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3,047 Senior Cruise Reviews

We have done all the other Oasis class ships and since it was my husbands birthday choose Symphony because it was the exact week. This was our 33rd cruise, we sail on Royal and Celebrity. First off we loved the decor of the ships, our ... Read More
We have done all the other Oasis class ships and since it was my husbands birthday choose Symphony because it was the exact week. This was our 33rd cruise, we sail on Royal and Celebrity. First off we loved the decor of the ships, our room 12290 was great. Loved the location, it had 2 nice size closets and plenty of space for everything. Our room stewart Ferry was excellent. The show were very good, however 2 of them had technical difficulties and were delayed. The service in WJ and restaurants was good, however the waiters have to run to keep up. Bars at times were a little slow. The food was below par. We ate at Hooked, would not recommend it at all. Our lobster was over cooked, however my salmon was perfect. Not worth the money. Solarium Bistro again not that great. The dining room was hit and miss. Sometimes it was ok, other times not very tasty. It seems they have cut way back on putting any kind of spices in the food, very bland. The desserts all over the ship were terrible. No flavor at all. If you were blindfolded and given a dessert you wouldn't be able to tell what it was. The Windjammer was ok, enough choices but you ate a cold meal. Hamburgers on the ship were terrible. We tried them in the WJ, on CocoCay and at Johnny Rockets, nasty! We called them mystery meat....The selection of food on CocoCay was better than ever, plenty to choose from. We being in our 60's could care about going to CocoCay again. It's a family, kids kind of place now. With 6000 people on it not enjoyable. We miss the old, quiet CocoCay. So we will not do any ship this size again. The ship was also very cold everywhere you went. I was happy when day 7 came. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Meh
One and done, complied with bucket list and 7k poorer. I upgraded, I thought to a larger cabin facing but it turned out to be a basic hotel room size, bed hard as a rock couch hard as a rock but it was my first time so maybe my ... Read More
One and done, complied with bucket list and 7k poorer. I upgraded, I thought to a larger cabin facing but it turned out to be a basic hotel room size, bed hard as a rock couch hard as a rock but it was my first time so maybe my expectations were too high. And also the Wi-Fi that I paid for sucks so bad that nobody should buy it, just do without. I know it’s a satellite-based Wi-Fi but they shouldn’t try to sell it if it doesn’t work. The room TV was nice except it didn’t work unless you want to watch commercials for people trying to sell you watches, diamonds and artwork, up selling everything on the ship when I see there’s not much to look at when on the high seas. Crew was very friendly and the excursions made the trip. If I had to do it again I’d fly to Ketchikan and use that as my base of operations. The people of Alaska make it a great place to visit. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The trip was definitely uneven starting with the loading process. We waited online for about 1.5 hours to get on the ship and found that most of the employees were not helpful at this point until someone complained to management and they ... Read More
The trip was definitely uneven starting with the loading process. We waited online for about 1.5 hours to get on the ship and found that most of the employees were not helpful at this point until someone complained to management and they came and started to direct the lines. If all of your paperwork is printed out, there is no reason that people should take more than 3-4 minutes at the counter. Cases that become more complicated should be directed to a different help desk. Most of the people working on the ship were wonderful. They had very positive attitudes. I didn't expect the overall sleezy feeling that people were always trying to sell me something. For instance, I went to a lecture on metabolism not realizing until after 40 minutes they were now going to try to sell me a product to help cleanse my system. Most talks ended up being some type of sales pitch. I truly enjoyed the Thermal Suite but resented the blatant lying about how many passes they were selling. When I bought my pass, I was told there were 20 passes left and the limit was 120. A couple of hours later, I went back for a raffle and again heard how there were only 20 passes left. Then I realized that they were also selling day passes as the cruise went on. To be honest, I only felt crowded once during my time there, but the unnecessary lying seemed foolish. Another major issue was communication. I wanted to get off at Bar Harbor a couple of hours before my tour which started at 12:50 from inside the ship. I was discouraged by the crew saying they would not be responsible if I didn't find the group off of the ship (turns out very easy to find them)- hence I stayed on the ship. Other people I met were told sure meet the tour in front of the ship and yet others were told that they could absolutely not leave the ship. Overall, the food was fine and the staff serving were exceptional. As stated- it was a very up and down experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We thought this would be a nice cruise with great ports for my 76 yr old mom and handicapped sister for a girls getaway. I also use a cane. Food was ok, nothing special. Buffet was limited at night to one type of cuisine, main ... Read More
