cruise ships are designed to keep guests looking inward so they can spend $. Well done Cunard. The step down stern open areas are spectacular and well patronized * A real promenade deck, enough said. It was heavily patronized. * Cunard expects guests to be able to entertain themselves during the day * This is a ship for intellectuals - meaning the amazing guest speakers and library enable guests to learn about the world. The guest speaks spoke on - being an envoy in Moscow in the cold war, a London theater actress speaking on the hidden gems of London, WW2 submarine technology and deployment in the war. What a joy versus the nonsense on modern cruise ships. * The historical boards towards the bow area recounting the glory days of the Queens and transatlantic travel * The service was excellent, excellent. The amount of staff, their training, their demeanor etc was top notch - a step well above our last QM2 TA. To be frank, the service in the common areas were as good as our trips on Crystal and Oceania. * The extra charge restaurants were - excellent. The Veranda was the equal of the steakhouse on Oceania. The most amazing food was at the Alternative restaurant located in a part of the Kings Court - Cunard, you have a winner here. There are themed nights - Coriandor, The Smokehouse, Azetec and Bamboo. The food was the very best I ever had on a ship period. Better than Crystal or Oceania. The tastes were sublime, the presentation, the quantity, the service by the hand picked staff was first class. There were Grill level guests there and many said they would abandon the Grills and book a non Grill and simply enjoy the extra charge Veranda and Alternative dining. * The officers - they were visible and pleasant and stopped to answer questions. * The Golden Lion fish and chips and the Indian food put most cruise ship venues to shame * The music on the pa was excellent - just loud enough, classic to modern. Excellent choice. Entertainment was good. * Well - the kennel. Being on the pool decks at the stern and hearing the dear dogs barking from time to time as they were out with their fur parents was to die for. It humanized the ship - it was a great hit with guests. * The sheltered balcony cabin was well maintained and very cozy. * The size of the public areas, the amount of space per passenger is amazing. * QM2 rides like a dream, never felt her move. * The side corridors on deck 3 which have tables for games and chairs for sitting. These areas are the closest to the ocean level and are amazing. * Smoothies and detox beverages in the Kings Court area - excellent * Room service was good. The chopped fruit salad was excellent, as good as the chopped fruit salad on Oceania. The pain au chocolate was not bad. Coffee was excellent overall with real cream Negatives: * Boarding in Hamburg - The Grills class passengers walked right in front of the non Grills class long line up to gain access to the check in staff. Disrespectful. Have a separate check in line for Grills guests. * Food in the Kings Court. Not good. Cheap looking, cheap taste. The hot dishes, breads, cold meats etc were set out - no garnishes around any of the food serving stations - just cold looking plates on a hard surface with no visual appeal. Simply the worst looking and worst tasting buffet I have seen. A steep decline from my last QM2 TA. The breads were the cheapest quality you could imagine. The cold meats were cheap. We had no interest in eating there. The realignment of this area was much better than before, the food was not. * The MDR. Fabulous room, the best on the seas. The staff were excellent. The food was not. The food size, garnishing, taste, quality was average to poor. The onion soup consisted of a dry powder soup base with a few onions. Served after was a small round bread piece with a few cheese shreds. Awful. It was returned. The protein portions were small and dry. Salads were small with minimum garnishes. The food did not live up to the amazing room. * The carpets since the refit are awful. The orange and yellow down the main corridor was glaring and cheap. It was the carpet in the cabin floors (all decks I think), beige on the right side trending towards a pattern and deep blue next the cabin doors. The carpet looked awful and cheap. Who needs beige carpet in a high traffic area? The carpet looked like you would have got it at the Dollar store. * Ah, the infamous post cruise mini bar in the room charge. Got dinged for $18.29 for a mystery charge. Will not be paying it. _______________________________________________________________ Having cruised since 1989, on the mass and luxury lines, we enjoy Cunard for the value it represents and the great itineraries and the real ships they provide guests. All cruise lines are cheapening their products. Cunard is as well. Cunard is best suited to guests who enjoy being on a ship, who wish to behave in a classy way and dress a bit better than the anything goes mass cruise lines. The Cunard guests are well travelled and well informed. If you want Vegas at sea, loud techno music, drunk guests due to the beverage packages etc do not choose Cunard. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
