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2,324 Repositioning Cruise Reviews

Fantastic cruise... yes it is an older ship, but it is small enough to make great friends and see them again...the food was fantastic...the service and friendliness of the crew out of this world and the entertainment crew led by Katy ... Read More
Fantastic cruise... yes it is an older ship, but it is small enough to make great friends and see them again...the food was fantastic...the service and friendliness of the crew out of this world and the entertainment crew led by Katy fantastic and very professional. Plenty of room for all of your clothes in the cabins we were on deck 6 cabin 202 facing the bow,large double bed. We have been on many different cruise lines and the value for money with Marella cruises cannot be beaten anywhere to date. This was an adult only cruise and would never recommend this cruise for children. Once you have paid your money you never have to pay for anything else unless you wish to upgrade,the cruise gives you 6 days at sea to relax crossing the Atlantic which we love rather than having to rush ashore every day. we hope to go again on the return journey in march hope to see our great friends that we met on board last trip again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We always wanted to take a TA and be on a new ship very early after launching and this trip fulfilled our desire. There are not a lot of negative comments about the ship or crew that can be made. Yes it has its creaks and groans as we ... Read More
We always wanted to take a TA and be on a new ship very early after launching and this trip fulfilled our desire. There are not a lot of negative comments about the ship or crew that can be made. Yes it has its creaks and groans as we sailed into the Atlantic but none that kept us up at night. WE booked an inside cabin that is fore and aft and are sleeping that way so the gentle rocking helps. We have booked on the TA for the Enchanted as well and expect to experience the same type of ship experience in 2020. Princess has stopped providing after dinner mints and toothpicks using the excuse of environmental issues, others on the cruise think it is a cost cutting issue. All I can say is we miss them. The ship seems to be much more open in the public spaces due to the additional width of the ship. The piazza has not increased in size so dancing can be a challenge. Princess theater is much bigger and some shows are standing room only. The production shows are ok, but the specialty performers are much better. The food is good but the desserts are ho-hum. We were able to walk right on the ship when we boarded and the medallions are a time saver. Internet continues to be a challenge and the IT staff has been very helpful. We don't like not being able to link more than 1 cruise at a time on Ocean Medallion. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We have previously sailed exclusively with NCL and 1 time with Royal Caribbean. This was our first experience with MSC Cruises and we were pleasantly surprised with our experience onboard. We chose this itinerary because it was the ... Read More
We have previously sailed exclusively with NCL and 1 time with Royal Caribbean. This was our first experience with MSC Cruises and we were pleasantly surprised with our experience onboard. We chose this itinerary because it was the ship's inaugural cruise and the stops were all new locations for us - Hamburg, Southampton, Lisbon, Barcelona, Marseille. After reading many reviews here on Cruise Critic we were very concerned about choosing MSC. Everything from the service, the different languages during announcements, food portions, taste, etc. But from our experience, it was absolutely fantastic. Mind you we did have a very unique experience on a few fronts. Because it was the inaugural cruise, the ship was not full and we were well looked after from the staff onboard. Embarkation was very smooth. Easily the fastest we have ever embarked on any other cruise (that's even sailing in the Haven with it's own private check in desk). Also, unlike in US embarkation ports, the handlers in Europe do not have their hand out asking for tips for taking your luggage onto a trolley. The staff who takes your luggage are MSC staff and take it away for you. The one small little thing was that we downloaded the MSC for Me app so that we can do all the pre-check in ahead of time. Taking our own photos, setting up our credit card information and doing the check in. But when we got to the port they still had to do the photos and check in. Anyone who has sailed with MSC knows that your credit card payment is done at the small kiosks throughout the ship. I was unsure of this idea but it actually works very well. Disembarkation was a breeze. We had some help with guest services because we have two small children a ton of luggage. They were able to assist us getting off the ship. Excellent. The ship because we were the first paying customers was in perfect condition. No complaints whatsoever. And the staff did an amazing job taking care of it while in its infancy. The gym though was quite small. Considering that our ship, from what we were told was only at half capacity was full most days and using the equipment was difficult. I cannot imagine that a full cruise you would be even able to use any equipment. Oh well, use of stairs and walking everywhere became our work out. Because of large swells, our 1 day in Southampton ended up becoming a multi-day stay. You can't control the weather right? So even though we were disappointed to miss our Lisbon stop and lose our full day in Marseille it didn't stop our family from enjoying more time on the ship. Our family doesn't do the shows in the theater on any cruise. We have dinner a bit later so we miss them. So I cannot comment on the quality of the shows. But we were invited to watch 1 show of our choosing since it was the inaugural sailing, EXENTRICKS with dinner and it was amazing! Our children loved it and so did we. But near the end of our cruise, we were invited to watch Cosmos as well. We loved it just as must as the previous show. This time we didn't have dinner, just drinks. I have read that the drinks given aren't very good. But there were 3 choices, a tropical drink, gin and tonic and a non-alcoholic. We had the gin and tonic and we enjoyed them. Our cabin was 10281. Aft facing balcony considered a "suite". We didn't have any extra perks but our room was huge! We have a regular balcony but it was wider by about half. So we had our queen bed, a sofa bed, and a bunk bed built in its wall. We have read that storage is a problem in most rooms, which we have seen with the demo rooms onboard. But our room had 2 large size closets, and the bunk bed area had 2 extra drawers, 2 smaller closets, and a head area in the bunk that could store more items. We had plenty of storage and we needed it since we were on the cruise for 12 days. Our balcony was huge since it was aft facing. Wish it was warmer out so we could use it more frequently, but still amazing. Our cabin attendant kept our in fantastic shape the whole cruise. When passengers mention that they never see their cabin attendant, I never believe it. We would see him multiple times during the day as we were in and out of our room. Zoe in the room unfortunately is not very good. We are very optimistic people, but we tried using it to get some answers and it couldn't answer any of them. Not even basic questions. We just used it as blu tooth speaker which was fine for us. But it needs lots of work still. Dining, what can we say. Probably the best food we have ever had in all honesty. Food portions were totally normal, not small like some people have posted about. And if it was small, just order more! The variety was great and the desserts were fantastic. We dined in Il Campo which is reserved for Suite guests so we had anytime dining. We just showed up and we were seated immediately. We never waited once. Not for 1 second. it was fantastic. Service was impeccable every single night. We did not dine in the specialty restaurants since we felt that the food and service was perfect for us. The buffet was incredible as well. Easily the best pizza we have ever had. Mozzarella made fresh everyday. Choices were plentiful and good variety. Breakfast was pretty much the same, which it is on every ship. Again, because our ship was at half capacity, finding service or a seat was never a problem for us. The children & family buffet seating area was always available for us. We liked it there. Our only comment is that like others have wrote about, MSC does not enforce hand washing or sanitation. We would like for them to be more strict on it to help prevent contamination. Because of the cool weather, we were not able to use the outdoor facilities. Except for 1 day when the weather was warm. Our son and I used the slides, amazing fun! We just wish it was warmer. It will be a great area if the ship is in better temperatures. Our children had never used any kids clubs on any other ship before but absolutely loved and enjoyed the kids club onboard the Grandiosa. The staff there did a wonderful job with the children and they had such a great time. Highly recommended. Service was great! We didn't have the feeling that staff were trying to sell us on everything. They were polite and very nice everywhere we went. High marks to all. Guests services manager and hotel director were fantastic as well. The captain (master) was also incredibly nice. We were able to meet him on 3 occasions and it was an amazing experience. The photography team took excellent photos. We love taking photos on cruises so we don't shy away from taking pictures. But from what we could see, passengers who didn't want them taken were not pestered or bothered further. I know passengers complain about aggressive photographers, but they were not like that at all. Our children can be a handful taking photos and every person worked with them patiently and the photos turned out awesome. For the ports, we didn't use MSC. We roamed around on our own and I had set up tours prior to us boarding. We wish there was comment cards so that we could recognize great service to the staff who deserve it. Again, we don't know what it would be like if the ship was at full capacity. I'm sure there might have been some line ups, waiting for tables in the buffet area, etc. But we cannot comment on that since our ship was half capacity. Our cruise was wonderful and based on our experience we would 100% sail with MSC again. Some people go on cruises just to complain about everything. Others enjoy it to the fullest. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Before the cruise we stayed in a Scandic hotel near the terminal of Hurtigruten. The embarkation went very smoothly and relaxed, no stress at all. You will receive good information before going on board. The ship was in Art Deco style and ... Read More