We thought this would be a nice cruise with great ports for my 76 yr old mom and handicapped sister for a girls getaway. I also use a cane. Food was ok, nothing special. Buffet was limited at night to one type of cuisine, main restaurants took very long for the three courses, which were very small portioned. (I am glad my husband wasn’t there, he would have had to order two entrees!) I expected more out of the cuisine, The ship is nice, clean, but very crowded. Common spaces were always full. And the main customer service area always had a long line. Difficult to get a deck chair. Entertainment lacked any interesting premise. Felt like watching high school entertainment, although the singers had wonderful voices, the shows were juvenile. And the stand up comedy shows needed some better comedians. Activities were the usual, bingo, trivia, music at the pool. I never saw the cruise director except when he introduced himself at the beginning of a show. And they were always selling raffle tickets at every show. I found that everything revolves around how much they can get you to spend onboard. Our room was sufficient and clean, although the step up into the bathroom was higher than anticipated and mom tripped into the bathroom one night. The step should have a light up or glow in the dark strip not just a small notice near the door the same color as the wall. The crew is very nice and helpful. This was my second cruise this year with Norwegian and I didn’t find the first one much better so I will not be using Norwegian for cruising again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The Royal is a beautiful ship and now that it is going out of LA, I am hoping to be able to go more often. First of all, there were 2 ships in port that day which made the traffic difficult. It took over 45 minutes to park. I thought ... Read More
The Royal is a beautiful ship and now that it is going out of LA, I am hoping to be able to go more often. First of all, there were 2 ships in port that day which made the traffic difficult. It took over 45 minutes to park. I thought Medallion would make check in easier, but really, it didn't make any difference. After we checked in we waited another half hour to board the ship. All in all, embarkation was just VERY busy and chaotic. I was glad that I had printed my boarding pass because the Medallion App kicked me out, erased my boarding pass then wouldn't let me back in for the rest of the cruise. This ship is large, and I think that the service in a couple of areas was lacking because of the amount of people. It seemed that if we had an issue, it always took at least two tries to get it right. We had everything from a toilet that didn't work to waiting over an hour for starter in the main dining room. We used the buffet a lot. The food there is fine, not great, but the good news is that we always found a table due to the good set up of the buffet. Tip: the desserts for the buffet are only available at the front buffet closest to the pool, not the back portion. We had a cabin in the back and the shaking back there was intense. So intense that when you laid down it felt like a message bed. If you like that, then this is a good tip for you. Book an aft stateroom. Things we loved: The cruise director Matt O was amazing and made the cruise so much fun. I'll cruise with him any day! The Bellini bar- the drinks are great and the tables are in a nice location if you want to watch the happenings of the Piazza. Alfredo's- a great option for lunch. The shows- we enjoyed the shows each evening, there was plenty of variety. Disembarkation was very easy. We chose to walk off. We were assigned a 9:45 walk off however as we were going towards the waiting location for walk off, they said that if we wanted to go now, we could. That made it nice. We were off the ship and thru customs before 8:30. Would I go again? Absolutely! I love to cruise and even though this one had a couple of hiccups, there was plenty on this cruise that I enjoyed. I think I will give them a little time to work out the kinks, but all in all, I'm glad they are going out of LA. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Independence of the Seas is a very large vessel but its facilities are not themselves large enough or well-staffed enough to accommodate the passenger population. Windjammer, the popular buffet restaurant, frequently becomes so full that ... Read More
Independence of the Seas is a very large vessel but its facilities are not themselves large enough or well-staffed enough to accommodate the passenger population. Windjammer, the popular buffet restaurant, frequently becomes so full that finding seats for groups of 2 or 3 becomes testing; for bigger groups often impossible. The food though is excellent & the staff, insufficient in number to cope with these events, are very good. The drink situation onboard is risible. Again, function rooms & bars often become filled for events because of the excessive passenger population, & only 1 or 2 waiters are left to cope with their demands. The selling of drinks on board is poor. Individual drinks bought effectively for cash are about twice as much as in U.K. bars; a glass of rose costing about $8 (£6.50). The onboard drinks package offered to my wife & me, both retired & living on pensions, cost £140 per day; really. The only time we bought alcohol on this cruise was during a port call at Cannes. We bought a bottle of Gin for our daughter principally because of the attractive bottle & its’ labelling. We declared this bottle on boarding the ship & handed it for safe keeping to security staff clearly explaining the reason for its purchase. When returned the labelling had tape stuck over it. The room service on this ship is the best I have ever experienced & is worthy of commendation. Hard working staff are the salvation of many rather cavalier management decisions on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because of the route & ports. In previous cruises up the coast to Canada, only the biggest ports were included because of the ship size. So the Pearl Mist being smaller, was able to stop at places like Lunenburg, ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the route & ports. In previous cruises up the coast to Canada, only the biggest ports were included because of the ship size. So the Pearl Mist being smaller, was able to stop at places like Lunenburg, Gaspe, Isles de la Madeleine and Saguenay that bigger ships can't. However, it was not to be. In Bar Harbor, the ship lay at anchor for a full day because of a mechanical problem. So two of the smaller ports that we had planned on were cut. To increase the uncertainty, the bridge never gave ongoing information about the reason for the unplanned stop and its consequences. Further, the captain was Romanian and was not a good speaker. So, his few announcements were almost unintelligible. There were three pleasant surprises however that we learned about on arrival - the brochure stated that there would be "Premium" excursions at some ports. But all the excursions were complimentary. Further, there was a full complimentary bar in the late afternoon. If one wanted a drink at another time - or anything else within reason, room service would provide it