My wife chose this cruise because of the itinerary. Nineteen ports in 25 days was the determining factor. The interior of the ship is a different design than most ships we have cruised. The music theme throughout puts a music alley on ... Read More
My wife chose this cruise because of the itinerary. Nineteen ports in 25 days was the determining factor. The interior of the ship is a different design than most ships we have cruised. The music theme throughout puts a music alley on the second level. Four entertainment rooms each with a different musical genre encompass this level. Then main stage too is different. It is theater in the round with screens as a backdrop which could digitally do anything. Here is the failure of this entire concept. One night only there was a performance called Humanity that utilized the technology of this stage. This show was five star. Most of the other nights a solo artists performed such as a flautist or singer. Even worse was the nights Folkloric shows were staged. Mediocre at best was the theme of the main stage. Activities included bingo, twice during the 25 days Majority Rules was played. Otherwise there was a list eg. ping players meet, bridge players meet, etc. the bottom line is this was a a really substandard performance by whomever was in charge. The service staff was outstanding. The ship was super clean. Dining room staff was great. The buffet servers, waiters etc were five star. Food, yes there was variety and it was well prepared. We only took one shore excursion with Holland. I book most tours before I leave home because Holland America tours are pricey and the groups are large. Rijeka, Croatia was a poor choice for a port. Originally the port was to be Ravenna, Italy but got changed to Rijeka. Google Rijeka.....nothing to see or do there. All of the other ports were quite good. I was unsure of going with Holland America because if it’s reputation of serving the 80+ cruiser. Thus cruise had every age group represented. Summertime is family vacation time. We would have given the rating of a ten if the entertainment was up to par with other cruise lines. Instead we gave it an eight. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was our second time booking with Viking and we knew that every detail would be taken care of. The service was superior, the food was excellent and all excursions included were very well organized along with very informing guides. The ... Read More
This was our second time booking with Viking and we knew that every detail would be taken care of. The service was superior, the food was excellent and all excursions included were very well organized along with very informing guides. The small cruise made it easy to mingle with other guests, the smaller ship made it easy to get around. The hotels chosen for us in both Prague and Paris were centrally located which made it very easy to explore on our own The negatives....most ports required transportation to the cities on our itinerary, sometimes taking up to two hours. Therefore following our tour we had very little time to explore before we got back on a bus again. The entertainment at night was OK, but we really missed the Broadway productions found on the larger ships. Seating was at a minimum sometimes especially on the forward deck and lounge area in the evening. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We had experienced a partial panama canal transit and decided we had to do a full transit. The workings of the locks is just fascinating if you've never been through it. It was just a relaxing day watching our ship travel through the ... Read More
We had experienced a partial panama canal transit and decided we had to do a full transit. The workings of the locks is just fascinating if you've never been through it. It was just a relaxing day watching our ship travel through the locks and the gentleman who escorted us on the trip with his facts regarding the canal was very interesting. It's hard to believe in this day and time when something starts deteriorating it is torn down and built anew and these locks are over 100 years old and are still operating in their original fashion with the same wooden gates! Staff on board was very courteous and our room steward, Nyoman and Muss were fantastic. They usually had our room cleaned by the time we returned from breakfast in the morning and were always smiling and making sure that everything was satisfactory. Dining room staff was a little slow the first week, however, they soon learned our beverage of choice and had it waiting for us when we sat down. Menu choices were varied and could have had a little more regular items to choose from, but for the most part, the food was tasty and temperature appropriate. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Overall loved the ship!. Is it my favourite Celebrity ship?: Probably BUT they do need to deal with some of the fixable points below (most of which have already been mentioned by other people. We will be back (and soon!) Celebrity Edge ... Read More
