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Sail Date: August 2019
Exceeded our expectations from embarkation to debarkation. Crews are very friendly and helpful. You don’t get hungry as lots of yummy foods on board and lots of sporting activities you can do on board to ensure you don’t get extra kg ... Read More
Exceeded our expectations from embarkation to debarkation. Crews are very friendly and helpful. You don’t get hungry as lots of yummy foods on board and lots of sporting activities you can do on board to ensure you don’t get extra kg while indulging with lots of good variety of foods. Medallion class made everything on board really easy. They have a very systematic system where everything really works very well. We have enjoyed all the activities on board, in particular, the shows daily. Our crew steward always ensure that our room is being looked after daily. Live TV updates is also very helpful for everyone as you will be informed on what’s happening on the ship, ports and shore excursions very important informations and tips. We will definitely cruise with Princess again and will recommend them to our friends and families. Keep up the good work and hope to see you again soon. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We would thoroughly recommend this cruise.The staff we friendly helpful and attentive.They were very helpful with my dietry requirements (I am gluten intolerant) There was a good balance between sightseeing and relaxing and there were ... Read More
We would thoroughly recommend this cruise.The staff we friendly helpful and attentive.They were very helpful with my dietry requirements (I am gluten intolerant) There was a good balance between sightseeing and relaxing and there were superb views from the ship as we sailed up the Danube.The daily walking tours with local guides orientated you to each new place allowing you to return after lunch to explore further if you wished.The on board infinity pool is small but pleasant.We will definitely choose Emerald river cruises for another holiday.The cruise director,Darren, is truly wonderful -I am sure you are extremely lucky to have him as he could have a very fruitful career on the stage- but his attention to detail - and everybody 's attention to detail, from cabin assistant, waiting staff and chef- has been truly exemplary and unsurpassed by any other holiday company that we have ever been on and everyone's pleasant demeanour is a joy to behold. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We had a cabin on deck 8 and it was a balcony. We went to Costa Maya, Roatan, and Cozumel. Embarkation was fast and easy. Arvin was the best steward ever. He helped us with water, extra pillows, mattress pad, and kept things clean. We ... Read More
We had a cabin on deck 8 and it was a balcony. We went to Costa Maya, Roatan, and Cozumel. Embarkation was fast and easy. Arvin was the best steward ever. He helped us with water, extra pillows, mattress pad, and kept things clean. We only requested service once a day because we tend to be in and out of our cabin a lot, and he was great about keeping things tidy while we were away. We got to enjoy towel animals regularly even though we were only traveling with adult kids. No matter the age, we still enjoy the fun stuff! Very nice man! The cruise director and her staff were probably the best we've ever experienced. Emma and Laylay and the gang were lots of fun. Make your way to the atrium lobby for music and dancing (ignore that it says music trivia; it is really about a party time). We loved the Clue game, but we arrived a couple of minutes late to the first event and didn't get all the instructions or starting "book". I tried to check in with the staff about it, but apparently there were not enough copies. I asked about it but I guess I was misunderstood. It would be nice to add the instructions for the game to the hub so that people can join in. There seemed to be enough clues available at the cafe, but one of the in person clues was during our dinner, so we didn't get that one (8:15 first night). My 20 year old enjoyed the clues and the daily sudoku.The hasbro game and love and marriage were really fun to watch. I only saw one comedian. He had some funny stuff, but a lot of it was just so so. I'm not big into disparaging humor. My son really liked it. We were looking forward to some nice photographs, but only bought one. I'm glad we didn't get the package beforehand. Pixel sets up for evening shots in crowded areas. I did find out that in the atrium lobby, there were some backdrops set up without as much crowding. The photo we bought from Pixel had us pretty crowded, so we were not centered with space on either side. I would have stood in line for some of the other spots if I had not set up an appointment with Dreams Studio. Dreams Studio is a great idea if you have the time and stress level to get it done. However, it was not what I imagined. First, the girls (me and my daughter) were running a couple of minutes late, so that affected my stress level which no doubt affected the experience (my bad). However, my husband and son were on time and got their photos done, then my husband and I, then my daughter joined. So really, the photographer did not have stand around waiting for us time. They only schedule for 30 minutes total. We were told when we got there that it would be only the black backdrop photos. We would not have photos taken at any of the pretty places on the ship. I had also asked about beach shots. In the initial emails, he told me that we could check with him once on board. However, when we got on board and asked on the phone, he said that it was too short of a cruise. I would have hired a photographer at port if I had known before that. Heck, even some photos in the Havana room would have been nice with their pretty chairs and window shades. All we were told was that the deck was too windy. They were not upfront about a few things. I asked for pricing starting with emails and kept getting put off on it. So I did not see pricing until our appointment to see the photos on the last day (we had an appointment for two days after our sitting, but we arrived early and were asked if we could put off from our 7:30 appt until 8:00; which we couldn't because of dinner, plus, who wants to run down to the Havana room over and over (it isn't easy to get to)). The $149 package includes only 2 prints. It would be $299 for 3 prints). To get any digital, you have to pay at least $200 for one photo and that includes the release. Packages started at $499 after that. At this point, the photographer was getting pretty testy/abrupt/snarky (which was evident at other times with our interactions as well). We ordered 2 prints for $149. This was our 25th anniversary celebration, so I was hoping for at least something. When we picked them up on the last day, the one of my husband and me was nice, but the one with us and our two kids was very dark with deep shadows on the sides of our faces. That is not how it looked when we saw them in the studio. We asked to speak to the photographer, but admittedly did not remember his name. The other photographer came by and agreed that it looked dark. He tried to contact the one who took our photos, but that one apparently just said they could reprint (for which we would be responsible for finding them to get it before getting off the ship) or we could get a refund. No offer of the other one that printed correctly for a lesser price (I would have paid 80 for just the one). No offer to reprint it correctly and have it sent to our room. No offer to reprint it and mail it to us. All of it was for nothing. Very disappointed. I should have stuck to my usual professional photographer at home. It felt very much like low balling and switch and bait. A waste of our time. I'm glad I took the one with Pixels right after, or I would have nothing to show for all that time. This is of course only our experience. I hope others have had much better. Casino: I like the computer poker table because we can play cash games. The poker tournament was a bit crazy though. $150 buy in. Only 10 people total (so get there early). Only 1st place is paid with $750 and seat in $175,000 tournament on another cruise (cruise not included). 2nd place (me) got a seat to that big tournament. I found out later that we could have both quit at the same time and split the pot at the cage, but didn't know it was possible with the computer set up. Please, note, they did not have a dealer or anyone watching the game, so this costs them no money beyond the computer poker table. The slots are VERY tight. The dealers at table games did well. I did not see any errors and they were always nice and friendly. Bingo includes just 3 games each time at $40 for dauber, 9 cards per game, and pull tab game. You get extra cards for the last game which can win $5000 if blackout in 49 balls. Food really ranged from excellent to average. The carnival cake is wonderful. I had ordered an anniversary cake that was also very good. It was too big to eat the first day, so we found a way to shove it in fridge. They do not provide a box so that you can eat later. Filet mignon, lobster, pizza, french toast, bacon were all good. Bread for dinner was definitely good!!! Salmon was dry, scrambled eggs were runny. Waitstaff was fun. Drinks from the bar were pretty good for the most part. We did not book shore excursions from carnival. Now that they are price matching better, we probably should have. This 6 day cruise made for little time in the ports and they were 3 days in a row--exhausting. The itinerary says 8 hours, but that is not really how much time you have once you dock and so forth. carnival excursions guarantee you will get back on board in time. That is definitely a plus, as we watched arrivals well after the time we were set to leave. Disembarkation was a bit long, but to be fair, we didn't understand to get the luggage tags early (look for them the day before on deck 5 midship). We should have listened to Emma better, lol. I definitely will choose a 7 day over 6 day next time. However, on the Freedom, it does not feel overcrowded (except during photo times) and did not have long lines. It is a trade off to consider when booking your cruise! Overall, I rate it as number 2 out of 5 cruises that I have been on. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We had seen this ship while we were on another cruise, and were amazed by the size. We booked a stateroom, knowing we would pay a premium because it is so we. The nightly entertainment is incredible. The full production of Hairspray is ... Read More
