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2,431 Singles Cruise Reviews

Recently returned from a repositioning cruise from Vancouver on 6th October and arriving in LA on 11th October. Originally the itinerary included two ports 1. Victoria, BC and 2. San Francisco. Sadly a few days prior to departing, we ... Read More
Recently returned from a repositioning cruise from Vancouver on 6th October and arriving in LA on 11th October. Originally the itinerary included two ports 1. Victoria, BC and 2. San Francisco. Sadly a few days prior to departing, we were informed Victoria had to be cancelled due to tidal issues and this resulted in a delay of departure from Vancouver due to passing under Lions Bridge. Naturally this was quite disappointing for such a short cruise however we were issued $50 onboard credit. We were not issued any refund of port fees though. Embarkation: Relatively straight forward and I was on the ship within 15 minutes. I had completed everything online so it was a matter of collecting my sea pass and signing paperwork. Cabin: I had 13162 which was on deck 13 (ironically the medical centre is also located on this deck) and this was a port side mid ship balcony. The cabin was fine with plenty of storage space and a nice (albeit small) balcony. I liked the location as I wasn't far from the stairs and just two levels up to the Observation Deck and close to the Garden Café. My attendant was friendly enough but I wouldn't say he went above and beyond. On one day close to the end, he didn't even bother removing the glasses from my room or wiping the coffee from the side table. Savour: I had breakfast here three times during the trip. I liked sitting by the window and watching the World go by. I found the service to be very good as was the food. I highly recommend the chocolate pancakes. Also try the cinnamon rolls - literally the best ever!! I had lunch here and the cheese burger was very disappointing however the philly steak sandwich was good. Personally I found The Local to be better for the fast food types such as hot dogs/burgers. I had dinner and it was very nice. The menu was the same each night though and the same in all restaurants (Savour/Taste/The Manhattan). Taste/The Manhattan: I had dinner in both and as mentioned above the menu is the same. The service was excellent in The Manhattan and fine in Taste. One point to note on the service in the restaurants, every time someone interacted with me they were shocked I was dining alone. In the end it was comical but also rather draining. Women are able to dine alone and it's not some sad affair. Garden café: The worse place ever! So chaotic. I only went once for breakfast and it was awful. The food was average but trying to get a table was awful. Walking around with your food and having to rush for a table is not enjoyable. American Diner: I decided to try breakfast here one day and it was fine, nothing special. Limited buffet available but nice service. La Cucina Italian: I had two specialist dinning available, sadly I regret dining here. The food was average at best. Pear salad was nice but on the main dining menu and I can't even remember my mine so it shows how uneventful that was. Ocean blue: This was the best meal of my cruise. Incredible sea food and lovely service. Try the scallops for starter (they are very small!) and the mixed seafood for main - perfect. Just a note with the specialist dining, they were very restrictive with when you could book. I was informed they were fully booked however both times I was seated, there were plenty of free tables. This is disappointing as I could've switched my reservation to Cagney's but they said they were full. The Local: I had lunch here on embarkment and it was bit manic but the nachos were good. I had another lunch here and whilst the line was long to be seated, it went fairly quickly and the hot dog was great. Again lovely service. The Observation Deck: Snacks were regularly available during the day here although I didn't eat any. They had soups and salad for lunch and a few other items. I would often fill up my water bottle here and grab a decaff coffee before heading to bed. I won't comment on each bar but all had a great selection of drinks. I do want to say how wonderful Jomar Parculos and Maxime Mathurin at the H20 spice bar were. Always so friendly and happy. H20 Spice: I loved coming here in the afternoon for a dip in the hot tub. It was great being adults only. Only suggestion would be to show a film or something on the big screen. Whilst the beach pictures were nice, it could have been put to better use. Pools/Slides: Great adults only pool, very deep. Sadly a little chilly for our cruise. The hot tubs on the pool deck were full of unaccompanied children - not good. Maximum capacity in the hot tubs were always over due to the amount of kids in there. I did the water slide with the ring. This was great fun with the lights however I whimpered out of the ocean loop. Although it was only a few seconds long, it looked so scary and some lighter people were getting stuck. Pulse fitness centre: The gym was average size but always pretty busy (surprisingly). People were often using equipment and had no clue how to do it safely. Wearing sandals and man bags on the cross trainer was ridiculous. They held a stretch class (7am) and abs class (7.30am) in The Cavan Club. I assume they held it there as there is no room in the gym. Go karting: Again this seemed to be fully booked all the time but I managed to secure a slot. It was worth the wait as it was fun but it was very difficult to overtake other drivers. Worth the $15. Footloose: An excellent show! I was so impressed with the singing and dancing. You must go watch the show. Elements: Unbelievably disappointing. Everything they did, I could have done (I'm intermediate aerialist). I expected the show to be a lot better. It was very colourful so I think that's what makes people think it's great when the actual acrobatics was pretty tame. Personally the issue I had was the lack of quality entertainment. It felt like there wasn't much going on, especially in the evenings. If you couldn't get a show booked then the other entertainment was in the Atrium. Sometimes it was good and other times not such much. There wasn't much going on during the day either. Hardly any activities. Overall I was impressed with my first NCL cruise. I personally prefer bigger ships so perhaps I should consider that in the future. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I went on this cruise for my play daughters birthday. Although the bliss is a beautiful ship the service sucked. i payed for specialty dinners for two. i try not to eat off of a buffet because l don’t eat meat nor anything cooked with ... Read More
I went on this cruise for my play daughters birthday. Although the bliss is a beautiful ship the service sucked. i payed for specialty dinners for two. i try not to eat off of a buffet because l don’t eat meat nor anything cooked with meat. i could not get any reservations at the seafood restaurant or any of the specialty restaurants . I was not informed in advanced that getting reservations was going to be so difficult. the last two days of the trip i was finally told to go to the restaurants and see if they could seat us. The seafood restaurant told us no but cagney’s was very caring and understood my dilemma. They also were able to make room for my daughter that is wheelchair bound. Cootos to cagney’s and the people that helped us. when all the other specialty restaurants told me no, they said no problem. The buffet food, i’ll just say for lunch and dinner was bread and salad for me. This is the first cruise i did not know my stewards name or who he or she was. i cruised for 7 days, the first two days my room was not made up at all. the third day it was after 6 and they came to make up my room and i wouldn’t let them because i traveled with three disabled adults that were going to sleep. Even though i asked that my room be made up no later than 6 the day before. AND THEY DID NOT MAKE ONE ANIMAL NOR DID THEY DO ANYTHING SPECIAL TO MAKE US FEEL WELCOME Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I'm really NOT a cruise snob! I don't go around telling people how many I've been on in the first five seconds of meeting aboard a ship. I don't even display my card(s) around my neck and I'm a Chaîne des ... Read More
