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Sail Date: April 2019
This was our 8 cruise and the second with Msc. We choose this cruise because of the itinerary. We are a couple in our late fifties. Embarking in Venice took several houres and here they can do a better job. Stateroom. ... Read More
This was our 8 cruise and the second with Msc. We choose this cruise because of the itinerary. We are a couple in our late fifties. Embarking in Venice took several houres and here they can do a better job. Stateroom. We had a suite om deck 10 and it was very nice with a good bed, lots of space, å nice bathroom and a good balcony. Everything was kept nice and clean by our cleaner. Food. We had breakfest at the buffet, lunsj mostly in the buffet and one day in the restaurant and dinner every night at the restaurant at deck 6. All the food we had was wonderful and the service by the waiters was excellent. Drinking package. We had the non alkoholic package with water, coffedrinks, soda, none alkoholic softdrinks etc. and they were all very enjoyable. Smoking. We dont smoke. There are no smoking at the balcony any more . Only place inside were people could smoke was in one bar. We were not there and had no problem with smoking people. I never smelled any sigarette smoke at all. Entertainment. This entertainment ensemble is one of the best I have seen. They have wonderful singers and dancers. We saw every show. They were brilliant. Every day we were out on a organized tour and they were all good. We did Sibenik and Trogir in Croatia, Kotor and Perast in Montenegro, Ljublijana in Slovenia and San Marino in Ravenna. Every tour well organized. There were a lot of different activities day and evening on the boat to choose from . As we were out most of the day the evenings went to dinner, show and dancing. Would I cruise on this ship again. Yes with no doubt. Thank you for a wonderful week MSC Lirica. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
I booked this adventure as it has been at the top of my vacation priorities for a long time. This 15 day transit of the new Panama Canal exceeded even my lofty expectations (I am a seasoned cruiser). The crew and staff of NCL`s Bliss made ... Read More
I booked this adventure as it has been at the top of my vacation priorities for a long time. This 15 day transit of the new Panama Canal exceeded even my lofty expectations (I am a seasoned cruiser). The crew and staff of NCL`s Bliss made every effort to ensure that the transit and the whole experience was exhilarating - and it was! The entire fifth day of the cruise was spent going through the canal - which took from about 7:00 A.M till close to 9:00 P.M. ; the weather was perfect and the excitement was shared by many of my fellow cruisers (most of which were transiting the new canal for the first time). There was even a guest lecturer on board who gave two lectures; one on the history of the canal and another on the conquering of yellow fever in Panama. This guest expert also narrated the crossing throughout the day. His anecdotes and color commentary greatly added to my enjoyment of the experience and appreciation of the new Panama Canal (opened in 2016). To commemorate the canal transit, the officers of the Bliss issued every guest a beautiful color certificate memorializing the trip, signed by the captain and included a glossy color certificate documenting the cruise and ports of call. These are genuine souvenirs worth framing and a very fitting commemoration of the adventure. One thing worth noting: during the time spent on the crossing, NCL facilitated guest access to the bow area (not usually accessible to guests) for viewing the canal locks and the tug. They also furnished refreshments and set up canopies to protect guests from the intense sun. A very nice touch. This viewing area at the bow on deck 8 allowed a great up close view of the tug guiding the ship and the operation of the locks that we could not have gotten from the observation area on deck 15 (a great area to view but deck 8`s observation area was much closer to “the action”). This special access was greatly appreciated and allowed me to get some great photos and video of the entire canal crossing Oh, I speculate that NCL booked this time slot so as to facilitate the best viewing (daylight) of the Panama Canal - again, my heartfelt thanks, NCL! You made the trip truly memorable !!! While the crossing was the highlight of my cruise, the rest of the trip was also magnificent. Sea days with first class entertainment and shore excursions that offered a sampling of the best that the port had to offer. Fandamtastic experience! Thanks to all on NCL Bliss! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
I booked this trip well over a year ago, and had six friends join us which was great. We were all very excited and had pre-booked and pre-planned everything possible. To start with, the embarkation at Sydney was fairly quick and our ... Read More