We had seen this ship while we were on another cruise, and were amazed by the size. We booked a stateroom, knowing we would pay a premium because it is so we. The nightly entertainment is incredible. The full production of Hairspray is amazing, and the Hiro Show was spectacular. Pros: Gorgeous ship, like a Miami hotel. Very friendly staff. Lots of specialty restaurants. Very nice app that allows you to see your schedule. AmIng entertainment in the evening. They are VERY serious about hand washing, and everyone Moves through a handwashing station before they go in to the food area. During the day there are a lot of options for food that is included in the price of the cruise. Great adults on the area at the front of the ship. Cons: Room 14-723 is under the Flowrider attraction. At night the water that is stored for the attraction sloshes loudly, dampening an otherwise great stateroom experience. There is barely anything to eat after 11:00pm. If you are used to the open buffets and little food places on Carnival, you won’t find that here. Although there are a number of restaurants, most of them close after 10 or 11 PM, leaving one small place on the main deck. It has a very limited selection of sandwiches and some desserts. We always enjoyed the option of having ice cream and pizza or hotdogs on carnival, the ship does not have any of that available late night. We also enjoyed trivia, but the place where they have the trivia is called the honor bar, it has very limited seating, probably less than 50 people can fit in there. This does not work for a ship that contains over 7000 passengers. So we often find ourselves with nothing to do on the ship, and we head back to the room and just read. It seems like the smaller ships have a lot more options for food and activities during the day, I simply don’t wanna look at overpriced diamonds and watches all day, I want other things to do. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
First off let me say that I am not an avid cruiser. This was my 5th cruise in a 20 year span. My family and I have always cruised Royal Caribbean and decided to give Carnival a shot since the port is only 3.5 hours from our home. To begin ... Read More
First off let me say that I am not an avid cruiser. This was my 5th cruise in a 20 year span. My family and I have always cruised Royal Caribbean and decided to give Carnival a shot since the port is only 3.5 hours from our home. To begin with I had a lot of questions about the Carnival process and came here to Cruise Critic for help and it paid off. Learning the little tricks of the ship and shore excursions from past guest definitely added to our experience. Let me start with the embarkment process. First you will arrive at the port and the folks there will unload your vehicle for you and take your luggage onboard for you. Make sure you tip the guy a few bucks! Then you will be directed to park. Be prepared to walk about 200 yards to the main building for check in. Not a bad walk at all. Have your Birth Certificate and Driver's License in your hand. A passport is great but not necessary. Once in that building you move pretty quick. They will then direct you to the charter buses outside to take you to the boarding ramp. Tip the bus driver a few bucks! Once you are on the boarding ramp you will be directed to the security baggage check line. You will then place your carry on onto a scanner machine where the friendly security folks will run it through their machine. After that you are on your way! The total time my wife and I spent at the port was about 25 minutes total and we did not purchase "Faster to The Fun" from Carnival. Once onboard you will notice friendly/Inviting staff that will answer any question. Your stateroom will not be available to 1:30 so head up to Deck 9 and grab lunch and try everything! Be aware that the tea is unsweet and the cups are very small. Once our room was available we headed up and settled in to our cabin. Our cabin number was 11008. It was on the Serenity Deck level which is adult only. Our cabin steward was Emerson and he was awesome. He made our stay comfortable and answered every question we had. Our room was a balcony suite and worth the extra money. The bed was very, very comfortable and I am very picky about where I sleep. The pillows were vey soft and big. The room itself was bigger than others we have stayed in on RC and perfect for two adults. The bathroom was big as well. The soap that is supplied for guest on the ship does not lather well so bring your own. In all our cabin was great with exception of the soap so all is good so far. After we got settleed we headed out to explore the ship and found ourselves at the Serentity Spa. Big mistake! The staff there were friendly and took my wife and I on a tour of the spa. Big mistake. They were boarderline pushy about selling their products and it detered my wife and I from ever going back in there even though we had free spa treatment vouchers given to us because we booked a Serenity Suite Room. On to the food! The Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse is the best. You will not regret it. The steaks are amazing. It cost my wife and I $38 a piece to eat there and it is a 4 course meal! The cheese cake is huge and unlike anything Ive ever eaten in the cheesecake world. Amazing! It was so good, we ate there twice. The ships buffet on deck 9 was good but Guys Burgers was great. I ate alot of Guys Burgers and they are free. The breakfast buffet is good and has just about everything you could ask for. The coffee is below average and the juices provided were average but satisfiying. On tuesday night my wife and I tried the Main Dining room. They seated us right away but that was it. We sat there for about 10 minutes and that was it. We got up and left. We then went up to the Cucina del Capiitano restaurant. It was great. The best Italian food we have ever eaten. Now for the entertainment on the cruise. The shows were good and the cast were above average performers. Adam the cruise director was great and James kept everyone laughing. However Ty was rude at times with guest and at one point told a lady that came in the wrong door to never do that again. He told her this over the PA system and made that lady look like a child. She reacted to his lecture alot better than I would have. That was totally uncalled for on Ty's behalf. Very unprofessional. Onto excurisions. Half Moon Cay was the best!! Better than any beach we have ever seen. Make sure you get off the boat early to get the best chairs but if you dont, no worries they have plenty. You do not need towels from the boat. They provide them on the island. The sand there is unbelievable and the water is perfect. The most amazing beach ever! Did I mention amazing enough about this beach? Bring your own snorkle gear and an inflatable float. It will save you money and you will have plenty of room to just float around and enjoy the sun. No beach that RC or Disney has can compare to Half Moon Cay! Now about Nassau. My wife and I booked the Blue Lagoon VIP Beach Day. It was just ok. The beach was rocky, very dangerous if you are elderly or someone with previous health injuries like neck or back surgery The staff on Blue Lagoon were very nice and attended to our every need. The VIP excursion came with snorkle gear and bottled water all day. The lunch buffet was really good and the staff was was very friendly. Also if you decide to do this exersion bring water shoes and towels! YOU WILL NEED WATER SHOES!!!!! Very rocky beach. Our overall experience was good with Carnival. The only problems we saw that Carnival could do much better at is the muster drill that happens pre-sail and exiting the boat for excursions. It is organized chaos and causes stairway roadrage with guest. Guest are literally shoulder to shoulder and nobody can move. if you dont like confined spaces wait till the crowd clears to head out. The disemarkment process was well organized. You have a choice of carrying your own luggage off or checking your luggage. If you can carry your stuff then do it but if you pack like my wife, check your luggage. The process is super easy and they will call you by tag numbers depending on the tag number you pick the night before disemarkment. No worries. If you check your bags, they will be waiting on you in the building where the US Customs Security team await. The US Customs Officers are friendly and do a great job getting you through the line fairley quickly. Once you get through customs, you and your luggage will then be directed to the charter buses to take you back to the parking lot. If your luggage is heavy, the porters there will carry them for you to the buses. Tip them! When you get to the buses they will load your luggage on trailers to carry them back to the parking lot. When you exit the buses at the parking lot, your luggage will be right there waiting on you. No worries. Then off you go back to the real world. We really enjoyed our first Carnival experience and will probably do it again. Hope this helped. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We found a decent deal on this voyage, most likely because of the closure of the Cuba itinerary. At the last minute NCL was forced to change its Cuba run to a sad Nassau run. We figured the destination wasn’t as important to us as a ... Read More