I'm really NOT a cruise snob! I don't go around telling people how many I've been on in the first five seconds of meeting aboard a ship. I don't even display my card(s) around my neck and I'm a Chaîne des Rôtisseurs reject. I choose my ships and cruises based on the price, itinerary, ship and if I'm solo or not. This one was offered by MSC as a 7-night leg on a 14-night back-to-back originally to Havana, Montego Bay, Georgetown and Cozumel. Political winds changed their direction and blew away Havana and Montego Bay, in blew Ocho Rios and Key West. (Note, I'm from Miami, born and raised. Sailed the Caribbean since a kid.) So if you add it all up, I embarked and disembarked like...ten times on this ship and each one was a breeze. I never had one problem getting aboard or off of the Armonia, unlike every darned ship I've ever been aboard! I mean it. No delays. No unwanted searches. The worst thing was this "Face-To-Face" intrusion imposed by the US Immigration Service. What a joke! I'm not going into the politics. Bottom line: despite lines to tenders and the gangway, they move pretty briskly. Maybe the ship was quite less than full on that cruise. Cabin was sized about right for two--another inch shorter in any direction would be cramped. Plenty of storage space, cleverly concealed. Nice touches absent such as towel animals, facial tissue or chocolates on the pillow. Equipped to the standard: flat screen TV (with very few channels), desk with electrical outlets, mini-bar, window clean enough to shoot video/photos through, direct-dial phone system, programmable safe and plenty of mirrors. Air conditioning worked great, the bed(s) was comfortable and a nice selection of pillows. Bathroom was the smallest one in which I've ever taken a shower. Love the ship. I truly respect her, as I would an aging duchess. She's gleaming, clean as a whistle yet nicked, cracked,worn and dented in places you'd expect after being trod on by millions of feet or sat upon by hundreds of thousands of buttocks. She has a lovely profile, looks like a ship instead of a hotel parked atop a slab of hull. She's gorgeous inside and outside, not screaming, projecting a luxurious and vibrant vibration. Colorful with taste, a bit dated in that Art Deco-inspired Starlight Disco. Comfortable public rooms, well-appointed Library, Bars, and my favorite space--the Cigar Room. Entertainment was enchanting. I was so impressed with how much they do with nothing onstage, it's mind-boggling. Ingenious use of minimal sets and props coupled with pre-recorded audio allowed for the performers' physical gifts and voices take over. The dancers were fluid and acted as well, the singers were excellent in several languages and the gymnasts and balancing act were superb. The DJs had an international flavor to the mix, sounded wonderfully exotic to our ears trained on disco, hip hop and rap. The lounge acts were professional, multi-cultural and talented. Service was modeled on Carnival, the leader in providing personal service in mainstream cruising. On MSC Armonia they ALWAYS remembered your name after hearing or seeing it the first time, they never abused the knowledge by shouting it out in false camaraderie at every opportunity. Everyone who has any contact with guests was polite, friendly without being overly solicitous or fake. They were quietly friendly. They took wonderful care of their guests. Particularly worth mentioning are my wonderful cabin steward, Shella and the best darned member of the waitstaff, Made. Ports-of-call were...well, I'm probably not the one to ask after this cruise. I've been there. It was fortunate I have a friend in Ocho Rios who was wonderful about meeting me just outside the pier and conducted me on a terrific unauthorized shore excursion. As far as the other places, well...except for my quest for Cuban cigars, I could have stayed aboard. I did find the best lunch and Cuban cigars in Cozumel, and the best cigar experience in Georgetown, Grand Cayman. Whatever you've done there, I got the t-shirt. Key West? I got off of the ship, walked far enough away to activate my cell phone, bought a bottle of water and a hunk of fudge from this lovely lady inside this old historical warehouse, smoked a cigar next to a Rastafarian playing a steel drum for an hour, angering the anti-smoking Gestapo tourists (not the Rastaman) and walked back to the ship. (Via tram) Dining was a minor disappointment, after reading so many of the previous reviewers' opinions of the food. Food is what I'm about. Some people eat to live...you know the rest. Nothing aboard MSC Armonia will kill you. Except for the corned beef hash at breakfast. That stuff is poisonous. On the other hand, the polenta was divine. The pizza, especially the whole-wheat crust, was AWESOME! The gelato, especially the straciatella was INCREDIBLE! I should have just stuck with Italian breads and ice cream the whole darned cruise. The lack of fresh fruit in the buffet area was embarrassing. No bananas! They were all at the Vitamin Bar, or they were grabbed by the bunch by my fellow banana lovers. One bowl of pineapple disappeared immediately. One bowl of watermelon walked away by itself. Too much emphasis on melons, not enough on berries of any kind. They had a couple of Italian cold cuts, but no prosciutto that I noticed (some Oscar Meyer ham) to go with their endless parade of melons. The best cuisine on the ship was the Indian, followed by the Italian. Not enough of Asian cooking. The biggest problem: serving hot food HOT and cold food COLD. The carvery was a hit-or-miss affair. I was TOLD the prime rib was great. Everything else that I saw was mediocre (pork roast, turkey breast) to horrible (meat loaf). Why were all of the hamburgers overcooked and dry? Why were the cheeseburgers covered with ONLY American cheese? No choice, not even PROVOLONE?? Thank you, chef, for staying away from attempting barbecue. With the buffet, it's purely a coin toss. In the Marco Polo Main Dining Room, I made the mistake of failing to communicate my preference to eat alone. I also failed to notice that dinner was at 6:00, a crucial half-hour before I'm used to settling down to eat--even on other cruise lines. These two mistakes forced me to record video with unusable audio thanks to excessive noise created by my dining partners Night One; and to miss out my MDR meals (that I usually enjoy) three out of seven nights. Of course, I completely missed out on "Elegant Night." Both nights. My fault. Lobster is something I like, but it's not worth sacrificing an $11.00 cigar I'm smoking in the Cigar Room in order to eat frozen fish. The only Asian-influenced dish I tried was the Thai shrimp. Horrible. Tasteless. I had to scrape that breading off to reveal the skinny shrimp. If you think that by waving the hot chile flakes over them works, you're wrong. The Asian-influenced salad was good. The pasta was al dente. That was good. There was only ONE pasta dish or sauce offered. That was bad. The lamb was served two-sided: rare on one, medium-well on the other, AND it was lukewarm and fatty. I didn't order ONE steak the entire trip. I just didn't trust the beef, I suppose after eating one bite of their hamburger and gagged. Dry as a hockey puck. The Duck L'Orange was so fatty and so lacking in orange flavor, it was a total waste of a bird destined for duck soup. The sauce coating the mussels tasted as if it came right from a Lipton Soup package. The asparagus were delicious.The Indian dishes were superb! The desserts were pedestrian. Most of them were just too darned sweet, missing the rich flavor of chocolate or fruit! The banana and coconut tart was wonderful, marred by that raspberry coulis. I'm not going any further with this. What's the point? I got what I paid for. Canned peaches and cheap chocolate. I went to that Surf & Turf Restaurant sampling meet and greet. Everything was grabbed by the early-arrivals and cleaned off every darned tray. I got one half-flute of faux-champagne, one crab cake and one piece of that disgusting pseudo-cheesecake. A complete waste of time coupled with a hustle. Overall, I'd say the food available in the restaurants was average, mediocre--a "C" grade. If you like congenial conversation with civilized people, the Cigar Room is the place to meet. Of COURSE the place smells! Of COURSE sometimes people get a little bit boisterous--there's a bar 7 meters away. OF COURSE you can watch your favorite sport sitting in a comfortable leather lounge chair smoking your favorite stogie. They have a limited but well-chosen selection of cigars available to buy at typically inflated prices. Bottom line: it was an exceedingly pleasurable cruise, subtracting the expected food fails. I had plenty of good food and drink, lovely ladies to keep me company and a diverse crowd to enliven the conversation. Watch for my videos appearing on my YouTube channel, TeachinTV. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The ship and class of service is what I expected from Princess. The ship was nice, staff was great and the entertainment was fun. This was a 5 day cruise with one 24 hour stop that is a bit different than any other cruises I have been ... Read More
The ship and class of service is what I expected from Princess. The ship was nice, staff was great and the entertainment was fun. This was a 5 day cruise with one 24 hour stop that is a bit different than any other cruises I have been on. There is plenty to do, the "Princess Patter" was packed with activities throughout the day. Dining room and Horizon Court food was good, plenty of variety. The variety of public spaces, music and bars was good. The Disco was not in a great place and the only place that was too crowded, tiny dance floor and slow bar service, I think that needs to be looked at. The "Medallion" class, use of the medallion for your cabin and purchases is innovative but is sort of creepy as they know where you are, all the time ... weird ... Princess is my favorite line and I will return. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was a "replacement" cruise which I took after having my Labor Day cruise on the same ship and same itinerary cancelled by Hurricane Dorian. I had sailed Breakaway before, once in a solo cabin and once in the Haven. ... Read More