Before the cruise we stayed in a Scandic hotel near the terminal of Hurtigruten. The embarkation went very smoothly and relaxed, no stress at all. You will receive good information before going on board. The ship was in Art Deco style and looks lovely. We had a cabin with a window and enough space for 2 people, 2 beds which could we turned into a cough. Enough space for clothes and your personnel stuff. Breakfast and lunch are buffet, enough to choose from, dinner sometimes buffet or 3 course menu. Good food, I do not like fish so much but tried it and it was good. We also had dinner in the a la carte restaurant and that was very good. On the ship the only entertainment is of the crew and the exploration team. Everyday there was a briefing with the highlights of the day and the highlights and temperature of the next day. The crew did the arctic passage and all funny things on deck with drinks to highlight the occasion. Ports are good, you could not from the ship in every harbor or you had to live there but were we went out it was good. Service on board is wonderful, very nice, kind people working on the ship. We did 8 excursions and they were excellent. There were people in the harbor to point out were you have to go, or in the reception when it was a small group. Sometime the exploration team did also the same tour to see if the tour was good and if alterations are needed. I traveled with my father and he liked also very much. After the cruise we stayed 2 more nights in lovely Bergen in the Scandic city Bergen hotel, also very nice people. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We were interested in seeing the ports on this cruise Combining with the relaxing sea days at the end. Everything about this cruise was fabulous. The ports included Ibiza, Cartagena, Gibraltar and Tenerife. We went five days early since ... Read More
We were interested in seeing the ports on this cruise Combining with the relaxing sea days at the end. Everything about this cruise was fabulous. The ports included Ibiza, Cartagena, Gibraltar and Tenerife. We went five days early since there is so much to see in Barcelona. The Reflection is a great ship and the staff could not have been more accommodating. We went Aqua Class and I highly recommend it. The Blu dining room was an absolute dining pleasure and the staff just wonderful. I cannot say enough about the food on this ship. It was the best of any cruise we have been on. People were actually photographing the desserts on the buffet! They looked too good to eat. The entertainment was equally good and we loved Giuseppe the activities director. In conclusion, transatlantic will always be my first choice for cruising. And I hope to go on the Reflection again in the future. But Celebrity has become my cruise line of choice. Happy sailing! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My wife and I did this cruise for our 25th wedding anniversary. On the ship there was definitely an older crowd. It was had to find anyone younger than us without a name tag. It made us feel young, but I am sure my kids would have felt ... Read More
My wife and I did this cruise for our 25th wedding anniversary. On the ship there was definitely an older crowd. It was had to find anyone younger than us without a name tag. It made us feel young, but I am sure my kids would have felt out of place. Overall, we had a great time meeting people. Crew The best think about celebrity is the crew. Before we left, I read some CC reviews about the service slipping on this ship. We did not see that at all. The service was excellent, many of the crew members went out of their way to make sure we were attended to. Most of the crew were very pleasant and fun to interact with. Entertainment The entertainment was good. The production shows by the Celebrity team were outstanding. My favorite part of the entertainment was the live music in the lounges. They had five separate groups, all were very good. We also enjoyed the lectures as sea, Italian lessons (more of a comedy show), and the normal events such as trivia. Dining I found dinning to be a big problem. As hard as I tried...I still gained 7 lbs. We primarily ate in Blue, we tried the main dining room one night had found the food and service very comparable. We tried each of the specialty restaurants. Murano was our favorite the food was top notch. The lawn club was a fun experience (I recommend cooking yourself). Qusine is a fun experience. The Porch is good for sea food lovers, make sure you go in hungry. The sea food tower Tuscan Grill had a very nice great environment. The anti pasta plate was our favorite. CONS The disembarkation time could have be managed better. It was too long and we spent over an hour in line. Celebrity could have done a few things better. 1. They called you out too early to sit in the huge customs lines. 2. Their practice of moving suite guests and wheelchairs to the the front made your time in line much longer. 3 They did not set any expectations of a long delay. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was our third transatlantic crossing, our tenth cruise in our five years of cruising together and our fifth cruise on Celebrity and it was, perhaps, the best yet. Just about everyone seemed at the top of their game. Everything cannot ... Read More
This was our third transatlantic crossing, our tenth cruise in our five years of cruising together and our fifth cruise on Celebrity and it was, perhaps, the best yet. Just about everyone seemed at the top of their game. Everything cannot be perfect but almost all of this was with a couple of exceptions and they are noted below. Some people complained about embarkation and I suspect those are the folk who are likely to complain about everything but for us it was a breeze. It took less than an hour from our taxi drop off to being in our cabin - very efficient and very easy. Unlike the miserable disembarkation in Ft Lauderdale which seemed to take forever with long walks, long lines and lots of congestion creating some tense situations - not the way you'd like to end a wonderful trip. This was perhaps not Celebrity's fault - the ground staff in Terminal 25 seemed very unprepared, unlike the Reflection's own staff - but it was a bummer nevertheless. I suspect you'd be hard pressed to find a prettier or cleaner ship in this category than the Reflection. I also suspect you'd find it difficult to find a nicer or more accommodating crew. Staff went out of their way to be kind and helpful. Our cabin steward on Deck 7, Merilee, was especially sweet and hardworking. She anticipated all of our needs and kept our well appointed stateroom glistening. You'll be fortunate to get her. Storage space in the staterooms is well thought out and generous. One of the areas in which the Reflection really excels is in the dining rooms. The food in the MDR is very, very good. The menu is varied and imaginative, the food always comes out quickly and is always hot and cooked to order. How they manage escapes me. Sokie, one of the hosts who deftly sat the independent diners, was charming and superb. Unfortunately, she was ill for several days and replaced by someone lacking in patience and good humor who seemed brittle and genuinely unhappy in her job, the only surly staff member we've ever encountered on Celebrity. Among those who must be singled out for fine service in the dining room staff: Ida, our frequent sommelier, Orville and Pavel. Seek them out if you can. Of the specialty restaurants we dined in two: Murano, which was superlative. Exquisite food beautifully prepared and served. Oswaldo, our waiter, was great. Get your reservations early as Murano tends to be full every evening. Not on the same level was Tuscan Grill; the food was very good but not exceptional and the servers were a bit over attentive, being a little too present and hovering over the table and the conversation. Other dining venues were perfectly pleasant. We never had an excessive crowding issue at the Oceanview Cafe and often snagged a table outside. The cafe in the Solarium is delightful. And the Mast Bar is always a treat when you crave a good hot dog with all the trimmings and lots of fries. The staff in the bars were always cheerful. While we much enjoyed many of the small acts that performed in the intimate spaces such as the Ensemble Lounge, we, once again, found the shows in the theatre underwhelming and at best mediocre. Our recommendation: stick to the smaller venues. There was a lecture series on board on, of all things, the Titanic (!) which was excellent and very well attended. Educational, spellbinding and very well worthwhile. Other facilities such as the outdoor deck space, pool areas and the gym were all very good to excellent. Alas, the running/walking track weaves its way through congested areas and a smoking section which is not a plus. Last, but far from least, a special shout out to the Captain who could often be seen around the ship, was always approachable and full of good cheer. We did not participate on any of the shore excursions, preferring to head out on our own, so are unable to comment on them. All in all, this was an excellent cruise. Celebrity has now become out cruise line of choice. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Excellent in every way! Boarding was fast and efficient; luggage delivered quickly; room steward ("D" as he wanted to be called) was nearby to greet us and explain what he was going to provide and asked if we had any special ... Read More