We found a decent deal on this voyage, most likely because of the closure of the Cuba itinerary. At the last minute NCL was forced to change its Cuba run to a sad Nassau run. We figured the destination wasn’t as important to us as a getaway in the sun and some time to unplug and relax. Sadly, NCL is all about keeping the 20-somethings happy, drunk and “energized.” And NCL nickles and dimes you to death. What started as a $1200 package (with balcony upgrade and insurance due to an ailing family member) turned into a MUCH more expensive weekend. But worse, there was NOTHING relaxing about this ship. First, I considered the open bar to be a nice idea. We could sip a few pink drinks with paper umbrellas as we enjoyed the sun by the pool, in the Caribbean sun and vibe, right? Great idea. Not even close. The evening we began the journey, the college-aged boys began doing the contest drinking by the pool, standing at the edge, flexing and trying to spontaneously elicit cheers from the crowd as they chugged enormous amounts of drinks from long beer-bong type things. Vomit ensued in various parts of the ship (of course). Later, they crawled off to various cabins which improved things. Additionally, you are given way-overpriced options to upgrade your beverages the first day. $30 per person per cabin per day to include top shelf booze, unlimited energy drinks (think-really drunk, hyper caffeinated frat boys) and unlimited bottles of water. Also half way decent wine with dinner instead of super cheap wine. Ok, I thought it might be worth it for the wine, and for me since I planned on having a few drinks. Unfortunately we both were required. So $60 per day. It was Friday evening with a Monday early am disembarkation. That meant either $180 since Monday isn’t at sea, right? Check your bill. $240 was added to ours. Leaving at 7:30 am means you don’t even get a mimosa with breakfast, and if you did, it would be a $30 mimosa. The facilities were quite nice. The pool was salt water which was really lovely once the large children calmed down a bit. The sensation of buoyancy in the water on the gently rocking boat was very soothing and enjoyable. Also, the ship was overhauled last year in preparation for being used for travel to Cuba. Sadly the current administration cut that off, so now they have a really nice ship being used for booze cruises, typically reserved for older ships. The dining haul is spotless, the rooms were nice and clean and service was decent including turn down service. Lock your valuables in the safe though. I “lost” a diamond ring I left on the small tray by the coffee pot. I should have remembered to put it in the safe...my bad. But the ship resisted having someone come to investigate. The ring was not a favorite and not terribly expensive. I didn’t want anyone to lose their job, so I just took the loss. I should have put it in the safe. Dinner in the main dining room was nice. Being early diners, we were able to receive window tables two of three nights. The food was good but not stellar. We sent back cold appetizers and received luke warm appetizers, and had issues with the temp of our steaks. But the steaks themselves were very tender when they were cooked properly. No lobster or higher end seafood which is a bummer on a Caribbean cruise. There are a couple fish dishes but they looked unappealing. Deserts were better than Royal Caribbean or Carnival offerings. The wines with the upgraded beverage plan were decent-to-good $40-$50 bottles at normal retail, though the prices they listed them at on the menu were nonsense. Service was very nice and wait staff was quite attentive. You will need to future out how to find out about ship activities each days. The announcements were barely audible, so no help there. The brochures were hit or miss. We found out late that picture night was night two. That’s ok, they cost too much anyway. The private island had the chance to be great. As it was it was just good. The water was nice and the snorkeling was good, as long as the sun stayed out. When the sun goes behind clouds it is hard to see the beauty of the coral and fish. When the sun is out and you get right up to the rocks, the colors are lovely. Not Great Barrier Reef lovely, but definitely worth the effort, if not the $30 leaky mask. I would recommend this one, but if you can, bring your own mask and snorkel, save the money and enjoy the experience a bit more. You snorkel immediately where the ship lets you off so it would be easy to bring your own gear. Sadly, there were Norwegian Cruise Lines plastic cups scattered throughout the reef. Nassau is a terrible destination. The smell is of baking urine and regret. You are hassled mercilessly for money from the moment you step off the ship. Taxis, scooters, tours, horse and buggy rides (we took one, supposed to be 25 minutes, barely 10) and everything else you can imagine. You will feel abused after an hour on the island. The straw market is another place where you will be accosted and robbed for every penny you can be convinced to depart with. Skip it all and head to a beach. You will over pay for the taxi but overpaying once is better than being panhandled continually. By noon we were ready to get back on the ship. But this was the absolute worst part of the cruise for me, and it negatively colored every bit of the rest of the experience. And it was fully within this ship’s ability to correct, which made it even more infuriating. We decided to go hang out and relax by the pool and enjoy the sun, a drink or two, and some much-needed down time. Most of the 20-somethings were still sleeping off bad hangovers or on the island. The crowd was older. But the buffoon playing “music” by the pool was quite full if himself and his talent. The loud, thrumming techno-dance vibe garbage he was “playing” at 100% full volume was suitable for a night club I suppose, but certainly not for the atmosphere of an afternoon by the pool in the bahamas. He did something to older and newer songs to make them all exactly this very high intensity, mind-numbing beat, and every two or three songs, escalated them into a ramp up of a high wail. It was absolutely the equivalent of Dante’s 7th level of hell. In fact, if I do end up in hell, this will be the soundtrack. There was no escaping it. The only way you would see people letting go of the deck chairs they reserve all day is by playing this garbage. People would come, lay down, put things over their heads, put on headphones, move further away, and finally leave. It was outright maddening. Keep in mind that on a Friday - Monday cruise you really only have two full days to relax in the sun. NCL snuffed out one of those days completely by letting the soundtrack of the tilt-a-whirl at the Mall parking lot carnival rule the atmosphere. The “cruise director” should be keel hauled for allowing it. It really ruined the entire day, and thereby ruined fully half the cruise. Frankly, all the other things that were annoying paled in comparison of rendering the pool unusable by the audio assault. It was that bad. It was definitely not “high-energy” as was obviously being attempted. It was “near-death.” After two hours of trying to extract enough vitamin D to overcome my plummeting mood, we gave up and went inside. With little else to do, we retreated to our cabin and read a book. Yay. What an incredible waste of a day and money. RCL, you have the opportunity to turn a sad issue of a reconfigured itinerary into a decent experience. Nassau is awful but that can’t be fixed. Lose the “all you can possibly consume and then vomit back up” booze fest. Improve the dining room menu slightly, improve overall communications, and for God’s sake lose the souped-up Mazda beater car on steroids sounds going on by the pool. A little bit of effort to upscale the event itself would turn the frat party booze cruise/vomit fest into an experience that could be enjoyed by all, including those who don’t slug a round, belch loudly, high five and chest bump. Next cruise for me is back to another line. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We did this same itinerary on the Legend of the Seas in 1995 and were curious to see it all again. On the 1995 cruise the weather was cloudy with a lot of rain but this time around we had blue sky days the entire week. The ship was ... Read More