This was a "replacement" cruise which I took after having my Labor Day cruise on the same ship and same itinerary cancelled by Hurricane Dorian. I had sailed Breakaway before, once in a solo cabin and once in the Haven. Sailed in a Haven Spa Suite, this time. Very clean. Very nice. Loved the Thermal Spa (which was included in the Spa fare). NCL does FreeStyle better than any other cruise line, regardless of what the other lines call their "dine anywhere/anytime" options. Being in the Haven means you get NCL's best personnel giving the best service fleet wide. The Breakaway was no exception. My Concierges urged us not to schedule anything ourselves with the restaurant reservation desk, nor to stand in line for any customer service issues, as they would take care of them.....anything from internet connection issues, to a billing issue, the concierges took care of them efficiently and quickly. Icing on the cake, they got front row seats for the main entertainment venues for us. Food seems to be getting better, in both the "no charge" venues as well as the Specialty Dining venues. My steaks were cooked to my liking (medium rare) and were quite tasty, regardless of where I dined. The Haven Restaurant, LaCucina, LeBistro and Tepenyaki restaurants were all quite good. All the bartenders on board were excellent. It didn't take long for them to recognize the drinks I liked, and to remember my name after about the first day of being on board. The ship isn't NCL's newest, nor is it an older ship. But, it's in great shape for being 5-6 years old. Loved the show VELVET....very high energy and just a lot of fun, even if you don't like disco. Plus, the acrobatics were impressive given the performers were sailing 20-30 feet above the stage WITHOUT a harness or a net. Singing and dancing were outstanding. Always fun at Howl at the Moon dueling piano venue. I know the ship sailed full, but it never felt crowded to me. The passenger flow was quite good. All-in-all, I wish I'm already looking for a way to go on another NCL cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Great value I had a great time and would definitely do it again. The ports were well chosen, just the time at the ports could be longer. It was sometimes a little bit rushy. The food onboard is great, a final cake walk would be ... Read More
Great value I had a great time and would definitely do it again. The ports were well chosen, just the time at the ports could be longer. It was sometimes a little bit rushy. The food onboard is great, a final cake walk would be great, and thr prizes at the specialty restaurants are too high.the food there is great though. Overall, there is a good chance beeing again onboard NCL The staff is friendly, the entertainment was great and the bar tenders new their job well. However adding 20%on every single onboard service is unreasonable. Also the prices for excursions are far too high, you can make some excursions in half prize, if you do them by yourself. Both are things not related with the cruise, more likely with the policy of NCL. Freestylecruising is a good invention and makes the cruise enjoyable for everybody. Overall, well done and save sailings Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Not what was expected. Very unfriendly staff. Outdated vessel. Very small. Not well kept. Food was worse than hospital food. Balcony very dirty. Not a lot of activities on-board for 4 day duration. Age group 50-85. Disembarkment process ... Read More
Not what was expected. Very unfriendly staff. Outdated vessel. Very small. Not well kept. Food was worse than hospital food. Balcony very dirty. Not a lot of activities on-board for 4 day duration. Age group 50-85. Disembarkment process very early. Shops with expensive prices. Atrium is a small hole in the vessel. Elevators are old and dirty. Not sailing again with a Princess. The staff seem to agree that Royal Princess have higher standards in food, cleanliness and ship entertainment. The cocktails were very overpriced. Coffee tasted like water, looked muddy. Tea was better option. Same breakfast menu every single day. Buffet posts and glass were extremely dirty. Staff around ship couldn’t answer badic questions, but gave honest responses, “sorry, I can’t answer that, maybe someone else knows”!!! I would spend a few hundred more and get a better experience with an alternate cruiseline. Many seniors with books in hand and ready for relaxation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
For our 5th cruise with Viking (after Portugal, France, China and Med) we decided for our anniversary to explore the Central Europe on Viking LIF. Our expectations were very high, but the recent 2 weeks experience was absolutely ... Read More
For our 5th cruise with Viking (after Portugal, France, China and Med) we decided for our anniversary to explore the Central Europe on Viking LIF. Our expectations were very high, but the recent 2 weeks experience was absolutely terrific, far above all our previous cruises with Viking. The on board meals were wonderful but I will suggest the possibility to order half portion I hate food waste. All the staff in the restaurant they were above any expectations: outstanding service, especially Pol, George, Bogdan, Andri. The food was delicious and fresh, very well prepared and the lead Chef Michael was top notch. PERFECT! Kudos to Kristian, the restaurant manager for his attention, friendly attitude and the way how he manage my quite complicated dietary requests. The reception team was excellent. Sometimes we found the Hotel Director Josip a little bit arrogant, but maybe is a cultural thing. Susana, Johnny and Bart were very professional, efficient and gracious. Their smiles were contagious true sunshine between the raindrops One little glitch about our Silver package being in force mid-way through cruise. Great services remedied the problem of our enrollment post haste and all is well. Add more hook for clothing in state rooms both River and Ocean I am disappointed how some guests dressed for dinner in the dining room: shorts, flip flops, sweatshirts And finally, our cruise Director. What can I say? Sometimes I had the feeling the we have 4 or 5 of them on board because he was everywhere: in the morning on the sundeck explaining the scenery, during the tours popping out at every corner, in the afternoon with amazing infotainment type of lectures and after dinner organizing fantastic parties and game shows. Leonard was unbelievable, he made this trip so memorable, lovely person. Energetic, wealth of knowledge. He is a great addition to Viking. He is a gem and handled challenging issues (low water levels, changing in program, difficult guests) with professionalism and a sense of humor. Looking back to our experience on Viking LIF is clear that Leonard was the best thing on the cruise so much information, friendly, helpful. These people deserve a hand. Leonard made this trip awesome All the staff was exceptional. Leonard is worth his weight in gold I really enjoy the relaxed friendly atmosphere your staff are the best I have met after 10 years travelling, I only hope I stay well enough to travel with you again. Viking staff is the key to a wonderful experience Lif has Leonard and an outstanding crew from the top down. We felt well cared for, pampered and safe. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I enjoyed my cruise! I particularly enjoyed the lincoln center stage and the walking track. I really enjoyed walking around the deck as it was good exercise after the big meals. I didn't find the entertainment that great other then ... Read More
