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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We had taken the carnival dream out of new orleans on this same itinerary...we thought. this cruise on this old boat out of mobile, al is a "whole 'nuther thang." don't plan on having your beverage package delivered or get ... Read More
We had taken the carnival dream out of new orleans on this same itinerary...we thought. this cruise on this old boat out of mobile, al is a "whole 'nuther thang." don't plan on having your beverage package delivered or get anything but a soft drink or watered down "boat drink" until you are in international waters...this is alabama, after all. "junior suite" was about same size as simple balcony stateroom on larger boats like dream. v-cabins are on deck 11, which has only two elevators working (kinda)...the glass ones to the atrium that don't go to the gangplank or to medical! so, while there are two other full elevator banks forward which traverse all decks, carnival locks them out for the entire cruise including debarkation!!! think about that if you are in a wheelchair or have a sprained ankle or are trying to get you and your luggage to the debarkation deck when all 4 elevators on the floor are locked out! ...and the elevators in the atrium were a running joke from all aboard! they would just stop (not overloaded,) or doors would close, then open up for no reason whatsover, and do it over and over again, often catching people in the 'elevator jaws of death!" ---that line never failed to get a tired laugh from those poor souls just trying to get somewhere on the boat. Now...here is the real rub: we were supposed to have two shore days. but, when we received our 'updated' itinerary, we ended up arriving at the first stop at costa maya at one o'clock in the afternoon, leaving at 8 that night! we said, "ok, at least we have a whole day in cozumel..." but nooooooooooo. turns out we could get to cozumel by 8 am, but, we had to be back on boat no later than 3:30!!! this itinerary used to go out of new orleans using dream-class ships, and it was a very good trip (we took one last year,) with a good boat, and lots of time on shore days. fantasy is not that way! in fact, it seemed like they need to retire that old girl...it is just worn and unable to provide the product that people think they are buying. ...and if carnival can't live up to their "2 shore day" promise coming out of moblie, well...then they shouldn't advertise it. i may never cruise with carnival again...darn sure not out of mobile. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We have cruised on different cruise lines. Thought we would try Royal Caribbean. It’s a beautiful ship and great staff. Entertainment was wonderful but wish they had comedian every night also like Carnival. I think other cruise lines ... Read More
We have cruised on different cruise lines. Thought we would try Royal Caribbean. It’s a beautiful ship and great staff. Entertainment was wonderful but wish they had comedian every night also like Carnival. I think other cruise lines give you better value. We were celebrating our 25th anniversary. The dining staff sang to us our head waiter, Made is awesome. I wish they would have had lotion and conditioner in cabin. This time I didn’t bring it and I regret it. The river tubing in Jamaica is awesome. The man made waterfalls into the pool were ice cold so we skipped that part. Our river guide Anthony aka Breast Milk was very funny and entertaining. I would recommend this shore excursion. Our excursion at Labadee got cancelled due to mechanical issues so we hung at their private beach. We stayed I. The cove as it was more protected by the wind. I saw only 1 fish the whole time in the cove but it was more laid back surroundings. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
I have always heard that Royal Caribbean offers a superior product: better food, amenities, etc. I was excited to take a romantic trip with my wife after a long year. Booking was easy over the phone, and my experience was positive. I was ... Read More
I have always heard that Royal Caribbean offers a superior product: better food, amenities, etc. I was excited to take a romantic trip with my wife after a long year. Booking was easy over the phone, and my experience was positive. I was able to garner a few choice "extras" including a bottle of wine, and a fruit and cheese plate accompanied by a bottle of champagne for our room. Not a bad way to begin. Boarding was easy, and far less stressful than the several Carnival cruises that I'd taken (one out of Galveston, and the other from Long Beach). After each Carnival cruise I'd taken in the past, within a year, the ship had some sort of mechanical failure, or worse, a flu / noro-virus outbreak. Our cruises had both been positive, but I had apprehensions about booking Carnival again. We boarded the Royal Caribbean ship, and were in good spirits. Ready for a 4-day break, we set off to explore the ship, and grab a bite to eat. The ship was smaller than those we'd been on before, but I expected that. I knew that a 'quieter crowd' might be expected on this trip, and for the most part, this