We did this same itinerary on the Legend of the Seas in 1995 and were curious to see it all again. On the 1995 cruise the weather was cloudy with a lot of rain but this time around we had blue sky days the entire week. The ship was beautiful, service outstanding, food - very good - especially at the Chef's Table dinner. We also enjoyed Chop's one night and Jamie's Italian on 2 nights. The cruise through the fiord up to Dawes Glacier was a highlight for us as the scenery was spectacular.. As we got closer to the glacier we passed more and more icebergs and there was a special beauty about them. The water was a glacial green that enhanced the blue white colors in the ice. As we neared the glacier the ice pack got thicker requiring the ship to stop a mile or 2 away from where the glacier enters the water. The captain at this time put the ship through a 360 degree turn allowing everyone to get a nice view. It was a special day. We visited Skagway and Juneau and Victoria. In Victoria we did a food tour with Andy ( A Taste of Victoria ) who was just wonderful. We booked this on our own - not through the ship. Overall I would highly recommend the Ovation of the Seas and this Alaska itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
I chose this cruise because I was going with a group of other couples as a couples/family trip. The experience was ok for the most part. This was our 1st cruise bc we mostly fly to our destination of choice. When we got on board we had a ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I was going with a group of other couples as a couples/family trip. The experience was ok for the most part. This was our 1st cruise bc we mostly fly to our destination of choice. When we got on board we had a hard time finding our room, bc again this was our 1st cruise, the guys at the entrance way asked if we needed help and we told them our room # and one guy just pointed us to the elevators. So when we got on we noticed on the outside there were letters but the inside there were numbers. So we went back and motioned for him to come show us how it worked and again he just pointed to the elevators. So luckily one of the couples we were with showed us how the numbers corresponded with the letters. Ok minor all is well. We go to our rooms to get settled and put our luggage away, when we get a knock on the door and a few seconds later some worker is walking in, talk about invasion of privacy and this happened on several occasions. So then we get finished with the safety review and head to get drinks ( cheers package was already purchased) and food. The guy at the bar seemed very annoyed that we were ordering drinks bc granted it was pretty busy, but he seemed that way throughout the trip. So again we let it go and we started having a good time. Now let's fast forward to the time where I asked for extra cheese on my Guys burger and asked for it to be melted on the grill instead of a cold piece of cheese being thrown on burger and they guy literally rolled his eyes. WOW! So now we get to the end of our 4 day voyage and we get a bill with an additional $55.96 x's 2 for additional "gratuities for your team members". Then once we get home we checked our acct and noticed we were charged for the cheers package twice a total of over $1000 for DRINKS when we have a receipt for $537 total. So bc we were told there would be several holds on our acct we waited to see if the other charges would fall off, they did not so I called Carnival Cruises Customer Service and was informed that one of the charges of over $500 would come off bc it was a hold but the additional $111.92 was there to stay bc we didn't stop by Guest Services to advise them we didn't want to pay the additional for tips. Mind you in the cheers package you are already charged 18%=$82 EACH PERSON for gratuities and now we were charged an EXTRA $111.92. This is a complete rip off and we will NEVER book with Carnival again and will advise any and everyone we know who is thinking of booking Carnival not to do so. The customer service was not all that great and Carnival had the nerve to charge for additional gratuities, what a joke. I am completely not satisfied with this experience at ALL. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose Scenic as we had travelled with them once before. We were not disappointed. The whole time we felt cared for and nurtured. The cabin was beautifully appointed with an airy balcony and plenty of space. Dining options were numerous ... Read More
We chose Scenic as we had travelled with them once before. We were not disappointed. The whole time we felt cared for and nurtured. The cabin was beautifully appointed with an airy balcony and plenty of space. Dining options were numerous and all food and drink was fantastic quality. Entertainment included an onboard pianist, in addition to performers being brought aboard from various ports. We were even treated to a recital by a classical quartet in a Château, where Scenic docked just for the evening performance, then sailed on. Very special! Most of all, the staff were welcoming, attentive, competent and caring, which always makes a trip. There was always a personal touch. The cruise director was amazing - a French national who was full of wonderful insights into her native country. Hotel Manager ensured all F&B ran seamlessly. Food and drink choices were incredibly varied and top quality. Highly recommend! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
As an all inclusive cruise we liked knowing what we paid up front was the bottom line, no hidden extras. We have travelled with Scenic before so not a difficult decision. Lovely comfortable beds light airy and clean cabins. This time ... Read More
As an all inclusive cruise we liked knowing what we paid up front was the bottom line, no hidden extras. We have travelled with Scenic before so not a difficult decision. Lovely comfortable beds light airy and clean cabins. This time travelling to a region of France we have not seen before and wanted to learn more about. On board attentive staff, great food , friendly fellow passengers made the ten days most enjoyable and we learned a lot about wine, the grape varieties and wine making. Starting and finishing in Bordeaux which we found to be a delightful city and had adequate time for exploring. Other ports of call included Libourne, Pauilliac, Fort Medoc, Cadillac, Bourg sur Garrone and Blaye, we also took a side excursion to Cognac, a lovely town and of course we just had to see how its namesake spirit is made and tasted at Remy Martin. Recommend to anyone not just wine enthusiasts. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Sailed out of Port Canaveral. We love Port Canaveral-from the parking garage to the terminal right onto the ship, everything went smooth. It is very clean and we felt very safe. Disembarkation from our cabin to our car-under 10 minutes, ... Read More
Sailed out of Port Canaveral. We love Port Canaveral-from the parking garage to the terminal right onto the ship, everything went smooth. It is very clean and we felt very safe. Disembarkation from our cabin to our car-under 10 minutes, easiest one ever. The Ship was quite lovely and felt "new" inside. Everything was clean (with the exception of the restroom near the pool outside buffet door) YUCK! The outside of the ship could stand a little attention as she feels a bit "tired". For the most part the staff was great. Our stateroom host was wonderful. She kept our cabin clean and our ice bucket full. Bar servers were ok, just not enough of them on a ship with Open Bar for all. But they tried to keep up. We did have the premium beverage package, but ran into the bars/bar tenders not have the "premium" wine or the bartender just didnt want to open a bottle. We wouldnt do the premium package again. It doesn't include the coffee (Starbucks), and its just not worth the extra $$ for us. We were in an Oceanview (obstructed Oceanview) which was great. We kept the curtains closed for the most part (we were on the promenade deck, 6th floor. This room had so much storage, wow. It was at the end of a passageway so it was very quiet, and the AC was cold! We ate in the Seven Seas Dining room and the food was meh. Definitely an area they can improve on. We enjoyed Sushi one night and it was good. Le Bistro consistently knocks it out of the park with food and service!. We did try Los Lobos and while service was very good, we probably won't be back. Food was just ok. We enjoyed the Sports Bar and wish it was open longer hours. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this cruise for our anniversary celebration, and boy was it worth it. The VIP services were Great! The butler, concierge, and cabin steward were exceptionally helpful, courteous and professional. They made us feel important and ... Read More