I enjoyed my cruise! I particularly enjoyed the lincoln center stage and the walking track. I really enjoyed walking around the deck as it was good exercise after the big meals. I didn't find the entertainment that great other then the lincoln center stage although I heard one of the comedians was quite good - i'm not interested in comedians. The dance number was good but at the billboard singing event they did the singers were horrible. I found there were a lot of talks during the day to keep me busy but the scenery was the main attraction for most days. One example of a talk was on the Pacific Giants (whales) that was good. There was a naturalist on board and I attended one of her talks on salmon. She also held wildlife sighting sessions, although I didn't attend that. There was a really good Alaska in Concert show where they had a film of alaska accompanied by the musicians of BB Kings and Lincoln Stage. The food was good. I preferred the main dining room to the buffet. There was a seafood night in the buffet though on the ketchikan day that was good. I particularly liked the steak and lobster tail on the second gala night although unfortunately it was rough that night leaving ketchikan and I couldn't completely enjoy it. I was a solo traveller but I found everyone friendly at the dining room. The only tour I did was a rail/bus excursion by Chilkoot charters in Skagway and it was nice it only had 24 people on the bus instead of the 60 provided by cruise lines. Make sure you sit on the right if you are going up to Fraser on the bus as you will have better scenery. Note the bow is open on the Glacier Bay day and the inside passage day. Luckily we had a nice day for Glacier Bay. Note that while overall we had good weather, september has 3 times the rain as May or June. So you are taking your chances in September that you will have good weather - I lucked out. Some people complain of Noordam looking worn but that didn't bother me. I thought it looked nice. I liked being on what felt like a small intimate cruise ship - lots of nooks and crannys to sit in. Disembarkation went really smoothly as I chose to carry my own bags. My only complaint was if i'd know I would have a more leisurely breakfast! Overall, a great first cruise. If cruises weren't so expensive for singles, I would cruise again but as it is I would have to be picky about prices to choose Holland America again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I love this itiniery, not a snorkler but really love Bomaire, but about the cruise. Ship was full (to capacity I believe, never the less, service was excellent. Kathleen my room attendant, who I saw in the corridor, slipped in and out ... Read More
I love this itiniery, not a snorkler but really love Bomaire, but about the cruise. Ship was full (to capacity I believe, never the less, service was excellent. Kathleen my room attendant, who I saw in the corridor, slipped in and out while I was out caring for my cabin and seeing that my ice bucket was always full as I had requested. On the first night In the main dining room I discovered I was seated with a lovely family from Germany. I am a solo traveller. Two of this group of 5 spoke english, but not with limited comfort. the others, did not. I don't speak German. Not ideal for me or them. Second night I spoke with the Maitre D who promptly sat me at a table of women, 3 friends traveling together, another solo and a woman traveling with her elderly mother. What a great group and we all enjoyed each others company, Our servers, Michael and Carlo were GREAT. Food was good. though there were a couple of disappointing creme brulee and an slightly overdone chocolate molten lava cake, The Royal Cheese cake was a hit with all at my table and was orderd several times by many. We also decided this was a healthier choice :) . The entrees were quite good, I particularly liked the lamb chops, and a couple of fish dishes (Talapia, salmon) I had earlier in the cruise. At the Windjammer, food was abundant. I was particularly drawn to and enjoyed the stews, perhaps because I don'y make it at home often. Servers at Windjammer were circulating with cold beverages (water, tea, and a very good strawberry-kiwi punch) and coffee. Most at my dinner table seemed to head for the carving station for lunch at the Windjammer. I did also try the dining room on level 3, for one lunch and one dinner. Here you had the option of a smaller, but very nice buffet, or table service from menu. Nice, simpler and more relaxed for lunch I jusd had soup and salad. Breakfast was fine but I think I needed the activity of the Windjammer to wake ne up. Entertainment was great, Lead Female Singer, I believe a recent graduate on New York Academy of Performing Arts, was SPECTACULAR.. All entertainment was good. Unfortunately, scheduling of Ice Show either conflicted with early dining, or Variety show for second performance, and was sold our for first performance, so I missed it. The service deask and tour desk, was extremely helpful arranging change to departure transportation, I had misread description of arrangements (with tour of Old San Juan) I had prebooked and would have arrived at airport too late for my flight. By the way cabin (inside, deck 8, overloooking promenade was great. I was thinking about changing it, but had read a positive review of this type cabin on message board and so stayed where I was assigned. So glad I did. Only problem was embarcation, long lines, outside in heat not acceptable. One more thought, I really liked the solarium pool area. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I am currantly on day seven of a ten night cruise aboard Ovation of the Seas. I embarked in Vancouver and will end up in Hawaii. Here are my obsevations so far: First of all I love Royal Caribbean and have sailed twice before with ... Read More
I am currantly on day seven of a ten night cruise aboard Ovation of the Seas. I embarked in Vancouver and will end up in Hawaii. Here are my obsevations so far: First of all I love Royal Caribbean and have sailed twice before with them, most recently on the Allure of the Seas, see my review here…….https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=652523 I do love the big ships with the Oasis class being the largest. Let me start with the negatives as it relates to this Quantum class Ovation of the Seas… When I first boarded her in Vancouver the process was somewhat confusing as there was no separate area for Crown and Anchor guests or for people who may have purchased the ‘Key” as I did on Allure. No biggie. It took about 20 minutes to get on board beginning at 11am. The instant I stepped foot on board I felt that I had made a huge mistake in booking this ship. It was jammed to the max right at 11:30 am and we were herded through what I would discribe as an airport high end shopping mall filled with glitzy expensive jewlery shops….Bulvgari, Cartiere etc etc..what seemed like dozens of them…It was shoulder to shoulder jammed as if I were in the Bangkok airport between gates. Yuk! The Promenade is tiny in my opinion for a ship that has this many people on it! Its as if RCI felt that shopping for a diamond watch was way more important than the common areas where normally one would find the bars and food venues sepatate from the occaisonal guest who needs to buy a Gucci handbag on a cruise. The central common area is all about shopping and not about complimentary needs for Ovations' passengers..They are after thoughts just stuck into deck four and five….so consequently you NEVER have the feeling that you are at Schooner's Bar, The Pub, Jamies Italian etc…you are in a mall and you are always facing a high end shop, always…while you eat your upcharged meal or have a pint in the pub. On the Oasis class Central Park and to a great extent the Royal Promenade allow separtaion and the actual feeling that you are in a venue catering to you. Even Vintages wine bar on Ovation is an after thought stuck right in the open of the mall. I hated this whole concept and felt totally let down compared to my previous experiences on Allue and Independence. As the days went by the ship did open up and I was relieved that my first impressions wore off but overtime if you want to go from one end of the ship to the other you go tru the mall unless you go tru deck 14 which I tried to do most of the time. There are way too many people on this ship for the overall design which I’m told was originally for the Asian market. On Oasis class ships I never once felt crammed in and crowded and they have even more people on them. The four main dining rooms allow pasengers to eat either Mytime or fixed seating.. I chose The Grand dining room and requested a table before boarding and once again Royal came through. Very happy with my table and I like the Grand dining room much better than Silk, American Icon or Chic. The food on Ovation so far has been hit or miss. I’m not one to complain about food on a cruise ship, there is a ton of it everywhere and you should be able to satisfy your hunger 24 hours as you can do on Ovation. I have noticed that compared to Allure last December the food on Ovation particularly in Windjammer leans toward the lower end of quality. Not a carving station in sight offering up a huge roast or ham..nope they actually have a tiny canned ham being carved for breakfast. Not a strawberry or blueberry to be found anywhere. Basically the exact same breakfast every day. The main dining room food so far has been hit or miss. I have eggs benedict in the main dinig room everyday and it comes out fast and cooked to perfection. You can find some good stuff at Cafe Two70 and its towards the aft of the ship and is generally quiet…good sandwiches, soups etc.. The Solarium Bistro has some good stuff for dinner and is quiet as well. The usual faire is out and about throughout the ship and like I said you won't go hungry. I just feel that the bean counters at Royal like at Disneyworld are cutting it close with the lower quality food and pushing one towards the uncharge venues. I purchased the unlimited dining package and for $20 a day I can eat at Chops for lunch (sea days) and dinner and at Jamie’s Italian and at