Overall loved the ship!. Is it my favourite Celebrity ship?: Probably BUT they do need to deal with some of the fixable points below (most of which have already been mentioned by other people. We will be back (and soon!) Celebrity Edge pros and cons Pros Good use of public space. Everything seems spacious. Ocean view not frantic and lots of table space even on notorious busy days like Embarkation and long port days return. Good use of every inch. Guest relations, future cruise etc all very open plan. No desk between you and staff Love all the hidden places that you only discover after a few days. Love the Eden space. All the different levels Staff very attentive and friendly. Food standards seem higher than other celebrity ships in all areas. Love the panini etc at Eden for lunch. Like the split 4 main dining rooms. Never seems to look really mobbed. Always got a seat at times we wanted. Hosts very helpful. Cafe del bacio much bigger area now and is good place to chill at any time. Lots of sun lounger space and seems to have lots of shaded areas (apart from maybe the top deck). Fabulous massive pool. Never is full because of the space. Magic carpet quite nice for few drinks but (see later for cons). Good viewing area if in port. All the stair areas, lobbies etc much more space. More lifts than normal and bigger. Love the running ,walking track. So much more interesting than normal circuit idea as goes all over ship and over more than one deck. Love the theatre. Great shape and the IT is well used as part of the show. Shows were very professional. Jacuzzis much bigger and better placed. Eden restaurant very interesting experience. Fabulous food CONS Magic carpet looks hideous. Seems pretty useless unless in warmer and calmer ports as the windproofing is non existent. First three days of our cruise wasn’t really used at all. Cabanas which are supposed to give seclusion and views out to sea useless as everyone walks right past them all day AND magic carpet is 95% of the day right across from them so view obstructed! I never once saw them used in 10 days. Found the garden area nice but mostly unusable again due to lack of wind or shade protection. Unless in port and in very warm climates not really used apart from for films during the day. Don’t like the total ‘class’ split now. Suites guests are now totally cut off from normal passengers during the day and for meals. Miss the panoramic lounge viewing at the front which is now suite guests only. Even though Celebrity are obviously wanting to attract younger clientele, they (like most other lines) insist on the same music Mix of 50s and 60s. Ie beetles, Elvis etc. Some more modern please although ive now heard that the music was changed to older stuff because of complaints ! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Six months since our last holiday, by May 2019 it was time for a break. I am a firm believer in the HR notion that a break every six months is restorative (if not to ones bank account, at least for the soul). So I looked for a cruise that ... Read More
Six months since our last holiday, by May 2019 it was time for a break. I am a firm believer in the HR notion that a break every six months is restorative (if not to ones bank account, at least for the soul). So I looked for a cruise that would please me and my wife. A bit about us: we are late middle-aged (later 50's, early 60's), one of us still works, and we have done many cruises since 2001. Mostly on Holland America, yet more recently on Seabourn. We very much liked the almost all-inclusive nature of our Seabourn cruises, as well as the smaller ships. In May 2019 Seabourn had an interesting cruise option, yet on that ship the verandah cabin guarantee offered may well have come with the opaque (metal) balcony railings. That is a show-stopper for my wife, who wants to be able to see out her balcony while seated. Seabourn would put us in a balcony with the Plexiglas railing--yet only if we ponied up another $2 grand each. It looked like we would not be cruising after all in May. Happily, searching the usual websites, I found this interesting Regent cruise--a trans-Atlantic, which we like (the days at sea can be quite restful), some interesting ports, a departure from New York, which is only an hours flight from Toronto, and with the airfare and shore excursions included. We also would have a proper balcony in the verandah cabin, with no metal railing blocking the view. All this, including business class air for the transatlantic flight home, for about the same