We chose this cruise for our anniversary celebration, and boy was it worth it. The VIP services were Great! The butler, concierge, and cabin steward were exceptionally helpful, courteous and professional. They made us feel important and appreciated. The ship was clean and welcoming. The only drawback was the dense smoke in casino. Suggest that a separate location for non smokers be considered. The first on/off was certainly a great perk. The Captain's cocktail hour was good and enjoyable. We're already in planning stage for our next cruise. The food was good, wait time was a little long at the 7 seas restaurant. We'll tell our friends to surely go VIP cruising and get spoiled. De-barkation was as easy as embarkation not a bad experience. All staff encountered was met with pleasantries and professionalism. Our butler Francis was very courteous and helpful attended to all our requests and desires, we wanted to bring him home!!! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Emerald took excellent care of us from embarking to disembarking. We were the first guests to arrive for the new cruise. Though the staff was very busy getting the previous guests off , they were attentive to our needs. Nenad ... Read More
Emerald took excellent care of us from embarking to disembarking. We were the first guests to arrive for the new cruise. Though the staff was very busy getting the previous guests off , they were attentive to our needs. Nenad recognized that the members of our arrival group had traveled from long distances (the USA and Australia) and asked his crew to immediately ready our rooms so that we could refresh ourselves. Each day Darren did an excellent job arranging the excursions and events with every detail taken care of. The servers were always attentive but 2, Draganna and Jane, made an extra effort to remember our preferences and serve us accordingly. The food was always pleasing to the eye and palate and the chef should be applauded. We also are appreciative of the housekeeping staff that provided us with a clean and tidy room and clean linens everywhere. So many people seamlessly and beautifully providing us with a very pleasing experience. Standout events for us we’re the bike ride from Melk to Dürnstein and the Waltz Concert in Vienna. The bike ride gave us the opportunity to savor the scenery and the flavor of the small villages. We wouldn’t have missed it! The talents exhibited by the orchestra that entertained us in Vienna were exceptional! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
This was our first cruse. Just the two of us in our 40’s. Left Sydney on a nice night with flat seas, was a great start. Had a balcony room which was bigger than we thought it would be. Room was really nice lots of room to put clothes ... Read More
This was our first cruse. Just the two of us in our 40’s. Left Sydney on a nice night with flat seas, was a great start. Had a balcony room which was bigger than we thought it would be. Room was really nice lots of room to put clothes away. Bathroom small but ok. I have a bad back but found the bed to be very good. Good choice of dinning opinions and all that we had were great. Entertainment and activities on days at sea kept us so busy it was hard to keep up with what was on when at times. They sure know how to keep you busy! Enjoyed our couple of days in port with a few excursions though it’s always hard to know which excursion is best to do and had rain one shore day but was still fun. This cruse was 8 days which seems about right as we were looking forward to getting off by the 8th day. The fact that we ran into a storm and 5 meter waves did not help I guess but was still fun. The thing that really stands out is the crew. They are all so friendly and happy to chat. Makes you feel like your at home. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Stayed in 7458 which is an aft-facing Havana balcony. This ship is so immense, having access to the Havana-guests only pool deck was a vacation-saver. Lido pools were constantly jammed, but most I ever counted in the Havana pool was 14 one ... Read More
Stayed in 7458 which is an aft-facing Havana balcony. This ship is so immense, having access to the Havana-guests only pool deck was a vacation-saver. Lido pools were constantly jammed, but most I ever counted in the Havana pool was 14 one sea day. Some different shows on the Horizon which is a nice change of pace from the repeats in the rest of the fleet. However, the volume is ear-splitting. I complained a few times to no avail. One Liquid Lounge manager said they check the decibels every night. That may be true, but they are setting the volume way to high. You can't even understand the lyrics from the singers. It was so bad, my ears are still ringing three days after our cruise ended. Our itinerary was the 6-day from Miami with stops in Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. Ocho Rios is kind of dumpy. We did not do an excursion but wandered over the Margaritaville (which is just as lame as all the other locations). Touts descended on us nonstop, with some even calling to us through the fence in the port area. We stepped onto our balcony during docking and it already reeked of ganja. Our Cozumel excursion was canceled due to lack of interest: Elite Champagne Sail & Snorkel. Kind of surprising as there were three Carnival vessels in port that day. Pretty much stayed in the Havana area. Lido deck was jam packed with blasting music from a DJ, and a bunch of idiots who brought their own speakers. The cacophony was too much to handle. Elevators work fine if you use them correctly (press button once for each member of your party). Problem was that people in general are morons, and would just press the button once or just ask if a car was going up or down and jump on without pressing a button. Smart elevators, dumb people. Some crew was great. especially Havana and Alchemy bar staff. Atrium bar staff was efficient but not at all friendly. Piano bar player Dara was excellent, but you had to tolerate her playing her own stuff and constantly reminding people to tip her (which I don't blame her for, because the hayseed crowd seemed to not understand the concept of how a piano bar works). Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
I’ll keep this short as I find I stop reading if people write to much. In bullet point fashion. Embarkation: great Cabin steward: absolutely marvellous and they always are. Ship: a bit tired looking, could do with new carpets ... Read More
I’ll keep this short as I find I stop reading if people write to much. In bullet point fashion. Embarkation: great Cabin steward: absolutely marvellous and they always are. Ship: a bit tired looking, could do with new carpets and paint etc. Staff: reception: awful. If a smile is all your after, that’s all you will get. They really are dreadful. Waiting staff: at breakfast they are miserable and slow even though we were all extremely polite and patient. The evening the attitude is slightly better. Other guests: Rude, arrogant and miserable. Honestly why come on holiday if your going to be like that. I’ve found this to be true on Victoria as well. I think this contributes to the mood of the staff. Food: very good. Kids club: great Pools: dirty (all of them) I went in with my son wearing goggles and wished I hadn’t! Perhaps I’ve gone on too much but really I don’t expect anything to change and if Your only interest is to tell people you’ve been on Cunard you’ll probably continue to put up with it. Holland America beats them hands down (I’m English btw). Enough droning as I’ve definitely gone on too long. Happy cruising Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
The cruise fit our travel schedule and we picked the best weather for the week. Sunshine everyday. We had no issues with embarkation or disembarkation during our port stops. Dining in the dining rooms was better than the buffet but it ... Read More
The cruise fit our travel schedule and we picked the best weather for the week. Sunshine everyday. We had no issues with embarkation or disembarkation during our port stops. Dining in the dining rooms was better than the buffet but it depended on your schedule as to which one to use. We used both. We did not take the cruise because of the food selections so as long as it was nourishing, it was okay. Unless you are looking for jewelry or art, don't get caught up in the sales pitches, it takes away from your valuable time for both sailing and excursions. Entertainment was very good, enjoyed the theater shows. A little too breezy for watching movies under the stars but did enjoy the walks on deck. Cabin was spacious but air was not working properly and refrigerator got warm b/c of lack of ventilation. Recommend balcony rooms just because of the views and privacy. Stateroom steward was excellent and the front desk was very helpful. I would definitely go again if the opportunity presented itself. I wish we would have had more time in some of our ports. The excursions took a lot of the time away from just seeing the towns where we stopped, but they were all very good. The train ride in Skagway, the Mendenhall Glacier excursion in Juneau or the tours of Ketchican and Victoria, they were all terrific. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Short and sweet.... The cruise itself was amazing! The Bliss is an amazing ship and the crew were unbelievable. Dining options are very good and the food is amazing, however good luck getting into the dining venue you want. Even ... Read More
