219 Miami Gay & Lesbian Cruise Reviews

I loved this ship. The staff was excellent and the ship was so clean. This cruise ship was definitely better than Norwegian cruises. My only complaints were that I wish they kept the buffet out for longer because we had dinner reservations ... Read More
I loved this ship. The staff was excellent and the ship was so clean. This cruise ship was definitely better than Norwegian cruises. My only complaints were that I wish they kept the buffet out for longer because we had dinner reservations for 830pm and most of the buffet was closed off by 230. I wanted to eat lunch later because I had such a late dinner hour. Also, certain times of the day were kind of boring and nothing to do. Also, the TV in the room only had like 4 options to watch regular tv besides many news stations and the 5 channels they had devoted to the ship itself. The entertainment was pretty good. I loved the fact that they didnt have a water slide because then I think there would have been more kids on this ship so I'm glad there were hardly no kids on here. I'm not sure if it was because there is no water slide or if it was because of the time of year I went. But i did appreciate not having many kids on this ship. I had an overall pleasant experience on it. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was my very first cruise. I can say I went into it feeling very nervous and overwhelmed. I tried to make sure I had done all my research on all the ports prior to sailing to ensure it was a worry free vacation. We arrived to port ... Read More
This was my very first cruise. I can say I went into it feeling very nervous and overwhelmed. I tried to make sure I had done all my research on all the ports prior to sailing to ensure it was a worry free vacation. We arrived to port at 12pm on a rainy day in Miami only to find a massive line up, in which parts of it left you standing in the rain. It took approximately 2.5 hrs to board the Escape. Upon entering I was blown away by its beauty and pure size- I couldn’t wait to explore! I quickly learned that the lineup I dreaded having to deal with to board would follow me wherever I went on the ship- food, drinks, washroom, you name it. Which quickly becomes frustrating when you are trying to have a relaxing vacation. On our first sail day we went to go to the pool, only to find it was a sea of bodies in the pool and no chairs to be found. Sadly the Escape has a pool not much bigger than the average backyard pool that is somehow supposed to fit +4000 people. I was very disappointed to know I wouldn’t be able to get anywhere close to the pool. Our first stop was Roatan and we chose to do the Jolly Roger Catamaran and Snorkelling. Everything was perfect. The staff were friendly, and very helpful when teaching how to snorkel. And the Reef was absolutely stunning! Second stop was Harvest Caye, Belize. I was very interested for this stop as I knew the island was owned by NCL and operated by locals. We chose to not do an excursion that day and just explore and relax on the island. What I was not aware of is that our food and drink package are not included on the island. 2 daiquiri’s were a whopping $25! It was refreshing to have a large pool to sit next to as this was my first day being able to go in a pool on our vacation. After lunch we decided to go back to the ship as it was too expensive to be buying drinks when we already had paid for a very costly drink package. Third stop was supposed to be Costa Maya but unfortunately got cancelled due to a local strike. In turn we had a half day at sea as they continued onward to Cozumel. Having over 24 hrs in Cozumel actually worked quite well as we were able to do extra exploring and not be in a hurry to get back to the ship. We went and swam with the dolphins and stingray. It was a 5 min cab ride to the aquarium. Overall it was an amazing experience! The highlight of the cruise was the food. Le Bistro was hands down my favourite restaurant. Most of the staff throughout the ship were friendly and very attentive. The only staff member I can complain about was a bartender at the Mojito bar. We went there every night before dinner and he was always straight to the point and we witnessed him yell at various customers. If NCL is reading this, I would say their app is very helpful when on-board and we caught ourselves always referring to it. You can message fellow passengers through it for a very expensive price. I would like to see them change that so you can message your family members on the cruise through the app for free. Overall it was a great trip and I was able to bring home lots of amazing memories. I do feel like I could use some time away from people though. Personally I would not recommend Harvest Caye but Roatan and Cozumel were lovely. If I go on another cruise it will have to be with less people and more pool options. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I was with a tour group of about 300 people. LGBT “bears” (large and hairy men) from a tour operator named “Arno”. This was my second cruise. The first one was at Carnival Pride, with a similar but smaller group called “Daddy ... Read More
I was with a tour group of about 300 people. LGBT “bears” (large and hairy men) from a tour operator named “Arno”. This was my second cruise. The first one was at Carnival Pride, with a similar but smaller group called “Daddy Cruise”. The ship was amazing and huge. Very clean and they had sanitization stations everywhere. Embarkation was quick and simple at the home port and every other one. Leaving the ship was super quick as they just did facial recognition. I hate kids/teenagers. The adult area is nice and in front of the ship. Much larger than Carnival Pride, which is in the back. Only bads: the menu in main dining barely changes the whole trip. They want you to pay for premium dining. Carnival was different every day and very good. So we did. Wonderland was awful, slow, too long. Sushi was ok, but nothing special. Nice gym but no saunas or steam rooms unless you pay. Saunas and steam room were separated by gender and free on Carnival. may be the largest ship in the world but still the ocean is much larger. Last day, the ship was shaking and vibrating and jumping. We got warned in advance but still was unnerving. If you though the size meant it would move less... no luck. The adult area is nice and in front of the ship. Much larger than Carnival Pride, which is in the back. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
The ship was not our choice, we were in a group and the organizer always uses Royal,. Embarkation was fast and easy aside from sitting in the terminal waiting to board. Self -assist off the ship was quick and easy, 15 minutes or ... Read More
The ship was not our choice, we were in a group and the organizer always uses Royal,. Embarkation was fast and easy aside from sitting in the terminal waiting to board. Self -assist off the ship was quick and easy, 15 minutes or less from the time we started till we were outside. The ship was too large for our taste, our cabin was 7600, middle/middle so everything was a long walk. Elevators were a mob scene just like every other cruise; this is # 11, we've done Carnival and Celebrity. The MDR food was very good, service was excellent. We ate there twice as 8pm was our time and that's too late. We ate at Hooked, the seafood restaurant and service was superb and the whole lobster was excellent. However, several others said they went there late in the evening and the lobster was not good. We think they cooked it all ahead of time so since we were at first slot of the night that might be a possibility. The buffet was not nearly as good as Celebrity buffet. There was never an omelet station at breakfast, very little variety from day to day. On the evening when there was crab claws, they did not have the cracker tool. We saw several people give up and let it go to waste. There was no outdoor seating for the buffet, unlike Celebrity. There were LOTS of kids, and they often seemed to be charging around with no parental supervision. More than once we saw near-collisions with kids and elderly folks with a cane or walker. One aggravation was that on deck 7 at the Aft elevator, there was no way to pass from port to starboard side, one had to go up one or down one to cross over. Staff was friendly and very attentive. The solarium did not have a swimming pool, just a small 3ft deep pool with benches around the perimeter; all one could do was sit. The hot tubs were not hot but that's true of all the cruises we've done. Only one day was there an open towel station in the Solarium. We did not do any shows so no comment. There was no dedicated Piano bar just like Celebrity. I did one ship excursion to a Mayan ruin, it went well. I also did an excursion on my own. The Promenade and Central Park were nice but the flooring in Central Park was very slippery when wet, which was often. We purchased a wrist band to use instead of the ship card but ended up needing the card at times and every time we got on or off the ship. What's the point? Overall it was good, it WAS a cruise! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