price as Seabourn wanted for the obstructed view balcony. Hmmm, it was time to give Regent a try. Cutting to the chase for any impatient readers, we quite enjoyed our Regent cruise and would return to them. This line is now on our list, along with Seabourn. We would also return to HAL, even though we do like not having to sign for most things, for the right itinerary and pricing. It is nice to have options and choices. We found Regent a well organized operator. Their shore staff met us at Newark airport, and we were escorted to the van (we were the only passengers) provided to take us to the port of Manhattan. Ironically, the drive from the airport took longer than our 1.3 hour flight. It was nice, accordingly, that I did not have to pay for a taxi or limo, and that such ground transportation was included. As we checked in around 2PM, we had missed the rush. On board quickly, we headed to the Verandah for a casual lunch. This was the first of many very good meals on board. Ultimately to our cabin--we had received and accepted an upsell offer for a penthouse. The basic amenity was that the cabin, same size as the verandah cabin but better located, came with a butler, who was excellent! Between the butler and our stewardess, and her assistant, we were very well looked after for the next 15 days. Having never had a butler before, and wondering what we would use him for, now I wonder how we could survive without one! The cabin was a little tight compared with what we are used to. On HAL we get a Neptune Suite, and on Seabourn a regular verandah. Yet the Seabourn ships are newer than this particular ship, Navigator, which is about 20 years old. We found that there was not quite as much drawer space or storage generally, as we have had on Seabourn in the regular verandah cabins--yet we managed to get everything put away. Still, I would not have wanted a room service dinner in the cabin. Again, other than having the daily snacks which the butler brought, it was a tad tight for dining. We were not impressed with the lifeboat drill. Held partly inside, and then being taken out to the boat deck was superfluous, as the boats you were shown at the drill may well not be the boat to which you would be assigned when you gather in the event of an emergency. In my view this is not well thought out. Either do the entire drill outside, or inside. I would also think specific lifeboats should be assigned per cabin, so everyone knows exactly where to go in case of an emergency. Other lines do this in a more organized fashion. We had a little difficulty in getting the cabin stocked with my wife's favourite Vodka, Chopin, a potato-based vodka. A substitute was provided, and Chopin was available in the bars. Ultimately, our butler scrounged us a bottle for the cabin. Unfortunately, we were told that Chopin was no longer to be provided on Regent once current inventory was finished. Too bad, as it is an excellent luxury brand. The included/available Scotches were also not quite top drawer. I mean, seriously, Johnny Walker Red? Yes, they had Black, Chivas Regal (my daily tipple), and some single malts. Yet for a luxury cruise line, at a minimum 12 year old single malts (not just one, but a choice of several) should be included, and frankly, they should provide 15 year old Scotch without a surcharge. In addition to most friendly, warm, welcoming, and personable cabin staff, the same could be said about all the bar staff. They were great. It was nice to be seated, and ones regular drink brought around without having to say a word. Kudos to them for fostering a welcoming and clubby atmosphere. The food quality was truly excellent--and we are foodies. It was the best we have experienced on any cruise. Being fair, HAL provides in our experience very good Banquet style meals. Seabourn provides very good meals as well, just not a lot of variety at times, and at times, overly salted. Regent's food was not overly salted, yet was well seasoned. There was also plenty of variety at lunch, and especially at dinner in the main restaurant. Some of the "always available" dinner items included genuine whole Dover Sole, which would be filleted table-side--a pleasure to watch. We found the food prepared "a la minute", and was an example of fine dining. Not every dish was a success, but the effort was clearly present. We were surprised that someone on the cruise after ours, a Veterans charter, did not enjoy the food. Yet that may have been because it was a charter. We enjoyed the dining room or the upstairs casual restaurant which becomes an Italian restaurant at night. Happily, it was not a buffet, unless one wanted to go up and select items. We much preferred the lovely Italian servers bringing us our meal. We also enjoyed two meals in the steakhouse. We found the personnel there most welcoming and accommodating, too. The beef was very good. Yet, as I have a great local butcher, and enjoy making a