Excellent in every way! Boarding was fast and efficient; luggage delivered quickly; room steward ("D" as he wanted to be called) was nearby to greet us and explain what he was going to provide and asked if we had any special request. Fantastic service. Cruise was a combination of celebrations my wife and I usually celebrate (birthdays, anniversary) as we do not do anything special during the year. Cruising is our time for the celebrations we share with other passengers. One of our stops was in Casablanca, Morocco. I was stationed there with the Navy in 1971 thru 1973 at a location north of Casablanca called Sidi Yahia near Kenitra. Wanted to show off the country to my wife. Was a good experience for her. The activities were plentiful and there was plenty to do. The sea days my wife was able to do some quilting project and I was sitting nearby reading or working on a project. All of the crew and officers were friendly and very helpful. The only glitch was disembarking and clearing customs in Florida. We were held in the lounge for an extra 45 minutes or so. No fault of the Princess Cruise line. Will do another one with them again within a year. We try to do at least on cruise a year. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We went on this cruise because it was a good value. 29 days with prepaid gratuities and $1000 onboard credit in a balcony for around $4000 each. It sailed from Barcelona to Los Angeles (home) through the Panama Canal (our first time). ... Read More
We went on this cruise because it was a good value. 29 days with prepaid gratuities and $1000 onboard credit in a balcony for around $4000 each. It sailed from Barcelona to Los Angeles (home) through the Panama Canal (our first time). The ship was refurbished in April. We had not been on this ship before but some people said it was all new inside. The crew was great. Very friendly and they did their jobs well. The food was good in all the venues except Share. We have eaten there on two different ships and been unimpressed both times. Unfortunately, the Crown Grill was just OK. Which is not good if you’re paying $29 each for it. Entertainment was good. The onboard troupe was excellent. Some of the other acts were just OK, but most were very enjoyable. In 29 days we saw quite a variety. The Cruise Director’s staff was excellent. Very entertaining. There was plenty to do onboard. The ship has ‘Medallion Net’ Wi-Fi now. A few days it did not work well, or at all. They gave various reasons for the problems. In the end they refunded 30% of the cost. The ports were fun and varied. Two of our shore excursions were cancelled, which was disappointing. Seeing the Panama Canal for the first time was interesting. We took an excursion in Costa Rica from an onshore company, Odyssey Tours’ ”10 in 1”. It was all day and we saw a lot. There was an immigration problem in Ft Lauderdale and everyone was delayed disembarking. Our tour was rushed because of the problems. When we got back to LA there was problems disembarking again. It took an extra three hours to get off. Both times it was not the fault of Princess (I don’t think). Both the cruise and ship were wonderful. We enjoyed it a lot. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Hi all! Now that I’m back from my 28 days on the Bliss and trying to recuperate before our January adventure I’ll try to give some of my thoughts. First of all I had a fantastic time. This was a B2B sailing the first 21 days from LA ... Read More
Hi all! Now that I’m back from my 28 days on the Bliss and trying to recuperate before our January adventure I’ll try to give some of my thoughts. First of all I had a fantastic time. This was a B2B sailing the first 21 days from LA to NYC thru the Canal, then a 7 day roundtrip to Florida and the Bahamas. The first cruise had a very different atmosphere than the second. The first had an older average passenger age and about 3800 passengers with very few under 18, while last week being a holiday week was much younger with about 4800 passengers and 1000 under 18. So things were more laid back the first 21 days and much more hectic the last 7. I ate in most specialty restaurants. I did not go to Los Lobos and Food Republic. My favorites were Le Bistro, Cagney’s and Teppanyaki, though La Cucina and Q Smokehouse were also very good. On the first 21 days, even though I had reservations, because of the length of the cruise, most restaurants had walk up seating available, but a total different situation last week, all were booked solid all week. If you don’t have reservations for dinner yet you can still book as soon as you board. On my cruises on the fist day they had reservations set up in The Social on deck 6 and most times were available, but they go quick. Though I have seen complaints about service online, I did not feel it was bad. I always allow 2 hours for dinner in the specialty restaurants. I didn’t have a bad meal in the 28 days. I did not go the buffet much, only for a quick breakfast on some days. I had lunch in The Local, basically the same as O’Sheehan’s but there are some different items then I’ve seen before. As for the shows, Jersey Boys was my favorite (I saw it 3 times over the 28 days). It is an hour and 45 minutes long, starts out a little slow but then picks up and doesn’t stop. Doors open 30 minutes before show time and line started building up 15 minutes before that. The early show was more popular but from what I saw I think all the stand by line was able to get in, but if you want a good seat, make a reservation, again you can do that once you board if it shows as sold out online. I saw Six on my first leg. The singing was excellent and the production looked great, but I wasn’t thrilled with the story line, but that is just my opinion. There were many who thought it was excellent. It is not as long as Jersey Boys. It helps if you’re familiar with Henry the 8th and his 6 wives. The Beatle cover show in the Cavern was great. They do a few shows featuring songs form different years. No reservations are needed but it is a small venue and by 30 mins before show time most seats were tabken so come early. They also do a show in the theatre, again no reservations needed. I went to most of the later Levity Comedy shows in the Social. These need reservations and can only be made once onboard so book as you can, either in the Social or use the kiosks around the ship, again they fill up fast. They also have a stand by line. Besides Jersey Boys and Six in the main theatre (which only run 2 nights each) there was always another type of show each night. There was a singer, comedy hypnotist and magician act on other nights. The main pool is larger than I’ve seen on the Escape and Breakaway. Chairs were no problem on the first 21 days, but last week with the younger larger crowd it was busier, but I always saw chairs available. Of course many know I’m fond of my beer and spent time in the Brewhouse. On the first 21 days they had a singer doing requests, not Howling At The Moon, but since the Bliss doesn’t have it, it was fun. He sang and told jokes. It was pretty filled most nights he played. On nights when there was football he was off and they showed the games on TV. Last week he was off the ship and a new singer was there. He just sang with not much interactions with the passengers and it was not as busy, but the beer is still excellent. My favorites were the Stone IPA, Magic Hat #9, Newcastle Brown Ale, Hop Gun IPA and District Pale Ale. George and Sienna were behind the bar. I also spent a good deal of time at Maltings to enjoy some Jameson Caskmate with my New Castle. Sy, Jerome, Stephan and Mark were all great behind the bar. The Observation lounge on deck 15 is beautiful. Plenty of seats and couches to sit an relax. There is a small buffet for breakfast and lunch. There’s a large circular bar to enjoy and they have a piano singer there at night. The Q Smokehouse also has a bar and they feature country western singers during the evening. There was one tender port in the 28 days, Great Stirrup Cay. I had priority and was on the first tender but I heard from many that it was very disorganized and many could not get to the island until after 1:30 PM. Since we arrive at 11 and last tender back was 5:30 many were not happy. If you plan to use a tender check the kiosks or your room TV to book a tender (no tickets, just goes on your card) and book an early tender. If you have a shore excursion you’re supposed to have priority but I heard some complain that they still couldn’t get on early. I like to try to get to the gym in mornings. They have the same equipment as other ships. I like to use the elliptical, treadmill and stationary bike. I usually had no problem getting an elliptical or treadmill but they only had 1 stationary and 1 recumbent bike so it was hard to get one. They do have a separate spin room with many spin bikes (there is a charge when they do a spin class). On other ships you were not allowed to use them if not a class, but I did see people using them at other times, but I don’t like those bikes so I didn’t. I had an aft balcony for the first 21 days and a mini suite with my wife last week. The cabins were great and I had great stewards on both cruises. The casino has a separate smoking area that is closed off from the rest of the casino so not much smell of smoke. On the first 21 days the tables were not busy and the minimum dropped to $5, but last week it was a lot busier and the minimums were back to $10. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Embarking and disembarking on this ship were very well organized and went quickly. The ports of call on this trip were excellent. We got to stay overnight in Lisbon, Portugal which gave extra time to see the area. It was our first time ... Read More
Embarking and disembarking on this ship were very well organized and went quickly. The ports of call on this trip were excellent. We got to stay overnight in Lisbon, Portugal which gave extra time to see the area. It was our first time in all of the ports except Barcelona where we departed from. Cartagena felt very safe to walk around to all of the main historic sites which were not far from the dock Malaga and Seville were excellent stops. One of the most beautiful scenic stops was Ponta Delgada in the Azores. This is a must see, and we were fortunate to have good weather. This is a very nice size ship, one of our favorite with a lot of windows including glass elevators facing the ocean. All of the crew that we interacted with were very friendly. The food was very good and we got to experience Chops and Giovanni's which were both top shelf. The entertainment on this trip were the best ever; we are still talking about it and listening to the CD's that we bought on board. Jimmy Hopper a singer/entertainer from Vegas, The Barricade Boys who had the most incredible harmony and Mary-Jess, an incredibly talented young singer. I would make this exact trip again in order to see more things in the ports. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Cruise number 10, our third transatlantic crossing, and also our third cruise on Norwegian. The Encore was beautiful! We had an aft facing balcony stateroom which was adequately spacious, very comfortable bed, decent storage and good size ... Read More