My husband found this cruise on Travelocity at a very good price. We have been on 13 cruises but never with MSC. At such a great price, we thought we would give it a try. Boarding the ship in Miami was a breeze. Embarkation was swift ... Read More
My husband found this cruise on Travelocity at a very good price. We have been on 13 cruises but never with MSC. At such a great price, we thought we would give it a try. Boarding the ship in Miami was a breeze. Embarkation was swift and orderly even though the staff wasn't exactly the friendliest. This should have been our first sign of things to come. Once on board, we noted how dated and in need of repair the ship was. My 8 year old son pointed out loose tiles in the shower and that the air in our cabin wasn't working very well... my 8 year old who never notices anything. I don't mean to be petty, but I am going to be petty here... Every other cruise line we have been on, we would get a towel animal and a little chocolate left on our pillow at night. Not on this ship. Our room steward was attentive and kept our cabin clean, but we missed the little "above and beyond" measures that we had come to expect as the normal standard through other cruise lines. The dining hall our first evening was a complete disappointment. It felt as if it was their very first time doing anything! Toward the end of our meal, the head waiter for our area made to over to introduce himself and it was a complete game changer. From that moment on, he made a point to seek us out for each meal. He guided our wait staff in making certain our drinks were kept filled and our food made it to us hot and delicious. The entertainment crew on the MSC Armonia was the absolute best we have ever seen on any cruise we have been on. I am not sure how many hours they put in on their performances but you can tell they work hard to perfect their routines. Each night before they would go on, the ship's cruise director and his team would warm up the crowd with giveaways and hilarious antics. I do not know what these staff members get paid but it is not nearly enough! Everything else just seemed way too crowded to enjoy. Our first port of call was Jamaica. We had to tender to shore. You had to stand in line to get a ticket to take the tender to shore. They passed out tickets through number 25 or 26. My family and I were able to make it to shore on the number 9 tender. I have heard conflicting stories about what number they stopped calling tenders at, but what can be said is that not every passenger was able to get off of the boat that day and experience Jamaica. It was not a good day. I think if they had run out of rum on board, there might have been a mutiny. Grand Cayman was, well, Grand Cayman. overpriced, hot, and busy. Costa Maya was very nice once we left the port and hired a taxi outside of the port gates to take us to Chacchoben for the day. Very nice and relaxing... and about half the price the cruise line wanted for the same tour. The day spent at Ocean Cay is a nice day if you enjoy swimming and the beach. I do not. My husband and children LOVED it. They love sun, sand, and water. Me, not so much. Would I ever sail on this ship again? No. Would I ever sail MSC again? I am not sure. I will be doing much more research and reading reviews before booking my next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Embark and Disembark were handled smoothly out of Miami. Multiple time cruiser with Norwegian. Very good food dining options on the Upscale Dining Program. Cagney's and Los Lobos continue to be awesome. LeBistro and Ocean Blue ... Read More
Embark and Disembark were handled smoothly out of Miami. Multiple time cruiser with Norwegian. Very good food dining options on the Upscale Dining Program. Cagney's and Los Lobos continue to be awesome. LeBistro and Ocean Blue have modified menus so that was a nice change. Q and Food Republic are definitely worth a whirl. I will say that while food quality was good, the portions in some dining areas has clearly been diminished in size. Great Cabin and I had a balcony. Great room steward which is typical. The entertainment on board is great. Choir of Man and Kinky Boots are both great shows. Very enjoyable and I highly recommend giving both a whirl. The Silent Disco is a MUST DO. Great pool experience and was always able to find a chair with no major wait time or delays. Upper Decks have become pay and that is a bit of a change for me but not a dealbreaker. Escape Room is a must do as is the Galaxy Pavilion and Laser Tag. I recommend the $29 one hour pass to do it all and it's more than enough time. Mandara Spa is always great and I used it daily and had a great massage. Finally, my only complaint, while all in favor of every discernible equal rights offering, I am not sure if it was a particular event or a group but the large LGBT community on board was very cliquish and almost took over the ship at times on programs. As someone who flies the rainbow flag, I support the community but the need to "take over" events and to be so unhospitable to others is just not a good look. All in all, a great ship and one that I would highly recommend for a frequent NCL customer, for a family seeking fun, for a great getaway and for some refreshing new options from cruising. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
A little bit about us, we are 52 years old and have never cruised before. We wanted a vacation that was laid-back, upscale, and hassle free. A friend suggested that we try the Haven on NCL. After doing a bit of research we decided on ... Read More
A little bit about us, we are 52 years old and have never cruised before. We wanted a vacation that was laid-back, upscale, and hassle free. A friend suggested that we try the Haven on NCL. After doing a bit of research we decided on Norwegian Escape. The boarding process was quick and efficient. And the Haven concierge staff was always accommodating and had answers to all of our questions. We were lucky enough to book an owner's suite with la large balcony, it was on the front of the ship with gorgeous views. Some days we didn't want to leave our balcony. We ate breakfast lunch and dinner at the Haven restaurant, along with Cagney's and Le Bistro, all of which were excellent. Because our demanding jobs deal with people 24/7, we were looking for a vacation that was hassle free and quiet. The Haven gave us that. We enjoyed exploring the rest of the ship, but primarily relaxed in the Haven lounge, Haven pool, and Haven sun deck. The Haven restaurant staff was always friendly, tidy, and excellent service. And the food was top notch. We were lucky enough to book an owner suite, room 18700. Our butler Mellany was always courteous and friendly, and quick to respond to our requests. Our cabin attendant Gina, did an excellent job every day, and when the light switch broke, she had maintenance repair it ASAP. Griffith at the Haven restaurant, always made us feel welcome and pampered, and always had a smile on his face. We would highly recommend NCL Haven to anyone looking for a pampered Caribbean cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This is our third cruise with MSC and they didn't disappoint. Another clean and beautiful ship with service to boot. What we found special on this cruise was the theatre entertainment both by the ship's entertainment staff and by ... Read More
This is our third cruise with MSC and they didn't disappoint. Another clean and beautiful ship with service to boot. What we found special on this cruise was the theatre entertainment both by the ship's entertainment staff and by Cirque du Soleil. Never have we been on a cruise (9 cruises) that had such consistently high value. Every show (we saw up to 3 a day) ended in a standing ovation from 800 people. The Cirque shows were especially entertaining and compared to land prices a real bargain. Our only critique would be the Galleria which became quite congested when the theatre let out. Other than that we had little to complain about (although I'm sure some will, they always do). We also had a great time at the Cruise Critic gettogether on board. A good time was had by all. A shout out to Gio the maitre'D in the main dining room. We've been on three different MSC ships and somehow he's managed to be on everyone. He recognizes us every time and always extends the best service. Thanks, see you next time. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Do yourself a favor, research the ship’s age before you book a cruise. It has been decades since we have been on an MSC ship. In between we have cruised on medium sized ships with lots of lines, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Princess, ... Read More