at no charge. But then again, the bar was open at 5:30, the same time that the dining room opened. It would have been more convenient if the bar had opened before dinner time. And there was a complimentary laundry service. It took a day or so to be returned, but everything was nicely folded. The per day charge for the cruise was at a level similar to that at Regent or Crystal, for example. Thus, we were expecting a certain level of luxury, as claimed. In my mind, I justified the higher-than-expected cost that since the ship visited more than one US port, that it would have to abide by the Jones act and have a more-expensive crew than the usual complement of south Asians. I was surprised to note that there were very few US citizens in the crew, and certainly not the 75% called for. How the ship avoided those restrictions I do not know. In the dining room, the server delivered orders accurately and were friendly. However, the service was slow. A typical dinner was a two-hour affair - sometimes the wait for the entree itself was an hour. All meals were served at the tables. In most other lines, breakfast and lunch are cafeteria-style, but not on the Mist. I was surprised to note that at most meals, there was no supervisor present and the waiters were so busy that it was hard to get their attention for more coffee, water, etc. In the cabins, the light fixtures at the bedside table were insufficiently bright to read by, in our judgement. However, I particularly liked the shower in the bathroom. The usual fixture to control the shower has two controls, one for flow rate and the other for temperature. I find it confusing to operate. However, this shower had the usual one-knob control; rotate for temperature and pull for flow rate - much more logical in my opinion. Furthermore, the shower door had a full height magnetic closure that assured that no water would escape onto the floor. There was insufficient shelf space in the bathroom however - it would have been useful to add a few more, perhaps in place of part of the large mirror. The housekeeping staff is very quick, efficient and accommodating for requests. I found the musical entertainer - Kenny Holliday to be excellent. Similarly, the guest lecturer was well informed and knowledgeable. The self-service hot drink machines were well designed and produced a wide variety of drinks. The wifi on the ship was available and free, but almost worthless because of its very small capacity. Finally, at Saguenay, the last port before Quebec, the excursion was to something called La Fableuse. We had no idea was it was. In fact it was an extraordinary stage performance of local history by a group of local volunteer actors. The stage was HUGE, there were more than 100 performers on stage at various times, six horses, two antique automobiles, several carriages, a battle scene, explosions, a pig, a goat, a flock of geese, real fire, waterfalls, amazing lighting effects, crops that grew out of the stage and a host of other effects. All in all, it was a terrific way to end the trip. All in all, the trip was enjoyable, but not up to the luxury level claimed by the line. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The itinerary was great. Food quality was not the same as it has been before when we sailed in 2016 with Caribbean Princess. - [ ] New York receiving people are not very helpful - [ ] Once onboard the Safety training had nothing to ... Read More
The itinerary was great. Food quality was not the same as it has been before when we sailed in 2016 with Caribbean Princess. - [ ] New York receiving people are not very helpful - [ ] Once onboard the Safety training had nothing to do with safety - [ ] Food was not up to past princess sailings - [ ] Sanitizing was way out of control. Sinks in fresh market slowed the process. - [ ] Wait staff not friendly nor very helpful. - [ ] Security staff are out right rude! - [ ] room steward was excellent - [ ] Medallion made it easy to enter cabins. - [ ] Medallion apps are somewhat confusing and I’m a tech guy. - [ ] Cabin was cold. - [ ] No posting of dinner menu, as I was rushed at dinner by the waiter this would have been helpful. - [ ] Medallion made embarkation easy. - [ ] Poor choices in dinner menu. - [ ] Sabatini was the best meal and service I had on board. - [ ] Quebec city representatives were very helpful. - [ ] Itinerary was very good. - [ ] Polite cabin stewards. - [ ] Port exits were good. - [ ] Excursions were good and timely. - [ ] Entertainment was good but not enough seating. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Chose this ship due to the South Pacific itinerary and based on a previous cruise with Princess (Regal Princess). In comparing the two ships, I was disappointed In the Ruby Princess. The entertainment was definitely not the same caliber as ... Read More
Chose this ship due to the South Pacific itinerary and based on a previous cruise with Princess (Regal Princess). In comparing the two ships, I was disappointed In the Ruby Princess. The entertainment was definitely not the same caliber as with the Regal in terms of variety or quality. The Horizon buffet court had much less selection and was poorly staffed. Often multiple serving sections were closed creating long lines to get your food. They also kept running out of certain types of food (granola would be one example). I would give the dining rooms in the Ruby an edge over the Regal though. Much less options for day time entertainment during sea days and the options they did offer was not that strong. Evening entertainment was often single entertainers and very little production shows. The Ruby Princess band however was TOP NOTCH - very impressive!!! Finally the senior staff were pretty invisible- very little interaction with the passengers. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I prefer traveling alone and I sail Norwegian because of the studio cabins. I also have rewards with Norwegian because I have sailed them so many times. I have not had the opportunity to travel abroad since the 1960's and I wanted ... Read More