Cruise number 10, our third transatlantic crossing, and also our third cruise on Norwegian. The Encore was beautiful! We had an aft facing balcony stateroom which was adequately spacious, very comfortable bed, decent storage and good size bathroom. The weather wasn’t the greatest so the outside activities open were minimal. However, the Observation Lounge on deck 15 more than made up for it! We spent a few hours there every day. It was beautifully appointed, plenty of comfortable sitting areas, lots of good snacks available throughout the day, bar service, and a 180 degree view. The main dining room and menus were very good. We also ate at Los Lobos Mexican restaurant which was excellent, and Q Texas barbecue restaurant which was also good. We never had to wait for a seat but the ship wasn’t full so it’s hard to judge what a full passenger load would feel like. The staff were very good throughout the ship. We would make the trip again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this cruise because we were excited to be on the first sailing of a brand new ship! The entertainment was great! We especially enjoy music and were not disappointed. We loved WT Greer, the piano player/singer, Rock and more with ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were excited to be on the first sailing of a brand new ship! The entertainment was great! We especially enjoy music and were not disappointed. We loved WT Greer, the piano player/singer, Rock and more with Guns and Rojas, an Acoustic set with Camille Rae in the Q Texas Smokehouse, Pop and Rock music with the Duo Phil and Keysha, Calypso/R&B with Temperature Band and the Liverpool Beatles. These performers could be seen in several venues instead of just one spot each night, which gives a different feel for each performance. They could be seen in the Observation Lounge, The Atrium, Sugarcane and the Cavern Club. In The District was Music and Humor with Jim Badger(hilarious!). The headline entertainers were impressive as well. We saw Vox Fortura (music), Joseph Reohm (Magic), Kinky Boots (Musical),and our favorite The Choir of Man! I enjoyed the musical numbers of Kinky Boots but otherwise it felt at least as long as it was, at an hour and 45 minutes. The Choir of Man brings you into the story from the get go by inviting the audience on stage for a beer! The musicians and singers were all excellent at making you feel the emotion, exuberance and humor of the story. Go straight to make reservations when you board and board early! Although it's free, they ran out of reservations by early afternoon on embarkation day. One night in the Observation Lounge, WT Greer invited individual singers from both Kinky Boots and The Choir of Man to join him at the piano. He also invited a very talented guest to play his piano! A very memorable night for music! Happy Hour Prohibition the Musical was a cute musical production in The Social Club, but I do not recommend it. We paid nearly $40pp, I guess because of the intimate venue, but it was not worth it. They include 5 drinks(nearly everyone has a drink pkg) that were all awful. From the watery Moscow Mule to the final glass of what tasted like straight Sweet and Sour mix, they were all bad. No bar available to order a drink, so bring one with you as back up if you go! They should come up with a single signature drink for the show and charge half as much! Comedy club onboard was good, but we went less than we expected because the musicians onboard were Great! Food onboard was all very good to great. We ate in complimentary dining -Taste/Savor/The Manhattan- favorites: Italian Wedding Soup, Pasta Carbonara and the Yogurt parfait. The Local Bar & Grill, favorites: Pasta Bolognese and Chicken Salad Sandwich. Garden Café(Buffet) favorites: Snow Crab legs, Shrimp Tikka and Savory Chicken and Waffles. We also ate in Specialty Restaurants- Onda, favorite Short Rib Ravioli. Cagney's favorite: all the sides and the Salmon. I am not a steak eater, but the other guests seemed to be evenly split between loving the steak at Cagney's and Onda's. Ocean Blue favorites the Gumbo and the Fresh Fish Branzino w/White Wine Lemon Butter. Q Texas Smokehouse favorites: Loaded Fries w/Pulled Pork, Grilled Salmon and the Smoked Peach Margarita! Lots of great items to order a la carte in Q and make a lighter meal of it! The bartenders all over the ship were amazing and during the not so crazy busy times, could really put on a show and make great drinks! Our cabin, a midship mini suite was very comfortable and the shower was amazing with a rainhead shower and SIX directional massaging sprayer heads! Plenty of storage in the bathroom drawers and good space in the room. No drawers but shelves,hanging space and vanity space. Room attendant was great! The ship has lots of places to sit, hang out and make new friends. Take some time just to see the artwork around the ship. My favorite art area to walk was deck 8 near Sugarcane Mojito Bar. This was our first Transatlantic cruise and the weather was not ideal. Rough seas and rain resulted in outside areas being closed most of the cruise. We felt like the ship handled the rough seas well. Thank goodness for all that amazing indoor entertainment! When weather cleared up for a couple of days were able to experience The Speedway racecars. We had a blast! Be sure to make reservations and allow plenty of time, an hour and a half at least. They move guests through in an orderly fashion, but it takes time to go through the line with security/safety videos, getting your gear, futher instructions and then your on your way! Please let another driver pass! My husband got stuck behind a slower driver who wouldn't let him pass. He still had a great time though! If you enjoy trivia, strike up a group for the Progressive Trivia. They meet once each morning and it was Very popular! Great prize baskets for the winning team members(not us!) Another activity I enjoyed was the Wine and Chocolate Seminar. I would definitely try another of the seminars they offered in the Wine Bar! They do sell out! Lots of other activities: a variety of language classes, lectures, trivia, movies, crafts, games and more! We purchased Spa Passes for the Mandara Spa. Some guest complained because the Thalassotherapy Pool has to be closed several times because the rough seas made it unsafe. However we still enjoyed the heated beds, the Sauna, the Snow Room and the Salt Room. They also have a Hot Tub but guests turned that into very loud social hours. We did suggest they make it a No Talking Zone. The voices echo across the spa making for a less than tranquil atmosphere and it causes guests to stay in too long. The spa staff will ask them to quiet down if you ask but we hate to have to do that. I do think the Spa staff should routinely move towels off the Heated Loungers to prevent guests saving them for friends or themselves. There are plenty of cushioned loungers they can allow for saving if they must. The Observation Lounge is an amazing view and a great place to hang before dinner, but speaking of saving loungers... the Observation Lounge is like the new pool deck with the lounge chair hogs. The staff should remove items from these lounges as they go through cleaning. If you've been there long enough to have to go to the bathroom, it's time to give someone else a chance! I found the chairs with ottomans to be more comfortable than the loungers, but people save those as well. We did move some items once after confirming with other guests those items had been there an hour. Those guests showed up another half hour later but didn't say anything to us. The one negative area for us was Guest/Financial Services. We had a ridiculous time applying a $100 gift card to our account. We set up a credit card for our onboard account but they couldn't seem to get things straight and kept sending a letter saying we needed to put more cash on our account. After four visits, over three days, working with five different staff, the problem was corrected. The attitude was it must be your fault. After repeating myself to the last staff member 2X and my husband repeating it again, he finally looked and saw that it had been their error and corrected it. Ugh! Time for a drink and some good music! We ended our cruise with the Views of the Big Apple ending at the Airport tour and both our driver and guide were excellent. Although it's a bus tour, we also got out at the World Trade Center, saw the memorials and had a walking tour there. It was quite a bit of walking for some elderly guests. We also had a quick stop at Battery Park with the Statue of Liberty in the distance. It was a perfect ending for an almost perfect cruise! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Overall all these CC reviews are fair and accurate. Being an Inaugural cruise with roughly 50% occupancy our experience most likely will not be the norm on a full boat in season. Still all of pros & con assessments noted in the prior ... Read More