proved to be correct. Our first impression (which lasted us the whole journey) of the buffet was not as we expected. The good reviews I'd heard from friends failed to hold against the presentation in front of me. The options were scant, and seemed a bit under-executed. This was simple food, and lacked the charisma I would expect from an exciting cruise. Unfortunately, this proved to be thematic during the entire trip. The charisma that the food lacked was only matched by the staff that we encountered. I watched as people were cut off in the buffet line by an employee trying to reach something (a regular occurence). Instead of an "excuse me", there was a grimace, and a scowel. We were obviously invading their space as passengers, and they were going to take it back. Manners had been entirely forgotten. The culture of the crew was diminished and lacking, and their presentation and their cooking reflected it. Now, I'm sure that there are amazing Royal Caribbean ships with wonderful food. I'm not speaking to the entire fleet here. But this is actually part of the problem. Sailing with Carnival, a smaller ship meant the same menu options as the larger ones. There is fluidity across the fleet, and a standard of excellence that is obvious when it comes to their dining, at least. Our experience on Royal Caribbean leads me to believe that the ship has been 'lost' to the fleet, and is being phased out in terms of dining service. Maybe the dining room would be better, we thought. We tried for dinner, hopeful still. We took several meals in the dining room, and the experience was the same each time. Frantic, and disorganized, the wait staff were running for orders, skipping drink orders, and serving food very slowly. 10 minutes for bread to come and drink orders to be taken. 5 more minutes to order apps. 20 minutes for apps to come. After apps served, 30 minutes for mains to arrive. Dessert?? I don't know if I have the time, but still hopeful (and on a cruise, so time is relative now), we ordered. A broken Creme Brulee, and an excuse for apple pie a la mode arrive. Bummer... Not the food we'd hoped for. I could go on. I'll spare you. Mains were unexciting and the meal underwhelming, altogether. I actually felt bad for the wait staff, knowing that the systemic issues that they were facing as employees would never allow them to deliver the level of service that they were likely capable of, and they knew it too. They knew that their tips would be affected, that reviews would be posted about them, and they lived in fear. You could smell it, almost as thick as the bad apple pie.The waitstaff was only up-staged by the front-house managers though, with walkie-talkies turned to full volume behind our table as they tried to expedite from the busy kitchen. Dinner was less than romantic, I would say. The bright star on this trip was our rear-cabin. The appointments were normal, but we enjoyed the view. With scant entertainment, and smokey hallways through the ship, we enjoyed the fresh ocean air from the comfort of a lounge chair. After calling multiple times to remind the front desk of the champagne and wine we were told we would reveive when the trip was booked, days 2 and 4 finally saw these delivered. Attention to detail was greatly lacking from the front desk. Our steward however, was a delight and took excellent care of us in our cabin. The cleaning was always timely, and the room tidy. This saved the trip, frankly. People were engaged and enjoying, regardless, and we did too. I sincerely tried to look the other way the first few times when no fewer than SEVEN of our meals contained some sort of hair in them (eyelashes, facial, etc.). By our final breakfast before we left the ship, I knew that the scrambled eggs were made from diced hard-boiled eggs likely left-over from last night, combined with egg beaters and then undercooked, and I also knew that the eyelash looking up at me from my plate was not mine, culminating in my conclusion that I would probably never sail on a small Royal Caribbean ship again, but more likely, would never again sail RC again at all. The company (and ship, more likely) are trying to cut costs, and create revenue. However, when this affects my eggs, I cry 'foul'. Money always follows service and excellence. This is a dying ship as a result. Royal Caribbean needs to re-focus their efforts on quality and execution (beginning with hair nets, please). We heard the same from many on board, so we know our experience wasn't isolated. Find a different boat in order to achieve maximum value. Carnival may not have the best reputation, but it's food and our experience there FAR surpassed our Royal (or less than royal) experience on the Vision of the Seas. Safe travels! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We are a couple in our 50s and this was about our 12th or 13th cruise. We've sailed on Celebrity (this was our 4th), Royal Caribbean, NCL, Holland and Carnival. We had a balcony cabin for this cruise and this was a 7-day Western ... Read More