I prefer traveling alone and I sail Norwegian because of the studio cabins. I also have rewards with Norwegian because I have sailed them so many times. I have not had the opportunity to travel abroad since the 1960's and I wanted to be more adventurous so I chose this Northern Europe cruise, I was interested in the ports, the culture, the people, the history, the beauty, etc. If I were to do it over again, I would have done so much differently. I stayed in Copenhagen for four days pre-cruise. I bought the Copenhagen Card but lost money because I did not use it enough. I wish that I had bought the HOHO bus in Copenhagen. I stayed at First Hotel 27 and can recommend. Breakfast was excellent and so was wi fi. Staff was great and I loved the personal care items. Location was very good. Copenhagen is great. Beautiful City with lots to do but as you have heard, it is also expensive. For Germany, I did not want to deal with the trek to Berlin and went to Schwerin and Schwerin Castle. I was not disappointed. I was surprised at how beautiful Tallinn was. I took The Palace and Old City tour. I learned a lot but HOHO bus might be a good option depending. St. Petersburg was still very crowded with tourists. The Hermitage was still overcrowded and frantic. I wish that I had chosen the evening visit. Try to avoid using the cloakroom if possible because it is so hard to get your things when leaving. Things were so chaotic in the Hermitage that I took a fall. Peterhof was beautiful. Recommended. Another very pleasant surprise as I was not expecting it to be so beautiful. Helsinki was a peaceful and relaxed respite after St. Petersburg. While I took an excursion, this would be a good port for doing the HOHO bus or just walking. In Sweden, I took the Stockholm by Sea and Land excursion. Stockholm is beautiful and so interesting but then so were all the ports. Another port where the HOHO might be a good choice. I believe that it picks up and returns to the port. I ate at the Garden Cafe and 24/7 restaurant only. The food was just so so. It was a hit or a miss. However, if you had a miss, you could always go back trying to find a hit. Desserts were always delicious and coffee is always terrible. The Atrium was always too loud and noisy. NCL needs to move some of the entertainment to The Theater or somewhere else on the ship. I did enjoy the Abba Tribute. I also sent to the Farewell Show and Million Dollar Quartet. Both very good. I was upgraded to a large size Oceanview which had a bathtub but no coffee machine. While I liked the window, I often could not see out because of water and fog. Embarkation and Disembarkation went smoothly for me. Some staff was friendly and helpful while others were not. That has been the situation on all my cruises and I have learned to go with the flow. Weather was good to us. It was always in the 50's and overcast but only a few sprinkles now and then. Very comfortable with the right clothing. it was a wonderful learning experience but it was a very demanding and exhausting and intense voyage. Also, a very expensive cruise. I went way over budget and I still was frugal and cautious with my spending. If possible, try to avoid having to change planes at Heathrow which is a nightmare. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Ship as chosen for the New England, S Canada experience.. Loved the outside decks for walking and relaxing. Staff was very polite, friendly and accommodating.Good choices of food and restaurants on board. Size of the ship meant a lot of ... Read More
Ship as chosen for the New England, S Canada experience.. Loved the outside decks for walking and relaxing. Staff was very polite, friendly and accommodating.Good choices of food and restaurants on board. Size of the ship meant a lot of walking and stair climbing and long waits for elevators. Wished a free WiFi service could be provided to contact friends on board. A bit hectic embarking and disembarking the ship because of the number of people on the ship, especially on the NYCity port in finding luggage and busses. Small pool for the size of the ship. Larger areas for the entertainment shows. Health office was closed for several hours during the day. Frustrated always in finding our room with the number of rooms on the ship. Enjoyed the ports and the daily newspaper informing us of the events of the day. We were blessed with great weather and calm seas. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This cruise started off strangely, we were assigned cabin 14613, which, when we got there we found was a "handicapped" cabin. It was larger than most inside cabins but there were other differences. For example the mirror in the ... Read More
This cruise started off strangely, we were assigned cabin 14613, which, when we got there we found was a "handicapped" cabin. It was larger than most inside cabins but there were other differences. For example the mirror in the bathroom was set for a person in a wheelchair. Being 6'3" i had to take the chair from the desk to comb my hair......no big deal. However, this room was 1 deck below the buffet and at 3 or 4 in the morning the noise from above was awful. I went to the service desk and asked for another cabin, a few hours later they called and gave us another inside cabin on a lower deck. They even sent a porter to pick up our luggage and take it to the new cabin. The ship and the staff were excellent however, this was the wrong time of year to cruise. Our first port was san juan and when we got there it was basically closed. Reports of a storm coming in made everyone close thier doors. We got ther around 4pm and were to leave at 11:30pm...however, due to a medical emergency we got stuck there all night. No one was allowed off the ship and the casino was closed while in port. Then we went to tortola, which has a very small shopping area at the pier. Our ports of st. Thomas and nassau were canceled due to weather. So all in all it was the worst trip we've had. But once again the ship and crew did everything they could to make it enjoyable. Stay away from deck 14 in the area of cabin 14613 and try to book at a better time of year. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Before late 2017 I had never been on a cruise. I had never been to the Caribbean. Since 2017 I have been on six NCL cruises. Each had different challenges. This cruise had a great many challenges which started before we even left port. ... Read More