Short and sweet.... The cruise itself was amazing! The Bliss is an amazing ship and the crew were unbelievable. Dining options are very good and the food is amazing, however good luck getting into the dining venue you want. Even attempting dining reservations months in advance I could not get into Cagney's or Ocean Blue, I called and was told on the ship it would be no problem as they only pre book 10-20% ahead of time for reservations. Totally wrong! We were early on board between 10 and 11 am and they had a reservation specialist on the way to the ship. Cagney's and Ocean Blue were already 100% reserved for the entire cruise! To me, not having these choices available at all is highly unacceptable! My only other complaint the entire time was the photography studio. We were celebrating our anniversary on the ship and had a ceremony that was captured by the studio. We also had a shoot the same day in glacier bay. Since the studio took the photos we had no other photos of either event that day, not a single one! Now I was told when I inquired that they had something starting at $350 so I figured I could afford at least a few of the best pictures. When I went to view my photos they have packages already set and they were not anywhere in the realm of $350. The first package was 5 photos for $1300 and that was the lowest price package and they were astronomical from there. I could get the cheapest package and add digital copies of all 123 pictures for the low low price of $2400. There were probably 60 pictures that I would even dream of keeping and when I asked about just the digital files they will give them to you on a flash drive without any hard copies for $2000. So basically our big day and the real reason for the entire cruise was held hostage. They also do not have any way to order pictures after you leave the ship. The digital files would be nothing for them to store for at least a period of time and as a business they would make more money allowing post cruise purchasing for those of us not made of money. Other than that the cruise was wonderful and we will be going again I am just not sure about Norwegian as a choice in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Generally the ship was nice and clean. The food was above average. Entertainment was very good. Staff was courteous and always helpful. Biggest problem with ship is the swimming pool situation and no real adult area. That makes this ... Read More
Generally the ship was nice and clean. The food was above average. Entertainment was very good. Staff was courteous and always helpful. Biggest problem with ship is the swimming pool situation and no real adult area. That makes this ship a very poor choice for me and most adults I know. Hard to believe whoever designed this ship missed on this one. First time i cruised Norwegian, but I will need to check ship out in more detail before I cruise with them again. The agent I booked with said there was an adult pool and area. He was correct, but the pool was tiny, there was only one adult hot tub and there were kids all over the place. Also, whats the point of having a small pool and the entire thing is 6'8" deep. everyone was hanging on the sides because no one like treading water in the middle when you are trying to relax and talk to friends. design people really messed up big time. I was not the only one complaining. It seemed to be what many people talked about everyday. Variety of bars was great, but usually difficult to get a drink. What makes it worse is paying for the drink package and spending half you time trying to get drinks just to get your moneys worth. Also for the price you pay for drink package, they should have bottled water. Very poor! Agent told me they did have bottled water with package, but was wrong. Very disappointed, as i am a water drinker more than an alcohol drinker. I had to spend money to buy bottled water. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
My husband and I chose this cruise because we got married on the Norwegian Crown 20 years ago, and our time in Bermuda got cut short due to Tropical Storm Arlene. We were rerouted to Newport, RI. We had a nice time, but always wanted to go ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise because we got married on the Norwegian Crown 20 years ago, and our time in Bermuda got cut short due to Tropical Storm Arlene. We were rerouted to Newport, RI. We had a nice time, but always wanted to go back to Bermuda. My husband is not a big fan of cruising (he is now, more to come), so we looked in to flying and staying there for a week. It is so expensive to stay in Bermuda, so we decided to cruise. We live in NJ, so took an Uber to the port. Embarkation, despite some of the reviews I read, went very smoothly! We followed the directions, arrived at our assigned 11 am embarkation time, and were on board in about 30 minutes. I did A LOT of research before the cruise. I studied this ship, read all the reviews, watched a lot of videos...I made it my mission to make sure we knew what we were doing before we boarded. I even had a spreadsheet of our planned daily activities/dining reservations. As I mentioned before, my husband had not cruised since our wedding. I have been on 2 cruises since, so had a little bit of experience. We don't have children and we don't like huge crowds, so I researched where the quiet places were. As soon as we got on board, we changed into our bathing suits and got in to the pool while everyone was at the buffet. We enjoyed about an hour of almost no one in the pool. Highly recommend getting a railing spot to see the Statue of Liberty and the Verrazano Bridge as you leave Manhattan. Once rooms were available, our luggage was waiting (hint-tip the luggage porters at the port very well!). We were in a Spa Balcony: room 15750. We met our steward right away. Her name was Aileen. We ABSOLUTELY loved her. We gave her a tip on the first day, and kindly asked for a few things (robes and ice in the ice bucket every day so we could fill our water bottles). I believe that getting to know her and always going out of our way to talk with her made a difference in the service. On previous cruises, I only saw my steward the first day, and that was it. A complimentary bottle of bubbly, along with an Anniversary card, was waiting for us. When we booked the cruise, we told our travel agent we were celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary. Our room was clean and well appointed and included a small coffee pot, which was great. It had lots of storage, as well. More than enough for 2 people on a 7 day cruise.The nicest room I've ever stayed in. Balcony was perfect for 2 people. I'll NEVER be able to stay in an interior room again. We were right under the ping-pong tables, but it didn't bother us because we weren't in our room that much. We were very close to the stairs and elevators, which was super convenient. Noise was not an issue at all. We spent a lot of time at the Thermal Suite, which was included with our room. Other guests over 18 can buy a week or daily passes. There is a limit on the number of passes they sell, so it never gets crowded. The heated ceramic lounge chairs were AMAZING. The therapy pool, sauna, and snow room were fantastic. I highly recommend the Thermal Suite if you are looking for tranquility and a place to get away from the crowds. They have orange infused water, teas, and oranges available. My husband loved this place. This was the game- changer for him. He said he will always cruise NCL in the future and will always make sure we have access to the Thermal Suite. We had several spa treatments (he had a shave and teeth whitening, I had a manicure, and we did a couples hot stone massage). All of these things were extra, and were expensive, but I felt were well worth the price. My husband, who has NEVER been to a spa or had any type of spa services, loved the shave and the massage! Do be aware that they will try to hard sell you on their products, which is slightly annoying. If you are not interested, just be honest and say no. The food was very good, however I remember it being a lot better when we cruised on the Crown 20 years ago (perhaps because it was a much smaller ship). We did not go to any of the specialty restaurants. We ate at the buffet every morning for breakfast, and would stop in there, or O'Sheehan's for something in the afternoon if we were hungry. We got to know some of the O'Sheehan's wait staff-they were so kind and treated us like royalty! Tip: get the Thai wings. DELISH. O'Sheehan's is open 24 hours a day, also, and has decent pub style food. I enjoyed the fish and fries. My husband liked the shepherd's pie. The breakfast buffet was standard cruise breakfast food, but the French toast was amazing! Highly recommend. We tried the buffet, Taste, Savor, and the Manhattan Room for dinner. Tip: Taste, Savor, and The Manhattan Room are all main dining rooms. If you have a larger party, be sure to make reservations in advance so you don't have to wait. The menu is the same in all 3. Apps were very good, including the smoked mozzarella ravioli, the spring rolls, and the Caesar salad. Main dishes were good-I had fettuccine Alfredo with mushrooms one night and really liked it. I tried to ignore the bread, but COULD NOT. It was delicious. Tip: you only live once, you