Wonderland and Izzumi’s. Izzumi’s is always empty and Wonderland doesn’t interest me so I found myself at Jamie’s and Chops looking for the better quality food since I paid the price. Unfortunately both have disappointed so far. Jamie’s is nothing special and the service leaves much to be desired. Its chaotic and the seats are hard as a rock as they are basically metal uncushioned chairs. And you look out at the shoping mall jewerly stores. Yuk. Chops is pretty basic with much better service..its tucked in the corner of Schonner's Bar. Lots of Aussies and international passengers and more African Americans than I’ve ever seen before on this cruise. Many folks can be found smoking in the smoking area on deck 14 next to the pool. I never once had a free hand cocktail poured for me. They measure each drink and I found this to be a bummer too whereas my previous cruises they freehand poured…not sure if this is fleet wide but it hasn't ruined my cruise as I dont drink that much anyway. There are hardly any kids on this cruise for what thats worth. There are two formal nights and I find that most people dress up and enjoy looking their best with many of the older folks still in black tie. Its a huge mix of traditional cruisers and the run of the mill riff raff… I did witness a family siting at Vintages and the adult son in his 30s was siting there with his shoes off with his dirty feet UP ON THE table where people are going to be spending $100 to drink champagne. It really bothered me and I asked the bartender to tell him to put his feet down off the table. She was hesitant to do so but obliged me. Unfortunately this is the world we live in today. And he was with his parents. What does that tell ya? Now on to the good stuff. The crew is fabulous and again its amazing how they all maintain their attitudes. Its the best part about cruising, the amazing service everywhere. Bravo to Royal. My stateroom attendant is fabulous and my dining room waiter is excellent. The ship itself is beautiful and sparking clean. The venues for entertainment and the entertainment itself is great.. Lots to do. Lots of music and high tech stuff especially the venue in the aft of the ship. Seaplex is great, Ifly and Northstar etc. Plenty to do, good food, great crew, beautiful ship. I doubt I’d sail on this class of ship again but I love Royal Caribbean and am having a great cruise so far. The little things I’d like to see changed are not going to change as long as the bottom line and increased profits for shareholders take precidant over everything else. Oh yeah the wifi is fantastic…full streaming the whole way across the Pacific no problem which allowed me to watch my Xifinity account as there isn’t much on the TV they provide. My interior stateroom with a virtual balcony is well appointed and very comfortable. First time with an interior. There is some noise from adjacent rooms and toilets flushing but its no big deal. Looking forward to my next cruise onboard the newly revamped Oasis of the Seas in two months. Hope this review helps others to decide about Ovation of the Seas. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
From Syd up the east coast to Port Douglas. Embarkation was very smooth. Princess does cater to an older demographic, but this Princess ship is larger than Golden or Diamond and it seemed a lot easier to navigate around all those walkers. ... Read More
From Syd up the east coast to Port Douglas. Embarkation was very smooth. Princess does cater to an older demographic, but this Princess ship is larger than Golden or Diamond and it seemed a lot easier to navigate around all those walkers. Beautiful Piazza, and Bars and Dining Room. there is something to be said for a ship that is only a few years old. Had an internal on Lido deck (L215) great bed and pillows and easy access to buffet and pools and the lovely Conservatory area. There was always space available which is such a bonus. Only draw back were those folks who can't seem to close their cabin door but let it SLAM shut behind them ( oh well what can you do). Food in main Dining Room was good, Hairdresser (Raylene) at the Spa was excellent. Had to search to find the ext. number for the Spa and the Massage price list, seems they don't want people ringing but prefer you trek all the way down to L.5 to the desk. Entertainment I would rate 6/10 not up to RoyalCaribbean's high standard but a few highlights. The big mistake on this Ship which holds around 4000 is a Theatre that only holds 875 ! People were getting into their seats at 6pm for a 7pm Show. Most just gave up and didn't bother - and there is no space to stand up the back at all. Weather was sunny and windy. Tenders at Airlie, Cairns and PtDouglas took a while. But Pt Douglas was lovely. Shops on board are quite good, musicians around the Bar areas are fine. Buffet area was hit and miss and very confusing layout. I also miss a pool at the back of the ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
After 6 cruises on the big ships we decided for our anniversary to try a river cruise with Viking (we’ve done already 2 Viking cruises on the ocean). The cruise from Bucharest to Budapest sounded very interesting and we decided to try ... Read More
After 6 cruises on the big ships we decided for our anniversary to try a river cruise with Viking (we’ve done already 2 Viking cruises on the ocean). The cruise from Bucharest to Budapest sounded very interesting and we decided to try despite the fact that our friends from Atlanta got a better quote for the same cruise and the same cabin. The ship was Viking LIF and the entire experience made us to started to look more in to river cruise for our future holidays. Here are some suggestion and impression from our trip in eastern Europe Bucharest – a beautiful city where the communism left plenty of marks. We loved the food and the architecture and, as a suggestion, maybe in the future Viking will organise a stay longer than one night. Excellent hotel and very well organised transfers. Ruse – despite the fact that the journey to Arbanassii was quite long the excursion was amazing giving as the chance to learn about the history of this country (we didn’t have any idea about how old Bulgaria is). Great lunch and fantastic place to visit. Maybe the guides can be less ridged and less “primary school teacher”-like Vidin – a very poor city but the trip to the mountains was amazing. Was great that the cruise director “forced” us to go and ignore the information about difficulty of the excursion. Was worth it and you don’t miss the breath-taking views with plenty of things to do if you don’t climb the rocks. Sailing day – the landscape is fantastic, and the information offered by the cruise director made us feel like in a Discovery documentary. We loved the new excursions introduced by Viking in a local village, an areological site and a fortress. The children invited on board were amazing despite the fact that the moderator of the conversation was trying hard to take over the entire conversation. Belgrade – we would love to stay longer. What an amazing city! We strongly recommend the visit to the opera and a lunch on your own to a restaurant close to the ship with no name …just “?” (our Cruise Director was so right to recommend this place) Vukovar – the visit to a Croatian family was fantastic and a real eye-opener. Maybe Viking can do something about the “rush feeling” of that day…we would like to explore more. Kalocsa – the horse farm was an interesting and authentic experience. If you want to buy paprika do it here is far much cheaper and better quality than the one in Budapest. The small shop close to the ship has excellent prices and they all speak English. Budapest – we’ve been to Budapest before but was a pleasure to visit it again. The hotel was a nice decent one, the tours were interesting but for us, Budapest was the end of our cruise so we were sad to leave Viking LIF. The staff on Viking LIF was absolutely amazing and nothing was too much for them. Joy our room stewardess was a real “JOY” smiling, helpful and very well organised making our cabin impeccable every day. In the restaurant the manager Kristian was very helpful and friendly providing an excellent service with a lot of care and attention. Alin in the bar, great and very professional, learned in the first day our favourite G&T and we enjoyed every moment spent in the lounge. We fall in love with the reception team especially with Susanna very friendly and always ready to help. But the top of this extraordinary team was our Cruise Director Leonard. He was working around the clock, almost 24 hours daily with the same passion, enthusiasm and professionalism. Was obvious that he is in love with his job and every meeting before dinner was a mixture of practical information, facts traditions and stories put together with a unique charisma and sense of humour. After the first day, was hard to find a place for his presentation in the lounge. Every night after dinner Leonard had a surprise for the passengers: lectures (the one about Dracula was as good as a real History Channel documentary and his story about Ceausescu time was heart-breaking), games (so much fun in the music quiz) and an amazing Disco party with music and dance until early hours in the morning. With brilliant organisational skills everything planned by him went perfect even if sometimes you can see the struggle behind. Honestly if Viking will tell me that Leonard will be our next cruise director I will book a cruise even on the river behind our house! After on week on Viking LIF I understand why Viking is the best and the only option to travel in comfort. Thank you Viking, thank you Lif, thank you Leonard! See you soon! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The roomservice was exellent. Housekeeping spoke very good English. She took really good care of guests. I was travelling solo, and the whole crew of the ship took really good care of me. The whole crew called me Madame. I dont like ... Read More