We are a couple in our 50s and this was about our 12th or 13th cruise. We've sailed on Celebrity (this was our 4th), Royal Caribbean, NCL, Holland and Carnival. We had a balcony cabin for this cruise and this was a 7-day Western Caribbean cruise. Overall, we would score this cruise 85 out of 100. WHAT WE LIKED - The ship is soo beautiful and elegant and easy to navigate - We loved our balcony cabin which felt spacious, was well-designed and generally comfortable (with the exception of the bed..more on that below). - The specialty restaurants! We are not normally people who splurge on this kind of thing, but we had a good amount of shipboard credit to use, so we got a 5-dinner package. We dined at Qsine (we thought the food here was just okay and some of it tasted weird, although presentation was fun), Murano (excellent, sophisticated and gourmet), Tuscan Grill (the best of all of them...especially the lobster rigatoni alfredo!), The Porch (relaxed dining, lots of seafood options), and Lawn Club Grill (loved this one, especially the wood fired pizza and the warm chocolate chip cookie with ice cream). - Dinner In the main dining room. The food was great and we thought the Grand Cuvee was a beautiful space. - The service - our cabin steward did an awesome job, as did everyone on the ship. While there were a small percentage of staff that seemed serious or cranky (maybe 5%), the vast majority were warm, friendly and smiling. ALL staff are hard working. - The second comedian of the cruise...Derek-somebody. He was freaking hilarious and I was laughing so hard throughout his show, I had tears streaming down my face. - Our fellow passengers - this line obviously attracts a more classy crowd and we appreciated how mannerly, courteous and friendly everyone was. We observed very little borish behavior like pushing, cutting in line, running other passengers over with scooters, yelling (or talking loudly), and it was nice to see people dressing up nicely for dinner. While tuxes and gowns are now a rarity, most people did wear nice clothes to dinner and we saw very few passengers in jeans and tee-shirts. We also loved the fact that there were very few children on this cruise. It made the whole experience more enjoyable and relaxing. - The Solarium. We always enjoy solarium on ships but this one was extra nice with the beautiful New Age music, comfy loungers and beautiful fountain. - The premium drink package. We received the classic package as part of our booking but we upgraded hubby to the premium package. He loved the wide variety offered in wines, spirits, beer and cordials. He also liked the World Class bar and Cellar Masters wine room.I - Lots of comfortable relaxing areas in the ship. I have been on other ships (for example NCL) where you cannot find a relaxing, quiet place to sit to save your life. On the Silhouette, these types of spaces abound, both inside and outside on the decks. WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE - Music in the pool area (piped in music) was too juvenile for the demographic. Average passenger age on this ship is 55-65 but much of the music at the pool was teeny bopper music like Brittany Spears, Mariah Carey, etc. It would have been great to hear pop and rock music from the 60s - 80s. We actually avoided the main pool area most of the time because of the annoying "music". - Live music on the ship - all of the musicians were good but there was far too much loungy music, not enough up-tempo music suitable for dancing around the ship. The music that WAS up-tempo was usually stuff that doesn't necessarily inspire you to want to get up and dance, like blues. The bars, Quasar and Sky Lounge would be great venues for a hopping party band, but every time we walked into those bars there was either nothing going on or some terrible piped-in music (polka!!???) Celebrity, please realize that just because your clientele is a little on the older side, doesn't mean we don't want to shake our booties! People in their 60s and 70s today are not like older people from decades ago. We spoke to a couple in their 70s and they too were lamenting the lack of really upbeat dance music on the ship. That tells you how sedate it was. This issue alone would prevent us from sailing on Celebrity again, despite all of the great things about the line. Oh, and this was the first cruise we have been on that didn't have a Latin or Caribbean band. - The food in the buffet - The only excellent thing we tasted in the buffet was the pizza, which was shockingly good. The made-to-order omelets were pretty good too. Everything else we tasted was fair to inedible. A raisin muffin I tried was so bad, I actually spit it out. I have no idea how it is possible to make a simple muffin taste that bad. - Too much space on the ship wasted on ultra luxury shopping. From what I can tell, Celebrity passengers are mostly middle to upper middle class, not Rockefellars. We didn't see a single person shopping in the Cartier shop. One watch my hubby saw in a window (that came with an adorable model yacht) cost over $2,000. There were several luxury stores that had no customers in them, no matter what time of day we walked by. - The bed in our cabin - was so firm, it gave me serious back pain. Thankfully, our cabin steward was able to add an extra mattress pad which fixed the problem. - Pools are too chilly. I am not a