Before late 2017 I had never been on a cruise. I had never been to the Caribbean. Since 2017 I have been on six NCL cruises. Each had different challenges. This cruise had a great many challenges which started before we even left port. Someone called in a bomb threat and they evacuated the terminal and we left the port late. We went on to Puerto Rico, one of my favorite spots. We ended up staying overnight in San Juan because they said we could not go to St. Thomas as there was a tropical storm. We went from San Juan to Tortola, and had a few hours there. After that, we were supposed to go to Nassau, Bahamas. We never got there, as someone had to be helicopter evacuated from the ship. No one explained why that would cause us to miss the port. However, we did get $100 per cabin on-board credit and 20% off a future cruise. People were not happy. I am retired, and had been to both places a couple of times, so, it wasn't a big deal to me. I am not fond of Sea Days, as the activities are not that interesting to me. The entertainment on the ship was sub standard. The Breakaway had too many people on it for me. I have also been on the Getaway and felt the same. There were long lines for everything. The staff were so slammed that they were not always polite or performed well. My dinner in Moderno, that was supposed to be my birthday celebration, was a non-starter. When I asked what I got for my birthday, the server looked at me and said, "Happy Birthday." She then ran off. Moderno had the best food, but poor service. No one in Cagney's knew how to cook lobster, apparently. Ocean Blue did a better job at the surf and turf. I avoid buffets. This one looked OK. My inside cabin was the best part. It was square instead of rectangular and that helped me get my walker around. My cabin steward was good. They ditched the towel animals which was fine with me, as I always thought they were creepy. The casino was surprisingly generous and I did pretty well. As a single cruiser, I talked to everyone, so I got a pretty good idea of how dissatisfied the guests were with the port changes. Some ladies from Canada were on their first cruise and I told them that they should give NCL another chance as this was not a typical cruise Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
P&O has done a Marks and Spencers act. It has ignored customer demand and gone for max profit. This cruise proved it. We ate onshore as often as possible. We are tired of the same corporate menu, cruise after cruise. No ... Read More
P&O has done a Marks and Spencers act. It has ignored customer demand and gone for max profit. This cruise proved it. We ate onshore as often as possible. We are tired of the same corporate menu, cruise after cruise. No imagination, no food uploaded along the route - so no local produce.(To ensure quality - we are told.) To ensure max profit is probably fact. We chose the cruise to visit Corsica - it never happened but for acceptable reasons. However P&O food gets worse each cruise. Every turn demands money - the only smiling staff for the 1st two days were those demanding money! The music has got louder and less appropriate to each venue. Azura appears to have no quiet area for relaxing. The staff are great but corners are being cut everywhere. If you like massive loads of average food, loud music everywhere and family movies like Dumbo - you will love P&O Azura. It is not for us - we do not go on holiday for endless loads of poor quality food, for over loud music and below average entertainment. Aurora was ok but even so, did not match RCI for food quality or entertainment. RCI per day was half the price too! Maybe we got a good deal but - 50% cheaper - that is something to consider even at full price! Better food by far, better entertainment and a more caring company. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this ship because it was recommended by a friend. The ship is a good size ship and we expected Cunard to be of a high standard. Cabin - good size.good size balcony. excellent housekeeping. Buffet - good selection at ... Read More
We chose this ship because it was recommended by a friend. The ship is a good size ship and we expected Cunard to be of a high standard. Cabin - good size.good size balcony. excellent housekeeping. Buffet - good selection at breakfast, lunch and dinner. It was hit and miss as to whether the hot food was hot, tepid or cold. Bread - cheap supermarket bread which I would not consider buying at home. I had a sandwich one day, the bread was so dry it was like cardboard. On another occasion the bread was damp and one morning it was frozen in the middle. Britannia restaurant - veggie - mean portions, tepid food on tepid plates, Poor quality food. I had to insist on having hot food on hot plates. The talk of the ship was the noticeable cut backs from last year and the limited choice of food at dinner, the quality of food and the small portions. Pretentious titles of some of the dishes. The other main topic of conversation was the price of drinks. A pint of beer around 7 dollars. Some cocktails were around 12 dollars with a 15 percent surcharge on top!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Over all the experience was not so good. The ship was too big, it had to be docked at Circular Key not White Bay as it wouldn’t fit under the Harbour Bridge. The laundry's were located the end of the ship on each deck directly ... Read More
Over all the experience was not so good. The ship was too big, it had to be docked at Circular Key not White Bay as it wouldn’t fit under the Harbour Bridge. The laundry's were located the end of the ship on each deck directly above and below each other, meaning a cut lunch and a water bottle was needed. Some of the wait staff spent more time speaking to each other rather than looking after the paying passengers. The price of refreshments was a rip off being &42 a bottle and $12 to $14 a glass for wine. Water in the state room was also overpriced at $6.50 for a 1.5 ltrs bottle. The entertainment was that good, not a lot of of variety offered. The big screen was not used that often for movies. The main entertainment areas were located at either ends of the ship again meaning the cur lunch and water bag were needed. The layout of the main eating areas (help your self) on deck 16 was rather strange, having different sections for different foods but not those that should have been together ie the bread was with the cakes not with the hot foods. It meant by the time it took to get all you needed to make a main meal and returned to your table it was cold. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
DW and I choose this cruise due to no flying. LA round trip to Alaska. First kept getting delayed boarding notices. Was supposed to board around Noon but instead 6 PM. Then our traditional dining at Allegro which was booked and ... Read More