Do yourself a favor, research the ship’s age before you book a cruise. It has been decades since we have been on an MSC ship. In between we have cruised on medium sized ships with lots of lines, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Holland America, Carnival etc. All have been great to very good. Then we went back to MSC because we saw a “Fantastica” level balcony, seven day Caribbean cruise for $567 per person. It was not so Fantastica. Embarkation in Miami went smoothly, which gave us hopes for the cruise. However, the food was terrible, with dried out fish and chicken and both pork and veal so tough it couldn’t be cut, nevertheless chewed. The MSC Armonia is very old. Even the captain blamed missing the port of Grand Cayman because the “low powered” ship couldn’t overcome the waves. So the older stabilizers didn’t seem to work well either, and we rolled constantly. The upholstery and carpeting were worn and dirty. There are kids clubs for all ages. Teens and LGBT cruisers had their special meeting areas and events. But better confine your kids to the splash park though, as the two swimming pools were both over 6’6” deep throughout, with no shallow end. There were only two Jacuzzis, so they were constantly full. The entertainment troop was small at eight dancers and two main singers, doubtless because this is an older, smaller ship. They performed valiantly but not very effectively. There was one very good band in the main bar area. The other bands were not good. To be fair, there were good points. The staff was amazingly warm and helpful, the beds were comfortable and we were one of the first ships to visit MSC’s new private island in the Bahamas. But on balance it was a memorable experience, a bad memory we don’t want you to repeat. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Because good price and wanted to try it the best thing was the entertainment group Alex ameed don’t remember the name good of all but they were just a team they should never be broken. My table 539 the best service it’s something I ... Read More
Because good price and wanted to try it the best thing was the entertainment group Alex ameed don’t remember the name good of all but they were just a team they should never be broken. My table 539 the best service it’s something I will never forget because of the teams how they work their island beautiful the only thing is that they have to clean the windows that’s the only thing that I had problem with but other thing like the buffet on the morning was the same thing no variety and same for lunch but is ok the food was good but again the entertainment group is the best thing that cruise have and the theater good movie new make more jacuzzi and ice cream was good I would all over again in they cruise with the same people thank you so much Armonia the best time I had in a cruise Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I have read several reviews that have incorrect prices listed, or what seems to just be a rant and less of a helpful review. As some background info, I booked this vacation with my girlfriend (were 28 years old) and spent a grand total of ... Read More
I have read several reviews that have incorrect prices listed, or what seems to just be a rant and less of a helpful review. As some background info, I booked this vacation with my girlfriend (were 28 years old) and spent a grand total of about $1,800 ($900) each. For this value, I left the cruise feeling as I got a great value and overall trip. I plan to break this down further, as this cruise has MANY upcharges depending on what you want to do allowing one to customize their own experience. For other comments of couples who have spent over $4,000, I can certainly understand being upset. In my opinion, much of this is their fault, as these fees (for the most part) are clearly available through the NCL website, and many other sources. EMBARKATION: Quick and easy. Passengers are called up by groups but we just got in line and no one stopped us. When you get on the ship, everyone runs straight to the wall kiosk’s or in long lines at The Social to book entertainment for the week. Some events can be booked online, which I would suggest. Other entertainment options must be booked online. There are available kiosks throughout the ship so don’t waste your time in long lines, ride up a few floors and use an empty kiosk. Specialty dining options and comedy/Broadway shows book fast. Laser tag, escape room, go-karts were mostly available through the week. VIBE CLUB: With some of the ship modifications in comparison to others in the class, free to the public deck spare is very packed and sun spots are few. Many comments state that buying a vibe pass is the only choice, but this depends on your goals. Does a lounge chair, a quieter atmosphere, and a spot in the hot tub matter to you? Vibe may be your option. At $209 per person, these spots are not cheap. Tickets should be more easily available than other Norwegian cruises, as the Vibe has 230 or so seats. We were able to purchase these passes at 1:00pm on embarkation, so get there early but you don’t have to make a mad dash. Is a chair in the shade, close access to waterslides and the pool, a loud atmosphere, your atmosphere? Then do not worry about Vibe. SHIP ATMOSPHERE/STAFF: Although this was my first Norwegian cruise what may have made it most enjoyable was the other passengers. There was always a lively atmosphere with extremely friendly people. Not to say other cruises were not, but normally people seem to keep to themselves. There were also many younger people, and couples on this cruise making it much more lively. Staff, as you will find on any cruise, were extremely hard working, helpful, and enjoyable to speak with. This cruise also had a big LGBTQ following, so anyone part of the community would enjoy many of the activities geared towards this. I also found wheelchair access to be extremely helpful for these individuals. ENTERTAINMENT: Choir of Man was a fantastic show. It runs about 45 minutes and IS free (some reviews say it isn’t). Kinky Boots is one hour and forty-five minutes long and is great as well if you are into Broadway plays. There are two comedians who run 18+ shows, and a regular show. Both of the comedians were pretty good as well. Go-karts run in half hour blocks, cost $15 (or $199 for the week), and are about 20 minutes long. These are pretty fun, and go faster than you would expect. Laster tag runs in half hour blocks, is $10 per person and lasts about 15 minutes. I had originally signed up for this but after hearing many complaints cancelled my reservation. I was surprised at how few people seemed to visit the galaxy pavilion. Each ride in there besides one of the race cars and the escape room are $8 per ride (or you can buy a one hour block for $30). Each ride lasts about 5 minutes. I couldn’t find anyone on the cruise who had tried the escape room, and noticed many open spots were available all week for it. In general, all these activities had availability through the week, so don’t feel pressured to immediately book them. Only one waterslide was functioning during our cruise. The slide that drops passengers was closed due to plastic cutting them. The other slide was fun, a bit more slow paced, and always had about a 15 minute waiting line. The bars on the cruise were a nice stand out. Each bar from the brew house, country bar, Beatles show, Latin show at the mojito bar, the late night club, and the atrium band had a very different feel and were a lot of fun. Each bar has different specialty drinks and I spent a good amount of time at each bar. This was a highlight that really stood out, and I feel Norwegian did a good job here. A final thing to keep in mind is there are many upcharges you may not fully expect. If you want to communicate over the messenger on the Norwegian app it will cost $10/person. If you want to see the Probation stage play it will cost $30/person. If you want to play bingo, deal or no deal, or some other on board games you have to pay. This appears to upset many people which is understandable, but it also allows you to customize your experience while not having to battle large crowds to enjoy it. FOOD: The food on board was great. I only dined at the free to eat places, which were all amazing and had something for everyone. Seating at the main dining area is always available and I never had to wait. Specialty dining is quite popular. Many cruisers I heard from particularly enjoyed Cagney’s steak house, Food republic (sushi), Le Bistro (French), and Los Lobos (Mexican). STATEROOM: I stayed in the cheapest basic stateroom. I found the room to be clean and staff were very helpful. There is a lighting system when you need your room made up or if you do not want to be disturbed. The bathroom felt more spacious than other cruises even with the smallest stateroom. There are also USB ports on the bedside lamps to charge your phone. I spoke with many who had balconies and loved the experience. ISLANDS: San Juan stopped at 5:30PM – 11:59PM. This was a different stop but gave an opportunity to see the night life at San Juan if you like that idea. One thing to keep in mind is that even if you have the alcohol package, you will be charged tax for each drink while in San Juan (12% tax) and in Miami before leaving. St. Thomas: we visited Magen’s Bay as many do. This is a beautiful cove with calm and shallow water that extends out, making it ideal for families with young ones as well. There are excursions with strict time standards that are quite expensive through Norwegian. We found that taking a taxi on land was much cheaper. Round trip for two of up costs $32 ($16 each), and be aware that there is a $5 charge per person to enter the beach. This is to keep the area maintained and beautiful, and to pay for the lifeguards as well. Tortola: Many on board made the water taxi trip to The Baths which everyone raved about. We took a cheap route and visited Cane Garden Bay through a taxi on the island (also $32, but no charge for the beach). This was a nice area with shallow calm waters within a cove like Meghan’s bay, but much smaller and a bit crowded. DISEMBARKATION: Quick and easy process. If you plan on getting breakfast before a travel home, make sure to be up early. The buffet was entirely emptied out by about 8:30, and most everyone was off the ship around 9:00. You can choose to exit yourself, or if you have lots of luggage they will have you put your bags out the night before and dismiss you off the ship by groups as many other cruise lines do. FINAL THOUGHTS: Don’t forget that if you do buy into the alcohol package offer, this does NOT include gratuity, which will be another extra charge for you ($138). Also, 15$ per person is charged per day for inside state rooms totaling $210 for the week. I believe this is a bit higher if you have a larger room. Sometimes these fees can sneak up on you, so it is good to know. I would also strongly suggest looking up gift vouchers through eBay and other related websites. I was able to buy a $500 voucher for $350, which was very exciting to have that instant savings. These vouchers are pretty easy to find. . Personally, for the price I paid I really enjoyed the Norwegian Encore and had a great time. If I were to be looking to spend around that $3,000+ price, I would look at other cruise ship options. In the end, your experience is what you make of it. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Joined about 70 friends from a boating group aboard the brand new Encore out of Miami for a 7 day Caribbean Cruise including Puerto Rico, St Thomas and Tortola - all nice stops though I have been to each in the past. On the positive ... Read More
Joined about 70 friends from a boating group aboard the brand new Encore out of Miami for a 7 day Caribbean Cruise including Puerto Rico, St Thomas and Tortola - all nice stops though I have been to each in the past. On the positive side, the ship is brand spanking new and beautiful with a really nice passenger mix. Check in at the Miami port was the smoothest I have experienced and I have been on more than 15 cruises. From the moment I was dropped off at the curb I was to my room in under 20 minutes. Food on the ship is very good and the mix of entertainment is excellent. Kinky Boots and Choir of Man are top notch productions and should not be missed. In addition, WT Greer is an excellent piano/lounge singer that you will want to see over and over. I spent a lot of time on the 15th floor observation room as well as the spa where I bought the one week pass for an additional $269 giving unlimited access to a private indoor pool, sauna, steam room, ice room and heated lounge tables. This was well worth it as the pool area seems very limited for a 4000+ passenger ship and gets crowded quite quickly. I took advantage of the two water slides and the race track, all lots of fun even for a guy in his mid 50’s. Live your inner child, overcome fears and jump on these rides. Tonight I will do the virtual reality room and play laser tag. Now, on the not so positive side, and these are minor but important being a Royal Caribbean fan - the staff is very rigid with food service. If you are early or late by one minute you are refused service. The staff was not accommodating in that regard and less than friendly at times. Everywhere you go, you have to press buttons to open doors instead of overhead sensors. This does not seems to be ideal in an environment with a propensity to spread viruses. Conversely, other than handicap bathrooms, the doors have no power assist and you have to grab handles. Just odd on a brand new ship. The cabin bathrooms don’t have night lights, so if you have to pee in the middle of the night, you are blasted with bright lights which wakes me right up. Even though you can get the free at sea upgrade for specialty restaurants and the bar, there are still lots of opportunities for up charging. Not to say this does not happen on Royal but it is less prevalent. Lastly, the ship seemed understaffed relative to RCCL. Service at bars and restaurants was very slow. Also, whereas in Royal there are always people cleaning and servicing the common areas, not so much on this ship. So in sum, give the Encore a whirl. Some of what I described may just be inaugural shakedown jitters. And maybe I am biased to Royal but have never had a complaint on that line. I am a pretty easy guy to please but the Royal experience is just more accommodating and low key with many more fun activities. Also, once you have been on an Oasis class ship (Harmony, symphony, allure and oasis of the seas) few other ships can compare of you like the big ships! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We joined this cruise with friends that had already booked. A surprising 1st time adventure in a cruise ship. We were concerned about sea-sickness, turned out to be not an issue at all. The cruise was 11 days and it was hardly enough ... Read More
We joined this cruise with friends that had already booked. A surprising 1st time adventure in a cruise ship. We were concerned about sea-sickness, turned out to be not an issue at all. The cruise was 11 days and it was hardly enough time to experience all that the ship has to offer. Getting on and off the ship was sometimes a challenging experience, I think there must be something they could do to expedite the process. The food was excellent. We ate in ALL the restaurants. I would recommend the inclusive drink package - makes things so much easier. The NCL casual dress policy is a real incentive for us, who wants to put a jacket and tie on vacation every day? I would recommend NCL to everyone. We found the initial booking a negative experience, rushed by the NCL agent, felt pressured to complete "Right now", without clear details. Followup calls to the agent had to be placed multiple times and had no additional info. Their goal is clear: " Make The Sale! " I would not book directly with NCL again. Rather use a travel agent I think. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Took a Caribbean cruise from Miami with my partner. It was the first trip from the ships new home port in Miami. That being said, the embarkation process was horrible. Took about 2 1/2 hours. However, when we got on board it was worth the ... Read More