The roomservice was exellent. Housekeeping spoke very good English. She took really good care of guests. I was travelling solo, and the whole crew of the ship took really good care of me. The whole crew called me Madame. I dont like shows so much, and luckily the was a place on the ship where 2 gitarists sung songs from the last 30 years. I really enjoyed it, they played like pro's. Food was really great, and all the crew was flexible to my wishes. I had a really good time from I landed on the airport in Barca, and got picked up by Costa. I went on one tour, to Monaco. The guide talked really good English, and was so good explaining the history and odd points about Monaco. The ship was very good organized, the crew was excellent. The best cruise I ever been on. I would do this again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Have sailed with CMV before on Magellan and really enjoyed it, wanted to see St Petersburg so booked the Baltic tour. Embarkation was a dream, I was on in ten minutes from walks no in the door. Food on board was great throughout, with a ... Read More
Have sailed with CMV before on Magellan and really enjoyed it, wanted to see St Petersburg so booked the Baltic tour. Embarkation was a dream, I was on in ten minutes from walks no in the door. Food on board was great throughout, with a special recommendation fir The Grill, the lamb rack was amazingly good. Also had the surf and turf in the main dining room which has to be the best steak I have ever had. The entertainment team are great on Columbus from the evening shows to the daily quizzes and activities. Peter the CD was also very welcoming and engaging. Special mention to the singers on board, all being very good. Excursions were well organised and members of the entertainment team were our escorts, mention to Bradley who was not only a great entertainer but very engaging and helpful on excursions. The only downside was the number of moaning people on board, they seem to moan about every minor little thing like a coach being 10 mins late, they even had the gall to moan about us being re routed due to bad weather, the Captain did a great job, in keeping us sAfe and making sure we still had a day in port by shuffling the itinerary. I can’t fault Columbus, the crew are all lovely, the service is fabulous on all counts. Booking my next cruise with cmv soon. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This is a great intimate soft adventure but with all the luxuries. We shared the experience with 144 other passengers but you never felt crowded. Every sail away the sails were raised along with emotions. Dining was very good with a six ... Read More
This is a great intimate soft adventure but with all the luxuries. We shared the experience with 144 other passengers but you never felt crowded. Every sail away the sails were raised along with emotions. Dining was very good with a six course meal should you choose with full waiter service. Drinks were well priced with house drinks at 3.5 Euro along with an excellent wine list from house bottles through to Cristal champagne. Something for every budget. The breakfasts and lunches were buffet style with so much to choose from. Tenders to shore in most ports where other ships could not go including deserted beaches. The sports team boys provided many activities from sailing to water skiing all included. By Day two all the staff knew your name. Music by Jerby was excellent, from piano to guitar to late night dancing, including a fun passenger and crew party night. Cruise Director Irina was great fun (Ciao Ciao) and Edwin a fantastic Bar Manager/Sommelier. If you want something different from a mega cruiseliner this is it. The ship is very stable and while there is a slight rumble from the generators you get used to it. Passengers were mostly well travelled in the forty plus bracket. Many were repeat customers which says something. There were no kids on our voyage. Very inclusive and welcoming to all including our LGBT group of six. As the Captain said, “you can take a hundred photos, but it is what you take home in your hearts that matters!”. Highly recommended. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I was really looking forward for this vacation, but it became terrible after booking this cruise. The ship was small, old and there was really nothing to do onboard. They didn’t even have the pools available to swim. I have been in ... Read More
I was really looking forward for this vacation, but it became terrible after booking this cruise. The ship was small, old and there was really nothing to do onboard. They didn’t even have the pools available to swim. I have been in different cruises before and I figured it was alright since the port destinations would make up for it. I was wrong, the excursions available were very unorganized. Staff was rude and unfriendly. There was no planned activities. Staff was not knowledgeable on instructions. They would announce meeting points at a certain time and they would be late. Food was terrible. Not much to do in she ship. I was traveling with 7 family members and we all felt the same way. I tried expressing my concerns to the cruise staff, but it was a waste of time. They simply didn't care. Never traveling in this cruise line again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise for the departure port and itinerary, but I wouldn’t change anything. The ship is older and doesn’t have all the wizz bang features of the new ships, but that’s not why you cruise to Alaska. I didn’t notice any ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the departure port and itinerary, but I wouldn’t change anything. The ship is older and doesn’t have all the wizz bang features of the new ships, but that’s not why you cruise to Alaska. I didn’t notice any maintenance issues or problems with cleanliness. No funny sewerage smells or problems with air conditioning. Our stateroom was always clean and very comfortable. The size was not massive, but more than enough considering the amount of time we spent outside our cabin. Overall the crew were very friendly and efficient. I agree with some of the comments about the buffet, but if you choose carefully you can still have a good meal every time. If you time your meals correctly there are virtually no queues and we always found a table. Remember there is another seating area towards the back of the ship on both sides. We chose traditional dining for dinner and were able to get a table for two after requesting it on the embarkation day. We had to share for the first night, but had our own table for the rest of the cruise. The menu is adequate and again with careful choices you can have a lovely meal every night. The Crown Grill was excellent. Great food and service. Alaska was amazing! We even saw the Northern Lights (on the departure out of Haines and only for about fifteen minutes). I would happily cruise on the Grand Princess again. We’re already planning to repeat this cruise with our kids in a couple of years. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
You have to keep in mind that this is a smaller, dated ship. Your expectations should be equal. I only had one bad experience with LeBistro and would not recommend it. The service on this ship is top notch from one end of the ship ... Read More
You have to keep in mind that this is a smaller, dated ship. Your expectations should be equal. I only had one bad experience with LeBistro and would not recommend it. The service on this ship is top notch from one end of the ship to another. I truly felt like I was part of the Norweigan family. This is a smaller ship and the entertainment quality is not like big ships, but still pleasing. The amount of activity is enough to keep you entertained. There are plenty of games and chances for you to meet and intermingle with others. There is an average amount of shopping onboard. The photos are kept in books, which I enjoy that privacy as opposed to out in the open for all to view. There is a good amount of bars and a good selection of dining choices. The bar staff will keep you entertained. I would have liked to have seen a bigger selections of televisions only because it is football season, but they were strategically placed and I understand why. The atrium is very small and I believe during their refurbishment they should have put more emphasis on this. I believe that they could work with what they have and add more entertainment in that area. I like the fact that there were “get togethers and meets” for different groups. Embarking was confusing. There should be more announcements, more staff, and better visual signage for those who have had a long night or have difficulty with direction. Overall, excellent value for the money, fun time, and enjoyable memories. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Lets start out by saying that we know the free at sea air program is new but.... it needs a serious overhaul. They had us going from el paso to seattle then to orlando the way there. 6pm -6am . Shuttle from the airport doesn't arrive ... Read More