I booked this trip well over a year ago, and had six friends join us which was great. We were all very excited and had pre-booked and pre-planned everything possible. To start with, the embarkation at Sydney was fairly quick and our room was available straightaway, and this was probably around 1 pm. We were immensely happy with our particular room up on level 12 but I will go into that in more details later. We had lunch up in the windjammer cafe which was very nice with plenty of variety and it didn’t take too long until we found seats for all of us. By the time we got back ,our bags had arrived so it was a very efficient service. We had pre-booked the chefs dinner, The gallery tour and lunch, and also the wine around the world talk and tasting. All the information for these were waiting in our cabin for us which again is great service. We met our cabin Steward KOLI..He turned out to be a lovely young gentleman, very personable and very very efficient. So we all just wandered around the ship and checked everything out and eventually met for dinner in the main dining room, where on that night, and every other night following, we had really really nice food. We had Billy and Inyomen, looking after us every night, and they also were extremely friendly, extremely efficient, with a great sense of humour. We had some people with food allergies and one vegetarian, and they went out of their way to ensure everything was okay for them. My husband and I are not great socialisers , as we don’t drink a real lot, and generally don’t bother with the shows, we just like to relax, read a book, have a nap, and do very little. And many times we did do this. But my friends are more outgoing and like to do all the activities and see the shows, so we went along to a few of these things, like trivia, karaoke, and all sorts of other shows, and I have to say, that despite myself, I had a really good time at these activities. We saw ice shows , Movies, parades, art shows, and I watched the wave Rider and golf activities. And generally kept myself entertained, together with long long periods in the Jacuzzi that was in the spa , Very near our room. We thoroughly enjoyed our gallery tour and huge lunch and bottomless champagne..wow Same with the wine tasting.. I’ve been to Champagne in France, and many wineries in Australia, but still learnt things from the sommelier on this cruise.. The best of course was the chefs dinner. Wow wow wow..worth every cent.. way too much food and wine, but a fantastic experience.. So, we also had some other stuff go on...Two medical airlifts early on in the cruise.. not that great for the patients ( who I believe are ok now) but quite exciting for those watching the skill of the pilots and medical staff. Our cabin afforded us the best view ...so many photos and videos taken.. Apparently another medical problem which meant we departed Darwin abit late.. Two missed ports of call. Airlie and Yorkies Knob.. which meant we only stopped at Brisbane and Darwin... Quite a few people disappointed, but really didn’t bother me, as I’m aware that these stops are often missed due to the weather.. those people who set their hearts on seeing the Great Barrier Reef, would have been better just going up there for a few days , as cruising and using tenders is a 50/50% chance.. I had prebooked private excursions at both places and was SUPER surprised to get my money back immediately...no questions asked. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We wanted to experience South America and visit the above two places. The ports of call did not disappoint. We bought the indulgence package which was well worth the extra money. - The app needs work. It’s not updated and does not ... Read More
We wanted to experience South America and visit the above two places. The ports of call did not disappoint. We bought the indulgence package which was well worth the extra money. - The app needs work. It’s not updated and does not match the daily program. There is a lot of paper that could be saved...... The food never disappoints and the staff go out of there way to please you. We never meet so many like minded people up to the last day! The entertainment was solid and there are plenty of activities. The specialty restaurants are also top notch in food and service as well. The bar staff in the Den were brilliant. The crossing was great and the captain diverted the ship for us to see Fernando de Noronha island, 200 miles off the coast of Brazil. On our last leg from Casablanca to Lisbon, the captain did a brilliant job of steering the vessel so that we would feel the least amount of effects of storm heading towards us. He succeed brilliantly. A master class of navigation and meteorology! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