Took a Caribbean cruise from Miami with my partner. It was the first trip from the ships new home port in Miami. That being said, the embarkation process was horrible. Took about 2 1/2 hours. However, when we got on board it was worth the wait. The ship is beautiful, every detail was stunning and had a layer of elegance. The staff was beyond friendly and went above and beyond. Ports of call were great as well, however our itinerary changed at the last minute after we left port. This really messed up our excursions, as we did not book through MSC. The pools were beautiful, water was pleasant. The layout of the ship was good too, it did not feel too crowded. Entertainment could have been better. If you’re into music and dancing, then you’re all set. We saw the improv comedy show which was hysterical, and the magician put on a great show. We also did the dinner and cirque de Soleil show. Show was cool, but not as good as what you will see in Vegas. We had a Bella balcony room, and it was standard sized, however the decor was lovely, it felt more elegant then other cruises and more modern, but not a ton of closet space or American outlets, you may want to bring a European converter if you have a lot of things that need charged. Here is where we ran into problems. The food was horrible. The buffet was just ok, always the same food every day, and everything was bland. The complimentary restaurant was even worse. Nothing to chose from, and tasted even worse. I would suggest paying for dining because you will not be happy with the other food. Also lines. If you need to talk to reception, prepare to wait for at least a half hour. Overall, We came back super relaxed and enjoyed ourselves. This was our first MSC cruise, and be willing to try another boat of theres for a good price. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This cruise was like Spring break gone bad. Multiple people who are 1st timers and 20 plus cruises under their belts agreed that this was just an awful awful trip. 2 ports missed. Stinky smokey ship Horrible customer service horrible food ... Read More
This cruise was like Spring break gone bad. Multiple people who are 1st timers and 20 plus cruises under their belts agreed that this was just an awful awful trip. 2 ports missed. Stinky smokey ship Horrible customer service horrible food unless you did specialty dinings which obviously costs more. Hidden costs every time you turn around. Terrible communication on board, and can't hear the captain when you are in your room. Slides were closed. Pool WAY too small. Several people fell in walkways away from the pool as they were wet. I consistent soap in restrooms as well as sanitizer stations, although they are constantly preaching to washy washy, yeah okay, y'all don't practice what you preach. Staff members seemed miserable and expressed that they have a disdain for the other staff members on the ship. We will NEVER recommend this cruise line. We will ALWAYS tell everyone how low budget and basic this experience was. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This cruise was gifted to me, as I enjoy the casino in an ample way. So the cruise was offered for myself and a guest to enjoy an interior room for said time and ship. We had no choice in the date or location, or which ship took us. ... Read More
This cruise was gifted to me, as I enjoy the casino in an ample way. So the cruise was offered for myself and a guest to enjoy an interior room for said time and ship. We had no choice in the date or location, or which ship took us. Even so, that was obviously exciting and fun. To go on an unexpected cruise , and to get such a huge discount. ( we opted to pay for an upgrade, and you still need to pay for your own excursions and such. Not to mention the regular taxes, etc...) My wife and I reserved a cabin on the phone so as to insure that we got a decent one, which did not work. It's WAS interesting though. I will say that. We got cabin 11100. It's directly underneath the captain as he controls the ship. This meant that we were not allowed to open our drapes at night because it caused glare so he could not see properly. And that we could not open them during the day, with our only window at the nose of the ship because it would make our cabin blazing hot. As such, we had upgraded for no reason. A sizable charge for each person from an inner cabin to an ocean view. (We usually get balcony cabins but the WHOLE point was enjoying a cheap trip because it was something we had not planned) It also turned out that being in the front under the captain, at least on the Breakaway, was a nightmare for my wife. As she has MS and uses a cane half the time. We had never been on on other Norwegian ship that had only 2 banks of elevators? So we had to walk 2 blocks one way to reach them. I asked immediately if jt was possible to change location, and explained why but was told there were no empty cabins on the ship. Then... by the end of night 1 we had a strange mildew smell in our doorway to the hall. We were unsure. But opted to ignore until it worsened through the next day and finally said something the night of day 2. Then they made our room steward shampoo the carpet or something, and kept wanting to air ate? ( unsure of wording) even though we explained that this seemed to be either inside the wall or perhaps in the hallway carpet. And the poor girl had done all she could. Making us come back to check again and again. It was only in the actual doorway, but never went away, and smelled like basement? We don't know- To top the cake, the show were lack lustre because they have no decent stage, and the buffet was the worst of any of their ships we have been on, and they have the least friendly bartenders I have ever found on their ships. AND I TIP, IN CASH! The only reason I rated 3 out of 5 is because, as always it's clean, most are very professional, and the staff in generally incredible. I also happen to know that this crew was supposed to have a week off the week before they got us, and instead had to go help with a hurricane. We are all only human. And we have gone on 3 other Norwegian cruises we adored. They are our favorite company- Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The ship overall looks old and the decorations are cheesy and tacky. The art hanging on the walls in the main gallery area have broken frames. Their suites are small. The dining rooms served a lobster dinner that totaled 4 bite and we ... Read More
The ship overall looks old and the decorations are cheesy and tacky. The art hanging on the walls in the main gallery area have broken frames. Their suites are small. The dining rooms served a lobster dinner that totaled 4 bite and we had to go up to the Lido deck to actually have dinner .As for entertainment, only four singer, but.eight performers, everyone should have at least one song in every show. In the soul performance there’s two blonde girls two white boys ...two dark-haired girls and two young men of color. It was racially and culturally insulting that everything was preformed by white singers. Magic show A+! Servers Are very polite and well mannered I saw people vacuuming dusting and cleaning day and night. And our room Stewart was phenomenal I felt pampered like a princess. As for our ports of call they were dirty and full of beggars and thief’s. only one was worth seeing. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Background This was my 80th cruise overall, with most of them being on Celebrity in the past, followed by Royal Caribbean, Princess, Holland America, Cunard and Carnival. We found an incredible offer back in February on this 7-day ... Read More
Background This was my 80th cruise overall, with most of them being on Celebrity in the past, followed by Royal Caribbean, Princess, Holland America, Cunard and Carnival. We found an incredible offer back in February on this 7-day cruise and could not pass it up. My partner and I went and traveled with a close friend of ours who booked a solo cabin. Pre-Cruise We started our journey in Miami. We actually flew into Fort Lauderdale the day before, picked up a rental car and enjoyed lunch before heading to Miami. We checked into the Holiday Inn Seaport and then returned the rental car. We took an Uber into South Beach for dinner before retiring for the night. We checked out at 11am and headed to the port via an Uber, which was very inexpensive. The Ship We arrived at the port and were onboard before noon. The entire process was easy. The ship is stunning. Magnificently constructed, although the gray and burgundy theme inside was not my favorite color palette, it was gorgeous. The layout was fun and different than any ship I had been on. The majority of the fellow passengers were from Europe, and we loved it. Our stateroom was on the 13th floor, a balcony aft. We had booked an inside guarantee and the upgrade fairy gave us a kiss... the first time ever for me to have this kind of upgrade! Also, MSC did a status match of my status with Celebrity, which was amazing. We loved the aft elevator being right outside our door and gave us quick access to the upper pool deck on 16 or the adult only pool on deck 7. Also, the buffet on either deck 16 or deck 8. Our stateroom was very spacious and perfect, I could not have asked for anything different. Food is always subjective. I have to say in my opinion, MSC does a very good job. The buffets for breakfast and lunch had a beautiful array of foods with a lot of variety. Overall everything was very good and we were always more than happy with what our choices were. At dinner, we had the 7:30pm seating on deck 5, table for 3. The food was very good, I still give Celebrity tops, but I have to say I think that MSC rivals the food that the rest of the lines offer. Service in the main dining room