can diet later. Eat the bread. I'll say it again, eat the bread. I had a baked apple dessert one night that I thought was great. BE SURE to enjoy the mojitos at SugarCane! Even if you don't drink alcohol, they'll make you a raspberry guava sans rum. I LOVED the jalapeno cucumber mojito. Sounds strange, but it was fantastic. Loved the bartenders, too. TIP: this is not a fast food restaurant. These guys are seriously making amazing mojitos and it takes time. I heard some snarky remarks about the slow service. Relax, you'll get your drink! And side note: take the time to say hello when a crew member is not super busy. Ask them where they are from and how long they've been with NCL. Do this with as many crew as possible. These people work their butts off to make everyone happy. As soon as they get back to port, they have a few short hours to flip the ship, and they are back at it, and start all over again to make sure you have a great time. I'm a little annoyed with how NCL manages the beverage packages. On RCL, you have 2 options, if I recall. The soda package and the unlimited beverage package. The unlimited allows all alcohol under a certain amount (which is just about everything), soda, and bottled water. On NCL, you don't get bottled water with your Premium Beverage Package. If you want bottled water, you have to buy it. Tip: bring an insulated tumbler, like a Yeti, and just drink the tap water from your stateroom (it is good water), or fill up at a water cooler. Ask your steward for ice every day and he/she should provide it in your ice bucket. NOTE: don't be a jerk...follow the directions at the water coolers and fill up a cup and pour into your own bottle. Sadly, we did not take advantage of the shows. I really wish we would have seen Choir of Man, because it gets rave reviews, but my husband is not into musicals, so we didn't make reservations. Tip: go to see this show. I hear it's awesome. We did go to the Atrium on most days to watch the game shows and entertainment. This was a lot of fun. We either sat a the Atrium bar, or sat up 1 level around the bar that surrounds the atrium, which is served by O'Sheehan's. The pool. If you have done any reading about this ship, you already know the pool issue. It's small. If you are a pool person and do not mind close quarters, get out there first thing and enjoy. Don't be a chair hog. The crew will remove unattended belongings after 1 hour. I love the pool, but my husband hates crowds, so we just worked around it. We loved The Grotto, which is in Spice H2O, the adults only area. It's perfect for cooling off. Alvin, the cruise director, and Alex, the assistant cruise director, were fun and HILARIOUS! We had 2.5 days in Bermuda. We did 2 excursions (not my choice; my husband wanted to do this...Bermuda is very safe and easy to navigate using public transportation, but he was not comfortable going out on our own). We took a minibus to Horseshoe Beach on day 1. it was for about 3 hours and cost $45. We could have taken a taxi for much less. TIP: take a taxi, don't bother with the excursion. There are plenty of taxis there to take you back to the ship. Speaking of coming back to the ship, when we got back to the ship on day 1 in Bermuda, there was a very, very long line to get back on. I think we waited for about 10-15 minutes, which in the hot sun is a long time. We found out that the line was for cold wash cloths and water. We could of by-passed that line and gotten right back on the ship. It would have been helpful to have a representative from NCL at the end of the line providing this direction. On day 2 we took a minibus tour of Bermuda. Highly recommend. I think it was $145 per person. Our guide was very knowledgeable and friendly. On day 3, my husband did a jet ski tour that he booked the night before at a place right by the ship. He loved it and got to see a sea turtle. We then went to Snorkel Beach ($5 fee). Got there at 9 am, before the crowd, and enjoyed ourselves. Great place to see fish, lots of activities, music, and a snack bar. TIP: wear water shoes. There are some rocky areas. TIP: if you venture out on day 3, DO take an excursion. Do not chance it because if something happens, the ship does not wait. If you are on a ship affiliated excursion, they will wait for you. Our plan was always to hang around the Dock Yard on day 3, because you are right by the ship. We did not dine in Bermuda. Food (and everything else) is super expensive in Bermuda. The reason we cruised there was to save money on food and accommodations, so we were surely not going to spend money on an expensive meal. I do regret not getting a signature Bermuda drink (Dark and Stormy and Rum Swizzle), but we will be back! Debarkation was pretty simple. The day before, go to the Guest Services area, get your tags, and follow the directions on the television monitors near the tags, or on your television. When your color is called, leave the ship. We chose to leave our luggage outside our door the night before and picked it up in the designated area at the terminal. TIP: if you chose this method, make sure you have something on your luggage so it's easily identifiable, like a bright colored luggage tag or pom-pom. We then walked few blocks up and got an Uber. We were home by 10 am. Before we left, we tipped our steward again, because she was so kind and went out of her way to help us have our perfect vacation. So in a nutshell, here are my tips: plan. I cannot overstate it. There are SO MANY things to do on this ship. If you don't have some sort of plan and understand the lay of the land before you get on board, it may be overwhelming, and you may waste your time figuring out what you want to do and where to go. Be patient. 4000+ people on one ship is a lot of people who come from all walks of life. I caught myself getting very annoyed more than once, but had several reminders that we are all on this planet together, and everyone has their own story. I met some really kind, interesting people because I took the time to talk and listen. BE KIND to the crew. GO out of YOUR way to say thank you. I looked everyone in the eye, from the Washy Washy man to the woman sweeping the restrooms, and said "thank you" or "have a nice day!" These people are away from their friends and family 9 months at a time, don't make a lot of money, and make it their mission to make sure we are having a great experience. The very least we can do is be kind. NCL has a reputation of "nickeling and diming." This is easily avoidable if you plan in advance. It's your choice-if you don't want specialty dining, then eat what is included. If you don't want to pay for spa treatments, then don't do it. You can have a grand time with what is included in your fare. We loved this cruise so much that we put down deposits for 2 upcoming cruises using the NCL Cruise Next program. I was so afraid my husband was not going to have a good time, and he ended up loving it. If you know you'll cruise again, highly recommend this approach. You can go to the Cruise Next desk to learn more. I also recommend attending the Cruise Next presentation in the atrium on Saturday afternoon. You'll learn more about itineraries and the NCL fleet. If you chose this cruise ship, you'll see why it's the happiest ship on earth. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this cruise because there was a great deal (including gratuities) just a few weeks before sailing. We live in Vancouver, so the transportation to and from the ship was easy, as was the embarkation and disembarkation (just ... Read More
We chose this cruise because there was a great deal (including gratuities) just a few weeks before sailing. We live in Vancouver, so the transportation to and from the ship was easy, as was the embarkation and disembarkation (just about the smoothest we have experienced). We would consider the Noordam to be a mid-sized ship and although we generally prefer smaller vessels, the Noordam has retained some of the charm of the past (which we enjoy). Our sail-away inside cabin assignment was roomier than many and convenient (10th floor outside the Crow's Nest) although I think that we got an extra dose of the fog horn when it needed to be sounded (just a couple of nights). We also suffered from poor sound insulation and neighbours who kept their TV on loud all day and all night. A sound machine function on my phone managed to drown/muffle the sound enough for us to sleep. The cabin steward team was very capable and provided good service without being intrusive. The food in the main dining-room was generally very good as was the service. We ate breakfast and lunch at the Lido Market and generally enjoyed the food there as well, although sticky buns (dry), French toast (little egg content) and pancakes (under-cooked) were disappointments. Fortunately, they have kept the tea and that wonderful opportunity to relax and meet some interesting new people (a highlight of cruising for us). The vast majority of the crew were friendly and helpful. The Cruise Director (Stone) was very polished in her delivery and we valued her engaged but not hyped approach to her announcements and presentations. Entertainment was a bit hit and miss. The EXC and BBC enrichment presentations were very good, but not up to the standard we are used to with live presentations by people with real