First of all, on our many cruises we've never had such a warm and fuzzy crew, we felt like part of an extended family, and it was genuine. The crew actually bids to come back to the same ship because they like being around each other. ... Read More
First of all, on our many cruises we've never had such a warm and fuzzy crew, we felt like part of an extended family, and it was genuine. The crew actually bids to come back to the same ship because they like being around each other. We never witnessed grouchiness or tension among the staff, in definite contrast to the larger cruise ships we've been on in the past. The service was hence over the top. Perhaps it was just our L'Austral crew, but e.g. the front desk ladies were amazing, juggling all day in at least 2 languages, and manning the reception 24/7. Always friendly with a smile, and anything we asked for was done, taken care of or checked on with efficiency. We never felt 'second class' by not being French, and 99% of the French passengers were very friendly once you tried a few words in French.. I think sometimes people get insecure and appear standoffish until you get to know them a little. Due to the itinerary, we had a significant number of Aussies, Germans, Austrians, some Brits, someone from Iceland, and a handful of Americans. Several multilingual passengers, and an unusually high number of solo travelers. That being said, it does help to speak French, since the naturalists, cruise director etc are all native French people, and not every joke or comment can be translated properly into English. All announcements were always in both French and English. The captain was very involved and you seemed to run into him often. He was there, coming in another Zodiac when ours had engine problems, always ready to help out. He navigated that vessel safely and very smoothly. His background is commanding icebreakers, so a transatlantic is probably much easier work for him. Overall recommendations: Although there's 3 elevators, they don't reach everything, for example the marina. Not a good ship for wheelchair, crutches, or walker. Cane may be okay if you can negotiate 1-2 flights of stairs. Currency on board is Euro, but you can settle your account in USD, and if you book a future cruise on board, the quote can be done in either currency. The onboard boutique/store does NOT have sunscreen, nail clippers, antacids... so don't forget those. They have mostly clothing, a few gifts, small amount of jewelry and handbags. Most of the clothing is for use in Antarctica. All high quality (mostly made in France and Germany), and thus pricey. If you wish to leave tips, you have to have cash. Unlike on other cruise ships, where you can add a tip to your bill, you can't do that on Ponant. The services in the spa already include a service charge. Food/drink: Be prepared to gain weight - we felt like Thanksgiving turkeys.. especially the desserts are too delicious to pass up, plus they have daily varying homemade gelato.. ugh. The pastry chef is top notch, French of course. And then the cheeses...! Our ship wasn't full, so during the first 2 weeks, dinner was either buffet on 6, or sit down on 2, and lunch was only buffet. You can always get coffee drinks, croissants and fruit in the main lounge on 3 in the a.m., and coffee/tea with some type of goodie from 4pm-5pm, main lounge as well. Open bar using decent brands, top shelf is extra. Their champagne is pretty good, and on certain occasions, Veuve Cliquot comes out. House wines red/white/rosé are overall decent. If you like beer, you'll be probably disappointed. Mostly Heineken, and e.g. Corona amazingly has to be paid for. Main dishes range from okay to superb - it really depends who's cooking and what. The mostly Indonesian crew is of course best at fish etc, even room service fish was fantastic. The Peruvian carving chef was amazing. Lamb most of the time was awesome. Be aware most of their beef and pork meats (roast, loin etc) are cooked 'rare' and are quite fatty. Room service club sandwich was the best sandwich we've ever had, period. Now if you can't find anything to strike your fancy, just talk to the restaurant head guy or directly to the chefs, they will come up with something for you. Spa/fitness: actually got a haircut, Elsa was very good and took a whole hour, only 65Euro. The hammam looked nice, very hot in there and we were in the tropics, so didn't use. Fitness center looked nice, mostly deserted. The saltwater pool is a decent size for a small ship, due to internal ramp you can't swim laps but it's nice to hang out or tread water. As far as the itinerary - the Brazilian government has now banned all non-Brazilian vessels from anchoring off Fernando de Noronha. It was quite a bummer, but nothing could be done about it. We received 250Euro onboard credit each as a compensation. OB credit can't be used for future cruise deposit, certain visas they arrange for you, or tips as I mentioned