Lets start out by saying that we know the free at sea air program is new but.... it needs a serious overhaul. They had us going from el paso to seattle then to orlando the way there. 6pm -6am . Shuttle from the airport doesn't arrive until 9 and doesnt leave until 11. No food allowance for the 12+ hours of sleepless travel and we couldn't change anything so we stuck it out. The embarkation process was the best thing. Private escort so we didnt have to wait in line, VIP lounge with snacks and refreshments expedited check in. Amazing. But they lost a couple items from the drop off to our rooms, nothing to bad but rather a small annoyance ( among many) The view from the balcony was one of the highlights of our trip. Although it is unusable for the majority of the trip. It's super windy when the boat is moving and the hot tub takes for ever and a day to fill and was way to hot even for a hot tub. complimentary bottle of champagne, everyday snacks delivered was one thing the was amazing to have but there were days when the snacks weren't allergy friendly so the entire room couldn't enjoy them. The buttler francis was amazing but the concierge rubbed us very wrong from the beginning pushing expensive villas we repeatedly said we didnt want was one of the first. The room attendant was great and very attentive to our room but had complaints from others on our floor. They stopped doing towel animals which was sad but our butler did them for us. It was a hit or miss for enjoying our balcony because spinnackers bar was directly over us and a nice quiet still night turned into an obnoxious frat party real quick almost every night. The suite is in the front of the ship and all the dining options are in the back so you had to walk but it wasn't a very big ship for it to be a problem. My main complaint/concern is that we didnt know what duties and amenities were available to us from the staff. Feeling like we didn't utilize all the perks of our room was a little disappointing. Dining was great. Cagney's had complimentary breakfast and lunch for VIPs so it was a nice place to go to have a quiet meal. Portions are perfect. Enough for you to taste the food and go through all the courses. I never felt like I couldn't make make it to desert. Con: the staff is so fast at cleaning and clearing the table that I often found that I had to reorder a course because I blinked and it dissapeared. The food wasn't exotic. It was delicious and always had a variety but there wasn't something on the menu every night that I have never had before which was a little disappointing. Entertainment was great from the comedians dancers bands and performances. Glow party was a hot mess. There were couples and trios that got way too drunk and way too inappropriate. Not sure if was a rave or a public orgie. Layout got a bit confusing because the aft had only entrances so in order to travel to ANYWHERE else on the ship you had to go a couple floors up or down then towards the front. Once you hit the aft elevators you couldn't get out of the dining area. Elevators were tiny and only fit like 4 adults before you were ontop of another person. Spa was nice but the lady who did my massage insulted my post pregnancy belly and made me cry on two separate occasions by asking way to personal questions and didnt stop. Hurricane humberto was the reason why we couldn't go to great stirrup cay which was understandable and not to upsetting and many passengers expressed how unhappy they were with the decision to take a sea day instead of spending two days at a port or rerouting us to another one. Myself included. Each person was given a 20$ credit for the inconvenience. Overall it was nice but I dont think I'll be splurging on anything over a small balcony for future cruises with Norwegian. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
wanted to see the Maritimes, hopefully with fall colors, but too early for that, up the St Lawrence was great, lots of little , villages. fantastic homes in Newport, must hv been nice to have money in those days only downfall was number ... Read More
wanted to see the Maritimes, hopefully with fall colors, but too early for that, up the St Lawrence was great, lots of little , villages. fantastic homes in Newport, must hv been nice to have money in those days only downfall was number of ports where you had to tender in, some were 25 min each direction ship was very modern, wonderful staff in rooms & eating places ate all meals in Garden Cafe where food was very varied and good dress was casual which I prefer , entertainment in Stardust lounge very good enjoyed Halifax, Pier 21 was very enjoyable ( this is where immigrants landed, and had a Titanic exhibit, weather was good, sea rough coming into Rhode Island, end of hurricane Dorian Did not leave ship in most ports because of tendering and I use a cane to get me around very happy with trip and will most likely do it again Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
For our 5th cruise with Viking (2 river cruises + 2 ocean cruises) we decided to take the 3 weeks trip from Amsterdam to Budapest on Viking Lif. We absolutely love the ship and we were lucky enough to don’t have any problems with the ... Read More
For our 5th cruise with Viking (2 river cruises + 2 ocean cruises) we decided to take the 3 weeks trip from Amsterdam to Budapest on Viking Lif. We absolutely love the ship and we were lucky enough to don’t have any problems with the water levels. Viking is for sure the best choice if you like river cruises: the level of hospitality, attention to details, organisation and the wide range of options are only couple of reason why Viking is always our first choice. In Budapest some of the crew change, and this is the main reason why I decided to post this review. Maybe Viking should pay more attention to consistency, especially when you think about the staff on board. After 3 weeks on board Viking LIF and 2 different staff we had the feeling that we travelled with two different companies. And that was more obvious at the level of the “key players” on board. And here are couple of reasons why we had this feeling Hotel director From Amsterdam we had Johnny a young Romanian with a lot of passion and dedication for his job. Nothing was to much for him and he was always there to assist passengers and his own colleagues. Always smiling and knowledgeable Johnny was a very pleasant presence for our first two weeks on board. Unfortunately for us in Budapest his place was taken by Joseph who, maybe because he is working in this business for too long (and he didn’t miss the opportunity to remind us every time) he was pretty bored, not at all approachable and quite arrogant. We missed Johnny so much in the last week of our cruise. Capitan For the first two weeks we hand a young Capitan and I must apologise for not remembering his name. The only time when we saw him was late in the evening, in the bar when he was drinking with one of his colleagues or a younger female passenger. We never had the chance to speak with him, which surprise us a lot thinking about our previous experience with Viking. In Budapest an amazing Dutch Skipper, Anna, join the ship and the story was completely different: he was always very polite and ready to answer all our questions. His presentation about the ship with the Cruise Director was very interesting and entertaining at the same time. When we had the chance to visit the bridge for the second time it was a completely different experience than in the previous week as he made us feeling welcome and accommodating all our questions and requests. Restaurant manager Martina was our first restaurant manager and she was very sweet despite the fact that she wasn’t very efficient. She was trying hard but couple of times she confused our diets and she was getting very stressed time to time. But we loved her. In Budapest her place was taken by Christian who was obviously that had more experience than Martina. His manners were at the level of a 5* restaurant, his solving problems abilities were amazing, and he always seemed to be calm and in control. Even if the restaurant was busy he always found time for a little chat. Cruise Director This was, maybe, the biggest surprise. For the first two weeks we had as a Cruise Director Sonya, a very pleasant girl from Serbia who was trying her best to be in line with our expectations. The only issue was her big personality, her inability to listen and her quite messy organizational skills. Especially in days with a lot of excursions and tours she got very agitated, getting in a very defensive mood with everybody around. We stopped asking her question after couple of abrupt answers! Sonya seemed to know her job but she always gave us the feeling that she just wanted to tick a box and run “behind the scenes” away from passengers and questions. In Budapest Leonard took over…literally took over. His personality, his knowledge, his energy and passion and his ability to be everywhere, anytime with the same smile and willingness to help made up for the entire trip. We never meet such an approachable, kind, genuine and hard-working Cruise Director in any of our cruises, both on the river and on the ocean. We wished to have Leonard for the entire 3 weeks: he created in 7 days memories for an entire lifetime. Maybe Viking will look for the future in to how different personalities fit the job profile and try to eliminate this differences which can impact the entire experience of a cruise. For sure we will be back. But can we have Anna, Christian, Johnny and Leonard with us? Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