DW and I choose this cruise due to no flying. LA round trip to Alaska. First kept getting delayed boarding notices. Was supposed to board around Noon but instead 6 PM. Then our traditional dining at Allegro which was booked and confirmed 1 1/2 years go was changed to Anytime. Had to take vacation time to change it to a not as good substitute set seating dining at Symphony. The room steward was perfect, he met all our needs and went beyond the call of duty, gave him the highest rating on the post cruise eval. Entertainment was uneven. The main production numbers were cut short. We had done the Royal last year October and we saw more versions of the Princess singers and dancers. Some of the guest entertainers were very good and some not. Jennifer Singer was terrific. Was disappointed in the Princess whale excursion out of Ketchican, saw none. The Juneau Tour and Whale Watch was great, saw many whales, saw 3 spouting next to each other, several flippers hitting the water, several diving with tails in the air, and several jumping out of the water and making very large splashes. Food was good or just OK in main dining, worse with few exceptions at Horizon, very good at International Café, very good at Alfredo's, excellent at Sabatini's. Balcony cabin was smaller than older Princess ships. Matt O, cruise director, was all over the ship and terrific, made the otherwise too many sea days in a row do-able. An on that note, Victoria was skipped due to the last portion of the new extended dock not being finished due to that part lost a sea during a storm. Princess should have substituted another port, say Vancouver. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Firstly a disclaimer this is our first river cruise although we have done a number of cruises on small ships Azamara, Oceana. We embarked in Arle and then went downstream 1 hour to the Camarge. The active excursion by bike was great. ... Read More
Firstly a disclaimer this is our first river cruise although we have done a number of cruises on small ships Azamara, Oceana. We embarked in Arle and then went downstream 1 hour to the Camarge. The active excursion by bike was great. Day 2 back to Arle ( where we had independently spent a day) the excursion was great hiking up a limestone mountain and seeing a Van Gogh audiovisual presentation inside a building with images projected onto limestone. Day 3 meandered upstream to Avignon and went to an amazing chocolate factory. So overall the excursions were good to great.. The food was not impressive compared to the other small cruise ships we had been on. One meal the menu offering was a rack of lamb but this turned out to be 2 lamb chops. Several passengers asked the waiter for the rest of their rack of lamb. The cabin we chose the highest level stateroom was nice. Entertainment on board was very limited. One night they had a great group of performers with spanish guitar, and 2 dancers. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
WHY CMV COLUMBUS? --Baltic sailing --Smaller ship --Price DINING --We chose the late dining option for the Waterfront Restaurant. We also took most breakfast and lunch meals at the Waterfront. The food was good and nicely ... Read More
WHY CMV COLUMBUS? --Baltic sailing --Smaller ship --Price DINING --We chose the late dining option for the Waterfront Restaurant. We also took most breakfast and lunch meals at the Waterfront. The food was good and nicely presented. The pasta selections tended to be soggy or firm. Otherwise the entrees were satisfactory. The appetizers, however, were outstanding. The cafeteria on DGck 12 was always crowded, so we used it sparingly. ENTERTAINMENT --By far the best entertainment of any cruise we have taken. The small troupe of dancers and singers are exceptionally good. The comedian was outstanding too. The tenor regaled us with traditional opera as well as popular vocals. The Entertainment Team gets an A+ from us. LECTURES --On sea days we attended Power Point lectures by a Russian specialist on Peter the Great and the Romanov's as well as St. Petersburg's history and the Siege of Leningrad. She was very informative and set the stage nicely for the highlight of the cruise, namely our two days in St. Petersburg. There were other lectures and demonstrations as well, but we did not attend them. STAFF --All staff members struggle with English. It was often difficult to make our wishes know or understand them. The Reception Desk staff was very helpful however. CABIN --Out cabin steward was great, always looking after the room. 8133 is centrally located, but is above the Connextions Lounge so it could be a bit noisy at bedtime. Fortunately I have a white noise app on my phone that covered up the partying below us. WINE AND BEER --Being moderate drinkers, we opted for the on-board opportunity to purchase five bottles of wines for 85 GBP and ten beers for 49 GBP. We'd have a half bottle of wine at dinner and the Waterfront wait staff would save the other half for the next night. Occasionally we had an ala carte glass of wine for about 5.60 GBP. We did not have any specialty coffees or colas. EXCURSIONS AND PORT CALLS --We took only one CMV Columbus excursion, at Stockholm. The panorama portion of the excursion was horrible. Big bus, narrow streets, no views. But the Vasa museum was spectacular and we had plenty of time to see this amazing old ship that has been restored. ROTTERDAM. --We took the train to Delft for a self-guide tour. If you use the station nearest the ship you need correct change or else a credit card with a PIN. We walked to Rotterdam Centraal Station and took the trains (about 20 minutes). AAHRUS. --We hit stormy waters so we were diverted from Copenhagen to Aahrus, which was a pleasant surprise. Everything you want to see is just minutes from the ship and there is no need to buy an excursion. ROSTOCK. --A bust. The ship docked away from Wandemunde where you could catch a train into Rostock. A free shuttle was provided, but there was an hour and a half line to catch it. We did not go into Rostock or into Berlin (three hours bus ride each way). TALLIN. --We did this on our own. Outstanding. The old city is just a 20 minute walk from the dock. We toured both the lower and upper city and enjoyed a great lunch. ST. PETERSBURG. --We opted for a small group, private tour that cost about half of what CMV was charging and we had an outstanding time. HELSINKI. --For a small