Overall all these CC reviews are fair and accurate. Being an Inaugural cruise with roughly 50% occupancy our experience most likely will not be the norm on a full boat in season. Still all of pros & con assessments noted in the prior reviews can be expected. We read Cruise Critic Reviews as part of our decision making process. Keeping this in mind these are our views and suggested considerations...The Encore is indeed a beautiful ship, attractive, easy on the eye, stunning in many areas, exciting and comfortable. The Observation Lounge is a wow....As veteran cruisers we confidently believe the food and the restaurants on this ship are among the best at sea, even the Garden Café self serve/buffet. The Waterfront on deck eight is a perfect setting for dining, cocktails, lounging and strolling...The entertainment on board was very, very enjoyable. The Choir of Men and Kinky Boots were impressive and a highlight. If someone is not entertained by the variety of options offered on the Encore then it is suggested the blindfold and ear muffs be removed. One significant consideration in selecting Encore for a cruise vacation is the upper decks limited outdoor space for the pool, sunning, lounging and cocktailing. Shockingly limited! However, space can be traded for dollars in The Haven and The Vibe Beach Club. Certainly many younger cruisers will find the deck consuming laser tag and race track unique and real memorable pleasures, also traded for extra dollars...Other Encore considerations, ones we experienced on the Getaway and Breakaway transatlantic cruises, is Specialty Restaurant and Headline Entertainment reservations. Reservations should be made as soon as boarding or online when offered. In the theatre, even with reservations, arrive early for good seating. Have a drink while watching late arrivals scramble for seats...Choice seating in the Observation Lounge is elusive as is lounging couch & chair seating on the Waterfront deck . The large volume of passengers on these mega ships makes flexibility, desirability and a leisure pace difficult to obtain without planning. The highlight of our Encore cruise was the sail into New York City Harbor. The impressive skyline, the Statue of Liberty, the ship horn tag-match with NCL's passing Escape, the fire boat inaugural water cascade, fellow passengers singing 'New York, New York'. All while standing on the bow of a brand new ship in reasonable November weather with a colorful sunset at our backs. Not bad. A truly memorable experience! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Here is our feedback from our Celebrity Edge Aquaclass Transatlantic Nov 1 - 17th. In all honesty we had a magnificent cruise. Our AQ infinity stateroom was perfect for us and the extra space on a 15 night cruise was really appreciated. We ... Read More
Here is our feedback from our Celebrity Edge Aquaclass Transatlantic Nov 1 - 17th. In all honesty we had a magnificent cruise. Our AQ infinity stateroom was perfect for us and the extra space on a 15 night cruise was really appreciated. We loved the bathroom and the spacious shower (although there was some flooding on a few days, Guest Relations are aware and gave us $200FCC to say sorry). The Spa is lovely as far as it goes but unlike other new cruise ships it doesn't have a large jacuzzi/plunge pool that we were hoping to find. The salt room is a mystery still and we don't know what it is supposed to do. The float chairs are hanging in an area that folks walk through so no benefit there. The gorgeous design is great but functionally, they'll probably have to rethink this area. Some of you expressed a lot of disappointment in BLU restaurant. Our experience was the exact opposite and once again we had such good times, food and service there. We're foodies and so we know a bit about good and bad food. The only time we sent food back was because we'd tried something new to us and it wasn't to our liking - that doesn't make it bad food. As usual we made a lot of effort to engage with the servers and the Maitre'D, this meant that within 3 days we knew where we wanted to sit and who we wanted to serve us. BINGO. Our friends from USA joined us most nights and they were as thrilled with their dining experience as we were. Just to put some perspective on this, read on. We also knew some others who were in suite class and so used Luminae. After about a week we suddenly saw them leaving BLU as we had just sat down and ordered. We said hello and were told by them that the standard of food and service in Luminae was not good and they had much better meals and service in BLU. They weren't the only ones, each night thereafter and also at breakfast, suite guests were queuing for tables in BLU. Our sommelier was an absolute character, she sometimes sang Thai love songs as she poured our wine, and we're pretty sure we had some wines that were above our Classic Drink Package once or twice. Did we pay extra cash tips? Yes, we always do in the restaurants and the bars - the return on strategically handing a few $$s to the right people works wonders - don't judge us for this, each must do what they think best. If those few $$s made the difference between a wonderful experience and not, it was a few bucks well spent. Please keep any negative judgments to your self. For further context, we made a second cruise whilst in Florida on a different cruise line, no names, the experience was supposed to be a first class suite ship within a ship treat. What a mistake that was, it only confirmed that we should stick with Celebrity and Azamara, and this is what we intend to do all through 2020 and 2021. Whoopee, how lucky to have the choice eh? Happy cruising folks! :-) Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Overall Impression: Excellent! Technologically modern cruise liner, but some minuses explained below. Embarkation: Easiest ever, by far. No waiting, attendant simply scanned pass from cell phone, checked passports and we were on! ... Read More
Overall Impression: Excellent! Technologically modern cruise liner, but some minuses explained below. Embarkation: Easiest ever, by far. No waiting, attendant simply scanned pass from cell phone, checked passports and we were on! Sea cards were waiting at the entrance to cabin. Debarkation: Also the fastest, easiest ever at the Ft Lauderdale cruise terminal. Two years ago, it was the debarkation from Hades here. Greatly improved! Those customs declarations of the past are gone. Stateroom: see cabin review. Dining: There are four “Main” Dining rooms. Each had its own theme, although main menus were the same at each restaurant. We opted for anytime dining since we did not know about the different dining rooms in advance. That worked out well this trip, although we prefer fixed dining. Service was average to poor at times. Service at breakfast in the main restaurant seemed particularly poor. We were assigned on morning to a table that seemed to not have wait staff assigned. Waited 45+ minutes before order was even taken! Servers only seemed to appear when serving the different courses, if refills needed in between, you had to flag someone down, who then may, or may not, have notified your server. Food was about average for what we have experienced on previous cruises. Specialty Dining: We did not experience any of the Specialty restaurants. The charge seemed way too high. Entertainment: Again, about average for the cruises we have experienced. The theatre was nice. House band was really talented. Shore Excursions: Cruise line excursions were ok. Packed into full sized busses for transport. Went on a outside excursion, which worked out really well in very small tour group. Our van was able to get much closer to attractions than the full sized busses. Spa/Fitness: I have to give this a thumbs down. There is a fitness center with the expected variety of work out machines and free weights. However, there are no locker rooms! A real minus in my mind. Also wet and dry saunas are only available behind limited access area. A separate charge (not nominal) is required to enter that area of the spa. Non-existent lockers rooms and non-access to saunas where a big bummer. On Board Shopping: There is a (very) small section of one of the shops were a very limited amount of souvenirs/sundries were available. ALL other shopping areas were over the top expensive, both in their offerings and costs. Really missed the everyday, reasonable sundry shops found on previous cruises. Casino: Very modern slot machines, and some actually paid out! Kinda unusual for a cruise! Access: There are only two ways to access the front of the ship to see out front (unless you also count the forward facing camera images available on the stateroom tv). Both are behind limited access passageways. One is through the limited spa area. (I tailgated someone in to access it). The other is the limited retreat area, accessible only to suite dwellers. Us steerage classers are out of luck. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We booked this cruise for the itinerary - and the fact we could do back to back all the way to Sydney. We had a balcony cabin - number 9644 in this case It was perfectly fine but since the ship was in dry dock, the cabin has changed ... Read More
We booked this cruise for the itinerary - and the fact we could do back to back all the way to Sydney. We had a balcony cabin - number 9644 in this case It was perfectly fine but since the ship was in dry dock, the cabin has changed slightly in that only one side of the bed has a cabinet. This was a little awkward and I don't really understand why they did this. The storage was adequate with plenty of room under the bed for a hard body suitcase on each side and also the hand luggage trolley cases fit too. The bathroom was fine - my criteria of trying to not book cruises with shower curtains was fully met and so I was happy with that. Embarkation was perfectly fine with a small amount of queueing. We noticed that, if you have a disability of any kind, there was a separate area with seating so that is a "mind at rest" thing for some people. We were allowed into our cabins after a fairly short wait and the luggage arrived pretty quickly so that we could unpack and explore before attending the drill. We didn't have a dining package on this cruise and so used the main rooms and Chin Chin (our favourite because the service is just so much better than the other places, even though the menu is more limited). We also ate a couple of times in O'Sheehans, especially after getting back on the ship after a hard day's exploring. We did have some complaints including the ubiquitous "over-cooked fish" - I just don't get why, when you send it back, it comes back nearly every time perfectly cooked, they don't just do it that way the first time around. Its such a waste of food, but it was completely inedible on a number of occasions. I was also served some frozen potatoes which sort of explains the fish as they must pre-cook and freeze a lot of the dishes. I suppose that's fine for most things, after all it is mass-catering, but they need to work on it. We had attended the meet and greet and so had received the card with the phone numbers on. We used them and things improved a little, along with a little complimentary Sushi to apologise, which was very nice and unexpected. The ship had a lot of new crew on board and it was especially noticeable in Tsar's Palace dining room. They have to be trained, of course, but maybe don't put all of the new staff in the same place! Azura