person who tends to be cold but both the pools in the main pool area and solarium were chilly and uncomfortable to get in. They need to be heated a little more this time of year (winter). Additionally, the Solarium area is often chilly when it would be more appropriate for it to be a little warmer. The A.C. was blasting in there. Overall we had a really nice time and are happy with our experience on this cruise. I would say this cruise is perfect for older, sophisticated people who prefer a more sedate experience. If you like slow dancing or polka (ha ha) you probably will be very happy on this ship. If you prefer a more lively experience and you are energetic and youthful in your approach to life, you might be happier on Royal Caribbean, although there are many more children on RC cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Chose this cruise for the timeline, ports and the ship. Embarkation and disembarkation could not have gone smoother. Princess has perfected this aspect of cruising. A beautiful ship and extremely well designed with the passenger in ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the timeline, ports and the ship. Embarkation and disembarkation could not have gone smoother. Princess has perfected this aspect of cruising. A beautiful ship and extremely well designed with the passenger in mind. Our balcony cabin was compact, but how much time do you really spend in the cabin! It does what we need it to do when we’re at sea. After many years of requesting fixed dining time we have decided to change to anytime dining, strictly for the flexibility aspect. We can now fit in more entertainment and activities that appeal to us. The more we cruise with Princess the better the entertainment becomes. From the stage shows to the comedians and other professional acts they never fail to impress. If you want to have a great seat for most shows in the Princess theatre you need to be there 30 minutes before showtime. Service on this cruise was excellent. All of our requests were met without question. All service staff performed to our expectations. St. Thomas and St. Marrten are two of our favourite ports and we have visited both many times. Even with the recent hurricane damage the locals had an extremely positive outlook and truly appreciated cruisers returning. We no longer take excursions at these ports so we are not able to comment, but in the past we have always been pleased. We now just grab a cab and have them take us where we want to go. The cab service on both islands is excellent. For us Princess has perfected the whole package for our cruise requirements. Now that we are retired we have been booking at least one or two future cruises while we are on the ship. The incentives Princess offers make these bookings well worthwhile. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Not really great at writing long essays for reviews so I will keep it short and simple. I wanted a easy cruise without being overwhelmed by the port of call and excursions. So it's my 10th wedding anniversary I wanted a super awesome ... Read More
Not really great at writing long essays for reviews so I will keep it short and simple. I wanted a easy cruise without being overwhelmed by the port of call and excursions. So it's my 10th wedding anniversary I wanted a super awesome looking ship with spacious room. Personally I was looking for activities on the ship but what I discovered was A+ Entertainment & Activities . We did get give low rating for dining due to lack of vegetarian option and temp of the food. More than few times we noticed the food in the buffet was not hot or felt like it's just been sitting in side until there was room at the buffet table. But if you love MEAT and this is your cruise heaven buffet ship. Finally perfect port of call so not to be overwhelmed with great staff that can go above and beyond to make this a perfect cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
My husband and I chose this cruise because of all the activities on the ship. We loved the flow rider, rock climbing wall, and water slides. One of our excursions was cancelled due to rough seas, so we got back on the boat early before ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise because of all the activities on the ship. We loved the flow rider, rock climbing wall, and water slides. One of our excursions was cancelled due to rough seas, so we got back on the boat early before everyone else that day. It was great because there were no lines for anything. We were able to go again and again. That worked great for us because for the rest of the cruise the lines were very long. 15-20 min wait time to go down a water slide. The ship itself was beautiful. I especially appreciated the extra attention the staff put into keeping things sanitary. (For example, they have everyone apply hand sanitizer before entering the buffet) I work in Public Health and Epidemiology so I know how gross and risky it is to have 4000 people from around the world confined to a small space together.... I would have to say though that the downside was the food. The Windjammer had better food than our dinner dining. The pizza at Sorentos was made with cheese that tasted fake. (Like velveeta or something) And the staff did not seem happy to be there. Granted, we bought the cheaper, interior cabin and we talked to people who had bought nicer cabins and they had a very different dining experience than we did. They said the staff were sociable and interested with them during dinner. That was not our case. I would do this cruise again if we bought better cabins. You do get treated differently on the ship if you do not upgrade to a nicer cabin. We sailed Carnival two years ago, and we felt that the staff treated everyone equally and was happy and excited to be there. Plus, the food was significantly better on Carnival. Overall, we had a great time and the shows were really good. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We chose this cruise because of the opportunity to visit 5 islands, in port from 8-5 each day and the variety of excursions offered at each port. Royal does a great job with entertainment and activities and the food is delish. Their ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the opportunity to visit 5 islands, in port from 8-5 each day and the variety of excursions offered at each port. Royal does a great job with entertainment and activities and the food is delish. Their ships are clean and the staff are always friendly, courteous and knowledgeable. From the moment we stepped on the ship we felt comfortable with the staff and their willingness to make our experience exceptional! They were smiling, greeted us with eye contact and were always ready to assist us. Our room was clean and kept clean daily. Fresh towels each day and turn down service nightly with cute towel animals. Cannot say enough about how Royal staff performed in their jobs to make our experience just perfect. If you are planning your next cruise vacation and cannot decide on the cruise line, I would highly recommend Royal to you over others. They go the extra mile to make this a vacation to remember!!! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We chose this cruise to get out of the cold in January. We stayed at Embassy Suites by the dock and they are pros at handling multiple ships to put their customers on in a timely manner. The dock was surprisingly uncrowded. Embarkation ... Read More
We chose this cruise to get out of the cold in January. We stayed at Embassy Suites by the dock and they are pros at handling multiple ships to put their customers on in a timely manner. The dock was surprisingly uncrowded. Embarkation was quick. The ship looks good, the cabin was very nice in Aqua Class. Aqua Class has their own restaurant with the best service!!! Food is lighter and great! We tried the buffet once and it was good and fresh but we liked the Spa Cafe for lighter breakfast and lunch in a quiet ambiance with a pool and relaxing music. We loved Emotions string duo and the House band was good. The coffee place is excellent for day or night entertainment with wine. All staff very friendly. Embarkation was also pretty quick. We loved Key West and the after cruise ride to the airport was terriffic with an hour and a half boat ride of the canals and history of Ft. Lauderdale. I would like to see a piano bar and more on demand movies. Read Less
31 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
My boyfriend and I had never been on a cruise so didn't know where to start when booking. After some research we came across the MSC Seaside and were mostly attracted to the ship as it was brand new. For a couple who have never been on a ... Read More
My boyfriend and I had never been on a cruise so didn't know where to start when booking. After some research we came across the MSC Seaside and were mostly attracted to the ship as it was brand new. For a couple who have never been on a cruise and were slightly wary of cruising the idea of an old weathered ship smelling of stale cigarettes was not what we wanted. So the fact this was the ships third voyage sealed the deal for us. We went with the Aurea package with the whirlpool suite and unlimited drinks. Any couples traveling I would highly recommend this room and package. We were unsure when we booked as it seemed a little extravagant to pay the extra money for a hot tub. BUT, I would say it was the best decision we made, we used it every morning and evening at sunset, it worked with no problems, had underwater lighting, 2 types of pressure and perfect temperature. The hot tub is also situated in a way that gave us the most relaxing view of sunset and the ocean as the ship sailed away. Some nights we spent 2 hours in there! The hot tubs around the ship are usually full of 8-10 people to so to have your own private one really made a difference. Other perks of the package were the unlimited drinks and use of spa. There were no loop wholes with the drinks package as I thought there might be. it literally was unlimited any drink at any bar and restaurant through out the whole ship (except room service for alcoholic drinks) Food - we found the food to be very good, I over heard a lot of Americans complaining about the food (I am an American) I think this is because it is an Italian cruise line so the options were more Euro style which