First, I was a single traveler on this trip. My wife had girls outing in the Lake of the Ozark so I decide to travel alone. I learned a lot about traveling alone. There are no perks for being a single traveler and what there is, is ... Read More
First, I was a single traveler on this trip. My wife had girls outing in the Lake of the Ozark so I decide to travel alone. I learned a lot about traveling alone. There are no perks for being a single traveler and what there is, is based on double occupancy. The only benefit is my drink package was based on one traveler and two. I would really think hard about booking a single cruise with Royal Caribbean again, This cruise turned out to be a humanity cruise and not a pleasure cruise. Due to the massive destruction in the Bahama, Mariner of the Sea changed it sailing itinerary and we lost our day at sea. The original itinerary was leave Port Canaveral, day at sea, Nassau, then Coco Cay. What we got was Port Canaveral, Freeport, Nassau where we spent overnight and two days then we went to Coco Cay. The reason why was, Mariner stopped at Freeport and dropped off several thousand of meals and supplies and then loaded several hundred refuges and then we went directly to Nassau to allow the refuges to disembark there. I like to commend Royal Caribbean on there efforts in helping the victims of the hurricane. My only complaint is no one knew about the changes until 30 minutes before departure. My travel agent got the memo after we left. I miss my day at sea, to me this is very peaceful but giving the big picture I understand. By the way, all of the refuges were restricted to the auditorium and was not allowed to mingle with the passengers. The refuges were taken care of. I enjoyed the Mariner of the Sea and this is the third trip on her. The staff were great and my room attended went above and beyond what he was required to do. He later received a nice reward. The food is still the same and there was not changes there. I had to laugh, when I went into the Windjammer and one of the staff I have seen before was not singing “Please wash your hands”. He recognized me and we had a good laugh when he pointed to his guitar and said that he needed a break. If you have ever traveled on the Mariner of the Seas you will know what I am talking about. The jingle is one of those songs that plague your mind and you keep repeating if over and over almost as bad as Disney “it’s a small world”. Despite the changes I am booking another cruise I just hope I get my day at sea. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We recently cruised from Venice to Rome via the med. The ship was clean which was great, we were also the only ship to visit Mykonos and Santorini, it was extremely windy and 3 others ships chose not to go there. Santorini is such a ... Read More
We recently cruised from Venice to Rome via the med. The ship was clean which was great, we were also the only ship to visit Mykonos and Santorini, it was extremely windy and 3 others ships chose not to go there. Santorini is such a flying visit that’s it hardly worth it, also it was busy with just our ship, I’d hate to be there when there are others ships too. The biggest disappointment was the food on board, it was just average. We had a specialty dining package where we went to 4 specialty restaurants, only 2 were any good in our opinion, definitely glad I wasn’t paying for it. Staff were not fantastic for the first half of the cruise, for whatever reason they became more approachable and friendly the second half. I did find it strange that vapping appeared to be permitted on the pool deck, even near the food. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I have done one cruise before with Disney and travelled with 3 friends, one couple who cruise often on Explorer of the Seas, and one complete newbie. Embarkation was a breeze, although our email we received days before said to show up ... Read More
I have done one cruise before with Disney and travelled with 3 friends, one couple who cruise often on Explorer of the Seas, and one complete newbie. Embarkation was a breeze, although our email we received days before said to show up between 14:30 - 15:30. We left our AirBnB in Barcelona at maybe 10:15, and were at the port shortly after. We snuck in with our friends who were in a junior suite although we were only in a CP View cabin and were given group one and told it would be a 45 minute wait or so for boarding to commence. But we were happy to have group 1. However maybe 10 minutes later they started calling group 1. By the time we made it to the elevator to the gangway they were already saying group 1-25!!! So really fast boarding. I am a complete newbie to the Oasis Class, but I did get a feeling the cruise wasn't by any means sold out though. Which would make sense at the end of the Summer season like this. The ship was impressive and lived up to the hype of the Oasis class. One thing I had read online and also that my friends who cruise on other ships also noticed along with myself is that the ship really is very interior focused, and even the few spaces on the main decks that do have windows/portholes for some reason have frosted or vinyl'd over glass. You could easily go a day on this ship and maybe only see the water once or twice. Even though the ship was two weeks away from a major dry dock and her amplification, she was in pretty good condition. Only a few niggles with the lifts sometimes not responding to button pushes. We did a few finger wipes in nooks and crannies in public areas and every-time were impressed with the cleanliness. Our cabin was fine for the two of us, although other than speaking with our steward(ess) about having our beds separated the first night, we did not really interact with her again. Dining was average in the main dining room if I am honest. It wasn't to Disney standards, and my Carbonara one night was particularly congealed which was disappointing. The wait team in the MDR were brilliant though. We also did Izumi which was great. And 150 Central Park, where the food was good, but the atmosphere and staff were a little lacking. Entertainment wise the main shows were great. Cats was a great production, but I do not understand why RCI thought this would be a good fit for the casual audience of a cruise ship. Many people left before the show even made it to the end of act 1, and even less came back. The Ice show was also great. Come fly with me made zero sense, but the cast were great. One night we ended up really enjoying which we hadn't expected to was the 70's party night in the Promenade. It just clicked and the place really came alive and everyone seemed to have a great time. Overall the service could be a bit lacking and maybe this is because the crew knew it was the end of the season and they have one more cruise after ours then a long dry dock. But that is really no excuse, in particular every time I used the Solarium Bar, I was served by the same server who seemed very unfriendly and uninterested. Shore excursions we did just one official RCI one which was Aix on your own, so it was really a commentated coach ride in and then we did our own thing (in the pouring rain sadly). Majorca was a great stop, although quick. but for me Cinque Terre at La Spezia was a highlight, stunning scenery and a great walk between two of the towns. Naples was foul, we took a train to Pompeii, but if I did another cruise that stopped in Naples, I would stay on the ship. Overall it was a good introduction to RCI, and great to be able to brag at having done one of the largest ships in the world, and the first of the famous Oasis class. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019

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