was better and the staff in there were much more upbeat and good at service. There were good staff in Tsar's Palace but, on this occasion, the atmosphere could be strained at times whereas the other venues didnt have that vibe. I'm sure it is temporary and will be back to normal once the staff find their feet. The shows were outstanding, as usual. In particular we loved Rock you Tonight, Anna and Vlad, Le Cirque Bijou and Velvet. The other shows were good, just these were great. The Tap Pack could become a favourite in time. The comedians and hypnotists were not to my taste but others enjoyed them. Overall the entertainment staff do a great job. A shout out to Dexter for the dance classes on sea days. We had a lot of sea days on this leg and so the enrichment programmes become important, especially when you have 2 or 3 days of not so good weather. We enjoyed the talks on Polynesian Art and the navigation and Atoll talks. We didn't ever use the pool or the sun loungers but I didn't hear any complaints. (I'm too pale to sit in that sort of sun unfortunately but I did enjoy sitting on my balcony in the shade and watching out for sea life - the pacific is so vast that we didn't see a single other ship on the 5 days at sea, only a couple of flying fish and one pod of dolphins but hey the colours of the sea and just the peace was great). We embarked in Oahu and had spent a couple of days beforehand exploring with friends who had hired a car. I can highly recommend a visit to Pearl Harbour and some shopping in Honolulu - there are some great deals to be had if you search them out! The Hawaii Islands were a great place to have some really good days out, Volcanos, Blow Holes, Mountains, Views, Beaches, Waterfalls - whatever you like you will find it. My own highlight was the sailaway from Nawiliwili and viewing the Napali Coast from the deck of the ship. What an awesome place. However, that wasn't the only highlight. I think my favourite was Kauai Island but its truly hard to chose. I don't know what excursions were on offer specifically from the ship but the usual comment about the price is in order. It cost us $280 over the full four islands for four of us - including hiring a car, petrol, entrance fees to whatever we wanted to see and some drinks - including coffees in McDs for the free wifi. That was $140 per couple. As far as I could see $140 per person per day was the average cost of the excursions in each port - just not good value for money at all. This needs to be fixed by the company. Nuku Hiva was pretty special - we had a beach day but there were other things to do. We didn't book any ships excursions on this leg of the trip and were certainly glad as they are completely overpriced. You can book on the dockside for around a third of the price and better if you have a large group as you have bargaining power. Mo'orea - booked a lagoon sailing with sharks and stingrays - utterly beautiful although I didn't swim with the sharks! Despite what was being claimed, I had read that three weeks earlier, in the exact same reefs, a woman had her hands and boobs eaten by a shark. While the people in the boats keep feeding them and the stingrays, they will continue to be a danger to human beings. After the tour we had a good wander and found a local beer (delicious). Raiatea - again booked a tour at the harbour and visited Marae Taputapuatea which was very spiritual. Pearls, Vanilla, Volcanic Craters, Rivers that are the sea as well. We saw children having swimming lessons with the fish around them. I think this was my favourite place of the whole trip but I loved it all tbh. Bora Bora - again got off the tender boat (which was always easy and there were few queues except first thing in the morning. We visited this port twice on the back to back so on this visit we did a land tour and met the delightful Delores (who used to be in the tank regiment just outside of Paris). We visited Bloody Mary's bar but didn't have a drink - although you could. I took the advice of friends and stayed off the beach area there as it is renowned for people being bitten by sand flies. The visit to the place where they hand make the Pareau ended in my purse being lightened as I couldn't resist one of the dresses they were selling. The views all around the island are stunning. We did a lagoon tour on the next visit so I shall cover that in my next review. Pape'ete Tahiti. - Not my favourite place of the tour but that may have been coloured by the poor showing on the tour we booked dockside. I'm not sure that any of the others, including the ships tours, were any better - I didn't hear anyone praising the place but it was still nice to see the island. This was the end of this part of the cruise and was disembarkation day. We had to change cabins and it was chaotic due to the card printing machine not working properly. I'm not sure why the crew couldn't have delivered the new key cards to the cabins as there was no checking of ID etc. It resulted in huge queues at the guest services desk where they were having to reprint nearly all of the cards as none of them seemed to work on board (although they did work so that you could get on and off the ship). There must be a better way and it will be interesting to see if it was any better in Sydney as there were quite a number of guests staying on until Auckland. There was very little wifi to be had once you left the accessibility of McD's or Starbucks in Hawaii. Bora Bora - there was a cafe not far from the port where you could pay $5 for 30 minutes but it was very slow. There was free wifi in the tourist information centre but it hardly ever worked. Pape'ete - there was good wifi in a cafe near the port, you just had to buy a drink and also there was free wifi in the tourist information centre, but I dont know if it was fast or not. If you can afford it I would upgrade your wifi packages on the ship if you need to be in contact with home for whatever reason. Nuku Hiva had wifi in the cafe on the port - free as long as you bought food - I'm not sure that anyone on a cruise needs to eat food in a port - but crack on if you can manage it. It certainly smelled good! We loved the cruise. Being from the UK, it means that these places are normally too far away so this was an ideal opportunity. We found the sea days fine, although the sea day in between Nuku Hiva and Mo'orea was a killer for us - nothing wrong with the ships entertainment, it was just a perception that this was definitely the longest day. We crossed the equator during this trip and they did the ceremony! We got wrapped in togas (bed sheets!) King Neptune granted us safe passage as long as we kissed the (most disgusting) fish and then submitted to a glug of slime. It was great fun although in 85% humidity the togas were a little on the warm side! We didn't have any children with us but there were some on the cruise. They genuinely seemed to having a great time - even the "too cool for school" teenagers! We hardly ever saw or heard them during the sea days which usually means there is plenty to do to keep them out of trouble and harms way. The Jewel is a lovely ship with some seriously nice crew who go out of their way to try to make sure you have a good time. The food is my only bug bear but it never is bad enough to spoil my adventures. I would go back no problem at all - where is that lottery ticket! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
It had been over 10 months since my last cruise and it will be a couple of months before my next cruise so I needed something to tide over my withdrawal pains. This short Sydney, Newcastle, Brisbane cruise was perfect. We hopped on after a ... Read More
It had been over 10 months since my last cruise and it will be a couple of months before my next cruise so I needed something to tide over my withdrawal pains. This short Sydney, Newcastle, Brisbane cruise was perfect. We hopped on after a very short wait in a very non-crowded White Bay terminal, had a port day in Newcastle and then had a sea day before being given Walk-Off 3 at 8:15am at Brisbane. That was a bit different, but very easy with little luggage. I noted many newbies on board taste-testing and many weathered veterans just enjoying cruising like I was. I took along a friend new to Princess so took her along to as much as possible and tried to get to a bit of everything on offer to show her what can be done. We enjoyed a Lotus Spa tour and put our tickets in the drawer for a prize, but forgot to go up for the draw as we were enjoying our pre-ordered delicious crudites and dip and guacamole and corn chips with a bottle of sparking on deck as we cruised out of Sydney. We got to the Art raffle and sadly didn't win, but was nice to be given a pretty print and the story behind it. I scored at the Effy raffle - you just have to be in it and there to win the bling! We enjoyed eating at the Main Dining Room, anytime dining, Horizon Buffet and the Grill as well as enjoying a wine tasting and afternoon tea! No, I didn't put on any weight and actually lost 400g because I always took the stairs. The food was always fresh and delicious and a bit of everything to keep everyone happy. Couldn't fault the staff, always helpful and willing to serve. We enjoyed a highly mirrored interior cabin, that was still a bit dark, even with all the lights on, but we really didn't spend much time there as there was so much more to the ship to enjoy. Will definitely keep my ear out for any more little short cruises like this. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We flew into Rome from Miami, arriving October 31, and were efficiently whisked to the cruise port at Civitavecchia where the Koningsdam awaited. The 45 minute bus ride was uneventful and I tried to stay awake to enjoy the passing ... Read More