charge, I took the ship shuttle to the city center to meet an old friend. On my own. STOCKHOLM. --Too little and too far. The port time was shortened by the fact that the port is an hour away from Stockholm. And we had very limited time. Bummer, except for the Vasa museum. COPENHAGEN. --Rain, rain, rain. Plus very little port time. Just about the time the rain stopped we had to leave. More time needed. SEA DAYS --Two of our sea days were stormy and the ship rocked and rolled. It caused a three hour delay into Tillbury on the last day. EMBARKING AND DISEMBARKING Perhaps our best ever embarking and worst ever disembarking. We walked on quickly on Day 1. On the last day there was mass confusion, missing signs, and a traffic jam that prevented us from express embarking. Fortunately our hired car waited an hour overtime for us, but we had to pay an extra 20 GBP because of the ship's incompetence. Certainly they have had late arrivals before and ought to know what to do to relieve the chaos. They seemed clueless. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
It was going where I wanted to go. My stateroom was right above the Dog pub so it kept me awake till midnight, however, did enjoy looking out over the promenade. Room wasn’t as clean as I hoped. Carpet stained, cigarette burns on ... Read More
It was going where I wanted to go. My stateroom was right above the Dog pub so it kept me awake till midnight, however, did enjoy looking out over the promenade. Room wasn’t as clean as I hoped. Carpet stained, cigarette burns on bathroom sink, shelves not clean. Not much activity going on during the day. Twice I went to watch activity but no one showed up. Not ships fault, think more weather related and port call. Not happy with 2 immigration days nor was it for most passengers from what I heard. Should have done all Canadian ports at one time. This was my 15th cruise on RCCL and as always, the crew and service people were great. I ate most of my meals in Windjammer as I spent too much time at happy hour and missed my designated meal time. My first time dining basically in Windjammer and found it favorable. Always a nice selection of food and all you can eat. Come and go as I please. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We spent a day in London with a guide and visited Stonehenge on the way to the ship. We were delayed and embarkation was easy as most were already aboard. Our tour guide arranged all of our excursions and disembarkation. The ship is ok ... Read More
We spent a day in London with a guide and visited Stonehenge on the way to the ship. We were delayed and embarkation was easy as most were already aboard. Our tour guide arranged all of our excursions and disembarkation. The ship is ok but needs updates. We were told that it was going to dry dock the first of the year for refurbishing and updating. Do not purchase a balcony toward the aft of the ship or on the 11th floor. We had the last aft balcony on the 11th floor and the room was tiny. I was traveling with a friend and the twin beds were about 2" apart. That was not acceptable and we had the steward move the sofa sideways so we could be at least 10" apart. We could barely move around the room. There was very adequate closets and drawers for all of our vacation necessities. The noise from the Galaxy Room, where all entertainment and dancing occurred, was right above the room and kept me up until the place closed or the music stopped. We have a specialty dining package and used all of them at Cagney's Steak house. The steaks were excellent. The sides were ordinary but the desserts were excellent. Service at all eating venues and drinking venues was very good. Out last port of call was cancelled because of bad weather and high seas and it was a tender port. I probably would not go on this trip again because I want to see new places. I Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Too crowded at times, not personalized, nothing out of the ordinary. We normally have at least have one night where lobster is offered in general dining on cruises with other carriers and it was not offered on NCL. We feel that NCL pushes ... Read More
Too crowded at times, not personalized, nothing out of the ordinary. We normally have at least have one night where lobster is offered in general dining on cruises with other carriers and it was not offered on NCL. We feel that NCL pushes specialty dining a lot to make more money rather than put money into regular dining. Regular dining was good, just not exceptional. We did always go to buffet dining for Breakfast but very crowded and no place to sit and the waiters were really not interested in serving us. We had to ask them for coffee, etc. They were not very friendly either. On other cruises the crew was always very friendly. etc. It just seemed like they were lacking in enthusiasm or whatever to wait on anyone. Maybe they are just too tired of waiting on everyone, too many people. It seemed that way all throughout the ship. Your cruise director was fantastic! Alvin was really the best! We urr were part of the Jimmy Sturr Polka Group and that was difficult also, since other than the last day of dancing, the room we had was way too small and crowded and not comfortable at all for the number of people in our group. It was not a safe environment at all! It felt like when y ou take a bunch of people and stuff them into a room and keep shoving them in until you can't get anymore in! Very disappointed in that!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
First, I was to be front, and advise that I prefer RCCL, over Carnival. However, I had an incredible Players Club casino offer, eight nights for $373, interior cabin. The interior cabin was standard accommodations. Very roomy for a solo ... Read More