above. Since basically everything is already included, we "had to" shop at the boutique, DH got a real Panama Hat and I bought an Icebreaker vest and 2 Breton sweaters, nice souvenirs! Brazil: Rio - loved it and will try to return Paraty - very quaint, difficult walking on cobblestones, not touristy, and no public RR Salvador - broke my heart to see how they let their city deteriorate in so many ways.. even in the public market prostitution was going on. Very sad. Recife/Olinda - Would love to return to see the Olinda Carnaval. We had dancers from Olinda come to the ship to present a show and they were spectacular. Olinda walking tours are quite the workout walking steep hills in high heat and humidity. Guinea-Bissau, Bijagos Islands There was a couple (he French, she Portuguese) who lives on Keré Island, who acted as cultural intermediaries. Our naturalists came from Antarctica and that's where their expertise lies, not Africa, so they did not have much information. Honestly, most of my information was from documentaries I had found online at home, prior to the voyage. The Islands are definitely not touristy (there's rarely a ferry from Bissau), most of the village inhabitants are very reserved and do not interact. It appears they asked a couple of women to put on their 'good dress' and sit by the walking trail, so people could get their selfies with a person from Bijagos. I felt we were being intrusive overall, although I understand they authorized the visit and Ponant helps finance e.g. a water well etc for the villages. If you're a snorkeler/diver, this is not your spot, water murky with very low visibility. Sadly, we saw almost no wildlife, wrong season, normally there are lot of birds, hippos etc. Senegal-Dakar Well, we spent the day at an African family's B&B in Dougar, 45 min E of Dakar, and about 20min from the new airport. We booked through airbnb.com and they reconciled us with Senegal. Before we arrived there, I couldn't get out of Dakar fast enough, between peddlers, noise, the smell of urine, Sahara dust, and traffic insanities... Considering you don't wait in line for anything except the Zodiac embarkations, and the whole ambiance, it's definitely a luxury line and we're glad we chose this trip. Regardless of the itinerary glitches, we enjoyed ourselves and were thoroughly relaxed, so we booked another/ future cruise onboard, which will be on one of the sister ships. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We had never been to the ABC's and wanted to check them out. We had been to Grand Cayman twice before so we only did a walk about but we did bus tours on the ABC's which were well organized and paced just right. They were ... Read More
We had never been to the ABC's and wanted to check them out. We had been to Grand Cayman twice before so we only did a walk about but we did bus tours on the ABC's which were well organized and paced just right. They were colourful and we enjoyed seeing a wide area of the islands on the tours we took. Our dining room experience was enhanced by the Waiter and his assistant who worked as a team to ensure our meal time was pleasant and enjoyable. The sommelier was very knowledgeable in the wine she suggested. The only negative in the dining room was the person who was supposed to serve the pop and alcohol drinks they were non-existent and the sommelier took care of it for us. The entertainment was a 10 out of 10 with a good variety over the 9 days. The Silhouette dancers/singers were wonderful and top notch. We love the Silhouette and look forward to our next cruise. We have been on both the Equinox and the Silhouette but feel the Silhouette is our favourite. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We were very apprehensive With regards to the trans Atlantic part of this cruise as we thought we would be bored being st sea for so long but were extremely pleased with the amount of entertainment on board such as lectures, classes and ... Read More
We were very apprehensive With regards to the trans Atlantic part of this cruise as we thought we would be bored being st sea for so long but were extremely pleased with the amount of entertainment on board such as lectures, classes and facilities available that in the end there was not time to do everything. The quizzes were very good and my wife joined the choir run by Claire-Marie who was very professional finalising with a concert on the last Friday afternoon with the drama and ukulele groups which was well attended by the guests on board. An overall memorable cruise with special attention given on my birthday aboard the ship without needing to tell Fred Olsen anything. The entertainment team, lecturers and guest entertainers were excellent with a variety of entertainment from opera to song and dance, comedy, and the staff evening was excellent. We also were very impressed with all the musicians on board Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Choose the cruise for ease of journey and a number of places in New Zealand we had missed previously. We were impressed with Dunedin and fascinated with the history and beauty of Napier. Having been to Auckland before we decided to take ... Read More