We flew into Rome from Miami, arriving October 31, and were efficiently whisked to the cruise port at Civitavecchia where the Koningsdam awaited. The 45 minute bus ride was uneventful and I tried to stay awake to enjoy the passing scenery. Our boarding was fast and we found the HA personnel - here and at the airport - kind and helpful. My husband and I were traveling with another couple and we had adjoining veranda cabins on Deck 8. This being our first HA cruise we were excited to get to know the ship and tried not to compare with other cruise lines. No sooner had we gotten to our cabin, when the inevitable lifeboat drill began, and it was easy and quick. We had scheduled the early dinner. Just time to eat, put away our belongings, and the time change set in to our brains so we hardly knew the ship had departed. Our cabin was comfy and the veranda was very nice, slightly larger then most because of the way our cabin was situated. The bed was very comfy and I was happy to see HA uses sheets, not the European duvets. The bathroom was a bit on the small side but the shower, with glass door, was huge and the water hot. There was more than enough closet and shelf space for our clothes and incidentals. Although we were underneath the Lido, there was no noise except for rolling of carts once in a while which was not in the least disturbing. I cannot begin to say enough about the friendliness and efficiency of the staff, both room stewards and dining room staff. It is a pleasure for us Americans (who like to get to know who is serving us) to have friendly chats with our stewards and wait people. The stewards were accommodating to our different schedules and the wait staff was wonderful. Our waiter went above and beyond when he discovered that one of our party like cold fruit soup which was not on the menu. He had a bowl of the fruit soup he made himself, for each of us, every day thereafter. The food in the dining room tended to be exotic to our more mundane tastes but there was plenty of choices and everything was tasty - except for a problem with NY strip steaks, which seemed to be overcooked - in the event, the waiter happily and quickly replaced the offending meat. The wine steward was cheerful and always came to say hello even though we were not drinkers. The Lido was not laid out in the most efficient manner, being two long lines instead of grouped in the center. This entailed a long walk to peruse the various offerings, which was difficult for one of our party who had trouble walking. The food on the Lido was generally good but please someone tell the New York Deli how to make Reubens! The entertainment we saw - a comedian, a harpist, a do-wop singling group and a singing impersonator left a bit to be desired. We have seen more talented acts on Carnival! But the singer and the harpist were enjoyable for all that. There was beautiful music played in the Lincoln Center but it took me a few days to realize this was on ship, not in New York City! I always like to look through the ship's stores. In this case, they were mostly expensive and lacking some of the everyday items one might need aboard ship. However, since the Koningsdam was repositioning, all the Mediterranean items were 75% off and boy do I love a bargain! Since this was a trans-Atlantic crossing (our second) we spent a lot of time chilling on our veranda and watching the ever-changing drama of clouds and sea. We had three ports of call, Cartagena and Malaga in Spain, and the island of Madeira. All ports were wonderful and getting on and off the ship easy. Disembarkation in Fort Lauderdale was the easiest of any cruise we have been on, since we were allowed to remain in our cabins until our numbers were called. Our Captain, Captain Timmers, was one of the most personable captains of any ship on which we have sailed. He was on the intercom every day with updates of our progress, and was delightful with his rather droll sense of humor. On the next to the last day, there was an alarm in the evening, and Captain Timmer came right on to inform us of what was happening and that all was well. My only real gripe was lack of a library. I would think that a ship the size of the Koningsdam could find a little niche somewhere for us who prefer the printed page to e-readers. Being forewarned, I had lugged two books along with me. I didn't attend any enrichment programs although they were offered daily and looked to be interesting. All in all, I would not hesitate to sail on HA again and again, even if I have to lug my own reading material! It was a wonderful ship and a great crossing. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Wanted to try leaving from New York. We left from Brooklyn and it was virtually effortless. We left on Halloween so lots of creative costumes on board. Did not want a lot of stops. There were 3 exceptional ones.This cruise served both ... Read More
Wanted to try leaving from New York. We left from Brooklyn and it was virtually effortless. We left on Halloween so lots of creative costumes on board. Did not want a lot of stops. There were 3 exceptional ones.This cruise served both purposes and was priced right. We usually prefer ships with fewer passengers but the on-board entertainment and venues more than made up for the size. Incredible shows. Comedians who were hysterical, the ventriloquist was amazing, musicians who could really play, and star gazing opportunities made for fun evenings. Movies on demand were great for late late nights. Days at sea filled with plenty of activities: trivia, Princess Pop Choir, Karaoke, sports challenges, book club,game shows, shopping or just lounging at the pool. Alfredos Pizzaria was the hidden gem with unique and fresh pizza toppings,antipasto plates, soups and desserts. As with any Princess cruise we have been on the service was impeccable. Excursions were all well received. Zip lining on St. Maarten, swimming with the stingrays in Antigua (staff here really loved the animals and enjoyed sharing them with us), and the submarine experience in Aruba were all top shelf. The ship docked in Ft. Lauderdale which is also an efficient terminal. The only thing wrong with it is the airport which is undergoing renovations which we hope will make it more passenger friendly. If you are looking for a relaxing cruise put this one on your list. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was my 68 cruise with Princess and my third time on the Regal. Here are my top Pros: 1. Arny Galoyo in Crooners. He is the best Crooner entertainer by far!! and a reason alone to cruise with Princess. We have cruised many ... Read More
This was my 68 cruise with Princess and my third time on the Regal. Here are my top Pros: 1. Arny Galoyo in Crooners. He is the best Crooner entertainer by far!! and a reason alone to cruise with Princess. We have cruised many times with Arny and are still amazed at his versatility (sings in 9 languages!), his ability to take requests from passengers (knows thousands of songs, across multiple genres), his talent and wonderful personality (greets all passengers, speaks to them during breaks to find out what kind of music they like, always smiles and welcomes passengers to Crooners, makes us feel like family), and his ability to draw a big crowd (Crooners was always standing room only and when he was in the Piazza there were crowds on all three levels watching, and a full dance floor of passengers dancing.) 2. The production shows. We were fortunate to be on a "handover" cruise, meaning that two production teams were on at the same time, and we saw two shows performed by each of the teams. All of the singers and dancers were amazing! So talented and hard-working. A special shout-out to the dancers on the departing team who performed my favorite show "Born to Dance". Their energy and enthusiasm, after being on the ship for six months already, was outstanding. Made me break into a big smile. 3. Medallion. I had set up our medallions ahead of time at home, and we breezed through embarkation. I loved the fact that the medallion opened our cabin door. So much easier when my husband was carrying two coffees and danishes in the morning and could get the door opened quickly using his elbow! 4. Horizon Court. The variety was truly amazing. Mongolian buffet, Asian buffet, Italian buffet, Indian buffet, along with voluminous salad fixings, 3 carving stations per night, lots of breads, pastries, fruits, etc. It was so easy to eat most of our meals there since we never got bored and always found plenty to please us. 5. Cruise director Dan Falconer and staff. There was a great variety of game shows and different trivias on this cruise. Something that is not true on all Princess ships. Sometimes it is just "trivia" for example. Here we had music trivia, movie trivia, general trivia, geography trivia, etc. Never boring. As well as all of our favorite games shows. 6. Alternate dining venues. Alfredos (great pizza except the Margherita needs more basil), International Cafe (delicious hazelnut stollen at breakfast), Crown Grill (fabulous service and delicious sea bass and black and blue onion soup), the outdoor grill (love the cheeseburgers and fries) and Vines (great wine selection and delicious tapas). 7. Crew. In particular, our room steward and the bar wait staff in Crooners. Always smiling. Always helpful. Always greeted us by names. The crew on this cruise in all my interactions were friendly, courteous, smiling.....great representatives of Princess. 8. Entertainment. We were fortunate to have 3 prior Entertainer of the Year performers on board. So, the entertainment in the Princess Theater, between the production shows and these guest entertainers, was outstanding. Special shout-outs to comedian Carlos Oscar, and ventriloquist/singer Michael Minor. Great shows. We went on this cruise to relax after a few months of exceptionally stressful issues at home and work. The cruise did the trick. We LOVED our time on board, just relaxed and walked around in the ports (have been to all of these ports many times and have done many of the excursions. We just wanted to enjoy the sun, shopping, drinks and sights.) Thank you Princess. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We did the repositioning cruise on the Regal Princess from New York to Fort Lauderdale. We have not been to New York before and thought it was a great opportunity to tick this off our bucket list. We have previously done 2 cruises on The ... Read More