lacked a bit, our team had 3 other large tables of families, and they were all high maintenance, but we were patient and enjoyed. They do three seatings in two different dining rooms. Very courageous, but they pull it off.. the thought is exhausting to me if I were a server! The shows were excellent. We saw two, which we booked from an interactive screen onboard. We saw Wizard and Starwalker, both excellent. Just like the dining times being divided into 3, so are the shows. The theater is small and intimate, I think the smallest I have encountered. I did notice the missing orchestra pit and musicians, which I did really miss. Overall a great experience. The onboard entertainment was excellent. There was always something going on, and the live musicians were all very good. There were theme nights throughout the cruise that for the first time I have ever seen... people participated with vigor! They brought outfits and all. I have to say, I do not know how they knew about them as I never saw anything about them other than the white party, which I saw a post on Instagram about. The ports were great, although I would like the port times to be tweaked, but I understand the logistics with the 7-day itinerary. We were in San Juan first, from 5pm-1am. We walked into town and did dinner and had some cocktails. Next up was St. Thomas from 7am-7pm, we went to Secret Harbor and had a fabulous day of snorkeling and lounging. The restaurant there is not great and expensive, but the rest of the day was perfect. Third stop was St. Maarten from 7am-2pm, which is really too short if you want to go to Maho or across to Orient Bay, so we just walked into town and enjoyed our time. Last stop was Nassau from 12pm-6pm, where we went to Junkanoo beach which was just a few minute walk and we had a great day there. The chair hogs were out in the most amazing display I have ever seen. During peak times on days at sea I would say that 80% of the chairs were sitting empty with towels on them. Horrible. And nobody policing them. This is where the line needs to step up their game. The adult pool was great, although it was very deep at 6'5"... so be aware. It is salt water, which I loved. We had the easy package included with our stateroom and it was fantastic. They let you get two drinks at once, so we would often do doubles as their pours are small. If you want a foo-foo drink that is over the limit, they let you order one as a virgin with a shot on the side ;-). The internet was the best I have ever experienced. Instead of charging by the minute they charge by the GB. I loved it. I had a 3GB package included with the room and I worked every day and only used 1GB of it. If you avoid social media, videos and pics you are golden if you need to work. It was fast, too. Very happy. In the end.. MSC, you have us. We loved it and cannot wait to return. The value for the money is amazing. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My husband and I have taken several cruises over the past few years. This was the first time with Norwegian. We were absolutely blow away with the top notch service we received. It began with embarkation, easy, quick and with a warm ... Read More
My husband and I have taken several cruises over the past few years. This was the first time with Norwegian. We were absolutely blow away with the top notch service we received. It began with embarkation, easy, quick and with a warm smile. This set the tone for our week. The food was absolutely delicious. We tried everything on the menu throughout our trip and we were never disappointed. Our room steward Emanuel went overboard (no pun) to be sure our room was always stocked neat and clean. Alexandrea our restaurant hostess was so pleasant. She was very Intune to all the details. We needed to ask for nothing because the crew was always a step ahead and somehow predicted our needs. How they do I we will never know but they made this the MOST relaxing and truly enjoyable trip we have ever taken. As soon as we got home we made a few phone calls to family and friends to plan a 2020 trip. We will never take another cruise with any other line going forward. BEST VACATION EVER!!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I first experienced "Your World, Your Way" service on the Riviera in 2017. A 21 day Med cruise, It was fantastic! This was largely due to the fact that Peter Roberts was the Cruise Director and his partner Jason Parsons was the ... Read More
I first experienced "Your World, Your Way" service on the Riviera in 2017. A 21 day Med cruise, It was fantastic! This was largely due to the fact that Peter Roberts was the Cruise Director and his partner Jason Parsons was the Assistant Cruise Director, they were amazing. The food and service on Riviera was also amazing and due to this experience the folks that I met on the Riviera decided to book Insignia 14 day Caribbean. Thank goodness we were with 6 other friends, or we could not have bared the thought of 2 weeks on this ship. Where to start...let's start with the biggest problem, the cruise director! We disliked him so much, we can't even remember his name, we believe it was Ray. We heard the guy on the loud speaker announcements daily and didn't get to see him until day 5. We tried to be friendly with him and one person in our party went over to him to see if he was going to sing at karaoke or not - the Cruise Director was staring at this phone all through the event. He looked up at the person in our group and very sarcastically said - "I hire singers, I don't sing", then went straight back to his phone. All of us were dumbfounded! Believe it or not, it got worse, he then went over to the bartenders and started pointing and laughing at our group - we had no idea why, perhaps he thought his sarcastic remark to a gentleman in our group was funny???? Disgusting!!! Remember, when traveling as a group of 8 on Oceania we spent over 50K for the two week cruise - this type of behaviour should not be tolerated. School children are better behaved! The food quality, in my personal opinion, has dropped since we cruise on Riviera in 2017. On Riviera, the quality and selection were extremely good - especially in the specialty restaurants. On Insignia however they were marginal. My entree in Toscana was horrible - how on earth can you mess up a plate of pasta? The pasta in the buffet was 100% better. I went to culinary school for 2 years, and believe and am qualified enough to remark on the food quality. * The buffet was mediocre and repetitious. * The main dining room was the best place to eat, but again, the quality was not up to par * Bar Services at all venues were quite good This ship underwent a dry dock very recently and it appears they just concentrated on the cabins and updated the furniture and carpet in the public areas. On the pool deck the boards were loose and warped. I watched more than one person take a stumble on it. There were very elderly people on this, you would thing that Oceania would spend the money to fix the teak deck. The ship also looks tired on the outside - lots of rust and Overall - Your World, Your Way - I think not. This will be our last Oceania Cruise. The cost associated for this trip was NOT fulfilled in any way. We have paid much less on Princess, Celebrity and Holland American and no longer see the benefits of this marketed "UPSCALE" line. This line needs to re-think their approach, it's not working any longer. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I chose this cruise due to its sailing date and my school schedule. I figured an 8 night cruise would be a good way to finish my summer before returning to class full time. When we were approaching the ship it was dirty with rust staining ... Read More