knowledge and experience. The production singers and dancers were about average. The comedians were mostly good, but one experiment with a comedy club style comedian died an ugly death. He just didn't research the demographics well and wasn't able to figure it out to adjust his material on the fly. I doubt that HAL or the comedian will try that again. The Lincoln Center musicians were very skilled, but a bit too stuffy for my tastes. I prefer the older Adagio duo approach with a mix of classical and popular music. Speaking of stuffy, the room they played in was way too small and way too hot for comfort. They did schedule some ballroom dancing on a few days at 5 pm, but really didn't make much of an effort. The first day they just plain forgot about it until someone called the front desk. Thereafter, music just started playing in BB Kings at 5 pm from an invisible DJ. Most of the time we were the only couple there. Bad venue, Bad timing and Bad music... A real disappointment after our last Amsterdam cruise with a trio playing dance music in Oceans Bar most evenings. It sad that there is so little live music and it all starts in the evening (even on sea days). It is too bad that they don't spread their entertainment investment a bit further and more frequently. We didn't do any excursions as we have been to the ports multiple times, but were able to find great hiking trails within walking distance at each port. All in all, it was a great experience, but sadly, some of the charm of HAL is slipping away and they seem to be following the bad example of bigger ships and less class. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
I booked our honeymoon a year in advance and we decided to splurge on a suite for our honeymoon. I have spent hours reading reviews and suggestions on Cruise critic so I will try to give back by covering the different aspects of a Ruby ... Read More
I booked our honeymoon a year in advance and we decided to splurge on a suite for our honeymoon. I have spent hours reading reviews and suggestions on Cruise critic so I will try to give back by covering the different aspects of a Ruby Princess Cruise, both good and bad. Because we had a suite the embarkation process was great. We got on board around 3:30. We had reservations for Crown Grill (free because we were in a suite) so we didn’t want to eat too much. Cabin-Our cabin D737 was great. So nice to have a large cabin on a cruise. We were completely aft which I worried about having to walk too far, but it wasn’t bad and the view was amazing. I have to say for 2 people my husband and I agreed the suite wasn’t necessary. However , we did love the perks from the suite. The nightly canopees were too fancy for us, so we didn’t order anymore. Liked the daily fruit. We told our steward exactly what we wanted in the fruit delivery. Also asked for ice and bottled water every evening. Food- this was the biggest disappointment. My husband and are are not fancy eaters. That’s one reason I chose Princess. My last princess cruise I found the food constantly good and not too fancy. This time the food was mediocre to tasteless. The buffet had a large variety but the food was wasn’t good. I did love the breakfast buffett. I had French toast, bacon, fruit, oatmeal everyday. We did order room service breakfast a few days and I still went up to the buffet for more. For lunch we ate in the Club Class dining room. That was very nice for lunch. I had a hamburger from Salty Dog Grill by the pool (different from the Salty Dog Grill Cafe that you pay for) it was okay. Crown Grill for dinner was worth it. Service and food were excellent. We ate in the dining room for dinner 2x . Again the food and service was good. Horizon Buffett has a lot of variety, but the food wasn’t good. Entertainment- the magician was excellent. The big production the second to the last night was great. My husband and I didn’t find the comedian funny at all, we left early. My husband enjoyed the lounge singers each night. We did the deluxe ship tour $ 150 per person. We loved it. Very interesting and a great swag bag. Skagway zip lining at Grizzly Fallswas fantastic. Glacier Bay was disappointing . Not Princess’s fault. I visited it years ago, there were not really any impressive views. I kept telling my husband just wait. Then the announcement came on that we were leaving. I couldn’t believe that was all. Overall, we won’t be sailing Princess anytime soon. We plan on trying another company. Keep in mind, these are just our opinions. I’m sure people loved the food and entertainment. I’ll answer any questions you may have about the Ruby or having a suite . Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We picked this cruise because the price is reasonable/cheaper than Carnival. 1. The embarkation and disembarkation were smoothly. 2. Ship is new and clean 3. Cabin is small just like any cruise ship cabin. The shower area seems ... Read More
We picked this cruise because the price is reasonable/cheaper than Carnival. 1. The embarkation and disembarkation were smoothly. 2. Ship is new and clean 3. Cabin is small just like any cruise ship cabin. The shower area seems small. 4. Breakfast/ lunch is good. Formal dining at night is good (way better than Chili’s, TGI Friday’s, Applebee’s . Comparable to Red Lobster but fewer selection. 5. Entertainment is great. Quality of shows is excellent. 5 stars to Steve Young (director of entertainment). All of the family shows are great, Peter Punk, Butterfly, Michael Jackson. But all adults shows perform by a group of 4 person is just ok. Would like to have few standup comedians shows. 6. Service is good. 7. Port and shore excursions have good timing. Except Saint Martin 7am to 2pm. We would like to go again. MSC going to have new ships in 2022, definitely looking forward to this one Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this cruise as a wedding anniversary treat, looking for a romantic setting, lots going on but not a party atmosphere, and not overrun with kids. The ship delivered perfectly. There was always plenty to see and do, and places on ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a wedding anniversary treat, looking for a romantic setting, lots going on but not a party atmosphere, and not overrun with kids. The ship delivered perfectly. There was always plenty to see and do, and places on the ship that catered to adults only. The ship was busy, but there were never long lineups anywhere, even for free pizza, burgers or ice cream on the top deck. The excursions were all wonderful and very well-organized as we were taken ashore and returned quickly and efficiently at all ports. On board, there were good entertainment choices and lots of opportunity to stay fit (Zumba class on the deck, etc.) Loved the adults-only pool areas. The restaurants were definitely a highlight of the cruise with wonderful food experiences at all but one. The suite was beyond expectations in terms of space and comfort. A few minor glitches: difficult to get through to restaurant reservations or room service on the phone. Communication was a challenge with some staff as their English was not great (but then, we don't speak any other languages so some of that is on us). Loved all the restaurants, except Steamers Seafood was a bad experience. Quality of the food and service at this restaurant did not warrant an upcharge. Drinks were a bit pricey. At the Anytime Dining breakfast, it would have been nice to have more yogurt, granola and fruit options. Too focused on American-style breakfast. Some of the entertainment was average, but still fun and enjoyable. And it would have been nice to have even more places on the ship to have a quiet conversation over a drink. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Visiting Alaska has been on our bucket list for some time. Princess Cruises has a stellar reputation when it comes to Alaskan Cruises and was highly recommended by our Travel Advisor. The ship has been beautifully redone in the past ... Read More
Visiting Alaska has been on our bucket list for some time. Princess Cruises has a stellar reputation when it comes to Alaskan Cruises and was highly recommended by our Travel Advisor. The ship has been beautifully redone in the past few years and the cabins and amenities are top notch. The ship offers a wide variety of daily activities but on and off the ship. We had a starboard cabin which was very important on the north bound cruise as we could see the shoreline and the various scenic wonders. A balcony is also highly recommended. The restaurant facilities from the Bistro to the common dinning rooms and the specialty restaurants offered impeccable service and the quality and variety of the food was very good. The Italian Restaurant, Sabatin's, is a must go. The staff is unbelievable and the food is exquisite. The only negatives I have is that I caught a bad chest cold and the "convenience" story had a very limited supply of OTCs medicines. However, the Medical Facilities are top notch and the medical staff was great. The other negative is that the internet service on the ship is poor. The speed is excessively slow (measured at app 1 Mbs) considering that I was required to pay to access the system. Definite area of future improvement to the ship. Read Less

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