BBQ during decent weather, unlike some I do not get all excited about a steakhouse! Service in the dining room, however, was not quite as good as was the food. Some of the servers were great: warm, friendly, yet also competent. Over 15 days there can be one or two food items that are not to ones taste--the better wait staff knew to check and to quickly rectify the situation. Alas, not all of the servers fit into that category. We are used to on HAL our fixed table at 8PM, where we build a rapport with the same team of waiter, assistant waiter, and wine waiter over the cruise. While we do appreciate the flexibility of open seating available on smaller ships, one sacrifices, to some extent, that personal rapport which can, if one is lucky (and we have always had good luck on HAL in that regard), develop between server and customer. The challenge for Regent and Seabourn is to imbue their wait staff with the feeling that, even if for one night, each passenger is "their" passenger, and the goal should be to make the evening special, for each guest. Not easy to accomplish, but worth aiming for. In any case on this cruise we had a word with hotel management about some initial service issues, and happily, things improved. The ports included Bermuda, and the shore excursions, also included, were very good. Unfortunately, a couple of the afternoon tours were cancelled. As I get up early most weekday mornings, the last thing I want to do on any cruise is get up early to go on tour. I prefer a leisurely morning. In most European ports, Regent did offer afternoon tours, and again, we enjoyed them. We found the laundry to be expensive, albeit thankfully we were using "Monopoly money" (our ship-board credits) for that. Seabourn offers laundry at $50 for as much as one can stuff into a bag. Regent should follow that example. If I did not have sufficient credits, the cost of laundry would be a factor worth considering, along with the other factors such as included shore excursions, included air-fare, etc. There are, it seems, always trade-offs to be made. The lectures were in our view poorly timed. The fellow who spoke at 10 AM I would have preferred hearing in the afternoon, and I could have skipped the afternoon guy who talked about photography. The onboard shows were decent, although the layout of the theatre makes it hard to find an unobstructed view unless you arrive early. Some of the specialty performers were excellent! The piano bar was ok. While the piano player could play, he often mangled the lyrics. A little more practice to make perfect may help. Bar staff there, however, were great. The demographics of this cruise included, in our view, a somewhat older crowd. That made us feel comparatively younger (not a bad thing!). Still, we met a few folk to, on occasion, have a drink with. People were quite pleasant for the most part. We were surprised that the dress code on Regent was specified as "elegant-casual" each night. Apparently for cruises of 15 days or less, there are no formal-optional nights. I had brought a couple of ties, yet never wore one. In the main dining room, however, most men did wear a sports-jacket or the ubiquitous navy blazer. People were for the most part indeed elegantly casual. We flew home on May 30, and have to say that Amsterdam's airport is very disorganized. I would also warn folks not to connect through London-Heathrow, as the security and other line ups are horrendous. In hindsight, I would have tried for a non-stop flight which, as we all know, is the best bet. Generally, and if the price is right, we would definitely return to Regent. Yet right now they seem to be charging nearly $1,000.00 per person per day. That is far more than what we paid for this cruise. So, if one can afford it, go for it--yet it pays to shop around. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Princess was doing the Panama canal ... we had been on the sister ship Ocean Princess, so were happy to go on the Pacific Princess. Loved the cruise....weather just o.k. service, food, entertainment great......except for the dining ... Read More
Princess was doing the Panama canal ... we had been on the sister ship Ocean Princess, so were happy to go on the Pacific Princess. Loved the cruise....weather just o.k. service, food, entertainment great......except for the dining room. We were told that princess had changed there dining hours to 5p.m. early and 7:15p.m. for late. Since we like early dining and felt 5 was too early, we chose 7:15..... SURPRISE......each ship can decide on their hours.......5:30 and 7:45. We tried late dining......still at the table at 9:30. We requested early seating, a large table and was given table 34. The next night there were 6 people at a table for 8 including us...and were told that no one was at the other 2seat the previous night. We requested that friends be put at our table and again was told no....the table was full....... we spend 10 nights alone at a table for 8. The Matre De Albert Noversa would walk by each night and ask the diners how everything was. He could see we were alone.....did he not think.....I should try to put them at another table. Or just to lazy or could care less... certainly Not doing his job. I put a note in the suggestion box on board. I HOPE SOMEONE READS IT and that it does not happen to another couple. Makes me question going on another Princess cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Holland america is a great line The zuiderdam was nice and clean and comfortable I like the food and the services Love the Baltic cruise St Petersburg Stonia Finland Sweden Denmark I had a great experience ... Read More