First, I was to be front, and advise that I prefer RCCL, over Carnival. However, I had an incredible Players Club casino offer, eight nights for $373, interior cabin. The interior cabin was standard accommodations. Very roomy for a solo traveler. My cabin steward, Randy was very attentive and promptly filled my requests. FOOD: The Lido buffet on deck 10 had standard fare, adequate but not great. There is an Italian restaurant above the buffet, that served a complimentary lunch. It has several pastas to select along with several entrees. I was excellent food and service. Food in the main dining room was good, but I feel RCCL's MDR, has better for and offerings. However, in the MDR of the Carnival Magic was exceptional. ENTERTAINMENT: Production show and audience participation games shows, entertaining but not great The Punchliner comedy club had excellent comedians. POOLS: The main pool is really small for a ship that carries 3500 passengers, The rear adults only pool is also small, but mainly has people that "dip" and get out. As a casino player, the casino has sufficient slots and tables for the gamblers, the casino staff was very cordial. NOW MY COMPLAINT: The Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle never happened. It was originally scheduled for September 17 at 1 p.m. in the Starlight Lounge, when I arrived, I was told it was rescheduled for September 21 at 1 p.m., at the appointed time I arrived and there no staff. I called Guest Services and the representative tried to tell me that it was held on the 17th, I told her it was not and there was a Carnival staff trying to upsell cosmetics. She put me on hold and another person got on the phone to tell me they has no record of the event being scheduled or rescheduled. That was a lie as I had the original Carnival cruise line invitation. All in all I think guest services really suck! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We booked this cruise for the itinerary and our Golden wedding anniversary . We have cruised for many years with different cruise lines, and cruised with Princess twice in the Caribbean these were fab with reasonable prices and good ... Read More
We booked this cruise for the itinerary and our Golden wedding anniversary . We have cruised for many years with different cruise lines, and cruised with Princess twice in the Caribbean these were fab with reasonable prices and good restaurant meals. But how different this cruise line has changed the food in the restaurant below average the Portions are smaller than all the cruises we have been on people we spoke to agreed. Some said why don’t you ask for 2 meals others do, why should l ask for 2 meal , the meal l get should be plentiful . Service in dining room most nights took 1.1/2 to 2 hrs We ate in the Horizon after that. Drinks prices were well over priced 90% of people drank water in restaurants . Food in Horizon And international cafe very good. The shows were all very good with a variety of different acts but getting a seat was difficult everynight ,if you weren’t in the theatre 45minutes before the start you struggled to get a seat. This shows how popular the shows were but a little thought could have eased this situation .The Club Fusion was most of the time 75% empty ( no reflection on the excellent group Xtasea who performed there) but the acts from previous nights in theatre could have performed a second time in there thus giving people a second chance to see them when they couldn’t get in theatre at either showing .This did happen once or twice in Explorers Lounge bit this was also like the Theatre you needed to get a seat by 6.30 to be able to get in for the evening.Exlorers was very popular due to gameshows al very enjoyable but why do it all in one lounge when another is sat empty most of the night Sapphire princess is same ship as P@O s Azura and Ventura and their Club Fusion equivellant is full everynight as well as Explorerers. This said we really enjoyed the cruise the staff were excellent ship lovely itinerary good but one last comment .WHAT HAS HAPPENED To THE SAILAWAY PARTIES ? Only cruise we have ever been on with no sailaway parties.and don’t blame the weather it was all good. Such a shame on a fantastic port like New York to sail out of one big disappointment . Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have sailed with Norwegian twice before, and have always loved the destinations, the value, and the service. We chose this tour because we had always wanted to see Quebec and the surrounding territories in the fall. Although the colors ... Read More
We have sailed with Norwegian twice before, and have always loved the destinations, the value, and the service. We chose this tour because we had always wanted to see Quebec and the surrounding territories in the fall. Although the colors were not yet vibrant, we did see some fall foliage and the weather was perfect. Be aware that travel to Quebec can be problematic: major airlines only land in Montreal which is 3-1/2 hours away. For us, the train was a good option (Via Rail). Once at the Port, embarkation was disorganized: there were no staff to direct us and we had to wait about 3 hours for a wheelchair assist, even though we had a scheduled arrival time. No one seemed to know if there was a line or where to drop luggage and none of the employees were available to ask. Once on board we were impressed with the cleanliness of our stateroom (we had a mini-suite), the efficiency of our steward (Lillies), and the beautiful public areas of the ship. I loved the Promenade for my morning walks as it goes the full circle of the ship with no stairs and plenty of room. We sailed about 3 hours late for some reason--there was no announcement from the captain or explanation given. In fact, communication could be improved on the Gem. One example was a notice that all guests must submit documents to immigration, starting at 7:45 and ending at 9:00 am. Groups were to be called.... those with excursions were to be in the first group, but for well over an hour there were no announcements at all, and people were stressed about missing their excursion buses. The Gem offers plenty to do onboard as well as on shore, and they even did our laundry for us one day (a big bag for 19.99). We got the Thermal Spa Package--highly recommended for relaxing and being pampered! We enjoyed listening to music every evening in the lounges and attending the nightly shows. The piano man, Nathanael Reed, was especially talented! We did not do many excursions this time, but we went ashore at the ports to shop, visit restaurants, and walk downtown. I also enjoyed going ashore for a bicycle ride in Sydney--"I Bike Sydney" offered many varieties of bicycles to rent right on the dock, and there was an adjoining parkway for riding. One excursion we did take was to Acadia Park and Carriage Ride. It was scenic and relaxing, very memorable, and now we want to go back again. Disembarkation was the exact opposite of embarkation--fast, easy and organized. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019

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