I chose this cruise due to its sailing date and my school schedule. I figured an 8 night cruise would be a good way to finish my summer before returning to class full time. When we were approaching the ship it was dirty with rust staining by the anchors. We were told we were getting an upgrade when we arrived to the port as we had requested it and they said the employees at the port can get you into your upgraded room. When we checked in we were told there wouldn’t be an upgrade like the employee said there would be. So we went to our room and it was very tiny and hard to navigate with both people in it. Once we were settled in the room we went to explore the ship some. We went to get a quick snack then walk some more after that. The pool was about the size of my living room. Our luggage was held for a while too, for no reason that could be explained but we know it can be chaos too sometimes. As we were sailing out of port we noticed a rather strong sewage smell on the pool deck. We went back inside and finished walking the ship and finding things to do(which wasn’t much). We went back to the room and showered, the water was presently warm, the only down side was it didn’t drain quickly. I asked our steward why it wasn’t draining fast and he said it’s an older ship, which I understand and said thanks, he did say if it starts to spill out to let him know and they would definitely fix it at one of the ports. We went to bed relatively early due to the fact we had to drive from Daytona down to Miami. When I woke up the next morning it was due to the fact my hip was in pain(have had 2 procedures done on it at 25) which isn’t their issue, the room steward got me an additional pillow to put under my hip with a blanket which I was very grateful for! I went and had some breakfast and sat up on the front deck to wake up some and enjoy the ocean and nice breeze. With the days at sea it usually was a better idea to go to the pool early if possible or late before it closed as it was pretty crowded. If you were on the pool deck you got a smell of sewage, if you went up to the bow area it was fine as you were up wind. We had met some friends and had a few drinks with the day at sea and planned for the first stop at Coco Cay. When we arrived into Coco Cay it was overcast which was AMAZING as it had a nice breeze and would have been rather hot. We walked around did some shopping and enjoyed the lounge chairs on the beach. Our next stop was in San Juan Puerto Rico. We got into Puerto Rico in the afternoon which didn’t leave too much time to explore. I definitely would consider going back to Puerto Rico when there was more time to explore as there was TONS to see! I was headed to the Windjammer Cafe and stopped by the restroom. When I walked in the urinals were overflowing onto the floor(it happened rather frequently at least daily from what I saw). I went and notified the staff who said they’ll address the issue soon. I went to eat dinner they only had water and tea to drink, so I ate dinner and decided to go buy the drink package. We decided to tough out the smell and join people down on the pool deck to have a drink and talk about the next stop. When we got to St. Croix we went on a dive excursion, it was extremely well priced and the staff running it were great too! There are some shops there that have very unique things to buy which was also nice. Upon entering the boat after our day of exploring I went to shower and get freshened up. We decided to go get dinner and head up to the bow area to enjoy the departure. When we got into the cafe they had a chef making meals for everyone. We gave him four tries at cooking food and it still didn’t click and come out right. He kept adding additional things that we didn’t want even though we were standing there saying yes and no to ingredients, partially due to an allergy. I sat up on the bow and did some work on my laptop and enjoyed the night. Our next stop was St. Thomas! When we left the ship we walked some and also did a van excursion and met up with some people we know in the area! The staff were very friendly, they also let us experience how some of the natives do things! Once we were done for the day we headed back to the boat. Some of the iguanas were rather tame, I got to pet one that was randomly roaming. (We have exotic animals at our home) We had two days at sea on the way back to Miami. Unfortunately we had to make an emergency stop in Nassau, hopefully the passenger was okay. Overall I would like to recommend RCI, I wouldn’t recommend the Empress of The Seas. The sewage smell was horrendous, the ship was rather old and dingy, and the amenities were sub par. Our steward was absolutely amazing! He helped make this cruise halfway tolerable. Next time I sail I will definitely be looking at all the reviews of the ships and cruise line making sure the room is in fact the room we want. This was not a good first experience on RCI. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Hello. I was looking for a cruise to wind down and relax. However the cruise was a tornado of dysfunctional proportions by the cruise line. I get to the window and give them my passports. They ask for my room number. I offer it. The lady ... Read More
Hello. I was looking for a cruise to wind down and relax. However the cruise was a tornado of dysfunctional proportions by the cruise line. I get to the window and give them my passports. They ask for my room number. I offer it. The lady says, no the room number on the website is not your room. The supervisor female comes over and says they double booked us. Here is our number to our room. They gave us 2 sets of keys Incase (liability) all day long. We tried our room number from the website a gentleman and his female were in the room. He got angry with me from entering. Clearly NCL screwed up. Days 1,2,5 we had a toilet not working. I called days 1 & 2 to fix it. On day 2 the toilet comes out of the wall. I called guest services no answer, I tried again, finally someone answered. I said “didn’t you guys put the toilet back on after fixing it” I had charges from this other couple on my bill. I had photos on my card of this same other couple. On the day we were supposed to leave, I never got a letter that affords my group to be taken to Miami airport. Went down to the desk asked for the letter. The room number on the letter was different.... again. Plus all the charges on my bill were someone else. By fighting when them days 1,2,5 I was mentally exhausted by 8 pm. I had anxiety from the stress and my grandmother so angry. My grandmother has been on lots of cruises but this one was beyond her comprehension. I asked for a full refund. I didn’t enjoy at all. It didn’t live up to the amount I paid. The food was OK like a upscale Disney Park. The people working on the boat always smiling and exceptional. But no one has authority. Even when this guy hit me. No one took a interest in my concerns or safety despite writing in the comment box. And NCL never responded to my email. So. I would not recommend NCL Dawn. In good faith I was looking for a apologize. Don’t know if I will ever get it. The toilet came out of the wall bruised my leg. Just a really bad time. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
After looking into many questions before I leave for the cruise, I feel compelled to share my first cruise with our friends. After much deliberation we decided that some of the 50th birthday celebrations would be Cruise (for the first ... Read More
After looking into many questions before I leave for the cruise, I feel compelled to share my first cruise with our friends. After much deliberation we decided that some of the 50th birthday celebrations would be Cruise (for the first time). The date of the cruise was determined following family constraints for the Passover holiday of 2019 in April. Since this is the first time we make a cruise and after a thorough examination it was decided to go on one of the best - a large ship of Royal Caribbean. As stated, there were time constraints and therefore the cruise was chosen with the Allure Of The Seas, https://www.royalcaribbean.com/cruise-sh…/allure-of-the-seas, Western Caribbean track, 7 nights with 4 anchors in NASSAU- BAHAMAS, COZUMEL-MEXICO, ROATAN-HONDURAS, PUERTO COSTA MAYA-MEXICO and 2 DAYS ONLY, Departure from Miami. Now it was left to choose which agency would invite the cruise. There are many opinions whether to order through an Israeli agency or through a foreign agency. After a thorough and thorough examination, I found out that the company Crozit, https://www.cruiseit.co.il/, with the agent Orit Cohen Rochov gave the best offer. As I mentioned, it was decided to order with a minimum risk and therefore the room with balcony to the ocean, on the 11th floor in the center of the ship (room number 11590 D2). The room is spacious enough, a double bed and a sofa bed, a shower with excellent water flow and a balcony facing the sea, television, storage closet, 110 and 220 volts power sockets. It is difficult to describe in words the experience of sitting on the balcony while sailing and sleeping with an open window and hearing the waves coming back - an experience! The ship is huge, really a floating hotel. Many different types of rooms, countless dining rooms, restaurants, cafes, 2 promenades with vegetation, casino, swimming pools, Jacuzzi, climbing wall, Omega, surfing and more. 2 notable restaurants for light meals: 1. Park Caffe - Salads, sandwiches, cakes and flag sandwich with roast beef 2. The pizza restaurant The ship has a wide range of performances, including Mamma Mia, acrobatic show with oceanAria, Ice Ice show, Blue Planet, Headliner Showtime and more. About 60-90 days before the cruise, the possibility of planning the cruise is open on the Royal Caribbean site, ordering an hour for dinner (17.30, 20.00 or "on my own time"), ordering