We did the repositioning cruise on the Regal Princess from New York to Fort Lauderdale. We have not been to New York before and thought it was a great opportunity to tick this off our bucket list. We have previously done 2 cruises on The Royal Princess and loved this class of ship and the Regal did not disappoint at all. We j had just two days in New York but seemed to pack in a lot of sightseeing during this flying visit; including a 5 hour ‘New York at Night’ guided tour on the day we arrived. A bit ambitious perhaps and we had visions of falling asleep on the coach, but it was a terrific tour with an excellent guide which took us to many places which we probably wouldn’t have done on our own. Our only regret was that we were unable to access the viewing point of the Rockafeller Centre as it was shrouded in cloud for all of our visit. New York was preparing for their Christmas festivities so it was a bit surreal to be looking forward to bringing out our ‘sunshine wardrobe’ in the next few days. Our Hotel in Manhatten organised a private taxi to take us to Brooklyn Cruise Terminal and we were handing over our cases to the luggage porter by 11.15 am. At this point I was asked if I would mind wearing a ‘tag’ as they were randomly monitoring how long it took passengers from kerbside to boarding. This was a very quick process as there were no long queus at this time and we had completed the ‘ocean ready’ process before leaving home. As we are from the UK we couldn’t have our medallions mailed to us but check in was no different from picking up the traditional cruise cards, except maybe quicker. On the subject of ‘The Medallions’ – we liked them and found them to be more user friendly than we anticipated. Both hubby and I are both ‘technically challenged’ so we were a bit anxious about using them, but we coped fine and even managed to order a drink from the relevant app on one occasion. We stepped over the hallowed threshold into the Regal Princess by 12.00 noon and headed to ‘Alfredos’ for lunch. This is our usual ‘go to’ venue on boarding day as we find it more relaxing than the scrum of the buffet. I was quite surprised at how many passengers were availing themselves of this venue so word must be getting out that it is an included option. Our cabin was a deluxe balcony on Caribe deck and as is usually the case, we had the services of an excellent stateroom steward, Alan. We loved the little additional space of this cabin. The weather for sailaway was grey and blustery but we, like most passengers were determined to stick it out to enjoy the sail past the Statue of Liberty and beyond to experience passing under the Verizion Bridge. After this the outside decks cleared pretty quickly. And so began a relaxing three days at sea which we filled with, chilling, eating, drinking, watching films and shows and trivia. We are keen trivia players and eventually managed to find some like- minded people to form a team and have some fun However, we were no match for a group whose cruise obviously revolved round winning the general knowledge trivias – every time! They appeared to have a ‘team leader’ who arrived half hour early for every session to secure the same seats and she was equipped with her own supplies of paper, sharpened pencils and a file of previously asked questions!. Still we did manage to win 3 of the specialist trivia on Sport and Movie posters and our team mates became firm friends during our time on the Regal. We also donated our fair share of cash in the casino; it was always very busy and I am assuming that most people donated more than they won like us. Food is always subjective but I didn’t feel the standard of some of the food in the MDR was as good as we had experienced on other cruises. DH would happily eat in the buffet every night but obliges me with the MDR. In the end we probably ended up half and half between the MDR and Buffet and I have to agree that on this cruise the food in the Buffet was on a par with the MDR. Entertainment is another subjective area and there is usually something to interest everyone. On this particular cruise there were a lot of ‘fly in guest comedians’. We enjoy more of a variety with singers and musicians in the mix. One event we thoroughly enjoyed was a presentation on how shows are put on and a ‘behind the scenes’ tour of the stage on the last day. Couldn’t believe they were willing to accommodate so many people on a tour of the back stage facilities for free. We had 3 ports of call, St Maartin, Antigua and Aruba; we had been to all of these islands previously and they are amongst our favourite in the Caribbean. We had decided to do either beach or beach and town shopping, weather permitting in all three ports so didn’t take any organised excursions. This mostly went to plan and our only slight disappointment was Aruba which we loved on our last visit when we went to Eagle Beach. This time we took the service bus ($5 round trip) to Palm Beach and found it was very busy and quite commercialised. Subsequently we found out from another passenger that The Hilton Hotel would rent you chairs and you could use all their facilities so we would probably take advantage of this if we should return. It was sad to leave The Regal when she docked at her home port for the Winter in Fort Lauderdale but we will be back on her again in 2020 on the other side of the world for The Singapore to Brisbane section of this repositioning cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Having sailed once before in the Caribbean with Star Flyer we decided on taking it across the Atlantic. The 23 day crossing was a combination of Malaga, Spain to Las Palmas, Gran Canaria (9 days) and Las Palmas to Barbados (14 days). ... Read More
Having sailed once before in the Caribbean with Star Flyer we decided on taking it across the Atlantic. The 23 day crossing was a combination of Malaga, Spain to Las Palmas, Gran Canaria (9 days) and Las Palmas to Barbados (14 days). Due to popularity it was over a year from booking to sailing. Cabin 121. 80% of passengers are repeat. We arrived in Malaga 4 days before the cruise, allowing time to adjust from the west coast of the US. Our hotel was a few blocks from the harbor and we were able to walk to the boat rolling our bags. check in was at 4 but you could store your bags at the pier starting at 12 noon. The first 9 days we took 2 tours, bus to Marrakesh from Safi and tour of Lanzarote. Tour to Marrakesh was disappointing, tour guide wanted to make sure we shopped "his store" (for a kick back?) so all else was rushed to get to his shops. Lanzarote tour to volcano park was much better. Seas were rough two days especially the Safi to Lanzarote day at sea; this is normal. Also quite chilly needed a sweatshirt and a wind breaker. Meals were good; breakfast and lunch are a buffet, dinner is a menu, all meals are open seating. No formal wear required. The 14 day trip started in Las Palmas, the Canary Islands. Some passengers left here others boarded. No shore excursion is offered, but town is an easy walk from the pier; there is also a multi story shopping mall next to the dock area. 139 passengers made the crossing. Every day it got warmer, seas were rough (15-20 ft swells) at La Gomera and the port was dropped as the pilot could not board. 95% of the cruise was under sail, a record for the captain. To sit and watch the sails in the wind a fantastic experience. We saw whales, dolphins and lots of rainbows. Had an oil rig towed passed us in the middle of the Atlantic. On board entertainment consists of the piano player/singer; passengers playing darts, board games and cards. There is a talent show, toga party, pirate night and Neptune party. When you have the night sky full of stars, the ocean waves ever changing during the day the entertainment takes a back seat to mother nature. Would we do it again? YES, YES, YES. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Oceania is my favorite cruise line, always has excellent food and service. From the stewards to the servers in the dining areas, always outstanding service. Dijon and Suprano took good care of us, always available to our needs. Sedeep in ... Read More
Oceania is my favorite cruise line, always has excellent food and service. From the stewards to the servers in the dining areas, always outstanding service. Dijon and Suprano took good care of us, always available to our needs. Sedeep in the grill in the Terrace Cafe always greeted you with a big smile and asked you what your needs were and often brought our hot dishes to our table if time permitted since my husband is disabled. Jason also assisted him with breakfast ordered an omelette and bacon and brought it to his table. Buddha in the Toscano was outstanding. He provided extra assistance by cutting his food in bite size pieces since he had noticed he had a walker. Mark in the Polo Grill was great too. He also assisted my husband with his steak. All were very caring and helpful, always with a smile. glad I was able to cancel some excursions in New York city because of weather and schedule a panoramic one. My only problem is not enough accessible rooms/cabins. If you look around what is the average age of most your guests and they’re in walkers, wheelchairs, and have walking canes. They put a chair in the shower, it was so big that there was no room for him to step in the shower and it did not fit in the tub either. If you could at least position some hand rails in the shower and tub to hold on to while taking a shower it would make a BIG difference for your physically challenged guests. It would also help every one during rough seas. I already made a reservation for an Alaskan cruise for next year so we could get a handicapped cabin. The Regatta has ONLY 3 Handicapped rooms available in the whole ship an they are inside cabins Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
First time cruisers and we had a fantastic time. The staff were amazing so polite and very friendly . We ate in the Market place all the time as I had been in hospital 2weeks before and in there I could just eat what I wanted. There was ... Read More
First time cruisers and we had a fantastic time. The staff were amazing so polite and very friendly . We ate in the Market place all the time as I had been in hospital 2weeks before and in there I could just eat what I wanted. There was plenty of choice as I am a fussy eater I couldn't complain at all . The entertainment was excellent from the shows in the Broadway lounge (there was only one that I wasn't keen on) but the rest was superb. Danny Lisa and Derek with the Irish/Scootish set was brilliant as was Derek and the Vibes rock set. The pianists were great to. All in all a lot of talent . The sunbeds were all taken by 8 in the morning some people out at 5.30 in the morning putting their towels out made me laugh. Our cabin 1024 was superb lovely bathroom with a large shower bed was extremely comfortable and the balcony was lovely with a table and chairs . All in all a fabulous time was had . Read Less
Sail Date October 2019

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