Holland america is a great line The zuiderdam was nice and clean and comfortable I like the food and the services Love the Baltic cruise St Petersburg Stonia Finland Sweden Denmark I had a great experience the excursions was beautiful The disembarkation and embarkatoin was nice and smooth Our dining room stuff ware wonderful specialy Herman and iman Love the wine tasting and wine package The captain was very friendly just like the rest of the crews entertainment was so so was okay Didn't like the idea of the yoga room all open concept saroundit with bicycle and other exercise machines Pools was clean and well look after I was disappointed because no library Only few books for exchange Not enough exercise class or activities I attended some free starch class The exercise room wasn't open tel 7 o'clock AM we ware waiting at the door 5 minutes after a sleepy fitness structure Appear and open the door I felt he was over worked Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was our fifth Princess cruise, and our second on the Ruby. EMBARKATION: We took the Princess transfer from LAX and arrived at the terminal around 11:30. We had about a 15 minute wait in line to check in. Since we were still Ruby ... Read More
This was our fifth Princess cruise, and our second on the Ruby. EMBARKATION: We took the Princess transfer from LAX and arrived at the terminal around 11:30. We had about a 15 minute wait in line to check in. Since we were still Ruby level for this cruise, we didn’t have priority boarding, but we only waited another 20 minutes before our boarding group was called. We ate lunch in the Da Vinci dining room, and our cabin was ready for us at 1:00 PM. Our luggage showed up a little later, not sure of the time since we were out exploring. CABIN: Baja Deck B521. This was our first time in an interior cabin. Good location, quiet. Clean, not spacious but enough room for the two of us. The bed was extremely comfortable—great upgrade from the old foam egg crate solution. The motion-detecting night light at the base of the desk was handy. Our steward Manuel kept everything clean and tidy. (A tip if you use the new TV: you have to watch the opening safety video all the way to the end before you are able to change the channel. If you stop in the middle of the video, when you turn on the TV again, the video will start from the beginning. This was a feature we hadn’t experienced on our last cruise.) SHIP: I saw somewhere that they added extra cabins when the Ruby was in dry dock—I don’t know if that’s accurate, but the ship certainly felt more crowded than when we sailed in Feb. 2018. The safety muster was more chaotic than in the past. There were lines for afternoon tea and for the pub lunch in the Crown Grill, but they weren’t too bad if you’re patient. The ship has been refurbished and we noticed certain things: new carpeting in the stateroom hallways is very nice, but we miss the old color scheme that signaled whether you were on the port or starboard side. The new beds are great—we slept quite soundly. The service desk was very helpful when we asked about a missing OBC. They contacted the home office and were able to resolve the mystery, and the credit appeared on our statement before we docked in Vancouver. DINING: We had the early seating for traditional dining in Botticelli, and I have to say I preferred when the seating started later, at 5:45. A 5:00 seating is too early. Dinner was excellent every night, and the food was well-prepared. Everything was fresh and the portions were right-sized. Our server, Arren, and his assistant, Francis, were helpful and attentive, and remembered our preferences each night. We ate breakfast and lunch in the dining room several days, and in the Caribe buffet on the others. I prefer the breakfast menu in the dining room but the service was inconsistent and slow at times (we missed the start of our CC M&M because breakfast ran long). The staff seemed overwhelmed by the crowd. We ate dinner only once in the Horizon and I was not impressed by the selection of food. We purchased the coffee package and had great service from the baristas at the International Court. We were put off by the new up-sell items on