the various shows on the ship and booking excursions at the ports. For convenience and schedule of performances we chose the time 20.00, we got a regular table in the dining room on the 5th floor and regular waiters. In accordance with our needs, we purchased in advance and at a discounted price Classic Soda Package, which includes soft drinks and cola and an internet package VOOM Surf + STREAM Voyage Package - 1 Device Additional alcoholic beverages, coffee, shakes and more can be purchased. It is also possible to purchase a 10-cup card or a 10-alcoholic card. Each room has the option of bringing 12 bottles of 17 oz and 2 bottles of wine to the ship. In the boat, at various meals, you will be served free glasses of water and juices. The ship anchored at the port of Miami in Terminal 1 of Royal Caribbean, we reached the port of the car rental agency in the city and left the port to the airport on a trip with uber. The check-in and check-out of the ship is carried out with remarkable efficiency with no queue and speed. The attractions we did at our ports were: NASSAU-BAHAMAS - taxi ride ($ 10 toward) Cabbage Beach on the island island Paradise Island, a beach with soft white sand and good water for bathing. You can rent 2 sunbeds + umbrella for $ 20, and there are street vendors selling drinks. You can walk to the beach of the luxurious Atlantis Bahamas and even enter the hotel grounds and be impressed by it. COZUMEL-MEXICO - A fun day of sailing to spectacular blue lagoons and dive snorkeling, booked through http://cozumelcruiseexcursions.net/cozumel-snorkel-tour-res…, at a cost of $ 50 per participant. ROATAN-HONDURAS - We booked a day trip to the island with a local operator named Francklin Gálvez, francklinalexisgalvezbonilla1@gmail.com, a nice guy who tries very hard to please the guests he accompanies. Franklin charges $ 20 per participant for a full day of pick-up and return from / to port and travel according to an agreed plan. ($ 10) Visit the Chocolate and Fun Factory at the stunning beach of West Bay Beach (one of the resorts, plus sun beds + umbrella $ 15) PUERTO COSTA MAYA-MEXICO - We ordered a $ 50 golf car from MAYAHUAL Local Golf Car, https://costa-maya-golf-cars.negocio.site/, marvin1907@yahoo.com.mx and drove to the beaches of the nearby village of MAYAHUAL Docking Port . In retrospect it is unnecessary and you can reach this coastal strip with a local taxi. The coast of the Costa Maya disappointed. Hope this summary will help others. I'll be happy to answer any question. Yaari Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was our 9th cruise and we chose Seaside because of its design. We wanted as much outdoor space as possible. Tired of the old "Food Court" atrium designs. The outdoor seating for food and drink was beautiful. There was so ... Read More
This was our 9th cruise and we chose Seaside because of its design. We wanted as much outdoor space as possible. Tired of the old "Food Court" atrium designs. The outdoor seating for food and drink was beautiful. There was so much outdoor space the ship holds true to its motto, "Follows the Sun"! At times, we had difficulty finding shade, but no big deal. We upgraded to a larger cabin 14003 way up front on deck 14. Space was nice, balcony was disappointing. It was a full size balcony but only half available to look out due to the steel support wall for the corner of the ship. We were directly under the bridge so it was nice not having sunlight glaring in our eyes or camera lens for photos. My wife loved the complete privacy of it so I guess it has its pluses and minuses. The Mirror and chrome design was stunning. Absolutely gorgeous, especially the crystal stairs. People couldn't take enough pictures of them. However, due to all the mirrors, there is a place on deck 6 were we almost walk into them several times. The signage is very limited. When elevator doors open, its hard to see what deck you on on. We found out, after a couple of days, that the deck number is on the left post of each elevator door frame. But, because of the chrome, its hard to see. There are large deck numbers on the wall opposite elevators, but not always visible when doors open, and again in bright chrome. Yes, there is always the digital read out and voice in the elevator! The App is the true shinning star on this ship. Very well done. You have access to daily activities, you own personal list of things you checked and, easy show reservation as well as checking you account balance any time. Food was very good, especially in MDR. Appetizers and soups were hit or miss but main course was awesome every night. Contrary to what we have read, the buffet had many changes daily, pre-made sandwiches were different everyday and the carving station in the back was awesome. They were carving roast beef, lamb, pork, turkey, ham, etc.Yes, they had pizza and burgers everyday but what buffet doesn't? Broadway style shows were unbelievable, the best we have ever seen. Outsourcing to a theater company is definitive the way to go. The ships activities crew was top notch, they were everywhere and easily accessible. A really great bunch of kids. Service is probably the only place this ship falls flat. After being in the US for 15 months, you would think the service crew would have the understanding of "Where is the soda machine, toilet, towel exchange or can you make me this drink??" Boy, they do have a lot of teaching to do, not just because of the language barrier, which we were stunned as to how you do not understand simple words such as Coke or Ginger Ale or Sprite, but overall how many of the staff did not know where things were. Training, training, training is what is seriously lacking in this area. Our MDR waiter was difficult to communicate with the first few days, but by the end of the week, they knew exactly what we were looking for, this should have been the case by day 2. I had a bartender give me Scotch because he could not find the Seagram's 7, and he thought I would not notice. I have been drinking 7&7s ever since Tony got me started on "Saturday Nigh Fever". We did notified the Bar Manager and he assured me they would look into it. (not the movie, the problem). Management was always willing to listen and correct the situation, if possible. We wound up receiving Champagne and Chocolate covered strawberries (which we gave both to our neighbors) for one problem, and a tray of pastries for the bar debacle (also gave to the neighbors). Stop trying to put out fires guys and train your staff! We did manage to find an awesome bartender, Julius, at the Miami beach bar. He made the best Mudslides with ice cream, yes, they have a Gellato bar right in the middle of the pool bar. We also found Ron down on deck 5 at the Seaside bar. This is their flagship bar in the atrium. This is the place to go see and be seen. Ron was such a talented mixologist and always smiling. He was so willing to please and always went above and beyond. His section of the bar always had a crowd, I'm surprised the ship did not tilt in that direction. My wife was not feeling well and he made her the most fantastic hot chocolate ever! She kept going back for more. The Thermal Spa was, how does Scar in "Lion King" put it..."To Die For"! I'm sorry we did not opt for the weekly pass, instead we purchased a day pass with massages. This place is awesome, Jun the manager was the best. Jamaica was sad, Grand Cayman was beautiful and Cozumel, well, it's Cozumel. We spent the day in the spa while in port at Nassau. Would we sail MSC again? Probably, but not in the near future. I would prefer an Eastern Itinerary and lets see how well Management does their training. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was my first cruise and last. Truthfully I am the type that enjoys this however want to say the staff was extrely good. From the bars to the table. A gentleman was st my table and he had issues with his meal and was immediately taken ... Read More
This was my first cruise and last. Truthfully I am the type that enjoys this however want to say the staff was extrely good. From the bars to the table. A gentleman was st my table and he had issues with his meal and was immediately taken care of. The captains on the floor was contumely checking over the floor. I enjoyed the food and it was nice not great. Many season cruisers complained. The room with the window was ok and I felt like I was in a trailer. Will say the bed felt wonderful and I slept great in it. If u want to drink alcohol then buy a package u will be glad u did. Rather lots of confusion getting to different ports. Mostly u get what u pay for. I most enjoyed Cuba. Not much reason to go to Jamaica. I did enjoy cosemel and there were nice shows Read Less
Sail Date February 2019

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