Choose the cruise for ease of journey and a number of places in New Zealand we had missed previously. We were impressed with Dunedin and fascinated with the history and beauty of Napier. Having been to Auckland before we decided to take the ferry over to Davenport, an easy choice as the ferry is right on the wharf where Majestic Princess docked. It was a lovely 15 minute ride which showcased the harbour and the little town itself was pretty and very visitor friendly; we had lunch there and browsed interesting shops before returning to Auckland. The itinerary Proved to be just the ticket! Every staff member we encountered on the ship were without fail, friendly, efficient and helpful, from wheelchair assistance at embarkation and disembarkation, to dining and stateroom staff. Caught up with all the latest movies under the stars and in cabin and really enjoyed The Crown grill, La Mer and Alfredos. Symphony dining staff were also superb. Joined the pop choir and made some new friends ….All in all loved it and are excited to return next year. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise as it sailed from Havana and we disembarked in our home province of Alicante so we got to see Havana and the Caribbean with no jet lag! The cabin (inside fantastica) was spacious and airy due to the clever use of ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it sailed from Havana and we disembarked in our home province of Alicante so we got to see Havana and the Caribbean with no jet lag! The cabin (inside fantastica) was spacious and airy due to the clever use of mirrors. Plenty of wardrobe space and room to move around. The entertainment team were great. Not to everyone’s taste I get that but the ship was big enough to avoid them if it’s not your thing. We were just observers most of the time but they were very enthusiastic and obviously enjoyed what they were doing which was infectious. The ship is dated especially with regard to the technology available but the ship is now in dock for an upgrade. All the personnel were very friendly and helpful. My only disappointment was the limited choice and sometimes the quality of the food. Also, due to translation issues you were never quite sure what you were going to get! That said,wonderful fresh pasta and pizza were always available, unfortunately salad consisted of lettuce and not much else! The bars all had different genres of music, something to suit most people and there was never really a scramble for seats or even sun beds as long as other passengers were being sensible and considerate. We started off with my husband saying he thought this would be our last cruise and finished it looking forward to booking another one soon. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our 27th cruise, 1st-time Celebrity Cruise. We couldn't have been happier. My husband and I are 52 years old, we have no kids. I love to have options when we travel. On a cruise there is always the option to do nothing, ... Read More
This was our 27th cruise, 1st-time Celebrity Cruise. We couldn't have been happier. My husband and I are 52 years old, we have no kids. I love to have options when we travel. On a cruise there is always the option to do nothing, however, there is not always the option to do everything (except for now!). The Celebrity Edge, aside from the fact that it's absolutely modern and gorgeous, it was so much fun! We were worried about the fun. We had the preconceived notion that this was a company for retirees, people who like it "quiet". This ship had more fun going on than do I dare say it...The Fun ships??!! It did. But there are plenty of quiet spaces as well. Newest movies every night are played at the Rooftop Garden around 10-10:30pm. Multiple Trivia thru-out every single day. Loads of entertainments everywhere, from live singers & bands to the shows in the evening. But my absolute favorite...Silent Disco. Fun for all ages, it's hysterical to watch and a blast to participate in. There is so much going on, it was actually hard to fit it all in. The food was excellent. The 4 main dining rooms were beautiful, try to eat each one if you can, the menus vary slightly per dining room. Le Petite Chef was fun, and delicious, and did I mention fun?? Service was above and beyond, and I'm picky. We had an oceanview room at 200sq ft. and it was very comfortable. 50-55" interactive flat panel TVs on the wall. The beds and pillows were very comfortable. Bottom line we loved it and we booked 2 more future cruises while on board. Hopefully, you'll love it too. Read Less

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