is my opinion is a lot more of a broader selection. No there were not options of endless fried and junk food but instead fresh cheese, ham, fruit pastries as well as all the usual cooked breakfast options, eggs, bacon, pancakes etc etc... Basically if you are looking to gorge of junk food for a week this is not the cruise line for you. The options were endless and certainly enough to please everyone, the quality in my opinion was great, nothing ever ran out, as soon as certain foods were running low a fresh batch would appear. I have read reviews from the first cruise from italy and how bad the food was, I think this must have been resolved before we cruised as there was no way the food could have been described as in anyway bad unless you are reviewing for the New York Times ;) The Korean BBQ restaurant was our favorite, and the Butchers cut. I did not enjoy the seafood restaurant because of course being on a cruise the shell fish has to be frozen, so the crab i ordered had been de-frosted and was soggy. The fish was good but I would always avoid any shell fish on a cruise. Spa was brilliant, 8 different rooms, snow room was spectacular. We had a couples massage booked in with our package which was very good. Didnt use the swimming pools much as they were too cold, the adult only pool is a nice touch as the other pools were over run by children. Gym was very well equiped had more than my gym at home, and not too crowded. My boyfriend got a very good hair cut in the barbers for a good price. Arcade was fun but you have to pay additional which I dont think is correct, this should be included in the package, it doesnt cost the ship any extra to operate a bowling alley or 5D cinema so no reason to charge more, its just a money making scheme which seems harsh considering the amount cruisers have already paid. Seaview lounge was our favorite bar to have afternoon drinks, not too crowded always served quickly and good views of the oceans. Bar and food wise there are more than enough options and neither one was ever too busy even at the peak time we sailed. Staff we all very pleasant and quick with service, especially our dining staff. The only bad service we encountered was the MSC representative at Fort Lauderdale airport, she was actually very rude to us, would not help us we actually ended up getting the address for the port from a Royal Carribean worker, so that was not a great intro to our trip. There also seemed to be a lot of staff lingering around who couldnt actually answer questions, it was a lot of 'you need to go there' or you need to ask this person. The feeling of being passed on to someone else with no resolution seemed too frequent. Room service was very bad too, phones rarely were answered and when they were things either didnt arrive or came 1hr plus late. One evening we wanted to stay in the room and order room service for dinner, after trying to call for over an hour with no response we gave up and went to a buffet. Once someone did answer I asked why it took me 10 attempts to get though and they said it was very busy and they only had 4 phones. Not really a good enough excuse for a boat that holds 4000+ passengers, solution - get more phones - have lingering staff to answer them. Cleaning of the room was very good, always done on time and cleaned twice a day. Entertainment wasn't a big concern for us as we arent big show watchers, The 2 shows we did see were good. only 30 minutes which is the perfect amount of time, some of the dancers were of a very high standard, females I thought a lot stronger than males. Bingo was a lot of fun we played 3 times, I think they should have done more bingo as it seemed to be a big hit. There were always enough parties and things going on in the evening for a young couple no problems there. We stopped in Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Bahamas. We only booked one tour which was the Bob Marley tour in Jamaica, well worth it if you are a Bob Marley fan. Cozumel was the least favorite of our stops, Bahamas was beautiful. Weather wasnt great that week but if it is and you dont want to do an excusion just google the nearest best beach and jump in a taxi from the port. Its worth getting out for a couple of hours. Except Cozumel, unless you have booked an excusion you're best staying on the boat as there is nothing to see there. We got a taxi to a beach and it was full with other cruisers, over prices bad food and drink. Your better to stay on the boat and save the money, there is nothing to experice there. In summary, going into this experience somewhat wary of what a cruise entails we were pleasantly surprised. The mix of nationalities on the boat for us was a real plus, it showed people had flew in from all around the world for this ship. The ship was by far the most impressive we saw on all of our port stops and was very much in envy of the passengers travelling with other cruise lines! If you unsure of weather to book this from previous bad reviews, from what I saw any initial faults were fixed and we had a perfect sailing with very minimal problems, I would definitely sail on the seaside again. Read Less

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