the dinner menu, offering “Crown Grill” steaks, etc. We miss having the afternoon happy hour/“Buy one, get one drink for $1” that used to accompany the trivia game in Explorers Lounge. That was always a great social activity and encouraged passengers to mingle and form teams. Apparently other passengers miss it too—the afternoon trivia games were not as well attended as in the past. ENTERTAINMENT: We enjoyed all of the evening shows. We had seen the comic Carlos Oscar on a previous cruise, and he was great as usual. He performed two nights. The musical guest Tricia Kelly is a talented vocalist and does wonderful impressions. The magician Julien Losa performed in Club Fusion and he was very funny. The updated “Colors of the World” benefited from its new staging and musical selections. The new production “Once upon a Dream” was fun and a bit campy. The Princess singers and dancers certainly work hard to entertain. There were some fun evening activities in the Piazza, and we especially enjoyed the “Dancing with the Staff” competition. The line dancing in Explorers Lounge was another fun activity and was well-attended. The cruise director’s staff did an admirable job getting passengers engaged, more so than on our past Princess cruises. DISEMBARKATION: We chose walk-off because we were staying in Vancouver for a few days. The disembarkation seemed rather chaotic but we were able to skirt around the crowds and exit the ship. Inside the terminal at Vancouver, there was a bit of a wait for customs. All in all, the Ruby looks great after her recent refurbishment, the staff was helpful and friendly, and this was a great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise mainly for the itinerary and knew the ship was old and smaller than others. We like the smaller size ship and wish cruise lines would stop making them bigger and bigger. The itinerary was nice (Honolulu -> ... Read More
We chose this cruise mainly for the itinerary and knew the ship was old and smaller than others. We like the smaller size ship and wish cruise lines would stop making them bigger and bigger. The itinerary was nice (Honolulu -> Vancouver). The ports were very nice. The cabin was tight but who spends time in their cabin anyway :). The main dining room food was very good compared with other cruise lines. We did not do any of the extra dining rooms and felt quite satisfied with the outstanding main dining room service and food. My biggest regret was purchasing the alcohol package which is quite expensive and you almost have to work at getting your money's worth but the drinks we had and bartenders were awesome just overpriced alcohol package. We could not get on the shore excursion to Pearl Harbor in Honolulu since it booked up fast and there was no room so we booked a private tour that was quite good - a small group and excellent service. (Royal Hawaiian Tours). Very professional service. Stay away from Alex Tours. He approached us in the cruise terminal and told us his tours were less expensive than the shop tours. He did not ask for money up front but told us if he had our name we would have a spot on his bus if we got that at his assigned time/ We arrived at his bus 2o minutes early to find it was full already and he had no other buses. The driver looked very old as did the bus that had the Alex Tours painted over the First Baptist Church Logo. Come to find out from passengers that did get on that bus - the bus broke down 2 hours away from the ship and they almost missed getting back in time as well as missing parts of the tour since they had to wait for a replacement bus. Very sketchy so stay away. The other shore excursions we booked through the ship and I must say that they were worth the money, well organized and interesting. The only excursion that disappointed us was the Luau in Mauwi. It was at a large hotel and the hotel crammed in as many guests as they could. The food was only mediocre and the entertainment was pretty spread out timewise. It seemed that the cruise passengers got the tables in the back and believe me they were distant from the stage! Some of the tables were off to the side of the stage which made it difficult to see. The hotel also managed to squeeze in a "fashion show" of Hawaiian wear that you could purchase in the gift shop which I felt was unnecessary. The vendors that were selling their crafts were not that exciting either. The islands were very good and most of t he entertainment during the Island part of the cruise was pretty good. The trans-Pacific part of the cruise the entertainment and things to do on the ship were fairly boring. The lecture series for 5 days was about the Canadian Mounties - I would have liked something more interesting, educational, and useful. They had plenty of movies except their "Cinema" was usually full and during the Pacific crossing the outdoor movie screen by the pool was pretty useless. The shows at night were not exceptional but most were entertaining except for 1 very boring comedian. 5 days at sea needs much more happening on the ship. That was my biggest disappointment. Everything went smoothly. I was hesitant about crossing the Pacific in May but as it turned out the seas were smooth (no seasickness) although the temperatures were too cold and windy to do much on the decks. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was our third cruise with Viking ocean. We chose this trip for the itinerary. We had never been to Asia and liked the ports in both Asia and Alaska. Crossing the Int’l Dateline added to the attraction. We were in the Orion in ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Viking ocean. We chose this trip for the itinerary. We had never been to Asia and liked the ports in both Asia and Alaska. Crossing the Int’l Dateline added to the attraction. We were in the Orion in Jan-Feb visiting New Zealand, Tasmania and Australia. This crew was better trained and worked well together. We were pleased with most aspects of the ship. A few little things need work, but nothing major. You know what you get with Viking-it is an older crowd but activities/entertainment were sufficient for us. While some of the entertainment was the same, they did a good job at adding new entertainers. As Viking enters new parts of the world they are learning their way with shore excursions and local customs. Shore excursions were well managed. They do a good job at calling people at the right time and keep waiting times to a minimum. Checkin staff did a great job. Local guides were good. A sufficient level of activities were offered. EMBARKATION a breeze. You can arrive well before your checkin time. You are greeted with a glass of champagne and invited to use the open restaurants. Your luggage will be in your room by your assigned checkin time. DISEMBARKATION-we had a curve thrown as we could not stay in port because of too many ships in Vancouver. Luggage was offloaded in the middle of the night. We didn’t hear a thing. We disembarked via tender according to flight times. Full breakfast services available. You had to be out of your stateroom by 10am. Tenders left according to schedule with staff assisting everyone. Our luggage was waiting at our terminal at the airport. One of the most efficient operations we have experienced. CABINS Deck 3. Be careful of location. Torshavn noise is audible almost every night. Not late into the night, but it may bother some. A very convenient deck. DINING-Dining room and World Cafe offered a varied selection. Soups could use some improvement. Replenishment of eating utensils/napkins was too slow. Chef’s table-staff could use better training. One visit we had two wine pairings and no food. The French menu was too rich; not a good balance between first and main courses. Manfredi’s was very good, but don’t try to have pasta as a separate course-throws them off! SERVICE in general was excellent. Lounges and bar waiters were great. Most were very personable-not long before they know your name and cabin #! Room steward was wonderful-Edwin. SHIP-beautifully appointed. Always spotless. This ship has a dome. I don’t think this is a feature that will be included in the rest of the fleet. Makes the 8th floor area very hot. Eliminates a nice viewing/drinking area. Don’t know if that is the reason why the 7th floor area of the Explorers lounge tends to be cold. The skins on the sofas are starting to shed. Most people rolled them back to protect their clothing! PORTS/excursions. Viking’s first visits to ports can present problems. Most of our excursions were organized. In cases where we took local shuttles the scheduled were mixed. We ended up seeing what we wanted to see. ACTIVITIES-a little more variety on sea days would have been good as this was a long cruise. Lectures varied and sufficient. Like the ability to view the port talk in your cabin on the following day. Very good selection of shows/movies on the in-room system. Free internet a great feature-reception was generally good. Suggestions-have hot water in the World Cafe for hand-washing. There were some illness problems. The internet system in the room for onboard account, reservations, etc needs immediate help. The ship can not control or correct any errors. The dining for Chef’s Table had the wrong info for almost 8 days. The general website also had errors for our trip. The map wasn’t corrected until a few days before we sailed. On board future booking-a great offer that we used. However, you need to book a specific cruise that you know you won’t be using. Mucks up the booking system for other Viking customers and the whole reservation system. Viking needs to keep its attention to detail at a high level as they release the rest of the fleet! We will sail with them again! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019

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